1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Outblack - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
OutblackOutblack

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

192 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 192
Reviews: 128
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.87%
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:
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 192 | Reviews: 128 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jayli
1.98/5  rDev -50%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had at Armsby Abbey 4/16
Served in a snifter

A: This beer pours an opaque brown with a one finger of khaki head. head recedes quickly, leaving wisps of sticky lacing.

S: Nose is medicinal cherries - almost like Vicks 44. There are faint hints of chocolate, but the Vicks 44 aroma is the most dominant.

T: Taste is... nothing belgian, nothing stout. And here comes that Vich 44 cherry taste in the flavoring, hints of sour funk and a bit of vinegar. As the beer warms up, the previous flavoring does not disappear, but added is a bit of bitter chocolate amidst the tart... and a weird citrus, pine bite in the after taste.

M: Medium body, higher carbonation, light prickly feel feel and finish.

O: Goes down.. better as it warms, not extrodinarily tasty, somewhat filling, decent kick, and not a very good representation of style. I was very excited for this beer but it just didn't hit at all for me and would certainly not seek it out again.

Jayli, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of Bubba83
2.23/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle is dated 1/1/2011. Poured into a small tulip.

The appearance is quite nice indeed. Very black body topped by a nice two finger widths of light tan head. The head is comprised of very small bubbles. Lacing and retention are both great.

Smells like a lot of candi sugar was used, has that kind of quadrupel type smell to it, but it is too heavy on that artificial cherry cough syrup smell. There's some other dark fruits too, like raspberry and black currant, but it's mostly that artificial cherry. Minty herbal/medicinal to the max.

Tastes much like it smells, but there's a little more going on. It is definitely loaded with residual sugar and has a big artificial cherry flavor like cough syrup. Underneath that is a bit of char and oxidization, along with some earthy, minty, herbal hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium, and the head texture feels fine.

Overall I am very unimpressed. I'm not sure if this is a bad bottle or if it was kept improperly before it got into my hands. I'd find it hard to believe the beer is intended to be this way.

Bubba83, May 06, 2012
Photo of mattfancett
2.5/5  rDev -36.9%

mattfancett, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of whartontallboy
2.5/5  rDev -36.9%

whartontallboy, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
2.6/5  rDev -34.3%
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.

GRG1313, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
2.95/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - The beer pours a ruddy mahogany hue and is capped with a tight and tidy tan froth that picks up the appearance a bit.

S - The brew is strange from the get-go, and the more I try to get into it, the less I can. Smells of bubblegum, chiefly; other very unusual notes abound. I am thinking Elizabeth Taylor 'Poison' perfume, but perhaps I have my old lady perfumes mixed up. As I begin to come around on the taste-side of things, I am starting to think that this smells a lot like Aqua-Fresh toothpaste.

T - Nicer taste than the aroma, doubtless, albeit still quite unusual. I get a bit of black tea and lavender flavors, atop a light somewhat raisin-bready malt. The bubble gum that I discerned and disdained in the nose is present in the flavor as well as a strange mint chutney note. Everything about this beer is ridiculous in decidedly good or bad way.

M - The feel is just fine; enhancing, expansive, softly effervescent.

O - Not my cup of tea, so to speak.

ktrillionaire, May 13, 2011
Photo of ptykozoon
2.95/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours the darkest brown with red bits here and there. Nice head, bits of lacing.

It's a De Struise, so basically nothing on the nose. Maybe some burnt sugar.

Subtle. Toffee, burnt raisin, prune, coffee. Lasting cloyingly sweet finish.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Nicely done, but a tad boring.

ptykozoon, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of ajzy
3/5  rDev -24.2%

ajzy, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of drummermattie02
3/5  rDev -24.2%

drummermattie02, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of brdc
3.1/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Small capped bottle. Poured into a snifter. From notes.

