Splinter Black | Tröegs Brewing Company

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Splinter BlackSplinter Black

Brewed by:
Tröegs Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by fiver29 on 10-21-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 99 | Ratings: 170
Photo of wvsabbath
4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving type - 22 oz bottle

Appearance - dark tan/ black killer tan creamy 2 inch head tons of lacing.

Smell - Wood, malts, dark fruits, alcohol, some barley not aggressive smelling

Taste - Very creamy and carbonated with roasted malts start this off. Traces of vanilla, and lots of wood. Whiskey flavor is also present. Has a sweet coco powder finish.

Mouthfeel - Sweet sugars and malts cover mouth. Really light and smooth for such high alcohol. Aftertaste is very cocoa with some alcohol at the end.

Overall - Tasty, and real drinkable. Really smooth And sweeter then I expected for 11%. Very enjoyable wish it was made again

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep, dark, brown. Little reddish hues coming through this one throughout the session. Not nearly opaque, but yet very dark indeed. A nice head, maybe two inches high came up over the top and settled down slowly leaving behind a very nice billow if tan across the top and really just a great amount of side glass lace to it. The only thing I could think of that detracted from this one was the lack of the pitch black darkness you would normally find.

Deep rich notes of roasted malts, dark cherries, currant and a touch of fig. Very complex and interesting take on the style. vanilla bombed, molasses infused chocolate stouts we have all come to love, tons of oak here but i am getting lots of dark fruit too.. The flavor was just as amazing and in fact went through several transformations as it approached its room temperature peak. lots of cherry and dark fruit like flavors mixed in with a roasted, almost smoky malt that served to let you know this was indeed a stout. As it warmed though it started to peak through with a bit of cocoa, just the slightest touch of sweetness coming through now but still, that dark, cherry and currant like flavor that was all over this. The slightest bit of tartness working its way though as well, really just plowing over the flavor at the end leaving me with a long drawn out flavor, somewhat dry, and a nice touch of sweetness on the tongue.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.65/5  rDev +23%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this is blind beer #10?

The bottle was marked share. Shared with my wife and best friend. They couldnt or wouldnt finish a glass so I finished the bottle. The oak was too much for them. Perhaps I am a homer? Can you be a homer if your not from the state of origin? Anyhow, this beer was served in a snifter. I allowed the beer to hit a temperature closer to room temp during consumption.

A- 5.0 Very active carbonation. Perhaps it was my rush to pour the beer. I got a beer geyser pouring the first glass. The coloration of the beer is dead black! Its like I like my coffee black! The head is thick and creamy the coloration of cafe late. The lacing on my glass looks like pan cake batter.

S - 5.0 This beer has a major league oaked character! Awesome vanilla notes spice up the aroma. Dark roasted cocoa and none of that bullshit milk chocolate. I hate milk chocolate! Dark roasted bittersweet cocoa medium roasted malt brown sugar and molasses.

T - 4.5 Major oaken vanilla flavors take the lead and dominate. The oak hits tannic notes. Darak roasted cocoa nibs / malt combine with lightly charred malts. The beer has a nice spiced finish. I know the beer is very alcoholic! I definitely feel the buzz setting in. I cannot taste the alcohol in the slightest. A nice lingering roasted tone hangs around in my mouth.

M / D 4.5/ 4.5 The body of the beer just misses full; however, she still has all the right curves. Very slick smooth mouthfeel present. At first I feared over carbonation. I now think the geyser was one of operator error. I accept that blame. Carbonation is active but I think it lifts the beers character up. No alcohol is present in the mouth. I know the alcohol is present as I am buzzing hard. As far as drinkability this is major beer drinking pleasure! This beer has very rich and bold flavors. This is easily a world class beer.

Reveal" Troegs Splinter Black. I looked at some of these reviews. I can see where some beer drinkers would fault them. The beer is no apologies oaked. Not sure if I am a homer? I love me some Troegs beers. This was very well played! Thank you again Neorunner!

