Black Hole (Red Wine Edition) | Mikkeller ApS

BA SCORE
85
very good
184 Ratings
THE BROS
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Black Hole (Red Wine Edition)Black Hole (Red Wine Edition)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS
Denmark
mikkeller.dk

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.10%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.

Added by ShogoKawada on 05-26-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
184
Reviews:
100
Avg:
3.76
pDev:
17.29%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
33
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 184 |  Reviews: 100
Photo of marvin213
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Black like the crayon color, it's definitive blackness. Aptly named, no light's getting thru this beast. The thin layer of froth is dark brown, as you'd probably expect. It's just super black with a dark brown head. Like a black man with pantyhose on his face, it's a little scary.

I smelled a cabernet sauvignon from the bottle, but my pour offers more stouty options: malt, a touch of that vanilla perhaps, and a tad of smoky charred oak, I'm guessing from the barrel. Though cold, I don't sense any honeyish sweetness. The red wine element is still present, but it's more of a table wine now. With everything going on with this beer, its aroma is underwhelming.

I feel thinness before I really taste anything. I like the red wine influence, but the wine seems cheaper and cheaper the more I discover it. Whatever makes a stout "chewy" isn't in here. It's SO thin! The vino might be overbearing, as I detect very little vanilla and coffee's an afterthought. Better than an average beer certainly, but short of its apparent potential.

What's the correct, objective way to measure that thick chewiness--density? I wonder how the density here compares with other big stouts--regular Black Hole even. The thinness makes it easy-to-drink, particularly for a 13+%er, but a $15 handle seems more shipping than sensing.

 1,319 characters

Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tulip, looks great. nice lacing. bought as dark as you can get. vanilla, soft honey, faint coffee, bit of oak. pretty good.

to me this beer really leaves something to be desired. it really lacks that big roasted character from an imperial stout that i come to expect. the flavor is fairly one dimensional. slightly roasted, mostly sweet, touch of vanilla with a slightly tannic finish. flavor comes out a little bit more when i suck some air into my mouth after taking a sip.

mouthfeel is pretty good, thick and viscous without being disgustingly sweet. overall i thought this was a good beer. barrel character didn't come out too much. i dunno, worth a shot i suppose.

 686 characters

Photo of mikeyv35
4.35/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date: 06/01/2010
Type: Expensive 12.7oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2010
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

Poured a dark black in color w/ a bubbly one finger head that left heavy lacing on the glass. Appearance was awesome! Nose was of roasted malts, dark fruits, and wine in your face. Taste was of chocolate roasted notes, a touch of coffee and vanilla, with a finish of bitter hop bite and vinous cabernet/merlot wine. Mouthfeel was medium bodied w/ nice amounts of carbonation. Flavors really hung on the palate, especially the wine characteristic. I poished off a 12.7oz. bottle w/ ease. Overall, I really enjoyed this brew and am looking forward to tasting the other Black Hole variations. Great job by Mikkeller!

 704 characters

Photo of UTCengOwl
5/5  rDev +33%

Photo of ixodus
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of fastsrt
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 ounce bottle in snifter

A: black, small head

S: roasty a bit of sourness

T: I was looking for a bit of wineyness but it was hard to find I was waiting to drink this one as a birthday beer wow what a let down.

M: good

D: at 13 dollars a bottle, this is the first and last time i will buy this one I still have the bourbon black hole and I hope it is better but the bar is now set lower.

 395 characters

Photo of quilty
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of ncketchum
4.07/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Chimay goblet, allowed to warm to 60ish degrees

A = Pours very dark brown with a half a finger of old dark brown head which quickly dissipates, some carbonation, mild lacing

S = chocolate and red wine initially, followed by malt

T = taste on the wine overpowers at first and then the chocolate, coffee set in at the end. As with the Rum Aged Black Hole, ralcohol is almost overpowering at first

M = Good amount of alcohol, little carbonation

D = Drinkability is good, however, I couldn't see myself making more than one of these is sitting. Overall, it is unique and quite good. I would definitely try this again, but not on a daily basis.

 657 characters

Photo of Lucho
4.27/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I thought I would open this beer on its three year anniversary. I have had it twice before 6 months ago and a year ago. Lets see whats new.

A: Pours almost a pitch black with an incredible mocha brown/tan head that has some staying power, awesome lacing! The head slowly fades in around 2-3 mins to a ring around the edges with some clouds in the middle.

S: Wow as always! some oak up front with a musty red wine scent. The coffee has come out a little more as I feel the honey/vanilla has subsided. There is a very nice sweet scent from the honey and vanilla, mostly honey. There is a slight booze scent but not overwhelming

T: F-ing perfect! upfront with honey oak sweetness with an almost tannin bitterness on the finish, from the coffee. It does not leave your mouth dry though. The coffee is not so strong on the palate as on the nose, which I like. The vanilla and honey really shine in your mouth. I cant get enough of this beer as it is very easy drinking for 13.1%. Age has done this one well. I have one more, do I dare wait another year?

