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Black (黑) | Mikkeller ApS

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BA SCORE
84
good
260 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
260
Ratings:
551
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
26.34%
 
 
Wants:
61
Gots:
151
For Trade:
7
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Reviews: 260 | Ratings: 551
Photo of TerryW
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Like tar with a good looking firm head. Nice lace. Nifty looking beer.

Lots of dark fruit in the nose and to taste. Aroma of charcoal. Quite sweet up front, but not cloying. Drying and a touch chalky. Lingering grapefruit rind and tar finish. 17%? Ca't tell to taste as the alcohol is well integrated. But you'll have a pretty clear sense it's 17% about half way through.

Well made, not quite to my taste. A little extreme in character.

 438 characters

Photo of peensteen
3.16/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Jet black, wuite a big tan head with lots of lace. Smell burnt/charred malt, well roasted, soy sauce and lots of alcohol soaked dark fruits. Taste is a mix of dark fruit and burnt-charred malt, tobacco flavours, vinous fruit and alcohol, with a mild bitter finish. Lightly carbonated, medium-full body, sticky and clingy parts. This is all over the place, its just too much of everything to be taken seriously or even be considered all that drinkable, 3-4 oz. of this is plenty, a far cry from the excellent Cognac BA variant of this beer.

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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 BGDrock
4.21/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: nearly pitch black; dense, milk chocolate head, sticky and leaving big trails of lace - like coffee crema

Aroma: smoke, spices - clove, all spice; perfumy and floral; completely addictive, can't place the scents, and heady with alcohol

Taste & Mouthfeel: big, intense dark roasted malts, tasting of burnt coffee, and oily in the same way; bitter finish imprints itself on the palate and doesn't let go, a combination of the malts and some straightforward hops; a touch of toffee sweetness, some raisin and prunes too; kind of a cola flavour in the sugar, it's deeper than normal; towards the end getting a sense of lactose, creamy mouthfeel, and more mellow coffee notes; alcohol well disguised for 17%

Overall: in the end, becomes a velvety, bitter, coffee dessert, intensity evened out, everything blending beautifully - but the first half of the bottle is a kick in the face

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

Woah, big thick creamy head. This beer is huge, extreme bitterness, strong roasted malts, some chocolate but then you are assaulted by the bitterness.

Despite the extremes, I actually enjoy this one.

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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 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 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 spinrsx
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

375ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $9.50 or so

Appearance - Dark brown colour with a huge size frothy/fizzy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, smoke, dark fruits

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and coffee. There is also some vanilla, a ton of burnt/charred notes, and a smokiness.

Overall - I like the smell, I like the taste.. but the aftertaste of lingering char/ash/smoke ruins it for me. Certainly an extreme beer that was neat to try, and I have 2 more to age.. but I won't buy any more.

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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 Chico1985
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This intimidating beast of a beer has been sitting in the back of my fridge for a while now. A cold and rainy autumn eve with nothing to do seems like the perfect time to crack it. This reads 16.8% for the ABV, I believe it's 6-9 months old.

A - Color is ...yeah. Thick pour. Big ol cascading brown head. Impressive retention, some lace left.

S - Scary, somewhat offensive, yet plain. Very dense unsweetened chocolate, roast, brown sugar, fusel alcohol, licorice, playdoh.

T - Absurd combo of chardonnay sweetness, burnt sugar, licorice, raisin, vodka, tobacco, ash, burnt coffee grounds. Puts the nose to shame (or the other way around?). The initial harshness of the booze is eventually overtaken by the calamity of flavors, but this is still undeniably hot hot hot. As it warms some chocolate is noticeable.

M - Feel is big but not as sludgy as one might assume, carbonation is also surprisingly ample. Alcohol is in your face in a cheap liquor kind of way. Pretty much every sip made me shudder.

O - Maybe it's the alcohol creeping up, but about halfway through/as it warms this becomes somewhat tolerable. Between the alcohol and the all over the place wtf flavors this beer is something else. Started off awful, somehow wound up making sense in some novel way. That being said: laying down my other bottle for a loooong time, and then splitting it at least 3 ways.

