Black Hawk Stout
Mendocino Brewing Company

Black Hawk StoutBlack Hawk Stout
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Stout - Irish Dry
Ranked #262
Ranked #46,052
3.54 | pDev: 13.28%
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States
Black Hawk StoutBlack Hawk Stout
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Reviews: 432 | Ratings: 660 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a deep jet black, opaque, thick, chewy, bituminous look. Has a deep brown well-aerated head comprised of large bubbles that leaves a smattered coarse lace on the glass walls. The smell is a pervasive burnt one, too burnt for it masks the malts. The head has rescinded by now – a deeply burnt tire taste assaults the senses at the front portion of this beer, the middle is deeply roasted malt and coffee leading to a bitter finish – but still with the “skid-marks” of burnt rubber which is now becoming rather annoying.
For me, a good Stout needs to be smooth, and the roast malt, as nice as it is - must be balanced with some sweetness and/or bitterness. This stout is simply too harsh, it is "too" roasted - and has neither, sweetness, nor bitterness, to balance it.
Shame really, if MBC dry-hopped this, I think it would be marvellous.

Oct 12, 2002
More User Reviews:
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ramrod666 from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Apr 29, 2014
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patobandito from New Mexico

3.46/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

First stout in a long time. First one I've reviewed in fact.

Pours a very dark color, excellent stout color, with a nice brown-tan head. Good retention. Almost no lace. Smells smoky-chocolate with a toffee note. Taste is very light toffee with a smoky finish. Kind of thin for a stout. Overall quite drinkable, but not really stout in mouthfeel. A bit more like a thin porter in my opinion.

Overall, not bad, but I've had better stouts, and I'm not even a fan of stouts.

Dec 13, 2008
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SensorySupernova from California

3.87/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sep 20, 2015
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a tar black body with a rocky tan head that displays good retention and lacing

Smell: Roasted malt notes, some chocolate but also a bit of dishwater that degrades from the overall effect

Taste: Starts out with a roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate base; mid-palate, a strong smokey and bitter effect overpowers the malt and carries through to the finish with burnt coffee notes

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with modest carbonation

Drinkability: Certainly the best Mendocino that I have tasted (although that is not saying much), this is a respectable effort but is a tad too disjointed to come together

Feb 19, 2006
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Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

2.88/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From a bottle.

Pours essentially jet black, even when held to light. The head is thin and tan. Lacing remains for a bit.

Smells a bit smokey and also sweet like brown sugar.

The taste is VERY smokey like charcoal laced with black pepper. Seriously. Kind of weird. The aftertaste is hoppy bitter.

The mouthfeel is a bit sharp, with kind of a zing to it.

Overall this beer is a little bizarre. I'm glad I tried it, but I don't think I would enjoy having it again.

Jan 21, 2009
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BogAl from Indiana

2.75/5  rDev -22.3%

Jul 30, 2014
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kmpitz2 from Tennessee

3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to clvand0 for sharing this with me. It pours a slightly browned black color with a small head over top of it. The nose is slightly roasted, but mostly raisiney and figgy fruit tones. The flavor is a little weak to me, with mostly dark fruit tones with a slight roasted, hop bitter finish. The feel is well to thin. Almost watery. Overall, not my favorite stout. The flavors are not necessarily what I associate with a stout and the feel is just to thin.

Feb 02, 2005
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thespaceman from Connecticut

3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Mendocino pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a midnight black in color, a large, soapy tan head sits atop this dark colored brew. Lacing and retention all around were above average.

Smell: Up front I get alot of hop aromas, strong and resinous for a stout. The backround features a subtle amount of coffee aromas with a bit of nuttiness and some malt spice. A nice balance in the nose here.

Taste: This has that west coast hopping that really makes this stout different then others out there. This is balanced great, yet the hops really control the journey. Plenty of dark fruit and spice from the hops blends through to a caramel zestiness. The malt is small and reserved yet offers just the right elements to make this stout bold. I get bits of chocolate, coffee bean, and vanilla in the finish which really sets the overall tone of this beer, very well executed.

Mouthfeel: Actually light in the mouth, gets a bit chewy towards the middle of a sip but smooths out nicely from the malt texture. Decent carbonation and holds itself together well on the tongue.

Drinkability: An awesome go-to stout for anybody, I love Mendocino's courage to let the hops flourish in this offering as it really sets it apart from other stouts on the shelf. Low ABV makes this overly drinkable without throwing in a boring factor, as this actually can be had more the once in a single night. Overall a perfectly balanced beer that will be a regular in my fridge for a long time.

Sep 23, 2009
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3/5  rDev -15.3%

Jul 30, 2014
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cro250klr from Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just downed my last Stone Smoked Porter and had a few of the Black Hawks in the fridge to back up the Stone. While some may say that the Stone is a cut above, for the price, a Black Hawk is a pretty good deal. My buddy sells the Hawk for $3.25 a bottle at his bar. To me, that's a much better deal than one of the big three, (Bud, Miller, Coors) at $2.50 a clip. Or even a Stone at $8 a wack.
The Hawk pours almost black with a small tan head that fades rather fast. A nice lace keeps on the glass till the end. The roasted malt, coffee, and is that a carmel that I taste??,. combine to make a very respectable brew. I found it's best to let this one warm a bit. The flavors meld much better as with most better stouts and browns.
I don't think that I could make an entire session out of this stout.There are but a few brews that are in that class. But, it's a good choice to start with then move on. Or, end with as a compliment to a dessert such as a piece of pumpkin pie or apple pie ala mode. While this one probably wouldn't make a good warm weather choice, the price allows you to have this brew in your fridge throughout the year without worrying about breaking your wallet. Pretty good.

