Brewed by De Struise Brouwers
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Oostvleteren, Belgium


on tap

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RATINGS: 315   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.65   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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Collaboration brew with Stillwater Artisanal Ales (USA). Crowned last week with a golden Award for Best newcomer in the world 2011.

This Belgian Strong Ale was married to a still young but powerful style, the Black IPA. Youíll discover a smooth chocolate like strong ale together with the high & bitter hop schedule of an IPA, and you get a great result...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
HonusWagner (1357) - Florida, USA - MAR 29, 2011
Floral, herbaceous hop qualities on top of some strong chocolate. A solid entry in a style I donít really care for, a bit heavy on the sweetness/alcohol.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAR 28, 2011
33cl bottle, pretty fresh. Best by 01/02/2016. Pours mostly clear to very lightly hazy, dark mahogany in color, almost black. A moderate head of smooth, dark khaki to lightly grayish-brown foam settles to a small but lasting layer, leaving average rounded flares and small spots of lacing behind.

The nose is off the charts different. Seriously, it smells unlike just about any other beer that Iíve ever come across....and that is what Iíve come to expect from Stillwater and Struise. Juniper berries right off the bat, bright, fresh, and minty, cutting through all else and dominating the nose. Or...wait....is that sage? Maybe both? Nah...itís juniper. At least Iím pretty sure it is. These are the thoughts running through my head. Back to the malts, I get sweet dark chocolate, burnt cane sugar, and hints of caramel. Thereís a very "rummy" quality to it, but the juniper also suggests of gin, all over a dark chocolate malt base, with hints of minty yeast and spruce-like hops. Wow....complex as hell!

Flavors mainly follow suit, nice and rich in the malt base, chocolaty and fairly dry, yet still amply sweet with blackened candy sugar. Minty herbs and berries are sharp, again sage and juniper most prominently, with a soft, stout-like roast backing them down just a bit. I definitely get a little rye out of this one as well, perhaps some caraway seed. Licorice adds to the potent, sweet spice character ina big way. In short, thereís a hell of alot going on here.

The palate is hefty, carrying the weight of significant sugars, yet somehow coming off with a yeasty dryness that makes it insanely drinkable. Carbonation is soft, but noticeable, doing just enough to let you know it is alive and kickiní. Sprucey bitterness emerges momentarily, then takes a brief respite before charging through forcefully on the finish. After it subsides, more burnt sugars return.

On the whole, this is a beer that takes your senses by storm and distorts your existing perception of what a beer can (or perhaps should) be. Thatís not to say it is my favorite. Itís a little too sweet to be considered elite for me. Iíd like it to be a little drier, perhaps 9% instead of 10%, and a little less smash-mouth with the minty herbs. Still, itís not something Iíd ever turn down. Good brew. Completely unique, like its collaborative fathers.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
EricE (1368) - Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - MAR 28, 2011
Dark brown pour. Very floral herbal aroma. Lightly sweet chalky flavor. Very herbal and floral. Roasty and bitter at the end.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
GT2 (8332) - San Diego County, California, USA - MAR 28, 2011
330mL thanks to nimbleprop. This collaboration got just about zero attention. Maybe the quietest collaboration beer release of all time. The pour is a deep ruby brune with a large, tan, rocky, porter looking head with nice sheety lace. Aroma is really all peppermint, lemon, spearmint. Taste is lemon, booze, richer chocolates, black tea. Relatively creamy palate. Meh.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - MAR 27, 2011
UPDATED: JUN 25, 2011 Chocolate and molasses nose with lots of licorice and anise. Taste is moderately sweet, chalky dark chocolate, licorice and vanilla.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Holy (833) - GERMANY - MAR 25, 2011
@ACBF 2011. Nice high notes in the aroma. Very sweet sip with definite rye throughout. I like this more everytime I try it...

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
j12601 (6584) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - MAR 24, 2011
Bottle at the Saturday night hotel tasting after EBF. Pours a murky deep brown with a thin beige head. Big musky roast, sweet musk and yeast . Licorice, toast, roast, chocolate and roast. Funky, big and slightly medicinal roast. Long musk, roast and chocolate.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
dEnk (3772) - Den Haag, NETHERLANDS - MAR 24, 2011
UPDATED: MAY 15, 2011 Bottle @ home. Aroma is red fruit, smoky roasted malt, some buttery chocolate and caramel. Flavour is loads and loads of chocolate and coffee roasty goodness. Definitely the closest to actual chocolate beer Iíve ever tasted. Perfectly covered by a subtle and smooth yet quite strong hop bitterness. Finish sweeps between all flavours for quite a while. Awesome blend of bitter and sweet. Good good stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
77ships (3681) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - MAR 22, 2011
UPDATED: MAR 23, 2011 bottle@home: very dark brown, going to black, tanned head that doesnít last long, smells strong & sweet with dark fruits, roasted malt, caramel & whiff of alcohol, smell follows the nose, medium sweet with cinnamon, ripe (almost overripe) dark fruits (raisins & grapes,Ö), roasted malt, liquorish, chocolate, black bread with a bitter aftertaste & some almost porto like qualities, minor taste, the body is medium which is surprising but very nice, overall a very interesting & good beer, bottle mentions briefly a black IPA & BSDA but this feels a cross between a quad & porter to me, only lighter than you would expect such a combination to be

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
BoBoChamp (5382) - Gent, BELGIUM - MAR 22, 2011
33cl, new exclusive brew Anno 2011, from De Hopduvel Gent, complex brew, spicy and sweet, yet not too heavy, balanced, cloudy, good head, good brew

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