Black Hand
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

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Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States
Sweet / Milk Stout
3.84 | pDev: 11.2%
Jan 03, 2018
Jan 06, 2014
Very Good
Black HandBlack Hand
Notes: Made with TCHO Ghanaian Roasted Cacao Nibs. This chocolate milk stout is full-bodied and creamy, with sumptuous chocolate notes and a delicate roasted character. Black Hand pours a rich dark brown with a milky coffee-colored head. Bittersweet chocolate and roast envelopes the nose, carried by roasted cacao nibs and chocolate malts. The aroma blends effortlessly with soft flavors of dry chocolate and darkly roasted malts. The addition of milk sugar provides a silky smooth body, with a subtle natural sweetness of cream.
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Rated: 4 by 1971bernat from Virginia

Jan 03, 2018
Rated: 3.47 by Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania

Jan 13, 2017
Rated: 3.94 by BeerForMuscle from New Jersey

Nov 27, 2016
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Reviewed by CTHomer from Connecticut

3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
A: opaque, although when held to the light, it appeared crystal clear; cola brown in color with medium brown highlights; less than a 1 finger khaki head that receded quickly to a thick, big bubbled ring (it was close to the end of e keg); no lacing;

S: milk chocolate and deeply roasted grains;

T: milk chocolate is predominant with deeply roasted grains in the background; finish is mildly bitter;

M: medium bodied; light to moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: not really my style, but they nailed the milk chocolate, which was the whole point;
Oct 08, 2016
Rated: 3.75 by Gkruszewski from New York

Jul 20, 2016
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Rated by zotzot from Vermont

3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Nice chocolate taste
Jun 22, 2016
Rated: 2.96 by laurapompeo from Massachusetts

Jun 11, 2016
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Reviewed by brureview from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured a dark chocolate color with a 1F head in a Stone Snifter.

Aroma: sweet chocolate, roasted malt, cacao.

Taste: more intense than the aroma.Deep milk chocolate- cocoa and roasted malt. Sweeter with warming.

Excellent finish: lightly bitter, roasted malt.

This is the first beer I Have tasted from the Brewer. A great intro. Deep chocolate flavor.
I will look for another bottle.
Jun 04, 2016
Rated: 4.01 by Spaceman_Jer from Colorado

May 21, 2016
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Rated by meals00 from Minnesota

4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Chocolate milk!
May 11, 2016
Rated: 4 by Icemann383 from New York

May 08, 2016
Rated: 3.79 by DanGeo from Michigan

Mar 21, 2016
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Rated by DucksFan16 from Tennessee

3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
Mar 20, 2016
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Reviewed by ichorNet from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
I haven't had a beer by Speakeasy in years so seeing this limited edition bomber carry a decent price-tag in a nearby store was a nice surprise. Gorgeous label design as usual for the brewery with old-school '50s film noir style art and very solid typography and layout that catches the eye quite handily.

Pour is an extravagant showing of utter deep blackness capped by an eggshell-colored, sort of off-white foamy head that retains at a solid finger after dissipating over the course of 5-7 minutes in the glass. Lace is a solid, filmy sheet. Pretty nice looking for sure.

Nose is deep with cocoa, slightly vinous red and dark fruit notes and medium-kilned, roasty malts. Some toffee and vanilla as well. Pretty basic but very robust and quite well-defined.

Initially hits on the palate with a shock of sweet, milk chocolate before finishing off with vanilla, crème brûlée and café au lait. The lactose helps immensely here, rounding everything out and attracting a lot of like flavors together. Some slight, roasty malt notes help keep the beer grounded in the stout category, but this is, overall, quite a sweet and decadent endeavor. A dessert beer, for sure! One of my only issues is that the lactose leaves a weird, acidic (carbonic acid maybe?) taste on the tongue if you sip and forget about it for a couple minutes. Seems like an area which calls for slight improvement, for sure.

Feel is rather amorphous with a satisfying low-leaning carbonation that takes excellent advantage of the additional ingredients. Very well-balanced with impressive depth. An open-ended palate allows a lot of different interpretations of the flavors on order, but they definitely seem to come off as solidly in the realm of a "sweet stout." Quite satisfying with an evolving palette of flavors that come together quite nicely over the course of each sip. Good work, Speakeasy!
Mar 19, 2016
Rated: 3.74 by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

Mar 13, 2016
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Reviewed by Wasatch from Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
22 oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice black color, with some very nice carbonation, which leaves a very nice thick/creamy one-finger light tan head, which leaves some nice small islands and sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with lots of dark stuff, with some vanilla. The taste is very nice malty, chocolaty, toffee, coffee, some vanilla. Medium body, with a pretty nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, this is a very nice brew. It's been awhile since last I've had anything from this brewery.
Mar 09, 2016
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Reviewed by Fatehunter from Oregon

4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4
Pours a half finger of tan head on a black body.
The aroma is chocolate, roasted malt and milk.
The taste is dark chocolate and coffee bitterness, milk and malt sweet, really great.
The texture is smooth and soft.
Feb 27, 2016
Rated: 4.03 by RBuckley73 from Nevada

Feb 24, 2016
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Rated by Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
This grew on me, and much better once it hit room temperature. Smooth, creamy, good drinkability. Black with retained head. Good for a milk stout.
Jan 24, 2016
Rated: 3.49 by Slongie from Canada (AB)

Dec 18, 2015
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Reviewed by ChrisCage from Canada (AB)

4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
A- The bottle itself is bold and looks like something of substance! The beer pours a dark chocolate color that reminds me of cola at the same appears to be clear and the carbonation is fizzy in both sound and appearance...quickly disappearing and leaving little to no head....there isnt much lacing to speak of either....overall not a super impressive looking milk stout but I've got much higher expectations going forward!

