The Event Horizon - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,430 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,430
Reviews: 251
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.17%
Wants: 815
Gots: 481 | 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: 1,430 | Reviews: 251
Photo of claaark13
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one arrived unexpectedly on a Friday afternoon. Poured into a Founders snifter. Thanks morimoto, what a surprise.

A - Black, thick appearance with a thick medium tan colored head. Lacing remains across the surface once the head clears. Sticks well to the side of the glass.

S - Just about as bourbon forward as it can get, with some licorice sneaking through. Very potent, very appealing.

T - Honey, bourbon, cocoa. The taste feels a little light in the middle. Finishes with some more bourbon, oak and some hints of cocoa. The flavor is lighter than I'd expect, and doesn't allow for any of the individual notes to dominate. The honey helps carry the flavors from start to finish.

M - Medium and slightly prickly body. The beer appears to be thicker than it feels on the tongue. Highly drinkable based on the somewhat subdued flavor and medium body.

O - Although I find the flavor to be a little light for a BA RIS, this beer drinks so easily. It is also impressive that it is kept at 8.5% with this much bourbon in the aroma and flavor.

Photo of MarcatGSB
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into Duvel tulip. Black wax shows 2011 vintage. Received in a fantasy football BIF from tclapper, this has been a real big want for a while, thanks alot Tim!

A: Pours a pitch black with a nice full caramel colored head. Long lasting, leaving beautiful lacing on the sides of the glass. Some light getting thru towards the edge of the glass.

N: Big notes of bourbon, chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla, and some moderate oak.

T: I don't get any of the honey in the nose, but I get it on the palate and it is very subtle, but pleasurable and unique. There is a good amount of bitterness, both from the some nice hop and honey alike. Dry roasted malt, followed by punchy dark fruits, and chocolate.

M: Slightly dry mouthfeel, but it was well carbonated and had a great texture. Wasn't heavy, or too sweet, or cloying. Very round, and well balanced. Good hop coming through. Really impressive beer.

D and O: Great beer, thanks alot Tim! Great beer, not extremely high in the ABV realm, which is appreciated, yet didn't skimp on any flavor.

Photo of SLeffler27
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

“Black” is a poor descriptive of this beer that annihilates all light, seemingly dimming the room around it. A thick, dark walnut creamy head reaches half an inch before leaving patches of lace above a syrupy film.

A Dogfish Head snifter gives up bourbon-soaked figs with vanilla and bitter chocolate. Fermented cherries and sweetened espresso give way to a light aroma of licorice.

This Imperial Stout is quite sweet, similar to rich fudge brownies. The flavor profile is rounded out with plums, espresso and licorice, simultaneously sour and bitter. Warmth evokes clear memories of bourbon plum pudding on cold Christmas nights. The finish is long, subtle and sweet.

The dense body is syrupy smooth with light carbonation and alcohol as expected.

This is a fantastic beer to be sipped during contemplation or while reading. It could pair well with a cigar or ice cream. This beer elicits comforting memories of time with my Grandfather, sitting in leather chairs with book-clad walls, thick cigar smoke, a humidor, and his sculpted trout ashtray. I can only imagine the conversations we would have today, he with his bourbon and me with this thought-provoking beer. Thank you Rodney and Louise.

Photo of KYGunner
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013

It looks like pouring a black tar into the glass that spawns a thick brown foam.

The nose is creamy, lactose-sweet, with whipped cream, coconut, vanilla, hazelnuts and toffee.

This is nicely complex in flavor with hazelnuts, caramel, toffee, Bit O Honey candies, chocolate and coconut. It ends creamy and fudgey but there's a small phenolic taste that kept this from getting an even higher score.

The feel is very smooth and thick with a touch of alcohol burn.

Great beer! Immense thanks to BeerAlmanac for getting this to me, it's well worth the search.

