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Dark Hollow Artisanal Ale - Blue Mountain Brewery

Not Rated.
Dark Hollow Artisanal AleDark Hollow Artisanal Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

165 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 165
Hads: 693
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 25.51%
Wants: 63
Gots: 119 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 11-02-2007

Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. Dark Hollow blends the miracle of two crafts--brewing and distillation--to create a work greater than the sum of its parts. An Imperial Stout has been aged in charred American oak bourbon barrels still dripping with uncut whiskey. For 100 days the young beer patiently breathes in and out of the wood, gaining complexity, character, and serious attitude.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 165 | Hads: 693
Photo of cpetrone84
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pour is black with a fairly tight tan head. Nose is lightly charred oak, rich chocolaty and caramel malt with a faint hint of marshmallow and a light acrid burnt aroma barely there. Taste is much more sweet and much less put together than the nose. Malts are still very rich but then transition into sugary sweetness. Barrel and char have a must more muted presence up front, the acrid flavor is again extremely faint through the finish. Body is a bit empty in the finish and lacks carbonation. Feel is soft and creamy but a touch slick.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This is amongst the prettiest beers I've ever seen with a deep radiant black hue and a substantial foamy head. The foam coalesced to a near milkshake like froth and it stayed a finger thick for the entire time. The lacing was thick and sticky and layered across the span of the snifter.

The nose is relatively simple with strong chocolate notes, roasted coffee, bourbonesque cream and a bit of coconut.

The flavors, though, are of a much stronger lot with dry bitter chocolate, strong roasted coffee, coconut and an end of creamy sweet bourbon. This gets drier as it warms and the bitterness and dryness become more prominent.

The feel is actually quite odd. The initial feel is thick and substantial but it thins with warmth. The entire time, though, the alcohol warmth is offset by about 30 seconds and then the chest is afire.

I'm not sure how much I spent on this, probably $10-12, but I feel that it was well worth the money and well worth the taste.

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Photo of barhoc11
2.94/5  rDev -25%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Thin

S: Smells pretty good actually, bourbon really comes through

T: The bourbon and stout do not mix well, aftertaste is very bad

M: Thin but not horrible

O: I thought this was not good at all, I didn't have high expectations either. This beer was lacking in every category and I couldn't get through the entire bottle, what a waste.

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle in Asheville, NC, the self-proclaimed "Beer City." Somewhat expensive ($5+ for 12 ounces), but will it be worth it?

Appearance 4.0: Poured out a jet black with no head whatsoever. Looks like a bottle of motor oil. Completely opaque and thick. Dark, mysterious and inviting!

Smell 3.75: Very nice bouquet on this brew. Lots of smokiness, with a subtly sweet hint of malt and hoppiness. Also, I detect a deep hint of corn & treacly wood rosins.

Taste 4.25: Front is slightly sweet but features a big hit of bourbony goodness along with a (not off-putting) saltiness. This fades seamlessly into the middle, which is smooth and cool with very little flavor. Finish is slightly hoppy and semi-sweet with a deep background of toasted grains and a very pleasant charred wood flavor. Aftertaste is long and of several levels: bourbon, charred wood, toasted grains, sweet malt...holy mackerel! Worth the price for this taste level alone. Wow.

Mouthfeel 3.75: Flat and smooth in the mouth, which reflects and hides the mammoth ABV of this baby. Still, it is a bit too flat (hence my lower score).

Overall 4.0: Big and boozy, but very well balanced and packed with lovely flavor notes, this brew did not disappoint in any way on any level. Definitely not a session beer (the ABV ensures you will pass out after a few), but a fantastic treat and a wonderful pairing on a cold winter's night beside a roaring fire. If you find it, buy it.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Daily Growler in Upper Arlington, OH.

Pours a dark, oily looking black with a half inch head, and small little spots of lacing down the glass.

Tastes include rich dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and some mild alcohol.

The taste is similar. Dark roasted rich malt flavor, tons of chocolate, sweet subtle bourbon, some smoke, not much, and some vanilla and oak. Very smooth, and quite delicious. The barrel character doesn't punch you in the face, more like it caresses it very nicely.

Medium bodied, could be thicker for the style. Creamy smooth mouthfeel, very drinkable for the ABV.

An excellent BA stout that seems better than the reviews to me.

