Black Hart | North Coast Brewing Co.

61 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerManDan on 02-21-2003

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 69
Photo of avaldivia
3.32/5  rDev -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.

 372 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost opaque dark brown with a 1 inch puffy khaki head that settles to a craggy cap. Thick streaks of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, slight cocoa bean, and slight coffee notes. Taste is of roasted dark malt, burnt coffee, and some bitter cocoa bean flavors. Mild roas/coffee/cocoa bitterness on the palate after each sip. Low carbonation on this one with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good Irish style stout that I picked up on the cheap at Trader Joe's, but I am not so sure I would get it again.

 573 characters

Photo of karait95
3.91/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

 833 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

 486 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.58/5  rDev +0.3%
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

 457 characters

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

A: Pours a very dark brown color with a tan head that lasts pretty long and clings to the edges of the glass.

S: I'm getting freshly ground medium roast coffee and Hershey's Chocolate Syrup. Perhaps a hint of roasted malt in the background.

T: A little sweet for a dry stout, but this is tasty. A bit of coffee bitterness upfront, followed by some smooth and sweet chocolate flavors. End finishes with a roasted and slightly charred note. A solid beer and probably the best stout in the Trader Joes lineup.

 508 characters

Photo of rKunda
4.03/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall this is a really good beer. It's a lot lighter in flavor than some other stouts. I love me some hearty stouts, but this very drinkable and lighter stout is quite good. It keeps a good stout style yet is mild enough that I could easily drink a couple and be none worse for the wear. Compare this as similar to Guinness in drinkability (but not in flavor), though the feel it completely different, neither are really strong in flavor.

Tastes great. Looks great. It's not in my top ten beers list, but it's a really good beer. Nothing more, nothing less.

 560 characters

Photo of Beerbluesbiology
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black body with a 2-3 finger tan head. Smells of many things: dark caramel, raisins, dark chocolate, smoke and faint coffee. Complex smell but not as complex taste as I picked up mainly dark toffee, smoke and coffee followed by a hoppy bitterness which leaves a relatively dry finish. Overall, a light(er) stout in this style but a good stout. Try it out!

 371 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

 723 characters

Photo of pennywhistle
4.12/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It was only $6 for a 6-pack, so I figured this was a poorman's version of Guinness, but I was pleasantly surprised! Full-bodied, nice coffee flavour. Slightly syrupy, but not too thick. The best part was its low ABV - it makes a good session beer. As far as cheap stouts go, this one's now my favourite.

 303 characters

Photo of iD9
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

 1,845 characters

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with some tan head, little or no lacing to speak of, not bad for a stout. The smell isn't terrible, but there's some wet dog smell under the roasted notes that doesn't jive with me. Some chocolate and coffee notes too. Taste follows suit, largely roasted and chocolate notes, akin to a Guinness with a bigger MF. MF is a bit over-carbonated, though not terrible. Mutes some of the flavor. Decent drinkability, nice easy drinker, I'd like it to be a bit more interesting.

 476 characters

Photo of tang3nt
3.57/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fairly average pour, a dark brown color with a nice brown head. Aroma is very rich, with notes of chocolate and coffee. It is a bit mild in taste but still delicious - chocolate coffee and caramel malts with a bit of a dry finish. Mouthfeel is the same, mild but definitely not a bad thing. I'm by no means a dry stout person, but mild yet delicious flavors and mouthfeel make for a pretty damn drinkable stout for the price. Not bad.

 434 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours black with a firm creamy off-tan head, great retention, some good lacing.

S: Dark roasted malt, coffee, mocha.

T: Good dark malt initially, but gets acrid and chalky a bit midway through. Bunch of burnt toast and charcoal. Some interesting dark chocolate on the finish helps, but the mid-palate isn't anywhere near my favourite.

M: Fairly light-bodied, creamy, kind of smooth, medium-long aftertaste.

D: For the price a great value stout. Compared to what's out there I wasn't hugely impressed, but if you want a stout on a budget this is servicable.

 579 characters

Photo of flexabull
3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

 572 characters

Photo of TheQuietMan22
4/5  rDev +12%
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.

