Black Hole (Bourbon Edition)
Mikkeller ApS

Black Hole (Bourbon Edition)Black Hole (Bourbon Edition)
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Stout - Russian Imperial
3.85 | pDev: 18.96%
Mikkeller ApS
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Black Hole (Bourbon Edition)Black Hole (Bourbon Edition)
Notes: Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.
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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 181 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by stakem:
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stakem from Pennsylvania

3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours bla in color. When held to the light, it displays some ruby red clarity through the body. Atop the solution sits a faint cap of khaki froth composed of large bubbles that fades fast leaving spotty lacing on the glass. A thin film resides across the top throughout the duration and fingers and lines of lacing appear as the brew is swirled.

The aroma of this brew is a pleasing mixture of oak, vanilla and sweet smelling bourbon. The bourbon provides a nice accent to the base boozy quality. The smell becomes a little dirty and earthy as it warms up with a spicy and fusel kick of alcohol.

The taste is roasted malt with some cardboard quality and tannic raw oak. It is spicy with alcohol and a fairly solid bourbon influence. It is earthy with a bit of stale coffee character and faint vanilla. A touch of herbal hops and some dark sweetness almost like molasses brings up the rear.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. It is fusel and a bit solvent with alcohol but not obnoxious. This was the barrel aged beer I preferred the most between the bourbon, rum, wine and scotch barrel aged black hole offerings. However, despite enjoying this one the most, there are plenty of other offerings out there that are a lot more enjoyable ones that are even priced better. Overall it was a nice experience but I don't need to try any more of these.

Sep 06, 2011
More User Reviews:
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dogfishandi from New York

4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz capped and foiled green bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter.

pours out a deep opaque black color, the slightest bits of brown show on the edges in the light. very nice thick creamy mocha colored head, super creamy retention with lots of sticky lace left around.

in the aroma, lots of creamy heavily roasted/ burnt malt, also some cocoa, vanilla, charred wood, coffee, dark fruits. everything is there in moderation.

first you get this creamy burnt roastiness, cocoa, vanilla, roasted coffee, dark fruits. the magic in the taste really happens after youve swallowed the sip. lots of charred wood, oaky vanilla, bourbon, maybe its the honey that takes on a nice sweet almost maple flavor. very nice.

so smooth and creamy, sticky on the palate, full bodied. carbonation a touch high at first but it settles.

im surprised at how solid this is, maybe one of the best ive had from mikkeller yet! i was kind of going into this expecting to find nothing that it proclaimed on the label, but to my surprise, its all there! honey, coffee, vanilla, bourbon barrel. has that trademark mikkeller ashy creaminess, in there stouts atleast. my first of the black hole series, cant wait to try more.

Nov 29, 2011
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DaveHS from California

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours coal black with over an inch of mocha head. Leaves a thin film of foam as it reduces.

S-Bourbon and milk chocolate. Really simple and appealing. A little boozy, but not in a detrimental way.

T/M-The coffee comes through in this one more than any of the other barrel aged versions. A wave of soft bourbon soaked oak and milk chocolate yields to flavors of cocoa powder, toasted marshmallow and coffee beans. Medium to full bodied, with light, supportive carbonation and a soft, lush body.

O- One of the better Barrel Aged Black Hole variations.

Oct 03, 2011
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JAHMUR from Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Sep 30, 2012
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nickd717 from California

3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

375ml bottle thanks to chswimmer. Thanks, Ted!

Pours black in color with a small tan head that fades to swirls of tan foam on the beer.

Aroma has chocolate, espresso, bourbon, and some higher alcohol presence.

Flavor is maybe a little better than the wine version. Tastes like a typical good Mikkeller impy stout with a big bourbon presence and a little -bal. Some bittersweet chocolate notes in there too.

Smooth on the palate with low carbonation and medium-full body.

Decent overall, better than all the other versions except Wine. Disappointing for a -bal aged imperial stout from Mikkeller though.

