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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 (274) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 250 | Hads: 519
Photo of valianes
3.2/5  rDev -14%

So... confused. On the front, its incredible. Rich chocolate, smoke and deep fruit starts this off. Lots of alcohol. Wonderful start. Aftertaste is reminiscent of chewing a pack of stale cigarettes. Weirdest and most unfortunate contrast of flavours. Wish this was a front and less back. Could have been wonderful.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%

-Bottle- Pours a thick, crude oil black. No head. Makes me nearly sure this one is flat. I'm guessing this beer is easily over 2.5 years old. Aroma is incredibly concentrated. Dark fruits, some soy sauce. Fudge and roast and alcohol. The flavor almost tastes like barbecue sauce. Smoky, and incredibly sweet. Intense port qualities. Raisins and dried dark fruits. A little bit of soy sauce. I keep coming back to the BBQ sauce flavor. It doesn't help that this beer (like Black Hole, which I had before this) is completely flat. Not sure if this is intended or not (doubt it) but this is a bit obnoxious. The lack of carbonation allows the beer's horrifyingly giant body to just press down on the tongue. I gave Black Hole a slog pass for its flatness but I'm not going to give this one the same treatment. It feels like I'm drinking brownie batter. This brew has some very impressive traits but they actually become unappealing with no bubbles to help them out.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%

Shared by Isaac today, thanks man.

Pours a deep, dark opaque black, with a small oily film on top, barely qualifies as a head, with no lacing.

Smells like dark bitter roasted malt, intense booze, prunes, raisins, cherries, and chocolate.

This one is incredibly intense in flavor and alcohol. The alcohol is NOT hidden, at all, but it's honestly OK- the booze integrates well, and leaves a searing bitterness on the end of each sip. A good amount chocolate, a ton of roasted malt flavor, and a solid amount of pruny dark fruit flavor. This one is a flavor bomb, amplified times a million.

This one has a medium body, not quite as big and thick as I would've expected, but still solid enough to back everything up. A very, very slow sipper, due to the intense flavors, with practically no carbonation.

An excellent, excellent stout, extreme as all hell, but it works.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12.7 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter
16.8% abv

A - Well, I'd be a fool to call this beer anything except black. It is topped with several inches of mud colored, sticky head.

S - The smell has elements of dark chocolate, anise, alcohol, and floral hops.

T - I taste roasted malt at first. I get kind of a burnt flavor. The alcohol is present and makes itself known. It has a bitter finish that lingers.

M - This beer is a straight 30w. I love thick beers.

O - This beer is exactly how I like my women: dark, thick, and full of alcohol, nom, nom, nom! But really this beer is not that great. It would be great on a cold day to warm you up. The mouthfeel and warming sensation are it's best attributes. I guess I was expecting a sweeter, maltier beer given the abv. The bitterness was not an attribute to my palate.

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Photo of goethean
2.35/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was really looking forward to this beer, and was very disappointed. Appearance was fine, aroma was interesting, taste...not good. Molasses and cheap whiskey are the comparisons that spring to mind. Honestly, if I had brewed this beer, I'm not sure if I would consider it drinkable. ..and I've made some very high gravity, very dark imperial stouts.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle picked up at Jubilation in Albuquerque, New Mexico in February of 2014. New Mexico no longer gets Mikkeller distribution, so this beer is a number of years old, but I couldn't find the date.

I was pretty happy with the appearance until some slimy residue sneaked out at the end. It's got a pitch-black appearance with an oil-like quality and a two finger thick, tan khaki-colored head. It's a good looking beer, but I'm a bit hung up on the residue.

I'm not too sure on the details of what went into this beer, but I get a boozy, bourbon-like aroma. There's oak and some rye spice present, plus a potent vanilla aroma. Some dark chocolate is buried beneath the bourbon, only making its way to my nose after a few whiffs. It smells intriguing, although I'm a tad nervous the bourbon is going to steal the show.

