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The Event Horizon - Olde Hickory Brewery

The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

868 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 868
Reviews: 210
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.15%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Habmike on 12-08-2010)
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Ratings: 868 | Reviews: 210 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BearsOnAcid
BearsOnAcid

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black with a small mocha head

Rich dark chocolate aroma and toasted coconut. Bright dark cherries and charred oak.

An amazingly bold flavors for a lower abv barrel aged imp. stout. Milk chocolate and rich malt coats your tongue. Finishes with high quality bitter dark chocolate and medium toasted oak. Bourbon doesn't push through very well but is rather soft and intertwined within the milk chocolate. I wouldn't mind it being more pronounced. This beer is so rich and silky and you could easily put back a few glasses. Hype warranted.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2011 16:57:11 | More by BearsOnAcid
Photo of comfortablynumb1
comfortablynumb1

California

4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Commis for the hookup on this one...

Poured from a flip top into a Cigar City pint glass...

A - Poures pitch black with a one finger brown head on a fairly agresive pour. Decent amount of head retention, and while the lacing is not the best; there is still some to be had here...

S - Chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, and the aromatic smell of Bourbon...

T - Chocolate, dark roasted malts, vanilla, and plums. Ends on smooth Bourbon note that is not over the top, but is enough to make an appereance and let you know that it is present. The flavors in this one are really balanced, and the abv is well hidden. Delicious...

M - A chewy viscous brew, that is at the time smooth and easy to drink, with a moderate amount of carbonation. Amazing...

D - This one is amazing, Had a hard time reviewing it before finishing the pint. Definitely looking to score more of these. Olde Hickory brewed a top notch beer here...

Cheers...

Serving type: growler

02-05-2011 02:42:15 | More by comfortablynumb1
Photo of ROBORB
ROBORB

North Carolina

4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: On draft and from 22 oz bomber this beer pours solid black with a brown 2 inch head that fades quickly.
S: The beers smells like a bourbon stout should with dark roasted malts, chocolate, smooth bourbon and some residual molasses.
T: The taste is what does it for me with this beer. You are assaulted with the aforementioned malts and chocolate initially. The taste develops into a nice vanilla/coconut bourbon that is still holding onto the chocolate. And finally it finishes sweet with the honey and chocolate following through. These guys did a great job of making something just complex enough and not over the top that it is actually very drinkable!
M: The mouthfeel is on par with some of the best bourbon stouts that I have had. The carbonation level seems to be just right but I would still like it to be a little more viscous.
D: At 8.5 ABV and the taste not fatiguing your palate this beer is very drinkable.

Kudos to Olde Hickory for a great job on this beer, highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2011 15:52:09 | More by ROBORB
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.38/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2011 18:59:18 | More by drabmuh
Photo of TheKingofWichita
TheKingofWichita

North Carolina

3.13/5  rDev -28.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2011 14:00:28 | More by TheKingofWichita
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2011 03:23:04 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of htomsirveaux
htomsirveaux

Texas

3.8/5  rDev -13%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2011 18:43:29 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of khiasmus
khiasmus

