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Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout | Jester King Brewery

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Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial StoutBlack Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Jester King Brewery
Texas, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
English Imperial Stout meets the Franco-Belgian Farmhouse tradition in this dry, drinkable beer; Pitch black in color with notes of chocolate, roasted and black malts coupled with earthy, peppery and floral farmhouse esters.

Added by Mora2000 on 11-17-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 115 | Ratings: 825
Photo of gcamparone
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Jester King stemmed glass.

Pours a deep, deep black, inky body with a huge, gushing dark mocha colored head that reduces fairly quickly to a thin layer of foam, leaves a little lacing. Beautiful.

Smell is interesting.. almost smells sour with hints of coffee, milk chocolate, and toffee. Not overly aromatic, tough to get a good analysis here.

Upfront is heavy freshly ground coffee, roasty malt. The follow through is bittersweet chocolate and maybe some farmhouse belgian spiciniess. The finish is hoppy, roasty, and toasted and charred.

Mouthfeel is medium with medium high carbonation. Not super rich, but super tasty.

I liked Black Metal a lot.. my only complaint would be that I don't get much "farmhouse" character.. maybe a little more spiciness, fruityness, or tartness would have helped. Overall recommendable.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml that looks a good 1-2 years aged based on the label
Tasted on 08/28/14 with Lost Abbey stemware

Another great extra from my brooklynbrews box. Cheers Andrew!

El Martillo del Muerte

A: Pours an inky black with some espresso tones and a lively head of dark mocha. Has some large format bubbles that seem to gasp and collapse when introduced to the atmosphere. Some light sticky dotted window dressing left behind.

S: Thick roast malt nose comprised of chocolate syrup, dark fruits, molasses/brown sugar, licorice, and a touch of soy umami noted. Faint tobacco and earthy spices come together in the background. Lasted by a mild dusting of Belgian yeast esters in the form of dried banana peel. Smells quite dark on the roast and fairly light on the Belgian character.

T: Dark chocolate and charred marshmallow with molasses, dark fruits, earthy spice, and dried banana. Incredibly light and frothy with a nice dry finish and a lower amount of bitterness to the beer. Some alcohol making a cameo appearance towards the finish. Getting a slight metallic tinge to this and perhaps this was aged longer than I had suspected. This is Black Metal however. Forged from iron, sweat, and little orphan tears.

M: Moderately filling to heavy I would say. I mean it should be but there is an upper amount of carbonation to this keeping it frothy and light on the tongue. The yeast plays some role in this I am sure of it. Smooth and creamy overall with a nice drying finish.

D: Black Metal is dark and brooding on the outside but rather tamed and light hearted on the inside. What with its light fluffy feels and what not. Really this is a nice brew and in good balance. A little light on the Farmhouse but still quite enjoyable. Would have again but not probably something I would go out of my way for.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black stout with a large light brown foamy head with great retention and some good lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with some chocolate notes is very enticing. Taste is a well balanced mix between some roasted malt with some notes of chocolates and some light fruity notes. Body has a full boy with a nice creamy mouthfeel with no apparent alcohol. Well balanced with super good drinkability and smooth aftertaste which may be due to farmhouse yeast makes for a great late-night stout.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black pour with a small brown head that dissipated quickly. There is a strong smell of coffee and light chocolate. Has a very strong sour espresso taste upfront backed by licorice, mild chocolate, and roasted malt. Finishes with a light lingering sour taste.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled in 3/2013. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1 finger fairly dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, smoke, light char, pepper, raisin, fig, light licorice, and roast/yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of big dark/roasted malt and moderate fruity/spicy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, smoke, light char, pepper, raisin, fig, light licorice, and roast/yeast earthiness. Fair amount of roasted bitterness and earthy yeast spice on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roast, toast, dark bread, smoke, light char, pepper, raisin, fig, and roast/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity of big dark/roasted malt and light-moderate yeast ester flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome Belgian imperial stout. All around great complexity and robustness of big dark/roasted malt and moderate fruity/spicy yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of SHODriver
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

