Widow Maker Black Ale
Keweenaw Brewing Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
Ranked #539
Ranked #46,284
3.5 | pDev: 16.29%
Keweenaw Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Notes: Don't let its looks deceive you. Clean and smooth, easy on the hops and easy on the palate; this light bodied ale has a surprising depth of malt flavors with pleasant hints of a smoky molasses.
Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 358 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Kok17
Kok17 from Michigan

3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I drank one on tap with a bowl of chili at the Michigan House Brew Pub in Calumet, MI, on a cold, foggy day in late September. It truly is smoother than it looks. Much like Guinness in that respect. I enjoyed it, but not enough to pick up a six pack back in the LP.

May 22, 2020
Photo of Yet_ter
Yet_ter from Michigan

4.57/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very smooth / easy to drink. Wonderful flavor. Sits well on the pallet with red meat. Highly recommended, even for those who don’t typically drink black ale.

Apr 16, 2020
Photo of SilverSolver
SilverSolver from Michigan

3.99/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought a 6-pack of this for my birthday. I am sipping one now. Pouring it into a glass, it looks exactly like root beer; it's dark, but not black. It smells good, and tastes good. It has a nice body that makes it a little nicer overall than it otherwise would be. It is roasty, but not exceptionally so. Hops are light. Compared to my usual daily swill Steel Reserve, the flavor was much more interesting, the body was similar, and the alcohol was far, far less. I mixed one of these with a Steel today, and the result was pretty decent. Compared to my occasional indulgence Guinness Original, this has some similarities but is lighter and not as complex. I like it, but honestly for another dollar or two I'll probably get the Guinness over this next time. If Guinness is not available, this is acceptable. I enjoyed this.

Nov 25, 2019
Photo of EvershineDan
EvershineDan from Michigan

2.03/5  rDev -42%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I'll have to do a second review on this beer.
It tasted very stale. If it's supposed to taste like a very stale beer, then this style of beer is outstanding.

Nov 06, 2019
Photo of mngermanshepherd
mngermanshepherd from Minnesota

4.3/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not bad, a good coffee and caramel balance.
Pours dark, not heavy, would be a good winter beer. On tap, first time experiencing a Keeweenaw beer, worth trying.

Aug 08, 2019
Photo of JimboBrews54
JimboBrews54 from Michigan

3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mild malt back bone, some acidic sour notes, molasses thin. Mild sour nose. Dark brown hue, medium sized head and some lace, light body. Needed a little more punch.

Mar 30, 2019
Photo of Strix
Strix from Wisconsin

3.51/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cola-brown with a good initial head and nice lacing.

Mostly malty in the nose.

Interesting flavor combination here, light lager and bready flavors mixed with nuttier, roastier flavors. Certainly drinks paler than it looks, so it's a bit of a surprise every drink.

Highly drinkable but probably a bit thin for the style.

Drinkable enough, but a little on the watery side to be great.

Jan 11, 2019
Photo of dd53grif
dd53grif from Michigan

3.52/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color with a minimal head that disappears quickly. Aromas of chocolate and caramel. Tastes of sweet caramel and chocolate. Light and crisp with a and refreshing finish.

Nov 02, 2018
Photo of BlackBeerPirate
BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

2.52/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Taste: mild malt, some acidic sour notes, molasses thin. Mild sour nose. Dark brown hue, medium sized head and some lace. light body. Needed a little more punch. Had some years ago.

Oct 30, 2018
Photo of Weinerdog43
Weinerdog43 from Wisconsin

3.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

"Black Ale" : Poured into a pint glass. Looks a lot like Pepsi. Dark, but not black. 1" head dissapates fairly quickly. Not much aroma. The can says: "Easy on the hops and easy on the palate; a light bodied ale with hints of smoky molasses and a surprising depth of malt flavors." They are right about the hops, but wrong about the depth of malt flavors. I'm not getting much maltiness. The body seems lighter than it should, but it is pretty drinkable. Not excessively alcoholic.

