Black Hole | Mikkeller ApS

Black HoleBlack Hole
797 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 797 |  Reviews: 379
Photo of jmswry
1/5  rDev -73.8%

Photo of jminsc76
1.12/5  rDev -70.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Had this a little less than a month ago. Into a snifter, pours virtually no head. The body is as thin as prune juice, and I knew from the first pour that this was not going to be pleasant.

Ugh, aromas of prunes-gone-bad and stale graham crackers. Mr. alexd3891 says it smells decent, but all I smell are prunes-gone-bad and stale graham crackers. And maybe, MAYBE some coffee.

Flavors include the aforementioned prunes-gone-bad and stale graham crackers, with some coffee and a whole lot of booziness. Perhaps if I hold my nose there might be some semblance of balance here, but, God's honest truth, it tastes awful.

Don't even get me started on the mouthfeel. Would anyone like some prune-juice gone bad with what is supposedly a Russian Imperial Stout?

Overall, I have barely ever to be this disappointed with a beer, but this is crap as a really crappy thing. All this talk of prunes and crap is probably the best kind of pairing I can think of for Black Hole, and shame on Mikkeller for allowing such a devious fall from the pinnacle of grace that is Beer Geek Breakfast to be unleashed on all of us. It was such hell I poured it out halfway through.

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Photo of mjaggers
1.25/5  rDev -67.3%

Photo of Arbitrator
1.35/5  rDev -64.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pitch black with almost no head; pours nearly still.

S: I was curious to try this one because all of the barrel-aged versions I've tried have been hilariously awful. Obviously, the common link is the base beer, and so I set upon the quest of finding the flagship imperial stout of the most mystifyingly successful brewery I've ever known. The aroma explains much of the failure of the barrel-aged versions: its prunes, cinnamon, booze, and overroasted coffee note indeed form the aromatic backbone of the derivative beers.

T: This is not quite as bad as the other beers were; something truly unspeakable happened with last year's peat whiskey version, and this doesn't sink quite to those depths. At the same time, it's not palatable or enjoyable. Underattenuated prune juice, bitter coffee, charred malt, a touch of smoke, plenty of booze. I hate it. I just ate others more.

M: Boozy, sweet, clashing, yuck.

O: Well, that was a successful experiment. I have enjoyed exactly 0 Black Holes so far. At least I'm padding my low scores to bring my overall reviewing average down. And it only costs $14 at a time.

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Photo of buschbeer
1.38/5  rDev -63.9%
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 ryrust5301
1.44/5  rDev -62.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Poured from a foil wrapped 12oz. green bottle into a snifter

Appearance - On the pour the beer seemed to be slick as it built up in the glass. Took quite some time for the head to form, but in the end it came through as a brown 1/2 finger tight head.

Smell - A very bitter coffee smell, sweet cherries, and an over the top warm alcohol.

Taste & Mouthfeel - WTF? An extremely bitter coffee taste right off the bat. Smooth on the first taste, but then turns a gross ass sour tangy on the tongue. Absolutely putrid! On the swallow an alcohol taste takes over that is way to strong in my opinion. It had the consistency of a smooth oil in the mouth with a lite carbonation. No real flavor to speak of. Just a sour, tangy, warming coffee horrible taste is left in your mouth. Doesn't that sound delicious!

Drinkability - Use this brew to start up your lawnmower. This beer has no need to be passed through the human body.

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Photo of bobhits
1.48/5  rDev -61.3%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Green bottle, with a champaign cork covered by a silver foil in a 12.7oz bottle, into a delirium tremens glass. Odd

Pours either the darkest brown or lightest black, your call. Pours without much of any carbonation and virtually no carbonation. Looks really really thin in body. Nothing special left on the glass when swirled. I'm going in thinking pretty poorly of this beer.

Watered down coffee, burnt malt, alcohol, some hazel type sweet smelling notes. Think of a cold hazel coffee that's not overly good. You're about there. With some air (this was 50-60 degrees when served so the temp isn't a factor) on it there's a lot of fruity smells coming out. Hard to place so I won't bother trying.

