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Black Damnation V - Double Black - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black Damnation V - Double BlackBlack Damnation V - Double Black

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

296 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 296
Reviews: 110
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 11.56%
Wants: 581
Gots: 58 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  26.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
100% of Cuvée Delphine was used that was ice distilled to 26% of alcohol volume.

(Beer added by: alcstradamus on 03-14-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 296 | Reviews: 110 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of IrishColonial
3.5/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of ehammond1
4.23/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2008)

Thanks for opening this one with me, nakalakaboom!

(Aged for 3+ years)

Black on black with a surprisingly large (for the style and ABV) dark brown head that leaves the glass oily and spotted with stick. Very impressive looking beer.

The aroma is quite incredible and expressive, and better at the cooler temperatures. The aroma is a fantastic combination of coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits, roast, a hint of smoke, and some definite alcohol. Zero complaints.

The flavor is very nice too, though it does somewhat fall apart as the beer warms up closer and closer to room temperature. The flavor is full of chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malt, barrel, and a hint of smoke. The alcohol becomes more and more dominant as the beer warms, which is to be expected.

Full bodied, slightly oily, with moderate carbonation.

So pleased to have been able to try this. It's fantastically drinkable for the ABV, and quite the accomplishment.

Photo of birchstick
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by bsuedekum...Iced Stout, let's do this...

A - Pours black with a small head on it.

S -The nose erupts with dark fruits (plums and raisins), dark chocolates, and a little bourbon.

T - opens up amazingly sweet. Uber chocolaty malts move on to extremely bitter dark chocolates. Vanilla bourbon flavors move in next to help tame the chocolates. Some spiciness from the bourbon comes in next but is overtaken by piney hops. Whoa.

M - thin body and TONS of booze

D - Wow...bold, full of flavor and really complex. I had a small pour of this and don't know if I could do more than 1/4 of a bomber in a sitting. This is packed of flavor and will smack you in the face if you're not looking. Definitely worth a shot, but not for the faint of heart.

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of ADTaber
4.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

Photo of koopa
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Jspriest
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Rutager
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Sparky44
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of fredmugs
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Jeffo
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served at the De Struise table at the 2010 BOREFTS Beer Festival at De Molen in Bodegraven. Poured so generously by David working the taps.

Four oz taster. Listed at 26.8%

APPEARANCE: Pours a larger, super thick looking, tan head with great retention. Head slowly fades and leaves lots of clingy lacing down the sides of the glass. Pitch black body with zero carbonation evident. Head eventually fades to a thin swirling wisp and a ring. Only a ring remains but leaves a few dots of lacing down the glass. Doesn't get any more impressive than this at 26%. Looks menacing.

SMELL: Tough to pick up anything while so cold, but once it warmed up closer to room temperature, the aromas came to life. Lots of roasted malts, with strong aromas of baker's chocolate and some espresso notes. Bolder imperial stout aromas, with heavier emphasis on the roasted and charred malts.

TASTE: Like Cuvee Delphine on steroids. Lots of roasted and charred malts, dark baker's chocolate and espresso flavors, with hints of bourbon as well. Some faint vanilla notes and wood from the barrels. A big, bold, lingering roasted and barrel influenced aftertaste includes a touch of bitterness and spicy yeast notes. Amazingly enough, there's not a touch of that 26% to be found. Really wonderful stuff.

PALATE: Full body and very thick and luscious on the palate. Medium carbonation and extremely smooth. No alcohol noticeable on the swallow, and finishes slightly dry. Way smoother than I had expected.

OVERALL: This was the hit of the evening for me; the only beer I went back to for a second pour. I'd been anxiously awaiting this one for quite some time, and it didn't disappoint. The Double Black reminded me of what I loved so much about that first batch of Cuvee Delphine many moons ago, but then amped up to the tenth degree. A big, bold, bruiser of an imperial stout, with a look and feel that makes you forget that it's ¼ alcohol. Hopefully our beer paths will cross again sometime. Thanks to the guys at De Struise for brewing such a gem and brining it to the festival, and thanks to Dave for the expert pours.

