Black Tie | Mikkeller ApS

very good
70 Reviews
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Black TieBlack Tie

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Black Tie was first dubbed Mandeøl (Man Beer). It was brewed for the Swedish market and only as draught beer. After spending four months in Scottish whiskey barrels and then being bottled it earned it's present name, Black Tie. Black Tie is an imperial stout with honey and smoked barley. Sweet, smokey and sophisticated - slick and sexy like a black tie.

Brewed at Nøgne Ø.

Added by niklas0770 on 06-16-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 100
Photo of metter98
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with an oil slick-like mocha head that quickly dissipated. It poured almost like the consistency of motor oil.
S: There are strong aromas of scotch with notes of smoke and tobacco in the nose. Hints of roasted malts are also discernable.
T: The taste is very complex and consists of flavors of dark roasted malts, leather, smoke and tobacco along with some hints of oak. It is very well balanced.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate with lots of warming sensations from the alcohol.
D: This is definitely a beer that needs to be sipped because of its complex flavors and strong alcohol content.

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Photo of zeff80
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured an opaque, jet black color with almost no head. What foam that existed was bubbly and brown. Not much in the form of lace, either.

S - It smelled boozy and sweet - not malty sweet, I think it was the honey coming through. Very unique aroma.

T - It was sweet with honey and caramel malt with some mild okay notes. There was a noticeable vanilla and smoke presence, too.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a very interesting stout. The honey really changes things. It left a weird smoky aftertaste 30 minutes afterward.

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Photo of oberon
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured black as an oil slick with a thin deep beige head that was gone pretty quickly,Scotch whiskey all over the place in the nose,peat smoke,caramel,and port-like deep fruit and leather,alot going on and it was all good.Mouth coating thick mouthfeel made for great sipping,flavors of smoke,caramel/vanilla,and dark fruit are quite rich.A great savoring sipping brew,its thick and warming.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Elegant black tie black with a hugely creamy crown of dark brown sugar colored mousse that filled slightly more than half the snifter on the pour. This is an outstanding looking stout that shows off more sticky suds than a high-ABV, barrel-aged ale has a right to.

Those things that make Black Tie different than the typical Double/Imperial stout are three in number: smoked malt, honey and 4 months spent in barrels that previously held Scotch whisky. The nose is almost brutal in its black tar-like, phenolic, smoked peatiness. Amazingly, honey is easily appreciated.

Mikkeller's first inclination was to name this incredibly distinctive ale 'Man Beer'. That isn't as marketable a name as Black Tie, but it's definitely more appropriate. This stuff will put some serious hair on your chest and will scare off all but the most adventurous.

It might have been overkill to blast the drinker with sooty smoke *and* pungently peaty phenolic Scotch whisky *and* honey... all of which clamor for your attention and come dangerously close to clashing when all is said and done. Thankfully, time and warming manage to slap some mid-bottle manners into what was a borderline brutish beginning.

This beast will most likely take kindly to another... oh... decades worth of aging. Other than those flavors already mentioned, there's a good bit of roasted malt that delivers the classic flavors of dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans. Maybe it's the 11.5% talking, but this bad boy is growing on me with each passing sip.

With respect to flavor, alcohol doesn't have a chance in hell when there's so much else going on. Brain and finger numbing is another matter entirely. The mouthfeel is lighter than expected, but still manages a lightly sticky viscosity. Damn good bubbles too.

Mikkeller Black Tie is Man Beer of the highest order. Never mind the tuxedo and tails. This extremely enjoyable exilir is more black leather jacket, black jeans and jackboots. Time to find a soft place to land. Wow, what a wild ride!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, so here we have one I am literally giddy to be able to try. I had been saving this bottle, along with another one that crashed on the garage floor,( my bad) for a while till I had a reason to open it. Consumed via a couple snifters, late night on 7/04/2010.

