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Black Hole - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black HoleBlack Hole

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

652 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 652
Reviews: 354
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 16.75%
Wants: 31
Gots: 69 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 652 | Reviews: 354 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bonbini26
2.5/5  rDev -34.6%

bonbini26, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of mjmadsen21
4/5  rDev +4.7%

mjmadsen21, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

ygtbsm94, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of kevgod
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

kevgod, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of blakelive784
2.83/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

12.7 fl oz bottle served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A - pours a non transparent black color. There's no discernable head, but it's excusable considering the high abv.

S - Sweet candy, bitter chocolate, fruit esters, coffee and roasted barley. Medium strength.

T - Nice roasted barley foundation compliments the coffee notes that dominate the palate. It's sweet throughout, with an obtrusive ethanol finish. Burnt caramel and dark, sweet fruit come through as well.

M - Thick, smooth and wet. Uninviting and wrong.

D - It's got good flavors working for it, but it's not built too well and it doesn't drink too well. Disappointing offering from a good brewer.

blakelive784, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Green glass bottle with hood and wire cap served into a Brown Palace mini-hefeweissbier glass in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: No head - a tan colour floater is all that I see. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Alcohol, caramel, chocolate, and maybe toffee. A pretty strong aroma.

T: Heavy coffee throughout, climaxing on the aftertaste. The chocolate undertone is pleasant. Heavy caramel comes in right before the finish. Alcohol lies intermittently hidden, and seems able to strike at any time. Some toffee is present. It's rather dark to say the least. Not horribly balanced. It's built without certain regard for flavour. Quite heavy, but not overwhelming.

Mf: Quite thick - which seems necessary to support the heavy full-bodied flavours. Smooth and wet. Suits the flavours in a general sense.

Dr: Drinkable for the ABV, but nevertheless difficult to handle. It doesn't have any masking overtones (e.g. those that are present in the barrel aged versions), but it's okay as a foundation. Feels like a shell intended for better things. I enjoy it okay for what it is, but I wouldn't have it again. The mouthfeel is disastrous coupled with the strong alcohol. Flavours never come in to save it as they do with the aged versions. Fans of Mikkeller (like meself) are best of pursuing the aged versions - particularly the red wine edition. This pales in comparison.

kojevergas, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of bespin15
4/5  rDev +4.7%

bespin15, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of christopheraknox
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

christopheraknox, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of gramity
4.83/5  rDev +26.4%
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.

gramity, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of ajs4bd
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

ajs4bd, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of movingtrain
2.98/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12.7 ounce green bottle...caged and corked. Not much pop when opening the bottle, but the aroma just spills out.

Appearance of the beer is, well, black...like melted baker's chocolate. Not much head to speak of, aside from a thin, oily residue floating on top and clinging slightly to the sides of the glass.

Aroma is of sweet vanilla, wet wood, molasses, orange peel, plum and raisin, caramelized sugar, nutmeg, hazelnut--there is something in the aroma here that reminds me of holiday fruit bread. Not fruit cake, but a fruit bread--a real heavy, oaty loaf of bread with dense chunks of chewy fruit.

The flavor is much different. Up front, this is bitter...almost like a nice bittersweet espresso. The sweetness from the aroma is there, but hanging way back. There is almost a grapefruit pungency to the flavor...a pungency, actually, that seems to completely overshadow the other flavors one might expect from the aroma. I wonder, did the high ABV knock some of the flavors around? Other notes in there are of molasses, dark coffee, baker's chocolate, oatmeal, and some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Overall, this beer is interesting...not great, but not necessarily bad. It's just that whatever hops are used in combination with the chocolate/roasted malts just isn't balancing well. A big beer in terms of ABV, indeed...but when it comes to flavor, this one falls a bit flat.

movingtrain, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of leprakhan
2.5/5  rDev -34.6%

leprakhan, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +4.7%

nmann08, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of jak
4/5  rDev +4.7%

jak, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of twelveinches
4/5  rDev +4.7%

twelveinches, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of Mindabyss
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into snifter

A: Like a Black Hole no light. No head, kinda dissapointing I like carbonation. Not nearly as thick as alot of Imperial Stouts.

S: First thing upfront is a sweet almost milk chocolate, some cinnamon, burnt coffee. All this doesn't hide the booze very well, burns my nostrils sniffing it.

T: Pretty much mirrors the nose. Alcohol is definately present. Kinda pruney not as much Chocolate and coffee as nose though.

O: It's ok. The extremely low carbonation and pruniness throws me off. Almost like I'm drinking a glass of wine instead of an Imperial Stout.

Mindabyss, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of bluesplit63
5/5  rDev +30.9%

bluesplit63, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of pavpav12
3/5  rDev -21.5%

pavpav12, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of deapokid
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

deapokid, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Exiled, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of prototypic
2.58/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Black Hole certainly lives up to its name. It looks like an abyss. Pure onyx. No light cutting through. Unfortunately, only a few bubbles emerged on the surface. They disappeared quickly. Not enough to form a head. Lacing was very, very light. Eh. I like the color.

The nose is okay. It’s not all that aromatic. Strong chocolate kicks it off. It doesn’t smell sweet. Smells like bittersweet dark chocolate. There’s a bit of a burnt scent. Smells like charred barley. Coffee is definitely there. It’s a nice complement to the malty base. Subtle notes of molasses and light black licorice are there. Alcohol is definitely noted. Smells a tad strong. Eh. It’s alright. Not all that impressive.

The flavor is below average. It starts out with a bittersweet dark chocolate flavor. The base seems to be a mix of chocolate and roasted malts. The burnt or charred barley flavor is definitely there. It’s not that great. Roasted coffee is noted. It works pretty well with the malt base, but seems to add to the burnt/charred flavor, making it a bit overkill. Alcohol is definitely noted in flavor. It’s too strong. It’s also a bit hot and boozy. Finishes burnt and boozy. Not good.

Black Hole feels on the lighter side of medium. Too thin. It’s very undercarbonated. It almost feels flat. The feel is not good at all. It’s big, boozy, and not smooth. It is not easy drinking at all. This 500 ml bottle is a huge challenge.

Black Hole is not among MIkkeller’s finest moments. It’s rough and needs work. Its biggest problems are its thin body, lack of carbonation, and excessive alcohol. Frankly, it’s not good. Addressing some of these issues would probably go a long way to getting on the right track. My advice – skip it for now.

prototypic, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +4.7%

djrn2, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of winegourmet76
4/5  rDev +4.7%

winegourmet76, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of bob727
4/5  rDev +4.7%

bob727, Nov 22, 2011
Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
86 out of 100 based on 652 ratings.