Black Hawk Stout - Mendocino Brewing Company

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Black Hawk StoutBlack Hawk Stout

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625 Ratings

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Ratings: 625
Reviews: 424
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 13.68%
Wants: 11
Gots: 23 | 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: 625 | Reviews: 424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SMark
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was poured into an Imperial pint glass at 48° from a 12 ounce bottle with no date information. Two and one half fingers of beige head resulted from the pour down the middle of the glass and lasted almost five minutes leaving lace as it dissipated. The beer was black with tinges of brown leaving it almost opaque.

There was a nice roasted malt aroma with chocolate and coffee typical of many stouts.

The beer was a bitter coffee taste at first and smoothed out with dark roasted malt flavors next. There was still some bitterness later on which I attribute to the carbonation and hops.

This one is lasting quite a while on the tongue with the noted bitterness from the flavor. The dryness does not quite pucker your mouth but does draw attention.

Even with the taste smoothing out some from the first sip I would refrain from calling this a smooth clean taste. It does approach refreshing and would be a more than one beer event as it is 5.2% alcohol which may have also attributed to the bitter flavor and after taste.

Photo of jsprain1
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Appearance is black, with a one finger tan head. It is really really opaque.
S- The smell is malty, with coffee and molasses scents with maybe a hint of chocolate.
T- The taste is malty but the maltyness doesn't overwhelm a subtle hoppy flavor. Light roasted character.
M- It has a low, and perfect amount of carbonation. Could've used more weight though.
O- This seemed to be a really quality stout, though it was a little less weight then other stouts. I would purchase this one again.

Photo of BeerSox
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Scandanavian mug.

Deep charcoal black, thick enough that no light gets through. A creamy tan one finger head slowly settles to a bubbly cap. Stringy lacing all the way down the glass.

Roasty malts, maybe on the thinner side though. A strong molasses aroma is in there.

Bitter and roasty malts with a little bit of brown sugar coming through. Some mild hoppiness comes in through the back. Full bodied with good carbonation. The finish is lingering grain.

This is one of the first beers I ever had, and back when I tried it, I thought this was one of the most bitter beers I have ever had. For a while it was one of my favorites. Now, a few years later, I realize it's not-so-bitter in the realm of stouts, but it's still a great beer. It's a very drinkable stout, good for sessioning, and hard to set down. Recommended.

Photo of dacrza1
3.13/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First rating for a brewery I've often noted on display at every venue I shop; this one is the first from a sampler...jet black body with a swift diminishing head that turns to basically a penicl thin moustache... sweet caramel notes and peat--a bit thin to probing nostrils... thin, slightly creamy; medium bodied and pleasant.... sweet, smooth peaty and a bit malty under the tongue--surprisingly balanced... notmilky and smooth, not hot or smoked-- a flexible, companionable beer, especially with old friends like Greg, Nikki, Dave and Jenn on a snow day...

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

Photo of Maudite
4.6/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a beautiful and underrated stout. Not too much alcohol, and a very balanced palate.

A= Black as night, a bottle of crude oil.
S= Roasty, burnt grains, baking chocolate, warm bread
T= Comes in clean with a black patent punch, melting into a bittersweet/special dark chocolate trickle, and falling off with a dark, over-toasted dark bread finish. Clean, yet complex.
M= Coats the tongue, bubbly on the gums, thick and heavy. Leaves a strong, pleasant memory in your mouth.
D= Easy to drink. Not too strong to drink relatively quick, unlike most stouts. Not too much alcohol either, so you can easily have 3 or 4. This is daddy's mocha.

Photo of shabbtastic
4.33/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Filled up my growler right after our short tour of the brewery in Saratoga!

A - Poured pitch black into a Saratoga Lager pint glass. Two finger tan head with excellent lacing.

S - Initial smell of chocolate roasted malt up front with a hint of coffee tones.

T - Coffee / chocolate up front followed by a slightly bitter aftertaste. A nice coffee after taste lingers and is very balanced and pleasant.

M - Full bodied, smooth and creamy all the way around. Perfect amount of carbonation, with a strong body.

D - Very drinkable, my growler was empty before I knew it. I will definitely be in the tasting room soon for a refill! Highly recommended.

Photo of Atlas1
3.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've enjoyed most of the other Mendocino beers I've had, so I picked up a single of the stout the other day. So, here goes. Black Hawk down.. the hatch (sorry, that's terrible, I know, but I o couldn't resist).

