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Black Hawk Stout - Mendocino Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Hawk StoutBlack Hawk Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

619 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 619
Reviews: 424
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 13.68%
Wants: 10
Gots: 21 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-15-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 619 | Reviews: 424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BearsOnAcid
2.63/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Random tick of the night.

Dark chocolate colored pour, creamy small head.

Milk chocolate aroma. Boring otherwise.

Slightly sweet malt taste. Watery. Roasted malt flavor. Dry on the finish with a malty twang. This beer isn't really worth a full review because there's not much to describe.

BearsOnAcid, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of Pleepleus
2.63/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a from a brown bottle into a pint glass dark muddy brown with a dark tan creamy inch of head. Had a sweet chocolatey malt smell. Tasted like sweet chocolate and bitter coffee. It had a thin consistency not very Stout. I got this for free and paid just the right amount.

Pleepleus, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of jwinship83
2.63/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle drank from a standard american pint glass. there is no visible freshness information on the bottle.

A- this one pours dark brown colored body. cola colored highlights become visible when held up to a light. a small khaki colored head forms on top and leaves behind random spots of lacing when it quickly fades.

S- the nose on this one is rather weak. faint roasted malts. a little bit of sweet milk chocolate. a small amount of coffee/hops at the end.

T- the taste is like the smell, very subdued. not nearly the dark and roasted malt that should be in a stout. a little bit of sweetness and chocolate. the hop/coffee finish isnt what i was expecting or hoping for.

M- light bodied. way too thin for the style. over carbonated.

D- not really a good example of the style. i dont think ill be seeking this one out. not a fan of the brewery except for the winter seasonal IIPA. the price point is ok at 6.99/sixer.

jwinship83, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of bossmanjg
2.68/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

As far as Stouts go, this one is middle of the road for me.

Appearance: Dark to black in color, the head was good for a few minutes, and didn’t lace well.

Smell: Strong coffee, and that was really all I could pick up.

Taste: For a beer that only has 5.0 ABV, this beer tasted way to strong of alcohol.

Mouth feel: Not bad, but not better than any others I’ve enjoyed. Not watery like some.

Drinkability: I would not consider this a session beer. The taste would have to be much better for the price I paid, in order to enjoy more than the one I’ve had.

And as always remember the immortal words:

“Beer is proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy.”

~Benjamin Franklin

bossmanjg, Feb 26, 2006
Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.69/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color. There's about a finger worth of a light tan colored head, also. Retention is about average for the style, but the texturing is very nice. Some decent lacing is left behind.

S: The aroma is rather muted, unfortunately. There is a presence of chocolate backed by some brown sugar, and there's even a touch of hoppiness. As it warms up, it becomes quite caramel-forward...too caramel-forward, actually.

T: Actually, it's hoppier than I anticipated. It tries to have an initial coffee-like flavor to start, but it's general hop bitterness that I'm picking up the most. That, and a ton of caramel. I'm really missing some of the roasted and chocolaty flavors I get out of other stouts.

M: At least it deserves some credit for having a crisp dryness to it. Given that, its light body, and its decent carbonation, it's pretty easy to drink.

O: Not a fan, really. Hoppy stouts need to have a nice backbone of malt and hop flavors, not weak caramel with a ton of generic bitterness. Guess which one this achieves?

ThisWangsChung, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of barleypop
2.7/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

As I poured this one into a glass there was virtually no carbonation. Not a head to speak of. Just a still pool of ebony colour.

On the nose was a Folgers coffee scent.

Brew hits your tongue with a mocha coffee flavor, but finishes poorly. Bitter cold coffee aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was a bit to fizzy for my liking.

Overall this beer doesn't have that smooth, creamy quality that I look for in a quality Dry Stout. Would not buy this one again.

barleypop, Jul 29, 2003
Photo of JISurfer
2.7/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Yep, it's an average beer. The picture on the bottle was cool and that was about it for this one. I was expecting something a bit more malty, but IMO it was stronger in the hops area. That's just what my "buds" were telling me. The head was pretty nice at first, but then died out fairly rapidly, leaving nothing behind, but spotty(at best) laceing. The taste was ok, just nothing too special. Not something I'll be drinking again though.

