Black Damnation XI - Special Kay | De Struise Brouwers

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Black Damnation XI - Special KayBlack Damnation XI - Special Kay
BA SCORE
4.39/5
Outstanding
Black Damnation XI - Special KayBlack Damnation XI - Special Kay
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers
Belgium
struise.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 22.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A blend of Kate The Great (10.79% ABV) and Black Albert (13% ABV), brewed by master brewer Todd Mott of the Portsmouth Brewery in USA and Urbain Coutteau of Struise. This time our beer was fractionally frozen to -15 ° C over a period of 20 days. This method allows the water which is present in beer, slowly but surely to be separated from the alcohol, and allowing the volume % to rise. Another Eisbock process but modified a la Struise, still allows the result to be called beer. "Special K" has previously been aged 10 months in Noval Port barrels before undergoing the Eisbock process.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
26
Ratings:
74
pDev:
9.11%
 
 
Wants:
192
Gots:
13
Trade:
0
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 74
Reviews by tom10101:
Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev -8.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of mothman
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to Yves!

Little tan head. Motor oil black.

This combines two beers I like with more Kate showing. This hides some of the Belgian yeast which I think is great. Oak and port. Chocolate. Very light roast. Oak. Fudgy.

This was fantastic. The 22% cannot be found. Very fine beer!

 293 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Kelp
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of koopa
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Jeffo
4.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Why not? My mate Doopie pulled this new vintage of EisKabert out to pair along side Kabert on a random Friday night. It was fun to drink a full 16oz of this one (Doops is slow). Cheers man!

From a red cemented and corked 750 into a snifter
Best before 29 December 2016

APPEARANCE: Pours basically the same as its little brother. A black pour yeilds a one finger, medium looking, tan head with good retention. Body is black with medium levels of carbonation evident in the form of tiny, tiny bubbles. Head slowly fades to a half wisp and a thick, foamy ring. A good ring remains and swirly wisp remain until the end but leave no real lacing down the glass. Looks great for such a big beer.

SMELL: Roasted, burnt malts, some dark fruit, grapes mostly, and a strong port barrel. Dark chocolate, coffee and molasses, as well as some strong boozy notes. This is an iced version of Kabert for sure, though the booze is perhaps a tick too much for a perfect score.

TASTE: This is definitely a Kabert concentrate. Add water. Lots of port barrel and much boozier than the nose had indicated. Roasted and burnt malts, coal, and dark fruit flavors are there. Sweet molasses and caramel as well, with lots of port and alcohol everywhere. Big, bold and boozy aftertaste of port, bunt malts, dark chocolate and sweet caramel. Lots of port and booze linger on the palate.

PALATE: Full body with medium carbonation. Heavier and thicker than the original. Creamy and quite smooth, goes down fine and finishes rather sticky. No bite at the swallow, but a good amount of boozy heat lingers.

OVERALL: They call this beer "Special Kay." How retarted. That name reminds me of fat old ladies on their Buns Blaster 2000. The original name, EisKabert, is much more true to what this beer is all about. This is, in every sense of the word, an iced version of Kabert; a Kabert-concentrate if you will. The flavors are there ten fold, but unfortunately the booze is as well. The higher levels of alcohol and heat make this one a little rougher to drink, but with some time, this might mellow out into the master-craft brew it's destined to be. I'll stick to Kabert for now, but in a few years... Cheers for brewing this gents. We really enjoyed this!

 2,233 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.39/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Stupid red clay dipped with a synthetic cork. What the hell?

Appearance - Inky black. Almost no head. Thin collar.

Smell - Intense roasted malt. Booze. Molasses sweetness. Some port and oak.

Taste - Serious booze. Fudgy and some dark fruits. I think the port lends to the dark fruits. Bitter dark roasted malts. Sharp boozy finish.

Mouthfeel - Heavy. Insanely boozy. Low carbonation.

Overall - This is delicious. As big and boozy as it gets, but it's really good.

 519 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of stakem
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dear Struise, can you please explain the easiest way to open this bottle? Knife, saw, chisel, blow torch, hammer, saber? When the wax finally gives up the fight of keeping the brew away from you, it gets the last laugh by shattering into a dozen pieces. The cap pries off and displays a synthetic cork still getting in the way. When the last line of defense is finally broken, the 750ml bottle pops with a warning.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears black. Just very black with the faintest line of dark brown around the edges. A finger of dark mocha brown head appears and quickly fades. A swirl revives a half finger of froth back to the surface which again fades fairly quick. Spotty lace sticks to the glass and as its tilted to the light, you can see some faint ruby coloration.

