Black Hawk Stout | Mendocino Brewing Company

431 Reviews
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Black Hawk StoutBlack Hawk Stout

Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
United States

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-15-2001

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Reviews: 431 | Ratings: 653
Photo of Jonmoore89
4.84/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured black as night. Didn't retain its head as well as I would have liked.

S: Noticed Chocolate scent right away. Roasted and Nutty.

T: Sweet Chocolate at the beginning and ends with a nice mildly bitter coffee taste.

M: The light carbonation is nice. Tastes heavy and smooth.

O: Great Stout! Among the best that I've had for the price.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.65/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving 12.ounce bottle.

Wonderful malty stout aroma, pours a thick creamy beige head that truly lasted a long spell, gracefuly laced the glass. Deep black opaque in color. More on the slightly sweet side with a hint of hops, slight bitter aftertaste that lingers quite a while, hence lower mouthfeel score. A very drinkable brew!

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.6/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mendocino Black Hawk Stout has a thick, creamy, beige head, a very dark brown (essentially black) appearance, with reddish-brown highlights at the edges, and some thin lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of dark-roasted coffee, black bread crust, and chocolate powder. Taste is of charcoal, burnt sugar, black bread, dark bread crust, cocoa powder, milk, cream, dark cherries, licorice, and a minimal bitterness. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Mendocino Black Hawk Stout finishes semi-dry, easy going, and highly drinkable. Overall, this is another great one from Mendocino!


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Photo of Maudite
4.56/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a beautiful and underrated stout. Not too much alcohol, and a very balanced palate.

A= Black as night, a bottle of crude oil.
S= Roasty, burnt grains, baking chocolate, warm bread
T= Comes in clean with a black patent punch, melting into a bittersweet/special dark chocolate trickle, and falling off with a dark, over-toasted dark bread finish. Clean, yet complex.
M= Coats the tongue, bubbly on the gums, thick and heavy. Leaves a strong, pleasant memory in your mouth.
D= Easy to drink. Not too strong to drink relatively quick, unlike most stouts. Not too much alcohol either, so you can easily have 3 or 4. This is daddy's mocha.

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Photo of ordybill
4.43/5  rDev +25.5%
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.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.35/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with no expiration date or lot code anywhere to be seen. Sampled on July 12, 2009. As it pours from the bottle it has a brown color but once it fills the pint glass it is near black like molasses. A little tan head tops the brew and dissoles but not entirely. The aroma is like smoked or roasted malts, coffee grinds, and a dash of hops on the tail end. The taste gives off a burnt sensation with roasted malts and a subtle dry hop finish. I found it to be smooth and enjoyable.

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Photo of xav33
4.35/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mendocino Black Hawk Stout
12 oz bottle
Moderate pour in an English pint
Unknown brewing (recent?), flown into 05/07

Poured black with deep mahogany highlights with a huge frothy somewhat lasting light brown head with good lacing.

Smelt of moderate licorice, molasses, ashes and burnt grain, brown sugar.

Taste was upfront moderate bitter burnt grain and sweet molasses followed by a strong burnt grain bitterness and light black licorice and molasses sweetness on a long finish.

Palate was medium bodied, slightly oily, softly carbonated and lightly astringent.

Overall, I really like this. It's like a bolder version of Guinness.

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Photo of cheers2beers
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: While pouring this jet black stout, I was able to coax a roaring three inch pillowy tan head. The laceing has no shyness about it, there is plenty of it surrounding my glass.

Smell: Aromas are sweet and bitter chocolates, coffee grounds, some wood notes, nice arrangement of sweet malts and bittering hops to make up the rest.

Taste: Wow! This is truely a great stout. The semi sweet chocolate and the thick candied malts explode in my mouth upon impact. Followed by a very balanced bittering hops and coffee grounds in the middle,with a nice punch of alcohol to K.O. my taste buds!

Mouthfeel: The feel is slick, oily front with a semi dry and bubblely finish.

Drinkability: Man, I can't wait to go and buy this one up again. This stout is not my favorite but it ranks on up there. I would suggest you go and purchase this immediately and enjoy at a medium pace or slam it and your own free will, It's your call.


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Photo of shabbtastic
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Filled up my growler right after our short tour of the brewery in Saratoga!

