1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

615 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 615
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Hawk Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 615 | Reviews: 424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Morris729
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark, almost black, color with faint reddish highlights and a creamy tan head that fades into a sticky lace. Nose is roasted malts with notes of sweet dark fruits and a smoky earthiness. Body is decent but perhaps a bit thin for the style. Taste begins with sweet black malts and notes of caramel followed by some unsweetened chocolate and a bit of charcoal. Finish is crisp and dry. Not a bad stout, but nothing special.

Morris729, May 12, 2004
Photo of BeerAngel
3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with mahogany highlights and a modest light tan head. The smell is nice but faint and consists of roasted malts an burnt chocolate with just the slightest of hop notes in the distant background. The taste is a short-lived bitter chocolate flavor encapsuled in a smooth malt that has just a hint of hops on the tail that carry nothing more than a gentle bitter nibble. This is an extremely light bodied beer for the style however it does drink down fairly easy.

Notes: Stout Light come to mind when I drink this. It has the makings of a good beer, but falls short in my two most important categories which is taste and mouthfeel. Too thin! Cheers!

BeerAngel, Apr 21, 2004
Photo of woemad
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.29.

Poured a very blackish brown. Mid-sized tan head. Stayed foamy long after head dropped. Big sheets of lace sliding down the insides of my glass.

Smell is of dark roast coffee, figs & raisins, dark chocolate. Everything you expect a stout to smell like, but without any aspect standing out.

Taste starts out with a chocolaty aspect, then the bitterness of the dark fruits kicks in. Finishes with a mild crisp hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is pleasingly thick, the way a stout is supposed to be.

The drinkability is fine if you are a fan of stouts. This could be used as the perfect decently done stout, great for giving to people who want to know what a stout will generally taste like if done right. It's not earthshattering, but there's nothing wrong with it. It's simply a good stout.

woemad, Mar 25, 2004
Photo of pio
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

almost a two finger head is sandy and close to foamy sitting atop an onyx colored body. head goes to a thick blanket leaving spotty lace at best.
faint on the nose malt, thin hop. molasses, hint of cocoa, slight metallic presence. hint of nut/wood/beechnut.
crisp, dry and toasty start that's taken over by a mouthwatering hop and malt balance with a cocoa note hint, this immeadiately begins to finish bitterly with some woody, smokey malt, burnt toast and a note of dark molasses. pretty dry throughout.
crisp, bubbly and active carbonation. the body is quite full and smooth.
drinkability code... O A I. no i don't remember what that meant, but i wrote 3.5 and remember this beer when i'm buying stouts and sometimes nab one.

pio, Mar 22, 2004
Photo of Zorro
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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 gnaussea
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very, very dark chocolate amber, with a nearly brown-tan head that settles quickly. This is a pretty menacing looking stout. After smelling it, however, it's really not. The nose is sweeter than most stouts, somewhat fruity in nature, without a real hop presence, and is not particularly strong. Surprising, to say the least. The charred flavor is definitely present in the flavor, and the sweetness unfortunately takes a backseat. I would not call the flavor particularly bold. It has all the signs of a good stout, but the volume is turned down, almost like it needs to warm up, but it is at absolute room temperature.

gnaussea, Feb 10, 2004
Photo of zerk
3.45/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a pillowy tan head that leaves behind some lace. Aroma of rosted grain, coffee, and a slight touch chickory. Flavor is on the sweet side, with some coffee and lactose notes. Not very much in terms of depth, but solid. Mouthfeel is medium to full with low to medium carbonation. A satisfying if unspectacular stout.

zerk, Jan 22, 2004
Photo of sulldaddy
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew comes to me in an ice cold bottle with a glass for me to pour that is also chilled. Gotta let it warm up.
I pour it and a tan creamy head foams up easily. The head actually sticks around till I finish the brew. The colro is pitch black with no light getting through.
Aroma is fairly mild probably due to the coldness of the beer. IN fact as it warms there is a roasty scent and some coffee undertones as well.
First sip reveals, slightly aggressive carbonation and medium body. The flavor is rich and malty with hints of coffee coming through as the beer warms. Short clean finish and no hop presence anywhere.
Overall a decent stout, very drinkable and smooth just not exceptional.

sulldaddy, Jan 18, 2004
Photo of xgrigorix
2.93/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Twelve ounce brown bottle - no dates.