JISurfer, Jan 04, 2006
Photo of kevinglin
2.73/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours very dark brown to black with a very small hint of ruby highlights at the bottom of the glass. Virtually no head to speak of.

Aroma is somewhat sweet - licorice? - not at all roasty. No hops, as expected.

Taste is just kind of there, nothing spectacular - a slight roastiness, but the sweetness of the aroma does not show up.

Medium body, not a lot of creaminess or fullness you get in other stouts.

I found this to be a below average stout - much better options are available.

kevinglin, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of klinger
2.75/5  rDev -21.7%

klinger, Jul 09, 2013
Photo of BogAl
2.75/5  rDev -21.7%

BogAl, Jul 30, 2014
Photo of Mustard
2.75/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle with no "bottled on" or "best by" date; $4.99/6 pack from Whole Foods in West LA.

Appearance: Pours a dark, dark brown with almost no head to speak of; very little in the way of lacing.

Smell: Roasted barley; hints of black licorice.

Taste: Coffee, to be sure, but stale, sour coffee; astrigent in an unbecoming way. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel, albeit a tad undercarbonated, even for the style.

Notes: An average, or less than average, dry stout across the board. For what it's worth, still better than Guiness.

Mustard, Aug 10, 2003
Photo of ShakaShakaShaka
2.75/5  rDev -21.7%

ShakaShakaShaka, Oct 18, 2012
Photo of Ispeakforthetrees
2.75/5  rDev -21.7%

Ispeakforthetrees, Aug 27, 2013
Photo of rjvanston
2.75/5  rDev -21.7%

rjvanston, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of deonreds
2.75/5  rDev -21.7%

deonreds, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of mralphabet
2.8/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Very dark with hints of brown... less than a finger head... Very nice lacing.

S: I'm getting dark chocolate right up front, with some burnt malt and coffee.

T: Well first hit with the burnt malt and coffee, then light amounts of dark chocolate... The finish is very bitter coffee... I was hoping for me chocolate in the mix, like the smell.... but it is lacking.

M: Missing here for me too.... starts out with a little more carbonation than I like, a little soft and light in the mouth. This improves as the brew warms.... once it is warm it gets a little heavier and creamier. So let it warm... cold right out of the Fridge is bad with this one.

D: Not a session brew. One or two would be enough.

I was not a big fan of this stout, until it warmed up a little... Not a bad stout but not a fantastic stout.... This is my first brew from Mendocino... I'm curious...

mralphabet, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of witster18
2.83/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5


pours a dark black which is nice but the faint head dissipates immediately. nose is malt with some astringency. Mouthfeel is light and it's a bit overcarbonated. there's a soapiness that is a little unpleasant...could have been a bit too hot during the hopping process... I think it's the hops that are causing this 'soapiness'.. budget priced and budget taste... to think I can get Blackout Stout from GLB for a dollar more a six is laughable... glad I only bought one. Very Drinkable...you could pound these....but that's not what I'm looking for in this style.

witster18, Jun 11, 2008
Photo of Cylinsier
2.83/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From a bottle.

Pours essentially jet black, even when held to light. The head is thin and tan. Lacing remains for a bit.

Smells a bit smokey and also sweet like brown sugar.

The taste is VERY smokey like charcoal laced with black pepper. Seriously. Kind of weird. The aftertaste is hoppy bitter.

The mouthfeel is a bit sharp, with kind of a zing to it.

Overall this beer is a little bizarre. I'm glad I tried it, but I don't think I would enjoy having it again.

Cylinsier, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of overzealous
2.83/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Good rich smell, malts and something unidentifiable. Seemed to be promising.

The taste leaves something to be desired for me though. There is a difference between "smoky" and "burnt to a crisp". This tastes like someone roasted the malts WAY too long.

Mouthfeel is decent, though a bit thin for the style.

This is an OK beer, but I feel I can do much better in the price range.

overzealous, Aug 10, 2007
Photo of GatorBeerNerd
2.83/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz single purchased from Total Wine in Kennesaw poured into a regular pint glass.

