Black Hawk Stout | Mendocino Brewing Company

654 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 654 |  Reviews: 431
Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a good, solid stout. Everything is pretty close to the way I like it. Jet black with coffee & chocolate in the scent & taste. I would prefer a smoother finish. This tasted a little too carbonated - a bit too "piercing" I would say. A bit more caramel flavoring would be nice too. The bitterness in this stout is on point, though. I dont know if I would buy this again, as I have my pick of so many different stouts in this area, but this is a good effort from Mendocino.

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Photo of Enola
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A little bitter for me. Poured with absolutely no head. A very dark color. The smell is nothing to brag about. I would not want to drink these much. It is not a bad beer but I think there are simply better choices of this style. I like for a stout to be smooth but this one kinda has a bite to it.

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Photo of battlekow
2.99/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'm trying a few new stouts, New Holland's the Poet and North Coast's Old #38 in addition to this one.

Black Hawk pours a stout, hearty black, capped by a tannish head and good lacing.

Smells and tastes very carmelly, hardly bitter at all. Mouthfeel is relatively weak. Damn, this beer is a complete disappointment after the appearance. This seems like a schwarzbier, not a stout. Black Hawk walks the walk, but doesn't talk the talk.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.86/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was a good stout; though it seemed to have some lager-ish qualities, oddly enough. Poured to a dark black color, opaque but for the edges of the glass. An inch high chocolatey head sits atop the beer for about a minute and subsides to a collar with a thin film on the surface.

Smells a bit sweet and chocolatey with a bit of coffee. Doesn't have much, if any roastiness to it. Smells almost like it has a hint of vanilla bean. Not very strong of an aroma at all, but what is there is good.

The taste is of black malt, chocolate, coffee, and even vanilla bean. Tastes almost like a black lager. Very crisp and smooth for a stout, as is printed on the label. A pleasant chocolate coffee and vanilla taste lingers in the mouth with a moderately dry finish. I could drink the shit out of this stout, or whatever you want to call it.

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Photo of russpowell
2.5/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Brownish red appearnce going to black with a tan head that drops off very quickly.

Slight smell of rasins and nuts and then alcohol.

Tastes bitter on the front of the tounge with some "rumminess" on the middle & the throat

Mouth feel is astringent and thin.

I'm sure I've had this before & it was much better, but memory fails me now...

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Photo of tgbljb
3.06/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured a beautiful deep brown color with nice puffy tannish head. Smell is very light and not overly pleasant. Very disappointing. Taste is nice for chocalate, caramel roaasted malt, but the hop bitterness is too overpowering and seems to become stronger with each sip. Very acid and astringent mouth feel. Glad I only bought one.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking stout, very symmetrical looking creamy head, that fades to a solid ring around the outside, with a thinner layer in the middle. Coffee and other roasted malts in the nose, lightl dark chocolate. Taste is good, although not great. Nice coffee flavor, not overpowering, hops are not very dominant. Sweet, but not cloying. This is a very solid and drinkable stout.

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Photo of thechaacster
3.22/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark coffee brown with a few scattered bubbles, but no actual head. Smells burnt and roasty, with a hint of sweetness. Taste is quite heavy on the burnt side, with just a bit of coffee and unsweetened chocolate character. Finish is dry and astringent. Kind of a thin mouthfeel for a stout, but drinkable. An okay stout... a little too burnt and astringent. Not really up my alley.

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

Bottle obtained from Superior Liquor (Colorado) in July 2005 and consumed a couple evenings later. Pours, my goodness, a really viscous and dark liquid. Hard pour to get a thin layer of actual brown head over a pitch black liquid. Brown edging when held to light. Smells of molasses, sweetened coffee, chocolate, and toffee. There is also a bit of acrid sting in the smell, as if smelling distant battery fumes on a breeze. Not enough to cause concern, but just enough to turn your head to the source. The head has already settled to a ring of bubbles around the glass. liquid in my mouth, but I can taste chocolate with the liquid just pressing against the outside of my lips. Once in my mouth it is strongly coffee with some chocolate afterthoughts and a mild sour tang in the aftertaste. Pretty simple and standard for a stout, but this beer is cold and I will give it time to warm before proceeding.

Warm, the tastes are much more intense, but not necessarily more complex. The coffee is rich and dark with some black patent highlights. A plain wet sweet hit early on with the roast to add a nice counter point. This transitions to a rounded bock-like caramel that I really enjoyed with the roast. Mixed, it was like having dumped some Nestle caramel chips into a coffee. One odd thing I found is that there's a water character as part of the taste profile. Can't explain it any other way. Just a flavor that was 'empty'. The aftertaste held a moment of cheery sour (likely from black patent) that faded slowly to a return of the roast grains.

