Black Tie | Mikkeller ApS

very good
100 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 100 |  Reviews: 70
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 Wisconsinality
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into Duvel tulip.

A- Pours black as night with a big three fingered mocha colored head. It sticks around for what seems like an eternity and leaves some of the best lacing I have seen. If I didn't know any I would have thought there was a milkshake in there. Just a gorgeous looking beer.

S- Big roasted malts with the sweetness from the honey picking through. Some nice bits of coffee, dark chocolate and black licorice. I was thinking I would pick up more whiskey but it is well integrated. The alcohol is pretty well covered up.

T- There is the whiskey. Not overpowering but it is the first thing my tongue detects. Smooth chocolate and roasted malts. The alcohol is a little more apparent.

M- About as thick of a beer as I have had and it is great. The smoothness of it is wonderful. You barely pick up any carbonation and that is fine by me. You get a little heat on the back of the throat making for a good winter beer.

D- This is the first beer to wow me in a long time. Everything about this beer is right on. The great balance of flavors combined with the thick body and looks amazing in the glass as well. I will definitely be revisiting this beer in the near future. Pick it up if you can find it.

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Photo of BieresDesMoines
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep black with a good head and some lace. The aroma is plenty of deep peaty scotch matched with a deep roastienss. The beer is dominated olfactory by smoky woody peaty notes with some molasses and sea air. The flavor follows both peaty and roasty with some coffee and plenty of mineral, iodine, salt, chocolate, raisin, and molasses flavors. The booze character is huge on this beer, but that's all right really as much as it tastes like an Islay scotch that character really needs to be there as well. This is one awesome beer.

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Photo of pixieskid
4.63/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This is definitely one of the best Imperial Stouts I have had in a while and a great example of what barrel aging adds!

full bodied, chewy yet creamy mouth feel; frothy carbonation.
Solid rich malt presence upfront; strong dark chocolate notes with a hint of sherry.
Nice whiskey presence with overtones of vanilla and a lingering woodiness throughout.
Finishes with a great oakiness, slight coffee bitterness and a nice milk chocolate note.
Overall; amazing mouth feel, solid notes and complexity. Alcohol is present, but in a good way.

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.9/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow. Poured into my Zatec fluted glass from a 500 ml bottle. Holy crap is it ever black. A finger of brick colored head, medium retention, decent lacing. Smells oh god of honey. I didn't read too much into the making of, but seems probably like Highland barrels. Some nice roasty coffee on the nose as well. Tastes glorious. Honey up front flowing into burnt dry coffee and then fading out into more of a sugared coffee. A bit of dark chocolate as well. Mouthfeel is it's only flaw, and it's minor. A bit thin on the tongue, but still nice and creamy. I wanted to give this a perfect score from the taste and smell, but couldn't do it. Nice warming alcohol in me, but not overpowering for near 11%.

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Photo of ratedz
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black with a huge two finger chocolate brown head. Impressive looking beer in the glass.

A quick sniff reminds me of a jar of honey, but getting into it a little more reveals some smoky notes along with a bit of whiskey.

Taste is full of roasted malts. A hint of honey comes into play, but it is quickly overtaken by more smokiness. The little bit of whiskey that was present in the nose is not noticeable at all. Roasted/burnt malts dominate every other flavor.

Mouth feel is smooth and creamy. Light carbonation and relatively thick body.

Not much alcohol burn for a whiskey barrel aged beer, which makes it a little more drinkable, but the heavy smoke flavor didn't do much for making me want to slam it.

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Photo of Jake1605
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a 12 oz. snifter that was rinsed before pouring.

Appearance - Pitch black with a tan 2 finger head. Head appears semi thick, but mostly faded away faster than expected.

Smell - Very sharp smoky smell, whiskey dominates. Very complex sweetness, the smell is promising.

Taste - Extremely roasty, I can tell the honey is somewhere in the mix. I also taste hints of brown sugar & molasses--Maybe some coffee. For me it was hard to sort out the flavors, it's very complex.

Mouth Feel - Smooth & silky, very full bodied. The mouth feel was my favorite part of this beer. Average carbonation for a whiskey barrel aged imperial stout.

