Black (黑) Cognac Edition | Mikkeller ApS

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Black (黑) Cognac EditionBlack (黑) Cognac Edition
29 Ratings
Black (黑) Cognac EditionBlack (黑) Cognac 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.

Added by bark on 01-27-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 29 |  Reviews: 22
Reviews by tavernjef:
Photo of tavernjef
4.87/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Even brown pour relaxing quite black in the goblet with a massive fluffy crown of dark tanned foam lushing up to about two fingers high. Lots of layered sheets of lace coat the glass.

Upon opening this I knew I was going to like this nose, and a closer whiff indeed brings me immediatly to love it! Wow, amazingly set dark depth in alcoholic notings that bring both the cognac aging and some nice bourbony sweetness as well. All that sitting tremendously well blended with a dark sweet chocolate covered raisinyness. Some maple and vanilla hints as well as some low ended cookie dough.

Taste is just as immaculate; very nice complexity and girth to its flavor profile. Huge amounts of twisting bourbony sweetness and dark cookie dough stuff. A bit roasty in areas, but not overly so. Good amounts of vanilla and maple sift into a warming finish with leftover raisin, date, and cinnamon touches off the end leaving a warm cookie dough sensation. Nice!

Smooth, soft, and succulent medium body; quite warm, filling, dark, and sweet with just the right kind of alcoholic touch that shows its 17% without being a problem to its flavor.

Wow! A fantastic cognac concoction of a brew. No surprise really as Mikkeller knows how to make some of the worlds most uniquely and finely crafty tasty brews.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle. This has been in my 'don't fucking touch for a while pile', for well, almost a year. Tonight my lovely fiancee wants something 'strong and sweet' to go with our tree decorating, batter up!

This beer pours a solid, light killing black, with only the slightest of Cylon-eye crimson low-lying highlights, and a tower of sexy, dense, foamy chocolate milk hued head, which leaves a solid, variously chunky wall of lace around the glass as it very slowly melts away. It smells strongly of sweet caramel malt, concentrated white wine - kind of an aged icewine thing, dark sugary fruit, and a bit of roasted woodiness. The taste is big boy caramel, weirdly thinned by some equally sweet white wine, a hefty saccharine booze warming, overly sweetened espresso, crystallized brown sugar, and well, you get the idea.

The carbonation is actually perceptible, but to no real effect, the body pretty damned full, and agreeably smooth in the face of so much swarming booze, though it is admittedly restrained and integrated to a fair degree. It finishes still quite sweet, and forcibly so, the vinous malt retaining its formidable strength.

Well, a monster of this kind should be treated as such - just because you kick my ass well, doesn't mean that I have to praise you outright for it. Anyway, this is definitely a sipper - there's no other way around this lumbering beast - and more from the sweetness (if it wasn't crystal clear already), than the booze. Tasty, I can admit, but mostly in the extreme.

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Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent stout, though cognac was subdued for me. Black with one and a half inches of retained head, and very thick lace. Sugar, rich mat, bitter dark chocolate, good roast,a little sour fruit, balanced with vanilla. Great drinking experience. Extreme a.b.v. alert.
Bottle shared with Liam.

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Photo of claaark13
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a dark brown foamy head with great retention and some excellent lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with light cognac notes with well hidden alcohol. Taste is a great mix between some tar and some sweet roasted malt with well rounded cognac finish with very subtle fusel notes. Body is full with nice creamy notes and some good carbonation with almost no apparent alcohol. Very well brewed and a great improvement over the original beer which I was never a big fan of – Cognac barrel were very well used and drinkability is up there with the level of complexity in this beer.

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Photo of mmurphy525
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of liamt07
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from wordemupg, 375ml into a snifter. Best before November 8 , 2020.

Pours a very dark brown, just off-black. Big legs, with a dirty and dark brown head. Fantastic retention. Nose holds big cognac notes - very spirity and fruit, but underneath lies a monster of an imperial stout, load of chocolate, rich coffee and alcohol which tickles the nostrils. Taste is roasty initially, with some spirit notes coming through. Chocolate, dark roasted coffee and fruity barrel notes that interact exceptionally with the imperial stout. Some alcohol is felt, but surely not what the label indicates (was I this drunk?) The fruit notes and roastiness linger for ages, great flavour that I can't get over. Very low carbonation, if not close to still. Fantastic interplay between the components here, certainly some motivation to hunt down some quality cognac as well.

