Black Hawk Stout | Mendocino Brewing Company

654 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 654 |  Reviews: 431
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1/5  rDev -71.7%

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1.5/5  rDev -57.5%

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1.5/5  rDev -57.5%

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2/5  rDev -43.3%

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2/5  rDev -43.3%

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2/5  rDev -43.3%

Photo of charlzm
2.08/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

UPDATE: Re-sampled Aug 1, 2010 - beer is still exactly as described below; gotta give Mendocino props for consistency. Avoid this one.

Consumed January 3rd, 2009.

Poured into my Samuel Adams "special" glass, the beer is basically black with deep reddish brown highlights. A medium-bubbled tan head formed one-finger high but subsided VERY quickly.

Aromas - chocolate, coffee and a metallic tang, which was about 75% of the smell. Ack.

Beer is bitter in an overroast way. Metallic note continued from nose into mouth. Yuck. Subtle sour cherries, slight chocolate/coffee character before watery, slightly sour finish.

Texture is thin, watery overall with a slight granular quality: kind of like chocolate milk made from powdered mix.

Don't think I'll have another one of these; I've already poured too many beers down the drain.

 836 characters

Photo of elgiacomo
2.17/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A little confused on the two listings for this, one for Mendocino in California, another for Mendocino in NY. My bottle was labeled Saratoga Springs, NY although this listing has far fewer reviews, but it looks like they are the same beer.

With that out of the way, I did not care for this beer. I love stouts and porters but ended up pouring out the last 1/4 of this.

Appearance is its strong point, typical very dark brown stout that looks black in your glass. You can see nice brown highlights when the light hits it right. A small >1 finger head formed upon pouring but quickly disappeared to virtually no head or lacing the rest of the way down.

Aroma was severely lacking...not much going on here at all.

Initial flavor is also very lacking, its not until the finish that you get hit with a very burnt taste. I didn't enjoy that at all. If there was more up front to balance out the finish, it could be tolerable...unfortunately the burnt finish is about all you get out of this.

Mouthfeel is rather thin and watery for a stout.

Drinkability is low for the style, between the lack of aroma, unpleasant burnt taste, and thin mouthfeel this doesn't even stack up to porters, let alone stouts.

It was relatively cheap ($1.00 for a 12oz. bottle) but not even worth the buck. Won't ever buy this again...much better stouts in the same price range.

 1,373 characters

Photo of cnally
2.22/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I have a Black Hawk Stout, watching the Blackhawks waste the Sharks later tonight. Weird coincidence?

The appearance is a deep brown/black, completely opaque, and a tannish head that really doesn't have too much substance or staying power.

Aroma is a little sour, but does have a musty smoky quality. Big fat burnt malt is where it all comes from, a little briny in a way...not a huge fan.

The flavor really has a couple of unappealing elements. All I taste during the middle of the flavor is a dose of overripe cherry and a really pungent oakiness. The finish is bitter, and smoky in a way that makes you think you are eating ashes. Or drinking liquid smoke. Those burnt malts that you can pick up in the aroma, and even in the first moments of the taste become buried to the degree that in their place, there is merely sourness and ashy flavors.

Mouthfeel is very watery for the style, but stays away from any stickiness or cloying puckering character.

Yikes. I've had a number of beers way worse, but this is just one of those that does not suit my liking. You really should love an ashy, over-smoky stout to find this appealing, but unfortunately this is not my bag. Hopefully the Hawks aren't this dissappointing tonight!

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Photo of jkane101
2.25/5  rDev -36.3%

Photo of BuzzFee
2.25/5  rDev -36.3%

Photo of 2neardead
2.25/5  rDev -36.3%

Photo of rickyleepotts
2.48/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The Black Hawk Stout was first brewed right after I was born… maybe this is my birthday beer! I like the label too… the hawk looks mad. Maybe this is a mean beer. The ABV isn’t very big, but the tasting notes call it “thick” and “creamy”, which is a good sign in a stout.

According to Untappd I have already had this beer. It does look familiar, but I don’t recall having it. I gave it 2 out of 5 stars. Let’s see what she can do for me when I am drinking with a purpose.

In the Glass: This is pitch black with a thin tan head and decent lace. For a beer that has been described as “thick” and “creamy”, I expected a bigger and more pronounced head.

Nose: It smells like a nitro beer. It doesn’t really smell like a stout until the end. There are also some hints of copper on the nose. I will warn you, I have been sick all week. A few days ago I couldn’t even smell. But that is all behind me now, so let’s see what the Black Hawk Stout tastes like.

Flavor: There is subtle carbonation on the front of the palate, then it slides down the throat with ease. The true flavor kicks in in the aftertaste, but we will get to that in a second. We are drinking this straight out of the fridge, so I assume this beer would get better as it heats up.

