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Black (黑) (Islay Edition) | Mikkeller ApS

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Black (黑) (Islay Edition)Black (黑) (Islay Edition)
35 Ratings
Black (黑) (Islay Edition)Black (黑) (Islay Edition)

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 17.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 |  Reviews: 22
Photo of wethorseblanket
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of stakem
1.38/5  rDev -58.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

375ml bottle dipped in blue wax. Poured into a matching mikkeller star teku, the brew appears black in color with a dark khaki head.

The smell is sweet with chocolate and anise faintly if you can get passed the dominating character of plastic and bandaids. The smoke inclusion is in no way enjoyable. As the beer breathes, some medicinal and herbal aromas emerge.

This tastes initially sweet then roasty like espresso and bitter cacao with a bold flavor of plastic and used rubber gloves. I cannot shake the idea of trash/tire fire while drinking this. After the brew gets warm, some herbal to medicinal character emerges.

This is medium bodied and moderate to lightly carbonated. This beer is pretty bad. Ive had a lot of smoked beers including ones that utilized pete smoked malt...ive even drank some pretty intense smokey scotch but none of those experiences could brace me for how bad this beer is. Cellaring it for nearly 5 years has not helped mellow this out. I tried very hard to respect and appreciate this beer for what it is and what the brewer intended...let me tell you what a fucking waste of time and money. Hands down, one of the worst beers I ever drank that didnt at least have an excuse of being infected.

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Photo of tommyguz
1/5  rDev -70%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Honestly this beer was just straight bad. It tasted terrible. Almost like hot garbage.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of IanSpindler
4/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of Kmat10
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of t0rin0
1.25/5  rDev -62.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
2.64/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of ygtbsm94. Served in a sampler glass. Pours near black with a thin mocha head. The nose carries some roast and chocolate along with a good amount of peat. By good, I mean pretty strong, not joyful. Flavor is similar. A bit of booze. Can’t really get into this one.

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Photo of CelticAleMan
1/5  rDev -70%

Photo of Arbitrator
3.84/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Andrew / Bobby.

A: Pours a pitch black, as the name implies. Minimal dark mocha head that swirls out of solution and vanishes quickly.

S: This was clearly aged in scotch barrels; the peat, soy, smoke, meatiness, and general impression of having aged this on smoked Goodyear comes through quite strongly. I'm not a scotch nerd, but I love some Islays -- I try to keep Lagavulin 16 or Laphroaig 10 in the house regularly. This doesn't quite pick up the aroma well; the burning tire is off-putting. But there is a redeeming sherry / raisin note that tempers it.

T: Yeast autolysis is evident; there's a big, meaty flavor going on. It's an interesting combination; it gives the beer heft and pairs nicely with the boggy, peat, soy, salt, oak, and smoke contributions from the barrel. The sugars in the base beer work pretty well; I like the sweetness of younger scotches, and the roasted malt serves as a nice substitute. They've started to oxidize, creating a treacly raisin inflection that adds a nice element to the rest of the beer. As I'm looking over the flavor descriptors I'm typing and glancing up at the name of the brewer, I can't believe I'm enjoying this. But I am. It's a great marriage of imperial stout and peat.

M: I've had the base beer; the aging has dried it out a bit and tempered its heat. The oxidation is an overall improvement. Low carbonation, velvety body. It's a tad too sweet, but not impossibly so.

O: I wanted to hate this. It sounded awful. But maybe the unique transfer method helped it calm down and evolve. Sorry to let you down, guys. But I liked it.

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Photo of womencantsail
1.19/5  rDev -64.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours black with minimal tan head. Overload of peat, burnt plastic, tire fire, super smokey, and a fair amount of wood. There's a weird meatiness to the aroma, too. A little bit of chocolate, some roasted malt. The beer tastes like sugar and a fire. Burnt wood, peat, smoke, chlorine, and pain are also present. This is really horrible, horrible stuff. Undrinkable.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.22/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer shared by Brad, thanks. This version does not resemble the horrible no barrel aged version of this beer. Beer is black and has no head, no carbonation, no lacing, no nothing. Looks like oil.

Beer smells like peat. Very strong.

Beer is medium in body and very very very very very very smokey. Amazingly dry and smokey. Very dry, wow. An interesting beer, the whiskey severed along side this beer also kicked my ass. I don't know if I'd have this again, it hides the alcohol well but damn, this was dry and smokey, with hints of sweetness and booze. Wow.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.4/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

The beer is black with a soapy, tan head comprised of broken bubbles. The beer appears oily and viscous, leaving filmy lacing clinging to the walls of the snifter.