Yikes! This thing is boozy and hot as hell! Almost like sipping a rye on the rocks. There are plenty of pleasant flavors in there: rye, vanilla, bourbon, sweet malt, baker's chocolate; but the alcohol is fiery. This beer is quite astringent. Surprisingly, the beer is still creamy and thick-bodied, so it feels incredibly big in every way. An aftertaste of peaty scotch lingers on my tongue and it has a smoky feel to it.

I must say, this beer is a wealth of flavors and sensations, but got damn if it isn't boozy. After a few sips, my palate seems to slightly adjust and accept the booze, but its still a challenge to drink.

I'd say this beer has potential, but I'd recommend five years of aging minimum.

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Photo of hops202
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a stone snifter.

Poured a dark brown and black color. Aroma is almost toxic. All I smell is an insane amount of alcohol with very slight hints of chocolate and espresso. Taste is fairly similar to the nose. Lots of alcohol, warms as it goes down. Some bitter chocolate and espresso, almost a hint of cannabis which seems very out of place.

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Photo of bryanbullock
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not worth the price!

I can say this is a solid beer but pales in comparison the its competition in the category and the price range

Solid opaque black pour, with a light lacing, desired a darker head.

Smell is alcohol forward, the alcohol is not masked enough for me to detect much but a mild chocolate aroma.

mouthfeel/taste is solid from the start but the finish has a hint of bitterness that leaves you with the need of a palate cleanser.

this is a good beer do not get me wrong but for what it cost there are so many other beers that will blow this one away.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.31/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: served on tap into a short Goose Island glass, I think it really is black with a nice very dark tan head that lingers leaving some lacing, clear

S: lots of chocolate, dark and milk chocolate, molassess, some licorice

T: again lots of flavors of chocolate abound mixed with anise and hints of soy sauce, lots of hot higher weight alcohol and phenol flavors, changes drastically as it warms, very sweet, candy sugar

M: thick and creamy with low carbonation, alcohol is well present and accounted for

O: this is a thick dessert beer, be perpared for the flavors assocated with this high an alcohol content, reviewed from notes taken on 3/6/14

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Celebrating a successful weekend of pre-Spring cleaning, enjoying some warmer temps at long last, and still shaking off the effects of some poorly timed Punishment. This is one of the older beers in the cellar from a trade many moons ago, the provider whose name escapes me but for whom I am most grateful. I do believe there is a date on the cork of 12/12/17, for what that is worth.

Appearance - dark oily pour, no head, bubbling or lace to this one.

Aroma - darkly roasted grain, intense dark chocolate, perhaps a note of soy. Sweet, rich, and intense smelling.

Taste - whoa, heavy on all registers. The grains are roasted but not burnt, but the alcohol burn pushes it that way a little. After all this time, this is about as tame as 17.5 gets. The sweetness plays off some bittersweet flavors, melding the grain and chocolate. I don't know that there is anything to be gained by abv this high, 12 to 14% would have been a better fit. Little carbonation, the swallow is hot and the finish is soy, anise, and lengthy espresso.

Mouthfeel - the carbonation is so low and the body is so thick, this reminds me of Vicks cough syrup. Big, big, big.

Overall - I enjoyed this way more than Punishment, lol. I like 'em sweet, malty, high abv. Some better balance to all that and this is high 4's for me. Improves as it warms (or as the palate adjusts). One to try, glad I had a chance to get a hold of one.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12.7oz bottle from Five Points Bottle Shop (Athens, GA). 16.99. Best by 4/21/13 and purchased last March so I assume bottled 4/21/11. Served in a Burnt Hickory snifter.

Pours coal black with a full two fingers of dense dark tan head that maintains a thin cap throughout and leaves copious lace.

Smells sweet and roasty. Chocolate, caramel, semi charred malts, honey and dark toast.

The taste is unlike anything I've ever had before. Bitter char, dark cocoa, burnt sugar, smoke, black coffee, mild soy sauce, molasses, honey, bittersweet red berry seeds, earthy and a soft but persistent alcohol heat. An interesting balance between sweet, roasty and boozey.

