Black Buffalo (黑牛) | Mikkeller ApS

BA SCORE
86
very good
75 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score
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Black Buffalo (黑牛)Black Buffalo (黑牛)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS
Denmark
mikkeller.dk

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 19.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels.

Added by bark on 07-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
75
Reviews:
34
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
16.62%
 
 
Wants:
22
Gots:
23
For Trade:
1
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Ratings: 75 |  Reviews: 34
Photo of gford217
2.8/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

375ml bottle.

The pour isn't pitch black but pretty close, translucent chocolate brown out of the bottle, settling in under a thick mocha head that shows excellent retention and lacing. Really surprised at the head and lacing on a beer this big.

Aroma is bourbon, vanilla and a metric ish-ton of heavily roasted chocolate malts, not quite charred, just heavily roasted with dark chocolate and espresso beans.

The taste just doesn't measure up to the aroma. Alcohol up front, ethyl alcohol in fact. If regular Black tastes like charred earth (which it does in my opinion), then this is kinda like bourbon on the rocks...iis the rocks were pieces of charred earth. Burns like hell going down.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated given the alcohol but is all booze.

This makes Black Tuesday drink like Prima Pils. Doesn't hide the booze at all - the only flavors that do come out are charred malts and licorice. Just not my thing.

 925 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle into a 25cl Duvel tulip. Big thanks to Hopstoopid120 for sharing this monstrosity of a beer.

A: Blacker than night, with a finger of fine brown head. Good retention and lacing, especially for the astronomical ABV.

S: Insanely huge and amazing: bourbon, char, coffee, chocolate, and general barrel-aged richness. Amazingly little alcohol for the strength, with all the beer and barrel components receiving equal prominence. Truly wonderful.

T: Opens with all the awesomeness of the nose (SO much bourbon), but the booze swoops in like a falcon and simply destroys everything else with spicy, head-exploding alcohol. It's still a treat to sip, but nowhere near the perfection of the aroma.

M: Moderately thick, moderately carbonated, and profoundly sharp with booze.

O: I could have inhaled this nose on this one all night long, but sadly it was just too overwhelming with its alcohol component. At least it wasn't a sugar-bomb like Black Tuesday.

Cheers!

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Photo of Hopstout
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown-black with a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. Fades at a normal pace.

S - Dark chocolate and dark caramel malts, roasted coffee, lots of oak, bourbon and vanilla, molasses, black licorice, some dark fruit, and some booze.

T - Dark chocolate and sweet dark caramel malts, roasted coffee, lots of oak, vanilla, and Bourbon, black licorice, molasses, and dark fruit, some citrus and pine hops and a bit of bitterness, and booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a warming and sweet finish.

D - Nicely balanced big imperial Stout. Nice body and mouthfeel. The Bourbon is a nice and bold, but well balanced.

 651 characters

Photo of CoryR
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of Jspriest
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of NickMunford
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of scott2269
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

Photo of DangerDawg
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out extremely black with a stable 5mm tan creamy foam lid which leaves intricate patterns with every swirl of the goblet.

Smell.... Holy Booze, Batman! It takes some time to get accustomed to the level of hot bourbon aroma in this one, and to smell the dark baking chocolate and woody char. But once my head gets used to it, the rich and thick BT aroma signature appears and steals the show.

Intense boozey bourbon flavor blows the back of my head off. Sadly, most of the complexity of the nose gets annihilated by the boozey hotness. Instead, I am left with burnt wood charcoal and medium amounts of blackjack licorice...at least it is drier than most of the other high gravity brews that I have had...

Body is on the thicker side of medium, light carbonation.

In summary, a beautiful nose, but the flavor is overly harsh with solvent-y booziness which is an unfortunate flaw on an otherwise great brew.

 914 characters

Photo of DarthGuitarHero
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of krl2112
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of ChaseTheAce
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice black color with some tan head and just a bit of lacing, obvious alcohol legs.

The smell has a deep bourbon and a smell, some rich almost meat like smells. Cholocalte and vanilla malts, a smoky like character with the bourbon, big old' beer.

The taste is pretty similar, lots of bourbon and heat, it's sharp but I don't mind. Kinda sweet with plenty of brown sugar and pecan pie in the taste, mostly bourbon like notes, actually not as hot as I suspected, and pretty smooth. Some smoky flavors to go with the sweeter notes, nice.

Overall not bad but a little over the top, almost drinks like a spirit rather than a beer.

 645 characters

Photo of KAP1356
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Pours an oily, slick, black as I entirely expected it would. Surprisingly, there is a 1 finger thick, foamy head that is a tan, sand-like color. It does eventually recede to a film along the top of the beer.

S - The smell is super powerful and is all bourbon up front. Powerful bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and some bitter coffee come through. Much like Black, there is a very strong roasted malt presence that comes across burnt and ashy. Ever so slightly charred flavor comes from them. There is some dark fruits coming through along with some sweet notes of caramel that I attribute to the barrel.

T - The flavor starts as the nose did - with a strong slew of bourbon. It is closely fllowed by the heavily roasted malts that give an almost burnt, ashy flavor to the profile. Molasses, vanilla, caramel, bitter coffee and dark chocolate also come through along with some brown sugar notes. I think I taste some black licorice coming out as well on the back end.

M - The alcohol heat comes through pretty strong in this one and does tend to detract in the enjoyment. The body is slightly thicker than medium bodied and has a light carbonation to it.

