Outblack - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.

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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
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Reviews: 130 | Hads: 202
Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle 10,0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in a tulip wine glass.
Batch 01/01/2011 BBE 01/02/2016

Appearance: Living up to its name, Outblack appears black in the glass, but transforms into a very dark red when backlight. As with all Struise beers the head is perfect. Massive, creamy light tan head that displays superb retention and leaves good lace.

Smell: Wow, not what I expected at all. Lots of chocolate, dark fruit (liqueur cherries, figs and plums), rum and tons of spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper and cardamom). Smoke, licorice and piney hops are noted in smaller quantities.
This is really one of the stranger smells I have come across - but who is to say that’s a bad thing? I actually really like this. The combination of chocolate and pepper reminds me a little of Lindt's chili chocolate.

Taste: After the smell, I guess I shouldn't be surprised at how far off my expectations were on the taste. Bitter chocolate, roasted malt, molasses, touch of coffee, cherry, raisin, cardamom, nutmeg and a touch of hops in the finish. Great Abv. cover up, alcohol is not noted at all.

Mouthfeel: Just fuller than a medium body and quite sticky. Carbonation is typically Belgian, but a little too much for my taste.

Overall: Struise has yet to disappoint me - another great beer that I would like to have again.

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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 siradmiralnelson
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Globe glass.

A. Poured 3+ finger head. Head is a light tan. Thick lacing. Really good retention. Color is big surprise, black.

S. Very interesting. Not sure I have smelled a beer like this. Almost smells like a cookie. Quite a bit of spices, fruit, and sweetness. Fruit cake comes to mind. For pure novelty of smell I almost have to give this a 5. Cinnamon, raisins, molasses, brown sugar, baked goods.

T. Very interesting taste as well. Quite a bit of spice going on in the flavor of this. Molasses, spice, dark chocolate. Can't really describe what the spice is almot mint like, cinnamon. Very unique tasting beer.

M. Medium/full bodied. Medium/low carbonation. Finishes with some spicy sweetness.

O. Can't say that I have had too many beers that smelled or tasted like this one. The spiciness is pretty unique. It is hard to pin down beneath the big body of this beer, but almost reminds me of mint or juniper. Its a unique and good enough beer.

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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 mmercede
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Teresa's Next Door.

A: Jet black with some caramel colored head.

S: Some nice roastiness and dark chocolate with a great saison yeast characteristic.

T: Great dark malts and dark fruits typical of a quad. However, the saison yeast is an amazing addition adding levels of spice and esters.

M: Definitely full bodied but not overly syrupy. Actually goes down quite easy. Has a nice low level of carbonation.

O: An amazingly complex and unique brew. Would love to try it again!

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Photo of sweemzander
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

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

My first beer from De Struise, finally. Have a few others waiting to drink, but this one is calling my name.

Pours very dark brown, essentially black in the glass. Despite that, I could tell from the pour that it was clear, and light behind it shows deep reddish hints at the edges. Two big fingers of dense medium coffee-tan head. Fantastic retention - come on, I want to drink the beer! And big clumps of foam sticking up the sides of the glass. Wow.

Smell... I'm not really sure what to expect. Candy sugar, some light herbal hops. Smells fuzzy. It's faint, but I like it.

Where the smell was a little bump, the taste is a big strong punch in the mouth. Bold and rich, with tons of dark fruits, followed by an alcohol burst that carries some a mild hop bitterness with it. I've heard people describe a leather taste in beer before, but never experienced it until now. Interesting. Prunes are the predominant fruit. It's rich, malty, and quite varied. I like it. Aside from that initial punch I felt, the alcohol is quite well hidden.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth. Mouth-filling, with tons of tiny little bubbles generating a soft foam in my mouth. Finish fades away like I'm chewing foam.

A very tasty beer. Not sure what I'd call it, but BSDA seems close enough. Big and malty, with a medley of interesting flavors all blending together well. Yum.

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

11.2 into tulip at 45.

Pours with a thick, foamy brown head over a deep brown to black body. Nice lacing.