Opaque black, topped by a firm tan head. Some patchy lace is left behind.

Dark espresso, almost overwhelming, with a bit of chocolate hiding in the background.

Bitter espresso, followed by a chalky astringent flavour. An odd hop flavour lingers. Medium bodied & somewhat oily w/ moderate carbonation.

xgrigorix, Jan 15, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours pitch black. The head is tan and forms quickly, but falls back almost as fast to the edge of the beer surface.

The aroma is roasted barley and a slight chocolate aroma behind the roasted. Also present is a slight smoky aroma.

The flavor is smoky and roasty with some chocolate notes. The flavor is also a little sour and winey.

The body is medium to medium full. The finish is dry, roasty, and smoky.

The beer has a smoky component that reminds me of Hillshire Farms Summer Sausage. If I was told this was a smoked beer, I would have believed it.

GCBrewingCo, Jan 06, 2004
Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark black color with a thin brown head that fades to lacing. The aroma is of black and roasted barley; a real dark scent. The taste is great. It has a caramel taste to it. The presence of black barley cannot be ignored. It is very smooth and creamy; delicious. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with medium carbonation. This is a great drinking stout.; a real pleasure of a beer.

WesWes, Dec 24, 2003
Photo of maxpower
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown almost black color, decent size light brown lasting head that leaves good lacing, has chocolate and coffee aromas. Dark roasted malty chocolate and dark fruity flavors, medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel maybe a little thin, finishes with a nice dry bitterness.

maxpower, Dec 16, 2003
Photo of Suds
3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The bottle has a menacing hawk with glaring read eyes. The beer is extraordinarily dark brown, nearly black. Thin tan head with minimal lacing. Aroma is roasted malts with a subtle smokiness. The beer is essentially dry, with considerable hoppiness. It's medium to light bodied, and could stand to have a bit more fullness. Very pleasant bitter coffee taste that lingers into the aftertaste. Overall, it's a somewhat-better-than-average dry stout.

Suds, Nov 26, 2003
Photo of ElGuapo
3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A rich brown color with a small sized off-white to tan head sitting on top. The aroma is faint, but it is very roasty with some coffee hitting the nose.

This is a very roasty stout, but the flavor is not as big as it should be. Coffee is dominant, and there are touches of chocolate. This beer seemed to have a bit of a smoky flavor to it which was nice, but it really needed more of a base to it. The body was thin. If they intensified this brew a bit, it would approach the upper tier of stouts, but it falls way short.

ElGuapo, Nov 10, 2003
Photo of pezoids
3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep chocolate brown, nearly black color with some ruby tints shining through. Slight phenolic or tannins in the aroma, along with roasted grains, some chocolate and coffee. Light, almost watery body. Cordial cherry fruits in there along with some buttery qualities. Not as bad as I make it out to be. Easy to drink, but middle of the road as far as stouts go.

pezoids, Nov 03, 2003
Photo of oelergud
3.98/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Brown bottle regular cap, what I guess is a hawk on the label. The beer is black, no light coming through it and the head is a good tan.

Smell: Hops and roasted almost burnt coffee.

Taste: Roasted coffee, strong hop presence and a slight hint of chocolate, good hop lingering aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and smooth, full body, a pleasure to drink.

Drinkability: If you can drink hoppy beers all night this is it, if not, have 1-2 and switch to something else.

oelergud, Oct 19, 2003
Photo of yankeeheel
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep ruby that becomes evident when held to light. Thinner in color than some porters. Nice tan head with no lacing.