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Photo of palma
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great pour. Beatiful head. Burnt toast. Medium sweetness. Chocolate notes. Very roasty. Mild subtle coffee notes if you look hard. This is a great tasting double that is lighter on the coffee notes but just as flavorful as others. I start to tast sugar cookies as the beer warms up. Delicious. Silky mouthfeel.

Not the most complex barrel aged double stout out there but still delicious.

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Photo of hops202
4.59/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle Poured into a stone snifter. Bottle appears to be around a year old.

Has a great look - black with a tiny bit of dark brown which might just be from the caramel carbonation bubbles. A delicious looking silky caramel head with plenty of lacing. Aroma has plenty of big vanilla notes - bourbon is present, chocolate and creamy sweetness. Taste follows the nose fairly well but with a ton of creamy goodness. Lots of vanilla bourbon and chocolate and a super silky smooth mouthfeel. Definitely gets better as it warms. Overall a very well done BBA stout.

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Photo of obywan59
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a very slim tan head that does, however,, leave some decent lacing.

Caramel and fruity milk chocolate. Bourbon, oak and dark fruits round out the aroma.

Taste is more dark chocolate than milk chocolate. Bourbon barrel at times seems to hint at vanilla. Some dark fruits here as well, sweet malts complemented nicely by some citric hops. Finish of bitter char and alcohol.

Smooth and silky with a slight bite of carbonation and some very warming alcohol.

Aromatic, tasty, smooth, mellow, and yet potent. A well-rounded brew. I'll definitely try it again.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and char flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that has a better barrel aged presence in the aroma in my opinion.

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Photo of Maxbier
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very dark with thick dark brown head, aroma of dark cacao. Loads if roasted malt flavor, chocolate, hint of oak, bourbon, nice bitterness in the finish (reminds me of the bitterness in a piece of high percentage cacao dark chocolate). Very silky mouthfeel. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance – The beer is served an almost pitch black color with a one finger of tan colored head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a moderate level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite heavy of a roasted malt smell as well as some other darker aromas of cocoa and coffee. Along with the darker aromas are some sweeter smells with some caramel and vanilla as well as a light amount of a raisin flavor. Rounding out the aroma is a nice oaky bourbon smell, helping to produce a very warming smelling brew.

Taste – The taste begins a bit of chocolate sweetness mixed with a nice roasted base. Along with these flavors are tastes of caramel and vanilla, adding a moderate level of sweetness to the brew. As the flavor advances the chocolate loses ground while a coffee flavor begins growing in. The roasted malts grow even more intense and hints of a char flavor come to the tongue. With the char and coffee there is a little bit of a bitter bite to the brew, which is complemented nicely with some lighter hop flavors of a earthy nature. Some of the bourbon barrel flavor begins developing to the middle and the end, bringing with it some nice flavors of oak and booze. With a slight decrease in the caramel sweetness more toward the end of the taste, one is left with a dark and semi-sweet, but still pleasant roasted taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the average side. A slightly lower carbonation and slightly thicker body would have likely been better for all the dark, roasted, and somewhat boozy flavors of the brew, but overall the feel was still pretty good and quite appropriate for the style.

Overall – A rather tasty Imperial with a nice roasted and bourbony flavor with an moderate level of sweetness and bitterness. Quite tasty overall.

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Photo of charlzm
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Consumed December 30th, 2013 from a corked bottle (13.7 fluid ounces).

Beer pours essentially black with only dark mahogany highlights.. One finger-tan head.

Aroma is mainly bourbon with mocha and dark pitted fruit notes.

Flavor is slightly salty bourbon and dark pitted fruits. Some wood near the end. Finishes up with very long-lasting bitterness. Furtive chocolate/coffee notes are barely noted.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth and slightly chewy. Plenty of heat as well.

Not world-class IMHO, but impressive enough to warrant repeat purchases.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An extra from billab914- thanks!

Appearance- Pours up enough head for me to get a sense of the color and dissipates quickly. The head is a dark beige while the body is a dark chocolate black. Some traces of lacing at the start. Lacing reduces to a spot here and there.

