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
Belgium | website

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: 96 | Ratings: 214
Photo of Knapp85
2.9/5  rDev -29.6%
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 BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dominated by obvious coffee overtones, it's the nuances of Belgian influence that create complexity, interest, and challenge in this aggressively roasted and powerfully alcoholic choice.

When poured, there's no glaring difference in the appearance of this beer and espresso except for slight variations in viscocity. Carrying moderately heavy visual weight, the beer's absolute blackness is backed with an onyx-like sheen. Completely opaque, the beer releases a delicate creme of foam that swirls about the surface and clings tentatively to the glass.

Aromas of bold espresso roast is accompanied by deeply recessed notes of walnut, maple, fennel and aniseed. Make no mistake about it, this beer is all about brash coffee and alcohol fusion.

Flavors of espresso also dominate the taste. The counterpart of malts are roasty, dry, and hardly allow for malt starch or sweetness in support. Instead, the balance is given to the fruity notes of raisin and plumb and the counter of licorice and rummy alcohol. Surprisingly, the underlying sweetness makes hardly an impact and the beer doesn't seem "all espresso".

Medium bodied by somewhat of a misnomer at 13%, the coffee-like acidity and dryish roast combines for a lightly ashy texture and timid malt support. Dryness and heat of alcohol adds to the effect of abrupt closure with a strong lingering of coffee and booze to finish.

Quite enjoyable and challenging all at once, the beer follows the mold of Founders KBS and Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout but with less grace and balance- it's just more abrupt and brash.

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Photo of largadeer
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle shared by t0rin0. Thanks, Bobby. Black Damnation IV is apparently Black Albert aged in old rum barrels.

Pitch black with a dense retaining head that's only a few shades darker than the body.

Strong scents of coffee and rum greet the nose. Dark chocolate and molasses, blackened malt balanced by sugary rum. This beer has a great nose.

Bittersweet dark chocolate and coffee flavors meet undertones of sweet sugary rum and oak. The body is on the lighter side of full, but the intense flavors make it seem heavier. Carbonation is high, scrubbing away the burnt bitterness. The finish is sharp, almost acidic from the coffee.

This is my favorite of the Black Damnation beers so far, the rum barrel lends a really nice balancing sweetness to the intense bitterness of the base beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -2.9%
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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Photo of Thorpe429
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of drabmuh at last Thursday's tasting. Served in a HopCat tulip. Notes from my in-progress tasting sheet.

Pours black with a good tan head that sticks around for a long, long time and leaves plenty of lacing on the way down. Lots of spotty lacing. Head is really creamy. Nose brings forward a heavy dose of chocolate and coffee. Loads and loads of coffee. Loving it, just like Dov, my hilarious psychology professor who liked to quip that he coined the phrase "I'm lovin' it," not McDonald's. Back to the beer.

Flavor brings even more coffee. Really delicious throughout. Can't get enough of that coffee. Light sweetness. Full and viscous body; really creamy. Still lovin' it. Really beautiful beer that I'd love to have again.

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Photo of oline73
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
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 jlindros
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Armsby Abbey Stoutfest.

Pitch black dark thick color with decent dark creamy head.

Nose with tons of mocha, dark choc, cocoa nibs, spicy chopotle like aroma, chalky powdered choc.

Taste brings chewy malts, darker malts, light spicy chopotle, dark choc, lighter cocoa nibs, chalky powdered choc, light bitter earthy malts, light booze, creamy body, light vanilla, semi sweet with drier finish, plenty of roast and coffee as well.

mouth is fairly heavy bodied with decent carbonation and creamy feel, light booze.

Overall pretty good, nice dark malts, drinks much better than 13%.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11 ounce pour - $9.00 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Inky, onyx black body with a scant head due mainly to the heavy, to-the-rim pour.

Smell: Well roasted malts, espresso, a generous chocolate note, light spice, with some subtle rum accents with a stunted dark fruitiness for a distant rum raisin hint.

Taste: Thick chocolate sauce thinned out with a drizzle of sweet treacle and charged up with a few shots of chilled espresso. An underline of smoked currants and prunes. Faint resinous tone underneath the heavy maltiness. Fairly restrained rum character. Earthy, roasty bitterness throughout. More coffee flavor on the back half with some astringency presenting itself on the swallow. Shows a bit more caramel as it warms a tad. Warm, ashen/roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: It's tasty, with bold flavors, and an overall enjoyable stout that, despite its heft, goes down with a relative ease.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | 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, large brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains black coffee, dark chocolate, a touch of dark fruit and roasted malts.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty roasted malt character and bitter-sweet flavors of dark chocolate and black coffee. The hops presence is very mild but brings a good balance. There are some flavors of dark fruit and alcohol in the background. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is dry but slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, nice big stout to drink for a long time but not quite as good as Black Damnation II.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hot damn, I could not wait until this one hit my fridge. I had been waiting to try this forever, having loved the first edition, I figured the coffee and barrel aging was going to do nothing but improve this one. Served chilled and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 05/13/2010.

