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Black (黑) - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black (黑)Black (黑)

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

424 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 424
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 18.47%
Wants: 47
Gots: 95 | 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: 424 | Reviews: 223 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of indiapaleale


3.03/5  rDev -20.1%

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.

02-10-2009 02:05:07 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of dirtylou


3.05/5  rDev -19.5%

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

09-23-2012 21:59:04 | More by dirtylou
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


3.05/5  rDev -19.5%

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.

03-16-2008 03:34:24 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of gford217


3.08/5  rDev -18.7%

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....

10-23-2009 03:11:00 | More by gford217
Photo of kojevergas


3.1/5  rDev -18.2%

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.

12-22-2011 20:35:21 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Nickls

District of Columbia

3.15/5  rDev -16.9%

(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.

03-28-2009 19:59:13 | More by Nickls
Photo of FreshHawk


3.18/5  rDev -16.1%

A - Pitch black with a tiny, almost non-existent, fizzy, dark cafe tan colored head. This disappears fast leaving just a bit of a ring of lace around the edge.

S - Dark coffee aroma with a fair amount of dark, bitter chocolate and roasted malt. Somewhat of a soy presence and some whisky, peat, and smokey aspects with just a bit of vanilla. Slight sweet, molasses like aroma as well, and alcohol is pretty noticeable, but given the ABV it is pretty well covered.

T - Strong alcohol presence with some dark roasted coffee and chocolate. Some whisky, peat, and vanilla flavor is present. A dark fruit liqueur and soy sauce flavors come out mid sip giving it a tart, sourish type of flavor that isn't that great. Roasted flavors, faint hint of sweet dark fruit, and whisky come out a bit more on the finish, along with the ever present and strong alcohol.

M - Slightly above medium body with very little carbonation. Smooth and slick, oily feel.

D - Far too hot and boozy to be very drinkable. Definitely a sipper. Mid sip, the dark fruit tartness and soy sauce is a bit off-putting. Start and finish aren't bad though. Not one that I would drink often and definitely a nightcap drink.

Notes: Best Before 29/04/19. The combination of intense alcohol and the soy/tart mid sip made this a little unappealing. Not one I would seek out again, but it wasn't the worst beer I've had. Would be interesting to age.

08-10-2010 05:26:28 | More by FreshHawk
Photo of mbrasi


3.18/5  rDev -16.1%

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.

01-25-2009 04:02:41 | More by mbrasi
Photo of dgilks


3.18/5  rDev -16.1%

Pitch, inky black. No head. A touch of lacing.

Very sweet, port wine aroma with lots of esters, alcohol and fruit.

The flavour is odd. Strong, sweet malts. A fair amount of alcohol. Port. Bitter, acrid roast. A hint of spiciness. For me this has a lot of interesting notes but they don't work entirely well together. For instance, I feel like I have diabetes coming on while at the same time having masively bitter, acrid roast trying to counter it.

Full body with moderate carbonation.

This is an interesting beer and I could see it being polarising. I'm not convinced that the roast entirely works or that this is the best use of the ingredients here and the flavours are iffy.

06-03-2011 10:17:16 | More by dgilks
Photo of bkilpatr


3.2/5  rDev -15.6%

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a pint glass. 11/10/08. Bottle is corked & caged. Cool looking label art. Cork came out with a pathetic pop.

Pours the deepest of blacks, with a dense one-finger brown head. The head dropped slowly leaving nice lacing. The aroma is intense. Roasted malt, milk and dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, dark fruit, red wine, rubber, alcohol, and more alcohol. Crazy and intense.

Taste is equally crazy and intense. Sweet malt and milk chocolate, bitter dark chocolate and roasted coffee. A very powerful alcohol presence in the taste, probably due to the 17.5% ABV. Dark fruit, licorice, and red wine/port flavors are also present. Taste is very bold and like a punch to the taste buds. Would be much, much better without the fusel alcohol taste.

Feel is smooth and creamy with low but ample carbonation. Lots of warming alcohol on the way down. Drinkability is very low for me. The fusel alcohols make it very hard to drink. I wasn't even able to finish the bottle. Way too hot right now.

