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Outblack - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
OutblackOutblack

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

130 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 130
Hads: 203
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 14.47%
Wants: 10
Gots: 41 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers
Belgium | website

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
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Reviews: 130 | Hads: 203
Photo of Mar02x
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A pitch brown beer with a missive beige colored head. The retention is very nice to watch because it goes so slowly.

S - A strong fruit like smell mixed with pinely hops, very inviting. I could be a black IPA.

T - A strong taste of what? I can't really bring it home. I taste spices & hops. Who matters anyway is tastes great and the 10% ABV is nowhere to be seen. I would say there is some red pepper in there as well.

M - Medium bodied with prickly carbonation that fits the taste nicely.

O - A good beer and surprisingly different.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of Philousa
4.87/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Inky black in the glass, with a hint of purple in the light, and with a lot of tiny bubbles. Let's just say it's well carbonated. First thing my nose says is mint. Kinda strange for a beer of any sort, but it's an interesting, inviting aroma. I also get chocolate, toast, vanilla and slight sugar, alcohol and, oddly enough, rosemary aromas. Creamy and toasty flavors fade to chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. I get some of the spices described earlier, but it's muddled and I'm not able to pick them out as easily. An alcoholic burn lingers on the palate, warmly reminding you of the nectar you just consumed.

This is one hell of a beer. It's categorized as a Belgian strong dark, but it reminds me more of an imperial porter because of the mouthfeel and lack of yeast flavors. It seems to me that the ingredients had more to do with the flavor of this beer than normal, which is not typical of a Belgian beer, but I ain't complaining. It's very complex and smooth. I can't say enough how smooth this is, and I guess that's where you can distinctly label this a Belgian, as the yeast has so much to do with the mouthfeel. I tried this on nitro tap at City Beer Store but didn't take notes. It's just as smooth from the bottle. I usually can tell that one thing or another offset a high ABV, but this beer conceals the alcohol on all fronts. It's careful to remind you of its potency in the lingering aftertaste, though. This is a beer with many levels and one which I hope to be enjoying many times in the future.

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.26/5  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.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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Photo of rinhaak
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.31/5  rDev -16%
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.

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Photo of crusian
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from one of the store in Brussels...
Pours a nice blackness with about 3 fingers if head that stick around for quite a while.
Nose is rather light, with some spices... nutmeg, allspice
Taste is a creaminess that is unique. A nice Belgian yeast infused light stout flavor with some coffee, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon...
This is incredibly hard to describe, because it is so damn complex. Bottles have zero cherry tartness, wondering about the taps out there... as this doesn't seem to be any kind of a sour. The abv on this is nowhere to be found, at all... nicely done.
Glad I picked some of these up... definitely worth looking for one.

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Photo of crnipeter
3.29/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

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Photo of mavbrew
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep dark brown, once in the glass looks black. The head is nice and full, light tan in color and slowly dissipates.

S: Roasted malts are coming through, with some piney hop scents and some Belgian yeast as well.

T: Very interesting taste, sweet and boozy up front with hints of caramel malts coming through, followed by the hops and yeast.

M: Light to medium in body with average carbonation.

D: This beer is very different, has a lot of interesting characteristics. It's very malty, but also has some hoppy tastes as well. Not my favorite but it was pretty solid overall.

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Photo of ptykozoon
2.94/5  rDev -25.4%
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.

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Photo of Bubba83
2.25/5  rDev -42.9%
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.

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance – Very dark brown, but translucent enough to see considerable sediment in the beer. A very thick head, and good lacing.

Smell – Malt, honey, and some crazy spice. Hard to place exactly, but maybe wintergreen. Sounds bad, but it’s actually nice.

Taste – A nice, sweet maltiness and some wintergreen.

Mouthfeel – Silky smooth with a nice sweet spice that masks the alcohol.

Drinkability – This is a very drinkable beer. Goes down easy for 10%abv.

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Photo of rhong187
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served in a tulip glass

A - fairly aggressive pour without much head rentention. very black (as the name implies)

S - Smells very nice, with light notes of chocolate and slight vanilla. I read that this is a hyrid of a stout and black IPA, but I don't detect any hop cdharacter whatsoever

T - you get hit with roasted malts and chocolate right away, but again, not much hoppiness.

M- medium bodied, light carbonation.

Nice collab, and I hope to see more in the future.

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Photo of 05Harley
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 1/1/2011

Purchased through Struise Yeast Shop, Belgium

Price - $12.87 U.S. including shipping/bottle.

The appearance is a deep burgandy color with a 1 inch creamy tan head. Lacing tries to stick around but struggles. Fairly clean with no sediment or floatables evident.

An intense aroma of ginger hits the nose, wow. Banana, brown sugar, dark fruits, hops and a fair amount of spice follow it up. The smell is very different from anything I've ever experienced. It reminds me of incense.

Full flavored and closely resembles the aroma. Ginger, spices, raisin, hops, alcohol, all there.

