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Outblack | De Struise Brouwers

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205 Ratings

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers

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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 205 |  Reviews: 131
Photo of cavedave
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, light tan head, but a beautiful lather it is, thick and a couple inches tall. Slathery lace clings in sheets.

Nose is med. for style, full of raisins, candi, figs, light spicy alcohol, toffee/caramel, and floral hops wayyy in the background.

Med. strength taste, but delicious, starts candi and raisins, floral jumps the game, chocolate, even a hint of cofee. Luscious yeasty tart, a clean tart, yummy tart, adds just the right flavor to the mix. Heavenly.

Incredible start to our mini tasting of big beers. Get this if you can, it is not epic, but magnificent none the less.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
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 liamt07
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from a De Struise order I put a month or two back, shared with the group. Into a snifter. Lot 1, January 2011, best before Jan 2, 2016.

Poured a very dark brown, with some lighter highlights within. A light brown head, that leaves some retains quite well and has good lacing. Nose is full of spcie, licorice/anise, maybe some cinnamon and nutmeg as well? Warming notes of milk chocolate and dark bread come through as well. Taste is roasty chocolate, rich dark fruits, some alcohol and lesser brown sugar notes. Maybe a hint of dark roast coffee? Roastiness dominates the palate here, but nuances begin to reveal the complexity of this with warmth. Medium full body with a lingering flavour. A complex and flavourful offering, I'm glad that I've got a couple more to spare.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at 't Wagstuuk in Antwerp.

Pours, as the name suggests, black and deep. It's a lovely colour, crisply brown at the edges. Head is foaming and frothy, a pleasant cookie brown. Lacing is maze-like and intricate. Body is heavy. Looks very good indeed.

Nose is sweet, but spicy, with big liquorice characters dominant. There's a hint of cherry to it and some dark high-cocoa chocolate. It's a lovely dark beer from Belgium—De Struise is one of the few places I'd expect to find these sort of characters; the Belgian establishment seems to shy away from them.

Taste is also good, but the feel is quite thin—maybe here the Belgian "light is better" influence is coming through. Liquorice, dark grain, a touch of charred malt, and some astringent booze again with a touch of the kriek to it—almost like kirsch. Booze is more prominent with the lighter body.

I'm starting to dislike the Belgian philosophy of putting sugar in beers to lighten the palate, which I can only assume is what happened here. A big beer like this needs weight behind it to balance the flavour.

This is still a good beer. But it went close to being a GREAT beer.

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Photo of davey101
3.46/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle into a chimay goblet.

A - Dark cola brown, big foamy mocha head and tons of lacing and retention. Some mocha colored yeast sediment on the bottom of the glass, which I've come to expect from struise brews.

S - Hmmmm. Licorice, piney hops, chocolate, some roasted malt and herbs. Not that great to be honest.

T - Dark fruits , sweet malt, yeast and smooth licorice/anise. Then BAM, the aftertaste of an IPA. Bitter hops and some citrus notes. The mouthfeel is velvety and rich.

O - A bit of a letdown. Id rather spend my $7.99 on a pannepot. I'm not a fan of anise and licroice, and those were some of the flavors I was getting.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

De Struise and Stillwater my intrest is piqued.

Pours a sold super brown (almost black) with a quarter inch of head. Decent lace for a 10%.

I can't really say the smell does much for me (and this is my second bottle). Band-aid, crest toothpaste not for me.

The taste does not follow suit (which is great). Solid dark, fruity malts, slight chocolate, candy sugar, roasted coffee, citrus and herbal hops are all pretty noticable. This beer packs in a buttload of flavors. Very smooth going down.

Stinky (gross) but tasty (not gross). A very interesting beer that I was very glad to try. I know they have another collaboration coming out soon and I can't wait.

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Photo of DaveHS
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours cola brown with over 2 inches of bubbly, dark khaki foam. Reduces quickly, leaving behind sticky lacing.

S-Menthol,candi sugar, stale hard candy. A similar herbaceous aroma to Pannepot. Black licorice.

T/M-Medium bodied and slightly sweet. Flavors of anise and black pepper are a great complement to the light roasted malts. The Pannepot-esque herbaceousness comes in strong on the back end., along with muted dry/bitter hops. Carbonation is light, but supportive.

O-Leave it to Struise to make something so interesting that it leaves me without a concrete opinion. I think I like this...maybe. It's damn interesting in any case, and worth trying at least once.

