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Black Hand | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

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Black HandBlack Hand
Very Good
132 Ratings
Black HandBlack Hand

Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States

Style: English Sweet / Milk Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 132 |  Reviews: 27
Reviews by ChrisCage:
Photo of ChrisCage
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 time....it 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 prisoner....it will be upon you too! Highly drinkable....easy to enjoy more than one of these in a sitting!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of anon
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Following its name, Black hand pours black. A slight tint of deep ruby shows through when hit with the right light. A real pretty brew. A small coffee coffee.

Sweet milk chocolate up front in the taste and smell; real nice and smooth. Quickly turning to bitter chocolate notes and a light coffee tinge.

Not much more to say of this. I quite enjoyed it. Too bad its only temporary.

 385 characters

Photo of AudioGilz
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Sammy
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.

148 characters

Photo of hayesjw
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of Wasatch
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.

 491 characters

Photo of makeitavintage
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of StonyB
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of davegray
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of largadeer
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ipapong
4.19/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of twelveinches
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of biboergosum
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.

 1,401 characters

Photo of jsh420
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of double2chin
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of mooseo
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jakecattleco
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.44/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Appearance - Poured into a 20oz goblet, this deep black stout produces a finger width head with good retention, resulting in a broken layer of suds across the surface. Small, spotty lacing with fair stick.

Smell - Moderate notes of Baker's chocolate, roasted malt and a touch of astringency.

Taste - A touch of milk chocolate sweetness upfront is quickly overtaken by dark chocolate and a touch of coffee bitterness that hit their peak by mid-taste. A moderate note of astringent acidity comes to greet the taste buds near the finish. Finishes strongly bitter and acidic, with only faint traces of any kind of sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied with low to fair carbonation. Somewhat creamy, then a drying finish.

Overall - A fair stout. From a style standpoint, a poor example. Not nearly as sweet as advertised and, flavor-wise, drinks much closer to a 'baltic porter light' with it's predominant bitter and astringent qualities. Not what you might expect from a milk stout. For the price, this is a one and doner for me.

 1,028 characters

Photo of RHVC59
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Got a Growler of this wonderful brew from the Chill N' Fill Saturday and sadly just poured the last glass.

Dark Chocolaty goodness.

Dark brown with a nice foamy head that dispersers quickly enough. Deep chocolate taste with a mellow finish. I want another growler now!

 272 characters

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

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

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

A: Pours a dark opaque brown with a fair amount of thick tan head. This slowly dissipates to a thin layer, leaving solid walls of lacing.

S: Sweet and slightly milky, with a touch of booze.

T: Mild milky roasted malt sweetness, with the roasted notes coming through more towards the finish. The finish is gentle and again milky, but long lasting and makes you pause and take note.

M: Medium body, low carbonation.

Overall quite enjoyable; I wish they had this more often.

 475 characters

Photo of DucksFan16
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5


10 characters

Photo of Gotti311
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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Black Hand from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 132 ratings