Scotch whiskey comes through immediately to the olfactory senses. I am a huge fan of Ardbeg, Laphroaig, and Lagavulin, three of the best whiskies from the Islay region of Scotland, so I am pretty excited about tasting this brew.

The flavor offers peat, smoke, wood, salt. A superb balance of flavors. While the presence of the peaty scotch is bold and aggressive, it still finds balance among the oak and roast flavors.

The beer is thick and chewy, yet smooth and silky. Strong and bold, but not hot. I just love the feel of this beer. Long lingering flavors of smoke and peat, the distinguishing characteristics of a delicious Islay scotch.

Overall, this was just fabulous. If you enjoy imperial stouts any of the whiskies mentioned above, I highly recommend trying this beer.

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Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Crazy stuff, acquired in trade. A complex mix of sweetish IS, that is cocoa, chocolate malt, brown sugar, cane sugar, with in-your-eyes Smokey peat. This bottle aged for a couple of years, the smoke rejuvenates in the second half of the bottle. Big boozy stuff, you get that mostly in the initial aroma. Black with reddish highlights, a little lace. Above average smooth mouthfeel. This would be amazing closer to the 2020 expiry. I needed help finishing this and my 23-year old, home from higher education, was up to the task.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of nmann08
1.5/5  rDev -55%

Photo of LinusBohman
4.5/5  rDev +35.1%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
1.5/5  rDev -55%

Photo of beerSexualizer
2.62/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Dear fellow BA members,

My girlfriend and I tasted this one in fall of 2010. I bought it in Calgary and procrastinated partly because they aren't available in Toronto and partly because it is an intimidating beer. 17.5% is a hot beer and I'm not a fan of Islay scotch. Here are the results of the tasting. First, BrewskiSlayer's opinion (thats my girlfriend here on BA):

"Barf. My first impression is that this beer is deee-sgusting. It tastes like someone took a dump on a piece of bacon and then wrapped in tin leather like a taco. I literally don't think I can motor through this. F**K." And she didn't motor through it.

here is what I wrote:

"So BrewskieSlayer (I changed here name from what is in my notes. I don't actually call her BrewskieSlayer at home) hates this beer. More objective I will be. It pours black with a slight dark brown hue circling the rim. It is Islay aged, so smokey and medicinal notes are to be expected. Smells like booze and caramelized sugars poured over peat. Boggy, earthy notes. It is an imperial stout but the sweetness is surprising almost eisbock like. Maybe they had to freeze it to get the abv which would explain it. Not being a fan of Islay whiskey I was surprised at first sip. Worth trying (like all beers are) especially due to its limited availability in Canada.
Tastes like sugared ash bandaged in molases soaked in booze. Don't love it. Glad to try it though."

Essentially, I was conflicted and trying to be positive but in the end it got the better of both of us and we sacrificed some to our homies/ the sink gods. Good luck with this one.


BeerSexualizer and BrewskiSlayer

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Photo of 05Harley
2.68/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by: 25/02/20

Purchased through Beer Planet Brussels, Belgium

Price - $17.50/bottle (ouch!)

Pours deep brown boardering black with a thin lite brown head with little to no retention. A thin ring around the glass is all that's left after a couple of minutes. Tiny specs of lacing try to stick but eventually slide back down.

The aroma is earthy with a combination of vanilla and medicine followed by smoke. It has a strong whiskey nose that's unmistakeable.

The flavor is wicked sweet with flavors of vanilla, raisins, smoke, bacon and tobacco which is an odd combination. It borders a port taste which I tend to like but it's just too damn boozy.

The body is thick and syrupy with the carbonation riding way back in the trunk. In the middle some heat tries to warm things up but is quickly shut down from the sweetness. Finishes sticky and dry.

Overall this reminds me of whiskey and a summer barbecue with teriyaki sauce and cigarette smoke. It's unbalanced and way too sweet. Quite frankly, it's just god awfull. I worked hard at getting the opportunity to try it but was sadly disappointed.

**updated on New Year's Eve (12/31/11) with my last bottle and my beer buddy Rochefort10nh.
Same resaults...

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Photo of nhindian
3.59/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle poured into a Mikkeller wine glass. Bottle provided by alpineclimber, thanks a lot!

