The Event Horizon - Olde Hickory Brewery

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The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

243 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 243
Hads: 1,454
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 3.67%
Wants: 818
Gots: 483 | FT: 72
Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Habmike on 12-08-2010

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 243 | Hads: 1,454
Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2012

Pours completely black, covered with densely creamy caramel colored foam. Rich bourbon-fueled aroma... fudgy chocolate, blackstrap molasses, maple syrup, nuts, cherries, creamy vanilla, and wood. Flavor is big and powerful, avoiding the sometimes overly boozy punch of stronger BA beers. Oaky vanilla Bourbon richness, honey, tobacco, and graham crackers all rolled into a smooth malty package. Medium-full body and creamy. A very nice, malty, sticky stout. (463 characters)

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

2012 bottle.

Black beer, foamy dark brown head and nice patches of lace. Aroma is thick with leathery tobacco, dark chocolate fudge, blackstrap molasses, caramel liquor, cherries, and blueberries. Pretty fantastic. Flavor is loaded with massive amounts of chocolate, berries, bourbon, vanilla, and some orange sneaking in at the end. Sugary, sticky, alcoholic, but smooth and creamy. Very nice blankety thickness in texture. Smooth bitterness mixed with soft carbonation throughout. This is a pretty massive beer. (514 characters)

Photo of rjp217
4.71/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle poured...

A - Pitch black in color as you'd suspect, light brown head with a decent lace though not as much as I'd hoped for

S - Bourbon upfront with some chocolate notes and then a honey smacks you at the end

T - Just like the nose but even better. The honey rounds the barrel out perfectly. This is an amazing, amazing BA taste

M - A tad on the thin side but perfect carbonation levels, ultra smooth, alcohol hides well

O - This is truly unique and amazing. The honey rounds out the barrel amazingly well. The ABV hides and the chocolate and vanilla rise to the forefront. This is excellent. (610 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage. Had on-tap at Appalachian Vintner. Served in a short Oskar Blues glass.

A- Pours a midnight black color with a 1/8 inch brown head that doesn't retain long before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a sparse amount of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves a thin broken ring behind.

S- Immediate waft of medicinal oak combined with a maple/brown sugar/caramel sweetness.

T- Hits all the right notes with a pronounced sweetness that plays off the bourbon flavors damn near perfectly. Solid dark roast sets a nice framework for the other tastes to be seen in their full glory. Drinkability is high.

M- Semi-creamy with medium-low carbonation and the fullest of bodies.

O- A stellar BBA Stout where the moderate ABV allows the beer to sing in harmony from start to finish. So glad I got the chance to try this. (848 characters)

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

Bottle I brought to share to Curran's tasting.

Pours a thick, dark black, with a one inch head, and a little bit of lacing, not much.

Smells like chocolate, bourbon, roasted malt, and booze. The aroma is fairly bourbon-forward.

The taste is similar, however, the bourbon is better integrated into the smell. There's some cookie dough, cocoa powder, Hershey's syrup, roasted malt, bourbon, and only the slightest booziness- the alcohol is hidden well here. Some slight caramel and vanilla as well.

Medium bodied, but like Lindley Park, could be a little thicker for the style. Still quite creamy and rich in the mouthfeel, with low carbonation. Very drinkable.

Another winner from Olde Hickory, they make some great BA stouts. (730 characters)

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.51/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle

A- Deep dark pitch black with medium to medium low on lacing, dark coffee in color. Minimal legs.

S- Even at it low ABV relatively speaking with some other big BA stouts, this comes off as a chocolate-first bourbon bomb. Nice toffee and creamy malt notes in there too! There is a lot going on in this beer.

T- Following the nose with big chocolate, a very nice calm and very present bourbon presence. The toffee and smooth malt is there to finish a superbly made BA stout.

M- My knock on Lindley was the lack of carb; this has the perfect about of carb and it is very smooth and very creamy. Love it.

O- Olde Hickory is new on my radar, but I love the BA stouts they are doing!! (699 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pour is jet black motor oil with a small amount of dark mahogany head. Nose is quite nice, lots of rich malt and a lot of wood and bourbon notes. Strong fudge and caramel. Taste is a bit more woody up front, slightly chalky malt mid palate, rich fudge quality is a touch muted, some dark berries in back and bourbon through the finish. Full bodied, dry finish, soft feel, a touch slick in back, nicely carbonated. (413 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.12/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours pitch black with a milk chocolate colored head that wells up in the glass quicker than pretty much any stout I've seen and settles at about 1/2 finger. Leaves some nice tracks of lace with each sip. Definitely a looker.

S: Very sweet on the nose. Molasses, brandy soaked raisins and marshmallow with some lingering charcoal, wet earth, oak and ash in the background. The sweetness worries me a bit, but as it warms, that begins to fade to more reasonable levels.

