Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Black (黑) - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black (黑)Black (黑)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

255 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 255
Hads: 532
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 26.34%
Wants: 57
Gots: 143 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS
Denmark | 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 (295) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 255 | Hads: 532
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.

 2,347 characters

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.

 815 characters

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!

 291 characters

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.

 591 characters

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.

 1,348 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this beer

Consumed 12/8/12

Note: 2009 or 2010 bottle(?)

Appearance: Deep, inky black - pours with a small, dark brown head - keeps a light, fizzy ring - still, brooding

Smell: Holy buckets of booze, Batman - loads of alcohol, as I guess I would expect for 17.50% - charred, burnt - hyper caramelized, with loads of brown sugar and molasses - sweet, in a brown sugary way

Taste: In a word, boozy - burnt, dark fruit - caramelized fruit, dark caramel, molasses - loads of brown sugar, so sugary it's almost like they added brown sugar post-fermentation - touch of soy sauce - roasty, like concentrated, sweet espresso - very sweet, very boozy - intense, with a few years of aging

Mouthfeel: Medium-ish body, syrupy and oily, but not in a heavy way - alcoholic like a liqueur, with a hot aftertaste

Overall: It's like... a liqueur

Well, this is ridiculous. Even with years of aging, it's hot and ridiculous. I wouldn't describe it as a hot mess, but it's a challenge to even sip this. At the very least, it's very interesting.

 1,067 characters

Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
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!!

 643 characters

Photo of tendermorsel
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Craft Beer co in London.

I have had this before in bottle and I thought it was a hot gross mess. I guess it is a different beer on draft?

Thin crema-like head. Long lasting. About as dark as a beer can get.

Pretty smooth mouthfeel. Plums and dried fruits in the nose. Burnt flavor but still sweet.

I could not drink more than one of this. The ABV hit me hard.

Quite enjoyable on draft. Especially comparing it to some of the drainpour bottles I have tried.

 476 characters

Photo of DAllspaw
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap at Craft bar in London. Pours very dark black of course with dark mocha head. has all of the characteristics of RIS, from the looks but the heat tends to dominate, but that's what I expected.

didn't take notes, this is quick summary, but certainly worth trying as a sipper. a very slow sipper and half pint is plenty.

 325 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.07/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12.7oz green bottle, foiled, caged, synthetic corked. gifted to me from the midwest

17.5% edition

appearance: aggressively poured into an oversized snifter, looks like motor oil, minimal bubbles and no head or lace

smell: charred malts, booze, trouble

taste: char, espresso with way too much sugar, tons of booze, smoke, bakers chocolate.

mouthfeel: no carbonation, dry finish, hot alcohol

overall: A mess

 412 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger light brown head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Black as midnight color, no highlights, ton of yeast left in bottle. Medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Sweet alcohol nose and flavor is sweet alcohol that becomes burnt hickory wood. Forever lingering burnt wood aftertaste. Label puts ABV at 16%. Expensive at $12.99 for a 375ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

 415 characters

Photo of Viciousknishs
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours coal black with a finger of dark tan head. Ok head retention.

S- dark bitter chocolate, oily espresso and licorice envelope the nose at first. Burnt caramel and an almost smokey charcoal in the middle. Very prominate alcohol stings the nostrils and dominates the other aromas towards the end with a touch of coffee liquor.

T- tastes like a shot of espresso with sugar. Sugariness is offset by a substantial roast bitterness with notes of concentrated coffee, anise and burnt charcoal. Very hot alcohol throughout the beer giving it a liquor like quality with an astringent aftertaste.

MF- thick oily mouthfeel with a heavy body. Medium carbonation.

D- poor drinkability

Overall an interesting brew that needs a few years in a cellar to mellow out.

 761 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pour from Wowcoolman’s tasting.

16% ABV per label.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, dark fruit, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with a very roasty and almost medicinal bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it’s quite strong and intense.

 559 characters

Photo of zaphodchak
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oily brown, light brown head. Some light lace.

Faint booze and tons and tons of malt.

Heavy, big, with some banana, cherry, and maybe plum. Faintly bitter. Kind of a barleywine.

Smoothish but kinda burns on the finish.

Decent, but really big. Should be categorized as an American style barleywine.

