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 Mebuzzard
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium thick-looking black body, with a slight light brown, soapy head.
Smells of coffee and a bit of leather. A bit weak.
Taste is more of a light stout. Slilght coffee flavor, some caramel and anise, but not much. Drinks well, due to its lightness.
Not a bad brew if you can find it

 295 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clean/clear dark brown color, some carbonation, little fizzy tannish head, some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is malty, and some touch of toffee/caramel. The taste is thin malty, and some caramel. Light-Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad brew, recommended.

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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 DoubleJ
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gotta love the way Mendocino uses different hawks for each of their beers. As for this stout itself, on to it we go:

Can you say Imperial Stout Lite (if there is such a thing)? More fruity esters than I was expecting, mild cocoa flavor, but little roasted character to it. It has a rich opaque appearance that stares at you in the face. It's pretty dry in the end and quite drinkable. Not bad by any means; I just was expecting a much bigger roasted character.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.06/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is a mix of chocolate and roasted malt. The beer smells about like I expect an American Stout to smell. The flavor is heavy on the chocolate malt with some roasted malt. There are also some medicinal notes in the flavor, somewhat resembling menthol or spearmint. Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Pitch black with a nice off white head. Some nice lacing on the glass.

S. Smells of chocolate malt coffee. Light bready notes. Pretty inviting, just a bit faint.

T. Has a pronounced roasted character and some dark maltiness dominating the flavor. The chocolate and coffee notes apparant in the nose are nowhere to be found in the taste. Slight charred old coffee on the back end. Minerally hop adds the bitterness. Kiss of clean alcohal. Overall no off flavors per se, but nothing better than average.

M. Silky smooth with a bit of carbonation. Kind of flat.

D. Overall this is a very average stout. Good for the price but I'd spring for a better example.

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Photo of plaid75
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark black hue with a one finger creamy caramel head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell consisted of elements of roasted grain, and sweet molasses. There was a noticable smokey aroma as well.

The flavor profile included bitter coffee, sweet molasses and liquid smoke. A very clean taste.

The mouthfeel was light and clean. There was a nice dry finish.

Overall a nice stout with a manageable ABV. A good session beer.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A vigorous pour produces a three-finger thick, frothy, brown tinged, full tan colored head that is a mix of froth and cream in texture. The beer sits in my glass an almost pure black color, with perhaps a touch of amber to it. When held up directly to the light, you can just sense deep, concentrated flashes of red, so this is quite clear, just too dark to really see through. Amply toasted, dark grain aromatics greet my nose up front; the beer smells lightly sharp, slight acidic from the burnt grain, fully like a well toasted bread crust, some touches of lightly roasted coffee, perhaps a touch of dark chocolate and a rich, lightly sweet, dark malt character. After a bit, a light, yet certainly roasted, sweet, dark fruitiness is noticed towards the finish (raisins and sweet plum notes being most apparent, though still quite subtle) as well as a roasted grain husk character. At times the toasted malt character can seem a bit like burnt veggies, though thankfully this is fairly light.

Soft, with a light-medium body, nicely sweet (nice in that it is both noticeable and not in any way overwhelming), which helps keep the dark / roast grain character in check. A hop bitterness is contributing factor here, but, as in many stouts, is not nearly as noticeable as it would be in a lighter beer. The roast character adds a bitter component to the finish of this beer too, but the finish is not overly dry. The sweetness accents a significant component of prunes in this beer. The roast flavor contribute flavors of well toasted bread crust, slight city roast coffee notes in the middle, but sharper French roast notes up front and again towards the finish, a slight almost fruity acidity and interestingly enough, no real chocolate character.

I like that the roast character is fairly mellow though it is definitely noticeable, but it allows for a lot of the other flavors to come through. A touch more texture and body would make this really quite nice as it can be a bit thin at times.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.16/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz from the Coop for about $1.50 shared with my brother... mine from a shaker pint.

Black to dark brown brew with tan head and pretty good lacing..

Very little traditional stout nose .. restrained everything except yeasty fruitiness.. low dark grains and only a touch of chocolate.

Flavor is very "porteresque" .. lite/medium body with roasted grains and bittersweet chocolate.. not really that flavorful at all... better as it warms but only slightly.. caramel sweetness is there through the entire palate and binds the little roasted malt flavor together. Needs more of everything... body .. flavor.. aroma... etc.

Just ok for a microdrinker.. would probably be an ok gateway beer for a person who likes Guiness.

 720 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a VERY dark black brew, I can barely pass light through the edges of it.

Smell is sweet with fruity and mint smells. Lots of molasses and chocolate smells.

Taste is a bit harsh, smoky and sweet at first. The taste is not as complex as the smell would indicate. Chicory and espresso flavors are prominent, with a bitter bite.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Drinkability is OK, this is better than Guinness but not among the best of it's type.

