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Black Hole - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black HoleBlack Hole

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

690 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 690
Reviews: 360
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 16.45%
Wants: 35
Gots: 86 | FT: 6
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 690 | Reviews: 360
Photo of Klgkenny
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a fridge temp bottle into a room temp pint.

A thin mocha head quickly dissipates atop a pitch black body. No light penetrates this beer. It's as if the beer has it's own gravity. A super gravity. Something like a black hole.

A sweet malty smell, almost bourbon-like masks a faint aroma of alcohol. Hints of coffee and wood hide in the background.

Like the aroma, flavors of sweet malt roll over the tongue up front. It's almost a bourbon taste. This big sweet is followed by a chocolate/vanilla/coffee taste, but these barely mask the big alcohol taste. This is probably a beer that could stand to be aged a year or two prior to consumption.

There is very little carbonation in this beer, and with the vicsosity and big alcohol taste, it's a one or two timer for an evening. Especially with the cost. A great beer, but I will lay the next one down for a couple of years, and drink it then. Good entry, but not quite ready yet.

Photo of oakbluff
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crazy black- can't see much through this one with a light mocha head and thin ring of lacing. Nose- big black licorce smell, molasses and dark roast. Taste- licorce, fairly high carbonation, dry roasty finish, medium sweetness,dark fruits and chocolate. Actually not that boozy for the strength.

Photo of BasementDweller
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007, 12-oz bottle. Hoo boy. This beer was a hot, hoppy mess. But a good mess. The aroma reeked of booze, so much so that I refrained from standing around open flame for an hour or so after tasting it for fear my breath would catch fire. Sure, 14% isn't all that bad when compared to some of the more extreme beers out there (I'm looking at you, Raison d'Extra), but this is an extraordinarily unrefined 14%. In two years this beer will be phenomenal with the dark molasses-chocolate-caramel-maltiness mellowing out and eating up a bit of the heat, but for now it's just not drinkable in any of practical sense of the word. I'll come back in a couple of years and tell you all how it turned out.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.32/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours black with absolutely no head and no carbonation. Aroma of bitter chocolate, roasted malt, and alcohol. The initial sip was super chocolatey, but this flavor faded almost immediately. Lots of raisins, roasted malt, and alcohol. Very heavy mouthfeel with a harsh palate. Gets a bit dull by the end of the glass. Meh. This would be better with a slightly lower abv I think.
7/3/7/3/15 (3.5/5)

Photo of badbeer
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
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 ccrida
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The best thing about this beer is the packaging, a champange nipper, corked, caged and foil wrapped, with a cool rendition of a black hole on the label. It was enough to distract me from the high price. I've had it for about a year. Poured into my Delirium snifter, vigorously after the cork silently limped out, I barely roused a small tan head that leaves light lace. The beer, of course, is black.

Smell is espresso and some type of cured fruits or maybe just burnt caramel, but a bit of sweet with the char. There's a sickly sweetness to it that turns me off. Served ~55F, it got sweeter as it warmed.

Taste is similar, burnt coffee with cured fruity esters, prunes. Very much a Belgian stout, not to bad for being so over-the-top, but really not a must have or something I'll worry about revisiting. Overall, this was a pretty weird tasting beer, even for a Belgian stout. I kept waffling between not liking it and thinking it wasn't too bad. I assume there was just an extreme amount of crystal malt or something that didn't quite work for me in the end.

Mouthfeel is slick, a lighter body then you'd expect for the size.

Drinkability is ok, this isn't too bad, and the high ABV is well hidden, but it's just not that exciting. For the price, in spite of the heft, not worth it.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12.7 ounce corked and caged bottle, cork says 01/07/12 on it. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours black with about a half inch tan head. Head retention is good, lacing is excellent. It smells like roasted malt, coffee and chocolate. The taste is similar to the aroma, but I can also taste licorice and dark fruit along with charred/burnt malt. There's also a bitter coffee and hop finish, but it's a bit acidic, too. Mouthfeel/body is full and rich, silky and smooth. Drinkability is good, the alcohol isn't noticable when drinking it but does hit you later. Overall I think this is a good all around RIS. I'd pick one up every once in a while, although the price would prevent me from buying this often.