The mouthfeel starts off smooth and with very little heat considering the alcohol content. The carbonation is lite and near perfect for the style. The finish is slitely bitter and dry.

Overall this was a unique beer. Not what I expected but good. Having said that it did quickly vanish from my glass. I have several more and will revisit it through out the summer.

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Photo of xpimptastikx
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bunch of these from Dranken Geers in Ghent.

Poured into a Westvleteren chalice.

Pours dark brown to black. Starts out with a nice one finger tan head that goes away after a minute.

Smells of sweet malts but also a sweetness and some faint hints of roasted malts.

Taste is sweet candy like, barley, rye and darkfruits. Loads of flavors. The 10% abv is hidden very well.

Mouthfeel is creamy and very smooth. A medium amount of carbonation and a medium to full body.

Great Struise and Stillwater brew. One of the most surprising beers I have had in a while. Full of flavor and extremely smooth but not one I'd drink all night. This one to safe for special occasions. Recomended.

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Photo of sk8man121
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle ($6.99 at RSVP in Portland, ME) poured into Allagash chalice. Lot 1/10/11.

A: Pours an opaque, murky brown with cherry highlights and visible floating yeast. Massive tan head jumps out of the glass, require a couple slow pours to fill.

S: Dark fruit, alcohol and chocolate. Hops are there, but subtle and minty. Smells quite robust.

T: Chocolate, espresso and dark fruit take the front end, with grassy, melon-like cleansing hops in the center. Smoky aftertaste of oak. Not nearly as sweet as I had expected, which scores it points. Really nice, and with absolutely no detectable alcohol.

M: Carbonation is medium to low; creams up huge, yet drinks somewhat thin for the style.

O: This is a really enjoyable offering from De Struisse, who are quickly beginning to live up their self-proclaimed status as "best brewery in the world" in my book (I guess). I really dig the melon aspects of this, and the lack of noticeable alcohol makes this 10% beer dangerously drinkable. The price, however, does not.

Another solid offering from De Struisse.

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Photo of Cmack15
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
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

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Photo of petacutlasaurus
3.76/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just had a glass from this super solid collaboration on draft at ChurchKey. I was pretty bummed when I missed it at Paradiso-Georgetown's taps, so it was great to see it on the menu somewhere else. Can't wait to find a bottle, as well.

Overall, this beer had a lot of similarities to Stillwater's Existent - one of my faves among Strumke's beers. Very spicy, dark fruit, but where Existent has that thin farmhouse body and carbonation, the outblack is much creamier and softer.

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Photo of VWBuggirl
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This pours a nice dark brown that is quite cloudy. You can hardly see light through it. There is a small creamy tan head that doesn't last long, but leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

This has the expected sweet scent to it for such a high abv brew. I get hints of licorice and maple syrup. This is about what I expect from this beer.

There is not as much sweetness as I would expect from the scent. It has a fair amount of plum to it that is quite enjoyable.

There is a nice sharpness to the carb that helps break through the thick sweetness and helps to balance out the overall feel.

Overall, this is a very nice, balanced beer.

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Photo of Chincino
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

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Photo of chrisgn
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of mrand01
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330mL bottle poured into a generic Crate & Barrel tulip.

A: Pours with about 3/4" tan head. Body is dark brown, almost black. Lots of head retention a couple minutes after the pour. Pretty sticky, decent lacing.

S: A mix of dark fruit and citrus hops. This is a bit of a "hybrid" belgian black IPA, and it smells as such.

T: Malty with big dark fruit tones. Fades into a fairly hoppy aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with prickly carbonation.

O: This is pretty good...not as hoppy as I would have liked, however, it could be that this beer sat for too long, losing some of it's hop character in the process. What I'm left with is a mildly hoppy dark ale.

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Photo of UnDeadly
3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, Glass stein

Appearance - Strong black, though put up to a light I can see about halfway through to the underside of the foam. Very strong head, about 4 fingers. Persistent throughout the beer, though minimal lacing.

Smell - A little bit of alcohol, an interesting burnt toffee and black licorice smell. Minor oak/woody notes. Not overly impressive.

Taste - OK, the notes I got in the smell come together quite nicely. Not much in the front, then a nice creamy, oat-y middle that finishes with light toffee, dark chocolate, and black licorice notes. I don't like black licorice, but this is well executed. No real coffee bitterness that seems to be common in Black IPAs. Generalized bitterness I would guess from hops, but sorta hard to pick out any nuances there.

Mouth Feel - The best part of the beer in my opinion. Though well-carbonated, no sting. Quite creamy, moderate body. No alcohol burn at all, despite being 10%

Overall - A very nice, fun beer that was a great drink. I can appreciate it's execution, a very interesting take on the style. Still, I would like to see more hop notes come through, which is a flaw I find generally in the style...the dark malt notes seem to kill a lot of nice hop notes. Would drink again for sure, but not my favorite iteration of the style.

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Outblack from De Struise Brouwers
88 out of 100 based on 130 ratings.