Black Hole (Red Wine Edition) - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black Hole (Red Wine Edition)Black Hole (Red Wine Edition)

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BA SCORE
85
very good

179 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 179
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 17.41%
Wants: 7
Gots: 33 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website
Denmark

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ShogoKawada on 05-26-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 179 | Reviews: 99
Reviews by Tim460:
Photo of Tim460
4.57/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Mikasa stout glass.

Pretty much black in appearance. I've read of some problems with the regular black hole lacking any trace of carbonation so I used an aggressive pour that resulted in large head that lasted for a while.

The smell of this beer was amazing. Chocolate coffee mixed with the red wine scent made this beer smell like a real treat. The taste was similar to the smell. Massive chocolate up front followed by coffee, vanilla, and the tart red wine.

The fruitiness of the red wine in the back end really made this seem like a dessert beer for me. Definitely not sessionable due to the high alcohol content which creates a strong warming sensation.

I really enjoyed this beer. It's not your normal Imperial Stout but for me was a real treat. It's not cheap but I plan on picking up a few more to save for a while. I also have the Bourbon aged version which I can't wait to try.

More User Reviews:
Photo of marvin213
3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Black like the crayon color, it's definitive blackness. Aptly named, no light's getting thru this beast. The thin layer of froth is dark brown, as you'd probably expect. It's just super black with a dark brown head. Like a black man with pantyhose on his face, it's a little scary.

I smelled a cabernet sauvignon from the bottle, but my pour offers more stouty options: malt, a touch of that vanilla perhaps, and a tad of smoky charred oak, I'm guessing from the barrel. Though cold, I don't sense any honeyish sweetness. The red wine element is still present, but it's more of a table wine now. With everything going on with this beer, its aroma is underwhelming.

I feel thinness before I really taste anything. I like the red wine influence, but the wine seems cheaper and cheaper the more I discover it. Whatever makes a stout "chewy" isn't in here. It's SO thin! The vino might be overbearing, as I detect very little vanilla and coffee's an afterthought. Better than an average beer certainly, but short of its apparent potential.

What's the correct, objective way to measure that thick chewiness--density? I wonder how the density here compares with other big stouts--regular Black Hole even. The thinness makes it easy-to-drink, particularly for a 13+%er, but a $15 handle seems more shipping than sensing.

Photo of Mora2000
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle. Drank alongside the scotch whisky, tequila, cognac, white wine and bourbon versions.

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is about what I expected, with a lot of chocolate and roasted malt. Other than a little bit of oak, I don't get any red wine notes in the aroma.

The flavor has a little red wine in it. I get some nice, dark fruit notes with some grapes, cherries and plums. The fruit is hidden behind some big, bold chocolate and roasted malt notes. There is also quite a bit of oak in the flavor, which goes with the dark fruit very well. The red wine aging is subtle, but is definitely there and is well done.

Thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of mondegreen
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

This is my second foray into this series. The first was the Scotch Barrel Aged abomination - quite possibly my most disappointing brew of 2010. I'll try not to let that mishap influence this review.

Pours a luscious pitch black with a tighty packed half inch foam head. Looks great.

Aromas of chocolate, roast, strong red wine, and a very slight hint of funk. Complex and inviting.

Taste is equally complex. Big bitter chocolate and dark roast flavors in the front, a light sweetness and heavy red wine notes in the finish. The flavors mesh beautifully into one of the most unique barrell aged stouts I've had to date.

The mouth is silky smooth and coats the palate well. Finishes pretty dry for an Imperial Stout.

This beer drinks very well. I'd love to stock up if it weren't so expensive, but I am glad I picked this one up. I'm puzzled as to how the Scotch Barrell version could be such a mess and this one could be so elegant. Oh well, this is one to try!

Photo of glid02
4.17/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, light amounts of dark molasses, and lighter still amounts of red grapes. Also present are good amounts of dark chocolate, vanilla, and coffee.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth roasted malts with good amounts of dark chocolate kick things off. Midway through the sip earthy red grape and currant flavors with hints of oak enter into things. Near the end of the sip vanilla and coffee flavors make a brief appearance before a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a nice thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another with no problem.

Overall I was impressed with how much influence the barrels had but the strong flavors of the base beer kept it from being overly influential. Of the four treatments I thought the wine barrel allowed the second-most characteristics of the base beer to shine through, after only the rum. The wine barrel still exerted a nice influence. Worth a shot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)
A- This beer pours a jet black body with a bubbly dark tan head that pops away into a thin film. There are a few tiny bubbles gliding up the glass. It was quite a bit of arm wrestling just to get the cork out of the bottle.
S- The chocolate and black malt has some melanoidins and a faint red wine tannin quality in the finish. There is a vanilla hint that comes through as the beer opens up.
T- There is a tart flavor that soon leads to a dark roasted black malt flavor with a slight inky taste to it and lots of char. There is a faint vinous finish with an alcohol taste that lingers a bit. The dark chocolate flavor really increases as the beer warms and more of the dry red wine lingers after the finish. M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with an alcohol bite that finishes the beer.
D- Age might help this beer but right now it has lots of big sharp flavors that are tasty but seem to compete against each other. The tartness, chocolate, tannins and alcohol all fight against each other.