this bottle is probably a good two and a half to three years old
A: poured into a snifter to a deep black with a two finger dense tan head that is slow to fade and leaves decent lacing
S: smells of sweet chocolate, coffee, and toasted marshmallows
T: taste is bittersweet chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, and kind of peppery and spicy yeast. swallow is more coffee and chocolate with some charred wood. hints of oxidation but not terrible
M: this beer is surprisingly light on the palate due to some pretty prickly carb. the finish is
O: It looks like they didn't use an oxygen fixing cap but the beer is pretty solid. a bit too heavy on the carbonation but the flavors are there. the farmhouse yeast does some interesting things but it doesn't overshadow the rest of the beer.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at World of Beer in Tioga. Pours pitch black and thick with a massive dark brown head into my tulip glass. Aromas of roasty dark malts, some chocolate, light hops, but an interesting light grass introduced to the smell that I assume is the farmhouse yeast influence. I must say, though, that this influence is extremely subdued. Flavor follows the smell nearly perfectly with sweet chocolate balanced by slightly bitter roast flavor and a hint of anise. The farmhouse claim doesn't come through to much in he flavor but maybe makes things more drinkable. Mouthfeel is thick and rich but not overbearing with plenty if carbonation to make this full bodied and silky on the tongue. A really nice beer to be honest. Would have again for sure.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle, Batch #15, bottled August 26, 2013. Served in a Great Lakes Brewing chalice, the beer pours dark brown/black with an inch and a half brown head. Head retention is good, and there's a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like roasted malt, coffee, milk and bittersweet chocolate, and some sweet and tart dark fruit. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some burnt malt/grain, licorice, and a bit of peppery spice and earthiness. I like the mix of roastiness, sweetness and tartness in this brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's slick and coating with a good amount of soft carbonation. I thought this was a good brew, I'd like to pick up a bottle the next time I come across some. $13.99 a bottle.

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Photo of foobula
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle is a couple of years old. Perfect appearance: dark black, full & frothy brown billowy head. Nose is very roasty with some sourness. Taste is quite roasty up front (nice!), a bit tangy on the sides, some sweetness and bitterness in the back and roasty throughout. Bitterness in the finish too. Reminiscent of black coffee. It isn't particularly yeasty for a "farmhouse" but I haven't had regular Black Metal to compare. Mouthfeel is medium-full. Overall a very nice roasty stout.

PS: Bottlecap liner had a rough texture with an odor, a couple of plastic flecks resting on top of the beer

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Photo of KVNBGRY
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

JulioH and the Jester King general statement hit the proverbial nail on the head. Near perfect color. There's a coffee, and slight metallic aroma. Strong roasted coffee flavor, with the slightest hint of tart stout that lingers. There's a definite dry, bitter chocolate after taste. Really well done. I would like to see what age does to this.

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Photo of JulioH
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful color, dark brown/black, awesome foamy head with a very dark mocha color. Not very aromatic, but clear hints of coffee. After tasting it, a strong coffee flavor is uncovered. Not heady at all, nor boozy. Hints of sour beer linger, maybe cherries or lambic.

This is a very complex beer. It is not heavy to drink, it's one of the less filling Russian Stouts I've had. Dry and bitter remains in your mouth.

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Photo of jwchestnut
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I totally dug this beer. Pours totally black with tan, khaki head. The nose is dark malts, coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa, dark fruits - figs and cherries - picked up on some of those farmhouse-y saison yeast notes. The taste follows the noise primarily with the dark roasted grains, cocoa and dark fruits - maybe a little vinous. Some sweetness that is almost like Belgian candi-sugars, a little more oak and slight funk from what I am assuming is the farmhouse yeast - though they are really quite minimal. Surprisingly smooth and full mouthfeel that has an incredibly dry finish. Again, I really enjoyed this beer. One my favorites from Jester King that I thought walked the line between the two styles quite well.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours an opaque black with a thick, creamy tan head.

S: Pleasant aromas of caramel, coffee, roasted grain, vanilla bean, dark chocolate, minerals, raisins, plums, and black cherries are underscored by a subtle, oaky, lactic funk.

T: Notes of oak, cedar, plums, black cherry, black currant, rum raisins, figs, roasted grain, coffee, vanilla bean, caramel, dark chocolate, and minerals fill the mouth. Lactic character from the yeast is very subtle. The finish is dry and intense with oak, roasted grain, chocolate, dark fruit, and mellow alcohol.

M; Relatively full-bodied, dry, and chalky. Carbonation is crisp and intense. Alcohol presence is mellow and restrained. This is very easy to drink compared to many other examples of the style.

O: A really interesting imperial stout. The funky notes are minimal, but work in the context of this beer. Before trying this, I had heard a number of horror stories about the consistency of Jester King's output, with this beer often singled out as one of the most hit or miss. Either those stories are exaggerated or I happened to get a good bottle because, fortunately, this turned out to be a very nice ale. I would definitely try this one again.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

I know it's not appearance, but I did appreciate the healthy glugging sound as this beer departed the bottle. Add to that the thick and viscous liquid that came out and I was well on my way to enjoying this beer. The pour produced a three-finger thick head that was espresso-tinged in color, very frothy, and crystalline. The beer was pitch black and looked like a coffee without milk. The head also proved to be incredibly persistent.

