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Black Damnation XI - Special Kay - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black Damnation XI - Special KayBlack Damnation XI - Special Kay

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

59 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 59
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 191
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  22.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
A blend of Kate The Great (10.79% ABV) and Black Albert (13% ABV), brewed by master brewer Todd Mott of the Portsmouth Brewery in USA and Urbain Coutteau of Struise. This time our beer was fractionally frozen to -15 ° C over a period of 20 days. This method allows the water which is present in beer, slowly but surely to be separated from the alcohol, and allowing the volume % to rise. Another Eisbock process but modified a la Struise, still allows the result to be called beer. "Special K" has previously been aged 10 months in Noval Port barrels before undergoing the Eisbock process.

(Beer added by: brewandbbq on 08-29-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 59 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Phelps:
Photo of Phelps


4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Special Kay begins life as Kabert, a blend of Kate the Great and Black Albert aged 10 months in Noval Port barrels. It then undergoes the Eisbock process, wherein the beer is fractionally frozen to -15 ° C over a period of 20 days, removing the water and increasing the ABV and flavor intensity. This bottle was very generously shared by ejyoung and poured into a tulip.

Inky is an appropriate descriptor for both color and thickness — this stuff is black, viscous and scary-looking. There isn’t much head, just a thin, cocoa-colored ring.

Yikes. A rich, syrupy aroma that sticks to the nostrils. Major coffee, notes — like fresh-roasted beans — with smoke, alcohol, dark chocolate and cognac. Just packed with rich, alcohol-laden fruits.

When I was but a beer noob, I remember being awestruck at the thickness and massive fruit flavor of the 2009 Dark Lord. My palate wasn’t right for days. This reminds of that first taste — it’s such a huge flavor. Alcohol is very noticeable, as are chocolate syrup and huge port, brandy and cognac flavors. Grapes, figs and prunes show up as well. The swallow brings a huge wave of booze, some earthy hop bitterness, soil, dark chocolate, smoke and seared steak. A beer for giants.

Very thick, viscous feel. The body’s medium-full and almost like syrup. Alcohol is spicy on the tongue — no getting around that alcohol content. I can feel myself getting dunker with each sip. Gentle prickles of carbonation are all that keep this from being dead flat.

A crazy beer. Rich, outrageously flavorful and boozy as all hell.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2012 19:08:19 | More by Phelps
More User Reviews:
Photo of erg


5/5  rDev +14.2%

06-29-2014 22:31:53 | More by erg
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4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

03-29-2014 19:02:36 | More by Brabander
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3/5  rDev -31.5%

01-20-2014 12:12:05 | More by digita7693
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4.25/5  rDev -3%

12-01-2013 00:00:54 | More by ncaudle
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4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

08-23-2013 07:32:05 | More by 4thelvofbeer
Photo of 77black_ships


4.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had this several times draft. First time was fresh at the Kertbierfestival 2011 in Essen where I was blown away by it. Had about 6 tasting glasses of it. Many of those were from people who couldn’t manage to drink their own sample. Tried it since then again draft at the brewery and at their store in Bruges. Both times it was nice but paled in comparison to having it fresh on tap in Essen. Review is from the first time I tried it.

Appearance: Ridiculously dark, looks viscous and oily when poured. Incredibly it supports a bit chocolate mousse despite the very high ABV, courtesy of Struise’s special eisbocking technique.

Smell: Cold the booze comes through way to much, almost smells like vodka – not my thing. When warmed you get chocolate, thick roasted malts, ice coffee as thick as a milkshake but unfortunately the alcohol comes through still heavily.

Taste: Thick, very thick, thick syrup, super concentrated malt syrup, bucket of molasses squeezed into this, concentrated brown sugar, ice coffee & condensed coffee, sludgy, a roast which tries not to drown in the syrup & sweetly goodness, strong Porto (calvados?) aftertaste, warming but not really alcoholic.

Body: By far my favorite aspect of this beer, thickest RIS I have every head. Pure syrupy sludge – incredible.