Opens really sweet like a brown sugar and well sweet coffee sweetness to start. Finishes with a bitter coffee flavor but it's really far back there, and then it almost leaves that coffee breath feel in your mouth. Wow it just hit me. This is like a flat Coke with some coffee burnt flavors in the back ground.

This beer is thicker to drink than to look at. Still not much going on. No carbonation.

I see why they sell this in roughly a 13 oz bottle. There's no way you can choke down more than that.

OK, I get what they're going for I think. A sweet and wet example of a stout with some coffee flavors to balance things a hair. The problem is this is awful. Yeah it's a fruity (and more complex than I described) aroma. The beer is way to freaking sweet and unlike so a great English barely wine that does this in a way that makes you savor it. This beer doesn't even get close. The "sale" price I got this beer at of 8.49 makes it all the more awful . At nearly 50 bucks for a 6 pack (and I understand the high cost of distribution and taxes) it's just unacceptable for this to be a bad beer. It is.

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Photo of gueuzegossage
1.5/5  rDev -60.7%

Photo of Herky21
1.64/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

Photo of bgold86
1.71/5  rDev -55.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Very sad, beer smelled like dried apricots, was obviously bad. Big waste of $$$

79 characters

Photo of KristaRph
1.72/5  rDev -55%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Photo of FullObs
1.75/5  rDev -54.2%

Photo of Hopstout
1.75/5  rDev -54.2%

Photo of wolfsleepy
1.82/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I struggled with the cork for a while and found that there wasn't a great deal of pressure in the bottle; it soon came out without even a nun's-fart worth of expulsion.

Jet black and no head formation to speak of. Smelled of coffee (coffee grounds, even), vanilla, dried fruit, red licorice and alcohol. Slight smokiness.

Tasted pretty much as it smelled, and I found Black Hole far too sweet to be drinkable. In an attempt to trick myself into enjoying it I tried to put it into context with similarly sweet drinks like port or dessert wines but without the acidity it didn't hold up. The lactic, dairy-creamer attributes were off-putting as well. Mouthfeel was thick and oily with very little carbonation.

It's rare that I don't finish a beer unless I spill it on myself or pass out without drinking it (in which case I'll finish it the next morning). But the two of us were grimacing with every sip. I'm still looking forward to trying their other stuff, and I know they are sought-after for their challenging and experimental beers. I'll just have to concede this particular challenge.

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Photo of RickS95
1.88/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

First off, I hate fake cork. They're always a pain to get open and this is no different.

Having said that, this pours a strange black. It's a deep black with some reddish notes on the edges if held up to a light. No head and no carbonation at all. Good color, but disappointing with no head.

The smell is weird too, but I can't quite put my finger on why. It smells like a brownie that's been soaked in tequila. You can smell the sweet.

Way too sweet, barely tastes like a beer, though there are some chocolate and coffee hints in the swallow. Cloyingly sweet.

For an RIS with loads of color and alcohol, it's a very light bodied beer. Has an almost loose feel to it. Amazingly gentle for such high ABV.

I'm really disappointed with this. In fact, it gets worse with each sip. I toyed with the idea of just pouring the rest down the drain but decided to stick with it to see if it got any never did. Really, a poor choice.

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Photo of mrfrancis
1.98/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours an inky, opaque black with no head whatsoever. Streams of carbonation aren't even noticeable-the beer looks completely still in the glass.

S: Strong aromas of burnt toast, roasted grain, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla bean, and prickly alcohol fill the nose. As the beer warms, the alcohol gradually becomes overpowering.

T: Notes of coffee, roasted grain, burnt toast, cassonade, vanilla bean, dark chocolate, and fiery alcohol assault the palate. I'm not picking up on the honey at all, and any of the dark fruit notes that one would expect to find in a stout are strangely absent as well. The finish starts off slick and oily with a not entirely unpleasant mixture of coffee, roasted grain, and chocolate flavors, but that alcohol kicks in all too quickly, causing the beer to fade out on a decidedly punchy, peppery, astringent note.

M: Full-bodied, but very slick and almost syrupy. Carbonation is present, but is very weak. Alcohol presence is entirely overpowering.

