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The Event Horizon | Olde Hickory Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
96
world-class
280 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
280
Ratings:
1,640
Avg:
4.36
pDev:
21.33%
 
 
Wants:
850
Gots:
540
For Trade:
89
The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Habmike on 12-08-2010

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Reviews: 280 | Ratings: 1,640
Photo of homebrew311
4.09/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance is pitch black with minimal head. Nose features heavy dark chocolate with cacao, molasses, vanilla and a touch of honey. Taste is rich and full of deep chocolate with minimal bourbon character. Mf is thick and lightly carbonated. Overall

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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 kawilliams81
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A- pours pitch black with a 1 finger cola head. Sporadic bubbles and blotches of lacing remain on the glass.

S- very nice blend of chocolate, bourbon and vanilla.

T- chocolate, caramel, honey, vanilla, and bourbon.

M- medium body and carbonation. Actually drinks bigger than a 8.5% beer, in a good way.

O- very nice BA RIS! Surprised that it was only a 8.5% beer. Nice meld of chocolate, bourbon and vanilla.

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Photo of Chaney
4.76/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on cask at Churchkey as part of the Craft Brewing Conference 2013. I had both a full snifter and another taster of this stuff.

A: Poured as black as night and with an oil-like consistency. That coupled with the fact that the head was only a couple of shades lighter than the liquid below it let me know right off the bat that I was in for a ride.

S: Nah, wouldn't say this was a bourbon bomb at all. It deserves more credit than that. The bourbon combined with the overall hop/malt profile produced something that was oaky, nutty, and even a bit fruity (dark fruit - dates and/or figs). Take high grade hot cocoa, throw in some dates and vanilla, then age that on oak chips and then take a whiff... You've got yourself some Event Horizon!

T: Cocoa laced buttercream frosting with oak. Simply sublime! Also, the finish on this was as smooth as silk and sort of reminded me of the first time I ever had a dark chocolate Dagoba milkshake at the Hershey's Chocolate World.

M: Ridiculous sticky lacing on this bad boy, not much bitterness, no booze detected, yet at the same time, the sugar was really dialed down to a very gulpable level. Remarkable!

O: Pure bliss in a glass. No need for dessert if you have this one around. Actually, come to think of it, there's no need for breakfast or lunch either.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Churchkey, served in a snifter.

A- Pours black with a thick layer of creamy, mocha head, has great retention and some spotty lacing.

S- Goddamn this smells delicious. Has a great aroma of creamy milk chocolate, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, some barrel, and an awesome honey aroma. The chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and honey are all amazing and create a sweet, but not at all cloying, aroma. This is really fantastic.

T- Nice chocolate and honey sweetness, accents of vanilla, caramel and bourbon. There's a bit of roastiness, but it's mostly this great, smooth sweetness.

M- Full-bodied, has moderate to low carbonation with a soft, smooth feel and a tiny bit of alcohol warmth.

O- I love this beer. The flavors are blended very nicely and are all delicious. It also has a huge amount of flavor for 8.5%, it's complex and tasty enough to sip at but I could happily have finished off a bomber of this on my own. I need more of this beer.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

On tap at churchkey as part of CBC.

Pours a super jet black with a nice tan head and pretty substantial lacing, looks very oily and delicious.

The smell is amazing and has tons of beautiful bourbon, vanilla, molasses, touch of sweet latte, honey, oak wood, and some fudge. Rides that line of imperial stout in bourbon and barrel aged strong ale, but it's delicious. Taste follows the smell to a T, with some extra decadent choco cake notes and more roast. Also some great honey soaked barley and amazing explosions of flavor from the spirit.

The feel is a little thinner than expected, but still great. I almost expect to have more alcohol hit me with something with this much flavor.

Overall this beer is great and so drinkable for something this flavorful!

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Photo of joefuzz
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle

Dark brown pour with small almond head. Smells wonderfully of bourbon and chocolate, barrel aging is very apparent. Taste starts with vanilla, brown sugar and oak and ends with some slight alcohol heat. Carbonation is lower side with a slightly light mouthfeel.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a small snifter at Smoke & Barrel DC for the bottle share.

A very dark walnut black body, very dark brew, with a nice mocha brown colored dark head. Very nice looking brew.

Nose brings some sticky molasses with a lighter sense. Good balanced mix of caramel senses and light charring roast. Good oak "round"-ness, everything feels subtle and together, but noticeable.

