Holy Mackerel Mack In Black | Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers "the garage project"

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197 Ratings

Brewed by:
Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers "the garage project"
Florida, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 06-02-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 197 |  Reviews: 141
Reviews by SpecialK088:
Photo of SpecialK088
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

Dark black but more resembles that I just poured a coke than a beer, head is bright white and lingers a little while but not overly long and with no laceing

Rich malt and subtle more bitter fruit notes, somebrown sugar notes as well

Taste was a bit of a letdown, the fruit flavors really do not present themselves much at all and has more of a nutty undertone than anything other than a straight forward stout flavor. Some coffee flavors in the finish

Pretty thin for a stout but not to bad on the carbonation and balance, the mouthfeel is honestly a little dead.

Ok to drink and in a blind taste might do pretty well but to put that it is brewed with a certian juice in it really makes me look for some flavors that really never present themselves

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.62/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:

So we are dealing with a straight up extreme beer here. Not only is it fermented with pomegranate juice, but this is also an Imperial Black Ale.

Yeah, it's black and it does don an OK lace. Decent head retention, thin tan lacing seems to hold its own long enough to get by. Slight tart note in the aroma from the fermented pomegranate and dark malt, vague chocolate as well. At second whiff there is a mild butter and ester tone in the nose. Pomegranate leaves an odd tartness which melds with the slight roast to form a mild astringent-like flavor. Hops are minimal and let the alcoholic esters and malt sweetness run rampant. The alcohol does reach higher with a quick flash of solvent that comes off as rose-like. Dries with an astringent, burnt flavor that the palate just can't shake.

While we appreciate the concept of going down the road of "extreme," Mack In Black seems to miss its mark with throwing balance and drinkability totally out the window.

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Photo of Aaron420
3.02/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Poured a dark black with a tan almost brown two finger head that dissipated quickly.

S: Very fruity with a slight hint of alcohol.

T: A mix of malty and fruity with with almost a touch of coffee in the beginning. AS the beer warms up the fruit becomes over bearing.

M: It is a very light bodied beer for suck a deep color. With a decent amount of carbonation.

D: Defiantly would not sit down and drink to many of these, they have a pretty high abv, but also a very sweet flavor. A really cool concept but nothing I will keep stocked in the fridge.

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Photo of iemailjack
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Tabni
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought bottle at Total Wines. 2009 Bottle. Tried this before at Stage 84 on the tap, and it was a totally different experience.

Appearance - Dark like the night, small head.
Smells - of pomegranate all over.
Taste/Mouthfeel - is just like a coffee chocolate meets pomegranate! Sweet hints, super sweet in the bottle.
Drinkability - Dessert drink.

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Photo of jmbraxton
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of ryser2k
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of chinchill
3.51/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

2009 vintage, poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very dark reddish brown, but looks nearly black in the glass. Starts with a thin tan head but this disappears quickly, leaving only a thin ring and virtually no lacing.

The aroma is primarily that of fruit and toasted malt with more than a hint of pomegranate. There are also hints of hops and yeast. Smells sweet

The taste is flavorful, with pomegranate juice quite evident, although, of course, I am expecting this. If I wasn't, I might suspect some mix of fruits, including prunes, in with a generous amount of roasted malt and some hops. In any case, the finish has a definite prune component, and has become sour and a little bitter after the initial sweet hit. High ABV is largely hidden.

M - smooth; medium body; could use more carbonation as this would reduce the (undesirable for me) syrupy feel.

O - flavorful, unique, interesting but ultimately not very appealing.

 930 characters

Photo of Beer21
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter)
thanks to SincereNc for this brew
A- This beer pours a jet black body with a thin creamy head of chocolate brown foam that last for a moment. The only sign of carbonation are some small bubbles stuck to the sides of the glass.

S- The aroma of black roasted coffee malt is dark and earthy with a big finish of purple berries.

T- The smooth chocolate malt flavor gives way to some roasted black malt notes with hints of chalk and charcoal to follow. There is a slight tart berry flavor in the finish. As the beer warms a bit there is a chocolate nougat with some tootsie roll qualities and a coffee flavor that comes through. The tartness of berries and bitterness of roasted black malt linger a bit after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat until the beer warm.

D-This is an interesting beer with good dark malt flavors. The pomegranate tartness is a bit out of place and makes it taste like cough syrup when the beer warms a bit. Good concept for a brew.

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Photo of chuckgietzen
3.49/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy Mackerel- Mack in Black

Big thanks to tpd975(Greg) for this 1!

A- Dark black with a big thick tan head that quickly dissipates.
S- Roasted coffee beans, slight sweet dried fruit aroma, possibly cherry. Chocolate dominates.
T- Sweet smooth chocolate with slight roasted black coffee. A tint of cherry/ pomagranite.
M- Sweet up front with creamy smooth, and slighly dry, coffee/ chocolate finish.

Overall- Very nice cocoa/ coffee/ fruit blend. Very good, a bit sweet though.(Thanks Greg!)