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Photo of ChrisPro
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Mikkeller Bar on 23 June 2011

A - Monster black beer that just scares me by pouring it. Thick as crude oil with a heck of a mocha head. In the light you can see hints of red, which may be an omen of what's to come.

S - The nose is dominated by lots of fig, cherry and dates. There's also some wood/vanilla and tobacco as well. So complex and it seems to evolve as it warms.

T - As sweet as it smells. This is my kind of beer. Tons of sweet chocolate and fig with a nice woody, coffee finish. Just wow.

M - Well, you can only hide 17.5% ABV so much. That being said, the aging did wonders to tame this beast. The alcohol is there, but not overbearing. Silky smooth carbonation.

O - Easily the best Mikkeller beer I've had to date. Between this and Konjaks, I'm convinced that cognac aging imperial stouts is the way to go. I would go out of my way for this beer many times over.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - It's black. Some brownish head with a little bit of stick on the sides.

S - Wow this smells good. Cognac, smoked and roasted malts, some dark fruit, caramel, sweet vanilla. Great blend of sweeter cognac and smoke.

T - Taste is really good, although not as amazing as the nose. Very thick and heavy with cognac, fruit, dark fruit, smoke, a little peat, and vanilla coming through.

M - Not the biggest body, but pretty close to full with moderate carbonation.

O - Nose on this is almost unbeatable, taste was good, but a bit much and got a little too rich for me to drink tons of. Overall, this is a great beer and really good treatment of this one.

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Photo of crusian
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Simone in paris!
pours with a half finger of head, holy crap, this thing is carbonated!! black as night.

smell is very nice grapes, with a bit of a damp dark basement smell. I expected this to smell a LOT more boozy. I poured a bit of regular black next to this, and there just is no comparison. it is amazing what cognac can do to a beer... the regular is booze booze booze, and not carbonated. This is amazing.
Taste is a bit like the nose, damp dark basement, with a bit of grape sweetness, amazing aftertaste of oak. abv is really not there as it is with the regular.
mouthfeel is incredible... at 17.5% I didnt expect carbonation, but wow.
This is great... the black hole cognac was not good, but this is amazing.

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Photo of womencantsail
1.92/5  rDev -54%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours black in color in color with a tan head. Alcohol, green apple, and some vanilla. Grape, wood, and super heavy on the chat and ash. Big maple syrup and a touch of chocolate on the finish. The flavor opens up with cloying sugar and maple syrup which quickly transitions to green apple, ash, and alcohol. The finish is a flourish of roast, alcohol, solvent, oak, and cognac. This is truly painful to drink.

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Photo of nhindian
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into a Mikkeller wine glass. Bottle sent by alpineclimber...thanks man!

A - Immediately this version of Black is much different than the base Black and Islay versions, as this has a huge, 3-fingered head with insane retention given the style. Thick, creamy, mocha-colored head makes up the bulk of this head, with foamy bubbles capping it to complete the presentation. After it fades, it leaves a cap thicker than the initial head of the normal and Islay versions. To go along with this head, there is actually some lacing, consisting of clumpy foam. It's nice to see the Cognac version producing a visually impressive beer that should have been the normal for a beer of this elusiveness and price. Oh, and living up to the name, the body is again pitch-black, obliterating any hope of light piercing it's dense liquid.

S - Much like the Islay version, I am shocked by how much 3 months of aging has changed the monster of the base black. Unlike the Islay version, I am actually sipping it side-by-side with a dram of cognac as I am much less familiar with the spirit than I am with Scotch whisky. The cognac in question is Deau VS, so it's nothing special, and it is a bit more fruity than other cognacs I've had, but it'll do! The signature char of Black comes through strong in the aroma as I expected, but there's almost none of the offensive soy that was in the base and to an extent, the Islay, versions. A touch of burnt sugar, molasses, and a good amount of fruit. Especially getting some apricot and apples. Probably the best smelling version of this beer I've had.

