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Black Hole (Cognac Edition) - Mikkeller ApS

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

153 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 153
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 10.48%
Wants: 24
Gots: 54 | 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: BeerAdvocate on 11-05-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.
View: Beers (280) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 153 | Reviews: 74
Reviews by 1Adam12:
More User Reviews:
Photo of marvin213
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty black with tan bubblies--what more do you want? The smell is like a dream: peaty black stout with honeyed vanilla and sweet, succulent cognac. If BCS is THE cigar beer, I'd like to know what this is...!

Taste is straight what it's supposed to be: all those flavors melted into one single malt beverage! That thick, syrupy cognac burn in the background makes quite the presence. This is truly a man's beer!

Despite the conglomeration of tough, manly ingredients, the mouthfeel is relatively thin--a surprise, really. Overall, it's tough to return to at $16.99 a pop. I offer, though, that this is a great one. A must for big-time, barrel-aged stout lovers, and a golden ticket to beer-drinkin cigar lovers!

Photo of Mora2000
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate, coffee and roasted malt. I don't get much cognac in the aroma.

The cognac characteristics are also missing in the flavor. There is a heavy chocolate character, as well as some roasted malt, maple and oak. There is also a light amount of vanilla in the flavor.

Thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of frenchblood21
4.54/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into wine glass.

Appearance- Almost pitch black, but not quite. Espresso colored head that is very thin and goes right away.

Smell- Where to begin with this beauty? Just like the bottle says, coffee, honey and vanilla. Maybe a hint of dark chocolate.

Taste- Like the nose, but somehow more complex. Honey, vanilla and alcohol burn right up front, then that turns into, almost like magic, coffee and charred barrel.

Mouthfeel- A bit thin for a stout. Still has the slight burn, but I'm sure that would go away after a year or so in the cellar.

Overall- Is this beer perfect, no of course not. With that being said, the nose and taste are remarkable. Maybe the most complex taste I've ever experienced in a beer. Totally worth the price tag.

Photo of mondegreen
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz bottle into a Stone Tulip. 2011 Vintage.

Pours pitch black with a thin, but respectable, khaki head.

Nose is a bit tame but nice. Wood and cognac take center stage.

Taste is quite sweet. The beer takes on the character of the barrels well, and the cognac treatment was quite nice to this one.

Mouth is light for an RIS, but not to the beer's detriment. It works.

Overall, cognac barrels are a far better fit for Black Hole than harsher bourbon or scotch barrels. Black hole is a relatively thin, highly attenuated beer, so the softer cognac barrel matches perfectly. In my opinion this one is the best of the line up, and I'd recommend it to friends.

Photo of GoldenVIKE
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours deep brown/black with a mocha tan head that lasts for a while. Nice clingy lace. Very frothy appearance when swirled.

S: Coffee, bitter chocolate, cherry, vanilla, and some earthy wood tones.

T: Rich and sweet, although not overwhelmingly so. Even with the high ABV you cannot taste the alcohol, only feel the warmth. The flavors (same as the ones in "smell") compliment each other very well. Possibly some subtle toffee or caramel flavors too which weren't detectable in the nose.

M: Very heavy, rich, silky, smooth, and frothy.

O: Overall this is not the richest, sweetest, or most complex BA RIS out there, but it's in the top third of the BA RIS's that I've ever had. And I've had a lot as this is my favorite style.

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark tan body, with slight bright red tints. Plenty of lacing and great head retention.

S - The alcohol is not shy in the aroma, with plenty of rich dark chocolate to back it up. Scotch-like smoke is balanced out by nuances of fatty meat and sweet creamy notes.

T/M - Unlike my experiences with the first round of the barrel-aged Mikkeller Black Holes, the additives (honey and vanilla) are both expressive and welcomed. The honey provides a touch of sweetness to the entry, whereas the vanilla seems to present a back drop intense at first, then decreasing into a delicate back drop throughout the rest of palate, adding a lightness and sweetness to the entire experience. The smoke and cognac notes really take over at the midpalate, and carry through the finish. I'm by no means an expert, the fun part was trying to dissect what cognac this most reminded me of. I finally decided on Pierre Ferrand, a drier cognac, heavy on mineral notes, with delicate fig fruit in the finish. The body, like most Imperial Stouts from Scandinavia, is light and silky, with plenty of alcohol burn.