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Photo of xnicknj
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle poured into tasting glass - thanks to poneill

Pours a thick blackness with a completely out of control graham cracker brown head which seems to want to balloon out of the glass. Plenty of lacing on the glass.

Some chocolatey tones followed by some earthy wood tones. Hints of smoke with sweetness, some light alcohol.

A bite of hops up front, plenty of roasty warm malts as well. Wood from the barrel aging with some earthiness. Caramel, chocolate, and some bittersweetness all combine together. Slight alcohol heat and roasted malt towards the finish.

Fuller body, wayyy high carbonation, a little chewy on the tongue. Plenty of flavor on this beer, and I definitely enjoyed the different sort of barrel aging, although it wasn't a total hit for me.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750ml. Thanks to jdefont for busting this bottle out.

A- Pours a as close to black as you can get without being black color. One and a half finger tan head shows medium retention. Lacing on the sides of the glass come in streaks.

S- Oak and more oak in the front. Roasted malts come in the front wiith light hints of vanilla. Charr from the barrels come through next in the aroma with hints of darker fruit. Caramel malts shine in the ending along with a underlying chocolate malt. Simple overall for a beer that was so hyped at first.

T- Light roasted malts start off this beer which inturn gives off a light oak impression. Coffee comes through next with light roast in the ending. Middle of the beer shows a caramel like base body with a light charr hint to it. More roasted malts with a hint of chocolate comes through in the ending. Very ending has a hint of vanilla with a strong oak finish. Alcohol is apparent in the ending and gives off a little bit of a hot presence.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little high for the style giving it a light fizzy feel on the palate. Roasted malts, light chocoalte, and lots of oak are left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly alcohol, oak, chocolate, and hints of vanilla. Flavors were a little off blended with the oak at times coming through very highly. No real off flavors were present this beer overall was a little young I thought. High alcohol drying on the palate overall from the oak overtones and alcohol.

O- This was a good beer. Was it worth the hype? I wouldn't say that. The ABV was really not much of a issue and never really came up while drinking this. A little immature I thought and could have sat around a little more. This beer wasn't as bad as others have stated although I see why it isn't the most sought after in the Splinter Series.

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Photo of bbeane
4.26/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a laser etched DFH chalice... starts with a HUGE rocky brown head, that has great retention (with some help from the glass) and leaves behind decent webbs of lacing. Beer is black in color with no light escaping when held to the ceiling

S- Honestly, not that pungent. Bit toasty, maybe some hints of dark fruits and vanilla

T- Popped this one a bit early from the fridge... flavors were a bit too muted at the temperature I started it at. Starts toasty, then as it warms, the first thing to become more pronounced is the wood, followed by the cocoa nibs and vanilla

M- Full bodied with light/medium carbonation... very smooth

O- I enjoyed this one as I have all of Troegs Splinters so far. Bit pricey, but worth it in my opinion. Wish I had gone back for more than my first two bottles


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Photo of JAXSON
3.29/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Apparently this was one of the sub par bottles of this. Enormous bang when cork was lifted, which was a dismal start. Poured with a large head. Nose was bitter, roasted malt, light smoke. Really sharp carbonation. Mouth quite a bit of roasted malt, fairly smoky, not terribly malt forward. Thin, or at least the carbonation makes it seem thin. I'm not sure whether to interpret this as being infected or not...probably not, but there is something off about this bottle. It was really easy to pick out in a blind tasting later on, as drunk as I was.

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Photo of RandomBattle
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

They should release this in the summer time so I don't have to freeze my nuts off to get it. Anyway...

Appearance - Whoa head! This was one seriously carbonated beer. I thought perhaps it was my pour, but not so much. It looks awesome though, off white rocky head that dissipates REALLY slow, which is not always a good thing.

