Black (黑) | Mikkeller ApS

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Black (黑)Black (黑)
Very Good
586 Ratings
Black (黑)Black (黑)

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: American 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 586 |  Reviews: 270
Photo of CoolJosh
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Saw this one in the cooler at Zeno's and was really intrigued by the bottle. Took it and home and noticed the actual bottle was green, which threw me off..

A: Pitch black. No hints of any light coming through, I've never seen anything this dark before. dark khaki head that doesn't last long.

S: Lots of flavors, I really had a difficult time distinguishing, there are so many and everything is really big and bold. Scents of darker cherry, dark grapes and other dark fruits, some vanilla, bitter chocolate, and some alcohol. One thing that my buddy brought up was a "Soy Sauce," smell.

T: WOW!!! Where do I begin, it all hits you at once and so fast. Slightly rougher start that smoothes out nicely, no tastes of alcohol surprisingly, and alot of darker fruits, vanilla, and some roasted coffee tastes.

Overall, a very bold, in your face black stout. Unbelievably complex in smell and taste, there's alot here. Surprisingly smooth, and expected the worst only to find an incredibly well put together beer. I picked up a second bottle, and placed comfortably in my 3+ years aging section!

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.87/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Pours like oil into my snifter - completely opaque black with no hope of light going through. I tried holding it to my desk lamp - nothing. Dark brown head fades to a thin rimjob.

Nose is ruby port like with very dark chocolate and espresso crema. Maduro cigar.

Palate is very much like what an alcoholic double espresso would taste like - huge espresso component, creamy body, with warm alcohol in the background. Bitter chocolate is there towards the end also, and the finish leaves a faint maduro cigar "tar" flavor.

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Photo of treyrab
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to a fellow BA for sharing this monster. Poured it into a pint glass...

A: You cannot get blacker than this. No hints of brown anywhere to be seen. Dark brown small head.

S: Tons of soy sauce in the nose that dominates. There is also coffee and bitter chocolate. And, of course alcohol.

T: The taste is masked a bit by the incredible alcohol profile. Alcohol and coffee are the two main flavors noticed, but there are some dark fruits in there as well.

The other bottle is going to be aged for my great, great, great grandchildren. By that time, this should be ready!

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a very pleasant surprise from the weekend. I've not been a big fan of most things I've had from this brewer, but this was a standout beer. I'm very happy that I enjoyed this beer. Pours a very dark black in color. Very dark malts and a very dominant roast flavor in the mouth. Believe it or not, those flavors go well in here because of the ABV. It does not taste anywhere near 17.5% at all. Full on the mouthfeel. Rich and complex beer. I will definitely pick up a bottle or two if I come across them.

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

Pours jet black with coffee smell. The coffee hits you in the finish,an excellent powerful bitterness that squares integrates with sweetness. Before that you are getting the vanilla and mollasses. Great for what it is. Medium plus mouthfeel. The 17.5% is definately a closer, have a bed nearby.
Had it again a few months later and chocolate and soy sauce. Thick pourer.

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Photo of baggio
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[email protected], Copenhagen

A: Black, almost no head.

S: Cocoa, Molasses, Alcohol, Ripe fruit.

T: Licorice, Chocolate, Ash, Alcohol, Vanilla, Dark caramel.

M: Thick and very sweet with low carbonation. A sipper for sure!

For a beer this strength, this is quite interesting. I found it to be quite pleasing to sip away at during an hour or so. Could use some aging tho. Worth a try!

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Photo of kmeves
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep deep black with a small beige head. Aroma is big time sweet with dark fruits, vanilla, chocolate and mild alcohol. The flavor has more of an alcohol bite although not as much as you'd expect from a beer of this strength. Nice fruity notes, roasted grains, chocolate and some citrus. Large bodied, chewy texture. Long long sweet finish.

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Photo of Ljunkan
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost dark black colour with a nice mediumsized brownish head.

The smell is really powerful; chocolate, coffee, very sweet candy-like aromas. The alcohol is noticable. It really feels like we have a brutal monster here!

Taste is also brutal with notes of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, fudge, liqourice, even som port notes, brown sugar, honey, roasted malt and of course, alcohol. It ends with a long, long bitterness. I think I should have noticed the alcohol even more though, it almost feels balanced.

