Black Damnation V - Double Black - De Struise Brouwers
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Ratings: 278 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
4.18/5 rDev -5.4%
Sludgy, syrupy, and black as pitch. Thick legs with a lasting head. The appearance is much more "beer-like" than Utopias, Dave and other beers of this magnitude. Impressive.
Surprisingly little booze on the nose, I'm impressed. A lot of licorice, molasses, dark chocolate and oak, subtle notes of bourbon and smoke. Rich.
The palate is very good, but almost too intense. Big molasses note up front, backed by black licorice, dark chocolate and charred oak. Little noticeable alcohol on the tongue, drinks like a beer of half the ABV. Quite a feat of brewing, but it's fatiguing to drink after a couple ounces. The body is viscous to the extreme; amazingly, it makes beers like Black Tuesday seem lightweight. Finishes with deep tar and lingering roast, licorice, drying oak. While I'm amazed by how subdued the alcohol is, 2 oz was plenty for me, and I had no desire to go back for more. More technically impressive than it is enjoyable to drink.
06-10-2011 03:01:07 | More by largadeer
4.05/5 rDev -8.4%
(sampled at Dak’s Memorial Day tasting). Pours thick and black with a tan head. This just coats the glass. Aroma has alcohol and plenty of chocolate and bourbon. Taste is sweet with some roasty bitterness. Full bodied with a sticky texture. This is a really nice beer with a nice mix of sweetness, roasty bitterness and alcohol.
06-07-2011 23:00:07 | More by trappistlover
3.78/5 rDev -14.5%
Thanks to Maltzilla for sending this bottle my way.
A: Black, and thick, I mean really thick. I have never seen this thick a beer before. It left impressive lacing behind that was incredibly difficult to wash off of the glass.
S: Very chocolately with some hints of bourbon and vanilla. Lots of roasty notes with a little bit of dark fruit as well
T: Heavy chocolate and roast with dark fruit notes as well. Big toffee molasses and brown sugar flavor as well
M: it is literally a milk shake. Each sip felt thicker than the last. The alcohol was present but was hidden more by the fact this beer was so thick
D: What a monster of a beer. I took one sip and felt it go straight to my head. Be advised that this beer needs to be shared with probably ten people.
06-06-2011 14:08:20 | More by mikey711
2.8/5 rDev -36.7%
A huge thanks to Mikey711 (Mikey) for this one. 2oz. pour from a capped and foiled 750ml bottle into a stemless wine glass. Had at a tasting on 6/4/11. Reviewed from notes.
A: Standard pour yields a .25 dark mocha head with great retention. Beer is a dark, opaque, motor oil black. Lacing is spotty and stringy with decent cling and thick, oily legs. A masterpiece considering how heavy it looks.
S: Nose is straight booze that covers almost everything else. Some chocolate and molasses make its way out little by little but the alcohol covers everything else. Not a fan.
T: Opens sweet soy sauce, chocolate, raisins, booze, mocha and molasses throughout. Sharp booze lingers in the background. Chocolate and molasses in the finish with an added touch of cocoa in the aftertaste. Nice but not much above average.
M: Full to super-full bodied. Sludgy and thick in the mouth almost like a protein shake. No carbonation. Oily and filmy going down. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste. Way over the top here. Too much body.
O: This is a meal in a glass. Again, I'm not sure I'm drinking the same beer as those that say this beer hides its abv well.I could barely choke down 2oz. of this monster. In a world of over-the-top beer, this one is king. It's not for me though.
06-05-2011 12:28:20 | More by SpeedwayJim
4.95/5 rDev +12%
On draft at the Holy Grale, served in a snifter
A: opaque dark brown, almost black in color, looks thick like motor oil, thin tan head that dissolves to a thin layer and leaves a small amount of lacing
S: dark chocolate and roasted espresso and malt, fusel alcohol, maybe a hint of dark fruit
T: dark chocolate, roasted malt, espresso coffee, some dark fruit, alcohol is definitely detectable but not near as pronounced as I expected and actually fairly well hidden for the ABV, somewhat bitter coffee aftertaste
MF: full bodied, low carbonation, very thick and smooth
O: very nice flavors, the alcohol is fairly well hidden for the ABV but will sneak up on you, this is definitely a sipper
05-31-2011 22:25:19 | More by ADTaber
4.97/5 rDev +12.4%
On-tap at the Struise Old School. Simply put, this is the best beer I have had to date. Do I refer to how this beast doesn't seem like the high abv it is or as a fantastic stout? It doesn't drink like a 26% beer. It is carbonated with a lasting head. The booz doesn't beat you over the head. The bourbon is in there but not overpowering. Everything just comes together nicely. Glad I bought these; I can't imagine ever parting with my remaining bottles.