Photo of Mar02x
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I blind tasted this one during a PINT tasting session in 'de Mug' (A Dutch pub in Middelburg).

A - A brown foam on top of a pitch black beer.

S - A nice coffee and chocolate scent.

T - A delightful coffee, chocolate, oak and peat mixture. The beer is a little too sweet upfront.

M - A creamy and thick syrup with a nice bitter finish. The carbonation was low to medium.

O - Terrific! Worth buying, having, trading, etc. A solid beer.

Photo of zaphodchak
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice half finger brown head, dark brown body. Retains pretty well.

Smells very similar to regular Black Hole, but some leathery funk.

Tangy, grapeish, but still with the malt soul of the beer.

Nice mouthfeel, no complaints, not outstanding.

Interesting to see how well it takes on the barrel character in the taste, if not in the nose.

Photo of dirtylou
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

consumed post US-England, 1st in line with the others in the series (rum, scotch, whiskey)

12.7oz bottle purchased at Star

appearance: corked (synthetic), caged and foiled. all 4 barreled versions have a strong appearance - served in snifters - very dark mahogany, creamy chocolate crests with strong retention

smell: extremely strong - heavy roasted malts, potent alcohol, coffee, dark chocolate

taste: this one didn't work out as well as i had hoped, and really the whole series was kind of dissapointing. The wine barrels provide interesting tannic notes, some slight tartness, and a touch of wood. This is a coffee driven stout and it didn't necessarily pair perfectly with the wine barrel. The alcohol is extremely strong which detracts from the enjoyment

mouthfeel: heavy bodied, forcefull alcohol presence

drinkability: average

Photo of Lucho
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I thought I would open this beer on its three year anniversary. I have had it twice before 6 months ago and a year ago. Lets see whats new.

A: Pours almost a pitch black with an incredible mocha brown/tan head that has some staying power, awesome lacing! The head slowly fades in around 2-3 mins to a ring around the edges with some clouds in the middle.

S: Wow as always! some oak up front with a musty red wine scent. The coffee has come out a little more as I feel the honey/vanilla has subsided. There is a very nice sweet scent from the honey and vanilla, mostly honey. There is a slight booze scent but not overwhelming

T: F-ing perfect! upfront with honey oak sweetness with an almost tannin bitterness on the finish, from the coffee. It does not leave your mouth dry though. The coffee is not so strong on the palate as on the nose, which I like. The vanilla and honey really shine in your mouth. I cant get enough of this beer as it is very easy drinking for 13.1%. Age has done this one well. I have one more, do I dare wait another year?

M: thick to medium body which makes it easy to drink but coats your mouth well. The carbonation is spot on and not overwhelming.

O: I love this beer as much now as the two times before and it has held up so well especially with the carbonation and flavors. I wish I could have had it fresh to really tell how far it has come. overall, I have never been sure why people dont rave about this beer. An 86? like come on. It cant just be me?

Photo of nickd717
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

375ml bottle thanks to chswimmer. Sorry you had to buy this whole mediocre series, Ted. I feel for you.

Pours black in color with a small tan head leaving swirls on the beer.

Aroma is really nice: roast, sharp coffee/espresso, dark fruits, earth, and vinous notes.

Flavor has a lot of alcohol, but a decent imperial stout behind it. Sharp bitter roasty espresso, red wine, sweet chocolate, and a tart earthy finish.

Full and boozy on the palate with some serious heft to it and low carbonation.

Not a great barrel aged imperial stout, but could be a lot worse - stay tuned for my reviews of the other Mikkeller -bal aged Black Holes.

Photo of shoky01
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Meddlesome Moth. Served in a snifter.

A: Pours deep black with a tiny light tan head. Good carbonation with good sticky lacing.

S: A little malt but the red wine aging comes out right away, almost smells bourbony.

T: wow, one of the best stouts I've had! The slight bitter fruitiness of the red wine followed by stouty goodness. Little bitter on the backside.

MF: tingly with alcohol. Smooth but a little sticky. Little burn on the way down.

OA: awesome, want more. Need more.

