Black Hole | Mikkeller ApS

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Black HoleBlack Hole

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

Black Hole is what Mikkeller is all about. Daring, vulgar and extreme. From the very beginning Mikkellers goal has been to push the limit and with this warming, intense imperial stout, a new chapter in the Danish beer history has been written. The high bitterness from the hops and the sweetness from the malt and alcohol, creates a good balance which makes Black Hole an explosion of nuances, but also leaves a feeling of a perfect and complex beer – in the heavyweight category.

Ingredients: Water, malt, roasted barley, flaked oats, dark cassanade, honey, hops, coffee, vanilla and ale yeast.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-24-2006

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Reviews: 377 | Ratings: 789
Photo of SawDog505
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 22 oz Yoda pilsner glass. Pours a very dark chestnut with a massive 3 finger tan head that leaves behind wisps of webby lace.

Smell is grainy alcohol, roasty coffee, deep dark chocolate, vanilla, and some pipe tobacco.

Taste follows nicely dry strong coffee, dark dark chocolate, and alcohol upfront with some leather, tobacco, and vanilla in long lingering finish.

Mouthfeel is almost medium, moderate carbonation as you would expect, dry for sure, and a sipper for sure, that will warm you up on Christmas day.

Overall this is a very nice stout, the alcohol is upfront, but the flavor is very complex.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.17/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Short Review. It's ok, but it's not really what I was expecting at all, I thought the coffee would be highlighted, but it wasn't and instead it had lots of boozy. hoppy and dark fruit flavors, I felt like the flavors didn't work together that great and in the end the booze got to be a little overpowering, I'ce had beers that were much stronger that didn't taste as booze, so this one might need some major age, I'm not sure about and I can't say I would recommend it.

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Photo of Jeffwise
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black color with a nice tan two finger head... Sticky lacing left behind as it fades away. Smell is awesome, you get some sweetness almost a bitter chocolate smell followed by a nice toasty, nutty, malt mixed in with a slight hint of coffee. Kind of refreshing to find a coffee stout that doesn't smell like a cup of joe. Taste is very smokey.. You get a lot more roasted malt than coffee although the coffee you do get is straight, no sweetener, bitter coffee. I dig it. On the backside you get a slightttt feel for the 13% alcohol but very smooth in my opinion for what it is. I can't find a reason why this beer isn't in the low 90s. The feel is exactly what you'd expect in an RIS. My only complaint is the high price tag but then again... There aren't too many kind priced mikkeller beers where I am in Pennsylvania.

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Photo of ccg
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Interesting look for a stout. 3-4 inches of foam, lots of lacing. It smells more like a coffee IPA than a stout. Tons of piney hops on the nose, followed by coffee grounds. Not much roasted malt here. The taste is more "stouty" than the smell. Some roasted malt and chocolate, plenty of coffee, and, surprisingly, not too much bitterness from the hops. Moderate carbonation. Overall, it's a good if slightly unusual coffee stout. It has a lot more head and lacing than the usual stout. Its bitterness seems to come more from hops than from the coffee.

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Photo of superspak
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle into snifter, best before 9/29/2019. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense and rocky tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Awesome appearance. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted dark bread, char, honey, molasses, vanilla, wood, tobacco, pine, light licorice/dark fruit, light smoke, and herbal/roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt, coffee/vanilla, and moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted dark bread, char, honey, molasses, vanilla, wood, tobacco, pine, light licorice/dark fruit, light smoke, and roast/char earthiness. Good amount of herbal/pine and roast/char bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toasted dark bread, honey, molasses, vanilla, wood, tobacco, pine, smoke, char, and herbal/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, coffee/vanilla, and moderate earthy hop flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance and zero astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from roast/hop bitterness that increases through the glass. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, fairly creamy/silky/bready, and sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Russian imperial stout! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt, coffee/vanilla, and moderate earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the huge ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Reuuin
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

If you like a black coffee, this is the beer for you. I get hit with bitter but elegant black coffee taste and just enough alcohol to cut back that bitterness so that the coffee comes out much much stronger.

