Black Hole - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black HoleBlack Hole

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

708 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 708
Reviews: 366
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 16.49%
Wants: 36
Gots: 99 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-24-2006

Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

Ingredients: Water, malt, roasted barley, flaked oats, dark cassanade, honey, hops, coffee, vanilla and ale yeast.
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Ratings: 708 | Reviews: 366
Reviews by kkrez:
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - This is a blackish hole just like it says with a moderate brown head.

Smell - The roasted notes are huge at the smell. They are a little sugared up with pure, unadulterated cane. The cane and roasted malt are so big that it permeates the entire room. The aroma is beyond reproach.

Taste - The roasted malt adds a little coffee bean and cocoa here which along with the cane sugar provides a nice complexity. There's also a big coffee bean flavor that gives this a hearty character.

Mouthfeel - This is close to full-bodied with a delicate carbonation and a big bitter finishing touch. The alcohol is completely unnoticeable.

Drinkability - You could pop this for breakfast it goes down so well. It's very big yet highly quaffable.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$10.04 from Liquor Baron on East Wash. 12.7 FL, 13.1%. No date listed on the bottle or cork.

Appearance: Dark brown, almost mahogany with a medium brown lacing that swirls and swishes. Nice looking.

Aroma: Lightly boozy. Coffee is the obvious culprit but dark fruits like plums are here too. We also have some tobacco.

Taste: Bitter coffee and bittersweet dark chocolate balanced by sugary sweet booze. Finish bitter and hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Wonderful. Boozy but balance. Sweet and bitter but with a dry tangy finish. Much lighter body than I would expect.

Drinkability: Great. This drinks like a sessional beer. This puppy is dangerous in the extreme. One bottle and I feel the booze but I'm not put off by too much sugar or body and would love another body.

Photo of brownbeer
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I know this bottle is at least a year old.

Pours dark enough to block out the sun but unfortunately, appearance wise, there's not much head. Very thick liquid that clings to the glass when swirled.

Burnt chocolate chip cookies in the nose with alcohol lurking about. Nice coffee aroma. Very powerful.

The taste is rich with gourmet coffee. Big, ashy, roast comes late and it does little to hide the inescapeable 13%.

The mouthfeel is rich and coating. It's hard for me to get past the lack of carbonation. When I compare it to some of the better coffee stouts I've had recently, granted they weren't as strong, they had a more pleasant mouthfeel.

Let it open up for at least an hour, the warmer the better. Split it, it took me almost three hours to finish a bottle.

Photo of StoutHearted
4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer impresses from the start: the color is pitch black with a thick, 2-inch, cocoa head. The smell is all hops, no coffee. But the taste is where the coffee jumps out at you: it tastes of a coarse grind dark roast with a gritty, dark chocolate aftertaste. The brew is smooth and rich, and its drinkability changes little through warming up; it stays solid all throughout.

Photo of blitz134
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely pitch black. Tan head, fizzy on the pour. Reduced to a thin layer leaving some lace behind. Good retention after things settled down. A little more head volume adn this woudl be a 5.

Aroma falls short on this for me. A touch of residual sweetness, some roasy flavors, and milk chocolate, but thats it, a bit simple and understated.

Taste and mouthfeel are a big step in the right direction. Big malty base of roasted malts and chocolate. Very similar to a chocolate chip cookie actually. Some hints of dark fruit. Finish shows through with the coffee. Hints of alcohol, no hiding it, but its not hot at all. Quite impressive.

Mouthfeel is slick and smooth. Low carbonation. Flavor lingers just enough.

Drinkability is superb for a beer this size. Alcohol is noticable but doesn't interfere at all. Good stuff here. Just needs more aroma. Would be nice if the coffee showed up a bit more, too.

Photo of Beaver13
2.86/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12.7 oz bottle, caged and corked. Pours an opaque black with a thin brown head that quickly recedes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is grains, chocolate, lactose, tarry leather and a little coffee. As it warms, the leather dominates.

