Black's Dawn - Cismontane Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black's DawnBlack's Dawn

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

62 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 62
Hads: 266
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 8.15%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 62 | Hads: 266
Photo of maximum12
3/5  rDev -25.9%
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. (839 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
3.13/5  rDev -22.7%
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. (613 characters)

Photo of travolta
3.24/5  rDev -20%
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. (438 characters)

Photo of beagle75
3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the growler into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque black with a diminishing beige residue of foam that ends up as a fine ring around the inside of the glass. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Espresso, eucalyptus foliage, dark chocolate, and sweet/fusile alcohols.

D: Begins off-dry, unctuous, with acidic coffee and pungent--almost rancid--umami. Nutty roasted malt emerges in the middle as other, less appealing, flavors fade. It finishes with a whiff of bitter coffee grounds, although little hop bitterness is detected. No alcohol is detected in the flavor.

M: Medium viscosity, creamy on the palate, with low carbonation.

D: Admittedly not a fan of coffee stouts, I find that this offering by Cismontane has demonstrated the ability to grow on me. Although it is one of just a few production recipes they brew, I am predisposed to like it more since I had a pilot batch of its cousin--a stout brewed with Belgian yeast and fermented on dates. Still, this appears to be the crowd favorite among the brews in Cismontane's small stable. Black's Dawn is the Cismontane beer I have encountered most frequently on-draft at local pubs, from Tony's to Beachwood. (1,168 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.62/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The newest beer in the Cismontane lineup, a coffee stout brewed with brown sugar and oats. On-tap at the source, on to the beer:

Yep, it's black. The head retention on top is fair. Anyways, this is a coffee stout that leans towards the coffee side. Roasted coffee in the aroma, lots of roasted coffee in the taste, a little sweet from the brown sugar, a little astringent too. The alcohol hides itself well in this medium bodied beer...maybe a whisper light for its size.

You better like coffee if you're going to drink this, as it is very coffeeish. I happen to be a fan of coffee stouts, so this was no problem. It could use more "beer" in the formula to get it to the next level. (689 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Inviting appearance in the narrow-waisted weizen glass. Near black color with fine-grained beige head. Creamy and spritzy on the tongue.

Rather sharp but rich with malt. Toasty flavors as well as the deep dark roast. Doesn't seem as burnt-tasting as some others in this class. there is a warm malty undertone that is quite pleasant. The coffee seems to add that acidic mouthfeel. They could tone it down in my opinion, but they get points for avoiding the "yesterday's burnt coffee" routine. Nose of chocolate and coffee.

Highly sippable if a little harsh. I will keep trying these Cismontane brews, which seem to be more available these days. From the 16 oz bottle which claims 50 IBUs and 8.5% ABV. (702 characters)

Photo of Sladesmom
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
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.
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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 (449 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.69/5  rDev -8.9%
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. (727 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
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 (582 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
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. (749 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port Calsbad

A: Black with a one finger tan head and pretty good retention.

S: Coffee, oats and a lot of wet earth. Perhaps a bit of licorice as well. As the beer warms, it begins to smell more smoky with a bit of smoked herring coming into play as well.

T: A bit of coffee and roasted/charred malt with a slight bit of roasted oat sweetness without the smooth mouthfeel. A bit of a smokiness in the background as well. Pretty solid, but not sure I would go for this again. (492 characters)

Photo of dubinsky
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Pint bottle poured into a Deschutes snifter.

A - Pours a semi viscous, pitch black with a thin mocha color head which fades really quickly leaving some minimal lacing.

S – The aroma is a healthy combination of bootstrap molasses, licorice dark chocolate coffee and dried prunes. Damn, that sounds familiar…The Abyss?

T – Well, is not The Abyss, but damn is it ever trying to be. It has all of the elements that I describe in the aroma, but unfortunately they are all a bit more muted than The Abyss. The licorice and dark chocolate seem to be the most prevalent flavors, but all of the others are all definitely there.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Nice roasted malts with a fairly smoky finish.

D – This is a very drinkable Imperial stout. I was hugely surprised by this, especially since I have never heard of this brewery. Very well balanced. I will happily buy this again and again. (919 characters)

Photo of portia99
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (1,503 characters)

Photo of LampertLand
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
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 (413 characters)

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

2015-07-24
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. (602 characters)

Photo of match1112
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice dark stout with a half inch of creamy mocha head, some spotty lacing. roasted barley and oats and some roasted coffee with a milk chocolate flavor added. nice and thick and creamy with a full robust body. lots of sugar make this sweet than many other stouts i've had. some hops are detectable on the back of the tongue along with a small alochol presence. this is very drinkable but as far as coffee stouts go this is probably middle of the road. (451 characters)

Photo of spamNeggs
3.93/5  rDev -3%
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. (435 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (511 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (1,199 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.97/5  rDev -2%
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. (334 characters)

Photo of charlzm
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (676 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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. (341 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (776 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (690 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5/22/2012

On tap at Stone.

A: Black with a big light brown head.

S: Nutty and earthy with robust coffee notes. Brown sugar blends with molasses, dark chocolate, and restrained licorice notes. Roasted malt is prominent.

T: Rich dark chocolate with a monolithic dark malt presence. Roasted with molasses and brown sugar. Nice coffee profile with a mild astringency. Moderate earthy bitterness and a dash of booze in the finish.

M: Full body with upper medium carbonation and a sticky, silky, full mouthfeel.

Overall: A nice Imperial Stout. Rich, bold, and balanced. (569 characters)

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Black's Dawn from Cismontane Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.