Black Damnation V - Double Black | De Struise Brouwers

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
96
world-class
112 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Black Damnation V - Double BlackBlack Damnation V - Double Black
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers
Belgium | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 26.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
100% of Cuvée Delphine was used that was ice distilled to 26% of alcohol volume.

Added by alcstradamus on 03-14-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
112
Ratings:
347
Avg:
4.37
pDev:
19.68%
 
 
Wants:
617
Gots:
62
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 112 | Ratings: 347
Photo of dgilks
4.07/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with Chris, Michael and Ben. OMG!!!

Inky black with a creamy tan head. Some lacing.

Sweet with some roast. Plenty of oak and alcohol. Surprisingly fruity. An interesting smokiness.

Intense is the right word. There is an interesting fruitiness and peat character. Some oak. Lots of malt and quite bitter. This is a big beer.

Full body with moderate carbonation. Sweet and sticky. This is big.

A really solid beer. Sure, not everyone will get this but the flavours stand up for themselves. Epic.

 513 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this pour at the brewery, in a smallish goblet (maybe 6oz). The beer is dark black (good name) and opaque, with a thick and in places spidery tan foam, dirty looking and impressive. It was served somewhat cold, and based on Urbain's suggestion I let it warm up before finishing it.

The aroma is nice, dark roast and cocoa, massive smelling but without alcohol on the nose. As it warmed I got more dark fruits, this really seems a beast based on smell. Taste too, this has similarities to Black Albert but is thicker and more concentrated. The malts are roasted to the point of light char, not bad against the other big flavors. Again nothing near 26% was detectable in the taste.

The body seems just a little thicker as it warms, or it could be suggestive, anyway it matched the big flavors in a nice way. Still enough carbonation to give a prickly feel with each drink. Excellent, 750mL will be too much for one person though. I think a little goes a long way.

 970 characters

Photo of ADTaber
4.95/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On draft at the Holy Grale, served in a snifter

A: opaque dark brown, almost black in color, looks thick like motor oil, thin tan head that dissolves to a thin layer and leaves a small amount of lacing

S: dark chocolate and roasted espresso and malt, fusel alcohol, maybe a hint of dark fruit

T: dark chocolate, roasted malt, espresso coffee, some dark fruit, alcohol is definitely detectable but not near as pronounced as I expected and actually fairly well hidden for the ABV, somewhat bitter coffee aftertaste

MF: full bodied, low carbonation, very thick and smooth

O: very nice flavors, the alcohol is fairly well hidden for the ABV but will sneak up on you, this is definitely a sipper

 697 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to jdiddy for breaking this one out. It's been a long time want. Pours the color and consistency of motor oil. No head whatsoever - just a thin, tight band around the edges. Really complex nose - port sherry, sake, bourbon, buttery notes, dark malts, molasses and licorice. Taste expresses soy sauce, brown sugar, a trace of oxidation, a slight vinous character and a bitter char that is revealed towards the back and lingers between quaffs. This beer is a serious malt bomb. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with an oily/viscous texture and some residual heat; surprisingly little given the abv. A pretty solid beer, but a little (say 4-6oz.) will certainly do you, so share this one with 5 or 6 friends. I'm definitely grateful for having had the opportunity to try this one.

 783 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.58/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Urbain shared BD 5, 6, 9, 10 next to each other. Shit man! Black, rich creamy dark tan head with amazing retention. Nose is huge, dry earthy notes, peaty, faint cardboard, fair bit of roasted malt and light chocolate. Taste is obviously enormous, peaty and earthy with light cardboard and some dark fruits. Bitter chocolate with rich roasted malt in back. Heat there but pretty well hdden for the abv. Body is extremely thick and viscous with strong carbonation and dry finish. Tons of flavor with some minor issues and average integration.

 540 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed this at a barrel aged tasting on 2011-08-06.

this is the darkest beer i've ever seen. it literally leaves a coating on the glass when you swirl it. this is midnight. no, this is 3:42 am. it really coats the glass, i've never seen anything like it. so thick the smell actually reminds me of cleaning fluid, but the flavor is actually quite good. kind of felt it would be too much to take, but it was quite drinkable. for what this is, i can't believe how drinkable it is. really impressive beer. super powerful and super tasty. if you are lucky enough to try this, go for it...it is like nothing i've had before.

