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Black Hand - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Black HandBlack Hand

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

74 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 13
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 8.95%
Wants: 3
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Milk / Sweet Stout |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: hikanteki on 01-06-2014)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 13 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of Jasonrm72
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Jasonrm72, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of midnitesun11
4/5  rDev +5.3%

midnitesun11, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of AudioGilz
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

AudioGilz, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of Nage37
4.75/5  rDev +25%

Nage37, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of dwtyler
4/5  rDev +5.3%

dwtyler, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of ItsYourBoyBlue
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

ItsYourBoyBlue, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of Beermasterjarrett
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Beermasterjarrett, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of spoony
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

From a 650 ml bottle into a snifter.

A-An aggressive pour produces about one and one-half fingers of brown head. Retention is roughly a minute before only a thin cap is left. No lacing. The beer is black and still in the glass. This beer looks the part.

S-The aroma is rich and chocolatey, as you might expect from a milk stout with cacao nibs. I smell both milk and dark chocolate, although I suspect some of the milkiness is from the stout and not the cacao nibs. There is a bit of acrid, bitter smokiness hiding underneath the sweetness and chocolate that gives a little singe of the nostrils, but this beer is not charred or heavily roasted smelling.

T-The taste, like the smell, is a pleasant blend of milk and dark chocolate flavors with almost creamy base beer. Milky sweetness is high and I also taste a bit of sweet, malty fruits (like raisin and prune) that provide some nice complexity. The only problem is the finish, which I find a bit rough and grainy.

M-The feel is the high point of this beer for me: it is full body with a thick, chewy, coating feel on the palate. Carbonation is pretty mild. Drinkable notwithstanding the viscosity.

O-I'm glad to see Speakeasy in Colorado and this was a good introduction to the brewery...as much as I like 10-12% ABV monster stouts, I'll always take more options like this one in the <7% ABV range. The flavors here are well-done, but the rough finish takes this beer down a few notches. Mouth feel is great and worth the price of admission alone.

spoony, Feb 22, 2014
Photo of I_Like_Beer
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

I_Like_Beer, Feb 21, 2014
Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

GraduatedCashew, Feb 21, 2014
Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

jaydoc, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of Smarty_Pints
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Smarty_Pints, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of Matt_Ortiz
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Matt_Ortiz, Feb 11, 2014
Photo of scottgoblue314
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

scottgoblue314, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of mc4z
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

mc4z, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of TruePerception
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Speakeasy's Black Hand, chocolate milk stout. 6.9% ABV

A: A little over a finger of light brown head. Pours a root beer brown. Black in the glass.

S: Definitely smell the cacao nibs, along with a good deal of roastiness, and a background sweetness. All seems to be in line with the style name.

T/MF: Nice dark chocolate taste. Darker roast further back on the tongue. Sharp sweetness from the lactose, but not overbearing. Also, a pleasant softness on the palate (though, not quite creamy). Head tastes just like cacao nibs!

Certainly better than Widmer's offering.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a clear beer mug.

TruePerception, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a brand new milk chocolate stout from speakeasy, we have all been waiting for their new stuff to arrive. this has a great color, and its funny that it comes it when lugene does from odell, same name, different entirely. black and dense in looks with a frothy soapy looking just off white head with great retention and a shine that reminds me of a full moon sky. the nose is more makers chocolate than milk chocolate, dry and bitter rather than sweet and creamy, but the taste goes closer to candy bar. well balanced with the lactose sugar, not overdone at all, but giving great body and creaminess to this with only enough sweetness. full body kicks butt on this, palate coating and heavy, but at under 7% abv its plant easy drinking. i like this a lot, but its not nearly as chocolatey as i expected it to be, not even close to rogue or young's in that regard, but may appeal more to the hardcore beer geeks as a result. at about 6 bucks a bottle, this is not to be missed.

StonedTrippin, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of TheSixthRing
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

TheSixthRing, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of kscaldef
4/5  rDev +5.3%

kscaldef, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of artoolemomo
3.61/5  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.

artoolemomo, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of NRo
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked this up cold from the store and poured it into a chilled mug when I got home.

Appearance: Very dark pour with a finger-and-a-half tan head

Smell: An aroma of roasted, sugary sweetness. Not very distinct.

Taste: Delicious when hitting the tongue, with a thick, chocolaty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Almost chewy. Heavy cocoa notes. Most of the flavor is in the aftertaste.

Overall: Great chocolate milk stout. Light enough that I can drink the whole bottle, while leaving my mouth thinking that I've just savored a box of dark chocolates.

NRo, Jan 17, 2014
Photo of aquazr1
4/5  rDev +5.3%

aquazr1, Jan 16, 2014
Photo of hikanteki
4.14/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from tap at Speakeasy Brewery during their release party.

A: Dark, almost black. Very minimal lacing quickly dissolving.

S: Whoa! A sweet smell with definite whiffs of cocoa, even something a little roasty and earthy like branches.

T: Cocoa nibs come through. Not as sweet as it smells.

M: Kind of crisp, melts in your mouth, but I would have liked it a bit thicker.

O: Another very drinkable limited edition from Speakeasy.

hikanteki, Jan 06, 2014
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Black Hand from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
86 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.