Dark as night pour here, really just immensely black and evil looking from the start. A small but quickly fleeting head of light tan rises up from the bottom of the glass and sits on top for a brief moment before settling back down again. Aroma is burnt, smoked, and peaty, however you want to say it, wow. Dark leather and tobacco, smoked malts, rich, dark chocolate notes. Immense aroma of charred wood. Holy crap this is a beast. Warming brings out subtle vanilla, but barely as the bulk of this is just tremendous smoke. Each sip is rich, again seeped in smoked malts and rich campfire like tones. Smoked wood dominates as does subtle sweet notes of honey, light touches of vanilla and a rich leather and tobacco finish. ABV is definitely catching up to you here for sure by the end as each sip lets you know how big this one really is.

Overall one of the most intense selections I have had from them to date. The smoked profile is so huge that I just was amazed at the depth here. This is one to be careful with and surely a night cap.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.71/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The pour is black in color with a small tan head. Really just an intense nose. Very heavy on the roasted malt, char, and ash. A mild alcohol note, some herbal aromas, peat, smoke, and wood. The flavor is quite off-putting. Over the top roast, ash, and char with a rather pronounced alcohol flavor. Quite bitter, chalky, and astringent, as well. Some whiskey, wood, and vanilla notes. Just a bit too much for me.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Buffalo tulip glass at Brasserie V.

After the beast that was the pre-interview extravaganza, as well as the beastly day-long interview, my buddy and I hit up Brasserie V and split this bottle. It pours a grim black death topped by a chapeau of evil tan foam. The nose is all darkness, comprising roasted malts, coffee, lots o' whiskey, musty rafters, and charred pretzels. It's a bit strong, but in a good way. The taste tries to live up to this dark image, holding notes of roasted malts, coffee, whiskey, oak, and burning booze in the back. The body is decidedly chunky, with a light moderate carbonation and a rather chewy feel. Overall, a beast of a stout, though a bit much to really drink much of at any one time. Thanks again, Jon, for this treat!

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 01/07/12 notes. Not sure if Brad or GT brought this to the RB tasting but thanks!

a - Pours a pitch black color with two inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of smoke, roasted malts, whiskey, coffee, peat, musty notes, and toasted malts. Lots of smoke and whiskey.

t - Tastes of smoke, whiskey, roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, peat.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. A tiny bit hot, and a bit dry.

o - Overall a nice smoked stout. A tiny bit hot but I liked it quite a bit. Would like to have it again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Darrell!

Black body with a beige head that coats the glass in sticky lacing. Aromas of oak, scotch, chocolate. Scotch dominates the aroma and flavor, finishing with a tannic note. A hint of vanilla with lots of wood. Honey comes in mid to late palate, offering a sweetness that nicely counters the oaky nature of the beer. Pretty good.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.37/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A – Pours like tar. Zero highlights. Creamy, hot chocolate colored head with a nice lace.

S – Bacon smoke. Light honey. Huge scotch note. Oak and thick molasses.

T – Big scotch flavor permeates the profile, but doesn’t necessarily slap you in the face. Sweetness up front with honey and brown sugar. Vanilla in the middle with dark roasted coffee. Bitter woody note, light smoke, and toasted nuts on the backend.

M – Full body. Silky mouthfeel. Warm booze into rolling scotch through the finish.

O – The booze is too aggressive for my palate. While it’s not oppressively harsh, it overshadows most of what the beer has to offer instead of accentuating it imho.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Mikkeller Black Tie, Imperial Stout Brewed with Honey and Aged in Scotch Whiskey Barrels. Mikkeller Black Tie is an elegant and generous imperial stout. This beer has benefited (sic) from aging in barrels. Crafted with the finest craftsmanship for the pleasure of the connoisseur. 11.5% Alc/Vol." 500 ml bottle, brewed and bottled by Mikkeller at Nogne-O, Grimstad, Norway.

High anticipation. This had better be good. But, of course, Mikkeller has never really let me down, before.

Blackest black, with a thick, full, rich roasted brown head, bubbly, lacy, beautiful. killer dialer. This shows great promise.

Aroma: huge. The Scotch barrel really comes through, in fact, it's practically jumping out. Scotch whiskey, with imperial stout flavors hiding below. Impressed, so far.

Taste: Dark chocolate, molasses, ...and boom! Scotch! Honey, though advertised, isn't tasted, and perhaps was used for fermentation. That whiskey flavor is dominant, though, and takes over every aspect of the brew.