T - While the Islay conditioned Black had a great nose, it really fell off when it came to taste (while the normal Black failed in all aspects...) With bated enthusiasm I take my first sip and... it's actually pretty good! Absent are the BBQ charcoal and soy of the Islay, to be replaced with a slick fruit and even some honey notes as well. Sugar-coated grapes mixed with a bit of ash. The transition from sweet to bitter acridness is a bit harsh at first and a touch unpleasant, but it comes easier as I drink. A decent amount of chocolate as well which is a new addition that I couldn't find in the previous two versions. Some oak and vanilla as well. Alcohol-soaked raisins explode in the finish as well as fig. Definitely has a bit of heat to it, and finishes with an additional alcohol bite from the cognac.

M - Mouthfeel is surprisingly light given the formidable appearance and ABV, much like the other Black varieties. This version has the added benefit of some amped-up carbonation, which gives it an added edge and helps everything really reach all parts of the mouth. Pretty smooth all around.

D/O - Drinkability is moderately high. Definitely the best version of Black that I've had, and the difference between this and the base Black I drank is night and day (the latter was a complete drainpour). I have to admit I was a bit let down at first by the taste of this, but the acridness really dies down or becomes overshadowed by the other flavors as I keep drinking. Pretty damn complex as well, as each sip brings more and more flavor. I didn't finish Black, I sipped on the Islay Black for almost two hours, but this one is surprisingly and dangerously drinkable. I'm glad I ended with this bottle rather than the Islay and gives me some hope for Mikkel's more adventurous beers. I would have to put this below Beer Geek Weasel and perhaps slightly higher than the normal Beer Geek as my favorite Mikkeller beer.

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Photo of BeavNH
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of DosBeerigos
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

C: Thick and Dark
H: Jet Black
N: Hellllooo Cognac! Hints of Coffee and Roasted Malt

Huge thanks to HopScotch for sharing this Barrel Aged Treat that is good till 2020?! 2020? REALLY? Will the world still be in existence in 2020? Regardless, this bottle wasn’t alive for more than 20 minutes once it was opened.
Did you order an Imperial Stout with your Cognac? If you did, then I think the bar accidentally mixed the two together. Seriously this beer was filled with the cognac sweetness and alcohol bite on the attack then followed with strong coffee and roasted malt on the back-end.
A little too sweet for my liking, regardless this beer is very unique, it doesn’t hide the alcohol, but almost allows it to shine in the forefront of the beer. This approach is often reversed by brewers, as people like to have the ABV hidden in big beers. Over time I think this beer will become near perfect. For the time being its damn tasty though.

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Photo of stakem
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a Mikkeller stemmed glass. Best before date of 08/11/20. This brew pours absolutely pitch black, even through the sides there is no light penetrating this brew except for the thinnest outlying edge when the glass is tilted. A solid 2 fingers worth of creamy dark tan head forms up atop the brew which is very attractive looking and suspiciously solid in it's retaining powers for a brew of this strength. As the cap slowly recedes, it coats the glassware with thick patches and a webbing of lace. A light swirl revives the cap back to a finger of brown head.

The smell of this brew is quite sweet with chocolate malt notes coming across almost like brownie batter initially. There is a mild note of yeast character very similar to other mikkeller offerings before the onset of spirit accented alcohol tang. Raw oak barrel quality is present mixed with a beautiful used barrel quality smelling of vanilla, oak and a faint spiced aspect almost like incense. There is a slight citrus element present almost like coffee meets hops but leaning more towards the former. Once warm, this brew becomes almost completely dominated by cognac yet leaves the door slightly open for notes of leather and tobacco to poke through.

The taste experience is a bit shocking. When the brew hits your tongue it is surprisingly sweet and then seemingly immediately turns acrid. Heavily burnt grains hit the mouth and not only taste of charcoal but carry with it the bitterness of char. There is an exceptionally strong bite of overly bitter coffee that almost stings and burns the tongue with a level nearing acidity when coupled with the alcohol inclusion turns numbing. The spirit presence in this brew is almost profound however it includes a masterful balance of base beer to barrel aged quality. The aftertaste includes a long drawn-out flavoring of raw oak tannins and mild must mixed with spirit infused alcohol with subtle notes of leather and tobacco. As I was enjoying this offering, I initially gave it a 4/5 for taste but now that I enter the second half I am leaning more towards a 4.5/5 because what I thought might turn into an overloaded alcohol mess has started to show sublte indications of more characteristics as it warms. Very nice.

