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
Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a deep black color with a tan color head on top. The lacing wasn't too bad here either. The smell of the beer has a pleasant roasted aroma coming off it it. The flavors of the beer have some dark malts, coffee and a touch of bitter chocolate on the tongue. The mouthfeel I though could have been a little thicker. Overall this stout wasn't too bad.

 372 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of metter98
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: The beer is near black in color (amber is visible near the edges of the glass when it is held up to the light) and poured with a thin creamy tan head that quickly died down into lacing.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts and some notes of coffee beans in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has roasted flavors of coffee beans and malts. There is a light amount of bitterness, which particularly stands out in the finish.
M: Quite dry throughout the taste, it feels medium-bodied and a bit thin and watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The lack of a heavy body makes this beer quite drinkable compared to others in the style.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty good stuff; it just gets swallowed up by the bigger, bolder, and richer American Stouts out there. It's got the nearly opaque black / ruby hue with a dainty silk-like head and lacing. A solid, albeit tame, roasted malt flavor with a supporting, but not overwhelming, sweetness. In fact, the malts seem to balance out the bitterness that is supplied by the burned grains and the American Hops. I appreciate it that the hops are tightly controlled, not to dominate the Stout. The body is where the beer shines--great creaminess without nitro. Silky texture without being thick or chewy. Thins toward the finish without becomming watery. Finishes quite dry and with a pleasant charcoal-like powderyness(Irish Dry Stout). Alcohols remain consistant and muted. A beautiful beer that probably gets little respect.

 814 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a solid black, with cola edges, and a copious amount of thin foamy beige head, which settles fairly quickly, leaving a more or less consistent paint job of lace around the glass. It smells of lightly roasted, somewhat sour malt, chocolate milk, and earthy, floral hops. The taste is chocolate malt, some mild dry coffee, a bit of tangy tropical fruit, and floral, perfume-like hops. The carbonation is on the soft side, the body kind of light and thin, and it finishes off-dry, the fruity, chocolaty malt predominating.

Not a bad stout, though it could benefit from a little more heft, and backbone.

 616 characters

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 brentk56
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
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

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of zeff80
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a jet black color with a mocha colored, one-finger head. Left some very nice lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt. There were also hints of chocolate and coffee.

T - It tasted mainly of roasted malt and chocolate. There was also an oatmeal quality. It also had a slightly bitter taste.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a good stout. A good chocolate and roasted malt blend of flavors.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of mothman
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of chinchill
3.81/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle.
Clear dark brown pour, nearly black in my snifter; The cocoa colored head is small and short-lived but leaves some lacing.
The nose is a little faint and subtle, but otherwise attractive. Smells a bit more like a sweet milk stout than an Irish dry.
T: It’s stronger on the palate than in the nose, with ample dark roasted malt providing hints of dark chocolate and coffee. No unwanted burnt flavors. Good sweet/bitter balance.
M: mildly creamy with medium+ body and a semi-dry finish.
O: a very good if rather mainstream version of the style, with a fine, long-lasting aftertaste of lightly bitter, very dark malts.

(revised with .25 rating system and another bottle on Feb. 2013)

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.61/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mendocino's Black Hawk Stout (brewed on the East Coast at Olde Saratoga Brewing) pours an opaque black body with nary a hint of gleeming mahogany. The frothy tan head holds itself aloft majestically, and leaves almost solid, sticky walls of thick clinging lace at the outset of the glass. It eventually withers but is still able to maintain a solid, frothy surface covering, and short walls of lace.

A charred-wood roastiness, some deep, almost-burnt black coffee, and an unusual perfumey note from some floral hops can be found in the nose; and with a bit more searching, even some sweetish caramel and dark chocolate as well.

Medium-light bodied in the mouth, and with a fine-bubbled restrained carbonation, it passes smoothly from lip to throat. The only thing that could make it smoother would be a nitro-pour.

The flavor delivers a brash assault of dark malt bitterness and acidity atop an underbelly of sweet, gently caramel-nougat-like maltiness. Dull, dark bittersweet chocolate lays itself across the middle; and some grassy and floral hops make an appearance here and there (mostly in the burp...), but the ashy roastiness truly dominates. The stoney bitterness is solid, enboldened by the dark malt acidity, and it finishes quite dry with a long-lingering charred-roastiness.

 1,295 characters

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a near pitch black with a thin wispy head,deeply roasted malt and bitter chocolate with a light piney note.There is a real hop presence to this stout for sure when drinking at room temp,bitter unsweetened chocolate and highly roasted malt are most prevelant but a dry,piney hoppiness really comes trhu as it warms and in the after-burps.An above average stout not spectacular but I would drink again for sure.

 415 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.36/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a black body with a medium, fizzy-looking beige head.

Smell: Not a bad aroma at all! Molasses and cookie dough with lesser notes of chocolate, coffee, and roasted grains.

Taste: A bit thin-flavored, with only hints of everything from the aroma along with an ashen, burnt bitter finish with just a tiny bit of hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: While its not stoutstanding, it is pretty decent, but could benefit some more body.

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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...

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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.

 742 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Darkest brown (nearly black) with lighter brown highlights at the edges. The cocoa brown head is semi-stiff, is softly rocky as it descends and leaves a fair-to-middlin' amount of lace. It's a pretty nice look, all things considered.

The 'nose knob' needs be be turned up a notch or three; it isn't even close to being aromatic enough for me. If Mendocino is going for lightness with this beer, then they've achieved it. It's more forceful on the palate than it was in the nose, but it's still pretty tame. Roasted black malt with a little chocolate is about it, although the flavor intensity does increase in the bottom half of the bottle.

The mouthfeel doesn't help. It isn't what I'd call thin, but neither is it very stout. Thankfully, it does firm up and become mildly creamy with warming. I think it's pretty clear that this is a better beer at near 60 degrees than it is at near 50 degrees. The finish is bitter and dry, giving the beer much more of an Irish Dry Stout feel than an American Stout one.

I like my stouts to be bigger and bolder, but Black Hawk isn't bad. It's a reasonably tasty, unchallenging beer that would be perfect for those newbies who express an interest in the style.

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Photo of Jason
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Virtually pitch black with a tin bubbly light brown lace.

Creamy malt sweetness is shunned away by a semi acrid roasted malt smell. Suggestions of coffee and charcoal come to mind.

Loose medium body with a moderate carbonation that lacks crispness and smoothness. Roasted malt flavour is a bit narrow and sticks with the sweetness to lay down faint chocolate and burnt flavours. Mild earthy tones from the malt and yeast come through towards the end with a small acrid like taste also. Finishes on the dry side with more earthy tones.

A decent stout, nothing special … just a well rounded stout that lacks bit of character.

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