I’m not one for barrel-aged Belgians of any type, but I’ll try anything once, so here goes with Black. $36.99 for the 750 mL corked and caged, Will it be three times as good as Nocturnum and/or Noel? I think I know the answer.
Impressive pop once the thick black foil and cork and cage have been removed. Pour is great. Huge ice-cream head a top a body that looks basically like Nocturnum/Noel with a brown body and a touch of chill-haze. Color is a bit drab, dubbel-like brown. Not that attractive.
Nose offers sweet, barrel booze and not much else. Evidence of the barrel is more muted in the tastes which is just fine by me. Dark sugars, lots of alcohol (although surprisingly not too aggressive given the advertised ABV), and not a lot else. There might be a light cherry note in there (wood?) and of course the beer is fairly drinkable. Smooth? Yes.
As is usual with barrel-aged Belgians of all types, I don’t feel this enhances the base beer at all, and I’d rather have the Nocturnum or Noel straight up. It’s not “bad” per se, but the barrel adds absolutely nothing for me and the beer is three times the price. Put that altogether and this is strictly a one-off for me.
Happy to have tried it, won’t purchase it ever again.