The Event Horizon - Olde Hickory Brewery

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The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,425 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,425
Reviews: 250
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.17%
Wants: 814
Gots: 482 | FT: 75
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,425 | Reviews: 250
Photo of CManuel
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 release, consumed fresh within a few days of the Raleigh NC release.

Appearance - The beer pours a pitch black with a deep brown frothy head that quickly dissipates

Smell - The smell is dominated by charred bourbon oaky goodness. Dark fruits are the second most apparent aroma, followed by subtle hints of vanilla and a mild sugary sweetness (probably the honey).

Taste - Wow, there is a lot going on with the taste. This is one complex beer. The bourbon charred taste is most dominant, but there are wonderful hints of vanilla, oak woodiness, dark fruits, and chocolate flavors. Amazingly balanced and will only get better with age. The complexity of this beer really stands out as it warms up.

Mouthfeel - very oily and slick, thick but not nearly as thick as other imperial stouts out there.

Overall - This has to be one of my top three imperial stouts. I really enjoyed how balanced this beer is, despite its complexity. I'm glad I have several bottles of this, can't wait to see how it tastes over the years!

Photo of GJ40
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at the Busy Bee in Raleigh. Basic appearance with black color and small head. But huge in aroma with loads of bourbon. flavor leads with bourbon but balanced with roasted malt and malt sweetness. Very interesting and only gets better as it warms.

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

2013 bottle into a snifter. cant believe ive never reviewed this before

Pours a pitch black with a nice beige head that becomes bigger as you finish the pour..weird phenomenon. very big bourbon on the nose...as well as some sweet malt notes. youd think this was a huge ABV beer from the nose! the taste is so smooth. Huge bourbon flavor at first then a huge amount of chocolate and you can definitely taste the honey too. god damn this is so smooth though. its amazing its only 8.5% ABV! tastes higher than bourbon county honestly! very full bodied, creamy feel too. mild carbonation.

overall its better than bourbon county. and at 8.5% you dont pass out from 1 bomber, haha. so so good.

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.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz, 2011 vintage
5oz mini snifter

A: Pours really deep black color. Some reddish hues toward the corners of the glass. Just a faint light head. Fades quickly to a ring. Seems to be nicely carbed. Like the look of this one.

S: Great nose on this one. Even after a year in the bottle, a big bourbon forward nose. I love it. Big vanilla, toffee and oak. Deep roasted malt character as well. Some coffee. Some dark chocolate blending with the bourbon.

T: Wow. I am shocked, but this is right up there for me. Wasn't expecting to like it this much. Tons of sweet vanilla flavor from that BA'ing. As with the nose, still really dominant but it's blended so well. Doesn't hurt that the ABV is a little lower too. Getting dark chocolate with that toffee/caramel/vanilla/oak flavor. Some coffee is there, but that is not the main flavor. Long finish that only improves as this beer warms.

M: Full bodied. Mouth coated.

Photo of mgp2675
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting to this one after being stashed away for a while. Drank side by side with Olde Hickory Imperial Stout. I'm not sure if this is the BA version of it but I was guessing that it is.

A- Pours black, nice and thick. The head is a tan-mocha color, definitely not as dark as the head on the Imperial Stout.

S- Vanilla, oak, toffee, a little bit of alcohol burn but not too much.

T- Great tasting beer...vanilla is definitely the dominant flavor, but it definitely has a bitter dark chocolate taste in there. It has some of the characteristics of the Imperial Stout like the bitterness but it's so much smoother. It's a tad sweet, but not too much. I despise really sweet beers and I didn't think this was bad at all. All of the harshness in the flavor is completely gone due to the barrel aging, it's very well balanced.

M- Thick, great mouthfeel.

O- This was a treat. It isn't the best BA stout I've ever had but it's certainly up there. I probably won't seek out more because I already have a bottle to age and that's all I need, but I would recommend trying this if you haven't. If this is the BA version of their Imperial Stout, the barrel aging process made a world of difference. Worth some hype.

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.

Photo of beer2day
4.86/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Busy Bee for the Raleigh Beer Week kickoff party. 2011 keg.

Classic black pour into a tulip glass. A bit disappointing was the complete lack of head and weak lace. Really the only thing taking away from this glass, though.

Nose is oh so good. Big chocolate aroma with a good hop character underneath. Musty tobacco, roast malt, dark roast coffee all combine with bourbon to yield a very complex nose. All the components work very well together.

All of the flavors picked up in the nose translate to the taste. The bourbon is a bit stronger than in the nose. Very dry finish with a good bitter bite from both chocolate and hop sources.

Medium body, not completely up to the complex flavors.

An outstanding glass of beer.