A: A relatively aggressive pour resulted in a finger thick tan head that had decent retention before finally becoming just a slight covering of bubbles after quite a few minutes. There was decent lacing. The beer is opaque and only shows the slightest tint of red when held up to the light.

S: The smell is subtle but dominated by roasted malts. There is a hint of a bitter coffee aroma mixed in.

T: The taste is not really sweet at all which is surprising based on the aroma. The finish is dry from the coffee flavor. The real taste profile is hard to describe. There really is not a lot going on. It is just kind of there.

M: I guess you would call it a medium body, but its too thin for a stout. No in mouth carbonation to make it creamy at all.

D: I guess this is relatively drinkable since there isn't any disagreeable flavors. There just isn't a lot to make you want to come back for more.

GatorBeerNerd, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of Sixpoint
2.85/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought four different stouts from HalfTime Beverages in Poughkeepsie, NY. This was the last beer I tasted of the four and I liked it the least. Perhaps the competition was fierce, but this beer was not very impressive at all.

It had an excessive protein/husky flavor that usually comes from cheap American malt. There is virtually no mass-produced QUALITY barley malt made in the U.S.... and this beer claims to have its beer made from U.S. 2-row. That explains it.

The hops are quite ordinary too. They don't mesh well with the roasted flavor which is too dry and unbalanced by crystal malts and caramelization.

The je ne sais qua of the beer leaves an unsettling vibe. I will not seek another.

Sixpoint, Sep 01, 2004
Photo of wanker
2.85/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Update: I drank the beer too cold. I have to stop doing that with stouts.

When warmed to room temperature, the flavor does come out. I found the taste just average, though.


I found this beer is utterly flavorless. Like drinking a glass of club soda.

It has a decent aroma, some nice dark fruits and a bit of chocolate. I was really shocked to get a nice aroma followed by absolutely no flavor. How does that happen?

If also found it overly carbonated. Again, like a glass of club soda.

At least it was cheap. Wouldn't buy it again.

wanker, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of Dizzy
2.88/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with tan head. Aroma of roasted malts, reminiscent of chocolate, some fruit aromas , and faint alcohol aroma. Some fruit flavors underneath the anticipated roasted malts. A faint tartness in the background. No significant hop presence I can detect. Nothing special but this isn't bad.

Dizzy, Jul 31, 2006
Photo of MJR
2.88/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: On the scale between black and brown, this one is the shade of brown closest to black without actually being black. Has an opaque body with a head that starts big and foamy, but shrinks to a pathetic ring around the top with a few random bubbles here and there...

Smell: Semi-sweet aroma of roasted malt, coffee, and molasses.

Taste: Fairly one-dimensional with a roasted grain beginning, and a coffee-tinged middle and end. Finishes with a slightly sour note. Not much else to speak of...

Mouthfeel: Way too damn thin for a stout... Crisp and somewhat dry.

Drinkability: A boring flavor profile and thin body do not a stout make. There are far better stouts out there...I have no intention of wasting another drinking opportunity on this one.

The bottle states 'The Legend Grows.' I think Mendocino should pat themselves on the back less, and work on their brews more. They may have been one of the pioneering micros way-back-when, but you can do so much better these days...

MJR, Jan 19, 2003
Photo of Bouleboubier
2.88/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This reminds me of a cross between a malt soft drink (a la Malta Goya) and an export stout (a la Dragon Stout). It was served with only a small head that resembled that of Coca Cola - fizzy. Dark, caramel brown in color - once again, looking like cola soft drink. The aroma and taste both put forth sweet, syrupy malt and little else, although I did detect some faint roasty and chocolate notes after it warmed up considerably. Thin, refresco-style body to it - I wouldn't say it drinks "smooth" but just simply easy, and quite un-beer like.

Really, like I mentioned: Malta Goya/Dragon Stout mix. Does not remind me of a Guinness/Murphy's Irish stout style. A bit disappointing maybe, but hardly awful.

Bouleboubier, Nov 01, 2010
Black Hawk Stout from Mendocino Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 619 ratings.