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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

53 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 53
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 7.9%
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-27-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 53 | Reviews: 38
Photo of dudecandle
3.61/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pitch-black body with perhaps the darkest mocha head I've ever seen. Head was 1+ finger, thick, and left great lacing.

S: A little disappointingly one-note, just smoke for the most part. It was subtly complemented by a deep, roasted character, perhaps coffee.

T: Again, primarily smoke. The present chocolate is about as bitter as I've found in stouts. Toast and coffee, as well.

M: Very full and rich. Quite pleasant.

D: Smoke is the main thing here, but unlike lesser versions of the style, it doesn't get overwhelming and disgusting. It perhaps could have benefited from a nicer complement of secondary flavors, but it was pleasant enough.

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.

Photo of mentor
3.39/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown one-finger head over a pitch liquid. Thick during the pour. Smells grassy hops with strong blackberry (my guess is from Northern Brewer hops) and some clean alcohol. Dark malts and some esters are present, but far below the hops. Malt is roast and chocolate and esters are anise.

Tastes strong hoppiness with supporting malt sweet. Malt sweet is cut a bit short due to an alcohol sting upon the swallow. Hop flavor is grassy with blackberry and anise. Malt is tame roast and dry cocoa. Cherry ester in the finish and ashy aftertaste. Much too hoppy for the style, but still a nice beer. Thick in the mouth, but doesn't cling on the tongue, due to the alcohol. Medium carbonation and decent drinkability.

Photo of m1ked
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great growler fills at New Beer Distributors- in variety and price. Love it there.

A- Pours like it is actually a void of light. Very dark with a healthy 1 1/2" cappacino like head that fades down into a thin skimming with a thicker ring trying to climb up the edges. Hold it up to the light and you get the edges turning garnet-ish.

S- Dark roasted coffee, a sour vinegar note almost as it had some barrelling, bakers chocolate, a touch of black licorice, some ripe blueberry.

T-Bitter chocoalte with that sour note, fading into almost a smokey roasted coffee, and that blueberry that finishes with a long bitter woody tannin- almost makes me pucker with some salivary glands squirting.

M- For a stout given the triple X nomenclature, this is actually very thin bodied, and finishes very dry. Carbonation is fine that works with the sour notes in there.

D- This has been my favorite offering from CBC. I wouldn't normally pick a stout for a hot humid NYC summers day/night, but my wife was in the mood...I'm glad she was. this is a unique stout that stands out to me with the sour-ish/barrel-ish notes to it.

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.

Photo of WesWes
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this 22oz bottle filled by New Beer from Nutbrown. Thanks Alan!

It pours( a nice fizz when I opened it) a pitch black with a +1 finger head of tan foam.

The smell is of roasted malt with a big bitter hop presence and light coffee and a touch of smoke.

The taste is big roasted malt goodness followed by nice mild coffee tones, some chocolate, and a cool flavour of hop bitterness that makes it exactly what the style calls for. Very nice. There's no abv listed here or on their website but I'd guess this is ~6.5%.

The mouthfeel is medium as is the carbonation and it finishes nicely bitter demanding that I take another sip.

Drinkability? It sure goes down easy and is tasty as hell. What a wonderful Foreign/Export Stout! You guys in NYC have it made!! Oh and head retention is good and there's some nice lacing. Thanks again go out to Nutbrown!

Photo of bonbini26
2.81/5  rDev -30.6%
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

Photo of hopdog
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
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

Photo of ffejherb
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Chelsea on 1/17/09. Served in a shaker pint glass.

A - Pure black body with a finger of creamy tan head that receded to a thin ring but left ornate lacing around the rim of the glass.

S - Aroma is reminiscent of brown chocolate licorice candy with roasted malt, a hint of coffee and gritty, leafy earthen hops.

T - Chocolate malt and a more subtle coffee character with moderate hop bitterness and a bit of a nutty aspect. Licorice and roasted malt really comes out in the finish and is joined by an earthy hop bitterness.

M - Medium body with a smooth, oily, slick texture, yet maintains a pretty good level of carbonation resulting in some prickle on the tongue. Mildly astringent on the palate with a good bit of earthy hop bitterness in the finish.

D - Nice job on this solid stout that is pretty complex and tasty. Congrats to Chelsea on the Bronze medal at the 2008 GABF!

Photo of Nickls
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(From notes)

A - Dense jet black color, with a nice creamy tan head that held well

S - Light roasted malt aromas, and really the smokey/roasted aromas are all that's going on to my nose

T - Dryish roastiness, with some fainter burlapy/grainy flavors

M - Medium to thicker MF, and not that creamy. Carbonation was what I would expect for the style (light, but still some snappy bubbles)

D - Just OK drinkability for me as the flavor range was not overly complex (even for the style) and really didn't quaff as well as some other examples that I've tried.

