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Chief BlackHawk Porter | Tyranena Brewing Company

very good
169 Reviews
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Chief BlackHawk PorterChief BlackHawk Porter

Brewed by:
Tyranena Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-15-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 169 | Ratings: 342
Photo of matjack85
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99, making this single 12oz bottle $1.67. No freshness date. There is no alcohol percentage listed on the bottle, but the company website lists it as 5.75%, not the 5.6% that BA gives it.

The beer poured a dark brown color, almost black, and made a 1-finger light brown head that lasted over 2 minutes. Lacing was decent.

The beer had a heavy roasted malt aroma to it along with a yeatsy smell.

Lots of roasted malt and coffee flavor with a hint of caramel sweetness and a bit of chocolate. Hop bitterness was mild.

While not watery at all, the body was still on the thin side with medium carbonation.

I liked this beer a lot.

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Photo of bwood06
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass

A - Beer pours a pitch black color with ever so slight red coloring around parts of the edges of the glass. Head rises very quickly even with a slow, light pour. Head is tan in color and very frothy/foamy. Head reminds me of a milk froth made from skim milk. Head dissipates rather slowly. Light to moderate carbonation is visible around the edges of the glass with bubbles rising at a slow to moderate pace. 4.25/5

S - Aroma is very heavy on espresso, dark chocolate, and a very dark maltiness. Char and roasted malt are predominant as well. In terms of hops there seems to be herbal hops present but this acts as an undertone to the malt. 4/5

T - Sweet up front reminiscent of toffee. This leads to a caramelized malt along with a bit of roasted malt. There is a dark chocolatiness that makes up the middle of the tasting along with a bit of tobacco with this transitioning to a bitter espresso and herbal hops that make up the back end. Slight bitterness lingers on the palate upon swallowing. 4/5

M - Medium heavy body with a bit of a carbonation tickle but not a full burn. Somewhat drying during the 2nd half of the tasting with a slight lingering dryness but nothing unpleasant. Slight creaminess but dryness keeps this in check. 3.75/5

O - Versatile porter than can be a sipping beer or a food pairing beer due to the medium heavy body and slight dryness and sweetness. Well balanced between sweet and bitter. Very good porter offering here. 4/5

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Photo of ordybill
4.85/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Pours pitch black color with red highlights in the light with a small tan head. The aroma is roasted malt and coffee with a little chocolate. The taste is roasted malt with coffee. An outstanding porter.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.07/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Pours nearly black with a big, poofy head of darker tan. Retention is not it's strength though as it drops to a wee, thin film in just a few minutes. Decent lace is left behind.
Smell is heavily toasted malts, coffee and cardboard. Not a great balance but not heavily weighted to one aspect either.
Taste is strong on burnt malts and coffee (not my favorite flavors) with nothing else really coming to the party to balance them out. Aftertaste gets quite ashy.
Body is medium at best, effervescence is mild. Slightly warming especially after some temperature rise. Drying finish. All told, not a great porter for me. I like them sweeter - and I hate coffee - but if there had been something to balance the coffee and toasted malt notes this could have been quite good. If you're buying, I accept one, otherwise, no.

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Photo of mazo
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very nice beer. Would drink anytime. It cranks the bitterness in your mouth then when swallowed the bitterness disappears instantly instead of lingering, making you want more! So drinkable it's laughable!

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Photo of champ103
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. A two finger tan head rises with good retention, and rings of sticky lace.
S: Roasted malts up front. Bakers chocolate, coffee. A fairly simple malt character, which is nice. Then a green tea, leafy hop aroma lingers.
T: Like the nose, up front is roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and coffee. Then a piny, green leafy hop flavor lingers.
M/D: A medium to full body. Moderate carbonation with a crisp smoothness. Easy and enjoyable to drink. The six pack will be gone in no time.

I think the roasted malts and leafy hop finish work at odds a bit, though this is still very enjoyable. A nice American example that I will return to if I get another chance.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with a thin frothy head. Smell mainly chocolate with coffee hint. Coffee really comes out in taste with a piney hop finish. The bite gets big in the end and prevents smoothness and bite lingere. This is a busy porter but takes away from some things I drink a porter for.

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Photo of Tone
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours a dark brown. 1/4 inch of a tan color. Decent retention and good lacing. Smells of a strong sweet malt, nuts, yeast, pale malt, slight hops, hint of roasted malt, and a hint of pine. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. There is also a noticeable dryness and slight bitterness. Tastes of strong roasted malt, sweet malt, hops, pine, yeast, and a hint of pale malt. Overall, good blend, aroma, body, and mouth feel.

