1. American Craft Beer Fest is this weekend in Boston, Mass. Join us for 640+ beers from 140+ brewers! Tickets for Friday, May 29 are still available. Cheers!

Black Damnation III - Black Mes - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black Damnation III - Black MesBlack Damnation III - Black Mes

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

240 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 240
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 88
Gots: 69 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: alcstradamus on 03-14-2010

Black Damnation III is yet another variation on Black Albert. 100% of Black Albert was used that matured for a while on Caol Ila barrels
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 240 | Reviews: 106
Reviews by Neffbeer:
Photo of Neffbeer
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at rattle n hum.

A: It pours the color of midnight oil with a wisp of a tan head. There is evidence of some brown hues in the light. No retention and no lacing.

S: The nose is an on slaught of smoky wood, whiskey, and a heavy dose of charred malt. As I keep smelling it the peaty nature is really pronounced. There are also notes of anise and dark chocolate.

T: It is full of scotch whisky goodness, peaty and woody as hell. There is a pleasant apple flavor that creeps in behind the barrel and manages to soften the blow. Anise and chocolate are not forgotten on the palate as it finishes bitter and surprisingly dry.

M: full bodied with minimal carbonation. It is really slick and viscous.

O: Extremely impressive, I wish I could get my hands on this on a regular basis.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jbeatty
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted 8/10/2011

A: Pours deep black, thick fluffy light tan head that lasts for quite a while. This looks great.

S: Nose has a milk chocolate base, vanilla notes and a spicy Islay character on top, subtle brine, some smoke.

T: Roasted dark malts, some coffee bitterness, massive whiskey finish with peat, spice, and smoke. Dry, bitter alcoholic finish.

M: Creamy in the mouth, though the aggressive whiskey notes make this a little rougher going down.

O: As a fan of Islay whiskeys, this was always a favorite of mine, but tasted next to the other Black Damnation beers, I see there is a trade off between the strong whiskey character here and the richness found in the first of the series.

Photo of warnerry
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours pitch black with three fingers of brown head. Head has very good retention and leaves quite a bit of lacing.

S - Smoke, char and earthiness, with some definite Scotch notes up front. Eventually, some chocolate and oak come through

T - More chocolate up front than in the nose, followed by some Scotch, smoke, char and earthy roasted malts. There is a slightly tart dark fruit taste that I didn't get at all in the nose. Finishes quite dry with the roasted elements lingering. There is a substantial char character to the taste, which I often don't like, but I didn't think it took away from the taste in this case.

M - Medium mouthfeel, not overly heavy, with a dry, roasted finish.

O - A very good stout. I liked Mocha Bomb and regular Black Albert more, but this is pretty tasty and I didn't notice any alcohol in the nose or taste.

Photo of mverity
4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Valentine's Day gift from EM, bottle from Proof. Pours the blackest of blacks with creamy chocolate colored head that started at an inch, then settled into a very thick collar and a thin layer of foam across the surface. Good legs and light lacing. Aroma is very odd: smells earthy and funky, like a farmhouse style funk. I get some black raspberry and black currant. Taste is rich dark malt, light smoke, a touch of coffee with all of that dark fruit at the tail end and aftertaste. There's a faint briny flavor, maybe from the scotch, and some woodiness present as well. Silty and rich thick mouthfeel, full bodied and low-medium carbonation.

Photo of ehammond1
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle

Pour It Black
Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Pitch black throughout and a very thin light brown head. This doesn't leave much more than a few small spots of lace down the glass. Gorgeous color.

Balanced and not overly strong aroma, but what's here is very nice. A nice combination of roasted malt, a bit of smoke and wood character, some chocolate, and a touch of coffee. Complex and not at all overpowering.

Simple, straightforward, though delicious flavors of roast, mild coffee, some chocolate, and a touch of smoke or wood. Incredibly well rounded and highly drinkable, especially for the incredibly high ABV.

Medium to thick bodied with low carbonation and no presence of alcohol whatsoever--a miraculous accomplishment.

A very well rounded, complex, and highly drinkable big stout.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a inky dense black body with a thin dark cinnamon rocky ring of foam. It is to dense to see any carbonation.

S- There are some woody vanilla notes with and inky black roasted malt note to follow. Some graham malt notes come through with a peat and spent grain musty note in the finish.

