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Outblack - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

130 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 130
Hads: 202
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 14.21%
Wants: 10
Gots: 42 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 130 | Hads: 202
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep black color stout with a super huge thick foamy head with great retention and very good lacing. Aroma consists of semi-sweet Belgian malt with great notes of fruity ester. Taste is also a nice mix between some sweet malt with nice fruity ester and light residual candi sugar notes. Body is quite full with nice creamy texture and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Another very nice beer from two of my favourite brewers.

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Photo of Jayli
2.02/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had at Armsby Abbey 4/16
Served in a snifter

A: This beer pours an opaque brown with a one finger of khaki head. head recedes quickly, leaving wisps of sticky lacing.

S: Nose is medicinal cherries - almost like Vicks 44. There are faint hints of chocolate, but the Vicks 44 aroma is the most dominant.

T: Taste is... nothing belgian, nothing stout. And here comes that Vich 44 cherry taste in the flavoring, hints of sour funk and a bit of vinegar. As the beer warms up, the previous flavoring does not disappear, but added is a bit of bitter chocolate amidst the tart... and a weird citrus, pine bite in the after taste.

M: Medium body, higher carbonation, light prickly feel feel and finish.

O: Goes down.. better as it warms, not extrodinarily tasty, somewhat filling, decent kick, and not a very good representation of style. I was very excited for this beer but it just didn't hit at all for me and would certainly not seek it out again.

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

Poured into a snifter glass from a bottle labeled Lot 01/01/2011 with a “best by” date of 01/02/2016. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a rich dark brown color and has a 1” tan head that recedes to a layer of foam with a ring around the glass. Sipping leaves a sheet of foam on one side that slides back to the liquid while on the other there is a pattern of small patches and legs of lacing. The ring of foam persists quite a long time.

Smell: The aromas include some cocoa and licorice along with spices like cardamom and nutmeg. There isn’t much in the way of either hops or alcohol showing but there does seem to be some pine in here as well.

Taste: The flavors include roasted malt, dark chocolate, the cardamom and the licorice. The hops don’t really show in the flavors but the alcohol does even though it is not at all hot.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the full side of medium and smooth with persistent gentle carbonation. The finish is moderately long and begins with the sweetness of the chocolate and spice mixture then begins to dry out and as it does a hint of smoke appears then disappears again. At the end there’s some dark roasted malt flavor in the back of the mouth.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: Drinkability here is good, but it’s not a beer for regular consumption. With this ABV and the strength of the flavor profile this is one to save for a special occasion. While I’d be willing to have it again I can think of lots of other beers I’d enjoy as much. My overall impression is that this is an interesting and imaginative beer that mostly works. That said, for my tastes the there is are not enough hops showing and a bit too much in the way of spices.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a few bottles of this gem at Geers in Gent. Doopie also hooked me up with a couple. Thanks dude!

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A dark pour makes a three finger, medium-thick looking, tan head with great retention. Opaque seal brown in color with medium carbonation. Head slowly fades to a substantial and persistent foam cap that leaves some fluffy lacing down the glass. A good sized foam cap remains the whole way down leaving some decent looking lacing.

SMELL: This is quite nice. Lots of caramel sweetness, dark fruits, and some spicy yeast notes with aromas of clove and coriander. The candy sugar is definitely there, as is a hit of cocoa powder in the back. Complex, bold, and very interesting Good stuff.

TASTE: Caramel again, with dark fruits and lots of spicy flavors. Sweet sugar and some faint rye bread in the malt bill as well. Cocoa powder comes out after the swallow, as does a plethora of spicy clove and coriander flavors. Bold but shorter lived aftertaste is plenty sweet and spicy with just a touch of booze. Great stuff, but just not quite as impressive as the nose. Still, wonderful again here.

PALATE: Medium body with higher levels of carbonation. Quite creamy smooth enough on the palate, goes down smooth, alcohol nowhere to be felt, and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Some lingering heat reminds you it’s 10%, but it’s exactly what the doctor ordered for this brew. Good feel.

OVERALL: Definitely one of my favorite Struise beers and it rannks up there with the other big boys in the Belgian strong dark ale category. This is one of my top styles, so that’s saying a lot. Fantastic stuff. Bold, enticing nose and flavor proile, as well as a full, creamy palate to support the show. A brew worth tracking down if you’re a fan of the brewery and/or the style. Hopefully I can find a few more bottles before they dry up. Recommended.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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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 TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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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 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 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

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

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

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Photo of beerpirates
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl bottel poured into my struise glass

Pours an almost black color, really dark brown - almost can't see through it. Some ruby highlights under the ample tan/off-white head. Head fades pretty quickly and leaves no lacing.
Smells of coriander and an almost heather aroma. Picking up a slight alcohol nose.
Alcohol bite upon first tasting it, but it is mellowed out quickly with the sweetness from the malt. Faint chocolate taste and a very faint hop presence.
Overall a decent tasting beer, but not too complex. Well at least not as much as I thought it would be.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed at a recent DC area tasting. Served in a SAVOR snifter. Thanks to nimbleprop for opening this one up.

