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Black Hand - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Black HandBlack Hand

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

99 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.3%
Wants: 4
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: hikanteki on 01-06-2014

Made with TCHO Ghanaian Roasted Cacao Nibs. This chocolate milk stout is full-bodied and creamy, with sumptuous chocolate notes and a delicate roasted character. Black Hand pours a rich dark brown with a milky coffee-colored head. Bittersweet chocolate and roast envelopes the nose, carried by roasted cacao nibs and chocolate malts. The aroma blends effortlessly with soft flavors of dry chocolate and darkly roasted malts. The addition of milk sugar provides a silky smooth body, with a subtle natural sweetness of cream.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 20
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3/5  rDev -21.5%

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3/5  rDev -21.5%

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3/5  rDev -21.5%

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3/5  rDev -21.5%

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3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Bytor31
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of rphx88
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.44/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Appearance - Poured into a 20oz goblet, this deep black stout produces a finger width head with good retention, resulting in a broken layer of suds across the surface. Small, spotty lacing with fair stick.

Smell - Moderate notes of Baker's chocolate, roasted malt and a touch of astringency.

Taste - A touch of milk chocolate sweetness upfront is quickly overtaken by dark chocolate and a touch of coffee bitterness that hit their peak by mid-taste. A moderate note of astringent acidity comes to greet the taste buds near the finish. Finishes strongly bitter and acidic, with only faint traces of any kind of sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied with low to fair carbonation. Somewhat creamy, then a drying finish.

Overall - A fair stout. From a style standpoint, a poor example. Not nearly as sweet as advertised and, flavor-wise, drinks much closer to a 'baltic porter light' with it's predominant bitter and astringent qualities. Not what you might expect from a milk stout. For the price, this is a one and doner for me.

Photo of Beerhemoth
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of rowbow
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of DeadeyeOTDO
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of GeorgeCarroll
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

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3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of mactrail
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really black appearance in the tall glass. After a brash entry with all the chocolate bar flavor, this seems to taste more like coffee. Modest head that fades away slowly with plenty of spritz in the mouthfeel.

Grainy flavor and silky mouthfeel. Winey, even liqueur-like sensation. Sweet with candy flavors. Some charred malt and burnt sugar. Coffee-like bitterness. Malty to the max with a little acidity, again like coffee.

This is thoroughly interesting, and for real chocolate lovers this may be the bomb. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, cookie dough, and lactose aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet cocoa and char flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that has a slightly better set of aromas over flavors for the style in my opinion.

Photo of hops202
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a DFH snifter.

A - brown and black with lots of tan/light mocha head

S - Subtle chocolate, milk and cream, slight roast.

T - chocolate, roasted malt and slight cream and lactose.

M - smooth but still crisp and plenty of carb.

O - meh

Photo of artoolemomo
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head which looks to have equally good retention. The head is a medium beige while the body is an opaque, dark chocolate brown. The lacing is considerable and consists of what appears to be netting.

Nose- This is definitely a milk stout- lots of cream and milk. Some cocoa in the background. Slight roasted notes and a faint hint of chocolate. Not much else but milk stouts aren't known for their overwhelming aromas. Maybe a little bit of malted milk ball. Swirling gives an off flavor of milk- the type that would make you pass the milk carton around.

Taste- Starts off with coffee notes- that's a bit unexpected. Certainly, there is cocoa and chocolate in the background but the first thing that I get on the front is coffee, some roasted malts. Some nuttiness but almost every note is fairly subtle. That is fine for a milk stout but I expect more notes of cream and milk which just aren't there. Somewhat of a note of lactose on the finish and the linger on the tip of my tongue but that's about it. Reminds me a little of Elysian Split Shot without the great coffee boost. Still, an above average to good beer that is mostly good. Lacks presence and complexity but makes up for it with balance and integration. Slight hints of vanilla on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Pretty much medium bodied with a little too much carbonation and zing for a milk stout. Some silkiness on the linger.

Drinkability- Very drinkable, could be smoother. Almost 7% is pretty high for a milk stout but it doesn't show at all. 6 bucks is fine for a bomber but this isn't a purchase I would repeat.

Overall- Above average to good, mostly good. Pretty solid and easy drinking beer that is fairly average for a style I like. Worth a try but don't expect too much chocolate. Milk, vanilla, and cream start to show themselves more and make this beer a little better. Pretty much just a good beer.

Photo of largadeer
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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Black Hand from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
86 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.