O - Pretty intense beer - even more so than the normal version of Black. The strength of the roasted malts battles the sweetness ofthe bourbon and vanilla, but they go back and forth in the battle with one never really winning. This is a definite sipper and one that would be worth splitting with a few friends.

 1,507 characters

Photo of M1A2
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of doktorhops
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well it's review #250, and I thought for this one I would review something rare and unique: Mikkeller Black Buffalo. At 19% ABV it is nearly double the strength of the previous strongest ABV beer I've ever tried (Gulden Draak in case you were wondering). It is also the first Danish beer I have tried, and the first American Double Imperial Stout. That's a whole lot of firsts right there.

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a brandy snifter.

A: Deep black body - can't tell if it is cloudy but I suspect so. The head is a light brown and settles down to a ring of lacing.

S: Big aroma, actually has a pervading vegemite scent all over. There are notes of roasted chicory, fresh dirt, molasses and a hint vanilla thrown in as well. A dark and moody aroma all over.

T: If you like insanely bold flavours then this is the beer for you! Roasted chicory, coffee grinds, molasses and bourbon are the primary characters of this brew. Thankfully the vegemite is just in the aroma because as much as I like vegemite it would not go down well in a beer. There is a smoky note in there as well, and a sugar hit? Of course - in a beer of this intensity it is unavoidable, however it doesn't cloy as much as in a Belgian Tripel, which of itself is quite an achievement. The finish is well-balanced between dry and bitter.

M: Heavy bodied, vinous and with a light dense carbonation. Oily as hell, but again this was expected.

D: This is not your everyday beer; in fact while writing this review and finishing my first glass I am already beginning to feel the alcohol hit the bloodstream - point is if you're going to polish off a bottle of this you are spending the night in. Other than that it is a rare special occasion treat that really shows how well a beer can be crafted outside of the comfort zone (or ABV) of a normal brew. Overall an amazing feat of brewing.

Food match: You might want to forego eating anything with Black Buffalo - the flavours are too powerful, it's more an after dinner drink anyway.

 2,003 characters

Photo of TonyTalon
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of cvm4
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours thick black, lovely tan one finger head.

S - Straight up the bourbon hits you. Definitely barrel aged! Pretty sure I'm getting some vanilla and semi-sweet chocolate. Faint oak in the background along with roasted malt.

T - The reviewer below me is definitely spot on. Lots of roasted malt, charred oak and bitter finish. You can definitely not dark chocolate coming through. Also, the alcohol is very pronounced. I usually don't mind this if it retains the bourbon characteristics, but this is way off.

T - Full bodied, low-medium carbonation.

O - Everything is great but the taste. Too much charred oak in my beer.

 632 characters

Photo of JackieTH
2.65/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

The appearance is brown-black, opaque, with a thin tan cap of foam that sticks to the edges of the glass. It looks inviting. Scents of burned oats, charry grass, burned coffee grounds are detected before being overwhelmed by the smell of grain alcohol. Wow it burns the nasal passages a bit as well. Taste is atrociously grainy, alcohol, burning. Background notes of dirt, burned tobacco, bitterness like spent coffee grounds. Not good. Mouthfeel is burning. It's medium bodied. A friend and I were splitting a 375mL bottle, but just two mouthfuls were more than enough for us and the rest went into the fireplace with a rewarding burst of blue flames! Wow this one wasn't good.

 678 characters

Photo of tripledbrew
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of danieelol
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black with great head and persistent lacing for the ABV.

Smell is chocolate pie, chocolate syrup, chocolate ice cream, chocolate protein powder, soy, coconut, wood.

Taste and mouthfeel does not come together for me. Too spirituous/too much booze. Very astringent and almost sour in the mouth. Not particularly hard to drink, just more spirit-like than imperial stout-like. Just really, really hot. Does have a nice aftertaste with roast malt, chocolate and wood.

Would love to try again in 2-3 years to see what's happened to it.

 543 characters

Photo of gpawned
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.93/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12. 7 oz green bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip style glass. Comes out of the glass dark brown but (appropriately) black as it fills up the glass. Nice slightly darker thank kaki colored head, various sized bubbles that stick around a while. There's a skim at the top that states the entire time and a ring of small bubbles that stay at the edge of the glass. Decent lacing, but the lacing from the head goes away after a little while, there's still the syrup like coating on the glass. the whole session.

Smell is outstanding. Aromas of bourbon, vanilla, and maybe some cinnamon/cocoa blend. There's a slight sweet nutty aroma too not quite a hazelnut, but a nutty aroma. A little roast, but not quite smokey.

Taste is amazing! Tons of sweet roasted malt, some slightly bored caramel almost charred, vanilla, bitter-sweet chocolate and of course bourbon. Some nuttiness and maybe a little bit of molasses on the back end. Everything about the flavors are absolutely huge and are perfectly balanced.

Mouthfeel is perfect for the style. Full bodied with lots of lingering flavors after each sip. It starts sweet and maintains smooth throughout and has a bittersweet warm finish. Crazy drinkable, it makes absolutely no sense that this beer is 19.3% it drinks more like a 12% beer, it's so good.

 1,312 characters

Photo of JustinMatthew
5/5  rDev +29.9%

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Black Buffalo (黑牛) from Mikkeller ApS
3.85 out of 5 based on 75 ratings.
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