Black Damnation V - Double Black - De Struise Brouwers
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Ratings: 276 | Reviews: 107 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jampics2:
4.28/5 rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
About 1.5oz pour from a 750ml bottle, courtesy of Eric. You’re the man, buddy, thanks for busting out this amazing brew for Dark Lord Day.
As I stare at the liquid in the glass in front of me, I’m somewhat confused. I thought beer was a liquid, but this has as much in common with oil or Jello as it does water. A swirl literally leaves a halo of beer, not lace, beer on the glass. This is one thick, chunky looking brew – pitch black as if all the damnation of the world collapsed upon itself. There’s not really any head or lace, just thinner and thicker levels of beer. Simply put, this is a sight to behold. As someone standing around with the sample said “I wish I was Gene Simmons so I could use my tongue to get every drop out of the glass”.
So, I debated on how to rate this. I’m still not 100% sure, but I think I’m doing the right thing here. I’m not going to compare Double Black to a 12% American Double Stout. I’m not even going to compare it to something like Black Tuesday or World Wide Stout. Those beers are for sunny afternoons sitting by the pool – this is the stuff real men drink before they joust or pillage.
Here’s what I concluded – since I really can't defer to the style guides and generally accepted best examples of an American Double Stout, I’m just going to rate this on how it smelled, tasted, looked, and how it made me feel. So, to start, the smell isn’t actually as abrasive as I would have thought – there are some wonderful notes of molasses, burned souls, chocolate, ashes of the departed, and coffee. Just a touch of booze is present but is remarkably well-concealed considering some beers one third of its strength can’t pull together like this. So, an ice-distilled beer doesn’t need to have solvent, fusel notes of ethanol and road salt? Take note, you penguin-fuckers at Brewdog.
As I take my first sip, I’m really quite taken with this beer. An army of bitter chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and booze hits my tongue like storming a battlefield. This is more of a char/roast focused beer than a sweet booze bomb. There are several layers of roast – coffee beans, burned wood, ash – that somehow all work together to give this depth and keep my interest from swaying. The barrel notes from Cuvee Delphine seem to be lost apart from a stray note of vanillin or oak, but the beer is dead-set on staying focused on the dark malts. A hint of cherry and some noticeable warmth round out each sip.
To experience the mouthfeel of this beer without actually drinking it, I would recommend having your mouth and throat coated in tar. This is beyond cough syrup, with just a touch of carbonation to break-up the stickiness. It literally feels like it’s holding on for dear life, each sip making me thirstier instead of quenching my thirst. But that’s OK. The remarkable thing here is how this beer pulls off the 26% without batting an eye. I’ve never had a high ABV brew like this – so intricate and focused on everything but the booze.
In conclusion, this is a new standard for big ABV beers with actual flavor. Double Black made Black Tuesday look like Light-Grey Tuesday. It made World Wide Stout taste like local porter. It made Sink the Bismarck practically worthless (or maybe that was Brewdog). Thanks again to Eric for the pour and to Urbain and the Struise crew for making what is certainly truly special beer.
Serving type: bottle
05-04-2011 18:46:53 | More by jampics2
More User Reviews:
4.1/5 rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Appearance: Pours out absolutely pitch black, and has the consistency of oil. Very viscous. Probably the best combination of color and viscosity that I have seen in a stout. A dark khaki head slowly forms via tiny bubbles of carbonation, and that head has surprisingly good retention and lacing. Overall a fantastic looking stout.
Smell: A deep roasted malt backbone is apparent, as well as some tobacco and sweet black licorice. A bit of barrel remains, and some booziness, but both are very much in the background. The booziness I get is surprisingly low for a 26% ABV beer. Does not wow me, nor is it overly complex, but still very good.
Taste: Roasted malt character and bitter tobacco are the dominant components here for sure. However, there is plenty of sweetness in the form of vanilla, black licorice, and hints of barrel to offset. Does have some booziness, but does not come remotely close to drinking to its ABV.
Mouthfeel/Overall: Mouthfeel is extremely full, with a low level of fine carbonation. Very good. Overall, this is an enjoyable beer, and was much easier to finish a bottle off solo than I feared it would be. Certainly worth a look if you can get a hold of a bottle.
Serving type: bottle
04-13-2014 03:17:54 | More by zhanson88
British Columbia (Canada)
4.45/5 rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
I can't believe how drinkable this beer is for 26%. I've had 10% stouts that have tasted boozier.
Huge roast character and enough barley malt that you almost need to chew. Slightly grainy texture. Nice anise flavour in there that isn't too strong. And again, alcohol is amazingly masked - the huge flavour is the only indication of the ABV.
Serving type: bottle
03-09-2014 18:48:55 | More by JasonLovesBeer
Black Damnation V - Double Black from De Struise Brouwers
97 out of 100 based on 276 ratings.