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Photo of Honisbygonis
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appetizer: did not have glass to pour, so color / carbonation was indiscernible in the brown bottle; "nice porter" sweet smell

Entree: nice initial hit taste, but aftertaste mildly harsh; mid-way thru the bottle, after taste subsides from a about a 3 on bad scale to about 1.5 (the more u drink theory as to improving taste or the so-called killing of your taste buds)

Dessert: per label a "bitttersweet ale / session beer consumed by Porters in London"; gotta admit improves towards the emptying of the bottle; I'd compare this to (in my book) an overrated Founders Porter (not impressed as you can imagine given the hype); all in all, not the worst of the style so give it a try (or re-try)

Ch33rs !!!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Discount Liquors in Milwaukee, WI. What a great store.

The beer is dark brown, approaching black, nearly opaque with a small beige cap. Aromas include the expected roasted malt, chocolate. Light char and coffee notes in the flavor. The body is perhaps a tad thin. Overall, pretty good, but perhaps a little weak in body and potency.

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Photo of KFBR392
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured vigorously to produce a dense head of a finger and a half. Sits black in the glass with above average active carbonation for the style. Some random lacing left behind with each drink.

Smell: Sweet lactose and oats greet the drinker. Dark roasted coffee grounds are very clean and deliver a concise aroma. Vanilla and molasses picked up on the back end. Great balance of sweet tones with solid roasted malt body.

Taste: subtle oats and creamy malt hits on the front. After that, the beer sort of just lulls its way into the body with no significant taste additions. Some very light roasted malt and dry almost burnt coffee grounds are picked up on the back end. The finish is lingering bitter chocolate and dry coffee.

Mouthfeel: Full range run here with this brew. The front is sweet, creamy, and airy while the finish is filled with roasted malt and coffee leaving a very dry palate behind.

Overall: Loved the aroma but was let down with the taste. The front is enticing but nothing notable happens until the finish. I porter I would recommend trying but nothing to seek out.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 fl. Ounce bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - This beer is dark brown. Just the fainest of light gets through this thing. The mocha head was generous.

S - I smell some roasted malt and dark chocolate.

T - The taste is sweeter than I expected. I get some milk chocolate. The finish has some dark and unsweetened chocolate.

M - Medium

O - This is a chocolaty porter. It is easy enough to drink. I could see drinking this often if it was distributed in Ohio.

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Photo of jwc215
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours very dark brown with a tan head that soon becomes patchy. Thin lacing sticks.

The smell is of roasted coffee, chocolate, chicory. Pretty robust!

The taste is of deep roasted coffee, charcoal, chicory, hint of anise and some chocolate. Roasted finish.

Medium body with lingering roast and touch of alcohol.

Overall, it's a nice, roasty, fairly robust, porter!

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Photo of Hammer35
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pitch black color with tan head and small beading. Decent head retention, but beautiful lacing.

Smell: Big, bold notes of coffee with subtle hints of cinnamon. I wish there was more than a hint of cinnamon.

Taste: Coffee. Black, roasted coffee. The cinnamon (and any other flavor) disappears against the huge coffee flavor. Bitter, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Not thin, but lighter than I expected. Heavily carbonated.

Overall: Not a bad porter, but it seemed to me to be nothing but bitter, dark coffee flavors. I would have appreciated more depth of flavor. The mouthfeel was also a bit of a throw-off, being lighter and much more carbonated than expected.

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Photo of jayhass
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Color is almost dark black with a little amber light coming through the edge. Tan head is thick but fades to a spotted lace.
Smell- Roasted character stands out with light bitter chocolate and charcoal. Some light grain and bread from the malt.
Taste- Light sweet bitter chocolate with roasted malt giving a good coffee note. Light ash charcoal and tobacco. Some bitterness from hops but roasted malt dominates.

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Photo of RickS95
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, no bottled on date present. Acquired as part of Tyranena's The Legendary Collection mixed twelve pack. Twelve pack says Packaged 04/02/2013.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Gentle pour yields half a finger of khaki colored froth on top of a mostly opaque black body. Some ruby hues shining through when held to the light, and some carbonation bubbles visible rising to the top. No lacing.

S - Big bitter coffee bean roast. Smells smooth, creamy, & inviting.

T - Taste follows the nose. Bitter dark roasted coffee bean flavor, toasted malts, and some underlying hoppiness.

