Black's Dawn - Cismontane Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black's DawnBlack's Dawn

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

62 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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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 UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch foamy dark khaki head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, coffee beans, and some bittersweet chocolate aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, coffee grounds, and dark chocolate syrup. A nice mild roasty bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good coffee stout with a great balance of coffee and dark chocolate flavors. (613 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 womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (752 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 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 mdfb79
4.17/5  rDev +3%
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. (1,002 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark umber brown with a soft light tan head, nice lace. Solid look.

S: Coffee city, the beans here do the work with a hint of dark chocolate.

T: Lots of sweet black malt, not really a roasted flavour with a lot of coffee. The oats really come in in the finish with some tasty sweetness and round out the flavours.

M: Moderate full-bodied brew, very smooth from the oats. Velvety.

D: There was a point while I was drinking this it reminded me a lot of Peche Mortel, which is always a good thing. A great first impression from this semi-new brewery in Santa Margarita, I'd love to try their other stuff. (616 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 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 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)

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 bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (754 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 thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (687 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 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 popery
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours coffee black with dark brown edges. Small light brown head. Dissipates relatively quickly. Very strong coffee note in the aroma. Lots of roasted malt, as well. Lesser amounts of dark chocolate and caramel. Small amount of booze. The coffee seems acidic and a bit fruity. The taste is great. The coffee is again strong, but there's more chocolate and caramel. It's not too terribly sweet, though there's a good amount of caramel malt sugariness in there. There's a nice tart coffee note. Lots of roast. Some citric hops in the finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and a bit fizzy. This is a really nice coffee beer. Normally I feel the opposite, but this beer could use a bit more sweetness. The coffee flavor adds quite a bit of bitterness, and I think it gets in the way of the more delicate notes. Still, it's a really nice coffee beer. (835 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (906 characters)

Photo of Wowcoolman
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at The Yard in Santa Monica.
An excellent representation of the style- strong notes of powdered cocoa leaving a dry, bitter finish. Comes across balanced, not boozy. Excellent body with a creamy mouthfeel and good head retention. Very enjoyable from start to finish. I will certainly now want to try more from this brewer.
Cismontane means "on this side of the mountain" and the brewery is located east of Irvine. Blacks Dawn confirms that the brewery is quality driven. I've seen their product show up at establishments that feature California beers. If you frequent such places, beers like this are your reward. (620 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 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 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 ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown-black with a thin finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades fairly quickly leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of dark chocolate malts, coffee, dark fruit, black licorice, molasses, and a bit of booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of dark chocolate malts with some dark fruit, black licorice, and a touch of lactose. Through the middle, roasted coffee comes through with a bit of molasses and some earthy hops. The finish is a mix of dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, black licorice, and a bit of booze.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, dry, and roasty finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice overall balance with the coffee and chocolate flavors mixing nicely. (745 characters)

Photo of arizcards
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
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! (473 characters)

Photo of Smarty_Pints
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (532 characters)

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