Black Metal Imperial Stout | Jester King Brewery

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Black Metal Imperial StoutBlack Metal Imperial Stout
Black Metal Imperial StoutBlack Metal Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Jester King Brewery
Texas, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This version of Black Metal has been permanently supplanted by the farmhouse version -

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 253 | Ratings: 588
Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had the Black Metal Russian Imperial Stout a while ago but I am writing from notes that I took. I thought it was great. Too bad it is retired. It was already retired long ago when I bought it. I doubt you can get it now.

Look: almost black with a thick mocca colored head

Aroma: roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, some dark fruits

Taste: the taste is roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, some dark fruits maybe wine, it's a bit sweet.

Feel: medium to full body.

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Photo of Mateo2699
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pour is a dark brown, nearing black hue with a big khaki colored head that lasts for a few minutes. Smell is big cocoa powder foward, big roasty malts and almost an oaky barrel aged aroma about it. Hints of red wine and plenty of dark fruit. The taste follows the nose well, big dark fruits. Plenty of plums, raisins and licorice. Some interesting farmhouse funk character compliments the dark fruit and cocoa nicely. Mouthfeel is a little chewy, finishes a little dry. Overall not your typical stout, a whole lot going on here.

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Photo of Maven
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've looked at this one for awhile waiting to open it.

Chilled and poured into a wine glass. Fresh pour it smells like dark chocolate and fudgey flour. A little espresso and sweetness.

The taste is very different. Rum soaked sweet drizzled cake. Toasty macaroons and drenched syrup. A little acidic with carbonation, but that's like saying Kate Upton is a little chubby. It's still a good experience. I get a lot of jammed aged figs and a little licorice. Dark mashed fruits and candied sugar. Moderate chocolate. A lot of prunes. A lot.

Residual sweetness and stickiness on the lips. No pushy sweetness or assault on the tongue.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An OG bottle, sad and happy opening it, because there are only so many of these left in the wild, shared with family. Pours an opaque dark brown color almost black like oil with khaki colored head. Roasted malts and chocolate on the nose at this point; follows onto the palate. Full bodied. Finishes with roast and cocoa. This was a treat, glad I had a bottle to open during fireworks.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice thick brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of black chocolate with light sweet notes is quite nice. Taste is also a great mix of creamy black chocolate notes with some residual sugar and hints of roasted malt. Body has a nice creamy texture with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Nice smooth easy drinking stout. I am surprised at how well the bottle has aged over the years.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.72/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black pour, brown head. Heavily roasted malt, pretty big aroma from there.

Taste was again a chunky, heady mix of roasted malts, minor bitter chocolate. Chewy. Only got one more bottle of this stuff left.

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Photo of dar482
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours out of the bottle in a brown color, although very much black in the glass. Be gentle on the pour as lots of fluffy head is easily formed.

The aroma hits of a red wine, a touch of tart quality, dark fruit, roasted malt, chocolate, anise.

The flavor follows with a smack of medium tart quality up front. Balsamic vinegar, red wine, vinous bitterness, then onto a bready malt, sweet milk chocolate, and some spicy farmhouse character. There's some anise bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium. A really well done dark sour ale, reminds me of Hill Farmstead Edith.

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Photo of WTKeene
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Opened from a bottle into a BBT snifter.

Appearance: Sizable fluffy mocha head, dark brown. Stouts are boring, they all look the same.

Smell: Wow this is complex. Almost smells barrel aged. A serious bourbon note going on here. Lots of roasted coffee and sweet chocolate, some port notes coming up on the back. This is lovely.

Taste: Holy hell this is good. Lots of coffee and chocolate, almost like a pure hot chocolate or mocha flavor. I really do get a bourbon barrel type character from this. Slight oxidation, but no big deal. A slight fruity note, tiny bit smoky. Coffee notes on the finish.

Mouthfeel: For a non barrel aged, non-adjunct stout, this is really thick. Still pretty prominent carb, I'm very very happy with this.

