Black Buffalo (黑牛) - Mikkeller ApS
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Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
3.68/5 rDev -6.4%
Riding on the heels of the original Black, Mikkeller's Buffalo Trace-infused version pommels the taste buds into submission with an absurdly intense bourbon flavor and feel that's as intimidating as it is curious. Even coming from a staunch bourbon appreciator, I was taken back by the bourbon effect that's on display here.
Black Buffalo decants with an oily consistency that provides a mirror-like gloss of depth and clarity. The head builds like densely on the beer but reduces to a film across the surface before eventually succumbing to the rise of alcohols. As the sandy head colapses into the beer, The lace is replaced by inky legging that stains the glass with dark brandy-like appearances.
Bourbon, cocoa, espresso, toasted walnuts, and scorched molasses all fill the nose with equally high intensity but alternating with each visit of the nose to the glass. Roasted grain, rummy licorice and vinous red grape must gives a nearly sweet and smoky woodiness to accompany the alcoholic notes as the beer warms.
There's no doubt of the prominent flavor of this crazy-stupid stout- It's the undeniable taste of Buffalo Trace bourbon. In contrast, the smoky sweetness of scorched molasses superscedes the roast. Espresso and cocoa follow closely behind but can never command the forefront of flavor beyond the shear taste of bourbon. Oily walnuts, vanilla, caramel, burnt woods, and sherry-like wines give a sweeter and fruitier edge to ride along side of the roast and bourbony sweetness- often in contrast. Delicious but somewhat unsettled as the fusal flavor of alcohol becomes the highlight of the beer while hot and taking away from the subtle interplay of esters, oxides, roast, and caramelized sweetness.
Absolutely brutal to the mouth as an exploratory sip is immediately met with extreme alcohol heat, palate numbing, and sharp stinging of fusal distilled spirits. Undoubtedly full in body, but the beer's thinning alcohol forbids any appreciation of texture or finesse. Past the enormity of bourbon, the roast and barrel astringency continues into a very long and developing aftertaste.
Black Buffalo is an absolute beast that may be appreciated best when taken an ounce at a time from a shot glass. Facetious of course, but the take away from this beer is that it must be appreciated much more as a cordial or replacement for straight spirits as the beer rivals the amount of alcohol that's normally reserved for milder spirits and liquors.
04-18-2012 18:12:41 | More by BEERchitect
3.83/5 rDev -2.5%
Black in color with a very small tan head. Strong vanilla and bourbon aromas along with some booze. Quite a bit of roasted malt, maybe a little char. Sweet sugar and caramel with a touch of coffee and dark chocolate. The flavor is sweet with a touch of bitterness from all the roast. Brown sugar, caramel, and a dark chocolate maltiness to go with lots of bourbon and vanilla. A light booziness and still plenty of roast/char flavors.
08-10-2012 22:53:38 | More by womencantsail
3.69/5 rDev -6.1%
Bottle from West Lakeview Liquors.
A - Dark tan foam lingers as a solid cap, leaving behind specks of lace; pretty impressive carbonation for nearly 20%. Black body, with a vague hint of brown at the edges of the glass.
S - Intense chocolate fudge, vanilla, roasted malts, bourbon, cloying brown sugar and dark fruit sweetness, and some overt alcohol and chemical notes. The latter seemed to bother my friends more than me, but it's still pretty hot.
T - The taste is significantly rougher, with a mix of cloying sweetness and charry ash. Unlike the Cognac edition the barrel-aging doesn't mask the elements I dislike in the base beer, although it doesn't intensify them like the whisky version did either. Jumbled mix of chocolate, licorice, vanilla, tar, ash, oak, and Buffalo Trace.
M - Medium body, grainy and tannic texture, with a lingering sticky finish. Loads of boozy, alcohol heat here, although nothing excessive for the ABV. Carbonation is low, but style-appropriate.
D - Everyone else despised this, but I thought it was merely OK. Manageable in a 2oz serving, but probably needs years to calm down. That being said, the Cognac version went off the rails after about 2 years, so who knows if this will improve over time. Maybe worth trying if you're really desensitized to booze like I am, but not for the faint of heart.
