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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
93
outstanding

25 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 25
Hads: 70
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 4.6%
Wants: 193
Gots: 13 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 25 | Hads: 70
Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%
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! (2,197 characters)

Photo of PapaEugene
4.7/5  rDev +8%
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. (592 characters)

Photo of DARIVA
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (267 characters)

Photo of 77black_ships
4.71/5  rDev +8.3%
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. (1,615 characters)

Photo of fewa
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this one on draft at the Kerstbier festival in Essen and from a 75cl bottle. The beer is pitch black, with a dark brown head. Smell is heavy roast, chocolate, vanilla, coffee and malts. Taste is very similar. Bitter coffee, chocolate, warming alcohol and spices. Moutheel is thick and sticky. The bottled version was much milder and less boozy than the draft version. Bottled this is a fantastic beer, which is hiding the alcohol much better than the draft version. Equally brilliant to the BD5 in my opinion. (515 characters)

Black Damnation XI - Special Kay from De Struise Brouwers
93 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.