The Event Horizon - Olde Hickory Brewery

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The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

243 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 243
Hads: 1,451
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.94%
Wants: 818
Gots: 482 | 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: 1,451
Photo of TheDudeRules
1.31/5  rDev -70%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Obsidian black pour into my Darkness tulip. 2011 bottle date.

Promising full finger of mocha head. The lacing cakes. I wasn't prepared for the smell but yet as my brain told me what it was I could not get over it. The barrel aging is there but it smelled exactly like barrel aged play-doh. Unbelievably awful nose. Put it down and came back to it after a few minutes. I sucked up the courage for a few sips and that was a big a let down as the smell. Carbonation was fine but it was malty burnt toast. Three sips is all I could muster. 19 of those 22 ounces were drain poured.

I can not see nor do I want to be told why that beer is so great. Horrid awful garbage that was made in a bathtub. One of my worst drinking experiences ever. (737 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 TheKingofWichita
3.1/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled at Sexual Chocolate 2011. Pours a deep black color with a thick brownish white head and a small amount of lacing. Smells of sweet chocolate and coffee. Tastes of coffee, chocolate, toffee, and some roasted malts. No hops anywhere. Mouthfeel is medium and drinkability is low. I don't care for it. (304 characters)

Photo of seeswo
3.11/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Bruery snifter with a group of about 8 at cellar temp from the wine fridge. Pours very dark, thick black with a small cocoa head. Looks good. The nose is sweet malts and dark fruit, bourbon, oak. Smells fine. Taste is that sweet malt, dark fruit, and very understated barrel character. One note until the finish. The finish is acrid burnt something and hops. Burnt honey and bittering hops? Whatever it is, the finish does not work for me at all. It's that same finish that is present in a lot of maple imperial stouts/black ales that does not work for me at all. Good body for the ABV, which was oddly low. We had a good lineup, but this bottle wasn't finished. Let me state that again. There were 8 people there and this bottle was not finished. Everyone else was defending that it was fine, but that is not exactly what my expectation was. In my opinion, this was very forgettable and in the opinion of my group, it was only slightly better. Choo-choo (968 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 Mtcarini
3.25/5  rDev -25.5%

Look I'm not saying it's not a good beer - it's not but I'm not saying that. What I am saying is that who wants to have the bejeezus scared out of em every time they take a sip? Not me, that's who. That movie was really, really scary and it psychologically impacts the enjoyability of this beverage. Otherwise though, a well made beer. (335 characters)

Photo of GregSVT
3.45/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into a tulip - 2011 Vintage

A: Pours a very dark brown, nearly totally black, with a medium sized brown head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of vanilla, hints of molasses, dark roasted malts, bakers chocolate, and some earthy hops in the background. The hops actually lend an odd aroma which I'm not a fan of...the rest smells delicious.

T: The taste is molasses, vanilla, dark chocolate, honey, and the earthy hops from the nose. It's a touch bitter on the finish which is surprising.

M: The feel is thick and creamy.

O: This isn't much different from the regular Imperial Stout besides some vanilla and molasses characteristics. The feel is about the best part of the beer. Could probably use a bit more time in the barrel. (792 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 Hophead717
3.61/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pitch black, with a thin head that instantly dissipates.

S: Bourbon, sweet malt, honey, bitter chocolate.

T: Sweet bourbon, bitter, dark chocolate. Finish is bitter and lightly sweet with hints of bourbon. Okay.

M: Thin to medium body with average carbonation.

O: A very average barrel-aged stout. A bit too sweet for my taste, while simultaneously being heavy on bitter hops. Not one I'd seek again. (407 characters)

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.68/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Poured into a snifter. It was pitch black with a tiny ring of mocha colored foam that didn't leave any lacing.

S-Coffee, chocolate, bourbon, blackstrap molasses

T-Roasted malt, coffee, bourbon, leather, and a lingering flavor that I can only describe as like an artificial sweetener.

M-Fairly thick and creamy, with not much carbonation at all.

D-This was a one and done for me I didn't like the leather note and the lingering odd aftertaste.

Overall, I was disappointed in this beer. I have had Olde Hickory's regular imperial stout and thought it was amazing, but this let me down. However, I would try this again and recommend others trying it as well. (662 characters)

Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.69/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Good googly moogly!!! This ale is straight up alcohol and I am surprised is isn't sold in the local ABC store on the shelf beside the Midnight Moon moonshine! Poured a dark black with minimal head, very much like a Barley Wine...In fact, a lot like a barley wine in the aftertaste! Interestingly enough, the "honey" really comes through the warmer it gets! Overall, "The Event Horizon" is an amazing brew worthy of a try!! (424 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 jethrodium
3.75/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. 2010 vintage. Thanks for sharing Phyllis. Pours a dark brown with small light chocolate head that has decent retention and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is chocolate, bourbon, some light oak and vanilla, as well as a bit of caramel. The taste is sweet dark chocolate, some bourbon, vanilla, and oak, and a bit of caramel. The finish is smooth with some light alcohol. Medium body. Medium-low carbonation. Fairly enjoyable, but not great. Comes off a little bit too sweet. (505 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.77/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage. Capped and waxed bottle into a Southampton oversize snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a big, black mocha head with little retention. Thick legs with spotty and sticky lace. Solid.

