Black's Dawn - Cismontane Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black's DawnBlack's Dawn

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

262 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 262
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 14
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cismontane Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DoubleJ on 07-03-2010

Named after Black's Beach
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 262 | Reviews: 60
Photo of Jeffreysan
4.9/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color, with a quarter of a finger of chocolate/caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that almost, but not quite, completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Wow! Very aromatic, with tons of earthy, rich, roasted malt, imparting notes of freshly toasted dark bread, a touch of smoke, tons of freshly ground coffee beans, tons of dark, dark chocolate and brown sugar, hints of vanilla creamer and bittersweet chocolate. Inviting and delicious!

Taste: Wow! Holy shit! Is this beer strong and awesome! Massive, rich, earthy, roasty flavors of roasted malt up front, followed by tons of coffee and brown sugar-like sweetness, hints of vanilla and smoke, but the predominate flavors are of roasted malt and coffee!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and smooth as there is very little in the way of carbonation. With an ABV of 8.5%, there is a very pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is an excellent, coffee-infused Imperial Stout! Malty as hell, roasty as hell, and tasty as hell, with tons of coffee, but thankfully, none of the bitterness that usually accompanies coffee. Very highly recommended!

Photo of Furlinator
3.47/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

It has all the coffee and cocoa elements of a solid stout but, I'm picking up a faint peppery presence.

Photo of LampertLand
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cismonte Brewing 'Black's Dawn Imperial Stout @ 8.5% , served from a 9 fl oz bottle purchased for $6.50
A-pour is a dark cola brown from the bottle to a black in the glass with a small tan head leaving a steaky lace along the snifter
S-sweet , boozey , coffee
T-ok tasting Imp Stout , dry coffee finish
MF-ok carbonation , feels big bodied , certainly warms the inners
Ov-ok beer , no wow factor
prost LampertLand

Photo of ilikebeer03
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: black with a nice tan head. good retention and lacing.

S: roasted coffee, dark malts, chocolate,

T: delicious roasted coffee / malts. dark chocolate on the finish. a slight hop bitterness on finish. lingering roasty flavor.

M: thick and creamy.

O: delicious beer.

Photo of Fatehunter
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Pours a finger and half of tan head on a black body.
The aroma is burnt and roasted malt, molasses and dark chocolate. Excellent.
The taste is a great blend of coffee and chocolate bitterness, molasses and roasted malt sweetness, finishes with a touch of burnt wood.
The texture is smooth with low carbonation.
Super drinkable and flavorful.

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with ruby highlights; the bubble show transforms to a thick head that delivers some nice lacing patterns

Smell: A bit roasty, with some chocolate tones and a hint of coffee

Taste: Roasty, up front, with developing chocolate and coffee flavors; more chocolate in the finish than coffee, with a touch of dark fruit

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied but somewhat thin for an imperial; moderate carbonation

Overall: For what is supposed to be an imperial stout, I was somewhat underwhelmed; a decent drinker but not really worth seeking out

Photo of Tutoraxia
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

A five ounce taste at Wade's in Agoura CA 8/2014.
This is directly from Stinkypuss's review. Thank you, very well done!

LOOK: Dark brown, with a tan brown creamy head. Small amount of lacing on the glass.

SMELL: Nutty, roasted, coffee grounds and a bit of mineral. Cocoa emerges as it warms.

TASTE: Robust malty notes, coffee, anise, dark chocolate, raw cocoa and some mineral and herbal, lightly citric hop notes. As it warms, more coffee and chocolate notes come out, giving a mocha impression. Chocolate malt and coffee are the culprits. Alcohol flavor is felt more than tasted, but is present. Vanilla coffee lasts in the aftertaste.

FEEL: Medium bodied, smooth, creamy, with a low-medium carbonation.

Not from Stinkpuss

OVERALL: A very nice stout. Memorable in the way that all of the tastes follow each other, and combine beautifully.

