Black (黑) | Mikkeller ApS

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Black (黑)Black (黑)

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 17.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

Ingredients: Water, malt, roasted barley, dark cassonade, ale yeast and champagne yeast.

Added by kkipple on 02-19-2008

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Reviews: 263 | Ratings: 563
Photo of AmericanGothic
5/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into a Unibroue tulip.

A: Pours a totally opaque, black color with 1-1/2 fingers of billowy tan head. Great retention and fantastic lace.

S: Chocolate and roasted malt, some vinous hints. Intense!

T: Leads with the roasted malt, chocolate following close behind. Finishes with a little bitterness, then the chocolate and roasted malts continue to linger. Under all this are some of the vinous qualities present in the smell, and some sweetness also. Like the smell, very intense. Alcohol is present but doesn't get out of control. Purely delicious.

M: Surrealistically smooth and creamy, very sensual, quite satisfying.

O: Had this for the first time several weeks ago and was quite impressed. Now focusing on it for the review, I have to say this is a perfect beer. Bravo!

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Photo of lumikuuro
5/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

375ml bottle.

Appearance: Almost black with slow forming brown head which exhibits good retention and leaves lacing that is so thick, there are rings of head on the glass. Sediment in base of glass.

Aroma: Powerful, varying ratios each time the glass is raised. Vanilla, coffee, alcohol, vinous aromas, hints of chocolate.

Taste: In no particular order, as this beer has so much flavour: vanilla, coffee, chocolate, vinous, alcohol, hint of cinnamon and other spices. Sweet, but with an underlying roasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Extremely full bodied, smooth, dry.

Drinkability: Obviously a sipper and an occasional beer, but this is outstanding. You can tell it's strong, but it feels more like 12%. Lots of excellent flavours and aromas. Highly recommended.

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Photo of DanK4
4.92/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer blew my mind. Mikkeller has an outstanding reputation for producing quality beers, but this beer was a monster. An incredible nose profile of the most incredible rich chocolates and warm boozy goodness. Thick mocha head that hung around to admire, and on that note I don't think I've ever seen such a dark head on a beer. The taste is what really blew me away though- upon first sip I knew exactly what I had been searching for in an Imperial Stout and this beer was everything I needed. It sat so well on all parts of the palate and the after-bite was just as good as the initial sip. It is not a drinker, but a sipper for sure. As it warmed to proper temp the nose profile opened up even more and you could smell the malts and grainy wholesome stout notes. While it did get a bit chore-like to finish the whole beer, it was an amazing experience and I am going out to buy another bottle asap before I cant find it again.

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Photo of grumpy
4.9/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So, drinking half of a 12.7-oz bottle of this stuff pretty much renders 99.99 percent of all other beers trifling and insignificant. Just a mind-blowing concoction. This masterpiece takes a spot in my all time Top 5 Beers, maybe Top 2.
There are already 13 reviews for this beer, and between them the attributes are well documented. I won't bother to dissertate. I'll just say that this is an incredibly intense, tasty, huge beer. The only category it doesn't score a 5 in, for me, is drinkability. That said, I enjoyed it immensely, and I don't see anything wrong with being sated by half a bottle. At 17.5% ABV and $17 a bottle, that's a good thing.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.87/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Pours like oil into my snifter - completely opaque black with no hope of light going through. I tried holding it to my desk lamp - nothing. Dark brown head fades to a thin rimjob.

Nose is ruby port like with very dark chocolate and espresso crema. Maduro cigar.

Palate is very much like what an alcoholic double espresso would taste like - huge espresso component, creamy body, with warm alcohol in the background. Bitter chocolate is there towards the end also, and the finish leaves a faint maduro cigar "tar" flavor.

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Photo of Beernoisseur
4.82/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a distillation of mourning. If, from every tear wrung from the survivors of every casualty of war in humankind's history, a liquid concentrate were formed, it would fill but a single bottle of Mikkeller Black. It's like sorrow syrup. It is the sweetened lactation from the teat of a cremated demon, brewed with ash and soot and burning hate. It also has a ridiculous alcohol content, which encourages over-the-top metaphors and hyperbole.

