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Black Hole (Peat Whiskey Edition) | Mikkeller ApS

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Black Hole (Peat Whiskey Edition)Black Hole (Peat Whiskey Edition)
171 Ratings
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.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 171 |  Reviews: 98
Reviews by TMoney2591:
Photo of TMoney2591
2.39/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served in a Buffalo Bills shaker pint glass.

I figured I'd break this one out while we brewed yesterday. It pours a sleek obsidian topped by a minor bit of tan foam. The nose is a blast of scotch and fusels, with some mild roasted malts complacently languishing in the background. Even a small whiff burns with the o'erwhelming whiskey. The taste holds notes of roasted malts, molasses, old oak, lots o' scotch, dark chocolate, iron, and char. Things don't seem quite right here, but it's a major step-up from the smell. The body is a hefty-ish medium, with a light carbonation, a slightly watery feel, and a dry finish. Overall, this thing is just too thin and too harsh with the scotch. I'm slightly positively ambivalent toward peat malt scotch (meaning I'm on the fence, but generally warm to it), but I don't think the two worlds (scotch and stout) melded very well in this particular brew.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Doomcifer
4.35/5  rDev +53.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a HUGE Islay malt fan so here goes nothing...

Pop the cork and immediately am met with a great peat smoke smell. Pours an inky black with minimal light brown head. Smells of overwhelmingly peat moss, smoke, ashtrays, slight iodine and band aids, with a background that is very sweet smelling. Smells like a damp unexplored cave on a rocky cliff in Scotland.

Taste is more ashtray licking flavors. Huge peat moss, smoke, some iodine, roastiness, a big amount of sweet dark fruits (figs/raisins) and currants keep trying to poke their way through but get beat back down by the smoky peat that grips the palate and stays with it...for a WHILE. It's a bit much but a Islay Scotch lover, it is damn tasty.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I had expected it to be. Not much carbonation and dry finish. This is BY FAR a slllooow sipper. Not just based on the ABV% but because of the tremendously overbearing flavors that stick with you long after the sip is finished. This would perfectly compliment some good BBQ and even a good bold cigar.

WARNING: This beer is NOT for anyone who does not enjoy Islay region Scotch Whiskies like Lagavulin, Laphroiag, Ardbeg, or even Talisker 10.

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Photo of marvin213
2.42/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Dark yet inviting, its frothy head makes it look like (dark) chocolatey hot cocoa. That is a weird peaty smell emanating from the glass, however...makes me not so sure. When I pulled up the beer for review and inevitably saw its grade (hate that), I thought WTF? I got the cognac version and it was great (and I recall those reviews aligned with that).

The nose is overwhelmingly peat: not peat moss or peaty malted scotch, but peat coal. Earthy, but in a dirty way. I noticed my label says scotch but the BA listing says peat. Hmmm....

It's like the barrels were dilapidated. They've imparted a peaty decay. That smell sensation of mulched dirt is (unfortunately) even more pronounced on the tongue. I really wonder if this one came out all right; ya know, like it was supposed to. Try as I may, I get no vanilla or honey; maybe a hint of coffee. The peaty malt scotch reminds me that perhaps still I'm just not cut out for scotch. Though I like sweet bourbon, and I like bourbon BA beers, this one'll have me hesitating before I acquire another scotch-aged brew. The peat IS the mouthfeel. I had really no (well, minimal) beef with its $16.99 cognac cousin, but this BA version has gone awry. It's amazing it's the same beer! If nothing else, this evidences how significantly a barrel can impart influence.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle. Drank alongside the white wine, red wine, tequila, cognac and bourbon versions.

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is very heavy on the peat smoke, with some roasted malt also mixed in. There is also some oak in the aroma.

The flavor is very heavy on the Scotch notes. I get some chocolate, but what really comes through strongly is the peat malt and heavy smoke, ash and char. The flavor is very similar to a very peaty Scotch.

Thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

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Photo of ajkeefner13
3.5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of mondegreen
2.41/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

Pours jet black with a dark tan head. Decent looking stout. Smells very smoky. It does call up comparisons between this and some of the smokiest Islay Whiskies.

The taste us quite smokey, too. The problem is balance, and the underlying problem, I think, is that the beer wasn't big enough to match up to the badass whisky barrels.

Which leads us into mouthfeel. The biggest issue. This beer feels thin. Like Guiness thin. Something this smoky needs some heft to balance out the punch, and this beer ain't got it.

Drinkabilit suffers because of the balance issues. I love a good smoky whisky, so I think I like this beer better than most people, but I need more from the beer to mesh with the huge scotch notes in this bottle.

