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Black (黑) - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black (黑)Black (黑)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

482 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 482
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: 482 | Reviews: 240
Photo of BDTyre
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This borders on hard liquor! Dark body, dark khaki head. Winey, roasty smell. Coffee and dark chocolate lurk in the background.

Wine, whisky and dark, roasted malts. Not much else.

Very thick...not bad..but this really is a night cap. At (barely noticeable) 17.5% this is pretty much the beginning and the end.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.65/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Eulogy, Philadelphia, PA, 6/17. From notes.

Came to the table with a toasted mocha head, and the color simply lived up to the beer's name. Black, black and and more black. Head stuck around longer than a beer of this size typically does.

Aroma was intense shots of black licorice, caramel, coffee, graham cracker, vanilla, chocolate and alcohol.

Guess what? The flavor was just about the same, and it was all balanced wonderfully, with new sensations and impressions emerging with every sip. Coffee was rather pronounced, with vanilla, chocolate, big juicy-ass cherry, graham cracker and totally in-check alcohol giving everything a cozy flair of warmth. Coffee is thankfully well-incorporated and doesn't overtake everything else, but it remains the most dominant flavor.

Unbelievably round, creamy, silky and gooey on the tongue. Really doesn't get much better than this.

Drinkability? Whatever...this is a sipping beer, and shouldn't be docked points for not being sessionable. Because a bland golden lager isn't really one to swirl in the snifter and savor slowly, is it? So I'll give drinkability a 4 and leave it at that. Marvelous. Superb. And other assorted hyperbole.

Photo of juju7
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Polarising stuff. Pours jet black with hardly any carbonation or head. Leaving it not much to look at or get excited about, even if it is appropriate to style. Hey, the bottle is green! Couldn't tell when the beer was in it-the definition of opaque. This kicks you in the nuts pretty hard. Very interesting port-madiera kind of vibe. I'm actually struggling to get past those flavours. Some tar, molasses and a slight roastiness. Sweet and pleasurably painful on the palate. A beer for the S&M enthusiasts out there. Rich and complex and quite alcoholic, sticks to your lips. Truly unique with a character of it's own. A beer that bitch slaps you and makes you get down on your knees to worship at it's altar of beery godness.

Photo of TrueRates
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Synthetic cork has is printed 12/17. Quite the pain in releasing the cork from the bottle, but once done, very little hiss came through. Poured dead flat jet black that has gorgeous lacing. Aroma is ash, burnt charcoal, espresso, couverture chocolate. The taste is superb! Heavy roast black coffee, aged Madeira like with great acidity, thin body that just has so much depth in flavor, and lastly a melange of booze soaked harvest fruit. Finish is long lasting and just glorious. I'd imagine this beer aged in Islay barrels would be total top-notch. Some iodine, earth, and peat would just put this one in the winner's circle. Yum, yum, yum!!!

Photo of mdagnew
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle bought online from The Cracked Kettle, Amsterdam... probably a couple of years old now this bottle...

Poured deep inky black - nothing gets through even when held up to the light. Barely any head - what there is pours a murky brown colour and this fades instantly... no lacing at all...

Where to start with the aroma !! Rich booze soaked fruit loaf, lots of charred sootiness, dark bitter chocolate, strong liquorice, very sweet smelling - lots of black treacle and muscovado sugar, cigar smokiness, alcohol soaked fruit (blackcurrants, dates, raisins, prunes), roasted nuts - praline, soy sauce and balsamic...

Taste - Very sweet initially with lots of black treacle, balsamic and soy sauce. After the sweetness comes lots of charred smokiness with definite cigar notes, sweet espresso, very boozy - maybe just a little on the hot side, cough mixture notes, aniseed, alcohol soaked dried fruits (raisins, currents and prunes), bitter chocolate...

Feel - Very smooth and oily... very full bodied... needless to say that this one is a sipper at 17.5% !!

Overall - A superb example of an extreme impy stout and much more balanced than I was expecting... highly recommended...

