Black Damnation V - Double Black - De Struise Brouwers
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Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 249 | Reviews: 104 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by jampics2:
4.28/5 rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
About 1.5oz pour from a 750ml bottle, courtesy of Eric. You’re the man, buddy, thanks for busting out this amazing brew for Dark Lord Day.
As I stare at the liquid in the glass in front of me, I’m somewhat confused. I thought beer was a liquid, but this has as much in common with oil or Jello as it does water. A swirl literally leaves a halo of beer, not lace, beer on the glass. This is one thick, chunky looking brew – pitch black as if all the damnation of the world collapsed upon itself. There’s not really any head or lace, just thinner and thicker levels of beer. Simply put, this is a sight to behold. As someone standing around with the sample said “I wish I was Gene Simmons so I could use my tongue to get every drop out of the glass”.
So, I debated on how to rate this. I’m still not 100% sure, but I think I’m doing the right thing here. I’m not going to compare Double Black to a 12% American Double Stout. I’m not even going to compare it to something like Black Tuesday or World Wide Stout. Those beers are for sunny afternoons sitting by the pool – this is the stuff real men drink before they joust or pillage.
Here’s what I concluded – since I really can't defer to the style guides and generally accepted best examples of an American Double Stout, I’m just going to rate this on how it smelled, tasted, looked, and how it made me feel. So, to start, the smell isn’t actually as abrasive as I would have thought – there are some wonderful notes of molasses, burned souls, chocolate, ashes of the departed, and coffee. Just a touch of booze is present but is remarkably well-concealed considering some beers one third of its strength can’t pull together like this. So, an ice-distilled beer doesn’t need to have solvent, fusel notes of ethanol and road salt? Take note, you penguin-fuckers at Brewdog.
As I take my first sip, I’m really quite taken with this beer. An army of bitter chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and booze hits my tongue like storming a battlefield. This is more of a char/roast focused beer than a sweet booze bomb. There are several layers of roast – coffee beans, burned wood, ash – that somehow all work together to give this depth and keep my interest from swaying. The barrel notes from Cuvee Delphine seem to be lost apart from a stray note of vanillin or oak, but the beer is dead-set on staying focused on the dark malts. A hint of cherry and some noticeable warmth round out each sip.
To experience the mouthfeel of this beer without actually drinking it, I would recommend having your mouth and throat coated in tar. This is beyond cough syrup, with just a touch of carbonation to break-up the stickiness. It literally feels like it’s holding on for dear life, each sip making me thirstier instead of quenching my thirst. But that’s OK. The remarkable thing here is how this beer pulls off the 26% without batting an eye. I’ve never had a high ABV brew like this – so intricate and focused on everything but the booze.
In conclusion, this is a new standard for big ABV beers with actual flavor. Double Black made Black Tuesday look like Light-Grey Tuesday. It made World Wide Stout taste like local porter. It made Sink the Bismarck practically worthless (or maybe that was Brewdog). Thanks again to Eric for the pour and to Urbain and the Struise crew for making what is certainly truly special beer.