M: thick to medium body which makes it easy to drink but coats your mouth well. The carbonation is spot on and not overwhelming.

O: I love this beer as much now as the two times before and it has held up so well especially with the carbonation and flavors. I wish I could have had it fresh to really tell how far it has come. overall, I have never been sure why people dont rave about this beer. An 86? like come on. It cant just be me?

 1,492 characters

Photo of RES
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Kshock
3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Jet black, thick, tan head resides to a ring soon after pour. Leaves a little bit of lacing.

S- Earthy tones; wood, booze, vanilla, spice. Dont get a lot of wine presence.

T- Starts out with coffee; goes to the red wine sweetness, roasty bitterness, booze with a bone dry finish.

M- Heavy

O- Not bad, but is a bit rough around the edges.

 345 characters

Photo of wsnich
5/5  rDev +33%

Photo of allouez86
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of LadyOfMuchBeer
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of N8DAGR8
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of sk8man121
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle ($12.99 at RSVP in Portland, ME) poured into Delerium Tremens snulip.

A: Pours jet-black with rust highlights. Nice mocha head settles fairly quickly and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Not as ugly as others have said.

S: Honey and vanilla are strong up front, with slight roasted malts evident as well. Smells cloyingly sweet...

T: Sweet, boozy and slightly floral at first. Honey persists, and moves into a chocolate/espresso-laden center. Red wine is difficul to pick up on, although it comes through towards the end. Lots of oak in the finish. Sweet, for sure, but quite nice.

M: Somewhat low in carbonation, although there's enough to get the point across. Thick and coating as it goes down. Hot, warming sensation in the back of the throat; very pleasant and almost numbing.

O: This is my first experience with the barrel-aged black hole beers. Sure, it's somewhat of a hot, sweet mess. At the same token, though, it's quite complex in the same way that Brooklyn's Black Ops is when fresh, and the numbing sensation from the alcohol is actually pretty enjoyable. I'd like to try one or two of the others, but at $12.99/bottle, it's not easy to take the plunge.

An enjoyable experience, for sure.

 1,227 characters

Photo of Manoftyr
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter

Appearance-Pours a very dark, nearly black, brown with an almost-motor oil slick consistency; a little thin looking for an RIS, maybe the wine barrel aging? In any event some head rises, dark mocha brown, some chunky lacing. Doesn't have that RIS viciousness I like to see, but aside from that it's not bad.

Aroma-Sweet and gently tart vinous red grape upfront mingling with mocha and coffee, the wine barrel aging is really coming through on this; quite the aroma really.

Taste-Tart grape upfront, much like the aroma, the coffee comes through next with undercurrents of cocoa-like dark malts with a touch of oak and vanilla. Finishes semi-dry and tart with final touches of the wine barrel aging. It's definitely tasty but perhaps a tad less complex and more straight forward than I would have liked

Mouthfeel-Very low carbonation though a tad prickly with alcohol heat, rather thin body for an RIS, could definitely stand to be plusher and more viscous.

Drinkability-A slow sipper, but no more or less than I would expect given the barrel aging and ABV.

 1,081 characters

Photo of 7ways
3.49/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours like the original Black Hole, nice but nothing spectacular. Coffee colored head, less than 1 cm after about 15 seconds, with above average retention after that. Sludgy but lasting lace. Smells like unidentifiable semi-sweet red wine, though a wine I would like to drink. Light ashy smoke and charred malt are the biggest aromas for me. I had a mini flashback to the first time I had a Mikkeller Black, only 10 times less pungent. If there's a real coffee presence, I have to use my imagination to say it's really there... the wine and raw alcohol overpower it. But overall, very inviting.

The taste is seriously lacking complexity. There's just not a lot going on besides oak, old coffee, booze, and an intense and slightly overbearing vinous twang. It wants to be fruity, but something overpowers that quality. Drys out my tongue exactly the same way red wine does, which is not totally unpleasant, but overall the combination of tannins from the coffee/wine/wood are a little too much. Hops may be adding to that, but I have a hard time distinguishing hop bitterness from tannic acid in this beer.
Describing the mouthfeel as medium would be generous. It's just barely substantial enough to carry the massive presence this beer brings. OTOH, carbonation is very pleasing.

Drinkability really doesn't mean shit for a 13% beer, does it? I was easily able to drink it in an above average period of time for an above average abv imperial stout.

This is not a bad beer, however... maybe it's just this guy's palate, but why the hell would you want to marry wine and coffee? Not exactly a winning combination. The fact that Mikkeller kind of pulled it off really makes me curious about the whiskey versions.

