Widow Maker Black Ale - Keweenaw Brewing Company
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Ratings: 181 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ribby:
3.25/5 rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
[Review edited. I have had three more cans since the one I reviewed. None tasted like the first, the overwhelming bitterness was gone. The taste of these was mild and on the malty side, but not a lot of hoppiness. ]
The color is very good, a nearly opaque deep red. Unfortunately, the appearance is undermined by a small half inch head.
The smell is rather bland.
The biggest problem with this beer is the taste. It is just too bitter. It's not that I don't like bitter, but this is the wrong bitter, too much overcharred malt. It needs either some sweeter dark malt or a better type of bitter from the hops, probably both. I really hate to criticize beers like this, because they are difficult to make and I want to encourage brewers to be ambitious and try these kinds of beers.
The small head is accompanied by low carbonation, thus a rather unexciting mouthfeel. Overall, I call this average for the excellent appearance and the ambition to go for this style. I think this would be best accompanied by cheese
Serving type: can
08-18-2011 02:37:19 | More by ribby
More User Reviews:
3.6/5 rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
This brew was served from the tap at Diablo’s in Royal Oak, Michigan. The round arrived in generic pint glasses, showing the ruby-hued blackness of cola. It held a gentle, cakey light brown colored head that retained well. Lacing was patterned and crystalline. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be light. The nose offered notes of mildly roasted caramel and black maltiness, vanilla metallics, printer paper, white sugar sweetness, corn and starchy adjuncts, light black coffee roast, hazelnuts, faint dried grassy hops, and mineral water. Our first impression was that this was a pretty standard black ale, all around, with an airy and watery flavoring that was more dilute than robust. As we sipped, the taste began with clean brown, black, and distant coffee maltiness, decent roast and smoke of grain, bitter ale yeastiness, white chalk, honey, and icy metallics. The middle came to a peak with continued black and brown maltiness, but with a cheapness of glass, lightly citric and grassy hops, confectioner’s sugar, and corny, wheaty adjuncts. The end washed through with corn syrups, that same dull black maltiness, white sugar cloy, salt water taffy, soy sauce, chalk, and old dollar bills. The aftertaste breathed of corn husk and planty chew, burnt tobacco leafiness, roasty and metallic black and adjuncty graininess, wheat crackers, white and cooked brown sugars, and pervasive chalky yeastiness. The body was lightly medium, and carbonation was medium. Each sip gave pleasant slurp, smack, cream, and froth, all leading to a wet and satisfying finishing pop. The mouth was left cooled and with tannic puck. The abv is appropriate, and the beer glugs back easily.
Overall, the best thing about this beer was its ease of drinkability. While the aroma and taste weren’t necessarily bad, they just lacked a certain vigor that other black ales possess. You will find bits and pieces of the desired components here, but none of them are there in full. Perhaps if they bolstered the grain bill with more roast, or dry-hopped the hell out of it they could build something a bit more robust and savory, but the product at present is just not fully up to speed with some of its competitors. That said, this is a great beer for relaxing with some buddies at the bar if you’re looking to throw a few back, or to ease someone into the craft beer scene with.
Serving type: on-tap
03-26-2014 21:25:01 | More by TheBrewo
3.08/5 rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3
Date on the can of 13/11/05... not sure if that's canned on or drink by but either way it's backwards.
Appearance: Black with effervescence stuck to the sides of the glass. Thin cap of light tan foam.
Aroma: Toasty and sweet roasty malt. Very similar in the nose to a brown ale.
Taste: Very light on flavor but not watery, which is a bit of a feat in itself. Starts with some grassy/club soda bitterness paired with underlying dark malt and molasses. The malt doesn't contribute any bitterness, or much flavor for that matter, but is still does its part to enhance the experience. The 5.3% ABV is very believable here. Finish is nearly crisp and the aftertaste is club soda with a hint of something dark.
Mouthfeel: Thin in body with carbonation like pop. Easy drinkability. You could session this, but it'd get boring pretty quick.
Final Thoughts: I expected the name Widow Maker to be on the label of a big imperial stout or triple IPA, so its a bit of a let down to find it on a beer that so lacking in body and flavor. Would I drink it again? Unlikely.
Serving type: can
02-16-2014 22:29:09 | More by JamesMN
Widow Maker Black Ale from Keweenaw Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 181 ratings.