1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

617 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 617
Reviews: 350
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 17.37%
Wants: 28
Gots: 64 | 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: 617 | Reviews: 350 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of czfreeman


4.38/5  rDev +15.3%

My first from Mikkeller, have been looking foward to this for a while.Looks like an black hole. no light getting thru this beer. Retains a creamy, frothy, 1 finger head for a short while, lots of lacing before the dark cap gets sucked into the black hole. alcohol,epsresso,kalua-like smells, dark roasted malts,slight hints of vanilla,bitter chocolate. Flavor to match-a Double Mocha espresso Russian Imperial stout if you will. I want one of these at Starbucks. Alcohol burn is felt at the end and deeep in the throat, but this also lightens the feel, warming my stomach for another sip.
not sticky sweet, rich, biting and delicious. I absolutley loved this stout.
Reviewed my second bottle I bought a year later, wow,--complex,smooth, alcohol had settled down to produced a completly smooth Imperial stout. I wish Mikkeller was more readily avaliable

02-05-2008 03:52:11 | More by czfreeman
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%

Pours a three finger brown head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Black opaque color. Light-medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Coffee-alcohol nose. Flavor is roasted coffee and alcohol. Lingering burnt coffee aftertaste. Pricey at $10.09 for a 12.7oz bottle from John's Marketplace Portland, OR.
Label has the ABV at 13.1%.

02-05-2008 00:07:06 | More by jdhilt
Photo of dgallina


4.33/5  rDev +13.9%

12.7 fluid ounce green bottle marked 13.1% alcohol.

Pours syrupy pitch black. Little head, carbonation, or lace at this strength. Rich espresso, sweet chocolate, and dark-fruit aroma with big heady alcohol vapors. The flavor lacks the chocolate sweetness, features dark-roasted coffee and charred bread notes instead. These meld into a very strong medicinal prune alcohol finish that somewhat numbs the mouth and burns the throat. Thick and weighty in the mouth; rather creamy with spare carbonation. Somewhat undone by its high strength, but remains a nice beer to linger over on a very long winter night.

02-03-2008 03:54:18 | More by dgallina
Photo of jobyone

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +17.1%

Tasted with 5 other imperial stouts. Pours deep black with a small brown head. The aroma is sweet with caramel, chocolate and some mild coffee. The taste has all those plus a bit of wood and a definate alcohol presence. The aftertaste lingers with a bit of bitterness. First tried in a small american style pint glass. This got better poured in to a Duvel glass. The only thing keeping this from being perfect was the fact I had already had 5 strong stouts. I am going to try this on its own for a final rating. Definately on of the best beers I have ever had.

01-30-2008 21:28:40 | More by jobyone
Photo of DrJay


4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

14/08/11 was printed on the cork. It poured a very dark brown with mahogany edges and a fine, brown cap of foam that thinned to a ring and skim of bubbles. Decent head retention, some spotty lacing. The aroma was quite hoppy, with some powdery grapefruit character. Caramel and roast, with a bit of chocolate, were hiding in the background. Moderate bitterness with lots of sweet, malty caramel. Grapefruit hops and chocolate filled out the flavour with a mellow alcohol finish. Heavy body with fine, well-integrated carbonation. Carbonation was a bit low and it had a creamy texture. Plenty of warmth and a bit of dryness from the dark malts. Tasty stuff! Great texture and easy drinking considering the abv. Alcohol was pronounced, but was short of being hot. Still, some time might do this one a bit of good.

01-26-2008 02:05:57 | More by DrJay
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%

Bottle courtesy of fonefan: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium foamy dark brown color head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma is vinous with some raisins and sweet malt. Taste is quite intensely sweet with notes of raisins and alcohol notes are also discernable. Full body with some medium carbonation with an oily texture. While I think I understand the intent of the brewer I found that this beer was way too sweet and too much alcohol was apparent.

01-24-2008 21:03:02 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BeerBelcher


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%

I was rather impressed with this beer - it's big and there's a lot in there. At first, when it wsa cold, I thought this beer was simple, but once it warmed it revealed a lot of different elements in both smel and flavor.

