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Black Hole (Bourbon Edition) - Mikkeller ApS

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

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

167 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 167
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 20.27%
Wants: 13
Gots: 46 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS visit their website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

(Beer added by: gford217 on 05-27-2010)
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Ratings: 167 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alexhahn82


3.1/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pitch black with a bourbony dark reddish brown tint, with a cappuccino 1 finger high head that recedes into lightalmost non existent lacing.

S - Vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, a very intriguing and complex smell that comes off of a RIS.

T/M - Creamy and slightly effervescence bite up front, coffe like middle with a somewhat chocolaty dark toffee like finish.

O - Overall not too shabby, not a hot alcoholic beer as one might expect from a RIS that tops out at 13.1%. Well rounded, a little tame overall, but I always expect (and pray for) a bourbon bomb. This is a very nice beer that I would seek and destroy, I plan on snagging a few more to cellar.

PP (Price Point) - $15 for a 12.7oz Beer that traveled across the Atlantic is a bit steep, but all in all a good cellarable beer. I personally would approve of a little more intensity in the flavors, but still well crafted.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 02:56:30 | More by alexhahn82
Photo of John_M


4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2011 21:06:07 | More by John_M
Photo of ScottishBrew83


5/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For appearance the lush, viscous black liquid poured nicely with a dark brown head that dissipated quickly.

The smell of this beer was exceptional with a huge bourbon nose and plenty of roasty coffee stout aromas.

The flavor of this beer is complex to say the least. The bourbon cuts right through at first then it holds back to let the roasted coffee and cocoa flavors come forward. The taste progresses to let the silky honey, vanilla, and trace caramel flavors roll over the tongue. This is undoubtedly a Russian Imperial Stout with many characteristics indicative of the style.

The mouth feel of the beer is smooth and has a thick viscosity akin to espresso. The concentrated oily texture makes for a pleasantly smooth drinking experience when enjoying such a complex and flavorful beer.

Overall, this beer is excellent. The complex and concentrated nature of this beer creates an adventure for your palette. I would highly recommend this beer even though it is expense. The price justifies the care and craft of this immense brew. It has a sophisticated array of flavors that I would expect from masterful brewers. Great job on this amazing ale. Slainte!

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 02:01:23 | More by ScottishBrew83
Photo of JayS2629


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

Pours a deep, dark black with a thick creamy tan head that sticks around forever leaving huge creamy walls of lace.

The aroma is up front sweet bourbon and oak dominating with a background of roasted malt. The coffee peaks through just a tad and dark chocolate notes. Intense.

Super rich but not cloying. Sweetness of bourbon hits in the front with oak following into a dark, robust chocolate. Nice roasted malts, and some coffee notes. Honey is subtle with dark fruit dominating the middle. Fig, black currant, and black raisin followed by some earthy, chalky hops and grass elements. The finish brings back a little bourbon and a very faint hint of vanilla. Complex, but perhaps overly complicated and boozy.

Thick and chewy with a bit too much boozy burn. Complex and interesting. A definite sipper. Its a bit overly boozy, but overall intense and flavorful. Lacks in balance, but complexity is great. A nice and interesting sipper.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2011 02:33:52 | More by JayS2629
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 03:55:55 | More by scruffwhor
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 20:57:08 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Neffbeer


3.05/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Corked and caged bottle that I picked up last winter sometime. No date found on the bottle. Poured into a snifter.

A: There was little to no pop when I removed the cork, but there was a good amount of carbonation when I poured yielding a thick one and a half finger head. It is dark as night and completely opaque. The head displayed good retention and left behind a fair amount of sticky lacing.

S: The nose presents a heavy dose of bourbon laced dark malts. There are notes of booze, vanilla, oak, chocolate, anise, and tobacco. There is something a bit acrid going on that I find a little off putting.

T: Bourbon, bourbon, bourbon in my face. The barrel is so intense that it actually masks all the interesting flavors I detected from the nose. It doesn't particularly bother me as I really enjoy bourbon, but something to balance that flavor would make this beer much better. It finishes with a big dose of bitter dark chocolate with some residual sweetness.

