Black Hole | Mikkeller ApS

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Black HoleBlack Hole
Very Good
806 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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Ratings: 806 |  Reviews: 381
Photo of AndoBrew
2.47/5  rDev -35.3%
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 +23.8%
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 +4.2%
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 +9.9%
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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Photo of pwoods
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mmtmatrix for this trade.

12.7oz deep green corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a motor oil black with a moderate viscosity. Big 2+ finger head forms easily and starts tight. Turns slightly rocky as is takes its time descending. Good lacing throughout.

S: Light coffee and chocolate. Sweet molasses and a touch of cola. Alcohol is vaguely present. I'm surprised I don't get burnt malts or anything.

T/M: First thing that I noticed is the body is light.. it's the oddest thing in a brew like this. Carbonation seems slightly high, too. That first initial shock turns into further shock at how potent this beer is with a bit of a weak nose and thick body. Hops flare up with some bitter and a barely detectable sweet juice. The juice is nearly completely covered by a very strong, rich coffee and moderate alcohol burn. Just a slight touch of chocolate sweetens things up. Burnt malts and coffee dominate. The alcohol is quite present and almost too much but still very enjoyable none the less.

D: I so very glad I was able to get a few more bottles. I can't wait to see what a year or more does to the carbonation and alcohol.

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Photo of bort11
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received as part of the BA Secret Santa '07, thanks BRoss242!

12.7 oz corked and caged green bottle. I had no idea the bottle was green until I poured the contents. And it's not a standard green bottle, it's a gorgeous emerald green. They must have used cobalt blue glass to make it.

Poured into a Corsendonk Christmas Ale stemmed glass (also thanks to BRoss242!). Not a whole lot of head, maybe a quarter inch, but leaves a filmy cap on the surface. Moderate lacing coats the glass. Color is a dark, dark chocolate brown.

Smell has a bitter burnt herbal quality. A bit of wood smoke aroma. Taste is has a licorice/anise flavor blended with a very dark chocolate. The label says it was brewed with coffee, but I don't relly sense coffee in the flavor, unless it is a really really dark roast.

Mouthfeel is a dark, creamy, and slightly oily. Very smooth and enjoyable. Great evening sipper

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Classic jet black. The orginal, the eternal black hole. I absorbs all light, with only a little a little beige ring o' foam to offset the black hole. Fresh , yet cool coffee with toastd and roasted malts. Smells bitter, but because of the deep roast. Smells dark, and inviting. The taste starts with the dark roast of malts, that then turn to French roast of coffee almost like espreso. ints of smoke as well. Ver thick palate. Perfect for an fter dinner, or nightcap. You can taste and feel the alcohol, but thats a good thing.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
2.81/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

August 2011 Cork Date; Sampled January 2008
Pours with an initial fat one-finger thick, creamed-chocolate tan colored head that sits atop an opaque, black colored brew. This brew is clearly coffee influenced, as I pour it I get that distinct aroma of burnt berries that is often found in coffee. Over the top roast aromatics make this smell like cold, concentrated espresso, heavily burnt grain husks and sharp, roast acidic notes. In addition to the burnt berry notes, there is a touch of something like deeply burnt raisins, though overall not much of the fruit character is noticeable in the aroma. The aroma is actually quite harsh; it is a bit too sharp, acidic and burntly astringent for my preferences. The aroma sort of has a burnt vegetal note towards the finish, or perhaps it is a burnt plastic phenolic.

Somewhat lighter in heft than I was expecting, in fact this really seems to accentuate (or exacerbate depending on your perspective) the sharp, acidic and burnt flavors of this brew. The burnt flavors show from beginning to end; they considerably dry out this brew, especially in the finish where the tongue is left with an acidic, dry, charcoal note that has one looking for some refreshment. Up front this brew shows some promise as the sweeter malt notes contribute flavors of dark chocolate, burnt prunes, and a somewhat creamy mouthfeel, but by the finish the beer has just become so harsh and astringent. The coffee notes and burnt malt notes are huge here; this is so much harsher / acidic / burnt than the worst pull of espresso that I have ever had. The overbearing burnt charcoal notes really effect the mouthfeel of this brew, where it should be rich and creamy feeling it ends up thin and flabby.

