Outblack | De Struise Brouwers

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88
very good
131 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Collaboration brew with Stillwater Artisanal Ales (USA).

This Belgian Strong Ale was married to a still young but powerful style, the Black IPA.

You take a chocolate sweet strong ale together with the high & strong hop shedule of an IPA, and you get a fantastic result.

Added by beerpirates on 02-23-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
131
Ratings:
204
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
14.21%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
41
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 131 | Ratings: 204
Photo of Sammy
3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black beer really, with a bit more complexity. A little horse smell. Big oapy head. average mouthfeel. Some licorice, cinammon, nutmeg, roast. Decent drinkability.
Not one of the best Struise, Liam's bottle, hopefully this one not too expensive as the others.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.61/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Lot: 01/01/2011/bottled 02/FF

Pours black with a thick, rich and firm khaki tan head. Lovely to look at and the head holds nicely.

Nose has an initial assertive camphor and mint character that, while interesting and pleasant, not nice on a beer. The mint mellows a bit with some air but the camphor "Vicks" nose persists, with undertones of mint chocolate. Some of the "sweet" character in the nose is the assertive alcohol which may be confused with fruit or esters.

Mouthfeel is medium full, with a nice rich feel but is overwhelmed by the mint/camphor nose that carries over into the flavors. Mint, camphor, bitter pine and undertones of purple plum and mint chocolate prevail in the flavor profile. The alcohol is evident and not well hidden and not helped by the camphor character which seems to highlight the assertive alcohol.

The chocolate and cooked stone fruit undertone teases but never comes forward to overpower the camphor/mint. Flavor profile is very herbal and medicinal.

I can't think of a food with which I'd drink this beer. Not terrible as perhaps a sipper or an appertiff perhaps. Flavor profile is simply too strange for me to consider drinking alone for pleasure or with a meal. Also a bit strange for even after dinner cigars. Perhaps I just "don't get" this one.

Having now "lived with it" in the glass for a while, I can only imagine it as an appertif. Final bitter pine finish saves it for me.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured out with a bit foamy tan colored head with a rich dark looking body. The lacing is light, nothing too impressive really. The smell of the beer has a little bit of roasted aromas and a light sweetness too. The taste of the beer actually impressed me. As I drank it there was a nice amount of chocolate upfront, with some big herbal rye flavors in the aftertaste. The aftertaste almost reminded me of anise or menthol. The mouthfeel of this beer had a good thickness to it. Overall the beer was smooth and and creamy, really pretty good in my opinion.

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Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a thin off white head that left some lacing on the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass; the lacing never completely faded away.
S: There are light aromas of dark fruits in the nose. Hops are not detectable.
T: The taste tastes like a pure hybrid between a Belgian Ale and an American IPA because there are flavors of dark fruits with notes of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is a good hybrid between the two styles and is very easy to drink.

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Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%

Appearance: A foamy beige head builds and grows rocky, looking very Belgian, as it sits atop the fudge colored liquid

Smell: Very unusual phenols, smelling vaguely like paint thinner though there is also some chocolate and dark fruit in the mix

Taste: Ashen, up front, with dark fruit developing in the middle, though the burnt character of the beer persists; after the swallow, there is some candi sugar sweetness that develops and brings home the finish; spicy rye in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with high carbonation; very Belgian mouthfeel

Overall: A disappointment, coming from these two fine brewers; perhaps this beer wasn't intended for aging because there are some real off flavors that have developed

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep black color stout with a super huge thick foamy head with great retention and very good lacing. Aroma consists of semi-sweet Belgian malt with great notes of fruity ester. Taste is also a nice mix between some sweet malt with nice fruity ester and light residual candi sugar notes. Body is quite full with nice creamy texture and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Another very nice beer from two of my favourite brewers.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a N'Ice Chouffe stemgoblet in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger head of slight tan colour, good cream, nice thickness, and excellent retention, especially for the ABV. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Very unique. Bacteria yeasty notes give it a distinct character alongside caramelized malt, heavy candied sugar, and rye. I'm intrigued. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Very flavourful and unique, with wonderful candied sugar providing the foundation, and nice chocolate atop. Some nicely handled hops are present about the climax, which is a nice touch. The rye comes through in a strange way that doesn't quite feel right. Some tart flavours as well as oats. Complex but scattered. It's a mess, but there are some quality flavours to be had in it. I wish it were more focused.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with nice thickness. Suits the flavours of the body.

Dr: Very drinkable for the ABV. The cost is a bit rough on account of those bastards at Shelton, but I'd have it again in Belgium. As aforementioned, it's quite a mess, but otherwise I fancy it. Give it a go if you're a fan of Struise like me.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed at a recent DC area tasting. Served in a SAVOR snifter. Thanks to nimbleprop for opening this one up.

