Widow Maker Black Ale - Keweenaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Widow Maker Black AleWidow Maker Black Ale

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BA SCORE
80
good

241 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 241
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 15.71%
Wants: 8
Gots: 35 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Keweenaw Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: association330 on 06-13-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 241 | Reviews: 70
Reviews by zeff80:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
1.8/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12 oz can. Pours brown with a fizzy tan head that quickly goes to a thin film.

The aroma is sweet cola-ey roasted malts.

The flavor is sweet dark fruits with a bit of a sour twang with a little grainy roast. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a cola like dark ale with a touch of sourness (infection?).

Photo of chinchill
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From an undated 12 oz can purchased in MI last month. Served in a snifter. Pours clear, dark red-brown color, but nearly black in the glass. The medium-size tan head soon reduces to a ring but leaves a coat lacing upon tilting.

S: Lightly sweet with medium roast malts and minimal dark roasted grains. Improves with warming.

T: Sweet upfront but more balanced by the finish. Less dark roasted malt flavor than expected, and probably less than any schwarzbier I've come across. Very lightly smoky with a hint of spicy hops.

M: Light carbonation; medium-light body.

O: Somewhat light American Schwarzbier. As the brewer says, "Don't let its looks deceive you."

Photo of degerbah
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown, almost black with plenty of head. Head sticks around for a little time before dissapearing completely. The smell is is mostly coffee with some sweet malt. Taste is mostly coffee up front with a malty aftertaste. The body is pretty light and very drinkable. Still goes down easy as it warms up.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from notes. Thanks to Marc for this one!

A: Poured a dark brown with a slight reddish hue. A small tan head formed on top with decent retention and minimal lacing.

S: Very roasty with a hint of smoke.There was also a bit of coffee and a slight metallic note.

T: Extremely roasty. There is a little bit of caramel and coffee, but the roasted malt flavor dominates everything here.

M: Light to medium bodied, seemed a touch thin to me. Carbonation was a little more active than I am used to for style.

O: Not bad, the name confused me, as I thought it was going to be a black ipa, and the flavor profile reminds me more of a porter than a brown.

Photo of Shumista
3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz can into my beer mug.

A- Widowmaker pours a very deep dark brown with a light brown head that dissipates quickly.
S- Sweet roasted malts and a little bit of a coffee aroma.
T- Again, roasted malts that impart a lot of sweetness to the taste. Hints of coffee and molasses and a little bit of smokiness at the end.
M & D- The can claims this beer to be "light bodied and easy on the palate". While it's no malt bomb I don't find myself astonished by how easy drinking it is for a dark beer. Drinks like a pretty average black (or brown I guess) ale. Nothing too special. I don't see any reason to buy this one again. Nonetheless I am always happy to try something new and will have no trouble finishing the 6 pack over the next few days.

Photo of beerhan
2.33/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When I think black ale I expect the beer to be black. This is a brown beer that shoulda just be called bud light dark. It tastes like would chips soaked in mollases. The smell is metalic sugar. Overall a real undrinkable disappointment. Drinking it fast does make it taste much better though.

Photo of morimech
3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

More of a dark brown than black color. Two fingers of head forms and has excellant retention before settling to a thin cap. Just a little sticky lacing is left on the glass.

Smell of dark malt with a little roast and smoke.

Tastes more like a schwarzbier and an underinteresting one at that. It lacks any ale yeast or hop qualities. Just has a light, roasted malt flavor and slight smoke.

Light body with good carbonation. Carbonation is just a step below lively. Nice texture.

Fairly average beer. Nothing like the hopped up versions that categorized in this style. If the can did not say black ale, I would of said it was a schwarzbier.

Photo of pawnee
5/5  rDev +42.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

very very good beer,better on tap but enjoy it very much

Photo of tone77
3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to woodychandler who continues to unearth more canned beers. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with 1.5 inches of head and considerable lacing. Smell is of roasted malts. Taste has roasted malts, up front, then a bit of sourness I can not quite describe, sour fruit and a touch of metallic flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer.

Photo of SickGnar
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, dark brown - pretty much opaque - with warm garnet highlights. Short off-white head that keeps a ring, but does not leave much lacing.

S: A mix of sweet/tart dark fruits and slightly burnt molasses with a whiff of cocoa and roasted malts underlying it all. Reasonably interesting and pungent.

T: Sweet/tart dark fruits with a metallic / acidic edge. Makes me think something is working on souring this beer. Probably not intended, especially as the brewer wants to "turn beer drinkers into craft-beer lovers." Molasses sweetness with dark roasted malts make up the backbone of this one with cocoa and almost burnt toffee showing up mostly in the finish. Hops are minimal, but come across as leafy/herbal with a bit of citrus character as well.

M: Just under medium body with just over average carbonation. Soft yet tongue caressing. Edging towards drying. Could stand to be a bit heftier.

