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Black Hawk Stout - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Hawk StoutBlack Hawk Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

632 Ratings

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Ratings: 632
Reviews: 429
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 12
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-15-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 632 | Reviews: 429
Photo of PhiloFox
4.25/5  rDev +20.7%

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a rich espresso black with brown around the edges when held to the light. A chunky off-white head dissipates to a film of bubbles, and leaves minimal lacing. The beer smells of burnt malts and bitter chocolate. The taste is spot on with the appearance and smell so far, in other words it tastes like a good, typical Irish dry stout. The bitter chocolates and burnt, yet semi-sweet malt coats the taste buds with a dry bitterness following. Also a slightly smokey taste in there. The mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, just a solid stout all around. Probably would get a better score if i had any sentimental connection to it, but I don't.

Photo of nixhecks
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, the war in Iraq is a week old, and I sit here thankful as hell that, while Iraqis sit with Black Hawks overhead, I sit with this Black Hawk stout in hand instead. Black Hawk poured a deep, dark brown, not quite black, and had a very nice light brown head on top that held with medium retention. Aroma was roasted malts with a slight coffee smell. The mouthfeel was very smooth and silky, heavy bodied, and tasted softly of cocoa and mocha. I also noticed a coppery, metallic taste but it was really, really tiny - maybe just my imagination. The aftertaste was balanced out with a crisp hop bitterness, not too much however. The drinkability is surpisingly high, this beer just seemed to meld with my tastebuds well, very soft and balanced. From top to bottom this was a very enjoyable stout, and it is a competitor in my opinion with some of the top stouts.

Photo of inebrius
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picture a nitro stout. Remove the head completely then throw a narrow rubber band the circumference of your glass in its place. Black Hawk. Malt fruity nose. Mellow malt kicks back on the couch and watches the roast barley and citric hops pummel your buds. Very PNW and very good.

Photo of shapudding
4.17/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a pitch black and creamy with a thick beige head that dissapated quickly, leaving only a thin ring and slight cloud in the center. Scents of toffee, coffee, dark cherries, and brandy. Light carbination and a bit of bite in the flavor. Tastes dark and smooth. Burnt toast in the sips and aftertaste. Sherry, merlot, espresso. Good bitterness. Good mouthfeel, but heavy tasting, maybe not one that you could drink a ton of in a sitting, but still very enjoyable.

Photo of cdkrenz
4.16/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark black with no head.

S - Chocolate, black licorice and a hint of coffee.

S - Robust coffee taste with a hops accent. There is chocolate as well and it is very dark. This flavor is not at all for the meek.

M - The feel is extremely smooth. I am very impressed by the silk feel of this brew. For a beer that has such a pronounced group of flavors it is very easy to drink.

~ This beer really came through. This is certainly a breakfast and or desert beer. I will certainy suggest my friends try this beer and hope to one day sample a pour straight from a brewer's tap.

Photo of Bighuge
4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a thick creamy brown head. The aroma is very nutty and very unique. There is a very unique nutty taste in this stout that really appeals to me. I also pick up some toffee on the tongue. Pretty bitter. A unique stout worth a try.

Photo of ADR
4.14/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very dark roasted malt flavor, nice head, but far more subtle and real then the almost burnt taste of something like Guinness Extra (hardly needing its fortified capacity now that it comes from Canada)...as far as Black Hawk, I was a little disappointed by its mouthfeel (could have been creamier) but the aromas and head were great...great American rendition of a stout...

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.12/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is black, with some dark brown highlights under light, and a light tan head that starts thick and frothy, but recedes to a decent half inch, tightly bubbled presentation. The beer is malty on the nose, with no other characteristics jumping out. The malt has notes of molasses and caramel, but very mild. Initial flavors are light, and ride through on a clean, crisp body. There are flavors heavy on chocolate, with strong backgrounds of coffee and dark, sweet malt. Well balanced with bitter and sweet flavors. Body is smooth and crisp at the same time, never overpowering and alway complementary of the flavors. The beer transitions to a quick, smooth, and clean finish. The aftertaste is similar to melting a chocolate bar in half a cup of coffee. Very tasty, and very pleasant. Easy to drink with almost anything in terms of food.

Photo of Guinness4me
4.12/5  rDev +17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one sneaky beer. I nearly missed it's nuances and I'm glad I slowed down for a closer look.