South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dressed all in black he is, a gangly silhouette of bones, coattails and the ever-present tan top hat and collar, his signature of sorts. Few know his story, they only know him as the lurker upon the street corner, to be seen by the lamplight, and a "g'devenin sir," or "howdy, ma'am," all to be heard. Next to the old baker's shop, he can sometimes be seen seated comfortably atop an old icing-bucket, humming small swatches of forgotten tunes and grinning at any passersby, as some small children run to him and give him great big hugs, while others cower behind their well-to-do mothers who hurry past.
The aromas waft out of the bakery-door... The old walls of oak still lending their peculiar brand to all of the other aromas that are fighting their way to be first in your nostrils, perhaps they'll make a lasting impression and you'll choose this bread or that pastry... toffee, almonds, coconut, chocolate, a peculiar candy-sweetness from all of the sugar caramelizing, and he smiles and lights his pipe as you step into the wonderland of flavours and tastes, he looks on from outside as each new flavour captures you in its grasp and takes your tastebuds and mind on a fantasy tour, one complete with the low humming of his forgotten songs and the occasional "howdy do!"
So you pull your bourbon-flask from your pocket and take a pull between each new delectable treat that is placed before you, and the experience melds into something like this: bourbon barrel infused with toffee and chocolate, coconut and vanilla, "g'day sir," coffee-bitter with amaretto and cocoa, "Yes ma'am, well ma'am, thankee ma'am," a slight warm finish of dark chocolate and hazelnut-cream "evenin, young feller."
Thin and warm, the bourbon washes down the wisps of sugar-cane and brown sugar, a plain-as-day representation of a light syrup extracted to a dark brown congelatin chocolate monster, a ridiculously roasty and nutty version of the style...
So you step down and out of the shop, a few choice parcels under your arm and a slight lilt in your voice, "g'day, sir," "g'day young feller. Find somethin' to your likin?"
"Yes sir."
"Well son, I tell 'ee... naught but a few in this 'eer warn world can build 'em like 'at. You'd a-better enjoy that 'un. I heard tell the ol' shop-keeps about done in this 'eer warn world. You'd a-better enjoy them 'uns awhile 'ees 'eer... I spect when he goes on up to the great kitchen, well 'eel receive a job well done... but me, son, I'll be a-movin on, and make no mistake."
"Thank you sir."
"g'day, son. Make your mama proud today."
"Yes sir."

Thanks to kkipple for a taste of this.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 13:14:41 | More by khiasmus
Photo of Genghis22
Genghis22

California

4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another unexpected treat from my good buddy Stephen.

Chilled bomber, poured into a tulip.

A - Pours a thick, viscous, tar like black. Big, dense chocolate colored head.

S - The moment this beer hit the glass I was blasted with a big whiff of chocolate. Once I got my nose into it though, there is a lot of dark fruit smells. Fig, plum, sweet toffee and milk chocolate. Not what I was expecting at all. Oakiness is faint, but detectable. Faint touch of vanilla and honey.

T - Up front this is VERY sweet. Lots of fruit flavor. Fig, plum, apricot, honey. There is a brief interlude of bourbon and oak. The hops kick in and bathe the tongue in a much needed dose of bitterness. The aftertaste is all chocolate and roasted coffee. There is a lot going on in this one.

M - Viscous, but not quite chewy. Low to moderate carbonation. I could actually use a touch more, but it is very much in the acceptable range for the style.

D - Still trying to figure out how I feel about this one. It starts off like a Belgian Quad, but finishes like an Imperial Stout. The alcohol is noticable in flashes as you sip the beer, but at 8.5%, this is a one and done for sure. I think some age would do this beer well. Hopefully some of the overt sweetness will fade out. Glad I have another bottle of this, look forawrd to tasting it again in a few years.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 23:18:14 | More by Genghis22
Photo of abecall98
abecall98

California

4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Loki83 for bringing this, glad I have a bottle of my own coming.

A - pours an oil black, with some slight light coming through. Head is there, and coats the glass.

S - this is where the beer shines. The nose is strong. Smells of Fresh chocolate are the first thing I notice. I then smell some bourbon, and a little oak. Vanilla is also present. The nose continues playing after I leave the glass alone. So strong.

T - bourbon, a very sweet bourbon. Noticeable sugar sweetness and chocolate notes. Some roasted malt and coffee also come through.

M - a little weak in this aspect. The beer feels thin. It doesn't explode with every sip.

D - I don't know how much abv this beer has, but it has very high flavor, with no alcohol or burn. The strong nose and great flavor compliment this well.

