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Black (黑) | Mikkeller ApS

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Black (黑)Black (黑)

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

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

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Reviews: 260 | Ratings: 548
Photo of MikeReserva
4.21/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dear people, behold this is not your average USA stout. Shared wirh a friend (lucky I did).

appearance is pitch black with a nice head. Smell is BOOZY with a peated, hoppy coffee aroma.

Taste is bombastic; coffee, alcohol, sweet, roasty malts, with a ridiculous long coffee finish. Very, very boozy; tons of very bitter chocolate. Alcohol is not well hidden, as it is within so many competitors, but it's not disturbing or annoying. It's a class on it's own; it's a prestige thing. Enjoy.

Please share this beer with a friend (or two), or take a whole evening finishing this one by yourself. 'only' 2,5% ystronger than something like BCBS, but this one will blow you away. Despite it's very, very strong character I'd encourage every stout lover to try this one.

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Photo of Rutager
2.85/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

17.5 abv, Holdbar til 15/09/19.

Appearance. Pours thick and black, very still.

Smell. Molasses and rum with a little chocolate and charred malt.

Taste. Dark charred malts, chocolate, rum, quite sweet. Lots of bitter char in the end.

Mouthfeel. Very full body, sticky, and completely flat.

Overall. Another flat, expensive Mikkeller. Not impressed.

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Photo of chinchill
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2013 version on tap at BrewDog's Aberdeen pub.
Rlack body with a very, very durable and creamy light brown head.
Boozy, intimidating aroma.
Flavor: alcohol is a major part of the flavor profile, but this is an extremely rich ale, with a huge load of malts and plenty of hops. Low level of burnt grain/char.
hidden in the taste.
Medium-full body with near medium carbonation.

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Photo of prototypic
2.6/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of sennin
4.11/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of Resuin
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of Ryanm1
4/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

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Photo of NilocRellim
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured cold from the bottle.

This beer was VERY dark, almost black in appearance, with virtually zero head. The smell was very strong (as a 17.5% beer should smell I suppose), but had very nice notes of fig, malts, chocolate, roasted-ness, and port-wine. The taste is as strong as one would think and pretty much killed the beer for me. The flavours of sweet-fig and coffee are overpowered by the ABV. This beer would be A LOT better if the ABV was lowered so it would not dominate flavours.

Would I buy it again? No. If they made this beer with a MUCH lower ABV I probably would buy it.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage. Cork & cage. Shared with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Pours nearly pitch black. Some slight hints of brown at the edges under direct light, but for all intents it is its name. A tiny, bubbly, very loose, and thin cap. Slightly more carbonation than other stouts of this magnitude. Pours syrupy.

Smell: Sharp bit of alcohol, dark chocolate. Dark fruit abounds. Plum, ripe cherry, and fig. Deeply roasted barley. Some touches of char and deep roast. So much sweetness. Booze and syrupy malt sweetness. Brown sugar sweetness. Deeply caramelized sugars.

Taste: Burnt, booze soaked raisins. Screaming amounts of burnt, over roasted, charred malts. Dark deep fruit; cherries, plums, figs, and raisins. Slightly vinous overall. Aggressive malt sweetness. Caramel and loads of brown sugar. Would be sweet, but the malts are so dry and burnt overall it just can't balance. Fudgey at times. Some nice blasts of cocoa and old leather. Booze soaked burnt ashes.

Mouthfeel: Negligible carbonation. Silky smooth medium-full body. Almost creamy. Screaming alcohol dryness on the back of the sip.

Overall: She dies it black, black, black black no. 1.

This beer is the angsty foreign cousin of the burly American stout. Deeply roasted and saturated with burnt astringent alcohol and malts. This beer was in to goth when it was a punk offshoot.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this beer

Consumed 12/8/12

Note: 2009 or 2010 bottle(?)