Nose- Not exactly what I was expecting but still quite interesting. Lots of raisins followed by a tiny bit of chocolate that suggests chocolate covered raisins. A little bit of grain and oatmeal come through, making this smell like an oatmeal raisin cookie. Almost all raisins from the glass with strong notes of prunes as well. Suggestions of oranges as well. Swirling adds nothing to the aroma. Later swirling shows a vinous character that has a slight suggestion of vinegar.

Taste- Follows through with continued notes of raisins followed by light chocolate. Some notes of grain and oatmeal such that it is fairly of the nose. Not sure how old this beer is but I'm guessing this has some age on it. It's very mellow and has lots of balance and great integration. No heat at all. Some cocoa. A little bit of brown bread, brown sugar- nothing that has a lot of presence except the raisins. Some oak in the background is the only indication of barrel aging. I guess you could say this expresses a melanoidin character as well. The malt bill (while not expansive) is rich and hearty. This is a very subtle beer but quite enjoyable. Mostly good with inclinations to really good. I'm really excited to be drinking a quite refined and exquisite beer from a brewery not too far from my hometown.

Mouthfeel- A little more than medium bodied with a tinge of syrup to the texture. Light carbonation works well with this type of beer.

Drinkability- Incredibly easygoing. Functions both as a sipper and a fast drinker. No idea about the price as it was an extra in a trade. Definitely reasonable if it's under 20 and a bargain at 10.

Overall- Mostly good, shows signs of being really good. Worth a try especially since it is not your typical barrel aged imperial stout.

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Photo of jlindros
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by June 2014, thanks to HeadyHops81 for this one. Shared with many at my cellar cleaning.

Mild creamy dark colored head fades quickly, dark molasses brown color.

Nose molasses, raw sugar cane, sweet candy malts, caramel and toffee, hint of dark fruits, hint of oxidation I think, hint of booze and some whisky barrel notes.

Taste thick and syrupy, little cocoa, molasses caramel, mild whisky barrel, then oxidation too, syrupy and thick, no bitterness and fairly smooth. Nice choc syrupy finish, mild bitterness, pretty sweet.

Mouth is med bod, syrupy, lighter carb.

Overall meh. Tastes like it should have been drunk 5 years ago even though it's not that old. Plenty of oxidation, very sweet and syrupy, very little actual barrel characters, and so-so overall.

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Photo of rudzud
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice clear brownish hue with a thin had.

S - Aromas of faint oxidation, molasses, light chocolate and bourbon.

T - Taste is older chocolate, oxidation, light bourbon, light malts, molasses. Just old.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit overly carbonated, not quite smooth.

O - Overall this beer was just okay, old and oxidized. Best by June '14.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750mL corked and caged poured into an Allagash chalice. The cork says Best By May 2013; I don't remember when I cellared it.

A - A somewhat aggressive pour yields one finger of hazelnut head. The body is thick and dark without clarity. The head lasts for a long while. Sticky lacing paints the glass as I drink.

S - Smells initially of bourbon, full of vanilla and tobacco. Juicy cherry, plum, and date sweetness follows along with a touch of tannin tartness. Roasty dark chocolate rounds it out. Strong and complex aroma.

T - Very sweet upfront with vanilla extract and dark fruits galore. There are a lot of red wine components in this beer, right down to a mild tartness and drying oak. Char comes in on the back end and lingers. Despite the complexity of flavors, it is actually quite mellow for the variety. Still, tasty.

M - Medium bodied. A little bit undercarbonated, but this kind of works with the wine-like flavors. Dry finish.

O - Blue Mountain was a brewery I always respected during my college days in the Shenandoah Valley. I have found their experimental barrel house series to be hit-or-miss but I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. The aroma was powerful with a strong red wine aroma. The barrel and bourbon shine through in the flavor, but a few years of age have really mellowed it out. Enjoyable barrel aged stout that I would get again.

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Photo of Vierenner
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was really looking forward to this beer ... picked up a bomber while in Virginia a few months back. Very discouraging to pop the cork and have it explode out the top like a volcano. Even after pouring 6 oz or so, the foam continues to rise out of the bottle. Stupid.

Beyond that I'm okay with it. Doesn't rock my world like I had hoped but isn't a major disappointment either. Aroma is pleasant, the taste malty/oaky and not too bitter. However, the carbonation is out of control ... I feel the urge to burp after every sip.

Absent the carbonation issue, I think this is a very good beer.