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Photo of valianes
3.2/5  rDev -14%

So... confused. On the front, its incredible. Rich chocolate, smoke and deep fruit starts this off. Lots of alcohol. Wonderful start. Aftertaste is reminiscent of chewing a pack of stale cigarettes. Weirdest and most unfortunate contrast of flavours. Wish this was a front and less back. Could have been wonderful.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%

-Bottle- Pours a thick, crude oil black. No head. Makes me nearly sure this one is flat. I'm guessing this beer is easily over 2.5 years old. Aroma is incredibly concentrated. Dark fruits, some soy sauce. Fudge and roast and alcohol. The flavor almost tastes like barbecue sauce. Smoky, and incredibly sweet. Intense port qualities. Raisins and dried dark fruits. A little bit of soy sauce. I keep coming back to the BBQ sauce flavor. It doesn't help that this beer (like Black Hole, which I had before this) is completely flat. Not sure if this is intended or not (doubt it) but this is a bit obnoxious. The lack of carbonation allows the beer's horrifyingly giant body to just press down on the tongue. I gave Black Hole a slog pass for its flatness but I'm not going to give this one the same treatment. It feels like I'm drinking brownie batter. This brew has some very impressive traits but they actually become unappealing with no bubbles to help them out.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%

Shared by Isaac today, thanks man.

Pours a deep, dark opaque black, with a small oily film on top, barely qualifies as a head, with no lacing.

Smells like dark bitter roasted malt, intense booze, prunes, raisins, cherries, and chocolate.

This one is incredibly intense in flavor and alcohol. The alcohol is NOT hidden, at all, but it's honestly OK- the booze integrates well, and leaves a searing bitterness on the end of each sip. A good amount chocolate, a ton of roasted malt flavor, and a solid amount of pruny dark fruit flavor. This one is a flavor bomb, amplified times a million.

This one has a medium body, not quite as big and thick as I would've expected, but still solid enough to back everything up. A very, very slow sipper, due to the intense flavors, with practically no carbonation.

An excellent, excellent stout, extreme as all hell, but it works.

 870 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12.7 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter
16.8% abv

A - Well, I'd be a fool to call this beer anything except black. It is topped with several inches of mud colored, sticky head.

S - The smell has elements of dark chocolate, anise, alcohol, and floral hops.

T - I taste roasted malt at first. I get kind of a burnt flavor. The alcohol is present and makes itself known. It has a bitter finish that lingers.

M - This beer is a straight 30w. I love thick beers.

O - This beer is exactly how I like my women: dark, thick, and full of alcohol, nom, nom, nom! But really this beer is not that great. It would be great on a cold day to warm you up. The mouthfeel and warming sensation are it's best attributes. I guess I was expecting a sweeter, maltier beer given the abv. The bitterness was not an attribute to my palate.

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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 ONovoMexicano
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle picked up at Jubilation in Albuquerque, New Mexico in February of 2014. New Mexico no longer gets Mikkeller distribution, so this beer is a number of years old, but I couldn't find the date.

I was pretty happy with the appearance until some slimy residue sneaked out at the end. It's got a pitch-black appearance with an oil-like quality and a two finger thick, tan khaki-colored head. It's a good looking beer, but I'm a bit hung up on the residue.

I'm not too sure on the details of what went into this beer, but I get a boozy, bourbon-like aroma. There's oak and some rye spice present, plus a potent vanilla aroma. Some dark chocolate is buried beneath the bourbon, only making its way to my nose after a few whiffs. It smells intriguing, although I'm a tad nervous the bourbon is going to steal the show.

Yikes! This thing is boozy and hot as hell! Almost like sipping a rye on the rocks. There are plenty of pleasant flavors in there: rye, vanilla, bourbon, sweet malt, baker's chocolate; but the alcohol is fiery. This beer is quite astringent. Surprisingly, the beer is still creamy and thick-bodied, so it feels incredibly big in every way. An aftertaste of peaty scotch lingers on my tongue and it has a smoky feel to it.

I must say, this beer is a wealth of flavors and sensations, but got damn if it isn't boozy. After a few sips, my palate seems to slightly adjust and accept the booze, but its still a challenge to drink.

I'd say this beer has potential, but I'd recommend five years of aging minimum.

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Photo of hops202
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a stone snifter.

Poured a dark brown and black color. Aroma is almost toxic. All I smell is an insane amount of alcohol with very slight hints of chocolate and espresso. Taste is fairly similar to the nose. Lots of alcohol, warms as it goes down. Some bitter chocolate and espresso, almost a hint of cannabis which seems very out of place.

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Photo of bryanbullock
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not worth the price!

I can say this is a solid beer but pales in comparison the its competition in the category and the price range

Solid opaque black pour, with a light lacing, desired a darker head.

