Black Metal Imperial Stout | Jester King Brewery

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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 -

Added by redraider2323 on 12-21-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 253 | Ratings: 582
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours pitch black with a surprisingly active medium brown head that dissipates with lively carbonation to a thin film and ring around the glass that leaves light lacing. Nice aroma of roasted malt, dark fruit, chocolate; a bit boozy. Flavor is dark roasted malt with a lot of chocolate, coffee and a hint of sourness. Finish is very chocolately, leaving an aftertaste that is surprisingly similar to pouring whiskey over chocolate ice cream. Body is surprisingly light, but has a creamy finish to make up for it. Wow! This is addictive. I really had to pace myself with this one because of the ABV. I really liked this RIS a lot, it is an excellent stout. I’m glad I got to try this original version, a chance find while visiting California.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a glass. Stamped 0002515.

A: Black, appropriately enough, with huge medium-brown head (good retention). Completely opaque. Nice lacing.

S: Slightly metallic. Nutty malts. Roasty.

T/M: Surprisingly tasty, considering the smell. Creamy-full, with loads of roasted chocolate malt (black chocolate). Hops make another interesting appearance on the endtaste and dry aftertaste. Excellently deep and bitter.

O: Great imperial stout, actually. Recommended. Would drink again. Drinkable, tasty, roasted, and creamy.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle sent from BeerHunter76 back in November, reviewed from notes. Poured into a Jackie O's tulip.

A: Pours syrupy & dense, opaque with a large khaki head, good lace...carbonation visible on the glass.

S: Deep dark roasted notes mixed with dark fruits, definite vinous notes, sour red grape, caramel and chocolate, pleasant booziness. A nice mix of roast & sweet notes.

T: Alcohol, roasted barley, caramel sweetness, roast bitterness, chocolate, burnt caramel, dark fruits, cherry tartness.

MF: Full bodied, dry and bitter, and a bit boozy. Nice syrupy complexion.

O: Its a decent stout, a good RIS for sure but some of the Belgian-like notes (tartness, slight funk) were a bit odd.

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Photo of Brodybeer
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A damn. That's an amazing pour! Head is huge! Foamy huge mocha brown black head. Two to three fingers in a tulip. Dark brown. Head sticks to glass. Stays put even when tipping
S spicy chocolate. Very potent. Roasted coffee dark.
T very much like a mocha. Creamy and espresso. Cream taste lingers last. Espresso flavor is so good it might be better than espresso itself. Roasty delicious
M pretty thin but not offensive. Just plain smooth. Little lingering bitter roastyness.
O really flavorful is. Love the Roasty espresso flavor yet easy to drink. Magnificent

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Photo of TATURBO
3.56/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Solid Black. Minimal Head

S: Very Inviting, Alcohol is borderline overpowering, Very Strong.

T: Kind Of Mediocre Roasty and chocolaty.

M: Medium Carbonation

O: Good, but not as awesome as the tasting group was expecting. Really Roasty, Kind of chocolatey. Really isn't a beer I'd hunt for. Bonus Points for cool label. Reminds me of King Diamond! Rocking! 3.5/5 IMO

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Photo of smakawhat
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass, this does not say Farmhouse on it anywhere. 0001700 on the barrel label.

Lots of snapping sound bubbles with a dark cocoa head, settles slowly and dissolves with lots of evisceration. Manages a very thin brown collar, but a very dark brown walnut, almost black body.

Nose is sprity fresh, and dark malt. Almost an interesting carbonated char and nuts character to this. I am liking this, this is quite different.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated, but leaves a good jagged edge that is tolerable. Taste brings a nice char roast character, and lingering tobacco note. Dry and almost pop rocks in feel on the finish. No sense of heat for the high abv either.

This is kind of a fun neat beer and an interesting take on the style. I dig it. Horns up!

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Photo of Aethien
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid black with a small dark brown head, not much lacing.

Strong smell of coffee, roasted malts and earth give it a rough character. Figs, chocolate and booze add a sweetness to the smell.

Full of chocolate and coffee with strong burnt malt flavours, medicinal alcohol and some liquorice. Smokey finish with plenty of malts and a little bit of hops.

A heavy drink, definitely a sipper. Not much carbonation.

