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Outblack - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
OutblackOutblack

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

199 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 199
Reviews: 129
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.62%
Wants: 11
Gots: 42 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beerpirates on 02-23-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Collaboration brew with Stillwater Artisanal Ales (USA).

This Belgian Strong Ale was married to a still young but powerful style, the Black IPA.

You take a chocolate sweet strong ale together with the high & strong hop shedule of an IPA, and you get a fantastic result.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 199 | Reviews: 129
Reviews by VWBuggirl:
Photo of VWBuggirl
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This pours a nice dark brown that is quite cloudy. You can hardly see light through it. There is a small creamy tan head that doesn't last long, but leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

This has the expected sweet scent to it for such a high abv brew. I get hints of licorice and maple syrup. This is about what I expect from this beer.

There is not as much sweetness as I would expect from the scent. It has a fair amount of plum to it that is quite enjoyable.

There is a nice sharpness to the carb that helps break through the thick sweetness and helps to balance out the overall feel.

Overall, this is a very nice, balanced beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet a deep garnet infused black with a one finger sticky beige head that left broken lace as it settles.Phenols and candied sugar in the nose,no black ipa element wich I was hoping for.Candied sugar and sweet cakey flavors at the onset,some clove-like phenols come in the rather dry finish.Well I dont see any black ipa in this beer but its a pretty good Belgian dark,I would buy again...I think.

Photo of Mora2000
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. I really like the aroma. I get a lot of brown sugar, molasses and dark cherry notes. There is also some candy sugar in the aroma. The flavor is a mix of candy sugar and toffee. There is also a strong ginger ale quality to the flavor with is unexpected. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not bad, but not as good as I hoped it would be.

Photo of ehammond1
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Texas Wine
Carlsbad, CA

(Aged for 1+ year)

Nearly black in color with a huge, quickly forming, very persistent dark brown head of very large bubbles. Once this recedes, it leaves messy splotches of big, sticky bubbles all the way down the glass. Pretty, though perhaps some excessive carbonation.

A very interesting, complex, and unique aroma: initially, there's good amounts of earth, mint, tobacco, and faded hop character, but as the beer warms some roast, earthy yeast, clove, and dried leaves come to the forefront. There's perhaps some pepper and floral notes as well. Like I said, this is quite complex.

Lots of dark roasted dark malt, toast, some clove, anise?, dried leaves, and tobacco in the flavor, with incredibly well hidden alcohol. I probably wouldn't have aged this one on purpose if I had been aware they used the term "black IPA," in the bottle description, but it has aged incredibly well, turning into something quite complex: a Belgian, hoppy, black saison, if you will.

Medium bodied with moderate/high carbonation, though not at all prickly. Long, lingering roasty finish. A joy to tip.

With very few expectations, I came away loving this beer.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2016. Bottled on 1/1/11 (?) - New Year's day? Acquired from a Belgian webshop and cellared in my garage for quite a long time. A collaboration brew between De Struise and Stillwater - a blend of Belgian strong dark ale and US black ale. Not sure what the bizarre eclipse picture on the label is supposed to represent.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. A thick layer of yeast sediment clings to the bottom of the bottle. Dark brown; appears totally black in the glass. Produces a huge head of creamy tan foam with great retention; this slowly reduces to a thick surface layer. Aroma of sweet, faintly fruity malt with a herbal character. Notes of brown sugar, dried fruit, mild liquorice and hints of coriander, peel, bay leaves, eucalyptus, rosemary/thyme and earthy yeast. A warming whiff of booze in the background, though this blends nicely with the other aromas.

Tastes of rich dark malt with a fruity, herbal character and a dry, bitter finish. Notes of molasses, brown sugar, roasted malt, coffee/cocoa, coriander, orange peel, herbs and earthy yeast. A warming, solventy hint of alcohol in the background. Pretty dry, with a restrained bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth, with a spicy quality. Feels somewhat flat and undercarbonated. Rather astringent, with an aftertaste of sweet malt and a herbal bitterness.

Unusual - rather hard to place this beer. To be honest I have a hard time even picturing the style that this is categorised as, which doesn't help. It's big and well crafted, just odd. The herbal notes are the mystery, as the ingredient list only mentions grains and hops. I was expecting more of a black IPA character, but perhaps the hop aromas have faded and left a herbal flavour behind. Sweet, fruity and boozy, but dry and herb-like. I'm surprised there isn't more of a yeast ester presence. Overall, it's charismatic but weird. Worth trying once, though I'm not sure I'd revisit this.