 301 characters

Photo of yamar68
2.41/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The 12.7oz bottle produces an impressive head, given the ABV. About two and a half fingers of medium dark brown head that laces nicely. Tons of boozy legs.

I was expecting a sweeter nose... instead it's harsh bitter coffee, toasted grains, abstract booze presence, coffee really is the dominating player though.

The taste is far less inviting - burnt chocolate, bitter coffee and a cheap vodka quality (if you can call it a quality).

Honestly, I can't believe this adorns the Mikkeller name. I'm beginning to see his beers in the same light as, say, BrewDog - absurdly overpriced, gimmicky, poorly executed.

A waste of money.

 631 characters

Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.5% abv.

A - Pitch black, thin soapy mocha head, spotty lacing.

S - Espresso beans, brown sugar, roasted malts, alcohol fumes, cookie dough.

T - Burnt sugars, black coffee, charred oak, roasted malts, ash, bitter hops.

M - Full bodied, low carbonation, long bitter aftertaste.

O - Should have split this one! It took an hour and fifteen minutes to finish my bottle. Glad I got to try this one. I'm pretty sure this is from 2010. This is my 54th Mikkeller beer!

 467 characters

Photo of Dope
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

17.5% version.

A: Pours midnight black with a large and dense medium brown head. Fades slowly, leaving huge swathes of lacing behind.

S: Mountains of bitter chocolate and char. Lots of black licorice too. Some nice brown sugar too. Spicy, biting alcohol aroma.

T: Loads and loads of chocolate. Up front it is sweet with the addition of some brown sugar but then it quickly becomes a bitter baker's chocolate with tons of charred wood and smoke. Finishes dry with some lingering alcohol, though no alcohol bite is present funnily enough. Lingering char in the aftertaste lasts forever.

M: Big, heavy, slick. Drying from all the char in the aftertaste.

O: A surprisingly drinkable huge stout. Very little alcohol bite. However, it is quite one-dimensional, pretty much all bitter chocolate and the char - oh my. It's like drinking an ashtray sometimes.

 856 characters

Photo of korguy123
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375mL bottle into snifter. Label claims to be 16.5% not 17.5%

A- Dark, black, oily abyss. Two finger dark tan head with sheets of lacing. Alcohol is clinging to the glass.

S- Dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, vanilla, brown sugar and a underlying dose of alcohol waiting patiently for you to sip. There is a dose of cinnamon and licorice with a touch of molasses.

T- Super dark bitter chocolate (80% + cocoa) burnt coffee, burnt toast, barrel char and a touch of brown sugar and vanilla. Molasses and licorice are very subtle but you finish off with a dose of alcohol taste, not burn or warmth just an astringent alcohol taste. Lingering bitter and burnt aftertaste.

M- Full bodied, slight carbonation, sticky on the lips.

O- I didn't know what to expect with this one. I see Mikkeller and think "this might be good". I see the abv and wonder if this is well crafted or a hot mess. I really shouldn't doubt Mikkeller. This is very good, high abv or not this is something worth the time to sit and sip and enjoy.

 1,019 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle, @16.5%, according to the 'good folks' at the AGLC and/or the agent for this bad boy in Alberta. Been sitting on this one for a lengthy spell now.

This beer pours a deep abyss of blackitude, with only the slightest slivers of basal cola edges, and two ebullient, rangy fingers of thick, puffy, and almost sludgy beige head, which sinks away at a snail's pace, seemingly fighting gravity the whole way, and eventually leaving some damned near-perfect honeycomb webbed lace around the glass in the process.

It smells of densely roasted, meaty malt, heavy on the bittersweet chocolate, some sassy saltwater taffy, nose-twinging alcohol, soused black fruit flesh, cigarette ash, spicy root vegetables, and earthy and weedy hops. The taste is too much to take in all at once - one is assaulted by a boozy, salty chocolate affront, right up front (sorry!), which softens the palate up quite well, before plastering you with more of the same, but now with some cowering black fruit ruins, ashy stamped out campfire, a coffee urn's discharge when left on said conflagration, a well obfuscated, though subtly tinny booze edge, and musty, dusty, and chalky hop bitters.

The fizz is actually rather palpable here, doing one's gob a not insignificant service, the body a hefty, thick, and unctuous weight, and on the far side of crazy in terms of smoothness. It finishes still fairly sweet, in cocoa, grain, fruit, and booze alike, with the partitions varying in scope, yet enticing all the same.