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Photo of Earpe
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this Stout on tap at my local Capital Ale House with a German Burger.

Absolutely loved this stout, and it is probably my favorite of the Stout class of beers. Very smooth going down as it is a bourbon barrel aged stout. Bourbon flavor with a hint of dark charred/coffee. the smell was that of a barrel charred bourbon with hints of coffee/chocolate.

Since, I have picked up a growler and arrived at the same conclusion, this is a very good stout. unfortunately for someone who drinks stouts over any other style, this beer is expensive when compared to some of my favorite of the same class stout.

This is most definitely a stout I will revere as my favorite of the stouts, but will drink it mostly on special occasions or when at a place that has it on tap, as there are a couple other stouts that rank up with Dark Hollow for me....but at a much lower price.

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Photo of Etan
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Upstairs in Montclair.

A: Pours an unremarkable black with a small light tan head.

S: Aroma brings sharp roasted malt, soft tannic toffee and a dusting of cocoa.

T: Taste brings more roasted grain, some butterscotch and vanilla and bourbon notes from the barrel, mild coffee, a bit of booze.

M: Medium-bodied with light carbonation.

O: A solid BA imperial stout.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle served in my ST tulip. Pours with a dense, three inch, mocha-colored head. Love the nose - bourbon notes, vanilla, lactose, cocoa and toffee with a trace of ethanol at the finish. Head eventually collapses into a half inch cap leaving thick, textured swaths of lacing in its wake. Taste consistent with nose - very much reminiscent of bourbon county stout in my opinion but perhaps a little more watered down. Some coffee notes also appear towards the back, as well as a light, lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium in body with an even carbonation and a slightly oily texture. Wow - what a great beer! Surprised at how much I like this given the rating. Should rate much higher in my opinion.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - pitch black with a tan bubbly head. Nice spotty lacing during the drink

S - Soft bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt, hints of coffee.

T - The malts take the lead on the palate, with the bourbon hints taking the mouthfeel and after taste. Big full bodied mouth feel.

O - Really nice sipper - definitely worth a try for once, but not sure I'll be coming back.

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Photo of ckollias
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this beer out of a growler.

A: Pours a dark black hue with a thick brown head that dissipates slowly in to a wispy lace.

S: Malty and slight syrupy aroma

T: Strong and boozy malt flavor with a slight syrupy background

M: Full body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent imperial stout. Great flavors and aromas.

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Photo of FinchSCF
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours pitch-black with a dark tan head. Widdles down to a small layer on top, sewn in with carbonation. Looks nice and thick.

S - Vanilla and chocolate right up front, with a little woodiness. Not much else, but when it smells that good, you don't need much else.

T - That wood comes through right up front, little kick of booziness straight into the vanilla, with coffee and chocolate tailing off the end. 10% abv is very, very well hidden. Roastiness lingers in the aftertaste but could be better if the notes hung around longer.

M - Silky and thick - Very good feeling on the tongue. Leaves little to no residue on the tongue, not what you'd expect from how it feels.

O - Fantastic. Could be better if the aftertaste was a bit more loaded. Was maybe a bit much for the price I paid for it but definitely worth trying once at the very least.

Edit - Over warming, the astringency comes through more and makes it harder to taste everything else. Dropped the score a little, since I enjoyed it a little less as this happened.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black with some red flecks. Nice khaki head. Very wispy with a thick collar.

Smell - Chocolate, vanilla, oak. Some dark fruits. Bourbon there too, but faint.

Taste - Much roastier. Dark chocolate. A bit of bourbon. Dark fruits in the finish.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation. Not boozy. Medium body.

Overall - Pretty good. A little odd in the finish.

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Photo of arizcards
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a bomber for $10.99 at the Food Lion in Elkton while vacationing at Massanutten Mountain.

Beer poured black as night with a nice brown head with the initial pour. Some lacing left behind.

Nose is light notes of oak, bourbon, vanilla.

Taste is a dash of bourbon and vanilla, some sweet chocolate all balanced nicely by a ample amount of hops.

Mouthfeel is thin for the style and fairly smooth.

Overall this is an easy drinking stout, not huge on complexities but enjoyable nonetheless. Glad i had the opportunity to try.

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Dark Hollow Artisanal Ale from Blue Mountain Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.