Kudos for the effort, Mikkeller. Come better next time, especially at your price point.

Edit: Adjusting my score. As this beer warmed it became an undrinkable mess. Hot, charred, bitter, and generally unpleasant. Drain poured the last 1/4 of the beer. Sadness...

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of large amounts of peat and smoke. Backing it all up are good amounts of roasted malt flavors with dark chocolate undertones.

Tastes similar to how it smells although the base beer flavors have more of an influence than in the aromas. Roasted malt flavors kick things off before being overtaken by peat flavors. Midway through the sip equal amounts of unsweetened chocolate and smoke enter into things and carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass with no problems and could have another.

Overall I think this may be the beer with the strongest scotch influence I've had to date. Huge amounts of peat and smoke although I have to say it overpowered the subtleties found in the untreated base beer. If you like scotch you'll love this beer and even if you don't chances are you'll enjoy it. Worth a shot.

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Photo of mentaltraveller
1.22/5  rDev -57%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This is likely the most hideous attempt at beer I have ever witnessed. Upon cracking open the bottle, a vile smell invaded my nostrils. The scents of burnt rubber and organic decay asphyxiated the formerly pleasant early autumn air. I was indeed rather hesitant to even attempt to drink this beer. The thought of forming a thought of touching such a liquid to my tongue was agonizing. Somehow, the beer was worse than I expected. Much Worse. I legitimately can not even describe the horror. Disaster. Avoid at all costs.

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Photo of tdm168
3.16/5  rDev +11.3%
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 zaphodchak
4.27/5  rDev +50.4%
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 dirtylou
3.36/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

consumed post US-England, 3rd in line with the others in the series (wine, rum, whiskey)

12.7oz bottle purchased at Star

appearance: corked (synthetic), caged and foiled. all 4 barreled versions have a strong appearance - served in snifters - very dark mahogany, creamy chocolate crests with strong retention

smell: wow - smells like pure dirt, literally. the scotch-barrels provide a fatal blast of peat and earthy booze

taste: insanely abrasive on the palate - very strong, huge flavors from the scotch barrels - peat, booze, dirt. Smoke, char, burning rubber. This one was just a bit too much.

mouthfeel: full bodied, abrasive

drinkability: the worst of the set

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Photo of kkrez
4/5  rDev +40.8%

Photo of nickd717
1.45/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

375ml bottle thanks to Ted (chswimmer).

Pours black in color with a nice-looking tan head leaving foam on the beer. Not too viscous.

Aroma is - oh, for the love of gosh, what the heck is this freaking shoot? Magic marker, white-out, and way overdone earth and peat.

Flavor isn't much better. Total peat bomb with vulcanized rubber and dirt. Absolutely nasty.

Low carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel.

Man, this is really disgusting. What a disappointment. They might as well call this Indian Wells -bal aged imperial stout, because that's what it tastes like. What a train wreck.

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Photo of thagr81us
1.5/5  rDev -47.2%
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 Gmann
3.98/5  rDev +40.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Out of a 330ml corked, caged, and foiled bottle. Pours a solid black color with a nice dense brown colored head that left some sticky lacing as it settled. The initial aroma is of rubbing alcohol which is a bit unpleasant. This is followed by an earthy peat smoke aroma. Some good charred notes, roasted meat. The taste is of a heavy roasted malt with strong peat and smoke flavors. There is a tart berry flavor which helps break up the heavy peat. Some stale coffee and whisky flavors are found towards the backend. A big chewy body with soft carbonation gives the brew a silky feel. It has a burnt like bitterness in the end. The ABV can be hot at times. A very smokey and earthy brew. I like the smokiness with the roasted malt, think it is a good combination. Others may think the smoke/peat to be too much. It could use a touch more sweetness and some overall mellowing.

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Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of sammo
4/5  rDev +40.8%

Photo of Bung
1.64/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

350ml. It's a black pour, not much light getting through, but not much head or anything else for that matter. There was a pop and there are some bubbles in there...

Straight charred wood, peat log or whatever burnt substance you want to call it. Nostril burning boozyness. It's tough to find any malt and chocolate in there, but if you really try, maybe.

It's like drinking liquid smoke, the hickory or the other one, doesn't matter. There is some light dark chocolate, anise and coffee, but it is completely overwhelmed by the campfire. In my younger days I've drank some "mystery" cups of stuff at college parties that tasted like this, they were drinks that turned out to have cigarette butts in them.

For how big it is it is pretty thin. it coats all right, but it is not something you really want coatin your mouth. Alcohol is not nearly as present in the mouth as in the nose. Still had no desire to finish this small bottle. Tried mixing it with a milk stout and that helped, a very little bit.
Probably the most disappointing beer of my beer career.