The flavor is chocolate, anise and tar with some bitter harsh alcohol at the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full with low carbonation.

Overall, this one is not very well balanced - too much harsh tarry alcohol, and not enough coffee (I didn't get any in the flavor). It's a bit over-priced for me at $10 for 12.7 oz.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black with a dark tan head with resideual dark on the glass

The smell is sweet malt chocolate with a slight alcohol finish

The mouth is great starts smooth then quickly turns to a dry roasted and finishes with a slight alcohol feel in the mouth

Drink is average for this type of stout

Photo of rgtravers
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: it dark; black and shades of brown mixed throughout. Not totally black still can see a little light in at the bottom of the glass.

Smell: this is where the beers begins to show its true character and shine. Initial hit is all chocolate, coffee, espresso. As it warmed the beer begin to show signs of dark fruits and a lingering alcohol smell.

Taste: initially was sweet coffee. Great sweet flavor not too bitter or hoppy. As it warmed the dark fruits began to show their presence along with the alcohol. The hops were faint which was good because it let the coffee espresso bitterness come out and play. The sweetness kept it all in check..

Another great brew from Mikkeller. Not as thick on the mouth as i would have hoped but still enough to keep you reaching for your friends glass.

I could sip on this one all night or even a little colder during the summer as an iced sweet coffee.

Photo of merlin48
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12.7 oz green bottle, corked and caged. Pours dark and opaque with two inches of creamy khaki head. Delicate sheets of lacing are left on the glass.

Aroma is very inviting. Cocoa, dark chocolate, cherries, and day old coffee swirl together.

Mouthfeel is almost full bodied with a low carbonation. Pronounced bitterness is intrusive.

Taste is bitter and somewhat hot. Lots of dark roasty notes evinced by stale coffee grounds taste. Plenty of bittering hops here, as well. The high alcohol is easily noticed. Some red cherries in the background never fully emerge. The chocolate, unfortunately, stays in the aroma.

A very interesting stout but overly bitter and a bit hot. Some age might help this one.

Photo of badbeer
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black, but dark brown around the edges. Quickly receding head. Very roasty and full of booze in the aroma. This seems like it needs some time to mellow, but beyond the booze there is some charcoal, hops, and licorice. Taste is a little green, needs some time on it. Taste is also roasty, with some bitter chocolate and a boozy finish. This may be worth aging, but I won't be loading up on this one.

Photo of Mora2000
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to piginapen for trading this bottle to me.

The beer pours black with a very small brown head. The aroma is coffee with some spice and also some trash components. The flavor is coffee, alcohol, spices, pepper, tobacco and chocolate. Complex, but not that great. Thick, slimy, oily mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of magictrokini
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with a cascading tan/brown head comprised of tiny bubbles. Sticky brown lacing. Nose of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cream, anise, and a truckload of roasted malt. The big aroma made me want a heavier mouthfeel, but it didn't deliver. Slick, smooth feel with lower viscosity. The taste more than makes up for it. Bittersweet chocolate with a coffee bite rounded out with the roasted malt. Creamy with some sweet vanilla highlights. The alcohol is not well masked, but it only adds to the overall beast of this beer. Wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.41/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375ml corked & caged, foil topped green bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a very dark black color with almost no pop from the cork and subsequently very little dark brown head. Nose is quite good, it's very roasty, malty and burnt - there's clearly some coffee and toffee here.

Well, the alcohol is present here, not a surprise at over 13%, it's quite strong in the roasted coffee and dark chocolate flavors are right up front, mouthfeel is a bit lacking and light but overall given it's high abv it's fairly drinkable although I'd advise splitting it.

