Outblack - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
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BA SCORE
89
very good

200 Ratings
THE BROS
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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 John_M
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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 akorsak
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

Photo of liamt07
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of dcmchew
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours really dark brown, almost black, a big fluffy mocha head that recedes soon. Lots of floating bits, no matter how gently you pour it.
Cherry brandy on the nose, dark chocolate, mint, plum, herb liqueur, peach, ice tea, dark licorice, light roasted malt, rosewater. A really nice herbal fruity mix on top of dark malts.
Really rich dark fruit and alcohol up front, somewhere between strong red wine and brandy. Lots of juicy plum, dark grape, date, fig, morello cherry, but also some blond fruit notes (apple, peach, cherry plum). All "flavoured" with a nice herbal mix, something like mountain tea, with some faint mint, cola, dark licorice and sweet floral notes too.
Chocolate to cut off the booze, backed by dark malts, not too roasted, but bringing a rich multi-grain dark bread taste for the finish. Light hops here, alcohol to dry things up, without being too heavy.
A pretty short and simple finish after the big complexity in the front. Aftertaste is pretty poor, some dark bread (rye in there), a bit of spicy yeast, faint cocoa powder, almost no fruit or brandy at all. Medium body, low carbonation, pretty smooth.
Reminded me a lot of BrewDog Abstrakt 06, especially because i had them both pretty old. Rich fruity jam up front, backed by mild dark malts and extremely well hidden alcohol. Only wished the nice flavors lingered a bit more.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.88/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of vfgccp
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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 dgilks
4/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of tbeckett
3.92/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +1%
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!

Photo of sweemzander
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip. Lot# 01/01/2011

(A)- Pours practically pitch black. Produced a giant head of frothy tan colored foam. Superb retention and lacing all over the place.

(S)- Deep aromas of a woody roasted pecan and raisin. Bits of cocoa and even more wood that turns slightly yeasty to an almost earthy funkiness.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Loads of a nutty pecan and raisin/prune combo up front that turns into an almost creamy but earthy cocoa yeastiness.

(M)- A great smooth carbonation level. A smooth balance too. While it has some dense fruit characters to it, this is the essence of a creamy smooth profile overall. Was surprised this is at 10%ABV.

(O)- Honestly, I was rather impressed with this. With a little age on it, it sure is smooth city despite the ABV and dense flavors. A fun play on the style for sure.

Photo of drpimento
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mmmm, really good stuff, but I don't pick up much a the hop. After warming a bit out of the fridge, poured with a giant, fluffy, foamy, frothy, sudsy, light, pale tan head with some clingy lace. Color is super dark, perhaps clear or slightly hazy mahoganey with some sediment in the bottom of the glass. Aroma is first yeast, then malt, licorice, rye, wet grain. Flavor is like nose with an excellent sweet, tang, bitter balance. Body and carbonation are great. Finish is like flavor and has some legs with just a bit of alcohol warmth in there. Don't know about the ipa designation tho.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle scored locally from one of my staple shops. Before starting this review I should get it out on the table that I'm a really big fan of De Struise and Stillwater. I was very impressed with Jaded (although different style and brewed by Brian) and have high expectations for this brew.

a - opened the cap and filled my stillwater long stemmed tulip. beer flowed from the rim of the bottle as brown murky color with the appearance of yeast or sediment in the mix. it settled in the glass as an almost black purple with a generous yeasty head that one would expect to find on an authentic BSDA or even a Quad. Head was thick and frothy and the lacing held onto the glass for dear life as if a thick milkshake was being swirled around instead of beer.

s - Excellent. a nice yeasty spice with some tangerine type zest and brisk mentholation. not sure if sage is used in this beer, but i know that is a secret weapon for stillwater. the spiciness is very festive and almost potpouri in nature...very unique. the only thing that comes close to this would be ommegang's adoration ale, but this beer takes that theme and explodes it tripling the good part of the adoration smell. this pretty much hits the mark for me on as good as a beer of this style can smell.

t - much like the nose, but a bit of an overly bitter backbone that is fighting for attention. the beer is crisp and maybe the spicing in the nose is a bit over the top for the pepperiness and hoppy bitterness. it would be more of a cross of a black ipa and a BSDA then a BSDA...but it gives the beer a bit of an identity crisis. it is more of a battle for dominance in the flavor than a balance. i'd love to revisit this one when the hops have had some time to fade. glad i have a few more.

