Black Damnation IV - Coffee Club | De Struise Brouwers

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Black Damnation IV - Coffee ClubBlack Damnation IV - Coffee Club

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by alcstradamus on 03-14-2010

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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 216
Photo of trev1179
2.02/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is my first review so I thought I would review something that left a less than mediocre taste in my mouth.

The bottle was split between my friend and I. Was poured into a snifter glass.

S: The smell was awful. It smelled like a stale concoction of coffee mixed with rotted broccoli. Not sure what it was, maybe a bad bottle. I kept it out of sun light and at a constant 60 degrees so I doubt it was infected due to me.

T: The taste was a little better than the smell but not much. Felt like I was drinking 5 day old coffee with some veggies that had been left on a dock for inspection.

M: The mouthfeel was average. But due to the taste, it felt like I was chewing it when it went down. I suppose it had the RIS feel but it was really hard to force it down since it was a thick mess of who knows what.

D: I had to let this go down the drain after finishing 3 quarters of it. I am surprised I lasted this long.

This beer did not leave a good impression with me. I expected more since I love Black Albert so much. If I ever see this on draft, I will have to try a small sized sample just to compare.

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Photo of ROBORB
2.08/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Bottle poured into my trusty Bells tulip glass this beer produces a thin mocha head that dissipates quickly.

S: I am not sure what this beer is supposed to smell like but I am sure it is not supposed to smell like freshly cooked asparagus. After the initial onslaught of stewed vegetables I get a faint coffee smell. This smell is horrid.

T: The taste actually follows the smell. This is all vegetable with some stale coffee. Color me not impressed by the smell of this beer.

M: The mouthfeel is redeeming. I find it to be on par with any other great imperial stout.

D: I poured this after trying to stomach it for 30 minutes. If I had a choice between this and triple bock I would pick triple bock each time.

I couldn't recommend this beer to anyone...unless they really enjoy stewed vegetables with stale coffee.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.9/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap a Capone's during their Black Friday event. The beer came out in a small snifter glass and it looked like a liquified chocolate bar. The color was a muddy brown color with not much head on top. The smell of the beer reminded me of a chocolate milk shake... The aroma has lots of chocolate and coffee notes and yet they seem muted somehow. The taste of the beer is very bitter. There is a ton of bitter chocolate and coffee notes along with a hefty amount of Nobel Hop flavors too. The mouthfeel is thick, and leaves a film of your teeth. There beer also feels like liquified cocoa powder. Overall sadly I was not a fan of this beer at all. Maybe it was a bad pour or the beginning or end of the keg... Who knows but either way it was kind of a let down to me. It might be worth trying from a bottle.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.97/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

On draft at The Trappist in Oakland. From memory (hell, it was just a few hours ago).

A: Pours a pitch black body capped with a dark mocha head. Short retention, no lace; the collar is small, but there is a nice dark swirl on top of the beer.

S: This is surprisingly spicy. I kept quiet to see if t0rin0 and womencantsail would pick it up without prompting; they did. Smoky as well. This reminds me of my recent observation in Dark Horizon No. 3: I'm guessing the coffee is the culprit behind the smoked-chili effect in the nose. Rum is noticeable. Dark chocolate and molasses. A nice nose to be sure.

T: Lots of coffee and roast. The spice effect is found here too; we speculated that it might be a spiced rum, but maybe it's the burning effect you get from consuming pure sugar. Either way, the beer is not cloying. It is in fact more on the bitter side, with a dominant roast and slightly astringent finish. I pick up some vanilla as well. While it wasn't awful, I didn't care for it.

M: Full-bodied in flavor. It's pretty viscous, though not sludgy. I was surprised to see that this was 13%; it's not particularly boozy, though there is a light warmth. Smooth and comforting.