S- Aromas are very rich and robust overall, with initial smells of heavy high grade cocoa/dark chocolate. Also, there is background aromas of bready yeast, malt sweetness and just slight hints of dark dried fruit, such as a date or something similar. No hop bitterness on the finish.

T- Flavors follow the aromas closely but with added zest....fresh cocoa, cola hints, bittersweet bakers chocolate squares, dark roast coffee, cream and licorice root. The finish is just slightly bitter but not in a hoppy version...more of a drying character...very nice, not overly rich, but plenty flavorful!

M/O- This is medium bodied with a fair bit of effervescence and the higher than average alcohol content is very well hidden! This goes very well with a chocolate pudding cake slice and as the label suggests, the black hand has taken me will be upon you too! Highly drinkable....easy to enjoy more than one of these in a sitting!
Oct 22, 2015
Rated: 3.67 by EdwardAbbey from Washington

Oct 07, 2015
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Reviewed by RyanK252 from California

4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Bottle poured into a Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Snifter

A: Pours dark brown, basically black, no light passes through, with a frothy mocha brown head that settles to a light layer and laces well.

S: Roasty malt, coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, some lactose sweetness, and faint dark fruit.

T: Roasty malt, bittersweet and dark chocolate, a little coffee, lactose sweetness, earthy, and faint dark fruit.

M: Medium to full body, moderately low carbonation, silky smooth.

O: Very enjoyable milk stout.
Sep 03, 2015
Rated: 4.19 by Btip1969 from Oregon

May 23, 2015
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Rated by Phil-T_Phil_30 from California

3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Good beer. Not too bitter for a chocolate stout. Nice sweetness. Enjoyed this a lot.
May 18, 2015
Rated: 3.88 by jakecattleco from California

May 10, 2015
Rated: 3.75 by puftdank from Illinois

Apr 20, 2015
Rated: 3.41 by deNerval from California

Apr 19, 2015
Rated: 3.97 by jeff1973 from California

Apr 18, 2015
Rated: 4.08 by Bradschafer from California

Apr 14, 2015
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Reviewed by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
22oz bottle - rather dark leanings, for both its theme and imagery in its label rendering.

This beer pours a solid black abyss, with faint basal red cola edges, and a teeming tower of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly tan head, which leaves some chunky, hanging lug nut lace around the glass as it very, very slowly seeps away.

It smells of bready caramel malt, strong milk chocolate, a bit of wet ash, faint black licorice, and ethereal earthy, dirty hops. The taste is grainy caramel malt, hard toffee, gritty bittersweet cocoa, milk sugar, root beer syrup, hints of cafe-au-lait, suggestions of muddled tart dark orchard fruit, and more wan earthy, leafy, and lightly perfumed hops.

The carbonation is quite laid-back, just a plain, earnest frothiness abounding, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight for the style, and fairly smooth and creamy, earning an 'aware of the hallmarks of what a milk stout should feel like' gold star. It finishes off-dry, and not as sweet as one might have imagined, the milky chocolate receding, while the grainy and slightly sour malt plants its stake.

An interesting stout, and something of a shape-shifter of a brew, the initial malt-shop cocoa sweetness experiencing a metamorphosis of sorts by the end-game, which is much drier in comparison. Easy to drink, and hard to dissect - one of the better combinations of beer metrics that I've yet to come across.
Apr 13, 2015
Rated: 4 by Hozat from California

Apr 08, 2015
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Reviewed by jeffjeff1 from California

3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Appearance- black color, no head
Smell- sweet chocolate
Taste- chocolate, pretty light but very good
Mouthfeel- full bodied
Drinkability- I thought it was very good. Nice and refreshing. Very good
Mar 29, 2015
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Reviewed by Kooz from New York

4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5
Had this from a cask at a pub on Bleeker Street in NYC. It's pitch-black with slight brown head that dissipates pretty quickly. Smells strongly and pleasantly of molasses. Tastes sweet at first, but not sticky or treacly. Taste fades to a less sweet, but still pleasant, malty flavor with a very slight hint of alcohol. The most disappointing thing is the mouthfeel, which is a bit weak and on the watery side. But it's such a minor critique, and the mouthfeel is still above average. The finish is smooth. I would have this beer every time. Makes for a great first drink of the night.
Mar 29, 2015
Rated: 4.14 by smithj4 from New York

Mar 26, 2015
Rated: 3.5 by DeadeyeOTDO from Arizona

Mar 26, 2015
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Reviewed by boyntonliquors from California

5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
This is the second season for this awesome beer from Speakeasy of San Francisco. The cacao nibs and lactose are sourced from a high end chocolatier, TCHO in Embarcadero, SF. The cacao nibs are introduced twice in the brewing process, the chocolate malts are stripped off of their husks, and the hopping is delicately balanced to really bring the cocoa taste forwards and afters! A very delicious and malty beer that makes you remember ones' childhood chocolate love. Definitely a chocolate lovers delight!
Mar 23, 2015
Rated: 4.19 by ipapong from Wisconsin

Mar 22, 2015
Rated: 3.75 by teamwiggum from Wisconsin

Mar 22, 2015
Rated: 3.82 by mooseo from Pennsylvania

Mar 20, 2015
Black Hand from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 132 ratings