This beer is so dark that it actually bends light. Eyeing it from across the room, I have no choice but to believe that Black is attempting to suck my whole kitchen into my snifter. The head is thin and slow to appear. The bubbles are so fine they might actually be powdered bones.

This beer does not have an aroma. It has what can only be called "heavy fumes."

The flavor is unreal. It's like what would happen if you drank the remnants of burning tires thrown on a mountain of brown sugar and coffee beans soaked in diesel fuel. It's been said before, but this beer just tastes...dark. I now know and appreciate the magnitude of this statement. Pine tar, regular tar, cigarette tar, and fire are the primary flavors. Follow it up with sweetness, and a psychotically bitter hoppy burst on the finish, and you have one angry brew. Seriously, this beer has something to prove. It wants to uppercut a punkass. If Islamic extremists were drinkers, they would exclusively drink Black during the month of Ramadan, then promptly blow something the fuck up. It has the impetus to initiate ass-kicking protocols, brought to you by the taking of names.

Once in my mouth, I have to thoroughly chew before I swallow. A solid attribute to this amazing beer.

All in all, this beer is in my top 10, maybe top 5. My life is better having experienced it. If you can find some, try it. You will never be the same.

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Photo of 1000Bottles
4.8/5  rDev +29%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For me, this was one of the most delicious beers I have ever had. Color is black. Thin dark brown head. Aromas are rich sweet dried prunes, coffee, leather chocolate, raisins... wow! Alcohol is there, but not prevailent. Flavor is initially big black licorice, then sweet dark chocolate, figs - no scratch that - black strap molasses with raisin tar, then finishing back into black licorice with a touch of astringency. But, this beer really doesn't finish - lingers into roasted nuts, tobacco, leather, dark rum...

This should age wll for 20 years I should think, if anyone has the patience. Absolutely superb!

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Photo of Bananaman
4.78/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Looks pitch-black, beige head.
S: Very Wineouse, chocolate, roasted, toffee
T: Toffee, coffee, raisins, brown sugar, roasted a bit oaky
M: Smooth, thick, sugary, oily

A wonderful beer, and considering it's strong ABV there it is very well-balanced. Exceptional beer!

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Photo of corby112
4.78/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a foamy chocolate colored head that settles into a lasting lacing. Roasted malty aroma with chocolate, oatmeal, toffee, dark fruit, spice, alcohol, hops and candi sugar notes. Very complex with a nice roasted coffe maltiness, sweet dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, and alcohol warmth. The ABV is noticeable but pretty well masked considering it's strength.

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Photo of PhxHorn
4.75/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Holy shit, Batman, this is one helluva beer. It pours an opaque black with a half inch tan head, leaving tons and tons of lace in its wake. Smells--and this is from 6 inches away--of chocolate and coffee. Taste is huge: coffee, chocolate, cherry, molasses, bourbon. Major licorice aftertaste lasting minutes. Minutes, I tell you!!!! Tons of flavor. I didn't realize the alcohol content was so high, until I started to feel it. Well hidden for a stout. This is such a huge beer, I couldn't rate drinkability that high. It took me 90 minutes to get through it. But holy fuck, this is a big huge great beer. One of the best stouts I've ever had.

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Photo of appetiteforparis
4.75/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Um...everyone who's dogging on this should just go back to drinking their Bud Lights and so on. C'mon people, bring your man cards to the table...This beer is amazingly complex, and perfectly executed. The roasty and smokey qualities come together in perfect harmony. Get it, if you can find it.

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Photo of waltc21
4.75/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Intersting beer that is to be drunk (sic) where you do not have to worry where you are going. Great, in your face (actually a slap!) taste. I justwish I could find it where I live.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.7/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a milestone interpretation of the stout style. Although the site says it is from Denmark, it is brewed at De Proef Brewery in Lochristi_hufte, Belgium. That is because, as their website says, "Mikkel is gipsy-brewer, he rents into breweries, and brews both in Denmark, around Europe and the United States."

A: Darkness. No pop from the cork release, poured from on high to give it a little head. The head produced leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S: Coffee and all sorts of dried fruits.

