Black (黑) | Mikkeller ApS

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568 Ratings
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Black (黑)Black (黑)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS
Denmark
mikkeller.dk

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
568
Reviews:
264
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
18.01%
 
 
Wants:
59
Gots:
149
For Trade:
7
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Ratings: 568 |  Reviews: 264
Photo of ImperialStoat
1/5  rDev -73.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

2009 Bottle.

THIS IS FUCKING TERRIBLE.

Appearance: Muddy red-black with a few feeble bubbles, no head. It looks like Ebola-ridden blood.

Smell: Have you ever washed your hands with hospital soap? Imagine you did and then an old man spat Nescafe onto them. Alcohol and cheap coffee. That's it.

Taste: Syrupy, sickly-sweet ethanol. No distinguishing characteristics of "prunes" or "baker's chocolate" or "vanilla ice-cream" or anything like that - just SUGAR and ALCOHOL and SADNESS. Oh, and don't expect any carbonation to come along and wash the awful taste from your tongue because there is none. That's right: even CO2 has ethical problems with being attached to this beer.

Overall: When Jesus died for our sins, he was specifically talking about Mikkel's production of this beer.

ATROCIOUS.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
1/5  rDev -73.1%

Photo of largadeer
1.18/5  rDev -68.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I'm not going to bother with a detailed review of this stuff, because the agony of drinking it isn't something that can be properly written down; it would be like trying to describe what it feels like to have your teeth pulled out with a rusty crowbar.

The appearance is about what you'd expect from a beer called Black: it pours like crude oil with no real head to speak of, just a few wispy bubbles. The smell is acrid as hell, utterly burnt and and boozy with an intense sugary sweetness beneath it all. The taste can only be described as sugar-coated car tire. The sheer intensity and bitterness of the aftertaste is unlike anything I've had before. The bitterness takes a moment to kick in after swallowing, and up until that point I thought the beer really wasn't that bad - I was proven wrong. It makes the hoppiest of Double IPAs taste bland and flavorless in comparison. It makes chewing on hop pellets seem pleasant. The finish is unrelenting in its bitterness, so deep and acrid that I began dreading the next sip, and yet some strange masochistic desire kept me coming back until I finished my glass. I'm just glad I had someone to share the pain with, because there's no fucking way I could drink an entire bottle of this.

On an ending note, I have no idea how to rate this. Although it doesn't necessarily contain any qualities that I would describe as pleasant or enjoyable, it is certainly a unique experience. Recommended for masochists and the self-loathing.

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Photo of DefenCorps
1.33/5  rDev -64.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

On tap at Max's today. Received thanks to a bartender error.

As before, this is jet black with a dense, dark brown head with great retention and lacing. In fact, 3 hours later, there was still a thin ring present (and about 5 of my 6oz).

The nose is horrific but not as bad as the bottle I had. Merely a combination of sickeningly sweet sugar syrup and a mild burning rubber character. Some roast is noticeable as well, but this is all sweet. The palate opens with a disgusting sweetness followed by a trainwreck of a burning rubber character, just awful with some alcohol and some licorice. Sweet in flavor and drying and hot on the finish, this is undrinkable. Just putrid and vile.

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Photo of nhindian
1.39/5  rDev -62.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Blind Beer #8 from Khazadum, with the text: "You may want to be careful with this one."

Poured into a large snifter from a 375ml bottle; corked, capped, and foiled. This cork was a bitch to get out as well.

A - Oh my God does this beer re-define darkness or what. I can't say I've seen anything pour as dark as this beer to date, and even the thinnest parts of my snifter are still obscured by this liquid. Absolutely no head at all and no lacing, but there are some serious alcohol legs on this. I was actually a bit astonished when this poured out, since it was a corked and caged green bottle... Seriously scary looking. (3.5/5)

S - I have seen hell, and now I smell it. This is a frightening aroma, no doubt about it. If I could imagine what the inside of a witch's cauldron brewing the potion of immediate death, this is it. It's an insane melange of intense soy sauce, chocolate, burnt plastic, slight smoke, anise and lots and lots of booze mixed with fruits. I am honestly afraid to put this anywhere near my mouth. (2/5)

T - No. NO. I take a small sip and almost immediately gag. This is liquid fire and brimstone and sulphur and if anyone wondered why the world didn't end this weekend, it's because the Rapture was contained in this Pandora's bottle. It's a ton of soy mixed with teriyaki and immediately my mouth repels it. I seriously can't believe how awful this is. Lots of alcohol. I don't want to taste this again to get more accurate descriptors, sorry. After some persuasion, I try again. This beer is insanely cloyingly sweet and makes Dark Lord look like a baby. If you thought Avery Mephistopheles had a ton of black licorice, the anise in this is remarkable. (-5000/5)