M: The mouthfeel is way too thin for this big of a stout. I would prefer something much thicker with a touch more carbonation

O: Not terrible, I will finish my glass without a drain pour, but certainly not worth the price tag.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 02:43:13 | More by Neffbeer
Photo of ckollias


3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12.7 oz bottle with a green wrapper and a cork out of a large snifter glass.

A: Dark black with mild amber highlights and a thin dark brown ½-finger head that quickly dissipates and leaves a wispy lace all the way down the glass.

S: Wow – strong bourbon and alcohol aromas fill the nose. Hint of chocolate and vanilla are mildly present.

T: Strong bourbon flavor reaches out and punches in you in the face! Hints of vanilla and honey.

M: Very strong and boozy. Heavy body and minimal carbonation

O: Awesome imperial stout. A nice sipping beer @ 13.1 % alcohol by volume. This beer was big and bold and awesome.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 00:35:39 | More by ckollias
Photo of Eldalonde


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

Pitch black pour with a thin tan head. Incredible aromas of vanilla, smoke, peat, coffee, and honey. Nice vanilla and sweet caramel on the palate followed with a strong bitter coffee, and smoke with a good amount of peat to it. The finish was long and rather bitter as well.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2011 15:18:00 | More by Eldalonde
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased as part of a private order to Ontario. Pours a dark brown colour with creamy tan head. Some lacing and nice head retention. Smells of bourbon, vanilla and chocolate. I also get a hint of smoke in the smell for some reason. There is some alcohol noticeable in the flavour. Quite a creamy mouthfeel for an imperial stout. I really enjoyed this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 20:35:15 | More by kwjd
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 16:01:28 | More by Sammy
Photo of CooperEllis

New York

3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Whole bottle into the DFH snifter - I presume this will be the only drink I have tonight.

Very dark, initially a big billowy head but after that goes away there is little in the way of lacing. Not sure what the carb is going to be on this - I had to use pliers to get out the cork and there was a barely audible 'pop'.

I really enjoy the smell - but it is one dimensional. That dimension is booze. Within the booze, if you're able to keep your nose in there, there a nice roasted malt and chocolate notes but man are they burried. Think about biting into one of those Jack Daniels candies with the liquid booze in 'em. Now imagine that it was the same concept but delivered in a more refined manner.

Wow, my left eye flipped shut with the abrupt tart/booze combo out of the gate. This is much more watery than the color and smell indicate and I got a pretty good pop without much effort. The best part of this is in the complexity of the last bite and aftertaste. There is some roast, some malt, some bourbon, some wood. There is also a faint chocolate milk flavor.

The booze dominates and this is a bit watery for a stout, perhaps even more so for an RIS and expectation may be driving me to think this a bit more watery than it truly is.

I have no ability to drink more than one of these. Possibly ever, but certainly not in a sitting - or maybe even a month.


Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 00:47:07 | More by CooperEllis
Photo of jwinship83


3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

375ml plastic corked and caged bottle drank from my stone IRS snifter.

A- this one pours out a completely black colored body with a full finger of light brown colored head on top. the head vanishes before your eyes and becomes no more than a crown. little to no lacing is left behind.

S- the first thing i notice in the nose is all the detectable alcohol that is in here. i know this is a 13% beer, but wow. some bourbon, but lots of straight up ethanol also. after the initial shock im able to pick up lots of darkly roasted malts. some very dark chocolate and vanilla (from the barrel) are found also. at the end theres plenty of coffee.

T- the alcohol i could smell comes back in the taste and in a big way. because i was expecting it this time it was easier to handle. lots of bourbon notes make it through. very dark roasted malts. almost burnt. lots of bitter dark chocolate. lots of coffee. plenty of barrel. this beer does it big.

M- there is a high level of warming from the alcohol. the body is shockingly thin for something this massive. the carbonation is at a nice low level which really works well here.

