Widow Maker Black Ale - Keweenaw Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Widow Maker Black AleWidow Maker Black Ale

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BA SCORE
80
good

250 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 250
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 15.76%
Wants: 8
Gots: 38 | 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: 250 | Reviews: 72
Photo of nicksta
3.61/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

By my count this brewery hasn't made a bad beer yet. I need to make it into the brewery sometime.

The beer pours a solid black down to the bottom of the glass where it gets slightly translucent. The color turns mixtures of brown, ruby and gold at this point. The head was a tan brown. It expanded quickly and thinly and receded almost as quickly with no lacing.

The smell had hints of brown sugar that reminded me of Pepsi. There was also the barely-sweet scent of dark chocolate as well as iced coffee. The taste is lighter than you would expect. It's a chocolate/coffee brew - a bag of coffee that comes in a 6 or 7 dollar bag. Dark cocoa rolls over the tounge into hints of bittersweet roast.

The mouthfeel isn't to thick, but it does have a smooth creamy quality and the drinkability is excellent.

Photo of jt31914
2.42/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Black with next to no head. Not anything special.

S: Smells like dark malts with faint chocolate.

T: Weak, watery, not very good honestly. Their other brown was much better with its earthy mossy flavor. This is just boring, some dark malt, but not much really.

M/D: Drinkable, but why bother?

Photo of MIMicrobrews
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This black ale, as you would expect, pours dark, but does let a little light shine through. With a slight head, it pours clean and smells amazing. At first waft, I got a VERY pleasant roasted malt aroma. One of those aromas that had me smelling it 2-3 times between sips... As the description on the can mentions, this beer drinks very smooth, surprisingly smooth. I thoroughly enjoyed the malt flavors as they pleased my tastebuds. The aftertaste was very clean, almost sweet. This left me wanting more...

Unassuming - as the name and appearance would lead you to believe this is going to be a massive drinker... It was unbelievably refreshing and one I will continue to enjoy as long as they continue to produce it. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this brew. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a quality ale. Cheers to the yoopers!

Photo of drizzam
3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a clear pint glass. The can shows a busty woman holding a drill that killed many miners with it's production of fine dust inhaled by miners. Let's hope this has a better ending...

A - Poured a deep dark brown with ruby highlights when held to a bright light. Nice thick and fluffy two finger light tan head that leaves spotty lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malt aroma, molasses and maybe just a hint of smoke.

T & M - The taste basically mimics the aroma. Roasted malt carries a slight sweet caramel flavor followed by a smoky finish. .The smoke is more prevalent in the taste than in the nose. There also seems to be a bit of a metallic twang. Medium bodied, finishes crisp and fairly clean.

D - Not a bad brew, but I have had better examples of this style. It seems like there is a lot of room for variation in American Browns so what you get varies from brewery to brewery. I could buy a 6'er of this for a warm Summer day. Decent beer.

Photo of BierFan
3.34/5  rDev -4.3%
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 david131
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- A very dark brown with some light getting through at the edges. The off white head is thin and splotchy.

S- Honey, roasted malt, toffee, chocolate, and a hint of earth.

T- Sweet roasted malt, toffee, oats, and honey. Pretty mild, smooth, and enjoyable.

M- Smooth with a nice carbonation bite. Just right.

D- Not too shabby. Goes down nicely. Nicely balanced.

Photo of buschbeer
3.79/5  rDev +8.6%
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 crossovert
3.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Another experience with craft beer in a can which sadly can't be recycled for homebrewing.

Pours into my pinta dark brown/black. It looks mega stout like. It also has a small foamy tannish/off-white head tat leaves some lacing.

Smell is a mix of dark malts and sugar, namely brown sugar. There is a hint of nuttiness and not much hops.

Tastes roasty, nutty, dark, with some can taste in the first few sips and hints of chocolate and coffee. The mouthfeel is pretty good, it is light, but not watery, it helps this beer to go down really smooth. That being said, it is a bit too light, seems like a good summer session beer but nothing too amazing flavor wise.

Overall it is a highly drinkable brew, nothing I would grab again probably, but worth a try at least.

Photo of GRPunk
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- A moderate pour left about 1-finger of light brown head that quickly dropped to a medium lace that left nice sticky spots on the glass. The body was a deep, brown-black with reddish edges.