The pour was perfect, dark black with no light coming through this one at all, nothing was going to stand in its way. A head over two fingers high then jumped up and over the top of the glass, easily dripping down over the sides, foamy and rocky, but had incredible staying power. Dripping with cocoa colored lace it finally settled down to earth and the session could begin.

Aroma of deep coffee, intense and fresh with ones of bourbon and vanilla thrown in for good measure. The warmer I got the bigger it got, smoky with roasted malts and loads of deep vanilla and coffee just dominating the air around it. Burnt toffee, caramel, hints of coffee and oak all coming together very nicely. Really a very well put together creation here. As I take the first sip the huge body on the one is ever so present. Really an enormous amount of roasted coffee, smoked, peat like flavors and vanilla converge to make this one damn near perfect. An insane flavor, just tons of rich dark flavors, coffee, bourbon and a rich feel. Serious alcohol notes aside it was a fine, fine sipper. Warming up to room temperature reminded me a lot of KBS, it had that rich barrel flavor with who coffee just floating in it. Really well done.

Overall I was pretty damn impressed here. One of the better stouts I have had and easily better then the original version. This would be a great offering to really knock someone down with; it's a heavy one for sure.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
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 womencantsail
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bobby for the beer and Craig and Chris for their exquisite taste in beers I haven't ticked yet.

A: The pour is black, no doubt about it, with a nice dark brown head to go with it. Ominous indeed.

S: The coffee does come through nicely along with some more subtle tones of chocolate and vanilla. A solid roast and a surprising spiciness, not quite like chili peppers, but close enough. Perhaps that's the rum...

T: Again, plenty of coffee, roast, and vanilla. The spice is more mild, but the oak character is much more pronounced and gives the beer a mild astringency.

M: Not quite as full bodied as I would have expected, but a pleasing smooth carbonation.

D: The Black Damnation series offers up a bunch of interesting/different beers, but I can't say I've been totally amazed by any of them. Still, this one was good.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 08/26/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting, big thanks to Gene!

a - Pours a dark black color with no head or carbonation.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, alcohol, and oak.

t - Tastes of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, hints of alcohol, oak, and whiskey?

m - Medium body and no carbonation.

d - A very good beer; if you like Black Albert odds are you'll like this version. Would like to try again sometime.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

The beer is a deep, dark brown shade, bordering on blackness. The tan head lasts for a considerable time, leaving ample lacing on the glass.

The aroma brings lots of coffee. Oh I do I do I do want coffee! Ahem...additionally, scents of yeast, roast, and chocolate.

What a terrific flavor, with a heavy, potent dose of delicious coffee. The beer is far from one dimensional, with beautifully integrated yeast and chocolate flavors. The finish brings a dry bitterness that has me yearning for more.

Alcohol presence is a non issue. I wish I had a box of this awesome brew in my cellar.

Overall, superb.

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Photo of stakem
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a cervoise, this brew appears black in color with 2.5 fingers worth of brown head. Solid retention to the cap throughout the duration. Patches and a webbing pattern of lace stick to the glass. A swirl revives a dark brown finger back to the surface.

The smell of this brew is dark and roasted coffee which imparts a light citrus aspect. Deep roasted grain fills the nose with hints of char, chocolate and earthy almost dirty notes. Somewhat of a light touch of must from a combination of coffee and earth character. As the brew warms, a light note of tobacco emerges mixed with more earthy and chocolate malt.

The taste is quite earthy with a deep almost dirty earthen flavor of old, stale coffee. The coffee element imparts a light citrus coffee bean aspect with a hint of hops. Herbal at times with a bitterness contributed equally from hops and dark roasted grain. There is a minor alcohol kick that seems lightly exaggerated from a spirit-like inclusion that gets increasingly tangy as the brew warms up.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. The 13% abv is very well integrated in this brew. Overall it has a solid balance and arrangement of flavors. However, when compared to the rest of the black damnation series, I think this one falls a little short compared to the others. Perhaps this one would have been best enjoyed as fresh as possible. Regardless, it is worth a try if you get the chance.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Best by March 2015.

Appearance - Just shy of inky black. Some transparency at the edges. A lot of nice khaki foam. Lots of wisps.

Smell - Lots of coffee. Extremely strong. Raw, green coffee flavor. Roasty chocolate. Some cadamel.

Taste - Intense coffee again. Less raw, more bitter. Touch of acidity from the coffee. Dark chocolate. Bitter coffee finish.

Mouthfeel - Really bitter and some booze. Medium-high carbonation.

Overall - Not sure if that coffee acidity is a result of age. It's not off-putting, but the coffee is extremely strong.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.15/5  rDev -23.5%
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 MasterSki
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Struise webshop. Served in a Surly Darkness glass. Best before March 2015, Lot A.

