Barbe Black | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Barbe BlackBarbe Black

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Also known as Barbe Noire

Added by JAHMUR on 12-03-2013

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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 65
Photo of akolb
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a tan head
Aroma: cherry, raisin, roast, chocolate, pepper
Taste: yeast, cherry, mild roast
Slightly disappointing, although tasty. The yeast gives off a bit too much artificial cherry flavor for my liking. The combo of roast and yeast in interesting, but I feel like the right formula isn't quite here.

 324 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle, best by date of 2016-05-05 so it's an aged bottle, maybe it was dated a year out?

jet black in color, thick white head. good head retention and lots of lacing. aroma is fairly roasty, but it also has some cherry and plum flavors in there too. smooth mouthfeel, taste is nice balanced flavors. on the drier side. very drinkable and overall very nice.

 372 characters

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle, it pours a very dark brown, almost black, with brown edges when held up to the light. A small head forms, quickly reducing to a thin layer. The nose gets the roasted notes, with a bit of chocolate. The mouth enjoys the chocolaty, malty flavor with a bit of coffee.

 284 characters

Photo of Dentist666
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Under name "Barbe Noire".
Poured into tulip.
Pours opaque dark brown with good beige head, moderate retention, lots of laces.
Smell - roasted, milk chocolate, belgian yeasts.
Taste - roasted, coffee, chocolate, belgian yeasts.
Stout-like, but with recognizable belgian character, strong, but drinkable.

 302 characters

Photo of Suds
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This is an incredibly dark, nearly black beer with ruby highlights. The head is head is foamy, thick, and tan. It had a serious malt aroma...with smoke, alcohol, and dark fruit (plum). The taste is sweet, intense, and warming. Full in body and very European.

 262 characters

Photo of jeranbrews
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pitch black body like high coco chocolate. Thick creamy tan foam. Strong lacing. 4.25

S - Sweet creamy malty with subtle hints of bitterness. Like a dark chocolate milkshake made out of bread. 4

T - Initial sweet with a roasted toasty middle flavor bitter sour aftertaste but well balanced. 4

M - Thick and creamy with a slight crystalline effervescence. 4.

O - Not a disappointment. Maybe a bit too bitter at times but overall well balanced and a pleasure. 3.75

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Barbe chalice.

Look: Dark chocolate colored body with a mocha colored head that leaves a nice film after it recedes. Foamy bands of thick lacing.

Aroma: Belgian yeast, sharp cheeses, and milk chocolate sweetness.

Taste: More of a creamy, milk chocolate body with sharp cheese notes surrounding it. Yeast esters. Vinegar tart finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and medium bodied.

Overall: A beer I like more as I keep drinking it. Good balance between sharpness and chocolate sweetness.

 495 characters

Photo of JasW
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is essentially a stout flavored Belgian strong dark ale. It is not a true stout. (The quickly dissipating head gives that away at first glance.) There are unquestionably better BSDAs out there, but the stout characteristics with which this is imbued makes this an interesting if ultimately forgettable ale. Although it's a small and unusual category, Buffalo does it better.

 379 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best before 4/1/15.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, dark fruit, tawny port wine, earth, and slight char aromas. Taste is much the same with dark fruit, port wine, char, and cocoa powder flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that has some interesting dark fruit qualities along with the more traditional stout aspects.

Serving type: bottle.

 669 characters

Photo of mothmanscott
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown appearing black without ruby hued edges when held to the light. Lots of bubbles rising when light is passed through it. The pour produces 2+ fingers of somewhat lasting, tan, foamy head that leaves wash of webby, streaky lacing. Aroma is dark roasted/toasted malts, a little Belgian funk & yeast esters of prune, other dark fruit, tart cherries, a sour & floral hint with a little chocolate hiding in back. Taste is dark malt, berry, sour fruit, cherry & dark fruit, a little wood & toffee, a hint of anise & cocoa, pepper & sour in the finish & dark malt, yeasty fruit & sour cherry-like aftertaste. The brew develops a more complex palate as the brew warms. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation, a lively prickle in the mouth, tart, dry & drawing. The sour character is detracting & (for me) not consistent with the style.

 870 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark russet brown with a very dense and tall head floating on top.
I get aroma that lean towards a sour. Smells of sweet candied fruit, molasses and anise.
I also detect wine barrels and port aromas also.
Drinks tart and sour with fruity notes.
Finishes tannin dry and sour.

