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

View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 654 |  Reviews: 431
Photo of goochpunch
3.08/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured out opaque, coal black with a huge, milk chocolate head that petered out slowly. Smells of roasted chocolate malt with a slight herbal background. Tastes first of the dark malts which lead into a fruitiness alongside a bitter roasted finish. Kind of weak, flavor-wise. Carbonation levels are pretty spot-on but it's rather watery. Pretty ho-hum all around. Not good enough for me to buy again, but not bad enough to pour down the drain.

 443 characters

Photo of bossmanjg
2.7/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

As far as Stouts go, this one is middle of the road for me.

Appearance: Dark to black in color, the head was good for a few minutes, and didn’t lace well.

Smell: Strong coffee, and that was really all I could pick up.

Taste: For a beer that only has 5.0 ABV, this beer tasted way to strong of alcohol.

Mouth feel: Not bad, but not better than any others I’ve enjoyed. Not watery like some.

Drinkability: I would not consider this a session beer. The taste would have to be much better for the price I paid, in order to enjoy more than the one I’ve had.

And as always remember the immortal words:

“Beer is proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy.”

~Benjamin Franklin

 709 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
3.77/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured, the color was a dark amber brown with little foam and some lace of the face of the glass.

The smell of roasted malts and hops filled the nose, but nothing over outstanding. The taste was of roasted malts with a hint of tart and a touch of sourness. This stout got a little better as the beer warmed up a little. Not impressed with this stout!

 358 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a tar black body with a rocky tan head that displays good retention and lacing

Smell: Roasted malt notes, some chocolate but also a bit of dishwater that degrades from the overall effect

Taste: Starts out with a roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate base; mid-palate, a strong smokey and bitter effect overpowers the malt and carries through to the finish with burnt coffee notes

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with modest carbonation

Drinkability: Certainly the best Mendocino that I have tasted (although that is not saying much), this is a respectable effort but is a tad too disjointed to come together

 623 characters

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

Nice black color. Looks like a stout should, no complains. A bit light on the nose, without the same maltiness or chocolate scents I've come to love in stouts. Tastes nicely roasted with a dash of hop bitterness, but lacks the complexity of many other stouts on the market. A tad thin as well, doesn't have the same weightiness that it could have.

Still, resonably priced, and a solid, if basic, stout. Worth a try.

 418 characters

Photo of Stimack
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brew pours to a deep, deep brown color hedging on black with a medium tan colored head that has some retention while leaving some lacing. The aromas are of coffee and heavily roasted malts, a somewhat burnt aroma. The taste is pretty good, coffee and roasted grains that go right along with what was in the nose. Also finished with a hop bitterness that seems to balance it out nicely. Very dry feel to it. Overall a nice offering. One of the better brew offered by Mendocino IMO.

 480 characters

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

Black with a creamy head. Smells of highly of hops and some dark malts.The taste is somewhat hoppy with roasted/burnt malt flavors, sweeter caramel flavors, but of the little chocolate or coffee I usualy expect. Mouthfeel was really crisp for a stout. Overall the brew was enjoyable, but not exactly what I expect from the style generally.

 339 characters

Photo of Byeast
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured deep black with light brownish edges. Head was small and dissipated quickly.

Smell was kind of creamy , roasted malts , slight dark chocolate , slight coffee and gentle hop aroma

Taste was well balanced , creamy blend of slight flavors including: a bit of chocolate and coffee , citrusy hop bitterness , black maltiness , dry finish

mouthfeel was creamy

This was a refreshingly drinkable stout

 413 characters

Photo of jaluria
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This is one of those beers that can best be described as being equal to less than the sum of it's parts. The various components of this beer seem fine on their own, but when combined result in a not so great product.
Poured an opaque dark brown (almost black) with loads of tan colored head that just sat still for minutes and left behind just a touch of lacing. Aromas of roasted malt, hard candy, and faint dried fruit. The taste was as might be expected with toasted/smoked flavors carrying greater intensity than the sweetness of various malts. Somewhat astringent in the aftertaste with a sour flavor that didn't go away. This was my 2nd beer of the night and I had trouble with this one...just did not sit well with me and adversely affected my taste buds.

