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Black Whole - Cigar City Brewing

Black WholeBlack Whole

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

110 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 110
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 17.6%


Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Black Whole is a multi-dimensional ale that takes many twists and turns similar to our daily lives. It has a big chocolate expression with moderate caramel notes, complex toasted to biscuit notes and hints of clove and black licorice.

Black Whole is a tribute to El Chupa Cobras, a mathy indie band from Montgomery, Alabama.

(Beer added by: VaTechHopHead on 07-24-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 110 | Reviews: 40 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a brown head.

S: The nose is chocolatey and roasty with some dark fruit.

T: Flavors are chocolate, roasted malt, medium roast coffee, dark fruit, and some lighter fruits that make it a bit tart, but not uninviting.

M: Not velvety smooth, but not too over carbonated and close to full bodied.

O: Pretty good. Nothing too interesting, but it's worth a try if you can find it.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 06:23:02 | More by BierJager89
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

3.24/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

The beer does not gush out of the glass, but a huge frothing head nearly overflows the glass, causing me to need to make three attempts before I can pour the whole glass. The head fades to a moderate 1 cm head after a few minutes. As for the beer itself, it close to a black color with walnut brown edges.

Roasted malt and dark, bitter chocolate are the main components of the aroma, but Black Whole has a relatively weak smell overall.

The flavor has a bit more to it, but it is still fairly flat and mild. Dark, unsweetened chocolate and deeply roasted malt are the first flavors on my tongue. Some smoke, vanilla, and molasses add a bit of depth. The middle and end of the sip simply consists of these flavors continuing, without anything new going on. The finish has a lightly dry bitterness.

There is a huge, bubbly carbonation that feels out of place with this style of beer. It has a slightly chalky dryness toward the end of the sip. The body is a little light for the ABV, but it still has a little bit of body to it.

This was just too light in flavor and seemed to have a few shortcomings that would prevent me from grabbing this again.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2013 01:18:20 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

2.2/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle I picked up at the brewery during my visit over the week of 4th of July. Poured into a matching Cigar City snifter. The brew appears a very dark brown color with a mountainous 3+fingers worth of mocha head sitting atop. The cap very slowly fades down to about a finger but it maintains that finger's strength for the entire duration since it is supported by constantly rising bubbles. It leaves patches of lace sticking to the glass. Overall this brew looks pretty solid. When held to the light, it displays a brilliant ruby clarity through the body.

The aroma initially is a bit awkward. It has a carbonic quality that smells strong of minerals and a tin-like edge to it. The more I smell it, it reminds me of something along the lines of taking a hand full of old dirty coins and holding them up to your face... kinda, well sort of. Under that weird mineral/metallic character is some roasty quality that is somewhat like chocolate mixed with dark fruits. Once the brew warms up, it has a bit more focus on dark fruit but that tin-like mineral edge is still there.

The taste is unfortunately also mineral-filled. It has quite a metalic element that mixes with some roast of the grain that is somewhat like chocolate into the aftertaste mixed with a lot of dark fruits something along the lines of raisins/plums. There is some earthy elements also present faintly like coffee. Taking more sips as it warms up, there is a tangy alcohol aspect that almost has a lemony edge to it.

This is a medium bodied brew with an effervescent level of carbonation. I think the label is spot on. It really is a multi-dimensional ale but unfortunately every dimension of it doesn't work together. It is completely clashing and unenjoyable. I am sitting here trying to imagine what this brew would be like without the carbonic or mineral edge to it and it still doesn't make much sense to me. I guess it would be worth a try if you wanted to try something new but this really didnt work for me. Considering how expensive it was, I am for the first time in a long time experiencing buyer's regret.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2012 02:36:46 | More by stakem
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64

Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle thanks to dolfan54fl for sending this fresh from the brewery. Poured into CCB snifter.

A- Pours an opaque dark black with lots of carbonation and about a 2-3 finger head of frothy mocha brown off-white head that has good retention. Leaves some lacing that recedes slowly, not really that layered.

S- Dark chocolate, roasted malts, almonds, biscuit, and some clove.

T- Dark chocolate, espresso, clove, malts, some very light spices, nuts, finishes a bit bitter.

M- On the lighter side for a porter. Decent amount of carbonation, easy to drink for 8%.

