1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Black Buffalo (黑牛) - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black Buffalo (黑牛)Black Buffalo (黑牛)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

71 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 71
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 16.28%
Wants: 21
Gots: 25 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website
Denmark

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  19.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bark on 07-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels.
View: Beers (259) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 71 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of atone315
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of CoryR
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of djaeon
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of jeff1973
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of DarthGuitarHero
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Hopstout
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out extremely black with a stable 5mm tan creamy foam lid which leaves intricate patterns with every swirl of the goblet.

Smell.... Holy Booze, Batman! It takes some time to get accustomed to the level of hot bourbon aroma in this one, and to smell the dark baking chocolate and woody char. But once my head gets used to it, the rich and thick BT aroma signature appears and steals the show.

Intense boozey bourbon flavor blows the back of my head off. Sadly, most of the complexity of the nose gets annihilated by the boozey hotness. Instead, I am left with burnt wood charcoal and medium amounts of blackjack licorice...at least it is drier than most of the other high gravity brews that I have had...

Body is on the thicker side of medium, light carbonation.

In summary, a beautiful nose, but the flavor is overly harsh with solvent-y booziness which is an unfortunate flaw on an otherwise great brew.

Photo of scott2269
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice black color with some tan head and just a bit of lacing, obvious alcohol legs.

The smell has a deep bourbon and a smell, some rich almost meat like smells. Cholocalte and vanilla malts, a smoky like character with the bourbon, big old' beer.

The taste is pretty similar, lots of bourbon and heat, it's sharp but I don't mind. Kinda sweet with plenty of brown sugar and pecan pie in the taste, mostly bourbon like notes, actually not as hot as I suspected, and pretty smooth. Some smoky flavors to go with the sweeter notes, nice.

Overall not bad but a little over the top, almost drinks like a spirit rather than a beer.

Photo of TonyTalon
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of ChaseTheAce
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of M1A2
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of DangerDawg
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of krl2112
3/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of JackieTH
2.65/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

The appearance is brown-black, opaque, with a thin tan cap of foam that sticks to the edges of the glass. It looks inviting. Scents of burned oats, charry grass, burned coffee grounds are detected before being overwhelmed by the smell of grain alcohol. Wow it burns the nasal passages a bit as well. Taste is atrociously grainy, alcohol, burning. Background notes of dirt, burned tobacco, bitterness like spent coffee grounds. Not good. Mouthfeel is burning. It's medium bodied. A friend and I were splitting a 375mL bottle, but just two mouthfuls were more than enough for us and the rest went into the fireplace with a rewarding burst of blue flames! Wow this one wasn't good.

Photo of danieelol
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black with great head and persistent lacing for the ABV.

Smell is chocolate pie, chocolate syrup, chocolate ice cream, chocolate protein powder, soy, coconut, wood.

Taste and mouthfeel does not come together for me. Too spirituous/too much booze. Very astringent and almost sour in the mouth. Not particularly hard to drink, just more spirit-like than imperial stout-like. Just really, really hot. Does have a nice aftertaste with roast malt, chocolate and wood.

Would love to try again in 2-3 years to see what's happened to it.

Photo of gpawned
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of KAP1356
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Pours an oily, slick, black as I entirely expected it would. Surprisingly, there is a 1 finger thick, foamy head that is a tan, sand-like color. It does eventually recede to a film along the top of the beer.

S - The smell is super powerful and is all bourbon up front. Powerful bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and some bitter coffee come through. Much like Black, there is a very strong roasted malt presence that comes across burnt and ashy. Ever so slightly charred flavor comes from them. There is some dark fruits coming through along with some sweet notes of caramel that I attribute to the barrel.

T - The flavor starts as the nose did - with a strong slew of bourbon. It is closely fllowed by the heavily roasted malts that give an almost burnt, ashy flavor to the profile. Molasses, vanilla, caramel, bitter coffee and dark chocolate also come through along with some brown sugar notes. I think I taste some black licorice coming out as well on the back end.

M - The alcohol heat comes through pretty strong in this one and does tend to detract in the enjoyment. The body is slightly thicker than medium bodied and has a light carbonation to it.

O - Pretty intense beer - even more so than the normal version of Black. The strength of the roasted malts battles the sweetness ofthe bourbon and vanilla, but they go back and forth in the battle with one never really winning. This is a definite sipper and one that would be worth splitting with a few friends.

Photo of cvm4
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours thick black, lovely tan one finger head.

