Black Hawk Stout | Mendocino Brewing Company

654 Ratings
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 654 |  Reviews: 431
Photo of Offa
3.89/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a fairly good stout, but not great.

It's basically black but a little fizzy, and has a thin, fizzy, head that quickly dissipates and leaves no lace.

The aroma is pleasant, not burnt or acrid, but a bit too soft and simple. It's mostly gentle coffee and chocolate.

The taste is a strong point, fairly full-bodied, rich, and complex with chocolatr and coffee married nicely and without any acrid burnt character. There is a little caramelly licorice quality with a taste element and feel a bit like root beer. It's clean and easy to drink. However, the palate is a little thin, lively but light and unusually fizzy for a stout.

 638 characters

Photo of cvstrickland
3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-ounce bottle poured into a pint willi glass yields a clear, deep mahogany body capped with a thick, rocky layer of grainy khaki foam. The head hangs around briefly before receding to a thick sheet that leaves thin, webby lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is pretty mild, but nonetheless somewhat darkly malty with a sweet twang of spicy molasses, faint coffee, and a touch of leafy spice.

The taste is mildly chocolatey and semi-sweetly syrupy with a dominant roasted black coffee flavor and bitterness. The drink has a light toffee-mocha syrupiness that finishes on the earthy dry side.

Silky, creamy, and rather full-bodied, the feel of Black Hawk Stout is truly succulent and the drinkability is very good.

 725 characters

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
2.86/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz single purchased from Total Wine in Kennesaw poured into a regular pint glass.

A: A relatively aggressive pour resulted in a finger thick tan head that had decent retention before finally becoming just a slight covering of bubbles after quite a few minutes. There was decent lacing. The beer is opaque and only shows the slightest tint of red when held up to the light.

S: The smell is subtle but dominated by roasted malts. There is a hint of a bitter coffee aroma mixed in.

T: The taste is not really sweet at all which is surprising based on the aroma. The finish is dry from the coffee flavor. The real taste profile is hard to describe. There really is not a lot going on. It is just kind of there.

M: I guess you would call it a medium body, but its too thin for a stout. No in mouth carbonation to make it creamy at all.

D: I guess this is relatively drinkable since there isn't any disagreeable flavors. There just isn't a lot to make you want to come back for more.

 985 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a Yeti snifter glass. Pours an opaque black color with a thick 2 finger creamy, light brown head. Sticky foam has good retention and lacing. A good looking stout.

Smells a bit like a milk stout. Sweet chocolate and roasty coffee beans. Simple nose, but good and fresh.

Not much of the sweetness makes it to the taste. There is plenty of the roasty chocolate malts, but it is kind of watery and flat.

This is an ok stout, nothing too spectacular. A good looking and smelling beer, but falls short in the taste. An easy drinking stout that I would drink again.

 572 characters

Photo of biggmike
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured an attractive black color with a nice tan head that lasted a while. The aroma was of roasted malt with notes of coffee. The flavor was also of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee with a bit of the hops coming through. The mouthfeel was pleasant. This was easy drinking and an enjoyable beer.

 308 characters

Photo of Pleepleus
2.66/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a from a brown bottle into a pint glass dark muddy brown with a dark tan creamy inch of head. Had a sweet chocolatey malt smell. Tasted like sweet chocolate and bitter coffee. It had a thin consistency not very Stout. I got this for free and paid just the right amount.

 276 characters

Photo of spointon
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass.

A= This stout was solid black with the slightest hint of red around the edges. Virtually no head to speak of, even with an aggressive pour. No lacing either.

S= This stout featured aromas of caramel, molasses, coffee, and thick ripe fruitiness. All very muted and well in-check.

T= A quick bit of tartness up front followed by a sweet caramel and licorice middle. The finish was a long roasted coffee dryness.

MF= Fairly crisp carbonation, solid medium-heavy body.

D= For sure a very drinkable stout. While it is not my favorite Mendocino brew, nor my favorite stout, its still a fine offering.

 666 characters

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

Black, thin, tan head. Some chocolate, minimal roastiness, not much else going on here. Nice and smooth, actually too smooth. Somewhat watery, nice dry finish. Very uncomplicated and very drinkable, just not very satisfying. You better plan on having quite a few.

 263 characters

Photo of elniko
3.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass

A: Dark opaque coloring, small tan head that dissipated. Nice lacing as well. Good looking stout.

S: Not a terribly strong nose, I get a hint of licorice.

T & M: Slightly watery mouthfeel. I am new to the world of stouts so I don't have a lot of beers to compare with but I did not find this beer to have a terribly strong taste. There is a slight crispness that was pleasant as well.

D: Quite drinkable, this is the first beer that I've had from Mendocino and will definitely be trying some more of their brews.

 542 characters

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

This poured a nearly opaque black with a bit of light tan head. It smelled like licorice and bitter chocolate with some espresso. It tasted like bitter licorice with some semi-sweet mocha and a bit of floral hops. It was slightly thick with some carbonation, and had a lasting tangy aftertaste. Overall this had a fairly unique flavor that wasn't bad, but wasn't quite what I was hoping for either. Fairly clean and drinkable, but not much more than an average total appeal.