Overall, it's not bad. I think the ABV is way too high, and if it were lower then this would be a really tasty and enjoyable beer. But instead, the fusel alcohol dominates everything making it hard to enjoy. It is unique, and an interesting experience, but definitely not worth the cost ($17)

11-11-2008 04:49:18 | More by bkilpatr
Photo of bryanbullock

District of Columbia

3.21/5  rDev -15.3%

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.

03-21-2014 23:33:07 | More by bryanbullock
Photo of froghop


3.23/5  rDev -14.8%

pours a jet black with a slight purple as it pours into the snifter, has a very small brown head, and some lacing.

smell is of lots of alcohol, dark fruits, cocoa, and a touch of coffee.

taste is thick, overbearing alcohol, bitter and bakers chocolate, and licorice.

overall it is just to much in the face with the alcohol that it gets in the way of any other smells and flavors, aging might help.

12-04-2008 00:12:04 | More by froghop
Photo of rallison


3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Well, I always enjoy beers that push the envelope, so I just had to try this..

Pours a beautiful thick black with an impressive 3 finger dark tan head that leaves a ridiculous amount of lacing. Quite impressive, I must say.

Smells of alcohol with a bit of chocolate/coffee and dark fruits hiding way back there. Still, fusel alcohols are extremely dominant.

Taste is most intense. Lots of alcohol. Taste this and you may question the 17.5% on the label. As in, you wonder if it isn't really higher than that. Tons of ash. The previous quotes about this possibly being brewed in hell? Yeah, I wouldn't doubt it. To those that find Abyss ashy...just try this. Seriously. Nothing will taste like an ashtray after this beer. Chocolate and dark fruit sweetness start crossing the line to being sickly sweet. The bitterness here is harsh. This beer is still extremely green. The alcohol is very noticeable upon swallow. Wow. Balanced? Hell no.

Mouthfeel is coating, thick, rich and, well, kind of ridiculous.

Drinkability. How do I even rate that for a beer like this?

I don't quite know what to say. The sadistic part of me enjoys this experience. Let's put it this way - this beer is one of the most alcoholic, ashiest, out of balance beers I have ever had. I am actually quite glad to have tried it - I've never had a beer like it. I don't necessarily like it, so to speak, but I will not forget this beer. I just keep thinking...ashes of hell....ashes of hell...this is either your worst nightmare or your sadistic pleasure.

This far, and I still haven't scored a single category. I will do this, but numbers alone cannot make you understand this beer. For a beer like this, the numbers don't even matter. Have a glass, and you will understand. Thank you Mikkeller...not for brewing some amazing beer...but for providing an experience.

And...for the scores I gave - just ignore them. I can't really properly rate this beer. Rating by style guidelines...and most other guidelines, this would fair quite poorly. But well, sometimes I like an odd experience. Two more left for aging. Will time make this a great beer? Well, this shall most definitely be an experiment.

05-01-2008 09:22:41 | More by rallison
Photo of bark


3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Vintage 2007 (black foil).

The liquid is clear, the colour black. No head, although there are some brown bubbles on the liquid.

The powerful smell got distinct note of soy sauce. Raw alcohol. Coffee. Nuts.

The taste is dry and strong. Dried fruits. Fiery alcohol. Liqueur fills candy. Dandelions. Sherry. No noticeable bitterness. The aftertaste got thick oily flavours of soy sauce, coffee and cocoa sauce. The finish brings a surprisingly strong bitter flavour as well as hints of figs.

No carbonation. The liquid is thick and smooth.

An interesting and powerful brew. However I can appreciate the craft, I wouldn’t buy another bottle.

01-29-2012 18:34:43 | More by bark
Photo of Reagan1984


3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Foamy dark brown head tops this beer. It's really black in color... Gee is that where they got the name? The head shows insane retention and is going nowhere.

O.K., and I just a sucker for a label??? I see an Asian logo.... The aroma reminds me a bit of sake.... I thought that, then looked at the label...

WOOOOW.... Huge alcohol flavor.... Is this a black Sake??? Black licorice... dark roasted malt... alcohol, alcohol. Fairly rich sweetness...coconut? Some fruit in the middle...

Wow, this drinks like a hard alcohol drink vs. a beer.

Body is about medium in thickness, but it drinks big due to the high alcohol content...

