Black Fist
Mikkeller ApS

Black FistBlack Fist
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Stout - American Imperial
4 | pDev: 15%
Mikkeller ApS
Retired (no longer brewed)
Black FistBlack Fist
Notes: Mikkeller Black stout barrel-aged 10 times in different bourbon barrels over the course of 2 years.
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Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 83 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of StoutSnob40
StoutSnob40 from California

4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown. In the glass, it turns black. Smells super hot. Tons of vanilla and bourbon. This beer is going to be big. Taste is tons booze, obviously. A lot of vanilla, slight coffee, and some very slight dark fruits. Great beer, but share it.

Feb 12, 2017
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Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

All bitter dark chocolate, think bakers chocolate . Lots of mollasses and, expresso, burnt sugar on the back end. Some vanilla, oak and bourbon in the mid palate. Super sipper at 26.1%. .1 short of a marathon, which this is.

Dec 16, 2015
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eawolff99 from Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cracked this beer with a buddy ... what a fun beer to drink! We followed the directions (put in fridge over night, took out an hour and a half before opening, decanted it) -- it's hot for sure, but a really fun experience. Probably most money I've ever spent / oz, and highest ABV beer I've ever had ... but really appreciate the work that went into this one. Had a good time drinking it and cooking with friends!

Jun 13, 2015
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SportsandJorts from Virginia

4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a mahogany color, surprising considering what the beer is. a small tan head forms but doesn't stick around or leave a lacing. alcohol legs are present as you swirl it around. fairly opaque but lets quite a bit of light through.

Smell: maple, strong booziness to it. pretty much like smelling a whiskey. some roast and espresso near the end.

Taste: opens with a big kick of alcohol, as that subsides some thick maple syrup comes through along with strong notes of wood and espresso. more bourbon near the end.

Mouthfeel: extremely hot and warming. thick and syrupy. lots of linger taste.

Overall: this one falls in line with Utopias but is clearly more geared in the stout direction. a huge beer full of flavor and strength. a nice one to drink but you gotta be ready for it and have some friends to split it. certainly not something I'd drink too often but pretty good nonetheless.

Dec 22, 2014
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More_betterness from California

4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


A: Absolutely midnight black with a small head that recedes immediately.

S: HUGE vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, and while alcohol burn is present, not as aggressive as I expected. Hints of toasted cocoa layered throughout. The roasted malt and cocoa are the only thing that distinguish this from a pour of bourbon. Pretty awesome.

T: More of the same in the taste, but the alcohol is much more present. Big caramel and oak, layered with acrid malt and heavily tannic oak. Still great, but not as impressive as the nose.

M: Thick, viscous, and palate destroying with very low carb. What did you expect?

O: I expected this to be absolutely undrinkable, and am really impressed that it isn't. This was actually really enjoyable. Granted I am a huge bourbon fan, and that is the dominant flavor profile here, but for what it is this is incredibly well executed. Wish I had another bottle!

Dec 20, 2014
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Jugs_McGhee from Louisiana

1.84/5  rDev -54%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

BOTTLE: Brown glass. 12.7 fl oz, with a seemingly unique bottle shape. Appealing classy understated label art.

26.1% ABV. Imported by the Shelton Bastards. Brewed at De Proef.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Half finger wide shiny khaki colour head. Nice creaminess and thickness. Relatively impressive retention for the ABV - just under 1 minute. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Opaque dark black. Not quite an ink or jet black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears adequately carbonated. Far from unique or special for the style, but it does seem appealing even at 26.1%.

AROMA: Quite muted and reticent. All I get is a hint of dark malts, marshmallow, and a closed-off kiss of bourbon. There's shockingly little booze.

No yeast character, hops, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: Marshmallow, dark malts, chocolate malts, generic bourbon character,

No hop character, yeast character, or off-notes are detectable. Alcohol/booze is definitely noticeable, but somehow it's more masked than it was in Mikkeller Black. The bourbon isn't all that rich or evocative - I get not real toasty oak, vanilla, white oak, or barrel sugar notes. Just generic bourbon.

