Black Damnation XI - Special Kay | De Struise Brouwers

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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.

Added by brewandbbq on 08-29-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
71
Reviews:
25
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
9.2%
 
 
Wants:
193
Gots:
13
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 71 |  Reviews: 25
Photo of erg
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of LynnHomeBrewer
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of lanbewardin
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of jammalamma
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of beernads
5/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of fewa
5/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this one on draft at the Kerstbier festival in Essen and from a 75cl bottle. The beer is pitch black, with a dark brown head. Smell is heavy roast, chocolate, vanilla, coffee and malts. Taste is very similar. Bitter coffee, chocolate, warming alcohol and spices. Moutheel is thick and sticky. The bottled version was much milder and less boozy than the draft version. Bottled this is a fantastic beer, which is hiding the alcohol much better than the draft version. Equally brilliant to the BD5 in my opinion.

 515 characters

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.78/5  rDev +9.9%
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 phingdong
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of monitorpop
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Brabander
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Phobicsquirrel
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of bsuedekum
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Kelp
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Mbrown44
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of 77black_ships
4.71/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had this several times draft. First time was fresh at the Kertbierfestival 2011 in Essen where I was blown away by it. Had about 6 tasting glasses of it. Many of those were from people who couldn’t manage to drink their own sample. Tried it since then again draft at the brewery and at their store in Bruges. Both times it was nice but paled in comparison to having it fresh on tap in Essen. Review is from the first time I tried it.

Appearance: Ridiculously dark, looks viscous and oily when poured. Incredibly it supports a bit chocolate mousse despite the very high ABV, courtesy of Struise’s special eisbocking technique.

Smell: Cold the booze comes through way to much, almost smells like vodka – not my thing. When warmed you get chocolate, thick roasted malts, ice coffee as thick as a milkshake but unfortunately the alcohol comes through still heavily.

Taste: Thick, very thick, thick syrup, super concentrated malt syrup, bucket of molasses squeezed into this, concentrated brown sugar, ice coffee & condensed coffee, sludgy, a roast which tries not to drown in the syrup & sweetly goodness, strong Porto (calvados?) aftertaste, warming but not really alcoholic.

Body: By far my favorite aspect of this beer, thickest RIS I have every head. Pure syrupy sludge – incredible.

Overall: The first time when I tried this, freshly made it was divine. An experience aided perhaps by the fact that this my first beer in this ABV category. Previous incarnations failed but I hear that the bottles are much better. I have never managed to convince myself to cough up the incredibly hefty price tag.

 1,615 characters

Photo of PapaEugene
4.7/5  rDev +8%
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 DrinkSlurm
4.67/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had from tap at the brewery...awesome!!!
First of all, Carlos apologized for this batch only being like 18% ... (how will I sleep?!)
This pours a thick oily black with thin tan head. Amazing chocolate malt, dried fruit, vanilla, and booze aromas. Taste is truly amazing. Chocolate, dried fruit and I suppose its port I taste...its fantastic!! I so wished to take a whole barrel home with me. Just an amazing brew.

 413 characters

Photo of mtbdonn
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I originally had the Special Kay from the keg at the Kerstbier festival in Essen, Belgium.
Opened a 75cl bottle from the cellar at approx 50 degrees F and served in my Struise tulip glass.

A-The beer is pitch black, with a nice, dark brown head. Light carbonation with nice lacing.

S-Heavy roast, chocolate, vanilla(?), coffee and malts.

T-The taste is very similar to smell, bitter coffee, chocolate, warming alcohol and spices. The bottled version was much milder, less alcohol than the draft version.

M-Tingly warm, silky, smooth.

O-Definite indications of Struise brewing!
This bottled version is a fantastic beer, but at 22%, it still has that alcolol punch. A nice sipping beer that finishes with a warming that melts down your throat.

 750 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A frozen version of Kabert. Three gallons reduced to one gallon via secret method of freezing.

Served very late night by De Struise at Ebenezer's Belgian Fest.

Black tar appearance with a surprisingly dense, rocky head of brown. Ripped lacework throughout the glass.

Charred chocolate, reduced espresso, roasted malt embers, and nougat in the nose. Warming alcohol steps forward along with intensifying Port.
Bits of rich earth, vanilla, and burnt brownie ends follow though.

Massively thick, chewy body. Tongue-wrapping and approaching an almost solid state.

A dense mix of dark chocolate, char, Kona grounds, and nougat lead off the pallet. Warming alcohol steps forward with a mildly intense oaky Port essence.
Fudge batter, blackened cake bottom, and Kahlua follow though.
The alcohol warms up a bit more but the richness of the brew hides it so well.

Finishes with lingering char-infused chocolate batter, drizzled with Port.

By far, the most massive stout I've ever had. The Port from the Kate brings a great complexity through the massive profile, and the 24% abv strength is incredibly subdued.

Big props to Chris Lively, Todd Mott, and De Struise for making this gem happen.

 1,212 characters

Photo of Shaimless
4.6/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of brentk56
4.59/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours out dark as motor oil and almost as thick; the small tan head probably could have been bigger with a harder pour, but that is not the kind of thing one does with a beer like this

Smell: Just massive - all of the dark fruit flavors complementing the chocolate and molasses notes; smells a bit like a port that has been combined with a huge RIS

Taste: As on the nose, the taste here is massive as well, with the fruity notes bringing date, prune and black cherry, up front, and the chocolate, molasses and burnt brown sugar joining in the middle; the high ABV level hits, after the swallow, building the intensity of the flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with low carbonation; lots of warmth in the gullet

Overall: One of those rare beers that will wow everybody in a room, I was just so happy to have had the opportunity to try it

Thanks, bobertkuekn, for bringing this to the ORF release - mighty generous

 926 characters

Photo of rvdoorn
4.58/5  rDev +5.3%
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 claaark13
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Jeffo does it again. I was afraid he'd send BA Stella, but I got this instead.

A - Pours black with a medium dark-tan head. The head slowly turns into some nice lacing. Sticks to the glass well. Looks very appealing, head returns upon sifting.

S - Strong dark fruits, breadiness, booze. The aroma is potent and certainly provides some booziness. There is a little bit of the port barrel coming through, but I can't tell if that is mostly due to the ABV% instead of the actual barrel aging process. Faint licorice in the finish.

T - Very similar to the aroma. Strong dark fruits, then some licorice, then some mild booziness with more dark fruits. Breadiness comes through somewhere in the middle and follows to the end. Very strong, very complex. As it stands, I think this could benefit from some age. No question.

M - Not really sure how much more you could ask for. Thick, thick, just enough carbonation, thick.

O - The flavor could develop a little more. The rest is damn good. The booze needs to fall off and the time it would take for that to occur would likely provide for some of the other flavors to come together. Good as it stands, probably great in two years. I'm a little let down by the flavor. I expected perfection, but didn't find it. I guess Double Black spoiled me. Claaark13 : 1, Special Kay : 0.

 1,321 characters

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Black Damnation XI - Special Kay from De Struise Brouwers
4.35 out of 5 based on 71 ratings.
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