Black's Dawn - Cismontane Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black's DawnBlack's Dawn

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

254 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 254
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 14
Gots: 38 | 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
to view more.
Ratings: 254 | Reviews: 58
Reviews by 2GOOFY:
More User Reviews:
Photo of ElSid
4.26/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The Beers of California

#49

Bottled Date: None

A: Thick motor oil black with very minimal light brown head

S: Big and smooth espresso nose with components of chocolate, marshmallow, and half and half. There is also a nice brown sugar sweetness and oatmeal evenness.

T: The coffee beans come through up front along with notes of chocolate milk, vanilla, raisins which then transitions to a leafy bitterness and a nice bourbonesque alcohol warmth which builds to the finish. The malt skeleton is of toasted bread and brownsugary sweetness along with the oats which impart a smoothness to the palate.

M: Big, round, and smooth adding to the already strong palate. The carbonation is minimal to moderate but enough to keep things interesting.

O: As a coffee lover, the brew does a wonderful job of showcasing espresso flavors in a solidly crafted Imperial Stout. I was taken aback by the strength and roundness of this stout, which overall reminded me of AleSmith's great Speedway. It's up and coming microbrews like Cismontane that remind me how wonderful it is to live in California as a beer geek.

Photo of ehammond1
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011) Perhaps a hand-bottle. Direct from the brewery representative.

Thanks for opening this, jordanhwc!

Nearly black with a thin brown head that leaves lines of lacing down the glass.

Very roasty aroma with a bit of coffee. Simple, though appropriate and very nice.

The roasted malts and coffee flavors dominate, but they're very nice. No alcohol presence. Slight caramel sweetness as well.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation, though a touch metallic.

A very nice big stout--incredibly roasty.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Milder dark appearance than some stouts, nothing bad. Good coffee aroma, first and foremost.

Coffee through and through, not over the top, complimented by ample chocolate, hides the alcohol. Easily a breakfast style tailgating beer.

Reminiscient of Speedway Stout, although nowhere near as thick. Like a small beer version of that.

Photo of Brenden
3.96/5  rDev -2%
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 IntriqKen
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Like coffee?
This is the freshest cup of java you will every find.
Pours a deep, dark black in the glass with a decent two fingers of tan bubbles that melt slowly leaving a nice mapping in their wake.
Aroma is nice sweet coffee. Darkly toasted malt, brown sugar, and freshly ground sumatra coffee hits the nose.
Mouthfeel is rich, creamy and smooth....tiny bubbles make it almost seem nitro but without the nitro aftertaste.
Your tastebuds are delighted with freshly ground sumatra coffee, brown sugar and smooth grained oatmeal.
Hops only exist to keep the brown sugar in check and the aftertaste is pure coffee and maybe a hint of nuts.
This one definitely tasted like 'breakfast in a bottle' to me.
Totally smooth and mellow without a hint of bitterness.
Careful - the 8% ABV is not apparent in the taste and this one can creep up on you.

Photo of augustgarage
3.13/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap @ Blue Palms Brewery - served in a goblet.

Opaque seal brown body with a whisper of ran bubbles up top, settling into a thin collar and oily webbing. Anemic lacing.

Coffee, roast barley, and a touch of diacetyl in the nose.

Carob, earth, black pepper, brown butter, and stale coffee to start on the palate. Taste brings to mind a 24hr greasy spoon catering to somnolent truckers on some remote interstate. Finishes with a pleasing toastiness, though the diacetyl persists.

Oily, medium bodied, with low carbonation.

A decent coffee stout marred by a few defects you might expect from a home-brew.

Photo of Fatehunter
4/5  rDev -1%

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 thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at the brewery on a recent trip to Cali in the company of womencantsail, t0rin0, and fbm115. Served from tap into an imperial pint glass. Poured pitch black with a minimal off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark chocolate, and slight coffee. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark chocolate, caramel, slight coffee, and slight cream. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this brew wasn't that bad. It was very nicely balanced, but just lacked in intensity and the flavors I find most enjoyable. With that said however, it had a nice aroma and flavor going on. A must try if you are in the area.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
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 RaulMondesi
4.08/5  rDev +1%
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 ThickNStout
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz bottle from j47paco (thanks Juan!). No bottling info. Served in a Wild Heaven snifter.

