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: 788
Photo of athensbeermaster
4.58/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was the last one on the shelf.And have not seen one since? Big tan head with good lacing. The nose had fresh ground coco powder and dark roast coffee. The taste: Rich espresso,fresh toasted bread, soft caramel and a mild hop bite.Also I get a roasted nutty flavor that fades into a smoky dry finish.This bottle cost me $10.99 and worth every penny!!

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Photo of Viggo
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle, corked and caged, silver foiled, neat label.

Pours a deep opaque black, thin tan head forms, leaves behind some solid lace, settles to a nice layer. Smell is wacky, alcohol, chocolate, piney resin, spices hops, roast, sherry, dark fruits, crazy intense. Taste is raw and insane, raw hops, pine, spicy alchol, chocolate, roasted malt, alcohol, dark fruits, rough but you can tell this will hold up for many years. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, almost syrupy feeling, low carbonation, warm, pretty crazy stuff.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
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 NCSUdo
2.39/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a silver foiled, caged and corked 12.7 oz bottle

A: Pours black under a smallish brown head. OK retention and spotty lace.

S: Very different. Funky, really, it is almost a rubbery aroma, but I think it is more of a funk. Some light chocolate and coffee pop up.

T: Tastes very spicy, like a very peppery dry-hop. Roasted malt sticks out a little in the tail end. This one is really warm. Again, I'm getting a rubbery like twang to this. I'm not getting a lot of coffee, what is there just seems to be very burnt, and very little stout character. Definitely some lactic acid character, some of the aftertaste is pickle-like.

M/D: Full bodied, low carbonation. Low drinkability. I don't know if I picked up a bad bottle or what, but this one is just so off to me. The alcohol is not tasted, but it is so harsh it burns my sinuses, something I have never experienced from any alcoholic beverage. I admit, I had high expectations for this one, but man, it is nearly undrinkable at times. Hopefully, just a bad bottle. I have another that I will hang on to, but I'm not expecting much from it. If it tastes much different, I will revise this review. I am really shocked on how much I do not like this considering how much I had convinced myself I was going to love it.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to ncvbc for this trade.

Pours from a 12.7oz bottle, on the cork it has the date 8/14/11, so I imagine this one would have been good for quite a while and could have been cellared.

Pours black, no light being able to show through, not even seeing any ruby hues on the edges, guess this beer does take after a black hole, haha. No head and no lacing.

Smell is quite malty, roasted, some hints of caramel, dark fruit is also present, strong coffee nose, picking up an alcohol scent though.

Whoa, taste has an alcoholic bite to it right off the bat but is quickly melded with the malt and coffee tones, quite a bit of spiciness kicks around as well. Very sticky and syrupy in the mouth, the strong alcohol presence though does detract a bit from the overall taste though, be warned this beer is pretty flat which I think also hurts it.

I retried this beer on 12/25/2010 and pretty much everything above still stands, even the flatness and strong alcohol presence, almost three years of extra age on it did very little to improve it.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the cork on this beer, it looks like rubber, making no lame attempt to imitate real cork.

Releasing it reveals a viscous pure black liquid with a smallish tan cap on top. The glass is completely covered by tan sheets of lace. The aroma is intense with roasty coffee, dark chocolate, piney PacNW hops and leather. A huge dose of roasted barley and black malt mixes with an abundance of citrusy, piney hop flavors in the taste. A good alcohol kick is in there too. Some Rye bread and soy sauce emerge with warmth. The mouthfeel is very thick and lightly carbonated. The finish is long and bitter with hops and acrid black malt flavors.

This is a heady, yet enjoyable stout. The 13.1% is evident but not overpowering. I was pleased with the high hop profile. Try this beer.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
2.86/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Shared a bottle that my friend bought with a couple people, poured into a snifter at room temperature (or very slightly below).

Very, very, dark, just shows a little brown at the very edge when held up to a strong light. Some cocoa colored head recedes pretty quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smell is very boozy, lots of fusel alcohols along with dark, roasted malts and maybe a little coffee (might have been imagining that). The smell is so dominated by the alcohol, though, that it is hard to enjoy much of anything else.

