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Black (黑) - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black (黑)Black (黑)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

431 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 431
Reviews: 224
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 18.42%
Wants: 48
Gots: 96 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

Ingredients: Water, malt, roasted barley, dark cassonade, ale yeast and champagne yeast.

(Beer added by: kkipple on 02-19-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 431 | Reviews: 224 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bort11
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12.7 oz green corked bottle poured into my Boulevard Smokestack Series goblet. This is interesting. From a good solid pour, it took about 20 seconds for a dense, chocolate milk colored head to appear. For a second, I thought there would be no head. I'm used to higher ABVs to not have much head, but to see it slowly bubble up was pretty cool. Color is .... black of course.

Smell isn't very powerful. The liquid is keeping the aroma trapped. There is a mild boozy alcohol. Taste explodes where the smell does not. There is some blackberry juiciness, a little soy sauce saltiness, bitter charred wood. Pretty boozy as well.

Mouthfeel is pretty slick and borders on oily. I think it's the alcohol warmth that burns that off and finishes drier. Big, big beer. Very slow sipper. Blipped "Paint it Black" by the Rolling Stones.

bort11, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of CoolJosh
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Saw this one in the cooler at Zeno's and was really intrigued by the bottle. Took it and home and noticed the actual bottle was green, which threw me off..

A: Pitch black. No hints of any light coming through, I've never seen anything this dark before. dark khaki head that doesn't last long.

S: Lots of flavors, I really had a difficult time distinguishing, there are so many and everything is really big and bold. Scents of darker cherry, dark grapes and other dark fruits, some vanilla, bitter chocolate, and some alcohol. One thing that my buddy brought up was a "Soy Sauce," smell.

T: WOW!!! Where do I begin, it all hits you at once and so fast. Slightly rougher start that smoothes out nicely, no tastes of alcohol surprisingly, and alot of darker fruits, vanilla, and some roasted coffee tastes.

Overall, a very bold, in your face black stout. Unbelievably complex in smell and taste, there's alot here. Surprisingly smooth, and expected the worst only to find an incredibly well put together beer. I picked up a second bottle, and placed comfortably in my 3+ years aging section!

CoolJosh, Oct 22, 2008
Photo of CashMoneyVagrant
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thick pour into the glass, with some deep mocha brown colored bubbles of foam clinging around the edge. Doesn't get much blacker in color than this, almost to the point of having a purple tinge to it.

Boozy in the nose right away, smells more like a spirit than a beer. Has elements in the aroma of dark rum, vintage brandy and port wine all wrapped together. Some licorice, with lots of dark fudge and cocoa powder. A very rich Dutch chocolate cake perhaps? As the beer warms I pick up a nice vanilla bean aroma behind all the dark fudge, with toffee and burnt caramel aromas as well. It's also very earthy on the nose too, smells of charred wood and chocolate covered espresso coffee beans.

No carbonation and rather sweet up front on the palate. Thick, wow! This is a sipper for sure. The Abv.-booziness is detectable
just as much in the taste as the nose. Similar taste of dark fudge, rich chocolate cake and cocoa powder, with a slight roasted malt character. Vanilla bean, toffee and burnt caramel come through as well. Almost a faint nuttiness in there, with some dark fruits mixed in. Still has that earthiness, kinda funky. Charred wood and a developing smoke, peated malt taste in the mouth. It's not overly sweet or boozy on the palate, rather smooth really. Not a hugely complex beer but, the flavors it represents are strong and rich. Again thoughts of dark rum, vintage brandy and port wine keep coming up as I sip through this beer. Something that would pair well with a good, spicy maduro cigar.

CashMoneyVagrant, Oct 21, 2011
Photo of spratmi
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured an extremely dark black with no head or lacing. Syrupy in appearance.
S: Notes of ripe fruits like figs and prunes. Malty with strong hints of sweet chocolate.
T: Very sweet and syrupy. A string note of sweet dark chocolate up front. Roasted malt blending with ripe figs and prunes. Earthy flavors with a note of tobacco. Noticeable alcohol heat in the end.
M: Full and buttery with no carbonation.
D: An interesting beer. Strong and flavorful. Great for sipping by the fire.

spratmi, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of badbeer
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

badbeer, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of jewbrew
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had This beer beside a couple amazing bottles of wine.

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

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

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

jewbrew, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of tedpeer
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice.

A - Pours black with a 1/2 inch tan head, that subsided to 1/8 inch head. Lacing all the way to the end.

S - Fruity

T - Sweet, fruity (raisins) to start, slowly overpowered by slight coffee/chocolate bitterness to finish, accompanied by alchohol warmth.

M - Slightly coating, good level of carbonation.

