Black Hawk Stout | Mendocino Brewing Company

Black Hawk StoutBlack Hawk Stout
Liked This Beer
3.52 w/ 654 Ratings
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 treehugger02010
3.31/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this 12 ounze beer from a Mendocino Mix case and poured into a pint glass. There was about a finger and a half of head. There was a bit of lace, not a lot but more than a little. It was very dark, and thick. It didn't have much of a smell. The taste was solid, very malty, but very well blended. The thickness provided a very nice mouthfeel. This was a very drinkable stout. Don't drink and review.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.07/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours up two fingers of a coffe caramel colored head over a black brew. The head vinishes quickly, very little lacing.

S - Chocolate, dates, elderberries and raisins. A pretty weak odor.

T - A dark chocolately malty taste with just a touch of burnt malt. The aftertaste is light burnt bitterness on the finish.

M - Medium bodied, a bit gummy too and actually a bit drying as well.

D - Not too shabby here. It is a very average drinkable stout. Nothing too extreme in any aspect (the mouthfeel is bland, but that's about it). I am not impressed by this, but I would drink it again if it was handed to me.

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Photo of Poser
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black but with a thin head and little lacing. Aroma is of molasses with a hint of caramel. I find it a little overcarbonated and a little lacking in traditional stout flavors -- there isn't enough coffee, chocolate taste. There is a bit of liquorice flavor which is interesting. Overall, a decent beer, but a little disappointing for a stout.

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Photo of cheers2beers
4.3/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: While pouring this jet black stout, I was able to coax a roaring three inch pillowy tan head. The laceing has no shyness about it, there is plenty of it surrounding my glass.

Smell: Aromas are sweet and bitter chocolates, coffee grounds, some wood notes, nice arrangement of sweet malts and bittering hops to make up the rest.

Taste: Wow! This is truely a great stout. The semi sweet chocolate and the thick candied malts explode in my mouth upon impact. Followed by a very balanced bittering hops and coffee grounds in the middle,with a nice punch of alcohol to K.O. my taste buds!

Mouthfeel: The feel is slick, oily front with a semi dry and bubblely finish.

Drinkability: Man, I can't wait to go and buy this one up again. This stout is not my favorite but it ranks on up there. I would suggest you go and purchase this immediately and enjoy at a medium pace or slam it and your own free will, It's your call.


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Photo of hanco005
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A—pours solid black with a slightly fluffy 1 inch sandy brown head that lasts 5 minutes or so, laces in sheets

S—chocolate and toffee, roasted malts aroma, very nice

T—dry roasted malt is strong, some alkaline taste, very bitter, not terrible, but nothing really memorable here, either

M—chalky and dry, medium/full bodied, good carbonation

D—an average stout, but not sure I would have it again.

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Photo of bgraney
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inky black with a heavily carbonated, cocoa head.
Aroma of toasted malts, a nice alcohol scent background.
Tasted like carbonated, liquid toast, slightly burnt. I like it.
Flavor fills the mouth, lingering toast aftertaste.
I was ready for another.
This came in a gift pack but I would buy it, more likely in a bar/restaurant than to buy a 6-pack.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with a creamy tan head.

Smell is dark roasted malt and burnt grain.

Taste is the smoky charred grain. There is also a nice bit of coffee bitterness going on, as well as a sourness I can't quite identify(perhaps fruity?). Finish is quite dry and clean.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied. I would prefer a little more 'fullness'.

Overall a decent stout with enough character to keep things interesting. Flavor becomes more complex as it warms. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of Dizzy
2.92/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with tan head. Aroma of roasted malts, reminiscent of chocolate, some fruit aromas , and faint alcohol aroma. Some fruit flavors underneath the anticipated roasted malts. A faint tartness in the background. No significant hop presence I can detect. Nothing special but this isn't bad.

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Photo of bashiba
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice dark black with a thin tan head, no retention or lacing.

Smell had some minor burnt malt hints and a little dark chocolate.

Taste has strong burnt and smoky malt profile with hints of bitter chocolate and a minor earthy hop finish. Overall the flavor is light and pretty basic.

Mouthfeel is light and dry.

Overall a lighter stout, easy to drink, but nothing to get excited about.

