Chief BlackHawk Porter | Tyranena Brewing Company

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Chief BlackHawk PorterChief BlackHawk Porter

Brewed by:
Tyranena Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-15-2002

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Reviews: 173 | Ratings: 349
Photo of Fuzzycuffs
2.55/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Got a bottle as a gift with a sampler of a bunch of other beers.

A: Pours the colour you would expect a porter to be. Very, very, very dark brown. Less than a finger of head on this one, no lacing.

S: Citrusy hops. Weak malty bouquet, hints of burnt caramel, little else to say.

T: A bit of burnt malt, not much else. Watery, lacks malt. I feel like I know exactly what the brewers were thinking when they put this porter together. They likely decided that if they added too much malt, the burnt taste would be overpowering. Amateur mistake, with a porter, your malt options are so diverse, but it tastes like the wort was a weak burnt malt tea.

M: Smooth, but seriously lacking in body. With this style, I would prefer a full-bodied feel. The carbonation is there, but unremarkable. Low carbonation is probably not something that I should fault a porter for, but I found myself seeking distraction from the boring flavour of this brew.

O: The smell of this brew promised much more. Not well balanced. Not malty, which is all I need say to damn a porter. I like trying new brews, but I can't say that I would ever go out and buy this. Maybe if I'm looking for an example of how not to make beer. Boring, but unoffensive.

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Photo of cdkrenz
2.72/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Pitch black with a quarter inch of medium to dark brown head. The head fades but takes it sweet time.

Smell - Sweet cherry and licorice covered by a nice malt aroma.

Taste - Coffee and malt flavors. Nothing real complex I'm afraid.

Mouthfeel - The feel is very smooth and wet. The flavor is really tasted toward the back of my tongue which is the only place this brew is felt to have some abrassiveness.

~ I think I had my hopes a bit too high before trying the Chief. I probably set myself up for the disappointment. I won't be sampling another bottle anytime soon but if presented with a tap I might give it another chance.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brew pub into a pint glass...A dark brown pour with a light tan head that rises about two fingers but falls way to quickly, at least the lacing is good...Light roasted aroma but just not a ton going on, bored...The taste is much stronger but that's not a good thing, tons of alcohol on the front, bitter from the alcohol not roasty bitter. There needs to be some sweetness to cut this.

An average porter at best.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Standard pour yields a .5 finger coarse, light mocha head with poor retention that dissipates into a cluster of bubbles at the top of the brew. Beer is a clear, near opaque, dark mahogany. Lacing is stringy and spotty with decent cling.

S: Nose is liquorice, bitter chocolate, roasted malt, and a subtle cherry tartness. Aromas are very muted and barely detectable.

T: Opens bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt bitterness, and overtones of cocoa powder and liquorice. Middle is invigorating as the carbonation rushes up. More liquorice in the middle and finish. Aftertaste is chocolate and roasted malt as this one sweetens just a tad. Aftertaste is a filmy coffee.

M: Light to medium bodied, moderately carbonated and light and actually quite crisp in the mouth. Finish is messy and sticky and aftertaste lingers.

D: An average porter. Nothing really stands out here as different in neither good nor bad ways. Body could use a bit of work and aroma is a bit too subtle but otherwise solid.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-site at the Tyranena brewery, and was not terribly impressed with it. It seemed not quite "charred" or "burned pizza crust" for me, and had a watery mouthfeel.

The beer was served in a UK-pint glass, and did not appear to be tremendously thick nor block-out-the-sun opaque. It had a small amount of white head.

Aroma was very faint for a porter, and was of toasted malt.

Flavor was not as chocolatey or coffee-ish as most other porters I've had recently. Instead, it was a fairly weak-tasting caramel malt character.

Mouthfeel seemed a bit watery for this style.

I wouldn't recommend against it, but I don't feel this is one of the better porters I've had lately.

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Photo of Soneast
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pitch black color, that when held to the light shows a touch of amber on the edges, with a 2 finger thick, light brown colored head, that has above average retention, leaving lots of lace on the glass as the beer recedes.

A fairly strong roasted component to the aroma, reminding me of coffee, with some notes of chocolate. A pretty malty character, with little to no evidence of hops coming through in the aroma.

The flavor also consist of a roasted quality, very coffee-like, along with some other malt character such as chocolates and caramel, the finish is fairly bitter leaving a bitter coffee flavor on the palate, and the finish does seem to have some astringency to it.

I generally don't associate this much roastiness with porters. The mouthfeel isn't as creamy smooth as I would hope for, and there is a dry astringency to the finish that is rather unpleasant.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.07/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Pours nearly black with a big, poofy head of darker tan. Retention is not it's strength though as it drops to a wee, thin film in just a few minutes. Decent lace is left behind.
Smell is heavily toasted malts, coffee and cardboard. Not a great balance but not heavily weighted to one aspect either.
Taste is strong on burnt malts and coffee (not my favorite flavors) with nothing else really coming to the party to balance them out. Aftertaste gets quite ashy.
Body is medium at best, effervescence is mild. Slightly warming especially after some temperature rise. Drying finish. All told, not a great porter for me. I like them sweeter - and I hate coffee - but if there had been something to balance the coffee and toasted malt notes this could have been quite good. If you're buying, I accept one, otherwise, no.