Taste is less boozy than the nose, but it is still the dominating characteristic. Malts shine through a bit more, still not much coffee, which i was looking forward to. Pretty average.

Not too thick, which was nice, enough carbonation to keep it from feeling still. Pretty hard to drink because of all the alcohol (both real and perceived). Glad my friend bought it because it wouldn't have been worth the price tag. If you have it, cellar it. If you see it, pass for something better and cheaper. There are many RIS readily available that fit both characteristics.

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Photo of seaoflament
2.93/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I like the presentation of this beer; the label itself looks cool and the silver foil makes it look classy. There is a date of 14/08/11 on the plastic cork--I'm guessing it's the best by date.

The pour reveals a dark, robust stout with an intense coffee colored inch of foam.

The aroma is a little seltzer-like, roasted barley, chocolate malts, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, and earthy hops. There's also a tad of spices which are either from the yeast or hops which also combine with the alcohol. As the beer settles in the glass the chocolate and coffee becomes more pronounced but that "green" and spicy aroma lingers. It is also somewhat husky or grainy. A little bit of dark fruits try to make an appearance, as well some chocolate covered cherries and cocoa. There's a few things going on with this one, I'm just not convinced. It seems too young and a little rough.

The first sip was rough. Lots of bitter chocolate, some coffee, roasted barley and lots of alcohol, especially in the finish. Some of the grainy aromas are also in the taste. As it warms up there are some dark fruits and cherries, the taste improves somewhat. A little tangy as well.

Mouthfeel is decent, smooth on the tongue but just a little heat on the finish.

Did not enjoy this one.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12.7oz bottle into a St. Feuillien chalice.

Listed as 13.1% abv on the bottle.

A: This one sneaks out of the bottle a pure shade of pitch friggin' black. A vigorous pour yields a creamy, dark tan, 1/2 finger head that disappears quickly and leaves some minor specks of lace.

S: BIG nose of espresso, dark fruit, chocolate, and cherry. Along for the ride is some blackened malt, tropical fruit, and some nose clearing alcohol vapors.

T: Tangy dark fruit right off the bat that's followed closely by some very bitter, yet flavorful, espresso, dark chocolate, blackened malt, chocolate covered cherry, bitter hops, and palate cleansing alcohol heat.

M: Big and bitter. Hot alcohol, bitter espresso, and huge hops that are, somehow, given a slightly smoother edge by a chocolate-y creaminess that creeps in as it comes up to temp.

D: Excellent melding of the flavors and nose. Flaming hot alcohol comes on very strong the longer it stays in the glass and warms the nostrils, tongue, throat, esophagus, and stomach. Awesome!

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown in color. There's a very nice half inch frothy head that sits atop. A little thin on the pour, but looks good in the glass.
Smell is a bit of chocolate, and some bittering hops. The hops seem to dominate the show and not let the other flavors come through. Mouthfeel is pretty nice and creamy. Plenty of beer in the states here that our at least comparable in the style. Glad I got to try, but not my cup of tea.

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Photo of Beerbuddha
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my second beer from Mikkeler the first being Beer Geek Breakfast. The beer poured a dark black with a huge, frothy tan head. The head stuck around for a while and the lacing was great. The aroma was coffee and roasted malts. The taste was again of coffee with surprising tastes of vanilla, chocolate and a almost winter green hint in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was heavy with little carbonation and I could barely make out the alcohol despite the high ABV. Overall a fantastic beer. Much better than beer geek breakfast!!