Photo of WOTO97
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split a bottle my friend picked up from Beer Revolution in Oakland (also picked up the rum and whiskey version). Pours a very deep black with a thin mousse-colored head; very little lacing. The alcohol is pretty pungent on the nose, but tons of other profiles are lurking beneath. Big roasted character and some pepper come through on the nose as well along with vanilla and earth characters. Some bold fruit playing in the background. The taste profiles are relatively similar, but the booze is much more in the background. Lots of the fruit comes out immediately but quickly fades to clover and pepper, very sweet residual honey flavors linger on the palate along with some very nice roasted malt notes on the back of the palate. The vanilla plays out very faintly and gets overshadowed by the very distinct honey qualities. The body was a little sticky but by no means big and round; wish the carbonation was toned down a bit for a bit mellower finish. Really enjoyed this fella but couldn't possibly have more than half a bottle--a bit too sweet on the finish for my taste--but a half glass is perfect.

Photo of thagr81us
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from tap into a New Jersey Devils shaker. Poured pitch black with a very minimal tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, dark chocolate, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, wood, dark fruit, earth, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with no carbonation. Overall this was an average brew. With having this one directly after the Scotch version I can honestly say that this one is much more drinkable than it was. There was a decent amount of things going on in this one that weren't invasive to the palate. While it wasn't the most balanced brew that I've ever had (especially for the style) it wasn't the worst either. Glad I got to try it, but doubt I would do so again given the chance.

Photo of philbe311
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - No real head from the pour, just an uneven splotchy veil of lacing that is light to medium tan in color with a very thin collar... The beer itself is a very dark brown with a faint reddish hue... Still with no discernible carbonation...

S - An intoxicating aroma... Roasted malts... Chocolate... Vanilla... Cherries... Honey... Very subtle notes of tannins from the wine barrel aging... A slight alcoholic heat character... Wonderful balance... Wonderful complexity...

T - Burnt roasted malts... Some alcoholic heat... The notes of vanilla and honey are minuscule at best... The finish is that of red wine and it lingers for quite a while...

M - Medium to full bodied... A bit of a thin feel... Not much carbonation, possible even a bit "flat..." A distinctive dry burnt nature... Some alcoholic heat lingers... Takes on a lot of red wine character from the aging process...

D - A sipper for sure... Challenges the senses... A bit of a booze bomb... The red wine components are undeniable... May make some beer drinkers uncomfortable, but I can't understand many of the negative reviews... This is not something I would drink on a regular basis, bit is the type of brewing that pushes boundaries that I really enjoy...

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Poured dark brown, settled black with one finger of foamy light brown head.

S -Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, some cherry and oak in the background.

T - Bitter dark roasted chocolate up front giving way to oak, vanilla and dark fruit. I don't specifically get the red wine but there are some subtle dark fruit notes present that add a nice complexity to this palate.

M - Medium body, light carbonation. A nice chew. A touch viscous at times. A nice mouth feel.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of a Christmas package from best friend that included a botlle of CBS. Nothin to do with this beer, I just can't keep saying it.
Appearance: well...black as a hole. Almost no head at all.
Smell: that black hole charred roast and coffee and the red wine is right there. Well done.
Taste: better than expected. I do like the barrel aged black hole. Kind of thought the red would mostly gimmick, but this works.
Overall: nicely done.

Photo of largadeer
1.82/5  rDev -52%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Shared by chswimmer. Thanks!

Dark brown in the glass, not quite opaque. A thin cap forms and retains nicely, leaving some scattered lacing. The smell is rather wretched, like burnt berries, tar, ash, rubber and booze. The barrel seems to have overwhelmed the coffee and vanilla character that I get in the rum version, leaving nothing but a burnt fruity mess. The taste, surprisingly, is a step up. A small step. It's vinous and fruity, ashy and burnt, with a touch of coffee and vanilla. Very tannic and drying in the finish, burnt licorice flavors linger. This isn't quite as bad as the rum version, but it's far from good.

Photo of metter98
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured jet black with a small tan-colored head. A thin layer of bubbles continually covered the surface.
S: There is a moderate aroma of roasted malts along with hints of coffee.
T: There is a lack of complexity in the overall taste, which is rather bitter and dominated by roasted coffee flavors. The barrel aging doesn't overpower these flavors and lends some notes of oak and vanilla in the finish.
M: It feels full-bodied and slightly dry on the palate. The carbonation lends some smoothness.
D: The beer is surprisingly easy to drink considering the alcohol content, which is well masked.

Photo of ShanePB
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Capone's for their Black Friday event. Poured into a 9 oz snifter glass.

A: Dark chocolate brown, essentially black in body with a light beige bubbly head. Nothing but a thin ring around the edge remained, but the lacing was splotchy and sticky.

S: Ripened dark red fruits (black cherry, red grapes), leather, chocolate roasted malts and hints of whiskey. There is certainly a distinct fruit element to the beer, not necessarily akin to a wine profile though the fruits themselves are. A touch of smoke and wood towards the back end.

T: A rich and robust dark malt, chocolate and cacao nib base is laid up-front. The wine qualities of this beer quickly come through and build on. Dry red fruits, more black cherry and raspberry, toffee and tobacco follow. Finishes like a dry red wine with some lingering fruity and smoke qualities.

