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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 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 yamar68
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

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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 John_M
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of Damian
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 330 ml e. bottle
Lot 01/01/2011 goed tot, a consomer avant 01/02/2016
Served in a tulip
Thanks to Douglasjamjak for including this as an extra in our trade.

The beer poured super deep and dark brown/black and was topped by a billowing, three-finger head of bubbly, tan colored foam. Streaky rings of lacing trickled down the sides of the glass. The head slowly faded to a persistent ring of froth.

The nose was rather tame. Chocolate malts were noticeable, as was a dry, powdery yeastiness. Slightly roasty. A touch of piney hops came through as well. There was also an interesting herbal (perhaps sage?) component. Some booziness became noticeable as beer warmed. The aroma also turned much sweeter and fruitier.

The flavor profile was dark, roasty and quite hoppy, yet it also contained some Belgian-like characteristics. A dry, powdery, Belgian yeastiness appeared on the front end. Chocolate and roasted malts were also noticeable. Slightly fruity and spicy in the center with discernible raisins notes. The finish was dry and hoppy and had a moderate alcohol bite. The hops were quite piney and bitter and they resonated on my palate after each sip. The hoppiness also intensified as the beer warmed.

The mouthfeel was fairly average. Medium bodied with a crisp, bubbly, lively effervescence. The liquid could have been smoother and creamier.

De Struise's Outblack is a unique but forgettable beer. Furthermore, it is a bit rough around the edges. I was expecting this to be a nice melding of a Belgian strong dark ale and an American black ale, but the flavor profile seemed to lean much further toward the latter.

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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 theghost3
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep dark brown, almost black. Head is 2-fingers, popping bubbly, somewhat soda-like and beige. Little lacing.

Smell is subtle coffee & caramel malts with a hint of burnt toast. The taste is dark cocoa but there is also an interesting citrus and herbal hop component that adds some sassafras flavor to it. Mouthfeel is carbonated and biting at first, but then ends thick and smooth; a lot like a root beer float.

This is unique and delicious. The taste and mouthfeel really have root beer float qualities.

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Photo of brdc
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Small capped bottle. Poured into a snifter. From notes.

It is a very good looking beer, true to belgian and Struise tradition. Pitch black, lots of dark tan colored head, lots of lacing, very good retention.
The aroma was a step down, still quite good, but not as great. It has notes of freshly brewed coffee, chocolate, but also a piney hopiness that does not quite belong, if very subtle. Closing up some very slight smokey notes and a hint of dark fruits.
The mouthfeel is not as rich as I expected, medium to full. Taste is unfortunately where it unravels, with a dark chocolate taste, along with coffee, and the black IPA notes that although expected simply did not go down well.
There is a recurring earhty hoppiness that keeps getting in the way of the dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and smokiness that would be otherwise quite good.
Not that good. A miss in my opinion. A very expensive one for that matter.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Outblack. 10% ALC./VOL. 11.2 FL. OZ., Belgian ale brewed with water, barley , oats, wheat, rye, hops, sugar & yeast. Brewed and bottled by De Struise Brouwers & Stillwater Artisanal Ales at SA Deca NV Woesten Vleteren, Belgium.

And little else. At least it's not gobbldeygook.

Dark as the darkest darkness, fully black, with a rich tanned head atop, small, but long lasting. Very promising appearance.

Aroma: chocolate and bubblegum. Taffy and toffee and banana. Cream and cocoa and bottlecaps. Not the caps on bottles, but the old candy. you don't remember bottlecaps, the candy? Ah, you're too young. Ah, well, maybe not, anyway, I was just on a roll, and, heck, maybe I was reaching a bit…anyway, forget that, but let's stick with the other stuff.

Taste: an intriguing mix, once again, just as in the nose. Sweetness, some funk, dark malt, hops, a ton of stuff going on. Unusual is a word I want to use. Bright and citrusy at first, fruity, grassy, hoppy, vibrant, then quickly smothered by dark malts and chocolate flavors.

I am fairly certain I am picking out the rye malt flavors, oh, most definitely, they are sticking out like a spicy sore thumb. Hops are adding an extra kick, with the toffee and caramel and the cocoa of the malt lurking just below.

I like this. It is tasty. And so incredibly unique. Don't ask me to categorize it or pin it down, for that would be fruitless and silly.

Wait, I've got it. It's a Belgian Black IPA. Oh, I'm sorry, Cascadian Dark Belgian Ale.
Or, something.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark thick black with 2+ inches of slow dissipating head. took a good 5 minutes just to start drinking this. great retention and lacing.

sweet dark fruit, slightly funk yeast and candy like malt.

very spicy through out, mainly up front. hints of black licorice. spice and berry carry through out and finish with a hint of mint and charred coal.

velvet like with a mild to moderate carbonation.

very nice, a bit of a slow sipper but perfect for a cold evening.