05-17-2011 14:39:31 | More by crosamich
4.53/5 rDev +2.5%
Had this on tap at Holy Grale in Louisville, 5oz pour into a miniature snifter.
Surprisingly this pours with a full, chocolate mousse colored head that dissipates into a tinier head with plenty of bubbles. The body is opaque black, I am talking pitch black. Like black paint. I am very impressed with the appearance of this beer. It being 26% while retaining a head blows my mind.
The smell is rich coffee and toasty malts that give way into vanilla and confection sugar with a bit of earthiness as well. Some dark fruits like plum, figs, raisins, etc. can be detected but only once the beverage warms. Booze is also present of course but it is not offensive. Once everything is added up it kind of smells like a warm dark chocolate s'more.
Easily the most well masked, extremely high alcohol beer I've had. The booze is present but it really just drinks like a normal, fresh bourbon aged imperial stout. The flavor is much like a roasted marshmallow liqueur mixed in with a strong, fresh cup of coffee. A tiny bit of earthiness from the hops, but the predominate flavors here are sweet, roasty coffee and marshmallow. It's as if someone toasted a marshmallow and then covered it in 80% cocoa dark chocolate then poured a teaspoon of bourbon on it. Yummy and outstanding tasting for the ABV.
Mouthfeel is low carbonation and very heavy. Almost syrupy. Too much of this would make you sick just from the consistency and sweetness of the brew. But it is what it is. I don't see how else a beer like this could be made without it having a syrup like quality to it.
Overall, a fantastic beer from de Struise. From what I understand, it took Urbain and the guys 3 years to develop this beer to where they wanted it to be before they unleashed it. I am immensely impressed with it, to be honest. The alcohol is so well hidden you would think the brew would be 15% or 16% at the most. And the fact that it is so high in alcohol yet still maintains the qualities of an everyday beer (carbonation, a head, not so heavy alcohol flavor), when so many other high ABV beers have an offensive booze character to it with absolutely no carbonation and head, is probably the most impressive thing about this beer. Plus it actually tastes good! Just outstanding, it's a damn shame it's so rare because any stout lover would be all over this beer. A must try if you can find it.
05-16-2011 20:06:12 | More by auroracrisis
4.1/5 rDev -7.2%
First off, I'd like to propose that Struise re-name this brew after its most ardent consumer, Alex. Anyone that witnessed him downing a pint of this stuff should know why.
On-tap at WLV tasting event
A - It pours a brown-black, with some wispy bubbles, and really looks like a fairly normal RIS, which it isn't.
S - The nose is quite a bit like regular Double Stout; it offers toffee, plenty of roast, sweet oat notes, anise, and cocoa; surprisingly, shockingly even, the alcohol is hard to discern.
T - The taste is right in line with the nose, although the sweetness is much more apparent that it was in the aroma. Booze is still masterfully hidden. There are notes of cocoa, and roast grain that dominate the flavor, with slight herbal,earthy and fruity undertones accompanying. Really amazing taste given the 26% ABV, and good taste regardless of ABV considerations.
M - The feel is viscous and softly carbonated; better than I expected.
O - Top 5 26% Stouts, no doubt.
05-13-2011 15:59:39 | More by ktrillionaire
4.1/5 rDev -7.2%
Mad props and much beer karma to Eric for sharing this one at Dark Lord Day. 900th review.
A - The beer is black, ominous, opaque, forboding, thick, viscous. Just a monster of a scary looking black beer. A little bit of brown head bubbled up for a second, but vanished almost instanly. Also, the bottle is awesome looking.
S - Huge amount of char and some roast on this one. Leather, tar, dark fruits, and alcohol. Given that it's 26%, the amount of alcohol is relatively light in the nose. It's pretty explosive and potent with the amount of aroma coming off the nose, but I think that's to be expected.
T - Lots of char and molasses with a load of toffee and dark fruits. God this is just ass kicking on the tongue with the amount of flavor in here. Some earth and leather notes, as well as a bit of tobacco to balance out the sweetness. There is booze in it, but once again, considering the ABV it is surprisingly mellow.
M - So freaking thick you can chew it. Lower carbonation, very smooth.