Despite how thick it poured, this beer is only md-thick bodied. Carbonation is mild, but does sting the tongue a bit. Overall, no flavor dominated to an unpleasant extent. The underlying flavors were noticable in their own right, but also worked to keep the roast flavor from isolation.

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Photo of Naes
3.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black beer with a small tan head. It also has plenty of visable carbonation on the side of the glass.

Aroma is of malts

Flavor is malty and a bit roasty. It finishes with a nice blend of chocolate and a touch of hops.

The mouth feel is a bit watery but has a bit of thickness after you swallow.

Easily consumable, I would have another but will not seek it out.

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

Good looking stout ---almost opaque blackness with a thick beige head and good lacing. Aroma is roasted malts, coffee, and dark fruity sweetness. Taste is dominated by the roasted malts with a bitter coffee/chocolate finish. Mouthfeel was smooth with a dry finish, but the body of this beer is too thin. Nothing about this stout really wowed me, but it was a cheap single and I could certainly stand to drink more.

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Photo of acrawf6
2.98/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out a good looking black, but did not leave a much of a head and i didnt pour to try to aggitate one. the color looked dark like any stout, but did let more light in at the bottom of my glass.

smell was sweet and had scents of molassis and roasted malts.

taste to me was way to sweet for a stout, and unbalanced from it. the malts tasted through, but overall i tasted the sweetness and wasnt all that enjoyable.

the mouthfeel was a little oily and had quite a bit of carbonation.

overall i would say to buy if it you have the chance because its cheap, but much better stouts out there. too sweet.

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Photo of ram3139
3.49/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Looks exactly like a stout should. Opaque black with a 1" coffee colored head that fades to a thin sheet after a minute. Plenty of lacing.
Smell - roasted malts and a touch of coffee. Nothing too much or exciting.
Taste - Sweet and dry. Not overly 'roasty' or bitter. I'd like the flavor to linger a bit more; seems to fade quickly.
Mouthfeel - A bit thin.
Drinkability - Very drinkable. Sweet and smooth. The taste doesnt last long in my mouth, so I guess I just have to keep drinking. No problem there...
Overall - A solid stout. Pretty inexpensive, goes down good. I'll get it again to keep in the fridge. Good session stout and also a good one for people who might not like some of the stronger examples of the style.

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

Pours a deep black/ruby red, topped with a two finger puffy dark khaki head, leaves webs of lacing.
Coffee, earthy, darkly roasted malt aroma, charcoal.
Very dark roasted taste, burnt coffee beans, a bit tangy, very nice.
Medium to full bodied, crisp and dry.

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Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a near pitch black with a thin wispy head,deeply roasted malt and bitter chocolate with a light piney note.There is a real hop presence to this stout for sure when drinking at room temp,bitter unsweetened chocolate and highly roasted malt are most prevelant but a dry,piney hoppiness really comes trhu as it warms and in the after-burps.An above average stout not spectacular but I would drink again for sure.

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Photo of malty
3.21/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12 oz. longneck with a nice description of the beer on the neck lable - no freshness date.

Poured pretty much black with a nice bubbly head that remained at 1/2 inch for quite a while.

Roasted malt nose with an odd earthy element in there also.

Taste: Thin and uneventful roasted malts with a dry ending.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin also with a nice even carbonation that redeems towards the end.

Drinkability for me: I could put a few of these away if my tastebuds were worn-out from a good Montecristo Platinum cigar.

Overall a so-so stout. It has a nice crispness/dryness from the hops, but there's really no malt backbone to speak of.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.31/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: A pitch black liquid sits underneath a wonderfully clingy dark tan head.

Smell: Smells like an average coffee-ish stout. That's all.

Taste and Mouthfeel: A very watered-down coffee flavor hits your mouth at first, and stays for most of the brew. Chocolate and nutty flavors are evident, but not pronounced. The mouthfeel is thin and very cloying.

Drinkability and Overall: Your average stout. Simple as that. Nothing too special, but nothing too horrible. This may be a good beer to "enlighten" fans of Guinness with, but alas it's nothing special.