Smell - When reviewing stouts a lot of people tend to use the word oak in their general listing of smells. I never really get a sense of that with most stouts, maybe if its aged in bourbon barrels and the bourbon isn't polluting the aroma of the beer. This beer is almost all oak, and for obvious reasons. Great oaky smell as well as some fainter vanilla, chocolate, roasted malt odors.

Taste - Yep, more oak. Yay, I guess. If you like your beers aged in oak this one will not disappoint. Great oak flavors, along with sweet vanilla, caramel, coffee, and some chocolate, with faint raisin notes in the finish. Enjoyable.

Mouthfeel - As I said before this beer is a bit of an overcarbonated mess. It has a pretty average mouthfeel for a stout, not too thick and not too thin.

Overall - I wouldn't really travel far and wide to get a hold of this one (even though I already did). However, it is a very solid offering from Troegs though. I am looking forward to the next beer in their Splinter series, whatever it may be.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.11/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark, near black. Tasty looking wiht huge tan head that stays and some fuzzy cling lace.

S - Subtle cocoa, hint of sweet malt. Not much there.

T - Wonderful. Chocolate milk, cocoa, malt, tasty stuff!

M - Medium body, great carb and balance.

D - More, please!

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Photo of mothman
2.53/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Splinter Black

Pours 1 finger of fizzy tan head. Color is black.

Aroma: Oak, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malts, and big coffee. All malts. New oak?? Come on.

Taste: All roast and coffee. Too much roast. Chocolate and caramel. Some vanilla and oak. Boring.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and roasted. Medium to full bodied with a higher amount of carbonation. Ends dry and roasted.

Overall, this was a fail of an attempt at -bal aging a beer. It was too roasted and the new oak really didn't add a lot to the beer. Pretty boring and not something I wanted to drink a lot of

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Photo of glid02
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Joe - thanks! This is my second time having this beer, both experiences were similar.

Pours black with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of robust roasted malts with hints of char and larger amounts of oak. Also present are mild amounts of vanilla aromas that are sweeter and distinct from the oak.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Large amounts of roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by semi-sweet chocolate. Midway through the sip earthy oak and light vanilla flavors work their way into things, carrying through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's got nice carbonation however the thickness is on the thin side.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall, as I mentioned previously, this is my second time having this beer and both times were disappointingly underwhelming. I feel as though the base beer needs some tweaking to make this a great beer. Worth a shot if you stumble across it but not worth seeking out.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.61/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pulled this one out of my cellar to try after the Splinter Gold. Beer number 2 of the tasting.

The appearance is perhaps this beer's strongest component. Pitch black body that yields rich garnet around the edges where the light can make its way through. Capped by a creamy and frothy (too much?) thick milk chocolate colored head, which astoundingly leaves not a bit of lace to be found.

Aromas of woody tannins, vanilla from the oak rather than the vanilla beans, dark chocolate, anise, and some warm alcohol. The palate brings on more of the same, with a ton of oak, licorice and anise. Unfortunately, I can't really make out enough of the cocoa nibs and vanilla bean that was added to this while it was in the barrels. Resinous and roasty in the finish, with warm alcohol coming in and then giving way to more toasty oak tannins. There are also hints of piney hops that are beginning to fade.

Highly carbonated for any style, though the carbonation gives Splinter Black a silky feel, not a prickly one. I do question the strategy of virgin oak barrel aging, as I felt the tannins from the wood out-muscled the other flavorings added to the barrels. I would say that this would be a great off-the-shelf beer, but falls short of the loft expectations that surrounded it after the limited brewery-only release and the hype that surrounds the series.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.34/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks for sharing this, Dan! Beer #2.

Jet black with a dark brown head with excellent retention and nice lacing, this is a gorgeous stout. The nose is like a lumber yard. Oak dust, raw, untoasted oak, wood and woody vanillin. In fact , the vanilla from the oak overpowers the vanilla bean that was added! Some cocoa, roasted malt and a mild astringent burnt malt character. Black licorice and anise are present as well.