m - creamy...exactly what you look for in a classic belgian, but the hoppy bitterness seems out of place with that creamy vibe and leaves a bit of a pungent aftertaste.

o - there are certain things about this beer that pretty much hit the nail on the head...but those things seem to mostly be blended with another beer entirely. it really seems like 2 beers were brewed and just mixed together to make this and i'd really like to drink just one of those beers since the other one seems to be interfering with what i want. as my palette warmed up to the hoppy bitterness i was able to focus more on the creamy belgian dark ale of the mix and the spicing on that is just immaculate (in the nose and taste), but the hoppiness blended on top seems out of place and turns probably one of the better beers i've tried into just an interesting beer worth seeking out. as it warmed it became much more solid and enjoyable, but at first really seemed like an identity crisis.

Photo of cbutova
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been meaning to review this for a while.

A- Black ale into a pint glass with a massive mocha head with great retention. Tons of legs and a good coat of Belgian lace.

S- Pine and lemon lime up front and a dark roast malt background. Very strong and unique. Mint.

T- Like nothing I have ever tasted. An insane lemon lime presence with a massive pine hop flavor as well. Roast malt somehow takes a backseat to the pine needles lemons. Lemon zest, slight spice and raisin.

MF- Foamy moderately thick body with good carbonation. Fairly bitter after taste.

Intense lemon lime pine flavor on top of a solid dark beer. Slight Belgian flavor but this insane hop flavor dominates with lemon lime pine straight up.

Photo of FosterJM
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
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...

Photo of Satchboogie
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lord Hobo, 12oz pour

A: Pours black/dark brown, just under 1 finger light brown head that quickly dissipates. No lacing.

S: Tart dark fruits, very vinous, very similar to black albert minus the overload of chocolate (it is here though) and with more hops. Sweet, red wine, cherry, hint of rum. Raisins. Totally awesome nose. Completely took me by surprise.

T: Tart cherry and dark fruits, floral hops (with some citrus, though hard to pinpoint). Very vinous. Slightest bit bitter, very sweet. Lightly roasted malts, almost like a like RIS without harsh bitterness or char. Dried candied dark fruits. Fairly sweet finish.

M: Medium to light body, moderate carbonation. A little sticky/resinous, but not very much. Pretty smooth.

O: This was one hard to describe and hard to categorize beer! While some list it as a BSDA (as would I), a lot of people call it a black 'IPA' because of the strong hops. I'd say it's somewhere in between. A pretty awesome brew that I'll look forward to getting again when I can.

Photo of Dope
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle is labeled: Lot 01|01|2011| Bottled 02/FF

A: Pours a dark brown with lots of floaties. Big fluffy medium brown head. Fades slowly leaving tufts of fluffy lacing on the glass.

S: Prominent raisins and earthy belgian yeast. Has a roasted malt character though I think - a little chocolate in there? Nice combination, like a bsda and a porter mixed together.

T: Nice mellow fruitiness up front with some raisin and fig. Turns bitter in the middle with a little bit of chocolate and a hint of char. Very earthy in the middle and into the finish. My mouth feels dirty, almost. Hints of dark fruit and chocolate in the lingering aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, not nearly as heavy as you'd expect for 10%. Fairly smooth.

O: This is a tough one to rate. It's basically a BSDA and a black IPA combined I guess. Decent roasted malt, decent bitterness, decent earthiness to boot. It's got good flavors and an even better aroma. But somehow it just doesn't quite work for me and I can't exactly place why. Just an odd mix, albeit unique.

Photo of jsh420
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours dark dark brown almost black with a a 1+ finger tan head that had great retention and left some spotted lacing

smells of dark sugary fruit with lots of xmas spice

taste dark fruit dark chocolate but again i get a spice that reminds me of xmas ales - i think maybe its allspice?

mouthfeel is light medium body with low carbonation - very smooth and creamy

overall - very different then the normal BSD - crazy drinkability @ 10% abv - maybe this one just threw me for a loop

Photo of notchucknorris
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nearly black dark brown color with a huge tan head that took almost 10 minutes to settle.

S: At first, a faint citrus hop aroma coupled with a lot of freshly baked whole wheat bread. As it warms, some darker quad-like aromas emerge. Dark fruit, chocolate, bananas, figs and a hint of booze.

T: Not getting a lot of the IPA here, but it's a tasty beer anyways. Lots of dark fruit, roasted malt, yeast, bread and some subdued hop resins and charred grain on the finish.

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 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.

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