Black Whole - Cigar City Brewing

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Black WholeBlack Whole

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BA SCORE
83
good

40 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 40
Hads: 110
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 6.78%
Wants: 12
Gots: 19 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: VaTechHopHead on 07-24-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 40 | Hads: 110
Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a pretty viscous dark black with a light white head that fades over time. A little opaque and no visible carbonation.

S - A rich subtle chocolate aroma is detected first, followed by a nice black licorice smell. There is a sweet caramel note in there as well complimented by a bready finish.

T - Not as robust as I was expecting but very nice for a porter. The primary flavor is a rich dark chocolate with a semi-bitter licorice flavor in the aftertaste. In the middle there is a faint malt flavor with roasted grains and biscuits.

M - A little thin on the body for my preference but the carbonation is very nice. Finishes semi-dry and sort of tart and the flavor fades quickly on the palate.

O - Not a bad beer and it's a nice twist on a classic style. The flavors work well but don't "pop" as much as I would have hoped due to a thin body, but still very easy to sip. (883 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for the bottle, Chip.

A: The beer pours a dark brown color with a rather sizable khaki head.

S: It's very roasty on the nose with a mild metallic character. Notes of coffee and chocolate (a lot of chocolate, actually), along with some molasses. It's surprisingly sweet.

T: The flavor is also very sweet, too sweet for me. Molasses and chocolate with a fair bit of roasted malts. It's a touch thin/watery and that comes through on the flavor.

M: A little bit thin, especially for an 8% beer, with a medium to high carbonation.

O: Too much sweetness and a little too watery for my tastes. (598 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: black, single finger head

S: licorice and sugar

T: chocolate and a little dark fruit. cinnamon and licorice. Coffee bitterness.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: I am not a fan of licorice and therefore this one wasn't for me. The flavors didn't blend well for me. (288 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.49/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

A - Pours black, big pillowy tan-colored head, sticky lacing, thick cap.

S - Sweet dark fruit sweetness, slight coffee, toffee, roast. A weird mix of sweetness and roast, but not a chocolate sweetness, more like a herbal/fruity sweetness.

T - Roast, chocolate, bitter hops, some weird herbal sweetness of some sort, bitter dark chocolate finish. I enjoy the roast, chocolate, and hoppy bitterness but the weird sweetness is kind of off-putting to me.

M - Medium body, rich and smooth, creamy finish.

O - Like a porter in some ways, unlike one in others. A very weird beer, to say the least. While I do enjoy a great porter, this one isn't amongst my favorites. It's different, which it's necessarily good. Just okay. (745 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
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 (993 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
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. (405 characters)

Photo of lanamj
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a creamy black color with a heavy to finger soapy head that seems to hold very strongly.

S- Chocolate, coffee and some cream. I also get the roasted malts and soap. It has a faint saison presence but a porter back bone.

T- What a trip. It starts like a saison, but holds and finishes like a porter. Lots of roasted flavor with smoke finish. I get the coffee and cream at the end as a residual flavor and some how the soap is hidden in there.

M- Lots of carbonation. nice and creamy at the end and not to thin at all. It is quite a road trip for you mouth it takes you all over. I like it but at the same time not what i would always want from a porter.

O- I'm glad i tried this one very interesting indeed. I'm going to cellar my last two and see what happens. I think the carbonation is a little to aggressive for this style but the body and smell is fine. Not my favorite from CCB but still a interesting beer. (959 characters)

Photo of Holland
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (607 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

8/26/2011

Thanks to Andrew for sharing.

A: Dark brown bordering on black with a beige head.

S: Lots of roast with accompanying dark chocolate and a little molasses. Smells sweet.

T: Cocoa, dark chocolate, and moderately roasted malt. Lightly toasted malt with bread and a moderate sweetness.

M: Lower medium body with moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is a little thin.

Overall: Just okay. (397 characters)

Photo of cwguy5
3.34/5  rDev -9.5%
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. (781 characters)

Photo of SpdKilz
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
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. (928 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.24/5  rDev -12.2%
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. (1,206 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.11/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to CurtisMcArthur for this one

Look: Black with red rings and a huge 1 inch mocha colored head with good retention but no lace

Smell: Sour cherries upfront and I hope this one is not infected. It does carry some bitter chocolate on the backend

Taste: First thought is that of an ashtray and it does not seem to be infected but I still have my doubts. It is slightly sour and has traces of coffee caramel and chocolate

Mouthfeel: Is horribly carbonated. There is so much carbonation that is makes this one hard to drink it has a medium body and is slightly dry

Overall: If there is not something wrong with this beer then it is just not very good. The flavor is brash and honestly just a mess. The mouthfeel is so badly carbonated that you have to struggle with the carbonation bubbles wrecking the top of your mouth. Not recommended (844 characters)

Photo of maximum12
2.85/5  rDev -22.8%
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. (1,128 characters)

Photo of stakem
2.22/5  rDev -39.8%
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. (2,096 characters)

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Black Whole from Cigar City Brewing
83 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.