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Black Hole | Mikkeller ApS

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Black HoleBlack Hole
Very Good
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 tlazaroff
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sweet molasses, brown sugar, and cookies with a slight grassyness on the nose.

Black Hole pours out obsidian with beautiful lacing and a generous dark mocha head. A stout can't look much better than this.

Chocolate, cookie dough, molasses, brown sugar, caramel, and cream are the flavors I am picking up. Each flavor is distinct, and doesn't over power any other flavor.

Light carbonation and a full body, the alcohol isn't present at all in the taste, but you can feel it almost immediately. Overall, not bad.

 513 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours an almost pitch black color with tons of yeast sediment near the bottom. The head is a two finger tan color with fantastic texture and retention. Lots of lacing rings remain on the glass. Just a nice looking RIS in general.

S: Somewhat unique. Bitter dark chocolate, roasted malt, some charred ash, brown sugar, molasses, piny hops, and coffee. Not very boozy at all, which is pretty damn impressive. My first Mikkeller beer is going swimmingly so far...

T: The initial sips are almost intensely chocolaty in flavor, before smoothly giving way to a dark fruit note and lightly charred finish. Other faint tones of licorice, vanilla, molasses, hops, smoke, and ash appear at various points. Good, almost great complexity overall. The booze is hidden nicely on the taste buds - but you sure do feel it going down the throat. In general, this beer isn't the most sophisticated or finesse-laden RIS on the market - it's in the same brutish "ME AM BEER" camp that Founders Devil Dancer belongs to - but wow is it loaded with character, if a little excessively sweet at times.

M: Thick like a brick, and incredibly sticky. Not quite as much dryness as I'd like, though...I'd like a bit less dark fruit and a bit more roast on the finish and aftertaste, but really, it's hard to complain about the lingering flavors. Carbonation is low yet tightly controlled. As hard as it is to taste the booze in this, it can definitely be felt in the stomach, throat, and tongue.

O: A massive, hairy chested RIS that's a steel fist in a velvet glove - smooth and easy to sip (not easy to drink), yet immensely flavorful. I can't wait to try some of the BA versions of this, to see how they transform the raw character of this one. Pricey, but well worth it for a special occasion.

 1,810 characters

Photo of Morningside
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of michaelgolus
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of IPAFrankieH
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of ssjkyle
5/5  rDev +30.9%

Photo of Hopstout
1.75/5  rDev -54.2%

Photo of sammo
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of Eureka
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of Thehuntmaster
3.84/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle 13,1% ABV.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
Best Before: 07/12/2015

Appearance: Mikkeller does it again! Another phenomenal looking imperial stout! Pitch black body topped by a massive creamy, mocha coloured head - certainly no carbonation issues here! The head retention and lacing are absolutely world class - the head lasted a good 15 minutes and left thick rings of lace clinging to the glass as it receded.

Smell: The initial nose is pretty good with strong coffee, sweet chocolate, cocoa and caramel, however things seem to fall off a bit from here. As the beer warms the aroma profile changes quite dramatically, with sweet dark fruits (distinct prunes and raisins) dominating and an earthy character, a little bit of char and some piney notes also noted. Warming, rather oddly, also seems to cause the the nose to loose a lot of its strength.

Taste: Hmmm, certainly not as big a flavour as I was expecting, that said it is still quite tasty. Notes include: Sweet dark fruit (prunes, raisins and dark cherries), coffee, light cocoa, dark caramel, a dark earthy character and small amount of the characteristic Mikkeller char in the finish. As the beer warms the dark fruits begin to dominate the other notes and a distinct piney hop character is noted in the finish.
I was expecting Black Hole to be quite boozey, but the alcohol cover is actually pretty damn good!

Mouthfeel: As the with the nose and flavour, the body is a little lighter than I was expecting for a 13% imperial stout, but is still manages just over medium. The carbonation is of a medium-low level and relatively smooth.

Overall: While Black hole is a pretty tasty beer, it really needs to be a little bigger in every aspect. I would have no issues in having this one again if it was freely available, however I would not seek it out.

 1,852 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Received in trade from MeadMe, thanks for the opportunity. After wrestling the cork out, I poured the darkest of black liquid into my glass with a smattering of small tan bubbles that dissipates almost instantly. Smells of coffee first and foremost with a vinous, smokey, earthy and chocolate aroma providing support. Some caramel and dark dried fruit and a touch of ethanol round out the edges. The flavor is sweet with a healthy dose of coffee. Chocolate, earthy hop flavor, dark cherries, and caramel all play their parts. Medium body with barely any carbonation and a watery chocolate syrup kind of mouthfeel. Smells great, tastes good, but the mouthfeel really could use some more bubbles to make this beer great.

 718 characters

Photo of ubersky
4.95/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my holy grail for beers that I can actually get regularly. I love Darklord, Bourbon County is bangin', Speedway is delicious...but I can't go to Tasty Bev in Raleigh and get any of these.

I can however, snag Mikkeller Black Holes all day, so I DO.