 282 characters

Photo of Chessmaster
2.45/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured from bottle into the barbe chalice that came in a gift pack of verhaeghe beers.

A: black, with a creamy head. Very nice.

S: initial nose was a bit off putting, with sour and funky notes mixed with possible cherry/ fruit smells. No hop aroma, no classic malt aromas. Not at all like a stout, despite being labelled one on the bottle. Also not like other dark strong Belgians I've had, despite what other reviews stated. After some time in the glass, smelled a little bit of roast/ chocolate character but not much.

T: underwhelming. Sour notes, alcoholic burn, funk, with some of what could be dark fruit. Not pleasant.

M: medium to full bodied. Nicely carbonated.

O: the appearance and carbonation were the best aspects of the beer. Did not enjoy the rest.

 768 characters

Photo of embass
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a very dense black color with about a fingers worth of khaki head. There is some decent retention on the head; above average lacing around the glass.

Smelled of dark fruit (cherry?), molasses, roasted malt and a hint of hops in there.

Tasted of tart dark fruit, roasted malt and a slight earthiness at the end. Very smooth and rich.

Overall I liked (not loved). Although I’m not quite sure if my taste buds are up to par for this one yet. Would like to come back to it at a later point.

 499 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

And once again backing off of their sour tendencies, Verhaeghe brewers tackle the tried and true taste of the abbey darker, stronger Belgian ale. Dangerous territory of course, because not even all Belgian brewers nail this style down to satisfaction.

But the dark russet brown ale hits the olfactory senses with the confidence of powdered sugar, laced with dried dark fruit. Just as that confectionery taste reaches the taste buds, it explodes into a candied sweet taste with brown sugar and toasted molasses.

Upon the middle, the beer blossoms into sophisticated taste of rum-soaked apricot, date, fig and raisin. Its plumy and grapey center invites flavors of merlot which is equipped with its own peppery balance and tangy sprite. As the sweetness slowly dissolves, a feathery texture of cotton candy swirls above the palate.

Growing red wine and peppercorn displaces candied sweetness in its fleeting finish to ensure a high rate of palatability and satisfaction. Its spicy dryness is warm but soothing, outlasting the fruit and spice with a finish of fine cognac.

Though decrying a "stout" character, there's nothing outside of its dark brown hue that would suggest anything heavily toasty, roasty or charred. As these characters are mute, the ale stands on its own as a classic abbey-style ale, likely worthy of Grand Cru status.

 1,340 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown, almost black color and a thick texture. There was a big, creamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A very underplayed aroma of dark fruit, malt, and some yeast.

T: Tasted of roasted malt, Belgian yeast, light spices, chocolate, and some dark fruit (plums, raisins, etc.). Not too bad of a flavor, but thinner than you might expect. Still, not necessarily a bad-tasting beer.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: An uneven beer, but not an unlikable one. Worth a try.

 570 characters

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into snifter, best before 4/1/2015. Pours nearly opaque black color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of raisin, cherry, plum, toast, molasses, dark bread, light roast, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast malt and fruity/earthy yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of raisin, plum, cherry, toast, dark bread, molasses, light roast, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy/peppery bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, cherry, toast, dark bread, molasses, light roast, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good complexity of dark/roasted malt and fruity/earthy yeast flavors; with a good malt/yeast balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice Belgian strong dark ale. Good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and fruity/earthy yeast flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,378 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good BSDA. Pours a dense dark brown color with a small bubbly tan head. The head fades fairly quick but settles in as a covering on the glass and stays for a long while.

Smell is dark fruit and fairly heavy amount of malt. Not much in the way of spices or Belgian yeast.

Taste is primarily malty (like a stout) but with with a rich dark fruit presence as well. Once again, not much in the way of yeast, candi sugar, or spicing.

Mouthfeel is smooth and very rich.

Good Belgian beer. Part stout/part BSDA.

 507 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a thin light tan head that dissipates to small patches and a ring around the glass. Aroma of mild toasted malt, nuts, pilsner style hops, somewhat vegetal. Flavor is toasted malt, slightly tart dark fresh fruit; cherries and plums, hints of nuts and vanilla. Medium bodied with active carbonation. An interesting Belgian strong dark ale with a stronger toasted malt presence than usual, but the dark fruit elements are still dominant. Finishes with a dark fruit and grassy hop bitterness. Nice combination of flavors and an interesting taste of dark malt for the style. Identified as a Belgian stout on the label.

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Barbe Black from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
3.74 out of 5 based on 65 ratings.
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