M - Unfortunately even the tiniest sip of this invades the palate and coats the mouth in it's vileness. It's flat, thick, lifeless, and I can feel it sucking my youth and vitality through my gums and tongue. (0/5)

D/O - Is this joke? The fact that whoever made this took the time to cork it with an impenetrable rubber cork, a cage, and cover it in foil makes me think that was the most effort they put into making this beer. But if I were them, I'd make it as hard and disheartening to open this beer, too. (LOL/5)

If I hadn't received Sam Adams Triple Bock in a trade literally today, I would guess that, but failing that I can't say I've heard of anything approaching this train wreck.

The reveal: Mikkeller Black (黑). I honestly was thinking Mikeller after seeing the blackness come from that kind of packaging, but dismissed it immediately after tasting it. I am reading the other reviews for it and they must be joking. I'm surprised this beer is only 17.50% ABV. There is no way this beer could ever be considered an A+ in some people's eyes. There's no way. I see you left the price tag on this, and I honestly feel sorry that you paid $16.50 for this.

I am hoping I was wrong in my last review that Envious was a killshot because after this, I feel like I just got shot thrice.

This beer gets the honor of being only the second or third beer I've ever drainpoured.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
1.42/5  rDev -61.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass. Been sitting on this one for awhile. I'm not sure if there's even been a second batch, but this one is definitely from the first if so.

Pours pitch black, like motor oil, with absolutely zero carbonation. Nada. Very thick and viscous, to the point of not even looking like beer anymore.

Nose is crazy solvent like, paint thinner with a touch of old coffee grinds and sickly antifreeze sweetness. Not at all pleasant to me.

Taste is really not any better. Huge boozy solvent alcohol, ashy burnt bitterness, sweetness that's beyond cloying and tastes like pure high fructose corn syrup - it's like I filled a glass halfway with corn syrup, halfway from there with paint thinner, and then stirred in the rest with somebody's grandmother's ashes. I couldn't even bring myself to swallow. I spit back into the glass several times as I walked to the sink to drain-pour this monstrosity.

Mouthfeel is slick, no carbonation, literally like drinking something with texture halfway between motor oil and syrup.

Drinkability is nil. I couldn't get one sip down. Mark this one off as a fail.

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Photo of EB1
1.5/5  rDev -59.7%

Photo of Phyl21ca
1.54/5  rDev -58.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Bottle (9 months old): Poured a pitch black color with a small foamy head with little carbonation and minimal retention. Aroma consists purely of alcohol ester with some grossly sweet notes also discernable. Taste is dominated by bad alcohol ester and is grossly sweet in a much exaggerated way. This beer has totally no balance and I cannot even envision this improving with cellaring. We split a 375ml three ways and not one of us could actually finish the sample. I am all for extreme beer but some type of balance must be maintained which is definitely not the case here.

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Photo of JamisonM
1.67/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: almost no carbonation no head and no pop when I opened the bottle black as night

S: Alcohol all over the place some sort of off smell... what kind of yeast did they use in this? there is also a roasted note.

T: Alcohol Alcohol Alcohol almost no carbonation some sort of champagne note that seems like an off note in a stout with some roasted notes

M: thick with no carbonation...

D: almost none!

Overall: this beer was a mess and I feel ripped off paying 18 bucks for this beer do not buy it.

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Photo of sharkboy
1.75/5  rDev -53%

Photo of bum732
1.77/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Got this bottle from a buddy of mine.

S: Stale coffee, alcohol, lots of alcohol, very dark chocolate.

L: Thick black, no head, some bubbles on the perimeter of the glass.

T: Alcohol sweetened coffee malt, some chocolate, no hops or bitterness. Some alcoholic dryness.

M: Thick, syrupy, no carbonation whatsoever, very alcoholic.

A mess, just a terrible beer. Drainpour.

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Photo of Parrotshake
1.98/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

375ml bottle that's prompted a number of visitors to ask "what's with that Japanese shit in your pantry?". Pours... well, black. Black as the blackest thing you can think of. No head, just a couple of tiny colonies of brown bubbles floating about. Motor oil in a glass.

On the nose... mostly lawnmower fuel. Burnt sugar cane, hints of raisins and dark fruits. Smells face-meltingly sweet. I think I'm in trouble.

