The Event Horizon - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

243 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 243
Hads: 1,448
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 816
Gots: 481 | FT: 72
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 243 | Hads: 1,448
Photo of ottovon
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to stoutfiend27 for sending this my way.

A: pours out thick and dark. the beer has a nice brown head that faded somewhat quickly.

S: dark fruits, molasses, vanilla. there is bourbon and oak. i get roasted malt, sweetness, bittersweet chocolate and brown sugar.

T: hints of bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, and oak. it has a nice bitterness in the finish. starts out a bit sweet. there is also molasses, brown sugar, burnt sugar, and roasted malt in there.

M: thick and low carbed. smooth mouthfeel.

O: this is a great beer. wish i had more. (558 characters)

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. (1,644 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. Special thanks to readbaron for sharing this one.

Appearance: In the glass, this is nearly black with dark red edges. There is no head, even with an aggressive pour.

Smell: Roasted malt with almost no burnt aroma, cocoa, sweet molasses, and some dark fruits, mostly fig and plum. Vanilla, oak, and sweet bourbon mellow in the background.

Taste: The bourbon flavor pops right up front, but it is not too dominant. Although it starts out quite sweet with a molasses flavor, it dries out just a bit with the roasted malt. The dark fruits provide further depth to the full roasted malt and cocoa flavors. The finish stays mostly sweet, with a very smooth overall flavor.

Mouthfeel: This has a very full body, with a full stickiness to go along with it. A little dryness at the front of the sip lightens it out a little bit. Lightly carbonated, maybe undercarbonated a bit. Quite smooth. No real bourbon burn or booziness to speak of.

Overall: The flavors still haven't melted together seamlessly, which to me signifies that a little bit more time in the cellar will help out. Even so, this was smooth and delicious. Maybe due to the lighter than insane ABV, but it was not too boozy either. (1,234 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 1-liter growler split 3 ways on 5/13/11. Poured into a snifter, this brew appears black in color with the thinnest line of brownish clarity around the edges. A finger of dark brown head forms and fades to some large bubble formation around the edges of the glass. Patchy lace clings to the glass and a swirl revives a finger of silky dark head back to the surface.

The smell of this brew is strongly reminiscent of cocoa/brownie batter with an inclusion of vanilla and coconut. There is a significant whiskey tang evident blended with a caramel sweetness light like molasses. It is somewhat woody across the back. Well balanced, complex and super enjoyable aroma. As I copy this review 3 days later I'm salivating remembering what this brew was like.

The taste is sweet with a flavor of cocoa batter, molasses and caramel. There is a light woody flavor mixed with mild herbal hops. The finish is dry and roasty with a mild amount of leathery tobacco. Bold, tangy alcohol is evident throughout in flavor and warmth factor. Some fruity hops emerge as the brew warms.

This brew packs a whallop. For less than 9% abv, it has an alcohol flavor that seems significantly more but it drinks smooth and more like something in the 6% range. It is full bodied, modestly carbonated and silky smooth in the feel that coats the mouth. Very solid brew here, excellent. I shared this growler with 2 other people and I could have easily drank the entire thing myself. It is very easy drinking. (1,486 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pitch black with a very dark mocha head ; not the biggest head I have ever seen but it retains fairly well and leaves plenty of lacing dots behind

Smell: Dark chocolate; graham cracker, dark fruit, honey, licorice and bourbon

Taste: A quadrella at the outset, with the dark chocolate, graham cracker, bourbon and dark fruit elements all commanding attention; a nice balance from the hops arrives by mid-palate along with the honey and, after the swallow, it all comes together in a multi-layered finish; there is a touch of sourness in there, too

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: A splendid beer with multiple layers of flavor; the sourness worried me in the first few sips but it settled down as the beer aired out; I wonder how that element will affect the aging potential? (823 characters)

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. (970 characters)

Photo of Soonami
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BrewerDan23 for generously sharing a bottle of Event Horizon at a recent tasting. I am now ISO of one, although the 900 bottle run might make it tough to get.

This beer is pitch black with mocha that quickly dissolves to a finely knit ring of lace. The aroma is earthy and mushroomy featuring the smell of freshly baked bread and a light whiff of bourbon. The beer tastes very creamy and light on the palate for a double stout. There is a hot chocolate quality to the roasted malt that isn't too harsh or astringent. It's not too sweet with a great drying oaky bourbon finish. As it warms the barrel character really comes out and you can really pick out toasted coconut.

