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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 PartyBear
2.63/5  rDev -29.3%
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.

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Photo of Spica66
2.63/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this on in trade from Lunch. Thanks, Paul!

2009 bottle shared with gwuilliums on New Year's Eve 2011.

A: Thick, black pour. Thin head of mocha colored bubbles. More than I expected from a 17.5%.

S: Alcohol burn over dark, dark roast.

T: Hard to get much more than alcohol wrapped in a dark roast aftertaste. Very hard to enjoy.

M: No real beer component to this mouthfeel. This could not be more of an alcohol assault on your tongue.

D: If you wanted to really, really sip a beer, this is the one for you.

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Photo of mulder1010
2.68/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at Local Tap House Mikkeller tap take over

A-- Poured ink black. Thin, dark brown layer of film. Slight bit of lacing at the top of the glass. Traces of alcohol legs. Thick and evil looking beer.

S-- Burnt chocolate licorice bullets, near burnt malt, bits of port or wine quality to this and quite earthy. Just traces of the ABV in the nose.

T-- Scorching. Serious scorching. Scorched malt, chocolate, licorice, ash, char, burnt leather, tobacco, warm port and a decent hop taste to this. Grity, earthy taste. Obvious alcohol taste but somewhat restrained.

M-- Full, coating and heavy. Bordering on licking or drinking an ashtray. Licorice stands out but the ash and char in the mouth really supersede this. There is a bit of fruity hop character in this that makes it somewhat strange. Hard to drink at times and nearly like a full on big port.

O-- BA treatments are much better. This was full on and unforgiving. Feel like I drank an ashtray. ABV is there but not that massive at all. Flavor character is just of smoking some non filters and throwing the ash in a stout and mixing in some dark chocolate and burnt licorice for flavor. Stick to BA beers, hides the scorching very well.

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Photo of JebBeerFish
2.84/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Imagine a stout made with acrid, below average roasted coffee to which a generous helping of grain alcohol is added, and you have this offering. I like higher alcohol content beers, but this is nearly barbaric in its harshness. I cannot think of a more poorly hid high alcohol content beer, and this was after having three 10% beers. On the pawsitive side, after a couple sips, you predominately only taste the acridic coffee.

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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 Greywulfken
2.86/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm ready to be either floored or disgusted by this beer - reviews have varied greatly!

A: pitch black, 2-3 fingers of dark tan foam - a good start for any stout

S: okay - sweet molasses, some espresso - nothing to set it apart from what you'd expect in a strong, sweet stout

T: bitter, burnt sugar, background anise/licorice, alcohol is too strong and up front - dare I say it tasted somewhat like rubbing alcohol smells - probably my least favorite tasting stout

M: meh - too much lingering alcohol; not sticky or too clingy though

O: mediocre - it's not as awful as I had feared, but it is certainly not a beer I'd buy again, nor would I recommend it to anyone other than someone really into trying and comparing different beers.
Worth noting that as it warmed, it became more drinkable (move taste score to 3, up from 2.5?), but the strong alcohol taste persists.

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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 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 dcloeren
2.93/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours just like it's namesake... Black. Produced a thin film of black coffee colored soapy head and disappeared rather quickly. No light getting through this motor oil.

The aroma of this beer is very nice. Getting tons of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malts, some bourbon and some serious BOOZE!

Pretty excited about this beer until it hit my lips... This is one hell of a mess. The booze over powers most flavors, but this beer is just sweet as all hell. All of the dark chocolate and coffee is covered in sugary syrup.... not very tasty. Every sip I take I feel like Kevin McAlister looking at a picture of Buzz's girlfriend, WOOF!

The mouthfeel is thick and very syrupy. It coats your tongue, the inside of your mouth, your lips and your teeth with boozy sweetness. I think I just gave myself about seven cavities after taking a few sips...

Overall, this beer wasn't exactly a disappointment because this is kind of what I was expecting. I was expecting this because Mikkeller just keeps on disappointing me with the majority of their beers that I have had. Wont be purchasing another one of these ever again.

