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

185 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 185
Reviews: 127
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.59%
Wants: 9
Gots: 40 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 185 | Reviews: 127 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4/5  rDev +0.8%

11-24-2011 20:29:47 | More by imperialking
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at 't Wagstuuk in Antwerp.

Pours, as the name suggests, black and deep. It's a lovely colour, crisply brown at the edges. Head is foaming and frothy, a pleasant cookie brown. Lacing is maze-like and intricate. Body is heavy. Looks very good indeed.

Nose is sweet, but spicy, with big liquorice characters dominant. There's a hint of cherry to it and some dark high-cocoa chocolate. It's a lovely dark beer from Belgium—De Struise is one of the few places I'd expect to find these sort of characters; the Belgian establishment seems to shy away from them.

Taste is also good, but the feel is quite thin—maybe here the Belgian "light is better" influence is coming through. Liquorice, dark grain, a touch of charred malt, and some astringent booze again with a touch of the kriek to it—almost like kirsch. Booze is more prominent with the lighter body.

I'm starting to dislike the Belgian philosophy of putting sugar in beers to lighten the palate, which I can only assume is what happened here. A big beer like this needs weight behind it to balance the flavour.

This is still a good beer. But it went close to being a GREAT beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 08:38:55 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Pizzeria Paradiso.

A: The BSDA is dark, a deep brown color that doesn't quite verge on black. A thin white head comes with the pour.

S: The nose has chocolate, anise, raisins and hops, more or less in that order. Very rich, it lacks the telltale sage aroma that has defined many Stillwater collaborations. Very warming and roasted, but not scorched.

T: Sweet and dark, the ale capitalizes on its Belgian constitution, bringing candi sugars, raisons, anise and chocolate to the forefront. The ale, while dark, is not roasted, so there are not burnt off flavors to contend with. Several other reviews mention cherries, sorry but they missed me. The dark flavors are well at home amongst the caramel and biscuit malts. Hops aren't a key contributor. The like how cardamom-like flavors gradually work their way out, adding spicy depth to the ale.

M: The mouthfeel is spicy, but unlike all of Stillwater's previous offerings. This one doesn't rely on roasted malts or sage to make its mark, allowing the molasses and raisins to come to the forefront. I'd never guess that it is a 10% beer.

O: The intense strength drags the overall down a bit.

Serving type: on-tap

05-09-2011 22:41:08 | More by akorsak
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2013 20:54:44 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +0.8%

12-05-2011 01:45:25 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with amber hues and some sediment. Aroma of bourbon, smoke, and concentrated beer, soy sauce, mild oxidation. In the taste, chocolate, bourbon, dark malts, vanilla, marshmallow, alcohol. Interesting and complex beer. Has a lot of char, booze and sweet, savory flavors. Oats, wheat and rye all are used and add to the beer. Medium bodied, smooth and well carbonated. A really nice brew. Enjoyable, the different layers on this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 02:21:15 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2012 16:02:23 | More by John_M
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

11-30-2011 18:46:41 | More by brandoman63
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, lot 01/01/2011. Pours cloudy fairly pitch black color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense dark khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, chocolate, roasted malt, light char, brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, pepper, herbal, earth, and yeast spiciness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity; very unique. Taste of dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, raisin, prune, caramel, toast, coffee, brown sugar, pepper, clove, herbal, earth, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, raisin, prune, caramel, toast, coffee, brown sugar, clove, pepper, earth, herbal, and yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice flavor balance and complexity; with a nice malt/spiciness balance; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good Belgian dark ale. Nicely complex with unique flavor and nice balance; and very smooth to sip on. I enjoyed this quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2013 05:28:48 | More by superspak
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

4/5  rDev +0.8%

12-09-2011 04:44:20 | More by rab53
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Otterbrown pour appears a deep black while sitting in the vessel. A light walnut brown head dominates the glass with a towering presence and soapy large voids along the glass walls. Retention is good while leaving whispy lashes of lace with spacious proximity.

S: Boozy sweet licorice and fresh prunes for first impressions on the nose. Alcohol is even toned at 10%. Burnt caramel raisins with a touch of bready yeastiness.

T: Flavor of sweet roastiness and chocolate, sugary figs with some dark fruit of prunes. Boozy licorice tones combine with raisins and a soft burbon presence and sweet dark malts. Dates, sweet plums, with a roasty fade closes things out with a good fresh bready yeastiness touch.

M: Syrupy slick mouthful, quiet carbonation nice resistance on the tongue.

O: Nice complexity of dark fruit and sweetness with a well mannered abv. Very easy to consume and enjoyable, smooth and polished.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 17:47:38 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of PEIhop
PEIhop

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +25.9%

12-14-2011 02:16:57 | More by PEIhop
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a few of these bottles from Urbain, much appreciated! A collaboration beer, and a hybrid to boot (Belgian Strong Dark + Dark IPA).

It pours dark brown color, nearly black, a little light showing through the edges. Thin tan foam on top. Smells to me a bit like a sweet RIS, lots of roasted character. Some citrusy hops but not as much as I expected from Urbain's description. This smells more like a hoppy stout than a dark IPA (or a Belgian Strong).

The hops come through in the taste, but mainly in the aftertaste. The main thrust of this beer seems to be roasted malts and some dark fruit, nearly quad-like in flavor except for the hops.

Thicker than an average IPA, maybe on par with a Belgian Strong in body, still drinkable with the dry and bitter aftertaste. Recommended, this went down easily despite the ABV.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 20:40:21 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into a Redhook glass. It poured close to black in color with a huge, foamy and fizzy tan head filling 2/3 of the glass.

