Big Black Mariah | Piece Brewery & Pizzeria

very good
16 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Piece Brewery & Pizzeria
Illinois, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GbVDave on 01-04-2007

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 40
Photo of 98green
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewery. Black and opaque in color. Smell is roasted malts and chocolate. Taste is smokey roasted malt, coffee notes. Feel is a bit heavy and chewy. Overall an ok beer, but the smoked malt addition just isn't a profile I prefer

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Photo of Florida9
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: fully opaque black in color. Served with a minimal tan colored head. Little retention. No lacing.

S: Very nice aroma. Dark malts, dark fruit, chocolate and vanilla. A hint of smoke compliments nicely.

T: dark malts, baker's chocolate, plum. Neither sweet nor dry. A touch of cocoa. Char and again just a bit of smoke.

M: full bodied. Mild bitterness. Slightly chalky. Lower carbonation.

O: an unexpectedly good porter. Just enough smoke to make this interesting, but not enough to be overpowering or dominant.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with cocoa head, nice lace and some retention. Smell features mellow smoke intertwined with roast and cacao. Taste is deep, dry and roasty with emphasis on smoke and chocolate. No hop character to speak of. Smoke is well integrated and works well with the base. Mouthfeel is sturdy and is well carbonated. Overall a well balanced smoked brew with no evidence of the listed abv.

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Photo of vande
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - extremely dark brown to the the point of simply being black...where one color ends, the other begins

S - hint of vanilla, coco, wisps of smoke, malts

T - follows the nose like a good beer should. The palate enjoys it more as it warms up and opens up.

M - beer + mouth = :) just a generally good drink here.

If in the area, a for sure porter to snag.

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Photo of megahurts4
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Piece Brewery Big Black Mariah - Porter served on tap.

Appearance: Small head with good lacing. Dark reddish-brown in color.

Smell and Taste: Lots of smokey malts and cocoa. Thick, but also slightly smooth with some hops flavor. This one proved to be a fairly decent porter.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this on tap into a tasting glass at Piece. The beer is a very dark black, hardly any brown highlights. Light tan ok retention. The aroma is super sweet a hint of vanilla and chocolate with a big smokey finish. They say only light smoke but not the case at all. The taste is all about the smoke its everywhere and dominating and only shows anything else on the finish where you get a little sweetness. Light black licorice as well. This is ok, nothing special but if you want a little smoke while your out not a terrible choice. However, they have schlenkerla there so I'd go with that.

 591 characters

Photo of NeutroMan
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Solid black color with a dense reddish tan head that quickly receded to a thin film around the edges.

S: A smoky blend of chocolate, coffee, and dark malts.

T: Consistent with the smell, this one tastes of coffee, chocolate, rich dark malts, with a pleasant campfire-like smokiness tying them together.

M: Medium-bodied and fairly creamy and smooth.

D: Quite robust yet still drinkable enough to have more than one.

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Photo of spointon
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at the Piece pub on 2/21/2009.

A= This ale poured a dark black/brown color with a 1/4" off white head that slowly dropped to a thin skim. Only a couple spots of lace down the glass.

A= I found aromas of sweet dark malt, chocolate, treacle, and a hint of smoke. Pleasant but a bit muted overall.

T= Much like the smell, the flavor profile was a pleasant mix of chocolatey rich malts, treacle sweetness, and a faint smokiness. Finish was mildly sweet.

MF= Heavy side of medium bodied with a slick mouthfeel and moderately crisp feel.

D= A damn drinkable porter here. It went well with Piece pizza that's for sure!

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Photo of roadhouse
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap today at Piece. Served into a pint glass.

Appeared black except for the slightest orange-red highlights on the bottom of the glass. There was a thin tan head that stuck around for a while but towards the end it had some trouble staying. Not much lacing at all as a consequence.

Aroma had some chocolate, and a nice smokiness reminiscent of a campfire. That smoked meatiness was slightly there but nowhere near as strong as a rauchbier.