Perhaps, my mind and nose were playing tricks on me, but i got hints of lactose when smelling this beer. There was dark chocolate blending with this, so it was very much like a cafe mocha. I also got some really sweet aromas that suggested Belgian candy syrup, which then were complemented by sweet malts. A very intriguing and dessert-like brew.

Black Metal's taste did not disappoint either. I immediately got dark chocolate and cherry and other dark fruit notes, then a thick dark roasted malt flavor, creamy lactose, baker's chocolate and cocoa. The dry chocolatey flavors stuck on my tongue. A damn delightful treat.

The beer is sweet and almost sugary, which may find some detractors, but I feel the other characteristics do a great job of balancing things out. There's slight yeastiness, medium carbonation and body, slight fruity lightness, and a thrust of carbonation at the finish. I also realized the beer has a slight vinous quality.

This beer is just outstanding. It complex, unique and bursting with flavor. Superb.

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Photo of nickfl
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

3000th review

Pours with a big head of dark khaki head on a very black body. The aroma is dark stone fruit and chocolate. Lots of fruit and chocolate up front in the flavor with notes of dark cherry, raspberry and lots of dark, rummy chocolate. A thick, dense body and fairly high carbonation. Very good, the chocolate and fruit are very well matched and complex.

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Photo of Florida9
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure of the year, but I believe this bottle is from the first release of this beer as a Farmhouse.

A: Black, black, black. Fully opaque. Forms a huge mocha colored head. Great retention, but very little lacing.

S: Aroma is a blend of heavily roasted malts, smoke, creaminess, and some yeasty esters.

T: Taste is pretty good. Rather creamy with notes of smoke, heavily roasted malts, dark fruits, toast, cocoa, chocolate, and a slight touch of coffee. There is a hint ofo something approaching tartness. Not necessarily tart or funky, but the yeast are imparting something quite a bit different than original version. Finish is long, creamy, and roasty.

M: Full bodied. Heavier carbonation for the style, but the beer is so thick the extra carbonation helps to lighten it a bit. Moderate burnt malt bitterness.

O: A pretty good beer. Certainly much better than the non-farmhouse version which tasted burnt and plasticy.

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Photo of DMXLOX22
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single of this brew from my local establishment, Civera's Deli in Drexel Hill. It came highly recommend by an employee there and a friend of mine whom I texted while waiting in line. Let's see how this brew goes down.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, almost purple, but also almost black color that came with an impressive, tan frothy head that was a little intimating, but also quite inviting. Reminds me of a Belgian brew.

Smell: Pretty heavy rush of dark, roasted malts are the first thing noticed. Tiny amount of bready-like alcohol is detected. Second take and chocolate is coming through the malts, but the burnt-like malts are a little overpowering. Almost killed the excitement for me. I'm sure it gets better than this.

Taste: First sips are a an immediate rush of a roast, coffee and toffee-like flavor. Quite strong on the first two sips to be quite honest. Then, halfway down as the brew settles and temperature drops slightly, There's a mix of cocoa and fruity flavors. Fig flavors come to mind also. Theres an acidic back-up that comes into play when all the stronger flavors settle. Not bad. I'm getting into the sour beers lately. This one has some characteristics of a sour beer.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body, medium to medium-light carbonation. Finishes quite dry.

Overall: Coming into this beer, I was definitely curious and heard some good things about this brew. Glad I took upon it. The dark roasted malts originally were a reminder of a stout, but there was a good alcohol flavor and yeast flavors with some sour flavors. Farmhouse style is definitely noticed here. Would totally have again, maybe on tap. I would recommend to a friend, but would warn them first, the ABV can sneak up on you. Cheers!

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Photo of richj1970
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into Stone taster glass.

A: Midnight black with thick 3 or 4 finger chocolate colored soapy head with some nice sticky lacing.

S: Roasted malts, bitter chocolate, campfire smoke, and a bit of farmhouse funk.

T: Smoked malts with a bit of bitter finish. Espresso, dark chocolates.

M: Thick with lots of carbonation. A nice departure from other big Russian Imperial Stout that tend to be a bit flat.

O: Very unique stout. The smokiness was heavier than expected, and the farmhouse funkiness added a unique twist to the style. Not something that I want everyday, but an enjoyable diversion from the other stouts that I love.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jester King Brewery - Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout, poured into a Fiddlehead snifter.

