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 brewerburgundy
3.09/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, snifter, shared with my dad.

Quite a dark single Stout with cola or tobacco highlights. The pour was not hard enough to rouse any head at all, so swirling will have to do to produce only fleeting light Stout brown head.

Molasses and raisins and roast make for a sweet, dark aroma.

The flavors follow from the nose with all that molasses and some astringent burnt malt. There is a possibility of dark chocolate in here but it's pretty simple with pretty much those first two flavors.

As indicated by the lack of head, there is not much carbonation at all. In this instance it doesn't make for a soft, creamy mouthfeel. This beer is pretty thin.

The one-dimensionality is not the problem, but the harsh patent malt is. It's a little too much ash. My first from Mendecino even though I love the place.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
2.87/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This reminds me of a cross between a malt soft drink (a la Malta Goya) and an export stout (a la Dragon Stout). It was served with only a small head that resembled that of Coca Cola - fizzy. Dark, caramel brown in color - once again, looking like cola soft drink. The aroma and taste both put forth sweet, syrupy malt and little else, although I did detect some faint roasty and chocolate notes after it warmed up considerably. Thin, refresco-style body to it - I wouldn't say it drinks "smooth" but just simply easy, and quite un-beer like.

Really, like I mentioned: Malta Goya/Dragon Stout mix. Does not remind me of a Guinness/Murphy's Irish stout style. A bit disappointing maybe, but hardly awful.

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Photo of donteatpoop
3.27/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nice dark as night color very thin tan head, bubbles along the edge of the glass.

Smells of molasses, licorice, and earth.

The taste is a bit more pronounced, the licorice is there in the forefront with a dry lingering bitterness.

Full creamy consistency, great palate impact.

Not a bad beer, really; but by far not one of the best ones I've had either.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I think I got a bad bottle. That's bad in and of itself, but I would like to try more to see if it isn't a really great brew. The actual taste is great - a nice balance of bitters and everything. But it's totally flat. Nothing.

The look in the glass (if it had a head) would be ok, and the brew is reasonably price. It also is not overpowering like some stouts. Very drinkable.

I guess I will have to pick up more to see if it is a really good one, because this bottle seems like an under pressurized reject.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a solid black, with cola edges, and a copious amount of thin foamy beige head, which settles fairly quickly, leaving a more or less consistent paint job of lace around the glass. It smells of lightly roasted, somewhat sour malt, chocolate milk, and earthy, floral hops. The taste is chocolate malt, some mild dry coffee, a bit of tangy tropical fruit, and floral, perfume-like hops. The carbonation is on the soft side, the body kind of light and thin, and it finishes off-dry, the fruity, chocolaty malt predominating.

Not a bad stout, though it could benefit from a little more heft, and backbone.

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Photo of jacobseyb
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter a dark opaque coffee color. Head is slightly off white and dissipates quickly to a crown. Smell is slightly smoked with the coffee malts. Taste is much the same with the similar light smoky flavor with the coffee malts. Feel is smooth with a crispness to the carbonation and a full body. Overall a good stout, the smokiness caught me a bit off guard though.

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

Pours a dark cola brown nearly black, light mocha tan head with chunky sporadic lacing clinging to the sides of my glass. Aroma is a bit muted dark roasted malts herbal hops and dark chocolate with hints of anise. Flavor contains bitter chocolate roasted malt character with herbal hops and a nice black roasted malt nuttiness about it, finishes like herbal tea. Mouthfeel is mediumm bodied carbonation is light but carries the body well, nothing offensive here. Drinkability isn't bad moderate alcohol nice flavor profile this is something I could drink without difficulty.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.07/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark walnut with some ruby hues on the edges. Average sized creamy, frothy off-white head. About average retention and a nice creamy layer of lace.

S - Good amount of roasted dark malt with a lot of chocolate and just a little bit of coffee. Just a hint of dark fruit as well. Nice well balanced stout aromas with nothing really standing out.

T - A lot of chocolate and a fair amount of roasted malt. Not overly bitter either. A touch of coffee along with a bit of nutty and earthy flavors. Balanced flavors that mix pretty well together. A touch of caramel malt as well.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. Extremely smooth and creamy feel.

D - Very easy to drink with plenty of nice, well balanced stout flavors.

Notes: A nice stout with a good balance. Quite tasty. Good amount of chocolate and roasted malt. Hints of other stout flavors. Overall a tasty beer and a good example of a basic stout. Didn't overly impress me, but I enjoyed drinking it.

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Photo of rlshep
3.44/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Aroma: Plums and fruit aroma. Slight alcohol.

Appearance: Dark brown to black color. Small head when poured aggressively. No lacing.

