Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Outblack - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
OutblackOutblack

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

129 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 129
Hads: 201
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 11
Gots: 43 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 129 | Hads: 201
Photo of flannelman808
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Lot 01/01/2011
OB NO.41

A: This pours a murky dark cinnamon brown color and is topped with a MASSIVE tan colored head which slowly spiderwebs its way down the glass. This looks amazing. Oh and I rarely comment on this but it comes in a pretty bad ass bottle showing a sort of eclipse of the earth.

S: Smells very complex ... Strawberry and other bright red fruit starts and leads into a number of spicy notes. Tough to put a finger on just what this smells like but think baking spices notably nutmeg?

T: Spice driven stuff ... nutmeg hits the palate up front leading into suggestions of Rhum (with a hint of lime zest) and chocolate covered gram crackers. Subtle fruity notes finish out the package. In the end this is pretty dry finishing.

M: Sadly this takes away from the overall score of this one ... Chalky mouthfeel takes away from this.

O: These guys continue to impress, though this beer is not as good as some of the other selections (which are among the best I've had to date). I wonder if some age will help with the mouthfeel and thus develop some of the flavors. (1,081 characters)

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Globe glass.

A. Poured 3+ finger head. Head is a light tan. Thick lacing. Really good retention. Color is big surprise, black.

S. Very interesting. Not sure I have smelled a beer like this. Almost smells like a cookie. Quite a bit of spices, fruit, and sweetness. Fruit cake comes to mind. For pure novelty of smell I almost have to give this a 5. Cinnamon, raisins, molasses, brown sugar, baked goods.

T. Very interesting taste as well. Quite a bit of spice going on in the flavor of this. Molasses, spice, dark chocolate. Can't really describe what the spice is almot mint like, cinnamon. Very unique tasting beer.

M. Medium/full bodied. Medium/low carbonation. Finishes with some spicy sweetness.

O. Can't say that I have had too many beers that smelled or tasted like this one. The spiciness is pretty unique. It is hard to pin down beneath the big body of this beer, but almost reminds me of mint or juniper. Its a unique and good enough beer. (986 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (982 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (590 characters)

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (1,329 characters)

Photo of rinhaak
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (1,018 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.26/5  rDev +9%
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. (1,960 characters)

Photo of djmichaelk
4.26/5  rDev +9%
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. (913 characters)

Photo of xpimptastikx
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
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. (567 characters)

Photo of yamar68
4.3/5  rDev +10%
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. (783 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
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 (983 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
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). (865 characters)

Photo of FreshHawk
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (1,327 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (644 characters)

Photo of chrisgn
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (604 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
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. (557 characters)

Photo of gatornation
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from a 11.2 oz bottle..loved the label

A-pours a black color with some black cherry striations in it with a big fluffy tan/cheery head that reveals chunky lacing

B- super fresh smell with ginger,spearmint,some chocolate a touch of dark fruit,a dash of nutmeg,..one of the best BSDA ive smelled

T- follows the nose..so good..again i get ginger softly coating citrus hops with light roasted chocolate malts, soft dark fruits with nutmeg and spearmint and a touch of funk..a treat

M- soft carbonation, smooth creamy velvet texture slightly dry with fruits and mints and citrus a nice funk taste on the palate nothing overpowers ..abv well hidden

O- a superior brew that i wish i could drink/buy more often i do have access to it,,but cant always buy it..superior ..highly recommended (786 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

599th Review on BA
Bottle to Saints/Sinner
330ML

App- Classic Belgian brown with gigantic head to it. Split two ways, so the head was a bit tame. No cling to really speak off and it was a bit clearer than I thought.

Smell- I really love what the Belgians can do with a few strands of yeast, some rye and some candy sugar. This smelled so lovely. It was sweet, yeasty and a bit bready.

Taste- This is exactly why I love this style. This was a bit of a twist with the hops and brewed with a black IPA mix to it. The rye and the sugars bring out the balance of flavors.

Mouth- Medium bodied and a soft medium. The bubbles of the yeast and the rye are two great resounding flavors.

Drink- Damn I love this style. Flavorful, balanced, unique. This was done with a twist and it was so tasty. I'd love to have more of this. (821 characters)

Photo of Cmack15
4.42/5  rDev +13%
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 (433 characters)

Photo of Duffman929
4.42/5  rDev +13%
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. (469 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.42/5  rDev +13%
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. (1,425 characters)

Photo of Chincino
4.42/5  rDev +13%
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. (467 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
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... (555 characters)

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$6.99 for an 11.2 oz bottle. Lot 01/01/2011

A: black, opaque color with nice full rocky tan head that dissipated but kept it all the way
S: incredibly full and rich, intriguing with deep roasted malt, caramelization, EtOH, dense
T: very good beer - deep roasted malts up front that carries through with nice bitter finish but not overpowering, reminded me of a bitter chocolate pudding, EtOH is very noticeable in finish, this probably should age for a few years and will be amazing, drinks well beyond its age
M: chewy and creamy at the same time, very smooth
O: very good beer

To my taste this is not a black IPA as described. reminds me more of an aged old ale and a young American imperial stout. (702 characters)

Photo of Brabander
4.46/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was at the old school building last monday with my buddy Apophis666, his girlfriend Lore and her father Henk. We had a great time with Urbain and one of the beers he opened for his visitors was the new Outblack. I was the driver so i had to wait to drink this beer at home. That's what i did last night.

Poured (of course) in my Struise glass the beer looks perfect. What a deepdarkbrown colour! The bulblight has problems to go trough it. Some carbonation in the glass. The perfect head, that's what Struise is all about, a nice view and even better taste.

The smell is good, some spices and candysweetness.

The taste is outstanding because of the ingredients used. I tasted some 'salmiak' and 'drop'. Two dutch words for dark candy. Very very well done.

You did it again Urbain! (786 characters)

Outblack from De Struise Brouwers
88 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.