Photo of FFreak
4.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulips and shared. A jet black beer with very little detectable head. Aroma is of dark chocolate, roast malt and cherries. Taste is a slightly tart cherry-chocolate followed by roasted malt and a little bit of coffee. Mouthfeel is dense, viscous, and almost flat carbonation. A huge sipper of a beer - much larger than its ABV would indicate. Overall, an enjoyable dessert stout, but not one you'd drink the whole bomber by yourself.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inky black color with a sort of rust brown head.

Smells of bakers chocolate, molasses, oak, taninins, a touch of chalk, dark chocolate, charred malt and some tar.

The taste is a little heavy on the honey, lots of tannins and oak, a good bit of char in the finish, but not much bourbon character. The honey/molasses is overpowering at the front with too much char on th end.

Mothfeel is heavy, but slick and not too syrupy. Carbonation is great. It could be more viscous though.

Not my favorite bourbon imperial stout to say the least. I felt like it went from somewhat cloying sweetness straight to tar like tannic flavors. Alcohol is fairly well hidden though.

REVISED:

Sampled at oakquinox. It's awesome. Clearly some bottle variation on this one.

Look is the same. Smell is chocolate, fudge, brownie, tobacco, WTF this is not the same beer. Taste follows smell plus some toffee and coffee.

Dear Olde Hickory, you guys blow at bottling. Waaay too much variation. This is a fantastic beer, but y'all North Carolina homies need to figure your shit out. Kthanxbye!

Photo of emerge077
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks Wil for sharing this one!
Served in a small taster glass, at least a 6 oz. pour, with seconds added after the rounds had been made.

Obsidian black, spindly arcs of sticky tan lace inside the glass. Surface foam has a creamy texture to it. Aromas of sweet sticky molasses, vanilla, malted milk balls. Rich flavors of dark chocolate, tobacco, chickory, and chocolate covered dried cherries. Slightly woody and leathery, in a good way. Mild dark chocolate bitterness in the aftertaste. Super creamy with a milky feel to it. Long drawn out chocolatey finish. A smooth sipper, one to share. Thanks again Wil!

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to TATURBO for bring this out to share! Thanks Chris!

beer reviewed from notes taken 6/1/12.

Poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: Light black bodied beer with a dark brown cap that drops to a ring around the glass.

Smell: light roasty malt, honey, and chocolate chips. Just a hint of black licorice.

Taste: The smell is just a bit underwhelming compared to the nose. But it still tasty beer. Milk chocolates, black licorice, molasses. Really mellow oak, vanilla, bourbon and caramel notes.

Mouthfeel: medium body with low carbonation levels. Mellow, silky and smooth.

Overall: Really solid beer. I love my BA stouts and the addition of honey in this beer adds some really unique complexity to the nose of this beer. Love the fact that some breweries are trying to make a nice mellow stout instead of the in your face bourbon bombs. With thant said i could use just a touch more barrel notes in the taste of the beer. The nose and mouthfeel are my favorite aspects of this beer, but its a well integrated beer that melds flavors together.

Photo of harrymel
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2012

Black with a quilt of mocha foam. Smell was evident as soon as I cracked the bottle. I don't know what barrels they used here, but I only have smelled this nose in PVW 20+ yr barrel aged beers. Minerals, nougat, vanilla, booze, cocoa, marzipan and honey in here. Really complex nose. Flavor is robust with sweet malts, some caramel, some fudge and some molasses. Again the honey is evident - which surprises me. Mineral character still there also. Full bodied with low carb and an off-dry finish. Nice beer, really the nose does it, the flavor doesn't do the olfactory justice.

Photo of Duff27
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No head on dark brown/black body. Good alcohol legs.

Smells like chocolate chip cookies!! Lovely.

Follows the nose. Roasty, no astringency. Drinks bigger than 8.5%abv for sure.

Smooth medium mouthfeel, Low carbonation.