Pours deep dark brown with a finger and a half capuccino head that leaves several patches of dark lace.

Smells roasty with bittersweet coffee, cocoa and caramel.

Roast coffee hits the palate first. Followed by cocoa, burnt brown sugar, charred wood, oatmeal raisin cookie, leather and a little licorice. The alcohol is well masked behind the pleasing blend of flavors.

Creamy smooth medium full feel with light but ample carbonation. Nice bitter sweet coffee and brown sugar aftertaste.

I'd never heard of this brewery or this beer but it's right up my alley. A creamy, roasty, coffee-infused treat. I wouldn't turn this away if I ever get another oportunity to drink again.

Photo of Tutoraxia
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

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 schwemjw
4.27/5  rDev +5.7%
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 wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with an initially solid 1-inch mocha head which fades to a cap and around the rim leaving splotchy lace.

N: Dark chocolate/bitter-sweet cocoa powder, roasted coffee and slight char. Interesting sweetness, floral and earthy/floral notes.

T: Mildly dark chocolate with subtle roasted coffee combine well with some char and burnt notes. Some sweetness is present on the finish. Slightly ashy as warms.

M: Creamy, full bodied with semi-moderate carbonation. Faint sweetness and bitterness on the finish.

O: Very good balance between the coffee and cocoa profile. Just when one starts to take over, the other catches up. One small request - please put a little pepper in this.

Photo of ilikebeer03
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
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 LampertLand
3.88/5  rDev -4%
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 Nugganooch
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle w/ snifter

A: Blacks Dawn pours a semi thin deep dark brown that gets much dimmer as it collects in the glass. Has a nice black oily gloss to it. Thin lid of creamy smooth camel color head. Nice persistence. Quick receding cling with some dots of lace. Appropriate and inviting.

S: Smells of rich mocha. Pure roast high quality coffee beans. Dark malts with a touch of smoky char. Chocolate Brownie batter. Very nice clean aromas.

T: A very nice assortment of rich and full stouty flavors. Lots of fresh roast coffee with that earthy smoke char. Good mix of toasted grains. Espresso fudge brownie. Dark chocolate and chicory. Sweet Molasses with subtle hints of licorice that really bloom as this beer warms. Decent amount of bittering gives a slight peppery spice. Alcohol is incredibly mellow and really only perks closer to room temps. Delicious brew I must say.

M: Smooth as silk body glides with ease over the tongue. Moderately full feel. Has a light fudgey chew to it that is just right. Carb on the lower side. Lush and perfect. Finish is wetter with an oily linger.

D: This is a very tasty stout. Smooth and creamy. Rich and assertive with the Coffee yet countered well with the chocolate and dark roasty grain notes. I enjoyed this much more than the Coulter IPA. Nicely done.

Recommended and looking forward to trying the Black’s Nocturne.

Photo of charlzm
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
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 WillCarrera
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz bottle, no bottled-on date, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours black with a finger of mocha colored head, leaves some spotty lacing.

S- The aroma is a big blast of coffee along with some fruit, chocolate and roasted grain.

T- Sweet, chocolatey, brown sugar roasted flavor, the coffee builds until the finish, which is roasty and seriously chock-full of coffee bean flavor.

M- Medium-bodied, soft, creamy feel with low carbonation.

O- A very nice coffee stout, I'll definitely be on the lookout for Cismontane in the future.

Photo of LBDriver
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tan, cappuccino like head. Previous posts of "mocha" coloured head are spot on. At 50 SRM this beer is about as black as it gets, some shades of dark red wine ( maybe) just under head.
Coffee and dark chocolate mostly dominate the nose. Earth and a bit of hoppy pineyness come near the end. Roasted barley subdued with chocolate and black malts also noticeable.
Coffee is softened by chocolate malt and balanced with a very pleasant hop bitterness. Dark chocolate lingers, virtually no booziness- the rich chocolate, roastiness of the coffee and slight pungent aspect of hops masks beautifully.
A viscous mouthfeel is broken up by hop/coffee bitterness. The illusion of American oak afforded. Great carbonation allows this stout to be more than just a desert pairing.
Overall a very balanced coffee stout in the company of many one-sided coffee stouts. Hop pineyness and coffee astringency paired remarkedly with chocolate malt makes this a surprising after work beer. Hard to find in the bottle but I hope that changes soon!