Photo of PartyBear
2.63/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Massively thick viscous jet black liquid, with a small dense creamy tan head, and light carbonation. It look fantastic. The nose is hugely dark and heavy, with roasted malts, chocolate, rich coffee, and big booze hint of alcohol at the end. The taste is initially sweet with an overly sugared cough syrup way (not good), this is followed by a massive swing to a powerful bitterness, with a burnt charcoal flavour, brutal rubber-like taste, and a not so well hidden punch of alcohol. The taste is a huge letdown. I love Mikkeller beers, and will buy anything that Mikkel brews but this one just doesn't work.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

12.7oz bottle from Wilbur's in Ft. Collins. $17.

A. Pitch black with an extrememly dense head, light brown. The head looks like it was poured from a nitro tap. Completely opaque, nice rings of lacing, looks like an imperial stout should. Excellent.

S: rich chocolate, fair amount of coffee and a decent amount of booze, but it isn't overwhelming. Behind the booze is a nice note of brown sugar and molasses. Lots of decent flavors in the nose.Black cherry is a nice undertone as well. Not too shabby here. Strong burnt flavors.

T: hugeness. Everything in this beer is huge. Roastyness is the first thing that hits the tongue followed by a huge sweetness from both the chocolate and a generally strong malty sweetness. Incredibly strong bitterness from the roasted malt, its not as bad as chewing on charred food but rivals that. Lingering bitterness and a huge coffee profile just stick in the mouth. This is a double-imperial stout, everything in the imperial stout classification is doubled in this beer flavorwise.

M: thick. No other way to describe it, this is the thickest beer I've ever had. Boozey to no end, and warming, a little less booze would be nice but this is awesome.

D:definitely a sipper, this is just too much to drink in any amount, but this Is incredibly enjoyable. I definitely recommend this to anyone that enjoys huge beers, especially stouts. Definitely beats the pants off of DFH WWS in the extreme imperial stout category. Nice beer. Recommended.

Photo of Gobzilla
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

350ml caged and corked

A: poured black as night with a thin slighty brown head and very little lacing.

S: very good smell of roasted malts chocolate and a very tiny bit of hops in the back. Not a whole lot of a booze considering it's a 17% ABV beer.

T: the taste was fenominal with the malts chocolate and booze all coming together to produce a wonderful smack on my palate. At the end I got a hint of a bit of bitterness that doesn't take away from the overall taste.

M: was full bodied with just a good amount of carbonation to top off this great dark monster.

D: I could drink lots of this beer but would have to take it easy cause of the ABV's on the brew. Would defenitely try to get another one of these.

Photo of DefenCorps
1.33/5  rDev -65%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

On tap at Max's today. Received thanks to a bartender error.

As before, this is jet black with a dense, dark brown head with great retention and lacing. In fact, 3 hours later, there was still a thin ring present (and about 5 of my 6oz).

The nose is horrific but not as bad as the bottle I had. Merely a combination of sickeningly sweet sugar syrup and a mild burning rubber character. Some roast is noticeable as well, but this is all sweet. The palate opens with a disgusting sweetness followed by a trainwreck of a burning rubber character, just awful with some alcohol and some licorice. Sweet in flavor and drying and hot on the finish, this is undrinkable. Just putrid and vile.

Photo of drpimento
4.31/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Well. This is a crazy assed beer. A freight train of flavor. Cork had the slightest (almost thought I'd imagined it) burp. Poured with a tan soap bubble head and no lace. Aroma is VERY roasty malty molasses volatile with hints of cocoa & coffee. Flavor is like aroma but brings out a lot more of everything. Including the alcohol. Although it does disappear quickly in the finish. Body so lush and was at first thought undercarbonated, but upon reconsideration really good for this beer. Of course not a session.

Photo of chefmikeanderson
3.02/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After taking 10 minutes of trying to get the "cork" out:

A: Super dark with really no head at all. I poured from about a foot above my glass and just got bubbles but no real head.

