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The Event Horizon - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon

Educational use only; do not reuse.

254 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 254
Hads: 1,519
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 22.02%
Wants: 837
Gots: 502 | FT: 85
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
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Reviews: 254 | Hads: 1,519
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at his tasting.

2011 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that tastes much better than it smells in my opinion.

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Photo of metter98
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a thin dark tan head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of vanilla and oak are present in the nose along with hints of bourbon.
T: He taste is similar to the smell and is dominated by flavors of vanilla and oak; notes of chocolate and dark malts are also noticeable. No roasted or bitter favor are present - there are some hints of sweetness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a little smooth on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer is really easy to drink compared to other bourbon barrel aged stouts because it doesn't feel too heavy and no alcohol is noticeable. Everything seems very well balanced.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

enough of the barrel aged stouts out there. this is a sort of shut up and sit down to the millions of wannabes out there. i absolutely love this one. its rich and frothy in looks, dense and dark, and with a nose that is just insane. toasted coconut, cocoa, vanilla, dry chalky grain, and a whiskey smoothness thats incredible. love that its under ten percent abv too, which is great, allows me to drink a bunch of this. a real cool nuttiness too, almond and hazelnut, lasting, and going brilliantly with the whiskey complexion. rich lathery feel, lasting forever in the finish, but not ever really getting all that heavy. this is my first and only beer ive ever had from these guys, and the hype is real, i mean, this thing is just insane. as layered as anything, its as close to as intensely flavored as the bruery big ones like black tuesday and its relatives. half the abv or less, but such a dynamic beer. chocolate in the finish, oaky, memorable. i want a mainline of this one. one of the few beers where its as good or better as the masses say. a must

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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?

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

With an ominous tone, The Event Horizon actually takes a somber tone with its body and strength in order to promote the assertive bourbon barrel-aging for not only balance but for complexity, intrigue and even finesse at times.

Its dark and mysterious body is a very hazy, near-black appearance with ominous garnet low-lights cast about its margins. As a delicate, coffee-like creme swirls about its surface, the ale simply simmers and stews inside the glass. As the beer's foam slowly succumbs to the weight of the beer, it eventually takes on the appearance of blackened brandy inside the snifter.

Its bourbon influence is known immediately as that very first sniff unleashes a plethora of wood caramels, vanillans and coconut. Its surprising intensity edges out the scent of dark-roast coffee, dark chocolate and charred toast if ever so slightly. But those stout underpinnings absorb the unmistakable scent of bourbon soaked charred oak with ease.

Its taste is sublime as the malt sweetness of brown sugar, molasses and toffee fuses together with bourbon caramel and vanilla for a super-charged malty portray. The balance comes with tones of robust character- espresso, bittersweet chocolate, roasted walnuts, burnt toast and rusted chicory. Together, all that boisterous taste wraps around the early and middle palate with utter decadence. Its trailing hop bitterness pulls form the coffee-type roast and rides along side of drunken wood and tangy vinous tannin for a bourbony balance to all that early sweetness.

Its lavish taste rests upon a body of fullness, but not ridiculousness. Having some semblance of drinkability, the beer's silky smoothness caresses the tongue like velvet as it saturates the taste buds with sultry maple booziness. Its finish comes bitter and modestly resinous for a malty-dry finish with an aftertaste of... you guessed it- bourbon.

With a ton of bourbon flavor but little of the burn, The Event Horizon is fairly modest to be of "Imperial" strength. This subtleness allows the bourbon to stand out more because it has less stout to contend with. Still, the beer stands tall and wrangles the barrels for seamless taste.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to an ever generous BA for sharing some of this at the Splinter Black release. Nothing like a great impy stout to cure the chills. Served in my Savor snifter.

Pours a deep, dark black color with a thin mocha cap and a slight collar around the edges. The nose is an explosion with fantastic notes of dark chocolate, espresso, vanilla, roast, and a tiny bit of char. The dark chocolate and espresso come together splendidly to create and nice slightly-charred cherry character.

