1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Black Hole - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black HoleBlack Hole

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

628 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 628
Reviews: 352
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 17.06%
Wants: 29
Gots: 63 | FT: 4
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 628 | Reviews: 352 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwc215
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12.7 oz. cage-corked, wrapped in tin foil, bottle:

Pours nearly black (very, very dark brown) with a brown head that soon becomes a vanishing patch.

The smell is of coffee and chocolate with earthy, fruity, vinuous notes.

The taste is of coffee, chocolate and alcohol. Alcohol is fruity and peppery. There is an earthy/resiny/piney backing. As it progresses, some licorice comes through, reminiscent of adding a bit of sambuca to an espresso. As it progresses more, it becomes more vinuous. Tasty in an "odd" way. It has a boozy, rum-like, sweet finish.

It is thick, syrupy and oily. Acidity stays on the palate.

A sipper for sure - this is boozy - wow. Too bad that the acidity and booziness cut through so much that the aftertaste doesn't linger. This has potential, but the raw sharpness and acidity make it very tough to drink, even for a "sipper". If it wasn't so acidic, oily/thick and raw, this could be a more enjoyable brew.

jwc215, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the bottle black, pitch black. Bottle noted at 13.1% abv by the way. Brown head sits on top, only about an eighth of an inch thick.

S: brown sugar, chocolate, coffee, dark bread, and dark fruits, very complex.

T: very coffee like, very very bitter, dark chocolates pop out nicely, and a very balanced hop finish. my initial reaction was what? but its very balanced, the coffee is very strong. alcohol is present but not overwhelming.

M: Not as thick as other RIS. Sticky though. Nice finish. Begs for another drink.

D: One is more than enough. This is a huge beer, tons of body and tons character. This is a true one and done beer, but very enjoyable.

pokesbeerdude, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of stumac
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Onslow for busting this out at our 1st Stumelagram.

this brew pours up black as night with a badass chocolate head. the nose is composed of black traditional liquorice, roasted malts, a slight alcohol note. the taste is of dry coffee, liquorice, a very "open, dry absence of flavor" spice.... very full bodied, medium spritzy carbo, a truly great beer!

Unfortunately I was a little buzzed at this point and I spilled the remaining amount of Black Hole from my glass onto Onslow's white carpet....

stumac, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of HopDerek
3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown/almost black with very little burnt tan head and little lacing. Smells of dark fruits, chocolate, coffee, leather, smoke, and red wine. Tastes of chocolate, raisins, cherries, leather, and smoke, with coffee and lots of red wine booze in the finish. Medium-full in body and low in carbonation. Smooth and fruity with some nice roasty notes, but with lots of heat that throw off the flavor and feel. A good brew, but too boozy to really appreciate the other flavors.

HopDerek, Sep 17, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12.7 oz corked & caged bottle into a snifter.

Pours a dense black with a finger or so of dark tan creamy head. Retains nicely around the edges with some good spotty lacing left behind that sticks. The aroma is definitely thick with dark roasted coffee, rich chocolate, and some pretty intense dark fruits, followed by an underpining of light heat.

The taste is light coffee, roast, and smoke that is overpowered by chocolate, dark fruit tartness and an almost oaky like quality that I can't quite put my finger on. The mouthfeel is full bodied, viscous at times, and waaay too HOT!

I really liked what was going on with this in both the aroma and flavor departments, as it is quite unique for a RIS, but that nearly 13% ABV is all over this guy. To the point of being overly stinging and distracting from the beer's other qualities. I can take some heat in my beer but this just got to be too much. Tis a shame. Maybe a decade or so in the cellar could help temper the flames somewhat.

Kegatron, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of jdubjacket
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle of this roughly one year ago and have been hanging onto it for a while. I found this brew looking through my fridge.

Pours a motor oil black with nearly no head and little carbonation. When I opened the bottle, I thought the beer had gone flat. Turned out there's just little carbonation. Some sediment in the glass as well and minimal lacing.

Smells much more sweet and tart than I'm used to in stouts. I would imagine the sweetness is the alcohol.

Taste is much more complex than I was expecting. Starts off with sweet alcohol with some hints of dried fruit and cherries, finishes with bitter coffee character.

There is moderate carbonation, and the mouthfeel is oily and viscous.

Drinkability is kind of tough though due to the high ABV.

Overall, this brew is fantastic. I wish I had more than one.

jdubjacket, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of TasteTester
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I must say, waiting a few months after purchase to try this didn't hurt it one bit. This is by far one of the most complex beers I have had in a while. This is why I love craft/macro beer. The only thing I can compare to the evolution through drinking would be DFH 120.