06-12-2013 19:29:48 | More by MasterSki
2.71/5 rDev -31%
375ml green bottle shared with friends and poured into a matching Mikkeller Teku. The brew appears black in color with a tan cap. A full wall of tan head leaves faint spotty lacing effect sticking to the glass.
The aroma includes notes of fruity alcohol esters. Some roasty coffee to strong burnt grain. As more sniffs are taken, it becomes dominating with solvent booze that burns the nose.
The taste is straight burning. Just a huge inclusion of solvent alcohol coupled with raw oak and alcohol like vodka. Some earth and tobacco with bitter roasty elements and just a sheer amount of numbing alcohol. The more you hold this beer in your mouth and try to pick out flavors, it honestly burns and dulls your senses.
This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. That alcohol is atrocious. Just outrageous and too much without seemingly any other character to take in. This could have been aged on dirty toilet seats and firemans boots instead of buffalo trace barrels and none of us would be to the wiser. To this brews credit, I was drunk after drinking my pour.
01-30-2013 20:12:00 | More by stakem
District of Columbia
3.95/5 rDev +0.5%
Shared by dreadnaught33. Thanks Jonathan!
The beer is near black with a thin beige head. The aroma offers a large and in charge malt character, followed by some roast notes. Whoa! The flavor will kick your ass. Oh mama...this is a sadistic, wonderful beverage. Alcohol is over the top rope, but it hurts so good. Hooray beer.
08-18-2012 04:09:13 | More by Huhzubendah
3.03/5 rDev -22.9%
375 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.
Appearance - Vigorous pour yields a small mocha head. Then nothing. Glass-staining and very leggy.
Smell - Raisins and booze. A little bit of chocolate. And then more booze.
Taste - Really alcoholic. Raisins. Bourbon is present, but it's difficult to discern between bourbon liquor flavors and the alcohol from the stout. Intensely roasty malt. Very acrid and burnt finish.
Mouthfeel - Acrid, bitter, rough, and very alcoholic. Well carbonated, though.
Overall - Some interesting flavors, but one of the most unpleasant finishes I've ever experienced in a beer. I kept going back for more, though.
06-19-2014 23:52:30 | More by Alieniloquium
4.05/5 rDev +3.1%
12.7 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head that stayed around a little while. There's also a lot of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is sweet and malty, the brew smells like chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, roasted and burnt/charred malt, caramel, and a bit of dark fruit. It tastes like bourbon, bittersweet and milk chocolate, vanilla, burnt/charred malt, booze, coffee, molasses and some licorice. The alcohol is noticeable, but it's not as hot as I was expecting it to be considering it's 19.3% ABV. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick and coating and has a moderate amount of carbonation. I think it's a good enough brew, and it would be interesting to see how this one ages. $13.99 a bottle.
04-28-2012 21:24:39 | More by bluejacket74
2.7/5 rDev -31.3%
The pour isn't pitch black but pretty close, translucent chocolate brown out of the bottle, settling in under a thick mocha head that shows excellent retention and lacing. Really surprised at the head and lacing on a beer this big.
Aroma is bourbon, vanilla and a metric ish-ton of heavily roasted chocolate malts, not quite charred, just heavily roasted with dark chocolate and espresso beans.
The taste just doesn't measure up to the aroma. Alcohol up front, ethyl alcohol in fact. If regular Black tastes like charred earth (which it does in my opinion), then this is kinda like bourbon on the rocks...iis the rocks were pieces of charred earth. Burns like hell going down.
Mouthfeel is well carbonated given the alcohol but is all booze.
This makes Black Tuesday drink like Prima Pils. Doesn't hide the booze at all - the only flavors that do come out are charred malts and licorice. Just not my thing.
05-17-2012 02:42:02 | More by gford217
4.25/5 rDev +8.1%
375ml bottle into a 25cl Duvel tulip. Big thanks to Hopstoopid120 for sharing this monstrosity of a beer.