Palate brings much of what is expected on the nose, with some surprises. Very mild roast character with a large oak depth and feel. Very light palate but still manages to fill the mouth with flavors of light bodied dark chocolate. Light warmth and in control, mid palate seems to have most of the flavor with not much of a finish, but balances with perfect roast and chocolate.

There is a huge dark chocolate milkshake quality to this brew, which really does blur the lines a bit between beer, but it makes it super easy to drink. It may not be an ultimate favorite of mine, but it's easily one of the most memorable beers I've had in this style. I would have this again, but strangely it's un-beer like character is a bit of a turn off, and that's by far a minor fault if there is any with this brew to begin with.

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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 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

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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.

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Photo of Treebs
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle served in a CCB Snifter. 2012 vintage.

A: Pours a dark black color with some semi-transparent edges. A tan head forms on the pour and recedes quickly to a thin ring. Some splotchy lace is left behind.

S: Light bourbon up front with a malty sweetness. Caramel and milk chocolate are both present with a minimal heat to it. Strange for 8.5%. Some oak on the finish as well.

T: More sweet than the nose suggests. The milk chocolate and caramel notes coupled with some light vanilla definitely leads to the sweeter side of the spectrum. Some roasted malts in the body with a prominent bourbon characteristic displayed on the finish that is coupled with some oak barrel.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with a medium carbonation level. Sweet on the finish.

O: I like the bourbon characteristics were present, but not overly alcoholic in nature. Probably due to the low ABV. I'm glad the heat in the nose didn't transfer to the taste. Overall a very solid beer.

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Photo of cardsfan
4.92/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Wow, what more can I say. I just picked one of these up really because their was a limit on how many you could get. Ended up being my favorite beer. At 8.5%, it is super smooth and extremely easy to drink. While I love the BCBS, the 15% can sometimes be overwhemling whereas Event Horizon's % is perfect. Small and great colored head, fantastic vanillia and bourbon smell and the taste is exactly what you want in a bourbon barreled stout. By far my favorite beer and would love to get some more!

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Photo of mfavoino
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle as shared as part of a big bottle share on 2/9/13.

A: Pours an opaque black with just a rim of bubbly brown head.

S: Lots of chocolate, burnt roasted malt, sweet vanilla.

T: Tons of sweet milk chocolate, slight vanilla flavor, oak, big roasted malt backbone. Some dark fruit adds to the already sweet flavor, but all in all it is very well balanced. Super flavorful.

M: Medium to full bodied, very smooth, booze hotness is minimal.

O: This blew me away. One of the best I've had for this style and at the lower end of the spectrum for ABV. Seeking this one out.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I had this one fresh and aged from the 2011 edition. This review reflects the aged edition of this one. It was poured into my favorite imperial pint glass and allowed to open up to the air for several minutes. The color was dark and murky just like a good stout should be. It had a slight red hue but overall a pretty good indication of what was ahead. The smell was so nice a slight sweetness but also had a richness to it. Also you could smell the bourbon in the beer which I love. I don't know how accurate the information I received was but I hear it was aged in used Pappy Van Winkle barrels, which is the big chief in bourbon these days. That information alone shows that these guys know there stuff when aging beer. The taste was thick and inviting with a sweetness but not cloying. You could definitely taste some dark plum, dried fruit, but also coffee, toffee and the honey playing a subtle role in all of it. The biggest and most impressive characteristic was the bourbon. You could definitely taste the bourbon and oh it was so grand, although this does have a good bit of alcohol it is balanced well with the more prevalent flavors incorporated in this very complex stout. I would rate this beer as one of the best ones I have ever had in its category and look forward to trying some of the 2012 editions as I have a few bottles being cellared as this is written. If you can get your hands on this beer, whatever edition you will not be dissatisfied.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured a hostile black color, nice and thick. It left a moderate rocky brown head which left bubbles, ring on the edge of the glass and some spotty lacing

S: Big dark and milk chocolate with some vanilla, oak, dark fruits and a nice little booze burn on the nostrils

T: Boom! Big bitter and roast, dark chcolate with some milk chocolate buried under the succulent layers of bitter, dark cocoa. A little bit of dark fruits, twinge of fusel alcohol and bourbon come to play. Vanilla, almonds and coconut are backseat. Some tobacco and wood duck in and out. The finish is looong and nice. Dry, sweet and decadent.

