Outblack - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
OutblackOutblack

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

200 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 200
Reviews: 129
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.36%
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: 200 | Reviews: 129
Photo of Jayli
2.02/5  rDev -49%
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.

Photo of Bubba83
2.25/5  rDev -43.2%
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.

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 ktrillionaire
2.92/5  rDev -26.3%
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.

Photo of ptykozoon
2.94/5  rDev -25.8%
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.

Photo of brdc
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

Photo of crnipeter
3.29/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Photo of GallowsThief
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

Photo of kiddynamite920
3.31/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

Photo of srandycarter
3.33/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.41/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

Photo of rudzud
3.41/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

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 johnnnniee
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Photo of davey101
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Photo of ICCULIS
3.47/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay Sniffer

Lot 01/01/2011
Bottled 02/FF

I picked this up on the fly simple due to I liked the label and have enjoyed many other De Struise brews in the past.

A = deep Carmel brown. nice, thick tan head that fades quickly. very nice/strong lacing

S = honestly kinda bland. roasted malt & chocolate are present but muted. nothing is too strong or over powering. a bit weak in the nose dept I'd say

T = I immediately sense that unique Belgium flavor. Sweeter than expected. Rich and somewhat creamy. I do not taste the mint or cherry's other reviews have mentioned.

M = I love it! Super silky. This texture and consistently is what I enjoy in beer. It has a smooth velvet like characteristic. Quite pleasing.

O = Another great beer from De Struise. Being the 1st time I tried (even heard of it) I'm thrilled to say I really enjoy it. I will certainly be tracking down another 2-6 bottles for future enjoyment.

Cheers ~ !

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

Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

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

Beer is black with a large tan head that fades to a film.

The smell is very unusual. Anise is prominent, along with candied ginger and sugar. Roasted malt as well. Very distinctive but not really up my alley.

Like the nose, the taste has a lot of anise in it. Ginger as well, and roasted malt. Somewhat bitter, but with some sugar hints.

Strongly carbonated, full bodied.

Overall, pretty unusual but not my bag. I did not like the anise flavours. I like De Struise a lot but this one is not for me.

Photo of Damian
3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 330 ml e. bottle
Lot 01/01/2011 goed tot, a consomer avant 01/02/2016
Served in a tulip
Thanks to Douglasjamjak for including this as an extra in our trade.

The beer poured super deep and dark brown/black and was topped by a billowing, three-finger head of bubbly, tan colored foam. Streaky rings of lacing trickled down the sides of the glass. The head slowly faded to a persistent ring of froth.

The nose was rather tame. Chocolate malts were noticeable, as was a dry, powdery yeastiness. Slightly roasty. A touch of piney hops came through as well. There was also an interesting herbal (perhaps sage?) component. Some booziness became noticeable as beer warmed. The aroma also turned much sweeter and fruitier.

The flavor profile was dark, roasty and quite hoppy, yet it also contained some Belgian-like characteristics. A dry, powdery, Belgian yeastiness appeared on the front end. Chocolate and roasted malts were also noticeable. Slightly fruity and spicy in the center with discernible raisins notes. The finish was dry and hoppy and had a moderate alcohol bite. The hops were quite piney and bitter and they resonated on my palate after each sip. The hoppiness also intensified as the beer warmed.

The mouthfeel was fairly average. Medium bodied with a crisp, bubbly, lively effervescence. The liquid could have been smoother and creamier.

De Struise's Outblack is a unique but forgettable beer. Furthermore, it is a bit rough around the edges. I was expecting this to be a nice melding of a Belgian strong dark ale and an American black ale, but the flavor profile seemed to lean much further toward the latter.

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 mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 03/27/11 notes. Shared by nimbleprop at a local DC tasting; thanks Mac.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with less than an inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, citrus hops, Belgian yeast, and chocolate.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, toasted malts, citrus, pine, Belgian yeast.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall an interesting and nice beer from De Struise. Not the biggest Black IPA fan in general as I feel the roasted characteristics usually end up dominating, but in this one you got some definite citrus from the hops. Would have again.

Photo of Viciousknishs
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a deep almost black brown with a substantial two fingers of fluffy light tan head. Solid retention and lacing.

S- all sorts of grain aroma up in this piece. Spicy rye, soft wheat and a toasted maltiness all blend into a doughy sticky breadiness. Estery Belgian yeast gives off lots of raisin and sugary plum with clove, licorice and spices blending in nicely. Slight herbal minty hops hit the nose on the finish with an assertive heady alcohol character.

T- spiced cake maltiness opens up as soon as you sip with notes clove, Belgian candy and molasses. A bit of candy coated licorice layers in as well. Yeasty flavor in the middle with raisin and sticky dark fruit characteristics. Finishes with a hint of herbal hops and an abrasive booze heat that lingers on the palate. A touch to hot but still drinkable.

MF- smooth slick mouthfeel with a medium body and active carbonation.

D- decent drinkability

Overall a solid Strong dark ale. Little to much booze on the finish but stimulating none the less.

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.

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Outblack from De Struise Brouwers
89 out of 100 based on 200 ratings.