 620 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was shared by funkydelic with beeruser, StayWhatYouAre2, 67couple, others, and myself at a recent tasting graciously hosted by beeruser! Thank God we had quite a number of people to get down on this 750 mL bottle! Served from bottle into a Duvel Parra tulip. Poured pitch black with a minimal brown head that subsided to none quickly (guess the booze ate it). No lacing evident on this one (booze must have been hungry again). The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, smoke, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, wood, alcohol (duh!), subtle soy sauce, and smoke. It had a heavy mouthfeel on the palate with no carbonation. Ovearll this was a pretty good brew. We all found this one to be a little smokier than we were expecting. The aroma on this one was quite nice and inviting which is kind of scary for a monster like this. The sweet alcohol note on the nose is what really made this one for me as far as the aroma. However, on the flavor the sweet alcohol flavor went away and became the stinging kind of alcohol that makes you cringe slightly when taking a shot. Still not bad though as the smoke helped to balance this out and in some cases, even overpowered it. A really well done brew that I would have again; just not in a 750 mL format.

 1,325 characters

Photo of popery
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Wow. This is delicious. I'm kinda blown away. Anywho, it pours motor oil black. Looks a lot like motor oil but with a tight dark brown cap. The aroma is huge with coffee and dark chocolate. Tons of it. There's some nice dark fruit in there as well. Lots of molasses and caramel. Massive flavor. Sweet with all sorts of chocolate. It's like drinking a very fancy wonderful brownie. I can't believe there isn't more booze to the beer. Feel is thick. Very thick. This is one of the best stouts I've ever had. Delicious.

 516 characters

Photo of AgentZero
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mad props and much beer karma to Eric for sharing this one at Dark Lord Day. 900th review.

A - The beer is black, ominous, opaque, forboding, thick, viscous. Just a monster of a scary looking black beer. A little bit of brown head bubbled up for a second, but vanished almost instanly. Also, the bottle is awesome looking.

S - Huge amount of char and some roast on this one. Leather, tar, dark fruits, and alcohol. Given that it's 26%, the amount of alcohol is relatively light in the nose. It's pretty explosive and potent with the amount of aroma coming off the nose, but I think that's to be expected.

T - Lots of char and molasses with a load of toffee and dark fruits. God this is just ass kicking on the tongue with the amount of flavor in here. Some earth and leather notes, as well as a bit of tobacco to balance out the sweetness. There is booze in it, but once again, considering the ABV it is surprisingly mellow.

M - So freaking thick you can chew it. Lower carbonation, very smooth.

O - Not sure what to compare this to or how to rate according to style. I think calling it a double or imperial does it a disservice for what it is. It's more like a Quadruple Stout or a Double Imperial Stout. Huge beer that has a lot of great flavor and just a lot of flavor period, but really can only get through it in small doses. This is partially due to the high ABV and partially due to the load of char, sweetness, etc. Had this on tap a week later with a massive pour, and it became a struggle to get through. That said, it drinks relatively easy for how much alcohol it has in it and tastes pretty good. It's a sipper in small doses, not the best tasting necessarily, but good for what it is. If you open a bottle, just make sure to have a few people handy to split it with.

 1,785 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into a tasting glass. Enormous thanks go out to Knifestyles for sharing this at his birthday tasting.

A: Doubly black indeed: this beer isn't just black, it sucks the light away from its surroundings. Incredibly, it's topped by a full finger of dense, dark brown head that replenishes with a swirl and leaves some lace. Am I really looking at a 26% beer?

S: This really is stout squared (cubed? whatever's beyond that?). Everything you expect to find in a huge barrel-aged stout is here, but in its most extreme form: chocolate, coffee, bourbon, vanilla, oak, char, dark fruit, and, of course, alcohol. Intoxicating in every sense of the word.

T: Much sweeter than the nose promised, with concentrated molasses, vanilla, and chocolate. Spicy, burning alcohol and coffee close things out in memorable fashion. Delicious, but a bit too much.

M: This is hands-down the thickest, stickiest, and most syrupy beer I've ever had. The fact that it has ample carbonation, though, really helps. Memorably insane.

O: What more can I say? Drinking 2oz of this was a journey, an experience, an epiphany, an orgasm of flavor.