M: Big, full robust body lending a surprising tasteful staying power on the palate. That big bitter, dark chocolate and black malt really enhance this.

O: Amazingly good. The honey seemed to be buried under layers of flavor but i am not a big fan of honey so....worth the hype and wish I had more.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.31/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I purchased a bottle of this at Brawleys on my last visit home over the Christmas holidays. Was hoping to share this one but unfortunately, I am alone in this one. Pretty stoked to try this one. Had this on draft the first year it came out and remember it being pretty damn tasty.

Pours from the black waxed, American flag capped 22oz bottle into my favorite Impy Stout vessel, my La Fin Du Monde tulip glass. Emerges dark as a black hole and is topped with a somewhat wispy and rather lackluster, cuban espresso colored head. There is a somewhat foamy ring that forms around the upper edges of the beer, but all in all, slightly disappointing.

Aroma is grande! Filled with bourbon and chocolate and tobacco, dark fruits, vanilla, charred wood. There seems to be a distinct sweetness to the aroma as well, but maybe that is just the bourbon peeking through.

The bourbon really hits you upside the head in the flavor here. More vanilla, raisins, plums, dark chocolate, coffee, toffee, licorice. Quite complex and rather delicious. It has been a while since I have had a bourbon beer, and now I realize that I miss having these.

My only real complaint is the mouthfeel. It isn't quite as thick and chewy as I would like, which makes the finish kind of short and bereft of any real substance. Bumping the chewiness up half a notch would really set this one apart. A really nice beer. Maybe a touch too sweet yet strangely thin on the tongue. Doubt I would get this one again given the price tag, but definitely worth a one time purchase. There are so many other barrel aged beers out there that are probably just as good for the same price or cheaper.

Edit: After this beer warms, it becomes much creamier and chewier. I am really enjoying this one as it warms up. My scores represent the edited, warmed up version.

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Photo of sommersb
4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted On: 01-27-2013
Freshness: 2012 Vintage
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap with wax seal
Glassware: Wellington
Purchased: Single from Duckworth's, Charlotte

Picked this up at the 2012 Event Horizon release party in Charlotte at Duckworth's

Appearance is a jet-black beer, opaque, topped by a nice tan head that dissipates fairly quickly (not unexpected for a beer this big). Lacing on the glass is good.

Smells are big and bold, of sweet milk chocolate, dark roasted malts, strong bourbon, vanilla, and oak wood. Just a wonderful aroma...

Taste is intense, starting with a big hit of booze, then leading into the rich, dark malt grain bill, plus chocolate/cocoa nibs and vanilla. Perceived bitterness is very low.

Mouthfeel is smooth and luscious. Full-bodied with low carbonation. Finishes rich, with dark and sweet chocolate plus a hit of the whiskey.

Overall, this is a world-class beer in my book that hits on all cylinders. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Rutager
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle. Thanks for this and all the other great bottles, mrbubbler.

Appearance. Pours a thick black with half a finger of deep brown head.

Smell. Chocolate truffles with some woody, vanilla bourbon and a little bit of liccorice and molasses. If I didn't read the label, I wouldn't have got the floral honey that I'm also picking up, but I did read it so whatever... ;-)

Taste. Huge dark chocolate and some warm bourbon. A nice sweetness present that doesn't drown out the chocolate bitterness and dark roasted malt.

Mouthfeel. Big and thick mouthfeel with low+ carbonation and a bit of smooth boozy warmth. Very nice.

Overall. I knew I'd like this beer because I've been dreaming about Lindley Park since I tried it. This didn't disapoint with a ton of dark chocolate and a nice complimentary amount of smooth bourbon. Great stuff.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks bubbabeerman for this 2012 bottle
The beer pours jet black with a dense, milk chocolatey colored head. The nose is potently bourbon barrelesque with a bit of underlying roastiness. However, the beer drinks quite smoothly with great harmony between the its sweet malt profile, bourbony vanilla, and roasted malts. I don't detect any alcohol in either the nose or taste. The mouthfeel is exceedingly decadent & rich with lingering barrel flavors and a touch of drying honey. This beer pushes the honey forward more than most stouts I've had with a honey addition. Overall this beer was quite tasty with huge barrel characteristics, a surprising amount of honey flavor, and a velvety mouthfeel.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 280 ratings.