 929 characters

Photo of PatronWizard
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ah, my first review in months. Almost giddy. No, strike that, just thirsty. Received a bunch of mixed beer for my birthday again this year. It's so awesome that everyone knows to bring daddy beer!

So this sixer was purchased at Trader Joe's and comes from the highly regarded (by me) North Coast. Let's check it.

Pours very dark, looks just like coffee, only with a nice sudsy tan head above it.

Smell is quite inviting with roasted coffee, roasted malt, toasted biscuits. I'm pleased.

Taste is really nice. Slightly bitter chocolate runs the show, followed by that roasted coffee. Very nice. I'm glad it's early morning because this is a great breakfast beer. Not quite as good as Old Rasputin, the king of breakfast beers, but very enjoyable. Probably kill three or four before lunch.

Feel starts out smooth, with just a touch of roughness from the carbonation at the finish. Very dry, causing another sip to follow almost immediately, but the good flavor lets this work out just fine.

Drinkability is damn fine. Good taste, not very heavy on the old belly, and I don't imagine very high on the ABV. Alcohol apparently is unknown at the time of this review, but if I were to hazard an ignorant guess, I'd have to go with about 5.5 - 6 %, which is fairly pussy, especially for me. I like it anyway.

Overall: made a great gift.

 1,334 characters

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

Thanks to AgentSteve for this extra. Didn't even know North Coast made this beer. Took it La Bella Pizza last night to share with Joey and Danny.

Pours a black color but not completely dark, some garnet hues can be seen when held to the light. Half an inch of mocha colored foam tops the beer and settles down to a ring. A bit of lacing on the glass.

Lightly roasted coffee, toast, nutty, cream, vanilla, and brown sugar are the most evident aromas I could pick up. Later on there are notes of caramel and biscuit. Very good aroma, very soft and appetizing.

Some light toast flavors upfront followed by toasted malts, roasted barley, coffee, and bits of vanilla. A bit dry in the finish with some medium bitterness. Moderate carbonation and fairly easy to drink. Enjoyable overall

 784 characters

Photo of decafron
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

another stout from north coast...count me in! but wait, why is it so cheap ($5.99 a sixer at trader joes)? i had to investigate. is it a fair example of irish stout or american? hmm...

color resembles cola or root beer more than a dark stout. a limp head that dicipated quickly with moderate lacing.

malt, burnt coffee, and a slight hint of dark chocolate on the nose. decent but not exceptional.

taste starts with an almost dish soap (no it wasn't my glass) or hairspray bitterness which quickly turns to roasted malt and a kiss of chocolate again. smooth subtle dry finish is probably it's best quality.

mouthfeel is non-offensive. not much carbonation.

an easy drinking stout that i'd probably buy again. not the best but very good for the price.

not the best effort from north coast

 794 characters

Photo of Troyone
4/5  rDev +12%
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.

 532 characters

Photo of xhcadamx
3.22/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

 379 characters

Photo of HalfFull
3.26/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

 927 characters

Photo of kemoarps
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep cola colour with a reasonable khaki head that dissipated fairly quickly, but not completely.

The smell was a little disappointing, admittedly. I was hoping for something slightly stronger, but what came out was a slightly weak, but round scotch malt aroma, not unappealing, just kind of underwhelming.

The taste, luckily, does not adhere strictly to the aroma. While the aroma left some to be desired, the taste,while not super strong, was at least present. This is a malt based brew, with a roasted tendency, with chocolate hints sneaking into the finish.

the carbonation is a bit sharp, but other than that nothing of note to the moutfeel and drinkability. I've been using this as my thirsty beer the last couple of days, and there is nothing preventing someone from drinking two or three of these in a row, if they are so inclined. It does not overly fill you, no single taste is too overwhelming to be repeated, it doesn't really coat your mouth, it's reasonably seesionable

 995 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours fairly black, good initial head leaves fast. Ring persists. Sudsy lacing.

S - Mostly burnt coffee and malt.

T - Sweet and bitter, mostly on a coffee theme.

M - Medium body, good carbonation and coating. A little lighter at finish than I expected.

D - Nice for the type.

 283 characters

Photo of Deuane
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

 478 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Black Hart from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.57 out of 5 based on 69 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.