Photo of Fulkrum78
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle I picked up at Bruisin Ales. Pours pitch black out of the bottle with a thick tan head that hangs around. Smell is complex, and very interesting. Somewhat piney, kinda reminds me of something I can't put my finger on. Taste is thick and rich, almost syrupy in the mouthfeel. Very full bodied. More of those pine notes. Interesting, lots of complexity.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lot 01/01/2011 bottles 02/FF
(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer pours a opaque black body with a sea of microbubbles that support a thick meniscus of beige cream.

S- The clean dry earthy black molasses hint has some dark raisins and tannin hints come through as it opens.

T- The soft dark roasted toffee flavor has as slight chewy oats taste with some soft tartness mixed in and a dark dry candy note in the finish. There is some woody molasses flavor that takes on more of a black licorice aftertaste. Some vinous sherry hints grow in the finish as it warms aswell.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with no alcohol heat till it is pretty warm.

O- The flavor is very light with lots mysterious qualities. There are lots of hints and nice flavors but it is all very soft and a bit underwhelming. Some dark sugar and different grains are pleasant but just too soft to get much character.

Photo of 05Harley
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 1/1/2011

Purchased through Struise Yeast Shop, Belgium

Price - $12.87 U.S. including shipping/bottle.

The appearance is a deep burgandy color with a 1 inch creamy tan head. Lacing tries to stick around but struggles. Fairly clean with no sediment or floatables evident.

An intense aroma of ginger hits the nose, wow. Banana, brown sugar, dark fruits, hops and a fair amount of spice follow it up. The smell is very different from anything I've ever experienced. It reminds me of incense.

Full flavored and closely resembles the aroma. Ginger, spices, raisin, hops, alcohol, all there.

The mouthfeel starts off smooth and with very little heat considering the alcohol content. The carbonation is lite and near perfect for the style. The finish is slitely bitter and dry.

Overall this was a unique beer. Not what I expected but good. Having said that it did quickly vanish from my glass. I have several more and will revisit it through out the summer.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks a beaut! Maybe not black, but an incredibly deep dark brown for sure, with a firm, foamy, filthy-white (as in Peanuts' Pigpen "white") head that leaves bits of lace as it lessens.

Whoa...didn't expect such a minty vibe in the aroma, but there it is...spearmint and peppermint, with a kind of medicinal and/or intensely herbal edge. Not sure what to think, and certainly no idea what to expect, taste-wise.

The peculiar but pleasing minty vibe hangs around in the taste, and I guess this is the hop character. It transforms on the tongue into a more black licorice sort of vibe than I'm picking up in the smell. Yet another example of a Belgian brewer taking the hop-centric inclinations of younger, cutting-edge US brewers and incorporating that into their own unique approach (I do realize this was a collaboration with Nevada's Stillwater brewery). But there's more, much more: something like chili pepper-infused chocolate is a major component of the flavor, and there's a sweeter, gooier chocolate/fudge vibe as well, and also bittersweet baking chocolate. So, yeah, there's a chocolaty thing going on here. Seriously bright herbal notes take up their share of space, and wow, despite the uniqueness and peculiarities of this beer, it remains totally balanced, totally drinkable.

Texturally this is just terrific. Super-smooth, ultra-silky, it glides across the tongue and down the throat like liquid velvet. I wonder if the use of four different malts (barley, oat, wheat, rye) is a huge part of why this feels the way it does. And come to think of it, those are probably adding to the exotic taste of the beer just as much as the hops and yeast.

Drinking Outblack, you feel you're experiencing something rare and special, something worth taking slow, taking care to contemplate each sip but not think too hard about it and just enjoy it. Another totally unique and special Belgian ale. Oh yeah, I dig. This is just great. Highly recommended.

Photo of Mar02x
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A pitch brown beer with a missive beige colored head. The retention is very nice to watch because it goes so slowly.

S - A strong fruit like smell mixed with pinely hops, very inviting. I could be a black IPA.

T - A strong taste of what? I can't really bring it home. I taste spices & hops. Who matters anyway is tastes great and the 10% ABV is nowhere to be seen. I would say there is some red pepper in there as well.

M - Medium bodied with prickly carbonation that fits the taste nicely.

O - A good beer and surprisingly different.

Photo of Sammy
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black beer really, with a bit more complexity. A little horse smell. Big oapy head. average mouthfeel. Some licorice, cinammon, nutmeg, roast. Decent drinkability.
Not one of the best Struise, Liam's bottle, hopefully this one not too expensive as the others.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark thick black with 2+ inches of slow dissipating head. took a good 5 minutes just to start drinking this. great retention and lacing.

sweet dark fruit, slightly funk yeast and candy like malt.

very spicy through out, mainly up front. hints of black licorice. spice and berry carry through out and finish with a hint of mint and charred coal.

velvet like with a mild to moderate carbonation.

very nice, a bit of a slow sipper but perfect for a cold evening.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle poured into a De Struise chalice. I love it when I coordinate. Bottle dated 1/1/2011, maybe?

