The Event Horizon - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon

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

1,426 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,426
Reviews: 250
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 9.17%
Wants: 814
Gots: 481 | FT: 73
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: 1,426 | Reviews: 250
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

On tap at churchkey as part of CBC.

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

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

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

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

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

2012 bottle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of mdaschaf
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2010 Vintage

A: Pours a deep black with a tan/brown head on top, about a finger upon pouring, which reduces to a thin cap on top. Thin lacing.

S: Some dark fruits, cherrys, plum, and raisins mixed with chocolate, bourbon, a bit of oak and vanilla.

T: Similar to the aroma and fantastic. Lots of chocolate and bourbon flavors up front, a bit of brown sugar and molasses. More dark fruit in the middle mixed with a touch of honey.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Glad I was finally able to try this beer, definitely a highlight from the tasting.

Photo of jeonseh
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Shared by leftyhyzer at NWI tasting group super bowl drinking

A - Dark chocolate color with thick body that coats the glass. Light brown on the edges with small amounts of carbonation and not head

S - Bourbon on the nose with light caramel and vanilla. Dark, roasted chocolate and slight honey

T - Sweet bourbon vanilla up front with light caramel. Light honey, roasted malt, and slight smokiness. Finish is slight roasted coffee that lingers on

MF - Light body with light bitter coffee that lingers on in the finish to create a slight astringency

O - Solid fudgy beer with chocolate and honey sweetness. The honey adds a nice sweetness to the beer overall that is unique in a stout

Photo of harrymel
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2012

Black with a quilt of mocha foam. Smell was evident as soon as I cracked the bottle. I don't know what barrels they used here, but I only have smelled this nose in PVW 20+ yr barrel aged beers. Minerals, nougat, vanilla, booze, cocoa, marzipan and honey in here. Really complex nose. Flavor is robust with sweet malts, some caramel, some fudge and some molasses. Again the honey is evident - which surprises me. Mineral character still there also. Full bodied with low carb and an off-dry finish. Nice beer, really the nose does it, the flavor doesn't do the olfactory justice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of ChugginOil
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Event Horizon
2011
Pours extremely dark and opaque. No light whatsoever. Reddish tan head. Dark sticky lacing.

The nose is super roasty and has a bit of sweet honey. Bourbon is big, offering vanilla, dry oak, and toasted coconut.

The flavors offer much more boozy notes than the nose suggests. Tons of semi-sweet roast, bakers chocolate, and bourbon. Vanilla and sweet honey.

Mouthfeel is medium and pretty smooth but an overly amped carbonation.

Overall, pretty nice brew but a bit overly carbonated.

Photo of divineaudio
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle courtesy of chrisheartsbeer. poured into my founders snifter.

a - pours black. no light escapes this one! gave me a pinky's worth of dark brown head that quickly calmed to a film and left a few spots of lacing here and there.

s - vanilla, bourbon, raisin, faintly herbal, faint booziness.

t - wow! bold barrel flavors here with plenty of other things going on for complexity. vanilla and bourbon are at the forefront, but there is also an espresso-like malt base underneath. has notes of raisin, molasses, faint charcoal and a mild sort of booziness. bitterness shows up as a mild earthiness and the beer finishes bittersweet.

m -full bodied for sure. carbonation level is adequate, but could stand just a bit more. finer co2 profile, slight alcohol warming. very rich.

o - a (very) rich and decadent barrel aged stout that i enjoyed quite a bit. i especially like the fact that it's not a 12% or 14% monster so i can drink a little more of it, though finishing a whole bomber is a challenge due to it's sheer richness. i'd love to get my hands on another bottle or two to save for special occasions.

Photo of patre_tim
3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Opaque dark brown, black coffee, with a fine foam that's chocolate brown. When held to direct light, a slight brown orange brown tinge only near the foam at the head.

S: Immediately upon opening, a butterscotch, oak, buttery fragrant honey like smell comes through strong. Almost a fermented fruit smell as well but that passes. A direct wiff gives you the bourbon oak barrel scent, along with a sweet, buttery smell. A smokey, earthy dark chocolate bourbon as well, and coffee bourbon. A well alcoholed coffee is what it reminds me of. Its rich and heavy and sweet. Thinking a little dab will do.

T: I get dark coffee and dark chocolate, with butterscotch and oak, not overly sweet but there is an underlying sweetness there. Some bitterness at the end, but its more like a dark chocoate. Bourbon also presents itself, and a bite of alcohol but its relatively hidden for 8.5%.

M: Thick and somewhat oily. Rich, with a medium to low carbonation.

O: Had high expectations and was a little disappointed. I feel I’ve had better bourbon barrel aged imperial stouts. But definitely unique, great bottle, got it in Asheville at Bruisin Ales, at a high price. My first from Old Hickory. Would go well with some smoked meat, but lots of flavour drunk slowly by itself.

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.68/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Poured into a snifter. It was pitch black with a tiny ring of mocha colored foam that didn't leave any lacing.

S-Coffee, chocolate, bourbon, blackstrap molasses

T-Roasted malt, coffee, bourbon, leather, and a lingering flavor that I can only describe as like an artificial sweetener.

M-Fairly thick and creamy, with not much carbonation at all.

D-This was a one and done for me I didn't like the leather note and the lingering odd aftertaste.

Overall, I was disappointed in this beer. I have had Olde Hickory's regular imperial stout and thought it was amazing, but this let me down. However, I would try this again and recommend others trying it as well.