The smell is thick and boozy. Vinous port quality mixes with a strong scent of cocoa batter. Raw oak provides a bit of tannic harshness to the nose with a contrasting deeply sweet smell of vanilla. A bit of coconut, licorice, oak and grape comes out as the brew warms up. Despite smelling bold with alcohol, it displays a very cruel sweetness that deceives you into making false assumptions about what thinks going to taste like.

The taste is super strong and boozy with a bold array of bitter charred grain. Tobacco and burnt sugar is suggested mixed with port wine, vinous tang and a bit of grapes sweetness. The derived sweetness gets completely crushed by the bitterness of the roast and bold alcohol impact. Across the back are notes of raw oak and more alcohol that gets a bit fusel.

This is a full bodied brute of a beer. It is thick and viscous but displays a moderate amount of carbonation. There is lots of character to take in this brew. There is no hiding that Kabert is running all through this brew. The 22% alcohol is not hiding at all, it seemingly stains the glass. Very aggressive brew that I can't describe any better than Kegatron stated while drinking this with me. "This tastes like it was made with testosterone." It seemingly rips the moisture right out of your mouth. Putting this in a 750ml bottle is cruel. It's something I'd love to open ad sip on but at this format, you need to call in friends to help with this beast unless you want to get wasted.

 2,272 characters

Photo of jammalamma
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Sean9689
3.82/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into tulip.

A - Pours black, looks like oil, light tan-colored head.

S - Booze, oak, dark fruits, light chocolate, some char, and roast. A bit too much booze for me, but for 22%, I guess it's pretty smooth when I think about it. Not quite as roasty as I'd prefer, and the char is a little too much.

T - Similar to the nose, but the charred bite on the finish is a little off-putting. Dark fruits, chocolate, oak, char, and big booze. Very sweet and rich, a sipper. The booze is there, but at 22%, I can't really say it's too much. Finish is dark fruits a char.

M - Full, rich and smooth (for 22%), light carbonation, creamy finish.

O - I think this is a good beer, but I'd rather just drink Kabert over and over again until I pass out rather then a glass of this. Struise continues to push the boundaries on ABV and inventiveness, and I think this beer turned out pretty good. That said, it's just such a huge monster, it's hard to enjoy much in one session (see Double Black). Good, not great.

 1,006 characters

Photo of Phelps
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Special Kay begins life as Kabert, a blend of Kate the Great and Black Albert aged 10 months in Noval Port barrels. It then undergoes the Eisbock process, wherein the beer is fractionally frozen to -15 ° C over a period of 20 days, removing the water and increasing the ABV and flavor intensity. This bottle was very generously shared by ejyoung and poured into a tulip.

Inky is an appropriate descriptor for both color and thickness — this stuff is black, viscous and scary-looking. There isn’t much head, just a thin, cocoa-colored ring.

Yikes. A rich, syrupy aroma that sticks to the nostrils. Major coffee, notes — like fresh-roasted beans — with smoke, alcohol, dark chocolate and cognac. Just packed with rich, alcohol-laden fruits.

When I was but a beer noob, I remember being awestruck at the thickness and massive fruit flavor of the 2009 Dark Lord. My palate wasn’t right for days. This reminds of that first taste — it’s such a huge flavor. Alcohol is very noticeable, as are chocolate syrup and huge port, brandy and cognac flavors. Grapes, figs and prunes show up as well. The swallow brings a huge wave of booze, some earthy hop bitterness, soil, dark chocolate, smoke and seared steak. A beer for giants.

Very thick, viscous feel. The body’s medium-full and almost like syrup. Alcohol is spicy on the tongue — no getting around that alcohol content. I can feel myself getting dunker with each sip. Gentle prickles of carbonation are all that keep this from being dead flat.

A crazy beer. Rich, outrageously flavorful and boozy as all hell.

 1,579 characters

Photo of pixieskid
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of rvdoorn
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up some bottles for myself and some fellow BAs in the struise shop in Brugge. Thanks again Bart for the nice customer service last week, and David for the nice talks and beers in the shop. Only between 300 and 400 bottles are made of this one. I wanted to wait a bit longer before tasting this one, but couldn’t resist the evening I came home from Brugge.
Look: the beer pours a deeep black color, with a dark espresso brown thick head.
Smell: coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, dark fruits and fruity port notes.
Taste: Dark fruits, freshly roasted coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak port notes. A bit spicy, warming alcoholic aftertaste. There is incredibly much going on in this one.
Mouthfeel: Thick creamy body with low but perfect carbonation
Overall: This beer is extremely well made. Right now, still a bit sharp/spicy, however, age will do this one very well and will surely make it a true worldclass beer! Can wait to open one of my other bottles in the future!

 988 characters

Photo of PapaEugene
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had to give up my free evening since rvdoorn went to Brugge and came home with some special kay... and couldn't wait to open one!!! I gladly accepted!

A: Black, I mean BLACK with a nice espresso foam like head on top.