The palate opens with a blend of caramel, chocolate, lots of oak. Lots more oak is present, along with oaky vanilla, there's cocoa, lots of harsh tannins and a little booze too. Spicy with a black licorice and anise, these flavors accentuate the tannins and roasty flavors on the finish, making this harsher than it needs to be. The spiciness is not unlike that found in a moderately aged hoppy stout. A little more sweetness to balance the tannins would be in order, but that would make this too sweet. Medium in body, medium-high in carbonation, the mid palate has some creamy, milky flavors, but mostly, this is very roasty and tanninc.

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Photo of abecall98
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Redemption time. I've slammed this beer for beig bad, but never reviewed it. I just got to try some with PaulStoneAnchor, and I'm impressed.

A - pours a dark black, followed by a violent dark brown head. Bubbles everywhere. Reminds me of infected Abyss. Not how I like my stouts to look.

S - a lot more promising. The beer smells like a good Oaked stout. The vanilla esters come through. I smell coffee and roasted malt. However, that soapy aroma and over wheing oak lingers in The end of the wiff.

T - wow, much better than the last bottle. Creamy vanilla wafer starts the beer. The oak comes in, and not overpowering. The roasted coffee comes out and finishes the beer with some sweet cocoa notes.

M - a tad overly carbonated, but a good mouthfeel. Beyond the bubbles, lies a creamy mouthfeel, that coats with sweetness.

O - bottle variation is to blame for my first bad bottle of this. Bottle two, is the redemption bottle. It's a great stout.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review input from notes.

Huge 4 finger sand colored head. Retention was excellent, a decent amount of lacing left as head slowly receded. Pitch black body, absolutely zero light breaking the surface even when held to the light.

Rich chocolate aroma couples with oak and bourbon upfront. Vanilla is interwoven though out. A rather muted black licorice scent lays softly on the back end.

Smooth dark chocolate flavor up front. Chocolate flavor is a combination of a fudgy dark chocolate and a dry cocoa powder. The vanilla flavor really enhances the chocolate a softens the roast characteristics on the back end. Once again a slight licorice flavor sneaks in on the back of the palate.

The body clock in on the lower side of full. Moderate but appropriate carbonation. The finish is semi-dry.

Hearing a lot of talk going into this one, how it was a disappointment, not worth drinking and so on, I walked away terribly happy with the result. Splinter Black is a legitimately good beer. Even when put up against some stiff competition this one can hold its own. Very drinkable, very enjoyable.

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Photo of Tucquan
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this in February 2010 in Columbia, PA.

A - Black with a tan head with light lacing.

S - Reminds me of a Rochefort brew. Woody, raisin and plum.

T - Similar to the smell. Wood, concorde grape, roasted chocolate, vanilla, plum, yeast and mild, astringent bitterness.

M - Medium-heavy body and light carbonation.

D - A nice sipper. I enjoyed the flavors but not my favorite imperial stout.

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Photo of mikereaser
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on 12/27/10 at Hophead101's Black Tuesday tasting event

Pours a pitch black with lots of tan foam that left some decent oily lacing down the glass. The aroma is chocolate, bourbon and wood with none of them taking the reigns and overpowering. All are nicely balanced. Taste follows aroma with chocolate, a bit of bourbon and the wood hiding in the background with a vanilla taste showing up in the finish along with more chocolate. Its very smooth and creamy with light carbonation. Oily medium body. At 11% this one drinks very well and goes down very smooth. I'm glad I have more of this to share.
Call me a homer, I don't care. I just really liked this one.

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Photo of bs870621345
4.97/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Call me a homer (even though I live 2.5 hours away) but this is the best stout I've ever had.

Pops open with a loud noise and pours a beautiful jet black with an inch of tan head. Leaves nice lacing down the glass. Way too much head for the style.

Smells like oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and a hint of roast.