O - a homerun. I will want more.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 03:12:38 | More by abecall98
Photo of farrago
farrago

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Center pour gets you three fingers of extremely dark brown foam, the top comprised of larger, thin-skinned bubbles, hence dissolves at a swift pace, does leave thick, messy slabs of lacing behind and the final layer across the surface has staying power. About the blackest pour you will ever see shoot out of a beer bottle, this said when logically black is just black and does not admit of gradients. Naturally, fully opaque. The nose is like a chocolate factory on fire, all roasted and toasted cocoa, mocha, caramel, coffee ice cream, butterscotch and even a suggestion of chicory, all this with a good dose of pine and orange zest blended in, the booziness gives the fruit scents a plum, raisin, cherry cast, dessert-like, otherwise too monolithic for much else to enunciate clearly. Full-bodied for sure, dry and powdery in texture, you can feel it cake up on the tongue, the oak wood evident in many different manners. So much chocolate and cocoa that it's kind of embarrassing to mention other components, the caramel, butterscotch and honey a distant second. Rum raisin, alcohol drenched poached plum, cherry to pear fruit. Lower pine here, more dried herbal and grass matter, tree bark. The grill smoke adds a helpful sour dimension. Underneath the intentional "black star" density is a fairly complex beer trying to get out. If it had more flow and "give" it would be highly notable within its category.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2011 01:26:51 | More by farrago
Photo of BarrytheBear
BarrytheBear

Wisconsin

4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle split with, and courtesy of, milwaukeeclassic. Possibly the only saving grace during yesterday's Cutlergate.

Pours deep black with no light penetration. A thin crimson ring lines the periphery. Absolutely no legs on this beer and after no sip, no evidence is left of there having been one bad mutha in this glass. Gotta ding it for that.

Nose and taste are in harmony, so I'll comment as such. Incredibly rich chocolate cake and bitter bakers chocolate meld with a decadent creamy butterscotch. Bourbon shows as smooth vanilla along the back end. Mildly evident alcohol heat is in no way distracting. A few friends who don't typically drink stouts commented on the butterscotch blast. It works quite well and offers a slightly different dimension from many ba stouts. Overall, a silky decadent beast.

Quite thick and full bodied with a near batter like consistency. Drank like the old bowl of cake batter my mom used to give us while baking. My glass disappeared in a hurry, and while it may have been in part to the Bears early ineptitude, I believe the beer deserves most of the credit.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2011 00:55:51 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 22 oz. bottle with a drippy purple-black wax covering, stamped 'OHB'. Split in a couple of rounds with the wife and a good friend, all to small snifters, post-dinner. Sufficiently warmed out of the fridge, so low 50s serving temperature.

'Ale Brewed with Honey and Aged in Bourbon Barrels'
How OHB got away with the name, a blatant rip-off of the late 90's genre-busting sci-fi/horror classic none of us could figure...

A: An Abyss-ian black, a couple of the stronger pours displayed a swirling topping of muddy-tan cream. At best, they crested at a half-finger; a couple others were a bit less robust. Speckles of lace, nothing too binding.

S: Uncapping the bottle released a wondrous scent of chocolate and bourbon; we passed the bottle around just to savor before the first pour. Sweet coffee and ashy cocoa. Strong and completely enticing.

T: Incredible fudgy chocolate melds beautifully with creamy coffee and dark candied fruits. Right away S picked up raspberries, ripe and sweet. Bourbon isn't overdone; it lends a singed toffee sweetness and modest vanilla bean. Barrel wood is old, comfortable.

M: Amazingly rich and silky and sultry. Neither thick nor chewy and not overheated by alcohol or boozy bourbon barrel. If any flaws at all, I found it ever so slightly thin and a little less carbonated than I like - but that's some serious nit-picking. After a while, we all had to laugh about the ludicrous velvety smoothness, then we shook our heads and marveled silently.

D: Look, I've had some drinkable stouts (as in: "I really want to have this again" or "damn, where did that disappear to?") and I've had a few DRINKABLE STOUTS (as in: "I'd do things I may not be proud of later for another..."). This is the latter. Holy shit-delicious, perfect balance, incredibly smooth and not too heavy or boozy. Phrases were tossed around in our discussion during and after like 'ridiculous' and 'best ever' and 'bottled Nirvana'; I simply say 'wow' and give it the 5 it deserves. Three weeks into 2011 and this is the clear front-runner for New Beer of the Year.

We couldn't wait longer (can't believe cellaring would substantially improve this, but I'd like to find out); HUGE thanks to Metalmonk! More???

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2011 07:46:03 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of fear025
fear025

Illinois

4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to ncvbc for this extra!

