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Black House | Modern Times Beer

very good
116 Reviews
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Black HouseBlack House

Brewed by:
Modern Times Beer
California, United States | website

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Black House is an oatmeal coffee stout bursting with coffee aroma and flavor.

Added by mactrail on 06-30-2013

User Reviews
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Reviews: 116 | Ratings: 901
Photo of tillmac62
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

COD 2/8/16. Black pour. World class head volume and lacing, very good retention.

Very good nose of light roast over even lighter coffee.

Heavy medium body with a very smooth texture that has creamy aspects. Superb carbonation with an outstanding carbonation / body balance. The middle has a light effervescence that is just enough to enliven it while the finish is finely bubbled and prickly.

The flavor profile is very good but lacks the intensity to be outstanding, as did the nose. Complexity is a bit lacking, while balance is outstanding. This one strikes me as a "session stout" - solid but too laid back to make one excited. The flavors tend to stay in blended fashion - light roast, lighter coffee, light sweetness. The middle has a very light bitterness that is mostly roast. The finish has the strongest coffee notes that linger for a bit.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear, dark brown in color with 1/3 inch head. Taste is dark roasted coffee, cocoa, caramel, and light oats. The coffee works well with the other flavors and never overpowers. Nice and smooth easy drinker. One to reach for if I wanted a beer with just a hint of coffee.

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Canned on 4/7/2016. Pours out of the can like coke but appears black in the snifter with a good amount of crimson mahogany highlights when the light hits it. The head is a light off-white tan color that dissipates quickly to absolutely nothing. The aroma is nice - not overpowering at all (was expecting a lot more coffee), you predominately get robust roasted malts, mild coffee bean sweetness, baker's chocolate, dark caramel, oats, leather, and a hint of cherry pipe tobacco, with an underlying ashy earthiness. Light mouth feel and low carbonation. The taste has everything I mentioned about the aroma, reminded me of a baby founders breakfast stout (no pun intended). This was not bad but it did not fulfill my expectations, especially having been just introduced to these guys for the first time recently, via booming roller.

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Photo of sokol_1993
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle from a beer festival in Bangkok. Poured into a Young Chocolate Stout Glass.

Look: Dark black, with a good head when pouring, but dissipate somewhat quickly.
Smell: Some roasty notes, but predominantly sweet molasses and burnt sugar. Not that much coffee smell.
Taste: molasses and sugary up front, somewhat chocolaty. After that, the bitterness from the dark roasty malt kicked in. Some coffee notes were felt, but not really that much. No hop presence. Leaning quite heavily on the sweet side, a good change.
Feel: medium body, medium viscosity. Great sweet aftertaste that lasts for a long time.

Quite a great brew actually. Would love to have it again.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pint can packaged in December 2015.

Served cold into an imperial pint glass, Black House is actually a very dark brown stout with good clarity seen on the pour. Head is nonexistent a few seconds after the pour is complete.

Aroma is mildly roasty but not much going on in terms of coffee.

Flavor is sweet up front, reminding me of a milk stout. The roast and light bitterness from the dark malts and coffee comes through more in the middle onwards.

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth and perfectly carbonated. It's sweeter than many American stouts which are usually heavy with the hops. This one strikes a good balance that leans a little sweet.

Overall a very good coffee stout with good balance and creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of Ri0
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

POured 16oz can into snifter. Dark coffee brown with a sandy colored 1.5 finger head. Retention is decent and the lacing is spotty on the glass. Aroma of rich, dark, coffee with both bitter and sweet aromas. Good roasted malt with a hint of bakers chocolate. Not quite as good as the nose, but enjoyable. Bitter malts and coffee flavor up front. I pick up some bakers chocolate in the middle. Finish is bitter with a big roasted malt flavor. It is medium bodied, smooth, somewhat creamy finish. This is not an imperial coffee stout but it still has a very good flavor and feel to it.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can poured into a Anchor Steam glass. Smell is Coffee, Coffee and more Coffee. Taste is Coffee up front, maybe a slight hint of Caramel. Overall I liked it very much. I would buy this again.

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Photo of ivehadthatbrew
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look (3.75): A dark blackish brown color, especially around the edges. Fine carbonation bubbles throughout that are whitish/tan and like to get sticky with the glass.

Smell (4): Roasted malty coffee and toffee aromas. Mocha and chocolately with cappuccino come off of it.