T- The leather and chocolate malt flavor blends and are pretty mellow with a raisin and other dark dried fruit quality to it. Thee is a fruity tartness to the scotch and peat hint in the finish. There is a touch of black malt bitterness that lingers and takes on an inky hint as it warms.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel has a slippery finish and no alcohol heat at all.

O- The well blended smooth and subtle black malts and barrel grows a bit when it is pretty warm. It is a nice stout that is well aged and the barrel is less oak and more bright scotch fruitiness.

Photo of 05Harley
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 3/2015
Lot A

Purchased through Cracked Kettle, Netherlands

Price - $13.52/bottle U.S.

Pours pitch black, midnight black with a beautiful brown two inch creamy head. A thin creamy film remains after a few minutes accompanying the ring along the edge. Due to the viscous nature, the dots of lacing fail to make a big impression. A gentle swirl is all it takes to reinvigorate the brown head, wow.

Aroma is dominated first by a heavy scent of black licorice and whiskey followed by dark fruit and oak.

The flavor is both sweet and spicey. Pretty complex with a lot going on. Whiskey, roasted malts, vanilla, coffee and dark fruit.

Thick and chewy with a huge body. I can definitely feel the heat of the 13% punch as I near the end of the bottle. Finishes with a bite of hops which provides a slight dryness.

Overall this was enjoyable and has it's place huddled up near a fire on a cold night.

Photo of Mar02x
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I believe this was the base for 'the messy'. I drunk it after the messy on Borefts. It was a gift from beer buddy Jeffo or one of his friends, I don't exactly remember because I was a bit turned of by the messy.

A - Like a light messy

S - Oak, dark cherries mixed with yeast.

T - A very smooth taste, spicy beer (cardamom and cloves).

M - Smooth carbonation, warming and bitter in the after taste. No alcohol is present. A very, very good brew.

O - Also very good.

Photo of DenMar
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Thick and oily and pitch Black with a small dark brown head.

S - Coffee, Chocolate and lots wood, I love the barrel nose in this one.

T - Coffee, and dark chocolate up front, Molasses and a slight peat, There's a ton of wood flavors in here. Very sweet with bitter aftertaste, no signs of alcohol whatsoever, so beware!

M - Really low Carbonation for a Struise Stout, almost flat.

O - Great Imperial Stout, highly recommended!

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Mikegroove and its very good IS. Black bodied with a good two inches of head. Some peat smoke, but understated, maybe the amount of cellaring helped. Very drinkable and medium moutheel: licorice, undertated whiskey, peat gives it an interesting edge.

Photo of dirtylou
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2oz single, Beer Temple in Brussels - crazy how there is just rows of this whole series. consumed in a hotel room in amsterdam

appearance: served in a small water glass at slightly cooler than room temperature, dark as night with a light creamy tan head...looks much like an espresso, something ive been more or less living off of for the last 2.5 weeks on the road

smell: peat malts, dark belgian chocolate, light notes of the scotch barrels

taste: rich dark malts, peat, earthy, dark chocolate, char, scotch, dark fruit, very smooth but forceful

mouthfeel: silky smooth, medium-full chocolatey body

drinkability: sipper, but nice

Photo of nickd717
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle from De Struise.

Pours black with a nicely formed tan head leaving swirls.

Aroma is nice and almost peaty, like a scotch ale. The peat is backed up by smoke, roast, and chocolate.

Flavor is good and slightly sweet. Rich chocolate, coffee, earth, and peat.

Very smooth and creamy on the palate with medium-full body.

Pretty solid beer, but a little below expectations.

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive thanks goes out to cmrillo who shared this one with the group at the "Evening Wood" tasting graciously hosted by cmrillo as well! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured pitch black with a half finger light brown head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt peat, and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, wood, and peat. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. I am not a big fan of peat flavors in my beers so this one suffered a little bit on the scoring due to that fact. The base on this brew was quite good however and it does shine through but the peat just overtakes it for me. Was lucky enough to have this one back-to-back with the series (except V) and this was my least favorite of the group, but it still wasn't bad at all though, just in tough company.

Photo of KYGunner
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This poured with a bright iridescent black onyx and a deep opaque fullness. The head was tight and thick with a thin layer of bubbly foam.