Poured into a belgian snifter, this stout is black as night. No light seeps through even when held up directly to the light bulb. Pitch black. Not exactly Dark Lord black, because that is actually blacker than black, but this is dark. You get the point. Light head of foam dissipates quickly to form a ring of big bubbles around the sides of the glass. The nose is malty sweet, with a candied sugar, chocolate scent taking charge. Also, I get notes of coffee, vanilla, cocoa powder, and dark fruits. The taste is denser and less malty than the aroma. Much more coffee presence in the taste, with a lingering bitter finish. Some dark cherry flavor too, but this is quickly drowned out by the dry bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth, with a very dry ending.

This is nice. Very clean, very refreshing for a stout. I'm a dry, bitter stout kind of guy, so this suits me fine. Better as it warms up to room temperature. Would go well with an assortment of sharp cheddars and maybe a few blue cheeses. Would also pair well with a rich cheesecake for dessert.

Photo of Ricochet
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured clean, with no head and no lace to speak of, thicker pour, hint of beads but not actually seeing them and odd patches of carbonation clinging to the glass. Made me think of Olde Frothingslosh.

When pouring this, I smelled a brownie component but the nose said this was a little winey with just a hint of the burnt malt. Good standard stout earns extra because of the appetizing pour.

Mouth was standard stout. Washed thin, foamed like a stout should and the chocolate/malt aftertaste had a hit of coffee, pretty much standard issue, and good.

Taste, also, standard issue beginnings, chocolate, coffee at the end, rounded malt, toasty. The wine bit, making this a bitter slugger puts this a bit above average for me. Not too much follow through to call this really good, but not bad.

Well, don't know if I'd get this again. In a sampler, makes the dark beers fans like me happy, but nothing I'd go out of my way for.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque, but with little tan head to show for it. Nose is very muted but gives just the slightest hint of roasted molasses malts. Flavor is heavily roasted and very, very smoked. Calms down as it warms and gives a nice, robust, smoky profile. Feel is nice. Well bodied liquid and the carbonation is on a good level too. Smooth. Overall this was a nice surprise. Much more developed than I figured it would be and very much worth trying.

Photo of prototypic
3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's a very dark brown color. Head is creamy tan and about a finger deep. Decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Light on the nose. Very light mix of chocolate malts and coffee aromas. Slight toasted malt smell.

Taste: Chocolate and toasted malts come through more in flavor. Coffee taste is secondary. Slightly sweet. Hops are very faint. It does have a creamy taste that comes through, which is a nice touch.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It leans toward medium bodied. Carbonation is good. All in all, pretty smooth and drinkable. Overall, it's a straight forward American stout. Nothing special, but far from bad.

Photo of alexskovan
3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark brown with a half-inch of tan head. Subdued aroma of dark toasted grains. Taste is rather dull, one-note. Finish is dry and somewhat watery. This might be a good "introduction" stout for those normally put off by this style. But for stout lovers, this is a little "light".

Photo of MTNboy
3.15/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- An opaque color as would be the norm for a stout. A little less than a finger of head. Average lace.

Smell- Sweet and roasty.

Taste- I personally thought it was very metallic. Honestly a little too metallic. This overshadowed the little bit of malt and yeast I could taste.

Mouthfeel- Thin for a stout.

Drinkability- Not a bad but I think couple of these are all I would want in a sitting.

Photo of mountdew1
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a very dark, almost black, brown, that was almost completely opaque. Had a 1 finger head light chocolaty brown head that left lacings and a ring around the beer. I smelled wheat bread, coffee, as well as maple sugar in the aroma. Taste was slightly sweet, and I occasionally found very dark chocolate tastes. Felt tingly in the mouth, was slightly bitter. Except for the bitter tingling, it was fairly easy to drink, I found myself drinking it faster than I remember.

Photo of williamherbert
3.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thick black look, with ruby red on the edges. Little head, minor lace.

Smell is mild coffee with some dark grape. Much sweeter in a dark way. a real dark grape quality. Smell is much more sweet than roasted.

The roasted malt taste is just a mild accent to the sweet dark fruity/grape flavor. Bitter coffee malt comes out more as it warms, but the dark sweetness still dominates.

Feels watery, but not at all thin. Smooth and very easy to drink. It's really nicely balanced. More darkly sweet than bitter.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.15/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz from the Coop for about $1.50 shared with my brother... mine from a shaker pint.

Black to dark brown brew with tan head and pretty good lacing..

