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: 654
Photo of nixhecks
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, the war in Iraq is a week old, and I sit here thankful as hell that, while Iraqis sit with Black Hawks overhead, I sit with this Black Hawk stout in hand instead. Black Hawk poured a deep, dark brown, not quite black, and had a very nice light brown head on top that held with medium retention. Aroma was roasted malts with a slight coffee smell. The mouthfeel was very smooth and silky, heavy bodied, and tasted softly of cocoa and mocha. I also noticed a coppery, metallic taste but it was really, really tiny - maybe just my imagination. The aftertaste was balanced out with a crisp hop bitterness, not too much however. The drinkability is surpisingly high, this beer just seemed to meld with my tastebuds well, very soft and balanced. From top to bottom this was a very enjoyable stout, and it is a competitor in my opinion with some of the top stouts.

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Photo of Scooter77
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a thick, rich tan head that fades down slowly, that leaves a thick, sticky lace on the glass. There are some roasted malt aromas that are very apparent with slightly sweet undertones. The taste is like that of a strong coffee mixed with roasted malt and chocolate. There is a mild bitterness that comes through at the end of each drink. The body is medium and well balanced. This isn’t the greatest stout that I’ve had but it was still quite enjoyable.

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Photo of allboutbierge
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep black color with a tiny beige-brown hued bubbly head that carries a moderate lace. Flavor is heavy in notes of charcoal and 'burnt' tasting coffee. Fairly bitter and acidic tasting (as noted by Bros). Body is full but not overly heavy. Carbonation is fairly light. To some this may be a drinkable beer but for me I couldnt have another of these with out some salted peanuts or something to distract from the charcoal-like flavor.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.91/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz longneck bottle, capped, no date.

This stout poured black with light brown, creamy foam that left a good coating down the glass. The initial smell was rich: dark roasted malt, chicory, and coffee. However, this smell dissipated rapidly, and by the last sip, there was not much smell left. The taste was initially somewhat sweet and malty, followed by floral hops, and then a clean, bitter hop finish. The mouthfeel was smooth, medium bodied, with low carbonation, and a dry finish. Overall, a nice, drinkable stout. Quite tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of AudioGilz
4.01/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

100th review, I must choose a stout. Black Hawk Stout randomly makes its way to my fridge. It's pitch black like a stout should be. But hardly any head formed at all, very disappointing. I poured it kind of roughly too. But then the aroma kicked in and made up for it in a way. It's a wonderful mix of dark fruits, molasses, milky sweetness, and roastiness. Just as the label says, this is a crisp and refreshing stout. There's not much of a coating and thick type of feel to it. It's medium bodied and crisp. The flavors don't really live up to the aroma though. I tasted mostly roastiness and hops. It's not unpleasant by any means, very smooth actually. I was yearning for something more to come out of the flavor though. I enjoyed the hoppy and crisp finish and the hoppy aftertaste. This is a stout worth trying. It's not gonna knock your socks off, but it'll make 'em loose. I feel that the drinkability and aroma are the best qualities.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.76/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Clear, anthracite (hehe) brew with thin rims of chestnut when held to the light. Forms a tan head which quickly thins, atop medium-large bubbles with moderate carbonation. Solid sheets of lace are left in its wake. Aroma is akin to a Mackeson XXX Stout....sweet vanilla, light molasses, moderate fruity esters, and bittersweet chocolate. Mouthfeel is thin and dry, with a light to medium body. Taste starts out with an astringent bite of chocolate malt, fades into a brief metallic note, followed by thin black patent and roasted barley with a moderately sweet backbone, ending in a highly astringent, lightly grainy crystal malt/french-roast coffee/oak flavor with some slightly rubbery bittering hops and more metallic notes when licking the gums. The alcohol is slightly perceptable. Drinkability is decent despite the bone-dry finish. Not a bad beer, but likened to a Diet Mackeson XXX Stout + oak chips. If you like Sinebrychoff Porter, then you may like this, with it's dry, woody finish and lighter body.

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Photo of Maestro
3.49/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really like this beer. The head is a little on the creamy side at first but then shrinks down to a light foam. The nose is metallic which is kind of repulsive but the rest of the beer is quite good. It is almost black in color but a little bit of red shines through at the bottom of the glass. The hop combination is quite appealing to me and mixes well with the roasted, smoky taste. As I moved through the beer I picked up a few hints of coffee and toast. This stout has a chewy characteristic to its mouthfeel which I find to be quite good. There is also a slight sweetness that is barely detectable. All things considered, this is a really good beer aside from the nose. The taste is complex. The hops are great. I will definitely have this again.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.74/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pretty damn near black, with a persistant dark tan head. Aroma is pleasantly roasty but lacking much complexity. The flavor too is dominated by a roasty maltiness, which takes on the character of bittersweet chocolate about mid-palate and finishes with a significant hop presence. Medium-full in body, with a creamy texture and a dry finish. Nice.

