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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

68 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 68
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 199
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

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: 68 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Kegatron
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml red wax/plastic/cement topped and then corked bottle into a couple of snifters. I probably took about an 8 oz pour or so of this. Once again, HUGE thanks go to Stakem for opening this up for us to have a go out. This wasn’t a beer, it was an EVENT!

Pours a dense black in the glass, topped with roughly a ½ finger of burnt and angry looking dark mocha head. This stays frothy around the edges of the glass, leaving back a cascade of gooey oils and spotty lacing that slowly creeps down the sides and sticks a bit. The aroma smells of oak, chocolate fudge, dark vinous fruit, roasted coffee, and spicy alcohol warmth. There is a nice depth and power here to the nose but it isn’t exactly blowing up for me like it feels like it should.

The taste just brings it, with a sticky and boozy blend of chocolate, molasses, coffee, and a strong dark fruitiness, with green tannins and burnt wood that stick to the tongue. It’s the sweetness here however that lingers the most for me, with a combination of fruit and sugars that work really well together and just coat the mouth with flavor. The more burnt and bitter aspects of this can’t be ignored however, and despite the overall smoothness of the flavor profile, there is still an intensity to this that is hard to shake. That sweetness (emboldened by the alcohol) is definitely leaving the biggest impact on me though. The mouthfeel is beyond full bodied, with a thick and chewy carbonation and a bold spicy sweetness from all of that alcohol. This may be the highest ABV beer that I’ve in this large of a quantity during a sitting and while I can feel the alcohol content slowly sapping my body of any remaining moisture, I am just astounded at how smooth and downright drinkable this is for a 22% beer, which really speaks to the depth and richness of this.

Like I mentioned above, enjoying this beer was an event, as you don’t just drink or sip something like this, you wrestle with it, as it commands that much respect. This beer is a downright beast and despite the headache the next morning, I’d tussle with it anytime. Thanks again Adam. This beer was a pleasure.

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +3%

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4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev +3%

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4.5/5  rDev +3%

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4.5/5  rDev +3%

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4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +3%

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4.5/5  rDev +3%

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4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of DARIVA
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This is a nice deep black beer with minimal head.

S: This beer has no dominant recognizable odors.

T: This is a beer with a bite not for dummy's.

M: This beer is really delicious with an beautiful carbonation.

O: This beer is very drinkable and lively present.

Photo of claaark13
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Jeffo does it again. I was afraid he'd send BA Stella, but I got this instead.

A - Pours black with a medium dark-tan head. The head slowly turns into some nice lacing. Sticks to the glass well. Looks very appealing, head returns upon sifting.

S - Strong dark fruits, breadiness, booze. The aroma is potent and certainly provides some booziness. There is a little bit of the port barrel coming through, but I can't tell if that is mostly due to the ABV% instead of the actual barrel aging process. Faint licorice in the finish.

T - Very similar to the aroma. Strong dark fruits, then some licorice, then some mild booziness with more dark fruits. Breadiness comes through somewhere in the middle and follows to the end. Very strong, very complex. As it stands, I think this could benefit from some age. No question.

M - Not really sure how much more you could ask for. Thick, thick, just enough carbonation, thick.

O - The flavor could develop a little more. The rest is damn good. The booze needs to fall off and the time it would take for that to occur would likely provide for some of the other flavors to come together. Good as it stands, probably great in two years. I'm a little let down by the flavor. I expected perfection, but didn't find it. I guess Double Black spoiled me. Claaark13 : 1, Special Kay : 0.

Photo of brentk56
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
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

Photo of rvdoorn
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up some bottles for myself and some fellow BAs in the struise shop in Brugge. Thanks again Bart for the nice customer service last week, and David for the nice talks and beers in the shop. Only between 300 and 400 bottles are made of this one. I wanted to wait a bit longer before tasting this one, but couldn’t resist the evening I came home from Brugge.
Look: the beer pours a deeep black color, with a dark espresso brown thick head.
Smell: coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, dark fruits and fruity port notes.
Taste: Dark fruits, freshly roasted coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak port notes. A bit spicy, warming alcoholic aftertaste. There is incredibly much going on in this one.
Mouthfeel: Thick creamy body with low but perfect carbonation
Overall: This beer is extremely well made. Right now, still a bit sharp/spicy, however, age will do this one very well and will surely make it a true worldclass beer! Can wait to open one of my other bottles in the future!

Photo of Shaimless
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of mtbdonn
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I originally had the Special Kay from the keg at the Kerstbier festival in Essen, Belgium.
Opened a 75cl bottle from the cellar at approx 50 degrees F and served in my Struise tulip glass.

A-The beer is pitch black, with a nice, dark brown head. Light carbonation with nice lacing.

S-Heavy roast, chocolate, vanilla(?), coffee and malts.

T-The taste is very similar to smell, bitter coffee, chocolate, warming alcohol and spices. The bottled version was much milder, less alcohol than the draft version.

M-Tingly warm, silky, smooth.

O-Definite indications of Struise brewing!
This bottled version is a fantastic beer, but at 22%, it still has that alcolol punch. A nice sipping beer that finishes with a warming that melts down your throat.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A frozen version of Kabert. Three gallons reduced to one gallon via secret method of freezing.

Served very late night by De Struise at Ebenezer's Belgian Fest.

Black tar appearance with a surprisingly dense, rocky head of brown. Ripped lacework throughout the glass.

Charred chocolate, reduced espresso, roasted malt embers, and nougat in the nose. Warming alcohol steps forward along with intensifying Port.
Bits of rich earth, vanilla, and burnt brownie ends follow though.

Massively thick, chewy body. Tongue-wrapping and approaching an almost solid state.

A dense mix of dark chocolate, char, Kona grounds, and nougat lead off the pallet. Warming alcohol steps forward with a mildly intense oaky Port essence.
Fudge batter, blackened cake bottom, and Kahlua follow though.
The alcohol warms up a bit more but the richness of the brew hides it so well.

Finishes with lingering char-infused chocolate batter, drizzled with Port.

By far, the most massive stout I've ever had. The Port from the Kate brings a great complexity through the massive profile, and the 24% abv strength is incredibly subdued.

Big props to Chris Lively, Todd Mott, and De Struise for making this gem happen.

Photo of PapaEugene
4.68/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had to give up my free evening since rvdoorn went to Brugge and came home with some special kay... and couldn't wait to open one!!! I gladly accepted!

A: Black, I mean BLACK with a nice espresso foam like head on top.

S: Espresso (or should I say Ristretto), cacao, dark fruits and peaty.

T: Yes, defenitley Ristretto, Cacao, oak, port notes and dark fruits... and some alcohol warming.

M: Thick, creamy, smooth and perfectly carbonated for this style.

O: A great new brew from Struise and my only remark is the alcohol warming. With some aging this will just become better and better.

Black Damnation XI - Special Kay from De Struise Brouwers
96 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.