Oct 10, 2018
Photo of MrOH
MrOH from Maryland

1.18/5  rDev -66.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Very dark brown, minimal head, shit retention and no lace
Smells like weak, stale coffee with an underlying sourness
I don't know if I can properly describe how bad this is: slightly ashy/smoky, acetic, watery, blah
Very thin and watery mouthfeel
Tastes like someone mixed in equal parts a schwartzbier, rauchbier, flemish brown and seltzer water. I get the feeling that this beer sucked in the first place, and then got infected.

Oct 10, 2018
Photo of vette2006c5r
vette2006c5r from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Widow maker pours a black color, with a small tan head. Nice mellow aroma, hints of smoke. Flavor is smooth, maltier, with small hints of smoke and peat. Good body and feel. Overall, very easy to drink, very approachable.

Jul 18, 2018
Photo of chitoryu12
chitoryu12 from Florida

3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Deep black with faint amber highlights. Short, creamy white head that only lasts a minute.

Smell: Pale malt with a hint of savoriness.

Taste: Light, bready malt with virtually no bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and minimal carbonation.

Overall: Easy to drink “liquid bread”.

Jun 03, 2018
Photo of MiraJade
MiraJade from Michigan

4.55/5  rDev +30%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Black ale. Light bodied, hints of smoky molasses, malt flavors, easy on the hops. Easy to drink, goes down smooth. One of the lightest black ales I've tried. I generally prefer a heavier body, but this is a good beer.

May 15, 2018
Photo of Ihill58
Ihill58 from Michigan

4.59/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark and delicious, not horribly filling for a darker beer. Malty but I don't taste the molasses they speak of on the can. It's a solid beer meant to be enjoyed in cooler weather which is most of the year here in the mitten.

Mar 28, 2018
Photo of Yooper_textured_flavor
Yooper_textured_flavor from Michigan

4.02/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very dark coloration with almost black tone. Pours well with small head. Solid choice but with subtle flavors. Could use a boost in multiple flavors of some other brews have. Good in cans but drafts seem to be better.

Jan 02, 2018
Photo of neenerzig
neenerzig from Ohio

3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a can of this to try when my wife went on a mini vacation to Michigan about 3 weeks ago. Poured out of a 12 oz can into one of my pint glasses, this beer pours a very dark brown/practically black color with a dark tan head about an inch thick when first poured. head settles very quickly to a thick surface coating film layer of foam on the beer's surface along with a medium sized ring lining the inside of the glass. not much lacing here though. Aromas of some bready, roasted, caramel malt sweetness and a bit of earthy, piney hops. The taste is pretty much the same, with roasted, bready, caramel malt sweetness and a bit of piney, earthy hops with a slight touch of bitterness. Good balance of flavors, but I feel the overall flavor profile is simply to subdued overall. All aspects of it need to be stronger off the bat. Has a fairly crisp, yet smooth and slightly frothy, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink for sure with a slightly dry aftertaste. This beer certainly has a lot of potential. Needs improvement though.


Nov 01, 2017
Photo of Nordicgambrin
Nordicgambrin from Wisconsin

1.36/5  rDev -61.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

An immediate funk attack backed up by a signpost sourness - Brettanomyces infection, that does not work at all with this beer (unlike a deliberate inoculation in some beers). Extremely harsh black malt character that is out of balance, needs smoothness, particularly given the bite already describer. It's almost impossible for me to get past the Brett but a cloying mouthfeel, almost a cola or maple syrup quality, if either were not sweet. Carbonation way over the top, and the carbonic acid contributed by this overcarbonation only adds to the offputting sourness. Cannot recommend at all.

Oct 31, 2017
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing from California

4.03/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Apache Trout Grill in Traverse City, MI

Appearance - Served up in a pint, black with cola brown edging a mostly barren surface on top. A few small spots make up the lacing.

Smell - Fair aroma with hints of roasted malt, a bit of caramel and some chocolate.