S: Espresso (or should I say Ristretto), cacao, dark fruits and peaty.

T: Yes, defenitley Ristretto, Cacao, oak, port notes and dark fruits... and some alcohol warming.

M: Thick, creamy, smooth and perfectly carbonated for this style.

O: A great new brew from Struise and my only remark is the alcohol warming. With some aging this will just become better and better.

 592 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.71/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sean for sharing.

A - A black beer with a tan head. Had some solid retention that settled to a thick ring. Nice looking.

S - My initial thought on this one was apples, although not overly powering to make me think that something had gone wrong with it. Port influence gives way to some more traditional stout aromas including chocolate, slight roast, and vanilla.

T - Has some wine-like qualities up front. The alcohol on this is present, but at 22% is pretty mellow. Pretty rich, with dark fruits and chocolate. Good tasting beer.

M - Pretty close to full bodied, with lower carbonation.

O - Good beer. Not sure where the apple notes are coming from, but other then that there isn't anything to complain about. Glad to drink it, but would not try to acquire given how much it originally went for.

 813 characters

Photo of scottfrie
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing, Nick!

A: Pours pitch black with a thin dark brown head that faded into a very long lasting collar. Spots of soapy lace were left down the glass.
S: Meaty and hearty smelling. This is a beast of a beer. For such a high ABV I’m surprised I don’t smell more alcohol. This smells pretty smooth actually. I get a few notes chocolate and fruit. Definitely boozy though.
T: Chocolate and booze. The finish is sharp and lingers forever and ever. The booze is pretty mellow, but this beer is crazy strong.
M: Super duper thick beer. This thing is like barrel aged chocolate syrup. Carbonation is low and thick.
O: For what it is this is awesome! I could only handle two or three ounces of this though. Like a chocolate milkshake with booze and fruit. Thanks a ton Nick.

 788 characters

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle 22% ABV.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
Best Before: 29/12/2016

I cannot thank Thijs enough for getting this bottle for me! I absolutely adore gargantuan imperial stouts and if the previous beers in the Black Damnation series are anything to go by, this should be a pretty damn good brew!

Appearance: After about half an hour trying to open the bottle (the wax broke my bottle opener!!!), I can finally get the beer poured. A pitch black, oily liquid gloops out of the bottle, with a two finger creamy, mocha coloured head forming in what appears to be slow motion. The head retention is pretty good for 22% and there are even a few small chunks of lace left behind as the head recedes. A swirl yields a thick, sticky, brown tinted residue on the glass and some of the thickest alcohol legs I have ever seen.

Smell: Mmmmm, this smells absolutely delicious. Notes include: Raisins, plums, dates, black cherries, sticky brown sugar, light molasses, port, brandy, underlying dark chocolate, light oak and an odd hint of cinnamon. The overall nose reminds me a lot of a super rich fruit cake. As the beer warms the port notes become more pronounced and a hint of the 22% is noted.

Taste: Wow, just WOW! The flavour combines all the notes from the nose in perfect balance and with double the power! While dark fruits still dominate the flavour, the chocolate and molasses are more pronounced than in the nose. Roasted malt, dark brown sugar, charred wood, dark caramel, port, oak, brandy, liquorice, toasted nuts and chocolate liqueur are just a few of the other notes appreciated. Special Kay is quite sweet, but a light bitterness in the finish stops it from becoming to much and keeps everything perfectly balanced.
The alcohol cover is absolutely phenomenal, if someone told me that this was 12% I would not doubt them!

Mouthfeel: Hmmm, there is only one word for this mouthfeel - perfect! Thick, heavy and oily with a medium level of ultra creamy carbonation.

Overall: De Struise does it again - this is a phenomenal brew and one I wish I had not shared, I could have happily crushed the full 750! Highly recommended for any lover of massive stouts!

 2,197 characters

Photo of oline73
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at the Copenhagen Beer Celebration. Poured into a tasting tulip.

Appearance: This beer is black as night with a half finger of creamy tan head and nice retention.

Smell: Sweet and roasty with a strong dark fruit and port presence. I'm getting some chocolate and brown sugar. Roast and some alcohol as well.

Taste: Not as overpowering as I would have expected. Dark chocolate and dark fruit notes. I'm definitely getting some port here. There is a smooth roasty flavor throughout the sip and a bitter alcohol burn in the finish. I'm pretty sure I like this better than regular Kate.

Mouthfeel: The body is thick with smooth carbonation and a dry finish. This is a really nice feeling beer.

Overall: This beer tastes really good and feels wonderful. Incredibly drinkable given the abv. The fruit/wine undertones really make the flavor. I would love to have this again.

 889 characters

Photo of Brabander
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of teddyarrowhead
4/5  rDev -8.9%

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Black Damnation XI - Special Kay from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 74 ratings