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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.

614 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 614
Reviews: 424
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 13.39%
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: 614 | Reviews: 424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdfb79
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%

From 02/18/12 notes. Had on tap at Rattle N Hum in NYC.

a - Poura a dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, and milk chocolate. Light sweet dark fruits as well...pretty nice.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits. There is a tiny bit of sourness or tang in the dark fruits; not bad at all, just interesting. Wonder if it's supposed to be like that.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall a decent beer. Was surprised by the light sour dark fruit in the taste; judging by other reviews I'm guessing this is not intended, though I kind of liked it. Tried it next to O'Hara's Irish Dry Stout on cask and O'Hara's was much better...I might have to revisit my review of O'Haras.

mdfb79, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

mendvicdog, Aug 02, 2013
Photo of jwc215
3.13/5  rDev -10.8%

Pours dark brown, almost black with slight ruby highlights and a bubbly tan head that soon descends to bubbly patches and a ring along the edge.

The smell is of mild roasted coffee and semi-sweet chocolate.

The taste is of bittersweet roasted coffee with a slight hint of chocolate. It soon becomes dominated by a burnt characteristic. Charcoal soon dominates. It's more burnt than smoky, though. The body is lighter than expected, almost watery, even when approaching room temperature. There is a crispness that is unusual for the style.

It has a lingering dry finish. A burnt charcoal aftertaste lingers, but not too long. In fact, much of the taste soon fades - the high carbonation for the style doesn't really help it.

It does have some characteristics on target for the style. There are hints of the defining tastes, but the flavors don't hold up and are too muted. It has some potential, but fades all too quickly. It's not as "rich" and "smooth" as the label states, and I've yet to see the "creamy" head.
All in all an average-ish brew. Not bad, I had two or three and will be able to eventually finish the rest (or give them to visitors without having a guilty conscious), but not one that I would get again.

jwc215, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +14%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

DrunkinYogi, Aug 23, 2013
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%

A vigorous pour produces a three-finger thick, frothy, brown tinged, full tan colored head that is a mix of froth and cream in texture. The beer sits in my glass an almost pure black color, with perhaps a touch of amber to it. When held up directly to the light, you can just sense deep, concentrated flashes of red, so this is quite clear, just too dark to really see through. Amply toasted, dark grain aromatics greet my nose up front; the beer smells lightly sharp, slight acidic from the burnt grain, fully like a well toasted bread crust, some touches of lightly roasted coffee, perhaps a touch of dark chocolate and a rich, lightly sweet, dark malt character. After a bit, a light, yet certainly roasted, sweet, dark fruitiness is noticed towards the finish (raisins and sweet plum notes being most apparent, though still quite subtle) as well as a roasted grain husk character. At times the toasted malt character can seem a bit like burnt veggies, though thankfully this is fairly light.

Soft, with a light-medium body, nicely sweet (nice in that it is both noticeable and not in any way overwhelming), which helps keep the dark / roast grain character in check. A hop bitterness is contributing factor here, but, as in many stouts, is not nearly as noticeable as it would be in a lighter beer. The roast character adds a bitter component to the finish of this beer too, but the finish is not overly dry. The sweetness accents a significant component of prunes in this beer. The roast flavor contribute flavors of well toasted bread crust, slight city roast coffee notes in the middle, but sharper French roast notes up front and again towards the finish, a slight almost fruity acidity and interestingly enough, no real chocolate character.

I like that the roast character is fairly mellow though it is definitely noticeable, but it allows for a lot of the other flavors to come through. A touch more texture and body would make this really quite nice as it can be a bit thin at times.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Gueuzedude, Mar 01, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%

12 oz. bottle, first time I've ever seen this one, been wanting to try it for a long time, so here goes,

A: Pours an opaque black, with a very dark, brown head, nice retention, some lacing.

S: Smells heavily of raosted malt and peat, very smoky for a stout.

T: Roasted malts again, coffee, and a great smoky character, reminds me a bit of Alaskan Smoked Porter, but not as robust.

