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Black (黑) - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black (黑)Black (黑)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

250 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 250
Hads: 519
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 18.28%
Wants: 55
Gots: 135 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  17.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kkipple on 02-19-2008

Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

Ingredients: Water, malt, roasted barley, dark cassonade, ale yeast and champagne yeast.
View: Beers (294) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 250 | Hads: 519
Reviews by shanblur:
Photo of shanblur
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Local Option in Chicago. 8oz pour in a small snifter. Dense black color with speckled lacing and multiples bubbles on the edge. Smell is intense, much like a port. Dark fruit, coffee flavors and a nice boozy aroma. Flavor is complex dark fruit, nutty, coffee. Very intense. Dense and chewy mouthfeel. Glad I had the opportunity to try this. This was the original 2009 which supposedly was dated try before 2020. More like port than a beer. Would love to sample this with more age.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of biegaman
4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.75

Mikkeller Black is just that and... little else. It's a black hole, though its head has colour (a rusted brown tint). I'm impressed such a high-gravity offering has any head at all, let alone one that looks as strong as the beer itself - that foam ain't going anywhere except all up and down the sides of the glass.

I Goggled the 黑 symbol that adorns the label and, not able to read Japanese, have no idea what those results returned. The aroma is no more familiar - an absolutely one-of-a-kind combination of szechuan peppers, soy sauce, sriracha, sweet potato, tart wild berries, and hickory smoke. Love it or hate it it's different, intriguing and, given it's made from just the basics, downright puzzling.

When it comes to actually taking that first sip I freeze, as if I stumbled on a dead body or, more accurately, found myself unarmed and face to face with a wild animal. And it turns out both unusual and strong, though the intensity is snapped out of the finish like a dog on a yanked leash; the finish is void of chocolaty, coffee-ish flavour but is chock full of Tabasco sauce and astringent cigar-like smokiness.

Where I currently live in Ontario, Canada, our government acts as guardian and tests every single product that is sold. It's not uncommon to find huge variance in alcohol percentage (especially for higher gravity offerings) but their state-of-the-art lab confirmed this is in fact 17% alcohol. Mind you, that's obvious from the way it drinks - some sips make my eyes water. This goes down kicking and punching.

The 'best before' is printed a decade from now - 2024. There aren't many beers that get better 10 years after they're bottled, let alone stay remotely as good. How will this one fair, however? Who the hell knows. But if there's one thing you can be sure will survive nuclear fallout, surely Black is it. It should really be drank with the same discretion as cayenne pepper is used in a recipe.

Mikkeller is one of those brands that, for better or worse, people will talk about, write about, and seek out to try even at absurd costs. This one, however, lives up to all hype - both positive and negative - and is undoubtedly worth its price tag, if only for those looking for a truly, extraordinarily unique experience. It even changes as it warms, enough so to write a whole other review!

I've been in the beer reviewing game for well over a decade now - pretty much since it started - and I can think of few beers that have received more simultaneously emphatic love and ferocious hate than Mikkeller Black. This is a stout that can cause even Imperial Stout lovers to quake like mice when the cat is mentioned. It is as peculiar and distinctive as they come.

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Photo of PatronWizard
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The first in a long line of awesome extras from Egledhill in a sick trade. Received today. He may be a jackass, but damn that boy can trade. Since he was nice enough to drink one of the wonderful extras I sent to him, I felt obligated to open something he sent. And since he completely insulted me with all the extra extras, I need to drown my sorrows with a high ABV monster. Let's do it.

I dumped it pretty hard because I thought the alcohol wouldn't allow a head. So I'm dumb. This head stood up and cheered like Erik at a Liberace concert. One inch thick and creamy mocha. Quite nice. Probably don't need to say that the beer is black.

Smell is "damn that's a lot of alcohol." There may be a chocolate undertone but I can't keep my nose over the glass long enough to be sure. I love high ABV, but I think I may be in trouble here, like Erik's flimsy alibi in that missing transvestite case.

Took a taste. Wow. Big bite o'booze, but smooth as silk. Goes down like Erik after dollar drink night. Incredibly smooth. Ridiculously smooth. And boozy. I can taste some nice chocolate on my lips, but only after the mouthful is gone. Strong shit. Man, four drinks in and I already wish I had another to cellar. Looks like this one will stay on my wants. It's a beautiful combination of pleasure and pain like that time I ... <inner voice:"shut up">

Already described the feel but I'll elaborate. It's smooth. Like velvet. Only softer. And smoother. This shit is seriously smooth. And that brutal alcohol beatdown: makes me feel alive, unlike Erik's last date.

Drinkability is tough to call. Would I drink six? Hell yes, just not in a row. I may be down for two though, just to show off.

Warming brings about a dark fruit. Figs? Don't know. Feeling kinda silly after half this bottle. Time for the second glass.

OK, on the real: this beer is not for pussies, like Erik. Good thing I spent several years in high alcohol training with my friends Grey Goose, Johnny Walker, and Patron. Which is why I'm the motherfucking PatronWizard by the way. As this big ass beer seeps in, I find myself happier and happier. Glad I wrote most of this while sipping the first glass. Might even leave a typo, which I despise.

Overall: loved it

 2,235 characters

Photo of tectactoe
2/5  rDev -46.2%

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Photo of tbryan5
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of EastBay_Nick
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of StoutFox
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bishopdc0
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on draft at the Lions Pride in Briunswick ME. Served in a small tulip.

Black with a dark tan head with resideual dark on the glass

Malt and chocolate with a slight alcohol finish nice

The mouth is great starts smooth then quickly turns to a dry roasted and finish. The taste is full of alcohol, roasted barley and malts. The alcohol cuts the sweetness.