From a 20 oz. bottle, 8/2014.
But a shadow of it's tap version. Still nicely drinkable, but not even close to memorable.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

LOOK: Dark brown, with a tan brown creamy head. Small amount of lacing on the glass.
SMELL: Nutty, roasted, coffee grounds and a bit of mineral. Cocoa emerges as it warms.
TASTE: Robust malty notes, coffee, anise, dark chocolate, raw cocoa and some mineral and herbal, lightly citric hop notes. As it warms, more coffee and chocolate notes come out, giving a mocha impression. Chocolate malt and coffee are the culprits. Alcohol flavor is felt more than tasted, but is present. Vanilla coffee lasts in the aftertaste.
FEEL: Medium bodied, smooth, creamy, with a low-medium carbonation.
OVERALL: This is a pretty good imperial stout with added coffee. I could definitely see this as a good compliment to a Sunday brunch. Worthy.

Photo of travolta
3.24/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Black, with an espresso head that has really nice retention and lacing. Not much volume.

Nose: Coffee with a tiny of of toffee at the end.

Taste: Creamy espresso. A really smooth finish. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy upfront but becomes very watery at the end.

Notes: Not much happening from the "Imperial". I am not impressed. It seems the word "imperial" is slapped on some labels for no apparent reason other than price.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 ounce bottle. Served in a Great Lakes Brewing goblet, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch and a half tan head that stayed around for a long time. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and some vanilla. The taste is mostly like the aroma, but there's the addition of some brown sugar and some burnt/charred malt. I think it's a mostly roasty tasting stout, but with a nice amount of sweetness, too. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and coating with moderate carbonation. I think it's a good brew, I wouldn't mind trying this again in the future. It's the first Cismontane beer I've tried, so I'll have to try some of their other ones soon. $5.19 a bottle.

Photo of maximum12
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kyle2K10 for this extra, knocking one more want off my long & distinguished list. 22 oz. bottle with a label that appears to have been designed as a freshman class project split with my wife.

The pour is black, carbonation is starting down the barrel of little to none. Strong coffee is the only note coming off the beer, unless you count roast. OK, roast & coffee.

Black's Dawn is like a coffee snuff film. Coffee in the foreground, mid-palate, & finish. Sharp, acrid bitterness is prevalent. Malt sweetness. If I squint I could imagine the blurry outlines of other flavors, but really, I'd just be making it up. It is smooth, I'll give it that, but 11 ounces is enough for me.

Right down the middle arrow of the bowling alley: this is as routine a coffee stout as exists on the Planet Earth. Not good, not bad. Just beer.

Photo of charlzm
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Consumed January 18th, 2014 from a bottle purchased in either 2011 or 2012.

Beer is black with only the slightest deep brown highlights when held to intense light. Moderate pour results in creamy, two-finger light brown head.

Aroma is deep, dark, rich coffee. Perhaps a little dark chocolate as well, but it could also be wishful thinking.

Flavor is intense; dark roasted malts immediately give way to a dark roast coffee flavor. Baker's chocolate also. Warming and bitter with a long, granular aftertatse.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy at first but finishes a little thin. Very warming.

Very nice coffee stout; comparable to Speedway though with less subtlety.

Photo of Omnium
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pitch black with a finger of tan head, nice thick islands of lacing.
S - Very complex aroma, massive roasted malts and coffee beans, dark chocolate, some dried apricot, a little smoke, even some piney hops.
T - Very rich roasted malt and coffee flavors with a silky dark bitter chocolate, a hint of the smoke, hop bite of pine and resin.
M - Rich full and silky, a nice bitterness too.
O - Very good complex Imperial stout, lots of great flavor.

Photo of arizcards
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a 500 ml bottle from Total Wine in mid-August for $6.99.

Beer poured black with a nice tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose has hints of coffee and mocha.