Mouthfeel: For a stout, the mouthfeel is kind of boring. I had some pretty high expectations for this one, but it’s nothing more than a mediocre stout. I hate Guinness, but would rather have one of those than this. I am glad they have a cool looking label. That at least gives me something to look at.

Aftertaste: This is where the flavor comes in. The tasting notes mentioned caramel and chocolate, and you don’t even get a hint of that until the very end. But as the beer sits there on your tongue, you start to pick up those notes. I would drink this beer again just for the aftertaste.

This beer might be my birthday beer, but there are a lot of other beers that I would rather drink. It is affordable here in the Circle City, and available almost anywhere. This beer is just nothing to write home about. I can see why I gave it 2 out of 5 stars.

Black Hawk Stout - The bottle says: “This award winning brew is Handcrafted to perfection. A Premium American Classic from a Pioneer Brewing Legend.”

 2,290 characters

Photo of tigg924
2.49/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: black in color, 1/3 inch head

Smell: malt, milk chocolate, some nut. Really sticks out as being one of my least favorite smelling beers of the style.

Taste: burnt malt, coffee, some nut one the finish

Mouthfeel: light bodied-borderline watery, moderate carbonation, semi-sweet, dry

Drinkability: This beer really just did not come together for me. It seems as though the flavors were too separated within the beer. The smell really threw me off and while the taste was better, I was still only thinking it was ok at best. I will be passing on this.

 564 characters

Photo of vegantreats
2.49/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This beer poured with virtually no head and was of the average dark color for stouts.
Nice smell of chocolate and roasted coffee malt throughout.
First taste is quite light for a stout and I felt the beer never reached the depth expected.
My mouth was left quite dry, whereas most stouts leave my mouth feeling coated and smooth.
People who don't like deep thick stouts may find this beer agreeable, those looking for dark thick depth, will be left wanting more.

 464 characters

Photo of russpowell
2.5/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Brownish red appearnce going to black with a tan head that drops off very quickly.

Slight smell of rasins and nuts and then alcohol.

Tastes bitter on the front of the tounge with some "rumminess" on the middle & the throat

Mouth feel is astringent and thin.

I'm sure I've had this before & it was much better, but memory fails me now...

 349 characters

Photo of Jim_DemonDeacon
2.5/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of unshodjogger
2.5/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of alexanf
2.5/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of jaswilson2
2.52/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of gfreed
2.54/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

One thing about the glut of beer on the market today is that there's a glut of average beer on the market. There's nothing wrong with this stout, but there's nothing very interesting about it, either. It's dark, it's slightly roasted, it has a somewhat dry finish... it tastes like coffee and wet ropes. More of same. There's no harm in drinking it, but... why bother? This stout is but one of the many ho-hummers you will drink as you seek something better.

 458 characters

Photo of Vixie
2.56/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured very dark and thick, with a slight head that had lacing that lingered for some time. Very dark, not much light passes thorough it.

Smell was just average, the sweetness of the malt was the primary scent I noticed. Nowhere near as pronounced r as complex as the better beers of this type I've tasted.

Taste wasn't as good as the appearance would lead you to believe. Not complex at all, more bitterness from the hops than anything, with just a slight sweetness. I also noticed a bit of a metallic taste, the first impression I got when tasting it was trying to place the odd taste in it.

Mouthfeel was below average for what I expect from a stout. I expected it to be more substantial from the pour, but was rather weak.

Not the most drinkable of beers, it's a bit too bitter for my tastes. I've had many beers where I'd happily drink more than one, but this one isn't it. Nice to sample, but there's much better stouts out there.

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Photo of DmanGTR
2.59/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - poured very dark brown/black, small head that disappeared without a trace

S - sweetness, dark chocolate, roasted malts, tang or sourness of raisins or grapes, touch of coffee

T - tastes like how it smells but more sweet than bitter

M - rather unstout-like, thin like a dark lager

D - drinkable but it just doesn't feel like a proper stout

Overall - I felt like it was lacking in body, texture, and taste. I can't quite put my finger on it but give it a try. I personally prefer Guinness or Murphy's Irish stout. I'm not a big fan of Mendocino after trying a few of their products.

 590 characters

Photo of MisterClean
2.6/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap @ Whiskey Dick's in Tahoe.

A - Dark black and not much chocolate head.

S - Lightly roasted malts. Um, that's it?

T - Lightly roasted malts. No other flavors really come from this serving.

M - Moist, but the ever presence of malts too.

D - While this beer tastes okay, i think I wanted a stout with a little more flavor than lightly roasted malts.

 358 characters

Photo of cabage99
2.63/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

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Black Hawk Stout from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.53 out of 5 based on 654 ratings.
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