Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout
Jester King Brewery

Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial StoutBlack Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #574
Ranked #6,391
4.03 | pDev: 11.41%
Jester King Brewery
Texas, United States
Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial StoutBlack Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout
Notes: First batch of Black Metal fermented with our house mixed culture. Naturally, because of its unique fermentation with native microorganisms, the beer is different than previous versions. We’re quite happy with how it turned out, and we’re excited to release it. However, for fans of the original Black Metal, or “O.G. Black Metal” as its known, we feel as though we need to borrow the famous line from Stone Brewing Co.‘s Arrogant Bastard Ale: “You probably won’t like it.” Like all our beer, the flavors and aromas of the current batch of Black Metal are very much fermentation derived and rely far less on copious amounts of malt and hops. This is what we like to drink. We like dry, balanced, drinkable, tart beers with some interesting yeast complexity. We feel we’ve achieved this with Black Metal, and hope others enjoy it as well. There will be those that don’t, however, and wish we’d return to the days of fermenting this beer with English ale yeast, and that’s OK.
Reviews: 136 | Ratings: 922 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund from Norway

4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, batch #15, Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 9.3%, OG 1085, FG 1015, IBU 44. Pitch black colour (one of the darkest beers I’ve seen), large and impressive head with colour somewhere between coke grey and brown. Aroma of roasted malts, coffee, leather and chocolate, mixed with acidic and "farmhouse" notes of brettanomyces. The flavour is rich and medium sweet, with some fruity acidity, but is first and foremost dominated by roasty notes of coffee, hints of dark bitter chocolate and black pepper. Great stuff.

Apr 30, 2021
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Gordono from Nevada

4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This just ain’t my style of beer, that’s why I scored it on the average, because I don’t feel I can fairly judge it. Like the brewers said themselves “you’re not gonna like this.” And I didn’t.

Looks great, like a wonderful imperial stout, but looks are deceiving. It’s very sour and I get a strong, unpleasant smokiness. The dryness made it almost drinkable, but not for me.

Nov 14, 2020
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imnodoctorbut from Texas

4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


this brew knows every Venom album lyric and their liner notes or lack-there-of and isn't afraid to punch me in the tear duct for acting like I do while sitting across the "pass it left" circle from it. and honestly, i respect the hell out of it for that.

Jul 01, 2020
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stortore from Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a tulip snifter. Batch #20, bottled 12/2018, had 3/17/20.

Started as a fizzy foam bomb, but did not gush. Pours near black and opaque, with a huge, thick foamy head of darker foam with lots of foamy lacing. Aromas of yeast, chocolate, coffee, some licorice, some raisins and cocoa, a tart aroma that fades, some funk, faint cherries, a little black. The flavor shows a good amount of tartness up front, then yeast, chocolate, coffee, a fair amount of hop bitterness on the finish, a little licorice and anise, a little bit of an herbal taste. Smooth, a good medium to full body, heavily carbonated but doesn’t feel fizzy. At least after the first pour.

An interesting beer that is like a Belgian stout with different yeast. The coffee and chocolate aromas and flavors are the most prominent, but nothing really stands out. A solid effort, very enjoyable and well worth a purchase.

Apr 13, 2020
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puck1225 from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer!

Had it from tap atthe brewery,poured into a snifter. Rich dark brown with a beautiful light brown head and excellent lacing. Chocolate dark toast smell and taste with some nice funk. Licorice, chocolate, and anise flavors. Wonderful tart funkiness with it all. Very rich tasting. One of my favorites from this brewery!

Dec 27, 2019
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1pt 9.4oz bottle into a glass shaped like an upside down snowman. Weird glass for a weird beer. Batch 21, September 2019, so about 3 months old.

Looks superb in the glass. Black body, pours like motor oil. Small tan head manages to persist throughout leaving very nice lacing

The smell, however, is somewhat chemical.

On tasting, it's an odd experience. Roasty like a stout, sour like a cherry wild ale. The sour aspect edges out the roast, which is medium. Really gets into the nooks and crannies of the mouth. There is nary a trace of sweetness, and the abv is nigh on undetectable.

Mouth is a little above medium, finish a drying out tartness.

Overall, you kind of have to ignore the stout aspect, and there is virtually no evidence of it being a RIS. As a beer, 3 months old, it's a bit much for this palate. Maybe more time in the bottle would help, but maybe not. A 12oz would have been more than enough for me.

Dec 21, 2019
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CharlesForbin from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Batch 20 Dec2018. Age: 11 months. This is an unusaul unpasteurized sour stout. Smell is sour. Ingredients include rolled oats. Light bodied. Color is black. Head is small with no lacing. The 10.8% alcohol is well masked. As a stout lover I guess this is just not my thing but I respect what they are trying to do here and it appears to be a quality effort but I can't get past the sour taste and smell and won't be trying this again.

Nov 16, 2019
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Franziskaner from Missouri

3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Black in color with no penetration to light. There’s an inch of rocky and frothy brown head on top. The aroma is of bitter, chocolatey, and slightly smoky roasted barley. I’m tasting dark roasted barley and it finishes a bit more bitter and slightly sour due to the bacteria that was added as part of the fermentation process. The mouth is dense, heavily carbonated, a touch chalky, and lightly boozy.

