Black Hole
Mikkeller ApS

Black HoleBlack Hole
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #787
Ranked #14,736
3.89 | pDev: 15.68%
Mikkeller ApS
Very Good
Black HoleBlack Hole
Notes: 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.
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Reviews: 385 | Ratings: 816 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GarrettB
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

March 20th, 2016 - Another beer from the storage cellar today, Mikkeller's Black Hole promises a well aged, relaxed and flavorful brew on the dark end of the spectrum. But like the other Mikkeller I pulled from the cellar, this one is dead flat, too. Even so, the nose is still powerful with licorice and anise, like a lacquer, and maybe some pine and pine tar. Though the lack of carbonation absolutely kills the flavor, there's still a nice collection of notes: licorice, pine, pine tar. The benefits of aging also show themselves here with a seamless integration of the alcohol notes, which lend strength and zip to the more powerful tasting notes. In a way it tastes like a pine forest. Imagine how good this beer must have been in it's prime...

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Photo of CraigDeMoss
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nothing out of the ordinary here. Basic delivery of a rich pour with 1/2” mocha head that laces nicely. Smells a bit of coffee but more or less just basic notes of an imperial stout. Tastes about the same, a hint of chocolate as it warms up. Feels a little light for my liking, there’s nothing too substantial outside the coffee to round it out. Overall a pretty decent

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Photo of Suds
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a corked bottle. Still, no head at all, and no carbonation. The beer itself is dense, black, and solid. Hence the name? The aroma is of thick alcohol, roasted malt, and licorice. Very intense warmth and sweetness on the pallet. Wow. Engaging. Full in body and very interesting.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at Arrow Wine for $11.99 on 5/10/13 and consumed on 3/1/18. Upon opening there was a little ring around the inside of the neck above the beer line (evaporation?). Poured into a small stemmed tulip glass.

Reviewed an aged version - At least 4+ years old. This beer is past its prime. One of those high ABV beers that I ignored in the back of the fridge, waiting for the right time, but I waited too long. 3.75

A – A great pour. Reddish black opaque in the glass with a rocky light brown three-finger head but almost a nitro-like roiling of the carbonation. Great lacing with alcohol legs. Still well carbonated. 4.5

S – Huge aromas of dark fruit, raisins, prunes, spirits, vanilla, with faint chocolate. 4.0

T – Roasty, not burnt, leather, licorice, slightly bretty with a citrusy tinge. The coffee is this aged beer has faded, except for a lasting bitterness on the palate. 3.5

MF – Medium body, smooth and creamy, maybe a bit flat, warming n the belly, with a semi-dry finish. Some Band-Aid in there as well. A bit watery for the style. 3.25

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Photo of SABERG
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle dated "best By 28/09/19" into the test glass
A - Pitch black, a thin off white cap slowly fades into a loose knit ring of froth. A slow twist of the glass coaxes e revival of the cap.
S - Dark char, vanilla, cigar wrap tobacco. fig, bakers chocolate, licorice. A rise in temperature releases Blackberry, some notes of tawny port and worn leather. The 13% alcohol lifts off the glass in fine fashion.
T - Dark fruits, bitter chocolate, and coffee a touch of honey are the initial flavors, dark roast grains, vanilla undertones without being sweet.
M - A bold move across the palate, bitter start then a chocolaty step is taken, quickly ushered out with deftness by the carbonation. The finish is pretty quick and surprisingly dry. I wonder if there was Champagne yeast involved? The alcohol evaporation has that special touch. A very slight linger on the tongue of semi sweet and hint of smoke to close the deal.
O - A bold offering that is not shy about the aromatics or the flavors. Coffee, honey, vanilla are listed but not any one stands in the fore, however they combine quite well. I like the lack of barrel and the clean lines this offering takes, although they be bold lines! A treat worth seeking out.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Would you believe it was a deep black color?

Smell - The nose was big on smokey peat.

Taste - At the front, I detected a large amount of bitter coffee. Dark chocolate and a little smoke were also present. Hint of sweetness were scattered but present. I don’t think it was the intent of the brewer to make a sweet stout.

Mouthfeel - The feel allowed the profile to stick quite nicely.

Overall - This is a pretty straightforward, non-aggressive version of the style.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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 beergoot
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Opaque black body; thick, creamy, tan head, dense and lasting. Mildly sweet, charred grain aroma; suggestions of figs, prunes and dates. Sweet and milk chocolate flavors countered with some subtle lactic sourness; mild bitterness with tannic tones. Heavy, smooth and silken body; milk sugar sweetness.

An amazingly well-balanced and easy drinking imperial stout, especially for having such a big ABV. The sweetness is prominent yet not cloyingly so, and is probably responsible for deftly hiding the alcohol content. I've had this beer for a while and it seems to have aged well. It certainly is a fine quaff!

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Photo of SawDog505
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
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 -18.5%
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 +11.3%
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 -4.6%
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 +6.2%
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 +2.8%
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 -8.5%
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 -41.4%
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 -1.3%
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 -19.8%
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 +7.7%
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 +7.2%
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 -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 -2.6%
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 -64.5%
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 +11.1%
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 -7.2%
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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Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 816 ratings