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Photo of Chugmonkey
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Your basic not quite black porter color, minimal mocha head. Minimal burnt coffee aroma.

Taste is a boring burnt bitterness, pure black patent, not much complexity.

Mouthfeel is quite watery to me. Slides down nice, but not very satisfying.

Very drinkable, but just not enough complexity in this porter to get excited about.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with a thin frothy head. Smell mainly chocolate with coffee hint. Coffee really comes out in taste with a piney hop finish. The bite gets big in the end and prevents smoothness and bite lingere. This is a busy porter but takes away from some things I drink a porter for.

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Photo of Honisbygonis
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appetizer: did not have glass to pour, so color / carbonation was indiscernible in the brown bottle; "nice porter" sweet smell

Entree: nice initial hit taste, but aftertaste mildly harsh; mid-way thru the bottle, after taste subsides from a about a 3 on bad scale to about 1.5 (the more u drink theory as to improving taste or the so-called killing of your taste buds)

Dessert: per label a "bitttersweet ale / session beer consumed by Porters in London"; gotta admit improves towards the emptying of the bottle; I'd compare this to (in my book) an overrated Founders Porter (not impressed as you can imagine given the hype); all in all, not the worst of the style so give it a try (or re-try)

Ch33rs !!!

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i am fairly certain this bottle was well past it's prime. inky brown/black with a dark tan head/lacing. sour dark dried fruit and whisky aromas in the nose. i checked and rechecked and this is what i got. expected the usual chocolate/cofee but that's what was there. no malt sweetness left, the flavor is mostly sour. mouthfeel is fine. would like to try a fresher or not off bottle of this.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Pours out dark brown, nearly black, with a small head. The aroma is creamy and chocolatey, but very weak. The flavor follows from the aroma, but there is also a sour, acidic quality that burns the throat, and is a little unpleasant. There is a little bit of roasted coffee flavor. The mouthfeel is too thin. This beer did nothing for me.

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Photo of JDV
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks buckybeer, for the bottle in trade!
Pours black with a tan head. Smell is nicely roasty with a light coffee element. Taste is thinner than the smell with roastiness and a light coffee flavor again. Bit too watery with a light body and medium carbonation. Decent, but not great.

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3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black coffee colored pour into a Stella glass produced a bubbly, tan 1/4" frothy head that quickly reduced to a filmy broken swirl. Light oily lacing.
The nose was inviting but muted with sweet malts, dark chocolate, raisins (?) & maybe a hint of black licorice(?).
Mouth was a little weaker than I expected or prefer. Lighter bodied. Short on carbonation & mildly dry... a bit watery.
The taste revealed creamy malts, woody, peppery spice, a touch of nutty smoke, coffee & bitter chocolate with a modest hop presence. Aftertaste is short lived but appealing....with a faint, oily resin on the lips & tongue.
Certainly easy to drink....there are better Porters out there to try.

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.32/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Black like cola with a fast dissipating head that comes and goes very fizzy like cola as well. I figured for a porter, this would have a creamy look to it; not the case so far. Let's proceed.

S- Nutty, a little roasty from the malt. Just a touch of chocolate is added to make some complexity.

T- It is a little more smoky to the taste, lightly astringent, bitter chocolate, ashy and burnt.

M- Not so slick and creamy as most porters I have had. This one is a little bit oily feeling. Carbonation is quite high for the style too.

D- While I like to think of porters as a moderate session beer in the Fall/Winter months, this one just dont cut it for me. It lacks the creamy smoothness that I admire in porters and is the exact opposite. Just an average offering from a well respected American craft brewer; somewhat of a letdown.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is black in color with a light mocha head. Roasted chocolate malt nose. Fresh clean attack with pronounced coffee and smoke flavor and some smoke aftertaste. Clean from start to finish which enables you to enjoy all of the various strong flavors. By clean I mean that it transitions from one flavor to the next without a lingering sensation from the attack into the flavor or the flavor into the finish or the finish into the aftertaste. I would call it a C+ as its less "robust" than I prefer my porters to be. All of Tyranena's beers seem to have an underlying caramel character which I enjoy very much, however this is one of the beers in which it is least pronounced.

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Photo of tykees88
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Amazing pour. Two fingers of gray khaki colored rocky foamy head. Stays about one finger the whole glass. Lacing licking all sides from each drink. Beautiful.

S-Smell is a bit of a letdown. I don't get in touch with many of the coffee and chocolate aromas as I am used to in a porter. I am instead greeted by a much more dull aroma in a mild form. A hint of coffee gives way to a spicy peppery aroma.

T- Also not great. It's just really mild tasting. The chocolate, the coffee and roasted malt character is there, but nothing stands out. They all are very mild tasting. The hop flavor is almost nonexistent to me too.

M- It's lighter bodied for a porter.