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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 OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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!

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Photo of jrenihan
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

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

Pours a thin rootbeer color that appears darker and more black in the glass. A super frothy tan head takes up 35% of the pour and is very slow to recede. Thick sticky lacing clings tightly to the inside of the snifter. Boozy smells of sweet malts and Belgian yeast dominate the nose while supported by a ton of candy sugar. First sip is super creamy with a bitterness that is surprising compared to the sweet aroma. There is plenty going on here, dark fruits, roasted malts, Belgian yeast, candy sugar all working happily together creating a very tasty brew. The creamy mouthfeel really stands out too. One awesome beer folks!

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Photo of Kendo
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured in a chalice.

A: Pours a deep brown to black color. Forms a quite big and dark beige head when poured. Quite aired. Retention is low, however it never disappears completely leaving an almost brown and bubbled layer. Many lacings are left

S: Strong on dark chocolate. Belgian yeasts. Fruity and liquorous. Very spicy, notes of anis, cinnamon and mint. Intense flowery hops. Perfect nose

T: Very tasty beer, an Struise (thanx god :p). Sweet upfront. Chocolate, roasted malts, hints of coffee, Belgian yeasts. Again, very spicy. Hints of anis and mint. Stingy hoppy bitter end

M: Extremely creamy beer. Molasses. Medium carbonation. Delicious bitter aftertaste

O: Absolutely drinkable beer despite the 10% ABV. An Struise, nothing else to say

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Photo of larryi86
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle 02/FF, early 2011, poured into a tulip glass

A- Black with a four finger tan head.

S- Chocolate, dark fruits, hint of alcohol, citrus hops, really nice nose.

T- Chocolate, caramel, licorice, hint of dark fruits, and a citrus hoppy finish, good complexity and unique.

M- Medium to full body, creamy with a crisp finish.

O- A nice beer that is very unique. A good collaboration between De Striuse and Stillwater, not as good as Jaded though. Very happy that I finally got to try this, definitely will pick this up next time I find it.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

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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 twelvsies
3.66/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Collab beer from Struise and Stillwater?! Sign me up.

Pours a deep stout-y brown, almost black (as advertised) with an impressive pillowy head. Aroma is strong - I can't tell if it's an interesting mix of hops and Belgian yeast, or something else, perhaps a secret ingredient? Smells almost medicinal, or faint juniper, slightly off-putting or distracting actually, but underneath a robust maltiness comes through. At first sip however, I will retract my stance... The flavors seem to meld together pretty well. There is a nice hop profile battling the chocolaty malt base, and everything seems to come together. Smooth and velvety, a perfect balance to the richness of this beer. Has an edge to it for sure, a nice bitter kick, but not hot at all, impressive considering this is 10%. This is definitely a hybrid beer - not your average stout, and not really a black ipa. Pretty interesting and I guess what else would you expect other than a curveball from Struise / Stillwater. Worth noting, I'm enjoying this much more than a draught version I had a while back. I picked up a couple and put them in the cellar and after 6+ months I can only guess this would age really really well, and mellow out to be a unique and complex stout. Still curious as to what exactly I am smelling in the aroma... But I'll be content just to sip and enjoy this one.

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Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a thin off white head that left some lacing on the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass; the lacing never completely faded away.
S: There are light aromas of dark fruits in the nose. Hops are not detectable.
T: The taste tastes like a pure hybrid between a Belgian Ale and an American IPA because there are flavors of dark fruits with notes of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is a good hybrid between the two styles and is very easy to drink.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Photo of Radome
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a goblet.

A - Attractive beer. It is an extremely dark brown (though not black) color in the glass and lets no light through. The head is thick and creamy in a dark tan color. The head and lacing are admirably long-lasting. Sediment in the bottle pointed to bottle-conditioning.

S - The aroma is totally dominated by a strong spice note (coriander? cardamom?). I do not detect any hops through the spice onslaught, unless maybe there is a pine-like aroma that is intertwined with it. I do get some malt and alcohol notes somewhere in the background. From the aroma I don't recognize any trace of a US IPA; this seems like a traditional, quirky Belgian strong dark. It is so spice-dominated that it could be a gruit or a heather ale on steroids, based on the aroma.

T - The spice is very strong in the taste, but the balance is better than in the nose. I also get strong hops bitterness and some piney hops flavor that melds with the spice. There is some bready malt and lots of alcohol.

M - Body is moderate. Alcohol burn that combines with hops bitterness to give a lingering heat on the tongue like hot peppers. Prickly feel from the carbonation. Surprisingly dry finish.

O - From the aroma I did not think I would like this beer, but it grew on me thanks to the overall experience. The sledgehammer of spice and pine in the nose is a bit unsettling at first. However, it is very well-made and becomes less unbalanced after it warms up and breathes in the glass.

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