The twin, roasted combination of blackened grain and roast coffee is just too much for my assaulted taste buds. This is possibly the harshest finishing beer I have ever had. The assault is just punishing and is not even really enjoyable in its unrelenting character. I wonder if this will mellow out any in the next ten years? Well I do have another bottle and that will surely sit for quite some time before I crack another. Harsh enough that it feels like a hangover waiting to happen, but all of that carbonized malt & coffee will probably leave me quite filtered and purified.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours opaque black with a massive overflowing head of light brown.
The spongy, rocky foam settled to a good quarter inch for the duration of the glass.
Aromatics are hugely laden with coffee grounds, roasted barley, and bitter chocolate.
Almost a bitter promise for whats to come.
Mouthfeel is dry and thick, with carbonation adding a perception of increased body.
The pallet is unapologetically filled with coffee. The coffee is centerstage, and is somewhat biiter in nature, akin to spent grounds.
After the coffee, plenty of dry and roasty chocolate steps up, as does some acrid black malt.
Alcohol is noticable, but no heat and does not detract.
Finishes with lingering bitter coffee and more acrid black patent.

A big beer for sure, but the coffee is a bit harsh, and leaves the beer tasting like a coffee stout rather than an Imperial with coffee.

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

Pours pitch black. Nice tan head that never comes close to getting out of control. mild, but slightly noticeable roasted aroma with some chocolate there as well. Flavor makes this extremely drinkable. Goes down smooth as can be. The alcohol seems to be hitting me very quickly here. A higher tone of sweetness than I would have figured. Nice thick malty edge, but not as much coffee as I would have thought coming through. Molasses seems to really peek out as time goes on. Alcohol might be interfering a bit here. Slick on the tongue with a low carbonation. This is a hearty imperial stout. I just don’t feel like it has as much character as I was expecting.

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Photo of hoppymeal
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a small reddish caramel head that quickly recedes to a ring. Aroma is a nice dry roasty and nutty coffee bean scent along with an acidic tanginess. There is also a nose hair scorching bourbony alcohol in the aroma, and very mild hints of chocolate. Taste is dry and smoky roastiness and bitter coffee followed by a tanginess that mixes with strong anise and pine flavors. Mouthfeel is fairly heavy in body although any sweet malts are kept in check by the huge roasted flavors and the very large drying, burnt bitterness in the finish, alcohol warms the throat in the finish as well. A good beer, maybe a touch on the bigger side for how I would like a coffee beer to be, the roasty tanginess is quite powerful. Will be interested to try this again with some age on it.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$12 from Premiere Gourmet, then about $1.25 in duties. An expresso coffee experience. Thickly expresso in mouthfeel and in aroma. Pours black. I wasn't buzzed from caffeine, it was a fine experience, it is a rich coffee experience with chocolate and fruit present. Bittersweet finish and aftertaste.Its certainly drinkable, but my desired RIS is more chocolate based.
Had again 1.5 years later and the coffee was prominent, rich aged. Bittersweet.

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Photo of Domingo
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A Danish Imperial Stout, huh? Sounds interesting. The bottle also claims it's brewed with coffee. Sounds pretty American, huh?
Pours a pretty standard deep black color with a pretty decent sized brown head. Not quite as thick as some, but it's got more carbonation.
The smell is shockingly Belgian. Initially I picked up lots of over-ripe fruits, spicy yeast, and a lot of floral bittering hops.
The taste is a little more like a typical Imperial Stout, but I still think the fruits (dates, cherries, figs) seem to dominate things. The Belgian-esque yeast accentuates this. The hops still manage to punch through, and the typical roasted flavors come through in the finish. I'm not tasting or smelling any coffee, though.
It tastes a little boozy, but it is a little more potent than most.
The thickness on this one is actually spot-on because it's not quite so thick, but I think the booziness and overbearing yeast keep it from being something I could drink a lot of.
Good, but not really my cup of tea.

