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 CaptJackHarkness
4.65/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving 12.ounce bottle.

Wonderful malty stout aroma, pours a thick creamy beige head that truly lasted a long spell, gracefuly laced the glass. Deep black opaque in color. More on the slightly sweet side with a hint of hops, slight bitter aftertaste that lingers quite a while, hence lower mouthfeel score. A very drinkable brew!

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

Poured from a bottle into a stein glass.

Look - jet black with about half a finger's worth of tan-colored foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell - typical stout smell - molasses/chocolaty with a syrupy vibe to it.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Much like the smell, it has a typical stout taste, but seems to be heavy on the roasted quality. Slight bitter and hoppy feeling. The texture is actually surprisingly light and well-balanced.

Overall - not a bad brew at all, but not terribly interesting, except for the noticeable hops.

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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 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.

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

A: Pitch black body. Nice head and lacing.

S: Roasty chocolate malts. Good but not too much to speak of.

T: Strong roasted almost burnt flavor. An interesting creaminess makes this better than average.

M: Pretty substantial. I'm sure if it was on nitro it would be sublime.

A plain stout but a really good one. I wouldn't mind seeing this on tap instead of Guinness in every bar.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark and black with a nice, creamy tan head that fades fast but leaves nice walls of lace. The smell is of roasted coffee with some nutty notes, dark chocolate and some earthy hints. Caramel laces throughout. The taste is full of caramel with hints of toffee, dark cocoa and coffee with robust roasted malts dominating. Its smooth, balanced, creamy, and easy to drink. Doesn't knock my socks off, but a great mild stout.

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

A Poured a deep dark brown, nearly opague with a nice tight tan head, very quick fade to a nice film with a good bit of lace. Lots of audible carbonation when poured was definatly noticeable.

Very nice robust caramel smell mixed with aromas of coffee and hints of roasted nuts and a touch of chocolate. Overall not bad. First impression was really just the perfect carbonation, great frothy and fluffy mouthfeel and just all around benefit to the palate. Lots of caramel flavors and again a bit of a smoked hint at the back. Small flavors of roasted nuits, chocolate and hints at black coffee. Very nice, but the mouthfeel was absolutly pefect. Light, balanced, a drinkers stout.

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

Appearance: Very dark brown to black body with a creamy 1/4 inch black head. The head retains well and laces on the side of the glass.

Smell: I get a dose of roasted coffee beans and vanilla extract. Hints of almond and raisin. Decent malt character. But has a slightly hollow clay smell.

Taste: Smoked coffee. Slight bitterness. Butterscotch and molasses. Finishes mellow and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium and chalky. A very good balance.

Overall: A good mild craft stout. It is definitely more characteristic than Guinness or other mass market stouts but it isn't a standout stout either. A good attempt by the Mendocino brewery. A completely inoffensive beer that I might overlook simply because I rarely drink stouts.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a tan bubbly head. No retention, no lace.

Coffee and dark roasted malt aromas.

This has little complexity and is a bit thin on flavor. Bitter coffee up front, with a sour twang. Some bitter chocolate and seltzer-like flavors in the middle, clean long bitter finish. Nothing outstanding, but quite average. Feels like a porter. A bit thin bodied for the style. I'm ok with it, but won't get again.

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Photo of gfreed
2.54/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

One thing about the glut of beer on the market today is that there's a glut of average beer on the market. There's nothing wrong with this stout, but there's nothing very interesting about it, either. It's dark, it's slightly roasted, it has a somewhat dry finish... it tastes like coffee and wet ropes. More of same. There's no harm in drinking it, but... why bother? This stout is but one of the many ho-hummers you will drink as you seek something better.

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

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The label has no freshness date or abv%.

Appearance: This beer has a dark jet black look in the glass with a milk chocolate brown colored head on top. From the pour the head builds up a two finger tall covering that gradually fades to just a thin ring of foam. At the top of the glass it leaves a light ring of lace and the rest of the lacing slides right down as I drink.

Smell: It has nice complexity but a light overall presence. Within the modest nose there are notes of dark/burnt toasted bready malt, chocolate, dark roasted coffee and some caramel. I also pick up a slight smokiness.

Taste/Palate: The flavor brings all the dark toast, bitter chocolate and coffee notes picked up from the aroma. Under that it has a very slight caramel and molasses sweetness. This all comes on a modest medium body that comes off a little light but still interesting and very drinkable. The finish is fairly dry with some light hop flavor and a short bitter fade.

Notes: This one may leave some die hard stout lovers wanting more but it is decent for the price range and may be a nice beginner stout.

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

aged for about a year
another great beer poured into my NB globe today.

a - pretty dark, huge head w/ really good lacing

s - raisin, maybe a little bit of soy. some dark chocolate

t - dark fruits, bitter chocolate, light coffee bitterness toward the finish...maybe some hop.

m - smooth, creamy, light carbonation. lingers a bit.

o - if i hadn't burned my taste buds out today i'm sure this would be better. but it lacks some flavor. it's kinda week overall.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.17/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pitch Black Pour with a milk chocolate head of two fingers, quickly leaving without much lace...

Coffee raisins and chocolate grace the nose

Coffee immediately fronts the palate, some smoked hops in the background

Semi Watery with a light mouthfeel, good amounts of medium carbonation

Although the flavor is behind everything else, I would recommend this as an introduction to the style for someone new, it truly is not bad

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Photo of KajII
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in an English pint]

Poured a deep dark muddy black with a huge frothy tan head that produced some really good lacing. The aroma was of dark roasted bread malts, a resin hop and a meaty yeast with notes of dark chocolate, coffee and molasses. It tasted a little bitter-sweet with a hint of molasses and chocolate at first and finished with a bitter coffee flavor that had a strong dark chocolate presence at the end. Mouthfeel was very full in body and nice, smooth and creamy texture with a flat carbonation. Overall this stout was exceptionally smooth with a very nice flavor from beginning to end.