Oily, slick, medium heavy feel with fairly low but noticeable carbonation. Bitter, boozey burnt caramel and molasses finish.

A different take on the big imperial stout. I imagine the 2+ years has toned down the booze but this went down like something closer to 10% than it's 17%. I liked it but it's not something that I feel I'll need to revisit.

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Photo of appetiteforparis
4.75/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Um...everyone who's dogging on this should just go back to drinking their Bud Lights and so on. C'mon people, bring your man cards to the table...This beer is amazingly complex, and perfectly executed. The roasty and smokey qualities come together in perfect harmony. Get it, if you can find it.

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Photo of Asgeirr
4.24/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a abysmally dark, pitch black colour along a tan crown of the thinner variety which slowly dissolves into small remnants, like islands floating amidst this nightly brew.

S: Tons upon tons of roasted,smoked and burnt malt notes, which comes forth in a variety of scents ranging from black espresso, dark cocoa and molasses to peat, (burnt) wood and Macanudo cigars. Alongside those malt scents there is a healthy amount of yeasty tartness in the backdrop.

T: It carries a more upfront sweetness than one would expect to detect. Vanilla, toffee, caramel and alcohol makes one reminisce of good bourbons, such as a 23 year old Pappy Van Winkle's. However allusive as it may seem, since we then get the roasted notes interacting with the aforementioned sweetness. We're talking coffee, and (liquorice) tar acridity by the pound and by the minute. It makes for an interesting contrast, which at some times do collaborate with one another and at times do clash.

M: Thick as a brick, not only does it possess the (lack of) colour of a black hole but also the density. A viscous viscosity that virulently violates weak and weary peoples palates. So creamy and dense at first, then a more coarse and truly dry side appears, and finally the alcohol wraps it up in a noticeably warming finish.

O: Clearly a well-defined yet complex yet complex brew which offers a variety of sensations. It really delivers what it promises, i.e. intense darkness. Or as Nocturno Culto of Darkthrone once put it: "Blackened you say - then black is my way!"

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Photo of Alieniloquium
2.92/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with a huge mocha head. Surprising for a beer this size. Retains a wispy surface throughout with a medium collar.

Smell - Booze. Huge amounts of alcohol. Roasted malt and sweetness.

Taste - Starts off pretty good. Roasted malts, lots of caramel sweetness. Strong roasted malt bitterness in the finish. As it warms, it gets more sweet and more bitter, becoming very sluggish and almost impossible to drink.

Mouthfeel - Incredibly heavy after a while. Booze never feels THAT high, but it's up there.

Overall - I was enjoying it at first. Now I want to drainpour it.

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

Dear people, behold this is not your average USA stout. Shared wirh a friend (lucky I did).

appearance is pitch black with a nice head. Smell is BOOZY with a peated, hoppy coffee aroma.

Taste is bombastic; coffee, alcohol, sweet, roasty malts, with a ridiculous long coffee finish. Very, very boozy; tons of very bitter chocolate. Alcohol is not well hidden, as it is within so many competitors, but it's not disturbing or annoying. It's a class on it's own; it's a prestige thing. Enjoy.

Please share this beer with a friend (or two), or take a whole evening finishing this one by yourself. 'only' 2,5% ystronger than something like BCBS, but this one will blow you away. Despite it's very, very strong character I'd encourage every stout lover to try this one.

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Photo of Rutager
2.85/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

17.5 abv, Holdbar til 15/09/19.

Appearance. Pours thick and black, very still.

Smell. Molasses and rum with a little chocolate and charred malt.

Taste. Dark charred malts, chocolate, rum, quite sweet. Lots of bitter char in the end.

Mouthfeel. Very full body, sticky, and completely flat.

Overall. Another flat, expensive Mikkeller. Not impressed.

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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 prototypic
2.6/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Mikkeller Black pours an onyx color. It’s pitch black. Definitely lives up to its name. No light cuts through at all. It’s not too surprising that it has no head. There are a few bubbles, but they don’t amount to anything. I’m guessing the alcohol’s just too high for that. Obviously, there isn’t much going on in the lace department. Nada. Not bad. Not great.

