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Black (黑) - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black (黑)Black (黑)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

483 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 483
Reviews: 240
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 18.16%
Wants: 53
Gots: 119 | FT: 6
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 483 | Reviews: 240
Photo of Beer4B
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of beerpirates
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Devi0us
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of bluesplit63
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is all that you expect of a 17.5 ABV.
Poured into a crystal glass, this beer is as dark as it gets. The rich creamy bubbly brown head builds three fingers high, dissipates into no lacing.
The smell is coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits like plum, black cherry, fig and dates.
Tasting the beer, the strong alcohol presence, suggests to treat this one as a sipper.
Black cherries, plum and figs are at the front, being combined with more dark bitter chocolate flavors as well as coffee in the middle. The beer will warm you up nicely with a good dose of booze. I really liked this interpretation of an imperial stout.
It is imperial!!

Photo of Neffbeer
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Jet black in color with a strong tan head, excellent retention. As the mushroom cloud forms it leaves a great deal of lacing.

S: Cognac and Port notes jump out. After the booze swoon passes a bit I can pick out some smoked and darkly roasted malts with a hint of fig jam. Oddly enough a touch of soy sauce rears its' head, strange.

T: It tastes like a dank ass port, flat out. Sweet up front, but wait...there is an acrid bitterness that just comes out of the woodwork in the finish. I don't know how to classify this beer at this point, a serious style bender. Some coffee and caramel flavors creep out as it warms, but they are well masked by the high gravity in this brew. That said, there is almost no hint of alcohol anywhere to be found. Mystifying to say the least.

M: Thick and a bit syrupy. It coats the palate and leaves behind a haze of black malty bitterness.

D: Would I buy this beer again? Probably not. Was it an interesting brew? Yes. In the end I enjoyed giving this one a go and tip my hat as always to the brewers at Mikkeller. They continue to push the boundries of beer in very interesting ways. Cheers.

Photo of StlHopHead77
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of macesq
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of megahurts4
4.52/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Mikkeller Black

Appearance: Dark brown with almost no lacing.

Smell: Alcohol, dark chocolate, slight coffee, and roasted malts.

Taste: Roasted malts, dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, and a subtle hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and heavy.

Wow. This is definitely one of the strongest beers available in flavor and alcohol content (17.5% ABV). Don't mistake strong for bad! This is actually very tasty and good. It starts off sweet and ends in a bitterness.

Photo of khiasmus
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had at kkipple's house. Thanks for the taste of a beer that won't be released for a while.

A- Almost. Almost black. One of the darkest tan heads I've seen, and retains and laces beautifully.

S- Alcohol, burnt grain, burnt toast, burnt sugar, burnt espresso, burnt molasses, burnt rubber, (a pattern, perhaps?) medicine, did I say alcohol? It comes down to alcohol and burntness. One whif, and you just feel... dark. this beer smells evil. Like all that represents what is devilish, profane, and wicked in the world.

T- Unbelievably sweet. Desperately sugary - not molasses, just bleached white sugar. Burnt espresso, burnt cocoa and alcohol. Followed quickly by the harshest, most intense, most evil burnt ash imaginable. Tastes like the day after the whole world burns. "Black" is the only word to describe the taste, or perhaps "death" or "evil" or "satanic" or "numbing." This is what beer will taste like in hell. This beer should truly be named Ruination - it makes Ruination taste like sweet cream. Black currants and black bread, both burnt to a crisp, of course. Tastes like a glass of liquified Hitler's soul. Utopias, Dark Lord, whatever the most intense flavor you can bring to mind - Think about what it would be like if you dropped it into a volcano and then scooped it out with Stalin's skull. That's what this is like. Nothing tastes anywhere near this strong. Probably never will.

M- Thick, silky, oily, viscous, and ridiculously astringent in the acrid and warming finish.

D- This beer is painful, but you must try it. Your face will fall off, your mind will explode.

Photo of Nickls
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

(From notes)

A - Nearly black color, and even though had a more vigorous pour, really couldn't get a well-developed head.

S - Really peppery alcohol, boozey, whisky aromas. Almost a bit of a savory aroma, followed up with a punch of really dark fruit sweetness. Just a hint of roasted malts

T - After the initial shock of alcohol, the taste is very deep in its Imperial Stout qualities, pretty sweet underneath the alcohol burn and fewer roasted qualities than I would have like for the style. Just to be clear, this brew was beyond hot in the alcohol taste and really was overpowering to the detriment of the brew.

M - Pretty viscous, with a small tinge of carbonation. The alcohol burn really confused things here for me.

D - The booze really drives this portion of the rating down for me. I understand what Mikkeller was trying to do, and I really think aging this brew is more important than anything I can say in this review. In short, barely drinkable for me given the alcohol shock in the flavor.

Overall, this is definitely experimental and I am glad to have had the opportunity to try it. I would not buy this again, or at least try it again, unless it had been aged for quite some time. Way too hot fresh. I'm sure that this could be a complex and interesting brew otherwise.

