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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 197 |  Reviews: 141
Photo of scifan
4.5/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an awesome beer. Found it this weekend and have been loving it. It pours pitch black with a tan head that quickly dissapates. Smells like coffee, and getting faint hints of something fruity, maybe from the belgian yeast strain used? Taste absolutely great. Lovely coffee and roasted barley flavors, and then a slightly cherry taste as an after thought. It's a little carbonated but, i'll overlook it. Truly an underrated beer.

 434 characters

Photo of sirdrinkwell
4.5/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i've drank this several times on tap at a local wing spot here in south Florida, but my review is based on a bottle serving at the same establishment:

A: dark, dark, like the night. the pomegranate elements are well represented in the deep color.
S: almost stout-like, with a slight dark pomegranate aroma also detectable
T: chocolate character offset by the pungency of the pomegranate
M: smooth, this brew goes down well alone or as an aid to dinner, aftertaste is just inviting enough to leave you anticipating another
D: very easy to down several of these if necessary. this is the best florida brewed beer i've encountered

 631 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
4.5/5  rDev +29.7%

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.48/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep opaque brown, like dark chocolate, with a nice tan head. Smoky aroma is strongly of fine roast coffee and has a hint of pomegranate. Mouth-filling flavor has tones of coffee and unsweetened chocolate as well as a pomegranate hint. Mouthfeel is lively and tingly, and finish is pleasingly smooth.

 308 characters

Photo of rajendra82
4.45/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour consisted of an impressive looking, opaque colored, solid black body, topped by a one finger thick head. When held up to a bright light, the body revealed some deep red highlights. The aroma of the beer was just as impressive as the looks, with loads of black coffee, dark chocolate, molasses, toffee, and roast grains hitting the nose with each whiff. The taste was grainy, astringent, and has a backing of burnt sugar. The finish had a molasses like sweetness. The body was touch runny, but the feel was creamy and not disappointing in any way. I could not detect much of a pomegranate presesene in the beer, but still a fine stout as is.

 656 characters

Photo of bcsbeer
4.41/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Poured black as night with a tall brown head that hung around for a really long time. It’s nice to have a beer that can hold its suds for more than a few minutes. I’m not sure if the sexy curves of the tulip glass didn’t influence me, but that is one good looking beer.
The smell did not disappoint, a prelude of good things to come. Taste was of malt, coffee, caramel, dark chocolate, pomegranate, and the flavors blended nicely. The mouth feel was mature, rich but not too sweet.
This is a beer you want to take your time with and enjoy.
It makes me glad I live in FL.

 620 characters

Photo of JoshLikesBeer
4.39/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer tastes like an imperial version of Young's Double Chocolate Stout plus added pomegranate juice and the fruity esters of a Belgian yeast.

This beer doesn't attempt to meet any formal style definition. I'm not sure why it is listed as an "American Strong Ale", other than the fact that it's as good a place as any. I won't judge it for compliance to the style, because the beer makes no claims to be an "American Strong Ale".

A - Very dark, with a brown head that quickly dissipates into a ring around the edge of my snifter glass.

S - The smell is awesome. Chocolate from the malt, pomegranate from the juice, plus some raisins/dried cherries/plums from the yeast. The hops are subtle, but they're there.

T - Chocolate and pomegranate. Maybe a little too sweet.

M - The carbonation is moderate, and the finish is dry.

D - I really liked it, but the flavors are very strong. I couldn't see drinking more than one of these in an evening. However, that's probably a good thing because very easy drinking high gravity beers get me into trouble.

 1,055 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had been unsure whether or not to purchase this one for a while now, but I just got one as an extra, so situation solved and away we go with being able to try this one. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 06/25/2009.
The pour was very nice. Rich dark black with light reddish highlights peaking around the sides. The nice towering head of tan came up and over the top of the glass with much ease, only barely settling down as the night went on. Monster look to it and I have to admit I was quite impressed. The aroma was loaded with roasted malts, hints of dark fruity notes and a nice hint of cocoa. Smooth, silky taste was excellent across the board. I was surprised by the nice little hop kick this one had in the back as well. Rich, almost a light prune like flavor coming through now as the richness of it. The abv was all but absent for me to be honest, and this went down much quicker then I ever would have thought.
Overall I am really impressed here. I did not think it was going to be nearly as good as it was and it has peaked my interest enough to get me to go after a couple more of their offerings. This is a winner in my book.

