Widow Maker Black Ale | Keweenaw Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Widow Maker Black AleWidow Maker Black Ale
313 Ratings
Widow Maker Black AleWidow Maker Black Ale

Brewed by:
Keweenaw Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by association330 on 06-13-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 251-275 | 276-300 | 301-325  | next → last
Ratings: 313 |  Reviews: 86
Photo of kegger22
3.39/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Keweenaw Widow Maker is a darkly translucent brown with a one inch off white head that shows decent retention. The aroma is just plain musty. The taste reminds me of some schwartzbiers that I've had, even though I know it's billed as a brown ale. Light roasted coffee malts, but I cannot find the hint of molasses mentioned on the label. Light to medium bodied and more than ample carbonation. Drinkability is good.

Widow Maker is a good, not great, beer. It still doesn't remind me much of a brown though.

 508 characters

Photo of degerbah
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown, almost black with plenty of head. Head sticks around for a little time before dissapearing completely. The smell is is mostly coffee with some sweet malt. Taste is mostly coffee up front with a malty aftertaste. The body is pretty light and very drinkable. Still goes down easy as it warms up.

 316 characters

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
2.56/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Dave for this can. Had it on 10/26, from notes.

Pours near black with an oddly light tan head. The cap is creamy, 2 fingers high and surprisingly good retention and no lacing.

Smells kind of lame, I'm sorry. Weird, tainted roasted malts, stale cereal grains. Macro vegetable thing going on here. I didn't want to keep my nose in the glass much longer, but the aroma was light overall.

Taste begins with a malt sweetness, no complexity. Some tarred malt flavor, but its subtle. Not too much going on here, and what is going on isn't that great.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, properly carbonated but a higher FG might help the flavors and body. Tolerable drinkability considering the lack of substance and flavor going on here, but I wouldn't want to have it again.

 782 characters

Photo of mwa423
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours jet black, closer to a stout then any brown I have ever seen. The only thing brown here is the dark tan head that stayed through every inch of the glass. If every stout looked this good, I would be happy about it.

S - Sweet and malty with light hints of roasted malts. Great smell for a brown ale.

T - Some roasted malt, sweet caramel, closer to a stout or a dry stout then any brown, but it has all the drinkability of a brown.

M - The mouthfeel on this beer is truly exceptional. It fills the mouth but goes down as smooth as possible.

D - The great taste and exceptional mouthfeel make this an exceptionally drinkable beer. Good job Keweenaw!

 659 characters

Photo of shadow1961
3.72/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Keweenaw Widowmaker Black Ale pours a thin head over an opaque cola-colored brew. Carbonation is sedate- nose is a bit of sharp burnt espresso. Flavor is more of that smoky espresso flavor- maybe some dark bread. Can't really detect much of a hop presence- but those burnt flavors do just fine keeping this from being too sweet. Mouthfeel is light yet round and semi-dry- a bare hint of some kind of herbal hops does show up in the aftertaste. Like everything else of theirs I've tried, this is a modest, but good solid session brew.

 533 characters

Photo of GitcheGumee
3.93/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer has a nice appearance. It is very dark/black, with a dark amber color when held to light. There is a nice light colored head, but it dissipates very quickly. There is some nice lacing present.

Smell: Strong scent of roasted malts. There also seems to be some sweetness/caramel scents as well.

Taste: The strong roasted scent translates directly into the flavor. The initial part of the sip is mild sweetness. This beer is kind of hard to describe...really mellow, yet flavorful. The end of the sip features the strong roasted taste. Little to no hops scent or flavor.

Mouthfeel: It feels very thin. This is partly due to the very low carbonation. It almost feels watery, which is surprising from a beer so dark. No problems here, but it seems slightly "off".

Drinkability: This beer has a great level of drinkability. Like the can says, "don't be afraid of the dark." There's no reason to be afraid of this beer...it's fairly tame; which seems to be both good and bad for this beer. I wouldn't call this a great beer, but I am a repeat customer because it's so easy to drink. I enjoy grilling steaks and drinking a few of these. The price is also a nice feature...and of course, it's from da UP!

 1,261 characters

Photo of CRichardsMN
4.02/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown with a creamy white head similar to whipped cream. Head cascades to a distinct line and is retained throughout the entire drink. Heavy lacing on the glass.

Light scent but very nutty. Slightly bitter, tart note.

Roasty, toasty delicious. No tartness (from scent) to be mentioned and finishes with a mild bitterness. Reminds me very much of a dry stout.

Much more carbonation than expected and you can feel the beer move all of the way from the lips to the back of the throat. Fills the mouth completely but does not coat.

Served cold but did not diminish as it warmed up. Incredibly easy to drink and I could nurse these all night.

Purchased this beer on a recent trip to the UP of Michigan after visiting the Keweenaw Brewing Company bar in Houghton. Tried the sampler platter while I was there and this beer is almost as good from a can as it is from the tap. Well Done!

 954 characters

Photo of WJVII
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My buddy Mike's wife picked up a few growlers of different brews from Keweenaw and this was the style I received-Thanks Mike and Ranee!

