Black Hole - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black HoleBlack Hole

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BA SCORE
86
very good

661 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 661
Reviews: 355
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 16.75%
Wants: 31
Gots: 74 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website
Denmark

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

Ingredients: Water, malt, roasted barley, flaked oats, dark cassanade, honey, hops, coffee, vanilla and ale yeast.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-24-2006)
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Ratings: 661 | Reviews: 355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$12 from Premiere Gourmet, then about $1.25 in duties. An expresso coffee experience. Thickly expresso in mouthfeel and in aroma. Pours black. I wasn't buzzed from caffeine, it was a fine experience, it is a rich coffee experience with chocolate and fruit present. Bittersweet finish and aftertaste.Its certainly drinkable, but my desired RIS is more chocolate based.
Had again 1.5 years later and the coffee was prominent, rich aged. Bittersweet.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Max for sharing this bottle. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

Pours brings a black beer with a nice mocha head and a bit of lacing. Thin collar around the edges throughout. The nose has a bit of dark chocolate along with a lot of roasted malt. There's also a bit of oxidation and cardboard. Along with the excessive roast, the nose on this isn't really for me. The taste scales it back, but this is still pretty one dimensional. The body is medium and a bit too boozy. Not a bad stout, but not really something I'd seek out again.

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of GRG1313
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I believe that this is a current release of spring/summer 2009. Date on cork (synthetic) is blurred.

Pours a dark black with a very thin dark tan head. A quick swirl gives a lasting single layer of big bubbled head.

Nose is initially a huge Hershey's chocolate assertive nose that pretty much stays there, rich and strong, with hints of sweet coffee and candi sugar. A hint of whiskey.

Mouthfeel is thick, rich and creamy. Big bold mouth that tastes like a rich chocolate coffee dessert, with long lasting bittersweet dark chocolate and sweet espresso flavors. If you like the chocolate, coffee "sweeter" stouts, you'll love this one. It is big, rich, thick and bold.

Finish has bitter chocolate and bitter rich espresso.

A bit of age would be fun on this one as it may integrate and mellow and even soften and richen these bold flavors. I like this to sip after dinner in lieu of coffee or with a rich flavorful dessert or bold cheese. A very distinctive stout, all about huge coffee and chocolate.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Split a bottle at Pazzo's last night after a homebrew club meeting. Glad I did. That's one sweet beer.

The beer pours like motor oil. Thick, rich, and viscous. A dense toasty foamstand quickly rises up the glass but also falls quickly under the gravity and alcohols. No much in lacing, but legging was pretty evident.

Very sweet aromas of caramel, confections, and cola along with the strong roasted malt scent. A lot of fruitiness of grapes, plumbs, and berries also rise, giving a lot of complexity to the nose.

Even more sweet to the taste than the nose even suggested. Extreme confecitonate (almost aspirtame) dominates the nose as many Royal Stouts do. No to be overdone, the heavy matiness of the beer gives notes of barley malts, toasted, roasted malts, and a campfire smokiness to round out in the end. Moderate hop character (English) attempt to balance the beer but struggle with the unresolved sweetness. Fruity from mid-palate on with the grapes and plumbs taking the lead. Lightly phenolic with the yeastiness. Sweet alcohols weave in and out of the sugary taste without dominating the beer.

Very sweet and seeming cloying at times. Very sticky and candied. The milk sugars may be a bit overdone but gives a nice reprieve from the bone-dry Stouts that dominate the market today. Risky with the sweetness, alcohol content, and fruity flavors; this is a needed variant to the beer world.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of fonefan: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium foamy dark brown color head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma is vinous with some raisins and sweet malt. Taste is quite intensely sweet with notes of raisins and alcohol notes are also discernable. Full body with some medium carbonation with an oily texture. While I think I understand the intent of the brewer I found that this beer was way too sweet and too much alcohol was apparent.

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black Hole is a black hole. Sunshine fails to reveal any lightening along the edges of the snifter. Barely more than a single finger of pale caramel colored cream was created on the pour and is hanging around for a spell. It looks like lace will be scarce.