D- one was enough for now. very intense. im glad they used the smaller format bottle, because a full 750ml of this and i would have had a terrible morning.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 04:42:03 | More by jwinship83
Photo of cetherid


2.85/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

poured into a tulip


pours a very dark brown, to the point of black. A frothy tan head, about 1 fingers worth.


I'm getting some light bourbon notes, soy sauce, dark roasted malts, a little sweet honey and some booze. Perhaps a little woody smell in there as well. A lot of aromas that I'm not sure they compliment each other well.


Getting some wood taste and roasted/burnt malts. Then a little warming bourbon and a dry burnt taste in the finish. Just a weird tasting beer.


A little watery and carbonation is a little non existent after while. Pretty disappointing for an imperial stout.


Not a fan of the flavors and it's way too high ABV for me. I won't even finish my half glass of this. it was an extra so so big deal of me wasting this. Kinda had high hopes as this was my first mikkeller beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 02:47:14 | More by cetherid
Photo of olympuszymurgus


1.65/5  rDev -56%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Epic tasting, many edition of Black Hole opened.

Pours black as a dead dog under a tree in the late hours of night. Nose is kinda nice, roasty smoke and fire, a bit of booze there and a nice anise hint.

Taste though, its grotesque. Fire, booze, acetone, solvents and acrid roast. It was, to say the least, saddening.

Mikkeller, I expect better.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2010 23:18:28 | More by olympuszymurgus
Photo of bbeane


3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into my DFH snifter... starts with a finger thick brown head that lingers momentarily before mostly disappearing. Leaves behind some light lacing. Beer is pitch black and allows no light to shine through

S- I can smell the coffee and some chocolate, but after that all I get is bourbon and wood

T- Get a bit of the honey in the taste... at first swig. Then a light coffee and chocolate flavor before being overtaken by bourbon

M- Has a nice chewy full body with light/medium carbonation

D- Not my favorite offering from Mikkeller, but decent. If you like bourbon it'll def be more appealing since it's very evident in the taste


Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 01:47:22 | More by bbeane
Photo of beerdrifter


3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at an awesome beer store outside Ghent, Dranken Geers. Popped the cork on this and it seemed a little flat, but got a decent head. Pitch black pour with a one finger head that fades pretty quickly and nice lacing. Very earthy nose totally dominated by the bourbon. There's also some chocolate and coffee with hints of vanilla and alcohol. Like the smell, the taste is dominated by the bourbon. I'm also getting some oak, slighty burnt espresso, dark chocolate, and a hint of vanilla. No attempt whatsoever to disguise the alcohol. It's got a bitter burn from start to finish. With that said, it's definitely a sipper, but for a 13% beer, it's got decent drinkability. It's way better than some of the recent reviews might indicate. Not Mikkeller's best, but still a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 20:25:44 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of bobhits


1.48/5  rDev -60.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours the deadest and flattest looking beer I've ever seen. Very watery. IT does however produce a decent 1 finger head when poured very aggressively.

A very sweet and somewhat bad nose. There's a lot of coffee, bourbon, and vanilla, but the malt just doesn't smell great.

Very interesting tasting stuff. Almost has a spicy note to it. Tastes like vanilla and cold coffee with bourbon and then an odd after taste. Oddly enough this is an improvement on the normal black hole.

This beer isn't something I want to drink. It is hot from the alcohol, the body and mouth are just terrible.

I wanted to give the black hole beers one more chance. Well sorry guys but another HUGE failure. Maybe I'm alone but simply avoid these beers like the plague.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 03:39:45 | More by bobhits
Photo of Arbitrator


1.23/5  rDev -67.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks to Nanoslug for bringing this.

I don't have anything constructive to say about this beer, other than "at least it's not the Black Hole Scotch Whiskey." This has a similar electrical fire / burning rubber smell, but instead of being peaty, it's obviously bourbon-dominated. It's quite hot, with a charred, slick mouthfeel that simultaneously reminds me of fires, burnt rubber, and oil spills.