O - Not sure what to compare this to or how to rate according to style. I think calling it a double or imperial does it a disservice for what it is. It's more like a Quadruple Stout or a Double Imperial Stout. Huge beer that has a lot of great flavor and just a lot of flavor period, but really can only get through it in small doses. This is partially due to the high ABV and partially due to the load of char, sweetness, etc. Had this on tap a week later with a massive pour, and it became a struggle to get through. That said, it drinks relatively easy for how much alcohol it has in it and tastes pretty good. It's a sipper in small doses, not the best tasting necessarily, but good for what it is. If you open a bottle, just make sure to have a few people handy to split it with.
05-12-2011 03:31:03 | More by AgentZero
4.38/5 rDev -0.9%
750ml bottle. Insane for a beer like this to come in that size bottle.
Well, what can I say? It’s black. Not surprising. Dark brown one finger head.
The aroma is roast, coffee, hops, and slight booze. Not as strong of an aroma as I’d expect.
The flavor is like the Energizer bunny though...it just keeps going, as they say in "The Sandlot", FOR-EV-ER. Really. Intense dark chocolate, molasses, roast, coffee, and alcohol.
Not boozy for 26%, but you can feel it in the palate. The mouthfeel is like syrup. Intense as all hell, and almost impossible to get down. Like a triple imperial stout almost, totally insane. But I love it.
These guys did something ridiculous here, and I really respect them for it. Damn, this is insane, in a good way, or in a bad way. I don’t even know anymore. My drunkenness just doubled on this 4oz pour. Damn. Seems like you could leave this open and drink it over a period of months, like Utopias.
05-09-2011 17:53:22 | More by nickd717
3.83/5 rDev -13.3%
Big thanks to Alex (Masterski) for the growler. I'd been wanting to try this for a long time. Poured into a snifter.
A: Viscous and dark black with a frothy tan head. There's a reddish tinge near the edges when held to light. A swirl of the glass leave a thick booze coating on the sides.
S: The aroma shows big fudge and dark chocolate notes with accompanying brown sugar. Bourbon is light, and there's some oak. It's pretty damn mellow for a 26% ABV beer. I'm surprised. Alcohol is faint. Malt is heavily roasted and there's a little coffee in there, as well as some earth. Restrained smoke notes waft from the glass to coalesce with alcohol vapors.
T: Strong roasted malt profile, with light coffee notes, dark chocolate, and pronounced alcohol. A little prune and plum, but those notes are subjugated by the roast, dark chocolate, and alcohol. This is very powerful stuff. Light smoke notes with some charred oak and coffee. Alcohol is definitely noticeable, but it seems more like 16% than 26%. There's a good deal of chocolate brown sugar sweetness midpalate, but the beer is dry initially and in the finish.
M: Full in body, obviously, with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is silky, sticky, chewy, and dry, with substantial alcohol warming.
Overall: A real beast of a beer. High quality stuff, but 4-5 ounces was plenty for me.
05-09-2011 04:00:39 | More by HopHead84
4/5 rDev -9.5%
From 04/30/11 notes. Bottlle shared at Dark Lord Day thanks to TurdFurgison; thanks Eric, really wanted to try this one.
a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with an inch of tan ehad and moderate carbonation evident.
s - Smells very strong, smells of roasted malts, coffee, alcohol, dark chocolate, and dark fruits. A little bit better than the taste, and quite strong.
t - Tastes of of coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and alcohol. Again, very strong, but good.
m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation.
o - Overall a very nice stout. It is certainly a strong stout, but it doesn't taste like 26% ABV. Not my favorite Black Damnation beer, but good and I was very glad to try it.
05-09-2011 00:42:50 | More by mdfb79
4.33/5 rDev -2%
Thanks to Turdferguson for graciously sharing this amongst the Wildthings at DLD.
A nice 3 oz pour into a mini FFF that left me wanting more yet glad at the end of the day I probably didn't have more of this brute. Revealed a thick dark black as night pour. Ample sized head that remained for a bit with slight lacing even on a small glass. I immediately smelled some Chocolate, dark fruits, slight smokiness and some booze. Similar tastes of thick chocolate, coffee smoky dark fruits and a bit of booze without a burn on the tongue.
Double black yields a Moderately carbonated yet thick and enjoyable mouthfeel.Fantastic and very surprised at how mellow this high abv iced treat is. Dangerously drinkable and can do some damage if not sipped or enjoyed amongst others.