Smell is alcohol forward, the alcohol is not masked enough for me to detect much but a mild chocolate aroma.

mouthfeel/taste is solid from the start but the finish has a hint of bitterness that leaves you with the need of a palate cleanser.

this is a good beer do not get me wrong but for what it cost there are so many other beers that will blow this one away.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.31/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: served on tap into a short Goose Island glass, I think it really is black with a nice very dark tan head that lingers leaving some lacing, clear

S: lots of chocolate, dark and milk chocolate, molassess, some licorice

T: again lots of flavors of chocolate abound mixed with anise and hints of soy sauce, lots of hot higher weight alcohol and phenol flavors, changes drastically as it warms, very sweet, candy sugar

M: thick and creamy with low carbonation, alcohol is well present and accounted for

O: this is a thick dessert beer, be perpared for the flavors assocated with this high an alcohol content, reviewed from notes taken on 3/6/14

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Celebrating a successful weekend of pre-Spring cleaning, enjoying some warmer temps at long last, and still shaking off the effects of some poorly timed Punishment. This is one of the older beers in the cellar from a trade many moons ago, the provider whose name escapes me but for whom I am most grateful. I do believe there is a date on the cork of 12/12/17, for what that is worth.

Appearance - dark oily pour, no head, bubbling or lace to this one.

Aroma - darkly roasted grain, intense dark chocolate, perhaps a note of soy. Sweet, rich, and intense smelling.

Taste - whoa, heavy on all registers. The grains are roasted but not burnt, but the alcohol burn pushes it that way a little. After all this time, this is about as tame as 17.5 gets. The sweetness plays off some bittersweet flavors, melding the grain and chocolate. I don't know that there is anything to be gained by abv this high, 12 to 14% would have been a better fit. Little carbonation, the swallow is hot and the finish is soy, anise, and lengthy espresso.

Mouthfeel - the carbonation is so low and the body is so thick, this reminds me of Vicks cough syrup. Big, big, big.

Overall - I enjoyed this way more than Punishment, lol. I like 'em sweet, malty, high abv. Some better balance to all that and this is high 4's for me. Improves as it warms (or as the palate adjusts). One to try, glad I had a chance to get a hold of one.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12.7oz bottle from Five Points Bottle Shop (Athens, GA). 16.99. Best by 4/21/13 and purchased last March so I assume bottled 4/21/11. Served in a Burnt Hickory snifter.

Pours coal black with a full two fingers of dense dark tan head that maintains a thin cap throughout and leaves copious lace.

Smells sweet and roasty. Chocolate, caramel, semi charred malts, honey and dark toast.

The taste is unlike anything I've ever had before. Bitter char, dark cocoa, burnt sugar, smoke, black coffee, mild soy sauce, molasses, honey, bittersweet red berry seeds, earthy and a soft but persistent alcohol heat. An interesting balance between sweet, roasty and boozey.

Oily, slick, medium heavy feel with fairly low but noticeable carbonation. Bitter, boozey burnt caramel and molasses finish.

A different take on the big imperial stout. I imagine the 2+ years has toned down the booze but this went down like something closer to 10% than it's 17%. I liked it but it's not something that I feel I'll need to revisit.

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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 Asgeirr
4.24/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a abysmally dark, pitch black colour along a tan crown of the thinner variety which slowly dissolves into small remnants, like islands floating amidst this nightly brew.

S: Tons upon tons of roasted,smoked and burnt malt notes, which comes forth in a variety of scents ranging from black espresso, dark cocoa and molasses to peat, (burnt) wood and Macanudo cigars. Alongside those malt scents there is a healthy amount of yeasty tartness in the backdrop.

T: It carries a more upfront sweetness than one would expect to detect. Vanilla, toffee, caramel and alcohol makes one reminisce of good bourbons, such as a 23 year old Pappy Van Winkle's. However allusive as it may seem, since we then get the roasted notes interacting with the aforementioned sweetness. We're talking coffee, and (liquorice) tar acridity by the pound and by the minute. It makes for an interesting contrast, which at some times do collaborate with one another and at times do clash.

M: Thick as a brick, not only does it possess the (lack of) colour of a black hole but also the density. A viscous viscosity that virulently violates weak and weary peoples palates. So creamy and dense at first, then a more coarse and truly dry side appears, and finally the alcohol wraps it up in a noticeably warming finish.

O: Clearly a well-defined yet complex yet complex brew which offers a variety of sensations. It really delivers what it promises, i.e. intense darkness. Or as Nocturno Culto of Darkthrone once put it: "Blackened you say - then black is my way!"

 1,540 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.92/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with a huge mocha head. Surprising for a beer this size. Retains a wispy surface throughout with a medium collar.

Smell - Booze. Huge amounts of alcohol. Roasted malt and sweetness.

Taste - Starts off pretty good. Roasted malts, lots of caramel sweetness. Strong roasted malt bitterness in the finish. As it warms, it gets more sweet and more bitter, becoming very sluggish and almost impossible to drink.

Mouthfeel - Incredibly heavy after a while. Booze never feels THAT high, but it's up there.

Overall - I was enjoying it at first. Now I want to drainpour it.

 624 characters

Black (黑) from Mikkeller ApS
3.72 out of 5 based on 551 ratings.
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