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Black Hole - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black HoleBlack Hole

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

669 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 669
Reviews: 356
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 16.49%
Wants: 32
Gots: 77 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website
Denmark

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: 669 | Reviews: 356 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bbothen
2.77/5  rDev -27.5%
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 -3.9%
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 -1.3%
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 +9.9%
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 ..

Photo of ohmybock
2.87/5  rDev -24.9%
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!

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

Photo of drseamus
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Photo of ph2001
2.38/5  rDev -37.7%
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

Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.91/5  rDev -23.8%
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.

Photo of bkilpatr
3.82/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of khiasmus
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of peabody
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Photo of deepsouth
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of russpowell
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
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

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.82/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of hero27
3.33/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.15/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a dark and shiny black with a woody tan collar.

Smells of dark chocolate and sappy green wood with a touch of camp fire. There's a slight green hop here too to round things out. There's a dry coffee base along with a ton of alcohol.

Tastes of dark chocolate and fades perfectly into a tasty coffee. An astringent dryness takes over. There's pure alcohol here that stings the roof of my mouth. Ouch!

Feels thin, light, dry and painful.

I really didn't enjoy this beer, but it was spared the drain.

Photo of dnichols
3.72/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured a silver topped caged and artifically corked 375 ml bottle into a chalice.

A: It poured a shiny, inky black body with a dark brown modest head. The head receded to a ring around the collar and there was scant lacing.

S: This RIS is all about the coffee. The bottle indicates coffee was an additive and it is noticeable from the first whiff. The smell is strong with an ethanol aroma overhanging the liquid. there were hints of roasted malts and dark fruits but the coffee and alcohol overwhelmed those aromas.

T: IT opened with a bitter chocolate flavor reminiscent of bakers chocolate. There was a noticeable lemony zest flavor that was quickly overcome by a burnt coffee flavor that reminded me of a pot of campfire coffee after hours of brewing. It finished warm and fairly clean with a bit of bitter aftertaste.

M: It was full-bodied with a acidic bite and warm and tart finish.

D: It packed a massive coffee flavor that was somewhat over the top. It could use a tad more balance to make it a more sessionalble brew. As is it is a one and one beer. Interesting but not one I'll lust for.

Photo of Trueant1
4.55/5  rDev +19.1%
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!

Photo of JDV
3.46/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Ty5592. Thanks!
Pours dark black with some light brown tones during the pour. Medium but quite short lived tan head for an Imperial Stout. Smell is quite obviously nicely hopped for the style, with a nice dry roastiness coming in as well. Some alcohol in the nose as well as a bit of aspirin. Taste is dark and roasty, somewhat dry chocolate like and hoppy as well. The alcohol is slightly noticeable but it comes off more like a minty freshness in the mouth and warming in the chest than hot alcohol. Quite pleasant for 14% and very drinkable. Carbonated a bit more than average for the style aiding in drinkability. As it warms, I definitely get a bit of the aspirin like chalky medicinal bitterness too from the hops. That definitely detracted a bit and kept it from being a fantastic beer, yet it is still good.

Photo of StoutHearted
4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer impresses from the start: the color is pitch black with a thick, 2-inch, cocoa head. The smell is all hops, no coffee. But the taste is where the coffee jumps out at you: it tastes of a coarse grind dark roast with a gritty, dark chocolate aftertaste. The brew is smooth and rich, and its drinkability changes little through warming up; it stays solid all throughout.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12.7 oz. bottle with silver foil, 13.1% ABV, and a rubber cork. A stout brewed with coffee, most excellent.

Into an nonic, pours a pitch black with a velvet smooth dark tan head of a half inch thats lasts for just a bit. The lacing is subtle. The aroma isn't. The chocolate is dark, the malts burnt and fantastic, roasted coffee grounds, quite nice.

Taste, its strong. Quite strong, both in taste and alcohol. The coffee is on, the malts quite roasted, hints of chocolate and molasses. Its the kind of beer that one can both love and hate and any sitting, because its the kind of overpowering beast that can be your favorite one night and your bane the next.

The mouth is fairly full, very warm, smooth. Right now, I'm lovin it, big time.

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

A- 2" mocha head on a pitch black body.
S- Chocolate, burnt, dark fruits, black currants, hints of mocha, alcohol, and almost some oak?
T- Big burnt and roasted flavors that really just cover the whole mouth. Dark fruits are not very well hidden in the burnt body. Light citrus hops do show themselves, mainly in the aftertaste with a light bitterness. Coffee flavors show themselves throughout drinking it, and they seem to come and go as they please. Oak seems to come through too. I wouldn't be surprised if part of this is BA. Alcohol comes in a little strong on the tongue but only leaves a light soothing warmth in the chest. Aftertaste, you are left with a dry bitterness from the burnt malts and coffee, very faint citrus fruits, dark fruits around leaving a nice touch on the roughness of the burnt malts.
M- Full body, light oily, low carbonation.
D- First sip I wasn't blown away, but the more I drink of it the more it grows on me. I think it's a nice solid IRS that has a really complex flavor and a burnt malt body.

Photo of lightindarkness
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to sprinkle for providing this one to try. 12.7oz, caged, synthetic corked, foiled - mostly just a lot of work to get to the beer inside, no pop, no fizz.

Pours a deep black with a dark tan frothy head. Head doesn't last too long, but long enough to look good and leave some generous lace on the way down.

Nose is very intriguing, with a chocolaty liqueur scent riding on warm burnt wood and coffee. Earthy organic smells are really very nicely presented with some faint aromatic smoke and warm spice. So far I really like this beer.

The taste, while great, is surprisingly hollow compared to the nose. The same flavors are present as aromas, but in lesser intensity and character. Begins with full round malt that lightens to a very smoky warm wood flavor that sits really high on the palate. Toasted and burnt grains are present, but left wanting for depth and substance. Finishes with a coffee aftertaste and more intriguing burnt grains. Despite the want for more intensity, I'm really pleased with the overall flavor of this brew. Unique in its smokiness and character, not overbearing or intimidating, this is one really nicely drinkable imperial stout.

Feel is relatively dry, washing pretty clean off the palate with each sip. Very mild mouth coating for the style, with some thickness toward the end of the sip. Honestly, the body and feel really well match the smoky quality of this beer, kind of light and elusive, but with a strong and very notable presence.

I find this to be very drinkable, due to the intriguing and not overly intense taste, as well as the well controlled feel. I think I really like this beer a lot. Too bad I likely won't get more. ABV is nicely disguised but worth noting.

Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
86 out of 100 based on 669 ratings.