05-08-2011 16:23:28 | More by mistakebythelake
4.13/5 rDev -6.6%
Huge, huge thanks to Eric for opening a bottle of this at Dark Lord Day 2011. Served in a mini snifter.
Pour yields a black-bodied brew with a surprisingly large mocha-colored head that persists for a bit of time. Not too long, but what can you expect from a 26% eis-stout? The aroma is intoxicating--strong notes of coffee, roasted malt, molasses, a bit of tar, smoke, and a hint of booze. Some light vanilla and a bit of darker smoked fruits in the background. Really nice and complex.
The flavor backs off just a bit from where the nose was, as the alcohol is quite a bit more prevalent here than it was in the nose. Still, there is great complexity with roasted and sweet dark malts plus vanilla, chocolate, coffee, smoke, and, of course, the alcohol. The midpalate is fairly nice and smooth, though the finish allows the alcohol to come through. Still, not many complaints given the ABV and how young this is. A really fantastic beer; thanks again, Eric.
05-05-2011 13:43:20 | More by Thorpe429
4.28/5 rDev -3.2%
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.
05-04-2011 18:46:53 | More by jampics2
4.55/5 rDev +2.9%
Thank you Eric (aka TurdFurgison) for this incredible treat at Dark Lord Day... I saved my tastebuds so well all day and this one ended my ability to review ;)
Pours a nice dark brown, almost black. A few bubbles across the surface. Pours so thick and coats the glass. Smells, potent! Tons of roasted cocoa and coffee. There is a solid presence of dark fruits as well that come through as it warms. Very complex. Smells just a touch boozy. Taste is overwhelming. The roasted malts add a touch of bitterness that keep this from being a solid 5 but the dark fruits coming through couple nicely with the sweetness. Its a very powerful combination of fairly well balanced chocolate, fruit, roast, coffee, and other dark malty characteristics. The alcohol is almost completely undetectable. If I had to guess I'd put this at 12% or so.. until the glass was empty of course. The mouthfeel is great, so thick and full. Overall, phenomenal mind blowing beer!
05-04-2011 15:02:20 | More by Urbancaver
3.7/5 rDev -16.3%
I've had this from the bottle @ DLD (thank to Eric aka Turd) and on-tap last night at the West Lakeview Liquors Meet & Greet Event w/ Urbain. Obviously, Urbain brought the keg...
A - Pours black, slight tan-colored head, some bubbles here and there. There's a huge motor oil quality to this beer, as it leaves a brownish/gold hue that coats the entire glass. Sticky, viscous, black...damn(ation)!
S - Smells like booze, lots of char, roast, some chocolate. There's not much sweetness (some chocolate, some dark fruits), as it's covered up by the huge booze and char. It smells like what it is, a huge monster of a beer.
T - Slight dark chocolate, dark fruits, lots of char, lots of booze. There's a harsh/char hot boozy note on the finish that makes me grab my water after every sip. A little off-putting, but I contribute this to the huge amount of alcohol in this beer.
M - Full, rich and viscous, light carbonation, creamy finish.
O - I enjoyed sipping on this one on two occasions, but one or two 4oz pours is just enough for me. I'm not dying to try this again in the near future, but would love to see how this ages down the line. I'm sure the booze will smooth out and make it more enjoyable. It's good but a little too much for me at the moment.
05-03-2011 13:37:53 | More by Sean9689
4.93/5 rDev +11.5%
Yeah, I managed to get some bottles of this black gold, thanks struise for the perfect shipping! Pours a deep black color, the beer is very oily in the glass, it almost sticks to the sides. Taste: the beer is indeed a concentrated version of cuvee delphine. roasted malts, with hints of concentrated coffee, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and much more, so complex. Taste is sirupy like and very rich in the mouth. Sensations of coffee, chocolate, smooth alcohol, vanilla, rich burned malts and honey and bourbon again. One of the best beers I ever had, with great aging potential
04-11-2011 19:42:25 | More by fewa
4.45/5 rDev +0.7%
I had this pour at the brewery, in a smallish goblet (maybe 6oz). The beer is dark black (good name) and opaque, with a thick and in places spidery tan foam, dirty looking and impressive. It was served somewhat cold, and based on Urbain's suggestion I let it warm up before finishing it.
The aroma is nice, dark roast and cocoa, massive smelling but without alcohol on the nose. As it warmed I got more dark fruits, this really seems a beast based on smell. Taste too, this has similarities to Black Albert but is thicker and more concentrated. The malts are roasted to the point of light char, not bad against the other big flavors. Again nothing near 26% was detectable in the taste.