Dec 25, 2004
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WakeandBake from Michigan

2.97/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A black color pour with a thin off white head , light crbonation, little to no lacing. Aroma of roasty grain , burn toffee ,and coffee. Flavor is rather bland, roasted grain,some hoppiness , slightly bitter , coffee , and charcoal. Thin body , watey mouthfeel , dry slightly bitter finish. Drinkable but nothing I would buy again .

Jul 02, 2009
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Stargazer2892 from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Jul 16, 2014
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rhoadsrage from Illinois

3.08/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a black opaque body with a thin light tan film of a head that fades to a ring pretty quickly.

S- This beer has a toasted black malt aroma with a hint of chocolate in the background. The smell is pretty dry.

T- There is a dark black malt with a faint tang behind it. There is a chocolate malt note with some baker's coco as well. There is a soft raw grain note as it warms.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a dry finish and a slight creaminess in the texture.

D- This beer is pretty light and doesn't have a lot of depth but the flavors that it does have are nice.

Dec 20, 2006
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Fatduck from Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from a buddy, thanks Charlie.

Pours a deep black hue, with a big fluffy tan head. Smells wonderfully roasty with some nice hints of grassy(english?) hops. Taste is very good, sweet, malty with a touch of hop bitterness. My problem with this beer is the mouth feel. Its thin, watery just doesn't feel right for a stout. That thin body does however make it quite a drinkable brew. Bottoms up!

Feb 04, 2009
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BuzzFee from Illinois

2.25/5  rDev -36.4%

Oct 05, 2014
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Ricochet from Ohio

3.37/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured clean, with no head and no lace to speak of, thicker pour, hint of beads but not actually seeing them and odd patches of carbonation clinging to the glass. Made me think of Olde Frothingslosh.

When pouring this, I smelled a brownie component but the nose said this was a little winey with just a hint of the burnt malt. Good standard stout earns extra because of the appetizing pour.

Mouth was standard stout. Washed thin, foamed like a stout should and the chocolate/malt aftertaste had a hit of coffee, pretty much standard issue, and good.

Taste, also, standard issue beginnings, chocolate, coffee at the end, rounded malt, toasty. The wine bit, making this a bitter slugger puts this a bit above average for me. Not too much follow through to call this really good, but not bad.

Well, don't know if I'd get this again. In a sampler, makes the dark beers fans like me happy, but nothing I'd go out of my way for.

Feb 03, 2008
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cvfish from Louisiana

2.86/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured a light black color that produced a tan head that didn't retain and left no lacing

S - Some burnt malts

T - Not the strong stout taste I was hoping for, but some chocolate malts

M - Mild carbonation, medium bodied

D - Decent stout, not something that I would drink again though seeing as there are much better options

Jan 17, 2009
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ordybill from Georgia

4.43/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Big coffee smell with a nice malt backdrop
Appearance- pours a black color with a thick brown head.
Taste- Coffee and a bit of licorice with a nice malt mix
Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation with a dry finish
Overall- A real good Irish Dry Stout, highly recommended.

Jun 22, 2015
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santoslhalper from Pennsylvania

3.31/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: A pitch black liquid sits underneath a wonderfully clingy dark tan head.

Smell: Smells like an average coffee-ish stout. That's all.

Taste and Mouthfeel: A very watered-down coffee flavor hits your mouth at first, and stays for most of the brew. Chocolate and nutty flavors are evident, but not pronounced. The mouthfeel is thin and very cloying.

Drinkability and Overall: Your average stout. Simple as that. Nothing too special, but nothing too horrible. This may be a good beer to "enlighten" fans of Guinness with, but alas it's nothing special.

Feb 15, 2005
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gabe23 from North Carolina

3.86/5  rDev +9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased from World Market and served in a tulip pint glass.

A - I was disapointed to see absolutely no head after pouring. Color is black, with a hint of brown when held to the light. Looks like a flat Coke in a glass.

S - Mild dark malt aroma with a slight hint of chocolate.

T - Strong roasted malt flavor with coffee bitterness and dark chocolate undertones. Fairly clean taste, but I was expecting more sweetness based on the smell. Quite a bit more carbonated that I expect from a stout.

M - Light and somewhat watery, but crisp. Nothing to write home about here.

D - While I didn't love this beer, I think it's got good drinkability. Nothing too disagreeable about it unless you really dislike strong black coffee notes in your stout. But there are plenty of other ones that I'd buy before trying this one again.

Nov 21, 2008
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Sellen from Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Oct 11, 2014
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SCW from New York

2.88/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought four different stouts from HalfTime Beverages in Poughkeepsie, NY. This was the last beer I tasted of the four and I liked it the least. Perhaps the competition was fierce, but this beer was not very impressive at all.

It had an excessive protein/husky flavor that usually comes from cheap American malt. There is virtually no mass-produced QUALITY barley malt made in the U.S.... and this beer claims to have its beer made from U.S. 2-row. That explains it.

The hops are quite ordinary too. They don't mesh well with the roasted flavor which is too dry and unbalanced by crystal malts and caramelization.

The je ne sais qua of the beer leaves an unsettling vibe. I will not seek another.

Sep 01, 2004
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jaydoc from Kansas

3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Dec 14, 2013
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beersquirrel1337 from New York

4.08/5  rDev +15.3%

Dec 12, 2014
Black Hawk Stout from Mendocino Brewing Company
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 660 ratings