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Black Hole (Bourbon Edition) - Mikkeller ApS

Not Rated.
Black Hole (Bourbon Edition)Black Hole (Bourbon Edition)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

96 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 96
Hads: 179
Avg: 3.75
pDev: 26.67%
Wants: 12
Gots: 46 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: gford217 on 05-27-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.
View: Beers (294) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 96 | Hads: 179
Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Great bourbon and chocolate aromas.Bittersweet chocolate taste, big thickness and oily.Lots of roast. Lacey on black body. The barrel ageing gave some coconut. A bit astringent finish.Barrel did not make it amazing. I liked this beer plain too.
Ken's bottle.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high tan head that died down ever so slowly, leaving some lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of bourbon in the nose.
T: The taste is somewhat more complex compared to the smell and has flavors of bourbon along notes of roast chocolate malts plus some hints of vanilla.
M: It feels on the heavier side of medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate. There is a moderate amount of carbonation along with some warming from the alcohol. Only a hint of dryness is detectable.
O: The beer is extremely easy to drink considering the strength because the alcohol is well masked from the taste (except for the bourbon).

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Photo of Knapp85
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer plus the the others in the series were very good. I feel that the Bourbon was my favorite though. The beer poured out as a jet black brew with a nice creamy brown colored head on it. The smell of the beer is boozy and very roasted, had a light amount of bourbon on the nose. The taste has more bourbon that the nose does. The other flavors in there was of heavy roasted malts and boozy heat. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. Overall this beer was great in my opinion. Should have bought more.

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Photo of largadeer
1.96/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Quartet shared by chswimmer. Thanks.

Opaque chocolate brown, it has a solid mocha colored head with decent retention. Bourbon, vanilla, caramel and burnt bread consume the senses. Alcohol is sharp and stinging, incredibly harsh compared to other imperial stouts of similar strength. Dark fruit, burnt malt, bourbon and vanilla flavors open this one up. It's plenty complex, but cloying and harsh. Medium-full in body with a burnt, tarry, ashy finish, this is slightly better than the two before it, but it's far from good.

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Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first of the Barrel Aged editions of this beer.Poured jet black into a snifter,a thin walnut colored head atop.Deep vanilla and roast aromas with chocolate and toasty oak coming into play as well,the vanilla stands out along with an alcohol sweet zing as it warms.Vanilla tinged bourbon flavors with chocolate and roast,again as the beer warms more alcohol induced sweetness comes into play.This is a sipper,but its rich and warming,a very nice RIS.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.11/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thrilled to be able to grab this lineup at the store yesterday. I decided to open the Bourbon first simply because the green foil topped bottle looking stunning. Served at cellar temp and poured into a snifter, this one was consumed on 06/08/2010.

The pour was perfect. Dark as night with a wonderful two inch cap of dark chocolate colored foam, Thick as it sits on the top for what seemed like a year and never really released its grip on the glass. Just absolutely a sublime look, especially for something that spent so much time in a barrel, it really just shined here.

Aroma is deep bourbon, hot and you can tell with notes of woodsy oak, vanilla, hints of dark roasted malts and a deep alcohol touch to it. Warming allows it to mellow considerably and calm back down leaving the warm chocolate and coffee notes as well as the oak to really shine. First sip is hot again and it takes a few minutes to really come together, once it does though it is quite nice. Rich bourbon notes, hints of oak, vanilla, touches of light coffee as well. Quite complex. Tobacco leaves and a raw almost leather like flavor in the finish leaves me guessing. Incredible feel as there is no hint of flatness or dullness here, just a rich, full profile that gets the job done.

Overall a great BA Stout. Incredibly strong as the base is, but the bourbon barrel took nicely to this. Definitely cannot wait to try the scotch and the wine barrels as that is way more towards where my flavor goes to.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.07/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: The cork comes out with out a pop and the beer is black, somewhat thick, and flat.

S: Jeesh, I don't think there is enough alcohol in this. Black Hole is already boozy as it is and the bourbon barrel seems to have just added to it unnecessarily. Bourbon, booze, vanilla, chocolate, booze, and raisins.

T: The amount of alcohol flavor in this beer is staggering. My tongue was immediately hot as I took a sip of this one. The bourbon and alcohol from the base beer just attack you, and the other flavors are not very good either: soy sauce, chemical solvent, and only a hint of chocolate.

M: The body is medium with no carbonation and searing heat.

D: Avoid this one. It's rather sad to say, this was actually better than the Scotch version.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black body, thin, beige head. You've seen one of these Black Hole beers, you've seen'm all.

Smell: Modestly aromatic notes of heavily roasted barley, low-grade dark chocolate, charred fruit, with a fusel edge to it and given a bourbon backing.

Taste: Fairly sweetness over the well-roasted malts, still ostensibly harsh, and the bittersweet chocolate taste, still a bit crude. Small hints of vanilla, caramel, and even, oddly enough, a hint of cinnamon. Those malts just remain harsh, chalky, and acrid throughout. Dry, sweetish, warm finish with some lingering chocolate-cinnamon hints.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation.