S: Big smell of alcohol which i would expect. Smells like a chocolate liquor with coffee and just a touch of soy sauce. has a port quality to it which i enjoy but huge in alcohol

T: Bitter dark chocolate at first then after swallowed the coffee hits me. Theres some sort of raisiny date taste goin on and still that little bit of soy sauce comes out. it has a little rum influence kind of as well. Picture a dark rum with chocolate and coffee with a strange really bitter raisins soaked in a sweetened soy sauce

M: my mouth gets totally dried out with a very very low carbonation feel

D: Considering this beer is 17.5% its not to bad. the alcohol doesnt get in the way of drinking this for me... its the taste that gets in the way. I wanted to like this beer so much after reading a good bit of negative reviews but it just isnt happening. I shared this with a few non BA's and half of them liked it so maybe this is just a hit or miss kind of beer. Im glad i tried it but i wont make a special trip to get another

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 Richardberg
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured into a chalice. Totally jet black. Inky; not super vicious like some big stouts. No head despite chilling and a vigorous pour; a few bubbles discernable.

S - burnt malt dominates. Leans toward sweet/syrupy. Yummy mix of all the usual stout aromas: java, cocoa powder, smoke, even peat. Ethanol, of course, though not the rocket fuel it couldve easily become.

T - primarily sweet, but lots of dark chocolate. Alky comes out and makes its presence known. Coffee remains but the utterly smoky/burnt character is actually a little muted.

M - full bodied, very oily, and fairly sticky.

D - a sipper, naturally. And a good one. But for something so expensive I'd want something more than just a really strong dark chocolate...not super complex & too sweet to be a truly elite beer among the ultra strong category.

Photo of Mora2000
3.8/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of alkchrios
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one to share with a friend. At 17.5 it absolutely packs a punch. Pours a jet black with a burnt caramel colored half inch head. Smells of roasted coffee beans and chocolate. Also hints of dried fruits are present. Since this is a 17.5 ABV you can smell hints of the booze. As for the taste.. the alcohol is not overbearing oddly enough although I think drinking one or two of these is probably enough. The taste to me is sweeter than I expected..you still get flavors of chocolate and coffee as well as a smokey earthy flavor. Dried fruits are also present on the pallet. Slight carbonation gives way to, not a rough finish.. but not the smoothest finish ever. The taste lingers on. I absolutely love this beer and suggest everyone try one at some point.


Photo of kzoobrew
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 12.7 oz bottle. 12/12/17 printed on the cork.

Still black liquid poured into snifter. Opaque body with no signs of carbonation. Absolutely zero head. A few bubble linger on the edge but are only barely worth mentioning. The lack of carbonation concerns me as I go on.

Intense. The aroma is just huge. Dark roasted malt, rich roasted malt and coffee all in copious amounts. The only thing that could over power the previously mentioned attributes is the booze, oh and it does. Very sweet liqueur like alcohol presence. The aroma is brash and boozy but I think that is to be expected. While it is certainly a lot to take in it is very enjoyable. Aroma has everything I look for in an Imperial Stout, and a lot of it.

As I take my first sips, I feel like this may be the first beer I have been overwhelmed by. With a beer named Black the appearance is obvious. This beer tastes black. Charred malt, chocolate and java flavors are all very strong and equally dark. An intense sweetness backs up the darkness to remind you that you are not actually drinking charcoal. The use of dark cassonade provides an intense sweet flavor. Booze once again presents itself as a sweet liqueur.

Full bodied brew, which is no surprise. The surprise to me the the almost creamy texture. There is zero carbonation, this is much closer to drinking straight booze. Champagne yeast leaves a very dry finish, works very well.

Black is absurd and overwhelming, no doubt. Unapologetically big and boozy. This is not everyones cup of tea but it works for me. Now you would only need more than one of these in a sitting if you have a death wish. Personally, I like living and will stick with one. The price and nature of this beer do not make it one which will be consumed often, I will seek it out again though.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Portland. Bottle to chalice.

A: Black, on finger, khaki head, big bubbles. Resides to thin head and ring of foam around the edge of glass. Good spotty lacing too.