For 17% this doesn't drink bad but drink slow to discover the range it gets

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Photo of Chitex78
2.29/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

This beer is undrinkable. Smell is grain alcohol. Taste is grain alcohol. The mouthfeel is decent, but not exactly what you would expect from a stout with an ABV this high. Unless this is a gimmick, shame on you Mikkeller.

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Photo of badbeer
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Opaque black with a creamy tan head that retains extremely well; surprising given the ABV. Smell is really boozy, with some roastiness and bakers chocolate also coming through. Taste is of milk chocolate, caramel, cherries, and espresso. Very intense and good taste; much better than the aroma. Full bodied with medium carbonation. Taste was very good, but I could see how a full bottle of this could take a whole evening. Thanks to DicksMcGee for the sample.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my brother for bringing me this beer from Lafayette, LA.

The beer pours black with no head. Very inky looking with some large brown bubbles. The aroma is dark fruit, alcohol and brown sugar. The flavor is alcohol, smoke, tobacco, chocolate and some sweet malt. The mouthfeel is very oily and no-very low carbonation.

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Photo of BeerDrinkingDiver
4.75/5  rDev +27.7%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of NilocRellim
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured cold from the bottle.

This beer was VERY dark, almost black in appearance, with virtually zero head. The smell was very strong (as a 17.5% beer should smell I suppose), but had very nice notes of fig, malts, chocolate, roasted-ness, and port-wine. The taste is as strong as one would think and pretty much killed the beer for me. The flavours of sweet-fig and coffee are overpowered by the ABV. This beer would be A LOT better if the ABV was lowered so it would not dominate flavours.

Would I buy it again? No. If they made this beer with a MUCH lower ABV I probably would buy it.

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Photo of jewbrew
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had This beer beside a couple amazing bottles of wine.

What a refresher. Although you would think a 17.5% stout would be as dark as most BA's feelings about themselves it's not!

This bottle had notes of roasted malt, vanilla, whisky barrel, caramel, espresso, and a long lasting finish.

Nice medium bodied mouthfeel, nothing overpowered my palate besides some boozy heat. Mikkeller did a nice job making a well balanced stout considering the huge amount of alcohol.

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Photo of fionn13
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of BGDrock
4.21/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: nearly pitch black; dense, milk chocolate head, sticky and leaving big trails of lace - like coffee crema

Aroma: smoke, spices - clove, all spice; perfumy and floral; completely addictive, can't place the scents, and heady with alcohol

Taste & Mouthfeel: big, intense dark roasted malts, tasting of burnt coffee, and oily in the same way; bitter finish imprints itself on the palate and doesn't let go, a combination of the malts and some straightforward hops; a touch of toffee sweetness, some raisin and prunes too; kind of a cola flavour in the sugar, it's deeper than normal; towards the end getting a sense of lactose, creamy mouthfeel, and more mellow coffee notes; alcohol well disguised for 17%

Overall: in the end, becomes a velvety, bitter, coffee dessert, intensity evened out, everything blending beautifully - but the first half of the bottle is a kick in the face

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Photo of williamjbauer
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of chinchill
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2013 version on tap at BrewDog's Aberdeen pub.
Rlack body with a very, very durable and creamy light brown head.
Boozy, intimidating aroma.
Flavor: alcohol is a major part of the flavor profile, but this is an extremely rich ale, with a huge load of malts and plenty of hops. Low level of burnt grain/char.
hidden in the taste.
Medium-full body with near medium carbonation.

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Photo of glid02
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this courtesy of Ding - thanks!

Pours pitch black with a thin dark tan head. The head recedes fairly quickly leaving a wispy layer and a thin ring around the glass without much lacing. It does manage to coat the glass with a light brown film.

Smells of chocolate, dark fruits, and booze. Slight hints of roasted malt come out as well, but the chocolate and dark fruits are definitely more prevalent.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Dark chocolate and dark fruits combine with roasted malts up front, followed by hints of tobacco - not smoke but an earthy taste I'd associate more with chewing tobacco. The ending is mostly sweet but there's a bitterness that comes out a second after the sip. Alcohol is noticeable but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with light carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I certainly didn't struggle to finish the bit that I had, but I'm glad I didn't have to finish the bottle myself.

Overall this was an interesting beer. The hints of tobacco certainly added another dimension to the beer, but I can only recommend this if you have others to share with.

 1,125 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Shawner
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Ryanm1
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 15cl glass from tap at the Beer Temple in Amsterdam. Poured pitch black. Slight brown lacing. The nose is very heavy with an alcohol smell due to the overwhelming alcohol content. Sweetness, fig smell. Taste is that of malt, chocolate, maybe coffee and dark fruit. Highly potent!

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Photo of ImperialStoat
1/5  rDev -73.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2009 Bottle.


Appearance: Muddy red-black with a few feeble bubbles, no head. It looks like Ebola-ridden blood.

Smell: Have you ever washed your hands with hospital soap? Imagine you did and then an old man spat Nescafe onto them. Alcohol and cheap coffee. That's it.

Taste: Syrupy, sickly-sweet ethanol. No distinguishing characteristics of "prunes" or "baker's chocolate" or "vanilla ice-cream" or anything like that - just SUGAR and ALCOHOL and SADNESS. Oh, and don't expect any carbonation to come along and wash the awful taste from your tongue because there is none. That's right: even CO2 has ethical problems with being attached to this beer.

Overall: When Jesus died for our sins, he was specifically talking about Mikkel's production of this beer.


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Black (黑) from Mikkeller ApS
84 out of 100 based on 250 ratings.