O- This was a porter that was interesting + easy to drink, but there were a lot of characteristics that I thought could have been improved. I think there was a little bit too much carbonation + head which kind of detracted from the mouthfeel, I also like my porters a little bit creamier. The clove was an interesting addition, however I think I prefer my porters without it- kind of detracted a little bit from the darker flavors. Overall not bad, but definitely not my favorite porter or CCB offering.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2012 01:51:25 | More by jaasen64
Photo of TrappistJohnMD
TrappistJohnMD

Mississippi

4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with thick, light tan head that lingers forever in Cigar City snifter.

Smell is thick with dark malt, caramel, chocolate and molasses.

Taste is rich with chocolate and toasted malt. I can't taste the licorice. Mildly bitter finish.

Dry mouthfeel with lots of carbonation.

Overall I enjoyed this very much.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2012 23:19:36 | More by TrappistJohnMD
Photo of cwguy5
cwguy5

North Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed 3.7.12 and reviewed from notes.

A - opaque black with beautiful, almost perfect, consistent, khaki colored, one-finger head that retained very well, keeping a 1/4 inch head almost throughout leaving some moderate-heavy lacing throughout

S - tough one... toffee, molasses, sweet and dark malts

T - dark chocolate, light caramel, molasses, followed by a dry, bitter finish

M - medium bodied with prickly, fine carbonation that approached fizzy; very long, but mild bitter linger

O - not quite sure what to make of this one. i had high hopes from the label description but it did not quite live up to it's billing complexity-wise. the bitter linger/aftertaste was a bit too long for me and seemed to give me some palate fatigue. not sure of age maybe it played a factor.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2012 16:57:19 | More by cwguy5
Photo of steve8robin
steve8robin

Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this beer in a recent trade. I love CCB and I have never had this one. Glad to get to try. 12oz bottle...

A: A black brew with reddish highlights and a thick 1 inch tan colored lacing that fades at a decent pace. Very good.

S: I get some malty vanilla and mild raisin. Decent.

T: A malty cinnamon chocolate flavor upfront with a roasty vanilla in the middle. The brew finishes with a walnut type taste. Decent.

M: Medium body that is way over-carbonated. Almost like a soda. A creamy nutty finish. Decent.

O: All in all, this is a decent brew. CCB is my favorite brewery and this is one of the more mediocre brews I've ever had from them. Doesn't really bring anything to the style and is way over-carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 02:18:14 | More by steve8robin
Photo of Holland
Holland

Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: black to dark brown in color and a huge head that does not dissipate much throughout the glass.

S: dark roasted malts give coffee, chocolate, and tobacco smells. This makes a great mix. There is a hint of dark fruit.

T: first the roasted malts hit with bitterness, then it becomes more of a beer with some chocolate and sweet malt along with some bitterness, and it finishes with the heavy roasted malts again.

M: medium body but overcarbonated so much that it takes away from the flavor for me.

O: solid, but the carbonation is off for the style and my liking. Their Jose Marti is better anyhow.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 00:16:35 | More by Holland
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Suck a bottle onto a cruise ship and it was a nice break from the standard shit the boat serves. I poured into a typical glass and this brew is pitch black. This brew can easily be explained as cold coffee. It is sweet, bitter and a little hoppy. The beer looks like the darkest coffee ever brewed and drinks like a coffee that has been in the fridge for an hour. A great brew but not necessarily for my taste. Allthough this is another great brew from CCB.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 13:53:03 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of GPHarris
GPHarris

Alabama

3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - poured a three-fingers thick coffee-colored head into a tulip glass that left a thick ring and sheet throughout. the body was dark black.
s - roasted coffee, dark chocolate, a hint of tart cherries.
t - bitter chocolate, coffee, licorice.
m - slick and medium mouthfeel.
o - decent beer but something about the flavors and aromas don't mesh all the way for me.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2012 15:07:36 | More by GPHarris
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

2.85/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to moose3285 for this 12 oz. bottle tucked in amongst many of its bigger brethren in a(nother) fine Florida box.

Opens with an impressive percussive pop; carbonation for twenty points. As dark as advertised, but even a gentle pour yields mounds of head; I have to pause twice in the decanting phase of the operation. Uhhohoh. I love Cigar City, but 'infection' leaps immediately to mind. Smell is lovely with fruit rumors that make continue my suspicions: great roasted malt with cold apples. Black licorice, too.

Black Whole is bubblier than a Bieber fan waiting backstage: holy effervescence. Almost champagne-like. Then weird. Roast malts & melted licorice dabble in the New Year's revelry. The malts are held down by an almost saison-esqueness to the beer, which seems wholly unintended. Advertised chocolate can only be detected with effort & imagination. The mouthfeel is really distracting. Ehhh.