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Photo of alarmclock314
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12.7oz bottle, no date. Pours black with a smaller sized brown head. Smells of mostly roasted malt and bitter cocoa with some earthy hops, prune/dark fruit, coffee, and char. The taste follows exactly but isn't as intense; it has more prune and a large amount of tartness. Thin body with below average carbonation. Overall, the tartness isn't very desirable, but at least it's unique. It needs way more body and some more flavor.

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Photo of charlzm
2.28/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Consumed on January 26th, 2016 from an undated, corked and caged bottle. The synthetic cork was very difficult to remove; the seal was solid and tight. When I finally got it out, I was rewarded with only the tiniest little pop. Uh-oh...

Beer pours very dark brown with lighter brown highlights. Thin and totally still with zero carbonation.

Aroma is watery coffee and thin, dark malt. Quite unimpressive.

Flavor is off: thin and weak coffee, thin and weak dark malts, slight acidic/sour edge. Slightly boozy and with traces of musty prunes. Not good in any way.

Tired of the word "thin" yet? Sorry, but I can't think of any other word that describes the feel of this beer better. Still as tap water as well.

Overall, this 13.1% brew did not age well. Either drink fresh (and good luck with that, as there is no date on the package) or just steer clear altogether. This is not the first time I have had this beer and also not the first time I did not like it.

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It is Stephen Hawking's birthday today so to celebrate I had a Black Hole from Mikkeller. I love Mikkeller. They have a lot of different kinds of beers with all kinds of flavors. I go there everytime I visit Copenhagen. However, even though I thought this Russian Imperial Stout was good, it is not one of there top offerings.

It has a black beautiful hue and and a brown thick head and a nice sweet coffee aroma. The taste is a mix of coffee, dark chocolate, and fruit. Unfortunately it is also boozy. Still it was overall good.

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Photo of sculls65
3.12/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Looks good
Smell is decent enough for a big stout. A little boozy.
Taste falls short. Almost a mouthwashy flavor. Won't be rushing back for this one.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.19/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Into my nonic, it pours a gentle dark brown almost close to black and gave the same color body with a beautiful two inch creamy tan head, slowly dieing into beautiful lumpy valleys and leaving beautiful sporadic lacing. The smell is centered around strong notes of milk chocolate, coffee and some slight hops come in as the beer warms. The taste takes all of those flavorings to make an awesome sweetness rolling around in my mouth. The palate is heavy with an absolutely perfect smooth creaminess. Overall, I was not expecting this, but this beer is superb for its style and spectacular to me.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

$11.99 for a single 12.7oz bottle ... I have to go along with others asking the same thing: why the hell is the bottle green? Whatever. I got this beer while feeling stupid and willing to throw away cash. I looked up reviews first, and they were scores for a beer that I normally wouldn't spend $12 on, but some descriptions were so interesting that I figured I'd take the plunge.

Appearance: Hard pour into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint gave two fingers of a beautiful creamy brown head, one of which sticks around for a long while, and leaves quite a lot of lacing. The color of this beer is pitch black with only a slight ruby tint at the bottom of the glass.

Smell: No idea of a bottling date on this, but honestly, I find that it smells a bit hoppy -- it has a really faded piney hop quality on the nose with dark roasted malt, and some woody, ashy, smokey qualities to it. Honestly, I find it smells like a black IPA. There's also a sweet malt aroma as well that I'd probably attribute to the honey. This is a very interesting smelling beer, as others have said. The alcohol in Black Hole is also pretty prevalent, but not 13% ABV prevalent until it warms up. At that point, it becomes a bit of a booze bomb.