The nose is a bit below average. The alcohol smell is extremely strong up front. That resonates throughout. It’s boozy. No doubt about it. It’s followed by a decent mix of chocolate and roasted malts. Tough to tell which is stronger. There might even be a slight, sweet milk chocolate presence. Smells charred or burnt on the tail. Might be some espresso or strong roasted coffee. Did I mention it’s boozy? Eh. Not very good.

The flavor’s about on par with the nose. It’s not all that great. Bubbles are noticeably absent right out of the gate. That’s disappointing. There are some decent roasted and chocolate malt flavors. The chocolate tastes like a mix of bittersweet dark chocolate and milk chocolate. Roasted coffee or espresso is definitely strong. It adds a very burnt/charred flavor. It’s a bit much. Alcohol is very, very strong. Definitely warm and boozy. That’s no big shock given that it’s 17.5% Finshes boozy and chocolaty with a very strong burnt flavor.

The body seems medium. It honestly feels a little thin, especially with its size. The lack of bubbles is disappointing. It’s not easy drinking by any stretch. It’s big, boozy, and not very enjoyable. Finishing an entire bottle of this would be work. Glad I’m sharing the bottle.

Black is an interesting beer. I’ve heard horror stories about this beer. Honestly, I don’t think it’s quite as bad as I’d heard. Perhaps it’s aged with a little grace. This bottle is over 5 years old. A couple of tweaks would easily improve it – less alcohol and more bubbles. That’d put it on the right track. Eh. It’s sort of legendary in a way…I guess it’s worth a try.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

not sure the vintage here, but my bottle reads 18.1% abv! WOW! the pour on this isn't nearly as dense as expected for a beer of this size. it is indeed black, coffee colored really, with a surprisingly creamy and rich dark tan head with fabulous retention. looks much more appetizing than expected. the nose is punishingly alcoholic. im smelling this while my girlfriend cleans with rubbing alcohol, and the two aromas are hard to distinguish from one another. there is some coffee tones, and of course burnt malt, but I get sharpie marker more than anything else, it almost stings, but in a good way I think. the flavor is sharp, very boozy, and actually more nuanced that youd imagine. its got some smoke happening, and a great espresso bitterness in the finish. its refined like a dessert wine, calculated, not exactly the mess I anticipated. the bitterness and booze burn lasts well after the finish, effectively rendering my palate useless for an hour or more (fortunately I just went on to drink modelo at an early cinco de mayo party). the buzz from this beer is almost instant. the mouthfeel isnt really thick at all, but it is full bodied of course, and quite well carbonated. it actually is almost creamy when you hold it in your mouth. even if the point of this beer was to make the biggest stout possible in terms of alcohol content and not much else, I think its turned into something quite respectable. way over priced, very hard to drink, but a worthwhile experience at the extreme end of the beer spectrum. always good to get out there on a limb once in awhile...

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

2012 Vintage

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some gentle visible carbonation along the surface. The beer has a two finger tall dark mocha head that slowly reduces to a thick film evenly covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of cognac over some light to moderate aromas of roasted malts and just a hint of chocolate. There is a fair amount of alcohol present in the nose.

T: Similar to the smell, this beer has a light to moderate presence of roasted malts upfront with some light notes of dark chocolate and tobacco. In addition, there is a fairly strong flavor of cognac and moderate to heavy amounts of alcohol present. Light to moderate amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Thick with some moderate to heavy alcohol warmth in the finish.

O: This beer is definitely one to be slowly sipped as there are some intense flavors and heavy amounts of alcohol (which are not very well hidden) present. As the beer warms, it becomes a bit easier to drink but this is really a beer meant for sharing. I would consider a serving size similar to cognac rather than a traditional beer pour.

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Photo of sennin
4.11/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass on February 22, 2013.