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Photo of weeare138
2.95/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to hopdog for the opportunity...
Appears a pitch black with dark brown edges that slowly fades into a small tan head that seems to hold tight.
Smell is of heavy alcohol that burns like nailpolish remover with some notes of roasty nuts and malty fruitiness that's is outweighed by the huge abv that is overly evident.
Taste is of the same aromas with some molasses and astringent roasty burnt nuts. Notes of berries, sugary coffee, play dough...I dunno. I think this one is in some major need of age.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy, astringent, bitter, huge abv, intense hops, coffee. What the "f" hapened here? To me, this is undrinkable right now. If it is given the proper aging, of say, 10 years, it may be ok.

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Photo of blakelive784
2.96/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12.7 fl oz bottle served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A- Pours a dark ruby red colour with no head. Looks pretty similar to red wine. Excusable for the high abv.

S - Cocoa, bitter chocolate, ethanol, some sort of band aid note, dark fruit and wine. Many esters abound, and it's difficult to describe.

T - Pungent earthy cocoa beans overpower any subtle flavors, followed quickly by the ethanol, reminding you to sip. Tart fruit and sour candy make up the rest of the body. Definitely a sipper, and not really all that enjoyable.

M - smooth, and wet, rather like wine.

D - entirely too rich to be drinkable, and doesn't really bring any interesting flavors to the party. A disappointment from a great brewer.

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Photo of justintcoons
2.96/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Pours pitch black, oily with no head and no carbonation.

N: Sweet boozy grapefruit, sugar and dark chocolate.

T: Extremely sugary sweet, booze, toffee, dark chocolate and dark roast coffee.

M: Sticky, oily and warming.

D: Definite sipper. Very sweet and warming.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.99/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12.7 fl oz green glass bottle with hood and wire top served into a pils glass in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Labelled best before 12/12/17. Reviewed from notes.

Presentation: The green glass is inexcusable, especially for a talented brewer light Mikkel.

A: No head. At all. There's a tan colour floater. It's lovely for what is present. The ABV is taking its toll. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: A strong aroma of rich chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, caramel, alcohol, and slight esters. A strong aroma.

T: Heavy cocoa and chocolate, with some unexpected milky sweetness. Complex but heavy handed. The alcohol is strong. It's certainly strange. Vanilla and caramel are present. The richness is too extreme. I wouldn't call it balanced - even taking into account its ABV. It's hard to like, even though Mikkeller is me favourite brewery. Roast would greatly help it. The alcohol is just too much (and I enjoy Black Tuesday!). It's built alright, but with too much desire to be heavy.

Mf: Too thick. Smooth and wet. Heavy on the palate. It sort of complements the flavours generally.

Dr: If it were 9%, it'd be great. It's very difficult to drink as a beer, harder than most liqeurs. I wish it were more drinkable. It might age well, but I don't know that it's yeasty enough. A failed experiment at best. Try it if you truly love the higher ABV beers in the style, but otherwise don't bother with it on account of its price.

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Photo of Hellrob
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I can't put a rating for this beer. too strong, too spiced, it has destroyed our palates and my stomach. very strong. too bitter
I can't put a rating for this beer. too strong, too spiced, it has destroyed our palates and my stomach. very strong. too bitter
I can't put a rating for this beer. too strong, too spiced, it has destroyed our palates and my stomach. very strong. too bitter

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Photo of chefmikeanderson
3.02/5  rDev -18.8%
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

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours like soy sauce, very viscous, insansely black and looks like it could stain wood. Little to no head or carbonation visible.

Smells of alcohol, cough syrup, bitter coffee, bitter chocolate. Smells like it could remove wood stain.

Wow. This is intense. A little too intense for me. Very astringent and extremely boozy. The alcohol just takes over and the other notes are only in the background.

I am sure if you age this beer for a few years it will settle in to something very complex. Right now its just too much for my palate.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This intimidating beast of a beer has been sitting in the back of my fridge for a while now. A cold and rainy autumn eve with nothing to do seems like the perfect time to crack it. This reads 16.8% for the ABV, I believe it's 6-9 months old.

A - Color is ...yeah. Thick pour. Big ol cascading brown head. Impressive retention, some lace left.