M - Light to medium bodied, smooth, creamy, slight carbonation, and some lingering hop / coffee bean roast.

Overall, an effectively well-made porter. Porters aren't typically my favorite style, but I do like finding one I enjoy. Reminded me a bit of Founders Porter, which I also remember enjoying. Smooth, creamy, delicious. Another beer from Tyranena that I would be happy to revisit.

Tyranena Chief BlackHawk Porter ---4/5.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Black in the glass, clear amber when pouring, one finger off white head.

S-Good deal of chocolate, roasted malt and some burnt notes.

T-Chocolate and roasted malt, some burnt notes, however the balance is off. Some candied sugar.

M-Light, tad watery with some carbonation.

O-Too watery and the poor balance really hurt this beer. Was expecting more.

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Photo of Fuzzycuffs
2.55/5  rDev -33.8%
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.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from session notes.

Poured out the expected dark brown color with a nice two finger khaki head that lasts for several minutes, medium levels of lacing are left behind on the glass. The aroma contains a mild amount of chocolate and roasted malt notes, but the flavor contains all of these thing -plus- a nice medium dose of coffee with a hint of plums wandering around in the background, and the texture of the brew is silky smooth. Now this is definitely more like it!

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Photo of MaximalC
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours ebony in color with faint brown highlights if you look for them. Vigorous pour yields a bubbly tan head that recedes after a short while. Aroma is of darkly roasted malt--almost acrid and coffee-like. Flavor is bolder than I expected, like black coffee but not as obnoxiously bitter. The carbonation helps temper the astringently roasted malt flavor. A bit more hop presence than I'm used to in a porter, but not bad. My lamentation here is there isn't much complexity behind the bold, yet one-dimensional, flavor. What's there is not objectionable, but it wears thin without greater depth. Overal, this is a decent porter that offers a more palatable coffee-flavored malt than most, but it lacks the nuance a complexity to really engage me.

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Photo of znichols
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark, dark ruby, almost black. Tan head that leaves rather quick. Average lacing. Looks like a lighter bodied porter.

S- Smell is full of roasted barley, caramel, vanilla, wood, earth, soil, all mingle well together. Really begs for a sip.

T- Taste follows aroma with slight herbal hops, burnt wood, earthy essence, dark baker's chocolate. Nice roastyness that doesn't overpower. Decent amount of bitterness from the roasted malts, not so much the hops. No alcohol present. A good tasting porter.

M- Very nice mouthfeel. Creamy yet fairly light bodied so two or three wont fill you up. Good amount of carbonation for the style, not ideal.

O- This is a really, really good everyday porter. Not something i'd reach for if i'm feeling sophisticated, but after a long day or by the bonfire, the lighter body and nice roastyness make this a good beer.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A rich black colored brew with a small off-white head that settles slowly and some patchy lace. Aroma is typical porter stuff, but fairly assertive; roasted malt, bitter black coffee, a bit of char and a hint of chocolate.

Pretty tasty. Lots of roast, chewy malt, again, bitter coffee and chocolate. Fairly hoppy for the style, somewhat herbal and spicy, with lingering bitterness in the finish. Modest sweetness, very dry.

Medium-thin bodied, medium-high carbonation. A bit prickly and fizzy. I enjoy a somewhat smoother, creamier porter but this isn’t bad. Flavors and aroma are strong, falls on the bitter side of the style, still highly drinkable.

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Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to erric for this one.

Screw top really?

Pours a nice fluffy fizzy 1 finger head that fades at a med pace with a bit of lacing, over dark midnight black beer with no light coming through.

Nose adds creamy porter, light sweet malts, toasty malts, caramel, hint chocolate, aromatic malty aroma, hint of biscuit, and some lactose sugar.

Taste starts slight sweet malts but mostly dry, trial typical porter flavors but light feeling. Hint of bakers chocolate, caramel, biscuit and toasty malts, wants to get syrupy but doesn't quite. Then hops, a light earthy and spicy hop come through with a decent bitterness. A very light yeast flavor. In the background I get a hint if roasted malts and light acrid burnt flavor subsequently. Finish is dry still, a slight metallic mineral adrift burnt flavor lingering, more chocolate and roast, light syrupy malt. A hint more cocoa late.

Mouth is med to slightly richer bodied, good carb.

Overall not bad, interesting porter, somewhat drinkable, a slight burnt acrid flavor, nice malts, hops come through nicely,

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Chief BlackHawk Porter from Tyranena Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 169 ratings.