Black Hole (Cognac Edition) - Mikkeller ApS

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

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

74 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 74
Hads: 153
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 6.99%
Wants: 23
Gots: 52 | FT: 0
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.
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Reviews: 74 | Hads: 153
Photo of metter98
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (720 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (517 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrive with a pitch black liquid capped by a coffee-colored foam that leaves a patchwork design of lacing

Smell: The cognac is recognizable from the first whiff, with vanilla, roast, chocolate and coffee elements

Taste: Roasty flavors and chocolate, up front, with the cognac quickly coming on, bringing a vanilla character, as well; while it is boozy and filled with cognac, after the swallow, the dark fruit, chocolate and coffee elements are also quite prominent

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; rather creamy, too, with plenty of warmth in the gullet

Overall: A very well-balanced, complex RIS, but still quite aggressive (658 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

yup, this one is big time. big big time. it pours midnight black, literally like the depths of space. its dense as blacktop, and has a small off white head that doesnt stick around too long. im smelling tons of alcohol, as well as sweet tobacco notes, raw honeycomb, and spent espresso grinds. the flavor is easily as complex as the nose, with the honey notes really adding something special here. the cognac barrel adds some potency to the alcoholic profile, as well as a light woody tone that is trying not to be overpowered by the huge roasty malt and coffee flavors. its bitter and its sweet, everything in excellent proportion. this is an order of magnitude more complex than the standard black hole, and one of the more enjoyable mikkeller big stouts (and there are a great many of those). mouthfeel is huge. massive body and light carbonation. a little on the syrupy side, altough not as bad as some others. the alcohol is almost to a brutal level here, and this bottle demands to be shared. what a sensory experience! (1,025 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours the same unapologetically cheerless, black body with a medium-small, mocha-toned head. Let's see where the cognac takes it from here.

Smell: Burnt malted barley, ashen and charry as it always is in the Black Hole series, with a hint of bittersweet chocolate and a faint, less-than-supporting fruitiness, assumably aided by the cognac.

Taste: Moderate sweetness over the roasted malts, still ostensibly harsh, and the bittersweet chocolate taste, still a bit crude. Small hints of vanilla, sea salt caramel. A singe of unworthy cognac. Those malts just remain harsh, chalky, and acrid throughout. Boozy, harsh, sugary finish.

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

Overall: I'm not too terribly keen on this one either, no. Well, that closes out the red wine, white wine, and cognac varieties for me. Next up: tequila, whiskey, and bourbon! (877 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
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... (886 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (488 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a Darkness snifter.

A - Two fingers of tan foam settles to a thick cap, leaving behind glass-coating lace. Black body. Looks exactly like an imperial stout should.

S - Sweet cognac, milk chocolate, vanilla, and honey. Aroma is quite sweet, with only mild roast, smoke, and coffee character that intensifies a little bit as the beer warms up. Alcohol is surprisingly well-hidden

T - Taste has that quintessential Scandinavian character to it - not sure if it's the water, yeast, or terroir, but tastes 'Danish' all the same. There's a bit more oak and soy character, particularly in the finish along with a touch of spirit alcohol, but otherwise it's mostly cognac, dark chocolate, smoke, and a bit of char. Far less sweet than the aroma implies, and far more in line with what I expect from Mikkel. Gets a touch boozy when it warms up, but nothing excessive for a 13.1% beer.

M - Big, sticky, viscous full body, some light warming alcohol, medium-low carbonation, light tannic character in the finish. Surprisingly clean finish with only light lingering stickiness.

D - Not as wonderful as Cognac Black, but exponentially better than the other barrel-aged Black Holes. I drank about 8oz, and then used the rest in a birthday cake for my wife - probably could have drank the whole bottle though. It's in the top tier of Mikkeller offerings and it's an essential beer for cognac barrel-aged beer tastings. (1,461 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.76/5  rDev -9.4%
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. (1,050 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
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. (515 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great beer- so well balanced and complex. A lot going on here, but it's so seemlessly integrated and smooth. Part of the reason is that is has some age on it, which tends to mellow things out a bit. You certainly can't tell that this is 13% abv. When first opened, I noticed the cofee and the honey quite distinctly, after a bit the coffee has faded a bit and the honey is more mellow but still distinct. The cognac notes continue to linger, but as a back- note and harsh at all. It serves more to underline the mellow roasty notes of the coffee and grain and add a roundness to it all. The vanilla and honey cancel any lingering sourness from the coffee and grain and add a welcome modicum of sweetness. Just lovely all around, and maybe smells even better than it tastes. (775 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (729 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (650 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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 – Milk chocolate: Yoo-hoo more specifically. Cognac. Bitter cocoa and raisins. Almond extract and white chocolate as it warms.

T – Sharp alcohol takes the lead and holds it through the finish. Sweet caramel and dark fruit center. Agave, honey, and brown sugar sweetness pair with bitter chocolate and a dry oakiness deeper in the profile.

M – Medium body is soft with warm alcohol front and center.

O – My guess was Cognac. (608 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of spycow (thanks Chris!). I shared this with my wife to celebrate Monday night football on Thanksgiving week. This pours a brownish black color, very opaque with a finely celled milk chocolate colored foam.

Nice candied liqueur aromas laid over the roasted malts, slightly sweet with a well integrated cognac note. The more I smell it the more I like it, sort of akin to an Eclipse. The cognac flavor comes through well without adding any burn, very well done barrel aging as far as my tastes go. Initially sweet with long lasting aftertastes of liquor and malt. Light carbonation helps lend this a silky mouthfeel.

This was actually better than I expected in every way, I wouldn't mind having it again anytime. (730 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes taken during a tasting with a friend.

A - Poured into a snifter an oily black with a two finger mocha head that leaves very nice side lacing and good clouding. Spectacular for a this high of an ABV.

S - The nose is mostly very nice cognac with some very light chocolate. Unfortunately I feel the cognac is overpowering the stout a little.

T - Nice chocolate and sweetness, with very nice barrel notes and cognac flavours. Really pleasant taste.

M - Light, smooth, creamy with just a little carbonation. Not too hot at all!

O - Not bad but not super amazing. Mikkeller Barrel aged black hole has been hit or miss...either undrinkable or pretty good. This is solid, but not quite as good as the tequilla one. (722 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap at farmers cabinet

Pours an inky black with a tiny toasted brown head resting on top. Some patchy lacing clings to the glass with some wispy film littered across the top.

Aggressive nose with cognac and booze, tempered by soothing oak and vanilla. Highly roasted malts with a touch of tobacco and smoke. Chocolate sweetness with dark malts. Boozy and warm.

Warm and boozy right out of the gate with heavily roasted (almost charred) malts. Dark flavor with caramel and chocolate, followed by some toasted bread crust. Cognac and oak with residual vanilla, leather and tobacco. Heavy and boozy in the finish.

Fuller body, milder carbonation, sticky and thick on the tongue. This is nowhere near as bad as some people make it out to be - although the flavors are a bit clumsy due to the heavily roasted and charred notes in the nose and flavor profile. The volume is definitely amped up on this one. (910 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a luscious sable with a fairly thick and fluffy tan head. Aroma is absolutely heavenly - chocolate, smoked wood, licorice, malt and hints of coffee and cognac. Flavor - oh, such flavor! Smoky malt, chocolate, quality coffee, subtle notes of licorice, toffee and cognac, no surprise for the latter. Alcohol bite is firm but not overwhelming. Texture is full-bodied and then a little, fizzy and lively, leaving a tingly and smoky finish. Grab this one whilst it’s available! (480 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (906 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Given the, ah, aggressive price point on these little 12.7 oz. bottles, we decided to only grab one varietal of the Black Hole series - the cognac. Split up into two six ounce or so servings.

Pours is swamp muck black, probably about 30 weight. Smell is unadulterated cognac. Nada else. Unconsciously I poured this into a snifter. Ha. Luckily, I like the smell of cognac, or I wouldn't have picked this up.

Black Hole Cognac reports to different masters in the nose & the mouth - freakishly. The one-dimensional smell gives way to a layered list of ingredients. The vanilla & cognac top the play card, on a stage built of sweet, dark malts. Coffee/roast is present but sitting in the back of the theatre. Nice bitter chocolate rounds it out; the cognac reasserts itself on the backside & warms my toes nicely. Feeling a little woozy now.

Excellent brew, easily the best drink of beer I've had from Mikkeller to date. The cognac was a stroke of genius...love to try more beers that have been donut-dunked in these barrels. (1,027 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle with silver foil.

Pours like the other Black Hole variants, pitch black with a surprisingly big head that recedes very quickly to a thin collar and leaves some spotty lacing.

Aroma is really good on this, surprisingly good actually. I really think the cognac mellows out the original nose, which is a good thing. There is some sweet fruit and lots of malts and oak, but the abrasive Black Hole aroma is tamed a bit.

The taste is, again, better than I remember any version of this beer being. There is lots of sweet booze from the cognac but it doesn't burn and is actually pleasant. Much more pleasant than the original Black Hole taste which is too over-the-top in just about every aspect. This has oak with smooth cognac booziness and just enough of the heavily roasted malts, chocolate and coffee from the stout.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with strong carbonation and the burn in the back is actually quite pleasing.

Color me surprised and impressed with this beer, which I really think is the best version of Black Hole I've ever had. Smooth and (shockingly) drinkable vs. the others. I need to try the original again as the barrel variants are better than I remember the original being. (1,221 characters)

Photo of Bung
4.15/5  rDev 0%
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. (704 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch black with a big and dense medium brown head. Fades slowly, leaving substantial fluffy lacing behind.

S: Like the tequila version I had last night, it's loaded with sweet molasses. This one actually has just a little roasted malt character coming through with some char and chocolate. Nice fruitiness, grapes and raisins maybe? Hint of alcohol bite unlike the tequila version as well.

T: A little fruity cognac up front which quickly turns into heavy, heavy charred oak and smoke. Vanilla kicks in and is present through the aftertaste. A little honey also helps to sweeten up the ash and results in a decent finish. Quite boozy and not nearly as sweet as the tequila version.

M: Heavy, slick and a bit chalky. This beer is quite ashy and I swear it even has ash in the mouthfeel too.

O: As mentioned I just had the tequila version last night. Amazing how different the two versions are. The tequila version was very sweet and heavy on the molasses. This has almost no molasses and is much better balanced. Tons more roasted malt character in this too which is what I wanted to see from the tequila version. Overall I give this one the edge, it's just a better overall beer. (1,193 characters)

Photo of MacQ32
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - near black caramel head that quickly dissipated, minimal lacing

S - sweet vanilla, honey and cognac, pretty strong

T - sweet vanilla, a little roastyness, some honey, straight cognac

M - medium body and fair carbonation, a bit of a sipper

O - good cognac flavor, heavy on the vanillas and roasty coffee flavors (318 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown-black with a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. Fades at a normal pace.

S - Dark chocolate and dark caramel malts, roasted coffee, molasses, black licorice, oak, cognac, vanilla, some dark fruit, and some booze.

T - Dark chocolate and sweet dark caramel malts, roasted coffee, cognac, vanilla, black licorice, molasses, some vanilla and dark fruit, some citrus and pine hops and a bit of bitterness, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a warming and sweet finish.

D - Nicely balanced big imperial Stout. Nice body and mouthfeel. The cognac barrel adds some nice complexity. (633 characters)

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Black Hole (Cognac Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
92 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.