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Black's Dawn | Cismontane Brewing Company

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Black's DawnBlack's Dawn

Brewed by:
Cismontane Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Named after Black's Beach

Added by DoubleJ on 07-03-2010

For Trade:
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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 312
Photo of Suds
3.51/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From a bomber, this brew is a solid black color with a wonderful tan head. The aroma is roasty, malty, and has a bit of booze underneath. Not as much fruit as others of the style. The taste is a little dry, with roastedness and warmth. The finish is balanced, but the body is a little thin for the style.

 308 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
1.56/5  rDev -60.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

Pours an opaque dark brown color with khaki colored head. Burnt grain, and a sugary sweetness on the nose, weird aroma; same for the palate. The malt almost tastes smoked or burnt. Very off flavors.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated 16.9oz bottle at 42 degrees into hand washed and dried JK snifter, allowed to warm to 50 degrees
Aroma very heavy roasted malt, some coffee
Head small (< two cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy/frothy, rapidly diminishing to three mm ring and partial layer
Lacing excellent - complete tight ring of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor heavy roasted malt and a hint of coffee, lacks the roasted malt bitterness; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation, leaves my lips slightly sticky

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4, Overall 4

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black and a little bit of brown. Hits some nice coffee aroma notes, roasted malt.

Lots of coffee, some chocolate malt. Nice hidden alcohol. Its pretty straightforward, black roasted malts, coffee added. Too bad they don't make 6 packs, the format is a little expensive.

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was a decent imperial stout, but I believe I had some oxidation issues in the bottle I drank. For purposes of this review, I will leave that off. I felt like the mouthfeel was decent with good lacing and head retention. THe flavor had big potential, but I just couldn't get passed the metallic taste.

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Photo of chinchill
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a Porter Bar goblet.

Appearance: black with short head of brown foam.

Aroma: moderately strong aromas of dark coffee and dark roasted grains. Hints of vanilla and alcohol.

Flavor: Lightly sweet; lots of dark roasted grain and a moderate amount of medium roast coffee. Hints of chocolate, toffee and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Rich, full body with a good level of light carbonation; very smooth.

Overall: a satisfying RIS that makes good use of coffee but leans towards a milk stout.

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Photo of avalon07
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of tan-colored, foamy head that lasted a below average amount of time. Very good lacing.

S: A warm, inviting aroma of coffee, malt, and chocolate.

T: Tasted of a lot of coffee, some roasted malt, chocolate, licorice, a hint of vanilla, and a slight burnt / smoky element in the finish. A very smooth and well balanced flavor with the coffee dominating everything else (but not by much).

F: A low amount of carbonation with a silky finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is an extremely likable, easy to drink beer. If you like coffee-centric stouts, check this one out.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: black with nice foam lacing around the glass
S: slight coffee, and dark roast
T: bitter coffee and black licorice.
F: creamy and smooth with a medium thickness.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 500mL bottle into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: totally black with an attractive finger of brown foam. Very nice indeed.

Smell: very roasty with a prominent alcohol aroma. Definitely strong, and not bad, but it lacks complexity or finesse.

Taste: much like the aroma, there's a lot of roast and alcohol here. There are also nice coffee and chocolate notes, as well as a dash of vanilla, that help balance this out. Tasty, but just a little harsh.

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a good level of carbonation and creaminess, as befitting the style.

Overall: the alcohol prominence here is just a bit much to be a well-balanced beer, but it's not terrible by any means.

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Photo of 81tillinfinity
3.36/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dont drink this cold out of the fridge had a horrible soapy rubbing alcohol taste. As it warmed the malt kicked in definitely on the bittersweet burnt characteristics with hints of black licorice.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black with a persistent half finger khaki head with good lacing. Aroma of dark, toasted malt, dark chocolate, strong coffee and a hint of bright esters almost like isopropyl alcohol. Flavor is lightly sweet, toasted malt, drip coffee, cocoa and bitter dark chocolate; hints of vanilla and licorice. Finishes with chocolate, a hint of hops, and boiled coffee. Very nice, creamy body with excellent mouth feel. A good, full bodied stout, quite coffee forward. The coffee is pleasant at first, but dominates the finish a bit too much. Alcohol noticeable in the aroma, but well covered in the taste. I like the malt body of this stout quite a bit, but the coffee was a bit too acidic and dominant in the finish. Would be great with the coffee dialed back just a bit. The flavor grew on me a lot, revealing some more complexity as the evening progressed. The second stout I've had from Cismontane and I'll be back for more.