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Photo of peensteen
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Liam's bottle

pours black to brown, tan head with some lace. Smell is spicy, dark fruit, cinnamon, chocolatey, all spice. Taste is quite roasty and toasted, light alcohol bite, some dark fruit in the finish, fig, big spicy profile, coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Med-high carbonation, full body, good feel. Very good stuff here, quite complex and enjoyable, solid brew.

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Photo of Sammy
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
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 rvdoorn
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: the beer pours a black color with a fluffy dark-brown head.
Smell: Malts, caramel, cherries, dark fruits, anise, hops and liquorish.
Taste: Raisins, malts, brown sugar, yeast, spicy phenols and alcohol. Finish is spicy.
Mouthfeel: a medium body, medium carbonation.
Overall: Well balanced brew, not too complex and easy to drink

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Photo of ICCULIS
3.47/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Chimay Sniffer

Lot 01/01/2011
Bottled 02/FF

I picked this up on the fly simple due to I liked the label and have enjoyed many other De Struise brews in the past.

A = deep Carmel brown. nice, thick tan head that fades quickly. very nice/strong lacing

S = honestly kinda bland. roasted malt & chocolate are present but muted. nothing is too strong or over powering. a bit weak in the nose dept I'd say

T = I immediately sense that unique Belgium flavor. Sweeter than expected. Rich and somewhat creamy. I do not taste the mint or cherry's other reviews have mentioned.

M = I love it! Super silky. This texture and consistently is what I enjoy in beer. It has a smooth velvet like characteristic. Quite pleasing.

O = Another great beer from De Struise. Being the 1st time I tried (even heard of it) I'm thrilled to say I really enjoy it. I will certainly be tracking down another 2-6 bottles for future enjoyment.

Cheers ~ !

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Photo of chrisgn
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet. Started with 2 fingers of foamy head. Head sticks around with good lacing on the glass. Appears opaque dark brown.
Aroma consists of raisin/fig, brown sugar, and faint alcohol.
Excellent mouth feel and carbonation.
The beer tastes exactly as it smells. raisin, brown sugar, and a little alcohol burn on the end.
This beer is like a cross between a quad and Belgian dark strong. Also has some stout characteristics in the mouthfeel and the head. Very complex flavors and aromas. This is a very interesting beer. I wish I got another bottle to age for a while, but it is great fresh.

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Photo of oberon
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
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 gatornation
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from a 11.2 oz bottle..loved the label

A-pours a black color with some black cherry striations in it with a big fluffy tan/cheery head that reveals chunky lacing

B- super fresh smell with ginger,spearmint,some chocolate a touch of dark fruit,a dash of nutmeg,..one of the best BSDA ive smelled

T- follows the nose..so good..again i get ginger softly coating citrus hops with light roasted chocolate malts, soft dark fruits with nutmeg and spearmint and a touch of funk..a treat

M- soft carbonation, smooth creamy velvet texture slightly dry with fruits and mints and citrus a nice funk taste on the palate nothing overpowers ..abv well hidden

O- a superior brew that i wish i could drink/buy more often i do have access to it,,but cant always buy it..superior ..highly recommended

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks a beaut! Maybe not black, but an incredibly deep dark brown for sure, with a firm, foamy, filthy-white (as in Peanuts' Pigpen "white") head that leaves bits of lace as it lessens.

Whoa...didn't expect such a minty vibe in the aroma, but there it is...spearmint and peppermint, with a kind of medicinal and/or intensely herbal edge. Not sure what to think, and certainly no idea what to expect, taste-wise.

The peculiar but pleasing minty vibe hangs around in the taste, and I guess this is the hop character. It transforms on the tongue into a more black licorice sort of vibe than I'm picking up in the smell. Yet another example of a Belgian brewer taking the hop-centric inclinations of younger, cutting-edge US brewers and incorporating that into their own unique approach (I do realize this was a collaboration with Nevada's Stillwater brewery). But there's more, much more: something like chili pepper-infused chocolate is a major component of the flavor, and there's a sweeter, gooier chocolate/fudge vibe as well, and also bittersweet baking chocolate. So, yeah, there's a chocolaty thing going on here. Seriously bright herbal notes take up their share of space, and wow, despite the uniqueness and peculiarities of this beer, it remains totally balanced, totally drinkable.

Texturally this is just terrific. Super-smooth, ultra-silky, it glides across the tongue and down the throat like liquid velvet. I wonder if the use of four different malts (barley, oat, wheat, rye) is a huge part of why this feels the way it does. And come to think of it, those are probably adding to the exotic taste of the beer just as much as the hops and yeast.

