Black Hart
North Coast Brewing Co.

Black HartBlack Hart
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Stout - Irish Dry
Ranked #233
not listed
Ranked #43,044
3.58 | pDev: 10.61%
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
Black HartBlack Hart
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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 69 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Rather strange looking “simple” 12 fluid ounce [355ml] brown glass bottle with just one label. The single rectangular label covers 270° of the bottles body and has a yellow rimmed oval on the front of it. Inside this the words Black Hart are above a white Stags head which in turn is above a castellated tower. Below it is described as an ‘Irish Style Dry Stout’. The small print finally reveals that this is from the North Coast Brewing Company of Fort Bragg, CA. No strength or Best Before dated is listed.

Appearance: Dark black body with some mahogany and a ruby red hue when flash lit from behind. Yellowy head is decent at first but soon relaxes to a broken thin covering leaving some light thin lacing. Minimal carbonation means that it is hard to reinstate the head with a gentle swirl.

Nose: Roasted malts, coffee and cocoa, dry and powdery on the nasal passage, but a treat nonetheless.

Taste: As with the nose, it is not a complex offering, it is a simplistic Dry Irish Stout that has all of the classic traits; dry roasted coffee, roasted malts, astringent cocoa powder head and a nice tasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty average all round, mainly due to the low carbonation I feel. The dry roasted feel gives a decent lick though making this a 3.5 as opposed to just a 3.0.

Drinkability: Not that bad, it was easy to sink this one but it is very dry and would make for a hard session brew, nevertheless it goes extremely well with some aged Canadian Cheddar.

Overall: One of those “weird singles” that I picked up at Trader Joes for next to nothing, I think it was about 86cents all told. A nice tasty effort from Lost Coast Brewing Co., but a tad too dry for the long haul.

Oct 17, 2004
More User Reviews:
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garymuchow from Minnesota

3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my brother John for picking this one up for me.

Aroma presents a deep malt with roastiness and some deeper darker fruitiness. Also a slight dry yeast flat quality that I can't quite describe.
Smallish head. Black with browns on the edges.
Rather dry. Roasted quality dominates flavor. Some acidic notes. Rather bitter too. Very long finish.
Feel is too carbonated and lacking smoothness. Feel is more biting and harsh. Mild astringency.
Overall not quite robust enough and no where near smooth enough.

Jun 15, 2005
Photo of beerguy101
beerguy101 from California

3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eclipse Black color, small head. Aroma is coffee and a little coca. A dry stout. Full bodied and flavorful. Roasted malts. Coffee and cocoa flavor. There is a very slight metallic flavor to this beer, not unpleasant. Nice beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. A nice dry stout.

Sep 06, 2003
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BeerManDan from California

3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured a dark reddish brown with very little foam and some lace. The smell of roasted malts was the really strong aroma in the nose. The taste was of roasted malts with a hint of chocolate. The after taste was pleasant, not over bitter. The bottle says, "Black Hart" then on the bottom, "Irish Style Dry Stout".

Feb 21, 2003
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elmocoso from Nebraska

3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black black.
little collar, no head.
Dry roasted coffee nose.
mouthfeel, dry and puckering.
drinkability, average.
Pair this drink with a dark desert.
give it some sweetness to
counteract the dryness.
tastes better as it warms up
I am liking it more and more.

Jul 25, 2003
Photo of winomark
winomark from Missouri

3.22/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark brown, close to black. Good frothy, slightly sticky brown head.

Lots of dark roasted malts. Some rich coffee present. Slight alcohol sweetness noticable.

Quite dry, but with strong coffee and roasted malts. Dry, slightly bitter finish.

Light, but extremely flavorful. Tannic dryness throughout. Somewhat fleeting finish.

A nice beer. I prefer a sweeter stout, but I enjoyed this dry style. Worth a try if you can find it.

Feb 23, 2004
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jcalabre from California

3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I originally sampled this beer on 4 May 2003. I am writing this review from my notes. This wins the "bang for the buck" award in my book. At 84 cents per bottle at Trader Joe's, you can't go wrong. Very dark brown w/ a 2 finger tan head. Lots of cocoa flavor w/ some hop zingers. Very enjoyable.