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Photo of clvand0
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one pours a dark color with a small head that dies off quickly and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma has some roasted malts and some dark fruits. Interesting. The flavor has a good malt character, but there is a raisin-like flavor that I don't prefer in a stout. The body is a bit light as well. Could use some thickness. Drinkability is ok.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to clvand0 for sharing this with me. It pours a slightly browned black color with a small head over top of it. The nose is slightly roasted, but mostly raisiney and figgy fruit tones. The flavor is a little weak to me, with mostly dark fruit tones with a slight roasted, hop bitter finish. The feel is well to thin. Almost watery. Overall, not my favorite stout. The flavors are not necessarily what I associate with a stout and the feel is just to thin.

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Photo of Guinness4me
4.12/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one sneaky beer. I nearly missed it's nuances and I'm glad I slowed down for a closer look.

Pouring a choco-coffee brown with little smell if any, it looked like it would taste as deep and rich as it looked, but a dfferent feeling filled my mouth! The tip of my tongue met with a fizzy sweetness that slowly morphed into a warm syrup on my tongue. By the time it hit the back and sides of my tongue, it had mellowed into a deep-in-the-forest rich merlot. Very woodsy and smooth. This beer is a deep romantic kiss atop the Empire State building in late summer.

I need more.

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Photo of WetCoaster
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pretty typical for a stout--not that that's a bad thing. Deep, clear mahogany with a rich tan/chocolate head. Moderate retention. A bit lacy. Moderate carbonation.

Smell: Nice. Chocolate off the bat. Sweet, thick carmelly malts. A bit vinous. A bit of yeast ester. And a slight underlying solvent.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is a bit thin, but it still finds a way to be a bit syrupy; it's OK. The taste is textbook. Roasty, with hints of coffee and unsweetened chocolate. Slightly hoppy. Tightens up and bitters in the finish. Sugary and a bit bitter in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: It's a bit of quandry: it's a bit too heavy to session, but it's not really unique or outstanding enough to go out of your way to drink. Still, I can't fault it for being a good, basic stout.

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Photo of cro250klr
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just downed my last Stone Smoked Porter and had a few of the Black Hawks in the fridge to back up the Stone. While some may say that the Stone is a cut above, for the price, a Black Hawk is a pretty good deal. My buddy sells the Hawk for $3.25 a bottle at his bar. To me, that's a much better deal than one of the big three, (Bud, Miller, Coors) at $2.50 a clip. Or even a Stone at $8 a wack.
The Hawk pours almost black with a small tan head that fades rather fast. A nice lace keeps on the glass till the end. The roasted malt, coffee, and is that a carmel that I taste??,. combine to make a very respectable brew. I found it's best to let this one warm a bit. The flavors meld much better as with most better stouts and browns.
I don't think that I could make an entire session out of this stout.There are but a few brews that are in that class. But, it's a good choice to start with then move on. Or, end with as a compliment to a dessert such as a piece of pumpkin pie or apple pie ala mode. While this one probably wouldn't make a good warm weather choice, the price allows you to have this brew in your fridge throughout the year without worrying about breaking your wallet. Pretty good.

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

I can't believe that the Lowes Foods by me sells this for $5.50 a six, can't beat that. An aggressive pour yields a thick, chunky head that dissipates into a nice veil, medium lacing. Nose is all roasted malts, powdered cocoa, coffe, and bread. Taste is same but buttery, smooth, and has a nice, dry hoppy finish. Light carbonation and medium/light mouthfeel make this a good session beer. I drank one with a bowl of Hagen Daas Bailey Irich Cream ice cream for dessert--what a perfect match! A great deal for the price.

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Photo of donnebaby
3.77/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thick out of the bottle, black and thick. Lasting light brown haze swirls around the top, revealing mysteries of the universe. Nose is just what I want from a stout -- lots of dusty flour, vanilla, toasty grain.

Taste is lightly fruity through the mouth, over expected dark malts. Not very sweet nor dry nor bitter. Mild taste. But aftertaste is whoooo bitter baking chocolate with some wheat husks thrown in.

Carbonation is indeed rough and definitely affects negatively the drinkability. Light body, despite apparent viscosity.

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Photo of kindestcut
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Mendocino Black Hawk Stout pours a very dark brown, bordering on black. There isn't a very prominant head, although a one-finger head does make its way to the rim of my glass before dying a quick death.

The aroma is not very strong but quite nice. Most prominant are the appropriate (for the style) roasted malt, coffee and faint hops. The taste affirms this as a solid American stout. The flavor is sweetened by a maltiness that disappears with the finish, which is slightly hoppy. A tasty brew.

The mouthfeel is nice, although not as creamy as some stouts, the Black Hawk goes down nicely. This is a really nice beer.

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