Black Whole - Cigar City Brewing
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Ratings: 111 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
2.2/5 rDev -38.5%
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.
07-22-2012 02:36:46 | More by stakem
2.85/5 rDev -20.4%
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.
12-27-2011 04:19:50 | More by maximum12
3.08/5 rDev -14%
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
08-29-2011 05:22:29 | More by DarthKostrizer
3.24/5 rDev -9.5%
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.
07-02-2013 01:18:20 | More by KickInTheChalice
3.3/5 rDev -7.8%
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.
11-24-2011 01:04:10 | More by SpdKilz
3.33/5 rDev -7%
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.
03-06-2012 00:16:35 | More by Holland
Black Whole from Cigar City Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.