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Chief BlackHawk Porter - Tyranena Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Chief BlackHawk PorterChief BlackHawk Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

316 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 316
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 12
Gots: 16 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Tyranena Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-15-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 316 | Reviews: 167
Reviews by jwinship83:
Photo of jwinship83
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle out of a recent sixer. drank from my samuel adams perect pint glass.

A- the pour yields a black body under a small beige colored head. the head sticks around for a while and leaves behind small spots of lacing on the sides of my glass.

S- roasted malts are the first things that i notice. after that i get chocolate and a hint of smoke. earthy and spicy hops along with coffee finish this off.

T- the taste starts off with the roasted malts that i could smell before moving onto some milk chocolate with just a hint of dark chocolate. a touch of smoke is picked up just after that. coffee, along with spicy and earthy hops move in at the end.

M- medium bodied with a nice and middle of the road carbonation level. smooth and easy to drink.

O- overall, this is a very solid porter and a pretty under rated year round offering from tyranena. this is something ill definitely pick up again in the future.

More User Reviews:
Photo of davemarc87
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured at the brewery. Nearly black opaque mahogany. Thin tan head. Moderate to aggressive carbonation. Lightish bodied. Nice bitter earthy hops in the aroma, coffee and cocoa too. Pleasant twanginess in the mouthfeel. Well balanced between sweet caramel coffee and bitter grape like earthy hops. Despite being a bit too thin it does manage to come off almost creamy. Drinkabilty to be measured in growlers not pint glasses. Considerably better on tap than in the bottle.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle pours into my glass a deep dark brown, bordering on black with ruby hues when held to the light. A light tan head forms on top and leaves patches of lacing. Aromas start out with roasted somewhat sweet malts and hints of ground coffee and chocolate. Robust and enticing.

First sip brings a crisp roasted, toasty malt upfront that carries a bit of sweetness. Ground coffee and light chocolate notes move in with caramel accents swirling throughout. The brew flows down with a kick of hops that brings in a clean bitterness on the end as it finishes slightly dry. Solid, flavorful porter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation. Goes down easily and pack a lot of flavor into each sip. Overall, this is just a damn good porter and one I would have no problem drinking all the time. Makes a great session beer. This ranks up there as one of my favorite midwest Porters.

Photo of csmartin6
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Guinnsslvr
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of Franziskaner
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Black in color with no light getting through. A fingernail of khaki head rests on top. Brussels lacing. Aroma of dark malt,coffee,and tobacco is detectable. The flavor is plenty of bitter, dark malt with a hint of smokiness. The mouth is silky and creamy.

Photo of tyleeis
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of ADR
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown chestnut on a fairly dense pour, head is tannish and 1/4 inch to start. Laces in thin vertical drips. Roasty aroma, some sharp anise-like character that's pretty cool. Medium-bodied but the malt is lightly pickly to start, with some bitter chocolate and hard roastiness popping mid mouth. The hops are relatively subdued (for example, less than Summit Great Northern) and the beer finishes much more smoothly than it begins, with a pleasantly cocoa aftertaste. Much better on warming a little. This turns out to be an excellent Porter in my book, not hugely robust but not a lay-down overly sweet example either.

Photo of richkrull
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown, very nearly black color with quite a bit of dark beige head on it. Smell is very nice - roasted malt and coffee. Taste is good as well. Some coffee flavor, maybe a hint of chocolate as well. Taste is not overpowering, this is very smooth. Medium bodied mouthfeel. This is a very good beer, easy to drink, goes down easy, not too filling. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Photo of Fuzzycuffs
2.55/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Got a bottle as a gift with a sampler of a bunch of other beers.

A: Pours the colour you would expect a porter to be. Very, very, very dark brown. Less than a finger of head on this one, no lacing.

S: Citrusy hops. Weak malty bouquet, hints of burnt caramel, little else to say.

T: A bit of burnt malt, not much else. Watery, lacks malt. I feel like I know exactly what the brewers were thinking when they put this porter together. They likely decided that if they added too much malt, the burnt taste would be overpowering. Amateur mistake, with a porter, your malt options are so diverse, but it tastes like the wort was a weak burnt malt tea.

