Black Damnation III - Black Mes | De Struise Brouwers

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Black Damnation III - Black MesBlack Damnation III - Black Mes

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Black Damnation III is yet another variation on Black Albert. 100% of Black Albert was used that matured for a while on Caol Ila barrels

Added by alcstradamus on 03-14-2010

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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 260
Photo of Neffbeer
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at rattle n hum.

A: It pours the color of midnight oil with a wisp of a tan head. There is evidence of some brown hues in the light. No retention and no lacing.

S: The nose is an on slaught of smoky wood, whiskey, and a heavy dose of charred malt. As I keep smelling it the peaty nature is really pronounced. There are also notes of anise and dark chocolate.

T: It is full of scotch whisky goodness, peaty and woody as hell. There is a pleasant apple flavor that creeps in behind the barrel and manages to soften the blow. Anise and chocolate are not forgotten on the palate as it finishes bitter and surprisingly dry.

M: full bodied with minimal carbonation. It is really slick and viscous.

O: Extremely impressive, I wish I could get my hands on this on a regular basis.

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Photo of 05Harley
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 3/2015
Lot A

Purchased through Cracked Kettle, Netherlands

Price - $13.52/bottle U.S.

Pours pitch black, midnight black with a beautiful brown two inch creamy head. A thin creamy film remains after a few minutes accompanying the ring along the edge. Due to the viscous nature, the dots of lacing fail to make a big impression. A gentle swirl is all it takes to reinvigorate the brown head, wow.

Aroma is dominated first by a heavy scent of black licorice and whiskey followed by dark fruit and oak.

The flavor is both sweet and spicey. Pretty complex with a lot going on. Whiskey, roasted malts, vanilla, coffee and dark fruit.

Thick and chewy with a huge body. I can definitely feel the heat of the 13% punch as I near the end of the bottle. Finishes with a bite of hops which provides a slight dryness.

Overall this was enjoyable and has it's place huddled up near a fire on a cold night.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i would not have expected it to be anyway near this high an abv... i'm not sure if it was because it was on tap or it this is secretly this smooth. it felt like it was in ballpark of about 9-10abv. Although very evident malting. sticky to the touch. pour is as it should be with a nose most immediately of peat and forest berries... the forest berries dissipate rather quickly to be replaced with a peat malt and coffee malt. this is the predominant quality the beer. palate wise it was a toasty sweet peat coffee with an amarillo, centennial aromatic end. hints of walnut tannins in the finish. easy to drink but a conversation piece... more so in the fact that you can drink it for an hour and the consistent coffee/peat quality doesn't dissipate. and that you can tell your friends... can you believe it? its 13abv.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 4/16/2011 at Armsby Abbey in Worcester served in an over-sized wine glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark black color, short light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted dark malts, licorice and dark fruit.

T: The taste starts out with a rich roasted malt character and flavors of dark chocolate and dark fruit. There are some flavors of smoke and licorice in the background. The hops presence is very mild but creates some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, decent big stout and better than the regular Black Albert but not as good as Black Damnation II.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a - popped the bottle and poured into a lost abbey tulip. deep and dark like a black hole with a thick dark brown head. the head was creamy and substantial and very milkshake like.

s - coffee, roasted malts, a bit of vanilla and cream. kind of like one of them this-or-that-a-cino drinks you get at an overpriced coffee shop. desserty.

t - deliscious. much like the smell but dominated with chocolate. a mix of milk chocolate and dark chocolate with a strong roasty, almost smoky flavor to it. the barrel is definitely present in the flavor and a super nice compliment on the beer. i've tasted some other whiskey barrel aged brews and found the barrel to not compliment the beer nicely, but goes to show what difference a barrel makes since this barrel is a nice marriage with black albert and enhancing the base beer in my opinion.

m - leaves a really wonderful tingle in my mouth. the booze is hidden amazingly well. creamy and cooling.

o - overall, this is way better than black albert. the flavor is great and the feel is also top notch.

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Photo of portia99
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Armsby Abbey at Stoutfest 2011. 6oz pour in a stemmed glass - sampled side x side x side with Black Damnation 2 and 4.

A - Pours a deep, dark black with a low tan head that is just off-white.

S - Whiskey, salt/sea water, smokey, peaty, boozy.

T - Not much (surprised!), flavors are low and not that distinct. I do pick up boozy/whiskey flavors, smoked and peaty malt and some hop bitterness. Smoke is a bit over the top.