M: Kind of on the thin side for a stout, but creamy and smooth.

D: A pretty good stout, I've had better, but sure glad I tried it, smooth and easy to drink.

Halcyondays, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of Gavage
2.98/5  rDev -15.1%

Appearance: dark black color with a thick and fluffy 3"+ head. Only a few spots of lace develops despite the fluffy head.

Smell: burnt malts and dark chocolate are all that is picked up.

Taste: there is an overall burnt flavor here wrapped around the roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, brown sugar, and very soft bitterness.

Mouthfeel: unpleasantly crisp from start to finish. Very brief aftertaste. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: the crisp mouthfeel for a stout did not cut it for me along with the slighty burnt tones. Not one I would recommend.

Gavage, Jan 19, 2007
Photo of kojevergas
3.08/5  rDev -12.3%

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a N'Ice Chouffe beer flute in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; this is me favourite style but I'm not familiar with this brewery. Acquired in the mail as part of a beer of the month club me sister subscribed me to as a birthday gift.

A: Pours a one and a half finger head of attractive cream lacing, great thickness, and good retention. Colour is a predictable solid black. Appealing to a stout lover like meself.

Sm: Coffee, cream, nuts, and perhaps a bit of chocolate or caramel. Hard to tell with me broken nose; all apologies, lads. A light aroma all around.

T: Tasty. The nutty notes surface on the climax and hang around through the aftertaste; dominating the second half. It's not as creamy as I'd like, but what relatively little there is is present from the open and hangs on roughly until the midpoint. Criminally, there's hardly any roasted barley present. This is unforgivable considering the style. Some chocolate is present haphazardly and vaguely at best. It's strangely balanced structurally, feeling binary and divisive instead of whole and unified. Flavourwise, it's built nicely (albeit a bit simply), but the balance is a little scattershot. I like what's there, but it isn't properly distributed. Overall, I find it enjoyable if flawed.

Mf: Smooth and wet where it should by dry and coarse (but also creamy). I wouldn't go so far as to say it feels more like a porter than a stout, but it's certainly pushing it. It's a little too thick as well, but this is forgivable considering the flavours it's supporting.

Dr: Quite drinkable, in part due to its flawed mouthfeel. I could session this all night but I wouldn't want to. It'd be a bit better on nitro-draught, if only to bring out more cream. It's forgettable as a stout, but I enjoyed it for what it was.

kojevergas, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Pours black with little head. Smells slightly sweet and somewhat roasty with lightly nutty and chocolatey notes. Fairly good balance between roasty notes and some bitterness in the taste. Definite notes of bitter chocolate which is pleasant, and a dusty note on the finish which is a little distracting. Pretty smooth with som light sweetness up front and some dry bitterness on the finish. Not bad at all, and definitely drinkable and quite dry.

Georgiabeer, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.08/5  rDev -12.3%

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a black opaque body with a thin light tan film of a head that fades to a ring pretty quickly.

S- This beer has a toasted black malt aroma with a hint of chocolate in the background. The smell is pretty dry.

T- There is a dark black malt with a faint tang behind it. There is a chocolate malt note with some baker's coco as well. There is a soft raw grain note as it warms.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a dry finish and a slight creaminess in the texture.

D- This beer is pretty light and doesn't have a lot of depth but the flavors that it does have are nice.

rhoadsrage, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of DoubleJ
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%

Gotta love the way Mendocino uses different hawks for each of their beers. As for this stout itself, on to it we go:

Can you say Imperial Stout Lite (if there is such a thing)? More fruity esters than I was expecting, mild cocoa flavor, but little roasted character to it. It has a rich opaque appearance that stares at you in the face. It's pretty dry in the end and quite drinkable. Not bad by any means; I just was expecting a much bigger roasted character.

DoubleJ, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%

Pours a VERY dark black brew, I can barely pass light through the edges of it.

Smell is sweet with fruity and mint smells. Lots of molasses and chocolate smells.