Drinking Outblack, you feel you're experiencing something rare and special, something worth taking slow, taking care to contemplate each sip but not think too hard about it and just enjoy it. Another totally unique and special Belgian ale. Oh yeah, I dig. This is just great. Highly recommended.

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Photo of sk8man121
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle ($6.99 at RSVP in Portland, ME) poured into Allagash chalice. Lot 1/10/11.

A: Pours an opaque, murky brown with cherry highlights and visible floating yeast. Massive tan head jumps out of the glass, require a couple slow pours to fill.

S: Dark fruit, alcohol and chocolate. Hops are there, but subtle and minty. Smells quite robust.

T: Chocolate, espresso and dark fruit take the front end, with grassy, melon-like cleansing hops in the center. Smoky aftertaste of oak. Not nearly as sweet as I had expected, which scores it points. Really nice, and with absolutely no detectable alcohol.

M: Carbonation is medium to low; creams up huge, yet drinks somewhat thin for the style.

O: This is a really enjoyable offering from De Struisse, who are quickly beginning to live up their self-proclaimed status as "best brewery in the world" in my book (I guess). I really dig the melon aspects of this, and the lack of noticeable alcohol makes this 10% beer dangerously drinkable. The price, however, does not.

Another solid offering from De Struisse.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. Large light tan head looks very creamy and leaves behind lots of sticky lacing. The body is very dark brown with slight amber notes.

I got a bit of the hoppiness when I was pouring the beer but once it got in the glass this was quad all the way with lots of figs and raisins and brown sugar sweetness.

The taste is again very much quadlike but the hops do add a unique angle to the presentation in the start of the taste; adding slight vegetal qualities. The finish is mostly sweet with plum and raisin flavors; the fruitiness dominates. There is a slight minty flavor in the finish. Very unique.

Nice medium mouthfeel, this is pretty easy to drink with the crisp carbonation to go with it.

Not bad, I could see myself drinking this again and enjoying it if it weren't for the myriad other options available from De Struise. Still, a fun take on the style worth trying at least once.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11.2 oz bottle poured into my Portsmouth Brewery tulip. Served a bit chilled and brought to room temperature.

Appearance: Dark to medium brown and cloudy, definitely not the midnight oil appearance I was expecting based on the name. Pours a nice fluffy, light brown head that sticks well to the glass throughout.

Aroma: This is really different than any other beer I've had. Big star anise, licorice, mint and Belgian candy sugar notes. A touch of booze, but overall it is well balanced. Extremely unique.

Taste: The licorice and star anise flavors are definitely strong on the tongue upfront. Some nice chocolate and caramel notes are there as well. The mint and candy sugar are much more in the background here. The booze is well hidden and the balance is nice.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full bodied. Plenty smooth.

Overall, a really unique and style defying beer. Unlike any other beer I have ever had. Big licorice and star anise are a highlight, but the mint and Belgian candy sugar add a whole other element. Might not be my favorite beer, but it is certainly fascinating. High points for originality.

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Photo of billab914
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
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 DovaliHops
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark brown color with a large off-white/tan head. Scent has a ton of toffee, carmel, and roasted chocolate. Some dark chocolate and cocoa as well. Taste is initially a ton of dark fruit with some chocolate notes. I also pick up some green apple flavors with a lot of toffee and hints of caramel. A bit of alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with some delightful crisp bite to it. Drinkability is fairly high. Overall, this is a very enjoyable strong dark ale.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle scored locally from one of my staple shops. Before starting this review I should get it out on the table that I'm a really big fan of De Struise and Stillwater. I was very impressed with Jaded (although different style and brewed by Brian) and have high expectations for this brew.

a - opened the cap and filled my stillwater long stemmed tulip. beer flowed from the rim of the bottle as brown murky color with the appearance of yeast or sediment in the mix. it settled in the glass as an almost black purple with a generous yeasty head that one would expect to find on an authentic BSDA or even a Quad. Head was thick and frothy and the lacing held onto the glass for dear life as if a thick milkshake was being swirled around instead of beer.

s - Excellent. a nice yeasty spice with some tangerine type zest and brisk mentholation. not sure if sage is used in this beer, but i know that is a secret weapon for stillwater. the spiciness is very festive and almost potpouri in nature...very unique. the only thing that comes close to this would be ommegang's adoration ale, but this beer takes that theme and explodes it tripling the good part of the adoration smell. this pretty much hits the mark for me on as good as a beer of this style can smell.