M - Low to medium carbonation with a medium thick body. Very smokey - the defining aspect of this beer.

O - OK...not crazy about the smokey aspects. A bit overdone for my tastes and definitely different from most stouts - very definite Scottish Highlands aspect here...not sure it works though - at least for me.

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Photo of jlindros
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Armsby Abbey Stoutfest.

Pours essentially pitch black color, a lighter darker creamy head.

Nose has smoky cheese, tons of peat smoke, bit harsh.

Taste is chewy, dry, little booze, bitter earthy malts and hops, lingering bitterness, light oats, spicy, light oak and vanilla, some roast and black patent malt.

Mouth is med to slightly heavier body, decent carbonation.

Overall pretty good, nice malt flavors, a bit overkill on the smoke though, not much booze.

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Photo of alpineclimber
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A sleek brown bottle with a cool graphic on the label, popped and poured into my chalice.

A good tan head on the usual black brew.

Dark fruits are very prominent on the nose, candy sugar and the malt used in the brewing process. Overall a very sweet nose.

Lots of dark fruit, plum, black cheery and the sweetness of an apple sauce. The distinct Belgian taste is there with the yeast and sugar.

A thick and creamy mouthfeel

Always and interesting experience with De Struise stouts. I rather enjoy the unique taste of the Belgian stout.

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Photo of corby112
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle received in a recent trade with PALMEJ1. Thanks again Jacob!

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a one finger dark mocha head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lace left behind.

Nice smokey aroma with a good balance of sweet and roasted malt as well as some dark fruit and earthy whiskey barrel. At first there is a very roasted malt character with hints of toast, dark chocolate, oatmeal and coffee bean but it doesn't smell burnt or acrid. As it warms, the barrel character becomes more prominent with hints of toasty oak, peaty scotch whiskey, faint vanilla and possibly some licorice.

Chewy full body with some tight carbonation and a bone dry, extremely roasted dark malt flavor. Lots of smokey toasted character with hints of bitter dark chocolate, oatmeal, burnt toast, deeply roasted, almost burnt espresso bean and a very prominent smokey peat barrel character. Plenty of dry toasted oak accompanying the prominent dry, smokey peat flavor. As it warms, the sweeter notes become more evident with subtle hints of dark fruit as well as some boozy whiskey. Although the beer has a boozy flavor, there is hardly any heat or warmth to speak of. The ABV is very well masked and although this beer is very smoky, roasted and somewhat acrid, it's actually very quaffable.

Overall, this was an interesting take on the Black Albert/Damnation series. The single malt scotch barrel aging is very unique and adds a good amount of smokey peat without killing the base beer. It's a bit one dimensional and heavy on the roasted, almost acrid side but I still really liked it. If you like Islay single malt scotch and or roasted, smokey stouts then this beer is for you.

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Photo of pleasewearpants
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice appearance - pitch black with a tight, well retained tan colored head. Light scotch notes and hints of bitter chocolate in the aroma. Not super boozy or sharp. Really great body - well carbonated sugary flavors up front that roll off into a scotchy finish. Really drinkable for such a high ABV. This is the second beer of this series that I've had. These guys do a great job on this style.

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Photo of Cmack15
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was fortunate enough to have this on tap at The Kulminator and felt very lucky to have the beer served this way. Thick chewy inky black stout. Coffee notes with a hint of chocolate just draw you into this beer. Like all of De Struise's beers I instantly fell in love with it. Alcohol is well hidden and this is a nice stout to unwind with.

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Date: 08/01/2010
Vintage: 2010
Type: 11.2oz. Bottle
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

Brew poured a dark brown mahoghany in color w/ a 1 finger tan head that left medium lacing. Nose was of chocolate malts, scotch whiskey, roasted notes, and peat. Taste was similar being of chocolate, whiskey, oak, vanilla, roasted peat, and a finish od subtle hop bite. Mouthfeel was thick and lush. Very smooth w/ well hidden ABV, very tasty.

This was a pleasure to drink and I really enjoyed the flavors. Should only get better w/ age.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at monks in philly

Pours a completely ink black, a coffee head fades into rings of lacing with a softer layer of film.

Bittersweet dark chocolate with light licorice notes, dark fruit and a bit of sweetness in the nose.

Smooth, slick sweetness with dark fruit. Raisins, dates, and plums with some rich sweetness and a blast of coffee. Dark bittersweet chocolate with molasses and syrup. Finishes a bit warm and soft with dry hoppiness.