Taste-wise, I can't make sense of it at all.
Port again, predominantly, but with twice the ABV - like someone's poured a little rubbing alcohol or some of my Uncle's horrible home-made Grappa into it. All your typical port notes are in there - raisin, rum, prunes, maybe a little tobacco - but just completely swept away by stinging alcohol and over-the-top sweetness. Dark chocolate in the aftertaste, which is the most stout-esque thing about it, IMO.

Relatively thick, oily mouthfeel with zero carbonation. Not unlike drinking a commensurate amount of molasses. Burns a little going down.

What the hell was that?

* edit: I can't convince anyone to help me finish this off, so this will be my first ever drain pour. Not the skunked 1.5L bottle of Grolsch someone gave me recently, not even my friend's Dad's 2% ABV shampoo-tasting homebrew that he insists on giving me a dozen of every Christmas.
If you have a bottle of this, don't open it for another 7 or so years, and if you happen to, forgive Mikkeller because they do some otherwise fine work :P

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Photo of tectactoe
2/5  rDev -46.2%

Photo of CityofBals
2/5  rDev -46.2%

Photo of emdawg
2/5  rDev -46.2%

Photo of champ103
2.07/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: Pours a viscous and opaque black color. At first a small bubbly tan head forms and quickly recedes to nothing. No lace.
S: Smoky and woody malt. More burnt malt than roasted. Some chocolate and molasses. Some raisin. Tons of alcohol.
T: Sickly sweet malt that tastes of molasses, raisin, and chocolate powder. The chocolate is very bitter. Burnt dry malt again. Charcoal and ash. The alcohol is overwhelming.
M/D: A full body that has a syrupy and sticky consistency. Almost no carbonation, and very dry. Hot alcohol all the way down. I am going to have to force myself to finish this.

This is a step up from the Barleywine. Though that is saying very little. I did not enjoy this.

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Photo of csmiley
2.1/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A - It's black. No light is able to penetrate the egdes of my glass. The high abv keeps any real head from forming. There are a couple patches of foam here and there but that's it. No lacing to speak of. Pretty much what I expected.

S - Big dark fruit aromas permeate the entire aroma. Cherry, plum, raisin, they are all there. Some chocolate creeps in toward the end. Of course, at 17.5%, alcohol dominates. Period.

T - Taste is actually pretty bad. Think fingernail polish remover mixed with rubbing alcohol and chocolate covered cherries. This is just not for me. On the plus side, it does have a sherry kind of flavor going on. That doesn't even come close to pulling the flavor out of the gutter though.

M - Full bodied with little to no carbonation. Finish is hot and sweet with the dark fruit that seems to come and go. If your wondering, it's HOT.

D - Drinkability is non-existant. It's just too harsh and hot to enjoy on any level. Don't bother letting it warm because it is just as bad at room temperature. I know Mikkeller has produced some fine brews but this one should have gotten the axe before it was even released. Avoid.

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Photo of TheNakedStiletto
2.2/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Photo of jmarsh123
2.23/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours jet black with decent lacing. Smells like chocolate and licorice. Taste is way way way too sweet. I couldn't take more than a few sips of this. Complete malt bomb that was almost undrinkable. Drain pour. If you want something this strong, seek out some barrel aged Avery. It's much better.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.26/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Beer on tap at a local beer bar. Part of a special tap line-up for New Years Day. Heard this was going to be there and excitedly ordered an 8 ounce pour. I can describe this beer in two words, TOO MUCH!

Beer served in a belcher. Beer is black (as the name would imply). Really black, forms a brown head (dark brown) of medium and small bubbles. Head falls away leaving a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is impossible to tell but it can't prop the head up, must be low.

There are only two things I can find in the nose of this beer, 1. alcohol makes up about 90% of the aroma, the remaining 10% is roast, coffee and burnt malt.

This beer is dry, but before it dries your mouth out it punches you in the face with a biting alcohol and an avalanche of coffee in the back of the mouth. As I drink it I begin to dread every sip as it gets progressive more aggressive the more I drink. I begin to get nervous that I won't be able to finish my mere 8 ounces, but I prevail, barely. Time for water, food and then after my tongue recovers and can taste again, another beer.

I would cautiously try this beer again under the right circumstances, maybe in the bottle that has been aged. This is an odd beer, the reviews swing between super high and super low, kind of like Sam Adams Triple Bock or Samichlaus. Since this is the case I would hazard a second sampling.

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Photo of Chitex78
2.29/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

This beer is undrinkable. Smell is grain alcohol. Taste is grain alcohol. The mouthfeel is decent, but not exactly what you would expect from a stout with an ABV this high. Unless this is a gimmick, shame on you Mikkeller.