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Photo of Neffbeer
1.38/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

375ml bottle into a Portsmouth tulip.

A: Jet black with a good looking two finger tan head. A soft pillow of foam hangs with good retention forming a blanket over the beer. It left behind a bunch of sticky lacing as well for good measure.

S: Good god. This is perhaps the worst smelling beer I have ever encountered by epic proportions. Burnt band aids and acrid rubber come to mind. It smells like my grndparents medicine cabinet gone horribly wrong.

T: At this point I am really hesitant to even taste this thing. I manage to coax myself into a sip and it is the closest thing I have ever consumed that could compare to a junk yard bonfire, crazy toxic and charred.

M: Mouth feel is OK I guess, but what does it matter at this point?

O: This is one of worst beers I have ever tasted. Seek this out if your our into complete masochism of the palate.

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Photo of CooperEllis
2.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Yesterday I reviewed the bourbon edition here: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/13307/58694/?ba=CooperEllis and stated, essentially, that one of these was enough for a month. And yet, yet, here I am again doing this to myself.

Again, whole bottle into dfh snifter. This pours black, thin 1/3" head, it is gone in a matter of minutes and there is barely a trace of bubbles left around the edge.

Again I had to use pliers to remove the cork, and this time there wasn't even a pop, so I'm saying minimally carb'd. However, unlike the other version, I could smell the whiskey long before I even got the bottle open. It was so strong that I didn't taste this for the first 15 minutes it sat in my glass. I like whiskey, I like very peaty scotch whiskey in particular. If I had wanted to have a glass of very peaty scotch whiskey I could have poured myself a glass of that. All of the other aromas, should they exist, exist somewhere outside the range of my nose's ability to segregate them from the peat.

Thankfully, what I wrote above about the smell is only 90% accurate for taste. There is still a very nice layering of flavor under, between, and across the row from the peat, although the peat is quite literally everywhere else. Soft vanilla and coffee notes as well as a bit of roast are here and do compliment the peat, but it is simply too overpowering to enjoy them much.

Nice body, a touch thin but the total lack of carb helps here as you feel more like you've poured a still liqour than a stout.

it might well be a 4.0 for a whiskey.


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Photo of hippityhops85
2.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Okay, I'm going to preface this review by saying that yes, I do like peat whiskey.

Pours a deep black, seems somewhat watery. Next to zero head on this but does pull up a tan head when agitated.

The nose is unbelievable. TONS of peat. That's it. Peat whiskey dominates the entire nose of this beer.

The flavor follow suit but with a few more subtlties to be picked up. First sip is all whiskey but as the palate develops, the coffee flavors do show up.

This is probably the "biggest" beer I've ever had. It's flavor profile is off the charts. My only downside is that it is not viscous enough to hold the flavor. A bit more substance and this beer would be all 5's.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.72/5  rDev +31%
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 theminutemen
1.25/5  rDev -56%

Photo of bluejacket74
4.12/5  rDev +45.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7 ounce corked and caged bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. Aroma is roasted malt, coffee, Scotch (peat, smoke, iodine, band-aids), and a bit of chocolate. Taste is just like the aroma, but with the Scotch flavors being the strongest (which is fine with me). The Scotch flavor also lingers around a while, too. Mouthfeel/body is medium, but it's definitely on the light side for a stout. It's a bit slick with low/moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and goes down very easy. I liked this beer a lot, but then I like smoky Scotch so that factors into my rating.

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Photo of philbe311
2.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Just shy of two fingers worth of menacing dark brown thick tightly packed head... Decent retention gives way to a very inviting full rich creamy lacing... The color is a deep brooding flat black... A bit of lacing clings tot he glass...

S - Touches of overcooked bacon... Smoke... Charcoal fire... Some woody characteristics... Some roasted malts... Hints of chocolate... A subtle booziness permeates... Some very subtle touches of vanilla...

T - An explosion on palette... Lots of potent flavors, none of which seem to play well together... Bacon... Dark chocolate... Very smokey... Licorice... Roasted malts... Slightly medicinal... The alcoholic warmth lingers endlessly in the back of the throat... Lots going on here, but there seems to be no balance, depth, or complexity...

M - Full bodied... Heavy and dense... Little or no carbonation... Sticky... Syrupy... Dry finish... An alcoholic warmth quotes the entire mouth on the finish...

D - This one was a bit of a struggle to work through... The palette is very challenging... A sipper for sure... This one packs a lot of punch given the 13+% ABV and there isn't much in the way of redeeming qualities...

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Black Hole (Peat Whiskey Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 2.84 out of 5 with 171 ratings