Pours near black with a good light head and some moderate lacing as it makes its way down. The nose brings forward some dark fruits, a bit of roast, and a piney/spruce-type hop character. Light yeasty spice there as well. Very strange and I'm not sure everything really comes together. The flavor adds in a bit more integration and the hops and underlying beer come together a bit more. Yeast is nice, but I still don't quite love where this is going. Good body with just a touch of booze. Well made, but I didn't really love the direction.

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Photo of oline73
3.76/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Max's, continuing my string of B+ beers.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with some light coming through at the edges. There is a very thin layer of head.

Smell: Some mildly roasty malt with herbal hops. A bit spicy, very faint.

Taste: Some caramel and roast hit the tongue first. There are some herbal hops in there, but this was described as an IPA of sorts, so I thought there would be a little bit more. There is a spice from the yeast and a hint of molasses. Can't taste the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very little carbonation. Mildly dry finish.

Overall: Was expecting some more hops. Lots of malt sweetness and herbal notes. Still very good and I would have more.

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Photo of oberon
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet a deep garnet infused black with a one finger sticky beige head that left broken lace as it settles.Phenols and candied sugar in the nose,no black ipa element wich I was hoping for.Candied sugar and sweet cakey flavors at the onset,some clove-like phenols come in the rather dry finish.Well I dont see any black ipa in this beer but its a pretty good Belgian dark,I would buy again...I think.

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Photo of jlindros
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Somehow never reviewed this beer, and this one has been there a while. Lot 01/01/2011, bottled 02/FF.

Pours an off white fizzy slight fluffy 1 finger head that fades pretty slowly, nice soapy lacing as well, pitch black beer with no light getting through.

Nose is interesting and different than I remember, maybe a bit too aged although this was supposed to age well... I get fresh sweet bread, toasty grainy malts, hint of biscuit a bit of a raisiny fruit, mild cinnamon and baking spices as well, mild toasted cinnamon raisin bread interestingly, some caramel, hint of cocoa, and little phenolic booze.

Taste brings more dark malts, creamy and a little roasty, mild acrid roast and burnt flavors, caramel, burnt coffee, etc. Then more toasted malts, little sweet bread again but not nearly like the nose, toasty, biscuity, etc. There is a fairly strong warming tingly phenolic booze still which is surprising after all those years on it, a little chemically booze and quite hot. A mild fruity raisiny flavor too, boozy raisin and very light baking spices. Hint of cocoa and mild bitter acrid roast round off the flavors. Finish is dry-ish, quite hot and boozy, bit more bitterness lingering too and some dark roasty malts.

Mouth is med to a bit fuller bod, tons of carbonation, tons of hot booze too.

Overall not like I remember, not sure if this was a bad batch, or the aging didn't do it well. Gotta re-review when I find fresher version or on tap hopefully sometime.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

opaque dark black liquid coming forward. Very large three inch plus head of off white colored froth coming over the top and settling down after what seemed like forever into a nice little layer of about a half inch in height. Excellent side glass presentation as well.

The aroma was rich, big notes of coffee and chocolate in here for sure. Semi sweet with a notch of bitter hops underlying it and loaded with a smoked, almost peat like aroma as well. Notes of dark figs and prunes rattling around in here as well. The flavor was about as spot on as I could imagine. Rich notes of coffee, dark German chocolate and figs were the big players here. The warmer it got the more it seemed to pick up on that smoked like flavor. Notes of earthy hops, light but noticeable were swirling around in here, really taking hold and pushing this to the forefront. Luscious and creamy feel, dominating by an active carbonation profile that really never let this one become dull or boring in anyway

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains sour cherries, roasted malts, dark fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts off with a burst of tart cherries. Then some sweet flavors of chocolate and other dark fruits come in next. There are touches of hops and Belgian yeast in the background. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is tart but slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, not the best representation of two styles that they crossed, it’s a decent beer and it’s something a bit different but not something I would want to drink regularly.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, lot 01/01/2011. Pours cloudy fairly pitch black color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense dark khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, chocolate, roasted malt, light char, brown sugar, cinnamon, clove, pepper, herbal, earth, and yeast spiciness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity; very unique. Taste of dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, raisin, prune, caramel, toast, coffee, brown sugar, pepper, clove, herbal, earth, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, raisin, prune, caramel, toast, coffee, brown sugar, clove, pepper, earth, herbal, and yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice flavor balance and complexity; with a nice malt/spiciness balance; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good Belgian dark ale. Nicely complex with unique flavor and nice balance; and very smooth to sip on. I enjoyed this quite a bit.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had this laying around in the cellar for a while, so I figured I'd break it out for a tasting. It was quite different than I expected. Dark brown pour, with a small tan ringlet. Unexpected spice in the aroma, dark malts. Again, those spices in the taste...I don't think there were any spices used in this brew? Rye malt? Aside from cocoa abd dark malt, and a touch of prune, I got distinct flavors of mint and anise. Really nothing of a black ale in this, though being an older brew, I'm sure those elements, if they ever were dominant, faded long ago. Medium body, and pretty mellow overall, an interesting aging experiment if nothing else, but it was definitely not bad.