Overall: It's not great, it's really not all that good, but, I'll give it that it's the best of the barrel-aged Black Hole bunch to date.

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark thick pitch black beer with hints of fizzy head.

Nose has some sweet bourbon, vanilla, oak, smooth bourbon that isn't too heavy, bit more chocolate and roast than the others.

Taste again a nice bourbon-ish flavor, sweet rounding, vanilla, light oak and wood, light chocolate, juicy malts, less booze than the others.

Mouth is fuller bodied, decent enough carb although lighter, just a bit of warming booze.

Overall maybe the best of the series so far, the bourbon and oak in this one really round it off well and bring the real beer profile forward.

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Photo of stakem
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours bla in color. When held to the light, it displays some ruby red clarity through the body. Atop the solution sits a faint cap of khaki froth composed of large bubbles that fades fast leaving spotty lacing on the glass. A thin film resides across the top throughout the duration and fingers and lines of lacing appear as the brew is swirled.

The aroma of this brew is a pleasing mixture of oak, vanilla and sweet smelling bourbon. The bourbon provides a nice accent to the base boozy quality. The smell becomes a little dirty and earthy as it warms up with a spicy and fusel kick of alcohol.

The taste is roasted malt with some cardboard quality and tannic raw oak. It is spicy with alcohol and a fairly solid bourbon influence. It is earthy with a bit of stale coffee character and faint vanilla. A touch of herbal hops and some dark sweetness almost like molasses brings up the rear.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. It is fusel and a bit solvent with alcohol but not obnoxious. This was the barrel aged beer I preferred the most between the bourbon, rum, wine and scotch barrel aged black hole offerings. However, despite enjoying this one the most, there are plenty of other offerings out there that are a lot more enjoyable ones that are even priced better. Overall it was a nice experience but I don't need to try any more of these.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a small tan head. The aroma is very heavy on the oak, with some bourbon and vanilla notes also mixed in. There is also some strong chocolate and a little bit of maple in the aroma.

The flavor is similar. The flavors that stand out the most are vanilla and maple, with some nice oak and chocolate notes also mixed in. The roasted malt is also present, as are some whiskey notes.

Thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

The consensus of the group was that this was the best of the six barrel-aged Black Holes that were shared at the tasting.

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Photo of liamt07
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Poured black (as the others), not too clear around the edge with a light brown head. Good legs, lace and moderate retention. Light fruits on the nose, some oak, soft caramel, honey and corny bourbon. More of the same on the palate, integrated with roast, char, honey and vanilla notes. Bourbon is prominent but not overpowering. Alcohol evident in the finish. Feel is thick and full like all the others, low carbonation. Roasty and charred finish. Nice bourbon qualites here, solid but not outstanding.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to Founders tulip.

A - Black with half a finger of brown head.

S - Very sweet up front - chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak and some coffee notes. The ABV is noticeable without being distracting.

T - The ABV is noticeable up front and gives way to a mix of barrel characteristics and the base beer. Bourbon, oak and light vanilla come together with roasted malts, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, char and molasses. Fairly complex with good integration of the base beer and the barrel characteristics.

M - Medium body. Light to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of John_M
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is kind of simple, showing coffee and dark chocolate, and at most a hint of bourbon. The flavor profile is better and is impressive, showing dark chocolate, chocolate malt balls, bourbon, vanilla, cherry and coffee. There's a hint of alcohol in the finish, but considering the abv., it's really not all that bad. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a long, moderatley sweet, bourbon infused finish.

Granted, the beer is a bit much and the booze over the top, but I otherwise do not understand the low scores for this well made, nicely crafted beer.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Blinded review alongside the rest of the barrel aged Black Hole lineup.

A – Black with dark brown highlights. Creamy, dark mocha head with great retention and ok lace.

S – Smokey character with bright booze, vanilla, light chili spice, amaretto, and candied almonds. Complex and well balanced.

T – Sweet up front with caramel, prune, and vanilla honey, and counter balanced by a dark char smoke. Bright bourbon booze throughout. Sharp, semi-dry oak backend.

M – Smooth, medium body with a huge booziness to it.

O – Strongest booze of the barrel aged series, and that’s saying something. [my blinded guess was bourbon]

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a jet black with good carbonationa nd a nice dirty white head

S: Bourbon, lots of dried dark fruits and booze

T: Wow. Lots going on here. Roasted malt and chocolate. Figs, raisin, bourbon, smoke, wood and tobacco.

M: Booze sting, vanilla, wood, tobacco, warm

D: Wow, A bruiser!

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Photo of rudzud
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes and shared with a friend.

A - Pours a nice black chestnut hue with a one finger mocha head that leaves very nice clouding for this high of ABV.

S - Smell is pretty nice and inviting. Lots of honey, vanilla, and bourbon. Not much in the way of usual stout aromas though.