Appearance was a dark opaque black, with very little tan head. Aroma started off as just being a bit roasty with some very mild sourness, but as it warmed other aromas began to emerge. I got more roastiness, some chocolate, some brown sugar, and some liquorice. Flavor was also rather roasty, and I got a lot of molasses and a good helping of liquorice. Mouthfeel was pretty thick. SurlySober and I compared this beer to Big Eddy RIS, but I thought it less roasty, less coffee-like, and far more molasses-like. However, they are both "big" and very good beers. Mouthfeel was pretty thick...also somewhat molasses-like.

I would highly recommend this beer. A big thanks to SurlySober for sharing the bottle he received from LiquidSolutions.

01-24-2008 03:11:55 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of alexgash


3.6/5  rDev -5.3%

Synthetic-cork and cage 375 ml bottle served at 50 degrees F.

Very dark brown. Kind of inky and viscous. Solid finger of dense, portobello mushroom cap of hot cocoa foam brown. Bitter dark chocolate, lacto-tartness verging on raspberries (?). Definitely some roasted coffee in here, but it's not overpowering. Whiffs of alcohol as well.

Roasted bitter flavors up front. Coffee and dark chocolate. Smoky, kind of peaty flavor follows. Then the palate explodes into rich, sticky coffee/espresso and moderately hot alcohol. Coffee bitterness and alcohol sweep away the finish. Very warming. A bit like a coffee liqueur. This one's a sipper! Full, oily, thick feel. Dry in the finish. Glad I got to try this, but I would only buy this again to share with others as one bottle is a lot for one (this) person!

01-23-2008 02:43:11 | More by alexgash
Photo of Zorro


3.83/5  rDev +0.8%

Obtained in trade from Limesmut.

Shorty Belgian style bottle with an artificial cork. This bottle says 13.1% ABV.

Inky black colored beer with a thin dark brown colored head. Decent color this could be scored higher if it had more head.

The smell is sweet and strong with the ethanol and the coffee. Smells a bit hot with the chocolate and the coffee and the ethanol. Bit of berry and fig but a bit hard to pick out.

The taste starts out strong coffee and char from lots and lots of patent malt and a slight sourness that malt leaves. Fairly stout alcohol burn. Chocolate shows up mostly in the aftertaste, this is very much the strong coffee beer. Bit hot in the mouth and quite close to a coffee liqueur.

Mouthfeel is good.

Hell of a strong coffee beer here but drinkability is limited. Not going to be downing a liter mug of this anytime soon. It is good but one bottle will trash your taste buds.

01-21-2008 00:21:41 | More by Zorro
Photo of illidurit


4.75/5  rDev +25%

Inky black body with only the slightest brown hues around the edges when put up to bright light. Cascading bubbles form a dark tan head of just over a finger. It reduces to an amorphous cap, leaving fine sheets of lacing.

Aroma is surprisingly hoppy, with an odd charred pineapple quality. Some tar, dark fruits, and chocolate are also detectable.

Taste is again a bit odd for the style. There's a nice RIS profile of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and boozy dark fruits, but there's also a big dose of citrusy hops in the middle of the palate. It's like part double stout and part double IPA. It's interesting and it works pretty well. Points for uniqueness here.

Carbonation is appropriately modest. Body isn't all that full, but it's still pretty velvety. Finish is exquisitely dry from all that roastiness.

Booze is not apparent in the flavor but it really warms the whole body. A pleasant brew for winter nights.

01-19-2008 07:44:43 | More by illidurit
Photo of AndoBrew


2.4/5  rDev -36.8%

*didnt like wouldnever buy*

app: black! nice dark hole indeed. small bubble filled head

Smell: nice yummy booze in the nose, classy refined. dry toasted grains, not much coffee.

taste: salty! teriyaki! odd! there are SOME other good parts of the beer, but the salt and sauce mixed with a sharp chemical like booze flavor over power and null and void any other flavor success.

mf. to spritzy

drinkable?: not really.. cook a chickenable?: VERY!

