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Black (黑) - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black (黑)Black (黑)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

476 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 476
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 18.16%
Wants: 52
Gots: 114 | 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: 476 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of dheldman
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of womencantsail
2.52/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Batch one of Black shared by Andrew. Thanks!

A: Appropriately, the beer pours black in color. It also has no head, but I guess I'm not surprised.

S: Doesn't smell anywhere near as offensive as I feared. Booze, certainly, but it's mostly just roasted malts. There is a hint of ash and burnt sugar, maybe some licorice, too.

T: Although the aroma wasn't too bad, the flavor is quite another story. Lots of tar flavor accompanied by sugar. There is more tar and asphalt, followed by booze. A very intense licorice flavor, almost like anise extract. A bit of burnt sugar and prunes.

M: Medium to full bodied with very low carbonation.

O: The aroma was pleasantly surprising, but the flavor was just unfortunate.

Photo of John_M
2.52/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

The beer pours a dark black brown color with minimal head retention, but lots of sticky lacing. I've seen this look before in beer with prolonged barrel aging, so this look is a good thing IMO. On the nose the beer smells quite impressive. There is a huge aroma of coffee, chocolate, vanilla and booze. In fact the booze comes across as a bit over the top, the first tip off that there might be something wrong here. On the palate, I'm afraid this beer is a complete mess. The alcohol is not very well integrated into this beer at all, and at least IMO, only further erodes the flavor profile. Initially I get a huge blast of coffee, licorise and booze, with a very hoppy, strongly licorise finish. There is also an underlying sweetness which almost makes me want to gag. The sweet licorise flavor really dominates in this beer and does not pair well with the high alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, and the beer is fairly smooth. However, even here the excessive boozy sweetness really detracts from this beer. Maybe some short term cellaring will help to tame the alcoholic burn I'm getting, but right now this is hard to take. As for drinkability, IMO it isn't, and i've scored it accordingly.

I'm a big fan of Mikkeller beers and was really looking forward to trying this one. However, this beer strikes me as an experiment that's gone very badly wrong, leaving me with a rather expensive glass of drain pour. Disappointing.

Photo of ibbjamin
2.58/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Received this as a gift about a year ago. I pour the 375ml corked and caged bottle into a large snifter to review.

Very difficult to remove the plastic cork with minimal carbonation evident. Leaves no head or retention. Like the name suggests, black in color. No lacing. I am not certain the affect of the aging had on the seemingly non-existent carbonation; other reviews I just read of the beer have a similar indication.

Nose seems a bit hot with warming alcohol evident even before it touches my lips. Lots of sweet malts and some smokiness. While it is certainly malt-forward, I do detect some earthy hops in the background. Also there are hints of dark chocolate, oak, leather, port wine and tobacco.

Deep taste of sweet and roasty malts, very dark chocolate, molasses, oak and leather. Comes off quite hot, reminiscent of a boozy after dinner port. Aftertaste brings on some brown sugar with a lot of smoked malt. Less balanced than my nose predicted with the alcohol and malt dominating here.

The mouth of this beer is in need of carbonation which would improve its drinkability greatly. Full bodied but comes off a bit watery. Long finish of malt and smoke.

My overall impression would be improved with added carbonation and to tone down on the smokiness. I like a big stout that can mask its ABV; this beer did not succeed in this department. I'll grab a Beer Geek Brunch Weasel from this great brewery next time I'm in the mood for a big stout; this one just didn't do it for me.

Photo of prototypic
2.6/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of sweemzander
2.63/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12.7oz. corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a thick pitch black color. Poured almost totally flat except for some tan bubbles that went away pretty quickly.

(S)- A deep roasted profile with lots of raisins and a tiny bit of dusty/musty molasses. Smells almost like soy sauce on the finish.

(T)- A rich roasted profile. A light smokiness with dry bitter cocoa, molasses, and a caramel-glazed fig thing in the middle. Rather malty with a big sweetness. Finishes with a boozy warmth going down with an equal level of bitterness.

(M)- A better carbonation level than what the appearance led me to believe. A good balance too; big roasted malts with an even bigger sweetness and bitterness that flows into a considerable boozy warmth.

(D)- Very very sweet with an even bigger bitterness. The ABV definitely throws its weight around in the middle and end. I am glad to have tried this, but at almost $19 for a single bottle; it disappoints for what I paid and what I got. Decent, but there are far better stouts our there for the money. Time might improve this, but it is just so sweet and alcoholic and bitter to enjoy this fully. It will take me forever to finish this beast!

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 Spica66
2.63/5  rDev -30.8%
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.

Photo of mulder1010
2.68/5  rDev -29.5%
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.

Photo of krl2112
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of CraftFan5
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of KevinRailton
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of Mississippi
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of Rutager
2.85/5  rDev -25%
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.

Photo of Greywulfken
2.86/5  rDev -24.7%
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.

Photo of NilocRellim
2.88/5  rDev -24.2%
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.

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.92/5  rDev -23.2%
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.

Photo of Mattyb79
2.92/5  rDev -23.2%

Photo of dcloeren
2.93/5  rDev -22.9%
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.

Photo of weeare138
2.95/5  rDev -22.4%
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.

Photo of blakelive784
2.96/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

Photo of justintcoons
2.96/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

Photo of kojevergas
2.99/5  rDev -21.3%
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.

Black (黑) from Mikkeller ApS
86 out of 100 based on 476 ratings.