Mouthfeel is very fullbodied, oily, thick, long, bitter and "evil".

Drinkability is well, not that high. To be honest I almost struggled with some of the last cl. Drank a half bottle, but maybe it would be best to share it with three people instead of one.

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Photo of trill
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one comes out impenetrably black, with a decent (though not long-lasting) head for a beer this big. The aroma is full of smooth, roasty coffee and chocolate, some old-ale type prunes, and a big whiff of port wine. The taste... ah, there's all that alcohol. It's medicinal and powerful but not inappropriate; the beer has enough substance to back it up. Equal portions of chocolatey, slightly smoky malt and big, grapey wine flavors dominate the flavor. There's a little bit of oak and some sweetness that leaves the finish sticky, but not overwhelming. My only complaint is that the high alcohol has a numbing effect on the palate; one 12.7oz bottle is more than enough for three people.

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Photo of duchessededc
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great aroma, great appearance...but it tastes like simple syrup on first taste. Once you get past that, great hickory and coffee flavors. Very yummy. The first taste is just cloying. I wonder if aging would improve the balance.

I would say age this for 2-3 years and try again. It's great now, but a little sugary.

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Photo of Chinookie
4.57/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A complex, unique, and outstanding beer. Thanks to BA for reporting on what's brewing in Denmark.

Appearance is opaque black. A medium head dissipated in thin streams of tan head.

Aroma is sweet alcohol and some roasted malt.

Taste is really where it hits you. Starts sweet and roasty, gives way to spice like sandalwood, and moves into anise, and finishes with a hickory-like smoke flavor. Overall sweet flavor stays with it throughout.

I look forward to aging one as well and trying in several years.

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Photo of jmmakare
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Pours pitch black with a little amount of tan head.

S- Unique smells of medicine and a bit of plum or prune. Not off-putting for me, but maybe for some people. My mother says it reminds her of the salve called Prid.

T- Coffee and dark chocolate with some dark fruits. Dark maltiness and a trailing of bitterness. Truly amazing.

M- Very smooth for the high ABV. Thick and almost chewy.

D- Not easily drinkable in large quantities, but excellent in small doses. I would highly recommend splitting a bottle among about 4 people for an aperitif.

This is quite an original brew. Definitely not for everyday drinking, but an excellent brew to try and age for a special occasion.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a viscous black color with two fingers of thick frothy head that cling for dear life onto the glass.

Chocolate is the strongest smell follwed by undertones of toffee, some vanilla, and some coffee.

Sorry for the short review,but I decided to be busy after opening this beer. IT has a huge chocolate flavor with undertones of tofee/ Other flavors such as roasted coffe are also undertones and take a backseat to the intense chocolatey flavor.

The mouthfel is very smooth slightly syrupy due to the incredible amount of chocolate in this beer.

This beer is definetely a nightcap beer, but I wouldn't mind having one of these most every night.

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Photo of RixBeer
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black with a caramel colored creamy/frothy head. The name fits.

Smells of nice coffee and good roasted malts. There are a good number of dark fruits like plums and raisins intermixed with sherry and chocolate.

WOW this brew has a massive "punch" of a flavor. Massive alcohol flavor with some nice sherry, raisin, plum, coffee, chocolate, some nice spice and overly alcoholic. Go figure, 17.5% isn't always so easy to hide. Lots of bitterness in the end.

nice and chewy with a very full body. You can drink 1. Maybe 2 if you are planning on falling over on your face. Just kidding. but a second one of these and you may forget your name or phone number or something.

A good beer, once in a while. Thumbs up to Mikkeller!

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Photo of Proteus93
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Black it is. Totally opaque, with a creamy brown head, about a finger tall.

S: An intriguing aroma. Roasted malts, but along with a bit of a fruity and floral aroma - something similar to what I'd expect out of a Belgian ale of sorts. Coffee and chocolate aromas are there, and blend in quite nicely with the other aromas.

T: Taste is absolutely huge, as one could expect from something with such a high ABV. Most of it is a malt roast, raw and bitter espresso flavours, toffee, licorice. Finish is quite bitter and alcohol is certainly noticable.

M: I almost expect thicker and stickier, but it's not happening, aside from some stick on the lips. Not a bad thing... a nice and subtle body for a big flavour.