M: Smooth, but seriously lacking in body. With this style, I would prefer a full-bodied feel. The carbonation is there, but unremarkable. Low carbonation is probably not something that I should fault a porter for, but I found myself seeking distraction from the boring flavour of this brew.

O: The smell of this brew promised much more. Not well balanced. Not malty, which is all I need say to damn a porter. I like trying new brews, but I can't say that I would ever go out and buy this. Maybe if I'm looking for an example of how not to make beer. Boring, but unoffensive.

Photo of cokes
4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tyranena makes some damn fine beers and BlackHawk certainly fits this description.

Pours a jaw-dropping, mouth-watering glass of black liquid with just a few edges of mahogany. A dense creamy head cascades up from the abyss and sticks most of the way down.

Some subtle roastedness with a "hard-water" smell (for lack of a better term) that manifests itself in most of their beers. Liquorice backing.

Taste is hearty and satisfying. Robust with some roasted malts coming to the forefront. Strong bitter chocolate establishes firmly. Cocoa-coated grapes. Some hints of expresso and caramel as well. The hopping is light, but mingles nicely towards the finish to tie this up wonderfully.

Light bodied but creamy. Smooth and sensuous on the palate. Just a delight to drink as it coats the mouth with its flavors.

One is never enough for me. I love this stuff.
(note: considerably better on tap...some of my bottles have been rather thin and soapy)

Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A fine serviceable porter thanks to jpm30 as a hitchhiker. Black, some light coloured head. No outstanding aroma, drinkable porter taste, mid to a tad thin mouthfeel. Some chocolateness, a bit of coffee grind, appreciate the sessionable ABV so I can have another something else.

Photo of dancinwillie
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with mahogany highlights around the edges. Head is an inch of tan frothiness, the drops to a scant cover.

Smells of roasted barley, a little coffee and bittersweet chocolate too.

Roasted grains dominate the flavor, almost a smoky quality, and just a trace of the coffee notes come through. Very little sweetness, but maybe a bittersweetness, comes into play in the front as well. A small but noticeable hop presence rounds out this balanced porter. This is a good example of what roasted flavors should taste like.

Somewhat of a full mouthfeel, meaning not too thick, or too thin, and a medium dry finish, that invites another drink.

Drinkability is very high for me with this beer. I can, and often do drink 4-6 of these at a time. Is it the best porter in the world? Probably not, but it is very good, widely available in southern Wisconsin, and the price is reasonable. It doesn't have any hype to live up to, but it is a damn fine porter. Cheers!

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to battlekow for an extra bottle he brought up for me last weekend.

Pours black with garnet highlights and a small tan head that disappears quickly with minimal lacing. Smell, interestingly enough, hit me as iced tea, brown sugar, and bitter hops. Taste is also on the bittersweet side, with dark chocolate, sweet malt and bittering hops at the end. Unique within the scope of porters I've enjoyed to date. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied, a little on the thinner side, but quite drinkable, definitely sessionable. Not outstanding, but a solid, refreshing offering from Tyranena, a promising local micro. Give it a try if you can.

Photo of secondtooth
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black, with a thick, tan head. Attractive lacing on the old ale glass.

Aroma is chocolate, with a little roastiness. Not bad.

Flavor is bitter chocolate, burnt with a bitter finish.

It's not too memorable or unique, but as a representative session porter, this one is well-balanced and tasty.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The deep black body on this porter is almost completely opaque, and it reveals only a few ruby-mahogany highlights when held to the light. It's creamy dark tan head holds fairly well, but it leaves little lacing about the glass. In the nose, however, a deeply-roasted mocha aroma reaches out and grabs you! It's richly roasty like fresh black coffee, with a block of oily, dark milk chocolate slowly melting in the center. The body is medium and smooth across the palate with a fine-bubbled, median carbonation. The flavor delivers a dark, bittersweet chocolate character backed by roastiness. It's not complex, but it's nice; and it's well-balanced by a solid bitterness that anchors it and leads to a dry, long lingering finish.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.88/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Standard pour yields a .5 finger coarse, light mocha head with poor retention that dissipates into a cluster of bubbles at the top of the brew. Beer is a clear, near opaque, dark mahogany. Lacing is stringy and spotty with decent cling.

S: Nose is liquorice, bitter chocolate, roasted malt, and a subtle cherry tartness. Aromas are very muted and barely detectable.

