Black Hole (Peat Whiskey Edition) | Mikkeller ApS

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Black Hole (Peat Whiskey Edition)Black Hole (Peat Whiskey Edition)

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.10%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

Added by gregc on 05-22-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 170
Photo of Resuin
3.92/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 fl oz bottle poured into a snifter. I believe this is about 5 years old.

A: Pours black and leaves a brown head of a couple fingers that fades away relatively quickly.

S: A lot going on. Big peat for sure. Also some dark chocolate, ash, plastic, slight oxidation. Lots of character.

T: Similar to the nose. Huge peat, smoke, ash, dark chocolate, hint of coffee, plastic. Definitely a slooow sipper.

M: Medium to full creamy body. Low carb.

O: Definitely an interesting beer. Very intense. If you don't like peat/islay scotch you definitely won't like this. I enjoy it as a sipper - there is so much going on, and it picked up so much influence from the barrels.

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Photo of thagr81us
1.5/5  rDev -47%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Based on the reviews I did this to punish myself! Served from bottle into a New Jersey Devils shaker. Poured pitch black with a minimal tan head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, peat, smoke, sweet alcohol, and earth. The flavor was of sweet malt, peat, smoke, earth, mothballs, and gross. It had a medium feel on the palate with no carbonation. Overall this beer sucked. The peat in this thing was just WAY too overpowering to the point where it made me almost projectile vomit after taking the first sip. Just way too strong and completely destroyed the brew for me. I don't suggest drinking this unless you really hate your palate. Trust me on this one.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.26/5  rDev +50.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown-black with a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. Fades at a normal pace.

S - Dark chocolate and dark caramel malts, oak, whiskey, peat, smoke, roasted coffee, molasses, black licorice, vanilla, some dark fruit, and some booze.

T - Dark chocolate and sweet dark caramel malts, peat, smoke, oak, whiskey, roasted coffee, black licorice, molasses, some vanilla and dark fruit, some citrus and pine hops and a bit of bitterness, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a warming, smokey, and sweet finish.

D - Nicely balanced big imperial Stout. Nice body and mouthfeel. The whiskey barrel adds some nice complexity and smokiness to the beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.06/5  rDev +43.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dirty brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of peat scotch is easily discernable with good amount of residual sugar and light dry roasted malt notes. Taste is a pretty intense mix between some peat scotch malt with dry roasted malt and quite an amount of residual sugar. Body is full with oily like texture and good carbonation for style with surprisingly no apparent alcohol. Not something for everyday drinking but still quite an enjoyable experience.

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Photo of tdm168
3.16/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - pitch black with a short black head that has no retention

S - booze, roasted malts, coffee

T - huge whiskey notes, vanilla, booze, wood, coffee, roasted malts, earthy

M - full bodied, very boozy and warm, dry, smooth

This is a disappointment. The booze dominates every aspect of this beer. The underlying stout is good, but the whiskey dominates the flavor profile. There is almost no balance between stout and barrel-aged flavor additions. This is like whiskey with a hint of beer. This is a beer with great potential, but as it stands it's a mess. I'll avoid this until someone tells me it's toned down and rounded out.

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Photo of Misanthropy_Sipping
4.76/5  rDev +68.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had a damn terrible birthday this year needed one hell of a pick me up. Found two bottles of this lurking still in my stash. I had one about one year ago and loved it, assuming not much has changed I put one in the fridge.

Nothing has changed. This is incredible. Even more incredible is that this beer has been given such a poor rating.

I like a good peaty scotch, I also like rauch. Not that this is a typical smokey rauch, but this is a smokey scotch essence to the extreme.

Smells sweet of peaty scotch and honey, tad roast scent. Plenty of booze in the nose as well. Which I love with the smokey scotch. Pretty good. Low carbonation, very little on the head. Lives up to name on color, it practically sucks the light out of the room it is so dense and dark.

And oh yeah, lunatic freakin' god... this... is good. Suddenly my birthday has one good perk and this is it. Huge scotch whisky taste, with sweet honey and big booze with a hint of vanilla and light roast coffee that adds a bit of caramel to the beer. Then it plummets HARD into the smokey peat that lingers on your pallet forever. This warms and brings in so many memories of nights having a stout beer followed by a nice scotch... but this pushes the two together with that aggressive boozy warmth.

I kind of see where some people are getting this 'soy sauce' taste... but if it is all out soy sauce gross, I have to tell you an unfortunate truth, your bottle was probably bad or you do not appreciate the big smokey peat scotch, such as Laphroaig... especially Laphroaig. This is probably one of the most impressive beers I have ever had in my entire life. Totally worth the money and the risk of potentially getting a bad bottle, because if the bottle is good.... dear lord.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.72/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with almost no head.
Woody peat, sweet chocolate liqueur and soft spicy hops are present in the aroma, along with a fair whack of whisky.
Similar woody and peaty flavours, along with roasted malt and some hot booze.
No carbonation, really needs some.
Seems a bit sharp at the moment.