EDIT: This is really the only Mikkeller brew I've had thus far that seems to take a Belgian approach to a US style. The others mirror our own offerings with minor tweaks only. I find those suit my tastes a lot more than this one.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle inspection: A stout brewed with coffee. Caged and corked.

Aroma: Big fruity esters up front. Vinous notes of cabarnet grapes, raisins, figs, and definite warming alcohol.

Appearance: Dense black pour with a very tight and creamy looking tan head.

Flavor: Big alcohol heat up front. Warms the palate and nostrils. More fruity esters reminding me of raisins, figs, and dark cherries followed by a sharp roasted bitterness. The finish is warm and bone dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with medium low carbonation. A definite warming alcohol presence.

Overall impression: A big, alcoholic Russian Imperial Stout. I didn't get much coffee but I think it was masked behind the esters. I could easily see laying this down 1-3 years. Dangerously close to being unbalanced but very good. My lips and palate are numb. Almost like a black barleywine.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle, $9.99 at Brawleys in Charlotte

Christmas Eve beer

appearance: pours into a large oversized chalice...the body is black as sin with no room for highlights whatsoever. there is a big creamy chocolate head that retains itself fairly well and leaves a nice amount of lace behind to enjoy

smell: just an enormous roasty nose with a HUGE hop compliment...basically this nose is explosive and overpowering which is much to my liking. bittersweet dark chocolate and smoky char round out the nose

taste: I'm not getting a whole lot of coffee despite the claim on the bottle...the flavour profile hits with char, licorice, bittersweet dark chocolate, "west coast" grapefruit hops, moderate booze, espresso and cream

mouthfeel: big and robust, spicy and boozy

drinkability: pretty good

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

Pours a pitch black motor oil with a chocolate head that is sticky and lacy. Smells like chocolate covered fruit with some expresso. Taste is hot, lots of chocolate, dark fruit and a bitter hop finish. Thick in the mouth with a nice smooth finish. A sipper and needs some age. This has a bite that will tame with a year and generous flavors that need some time to mingle.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.84/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle Inspection: Silver foil wrapped, notes 13.1 abv and coffee.

Aroma: A dump truck full of wonderful candied grapefruit. It really drowned out any other aroma, just luscious West Coast style C hop orange and grapefruit. One of the best smelling beers I’ve put my nose in.

Appearance: Opaque (given the name, you would figure) black with very little head.

Flavor: A hint of cold coffee, mildly roasted grains, and hops hops hops. Like a complicated IPA, just wonderful hop fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly creamy.

Overall Impression: Outrageously drinkable. I need to get a hold of some more of this stuff. REALLY good, strongly recommended.

Big thanks to Zack for busting out the goods.

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Photo of genog
4.11/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick, slow oil like black color with a creamy rich dark brown head. Leaves a little lacing, but mostly dies down to leave a black liquid in my glass. Smell is very strong with molasses, toasted malt, some Strong coffee and a little dark chocolate. The flavor on this one is Bitter with a capital B. Mouthfeeling reminds me of eating some coffee beans as it feels dry and heavy with plenty of carbonation. This one is extremely hot, and I want to see if a little aging can improve this one.

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Photo of tpd975
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Corked and caged stout, I like the looks of this one. Pop the cork and poured the contents into my St. Feuillien Chalice. Deep dark and black. Very little head builds only to quickly die and leave a nice swirly cocoa color atop the brew.

S: Not real strong aromas. Burnt coffee and hints of dark rum soaked fruits. A bit of milk chocolate and maybe even a hint of alcohol laden vanilla extract.

