Black (黑) | Mikkeller ApS

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Black (黑)Black (黑)
BA SCORE
3.8/5
Very Good
575 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#16,047
Reviews:
268
Ratings:
575
pDev:
17.63%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
58
Gots:
151
Trade:
7
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 575 |  Reviews: 268
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4/5  rDev +5.3%

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3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

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4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of prototypic
2.6/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Mikkeller Black pours an onyx color. It’s pitch black. Definitely lives up to its name. No light cuts through at all. It’s not too surprising that it has no head. There are a few bubbles, but they don’t amount to anything. I’m guessing the alcohol’s just too high for that. Obviously, there isn’t much going on in the lace department. Nada. Not bad. Not great.

The nose is a bit below average. The alcohol smell is extremely strong up front. That resonates throughout. It’s boozy. No doubt about it. It’s followed by a decent mix of chocolate and roasted malts. Tough to tell which is stronger. There might even be a slight, sweet milk chocolate presence. Smells charred or burnt on the tail. Might be some espresso or strong roasted coffee. Did I mention it’s boozy? Eh. Not very good.

The flavor’s about on par with the nose. It’s not all that great. Bubbles are noticeably absent right out of the gate. That’s disappointing. There are some decent roasted and chocolate malt flavors. The chocolate tastes like a mix of bittersweet dark chocolate and milk chocolate. Roasted coffee or espresso is definitely strong. It adds a very burnt/charred flavor. It’s a bit much. Alcohol is very, very strong. Definitely warm and boozy. That’s no big shock given that it’s 17.5% Finshes boozy and chocolaty with a very strong burnt flavor.

The body seems medium. It honestly feels a little thin, especially with its size. The lack of bubbles is disappointing. It’s not easy drinking by any stretch. It’s big, boozy, and not very enjoyable. Finishing an entire bottle of this would be work. Glad I’m sharing the bottle.

Black is an interesting beer. I’ve heard horror stories about this beer. Honestly, I don’t think it’s quite as bad as I’d heard. Perhaps it’s aged with a little grace. This bottle is over 5 years old. A couple of tweaks would easily improve it – less alcohol and more bubbles. That’d put it on the right track. Eh. It’s sort of legendary in a way…I guess it’s worth a try.

 2,045 characters

Photo of Bonko_the_sane
4.75/5  rDev +25%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

not sure the vintage here, but my bottle reads 18.1% abv! WOW! the pour on this isn't nearly as dense as expected for a beer of this size. it is indeed black, coffee colored really, with a surprisingly creamy and rich dark tan head with fabulous retention. looks much more appetizing than expected. the nose is punishingly alcoholic. im smelling this while my girlfriend cleans with rubbing alcohol, and the two aromas are hard to distinguish from one another. there is some coffee tones, and of course burnt malt, but I get sharpie marker more than anything else, it almost stings, but in a good way I think. the flavor is sharp, very boozy, and actually more nuanced that youd imagine. its got some smoke happening, and a great espresso bitterness in the finish. its refined like a dessert wine, calculated, not exactly the mess I anticipated. the bitterness and booze burn lasts well after the finish, effectively rendering my palate useless for an hour or more (fortunately I just went on to drink modelo at an early cinco de mayo party). the buzz from this beer is almost instant. the mouthfeel isnt really thick at all, but it is full bodied of course, and quite well carbonated. it actually is almost creamy when you hold it in your mouth. even if the point of this beer was to make the biggest stout possible in terms of alcohol content and not much else, I think its turned into something quite respectable. way over priced, very hard to drink, but a worthwhile experience at the extreme end of the beer spectrum. always good to get out there on a limb once in awhile...

edit: just had a batch 1 cork and cage edition from back in the day, and while a little oxidized, the cellaring transformed this beer entirely. its thick now, with heavy tobacco, licorice, and sweet cherry throughout, with a little less of that permanent marker thing. like a black barleywine more than a stout now, its really huge still, but less offensively boozy and super smooth all the way. insane how much this has evolved, pretty incredible beer with a little time to mellow, almost takes on a barrel aged vibe. wow.