S - Straight up the bourbon hits you. Definitely barrel aged! Pretty sure I'm getting some vanilla and semi-sweet chocolate. Faint oak in the background along with roasted malt.

T - The reviewer below me is definitely spot on. Lots of roasted malt, charred oak and bitter finish. You can definitely not dark chocolate coming through. Also, the alcohol is very pronounced. I usually don't mind this if it retains the bourbon characteristics, but this is way off.

T - Full bodied, low-medium carbonation.

O - Everything is great but the taste. Too much charred oak in my beer.

Photo of JustinMatthew
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of appetiteforparis
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a 12.7oz green bottle.

Pours a beautiful thick pitch black that is topped by medium dark tan head that is frothy and very slow to recede. Smells of bitter sweet chocolate, booze, chalk, with a ton of heavy bourbon notes present. First sip is creamy, then bitter, with a strong dark chocolate super bitter finish. The creamy mouthfeel really stands out as the complexity of this beer happily greets me. WoW – so many great things happening here. The 19.3% ABV is present but not in your face. As it warms, the bourbon shines to the front of the class and dominates this wonderful beer. The bitter finish lingers long after every amazing sip. Very nice brew!

Photo of tripledbrew
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle 19,3% ABV.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
Best Before: 16/02/2022

Appearance: Mikkeller does it again! How do these guys get all there stouts to look this good? The body is absolutely pitch black and is topped by a large, creamy, cocoa brown head that displays great retention and leaves thick patches of lace as it recedes. A swirl yields thick, yellow tinted alcohol legs on the glass.

Smell: Mmmm, this smells delicious! The initial nose is all bourbon with notes of sweet vanilla, toasted coconut, caramel, chocolate and oak. As the beer starts to warm the base Black notes begin to become apparent with dark chocolate, thick dark fruits, soya sauce, heavily roasted malt and a little char. Alcohol is clearly noted, but not anywhere near what you would expect from a beer that is nearly 20%!

Taste: The flavour displays similar notes to the nose, however the Black notes are more pronounced with a ton of heavily roasted malt, lots of char and a very bitter finish. The sweet bourbon notes (caramel, vanilla and oak) are not as well integrated with the base beer notes as in the nose and seem to clash a little with the charred, bitter finish.
All that said, Black Buffalo is still a pretty tasty beer! The alcohol is well noted in the flavour, but I did not find it bothersome.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and very oily, with a moderate level of smooth carbonation. The second half of the glass has a distinct liqueur feel.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer and would certainly have it again. I am however, not sure that sweet bourbon is the best barrel treatment for such a roasted, bitter imperial stout. I think peated-whisky would be a much better complement!

Photo of doktorhops
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well it's review #250, and I thought for this one I would review something rare and unique: Mikkeller Black Buffalo. At 19% ABV it is nearly double the strength of the previous strongest ABV beer I've ever tried (Gulden Draak in case you were wondering). It is also the first Danish beer I have tried, and the first American Double Imperial Stout. That's a whole lot of firsts right there.

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a brandy snifter.

A: Deep black body - can't tell if it is cloudy but I suspect so. The head is a light brown and settles down to a ring of lacing.

S: Big aroma, actually has a pervading vegemite scent all over. There are notes of roasted chicory, fresh dirt, molasses and a hint vanilla thrown in as well. A dark and moody aroma all over.

T: If you like insanely bold flavours then this is the beer for you! Roasted chicory, coffee grinds, molasses and bourbon are the primary characters of this brew. Thankfully the vegemite is just in the aroma because as much as I like vegemite it would not go down well in a beer. There is a smoky note in there as well, and a sugar hit? Of course - in a beer of this intensity it is unavoidable, however it doesn't cloy as much as in a Belgian Tripel, which of itself is quite an achievement. The finish is well-balanced between dry and bitter.

M: Heavy bodied, vinous and with a light dense carbonation. Oily as hell, but again this was expected.

D: This is not your everyday beer; in fact while writing this review and finishing my first glass I am already beginning to feel the alcohol hit the bloodstream - point is if you're going to polish off a bottle of this you are spending the night in. Other than that it is a rare special occasion treat that really shows how well a beer can be crafted outside of the comfort zone (or ABV) of a normal brew. Overall an amazing feat of brewing.

Food match: You might want to forego eating anything with Black Buffalo - the flavours are too powerful, it's more an after dinner drink anyway.

Black Buffalo (黑牛) from Mikkeller ApS
88 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.