Full syrupy body, lower carbonation, sticky, soft, and dry. Drinks insanely well for the abv, not to mention the great flavor and feel.

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Photo of maximum12
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to beerisheaven for this cute bottle from across the pond. Base of Black Albert? Something about barrels? How can this not be good? 330 cl. bottle. Dumped into one of the unbranded, heavy, quality glasses my wife bought me years ago when the beer madness first infected us.

Pours with a big damn head for such a big beer; my only complaint is there's so much damn yeast that I only get about 10 ounces of legit beer. I swig the bottom stuff, not so good, too many yeasties. I always regret doing that. Another six or ten years & I might stop. Smell is subtle but touching, deep, deep sweet malts & that distinctly British lick of barrel. Islay. I'm going to have to try that stuff.

Black Mes brings a smoke-infused whiskey shot to the Black Albert franchise. Full of peat & malts, with an earthiness that fits hand-and-glove with the heavily roasted malts. As the beer warms, the whiskey comes out, but with a dignified reserve. It melds so well with the base beer that it's bizarre they weren't created together. I can almost hear the bagpipes. Scary drinky for such a big beer. Glad they only put it in kiddee bottles.

Very good beer. This certainly brings a new twist to Black Albert, but I still prefer the original. Hopefully I'll get to sample all the others in this series, too!

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 72 Hours of Belgium yesterday

Looks like every other Black Albert variant out there - jet black with a dark brown head. The nose is surprisingly muted when compared to the bottle I had. Peaty, salty barrel character is present, with dark chocolate quite noticeable. Moderate tannins, this is quite roasty. The palate opens salty and peaty, the barrel really comes through and quite strongly, if I may add. Whelming the base beer, only the roast stands out on the mid-palate. Drying on the finish, this is enjoyable.

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Photo of oline73
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Max's Belgian Beer Festival.

Appearance: This one pours pitch black with a bit of tan head that goes away almost immediately.

Smell: Sweet coffee roast dominates along with some dark fruit notes. There is also a bit of dark chocolate and some whiskey as well.

Taste: This one is quite roasty with a lot of dark chocolate and coffee flavor coming through. There is some dark fruit in the sweet flavor as well. The finish is a bit alcoholic from the whiskey and a bit bitter from the roast.

Mouthfeel: This one is thick, but not motor oil thick or anything like that. The body is also quite smooth. There is some mild carbonation and a somewhat dry finish.

Drinkability: I think this beer is quite good. The only complaint I would have is some of the other flavors might have to fight a bit much to get through the alcohol. I would try it again if I ever have the chance.

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Photo of akorsak
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Max's. That's all one needs to know.

A: Repetitive? Yes. Deep and dark, nearly black as black can be. Another off-white head along for the ride. At least the old guy didn't knock this one over.

S: Roasted malts, offset by sweet whisky and peated notes. Coffee hangs around throughout, a nice pairing. A Scotch presence is a nice balance to the stout.

T: Roasted malts, coffee and burnt toast along for the ride. The whisky barrel gives a distinct flavor to the stout, calming down the dark flavors. In their place, peated malt, salty as a sea breeze, take over. The whisky isn't sweet, rather it lends gravitas to the stout.

M: The mouthfeel, mostly stout, has enough barrel to keep me happy. The sea salt and peat are a soothing presence against the coffee stout.

D: 13%? I'll share with ksak. Even a small glass is too much within this setting.

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Photo of rvdoorn
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes: ordered this beer in the struise webshop. Poured into my the molen sniffer. Beer pours an completely black colur with a very long lasting brown head. Smell is roasted malts, chocolate and some peat. Taste very similar to smell, with some light coffee bitterness in the end. Smooth with medium carbonation. Very drinkable beer, highly recommended!

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Photo of HopHead84
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Thanks Chris! snifter.

A: Pours a completely opaque dark black with an enormous frothy and creamy brown head. Retention is outstanding and the head lingers for a few minutes. Lacing is scattered. Overwhelming feelings of depression well up within my as I gaze at (into) this grim and foreboding dark liquid. An oppressive and inescapable weight is bearing down upon me. It is the Black Mes.

S: Strong peat and smoke notes accompany oak, earth, vanilla, and a little green apple. Faintly brackish, the baker's chocolate is greatly complemented by the whiskey notes. Excellent aroma. You can smell the booze.