I really like the smell. The grains just pop out and remind me of a good bakery. Slight hints of dark fruit in the backgorund. The taste is good, but not very stout like to me. It's quite fruity, almost in a barleywine way, but definitely not a barleywine. Yet it has some dry stout finish to it. It's certainly not a bad beer, just a confused one IMHO. Maybe I'm confused, who knows?

If I designed a barleywine/stout/porter hybrid, this would be it. This is a good beer to give to those that are afraid of dark beers. A stepping stone on the way to drinking a true stout.

yankeeheel, Oct 15, 2003
Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice solid stout with a great look and acceptable flavor. The look is of a black body with a massive and lasting beige head. The lacing from this beer is very good and sticky.

The aroma is a bit light and really has no predominant characteristic. The taste is of roasted malts with a prominent alcohol sense, light hops, and some coffee notes. Good smooth feel and very good drinkability from the medium body.

AtLagerHeads, Oct 08, 2003
Photo of Rumrunner
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle.

This stout is pretty simple but that makes it a very fine stout in some regards.

The appearance is a quality deep black. The tan head was weak and the lacing was not to be seen. The scents are weak. Very dry and nutty. They just do not come through very well.

The flavors are nice and straight forward. Some good plumb fruit. Licorice with a sweet caramel. There are also some earthy, and ground coffee flavors in the middle. There is a hop nibble to be had in the finish as well. A nice easy to follow set of flavors. Mellow is good where this stout is concerned.

A stout that is not too heavy. Very smooth and a very easy drinking stout.

If you are in a mellow mood, try this stout out. It is a pleasure to have as a sleepy time stout. Forget about sleepy time tea.

Rumrunner, Oct 04, 2003
Photo of edchicma
3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad brew, but not the best. Color and head were nice, but aroma was somewhat lacking...faint malts. Taste was slightly malty, but lacked character..Mouthfeel was ok, but not great. No discernibel aftertatste...easy enoogh to drink, but needs more character.

edchicma, Oct 02, 2003
Photo of rastaman
3.23/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not too bad, nice and dry. But lacks a bit of flavour and complexity, quite roasty, with some chocolate and caramel, with a slightly fizzy mouthfeel. Easy to drink, nothing outstanding, dry n'roasty. uncomplicated, but still very decent in the end..

rastaman, Sep 27, 2003
Photo of ManekiNeko
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served slightly chilled in a pint glass. 12 oz. bottle with one bad lookin' raptor on the label. I likes raptors cuz they're the bad ass mofo's of nature.

Appearance: Inky jet (as opposed to inkjet) black with a light brown head. Head disapates to a small layer of bubbles. Minimal lacing on the glass.

Smell: Chocolate malts with a hint of molasses. Faint bitterness on the nose.

Taste: Now the roasted malts come in... they certainly dominate the flavor, but the sweeter malts like chocolate and pale malts make a nice backing. Mildly bitter. Decent stout, very testbook in style, but certainly nothing to jump for joy about.

Mouthfeel: Nice and robust. Baby got back!

Drinkability: Purty good. I could see myself getting another or maybe getting a 6-er, but there are certainly better stouts that are just as readily available.

Other comments: a beer with "Mendocino" in the title, but brewed in NY? Errrmm.. while I certainly have no problem with contract brewing so long as both parties know what they're doing.. this still seems a bit wrong. Couldn't they rename the sucker?

Anyways, kudos that don't show up in the points to the brewery for having a nice theme for the labels. I hope they give $$$ to raptor recovery programs.

ManekiNeko, Sep 21, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black color, large creamy head. Deeply roasted malts. Large bodied stout. Somewhat hoppy from a stout. Flavor is not as rich as most stouts. Flavor is more subtle and subdued. Milder taste. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is smooth and surprisingly dry. Aftertaste is malty and sweet.

beerguy101, Sep 02, 2003
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 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
Black Hawk Stout from Mendocino Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 615 ratings.