I think I may finally be running out of new American beers to try. I mean no slight to the good brewers of Mendocino, but you're close to the bottom of the barrel right now.
Black Hawk Stout first, a quite simple and tasty affair. Lots of sweet portery chocolate and raisins, finishing on a dry note that bends slightly towards metallic at the end. Texturewise it could benefit from being smoother: there's lots of prickly fizz and I found it interfered with the rich dark notes underneath. Still an enjoyable beer, and at 5.2% ABV it's entirely possible to drink a few in one sitting, if that's the kind of thing you like to do.
Me, I moved straight along to Eye of the Hawk, an 8% ABV strong ale. It's actually quite refreshing for all its alcohol. Neither the hops nor malt jump out in any big way, there's just a light white grape fruitiness and some slightly sticky cookie sweetness. As it warms it does take a turn towards cloying, with the booze making its presence felt more and more, and doing a disturbingly good impression of trampish lager. A bit more generosity in the hops department could probably have stopped that from happening. In fact, I'd nearly recommend drinking this on a sharing basis, to ensure the measures are small enough to keep the temperature down. Don't take too long over it, however, and you have a winner.
Two solid decent beers here. I think there are a couple more from the same brewery knocking around the Dublin offies. I'll give them a go if I see them.
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