Outblack | De Struise Brouwers

BA SCORE
88
very good
205 Ratings
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OutblackOutblack
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.

Added by beerpirates on 02-23-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
205
Reviews:
131
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
11.42%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
42
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 205 |  Reviews: 131
Photo of Gosox8787
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 1,123 characters

Photo of theghost3
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep dark brown, almost black. Head is 2-fingers, popping bubbly, somewhat soda-like and beige. Little lacing.

Smell is subtle coffee & caramel malts with a hint of burnt toast. The taste is dark cocoa but there is also an interesting citrus and herbal hop component that adds some sassafras flavor to it. Mouthfeel is carbonated and biting at first, but then ends thick and smooth; a lot like a root beer float.

This is unique and delicious. The taste and mouthfeel really have root beer float qualities.

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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 rhong187
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served in a tulip glass

A - fairly aggressive pour without much head rentention. very black (as the name implies)

S - Smells very nice, with light notes of chocolate and slight vanilla. I read that this is a hyrid of a stout and black IPA, but I don't detect any hop cdharacter whatsoever

T - you get hit with roasted malts and chocolate right away, but again, not much hoppiness.

M- medium bodied, light carbonation.

Nice collab, and I hope to see more in the future.

 473 characters

Photo of beerdrifter
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Deep dark brown, almost black pour with huge caramel colored three finger head with great retention and lacing. Very unique, spicy, complex nose dominated by licorice, cola, and raisins, with a hint of black cherries, pine, alcohol and chocolate. The taste is much the same, again dominated by the licorice and dark fruits. Also getting some cinnamon, nutmeg, cherries, pine, coffee and chocolate. It's a little thin in the mouthfeel, but the alcohol is well hidden and it's pretty drinkable for a 10% ABV. It's kind of a cross between a Black IPA and a Christmas beer. Very unique!

 650 characters

Photo of bylerteck
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Mikkeller Bar. From notes.

A - Sort of a muddy brown and black mix. Red on the edges. Light gets through on the sides. Ring of khaki head around the top is the only head. No visible carbonation.

S - Alot of lemon came through for me. Some grassiness and a nice floral element. Whatever the black portion of this is supposed to be is not present in what I smell. Just smelled like an IPA or more like a saison.

T - Small amount of roastiness with more lemon, grassy, floral notes. Some hops show through also. Alot going on here. I wrote down that this was interesting and deep. Some roastiness in the finish.

M - Mild carbonation with a full to medium body. Lingering roasty bitterness in the finish.

D - Quite complex and tasty. Different and worth a shot. I like the combination of flavours.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle. Served in a Dogfish Head Signature glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch frothy tan head. The head retention and lacing are both pretty good. Aroma is a bit spicy, it smells like licorice, cola, bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit, and some slight citrusy hops and a weird medicinal/herbal aroma that I can't identify. The brew tastes like bittersweet chocolate, 7-Up (or some other similar citrusy soft drink), licorice, dark fruit, and some coffee and an overall herbal flavor. It's certainly a unique flavored brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and has moderate carbonation. Overall I liked this beer. It was $6.99 a bottle, but I thought it was worth the price. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of Radome
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a goblet.

A - Attractive beer. It is an extremely dark brown (though not black) color in the glass and lets no light through. The head is thick and creamy in a dark tan color. The head and lacing are admirably long-lasting. Sediment in the bottle pointed to bottle-conditioning.

S - The aroma is totally dominated by a strong spice note (coriander? cardamom?). I do not detect any hops through the spice onslaught, unless maybe there is a pine-like aroma that is intertwined with it. I do get some malt and alcohol notes somewhere in the background. From the aroma I don't recognize any trace of a US IPA; this seems like a traditional, quirky Belgian strong dark. It is so spice-dominated that it could be a gruit or a heather ale on steroids, based on the aroma.

T - The spice is very strong in the taste, but the balance is better than in the nose. I also get strong hops bitterness and some piney hops flavor that melds with the spice. There is some bready malt and lots of alcohol.

M - Body is moderate. Alcohol burn that combines with hops bitterness to give a lingering heat on the tongue like hot peppers. Prickly feel from the carbonation. Surprisingly dry finish.

O - From the aroma I did not think I would like this beer, but it grew on me thanks to the overall experience. The sledgehammer of spice and pine in the nose is a bit unsettling at first. However, it is very well-made and becomes less unbalanced after it warms up and breathes in the glass.