Taste (4): Big coffee and cappuccino. Toffee, malty caramel that's very delicious!

Mouthfeel (4.25): Exactly what I'd expect. Vibrant and silky smooth, a nice 30-60 second lingering aftertaste too it, exactly what I'm looking for in this sort of brew. Medium plus to full bodied.

Overall (4): I've been very impressed with Modern Times so far. This is like the little brother to Devil's Teeth! Yummy.

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Photo of arlo19
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this next to City of the Dead, so review may be skewed. Smells of coffee, taste is very smooth with some caramel. Light mouthfeel, could drink a few of these. After taste is a little dry, nice and roasty though.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great looking pour. Glossy black with a pillowy tan head that slowly settles into a quarter thick ring.

Smells of coffee. Not in your face. Just smooth. Also some chocolate,oats, and barley.

Silky smooth coffee flavor. Significant amount of chocolate. Flaky oats. Roasted grains.

Chewy and creamy body.

Great beer. Tons of flavor for the abv.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a finger and a half of light tan head on a black body.
The aroma is roasted malt, burnt wood, coffee and dark chocolate.
The taste has malty sweetness, coffee bitterness and licorice.
The texture is crisp.
Nice aroma and enjoyable.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - Black for the most part with glowing ruby red on the edges. Two fingers of tan head.

S - Bitter dark coffee with dark chocolate with roasted malts and the slightest hint of vanilla

T - Bitter dark coffee, bitter roasted malts, with dark chocolate and a watered-down espresso taste.

F- Thin for an oatmeal stout, but still flaky and thick enough. That dark roast coffee lingers for days.

O - It's a basic coffee stout, but a little darker and has a creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In a can poured into a nonic pint at the Anchor Hope in San Fran.

I’ve never been a iced coffee guy, but I suspect if you like iced coffee you’ll love this beer. Great coffee flavors. 4.25

A – Pours an opaque black with a two finger dark brown rocky head that dissipates to a thin but constant layer. 4

S – A clean coffee, very little maltiness 4

T – Very nice coffee with a bit of sweetness, coffee, roasted malts 4.25

MF – Smooth start and finish, medium body, semi-dry finish 4.25

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Photo of spamNeggs
3.74/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Oatmeal Coffee stout. Expected something with a fuller mouthfeel and a center coffee presence. Nope. What it is is a very drinkable stout. Far thinner than I'd expected and a light coffee note blended in. Not a 'just for dessert' kind of affair. Works well for what they were going for.

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Photo of Josh012012
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow.. this really taste like coffee. Nice substantial and smooth mouth feel..nice coffee aroma.. overall this is a very nice beer that puts coffee at the forefront

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Photo of JackieKu
3.69/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1 pint can. Canned on 2015-08-27.

A: Opaque. Poured with large amount of foam, it was dense and retained medium long.
S: Intense roasted aroma. Slightly smokey. Moderate coffee.
T: Medium roasted flavor. Moderate coffee. Hints of sourness. Dry.
M: Creamy. High carbonation.
O: Fairly good dry stout.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours dark cola brown with a finger's width of cocoa powder colored head. Fair retention before breaking down to a thin, consistent layer of surface suds. Lacing is mostly spotty with a few streaks along the glass.

Smell - Distinct roasted coffee bean aroma, with lesser notes of chocolate and caramel.

Taste - In tune with the aroma. Coffee is the predominant flavor, with a bit of caramel lying beneath. Chocolately notes come on softly mid-taste

Mouthfeel - Sits somewhere between medium to full in body with moderately carbonation. Slick, slightly creamy mouthfeel thanks to the oats makes this one a stupid easy drinker.

Overall - Not the most flavorful of coffee stouts, but it does display nice cohesion and is damn near quaffable. Doesn't do much to distinguish itself from others in the style, but it's not a very flexible style anyway.

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Photo of corby112
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black and nearly opaque with deep mahogany edges and a two finger pillowy beige head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Great retention with streaks of soapy lacing coating the glass on the way down.

Robust dark malt aroma with a nice mix of deep roast and silky dessert-like sweeter malts. Gourmet coffee bean with toffee, oatmeal and toast followed by sweet chocolate, lactose, chocolate cake, caramel, toffee and fudge. Smells pretty good.