Pouring a choco-coffee brown with little smell if any, it looked like it would taste as deep and rich as it looked, but a dfferent feeling filled my mouth! The tip of my tongue met with a fizzy sweetness that slowly morphed into a warm syrup on my tongue. By the time it hit the back and sides of my tongue, it had mellowed into a deep-in-the-forest rich merlot. Very woodsy and smooth. This beer is a deep romantic kiss atop the Empire State building in late summer.

I need more.

Photo of Neecee513
4.12/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into pint glass.

A: Deep brown; one step less than black.

S: Roasted chocolate aroma. Chocolate aroma stronger than so-called "chocolate" stouts

T: Roasted malty character, caramel notes

M: Low carbonation, smooth finish, medium body, finish is not dry

D: Pleasantly surprised by this beer, I enjoyed everything about it, esp the deep, especially the roasty aroma and taste.

Photo of hyuga
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark chocolate appearance with a creamy tan head that settles slowly. Toffee-like character in the nose, along with some sweet undertones. Rich, creamy, coffee-like flavor with underlying caramel sweetness, more toffee-like character, and just a little kick of bitterness from the hops. The body is closer to medium than full. Creamy sweetness makes for a great mouthfeel and very good all-around drinkability. I like a more full-bodied stout, but this is still a great brew, and a pretty good representation of the style.

Photo of andrewt960
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: first pours a black pint with a small chocolate head. head didn't stick around very long. It showed some lingering lacing. I didn't mind the small head, i'm not a huge fan of overly thick creamy head.
S: Slight coffee aroma, and had a nice toasted smell.
T: It was very carbonated and and some wold say too much. I am ok with it, as i like this in a stout. Anyway, it tasted like it smelled, and was quite enjoyable. Hopps were only present in the lingering aftertaste, and i like the presence of them at this time.

Photo of kennywoodbrew
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The head is a beautiful sight, Rocky, Brown and standing proud. The color is to style. Aroma says hops in 10 foot tall letters (likeable). Although the taste settles into a niceness, first impression is a sharp almost astringent/dry sensation. This pushed me away. Perhaps I served it too cold as it mellowed as the glass warmed. Worth a try but I'm not likely to pay the price when there is so much competition @ 10 bucks a six.

Photo of beersquirrel1337
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of DogFood11
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mountainous head is a rich brown looking froth, sticky massive coat lacing. Pitch black, mildly carbonated. This beer looks very smooth and inviting.

Nothing earthshattering here, pretty standard stout, and thats not a hack by any stretch. A good stout is not an easy thing to come by. By "standard" I mean it has the typical toasted, charred, burnt type flavors and balanced by a smooth creamy mouthfeel. This one steps out of the box a bit in that its so creamy its almost milk like, very smooth. Dry bakers chocolate creeps in there towards the end. Finishes with a barely noticeable touch of some raw hops.

Notes: I'm an advocate of this brewery overall and this is no exception. Nicely balanced stout. Price per quality ratio: this passes with flying colors.

Photo of FreshHawk
4.07/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark walnut with some ruby hues on the edges. Average sized creamy, frothy off-white head. About average retention and a nice creamy layer of lace.

S - Good amount of roasted dark malt with a lot of chocolate and just a little bit of coffee. Just a hint of dark fruit as well. Nice well balanced stout aromas with nothing really standing out.

T - A lot of chocolate and a fair amount of roasted malt. Not overly bitter either. A touch of coffee along with a bit of nutty and earthy flavors. Balanced flavors that mix pretty well together. A touch of caramel malt as well.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. Extremely smooth and creamy feel.

D - Very easy to drink with plenty of nice, well balanced stout flavors.

Notes: A nice stout with a good balance. Quite tasty. Good amount of chocolate and roasted malt. Hints of other stout flavors. Overall a tasty beer and a good example of a basic stout. Didn't overly impress me, but I enjoyed drinking it.

Photo of Vancer
4.07/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good one, not great, but definitely worth a try.

Pretty good pour, opaque black with burgundy edges – hard to get a good tan head unless you aggressively pour. Where the hell is a born on date! Point deduction there.

Notes of charcoal and burnt toast in the aroma and also in the quaff. Nice roasted malts, a leathery body with slight hints of coffee in the finish.

Close to a Irish dry stout, especially with the dry, gritty mouthfeel. Medium bodied, but still processing a rich overall glow. It may be just a tad on the thin side, but the relatively low abv of 5% makes this a good session candidate – especially with the good sixer price tag.

