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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
95
world-class

59 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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
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: 59 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bsuedekum
bsuedekum

Missouri

4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

09-01-2012 04:00:03 | More by bsuedekum
Photo of samEBC
samEBC

Belgium

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

08-25-2012 16:40:59 | More by samEBC
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.15/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

shared with one of the tasting crews on 8/15.

a - still. black. frightening.

s - BOOZE. black malts. some fruit ala kabert, port and green apples, but swallowed by the bigness of the booze.

t - really smooth. definitely a bit boozy on the flavor, but doesn't feel like the 22% that it carries. roasted malts and some port barrel. like kabert on steroids.

m - this is a BIG beer. smooth, but still big.

o - overall this is a really nice treat, but not mind blowing. mind blowing how easy it is to drink. i prefer double black and kabert to this one. a bit of a novelty. tasty on its own, but for what it is, definitely impressive to make such a tasty and drinkable beer at this ABV with a non syrupy body.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2012 03:00:52 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

07-23-2012 00:28:09 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Why not? My mate Doopie pulled this new vintage of EisKabert out to pair along side Kabert on a random Friday night. It was fun to drink a full 16oz of this one (Doops is slow). Cheers man!

From a red cemented and corked 750 into a snifter
Best before 29 December 2016

APPEARANCE: Pours basically the same as its little brother. A black pour yeilds a one finger, medium looking, tan head with good retention. Body is black with medium levels of carbonation evident in the form of tiny, tiny bubbles. Head slowly fades to a half wisp and a thick, foamy ring. A good ring remains and swirly wisp remain until the end but leave no real lacing down the glass. Looks great for such a big beer.

SMELL: Roasted, burnt malts, some dark fruit, grapes mostly, and a strong port barrel. Dark chocolate, coffee and molasses, as well as some strong boozy notes. This is an iced version of Kabert for sure, though the booze is perhaps a tick too much for a perfect score.

TASTE: This is definitely a Kabert concentrate. Add water. Lots of port barrel and much boozier than the nose had indicated. Roasted and burnt malts, coal, and dark fruit flavors are there. Sweet molasses and caramel as well, with lots of port and alcohol everywhere. Big, bold and boozy aftertaste of port, bunt malts, dark chocolate and sweet caramel. Lots of port and booze linger on the palate.

PALATE: Full body with medium carbonation. Heavier and thicker than the original. Creamy and quite smooth, goes down fine and finishes rather sticky. No bite at the swallow, but a good amount of boozy heat lingers.

OVERALL: They call this beer "Special Kay." How retarted. That name reminds me of fat old ladies on their Buns Blaster 2000. The original name, EisKabert, is much more true to what this beer is all about. This is, in every sense of the word, an iced version of Kabert; a Kabert-concentrate if you will. The flavors are there ten fold, but unfortunately the booze is as well. The higher levels of alcohol and heat make this one a little rougher to drink, but with some time, this might mellow out into the master-craft brew it's destined to be. I'll stick to Kabert for now, but in a few years... Cheers for brewing this gents. We really enjoyed this!

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2012 15:27:58 | More by Jeffo
Photo of Thehuntmaster
Thehuntmaster

South Africa

4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle 22% ABV.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
Best Before: 29/12/2016

I cannot thank Thijs enough for getting this bottle for me! I absolutely adore gargantuan imperial stouts and if the previous beers in the Black Damnation series are anything to go by, this should be a pretty damn good brew!

Appearance: After about half an hour trying to open the bottle (the wax broke my bottle opener!!!), I can finally get the beer poured. A pitch black, oily liquid gloops out of the bottle, with a two finger creamy, mocha coloured head forming in what appears to be slow motion. The head retention is pretty good for 22% and there are even a few small chunks of lace left behind as the head recedes. A swirl yields a thick, sticky, brown tinted residue on the glass and some of the thickest alcohol legs I have ever seen.

Smell: Mmmmm, this smells absolutely delicious. Notes include: Raisins, plums, dates, black cherries, sticky brown sugar, light molasses, port, brandy, underlying dark chocolate, light oak and an odd hint of cinnamon. The overall nose reminds me a lot of a super rich fruit cake. As the beer warms the port notes become more pronounced and a hint of the 22% is noted.

Taste: Wow, just WOW! The flavour combines all the notes from the nose in perfect balance and with double the power! While dark fruits still dominate the flavour, the chocolate and molasses are more pronounced than in the nose. Roasted malt, dark brown sugar, charred wood, dark caramel, port, oak, brandy, liquorice, toasted nuts and chocolate liqueur are just a few of the other notes appreciated. Special Kay is quite sweet, but a light bitterness in the finish stops it from becoming to much and keeps everything perfectly balanced.
The alcohol cover is absolutely phenomenal, if someone told me that this was 12% I would not doubt them!

Mouthfeel: Hmmm, there is only one word for this mouthfeel - perfect! Thick, heavy and oily with a medium level of ultra creamy carbonation.

Overall: De Struise does it again - this is a phenomenal brew and one I wish I had not shared, I could have happily crushed the full 750! Highly recommended for any lover of massive stouts!

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 20:25:16 | More by Thehuntmaster
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

06-16-2012 23:40:24 | More by drewone
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

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
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nmann08

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

06-04-2012 14:28:22 | More by nmann08
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

06-04-2012 06:30:48 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of pixieskid
pixieskid

Germany

3.5/5  rDev -20.1%

05-30-2012 15:36:54 | More by pixieskid
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing, Nick!

