No Corporate Beer Reviews: Black Horsemen

Beer: Black Horsemen
Brewery: Surly Brewing Company (Minneapolis, MN)
Style: Lager – Dark
6% ABV / N/A IBU

As band-brewery collaborations go, this one is definitely in step with the tastes of the time – an easy-drinking lager meant to be held in one hand while your other fist is in the sky, pumping along to Abigail‘s closing track. Even when you’re at home. Definitely when you’re at home. The soul of Miriam cries out for you to pop the tab on this tallboy can, and you can pour a little out while the seven horsemen arrive in the rain to take Baby Abigail away. Sing along in falsetto: The lager was darker than evvvvver before.

Black Horsemen is a well-conceived tribute to King Diamond’s home country, marketed as a “Danish-style black lager,” due to the inclusion of lager yeast procured from Danish brewing giant Carlsberg. There’s also some interesting stuff going on with both the malts and the hops, suggesting that Black Horsemen might be the second coming of a devil in disguise. On the hops side, it’s Sterling for aroma and Warrior for bittering – and it’s the latter that gives Black Horsemen its toothsome, front of palette kick. On the malt side, the Munich malt, the slightly sweet go-to for European lagers and ales, dominates.

If you deign to drink this from a glass, it pours with a massive and very creamy head, which is a nice counterpoint to the medium-bodied brew. Honestly, though, the can – which recreates the album art for Abigail – is the only visual you need. Black Horsemen was brewed in celebration of King Diamond’s November 2019 U.S. tour but still available in cans in Surly’s distro network (mainly the Midwest). In addition to being a pleasant riff on the often one-note Euro dark lager style, Black Horsemen is an invitation to revisit Abigail and then perhaps every other Mercyful Fate and King Diamond record. What else do you have going on?

For more info, check out Surly Brewing here.