Taste is bitter chocolate, coffee grounds, roasted malts. This is slightly sweet but the hopping level keeps things balanced nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a very nice brew. Lots of flavor going on here without a huge abv. Recommend to try it if available!

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Local beer, so Raul gonna do it like a cheerleader on a pompom.

Black like a cockroach, but tasty like a morning in Florence. It's thick, it's rich, there is chocolate, and there is a tinge of coffee. Raul approves, but like your grandmama pinching your cheek, it's a lil too sweet. Raul will put up with the pinched cheeks (especially when they always come with a $20 - thanks, grandmama) but he obviously would rather not have to put up with it.

Have a good one, my children.

Photo of Sladesmom
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: It is a dark, rich color with almost head and nice lacing.

Smell: I smell a roasted, coffee smell with a hint of chocolate and vanilla.

Taste: It tastes rich with a full coffee flavor. It goes down smooth with a bitter aftertaste.

Mouth Feel: It is thick and smooth.
.
Overall: I find this to be a rich, flavorful stout. It is a very full chocolate coffee flavor and goes down easy. If you like stouts, this is definitely one to try

Photo of Smarty_Pints
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours almost a complete black just like the name. It had little to no head but does leave behind a good amount of lacing.

S- Roated coffee hit you first it also has a tad bit of vanilla and dark chocolate to italso, not very complex but nice.

T- Taste follows the nose roasted coffee vanilla and chocolate and a bit of the alcohol comes through.

M- Not overly thick like some stouts but has a good weight to it.

O- Blacks dawn is a great example of a coffee stout. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys stouts.

Photo of pkalix
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

thick and super dark brown. no head on the first pour into my tulip glass.
smell is all chocolate and coffee. roasted, of course.
nice and thick. coffee hits first, like a heavy starbucks (they OVER-ROAST everything there, i'm not sure why). slight bitterness at the finish. very heavy. very filling. obviously going more for taste than abv (7.2 ? ).
2nd pour, more vigorous than the first, still only produced a skim layer of brown froth. others are saying they got some foam, but i'm not seeing it. maybe just a little older? coming from the corner liquor store? it would help if they put a date on their bottles... they ought to care about what the customer is actually getting, right?
overall, it was alright. I suppose 85 is "alright" in my book. most alcohol is good, I think. as long as it's made with decent ingredients and care. it's the "jose cuervos" that give give ya headaches the next morning and fool people due to the "company brand". I feel this is a solid 85.

Photo of Samuel906
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up randomly at a little liquor store outside of Santa Cruz and didn't have a chance to drink it right away, so it sat for about 6 months. Right off the bat, I'm going to say this has become my new favorite coffee supplemented beer. If you are a coffee lover, this beer is for you. The aroma is simply wonderful; heavy roasted coffee and cocoa. Taste is equally superb and incredibly well balanced: toasty coffee, mild sweetness, and roasted malts. Not a terribly complex beer, but it hits all the right notes. Smooth and not overbearing, a little more carbonation than I was expecting but not distractingly so. Overall a terrific beer... I wish I had grabbed more, and I hope I can find it again in the future!

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black with two fingers of dense tan head. Retention and lacing are both excellent.

S: Strong, yet smooth coffee dominates the aroma of is beer. On the sweet side with no acrid quality at all. I also get a nice nuttiness from the coffee aroma. Behind the coffee, I get a balance combination of dark chocolate, roasted malts, and malted milk balls.

T: Coffee comes out in full force again, with the same nuttiness I got from the aroma. It's a touch bitter, but stays very smooth throughout and integrates well with the stout base. Roasted malts are a bit stronger in the flavor than they were in the aroma with a moderately strong dark chocolate flavor. Although the sweetness of the beer is balanced, I can't really pick out the specific flavor it comes out as - it's subtle.

M: Medium thickness with moderate, creamy carbonation.

O: A very nice RIS with coffee. Balanced and tasty, though nothing really sticks out. It's simply well made, if uninteresting.

