Blakkr | Surly Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States | website

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.99%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This double black as night IPA is too massive for just one brewery's efforts. BLAKKR took the trinity of Real Ale Brewing Co, Surly Brewing Co, & Three Floyds Brewing Co, to actualize this crushing ale. Cheers.

This is the 16oz canned Surly version.

Added by stvanderwoude on 02-15-2014

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Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 1,103
Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with tan colored head. Pine and roasted malt dominate the nose; follows onto the palate. Almost like an IPA that was brewed with lots of roasted and dark malts. Finishes much the same. Full bodied too.

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Photo of Evilyak
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

cause i'm blakkr than black and i'm black y'all. except someone down below made that joke already. fuckin' a.

a surly beer that can keep its head. shit's almost mythical. people will be all like "oh citra xtra, why can't you and todd not be such flat turds?" and the answer is likely that blakkr doesn't have citra in it.

good, rich getting hammered beer. no one cares about the nose here. no one cares that it's more strong ale than weird black ale/ipa. this is good, old-fashioned take four and forget me in the morning territory.

i bet if i posted that i liked this beer to the midwest forum, there would be screeches of "but todd touched my arm once" and i'd probably be banned but this beer is still better.

that having been said, it's way too expensive to ever want to buy this thing again. just sayin' . . .

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On draft

Black in color, fomay white head. Aroma mix of earthy hops and roasted malt. Good balanced taste, the flavors work well. Medium to thicker bodied

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Photo of mschrei
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Canned 1/26/16. Pours dark, but very brown with deep cola colored edges, not very black to me. A veritable hop bomb on smell and taste. The first time I had it, it totally knocked me back, as I was not expecting something so juicy. Slight bitterness, very full mouth feel. The ABV is disguised really well on it. Pouring it takes a slight edge off the taste that the can keeps. I'd swear that my favorite FFF beers (other than Darklord, naturally) are their collaborations. An outstanding beer.

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Photo of Wer34truh
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer definitely looks the part, and is deserving of its name. A relatively large foamy head, with a characteristic amber brown color. Leaves quite a bit of lacing.

The nose is full of piney hops. I've been drinking so many stouts recently that a black IPA was a surprise to my nose, which I found amusing. There's also a fair amount of exotic fruit-flavor in the smell.

For being a 10% black IPA by Surly, this is actually quite subdued - although, delightfully so. The hops dominate the flavor, yet this is hardly a hopbomb. The sweetness from the fruits adds nuance. As far as the body goes, this is quite light with medium carbonation. This was surprisingly drinkable, even though it's hardly a beer one would want to chug either.

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Photo of zonker17
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark, might be black, tan head. Roasty nose. Taste bombards you with smoky malt and bitter hops. Bigger body than most IPAs with lingering hops on the finish.

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Photo of mr-jj
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Found a book from earlier this year that I hadn't entered. This is from January. Poured into a snifter from a 16 oz can.

Color is black, almost opaque, with a fluffy white head with decent lacing. Smell is a nice balance of roasted malts and citrus and tropical hops. Flavor is similar - a nice balance of the roasted malts and the hops. Mouthfeel is medium with a some resinous hops. Overall, a very nice example of this beer - right up with Wookey Jack, which I love.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can. Pours near jet black, fluffy off white head lasts leaving spotty lace. Aroma is mild but nice combo of roastiness and citrus. Taste is a nice balance of roasty sweetness and tropical fruit and citrus. Neither flavor wins out until the end as citrus bitterness prevails. Thin to medium mouthfeel but very slippery. Dry finish. Very good American black ale.

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Photo of aleigator
4.64/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Yields a motor oil black color, with a big, light brown, fluffy head.

Produces an intense, aromaful nose, consisting of big exotic fruit chunks, blending into roasty, warm earth. While the malts stay pleasantly focused on their mellow grain toast quality, the hops produce a great aroma diversity, featuring sappy lime, as well as juicy blood orange, creating an inviting complexity, while also adding a subtle sweetness to the malts. Never experienced a black ipa with such a profound resin quality, lending a rich ripeness to the fruity hops.