t - much like the nose, but a bit of an overly bitter backbone that is fighting for attention. the beer is crisp and maybe the spicing in the nose is a bit over the top for the pepperiness and hoppy bitterness. it would be more of a cross of a black ipa and a BSDA then a BSDA...but it gives the beer a bit of an identity crisis. it is more of a battle for dominance in the flavor than a balance. i'd love to revisit this one when the hops have had some time to fade. glad i have a few more.

m - creamy...exactly what you look for in a classic belgian, but the hoppy bitterness seems out of place with that creamy vibe and leaves a bit of a pungent aftertaste.

o - there are certain things about this beer that pretty much hit the nail on the head...but those things seem to mostly be blended with another beer entirely. it really seems like 2 beers were brewed and just mixed together to make this and i'd really like to drink just one of those beers since the other one seems to be interfering with what i want. as my palette warmed up to the hoppy bitterness i was able to focus more on the creamy belgian dark ale of the mix and the spicing on that is just immaculate (in the nose and taste), but the hoppiness blended on top seems out of place and turns probably one of the better beers i've tried into just an interesting beer worth seeking out. as it warmed it became much more solid and enjoyable, but at first really seemed like an identity crisis.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

599th Review on BA
Bottle to Saints/Sinner

App- Classic Belgian brown with gigantic head to it. Split two ways, so the head was a bit tame. No cling to really speak off and it was a bit clearer than I thought.

Smell- I really love what the Belgians can do with a few strands of yeast, some rye and some candy sugar. This smelled so lovely. It was sweet, yeasty and a bit bready.

Taste- This is exactly why I love this style. This was a bit of a twist with the hops and brewed with a black IPA mix to it. The rye and the sugars bring out the balance of flavors.

Mouth- Medium bodied and a soft medium. The bubbles of the yeast and the rye are two great resounding flavors.

Drink- Damn I love this style. Flavorful, balanced, unique. This was done with a twist and it was so tasty. I'd love to have more of this.

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Photo of UnDeadly
3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, Glass stein

Appearance - Strong black, though put up to a light I can see about halfway through to the underside of the foam. Very strong head, about 4 fingers. Persistent throughout the beer, though minimal lacing.

Smell - A little bit of alcohol, an interesting burnt toffee and black licorice smell. Minor oak/woody notes. Not overly impressive.

Taste - OK, the notes I got in the smell come together quite nicely. Not much in the front, then a nice creamy, oat-y middle that finishes with light toffee, dark chocolate, and black licorice notes. I don't like black licorice, but this is well executed. No real coffee bitterness that seems to be common in Black IPAs. Generalized bitterness I would guess from hops, but sorta hard to pick out any nuances there.

Mouth Feel - The best part of the beer in my opinion. Though well-carbonated, no sting. Quite creamy, moderate body. No alcohol burn at all, despite being 10%

Overall - A very nice, fun beer that was a great drink. I can appreciate it's execution, a very interesting take on the style. Still, I would like to see more hop notes come through, which is a flaw I find generally in the style...the dark malt notes seem to kill a lot of nice hop notes. Would drink again for sure, but not my favorite iteration of the style.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Lot 01/01/2011
OB NO.41

A: This pours a murky dark cinnamon brown color and is topped with a MASSIVE tan colored head which slowly spiderwebs its way down the glass. This looks amazing. Oh and I rarely comment on this but it comes in a pretty bad ass bottle showing a sort of eclipse of the earth.

S: Smells very complex ... Strawberry and other bright red fruit starts and leads into a number of spicy notes. Tough to put a finger on just what this smells like but think baking spices notably nutmeg?

T: Spice driven stuff ... nutmeg hits the palate up front leading into suggestions of Rhum (with a hint of lime zest) and chocolate covered gram crackers. Subtle fruity notes finish out the package. In the end this is pretty dry finishing.

M: Sadly this takes away from the overall score of this one ... Chalky mouthfeel takes away from this.

O: These guys continue to impress, though this beer is not as good as some of the other selections (which are among the best I've had to date). I wonder if some age will help with the mouthfeel and thus develop some of the flavors.

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Photo of Duffman929
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured at lord hobo in cambridge.

Pours dark black with a tan head that was light.

Smell is of cherries and chocolate with a floral aroma. Different than anything I have smelled.

Taste is of tartness from cherries and then transitions to a bitter floral nature from the hops and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is smooth, medium body. Not much carbonation.

This is an interesting combination for me, as I adore cherries and dark chocolate. I would drink this again and again.

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Outblack from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 205 ratings
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