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Black Hole - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black HoleBlack Hole

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

363 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 363
Hads: 715
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 23.61%
Wants: 40
Gots: 103 | FT: 7
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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Reviews: 363 | Hads: 715
Photo of liddytime
5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I just can't say enough about this beer! This may be my new all time favorite!

It pours black as coal - completely opaque as an impy stout should be.

It smells of prunes, raisins and licorice.

It tastes, well, heavenly! Silky, smooth full bodied mouthfeel with just a prickle of carbonation. Malty, chocolatey, rum, vanilla, dried fruit and port. It's ALL in there.

It tastes half of its 13% alcohol. A wonderful, warming, sipper.

Have I mentioned I LOVE this beer??

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Photo of Cyberkedi
5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma is absolutely heavenly, at least to me as a porter/stout fanatic: rich, strongly of dark coffee and unsweetened chocolate, with an undertone of molasses. Pours just as black as its namesake with a thick, fine-bubbled, dark tan head. Flavor lives up to the aroma and appearance, like a rick mocha made from fine, dark roast coffee and bittersweet chocolate. There is even a hint of orange in the flavor. Texture is delightfully smooth and thick as cream. Strongly recommended, especially to my fellow stout nuts.

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Photo of ubersky
4.95/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my holy grail for beers that I can actually get regularly. I love Darklord, Bourbon County is bangin', Speedway is delicious...but I can't go to Tasty Bev in Raleigh and get any of these.

I can however, snag Mikkeller Black Holes all day, so I DO.

A - Black pour, creamy brown head, nice lacing.

S - Roasted coffee and nice hop balance

T - A wealth of coffee and subtle bittersweet chocolate, perfectly balanced.

M - Chewy, thick, and creamy to start. Full and lengthy finish...nothing deminishes. Touch of carbonation.

O - I will drink these for the rest of my short life...one of the best stouts around. Now I'm off to try the Black.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.84/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle Inspection: Silver foil wrapped, notes 13.1 abv and coffee.

Aroma: A dump truck full of wonderful candied grapefruit. It really drowned out any other aroma, just luscious West Coast style C hop orange and grapefruit. One of the best smelling beers I’ve put my nose in.

Appearance: Opaque (given the name, you would figure) black with very little head.

Flavor: A hint of cold coffee, mildly roasted grains, and hops hops hops. Like a complicated IPA, just wonderful hop fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly creamy.

Overall Impression: Outrageously drinkable. I need to get a hold of some more of this stuff. REALLY good, strongly recommended.

Big thanks to Zack for busting out the goods.

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Photo of Brad007
4.83/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a pitch black with a rich, thick brown head into my glass. Very nice!

Cocoa, roasted coffee and light cream notes greet the nose. Good balance of aroma thus far.

This is all about the coffee. Rich, dark roasted beans leave an acidic finish that is complimented by a touch of cream at the back.

The finish reminds me of that of chocolate covered coffee beans. Bitter and acidic with a sweet finish.

I love this example. I would probably buy another bottle to age as there are flavors that will come out with a bit of time, 13% and all.

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Photo of gramity
4.82/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When you hold this beer up to the light you just see black. The light does not penetrate this beer in the slightest - not even around the edges. It truly is as solid a black as a beer can get. A thin half finger of beige and creamy head developed on the beer and quickly receded to a thin collar. There was no lacing from this. As I drank the beer there was plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma of this beer is aggressive - as soon as you pour this behemoth it seems to charge from the glass and seek out the nearest nostrils to assault. I was pleased these happened to be my nostrils. There is an intense coffee aroma that smells as good as the ritziest of coffee shops. There is also burnt toast, roasted malts, and unsweetened chocolate present. All these are very strong but they balance each other beautifully. None of them are overshadowing the rest. The taste is complex and world class. You get a very high quality coffee flavor that almost seems a bit like a mocha as it blends with the bittersweet chocolate. As these fade I get caramel, vanilla, and a bit of woody taste. Somewhere in there I got the dark fruits typical of belgian dubbels. The finish has that nice warming alcohol sensation. The taste of the 13.1% alcohol is well hidden. The flavors in Black Hole are intense and highly enjoyable. I have a thing for good coffee beers and this once again has impressed me greatly. The mouthfeel is rich, smooth and almost a bit silky. No excuses - go try this beer.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.81/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Oh, shiznit. I'm in love. I had this recommended to me by a guy at Steve's Liquor (Madison). And I nearly pitched his suggestion when he walked away b/c I was there to pick up Southern Tier Mokah. So lucky I didn't. (I actually took home both :) )

The weak aroma is the only drawback, here. It pours a beautiful, opaque black, with the darkest brown head I've ever seen. Perma-lacing marks up the tulip glass like meringue.