S- Initially I picked up a chocolate aroma with some earthy hops. Things were tilted to the malty side just a touch with more caramel scents coming through later. It was a bit on the subdued side.

T- I got a lot of roasted malts intitially with light chocolate and smoky accents. There was a faint nuttiness in the finish. Not a lot of depth. It might be a good "gateway beer." There was enough flavor to call it good, but not a lot there that could offend.

M- It had a lightish feel with prickly carbonation.

D- It's a pretty easy drinker. It's flavorful enough to keep it interesting, while easy enough on the palate to drink more than one in a sitting. It may not be the first American Brown that I'd reach for, but it keeps up with many that I've tried. One of the better offerings from Keweenaw.

Photo of kegger22
3.39/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Keweenaw Widow Maker is a darkly translucent brown with a one inch off white head that shows decent retention. The aroma is just plain musty. The taste reminds me of some schwartzbiers that I've had, even though I know it's billed as a brown ale. Light roasted coffee malts, but I cannot find the hint of molasses mentioned on the label. Light to medium bodied and more than ample carbonation. Drinkability is good.

Widow Maker is a good, not great, beer. It still doesn't remind me much of a brown though.

Photo of degerbah
4/5  rDev +14.6%
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 Ineedabeerhere
2.56/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Dave for this can. Had it on 10/26, from notes.

Pours near black with an oddly light tan head. The cap is creamy, 2 fingers high and surprisingly good retention and no lacing.

Smells kind of lame, I'm sorry. Weird, tainted roasted malts, stale cereal grains. Macro vegetable thing going on here. I didn't want to keep my nose in the glass much longer, but the aroma was light overall.

Taste begins with a malt sweetness, no complexity. Some tarred malt flavor, but its subtle. Not too much going on here, and what is going on isn't that great.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, properly carbonated but a higher FG might help the flavors and body. Tolerable drinkability considering the lack of substance and flavor going on here, but I wouldn't want to have it again.

Photo of mwa423
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours jet black, closer to a stout then any brown I have ever seen. The only thing brown here is the dark tan head that stayed through every inch of the glass. If every stout looked this good, I would be happy about it.

S - Sweet and malty with light hints of roasted malts. Great smell for a brown ale.

T - Some roasted malt, sweet caramel, closer to a stout or a dry stout then any brown, but it has all the drinkability of a brown.

M - The mouthfeel on this beer is truly exceptional. It fills the mouth but goes down as smooth as possible.

D - The great taste and exceptional mouthfeel make this an exceptionally drinkable beer. Good job Keweenaw!

Photo of shadow1961
3.72/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Keweenaw Widowmaker Black Ale pours a thin head over an opaque cola-colored brew. Carbonation is sedate- nose is a bit of sharp burnt espresso. Flavor is more of that smoky espresso flavor- maybe some dark bread. Can't really detect much of a hop presence- but those burnt flavors do just fine keeping this from being too sweet. Mouthfeel is light yet round and semi-dry- a bare hint of some kind of herbal hops does show up in the aftertaste. Like everything else of theirs I've tried, this is a modest, but good solid session brew.

Photo of GitcheGumee
3.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer has a nice appearance. It is very dark/black, with a dark amber color when held to light. There is a nice light colored head, but it dissipates very quickly. There is some nice lacing present.

Smell: Strong scent of roasted malts. There also seems to be some sweetness/caramel scents as well.

Taste: The strong roasted scent translates directly into the flavor. The initial part of the sip is mild sweetness. This beer is kind of hard to describe...really mellow, yet flavorful. The end of the sip features the strong roasted taste. Little to no hops scent or flavor.

Mouthfeel: It feels very thin. This is partly due to the very low carbonation. It almost feels watery, which is surprising from a beer so dark. No problems here, but it seems slightly "off".

Drinkability: This beer has a great level of drinkability. Like the can says, "don't be afraid of the dark." There's no reason to be afraid of this beer...it's fairly tame; which seems to be both good and bad for this beer. I wouldn't call this a great beer, but I am a repeat customer because it's so easy to drink. I enjoy grilling steaks and drinking a few of these. The price is also a nice feature...and of course, it's from da UP!

Photo of CRichardsMN
4.02/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Deep dark brown with a creamy white head similar to whipped cream. Head cascades to a distinct line and is retained throughout the entire drink. Heavy lacing on the glass.

Smell:
Light scent but very nutty. Slightly bitter, tart note.