Has a creamy, rich mouthfeel to it, packing a pungent hop punch during the finish, amazingly well coated up by hops and malts, while resulting in a pleasant warmth. Very versatile on the palate, no notes of alcohol whatsoever, while the balance is able to handle all extremes going on in this.

This has such a clean, calm beginning, consisting of grain defined bread, bakers chocolate and a very soft aqueous quality, slowly turning into a creamy direction. After establishing this very smooth taste foundation, sour lime announces an uncompromising hop armada, while adding a bitter juice note as its harbinger, perfectly adding to the beers already established flavors. The following hop maelstrom overpowers them almost, if it weren't for the throughout detectable creaminess in this, adding a subtle but effective balancing quality to the malts. Luscious orange, together with wet grass and prickly kiwi and a whiff of papaya exhibit the diversified hop profile, which displays an intense dryness, together with a malt compatible fruitiness, finally joined by a distinct roasty malt aspect. Flavors turn more and more intense, while reaching their peak after the swallow, soothed by the noteable roasted malts and creamy nouthfeel, still allowing the hops to produce a long lasting, lime aftertaste.

What an extreme beer, which is true for its taste and for its well working balance. Flavors don't ever seem to stop evolving on the palate, while never revealing any signs of its higher alcohol content at all, instead the beer is defined by an utmost smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of NickTheGreat
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L (4.5) - Beautiful cola-black color. Thick and fluffy tan head on top. Just like a nice stout, really.
S (4.25) - Jam packed full of roasty coffee aromas and floral/pine hops. Very intriguing
T (4.5) - Tastes great. It really combines your IPA hop flavors with the heavily roasted malt caramel/coffee tastes. Very complex, in a good way.
F (4.75) - Great thick mouthfeel. Low carb and smooth drinking beer. I don't get any alcohol feelings from it.
O (4.5) - I really liked this one. I like the big bold flavors of double IPA's and the like. I brewed an Imperial IPA that is actually fairly similar to this one. I definitely will buy this one again.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very dark black with a little light showing through on the edges. The head is tan and thick but in my glass left almost no lacing. The aroma is citrus, burnt sugar or molasses, char and pine. The taste follows the nose but with the citrus and char playing a large part of the flavor. There is a pleasant sweet maltiness and a nice mild bitterness that consists of the char and hops. The alcohol doesn't come through in the taste but it does leave a warm sensation.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Blakkr has a very thick, beige, creamy head, a very dark brown (NOT blakkr than blakk, though) appearance, and heavy lacing left behind. The aroma is of bright, citrus, indistinguishable fruit, with maybe a background bread. Taste is of black bread, some not-so-strong bitterness, and sweet, fruity, hops (yes, I said "sweet"). Mouthfeel is medium, and Blakkr finishes semi-dry and easy drinking (for a 10% beer, which presents no alcohol).


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Photo of stakem
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Kegatron for the hookup on this one. Pounder can poured into a three floyds teku. The brew appears black in color with a tan cap 2 fingers strong. Full patchy lace sticks to the glass.

The smell is sweet with chocolate covered raisons, herbal and piney hops before some solvent char and bitter earthen elements.

The taste is sweet inititally then resinous and oily with bitter char, earth, tobacco and finishes resinous with herbal and piney hops.

This is a medium bodied brew with modest carbonation. Im not the biggest fan of this style but im digging this take on it.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16oz can poured into a snifter.
(A)- Pours a dark burnt sienna color. Minimal froth.
(S)- Mild roast meets plenty of pine and citrus.
(T)- A bit more roast than the smell. Meets plenty of pine ridden citrus.
(M)- Good carbonation level and balance. A bit more roast than hoping but still plenty of hop bitterness.
(O)- A solid Black IPA. One of the better ones out there

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Photo of beertunes
3.33/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Another from garymuchow. 16oz can poured into 10oz goblet. Pours a solid black color, with just a thin cap of tan head that dissipated quickly, and had very low lacing.