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Photo of denjen
3.37/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dennis: At first I was a little confused by this stout, while the smell gave me a slight sour twinge everything seemed on track. But when I tasted it, I felt it came across a little thin and overly hoppy. It has a slight burnt sourness on the exhale, with a hoppy bitterness. It's not a bad beer by any means, it's just not what I was expecting from a stout. If you are not a fan of stouts, and want something to ease into with a bit more hops than you'd find normally, then this is your bird.
Jen: This brew is quite perplexing. It seems like a stout at first, but towards the end, I just feel like I am drinking a dark ale. The taste is very well done with a roasted coffee flavor backed with smokey malts and a mild caramel sweetness. The body just seems a bit thin for a stout. I like this, but I am disappointed with the mouthfeel.

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Photo of riversider76
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown. Thin tan head, with no real retention. Decent lacing. Smell is of roasted coffee, nut, and hops. Body is light for a stout, with very little carbonation. Taste is of roasted coffee, with a bite. malty finish. Decent. Good session beer. Would try again.

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Photo of plaid75
3.8/5  rDev +8%
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 taez555
4.27/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a pitch black body with a small off-white head.

Nose has a rich, slightly metallic, chocolate smell. Toffee, some dark burnt roasted malt, coffee, milk chocolate and some faint floral notes. Very rich and very inviting.

Taste is medium bodied with a smooth dark malt flavor. Very tame at first ending with a bit stronger more pronounced roasted malt bitterness. Dark malt, coffee, some mild caramel, some hints of roasted or even smokey burnt malt. Rather tame bitterness at first but becomes much more pronounced as it warms. Starts to get a little bit more metallic as it warms.

Really a very nice american stout. Loads of flavors, all in your face and yet extremely drinkable.

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Photo of blitz134
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nearly opaque black body, highlights of ruby red show through when held to the light. Initial one finger head, light tan in color, redued to nothing except a ring around the edge.

Strong toasted malt aroma with some hints of char and dark coffee. Some sweet malt aspects come in as well. Smells good, I like the charred aromas. Very simple, but pronounced.

More char and dark toasted malts again in the taste, but these disappear pretty quickly. I dont know what else to describe in this one, not overly complex. Finish is dark coffee again. A bit of peat and earthyness in the finish from the hops. Finish is quite dry.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly good. A bit too much carbonation makes this one too crisp and biting on the tongue for me. Overall good drinkability though. Simple with a nice toasted flavor, just not much in it to continually bring me back.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.86/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Initially pours a very deep dark garnet color with a small 1/4" head of tan bubbles. The head sticks around for only about 20 seconds to end up as a small ring across the top of the beer. The beer is dark, but it appears that there aren’t many bubbles rising to maintain the head.

Aroma: Sweet malty aroma with some defined roasty characteristics. I get a noticeable honey-like presence that really takes your attention away from the dark malts. The hops are very noticeable here and give the beer a perfumy edge. All in all, the aroma blends really nicely.

Taste: The flavor is pretty close to the aroma, but is surprisingly milder than I suspected. The beer is pretty balanced overall. The roast is just enough to give the beer a stout-like edge, but doesn't get a dry as you would expect a Porter to be. The hops are a big player in this beer, and keep the malt in check the entire time. The finish is slightly dry with some lingering bitterness, and only a negligible amount of alcohol noticeable.

Opinion: I am really enjoying this beer as it is really drinkable. I like a stout or Porter that aren't over the top in the roast department, and this beer satisfies that requirement. It has a good flavor and finishes refreshing. It is not an Imperial Stout, so you shouldn't be expecting one. It is just a clean and well-balanced dry stout.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber black with a half finger tan head that disappears quickly to a ring of tan lacing.
Aroma is burnt malts and black coffee.
Taste is much like the aroma....burnt malts, espresso coffee with only a hint of malt sweetness.
Carbonation is biting on the tongue. Aftertaste is mostly black coffee and a definate astringent drying.
Mouthfeel is creamy due to the carbonation and the lack of sweetness in the malts keeps it from being cloying at all...simply drying.
Timing and mood is everything, I know, but I enjoyed this dry stout. I had just finished two rather sweet, malty brews and this stout really hit the spot for me.

