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Outblack - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
OutblackOutblack

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

193 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 193
Reviews: 128
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.62%
Wants: 11
Gots: 42 | 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:
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 added by: beerpirates on 02-23-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 193 | Reviews: 128 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Cmack15
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow what an interesting beer. The aroma is so unique, not sure I have ever smelled a beer like this before, getting some malty notes backstage and citrus notes front stage. The taste starts of with a strong citrus note then ends with malty sweetness. This beer has a lot going on and that is exactly why I like it so much. The mouthfeel is a lot lighter and smoother for a beer with this dark color. Simply put an amazing beer
Cheers

Cmack15, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of Duffman929
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured at lord hobo in cambridge.

Pours dark black with a tan head that was light.

Smell is of cherries and chocolate with a floral aroma. Different than anything I have smelled.

Taste is of tartness from cherries and then transitions to a bitter floral nature from the hops and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is smooth, medium body. Not much carbonation.

This is an interesting combination for me, as I adore cherries and dark chocolate. I would drink this again and again.

Duffman929, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of Kendo
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Kendo, Jan 20, 2012
Photo of Chincino
4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Chincino, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of John_M
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

John_M, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of ngeunit1
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

ngeunit1, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of chrisgn
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

chrisgn, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
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

mikesgroove, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
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).

DrinkSlurm, Oct 12, 2012
Photo of FreshHawk
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

FreshHawk, Oct 21, 2011
Photo of yamar68
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

yamar68, May 02, 2012
Photo of Metalmonk
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

Metalmonk, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of djmichaelk
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

djmichaelk, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of ricoch3t
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

ricoch3t, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

bpfrush, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of zonker17
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

zonker17, Jun 12, 2012
Photo of hoppymcgee
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

hoppymcgee, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of BayouBengal1537
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

BayouBengal1537, Apr 11, 2013
Photo of KillaB
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

KillaB, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of mmercede
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
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!

mmercede, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of xpimptastikx
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

xpimptastikx, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Alieniloquium, Aug 29, 2012
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

donkeyrunner, Sep 28, 2012
Photo of rinhaak
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

rinhaak, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of Jeffo
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Jeffo, Apr 13, 2011
Outblack from De Struise Brouwers
89 out of 100 based on 193 ratings.