The nose is aromatic and is more complex than most beer of this style, thanks to the use of some extra ingredients. These include dark cassonade (sugar), honey, coffee and vanilla. Only the last two are appreciated for sure. Oh yeah, it's a humdinger.

Black Hole doesn't work quite as well on the palate, though I might think differently once a few more ounces have met their fate. The biggest problem is a body/mouthfeel that is way too skimpy for an RIS, even one with five fewer percentage points on the ABV. The result is a lack of flavor depth and sustainability. Not boldness, though.

Both dark cassonade and honey give the beer an intense sweetness that some won't like. It's almost like a dessert beer in that regard. Flavors include sweet chocolate liqueur, dark caramel, molasses, vanilla beans and black coffee. Most of those are present in most RISs, but they're heightened here because some of them were actually added.

Alcohol is masked extremely well given the 13.1% ABV. Mouth, tongue, throat and belly warming are present with each sip... and a slight numbing of the tongue is beginning to become evident as well. A thick band of lace is now present on the opposite side of the glass, which helps solidify the appearance score.

Body/mouthfeel is where this big brew fails to make the grade. It might be age-related, because the list of ingredients would suggest a fuller, more sappy, more sticky, more stout stout. Very little carbonation (the 'pop' on cork extraction was pathetic) doesn't help.

This is good beer for big beer lovers, but isn't as special as some of what Mikkeller brews. While the name and the ABV point to an Imperial stout that reaches critical mass, Black Hole is too thin and too sweet to make a major impact.

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am not really sure where I obtained this bottle, it might have been the Black Booty BIF, or a random trade, who knows, but anyway it has been in my fridge long enough, waiting for me to take a try and I was not about to make it wait any longer. I moved it over to the on deck circle last night to get it ready for what was going to be a fun right. Let it sit out and warm up a bit so it could be at just the right temp. Served the corked and caged, and foil wrapped 375ml bottle in a Middle Ages imperial pint glass at cellar temperature.

Appearance - Popped the cork on this one with little in the way of fan fare and poured the inky black oil looking substance into the glass. It was really quite thick and lifeless as it poured in, reminded me a lot of older viscosity in the appearance a deep rich black color that no light was able to shine through, this stuff was straight out of the depths man and nothing was going to escape. A very small thin layer of tan bubbles formed but quickly disappeared as well, leaving this thick oil liquid looking naked with no foam or head to speak of. No side glass lace at all. Not sure, what to make of it at this point, but it must go on to see what kind of a stout this really is.

Smell - The aroma was a cornucopias of smells. So complex and full I do not even know where to start. As I first poured in into the glass immediately, what came up was a nice roasted coffee smell that was mixed in with a good amount of licorice. Very dark aroma as everything coming out of this seemed to dig it into a bigger hole. Now some deep dark chocolate was starting to come through. Big notes here of chocolate. A touch of vanilla and oak coming through now, not sure, if there is any barrel in its history, but perhaps maybe some chips. Another wave of coffee coming through with a deep brandy like alcohol smell. So very rich and full. Some tartness now, is it plums, raisins, figs? Its dark, perhaps even a tart cherry flavor. Really quite extraordinary and very different.

Taste - The flavor followed along right where the aroma left off. Hugely rich and complex this was one of the most interesting stouts I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. I know this is billed as a coffee stout, but it really does not come across as such. There are definite hints of coffee riddled throughout this one, which is for sure, however it was a deep rich dark and bitter chocolate that started to steal the show for me right away. Extremely tart in the forefront, which threw me for a bit, was it plums, cherries? Not sure but it was a nice little dark fruit flavor that evolved into a spectacular sweet licorice and caramel that just sooth and completely melded with the alcohol. The bourbon like alcohol taste did soo much too really bring this one to the forefront, it was amazingly complex and full, really an eye opener here for sure. The warming was pronounced and really, a stout lovers stout as it was quite a bit unusual. The finish was kinda dry and drawn out with a long taste of licorice and caramel and a final touch of coffee, very nice indeed.

Mouthfeel - The feel was a little different then what I was expecting. There was really no carbonation in this one at all, none at all. Which to be honest was a little weird and made it drink more like a syrup then a shake if that makes any sense. There was a really smooth and creamy like base to it, which really helped it go down and brought about a good deal of richness, especially in the finish. Really, a quality drinks here.