Cheers!

 1,138 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't give a lot of perfect scores but this was beyond any barreled RIS I've ever had. Super smooth and silky yet boldly flavored and balanced with a slight heat in the finish.

 178 characters

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

Bottle shared by bsuedekum...Iced Stout, let's do this...

A - Pours black with a small head on it.

S -The nose erupts with dark fruits (plums and raisins), dark chocolates, and a little bourbon.

T - opens up amazingly sweet. Uber chocolaty malts move on to extremely bitter dark chocolates. Vanilla bourbon flavors move in next to help tame the chocolates. Some spiciness from the bourbon comes in next but is overtaken by piney hops. Whoa.

M - thin body and TONS of booze

D - Wow...bold, full of flavor and really complex. I had a small pour of this and don't know if I could do more than 1/4 of a bomber in a sitting. This is packed of flavor and will smack you in the face if you're not looking. Definitely worth a shot, but not for the faint of heart.

 761 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1269th Review on BA
Bottle to CCB Snifter
750ML Cap/Corked

Thanks to JazzPatel for bringing this one.

Shared with Jazzpatel, GuruDel & MrHirschybar

App- Good lord thats black. I told Ehammond1 it looks like Black Tuesday was blended with Abyss. Its a black abyss and its FN dark man. A nice one finger dark brown head formed and fell quickly with some good cling.

Smell- It still has a bit of heat to it and I can appreciate the cut of this beers jib. A lot of things going on. A bit of licorice, a bit of booze, a bit of candy, with roasted grain notes.

Taste- So...Yeah. This happened. LARGE as SHIT beer. I joked with Shogo about his boot and this beer. NO F N way. Simply an amazingly smooth large ABV stout. The beer is very delicious as well. Huge creamy notes with some licorice and malty layers. Bakers chocolate and some char fill the profile.

Mouth- Full bodied and yet still creamy, Low carbonation and yet still bubbly. A very creamy beer with great depth of flavor with residual candy licorice and some anise.

Drink- Damn this was good. I dont think I was expecting it to be so good. Creamy, layered, tempered.

 1,130 characters

Photo of Jeffo
4.76/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served at the De Struise table at the 2010 BOREFTS Beer Festival at De Molen in Bodegraven. Poured so generously by David working the taps.

Four oz taster. Listed at 26.8%

APPEARANCE: Pours a larger, super thick looking, tan head with great retention. Head slowly fades and leaves lots of clingy lacing down the sides of the glass. Pitch black body with zero carbonation evident. Head eventually fades to a thin swirling wisp and a ring. Only a ring remains but leaves a few dots of lacing down the glass. Doesn't get any more impressive than this at 26%. Looks menacing.

SMELL: Tough to pick up anything while so cold, but once it warmed up closer to room temperature, the aromas came to life. Lots of roasted malts, with strong aromas of baker's chocolate and some espresso notes. Bolder imperial stout aromas, with heavier emphasis on the roasted and charred malts.

TASTE: Like Cuvee Delphine on steroids. Lots of roasted and charred malts, dark baker's chocolate and espresso flavors, with hints of bourbon as well. Some faint vanilla notes and wood from the barrels. A big, bold, lingering roasted and barrel influenced aftertaste includes a touch of bitterness and spicy yeast notes. Amazingly enough, there's not a touch of that 26% to be found. Really wonderful stuff.

PALATE: Full body and very thick and luscious on the palate. Medium carbonation and extremely smooth. No alcohol noticeable on the swallow, and finishes slightly dry. Way smoother than I had expected.

OVERALL: This was the hit of the evening for me; the only beer I went back to for a second pour. I'd been anxiously awaiting this one for quite some time, and it didn't disappoint. The Double Black reminded me of what I loved so much about that first batch of Cuvee Delphine many moons ago, but then amped up to the tenth degree. A big, bold, bruiser of an imperial stout, with a look and feel that makes you forget that it's ¼ alcohol. Hopefully our beer paths will cross again sometime. Thanks to the guys at De Struise for brewing such a gem and brining it to the festival, and thanks to Dave for the expert pours.

 2,107 characters

Photo of peensteen
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Generously shared by Liam at his birthday tasting.