Aug 30, 2003
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Rumrunner from California

3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle.

A good offering but it does not compare to North Coasts other stouts. This stout gets carried away with the dry.

An awesome black with magenta hues when held up to the light. A big fat foamy off-white bubbly head with great retention and superb lacing. The lacing is like cave drawings from some ancient civilization. The scent is unfortunately weak. Very dry and not stout like at all. It smells like flour. There is some cream and mild espresso. Not much else.

The dryness of this stout can get to you. It has a nice cream flavor. Very mild coffee and brownie flavors. Some burnt bread and a crisp dry finish. A minor hop bite. No sweetness to the finish of this stout.

The mouthfeel has a slight oily quality. It is not bad but not what I want. There is a nice full bodied feel to this stout. Its drinkability is fine but this one is so dry that a person might need some water to go with it.

All in all a very fine but different stout.

Sep 10, 2003
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Boilermaker88 from California

2.94/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

At $.83 for a single at Trader Joe's, I figured, "why the hell not?" On the bottle it mentions "dry" - no kidding. Black Hart pours black with a ruby toned edge. Has a nice thick and creamy mocha colored head with good retention. Left spotty lace.
Smell was an acrid mix of stale coffee and cocoa.
Taste was a, well, dry blend of old, sour coffee, bittersweet baking chocolate, and grainy malt. Had a hint of smokiness in the finish.
Feel was full and dry, almost too dry.
This brew was a real strange one for me. "Dry" almost doesn't begin to describe the mouth-imploding desert-like character to this beer. I had to stop halfway through to get some water as my tongue was turning into sandpaper. Not one I'd hurry back to, even at the bargain price of 83 cents

Sep 29, 2003
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Mustard from District of Columbia

2.58/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; no "bottled on" or "best before" warning; purchased as a stray single from Trader Joe's for $0.83; tracheotomized deer head atop a winged castle turret on the label.

Appearance: Pours a ruby-tinged, dark brown; big, mocha-hued head; c-cup's worth of lace; good head retention.

Aroma: Faintly of chocolate with a slight hint of stale coffee.

Taste: Lightly sweet chocolate flavor upfront; watery, grainy middle; mild hop bitterness; acrid, sour finish; medium bodied; oily, milky mouthfeel.

Notes: Thin, watery and sour; even at $0.83 a bottle I feel shortchanged.

Sep 25, 2003
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Burnt umber with a black cherry lucency when backlit. That's okay, very few Irish dry stouts are opaque anyway. The golden brown sugar colored cap is the beer's best feature. It has a great deal of character, both after the pour and as it deflates, and is a good lace generator as well.

The nose is classic for the style in that it's well-roasted black malty. It smells like the beer will be burnt, dry and coffee-like on the palate. There's something else present that smells dark honey-like. Maybe I'll be able to nail it down once beer hits buds.

Black Hart is okay beer, maybe even good beer, but it's far from standout beer. Although I like what I taste initially, the flavor profile never finds that extra gear that it needs to truly impress. A bigger body (read: more malt) would seem to be the obvious fix.

Sweet and bitter vie for supremacy... with bitter winning handily, especially on the finish. As the nose intimated, lightly charred coffee grounds are the obvious focal point of the relatively straightforward flavor profile. Unsweetened baker's chocolate and a hint of American hops are present as well. There's no trace of the earthy, dark honey-like vibe that I get from the nose.

I know that beer of this style (Irish dry stout, it says so right there on the label) shouldn't be viscous or chewy. Still, it shouldn't be this thin either. Drinkability benefits, while enjoyability suffers.

Black Hart is decent beer that could be better than decent with a few tweaks. At an ABV of 5.4%, it's well-suited for sessioning. Maybe North Coast Brewing didn't want to cannibalize Old Rasputin's sales. Mission accomplished.

Aug 25, 2007
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blitheringidiot from Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid buh-rown buh-lack pour allowing some glints of light to creep in through the bottom topped with an instantly faded fluffy ecru head that floats around leaving a decent lace in the glass.

Punch of roasted malts with a of vanilla bean meets a hint of charcoal. Delicious Irish dry stout nose with loads of sweetness.