I can't say I like it, but it's not a bad brew. Leans towards the bitter end of the spectrum. Certainly not balanced; it's a boozy brew with plenty of bitterness and char. Even some burnt character. Ashy. Aggressive. Unpleasant. Unapproachable.

It's a mess. There's little balance. If there's any complexity, nuance, or subtlety, it's impossible to ascertain amidst the chaotic flavour profile.

They took a base beer I hated and threw it in bourbon barrels. I'm not shocked I'm displeased with the end result. I just plain don't care for this, and it's mainly because it tries too hard to go too big and too thick.


Average depth of flavour. Obnoxiously high duration and intensity of flavour. Assaults the palate and attacks it.

Bitter harsh ash dominates. This is awful.

TEXTURE: Syrupy and viscous. Sticky. Smooth, wet, chewy, meal-like. Full-bodied. Thick. Definitely hot and boozy, but not to the extent you'd anticipate given its ABV. Fusel.

Not oily gushed, astringent, rough, or scratchy.

It'd be better with a heavy creaminess and softness which covers its over-aggressive bitter acridity. This has fundamental issues.

OVERALL: Calling it a sipper would be generous. Its drinkability is severely restricted by its booziness and stickiness; it assaults the palate to its detriment. As much as I love most of Mikkel's dark beers, I can't recommend this to friends or trade partners and wouldn't buy it again. Blakelive784 and I will struggle to finish one bottle together. Will disappoint the discerning drinker. To its credit, this is far more drinkable than Mikkeller Black, but that isn't saying much. Not sure what they're after with this. This has long been a favourite brewery, but I could never stand behind this beer. Avoid.


Dec 01, 2014
Photo of DeanMoriarty
DeanMoriarty from California

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Pours viscous black with a solid tan head that sticks around for a few sips leaving really nice lacing from start to finish. Aroma is chocolate, carmel, vanilla, fresh roasted coffee interwoven into massive amounts of bourbon barrel and surprisingly just a hint of booze. Tastes like bourbon with a splash of stout - the stout aspects are similar to the nose but the booze is WAY cranked up in the mix. If bourbon is your thing, this is your beer! The body is big, mellow carbonation, and extremely dry and hot. Definitely a sipper and one to share. Again, if you are a bourbon lover, this is your beer - if not, give it a pass. Definitely not a beer for the faint of heart!

Jun 05, 2014
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Resuin from Massachusetts

4.46/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am following the serving tips for this beer, which Mikkeller gives as the following:

"Refrigerate bottle the day before.
Take bottle out of fridge at least 1 1/2 hour before serving.
Open and decant like wine.
Leave at room temperature.
Serve at minimum 15°C / 59°F.

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter (yeah, I'm drinking the whole bottle).

Appearance: Pours pitch black and gives a tan head of about a half finger that slowly fades to a tan layer atop the beer.

Smell: Big roasty coffee, dark chocolate fudge, bourbon, candied plums, toffee, oak, charred oak, finishes with some heat. Really interesting and wonderful.

Taste: Big roasted malts, black licorice, candied figs, toasted oak, molasses, dark chocolate. Lots of oak in here - a lot of bourbon characteristics in the flavor, more than in any other beer I've had. Very complex, and there is a lot of "heat" in here, but it is very smooth - hard to explain, but unique to this beer for me, for sure. Absolutely destroys my palate like nothing I've had before.

Mouth-feel: Low carbonation with a thick, full, creamy body. The finish is long and quite interesting. I love the fact that this is carbonated, definitely gives it the edge over the other big beers that are served flat.

Overall: An extremely interesting brew. Amazing aroma, and a unique, fascinating flavor profile and mouthfeel. The alcohol, while evident in the flavor, is quite subdued and smooth, which is unlike anything I've had before. This is actually pretty drinkable, other than the fact that it has so much flavor that my taste may be numb for days to come.