Drinkability - Considering the style, this is very drinkable. If you are a fan of the style, I wouldn't pass this up.

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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 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 johnnieoz
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml brown bottle, batch nr etc section contains no visible information.

A: Deep black color with an espresso-colored head that dissipates rather quickly. Some lacing with bountiful tears on the side of the wine glass.

S: Honey aroma is strong on this one. But it is nearly balanced out by the Scotch infused wood.

T: Not as sweet as the nose would suggest...thankfully. Dark malts are present with some coffee and cocoa flavors, but the peaty Scotch and honey coat the palate.

M: Full-bodied and very dry with appropriate carbonation for the style.

D: A sipper that is boozy yet not overly hot.

The honey and Scotch combination sounded intriguing and promising, and the delivery is there. This is an unique imperial stout that some will love and some will hate. Not one of my favorites yet, but a quality beer that I suspect could grow on me.

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Photo of WeisGuy
2.99/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle shared by twig86 - thanks, Derek!

Pours quite black with a one-finger, dark mocha head. Head dissipates rather quickly and leaves a light lace. The aroma is dominated by styrofoam packing peanuts, strangely (though admittedly, others in my tasting group didn't get this smell). Underneath the packing peanuts, there were notes of toasty malt, bitterweet chocolate and a strong scotch booziness. The taste is dominated by an intense bitter chocolate flavor with an underlying scotch component. The oak really comes through on the palette as well along with a lighter plastic flavor. Rather full-bodied and creamy with only light carbonation. Strong alcohol warming effect. Not particularly drinkable stuff due to the intensely bitter and boozy flavors, not to the mention the strange styrofoam aroma and light plasticy taste. I can't say I've been a big fan of many Mikkeller products aside from the Beer Geek Breakfast series, especially considering their high-end price point.

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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 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 GbVDave
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Mikkeller tulip.

A: Creeps out of the bottle a fantastic, evil looking shade of pure black. Gorgeous milk chocolate/rust colored foam perched on top that retains for ages. The head gradually melts down to a thin, finely bubbled, rust colored ring that left a surplus of webs on the inside of the glass. Has legs when swirled.

S: When I first pried off the cap I got a huge whiff of char and peaty Scotch Whisky. Lots of barrel, initially. After that, I was really surprised by how much of the honey I was able to pick up on. Just the right thing to take a slight edge off the earthy and smoky barrel aromas.

T: Closely follows what I described above with a healthy dose of nuclear blackened malt, dark and bakers chocolate, sweet dark fruit, and of course peat, char, and honey.

M: Actually has a bit of a whisky burn when swallowed. This pretty much covers a lot of bases; sweet, oily, bitter, astringent, spicy, and smoky. This thing has a huge finish that sports an excellent integration of a slight scotch burn.

D: Excellent considering the abv and the potential for over the top whisky-ness. Sure, it's a one and done sipper, but what a nice ride!

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Photo of ahurd11085
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle, served at cellar temp into tulip.

A: JET black pour, with a mahogany head sticking about a finger up off the oily liquid. Yea, this is gonna be a beast.

S: Strong scents of scotch, with peat and smoke dominating. Backing scents of bitter chocolate and burnt malts. Alcohol is very mild on the nose.

T: Contrary to other reviews, I think the scotch notes blend very well with the base stout. Chocolate, smoke, peat and heavily roasted coffee interplay on the palate. Alcohol is barely noticeable considering the ABV, hops are non existent. Flavor is a great change of pace from the normal bourbon sourced barrels.

M: Quite thick, medium carbonation creates a super creamy beer that coats the palate and leaves flavors lingering.

D: Good for the style. A sipper for sure, but the alcohol is very well masked, and the flavor doesn't become overcoming or cloying.

All in all I liked this brew a lot. It is pricey for sure, but a great bal-aged beer that I would recommend to anyone, and that Im sure will do great in the cellar.

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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 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 nomomentwasted
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Haven't reviewed much recently, but this beer was unique enough to warrant a review. Opened with the Pizza Port Carlsbad Bottle Shop crew. Cheers to another great Thursday night.