Overall this is a good and enjoyable RIS.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this at cellar temp.

consecutively releasing very nice beers. great RIS with all the notes of coffee, earth, dark fruit, and roastiness. great body for something with such high abv. fluff. quite doughy. total blackness, hince the label... and properly so. great after a bottle of red wine as it brings out full body grapes. english RIS notes. hazelnut undertones. a tad meaty... savory, but not without accent. nice and warm going down but still very easy to drink. although still a share bottle without a doubt.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Duff27 for bringing this brew!

poured into snifter.

Appearance: black bodied beer with 1 finger of brown head. Head drops to ring around glass. Spotty lace.

Smell: Roast malt and black licorice. Molasses, yeast, and booze.

Taste: Black licorice upfront and a mildly roasty malt profile. The beer has some earthy qualties like peat moss. Thie finish is quite intriquing not sure that I am a fan of it. It cloyingly sweet from the molasses notes and it has an ashtray quality to it.

Mouthfeel: Low end of medium bodied beer with high end of moderate carbonation. Bottom line a little overcarbonated and a little too thin on the body for the beer style.

Overall: This beer is hyped. It better than average, but thats where it stands in my book.

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Photo of Duff27
3.32/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a short dark mocha head, very little head retention. Nice alcohol legs with some lacing.

Mmm smells good. Sweet candy chocolate.

Kind of has a medicinal taste going on. Sweet like "molasses". Low on the roast end. Mild alcohol burn.

Medium mouthfeel, fizzy carbonation.

I don't know, it was alright. I wouldn't go as far as saying its gimmicky (the label is one of the best I've seen in awhile) but it didn't live up to expectation. Buyer beware.

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Photo of seand
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky inky black with a large amount of dense tan head. A film retains on the surface with some buildup around the edge of the glass, which is enough to leave small sheets of lacing.

S: Dense anise sweetness on top of coffee and dark chocolate tones.

T: Full bodied coffee leading into dark chocolate bitterness, with a hoppy overtone. Much like a scooped metal guitar tone though, it feels like it's missing something in the middle.

M: Full body, medium carbonation.

Overall, I thought this was good, but not exceptional. It seems like it's just missing some body in the middle, though it's a little hard to describe.

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Photo of HosP
3.14/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this from a very generous Fullobs! Poured into cbs snifter.

Pours thick, oily black. Very thin dark brown head. Left almost immediately though. Very little flavors in the smell, mostly roasted coffee notes. A little burnt hint to the smell. Unfortunately the taste follows suit. Very dull flavors. Nothing pops out at all. Some coffee notes, maybe some licorice. A little on the sweet side at first. Some bittering at the end. Very thick fullness body mouth feel. Low carbonation. Very heavy ris, not bad, just nothing to it. Still glad I got to try!

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Photo of cvm4
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to optimator13 for this gift

Poured into a snifter

A - Pours jet black with a billowing tan, almost brown 2 finger head.

S - Coffee, roasted malts and liquorice.

T - Starts off kind of sweet or slightly tart. This is the liquorice coming through. Then comes the bolder coffee/dark chocolate notes. This definitely has a bite to it.

M - More carbonated than I'm used to with a RIS. Kind of thin on the mouth. But, very crisp and an easy drinker for this abv.

O - It's more sour/tart than I'm used to seeing in an RIS but a good change of pace for me.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Feeble devout,
Nothing resides,
Break it to pieces,
That obstinate mind"

Given the name of this beer, I thought it would be fitting to drink this while listening to a solid metal band. Enjoyed while listening to some Dark Tranquility...

750ml into a Stone IRS snifter...

A - Pours black with a two finger light brown head. Head retention is pretty good, but lacing is minimal...

S - Chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, and a hint of alcohol...

T - Roasted barley, and chocolate dominate. Not very complex, but pretty tasty nonetheless. Finishes dry with roasted barley, and some lingering chocolate. Hops must have faded as i'm not picking any up. The alcohol that came through in the scent doesn't make an appearance here. Very smooth...

M - A tad thin. Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbontaion...

O - Really enjoyed this one. Glad I chance to try it again. Big thanks to Drew for sharing a bottle...


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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

lightly chilled 25.2 oz. bomber poured into a Troegs 300 ml tulip. No visible bottling date.

Look- Black, completely opaque. Blood red touches around the edges. Decent stick on the swirl. Moderate fizzy cocoa-brown head that dies down astonishingly quickly, not much in the way of lace.

Smell- Bold coffee, chocolate, licorice, light charred wood. Moderately booze-y. Standard fare, but more pleasantly arranged than most.