T: Opens with a sweet and syrupy wave of chocolate and raisin. Middle shows milk chocolate, just a touch of bourbon and fudge. Finish brings a touch of charred malt, light oak and more super sweet milk chocolate and raisin. For me, this was a bit much. Very sweet and syrupy, which can catch up to you in a hurry. I enjoyed it, but killing a whole bottle of this pretty much seals your fate as far as future diabetes is concerned. (905 characters)

Photo of SLeffler27
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

“Black” is a poor descriptive of this beer that annihilates all light, seemingly dimming the room around it. A thick, dark walnut creamy head reaches half an inch before leaving patches of lace above a syrupy film.

A Dogfish Head snifter gives up bourbon-soaked figs with vanilla and bitter chocolate. Fermented cherries and sweetened espresso give way to a light aroma of licorice.

This Imperial Stout is quite sweet, similar to rich fudge brownies. The flavor profile is rounded out with plums, espresso and licorice, simultaneously sour and bitter. Warmth evokes clear memories of bourbon plum pudding on cold Christmas nights. The finish is long, subtle and sweet.

The dense body is syrupy smooth with light carbonation and alcohol as expected.

This is a fantastic beer to be sipped during contemplation or while reading. It could pair well with a cigar or ice cream. This beer elicits comforting memories of time with my Grandfather, sitting in leather chairs with book-clad walls, thick cigar smoke, a humidor, and his sculpted trout ashtray. I can only imagine the conversations we would have today, he with his bourbon and me with this thought-provoking beer. Thank you Rodney and Louise. (1,204 characters)

Photo of joe1510
4.29/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

22oz Bomber

2013 Release

Again, Wil, thanks! Event Horizon is as black hole black. Don't expect any light to escape, you'll be sorely disappointed. The mocha head takes some conjuring but eventually it swirls and rises to a thick cap of creamy darkness. Thin, veil like drink lines remain behind with each drink.

The nose is full to the brim with rich, boozy chocolate. Clean heat tickles the nose upfront before waves of chocolate crash over your senses. Dark, bakers, milk, and fudge all drizzled with honey are vivid. Black coffee with a drop of cream and moderate roast play their part as well. All this mouthwatering stoutness is cradled with caramel, vanilla, oak, and toasted pecans. The barrel works wonders on this already deep stout.

Whew! Toasted pecans, vanilla, and oak get the roller coaster moving. The first curve is rich chocolate, mostly dark this time, baker's and fudge in stride. The loop sends you on a ride of rich, buttery caramel, bourbon, and macerated dark berries. The final curve brings iced coffee, that dash of cream, a little char and sweet toffee. Finishing the ride is slow, smooth chocolate, honey and a touch of vanilla. The barrel aging is nicely done, never getting in the way of the base.

My only complaint about this beer is the mouthfeel. It's substantial upon first drink, a little tannic and slick but with the swallow the body feels a tick thinner than it should. Ringing in at 8.5% may have something to do with this though. Although I don't pick up much in the flavor I do get a hop bitterness that when combined with the roast is solid.

Olde Hickory seems to have chosen an appropriate name for their big, barrel aged stout. There's no going back after the first drink, you're at the point of no return. Even handed barrel aging combined with a great base beer make for a match made in heaven. Do yourself a favor and get this beer. Thanks, Wil! Good chit, mang! (1,916 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage. Poured into a snifter, the beer is jet black, like oil, with a chocolate brown head that sits dense and foamy on the surface. Beautiful. Aromas of rich molasses, old world fruit, roasted coffee, booze, raw honey, cream, vanilla, and woody highlights. Very heavy, layered nose. Flavors are rich and smooth, with an immediate blast of booze and warmth. Wow, this is a beast. Black strap molasses, cocoa nibs, cream, and booze all blend for the initial wave across the taste buds. You also get a solid measure of old world fruits, such as dates and raisins. Extremely dynamic. Wood and vanilla imparts can be picked up throughout, and the warmth continues to build. This is velvety smooth with every sip, although extremely heavy, as well, making you work for the enjoyment you are receiving. Nothing worth having comes for free. The aftertaste has a bit more bitterness to help balance, with more of the chocolate notes coming forward to balance all the rich sweetness, including the continued raw honey highlights. Very nice. The finish is smooth, with a slightly sweet linger that avoids cloying, and just begs you to continue drinking. Can't wait to see how this bad boy ages! (1,191 characters)

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. (2,160 characters)

Photo of derftron
4.51/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Friend brought back a bottle to Oregon from N. Carolina

bomber split between 4 of us

smell was of chocolate, oak, honey, sugar, bourbon

very little head and small amount of lacing left on gleass

this beer was a real treat. sooo smooth and tasty. never had anything from this brewery and we were all very impressed. just a solid imperial stout that drank bigger than 8.5% would lead you to believe. definite sweetness to the beer, but very well balanced and had a good bourboun.oak character that evened things out. loved it (527 characters)

Photo of jbaker67
4.33/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep inky black with a medium chocolaty head that faded within 45 seconds into a medium collar and wisps at the surface. Aroma is dark chocolate, deeply roasted malt, some charred earth, some wine-like must. Taste is earthy and roasty at the front, some dark chocolate in the middle, and some wine must at the end. The honey really plays well in the aftertaste. Thick rich body and medium carbonation. (409 characters)

Photo of sleepyteacher
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was my first cask and I was told that I couldn't have picked a better cask to start on. When some friends joined me and wanted to try it, I told them that it's a boozy dame and I was not joking. This beer packs a punch, but it is very tasty.