Hey Cigar City, I love you, but you gotta get a grip on these quality issues. There's something clearly awry with this beer, & it's not the first, or the fourth. This had promise but as is, stretching to decent.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 04:19:50 | More by maximum12
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

4.28/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with just a slight tinge of red. Small coffee colored head.

Smells of roasted coffee and chocolate. Good classic porter aromas.

Taste follows the nose. A great blend of chocolate and coffee with some earthy hop notes.

Fairly creamy with medium carbonation levels.

Very good porter with some bold yet balanced flavors.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 00:27:07 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Forgot who sent this extra to me, but thanks and cheers!

Appearance – Pours a dark black into a sniffer with massive amounts of cocoa colored head that dissipates slowly leaving chunky lacing.

Smell – Chocolate, coffee, tartness reminding me of infection (though this of course gets thrown around too often sometimes). Roasted malts and dark fruit. Little licorice.

Taste – Weird. It really does start out like a fruity saison that mixes to the cocoa and dark chocolate. I do believe this is infected (from experiencing infected beers, this does have the telltale tart off cherry infection flavor). Reading other reviews, I do see another mention of infection and reading “regular” reviews makes my beer seem that much more off. Slight spiciness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, excessive carbonation.

Overall – Absolutely infected. BUT, oddly it somewhat works. It is not a drainpour like Abyss ’09 was for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 01:04:10 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing this, kanos!

A: Pours a very dark nutty brown with a thick light brown bubbly head that faded into a wispy film.
S: Sweet notes of caramel and a touch of chocolate, nuts and perhaps something spicy?
T: Complex flavor of raisins, caramel, chocolate and black licorice come to mind. I still attest that there is something lightly spicy in here, like a mild roasted chipotle chile or something. The finish is full of chocolate and a bit of tobacco and leather.
M: Drying finish, medium-full body, with soft carbonation and a soft mouthfeel.
O: This was an interesting porter. The sweet and roasted flavors worked well together.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 21:03:05 | More by scottfrie
Photo of adam42381
adam42381

Florida

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Purchased at the CCB taproom on 9/9/11.

Appearance: Pours a dark cola brown with a 1 finger fizzy medium tan head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Dark chocolate, dark roasted malt, a touch of coffee and a hint of fruity sweetness in the background.

Taste: Roasted malt and a touch of dark fruit up front followed by Belgian yeast and mild phenols in the middle before ending with coffee and dark roasted malt at the finish. Aftertaste is bitter with a touch of sweetness peaking through.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full-bodied with a high amount of prickly carbonation.

Drinkability: Good drinkability. It's a sipper that doesn't feel like one.

Overall: Good beer overall. I prefer it on draft by a mile, but this is still a nice hybrid beer. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2011 22:49:35 | More by adam42381
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to beeruser for sharing this one! Served from bottle into a Bell's stemmed tulip. Poured a massively dark brown with a two finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, smoke, and tobacco. The flavor was of roasted malt, smoke, caramel, and tobacco. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. While this one was not very complex by any means, it still manages to be quite good as far as the flavors and aromas present. The tobacco flavor I picked up on was a little off-putting at first, but once you get used to through the session you start to understand why it was incorporated into the brew. A solid brew that I'm glad I got the chance to try.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2011 19:07:00 | More by thagr81us
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arrives almost black with very little head because the snifter is full of malty goodness. A thin ring is all I have and I don't expect any lace.
Smell is wet cardboard and some roasted malt.
Taste is roasted malt, wet cardboard, light coffee and some sugar flavor without the sweetness.
Slightly dry with a lingering toastiness. Medium bodied, medium efffervescence. A good dryish, almost stout-like brew.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2011 16:22:15 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is what I expected and is full of chocolate and roasted malt. Fairly straight forward but that is not a bad thing in this case.

The flavor is also fairly straight forward. I get a mix of chocolate and roasted malt, with a little bit of ash character mixed in. The alcohol is well hidden.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 22:12:05 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Alpar
Alpar

Minnesota

3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into my Cigar City Snifter.

A: Lots of carbonation, DAMN! Took a minute to settle and has a nice cinnamon looking swirl head. A very dark porter, looks almost like a lighter stout. Some good lacing on the glass as well.

S: Getting some smoke, alcohol, maybe burnt coffee and malt.

