The Event Horizon - Olde Hickory Brewery

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The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,425 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,425
Reviews: 250
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.17%
Wants: 814
Gots: 482 | FT: 75
Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Habmike on 12-08-2010

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,425 | Reviews: 250
Photo of lanamj
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 Bottle served in a Brasserie D'Achouffe tulip.

A- Pores a nice thick black color with minimal mocha colored head that resides to a perfect lace with good retention. A perfect looking stout!!

S- As I pore it i can automatically begin to smell the chocolate!! Rich malts and chocolate dominates the nose followed by beautiful bourbon, vanilla and oak aromas as well. I could smell this one all day, yankee candle needs to makes the sent happen!!! It is a perfectly balanced nose, couldn't be better IMO.

T- More bourbon then the nose. In fact i feel the flavors are reverse then the nose. The bourbon, oak and vanilla are up front, as is the honey. And the chocolate resides in the end. The chocolate lingers well. A perfect tasting stout.

M- Nice and smooth. Very silky and creamy. Carbonation is perfect for a barrel aged stout. This again can not get much better!!

O- I felt last years Event was as good as it gets... I was wrong, it's this years!! What a great beer, not as sweet and more smooth chocolate flavors. I also feel what little tang was present from oxidation is not present this year. I love this beer and Im happy I live where I do.

Photo of Robert17529
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Very smooth

Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Poured a midnight black, with a dark tan head. Seriously dark, held a flashlight to it and it sucked the light in...like an event horizon, crazy cool.

S- Smells of Burbon, and good burbon at that. also has chocolate, coffee notes as well as some sweetness. I couldn't believe how much this smelled like Burbon though, reminded me of putting your nose in a glass. Fantastic.

T- Tastes of sweet burbon at first but quickly gives way to roasted coffee and Chocolate as well as a slight bitterness. The beer is a smooth rise and fall of flavor, extremely impressive, while the burbon makes you think alcohol it quickly gives away. FANTASTIC

M- great carbonation and mouthfeel, a bit on the heavy side like a Imperial should but still not cloying.

D- This is probably the best Imperial Stout I have had so far, perhaps even one of the best beers I have ever had, if not the best. Not for the timid or weak but this beer is simply spectacular. Props to Old Hickory, and please make more of this.

Photo of GehenHerzog
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Duckworths. Poured into a 8.5 oz goblet. Thanks goes out to Habmike for throwing this (a long with a bunch of other awesome brews) for the brothers appearance.

A- Pours pitch black with a finger mocha head. Dissolves quickly but leaves tremendous lacing

S- Smell is of rich chocolate, bourbon and slight hint of coffee. Wonderful.

T- Taste is very creamy. Nice chocolate flavor. Nice toasted coconut flavor and very slight bourbon, oak wood flavor on the back end.

M- Thick but not too thick. Perfectly carbonated.

D- Dangerously drinkable. Poured a couple while I was at Duckworth's. Couldn't get enough of it. The alcohol is very well hidden even though it's not a "huge" beer.

This is my favorite beer and can't wait til it's released again at the end of the year. IF you haven't tried this beer, do whatever you can to try it. It's worth the hype and some. This is the first time I've reviewed it on tap and it's worthy of all 5's, in my opinion.

Photo of Netdigger2
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is not for someone just getting started into stouts or Barrel Aged beers. If that's you, cellar it until you are ready. That said, this was a 2011 bottle poured into a snifter.

It pours opaque with brown head, lots of carbonation and lacing.

The smell is small batch bourbon, roasted malt, toffee, cherries or currants, raisins, possibly some tree nuts. It is outrageously complex.

Taste is good bourbon, roasted malt, cacao nibs, raisins, bread. Again, the complexity is crazy.

Mouthfeel is heavy, only cut by the barrel aging. Carbonation is high.

Amazing beer, different from the 2010 batch, but not necessarily worse-just slightly different nuances.

Photo of LeeEvolved
4.99/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tried this year's version last night and I gotta say it just may be a Top 10 beer for me. The honey sweetens it just enough to let the bourbon barrel come through at the end and at 8.5% this thing is so very drinkable it's almost unbelievable. Great beer.

Photo of Ryanster8
4.96/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Caramel, cereal, lactose, whiskey, bourbon and chocolate. Amazingly balanced on the edge of sweetness with a little alcohol in the nose but none in the taste. If I were to guess this would be a 13%+ alcohol beer but is under 9%. Wonderful rolling complexity!

Photo of goveia75
4.92/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Matt. Thanks so much!!!