May 06, 2014
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

this is one special beer. very few brewers have the time, the resources, the audacity, i dont know, but beers like this can hardly come from anyone but mikkeller. truly one of the more unique beers ive had, 30 bucks for a small bottle it had better be, but hey, it comes with a cute little postcard with serving instructions. the beer itself looks a lot lighter than i anticipated. not light in color, thats deep dark brown, pushing black, with some molecules of barrel char in there, but the viscosity is not intimidating. i thought it would be syrupy like black tuesday or one of those, but its lighter than that, runnier, and appears to be rather well carbonation, given its age and the process of it all. the nose is shocking, layers of dark barley intertwine with a dynamic bourbon. vanilla and char cascade the nose, but so do booze, chocolate milk, and earthy roasty barley. gone from the original black is the permanent marker smell and taste, as well as the caustic alcohol presence. the barrels, while increasing the overall strength considerably, have mellowed the intensity and heat of the alcohol to a very relaxing level, even when this is warm. its still stings a bit, like a good cognac, but its to be expected at over 26% abv. the flavors are even more layered than the smells. wood fired baked bread, barrel char, black coffee, high end vanilla extract, world class bourbon, dingy oak, even a dark fruited brandy as it swallows. its extremely impressive, but a bottle to share at this strength. 30 bucks may be expensive, but this is not dissimilar in uniqueness to sam adams utopias, and the get some 200 bucks a bottle for that, so consider this a budget beer in comparison. worth every penny too, i want to pick up more for aging, ill be this will evolve forever. an experience in a bottle for sure, smooth as silk on the palate, somehow light, its all quite overwhelming. do not pass this up, its among the best ive ever had.

Feb 27, 2014
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ohiobeer29 from Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a pretty stout
dark in color
good head
smell of bourbon and slight of stout
first sip is that of a solid stout
once it hits your mouth it turns into a shot of your favorite bourbon
pretty impressed considering the abv of this one
if your a stout or imperial stout fan I suggest trying this one you won't be disappointed
good imperial Stout here pricey yes but we'll worth it

Feb 10, 2014
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smitty4657 from California

4.16/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I’ve never had Utopias (or the heavy BrewDog stuff) so this is the biggest ABV beer I’ve encountered. What surprised me was despite the burn I associate with distilled spirits was how beer-like this was. We followed the postcard instructions and decanted before drinking, smelling the decanter throughout. The nose is outstanding - licorice and chocolate and only improved with time. The front of the taste is like the biggest imperial stout you’ve ever heard before it slowly dissolves into a cognac fire as it goes down. Extraordinary stuff.

Jan 14, 2014
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Where the few super-high gravity ales have abandoned traditional beer flavor, texture and aroma in favor of a character that can only be described as a barley "liquour", Mikkeller isn't having any of that. Despite its massive alcohol content, its Stout-like properties are still in tact!

To the pour, the beer is straight up black ink. Nearly still, a gaze into the beer is like starring at the black of night. A swirl of the snifter gives the beer a tawny, brandy-like sheen against the glass, except the beer is as black as possible. Its tepid carbonation is surprisingly spritzy even though its understated. Very peculiar even to the eye.

Incredibly bold aromas showcase all-things-burnt. Calling it espresso would be an understatement. Burnt cinders, cocoa and cognac all play out is a seriously strong scent. Burnt dark fruits of berries, currants and grapes are just as characterful as the roasted dominance as that first looming sip draws near.

The most cautious of sips explode in the mouth as the roasted sweetness and utter booziness drifts among the mouth with unforgiving dominance. As the taste of char, dry cocoa and whisky create an acrid and spicy combination of tastes, the taste of grilled berries, grapes, and currants shed light on a strong licorice presence before the taste of over-cooked caramel and ethanol round out its finish.

Its roasted dryness is spicy and brash as the peppery alcohol and rough burnt edges pang away mercilessly on the palate. A late charge of cognac and whisky numbs the palate with its fusal heat giving the ale a cautions sipping demeanor.

Generally, the super-gravity ales such as these have been quite favorable because of the sweeter and savory balances that occur. However Black Fist lacks the complexity or the supporting sweetness that would bring the roast and booze into proper alignment. Where the "stout" part is highly recognizable, so is the unwaivering lacquer and booze brashness.

Dec 30, 2013
Black Fist from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 83 ratings