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

Pours out to be quite the blackish brew with a bit of tan head. Tastes of burnt chocolate and black malt. This is a good stout. Certainly worth drinking, but there are many better stouts on the market. A dry finish keeps you sipping this beer all night.

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Photo of Kunsan90
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very decent stout, but I like stout’s.

It poured a very dark brown/black with a healthy dark tan head. The head receded fairly slow leaving only a slight amount of lace work behind. The smell was a blend of coffee, chocolate, and roasted grains; of which none heavily dominated the others. The taste was initially a blend of coffee and chocolate, and then nicely moved to the malts. A slight spicy after taste was present that finished off nice and dry. This was my first taste of this brew and chances are I will try it again if other selections above what I can get are not available.

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

Pours dark black, but the faintest amount of light plays off the bottom of the glass. Head burns down to a tan film, par for the course with most stouts.

Smell is of rich chocolate ice cream. My first sips of this were disappointing, especially after the great nose... none of the upper-mouth and cheek bam! of Storm King, nor the raw powerful complexity of Brooklyn Chocolate. More like a better Guinness....dry but subtle, with a roasted malt finish.

I'm letting this warm a bit to see if it develops more character.

10 minutes later, warming the glass in my hands... the smell still outdoes the flavor of this. The roasted malt becomes more noticeable, but that's all that really comes through. Just a hint of sweetness, and a little bit of hop presence.

A bit too dry and overly oxidized malt I guess, I'll put the rest of the 6er to task for black and tans to get more flavor into the mix. Not bad, but my heart lies with the 2 aforementioned competitors.

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

Black Hawk pours a very opaque black with a light brown head that leaves a nice lace on the glass. The aroma is toasted grain with hints of molasses and raisins. The taste starts with flavors of black malt and chocolate with notes of charcoal. The finish is a mixture of coffee, plums, and caramel with some bitter hop flavors. The aftertaste is dry with competing flavors of bitter and sour (in a pleasant manner) with some carbonation play on the tongue. The mouthfeel is thick and very smooth, almost like a nitro pour.
Overall a good stout that has a nice complexity of flavors and a unique body for a bottled stout. This is the only bottled stout that I drink at room temp from the get go. Cooling or chilling Black Hawk does nothing for it in any form or fashion. Even in the summer I don't chill this one (I do live in Maine though).

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

Pours a dark, opaque blackish-brown with a tight thick head that is offwhite in color and which subsides into a ring around the glass in about 5 min.

The aroma is a burnt malt flavor, not much presence of hops. there is also a slight appearance of alcohol in the background

the taste is average on this one. It definatly taste like a stout, but that isnt much of a compliment. No outstanding characteristics i could preceive.

This is an average stout. It tasts good, but only because i love the style. I would drink it if offered it again, but i dont think i would buy it again unless i really had a hankering for the style and had no better options.

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Photo of MJR
2.88/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: On the scale between black and brown, this one is the shade of brown closest to black without actually being black. Has an opaque body with a head that starts big and foamy, but shrinks to a pathetic ring around the top with a few random bubbles here and there...

Smell: Semi-sweet aroma of roasted malt, coffee, and molasses.

Taste: Fairly one-dimensional with a roasted grain beginning, and a coffee-tinged middle and end. Finishes with a slightly sour note. Not much else to speak of...

Mouthfeel: Way too damn thin for a stout... Crisp and somewhat dry.

Drinkability: A boring flavor profile and thin body do not a stout make. There are far better stouts out there...I have no intention of wasting another drinking opportunity on this one.

The bottle states 'The Legend Grows.' I think Mendocino should pat themselves on the back less, and work on their brews more. They may have been one of the pioneering micros way-back-when, but you can do so much better these days...

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

Opaque black with a frothy, cakelike burnt tan head, which dwindles quickly to a dark lace. Roasted and caramel malt aromas with some fruitiness. A metallic twang on the tongue, with some citrus-like hop flavors and roasted malts. It's dry--not as sweet as it smells. Finish is bitter and drawn out. It's not bad, probably nothing I'd pick up again though.