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Photo of BeerdedEric
4.02/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fluffy and cratered brown head that is fading at a decent speed then dissipating into a film. Almost pitch black but some ruby highlights come through held directly up to the light.

Dark chocalate, licorice and hazelnut. All very strong and delicious smelling.

Licorice, toast, hazelnut, chocalate and a burnt caramel aftertaste. This is a very good desert beer.

Medium body, smooth, light carbonation.

This is a beer to enjoy once in a while, after dinner or on a nice cold night next to a fire pit. Not a session beer but easy drinking.

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

Quite a dark brown color with a surprisingly pale shade of tan in the head. Leaves decent lace, stick is alright. Nothing to be mad at, just not superlative. The aroma is quite faint. Chalky notes cocoa and coffee grounds. Do more work here.

The flavor is again a little underwhelming, with a dry peppery undercurrent that saps some of the flavor's better points. Spent coffee grounds come to mind far too often. Thin, not horribly so, but definitely leaning that way. Not much like an American stout. Weak effort.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.12/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is black, with some dark brown highlights under light, and a light tan head that starts thick and frothy, but recedes to a decent half inch, tightly bubbled presentation. The beer is malty on the nose, with no other characteristics jumping out. The malt has notes of molasses and caramel, but very mild. Initial flavors are light, and ride through on a clean, crisp body. There are flavors heavy on chocolate, with strong backgrounds of coffee and dark, sweet malt. Well balanced with bitter and sweet flavors. Body is smooth and crisp at the same time, never overpowering and alway complementary of the flavors. The beer transitions to a quick, smooth, and clean finish. The aftertaste is similar to melting a chocolate bar in half a cup of coffee. Very tasty, and very pleasant. Easy to drink with almost anything in terms of food.

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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 Neecee513
4.12/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into pint glass.

A: Deep brown; one step less than black.

S: Roasted chocolate aroma. Chocolate aroma stronger than so-called "chocolate" stouts

T: Roasted malty character, caramel notes

M: Low carbonation, smooth finish, medium body, finish is not dry

D: Pleasantly surprised by this beer, I enjoyed everything about it, esp the deep, especially the roasty aroma and taste.

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

An almost black, with light tan head, stout. Not an impressive aroma, but definitely some roasted notes in there, but slightly sour. On the palate, it has a bitterness that comes from the roasted malts, not necessarily hops, much like an over-brewed espresso. The roasted malt flavors are a-plenty with many different layers of roasty with a dry finish. But all of this happens in a very subdued way, allowing it to be both interesting and drinkable.

I always have, always will love this stout. Reasonably priced, reasonably bitter, reasonably malty, and just plain reasonable. It may not be the most impressive thing I've ever tasted, but if I want an all-night stout, which I often do, this is my choice - hands down.

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

A: Pitch with almost no head and a sheen of ruddy hues when held to the light.

S: Strong roasted malt smell, cocoa and coffee round it out.

T/M: Strong chocolate and coffee malts, slight sweet and smoky. Low carbonation with a medium body that becomes a bit heavy over time.

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Photo of drizzam
3.57/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured an opaque dark black in color, topped by a slight bit of khaki froth. Very little to no head and no lacing. I'm disappointed in the lack of head this brew offered.

S - Not the aroma I expected...sweet buttery toffee or molasses seems to be the predominant scent. Smells tasty, just not what I expected from a stout.

T & M - Ahhh, there it is. Finally I'm getting the definition of a stout. Roasted black malt takes front stage with a hint of bitter chocolate floating about. The roastiness reminds me of charred wood, almost a burnt character to it. Medium bodied with a bit of burnt roasty aftertaste. The mouthfeel isn't as smooth as I would like...there is a slight coarseness to it.

D - Apart from all of the negatives that I feel work against the intended style, this is not a terrible beer. There are certainly better examples of American Stouts that I would pick up before this one, but I could sit down and drink more than one of these in a sitting.

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Photo of ngeunit1
3.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark black color with a hint of red with only a tiny it of brownish head that faded quick and left behind little lacing.

S - Smells of roasted malt, with a carmel sweetness and some coffee/chocolate tones mixed in as well.

T - Starts off a tad sweet and malty. Chocolate and coffee flavors mixed in throughout. Also, a bit of a nutty flavor is present. The aftertaste is a bit of coffee bitterness, some chocolate taste, and a bit of the nutty flavor. Fairly well balanced overall.

M - Medium bodied with medium level of carbonation. Very nice and creamy while staying smooth.

D - Fairly easy to drink overall. A nice amount of flavors that stay well balanced. Pretty smooth and crisp.

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Photo of Bung
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Dark brown pour, some light barely gets through. Not much head to speak of, a whispy tan ring.

Sweeter malty aroma, molasses and caramel. Chocolate accents.

Taste is not nearly so sweet. Quite a bit of smoke and peat. Bakers chocolate maybe cocoa. Finishes quite dry with the char and barely a hint of coffee.

Body is lighter with a nice level of carbonation. Maybe a bit thin, er, quite a bit thin, but drinks quite well, as long as the flavors suit you.

Almost more of a dark scottish ale of some sort. Not bad, just a bit different for the style.

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