Taste- Starts off with tart dried fruits and cola, baker's chocolate and espresso follow. Peppery alcohol and vanilla come out in the middle, before finishing off with charcoal, dark molasses, and a (very faint) hint of raspberry jam. Aftertaste is woody and reminiscent of root beer and coffee grounds. Odd play between aggressive and subtle flavors, but on the whole I'm a fan. Definitely more bitter than your typical RIS.

Mouthfeel. Smooth, Moderate to heavy carbonation for the style. Full body, but feels fairly light nonetheless. Moderately warming. Crisp on the sip, very clean finish. Exceptionally drinkable for the style and ABV.

Overall- It hits all the right notes, and does so with panache. Nothing unexpected, but man, is it well put together. I can't really put my finger on why it's so good, but I think it comes down to the balance in every area- it knows where to go big and where to hold back. I haven't yet tried the farmhouse version, but I hope it's as good.

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Photo of miromanyth
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge Black Metal fan drinking a beer called black metal...does it get any better?

A: black as death with an awesome milk chocolate head.

S: smells like dark chocolate. tons of roasted malt smell and some hops.

T: Huge. massive chocolate and coffee notes. licorice. Some cookie notes.

M: creamy with a nice hop bite.

D: this is a great beer that I am so glad to have tried!

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Photo of peensteen
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to LadyOfMuchBeer for the bottle

Pitch black, ring of tan/reddish head, not much in the way of lace but there is a bit in places. Smell is coffee heavy, bakers chocolate and roated malt, some hoppy scents, some warm alcohol, berries and other red fruits come and go with some milk chocolate on the back end. Taste bitter at first, coffee and hops, deeply roasted almost burnt malts, chocolate with some more coffee, burn/roasted finish with some chocolate and coffee grinds. Light-med carb, full feel and a pretty solid weight. Nice stuff here, certainly a big beer that needs to be shared and sipped slowly.

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Photo of Thingus
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live tasting, 750 ml bottle into Duvel tulip...

Appearance; pours blacker than the blackest black times infinity with a Behemoth (see what I did there? And before anyone nitpicks with me, their first few albums were black metal ;)) brown head... Close to four fingers, and this thing hangs around FOREVER. Thick and lush, but definitely not what I was expecting for a 10.4% stout...

Smell; fairly unremarkable, coffee and hints of roast, notes of chocolate and if I get my nose close enough, the slightest touch of alcohol...

Taste; leads off with chocolate, with flavors of coffee, roast and malt... Slight notes of alcohol...

Mouthfeel; lush and viscous, this is probably the highlight for me, decent amount of carbonation... Goes down smooth, with a sticky mouthfeel... Full bodied...

Overall; a good but not incredible RIS, worth trying but not sure I'd go out of my way for it again...

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Jester King makes it to California with much anticipation. Only two varieties are available right now, and Black Metal was the one I grabbed. Coming from the 750 ml format, on to the beer:

Black as ink, topped off by a reasonable, nearly brown colored head with solid lacing and retentions, and showing off some legs. The nose is a hit and miss at first. The fruity aroma featuring a lot of cofee beans, dark cocoa, and licorice are yummy notes, however its major flaw is a distracting band-aid note. That aroma does die off for the most part, but as it warms a modest nail polish remover aroma seems to take its place.

Love and hate at the same time. Why the hate? Well, that damn band aid aroma is here in the flavor. Thankfully, it does die off faster, and for good in the taste of the beer. Dark cocoa syrup makes the canvas for the beer. It has a spiced sensation, like chiles, though chiles weren't used in the beer. It's roasty alright. Its body is nearly full, the alcohol content in general is hidden, and essentially a sipping type of beer.

While Black Metal has a lot of potential, that phenolic flaw does suggest that not every bottle is going to taste as it's intended. But what a joy it must be to drink a bottle during the course of a night, one without that flaw!

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Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lots of bells and whistles. A tad of smoke, more would have been appreciated. Really coffee, big in coffee, a point of astringency. Syrupy sweetener, lots of sugar, and salt. These impeded drinkability.. Huge head, big and foamy.Thanks for sharing Pino.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- pours a dark black with a ridiculous, nearly full glass of dark cola head. Very little lacing that resides immediately.

S- roasted malts, char,chocolate, pinesol.

T- chocolate, roasted/burnt malts, and pine.

M- medium body, high carbonation. Very effervescent from the bottle conditioning.