Photo of jamesm7485
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Green caged and corked 12.7 oz bottle, odd choice

Pours your typical imperial stout very rich thick pour with no head

Smell is muted compared to the taste, bakers chocolate and very light coffee

very pleasant initial chocolate sweetness followed by coffee some heat and a bit of pepper spice flavor lingers for quite some time

Very smooth and coats the mouth quickly

The alcohol heat in the after taste and the abv drives this down to a 4, different than abyss, ten fidy etc but very much worth trying!

a year or two may bring some heat down

Photo of Kraken
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed 1/13/09

Aged a little over a year in the kitchen wine rack. Caught a little grief for leaving it there so long, but I thought this one needed to be laid down for a while. Cracked this open just because. Poured into an over sized wine glass. Heavy handed pour coaxes 0 head. Mild lace. Color is an absolute black.

Nose- Dark molasses, burnt caramel, mild notes of coffee. Alcohol is very apparent.

Palate- Oh Goodness. Coffee was in the nose, but man it really comes through on the palate. Reminiscent of Turkish coffee. Burnt caramel, very strong i.e. still a bit hot. Slightly sour, extremely interesting.

Mouthfeel- Thick, oily, slightly cloying, very lightly carbonated.

Drinkability- One is enough, glad this didn't come in a bigger bottle.

Photo of ohmybock
2.87/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Is this brew really retired? I just picked up a bottle ($10) at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville, NC last week. Whatever the case, this brew pours a pitch-black color with very little head. The aroma is somewhat complex and fruity, but also smells of some sort of barrel-aging. The taste is quite malty and rich, but I'm also getting a hint of something else. Again, there's an extra hint of something in the flavor which I would normally attribute to barrel aging. I haven't heard that this brew is barrel-aged, yet it has a slight flavor profile like a hint of bourbon barrel and/or wine barrel. There's a fruity character as well which might be attributed to the high-alcohol in this brew. In the end, I like this brew better than the Beer Geek Breakfast, but I still don't like it (and ultimately poured most of it down the drain). Argh! I hate wasting my money!

Photo of chickenm
3.17/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

375mL bottle with a best-before date of 1/07/12. Pours black with very little head. Aroma has chocolate, coffee, alcohol, bitter hops, and dark fruits. The taste is strong and very boozy with burnt coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Medium bodied with almost no carbonation. Drinkability isn't great, this was difficult to finish. This beer was a bit of a let-down after trying Beer Geek Breakfast. It's a bit too hot right now.. I'll cellar my other bottle for a while before drinking it.

Photo of chinchill
3.14/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Large shared bottle.

Aroma and flavor have little besides coffee. Medium brown body with a poor head and a lot of sediment that sinks to the bottom.

O: a sbetter ubstitute for cold coffee than for a fine Imperial Stout.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours black with a half-finger brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of deeply roasted malts, unsweetened chocolate, and small amounts of roasted coffee. As it warms hints of vanilla also come out, but the roasted malt remains at the forefront throughout.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Heavy roasted and black malt flavors kick things off with unsweetened chocolate lurking in the background. Midway through the sip the flavors sweeten a bit, allowing hints of molasses to make their way out. Right before a solidly bitter ending small hints of coffee enter into things, lingering for a bit on the palate after the sip.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this wasn't quite as flavorful as I was expecting given the body of the beer and the allowance for a multitude of flavors in such a big beer. I could see this one coming along nicely with some age on it, but even as it is it's still worth a shot.

Photo of pwoods
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mmtmatrix for this trade.

12.7oz deep green corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a motor oil black with a moderate viscosity. Big 2+ finger head forms easily and starts tight. Turns slightly rocky as is takes its time descending. Good lacing throughout.

S: Light coffee and chocolate. Sweet molasses and a touch of cola. Alcohol is vaguely present. I'm surprised I don't get burnt malts or anything.

T/M: First thing that I noticed is the body is light.. it's the oddest thing in a brew like this. Carbonation seems slightly high, too. That first initial shock turns into further shock at how potent this beer is with a bit of a weak nose and thick body. Hops flare up with some bitter and a barely detectable sweet juice. The juice is nearly completely covered by a very strong, rich coffee and moderate alcohol burn. Just a slight touch of chocolate sweetens things up. Burnt malts and coffee dominate. The alcohol is quite present and almost too much but still very enjoyable none the less.