It is a very good looking beer, true to belgian and Struise tradition. Pitch black, lots of dark tan colored head, lots of lacing, very good retention.
The aroma was a step down, still quite good, but not as great. It has notes of freshly brewed coffee, chocolate, but also a piney hopiness that does not quite belong, if very subtle. Closing up some very slight smokey notes and a hint of dark fruits.
The mouthfeel is not as rich as I expected, medium to full. Taste is unfortunately where it unravels, with a dark chocolate taste, along with coffee, and the black IPA notes that although expected simply did not go down well.
There is a recurring earhty hoppiness that keeps getting in the way of the dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and smokiness that would be otherwise quite good.
Not that good. A miss in my opinion. A very expensive one for that matter.

brdc, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of ms11781
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

ms11781, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of GallowsThief
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my tulip.

A – Poured out a cloudy caramel brown with two fingers of tan head that had good retention. Sticky lacing all down the glass.

S – Coffee, toffee, mocha and vanilla.

T – At first taste I get some of the mocha and coffee flavors. Does turn a bit medicinal somewhere in the middle. Odd. Big dark fruit flavor as well with definite citrus notes that give it a twang. Warming alcohol at the end that you do feel.

M – Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Bitter on the aftertaste.

O – Interesting collab but not overwhelming for me. Just had a bit of an odd taste to it. Not bad but not good. Middling for me.

GallowsThief, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of crnipeter
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

IMO this brew is more representative of spiced/herb/vegetable beer rather than of Belgian Strong Dark Ale, nor this is a hybrid between BSDA and dark IPA.
Pours thick, well formed tan head that clings to the walls, with good retention over the dark brown, opaque body with mahogany highlights at the edges.
Basically smells like herbal liqueur – the aroma resembles rosemary, nutmeg and mint, there's unrefined sugar and a whiff of alcohol. The flavor profiles consists of sugary sweetness, roasted malts with chocolaty notes, strong herbal overtones, warming alcohol and towards the moderately sweet finish emerges hoppy bitterness accompanied by spicy notes that I couldn’t tell whether originate from hops, yeast derived phenols or actual spices used. Aftertaste is herbal with mild roastiness, hoppy bitterness and warmth, a characteristics that I'd expect in Imperial Stout. Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation, tends to coat the lips with sticky film.
Alcohol is too evident and herbs/spices/vegetables too strong.
(330 ml, BB date reads 1. February 2016, into the Struise 150 ml tulip).

In short: dark, sweet, warming ale with strong herbal, spicy and roasted notes.

crnipeter, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of srandycarter
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky prunish cola, large bubbled huge tan head. Slow to leave. Lots of lace.

S - Sweet cooked dates, anise, vanilla.

T - Heavy on the licorice, some cooked fruit, bitter end.

M - Medium body, fair carb, balance kinda funky.

D - Don't really care for this one all that much. Fun to try, but won't be trying again.

srandycarter, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of kiddynamite920
3.33/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Interesting idea for a collaboration beer. Not two styles I would expect to marry well.

A: Has the deep, red color of a BSDA with possibly a slightly darker appearance from the Black IPA. The head is a splotchy tan, with some effects of lacing on the glass.

S: Has a surprising tartness followed by a bit of roasted malts. You can really pick out each style of beer here. The slightly citrusy hops are taking this beer to a place it shouldn't be, way too strange on the nose. When you can focus on the BSDA part of the beer, it becomes quite enjoyable. The problem is that it's hard to do that. Definitely full of dark fruits and a lovely bready character from the yeast. Has some delicate apple and pear aromas that sneak through, just can't get over the Black IPA layered into it.

T: A bit sweet and almost cloying, the roasty malts don't really come through strongly here. A mouthful of dark fruits and some funky Belgian yeast qualities. Small amount of cherry tartness that fades into a chocolatey, dry cocoa bitterness. Since the BIPA doesn't show itself so much on the palate, the beer actually showcases the nice BSDA aromas that were found earlier.

M: Somehow light but syrupy at the same time. Finishes with a bit of prickle and leaves the lips sticky.