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Photo of cvm4
2.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours pretty much like a stout. Nice tan one finger head. Not much lacing.

S - Is that peat or is that fresh rubber??

T - The peat is better but it's very in your face. I can see this as a love it or hate it beer. After the peat subsides one can detect stout elements such as a malty characteristic and dark chocolate.

M - Spot on with how a stout should be.

O - I understand the poor rating but just can't echo it as such. It's actually not too terrible when it warms up or may'be I'm just getting used to it?

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Photo of donkeyrunner
1.66/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

An engagement gift from Mr. Kevin and Mr. Basil.

Pours dark, lifeless black with a thin crescent of bubbles for foam. Not much to look at.

Looks like crap but smells pretty good: honey, heavy peat and licorice like a crazy braggot. Boozey soy sauce.

Mead up front before a heavy wave of peat which recedes leaving salt and coffee grinds on the palette. No carbonation whatsoever and very, very thin. Whole lotta peat and soy sauce too.

This is pretty bad. I split the bottle with my fiancee and it was way to much. One could split this with everybody and it would still be too much. I ended up pouring most of it back into the bottle and drinking it a few ounces at a time on the rocks over the course of a week (don't have to worry about carbonation 'cause it didn't have any in the first place) and a smidgeon better.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.27/5  rDev +50.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tan trace of head, dark opaque brown body.

Boozy with some honey and a bit of peat.

Holy cow! Incredible peat and booze. Not actually that smokey, but piles of bitter peaty malt and black coffee. Magnificent. Almost a bit rubbery, but still really good

Relatively smooth, decent feel.

Really big, bold beer. Might be divisive, but I really enjoyed it. Price is high, but not totally prohibitive.

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Photo of brystmar
1.17/5  rDev -58.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This ticker's dream was shared by whartontallboy. Thanks buddy!

Hey, it looks like a stout! Yeah, that's a win right there. No head or lace, yet the appearance is still far and away this brew's strongest quality.

One whiff and you know this is a special brew. I'll freely admit my hatred of peat, mostly because it reminds me of licking the bottom of a hiker's boot after a week-long trek into a wet forest. And that's the overwhelming aroma seeping out of my glass right now. Can I drain pour this yet?

** Concentrate Thomas -- open mind! **

Goddamn, what did I just do to my taste buds? Burnt lumber and putrid moss take center stage here, supported by notes of entrails from woodland critters. A single sip instantly requires a full cleansing of my mouth. My god, that was awful.

We opened a 2008 Pennichuck single IPA right before this just for kicks, and although it was bad, I'd happily drink an entire bomber of that stuff before finishing this glass. Seriously.

And on top of all that, the body is extremely weak and thin. But hey, at least it *looks* semi-ok! ... Right? Ethan summarized it well: "This is among the worst things I've ever had. Not beers. Things." Amen, brother.

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Photo of BostonHops
2/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

12.7oz corked and caged bottle served in an oversized wineglass.

pours an inky black tone; an aggressive pour yields a minimal tan-colored head that soon dissipates, leaving a few sudsy bubbles on the surface. not much lacing to speak of.

whisky is clearly the tour de force in the nose. it is big and bold, almost to the extent that other flavors are dwarfed, but i do get some muted coffee and roasted malt, maybe a touch of bitter chocolate. had the whiskey been toned down a bit i think this would be a really intriguing (in a good way) aroma... still, not altogether off-putting; i'm game for a taste.

oh momma, this is disgusting. whiskey just overpowers the flavor profile and owns the palate; minimal traces of the coffee and roasted malts - no vanilla - but i do get... soy sauce...? maybe a whisky drinker or chinese food enthusiast would appreciate it; for my money i'd prefer my barrel-aging to be imparted with more subtlety. speaking of my money, there's an hour of work down the drain. literally.

mouthfeel is avera- man, this beer is actually giving me a headache.

original review on: 10-20-2010

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Photo of champ103
2.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a near opaque black color. A two finger tightly packed tan head forms with lots of fine bubbles. Some nice lace is left behind as well.
S: Smoke/peat and wood aromas with milk chocolate. Fairly simple, but not bad.
T: Oh man, this goes bad quick. Over barring hash charred oak. Like an ash tray. Plastic peat like flavors. Harsh is the word.
M/D: A medium full body. Low carbonation and very chalky. This is harsh, over barring, and way to boozy.

Not as bad as the base, which I find just horrid. Though still, over barring and not enjoyable. It started surprisingly alright. Though quickly went downhill. Not something I would recommend.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.22/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a brandy snifter. Stamped 4591106. "Stout ale brewed with coffee, honey, and vanilla, aged in Scotch whisky barrels."

