914: Black Hawk Stout

Name: Black Hawk Stout
Brewery: Mendocino Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Ukiah, California
Style: Irish Dry Stout
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5.2%
First Brewed: 1983

Tasting Notes
A thick, creamy, tan head and a rich, roasted aroma open this dark-as-night stout. There are also plenty of coffee and dark chocolate notes. A big, filling brew with a rich mouthfeel and some burned grain notes in the finish. Crisp and refreshing, it goes well with shellfish and roasted meats.

Ricky’s Thoughts
The Black Hawk Stout was first brewed right after I was born… maybe this is my birthday beer! I like the label too… the hawk looks mad. Maybe this is a mean beer. The ABV isn’t very big, but the tasting notes call it “thick” and “creamy”, which is a good sign in a stout.

According to Untappd I have already had this beer. It does look familiar, but I don’t recall having it. I gave it 2 out of 5 stars. Let’s see what she can do for me when I am drinking with a purpose.

In the Glass: This is pitch black with a thin tan head and decent lace. For a beer that has been described as “thick” and “creamy”, I expected a bigger and more pronounced head.

Nose: It smells like a nitro beer. It doesn’t really smell like a stout until the end. There are also some hints of copper on the nose. I will warn you, I have been sick all week. A few days ago I couldn’t even smell. But that is all behind me now, so let’s see what the Black Hawk Stout tastes like.

Flavor: There is subtle carbonation on the front of the palate, then it slides down the throat with ease. The true flavor kicks in in the aftertaste, but we will get to that in a second. We are drinking this straight out of the fridge, so I assume this beer would get better as it heats up.

Mouthfeel: For a stout, the mouthfeel is kind of boring. I had some pretty high expectations for this one, but it’s nothing more than a mediocre stout. I hate Guinness, but would rather have one of those than this. I am glad they have a cool looking label. That at least gives me something to look at.

Aftertaste: This is where the flavor comes in. The tasting notes mentioned caramel and chocolate, and you don’t even get a hint of that until the very end. But as the beer sits there on your tongue, you start to pick up those notes. I would drink this beer again just for the aftertaste.

This beer might be my birthday beer, but there are a lot of other beers that I would rather drink. It is affordable here in the Circle City, and available almost anywhere. This beer is just nothing to write home about. I can see why I gave it 2 out of 5 stars.

Black Hawk Stout – The bottle says: “This award winning brew is Handcrafted to perfection. A Premium American Classic from a Pioneer Brewing Legend.”

Rating: 2/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts
Well, this should be interesting.  This is the first time I’ve done a beer review right after working out.  Think it will taste any different?

Tonight’s beer is a dark one.  Some kind of stout.  Ricky said we’re doing another beer later, so hopefully, look for that one tonight too.  I picked out two from the fridge, and this was the smaller one so we decided to do it first, since we haven’t even had dinner yet.  So yes, it’s a stout.  Very dark in the glass, not much head, but what is there is a creamy beige color, like most stouts.  It smells… pretty good, actually.  Lots of coffee and dark chocolate aroma to it.  I love dark chocolate.  It actually looks a little carbonated – lots of little tiny bubbles swimming around in the glass.  Let’s see if it tastes like it smells.

First taste is a little too cold.  That’s the problem with rich stouts and porters – if you keep them in the fridge, they tend to get a little too cold and if you drink them that cold, you can’t taste all of the rich flavors in them as well.  This one is no exception and will probably taste better after sitting out for at least a few minutes.

It also does taste pretty carbonated, especially for a stout.  That’s the first thing that hit my tongue, the bubbles.  There’s a good aftertaste, though… It kind of crept up on me.  After a couple of more sips I can also taste a little bit of vanilla in there, I think.  These are good flavors, but I don’t really like the carbonation – it kills it a bit for me.  This beer isn’t half bad, but it’s definitely not the first stout I’d pick again.  Not a bad winter beer, though, just not my favorite.  Get rid of some of the carbonation and let me taste the beer a little better and maybe I’ll reconsider.  Until then, it’s kind of just average.

Rating: 3/5

913 bottles of beer on the wall…

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