Plenty of yeast, dark chocolate, burgundy wine, oaky tannins, and caramel latte. Aroma is the winner here, by a hair.

Flavors include the aforementioned dark chocolate and red wine, a nice roastyness, and plum.

Rich mouthfeel, smooth and creamy.

Delicious, that is all.

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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 cavedave
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, light tan head, but a beautiful lather it is, thick and a couple inches tall. Slathery lace clings in sheets.

Nose is med. for style, full of raisins, candi, figs, light spicy alcohol, toffee/caramel, and floral hops wayyy in the background.

Med. strength taste, but delicious, starts candi and raisins, floral jumps the game, chocolate, even a hint of cofee. Luscious yeasty tart, a clean tart, yummy tart, adds just the right flavor to the mix. Heavenly.

Incredible start to our mini tasting of big beers. Get this if you can, it is not epic, but magnificent none the less.

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Photo of ComposerZero
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark and brooding. . . a beer to be reckoned with - if you don't dive in and figure this beast out, this beer will be lost on you. But those with the fortitude will be amply rewarded.

Thick pour of espresso color with a head like you would expect from a double-shot. Big malty molasses on the nose with wonderful scents of smokey hops, honeysuckle, herbs (thyme, oregano, and a bit of lavender), and ash. The palate is intensely dark, dry, and slightly bitter with tons of ashy molasses flavor. The nuances are where the beer really excels with notes of cacao bean, smoke, Christmas spices, and butterscotch all framed by a nice lift everything so things don't get too heavy. The malts continue all the way through the finish as smoke and ash linger on the back end.

At first taste this beer is a tad overwhelming. But once you sit and break this motha done, it is complex enough to keep your attention. That being said. . . it needs your attention.

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Photo of Casey10
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wicked beer nice intense head once poured into a tulip.

Frothy head and pitch black so light shines through.

Light smell some sugars as well as light chocolae notes.

Taste masks the alcohol way too well.

While it is a bit pricey another great brew from Destruise as well as a nie colab brew from stillwater.

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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 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 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 Amalak
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A. It has a pure black color with a good tan, foamy head and some lacing.

S. It has an extremely strong scent: minty scotch scent.

T/M. It has a very toffee taste. Very carbonated. Full bodied. It has a figgy, chocolate taste to it. A dark fruit raisin taste underneath. Perhaps some plum. Sugary. High in alcohol.

O. Very strong and only good in doses, but it is really very flavorful and well made. It will put you on your ass, but it is very tasty.

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark brown color with a large off-white/tan head. Scent has a ton of toffee, carmel, and roasted chocolate. Some dark chocolate and cocoa as well. Taste is initially a ton of dark fruit with some chocolate notes. I also pick up some green apple flavors with a lot of toffee and hints of caramel. A bit of alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with some delightful crisp bite to it. Drinkability is fairly high. Overall, this is a very enjoyable strong dark ale.

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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 lacqueredmouse
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Texas Wine
Carlsbad, CA

(Aged for 1+ year)

Nearly black in color with a huge, quickly forming, very persistent dark brown head of very large bubbles. Once this recedes, it leaves messy splotches of big, sticky bubbles all the way down the glass. Pretty, though perhaps some excessive carbonation.

A very interesting, complex, and unique aroma: initially, there's good amounts of earth, mint, tobacco, and faded hop character, but as the beer warms some roast, earthy yeast, clove, and dried leaves come to the forefront. There's perhaps some pepper and floral notes as well. Like I said, this is quite complex.

Lots of dark roasted dark malt, toast, some clove, anise?, dried leaves, and tobacco in the flavor, with incredibly well hidden alcohol. I probably wouldn't have aged this one on purpose if I had been aware they used the term "black IPA," in the bottle description, but it has aged incredibly well, turning into something quite complex: a Belgian, hoppy, black saison, if you will.

Medium bodied with moderate/high carbonation, though not at all prickly. Long, lingering roasty finish. A joy to tip.

With very few expectations, I came away loving this beer.

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