The body seems just a little thicker as it warms, or it could be suggestive, anyway it matched the big flavors in a nice way. Still enough carbonation to give a prickly feel with each drink. Excellent, 750mL will be too much for one person though. I think a little goes a long way.
04-09-2011 16:36:36 | More by TurdFurgison
5/5 rDev +13.1%
Had this at the borefts beer festival. Ron brought me a glass and I passed after he explained to me what it was... why... simply becuase most freeze/thaw concentrated beers are alcoholic and this puts me off. He guaranteed that this was not the case with this beer.
Wow, this dark, thick brew amazed me. Black fruits up front, hint of cherries, roasted malts and some wooden tones and I almost could not believen that this beer was 26%!!??
Great job Struise. Like it!
04-06-2011 14:17:22 | More by PapaEugene
4.6/5 rDev +4.1%
I had this beer for my last beer at the Alvinne beer festival. I was curious to try it seeing as I'd never had a beer with a 26% abv before.
The beer was very dark, almost black in color and was thick almost looked like a dark maple syrup. There was a small amount of coffee colored head. The aroma was strong of malt, coffee, vanilla, and a bit of fruit (possibly cherries). The taste was interesting with multiple flavors going on. I only had a sample of this beer and it definitely left you wanting more.
03-21-2011 11:48:19 | More by Chincino
4.5/5 rDev +1.8%
wow a 26% abv with a head on it, that is some amazing beer engineering. Thick dark black hole like color, strong roasted dark malt with coffee, hints of bourbon, and vanilla in the nose. Taste is all the greatness of the aroma and more, so much to dissect with this beer. High abv makes this a slow sipper and final beer of the night, but what a beer it is. So thankful that I ended the night at the Alvinne fest with this beer.
03-20-2011 15:28:48 | More by Cmack15
4.68/5 rDev +5.9%
Had on tap at the Alvinne Craft Beer Festival, March 4-5, in Belgium.
This brew is so thick, there were some problems pouring it from the tap. Body is very dark with a thick brown creamy head which has lasting retention, and leaves lots of lacing.
Smells of dark roasted malt, chocolate, dark fruit, vanilla.
Tastes sublime. The eisbock process really concentrates the Black Albert flavors in a good way. Taste is similar to the nose, with a strong charred malt bitterness that is well balanced by sweetness, with some fruit, dark baker's chocolate, espresso, and hint of vanilla, wood, and bourbon. Nice long somewhat bitter finish. The flavors are so strong that the alcohol is not noticeable.
Body is viscous, with moderate carbonation, it has an ultra creamy mouthfeel and is very rich, coating the mouth and tongue.
This is a big beer, loaded with flavor and alcohol. Definitely very drinkable, but must be sipped. The 26% ABV is impressive, all the moreso because of all the good flavor that goes along with it.
03-14-2011 01:30:24 | More by Beerenauslese
5/5 rDev +13.1%
had this beer two times now. The first time at the borefts beer festival and the second time at the struise brewery. The beer looks extremely dark,and when one shakes the glass a bit, it looks a bit like thick syrup. The smell is full of black fruits,some cherry,vanilla,wood,roasted malts and alcohol. Taste is exactly the same as the smell,with some creamy,salty undertone.nicely balanced bitterness. Mouthfeel is perfect,it almost sticks to the tongue. Overall a great beer,altough too high in abv. I just dont like this fashion in the world of beer to make beers with such high abv....,although the alcohol is extremely well hidden. damm,this stuff is good,hell yeah!
02-12-2011 15:12:09 | More by rvdoorn
5/5 rDev +13.1%
My buddy Scott and I took a trip up to Poperinge for some beer visits, and biked up from the train station to De Struise. We had a tour and tasting by (I believe) Carlo, one of the brewers. After some amazing beers, they let us try a cooled keg of Black Damnation V to be sold that day.
This beer was ridiculously delicious. 26% goes almost unnoticed. Its very, very thick with flavors of roasted malt, dark fruit/cherry notes, vanilla. Huge tan head tops a black body. But this does not do it justice.
Take a pint of the best stouts on beer advocate and concentrate their flavors into a single shot, then you're somewhere close to this beer. It is revolutionary, and may well change the standard.
10-31-2010 17:11:55 | More by gyllstromk
Black Damnation V - Double Black from De Struise Brouwers
97 out of 100 based on 278 ratings.