S: Alcohol, chocolate, licorice, some champagne alcohol as well.

T: Intensely sweet, molasses, chocolate, coffee, tobacco, licorice, caramel, toffee, and alcohol. Complex, quite smokey too.

M: Low carbonation. Very viscous and chewy. Very warm all the way through from the alcohol.

D: I mean, 17.5 abv, the highest alcohol beer I've ever tried. Very good for the abv, but I couldn't have more than one or two bottles. Great for cold weather. Gets you warm real quick.

Photo of deereless
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Absolutely pitch black, a swirl of the glass shows some serious viscosity, lots of sticky head and apparent lacing - 4.50, S: Thick and intense aromas, the standard coffee and chocolate common in Imperial Stouts but there are also quite a few unknowns which I can assume are the cassonade and the champagne yeast, has a grapefruit or currant-like aroma, hint of wood and licorice - 4.50, T: Intensely boozy, extremely sweet, like raisin juice, the champagne yeast imparts some truly unique flavors, flavors of Bundt cake that has been soaked in rum-raisin ice cream chased with a mocha frappuccino, an intense beer all around -4.75, M: Some serious gooeyness mixed with a smooth creaminess - 4.50, D: Insanely intense and unusual beer, a great sipper and one that I enjoyed immensely - 4.50

Photo of drabmuh
2.26/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Beer on tap at a local beer bar. Part of a special tap line-up for New Years Day. Heard this was going to be there and excitedly ordered an 8 ounce pour. I can describe this beer in two words, TOO MUCH!

Beer served in a belcher. Beer is black (as the name would imply). Really black, forms a brown head (dark brown) of medium and small bubbles. Head falls away leaving a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is impossible to tell but it can't prop the head up, must be low.

There are only two things I can find in the nose of this beer, 1. alcohol makes up about 90% of the aroma, the remaining 10% is roast, coffee and burnt malt.

This beer is dry, but before it dries your mouth out it punches you in the face with a biting alcohol and an avalanche of coffee in the back of the mouth. As I drink it I begin to dread every sip as it gets progressive more aggressive the more I drink. I begin to get nervous that I won't be able to finish my mere 8 ounces, but I prevail, barely. Time for water, food and then after my tongue recovers and can taste again, another beer.

I would cautiously try this beer again under the right circumstances, maybe in the bottle that has been aged. This is an odd beer, the reviews swing between super high and super low, kind of like Sam Adams Triple Bock or Samichlaus. Since this is the case I would hazard a second sampling.

Photo of jdklks
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The name "Black" is certainly descriptive of the appearance of this one. It has only the slightest amber edges when directly backlit. The head is almost non-existent, as there is little or no carbonation to speak of. However, the bubbles that do appear tend towards the edges of the glass and are light brown (think not very chocolatey chocolate milk). The smell is huge, bursting with alcohol, chocolate and molasses. Hints of caramel and vanilla as well. Though alcohol dominates, it is done well here, and is very enticing.

This beer would benefit from a lot more carbonation, but DAMN is it still good! Warning: only for drinkers who don't mind super-alcoholic beers. Once you overcome the nose-burning, eye watering alcohol burn, a pleasant cherry sweetness filters through, and introduces all of the flavors promised by the smell. Lots of chocolate, molasses and caramel, and lots and lots of alcohol (goddamn). Super roasty in the finish and aftertaste, which gets slightly unpleasant if you wait too long between sips (leaves an ashy or burnt cardboard taste). Certainly one of the most intense beers I've tried, and it is accompanied by an immediate buzz.

The mouthfeel lacks in carbonation is perhaps too hot (the alcohol lingers on the palate long after it is welcome). Further, I feel like my palate is dying an excruciatingly slow death. It is nice and thick though. Drinkability is so low because, well, there is no way I could drink more than one of these. Very good in small portions, but is not recommended for extended drinking sessions.

Photo of tpd975
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep dark black. Small mocha head, no retention or lace.

S: Smoke, ash, char, soy.