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Photo of dcmchew
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours really dark brown, almost black, a big fluffy mocha head that recedes soon. Lots of floating bits, no matter how gently you pour it.
Cherry brandy on the nose, dark chocolate, mint, plum, herb liqueur, peach, ice tea, dark licorice, light roasted malt, rosewater. A really nice herbal fruity mix on top of dark malts.
Really rich dark fruit and alcohol up front, somewhere between strong red wine and brandy. Lots of juicy plum, dark grape, date, fig, morello cherry, but also some blond fruit notes (apple, peach, cherry plum). All "flavoured" with a nice herbal mix, something like mountain tea, with some faint mint, cola, dark licorice and sweet floral notes too.
Chocolate to cut off the booze, backed by dark malts, not too roasted, but bringing a rich multi-grain dark bread taste for the finish. Light hops here, alcohol to dry things up, without being too heavy.
A pretty short and simple finish after the big complexity in the front. Aftertaste is pretty poor, some dark bread (rye in there), a bit of spicy yeast, faint cocoa powder, almost no fruit or brandy at all. Medium body, low carbonation, pretty smooth.
Reminded me a lot of BrewDog Abstrakt 06, especially because i had them both pretty old. Rich fruity jam up front, backed by mild dark malts and extremely well hidden alcohol. Only wished the nice flavors lingered a bit more.

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Photo of billab914
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into a Redhook glass. It poured close to black in color with a huge, foamy and fizzy tan head filling 2/3 of the glass.

The aroma has a lot of toffee, licorice, caramel and candi sugar sweetness to it. I get good dose of pine coming from the hops, as well a little bit of a mint flavor coming through as well.

The taste shows more of the toffee and pine like hoppiness to it up front. midway I start to get more of a chocolaty, caramel, sweet flavor to it that lingers into the finish. Moderate amount of Belgian yeast spice is present as well as a bit of the minty flavors I got in the aroma.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a pretty good beer, but not an amazing one. They brought all the flavors together pretty well in it which was nice. Very interesting and unique flavors to it.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 03/27/11 notes. Shared by nimbleprop at a local DC tasting; thanks Mac.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with less than an inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, citrus hops, Belgian yeast, and chocolate.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, toasted malts, citrus, pine, Belgian yeast.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall an interesting and nice beer from De Struise. Not the biggest Black IPA fan in general as I feel the roasted characteristics usually end up dominating, but in this one you got some definite citrus from the hops. Would have again.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 mL bottle poured into a De Struise chalice. I love it when I coordinate. Bottle dated 1/1/2011, maybe?

Appearance - Dark brown with a huge khaki head. Settles quickly, but never vanishes. Contiguous layer of foam on top that climbs the sides of the glass.

Smell - Whoah. I don't even know what I'm smelling. Like a fruity coffee aroma with strong herbal tea notes. Remarkable.

Taste - More along the lines of a BSDA, I suppose, but still way out there in terms of flavors. Coffee is strong. Herbal hops are also strong. Hefty fruit presence, but hell if I can identify what it is. This is a very interesting. Maybe cola? I think that's what it reminds me of.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy body. Medium carbonation. Delicously creamy.

Overall - I'm impressed. Struise never ceases to amaze me the way they flip styles around. I expected a standard BSDA, but this is truly fascinating. Herbal, cola, tea, and coffee all at once with a nice earthiness. I'd love to have this again.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Outblack. 10% ALC./VOL. 11.2 FL. OZ., Belgian ale brewed with water, barley , oats, wheat, rye, hops, sugar & yeast. Brewed and bottled by De Struise Brouwers & Stillwater Artisanal Ales at SA Deca NV Woesten Vleteren, Belgium.

And little else. At least it's not gobbldeygook.

Dark as the darkest darkness, fully black, with a rich tanned head atop, small, but long lasting. Very promising appearance.