This is a surprisingly thin bodied brew. I have never experienced anything in my life that packed so much alcohol and residual sweetness yet carried with it an overwhelmingly thin body. Perhaps the light feel is exaggerated by the evaporative quality of all the alcohol that is packed into this. It is almost like they blended a 50:50 mixture of imperial stout with straight cognac to get this feel and alcohol heat. I cant totally talk bad about the feel of this brew because it is appropriately carbonated and is balanced quite well. However, thickening this thing up and making the feel a little heavier would have made this a world class offering. Every sip I take I sit here and wonder how the hell they got this much barrel flavor into the brew, it seemingly carries with it every realm of the barrel aged spectrum up to and including scrapping out the inside of the barrel and getting the burnt char flavor into this. To repeat a friend's amazing comment about a different brew that is relevant here... "drinking this makes me scared that I am going to get colon cancer from all the carcinogens in this." Good until 2020? Pffff more like 2200.

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Photo of BBP
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with thick persistent head and good lacing.

The aroma is sharp alcohol with cloying sweetness. The cognac is considerably recognizable. A hint of grapes sneaks through as well.

The taste is a bit overwhelming at first with its sweetness but as you proceed further through it the roastiness and malt begins to balance it out. The aftertaste is phenomenal. The richness is very explicit and evident. In the drink the alcohol isn't nearly as evident as it is in the nose. Oak and vanilla remain potently sweet, yet the complexity keeps me coming back.

The body is very thick but medium in weight. The finish is dry and sticky as you'd expect from a beer with this alcohol.

This is an incredibly rich beer and it gets better after each sip. The only downside for me was that the sweetness was a bit much for my bitter preferences. Mikeller did an incredible job blending this and it's without a doubt one of their better brews.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into tulip mar31 2011

A Looks dark brown as it comes out of the bottle, once in the glass it lives up to its name, black, slight cola at the edges. much to my surprise a big dark mocha head has great retention and leaves several distinct rings of lace. a few rings later I give it a swirl and I get a little leg, pretty nice considering its a beer

S prune and raisin mingle with chocolate, booze, some evidence of the barrel and a little cinnamon of all things.

T some very dark molasses on top of what I smell, quite sweet and perhaps just a little smoke, very dark fruits and faint espresso, intense to say the least

M thick with enough carbonation to give it some life, there's a booze burn but I'd never guess this is 17.5%, just a little sticky and the flavors glue themselves to my mouth

O shes a big one you can rest assured, powerful stuff going on here, kick your ass I wish I had a friend to share with kind of power. so much flavor and intensity, very rich and tasty

I'll be aging a few of these without doubt to see how it will mellow, if you see this buy 3, one for today and you know what to do with the other 2

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Photo of CelticAleMan
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%

Photo of Jeffo
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one at Dranken Geers in Gent.

From a 375ml bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Thick, black pour yields a 1+ finger, thicker looking, mocha colored head with great retention. Thick black in color, viscous, with medium carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a nice foam cap and sticks to the sides of the glass. A full wisp cap remains and leaves lots of nice lacing. A phenomenal looking big stout.

SMELL: Roasted and burnt malts, dark chocolate with lots of cognac and vanilla aromas. Dark fruits, with grapes and cherries, as well as some port wine. Boozy for sure, but complex as well.

TASTE: Follows the nose well. Roasted beginning with dark chocolate and some nice boozy cognac up front. Cognac, vanilla and port at the swallow, moving into a massive aftertaste with lots of cognac barrel, burnt malts, dark chocolate and alcohol that lingers forever. The alcohol is perhaps a little too present here, but the flavor profile is delicious.

PALATE: Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth with only a minor bite at the swallow, and finishes rather mouth-coating. Some heat lingers, but not 17% heat.

