Black Hole | Mikkeller ApS

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Black HoleBlack Hole
Very Good
808 Ratings
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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 808 |  Reviews: 381
Reviews by LittleDon:
Photo of LittleDon
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Opened with little to no aging. Purchased at Jester King two weeks prior. Dark and malty with a bit of acidity on the finish. Dried fruit and coffee aroma. Surprisingly smooth for the ABV. Lighter body than expected. A bit of the alcohol shows up at the finish and as the beer warms.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - This is a blackish hole just like it says with a moderate brown head.

Smell - The roasted notes are huge at the smell. They are a little sugared up with pure, unadulterated cane. The cane and roasted malt are so big that it permeates the entire room. The aroma is beyond reproach.

Taste - The roasted malt adds a little coffee bean and cocoa here which along with the cane sugar provides a nice complexity. There's also a big coffee bean flavor that gives this a hearty character.

Mouthfeel - This is close to full-bodied with a delicate carbonation and a big bitter finishing touch. The alcohol is completely unnoticeable.

Drinkability - You could pop this for breakfast it goes down so well. It's very big yet highly quaffable.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$10.04 from Liquor Baron on East Wash. 12.7 FL, 13.1%. No date listed on the bottle or cork.

Appearance: Dark brown, almost mahogany with a medium brown lacing that swirls and swishes. Nice looking.

Aroma: Lightly boozy. Coffee is the obvious culprit but dark fruits like plums are here too. We also have some tobacco.

Taste: Bitter coffee and bittersweet dark chocolate balanced by sugary sweet booze. Finish bitter and hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Wonderful. Boozy but balance. Sweet and bitter but with a dry tangy finish. Much lighter body than I would expect.

Drinkability: Great. This drinks like a sessional beer. This puppy is dangerous in the extreme. One bottle and I feel the booze but I'm not put off by too much sugar or body and would love another body.

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Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of t2grogan
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of brownbeer
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I know this bottle is at least a year old.

Pours dark enough to block out the sun but unfortunately, appearance wise, there's not much head. Very thick liquid that clings to the glass when swirled.

Burnt chocolate chip cookies in the nose with alcohol lurking about. Nice coffee aroma. Very powerful.

The taste is rich with gourmet coffee. Big, ashy, roast comes late and it does little to hide the inescapeable 13%.

The mouthfeel is rich and coating. It's hard for me to get past the lack of carbonation. When I compare it to some of the better coffee stouts I've had recently, granted they weren't as strong, they had a more pleasant mouthfeel.

Let it open up for at least an hour, the warmer the better. Split it, it took me almost three hours to finish a bottle.

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Photo of StoutHearted
4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer impresses from the start: the color is pitch black with a thick, 2-inch, cocoa head. The smell is all hops, no coffee. But the taste is where the coffee jumps out at you: it tastes of a coarse grind dark roast with a gritty, dark chocolate aftertaste. The brew is smooth and rich, and its drinkability changes little through warming up; it stays solid all throughout.

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Photo of blitz134
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely pitch black. Tan head, fizzy on the pour. Reduced to a thin layer leaving some lace behind. Good retention after things settled down. A little more head volume adn this woudl be a 5.

Aroma falls short on this for me. A touch of residual sweetness, some roasy flavors, and milk chocolate, but thats it, a bit simple and understated.

Taste and mouthfeel are a big step in the right direction. Big malty base of roasted malts and chocolate. Very similar to a chocolate chip cookie actually. Some hints of dark fruit. Finish shows through with the coffee. Hints of alcohol, no hiding it, but its not hot at all. Quite impressive.

Mouthfeel is slick and smooth. Low carbonation. Flavor lingers just enough.

Drinkability is superb for a beer this size. Alcohol is noticable but doesn't interfere at all. Good stuff here. Just needs more aroma. Would be nice if the coffee showed up a bit more, too.

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Photo of EastBay_Nick
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of Beaver13
2.86/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12.7 oz bottle, caged and corked. Pours an opaque black with a thin brown head that quickly recedes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is grains, chocolate, lactose, tarry leather and a little coffee. As it warms, the leather dominates.

The flavor is chocolate, anise and tar with some bitter harsh alcohol at the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full with low carbonation.

Overall, this one is not very well balanced - too much harsh tarry alcohol, and not enough coffee (I didn't get any in the flavor). It's a bit over-priced for me at $10 for 12.7 oz.

