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 tdm168
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - deep, dark brown bordering on black; big cap of brown head fades to thin lacing after a minute

S - faint roasted malts, faint chocolate

T - roasted malts, citrusy hops, light chocolate, faint coffee

M - light to medium bodied, a bit thin at times, well carbonated, very smooth

This is an easy to drink, flavorful beer. The citrusy character threw me off a bit, but overall I enjoyed it.

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Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch and a half of creamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A somewhat muted aroma of malt, chocolate, and a tiny bit of hops.

T: Tasted pretty much like it smelled: A big shot of malt, with some chocolate, and a hint of hops in the finish. Not a particularly powerful or complex flavor, but not bad either.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a super dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: While the Irish Dry Stout style doesn't exactly lend itself to greatness, Mendocino does a decent, but not spectacular job with this beer.

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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 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.”

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Photo of Lordquackingstic
3.07/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark like a midnight sky black. Not much head, sadly.

S: Toasted malts, chocolatey, slight coffee notes.

T: Dry chocolate, toffee, toasty, pretty tasty.

M: Very dry, a little too dry.

O: Not a bad stout, pretty middle of the road. Got a 12oz bottle as a gift, probably wouldn't have tried it otherwise. Glad I did though. Not sure if I'd get a six pack of it, but I'd definitely drink it again if the chance arose.

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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 bskrtz
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into glass pint

A) Black cola. No light passes through accept the occasional beige carbonated foam rising up the glass. Lacy head settles quickly

S) Toasted malt, licorice, sour dough, coriander spice

T) Espresso, burnt dark chocolate, sweet malts, hint of bitter hops.

M) Medium bodied and dry, sticky, well carbonated. A good example.

O) Very drinkable, with classic stout taste.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.32/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - pitch black with a very small ring of creamy off white head.

S- The first thing that hit me was a smokiness to the smell. The more I took it in the more I got the malty and sweet smells of caramel.

- This is a solid stout that is highly drinkable. Medium body with a variety of different flavors - sweet, smokey, and a slightly bitter finish.

- I got this in my beer of the month collection and it is definitely a solid stout, but it didn't blow me away.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 02/18/12 notes. Had on tap at Rattle N Hum in NYC.

a - Poura a dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, and milk chocolate. Light sweet dark fruits as well...pretty nice.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits. There is a tiny bit of sourness or tang in the dark fruits; not bad at all, just interesting. Wonder if it's supposed to be like that.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall a decent beer. Was surprised by the light sour dark fruit in the taste; judging by other reviews I'm guessing this is not intended, though I kind of liked it. Tried it next to O'Hara's Irish Dry Stout on cask and O'Hara's was much better...I might have to revisit my review of O'Haras.

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Photo of zac16125
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter
No born on date or other distinguishing numbers

A:  Very dark brown, almost black, with just under 1 fingers width of khaki colored head that quickly dissipates down to leave only a very slight outer ring. Leaves little to no lacing.  

S: Milk chocolate, a slight roasted character, a touch of dark fruits and a hint of smoke.  Not terribly strong or complex but decent.  

T: Pretty tasty.  A relatively big roasted character, and a nice sweetness.  A little bit of bakers chocolate and black licorice.  The chocolate and roasted malt linger nicely in the aftertaste.  Better than I anticipated.

M/D: Relatively smooth, appropriately low carbonation, and certainly easy to drink, but light to moderate bodied with a somewhat watery-like thin mouthfeel.

O:  I'm not a huge fan of the style (i prefer my stouts Russian and Imperial) but this one was actually pretty good.  IMO much better than the Guiness and Murphys standards of the style.  Nothing spectacular but worth a try.  

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
2.64/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Random tick of the night.

Dark chocolate colored pour, creamy small head.

Milk chocolate aroma. Boring otherwise.

Slightly sweet malt taste. Watery. Roasted malt flavor. Dry on the finish with a malty twang. This beer isn't really worth a full review because there's not much to describe.

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Photo of Tschnab
3.87/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- a very dark brown pretty much black with a dark brown head and a good amount of lace.

S- a roasty aroma filled with dark malts, roasted and toasted grain, bitter and milk chocolates, and coffee grinds.

t- a good roastiness in the front of the flavor, which is washed down by a malty and chocolatey finish, a light sweetness mixed with coffee on the after taste. Good medium mouthfeel.