Jul 21, 2019
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robotic_being from Florida

3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque brown-black, with a 2” dark mocha foam, micro bubbles, amazing retention, 2+ min hold, spotty lacing. Aromas of roasted malts, oak, funky ripe berries, fruity, brewer’s yeast, and malted barley. Taste is milk chocolate, mixed with sour cherry, tart grapefruit, roasted malts, coffee grounds, and slight lactic acid. The mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, medium to full body, bubbly - effervescent medium plus carbonation with a juicy semi dry finish and lingering tart fruit with a roasted malt mix. Overall flavor is unique; utilizing wild yeast from Texas in addition to the dark chocolate malts, the taste is both tart and roasty with a subtle char. Very Yummy!!!

Jul 04, 2019
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ScruffySouthpaw from New York

3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a red wine glass from the bottle.

Appearance: pours super dark with a heavy dark tan head rising over two fingers length upon initial pour.

Smell: Bland hops and touch of yeast. Lemon zest and chocolate.

Taste: Bitter and a mellow sour. I taste lemon, little coffee, yeasty bread with another touch of citrus. It is weird. Looks like a Stout but definitely doesn't taste like it.

Mouth: Besides the look of the beer this is probably the best characteristic. Sticky and very full bodied with a slight extra carbonation.

Overall: I'm stuck on the final verdict, it pretty good but factoring in the yeast feel and the sour notes that follow this beer it is hard to grade it higher. Salud!

Apr 21, 2019
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 13.53(Including tax and discount)/750 mL ($ 0.533/oz) from Spec’s #100, DeZavala, San Antonio. Reviewed 3/17/19.
“BATCH #20 – DECEMBER 2018” on label. On shelf in store. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 54 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.
Body – Dark brown/black, opaque.
Head – Large (Maximum 6.3 cm, aggressive center pour), brown, high density, good retention, slooowly diminishing to a three to four mm ring and a thin, complete layer with some thicker islands.
Lacing – Poor – A thin ring of tiny bubbles.
First pour – Dark brown, translucent.
Aroma – 3.5 – Weak roasted malt with a hint fruitiness
Flavor – 4 - Roasted malt and chocolate with a little lactic acid on the tail-end. No alcohol (10.8 % ABV), no dimethylsulfide, no diacetyl.
Palate – 4 – Medium, silky, soft carbonation.
Impression and interpretation – 4 – I like this better than the previous iterations – it’s less sour and more “stouty”.

Mar 17, 2019
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jngrizzaffi from Texas

2.71/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 6/29/16. Pours a pitch black color with little to no head. Lacing is decent. I think that it has lost most of its carbonation. Seems a little flat. There is more of a funky farmhouse aroma than anything else. There are some slightly roasted malts but no chocolate or coffee to pick up at this point. Taste follows the same route but there is a tiny bit of chocolate at the end. Mainly that farmhouse taste with slightly roasted malts, that tiny bit of chocolate at the end with a more sour aftertaste. I am not a fan.

May 22, 2018
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RedhawkPoke from Oklahoma

4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Beer pours a dark black body with minimal head. Head was a khacki color while it lasted. Almost no lacing and even less head while drinking.

S: Beer aromas are a nice mix of stout (roasted barley and chocolate) and funky sour aromas. Picking up smells of whine and assorted berries.

T: Tastes resemble the nose of the beer. However, the funky flavors are more pronounced. Chocolate and roast are there but hidden behind whine like berry flavors.

M: The mouthfeel reminds me more of a sour than a stout. The beer is light and crisp. The beer reminds me of a whine while swallowing.

O: This is a beer I have wanted for a while but somewhat let down honestly, Would have liked to have seen more of a focus on the stout end than the sour side.

Jan 04, 2018
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Thomas_Wikman from Texas

4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I just had Black Metal the Farmhouse Ale Imperial Stout from Jester King once again. This latest version has an ABV of 10.40%. I should add that this update is from 3/24-2019.

This is such an impressive but peculiar beer, one of Jester King's strangest jests if you will. It is an Imperial Stout, jet black with a very impressive mocca colored fluffy head, with an aroma and a flavor of roasted malts and chocolate and some coffee, but with a Farmhouse Ale body including carbonation and a tart and fruity addition to the flavor, perhaps sour cherry, followed by a grapefruit peel like bitterness at the end and not a hint of the alcohol. It is massive in so many ways yet quite drinkable. I am not sure it is the best Imperial Stout I've had, it is both charming and strange, but it is quite enjoyable. It is a Universe of it's own.

Aug 25, 2017
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zeff80 from Missouri

4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in September 2015. Poured a jet black color with a small, tan head of foam. It smelled of roasted malt and chocolate. It was a very smooth blend of dark chocolate, toffee, roasted malt and caramel.

May 27, 2017
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black with brown edges and a large, frothy, creamy mocha head leaving short walls of curtains.

Smell out of the bottle is tangy, salty roasted nuts. Chocolate covered banana, clove, and dark roasted malt follow. Then a little sharp cherry and raspberry, with an underlying smokiness arises as it warms.