Taste follows smell, I really don't think the oak overpowers this beer at all. The chocolate feels kind of powdery on the finish and in the aftertaste, but the oak and vanilla is ridiculous in this beer.

Mouthfeel is velvet, not as carbonated as the appearance would tell you. Very full, very nice.

Drinkability is amazing, very inviting after each sip and disappointing when its over.

Probably one of the best beers I've ever had.

5/25/11 addition- Very Chocolatey, almost like hot fudge with minty notes on the end. Its a really really great one

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Photo of Florida9
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black in color. Forms a huge light tan head that reduces down to a small, but very stable head. Minimal lacing.

S: Lots of wood, but more like a cheap pine wood or balsa, than something like maple, oak, or hickory. Aroma is quite vibrant with a bit of alcohol on the finish.

T: An unusual mix of flavors for a stout. First of all, there is the wood which seems to predominate (like I'm chewing on a chopstick) then there is a mix of roasted malts, citrus, and a bright acidity. A slight Belgian funkiness to it.

M: On the heavier side of medium with decent carbonation.

D: An interesting double stout. The lighter wood and citrus flavor seem to lighten up the palate on this beer making it a bit more drinkable than most double stouts. However, the wood and the citrus almost seem out of place as well.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to hannydawg for sharing this at recent tasting.

A: pour is deep black, vigorous 3 finger head initially, settles down to about a cm of head that hangs around. Minimal lacing.

S: huge woody notes up front. The wood is extremely prevalent and has a cedar character to it. The wood overshadows the malt profile which feature some chocolate and smoke character. Hints of bready yeast come into play as well. Very unique aroma.

T: upon first sip, the main thing I can taste is wood. Again, it has a very fresh raw character and it dominates the palate. The beer takes a turn towards a Belgian influenced sweetness and a slightly tart finish.

MF: medium body, higher than normal carbonation, not as thick of a body as I'd would expect from a 11.0% stout

D: well this beer is certainly interesting and unique, but I can't say that I would want to drink this over and over again. Worth a try, but for me, the wood is just a little overbearing.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Stone Levitation tulip glass.

Big thanks to hannydawg for sharing this bottle!

Let's see how this goes, considering the apparent cross-country controversy over the contents of this bottle. Here in the Midwest, it pours a straight onyx topped by a decidedly healthy stack of tan foam. The nose comprises primarily a large amount of wood: cedar, pine, and even balsa all intertwine, strangling out just about anything else. Despite their efforts, though, some toffee and cinnamon make brief appearances from time to time. Gotta say, I ain't too big a fan o' this smell. The taste also shines a spotlight on the wood (mostly cedar now), but now the supporting cast (wait, why are they supporting?) comes through further: light-ish roasted malts, light tobacco, and molasses. Things are definitely better than the smell, but it's not a giant step. The body is a hefty medium, with a very light moderate carbonation, a fluid feel, and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a decent stout, but nothing close to great. I've heard an awful lot about hype-ballooning and -suppressing, as well as the possibility of enormous bottle variation. I'm leaning toward the latter, deep in the belief that this was one of the less-than-stellar bottles.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Darkness Snifter

Thanks to hannydawg for sharing this beer

Interesting tasting of stouts continues with a beer from the splinter series. This beer pours a black body with a light tan head on it with great head retention. The aromatics were pretty weak, I was able to pick up light malty sweetness and a minor fruit floral aroma, but it was too weak to identify further. The taste reiterated that this was one of the more oddball imperial stouts that I've ever had. There were strong notes of clove and grape along with the very faint roast. The finish was rather tart, which to the point is rather unexpected from anything considered a stout. I'm not sure what this beer truly is. It was rather thin for the high level of ABV but it still drank rather well. Good beer, not great.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, well, well...Here we are with a Splinter Black review. The controversy, the accusations, the retaliation. Anyway, the culprit appears to be bottle variation, but the underlying causes remain a mystery. At a recent release, I managed to try Black and I thought it was overly carbonated and otherwise thoroughly average. However, that was after quite a few ounces of Jackie O's finest, so who knows how it really tastes. Now, I will get to experience the famous, the infamous, the legendary Splinter Black.