Photo of ski271
4.07/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown, almost black, with a very small but tenacious, tan, creamy head. Smells of roasted malt, toffee, charcoal, dark bread, molasses and plum. Taste follows suit. Very bready and big, with some light brothy yeast. It has a medium-full body, lightly syrupy texture and moderate carbonation. This is a very enjoyable beer. Nothing spectacular, but a good representation of the style. The hops are a little weak on the finish in my opinion, but otherwise this is quite good.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.06/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a cola black with the largest mocha head I've ever seen on stout. 6 fingers easily, 3/4ths the volume in the glass is a solid wall of foam, plus I had to 'power-sip' a mouthful off the top to avert a mess. Takes several minutes to get the beer into the glass. A cratery head well above the glass's top slowly melts down to a chunky cover.

Aroma - lots of smoky, roasted coffee with an underpinning of ripe fruit.

Taste - chalky roasted malts, more like burnt malts really, mixing with some sweetness. Some coffee flavors are popping about. The swallow turns the flavor markedly sweeter, raisiny. Picking up some grain flavors after the swallow, very unusual spot for that. Turns typically roasty, dry, bitter, mostly pleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - very carbonated, a good beer to let breathe for a while, drink it slow and let some of those bubbles wotk their way out. Surprisingly thin for the taste level.

Drinkability - tone down the carbonation, but otherwise a fine stout. I could enjoy more of these.

Photo of TastyTaste
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking stout, very symmetrical looking creamy head, that fades to a solid ring around the outside, with a thinner layer in the middle. Coffee and other roasted malts in the nose, lightl dark chocolate. Taste is good, although not great. Nice coffee flavor, not overpowering, hops are not very dominant. Sweet, but not cloying. This is a very solid and drinkable stout.

Photo of vitrael
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Came in my beer club this month. Poured from bottle into Guinness pint glass.

A: Black as night, nearly opaque, with a small off-white head that dissipated. Remarkably bubbly.

S: Roasted barley and stone fruit. Fuggles hops or similar earthy blend make an appearance.

T: This one takes me back a little to sneaking a sip of Dad's Guinness. Bone-dry and bursting with the bittersweet flavor of roasted barley. Slightly astringent and grainy. Nicely balanced on an earthy unobtrusive hopping. Quintessential dry irish in which it is hard to find flaw.

M: I could use some help here. The body is a little light for the style and my tastes. It could use a little bit of dextrine in the mash. It's not gonna sweeten this bittersweet brew up any. I guess this is why Guinness is all tricked out on nitrogen.

Overall very enjoyable.

Photo of cbl2
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5


Almost black with hints of red; extreme effervescence which leads to a huge tan head that is slow to settle.


Sweet malts and roasted coffee with cream.


So good. Malts are upfront and in your face with their sweetness followed by the flavors of coffee with traces of chocolate on the tongue. Finish is slightly bitter, but leaves you wanting more. The only drawback of this brew is that the carbonation is a little harsh.

Photo of purplehops
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black Hawk pours a very opaque black with a light brown head that leaves a nice lace on the glass. The aroma is toasted grain with hints of molasses and raisins. The taste starts with flavors of black malt and chocolate with notes of charcoal. The finish is a mixture of coffee, plums, and caramel with some bitter hop flavors. The aftertaste is dry with competing flavors of bitter and sour (in a pleasant manner) with some carbonation play on the tongue. The mouthfeel is thick and very smooth, almost like a nitro pour.
Overall a good stout that has a nice complexity of flavors and a unique body for a bottled stout. This is the only bottled stout that I drink at room temp from the get go. Cooling or chilling Black Hawk does nothing for it in any form or fashion. Even in the summer I don't chill this one (I do live in Maine though).

Photo of ralree
4.04/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep brown almost black color with a weak 1-finger tan head. Head retention is pretty sad too.

S: Smells delicious - as soon as it was poured I could smell the roasted malt from a foot away. Has an almost smoky undertone as well.

T: Pretty good! Chocolate with quite a bit of coffee. A little bitter for me (coffee), but decent. Has a slightly citrus note in the finish - almost like lemon - for a little bit of sour pucker action. I'm not really a fan of the sour finish. Smoky flavor hangs around after swallowing almost like a Rauchbier.

M: Medium-bodied and great! Very slight astringency. Froths perfectly.

D: Very drinkable for this style. Goes down very smooth.

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Black Hawk Stout from Mendocino Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 632 ratings.