Appearance - Dark brown with a huge khaki head. Settles quickly, but never vanishes. Contiguous layer of foam on top that climbs the sides of the glass.

Smell - Whoah. I don't even know what I'm smelling. Like a fruity coffee aroma with strong herbal tea notes. Remarkable.

Taste - More along the lines of a BSDA, I suppose, but still way out there in terms of flavors. Coffee is strong. Herbal hops are also strong. Hefty fruit presence, but hell if I can identify what it is. This is a very interesting. Maybe cola? I think that's what it reminds me of.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy body. Medium carbonation. Delicously creamy.

Overall - I'm impressed. Struise never ceases to amaze me the way they flip styles around. I expected a standard BSDA, but this is truly fascinating. Herbal, cola, tea, and coffee all at once with a nice earthiness. I'd love to have this again.

Photo of rhong187
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served in a tulip glass

A - fairly aggressive pour without much head rentention. very black (as the name implies)

S - Smells very nice, with light notes of chocolate and slight vanilla. I read that this is a hyrid of a stout and black IPA, but I don't detect any hop cdharacter whatsoever

T - you get hit with roasted malts and chocolate right away, but again, not much hoppiness.

M- medium bodied, light carbonation.

Nice collab, and I hope to see more in the future.

Photo of ComposerZero
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark and brooding. . . a beer to be reckoned with - if you don't dive in and figure this beast out, this beer will be lost on you. But those with the fortitude will be amply rewarded.

Thick pour of espresso color with a head like you would expect from a double-shot. Big malty molasses on the nose with wonderful scents of smokey hops, honeysuckle, herbs (thyme, oregano, and a bit of lavender), and ash. The palate is intensely dark, dry, and slightly bitter with tons of ashy molasses flavor. The nuances are where the beer really excels with notes of cacao bean, smoke, Christmas spices, and butterscotch all framed by a nice lift everything so things don't get too heavy. The malts continue all the way through the finish as smoke and ash linger on the back end.

At first taste this beer is a tad overwhelming. But once you sit and break this motha done, it is complex enough to keep your attention. That being said. . . it needs your attention.

Photo of GRG1313
2.61/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Lot: 01/01/2011/bottled 02/FF

Pours black with a thick, rich and firm khaki tan head. Lovely to look at and the head holds nicely.

Nose has an initial assertive camphor and mint character that, while interesting and pleasant, not nice on a beer. The mint mellows a bit with some air but the camphor "Vicks" nose persists, with undertones of mint chocolate. Some of the "sweet" character in the nose is the assertive alcohol which may be confused with fruit or esters.

Mouthfeel is medium full, with a nice rich feel but is overwhelmed by the mint/camphor nose that carries over into the flavors. Mint, camphor, bitter pine and undertones of purple plum and mint chocolate prevail in the flavor profile. The alcohol is evident and not well hidden and not helped by the camphor character which seems to highlight the assertive alcohol.

The chocolate and cooked stone fruit undertone teases but never comes forward to overpower the camphor/mint. Flavor profile is very herbal and medicinal.

I can't think of a food with which I'd drink this beer. Not terrible as perhaps a sipper or an appertiff perhaps. Flavor profile is simply too strange for me to consider drinking alone for pleasure or with a meal. Also a bit strange for even after dinner cigars. Perhaps I just "don't get" this one.

Having now "lived with it" in the glass for a while, I can only imagine it as an appertif. Final bitter pine finish saves it for me.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Otterbrown pour appears a deep black while sitting in the vessel. A light walnut brown head dominates the glass with a towering presence and soapy large voids along the glass walls. Retention is good while leaving whispy lashes of lace with spacious proximity.

S: Boozy sweet licorice and fresh prunes for first impressions on the nose. Alcohol is even toned at 10%. Burnt caramel raisins with a touch of bready yeastiness.

T: Flavor of sweet roastiness and chocolate, sugary figs with some dark fruit of prunes. Boozy licorice tones combine with raisins and a soft burbon presence and sweet dark malts. Dates, sweet plums, with a roasty fade closes things out with a good fresh bready yeastiness touch.

M: Syrupy slick mouthful, quiet carbonation nice resistance on the tongue.

O: Nice complexity of dark fruit and sweetness with a well mannered abv. Very easy to consume and enjoyable, smooth and polished.

Photo of akorsak
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Pizzeria Paradiso.

A: The BSDA is dark, a deep brown color that doesn't quite verge on black. A thin white head comes with the pour.

S: The nose has chocolate, anise, raisins and hops, more or less in that order. Very rich, it lacks the telltale sage aroma that has defined many Stillwater collaborations. Very warming and roasted, but not scorched.