Medium body and a touch sweeter than expected. Decent gourmet roast flavor but not as coffee dominant as I was expecting. Toast, roasted nut and espresso bean followed by silky chocolate sweetness, caramel and faint lactose. Nice balance and easy to drink with a well masked ABV.

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Photo of TriggerFingers
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Clear and dark...its a stout. Minimal khaki head...no lacing.
Smell: Hints of coffee and roasted grain. Wow...this has promise!
Taste: Hits many points...love it! Slight astringent character but smooth with a medium finish. I wish I would have bought more...
Feel: This is where is falls a little for me. Its prickly and not as 'round' as some oatmeal stouts.
Overall: Don't hesitate on a 4-pack. Its delish! My wife smelled it and then tasted and said its fantastic! I agree whole-heartedly!

Last Words: Absolutely solid! If you like stout beers and coffee, this will make you very happy.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a globe.

A: Black in color. Creamy beige head dissipates slowly. Wispy lacing.

S: Roasty and smokey dark roast coffee. Cola and bitter dark chocolate underneath.

T: Cola and dark chocolate. Roasted barley. Kiss of spicy hops. Subtle starchiness. Dark roast coffee builds middle to end with moderate acidity, roasty/smokey flavors, and even some fruitiness. Smokey coffee finish.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy and silky feel. Acute carbonation scrubs sharply.

O: A nice oatmeal stout made nicer by the coffee addition.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.24/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

473ml Can from Brewdog online shop (£4):
Fairly disappointing in truth, I'm not sure what I had been expecting but I definitely wanted more from this. The taste & nose were both quite basic & not unlike a lot of other English style stouts that I've tried over the years although it was a nice enough taste without ever exciting.; I doubt this will be one I go for again.

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Photo of Dan_K
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Looks like a brown ale, dark but not pitch black. Pours with 1 finger of mocha head that quickly dies down.
S: Smells pretty normal, like a brown ale. Kind of a sweet, boozy, slight coffee smell.
T: The taste is where this all comes together. Tastes more like a smooth brown ale than a stout, but rich chocolate and coffee are woven throughout, with a little overroasted bitterness. Slight taste of oats.
F: Fairly thin but smooth, slightly creamy.
O: This is a session-able but flavorful blend of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt goodness. The flavors all balance well together. It's sweet but not cloying. Bitter but not overly so. Overall, quite and enjoyable take on this style. Perhaps my favorite session coffee beer.

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Photo of JebBeerFish
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Received as an extra. Thanks to the trader!

Pours darker brown/medium black on gentle pour.

Nose - good quality coffee - oatmeal stout.

Taste - creamy mild Expresso.

Overall - had on same night as Black Baptist and Lagunitas Imperial
Stout. This came in 2nd place in my book.

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Photo of mbunje
4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great body and mouthfeel for a sun 6% stout. (Isn't that a porter then???). Great smell and flavor to boot. Oatmeal makes it a bit sweet. It is not overly bitter or burnt like some can be. Nice effort and great result!

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Photo of biegaman
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black House is indeed black and, especially in this tall pint glass, looks sturdy enough to hold up a house (though ironically can't even support a head). In fairness, the oils from the coffee beans are probably to blame for that. And speaking of oil, this California oatmeal stout could easily pass for Texas tea.

The aroma has such a rousing mocha quality you feel like you're sitting next to the bean grinder with a big slice of chocolate cake in one hand and a fork in the other. If only my homemade tiramisu tasted like this smells. Seriously, this stuff might put Italian bakeries in San Diego out of business.

To no surprise there's a lot of coffee flavour, but it's not overwhelming. Modern Times roast their beans themselves which leads be to believe that pleasantly nutty, vividly hazelnut taste, the delicate bitterness and subtle fruitiness was intentional. They're great matches for the silky dark chocolate notes of the malt.

I found Mega Black House (the 10% 'imperial' version of this recipe) to be exceptionally approachable and well proportioned so I naturally expected Black House to be equally, if not more smooth and velvety. Indeed it is. The roast is restrained and I keep waiting for an ashyness to show up but it never does.

I'm not a coffee drinker and never have been but I could gladly start my day with this! To me, there's something astringent about coffee - how it soils your breath and stains your teeth - but luckily Modern Times found a way around this and provides all the flavour in a simple yet decadent package.

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Black House from Modern Times Beer
89 out of 100 based on 116 ratings.