Black Hole (Bourbon Edition) - Mikkeller ApS

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

177 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 177
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 19.68%
Wants: 12
Gots: 45 | FT: 2
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: gford217 on 05-27-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 177 | Reviews: 96
Photo of philbe311
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Absolutely zero head, just a couple of big chunky bubbles that dance atop the surface before fading and leaving a milky way like veil of lacing and a miniscule collar around the glass... Pours a flat black with some distinct reddish hue... Quite still... Leaves a very thick filmy residue on the sides of the glass...

S - The nose if very warm and inviting... Vanilla... Milk chocolate... A bit of alcohol... Raisins... Some earthy wood tones... A very modest bit of roasted malts... Deep and fairly complex...

T - The booze dominates... Some faint vanilla and chocolate attempt to compete for dominance, but ultimately fail... Extremely subdued raisin, roasted malts, and caramel as well... Some woody notes... Then more booze on the finish...

M - Medium to full bodied... A bit on the thin side... Limited carbonation... Sharp and biting... A bit gritty and chalky... The booziness lingers and warms the entire mouth for a while post swallow...

D - This barrel aged black hole series was a unique endeavor from Mikkeller... The brews were either hit of miss with this one falling squarely in the middle... Not a bad beer, but far from the elite of its barrel aged brethren...

Photo of waltonc
2.16/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours black with substantial tan head.

Smells of bourbon, milk chocolate, and the scent of a bourbon barrel stout that is too old - not sure exactly how to describe it, but slightly sour without being infected. Oxidation? Not sure, as I only really get this from old beer that was aged in bourbon barrels. It's the same smell I get with a lot of bourbon barrel-aged stouts I've cellared for 2-3 years, except I just bought this bottle last week. So quite disappointing.

Taste is unexceptional. Again, bourbon, milk chocolate, hints of vanilla. And that over-aged bourbon barrel stout sour quality I strongly dislike. Very uncomplex, single-dimensional flavors here for a bourbon barrel stout.

Body is relatively thin for the style, with high carbonation.

Overall, this is a disappointment. I opened a cognac version of Black Hole last Friday and really enjoyed it (had I reviewed it, I'd have given it about a 4.2). But the bourbon version falls far short of that. It's unlikely I'll finish the bottle. For such a high price, I would never buy this again. A reminder of why I rarely buy Mikkeller beers - the high ratio of cost to variance in quality.

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light green foiled 12.7 oz. (375 mL) bottle

A: Pours a pitch black color with a thick, creamy brown/mocha head that leaves great lacing despite the high abv

S: Dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee, oak, and bourbon come out the most. Pretty sweet, but not over-the-top

T: Fairly strong, with dark, bitter chocolate and roasted coffee, with a touch of sweetness from the vanilla and honey. A strong oak and bourbon also come through in the middle. Ends with the strong bitterness from the coffee/dark chocolate

M: Heavy body with light carbonation. Creamy, but sort of thin even with the heavy body

O: Well balanced between the coffee, dark chocolate, roastiness, and bourbon barrel overall. A bit less sweet than the tequila and cognac versions I had before this one, but still another great BA beer

Photo of Tim460
4.62/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Mikasa stout glass.

Poured black with a tanish/brown head.

The smell coming from this beer is simply amazing a mixture of coffee and bourbon with a hint of chocolate. Tastes of coffee up front with a subtle hint of chocolate. Strong bourbon taste on the back end. Warming alcohol sensation throughout but seems right at home with the bourbon flavor.

This is a heavy beer and it lets you know it. Very complex yet the flavors meddled together nicely. Mikkeller has quickly become one of my favorite brewers and though his beers are expensive, they really deliver in terms of quality.

Photo of alexhahn82
3.12/5  rDev -17%
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.

Photo of John_M
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of ScottishBrew83
5/5  rDev +33%
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!

Photo of JayS2629
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of scruffwhor
2.98/5  rDev -20.7%
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.

Photo of Knapp85
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
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.

Photo of Neffbeer
3.06/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

Photo of ckollias
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of Eldalonde
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of kwjd
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of CooperEllis
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

(96th)

Photo of jwinship83
3.31/5  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.

Photo of cetherid
2.88/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

poured into a tulip

A.

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

S.

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.

T.

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.

M.

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

D.

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.

Photo of olympuszymurgus
1.78/5  rDev -52.7%
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.

Photo of bbeane
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
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

CHEERS!!

Photo of beerdrifter
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Photo of bobhits
1.5/5  rDev -60.1%
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.

Photo of Arbitrator
1.2/5  rDev -68.1%
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.

Photo of sisuspeed
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.32/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Black Hole (Bourbon Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
85 out of 100 based on 177 ratings.