The aroma has a lot of toffee, licorice, caramel and candi sugar sweetness to it. I get good dose of pine coming from the hops, as well a little bit of a mint flavor coming through as well.

The taste shows more of the toffee and pine like hoppiness to it up front. midway I start to get more of a chocolaty, caramel, sweet flavor to it that lingers into the finish. Moderate amount of Belgian yeast spice is present as well as a bit of the minty flavors I got in the aroma.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a pretty good beer, but not an amazing one. They brought all the flavors together pretty well in it which was nice. Very interesting and unique flavors to it.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 01:44:48 | More by billab914
Photo of drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

3/5  rDev -24.4%

01-02-2012 21:20:40 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from a De Struise order I put a month or two back, shared with the group. Into a snifter. Lot 1, January 2011, best before Jan 2, 2016.

Poured a very dark brown, with some lighter highlights within. A light brown head, that leaves some retains quite well and has good lacing. Nose is full of spcie, licorice/anise, maybe some cinnamon and nutmeg as well? Warming notes of milk chocolate and dark bread come through as well. Taste is roasty chocolate, rich dark fruits, some alcohol and lesser brown sugar notes. Maybe a hint of dark roast coffee? Roastiness dominates the palate here, but nuances begin to reveal the complexity of this with warmth. Medium full body with a lingering flavour. A complex and flavourful offering, I'm glad that I've got a couple more to spare.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2011 17:41:28 | More by liamt07
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.4/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 02:03:29 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2012 00:42:12 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber to brown-ish black color, with a tan head. In the aroma, caramel, a small alcohol, and a bit sugary. In the taste, sweet alcohol, a small fruitiness and a small caramel presence. An alcohol bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry alcohol and small fruitiness in the aftertaste. A bit boozy but nice caramel and fruity presence, nice and still punk rock!

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 18:38:55 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of ShanePB
ShanePB

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Capone's in a 13 oz snifter glass.

A: Dark brown, borderline black body with a very light tan head. Some sporadic lacing is left behind and a thin retention ring lines the edges of the beer. As confusing as the style is, it's a nice appearance that defines both of its parts.

S: Spearmint, dark chocolate, spice, floral hops, spruce and pine all intertwine into a complex and delicious smelling beer. Again, an identity crisis seems to emerge but the beer does a fine job of blending everything together.

T: An initial spicy Belgian flair is evident with light yeasty notes. Some lightly toasted malts, mint, wood and a touch of sap all come through in the flavor. Rounding out the back end is a touch of sticky syrup. It's unique, complex and oddly very good in terms of flavor.

M: Prickly and bubbly, almost on the lighter end of a medium bodied beer. Although, the finish is really nice and clean, that almost has a certain crispness to it.

This was certainly an interesting beer and the cross between the styles really make this unique. I enjoyed the floral, piney and hoppy nature of the beer with the dark roasted malts. Some defining flavors that took this above my expectations.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2011 14:15:04 | More by ShanePB
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle. Served in a Dogfish Head Signature glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch frothy tan head. The head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is a bit spicy, it smells like licorice, cola, bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit, and some slight citrusy hops and a weird medicinal/herbal aroma that I can't identify. The brew tastes like bittersweet chocolate, 7-Up (or some other similar citrusy soft drink), licorice, dark fruit, and some coffee and an overall herbal flavor. It's certainly a unique flavored brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and has moderate carbonation. Overall I liked this beer. It was $6.99 a bottle, but I thought it was worth the price. Definitely worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 23:49:57 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy dark brown color with a billowing, light tan head. Decent head retention.

Unique herbal, spicy aroma. Nice sweetness. Slightly honeyed. Eucalyptus. A little strange but it works.

Sweet malt flavor with some spicy yeast character and interesting herbal hop flavor. Lightly fruity with some echinacea and anise notes.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A solid beer and truly unique. Curious flavor profile but I quite like the way the whole thing comes together.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2012 10:24:31 | More by dgilks
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Creamy tan head with fantastic retention and nice lace. Cherry cola body.

S - Surprisingly bright, tart and tangy sour cherry.

T - Wow, just like the nose the taste is exceptionally bright. Concentrated cherry cola, brown sugar, and pop rocks. Aggressive sweetness. Lightly tart backend.

M - Lively carbonation and a medium frame. Thick sweetness.

O - A really interesting flavor profile, I can't say I've had a beer like this before, but overly sweet.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2012 14:45:16 | More by vfgccp
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Mikkeller Bar. From notes.

A - Sort of a muddy brown and black mix. Red on the edges. Light gets through on the sides. Ring of khaki head around the top is the only head. No visible carbonation.

S - Alot of lemon came through for me. Some grassiness and a nice floral element. Whatever the black portion of this is supposed to be is not present in what I smell. Just smelled like an IPA or more like a saison.

T - Small amount of roastiness with more lemon, grassy, floral notes. Some hops show through also. Alot going on here. I wrote down that this was interesting and deep. Some roastiness in the finish.

M - Mild carbonation with a full to medium body. Lingering roasty bitterness in the finish.

D - Quite complex and tasty. Different and worth a shot. I like the combination of flavours.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2011 11:11:56 | More by tbeckett
Photo of whartontallboy
whartontallboy

New York

2.5/5  rDev -37%

01-02-2012 20:20:20 | More by whartontallboy
Outblack from De Struise Brouwers
89 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.