Serving type: bottle
05-04-2011 18:46:53 | More by jampics2
More User Reviews:
3.74/5 rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Mid. 2012 Rating. 75 cl. serious looking bottle served room temperature into Struise glasses and split by 4. The “wax” is murder getting of with a knife, it more melted plastic than wax – frankly I do not think that it is possible that this is actually wax – it is pure overkill much like the beer itself. If you keep hitting against the way, it will fracture which appears to work much, much better. On top of the plastic it has a synthetic cork as well – is this intended to withstand the apocalypse or what? The beer itself produces surprisingly enough some brief very dark mocha if you pour it vigorously enough. The head is very short lived, remains only around the side, swirling results in crazy big legs, yes this is indeed quite boozy. It is pitch, pitch black, even held up to the light, no light penetrates it and it remains black as the darkest night. This is highly Impressive as far the pure opaqueness of the blackness goes but an imperial stout without a head is still not particularly appealing to the eyes, especially with some remnants of the head remaining stuck to the side. The smell is pure booze, maybe the coldness could have eased it a bit if we had fridged it but as it stands now this smells like vodka, pure alcohol vapours dominate everything, it is frankly not enjoyable. Beer should never smell like vodka as far as I am concerned but that might be just me, it is hard to get passed the alcohol, I am not picking up much else here but there is also some raw espresso and burned coffee grounds to be found here. Above all this smells like vodka. The beer itself is in some ways more about structure than about flavour – this reminds me how DB XI was back when it was first released – the body on this is thick. Pancake syrup, engine oil, thick viscous, it coats the whole mouth, flows viscous, coat the inside of the glass, seriously crazy viscous for any beer. Flavour starts out with lightly vinous coffee, lots of burned coffee and espresso, thick coffee, syrup goo, there is a touch of alcohol but the thickness appears to be hiding it, it is surprisingly light, unlike the smell, black liquorice, molasses, black 95 % chocolate, thick dark sugar, getting into a huge burned and roasted finish, this is the beer that should be called ruination, we did a small vodka tasting before this one and this one obliterated even the feeling of vodka in your mount instantly, kills any other flavours, more interesting than per se good. It is a bit of a paradoxical beer because the booze is not very noticeable, the alcohol doesn’t take full hold of you, it is objectionably not that hard to drink but this is really hard to drink maybe the taste is too much or it’s the body but you almost have to force yourself to drink and my glass didn’t come easily to me – it is very hard to imagine drinking a full bottle of this & that was the general opinion as well. This is not a real a beer anymore for me in that respect – it is hard to drink even in tiny quantities. It is not like this a scotch that I can open this and drink it over a prolonged period – I have to drink at once in one sitting. It is a modern day tickers beer – great in small portions amongst many other beer but sitting down like this and drinking a glass of this like we did more or less… I would have probably been more exited if it was my first time trying something like this. It was more of an experience than a beer and as an experience I would rate it much higher than the beer. I am glad to have tried it – wouldn’t pay the money that people are asking for this one.
Serving type: bottle
10-23-2013 14:04:18 | More by 77black_ships
3.36/5 rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Draft at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.
Pitch black and opaque with a half finger mocha head that quickly settles into thin, lasting ring. Spotty lace left behind.
Smells like a boozy artisan chocolate bar. Strong ethanol with chocolate malt, subtle roasted coffee and oatmeal. Alcohol overpowers everything until it warms up considerably.
Viscous medium body with a blast of intense spicy bourbon heat. Huge alcohol presence although there is a decent barrel character. Dry oak, vanilla and tons of bourbon. It's just insanely hot and rough to drink. 5oz is almost too much. As it warms, the malt character starts to show with a nice balance of sweetness and roast. Sweet vinous fruit, burnt coffee, ash, charcoal, dark chocolate and toffee but the bourbon and booze are really intense. Lots of heat and warmth in the chest.
Serving type: on-tap
09-11-2013 19:10:02 | More by corby112
4.89/5 rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
A : Poured jet black with big viscosity leaving a nice big brown cap with a few curtains of lacing. This literally looked like burnt Quaker State! Amazing.
S: Sharp, pungent booze sting, lots of chocolate, tobacco, burnt barley, loads of black strap molasses, caramelized sugars and on and on...very nice
T: A nice big tobacco meets black, burnt barely providing a nice char. A good amount of bourbon and booze is noticed but not 26% worth, it feels less boozey than Black Tuesday. Barrel provides a nice vanilla, wood taste. Molasses and caramelized sugar really help finish this off as does the heat. Heavy, sticky and awesome finish
M: Full bodied, well carbonated, hearty with a nice sweet feel and lush texture
O: A deceptively easy drinking beer! Beware but I loved every single sip of this beer. ISO!
Serving type: bottle
09-10-2013 14:51:24 | More by barleywinefiend
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Black Damnation V - Double Black from De Struise Brouwers
98 out of 100 based on 249 user ratings.