D: Despite the nose and mouthfeel, the beer didn't taste all that great, and I left a good portion of the 25cL glass on the table. I've never been impressed with Struise and this hasn't changed my feelings.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.15/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Previous reviews lead me to believe that this beer would be light in carbonation so I poured straight down the middle of the glass to produce a thick black liquid with a good 4 inch mocha head that persisted forever. The smell is quite oxidized with bit of cardboard and wet dog. There's coffee and roast in the aroma with bits of ash and cardboard. Damn I hope this tastes better than it smells. Taste is thick roasty molasses and sugar. Bits of dark sugared fruit dipped in vodka round out the flavor. Thick body and syrupy mouthfeel, light level of carbonation. Rum barrel aged Black Albert had me quite excited, but the sample in my glass is quite disappointing. Oxidized syrupy and actually hard to drink. I hope I have a bad bottle, because up until now De Struise hasn't let me down.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.36/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to angrybabboon for sharing the bottle.

Appearance: Black, straight black. Pours thick and syrupy with a heavy carbonation given the viscosity. Dark khaki/tan head starts off massive and creamy. Drops to a small cap and small creamy collar. Minimal lacing. Vigorous swirl produces a sizable head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Deeply roasted, like crazy roasted. Loaded with cocoa and bitter baker's chocolate. So dark it crosses in to alkali. Slight oxidation as well. Coffee beans and bitter pressed coffee. Deep dark fruit, plum and fig and cherry. A sharp bite of alcohol layered throughout. Red wine and chocolate. Milk and dark, Tons of coffee bean. Licorice and a touch of leather. Touches of char and burnt malt. Deep caramelized sweetness. Some chocolate cake as well. Cherry skin, some oak, and vanilla. Dense and deep.

Taste: Deep dark fruit and crazy roasted malts. A touch of char and burnt malt. Caramelized malts add a ton of sweetness. Cocoa and lots of it. Deep dark baker's chocolate pushes in to an almost metallic level. Some plum and fig as well. Chocolate - milk and dark - and bitter. Coffee beans and old over-extracted coffee. Some vague notions of licorice and old leather. Oxidized and deeply metallic without tasting like a battery. Burnt and charred. Almost smoky. Warming pushes the alkali cocoa taste up a bit much and the coffee beans take on an older quality.

Mouthfeel: Not quite as thick as the pour would indicate. Medium pushing toward full body with minimal carbonation. Slick and almost creamy. Surprisingly clean.

Overall: We're not just a beer we're a coffee club.

It's big and burly as expected. A bit over roasted and loaded with a bitter cocoa and alkali profile that ultimately hurts.

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Photo of cbutova
3.41/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ebenezers.

A- Pitch black with a massive, creamy dark mocha head. It retains nicely but doesn't leave a lot of lace.

S- Coffee explosion. Just a ton of dark roast coffee, cocoa and malt.

T- Dark roast, bitter, coffee ground bonanza. It seems like a truckload of coffee goes into each keg of this. Some harsh alcohol at times. Dark malt and vanilla flavors as well.

MF- A bit lighter bodied than I expected. Alcohol fumes warm the palate. Roast bitterness level is huge in the finish.

One word: Coffee.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.43/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Ebenezer's.

Pours just about pitch black, 2-finger tan head settles to a thick ring pretty quickly, some lacing left.

Smells of intense coffee and booze. Taste is similar...strong coffee, roasted coffee beans, very boozy on the finish, though I got used to that after some time. Some chocolate and big vanilla sweetness as it warms. A bit of dark fruit. Decent mouthfeel, way too boozy.

Not bad, nice intense coffee flavor here, but the alcohol detracts big time. It got better as it warmed though.

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Photo of cadaugherty
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On Tap @Local Option event 12/15- served in a small snifter

Appearance- Black with a thick chocolate colored head.

Aroma- Roast coffee, oak, a little dry.

Taste- A whole bunch of roast coffee, a bit of the barrel and of course dark fruits. The quest to find a rum barrel aged beer I really like continues.

Mouth/Drink- Sits heavy and is a bit cloying.

Overall I will take Black Albert over this version any day of the week.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I saved this beer for review number 666, get it, damnation? Anyway, I drank this from 11.2oz bottle into my Orval glass.

The beer pours black with a nice light tan head. The head rises about two fingers but is gone right away. Light lacing.

The aroma is strong and gives off a really nice strong coffee aroma then some subtle notes of vanilla, and tobacco.

