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

197 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 197 |  Reviews: 141
Photo of Hoppaholic
1/5  rDev -71.3%

Photo of Arbitrator
1.99/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. A generous extra from HonusWagner. Thanks, Michael!

A: Pours an opaque dark brown body in the glass with two fingers of fluffy, long-lasting, light mocha head. I'm inclined to think it's infected, seeing how.... robustly carbonated it is.

S: Mildly tart fruits, coffee, dark chocolate, roasted grain.

T: I tried to go without reading the label while taking my first few sips. The dark fruit presence is pretty strong, and from its mild tartness I was guessing strawberries or raspberries. I suppose, after reading the label, that this is just the influence of the pomegranate juice that it was fermented with. The mid-taste sees the evolution of roasted grain, mild coffee, and dark chocolate. The roast pulls into the finish for a stout-like close, and there is a lingering dark chocolate aftertaste with some char.

M: Overcarbed and thin, even cola-like.

D: I wasn't moved one way or another. It's a nice experiment, but I feel the flavors clash. I wouldn't have it again.

 1,012 characters

Photo of jmathis
2/5  rDev -42.5%

Photo of EgadBananas
2.07/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

2009 Vintage.

Looks pretty good. Thick, black, with a nice dark tan head. Good stops there really. Now, there is a great stout-like beer in here: roasted malts, nice chocolate, and coffee in the taste and the aroma...it's pleasant. But...you have to cut through this ridiculous sweet, slightly tart pomegranate taste and aroma. It just doesn't work with the stout qualities. I think maybe it would work better in lower doses, but as it sits, it's too overwhelming and disrupts the vibe here. Oddities aside, the feel is not bad, medium, good carbonation. Overall though, this just wasn't very appealing.

 605 characters

Photo of cjgator3
2.2/5  rDev -36.8%
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.

 743 characters

Photo of robwestcott
2.28/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

2009 bottle

poured cold and black from the bottle to a dogfish head shaped pint glass with a super thin, super dark, super short lasting mocha head.

aroma of dark ripe fruits, and not much else.

hmmm., this is indeed a strange one. acidic tang on the lips, the tongue and all the way down. slightly fruity, but in an over-ripe kind of way.

thin, acidic, bitter.

drinkable - nope - i'm not sure i can take more than 4 - 6 ounces.

 433 characters

Photo of nrbw23
2.33/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- Pours a black color with a very small tan head that recedes to pretty much nothing. Not to much in the way of lacing either.

S- Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, touch of yeast and something fruity I guessing its the pomegranate. Could also pick up some alcohol in there.

T- Not a real fan of this one here and tried to choke it down. Fruity flavours, mostly pomegranate, which gets quickly covered up by the chocolate, and the roasted malts. Its both very sweet and also a touch of sour in there.

M- Seemed pretty thin, watery, and also light on the carbonation.

D- Just way too sweet for me. Very different for sure. I struggled with this one and honestly couldn't finish this one.

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Photo of Kadonny
2.36/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: A deep black color with a light brown one finger head. Minimal lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts, chocolate and some sweetness.

T: Strong ale? Reminds me of a sweet stout. Dark roasted malt flavors with burnt coffee, chocolate and a coying sweetness to it. I guess that's the pomegranite or whatever it is. Either way, I didn't really dig it.

M: Medium to heavy, light carbonation and a hint of alcohol and a funky sweet aftertaste that lingers.

D: Low for me, I couldn't finish the bottle. Sorry.

Overall not a beer I enjoyed at all, in fact I couldn't finish it. That sweetness was just left a terrible aftertaste in my mouth.

 679 characters

Photo of SuperSpy
2.37/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Black and thick. No light gets through this, not even around the edges. A good half-inch of dark tan head that sticks around for a few minutes and leaves some good lace.

S - The aroma is a bit astringent and almost syrupy. I'm sure this is from the pomegranate. There is some roasted malt, chocolate and coffee, but the dominating smell is the syrupy pomegranate.

T/M - The flavor is dominated by the syrupy sweet and tart flavor that was in the aroma. Behind the tartness is some coffee, chocolate and brown sugar, but it finishes with a burnt coffee or burnt malt flavor that makes it difficult to go back and take another sip.

D - I'll admit that this is an interesting beer and probably the first time I've tasted fermented pomegranate, but it's probably the last time I will taste it in this beer. There is no way I could drink a second one of these and finishing this first one may be a little difficult.

 950 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.44/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2008 bottle. Pours black with a small bubbly tan head. Aroma of burnt malt and sweet pomegranate, which just didn't mesh together for me. Very odd smelling and not in a good way. Flavor is still burnt with roasted malt and parmesean cheese and a sweet pomegranate finish. Meh, this is very underwhelming. The flavors are just bad. Why would you add pomegranate juice to an imperial stout? It was difficult to take even more than a few sips of this nasty beverage.