T: Very different than I expected. Very bubbly tasting in the mouth right from the start. Tons of extra dark coffee that has been left on the burner a bit too long. A hint of chocolate and rum soaked black cherries. An alcohol burn makes its self known somewhere in the middle. It finishes with a nice coffee bitterness along with a tinny alcohol taste. Kind of hot, but really unique.

M: Sparkling almost. Has a very bubbly stingy feeling in the mouth and on the tongue.

D: It's just the right size. The more I drank the more I liked it with me being not so sure at first. I don't know if it grew on me, or if the ABV started to kick in.

Overall: A unique brew from a unique brewer. I enjoy what Mikkeller does an it's a good thing that I can now get their beers locally. Search this one out, it's like no other stout I have ever tasted before.

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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 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 joekfsu
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7 oz bottle (green bottle). Pours pitch black with a 1 cm head that is mostly diminishing, bubbly, and brown. Aroma of coffee, licorice, and a hint of caramel and maybe plums. Initial flavors include dark fruits, coffee, and a little brown sugar. Flavor ends with hops and alcohol along with lesser amounts of the initial flavors. Medium body, light carbination, with a lasting aftertaste. Well hidden alcohol content, would guess around 8%. Glad I tried it, but I think it may be a little over rated. Looks and smells better than it tastes. And what is with the green bottle?

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Photo of rye726
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'07 vintage 12.7oz corked bottle poured at 50F into a snifter.

Dark black color. Thick and full brown head that settles to a nice cover.

The nose is malty and sweet with a nice hop presence. There is also caramel, chocolate, molasses, fruit and a strong coffee character.

The taste is also strong of coffee. There are floral hops, and a mixture of black, chcoclate and caramel malts. It finishes with a spicy and peppery alcohol flavor.

Smooth and fairly light body for a beer this big. Really gets nice and it warms and opens up.

Well balanced and very drinkable for a 13.1% stout. Pretty expensive at $10 a bottle. It's hard to pick this up when I can get a bottle of Abyss or two bottles of Stone's RIS for the same price.

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

Black hole is the description to use for this midnight colored behemoth. A great mocha head appears and hangs around and sees the world for a while leaving molten chunky pillowes of lacing in its wake.

One damn hoppy citrusy aroma for a RIS. The hop aroma nearly drowns out the malt and coffee character I was expecting. Too young maybe. We shall see after the first drink. Slight roast with dark chocolate hidden behind. But still mainly a face full of hops.

This is a great beer. Again very very hoppy but the thick saturated roasty quality comes through two fold on the mid palate and finish which is tannic from the roast and bitter from the hop. Citrusy dark fruits, with hints of coffee and a touch of mollasses. Mouth has a very lively spritz to it that I don't really like for this style of beer. Sit on this for six months to a year and it will only get better.

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Photo of homohabilis
4.52/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a bottle of this was secured for me by a friend who works at quite a lovely beer bar. i've sat on it for several weeks now and i could no longer resist its temptations.

appearance: black hole is no misnomer. though the room i'm consuming it in is rather dim, even upon holding it up to the light, nothing penetrates. short cocoa head quickly goes to pieces leaving some light lacing.

smell: bittersweet chocolate, winey alcohol, espresso shots, some figgy/pruney notes.

taste: all bitter chocolate. baker's chocolate. tarry, fruity notes. some citrus lent by the hops. fades to a coffeeish bite with more bitter chocolate. alcohol is present in some winey flavors that linger in the foreground.

mouthfeel: good. doesn't coat or cling nearly as much as expected. most likely due to the alcohol content. however, leaves me smacking my lips.

drinkability: for something this high in alcohol content, quite astounding. dangerous, even. especially when put next to something like EKU 28. taste lingers perhaps a bit too long.

overall, this is an excellent beer for its category. would be killer after a large meal. great nightcapper.

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Black Hole from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 806 ratings