WHOA! Holy licorice bomb! As the glass neared my olfactory opening, a huge blast of licorice assaulted me. Underneath, there was a light grain scent, soft hops, and a lot of licorice. On the tongue, there was licorice. Lots and lots of licorice. Some low malts showed through, and a medium level of hoppiness was apparent. Did I mention that this brew tastes like licorice? Because it does.

The body was light-medium, and had a crisp, dry finish. Drinkability is going to depend on how much one likes licorice. It's not my favorite, so my enjoyment level wasn't premium. YMMV. Overall, a pretty nice beer that a lot of folks will love. I wasn't one of them, but I appreciate the chance to have tried it.

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Photo of dcotom
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Surly tap takeover at Harry's Five & Dime Tavern, Cedar Falls, IA. Review from memory. L - An impenetrable pitch black color, small light tan head. A - Dark roasted malts, bright hop aromas. T - Sweet dark caramel up front, piney hop bitterness on the finish. F - Not too heavy on the palate for something as complex as this. Nice mouthfeel. O - Very nicely balanced, hides the high ABV incredibly well. Another great one from Surly!

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 16-oz. can
Glass: Manzanita pint glass
From: My cousin Sam
Price: N/A
Purchased: N/A; Received July 24, 2015
Consumed: July 24, 2015
Misc.: Canned on March 30, 2015; Collaboration with Three Floyds and Real Ale

Thanks Sam!

Poured a pitch black color with 4-to-5 fingers of khaki tan, rocky tan head. Above average sporadic spiderweb lacing on the sides of the glass. Good retention. A really good looking beer. (Sight - 4.25)

Smelled a good mix of malts and hops. Got smoky notes, spicy pepper, faint ashtray, pine, hops, slightly spoiled fruit, roasty malts, dark fruits and chocolate. (Smell - 3.75)

Tasted slightly better than the nose. Got black licorice, vegetables, smoky ashtray, dark fruit - cherry or raspberry - reminding me of one of the See’s Candies, earthy, pine, light grapefruit rind, roasty malts and Citra zest. Did not taste 9.99 percent for sure. Maybe 7.2 pct. tops. (Taste - 4.00)

Medium body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long finish. (Feel - 4.00)

This was just a really good version of an American Black Ale, which is not surprising coming from Surly. (Overall - 4.00)

3.96 | 89 | B+

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Photo of cjohns73
4.91/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 16 oz can. Dated about 3 months prior but drinks incredible. Pitch black with huge frothy head. Smell is full of tropical hops and you would think this was any traditional DIPA on smell alone. The hops are so wonderfully balanced with the roasty flavors -- every sip has everything you want.

I foolishly offered one of these to a friend the other day, he chose a pseudoSue instead. I think I lucked out.

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Photo of jwc215
4.24/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pin-sized can:

Pours very dark brown with a listing head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of pine/resin and citrus with chocolate.

Taste is of pine/resin some citrus and chocolate. There is some coffee but the roast is restrained enough to add dimension without clashing with the bitterness of the hops.

It is velvety smooth despite the noticeable alcohol.

Tasty, rich and strong. This is heavy on hops and malt. And it all comes together wonderfully!

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Photo of Treyliff
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz can, canned 4/2/15, poured into a tulip glass

A- pours pitch black in color with a small creamy khaki colored head that retains long after the pour, eventually leaving some lacing behind

S- citrus hop aroma gives notes of orange peel & tangerine, also hints of pine. Underlying smoky black malt gives notes of chocolate & earth

T- rich dark roasted malt up front gives lush flavors of dark chocolate and cocoa, along with some caramel notes. Sharp citrus and leafy hops poke through the dark malt, giving flavors of orange peel, grapefruit, fresh cut grass & mint. More chocolate malt & citrus on a dry finish

M- medium-heavy body with medium-low carbonation leads to a thick, creamy and chewy mouthfeel that continues into a smooth and drug finish, ABV is hidden very well

O- one of the best Black IPA's I've had. This one finds a way to provide enough chocolate malt to stand up to the intense hops, which usually dominate in this style. Drinkability is so smooth for the ABV

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Photo of rynegne
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I really like this one a lot. It's hop-forward with a bit of a roasted coffee and anise flavor that some IPAs have. It's up there in my top Black IPAs. Quite expensive, but, given the ABV and quality I don't mind paying a bit more.