D: I so very glad I was able to get a few more bottles. I can't wait to see what a year or more does to the carbonation and alcohol.

Photo of ImperialStoat
2.65/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Woooah. First note: This is obscenely sweet. I had some vague idea, from the scant reviews I'd read previous, that 'Black Hole' would be an off-dry beer, but this experience is comparable to licking molasses off a baking sheet. There's a welcoming bitterness but nothing virile enough to cope with the candy-chocolate profile that otherwise permeates this beer like an infection.

Some effervescence would ease the oily, cloying mouth-feel but unfortunately bubbles are few and far between.

All in all I'd recommend this only to someone who likes their beer to double as a lollipop.

Photo of biboergosum
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dense black, with only the slightest of mahogany edges when exposed to the light, and three fingers of thick, chunky khaki head, which dissipates very slowly, leaving a consistent web of pockmark lace around the glass. It smells of an unexpected combination of citrus hops and roasted coffee beans, and a bit of milky caramel. The taste is citrusy strong bitter coffee, bittersweet chocolate malt, and some weedy hops. The carbonation is quite sedate, the body medium weight and smooth, and it finishes with a mildly coffee-tinged citrus fruitiness.

The citrus component of this beer makes it the most unusual RIS that I have ever encountered. However, this is not the weirdest aspect of this offering - at 13.1% ABV, one would expect at least a modicum of alcohol astringency. Nope. At first, I thought it was the citrus hops' obfuscation, but further on, it was plainly apparent that the big booze was just very well and ably integrated. Or, maybe the eponymous 'Black Hole' refers to its whereabouts. Once again, well played, Milkkeller. My first thought was for a long ageing process for such a beast, but it seems that it can be approached both ways...

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not sure why I'm seeing such low reviews on this one.

Pitch Black - Little 1/4 in head retention and lacing so-so. Smells of Coffee, vanilla, some peat, chocolate, dark fruits and mellow Bourbon and oak which does not at all overpower.

Tastes much of the same. The most impressive aspect of this brew is the mellow and smooth mouthfeel and the fact that the heat is more-so of a 9%ABV opposed to the whopping 13.10%ABV it actually is.

This brew already feels and tastes like it has over a year of age on it and if I had to guess, it's probably due to the bit of honey that's also added into this brew. Bourbon is perfectly integrated whereas it's there but almost an after thought. It's really about letting the base beer through before the barrel I found with this one.

Very good Barrel Aged Imp Stout that I was pleasantly surprised with. Recommmended.

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.58/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Obviously black hole black. Even very aggressively poured, there is no head whatsoever. Aggressive pourand swirled just creates brown bubbles. Not as oily as it'd seem it'd be.

After a few swirls the nose really wakes up. Alot of depth, wide range of notes and character. Nice notes of coffee, toffee, dark rum, mocha, dark fruit, plums and dates.

Flavor huge, robust and bold. A ton going on as far as depth here too. Very nice coffee, nutty, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit etc. notes nicely balanced and working in great harmony together with a nice mild booziness.

Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth and velvety with virtually no carbonation.

This beer is very nice overall. Big notes and flavors with big depth. Just enough alcohol blend and cover up but there enough to let you know it's a strong beer. The only possible know here could be there carbonation. But I don't even see it as a teal negative because it just makes it seems like a ten year aged beer.

Photo of darkmaven
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This Belgian stout, brewed with coffee, is just as black as a starless night.
Loaded with white pepper and an almost medicinal herb I cannot place, and dried plum, with its intense, dark, sweetness.
Quite interestingly, there is a DISTINCT burnt wood aroma that you only detect strongly when there in nothing left in your glass. Hmm.
Thick and rich on the palate, the nose follows through. With this high of an ABV, this is a beer for sharing. Do not drink alone.

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Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
86 out of 100 based on 708 ratings.