Taste/feel: Like the smell just about identically. This beer reminds me a LOT of a beer I've had before -- Honey Badger by Short's Brewing Company, but with more subtle floral qualities. For some reason the similarities are fairly strong to me. The name Black Hole has me expecting a booze-forward, bitter, intensely roasty beer, but I don't know that this beer really is all of that. This has a floral hop quality that I didn't see coming that's accompanied by a honey-like sweetness on top of a dark roasted malt base that consists of a bit of a woody, ashy, mildly smokey quality. Very interesting, lots of depth, and unlike most anything I've had before, though I wouldn't say I taste any of the coffee that's listed in the ingredients. The mouthfeel is absolutely dangerous ... not thick and luxurious, but rather, Black Hole has a moderate mouthfeel with a mid-level prickly carbonation -- not something I've ever come to expect out of 13% stouts. This is also part of why I somewhat think of this as an imperial black IPA.

Worth a dollar an ounce? Hard to say. If you can get a small pour of this somewhere, go for it. I find that it has a very unique flavor profile. Again, there is something mid-sip that reminds me of Honey Badger by Short's, but in an "amped up" sort of way ... it sucks for 99.6% of people reading this review that I'm making that comparison, because that beer was a small, limited release in Michigan. I'm genuinely curious as to why this beer "only" has an 85 rating on BA. Recipe change? Bitter about the pricing? I'll admit, the pricing of this beer will likely keep me from buying it again, at least in the near future (hence my 4 overall rating, partially), but Black Hole is a unique tasting, palate pleasing, thought provoking beer that ought to be experienced by anybody who proclaims an interest in well-crafted beer.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a black body with one finger light brown head that dies quick with no lace. Aroma is mostly coffee with some touches of sweetness that resemble milk chocolate and vanilla. Smooth, silky beer considering the high ABV (which is well-hidden) that balances a lactic like sweetness and coffee, although the coffee flavors are dominant. A coffee stout that tries to add sweetness to a typically dry style and comes "kinda close".

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Photo of MUTINY
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12.7oz bottle into two small tasting chalices.

A: Pours a completely opaque black with dark cola hues around the edges. 1/2" tan head recedes slowly. Retention & especially lacing are poor.

S: Deep dark chocolate, pitted fruit, vanilla. Notable hop character. Booze. Black cherries. Cereal-like malt. Very dense nose. Impressive.

T: Comes on cloyingly boozy, slowly revealing big vanilla & deep dark chocolate notes. Mid palate focuses more on bitter hops & cherry-like notes with just a touch of roastiness. Black coffee shows up prominently on the finish, along with a lingering anise/booze quality.

M: Lowish carb married to a somewhat syrupy medium body. There's a bit of an almost grainy, sugar-in-the-raw thing going on. Not in love with it.

O: The nose is truly special here & the flavors aren't too far behind. The whole thing just seems a bit loose to me.

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Photo of buschbeer
1.38/5  rDev -63.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

12.7 FL OZ bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black with an inch of mocha colored head that leaves some lacing.

The first thing I noticed is a skunked aroma. I immediately cursed the green bottle. As I searched the aroma I was able to discern some coffee, but the skunked smell just seems to dominate the glass.

The taste is just as atrocious as the smell. It tastes skunked, astringent, and just plain terrible. The coffee is overwhelmed by these awful flavors. To replicate, take a Heineken and bake it in the desert sun for a week. Then add instant coffee. You should come close.

Full mouthfeel

If I was a person who poured beer down the drain, this would be the one. This is by far the worst stout that I have ever tasted.

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Photo of LordVodka
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Super strange beer. Smells a little of tequila and dried fruit with a dash of oak. The taste is way more of a cherry flavor then the coffee it advertises. Worth a try, not a favorite by any measure though.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 5/8/2015 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI served in a flute glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains chocolate, coffee, honey, roasted malts and oats.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of chocolate, coffee, honey and vanilla. Then a hearty roasted oats and malt character comes in. along with some alcohol sting. The hops presence is very faint as you would expect but there’s very little balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: A little crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, very strong kick, decent representation of style, there are definitely several other choices in the style that I would pick first.

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Photo of dar482
2.69/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer comes in a black color.

The aroma has dark raisins and prunes, licorice, a good amount of dark fruit, alcohol, chocolate.