A: Dark, opaque brown. Fine mocha head. It looks like an imperial stout, which I like.

S: Mmmm, big and boozy. Smoky scotch whisky is unmistakeable, but there is sweet fruit, obvious honey, and subtle vanilla as well. Coffee is the only think that doesn't jump out at me, but it's buried under there with the roasted malt. A phenomenal nose, if a bit harsh.

T: Rather disappointing. Musty? Cardboard? The smoke from the whisky is heavy-handed and charred, though one can still find enjoyment therein. Hot-strong, with a tinge of fruit before ashtray comes back. Anise and honey-vanilla sweetness are awkward and incompetent.

M: Smooth, with a touch of tingle more from alcohol than from carbonation.

O: The smell was wondrous, the taste nigh disastrous. This did NOT improve Black Hole. Still a decent imperial stout. It grows on me as time waxes. Mmmm.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.52/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle to Duvel tulip.

A - Pouted black with one finger width of thick, bubbly espresso coloured head.

S - Huge peat aroma up front that completely dominates the nose and becomes very distracting. There are some very subdues roasted malt and coffee notes in the background but the overwhelming peat aroma makes it difficult to pick them out.

T - Big peat flavour up front that dominates the palate but not quite tot he extent that the nose indicated. Some light coffee and roasted malts in the background along with some whiskey flavours. The peat dominates so much that this becomes one dimensional.

M - Medium body, light carbonation.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.58/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2012-03-17 (St Patty's Day) in Columbia, PA after a 12 mile hike.

A - Molasses-brown with a 2-finger brown head using a straight-in pour to a Duvel tulip. Head fades pretty quickly and leaves mild lacing.

S - Scotch, peat, charred wood, smoke, meat, vanilla, some chocolate. Not sweet. Never smelled a beer like this.

T - Like drinking a hickory-smoked pork BBQ martini while sitting in a barn next to a smoking campfire of wet wood while alternately sipping on a hoppy, chocolate expresso. Very different.

M - Medium-heavy body and light carbonation. Reasonably creamy and dries out pretty well.

O - Well, this is certainly an unusual brew. Never had anything like it. I enjoyed the craftsmanship and uniqueness. I won't seek it out but I wouldn't turn down another glass.

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Photo of jlindros
3.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark thick pitch black beer with hints of fizzy head.

Nose has a weird musty dark wood, peat, its peat city with an iodine like smoke, campfire.

Taste is more peat, a little hot, woody esters, saw dust, campfire, smoke, iodine like salty briny smoke flavors, chocolate is pretty much gone or overpowered, roast is also mostly gone, thinner feeling as well.

Mouth is fuller bodied, decent enough carb although lighter, quite a bit of warming and tingly booze.

Overall meh, probably the worst of them so far, I love Islay whiskys but they really don't do well with the barrel aging, too much iodine like peat smoke, overpowering and killing everything else.

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Photo of grittybrews
2.48/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

From South Sound tasting notes:

Poured near-black with a small tan head. Big aroma of smoke/peat/whisky and not much else.

Moderate carbonation and a medium-bodied mouthfeel. Taste is entirely whisky...vague roasty stout notes are completely overpowered by the peat. Tastes like someone dumped a double shot of scotch into my tasting glass. Alcohol burn, smoke, and that's about it.

Unlike the standard Mikkeller Black Hole (which I really enjoyed), this one was a definite misfire. I love a peaty scotch but there was absolutely no balance here.

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Photo of liamt07
3.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by Jason, part of our Black Hole blind tasting. 375ml into a snifter.

Black body in typical Mikkeller style, brown head with huge legs and good retention. Solid lacing. Whiskey is sharpy and stinging to the nostrils, tons of peat, burnt plastic/rubber, but in spite of this it's not too offensive. Just shitload of peat and whiskey really, only a mild sense of the vanilla and honey. Taste takes a different approach, warm caramel, peat, charred notes, light saltiness and a bit of burnt rubber/tires in the finish. Again, peaty as heck but appears more balanced and restrained than the nose and allows some of the base beer to come through. Mouthfeel is full, with more peat and alcohol in the finish. Not as horrible a beers as some of the reviews suggest, however the flavours (of peat and whiskey in particular) appear to be quite polarizing. Not easily drinkable, but certainly "sip-able" in small quantities.

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Photo of peensteen
3.05/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Jason's bottle, part of the blind Black Hole tasting.

