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Outblack - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
OutblackOutblack

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

185 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 185
Reviews: 127
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.59%
Wants: 9
Gots: 40 | FT: 1
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:
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 added by: beerpirates on 02-23-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 185 | Reviews: 127 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kendo
Kendo

New York

4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the bottle into a Piraat tulip-snifter-type glass. On the pour it appears brown as it glug-glugs out of the bottle, but in the glass it's more black, with a 1+ finger light tan head that retains well.

S: The nose is different from any beer I've ever smelled, so the brain is having some trouble putting it all together. I'm getting dark and dried fruits, something slightly smoky, some spice (cinnamon, perhaps) and chocolate malt.

T: I like this. Like the nose, the flavors bounce all around. Unlike some beers where too much going on is too much going on, here they play nicely together. I'm getting tart or sour cherries - if you'd told me there were cherries or cherry juice in this beer I'd say, "Ayup. No doubt." There is underlying chocolatey malt that oddly enough isn't noted up front in the sip; more like in the aftertaste. But chocolate malt is clearly there. Also some roasty malt. Alcohol is definitely noted, finishes a touch hot. Also a drying, roasty bitterness at the end so that it finishes pretty clean.

M: Fizziness is quite active (I'm burping a lot - my wife said it "feels foamy" and that's a good description), but gentle on the palate. Call it medium in heft, but the carbonation allows it to drink like a lighter beer.

O: Excellent. They say this is a hybrid/blend of a Black IPA and a BSDA - I don't get enough hoppiness for the IPA part, but whatever you call it, I like it.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 04:03:15 | More by Kendo
Photo of Chincino
Chincino

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of Outblack from the store at the Alvinne Festival in Belgium and brought it back with me to the US. I tried it the other night and was very impressed with this beer.

It poured very dark in color, almost black with a large mocha color head which dissipated fast. The aroma to me smelled of chocolate, malt, and honey. It was thinner than I expected. The alcohol content was well-hidden with this beer.

Great beer-I hope to try it again someday.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 11:22:22 | More by Chincino
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap (as I recall) during the Belgian event at Max's.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty attractive in this one, as I pick up chocolate, malt balls and vanilla. The beer smells fairly sweet, and my first sip confirms that it is. Otherwise, this beer is really pretty tasty on the palate, and I appreciate the rich, full, smooth mouthfeel. It seemed to enhance the chocolate, vanilla and light coffee all the more. There's a hint of heat on the finish, but it's not excessive, and really isn't too bad considering the abv. in this beer.

Very easy to take, despite the high alcohol.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2012 16:02:23 | More by John_M
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark black, bit of brown around the edges, finger of frothy khaki colored head. Fades fairly slowly.

S - Roasted milk chocolate malts and caramel malts, grapefruit, orange, citrus, and light pine hops, rye, wheat, Belgian yeast, spices, light booze.

T - Roasted milk chocolate malts, caramel malts, grapefruit, orange, pine hops, bitterness, spicy rye, wheat, Belgian yeast, spices, hint of coffee, light booze.

M - Medium-full bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth with a roasted, bitter, dry, warming finish.

D - Really nicely balanced and complex.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 03:47:54 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of chrisgn
chrisgn

Massachusetts

4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet. Started with 2 fingers of foamy head. Head sticks around with good lacing on the glass. Appears opaque dark brown.
Aroma consists of raisin/fig, brown sugar, and faint alcohol.
Excellent mouth feel and carbonation.
The beer tastes exactly as it smells. raisin, brown sugar, and a little alcohol burn on the end.
This beer is like a cross between a quad and Belgian dark strong. Also has some stout characteristics in the mouthfeel and the head. Very complex flavors and aromas. This is a very interesting beer. I wish I got another bottle to age for a while, but it is great fresh.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 23:56:41 | More by chrisgn
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
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

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2011 04:52:26 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of DrinkSlurm
DrinkSlurm

Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Acquistapace’s Covington Supermarket in Covington, Louisiana. (Bet you never thought your beer would make it to a random shelf in Louisiana) for like $6. Awesome.

Poured from 11oz bottle into tulip. Lot 01/01/2011...bottled on or bb..not sure.
Pours a spectacular deep brown with amber hue and a crazy tan thick foamy head. It looks soooo creamy and good.
wow..big chocolate aromas, dried plum (prune), and sugar aromas pretty much dominate this one. Taste is so unique. Really dark chocolate, cinnamon/spice, dried fruit, spicy, then the dark chocolate hits again. I dont get much of the IPA on this, but I deff see the belgian dark.
Its a super tastey brew, creamy yet a slight sharp/bitter mouthfeel, but you would never know the abv... overall this is a fantastic brew. De Struise is just simply amazing...way to go Carlos! (and Stillwater).