Lots of fruity notes, no coffee or chocolate flavors to stay trendy. This beer is a statement. Wish I could say more, but you've got to try it. Sorry to hear the 2013 bottles aren't as good as previous years. (457 characters)

Photo of mverity
4.14/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep inky black with a medium chocolaty head that faded within 45 seconds into a medium collar and wisps at the surface. Aroma is dark chocolate, deeply roasted malt, some charred earth, some wine-like must. Taste is earthy and roasty at the front, some dark chocolate in the middle, and some wine must at the end. The honey really plays well in the aftertaste. Thick rich body and medium carbonation. (409 characters)

Photo of Broanoke
4.86/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Very surprised with this one. I was a little worried that the 8.5% would make this stout take a backseat to many of the other monster stouts out there, but The Event Horizon has very little short comings. Quite bold with amazing barrel characters, and the honey really helps provide a touch of sweetness to smooth out the beer. Very well worth the price point. (360 characters)

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

2013 vintage. Tulip glass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good googly moogly!!! This ale is straight up alcohol and I am surprised is isn't sold in the local ABC store on the shelf beside the Midnight Moon moonshine! Poured a dark black with minimal head, very much like a Barley Wine...In fact, a lot like a barley wine in the aftertaste! Interestingly enough, the "honey" really comes through the warmer it gets! Overall, "The Event Horizon" is an amazing brew worthy of a try!! (424 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.18/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, one finger deep brown head that doesn't last long.

S-Bourbon, honey, roasted malt, chocolate, coffee.

T-Starts with a nice blend of bourbon and honey. Slight chocolate. Nice roasted malt and coffee. But the finish doesn't bring the beer together.

M-Heavy, thick, not much carbonation though.

O-The beer starts off great but the finish leaves me wanting more. (384 characters)

Photo of aleckpa
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 32 oz. growler from Hops and Grapes in Hickory, North Carolina.

A: Black like motor oil. There is a small burnt mocha head that goes away quickly However, there’s great lacing. Can’t see anything through it.

S: Vanilla, chocolate, oak, and of course some bourbon This is a really good smelling beer. A lot of the flavors are subtle, but complex. All the scents come out as the beer warms.

T: Front of the tongue, I taste the bourbon, back of the tongue I get the flavors I smelled. The vanilla, chocolate, oak, and bourbon. Also get some honey. There is some alcohol burn, which surprised me at 8.5%, but it isn't bad. Regardless, it is dangerously easily drinkable.

M: Creamy, smooth, and full bodied. Not too thick, well balanced. Feel some of the tingle on your tongue from the carbonation.

O: This is easily my favorite offerings from Olde Hickory. I think it is well balanced with a lot of complexities. It tastes even better as it warms. I highly recommend it. (990 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz waxed and stamped bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). 15.99. 2013 vintage, recent release. Served in a Three Floyds teku.

Pours oil black with a half finger light brown head. Nice thin cap and halo of froth reamain and leave a good bit of lace.

Smells sweet and inviting. Chocolate, bourbon, honey, vanilla and caramel. Not too terribly deep but quite nice all the same.

Taste follows the nose in all the right ways. Rich, fudgey chocolate, sweet subtle bourbon, vanilla, honey, oak, burnt caramel, molasses, creamed mild coffee, raw cane sugar, slightly nutty, a little dark fruit and a small amount of booze. The barrel stands out increasingly as it warms but never quite over takes the fudge and honey.

Creamy, light medium body with moderate carbonation. Boubon and fudge linger in the aftertaste.

Such an incredibly drinkable barrel aged stout. Thinner than I'd prefer but it really delivers the flavor. This one is worth a try. (955 characters)

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

Just released 2013---Holiday treat

A: Black, opaque with a small head and lacing that followed to the bottom

S: Prominent bourbon notes and sweet vanilla

T: Bourbon on the nose is stronger than on the tongue but very well integrated and a bit more subdued than some offerings. Honey and vanilla come through big on the back end. Delightful, smooth and just a pleasure.

M: Full bodied but not syrupy.

O: Strong performance this year. Not the bourbon bomb some can be--very integrated. Easy to drink. Will save at least two--one to side by side with the KBS release and one for next year to compare with the 2014--I bet a year will make it even better. Well done--a trade worthy NC offering. (696 characters)

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