The hop bitterness and high ABV were too much for my wife. But I feel like I've died and gone to heaven. The 13% alcohol is entirely well-hidden. The hop bitterness balances the sweet so well it creates the mirage of sweet french-roast coffee w/ cream.

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Photo of fctoaster
4.78/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- black as tar, can't see through this to save my life. The head is small but thick, and very dark. It looks like the froth on a cappuccino. The bubbles in the beer move very slowly to the surface, making the whole package look silky and thick.

S- Good hit of fresh coffee grounds, followed by a strong wave of roasted, almost burnt, maltiness. There is also a subtle sweetness in the scent, like someone drinks there coffee with sugar. A very slight chocolate note, concealed behind the coffee and burnt flavors. No preceivable alcohol or hop presence... I am serving it a bit cold, let's see what happens when it warms a bit.

T- Holy java, this is delicious. Very sweet, but not sickly, almost creamy sweet. The coffee is definitely present but not in such a staggering way as, say, a Bell's Java stout. The coffee is very smooth and welcoming. Quite a bit of snap to the 13% here, but not in a harsh way. Burnt flavor also apparent here, but is very subtle. There is an apparent lack of bitterness and astringency from the coffee, which makes this beer very soft on the palate.

M- Very, very, very luscious. This beer is as thick as they come, I wouldn't be surprised if it were bottled with molasses. The carbonation is rather low, but enough to keep the beer from being too heavy on the tongue. The texture is silky and smooth.

D- This be is extremely drinkable, I cannot imagine that I would ever pass one down. Nothing about it disagrees with my senses. I would however, really only want to drink one of these in a sitting, and preferably at night, when it is cold, and I am looking for a hefty digestive. Imagine if Thomas Hardy was brewed with coffee... throw in some chocolate malt and this is what you'd end up with. Holy cow, I'm feeling that 13% now... not too many beers can make me this tipsy after just one.

cork reads 01/07/12, drank on 3/15/09 from a bottle in a Duvel snifter.

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Photo of illidurit
4.73/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Inky black body with only the slightest brown hues around the edges when put up to bright light. Cascading bubbles form a dark tan head of just over a finger. It reduces to an amorphous cap, leaving fine sheets of lacing.

Aroma is surprisingly hoppy, with an odd charred pineapple quality. Some tar, dark fruits, and chocolate are also detectable.

Taste is again a bit odd for the style. There's a nice RIS profile of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and boozy dark fruits, but there's also a big dose of citrusy hops in the middle of the palate. It's like part double stout and part double IPA. It's interesting and it works pretty well. Points for uniqueness here.

Carbonation is appropriately modest. Body isn't all that full, but it's still pretty velvety. Finish is exquisitely dry from all that roastiness.

Booze is not apparent in the flavor but it really warms the whole body. A pleasant brew for winter nights.

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Photo of mortarit
4.73/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had others from this brewery but from my understanding that this one isn't brewed in Denmark. I was told it came from De Proef. A little confusing but worth a try at least.

Smell: Similar coffee notes like most others I've tried.

Color: Dark mochca with dark brown tan head. Little head

Taste: Tastey with little bite that's not overwhelming. It's class as a Russian Imperial Stout which I'm not big on but this one is changing my mind. Why? It's not overpowering like the other ones. It is actually drinkable.

Alcohol: It's there but I think that they did a great job blending it in with the beer. Label states 13.1% and the info. above says 12.5%, hmm.

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Photo of jera1350
4.7/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Blue Nile for Stoutfest 2010.

Jet black in color, quite viscous looking with a brown head of creamy foam that has outstanding retention. A little bit of lacing.

Sweet malty goodness with a bit of smoke, vanilla and milk chocolate. Solid hop scent coming through as well.

Oooo. Much like the nose is the taste. Rich and decadent flavors of milk chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla bean and caramelized sugar. Mild smoke presence with a touch of coffee. The hops are very noticeable and offer a grassy/citrus profile. Awesomely delicious.

Viscous, slick and smooth. Full bodied for sure.

One of the best RIS's I've ever had. Simply wonderful and for a 13 percent beer, drinks quite well. I definitely want this one again!