T: Same as smell, smoke, burnt coffee/toffee? and malts. Has an alcohol bite. Char too, it has that classic cigar city smoke/char after taste similar to Zhukov and Hunahpus, love it. Definitely tasting it more as the beer warms.

M: Prickly carbonation and very mouth coating.

O: I like this beer for what it is, nothing too special but it is nice for sure. I think I'll give my other bottle to a buddy rather than try this again later.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 00:02:56 | More by Alpar
Photo of Heatwave33
Heatwave33

Florida

3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from tap at CCB into a Cigar City Snifter.

Color: Black with a tan head.

Smell: Alcohol presence with nice malts and barley.

Taste: Tart taste with nice malts really pair well together.

Mouthfeel: slightly coarse and dry on the palate.

Overall: this cigar city brew is a very nice blend between malts and a nice tartness. Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2011 15:03:00 | More by Heatwave33
Photo of hopking311
hopking311

Florida

4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark Black, thin light tan head.. Great retention and lacing.

smells of sweet licorice, roasted caramel malts

well carbonated, medium body

taste roasty, caramel sweetness, light chocolate malts.

Balanced porter. second time having.. very nice and balanced flavors..

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2011 03:59:47 | More by hopking311
Photo of sommersb
sommersb

Tennessee

4.18/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 09-25-2011
Freshness: Bottled 07-21-2011
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Tulip
Purchased: Gift from my brother in AL

A: Black, opaque beer with very little brown on the edges seen when held to the light. Nice creamy, tan head sits 3-4 fingers high, with great retention and a good amount of lace.

S: Primarily chocolate and coffee notes (roasted malts), with also some licorice in the background. As the beer warms, I get some rich, dark fruit notes as in a Belgian Strong Dark ale.

T: A dark chocolate bitterness is the first taste I get, offset somewhat by some caramel sweetness. It also has a smoked and woody taste, similar to a barrel-aged beer. As in the aromas, as the beer warms to room temperature, there are flavors of raisin or other ripe, darkened fruits like in dark Belgian ales. The alcohol seems to be more predominant as it warms as well.

M: Body is medium to heavy and carbonation is high. The finish is dry, with flavors of toasted malts, coffee and bittersweet chocolate.

O: This is a complex beer and difficult to pin to a particular style. Definitely a sipper due to the alcohol and intense flavors. Overall an enjoyable brew I'd recommend.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 04:35:33 | More by sommersb
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received a couple of these rarities from Reaper16... Barry is a damn cool trader. Shared them with my local homies and a BA from Florida..

Deep and dark in my Portsmouth goblet.... no light escapes... dark brown head.... nice retention... okay lacing...

The nose is very dry.... dark malt and cocoa.... minor hints of Belgian esters and phenols show as white peppercorns and sour cherries... the aroma is pretty much an American porter spiked mildly with dreams of Belgium.

I normally don't like bigger porters as they seem too one dimensional... but this bottle is decent as it brings in some minor Belgian character... lite clove.. lite cherry.... very dry across the board... some malt sweetness would have have helped carry the minor yeasty character...

The body is lite/medium... and that is giving them a coin... pretty lite... just okay carbonation... "MEH".... seems to be the quote of the tastings.

I had high hopes for this one, but was let down quite a bit.

4/3.5/3.5/3/3.5

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2011 05:59:01 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dark pour here with a rich dark brown color that no light could penetrate. This was a monster looking porter I have to say with a menacing two inches of foam on the top of it that cascaded down the sides. The aroma was of light vanilla, lots of oak and woody notes, and hints of molasses and caramel. As it warmed some nice roasted notes start coming off of it. The flavor was as rich as the aroma with lots of sweet malts, hints of roasted notes and a nice bit of caramel and molasses. Light vanilla, not as much as I would have hoped for peaking through. A nice full bodied porter, nothing here was really overwhelming. This was about as solid as a big porter you are going to come across.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2011 02:55:04 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very, very dark brown in color with a huge head that makes me have to pour it out 3 times between settling. Dried fruits, raisens and a slight anise aroma with somewhat of a lactic, sour bite. Malty, mildly chocolate flavor. Some spicy chile like notes. Again has a "bite" to it that detracts-almost an off or sour/metallic flavor. Nice creamy body. Overall a notch above average. I don't think the beer is infected or bad it has an off flavor that I simply cannot get past-try for yourself and see.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 01:07:48 | More by lackenhauser
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Black Whole from Cigar City Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.