O-It's alright. Maybe I had an off day or an off batch. I love porters so I'll come back to this

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Photo of alleykatking
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a dark amber brown color. Light hues around the sides of the glass. One finger eggshell color head has good retention and sticks around for a short while. Streaky lacing on the sides of the glass but nothing to stare at in awe.

S- Aroma a little muted I thought. Roasted malts with a hint of chocolate in there. No real hopping at all in the aroma along with no distinct coffee smell as well. A little bummed out with the aroma I will be honest.

T- Roasted malts from the get go pair off with a light chocolate flavor although not very strong at all. Some light almost bready malts with a hint of burnt toast to it. This comes back into a chocolate flavor with light burnt notes to it...well more roasted than burnt.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Clean overall flavors. Blended well flavor wise for a porter. Roasted malts left on the palate with a light chocolate pairing left on the aftertaste.

D- Average porter with great drinkability. I do like this beer and plan on drinking more of it. Nothing over the top but still very good.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours ebony in color with faint brown highlights if you look for them. Vigorous pour yields a bubbly tan head that recedes after a short while. Aroma is of darkly roasted malt--almost acrid and coffee-like. Flavor is bolder than I expected, like black coffee but not as obnoxiously bitter. The carbonation helps temper the astringently roasted malt flavor. A bit more hop presence than I'm used to in a porter, but not bad. My lamentation here is there isn't much complexity behind the bold, yet one-dimensional, flavor. What's there is not objectionable, but it wears thin without greater depth. Overal, this is a decent porter that offers a more palatable coffee-flavored malt than most, but it lacks the nuance a complexity to really engage me.

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Photo of dogger6253
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pitch-black body with a quarter inch of tan head oozes out of the bottle, giving off a smokey scent and just a little bit of hops. The taste is of roasted malts, caramel and toffee. There's no carbonation, just a thick body. The taste is nice, but there isn't much that draws me into it. Nor is there anything to draw me away, I'd just have to say this beer is a little more than average quality.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to murrayswine - Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my Sly Fox pint glass. Appears a very dark brown with about an inch of light tan foam. Slight lacing left on the glass as I make my way to the bottom. Smells of sweet roasted, caramel malt, and the slightest hint of soy sauce. Tastes of bitter weak coffee and cocoa, nutty and mildly sour with a dry finish. Thinner in the mouth than I expected with medium carbonation. Not a bad porter, I'd drink it again if given the chance.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle from jsilva poured into a shaker pint. Thar she blows; we've got a gusher here. After a delayed 2nd pour, I've got a nice rocky and dimply head formed of foamy, large bubbles. Looks a bit like a cola, except with excellent head retention. Thick patches of scattered lacing.

Cherry pie filling appears to be the dominant aroma; lighter notes of roast and chocolate in the background. The label proclaims this to be a 'sharply bittersweet' ale, and it certainly is. An interesting take on the porter style. Tart cherry and bittersweet chocolate give way to a clean, but not exactly dry, finish. Thickish but not clinging, with abundant carbonation. Tart cherry lingers.

Overall impression: Interesting, and worth a try.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Discount Liquors in Milwaukee, WI. What a great store.

The beer is dark brown, approaching black, nearly opaque with a small beige cap. Aromas include the expected roasted malt, chocolate. Light char and coffee notes in the flavor. The body is perhaps a tad thin. Overall, pretty good, but perhaps a little weak in body and potency.

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Photo of fretlessman71
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pertinent Preliminary Comments:

I’ve had the brown ale from Tyranena, and it’s one of the few brown ales that I really enjoyed.

APPEARANCE: Jet black with only the faintest dark cherry highlights when held to light. Thick tan head, good staying power, not much lacing.

AROMA: Chocolate and burnt buttered toast. Some light date fruit as well. Hops come through but just a tad.

FLAVOR: There’s a sharpness right off the bat, but only on the edges of the tongue. Medium malt flavor, black patent malt about even with chocolate malt. Some sweetness reminiscent of lactose. Not much in the way of hops – bitterness definitely coming more from the use of black malt more than anything. Interesting flavor balance – after being used to heavily hopped American porters, this is a nice change.

MOUTHFEEL: Slightly acrid and drying; light weight, good carbonation.

DRINKABILITY: Good for a warm fire on a cold night – and at 5.6% ABV, I could probably get away with having more than one of these.

OVERALL COMMENTS: My only complaint is in the grainy bitterness – maybe just a tad too harsh; maybe it’s just me, but it leaves me wanting to go brush my teeth or drink a quart of water. (Maybe I’m just a wuss.) But it’s a one-of-a-kind beer – robust in a different way than most. And it’s nice to see a beer that doesn’t have to be high in strength to be high quality.

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Photo of emerge077
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, a finger of foam rises and settles to a skim. Thin ring of lacing. Aroma is not very strong, slight roasted malt is all I get.

Taste has an earthy roasted malt upfront, that stays and lingers through the finish. I don't pick up any chocolate or sweetness at all. Fairly thin, and balanced for what it is. Slight cereal grain in the finish. It's sessionable, but there are other porters out there worth seeking out first.

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Chief BlackHawk Porter from Tyranena Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 349 ratings.
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