Tonkun (873) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 25, 2012
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pitch black pour with mocha head that leaves a nice thin layer. Espresso, dark cherries, chocolate, licorice, oak. Unbelievably smooth. Can use a spoon to drink this thick creamy body. Bitter but sweet and soft. Complex but not overwhelming even considering the 16.5% alcohol. Very good. A nice beer to relax and sip during a cold winter day.
DerWeg (1501) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 18, 2014
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Doesn’t look so unusual, dense black with dark tan creamy head. Has a truly strange aroma of bready and burnt grain smells over alcohol. First sip is plain aggressive, big bitterness and roast and sharp alcohol. Smacking this around the gums I get some dark cherry-like fruit, dark malts coffee and chocolate. Hard dry palate. Long leafy resiny bitter hop finish. Flavors are enough of a rough ride and might settle with years of age, but the aroma right now is hard to get past. I’m aerating some in the fridge for an hour to blow off those weird smells!
Now I’ve had black, I really might not go back. Will tackle the rest of the bottle tomorrow. Certainly an experience.
Johnsense (824) - - OCT 18, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pitch black pour with a baby finger of head. Aroma of grass, hops, char. Taste of Dark Roasted malt and pitch black coffee with quite a strong hop bite. Some alcohol warming as I drink this. Thicker body.
HoppyBudgie (756) - SOLA, NORWAY - OCT 17, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tap at Mikkeller tasting. Black, no head, no lacing. Nose of bright alcohol, slight deet, paint thinner and lots of alcohol and more alcohol. Sharp, strong. Would be nice to cellar this on bottle for a few years. Quite a punch.
Armadill0 (282) - FINLAND - OCT 17, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Bottled 29.4.2009. Black with a dark red tint, no head expect some dark red frothing. Aroma has yeast, grape, berries, cocoa and vinegar.
Taste has grape, pine, fruit and cocoa. Mouthfeel is rounded and slick, like wine. Aftertaste is long and lingering, bitter from the middle to the end. Alcohol is definetly there but considering the huge amount, well hidden.
hangunder (241) - Ontario, CANADA - OCT 12, 2014
4.1 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Smells great, super grassy hops, dark malt, cocoa and almost butane-like aromas. Looks nice, completely black with a quickly dissapating brown head. Tastes great, super hoppy character. Upfront cocoa and dark malt, finishes deeply bitter and leafy, with a lingering sweetness. The alcohol heat comes through in the nose but is for the most part completely hidden under the other high octane flavors here. Bracing bitterness and a balancing sweetness, this is one great imperial stout for my taste. Would be interesting to see how it developed with age. Medium bodied and average carbonation.
coren42 (2) - Tienen, BELGIUM - OCT 12, 2014 does not count
2.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 5/20
I had great expectations for this beer. This is the 16.1% ABV version, and it has been sitting on my shelf --shrouded in darkness, away from excessive cold and heat-- for the past year, waiting for the perfect occasion. And yesterday, that occasion finally came.
And it looks pretty! Pitch black, tiny bubbles slowly rising to the surface to for a beautiful, small but solid brown head. The promises it makes!
The aromas are not excessively powerful. There’s roasted malts in there, of course, some coffee, the darkest of chocolate, but it doesn’t quite jump out of the glass. That’s fine, though, time to taste!
And that’s where this beer lost me, I’m afraid. It’s sweet. Very sweet. Excessively sweet. It’s also alcoholic (I’m glad I didn’t have it fresh), which when combined with the sweetness feels particularly aggressive. And as if Mikkeller weren’t satisfied with clobbering us over the head with the Black’s ABV and residual sugars, it’s also aggressively bitter. AGGRESSION AGGRESSION AGGRESSION, is all I’m getting from this beer.
Mind you, the coffee and dark chocolate and vanilla flavors are divine, but I’m simply not given the room to enjoy them. I couldn’t finish the bottle (I stored the rest, but I’m not sure I still feel like drinking it), which to me just says it all.
To me, this beer is pure posturing. No-nonsense, hardcore flavors coming from every direction, but little skill and no finesse.
Allow me to redirect you to the Double Black instead?
SuperTiti33 (557) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 8, 2014
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Noire. Complètement opaque. Belle mousse beige-brune.
Nez: chocolat. Alcool. Liqueur de café. Kahlùa. Vanille. Truffe/cacao.
Bouche: très riche. Très sucré. Belle chaleur d’alcool. Bonne amertume qui persiste jusque en finale. Chocolat noire. Café espresso/corsé. Finale amère, boisé et vanillé. Excellente.
slowrunner77 (5805) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 7, 2014
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
""Sample it fresh or store it for many years to come. Peak will be in 1-3 years from bottling date....!" My vote is wait a few years. Although there was the promise of massive complexity sure to come, this one (bottled 12/07) was just too much. No head, compared to minimal head on the other two suped up stouts. The hot alcohol fumes permeated the aroma and especially the flavor, esentially crowding out the roasted malt, chocolate, and burned grains that were present. It went head to head with Avery Mephistopheles (15.92%) and Goose Island Bourbon County and was clearly outmatched. I like the big stouts, and this is definitely one of em, but none of us would have finished the bottle solo. Not BAD, but not worth the big price tag and Mikkeller’s biggest disappointment to date.
wojciechianna (79) - Poznań, POLAND - OCT 6, 2014
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Black as f... well, it’s black. With big brown head. Aroma of coffee and red fruits, reminiscent of wine. Some noble alcohol in aroma. Tastes bitter, lots of coffee and dark chocolate, it’s dry and very complex. Full body, long finish. Hard to rate, but definitely one of the most impressive beer.
Gramoit (357) - AUSTRALIA - SEP 22, 2014
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Not a beer for someone new to craft beer, or even imperial stouts for that matter. Just a brilliant stout, great sipper in the winter.