Poured a thick and viscious black, absolutley no chance of seeing through this at all, deep red/tan head, light spoys of lace on the glass. Smell is deeply roasted, tons of coffee, suprisingly very little alcohol in the nose. Taste is of roasted malt, bitter coffee grinds, chocolate, moderate bitter profile, alcohol but not near what 26% should taste like, defintley warming nice heat in chest and throat, very tasty stuff. Light-med carbonation, full body, nice feel. This was absolutey a treat to have, unfortunatley I will never see this again, does not taste like its ABV at all. Thanks Liam

 649 characters

Photo of baybum
4.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A : Poured jet black with leaving a nice 1/4" head. Absolutely no light makes it through this beer. We even put a high power flashlight to it and nothing! As you tilted the glass, what was left turned the clear glass into an orange, caramel color. Just amazing!

S: Sharp, pungent booze, lots of chocolate, tobacco, black molasses, caramelized sugars. You could lose yourself in the aroma that came from the glass.

T: A Burnt barley, tobacco taste up front. Followed by a nice booze but nothing near the 26%. Many other lower alcohol beers have more of a boozy after taste. The caramelized sugars make this almost syrup like.

M: Full bodied, well carbonated, hearty with a nice sweet feel and lush texture.

O: I knew this was a heavy beer, and by the look of it in the glass I expected it to hit with a punch. It started with such a strong mouth feel, but the lingering taste faded fast and left me wanting to sip it again. The boozy smell was perfect but didn't match the taste.

Serving type: bottle

Thanks Mike!!!

 1,022 characters

Photo of Sean9689
3.73/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this from the bottle @ DLD (thank to Eric aka Turd) and on-tap last night at the West Lakeview Liquors Meet & Greet Event w/ Urbain. Obviously, Urbain brought the keg...

A - Pours black, slight tan-colored head, some bubbles here and there. There's a huge motor oil quality to this beer, as it leaves a brownish/gold hue that coats the entire glass. Sticky, viscous, black...damn(ation)!

S - Smells like booze, lots of char, roast, some chocolate. There's not much sweetness (some chocolate, some dark fruits), as it's covered up by the huge booze and char. It smells like what it is, a huge monster of a beer.

T - Slight dark chocolate, dark fruits, lots of char, lots of booze. There's a harsh/char hot boozy note on the finish that makes me grab my water after every sip. A little off-putting, but I contribute this to the huge amount of alcohol in this beer.

M - Full, rich and viscous, light carbonation, creamy finish.

O - I enjoyed sipping on this one on two occasions, but one or two 4oz pours is just enough for me. I'm not dying to try this again in the near future, but would love to see how this ages down the line. I'm sure the booze will smooth out and make it more enjoyable. It's good but a little too much for me at the moment.

 1,258 characters

Photo of ehammond1
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2008)

Thanks for opening this one with me, nakalakaboom!

(Aged for 3+ years)

Black on black with a surprisingly large (for the style and ABV) dark brown head that leaves the glass oily and spotted with stick. Very impressive looking beer.

The aroma is quite incredible and expressive, and better at the cooler temperatures. The aroma is a fantastic combination of coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits, roast, a hint of smoke, and some definite alcohol. Zero complaints.

The flavor is very nice too, though it does somewhat fall apart as the beer warms up closer and closer to room temperature. The flavor is full of chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malt, barrel, and a hint of smoke. The alcohol becomes more and more dominant as the beer warms, which is to be expected.

Full bodied, slightly oily, with moderate carbonation.

So pleased to have been able to try this. It's fantastically drinkable for the ABV, and quite the accomplishment.

 952 characters

Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Black with a surprising head. The lacing coats the side of the glass, but does not appear greasy/oily.

S - booze and bakery's chocolate. It's not as fragrant as the cuvée.

T - bourbon, roastd barley, and sweet vanilla and oak... It finishes with a fair amount of burn. Burnt molasses lingers on the tongue.

M - Low carbonation and still very creamy/smooth in texture. Quite velvety in mouthfeel. I would have guessed it was 13% ABV... This one surprised me.

O - This is by far the highest ABV beer I've ever had, and it's strange that I would not have guessed it was over 13%. Overall, it's another nice variant on Black Albert... I am glad I had the Cuvee Delphine first, and I prefered this much more. Eisbock processed stouts are pretty awesome.