Photo of schwemjw
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: opaque black with a mocha head.

S: espresso, chocolate, vanilla and a tone of roasted malt. Very creamy, like milk.

T: A tone of chocolate with a nice coffee/ roast malt mid palate. A great bittering finish. Very balanced and drinkable. reminiscent of hot chocolate. Lots of mocha characteristics as well.

M: lingering finish. medium bodies.

O: Awesome! i came into this beer without expectations and i was pleasantly surprised. Easy drinking with a ton of flavor. I'd rather start each morning off with this instead of coffee!!! / 94

Photo of Brenden
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Perhaps aptly named, this beer is indeed black, or close to it. Some brown does show in the edges, but only if there's plenty of light. A tan head grows nearly a full finger tall before dropping to a sturdy enough foam that is able to drop mostly spotting but with some patching in places as well.
Coffee pours out on the nose straightaway upon opening the bottle. Cocoa is also evident with a touch of caramel sweetness. Plenty of malt backbone supports the big coffee and chocolate notes. Bitterness seems to come just from the bittersweet cocoa and the coffee.
Not much difference comes out between the aroma and the flavor. Coffee never fades away, staying strong and it has a freshness to it, which is key to any beer depending on it. Bittersweet baker's chocolate comes through strong as well, lingering in the finish. Overall,it leans toward having a stronger level of bitterness without going way too bitter, just managing to be free of any acrid edge.
A big enough stout, there is of course a robustness to this one. It's nicely smooth and on the appropriately low end as far as carbonation. As an imperial stout, though, it needs just a touch, a very slight touch, more thickness and body.

Photo of mdfb79
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 04/14/13 notes. Got this bottle from Nugganooch; thanks Dane! Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into a snifter.

a - Pours a jet black color with one inch of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. There is a little retention and lacing; looks pretty nice.

s - Smells of coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, toasted malts, light milk chocolate, and espresso. Nice nose, lots of coffee to it, as expected.

t - Tastes of coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, burnt malts, bitter chocolate and malts, vanilla, and some milk chocolate. Even better those the nose; really nice amount of chocolate and coffee.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Body is pretty smooth; a little bit thicker and it would be outstanding.

o - Overall a really great beer; never heard of it or this brewery, but I loved it. Loads of coffee and chocolate and easy to drink; if this was easy to get off the shelves I'd certainly buy it a lot. Looking forward to the BA stout from them Dane sent along with it.

Photo of rudzud
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in a thank you box and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice deep, deep dark brown nearly black hue with a good two finger mocha head that fades to leave a nice quarter inch blanket. Pretty damn solid here.

S - Smell is nice with lots of chocolate, more of the milk chocolate variety. Some light roast malts. Uhh, wheres the coffee though?

T - Taste is better, with nice milk chocolate and cocoa powder mix. Coffee is there, a creamy iced coffee with cream here. Some faint dark fruits as well. Could use some more coffee.

M - Mouthfeel is smooth, with light carbonation. There is some good bitter roast on the finish.

O - Overall, I wish there was more coffee in this along with less dark fruit. Plus, the nose was pretty weak.

Photo of kaseydad
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Tried to age....couldn't.

Pours a black ale with a big time light brown head. Minor lacing. Foam looks like coffee ice cream. Cool.

The aroma has nice roasted malts, big whiffs of sweet chocolate, leather, cocoa powder, marshmallows, and coffee beans. Awesome!

The taste is roasty and bitter. And underlining sweetness is constant and creates a nice blend. A long bitter aftertaste. Buds stay rough from the ale. Salvation is present. Light peppery finish as well. Hops present.

The mouthfeel is slick but I like it. Light carbonation gives me a kick each sip.

Overall I enjoyed this a lot. I wasn't familiar with the brewery but I am now and in search of their other brews. I wIll say it's a little tough to find in the East Bay but I'll be a looking. Highly recommend.

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Black's Dawn from Cismontane Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 262 ratings.