Review #8 – Mikkeller Black 92/100
Let me start out by saying, Mikkeller churns out a lot of good brews, a lot of unusual brews…or at least they used to, now you will occasionally get an outstanding brew stitched into the never ending tapestry of standard, but drinkable bottlings. They are far from unpalatable but you won’t be blown away by them, a very similar pattern is being seen with Brewdog.
Credit where credit is due, the Mikkeller Black is an outstanding beer, it is genuinely one of the best drinks I’ve ever had, I just wish they continued to produce beer at this standard more often instead of slapping a psychedelic label on something that tastes not that dissimilar to a punk IPA but with a 30% premium on the price.
The Mikkeller double black is a Strong Imperial Stout, I seem to remember it being 17.5% ABV which I imagine was obtained with the use of additional brewing sugars. Out of the bottle and into the glass it pours like viscous crude oil, with a generous cola tinted head which remains for a good while.
On the nose it’s initially rather alcoholic, but once you break past the alcohol fortress, you are overcome with potent aromas of charred oak, burnt sugar, liquorice, coffee and star anise. Give that glass a swirl and you get legs for days, it laces the glass like a dilute treacle.
On the palate, contrary to some reviews I’ve read, I found the Mikkeller Black to be quite easy on the hops, not much alpha bitterness at all, but rather a bitterness coming from rich, pungent flavours of dark roast coffee, cacao nibs and burnt toast. Beyond the bitterness, the alcohol is there but it is surprisingly subdued for such a high ABV, very unlike the young alcohol flavours often experienced with high ABV stouts. Finishing up on each mouthful, the tarry liquid coats each one of your tastebuds with sweet flavours of raisins, dates and prunes and delicate spices of cinnamon and liquorice. I get some ester like flavours in the background with this one, like if I were told this was brewed with yeast from an Abbey or Trappist beer…I could believe it.
The Mikkeller Black is amazing, simple as that. Let’s hope there is more like it to come out of Denmark in the future.