Given the presentation, resultant expectation, and eventual personal submersion, this is one big-assed malt, booze, fruit, and reservedly hopped-up beer-bomb; thoroughly complex, but still a bit rough, because, because you know you like it that way, don't you? I know I do.

 1,775 characters

Photo of Casedogg43
3.36/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my neighbor Don Mattingly for bringing this one over.

A: Terrific! Black may be a understatement!
S: toasty malts and the 17.5%
T: again, the 17.5% over powered this one. More than I like. Took away from the brew IMO.
M: average for a big stout
O: glad I had the chance too sip on 6oz of it. But will not hunt this one down

 335 characters

Photo of rudzud
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up, eh, roughly 2 years ago at Julio's. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Okay, one of the sickest pours ever. About as black as I've seen pour and a head. Okay, theres tan heads, mocha heads, dark chocolate coloured heads...and then theres this. This head was BLACK. Granted, it faded into a thin mocha halo with light thin mocha wisps. But that initial head is so, so freakin black. Unreal, never seen anything like it.

S - Aaaaand back to reality. Not too too much booze which is pretty nice, the aromas though are kind of eh. Slightly salty and leathery. Super light smokey malts and light dark fruit. Shockingly light.

T - Hrm..initialliy this is somewhat sweet and salty. Sweet malts and light soy sauce. It fades to ALOT of smoke, almost peaty. Really weird progression, starts very sweet then goes to light saltiness, ending with huge roast almost burnt malts and smoke.

M - Considering how high the ABV is this is incredibly smooth. Its got basically no carbonation, which, I guess is acceptable. Booze does creep up though of course.

O - Overall, this is an experience. Not really very stoutlike on anything. Smokey, sweet, salty...just, kinda weird. Its not bad and definately should be shared between people as this full bottle is WAY too much

 1,269 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Dec '07, reviewed May '12 (4.5 years).
Pours black with no head.
Aroma is very sweet smelling, more like a port than a beer. Some vegemite shows along with grape notes. Also some chocolate fudge.
Flavours include smooth booze, roasted malt, more roasted malt and ash. Some soft vinous notes. Pretty serious stuff, but good for sipping. A fairly hoppy bitterness in the finish. Not all that complex though.
No carbonation and a very syrupy body that suits the beer well.

 477 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12.7 ounce bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. 16.5% ABV.

A: Black-dark opaque. Light medium-dark head has good retention and great lacing.

S: Ginger. Roasted malt. Touch of meatiness. Smoky oatmeal. Estery notes that might be alcohol.

T/M: Incredibly thick and very strong. Coffee beans on the fore and endtaste; drily bitter on the aftertaste. Fruits, berries, chalky roasted malts, and a hint of vanilla bean. Loads of flavour, loads of bitterness, loads of booze. This is a superlative imperial stout.

O: Gods, this is an excellent beer. Highly recommended; must have again. I may be a bit biased towards both Mikkeller and imperial stouts, but if either interests you, you must try this. A+.

 715 characters

Photo of oline73
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at the Mikkeller Bar in Copenhagen. Poured into a tulip glass. 2012 edition.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a layer of tan head that leaves a thin layer on the edge of the glass as it fades.

Smell: Smoke and some roast with a malt sweetness. I'm also getting some dark chocolate, dark fruit, and some alcohol.

Taste: This is a very roasty, heavy stout. Somewhat bitter with a lot of malt sweetness. The roasted malt flavor along with the sweetness is giving me some dark chocolate. There is an alcohol burn and some bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is thick with smooth carbonation and some heat from the alcohol. The finish is rather slick.

Overall: This is an intense beer in all aspects. Very bitter and boozy in the finish. Some time might smooth that out. I'd still have another.

 824 characters

Photo of dbossman
3.89/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep black and still with no head and minimal lacing but expected for a beer this big

S: Rich roasty malts; lots of booze--bourbon especially; lots of dark fruits, raisins; so boozy and sweet and rich...mmm

T: So boozy and sweet and boozy and sweet: alcohol, bourbon, coffee with faint chocolate and raisins

F: Almost no carbonation and creamy and a bit viscous but surprisingly thin too

O: Wow, this is big; almost too big; it's delicious but man, this is boozy

 469 characters

Black (黑) from Mikkeller ApS
84 out of 100 based on 255 ratings.