 758 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.75/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A huge thanks to Mikey711 (Mikey) for this one. 2oz. pour from a capped and foiled 750ml bottle into a stemless wine glass. Had at a tasting on 6/4/11. Reviewed from notes.

A: Standard pour yields a .25 dark mocha head with great retention. Beer is a dark, opaque, motor oil black. Lacing is spotty and stringy with decent cling and thick, oily legs. A masterpiece considering how heavy it looks.

S: Nose is straight booze that covers almost everything else. Some chocolate and molasses make its way out little by little but the alcohol covers everything else. Not a fan.

T: Opens sweet soy sauce, chocolate, raisins, booze, mocha and molasses throughout. Sharp booze lingers in the background. Chocolate and molasses in the finish with an added touch of cocoa in the aftertaste. Nice but not much above average.

M: Full to super-full bodied. Sludgy and thick in the mouth almost like a protein shake. No carbonation. Oily and filmy going down. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste. Way over the top here. Too much body.

O: This is a meal in a glass. Again, I'm not sure I'm drinking the same beer as those that say this beer hides its abv well.I could barely choke down 2oz. of this monster. In a world of over-the-top beer, this one is king. It's not for me though.

 1,280 characters

Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
4.61/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had a small glass of this in De Struise's hidden biergarten just after leaving Sint-Sixtus. 26%!? Wow. Given its drinkability, I never could have guessed its ABV. Good thing I knew, though, as I was driving that day!

 216 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Insane for a beer like this to come in that size bottle.

Well, what can I say? It’s black. Not surprising. Dark brown one finger head.

The aroma is roast, coffee, hops, and slight booze. Not as strong of an aroma as I’d expect.

The flavor is like the Energizer bunny though...it just keeps going, as they say in "The Sandlot", FOR-EV-ER. Really. Intense dark chocolate, molasses, roast, coffee, and alcohol.

Not boozy for 26%, but you can feel it in the palate. The mouthfeel is like syrup. Intense as all hell, and almost impossible to get down. Like a triple imperial stout almost, totally insane. But I love it.

These guys did something ridiculous here, and I really respect them for it. Damn, this is insane, in a good way, or in a bad way. I don’t even know anymore. My drunkenness just doubled on this 4oz pour. Damn. Seems like you could leave this open and drink it over a period of months, like Utopias.

 937 characters

Photo of jampics2
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

About 1.5oz pour from a 750ml bottle, courtesy of Eric. You’re the man, buddy, thanks for busting out this amazing brew for Dark Lord Day.

As I stare at the liquid in the glass in front of me, I’m somewhat confused. I thought beer was a liquid, but this has as much in common with oil or Jello as it does water. A swirl literally leaves a halo of beer, not lace, beer on the glass. This is one thick, chunky looking brew – pitch black as if all the damnation of the world collapsed upon itself. There’s not really any head or lace, just thinner and thicker levels of beer. Simply put, this is a sight to behold. As someone standing around with the sample said “I wish I was Gene Simmons so I could use my tongue to get every drop out of the glass”.

So, I debated on how to rate this. I’m still not 100% sure, but I think I’m doing the right thing here. I’m not going to compare Double Black to a 12% American Double Stout. I’m not even going to compare it to something like Black Tuesday or World Wide Stout. Those beers are for sunny afternoons sitting by the pool – this is the stuff real men drink before they joust or pillage.

Here’s what I concluded – since I really can't defer to the style guides and generally accepted best examples of an American Double Stout, I’m just going to rate this on how it smelled, tasted, looked, and how it made me feel. So, to start, the smell isn’t actually as abrasive as I would have thought – there are some wonderful notes of molasses, burned souls, chocolate, ashes of the departed, and coffee. Just a touch of booze is present but is remarkably well-concealed considering some beers one third of its strength can’t pull together like this. So, an ice-distilled beer doesn’t need to have solvent, fusel notes of ethanol and road salt? Take note, you penguin-fuckers at Brewdog.

As I take my first sip, I’m really quite taken with this beer. An army of bitter chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and booze hits my tongue like storming a battlefield. This is more of a char/roast focused beer than a sweet booze bomb. There are several layers of roast – coffee beans, burned wood, ash – that somehow all work together to give this depth and keep my interest from swaying. The barrel notes from Cuvee Delphine seem to be lost apart from a stray note of vanillin or oak, but the beer is dead-set on staying focused on the dark malts. A hint of cherry and some noticeable warmth round out each sip.