Drinkability - There was hardly a touch of alcohol noticeable in this one, and definitely nothing even close to the 13% it was billed at. Remarkably, smooth and complex I could have easily sat down and had another one of these with no problem. A really interesting and complex creation that begged to be sipped in bigger and bigger quantities.

Overall, this was a tremendously good beer. I was not sure what I was getting into when I tried it, but it was remarkable how good it was. I would have loved to have had another and will do my best to get some more. If this is around you seek it out, it is definitely worth it!

Photo of womencantsail
2.2/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: The pour is black, as I had expected from the name, and there is no head or carbonation to speak of.

S: The nose is incredibly roasty with some acidity and coffee. Those are the "good" traits. The other aromas include: ethanol, burnt plastic, and rubber cement.

T: The solvent and alcohol party continues on the palate. A bit of chocolate to go along with the roast and coffee attack. Soy sauce, plastic, alcohol, and more alcohol round things out.

M: The body is medium with a alcohol heat and just about no carbonation.

D: Blech, no thanks, Mikkeller. Not very much in terms of redeeming qualities about this beer.

Photo of Knapp85
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a very dark black brew. The head was very thin and didn't leave much lacing or retention. The smell of the beer is pretty strong, some deep herbal roasted malt aromas and boozy chocolate on the nose. The taste of the beer has a nice complex roasted malt flavor with licorice flavors in the finish. The mouthfeel of the beer is sticky, syrupy and smooth. It's thick and dense also. Overall this beer was pretty good. I think it is a little underrated on here but to each their own.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark, cheerless black body with a thin, very short-lived covering of beige bubbles.

Smell: Not overtly fragrant, but there's some underlying aggression lurking there. Vague notes of chocolate, roasted coffee, fruit-flavored liqueur, and a G.I. Joe action figure being burnt by the amplified solar rays coming from a magnifying glass.

Taste: Sweet, earthy malts upfront with tastes of milk chocolate, sweetened coffee, toffee, and molasses. Goodness gracious, me. Touch of deep, dark raisin fruitiness. Waft of acrid smoke. Continually sweet until a brief odd, almost rubbery taste enters the scene mere seconds before the alcohol hits. This eases back into the shadows, allowing for the chocolate and roast and sweetness to return for the warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Low carbonation.

Drinkability: A bit brash and a bit hot, but at 13.1% ABV, what do you expect? However, bottles I've had early in it's time line were exponentially harsher, so age has mellowed it some.

Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev +6%
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 emerge077
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Cork is dated 14/08/11 under the foil.
Cellared for two years.

Pours virtually still with a clustered string of bubbles against one side. Jet black. Roasty char, molasses, leather aromas. Something slightly musty, old coffee grounds and dried eucalyptus oddly enough.

Very light feeling for 13%. Low carbonation, with the body of a porter. Rich roasty char, dark bakers chocolate, moderate bitterness in the aftertaste. Burnt pumpernickel toast. Scorched chocolate syrup, but not really all that sweet. Finishes dry, with a long bitter aftertaste of charred black malt. Slightly prickly. This is more strange than anything, due to the light body and slickness, with little in the way of substantial carbonation. Not really something i'd reach for again.

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

how many big imperial coffee stouts can one guy make? apparently a great many, all very good. this one pours pretty dark, but not like the brunch, not nearly as thick in appearance. short filmy head, mocha colored, and reviving itself with every rattle of the glass. smells like coffee rather strongly, roasty malt, booze. flavor is way less coffee than i expected from the nose, more notes of vanilla and wood, but not sweet for an imperial. the alcohol doesnt really come out too much until it warms up. i love the feel of this beer, its best asset. very round and expansively velvet in the mouth. leaves a nice layer of semisweet complexity on the tongue, and fades very very slowly. carbonation is almost a cross between nitro and cask, creamy and smooth, but not overly bubbly. full bodied, leaves a hefty buzz, i like this one better than the breakfast but not as much as the brunch.

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Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
86 out of 100 based on 661 ratings.