Black Damnation VI - Messy
De Struise Brouwers

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Stout - American Imperial
4.44 | pDev: 11.49%
De Struise Brouwers
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 18 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Rifugium from North Dakota

3.74/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at De Struise, split between a few friends.
Yow. What a beer to see in the tap lines during my visit. An appropriately small pour for 5eu in a Damnation skull glass, dark oily brown-black. Surprisingly, there was a head on this beer, though it didn't last too long, the beer itself coating the glass with a lasting syrupy layer. Caramelized aroma, peaty, apple, booze. In the taste, Scotchy peat, apple and fig, mineral, molasses, and a fair amount of warm booze. Obviously a sipper here. Chewy, unctuous mouthfeel, big full body. There aren't many beers like this out there, and I have to appreciate the craft behind it.

Apr 25, 2015
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Dennoman from Belgium

4.11/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at CBC, only just got round to reviewing this from notes.

As a big fan of the Black Damnation series, I was extremely psyched to finally try this. Currently the strongest stout in the world clocking in at a whopping 39%. Let's see if it holds up to the hype.

A: It basically looks like the ultimate stout. It does make sense as this has been ice distilled twice, but there isn't a single speck of light coming through this. Beautiful espresso-colored head that sticks to the glass wonderfully and simply refuses to fade away. Technical perfection for a 39% eisbock stout. Will make any fan of big stouts instantly salivate.

S: Holy cramoly, did someone order more whisky? Big peat on the nose, followed by candy sugar, coffee and dark chocolate, all flavors we're well acquainted with from the base brew. Big booze on the nose, but hey, what did you expect?

T: Okay, to get this straight: it's a 39% beer. The alcohol is definitely there, it'd only be weird to claim you don't taste it at all. Roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, peat and an alcohol twang at the finish. The alcohol only plays second fiddle to all the other amazing flavors here though, it's an aroma explosion.

M: Mouth-coating and so thick you can almost literally chew it. Amazingly this beer still manages to hold some decent carbonation, only further showing off technical brewing prowess. Slides down like nobody's business with nice alcohol warming.

O: Wow. This is just Struise showing off their craftsmanship in doing these big beers without compromising the "beerness" of it. Beautiful head retention and carbonation despite the ABV, one wonders how they manage it. I must, however, admit they have probably taken this a tad too far. Double Black is as close to beer perfection I have ever had, and this is taking it a few steps further. Sadly not in the right direction though. The peat and alcohol are a little too big, I guess they kind of hit the very top with this one. I'll go for a Double Black over this any day of the week, but man, this is a treat!

Aug 21, 2012
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cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -19.4%
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! Pour is black with tan head. Nose has light medicinal note, some earthy peat, faint whiskey and loads of sweetness. Tinge in the nose from the abv. Taste is same, medicinal and light iodine. Rich chocolate and roasted malt fight big sweetness and a light spirit type heat. Full viscous body and fairly dry. Not too hot for the abv, whiskey notes in back but taken from fresh whiskey barrels and this was the intent. This is different, not for me but not bad.

Jul 20, 2012
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spdyfire83 from Ireland

4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

227th Review
On-tap at the Copenhagen Beer Celebration 2012
Poured in a CBC taster
Enjoyed on 11 May 2012

A: Deep abyss-esque black. 3+ (mocha) fingernail head. Looks thick and coating.

S: Smells of scotch and booze. Notes of charred dark malt, oak, espresso, chocolate, and toffee. Very bold and big! This beer doesn't Mes (pun intended) around.

T: Rich, deep, complex, and robust. This isn't your average high-ABV beer! Dark chocolate, roasted malt, Scotch (pronounced peatiness), oak, touch of fig, and espresso. Soft blend of caramel sweetness and vanilla towards the end. The depth of this beer is very nice and, as it warms, it becomes a bit more mellow - well at least as mellow as a 39% ABV beer can be. Not "hot", but certainly not cold.

M: Full bodied (go figure) with appropriate carbonation. Very thick.

O: The ABV on this beer is amazingly high, but you'd never guess it was 39% by how it drinks. I do not recommend chugging this beer, but it is very enjoyable to sip on and savor. I'm not a big fan of scotch/whiskey (and the corresponding peatiness and "heat"), but the booziness from the nose is hidden deep in the taste and this beer simply warms the soul. I would love to enjoy a small snifter of this on a cold winters night, but don't think Urbain & Co. will be bottling it.

Jun 26, 2012
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rdespain from Washington

4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My wife and I just tasted this beer at the De Struise Brewery. We were planning on tasting the Black Damnation VII but were accidently poured the Messy. Needless to say, expecting a 2% beer but getting a 39% beer can be a bit of a shock to the senses. The most accurate way to describe the beer is a whisky chocolate stout milk shake. Hands down one of the best beers I have ever tasted in my life, and I also tried the three Westy's today.