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Photo of larryi86
4.34/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thank you garymuchow for this!
16 oz can, dated 3/30/15, poured into a teku

A- Black with a four finger mocha head.

S- Some tropical fruits, pineapple, roasted malts, pine, faint coffee.

T- Tropical fruits, faint pineapple, some citrus, roasted malts, coffee, some sweet fruits, piney/dank finish.

M- Smooth, medium to full body, creamy.

O- When I opened the can I thought this this was 6.66% ABV until I looked down and saw it is 9.99%, but the alcohol is very well hidden. Really enjoy this, feel the malts really help balance out the El Dorado hops. Probably the best use of El Dorado that I have tried.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Somewhat of a splurge at $18/4-pk 16 oz., though when you think about it, if it came as a bomber, it would be about $7 -- not especially "luxury" pricing. Wait, let me work this out. It's $18/64 oz. = $0.28/oz. So, oh, 22 oz. would be only $6.18. I wouldn't think twice about buying a bomber of totally legendary beer for six bucks!

Mmm. It's quite good. Makes me think of New Glarus Black Top, though with sweetness and body and abv. It's actually a tad bit overly sweet.

This is what Lake Louie Radio Free IBA aspires to, and nearly achieves, I might add.

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Photo of cokes
3.79/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thoroughly shadowy, blackened Crimson with an impressive and lasting stack of beige-peach foam.
The nose brings pine bark, burnt grapefruit, toasted sugar, raisin bran flakes, brandy, and flares of pineapple and peaches.
A slap of tropical fruits across the tongue. Peaches, melons, pineapple, lime leaves. A dusting of coffee grounds. Some creme brûlée, burnt sugar and custard notes. More herbal on the swallow. Alcohol is not a factor, other than a twinge of post swallow bitterness.
Thinner bodied than i expected with a trickling carbonation.

I really don't know what to do with this. I like it as an Imperial IPA with touches of roastiness. But the style is one I can't really embrace, nor know what to expect. The IPA part of this works, but the black part seems completely underdeveloped. And I'm not sure if I like it more or less due to this (lack of) balance. Ultimately, it's a handicap, because I still have no idea what I want in black IPA, nor have I found an example to adore. Not here either.

Sorry Blakkr, it's not you, it's me.
But at $16/4-pack, I'm not going to try any harder to salvage this relationship. But I know you'll make someone else very happy.

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Photo of Moose90
4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can reads - "Canned On 04/20/15 F2870"

A — Pours a deep and dark black color, with little to no light around the edges, just pure black. There is a puffy, cappuccino like head that forms, but it fades into a thin layer atop the dark body of the beer. Lacing left behind is sticky, and extremely consistent.

S — Smells quite hoppy and bright initially. Though underneath it all is a very rich and darkly roasted malt profile. Lightly roasted bitter coffee, earthy and herbal notes, light lemon and citrus tartness.

T — Taste is quite intense and complex, lots of big hop and citrus notes initially. The background is very malt focused and layered, lots of roasty charred malts. Though it does seem to be slightly dialed back in each regard, not super dark and rich, and it is also not overly hoppy or bright. As it warms there becomes a bit of a fruity and estery tone, almost cherry and jam like, really really great. Still balanced with char and malt.

M — Medium bodied, there is a long and lingering finish, almost a bit sticky, the 9.99% ABV is undetectable.

O — Nice overall, would love a little bit more char and roasted complexities, but great nonetheless, this holds up very well over time (within reason), I would absolutely seek this out again.

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Blakkr from Surly Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.