A: Blacker than night, with a finger of fine brown head. Good retention and lacing, especially for the astronomical ABV.
S: Insanely huge and amazing: bourbon, char, coffee, chocolate, and general barrel-aged richness. Amazingly little alcohol for the strength, with all the beer and barrel components receiving equal prominence. Truly wonderful.
T: Opens with all the awesomeness of the nose (SO much bourbon), but the booze swoops in like a falcon and simply destroys everything else with spicy, head-exploding alcohol. It's still a treat to sip, but nowhere near the perfection of the aroma.
M: Moderately thick, moderately carbonated, and profoundly sharp with booze.
O: I could have inhaled this nose on this one all night long, but sadly it was just too overwhelming with its alcohol component. At least it wasn't a sugar-bomb like Black Tuesday.
05-21-2012 22:20:22 | More by woosterbill
4.15/5 rDev +5.6%
Poured from 375mL bottle into a Koningshoven chalice. Stamped 4791202. I've been holding on to this one for about six months.
A: Utterly opaque, and just a shade or three short of black. The sparse bubbles that serve as head are brown and cling desperately to the sides of the glass.
S: Huge, raisiny, and estery. Overwhelmingly sweet, with a dead-flat yeast that I associate with old barleywines (think J.W. Lees 1994). Compared to the original, the ginger is still present, but any smoke or meatiness is entirely absent. Perhaps the bourbon sweetness killed faint peat? Definitely a strong beer.
T: Mmm. This is a huge, creamy, smooth, deceptive sort of beer...to start. Then you take a tiny swallow and BAM! it goes down like Alabama moonshine-- Harsh, fiery, and delicious, with a kick that goes immediately to the head and intoxicates after a single half-ounce. The fore/maintaste is full of coconut and chocolate. The aftertaste has all the smoke that was missing from the nose, with a healthy dose of over-ripe, fermenting peach.
M: A touch withdrawn, or flat, but compared to everything else, it pales.
O: An insanely powerful, hugely flavorful, eminently enjoyable beer. Mikkel seems drawn to extremes, and this one is definitely that. Recommended. Will have again, if I can ever find one.
01-07-2013 06:40:56 | More by AgentMunky
4.33/5 rDev +10.2%
A - Dark brown-black with a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. Fades at a normal pace.
S - Dark chocolate and dark caramel malts, roasted coffee, lots of oak, bourbon and vanilla, molasses, black licorice, some dark fruit, and some booze.
T - Dark chocolate and sweet dark caramel malts, roasted coffee, lots of oak, vanilla, and Bourbon, black licorice, molasses, and dark fruit, some citrus and pine hops and a bit of bitterness, and booze.
M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a warming and sweet finish.
D - Nicely balanced big imperial Stout. Nice body and mouthfeel. The Bourbon is a nice and bold, but well balanced.
02-08-2013 07:55:47 | More by ngeunit1
3.8/5 rDev -3.3%
A: Pitch black pour. Huge effervescent very dark brown head. Excellent legs. Fades slowly, eventually leaving some really nice bubbly lacework behind. Decent retention too.
S: Potent boozy bourbon with HEAVY roasted malt. Loads of chocolate and char primarily. Big, sweet and boozy. Delicious.
T: Wonderful mix of bourbon and roasted malt up front. Lots of caramel, chocolate, toffee and vanilla. Sweet and heavy through to the middle. Sweetness fades into the finish, turning it into a heavy acrid char and baker's chocolate. Super boozy and harsh acrid in the lingering aftertaste.
M: Heavy but not syrupy. Very acrid and drying on the back end.
O: This one is a really tough call. Up front it is sweet and a wonderful bourbon and roasted malt mix. On the back end it is super drying, super harsh alcohol and very acrid. It's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Very strange. Maybe if you sat on it for a few decades it might smooth out. Right now it's very boozy and sharp for sure. I averaged out the scores to account for a really good beginning but really bad end.
12-20-2012 04:32:32 | More by Dope
Black Buffalo (黑牛) from Mikkeller ApS
88 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.