Overall: The first time when I tried this, freshly made it was divine. An experience aided perhaps by the fact that this my first beer in this ABV category. Previous incarnations failed but I hear that the bottles are much better. I have never managed to convince myself to cough up the incredibly hefty price tag.

Serving type: on-tap

07-12-2013 12:47:55 | More by 77black_ships
Photo of ejyoung


4.25/5  rDev -3%

07-12-2013 05:03:31 | More by ejyoung
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4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

07-03-2013 19:00:25 | More by Mbrown44
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4/5  rDev -8.7%

06-09-2013 05:56:51 | More by BARFLYB
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5/5  rDev +14.2%

05-24-2013 08:36:17 | More by beernads
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4.25/5  rDev -3%

04-12-2013 03:48:27 | More by cadaugherty
Photo of BAsbill


4.25/5  rDev -3%

03-30-2013 04:13:13 | More by BAsbill
Photo of leschkie


4.25/5  rDev -3%

03-10-2013 07:55:51 | More by leschkie
Photo of jammalamma

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +14.2%

03-09-2013 20:47:52 | More by jammalamma
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4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

01-30-2013 22:55:52 | More by imperiallibations
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District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

01-18-2013 01:58:54 | More by yourefragile
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4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

01-14-2013 00:50:58 | More by spycow
Photo of Kelp

New Hampshire

4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

01-11-2013 05:13:15 | More by Kelp
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4/5  rDev -8.7%

12-16-2012 06:40:30 | More by teddyarrowhead
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours out dark as motor oil and almost as thick; the small tan head probably could have been bigger with a harder pour, but that is not the kind of thing one does with a beer like this

Smell: Just massive - all of the dark fruit flavors complementing the chocolate and molasses notes; smells a bit like a port that has been combined with a huge RIS

Taste: As on the nose, the taste here is massive as well, with the fruity notes bringing date, prune and black cherry, up front, and the chocolate, molasses and burnt brown sugar joining in the middle; the high ABV level hits, after the swallow, building the intensity of the flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with low carbonation; lots of warmth in the gullet

Overall: One of those rare beers that will wow everybody in a room, I was just so happy to have had the opportunity to try it

Thanks, bobertkuekn, for bringing this to the ORF release - mighty generous

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 12:53:25 | More by brentk56
Photo of imperialking


4.25/5  rDev -3%

11-13-2012 20:33:10 | More by imperialking
Photo of birchstick


3.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours black with a chocolate head that forms around the glass

S - nose is nose is cinnamon, chocolate, port, and spicy fruits

T - opens up with soy booziness and chocolates. These move on to bourbony chocolates and a lot of milk chocolate. Wow, powerful beer here.

M - boozy as hell, really spicy and hot

D - overall, this is another intense beer out of the black damnation series. Lots of boozy complexity makes this a treat to try!

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2012 02:13:49 | More by birchstick
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had from tap at the brewery...awesome!!!
First of all, Carlos apologized for this batch only being like 18% ... (how will I sleep?!)
This pours a thick oily black with thin tan head. Amazing chocolate malt, dried fruit, vanilla, and booze aromas. Taste is truly amazing. Chocolate, dried fruit and I suppose its port I taste...its fantastic!! I so wished to take a whole barrel home with me. Just an amazing brew.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2012 22:07:55 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of Etan


3.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally opening this. 750ml bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours a reddish dark brown with a small tan head. Surprising amount of lacing and retention for a 22% beer.

S: Cherry, raisins, thick chocolate, boozy oak. Very smooth.

T: Semi-sweet port, bitter roasted malts, dark chocolate, heavy smoky character, lots of oaky tannic bitterness and a wash of noticeable but pleasant alcohol. I can definitely make out the Kabert in this.

M: Slight carbonation, almost thick-bodied, silky.

O: The beer definitely kept it under control for 22%, but it tasted a bit too smoky and astringent. A unique experience, but not as amazing as it could have been.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 05:41:30 | More by Etan
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Black Damnation XI - Special Kay from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.