May 15, 2012
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oline73 from Maryland

3.98/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on-tap during the Copenhagen Beer Celebration. Served in a tasting tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours black and completely opaque with a layer of tan head that goes away quickly. The liquid coats the bubbles and you can clearly see each individual one like a bunch of beads on top of the beer.

Smell: This smells like a whiskey/scotch that is full of peat. This would smell smooth for liquor, but make no mistake, you're definitely smelling some alcohol. The roast and sweetness take a back seat to the booze, but it still smells good.

Taste: This is like a roasty shot of whiskey. Full of the peat that I got in the smell. The finish is hot with the alcohol, but this doesn't burn too much. Quite good.

Mouthfeel: The body is really thick with smooth carbonation. The finish starts out dry but ends up slick.

Overall: I loved the roasty peat whiskey quality to this beer. Definitely drinks like liquor, but I really enjoyed it and appreciate the effort that went into creating this.

May 13, 2012
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rvdoorn from Netherlands

3.18/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at BBF 2011 (from notes)
Look: the beer pours a pitch black color with a nice thick, creamy, sticky dark-brown head. This beer leaves a coating on the inside of the glass after drinking. Kind of like the Darklord, only Struise achieved this without additives in the beer (like glycerol, PEG)
Smell: Heavy on roasted malts and coffee. Vanilla, smoke and peat from the barrel.
Taste: Similar to the smell, the taste is heavy on roasted malts and coffee, with notes of chocolate and caramel. The influence from the barrel is present with smoked and peaty flavors. However, although the flavors are amazing, the heavy boozy taste of pure ethanol puts it all into the background.
Mouthfeel: super thick, creamy, sticky with medium-low carbonation
Overall: Great smell , but the pure, burning ethanol is too much present for me in the taste. I work in a laboratory, and the beer tastes like the smell of the 70%-98% ethanol that I use to decontaminate my instruments from bacteria. Of course, it is not surprising that an ABV this high cannot be hidden, but it shows that this time Struise went too far with pimping beers. The BD5 is perfectly balanced, this one not. This is not beer, but just a strong liquor. If I am in the mood of drinking strong liquor though, I will never refuse this one!

Jan 04, 2012
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tendermorsel from Massachusetts

4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Day one at Borferts beer fest.

This is as good as an extreme beer can get IMHO.
Dark as night with a fluffy crema colored head. Insane mouthfeel. So freaking smooth. Coffee and Whiskey in the nose. This tasted so freaking good. Like a whiskey coffee chocolate milk shake. I have no idea where the booze was hidden on this one. I would have guessed that this was 10-12 % max.

I do not like giving perfect scores on beer reviews. But this beer is as close to perfect as you will get.

Wow this was good stuff.

Oct 14, 2011
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doopiedoopiedoo from Netherlands

4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The 'headliner' at Borefts beerfestival. It's a monster...

Poured in to my taster glass it came with a coffee looking thick head. It's black like the depths of hell, like what the motoroil in Thijs' Mercedes supposedly looks like. AWESOME.

The smells scotch came to the nose first. I love that vanilla and roasted malt combo.

A remarkable smooth drink for something that is 39%. You drink it and will think you can still opreate heavy machinery but I'm pretty sure you'll fail once you try. It's not the pure Schotch I expected. Nice scotch flavors combined with all the roasted, peaty flavor from Black Mes.

A heavy body and decent amount of carbonation. One could choose to use a spoon for this.

If this ever gets released in bottles on the webshop the whole interweb is going to explode. Just as impressive yet more extreme than the Double Black. Get it, drink it, don't operate heavy machinery afterwards.

Sep 26, 2011
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Jeffo from Netherlands

4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this one on tap at the 3rd Annual BOREFTS festival in Bodegraven 2011. Poured so generously by Dave and his mate working the taps. Good times gents, as always.

4oz taster off the tap.

Black Mes ice distilled to 39%. Drank this one right after opening a bottle of regular Black Mes as a comparison.

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, thick, mocha coloured head with good retention. Much darker head than Black Mes. Body is a thick, opaque pitch black with no visible carbonation. Head slowly fades to a ring and faint wisp, both of which remain all the way but leave no real lacing down the glass. Glass is coated in oil at the end. This is one thick ass beer.

SMELL: Very similar to Black Mes, but slightly stronger once allowed to warm up. Roasted malts and some black coffee notes, with lots of scotch barrel on this one as well. Very scotch forward, with caramel, toffee and vanilla filling out the nose. Big and impressive.