D: Sloowww... the flavour does get to be pretty intense, anyways. Beers this big aren't really meant for quaffing. Maybe a bit much for my palate, though I'd be very interested in seeing what a year or two did to mellow it out.

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Photo of tedpeer
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice.

A - Pours black with a 1/2 inch tan head, that subsided to 1/8 inch head. Lacing all the way to the end.

S - Fruity

T - Sweet, fruity (raisins) to start, slowly overpowered by slight coffee/chocolate bitterness to finish, accompanied by alchohol warmth.

M - Slightly coating, good level of carbonation.

D - Well, at the abv, I've got to say it's just a sipper,

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Photo of beermebeerman
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served from a bottle into a 4oz tasting glass at the 2008 SIB.
Pours a used-motor-oil black with a few small bubbles forming a ring around the edge of the glass. Initial smell was overpowering; I had to get quite a few whiffs before I could pick out anything other than coffee/chocolate aromas, but a couple were pinot-noir and raisins. Taste was also an explosion. Lots of roast-coffee flavors and chocolate malt with an alcohol afterburner effect. A little too sweet, but not overpowering. This is one that needs to be sipped slowly. Mouthfeel was good. Carbonation level seemed a little low but perfectly acceptable for the style. Drinkablility is low because this is so huge, but I wish I had a bottle of this of my own at home. If you happen to get your hands on one, you are truly blessed among men.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Holy F*#!K!

This beer pours a viscous oily black with sickly tan seeping head. This is surely of the devil. Nose is a plasticy tar smell with huge alcohol and coffee like aromas. Taste is a fucking explosion. Big alxxxohol and dark malty sickness in the beginning. A sweetness through the middle followed by a space mountain of coffee and chocolate bitterness. Creamy on the finish. Coffee bitterness lingers. Some alcohol burn, but mild for the abv. Putrid black death. Amazing flavor here. Mouthfeel is very good, especially for the abv. The drinkability just has to be docked a bit here, but if you bought a beer that is 17.5% and expected to slam some at the summer company picnic, well then your just a goddamn idiot. Overall I am very impressed with this beer, and will certainly be spending the outrageous $$$ to obtain at least a few more of these for the cellar. Can't wait to see what these will be in about 3 years. Wow. Great and gnarly unique brew.

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Photo of Bananaman
4.78/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Looks pitch-black, beige head.
S: Very Wineouse, chocolate, roasted, toffee
T: Toffee, coffee, raisins, brown sugar, roasted a bit oaky
M: Smooth, thick, sugary, oily

A wonderful beer, and considering it's strong ABV there it is very well-balanced. Exceptional beer!

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Photo of Crosling
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours nearly pitch black out of the bottle and appears opaque black in the glass. Head isn't as dark as expected, a light tan. Nose has a lot of elements, hinting of raisins, sherry, chocolate and coffee, rubber, tar and alcohol. Flavor is loaded with dark fruit and heavily roasted malt notes, with some hints of chocolate and coffee. Intense, massively flavorful, strong alcohol (but much better hidden than when the beer was first imported) and lots of taste. It has improved in the last three months, but mostly, I'm thinking of how this beer will be in a couple years. Check back with it in 2009. It will be a gem by then.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Okay, this is a huge beer and perhaps not to everyone's taste, but I loved this one. Talk about extreme! This isn't just a beer that has been made super strong for the hell of it. It's bursting with amazing flavors and well worth sipping with some like-minded friends. Pours black with a tan head that settles to a ring. Smells rich and vinous with lots of dark fruit and some spice. Wow! The flavors just keep going and going. Huge and hot with alcohol and with big flavors of dark fruit, big coffee flavors, some chocolate, and a wallop of bitterness. Sharp finish. Mouthfeel is big, rich, and chewy. This is like a Port of beers. Lots of alcohol, yes, but lots of fruit and other flavors make it a nice digestif.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12.7 ounce caged and corked bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours black, of course. There's also about an inch or so frothy brown head. Head retention and lacing are both very good. It smells like roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, soy sauce, coffee, alcohol and dark fruit. The taste is very intense! It tastes like roasted/charred malt, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, burnt wood, dark fruit and a lot of alcohol. There's lots of alcohol heat in this beer, you know you're drinking a beer with some firepower to it. There's noticable sweetness along with a long lasting alcohol and bitter aftertaste. After a while the alcohol heat mellows out a bit, but it's still very noticable. Mouthfeel is medium/full, it's coating, creamy and slick. It also has low carbonation. Drinkability? Well, it's a little bit hard to drink due to the hotness and the 17.5% ABV. However, you can tell there's a good beer behind the alcohol heat and if it ages a while, it could be really good. I have to say this is by far the most intense tasting beer I've had (that I can remember). It's really hard to put the full experience of drinking this beer into words, so all I can say is that if you get a chance to buy it, you should. Buy 2 bottles, 1 to drink fresh and let the other one age for a long, long time.