The taste picks up right where the nose left off and is buoyed even more by the excellent mouthfeel, which is thick and really lifts the flavors of this one. Love the espresso notes coming out of this. Full and thick feel coats my mouth and finishes smoothly with just a bit of slight booze, which was welcome on this cold morning. Drinkability is quite good as well. I've been nothing but impressed with Olde Hickory thus far and I'd love to try some more things from them.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of oberon
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Roger over at Bestway for giving me one of his personal stash,this is one f*cking amazing beer!Poured into a snifter ink black no light getting thru this beer,a thin deep mocha colored head atop.Where to start when it come to the aromas,chocolate fudge,roasted walnut,coffee roast,just lush and rich,to me perfection.Thick and chewey feel but also creamy.Oaky/bourbon flavors mixed with sweetish chocolate and deep roast,its just as rich as all get out.This is one NC. beer worth its high rating,damn I wish I would have been able to get over there to get more,hell yeah!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to my buddy Calton for hooking me up with this one. Decided to break myself in with a big stout and went local to do it.

Pour was outstanding, really could not have asked for it to be any better then it was. Thick, dark, incky black with a huge head of tan that reached a height of around three inches and left tons of lacing up and down the sides of the glass. Aroma of burnt chocolate, rich coffee, hints of oak and a touch of vanilla waft throough the air. This is a big beer, their is no denying that at all. Rich and huge flavor is dominated by roasted malts and touches of vanilla, tastes bigger and may need a year or 6 months at the least to cool down, but otherwise outstanding as the light sweet finish seals the deal.

Overall just outstanding, again not a bad word to be said here.

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Photo of oline73
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at a tasting this past weekend. Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours black and thick with a layer of cocoa colored head that fades to a thin layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Sweet and smooth with roast, chocolate, dark fruit and some bourbon heat.

Taste: Sweet bourbon with some chocolate and dark fruit notes. The finish is roasty with some dark chocolate but not very bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is thick with smooth carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: This is a great BA Imperial Stout. Goes to show you don't need to have your stouts be 12%+ to be extremely good. I hope to get the chance to have this one again in the future.

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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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.09/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

I was really excited to try this beer, thanks to rudzud for sharing.

Very small fizzy dark head, dark colored, pitch black beer with decent legs. Head is disappointing.

Nose tons of super dark malts, little roast like, super dark choc, syrupy, caramel, choc syrup, then into mild bourbon, little vanilla barrel, bakers choc, etc. There is a decent honey aroma in there too bit not dominant as it's a bit behind the dark malts.

Taste thick syrupy little creamy dark malt base, tons of chocolate, like chocolate ice cream and melted milk choc, little bakers. Then vanilla barrel, hint of bourbon, little toasted oak. Mild booze warmth and hint phenols. Earthy Hops and dark malts bring hint of bitterness. Finish is semi sweet still, fair bitter slight spicy hops, sticky syrupy feel, more chocolate syrup, little bourbon. After an hour or sitting and warming, it has that big thick heavy syrupy boozy beer feel.

Mouth is med bod but very syrupy and too much carbonation, light warming booze.

Overall good but not great. Mouth is not so great, bourbon is light, dark malts are nice, but just not add earthy shattering as I hoped.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.12/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz wax topped bomber into a couple of oversized snifters. 2011 Edition. Big thanks go to Barscream for sharing this.

Pours as black as an oil slick in the glass, with a thin covering of burnt mocha head. This maintains some frothy edges, leaving back a rich cascade of spotty lace and brown oils down the sides of the glass. The aroma is quite dense in the nose, with notes of fudge, molasses, vanilla, and coffee. Charred oak adds some zip to the edges of this, while an underpinning of warmth gives this a little sharpness as well.