Aroma: chocolate and bubblegum. Taffy and toffee and banana. Cream and cocoa and bottlecaps. Not the caps on bottles, but the old candy. you don't remember bottlecaps, the candy? Ah, you're too young. Ah, well, maybe not, anyway, I was just on a roll, and, heck, maybe I was reaching a bit…anyway, forget that, but let's stick with the other stuff.

Taste: an intriguing mix, once again, just as in the nose. Sweetness, some funk, dark malt, hops, a ton of stuff going on. Unusual is a word I want to use. Bright and citrusy at first, fruity, grassy, hoppy, vibrant, then quickly smothered by dark malts and chocolate flavors.

I am fairly certain I am picking out the rye malt flavors, oh, most definitely, they are sticking out like a spicy sore thumb. Hops are adding an extra kick, with the toffee and caramel and the cocoa of the malt lurking just below.

I like this. It is tasty. And so incredibly unique. Don't ask me to categorize it or pin it down, for that would be fruitless and silly.

Wait, I've got it. It's a Belgian Black IPA. Oh, I'm sorry, Cascadian Dark Belgian Ale.
Or, something.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid dark brown color with a huge bubbly tan head that displays great retention and moderate lace. Smells of dark brown sugar, caramel, licorice, dark roasted grain, maybe a hint of menthol or pine. Quite a complex flavor on this one. It starts off with some yeasty esters and a mint or herbal flavor that I don't really care for. Next it throws out some sugars and a hint of chocolate. Finished with some roasted grains, a bit of ash, a touch of alcohol and a lingering hop bite. Medium body and level of carbonation with a slick creamy mouthfeel. Not a bad brew, but not my favorite from DeStruise.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a few of these from the Struise webshop. Served in a Struise cervoise. Best before February 2016.

A - Pours with a finger of dark tan foam that settles to a thick collar and partial cap. Body is a near-black that reveals some chocolate brown at the fringes of the glass.

S - The aroma is very unique, with heavy perfume, nutmeg, cardamom, pine, cocoa, smoke, licorice, candi sugar, toasted grains, and a faint whiff of alcohol. It's very complex, but it's not something that I find completely appealing - too much cardamom and spice character for my preference.

T - The taste is much more enjoyable for me, with a medley of Belgian chocolate, rye, dark fruits, estery yeast, and anise bitterness in the finish. Not much overt hop flavor, but alcohol is better hidden.

M - Carbonation is a bit higher than I prefer, but is still appropriate for the style. Not much alcohol heat at all. Medium body that finishes chewy and sticky.

D - Where did it go? As Jason Allen would say - this is absolutely crushable. I finished a 33cl bottle in 15 minutes. The name is certainly appropriate, and I always marvel at Urbain's ability to concoct easy-drinking beers likely to leave one passed out on a sack of grain.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really need a Struise glass.

Beer served in a New Belgium tulip. Beer is black and aggressively carbonated with a tan head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet but has a tea like bitterness to it.

Beer is medium in body with a mildly dry finish, the bitterness at the back is tea like with only a mild hop presence. The entire beer has this ashy roastiness sort of bitter throughout. It is interesting but not great. I've had a lot of better beers from both Stillwater and Struise.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Capone's in a 13 oz snifter glass.

A: Dark brown, borderline black body with a very light tan head. Some sporadic lacing is left behind and a thin retention ring lines the edges of the beer. As confusing as the style is, it's a nice appearance that defines both of its parts.

S: Spearmint, dark chocolate, spice, floral hops, spruce and pine all intertwine into a complex and delicious smelling beer. Again, an identity crisis seems to emerge but the beer does a fine job of blending everything together.

T: An initial spicy Belgian flair is evident with light yeasty notes. Some lightly toasted malts, mint, wood and a touch of sap all come through in the flavor. Rounding out the back end is a touch of sticky syrup. It's unique, complex and oddly very good in terms of flavor.

M: Prickly and bubbly, almost on the lighter end of a medium bodied beer. Although, the finish is really nice and clean, that almost has a certain crispness to it.

This was certainly an interesting beer and the cross between the styles really make this unique. I enjoyed the floral, piney and hoppy nature of the beer with the dark roasted malts. Some defining flavors that took this above my expectations.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Creamy tan head with fantastic retention and nice lace. Cherry cola body.

S - Surprisingly bright, tart and tangy sour cherry.

T - Wow, just like the nose the taste is exceptionally bright. Concentrated cherry cola, brown sugar, and pop rocks. Aggressive sweetness. Lightly tart backend.

M - Lively carbonation and a medium frame. Thick sweetness.

O - A really interesting flavor profile, I can't say I've had a beer like this before, but overly sweet.

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Outblack from De Struise Brouwers
88 out of 100 based on 131 ratings.
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