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Photo of goethean
2.35/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was really looking forward to this beer, and was very disappointed. Appearance was fine, aroma was interesting, taste...not good. Molasses and cheap whiskey are the comparisons that spring to mind. Honestly, if I had brewed this beer, I'm not sure if I would consider it drinkable. ..and I've made some very high gravity, very dark imperial stouts.

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Photo of mtomlins
2.36/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Bloody hell, Mikkeller Black Death would be a more appropriate name!! I knew this was a beast of beer going in, but Black has dethroned Voodoo Maple Bacon Doughnut as the worst beer I have ever had. I was impressed with the monster, black head and incredible lacing, and the nose was not offensive, but it simply tastes bad! It's a sucker punch in a bottle with ash tray and 'concentrated soy sauce that was then further reduced and finally left to spoil at room temperature with raw chicken' flavors dominating everything, even the hope that I will ever be able to taste again.

The best use of these extra bottle we all bought for cellaring with dreams of Black evolving into something delicious are better used as a boat anchor…or as a club to flog oneself about the head and shoulders for being so stupid as to buy multiples of this swill.

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Photo of bowersdm
2.36/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

12.7oz bottle shared with family at my dad's 50th b-day party. the portion that I drank was poured into a pint glass.

A - black with barely any semblance of a head....'twas more like a halo of carbonation, and it wasn't even enough to determine its color.

S - alcohol, ethyl alcohol, ethanol, the product of an acid-catalyzed hydration of ethene. holy hell, this smells boozy. I don't know when this beer was originally released but on June 23rd 2009, it was still the booziest beer I've ever had (save for maybe, maybe, DFH WWS). vanilla, cocoa, roasted barley.

T - milk chocolate, coffee/espresso, enormous alcohol presence that is present throughout but fully comes to fruition in the end. oak, vanilla, tobacco, char/smoke, molasses. it was a very good and complex Imperial Stout, but everything got lost in the excessive alcohol.

M - it burns. it was very lightly carbonated...if at all?

D - this was like drinking bourbon, or vodka mixed with an RIS. very, very, very low drinkability for me.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.37/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Best by 11/02/26, 15.1% ABV.

Pours a pitch fuckin' black color. The head is a finger high (note that I only poured about 4 oz. in my glass to judge) and tan in shade. Retention is frankly excellent - these monster stouts usually have great head duration - and plenty of lacing sticks to the glass. However, due to the oiliness of the body, the lacing goes away after a while.

Wow, this is an incredibly intense aroma. The first element picked up are some dark fruits, followed by a deep, espresso-like roast. Slowly but surely, peat smoke builds up, almost resembling something like Lagavulin at times. There are also elements of umami, and even soy sauce. This one is definitely extreme, at the cost of seeming slightly scattershot. For better or worse, this is the big, roasty, smoky, pitch-black, European-style imperial stout turned up to 11. But mostly better.

Hoo lordy. The first half of the flavor profile is great - it opens up with peat smoke, dark chocolate, roast, and some nice dark fruits. Unfortunately for this beer, there's a second half. The peat smoke turns into an intense, overpowering bitterness. Notes of charcoal, tree bark, copper pennies, the Springfield tire fire, crappy black coffee, and even battery acid finish this off in a horrible manner. I think the champagne yeast really fucked this beer up. The alcohol presence - compared to what I feared - is there on the back end, but honestly kind of pleasant. To be fair, having my tongue ripped out by weasels would also be pleasant compared to the monster bitterness assaulting my palate. There is almost nothing about the flavor profile that works, really.

The texture itself is thick and oily as one would expect. But god DAMN, is it bitter. And the finish lasts forever - I'll probably be tasting this 30 minutes after the last sip. I will say: drinkability is staggeringly good for a 15% monster; Mikkeller know how to make a gigantic stout go down easily. Of course, that's thanks to the horrid bitterness, but who's keeping score? Carbonation is appropriately low.

Woof. This is the classic example of "some is good...so even more must be better!" syndrome - it's the Dave's Gourmet Insanity sauce of beer. But unlike Dave's Gourmet Insanity sauce, this fucking sucks. Okay, the look and the aroma certainly don't fucking suck, they're both quite good. But beer isn't just for smelling and looking at, it's also for shoving down your gullet, and the latter is where this fails miserably. I suggest everyone try this beer at least once in their lives, they must know the same pain I'm feeling. And also because it's charming in its terrible-ness. No really, it is. Maybe it's my reticence to drainpour a +$15 bottle, but I can't hate this monstrosity. I'll never have this again, but I still can't hate it either way.

2.37/5: The Tommy Wiseau of imperial stouts

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Black (黑) from Mikkeller ApS
3.72 out of 5 based on 568 ratings.
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