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Black Hole - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black HoleBlack Hole

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

637 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 637
Reviews: 352
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 17.06%
Wants: 30
Gots: 67 | 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
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Ratings: 637 | Reviews: 352 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Phyl21ca, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

BeerBelcher, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of alexgash
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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!

alexgash, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of Zorro
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Zorro, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of illidurit
4.75/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

illidurit, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of AndoBrew
2.4/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

*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!

AndoBrew, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of mortarit
4.78/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

mortarit, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of watchnerd
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

watchnerd, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

MuenchenerKindl, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of pwoods
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

pwoods, Jan 09, 2008
Photo of Matthew
2.25/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Matthew, Jan 04, 2008
Photo of bort11
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

bort11, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of scruffwhor
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

scruffwhor, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of Gueuzedude
2.8/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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

Gueuzedude, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of brewandbbq
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

brewandbbq, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

RblWthACoz, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of hoppymeal
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

hoppymeal, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$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.

Sammy, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of Domingo
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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.

Domingo, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of mattcrill
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

mattcrill, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of dirtylou
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle, $9.99 at Brawleys in Charlotte

Christmas Eve beer

appearance: pours into a large oversized chalice...the body is black as sin with no room for highlights whatsoever. there is a big creamy chocolate head that retains itself fairly well and leaves a nice amount of lace behind to enjoy

smell: just an enormous roasty nose with a HUGE hop compliment...basically this nose is explosive and overpowering which is much to my liking. bittersweet dark chocolate and smoky char round out the nose

taste: I'm not getting a whole lot of coffee despite the claim on the bottle...the flavour profile hits with char, licorice, bittersweet dark chocolate, "west coast" grapefruit hops, moderate booze, espresso and cream

mouthfeel: big and robust, spicy and boozy

drinkability: pretty good

dirtylou, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of franksnbeans
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black motor oil with a chocolate head that is sticky and lacy. Smells like chocolate covered fruit with some expresso. Taste is hot, lots of chocolate, dark fruit and a bitter hop finish. Thick in the mouth with a nice smooth finish. A sipper and needs some age. This has a bite that will tame with a year and generous flavors that need some time to mingle.

franksnbeans, Dec 21, 2007
Photo of HardTarget
4.85/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle Inspection: Silver foil wrapped, notes 13.1 abv and coffee.

Aroma: A dump truck full of wonderful candied grapefruit. It really drowned out any other aroma, just luscious West Coast style C hop orange and grapefruit. One of the best smelling beers I’ve put my nose in.

Appearance: Opaque (given the name, you would figure) black with very little head.

Flavor: A hint of cold coffee, mildly roasted grains, and hops hops hops. Like a complicated IPA, just wonderful hop fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly creamy.

Overall Impression: Outrageously drinkable. I need to get a hold of some more of this stuff. REALLY good, strongly recommended.

Big thanks to Zack for busting out the goods.

HardTarget, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of genog
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick, slow oil like black color with a creamy rich dark brown head. Leaves a little lacing, but mostly dies down to leave a black liquid in my glass. Smell is very strong with molasses, toasted malt, some Strong coffee and a little dark chocolate. The flavor on this one is Bitter with a capital B. Mouthfeeling reminds me of eating some coffee beans as it feels dry and heavy with plenty of carbonation. This one is extremely hot, and I want to see if a little aging can improve this one.

genog, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of tpd975
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Corked and caged stout, I like the looks of this one. Pop the cork and poured the contents into my St. Feuillien Chalice. Deep dark and black. Very little head builds only to quickly die and leave a nice swirly cocoa color atop the brew.

S: Not real strong aromas. Burnt coffee and hints of dark rum soaked fruits. A bit of milk chocolate and maybe even a hint of alcohol laden vanilla extract.

T: Very different than I expected. Very bubbly tasting in the mouth right from the start. Tons of extra dark coffee that has been left on the burner a bit too long. A hint of chocolate and rum soaked black cherries. An alcohol burn makes its self known somewhere in the middle. It finishes with a nice coffee bitterness along with a tinny alcohol taste. Kind of hot, but really unique.

M: Sparkling almost. Has a very bubbly stingy feeling in the mouth and on the tongue.

D: It's just the right size. The more I drank the more I liked it with me being not so sure at first. I don't know if it grew on me, or if the ABV started to kick in.

Overall: A unique brew from a unique brewer. I enjoy what Mikkeller does an it's a good thing that I can now get their beers locally. Search this one out, it's like no other stout I have ever tasted before.

tpd975, Dec 13, 2007
Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
86 out of 100 based on 637 ratings.