O- really underrated dry stout, very sessionable.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance - Pours a deep deep brown if not black color, with a thin off white head that fades very fast after pouring leaving no lacing.

Smell - Roasted malt with dark chocolate and burnt coffee aroma. A little bit of sweeter caramel and licorice come in toward the end of aroma, but are only very light.

Taste - Burnt coffee and unsweetened dark chocolate. A very faint earthy hoppiness comes in toward the middle of the tasting. Not the slightest bit of sweetness in the beginning, but there is a very little bit that comes in toward the end with faint vanilla flavorings.

Mouthfeel - Quite dry on the tongue with a more watery less creamy taste. Not as good as most stouts on the mouthfeel, a bit too sharp that could use come mellowing of a creamier body feel.

Overall - The beer has some very nice qualities for the style, but then others really put away from its greatness. Overall fairly average

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Photo of engagechad
3.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in mailer as part of beer club membership.

Pours dark brown, no real lacing, frizzling head.

Smells good and roasty, mild but good.

Tastes nice, mild good bitterness while maintaining a coffee/chocolate feel.

Feels very good. Great bitterness, quaffable.

Overall this is a great brew, solid stout.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a rich mocha head. The foamy cap is tall with larger bubbles pocking the dense mousse like body. Aroma is rich with roasted malts, burnt malts, mollasses and sutle licorise. Taste runs parallel with the nose having a sutle dry flavor of roasted malts molasses sweetness and hints of chocolate nibs.
Looking at it, it has a medium weight on the palette mooth and quite dry finishing.
Good stout but a bit too dry for me.

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Photo of vkv822
3.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into tulip snifter.

Pours black with a foamy tan head that dissipates fairly quickly to leave a thick ring around the rim and a thin film across the surface.

Bold roasty malts and cocoa upfront, quite nice.

A decent flavor profile of roast malts and a light backing of bittersweet cocoa and a medium body.

While I probably won't buy this again as there are better, readily available stout options in my area, this was better than I anticipated.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.08/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a N'Ice Chouffe beer flute in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; this is me favourite style but I'm not familiar with this brewery. Acquired in the mail as part of a beer of the month club me sister subscribed me to as a birthday gift.

A: Pours a one and a half finger head of attractive cream lacing, great thickness, and good retention. Colour is a predictable solid black. Appealing to a stout lover like meself.

Sm: Coffee, cream, nuts, and perhaps a bit of chocolate or caramel. Hard to tell with me broken nose; all apologies, lads. A light aroma all around.

T: Tasty. The nutty notes surface on the climax and hang around through the aftertaste; dominating the second half. It's not as creamy as I'd like, but what relatively little there is is present from the open and hangs on roughly until the midpoint. Criminally, there's hardly any roasted barley present. This is unforgivable considering the style. Some chocolate is present haphazardly and vaguely at best. It's strangely balanced structurally, feeling binary and divisive instead of whole and unified. Flavourwise, it's built nicely (albeit a bit simply), but the balance is a little scattershot. I like what's there, but it isn't properly distributed. Overall, I find it enjoyable if flawed.

Mf: Smooth and wet where it should by dry and coarse (but also creamy). I wouldn't go so far as to say it feels more like a porter than a stout, but it's certainly pushing it. It's a little too thick as well, but this is forgivable considering the flavours it's supporting.

Dr: Quite drinkable, in part due to its flawed mouthfeel. I could session this all night but I wouldn't want to. It'd be a bit better on nitro-draught, if only to bring out more cream. It's forgettable as a stout, but I enjoyed it for what it was.

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Photo of GardenWaters
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Boulevard tulip glass.

A: Poured a tan two-fingered head which quickly dissipated to 1-2mm which lasted till the last drink. Left some pretty decent lacing.

S: Toasty malt aroma infused with caramel and vanilla, with a hint of bittersweet chocolate.

T: Malty sweetness upfront and rounded out by a toasty hint of chocolate and burnt vanilla. I detected very little hop presence, however if felt pretty well-balanced and finished clean. Dry.

M: Light-bodied, very "spritzy" and over-carbonated, not as creamy as I would have expected.

O: Overall, this was a decent beer, but not great. However, it was very drinkable and went down smooth. I would give this beer a second chance (my taste buds are influenced by my mood at the time), I just dont see myself buying it again any time soon.