Overall: A lot better than I was expecting. This was amazing. Surprising complexity for a non-BA beer with no adjuncts and five years of age on it.

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Photo of markgugs
3.82/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

OG Black Metal, very off-putting nose, lots of nail polish/acetone, but thankfully the beer tasted fantastic. Soft, roasted notes, layers of cocoa, creamy finish.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Been sitting on this bottle for a while now, tonight seemed like the right night. Had it fresh and this one held onto since they went farms house on it...enjoyed from that jester king zwanze tulip.

a - brew pours a deep lush black with a nice dark brown cap that eventually dissolves down to a thin skin. Lacing is slippery and doesn't cling much.

s - nose is faded chocolate with some soft roast notes. Not really much to it. Very subdued. Little burnt.

t - comes alive on the first sip. Nice chocolate and roasted coffee. I had remembered this being a roast bomb but this is nice. Roast is still fairly aggressive but the oxidation puts the chocolate in a mellow place that sits right with the roast...and lends to some dark fruit sweetness which is really nice.

m - fairly soft and light. Easy drinker, almost thin even. Abc is invisible.

o - this beer is in a great place right now. Very enjoyable. Drink them if you got them!

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I have no clue what year this is.

A- Pitch black. This is a fearsome looking beer. Pinky sized head that transitions to the smallest of lacing with no legs.

S- Pretty bland here. Dark chocolate and malt.

T- Dark chocolate and malt. Very big RIS.

M- Very little carbonation, but very thick for a RIS.

O- This was my first Jester King, and they did a really good job for a bold dark RIS.

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Photo of guityler83
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: In a snifter glass the beer built a dense 2+ finger head made of tiny bubbles. The color of the foam reminds me of cola fizz, mocha or tan, but with tons of sustain. No real coating on the edge as the head fell into the black abyss of the beer. Swirling it, the foam would agitated and build back of for a few seconds.

S: Dark chocolate, smoke, and old coffee come through in the roast side of the nose. Also picking up some sweeter toffee and tobacco. Alcohol can be detected.

T: Dark chocolate, cocoa and melted chocolate chips blend into a nice toffee and caramel middle. The bitterness is moderate and balance is on the malt side with the sweetness fairly high (not nearly as much as DL) but it blends well with the malt profile. Picking up some rustic, earthy hop flavors in the aftertaste and towards the end. Getting some harshness at colder temps, but as it warmed up it mellowed that right out.

M: Alcohol warming is mild and reminds you its a big beer. Carbonation seems a bit high (maybe where I'm getting the harshness from) and the body is big as all get out. Very low astringency all things considered.

O: Thanks to canadianghetto​ for this OG Black Metal. Chocolatey goodness with a rustic hop flavor and great when listening to the latest 1349 in the polar vortex.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours imposingly black with a brown head from an epically metal bottle.

S: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark roast coffee and brown sugar in the nose.

T: Roasted malt, dark roast coffee, dark chocolate, brown sugar, pretty much the same as the nose. Delicious.

M: Full bodied and smoothish.

O: I wish this hadn't gone away. I've heard bad things about the new version, at least in relation to this. Like they took something that wasn't broke, and, well, broke it. This, however, is a delicious, thick, heavy imperial stout, worthy of the blackest of metals. Listen to Venom or Melechesh as you sip this dark concoction.

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Photo of Thesoundandthefury
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Popped this bottle after a request from a fellow beer geek. Poured an inky black with minimal head retention. Smells of astringent malts, a hint of fusel alcohol, and bitter chocolate. Taste follows the nose, which was a bit of a disappointment. The patent malt used here is a little overbearing, as the charred malt flavor carries from start to finish, hiding any nuances that may have been lurking to come out. Finish is dry and lightly acrid. Glad I tried it, but was disappointed by it.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-dark brown black color with a decent tan head and some lacing

S-dark malt, chocolate, coffee, molasses, earthy

T-dark roasted malt, rich chocolate, molasses, little coffee, hints of dark fruit

F-medium body with light carbonation, creamy and smooth

O-a rich and chocolatey stout, nice blend of flavors

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.34/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle opened on 5.7.14

A - Pours a dark brown with a fizzy dark brown head that fades fairly quickly.