D - Well, at the abv, I've got to say it's just a sipper,

tedpeer, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

brewdlyhooked13, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle date. Pours thick opaque black color with a thin lacing of a head that lasts. Almost no carbonation to speak of, the cork did not pop when I removed it. Some very small bubbles do show up eventually, hinting that there is some carbonation present. Aromas of huge roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, dark fruits, molasses, caramel, tobacco, biscuit, and toast. Some very complex aromas going on here, not much alcohol noticed surprisingly. Taste is intense: big burnt malt, dark chocolate, bitter coffee, molasses, caramel, tobacco, vanilla, and some spicy hops. Light amount of bitterness noticed on the finish; with lasting notes of dark chocolate, molasses, caramel, and coffee on the finish. Very light carbonation and huge full body; with a big creamy and slick mouthfeel that coats the mouth with each sip. The low carbonation actually fits well because of the huge body and creaminess of this beer. Alcohol is well hidden surprisingly; only a warming on the finish noticed. Definitely a big sipper to be enjoyed slowly. This has no cloying sweetness surprisingly. Overall, this is a very solid stout that was definitely not offensive at all. I probably won’t be getting this again due to the price tag; but it was quite the experience with huge roasted flavors and surprisingly great balance.

superspak, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of zaphodchak
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

zaphodchak, Aug 18, 2012
Photo of beerthulhu
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark and vinous nature with a ½ finger creamy dark nutmeg colored head. A slight film lacing is left behind as the head settles with a fair retention.

S: moderatly strong with an acrid bitterness of roasted grains and bitter chocolate. Well lasting alcohol fusels linger about providing whiskey scents.

T: bitter with dominant alcohol fusels with dark roasted grains. The flavor wallops you from the get go with its huge dark roasted nature and demanding alcohol fusels. A brief and light dairy creamer sweetness is present for but a moment in the middle of the palate before quickly succumbing to a boozy finish of whiskey cask notes. Overall the flavor was dark, bitter, acrid and alcohol fueled.

M: light, and silky smooth in texture. A soft, near flat carbonation brings out the oily nature on the tongue while a huge whiskey alcohol finish reminds you of its 17.5% abv nature. A very faint chalkiness is detected as well.

D: Definitly a slow sipper and one is more then plenty at any sitting. Big whiskey alcohol, a bitter dark roasted palate will assault the taste buds at every opportunity. The strong boozy nature makes this an honest sipper and sure to please the heartiest of stout fans. One of the most extreme beers by style I can remember having.

beerthulhu, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of trill
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one comes out impenetrably black, with a decent (though not long-lasting) head for a beer this big. The aroma is full of smooth, roasty coffee and chocolate, some old-ale type prunes, and a big whiff of port wine. The taste... ah, there's all that alcohol. It's medicinal and powerful but not inappropriate; the beer has enough substance to back it up. Equal portions of chocolatey, slightly smoky malt and big, grapey wine flavors dominate the flavor. There's a little bit of oak and some sweetness that leaves the finish sticky, but not overwhelming. My only complaint is that the high alcohol has a numbing effect on the palate; one 12.7oz bottle is more than enough for three people.

trill, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

pokesbeerdude, May 01, 2010
Photo of wordemupg
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into tulip 1/3/12

A shes pretty dark alright there's a little cola at the edges but not much, massive three finger mocha foam has great retention slowly falling to a thick film leaving thick partial rings of lace deep down the glass

S some over-ripe plum with a little chocolate covered raisin, molasses, and booze, a little faint though a bit of a surprise

T much more dark roast in the mouth with loads of charred wood and some smokey bourbon, I'd believe this was bourbon barrel aged if I was told so, some licorice comes through and the booze is there but very well concealed all things considered

M pretty thick with just enough carbonation, some heat but controlled, and a very strong char aftertaste

O pretty good for a big intense brew but I found the Islay and Cognac versions far superior, this one's almost one sided with big burnt malt notes but I happen to like that to a degree

I might be tasting this next week at this rate, I do like this stuff but I don't think I'm going to drop the $$ to give the Islay and Cognac bottles in my cellar some company

wordemupg, Mar 02, 2012
Photo of beermebeerman
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served from a bottle into a 4oz tasting glass at the 2008 SIB.
Pours a used-motor-oil black with a few small bubbles forming a ring around the edge of the glass. Initial smell was overpowering; I had to get quite a few whiffs before I could pick out anything other than coffee/chocolate aromas, but a couple were pinot-noir and raisins. Taste was also an explosion. Lots of roast-coffee flavors and chocolate malt with an alcohol afterburner effect. A little too sweet, but not overpowering. This is one that needs to be sipped slowly. Mouthfeel was good. Carbonation level seemed a little low but perfectly acceptable for the style. Drinkablility is low because this is so huge, but I wish I had a bottle of this of my own at home. If you happen to get your hands on one, you are truly blessed among men.

beermebeerman, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of Goliath
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

From the first time I laid eyes on this beer here on BA, I knew I had to have it. I'm very excited that it has finally come to my area, so here goes:

It was damn near impossible to open this bottle, and once I got the cork out it gave me the most pathetic little "pop".

Pours black and completely opaque. A thin foamy brown head forms on top and lingers with decent retention leaving soap sudsy lace behind.