A - Poured pitch black into a Saratoga Lager pint glass. Two finger tan head with excellent lacing.

S - Initial smell of chocolate roasted malt up front with a hint of coffee tones.

T - Coffee / chocolate up front followed by a slightly bitter aftertaste. A nice coffee after taste lingers and is very balanced and pleasant.

M - Full bodied, smooth and creamy all the way around. Perfect amount of carbonation, with a strong body.

D - Very drinkable, my growler was empty before I knew it. I will definitely be in the tasting room soon for a refill! Highly recommended.

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Photo of mjc410
4.27/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour into my Fuller's nonic raises a creamy tan one-finger head over a nearly opaque body with ruby highlights. The head recedes slowly, but the lacing is almost too heavy to hold the sides of the glass. The nose is dominated by a lovely mocha scent, but there also comes through a bit of burnt caramel. The taste is very balanced between roast and chocolate-caramel sweetness. The mouth is velvety on the tongue, but still has a lively carbonation. Eminently drinkable.

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Photo of WesWes
4.27/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark black color with a thin brown head that fades to lacing. The aroma is of black and roasted barley; a real dark scent. The taste is great. It has a caramel taste to it. The presence of black barley cannot be ignored. It is very smooth and creamy; delicious. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with medium carbonation. This is a great drinking stout.; a real pleasure of a beer.

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Photo of taez555
4.27/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a pitch black body with a small off-white head.

Nose has a rich, slightly metallic, chocolate smell. Toffee, some dark burnt roasted malt, coffee, milk chocolate and some faint floral notes. Very rich and very inviting.

Taste is medium bodied with a smooth dark malt flavor. Very tame at first ending with a bit stronger more pronounced roasted malt bitterness. Dark malt, coffee, some mild caramel, some hints of roasted or even smokey burnt malt. Rather tame bitterness at first but becomes much more pronounced as it warms. Starts to get a little bit more metallic as it warms.

Really a very nice american stout. Loads of flavors, all in your face and yet extremely drinkable.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass. The beer is a rich espresso black with brown around the edges when held to the light. A chunky off-white head dissipates to a film of bubbles, and leaves minimal lacing. The beer smells of burnt malts and bitter chocolate. The taste is spot on with the appearance and smell so far, in other words it tastes like a good, typical Irish dry stout. The bitter chocolates and burnt, yet semi-sweet malt coats the taste buds with a dry bitterness following. Also a slightly smokey taste in there. The mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, just a solid stout all around. Probably would get a better score if i had any sentimental connection to it, but I don't.

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Photo of nixhecks
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, the war in Iraq is a week old, and I sit here thankful as hell that, while Iraqis sit with Black Hawks overhead, I sit with this Black Hawk stout in hand instead. Black Hawk poured a deep, dark brown, not quite black, and had a very nice light brown head on top that held with medium retention. Aroma was roasted malts with a slight coffee smell. The mouthfeel was very smooth and silky, heavy bodied, and tasted softly of cocoa and mocha. I also noticed a coppery, metallic taste but it was really, really tiny - maybe just my imagination. The aftertaste was balanced out with a crisp hop bitterness, not too much however. The drinkability is surpisingly high, this beer just seemed to meld with my tastebuds well, very soft and balanced. From top to bottom this was a very enjoyable stout, and it is a competitor in my opinion with some of the top stouts.

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Photo of inebrius
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picture a nitro stout. Remove the head completely then throw a narrow rubber band the circumference of your glass in its place. Black Hawk. Malt fruity nose. Mellow malt kicks back on the couch and watches the roast barley and citric hops pummel your buds. Very PNW and very good.

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Photo of shapudding
4.17/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a pitch black and creamy with a thick beige head that dissapated quickly, leaving only a thin ring and slight cloud in the center. Scents of toffee, coffee, dark cherries, and brandy. Light carbination and a bit of bite in the flavor. Tastes dark and smooth. Burnt toast in the sips and aftertaste. Sherry, merlot, espresso. Good bitterness. Good mouthfeel, but heavy tasting, maybe not one that you could drink a ton of in a sitting, but still very enjoyable.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.16/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark black with no head.