Nearly jet black, some tan head, very light lacing. Smell is dominated by peaty whiskey notes, salty scents are there, oak and some vanilla, way down there some roast is kicking around but the barrel dominates this. Taste is less peaty than the nose indicates but still quite present, roasted malt and some vanilla, oak and some salty flavours, finishes with more roast. Lightly carbonated, full body, full weight. Not as bad as some of the previous reviews would suggest but nothing I would ever drink again considering what these guys are capable of and the price point of this, way to much peat in here to be anything more than average.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
1.12/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Had this one at the South sound BA tasting.

This might have been the worst beer that the tasting which considering that we had 1997 triple bock is saying something.

The smell was quite chemical. Someone in the group compared it to the smell of a kindergarten class with all of the glue,paint and disinfectant.

The taste was equally chemical like and absolutely terrible.

Overall the fact that a beer this terrible exists makes me sad.

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Photo of JizackFH
3.75/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Disclaimer: Before you read this review, I feel I should mention that I am a big whiskey fan. I love bourbon and scotch and that definitely affects my review.

A - This beer pours a very dark brown color that does not let any light pass through. There is a 2-figner dark tan head resting on top. The head has pretty good retention, and there is some scattered lace left behind on the glass.

S - The nose has a good amount of roasted malt and a large peat whiskey presence. There are some other aromas of coffee, chocolate, wood, caramel, and vanilla. I read a lot of peoples reviews where they slammed the nose of this. I however, found it to be quite nice.

T - The taste pretty much follows the nose. It starts off with some roasted malt and burnt smokiness. There is quite a bit of whiskey flavor as well. Also I am getting some flavors of coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, wood, and a little bit of soy sauce. The finish leaves some lingering roasted malt, smoke, and whiskey behind on the palate.

M - This has a pretty full body and the carbonation is on the lower side. It goes down nicely and has a pretty smooth feel to it. There is some roasted bitterness and there is a little bit of graininess. There is a good amount of alcohol warmth on the back end.

O - I think this has pretty good drinkability. It is a sipper, but I enjoyed it. Like I said above, I am a whiskey fan and I really liked the barrel aging presence in this one. This is another nice addition to the Black Hole line-up, and I am glad I got the chance to try it. I recommend this one, unless you don't like whiskey. Again, If you top not like whiskey don't waste your money.

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Photo of silentnoiz
2.84/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank A/B with the Black (sampled all but the Rum same night).

A - dark with small head and oily lacing

S - does not smell good, burnt rags and unwashed feet

T - super peaty and super smokey roastyness

M - a bit oily with high carbonation

O - a shocker at first but gets better with subsequent sips, super peaty again

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Photo of kojevergas
4.16/5  rDev +47%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 375ml bottle into a De Molen goblet at Olbutikken in Copenhagen, Denmark. Reviewed from notes taken in July 2011. Expectations were high as this is me favourite brewery in the world.

A: Pours a glorious beautiful 2.5 finger tan colour head of perfect cream, thickness, and retention - brilliant for the 13.1% ABV. Colour is a solid nontransparent black. There's even a small golden bubble show for about 14 seconds. Perfect.

Sm: Cream, caramel, chocolate, light peat (I didn't think it'd actually come through), vanilla, and toffee - but no alcohol. A moderate strength aroma, but a very appealing one.

T: The peat really impacts the body hard, but it's stable enough to take it. Very peat whiskey esque, with all the flavours from the nose layered about and around the central peat focus. It manages to stay creamy underneath - an impressive feat. The caramel avoids being overdone. Some light roast and coffee comes through subtly on the climax, which wonderfully balances the smoother hop notes and chocolate. It's so complex and unique it's difficult to describe.

I fucking love it. Brilliantly built and balanced. This is a beer made with exquisite care.

Mf: Smooth and wet with a well done thickness to support the flavour overload without being too overbearing. Masterfully matched to the taste. Bravo.

Dr: 13.1% takes its toll after just one 375ml bottle, but the alcohol never shows during consumption except as a pleasant warmth in the stomach. Well priced at Olbutikken for its quality but probably expensive outside Denmark. Best as a gift beer, or for special occasions. I wouldn't disrespect it by pairing it with food.

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Photo of codsmith
4.36/5  rDev +54.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Jet black with a nice dark mocha head that sits just barely above the beer. Perfect for the style

S: Has a very nice mellow scotch smell that is not too harsh along side a slight sweetness of vanilla and honey.

T: There is a nice roasted flavor from the coffee mixed with a subtle amount of sweetness from the honey and the vanilla to mellow it out. This is a very good beer for sipping over a good amount of time. If you are a scotch lover, then this is your beer, but if not I would stay away from it.

M: Very full bodied and heavy. Carbonation is perfect.

O: All around a great beer, perfect for people who like scotch and right-on for the style guidelines; with a nice mix of interesting ingredients.

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Black Hole (Peat Whiskey Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
2.83 out of 5 based on 170 ratings.
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