 446 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, first time I've ever seen this one, been wanting to try it for a long time, so here goes,

A: Pours an opaque black, with a very dark, brown head, nice retention, some lacing.

S: Smells heavily of raosted malt and peat, very smoky for a stout.

T: Roasted malts again, coffee, and a great smoky character, reminds me a bit of Alaskan Smoked Porter, but not as robust.

M: Kind of on the thin side for a stout, but creamy and smooth.

D: A pretty good stout, I've had better, but sure glad I tried it, smooth and easy to drink.

 542 characters

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 Georgiabeer
3.77/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with little head. Smells slightly sweet and somewhat roasty with lightly nutty and chocolatey notes. Fairly good balance between roasty notes and some bitterness in the taste. Definite notes of bitter chocolate which is pleasant, and a dusty note on the finish which is a little distracting. Pretty smooth with som light sweetness up front and some dry bitterness on the finish. Not bad at all, and definitely drinkable and quite dry.

 446 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark black color with a light tan head that sticks around for quite a while and provide a nice lacing quality. The aroma is on the faint side for a stout, with dark malts and molasses. The taste like the aroma, is a little thin for the style, with dark roasted malts and a moderate bitterness in the finish from the hops. This is not a bad beer, but it lacks a little in the flavor category. Overall, Black Hawk Stout is a decent stout that is worth a shot but nothing that I am dying to purchase again.

 549 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.82/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark, almost opaque ruby red with a thin, sparse off tan head that left little lacing and presence behind.

S: some dried cherries, burnt roasted malt and dry chocolate.

T: The initial flavor was malty with a big roasted character and bitter coffee with some dry chocolate. There was a noticeable smokiness to the beer in the finish. The palate was very dark roasted and smoky with some burnt woodiness providing a charred, hearty flavor.

M: surprisingly light but big on flavor. smooth texture and light carbonation lets the beer have a slight slickness on the tongue.

D: A dark roasted treat big on flavor, could use a little more body but still goes down nicely. Hearty.

 692 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this one in a trade with Wasatch. Thanks, John!

This pours from 12oz bottle a near pitch black with a small head of foam. A few minutes in and all that's left is a few small islands in the middle and a ring around the glass. Lacing is minimal.

The smell is full of sweet malt to my nose.

The taste has a lot of caramel malt up front that starts off very sweet but that's offset quickly by some hop bitterness that cuts the level of sweetness pretty well. I also get some good chocolate notes along with some roasted malt and an earthy flavour also shows up. It finishes slightly bitter but at the very end, it comes off on the watery side. It has a good mouthfeel to it for the style and the carbonation is fairly brisk. Pretty good stout in my book.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black color; competely opaque. Poured a half finger bubbly chocolate head with fair retention (I turned the bottle up-side-down in the glass). Thick lacing coating the inside of the glass.

S: Semi-sweet chocolate and licorice. Toasted barley, lactose and bitter. Maybe a litte espresso.

T: Sweet marshmallow up front. Toasted malts give a very earthy flavor. Bitter finish cleans it up nicely with only a hint of the sweet/malt lingering.

M: Medium to full body. Low carbonation gives it smooth, coating feel.

D: Very easy to drink for a pretty big beer. Balance sets up drink after drink.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.08/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good deep black appearance indicating heavy roasting with a full one inch of cream to beige colored head on the top of it. Plenty of roast, earthen smoke to the aroma.

Chewy, but not as much as you would expect from the color. Coffee malt notes, still some earthenness. Its reliable stuff for the stout crowd, must love roasting and can't be the guy who always complains about a stout being too thin.

Otherwise, plenty serviceable.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch frothy tan head. Head retention is great, and there's a lot of lacing left on the glass, too. The brew smells like roasted malt, chocolate, and some coffee. Taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, it's all roasted malt, coffee and bittersweet chocolate. There's also a nice roasty bitter finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a little slick and creamy with good carbonation. I think this brew is more like an Irish style stout than an American one. If you're looking for a good, easy drinking mostly bitter stout then this is a good choice. I bought a single bottle of this for $1.55, and I'd certainly consider buying a 6 pack of this in the future. I wouldn't have any problem drinking a sixer of this in a session!

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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 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.

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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 scruffwhor
3.89/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Starts with a nice one finger, light brown head that lasts for about a minute before the first sip. Good light black to dark brown cola with dark garnet highlights. Light mocha coffee notes. Some coffee, flavored cream and charcoal roasted malts. Great roasted malt and soft smoked malt flavors in this beer. Grainy, and faintly tinny palate, but still prtty drinkable. Would like to try on 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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Black Hawk Stout from Mendocino Brewing Company
3.53 out of 5 based on 653 ratings.
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