Aroma:There is a huge chocolate aroma on this beer. Next comes a great bourbon undercurrent. There is also a little vanilla. This aroma is amazing, I must have spent 5 minutes just smelling it.

Appearance:Black, deep mocha colored head with OK retention.

Taste:The flavor is much like the aroma, lots of chocolate up front, and then comes the bourbon. The bourbon flavor isn't huge and hot, it's definitely there but well balanced. On the aftertaste, there's some vanilla and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel:The body on this beer is thick and creamy, and there's a little astringency towards the aftertaste. The carbonation is low to medium, but well suiting of this beer.

Drinkability:This is a wonderful chocolate beer that's smooth and really well balanced. There's not much age on this beer, but it's already amazing, and I can only imagine how this one will age.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2011 00:58:10 | More by fear025
Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
SeattleBeerBlog

Washington

5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Poured a midnight black, with a dark tan head. Seriously dark, held a flashlight to it and it sucked the light in...like an event horizon, crazy cool.

S- Smells of Burbon, and good burbon at that. also has chocolate, coffee notes as well as some sweetness. I couldn't believe how much this smelled like Burbon though, reminded me of putting your nose in a glass. Fantastic.

T- Tastes of sweet burbon at first but quickly gives way to roasted coffee and Chocolate as well as a slight bitterness. The beer is a smooth rise and fall of flavor, extremely impressive, while the burbon makes you think alcohol it quickly gives away. FANTASTIC

M- great carbonation and mouthfeel, a bit on the heavy side like a Imperial should but still not cloying.

D- This is probably the best Imperial Stout I have had so far, perhaps even one of the best beers I have ever had, if not the best. Not for the timid or weak but this beer is simply spectacular. Props to Old Hickory, and please make more of this.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2011 16:13:43 | More by SeattleBeerBlog
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kubrick215 for bringing this to our tasting.

Pours pitch black and comletely opaque with a two finger frothy dark mocha head. Good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that coats the glass with chunks of soapy lacing.

Complex aroma with a good balance of earthy hops, sweet alcohol, honey and bourbon barrel. Hints of earthy pine up front along with a nice, prominent bourbon character. Hints of sweet spirit and oak as well as a healthy dose of vanilla in the nose.

Viscous, chewy medium body that's on the filler end with lots of luscious, silky chocolate malt, a very prominent hop forward bitterness, earthy oak, vanilla, honey and almost the perfect amount of bourbon. I'm shocked how hop forward this beer ie with a nice combination of bitter earthy pine qnd sweet citrus notes. This is countered mid-palate by a sweet chocolate malt, honey and licorice flavor. In addition, there is the perfect touch of barrel aged notes, especially sweet liquor, earthy oak and tons of vanilla and marshmallow. I was expecting much more of a bourbon bomb but this beer is incredibly well balanced, complex and absolutely delicious.

This beer absolutely lives up to the hype and is very similar to '07 Darkness. I know this beer has high ratings but I was a bit skeptical going in. I have to say this beer destroyed my
expectations and is really amazing. Please drink this fresh to enjoy it at it's fullest potential.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 23:16:49 | More by corby112
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Who can't love a beer that looks like this? Pours out a lot like other highly hyped beers like Dark Lord and Sexual Chocolate, having a toasted dark golden/bronze head and a liquid body of pure black onyx. Head doesn't last too long but comes back with a gentle swirl. Oh that mocha-bronzed head...so I keep swirling and reviving it...

Aroma is fantastic too. Not too much booze, not too much bourbon, but enough of it to give the chocolaty, coffee-like essence a shot in the arm. Big notes of graham cracker and gooey chocolate cake drizzled generously with honey. Yep, this was brewed with honey, but even if you didn't know it, you'd smell it.

I'm blown away. The flavors here are many, and they all mingle exceptionally well. Honey is prominent but never too sweet. Requisite big stout characteristics like dark roast coffee and bittersweet baking chocolate are here (some milk chocolate too). A hint of mint (is that the hops?); big graham cracker; fermented grape or, okay, wine; only a bit of bourbon and some musty wood along with it. Lots of dark fruit too, especially raisin and fig. Alcohol is nicely controlled, entwined with the bourbon flavor to give it a measure of warmth.

