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Widow Maker Black Ale | Keweenaw Brewing Company

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Widow Maker Black AleWidow Maker Black Ale

Brewed by:
Keweenaw Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by association330 on 06-13-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 280
Photo of FBGordon
3.1/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a can into a tulip.

A: Pours a dark brown with an off-white head that maintains well and laces throughout.

S: There's a slight whiff of malts and hops. Well-balanced, but not much going on.

T: A little malt-balanced with a touch of hops. Almost nothing going on on the back end, no flavor settles on the palate.

M: Pronounced carbonation makes it light and refreshing. Light-bodied for a black ale.

O: It's a beer. No complaints, but nothing remarkable about it.

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
4.22/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours quite dark, and has a thick head that dissipated fairly quickly. The nose has some malts in it, but not much else. The taste is got a nice smoke flavor. It is quite rich. Minimal hops to it. A good beer to pick up if you're into the style.

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Photo of stevoj
2.98/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery. Nice flavor without the burnt, smoky nature. Semi sweet, body leans towards watery. Cola colored, minimal head, abrupt finish. Almost schwarzbier.

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Photo of Beric
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Serving: 24 December 2015
Served: Can into pint

This beer slipped through the cracks due to the holidays, so time to give it a quick review now.

Appearance: Pours a deep black/brown with brownish tints to the side. Minimal head, if any, after pouring.

Smell: Soft malt roastiness, a pinch of acid. Little to no malt flavors.

Taste: Similar to the nose- it honestly tastes like a darker version of a Yuengling. That same acidity is there, but there is a notable soft roastiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-light body with high carbonation.

Overall: A very drinkable beer, and one I could consume in quantity, but nothing that will rock your world.

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Photo of pb9613
3.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: This beer pours beautiful black on first glance but closer inspecion will show that it is extremely dark brown with a hint of red.

Smell: This beer smells sweet with just a touch of coffee.

Taste: This beer is a little sweet with just a touch of pine from the hops.

Mouthfeel: This is a little on the light side for a dark beer.

Overall: An enjoyable black ale with just a touch of hops. The light hops tastes is standard for KBC but this plays towards the tastes of the Yooper cliental.

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Photo of thebeerman25
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

appearance-black. maybe very dark brown if you look hard enough but with a quick glance is black

smell-smells very sweet and malty and light

taste-to me it tastes sweet and a little bready. no hops noticable. very malty.

feel-smells light but doesnt feel light.

overall-overall this is a very good beer. one of my favorites. i had a 6 pack and after a 6 pack oh boy was i ever full. very filling beer in my opinion.

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Photo of NateDyk47
2.96/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got a free sample at Buffalo Wild Wings. Has a very dark look to it, but can barely taste or smell anything. It's also very thin. Probably won't try this again.

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Photo of gotweid
4.38/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Cafe International in Prescott, MI. Came in the glass so head was thin, 1/4" or so. Jet black, looks fantastic. A decent amount of lacing stuck onto the glass. Aroma & taste was slightly sweet, light on hops, somewhat malty. This is a mild beer. The mouthfeel & taste are light, but well balanced between the hops, malt & sweetness. Tastes great. Actually refreshing. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Very easy to drink. Thank you, may I please have another.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.05/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Picked up a six-pack of cans at a local gas station. The production dates states it's still well within the freshness window. Poured right from the fridge into an imperial pint glass.

L: Pours a deep cola brown--red-tinged at the edges--with about an inch-and-a-half of tan head that sticks around for a good bit and leaves minimal lacing on the glass. Healthy visible carbonation at the edges where the light shines through.

S: Very subtle, nondescript aroma. There are some faint roasted and toasty malt notes present. Just a bit of a biscuit and something slightly astringent, as well.

T: A bit of faint roasted malt and biscuit up front. This is followed by a slightly astringent flavor, hitting the sides of the tongue with a subdued tartness. The middle brings more of the biscuit/bread notes, though the roasted/toasty malts seem to subside with the building astringency. The close is about the same as the middle, with more biscuit and subtle roasted malt, along with the subtle tartness. There's really not a whole lot of flavor in this one.

F: On heavier side of light-bodied/lighter side of medium-bodied. This one drinks quite thin and watery. Not much creaminess/effervescence to speak of. Again, there's a bit of astringency but no bitter.