The taste is all coffee, its not balanced at all which is a little boring. Not a huge coffee fan so its too much for me. Wish it was a little sweeter, there is a little vanilla on the finish but not enough.

Overall, this is awesome, easy to drink, lots of coffee, but not dominated by the coffee.

Re-review when I was about 5 times less hammered. Much lower review sober. So moral of the story this is awesome HAMMERED 10 beers on a Saturday night. If its your first might not make it through.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.61/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Adam and Matt for this one. 11.2oz. bottle poured into a Darkness snifter.

A: A deceptively carbonated beer. Gentle pour yields a slowly rising, and rising, and rising 3 finger, thick, rich, mocha head with great retention. Beer itself is appropriately opaque black, thick, and viscous. Lacing is pretty outrageous. Patterned, good legs, and great stick.

S: Nose is basically all mocha with just the slightest hints of chocolate and sweet soy sauce. Simple and to the point though not quite as sweet as I would like.

T: Opens milk chocolate and a sprinkle of hoppiness. Middle is sweet soy sauce, booze, liquified prunes and raisins, and just a touch of chocolate and roasted malt sourness. Finishes milk chocolate, cocoa, and dark fruit. Aftertaste is cocoa and roasted malt bitterness.

M: Full bodied and moderately carbonated. Oily and viscous in the mouth though not as smooth as I would like due to a good amount of bubbles. Finish is messy and aftertaste lingers.

D: Nothing too crazy and not nearly as good as Cuvee Delphine if we're talking similar beers. However, still well crafted and worth trying if you get the chance. Complex and a sexy looking beer... feel is a bit off though.

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Photo of akorsak
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The last of the trifecta. At Max's of course.

A: Black. See the others for what little additional descriptors are needed.

S: Sweet rum and coffee and roasted stout. Plenty of strenght. I'm surprised at the vivacity of the rum barrels.

T: Roasted malts, coffee and the residual sweetness of rum. A triple threat of richness. That being said, this is the least favorite of the three (II though IV). The rum, while adds sweetness, weighs the beer down. A rum barrel, IMHO, doesn't belong with beer. That may change in the future, but not now.

M: The mouthfeel, dark and roasted, seems at home with the dark sugary sweetness of the rum. I'm not sold, but they work well together.

D: At 13%, this is not a beer to experiment with. I shared it with the intrepid ksak but I wouldn't come back for another.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter from a 33 cl bottle, beer is black with a brown tan head with some lacing, some carbonation. Looks good.

Aroma is great, chocolate, fudge, sweet, coffee, nice.

Beer does not live up to its taste. It falls flat, too thin, mildly sweet, almost no bitterness. It is fine but every time I take a drink I smell it, get excited and then end up disappointed. Oh well. Maybe the other Black Damnations will be better.

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Photo of jegross2
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the Black Damnation IV (Coffee Club) from De Struise Brouwers.
Score: 87

Unknown vintage bottle served in a Stella Artois chalice and enjoyed on 08/08/12.

Appearance: Pours the color of black coffee with a finger of creamy milk chocolate/mocha colored head that settles into a ring around the glass. Average lacing and retention with an oily cling. 4/5

Smell: Black coffee, cocoa, sweet raisin and alcohol. A little syrupy brown sugar aroma and roast too. 3.5/5

Taste: Milk chocolate, roasted coffee, and brown sugar. Sweet dark fruit flavor and a hint of creamy vanilla. A light metallic alcohol flavor in the finish that seems to fade out as the beer warms/layers. Lingering coffee flavor. The flavor is not boozy, which is surprising given the nose. 3.75/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, low carbonation. Syrupy mouthfeel. Sweet finish. 4/5

Overall: A really solid tasting stout that is overpriced and overrated for it's rarity.

Recommendation: Stick with De Struise's Black Albert. It is easier to find and substantially tastier (albeit without the coffee flavor).

Pairings: Pound cake.

Cost: $12 for an 11.2 oz bottle.

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Photo of corby112
3.81/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle received as an extra in a recent trad with PALMEJ1. Thanks again Jacob!