01-12-2008 05:09:08 | More by AndoBrew
Photo of mortarit

North Carolina

4.78/5  rDev +25.8%

I've had others from this brewery but from my understanding that this one isn't brewed in Denmark. I was told it came from De Proef. A little confusing but worth a try at least.

Smell: Similar coffee notes like most others I've tried.

Color: Dark mochca with dark brown tan head. Little head

Taste: Tastey with little bite that's not overwhelming. It's class as a Russian Imperial Stout which I'm not big on but this one is changing my mind. Why? It's not overpowering like the other ones. It is actually drinkable.

Alcohol: It's there but I think that they did a great job blending it in with the beer. Label states 13.1% and the info. above says 12.5%, hmm.

01-11-2008 20:27:32 | More by mortarit
Photo of watchnerd


4/5  rDev +5.3%

375 ml bottle.Do they even make a 750ml?Aroma like Jaegermeister meets Starbucks, but in a good way. A decent head for a stout, but not a huge one from an absolute point of view. Damn tasty, but, if you’re in California, the North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout is probably better value for money. Elsewhere, this is a fine alternative.

01-11-2008 06:36:03 | More by watchnerd
Photo of MuenchenerKindl


4.18/5  rDev +10%

Poured from a C & C bottle to a snifter the liquid id Black, like a hole, with ok carbonation. he head is small dark brown and leaves a nice lace.

The smell is big alcohol and very roasty malt, a bit of coffee and some over ripe dark friut.

The taste is, coffee, roasty malt, coffee, over ripe fruit, coffee, Note quite in that order... err or maybe.. well did I mention the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is very good, nice big thich coating body and good carbonation.

The drinkability is very nice but gets even better as it warms, Prosit und Zum Wohl, MK

01-11-2008 06:19:33 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of pwoods


3.98/5  rDev +4.7%

Thanks to mmtmatrix for this trade.

12.7oz deep green corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a motor oil black with a moderate viscosity. Big 2+ finger head forms easily and starts tight. Turns slightly rocky as is takes its time descending. Good lacing throughout.

S: Light coffee and chocolate. Sweet molasses and a touch of cola. Alcohol is vaguely present. I'm surprised I don't get burnt malts or anything.

T/M: First thing that I noticed is the body is light.. it's the oddest thing in a brew like this. Carbonation seems slightly high, too. That first initial shock turns into further shock at how potent this beer is with a bit of a weak nose and thick body. Hops flare up with some bitter and a barely detectable sweet juice. The juice is nearly completely covered by a very strong, rich coffee and moderate alcohol burn. Just a slight touch of chocolate sweetens things up. Burnt malts and coffee dominate. The alcohol is quite present and almost too much but still very enjoyable none the less.

D: I so very glad I was able to get a few more bottles. I can't wait to see what a year or more does to the carbonation and alcohol.

01-09-2008 03:28:36 | More by pwoods
Photo of Matthew


2.25/5  rDev -40.8%

Pours a deep black with a 1/4 inch of tannish colored head. There is a good amount of sticky lacing around the glass.
The first noticable trait in this beers aroma is alcohol. There are some decent esspresso like aromas, faint dark unsweetened chocolate and more alcohol with a touch of elmers glue.
The taste is not all that flavorful. Bits of black coffee with hints of bakers chocolate all linger around a large warming prominent alcohol presence.
Knowing this beer was a high abv stout I was hoping for a fairly full mouthfeel. This beer is fairly thin with light carbonation.
Not all that drinkable. The nice flavors the beer offers are over ridden by the big alcohol hottness. I'll skip this beer for something with better flavor and a more reasonable price tag.

01-04-2008 01:34:15 | More by Matthew
Photo of bort11


4.03/5  rDev +6.1%

Received as part of the BA Secret Santa '07, thanks BRoss242!

12.7 oz corked and caged green bottle. I had no idea the bottle was green until I poured the contents. And it's not a standard green bottle, it's a gorgeous emerald green. They must have used cobalt blue glass to make it.

Poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale stemmed glass (also thanks to BRoss242!). Not a whole lot of head, maybe a quarter inch, but leaves a filmy cap on the surface. Moderate lacing coats the glass. Color is a dark, dark chocolate brown.

Smell has a bitter burnt herbal quality. A bit of wood smoke aroma. Taste is has a licorice/anise flavor blended with a very dark chocolate. The label says it was brewed with coffee, but I don't relly sense coffee in the flavor, unless it is a really really dark roast.

Mouthfeel is a dark, creamy, and slightly oily. Very smooth and enjoyable. Great evening sipper

01-03-2008 12:14:06 | More by bort11
Photo of scruffwhor


4.38/5  rDev +15.3%

Classic jet black. The orginal, the eternal black hole. I absorbs all light, with only a little a little beige ring o' foam to offset the black hole. Fresh , yet cool coffee with toastd and roasted malts. Smells bitter, but because of the deep roast. Smells dark, and inviting. The taste starts with the dark roast of malts, that then turn to French roast of coffee almost like espreso. ints of smoke as well. Ver thick palate. Perfect for an fter dinner, or nightcap. You can taste and feel the alcohol, but thats a good thing.

01-03-2008 06:36:34 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of Gueuzedude


2.8/5  rDev -26.3%

August 2011 Cork Date; Sampled January 2008
Pours with an initial fat one-finger thick, creamed-chocolate tan colored head that sits atop an opaque, black colored brew. This brew is clearly coffee influenced, as I pour it I get that distinct aroma of burnt berries that is often found in coffee. Over the top roast aromatics make this smell like cold, concentrated espresso, heavily burnt grain husks and sharp, roast acidic notes. In addition to the burnt berry notes, there is a touch of something like deeply burnt raisins, though overall not much of the fruit character is noticeable in the aroma. The aroma is actually quite harsh; it is a bit too sharp, acidic and burntly astringent for my preferences. The aroma sort of has a burnt vegetal note towards the finish, or perhaps it is a burnt plastic phenolic.

Somewhat lighter in heft than I was expecting, in fact this really seems to accentuate (or exacerbate depending on your perspective) the sharp, acidic and burnt flavors of this brew. The burnt flavors show from beginning to end; they considerably dry out this brew, especially in the finish where the tongue is left with an acidic, dry, charcoal note that has one looking for some refreshment. Up front this brew shows some promise as the sweeter malt notes contribute flavors of dark chocolate, burnt prunes, and a somewhat creamy mouthfeel, but by the finish the beer has just become so harsh and astringent. The coffee notes and burnt malt notes are huge here; this is so much harsher / acidic / burnt than the worst pull of espresso that I have ever had. The overbearing burnt charcoal notes really effect the mouthfeel of this brew, where it should be rich and creamy feeling it ends up thin and flabby.

The twin, roasted combination of blackened grain and roast coffee is just too much for my assaulted taste buds. This is possibly the harshest finishing beer I have ever had. The assault is just punishing and is not even really enjoyable in its unrelenting character. I wonder if this will mellow out any in the next ten years? Well I do have another bottle and that will surely sit for quite some time before I crack another. Harsh enough that it feels like a hangover waiting to happen, but all of that carbonized malt & coffee will probably leave me quite filtered and purified.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

01-03-2008 02:38:35 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%

Pours opaque black with a massive overflowing head of light brown.
The spongy, rocky foam settled to a good quarter inch for the duration of the glass.
Aromatics are hugely laden with coffee grounds, roasted barley, and bitter chocolate.
Almost a bitter promise for whats to come.
Mouthfeel is dry and thick, with carbonation adding a perception of increased body.
The pallet is unapologetically filled with coffee. The coffee is centerstage, and is somewhat biiter in nature, akin to spent grounds.
After the coffee, plenty of dry and roasty chocolate steps up, as does some acrid black malt.
Alcohol is noticable, but no heat and does not detract.
Finishes with lingering bitter coffee and more acrid black patent.

A big beer for sure, but the coffee is a bit harsh, and leaves the beer tasting like a coffee stout rather than an Imperial with coffee.