S - Scary, somewhat offensive, yet plain. Very dense unsweetened chocolate, roast, brown sugar, fusel alcohol, licorice, playdoh.

T - Absurd combo of chardonnay sweetness, burnt sugar, licorice, raisin, vodka, tobacco, ash, burnt coffee grounds. Puts the nose to shame (or the other way around?). The initial harshness of the booze is eventually overtaken by the calamity of flavors, but this is still undeniably hot hot hot. As it warms some chocolate is noticeable.

M - Feel is big but not as sludgy as one might assume, carbonation is also surprisingly ample. Alcohol is in your face in a cheap liquor kind of way. Pretty much every sip made me shudder.

O - Maybe it's the alcohol creeping up, but about halfway through/as it warms this becomes somewhat tolerable. Between the alcohol and the all over the place wtf flavors this beer is something else. Started off awful, somehow wound up making sense in some novel way. That being said: laying down my other bottle for a loooong time, and then splitting it at least 3 ways.

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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

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Photo of gford217
3.11/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

375mL bottle, at least a year old, poured into a tulip.

No surprise that it pours pitch black and produces a small but very creamy tan head that shows good staying power and leaves plenty of boozy legs on the way down.

The aroma is pretty strong with lots of sweetness and alcohol. There is a heavily roasted espresso character with lots of burnt sugar and sweet dark fruits. It's smells almost medicinal in the end but still ashy. Weird.

If the aroma is strong, then the taste is downright overpowering, and not necessarily in a good way. The first sip is a blast of burnt chocolate malts, caramalized fruit and burnt coffee, but with a prevalent sweetness from the booze and sugar. Also some charred wood and smoke in the finish with a massive alcohol burn. Again, it gets almost medicinal in the finish, like cough syrup with a recently extinguished cigarette butt dropped in.

The mouthfeel is full-bodied, thick, syrupy sweet and massively boozy. But still charred and ashy.

I'm not exactly sure what to make of this one. There are definitely some good flavors in there, but the overall character is so ridiculously ashy and sweet altogether that my taste buds are left in shock. To say the drinkability is low would be a mild understatement. I need to go lie down....

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The head explodes out of my glass on a steady pour. The tan and copper sand took a while to fall, converging into bigger bubbles and slinking back down into my tulip. The beer itself is a mirrored obsidian.

Smells of dry dark chocolate, tart raisins with a fruity mellon zip. There also seems to be a sweet and sour candy to this too, like Smarties. This all seems to be struggling to contain a rampant booziness, but it's succeeding quite well.

Tastes... like stinging? There's a dry cocoa, corn syrup, port and gooey dried dark fruits, reminiscent of World Wide Stout, at first, but a harsh burn comes tearing through sending any resemblance of balance packing. A harsh over-done coffee takes the stage that seems to have a lot of woody elements to it, drying out my palate with a deft sting.

Feels quite light, all things considered, but a carbonation lifts the density away to prepare my mouth for the raw sting.

There are some nice points to this one, but it needs time. Lots of time. You will regret opening this one up fresh. Let it sit.

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Photo of peensteen
3.16/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Jet black, wuite a big tan head with lots of lace. Smell burnt/charred malt, well roasted, soy sauce and lots of alcohol soaked dark fruits. Taste is a mix of dark fruit and burnt-charred malt, tobacco flavours, vinous fruit and alcohol, with a mild bitter finish. Lightly carbonated, medium-full body, sticky and clingy parts. This is all over the place, its just too much of everything to be taken seriously or even be considered all that drinkable, 3-4 oz. of this is plenty, a far cry from the excellent Cognac BA variant of this beer.

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Photo of mbrasi
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Aroma is dark, boozy, a lot like WWS. Mostly whisky and molasses in the aroma. Flavor is not unpleasant as the aroma suggests. There is a definite alcoholic burn at the finish but I had worse. Taste is heavy roast, sweet, and some vinous notes in there. Alcohol is not that apparent until it hits the throat. Mouthfeel is like syrup, no carbonation. OK, I'm going to watch a movie and enjoy this one over the next two hours.

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Photo of Nickls
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

(From notes)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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