S - Chocolate, tart cherry.

T - A touch of chocolate, but very tart, sour, cherry. Infected.

D - Tons of carbonation with a medium body.

O - First bottle was awesome. 4.25. This one is infected, but still drinkable.

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Photo of thebigredone
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to jakethesnake9z9z for this bottle.

Pours an opaque black with a thick, medium brown head.

Nose is strong on chocolate with a tinge of coffee.

Taste is also strong on the chocolate. A light touch of coffee comes through, and there is zero roast bitterness. I like the strong chocolate aspects of this beer. The 10% ABV is well hidden.

Mouthfeel is pleasant. Good thickness and carbonation.

Overall, this is a very nice stout. The heavy chocolate aspect without much residual sweetness makes this fairly unique. Would have liked just a touch more roasted malt bitterness.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into JK 1st anny snifter - 2010 bottle - I forget who sent this but thanks!

Pitch black, heavy pour with a one-finger crop of darkly tanned head resting on top. Fades slowly, leaving spotty lacing and a collar of film while drinking.

Darkly roasted malts with touches of baker's chocolate, cocoa, anise and boozy warmth. Light suggestions of coffee beans too.

Cascading waves of dark roasty malts and semi-sweet chocolate, followed by cocoa and soft notes of anise. Layered malt backbone with a tempered sweetness and a pleasant boozy warmth. Finishes with chocolate and a bit of coffee.

Full body, decent carbonation, chewy and soft on the tongue. I've tasted this a couple times before, but it was nice to sit down with a full bottle and really enjoy it. I'm bummed this has been 'permanently' replaced by the farmhouse version.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: pours black as night and thick like well used motor oil with a quarter inch of dark tan head that fades slowly in a DFH snifter
S: smells of bitter dark chocolate, roast malt, coffee and charred wood
T: chocolate, roast malt, coffee, anise and a slight sweetness, slight char and burnt sugar. swallow is more chocolate and coffee with a bit of warming alcohol on the back end
M: big and thick in the mouth with soft and smooth carb that leads to a silky mouthfeel. finish is a touch dry but doesn't linger
O: Very impressive and quite good. very smooth flavors and good complexity. drinks pretty easy as well. I'm curious what the farmhouse version is like

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Photo of yamar68
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big old thanks to Hugonaut13 for sending me this one. I've been longing to try the regz Black Metal for a long time.

Black? Yes, definitely. Creamy beige on top, Old Greg status.

I get a whole lotta plum right off the bat. Raisin, fig, mocha... all things that are nice. Booze is tame, well integrated. So far so good.

Wow. Smooth, silky fruit character followed by char and chocolate. Alliterations ta boot. This is off the chain. A bit of coffee bitterness. I'm not sure why they chose to nix this for the farmhouse version... this is plenty interesting just as it is.

Delicious. Literally. This is bomb, thanks Tom.

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

not bottle date on this, so I cant say whether its really retired or not, but this was my first jester king brew, and ive decided its the best thing to come out of texas in the dallas stars won the cup in 1999. the pour on this is an inky black with just a small mocha head. it doesn't appear nearly as thick as some other Russian imperials. its got a wild nose on it, a little funk from the yeast, and a ton of burnt barley, char, bitter chocolate, and black licorice. it actually smells and tastes quite a bit like the uinta labyrinth black ale, without all the booze. there is indeed a lot of licorice in the flavor, and it goes well with the bitter malt complexion. I am amazed how thin the body of this is. I mean, its not thin at all, but for the style its much less viscous, and it lends to drinkability, as does its well hidden abv. in the finish I notice a lot of coffee, really picks up after the swallow. not sure of there is coffee in this or not, but it sure comes across like there is. this is a rare Russian imperial stout that I could drink regularly. its just interesting enough, and just easy enough to drink that I could handle a few of these per week. fortunately for my liver, this was the only bottle around, so I don't have to worry about that. already looking forward to my next jester king ale, this was a great introduction to their lineup.