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.67/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a Teku glass at the BrewDog bar in Edinburgh. Best before 24 November 2014. From notes. Reviewed 29 May 2011.

A: Very dark brown, unflinchingly dark. So matte and opaque it seems to absorb light; aptly named. Pretty good lacing.

S: Huge and sweet. Bourbon, toffee, alcohol, loads of vanilla in the background. Almost meaty at times. Absolutely brilliant.

T: Light, but hugely tasty. The maintaste is rich and rummy, with a vanilla-tabacco sweet-bitterness. The aftertaste is dry and very bitter, with coffee and cacao notes.

M: Creamy and strong, with a chocolatey feel. Delicious.

O: One of the best Imperial Stouts of all time. Absolutely f-ing recommended and desirable. I went back the next day for another bottle. I can't understand the mediocre scores here.

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Photo of wedgie9
4.66/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aromas of molasses, coffee, light anise, slightly balsamic fruitiness, an overall heavy nose.
Dark coffee and molasses brown, and completely opaque.
There is no sweetness whatsoever with heavy bitter flavor, reminiscent of coffee (surprise, surprise). Although there is no discernible licorice flavor, the beer takes over the palate in the same way that licorice does. On the front of the palate, there is not a huge amount of complexity. On the back of the palate, other flavors such as molasses, the balsamic fruitiness, and a heavy charred flavor linger for more than a minute.
The carbonation is low, but everything else on the palate is just big.
Overall, this is a fantastic beer. Everything that I could have hoped for and more. A truly unique beer drinking experience.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.66/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a 375ml corked bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Opened without a pop and started flat looking as the glass filled. Surprisingly a cascade effect at the end of the pour brought forth a ½ finger very thick looking light brown head that quickly faded to a wisp and a thick ring. Came out of the bottle very thick and viscous looking. Pitch black in color with zero carbonation evident. No film remains and no lacing. A very nice beginning, but got a little flat looking by the end.

SMELL: Bold nose jumps out of the glass. Roasted, almost burnt malt with lots of black coffee, espresso, and some bitter pure chocolate notes. Slight hint of vanilla in the back as well with some hints of oats as well. Very nice.

TASTE: Bold flavors. Roasted, burnt, or even charred malts up front. Very roasted flavors. The oats are apparent through the middle, leading into a bitter black coffee and espresso finish, with some accompanying chocolate notes as well. A bit of milk sugar and vanilla is present throughout too. Aftertaste is strong and long lasting, including lots of roasted malts and bitterness, as well as a touch of sweetness from the added honey. A touch of booze at the end is definitely well measured. Phenomenal taste profile; absolutely wonderful.

PALATE: Medium body with lower amounts of carbonation; just enough to make it beer-like. Syrupy slick on the palate, goes down slick and finishes slightly mouth-coating and cloying, though not too much. A little burn at the back of the throat, but well controlled for the ABV. Like the appearance, it started out great but ended up getting a little flat by the end.

OVERALL: A great beer. Certainly one of the tastiest Imperial Stouts I've ever had, but it needs a bit more longevity on the look and feel to make it world class. Still, this one is definitely worth the price tag, and I'll be picking up another one for sure if I see it. One worth seeking out if you can't get it in your area.

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Photo of nkruback
4.65/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is amazing.

Sampled as a gift at work the other night, this is such a delicate stout. Pours a magnificent black-leather hue, with a frothy coffee head and substantial lacing. The nose is hard to pick up on at first, but a few good whiffs reveal an underlying espresso note to an already beefy dark roasty/toasty malt scent. Massively complex already, but now for the taste. Enough balls to back up the Imperial Stout claim, yet subdued enough to challenge any palate. I'm reminded of the Allagash Black or Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence, yet a complexity that reminds me of my first few Bordeaux's. What fun in a small amount of brew. Each sip reveals new tones, from top soil to rich Tiramisu to truffle butter to English Toffee, this is a rich delicious beer. Finishes all too well, with a lack of resinous or oily mouthfeel, I wish I could afford more. Simply delicious.

I've always said some of the best breweries can belt out a high abv brew & mask that abv...
Mikkeller is no exception.

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Photo of Lorenzito
4.64/5  rDev +23.1%

Had on tap at Hopfields in Austin, TX .