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Photo of czfreeman
4.37/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first from Mikkeller, have been looking foward to this for a while.Looks like an black hole. no light getting thru this beer. Retains a creamy, frothy, 1 finger head for a short while, lots of lacing before the dark cap gets sucked into the black hole. alcohol,epsresso,kalua-like smells, dark roasted malts,slight hints of vanilla,bitter chocolate. Flavor to match-a Double Mocha espresso Russian Imperial stout if you will. I want one of these at Starbucks. Alcohol burn is felt at the end and deeep in the throat, but this also lightens the feel, warming my stomach for another sip.
not sticky sweet, rich, biting and delicious. I absolutley loved this stout.
Reviewed my second bottle I bought a year later, wow,--complex,smooth, alcohol had settled down to produced a completly smooth Imperial stout. I wish Mikkeller was more readily avaliable

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Photo of jdhilt
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger brown head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Black opaque color. Light-medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Coffee-alcohol nose. Flavor is roasted coffee and alcohol. Lingering burnt coffee aftertaste. Pricey at $10.09 for a 12.7oz bottle from John's Marketplace Portland, OR.
Label has the ABV at 13.1%.

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

12.7 fluid ounce green bottle marked 13.1% alcohol.

Pours syrupy pitch black. Little head, carbonation, or lace at this strength. Rich espresso, sweet chocolate, and dark-fruit aroma with big heady alcohol vapors. The flavor lacks the chocolate sweetness, features dark-roasted coffee and charred bread notes instead. These meld into a very strong medicinal prune alcohol finish that somewhat numbs the mouth and burns the throat. Thick and weighty in the mouth; rather creamy with spare carbonation. Somewhat undone by its high strength, but remains a nice beer to linger over on a very long winter night.

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Photo of jobyone
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tasted with 5 other imperial stouts. Pours deep black with a small brown head. The aroma is sweet with caramel, chocolate and some mild coffee. The taste has all those plus a bit of wood and a definate alcohol presence. The aftertaste lingers with a bit of bitterness. First tried in a small american style pint glass. This got better poured in to a Duvel glass. The only thing keeping this from being perfect was the fact I had already had 5 strong stouts. I am going to try this on its own for a final rating. Definately on of the best beers I have ever had.

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Photo of DrJay
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

14/08/11 was printed on the cork. It poured a very dark brown with mahogany edges and a fine, brown cap of foam that thinned to a ring and skim of bubbles. Decent head retention, some spotty lacing. The aroma was quite hoppy, with some powdery grapefruit character. Caramel and roast, with a bit of chocolate, were hiding in the background. Moderate bitterness with lots of sweet, malty caramel. Grapefruit hops and chocolate filled out the flavour with a mellow alcohol finish. Heavy body with fine, well-integrated carbonation. Carbonation was a bit low and it had a creamy texture. Plenty of warmth and a bit of dryness from the dark malts. Tasty stuff! Great texture and easy drinking considering the abv. Alcohol was pronounced, but was short of being hot. Still, some time might do this one a bit of good.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of fonefan: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium foamy dark brown color head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma is vinous with some raisins and sweet malt. Taste is quite intensely sweet with notes of raisins and alcohol notes are also discernable. Full body with some medium carbonation with an oily texture. While I think I understand the intent of the brewer I found that this beer was way too sweet and too much alcohol was apparent.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was rather impressed with this beer - it's big and there's a lot in there. At first, when it wsa cold, I thought this beer was simple, but once it warmed it revealed a lot of different elements in both smel and flavor.

Appearance was a dark opaque black, with very little tan head. Aroma started off as just being a bit roasty with some very mild sourness, but as it warmed other aromas began to emerge. I got more roastiness, some chocolate, some brown sugar, and some liquorice. Flavor was also rather roasty, and I got a lot of molasses and a good helping of liquorice. Mouthfeel was pretty thick. SurlySober and I compared this beer to Big Eddy RIS, but I thought it less roasty, less coffee-like, and far more molasses-like. However, they are both "big" and very good beers. Mouthfeel was pretty thick...also somewhat molasses-like.

I would highly recommend this beer. A big thanks to SurlySober for sharing the bottle he received from LiquidSolutions.

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Photo of alexgash
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Synthetic-cork and cage 375 ml bottle served at 50 degrees F.

Very dark brown. Kind of inky and viscous. Solid finger of dense, portobello mushroom cap of hot cocoa foam brown. Bitter dark chocolate, lacto-tartness verging on raspberries (?). Definitely some roasted coffee in here, but it's not overpowering. Whiffs of alcohol as well.