This is a delicious beer and I guess the delicate menage of malt, roast, barrel and bourbon is helped by the low ABV that really allows the individual ingredients to shine and not be masked by the high alcohol or residual sweetness. This definitely lives up to the hype. (954 characters)

Photo of Tripphop
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black in the glass with creamy tan mousse. Aroams of big roast and coffee, a slight boozines hides underneath. Flavor is bold and roasty, yet chocolatey and smooth. Very fine carbonation and rich creamy mouthfeel. Delightful overall, worth the hype it received. (267 characters)

Photo of wino47
4.67/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

32oz growler. First taste of this much hyped beer and i wasn't let down a bit. For not having huge alcohol content, the mouthfeel on this one was excellent, it had great texture but didn't come off heavy handed one bit. I initially thought I would only be able to have a glass of this beast but it was so smooth I could have drank it all day. Nice cocoa flavors with a hint of coconut and bourbon on the finish. Not boozy at all and everything in its place, this one lived up to the hype for me. (495 characters)

Photo of hannydawg
3.12/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I saved this bottle for DLD and my first review. Thanks to ewright for trading me this bottle.

A- Dark brown with an off white head. I usually want a darker appearance on a big stout.

S- Dark fruits, slight chocolate, and a hint of bourbon, and I mean a hint. No where near as impressive as other Bourbon aged stouts, especially because of the barrel used for this beer.

T- Dark fruits, raisins, sugary malts. The chocolate on the nose is not present here, and I get no bourbon taste. Disappointing.

M- Medium body, although a little watery for the style. Carbonation is ok.

O- Maybe I hyped up this beer pre-drinking, but after sampling two bottles, one on DLD, and one the night before, this beer is a complete letdown. (726 characters)

Photo of ChadQuest
3/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had two differant bottles both Pre & during DLD, One from Hannydawg and not sure about the others bringer, but thanks to both for keeping me from trading alot away for the chance to try this one.
The pour is less dark then expected and is a dark brown with moderate viscosity. I't looks average for a 8.5% stout, i would have liked to see more viscosity & depth of color.
The aroma and flavors really took me off guard, and had huge dark fruit influence throughout with strong Prune & Raisons, with a Soy & Molasses paste holding it together. There was powdered cacao blended in somewhat. I didn't notice any heat and no barrel influence either which was a let down, as being from PVW barrels this is treated as if gold.

This was one of the beers i was really excited for when i saw it out, but it was a let down. I even gave it a 2nd chance the next day, and can't report any differant. (890 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Mike. Been looking forward to trying this one.

A: The pour is thick and black with a finger or so of brown head.

S: Rich bourbon and vanilla aromas that are just smooth as can be. A moderate roasted malt character with plenty of smooth chocolate, particularly dark chocolate. Quite a bit of caramel and molasses as well. Really quite decadent.

T: Plenty of rich, smooth vanilla and bourbon flavor to it as well. Dark and milk chocolate, caramel, toffee, and molasses provide some nice sweetness and there is just a modest amount of roasted malt.

M: Medium to full in body with a creamy and smooth carbonation.

O: Very pleased to have tried this beer. Fantastic stuff. In retrospect, I should have shared less and hoarded more. (750 characters)

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of my Beer & Cigars BIF package - thanks mjmadden! (Enjoyment shared with 5 other people)

A. Pours black with a bit of creamy tan head that leaves a bit of lacing.

S. Cocoa with bourbon and vanilla with a touch of dark fruit (figs) with honey/ molasses sweetness.

T. Dark chocolate, bourbon, bright honey sweetness, dark fruits with more bitterness becoming more apparent on the tail.

M. Medium bodied with a medium level of creamy carbonation. A bit dry on the end.

D. I really like this beer; possibly my favorite from NC (over BA Sexual Chocolate). (561 characters)

Photo of Urbancaver
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark brown with a reddish tint to it. Very little head but well carbonated. Smells very chocolate heavy with some light oak. Vry rich on the nose. Tastes like bittersweet chocolate. Lots of rich thick malts. The bourbon characteristics are fairly subtle but definitely compliment the beer well. Overall very tasty (326 characters)

Photo of brew3crew
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-black body with a tan head that quickly disapates
S-nice oaky smell. Almost smells like licorice.
T-a lot like it smells. Very smooth oak burbon taste.
M-medium. Body and so smooth
O-good brew. Close to worth or equal to the hype. Crazy drinkable and redonkulously smooth. Only knock is no head... (301 characters)

Photo of nkersten
3.7/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Chad for bringing this one over, reviewed from notes. Poured into New Belgium globe, black with a mocha foamy head that fades to a collar, not a bad looking beer. Smells like bourbon, graham cracker, crusty bread, oak, lots of vanilla, slight alcohol. Interesting flavor, graham cracker crust, lots of sweet sugary malt, oak and barrel, vanilla, bourbon, slightly smokey, some bitterness, strange aftertaste sweet cherries. A strange off flavor that I cant pinpoint - maybe honey? Heavy body and light carbonation. Not bad but the strange off taste keeps me from wanting more of this one. (598 characters)

Photo of Jmoore50
3.48/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am very particular with my barrel aged stouts. Look at my reviews and you will tell which ones I prefer. jh1982 brought this one out and I didn't think it was spectacular. He said he preferred the other Olde Hickory Stouts, which he had a few days before.