The aroma was sweet with alcohol, presumably the scotch barrel. There was a smoky char scent with coffee, molasses and faint dry chocolate.

The taste is sweet with scotch like alcohols, strong smoky embers, charred or burnt coffee, molasses and bitter chocolate.

The feel is rather thin for such a complex beer but it seems to work for a beer with scotch qualities. It's almost like the feel took on the properties of the scotch.

This is a real treat as it has such complex flavor and character but remains drinkable despite the 13 pct ABV.

Photo of pleasewearpants
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice appearance - pitch black with a tight, well retained tan colored head. Light scotch notes and hints of bitter chocolate in the aroma. Not super boozy or sharp. Really great body - well carbonated sugary flavors up front that roll off into a scotchy finish. Really drinkable for such a high ABV. This is the second beer of this series that I've had. These guys do a great job on this style.

Photo of akorsak
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Max's. That's all one needs to know.

A: Repetitive? Yes. Deep and dark, nearly black as black can be. Another off-white head along for the ride. At least the old guy didn't knock this one over.

S: Roasted malts, offset by sweet whisky and peated notes. Coffee hangs around throughout, a nice pairing. A Scotch presence is a nice balance to the stout.

T: Roasted malts, coffee and burnt toast along for the ride. The whisky barrel gives a distinct flavor to the stout, calming down the dark flavors. In their place, peated malt, salty as a sea breeze, take over. The whisky isn't sweet, rather it lends gravitas to the stout.

M: The mouthfeel, mostly stout, has enough barrel to keep me happy. The sea salt and peat are a soothing presence against the coffee stout.

D: 13%? I'll share with ksak. Even a small glass is too much within this setting.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like roasted malt, Scotch whisky, smoke, coffee, bittersweet chocolate and some wood. It tastes like roasted malt, chocolate, Scotch whisky, dark fruit, coffee, wood, smoke, and some caramel and molasses. It's sweeter than I was expecting it to be, not that I'm complaining. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit slick and creamy with a moderate amount of carbonation. Drinks way too easy for being 13% ABV. I think this is a good overall brew, definitely worth trying!

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a dirty brown color ale with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of warming scotch notes with light roasted malt with lingering subtle bitter notes. Taste is also dominated by a mix between some warming scotch notes with light bitter roasted malt though not as complex as I had anticipated. Body is quite full with nice creamy texture from the barrel-aging with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well done though I was expecting more complexity from this one.

Photo of CptBlackBeerd
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

On tap at Craft Ale House - 5 Oz pour. As all of the De Struise offerings, this is incredibly complex. Pours an ink black with small dark brown head. Smell is of bitter chocolate, whiskey and earth. Taste is lots of dark malts, oak, peat, smoke, scotch whiskey, dark fruit and a touch of chocolate. The body is a little thin for me, but the mouthfeel is coating and nice. Overall this is fantastic and takes Black Albert to a whole new level. Well worth the price of admission.

Photo of jegross2
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing the Black Damnation III (Black Mes) from De Struise Brouwers out of Belgium. This is Black Albert aged for two years in single malt Islay Scotch Whiskey barrels (1995 "The Distillers Edition" barrels) from the Caol Ila distillery out of Scotland.
Score: 92

Unknown vintage bottle from "Lot 4533300911." This beer is presently retired. Served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 02/04/13. Major thanks to Adam (crosamich) for hooking me up with this major want!

Appearance: Pours a coffee color with a half finger layer of mocha colored head that settles to a thin covering that coats maybe half of the top of the beer. Below average lacing, average retention. Some spotty lacing remains behind after the beer runs back down into the glass. 4/5

Smell: At first, right out of the fridge, the aroma is heavy on burnt chocolate/licorice. As it warms up, however, the "burnt" characters mellow out. Bakers chocolate, burnt brown sugar, faint smoke, and a mild amount of cherry and dark fruit. Some wood towards the back of the aroma too. Some of the elements of the nose are appealing, but the components overall do not meld together smoothly. The nose is a bit rough around the edges. 3.75/5