Pours a deep space black with an incredibly frothy tan head that laced onto the glass beautifully. Smells of chocolatey goodness, vanilla, maple, honey, and bourbon. Taste brought out those same flavors, but the bourbon was a little more muted than in the nose. Reminded me much of a Founders Black Biscuit. Mouthfeel was very nice, though maybe just a tad less creamy than I'd have hoped for. But this is easily one of the best beers I've had this year. Holy smokes this was a frickin treat.

Photo of cardsfan
4.92/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Wow, what more can I say. I just picked one of these up really because their was a limit on how many you could get. Ended up being my favorite beer. At 8.5%, it is super smooth and extremely easy to drink. While I love the BCBS, the 15% can sometimes be overwhemling whereas Event Horizon's % is perfect. Small and great colored head, fantastic vanillia and bourbon smell and the taste is exactly what you want in a bourbon barreled stout. By far my favorite beer and would love to get some more!

Photo of Corriecrafts
4.89/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Drank a 2012. Aged nicely. Scary drinkable

Photo of maximum12
4.89/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to mrbubbler for this bottle, which involved an epic trade involving an Ivan vertical & epic CA hop-centric beers. Having really enjoyed the first two Olde Hickory stouts I tried, this was a must-seek. I miss that hunt - damn this endless trading break!

Nice sci-fi reference, & I like the stamp on the top of the wax; it's the little things that flip my switch sometimes. Pours black with a bitsy head that disappears faster than the tire-sized snapping turtle we saw leaving the beach today. The smell defines a barrel-aged stout like 'Showgirls' defines shitty movies: perfectly. Barrel, vanilla, tar-black malts, then that gorgeous lick of honey. I'm always loathe to take that first taste & be let down after a '5' level noseful.

The Event Horizon 2010 is a beautifully crafted big beer, & done without having to be 18% at that. Layers of good here. Chocolate is only the most apparent, but it's a nice, bitter chocolate that sets off the colors of the sweet malts & honey. And you can really taste the honey, unlike some beers that advertise it but don't deliver. The bourbon is subtle, creating a warming vanilla background. The fade is bourbon melding with the malts sweetness that sticks around like a sticky kiss.

A mere physical description of the beer's components, however, doesn't do justice to the package - this beer is a category-killer. Everything is in perfect balance, nothing overwhelms anything else, & each sip opens the flavors like a spring lilac.

Saying this is an excellent beer doesn't seem strong enough. One of the top beers of '11 for me & an elite entrant into barrel-aged stouts. Simply wonderful.

Photo of fear025
4.89/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to ncvbc for this extra!

Aroma:There is a huge chocolate aroma on this beer. Next comes a great bourbon undercurrent. There is also a little vanilla. This aroma is amazing, I must have spent 5 minutes just smelling it.

Appearance:Black, deep mocha colored head with OK retention.

Taste:The flavor is much like the aroma, lots of chocolate up front, and then comes the bourbon. The bourbon flavor isn't huge and hot, it's definitely there but well balanced. On the aftertaste, there's some vanilla and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel:The body on this beer is thick and creamy, and there's a little astringency towards the aftertaste. The carbonation is low to medium, but well suiting of this beer.

Drinkability:This is a wonderful chocolate beer that's smooth and really well balanced. There's not much age on this beer, but it's already amazing, and I can only imagine how this one will age.

Photo of cducap
4.89/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I was blown away by this beer. Silky mouthfeel. Tons of coffee and dark chocolate notes at the first smell and confirmed in the taste. The hint of honey is subtle but a welcome addition. An excellent beer that I wish I had more of.

Photo of M_chav
4.88/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L - pours a deep black, small golden head forms -less than 1/4" - nice lacing
S - Damn, straight honey to the face - thick deep honey its strong and inviting - tons of chocolate
T - Holy hell this is thick, full body molasses/honey goodness. everything you want in an imperial barrel aged stout - vanilla cream, hazelnut coffee creamer was added, its must have been. Amazing!
F - Super smooth, coates the throat with honey. good for a cold, or a winter night, or anytime, this is great.
O - Surprisingly underrated in my opinion, this would stand right up against the bourbon county lineup if they made a honey/chocolate varient.

Photo of Broanoke
4.86/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Very surprised with this one. I was a little worried that the 8.5% would make this stout take a backseat to many of the other monster stouts out there, but The Event Horizon has very little short comings. Quite bold with amazing barrel characters, and the honey really helps provide a touch of sweetness to smooth out the beer. Very well worth the price point.

Photo of beer2day
4.86/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Busy Bee for the Raleigh Beer Week kickoff party. 2011 keg.

Classic black pour into a tulip glass. A bit disappointing was the complete lack of head and weak lace. Really the only thing taking away from this glass, though.

