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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.
BA SCORE
80
good

619 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Hawk Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 619 | Reviews: 424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IgnorantBastard
3.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been a distant fan because of all the loyal followers of this brewery and their Red Tail Ale. Would always stop in when heading up to Reggae On The River and they are truely one of the original N. CA hancrafted brewers. So, I was excited when I grabbed a sixer of the Stout at Trader Joes. So let's start with what matters. The taste.... Disapointing. As few have mentioned already, this falls short. I did like the peety smoke taste you find in a scotch but no wow factor. More than usual carbination for a stout which is something different but not negative. If it's on sale and you have spent your beer budget, maybe. Damn, I wanted so much more.

IgnorantBastard, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of kaimcm
3.1/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: opaque body, creamy sudsy off white head. head is comprised of large bubbles and has some spotty stick.

S: clean malt, roast, a bit of smoke and meat

T: first wave is carbonation, and too much of it. mouthfeel is okay but the carbonation is too prickly, and kinda spices over the beers flavor. as that wears out a soft roast comes through that dries and becomes more pronounced through the finish. a clean, water like quality helps wash the roast and the brew down, almost as if its been diluted. this makes for easy drinking but no complexity.

M: aside from the carbonation tongue attack that goes on, the mouthfeel is pretty good.

D: seems that this beer was meant to be very middle of the road and approachable by a few too many. tastes like sacrifices were made in order to get a broader appeal. that being said, i know i dont want another, not tonight anyway.

kaimcm, Jan 20, 2006
Photo of kbnooshay
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in sartoga springs, NY. Wow this poured a black as fuck black. Virtually no ligh gets through when help up to my computer monitor. Decent mocha head that does not last. I admit i did a bad pour here, not a enough straight on head creation pouring. The aroma was mild but of sweet malt. The taste is smokey with a hint of coffee. Kinda sweet but sharp. Bitterly dry. The mouthfeel is kinda watery lite but smooth. Thin. An allright stout.

kbnooshay, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of Shiloh
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very nice stout for sure. Arrived a dark brown, almost black with redish hilites, a short crown of tight tan bubbles leaving to a thin island lace and similar glass ring.
The aroma is of roasted grains and dark chocolate.
The body is medium.
Taste is not as sweet as anticapated, mixture of burnt grains, molasses, dark chocolate and coffee beans.
Very smooth, no lingering after taste.

Shiloh, Jan 14, 2006
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 NJpadreFan
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mendocino- Black Hawk Stout

Appearance- dark opaque with a small tan head.
Smell- not much. Slight roasted hops with a touch of dark roast coffee.
Taste- nice mellow roasted coffee hops with a touch of malt.
Mouthfeel- smooth and warm. Goes down easy.

Overall- a decent stout, not amazing but a mild middle of the road stout that could be drank a novice or a pro.

NJpadreFan, Jan 01, 2006
Photo of hero27
2.9/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle.

Dark brown color with reddish hues. Light tan head that holds well and leaves spots of oily lacing behind. Aroma is faint nuts & malted barley with an off-metallic smell thrown in there as well. A little weak in flavor & mouthfeel for a stout..tastes are fairly typical roasted malts with a slight metallic/bitter character tagged on the end. At best, I'd consider it an average stout.

hero27, Dec 27, 2005
Photo of bjohnson
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a jet black with an initial half finger brown colored head that goes away just after poured.

S: Aromas of smokey roasted malts

T: Tastes of molasses, roasted malts, and maybe a little chocolate also.

M and D: Mouthfeel is nice, but I would have liked it to be heavier considering its jet black color. Drinkability is ok, a tasty one in a pinch, but wouldn't be my first pick. I would have this again however if the opportunity showed itself.

bjohnson, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of jmz62565
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark black with a small creamy tan head.The smell is mostly roasted malt with a little coffee.The taste is roasted malt and not much else.The m/f is too light for my taste.This is an easy drinking beer,but not a good stout.I could drink this all night,but I was expecting a thicker heavier beer than this.

jmz62565, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black in color with a brown, fizzy head that dissipates quickly.

The nose is full of roasted and burnt scents. Maybe a few nutty notes here and there.

The taste is a bit lacking up front, but nice roasted flavors come through in the middle, giving it a little tangy-ness. The finish/aftertaste is strong of coffee.