Photo of rtepiak
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a surprisingly big head that dissipates quickly. spots of chocolate lace. black and thick pour. smoky coffee and booze. taste is boozy. goes down quite warm. coffee bitter, hop bitter but not onion. light metal. very minimal light dark chocolate. bit too much for how dense. nice winter drink. smoky quality and alcohol blend well. strong point of the beer.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big bubbled head, mocha-colored, that leaves patchy lacing. Mostly black color, basically opaque with hints of highlighting. The look is spot-on.

Burnt berries on the nose big time, definitely coffee-influenced. A little more power here to match the ABV would be nice. *Edit* As it warms, the aromas really come out to play. Espresso, roasted notes, yada yada. The power is fine if you let it breathe a bit.

The flavor is interesting, full-bodied, and fairly bitter. Definitely sharp and acidic, but I love coffee, so there you go. Dry, acrid finish that lowers my flavor score a half point - it's a little much.

Rich, full body in the mouth. Absolutely do not go for this one if you don't like coffee/espresso. I happen to enjoy strongly brewed black coffee and sort of testing the limits of my bitterness threshold. Black Hole was fun!

Good candidate for a lay-down to mellow out.

Photo of jwinship83
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375ml corked and caged bottle, with 01/07/12 on the cork. 13.1%abv

A- black body with a good two fingers of beige colored head that lasts and leaves a very even and solid lacing

S- lots of sweet milk chocolate. lots of roasted malts and dark fruits as well. no trace of the alcohol.

T- very fruity. lots of cherries and plums. very sweet. not as roasty as i would have expected, and very little as far as coffee goes. not as much chocolate as i could smell, but its there for sure.

M- full bodied, very smooth. not as thick as i would expect.

D- the sweetness is hard to get over. its probably the oddest stout ive ever had. not bad, just strange for an RIS. the alcohol is not tasteable, which would make more than one quite dangerous. enjoyable, but not worth the cost.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Listed at 13.1% abv, so must be a newer version of the beer. Pours black and viscous with very little head. Smells of dark chocolate and brewed coffee with some definite heat to it, but in this case that comes off as a sort of coffee with spirits. The taste is similar, but perhaps a bit more complex. Quite well integrated despite being a bit hot in the taste as well. More coffee and chocolate, clean and pure. Very smooth, but not really all that creamy- this is more like black coffee, dark chocolate, and a good clear brandy- perhaps an aquavit with a clean taste of caraway added. Interesting, and extremely dry. A nice winter warmer in an entirely different vein than most RIS.

Photo of mjd83goblue
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this bottle for $9.99. Mine's listed at 13.1% abv.

Pour this into a short tulip. Perhaps the least carbonated beer I've ever poured.

Very deep and complex smell. Chocolate, raisins, heavily roasted coffee.

A lot going on it the taste and mouthfeel, and, likely too much. The alcohol is hot. Also some bourbon in the taste. Lots of coffee. Heavily hopped. A huge bitterness in the finish, part hops and part from the roast, which almost tastes burnt.

Mouthfeel is much thinner than expected.

Interesting brew that just didn't come together for me. Not bad, but probably won't get it again.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a dark, vinous engine oil color with a ½ creamy nutmeg colored head that yielded a moderate retention while leaving only a slight thin film band for a lacing. Very similar in nature to their black.

S: soft fresh coffee beans with a dried citrus and pine hopping. A light sweetened coffee showing is detected as well. The aroma was soft and aromatic with hardly a trace of its 13.1%abv.

T: started out with some dried coffee-mate quickly followed by a beautiful dark roasted bean flavor. Some fresh citrus and pine hopping lightens the mood. The coffee flavor is medium roasted with some coffee-mate sweetness while it finished with only a slight trace of its booziness, and was very well tame for its high abv nature. A really nice citrus hopping with light tobacco notes and whiskey cask hints add to the complexity making this well balanced throughout. The bitterness was earthy with a very smooth transition of flavor from start to finish with some sweet burnt molasses rounding things out.

M: light, silky smooth on the tongue while a soft carbonation presence provided gentle hints of the tongue before a light chalkiness was left behind.

D: Very nice drinkability and hardly a trace of its 13.1%abv could make this a dangerous drink. A silky smooth flavor and comes highly recommended. Recently discontinued and a definite must buy if you see it.

Photo of jwc215
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of stumac
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
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....

Photo of HopDerek
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of Kegatron
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of jdubjacket
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

Photo of TasteTester
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Photo of bbothen
2.77/5  rDev -27.7%
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.

Photo of kmo1030
3.67/5  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.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of Onslow
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
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 ..

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Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
86 out of 100 based on 690 ratings.