First swigs: The malts transform from roasted to burnt on the palate. Cocoa dusty with a dry fig. Slightly creamy vanilla ice cream malts and a touch of dark molasses. Quite a dry aftertaste along the lines of tobacco leaf.

Powdery dryness and medium to full bodied.

Last swigs: Roasted malt dry Irish standard. Tongue coating stout. Thanks to IntriqKen for the bottle.

Jun 28, 2006
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Troyone from California

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black color with a hint of an amber hue, minimal tan head, too dificult to see the action and I swirled the last bit around and poured before taking notice to see if there was any sediment.

Some roasted malt smell with a coffee and chocolate aroma.

A smooth sweet roasted malt taste, not burnt, with coffee and some chocolate, and has some fruity esters mainly a hint of lime with a dry finish.

Full bodied, resinous and creamy dry feel, with frizzy soft carbonation.

Another session bargain at TJs brewed in craft form.

Mar 08, 2009
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Dukeofearl from California

3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium dark brown with a surprisingly fluffy tan-light brown head. Not nearly as gorgeous as some incredible stouts, but not unpleasant either.

Aroma is roasty malts. Not sweet, but not overly strong and bitter either. Nothing else really jumps out.

Flavor is dryness and moderately strong hoppiness for the style. Doesn't seem well balanced. Having said that, the malt profile is not bad. I can drink this, but am not excited by it.

Decent mouthfeel and drinkability- nothing to write home about, pleasant enough.

Jul 28, 2005
Photo of IceAce
IceAce from California

3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Twelve ounce bottle with no freshness dating visible

Pours inky black with a few mahogany flashes around the base of the glass. Rocky medium tan collar of foam is raised with an aggressive pour into a beer-clean Grand Cru flute. Lacing is approximately 15%.

The nose is dominated by roasted expresso beans with underlying hints of chocolate and toffee brittle.

Entry is supported by very little carbonation (just right for the style) and boasts a medium mouthfeel with some 'chewyness' detected. The midtaste is where this beer shines; deeply roasted malt gives way to coffee, hints of chocolate, and a tongue coating dose of malty sweetness.

The finish features a clean and quick hop bite followed up with coffee and roasted malt ping-ponging back and forth down the throat.

All in all a nice dessert brew which would pair nicely with vanilla bean ice cream.

Jan 02, 2006
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travolta from California

3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tar black, but dark, dark ruby when up to the light. The head was voluminous, which then subsided to a robust froth. Head retention was minimal, but did leave a nicely spotted lacing.

Dark soda, caramel, cacao, and a bit powdery.

Sharp and dry. The bitter cacao does not linger long which adds to this beer's friendliness. About as much carbonation as a flat soda. A very nice soft, roasted mouth feel with not too much carbonation.

Great label! I got this beer on the cheap and was satisfied all the way.

Jun 27, 2007
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DFN from Arizona

3.27/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought this on sale at Trader Joe's, where they're pushing "Irish" food and drink this month 'cause of St. Paddy's day. This is an intersting beer, definitely not run of the mill. About the color of Coca-Cola, it pours out thick, with a tall, creamy tan head. Smells a bit sour; tastes "earthy" and somewhat on the bitter side. Not a session beer, however. More the kind you'd drink one at a time. Should go well with rich and heavy foods. Overall, I'd give this about 3.5 points on a five-point scale, and maybe I'll buy it again next March ... but I wouldn't drink it on a day-in, day-out basis.

Mar 15, 2005
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GClarkage from California

3.87/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

03/15/05- Purchased at Trader Joe's in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- 12 oz bottle with no expiration dates listed. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Medium black colored pour with a nice tight 1/2 inch head and moderate lacing.

Smell- Nice scent of combined coffee grounds and chocolate.

Taste- A front taste of coffee and a back taste of chocolate the slyly works it's way in towards the finish. A bit on the bitter side overall though.

Mouthfeel- Higher carbonation for a stout and a decent dry finish.

Drinkability- Overall not a bad stout. Good in the taste department, but a bit too much fizz for me.

Mar 16, 2005
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a small, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Aroma of roasted barley, licorice, and dark chocolate.