Mouthfeel is good. Nicely carbonated. Probably could be heavier I suppose, but its not bad the way it is.

Drinkability is also fine. I could drink these all night without getting too bored with them. There's a real good chance this beer will find its way into my rotation again someday.

jasonpeckins32, Dec 01, 2005
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.43/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle marked as Brewed and Bottled in Saratoga Springs, NY

Pours a nice jet black with a mocha head that hangs around here and there. Decent lacing on the glass.

Mild aroma of roasted grains and a definite hop aroma. I get hints of chocolate in there as well.

Nice roated flavor upfront with a decent hop taste that follows. Finishes pretty smooth and dry. Not as good as some others I've had.

Average body for the style, which is thin. Just nothing to get excited about.

Pretty easy to drink, but just an average dry stout overall.

MaltyGoodness, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of Mitchel
3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black Hawk Stout is a DARK beer. It is a relatively clean tasting beer. Not too bitter, not to strong.

It pours a tan head which quickly disappears to leave just a little lace on top of a black beer. It is about as dark as a beer could get. It smells of molasses and very strong coffee and tastes of it too. I can definitely smell the alcohol even though it is not that high in it (5.2% abv), interesting. Pretty malty and finishes clean and dry. This is a very stout beer, but what do you expect.

Overall this is a pretty good stout but it is deficient of something more. What more I don’t know. But it just isn’t that extraordinary to me. Watch out, that first sip will catch out off guard if you aren’t ready. Cheers!

Mitchel, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of karst
3.13/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours opaque black with ruby glint at base of the 4.0L rastal sniffer. Minor head leaves quickly. Aroma of caramel and chocolate malt and fruity esters. Similar taste with roast barley, black patent and slight diacetyl notes.
Light body. Finishes dry with some roasted malt sharpness and fruity tartness briefly lingering.

Just a year ago I would not have liked this. I am still not fond of it but have a fair idea of what bothers me about it. Flavors suggest poor blending and possibly low quality grains. Little amused by the "The Legend Grows" neck ring and claims that mimic Budweisser Select. Drinkable but marginal and it turns me away from trying other brews from Mendocino.

karst, Oct 25, 2005
Photo of wcudwight
3.1/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with a brown bubbly head that becomes a thin foam on top. Week at the nose. Maybe some hops...maybe. The taste is fine...just fine. It taste like they missed something. It's just a bit off, but I don't know what it is. Not bad, it's just that something is missing. Mouthfeel is too thin and carbonated for a stout. It's a drinkable beer, even a decent beer. It's just not a good stout.

wcudwight, Oct 16, 2005
Photo of kkipple
2.9/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into a 16oz pilsner glass. Filled the glass with a reddish-tan head atop a deep brown beer. Typical stout color.

Smelled of malt and coffee, caramel. Nothing abnormal.

Tasted rather sweet to me. If I had to describe it simply I'd say a sweeter Guinness that felt thin in the mouth. Malt, coffee, chocolate -- the usual for a stout. Felt a bit warm in my mouth after a few sips. What little aftertaste there was disappeared after several moments.

The other posters have it nailed; this reminded me an awful lot of Sam Adams Black Lager. A bit too thin for a stout, I think.

All in all, Black Hawk is not a bad beer, but not particularly inspiring either. Drink if you can't find Guinness or your favorite stout.

kkipple, Oct 13, 2005
Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a good, solid stout. Everything is pretty close to the way I like it. Jet black with coffee & chocolate in the scent & taste. I would prefer a smoother finish. This tasted a little too carbonated - a bit too "piercing" I would say. A bit more caramel flavoring would be nice too. The bitterness in this stout is on point, though. I dont know if I would buy this again, as I have my pick of so many different stouts in this area, but this is a good effort from Mendocino.

chOAKbarrell, Oct 11, 2005
Photo of Enola
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A little bitter for me. Poured with absolutely no head. A very dark color. The smell is nothing to brag about. I would not want to drink these much. It is not a bad beer but I think there are simply better choices of this style. I like for a stout to be smooth but this one kinda has a bite to it.

Enola, Oct 04, 2005
Photo of battlekow
2.98/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm trying a few new stouts, New Holland's the Poet and North Coast's Old #38 in addition to this one.

Black Hawk pours a stout, hearty black, capped by a tannish head and good lacing.