 1,187 characters

Photo of toofdoc
4.31/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had the great pleasure of enjoying this brew with Bobby Gordash in his new tasting room. Was served on tap, which is hard to come by.

A - nice rich black with mild to moderate head retention and fairly tight lacing.

Smell - this I say would be one of the weak points of this brew. You get an acidic smell which isn't exactly pleasurable from the Pom juice.

Taste - nice nice coffee foward with hints of chocolate. The Pom juice really balances out this brew, but may be a niche because not everyone will enjoy its slight bite and acidity.

M - again, I like the acidity, but most will be looking for that typical creamy feel, not gonna get it here.

O - I loved it. It's very unique and enjoyalble. I suggest having it on tap in thier tasting room, much better than the bottles.

 783 characters

Photo of cincodm
4.29/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a sifter

a:starts pitch back with a thick, foamy head that dissipates to a thin, constant fuzz.

s:Nothing too remarkable in the smell category, the alcohol consumes it.

t:Wow, a million times better than what I thought, starts dark and malty and ends with a slight fruity tang. Would never had known the Pomegranate was in it if it didn't say so, more of a general tartness than a specific fruit taste. Alcohol barely tastes present.

m:Very light, and watery

d:I could barrel through another one of these now, and I probably will, but I have an oak-barreled Unearthly to work on first.

 602 characters

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)


 1,069 characters

Photo of atsprings
4.27/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one at the Raleigh Would Beer Festival and had been looking forward to trying a whole pint. Poured a nice opaque black with a thin diminishing head. Aroma was a nice blend of pomegranate and subtle choocolate. The taste a very complex blend of dried fruits, dark chocolate and slight Belgian spice. The beer is medium bodied with hidden alcocol. This is an enjoyable beer on a 100° day that will only get more enjoyable in cold weather

 445 characters

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

 968 characters

Photo of chris1919
4.25/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of Btr73
4.25/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of jskoog
4.23/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprisingly good beer! Very different. Smell is sour cherry, pomegranate and slight espresso. I grabbed a single at State Spirits in Greenville, SC (great store) just to try something different. I was impressed. Taste is just like the smell, dark chocolate, espresso, a hint of pine (very small hint) followed up by pomegranate. The berry isn't overpowering and it was really a great match with the chocolate. Ill grab one of these everything now and then to change things up from my normal fare of DIPAs. Give it a shot, you will be pleasantly surprised.

 556 characters

Photo of indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like a stout, dark brown to black with a coffee tan head that is tight bubbles compared to a foamy style head. It quickly fades and breaks up leaving a dark liquid occupying my glass. Intrigueing.

Smells like dark roasted coffee beans, a bit of a sweet/sour scent along with a bit of red wine and vanilla ice cream. Intrigueing still.

Initital taste is very, very reminiscent of dark roasted coffee with a very slight tinge of berry sweetness. Pomegranate? Hmm, I couldn't detect that specific flavor but this one actually is surprising me. The complexity and blend of flavors is quite good. AS this warms it becomes almost like a bar of dark chocolate with some berry and the profile of the fruit is becoming a bit more like pomegranate (kind of sweet and sour with a drying quality).

Mouthfeel reminds me of a red wine, very flavorful and dry in the finish.

This one really appealed to me, I don't really care what others had to say as you like what you like. I was very fond of the flavor profile of this beer. Probably the best thing I've had from Florida.

 1,070 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle says 2008 on it, consumed May 2010. Received in trade from KarrHeel03, thanks for the opportunity!