Flavor: More fruit carries over to flavor. Medium coffee flavor and roast that carries into aftertaste. Medium bitterness, no perceivable hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, Low mouthfeel. Fairly dry. Alcohol noticeable but not overdone. Very little carbonation.

Overall: I was surprised at how fruit driven this beer was. Dark roast plays into secondary flavors. Mouthfeel really hurts this beer, wondering if I got a bad bottle. Overall, not a bad beer, not one I would seek out in the future.

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

First of all, a huge thanks to ShadesOfGray for this extra. Cheers!

According to ShadsOfGray this is a late 2007 vintage.

Appearance - Pours an impressive dark chocolate into my SA perfect pint. Almost no light (if any) can be seen through the glass. Two fingers of dark mocha colored head are achieved that dissipates at a moderate pace leaving decent lacing.

Smell - Smells inviting. Dark roasted malts, slight coffee, and chocolate.

Taste - An initial roasted malt taste followed by a surprise black licorice flavor (heavier as the beer warms up). Burnt chocolate and coffee, and finishes with another heavy sweet malt taste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, lower carbonation, dry/bitter finish.

Drinkability - Relatively sessionable. After reading other reviews you'd expect this to be not that good, but honestly, it isn't bad at all. Perhaps the three years of cellaring this helped it out but overall a pretty good and sessionable stout.

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Photo of bgildea
3.86/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice dark color with a thick brown head that stick around for a while. Very appetizing.

S: Faint smells of chocolate and hops, nothing too aromatic though.

T: The taste has some strong bitter notes from the hops and malts. Maybe some semi sweet chocolate as well. The bitterness definitely sticks around in your mouth for a while.

M: Decently thick beer. Good amount of chew, but too much carbonation.

D: It's a drinkable beer. Not the greatest stout ever, but I'd have another.

Overall: Overall it's a pretty good stout. Nice bitterness for a stout but didnt have enough sweetness for me.

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Photo of CityBoy1986
3.84/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle.

The pour is a very dark brown with a faint hint of ruby undertones. Very surprised at the lack of head on this--a thin off-white affair that's gone in about two minutes.

The nose is a lot of chocolate with a bit of burnt malts. The taste is more of the same with chocolate dominating before settling into a roasted aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, but it is very smooth. Drinkability is good; each sip leaves me wanting more.

I wasn't expecting much after seeing the (lack of) head. However, it is a decent stout that I could see myself buying locally if I could.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.52/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured dark brown into a pint glass with a very thin chestnut head, bad retention, and modest lacing. The aroma consisted of caramel, chocolate, and various nutty flavors. The taste certainly revealed walnut, hazelnut, milk chocolate, and coffee, with a thin finish. In fact, much more thin-bodied than expected, with modest carbonation. Sessionable, but still a little too thin for my taste.

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Photo of Sudsy89
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent stout, but nothing really great. I found the head to be disappointing, it dissipates quickly, little lacing left behind. Definitely a roasted, slightly burnt taste, bit of maltiness but mostly a bitter hops aftertaste.
Not too bitter, but I would have preferred a bit more balance in flavors, bit more malt sweetness.
Aroma was unremarkable, mostly a slight coffee or dark chocolate. Pours a very dark brown, with a hint of amber. Mouthfeel is pretty nice, not too thin. Overall this tastes much different than sweeter, creamier stouts like Murphy's and Guinness, but I think it's worth a try.

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Photo of grittybrews
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a syrupy black into a Duvel tulp with quick-receding tan head. Not much aroma, just a hint of mild chocolate.

Moderate carbonation and a very light, smooth mouthfeel. Toasty chocolate malts and cream followed by a slightly bitter coffee finish. Easy-drinking, if not exactly groundbreaking.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Oily and black, beige head, minimal presence though. Big chocolate aroma. Same for the taste. Holds on thinner than it appears. Great roasted almost peat to smoke feel to it. A little coffee, stays away from being sweet. This is a great beer to make 1/2 the black and tan combination with (as they have done).

Its a good price, pretty accessible without dumbing the style down. This is kind of like your #2 or 3 starter in baseball. He's gonna eat some innings and be very reliable at a decent price tag.

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Photo of RickS95
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Extremely dark, like oil in a glass, with a thin tan head. Head lacks retention.

It even smells dark, with notes of malt and hops in the nose.

A slight bitter coffee taste. There isn't much sweetness to cut through the bitter, but the bitter takes place deep into the swallow making this a creamy, almost light-bodied beer that goes down easy.

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Photo of bagpiper2005
3.63/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour: Jet black with two and a half fingers of brown head that dissipates very quickly and left only a trace of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Coffee and roasted malts, a faint aroma of earthy hops, and a little bit smoky.