A - Giant three fingers of dark reddish mocha foam that slowly settles to a thick cap, leaving fingers of lace behind. Body is a very, very dark brown that has some faint color at the bottom of the glass.

S - Taste has the signature Black Albert anise and fruity Belgian yeast character. There's a coffee with cream element, as well as some vanilla and a touch of spiced rum and tobacco. Very faint oak and minimal alcohol.

T - Taste has significantly more candi sugar and dark spiced rum flavor. There's some oak and star anise in the finish. Dark chocolate malts and roasted coffee beans rounds out. Not overly sweet, but not too much char and smoke either.

M - Feel is wonderful. Creamy medium-full body, with soft moderate carbonation, and a tannic and roasty finish. Tooth-coating residual sugars remind me of drinking rum. Almost no alcohol presence.

D - I crushed a bottle of this in no time. Delicious stuff that is highly recommended. The only fatiguing part was the espresso and anise bitterness in the aftertaste. Another masterful job by Urbain in disguising alcohol.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
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 BARFLYB
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Teresa's Next Door in a wine glass.

Coffee club is a black stout like every other black stout, it is B-L-A-C-K, black like a stout. A nice film of a cap of dark colored tanish foam on top leaving minor stick.

Coffee Club smells like a coffee club, a big roasted coffee flavor with cream, vanilla and a splash of rum soaked in from the barrel. A bit of wood. All coffee no filler, even though I heard there aint no coffee addition except for the base beer components.

Coffee Club tastes like a coffee club, in that I can taste coffee and a heaping of roast and vanilla with slight coconut. The rum barrel is there and noted and quite bold. Cream, with some char in the back with dark fruit and some alcohol, it is 13% afterall. Comes of more sweet than the Mocha Bomb I had before.

Feel is quite big, the body is quite above medium approaching full, oh hell, it's full bodied and it packs a punch leaving for a sipper. Carbed up nice but not overly so, it stays with me for a bit after putting it down. Overall, I enjoyed this, but Mocha Bomb was more my thing.

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Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Obtained in a trade from a local BA who just got back from Belgium.

Coffee club pours a blackish brown color with considerable lacing and impressive, mocha colored head. Given the name of this beer, the aromal profile is predictable. One gets a huge aroma of coffee grounds, coupled with milk chocolate, a touch of caramel and some light booze. This beer really has an impressive coffee mocha aroma that I'm liking a lot. There's even a hint of hoppy bitterness in the finish which helps to counter the sweetness. The flavor profile is very complex in this fairly sweet beer, with coffee, leather, tobacco, dark chocolate and a hint of licorise liquer. Jesus H. Christ, but this is a very fine beer. Mouthfeel is a bit thinner then I was expecting, but this beer delivers such a boatload of flavor, it's difficult to be very critical. The finish is very long and drawn out in this well made beer.

Drinkability is the only area this beer doesn't flirt with perfection. However, given the alcohol, it's still pretty impressive. The high alcohol is certainly noticeable, but there's so much flavor and the beer is so yummy, I'd still call it pretty drinkable.

Wow!! Really hope these damnation beers eventually make it over here in the US. This is a very impressive beer.

Thanks John G!

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Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Thanks a lot for the growler. A proper growler of such a beer is pretty awesome. Poured into a snifter.

A: Black with a bubbly dark brown head that doesn't linger for long.

S: Robust coffee character with a prominent malt roast. Rum is nicely integrated, lingering in the background and playing more of a supporting role. There's a distinct nuttiness to the coffe character that complements the brown sugar, vanilla, and rich dark chocolate profile. Smells pretty damn great. Blackstrap molasses lingers below the coffee and chocolate.

T: Like the aroma, the coffee is robust in the flavor with an understated rum flourish and a decided nuttiness. Prominent brown sugar notes acccompany dark chocolate and molasses. Pretty great. Oak is noticeable. The slightly astringent finish displays a strong coffee character with nutty notes, rum, and lingering chocolate.

M: Full body, upper low carbonation. Mouthfeel is silky on the palate, sticky on the lips, and mildy astringent.

Overall: An intense beer with an interesting array of flavors that work well together. Thanks!

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Photo of corby112
3.81/5  rDev -7.5%
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 akorsak
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
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 bluejacket74
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle, 2012 vintage, lot BDS0042012 with a best by date of 30/09/2018. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a couple inch tan head that stuck around a long time. The bottle was a slow gusher when I opened it, good thing I had the glass ready to pour in! Aroma is nice, the brew smells like dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt, oak, coffee, caramel and some tobacco. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some molasses, tart dark fruit and a bit of vanilla. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's creamy with a good amount of carbonation. For a beer that's 13% ABV, the alcohol is well hidden. I thought this was a pretty good stout, I liked it a lot!

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Black Damnation IV - Coffee Club from De Struise Brouwers
4.12 out of 5 based on 214 ratings.
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