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a one finger mocha head that has great retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Rings and chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Deep roasted malt aroma with a subtle barrel character as well as some sweet dark fruit and slight booze. Slightly acrid smelling with a very prominent roasted coffee/espresso bean presence along with hints of oatmeal, dark chocolate and toffee. The barrel aging gives off a toasted, earthy oak character that compliments the roasted notes but I'm only picking up faint booze and would never be able to pick out rum if I didn't read it on the label. There's also some toasted coconut, marshmallow and vanilla mellowing things out as well as a subtle lactic cream character.

Medium bodied with some tight carbonation up front and an extremely deep roasted malt character that lingers throughout into a long bone dry finish. The barrel aging is subtle, and like the aroma, mostly gives off a dry, toasted wood flavor. Slight sweet boozy rum flavor compliments the roasted coffee flavor rather than overpower it. There's also some faint dark fruit but this beer is dominated by the smokey/roasted malt. Hints of oatmeal, dark chocolate, burnt toast and a very powerful espresso/coffee flavor.

Overall, this beer is pretty good but it's a bit one dimensional with the burnt coffee flavor overtaking the other flavors. Also, the barrel presence is a bit too tame for my liking. I'm glad that I can taste the base beer but the rum is very faint and difficult to pick out. If this was a bit more balanced it could be incredible.

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Photo of crnipeter
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After easily getting Black Damnation II, III, VI and even V (much sought-after Double Black) the IV prove to be the most elusive prey I had to wait for patiently for a long time.

Pours up to an inch thick well formed medium-tan head with moderate retention that creates rather short lived laces as it sets to a stable collar atop of opaque blak body.
Nose is dominated by huge espresso and tobbaco with alcohol-soaked dark fruits shining through. Coffee aroma is so pronounced I' cant believe it hasn't been aged on coffe beans, solely on old rum barrles.
Flavor is better with coffee element being less dominant: smooth chocolate-sweet initially followed by dark fruits and tobacco and final transition to coffeeish roasted finish with warming alcohol that lingers. (330 ml, BB date 12-29-2016, into tulip.)
Medium bodied and smooth with soft carbonation.

In short, somewhat boozy imperial stout with strong espresso and tobacco character.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks, RJ!

In my Duvel Green tulip, this beer is jet black with a dense, creamy, dark brown head with excellent retention and nice lacing. The head falls off to a disk slowly. As with all the Black Albert variants, this looks impressive. The nose is great. The coffee has definitely faded, it's not as potent as it was on tap. This, however, allows the chocolate to join in up front, along with the base, fruity, yeasty character of Black Albert. As with the tap version, the barrel character isn't particularly strong, there's some brown sugar, a little vanilla, and I'm struck by the lack of booze. A little coconut is present as well.

The palate opens with a surprising tartness, one that is more a blend of bitter coffee acidity and barrel tartness. Bitter dark chocolate, rich, port-soaked raisins and some brown sugar are all present. A little vanilla is present as well. Sweetness is moderate, there's some licorice and a little molasses present. The coffee is a touch faded and the tartness is surprising. As for rum, I really can't say I taste much. Roasty mid-palate, this aspect lingers on into the finish, along with a mild sweetness and acidity. Full in body with high carbonation, I have to admit that while this is in line with the other BD beers, this isn't necessarily as enjoyable. Still, this is solid stuff.

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Photo of Neffbeer
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Rattle n Hum.

A: It pours black as night with a hint of a tan head. It recedes quickly leaving little to no lacing. Completely opaque in appeance it is quite the menacing brew.

S: Huge notes of coffee and and smokey wood start out the experience with aromas of licorice and charred malt. The coffee is completely dominant leaving very little room for anything else.

T: Coffee forward with some astringent bitterness from the wave of black malts. There are some strong tobacco and wood/barrel flavors that meld seemlessly with the burnt nature of the brew. The base beer is still evident with similar notes of apples and dark chocolate. It finishes pretty dry with another big dose of java.

M: medium to full bodied with minimal carbonation.

O: Back to back I prefer the Black Mes, the coffee notes are a bit too dominant and completely over shadow the rum barrel.

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Photo of oline73
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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: This one has a pretty mild smell. There is some coffee roast and dark chocolate and sweet alcohol from the rum.