Appearance: Deep, inky black - pours with a small, dark brown head - keeps a light, fizzy ring - still, brooding

Smell: Holy buckets of booze, Batman - loads of alcohol, as I guess I would expect for 17.50% - charred, burnt - hyper caramelized, with loads of brown sugar and molasses - sweet, in a brown sugary way

Taste: In a word, boozy - burnt, dark fruit - caramelized fruit, dark caramel, molasses - loads of brown sugar, so sugary it's almost like they added brown sugar post-fermentation - touch of soy sauce - roasty, like concentrated, sweet espresso - very sweet, very boozy - intense, with a few years of aging

Mouthfeel: Medium-ish body, syrupy and oily, but not in a heavy way - alcoholic like a liqueur, with a hot aftertaste

Overall: It's like... a liqueur

Well, this is ridiculous. Even with years of aging, it's hot and ridiculous. I wouldn't describe it as a hot mess, but it's a challenge to even sip this. At the very least, it's very interesting.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is all that you expect of a 17.5 ABV.
Poured into a crystal glass, this beer is as dark as it gets. The rich creamy bubbly brown head builds three fingers high, dissipates into no lacing.
The smell is coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits like plum, black cherry, fig and dates.
Tasting the beer, the strong alcohol presence, suggests to treat this one as a sipper.
Black cherries, plum and figs are at the front, being combined with more dark bitter chocolate flavors as well as coffee in the middle. The beer will warm you up nicely with a good dose of booze. I really liked this interpretation of an imperial stout.
It is imperial!!

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Photo of tendermorsel
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Craft Beer co in London.

I have had this before in bottle and I thought it was a hot gross mess. I guess it is a different beer on draft?

Thin crema-like head. Long lasting. About as dark as a beer can get.

Pretty smooth mouthfeel. Plums and dried fruits in the nose. Burnt flavor but still sweet.

I could not drink more than one of this. The ABV hit me hard.

Quite enjoyable on draft. Especially comparing it to some of the drainpour bottles I have tried.

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Photo of DAllspaw
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap at Craft bar in London. Pours very dark black of course with dark mocha head. has all of the characteristics of RIS, from the looks but the heat tends to dominate, but that's what I expected.

didn't take notes, this is quick summary, but certainly worth trying as a sipper. a very slow sipper and half pint is plenty.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.07/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12.7oz green bottle, foiled, caged, synthetic corked. gifted to me from the midwest

17.5% edition

appearance: aggressively poured into an oversized snifter, looks like motor oil, minimal bubbles and no head or lace

smell: charred malts, booze, trouble

taste: char, espresso with way too much sugar, tons of booze, smoke, bakers chocolate.

mouthfeel: no carbonation, dry finish, hot alcohol

overall: A mess

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Photo of jdhilt
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger light brown head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Black as midnight color, no highlights, ton of yeast left in bottle. Medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Sweet alcohol nose and flavor is sweet alcohol that becomes burnt hickory wood. Forever lingering burnt wood aftertaste. Label puts ABV at 16%. Expensive at $12.99 for a 375ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours coal black with a finger of dark tan head. Ok head retention.

S- dark bitter chocolate, oily espresso and licorice envelope the nose at first. Burnt caramel and an almost smokey charcoal in the middle. Very prominate alcohol stings the nostrils and dominates the other aromas towards the end with a touch of coffee liquor.

T- tastes like a shot of espresso with sugar. Sugariness is offset by a substantial roast bitterness with notes of concentrated coffee, anise and burnt charcoal. Very hot alcohol throughout the beer giving it a liquor like quality with an astringent aftertaste.

MF- thick oily mouthfeel with a heavy body. Medium carbonation.

D- poor drinkability

Overall an interesting brew that needs a few years in a cellar to mellow out.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pour from Wowcoolman’s tasting.

16% ABV per label.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, dark fruit, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with a very roasty and almost medicinal bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it’s quite strong and intense.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oily brown, light brown head. Some light lace.

Faint booze and tons and tons of malt.

Heavy, big, with some banana, cherry, and maybe plum. Faintly bitter. Kind of a barleywine.

Smoothish but kinda burns on the finish.

Decent, but really big. Should be categorized as an American style barleywine.

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Photo of yamar68
2.41/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The 12.7oz bottle produces an impressive head, given the ABV. About two and a half fingers of medium dark brown head that laces nicely. Tons of boozy legs.

I was expecting a sweeter nose... instead it's harsh bitter coffee, toasted grains, abstract booze presence, coffee really is the dominating player though.

The taste is far less inviting - burnt chocolate, bitter coffee and a cheap vodka quality (if you can call it a quality).

