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The Event Horizon - Olde Hickory Brewery

Not Rated.
The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

265 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 265
Hads: 1,571
Avg: 4.36
pDev: 21.56%
Wants: 838
Gots: 525 | FT: 87
Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States | website

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 (33) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Event Horizon Alström Bros
Reviews: 265 | Hads: 1,571
Photo of Shaler_Tate
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a great stout, but for some reason it drank really boozy for me. The bottle I drank was from Dec 14, so I expected it to be really toned down and pick up on honey and chocolate. It only clocks in at 8.5%, but it drank a lot higher than that for me. Still great, but stronger than I expected.

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

Pours thick and looks like used motor oil. Quick fading head and leaves good lacing

Reeks of Bourbon in a good way, slightly sweet from the honey and a slight dryness from the malts

Tastes sweet right from the start but the Bourbon kicks in very quickly along with dry wood and highly roasted malts. Finishes with a slight alcohol burn and leaves the palate dry

Heavy body with very low volumes of carbonation, finishes semi dry and aftertaste fades quickly. Alcohol is noticeable but not in a bad way. Easy to drink slow

An excellent beer and the honey adds a nice sweet touch to a style with big and robust flavors. Definitely a seeker

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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!!

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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.

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Photo of tewaris
4.07/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't quite remember who shared it but I think it was Kevin again. Thanks!
Fairly standard -bal Imperial Stout with a dark, smooth body and tiny head. The aroma is full of chocolate notes and vanilla, and of course bourbon. Tastes chocolaty and is reminiscent of BCBS without the booze. Mouthfeel is good for an ~8% beer. An achievement in the sense that so much flavor is packed into this beer without being too strong. Very very good.
3.5, 4, 4, 4, 4.5

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Photo of GregSVT
3.45/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into a tulip - 2011 Vintage

A: Pours a very dark brown, nearly totally black, with a medium sized brown head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of vanilla, hints of molasses, dark roasted malts, bakers chocolate, and some earthy hops in the background. The hops actually lend an odd aroma which I'm not a fan of...the rest smells delicious.

T: The taste is molasses, vanilla, dark chocolate, honey, and the earthy hops from the nose. It's a touch bitter on the finish which is surprising.

M: The feel is thick and creamy.

O: This isn't much different from the regular Imperial Stout besides some vanilla and molasses characteristics. The feel is about the best part of the beer. Could probably use a bit more time in the barrel.

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Photo of claaark13
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one arrived unexpectedly on a Friday afternoon. Poured into a Founders snifter. Thanks morimoto, what a surprise.

A - Black, thick appearance with a thick medium tan colored head. Lacing remains across the surface once the head clears. Sticks well to the side of the glass.

S - Just about as bourbon forward as it can get, with some licorice sneaking through. Very potent, very appealing.

T - Honey, bourbon, cocoa. The taste feels a little light in the middle. Finishes with some more bourbon, oak and some hints of cocoa. The flavor is lighter than I'd expect, and doesn't allow for any of the individual notes to dominate. The honey helps carry the flavors from start to finish.

M - Medium and slightly prickly body. The beer appears to be thicker than it feels on the tongue. Highly drinkable based on the somewhat subdued flavor and medium body.

O - Although I find the flavor to be a little light for a BA RIS, this beer drinks so easily. It is also impressive that it is kept at 8.5% with this much bourbon in the aroma and flavor.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of s1ckboy
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle with about 6 months of age on it.

A - Black body with a finger or so of tan head.

S - Bourbon, oak, sweeness (honey I suppose), hint of dark fruits.

T - A lot of bitterness initially that lingers, chocolate, bourbon, prunes/dates, not really picking up the honey. Bourbon is a bit on the hot side, could have aged this for a while longer.

M - On the lighter side of full. Fairly smooth even with the hot bourbon. Medium carbonation.

Smells sweet, tastes bitter. I think some age would do this a lot of good. Should have gotten 2!

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Photo of ChadQuest
3/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had two differant bottles both Pre & during DLD, One from Hannydawg and not sure about the others bringer, but thanks to both for keeping me from trading alot away for the chance to try this one.
The pour is less dark then expected and is a dark brown with moderate viscosity. I't looks average for a 8.5% stout, i would have liked to see more viscosity & depth of color.
The aroma and flavors really took me off guard, and had huge dark fruit influence throughout with strong Prune & Raisons, with a Soy & Molasses paste holding it together. There was powdered cacao blended in somewhat. I didn't notice any heat and no barrel influence either which was a let down, as being from PVW barrels this is treated as if gold.

This was one of the beers i was really excited for when i saw it out, but it was a let down. I even gave it a 2nd chance the next day, and can't report any differant.