The aroma is rather nice. A good bit of fruit strikes me up front as very pleasing. It's followed by a slight phenolic quality and a decent amount of alcohol. Certainly some big chocolate notes can be found, as well as raisins, and apple.

The taste is incredibly unique. I certainly would never have expected this to be my experience. I've taken all of one sip, and my palate is shot. An overwhelming symphony of discord is wreaking havoc on my mouth. It's slightly sweet up front with some indistinct fruit notes, and then quickly becomes a burnt, extremely bitter, boozey, phenolic mess on the finish. The lovely notes from the nose do not show in the taste of this beer. I'm having a difficult time describing what I'm encountering because I've never run in to anything that tastes quite like this. The more I drink, the more I can find some of my original thoughts. A bit of fruit, and a bit of chocolate are the dominant tones. Beyond that it's burnt sugar, burnt malt, rubber, and a resounding bitterness unlike any I've encountered before that's bordering on being painful in the back of my throat. Have they started adding pesticides? I'm disappointed, and yet not. It's certainly different and adventurous, but I don't think it's as positive as it could have been. For the price tag, it's too expensive to feel good about drain pouring it. I'd recommend giving it a whirl, but have 5 or 6 friends with you to share the tiny bottle with.

As the beer warms to room temp (since I sipped it over the course of a few hours), it really started to fit together better. The flavors seemed to marry a bit more and the harshness I once felt was subdued. I'm not sure how I want to rate the taste, but it will certainly get points for originality and pushing the bar which I can certainly appreciate.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, thick, syrupy, and slightly chewy. Carbonation is near nonexistent in this beer.

Drinkability is incredibly low. The flavor profile is massive and overwhelming and difficult to consume even in small doses. Certainly a fun lab experiment, but use caution when drinking this thing. I consider myself better for the experience.

Goliath, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
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...

StonedTrippin, May 05, 2013
Photo of GravityRules
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black as night. It could possibly have the highest lovibond I have seen, true black. The head was also incredibly dark and unwaivering. It was the color of some chocolate milk on steroids, and the head retained intself the entire time. I was amazed that a beer at 17.5% abv could have that kind of head retention.

S: Cheap vodka. This brew had one of the most potent ethanol smells I have ever smelled, and it pretty much covered up anything else. Perhaps I found a bit of raising or candied plum aromas but alcohol was very predominate.

T: This beer had cellared about a week before I had it (I bought 2 so I could experiment with some aging). How heavily "alcoholed" this beer smelled, the taste was not nearly as evident. I thought it hid it quite well, and customary dark chocolate tastes came through with some very hearty roastiness. For how fresh I had drank it, I was impressed by its taste.

M: It was thick, period. I've had a couple high abv beers and they seemed to be a bit thinner than this one.

D: I really enjoyed this beer. For the abv it presents, I was amazed at its drinkability. I do feel that some cellaring would be a good idea. Mikkeller did a great job with such a big beer, and it would be interesting to see how it matures with a little age. On the downside, it's basically a 12 ounce beer for $16, but it is definitely worth a shot if you are feeling the need for a truly huge stout.

GravityRules, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

jdhilt, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of duchessededc
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great aroma, great appearance...but it tastes like simple syrup on first taste. Once you get past that, great hickory and coffee flavors. Very yummy. The first taste is just cloying. I wonder if aging would improve the balance.

I would say age this for 2-3 years and try again. It's great now, but a little sugary.

duchessededc, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of hoppymeal
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Liquor Max. Pours a syrupy looking black in color with a large chocolate brown head that very slowly recedes with some decent lacing. A little ashy roastiness up front, some soft chocolate sweetness as well. A swirl brings up some sweet fruity maltiness, hints of soy and some definite alcohol. Taste is a very nice big sweet maltiness, fruity, up front, some black licorice mixed in and some chocolate evident towards the finish. Extremely hot, alcohol is a major presence here. Fairly heavy in body, sweet and sugary thick, pepperiness on the tongue and a painful bite of alcohol in the throat. A very tasty maltiness here, unfortunately the alcohol is hard to get around. After a bit it does seem to mellow, or maybe I'm just starting to get numb to it. There is a great beer behind that alcohol that keeps me drinking it and possibly with some age, if that alcohol mellows, it could be divine.

hoppymeal, May 14, 2008
Photo of williamjbauer
4/5  rDev +5.3%

williamjbauer, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +5.3%

chinchill, Jun 15, 2013
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with coffee smell. The coffee hits you in the finish,an excellent powerful bitterness that squares integrates with sweetness. Before that you are getting the vanilla and mollasses. Great for what it is. Medium plus mouthfeel. The 17.5% is definately a closer, have a bed nearby.
Had it again a few months later and chocolate and soy sauce. Thick pourer.

Sammy, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of ImusBeer
4/5  rDev +5.3%

A: black foamy tan head
S: chocolate
T: chocolate, cocoa
M: sweet , heavy
D: very nice sipper

ImusBeer, Aug 28, 2014
Black (黑) from Mikkeller ApS
86 out of 100 based on 431 ratings.