Taste had a nice blend of roasty chocolate flavors that blended very well with the smokiness. A bit of coffee-like bitterness came out in the finish. It reminded me a lot of the Alaskan Smoked Porter, but not quite as smoky.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied, pretty creamy, but nothing outstanding.

I enjoyed this smoked porter very much. This is a style I wish there were more examples of.

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Photo of Stonebreaker
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Disgracefully, this like every goddamn beer I got that night was sent to me with no head, a disappointment, I suspect these beers are actually capable of a decent head. Still it looked beautiful and opaque black.

Smell: Weak, on account of the missing head?

Taste: The taste was delicious, smoky(a wee bit of smoked malts it says) chocolately, rich malty sweetness, very well balanced.

Drinkability: So rich you could only have a few of these a night, but it would be worth it.

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Photo of JDV
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another fantastic beer on tap at Piece. Pour is black with a filmy tan head. Smell is rich dark malt, smoky coffee, and dry chocolate. Taste is rich, roasty, smoky and robust flavorwise. Prickly carbonation with a medium body and this one comes highly recommended.

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Photo of gkatsoris
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Received in a growler from SQNfan - thanks again.

A: Deep dark brown, w/ the slightest amber hue around the rim. Big thick tan head, which lasted 2-3 minutes.

S: Rich smells. Smoke, chocolate, Malts and coffee.

T: Definitely roasted. The taste follows suit from the smell(s). Chocolate. Coffee. Malts. Smoke. A lot of Malts.

M: Rich and creamy. Very chewy and thick. Little carbonation. This is what I'm looking for in every beer.

D: This is went down EASY.

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Photo of tmitch75
3.29/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Opaque black with dark brown translucent edges when held to the light. Thick smoky tan head - very active.

Smells roasty but otherwise somewhat non-descript.

Roasty malt with chocolate and coffee. Mild hop finish.

Full-bodied with good carbonation.

A tasty beer and a style I like, but I am not as impressed with this one as I am with many of Piece's other brews.

Growler filled at brewery on 1/20/08, tasted on 2/3/08.

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Photo of letsgopens
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Piece, this selection pours a near black brown with some thin ruby highlights. The nice frothy and slightly creamy head holds very well and leaves good lace.

The aroma is slightly mild with some roasted malt and cocoa. The somewhat lacking nose is more than made up for in flavor.

Great dark roasted malt hits you immediately. Milk chocolate sweetness and some coffee. There is a slight smokiness and a bit of mild leafy hops in the finish. Some caramel and cocoa as well. Very big, bold flavor yet it remains well balanced. A very pleasant surprise.

Thick and creamy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Creamy and slightly dry finish. One of the best porters I've tried in a while. Also I strongly suggest you use the porter to wash down one of their pizzas. I hadn't heard much about this place and I was a bit skeptical, but the beer and food changed my mind completely.

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Photo of emerge077
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A generous pour, served in a nonic pint glass.

A thin cap of tan foam adorns the top of the porter, close to the brim of the pint. Aroma of roasted malt, barley, pretty nondescript, yet fresh.

Medium fullness in body, the roastiness is central to the taste. Mild bitterness, that subsides and turns to a touch of sweetness as it warms. A hint of butterscotch is there, not a full-fledged diacetyl presence, but it adds a degree of smoothness. Earthy hop in the back, lingering in the finish.

Easily quaffable or by the sip. A few pints would be effortless.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass at Piece on 1/3/07

A: Pours a dark, dark black. Brown, one finger head that leaves a little lace.

S: Aromas of roasted malt and smokey goodness.

T: Roasted malt and burnt toffee. Slight tart citrus in the middle. Roasted, toasted finish with some bittering hops. Great balance between roasted, smoked, and hoppy flavors.

M: Rather smooth and creamy for a porter. Hops add some prickly-ness to the finish.

D: A superbly drinkable smoked porter. Drinks better than some oatmeal stouts. Well worth a visit to Piece for this.

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Big Black Mariah from Piece Brewery & Pizzeria
4.01 out of 5 based on 40 ratings.
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