T: Coffee and chocolate, dried cherries and other dark fruits. But also strong quinine, probably from the hops, giving it a fruity but bitter taste.

M: Thick and chewey.

D: Very drinkable and interesting, though in measured sips due to the 17.5% ABV. Very muscular beer overall.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.65/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Eulogy, Philadelphia, PA, 6/17. From notes.

Came to the table with a toasted mocha head, and the color simply lived up to the beer's name. Black, black and and more black. Head stuck around longer than a beer of this size typically does.

Aroma was intense shots of black licorice, caramel, coffee, graham cracker, vanilla, chocolate and alcohol.

Guess what? The flavor was just about the same, and it was all balanced wonderfully, with new sensations and impressions emerging with every sip. Coffee was rather pronounced, with vanilla, chocolate, big juicy-ass cherry, graham cracker and totally in-check alcohol giving everything a cozy flair of warmth. Coffee is thankfully well-incorporated and doesn't overtake everything else, but it remains the most dominant flavor.

Unbelievably round, creamy, silky and gooey on the tongue. Really doesn't get much better than this.

Drinkability? Whatever...this is a sipping beer, and shouldn't be docked points for not being sessionable. Because a bland golden lager isn't really one to swirl in the snifter and savor slowly, is it? So I'll give drinkability a 4 and leave it at that. Marvelous. Superb. And other assorted hyperbole.

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Photo of feylure
4.65/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I really love this brew. I'm a fan of stouts, and this tends to hit the spot quite well.

Appearance is black. Like, pitch black with a bit of brown around the edges. It doesn't really appear to be carbonated.

Smell is sweet and has notes of chocolate along with the presence of alcohol.

Taste great. Sweet, dark barely hits first with a full body. The middle fades into a roasty, dark chocolate flavor and the end has a dry mouthfeel to it, but that being coupled with the chocolate gives it a nice edge and reminds me of actually eating extremely dark chocolate. There does appear to be a little carbonation on the tongue. The tail lingers with the same smokey chocolate flavor.

Overall, I love this beer. It's pricey, but it's another great shade of strong stout that sits next to Dogfish Head World Wide Stout and Brew Dog Tokyo.


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Photo of Normeister
4.62/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smells like a crazy rich stout. Alcohol bitters were completely absent on the tongue and replaced with big notes of black strap molasses and dark chocolate torte. After taste smacks of fermented plum and cracker - in a good way. Paired extremely well with all courses ranging cheddar and chorizo, tuna tartare and a pork sandwich. Had a second bottle to ensure repeat performance this good was possible - and it was.

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Photo of ludachris
4.61/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 4oz tulip, its head takes up half the glass at three fingers high. It's dense and sticky, coating the sides of the glass as it slowly recedes. Its rich tan shade gives it a menacing look. The body is black in the middle with chestnut brown edges. She's a burly looking lassie.

The first impression sounds funny as I type it; soy sauce, olive juice, and ethanol. Thankfully, it doesn't take much digging to get to its core. Boozy and warm dark chocolate, cocoa powder and a rich coffee bean roast. It smells like it has the density of sweet pumpernickel bread or chocolate cake. Its zip of booze and burnt sugar is the icing on top. Ripe chocolate covered field berries come to the forefront as it opens up.

The taste is intense and alive. Its alcohol content paints the palate and clears the nostrils. In small sips there's a soothing warmness that goes with it. Its flavor profile comes in layers. Sweet booze soaked raspberries and strawberries come first. Cake chocolate, rye bread, and cocoa powder give it a deep richness. As it nears the finish, its rye bread quality turns dry and meshes with a coffee bean roastiness with a pleasant bitterness.

Full bodied with an intense chewy richness. The finish is dry and long. Its warming feel is intoxicating.

This is an incredible double stout. The ways its ABV is rendered in the nose and taste is exceptional. It's fully integrated and adds to its sweetness, richness, and weight without ever being overbearing. Its complexity is what kept me taking sip after sip. I'm a big fan of Mikkeller and how creative and experimental his beers can be and this tops everything I've had from him to date. It's only almost 3 months in but this is my best beer of 2015 thus far.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.57/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Popped the cork and a minor pop which at first left me concerned but not for long.