Taste: Starts off with a sweet and roasted malt character which gives way to flavors of coffee and a slightly burnt taste. The back end finishes up with a fair amount of hop bitterness that lingers for a bit.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium with active carbonation.

Drinkability: Very easy drinking and not too much alcohol.

Final Notes: A decent stout though nothing really special. Would probably go good with barbecue or nice, hearty food. I'd drink it if it was offered to me, but I won't go looking to buy this beer.

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Photo of wahhmaster
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Corned Beef & Co. shaker pint.

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color. Has a medium-sized, tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell: Dominated by a roasted malt smell. Hints of coffee, chocolate, and caramel also come out.

Taste: Starts off hoppy with a bit of creaminess. Develops a roasted malty flavor with a nice coffee aftertaste. It's a well-rounded stout with a bit more of a hop profile than I'm used to in a stout.

Mouthfeel: A little more light-bodied than it should be but with a nice, clean finish.

Drinkability: A decent stout. It's nothing particularly memorable but pretty solid nonetheless.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into nonic pint...

A: Pour a dark and murky, almost opaque black/brown. Head is 1 finger and a creamy cappucino color. slowly fades to a thin layer. leaves lacing on the glass in arches

S: nice aroma of lemony, biscuity hops, unsweetened cocoa, burnt marshmallows, and a vanilla aroma

T: just slightly sweet, a hint of dark chocholate, smokey ash. very bitter burnt malts and spicy peppery hops. more like an Irish dry stout than an American.

M: thick, creamy and very dry, reminiscent of an irish dry stout

Overall, not what I expected as this was labeled as an American stout here on BA. This leans toward the Irish dry stout category although the ABV is a little high if that was the brewer's intent. Decent, not great.

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Photo of david18
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought this as a part of a mixed six-pack of mendacino beer. This is not favorite stout but it was enjoyable. Very dark in color. Decent aroma but the flavor is a litte less aggressive than I'd like. At the low abv it is a very drinkable beer. I would recommend it.

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Photo of cnally
2.22/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I have a Black Hawk Stout, watching the Blackhawks waste the Sharks later tonight. Weird coincidence?

The appearance is a deep brown/black, completely opaque, and a tannish head that really doesn't have too much substance or staying power.

Aroma is a little sour, but does have a musty smoky quality. Big fat burnt malt is where it all comes from, a little briny in a way...not a huge fan.

The flavor really has a couple of unappealing elements. All I taste during the middle of the flavor is a dose of overripe cherry and a really pungent oakiness. The finish is bitter, and smoky in a way that makes you think you are eating ashes. Or drinking liquid smoke. Those burnt malts that you can pick up in the aroma, and even in the first moments of the taste become buried to the degree that in their place, there is merely sourness and ashy flavors.

Mouthfeel is very watery for the style, but stays away from any stickiness or cloying puckering character.

Yikes. I've had a number of beers way worse, but this is just one of those that does not suit my liking. You really should love an ashy, over-smoky stout to find this appealing, but unfortunately this is not my bag. Hopefully the Hawks aren't this dissappointing tonight!

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Photo of kkoz
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

It says, " a dry, crisp, classic Irish stout character, replete with the heady bouquet of richly roasted malt, makes this staff, an ever so creamy and delectably smooth experience."

It poured a dark black color with a nice head. However, the head quickly fell to become just a few tiny bubbles at the top. The smell was faint, but what I could smell, smelled like roasted barley with a bit of chocolate and molasses.

It had a light-medium body, and was pretty smooth and creamy. The taste was like a debittered black patent malt with a bit of a coffee flavor to it. It went down pretty smoothly and was more refreshing than I was expecting from a stout.

I had this with some Thai food, but honestly, it was not a very good combination. I'm thinking this would go better with desserts, such as chocolate cake or cherry pie.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Westy's beer Distrib.

A- Motor oil black. Opaque and no head.

S- dark malts and coffee hints. Not much in the nose. maybe some roast aroma as well.

T- Dark coffee roast. Bitter dark chocolate. The flavor is more pronounced than the smell.

M-creamy and thick. No carbonation.

D- a very filling beer. It is quite heavy but it goes down fairly easy.

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

12 oz bottle, a bad-ass hawk graces the front label.

Pours almost black with an airy, fluffy tan head that dwindles down to a thin ring. Smell is modest, minerally with a faint malt odor. Taste is as modest as the smell, a bit of fresh, dry coffee bean with a tongue load of bitter flavor at the end. A decent semi-sweetness occurs as well. Finish is actively carbonated, and the hops linger around a while. Balance is just "off" with this beer. Big stout taste is lacking IMO. Good for a try, though.

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