Outblack | De Struise Brouwers

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BA SCORE
3.96/5
Very Good
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers
Belgium
struise.com

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.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
132
Ratings:
206
pDev:
11.36%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
42
Trade:
0
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 132 | Ratings: 206
Photo of Reaper16
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a dark cola brown. Completely opaque; it looks like rich mahogany. It appears to have a decent viscosity to it when I swirl it around in the glass. Two fingers of sand colored foam leave some spotty lines of lace.

Outblack has a pretty interesting nose. I pick up on the hops first: a tasteful amount of grapefruit and orange. Distant pine. There's some cocoa powder and breadcrust coming from the malt profile. This beer is pretty spicy, surprisingly. I'm getting lots of green cardamom and clove-like incense in the nose.

The taste follows the nose. Lots of spice right up front: cardamom, old clove, toasted cinnamon. The malt flavor is mostly like Cocoa Puffs, Hershey's Chocolate Syrup and caramel candies. There's a flutter of plum, but it gets obscured by the soft grapefruit pith flavor from the heavy hop dose. It's pretty tasty, but the spice bill keeps it from elite status. It's interesting enough to appreciate, but it clashes with the rest of the beer's flavors for me, ultimately.

Outblack is a nicely medium-bodied beer. The part of your palate that tastes the heavy malt flavors wants it to be thicker and stickier, while the part of your palate digging on the soft hop flavors wants it to be lighter. Together, the beer reaches some sort of compromise. It's creamy yet light. Add in a satisfying level of carbonation, and you have all the indications of a very well-crafted beer.

Overall? Outblack is a decently complex experimental beer that is well worth drinking. It's certainly good, but the heavy handed spice bill holds it back a bit. Even though drinkability is gone, I have to say a good word for it here. You can't tell that this beer is 10% ABV. It drinks way too smoothly for its size. If Drinkability were still a scoring category, I'd give it a 5.0. Sorry for not reviewing you before the scoring change, Outblack.

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Photo of BobZ
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Again, follows the base Black Albert in appearance, black in color. This time there is a thinner head at 1/4", creamy tan, and provides curtains of sticky lace.

Smell: Chocolate sweetness but the spice hits you quickly (maybe cardamom?) on the nose, a lot of spicy complexity going on here, again some coffee underneath.

Taste: The spicy cardamom flavor is pleasantly up-front, followed by a mellowed Black Albert combination of coffee and chocolate. Sweeter (much) than BA, but again smooth and delicious on the palate.

Mouth feel: Once more Struise excels here, smooth, creamy, and (this time) very light on the palate.

Overall: Again, as maybe I've come to expect from Struise, an incredibly flavorful beer, alcohol is completely and I mean COMPLETELY masked, very smooth, and very tasty. Urbain's collaboration's seem so inventive and so unique, really definitive of the term craft brewer in my mind.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
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 xpimptastikx
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a nice dark brown with a tan finger of head, moderate lacing. Looks like a BSDA to me.

S - This is nice. Dark fruits with roasted malts and nice citrus hop note.

T - Initial sweet of a BSDA, malt, raisins, slight spice of yeast, with a nice hop finish.

M/D - A full body and good carbonation are spot on like they are for most struise beers. This is definitely better that a "Cascadian Dark Ale", and is more drinkable, at least for my palate. It's nice now, but I'll have to sock away 2 for future years to see how it changes once all the hops are gone.

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Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bunch of these from Dranken Geers in Ghent.

Poured into a Westvleteren chalice.

Pours dark brown to black. Starts out with a nice one finger tan head that goes away after a minute.

Smells of sweet malts but also a sweetness and some faint hints of roasted malts.

Taste is sweet candy like, barley, rye and darkfruits. Loads of flavors. The 10% abv is hidden very well.

Mouthfeel is creamy and very smooth. A medium amount of carbonation and a medium to full body.

Great Struise and Stillwater brew. One of the most surprising beers I have had in a while. Full of flavor and extremely smooth but not one I'd drink all night. This one to safe for special occasions. Recomended.

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Photo of Brabander
4.46/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was at the old school building last monday with my buddy Apophis666, his girlfriend Lore and her father Henk. We had a great time with Urbain and one of the beers he opened for his visitors was the new Outblack. I was the driver so i had to wait to drink this beer at home. That's what i did last night.

Poured (of course) in my Struise glass the beer looks perfect. What a deepdarkbrown colour! The bulblight has problems to go trough it. Some carbonation in the glass. The perfect head, that's what Struise is all about, a nice view and even better taste.

The smell is good, some spices and candysweetness.

The taste is outstanding because of the ingredients used. I tasted some 'salmiak' and 'drop'. Two dutch words for dark candy. Very very well done.

You did it again Urbain!

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Verrrry dark brown in color; its nearly black. Head is a creamy light mocha color, 2 fingers, and lacing like a champ.

Rich and malty, light sweetness, caramel, dark fruits and a dash of hops.

Big roasted notes, with some chocolate sweetness, dark fruits pleasant citrus and nice bitterness. Finish is a hair smoky.

Feel is nearing full bodied, creamy, slick, slightly coating and super smooth.

The alcohol is non-existent in my opinion. It's extremely tasty and unique. Drinkability is exceptional.

I may be ordering more sooner than expected...

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Outblack from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 206 ratings