Black Hart | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Black HartBlack Hart
69 Ratings
Black HartBlack Hart

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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Ratings: 69 |  Reviews: 61
Reviews by travolta:
Photo of travolta
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of blitz134
3/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

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Photo of monkeybeer
1.83/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A- Pours Black with a nice creamy tan head and very nice lace

S- Roasted dark malt and sweet chocolate coffee

T/M - Dry with a roasted burnt taste of coffee and chocolate. The burnt bitter after taste tends to linger a little too long.

D- Each initial sip is very good but the after taste really distracts form its drink ability. Would go with other stouts rather than pick this one up again.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

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Photo of Wezzle
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of HalfFull
3.26/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ah yes, another random single from Trader Joe's. A 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, this stout pours a deep blackish brown with a few ruby highlights and a thick tan head. Retention is only moderate but never settles below a tan surface film.

Lots of roasted malt and chocolate on the nose, though not a lot of variety and not very volatile. Definite hop presence later on which intermingles in an odd way with the chocolate. I'm actually picking up some sour notes. Not what I expected yet I keep trying to stir them up??(noted only upon firm agitation)

Taste follows with roasted malt and chocolate, but is a bit thin and a bit too carbonated on the feel, at least initially. Thus robbing the tongue of much finish on the beer. Decent drinkability yet the body just isn't really there, improving a bit with warming and less carbonation.

Note: Says Irish Dry Stout clearly on the label. Best served a bit warm, maybe 60 F.

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Photo of Troyone
4/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is a nice chocolate brown with a bit too much carbonation. The 4 finger, dark tan head fades quickly leaving some fluff and lace.

The smell is faint yet roasty.

The taste is nice, very roasty and toasty, I like this. Slightly sweet, with a nice finish.

The mouthfeel is ok but could be a bit off by the over carbonation seen in the pour. The body is good for the style.

The drinkability is great, really this is a great tasteing and easy to drink brew I would love to have more.

Prosit, MK

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Photo of Jredner
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Lighty roasty aroma with some mild brown ale nuttiness and very faint coffee suggestions. The body is dark brown to flat black and holds a creamy tan head that is about a thumb thick and lasting, but slightly bubbly on the sides. The first sip is slightly thin then a lot of roasted malt profile comes through with some cream notes and faint coffee. Tastes pretty good and has a nice burnt/roast bitterness in the finish. A mite thin, but tasty and enjoyable overall.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
2.94/5  rDev -17.4%
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

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

dark brown, basically black with no light shining through on this one at all. Rich looking head of tan on the top hung around for most of the session. The aroma was a bit light. Lots of roasted malts, with just a hint of cocoa underneath it. Really dry taste, but a little bland for me. Light cocoa and roasted malts, but it lacked alot of depth to put it over the top into another cateogory. Still though it was a decent little stout with a nice feel, and a 3.5 percent very drinkable.

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Photo of HoustonTX
3.54/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This stout had to be poured aggressively, slow head forth-coming. Finger thick head when done. Mocha in color. Fell to thick lace quickly. Body is dark brown in color.

The smell is not very impressive, getting large alcohol esters. Acetone almost in a sense. Light espresso, and coffee beans. Along a caramel malt base.

Taste is better than the smell. Nice caramely chewy malt upfront. Citrusy hop bitter soon follows. Coffee bitterness presents itself as well. Crisp and clean Stout from North Coast Brewing. California is truly a magical place, Texas isn't too bad either though. =) Light to medium body, and you can definitely drink a few of these.

A solid American Stout. Thank you for your unending generosity Ken. I appreciate it.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: Black with a 1/4 inch tan head and ok retention

Smell: Dry roasted malts and a little bit of coffee and chocolate (very subtle)

Taste: Pretty much identical to the nose. Upfront is a pretty decent coffee flavor and nothing else is really present

Mouthfeel: Dry medium body with medium carbonation

Overall: This is a good cheap stout that is very drinkable especially in the winter time. I will make sure and pick up another 6 pack come winter time

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Photo of xhcadamx
3.22/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Jet black with a 2 finger tan head with ok lacing.

S - An underwhelming amount of roasted coffee a stronger smell of a used fruit basket prevails.

T - Gets better at this point. Coffee and chocolate with a smooth bitterness. The fruit flavors show up and just do not suit this beer.

M - thin and dry

D - OK beer but nothing I am going to go out of my way to drink again.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from IntriqKen, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him for the opportunity to try this beer. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a thick tan head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is malty with notes of creamy chocolate, coffee, caramel, and some hops.

T: The taste is rich and dry. It starts off with smooth flavors of chocolate & coffee and is then followed by some hops bitterness and a little bit of dark fruit. The after-taste goes back to the maltiness.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation (fizzy for the style), finish is slick, dry and a bit sticky.

D: Tasty and goes down easy enough. It’s not very filling considering the style. I could drink a lot of this beer, but there are others that I would prefer within the style.