Very much a VERY dark brown pour giving no head at all. However if you pour at a height for carbonation a ring stays, and so does the lace, Giant concentric rings of legs on this... tan chocolate brown bubbles.

What a great bouquet on this! First of malt and then this whiff of fresh cherries! Some earthy/soil like feel components as well. Thick anisette also with molasses. There is also NO HEAT coming off from the high ABV.

Supper pleasant mouthfeel giving way to this incredible almost slightly sour but big cherry darkness with sweet malts, and borderline feel of DARK RUM! Afterfinish had this brown sugar cherry mix. Neat sour tinge consisting of almost like a Kriek. Not even a HINT of an alcohol bomb!

Drinkability is off the charts!

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Photo of Chinookie
4.57/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A complex, unique, and outstanding beer. Thanks to BA for reporting on what's brewing in Denmark.

Appearance is opaque black. A medium head dissipated in thin streams of tan head.

Aroma is sweet alcohol and some roasted malt.

Taste is really where it hits you. Starts sweet and roasty, gives way to spice like sandalwood, and moves into anise, and finishes with a hickory-like smoke flavor. Overall sweet flavor stays with it throughout.

I look forward to aging one as well and trying in several years.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.56/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12.7 oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip style glass. Straight out of the glass the liquid is dark, dark, dark brown. As it collects and rises in the glass it becomes completely black with no highlights, completely blocking all light. The head is a dark kaki color with mostly all small bubbles. A huge head arises off of a pretty hard pour, sticks around for a while and has some pretty good lacing to it. This is an elite looking imperial stout. Best looking I've seen since Darkness.

The second I cracked this one open I could smell it and almost immediately felt guilty because I should probably be sharing it. Huge amounts of roasted barley that produce plenty of dark chocolate and coffee/espresso aromas. Has sort of a charred sweet smell, like a mixture of sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and maybe even some almond extract were left on the stove for too long. Some intense alcohol tickles your nose on each smell in addition to everything.

Taste is unbelievably excellent. Huge grain bill here, roasted, toasted, and some even charred. The grains give off the same chocolate and coffee flavors that they do in the aroma. Plenty of sweetness again, lots of sugary notes with some vanilla flavors come out as if it were bourbon barrel aged, but to my understanding this beer is not. According to the website, dark cassonade is an ingredient so that would make sense about all of the sugary tastes and smells. There are also hints of vinous fruits like cherries or grapes that are subtle and in the back. Really great tasting beer, elite in my opinion.

Mouthfeel is the thing not making this beer elite all around in my opinion, but it's just that, a matter of opinion. Full bodied the whole way, lingering flavor that will could potentially still last when I wake up in the morning. Very smooth, with a great carbonation level a lot of high ABV beers tend to not be carbonated enough sometimes, this beer does just fine in that department. Appropriately touches the sweet and bitter portions of your tongue and even slightly (EXTREMELY slightly) touches the tart taste buds. I know I said the mouthfeel is the one part lacking and all I've done is praise it so far so here it comes. This beer is HOT. It is a very hot beer and comes at you aggressively. So sweet, going to bitter with a hot, dry finish. Makes the drinkability slightly go down. This beer is a sipper, don't try to take anything more, you may regret it. This beer has some pretty harsh reviews and I would think that would be why. You have to take this beer for what it is, a high ABV big stout. A truly nice treat on stout day. Something I've wanted to open for awhile and glad I finally did. Probably the most cellarable beer I've every had the ability to age. Great beer. This particular bottle probably had 3-4 year on it.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.53/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been dying to try this! Finally available at a beer distributor near me!!! Hoping it's worth the $15.99!

A- Poured into my DFH Signature glass... Darker than the fur on an Italian woman's back... a huge deep tan head that fades kinda quickly, but leaves more lacing and cobwebs than any brew I've ever poured! It sits still as an ink well with no noticable carbonation. Sticky like Strawberry Diesel!