Taste - The strength is moderate, but the flavor profile is spot-on. Fair caramel and some toffee sweetness is met by a mild but consistent roast undertone. A touch of chocolate hits mid-taste. Aftertaste is solidly balanced with mildly sweet and midly roasty character.

Mouthfeel - Light-bodied with moderate carbonation. Light, easy drinker with a fair, crisp and refreshing finish.

Overall - Another reason why I detest "American Black Ale" as the 'official' name for hoppy Black IPA's or CDA's. 'Black Ale' is non-descript for a lot of brewers to describe some brews they make, whether they be stouts, porters or whathaveyou. I would best describe this as a session porter, and great one at that.

Oct 17, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.74/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The appearance had a jet black body with a one finger foamy off white head that hangs around for a good two minutes before slowly dieing, clingy lacing. The smell had chocolate malts, roasty, and coffee-like flavoring. The taste was mainly sweet and roasty through the chocolates and malts, but the coffee flavorings help balance a bit. The palate was about a light to medium, sessionable, smooth and creamy. Overall, I do like this beer for me, but didn't necessarily see it as an American Black Ale, wasn't hoppy enough for the style.

Jun 25, 2017
Photo of mooseisloose
mooseisloose from Florida

3.04/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Popping the top on this brew I get a slight waft of black licorice. Pours to an opaque jet black with a tan head. On the taste this brew is quite light on the mouthfeel and a bit watery at best. The flavor is mildly roasted malt with not much hopping. Not expecting a porter or stout but there's not much here and at the price point that's disappointing

Sep 12, 2016
Photo of gopens44
gopens44 from Virginia

2.88/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Looked like it was supposed to I guess - pitch black with about 1/2" of foamy beige head. Nose brings forth the roasted malts just fine, which meld with the earthy hops. Taste is just not great. Slightly tart, very little hop character and a tone of that whole roasty maltiness. From a taste standpoint alone, if this beer were rebranded as a Schwarzbier, it would probably make more sense. Probably the worst thing about this was the nearly criminal wateriness of the beer. Thin is what this beer should aspire to be.

Aug 29, 2016
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

my first beer from these guys, and i believe it to be woefully underrated here on BA. fresh from the can, its a pretty near black dark brown, with a short lived three quarters of an inch of tan head that fades to a thin ring, congregating at the edges of my globe. the nose is nice, copper malty, some deep roast, even a german type yeast it seems, jury still out on that aspect, but it reminds me of something, some long forgotten beer i used to love, it takes me places, and its really nice. sort of a schwarzbier flavor to it, loosely german to me for some reason i cant place, lots of roast to it, chocolate malt, crystal malt, toffee notes, and oddly enough even a hint of cherry juice in the flavor, concentrated and distinct for whatever reason. pleasantly dry as it finishes, with a subtle rush back of coffee and char. very cool beer, maybe a little more complex than i anticipated which is always a cool surprised. i find it strange this hasnt fared better with the reviewers, i think its quite good, and it has me thirsty for more of their beers...

Aug 12, 2016
Photo of FBGordon
FBGordon from Florida

3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a can into a tulip.

A: Pours a dark brown with an off-white head that maintains well and laces throughout.

S: There's a slight whiff of malts and hops. Well-balanced, but not much going on.

T: A little malt-balanced with a touch of hops. Almost nothing going on on the back end, no flavor settles on the palate.

M: Pronounced carbonation makes it light and refreshing. Light-bodied for a black ale.

O: It's a beer. No complaints, but nothing remarkable about it.

Apr 28, 2016
Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
Victory_Sabre1973 from Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours quite dark, and has a thick head that dissipated fairly quickly. The nose has some malts in it, but not much else. The taste is got a nice smoke flavor. It is quite rich. Minimal hops to it. A good beer to pick up if you're into the style.

Apr 19, 2016
Widow Maker Black Ale from Keweenaw Brewing Company
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 358 ratings