Appearance: Thick, high-viscosity turbid black ale that leaves a blackened tanned half-inch crown upon the pour. The head dissipates pretty quickly, but coats the glass with a clingy brown film as it goes down. Very pleasing.

Smell: Whoa. Smoke and sweet. Ashy tobacco, almost like a honey barbecue sauce. Most beers with honey don't actually have much of a honey smell, especially in a stout, but the sweet honey esters definitely poke through the smokiness. I needed some ribs with this beer; the peaty smoke just keeps coming. Not to beat a dead horse, but this beer straight smells like honey-barbecued chicken.

Taste: Much like the smell, heavy, heavy smoke. The scotch barrel makes the peaty quality really shine through. Definitely tobacco, smoke, and a slight anise quality upfront, leading to more smoke and finishing with a dry sweetness. The aftertaste is where the honey really throws its' hat into the ring, resinating with the dry smokiness on the finish. Very unique. I may be over-rating the taste just a little, but it was so different I kept saying "damn, I haven't had a beer like this . . . ever?" Any beer that can make me say that (and not being repulsive) wins some high praise in my book.

Mouthfeel: For as viscous as the pour looked to be, the mouthfeel was not particularly velvety or oily. In fact, it was almost champagne-dry. Combined with the smokiness, it felt like cigar-mouth. Could've been a little less dry and slightly less thin, but the high alcohol makes me wonder if the smokiness is playing tricks on me. Regardless, could've used a bit more body.

Drinkability: Not an every-day beer by any means, and the price point (like all Mikkeller beers seem to be) is prohibitively high to really drink all that often. That being said, the 8 ounces of this beer were pretty memorable, and I would definitely recommend it for a completely different stout experience. Well worth the effort. Worth a bottle split among some beer-swilling friends, as 650ml of this would be a bit too much for just me. Unless I had some ribs.

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Photo of mjryan
5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As good an imperial stout as I've ever had. Big everything here. Heavy roast, cherry and peat fire in the nose. Dark chocolate, French roast coffee, highland scotch and cherries are the flavours. Oily mouthfeel, very full. If I weighed a couple of tons I could drink this all night, but I don't so I can't. Great beer? You bet.

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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 tendermorsel
1.64/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Man this was a bad beer... an abosultely over malted mess. yikes!

no head and totally flat. very viscous like motor oil.

Horrible taste. cigarette butts, ash and charcoal. Burnt malt. Ugh. Extremely hot. The Scotch barrel aging doesn't help with this one at all. The Scotch barrels added a awefull peaty taste. Basically this tastes like 100 cigarettes where put out in swamp water and they decided to bottle it.

I rarely bash a beer like this one. To me this is undrinkable. I cannot see age helping this one either. It is just an over malted burnt mess.

Drain pour and an expensive one at that as I paid almost 15.99$ for the 550 ML bottle.

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Photo of Sigmund
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle, from Voldby Købmandsgård. Batch #427. ABV is 11.5%. Pitch black colour, huge chocolate brown head. Strong roasty aroma with notes of coffee and tar, also notes of peaty smoke (from the whisky barrel, obviously - and the smoked malts), hints of sea water, dark dried fruits and oak, some vinous notes too. The flavour is extremely intense, loads of tar, very strong coffee, oak and smoke. The honey is barely noticeable. Quite bitter, with an ashy finish. Not for the faint of heart.

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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 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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Photo of niklas0770
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The liquid is pich dark and the two finger brown head fadest to leave some very nice looking lacing on the glass.

The smell is overwhelming! Lots of tar, cherry, wood, figs, raisins and with a very smoky feel to it. Some alcohol aswell...

This is like licking on some burned wood. Afterwards you get some cherry, roasted malts, alcohol, some spicyness, a vague hint of chocolate, but the burned wood is really dominant.

The mouthfeel is smooth and thick with low carbonation.

Drinking this beer is like having a staff sergeant telling you to sit down do nothing else. It hits you like a hammer. I find it hard to finish this one due to the amount of alcohol.

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