S- Coffee and licorice are the first thing that bust you in the face!!! Deep roasted malts... very woody and unctuous... dark cherry fruits, raisins, figs and more over the top burnt malts! Picking up just a bit of alcohol and chocolate. Roasted espresso and good n plenty dominate! Roasted malt sweetness and bitter coffee balance nicely. Not picking up even a trace of hops (pine/citrus/fruit).

T- OMG! Like a glass of dark death... Roasted espresso, licorice twizzlers, and bitter cocoa! HUGE alcohol punch that totally suits this brew! I love high alcohol stouts and barleywines!!! This is fabulous! I understand those of you that don't... but damn this is sharp, bitter, subtly sweet, and delicious!!! Real roasted coffee flavor... not overdone like alot of coffee brews that offer nothing else!

M- If you dig coffee and roastiness in your Stouts... this could be your Holy Grail!!! Thick, sticky, nice alcohol burn, and it makes my tongue say WOW!!! No carbonation... but probably the stickiest brew I've ever had!

O- This is rediculous!!! Not as sweet as some, more real coffee bitterness than others... This quickly has become one of my favorite stouts!!! Worth every penny as far as I'm concerned!!! Wish it was in 12oz bottles! Get it or don't... I do! Forget the price and try this if you can!!!

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Photo of megahurts4
4.52/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Mikkeller Black

Appearance: Dark brown with almost no lacing.

Smell: Alcohol, dark chocolate, slight coffee, and roasted malts.

Taste: Roasted malts, dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, and a subtle hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and heavy.

Wow. This is definitely one of the strongest beers available in flavor and alcohol content (17.5% ABV). Don't mistake strong for bad! This is actually very tasty and good. It starts off sweet and ends in a bitterness.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.51/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one's been in the wine fridge for about 2 years. I drank one fresh and loved it. Let's see what the age has done.
appearance: no head to speak of. More like that balding pattern where there's a rim around the ears. A few rather large bubbles cluster around the sides of my DFH snifter. Then again, it's 17% abv.
smell: Wow. Complex. Let's see. Deep, dark malt. Dark chocolate. Smells like an aged tawny port and a stout mated...i mean, it smells great!
taste: Wow squared. It's like a war between conflicting, equally strong flavors that somehow resolves before destroying your mouth. i mean, it tastes great!
mouthfeel: The body doesn't do the nose and taste justice. It's relatively, surprisingly wimpy.
drinkability: Not really. I scored it a little higher than i would given that it's in the Monster category. Amazing stout but please no more than 1 (or maybe even 1/2) at a time for me.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12.7 ounce bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. 16.5% ABV.

A: Black-dark opaque. Light medium-dark head has good retention and great lacing.

S: Ginger. Roasted malt. Touch of meatiness. Smoky oatmeal. Estery notes that might be alcohol.

T/M: Incredibly thick and very strong. Coffee beans on the fore and endtaste; drily bitter on the aftertaste. Fruits, berries, chalky roasted malts, and a hint of vanilla bean. Loads of flavour, loads of bitterness, loads of booze. This is a superlative imperial stout.

O: Gods, this is an excellent beer. Highly recommended; must have again. I may be a bit biased towards both Mikkeller and imperial stouts, but if either interests you, you must try this. A+.

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Photo of deereless
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Absolutely pitch black, a swirl of the glass shows some serious viscosity, lots of sticky head and apparent lacing - 4.50, S: Thick and intense aromas, the standard coffee and chocolate common in Imperial Stouts but there are also quite a few unknowns which I can assume are the cassonade and the champagne yeast, has a grapefruit or currant-like aroma, hint of wood and licorice - 4.50, T: Intensely boozy, extremely sweet, like raisin juice, the champagne yeast imparts some truly unique flavors, flavors of Bundt cake that has been soaked in rum-raisin ice cream chased with a mocha frappuccino, an intense beer all around -4.75, M: Some serious gooeyness mixed with a smooth creaminess - 4.50, D: Insanely intense and unusual beer, a great sipper and one that I enjoyed immensely - 4.50

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Black (黑) from Mikkeller ApS
3.72 out of 5 based on 563 ratings.
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