Roasted bitter flavors up front. Coffee and dark chocolate. Smoky, kind of peaty flavor follows. Then the palate explodes into rich, sticky coffee/espresso and moderately hot alcohol. Coffee bitterness and alcohol sweep away the finish. Very warming. A bit like a coffee liqueur. This one's a sipper! Full, oily, thick feel. Dry in the finish. Glad I got to try this, but I would only buy this again to share with others as one bottle is a lot for one (this) person!

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Photo of Zorro
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Obtained in trade from Limesmut.

Shorty Belgian style bottle with an artificial cork. This bottle says 13.1% ABV.

Inky black colored beer with a thin dark brown colored head. Decent color this could be scored higher if it had more head.

The smell is sweet and strong with the ethanol and the coffee. Smells a bit hot with the chocolate and the coffee and the ethanol. Bit of berry and fig but a bit hard to pick out.

The taste starts out strong coffee and char from lots and lots of patent malt and a slight sourness that malt leaves. Fairly stout alcohol burn. Chocolate shows up mostly in the aftertaste, this is very much the strong coffee beer. Bit hot in the mouth and quite close to a coffee liqueur.

Mouthfeel is good.

Hell of a strong coffee beer here but drinkability is limited. Not going to be downing a liter mug of this anytime soon. It is good but one bottle will trash your taste buds.

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Photo of illidurit
4.73/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Inky black body with only the slightest brown hues around the edges when put up to bright light. Cascading bubbles form a dark tan head of just over a finger. It reduces to an amorphous cap, leaving fine sheets of lacing.

Aroma is surprisingly hoppy, with an odd charred pineapple quality. Some tar, dark fruits, and chocolate are also detectable.

Taste is again a bit odd for the style. There's a nice RIS profile of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and boozy dark fruits, but there's also a big dose of citrusy hops in the middle of the palate. It's like part double stout and part double IPA. It's interesting and it works pretty well. Points for uniqueness here.

Carbonation is appropriately modest. Body isn't all that full, but it's still pretty velvety. Finish is exquisitely dry from all that roastiness.

Booze is not apparent in the flavor but it really warms the whole body. A pleasant brew for winter nights.

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Photo of AndoBrew
2.47/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

*didnt like wouldnever buy*

app: black! nice dark hole indeed. small bubble filled head

Smell: nice yummy booze in the nose, classy refined. dry toasted grains, not much coffee.

taste: salty! teriyaki! odd! there are SOME other good parts of the beer, but the salt and sauce mixed with a sharp chemical like booze flavor over power and null and void any other flavor success.

mf. to spritzy

drinkable?: not really.. cook a chickenable?: VERY!

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Photo of mortarit
4.73/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had others from this brewery but from my understanding that this one isn't brewed in Denmark. I was told it came from De Proef. A little confusing but worth a try at least.

Smell: Similar coffee notes like most others I've tried.

Color: Dark mochca with dark brown tan head. Little head

Taste: Tastey with little bite that's not overwhelming. It's class as a Russian Imperial Stout which I'm not big on but this one is changing my mind. Why? It's not overpowering like the other ones. It is actually drinkable.

Alcohol: It's there but I think that they did a great job blending it in with the beer. Label states 13.1% and the info. above says 12.5%, hmm.

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Photo of watchnerd
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 ml bottle.Do they even make a 750ml?Aroma like Jaegermeister meets Starbucks, but in a good way. A decent head for a stout, but not a huge one from an absolute point of view. Damn tasty, but, if you’re in California, the North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout is probably better value for money. Elsewhere, this is a fine alternative.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a C & C bottle to a snifter the liquid id Black, like a hole, with ok carbonation. he head is small dark brown and leaves a nice lace.

The smell is big alcohol and very roasty malt, a bit of coffee and some over ripe dark friut.

The taste is, coffee, roasty malt, coffee, over ripe fruit, coffee, Note quite in that order... err or maybe.. well did I mention the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is very good, nice big thich coating body and good carbonation.

The drinkability is very nice but gets even better as it warms, Prosit und Zum Wohl, MK

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Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
3.77 out of 5 based on 788 ratings.
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