Taste: The aroma initially put me off, but the taste is much better incorporated. There is more cherry flavor and chocolate and substantially less "burnt" qualities on the palate. The peatiness is still pretty faint, but still more pronounced. The smokiness does not add much flavor, so much as it adds a little prickling sensation on the throat after the swallow akin to peppers in a beer. The licorice is also pretty faint, and a mere accent in the finish. Some molasses too, primarily towards the finish. Hint of oak. More chocolate flavor prevails as the beer warms up. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Slightly sweet, but miles away from cloying. Has a very dry, almost chalky, finish that accenuates the viscosity of the brew. 4.5/5

Overall: I've been told by several people that this beer was a "Black Mess," but found that I enjoyed everything about this beer except maybe the nose (at least until it warmed up). The smokiness present in this beer is about as subtle as smoke can possibly be in a beer. Although I found this variation of Black Albert inferior to the original (as I did with all of the other variants of Black Albert that I have tried), I think that this was one of my favorite barrel treatments. The mouthfeel is very viscous thanks to a dry finish, and that is how I prefer my stouts. This may be the best beer I have ever had aged in Scotch barrels.

Recommendation: Seek a bottle of this out if you want to try a good example of a well-aged beer in Scotch barrels.

Cost: $12 for an 11.2 oz bottle.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another in the seemingly endless black damnation series makes it to my glass. Served cold and allowed to warm. Served in a snifter and consumed on 06/15/2010.

Pours the darkest of darks, the pitch black inky death with a huge head of tan that caps the glass for what seems like forever. This really could not have looked any better.

Aroma of deep whiskey, dark, roasted malts, light touches of oak and hints of deep chocolate. Warming brings out more of the whiskey notes and really pushes it up to the forefront. Smooth, seductive feel as the rich and full body washes across the tongue. Really just a fantastic beer now on all levels. Smooth coffee and chocolate notes was across the palate, whiskey and oak, vanilla all coming through wonderfully. A fantastic mix of flavors here. A rich and creamy finish.

Overall a fantastic beer. One of the best ba stouts in a long time, this did not let me down.

Photo of largadeer
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As with all the Black Damnation beers, this is a completely opaque obsidian color with a big three-finger head that holds firm, leaving scattered lacing as it slowly descends. Big scotch whiskey aroma, peat and smoke meet baker's chocolate, green apple and dark fruit. The scent reminds me of salty chocolate chip cookies. Big dark fruit and peat flavors wash the palate first, along with layers of brownie, green apple, coffee and roasted fig. It finishes with lingering chocolate and smoke, less bitter than Black Damnation I and II and considerably more smooth and complex. The salty, earthy quality of the scotch barrel lends a unique and enjoyable character to Black Albert, this is good stuff.

Photo of Gfunk720
3.18/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Consumed in my small tasting tulip in small amounts. Thanks to Shogo for this one.

A- Dark black with a deep cocoa colored foamy head. The head thins out, but retains a bit.

S- Smells sweet and chocolaty, with a touch of booze. Whiskey/Bourbon and oak notes. Slighly off though, and nothing special.

T- Chocolate and coffee mostly, some bourbon and malt. Slighly bitter and acidic, with a notes of peaty/oak. Not what I expected.

M- The bitterness is a bit off putting. It's has some good flavor, but the acidic coffee aspect of it is a bit much for me. The bitterness lingers in my mouth for minutes after taking a sip.

D- More of a sipper, doesn't taste like 13% but is just too acidic to drink quickly. This is one of the beers that just missed the mark for me. Black Albert did not take well to these additions.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My night cap on 31st Jan 2014: a shared 0.75 litre bottle at the end of the Belgian Beer Board website bottle exchange.

Good beer to finish on.

Black, oily and flavoursome. My taste buds were shot by now and my notes are difficult to decipher in the cold light of day. I liked it, that's for sure: don't really know why though!

Alcoholic, coffee and oaky in flavour and smell, according to my scribble, with a full, rich depth of body. That will have to do.

Photo of eric5bellies
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Westvleteren Chalice.

A - Pours a thick well used motor oil colour with a tanned head that stays the course and laces.

S - Dark stewed plums and yeast with a little smokyness similar to that of a cigar.

T - Massive chocolate up front before yeasty bread follows, then some tobacco flavours appear that is due to it's ageing. Complex to say the least.

M - Not quite full enough for me and therfore the carbonation is too much.

D - This is another complex beer from De Struise that is hard to fault and is unique in its own right.

to view more.
Black Damnation III - Black Mes from De Struise Brouwers
92 out of 100 based on 240 ratings.