 474 characters

Photo of omnigrits
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Don't expect any fireworks from this stout. It's a very pleasant little number, slightly sweet in the mouth with a nice bitter finish, but nothing to phone your friends about. Carbonation and body are lacking somewhat, which leaves the discerning drinker a little disappointed, but I'd still go out and buy another six-pack. It's giving me exactly the kind of burnt aftertaste that I look for in a stout or a porter - just the kind that I don't get from a good peaty single malt Scotch like Laphraoig. A place for everything and everything in its place.

 553 characters

Photo of templar316
3.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark red color, but a thin head which disappears quickly. You can smell light hops and alcohol. A little alcohol on the taste as well as burnt malt. A nice smooth finish, but not much of the thicker quality that is associated with a stout. Extra apperance points for the really cool bottle. More like a dark lager then a true stout.

 337 characters

Photo of bkilpatr
2.93/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 06/30/08.

Pours a very dark opaque brown color with about an inch of creamy dark tan head. The head settled to a thin layer leaving little lacing. Aromas are mostly roasted malt and milk chocolate.

Taste is roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, and a hint of bitter roasted coffee. There's also some smokiness in there. Feel is disappointing. Very thin and watery, light body and carbonation. Drinkability isn't so good either. Body-wise, it just doesn't feel like a stout.

Overall, pretty disappointing for a stout. The taste and feel are just off.

 597 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 kevinglin
2.75/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours very dark brown to black with a very small hint of ruby highlights at the bottom of the glass. Virtually no head to speak of.

Aroma is somewhat sweet - licorice? - not at all roasty. No hops, as expected.

Taste is just kind of there, nothing spectacular - a slight roastiness, but the sweetness of the aroma does not show up.

Medium body, not a lot of creaminess or fullness you get in other stouts.

I found this to be a below average stout - much better options are available.

 487 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 witster18
2.85/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5


pours a dark black which is nice but the faint head dissipates immediately. nose is malt with some astringency. Mouthfeel is light and it's a bit overcarbonated. there's a soapiness that is a little unpleasant...could have been a bit too hot during the hopping process... I think it's the hops that are causing this 'soapiness'.. budget priced and budget taste... to think I can get Blackout Stout from GLB for a dollar more a six is laughable... glad I only bought one. Very could pound these....but that's not what I'm looking for in this style.

 570 characters

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

A completely average stout. Pours black, but with no head and no lacing. Burnt grain scent, but nothing else and weak. Same with the taste; although there is a little bit of an odd bitter aftertaste, not really hoppy, but nothing I expect from a stout.

 252 characters

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 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.

 940 characters

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

A-pours dark brown,nearly black with a milk chocolate head that leaves tons of lacing as it abruptly disapates

S-caramel sweetness,hints of fresh cut oak

T-freshly roasted coffee followed by subtle sweetness of dark chocolate covered rasins and some light hoppy bitterness

M-medium heavy body is smoothe and low on carbonation,very silky and clean

D-I'm trying not to be biased just because I am a Chicago Blackhawks fan,but I love the name and the style,this is a nice Red,White and Blue Stout...F YEAH

 507 characters

Photo of Drew966
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black Hawk Stout pours an opaque black with a thin tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is malty, hints of chocolate are present. The flavor has some chocolate, or perhaps carob and kind of a hoppy finish. Not bad, but there are so many better examples available.

 279 characters

Photo of Popkorn615
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown/blackish body with a small ½ inch tan head (probably the smallest I've seen on a dark beer thus far) that very slowly dissipates to a malt glaze over the surface of the beverage.

S - Coffee-like with a little dark fruitiness/sweetness to it, almost like black licorice.

T - A roasted walnut and cold-coffee taste, leaving a dark chocolately aftertaste when chewing it in your mouth. The head on many dark beers I've had tend to leave a slightly bitter aftertaste. However, no bitterness to the Black Hawk Stout head whatsoever, which is very pleasant.

M - A little on the light end in terms of thickness - I wouldn't call it "watery" but I wouldn't call it thick either. Decently carbonated.

D - Because of the lightness in its body, I could definitely have a number of these in a sitting. This is one of the lighter stouts I have tried.

 868 characters

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

Black like a stout should be; fairly small head

Nice smell immediate detectable; a little sweet and milky

Taste & Mouthfeel
Roasty and hoppy up front; thin on the back end; good carbonation and texture

This has a very pleasant aroma and flavor but is a little weak overall. It's a bit too sweet and lacking in hops for me, but is still an enjoyable beer.

 383 characters

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

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer looks like fresh motor oil on the pour and appears almost black in the glass with a thin, sticky head. The smell is malty, chocolate and roasted notes... there seems to be some metallic off-ness to it. The taste has the same metallic characteristic to it, otherwise very malty; dark chocolate, caramel, a touch of burnt coffee and has a warming effect. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a minimal carbonation and semi-dry finish. Drinkability is decent, I wish I had a different bottle to try, minus the metallic smell/taste.

 572 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.