 1,502 characters

Photo of Dope
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle is labeled: Lot 01|01|2011| Bottled 02/FF

A: Pours a dark brown with lots of floaties. Big fluffy medium brown head. Fades slowly leaving tufts of fluffy lacing on the glass.

S: Prominent raisins and earthy belgian yeast. Has a roasted malt character though I think - a little chocolate in there? Nice combination, like a bsda and a porter mixed together.

T: Nice mellow fruitiness up front with some raisin and fig. Turns bitter in the middle with a little bit of chocolate and a hint of char. Very earthy in the middle and into the finish. My mouth feels dirty, almost. Hints of dark fruit and chocolate in the lingering aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, not nearly as heavy as you'd expect for 10%. Fairly smooth.

O: This is a tough one to rate. It's basically a BSDA and a black IPA combined I guess. Decent roasted malt, decent bitterness, decent earthiness to boot. It's got good flavors and an even better aroma. But somehow it just doesn't quite work for me and I can't exactly place why. Just an odd mix, albeit unique.

 1,038 characters

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

 661 characters

Photo of pixieskid
3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into my De Struise "Cervoise" glass.

Deep brown color, almost black with a foamy light beige head.

Nose: Notes of spice and dark, ripe fruits dominate (raisins & black currant) a touch of chocolate; don't pick up on any hop aroma...probably due to the fact this bottle has been around for a while.

Taste: Mellow milk chocolate upfront, dark fruits, a touch piny resign and citrus hops balanced with a brown sugar sweetness and mild bitteness. Finishes with some roasted malts, brown sugar, and lingering burnt toast/ bakers chocolate...some warming alcohol as well.

Mouthfeel: insanely creamy and smooth; just amazing.

Overall: as it warms up, the complexities really come out but the real draw to this beer is it's ridiculously creamy/milky mouthfeel that makes it quite memorable.

 794 characters

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

A: Otterbrown pour appears a deep black while sitting in the vessel. A light walnut brown head dominates the glass with a towering presence and soapy large voids along the glass walls. Retention is good while leaving whispy lashes of lace with spacious proximity.

S: Boozy sweet licorice and fresh prunes for first impressions on the nose. Alcohol is even toned at 10%. Burnt caramel raisins with a touch of bready yeastiness.

T: Flavor of sweet roastiness and chocolate, sugary figs with some dark fruit of prunes. Boozy licorice tones combine with raisins and a soft burbon presence and sweet dark malts. Dates, sweet plums, with a roasty fade closes things out with a good fresh bready yeastiness touch.

M: Syrupy slick mouthful, quiet carbonation nice resistance on the tongue.

O: Nice complexity of dark fruit and sweetness with a well mannered abv. Very easy to consume and enjoyable, smooth and polished.

 919 characters

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.

 650 characters

Photo of drewone
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 849 characters

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.

 672 characters

Photo of crusian
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from one of the store in Brussels...
Pours a nice blackness with about 3 fingers if head that stick around for quite a while.
Nose is rather light, with some spices... nutmeg, allspice
Taste is a creaminess that is unique. A nice Belgian yeast infused light stout flavor with some coffee, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon...
This is incredibly hard to describe, because it is so damn complex. Bottles have zero cherry tartness, wondering about the taps out there... as this doesn't seem to be any kind of a sour. The abv on this is nowhere to be found, at all... nicely done.
Glad I picked some of these up... definitely worth looking for one.

 645 characters

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 mrand01
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330mL bottle poured into a generic Crate & Barrel tulip.

A: Pours with about 3/4" tan head. Body is dark brown, almost black. Lots of head retention a couple minutes after the pour. Pretty sticky, decent lacing.

S: A mix of dark fruit and citrus hops. This is a bit of a "hybrid" belgian black IPA, and it smells as such.

T: Malty with big dark fruit tones. Fades into a fairly hoppy aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with prickly carbonation.

O: This is pretty good...not as hoppy as I would have liked, however, it could be that this beer sat for too long, losing some of it's hop character in the process. What I'm left with is a mildly hoppy dark ale.

 655 characters

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.

 708 characters

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

Just had a glass from this super solid collaboration on draft at ChurchKey. I was pretty bummed when I missed it at Paradiso-Georgetown's taps, so it was great to see it on the menu somewhere else. Can't wait to find a bottle, as well.

Overall, this beer had a lot of similarities to Stillwater's Existent - one of my faves among Strumke's beers. Very spicy, dark fruit, but where Existent has that thin farmhouse body and carbonation, the outblack is much creamier and softer.

 478 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of ConradKenney
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BWHD
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Outblack from De Struise Brouwers
3.94 out of 5 based on 205 ratings.
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