O - This is a huge improvement over my experiences with the first round of BA Black Hole beers. The spirit is very present, but also very interesting. The beer seems to take a bit of a back seat, which is actually a good thing since you really don't get a chance to try Cognac-Barrel aged beer on at all. Mikkeller might not always work for me, but this is a huge hit for me. Buy it all the way!

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Mikkeller oversized wine glass (proper!). Poured pitch black with a one finger brown head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit, wood, sweet alcohol, plums, raisins, and sugar. The flavor was of sweet malt, wood, roasted malt, honey, dark chocolate, alcohol, dark fruit, and subtle coffee. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. This brew had a huge amount of complexity. The cognac barrel definitely made itself known throughout the brew. I wish the coffee aspect would have come through a little more to add some more acidity to the brew, but beggars can’t be choosers. Definitely worth your time trying this one. Can’t wait to try the others that are sitting in my fridge currently.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Zwanze Day.

Appearance – Poured into a Cantillon stemmed glass. Dark black color, slight mocha colored head.

Smell – Bittersweet cocoa, booze, wood, vanilla, and dark fruits.

Taste – Rather sweet up front. Not so much malty or molasses but sugary chocolate sweet. This melds into a nice oaky and slight bitter coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, lower carbonation, finishes dry.

Overall – This was actually a surprise after trying some of these other beers in the series. Not a bad version at all. Would pick up again to age.

Photo of Bung
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 Poured into Grand Marnier snifter. Dark murky black pour, tan layer that lasts a while.

Plenty of roast and chocolates in the aroma. Hints of booze, caramel, vanilla and a woodiness.

Taste is potent. Malty, caramel, chocolate, roast. Oaky booziness, but not overwhelming. Finishes with some cocoa. Actually don't get a ton of cognac barrel. Barrel is subtle, which is not bad.

Solid full body, though the carbonation is more than I though it would be. Still, about creamy, coats very well. A sipper.

I bet this will age nicely, though I'm not buying another one, unless I could get it for maybe $8.

Certainly a step up from the ones last year, a BIG step up from the Peat Whisky from last year.

Photo of metter98
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high dark tan head that has good retention properties.
S: There are light aromas of cognac in the nose; the smell becomes a bit stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has flavors of cognac, oak and vanilla along with some hints of chocolate. The cognac becomes more prominent towards the finish.
M: It feels full-bodied, creamy and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol and a bit of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is extremely well balanced and has a good incorporation of the cognac flavors from the barrel aging. Considering its strength, the alcohol isn’t that noticeable in the taste.

Photo of eric5bellies
4.05/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a deep deep ebony colour with a tanned head that retains well.

S - Sweet roasted malt, cocoa and oaky sweetness that is reminiscent of vanilla.

T - Quite sweet up front with a little roasted malt charachter. Alcohol is non existent. Chocolate present with a little coffee. The cognac is there but not predominant.

M - Full body and minimal carbonation.

O - Would have liked to have seen less sweetness and more cognac in this brew. Nonetheless a very solid showing from Mikkeller.

Photo of oline73
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on-tap at Max's, poured into a 4oz. sample glass.

Appearance: Pours almost black with some red coming through when the light hits the edge of the glass. There is hardly any head at all.

Smell: Quite sweet with overly ripe dark fruit, molasses, caramel, and cocoa.

Taste: Sweet dark fruit, honey, and some roast. The cognac is very smooth, and some cocoa shows up as well. The finish is sweet and warm.

Mouthfeel: Thick and mildly syrupy. Mild carbonation with a dry finish.

Photo of liamt07
4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Pino, part of our Black Hole blind tasting. 375ml into a snifter. My clear winner of the night.

Poured a dark brown/black, with a finger of brown head. Light retention, leaving a thick collar and great legs. Nose has light fruitniess and a gentle spirit character, a bit of berries, light honey, alcohol, some smoke and caramel. Taste is fruity, dry with some tar and caramel. Gentle cognac notes (in retrospect) cover the palate, roast, honey and char also. Full thick and chewy feel, sweet with a roasty and charred finish. Quite sweet, but not bad at all - interesting contrast between the roast.char and cognac/spirit qualities.

Photo of ludachris
4.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For an RIS, I couldn't ask for anything more in appearance. Thick, viscous, and black as the dickens with a mounstrous three finger frothy chocolate milk brown head. Long, horizontal patches of lace stick to the sides of the glass along with a thin film of alcohol.