Boozy nose with hints of mocha, sweet soy sauce, fudge, chocolate, and molasses. Robust and very aromatic.

Sweet cocoa and mildly boozy. Chocolate, soy sauce. Finish is grainy cocoa powder and fudge. Sweet but with nice balance. Taste like it smells, which is temptingly decadent.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Sticky and smooth going down. A touch over-carbonated which makes this one feel a bit thin at times.

Real glad to have had the chance to give this one a shot but I'm not overly impressed here. Simply a solid offering in a style that's flooded with great beers. Still worth a try for sure though. (831 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.78/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried at Jester King, 29 Jan 2011. Courtesy of injuredreserve, thanks for sharing this!

Small dark brown head quickly dissipates. Lightly carbonated. Oily and viscous looking. Dark brown in color. Smells very syrupy with a soy sauce kick. Chocolate and some soy sauce, but less soy than in the aroma. Medium body. Dark chocolate. Soy sauce decreases as it warms. Moderate ethanol.

A says serve with tuna tartare. (414 characters)

Photo of jpro
3.83/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz (2013) bottle from Peabody's. Poured into a Left Hand stout glass...

A: pours black with a three finger, mocha head of milkshake-like foam; no lace.

S: bourbon; vanilla; sweet malt and honey; a touch hot as it warms.

T: chocolate; sweet roasted malt; bourbon; honey; it's not that rosary or bitter... Perhaps a bit too sweet.

M: medium-full body; high carbonation; sticky.

O: a nice barrel aged stout, but too sweet for me. (433 characters)

Photo of patre_tim
3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Opaque dark brown, black coffee, with a fine foam that's chocolate brown. When held to direct light, a slight brown orange brown tinge only near the foam at the head.

S: Immediately upon opening, a butterscotch, oak, buttery fragrant honey like smell comes through strong. Almost a fermented fruit smell as well but that passes. A direct wiff gives you the bourbon oak barrel scent, along with a sweet, buttery smell. A smokey, earthy dark chocolate bourbon as well, and coffee bourbon. A well alcoholed coffee is what it reminds me of. Its rich and heavy and sweet. Thinking a little dab will do.

T: I get dark coffee and dark chocolate, with butterscotch and oak, not overly sweet but there is an underlying sweetness there. Some bitterness at the end, but its more like a dark chocoate. Bourbon also presents itself, and a bite of alcohol but its relatively hidden for 8.5%.

M: Thick and somewhat oily. Rich, with a medium to low carbonation.

O: Had high expectations and was a little disappointed. I feel I’ve had better bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts. But definitely unique, great bottle, got it in Asheville at Bruisin Ales, at a high price. My first from Old Hickory. Would go well with some smoked meat, but lots of flavour drunk slowly by itself. (1,269 characters)

Photo of s1ckboy
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle with about 6 months of age on it.

A - Black body with a finger or so of tan head.

S - Bourbon, oak, sweeness (honey I suppose), hint of dark fruits.

T - A lot of bitterness initially that lingers, chocolate, bourbon, prunes/dates, not really picking up the honey. Bourbon is a bit on the hot side, could have aged this for a while longer.

M - On the lighter side of full. Fairly smooth even with the hot bourbon. Medium carbonation.

Smells sweet, tastes bitter. I think some age would do this a lot of good. Should have gotten 2! (547 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.94/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Black with no head. A few discrete bubbles on the surface and a stray wisp.

Smell - Oaky with some bourbon. Not too intense. Deep chocolate.

Taste - Fudgy. Lots of dark chocolate to this stout. Fresh bourbon flavor. Two distinct flavors that I like. Could be a bit better integrated, though. Lends an unrefined alcohol flavor and a hot finish.

Mouthfeel - The barrel heat lasts long after the stout. Boozy for its size with medium carbonation.

Overall - Hot barrel, but the stout stands up pretty well. (578 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- pitch black with a 1/2 finger caramel colored head. A true glass stainer.

S- Huge bourbon notes from a couple feet away. Vanilla, oak, soaked wood. Touch of caramel.

T- Intensely sweet gets things off and running. Bourbon follows next with the vanilla. Charred malts find their way in late. Not sure how much honey was added, but does seem to be easily detectable.

M- Maybe a bit thinner than expected, but still coats nicely. Mid to full body.