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Photo of Clonies720
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

10.4% ABV. 750ml bottle

Appearance: Pours like the blackest crude oil you can imagine. Small head with little retention.

Smell: Strong notes of coffee, chocolate, roasty malts, and somewhat of a floral bouquet.

Taste: Dark fruits, similar tastes of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, hop bitterness is present and makes itself known to balance out the sweetness of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, but surprisingly light. A pleasant, easy carbonation matches the body as I'm sure over-carbonation would absolutely kill this delicate beer.

Overall: Reading the ingredients list provides some insight as to why the body is so thin. Dextrose is listed on there. Dextrose boosts the alcohol content since it completely ferments out, but leaves a thinner mouthfeel. Even with the light body, this beer certainly has it's place as a great pairing beer to a heavy dessert.

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Photo of Lucho
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to CuriousMonk for the great trade. Cheers!

Appearance: Pours a beautiful thick black with a one finger medium body cherry soda head that dissipates in a minute or so with a ring of carbonation around the rim

Smell: Chocolate malts and some coffee with an astringent smell, maybe anise or cardamom.

Taste: Very lively on the tongue. lots of carbonation and malts up front. In the middle there some sweet characters maybe dark fruit but mostly malts and chocolate. The end finishes slightly acidic and astringent with some coffee and maybe that anise or cardamom. Finishes clean with a mild coffee aftertaste. correction, after 70 mins of drinking with the bottle sitting out and cork stopped, there are some sweet notes that come out more. there are berry notes, maybe blueberry with sweet malts.

Mouthfeel: medium body with lots of jump on the tongue because of the carbonation level.

Overall: This is a good stout but not my favorite for the style. Too much coffee and chocolate malts and not enough dark fruits. The astringent quality is also not desirable.

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Photo of Dope
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

No bottle date, guessing a few years old.

A: Pitch black pour with a large, dense but frothy dark brown head. Head fades fast with zero lacing. Nice persistent head though.

S: Lots of black patent malt. A heavy char with a touch of chocolate. Anise. A surprisingly mild aroma for a 10.4% RIS. Just pure mellow roasted malt.

T: Whoa. Pure, unadulterated roasted malt wonderness. Up front there is plenty of semi-sweet chocolate and char. Just a hint of dark fruit, buried way down - maybe pomegranate. Black patent malt through and through. Lots of anise in the finish. Hint of smoke too, just a touch. Finish is just slick roasted malt with some milk chocolate. No sign of alcohol at all. Exceptionally smooth and mellow. Touch of lingering smoke and char between sips.

M: Very heavy, thick, high viscosity. Velvety and smooth. Wonderful.

O: Seriously good RIS. I tend to go for stouts with big roasted malt character. This one is way up there. It is pure roasted malt from start to finish. Huge yet mellow flavors. Very well-integrated; they all run together like a blanket of darkness. No alcohol, no harshness. Mouthfeel is like drinking velvet, which further enhances the smoothness of the beer. Great beer. Exceptional.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

750mL bottle from SeaOfShells. No bottle date but I think the #0004493 printed on the barrel logo is some sort of batch number. Served in a Terrapin snifter.

Pours deep, near black brown with three fingers of tan head that leaves no lacing.

Mild nose with cocoa and earth.

Tastes of chocolate, coffee and dirt/earth. Booze is all but completely hidden.

Creamy full body, lightly carbonated. Chocolate and dirt in the aftertaste.

A well done imperial stout. I like the interplay of cocoa and earth. I'm glad I was able to score a non-farmhouse bottle.

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Black Metal Imperial Stout from Jester King Brewery
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 588 ratings