O- good RIS but was expecting more. Needs more than just roast and char, and the bubbly mouthfeel is different.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.82/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew, from a bottle cellared approximately one year, pours an oily jet black with a minimal head and lacing which can be reproduced with a quick swirl. The aroma reminds me of chocolate covered apricots with a touch of alcohol. It is one of the richest stouts I've had, big and thick. The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth, just enough carbonation to make it interesting, but not so much to overwhelm the palate. The flavor is extraordinary, chocolate, figs, some alcohol toward the end. Bittersweet finish. It will be interesting to compare this with the farmhouse version. Had I known, I'd have bought another bottle or two for a side by side.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Rutager for this one.

A: 1/4" brown head that dissipated quickly over black liquid.

S: Chocolate, coffee, yeast, alcohol, toasted malt and roasted barley.

T: The roasted barley is quite present in the taste, followed by the toasted malt. Flavours such as coffee, and chocolate are also present in a bitter semi-sweet form. As it warms, the yeast becomes more apparent.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a medium level of fine carbonation.

O: A very good Russian Imperial Stout. The bitterness and acidity from the toasted malt and roasted barley are nicely balanced by sweetness.

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Photo of jegross2
3.59/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing the Black Metal Imperial Stout from Jester King Craft Brewery. I was not planning on drinking this beer, which is retired and no longer brewed, but in pulling out beers for a tasting tomorrow, I inadvertently dropped the bottle and "pssst'd" the cap. Thankfully no beer was lost, but a broken seal means that this one has to be consumed now (or it'll be flat later).
Score: 85

Bottle has "2013" imprinted on it, which I have to presume is the "best by" date (otherwise I received this bottle from the future). Served in a Dogfish Head snifter and enjoyed on 03/07/12. The label claims this beer is best enjoyed while reading the Necronomicon. I guess watching the Evil Dead will have to suffice as an alternative.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color, totally opaque. No light slices through this beer, though you can kind of tell that a very faint amount of light is trying to peek through at the very top of the beer. Pours two fingers of foamy milk chocolate colored head that kind of turns kind of creamy in appearance as it settles into a thin layer atop the glass (and ultimately into a ring around the glass). Above average lacing for a double digit ABV beer. Excellent retention. 5/5

Smell: Dark chocolate, cocoa powder and tons of roasted coffee. Some hops and a faint smokiness. Figs, a light amount of alcohol and an acidic coffee filter smell too. 3.5/5

Taste: Acidic, burnt coffee upfront. The coffee then subsidies into a dark chocolate residual flavor that provides a really pleasant balance to an otherwise aggressive first impression. There's definitely some dark cherry and dried fig (sweetness) on the midpalate, but these flavors do not linger or last for very long at all. There's a really raw, bitter chocolate finish. Really bitter-forward; this brew could use some dark fruit sweetness to balance out the bitterness. A roasted, but not burnt, coffee flavor grows throughout the beer as it layers. The 10% ABV is pretty well hidden. A solid, un-complex brew. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, light carbonation. Feels a little bit thin for a 10% ABV Russian Imperial Stout. Smooth mouthfeel on the way down. Finishes bitter, dry and "chalky." 3.5/5

Overall: A gorgeous looking Russian Imperial Stout, but it's all downhill from there. Certainly a solid brew in the style, but it does not stand out in terms of aroma, flavor or mouthfeel. Not over priced at $10 a bottle, especially at 10% ABV, but Leinenkugel's Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout was much better, and you can get four 12 oz bottles of that for a couple of bucks more.

Recommendation: Definitely give this beer a whirl if you get a chance, but don't break a sweat seeking it out.

Pairings: Merk's Almond Swiss cheese spread.

Cost: $9.99 for a 750 ml.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: We opened this at a tasting while watching a movie (Paul), but from what I can tell it's a very dark black pour without much head.

S: Roasted malts, ton of chocolate, molasses, and hints of booze. Very nice aroma, but nothing that jumps out at me as special.

T: The taste is a little focused on molasses and roast. A bit disjointed, the taste is sweet and boozy. Roasty backend with a dry finish. This is a nice, large, imperial stout, just not as balanced as I wanted.

MF: Heavy body and carbonated well. The booziness, compared to the other flavors, doesn't detract from the beer. Decently drinkable.

O: Great stout, just not one that stands out in my mind. Probably not worth much more than $10 for the bottle. Enjoyable, just not great.

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Black Metal Imperial Stout from Jester King Brewery
4.11 out of 5 based on 582 ratings.
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