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Black Damnation XI - Special Kay - De Struise Brouwers

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

69 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 69
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 200
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:
Beer added by: brewandbbq on 08-29-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 69 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of brentk56
4.59/5  rDev +5%
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 ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Kegatron
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
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 Slatetank
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to stakem for this 'special' treat, enjoyed from a tulip shared with tenderbranson 69.

This is a deceptive liquid -a pfsst! from the cap as it is pryed off with a pour that collapses the liquid on top of itself looking as thick as used motor oil with no head and legs line the glass as it is swirled. The smell is immediately intense with huge malt aromas filling my nostrils and a woody element that has a sweet odor with slight soy sauce spiciness and moderate cocoa notes with light vanilla and peppery odors.


The feel is thick, warming drying and sweet without being cloying, smooth for what it is with pretty aggressive yet not harsh alcohol that is balanced by some serious malt intensity and residual sugary smacking texture with tannic and alcohol holding steady throughout. The taste is something I don't think you can imagine unless you have tasted it so concentrated with dark malt and wood it is almost salty yet still has a sweetness and fruity quality with spicy and bitter cocoa flavors alongside a serious taste of alcohol and toffee-like burnt sugar flavor. This is a truly impressive substance, not highly drinkable, but very worthy for the process has created something you will not experience the like of often! Thanks again Adam!

Photo of oline73
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of MasterSki
3.96/5  rDev -9.4%
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!

Photo of beernads
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.39/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of stakem
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dear Struise, can you please explain the easiest way to open this bottle? Knife, saw, chisel, blow torch, hammer, saber? When the wax finally gives up the fight of keeping the brew away from you, it gets the last laugh by shattering into a dozen pieces. The cap pries off and displays a synthetic cork still getting in the way. When the last line of defense is finally broken, the 750ml bottle pops with a warning.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears black. Just very black with the faintest line of dark brown around the edges. A finger of dark mocha brown head appears and quickly fades. A swirl revives a half finger of froth back to the surface which again fades fairly quick. Spotty lace sticks to the glass and as its tilted to the light, you can see some faint ruby coloration.

The smell is thick and boozy. Vinous port quality mixes with a strong scent of cocoa batter. Raw oak provides a bit of tannic harshness to the nose with a contrasting deeply sweet smell of vanilla. A bit of coconut, licorice, oak and grape comes out as the brew warms up. Despite smelling bold with alcohol, it displays a very cruel sweetness that deceives you into making false assumptions about what thinks going to taste like.

The taste is super strong and boozy with a bold array of bitter charred grain. Tobacco and burnt sugar is suggested mixed with port wine, vinous tang and a bit of grapes sweetness. The derived sweetness gets completely crushed by the bitterness of the roast and bold alcohol impact. Across the back are notes of raw oak and more alcohol that gets a bit fusel.

This is a full bodied brute of a beer. It is thick and viscous but displays a moderate amount of carbonation. There is lots of character to take in this brew. There is no hiding that Kabert is running all through this brew. The 22% alcohol is not hiding at all, it seemingly stains the glass. Very aggressive brew that I can't describe any better than Kegatron stated while drinking this with me. "This tastes like it was made with testosterone." It seemingly rips the moisture right out of your mouth. Putting this in a 750ml bottle is cruel. It's something I'd love to open ad sip on but at this format, you need to call in friends to help with this beast unless you want to get wasted.

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of yourefragile
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Kelp
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Axnjxn
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of bsuedekum
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of AgentZero
3.71/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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Black Damnation XI - Special Kay from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.