Smells and tastes very carmelly, hardly bitter at all. Mouthfeel is relatively weak. Damn, this beer is a complete disappointment after the appearance. This seems like a schwarzbier, not a stout. Black Hawk walks the walk, but doesn't talk the talk.

battlekow, Sep 23, 2005
Photo of neonbrown82
3.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was a good stout; though it seemed to have some lager-ish qualities, oddly enough. Poured to a dark black color, opaque but for the edges of the glass. An inch high chocolatey head sits atop the beer for about a minute and subsides to a collar with a thin film on the surface.

Smells a bit sweet and chocolatey with a bit of coffee. Doesn't have much, if any roastiness to it. Smells almost like it has a hint of vanilla bean. Not very strong of an aroma at all, but what is there is good.

The taste is of black malt, chocolate, coffee, and even vanilla bean. Tastes almost like a black lager. Very crisp and smooth for a stout, as is printed on the label. A pleasant chocolate coffee and vanilla taste lingers in the mouth with a moderately dry finish. I could drink the shit out of this stout, or whatever you want to call it.

neonbrown82, Sep 19, 2005
Photo of russpowell
2.5/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Brownish red appearnce going to black with a tan head that drops off very quickly.

Slight smell of rasins and nuts and then alcohol.

Tastes bitter on the front of the tounge with some "rumminess" on the middle & the throat

Mouth feel is astringent and thin.

I'm sure I've had this before & it was much better, but memory fails me now...

russpowell, Sep 11, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured a beautiful deep brown color with nice puffy tannish head. Smell is very light and not overly pleasant. Very disappointing. Taste is nice for chocalate, caramel roaasted malt, but the hop bitterness is too overpowering and seems to become stronger with each sip. Very acid and astringent mouth feel. Glad I only bought one.

tgbljb, Sep 10, 2005
Photo of TastyTaste
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

TastyTaste, Aug 16, 2005
Photo of thechaacster
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark coffee brown with a few scattered bubbles, but no actual head. Smells burnt and roasty, with a hint of sweetness. Taste is quite heavy on the burnt side, with just a bit of coffee and unsweetened chocolate character. Finish is dry and astringent. Kind of a thin mouthfeel for a stout, but drinkable. An okay stout... a little too burnt and astringent. Not really up my alley.

thechaacster, Jul 25, 2005
Photo of mentor
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle obtained from Superior Liquor (Colorado) in July 2005 and consumed a couple evenings later. Pours, my goodness, a really viscous and dark liquid. Hard pour to get a thin layer of actual brown head over a pitch black liquid. Brown edging when held to light. Smells of molasses, sweetened coffee, chocolate, and toffee. There is also a bit of acrid sting in the smell, as if smelling distant battery fumes on a breeze. Not enough to cause concern, but just enough to turn your head to the source. The head has already settled to a ring of bubbles around the glass. Tastes...uhm...no liquid in my mouth, but I can taste chocolate with the liquid just pressing against the outside of my lips. Once in my mouth it is strongly coffee with some chocolate afterthoughts and a mild sour tang in the aftertaste. Pretty simple and standard for a stout, but this beer is cold and I will give it time to warm before proceeding.

Warm, the tastes are much more intense, but not necessarily more complex. The coffee is rich and dark with some black patent highlights. A plain wet sweet hit early on with the roast to add a nice counter point. This transitions to a rounded bock-like caramel that I really enjoyed with the roast. Mixed, it was like having dumped some Nestle caramel chips into a coffee. One odd thing I found is that there's a water character as part of the taste profile. Can't explain it any other way. Just a flavor that was 'empty'. The aftertaste held a moment of cheery sour (likely from black patent) that faded slowly to a return of the roast grains.

Despite how thick it poured, this beer is only md-thick bodied. Carbonation is mild, but does sting the tongue a bit. Overall, no flavor dominated to an unpleasant extent. The underlying flavors were noticable in their own right, but also worked to keep the roast flavor from isolation.

mentor, Jul 11, 2005
Photo of Naes
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black beer with a small tan head. It also has plenty of visable carbonation on the side of the glass.

Aroma is of malts

Flavor is malty and a bit roasty. It finishes with a nice blend of chocolate and a touch of hops.

The mouth feel is a bit watery but has a bit of thickness after you swallow.

Easily consumable, I would have another but will not seek it out.

Naes, Jul 08, 2005
Black Hawk Stout from Mendocino Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 619 ratings.