Tasty bevy here. The aroma was great. Thanks to TATURBO for bringin this.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #48 (Jan 2011):

Vigorous pour yields a slow pooling of brown head that eventually subsides to some major stickage on the glass. Pitch-black color. Madeira-soaked dried plums, vanilla, nougat, wood, dark chocolate and soft charcoal rush the nose ... very aromatic and mouthwatering. Slick package, fullish body unfolds slowly. More oak than vanilla-bourbon to start; lush maltiness turns roasty as quick as the oakiness pulls the palate. Light on the hops--or at least they mellowed out. Chocolate and sweetness fade quick. Slow drinking here, which helps to let the beer evolve. Very enjoyable.

Photo of beerwolf77
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to BeerFMAndy for sharing this elusive bottle.

Pitch black hue, small mocha head. Some cascade action. Rich chocolate fudge, molasses, coffee, bourbon. Flavors are rich and full of chocolate gnash, coffee, bourbon. Full thick body. Mild carbonation. A very well done Imperial stout. Olde Hickory knows how to make em.

Photo of gford217
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from Trevor.

Pour is sexy as hell. Pitch black pour with a big thick mocha head that shows great retention. Not much lacing but that's nitpicking.

Aroma is huge and sweet with chocolate malts, molasses and honey. A bit of bitter bakers chocolate and roasted coffee along with some faint oak barrel and smoke character.

The taste is big sweet and roasty if that makes sense. Thick molasses and chocolate backbone with heavily roasted malts and tobacco. The finish is bitter but with a slight bourbon burn.

The mouthfeel is ridiculous for such a low ABV beer. Crazy smooth, thick and full bodied.

This is an excellent imp stout and really complex and flavorful given the relative low ABV. The honey really adds to the complexity and feel. Great stuff.

Photo of divineaudio
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle courtesy of chrisheartsbeer. poured into my founders snifter.

a - pours black. no light escapes this one! gave me a pinky's worth of dark brown head that quickly calmed to a film and left a few spots of lacing here and there.

s - vanilla, bourbon, raisin, faintly herbal, faint booziness.

t - wow! bold barrel flavors here with plenty of other things going on for complexity. vanilla and bourbon are at the forefront, but there is also an espresso-like malt base underneath. has notes of raisin, molasses, faint charcoal and a mild sort of booziness. bitterness shows up as a mild earthiness and the beer finishes bittersweet.

m -full bodied for sure. carbonation level is adequate, but could stand just a bit more. finer co2 profile, slight alcohol warming. very rich.

o - a (very) rich and decadent barrel aged stout that i enjoyed quite a bit. i especially like the fact that it's not a 12% or 14% monster so i can drink a little more of it, though finishing a whole bomber is a challenge due to it's sheer richness. i'd love to get my hands on another bottle or two to save for special occasions.

Photo of rlee1390
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, one finger deep brown head that doesn't last long.

S-Bourbon, honey, roasted malt, chocolate, coffee.

T-Starts with a nice blend of bourbon and honey. Slight chocolate. Nice roasted malt and coffee. But the finish doesn't bring the beer together.

M-Heavy, thick, not much carbonation though.

O-The beer starts off great but the finish leaves me wanting more.

Photo of camil1mj
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle shared at the 4 Elf Party.

A: Dark, dark brown, almost black. Some mocha colored head. Some lacing.

S: Great sniffs. Bourbon, chocolate and toffee.

T: Good balance of the typical BA stout flavors: bourbon, roasted malt, chocolate malt.

M: Medium carbonation and body.

O: A great middle of the pack BA stout.

Photo of sleepyteacher
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was my first cask and I was told that I couldn't have picked a better cask to start on. When some friends joined me and wanted to try it, I told them that it's a boozy dame and I was not joking. This beer packs a punch, but it is very tasty.

Lots of fruity notes, no coffee or chocolate flavors to stay trendy. This beer is a statement. Wish I could say more, but you've got to try it. Sorry to hear the 2013 bottles aren't as good as previous years.

Photo of GbVDave
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into multiple glasses. Thanks to Wil for the hook-up!