Taste: This one is sweet and I think some of it is coming from the rum. I'm picking up a lot of dark fruit like raisins and figs. There is some coffee in the background and some mild dark chocolate as well. The finish is kind of boozy.

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 is a good beer but given the alcohol and the sweetness, I don't know that I'd pick it out again.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle, Belgium, best before March 2015.

Pours viscously, the shade of molasses. Opaque black in the glass, with a big dark tan head.

Aroma is big and boisterous, with notes of fudge, wood, alcohol, raisins, tobacco and roast.

The flavor is not as complex as the aroma, but it's still nice. There's a ton of bitter roast here, and the fruity notes kind of disappear beneath the coffee and highly kilned malt flavors. Some raisin and blueberry. As far as rum flavors go, there is not much, but then again, I don't drink rum. There is some definite oak-aged woodiness, though it blends in with everything else. I am most impressed with how the 13 percent alcohol is almost completely masked, and also how thick, rich and fluffy the well-carbonated mouthfeel is.

This is a bitter coffee bomb, big and roasty. Smells great, tastes pretty good, but I'm not crazy about it. Seems to me that Struise does better with Belgian Strong Dark Ales and Quads rather than stouts.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Farmers Cabinet, Philly, PA

7oz. pour, jet black, with a small, tan ringlet of a head; minimal soapy lacing left behind. Aroma of booze up front, then roasty malts, a bit of coffee, and a soft sweetness, almost cherry-ish. Big roast in the taste, coffee, bakers' chocolate, charcoal, with a balance of sweetness, and ubiquitous sugary rum with a touch of spice. Medium-bodied--a bit thinner than I prefer for a stout--but nice and silky nonetheless. Very good overall.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Raspberry black with rosey sandstone foam that trails.
Humus, boozey rum barrel and coffee on the nose.
Black cherry skin, cocoa, raspberry jam, a vanilla hit and vague tea leaf hop.
Brown sugar syrup finish and tobacco linger.
Medium to full, round, chewy, smooth.

Big and chunky. The wood is there, but there's plenty of fruit, too. Gentle, at the end of the day, especially for the strength. But should this really be called "coffee" anything?

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Photo of rvdoorn
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: the beer pours a very dark color with a dark brown fluffy head.
Smell: Roasted malts, lot of coffee, some chocolate, vanilla and rum. Nice
Taste: A letdown compared to the smell. For me this tastes like old bitter burned coffee. Some malts, chocolate and vanilla. Still not bad though, was just expecting more after the excellent smell.
Mouthfeel: medium-thick body, medium carbonation.
Overall: A nice beer, I love coffee, I love coffee beers, but for me this tastes a bit too much like old coffee. Still, not a bad beer, excellent nose, worth to try.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for this one, Greg! Another rare live review...

Cellar temp, black pour into tulip, nice two finger mocha head surprisingly sturdy for a beer this massive. Great retention with little lace. Impressive.

Nice aroma of spicy rum barrel booze up front, combining with some char and roasted coffee beans. Good quality roast. Rich and deep. Booziness coming out much more noticeably as it warmed. Flavor wavers a little more with some sweeter chocolate, sugary flavors balancing the richness of the roast and barrel character. Good, boozy, but not too much so- at least I didn't think so initially.

Good viscous mouthfeel, some oiliness left on the tongue in the finish. I finished the bottle in a little over an hour. I liked it, but it was just lacking that something to take it to the next level, maybe a little more focus? There is complexity, but it feels a little muddled at times. The first I've tried from the black damnation series, and it's definitely got me intrigued to try the rest of them!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark dirty brown color head with great retention and good lacing. Complex aroma consists of vanilla, rum with deep roasted malt and coffee notes. Taste is also a complex and extreme mix of vanilla with rum and light oak, some warming and creamy notes are also distinguishable with loads of malt and light roasted note. Body is extremely full with rich creamy notes and alcohol is still well integrated thought it can be felt. Not something I would drink on my own every day but well worth to try and share with others.

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Black Damnation IV - Coffee Club from De Struise Brouwers
4.13 out of 5 based on 216 ratings.
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