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Photo of Mustard
2.58/5  rDev -27.5%
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.

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Photo of iD9
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Guinness tulip pint.

Appearance: Dark, appears opaque at first but in direct light hues of mahogany red and chestnut browns are clearly visible. I poured the beer with excessive vigor (I like to knock a bit of the carbonation out of my beers) so the head developed a bit awkwardly. On initial pour a thick tan head forms. Head retention is mediocre but not bad. Honestly, it looks cool but it seems way to light for a stout. Luckily, the pleasant foam head saves the beer from a 3.5 and bumps it up to 4.0

Smell: Smells of dark, roasty malts. Much like the appearance, the smell is a bit on the light side. As the style might suggest, it reminds me a bit of Guinness some of the dry notes coming out on top. Nothing to write home about.

Taste: Hits the front end of the tongue with a very low flavor profile. As it travels back the hops (or maybe its a woody bitterness?) hits the pallet. Reminds me a bit of the Flying Dog's Gonzo Imperial Porter (which I did not like). The beer is saved by a slightly sweetened aftertaste which helps set the pallet straight. I do get a hint of roasty, earthy flavors on the front end now that I think about it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium bodied. Again, it feels a bit on the light side. Not what I expect from a stout.

Drinkability: The hoppy bitterness towards the back of this beer greatly diminishes the drinkability of this beer. I have no qualms with a dry beer but coupling the dryness with a bitter, hoppy finish is off putting.

Not a bad beer, but not really a good one either. I love North Coast brewing but this is a miss for me. I won't be buying this beer again when its infinitely superior, more badass brother Old Rasputin is around. I often wonder if all these bourbon barrel aged, choclatey, anisey american RIS have ruined my taste for more traditional, dry irish stouts.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a deep black. Not sure if light can penetrate because I don't have a lamp at the ready. Two fingers of thick, tan head developed and dissipated slowly to leave a billowy lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: I could smell the chocolate and coffee immediately after popping the cap. Roasted cocoa and coffee malts dominate, and there's a hint of plumb. It's an enticing aroma.

Taste: There's an immediate coffee bitterness that gets the tongue and cheeks tingling. Very dry, which lives up to the beer's extended name. The chocolate from the smell is almost nonexistent, but the faint plumb undertones are still present.

Drinkability: Great stuff. Maybe I'm over exaggerating because I haven't had a stout in a long time, but I'm impressed nonetheless. If this is truly modeled after the brews they serve in Dublin and Cork -- not the stuff from St. James's Gate -- then I really admire and envy the Irish.

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Photo of flexabull
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color with a nice off white head.

Aromas are of light cocoa, chocolate, and some nuttiness.

Taste is of dark roasted malts, some bakers chocolate, and a little creamy sweetness. Finish has a mineral hop flavor that is pretty faint, but it does help balance the maltiness rather well.

Good mouthfeel, on the light side, but it is about right for the style, and not too heavy.

Nice drinkable stout here. Not going to wow you, or knock you out with huge flavors or alcohol. This is just a quality beer that tastes pretty good, and is quite sessionable.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

161st review on BA
bottle to pint

Father in law had this at the house for Christmas eve, so I took one home since I hadn't had it before.

App- Roasted coffee brown with a two finger head that a nice espresso brown. I tried to get a little agressive on the pour and it worked. Had some nice lacing as well.

Smell- Roasted coffe, little bit of cream and some chocolate. Nothing overpowering. Pretty standard smell.

Taste- A light coffee taste with a chewy sweetness to it. Not too bad for what it is. Has a caramel sort of taste on the backend.

Mouth- Pretty light stout. Had a nice medium carbonation. Not as thick as I would have liked.

Drink- It was free. It was not bad and I think North Coast does some good brews.

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Photo of karait95
3.91/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Big brown head with mixed bubbles, dissipates slowly leaving behind some traces on the glass, the head color is nice somehow dark and even the carbonation is not very visible it exists and keeps a permanent layer on top of the beer, the color of the beer is almost black, the body seems also tick as the style should be.

S: The smell is not too strong, barley can be sensed and also the toasted is present but not as intense as expected maybe some chocolate is in the back of the main aroma.

T: This one is better than the smell, the toasted is all time present, since the beginning you feel the coffee-like flavor, the malts as barley and some hops can be felt well mixed.

M: The feeling is good, good lasting and good ending, a little bitter at the end combined with balanced little sweet with little bitter in the beginning.

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Photo of avaldivia
3.32/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured 12 bottle into a Pint glass.

A: Black. Little head after a vigorous pour. Decent lacing though.

S: Light, but you definitely get the roasted malts. Pleasing light roasted coffee.

T: Same as smell. Not going to blow you away with flavor.

M: Medium bodied. Good carbonation. Dry finish as would be expected.

O: Not earth shattering, but a solid, affordable brew.

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Photo of Deuane
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Black Hart from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.56 out of 5 with 69 ratings