Black (黑) | Mikkeller ApS

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84
good
564 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:
564
Reviews:
263
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
18.01%
 
 
Wants:
60
Gots:
151
For Trade:
7
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 564 |  Reviews: 263
Photo of TheWolf
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice layered taste. But boozy and pungent.

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Photo of Dzu
4.44/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap.
L: Black color with a weak biege foam head.
S: Cacao beans, chocolate.
T: Milk , chocolate, coffee.
F: Very tight body and soft carbonation.
O: Very impressive.

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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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Photo of Bandi
3.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of smithj4
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of StJamesGate
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rock solid lumpy sepia over violet black. 4.25
Dark miso, oyster, and wet paint. 4
Fish sauce, dark cocoa, muscovado, smoke, booze, roasty meat crust, and long bitter charcoal linger. 4.25
Full, chewy, round. 4

Hot from start to finish and chalky to boot. There’s sweet in the middle in gulps but just too bitter. A bit of hard work. 4

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Photo of redfox405
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of alcohline_trip
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

Photo of BrutisDestructus
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.16/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Small doses only.

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Photo of gobuccos
4.29/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of shelby415
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kylehay2004
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Coronaeus
3.79/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of artoolemomo
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of madelf66
4.46/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of scottsoileau
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black, living up to its name, with a fine two finger light brown head with great retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt with light char, coffee, semi-sweet chocolate, molasses and an odd bit of skunk, particularly on opening the bottle. Boozy and actually stung my eyes when I got close to the snifter. Flavor starts with dark malt, cherry and liquid smoke, then develops chocolate, molasses and espresso coffee; finally finishing off into a very unusual, intensely bitter and charry finish that must be related to the charred malt, but tastes almost like hot peppers. Lingering smokey bitterness. Medium to heavy bodied; thick creamy body and mouth feel. A very distinctly flavored, smoky stout with on odd, almost artificial terpene flavor in the middle. Fortunately the charred malt and smokiness and whatever gives this its unusual bitterness finishes things off, leaving a smoky, burnt chocolate, but pleasant aftertaste. Alcohol is quite warming, but unlike the aroma, is well covered by the rather intense flavors. This is unlike any stout I've tried, closest to an imperial version of a smoked stout, but with a flavor profile that is distinct. Very interesting but a bit challenging to sip slowly. There are moments in the taste that this seems to be going of the tracks, but the finish and aftertaste are rewarding. Like a really scary roller coaster ride that you think might be broken and dangerous, but you want to get right back on. Very different and interesting. I will definitely try this again.

 1,580 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Listed on the "1001", the alcohol content caused me to lose my notes.

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Photo of xtonytx
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of WorldWideStout
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Alright had to review this one after a long hiatus. I purchased this bad boy on 11/21/2009. I'm guessing this was brewed at least seven years ago. When I read reviews back in the day people talked about this blowing out their palate with its smokiness, so I thought I'd age it. I then had many failed experiments with aging stouts, which I don't do much of any more, so I avoided this one, fearing it had turned long ago.

A: Really black.

S: I get campfire smoke, coffee, dark fruit, and I feel like whiskey even though I don't believe this is barrel-aged.

T: Chocolate and roast greet me at the start. Dark fruit in the middle, and a very slight heat from the high alcohol and campfire smoke at the end.

M: On the thin side. I wouldn't want this to be too thick, but I think it could still benefit from a slightly heavier mouthfeel.

O: This beer was tasty, and after seven years it is not abrasive at all. I'm really thrilled. I think the fact that it has one of them fancy corks and the high alcohol was what allowed this beer to mature gracefully rather than becoming an oxidized mess like many stouts are after a mere two years.

 1,141 characters

Photo of bnes09
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black as fresh tar and viscous as hell. One of thickest, creamiest, toffee colored heads I have ever seen. Leaves a dense, bubbly, blanketing lacing all over the glass.

Aroma of peat, burnt rubber, tobacco, earth, charred vegetables and burnt sugar. Theme is burnt.

Malt character of toast burnt to a crisp, sweet caramelized brown sugar, charcoal and smoked tobacco. Bitter earthy hop and just enough to balance. I think this beer actually is fairly well balanced. However, due to the intensity of the flavors, it seems otherwise.

Dense, sticky syrupy body finishes with a mildly dry tone. Low carbonation.

 619 characters

Photo of superspak
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle into snifter, best before 10/22/2025. Pours pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense dark brown head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Incredible appearance. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, espresso, molasses, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, raisin, prune, cherry, smoke, char, leather, tobacco, wood, and roast/char earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted malt, brown sugar, and fruity yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of huge dark chocolate, cocoa, espresso, molasses, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, raisin, prune, cherry, smoke, char, leather, tobacco, wood, and roast/char earthiness. Large amount of pine/wood char bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, espresso, molasses, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, dark fruit, smoke, char, leather, tobacco, wood, and roast/char earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of roasted malt, brown sugar, and fruity yeast flavors; with a solid roasted bitter/sweet balance; and some astringent roasted character lingering after the finish, but not overbearing. Light-moderate increasing dryness due to strong bitterness as well. Light carbonation and full body; with a very creamy/slick and sticky/resinous/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warmth lingering after the finish for a while. Overall this is a very nice huge imperial stout. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of roasted malt, brown sugar, and fruity yeast flavors; and fairly smooth to sip on for the enormous ABV. This was quite strong on bitterness, but some good age should tone down the bitter hop/char character to more sensible levels. This was still very enjoyable, but a very slow sipper.

 1,934 characters

Photo of BeerOps
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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Black (黑) from Mikkeller ApS
3.72 out of 5 based on 564 ratings.
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