T: Nice balance of sweet and char. Cane sugar and brown sugar up front. The back end is earthy tar, smoke, and lots of char. Strong notes of burnt coffee, and a bit of alcohol burn.

M: Full in body, bitter finish.

D: Not drinkable, but very interesting and dare I say good.

Photo of vacax
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 mL bottle with black foil, PVC mushroom cork and cage. The beer pours black (what else, come on) with a few scattered bubbles. The beer is somewhat glass coating, the way only a select few beers are which tend to be in the upper echelon alcohol range. The smell is smokey, like hickory, with some pruney malts and some obvious alcohol. I rather enjoyed the smell, almost like a fine tobacco and this "smoke bomb" is a definite departure from the sugar and booze bombs that are getting more commonplace.

The flavor consists of prune-like malts, gobs of smoke (like hickory smoke or even liquid smoke seasoning), and a light fruity tinge to it all. The finish is roasty with burnt black malts that actually rounds it out quite well. The body only seemed to be of a medium level with a low carbonation, which was surprising but not at all bad. I have to say my compatriots and I enjoyed sharing this cellared brew, though it is definitely a beer best enjoyed at the end of a night--the intense smokey and burnt malts will certainly wreak havoc on a palate.

Photo of ShogoKawada
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

small bottle, corked and caged, foil topped.

A- Black as midnight, no head to speak of, pretty good pour. One of the darkest beers I've ever seen.

S- Malts, sweet, sugary, woozy boozy etc. Impossibly malty, sweet, syrupy. Powerful, potent, not off-putting but STRONG.

T- Wow. A sip is almost too much. Chocolate, coffee, expresso, bitter and sweet, tart, dark fruit, a real flavor bomb. Like drinking Satan's soul. More complex than World Wide Stout.. for better or worse.

M- Boozy. Thick. Almost too much. Took a while to finish this one.

D- Low. But I saw that one coming.

I'd have to give the nod to WWS... although I really like this beer. It's a bit more complex, a bit more demanding, and a bit less rewarding than WWS.

Worth seeking out, worth cellaring for YEARS, this one will age with the best of them.

Photo of ToasterChef
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from my tasting notes. Served in my 20oz Uprising chalice. I knew I wanted to try this beer, but I didn't really know much about it. Russ, my server, described it as "roofing tar with sugar."

Appropriately, this beer is black like the night. There is a brown foamy head that leaves impressive lacing. There is a coffee bean bitterness to the aroma. It's malty and robust. I summed up the taste as strong, dark, bitter, alcoholic. That seems to cover it, except for the syrupy sweetness that instantly hits you as you taste the beer. The 17.5% ABV is also very present in the taste; lots of alcohol. It leaves a sugary coating in your mouth. The body is very heavy and has low carbonation. I could only drink one of these in a sitting, and I'll probably never order one again. It's a strong, intimidating beer. I probably should have been better prepared for what I ordered and not made it my last beer of the night. Order this one carefully.

Photo of csmiley
2.1/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A - It's black. No light is able to penetrate the egdes of my glass. The high abv keeps any real head from forming. There are a couple patches of foam here and there but that's it. No lacing to speak of. Pretty much what I expected.

S - Big dark fruit aromas permeate the entire aroma. Cherry, plum, raisin, they are all there. Some chocolate creeps in toward the end. Of course, at 17.5%, alcohol dominates. Period.

T - Taste is actually pretty bad. Think fingernail polish remover mixed with rubbing alcohol and chocolate covered cherries. This is just not for me. On the plus side, it does have a sherry kind of flavor going on. That doesn't even come close to pulling the flavor out of the gutter though.

M - Full bodied with little to no carbonation. Finish is hot and sweet with the dark fruit that seems to come and go. If your wondering, it's HOT.

D - Drinkability is non-existant. It's just too harsh and hot to enjoy on any level. Don't bother letting it warm because it is just as bad at room temperature. I know Mikkeller has produced some fine brews but this one should have gotten the axe before it was even released. Avoid.

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Black (黑) from Mikkeller ApS
86 out of 100 based on 482 ratings.