OVERALL: Another great one from Mikkeller. This series seems to be hit or miss, but the Cognac version certainly delivers. A big beer that is certainly boozy, but that booze doesn’t get in the way of the delicious flavors and complexity that this beer offers. A great look and big feel lend to the experience as well. It’s either this one or the Whisky version that takes top spot for me in the Black series. Give it a go if you can find some. Recommended.

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Photo of Pshkwa
3.69/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

as the name would suggest, it pours solid black with a beautiful 2 fingers of foamy chocolate milk head. Which slowly dissipates and leaves a thick strong lace.

Smells sweet and roasted, slightly boozy, but I expected as much for a 17.5% beer.

First sips are very sweet and rich, full of flavour leaving roasted chocolate notes.
I can tell this is not a drink which allows big mouthfuls, not very enjoyable unless sipped. Though for such a strong stout there is wonderful balance here, much more so then the non aged version. Though I will admit, after a few sips, I am starting to find it too sweet.

Not as viscous as I would have hoped for. I seem to recall the original black being much thicker, but it makes up for it by being nicely carbonated, which even after being sipped for 20+ minutes is holding up. Not grainy as I have found some of Mikkellers other stouts to be.

Overall, I enjoyed this beer. One of my favourite stouts I have tried recently. Where it falls short, it makes up some other way. For such a high alcohol content beer, I barely noticed. As with most of Mikkellers offerings, I would prefer a smaller bottle. Having no one to share this with does make it turn into more of an effort to finish then I would like. Though that is hardly a reason to knock the beer, I would just suggest not drinking this alone.

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Photo of Brabander
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer in a trade with beerbuddy (and far away family) Mark (Mar02x). Thanks Mark for this extraordinary beer!

Best before november 2020, that is pretty far away!

Poured in my Hoegaarden glass this beers is perfect. I rarely see a fluid which is as black as this one. I treid to shine some led light trough the fluid but did not succeed, even the edges of the glass stay black as hell.

The most beatifull foam, like the Black Albert of Struise, millions of bubbles. Very nice lacing!

Cognac is the smelle which is all over this beer, for the rest there is black chocolate and coffee.

Taste is very good but the only problem with this beer is that they could not hide the alcohol and that makes the beer too heavy to drink all by yourself. That is why i say that you should drink this beer with one or two friends.

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Photo of whartontallboy
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of alpineclimber
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bravely cracked this one on a Tuesday evening. The huge Mikkeller beers always worry me a bit when I go for the bottle opener.

Cracked and poured into a chalice. The pour produces a huge mocha head on a black brew with a syrupy appearance on the glass.

This brew smells like a glass of port, sweet and rich. It's appealing.

A very big taste of black cherry, plum and stout. A good bitter finish that cuts the richness to let you know you are still drinking a beer.

A fairly full mouthfeel, kind of syrupy.

This is more like a port wine then a beer. It definetly pushes the limits on what a beer is, it's big and rich.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.57/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at Andrew Hilton in Lethbridge, AB. Best before November 2020. Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - A big dark tan foam settles to a thin cap, leaving behind splotchy lace. The body is unsurprisingly black, with a glint of brown at the fringes.

S - Absolutely delicious mix of cognac, chocolate, dark fruits, lightly roasted malts, vanilla, and light oak. Alcohol is fairly well-hidden, as this must be stronger than the base beer's 17.5%.

T - Taste has a touch more alcohol bit, particularly in the finish, but nothing that would suggest the ridiculous ABV. Light char and oak as well, but mostly the aforementioned delicious blend of cognac, chocolate, and other stout flavors. Perhaps a bit sweet for large quantities.

M - Fairly big oily body, but seems a tad undersized for the ABV. Lower carbonation, with some minimal warmth in the finish. Not bad, just not as impressive as the other elements of the beer.

D - This is by far the best Mikkeller Black variant. Also makes me crave more cognac barrel-aged beers. We destroyed the 375ml bottle in no time, which probably started the slow and inevitable spiral into inebriation. I will definitely be seeking out more of this one.

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Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

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Black (黑) Cognac Edition from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 29 ratings