O: I had heard some good things about this brew, so my experience was pretty disappointing. An almost nonexistent bouquet coupled with muted flavors and thin body make this a beer that I cannot recommend for anyone who enjoys flavorful brews. I could possibly see this as an adequate entry point for someone wanting to move from macro to micro, but that's about it.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can marked ?1/30/31 at 44 degrees into SA perfect pint
$ 1.59/12 oz can at Lager Mill
Aroma of citrus and malt, some licorice
Head large (five cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy, diminishing to two mm ring and partial layer
Lacing poor – few small islands and branches from drag, all tiny bubbles
Body dark amber, clear
Flavor predominantly malty but not excessively sweet. No hop flavor, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate medium, borders on creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 3.5, Palate 3.75, Overall 3.75

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Photo of schoolboy
3.46/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This little can was an afterthought of a Saveon shop. It is black, surprise, __. The aroma is slightly hoppy, slightly funky. Not bad.

The taste is a light, excuse-me, black ale. Just a little roasty, a little sweet, and no bite or harshness. The aftertaste is creamy and bitter. Not bad.

Overall, this is a ho-him, simple brew. It might be a decent gateway for someone new to craft beer or who does not want to spend a little more for better products.

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Photo of HopHunter19
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
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

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Photo of Mikus
3.24/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Black with a slight mahogany hue in the light. Finger and a half down to nothing right quick. Still a jet black beauty. Some smoky aromas, maybe a bit of molasses. Not a big nose overall. Taste is a bit more prominent. Good smoky, roasty presence, but little to no bitterness or hop flavors (also, no date on can). Medium to meh on the mouthfeel... smooth, but a slight off aftertaste. Drinkable, but not right up my alley style-wise. Wouldn't seek this out in particular.

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Photo of Redrover
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%

This was my second offering from this brewery,

From a can, it pours a black/very dark brown with a sticky brown head.

It has a decent aroma of roasted malts.

Slightly smoky roasted malts backed with a bit of a hop bite. I like how this one also has a bit of toffee and a hint of coffee and coco.

The mouth is nice with s bit of heft that still manages to be easy to session.

Well done!!

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.61/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.09/5  rDev -9.6%
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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Photo of ISmith87
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
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 - Light coffee, roasty. Bread. Some hop bitterness balances it well.
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 - It's pretty good. I'm kinda biased because it's from Michigan's UP.

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Photo of chinchill
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
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."

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from can into 4oz sampler mug at World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Appearance: A dark brown, basically black. Not much of a head, and patchy lacing.

Smell: Dark malts with maybe some hints of chocolate and coffee giving some character.

Taste: See: Smell. Tastes almost like a brown ale... the only reason I could see why it's not is because of the color, for one thing, and that there's a bit more of a stout character to this one. I actually really enjoy it... really just drinks like a brown ale mixed with a stout, to me. That's not a bad thing. Very drinkable, and a low ABV.

I actually really like this beer. Tasty. Drinkable. It's not a super complex beer by any means, but it's a great option to have, especially coming out of a can.

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Photo of Beaver13
1.8/5  rDev -47.4%
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?).

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hmmm. Kind of a malty sweet bready thing going on here with a toasted caramel thing as well. Pretty quickly into things, the caramel is really hijacking the experience. And I use the word hijacking in a not so positive light. It's kind of out of wack really. Could be a lot smoother. Nice to try another beer in a can, but, moving on...

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Photo of superspak
3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce can into pint glass, no canning date. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a fairly dense 1-2 finger light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some slight spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of roasted malt, chocolate, raisin, toast, biscuit, herbal, and light coffee. Pretty nice and pleasant aromas with decent strength. Taste of roasted malt, toast, caramel, raisin, brady grains, and light chocolate. Pretty dry on the finish; with lingering notes of roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, and toast on the finish for a short bit. Hardly any flavor presence as you drink; but the light flavors that are there are pretty balanced. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden with pretty much no warming noticed at all after the finish. Overall this is a pretty decent black ale. There isn’t much robustness in flavor; but it is very pleasant and easy to drink.

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Photo of megahurts4
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.13/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Widow Maker Black Ale from Keweenaw Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 77 ratings.