A: Pours your typical IS level of black. Pure, rich black. Dark espresso crema colored foam hung around shortly before disappearing completely..

S: Completely killer aromas of dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and/or whisky. Roasted nuts, pipe tobacco, fudge, brown sugar/molassas, milk chocolate covered cherries, and a dose of campfire smoke.

T: As above with less emphasis on the bourbon and more on the chocolate. Dark fruit, devil's food cake, and vanilla bean.

M: Slick and slippery with just the right amount of heft. Not too sticky and/or sweet like other examples of the style.

O: Made to be shared but not at all oppressively heavy. Thanks again, Wil!

Photo of FosterJM
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

736th Review on BA
Bottle to goblet
22oz

Clusterfork7
Thanks to domtromzero for this one

App- Super dark beer. Almost black as ive seen in a stout with a very nice one finger head. Came and went very quickly.

Smell- A multitude of smells on this one. Many layers of chocolate abound. Big dark chocolate with some creamy milk chocolate. The vanilla and oak and bourbon notes are there but just more mellow on this one.

Taste- Its a good stout. I can see why highly acclaimed. A lot of chocolate still remains but is now taken up in layers of bourbon notes, vanilla, oak, some unfamiliar sweetness and a touch of honey.

Mouth- A big thick medium stout with a paired carbonation. I liked the creamy chocolate notes on this beer

Drink- A very good stout. Has a ton going on and its a beer you had to focus on while drinking it. Layers abound and continue to evolve as it warms. Wouldnt mind a bottle of my own

Photo of khiasmus
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dressed all in black he is, a gangly silhouette of bones, coattails and the ever-present tan top hat and collar, his signature of sorts. Few know his story, they only know him as the lurker upon the street corner, to be seen by the lamplight, and a "g'devenin sir," or "howdy, ma'am," all to be heard. Next to the old baker's shop, he can sometimes be seen seated comfortably atop an old icing-bucket, humming small swatches of forgotten tunes and grinning at any passersby, as some small children run to him and give him great big hugs, while others cower behind their well-to-do mothers who hurry past.
The aromas waft out of the bakery-door... The old walls of oak still lending their peculiar brand to all of the other aromas that are fighting their way to be first in your nostrils, perhaps they'll make a lasting impression and you'll choose this bread or that pastry... toffee, almonds, coconut, chocolate, a peculiar candy-sweetness from all of the sugar caramelizing, and he smiles and lights his pipe as you step into the wonderland of flavours and tastes, he looks on from outside as each new flavour captures you in its grasp and takes your tastebuds and mind on a fantasy tour, one complete with the low humming of his forgotten songs and the occasional "howdy do!"
So you pull your bourbon-flask from your pocket and take a pull between each new delectable treat that is placed before you, and the experience melds into something like this: bourbon barrel infused with toffee and chocolate, coconut and vanilla, "g'day sir," coffee-bitter with amaretto and cocoa, "Yes ma'am, well ma'am, thankee ma'am," a slight warm finish of dark chocolate and hazelnut-cream "evenin, young feller."
Thin and warm, the bourbon washes down the wisps of sugar-cane and brown sugar, a plain-as-day representation of a light syrup extracted to a dark brown congelatin chocolate monster, a ridiculously roasty and nutty version of the style...
So you step down and out of the shop, a few choice parcels under your arm and a slight lilt in your voice, "g'day, sir," "g'day young feller. Find somethin' to your likin?"
"Yes sir."
"Well son, I tell 'ee... naught but a few in this 'eer warn world can build 'em like 'at. You'd a-better enjoy that 'un. I heard tell the ol' shop-keeps about done in this 'eer warn world. You'd a-better enjoy them 'uns awhile 'ees 'eer... I spect when he goes on up to the great kitchen, well 'eel receive a job well done... but me, son, I'll be a-movin on, and make no mistake."
"Thank you sir."
"g'day, son. Make your mama proud today."
"Yes sir."

Thanks to kkipple for a taste of this.