A-Oil. Little ring of caramel colored foam, no head to speak of.

S-Like it was aged in red wine barrels. Alcohol and coffee notes are present.

T-At fridge temp, it tasted like red wine mixed with a subtle stout beer. Not overpowering by any means. As the beer warmed, the wine barrel flavor went away and the strong, coffee and alcohol of a good stout emerged. At almost room temp, there are notes of chocolate to go along with the coffee. The alcohol "bite" varied throughout as well. It was slight, then got stronger, and then weakened at the end.

M-Everything I could want in a stout and more.

D-I wish I had bought a case of them, if for no other reason than to cellar for years. This beer would make a great dessert beer as well.

As a side note, someone reviewed this as "past its prime". I think that to be absolutely ludacris. It is a stout that has been aged, and matures with more aging.

TasteTester, Sep 02, 2008
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Caged and ruber corked 12.7oz bottle. Pours like 3000 mile used motor oil black body hosts an almost three finger rocky chocolate brown head that has nice retention. Leaves scattered lace. Nose has a lot of up front alchol with smokey meaty notes, hints of dill, pine and leathery chocolate. Enters the mouth with a big zesty meaty body with some smoke and chocolate liquer. Alchol really warms the belly well. For an Imperial stout it is very unique with a distinctive hoppy profile that is woodsy and spicey leading to a distinct bitter feel to the mouthfeel. Showing such hops at 13.1% is very cool. The more you drink the more you realize this is super interesting stout, nicely drinkable.

SPLITGRIN, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of bbothen
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Murky dark brown with virtually head. Tiny bubbles circle the glass, but dissapear quickly. No lacing to speak of.

Faint aromas of burnt iced coffee, smoke, chocoolate, over ripe plum, & raisin.

Roasted coffee, big boozy wallop, slight vanilla, dark fruit, & a vinegar/sour like taste. Guessing that's from the age of this.

Syrupy, slick, & kinda off putting.

Think my bottle was past it's peak. Wish I had it in it's prime. Glad I had the oppurtunity though. Not my bag baby.

bbothen, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of kmo1030
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this beer pours a deep dark brown with very little brown head.
the smell has a creamy coffee aroma with a good dose of chocolate, and some caramel, anise, vanilla, and some darker fruity characteristics, and a touch of graininess.
the taste has a tanginess remeniscent of berries, and maybe touches of other dark fruit. a soft vanilla/caramel character the coffee comes out at the finish and aftertaste with some bitterness and flavor. a little too much tang to it for my taste. a fair amount of anise here too.
the body is fairly full with soft carbonation.
the drinkability is decent. it's got some good flavor and complexity in there, but it just doesn't hit the mark. it seems like it needs to be refined a bit.

kmo1030, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The synthetic cork was a bit on the difficult to remove side. There wasn't enough back pressure to slide the cork off easily. I thought that was a bit of a bust in terms of bottle topping.

A- The name is a definite when it comes to the color of this beer. The head is almost non-existent. Resulting in a nice ring of dark foam leaving what looks like a black hole when looking down into the beer.

S- A nice roasted coffee, malt, with chocolate, molasses and anise smells sifting though the air. The ABV is also present in the smell.

T- There is a bitter chocolate and almost a raspberry taste that is present. The taste is very unique and hard to put a finger on what all I'm tasting. I'm not too keen on the taste compared to other RIS.

M- The beer feels strange on the mouth, the ABV gives too much of a burning sensation.

D- Its ok, but as far as RIS there are smoother.

Wetpaperbag, Jul 29, 2008
Photo of Onslow
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

first mikkeller and part1 nightcap for the 1st Stumelagram social ,...wow, very complex..with tar, and chocolate bombs .. enjoyable as a roll in the hay ... very roasty and black .... don't chew the foil ... is truly great tasting stuff... i hope the rest are this good ..

Onslow, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of ohmybock
2.88/5  rDev -24.4%
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!

ohmybock, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of WYVYRN527
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12.7 ounce, caged and corked bottle, the brew pours a jet black with a tan head that settles to a thin mass atop. Upon the nose is coffee, chocolate, and toasted bread. Beginning with the flavor of a fresh brewed dark roast, the flavors of bittersweet chocolate and warming bread shine through. The beer is not as big as I would have thought, even with it's 13.1% ABV. It is very drinkable, and I enjoy every sip as I take it. The guys at Mikkeller have yet to dissappoint me. This one has got to be one of my favorites.