TASTE: Holly crap! I had to back away at first, then quickly plant my hands on the table ‘cause I started to feel a little dizzy. This is Black Mes on various anabolic drugs coated in high quality amphetamines. Lots of roasted and smoky flavors, chocolate as well, and loads of concentrated scotch barrel. Caramel, toffee, vanilla, with definite alcohol on the palate. There’s no hiding it here. It’s definitely hot, but amazingly enough, it’s not even close to 39% hot. I’ve had 13% stouts that are hotter than this. Big, bold and relentless aftertaste is roasted and smoky with piles of oak, earthy peat flavors, scotch and alcohol lingering on the palate. This is massive.

PALATE: Big, full body with medium carbonation. Thick and creamy on the palate, though not quite as creamy as the regular Black Mes. Goes down surprisingly smooth but with lots of lingering heat on the palate. Finishes quite sticky. It’s amazing how much this feels like a beer should.

OVERALL: For a second year in a row, Struise comes away with the hit of the evening. There were lots of great beers at the festival, but this is one of only two that I wanted to review. This was Black Mes pumped up until just before it exploded, and I enjoyed it so much that I probably had close to a full 12oz of this throughout the entire festival. Luckily digita and Doopie are sissies so I could scam most of theirs. Simply an amazing brewing achievement on so many levels. Even Carlo himself said he was so please that it had turned out so well. It looked like a beer, felt like a beer, and tasted like a concentrated scotch barrel stout, which was the idea of course. One I’m glad to have tried, and would love to have again at some point. In a world of massive barrel aged imperial stouts, if Double Black is king, then Messy is the new emperor. Thanks for bringing this one to the festival guys. Just magnificent.

Sep 25, 2011
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Brabander from Netherlands

4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review number 500 deserves a worldclass beer! This was/is a worldclass beer....

The first time i saw this beer was at the beertasting session in Adegem. Belgium, a few months ago. I had to watch how the others drank this wonderfull beer....i was the driver.

This beer was (thank God) @ the Borefts festival in Bodegraven, Holland. Struise was there with some of their best beers.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you Struise guys.

Poured in the De Molen festival tastingglass, a good glass to taste beers, the beer looks perfect, never seen a head like that on this type of 'beer'.

The only problem was that Struise tapped the beer too cold so we had to wait a while before we could take a first sip.

Colour of the fluid is like motoroil which has been in a Mercedes Benz from 1950 where they never changed the oil. A bit like that. Extreme head, never saw a nicer head on such a spectacular beer. Taste is like chewing on one of the tyres of the old Mercedes. But boy oh boy what a taste. If you did not know the ABV you would have never guessed this one.

Mouthfeel and overall this beer stays a bit behind the rest of the score.

Sheer heaven...if i ever die i want to be buried in a big glass bottle filled with messy, i am sure my body will love it!

Sep 24, 2011
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Mar02x from Netherlands

4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer at the Borefts beer festival.

A - The head is amazing on this one, it just doesn't retract at all. I was standing next to the beer for an quarter of an hour or so, f**king unbelievable. Excuse my language, I normally never give an (5) exceptional for appearance, but this is something different. The foam sticks to the glass like a pig likes mud. By the way the head was brown and the beer was pitch blackish brown.

S - Gingerbread with cloves that is what it smells like. Maybe its served just a bit to cold, but who is nagging now?

T - Sensational, absolutely sensational, a real strong sweet alcoholic beer syrup. One cannot die before having had a sip of this stuff. I am certain it can bring back the dead as well.

M - What a delicious cream, it melts on your tong like a heavenly ice cream. It should be given to school kids. I agree with BA thepeter; this beer is absolutely having sex with your tongue!!!

O - A winner in all occasions. Urbain should get a medallion for this! Man what a brew. Its a bloody shame that one cannot give a 6 or more for taste and mouthfeel.

Sep 24, 2011
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thepeter from England

4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was the Center piece At the fabulous Mes and Sim's wedding. A gift from Ubain to the happy couple, this thing is a beautiful monster of a beer. They took the Black Mes (named for the groom) and treated it like an Icebock till it hit 39%.
A - BLACK, and a thick creamy tan head that looks like a frappé.
S -big whiskey, peat, chocolate, coffee, smoke, booze and caramel
T - So much like the smell, except even bigger on the peaty whiskey flavours. This drinks like it's 16.25%, no joke. I don't know where they hide the other 22.75%, Fantastic!
M - Like a velvety whiskey stout milkshake that's trying to have sex with your tongue. If I could give this a 6, I would be typing, "If I could give this a 7. . ." It is thick and gorgeous!
O - Beautifully made for a beautiful couple. I feel very lucky to have had it.

Jul 02, 2011
Black Damnation VI - Messy from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 18 ratings