Photo of bierfreundlich
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep brown almost black-strap molasses color with a paper-thin dark tan head. Little spotty lacing.

S - Lots of roasted aroma--a dark roast coffee, roasted barley/grains, a slight caramel sweetness.

T - Tastes like bittersweet chocolate with slight hints of roasted chillies, unrefined sugar/molasses flavors, a bit tangy.

M - Heavier on carbonation than a typical stout and bit creamy with the oats. Tiny bubbles leaving your mouth a bit numb--a bit like an analgesic. Very nice!

O - A very impressive imperial stout. The coffee is stronger in the aroma than flavor. The flavor is very rich and heavy of roasted grains and coffee. But the mouthfeel is wonderful. A great beer! I would totally buy it again.

Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is nearly black with a thin layer of mocha colored foam that has pretty decent retention.

S: Tons and tons of coffee on the nose. Lots of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and a lot more coffee just for good measure. Pretty simple, but very enjoyable.

T: Again, the coffee steals the show. There is a mild caramel malt sweetness and a fairly significant roasted malt flavor, too, but the flavor is certainly characterized by the coffee. There is a slight creaminess to the finish, which is nice.

M: The body is medium, not super rich for an imperial stout, but adequate, and the carbonation is medium.

D: I wasn't sure how good this one would be, but I had heard a couple people recommend it and I'm glad they did. A very enjoyable beer.

Photo of Samuel906
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
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 portia99
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz bottle sent as a great extra by Rckmo10 in a recent trade. Thanks! Poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass. Bottle says 8.5% ABV contrary to the description on BA.

A - Pours a pitch black color with hardly any light getting thru...what does get thru gives a deep brown highlights at the very edges fo the liquid. A very small off white head forms but falls rapidly down to a tight collar of bubbles...spotty lacing lacing.

S - Coffee is quite noticeable up front along with lots of dark roasted malt. Hints of licorice, brown sugar and some dark and milk chocolate blend nicely. Overall, aroma is a bit on the light side...what is there is rather good.

T - Tons of dark roasted malt up front, burnt toast, strong black coffee, mild astringency, light flavor of baker's chocolate, charcoal. Dark fruits, berries and a marginal sweetness on the back end of each sip that seems to smooth things out...very minor alcohol presence is noted.

M - Body is medium-ish...feels a bit thin for the style. Carbonation is medium-high and makes this beer quite lively and prickly...again, perhaps a bit out of character for the style. Wish this was a bit fuller.

O - Overall a good imperial stout. Mouthfeel is probably the weakest aspect of this beer, being a bit thin and overcarbonated for the style, but these can potentially be overlooked a little bit. Flavors are good and feature lots of dark, roasty, burnt flavors...coffee stout lovers will definitely enjoy this one. Definitely worthy of trying.

Photo of FosterJM
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1048th Review on BA
Growler to Snifter
1 gallon

Thanks to GuruDel for sharing
Shared at MrHirschybars tasting

App- Big thick dark brown almost black pour with a really nice off tan head that left a good bit of sticky cling/lace. Fairly dense and looked good in the glass..

Smell- I will say one thing. They said its a coffee stout. It was a coffee nose. Nicely done on this one with the coffee, some malts and good balance.

Taste- Huge coffee and roast notes from this one. A good bit of balance with a bit of creaminess and the roasted coffee. I really enjoyed the coffee on this one. A bit assertive but worked really well.

Mouth- A medium/thick bodied beer with somewhat of a medium/low carbonation level. Pretty thick malts remain on this one with some bitterness from the coffee and roast

Drink- I enjoyed it. I have been surprised lately with Cismontane. I will have to keep giving them a shot.

to view more.
Black's Dawn from Cismontane Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 254 ratings.