Again, the equivalent of an $18 bomber for this is a complete ripoff for a beer that shouldn't even have been released in the first place.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 20:17:57 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of sisuspeed

New Hampshire

3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 9/26/10 notes

A thin, off-white film sits on top of a black body. Still leaves some lacing in a Portsmouth tulip glass.

Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and a bit of alcohol heat on the nose. Roasted coffee beans and light honey mix with dark, roasty, malts. Good, but not really at the next level.

Vanilla, sweet dark malts and alcohol heat on the tongue. Some coffee on the edge of being burnt. Bourbon comes through, but almost takes a back seat. Not too bad, but its not BCBCS. Floral aspects of the honey come through though, which is nice.

Mouthfeel is smooth with light carbonation. Pretty good, but the body is a bit thin.

Drinkability is a little bit above average for this type of beer. A fairly tasty barrel aged stout, but there are better. Still interested in trying some of the other variations, but probably don't want to pay the price.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2010 01:02:34 | More by sisuspeed
Photo of bluejacket74


4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2010 22:28:36 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of abuliarose

New Hampshire

3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter, revealing black body under commendable thick crema head, some lacing. Smells like a mocha malt milkshake with good roasted and vanilla character. A touch of the floral honey comes through as well with the bourbon and warms and spices up the nose. Very nice smells.

Tastes hot and roasty with a light sweetness over burnt bitterness that eventually fades away into a clean, almost watery finish. In the interest of full disclosure, I have found other Mikkeller stout types to be a little abrasive. This one, however, is much more smooth. The vanilla and woodiness come through nicely, though marred by a strong astringency from the roasted flavors. Mouthfeel is very dry, a little grainy, but also watery at the end. Medium to heavy-bodied. The alcohol is well-masked and it is quite sip-able.

Overall it's nice. I'm interested in what a few years would bring, but glad to have tried one.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2010 22:53:40 | More by abuliarose
Photo of crossovert


3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12.7 oz green, synthetic corked, caged, and green foiled bottle. Chilled for 5 minutes in the freezer.

It pours a dense black with a thick, foamy, sand colored head. It is huge and dense considering the abv. It also has a surprising amount of retention as it slowly recedes leaving some nice lacing.

The smell is a sweet mix of bourbon, coffee, and chocolate. There are hints of the oak and some vanilla smoothness. I want to think I smell honey, but I don't know, but there is a honey-like aroma as well.

The flavor is as expected very sweet. The oak comes through a ton, lots of tannin here. The bourbon is overpowering in the flavor at this point. It tastes pretty much like bourbon with a hint of coffee addition. There is a subtle hint of chocolate with a deep taste but it is subdued by the bourbon. The bourbon overtone mellows as you go, bringing more of the vanilla, but it is still huge.

If you like bourbon and oak you will love this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2010 22:04:40 | More by crossovert


3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: black and very sticky with a small head light colored head.

S: lots of bourbon vanilla and choc...and I mean alot. this beer has a big nose.

T: eehh...doing the side by side here with the regular and the rum and I am still a little sad.
The bourbon in the nose is great, and I taste alot of it, BUT all the great coffee, honey, choc that comes with the regular is so faded! This is better than the rum but still not as complexe as I would like. I get bourbon up front with vanilla choc and coffee beans, but it just doesnt match up to the regular. :(

M: STILL mouthfeel is thicker on the regular than in the bourbon BA. Not happy about that at all. Was hoping for a step up instead of a step down.

D: again...its pretty drinkable but I really like prefer the regular.

Thoughts: Sorry Mikki...you guys need to go to go barrel aging school :(

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2010 02:19:36 | More by GOGRANDE
Photo of fastsrt

New York

4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7 ounce bottle in snifter

A: Black, no head,

S: Wood, burbon, coffee, sweetness

T: coffee, bourbon, alcohol, Belgian influence,

M: rich body, nice amount of carbonation, full body

D: drinks well, rough around the edges, not to smooth yet, this one will probably age well, one bottle is all i can afford, it is good but not worth the price tag.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2010 23:08:36 | More by fastsrt
Black Hole (Bourbon Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
85 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.