Photo of axeman9182
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 2012 vintage. Thanks to Tiger33 for the hookup. The bottle was allowed to warm just a bit before being poured into my NEBCO 668 tulip.

The Event Horizon pours jet black, and a careful pour yields almost three fingers of burnt caramel tinted foam that actually rises up past the rim of the glass, without spilling out over the side. Head retention is pretty good, but lacing is definitely a bit spotty. The nose is wonderful, with aromas of cocoa powder, oak, bourbon, brown sugar, and vanilla all wafting out of the glass. The flavor profile shifts and consolidates a little bit. The beer is definitely more oak and bourbon forward on my palate than in the aroma, and most of the vanilla is phased out and replaced by more brown sugar. Dark chocolate continues to provide a base for all of these characteristics to play off of. The mouthfeel is great, because while it still has that slightly chewy aspect to it, it feels a little bit less heavy (thanks to the honey?) than most big stouts, and as a result it comes across as a fair bit more drinkable. As with all great stouts, the carbonation is nice and muted. I found this super fresh bottle of The Event Horizon to be just a tad barrel forward for my taste. It's still a very good beer, but even just a little time to mellow and come together should yield spectacular results.

Photo of Joshuamcsee
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber of the 2012 release a week after tasting the 2011 aged a year.

A: Darker than a black steer's toucas on a moonless prairie night. Little to no head.

S: Dark chocolate, bourbon, and thick honey. Even the smell is rich. Reminds me of those little chocolate barrels of whiskey they sell at the Vegas airport.

T: The dark chocolate hits you hard up front, and the whiskey lingers. The honey is always there as a nice compliment. The relatively low ABV is hidden well. The charred bourbon is there but more as a complimentary sweetness than a bite.

MF: Not as thick as many imperials. Great balance: not too heavy not too light. Medium carbination for the style. Lingers for quite a while.

Overall: Damn. This is a fantastic beer. Definitely one of the best North Carolina has to offer, and that's saying something these days. After tasting this I bought way too many. A couple for Christmas presents, a couple to stash away for a year, and a couple to enjoy now. Pick a few up while you can.

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally found a bottle of the 2012 release over the weekend and was anxiously looking forward to popping it last night. This beer is pretty legendary in our parts, and the mixture of several malts, 4 hops, locally farmed honey and aging in bourbon barrels is infamous. Poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head glass.

A: Near jet black/brown, no turbidity but virtually opaque. Minimal head, first pour gave me maybe 5mm thin line and 2nd pour (a little warmer and more vigourous) gave be a nice 2 finger chocolate brown head which pretty minimal retention and some light lacing.

S: You immediately get the feeling that this will be a big boozy monster. You smell the honey sweetness first, but the bourbon notes dominate the nose. Nose is almost quad-like and says "buckle up".

T: Again you get honey and brown sugar sweetness on the entry, with a finish which is really driven by the charred bourbon barrels. It's nice and very elegant. This beer changes dramatically in complexity as it warms and opens up. First pour (cool) is really driven by honey and bourbon, but once it warms for 15 - 20 minutes you start to pick up lots of other layers: dry cocoa powder, toffee , caramel and vanilla. Almost each sip can be a little different. Really complex and intriguing. This is not a boozy beer at all, no alcohol burn, the nose is just deceiving in that it gives you that impression that you are in for a monster.

MF: Really slick, oily and viscous. Not fork and knife thick like some imperial stouts, but definitely substantial. Coats the mouth in a very sexual way which is addictive, especially near the bottom of the glass. I actually would have liked a bump more carbonation to release the flavors more fully, but I think subtle is part of the plot here.

All in all, A truly EPIC beer which lives up to the hype of being one of the best, if not , the best beer brewed in North Carolina. Definitely worth searching and definitely worth cellaring. Let it open and warm a bit for maximum enjoyment.

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

22 ounce bomber from the 2011 release.

A: Pours an extremely dark color, almost pitch black with a half finger head and some lacing.

S: Lots of fruit, dark chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, and bourbon.

T: Very sweet and nicely balanced flavors of hops, malts, honey, oak, chocolate, and a touch of alcohol. The bourbon aging works wonderfully with this one.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with good carbonation.

O: This is a great example of what can be done with a barrel aged stout. I am very impressed. I'll have to see if I can get a couple bottles of this years release.

Photo of Bung
4.77/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On te hand pump at Duckworths Park rd. Dirty motor oil brown, though some light does get trough. Light brown head quickly recedes.

Aroma, heavy molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, oak.

Taste, it's all there. Some more malty toffee here. Chocolates, molasses, vanilla, brown sugar. Earthy peat and barrel, Roast and cocoa makes an appearance at the end as well.

Big for its 8.5%. It takes some skill to brew something this good without just overloading the bill and making it huge. Maybe not quite full body, but coats great, and drinks even better with the slightly smaller size.

Spent a day drinking this on cask during the Duckworths cask event last year. Didn't disappoint this year either. Thought I was maybe over praising last year, but two years in a row is the real deal. This is up there with Bourbon County for the non-coffee bourbon stout.

Photo of brewdude1982
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 4.0 very dark
S: 4.5 you can definitely smell the bourbon from this beer
T: 4.5 nice and sweet upfront followed by a a booze taste on the back end
MF: 3.5 very smooth initially and then tingly in the back of your mouth from the booze that they tried to hide pretty full on the body of the beer.
O: 4.0 good beer with a lot of booze

The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
97 out of 100 based on 1,426 ratings.