The taste is chocolate syrup, roasted coffee, vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, and some green herbal hops. The barrel really gives this a charred feeing tannic sharpness that keeps the overall profile from coming off as too overly sweet and decadent yet hangs in the finish with a little too much strength with a burnt and woody feel. This does start to dissipate and full integrate itself until unfortunately it’s more towards the end of the glass. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a thick chewiness that is sharp feeling up front but then creamier along the back. There is some alcohol present here but it mostly seems to be coming from the barrel flavors.

This showed some moments of greatness but never quite got over the hump for me, as this retained a bit too much of a charred burn throughout that seemed to hold this back some and a complete melding of barrel and beer that occurred a little too late in my opinion. This is still a really nice BA Stout but I wouldn’t break the bank for it.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic pint glass.

Big thanks to Trxxpaxxs for this bottle!

2010 vintage, reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF 6. It pours a straight obsidian topped by a finger of golden brown foam (I can hear the Stranglers in the background now...). The nose comprises roasted malts, dark chocolate, molasses, sweet honey (really more of a vague sweetness, but I'm attributing it to the honey anyway), and a dusting of grass. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a touch of oak and an even lighter touch of mild bourbon. I thought I got a bit of coffee in there, too, but it could have been caused by the several cups of java circulating around me at this point in the evening. The body is a strong medium, bordering on heft, with a light moderate carbonation and a very lightly chewy feel. Overall, a very nice stout. I'm not sure it deserves a lot of the amazing press it gets, but it's definitely a tasty beverage.

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Photo of russpowell
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this today at the Olde Hickory Tap Room down town...

Pour black & oily with a modicum of tan head. Minimal head retention & some sticky lacing

Nice Bourbon notes, some cheyy, oak & vanilla

Dark chocolate, Bourbon, & oakyness up front. A touch of dryness gives way to a bit of earthy coffee & molasess with nice vnnilla swwetness. Finishes dry, smooth & soothing, not perfect, but a damn good take on the stylr

MF: Chewy,sooth & warming

Drank very easy for the style. This brewery has really progessed in the last few-3 years, well done OHB. You've done this ex-Hickory, NC resident proud!

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Photo of mdfb79
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 01/02/11 notes. Big thanks to tarheels86 (RB) for bringing this one. Thanks GT, been wanting to try this.

a - Pours a jet black color with one inch of tan head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, oak, caramel malts, dark fruits, roasted malts, and chocolate.

t - Tastes of bourbon, oak, caramel malts, dark fruit, roasted malts, and vanilla.

m - Full, rich body and low carbonation, smooth and chewy. Very nice.

d - I thought this was a great barrel aged stout and very drinkable. I loved the bourbon and oak in the smell and taste and didn't feel it overpowered the rest of the flavors; it was pretty balanced. Would love to try this one again.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Chad for sharing. As usual, it took 15 minutes to get the damn Old Hickory wax off. Sampled side-by-side with the Imperial Stout for reference. Served in a New Belgium tulip.

A - Pours with a finger of tan foam that settles to a hazy cap of film and a thick collar, leaving behind spotty lace. The body is pitch black. Looks more ominous than an 8.5% Imperial Stout has any business doing so.

S - Huge bourbon and earthy, roasted grains, lots of chocolate cake, burnt sugars. As it warms up more oak and barrel creeps in, along with a faint whiff of alcohol.

T - Lots of roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, honey, and some earthy bourbon and oak character that keeps things from getting too cloying.

M - Sticky, mouth-coating, and surprisingly full-bodied and viscous for the listed ABV. Booze is well-hidden, and the finish is only lightly tannic.

D - I like this better than the standard Imperial Stout by a fair margin. It's not a particularly subtle beer, but it is a delicious one. Definitely for sipping and sharing, but something I'd happily revisit.