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2012 03:29:56 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of FreshHawk
FreshHawk

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown, almost black with some sediment. Full, creamy, frothy, almost meringue like, light khaki colored head. Great retention leaving a nice lacing.

S - Starts with a great mix of dark fruit (raisin, fig and date) and grapefruit citrus. Slight fruit punch-like and a blueberry/pomegranate juice (maybe cranberry) aroma. Touches of coffee and chocolate along with a touch of roasted malt. Interesting.

T - Starts with an interesting fruitiness. Dark fruit (fig especially and a fair amount of raisin and date) along with citrus (grapefruit and orange). The combination of the two provides that blueberry/pomegranate/cranberry juice kind of flavor. I enjoy the mix. Mid sip and in the background throughout there is a nice earthy and sweet cocoa and coffee flavor. Sweet, tart and earthy mixture.

M - Light to medium body and above average carbonation. Slightly sticky finish but there is a prickley feel mid sip.

D - I throughly enjoyed the bottle and it went a little too fast. I liked the mix of flavors and thought it was well balanced and enjoyed how the flavors complimented each other.

Notes: Overall I quite enjoyed this and thought it was pretty unique. Two different styles mixed well (in my opinion) creating something unique. Not sure how often I'll get this (price) but I'm really glad I gave it a try.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2011 01:21:49 | More by FreshHawk
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2012 03:54:51 | More by yamar68
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 19:00:28 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of djmichaelk
djmichaelk

Florida

4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle into a big cabernet glass. Jan 2011 bottling.

A - Pours a dark, murky black. Big three fingers of off-white head, fading to a thick cap with great retention and maybe slightly patchy lacing. Looks more like a nice stout than a BSDA or Black IPA.

S - Anise, spicy hops, dark chocolate, and cocoa. It almost singes the nose hairs. I like it.

T - Much more subtle than the nose indicates. Cocoa and hoppy spiciness dominate the front palate. Bitterness from the hops plus some roast in the mid, and the finish is all dark chocolate and coffee bitterness. Wonderful for the style(s).

M - Thick and creamy, with a long dark finish. Not dry so much as it's heavy and lingering.

O - I've seen this described as a Belgian IPA, a Black IPA, and now a BSDA. I think more than anything it's a Belgian Stout. At any rate, it's a solid beer. Much better than I expected. Worth importing, and recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 08:02:05 | More by djmichaelk
Photo of ricoch3t
ricoch3t

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

01-01-2013 04:54:46 | More by ricoch3t
Photo of bpfrush
bpfrush

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

11-15-2011 21:25:20 | More by bpfrush
Photo of zonker17
zonker17

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

06-12-2012 00:31:18 | More by zonker17
Photo of hoppymcgee
hoppymcgee

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

04-17-2012 04:25:07 | More by hoppymcgee
Photo of BayouBengal1537
BayouBengal1537

Louisiana

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

04-11-2013 02:02:13 | More by BayouBengal1537
Photo of KillaB
KillaB

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

01-29-2013 08:49:10 | More by KillaB
Photo of mmercede
mmercede

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Teresa's Next Door.

A: Jet black with some caramel colored head.

S: Some nice roastiness and dark chocolate with a great saison yeast characteristic.

T: Great dark malts and dark fruits typical of a quad. However, the saison yeast is an amazing addition adding levels of spice and esters.

M: Definitely full bodied but not overly syrupy. Actually goes down quite easy. Has a nice low level of carbonation.

O: An amazingly complex and unique brew. Would love to try it again!

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2011 04:22:26 | More by mmercede
Photo of xpimptastikx
xpimptastikx

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a nice dark brown with a tan finger of head, moderate lacing. Looks like a BSDA to me.

S - This is nice. Dark fruits with roasted malts and nice citrus hop note.

T - Initial sweet of a BSDA, malt, raisins, slight spice of yeast, with a nice hop finish.

M/D - A full body and good carbonation are spot on like they are for most struise beers. This is definitely better that a "Cascadian Dark Ale", and is more drinkable, at least for my palate. It's nice now, but I'll have to sock away 2 for future years to see how it changes once all the hops are gone.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2011 23:37:01 | More by xpimptastikx
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2012 00:42:12 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appropriately black colored beer. Meaty head makes my goblet look like a St. Bernardus snow globe. But with beige snow.