WYVYRN527, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of drseamus
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a thin mocha head. I wish there was more head and slightly more carbonation. Aroma is filled with coffee and chocolate. The flavor matches the aroma and is blasting with coffee and chocolate. Very rich flavor with decent bitterness from the chocolate. Good thick body. Good cold weather drink but not as good in the hot summer.

drseamus, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of ph2001
2.28/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12.7 oz bottle in pint glass

pours smooth. head lifts up to abot one finger or so and leaves quickly. black in color.

there was on overwhelming bitterness to it, almost sour like. the 13.1% shows big time. all this made for a pretty nasty combination. i like to think some aging could help it out

ph2001, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.9/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a foiled, caged and corked, green 12.7oz bottle into a snifter. Pours pitch black with a nice, one fingered sized coffee ice cream colored head. The head leaves somewhat quickly and no lacing is left.

Aroma is quite fruity. Plums and raisins. There is also a tangy sort of aroma that seems to be a bit off. Not a whole lot of coffee or chocolate that is typical in this style of beer. The slightest bit of sweet chocolate maybe and some red-wine-like alcoholic aromas.

Kind of syrupy and sweet. I do get some good chocolate and coffee in the flavor profile, but again, there is a tanginess reminiscent of a sour candy. Slightly mouth puckering but in the wrong way. Thin and watery and very dry. Just a mess.

An acrid flavor in the finish really makes this one a below average beer. I had it once and that will be enough. I didnt enjoy this one and with so many awesome Impy Stouts out there, I will pass on this one in the future.

SaCkErZ9, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of bkilpatr
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a pint glass. 05/29/08. Bottle is corked (synthetic) and caged with silver foil. Looks like the cork has 14/03/11 on it, but it's not very clear. Cork came out with hardly a pop.

Pours completely pitch black. A thin layer of brown head forms , which quickly goes away. Very odd aromas. Lots of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate, as well as raisin, cherry, alcohol, and fruits. Interesting mix of aromas.

Taste is very intense and mostly follows the aroma. Roasted and burnt malt, coffee, dark chocolate, cherry, raisins, grapes, and figs. Kinda tastes like red wine mixed with stout, which during some sips works well but not always. Very hot from the alcohol. Nice and sweet up front with lots of fruity flavor. Very bitter and dry finish with hops, coffee, and chocolate.

Feel is a bit on the thin side with a decent amount of carbonation. Surprising considering the lack of 'pop' when the cork came out. But it is a bit sticky which is nice. Drinkability is a bit lower due to the high alcohol (13.1%), and heat from that alcohol.

A very interesting stout. I don't know if I'd classify this as an RIS. It's different than any beer I've ever had. A bit expensive (~$10), but it's worth a try.

bkilpatr, May 30, 2008
Photo of khiasmus
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is another crazy insane creation from the kooks over at Mikkeller. The experience is intense, eye-opening... it's weird. Not as weird as Black, mind you. But close. Pours an intense black with very little head (i mean, 12.5%) Aroma and flavor, in no particular order: Vinegar, roasted grain, smoke, sausage, fruity esters, chocolate, coffee, raisins, alcohol, rubber, toffee, oxidization, vanilla, caramel.
Mouthfeel is alcoholic, vinegar-like, but thick with low carbonation.
This beer is more drinkable than black, but only just. really, sorry for all the comparisons, but that's the only beer I have to compare it to. This is a must-try if you're near a place that still has it. Good luck.

khiasmus, May 23, 2008
Photo of peabody
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out black with coacoa colored suds two fingers worth.
Smell is strong charred malt with a fruity raisin/plum aroma. Behind that is the chocolate and the coffee. Just a tad of alcohol smell is present here.
Taste is cough medicine with a burnt coffee flavor. A watery maltyness followed by a fruity
raisin flavor with a coffee aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is pretty oily. It's harsh at first but calms down and becomes cleansing and mellow.
Drinkability is low here because of the 12.5% abv.

peabody, May 09, 2008
Photo of deepsouth
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this beer pours just like the name. it's a black hole. a thin brown head left quickly. this beer looks oily.

this beer smells BIG of coffee. i also pick up chocolate and butter.

this beer tastes very BOLD. coffee, alcohol warming, although well hidden for 13%. i also taste chocolate. not as complex as i expected from a mikkeller stout.

the mouthfeel is full bodied, bold, oily, chewy & sticky.