The appearance on this is great. It is a dark thick black, and poured heavily produces a nice fluffy brown head. Its thick, its black, and the head retention is good.

The smell is of sweet bourbon, tons of bitter cocoa, some roasted malts and vanilla. It smells incredibly sweet.

Lots of bitter cocoa, a strong character in this. It has a sweet bourbon and sweet honey taste that is left in the background by the cocoa. LOADS of cocoa, like hot chocolate mix. Not really melding well, kind of muddled. I wouldn't say it was smooth, but its got a lot of flavor going on.

Its a pretty heavy beer with good carbonation. The bitterness from the beer paired with the bourbon threw me off a bit. Overall I could pick a few dozen better barrel aged stouts, and this would not be one of them. Kind of let down, but still not a terrible beer at all. (1,105 characters)

Photo of billyshears
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

from notes.
a: dark tan head; black body with a bit of head retention
s: heavy vanilla and coconut bourbon barrel notes; dark chocolate
t: pronounced licorice flavor coupled with aforementioned bourbon notes and sweet chocolate; a bit of roast and some bitterness on the back end but surprisingly not much at all. some warming alcohol also present but well integrated into the taste.
m: medium heavy mouthfeel with medium carbonation but goes down very smoothly.
d: sip and appreciate, especially as this is so hard to come by. wish I had more.

definitely worth the hype. one of the better brews I've had lately. (614 characters)

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. (1,383 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 jrallen34
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled poured into my Narke tulip... A black body with faint notes of brown on the edges. The head is medium tan and rises about two full fingers before falling to a full finger cap. It fades quickly but decent lacing makes up for it... The aroma is exceedingly malty and sweet. Whopper malt, molasses, honey. Smells great, but it shouldn't smell like this, smells like a bw... The taste just isn't as successful, its very muted, lots of the sweetness of the nose is gone, and it brings out more roasty, bourbon, oak finish which is not present at all on the nose. (565 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 AgentZero
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A dark black beer with a tiny tan head that receded to n oghitn and left no stick on the sides.

S - Very sweet with molasses, chocolate, honey and some dark fruits, particularly prunes. A bit of roasted malts and burnt cocoa. Some nuttt smell on the end of the nose.

T - An exceptionally sweet stout with honey notes. A lot of burnt malts and heavy molasses and prune taste. It's a very sweet beer that gets kind of hard to drink, but it's very rich tasting, which is a good thing.

M - Heavy, chewy, low carbonation.

O - A really good beer that is somewhat hard to drink, but it's quite solid.

Edit: Drank this beer again on 9/24/11 and adjusted my ratings. Drinking amazingly, smooth and easy with good flavors. Sweetness is still there but the roast is coming out more. We have a winner. (798 characters)

Photo of steve8robin
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Love the regular Imperial Stout and Irish Walker from Olde Hickory, excited to give this well rate brew a try for myself. 22oz bottle, 2010 vintage...

A: A perfect pitch black with a small dark mocha colored head that fades to a bubbly lace atop the brew. Good.

S: Smells of a great chocolatey brownie upfront. Reminds me somewhat of Black Tuesday in the scent! Some awesome bourbon notes quickly followed with some nice cocoa in the middle. A little vanilla and coffee notes on the backend. Awesome blend of scents. Very good!

T: A nice thick chocolate and vanilla blend upfront with hints of roasty coffee. Some mild chocolate bitterness in the middle with some cocoa notes on the backend. This almost reminds me of a milk chocolate bar. I get some lactose tastes on the backend. Nothing in this is overpowering other flavors. Very well balance. Awesome!

M: Full bodied with a great carbonation. A nice thick creamy finish. Not cloying at all. Perfect.

D: Goes down very easy.

All in all, a big standing ovation! OHB has really outdone themselves this time. This stout rivals Black Tuesday in the scent and is a perfect example of the style in the taste. The balance is incredible on this one. Definitely try one of these if you like stouts. (1,249 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Craytonic for sending this.

Appearance is typical of the style, an opaque black with moderate carbonation that forms a small tan head.

The nose is huge, with blatant bourbon overtones of caramel and vanilla that hover over a chocolatey, charred malt base. Licorice is evident, and there's a faint scorched and earthy quality.

There's more molasses than chocolate on the palate, along with a kick of licorice and bourbon. The mid-palate brings out more caramel and vanilla sweetness, but the finish is more tannic and dry with a kick of bitter charred malt. The beer is surprisingly viscous for the supposed 8.5% ABV. (633 characters)

The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 243 ratings.