And...I don't think it works. Maybe an imperial stout is not the best match for the Scotch barrel. Maybe it could have been married with an old ale, or an IPA, but it's not meshing, only clashing. This is one of those "who put chocolate in my peanut butter?" beers. It tastes like someone poured a dram of Dewar's in what might have been a great imperial stout, but I can't tell, the flavors have been utterly smothered and swallowed.

I paid too much for this, but I just had to try it. It seems so promising! Bourbon barrel-aging an imperial stout is very good. Scotch barrel=aging? Misfire!

You know what, though? Halfway in, it's mellowing, and I'm digging it a little better. I almost want to take back what I wrote moments ago, but that would be false, for the forefront matters, and initial impressions are important. Now, currently, the bittersweet, malty flavors of an imperial stout are catching up with the Scotch, maybe even overtaking it. Is it perhaps sliding to the background? Maybe it is!

And it is becoming more mellowing, more relaxing, more elegant, more of what is advertised on that paper wrapped around the bottle. Perhaps aging could help make this better in the front and closer to what I'm tasting now?

Right now, this is delicious. Bitter, sweet, vanilla and honey, espresso and chocolate, with whiskey running under. Mmmm. My faith is restored, you Danes and Norwegians. Good work. Just remember: give it time.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was a let down. Poured into a Bruery tulip. Beer is brown and with brown head that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Beer smells like roast and smoke. Not much else.

I really wanted this to taste like bourbon but this is tastes like a rauchbeer, straight up. The bitterness from the grains are overwhelmgin and it damages the beer overall. As the bitterness from the roast comings rolling down the palate, you are left with this dry smokiness. Not my favorite flavor profile.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is full of chocolate, with some light smoke, burnt malt and a little bit of oak. The beer is very burnt tasting. The malt is heavily charred, but there is also a little bit of chocolate and whiskey. I also unfortunately get a little bit of bandaid character in the flavor. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer is pitch black with a large dark brown, almost black thick head that slowly dissipates into rich lacings.

S: Heavy roasted malt, molasses. Dark dried fruits, strong black coffee and dark bitter chocolate. The oak gives it a vanilla-vibe.

T: Smokey taste with vanilla notes. Sweet roasted chocolate malt balanced with bitter hops and dryness from the roast. Rich dark dried fruits. Strong black coffee and dark bitter chocolate. Complex.

M: Full syrupy body with very low carbonation. Aftertaste lasts for quite some time and holds a dry crisp bitterness balanced with smoke.

O: A nice beer, but in my taste the vanilla makes it a bit difficult, but that's just me - a great beer...

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Photo of avalon07
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a coal black color and a completely thick, opaque texture. There was an inch and a half of foamy brown colored, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing. A fantastic-looking beer.

S: A big, robust aroma of coffee, chocolate and a healthy dose of scotch.

T: Tasted of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, malt, and the aforementioned scotch (this element is not nearly as powerful as you might think). A hearty, complex, and flavorful beer. Surprisingly, the alcohol content is not a factor.

M: A well carbonated beer with a slick finish. Full-bodied.

D: An exceptionally drinkable beer.

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Photo of maximum12
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Impulse buy in the check-out lane at Target the other day. Really, I don't buy much Mikkeller due to the price points but hell, every once in a while can't hurt. I've spent a few dollars on stupider stuff.

My plus-size Terrapin snifter will take this whole bloody 500ML bottle in one swoop. Black on black, dark head that's hefty for a big stout. Nose is a lovely with hard whiskey, steroid-bulked up malts, & nice sweetness on top of the malts. My salivary glands perk up.

Black Tie is much smokier than expected - no hint of that from reading the label or sticking my nose in it. The smoke isn't pure, but leavened with good black farm dirt. The stout underneath is a bit tough to get at; the scotch makes its presence known in a mix of whiskey & vanilla, along with an oaky dry in the back-waters. There are malts in there too, but submerged beneath the murkiness of the other ingredients. Suprisingly lively. I'm enjoying this, but I'd much have preferred a 12 oz. bottle or splitting a bomber vs. putting down 500ML.

