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Black House - Modern Times Beer

Not Rated.
Black HouseBlack House

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

84 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 84
Hads: 750
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 27.86%
Wants: 67
Gots: 126 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Modern Times Beer visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mactrail on 06-30-2013

Black House is an oatmeal coffee stout bursting with coffee aroma and flavor.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 84 | Hads: 750
Photo of emyers
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

16 oz. can poured into a Founders snifter.

Pours near black with a half-inch creamy beige head.

Smell is medium roast coffee, roasted barley, some vanilla, and cocoa. Fairly balanced, not overly coffee-forward.

Taste is similar to the smell - coffee is somewhat subdued compared to many coffee stouts out there. I get a good amount of milk chocolate and roasted barley. Very balanced, overall fairly mild flavor.

Feel is exceptionally smooth due to the oats, medium to slightly full-bodied. Excellent.

As a coffee lover, I'm looking for a lot more coffee in my coffee stouts. This is more of a nice mellow oatmeal stout with a touch of coffee for added complexity. Good beer, but not ultimately what I'm looking for in the style.

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Photo of chinchill
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can.
More coffee in the nose than in the flavor, but even here it doesn't mask the underlying stout.
Smooth, medium full body. Medium-low carbonation.
Good bitter sweet balance leans towards the bitter side.

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Photo of tigerbeer90
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Jet black with a small tan head
S: Coffee and roasty notes
T: Bitter coffee upfront with a long roasty finish
M: Nice carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel from the oats. The roasty characteristic of this beer makes it feel bigger than a 5.8% ABV stout.
O: My second MT beer, and it's another excellent beer. With such a big feeling and low ABV, I could see this as being the perfect fall/winter campfire beer!

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super dark with a nice tan head with big bubbles. Smells like coffee and malty sweetness. The taste is the same. Nice iced coffee bitterness with the malt sweetness and a creamy mouthfeel. This is a really nice beer and a great imitation of an iced coffee.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.22/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From the can.

Standard dark stouty color, medium tan head. Bitterness in the aroma, coffee and dark malts. Astringent taste, roasty, bitter, combo of coffee and tea. Kind of clashy and just really didn't work for me.

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Photo of GarrettB
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

October 25th, 2013 - This was the first time I had this brew, which has become something of a hallmark in my North Park neighborhood. It's everywhere in cans, but I THINK back then, this was tap only. But it's easy to tell on the first sip why it's become so prevalent. The roast flavor on the nose is appetizing, tossing in malt, wood chips, and that curious mustiness of a Pacific Northwest temperate rain forest. The coffee and coffee beans really shine in the flavor though, served on a rich, creamy palate, and delivering an unexpected dose of hazelnut smokiness and sweetness. I suspect Modern Times will be joining the San Diego market in the IPA frenzy, but it's great to see they have a stout to match for those with palates inclined to darker beers.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding coffee aroma upon opening. Taste is much of the same. Abundance of perfectly roasted, not harsh coffee, balanced with a pleasant sweetness. Not too bitter or toasty. I'm not a stout guy for summer months living here, but I find myself still attracted to this stout on those cooler summer nights.

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Photo of iTunesUpdates
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Coffee coffee coffee. This beer is so good. Full of flavor and aroma.

Smell does not quite match up to some brews in the same style but it sure does pack a punch. Great brew.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours beautifully, with a great coffee forward aroma. There's a pleasant yet distinct roast on this and it tapers into a smooth finish. Delicious & delightful.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish traditional oversized snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 3/4 inch tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Decent roasty coffee aroma with big tones of milk chocolate coming through.

T- Moderately roasty and a bit sweet. Hardly any coffee detected unlike in the aroma except in the aftertaste.

M- A bit thin for the style with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- Decent but there's not enough coffee presence overall and, even for just an oatmeal stout, it's good but not great.

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Photo of W_Des
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap from the North Park Flovordome. Poured black with a solid coffee nose with a rich coffee body without any astringent or acrid bitterness. It was medium bodied with low carbonation and very good.

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.69/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Really tasty coffee stout! The coffee taste is present, but is not overpowering as I find some coffee stouts to be. This one is fairly light and easily drinkable. Will become one of my favorite coffee stouts

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.28/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to aViewFromTheHOP for this one! 16 oz can into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color. The head is a finger high and mocha (yay for more horrendous puns!) in shade. Its texture is awful by stout standards - instead of being creamy and thick, its thin and ragged. Retention sucks, too. Even worse, no lacing is left on the glass. (2.5)

Smell: No doubt, this brings a solid coffee presence. It also brings elements of dark chocolate and oat. The nose isn't perfect, though. It initially seems a little vegetal, though that goes away as it opens up. Notes of cola and brown sugar take its place - as a rule of thumb, I'm not a huge fan of cola in a stout. Still, this seems like a baby FBS in many ways, and that's a big compliment. (3.75)

Taste: It starts with touches of roasted malt and black coffee. Caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate sweetness builds up on the mid-taste and crescendos on the finish. The coffee remains a subtle presence throughout - this isn't a total black coffee bomb. While this is decent, I certainly wouldn't call it the tastiest coffee stout in the world. (3.25)

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin in body. While it's dry enough, it doesn't have enough of that initial creaminess - even worse, it feels heavy and sluggish once the carbonation subsides. As a result, it lacks in both decadence and drinkability. (2.75)

Overall: The aroma was the best part of this one. It tasted solid enough, though it lacked pop. This looked and felt quite lackluster, as well. A disappointment coming off of Modern Times' excellent Blazing World. (3.25)

3.28/5: I don't particularly need to trade for this again

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Photo of DoctorZombies
3.69/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black draft pour with super creamy thick head and lace; roasted coffee nose; roasted malt and coffee and a little chocolate bread pudding flavors; silky mouthfeel yet vey lite; overall very good.

