Black Mac | Mac's Brewery

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Black MacBlack Mac
32 Ratings
Black MacBlack Mac

Brewed by:
Mac's Brewery
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style: English Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2002

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Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 18
Reviews by istarilord:
Photo of istarilord
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark brown ale with light head. Good malty aroma with light hops.

Taste follows suit: malty light sweetness with a small helping of toasty nuttiness & very light chocolate flavor.

Easy to drink with a smooth flavor and good carbonation-almost a porter like consistency.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Guden
3.64/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of chinchill
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

330ml pop-top bottle with ABV of 4.8% and a BB date of June 2014.

Pours clear, dark reddish brown with a good head, leaving very good lacing.

Feel: medium body and nicely smooth, with medium carbonation.

Aroma: caramel, medium and dark roasted malts with hints of coffee and chocolate.

Flavor: good balance; lasting dark roasted malt aftertaste with a touch of NZ hops and a hint of coffee.

O: easy drinking, moderately favorful black ale that was notably better and more flavorful than the Matson's Black that preceded it.

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Photo of rastaman
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty good, but the body isn't that big, sweet at the start, and good roasty flavour on the finish, average beer, but very drinkable.

134 characters

Photo of bwood06
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After racing a triathlon in Taupo, my wife's family wanted to get together on the SW side of the lake, so we picked up some beer to take to that get-together. Since the other beer drinker and myself are both dark beer fans, we went with this one.

This beer pours a reddish, dark brown hue that is clear but the opacity makes it a bit difficult to see the light carbonation. The head is khaki colored and creamy, dissipating to a rocky layer with a neck that is retained. 4/5 The aroma is fairly sweet with caramel and toffee providing a very enticing sweetness along with a bit of dark chocolate and vanilla from the dark roasted malt. The hops are negligible and only come out, if anything, as a very light grass note. The aroma is fairly strong for such a low abv beer. 4/5 The flavor is very much like the aroma with the dark roasted malt really dominating the palate and the hops playing second fiddle throughout. Caramel, toffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, leather, and toasted whole wheat bread all seem to come out in a cacophony of flavor that seems complicated but really works well. There is just a touch of spiciness as the beer warms, from the hops perhaps? Bitterness is light and lingers only lightly after swallowing. 4/5 This is a full bodied, but not overly heavy, beer that is fairly easy drinking and wetting. There is a light dryness that develops near the end of the mouthfeel that lingers lightly after swallowing, but for the most part this one comes across more as wetting and coating. Carbonation is limited to a light tickle on the front end. 4/5 I've gotta say, I'm impressed with this beer. With most of the offerings that I tried in NZ being lighter beers of the pilsner and pale ale styles (summer was starting after all), this is a really good dark option that is quite tasty. 4/5

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Photo of Luweezy
3.72/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a light tan small head.
Nose shows light roasted malt with a lot of nutty and toasty chocolate malt. Big milk chocolate hit as well as vanilla. This is great. Such a lovely creamy mix of aromas.
Flavours are less complex with more of the emphasis on plain roasted malt. Still, some hints of milky chocolate (reminiscent of a hot chocolate) show. Quite sweet, with just a hint of a roasty finish.
Much too much carbonation for this kind of beer!

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Photo of NeoClassicist
3.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of pin
2.5/5  rDev -30.7%

Photo of Macca
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This pours a very dark brown with 2 centimetres of beige head.

Some creamy sweet chocolate notes on the nose. A slight bit of coffeeish bitterness in their as well.

Chocolate flavours are bit more bitter on the palate.

A bit too carbonated for mine. That really takes away a lot from what otherwise seems like a really good beer.

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Photo of crusian
2.99/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at northern steamship...
Pours a dark brown with half finger of head that seems to linger quite a while that leaves lacing all over...
Nose leaves a lot to be desired. A tiny bit of roast and charcoal, but man, I am trying hard to get even that.
Taste is a bit better... the roast and charcoal are much more pronounced... but honestly, other than that, there really isn't much there. Slight bitter aftertaste, otherwise, pretty boring here. Velvety carbonation though, light to medium bodied, and lacing is all over the glass so much so that I feel like I am being cheated a few ounces, lol.

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Photo of Bobhoya
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of soju6
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Mac’s Steamship Brewing Co in Auckland.