The flavor follows with lots of booze, prunes, dark fruit, dark chocolate. The beer has a really light mouthfeel for the ABV and lots of bitterness and licorice.

The beer is boozy, bitter, and lacks roast and balance. One of the worst imperial stouts I've had as it is near undrinkable.

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Photo of Norvelljeff
4.44/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Got this one as a part of my monthly beer club member at local bottle shop so i didn't have to really pay for it.
Look is black with a thick inch or so tan head. looks very good
Smell is toffee and coffee. Comes out strong
Taste strongly upfront of coffee and alcohol with a back end that lingers just a little bit but goes away fairly quick.
Feel is not much. Its there but nothing that stays with you.
Overall is a good coffee stout. Nothing that I would buy again I don't think.

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Photo of bnes09
4.42/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jet black and absorbs all light within its event horizon. Pours a rich, cinnamon colored head with exceptional retention and fine leg-like patches of lacing.

Dark aroma of espresso, burnt toast and tobacco. Sweet molasses, maple quality. Smooth, rich bourbon. Spicy, pine-like hop to balance.

Flavor follows the nose very well. Aggressive roasted flavor up front, smooth bourbon and oak in the middle with lingering hop bitterness in the finish.

Full bodied. Sticky feel. Dry, coarse texture in the finish. Slightly low carbonation works well for the style.

Very well done coffee flavored Russian imperial stout.

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Photo of chinchill
3.14/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Large shared bottle.

Aroma and flavor have little besides coffee. Medium brown body with a poor head and a lot of sediment that sinks to the bottom.

O: a sbetter ubstitute for cold coffee than for a fine Imperial Stout.

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Photo of Eddiehop
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a teku and created a nice foam head. Unfortunately, compared to some of the other big stouts, this has a very boozy taste @ 13%. You pick up the alcohol on the nose and lacks the coffee and chocolate flavor to balance and counteract the booze. Another average job by Mikkeller.

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Photo of Marius
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black pour, visibly thick, with a very fine-grained head that is slow to make its way to the surface. It smells amazing: cocoa, dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee, maple syrup. Strong taste too, burnt malts up front, with a heavy addition of bitter brewed coffee and notes of vanilla too. My only problem is that the taste is a bit too sweet and toward roasted malts than I'd like. I cannot feel any alcohol in here, aside from a hot and spicy aftertaste. Medium body, not at all oily.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black with a thick and creamy brown head.

Aroma is sweet with cherry, coffee, and has some warmth to it.

Sticky sweet on the lips and ample bitterness. Fruit flavors stands out well on the taste. Roasty coffee. It's got some heat to it.

Luxurious feel on the tongue as this smooth brew glides down the gullet. Not full bodied.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12.7 oz bottle (Green glass? Really?), poured into a snifter at approximately 65 degrees F.

A: Pours a very dark brown, bordering on black. No sunlight gets through the beer once poured. The pale tan head dissipates fairly quickly into a ring with a cap of patchy islands, a foam archipelago. I saw no lacing to speak of.

S: Booze and coffee are the first impressions I get from the aroma, with the coffee seeming more like a medium roast than an espresso or anything darker. Raisins are also present in the scent, wreathed delicately around a combination of rich earth and toffee-caramel malt.

T: This drinks remarkably similar to a wine, a dark red wine. Raisin and grape flavors abound as it opens, wrapped around a core of light coffee and roasted barley. The toffee flavor comes through towards the middle, carried upon a wave of sweetness that brings vanilla with some black licorice hints. More fruit and coffee strike at the finish, which closes with some nice boozy burn.While there is some earthy bitter to this beer, the malt-sweetened coffee and dark fruit flavors are left to star.

M: In mouthfeel, this brew is oily slick, perhaps not as chewy as one might expect for a stout.

O: An enjoyable experience, quite possibly one which could be used to draw a wine geek into the world of beer appreciation. I might have liked a little more body to the brew itself, but the flavor profile is spot on for a sweetness-loving malthead.

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Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
3.77 out of 5 based on 789 ratings.
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