T: Moderate roasted malt with a blend of sweet dark and milk chocolate. Again, it seems somewhat salty. The whiskey barrel notes are a bit more restrained here compared to the aroma, but they come through, contributing smoke and peat. Booze is pronounced, but it seems to fit with the whiskey theme and I find it inoffensive. The finish displays an increase in the roast and the arrival of subtle coffee, pronounced earth, and notable dried fig notes.

M: Full body with upper moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is silky, sticky, dessicating, and creamy with a lower moderate astringency near the end. Carbonation is a bit high, but it's easily swirled out.

Overall: A unique and enjoyable twist on Black Albert. I really enjoyed this.

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Photo of kwjd
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sammy shared this bottle with me. Had this as part of a 2 bottle mini-horizontal with with Black Damnation II. Pours a dark brown colour with thick tan head. Mild peat, chocolate and roasted malt in the smell. A little bit boozy in the flavour, especially compared to the Mocha Bomb. I do like that the peat complimented this well instead of being a peat bomb. Smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Mikegroove and its very good IS. Black bodied with a good two inches of head. Some peat smoke, but understated, maybe the amount of cellaring helped. Very drinkable and medium moutheel: licorice, undertated whiskey, peat gives it an interesting edge.

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Photo of twelvsies
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another variation on Black Albert, I'll give it a go for sure. This beer looks much like the regular Albert, black and viscous, though has less of an impressive head, but it is there, smallish and brown tiny bubbles, probably due to the time spent in the barrel. Aroma of deep char and heavily roasted malt, plus peaty Scotch depth, real nice, a little boozy. After the initial impression of roasted barley and a nice char, the smoky Scotch peat flavor makes an appearance. I like it, but it seems to have thinned the beer out a little bit. This is an interesting take - having had most of the other variations, this one is probably my least favorite. Seems that instead of the flavors melding and becoming more complex with the barrel aging, they've just become too contrasting and it seems to have separated things. Still an excellent flavor and a great beer, but doesn't hold together as well as some of the other Black Albert hybrids out there (Delphine, Mocha Bomb, etc). If you are really into Scotch (I could go either way) you will probably really appreciate this beer - if you have an aversion, best stay away. All in all a great beer, but falls apart a bit towards the end. Probably would be best in a bottle with some age on it.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.81/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at The Trappist

A: The pour seems to live up to the name of the beer and looks black in the glass with a small mocha colored head.

S: There's quite a bit of smoke and peat on the nose with plenty of roast to go with it. I don't get too much in terms of chocolate or coffee. Maybe some vanilla, but certainly whiskey and booze are evident. There's some rubber in there too.

T: Things don't change much on the palate. Lots of smoke and peat along with a slight rubber flavor. Pretty roasty with the whiskey being strong. There's a really distinct soap flavor to the beer which I don't find very appealing.

M: The body is medium, nothing really special for an imperial stout, with a low, smooth carbonation.

D: Not as good as the other beers in the Black Damnation series, not by a long shot.

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Photo of Arbitrator
1.55/5  rDev -62.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

On tap at The Trappist in Oakland. From memory a few hours ago. Sipped a bit out of t0rin0's glass.

A: Pours a pitch black body with dark mocha head. No retention.

S: Burnt rubber, stale coffee, charred oak, vanilla. It's not as harsh as the Mikkeller Black Hole, but the burning tire / electrical fire comparison was the first thing that came to mind. Unpleasant and off-putting. Some booze.

T: Same as the nose; it's not as much of a clashing, painful trainwreck as the Scotch Black Hole was, but the burning-tire peat contribution is hardly shy. Stale coffee shines through, as does smoke. With the oak it makes for a pretty charred effect in general. Immediate dislike.

M: Less smooth than the IV; it has a rubbery booze component that I don't care for. Otherwise fine.

D: Black Mess is aptly named. I honestly don't get why people think this beer is great. I thought it was awful. But then, I tend not to like peaty, burning-tire whiskeys, so maybe I was never the target market.

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Photo of wcintula
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at cellar temp into a Duvel tulip.

Deep black body with 3 finger chocolate colored head. Smell up front of alcohol, with chocolate and coffee behind it. The taste is like a reversal of that order with very strong oak flavors to compliment. The alcohol presence is strong yet still smooth. This beer is a lot smoother than BDII. Very different character from another in a series of variations of one.

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Black Damnation III - Black Mes from De Struise Brouwers
4.1 out of 5 based on 260 ratings.
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