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Photo of argock
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured frrom 16.9oz brown bottle into a clear tulip. No botting date evident.

A: Very dark brown with short cap of cappucino head with no lacing

S: Delicious blend of cappucino, light caramel sweetness, dark malt roastiness, and dark chocolate

T: Flavor is slightly sweet but very enjoyable with dark chocolate, very light touch of roast from dark malts, black coffee, and caramel throughout. Light bitternessfendsoff cloying.

M: LIght-bodied for the style but very drinkable with moderate carbonation.

O: A really pleasant surprise - delicious drinkable coffee flavored imperial stout, tastes a little like a porter since the roast character is low, but really great beer. Thanks Jody!

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Photo of spamNeggs
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like stouts with a coffee chocolate backbone? My wife didn't. :)

More for me!!!!

Taste to me is solid malt and coffee and some chocolate in a smooth mouth-feel stout some malt sweetness.
Even bitterness on the finish and no alcohol burn for the 8%+. Coffee colored light foam, would like to have this on nitro/tap..

Basically, really nice.
Not blockbuster but something I would happily buy again and glad I got to try.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16.9oz bottle (thought it was a bomber). Bought it in Phoenix, brought it back in a suitcase. 150114BDS is the number printed on the label. Served in a large mug.

Pours black with a small-medium brown head that lingers apparently indefinitely. Plenty of fine carbonation. Smell is chocolate and yeast. Smells pretty darn good, actually. Maybe it's just been a long time since I've had an imperial stout.

Taste is good, but fairly one dimensional. Chocolatey, yeasty, just like the the aroma. Solid, but not special.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, somewhat airy. Overall, good but not special.

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Photo of SensorySupernova
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Jet black with a big light brown, long-lasting head. The head was so sturdy that any impression made in it stayed there.

Smell: Roast malt, coffee, dark chocolate.

Taste: Follows the smell, pretty dry overall, ends slightly bitter (not like hops, more like black coffee). A little wood and booze at the end.

Mouthfeel: Thick and smooth; no residual feel left in the mouth.

Overall: Solid imperial stout.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.9/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color, with a quarter of a finger of chocolate/caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that almost, but not quite, completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Wow! Very aromatic, with tons of earthy, rich, roasted malt, imparting notes of freshly toasted dark bread, a touch of smoke, tons of freshly ground coffee beans, tons of dark, dark chocolate and brown sugar, hints of vanilla creamer and bittersweet chocolate. Inviting and delicious!

Taste: Wow! Holy shit! Is this beer strong and awesome! Massive, rich, earthy, roasty flavors of roasted malt up front, followed by tons of coffee and brown sugar-like sweetness, hints of vanilla and smoke, but the predominate flavors are of roasted malt and coffee!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and smooth as there is very little in the way of carbonation. With an ABV of 8.5%, there is a very pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is an excellent, coffee-infused Imperial Stout! Malty as hell, roasty as hell, and tasty as hell, with tons of coffee, but thankfully, none of the bitterness that usually accompanies coffee. Very highly recommended!

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Photo of LampertLand
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cismonte Brewing 'Black's Dawn Imperial Stout @ 8.5% , served from a 9 fl oz bottle purchased for $6.50
A-pour is a dark cola brown from the bottle to a black in the glass with a small tan head leaving a steaky lace along the snifter
S-sweet , boozey , coffee
T-ok tasting Imp Stout , dry coffee finish
MF-ok carbonation , feels big bodied , certainly warms the inners
Ov-ok beer , no wow factor
prost LampertLand

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Photo of ilikebeer03
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: black with a nice tan head. good retention and lacing.

S: roasted coffee, dark malts, chocolate,

T: delicious roasted coffee / malts. dark chocolate on the finish. a slight hop bitterness on finish. lingering roasty flavor.

M: thick and creamy.

O: delicious beer.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours a finger and half of tan head on a black body.
The aroma is burnt and roasted malt, molasses and dark chocolate. Excellent.
The taste is a great blend of coffee and chocolate bitterness, molasses and roasted malt sweetness, finishes with a touch of burnt wood.
The texture is smooth with low carbonation.
Super drinkable and flavorful.

