Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Black (黑) | Mikkeller ApS

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Black (黑)Black (黑)
BA SCORE
3.8/5
Very Good
573 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:
#15,445
Reviews:
268
Ratings:
573
pDev:
17.63%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
57
Gots:
150
Trade:
7
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 573 |  Reviews: 268
Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pitch black. Is that a hint of brown or just my imagination? A half finger of rusty brown head.

Tar, sweet molasses, liquorice, cherries and alcohol.

Sweet, boozy, whiskey, tar, brown sugar, molasses, soy sauce, floral like cherry blossoms. Bitter ashy finish.

Thick and oily, little powdery carbonation.

Got sent from Wish Beer in Bangkok, drank in Chiang Mai Dec 30th, 2015. Saw this on Craft Beer Channel's Christmas Cake episode and so have saved it for this festive season. Really great brew, with whiskey barrel notes.

 533 characters

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

Photo of kguard
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Marius
3.39/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Perfect pour - pitch black, huge thick head the color of strong espresso. Smells of roasted malts and lactose, dark chocolate and dark cherries. The taste is unbalanced - very sweet at first, then roasty bitter and with the alcohol overwhelming the mouth a bit. Very alcohol-heavy aftertaste.

 292 characters

Photo of YvesB
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Jcarriglio
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of madelfonatree
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased in July 2015 enjoyed November 13, 2015 in a MadTree tulip/snifter.

Look - Pours brown, not black. Finger of frothy tan head (fine to large bubbled). Little lacing. Settles to a ring.

Smell - Chocolate. Coffee. Char. Toffee. Alcohol.

Taste - Chocolate masks booze well. First sip was spicy. Warmth improves it. Bubblegum on end.

Feel - Chewy. Thick. Stings tongue. Burns.

Overall - Finishing this by yourself is a task. Time to go to bed.

 454 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Near black with a frothy, rocky head that dissipates in a hurry. Vinous sherry notes and roasty black malts in the nose. Molasses, leather, cocoa, burnt sugar, dark rum booze spicyness in the taste. Moderate carbonation and a thick, full mouthfeel. Medicinal booze and a touch of salty soy sauce in the finish.

Worth a try for sure. A bit boozy, veering on distraction. Intense stuff.

 394 characters

Photo of Grackos
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of brandoman63
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of biegaman
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.75

Mikkeller Black is just that and... little else. It's a black hole, though its head has colour (a rusted brown tint). I'm impressed such a high-gravity offering has any head at all, let alone one that looks as strong as the beer itself - that foam ain't going anywhere except all up and down the sides of the glass.

I Goggled the 黑 symbol that adorns the label and, not able to read Japanese, have no idea what those results returned. The aroma is no more familiar - an absolutely one-of-a-kind combination of szechuan peppers, soy sauce, sriracha, sweet potato, tart wild berries, and hickory smoke. Love it or hate it it's different, intriguing and, given it's made from just the basics, downright puzzling.

When it comes to actually taking that first sip I freeze, as if I stumbled on a dead body or, more accurately, found myself unarmed and face to face with a wild animal. And it turns out both unusual and strong, though the intensity is snapped out of the finish like a dog on a yanked leash; the finish is void of chocolaty, coffee-ish flavour but is chock full of Tabasco sauce and astringent cigar-like smokiness.

Where I currently live in Ontario, Canada, our government acts as guardian and tests every single product that is sold. It's not uncommon to find huge variance in alcohol percentage (especially for higher gravity offerings) but their state-of-the-art lab confirmed this is in fact 17% alcohol. Mind you, that's obvious from the way it drinks - some sips make my eyes water. This goes down kicking and punching.

The 'best before' is printed a decade from now - 2024. There aren't many beers that get better 10 years after they're bottled, let alone stay remotely as good. How will this one fair, however? Who the hell knows. But if there's one thing you can be sure will survive nuclear fallout, surely Black is it. It should really be drank with the same discretion as cayenne pepper is used in a recipe.

Mikkeller is one of those brands that, for better or worse, people will talk about, write about, and seek out to try even at absurd costs. This one, however, lives up to all hype - both positive and negative - and is undoubtedly worth its price tag, if only for those looking for a truly, extraordinarily unique experience. It even changes as it warms, enough so to write a whole other review!

I've been in the beer reviewing game for well over a decade now - pretty much since it started - and I can think of few beers that have received more simultaneously emphatic love and ferocious hate than Mikkeller Black. This is a stout that can cause even Imperial Stout lovers to quake like mice when the cat is mentioned. It is as peculiar and distinctive as they come.

 2,712 characters

Photo of amano_h
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of DoubleJ
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Much has happened in the last five years, which is about the length of time that I have held this bottle in my possession. Coming from a corked and caged, green 375 ml bottle, on to the beer:

Black. The name says it all. Light splashes of legs hit around the glass. As for head, what head?

* Now, before I go on, I have something to admit; I have had a few tastes of this at tastings, and I found it to be like soy sauce. With age, here's hoping something beautiful blossoms. *

I smell it, breath in, take in a pleasant burnt chocolate aroma. I get chocolate syrup too. There's promise.

Five years in the waiting, and Black is better than ever! This is a big, roasty beverage with semi-sweet chocolate, big chocolate cake, and a wet slobber of chocolate infused booze. A little oxidation too. It big, it's pretty smooth for its size, so I'm going to call it; winner winner!

 879 characters

Photo of Shawner
3.37/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of dcmchew
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Chitex78
2.29/5  rDev -39.7%
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.

 222 characters

Photo of IckyT2012
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JebBeerFish
2.84/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Imagine a stout made with acrid, below average roasted coffee to which a generous helping of grain alcohol is added, and you have this offering. I like higher alcohol content beers, but this is nearly barbaric in its harshness. I cannot think of a more poorly hid high alcohol content beer, and this was after having three 10% beers. On the pawsitive side, after a couple sips, you predominately only taste the acridic coffee.

 427 characters

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a huge, foamy, creamy tan head. Nutty chocolate head. A huge, sweet, malty smell. A big boozy bite, especially in the finish. The hop bite starts small and burns down the tounge.

 199 characters

Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Incredibly strong, as you'd expect. Initially has a tang to it and a false carbonation feel that comes from the alcohol. As you keep drinking it, it starts to have the feel of a strong red wine.

 196 characters

Photo of BostonJustin
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Taste like an imperial stout mixed with kahlua.

47 characters

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.19/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After a struggle with what should have been a hand turnable cork I had to turn to a wine corker to remove the monster cork. A vigorous pour gets only a skim of head that looks like the caramel bubbles you get when you cook down red wine. Body is ink black and almost just as thick. Nose is beautiful as it screams port with lush tones of plum, raises, lush dark fruit and some background chocolate and anise. With first sip you get deep roast nuttiness and pan seared malts that could set off a fire alarm. Black is the perfect name for this beer as the flavor is truely that. Black licorice and charred meats come to mind as well. There is a hint of sweat but it is quickly cast out. Mouthfeel is hugely dark, dry and thick with yet more blackness. You really should split this one with a friend as it is a lot for just one person.

 841 characters

Photo of JackieKu
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2013 edition, 16.1% ABV. OMG it's damn strong and sweet. While the aftertaste is coffee like bitter and the presentation was long. Not quite drinkable, maybe I drink it too soon as its BB date is 2023.

 201 characters

Photo of WastingFreetime
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of suckaj
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black (黑) from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 573 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.