Nose is oh so good. Big chocolate aroma with a good hop character underneath. Musty tobacco, roast malt, dark roast coffee all combine with bourbon to yield a very complex nose. All the components work very well together.

All of the flavors picked up in the nose translate to the taste. The bourbon is a bit stronger than in the nose. Very dry finish with a good bitter bite from both chocolate and hop sources.

Medium body, not completely up to the complex flavors.

An outstanding glass of beer.

Photo of ljdrinksbeer
4.84/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great beer. One of the few that truly lives up to the hype.

Photo of humuloner22
4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I had this one fresh and aged from the 2011 edition. This review reflects the aged edition of this one. It was poured into my favorite imperial pint glass and allowed to open up to the air for several minutes. The color was dark and murky just like a good stout should be. It had a slight red hue but overall a pretty good indication of what was ahead. The smell was so nice a slight sweetness but also had a richness to it. Also you could smell the bourbon in the beer which I love. I don't know how accurate the information I received was but I hear it was aged in used Pappy Van Winkle barrels, which is the big chief in bourbon these days. That information alone shows that these guys know there stuff when aging beer. The taste was thick and inviting with a sweetness but not cloying. You could definitely taste some dark plum, dried fruit, but also coffee, toffee and the honey playing a subtle role in all of it. The biggest and most impressive characteristic was the bourbon. You could definitely taste the bourbon and oh it was so grand, although this does have a good bit of alcohol it is balanced well with the more prevalent flavors incorporated in this very complex stout. I would rate this beer as one of the best ones I have ever had in its category and look forward to trying some of the 2012 editions as I have a few bottles being cellared as this is written. If you can get your hands on this beer, whatever edition you will not be dissatisfied.

Photo of kevinv
4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been meaning to write this review for awhile. I'm reviewing from notes from a tasting a few weeks back. MASSIVE thanks to samtallica for giving me the chance to taste this treat.

A - Pours a near pitch black with the slightest mocha colored head which quickly resides to a thin rim around the glass. Not much in the way of lacing - slightly spotty. Looks inviting.

S - Wow. Huge notes of sweet bourbon, caramel, and vanilla. Smells slightly chocolaty with a nice roast. The honey becomes more prominent as the beer warms. Truly exceptional.

T - The first thing I notice is an extremely well balanced bourbon taste. Not too overpowering or understated at all, just the right amount. Rich dark chocolate notes. Molasses and sweet honey comes through strongly, especially as the beer warms. Very caramel-y with a slight astringent taste in the finish. A bit of a char lingers in the aftertaste. I have no qualms about giving the taste score a solid 5.

M - Full bodied, creamy, soooo smooth. Almost chewy. Low carbonation - perfect.

D - What else can I say about this beer that isn't said above? The alcohol is very well hidden. It's definitely a filling beer, but one that I would have no problem drinking myself over the course of an evening.

The Event Horizon was a clear standout among many other "big stouts" at the tasting. Job well done, Olde Hickory. Hype warranted.

Photo of sommersb
4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted On: 01-27-2013
Freshness: 2012 Vintage
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap with wax seal
Glassware: Wellington
Purchased: Single from Duckworth's, Charlotte

Picked this up at the 2012 Event Horizon release party in Charlotte at Duckworth's

Appearance is a jet-black beer, opaque, topped by a nice tan head that dissipates fairly quickly (not unexpected for a beer this big). Lacing on the glass is good.

Smells are big and bold, of sweet milk chocolate, dark roasted malts, strong bourbon, vanilla, and oak wood. Just a wonderful aroma...

Taste is intense, starting with a big hit of booze, then leading into the rich, dark malt grain bill, plus chocolate/cocoa nibs and vanilla. Perceived bitterness is very low.

Mouthfeel is smooth and luscious. Full-bodied with low carbonation. Finishes rich, with dark and sweet chocolate plus a hit of the whiskey.

Overall, this is a world-class beer in my book that hits on all cylinders. Highly recommended!

Photo of wcudwight
4.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque in color with a nice creamy beige colored head. Head lasted until the glass was empty and left soapsuds lacing. Very rich and intense aromas of dark chocolate, vanilla, espresso and burbon. All very balanced and working together as a cohesive unit. The flavor is very intense without being too much. This beer walks that fine line perfectly. The flavor is a mixture of dark chocolate, espresso, roasted oats and grains, and burbon. Thick, creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Man I wish this one wasn't so limited because I'd love to stock my cellar up with this one.

Photo of Bung
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On te hand pump at Duckworths Park rd. Dirty motor oil brown, though some light does get trough. Light brown head quickly recedes.

