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Black's Dawn - Cismontane Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black's DawnBlack's Dawn

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

66 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 276
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 19.11%
Wants: 15
Gots: 42 | FT: 1
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 66 | Hads: 276
Photo of flagmantho
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 500mL bottle into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: totally black with an attractive finger of brown foam. Very nice indeed.

Smell: very roasty with a prominent alcohol aroma. Definitely strong, and not bad, but it lacks complexity or finesse.

Taste: much like the aroma, there's a lot of roast and alcohol here. There are also nice coffee and chocolate notes, as well as a dash of vanilla, that help balance this out. Tasty, but just a little harsh.

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a good level of carbonation and creaminess, as befitting the style.

Overall: the alcohol prominence here is just a bit much to be a well-balanced beer, but it's not terrible by any means.

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
3.36/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dont drink this cold out of the fridge had a horrible soapy rubbing alcohol taste. As it warmed the malt kicked in definitely on the bittersweet burnt characteristics with hints of black licorice.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black with a persistent half finger khaki head with good lacing. Aroma of dark, toasted malt, dark chocolate, strong coffee and a hint of bright esters almost like isopropyl alcohol. Flavor is lightly sweet, toasted malt, drip coffee, cocoa and bitter dark chocolate; hints of vanilla and licorice. Finishes with chocolate, a hint of hops, and boiled coffee. Very nice, creamy body with excellent mouth feel. A good, full bodied stout, quite coffee forward. The coffee is pleasant at first, but dominates the finish a bit too much. Alcohol noticeable in the aroma, but well covered in the taste. I like the malt body of this stout quite a bit, but the coffee was a bit too acidic and dominant in the finish. Would be great with the coffee dialed back just a bit. The flavor grew on me a lot, revealing some more complexity as the evening progressed. The second stout I've had from Cismontane and I'll be back for more.

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Photo of argock
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured frrom 16.9oz brown bottle into a clear tulip. No botting date evident.

A: Very dark brown with short cap of cappucino head with no lacing

S: Delicious blend of cappucino, light caramel sweetness, dark malt roastiness, and dark chocolate

T: Flavor is slightly sweet but very enjoyable with dark chocolate, very light touch of roast from dark malts, black coffee, and caramel throughout. Light bitternessfendsoff cloying.

M: LIght-bodied for the style but very drinkable with moderate carbonation.

O: A really pleasant surprise - delicious drinkable coffee flavored imperial stout, tastes a little like a porter since the roast character is low, but really great beer. Thanks Jody!

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Photo of spamNeggs
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like stouts with a coffee chocolate backbone? My wife didn't. :)

More for me!!!!

Taste to me is solid malt and coffee and some chocolate in a smooth mouth-feel stout some malt sweetness.
Even bitterness on the finish and no alcohol burn for the 8%+. Coffee colored light foam, would like to have this on nitro/tap..

Basically, really nice.
Not blockbuster but something I would happily buy again and glad I got to try.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16.9oz bottle (thought it was a bomber). Bought it in Phoenix, brought it back in a suitcase. 150114BDS is the number printed on the label. Served in a large mug.

Pours black with a small-medium brown head that lingers apparently indefinitely. Plenty of fine carbonation. Smell is chocolate and yeast. Smells pretty darn good, actually. Maybe it's just been a long time since I've had an imperial stout.

Taste is good, but fairly one dimensional. Chocolatey, yeasty, just like the the aroma. Solid, but not special.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, somewhat airy. Overall, good but not special.

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Photo of SensorySupernova
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Jet black with a big light brown, long-lasting head. The head was so sturdy that any impression made in it stayed there.

Smell: Roast malt, coffee, dark chocolate.

Taste: Follows the smell, pretty dry overall, ends slightly bitter (not like hops, more like black coffee). A little wood and booze at the end.

Mouthfeel: Thick and smooth; no residual feel left in the mouth.

Overall: Solid imperial stout.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Black's Dawn from Cismontane Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.