 463 characters

Photo of cyrushire
2.5/5  rDev -28.2%

Photo of Goulash
2.5/5  rDev -28.2%

Photo of KlayWey
2.5/5  rDev -28.2%

Photo of Texasfan549
2.5/5  rDev -28.2%

Photo of SigEp
2.53/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ok so. Pours pitch black. In the nose there is roasted malt along with a hint of fruitiness in there and some belgian esters.

Here's my problem with this one. Too much roast malt. All you taste is roast malt. It's pretty much like an imperial stout without the real round deliciousness of that class of beers. I get a tiny hint of the fruit. Tiny. I have to search deep deep deep for it and it's almost like I can find a whisper of it underneath the stouty darkness of this thing. And the belgian character? Non existent. All the delicate, delicious flavors that the belgian yeast may have deployed have been masked by the dark malts.

Guess what I have to say is... cool it with the dark malts. Maybe replace your roasted or black patent or whatever it is you're using with cara malts.

 787 characters

Photo of Freethyhops
2.54/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

a- pours almost completely black with a some ruby tones at the edges when held to light. a nice persistent light brown head accompanies the dark liquid

s- a bit of roasted malts mix with sweet malts and dark fruit esters. the aroma seems quite muted and is not grabbing my attention in the least. below average for a beer in this category.

t- an interesting mix of roasty and lighlty toasted malts, some cocoa and bitter pomegranet juice. despite the slight influence of bitterness from the pomegranets, a constant sweetness pushes this beer out of balance to the point of being cloying with fruity sugary sweetness.

m- it does have a pleasant medium-full body with smooth moderate carbonation. a nice slick mouthfeel with a bit heavier heavier viscosity. it certainly helps this beer.

d- I don't see myself ever buying this one again. it's not awful but it really doesn't provide me any reason to revisit. a strange brew that really misses the target for me.

 964 characters

Photo of yeahnatenelson
2.61/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thrown in as an extra by dimenthefield - what a nice guy!

Appearance -- Pours a rich, dark brown with burgundy highlights, appears black in the glass, wit one finger of pinkish head.

Smell -- Pomegranate, sour cherry, cider vinegar, dark chocolate, and smoke. Smells like an infected RIS, but it's clearly from the pomegranate.

Taste -- Sharp tartness from the pomegranate akin to sour cherries soaked in POM juice. Behind this wall of tart are sweet and roasty malt flavors akin to dark chocolate, toffee licorice, and coffee grounds.

Mouthfeel -- Medium to light in body with moderate prickly carbonation. A bit thin, but it's not too bad.

Drinkability -- I am not feeling this Pomegranate infused dark ale. The roasty sweetness and the tart pomegranate create a sort of cider vinegar flavor that made this beer a bit of a labor for me.

Your mileage may vary, but this one bummed me out.

 895 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.62/5  rDev -24.7%
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.

 1,010 characters

Photo of ottovon
2.71/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: pours out a dark brown. when held to the light it has a reddish brown hue to it. a nice light brown head on this one.

S: smells of pomegranate and roasted malt. hints of molasses as well. it smells like a pomegranate syrup might. has a very sweet aroma.

T: this beer has a lot of sweetness in it. i get some roasted malt and chocolate flavors as well. overall it is too sweet for my liking.

M: this is a pretty thick (and not in a good way) and low carbed beer. leaves a weird coating on my palate.

O: not a huge fan of this beer. too much fake like sweetness.

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Photo of slowdaddy
2.75/5  rDev -21%

Photo of Kurmaraja
2.75/5  rDev -21%

Photo of Thedrizzle
2.75/5  rDev -21%

Photo of chinesebeatle
2.75/5  rDev -21%

Photo of djrn2
2.75/5  rDev -21%

Photo of rtratzlaff
2.77/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I am not sure how I am to review this style wise since this is listed as an American strong ale, but the lable claims it as a Belgian black ale. The yeast used was Belgian, but I guess that is the only thing Belgian about this beer since its brewed in Florida.

It pours deep black beer in color with a one finger head that dissipates to a small island of thin off white head.

Aromas are mainly chocolate and black malt with plenty of sweetness. Not really too much fruit, but really sweet in the smell.

Flavors are really sweet with some chocolate in there as well. There's not a complex Belgian quality to this, but its really one dimensional. Is it drinkable? Yes. But something about this reminds me of a mass produced fruit beer aimed to not taste like "beer." Too Sweet.

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Holy Mackerel Mack In Black from Holy Mackerel Small Batch Beers "the garage project"
3.48 out of 5 based on 197 ratings.
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