Aroma, heavy molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, oak.

Taste, it's all there. Some more malty toffee here. Chocolates, molasses, vanilla, brown sugar. Earthy peat and barrel, Roast and cocoa makes an appearance at the end as well.

Big for its 8.5%. It takes some skill to brew something this good without just overloading the bill and making it huge. Maybe not quite full body, but coats great, and drinks even better with the slightly smaller size.

Spent a day drinking this on cask during the Duckworths cask event last year. Didn't disappoint this year either. Thought I was maybe over praising last year, but two years in a row is the real deal. This is up there with Bourbon County for the non-coffee bourbon stout.

Photo of Joshuamcsee
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber of the 2012 release a week after tasting the 2011 aged a year.

A: Darker than a black steer's toucas on a moonless prairie night. Little to no head.

S: Dark chocolate, bourbon, and thick honey. Even the smell is rich. Reminds me of those little chocolate barrels of whiskey they sell at the Vegas airport.

T: The dark chocolate hits you hard up front, and the whiskey lingers. The honey is always there as a nice compliment. The relatively low ABV is hidden well. The charred bourbon is there but more as a complimentary sweetness than a bite.

MF: Not as thick as many imperials. Great balance: not too heavy not too light. Medium carbination for the style. Lingers for quite a while.

Overall: Damn. This is a fantastic beer. Definitely one of the best North Carolina has to offer, and that's saying something these days. After tasting this I bought way too many. A couple for Christmas presents, a couple to stash away for a year, and a couple to enjoy now. Pick a few up while you can.

Photo of glazeman
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Macky20 for this one! Split with airohead2001 and Zpack. Poured into a snifter.

A: Dark black, like the rim of a black hole. Excellent dark mocha colored head that has moderate retention and great lacing.

S: I popped the bottle and was blown away by the melding of the maple and bourbon notes on the nose. A truly phenomenal smelling beer without being overly strong smelling. I get a bit of vanilla at the end.

T: There's prefect balance of everything that should be in a stout. The bourbon is more of a supporting role and is not overbearing in the least. There's great roasted coffee, some maple, and a tad bit of vanilla and dark fruit, though not much of the later two. My only complaint is that this is a bit too sweet.

M: At first I thought this was a tad thick, but as it warmed it was near perfect. Excellent carbonation and aftertaste let this sit on the tongue perfectly.

D: I could drink this all day long without hesitation. It's up there with bourbon barrel plead the fifth and rare BCS for the best and most drinkable bourbon barrel stout I've had.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 22 oz. bottle with a drippy purple-black wax covering, stamped 'OHB'. Split in a couple of rounds with the wife and a good friend, all to small snifters, post-dinner. Sufficiently warmed out of the fridge, so low 50s serving temperature.

'Ale Brewed with Honey and Aged in Bourbon Barrels'
How OHB got away with the name, a blatant rip-off of the late 90's genre-busting sci-fi/horror classic none of us could figure...

A: An Abyss-ian black, a couple of the stronger pours displayed a swirling topping of muddy-tan cream. At best, they crested at a half-finger; a couple others were a bit less robust. Speckles of lace, nothing too binding.

S: Uncapping the bottle released a wondrous scent of chocolate and bourbon; we passed the bottle around just to savor before the first pour. Sweet coffee and ashy cocoa. Strong and completely enticing.

T: Incredible fudgy chocolate melds beautifully with creamy coffee and dark candied fruits. Right away S picked up raspberries, ripe and sweet. Bourbon isn't overdone; it lends a singed toffee sweetness and modest vanilla bean. Barrel wood is old, comfortable.

M: Amazingly rich and silky and sultry. Neither thick nor chewy and not overheated by alcohol or boozy bourbon barrel. If any flaws at all, I found it ever so slightly thin and a little less carbonated than I like - but that's some serious nit-picking. After a while, we all had to laugh about the ludicrous velvety smoothness, then we shook our heads and marveled silently.

D: Look, I've had some drinkable stouts (as in: "I really want to have this again" or "damn, where did that disappear to?") and I've had a few DRINKABLE STOUTS (as in: "I'd do things I may not be proud of later for another..."). This is the latter. Holy shit-delicious, perfect balance, incredibly smooth and not too heavy or boozy. Phrases were tossed around in our discussion during and after like 'ridiculous' and 'best ever' and 'bottled Nirvana'; I simply say 'wow' and give it the 5 it deserves. Three weeks into 2011 and this is the clear front-runner for New Beer of the Year.

We couldn't wait longer (can't believe cellaring would substantially improve this, but I'd like to find out); HUGE thanks to Metalmonk! More???

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The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 1,425 ratings.