Photo of billab914
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured from a 22oz bottle. Pitch black in color and very thick looking. A thin tan head clung to the edges of the glass.

The aroma shows a good amount of the sweet bourbon with some really nice vanilla and oak to it. Notes of honey and chocolate add to the sweetness. The bourbon and vanilla flavors are both really good in it, but it's definitely on the sweeter side of the style. I really liked the aroma overall though.

The flavors are very rich with chocolate, vanilla and bourbon all coming out. More of a dark, bittersweet chocolate flavor is there in the finish. I get a little honey sweetness, but it's not overly done. It comes together very well and has some awesome flavors to it.

The mouthfeel is heavy and thick with lower carbonation. Overall I thought it was a great beer. The aroma was a little on the sweet side, although still really good. The flavors really came together the taste though. I was looking forward to finally trying this and it didn't disappoint at all.

Photo of Dope
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 bottle

A: Pours pitch black with a small medium brown head. Fades very quickly, only a smattering of lacing on the glass.

S: Bright and delicious bourbon. Loaded with caramel, toffee and some molasses. Brown sugar and some oaky vanilla. A bit of roasted malt character comes through with rich dark chocolate overtones. Alcohol stings just a bit. Reminds me a lot of BCBS to be honest.

T: Up front, some caramel and toffee with a bit of alcohol burn. Strong dark chocolate with a bit of coffee, char and anise in the middle. Dark chocolate pervades the entire beer. Finishes with some strong oak and vanilla and just a hint of some dark fruit. More long lingering oak in the aftertaste. The honey shows up floating around in the aftertaste too.

M: Not as heavy as you'd expect but it is oh so creamy and smooth. A touch chalky in the aftertaste.

O: An excellent barrel aged IS. So creamy and chocolatey! It's sort of like drinking brownie batter or maybe chocolate cake. Sweet (but not overly so like some) and chocolately with a wonderful balance of complex flavors. Top notch example of the style, kind of like a slightly less harsh BCBS but with a little more chocolate. A must-have for the chocolate lover.

Photo of Brabander
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was drank by me a couple of months ago at a houseboat tasting in Amsterdam. Vanlingleipa, Frank, was our host during a fabulous tasting.

This was a damned good beer. The looks are not very great but the rest was more than positive. Some light lacing in the glass and i had some notes of honey!

Good beer. Not the best in this style but very well made!

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

Poured into a Bruery snifter.

A - a body as dark as a black hole with a half an inch of espresso-colored foamy head on top.

S - the smell is amazing! Sweet bourbon and honey are pouring out of my glass, as well as hints of chocolate, coffee and oak.

T - everything the nose predicted - bourbon dominates, followed by chocolate, coffee, vanilla and some honey sweetness. The oak and some bitterness close it out as it flows down the throat.

M - ultra creamy with the perfect amount of carbonation.

O - this is an excellent representation of the style and one I've been wanting to try for a while now. Great bourbon, coffee and vanilla notes put this is the upper tier as far as I'm concerned.

Photo of brystmar
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from 2010. Opened alongside the 2011 for comparison.

Roasty malts, caramel, fudge, bourbon, and vanilla fill my nostrils. Full, creamy body greets me with well-balanced bourbon flavors against the rich stout base. Molasses and deeply roasted malts shine here. A touch of dark fruits hit my throat as I swallow, somehow imparting zero alcoholic warmth. This is a very good RIS.

The '10 was significantly more complex and better layered than the '11, which tasted amateur-ish by comparison. The newer batch had a little too much bourbon, and it didn't integrate well with the other flavors present. I was quite disappointed in the '11, truth be told, particularly when the '10 was this good.

Would love to get my hands on another bottle of the 2010!

Photo of birchstick
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Event Horizon

A - pours black in color without a head

S - bourbon, sweet honey, chocolates erupt out of the glass

T - sweet malts with some honey are upfront. These fade to a really nice chocolate flavor that move on to some great bourbon flavors.

M - thin but and a little dry, but works welll

D - really solid brew overall. This is one of the best barrel aged beers I have had in recent memory. Highly recommended!

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pitch black with a half finger of light tan foam that quickly recedes to a light film.

S: Very complex, strong bourbon supported by milk and dark chocolate, malted milk balls, toffee, and caramel.

T: Very strong dark chocolate and bourbon start off with light, smooth roast and some subtle dark cherry in the background. I get malted milk balls like in the aroma as well. So complex, so tasty.

M: Thick yet very easy to drink. Hard to describe how this is easy to drink yet very viscous.

O: Amazing. So complex, so viscous, yet easy to drink. Everything is very well integrated. Tons of chocolate, moderate bourbon, toffee, and malted milk balls.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to TATURBO for bring this out to share! Thanks Chris!

beer reviewed from notes taken 6/1/12.

Poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: Light black bodied beer with a dark brown cap that drops to a ring around the glass.

Smell: light roasty malt, honey, and chocolate chips. Just a hint of black licorice.

Taste: The smell is just a bit underwhelming compared to the nose. But it still tasty beer. Milk chocolates, black licorice, molasses. Really mellow oak, vanilla, bourbon and caramel notes.

Mouthfeel: medium body with low carbonation levels. Mellow, silky and smooth.

Overall: Really solid beer. I love my BA stouts and the addition of honey in this beer adds some really unique complexity to the nose of this beer. Love the fact that some breweries are trying to make a nice mellow stout instead of the in your face bourbon bombs. With thant said i could use just a touch more barrel notes in the taste of the beer. The nose and mouthfeel are my favorite aspects of this beer, but its a well integrated beer that melds flavors together.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 2011 waxed and capped bottle. Chilled and served into my Kate the Great tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. Nice dark brown lacing around the rim. A bit lighter in color than most imperial stouts.

Aroma: Milk chocolate, fudge cake some through really strongly upfront. Lots of molasses, caramel, vanilla and bourbon all nicely balanced throughout. Really great balance of the barrel aging and the base beer.

Taste: Big chocolate cake, fudge, and a little smoke character from the base beer really is dominant upfront. Bourbon, vanilla, and caramel sweetness really start to stand out and take over. Really nice balance of the barrel character and the base beer. Not boozy at all. The lower than average ABV doesn't affect how strong the flavors are at all. This is really flavorful and balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Not too heavy at all.

Overall, a really great bourbon barrel stout. I can't believe the ABV is as low as it is. The amount of flavor and the balance is incredible. Definitely worthy of its reputation and near the top of my favorite imperial stouts.

Photo of Duff27
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No head on dark brown/black body. Good alcohol legs.

Smells like chocolate chip cookies!! Lovely.

Follows the nose. Roasty, no astringency. Drinks bigger than 8.5%abv for sure.

Smooth medium mouthfeel, Low carbonation.

Tasty bevy here. The aroma was great. Thanks to TATURBO for bringin this.

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

2011 version thanks to Chris.

Pours a pretty standard black with a dark mocha head.

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

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

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

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

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!

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an oily viscous black with a mocha foamy head. Decent retention and spotty lacing. 

Nice nose full of chocolate brownie and dark fruit. A little bourbon. 

Flavor is quite nice. Great balance and a wide range of flavor. Nice roasted nutty notes along with mild dark fruit, bitter chocolate, molasses, mocha coffee and a touch of rich dark honey on the back end. 

Full bodied mouth. Creamy smooth medium carbonation and a little bit dry  

This is a fantastic beer. Very well executed. Great all around.   

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

2011 Poured into New Belgium Globe glass

A: Half-inch dark mocha head that fades leaving a nice ring around edges of glass, pitch black color, decent lacing for an IS

S: Bourbon, chocolate, oak, molasses, very complex with a very nice blend of malts, touch of spiciness

T: Sweetness from honey and some malts I'm guessing, dark chocolate, bourbon, oak, bitterness from hop blend, very tasty

M: Smooth and velvety, light carbonation, medium-full bodied, a bit warming

O: Very good Imperial Stout, got a feeling that this will be gaining in popularity pretty quick, I think this beer will be a permawant for me

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.

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

Bottle shared by Steve - Thanks Steve !

2010 Bottle -

A: Pours a deep black with slight mocha lacing , good carbonation.

S: Slight vanilla , deep roasted malts , bourbon.

T: Vanilla , bourbon , chocolate, roasted malts , slight sweetness.

O: Overall a solid bourbon aged stout that I'm glad I had a chance to try , very well blended and balanced beer.

Photo of schwaeh
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle

A: Dense black beer with a 3/4" tan colored head. Fairly decent lacing along the glass. High viscosity for the abv.

S: Crazy smooth bourbon chocolate. Good amounts of toffee and anise. The alcohol seems very low but all of the aroma and bite remains high. I couldn't imagine a barrel aged stout being at a better integrated point than this.

T: This is such a great base stout used here, not over the top, just damn good brewing. Bourbon is sewn into the soul of the beer at this point. Nothing overpowers or becomes too much with event horizon. Roasty, chocolate, and coffee malts are used in a great balance and the honey just adds a nip of sweet to the brew. Slight oak-vanilla nuttiness adds some more complexities.

M: Higher carbonation than most stouts in this class. Real creamy and easy going. Goes down smooth.

O: Fairly tame in a very good way, just smooth chocolate with sweet bourbon hints. A nice well brewed stout to stand up to a little barrel aging. I hope I can get the chance to try this a little fresher.

The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 1,425 ratings.