Photo of treyrab
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to a fellow BA for sharing this monster. Poured it into a pint glass...

A: You cannot get blacker than this. No hints of brown anywhere to be seen. Dark brown small head.

S: Tons of soy sauce in the nose that dominates. There is also coffee and bitter chocolate. And, of course alcohol.

T: The taste is masked a bit by the incredible alcohol profile. Alcohol and coffee are the two main flavors noticed, but there are some dark fruits in there as well.

The other bottle is going to be aged for my great, great, great grandchildren. By that time, this should be ready!

Photo of DRTBrewster
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of CraftFan5
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of socalbrewlvr
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of nhindian
1.39/5  rDev -63.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Blind Beer #8 from Khazadum, with the text: "You may want to be careful with this one."

Poured into a large snifter from a 375ml bottle; corked, capped, and foiled. This cork was a bitch to get out as well.

A - Oh my God does this beer re-define darkness or what. I can't say I've seen anything pour as dark as this beer to date, and even the thinnest parts of my snifter are still obscured by this liquid. Absolutely no head at all and no lacing, but there are some serious alcohol legs on this. I was actually a bit astonished when this poured out, since it was a corked and caged green bottle... Seriously scary looking. (3.5/5)

S - I have seen hell, and now I smell it. This is a frightening aroma, no doubt about it. If I could imagine what the inside of a witch's cauldron brewing the potion of immediate death, this is it. It's an insane melange of intense soy sauce, chocolate, burnt plastic, slight smoke, anise and lots and lots of booze mixed with fruits. I am honestly afraid to put this anywhere near my mouth. (2/5)

T - No. NO. I take a small sip and almost immediately gag. This is liquid fire and brimstone and sulphur and if anyone wondered why the world didn't end this weekend, it's because the Rapture was contained in this Pandora's bottle. It's a ton of soy mixed with teriyaki and immediately my mouth repels it. I seriously can't believe how awful this is. Lots of alcohol. I don't want to taste this again to get more accurate descriptors, sorry. After some persuasion, I try again. This beer is insanely cloyingly sweet and makes Dark Lord look like a baby. If you thought Avery Mephistopheles had a ton of black licorice, the anise in this is remarkable. (-5000/5)

M - Unfortunately even the tiniest sip of this invades the palate and coats the mouth in it's vileness. It's flat, thick, lifeless, and I can feel it sucking my youth and vitality through my gums and tongue. (0/5)

D/O - Is this joke? The fact that whoever made this took the time to cork it with an impenetrable rubber cork, a cage, and cover it in foil makes me think that was the most effort they put into making this beer. But if I were them, I'd make it as hard and disheartening to open this beer, too. (LOL/5)

If I hadn't received Sam Adams Triple Bock in a trade literally today, I would guess that, but failing that I can't say I've heard of anything approaching this train wreck.

The reveal: Mikkeller Black (黑). I honestly was thinking Mikeller after seeing the blackness come from that kind of packaging, but dismissed it immediately after tasting it. I am reading the other reviews for it and they must be joking. I'm surprised this beer is only 17.50% ABV. There is no way this beer could ever be considered an A+ in some people's eyes. There's no way. I see you left the price tag on this, and I honestly feel sorry that you paid $16.50 for this.

I am hoping I was wrong in my last review that Envious was a killshot because after this, I feel like I just got shot thrice.

This beer gets the honor of being only the second or third beer I've ever drainpoured.

Photo of IAmHollywood13
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of mtomlins
2.36/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Bloody hell, Mikkeller Black Death would be a more appropriate name!! I knew this was a beast of beer going in, but Black has dethroned Voodoo Maple Bacon Doughnut as the worst beer I have ever had. I was impressed with the monster, black head and incredible lacing, and the nose was not offensive, but it simply tastes bad! It's a sucker punch in a bottle with ash tray and 'concentrated soy sauce that was then further reduced and finally left to spoil at room temperature with raw chicken' flavors dominating everything, even the hope that I will ever be able to taste again.

The best use of these extra bottle we all bought for cellaring with dreams of Black evolving into something delicious are better used as a boat anchor…or as a club to flog oneself about the head and shoulders for being so stupid as to buy multiples of this swill.

Photo of rhinos00
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Much thanks to forgetfu for opening this bottle up along with the whiskey, islay, peated and cognac variants. Poured from a bottle.

A- Dark as tar. Jet black. No head to speak of.

S- Alcoholic with a sweet chocolate, brownie, molasses background. Bit of a steak sauce quality to it as well.

T- Holy sugar! Very sweet upfront with plenty of residual sugar abound. Chocolate malts make their presence known midway through. Finish is on the sweet side with a bit of a charred character. Alcohol was very well hidden.

M- Very disappointing aspect of the beer. Way too thin for a beer of this size and magnitude.

D- While the alcohol aspect was kept in check, the sweetness was just bordering on too much to bare...and that's with a small pour.

Overall, of the vertical that was opened up, this one was one of my least favorites. Interesting beer, but too sweet for my liking.