It's interesting, but not up my alley..

Wonder if it's called Black since you might Black out if you drink the entire bottle...

01-24-2009 23:24:18 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of Paonz


3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

04-17-2013 05:26:44 | More by Paonz
Photo of KAF


3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

07-23-2014 01:41:15 | More by KAF
Photo of tykechandler


3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

07-02-2014 04:39:40 | More by tykechandler
Photo of angrybabboon

New Hampshire

3.28/5  rDev -13.5%

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.

12-09-2012 01:32:51 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of crusian


3.28/5  rDev -13.5%

had to actually grab locking pliers to get this thing open... the cork was not budging.

poured into my bulbed bottom chang glass... :)
pours like motor oil. no head... but then I notice that there is a tiny bit of lacing clinging to the glass edges... there is a bit of hope in this.

nose... smells like beef bouillon and soy sauce... and booze.

front is very sweet, sugary, chocolate, and holy aftertaste of booze/coffee/beef bouillon. Beef bouillon fades after a few sips, but the others stay. Cant say I have ever had a beer that tastes like beef bouillon... for 17.5%, this doesnt really show it much... I mean yeah, you can tell there is a really high abv, but this is "covered" well... I actually kinda like this. I am not sure how to rate this... it really is not an imperial stout, if I rated to that, it would be really low, but this is in a class by itself... Sip for a few hours... cellar for a few decades.

08-15-2010 07:01:18 | More by crusian
Photo of HopDerek


3.28/5  rDev -13.5%

Pours deep jet black into a snifter. Very little life in the head, just a touch of burnt mocha. Hardly any lacing but a solid oily coating. Smells of burnt malts, soy sauce, chocolate, anise, charcoal, and alcohol. Tastes of citrus peel, raisins, and some sweet malts up front briefly along with a touch of chocolate and caramel before an assertive blow of burnt toast, soy sauce, charcoal, alcohol, and burnt coffee comes in and crushes your tastebuds and leaves your body shivering in fear. Full in body with low carbonation, sticky and thick. A sweet barleywine-like beginning with an insane abrasive charring finish and lots of booziness. Way too much to handle even 1/2 a bottle of, thank goodness for friends to share with. Though when all is said and done, they may wonder if you consider them a friend or an enemy!

05-04-2009 22:34:29 | More by HopDerek
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.3/5  rDev -12.9%

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.

05-22-2012 10:01:12 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of Casedogg43


3.33/5  rDev -12.1%

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

06-21-2012 04:11:02 | More by Casedogg43
Photo of JWD


3.33/5  rDev -12.1%

Bottle thanks to jcb890


A- looking good here, i was interested at the amount of carb it has for being so high on the ABV. I realized after the pour that the bottle was green, you would never know with the pitch black beer in the bottle. The head was rather light and fluffy and light in color.

S- Still looking good, sweet with some interesting smells that i have yet to find in a RIS, kind of like dirt!!

T- Sweet & roasty and actually good up front with a brutal and lingering gross aftertaste that will be with you tomorrow(somebody mentioned asphalt later PERFECT descrition). I stuggled to finish the bottle, about 2 hours.

M- Thinner than expected partially due to the active carb in it.

D- One is enough for my lifetime, i might get another and cellar for 20 years and see if it smooths out.

I just had to try this, i will be trying a dark horizon next week and will be interested to see how they differ.

02-13-2009 04:50:13 | More by JWD
Photo of eric5bellies


3.35/5  rDev -11.6%

Drank on Tap at the Sail and Anchor, Fremantle.

A - Pours an oily dark Ebony colour with a small tanned head that dies quickly.

S - Aromas of choclate and roasted malts with a stringent spirit like aroma of strong alcohol.

T - The flavours were at extremes and mostly were very hot and spicy. No subtleness present. The boozyness takes this beer over and leaves an unpleasent sticky charred flavour in your mouth.

M - Full to medium body and light to medium carbonation.

O - I prefered the Islay edition and there is no balance to this brew. It pulls your taste buds form one place to another without much enjoyment.

10-10-2011 13:56:16 | More by eric5bellies
Black (黑) from Mikkeller ApS
85 out of 100 based on 424 ratings.