D: Another single can from a small UP store that appears to be souring in the can. At the level present, it actually added a bit to the complexity of the beer. And it is a nice beer underneath. But more would be maybe not so nice, and I have to think it was not intended - which makes it a flaw and harder to rate this beer. As it was in the sample I tried this is still okay drinkable stuff. Even fine as a gateway brew. Without the souring thingy going on, it would be even more so.

Photo of BierFan
3.34/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a pint glass.

Appearance: Two fingers of tan head. Dark brown body. Almost black. Decent head retention and lacing.

Smell: Leaves a bit to be desired. Practically no smell. Reminds me of Guiness Draught.

Taste: Roasty at first than some molasses sweetness sets in. Finishes kinda bland. Could use more hops to make it more interesting.

Photo of EgadBananas
2.36/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2007 vintage.

Dark brown, nearly black pour, 2 fingers of head that stuck around with bubbles streaming.

Aroma was ok, though faint. Some roasted malts and a hint of sweetness and chocolate. It all went south from here...

Taste slightly malty, and then lime. Finish was lime.

Light, and carbonation was kicking too much. The feel was sharp.

Age has not done this one well. Not an easy one to put away in the end.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

caramel color brown with just enough light getting through to give it a sort of off reddish tint. The smallish tan head quickly faded and left behind only traces of itself. The aroma itself was lightly smoked almost, full of roasted malts and a touch of caramel. The flavor was light bodied but nicely roasted with a touch of a bittering finish and a flavor full of earthy grain like tones. A nice subtle bread like base was quaintly masked underneath.

Overall this was a decent brown ale. It was nothing spectacular, but I do not think it was designed to be, but rather it was a very nice interpretation of the style. I could see myself drinking this on a session basis as it was very nice and very full of flavor without being too heavy or filling. A quality sessionable brown ale is what it should be and it definitely succeeds at that.

Photo of buschbeer
3.79/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured into a pint glass to two inches of mocha head. It is dark brown in color. It smells sweet and malty. It tastes pretty much the same. As dark as this beer is I expected some roasted flavors, but I did not detect any. It has a creamy feel to it, kind of nice. It is a very easy drinking beer.

Cheers!

Photo of HopHunter19
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - 4 - Dark almost black beer with a nice medium head that sticks, but is kinda thin. Minimal lacing.
S - 3.5 - Little bit roasty, bread, corn, light coffee.
T - 3.75 - Bread. Some hop bitterness balances it well. Light coffee, roasty.
M - 3.5 - Medium. Alc covered. Aftertaste is like a dark lager or dunkelweisen. Not much just a tiny bit of roastiness.
O - 3.75 - solid beer

Photo of megahurts4
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Keweenaw Widow Maker Black Ale
On tap

Appearance: dark brown, good lacing, and a small head.

Smell: malty molasses.

Taste: rich roasted malts, slight molasses sweetness, and a smokiness.

Mouthfeel: medium-light.

Overall:
This is an ok brew. Seems to be brewed well, but the flavor is slightly watery.

Photo of StoutHunter
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up a can of Keweenaw's Widow Maker Black Ale last week for $1.19 at The Lager Mill. I wasn't impressed with their Brown Ale that I had last night, so I hope this beer turns out better, lets see how it goes. No visible freshness date. Poured from a 12oz can into a imperial pint glass.

A- The can looks pretty good and it's pretty eye catching. It poured a nice looking black color that only let a little light through giving it a slight ruby red hue when held to the light. It had two and half fingers worth of tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and didn't leave any lacing behind. This beer looks like a proper American Black Ale.

S- The aroma starts out with a good amount of roasted malts that have a pretty high amount of sweetness and impart a roasted and dark malt aroma with a slight bit of chocolate coming through along with some more roasted grains. Towards the end I get real light smokey aroma followed by some faded earthy and grassy hops and a slight metallic aroma. Pretty standard for an American Black Ale, it;s not that interesting compared to others.

T- The flavor seems to be similar to the aroma. It starts off with a good amount of medium roasted malts that have a much lower amount of sweetness then the aroma did and they impart some mild milk chocolate flavors and some mild roasty flavors. After that I get a slight metallic taste that is followed by a light amount of grassy hops. The flavor wasn't too interesting and it was pretty mellow, average at best, I wish it was bolder.

M- Really Smooth, slightly sweet, creamy, on the lighter side of being medium bodied and it had a good amount of medium carbonation. I have no complaints with the mouthfeel, it seems to work well with this beer and is on par for the style.

Overall I wasn't too impressed by this beer and I thought it was a pretty average American Black Ale, it wasn't bad, but it was was pretty mild and the flavors felt subdued, it wasn't memorable. It did have good drinkability and it went down really smooth, but the flavors can't hold my attention so one is enough for me. What I liked most about the beer was the mouthfeel and the appearance, they were both good and true to style. What I liked least about this beer was the aroma and the taste, they were just too mild for my liking with only a mild amount of roasted malts and grassy hops sticking out, pretty bland if you ask me. I wouldn't buy this beer again, even though it is cheap I can't say that I enjoyed it enough to want to purchase it again. I wouldn't recommend this beer, it doesn't do justice to the style. This was another unimpressive beer from Keweenaw Brewing company, it wasn't a bad beer, just average in most categories with nothing about it that really sticks out or is memorable, so far I find them to be a pretty average Brewing company, I am still down to try more of their brews but with how lackluster their first two brews that I tried were I don't think I will be in a hurry to try some of their other beers anytime soon, better luck next time guys.