NOTE: I'm pretty sure the 8.5% ABV can't be correct. The base beer is listed at 10.2%!! However, if it really is only 8.5% it sure packs in a lot of flavor and heft, while still maintaining fairly well-hidden alcohol.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 Edition

A: Pours an opaque yet clear jet black in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation and some very light hints of dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall dense foamy dark mocha head that quickly reduces to a very thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of bourbon, vanilla, and oak with some lighter amounts of dark fruits, anise, and honey sweetness. Moderate aromas of dark chocolate that sticks with you.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of roasted malts with some significant amounts of bourbon flavors. There are lighter notes of the vanilla and oak from the bourbon barrel aging. After that, there are moderate to strong flavors of dark chocolate, dark fruits (plum), and anise. Very light notes of honey contributing some initial sweetness. Minimal amounts of lingering bitterness,

M: Full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very light amounts of alcohol warming.

O: Overall this is a great beer - the bourbon barrel aging really enhances the overall flavors and aromas of this beer. There is a nice balance and the bourbon barrel aging adds to it but does not contribute much alcohol heat or alcohol presence in the nose/taste. Definitely glad I was able to grab one of these on my NC visit at Thanksgiving.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle split post Sexual Chocolate by Lunch, thanks Paul.

Beer is dark with almost no head, haloed, clinging to the sides of the glass I was drinking out of, carbonation low and some lacing but not much. Looks like a lot of barrel aged stouts.

Beer has a nice aroma, sweet, bourbon, mild oakiness, that late sweetness that almost is dry in the nose, smells very nice.

Beer is medium bodied, creamy on the mouth. Fills out nicely in the back half of the beer. The lead off here is the malt syrupy sweetness, not too sweet or cloying, just enough, the bourbon lets loose next giving some mild heat, not off putting but it is definitely aggressive, the back end is bitter with the roast with a nice finish, the swallow allows the flavor to rediffuse through the palate leaving you wanting another drink. It's a good beer, not the best barrel aged stout I've had but it's up there. Thanks.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2010 Vintage

A: Pours a deep black with a tan/brown head on top, about a finger upon pouring, which reduces to a thin cap on top. Thin lacing.

S: Some dark fruits, cherrys, plum, and raisins mixed with chocolate, bourbon, a bit of oak and vanilla.

T: Similar to the aroma and fantastic. Lots of chocolate and bourbon flavors up front, a bit of brown sugar and molasses. More dark fruit in the middle mixed with a touch of honey.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Glad I was finally able to try this beer, definitely a highlight from the tasting.

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Photo of mothman
4.12/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this one! Epic indeed.

Pours 1/2 finger of tan head. Color is pretty much black. Pours pretty thick.

Aroma: A heavy dose of bourbon, stings the nostrils. Very chocolaty. Rich and malty. Caramel flavors. The oak and vanilla shows nicely. Great aroma.

Taste: Rich dark chocolate. Some cocoa. Caramel and vanilla. Warming bourbon. A bit of roast and some coffee. A nice amount of barrel aging shows. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Warming, smooth, and creamy. Medium to full bodied. Good amount of carbonation. Ends malty, but clean.

Overall, this beer was much better than I expected. It was very tasty. Easy to drink and enjoyable. Maybe a bit too roasty, but that's it.

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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.

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Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing this one after he aged it a year.

A – pitch black with a soft, short, foamy, brown head

S – roasted malts, anise, black licorice, coffee

T – roasted malts, dark fruits, burnt sugar, coffee, anise, honey, vanilla, bourbon

M – full bodied, smooth, perfectly carbonated

This is a rich and complex beer that has a fantastic flavor profile. It has depth and character. It has perfect balance and showcases little subtleties throughout. This is definitely one of the better stouts that’s out there.

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

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul.

This beer is black with a thin, beige head that leaves some good lacing on the glass. The aroma brings roasted malt, bourbon, honey, chocolate, and oak. The taste is fabulous - a wonderful barrel-aged imperial stout. Additional flavors of coffee and vanilla add to an already complex and awesome beer. Super smooth and creamy feel, with alcohol presence well disguised. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Highly recommended.

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The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 254 ratings.