A - Pours a viscous, oily, jet black with no hints of any kind of color coming through. It's like a pit of tar, only slightly more fluid. There's only about half a finger of dark tan head, comprised of large, soapy bubbles. There isn't much retention at all, but that's to be expected with a beer of this size. When it fades, however, it leaves a thick ring of foam around the edges and a milky cap. Some slight lacing, but it fades quickly.

S - The nose on this is big, aggressive, and foreboding. Thankfully, I'm not getting the overwhelming char and soy that was in the base Black, and instead it's replaced with a somewhat smokey aroma. Separate from that smoke is the peat malt, which adds yet another depth of 'smoke' to it. A bit of dried tobacco leaves. It actually does take on the smell from an Islay single-malt surprisingly well, with an added layer of complexity from the beer underneath, giving it an edge of chocolate. There is very little alcohol heat in the nose, which is blowing me away, and hopefully can continue into the taste.

T - Hmm. The taste is confusing me a little. As in the nose, there is all kinds of smoke here, but I don't think it's as balanced. The soy that was so present in the base comes through again slightly, giving it a sweet and salty characteristic that conflicts with everything else. Almost immediately, I'm getting a charcoal flavor that brings BBQ to mind instantly. It appears as if a boxing match is happening in my mouth. It starts with that sharp, briny, sweetness and then the Islay characteristics comes through to battle it, giving off flavors of that peat, which is similar but all-together completely different than the smoke from the charcoal. In the finish, the sweetness gets up off of the mat and strikes back, giving off a slight candied-fruit taste before ending with a soy and seaweed aftertaste. Shades of alcohol are felt in the back of the throat as it goes down.

M - Mouthfeel is surprisingly light-bodied given the appearance with low carbonation. It actually sort of feels like a whiskey going down, which is quite the feat given the amount of alcohol and sweetness in this beer. Feels pretty slick, but sometimes watery, going down.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate and tough to judge. Compared to the base Black, this is worlds better. However, I think Black itself is just too big to really allow itself to be transformed completely by the Islay cask, which is amazing. I thought what came through of the scotch was great, especially how the peat played within the other flavors. However, the sweetness and sugar is a bit much at the start and finish and really hurts the drinkability. Before opening the beer I thought the alcohol would be the big question mark, but it turned out the be the sweetness and soy. I still have the Cognac version of this beer to try and am hoping it's better than this. Still, an interesting beer to try just for the shear magnitude of brewing that goes into making a beer of this specifications, but it's not the easiest to drink.

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Photo of eric5bellies
3.96/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours the classic oily ebony colour with a tanned large bubbled head that fades away after two minutes or so to a film.

S - Aromas are very pronounced. Some whiskey barrel definitely present with some stewed dark fruits. Some saltiness also present almost hickory smoked BBQ ribs like aromas. Definitely some sweetness also mixed in with some peat. Very interesting and a little different

T - Wow, this beer is very different in flavours and so pronounced. The initial flavours are quite sweet and boozy on the tongue with the barrel age really coming out. Once swallowed the massive peat flavours just take over and the sweetness returns toward the end in the form of a nice port that is sweet and not quite balanced. Overall the dominance is earthy notes.

M - The mouthfeel on this is rather chewy, maybe because of the sweetness. and the carbonation is low to medium.

O - I can see how this beer could rate at either end of the scoring spectrum, because of the fact that its so damn unusual. That is what makes this beer a high score for me. I applaud any brewer with the balls to brew such a beer. This beer is not hot at all and the 17.5% is well hidden, but in the end the sweetness makes this beer a challenge to finish.

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Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
2.78/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Absolutely no head, but that is to be expected from a beer with 17.5 ABV. It has almost no light shown through it, except for a tiny 3cm layer of somewhat light that gets shown through. Pours a jet black, solid black.

S: A lot of fussels, oak, sugar, roasted barley, and scotch.

T: Some Oak, Scotch Whisky, but a lot of burnt sugars, with a terriyaki beef jerky, along with a charred, burnt sugar on the end, and a lot of terriyaki sauce.

M: No carbonation, but it is very thick on the tongue.

O: This is beer drinks very smooth for the high ABV is has, it is very smooth. I got a lot of teriyaki from the beer, although that could of been from the sugar washes and the constant fermentation of the dark malts. But, for 17%, it drinks really smooth.

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Black (黑) (Islay Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 3.33 out of 5 with 35 ratings