Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

The Event Horizon - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

245 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 245
Hads: 1,467
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 3.67%
Wants: 830
Gots: 493 | FT: 77
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.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Event Horizon Alström Bros
Reviews: 245 | Hads: 1,467
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. (451 characters)

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! (1,071 characters)

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! (612 characters)

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. (1,060 characters)

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. (591 characters)

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. (296 characters)

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. (636 characters)

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. (331 characters)

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. (766 characters)

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. (1,119 characters)

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. (384 characters)

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. (325 characters)

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. (457 characters)

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! (745 characters)

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 (911 characters)

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. (2,614 characters)

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. (505 characters)

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. (1,346 characters)

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. (655 characters)

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. (1,040 characters)

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! (546 characters)

Photo of mverity
4.14/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep inky black with a medium chocolaty head that faded within 45 seconds into a medium collar and wisps at the surface. Aroma is dark chocolate, deeply roasted malt, some charred earth, some wine-like must. Taste is earthy and roasty at the front, some dark chocolate in the middle, and some wine must at the end. The honey really plays well in the aftertaste. Thick rich body and medium carbonation. (409 characters)

Photo of Powderhornphil
4.14/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 vintage

Nothing unexpected that this beer pours black. Jet Black. It is of note the richness of the caramel colored head about 2 fingers deeps. Nice.

Not a bourbon bomb, the nose has hints of bourbon, deep cacao, some barrel and vanilla.

The taste starts with a sweet bourbon and continues to cacao. Lots of bittersweet roast. It tastes like a 90 percent cacao chocolate bar with the healthy does of bitterness. But there's a honey, malty sweetness to balance it and it finishes like the dryness of just swallowing a chocolate covered expresso bean.

Medium mouthfeel. not too heavy.

Certainly worth it to try this beer at least once. (643 characters)

Photo of CruisaC
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 version thanks to Chris.

Pours a pretty standard black with a dark mocha head.

Smell is fairly dominated by bourbon. Almost a little one dimensional.

Fortunately the taste is much more complex. Some chocolate, booze, vanilla, finished with some roasted coffee mix in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is nice and thick which is fitting for a bbal stout of this magnitude.

Glad to have snagged a couple of these, one was definitely headed down my gullet. (455 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage poured into snifter. Thanks to kingkong for this beer!

A: Pours an almost black with pretty much no head. A faint collar formed and left some spotty lacing down the glass after each sip.
S: I get rich notes of molasses, chocolate and a hint of vanilla, coffee and soy sauce.
T: Smooth as can be with flavors of sweet dark fruits, chocolate, toffee, brown sugar and a hint of nuts. Luckily I’m not really getting any soy sauce. Alcohol warmth is faint, and the finish contains some nice barrel notes.
M: Medium-thick body, low but bubbly carbonation, with a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel.
O: An excellent stout, and one I have been wanting to try for some time now. Very smooth and flavorful, thanks again kingkong! (737 characters)

The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 245 ratings.