Black Hart | North Coast Brewing Co.

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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

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Ratings: 69 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of monkeybeer
1.83/5  rDev -48.7%
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 Mustard
2.58/5  rDev -27.7%
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 Boilermaker88
2.94/5  rDev -17.6%
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 blitz134
3/5  rDev -16%
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 barleywinefiend
3.16/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this sixer from where else... Trader Joes..home of cheap, skunky beer.
Poured a dark brown with lots of deep tan 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.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

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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.

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Photo of winomark
3.22/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of goschool
3.23/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part one of a taste-off between three Irish Dry Stouts from Trader Joe's.

Appearance: The pour is dark red boarding on black with a creamy off-white head.

Smell: The roasted malts give the nose a chocolaty mocha aroma.

Taste: Those same roasted malts bring dry brunt flavors. There's cheap coffee (Coffee from a machine or the decaf Folgers that's been siting in somebody who doesn't drink coffee's cabinet for 8 months before being served at a party or holiday) and not much else. This is very one dimensional. I'm not thrilled with the dry finish, but it almost makes up for the rest of the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the lower end, but it's roasty enough to feel lively.

Drinkability: The ├╝ber dry roasty character overstays it welcome and it soon enters overkill territory.

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Photo of zenithberwyn
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of drseamus
3.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was slightly surprised how light this beer was. For most stouts, I expect no light to penetrate except at the edges. When held to the light though, this beer let a bunch of light through lighting it a dark brown color. The mocha head disappeared quickly. The aroma is very malty for a stout, but still good. The flavor is surprisingly dry for such a malty aroma. It has a good roasted flavor, but nothing really stands out. The body is medium to full, which is appropriate for a stout. I certainly did enjoy this beer, but it's not among my favorite beers.

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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.

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Photo of DFN
3.27/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
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 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.

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Photo of leechungsr
3.32/5  rDev -7%
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.

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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

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Photo of elmocoso
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of gwood
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours to a nice mocha colored slightly firm two finger head which is gone sooner than expected, although it did leave some rings to be remembered by. Not opaque - shines through with purple/dark red at the edges.

Nose is made up of roasted malt, coffee, and a slight tinge of hops at the end, nothing really stood out though. The beer tastes much the same. Some nice roasted malts and coffee but with a dry finish that brings it into character for the style.

A thin mouthfeel with not a whole lot of carbonation, certainly a session stout that is very accessible and drinkable. All in all a good offering.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.35/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Solid black with thin tan head. Appears to have a watery consistency. No lacing :-/

Smell: Roasted malts and alcohol barely come through. Maybe a little dark chocolate. As a whole, aroma is very weak.

Taste: Roasted malts, dark chocolate, and coffee. Nice balance between malts and hops. Dry finish is Black Hart's saving quality.

Mouthfeel: Again, dry aftertaste comes to the rescue. Much thinner than we expected.

Drinkability: Light body (considering the style) boosts drinkability quite a bit. Black Hart was enjoyable, but nothing special. Obviously needs to be classified as an Irish Dry Stout.

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Photo of Maudite
3.36/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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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

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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.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
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 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.

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Black Hart from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.57 out of 5 based on 69 ratings.
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