Black Damnation V - Double Black - De Struise Brouwers
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Ratings: 278 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
4.53/5 rDev +2.5%
On tap poured into a fluted stemware. Surprised to see a keg of this make it all the way over to California, but glad to try it. Beer pours pitch black, completely opaque with a finger and a half of thick creamy brown head. Surprisingly long head retention, leaving thick patches of lacing. The beer itself is very viscous, with plenty of alcohol legs.
Nose is bourbon soaked dried dark fruits, cherry and plum mixed with a touch of wood tannin and vanilla, fruity dark chocolate, espresso, and dark caramel. There is a touch of Belgian yeast spice and lighter fruit esters as it warms as well. Beer smells sweet and rich, but not much booziness.
Taste follows the nose, big flavor without any harsh alcohol flavor. Leads with the dark fruit and dark chocolate flavors, sweet smooth dark caramel. A touch of espresso and dark roast malt bitterness mid palate to balance out the sweetness. Long lingering dark fruit, dark chocolate and roasty bitterness on the tongue, as the beer just sticks to the inside of your mouth with each sip.
Probably the thickest and most viscous beer I've tried, full body and sticky, but a decent amount of fine carbonation to help lighten the beer as it hits the tongue. For 26%, the alcohol is dangerously well hidden, but the big bold flavors led me to take small sips and let it sit on the tongue to really enjoy the beer.
01-16-2013 17:35:07 | More by nataku00
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
4.53/5 rDev +2.5%
Bottle poured into a Darkness snifter.
A - probably the darkest beer I've ever seen, which pours like black lava. Dark espresso head on top.
S - vanilla, coffee, chocolate, and BOOZE.
T - holy shit... this beer is no joke. Chocolate, vanilla, oak, maybe some whiskey and a ton of heat. I feel it in my chest and nose as if I took a shot of bourbon.
M - creamy and hot.
O - this beer is a trip. Whoever called it a whiskey milkshake was dead on. I'm not sure if my wife and I will have the strength to knock this one out.
08-06-2012 22:59:19 | More by GabrielM
4.51/5 rDev +2%
Holy hell, 26% ABV? This is by far the strongest beer I've been able to sample to date... Poured on tap into a tiny, 4-5oz tulip glass at Trappist Provisions, a new fantastic beer-related place located in Oakland. Wouldn't want more than 2oz of this at a time, personally...
The appearance consists of a deep, darkened color with shades of brown, black, gray, and whatever else when shined upon the light. It reminds me of a haunting, murky lake or swamp shining against a full moon, and the feeling of drinking it gives me the same anticipation of plunging into its deep, dark depths. The alcohol legs on this are massive, and nothing seems to stick to the glass for more than a second. There was pretty much no head upon the initial pour, but there are remnants of carbonation that sort of fight to stay at the top... It reminds me in that case of espresso that's been sitting out, untouched, for about 5 minutes.
The smell is simply vicious when it comes to imperial stouts, and I mean this in the best way possible. I immediately pick up intense notes of wood and dark fruitiness, and while there's barely any hops, or bitterness for that matter, there is a spicy finish that is quickly overpowered by the alcohol. This is truly more that halfway to retaining whiskey like properties in a beer... Only no corn is involved here. The alcohol is not as strong as I expected on the nose, and it relishes intense sweetened notes upon the darkened malt aromas, which often create a vanilla bean and dark chocolate combo, combined with cherries, blackberries, figs, and other similar fruits. Great stuff so far.
The flavor is unlike any beer I've had to date, for that matter. While the initial fruity and roasted complexities hit you at first, it quickly shapes into a massive - and I mean *massive* - oak chipped finish unlike anything else. It's experience similar yet far more intense to that of having an Oaked Arrogant Bastard on tap some years back. The key difference in the alcohol, which heightens the sweet vanilla experience to ridiculous levels, yet the burn only arrives far later after each sip. This contains properties very similar to tawny port wine, a highly oaked sherry, or a brandy that's been melded with tons of woody coffee. It's still distinguishably a beer, but it definitely is off the charts for proper categorization. The feel is excellent and thick - reminds me of fresh, full bodied chocolate cake recently pulled from the oven. It works because it contains liquor like properties but a beer feel without too much of an alcohol burn.
Simply put, one of the most interesting beers I've had in my whole life. Drinking it is an experience, and should not be treated as a way to get hammered or anything. This is world class sipping beer here. If I have the chance score a bottle of one these, I surely would in a heartbeat. Highly recommended!
01-13-2013 18:48:30 | More by magictacosinus
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
Black Damnation V - Double Black from De Struise Brouwers
97 out of 100 based on 278 ratings.