A: Served a very dark Mahogany color with a hint of ruby around the edge. Decent head, creamy and fades to some lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt bit of caramel sweetness and a bit od spice in the background.

T: Taste of roasted malt caramel sweetness and a bit of spice. Mild bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Medium body, smooth and ceamy with a nice balance.

O: Nice beer for the style that goes down easy.

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Photo of MAM90
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of endless1408
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Photo of Pilch217
3.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A suprising break from the mostly bland offerings of NZ's bigger producers. Mac's is actually owned by DB, however they like to keep that quiet. They occasionally come out with some good seasonal offerings that are often available throughout the country at festivals and pubs - and sometimes bottled.

Mac's Black is an easy to drink ale. Great aroma and initial hint of flavors. Overall good choice when in NZ, and not yet exported.

 436 characters

Photo of RocketFrogDavid
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a few times while visiting the South Island.

Malty dark brown, almost black, as the name would suggest.

Very malty smell and taste, not a lot of hops going on. Clean easy drinkig and a solid all around beer. They tend to like their Lagers in NZ, this is a good escape from some of the bland beers. On par with Montheith's Black.

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Photo of TubaManJack
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of my favorite NZ beers... finally getting around to a proper review. (Note this is not really an English Brown Ale)

Appearance- A proper deep rich brown, almost black. Very nice velvety head that subsides to lace the glass as its consumed.

Smell- Roasted malt, light small floral/herbal hops, sweet malt notes occasionally

Taste and Mouthfeel- A roasted start to each sip. The body is moderately thick especially considering the style. There is a slight sweetness when double sipped. However there is a little warming/comforting feeling at its finish.

Drinkability- A good session beer that melds something tasty with something moderately filling.

I will miss you Stateside.

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Photo of Parrotshake
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

English Brown Ale? This is a Schwarzbier. Rating it as such, although I'm wondering if they haven't made some changes to it as of late - the beer I'm drinking is 4.6 rather than 4%.

Dark brown, near black with a finger or so of head that dissipates to an insubstantial film in seconds. Big aroma of malted milk balls and semisweet chocolate.

Taste-wise there is the aforementioned chocolate, as well as notes of coffee, roasted malt and molasses. Just a hint of sweetness. Flavors are not overpowering (some might say too subtle), bitterness is fairly long. Good balance.

Fairly well-carbonated, a touch thin in the mouth. Very drinkable. How the hell have I not tried this? It's relatively cheap and widely available. Great session beer.

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Photo of Baldpacker
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of keitho
3.52/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance-Poured into a mug with large frothy light brown head,beer is very dark but not pitch black,lacing down the glass,looks good.
Smell-Couldn't smell much, slight malt smell.
Mouthfeel-Good mouthfeel,good carbonation.
Taste-Nice bitter hop taste,dry with good length.
Drinkability-Make a good session beer,i'll try it on tap next time i'm at the Macs brewery bar.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had from a bottle in Auckland Airport. Nice to see some tasty brews available. No Hop Rocker, sadly, but this will do nicely.

Pours a deep and dusky red-brown, almost like aged red wine, with a filmy head of fine foam. Reasonable lace, but not a lot, head leaves a little to be desired, but around the edges it's very tightly bubbled at least.

Nose is quite subtle, with some dusty roasted malts, a touch of chocolate and a light aniseed and blackberry note. Pleasant enough.

Feel is quite thin, it's quite noticeable from the start. Similar characters on the palate to on the nose. Roasted malt rules here too, but it's all quite light on. Some subtle dark berry characters on the back and a light lifting spice. Hint of hop oil on the very back - bitterness lingers briefly on the finish.

Decent brew all up, one in quite the English style, but with a few tricks up its sleeve. Tasty enough to keep me going in transit, anyway...

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Photo of ddaedalus
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of tedho21
4/5  rDev +10.8%

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

English Brown Ale and 4.5% abv. Label says: newly reformulated, this chocolaty dark beer is rich in toasted malts and Hallertau hops. It poured a brownish black with an off white foamy heady. It smelled of light malts and some slight roasted flavors. It tasted of light coffee, slight caramel and a faint bitterness on the finish. Good drinkability considering how light the actual flavor is.

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Black Mac from Mac's Brewery
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 32 ratings