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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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 197 |  Reviews: 141
Photo of chris1919
4.25/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of KajII
3.74/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Tulip Glass]

The pour was a deep dark black with a large (2-3 finger) medium brown fluffy head that receded slowly, down to a light film with a large collar and had excellent sheets of streaky lacing.

The aroma was bold and powerful with a burnt chocolate malt, a light resin hop and a heavy leathery yeast with notes of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, molasses, vanilla and dark fruit (berries).

The taste was very malty with a nice chocolaty sweetness and a note of coffee from the onset with a mild bitterness settling in along with a hint of molasses and a somewhat strong smoky berry ending. The flavor lingered for a good long time with a wonderful chocolate espresso taste that was left hanging for a while longer.

Mouthfeel was a few steps past medium in body with a smooth and creamy texture and a medium carbonation.

Overall an extremely bold, robust and tasty brew that ended with a mild fruity sweetness that possessed a touch of smoke, which made this an exceptionally fantastic drinking experience...


 1,084 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Tumble
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of philaflava
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of slowdaddy
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of jmbraxton
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Btr73
4.25/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of JohnQVD
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of twizzbeatz
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Reaper16
2.79/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle -- 2009 vintage -- served into a pint glass

Pours a darkdark brown color; it isn't black but it comes fairly close. You can't see through it at all. There's nearly 1.5 fingers of dense looking tan head on this beer. It's pretty OK looking, all-in-all.

The first thing I notice in the aroma is the sourish pungency. It's coming from the adjunct use of pomegranate juice. This note, when combined with the (slightly acrid) roasted malts, makes for a cheap approximation of a Belgian Imperial Stout (ala Black Albert or Dark Truth). I say cheap because you can tell that the fruity sour note is coming not from the malts and fermentation but from something else, something added.

As far as taste goes, it follows the nose. It tastes like a weakish imperial stout with pomegranate juice. It totally tastes just like POM; it's an unmistakable flavor. What gets me is that it is possible -- through malt bill selection and yeast activity -- to achieve similar fruity characteristics. This beer takes a shortcut and the result is a loss in complexity. It's not a bad tasting beer. Actually, it tastes fine. It's just not remarkable in any way.

Overall, this is an average strong beer. It actually is an OK drink. It isn't bad and it isn't good. I don't see myself drinking this one again, but I'm sort of glad I experienced it.

 1,338 characters

Photo of djrn2
2.75/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of mntlover
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black of course with red notes when held to the light big fluffy coco head falls to scum with descent lace.

Aroma is nice roasted malts chocolate notes dark fruits, plums come to mind with some light tartness. Bottle says pomegranate so guess its not plums but nice.

Taste is like nose but not as rich some roasted malt but lighter with the fruits again that is nice. Finish is lightly tart fruit notes and grassy hops mingle with some earthy yeast. over all enjoyable just little lighter then I was expecting from the nose.

Mouthfeel is medium with carbonation that is just a touch too peppy for me, would be better if it wasn't as carbonated.

Overall not bad at all, a black ale with some tart fruitiness, different and enjoyable.

 743 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Holy Mackerel! No, seriously. Never had this brewery before, but a friend scored me two different beers of theirs from Florida.

Poured almost black with a mocha-colored head that lightened as it fell. Sparkling foam had too many big bubbles comprising it. Looks fizzy. 3.5

Some licorice, rough hops, sweet malts, roasty bitterness, nuttiness. Interesting enough. 3.0

A whole lotta booze with roasted malts, earthy hops, licorice, and coffee. There's a tangy dark fruit in there that is probably compliments of the pomegranate juice used during the brewing process. I get that it's pomegranate, and it offers some nice short-lived tartness. This is a bit of a mess. Not enough hop oomph to be a Black IPA or Cascadian Ale, not enough malt richness to be a true American Strong. Tastes good enough to warrant an above-average rating. 3.5

Too hot for an 8% beer. And, quite fizzy. Overly carbonated and thinner-bodied to become attenuated and not up to the challenge. 2.5

Eh, it was fun to try. I'll review the other of theirs soon enough. 3.0

 1,045 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from ABC Liquers (St Pete, FL). Served in a Southern Tier snifter. No bottling date. 

Pours black with a lively 4 fingers tan head. 

Strange mix of aromas: charred malt, piney hop, fruit, oats and metal.

Taste starts off like a stout with burnt malts, chocolate and bitter coffee. But there are certainly some hops in there too, mixed with fruit. It's not really bad but it's all over. The moderate abv is well masked by the confusing barrage of flavor.

Feel is medium body with rather high carbonation. 

I'm fine with having tried this but sure glad I got it in a mixed 6 rather than committing to a full 6 pack. I'll credit it with being unlike anything else I've had, and for that give it a slight point boost overall, but the flavors never quite found a harmony. Worth a try but not worth a hunt. 

 824 characters

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!

 500 characters

Photo of Hoppaholic
1/5  rDev -71.2%

Photo of bushwack
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of Goulash
2.5/5  rDev -28%

Photo of bleeng
3.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from Tom the beer guy. Shipped to me by Tom on his business trip-a true fiend!! Pours dark black with a very fizzy and fast dissipating head-all gone. Nose is a bit chocolate and malty-and maybe a bit old.Taste is malty, chocolate and very carbonated, especially for such a dark beer. Alcohol is just a bit present. Not bad but overall pretty much an average beer. Leaves me thinking that this style has seen better days.

 434 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 karatebartender
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Texasfan549
2.5/5  rDev -28%

Photo of bdeast1
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

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