Photo of ChugginOil
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Event Horizon
2011
Pours extremely dark and opaque. No light whatsoever. Reddish tan head. Dark sticky lacing.

The nose is super roasty and has a bit of sweet honey. Bourbon is big, offering vanilla, dry oak, and toasted coconut.

The flavors offer much more boozy notes than the nose suggests. Tons of semi-sweet roast, bakers chocolate, and bourbon. Vanilla and sweet honey.

Mouthfeel is medium and pretty smooth but an overly amped carbonation.

Overall, pretty nice brew but a bit overly carbonated.

Photo of axeman9182
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 2012 vintage. Thanks to Tiger33 for the hookup. The bottle was allowed to warm just a bit before being poured into my NEBCO 668 tulip.

The Event Horizon pours jet black, and a careful pour yields almost three fingers of burnt caramel tinted foam that actually rises up past the rim of the glass, without spilling out over the side. Head retention is pretty good, but lacing is definitely a bit spotty. The nose is wonderful, with aromas of cocoa powder, oak, bourbon, brown sugar, and vanilla all wafting out of the glass. The flavor profile shifts and consolidates a little bit. The beer is definitely more oak and bourbon forward on my palate than in the aroma, and most of the vanilla is phased out and replaced by more brown sugar. Dark chocolate continues to provide a base for all of these characteristics to play off of. The mouthfeel is great, because while it still has that slightly chewy aspect to it, it feels a little bit less heavy (thanks to the honey?) than most big stouts, and as a result it comes across as a fair bit more drinkable. As with all great stouts, the carbonation is nice and muted. I found this super fresh bottle of The Event Horizon to be just a tad barrel forward for my taste. It's still a very good beer, but even just a little time to mellow and come together should yield spectacular results.

Photo of portia99
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary glass. Shared by nonstick.

A - Pours a dark brown color with a half finger of mocha colored frothy head. Head falls after a minute or so, leaving a big collar and spotty lacing on the glass.

S - Molasses, honey, prunes, raisins, bourbon, licorice, a touch sweet.

T - Bourbony, boozy, caramel and toffee. Quite smooth, alcohol is kept in check pretty well. Licorice, vanilla and honey.

M - Light tingle from the booze, medium body with a lowish tingly carbonation.

O - Very good...smooth, complex with pretty good balance. Nice barrel treatment on a base beer where honey shows thru quite well.

Photo of schwaeh
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle

A: Dense black beer with a 3/4" tan colored head. Fairly decent lacing along the glass. High viscosity for the abv.

S: Crazy smooth bourbon chocolate. Good amounts of toffee and anise. The alcohol seems very low but all of the aroma and bite remains high. I couldn't imagine a barrel aged stout being at a better integrated point than this.

T: This is such a great base stout used here, not over the top, just damn good brewing. Bourbon is sewn into the soul of the beer at this point. Nothing overpowers or becomes too much with event horizon. Roasty, chocolate, and coffee malts are used in a great balance and the honey just adds a nip of sweet to the brew. Slight oak-vanilla nuttiness adds some more complexities.

M: Higher carbonation than most stouts in this class. Real creamy and easy going. Goes down smooth.

O: Fairly tame in a very good way, just smooth chocolate with sweet bourbon hints. A nice well brewed stout to stand up to a little barrel aging. I hope I can get the chance to try this a little fresher.

Photo of Sean9689
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jason for this! 22oz bottle into CCB snifter.

A - Pours black, mocha head, spotty lacing, thick ring around the glass, lots of bubbles on top.

S- Huge sweetness, molasses, caramel, dark fruits, slight chocolate, honey, oak. Very strong sweetness that's a bit overpowering.

T - Not as sweet as the nose. Molasses, honey, chocolate, honey, oak. A bit more subtle, which is nice.

M - Full, creamy, rich, viscous.

D - Easily the most impressive beer I've had from NC/SC. Perhaps a little too sweet, but hey, very solid. Recommend!

The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 1,430 ratings.