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Photo of ski271
4.07/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown, almost black, with a very small but tenacious, tan, creamy head. Smells of roasted malt, toffee, charcoal, dark bread, molasses and plum. Taste follows suit. Very bready and big, with some light brothy yeast. It has a medium-full body, lightly syrupy texture and moderate carbonation. This is a very enjoyable beer. Nothing spectacular, but a good representation of the style. The hops are a little weak on the finish in my opinion, but otherwise this is quite good.

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Photo of danielharper
3.26/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

A: Pours dark brown -- nearly black -- with very thick tan head.

S: Aroma strongly malty, dry, notes of barley and licorice.

T: Dry roasted flavor, very dry aftertaste. If Guinness wasn't nitrogenated, it might taste similar.

M: Moderate mouthfeel, carbonation tickles the tongue.

D: I wouldn't want more than one, but fans of dry stouts will like it.

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Photo of BigRedN
3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass, the beer is black. A nice brown head sits atop the beer, at least 1/2 inch. The head lasted several minuts before settling to a total cover on top of the liquid. Good lacing covering the glass as I drink it down. I love a nice dark stout.

Smell: As to be expected from a good stout, roasted malt. Aromas of roasted chocolat and coffee. I also seem to get little floral hop scents. Overall, it is very inviting.

Taste: Typical American stout. Roasted malts, some chocolate and coffee flavors. There is a touch of hop bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied at best, suficient carbonation.

Drinkability: A good, easy drinking stout, at least worth a try. I purchased my six pack on sale for $5.99, when this regularly sell for $8.99 in Nebraska. For $5.99 this is a good beer; at $8.99 this is overpriced. I can find many better beers for less.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

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Photo of Rootdog316
3.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Hawk Stout is a fine stout, one that obviously comes from America's west, as evidenced by it's intense hoppiness. This stout is deep black, rather viscous, and has rich roasted and caramel notes. Those new to dark beers will likely be turned off by this one, it's just too robust; though, if they are avid coffee drinkers or enjoy dark chocolates, they might well enjoy it.

To clarify the taste- compared to Guinness, this beer is much more flavorful, sweeter (in spite of the hop finish), and generally more intense.

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Photo of akajimmyd
3.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

An aggressive pour lead to a decent one inch head which quickly reduced but left a small crown. The body was totally opaque and black. Very nice to look at. My first whiff was a strong and unbalanced mix of alcohol and coffee, but after it breathed for a few seconds it was significantly mellowed and some floral and fruity smells came through. Strong bitter, dark and burnt malts are my first impression followed by some aggressive hopping. Sweetness lingers throughout. Medium bodied with a bitter and slightly boozy finish. Drinkable nevertheless and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of timtheenchanta
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black color with decent head and retention.

This one lacks in smell. It has a cheap coffee/roasted malt nose.

The taste is a little better but somewhat similar. This beer is worth a try but it's definitely lacking in complexity for a stout. A nice offering if you're stuck in a state with an abv cap.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mountainous head is a rich brown looking froth, sticky massive coat lacing. Pitch black, mildly carbonated. This beer looks very smooth and inviting.

Nothing earthshattering here, pretty standard stout, and thats not a hack by any stretch. A good stout is not an easy thing to come by. By "standard" I mean it has the typical toasted, charred, burnt type flavors and balanced by a smooth creamy mouthfeel. This one steps out of the box a bit in that its so creamy its almost milk like, very smooth. Dry bakers chocolate creeps in there towards the end. Finishes with a barely noticeable touch of some raw hops.

Notes: I'm an advocate of this brewery overall and this is no exception. Nicely balanced stout. Price per quality ratio: this passes with flying colors.

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Photo of ChuckD
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from Shoreline poured into a chalice. Chunky, tan head - big and foamy atop dark blackness. Nice look.

To the nose there is a strong roasted malt front, sweet and fruity. The acidity of burnt coffee is there - which takes away from the sweetness. Slight hop aroma in the back.

In the mouth, this is pretty nice tasting stout. You get a full hop character right up front - soon to be replaced by all the roasted malt sweetness. An earthy fruitiness - dates and prunes abound. Good layers of taste here.

The feel however, is a little unstable for a stout. The consistent body is lacking. It is a little metallic and thin. It finishes dry and fairly clean.

Musings: A pretty decent beer. The taste character is great - but is not matched by the nose or the body feel. A taste this full should be backed up by a more substantial body.

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Black Hawk Stout from Mendocino Brewing Company
Beer rating: 32.7% out of 100 with 654 ratings
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