Photo of Schmoog
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Beerdudenumberone
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of photomike
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch one, going on 2 years old, I believe.

Extremely difficult to remove the cork from the green 375ml bottle.

Poured very aggressively to yield what can only be described as "loose bubbles." Not really a head per se, but a funny little patch of black ringed bubbles. Deep, dark and intimidating. A small ring of bubbles forms eventually and sticks around for a while. Weird dotty lacing.

Smell is of soy sauce and port. In a kinda nice way. Deeply sweet vinous scents (overripe blackberries, rum-soaked orange peel, blueberries) are counteracted by a briny saltiness and vapory alcohol. Complex and intense.

Taste is at least as intense. Boy this is a punisher. Sweet up front, with plum, date and raisin flavors quickly turning into something completely different. Ashy, intensely bitter flavors of tobacco, chalk, earth, and extremely dark chocolate lead into a dry, astringent finish. This is a whole lot of beer.

Even with 2 years of age on this, the beer is still quite hot. Nearly still, there's a nice, oily mouth coating and slick texture.
Quite astringent, but otherwise pretty pleasurable.

The definition of a sipper. Tasty, but take your time.

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been dying to try this! Finally available at a beer distributor near me!!! Hoping it's worth the $15.99!

A- Poured into my DFH Signature glass... Darker than the fur on an Italian woman's back... a huge deep tan head that fades kinda quickly, but leaves more lacing and cobwebs than any brew I've ever poured! It sits still as an ink well with no noticable carbonation. Sticky like Strawberry Diesel!

S- Coffee and licorice are the first thing that bust you in the face!!! Deep roasted malts... very woody and unctuous... dark cherry fruits, raisins, figs and more over the top burnt malts! Picking up just a bit of alcohol and chocolate. Roasted espresso and good n plenty dominate! Roasted malt sweetness and bitter coffee balance nicely. Not picking up even a trace of hops (pine/citrus/fruit).

T- OMG! Like a glass of dark death... Roasted espresso, licorice twizzlers, and bitter cocoa! HUGE alcohol punch that totally suits this brew! I love high alcohol stouts and barleywines!!! This is fabulous! I understand those of you that don't... but damn this is sharp, bitter, subtly sweet, and delicious!!! Real roasted coffee flavor... not overdone like alot of coffee brews that offer nothing else!

M- If you dig coffee and roastiness in your Stouts... this could be your Holy Grail!!! Thick, sticky, nice alcohol burn, and it makes my tongue say WOW!!! No carbonation... but probably the stickiest brew I've ever had!

O- This is rediculous!!! Not as sweet as some, more real coffee bitterness than others... This quickly has become one of my favorite stouts!!! Worth every penny as far as I'm concerned!!! Wish it was in 12oz bottles! Get it or don't... I do! Forget the price and try this if you can!!!

Photo of ludachris
4.61/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 4oz tulip, its head takes up half the glass at three fingers high. It's dense and sticky, coating the sides of the glass as it slowly recedes. Its rich tan shade gives it a menacing look. The body is black in the middle with chestnut brown edges. She's a burly looking lassie.

The first impression sounds funny as I type it; soy sauce, olive juice, and ethanol. Thankfully, it doesn't take much digging to get to its core. Boozy and warm dark chocolate, cocoa powder and a rich coffee bean roast. It smells like it has the density of sweet pumpernickel bread or chocolate cake. Its zip of booze and burnt sugar is the icing on top. Ripe chocolate covered field berries come to the forefront as it opens up.

The taste is intense and alive. Its alcohol content paints the palate and clears the nostrils. In small sips there's a soothing warmness that goes with it. Its flavor profile comes in layers. Sweet booze soaked raspberries and strawberries come first. Cake chocolate, rye bread, and cocoa powder give it a deep richness. As it nears the finish, its rye bread quality turns dry and meshes with a coffee bean roastiness with a pleasant bitterness.

Full bodied with an intense chewy richness. The finish is dry and long. Its warming feel is intoxicating.

This is an incredible double stout. The ways its ABV is rendered in the nose and taste is exceptional. It's fully integrated and adds to its sweetness, richness, and weight without ever being overbearing. Its complexity is what kept me taking sip after sip. I'm a big fan of Mikkeller and how creative and experimental his beers can be and this tops everything I've had from him to date. It's only almost 3 months in but this is my best beer of 2015 thus far.

Photo of dragonWhale
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Finally it is time. For a year and a half, this bottle has looked into my soul. The infamous Black. A fearful approach at the synthetic cork. Satan's hiss. Tyrannically black with only the smallest of bubbles.
There is alcohol, oh, dear. Molasses, chocolate, gunpowder, thick malts, caramel, dragon's breath, samurai sweat, and sweet fear. Hot hot hot! Me likey. Little bit of roast and hop bitterness, but it is supplementary and not overpowering. The alcohol rules this beast, riding the snake.
Despite the heat, very drinkable. Hoowah!

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Black (黑) from Mikkeller ApS
86 out of 100 based on 483 ratings.