Poured into a snifter. Full bottle just for me.

4.5 A: The reports of overcarbonation had me worried enough to open this over the sink. I appeared to be lucky and so far so good. Black color. First pour yielded about four fingers of head, but nowhere near gusher level. Second pour got me to my desired level with about two and a half fingers of super creamy mocha cappucino head. Very good retention and a thick ring of lacing. Would be a 5.0 without the overcarbonation issue.

4.5 S: Impressive! The raw oakiness is strong, though not overly done. Though the oak flavor itself is nice, the accompanying vanillins and spiciness are well received. Cacao nibs add a secondary layer of depth along with a subtle roastiness. A bit of sweet molasses to overcome what would be a dry aroma.

4.0 T: Again, the oak has some strength to it, but isn't overly done. (Believe me, I know what overly done tastes like.) Oak, vanilla, hot spiciness, a touch of booze. Cacao and semi-sweet chocolate and a molasses sweetness. Just a touch of roastiness. Big flavors are for the most part very welcoming. This is reasonably sweet and I think this would benefit a lot from a stronger roastiness. Still, very good.

4.0 M: Heavier medium body. The carbonation is a bit aggressive, but not so much that it distracts. Reasonably creamy and fairly smooth. If this was a bit thicker, it would have been given a better score.

4.5 D: It would appear that I got a good bottle. The oak is aggressive, but well within the range of what is acceptable. The carbonation is indeed a bit high, but again within acceptable limits. The taste was borderline 4.5 and I wasn't displeased with drinking the whole bottle, so drinkibility is a 4.5. Good brew and as long as I keep getting good bottles, I hope the bottle variation continues. Driving out to Harrisburg is no picnic.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.45/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked & caged bottle into a Weyerbacher tulip. Shared at a tasting.

A: Fully black body with an inch of fairly coarse light-brown head. Good retention and nice layers of lacing. Beautiful.

S: Super woody, and in a great way. Oak, vanilla, and chocolate maltiness. Great.

T: Sweet, oaky, chocolatey, and drenched in vanilla goodness. The oak gives it some tannic bite, while the vanilla lends plenty of body and sweetness. Nothing off, lots of delicious.

M: Medium-bodied and well carbonated. Good, but a bit on the sticky side.

D: The combo of vanilla sweetness and intense oak isn't exactly a recipe for drinkability. I wouldn't want a whole bottle to myself, but it was wonderful to share with a few friends. EDIT: I originally gave this a 3.5 for Drinkability, but now that I'm rereading my review in the days of Overall, I've decided to raise the score. Overall I really enjoyed this beer.

Notes: People whose palates I trust unequivocally told me this was a terrible beer, so my hopes weren't high. One sniff was all it took to convince me that the controversy over this beer must be due to bottle variation. The bottle I opened was nothing but delicious, with the oak, malt, chocolate, and vanilla all working beautifully together. Everyone at the tasting agreed that this was a delicious, top-notch brew.


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Photo of decadance
4.16/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to cmurren25 for this bottle!

A - Gorgeous blackness with a profound dark tan head. This looks like a big bodied stout should.

S - A little tame here. Getting a bit of licorice. There are hints of bourbon and a mild chocolate in the nose as well.

T - Chocolate is right up front here, but not enough to turn you off from the beer. Licorice which was in the smell is here, but not as forward as expected. Seems like there is a tiny bit of smoke in here. Could be just roasted malt, but it seems more smoke than malt.

M - Has the full coating feeling I expect from a stout, though it finishes a bit dry. Nothing as dry as Black Ops, but it still isn't my ideal finish for a beer.

D - It is a straight forward beer. Its what I want from a stout. I wish I had more.

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Splinter Black from Tröegs Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 170 ratings.
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