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Photo of vitrael
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Came in my beer club this month. Poured from bottle into Guinness pint glass.

A: Black as night, nearly opaque, with a small off-white head that dissipated. Remarkably bubbly.

S: Roasted barley and stone fruit. Fuggles hops or similar earthy blend make an appearance.

T: This one takes me back a little to sneaking a sip of Dad's Guinness. Bone-dry and bursting with the bittersweet flavor of roasted barley. Slightly astringent and grainy. Nicely balanced on an earthy unobtrusive hopping. Quintessential dry irish in which it is hard to find flaw.

M: I could use some help here. The body is a little light for the style and my tastes. It could use a little bit of dextrine in the mash. It's not gonna sweeten this bittersweet brew up any. I guess this is why Guinness is all tricked out on nitrogen.

Overall very enjoyable.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.86/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Good looking brew. Pitch black with a thick, creamy tan foam.

S - Nose is caramel and raisins, burnt grain, molasses and apple.

T - Dry toastiness. A bit of hops but clean finishing. A little fruit and the suggestion of dark sugars, but dark, roasted grain in the forefront.

M - Light, crisp body.

D - Solid, easy drinking stout. I would session this for sure.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.26/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Playboy pint glass.

The color is a dark black with slight maroon highlights and two fingers of foamy brownish/tan head and some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a little roasty with some nice bready aroma but also has some slightly off aroma that is a little like a clay smell.

The taste is more roasted malts with a weird clay-like flavor that seems to coat the tongue with the roast flavor and kind of takes away from the malty flavor. There is a bitterness that seems to stick to the front of the tongue and seems to not come from the hops but from the unwelcome flavor that seems to be holding this beer down.

The feel of this beer is smooth and does have a nice drinkable feel as you drink it. Without seeing the label and seeing that is was labeled a stout I would have thought porter which confuses me slightly but none the less does have some nice qualities that make for a decent beer. This beer seems to promise more but does not live up to the expectations.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a fairly dark shade of brown with a half inch of mocha head.

S - Well it's more roast/coffee forward with smoke and a touch of chocolate in the nose.

T - Taste is kind of burnt ashy coffee with light smoke and then turns to a sweeter finish. Little in the department of chocolate or dark fruit. Eh...

M - It had a light to medium body so it was a bit thin too.

Overall I can think of better stout offering and would prefer the RIS over this. Forgettable stout.

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Photo of SWMeyer4141
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I feel like this is my first American Stout in a while. Poured into a Tumbler..

Appearance-Dark brown w/ some ruby highlights. Aggressive pour yeilded a pretty smell brown head. No retention or lacing.

Smell-Roasted Malts, some dark fruits.

Taste-Pretty sweet up front, roasty and light smoke. Like the smell I pick up some dark fruits and finishes pretty sweet then quickly becomes a drying bitterness. I'm not sure when this was brewed but it taste's like faded hops.

Mouthfeel-Thin body, very watery. Carbonation is pleasant, not too much.

Overall-Just an average beer all around. Flavors are pretty subtle and body is very thin. I'll finish the 6er but will probably never encounter this beer again.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Nice looking stout. Black with deep brown highlights. Light tan head, a little low on head retention. Lace was moderate.

S- Slight mineral smell on front blending into a mild copper aroma. Chocolate raisin smell in the middle note with a mild roast note on the finish.

T- Mellow char, lighter taste than expected. Roasted malt middle notes with a slightly dry finish with touches of coffee bitterness.

M- Lighter and thinner than I expect from a stout. The finish is more pleasant due to the dry finish, but the initial impression is watery. Not particularly smooth.

O- Although the look was nice and the smell was interesting, the taste was a little mellow and the mouthfeel was too light and thin for a stout. Mediocre drinkability.

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Photo of airforbes1
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Held to the light, this beer seems to show more ruby red than most stouts. The head is beige and foamy and retains well. On the nose, I get chocolate and hints of mint and fig.

Taste wise, it opens with fig and licorice, continues with dark chocolate, and ends bitter. The tastes are good, but they just seem to drop off at the end, creating a thin finish. I wish there was more of a lingering aftertaste than mild, roasted bitterness. As my mouth becomes more coated with each subsequent sip, I find the flavors dropping off less.

This beer is tasty, drinkable, and affordable. It didn't amaze me, but I'll buy it again. I'll have to pair it with some dark chocolate some day.

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