T: Opens bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt bitterness, and overtones of cocoa powder and liquorice. Middle is invigorating as the carbonation rushes up. More liquorice in the middle and finish. Aftertaste is chocolate and roasted malt as this one sweetens just a tad. Aftertaste is a filmy coffee.

M: Light to medium bodied, moderately carbonated and light and actually quite crisp in the mouth. Finish is messy and sticky and aftertaste lingers.

D: An average porter. Nothing really stands out here as different in neither good nor bad ways. Body could use a bit of work and aroma is a bit too subtle but otherwise solid.

Photo of RickS95
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very dark black pour with some lighter red hues around the edges. Even though it's very dark, it's got a clearishness to it, despite being completely opaque. The head is just over a finger thick, full of camel-colored bubbles. Very foamy looking head. Gives the premonition it's going to be creamy. Decent retention and a thin lace.

Very malty, particularly chocolate and caramel malts. Chocolate is always there, but the caramel comes wafting up from the glass as the beer warms. Little hop presence in the nose.

A bit of chocolate in the taste and the caramel malts are noticeable. While I've never had cold coffee, this taste is what I imagine it tastes like. Very caramelly, like a soda.

The mouthfeel lacks the creamy smoothness I expected from the look and smell. It starts off sweet before bitterness starts to take over, but it's never too bitter, just enough to balance the malt bomb. Slight watery feel with a fairly carbonated, cleansing finish.

Another good beer from Tyranena. Not sure I've had a bad one yet and this is a good one. ABV is shown as 5.75% on their website, so it's almost a session beer. Feel free and don't worry about needing to sip, just go at it.

Photo of beerluvr
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light tan head that sits on top of deep reddish/brown liquid. Roasted grain/coffee nose, none too strong though. Ample carbonation. Roasty notes pop up right away with some light tanginess and background hoppiness. Finishes a little weak, yet clean, slightly drying in the end. A standard porter.

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of russpowell
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from czoch75, cheers Clint! I love beers with historical tie-ins,

Pours mahogany with 3 fingers of tan/brown head. Very good lacing & head retention

S: Coffee, not much else

T: Coffee, baker's chocolate, roasted grain & a bit of vanilla up front. More chocolate & roasted grain as this warms. Finishes dry & roasty with a bit of chocolate

MF: Pretty smooth, low carbonation with medium body & nice balance

A nice sessionable porter going down nicely on a cold, windy December evening

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep brown/near black, with 2 large fingers of mocha colored foam. Retains with a solid creamy 1/2 finger, leaving some big frothy lacing back that sticks. The aroma has plenty of roast and coffee notes, which fills the nostrils. A strong tinge of citric hops mixes with chocolate and caramel character to give this a sweet tangy pop in the nose. Very roasty overall here, with a real burnt toast thing going on.

The taste is very dark in the mouth, with bitter roast, coffee, and hops. Sweeter notes of cocoa, caramel, and citrus gives the profile a chewy balancing nature. Finishes bitter and dry. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with more of a bubbly creaminess to the carbonation and then a flatter feeling silkiness underneath that moves that bigger sweetness along. Despite the richness here, this stays very easy and nicely drinkable.

All around solid American Porter here, with a deeply roasted and bitter (but still balanced) character that I really dug. I would get into this one often if it was local to me.

Photo of Rborre321
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of beveritt
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an Imperial Pint glass. Label depicts a Native American man and relates the story of Chief Black Hawk. The beer is described as a "robust black and sharply bittersweet ale." No freshness date.

Appearance: A rough pour gave this one just shy of an inch of tan, big-bubbled foam. This settles to just a ring around the glass and some lacing. The beer itself is dark and opaque with a hint of reddish brown around the edges.

Smell: Slightly sweet, roasted barley bitterness, and strong aromas of unsweetened chocolate.

Taste: Roasted barley bitterness with a finish of medium hop bitterness. Undertones of brown sugar, molasses and cocoa. A very nice, long, lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is less than average. A good level for a porter. Body is good.

Drinkability: I picked up a six pack of this on my most recent trip to WI, knowing that I have liked all of Tyranena's beers. I am not disappointed. Another great offering from Tyranena.

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Chief BlackHawk Porter from Tyranena Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 316 ratings.