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

The quintessential deep brown to black color of the "stout style” with a head that is monstrous in size, creamy in its texture, light chocolate brown in its color. Lace is in thick sticky sheets that cling mightily to the glass. Sweet chocolate aroma, coffee, roasted grains also make the nose quite aromatic. The sweet taste of chocolate starts it off with the malts right before the top which is rich and thick, the finish sparingly acidic, the hops stately in their spicy bite and the semi-sweet chocolate dry aftertaste ends a quite good stout.

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Photo of kennywoodbrew
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The head is a beautiful sight, Rocky, Brown and standing proud. The color is to style. Aroma says hops in 10 foot tall letters (likeable). Although the taste settles into a niceness, first impression is a sharp almost astringent/dry sensation. This pushed me away. Perhaps I served it too cold as it mellowed as the glass warmed. Worth a try but I'm not likely to pay the price when there is so much competition @ 10 bucks a six.

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

Pours with a deep jet black, opaque, thick, chewy, bituminous look. Has a deep brown well-aerated head comprised of large bubbles that leaves a smattered coarse lace on the glass walls. The smell is a pervasive burnt one, too burnt for it masks the malts. The head has rescinded by now – a deeply burnt tire taste assaults the senses at the front portion of this beer, the middle is deeply roasted malt and coffee leading to a bitter finish – but still with the “skid-marks” of burnt rubber which is now becoming rather annoying.
For me, a good Stout needs to be smooth, and the roast malt, as nice as it is - must be balanced with some sweetness and/or bitterness. This stout is simply too harsh, it is "too" roasted - and has neither, sweetness, nor bitterness, to balance it.
Shame really, if MBC dry-hopped this, I think it would be marvellous.

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

Pours a pitch black color with a very good rocky head, with good pockets. On the nose the aroma was of molasses, dark fruits, coffee, milky, and some caramel as well. On the palate the aromas can all be tasted, robust, molassess, coffee, sweet, nice hop bitterness, hints of chocolate, little roasted astringency, black raisins. Overall a very good Stout, better if you let it warm up first.

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Photo of hyuga
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark chocolate appearance with a creamy tan head that settles slowly. Toffee-like character in the nose, along with some sweet undertones. Rich, creamy, coffee-like flavor with underlying caramel sweetness, more toffee-like character, and just a little kick of bitterness from the hops. The body is closer to medium than full. Creamy sweetness makes for a great mouthfeel and very good all-around drinkability. I like a more full-bodied stout, but this is still a great brew, and a pretty good representation of 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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Photo of bditty187
3.89/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black Hawk Stout pours jet black with a tiny tan head that disappeared to adequate lace. The nose is inviting with a smell of chocolate, coffee, and yummy sweetness.

Then the first sip: "It's good, a standard Stout." But then...

By the time I finished it, Black Hawk really improved. This was a very good Stout, kind of unique with a "dark" fruity backdrop. The hops added more complexity. The taste of coco, malty chewiness, doughiness, and a good consistency with an enjoyable texture truly made this worthwhile. As the bottle suggests the beer does finish clean and dry.

I'll drink it again and recommend it as well. While it is not “slap-yo-momma” fantastic it is a really, really good Stout.

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Photo of marc77
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Virtually black and opaque, w/ a hint of deep garnet when held to light. Thick, slowly receding, dark tan large bubbled head leaves coarse lace. The uniquely fruity aroma is combination of lightly tart esters, roasted barley, and caramel sweetness w/ subdued notes of chocolate malt. Unfortunately fruity esters carry a bit too strongly into the flavor profile, and partially mask black patent and chocolate contributions. Buttery diacetyl and light caramel sweetness dominate once the fruitiness fades, and this stout is left a tad one dimensional. Lightly bodied. Finishes dry w/ a hint of black malt sharpness and fruity tartness fading abruptly. Black Hawk is an interesting stout, but was lacking in malt character. Its fruitiness makes trying it worthwhile.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.17/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lots of big brown head on the pour. Not much nose at all. Black color. Smokey roast malt flavor, but lacking complexity. Carbonated mouth. Slight hint of coffee in the finish. I was not particularly impressed but it is drinkable.

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Photo of inebrius
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picture a nitro stout. Remove the head completely then throw a narrow rubber band the circumference of your glass in its place. Black Hawk. Malt fruity nose. Mellow malt kicks back on the couch and watches the roast barley and citric hops pummel your buds. Very PNW and very good.

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