Well, what? Good beer, but not at all what I was expecting. The barrel is lovely, but this strayed into smoked beer territory. But who cares? Tasty, but the pleasant flavors were slugging each other rather than ballroom dancing. Another couple years in the cellar might have done this one good.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a-Poured a deep thick oil black with a perfect dark tan head into my oversized snifter. Semi slick lacing and a swirl of the glass brings the head back to life. Can't look anymore attractive than this one. Really stunning.

s-Interesting. Chocolatey, creamy, and a nice touch of peaty wood. Much more together than the black hole whiskey.

t-Peatiness is subtle in the background, but really what makes this one different. Malty and very RIS like but without an alc bite. Rich and full like an oatmeal stout. I really appreciate the stout and find that the wood aging adds an interesting element to the flavor. The base beer is really great and I can't decide if the barrel aging takes away from the beer or is enhancing the flavor. Depending on what you like, I can see people really loving this or being not into it. Gets better when you get acclimated to the barrel taste but at first very different for me and a bit offputting (and I'm a scotch fan and a stout fan). very roasty and slightly smokey.

m/d-Leaves a bit of a whiskey aftertaste but without a bite. Thick and rich. I've had a few stouts aged in scotch barrels and I find that these barrels are not the match that bourbon barrels are for stouts. Perhaps scotch barrel aging would be better suited for a different style? In any event, this is a very drinkable beer, dangerously drinkable. This is definitely worth a try for the mikkeller fans as it is an interesting twist on a stout. mikkeller beers are very hit or miss for me and this one is one I'd consider a hit.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a dark black, viscous and very creamy brown colored head.

S-the nose has hints of fusel alcohol right up front, tons of honey in the nose with a mix of whiskey. smoked peat moss with roasted malts towards the back. sweet but strong malt presence.

T-the taste is much smokier than the nose. the honey is much more faint, charcoal, smoked peat, roasted malts, light notes of vanilla, honey with some sweet dark fruits in the back.

M-medium to full body, creamy on the palate, very dry carbonated finish. interesting feel and not too heavy.

D-not a bad beer, interesting flavors and the honey seems to blend well with the barrel aging making it somewhat sweet but still huge malt body.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is rich and oily with strong tones of brown sugar and caramel as well as a hint of quality coffee. It pours a deep opaque sable with a nice thick fine-bubbled tan head that sticks around for a while and leaves some good lacing. Flavor has tones of sweet chocolate, molasses and coffee with a hint of toffee and a fierce but not overpowering alcohol bite. Texture is smooth and oily, with a ragged fizz due to the high alcohol content. I recommend this one to all stoutie fans, especially if you're not afraid of a booze bite.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hefty and rich Whisky barrel stout, with a marked bitter edge that is coated by a nice hint of honey.

Presentation: 500 ml brown capped bottle. Simple front label design, black Mikkeller branding over a light cream/salmon background with the profile of the brewer dressed up in black tie. Includes a small paragraph noting the style and intent Shows Alc. by Vol. (11.5%) Served into a snifter.

A - Black pour, with a nice brown 1/2" head, fair retention and surface memory with some small touches of lacing.

S - Boozy nose, hefty Scotch, bitter sense over roasted malt, notes of smoke...

T - Taste follows and after some direct assertiveness gains a richer flow. Assertive notes of Scotch, a bit generic but quality, smoked touches, with a bitter closing that has a shy but nice hint of honey. Plenty of bitter coffee notes, chocolate, and back to the Scotch flow.

M - Medium/full body with moderate carbonation, smooth with a nice bitter/sweet finish.

D - Nice full sipper with a good character that grows as it flows. Intense Scotch sense.

Notes: This one may deserve a bigger mark if one is the right kind of Whisky lover. The edge is assertive and rather well done, and loved the brew, but it does not represent my favorite sense of Whisky and in that regard, while extraordinary, I may have been slightly unfair. Noted for a recheck and to try with more traditional Scotch drinkers.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Black beer with a tan head that had decent retention. Exceptionally dark and viscous.

S - Roasted notes with a bit of chocolate and a little too much booze. Smells like it could use time time. Roasted notes are nice, but the whiskey is just a little too strong.

T - Roasted malts, chocolate, scotch. There's enough scotch that this beer actually has to be pretty big to keep the flavor profile that it does. Quite a bit going on, but not sure it's the best combination of large flavors, just a bit much for me.