The nose is absolutely huge, bursting with dessert-like aromas, reminiscent of a rich chocolate cake. On the sweet side, there's sweetened dark chocolate, smooth and rounded vanilla and oak, buckwheat honey, brown sugar, and a scoop of strawberry jam at the very bottom. Syrupy, alcohol soaked raisons also ooze over the top of the glass and I assume come from the Cognac barrels. On the other end lies notes of old and weathered wood, char, and roast. Maybe even a touch of smoke. Alcohol tickles the nose, but is no more pronounced than many of the other components that make up this big and complex RIS.

A big first sip gives a big alcohol punch to the back of the throat. I know it clocks in at 13.1% ABV, but based off the nose, I wasn't expecting it to have that much of a kick. A minute later, a warming feeling still lingers in my chest. Many of the flavours have smoothed out and melded together. Sweetened dark chocolate is spread across the top of the tongue while charred wood and roasted malts come up from beneath. The notes of vanilla and oak are delicate in comparison but still but manage to give a feeling of softness in this hefty stout. Honey is also lathered on top and extends to the tip of the tongue. The finish is both roasty and woody with a touch of fruity sweetness. The more I sip on this, the more tame the alcohol becomes.

When I think of full bodied, I'll now think of this. Creamy, mouth coating and incredibly rich. Some dryness comes through with the roasted notes and alcohol. When I first started drinking this, it seemed the alcohol was far too pronounced. After warming up and a few more sips however, it integrates well into the rest of the beer.

As my memory serves me, this has to be the biggest RIS I've had to date, in terms of both alcohol content and feel. I'd love to drink this in a year or two with the hopes of the alcohol dumbing down a bit. I'm not that familiar with Cognac but that didn't take away from me appreciating this. Big thumbs up to Mikkeler. I'll be sure to pick up a couple more barrel aged versions of this.

Photo of DaveHS
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Impenetrable shiny black with 1/4 inch of coffee colored head. Leaves sticky lacing.

S-Less aggressively bitter than the non barrel aged black hole. Still a bit roasty and dry on the nose. Light aromas of sweet cognac and musty earth. A hint of vanilla.

T/M-Retains much of the roasty bitterness of the original, but the body is significantly softened by the cognac barrel. The presence of the cognac is interesting. I wouldn't have known this was specifically a cognac aged beer had I not read the label. However, the nondescript oaky sweetness ultimately has a positive effect. Full bodied and roasty with a diminishing roastiness on the back end, rounded out with oak.

O-One of the better barrel aged Mikkeller beers I've had.

O-

Photo of dbrauneis
3.76/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours jet black in color with just the most subtle hints of dark amber when held up to the light. The beer has a thin tan head which reduces to a ring at the edge of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: The alcohol is very present in the aroma - the combination of the high ABV and the cognac aging is intense. There are also some caramel sweetness, roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, oak, and charred/burnt wood.

T: Mild sweetness of caramel/toffee on top of burnt and extremely dark roasted malts. There is a less than subtle hint of the cognac as well - vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, and something slightly chalky tasting.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Some alcohol heat is present in the finish.

O: Not the easiest beer to drink as the alcohol presence is much too in your face. I find the alcohol in this beer to be a little harsh and tough to easily drink. The beer improves as it warms but is a little too much for me. Not sure I would get this one again.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a snifter.

Pours nearly black with a good mocha head and a few spots of lacing on the way down. Thin collar throughout. The nose brings the unmistakable stench of cognac plus some roasted malt, chocolate, and light coffee. Cognac pervades. As it warms, some light vanilla character. Flavor is mostly cognac and backed very well with some roasted malt and dark chocolate. Everything is well integrated and blends quite well. Medium body and slightly oily. Light carbonation. Solid brew.

Photo of StlHopHead77
3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage.375 ml bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

A-Pours out an intense,blackish brown body with 2 fingers worth of dark tawny foam that displayed good retention and left sticky clumps of lacing.

S-This was the beer's only downfall for me.As it warmed more scents could be pulled out but even then it just wasn't as assertive as I would've liked.Smelled of caramelized nuts,dark chocolate covered espresso beans,oak and charred malts.

T-More rich chocolate flavors,sweet nuttiness,vanilla,strong,fresh coffee and burnt sugars.

M-Full and balanced with good residual sugars,bitter coffee,semisweet chocolate and creamy vanilla.Good lasting flavors.

O-A little pricey but I'm glad I got the chance to try it.

Photo of crusian
2.79/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

bottle from awesome girlfriend from someplace outside boston.

pours a nice dark nasty thickness with a minimal amount of head.
smells of chocolate and booze with a bit of dirt mixed in... not all that inviting.

taste is something different. nice sweetness up front, followed by the dirt on the middle palate, and a boozy finish. Chocolate seems to creep in with its partner coffee near the mid-finish.. I was expecting a lot out of this, based on the reviews, etc... and I was let down. This seems way too boozy for what it is... I have had way better 13% RIS in the past...
after it warms there is a nice inviting grape aftertaste that seems to take over... and I have now upped my score because of this.

mouthfeel is actually not that great, or rather, it is good, but after about 6 sips, my mouth and throat seem to be plagued with a coating that I want the hell out of my body... now. it is not pleasant... and it is very off putting.

overall, i isnt too bad, but for a 13% RIS, I want more. good to try, but seriously? an A rating is way too much for this. I dont take price into consideration when i rate... and that may be the issue here.

Photo of bradcochran1234
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Oh my! This is...liquid Christmas

A- BLACK as night with a big head

S- Lots of toasty coffee, a little vanilla and a slight toffee

T- WOW! At first the alcohol stands out, maybe a little too cold. As it warms up the coffee and bitter chocolate stand out. Then, as it warms up even more the Cognac comes in on the back of the palate with tastes of sweet vanilla and rich butter.

M- A little bit of alcohol, but over all just smooth and buttery

O- YES, YES, YES... The "Phantom Brewer" does it once again. So far I have tasted the Cognac, the Red Wine Barrel and the White Wine Barrel and this is the best one. Gonna be buying a few more of these.

Photo of stabzmcgee
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is nice. Sheer black as the blackhole from its name. Tan leather halo laces the snifter. Smell is great. Vanilla and cognac sweetness. Taste is much of the same. Light cocoa and sweet chocolate and roasted malts, with the added cognac smoothness and taste. Overall one of the better mikkelwr black hole Ba.

Photo of mulder1010
3.28/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

375 ML poured into a Bruery Tulip

A-- Poured a dark cola color and settled black. Half a finger of light chocolate colored head. Head faded pretty fast and just left a murky sea of film. Decent ring of lacing.

S-- Cognac soaked chocolate covered cherries. Expected a bigger nose than this really. Faint notes of oak but this nose is really soft.

T-- Cognac, followed by sweet dairy chocolate. Thin, soft and sweet. Alcohol is well hidden.

M-- Alcohol is more evident in the mouth. Still pretty soft and thin until the end when get the usual Mikkeller trademark. ASH, CHAR, BURNT RUBBER. Sigh. Medium alcohol burn in the finish. Light bodied and low carbonation. Like this until the finish and the burn from the alcohol.

O-- Light and easy to drink for 13.1%. The alcohol burn in the end is annoying and a turn off. Good notes of cognac though. Not a bad beer but a decent one.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter at The Firkin.

Still hoping for a more-than-just-tolerable offering from this barrel-aged line. This one pours a solid onyx topped by a finger of sienna foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, chocolate syrup, light molasses, light coffee, and an offhand hint of some exotic (to me, anyway) booze, which I assume to be the cognac. The taste intensifies the roast and the molasses, adds in a small bit of oak, and tosses in a good amount of somewhat buttery cognac. The booze is definitely present throughout, but it serves as a nice compliment, rather than an imposition. The body is a solid medium, closing in on some heft, with a light moderate carbonation and a nearly chewy feel. Overall, this is so far the best of the barrel-aged editions of Black Hole. The barrel adds a rather enjoyable character, which sorta makes me wanna try some cognac sometime soon...

Photo of John_M
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours the expected blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is attractive, showcasing considerable dark chocolate and brandy (OK, I guess it's really "cognac," not brandy), with some underlying coffee and vanilla as well. There's also something of chocolate malt ball aroma as well, that is impressive. The flavor profile replicates the nose, with the beer showing some bitterness and a bit of heat from alcohol as well. The brandy is a bit less noticeable on the palate, though I still get some of it in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is pretty full, with a long, chocolate and coffee infused finish.

A solid beer, no doubt, though a little bit of this goes a long way.

Photo of Rickythejeweler
3.89/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black, one finger light brown head, nice lacing.

S - Brown sugar, bitter hops, barleywine scents.

T - Cocoa powder, coffee, candi sugar, dark fruits, medicinal alcohol flavors.

M - Warming, smooth, slick on the tongue, a little thin.

O - It is a decent brew but not as good as I expected, I think the bourbon is the best I have had.

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Black Hole (Cognac Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
93 out of 100 based on 153 ratings.