Honestly, I can't believe this adorns the Mikkeller name. I'm beginning to see his beers in the same light as, say, BrewDog - absurdly overpriced, gimmicky, poorly executed.

A waste of money.

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Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.5% abv.

A - Pitch black, thin soapy mocha head, spotty lacing.

S - Espresso beans, brown sugar, roasted malts, alcohol fumes, cookie dough.

T - Burnt sugars, black coffee, charred oak, roasted malts, ash, bitter hops.

M - Full bodied, low carbonation, long bitter aftertaste.

O - Should have split this one! It took an hour and fifteen minutes to finish my bottle. Glad I got to try this one. I'm pretty sure this is from 2010. This is my 54th Mikkeller beer!

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Photo of Dope
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

17.5% version.

A: Pours midnight black with a large and dense medium brown head. Fades slowly, leaving huge swathes of lacing behind.

S: Mountains of bitter chocolate and char. Lots of black licorice too. Some nice brown sugar too. Spicy, biting alcohol aroma.

T: Loads and loads of chocolate. Up front it is sweet with the addition of some brown sugar but then it quickly becomes a bitter baker's chocolate with tons of charred wood and smoke. Finishes dry with some lingering alcohol, though no alcohol bite is present funnily enough. Lingering char in the aftertaste lasts forever.

M: Big, heavy, slick. Drying from all the char in the aftertaste.

O: A surprisingly drinkable huge stout. Very little alcohol bite. However, it is quite one-dimensional, pretty much all bitter chocolate and the char - oh my. It's like drinking an ashtray sometimes.

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Photo of korguy123
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375mL bottle into snifter. Label claims to be 16.5% not 17.5%

A- Dark, black, oily abyss. Two finger dark tan head with sheets of lacing. Alcohol is clinging to the glass.

S- Dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, vanilla, brown sugar and a underlying dose of alcohol waiting patiently for you to sip. There is a dose of cinnamon and licorice with a touch of molasses.

T- Super dark bitter chocolate (80% + cocoa) burnt coffee, burnt toast, barrel char and a touch of brown sugar and vanilla. Molasses and licorice are very subtle but you finish off with a dose of alcohol taste, not burn or warmth just an astringent alcohol taste. Lingering bitter and burnt aftertaste.

M- Full bodied, slight carbonation, sticky on the lips.

O- I didn't know what to expect with this one. I see Mikkeller and think "this might be good". I see the abv and wonder if this is well crafted or a hot mess. I really shouldn't doubt Mikkeller. This is very good, high abv or not this is something worth the time to sit and sip and enjoy.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.06/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle, @16.5%, according to the 'good folks' at the AGLC and/or the agent for this bad boy in Alberta. Been sitting on this one for a lengthy spell now.

This beer pours a deep abyss of blackitude, with only the slightest slivers of basal cola edges, and two ebullient, rangy fingers of thick, puffy, and almost sludgy beige head, which sinks away at a snail's pace, seemingly fighting gravity the whole way, and eventually leaving some damned near-perfect honeycomb webbed lace around the glass in the process.

It smells of densely roasted, meaty malt, heavy on the bittersweet chocolate, some sassy saltwater taffy, nose-twinging alcohol, soused black fruit flesh, cigarette ash, spicy root vegetables, and earthy and weedy hops. The taste is too much to take in all at once - one is assaulted by a boozy, salty chocolate affront, right up front (sorry!), which softens the palate up quite well, before plastering you with more of the same, but now with some cowering black fruit ruins, ashy stamped out campfire, a coffee urn's discharge when left on said conflagration, a well obfuscated, though subtly tinny booze edge, and musty, dusty, and chalky hop bitters.

The fizz is actually rather palpable here, doing one's gob a not insignificant service, the body a hefty, thick, and unctuous weight, and on the far side of crazy in terms of smoothness. It finishes still fairly sweet, in cocoa, grain, fruit, and booze alike, with the partitions varying in scope, yet enticing all the same.

Given the presentation, resultant expectation, and eventual personal submersion, this is one big-assed malt, booze, fruit, and reservedly hopped-up beer-bomb; thoroughly complex, but still a bit rough, because, because you know you like it that way, don't you? I know I do.

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Black (黑) from Mikkeller ApS
3.72 out of 5 based on 548 ratings.
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