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Photo of joberlander
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

black appearance, no light passes through. Great coffee aroma, burned espresso type. Coffee comes through in the flavor too. A little thin, which you'd expect for a less than 6% beer. Would love to try the other variations for a thicker feel.

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Photo of Mikus
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This was excellent, and (gladly) the coconut didn't come through as prominently as the roasted malt, coffee, and some mild chocolate flavors. This brew (and MT in general) was the pleasant surprise of my recent SD trip. I wish I had been able to make the brewery! Next time! This was clean, complex, and layered the roasty flavors with the spot-on coffee bitterness and essence. You could tell that this was done with excellent coffee, and made with care. Well done.

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Photo of whatthehull
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a White/Red wine glass

A - Dark Chocolate in color, one finger tan slightly foamy head and a little sticky lacing

S - Very acidic coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, pipe tobacco, nutmeg, cinnamon, huge sweet malt, slight booze, grainy, almost Belgian like yeast (on a count of a hint banana) a hint of green/brown earthy hops, smoked oak,

T - roasted coffee, dark chocolate, earthy hops, huge sweet malt, very grainy, banana (most likely the yeast), red wine, wood, soil, fall leaves

M - medium body, well balanced, decent complexity, medium plus acidity and a long bitter chocolate/sweet alcohol finish

D/O - very easy to drink, lovely taste, on the lighter side of stouts for sure -- not watered down by any means. This can be enjoyed during any and all seasons and during any and all kinds of weather.

Final Thoughts - At $3 a 16.9 oz can and 5.8% abv, this is a great deal for a tasty beer.

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Photo of chrisjws
4.79/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Served from a 16oz can into my Lost Abbey Teku glass. Served at approximately 45F.

A: Pitch black. Tiny bit of light at the edges. Single finger of head. Laces the glass on the way down.
S: Roasty. Coffee. Little bit of chocolate in the background.
T: Follows the nose really well. More chocolate in the flavor compliments the coffee really nicely.
M: Fairly thick, coats the mouth. Medium carbonation.
O: Very tasty, love the coffee/chocolate flavors.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

an excellent beer.

nose and taste are freshly ground roasted coffee. roasted malt, chocolate. all balanced nicely. nothing dominates.

Had Nitro on draft and traditionally carbed from a can. I prefer the canned better.

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Photo of oldsailor
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at a winter beer fest. Awesomely "clean" and "fresh" taste for a stout. Goes along well with their other offerings like Blazing World. Love Modern Times!

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Photo of SomethingClever
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can poured into can glass

A: softer pour but even doing that there was almost no head this beer isn't pitch black either it's close but not quite some light punches through the edges.

S: nice roasted coffee smell some light notes of licorice and chocolate

T: nice burst of coffee sweetness and some barely lingering of licorice

M: medium to full a touch thin but not crazy so

O: this is a solid beer I think i would gave been more impressed if it was called a porter instead of stout. Stout conjures thoughts of deep abyss blackness and insane viscosity. This beer has a nice taste but it's not world class at best this is worth trying and then passing on.

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.32/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Minimal carb despite vigorous pour. Smell is muted with some black coffee. Mouthfeel is very thin. Seems like a black ale. Taste is old bitter coffee that tastes stale. There is no canned date. Not sure if the beer is old, but that's on the brewer to date if this beer does go bad or fade. The thinness of the body really makes it hard to call this a stout.

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Photo of mschantz
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black and thinner than color would suggest with a bit of beige head. Big toasty, malty, rye and coffee nose. Taste reminds me of pumpernickel bread and coffee. Very clean finish and solid stout.

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Photo of breadwinner
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

(Nitro pour @ Lomaland). A nice, serviceable coffee oatmeal stout. It's definitely not too brash with the coffee. Mostly I appreciate the restraint, though at times the oats don't seem to add quite enough body and, combined with the lighter coffee influence, can make the brew just a touch watery/bland, though this may be a nitro issue. Mostly, though, this is just a nice coffee oatmeal stout and a welcome addition to the MT stable.

(Edit: Finally got around to having a can of this stuff. The coffee is much, much more forward, to the point of making the brew a touch one note to my palate. The coffee is fairly well done...but it's also not revelatory or anything, which with all the hubbub about MT's coffee program (and I like their Black House blend), I perhaps expected more. This is basically a nice blast of coffee in the nose, perhaps the faintest hint of dark roasted grain. I don't get much chocolate at all. No dark breadyness. Just coffee. Similar on palate, though it does have a decent body due to the oats (definitely better than the nitro pour). I don't know. I love coffee, and I love beer, but I find a good coffee stout is harder to make/find than you'd think. MT's is a nice one...but I don't love it, and I don't think it'd be a staple in my fridge or anything. Scratches the itch, I suppose.)

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Photo of Pawoto
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

My first Modern Times Beer - thanks to BungleTrpg for the trade.

Nice deep brown color with a finger of foam. Great looking beer.

Big creamy mouthfeel with a super roasty body that holds up well to the coffee.

Would love to try the variants of this beer.

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Black House from Modern Times Beer
89 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.