Photo of beergorrilla
4.5/5  rDev +2%

Photo of nickd717
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Satchboogie
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of greenspointexas
4/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of seeswo
2.75/5  rDev -37.6%

Photo of baybum
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A : Poured jet black with leaving a nice 1/4" head. Absolutely no light makes it through this beer. We even put a high power flashlight to it and nothing! As you tilted the glass, what was left turned the clear glass into an orange, caramel color. Just amazing!

S: Sharp, pungent booze, lots of chocolate, tobacco, black molasses, caramelized sugars. You could lose yourself in the aroma that came from the glass.

T: A Burnt barley, tobacco taste up front. Followed by a nice booze but nothing near the 26%. Many other lower alcohol beers have more of a boozy after taste. The caramelized sugars make this almost syrup like.

M: Full bodied, well carbonated, hearty with a nice sweet feel and lush texture.

O: I knew this was a heavy beer, and by the look of it in the glass I expected it to hit with a punch. It started with such a strong mouth feel, but the lingering taste faded fast and left me wanting to sip it again. The boozy smell was perfect but didn't match the taste.

Serving type: bottle

Thanks Mike!!!

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.1/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of peensteen
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Generously shared by Liam at his birthday tasting.

Poured a thick and viscious black, absolutley no chance of seeing through this at all, deep red/tan head, light spoys of lace on the glass. Smell is deeply roasted, tons of coffee, suprisingly very little alcohol in the nose. Taste is of roasted malt, bitter coffee grinds, chocolate, moderate bitter profile, alcohol but not near what 26% should taste like, defintley warming nice heat in chest and throat, very tasty stuff. Light-med carbonation, full body, nice feel. This was absolutey a treat to have, unfortunatley I will never see this again, does not taste like its ABV at all. Thanks Liam

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of DonFrap
2.25/5  rDev -49%

Photo of jampics2
4.28/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of jegross2
3.89/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing the infamous Black Damnation V (Double Black), an eised barrel aged Russian imperial stout from De Struise Brouwers our of Belgium. This beer is their Cuvee Delphine (bourbon barrel aged Black Albert), ice distilled to 26% ABV.

Score: 87

2010 vintage bottle, Lot B. "Best by" 2016. Served in a Black Damnation tulip taster and enjoyed on 07/12/14. Thank you Paul for sharing this one!

Appearance: Pours a viscous, motor oil color with no head. Minimal pop to the uncorking of the synthetic cork. Has a crazy browning effect from the swirl with chunky lacing and good legs. This brew looks imposing. 4.5/5

Smell: Roasted chocolate, tobacco, malt and black licorice. Bourbon, alcohol (though not nearly as much as you would expect from a 26% ABV monster), cherry, plum and caramelized sugars too. A touch of cardboard-like oxidation. Those nose is solid, with average integration, but it is nothing particularly amazing. The nose is big and bold and can be smelled a foot away from the glass. 3.75/5

Taste: Taste just like it smells with a strong fruity oxidation character to the finish. Caramelized sugars/brown sugar, barley malt, dark fruit chocolate and tobacco are the primary flavors through and in the linger. Less bourbon character in the taste than in the nose. This beer is surprisingly "smooth" for 26% ABV -- with three to four years of age on it, this beer lacks the "here I am, rock you like a hurricane" heat of higher (but relatively lower) ABV brews like World World Stout and Black Tuesday. Lots of lasting fruitiness/oxidation and tobacco/dark fruit flavor to the finish. 3.75/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. The mouthfeel is so viscous and chewy. Big, lasting flavors coat the palate. Has a flavor profile consisting of sweet components that does not come across as being "sweet" a la Double Barrel Hunahpu's. 4.75/5

Overall: A good/solid, but not great or "cannot miss stout" in my opinion. I have had better bottles of this, but never one I had a good pour of that was quality enough to justify the high retail price tag or secondary market trade value. The flavor profile here reminds me of Double Barrel Hunahpu's, minus the spices/peppers, with relatively poorer integration. Among the many hard-to-get, highly touted beers out there, this one is notably skippable; tickers and completionists be forewarned.

Cost: $50 for a 750 ml bottle.

Black Damnation V - Double Black from De Struise Brouwers
98 out of 100 based on 296 ratings.