Aug 10, 2015

Barbe Black

I love stouts. I also love Belgian beer. So it would makes sense that a Belgian stout would be right up my alley — and yet, I’ve had a tough time finding one that truly encapsulates all that I love about both realms of the beer world. Brouwerij Verhaeghe is one that is new to me, so when I saw a couple of bottles of their Barbe Black on the shelves, I quickly snagged them and made my way to the cashier. Besides, this is the same company that makes one of my all time favorite beers in Duchesse de Bourgogne.

Barbe Black is a 9% ABV imperial stout (or is it a Belgian strong dark — there are conflicting reports online) that has a good bit of roastiness to its deep depths as well as dark fruits and an interesting tanginess that lingered gently in the lasting finish. I’m not sure if that tang is from yeast or if something else is contributing it, but it’s minor in impact and really doesn’t alter my impression of this decent brew.


Barbe Black pours a near opaque, ruddy black with a rocky cap of light brown foam.

Barbe Black photo


A soft roast, dark chocolate, dark fruits, yeast, distant campfire and a touch of alcohol mingle cleanly. It sort of smells like a D. Carnegie Stark Porter as there’s a touch of “age” in the mix.


The beer is pretty darn good. It’s rich and yeasty with chocolate, dark fruits, anise and a bit of a char. There’s a touch of a tanginess that lingers after each sip in the lasting finish. The beer is full-bodied with moderate sweetness. Again, it tastes a bit older than it should, but this sort of helps it out some.


All in all, Barbe Black is a decent brew. It’s not the one I’m looking for and that slight tang in the mix is mildly concerning, but is easy enough to overlook. Other than that, the brew has a good combination of flavors that I wouldn’t mind encountering again.

Rating: 3.5/5

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