Taste is a bit harsh, smoky and sweet at first. The taste is not as complex as the smell would indicate. Chicory and espresso flavors are prominent, with a bitter bite.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Drinkability is OK, this is better than Guinness but not among the best of it's type.

Zorro, Mar 14, 2004
Photo of mothman
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

mothman, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of Wasatch
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%

Pours a clean/clear dark brown color, some carbonation, little fizzy tannish head, some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is malty, and some touch of toffee/caramel. The taste is thin malty, and some caramel. Light-Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad brew, recommended.

Wasatch, Jun 12, 2007
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.05/5  rDev -13.1%

A. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pitch black with a nice off white head. Some nice lacing on the glass.

S. Smells of chocolate malt coffee. Light bready notes. Pretty inviting, just a bit faint.

T. Has a pronounced roasted character and some dark maltiness dominating the flavor. The chocolate and coffee notes apparant in the nose are nowhere to be found in the taste. Slight charred old coffee on the back end. Minerally hop adds the bitterness. Kiss of clean alcohal. Overall no off flavors per se, but nothing better than average.

M. Silky smooth with a bit of carbonation. Kind of flat.

D. Overall this is a very average stout. Good for the price but I'd spring for a better example.

Stinkypuss, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a medium thick-looking black body, with a slight light brown, soapy head.
Smells of coffee and a bit of leather. A bit weak.
Taste is more of a light stout. Slilght coffee flavor, some caramel and anise, but not much. Drinks well, due to its lightness.
Not a bad brew if you can find it

Mebuzzard, Mar 17, 2007
Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

LXIXME, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of plaid75
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%

Poured a dark black hue with a one finger creamy caramel head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell consisted of elements of roasted grain, and sweet molasses. There was a noticable smokey aroma as well.

The flavor profile included bitter coffee, sweet molasses and liquid smoke. A very clean taste.

The mouthfeel was light and clean. There was a nice dry finish.

Overall a nice stout with a manageable ABV. A good session beer.

plaid75, Jul 07, 2006
Photo of beerthulhu
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%

A: Poured a dark, almost opaque ruby red with a thin, sparse off tan head that left little lacing and presence behind.

S: some dried cherries, burnt roasted malt and dry chocolate.

T: The initial flavor was malty with a big roasted character and bitter coffee with some dry chocolate. There was a noticeable smokiness to the beer in the finish. The palate was very dark roasted and smoky with some burnt woodiness providing a charred, hearty flavor.

M: surprisingly light but big on flavor. smooth texture and light carbonation lets the beer have a slight slickness on the tongue.

D: A dark roasted treat big on flavor, could use a little more body but still goes down nicely. Hearty.

beerthulhu, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of tdm168
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%

A - deep, dark brown bordering on black; big cap of brown head fades to thin lacing after a minute

S - faint roasted malts, faint chocolate

T - roasted malts, citrusy hops, light chocolate, faint coffee

M - light to medium bodied, a bit thin at times, well carbonated, very smooth

This is an easy to drink, flavorful beer. The citrusy character threw me off a bit, but overall I enjoyed it.

tdm168, May 31, 2012
Photo of sendbeer
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

sendbeer, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%

12 oz bottle.
Clear dark brown pour, nearly black in my snifter; The cocoa colored head is small and short-lived but leaves some lacing.
The nose is a little faint and subtle, but otherwise attractive. Smells a bit more like a sweet milk stout than an Irish dry.
T: It’s stronger on the palate than in the nose, with ample dark roasted malt providing hints of dark chocolate and coffee. No unwanted burnt flavors. Good sweet/bitter balance.
M: mildly creamy with medium+ body and a semi-dry finish.
O: a very good if rather mainstream version of the style, with a fine, long-lasting aftertaste of lightly bitter, very dark malts.

(revised with .25 rating system and another bottle on Feb. 2013)

chinchill, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of Bighuge
4.13/5  rDev +17.7%

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.

Bighuge, Mar 23, 2002
Black Hawk Stout from Mendocino Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 614 ratings.