A - Black pour, creamy brown head, nice lacing.

S - Roasted coffee and nice hop balance

T - A wealth of coffee and subtle bittersweet chocolate, perfectly balanced.

M - Chewy, thick, and creamy to start. Full and lengthy finish...nothing deminishes. Touch of carbonation.

O - I will drink these for the rest of my short life...one of the best stouts around. Now I'm off to try the Black.

 652 characters

Photo of msarver16
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of rodlavers
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of martyl1000
4.81/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Oh, shiznit. I'm in love. I had this recommended to me by a guy at Steve's Liquor (Madison). And I nearly pitched his suggestion when he walked away b/c I was there to pick up Southern Tier Mokah. So lucky I didn't. (I actually took home both :) )

The weak aroma is the only drawback, here. It pours a beautiful, opaque black, with the darkest brown head I've ever seen. Perma-lacing marks up the tulip glass like meringue.

The hop bitterness and high ABV were too much for my wife. But I feel like I've died and gone to heaven. The 13% alcohol is entirely well-hidden. The hop bitterness balances the sweet so well it creates the mirage of sweet french-roast coffee w/ cream.

 678 characters

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Brown120
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a Lindemans flute: Solid black, just a little chocolate syrup highlights around the edges, finger of light tan head, leaves heavy lacing.

Intense coffee in the smell, with sweet, dark fruit (raisin?), with skins to add a little tannic flavor, with pecan & bourbon booze character. Dark chocolate.

Whoa! A lot going in the taste: starts with chocolate & cherry/strawberry fruitiness, turns to a deep rum booziness, ends sweet & with an aftertaste of roast coffee, berry, a little oaky, jelly.

Full-bodied & silky smooth, a little viscous. Not overwhelming with strong roast or bitterness, though they're there.

This one's a winner. Not terribly formidable given the strength. Definitely on the sweet side for an RIS but really tasty, maybe skewing to the barleywine side of things.

 850 characters

Photo of Hex92
3.38/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wonder about the consistency of their brewing process. I read the other reviews and many don't sound like the same beer.

I don't get all the different flavors that others talked about. There is some chocolate flavor, but the overpowering flavor is the hops. There is some malt flavor to balance out the hops, but overall the hops are the main flavor....

Not what I was hoping for. Interesting beer. Worth buying once, but I don't need to get it again.

 456 characters

Photo of JohnQVD
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of rumorsofsurf
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

how many big imperial coffee stouts can one guy make? apparently a great many, all very good. this one pours pretty dark, but not like the brunch, not nearly as thick in appearance. short filmy head, mocha colored, and reviving itself with every rattle of the glass. smells like coffee rather strongly, roasty malt, booze. flavor is way less coffee than i expected from the nose, more notes of vanilla and wood, but not sweet for an imperial. the alcohol doesnt really come out too much until it warms up. i love the feel of this beer, its best asset. very round and expansively velvet in the mouth. leaves a nice layer of semisweet complexity on the tongue, and fades very very slowly. carbonation is almost a cross between nitro and cask, creamy and smooth, but not overly bubbly. the honey is a cool ingredient too, a raw lively sweetness and richness it contributes. not all the way fermented out. full bodied, leaves a hefty buzz, i like this one better than the breakfast but not as much as the brunch.

 1,008 characters

Photo of ejw127
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of ADZA
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love the fact i get this on growler these days and pours a dark black as night hue which leaves a coffee laced two finger head and lacing everywhere,the smell is ever so sweet wih aromas of roasted barley,dark Belgian chocolate,milky bittersweet coffee and ripe cherries,the mouthfeel is silky smooth and full bodied with tastes of milky coffee,dark Belgian chocolate,roasted barley,brown sugar,toasted malts and finished with a ripe fruity chocolate bitter sweetness and overall its very easy to drink for a brew of this high ABV and even better off tap this fresh and i have to take my hat off to Cellarbrations as this growler is done perfectly and if they have it on tap again ill buy it just like RIS's should be done cheers.

 730 characters

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

Rich, and resinous RIS with a slight extra coffee touch under the hefty hop sense.

Presentation: 375 green capped bottle. Black label with a simple dotty b/w image of a black hole under the Mikkeller branding. Basic one line description. Displays 13.1% Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter.

A - Black pour with a nice and generous brown creamy head, fair retention, nice surface memory and lacing.

S - Resinous hoppy nose over a roasted profile … Hefty and enticing

T - Rich roasted flavors, resin, and some more bitter sweet resign, touches of chocolate and coffee, but predominantly a pine hoppiness that is woven richly within the deep malts.

M - Full body, with adequate moderate carbonation, rather creamy and smooth with a long resinous range.

O - Nice sipper with a surprisingly smooth sense for such a hefty profile.

Notes: I can't help to remember GI's Night Stalker… It is not so extreme in the resinous profile, but it is close in the range. Here maybe the coffee and all else make it flow a bit less assertively. Still… this is geared to someone who can enjoy a rather hoppy Imperial Stout.

 1,113 characters

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