Photo of zoso1967
3.41/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Keweenaw Black Widow pours a porter like dark brown with a frothy light tan head that has great lacing. The beer seems to have a bit of a murky pond water sort of quality to it, but luckily the fact that it is more black than brown makes the murkiness not such a big deal.

The aroma is quite malty with definite sweet bread sort of character. It has an interesting slightly tart cherry sort of acidity that melds with astringent roasted malts.

The flavor is quite interesting with more of the acidic tart cherry character. This mingles with the sweet malt, chocolate, tea and some very roasty malt flavors that seem downright smoky.

The mouthfeel is in the light side of medium with a bit of a watery feel to it. It has a nice smoothness though and the finish is fairly neutral leaving just a bit of roasty character on my palate.

Overall this was quite drinkable and a very unique beer. For some reason I liked it more when I had a sample at the TC winter brewfest, but I thought this is still a fairly serviceable and sessionable ale. My friend tells me that the beers they have on tap up in the U.P. are way better than what they can. Someday I will have to check it out myself.

Photo of lurpy1
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ah, the power of marketing. I've seen Keweenaw cans in Michigan stores a kajillion times and never bought one. I've had good canned beer (Surly, Tallgrass), but the Keweenaw cans just look old and unappealing...they look like they could contain Schmidt or some defunct malt liquor. But on tap, where Keweenaw doesn't compete with those sleek bottles, they are in even ground. The venue: Reno's West. The battle: Man vs. Widow Maker Black Ale.

The pour is dark, dark, dark, with little sheen, like a matte paint. Not bad, not a ton of head.

The smell, if anything, is relentlessly balanced. I pick up some hop profile, not a ton, balanced by some roast and malt, again, not a ton. This is all crosscut by a bit of a yeast/barley aroma.

The taste is a combination of all of the above. Refreshing, tasty, but not horribly distinct, and clearly not a big beer.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, with good carbonation. Alcohol is not real present....at all.

Widow Maker is not an apt name. This beer will kill no one, it's just not a big, knock you on keister drink. But that doesn't not mean it's not a very good beer worth trying. Keweenaw may not be my first choice, but I will definitely return to them...just not in those damned rusty looking cans.

Photo of bushbeer75
2.98/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a mug

Keweenaw Brewing Widow Maker Black Ale poured very dark brown almost black with a slight red cast. The head produced was off-white and dissipated rather quickly.

The aroma was of rather weak roasted malts - not very impressive. The flavor was sweet malts, maybe molasses and little hops in the background.

Don't let the color fool you, this ale is an "easy drinker" [especially for the style].
For the price paid there are better Brown Ale values out there.

Photo of GbVDave
3.51/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into an imperial pint.

A: Pours an impressive black that shows off some garnet highlights at the edges. Initial pour yields a creamy light brown head that quickly falls to a thin ring that leaves no lace.

S: A strange combination of tasty smelling roasted malt and metallic copper penny. Aside from that, not much else going on. Small amounts of lemon and toffee, too.

T: Mostly roasted malt in the forefront with the metallic flavor fading and being surpassed by bright citrus. Subtle hints of nuts, caramel, and toffee.

M: A tad on the thin side, but smooth. Finishes slightly dry.

D: Excellent session beer. Not the best, but certainly not the worst brown ale I've ever had. Great, inexpensive campfire beer.

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Date on can partially gone: ?/01/14.

The head I got was a bit over a half finger, and fizzed away on me in seconds. The body is a deep cola color with lacing not quite clinging to the glass.

I smell roasty malt and smoke.

Up front you get sweet molasses and malt, with a smokiness running the transition into a light hop flavor with grain.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied. Leaves a thin coating near the back of the tongue and finishes slightly dry.

Photo of beerprovedwright
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My sister from Marquette, MI brought me this beer. Four plus finger head of light brown foam, the thick clinging lace. Color is black, tar black, a 38 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell is thick smoke, caramel, black cherry, malt, and pepper. Taste is intense, with flavors of dark cherry, caramel, coco, grapefruit peel, and pine. The flavor is bold and full, and tart. There are tastes of coco, black cherry, caramel, grapefruit, smoke, and hops. Mouthfeel is full and rich, but sort of sticky and has a drying effect on my upper palate. Not a beer I can get around here, but when I travel to Michigan again, I will look this beer up.

Photo of perrycraigg
5/5  rDev +42.9%

Favorite kbc beer, best served on tap into a mason jar, nice smoky flavor easy drinking for such a dark beer.

Photo of JamesMN
3.09/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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Widow Maker Black Ale from Keweenaw Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 241 ratings.