Look - Pours high viscosity motor oil with a thick soapy mocha head and great lacing. Perfect.

Smell - Estery farmhouse slightly funky aroma with roasted chocolate malts and some hot pepper.

Taste - Thick, rich chocolate and roast with a touch of farmhouse funk.

Mouthfeel - Rests roasted and slight puckering sour. Medium bodied with high carbonation (most JK brews are high carb I have noticed0. Boozy warm but great drinkability.

Overall - Solid brew, unique Jester King take on the style. Glad I could get my hands on it.

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a thick tan head that lingers well in JK goblet.

Smell is toasted malts, chocolate, molasses and a hint of smoke.

Taste follows smell well. Lots of dark roasted malt, chocolate, and some ripe fruits. Good bit of smoky bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied and well carbonated.

Overall this was really good.

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Photo of cbutova
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black povr of the night reminding me only of the darkest cvltists. Large, intensely dark mocha with shades of grey head builds to three fingers. Head retention is good but it falls all the way to a thin bubbly ring. Spotty lace at best.

S- Belgian yeast that you don't normally see in this type of beer becomes apparent right away with the huge roast. Dark red dried cherry raisin feel beyond the heap of dark malts.

T- Roastiness seems to take over more here, maybe one of the darkest brews flavor wise I can think of. Burnt cereal grains, dark toast, charcoal and some dark 100% cocoa feel. Yeast is strong as well and brings spice, dark fruits, slight tartness and some alcohol. Something oaky.

MF- Dry and more like a Belgian as you might expect, rather than the usual sweet RIS. Fairly warm with a super roast bitterness lingering on the palate.

Interesting to say the least and intensely dark roasty as the name might suggest. Roast burnt compounds with the heavy yeast spice and is maybe a bit too intense.

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Photo of Radome
4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a goblet. Bought at the brewery in Sep '13.

A - The beer is the darkest possible brown, very close to black. No light shines through it; it looks like engine oil. The head is unbelievable. It is the darkest brown head I've ever seen. It piled up several inches high during the pour, then dropped to a solid, opaque layer. It is made up of fairly large bubbles with an oily appearance, like espresso whipped to a froth. I can't imagine a better looking beer.

S - Very complex aroma. Chocolate, coffee, rum, oak. Very low fruit aromas. A hint of leather and horse blanket, but not overpowering.

T - A wealth of dark malt flavors: dark chocolate, espresso, dark wheat dinner rolls. Fruit is restrained; maybe some raisins and prunes. There is an alcohol sweetness that again reminds me of rum, but it's balanced by a very light "farmhouse" tartness.

M - Thick, creamy, mouthcoating body. Low carbonation. Medium hops bitterness and light alcohol presence.

O - This is a delicious Imperial Stout. The farmhouse character is restrained, but adds complexity and helps cut through the sweetness. This is like drinking an Irish coffee or a chocolate milk-like mixed drink, maybe a white Russian. Yummy.

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Photo of DanielDomigan
4.94/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours Blacker then the blackest black times infinity. A dryed blood color finger of head.

S: smells of BLACK Coffee and Rotting Farmhouse yeast! and some boozyness...

T: hell fire roasted Cocoa, slight festering malts and yeast and vanilla bean tears ov dying angels

M: thick as blood with a generous amount ov carbonation

This brew was defiantly spawned from the darkest pits ov hell to pay homage to Black Metal and SATAN! \m/

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Photo of fourstringer
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750 mL bottle into an old-fashioned glass with a moderately aggressive hand. No date on the bottle, but pretty metal label. It tells me this is best enjoyed with blast beats! Well ok then, twist my arm. I'm in TX - will Pantera's Great Southern Trendkill suffice?

A: Opaque black. Not even any transparency on the last swig from the glass. Impressive. 1.5 fingers of tight, deep caramel-colored head. Ok retention. Light lacing.

S: Nice, full roasted malt, cocoa and coffee. Dark fruit underneath. A flemish-type, cherry tartness develops as it warms.

T: A split second of sweetness gives way to a surprising degree of tartness that lingers. Slowly yields to a medium dark chocolate bitterness and fairly dry finish. Roasted, somewhat oaky, malt carries throughout. Dark cherry. Some black licorice. Not much alcohol at all for 9% ABV. This is the inverse of something like Cuvee Freddy or Sierra/Boulevard's Incognito which starts tart and turns barrel-aged. This starts with more of the dark, round flavors and blossoms into a flemish-style sour with roasted notes. Really enjoying this.