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color with ruby highlights; the bubble show transforms to a thick head that delivers some nice lacing patterns

Smell: A bit roasty, with some chocolate tones and a hint of coffee

Taste: Roasty, up front, with developing chocolate and coffee flavors; more chocolate in the finish than coffee, with a touch of dark fruit

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied but somewhat thin for an imperial; moderate carbonation

Overall: For what is supposed to be an imperial stout, I was somewhat underwhelmed; a decent drinker but not really worth seeking out

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Photo of Tutoraxia
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

A five ounce taste at Wade's in Agoura CA 8/2014.
This is directly from Stinkypuss's review. Thank you, very well done!

LOOK: Dark brown, with a tan brown creamy head. Small amount of lacing on the glass.

SMELL: Nutty, roasted, coffee grounds and a bit of mineral. Cocoa emerges as it warms.

TASTE: Robust malty notes, coffee, anise, dark chocolate, raw cocoa and some mineral and herbal, lightly citric hop notes. As it warms, more coffee and chocolate notes come out, giving a mocha impression. Chocolate malt and coffee are the culprits. Alcohol flavor is felt more than tasted, but is present. Vanilla coffee lasts in the aftertaste.

FEEL: Medium bodied, smooth, creamy, with a low-medium carbonation.

Not from Stinkpuss

OVERALL: A very nice stout. Memorable in the way that all of the tastes follow each other, and combine beautifully.

From a 20 oz. bottle, 8/2014.
But a shadow of it's tap version. Still nicely drinkable, but not even close to memorable.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.69/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

LOOK: Dark brown, with a tan brown creamy head. Small amount of lacing on the glass.
SMELL: Nutty, roasted, coffee grounds and a bit of mineral. Cocoa emerges as it warms.
TASTE: Robust malty notes, coffee, anise, dark chocolate, raw cocoa and some mineral and herbal, lightly citric hop notes. As it warms, more coffee and chocolate notes come out, giving a mocha impression. Chocolate malt and coffee are the culprits. Alcohol flavor is felt more than tasted, but is present. Vanilla coffee lasts in the aftertaste.
FEEL: Medium bodied, smooth, creamy, with a low-medium carbonation.
OVERALL: This is a pretty good imperial stout with added coffee. I could definitely see this as a good compliment to a Sunday brunch. Worthy.

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Photo of travolta
3.24/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Black, with an espresso head that has really nice retention and lacing. Not much volume.

Nose: Coffee with a tiny of of toffee at the end.

Taste: Creamy espresso. A really smooth finish. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy upfront but becomes very watery at the end.

Notes: Not much happening from the "Imperial". I am not impressed. It seems the word "imperial" is slapped on some labels for no apparent reason other than price.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 ounce bottle. Served in a Great Lakes Brewing goblet, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch and a half tan head that stayed around for a long time. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and some vanilla. The taste is mostly like the aroma, but there's the addition of some brown sugar and some burnt/charred malt. I think it's a mostly roasty tasting stout, but with a nice amount of sweetness, too. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and coating with moderate carbonation. I think it's a good brew, I wouldn't mind trying this again in the future. It's the first Cismontane beer I've tried, so I'll have to try some of their other ones soon. $5.19 a bottle.

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Photo of maximum12
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kyle2K10 for this extra, knocking one more want off my long & distinguished list. 22 oz. bottle with a label that appears to have been designed as a freshman class project split with my wife.

The pour is black, carbonation is starting down the barrel of little to none. Strong coffee is the only note coming off the beer, unless you count roast. OK, roast & coffee.

Black's Dawn is like a coffee snuff film. Coffee in the foreground, mid-palate, & finish. Sharp, acrid bitterness is prevalent. Malt sweetness. If I squint I could imagine the blurry outlines of other flavors, but really, I'd just be making it up. It is smooth, I'll give it that, but 11 ounces is enough for me.

Right down the middle arrow of the bowling alley: this is as routine a coffee stout as exists on the Planet Earth. Not good, not bad. Just beer.

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Black's Dawn from Cismontane Brewing Company
3.98 out of 5 based on 312 ratings.
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