 2,104 characters

Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

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4.75/5  rDev +25%

Photo of jplopez21
4/5  rDev +5.3%

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4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of krl2112
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of Paonz
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

2012 Vintage

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some gentle visible carbonation along the surface. The beer has a two finger tall dark mocha head that slowly reduces to a thick film evenly covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of cognac over some light to moderate aromas of roasted malts and just a hint of chocolate. There is a fair amount of alcohol present in the nose.

T: Similar to the smell, this beer has a light to moderate presence of roasted malts upfront with some light notes of dark chocolate and tobacco. In addition, there is a fairly strong flavor of cognac and moderate to heavy amounts of alcohol present. Light to moderate amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Thick with some moderate to heavy alcohol warmth in the finish.

O: This beer is definitely one to be slowly sipped as there are some intense flavors and heavy amounts of alcohol (which are not very well hidden) present. As the beer warms, it becomes a bit easier to drink but this is really a beer meant for sharing. I would consider a serving size similar to cognac rather than a traditional beer pour.

 1,273 characters

Photo of CaptainNomihodai
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of JoninVT
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of IanSpindler
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of sennin
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass on February 22, 2013.

A: Pitch black with heavy, sticky lacing. Very little in the way of head but that is to be expected with this type of a high ABV beer (this one being 17.5% ABV).

S: Reminds me of Founder’s Breakfast Stout, but with a much heavier emphasis on chocolate and coffee notes. In fact, this is one of the most chocolate scented stouts that I have ever placed my nose in. But you also get an incredibly strong scent of rum soaked coffee beans as you continue to smell it. Very intense and dark smelling, this seems like it will be a very heavy brew. Even still, I do love the scent and it is very unique and enticing to me.

T: Wow the alcohol is very, very heavy in this beer. First sip is a blast of what I can only describe as rum spiked coffee- heavy emphasis on the rum. After the swallow, I get a very strong taste of bittersweet chocolate and strong espresso. Bitter coffee beans are the lingering taste that remains as I take a break in between sips. Wow, this is definitely one the strongest and most bitter imperial stouts I have ever had. Tastes kind of like a tiramisu with way too much rum added to the recipe. But I can’t say that it’s bad, it’s definitely something you have to get used to though. As I continue to drink I find myself getting more and more used to its taste. Its enjoyable and unique, but the alcohol is a little too high in the mix for my tastes.

M: Smooth and silky, but seems to dry the tongue out as the drinking session goes on. It has a caramel like texture though and is very creamy and rather pleasant. The alcohol is very warming as well and the whole brew develops very well as you let it sit in your mouth and taste its subtle nuances. This is a beer for those very, very cold Michigan nights and I like it very much for that.

Overall, this beer is quite a treat. It is essentially a tiramisu in beer form, but it may have just a little too much alcohol, something that does interfere with being able to truly appreciate and taste this brew. It’s a slow drinker, open it only when you have time to really sit back and enjoy it. It takes awhile for this beer’s subtle nuance to pull through, but once it does, you will be rewarded with an incredibly complex flavor profile, one that is very unique and yet very strong, even for an imperial stout.

 2,347 characters

Photo of cyrushire
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of bluesplit63
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of Resuin
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into a Chimay Chalice. Purchased about a year ago but no dates on the bottle.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown/black with minimal tan head. Looks thick.

Smell: Raisins, figs, a bit of plastic and some (plenty of) alcohol. Some chocolate and coffee definitely in there too.

Taste: Malts and coffee start this one off. Some chocolate in there. Finishes crisp with alcohol - the alcohol isn't hidden but doesn't kill this beer in my opinion.

Mouth-feel: The carbonation is definitely there which is nice for a beer of this strength. Not overly thick.

Overall: The alcohol in this beer definitely has a strong presence within this beer, but it also has some other interesting qualities. The coffee and sweetness definitely comes through to make this is a nice capital "I" Imperial stout.

 815 characters

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4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Ryanm1
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 15cl glass from tap at the Beer Temple in Amsterdam. Poured pitch black. Slight brown lacing. The nose is very heavy with an alcohol smell due to the overwhelming alcohol content. Sweetness, fig smell. Taste is that of malt, chocolate, maybe coffee and dark fruit. Highly potent!

 291 characters

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3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

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4/5  rDev +5.3%

Black (黑) from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 575 ratings
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