Texturally this is top-notch. Utterly silky, super-smooth, very creamy and gorgeously rounded, avoiding any unpleasant heaviness or stickiness.

Well this is about the best brew I've had from North Carolina, period. It even just eclipses Sexual Chocolate, the regular and barrel-aged version. Hey, 21 reviews and lowest score so far is 4.25? Believe it!

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 23:23:22 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.38/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 20:42:07 | More by MasterSki
Photo of CrellMoset
CrellMoset

Virginia

4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle purchased from Duckworth's, Charlotte, NC. Black waxed, with the cap imprinted with an OHB, and poured in to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours an ebony body, thick, oily, and viscous, even around the periphery, for a nearly completely fudgy black body, through and through. Carbonation is sparse and far between, with only a few faint streams of fine, prickly, but still lively effervescence dribbling skyward. At the time of the writing of this word, it dribbles skywards to a dense, creamy collar, all that remains of one finger of khaki cocoa head. The retention leaves a little to be desired, though that's to be expected from a barrel aged beer (though perhaps not one that's only 8.5% abv, hm). A little nicer is the side lacing, streaky and and delicate up and down the sides of the tulip in angular and sinusoidal patterns.

Aroma: Oak nuggets encrusted in raisin and cherry honey puree, drizzled with hop oil-infused cocoa. A really rich nose, with a nice balance of notes, though it tends towards the light end of things - tons of sweet, light stone fruits mingle with faint, simple cocoa, coconut, vanilla, and a biting amount of green oak. The cocoa is nice, intense, authentic, very powdery and intensely cocoa-like, though the bourbon is fairly faint.

Taste: A very unusual flavor profile for a barrel aged beer, heavier on certain elements and lighter on others than I'm used to. First, there's the base beer. Tons of light fruit mingle with pure dutch process cocoa notes and faint toast - chocolate-covered cherries would be the most obvious point of reference - though a handful of dark fruits and a dash of earthy coffee-like notes do add a slight amount of complexity. You can definitely taste the "lightening" of this beer - that is, that the base beer has been cut with a slew of golden, slightly spicy honey. Another batch of enhanced aspects of this beer (vis a vis other -bal RISs) are the barrel notes - creamy vanilla and toasty coconut mingle with green oak notes to give both a layered as well as a virginal profile. Contrast that with the relative paucity of bourbon notes - only a small amount of spicy, caramel whiskey sweetness is present, not so much as contributing even a hint of a burn. That's not necessarily a bad thing, given that I'm perfectly happy to drink a virgin RIS any day of the week. Just a point worth making. The lightness of the whole ordeal also doesn't hide the alcohol burn - that is, the estery, chemical-y, ethanol notes - as well as perhaps a fuller, heavier, denser beer would.

Mouthfeel: A rich, creamy, decadent mouth, one of the nicest I've experienced in recent memory. It's immaculately even, smooth, and velvety, with a great amount of soft, subtle lift in a moderate, slightly oily body - the end result is a perfect amount of balance amongst competing forces, resulting in an easy perfect score.

Drinkability: I tried to show up to Duckworth's in time to try this on tap alongside Mother Earth's Silent Night. This one had kicked by the time I arrived so I was only able to try the Silent Night, but I was fortunate enough to grab this one in a bottle, at which time I was assured it was the superior beer. Now that I've had both, I have to agree. Particularly if you like "light" RISs, this one is for you - fruity, lighter, with plenty of barrel character but not an overwhelming (or even prominent) amount of bourbon. To make this beer perfect, I'd leave it in either fresher barrels, or - if these were first cut barrels - for twice as long, as well as amp up the underlying base malts, giving it a little more body and grain character. Sure, it'll probably take the abv up from 8.5% (where it was extraordinarily manageable, by the way) to something a little more intense, but that'd be a fair trade off to bring this beer a little closer to perfection. As it stands, it's an excellent beer, worth seeking out, but stands a little beneath North Carolina's best -bal RIS (Olde Rabbit's Foot, BA Sexy Choc) and some of the great -bal RISs out there (Abyss, Black Note). Nonetheless, worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 04:06:27 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 02:07:18 | More by mdfb79
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rpstevens

New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to brentk56 for this SS10 bomber. Poured into a New Belgium goblet. The beer has a deep black center with hazy brown edges and a thin mocha head that quickly fades to a tight ring, leaving some traces of oily lacing.