M - Full bodied with medium carbonation and an alcohol-like finish.

O - Good beer, not great, and maybe it will be better with time, but it's worth trying.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - This is indeed black as night with an incredibly dark head. The head was quite amazing and unusual. It didn't come up at first but then I got an easy two inches at the end of the bottle. It was a very dark brown like the color of dark brown sugar. Either way, the depth of color along with the terrific lacing that it left on the inside of my chalice earns this one a perfect score on appearance.

Smell - There's some good, lightly-roasted malt in here but the smoke, although not overpowering, clashes with the malty goodness. The sugars are raw and brown but again somewhat muted.

Taste - The malts are more roasted than I thought. They are very dark, almost burnt, but again don't mix well with the light smoke. The sugars are not explosive but well done.

Mouthfeel - This is full-bodied with some serious bitterness throughout. The finish is a soft, lingering smokiness like the last draw of a fine cigar.

Drinkability - This is very drinkable for such a high ABV ale. It might be too bitter for some but I enjoyed it.

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Photo of Gmann
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black color with a small tight brown head that settles into a light ring. The aroma is very unique. I pick up smoke, ash, licorice, molasses, roasted malt and a bizarre band aid scent. Perhaps some alcohol vapors as well. The smoke flavor is forefront in the profile; its strong but the malt body can handle it. There is some ashy characteristics as well to go along with a strong roasted malt. Tart berry fruitiness and the honey add some additional complexity. Luckily the bizarre phenols in the aroma don't come through in the taste. The feel is thick and chewy with tingly carbonation; bitter aftertaste from the smoke and roasted malt. This is a very bold stout; strong roasted flavors to go with a strong smoke presence. I like smoke in my beers so this works for me. It is a bit ashy but I think it works well with this stout. The ABV does peak through at times.

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Photo of gford217
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle.

Pours completely black with a rush of tiny mocha bubbles that stream to the top and feed a thick, creamy head that leaves great lacing. Gorgeous beer.

No doubt this one was aged in Scotch barrels given the nose. Big smoky, peaty Scotch aroma with some honey thrown in. The underlying beer brings some heavily roasted malts and bakers chocolate. Some wood as well.

Taste is also dominated by the Scotch with some smoked wood, peat and alcohol burn in the finish. The honey brings an interesting sweetness that balances the heavily roasted malts a bit.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft carbonation but doesn't feel too much different that a shot of Scotch on the palate.

Well, I've never been a big fan of Scotch-aged beers and this is no exception. The flavors are strong but don't come together completely for me. I think the honey is a good addition but it's tough to get past the Scotch.

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Photo of Jeffo
2.63/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Got this at a warehouse just on the other side of the Belgian border.

From a bottle into a pint glass.

APPEARANCE: Pours a 2 finger medium-thick looking frothy mocha colored head with good retention. Jet black body with higher levels of carbonation evident for the style. Tiny bubbles. Head recedes to a healthy thick foam cap. A splotchy film and a ring remain but leave minimal lacing down the glass. Decent looking brew, especially off the pour.

SMELL: Not quite as bold as expected, especially given the ABV. Roasted malts, some smokiness, and touches of pure chocolate. Perhaps some wood notes in there as well. Average.

TASTE: Roasted malts and plenty of booze everywhere. Some woody notes through the middle, and finishes with some chocolate notes, bitterness, and a strong boozy flavors. A little one dimensional, and the booze is overpowering, failing to mesh well with the other flavors.

PALATE: Big full body and creamy on the palate. Goes down creamy smooth and finishes with an evident but not off-putting alcohol burn at the finish. Finishes slightly dry on the palate.

OVERALL: If you like your stouts boozy, this one just might fit the bill. For me, however, it was simply too much. Boozy elements can compliment a brew and cooperate with the flavors beautifully, such as in their big 17.5% stout BLACK, or they can dominate a brew and lay the rest of the flavor profile to waste. Unfortunately Black Tie fits in the latter category. Not one I'll be looking for again.

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Black Tie from Mikkeller ApS
3.86 out of 5 based on 100 ratings.
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