M: Acceptable carbonation, not overdone but it still doesn't provide as full of a body as perhaps it should. Not thin or watery though, dry in the finish.

This was a nice surprise and a good way to end the morning at the restaurant. A lot of the red wine/wood qualities came through more than I expected. If you're not a wine person this may come off as confusing, but I think Mikkeller did a nice job at blending the two.

Photo of claspada
2.9/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a jet black body with a bubbly dark tan head that pops away into a thin film. There are a few tiny bubbles gliding up the glass. (It was a b*tch just to get the cork out of the bottle.)

Aromas begin with dark roasted malts, molasses, chocolate syrup, wood, dark pit fruits, and dark vinious grapes.

The tastes are immediately dominated by dark bitter charred roasted malts. Dark chocolate and dark fruits emerge as it warms, but the acrid dark roasted malts are quite overwhelming for my palate. Most Imp Stouts from Mikkeller fall into this category for me.
As it continues to warm I get some wine-soaked oak, followed up by more larger amounts of char.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish.

Overall, this did not work for me at all. I was hoping for a stout with nice vinous notes but instead I got a crazy overly roasted charred oaky, thin something. I could not finish my glass and I do not plan to sample any more beers in this series anytime soon.

Photo of beerdrifter
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at an awesome beer store outside Ghent, Dranken Geers. Pitch black pour with a one finger caramel colored head that fades pretty quickly with great lacing. Tons of dark roasty chocolate in the nose along with hints of oak, red wine, espresso and alcohol. The smell really draws you in as it gets way more intense as it warms. The taste was much the same with bitter cocoa and dark chocolate at the forefront. As it warms, this beer really comes alive with flavor. The roasty chocolate is soon challenged by a tart, dry red wine component as well as hints of burnt coffee, oak, and vanilla. Solid, sweet roasted malt backbone balances it out nicely. The mouthfeel is smooth as silk, especially considering this is 13%. Really nice dry bitter finish and only a slight warming from the alcohol make this a really scary drinkable big beer. I'm not understanding where the B rating for this beer is coming from. This is one awesome, drinkable beer with a lot of character. The only thing that might make me not get more is the steep price tag. Other than that, another gem from Mikkeller!

Photo of ne0m00re
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

06/01/10- Had this one out of a 550mL bottle.
A: Dark black with a caramel, one-finger head.
S: Chocolate, brandy alcohol, almonds, vanilla, caramel sweetness that is not overpowering, raspberry.
T: Sharp red wine barrel, smokey, refreshingly tart, but creamy stout and espresso backbone. Fresh wood finish.
M: Thinner, frothy creamy with a dry finish.
D: OK.

Photo of liamt07
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Jason, part of our Black Hole blind tasting. 375ml into a snifter.

Poured black with a bit of clarity around the edges, solid light brown head a couple fingers in height. Moderate retention, good legs and lace. Nose is quite fruity, some berry and light sweet vinous notes. A bit of char, bitter dark chocolate and light booze. Flavour is composed of more non-descript fruity notes, char, less vinous suggestions than the nose (although still there), honey sweetness and bit of tar. Thick full and sweet on the palate, not a ton of alcohol though. Nice and fruity BA'd imperial stout, a success I'd say.

Photo of Arenbeer
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz synthetic cork and caged bottle thanks to finewinemike!

Poured into a C Lawrence goblet at Fridge Temp

No date on bottle or Cork

A- Pours a solid black, you don't get darker than this. A small 1 finger light brown head on top that dissipated fairly quickly leaving spotting lacing and some serious alcohol feet on the side of the glass when you swirl it.

S- Really good. Dark roasted malts with a nice sweetness from the honey and vanilla. Has a really nice oak/wood note to it from the barrels. After giving it a nice swirl and let it warm a bit you definitely get some red wine notes in the background. Some sweet fruity notes from the grapes. A really great smelling beer to say the least.

T- Wow nothing like the aroma. Super strong roasted dark malts that bring out some nice coffee and bitter unsweetened chocolate. After it goes down your slammed with a strong smokiness and dryness from maybe the burnt barrels? Kind of like smoked meat in a way. Definitely some sweeter flavors hidden in there as well, most likely from the honey and vanilla. The wine kind of gets lost in the smoke but at the same times comes through and adds some fruit to the mix and complexity. Not at all what I was expecting

M- Medium bodied with lower carbonation and a nice dried out smokey finish.

Overall Black Hole is one of my favorite stouts so to try this definitely blows all my expectations out of the water. Definitely a completely different beast in every way. Once again Mikkeller has out done himself. Looking forward to the rest of these bad aces!

SkÅL!

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Black Hole (Red Wine Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
85 out of 100 based on 179 ratings.