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Photo of optiontwo
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Mikkeller Black

Appearance: Pours just like the title implies, black as the night sky. With somewhat of an aggressive pour I was able to conjure a quarter inch head. (Edit: On second pour the head went crazy. I don't know if I poured it differently or what, but if you want a 1.5 to 2 inch head on this beer you can have it.) Color wise, this beer is purely opaque.

Smell: Bitter chocolate, black licorice, and possibly even cloves come to mind. It smells intense, to say the least.

Taste: Wow. What an experience. Very bitter dark chocolate comes through but not without a prominent ashy undertone. Almost like smoking a dark chocolate flavored cigarette. Alcohol is as apparent as ever and it's probably the first thing you'll notice when drinking this beer. It really nips the back of your throat with each sip, which is kind of nice. The right amount of carbonation and not too extremely syrupy of a mouth-feel, honestly with each sip it gets better. The first thing that came to mind was this beer's flavor has some striking similarities to Jagermeister. It has the dark licorice/chocolate flavors with a high ABV but is still drinkable.

Mouth feel: As aforementioned it is thick (as an imperial stout should be) but not too overwhelming. The taste and the feel of the beer stay in your mouth for a good amount of time after sipping the beer.

Drinkability: As much as I like it, it's hard to say this beer is very drinkable. At 17.5% even one 12.7 oz. bottle is enough to have you feeling tipsy. That's not to say that you're going to be forcing down sips of it. If you enjoy the style then this is a beer you should try. I'm not saying you're going to like it, but it's and experience nonetheless.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer and it's actually the first beer I've had from Mikkeller. I'm looking forward to trying more. I would say that anyone who likes imperial stouts should try this, just to see what they think for themselves. It wouldn't hurt if you're a liquor/liquer fan either, seeing as this is one hardcore brew. As an endnote I'd like to add that I am not sure when this was bottled but this a beer that begs for aging. If you're a fan of imperial stouts but not a fan of that biting alcohol flavor, then buy it, put it in your cellar, and bust it out for a special occasion. By that time this beer's high ABV should settle down and not come through too much in the flavor.

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Photo of 1000Bottles
4.8/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For me, this was one of the most delicious beers I have ever had. Color is black. Thin dark brown head. Aromas are rich sweet dried prunes, coffee, leather chocolate, raisins... wow! Alcohol is there, but not prevailent. Flavor is initially big black licorice, then sweet dark chocolate, figs - no scratch that - black strap molasses with raisin tar, then finishing back into black licorice with a touch of astringency. But, this beer really doesn't finish - lingers into roasted nuts, tobacco, leather, dark rum...

This should age wll for 20 years I should think, if anyone has the patience. Absolutely superb!

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Photo of hoppymeal
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Liquor Max. Pours a syrupy looking black in color with a large chocolate brown head that very slowly recedes with some decent lacing. A little ashy roastiness up front, some soft chocolate sweetness as well. A swirl brings up some sweet fruity maltiness, hints of soy and some definite alcohol. Taste is a very nice big sweet maltiness, fruity, up front, some black licorice mixed in and some chocolate evident towards the finish. Extremely hot, alcohol is a major presence here. Fairly heavy in body, sweet and sugary thick, pepperiness on the tongue and a painful bite of alcohol in the throat. A very tasty maltiness here, unfortunately the alcohol is hard to get around. After a bit it does seem to mellow, or maybe I'm just starting to get numb to it. There is a great beer behind that alcohol that keeps me drinking it and possibly with some age, if that alcohol mellows, it could be divine.

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Black (黑) from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 586 ratings