Pours a solid black color with just the faintest of garnet highlights when held to the light. Tightly bubbled khaki head recedes slowly into the abyss. Smells of sweet perfume and chocolate and tart dark fruits, a little smoke and a hint of wet dog. Really a lot going on here. Taste is is kind of what I expected based on the aroma. Starts off with some tart fruits. I imagine pomegranate, raisins, plums, tart cherries dipped in chocolate. This melts into a bit of roasted grains, and leaves a roasted coffee chocolate finish. Medium to thick body, medium level of carbonation, creamy syrupy mouthfeel. This one is definitely different, but I think it works pretty well. The darker roasts seem homogenized perfectly with dark fruits. I wonder what this is like fresh.

 876 characters

Photo of markwise
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a surprisingly great beer. For an imperial stout-type beer it has a bit of a watery mouthfeel. It pours a dark black with a very shy tan head. In the bottle it smells of chocolate, coffee, and the fruit (pomegranate) is absent from the aroma, and almost from the flavor as well. On draft the smooth fruit at the end is much more pronounced.

It has all of the flavors of an Imp Stout, but is dangerously more drinkable. The ABV hides in the flavor, so watch out for surprises.

 485 characters

Photo of Patrick999
4.04/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice, my first sampling of Mack In Black. Label reads "Imperial Black Ale with pomegranate juice." Per the label, dark chocolate barley, American hops, Belgian yeast and pomegranate juice. Well OK, then, I do like an ambitious beer! Brewed in Florida, too.

A - Inky black with some browned edges. Head shows itself briefly, then settles to basically nothing but some tendrils of small bubbles. I never get much retention in this glass, and I know this is a strong ale, but I would still like to see a little more.

S - Nice aroma here. My first impression is "chocolate-covered cherry." A softer, sweeter aroma than the typical big American stout, possibly due to the use of Belgian yeast?

T - The use of a Belgian yeast is readily apparent. It's a big stout, basically, with notes of dark chocolate and coffee up front, and a definite fruit overtone I can't place that must be the pomegranate. I've found that I have a difficult time picking up pomegranate when it is used in beer; to me it always comes off as "fruit." Light hop bite at the back end. Now the Belgian yeast - it does something funny to this beer. It's mostly stout-like, yes, but then we add this whole Belgian Strong Dark element to the mix - the clove-y spiciness is there a little - mostly masked by the chocolate malts, but it's there. Quite the complex beer.

F - Very smooth. Quick kiss of carbonation, glides right down.

D - While the 8% alcohol is not readily apparent, this is a very rich, full-bodied beer with a lot going on. I can't imagine someone wanting more than one at a time. Would pair well, I think, with a fruity dessert, perhaps a raspberry or blueberry tart. Or, forget the dessert and have this, this is dessert enough.

 1,735 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
4.04/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as coal, no light penetration at all. Small head dissipates quickly and with a bit of fizzing sound. No lace at all.
Smell is roasted malt, soy, smoke and peat. Good balance.
Taste is the same as the smell with the addition of some alcohol presence and a hint of dark fruit. Balance is good here as well
Smooth, somewhat chewy, light effervescence, slightly warming. Medium bodied. All told, a pretty darned good beer. Well worth picking up a several. The ABV is not noticeable at all.

 497 characters

Photo of scottyshades
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am glad that a good dark beer has finally come out of Florida

A: Pours a deep black color with amber around the corners with a frothy beige head that leaves a good lace

S: Toasted malts, dark fruits, coffee, and chocolate

T: Wow! very rich with chocolate, coffee, toffee, pomegranate juice (wouldnt have identified the fruit without the bottle tellin me), and a sour finish

MF: A borderline Medium bodied beer, very thick and syrupy feeling. It has a unique sweet/rich taste that transitions into a bitter taste

D: This is a sipper beer

 543 characters

Photo of spacechimo155
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark, dark purple hues due to the pomegranite. Very sexy beer.
Scent and flavor of expresso, dark chocolate, pomegranite.
Mouthfeel reflects its medium body, carbonation is right on and provides a drinkability that is only hindered by its higher ABV.

 256 characters

Photo of jmbraxton
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of TheRealtor
4/5  rDev +15.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Holy Mackerel Mack In Black from Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers "the garage project"
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 197 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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