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
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 69
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.

 616 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
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

 549 characters

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.

 314 characters

Photo of oogenesis
3.87/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is another surprisingly tasty beer for the price. It's got the requisite chocolate-coffee aroma/taste you'd expect of a stout, with a bit of smoky hoppy bitterness to round things out. Decent, but not very long-lasting, head; full, complex body; eminently also becomes smoother the longer you keep it. I discovered this by accident; an ex left me a couple of bottles and I didn't get round to drinking them until a couple of years later.

 457 characters

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.

 882 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.47/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 596 characters

Photo of JDV
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours black with lasting tan head. Smell is nice and sweet molassesy, and roastiness. Taste is very nice. balanced roasty, sweet, bitter, and a hint of coffee with a very drying finish. Very flavorful, drinkable stout. Quite good, unique (to me) and worth getting for sure.

 273 characters

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.

 395 characters

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.

 607 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 1,648 characters

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.

 715 characters

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.

 655 characters

Photo of travolta
3.62/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 552 characters

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.

 897 characters

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.

 558 characters

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 über dry roasty character overstays it welcome and it soon enters overkill territory.

 818 characters

Photo of Night
4.13/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours very dark red with strong brown tones. Medium, foamy, tan head; light lacing, dies down quickly. Aroma is roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and molasses. Medium body with an easy, surprisingly fizzy mouthfeel. Flavor is a strong roasted malt attack with charcoal, chocolate, and coffee. Grassy bitterness accentuates the stronger roast flavors. Some mild dark fruits in the finish. No particularly strong aftertaste.

 422 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev +5%
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.

 885 characters

Photo of Jredner
3.72/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

 467 characters

Photo of HoustonTX
3.54/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 747 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

 702 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
4.25/5  rDev +19%
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.

 502 characters

Photo of IceAce
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

 876 characters

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.

 531 characters

Photo of garymuchow
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

 518 characters

firstprev| 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.