01-01-2008 16:43:47 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.05/5  rDev +6.6%

Pours pitch black. Nice tan head that never comes close to getting out of control. mild, but slightly noticeable roasted aroma with some chocolate there as well. Flavor makes this extremely drinkable. Goes down smooth as can be. The alcohol seems to be hitting me very quickly here. A higher tone of sweetness than I would have figured. Nice thick malty edge, but not as much coffee as I would have thought coming through. Molasses seems to really peek out as time goes on. Alcohol might be interfering a bit here. Slick on the tongue with a low carbonation. This is a hearty imperial stout. I just don’t feel like it has as much character as I was expecting.

01-01-2008 06:38:09 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of hoppymeal


3.65/5  rDev -3.9%

Pours black with a small reddish caramel head that quickly recedes to a ring. Aroma is a nice dry roasty and nutty coffee bean scent along with an acidic tanginess. There is also a nose hair scorching bourbony alcohol in the aroma, and very mild hints of chocolate. Taste is dry and smoky roastiness and bitter coffee followed by a tanginess that mixes with strong anise and pine flavors. Mouthfeel is fairly heavy in body although any sweet malts are kept in check by the huge roasted flavors and the very large drying, burnt bitterness in the finish, alcohol warms the throat in the finish as well. A good beer, maybe a touch on the bigger side for how I would like a coffee beer to be, the roasty tanginess is quite powerful. Will be interested to try this again with some age on it.

12-31-2007 02:52:38 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +5.3%

$12 from Premiere Gourmet, then about $1.25 in duties. An expresso coffee experience. Thickly expresso in mouthfeel and in aroma. Pours black. I wasn't buzzed from caffeine, it was a fine experience, it is a rich coffee experience with chocolate and fruit present. Bittersweet finish and aftertaste.Its certainly drinkable, but my desired RIS is more chocolate based.
Had again 1.5 years later and the coffee was prominent, rich aged. Bittersweet.

12-30-2007 01:37:37 | More by Sammy
Photo of Domingo


3.55/5  rDev -6.6%

A Danish Imperial Stout, huh? Sounds interesting. The bottle also claims it's brewed with coffee. Sounds pretty American, huh?
Pours a pretty standard deep black color with a pretty decent sized brown head. Not quite as thick as some, but it's got more carbonation.
The smell is shockingly Belgian. Initially I picked up lots of over-ripe fruits, spicy yeast, and a lot of floral bittering hops.
The taste is a little more like a typical Imperial Stout, but I still think the fruits (dates, cherries, figs) seem to dominate things. The Belgian-esque yeast accentuates this. The hops still manage to punch through, and the typical roasted flavors come through in the finish. I'm not tasting or smelling any coffee, though.
It tastes a little boozy, but it is a little more potent than most.
The thickness on this one is actually spot-on because it's not quite so thick, but I think the booziness and overbearing yeast keep it from being something I could drink a lot of.
Good, but not really my cup of tea.

EDIT: This is really the only Mikkeller brew I've had thus far that seems to take a Belgian approach to a US style. The others mirror our own offerings with minor tweaks only. I find those suit my tastes a lot more than this one.

12-29-2007 15:31:37 | More by Domingo
Photo of mattcrill


3.78/5  rDev -0.5%

Bottle inspection: A stout brewed with coffee. Caged and corked.

Aroma: Big fruity esters up front. Vinous notes of cabarnet grapes, raisins, figs, and definite warming alcohol.

Appearance: Dense black pour with a very tight and creamy looking tan head.

Flavor: Big alcohol heat up front. Warms the palate and nostrils. More fruity esters reminding me of raisins, figs, and dark cherries followed by a sharp roasted bitterness. The finish is warm and bone dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with medium low carbonation. A definite warming alcohol presence.

Overall impression: A big, alcoholic Russian Imperial Stout. I didn't get much coffee but I think it was masked behind the esters. I could easily see laying this down 1-3 years. Dangerously close to being unbalanced but very good. My lips and palate are numb. Almost like a black barleywine.

12-29-2007 13:57:25 | More by mattcrill
Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
86 out of 100 based on 617 ratings.