 763 characters

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

Good one, not great, but definitely worth a try.

Pretty good pour, opaque black with burgundy edges – hard to get a good tan head unless you aggressively pour. Where the hell is a born on date! Point deduction there.

Notes of charcoal and burnt toast in the aroma and also in the quaff. Nice roasted malts, a leathery body with slight hints of coffee in the finish.

Close to a Irish dry stout, especially with the dry, gritty mouthfeel. Medium bodied, but still processing a rich overall glow. It may be just a tad on the thin side, but the relatively low abv of 5% makes this a good session candidate – especially with the good sixer price tag.

 657 characters

Photo of IgnorantBastard
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been a distant fan because of all the loyal followers of this brewery and their Red Tail Ale. Would always stop in when heading up to Reggae On The River and they are truely one of the original N. CA hancrafted brewers. So, I was excited when I grabbed a sixer of the Stout at Trader Joes. So let's start with what matters. The taste.... Disapointing. As few have mentioned already, this falls short. I did like the peety smoke taste you find in a scotch but no wow factor. More than usual carbination for a stout which is something different but not negative. If it's on sale and you have spent your beer budget, maybe. Damn, I wanted so much more.

 654 characters

Photo of kaimcm
3.11/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: opaque body, creamy sudsy off white head. head is comprised of large bubbles and has some spotty stick.

S: clean malt, roast, a bit of smoke and meat

T: first wave is carbonation, and too much of it. mouthfeel is okay but the carbonation is too prickly, and kinda spices over the beers flavor. as that wears out a soft roast comes through that dries and becomes more pronounced through the finish. a clean, water like quality helps wash the roast and the brew down, almost as if its been diluted. this makes for easy drinking but no complexity.

M: aside from the carbonation tongue attack that goes on, the mouthfeel is pretty good.

D: seems that this beer was meant to be very middle of the road and approachable by a few too many. tastes like sacrifices were made in order to get a broader appeal. that being said, i know i dont want another, not tonight anyway.

 880 characters

Photo of kbnooshay
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in sartoga springs, NY. Wow this poured a black as fuck black. Virtually no ligh gets through when help up to my computer monitor. Decent mocha head that does not last. I admit i did a bad pour here, not a enough straight on head creation pouring. The aroma was mild but of sweet malt. The taste is smokey with a hint of coffee. Kinda sweet but sharp. Bitterly dry. The mouthfeel is kinda watery lite but smooth. Thin. An allright stout.

 444 characters

Photo of Shiloh
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very nice stout for sure. Arrived a dark brown, almost black with redish hilites, a short crown of tight tan bubbles leaving to a thin island lace and similar glass ring.
The aroma is of roasted grains and dark chocolate.
The body is medium.
Taste is not as sweet as anticapated, mixture of burnt grains, molasses, dark chocolate and coffee beans.
Very smooth, no lingering after taste.

 392 characters

Photo of JISurfer
2.73/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Yep, it's an average beer. The picture on the bottle was cool and that was about it for this one. I was expecting something a bit more malty, but IMO it was stronger in the hops area. That's just what my "buds" were telling me. The head was pretty nice at first, but then died out fairly rapidly, leaving nothing behind, but spotty(at best) laceing. The taste was ok, just nothing too special. Not something I'll be drinking again though.

 438 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.61/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mendocino- Black Hawk Stout

Appearance- dark opaque with a small tan head.
Smell- not much. Slight roasted hops with a touch of dark roast coffee.
Taste- nice mellow roasted coffee hops with a touch of malt.
Mouthfeel- smooth and warm. Goes down easy.

Overall- a decent stout, not amazing but a mild middle of the road stout that could be drank a novice or a pro.

 372 characters

Photo of hero27
2.89/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle.

Dark brown color with reddish hues. Light tan head that holds well and leaves spots of oily lacing behind. Aroma is faint nuts & malted barley with an off-metallic smell thrown in there as well. A little weak in flavor & mouthfeel for a stout..tastes are fairly typical roasted malts with a slight metallic/bitter character tagged on the end. At best, I'd consider it an average stout.

 402 characters

Photo of bjohnson
3.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a jet black with an initial half finger brown colored head that goes away just after poured.