O- a nice balance of the barrel notes. Not over done. Probably a little sweeter and lighter body than I prefer on the style, but few flaws in this one (602 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Shared by leftyhyzer at NWI tasting group super bowl drinking

A - Dark chocolate color with thick body that coats the glass. Light brown on the edges with small amounts of carbonation and not head

S - Bourbon on the nose with light caramel and vanilla. Dark, roasted chocolate and slight honey

T - Sweet bourbon vanilla up front with light caramel. Light honey, roasted malt, and slight smokiness. Finish is slight roasted coffee that lingers on

MF - Light body with light bitter coffee that lingers on in the finish to create a slight astringency

O - Solid fudgy beer with chocolate and honey sweetness. The honey adds a nice sweetness to the beer overall that is unique in a stout (688 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
3.97/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Got bottles of this in a couple trades. A big thanks goes out to jbeatty for the 2011 and another massive cheers to Stakem for sending us the 2010. These were well appreciated gents.

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2011
Black wax with 2011 stamped into the front

Note: Drank the 2011 and 2010 afterwards for comparison purposes. Review is for the 2011.

APPEARANCE: Pours out a thicker looking black, yielding a one finger, medium-thick looking, dark tan head with good retention. Head slowly fades to a thin, bubbly wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass. Jet black body with no carbonation evident. A slight wisp remains to the end and leaves touches of lacing down the glass. The 2010 looked exactly the same.

SMELL: Bold nose on this one with plenty of bourbon, vanilla and oak aromas. Dark chocolate and some nice molasses come through from the base beer, with the roasted qualities providing a faint base. Bold and enticing for sure. The 2010 was a touch mellower on the bourbon barrel notes, but more chocolate and base beer played a roll.

TASTE: Big flavors as well. Oak and bourbon up front with vanilla and notes of milk chocolate. A bit of nail polish remover as well, but barely worth noting. Sweet honey and dark, bitter chocolate at the swallow into a big and persistent aftertaste of bourbon, molasses, bitter dark chocolate and a touch of sweet, caramel and honey. Pretty complex and flavorful, and the barrel meshes well with the base beer. The 2010, by comparison, had mellower bourbon barrel flavors, no nail polish remover, with more chocolate and molasses. The heat from the barrels had also mellowed and made it a way smoother drink. Would score this vintage higher.

PALATE: Medium body and medium, slightly prickly carbonation. Not really creamy enough for the style, goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky on the palate. A bit of a burn at the swallow and a touch of heat lingers. Surprising, given the lower ABV. The 2010 vintage, on the other hand, was smoother, creamier, and showed no heat. Much nicer, making it a more enjoyable drink.

OVERALL: This is a more than solid, lower ABV barrel aged imperial stout. The flavors were very complex, with the barrel components and base beer working well together. This is a good example of the barrel complimenting the beer as opposed to dominating it. The rougher and slightly hot feel held it back a little, unfortunately. As a comparison, the 2010 vintage was perfectly smooth and showcased an even better balance between base beer and barrel. Decadent and impressive. Either this beer does great after a year, or the first bottling in 2010 was slightly superior. In the end, this is a solid beer worth tracking down, and I’d love to drink it again. Thanks again for the trades jbeatty and Stakem. Highly recommended. (2,819 characters)

Photo of starrdogg
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to raveskdr for sharing this beer. 2011 vintage.

Beer pours a dark brown/black with a thin tan head with moderate lacing. Smells of chocolate with some bourbon and oak. Taste follows the aroma - a nice mix of the three, but not overwhelmed by any of the flavors. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation. Overall, this is a nice bourbon barrel stout, but there's nothing to make it stand out. I'm a little disappointed given the hype it's gotten. (462 characters)

Photo of pmarlowe
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 vintage. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a motor oil black with a dark brown coffee collar of head. Very good retention, no lacing.

S: Big dark chocolate and bourbon, supported by ample roast, vanilla extract, a bit of fig.

T: Tannic oak imparts a dry almost harsh quality, cola, milk chocolate, sharp honey, touch of espresso and dark dried fruit (fig, plum). Finishes off dry.

M: Thin, medium-light body, not unexpected given the ABV. Light carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden.

O: Pretty good, but honestly no better than much more available BA stouts. The low ABV and mostly dry taste tilts this more toward the drinkable end of the spectrum. (646 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.02/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to someone who will remain anonymous for sending me this bottle. Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown almost black hue with a thin half finger head that fades to leave a thin halo and wispy mocha notes.

S - Aromas of honey, definitely honey, nice creamy bourbon, faint barrel notes, chocolate, faint alcohol, nice light roast, sweeter malts. Solid.

T - Taste is light fudge, barrel, smooth creamy bourbon, light vanilla, faint honey notes. Quite nice, not really earth shattering but really tasty. Well crafted, well executed. Nice coffee and chocolate notes here, good fudge.

M - Mouthfeel is nice for the style, lightly carbonated, slightly creamy.

O - Overall this was a solid beer, real nice and tasty, nice chocolate, would like a more velvety mouthfeel. Good though. (826 characters)

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