Pours near black with a good light head and some moderate lacing as it makes its way down. The nose brings forward some dark fruits, a bit of roast, and a piney/spruce-type hop character. Light yeasty spice there as well. Very strange and I'm not sure everything really comes together. The flavor adds in a bit more integration and the hops and underlying beer come together a bit more. Yeast is nice, but I still don't quite love where this is going. Good body with just a touch of booze. Well made, but I didn't really love the direction.

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Photo of Reaper16
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a dark cola brown. Completely opaque; it looks like rich mahogany. It appears to have a decent viscosity to it when I swirl it around in the glass. Two fingers of sand colored foam leave some spotty lines of lace.

Outblack has a pretty interesting nose. I pick up on the hops first: a tasteful amount of grapefruit and orange. Distant pine. There's some cocoa powder and breadcrust coming from the malt profile. This beer is pretty spicy, surprisingly. I'm getting lots of green cardamom and clove-like incense in the nose.

The taste follows the nose. Lots of spice right up front: cardamom, old clove, toasted cinnamon. The malt flavor is mostly like Cocoa Puffs, Hershey's Chocolate Syrup and caramel candies. There's a flutter of plum, but it gets obscured by the soft grapefruit pith flavor from the heavy hop dose. It's pretty tasty, but the spice bill keeps it from elite status. It's interesting enough to appreciate, but it clashes with the rest of the beer's flavors for me, ultimately.

Outblack is a nicely medium-bodied beer. The part of your palate that tastes the heavy malt flavors wants it to be thicker and stickier, while the part of your palate digging on the soft hop flavors wants it to be lighter. Together, the beer reaches some sort of compromise. It's creamy yet light. Add in a satisfying level of carbonation, and you have all the indications of a very well-crafted beer.

Overall? Outblack is a decently complex experimental beer that is well worth drinking. It's certainly good, but the heavy handed spice bill holds it back a bit. Even though drinkability is gone, I have to say a good word for it here. You can't tell that this beer is 10% ABV. It drinks way too smoothly for its size. If Drinkability were still a scoring category, I'd give it a 5.0. Sorry for not reviewing you before the scoring change, Outblack.

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Photo of BobZ
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Again, follows the base Black Albert in appearance, black in color. This time there is a thinner head at 1/4", creamy tan, and provides curtains of sticky lace.

Smell: Chocolate sweetness but the spice hits you quickly (maybe cardamom?) on the nose, a lot of spicy complexity going on here, again some coffee underneath.

Taste: The spicy cardamom flavor is pleasantly up-front, followed by a mellowed Black Albert combination of coffee and chocolate. Sweeter (much) than BA, but again smooth and delicious on the palate.

Mouth feel: Once more Struise excels here, smooth, creamy, and (this time) very light on the palate.

Overall: Again, as maybe I've come to expect from Struise, an incredibly flavorful beer, alcohol is completely and I mean COMPLETELY masked, very smooth, and very tasty. Urbain's collaboration's seem so inventive and so unique, really definitive of the term craft brewer in my mind.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a few of these from the Struise webshop. Served in a Struise cervoise. Best before February 2016.

A - Pours with a finger of dark tan foam that settles to a thick collar and partial cap. Body is a near-black that reveals some chocolate brown at the fringes of the glass.

S - The aroma is very unique, with heavy perfume, nutmeg, cardamom, pine, cocoa, smoke, licorice, candi sugar, toasted grains, and a faint whiff of alcohol. It's very complex, but it's not something that I find completely appealing - too much cardamom and spice character for my preference.

T - The taste is much more enjoyable for me, with a medley of Belgian chocolate, rye, dark fruits, estery yeast, and anise bitterness in the finish. Not much overt hop flavor, but alcohol is better hidden.

M - Carbonation is a bit higher than I prefer, but is still appropriate for the style. Not much alcohol heat at all. Medium body that finishes chewy and sticky.

D - Where did it go? As Jason Allen would say - this is absolutely crushable. I finished a 33cl bottle in 15 minutes. The name is certainly appropriate, and I always marvel at Urbain's ability to concoct easy-drinking beers likely to leave one passed out on a sack of grain.

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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 Brabander
4.46/5  rDev +13.2%
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!

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
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...

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