Poured into a pint glass from a growler, this brew has the thickness and color of used oil. There is little carbonation due to it being in a growler for about 5 days, but with an aggressive pour I got a decent light brown head that settled into a thin cap. The aroma is strong of burnt malts, some coffee, slight breadiness, and a little nuttiness. The taste is as expected. Heavy, dark coffee, with burnt sugars, and a mild hop presence in the finish. Nothing over the top about this brew. It is solid, but not "special". Have had these flavors before. Worth a try, the growler will be finished today, but nothing extra-ordinary.

 767 characters

Photo of GbVDave
3.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into an imperial pint.

A: Pours an impressive black that shows off some garnet highlights at the edges. Initial pour yields a creamy light brown head that quickly falls to a thin ring that leaves no lace.

S: A strange combination of tasty smelling roasted malt and metallic copper penny. Aside from that, not much else going on. Small amounts of lemon and toffee, too.

T: Mostly roasted malt in the forefront with the metallic flavor fading and being surpassed by bright citrus. Subtle hints of nuts, caramel, and toffee.

M: A tad on the thin side, but smooth. Finishes slightly dry.

D: Excellent session beer. Not the best, but certainly not the worst brown ale I've ever had. Great, inexpensive campfire beer.

 739 characters

Photo of Shumista
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz can into my beer mug.

A- Widowmaker pours a very deep dark brown with a light brown head that dissipates quickly.
S- Sweet roasted malts and a little bit of a coffee aroma.
T- Again, roasted malts that impart a lot of sweetness to the taste. Hints of coffee and molasses and a little bit of smokiness at the end.
M & D- The can claims this beer to be "light bodied and easy on the palate". While it's no malt bomb I don't find myself astonished by how easy drinking it is for a dark beer. Drinks like a pretty average black (or brown I guess) ale. Nothing too special. I don't see any reason to buy this one again. Nonetheless I am always happy to try something new and will have no trouble finishing the 6 pack over the next few days.

 757 characters

Photo of bushbeer75
2.98/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a mug

Keweenaw Brewing Widow Maker Black Ale poured very dark brown almost black with a slight red cast. The head produced was off-white and dissipated rather quickly.

The aroma was of rather weak roasted malts - not very impressive. The flavor was sweet malts, maybe molasses and little hops in the background.

Don't let the color fool you, this ale is an "easy drinker" [especially for the style].
For the price paid there are better Brown Ale values out there.

 488 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.6/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

CAN you believe that my CANQuest has become so well-known that some places WANT me to review their beers? At the GTMW, I mentioned my mission and said that I had just copped two of their beers in sixes and they asked which ones and handed me one each of the other two as I left the park. Keweenaw, this review's for you!

I got a finger od mocha-tan head with good retention. I have to agree with calling it an American Brown Ale. It looked like a Schwartzbier in my glass, but it was an ale, not a lager. Fair dinkum! Color was a deep, dark brown/black. I would have said black outright were it not for the traces of brown at the edges when held up to the light. Nose was very roasty and I could certainly buy into the "smoky molasses" of the label. Mouthfeel was medium with a lot of smoke on the tongue. Hell, this was approaching a Rauchbier and in a CAN! I began to weep at this point. I may have to become a Yooper ... It was incredibly smooth and eminently drinkable, even on a hot day. Still, I wish that I had had some smoked oysters, salmon, and cheese to go with it. This would be a welcome addition to Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em Night at RichWood Manor. Mmmmm. Finish was malty, sure, but by that time, I was enraptured by the smokiness. Yow!

In other, unrelated news, from the CAN: "The Keweenaw Brewing Company, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, was founded with the goal of turning beer drinkers into craft-beer lovers. 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. The 'Widowmaker', a pneumatic drill that operated without benefit of water to lubricate the bit and cut the dust, was introduced to Copper County mining in the 1890's. While greatly improving productivity, the drill became known as the 'Widowmaker', killing many of the miners who used it from illnesses related to prolonged dust inhalation. Don't be afraid of the dark! From a Family of Fine Ales"

 2,036 characters

Photo of association330
3.16/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Seeing as this one just went into the canning lineup, I figured I'd add it to the site. Had to classify this one myself, but I think it's a take on brown ale.

A - Pours dark brown/borderline black with a slight reddish hue. Off-white head settles to a good cap with some lacing.

S - Mostly the generic malt of the KBC's regular lineup. Just hints of molasses and fruitiness. Not exciting, memorable, or dominant in any way.

T - Sweet malts and a smack of molasses in the finish which somehow does lend a touch of smokiness, as the can's text indicates. A grazing of hops as well. Very little in the way of lingering flavors.

M - Can describes the beer as "light-bodied", but I'd say it's closer to medium, which would be more appropriate. Carbonation is moderate to create a creamy feel and a fairly smooth swallow.

D - An easy-drinking ale that is typical of the KBC's regular lineup. Neither offensive nor exceptional in any manner, and straddles the ground between a brown ale and a schwarzbier. This and the Amber are the best of their 'usual four', though that's not saying much.

 1,099 characters

firstprev| 251-275 | 276-300 | 301-325  | next → last
Widow Maker Black Ale from Keweenaw Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.48 out of 5 with 313 ratings