O: A bit too wild of an idea here. I don't necessarily find the flavors of either beer to shine or accommodate each other well. Flavors are all across the board, lacks cohesion.

kiddynamite920, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

Mora2000, May 08, 2011
Photo of johnnnniee
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid dark brown color with a huge bubbly tan head that displays great retention and moderate lace. Smells of dark brown sugar, caramel, licorice, dark roasted grain, maybe a hint of menthol or pine. Quite a complex flavor on this one. It starts off with some yeasty esters and a mint or herbal flavor that I don't really care for. Next it throws out some sugars and a hint of chocolate. Finished with some roasted grains, a bit of ash, a touch of alcohol and a lingering hop bite. Medium body and level of carbonation with a slick creamy mouthfeel. Not a bad brew, but not my favorite from DeStruise.

johnnnniee, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed at a recent DC area tasting. Served in a SAVOR snifter. Thanks to nimbleprop for opening this one up.

Pours near black with a good light head and some moderate lacing as it makes its way down. The nose brings forward some dark fruits, a bit of roast, and a piney/spruce-type hop character. Light yeasty spice there as well. Very strange and I'm not sure everything really comes together. The flavor adds in a bit more integration and the hops and underlying beer come together a bit more. Yeast is nice, but I still don't quite love where this is going. Good body with just a touch of booze. Well made, but I didn't really love the direction.

Thorpe429, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of rudzud
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this at Julio's. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a deep, dark rich brown. It looks black with a nice clear deep brown along the edge. There was a two finger mocha almost rocky head that faded to leave nice clouding and minimal side lacing.

S - Dark sweet malts, chocolate, alcohol. No hop presence.

T - More of the sweet, almost candi malts, and rich belgian chocolate. Some light belgian yeasts. Again, no hops at all, and more ABV on the pallet.

M - Good amount of carbonation, slightly sticky. Mor eof the higher ABV. I've seen it hidden better.

O - Overall, this wasnt that bad of a beer. Just, for the price its not worth it. And of course, it didnt deliver on its promise of being a belgian strong dark black IPA. Pass.

rudzud, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of davey101
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle into a chimay goblet.

A - Dark cola brown, big foamy mocha head and tons of lacing and retention. Some mocha colored yeast sediment on the bottom of the glass, which I've come to expect from struise brews.

S - Hmmmm. Licorice, piney hops, chocolate, some roasted malt and herbs. Not that great to be honest.

T - Dark fruits , sweet malt, yeast and smooth licorice/anise. Then BAM, the aftertaste of an IPA. Bitter hops and some citrus notes. The mouthfeel is velvety and rich.

O - A bit of a letdown. Id rather spend my $7.99 on a pannepot. I'm not a fan of anise and licroice, and those were some of the flavors I was getting.

davey101, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a N'Ice Chouffe stemgoblet in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger head of slight tan colour, good cream, nice thickness, and excellent retention, especially for the ABV. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Very unique. Bacteria yeasty notes give it a distinct character alongside caramelized malt, heavy candied sugar, and rye. I'm intrigued. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Very flavourful and unique, with wonderful candied sugar providing the foundation, and nice chocolate atop. Some nicely handled hops are present about the climax, which is a nice touch. The rye comes through in a strange way that doesn't quite feel right. Some tart flavours as well as oats. Complex but scattered. It's a mess, but there are some quality flavours to be had in it. I wish it were more focused.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with nice thickness. Suits the flavours of the body.

Dr: Very drinkable for the ABV. The cost is a bit rough on account of those bastards at Shelton, but I'd have it again in Belgium. As aforementioned, it's quite a mess, but otherwise I fancy it. Give it a go if you're a fan of Struise like me.

kojevergas, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%

Appearance: A foamy beige head builds and grows rocky, looking very Belgian, as it sits atop the fudge colored liquid

Smell: Very unusual phenols, smelling vaguely like paint thinner though there is also some chocolate and dark fruit in the mix

Taste: Ashen, up front, with dark fruit developing in the middle, though the burnt character of the beer persists; after the swallow, there is some candi sugar sweetness that develops and brings home the finish; spicy rye in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with high carbonation; very Belgian mouthfeel

Overall: A disappointment, coming from these two fine brewers; perhaps this beer wasn't intended for aging because there are some real off flavors that have developed

brentk56, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

acurtis, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of cosmonick
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

cosmonick, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

djrn2, Jul 02, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Outblack from De Struise Brouwers
89 out of 100 based on 192 ratings.