A: Pours pitch black with a thin dark brown head that faded into a very long lasting collar. Spots of soapy lace were left down the glass.
S: Meaty and hearty smelling. This is a beast of a beer. For such a high ABV I’m surprised I don’t smell more alcohol. This smells pretty smooth actually. I get a few notes chocolate and fruit. Definitely boozy though.
T: Chocolate and booze. The finish is sharp and lingers forever and ever. The booze is pretty mellow, but this beer is crazy strong.
M: Super duper thick beer. This thing is like barrel aged chocolate syrup. Carbonation is low and thick.
O: For what it is this is awesome! I could only handle two or three ounces of this though. Like a chocolate milkshake with booze and fruit. Thanks a ton Nick.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2012 04:59:09 | More by scottfrie
Photo of klipper
klipper

Michigan

4/5  rDev -8.7%

05-13-2012 21:25:38 | More by klipper
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at the Copenhagen Beer Celebration. Poured into a tasting tulip.

Appearance: This beer is black as night with a half finger of creamy tan head and nice retention.

Smell: Sweet and roasty with a strong dark fruit and port presence. I'm getting some chocolate and brown sugar. Roast and some alcohol as well.

Taste: Not as overpowering as I would have expected. Dark chocolate and dark fruit notes. I'm definitely getting some port here. There is a smooth roasty flavor throughout the sip and a bitter alcohol burn in the finish. I'm pretty sure I like this better than regular Kate.

Mouthfeel: The body is thick with smooth carbonation and a dry finish. This is a really nice feeling beer.

Overall: This beer tastes really good and feels wonderful. Incredibly drinkable given the abv. The fruit/wine undertones really make the flavor. I would love to have this again.

Serving type: on-tap

05-13-2012 14:04:57 | More by oline73
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Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

04-23-2012 21:58:38 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of phingdong
phingdong

New Hampshire

4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

04-22-2012 18:32:48 | More by phingdong
Photo of LynnHomeBrewer
LynnHomeBrewer

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +14.2%

04-22-2012 18:06:30 | More by LynnHomeBrewer
Photo of Satchboogie
Satchboogie

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

04-22-2012 12:29:28 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sean for sharing.

A - A black beer with a tan head. Had some solid retention that settled to a thick ring. Nice looking.

S - My initial thought on this one was apples, although not overly powering to make me think that something had gone wrong with it. Port influence gives way to some more traditional stout aromas including chocolate, slight roast, and vanilla.

T - Has some wine-like qualities up front. The alcohol on this is present, but at 22% is pretty mellow. Pretty rich, with dark fruits and chocolate. Good tasting beer.

M - Pretty close to full bodied, with lower carbonation.

O - Good beer. Not sure where the apple notes are coming from, but other then that there isn't anything to complain about. Glad to drink it, but would not try to acquire given how much it originally went for.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2012 21:52:27 | More by AgentZero
Photo of DARIVA
DARIVA

Netherlands

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 17:41:04 | More by DARIVA
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sean for sharing this expensive brew. Served in a Hill Farmstead glass.

A - Nice tan foam that settles to a thin cap and thick collar, but minimal lacework. Black body with a glint of dark brown. Always very impressive that these high-ABV Struise beers look so good.

S - Intense aroma of green apple and vinous port is my initial impression, but as it warms more milk chocolate and vanilla emerges. Not much wood presence, and alcohol is reasonably well-hidden.

T - Taste is also quite vinous and port-forward, with some nice rich medium-dark chocolate, roasted malts, fudge, dark fruits and perhaps a bit more barrel presence. Again, alcohol is pretty well masked for 22%, although the beer is still somewhat boozy.

M - Medium-full body, melted chocolate texture, with a dry tannic finish. Carbonation is appropriately on the lower side of things. Some warming alcohol presence, but drinks more like a low teens beer.

D - The green apple in the aroma is a little off-putting - if this were aged in Calvados barrels it would make sense, but in this case it seems more like acetaldehyde. I suspect it may fade over time and this beer should age quite gracefully. The ice distillation has really emphasized the port barrel characteristics and muted the subtitles of Kabert. While the concealing of 22% ABV is a feat in its own right I find this to be inferior to Kabert. I think I prefer Double Black as well. Still, really neat to try - thanks Sean!

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2012 04:57:08 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into tulip.

A - Pours black, looks like oil, light tan-colored head.

S - Booze, oak, dark fruits, light chocolate, some char, and roast. A bit too much booze for me, but for 22%, I guess it's pretty smooth when I think about it. Not quite as roasty as I'd prefer, and the char is a little too much.

T - Similar to the nose, but the charred bite on the finish is a little off-putting. Dark fruits, chocolate, oak, char, and big booze. Very sweet and rich, a sipper. The booze is there, but at 22%, I can't really say it's too much. Finish is dark fruits a char.

M - Full, rich and smooth (for 22%), light carbonation, creamy finish.

O - I think this is a good beer, but I'd rather just drink Kabert over and over again until I pass out rather then a glass of this. Struise continues to push the boundaries on ABV and inventiveness, and I think this beer turned out pretty good. That said, it's just such a huge monster, it's hard to enjoy much in one session (see Double Black). Good, not great.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 15:59:11 | More by Sean9689
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

03-17-2012 20:37:46 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of claaark13
claaark13

Indiana

4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 05:25:37 | More by claaark13
Photo of monitorpop
monitorpop

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

01-29-2012 23:37:57 | More by monitorpop
Black Damnation XI - Special Kay from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.