The smell is really great on this one. Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, deep-dark red cherries and roasty malts. The dark and roasted characters give way to sweet caramel, vanilla, alcohol and generous amounts of honey before the bourbon and barrel really take over. The bourbon smell is really spot on, it overwhelms once you catch hold of it, but it's pleasant and welcome.

The taste follows the smell, but it's a bit more muted. The sweet notes of honey, vanilla and caramel hit the tongue first, followed by the dark chocolate, roasted malt and barrel flavors. The finish is all sweet bourbon heat and dark fruits, the flavor will probably develop with a little time in the bottle.

The beer is well carbonated and has a nice heavy body, fitting for the style. I would have guessed that this beer would be 11-12% based on the nose and taste, so I am surprised to see that it's only 8.5%. The alcohol is a bit overbearing, it's a sipper but it's good. This beer was a welcome surprise, glad I got to try it.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 01:06:22 | More by rpstevens
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kkipple

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared with KP, ATLBeerdog and UncleJedi - the hits keep on coming.

Impossibly thick black wax needs to be cut before you can get to the delicious beer inside. Once you pour it, you realize why this is called Event Horizon - it is black as black, real pitch, and sports a creamy, Zhukov-tan head. Yum.

Super tasty nose here: Malty-dark sweet, black bread, molasses, smooth and roasty, vibrant, rich, brownie-batter, chocolate, full, wholesome, no "holes" in the nose here - light vanilla, chips of oak. Very rich - outstanding, frankly.

Taste is solid... okay, more than solid, this is tasty as mess. Full-flavored, sweet and chocolaty, with synergistic roast, mocha, sweet honey, even some evident (distracting, but should fade) hop bitters. Very solid chocolate malt / black patent roast bitterness keeps the thick choco-honey sweetness at bay, and works together VERY well... maybe too well... the bourbon and oak is slight, but there, and is quite mellow. In fact the whole beer is so well put together, it's a minor miracle. What's Olde Hickory doing over there?

Mouthfeel is creamy, rich, full and wonderfully carbonated, the finish is roasty and ends rather unhappily with a slouch of sour-roast and bourbon, kind of stumbles over the finish line, if you will. The only real big misstep here - but given the brilliance of the rest of the beer, I can forgive this.

Olde Hickory Event Horizon is:

A. The best beer from Olde Hickory to date.
B. The finest North Carolina stout not called Sexual Chocolate.
C. Something you need to try immediately.
D. All of the above.

The correct answer is "D". Class dismissed!

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 07:27:21 | More by kkipple
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wcudwight

North Carolina

4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque in color with a nice creamy beige colored head. Head lasted until the glass was empty and left soapsuds lacing. Very rich and intense aromas of dark chocolate, vanilla, espresso and burbon. All very balanced and working together as a cohesive unit. The flavor is very intense without being too much. This beer walks that fine line perfectly. The flavor is a mixture of dark chocolate, espresso, roasted oats and grains, and burbon. Thick, creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Man I wish this one wasn't so limited because I'd love to stock my cellar up with this one.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2011 03:49:30 | More by wcudwight
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mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 15:04:53 | More by mikesgroove
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Macky20

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black with a half finger of head the color of milk chocolate. Head is dense with decent retention and moderate lacing. Aroma consists of molasses, honey, espresso, nougat, and dark chocolate. There is a lot going on when this beer hits the tongue! The North Carolina honey thats brewed in comes through quite well. There is also definite chocolate, espresso and milky sweetness finished with a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is nearly perfect, but almost feels a touch too thin for the taste... but I can't complain. Drinkability is quite good for this style, as the alcohol does not burn and is almost a pleasant touch.

Cheers to OH Brewery. A well done RIS. Grab as many bottles as you can (only 976 released) and cellar.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 01:12:51 | More by Macky20
The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 868 ratings.