A: Pitch black with heavy, sticky lacing. Very little in the way of head but that is to be expected with this type of a high ABV beer (this one being 17.5% ABV).

S: Reminds me of Founder’s Breakfast Stout, but with a much heavier emphasis on chocolate and coffee notes. In fact, this is one of the most chocolate scented stouts that I have ever placed my nose in. But you also get an incredibly strong scent of rum soaked coffee beans as you continue to smell it. Very intense and dark smelling, this seems like it will be a very heavy brew. Even still, I do love the scent and it is very unique and enticing to me.

T: Wow the alcohol is very, very heavy in this beer. First sip is a blast of what I can only describe as rum spiked coffee- heavy emphasis on the rum. After the swallow, I get a very strong taste of bittersweet chocolate and strong espresso. Bitter coffee beans are the lingering taste that remains as I take a break in between sips. Wow, this is definitely one the strongest and most bitter imperial stouts I have ever had. Tastes kind of like a tiramisu with way too much rum added to the recipe. But I can’t say that it’s bad, it’s definitely something you have to get used to though. As I continue to drink I find myself getting more and more used to its taste. Its enjoyable and unique, but the alcohol is a little too high in the mix for my tastes.

M: Smooth and silky, but seems to dry the tongue out as the drinking session goes on. It has a caramel like texture though and is very creamy and rather pleasant. The alcohol is very warming as well and the whole brew develops very well as you let it sit in your mouth and taste its subtle nuances. This is a beer for those very, very cold Michigan nights and I like it very much for that.

Overall, this beer is quite a treat. It is essentially a tiramisu in beer form, but it may have just a little too much alcohol, something that does interfere with being able to truly appreciate and taste this brew. It’s a slow drinker, open it only when you have time to really sit back and enjoy it. It takes awhile for this beer’s subtle nuance to pull through, but once it does, you will be rewarded with an incredibly complex flavor profile, one that is very unique and yet very strong, even for an imperial stout.

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Photo of Resuin
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into a Chimay Chalice. Purchased about a year ago but no dates on the bottle.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown/black with minimal tan head. Looks thick.

Smell: Raisins, figs, a bit of plastic and some (plenty of) alcohol. Some chocolate and coffee definitely in there too.

Taste: Malts and coffee start this one off. Some chocolate in there. Finishes crisp with alcohol - the alcohol isn't hidden but doesn't kill this beer in my opinion.

Mouth-feel: The carbonation is definitely there which is nice for a beer of this strength. Not overly thick.

Overall: The alcohol in this beer definitely has a strong presence within this beer, but it also has some other interesting qualities. The coffee and sweetness definitely comes through to make this is a nice capital "I" Imperial stout.

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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 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 Goblinmunkey7
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage. Cork & cage. Shared with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Pours nearly pitch black. Some slight hints of brown at the edges under direct light, but for all intents it is its name. A tiny, bubbly, very loose, and thin cap. Slightly more carbonation than other stouts of this magnitude. Pours syrupy.

Smell: Sharp bit of alcohol, dark chocolate. Dark fruit abounds. Plum, ripe cherry, and fig. Deeply roasted barley. Some touches of char and deep roast. So much sweetness. Booze and syrupy malt sweetness. Brown sugar sweetness. Deeply caramelized sugars.

Taste: Burnt, booze soaked raisins. Screaming amounts of burnt, over roasted, charred malts. Dark deep fruit; cherries, plums, figs, and raisins. Slightly vinous overall. Aggressive malt sweetness. Caramel and loads of brown sugar. Would be sweet, but the malts are so dry and burnt overall it just can't balance. Fudgey at times. Some nice blasts of cocoa and old leather. Booze soaked burnt ashes.

Mouthfeel: Negligible carbonation. Silky smooth medium-full body. Almost creamy. Screaming alcohol dryness on the back of the sip.

Overall: She dies it black, black, black black no. 1.

This beer is the angsty foreign cousin of the burly American stout. Deeply roasted and saturated with burnt astringent alcohol and malts. This beer was in to goth when it was a punk offshoot.

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