S - Chocolate, black licorice and a hint of coffee.

S - Robust coffee taste with a hops accent. There is chocolate as well and it is very dark. This flavor is not at all for the meek.

M - The feel is extremely smooth. I am very impressed by the silk feel of this brew. For a beer that has such a pronounced group of flavors it is very easy to drink.

~ This beer really came through. This is certainly a breakfast and or desert beer. I will certainy suggest my friends try this beer and hope to one day sample a pour straight from a brewer's tap.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a thick creamy brown head. The aroma is very nutty and very unique. There is a very unique nutty taste in this stout that really appeals to me. I also pick up some toffee on the tongue. Pretty bitter. A unique stout worth a try.

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Photo of ADR
4.14/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very dark roasted malt flavor, nice head, but far more subtle and real then the almost burnt taste of something like Guinness Extra (hardly needing its fortified capacity now that it comes from Canada) far as Black Hawk, I was a little disappointed by its mouthfeel (could have been creamier) but the aromas and head were great...great American rendition of a stout...

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.12/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is black, with some dark brown highlights under light, and a light tan head that starts thick and frothy, but recedes to a decent half inch, tightly bubbled presentation. The beer is malty on the nose, with no other characteristics jumping out. The malt has notes of molasses and caramel, but very mild. Initial flavors are light, and ride through on a clean, crisp body. There are flavors heavy on chocolate, with strong backgrounds of coffee and dark, sweet malt. Well balanced with bitter and sweet flavors. Body is smooth and crisp at the same time, never overpowering and alway complementary of the flavors. The beer transitions to a quick, smooth, and clean finish. The aftertaste is similar to melting a chocolate bar in half a cup of coffee. Very tasty, and very pleasant. Easy to drink with almost anything in terms of food.

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Photo of Guinness4me
4.12/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one sneaky beer. I nearly missed it's nuances and I'm glad I slowed down for a closer look.

Pouring a choco-coffee brown with little smell if any, it looked like it would taste as deep and rich as it looked, but a dfferent feeling filled my mouth! The tip of my tongue met with a fizzy sweetness that slowly morphed into a warm syrup on my tongue. By the time it hit the back and sides of my tongue, it had mellowed into a deep-in-the-forest rich merlot. Very woodsy and smooth. This beer is a deep romantic kiss atop the Empire State building in late summer.

I need more.

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Photo of Neecee513
4.12/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into pint glass.

A: Deep brown; one step less than black.

S: Roasted chocolate aroma. Chocolate aroma stronger than so-called "chocolate" stouts

T: Roasted malty character, caramel notes

M: Low carbonation, smooth finish, medium body, finish is not dry

D: Pleasantly surprised by this beer, I enjoyed everything about it, esp the deep, especially the roasty aroma and taste.

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Photo of hyuga
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark chocolate appearance with a creamy tan head that settles slowly. Toffee-like character in the nose, along with some sweet undertones. Rich, creamy, coffee-like flavor with underlying caramel sweetness, more toffee-like character, and just a little kick of bitterness from the hops. The body is closer to medium than full. Creamy sweetness makes for a great mouthfeel and very good all-around drinkability. I like a more full-bodied stout, but this is still a great brew, and a pretty good representation of the style.

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Photo of andrewt960
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: first pours a black pint with a small chocolate head. head didn't stick around very long. It showed some lingering lacing. I didn't mind the small head, i'm not a huge fan of overly thick creamy head.
S: Slight coffee aroma, and had a nice toasted smell.
T: It was very carbonated and and some wold say too much. I am ok with it, as i like this in a stout. Anyway, it tasted like it smelled, and was quite enjoyable. Hopps were only present in the lingering aftertaste, and i like the presence of them at this time.

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Photo of kennywoodbrew
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The head is a beautiful sight, Rocky, Brown and standing proud. The color is to style. Aroma says hops in 10 foot tall letters (likeable). Although the taste settles into a niceness, first impression is a sharp almost astringent/dry sensation. This pushed me away. Perhaps I served it too cold as it mellowed as the glass warmed. Worth a try but I'm not likely to pay the price when there is so much competition @ 10 bucks a six.

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Black Hawk Stout from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.53 out of 5 based on 653 ratings.
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