M: High carbonation for the style, although moderate overall. Moderate body. Kinda bursts in the mouth when it hits the tongue. Could certainly be smoother and creamier.

O: Strikes me as a sort of imperial Flemish red with darker malt. This brew really syncs up with my personal tastes. Love the sour notes. I haven't had prior iterations of Black Metal for comparison, but in my ignorance, this really seems to hit the high notes for me. Maybe it's the Pantera. I'll Drag the Waters for more.


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Photo of kojevergas
2.51/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

9.3% ABV confirmed. Batch #14 - June 4th, 2013. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with strange label art and awesome branded brass-coloured pressure cap acquired at Whole Foods HQ and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are somewhat high given its current 89 rating as well as the seemingly unique style.

Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a 2.5 finger wide head of rich gold-tan colour. Good creaminess and thickness. Has a smooth consistency and a somewhat soft complexion. I tilt the glass to try to coax out some lacing, but none sticks. Head retention is good for the ABV - about 7 minutes.

Body colour is a predictable solid black; opaque. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's certainly to style and looks pretty good, but isn't mind-blowingly appealing or inviting. It's not unique or special.

Sm: Vague coffee. Hints of licorice, anise, raisin. Light acridity. Burnt dark sugars. Bitter dark chocolate. Buried roast - nowhere near enough for my tastes. I do find a hint of acidity, but I wouldn't say there's any real funkiness to the aroma - at least not in a brettanomyces yeast sense. The acridity is bothersome. Cocoa dust. Belgian dark malts. It flirts with a Belgian dark ale character in that sense. Marshmallow. Molasses. A kiss of espresso. There's a rather unwelcome grape note, as well as some out-of-place apple. Once you notice that grape, it's hard to push out of your mind, and as the beer warms it becomes more and more artificial, even bordering on medicinal - grape cough syrup comes to mind. Caramel.

No hop character, yeast character, or alcohol is detectable.

Honestly, I'm not a big fan of the aroma. The grape and acridity in particular are off-putting, and I'm not finding the roastiness I love in a good stout nor am I finding the funkiness that is supposed to set this one apart. Moderately strong.

T: I like the cocoa powder and the bitter dark chocolate notes, as well as the marshmallow. But the coffee has all of the acridity of the bottom of an espresso shot and none of the rich roastiness, nuttiness, or cream you'd find in better imperial stouts. Luckily, the grape isn't as present as it is in the aroma, but it still bothers - as do the licorice/anise and molasses notes. More raisin would be nice. It never approaches vinous character, but it does have a vague Belgian dark ale vibe. Lightly burnt sugars and caramel are present, but add little. Dark malts and chocolate malts fill out the body. Boy do I wish there was more roast. There's some green apple here which works surprisingly well, but other than that I'm not finding any evidence of farmhouse yeast. There's really nothing funky about this, but it does have a fairly annoying acidity. I'd attribute the Belgian dark ale dimension to the yeast used here - which I think is just a standard Belgian yeast - but there's nothing funky. Though I find no real noticeable hop profile, it's still a bit too bitter.

The more I drink, the more I notice an artificial fruity character (berries, grape, syrups) on the burp. It grows more medicinal with each sip. With warmth, a near-cloying sweetness begins to eclipse the previously noticeable bitterness.

Frankly, I'm not sure the beer benefits from the use of Belgian yeast. Nor does the execution evoke a "Farmhouse Imperial Stout." The decision to use an atypical yeast ultimately just reduces the cohesion of the flavour profile, yielding a loosely structured non-gestalt build with little to offer the discerning drinker. Decent loose balance. Okay complexity. Lackluster subtlety.

Alcohol presence is decently hidden.

Mf: Very syrupy, to its detriment. Slick and artificial. Smooth and wet. Sticky. Nice thickness and body. Overcarbonated. Unrefreshing. Severely flawed; the syrupy texture and sticky consistency make this almost disgusting. Doesn't complement the flavour profile at all. I'd like to see a dryer and more coarse texture to coax out more of the powdery cocoa notes.

Dr: A forgettable brew with an interesting concept that the execution fails to rise to. I remember liking the old Black Metal better. I'm not looking forward to finishing this bottle, and wish I had others to help me. It's easy enough to drink a small quantity, but drinkability plummets after a few ounces. A big disappointment from Jester King. I'm quickly learning that for the most part only their sours are worthwhile. I wouldn't recommend this to friends, nor would I buy it again. Overpriced. With the myriad of better beers in the imperial stout style available at a better price point out there, I can't understand why this beer is profitable. One of the most medicinal imperial stouts I think I've had this year.

High D+

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Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout from Jester King Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.