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Black Hole - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black HoleBlack Hole

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

681 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 681
Reviews: 358
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 16.45%
Wants: 33
Gots: 82 | FT: 5
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: 681 | Reviews: 358 | Display Reviews Only:
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Listed at 13.1% abv, so must be a newer version of the beer.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 ..

Photo of ohmybock
2.87/5  rDev -25.1%
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 +12.8%
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 +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.

Photo of ph2001
2.38/5  rDev -37.9%
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 -24%
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 -0.3%
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 -3.9%
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%
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 -3.4%
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.

Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
86 out of 100 based on 681 ratings.