Smells like cola, real cola (with real sugar, not corn sugar), licorice and brown sugar in a rich, complex melange.

Corresponding with the aroma Outblack tastes rich and complex. Molasses and brown sugar sweetness with some hoppy dank spice for balance. Not as hoppy as I would have guessed but noticeable. Little sour tang in back which is non sequitur. Soft, tongue massaging mouthfeel.

Good stuff. Haven't had a less than great beer from these guys and or gals.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2012 00:16:18 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of rinhaak
rinhaak

Massachusetts

4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a thick, dark black with faint hints of red. There is a very thick and foamy browned head.

The nose is intense with smoked malts, chipotle, coffee grounds, spearmint, prunes,

The taste is wild with an absolute collision of flavor. At first the tongue tastes a sort of postage stamp flavor, which matures into a smokey mint. Strong herbal notes with wild roots (sarsaparilla? burdock? dandelion?). The hops are present, though generally covered by a dark caramel/coffee/ash combination. A strong booziness throughout, it finishes with a bit of campfire smoke.

The beer has a velvet mouthfeel and coats your tongue with its silky goodness.

Overall, this is not a beer for the faint of heart. It just might be the most unique beer I have ever tasted, and I give De Struise props for thinking well outside the box. The ABV notwithstanding, it's far from a session ale; I almost recommending splitting a bottle with a friend. It is so intense it can almost be too much.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 03:33:04 | More by rinhaak
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a few bottles of this gem at Geers in Gent. Doopie also hooked me up with a couple. Thanks dude!

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A dark pour makes a three finger, medium-thick looking, tan head with great retention. Opaque seal brown in color with medium carbonation. Head slowly fades to a substantial and persistent foam cap that leaves some fluffy lacing down the glass. A good sized foam cap remains the whole way down leaving some decent looking lacing.

SMELL: This is quite nice. Lots of caramel sweetness, dark fruits, and some spicy yeast notes with aromas of clove and coriander. The candy sugar is definitely there, as is a hit of cocoa powder in the back. Complex, bold, and very interesting Good stuff.

TASTE: Caramel again, with dark fruits and lots of spicy flavors. Sweet sugar and some faint rye bread in the malt bill as well. Cocoa powder comes out after the swallow, as does a plethora of spicy clove and coriander flavors. Bold but shorter lived aftertaste is plenty sweet and spicy with just a touch of booze. Great stuff, but just not quite as impressive as the nose. Still, wonderful again here.

PALATE: Medium body with higher levels of carbonation. Quite creamy smooth enough on the palate, goes down smooth, alcohol nowhere to be felt, and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Some lingering heat reminds you it’s 10%, but it’s exactly what the doctor ordered for this brew. Good feel.

OVERALL: Definitely one of my favorite Struise beers and it rannks up there with the other big boys in the Belgian strong dark ale category. This is one of my top styles, so that’s saying a lot. Fantastic stuff. Bold, enticing nose and flavor proile, as well as a full, creamy palate to support the show. A brew worth tracking down if you’re a fan of the brewery and/or the style. Hopefully I can find a few more bottles before they dry up. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2011 11:49:53 | More by Jeffo
Photo of Thehuntmaster
Thehuntmaster

South Africa

4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle 10,0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in a tulip wine glass.
Batch 01/01/2011 BBE 01/02/2016

Appearance: Living up to its name, Outblack appears black in the glass, but transforms into a very dark red when backlight. As with all Struise beers the head is perfect. Massive, creamy light tan head that displays superb retention and leaves good lace.

Smell: Wow, not what I expected at all. Lots of chocolate, dark fruit (liqueur cherries, figs and plums), rum and tons of spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper and cardamom). Smoke, licorice and piney hops are noted in smaller quantities.
This is really one of the stranger smells I have come across - but who is to say that’s a bad thing? I actually really like this. The combination of chocolate and pepper reminds me a little of Lindt's chili chocolate.

Taste: After the smell, I guess I shouldn't be surprised at how far off my expectations were on the taste. Bitter chocolate, roasted malt, molasses, touch of coffee, cherry, raisin, cardamom, nutmeg and a touch of hops in the finish. Great Abv. cover up, alcohol is not noted at all.

Mouthfeel: Just fuller than a medium body and quite sticky. Carbonation is typically Belgian, but a little too much for my taste.

Overall: Struise has yet to disappoint me - another great beer that I would like to have again.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2011 15:15:59 | More by Thehuntmaster
Photo of ComposerZero
ComposerZero

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 23:46:49 | More by ComposerZero
Outblack from De Struise Brouwers
89 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.