S: Aromas of smokey roasted malts

T: Tastes of molasses, roasted malts, and maybe a little chocolate also.

M and D: Mouthfeel is nice, but I would have liked it to be heavier considering its jet black color. Drinkability is ok, a tasty one in a pinch, but wouldn't be my first pick. I would have this again however if the opportunity showed itself.

 459 characters

Photo of Dewey0603
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark black with a small creamy tan head.The smell is mostly roasted malt with a little coffee.The taste is roasted malt and not much else.The m/f is too light for my taste.This is an easy drinking beer,but not a good stout.I could drink this all night,but I was expecting a thicker heavier beer than this.

 318 characters

Photo of jp32
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black in color with a brown, fizzy head that dissipates quickly.

The nose is full of roasted and burnt scents. Maybe a few nutty notes here and there.

The taste is a bit lacking up front, but nice roasted flavors come through in the middle, giving it a little tangy-ness. The finish/aftertaste is strong of coffee.

Mouthfeel is good. Nicely carbonated. Probably could be heavier I suppose, but its not bad the way it is.

Drinkability is also fine. I could drink these all night without getting too bored with them. There's a real good chance this beer will find its way into my rotation again someday.

 622 characters

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle marked as Brewed and Bottled in Saratoga Springs, NY

Pours a nice jet black with a mocha head that hangs around here and there. Decent lacing on the glass.

Mild aroma of roasted grains and a definite hop aroma. I get hints of chocolate in there as well.

Nice roated flavor upfront with a decent hop taste that follows. Finishes pretty smooth and dry. Not as good as some others I've had.

Average body for the style, which is thin. Just nothing to get excited about.

Pretty easy to drink, but just an average dry stout overall.

 554 characters

Photo of Mitchel
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black Hawk Stout is a DARK beer. It is a relatively clean tasting beer. Not too bitter, not to strong.

It pours a tan head which quickly disappears to leave just a little lace on top of a black beer. It is about as dark as a beer could get. It smells of molasses and very strong coffee and tastes of it too. I can definitely smell the alcohol even though it is not that high in it (5.2% abv), interesting. Pretty malty and finishes clean and dry. This is a very stout beer, but what do you expect.

Overall this is a pretty good stout but it is deficient of something more. What more I don’t know. But it just isn’t that extraordinary to me. Watch out, that first sip will catch out off guard if you aren’t ready. Cheers!

 731 characters

Photo of karst
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours opaque black with ruby glint at base of the 4.0L rastal sniffer. Minor head leaves quickly. Aroma of caramel and chocolate malt and fruity esters. Similar taste with roast barley, black patent and slight diacetyl notes.
Light body. Finishes dry with some roasted malt sharpness and fruity tartness briefly lingering.

Just a year ago I would not have liked this. I am still not fond of it but have a fair idea of what bothers me about it. Flavors suggest poor blending and possibly low quality grains. Little amused by the "The Legend Grows" neck ring and claims that mimic Budweisser Select. Drinkable but marginal and it turns me away from trying other brews from Mendocino.

 686 characters

Photo of wcudwight
3.11/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with a brown bubbly head that becomes a thin foam on top. Week at the nose. Maybe some hops...maybe. The taste is fine...just fine. It taste like they missed something. It's just a bit off, but I don't know what it is. Not bad, it's just that something is missing. Mouthfeel is too thin and carbonated for a stout. It's a drinkable beer, even a decent beer. It's just not a good stout.

 391 characters

Photo of kkipple
2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into a 16oz pilsner glass. Filled the glass with a reddish-tan head atop a deep brown beer. Typical stout color.

Smelled of malt and coffee, caramel. Nothing abnormal.

Tasted rather sweet to me. If I had to describe it simply I'd say a sweeter Guinness that felt thin in the mouth. Malt, coffee, chocolate -- the usual for a stout. Felt a bit warm in my mouth after a few sips. What little aftertaste there was disappeared after several moments.

The other posters have it nailed; this reminded me an awful lot of Sam Adams Black Lager. A bit too thin for a stout, I think.

All in all, Black Hawk is not a bad beer, but not particularly inspiring either. Drink if you can't find Guinness or your favorite stout.

 747 characters

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