Overall, this was more than a solid brew. However, not my favorite offering from Chelsea and they've proven they can do better (damn my expectations). Definitely worth checking out if readily available.

Photo of paigertx
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Photo of czfreeman
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from cask at The Blind Tiger Saloon, NY.
Initial black apperance with a thin lace of tan brown around the top was the intital greeting from the beer, looks really tasty.
Lots of coffee,bitter chocolates, charcoals, smokiness from the malts, touch of vanilla sweetness, but nose leans havy on the bitter-malty side.
Flavor is very reminescent of the nose. Slightly dry, little bit of chocolate sweetness, but overall a dominatly bitter style stout.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, finish is on the cleaner-dry side.
Overall a nice sipper.

Photo of kasper
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an extremely dark brown/black with a luscious multi-finger chocolate head that settles to a thick blanket, leaving all kinds of crazy lacing on the glass.

S: Smells of roasty, but pretty simple. There's nothing amazing in the smell, maybe some bittersweet chocolate, but that really comes through on the taste.

T: Loads of malty bittersweet chocolate up front with a subtle bitter espresso finish. very tastey, extremely well balanced. alchocal burn at points

M: Smooth and thick like a like a milkshake. I consider it a full body beer. A nicely carbonated imperial stout.

D: I find this beer to be pretty drinkable if you're a fan of smooth and tasty double/imperialk stouts. I've all but finished a growler purchased a couple days ago at bierkraft, and will definitelty have a pint any time I see it around in NYC.

Also had this gem at the recent Manhattan Cask Fest (thanks Alex), and it was even smoother and tastier.

Photo of Douglas14
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of gwong
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours jet black with a thin tan/brown head. Excellent lacing left on the glass.

S: Roasted malts and nuts in the nose.

T: Bittersweet dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavor.

M: Medium body with low carbonation and smooth on the tongue.

D: Very drinkable but the alcohol will eventually get to you.

Photo of plaid75
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of tempest
3.93/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of EPICAC
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Brazen Head in Brooklyn.

Appearance: Pours an opaque black/brown. It's topped by a thin, beige head that subsides to a film, leaving patchy lace.

Smell: Roasted malts: coffee and chocolate with some mild fruitiness.

Taste: There's a fruity soda like sweetness upfront. The finish is some nice roasted coffee and dark chocolate flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied. Low carbonation. Smooth.

Drinkability: A little sweet, but nice.

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.

Photo of vhiggins
4.74/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap @ The Barcade, Bklyn

Started a tasting with a half pint..and I didn't even bother with another beer all night!

It poured black with a thin dark-toffey head as I expected it too. The beer was slightly chilled and slowly made it's way to room temperature and IMO it was served perfectly

The smell hit me right away. It had a wonderful deep-rich smell that consisted of roasted malts, chocolate and christmas tree like sap / syrup.

The taste was even better!. A smooth Bittersweet bite that was not overpowered by sweetness. It have a few different tastes as i reached the bottom. Coffee, dark chocolate a little bit nutty @ times. Finished very smooth and balanced.

Medium body with hardly any carbonation. Very smooth

Very, very drinkable beer. Excellent Stout. One of my favorites this winter.
Cheers to a local brewery for a great beer!

Photo of ski271
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: So dark brown it looks almost black. Head is medium tan, small, and velvety with good retention. Excellent rings of lacing all the way down.

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

Taste: The malts dominate this relatively sweet brew. Bittersweet chocolate, earth, coffee, plum, and a little brown sugar. It turns a little bitter and fruitier for a few seconds on its way to the rich, sweet, dark chocolate, long-lasting finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, creamy texture, hardly any carbonation.

Drinkability: It’s a well-rounded big stout. Excellent with a desert or just as a nice evening wintertime snack. Although it’s not the greatest stout, there’s something unique about that I enjoyed. Maybe someday it will come to me and I’ll be able to point to what made it different. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of francisweizen
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-Cask at Copperfields. A dark, nearly opaque black colour with a small off-white head that did not last long. the aromas were of roasted malts, chocolate, a bit of coffee, some vanilla, a bit of oak and more. The taste was very roasty up front but very sweet and chocolate-like in the finish. Although this was not a very hoppy stout, the small hop flavors that were there complemented the other flavors in this beer quite well. The mouthfeel was a bit thin for the style but the drinkability was very, very good. I want some more beers from Chelsea. Now please.

Photo of Sixpoint
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Black Hole XXX Stout from Chelsea Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.