O: After reading the other reviews of this beer and reviewing my notes, I'm convinced that this bottle had to be extremely old and/or botched. It seems that all of the beer's complexities have disappeared. I'll have to try this one again in the future, and when I get around to it, I hope that I have a better experience because this one was plain awful.

 1,342 characters

Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -47.6%

Photo of KingSlayer
2/5  rDev -47.6%

Photo of churchillps
2/5  rDev -47.6%

Photo of Josh2222
2/5  rDev -47.6%

Photo of champ103
2.2/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pours a pitch black color. A very thin, bubbly, beige head forms and is gone in a second. No lace.
S: Sweet, burnt brown sugar. Ash, rubber, and smoke. Moldy wood. Blah.
T: Sickly sweet. Burnt toast and brown sugar. A bit of alcohol. Moldy wood. Ash and smoke.
M/D: Very thin and watery. Almost no carbonation, and no body. A bit of hot alcohol. Though it is not nearly as bad of a burn as I thought it was going to be.

Mikkeller is one of the most hit and miss breweries I have ever come across. This is a big miss for me. I would not recommend this at all.

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Photo of mithrascruor
2.2/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12.7 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a motor oil black color with some brown at the edges. Head (or, rather, film) looks like a dark tan oil-slick with a bit of bubbles on the edges.

Smell: Slightly sweet roasted malt aroma with a bit of alcohol, and another, slightly odd, aroma that I couldn't quite place.

Taste: Has a sweet, alcohol flavor, some sugars, and then it finishes off with a big burnt malt flavor. More alcohol sweetness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Unpleasantly thin, with mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Drain pour.

Not good... seriously like an alcohol-infused oil-slick. The flavor is quite bad, it doesn't go down well, and it doesn't look appetizing.

 698 characters

Photo of womencantsail
2.22/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: The pour is black, as I had expected from the name, and there is no head or carbonation to speak of.

S: The nose is incredibly roasty with some acidity and coffee. Those are the "good" traits. The other aromas include: ethanol, burnt plastic, and rubber cement.

T: The solvent and alcohol party continues on the palate. A bit of chocolate to go along with the roast and coffee attack. Soy sauce, plastic, alcohol, and more alcohol round things out.

M: The body is medium with a alcohol heat and just about no carbonation.

D: Blech, no thanks, Mikkeller. Not very much in terms of redeeming qualities about this beer.

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Photo of johncampbell
2.25/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Blech Hole. I hope this was just a bad bottle. It was below average on all counts.

from a 375 ml bottle it poured black and murky like dirty motor oil. Chunks of tan sediment slid to the bottom of the glass. There was no head.

The nose gave no promise of coffee. There was a yeasty smell that mingled with dark roasted malt aromas and alcohol fumes.

The only saving grace was a hint of bitter chocolate on the palate. I could detect a faint trace of where coffee may have once been, but wtf? This was one of the weakest attempts at a coffee stout that I have ever tasted. It tasted more like a highly-alcoholic Porter.

It was barely carbonated and finished dry and bitter in contrast to the soft mouthfeel.

It left me wanting a coffee stout.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.26/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I got this in a trade with RustyDiamond. Thanks Rusty!

This pours from foil wrapped, caged and corked 12.7oz bottle a pitch black with a 1 finger head of tannish foam. Good lacing.

The smell has notes of roasted malt, fruit, alcohol, and something else in the background.

The taste is very strong! Roasted malt, berry flavours, and a huge alcohol presence. I can't taste any coffee or at least, it's not strong enough in flavour for my palate to be noticeable. Damn that alcohol. Burning in the throat and very warming after the swallow. There goes the drinkability for me.

Further tiny sips in and I think I'm getting some molasses and some candy sugar and a weird flavour that's putting me off even more(?) than the alcohol? There's also a somewhat citric sour taste that's just starting to show up.

Ok, I just can't finish my glass...the flavours here are a real mess, imho, and the alc is just *too* much. Other notes: The body is on the thin side, the carbonation is light and it finishes on the sour(not in a good way) side. This will definitely be a one of for me.

 1,077 characters

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Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 797 ratings
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