this beer is a sipper for sure. it's good for a split and i doubt i could handle more than one of these by myself.

deepsouth, May 08, 2008
Photo of russpowell
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours ebony with 1 finger of mocha colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Coffee & toasted malt, some dark fruit

T: Black patent malt, coffee, booze hotness & dark fruit up front. Rich chocolate, toasty malt, carob, & singed grains as this warms. Finishes with dark chocolate, coffee grounds, dryness & touch of booze

MF: Oily, semi-chewy, low carbonation, but doesn't quite say RIS to me

Drinks pretty much like a 12.5% RIS, if you can stand the booze hotness up front, you have a nice nightcap, Let this warm up a bunch, got better as this did. Pricey; not a bad; a nice take on the style, coffee fiends might appreciate this quite a bit. Would go great with brownies or chocolate chip cookies

russpowell, May 08, 2008
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to tayner for this extra from the wants list!

Foiled artificially corked caged zipped locked welded bottle. No pop or smoke upon opening (shudder) Pours opaque black with decent tan head that leaves pretty good lacing. Nose is mostly burnt coffee and alcohol. Taste is pretty good with some coffee, not as much as I thought there would be. Some chocolate, but I would like much more in here. roasted malt, a bit of vanilla, some good hop bitterness on the finish. There is some dark fruit in here. quite hot yet. Mouthfeel is on the thinner side for the style, and drinkability is limited by the alcohol heat. A good brew certainly, but needs a couple years in the cellar to cool the F*$@ down. I am liking mikkeller more and more, but I'll take a beer geek breakfast over this any day of the week! Good brew though.

AKBelgianBeast, May 02, 2008
Photo of msubulldog25
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12.7 oz. (green) caged/corked bottle wrapped with silver foil, a 'stout brewed with coffee'. Poured into a snifter. Lists as 13.1% alc/vol. on the label. A very faint '14/03/??' on the cork; picked this one up around Dec 2007/Jan 2008 and tried on 27/04/08.

A: Extremely dark, virtually black. Barely any head, maybe a 1/4" of light tan cream, rapidly disappearing to a thin ring and star-shaped scattering of film.

S: Husky dark aroma of lightly sweet/lightly smoky. Lovely spiced cocoa aroma, traces of cherry, vanilla. Coffee is not as evident as expected. Excellent layered effect, sweetness and bitterness intermingling.

T: Rich dark chocolate and espresso coffee roast - 'wow' inducing initially. Acrid coffee with a brash, but temporary, tartness. Dark roast gives way, at times, to vanilla, pit fruit, toffee, and a trace of oak. Has its strong points, but lots of lingering coffee bittering and a burning rubbing alcohol in the nfinish limit the enjoyability.

M: Velvety to the nth degree; viscous, syrupy almost. A coating fullness in the mouth and a long-lasting bittersweet coffee/chocolate drags on for many minutes. Alcohol warmth is a slow burn...

D: A good example of an imperial stout; Mikkeller should be proud iof what they've accomplished with this one. Huge coffee bitterness and a mouthfeel that's so rich; very few RISs will be able to compete with this richness. Still, it's so big that drinkability can't be more than 'good' and a heated alcohol; slow sipping over an 90 minutes +/- is all I can muster. If you find it, grab some for a try.

msubulldog25, Apr 28, 2008
Photo of hero27
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12.7 oz bottle.
13.1% abv

I guess BA tells me this is my 600th review. That really made me realize how much money I've spent on beer over the past 4-5 years...yikes.

Artificially corked/caged 12.7oz bottle...silver foil wrapped around the neck.
Pours a very dark mahogany..solid tight-knit head of tan foam that seems pretty comfortable sitting on top..recedes slowly to leave uniform sheets of lacing behind.
Aroma is a combination of earthy nuttiness & burnt malts.
Bitter dark chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee (with a shot of whiskey) round out the flavors. Wow, this is boozy...distractingly so. I really like the earthy malt aspect of this beer, but the alcohol just jumps out at you with each sip, so the other flavors can't shine like they should.
Carbonation is about right, and this is certainly a full-bodied beer, but it is really dry in the finish and the alcohol bite lingers on for some time.
Overall, this is a tasty brew, but a bit harsh...it *might* improve with a year or two of aging, but I have a feeling the alcohol might be even more prevalent later down the road. A bold stout from Mikkeller, but the alcohol could be taken down a notch to smooth things out.

hero27, Apr 27, 2008
Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
86 out of 100 based on 628 ratings.