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Photo of TheRealtor
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Oakes bottle, brought from Florida. I liked its roastiness and smokiness, not the addition of pommegrant juice. Its black with a white head. It has a sour finish.OK for a stout, not up there and even thinish for an imperial stout. Lose the pom and its an OK stout.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz single - no memory of which BIF this came from but as secret santa and secret blackie approach, the "cellar fridge" needs some cleaning

appearance: pours pretty dark into an unmarked chalice, opaque body, pretty lifeless head with very minimal lacing

smell: burnt malts, molasses, notes of some artificial sweetness (i guess thats the pomegranate)

taste: heavy malts, syrupy cola, very roasty. its hard to make out pomegranate specifically, but theres some thick sweetness present. char and burnt malt, chocolate, licorice. an odd creation here - nothing i would want to have again but interesting

mouthfeel: thick and sludgy, charred and very heavy

drinkablity: not great

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Photo of cjgator3
2.2/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

2008 listed on the bottle. This is an "Imperial Black Ale" brewed with pomegranate juice and a Belgian yeast strain. 12oz bottle. Pours a dark black color with a light tan head. The aroma is dark roasted malts with a fruitiness (from the pomegranate juice). The taste is dark and roasty, with a sour finish with a strong boozy finish. They sweet and sour nature of the taste combined with the strong boozy finish make this beer undrinkable for me resulting in a drain pour. I can count on one hand how many times I have poured out a beer before finishing it, and this is one of them. Don't know if I got a bad bottle or what, but I could not stomach the taste. Overall, I was not really impressed by Mack in Black and would not purchase again.

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Photo of tempest
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An imperial black ale, huh? Well right off the bat I can at least see similarities between this and black lager for the big chocolate flavors. The beer also pours a pitch black body with a short tan head. The aroma and flavor are really about chocolate. That's great if you're into chocolate, but this beer doesn't offer much else besides a slight acidic tang from the pomegranates.

Enjoy a good bar of chocolate? Check this out.

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Photo of KensWorld
4.25/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've had this beer sitting around for at least 3 years now. It's been stairing at me wanting me to drink it, but I've been putting it off. I figured I'd better drink it before it gets skunked. This has been going on for over a year now. Well the day has finally come. Poured into tulip glass. Wow 4 finger dense creamy light brown head. Jet black, so dark I can't make out any carbonation. Head fades to about 1/4 inch that lingers the entire time. Smells like a good RIS. Plumbs raisins and roasted malt all on the nose. Now for the taste, after 3 plus years has it skunked? Nope, taste way better then expected. Actually it's way better then when it's new. I don't taste any pomegranate but apparently it's in here. This is a very smooth beer, nice balance with no bitterness what so ever. Overall this aged imperial is way better then I ever expected, so good I think I'll buy some more to age. I'll get back to you in 3-4 years to see if those stand up. Solid 4.25

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Photo of ImusBeer
4.28/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass straight down the middle and about a finger and a half of nice tan head formed after it was fully poured. It died down in less than 5 minutes to only a ring around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is predominately sourness of the pomegranate juice and a hint of pepper I think. The first mouthfull was intially the pomegranate and then worked into mainly roasted malts. A little peppery at the aftertaste. Due to the juice it is hard to realize that this beer is 8%.

The mouthfeel is a little syrupy and sour due mostly to the pomegranate juice. I'll be cellaring the other 3 beers for a later time. Maybe after I'll have another in about 6-8 months. I think it will mellow out a bit more and the flavors will become a bit less harsh.

I like this beer, may even get another 4 pack.

I think this beer is the same beer I purchased while in Melbourne, FL visiting my parents. I bought two bottles (along with others) at the old Indian River Brewing Company (part of Florida Beer Company http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/161)


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Photo of russpowell
3.96/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours ebony with a pinky of mocha colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit & dark chcolate in copious amounts

T: Dark fruit & dark chcolate, plus some charred grain (not a lot) up front. More of the same as this warms, a touch of booze as well, dryness & lots of prunes too. Finishes dry with chocolate covered prunes & raisins, mayba touch of sourness, plus just some herbal hops

MF: Medium bodied, restrained carbonation, balances pretty fruitty

Drinks pretty easy, the complexity & dryness slow me down, maybe would better in cooler weather? Given it origins, I would think you'd need the AC down low in Fla to fully enjoy this, nice effort!

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Photo of Kegatron
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of beerhan
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Only had about 4 oz of this bottle and that was probably enough.

Pours bitch black with almost no head. Smells a bit like licorice and coffee flavoring. Very thick and syrupy. Tastes like a watered down kahlua. Not really much going on here. There is no pomegranate at all. Overall a very rich and thick beer that is not that fun to drink. The booze is hidden well but that's not too important. Not really worth seeking out but if it's there try it.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.11/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my parent's Outback bowl beer glass. Mix/six pick up at Total Beer & Wine.

Pours pitch black (midnight) with full layer of tan foam. Stickiness on the side. Oaty nose. Roasted too. Chocolate taste with a tart fruit note between the layers - assume that is the pomegranate. Smokiness. More tart than bitter, but some of that too.

I guess this is considered "extreme" - its really all over the place, sometimes it works, sometimes not. Give credit for being different!

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Photo of mmink27
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of cyrushire
2.5/5  rDev -28%

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Holy Mackerel Mack In Black from Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers "the garage project"
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 197 ratings