Very little traditional stout nose .. restrained everything except yeasty fruitiness.. low dark grains and only a touch of chocolate.

Flavor is very "porteresque" .. lite/medium body with roasted grains and bittersweet chocolate.. not really that flavorful at all... better as it warms but only slightly.. caramel sweetness is there through the entire palate and binds the little roasted malt flavor together. Needs more of everything... body .. flavor.. aroma... etc.

Just ok for a microdrinker.. would probably be an ok gateway beer for a person who likes Guiness.

Photo of Qed
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I thought that this was a nice stout with average mouthfeel. I liked the fine carbonation. The hop finish wasn't something that I was expecting for a stout.

Brewed and Bottled in Saratoga Springs NY, being local, I had to try it and I am glad I did. Poured from 12 ounce bottle to 1 pint glass, very little to no head but the lacing was very good. As it warmed in the glass, the flavor mellowed. good Drinkability, I just wish I didn't live in Coors Light Country.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the Odds and Ends Tasting II on 10/19/07: This brew is a dark brown color with ruby edges. Medium light tan head that burns off steadily and thin rings of lacing. Toasted malt aroma with nuts and vanilla. Medium, smooth body with roasted malt, nut and mild hops flavors. The finish is short with roasted coffee and hops. Slightly above average overall.

Photo of NitroGen
3.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P: 12 oz. Brown longneck bottle, 5.2 % Alc. by Vol. No date stamp

A: Poured black with a loose dark brown head that quickly dropped to a ring of cover.

S: Feint roasted grains a slight brown sugar sweetness

T: Roasted malts, hint of sweetness and a very crisp finish.

M: Rather disappointed as I found this to be thin and a very one dimensional tasting stout with the same flavors at the beginning, middle and end.

D: This is defiantly a session stout as one could drink a number of these at one sitting, but would soon want something with more flavor and complexity. Not a bad stout just found this to be very thin and a bit weak in the flavor profile of what I want in a stout.

Photo of BucBasil
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from the bottle into an imperial pint. Brew is completely black with a one finger thick brown head that dissipated after about a minute.

Smell: Coffee as well as some roasted malts. Not too impressive, but pretty good.

Taste: This is just average. Medium bodied with a light coffee taste to start things up, getting more bitter with a touch of burnt flavor on the midpalate and finishing dry with a touch of balancing hop. Nothing special here.

Mouthfeel: Nice and smooth - the high point of this beer.

Notes: I wanted this to be really good, but it ended up being an extremely average stout. Pass on this one.

Photo of shererjt
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured an opaque black with just the slightest hint of ruby redness. Little carbonation and a lifeless, chocolate milk-colored head. Nose was sweet, roasty malt. Reminded me of dark liquid malt extract. Lacked depth or complexity. Had a bit more roastiness in the flavor and a lingering bitterness. Some cocoa taste but little coffee. Fairly dry, especially considering its sweet nose. Average mouthfeel that lacked creaminess, and the drinkability was okay but fell short of the best examples of the style.

Okay, glad I tried it, and nothing really wrong with it, but not outstanding.

Photo of baos
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz into favorite thick Trappist glass.

A: Pours black with half finger head. Head goes down to a nice ring 'round the edge.

S: Dark roasted maltiness. Smokey chocolate and coffee yumminess.

T: Tastes like it smells. Finishes dry. Really good stout.

M: Excellent.

D: This beer keeps getting better as it warms in your glass, and with another fresh cold one it starts all over again. Yum.

Photo of arizcards
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received as part of the MicroBeerClub September shipment.

Beer poured black as night with a nice well sustained tan head. Nose is a slight hint of malts and floral hops. Taste is classic dry Irish stout, chocolate roasted malts dominate up front. The finish is dry hops. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, a bit thinner than hoped. Drinkability is pretty good. This is a pretty good representation of the irish stout style, definitely worth a try.

Photo of EStreet20
3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, shaker pint.

A - Pours out a near black color with a little less than a finger of off white head.

S - Some sweet malts. Smell is a bit subdued.

T - Really has a mellow flavor. Some roasted malts along with some chocolate.

M - Not much heare in the way of body. Bascially medium-light,

D - Not bad but not great. Could be a good session stout due to the fairly low ABV but it's pretty lacking in flavor to make it interesting so you may as well grab one of the super low ABV Irish Dry Stouts for a session stout. Still a drinkable brew.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Black Hawk Stout from Mendocino Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 625 ratings.