T - Same as the nose but not getting much chocolate or coffee that one expects from a stout, though chocolate is present in the aftertaste. More of those honey/vanilla/bourbon notes.

M - Very nice carbonation for such a high ABV stout. Super drinkable.

O - Overall this was a nice unique stout from Mikkeller though I'm not sure if I would pay for it again. Love the vanilla and bourbon, but it kills everything that makes a stout a stout.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.32/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 ounce corked and caged bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a 1/2 inch brown head. Not much head retention, but there is a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice and strong, it smells like roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, and honey. The flavors are mostly the same as the aroma, but the coffee and roasted malt flavors are stronger compared to the chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and honey. There's also some burnt/charred malt noticable. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's creamy and a bit slick with decent carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's an easy enough brew to drink. The 13.1% ABV is hidden well for the most part. I think this is a good overall brew, I'd probably buy another bottle if I came across this again, although it is pricey.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.98/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The color is black with only sand specks of foam after the pour. Looks somewhat oily.

The aroma is creammy coffee, with some honey sweetness and lots of alcohol. Also a strong roasted malt noye. Very warm smell is not incorporated well.

The taste starts with roasted, all the way to burnt malt and burnt coffee beans. The middle has the warm palate and booze flavor take hold. There is some sweeteness from the honey and vanilla. The roasted to burnt malts and coffee add depth. But the booze still dominates. Not a bad sipper, just hard to mellow out with this strong alcoholic warmth. Almost like I'm sipping bourbon instead of beer.

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Photo of dgilks
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inky black colour with a creamy, loose, dark brown head. Fair head retention. Actually quite attractive.

Chocolate and port aroma. Plenty of sweetness. There is an earthiness and a bit of alcohol but pretty good all around really.

More sweetness and alcohol. Oak. THe barrel has added a nice caramel note to offset the ashy roast. Lots of sweetness again. I really quite like the intensity of this.

Medium-full body with moderately-high carbonation. A little prickly for me.

As noted above, I like this. Big bourbon oak character and the stout is quite nice with lots of sweetness, chocolate and a bit of ash. Good.

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Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

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

Smells of roasted malts, dark chocolate, vanilla, and smooth bourbon. Also present are mild amounts of coffee.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Robust roasted malt flavors serve as the backbone and are joined by equal amounts of vanilla, bourbon, and dark chocolate flavors shortly thereafter. The flavors sweeten a bit midway through the sip before coffee flavors temper the profile before a solidly bitter ending.

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

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I found that the bourbon and scotch barrels had the most influence on this beer and the bourbon did the best job of the two of augmenting as opposed to overpowering. A very nice beer that's well worth a shot.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle into my Rochefort glass...Dark black with a light tan head, only about a finger and gone right away. Light lacing...Aroma on the lighter side, mostly sweet bourbon on the front a little honey. On the finish a little coffee. Nice and complex, just wish it was fuller and stronger, then it would be elite...The taste is pretty nice, differnt from the aroma is it is dominated by the coffee. A very smoouth bourbon coffee with hints of vanilla. Little bitter slight alcohol finish...Light feel, but easy to drink.

Overall, a GOOD bourbon stout. Its not great, nothing to search out, but its good.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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: big roasted malts, coffee and cream, fierce bourbon

taste: maybe the best of the 4 we sampled, though the rum-barrel version was also impressive. The scotch and wine versions were the ones i expected to like the most, but no dice. The bourbon plays pretty well in this one - extreme roasted malts, coffee, strong bourbon. I preferred the single-hop IPA series to these, but it was still a fun session

mouthfeel: full bodied, strong bourbon warming

drinkability: ok

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.78/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Strong aroma is smoky with notes of coffee, unsweet chocolate and molasses, with a firm woody bourbon overtone - very appetizing. It pours a luscious opaque sable with a VERY thick and persistent fluffy light tan head. Flavor is - SU-PERB! Rich and smoky, strong tones of quality roast coffee, unsweet chocolate, molasses, caramel, charred wood and good bourbon. How could I complain? Texture is not just full-bodied, it is thick as cream and fairly tingly with a strong alcohol bite. This beer is danged near perfect, and a MUST for all stouties!

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7oz corked bottle poured into a snifter

Pours a viscous, motor oil color with a one finger brown cap. Some lines of lace left behind as it falls to a thin, bubbly collar.

The aroma is mainly of coffee and bourbon with overtones of vanilla sweetness and black strap molasses. An inviting aroma, with a good amount of balls.

Dark, bittersweet chocolate and coffee grounds up front with bourbon and vanilla coming in on the back end. The bourbon really accentuates the sweetness of the vanilla and honey. Good flavor overall, but nothing mindblowing.

Medium body with a high carbonation that prevents this guy from having that elite creamy, smooth mouthfeel.

Given that this is barrel aged, this is a pretty easy drinker. The bourbon is in check, never overpowers, and the other flavors play nice together. Maybe a little too sweet.

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Black Hole (Bourbon Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
85 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.