 1,712 characters

Photo of TK5150
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours very dark brown/black with a small light to medium brown head. Nice tight bubbles on the head, but it recedes quickly. Brown highlights can be seen in the body of the beer when held up to the light. Alcohol legs run down the glass when swirled.

S- Red wine oak barrel is the most prominent smell. Red wine, caramel, vanilla also jump out. Roasted malt.

T- Oak, dry red wine, vanilla and cherry. The red wine barrel character really comes through here. Very high cocoa count dark bitter chocolate and black coffee on the finish. Finishes dry and very burnt with alcohol present. Very complex.

M- Full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth for the most part. Coats the mouth nicely.

D- Low drinkability. A friend shared about 40% of the 11 or 12 oz bottle, and that was plenty for me. The burnt character in the finish made me like the beer less and less, especially the warmer it got.

Overall, there is a lot to like about this beer, but it has a couple of flaws, most notably the burnt finish. I would like to have again, but aged even longer.

 1,055 characters

Photo of WOTO97
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Split a bottle my friend picked up from Beer Revolution in Oakland (also picked up the rum and whiskey version). Pours a very deep black with a thin mousse-colored head; very little lacing. The alcohol is pretty pungent on the nose, but tons of other profiles are lurking beneath. Big roasted character and some pepper come through on the nose as well along with vanilla and earth characters. Some bold fruit playing in the background. The taste profiles are relatively similar, but the booze is much more in the background. Lots of the fruit comes out immediately but quickly fades to clover and pepper, very sweet residual honey flavors linger on the palate along with some very nice roasted malt notes on the back of the palate. The vanilla plays out very faintly and gets overshadowed by the very distinct honey qualities. The body was a little sticky but by no means big and round; wish the carbonation was toned down a bit for a bit mellower finish. Really enjoyed this fella but couldn't possibly have more than half a bottle--a bit too sweet on the finish for my taste--but a half glass is perfect.

 1,106 characters

Photo of madpentzer
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of shoky01
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Meddlesome Moth. Served in a snifter.

A: Pours deep black with a tiny light tan head. Good carbonation with good sticky lacing.

S: A little malt but the red wine aging comes out right away, almost smells bourbony.

T: wow, one of the best stouts I've had! The slight bitter fruitiness of the red wine followed by stouty goodness. Little bitter on the backside.

MF: tingly with alcohol. Smooth but a little sticky. Little burn on the way down.

OA: awesome, want more. Need more.

 497 characters

Photo of mconz
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Elendinn
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an 8 oz. snifter and split with my wife.

Pours the usual "pitch black" with a miniscule amount of caramel-colored head and a surprising amount of splotchy, evenly-distributed lace. To be honest, I was expecting more from this beer aesthetically, given the ingredients, but it looks, more or less, like a typical coffee stout. Not bad, but I like to be intrigued, and this isn't doing it for me.

Coffee dominates the nose -- smokey and quite woody. There's an undercurrent of slightly-tannic, vinous grapes and dark fruits, but, again, I was expecting more. As a wine lover, I'd really hoped for those characteristics to be featured more, but they take a backseat to the usual suspects ubiquitously-present in imperial stouts.

Coffee dominates the tongue, as well, but gives way to something slightly more akin to what I was looking for. It's a lighter red wine flavor, reminiscent of a Bordeaux table wine -- tannic, fruity grapes, wood, alcohol, and a little spice. The dark fruits are there, too, but the wine begins to overshadow them as the beer warms. Vanilla becomes more discernable, as well. The flavors blend fairly well together, finishing dry and a little smokey. I've been appeased! Though I've had better, significantly-more-complex wine-barrel-aged beers, this one's still pretty good.

There's not a whole lot of carbonation, as evidenced by the pour, and the body's fairly full, like a fruity wine -- a well-suited mouthfeel.

Based upon the reviews I'd read, I was expecting some kind of monstrosity, but this Black Hole was actually pretty solid. Its look and aroma were rather unimpressive and I'd almost given up hope that the beer's most attractive feature, the wine, would remain buried beneath the roasted coffee and wood. Fortunately, with a little aeration and warmth, it ultimately came through. Those ambivalent about wine may not appreciate it as much as I, but this seemed like a good, though flawed, effort; it's something I wish more brewers would attempt. It's not extremely drinkable, as the alcohol is a bit too apparent, but I'd certainly buy it again. My recommendation: though there are a plethora of better barrel-aged stouts out there, it's interesting enough to justify purchasing once, primarily if you like wine -- just don't expect anything stellar. Oh, and let it warm up!

 2,331 characters

Photo of sampx
5/5  rDev +33%

Black Hole (Red Wine Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
3.76 out of 5 based on 184 ratings.
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