T: Sweet and dark, the ale capitalizes on its Belgian constitution, bringing candi sugars, raisons, anise and chocolate to the forefront. The ale, while dark, is not roasted, so there are not burnt off flavors to contend with. Several other reviews mention cherries, sorry but they missed me. The dark flavors are well at home amongst the caramel and biscuit malts. Hops aren't a key contributor. The like how cardamom-like flavors gradually work their way out, adding spicy depth to the ale.

M: The mouthfeel is spicy, but unlike all of Stillwater's previous offerings. This one doesn't rely on roasted malts or sage to make its mark, allowing the molasses and raisins to come to the forefront. I'd never guess that it is a 10% beer.

O: The intense strength drags the overall down a bit.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle. Served in a Dogfish Head Signature glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch frothy tan head. The head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is a bit spicy, it smells like licorice, cola, bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit, and some slight citrusy hops and a weird medicinal/herbal aroma that I can't identify. The brew tastes like bittersweet chocolate, 7-Up (or some other similar citrusy soft drink), licorice, dark fruit, and some coffee and an overall herbal flavor. It's certainly a unique flavored brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and has moderate carbonation. Overall I liked this beer. It was $6.99 a bottle, but I thought it was worth the price. Definitely worth trying.

Photo of jsh420
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours dark dark brown almost black with a a 1+ finger tan head that had great retention and left some spotted lacing

smells of dark sugary fruit with lots of xmas spice

taste dark fruit dark chocolate but again i get a spice that reminds me of xmas ales - i think maybe its allspice?

mouthfeel is light medium body with low carbonation - very smooth and creamy

overall - very different then the normal BSD - crazy drinkability @ 10% abv - maybe this one just threw me for a loop

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep black color stout with a super huge thick foamy head with great retention and very good lacing. Aroma consists of semi-sweet Belgian malt with great notes of fruity ester. Taste is also a nice mix between some sweet malt with nice fruity ester and light residual candi sugar notes. Body is quite full with nice creamy texture and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Another very nice beer from two of my favourite brewers.

Photo of theghost3
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep dark brown, almost black. Head is 2-fingers, popping bubbly, somewhat soda-like and beige. Little lacing.

Smell is subtle coffee & caramel malts with a hint of burnt toast. The taste is dark cocoa but there is also an interesting citrus and herbal hop component that adds some sassafras flavor to it. Mouthfeel is carbonated and biting at first, but then ends thick and smooth; a lot like a root beer float.

This is unique and delicious. The taste and mouthfeel really have root beer float qualities.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Verrrry dark brown in color; its nearly black. Head is a creamy light mocha color, 2 fingers, and lacing like a champ.

Rich and malty, light sweetness, caramel, dark fruits and a dash of hops.

Big roasted notes, with some chocolate sweetness, dark fruits pleasant citrus and nice bitterness. Finish is a hair smoky.

Feel is nearing full bodied, creamy, slick, slightly coating and super smooth.

The alcohol is non-existent in my opinion. It's extremely tasty and unique. Drinkability is exceptional.

I may be ordering more sooner than expected...

Photo of yamar68
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 330ml to Duvel tulip:

Pours with very minimal clarity and an excited medium brown head. Milky, stubborn consistency with decent lacing. Head is incredibly dense, like insulation.

The nose is scattered with caramelized sugars. Honey, oats, milk duds, not much of an alcohol presence, cocoa, brown sugar, hot chocolate bits.

Taste is extremely unique. The nose suggested something run of the mill but this is far from it. Grapes and booze up front... all those various chocolate hints don't show themselves as clearly on the tongue. Some Belgian yeast surfaces after a bit of warmth. Very interesting.

Overall, this is exactly what I want from a pricey brew - not a textbook example of the style, but an adventurous take on a genre that you thought you knew. Very good.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

opaque dark black liquid coming forward. Very large three inch plus head of off white colored froth coming over the top and settling down after what seemed like forever into a nice little layer of about a half inch in height. Excellent side glass presentation as well.

The aroma was rich, big notes of coffee and chocolate in here for sure. Semi sweet with a notch of bitter hops underlying it and loaded with a smoked, almost peat like aroma as well. Notes of dark figs and prunes rattling around in here as well. The flavor was about as spot on as I could imagine. Rich notes of coffee, dark German chocolate and figs were the big players here. The warmer it got the more it seemed to pick up on that smoked like flavor. Notes of earthy hops, light but noticeable were swirling around in here, really taking hold and pushing this to the forefront. Luscious and creamy feel, dominating by an active carbonation profile that really never let this one become dull or boring in anyway

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Outblack from De Struise Brouwers
89 out of 100 based on 199 ratings.