Taste:
Roasty, toasty delicious. No tartness (from scent) to be mentioned and finishes with a mild bitterness. Reminds me very much of a dry stout.

Mouthfeel:
Much more carbonation than expected and you can feel the beer move all of the way from the lips to the back of the throat. Fills the mouth completely but does not coat.

Drinkability:
Served cold but did not diminish as it warmed up. Incredibly easy to drink and I could nurse these all night.

Comment:
Purchased this beer on a recent trip to the UP of Michigan after visiting the Keweenaw Brewing Company bar in Houghton. Tried the sampler platter while I was there and this beer is almost as good from a can as it is from the tap. Well Done!

Photo of WJVII
3.28/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My buddy Mike's wife picked up a few growlers of different brews from Keweenaw and this was the style I received-Thanks Mike and Ranee!

Poured into a pint glass from a growler, this brew has the thickness and color of used oil. There is little carbonation due to it being in a growler for about 5 days, but with an aggressive pour I got a decent light brown head that settled into a thin cap. The aroma is strong of burnt malts, some coffee, slight breadiness, and a little nuttiness. The taste is as expected. Heavy, dark coffee, with burnt sugars, and a mild hop presence in the finish. Nothing over the top about this brew. It is solid, but not "special". Have had these flavors before. Worth a try, the growler will be finished today, but nothing extra-ordinary.

Photo of GbVDave
3.51/5  rDev +0.6%
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 Shumista
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
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 bushbeer75
2.98/5  rDev -14.6%
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 woodychandler
4.6/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

CAN you believe that my CANQuest has become so well-known that some places WANT me to review their beers? At the GTMW, I mentioned my mission and said that I had just copped two of their beers in sixes and they asked which ones and handed me one each of the other two as I left the park. Keweenaw, this review's for you!

I got a finger od mocha-tan head with good retention. I have to agree with calling it an American Brown Ale. It looked like a Schwartzbier in my glass, but it was an ale, not a lager. Fair dinkum! Color was a deep, dark brown/black. I would have said black outright were it not for the traces of brown at the edges when held up to the light. Nose was very roasty and I could certainly buy into the "smoky molasses" of the label. Mouthfeel was medium with a lot of smoke on the tongue. Hell, this was approaching a Rauchbier and in a CAN! I began to weep at this point. I may have to become a Yooper ... It was incredibly smooth and eminently drinkable, even on a hot day. Still, I wish that I had had some smoked oysters, salmon, and cheese to go with it. This would be a welcome addition to Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em Night at RichWood Manor. Mmmmm. Finish was malty, sure, but by that time, I was enraptured by the smokiness. Yow!

In other, unrelated news, from the CAN: "The Keweenaw Brewing Company, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, was founded with the goal of turning beer drinkers into craft-beer lovers. Don't let its looks deceive you. Clean and smooth, easy on the hops and easy on the palate, this light bodied ale has a surprising depth of malt flavors with pleasant hints of a smoky molasses. The 'Widowmaker', a pneumatic drill that operated without benefit of water to lubricate the bit and cut the dust, was introduced to Copper County mining in the 1890's. While greatly improving productivity, the drill became known as the 'Widowmaker', killing many of the miners who used it from illnesses related to prolonged dust inhalation. Don't be afraid of the dark! From a Family of Fine Ales"

Photo of association330
3.16/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Seeing as this one just went into the canning lineup, I figured I'd add it to the site. Had to classify this one myself, but I think it's a take on brown ale.

A - Pours dark brown/borderline black with a slight reddish hue. Off-white head settles to a good cap with some lacing.

S - Mostly the generic malt of the KBC's regular lineup. Just hints of molasses and fruitiness. Not exciting, memorable, or dominant in any way.

T - Sweet malts and a smack of molasses in the finish which somehow does lend a touch of smokiness, as the can's text indicates. A grazing of hops as well. Very little in the way of lingering flavors.

M - Can describes the beer as "light-bodied", but I'd say it's closer to medium, which would be more appropriate. Carbonation is moderate to create a creamy feel and a fairly smooth swallow.

D - An easy-drinking ale that is typical of the KBC's regular lineup. Neither offensive nor exceptional in any manner, and straddles the ground between a brown ale and a schwarzbier. This and the Amber are the best of their 'usual four', though that's not saying much.

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Widow Maker Black Ale from Keweenaw Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 250 ratings.