Black Metal is a superior savory roasted malt and nut experience on the tongue, with dark chocolate, a touch of molasses, and salted caramel. The farmhouse yeast is light and bouncy, not heavy or spicy at all, lending a sort of pear-papaya element. There's also a hint of pine, and a hint of amaretto.

Feel is surprisingly light, while tangy, with a semi-dry finish.

Batch #17 2015 vintage, 10.8% ABV

Feb 01, 2017
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NolaHopHead from Louisiana

4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Beautiful black poor, tan head slowly fades, rings of lace. Coffee, licorice, funky aroma, tastes just like it smells, a little sharp in the finish, boozy. Thin to medium slippery feel.

Sep 04, 2016
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OompaMentor from Georgia

4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a snifter; modest carbonation with small head. Chocolate and malts are evident to the nose with a softened sweet smell. Chocolate and subtle sweetness on palate- medium balance and the acidity is softened. Well done

Aug 27, 2016
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Marius from Netherlands

4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at tasting. Dark pour, tan coarse head. Funky smell, with notes of chocolate and cocoa. Sour with lactic acidity, chocolate, cocoa and coffee. Medium body with high acidity.

Mar 26, 2016
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Ciocanelu from Romania

4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Black color with brown head. Aroma has tart and roasty notes with a bit of caramel. Taste starts tart with dark fruit notes, roasted malts and a bit of coffee on the finish. Medium body and carbonation. Really nice combination of tart flavors and roastiness.

Mar 19, 2016
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Rimbimhoot from Illinois

3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: very dark brown with a thin head
S: Coffee, chocolate, dark cherry, tart, roasty
T: Tart, dark cherry, roasty, light bitterness, coffee, alcohol, cacao
M: Medium with delicate carbonation
O: Tasty and good example of the style but not something I'd reach for often

Feb 14, 2016
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breadwinner from California

4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

As someone who otherwise disdains much dark fruit presence in his stouts, a farmhouse stout didn't sound particularly alluring, but I gotta say they pull it off nicely. As to be expected, some fruity esters in the nose, but still a goodly base of roasted malt, not charred or harsh, just lightly roasty. Palate is interesting, brighter than expected for a stout, more of that dark fruit character, some fruity chocolate perhaps too. It's nice. It's drinkable. It's still not a method I prefer for a stout, but I commend the effort.

Jan 31, 2016
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kemoarps from Washington

3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle's been sitting in my fridge since I received it last August. Batch #16, March 25 2015

A little thinner appearing than I would prefer, with more granular carbonation, but it settles nicely with a solid finger plus of light brown head. Reddish tint at the edges of the glass.

Nose carries hints of currant and chocolate and rich red wine. More on the sweet/boozy side of things.

Flavour follows even further in this vein committing to a red wine fruit and vinegar direction which is unique though probably not my favourite manifestation if I'm truly approaching this as an RIS. Starts with a berry/cherry sweet which quickly gives way to sharply tart course. There are hints of roasted grains and coffee and all the other expected RIS-isms lurking somewhere in the shadows but this is the tart and the cherry and stone fruit notes first and foremost. Finishes quite bitter with the tart notes of plum skin lingering to combine and make for a punishing finish that will not be denied.

I'll be real: I'm not entirely sure how to go about approaching this beer. As an RIS... it jjust really isn't. Approaching it as a wild/sour/whatever the appropriate subgenre would be... it's quite well constructed and with warning can be enjoyable. I can only imagine what the Funk Metal I am preparing to crack and compare has to offer...
Thanks to @DomVan for sending this one along!

Jan 31, 2016
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jester King Brewery "Black Metal"
on tap at the brewery 6 November 2015, $4.50 for 8 oz.
...listed as 10.8 % ABV

Notes: Opaque brown-black body beneath a frothy head of tan. Excellent initial lacing and very good head retention. Aroma of coffee, chocolate, and perhaps a bit of anise. Taste is fuller, richer, and creamier.... smooth with dark chocolate, light coffee, fruit and alcohol. Subtle funkiness with wet straw and dark cherries. It doesn't seem bitter, and yet it's there in the mix. Subtly peppery and smokey. Medium-full and creamy in the mouth with just a slight sharp note from some mild funkiness. Remarkably smooth and drinkable. Really interesting but you have to look for it. Let it warm a bit. Typical Jester King in that it's really refined and velvety; anything but brash or bombastic. Expensive, but probably worth it.

Jan 29, 2016
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Stolenface1 from Virginia

4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours jet black with foamy tan head. Aroma of dark chocolate, coffee, slight caramel, raisin, maybe cherry, earth, and slight funk. Really nice boquet. The flavor follows the aroma with a very slight tartness and some bitterness. Not enough to clash though. Lighter end of a heavy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. This is a really great beer. Not sure why other are saying this is more sour than stout, but to me drinks like a stout with Saison & wild yeast characteristics. SLIGHTLY tart. Very good.

Jan 10, 2016
Black Metal Farmhouse Imperial Stout from Jester King Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 922 ratings