Pours , as expected, an opaque black color with little head . Nose is rich with fruity aroma, coffee, and a medium booze smell

its tastes very sweet , especially considering the light sweetness in the nose with hints\
of honey and vanilla. booze taste hits at the end

Great brew. Would and did buy again

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Photo of jamesm7485
4.6/5  rDev +22%
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

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Photo of RefugeeStryker
4.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted at the Refuge from the tap. Always loved the barrel aged version so was excited to try the base beer before the transformation.

BLACK, one of the most viscous and darkest beers I have ever poured. Head forms and grows quickly if agitated.

One of my favorite things about this beer is the aroma. Such a fruity smell coming off a beer that I would expect to exude coffee and chocolate. Peaches? Grapes? Mangos? All of the above?

The taste is not as complex as others I have tasted. The 3 big dimensions are the obvious ones: coffee, honey, and vanilla. The chocolate is quite apparent as well.

Mouthfeel can get a little thick after a full glass. Better drink this in small quantities. Sticks to the palate a bit.

Tried this after trying the barrel aged versions. Still a very good beer without the aging but the true genius of it comes after it goes into the barrel. Russian Imperial? Not so sure about that. Kind of its own class.

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Photo of Richardberg
4.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured from a corked 375mL into a pilsner. Completely black and utterly opaque. Little froth but appears carbonated internally.

S: intense shot of coffee and alcohol. Like an Irish Cream liquor made with espresso instead of mere coffee. Thick, syrupy, burnt malt. Notes of hops and barley that are by no means weak, but still take a back seat to the big aromas out of necessity.

T: surprising sweetness leads things off, followed by the expected cascade of coffee bean phenols. It's also quite acidic. The hops don't jump out, but yield a lingering -- and very bitter -- aftertaste. In all, complex and bold from start to finish.

M: smooth. Coats well and lingers. As you'd expect from a strong RIS, the pleasant feeling is more on the velvety/warming side than the creamy/thick feel you get from good stouts in other subgenres. (Many big stouts end up with neither; kudos.)

D: over 13% ABV and chock full of intense flavors -- this is not going to be your new session beer. But considering what they were aiming for, the drinkability is commendable. No reservation polishing off a bottle, and can't wait to buy another (though I'll save it for a special occasion).

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.58/5  rDev +21.5%
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.

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Photo of k75
4.58/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one from the belgian De Proef brewery.

appearance - thick and black with a brown head off of a medium pour into globe. beautiful.

aroma - dark plum chocolates and tar, a bit of smoke.

taste - lots of high acid bitter coffee,chocolates, but just briefly - tar and ash in the finish ( in a good way)

finish is more coffee bitterness and ash

caged and synthetic corked, from Capones - thanks Matt.


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Photo of athensbeermaster
4.58/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was the last one on the shelf.And have not seen one since? Big tan head with good lacing. The nose had fresh ground coco powder and dark roast coffee. The taste: Rich espresso,fresh toasted bread, soft caramel and a mild hop bite.Also I get a roasted nutty flavor that fades into a smoky dry finish.This bottle cost me $10.99 and worth every penny!!

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Photo of yesyouam
4.58/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mikkeller Black Hole is a solid black beer with a dense, brown sugar colored head that leaves excellent lacing. It has a smokey aroma that's slightly sweet. It kind of smells like a barbeque. It's full bodied; smooth, with a clean finish. The flavor has notes of smoke, barbeque, roast, vegemite, something a little spicy and something a little sweet. This thing is like a complete meal-- very unique!

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Photo of Brandt
4.57/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this beer poured a pitch black with a thick dark espresso tan head. the smell was a fresh and clean roasted barley followed by notes of chocolate and rich coffee. the taste was amazing in my book, a heavy rich molasses and cocoa with bold dark roast coffee. there were also hints of a more bitter bakers chocolate, vanilla and posibly anaise. the finish was a strong full bodied beer with a nice balance of bitterness and sweetness. i loved this beer and am a big fan of strong stouts like this. i would jump at the chance to drink another!

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Photo of Trueant1
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black. Has a nice dark tan head that leaves great lacing paterns.
Lots of giant chunkies floating within.

Smells smooth. A smooth blending of hops, alcohol, burnt malts and chocolate.

Exceptional taste. A great "burnt" espresso taste that is IN YOUR FACE but very good!!!
Grapes, chocolate, alcohol, bitter asperin, and many other flavors in there...buy this one and see!

A little thin for how huge flavored this beer is. Lots of carbonation.

Drinkibility is on the border of a sipper. How nice is this on?
Buy it and try it!

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Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
85 out of 100 based on 363 ratings.