The Event Horizon - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,430 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,430
Reviews: 251
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.17%
Wants: 814
Gots: 479 | 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.
View: Beers (32) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Event Horizon Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,430 | Reviews: 251
Photo of roger617
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle reviewed 11/6/2014. Bottle poured into snifter.

A: Pours black with 1 finger of khaki head that reduces fairly quickly and leaves a thin collar with no lacing. For under 10%, I'm surprised at how thick the viscosity appears.
S: Chocolate, bourbon, roasted malt, and just a tad bit of sweetness that I'll attribute to the honey.
T: The dominant flavors are chocolate and honey, with a good compliment of bourbon and roast malt. Lingering flavor is heavy with the honey.
M: Carbed well, fairly bitter. Leaves a dryer after taste that brings the honey flavor out.
O: This one exceeded my expectations. I love the honey addition, it goes really well with the chocolate and bourbon.

Photo of FFreak
4.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulips and shared. A jet black beer with very little detectable head. Aroma is of dark chocolate, roast malt and cherries. Taste is a slightly tart cherry-chocolate followed by roasted malt and a little bit of coffee. Mouthfeel is dense, viscous, and almost flat carbonation. A huge sipper of a beer - much larger than its ABV would indicate. Overall, an enjoyable dessert stout, but not one you'd drink the whole bomber by yourself.

Photo of LeeEvolved
4.99/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tried this year's version last night and I gotta say it just may be a Top 10 beer for me. The honey sweetens it just enough to let the bourbon barrel come through at the end and at 8.5% this thing is so very drinkable it's almost unbelievable. Great beer.

Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%

Poured from the 11 oz bottle into a snifter glass.
Pours jet black with minimal caramel head.
Smells a lot like bourbon and roasted cherries.
Tastes huge. Intense flavor of a cherry cordial and roasted malts. Tons of cherry, tons of chocolate.
Mouthfeel is is very thick and very heavy.
A sipping beer that will fill you up very fast. Intense flavor.

Photo of Mtcarini
3.25/5  rDev -25.5%

Look I'm not saying it's not a good beer - it's not but I'm not saying that. What I am saying is that who wants to have the bejeezus scared out of em every time they take a sip? Not me, that's who. That movie was really, really scary and it psychologically impacts the enjoyability of this beverage. Otherwise though, a well made beer.

Photo of kkleu357
4.1/5  rDev -6%

From notes on 4/5/14

Bought a bomber of this while down in Chapel Hill for work. Heard it was good and sort of sought after around here. Poured jet black with a 1.5 inch dark brown head. Lots of boozy smell. Very sweet smelling. Reminds me of the smell of melting chocolate. Some mild fruit aromas as well. Very tasty. Lots of boozy bourbon flavor. More than most barrel aged beers. Lots of roasty sweet chocolate flavors. Slightly raisin and floral tastes. Pretty good. Very heavy though. I’m sitting in my hotel room by myself. Wish I had someone to share this with. Might be hard to get through.

Photo of Cubatobaco
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%

I'll write a full review later, but this beer is in my top 5 BA stouts as of right now. Unbelievable quality, barrel characteristics, and balance. I can't wait to seek out more.

Photo of KYGunner
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013

It looks like pouring a black tar into the glass that spawns a thick brown foam.

The nose is creamy, lactose-sweet, with whipped cream, coconut, vanilla, hazelnuts and toffee.

This is nicely complex in flavor with hazelnuts, caramel, toffee, Bit O Honey candies, chocolate and coconut. It ends creamy and fudgey but there's a small phenolic taste that kept this from getting an even higher score.

The feel is very smooth and thick with a touch of alcohol burn.

Great beer! Immense thanks to BeerAlmanac for getting this to me, it's well worth the search.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 1,430 ratings.