Taste: Roasted barley with flavors of licorice and a hint of unsweetened chocolate. There's a big, gaping hole where you'd expect a little sweetness to be found. It's really just a continuation of the aforementioned flavors till to reach the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: North Coast sure does churn out alot of dry stouts. I have trouble seeing myself reach past an Old Stock Ale or an Old Rasputin to try this again.

Feb 06, 2008
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blitz134 from California

3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was dropped in as an extra in a trade, unfortunetly I don't remember from whom.

Not nearly opaque, has quite a bit of translucent ruby highlights. Capped with three fingers of light tan head that reduced slowly to a lumpy mound.

Lots of toasted malts, but not overly strong. A little lactic acid aroma and some hints of dark overripe vinuous fruits. A little astringency as well. Alright smell overall, just light.

Dark toasted malts come through again, and heavily roasted characters with some wood smoke after the swallow. Quite simple. Not overly bitter and lacks that touch of astringency I like in the finish of a dry stout.

Thin bodied, which is somewhat acceptable of the style for me, but this is a bit too thin. Finishes a little dry, but has a strange refreshing feel to it.

Alright drinkability. Run of the mill dry stout for me, just needs to be kicked up a little.

Mar 22, 2007
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leechungsr from California

3.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark coffee body pours with about 1.5fingers of creamy beige head. Head breaks up and thins fairly quickly. I would have liked for it to stay awhile longer. With the amount of carbonation, you're not getting any more head.

S: Roasted coffee and malts, maybe some cocoa. Pretty good.

T: Simple; lighter than it appears. Nice coffee with roasted malts with a slightly sweet finish.

M: Nothing really stands out. Low carbonation. The taste seems to contribute much to its moutfeel.

D: Pretty dry, but drinkable. I don't see myself drinking more than 2 of these at a time; but that doesn't say much since I can't down a lot of stout in general.

Jul 03, 2007
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mithrascruor from California

3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a black color with a thick and dense dark brown head.

Smell: Has a strong aroma of roasted malts, along with some hops. Slightly chocolately scent.

Taste: Roasted malts again, seeming burnt. Hops are present too, but very little else, besides a hint of sweetness. Burnt aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, but without any creamyness. Medium-bodied with low carbonation.

Drinkability: Totally drinkable, but the burnt flavor is rather distracting.

A mediocre stout, but one that has potential to be something better. Too much burnt bitterness in the flavor, which I find unattractive when it's not balanced in this type of beer with something creamier.

Jul 07, 2007
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IntriqKen from California

4.25/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Personally, I really enjoyed this dry style stout.
Deep, dark amber pour with little carbonation and a slight cream colored head.
Aroma was not overpowering at all...lightly coffee...lightly roasted malt.
Mouthfeel was rich and creamy.
Taste was same as the smell....lightly coffee...lightly roasted malt....not noticable in the hops area with no aftertaste. A pleasant (and a first) experience in a beer for me. I believe that is the "dry" part.
Very enjoyable.

Feb 19, 2006
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Maudite from Texas

3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a decent beer, what I would consider a pretty average example of the dry stout style. No frills, nothing to get excited about.

A- poured a thick black, medium nutty brown head, about two fingers... didn't last long, minimal lacing.

S- typical coffees, a bit butterscotchy, maybe even oaky... kind of like a syrupy whiskey. A slight hop profile on the tail end, nothing to define.

T- Again, pretty typical coffee, a dry roastiness. Dry finish. Not as thick a stout as I prefer, pretty thin-bodied. THere was a surprising diacetyl/dextriny quality in the finish which was probably the most enjoyable part of this brew because it was so unexpected.

M- Again, thin, light, not as coating or thick as a stout could or should be.

D- Could probably drink as a session beer, something I could enjoy with company and food, a beer I would enjoy but not have to think about.

Mar 03, 2008
Photo of Deuane
Deuane from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Dark chocolate brown with a thick dark tan head that fades to a thin cap leaving some nice lace.

S-A bit of chocolate and faint roasty malt. Nothing crazy pleasant.

T-Dry roast and toasted malt flavours. Hints of chocolate sneak into the finish.

M-Medium-light body with a good drying astringency. Fairly lively carbonation.

D-Solid. Just a tad on the thin side but I will forgive this due to the pleasant dry roasted flavours that come through...even more so as it warms.

Aug 17, 2008
Black Hart from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 69 ratings