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Black's Dawn - Cismontane Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black's DawnBlack's Dawn

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

64 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 64
Hads: 269
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 8.15%
Wants: 14
Gots: 41 | 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: 64 | Hads: 269
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 dbmernin83
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with a light brown head and great lacing
Smells of coffee, and booze.
Big coffee, a little chocolate and boozing sweetness.
Good carbonation, on the lighter side of imperial stouts making it extremely drinkable.
A fantastic coffee stout. Everything I look for in a stout, and a little more. (297 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 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 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 jminsc76
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slight bit of head, mildly beige and brown in color atop a very dark brown body. Looks like an espresso milkshake.

Aromas of cocoa and coffee, well-balanced, intensifying as I allow it to warm. A little bit of burnt sugar and dark chocolate as well.

Complex flavors of roasty coffee, chocolate, and the aforementioned brown sugar from start to finish, with the ultimate finish exhibiting some nice espresso bitterness. Woo wee! that’s a good dessert stout. Flavorful and rich yet isn’t overpowering in the slightest. My only complaint is it seemingly loses complexity near the end, with the first 75% as transcendent.

Mouthfeel is ebullient and smooth, though not pillowy considering it’s brewed with oats.

Overall, Blacks Dawn is delicious. Not since Green Flash’s Double Stout have I had something as flavor impactful as this one, and if I could select its secret weapon I would go with the oats. Even though they appear to do little for the mouthfeel they balance the intensity of the coffee and brown sugar, so as to optimize the sweetness. Even restraining it. Highly drinkable; I’d down two or three per sitting. (1,144 characters)

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Hyatt Orange County, CA. Absolutely pitch black with a nice tan head that stayed; very good retention.
The aroma was predominantly coffee with hints of cocoa coming through.
Taste upfront was also of roasted coffee with hints of cocoa bitterness coming through towards the end. Medium to full bodied stout stout.
I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth this stout was. The alcohol made it's presence felt slowly. This is definitely a sipper.
I am glad I got a chance to try this, definitely not disappointed. Wouldn't hesitate to try it again if and when I visit CA again.
Worth a try. (614 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 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 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 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 SwillinBrew
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, this beer surprised me. I don't know why, I guess I wasn't expecting it to taste so good.

Had this on tap at the brewery and it poured black like looking at an expresso in a glass cup. Chips ahoy cookie colored head about a fingers worth foamed on top leaving a robust arching lace on the glass.

Bouquet of freshly ground coffee beans right out of the kiln and into the grinder tantalized my nose of with hints of the joy to come, a full envelopment of my olfactory senses. Very robust and satisfying.

Rich coffee and light roast fills the mouth with a smooth touch and penetrating flavors. Hints of molasses vaguely perceived slow dance in a sweetened cup of african java... such a solid and bold taste. I think a komodo dragon grew the coffee beans. If you like alesmith speedway stout or Founders breakfast stout, you'll love this beer.

Very drinkable and it will sneak up on you... the alcohol is hidden very well. (927 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (841 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)

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Black's Dawn from Cismontane Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.