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Photo of kevdemers
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bomber dated almost exactly a year ago!

Look:
Very dark brown with brown head. A lot of late carbonation after the pour.

Smell:
A lot of honey and bourbon on the nose.

Taste:
Outstanding, a lot of flavor, I've had other stouts much greater in ABV with not as good a profile. Quick roasty start gives way quickly to a more ashtray finish (the only negative). Hot alcohol on the taste but no burn due to the relatively low ABV, a tricky palate-twister.

Feel:
Slightly thin but finishes nicely with the aforementioned late carb.

Overall:
Fantastic impy stout, glad my NC trading partner shared this.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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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.

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Photo of -Rick
4.44/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Jet black, looks like oil
S: whiskey, coffee,
T: The initial taste is bourbon forward, but not in a bad way. Not much heat from the bourbon. Has a nice sweet aftertaste. The honey compliments the whiskey quite well
F: oily and slick, with a decent amount of carbonation.
O: super solid stout. Would certainly try again.

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Photo of Soonami
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BrewerDan23 for generously sharing a bottle of Event Horizon at a recent tasting. I am now ISO of one, although the 900 bottle run might make it tough to get.

This beer is pitch black with mocha that quickly dissolves to a finely knit ring of lace. The aroma is earthy and mushroomy featuring the smell of freshly baked bread and a light whiff of bourbon. The beer tastes very creamy and light on the palate for a double stout. There is a hot chocolate quality to the roasted malt that isn't too harsh or astringent. It's not too sweet with a great drying oaky bourbon finish. As it warms the barrel character really comes out and you can really pick out toasted coconut.

This is a delicious beer and I guess the delicate menage of malt, roast, barrel and bourbon is helped by the low ABV that really allows the individual ingredients to shine and not be masked by the high alcohol or residual sweetness. This definitely lives up to the hype.

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Photo of rpstevens
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this one.

22 oz bottle poured into a KBS snifter glass.

A- Pours pretty thick, dark brown basically black color, dark brown ½ finger head, really nice lacing when you stir it up.
S- The aroma is very nice, big bourbon aroma, vanilla, oak, nice rich chocolate aroma, dark malts, sweet bitterness.
T- The taste is very similar to the aroma with some dark fruit flavors coming out, rich chocolate, dark malt, pretty sweet, slight roasted notes, oak, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, really rich complex beer.
M- Medium/big mouth feel, decent carbonation, smooth and creamy, slight dry finish.
O- I was really impressed with this beer. Really easy drinkability, each sip was rich and complex, really nice dessert beer.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.1/5  rDev -28.9%
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.

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Photo of Jmoore50
3.48/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am very particular with my barrel aged stouts. Look at my reviews and you will tell which ones I prefer. jh1982 brought this one out and I didn't think it was spectacular. He said he preferred the other Olde Hickory Stouts, which he had a few days before.

The appearance on this is great. It is a dark thick black, and poured heavily produces a nice fluffy brown head. Its thick, its black, and the head retention is good.

The smell is of sweet bourbon, tons of bitter cocoa, some roasted malts and vanilla. It smells incredibly sweet.

Lots of bitter cocoa, a strong character in this. It has a sweet bourbon and sweet honey taste that is left in the background by the cocoa. LOADS of cocoa, like hot chocolate mix. Not really melding well, kind of muddled. I wouldn't say it was smooth, but its got a lot of flavor going on.

Its a pretty heavy beer with good carbonation. The bitterness from the beer paired with the bourbon threw me off a bit. Overall I could pick a few dozen better barrel aged stouts, and this would not be one of them. Kind of let down, but still not a terrible beer at all.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of my Beer & Cigars BIF package - thanks mjmadden! (Enjoyment shared with 5 other people)

A. Pours black with a bit of creamy tan head that leaves a bit of lacing.

S. Cocoa with bourbon and vanilla with a touch of dark fruit (figs) with honey/ molasses sweetness.

T. Dark chocolate, bourbon, bright honey sweetness, dark fruits with more bitterness becoming more apparent on the tail.

M. Medium bodied with a medium level of creamy carbonation. A bit dry on the end.

D. I really like this beer; possibly my favorite from NC (over BA Sexual Chocolate).

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Photo of JohnG190
4.74/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks Jeffrey2310. 2013 bottle. Pours pitch black with no discernable head. Lots of chocolate on the nose with hints of bourbon. Probably the best representation of chocolate in a stout that I have come across. Chocolate dominates the palate with hints of vanilla, bourbon, and dark fruit. Full bodied mouthfeel that is bolstered by the utter lack of carbonation. Finishes slightly bitter, with a final flourish of chocolate. Overall, an extremely complex and layered stout that definately benefited from a year in the cellar.

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The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.