To experience the mouthfeel of this beer without actually drinking it, I would recommend having your mouth and throat coated in tar. This is beyond cough syrup, with just a touch of carbonation to break-up the stickiness. It literally feels like it’s holding on for dear life, each sip making me thirstier instead of quenching my thirst. But that’s OK. The remarkable thing here is how this beer pulls off the 26% without batting an eye. I’ve never had a high ABV brew like this – so intricate and focused on everything but the booze.

In conclusion, this is a new standard for big ABV beers with actual flavor. Double Black made Black Tuesday look like Light-Grey Tuesday. It made World Wide Stout taste like local porter. It made Sink the Bismarck practically worthless (or maybe that was Brewdog). Thanks again to Eric for the pour and to Urbain and the Struise crew for making what is certainly truly special beer.

 3,406 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, I'd like to propose that Struise re-name this brew after its most ardent consumer, Alex. Anyone that witnessed him downing a pint of this stuff should know why.

On-tap at WLV tasting event

A - It pours a brown-black, with some wispy bubbles, and really looks like a fairly normal RIS, which it isn't.

S - The nose is quite a bit like regular Double Stout; it offers toffee, plenty of roast, sweet oat notes, anise, and cocoa; surprisingly, shockingly even, the alcohol is hard to discern.

T - The taste is right in line with the nose, although the sweetness is much more apparent that it was in the aroma. Booze is still masterfully hidden. There are notes of cocoa, and roast grain that dominate the flavor, with slight herbal,earthy and fruity undertones accompanying. Really amazing taste given the 26% ABV, and good taste regardless of ABV considerations.

M - The feel is viscous and softly carbonated; better than I expected.

O - Top 5 26% Stouts, no doubt.

 979 characters

Photo of jegross2
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing the infamous Black Damnation V (Double Black), an eised barrel aged Russian imperial stout from De Struise Brouwers our of Belgium. This beer is their Cuvee Delphine (bourbon barrel aged Black Albert), ice distilled to 26% ABV.

Score: 87

2010 vintage bottle, Lot B. "Best by" 2016. Served in a Black Damnation tulip taster and enjoyed on 07/12/14. Thank you Paul for sharing this one!

Appearance: Pours a viscous, motor oil color with no head. Minimal pop to the uncorking of the synthetic cork. Has a crazy browning effect from the swirl with chunky lacing and good legs. This brew looks imposing. 4.5/5

Smell: Roasted chocolate, tobacco, malt and black licorice. Bourbon, alcohol (though not nearly as much as you would expect from a 26% ABV monster), cherry, plum and caramelized sugars too. A touch of cardboard-like oxidation. Those nose is solid, with average integration, but it is nothing particularly amazing. The nose is big and bold and can be smelled a foot away from the glass. 3.75/5

Taste: Taste just like it smells with a strong fruity oxidation character to the finish. Caramelized sugars/brown sugar, barley malt, dark fruit chocolate and tobacco are the primary flavors through and in the linger. Less bourbon character in the taste than in the nose. This beer is surprisingly "smooth" for 26% ABV -- with three to four years of age on it, this beer lacks the "here I am, rock you like a hurricane" heat of higher (but relatively lower) ABV brews like World World Stout and Black Tuesday. Lots of lasting fruitiness/oxidation and tobacco/dark fruit flavor to the finish. 3.75/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. The mouthfeel is so viscous and chewy. Big, lasting flavors coat the palate. Has a flavor profile consisting of sweet components that does not come across as being "sweet" a la Double Barrel Hunahpu's. 4.75/5

Overall: A good/solid, but not great or "cannot miss stout" in my opinion. I have had better bottles of this, but never one I had a good pour of that was quality enough to justify the high retail price tag or secondary market trade value. The flavor profile here reminds me of Double Barrel Hunahpu's, minus the spices/peppers, with relatively poorer integration. Among the many hard-to-get, highly touted beers out there, this one is notably skippable; tickers and completionists be forewarned.

Cost: $50 for a 750 ml bottle.

 2,396 characters

Black Damnation V - Double Black from De Struise Brouwers
96 out of 100 based on 112 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe