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Black Hole XXX Stout - Chelsea Brewing Company

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Black Hole XXX Stout
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BA SCORE
89
very good

52 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 52
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 8.15%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Chelsea Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by almychristopher:
Photo of almychristopher
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours a very black color hard to even get highlights when backlit, the dark tan head fades to a nice sheet of lace. the aroma is nicely toasted with the 8.0 abv not really making much of a showing. the taste has a good malty backbone with a dry finish. the full body and, well, all the malt makes this my favorite chelsea beer.

almychristopher, May 26, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stellar rings of lace stick to the glass, two shades away from pitch black.

Big roasted twang, suggestive of coffee and unsweetened bakers chocolate. Punch of dark fruitiness lines up with the sweetness of the malt giving off ripe plum and dark raisin flavours. Finishes slightly sweet with a leftover charcoal twang.

Very yummy, sip this one and let it warm up a bit.

Jason, Oct 17, 2002
Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler poured into a tulip pint.

A--Beefy three finger head, billowy dark brown sugar colored foam. Pitch black body. Impressive looking.

S--Smells like charred dark cocoa powder. Also some molasses pulled through, a rich syrupy not sweetness so much as roasted tang. Smells thick and smooth, somehow.

T--Light and full-flavored at the same time. Tons of dark chocolate and charcoal puckering bitterness. Tobacco huskiness parches toward the back. Roasty but mostly bitter chocolate notes, without as much coffee. In the middle there's a lovely almost plum thing going on. The kind of plum taste you get from some sauces in Asian cooking. The black malt flavors are well developed here.

M&D--Mouthfeel's excellent: silky and slick. Lightens the flavor wallop considerably without being watery. Drinkability's decent. Pretty hefty to session, but one or two are fully satisfying.

A massive stout. This one is not screwing around. Like Guinness Foreign Extra on roids. Could use a /bit/ of restraint, I think, but shows off American boisterousness well.

TheycallmeTim, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brazen Head in Brooklyn.

Looks jet black with a nice tan head and some lacing as I drink. The aroma was of a simple stout, just some dark roasted grains, but the flavor opened up to a lot more with sweet chocolate, a bitter, roasted grains element that stayed with you (in a good way). As it warmed some citrus hops came in ala Shakespeare Stout. All in all, this was a very drinkable and tasty stout. Definitely worth trying in NYC.

tempest, Sep 15, 2007
Photo of kennethkearns
4/5  rDev -1.2%

kennethkearns, Jun 26, 2012
Photo of bonbini26
2.78/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On Gravity Cask @ the Blind Tiger 02-07-09

A- dark brown, almost black. No head at all from the cask

S- Big roasted malts. Nuts, chocolate, coffee, and a little smoke along with a small herbal hopiness.

T- Not much going on here, sweet malts, some chocolate, coffee notes

M- light-medium body, creamy texture, hardly any carbonation.

D- pretty easy drinking. I would like to try this on tap vs. cask. I feel like a lot of the flavor was lost from the gravity cask

bonbini26, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of paigertx
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Perfectly balanced alcohol and drinkability for a strong stout. Pours the dark chocolate color with a light head and continues the tastes of what a stout should be. Delicious and deserving of another or two.

Would like to do the whole formal description but this deserves the ultimate resepect, simple appreciation without over analysis. Top 3 best stouts I have ever, yes EVER had.

paigertx, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cask at d.b.a., Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high beige head that took a long time to fade away.
S: There are light aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has light to moderately strong flavors of roasted malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth yet a bit thin on the palate. There is a hint of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer is relatively easy to drink for the style because it isn’t very heavy on the palate.

metter98, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of pnkermiz
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Barcade. Foreign export stout (a style whose definition I can never fully grasp) was deep black in color with a nice frothy head. Coffee and dark chocolate is very evident in the aroma and in the first sip. Roasted malts and bitter chocolate and hops come through in the second wave of flavor. Goes down dangerously easy for the ABV in a pint. Tasty. I wish they brewed this one a bit more often.

pnkermiz, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of plaid75
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep black hue with a two finger creamy light tan head. There was very good retention and excellent lacing.

The smell featured a robust burnt grain with hints of cafe au lait and a light smokiness.

The taste was upfront milky coffee with a balancing burnt grain acridness.

The mouthfeel was full and creamy.

Overall a delicious and perfectly crafted stout. Not as rigid as most exports.

plaid75, Oct 19, 2007
Photo of weeare138
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a midnight black with a dark tan head. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is roasted barley, chocolate, lactose, light butter, and ripe fruit.
Taste is of the aromas with a roasty cocoa, and espresso flavor breaking through with mild hoppy resin.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, bitter, and chewy with some tobacco and roast.

weeare138, Apr 08, 2010
Photo of mrbeery
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black in color, that's ok with me...turns out I like a stout that looks like a stout.

S: Really no nose to it. Slight caramel, but not something that I care about that much after I tasted it.

T: Taste is sensational - lingers for a long time, with a distinct maltiness that I kinda dig. Lots of roasted coffee notes. The guys at Chelsea just make good, drinkable beer.

M: Little 'chewy', reminds me that I'm having a malty stout.

O: WINNER!!

mrbeery, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of hopdog
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brew Pub.

Waiter told me this was the Porter Authority but all the boards at the bar has it listed as the Blackhole Stout.

Poured a dar black with an averaged sized tan head. Aromas and tastes of chocolate and roasted malts. Tastes had a lactose quality to it with stronger chocolate. Medium sweet with a light bitterness.