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Photo of AlarmClock314
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
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 bishopdc0
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black with a dark tan head with resideual dark on the glass

The smell is sweet malt chocolate with a slight alcohol finish

The mouth is great starts smooth then quickly turns to a dry roasted and finishes with a slight alcohol feel in the mouth

Drink is average for this type of stout

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Photo of JakerLou
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of rgtravers
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: it dark; black and shades of brown mixed throughout. Not totally black still can see a little light in at the bottom of the glass.

Smell: this is where the beers begins to show its true character and shine. Initial hit is all chocolate, coffee, espresso. As it warmed the beer begin to show signs of dark fruits and a lingering alcohol smell.

Taste: initially was sweet coffee. Great sweet flavor not too bitter or hoppy. As it warmed the dark fruits began to show their presence along with the alcohol. The hops were faint which was good because it let the coffee espresso bitterness come out and play. The sweetness kept it all in check..

Another great brew from Mikkeller. Not as thick on the mouth as i would have hoped but still enough to keep you reaching for your friends glass.

I could sip on this one all night or even a little colder during the summer as an iced sweet coffee.

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Photo of merlin48
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12.7 oz green bottle, corked and caged. Pours dark and opaque with two inches of creamy khaki head. Delicate sheets of lacing are left on the glass.

Aroma is very inviting. Cocoa, dark chocolate, cherries, and day old coffee swirl together.

Mouthfeel is almost full bodied with a low carbonation. Pronounced bitterness is intrusive.

Taste is bitter and somewhat hot. Lots of dark roasty notes evinced by stale coffee grounds taste. Plenty of bittering hops here, as well. The high alcohol is easily noticed. Some red cherries in the background never fully emerge. The chocolate, unfortunately, stays in the aroma.

A very interesting stout but overly bitter and a bit hot. Some age might help this one.

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Photo of badbeer
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black, but dark brown around the edges. Quickly receding head. Very roasty and full of booze in the aroma. This seems like it needs some time to mellow, but beyond the booze there is some charcoal, hops, and licorice. Taste is a little green, needs some time on it. Taste is also roasty, with some bitter chocolate and a boozy finish. This may be worth aging, but I won't be loading up on this one.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to piginapen for trading this bottle to me.

The beer pours black with a very small brown head. The aroma is coffee with some spice and also some trash components. The flavor is coffee, alcohol, spices, pepper, tobacco and chocolate. Complex, but not that great. Thick, slimy, oily mouthfeel and low carbonation.

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Photo of BeerDrinkingDiver
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of sculls65
3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
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 Marius
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
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 magictrokini
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black with a cascading tan/brown head comprised of tiny bubbles. Sticky brown lacing. Nose of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cream, anise, and a truckload of roasted malt. The big aroma made me want a heavier mouthfeel, but it didn't deliver. Slick, smooth feel with lower viscosity. The taste more than makes up for it. Bittersweet chocolate with a coffee bite rounded out with the roasted malt. Creamy with some sweet vanilla highlights. The alcohol is not well masked, but it only adds to the overall beast of this beer. Wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.41/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375ml corked & caged, foil topped green bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a very dark black color with almost no pop from the cork and subsequently very little dark brown head. Nose is quite good, it's very roasty, malty and burnt - there's clearly some coffee and toffee here.

Well, the alcohol is present here, not a surprise at over 13%, it's quite strong in the roasted coffee and dark chocolate flavors are right up front, mouthfeel is a bit lacking and light but overall given it's high abv it's fairly drinkable although I'd advise splitting it.

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Photo of jamesm7485
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Green caged and corked 12.7 oz bottle, odd choice

Pours your typical imperial stout very rich thick pour with no head

Smell is muted compared to the taste, bakers chocolate and very light coffee

very pleasant initial chocolate sweetness followed by coffee some heat and a bit of pepper spice flavor lingers for quite some time

Very smooth and coats the mouth quickly

The alcohol heat in the after taste and the abv drives this down to a 4, different than abyss, ten fidy etc but very much worth trying!

a year or two may bring some heat down

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Photo of Kraken
3.28/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed 1/13/09

Aged a little over a year in the kitchen wine rack. Caught a little grief for leaving it there so long, but I thought this one needed to be laid down for a while. Cracked this open just because. Poured into an over sized wine glass. Heavy handed pour coaxes 0 head. Mild lace. Color is an absolute black.

Nose- Dark molasses, burnt caramel, mild notes of coffee. Alcohol is very apparent.

Palate- Oh Goodness. Coffee was in the nose, but man it really comes through on the palate. Reminiscent of Turkish coffee. Burnt caramel, very strong i.e. still a bit hot. Slightly sour, extremely interesting.

Mouthfeel- Thick, oily, slightly cloying, very lightly carbonated.

Drinkability- One is enough, glad this didn't come in a bigger bottle.

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Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 808 ratings