Notes from: 9/17/05

hopdog, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of Douglas14
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a matte black color with a nice tan head that is very thick...easily one of the best heads I have ever seen. It smells heavily of coffee, caramel, and burnt/ roasted malt. The taste is of very dark chocolate, dark fruits, roasted coffee beans, and caramel again. It has a nice hoppiness to it that greatly distinguishes it from the other export stouts. It is super silky in the mouth. Delicious beer.

Douglas14, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of JRod1969
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

JRod1969, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: black in color with a nice 2" tan colored head. Thick lacing paints the glass during the session.

Smell: roasted malts and some dark chocolates are detectable.

Taste: big roasted malt profile with dark chocolates, hints of coffee, soft alcohol tones, and a nice hearty bitterness to balance it out.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish, and a bit dry at the end. Long aftertaste as the flavors linger in the mouth forever.

Drinkability: this was a nice hearty stout after spending a cold day in NYC. This one is worth having when it is on tap.

Gavage, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of k3ve
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

k3ve, Mar 26, 2014
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -1.2%

nmann08, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of TheBrewo
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was served on cask at Blind Tiger in New York, NY. It arrived in a mug, and appeared to be of the darkest brown color. It sported a one finger tan head, and left no notable lacing as it dissipated. The brew was very dark, making it difficult to assess the presence of sediment and carbonation, but very little of either was noted. The aroma began with a bold steely coffee bean, mixed with bitter cocoa, and huge roasted malt character. Additionally, a cooling vanilla bean was present along with the faintest whiff of alcohol way in the back of the nose. As we sipped we were surprised to experience a hollow hop bitterness right off the front. This was particularly interesting because we hadn’t noticed any hop character in the aroma prior to tasting. As the hops died down, a sour lactic acidity was noticed along with a nice bold coffee bean. As we moved through to the middle of the taste, the vanilla bean from the nose becomes apparent, cooling the palate as it does. This is quickly muted by a charcoal darkness and smoky quality, which brought us to a conclusion. The aftertaste was full, boasting of dry roasted malts, and medicinal phenols, and ending with a unifying smokiness that helps to pull all of the various flavor components together neatly. The body was medium, and the carbonation was low. This beer did, however, feel a bit watery for something labeled a XXX stout. We were expecting something of a robust and full body, and instead were met with a thinner brew more reminiscent of an English porter than a bold stout. The abv was appropriate and the beer drank easily enough.

Overall, the best thing about this brew was the aroma. It was rich and bold, boasting of big roasted malts, and huge coffee elements. These elements, however, were blended perfectly with a cooling vanilla, leading to a complex and mouthwatering aroma that fit this style perfectly. Where the beer lost points however, was in the mouthfeel. We were expecting something rich, bold, and full bodied, but instead were met with a rather thin and watery brew.

TheBrewo, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

DoubleSimcoe, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of brystmar
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the Pony Bar in NYC.

A: pitch black with a tan finger of head. Excellent retention, strong sticky lace all over the glass.

S: dark roasty malts, charcoal, chocolate, mild black coffee. What's here is good, just wish were more pungent.

T: very dark and roasty, almost burnt / charred. Tons of roasted malts everywhere fading nicely to a bittersweet chocolatey finish. A well-polished, delicious brew.

M: Full-bodied and ultra creamy. This is what all beers strive to be!

O: an excellent stout; very glad I stumbled upon this one. Pretty straightforward, but who says that's a bad thing?

brystmar, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of Sixpoint
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a pint of this on tap a few days before the Republican Convention in NYC.


Nice appearance... opaque black, there is definitely no light passing through this stout. A black hole for light, indeed.

Smells awesome. I smell an abudance of roasted grains... must have put copious amounts of chocolate, roast, black, and dark crystal malts. My suspicions are confirmed by the brewers, Chris and Mark, whom are sitting next to me.

Tastes nice. There is a creaminess that comes from flaked barley, which instantly reminds me of a classic Irish dry stout. In addition, the flaked barley lends a distinct dry sharpness, which, in my opinion, adds a unique element to the beer.

I give this beer a 3.5 for mouthfeel simply because I would like it to be a bit more full-bodied.

Overally, I think this beer is very drinkable. Like all of Chelsea's beers, this beer is super-clean, very attenuated, and has lots of flavor hops. A slice of California in NYC.

Sixpoint, Aug 29, 2004
Photo of WesWes
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pitch black color with an awesome brown head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice dry, roasted scent that boasts of chocolate and patent malts. There is also a bit of sweetness to the aroma. The taste is great! It has quite a black/roasted malt flavor that goes down incredibly smooth and finishes with an earthy bitterness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a well brewed stout with loads of roasted character.

WesWes, May 26, 2009
Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

picked up a small growler fill of this today for the giant game.

a - poured into a ccb snifter. thick black with a thin tannish offwhite head spotty lacing.

s - very roasty and a little burnt. has an irish cream undertone to it. quite nice.

t - HUGE roasted malts. again, irish cream undertone. finishes a bit burnt and bitter. maybe some andy's candy in there.

m - bold and lively. lots of carbonation giving it a kind of porter like char to the feel.

o - overall a very nice foreign export stout, reminds me a bit of short's uncle steve's irish stout, but better. very good take on the style from a local brewery. would be more than happy to have this again. worthy.

cosmicevan, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of dwarbi
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful, rich, dark beer. Malty head. Looks so thick, you just want to smear it on some bread and hike some glaciers, using only this as nourishment.

Smells like chocolate and oats... toasted

Taste is fantastic. Leaves your tongue swimming. Very drinkable for a stout.

dwarbi, Feb 08, 2003
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Black Hole XXX Stout from Chelsea Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.