Aug 18, 2010
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jwinship83 from Illinois

3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

375ml plastic corked and caged bottle drank from my stone IRS snifter.

A- this one pours out a completely black colored body with a full finger of light brown colored head on top. the head vanishes before your eyes and becomes no more than a crown. little to no lacing is left behind.

S- the first thing i notice in the nose is all the detectable alcohol that is in here. i know this is a 13% beer, but wow. some bourbon, but lots of straight up ethanol also. after the initial shock im able to pick up lots of darkly roasted malts. some very dark chocolate and vanilla (from the barrel) are found also. at the end theres plenty of coffee.

T- the alcohol i could smell comes back in the taste and in a big way. because i was expecting it this time it was easier to handle. lots of bourbon notes make it through. very dark roasted malts. almost burnt. lots of bitter dark chocolate. lots of coffee. plenty of barrel. this beer does it big.

M- there is a high level of warming from the alcohol. the body is shockingly thin for something this massive. the carbonation is at a nice low level which really works well here.

D- one was enough for now. very intense. im glad they used the smaller format bottle, because a full 750ml of this and i would have had a terrible morning.

Jan 10, 2011
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womencantsail from California

2.07/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: The cork comes out with out a pop and the beer is black, somewhat thick, and flat.

S: Jeesh, I don't think there is enough alcohol in this. Black Hole is already boozy as it is and the bourbon barrel seems to have just added to it unnecessarily. Bourbon, booze, vanilla, chocolate, booze, and raisins.

T: The amount of alcohol flavor in this beer is staggering. My tongue was immediately hot as I took a sip of this one. The bourbon and alcohol from the base beer just attack you, and the other flavors are not very good either: soy sauce, chemical solvent, and only a hint of chocolate.

M: The body is medium with no carbonation and searing heat.

D: Avoid this one. It's rather sad to say, this was actually better than the Scotch version.

Jul 22, 2010
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ckollias from Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12.7 oz bottle with a green wrapper and a cork out of a large snifter glass.

A: Dark black with mild amber highlights and a thin dark brown ½-finger head that quickly dissipates and leaves a wispy lace all the way down the glass.

S: Wow – strong bourbon and alcohol aromas fill the nose. Hint of chocolate and vanilla are mildly present.

T: Strong bourbon flavor reaches out and punches in you in the face! Hints of vanilla and honey.

M: Very strong and boozy. Heavy body and minimal carbonation

O: Awesome imperial stout. A nice sipping beer @ 13.1 % alcohol by volume. This beer was big and bold and awesome.

Jun 22, 2011
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kiddynamite920 from Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12.7 oz bottle, neon green cage wrapping. Synthetic cork under the cage.

A: More dark brown than black really. Head is a light brown with not too much retention. As it settles it begins to take on a blacker color. Can clearly tell this one is a monster.

S: Glad I let this one sit for a bit. The bourbon aroma is right on point. A bit boozy but not too hot. Big chocolate and coffee, similar aroma to BBCS. Sweetness in the form of vanilla and caramel. Some molasses. Impressive balance with the bourbon aging.

T: Over 13% abv? Not picking up any heat from the alcohol here. What comes forward first is deep roasted chocolate malts and fresh ground coffee. Bourbon lends a lick of heat next. Very well rounded flavor with a definite impact from the bourbon barrels mixed with a solid RIS. Great roast and great cherry sweetness.

M: Feels like a giant RIS, plain and simple. Has a similar mouthfeel with a bourbon, which is very nice.

D: Drinking far too easy for 13%. A few months did this beer well, drinking very easy for such a large beer. Still is obviously a huge beer so it's taking a good amount of time to get through this one. Very well balanced flavor profile. One of the better Bourbon Barrel aged I've come across.

Aug 23, 2010
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dgilks from Australia

3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inky black colour with a creamy, loose, dark brown head. Fair head retention. Actually quite attractive.

Chocolate and port aroma. Plenty of sweetness. There is an earthiness and a bit of alcohol but pretty good all around really.

More sweetness and alcohol. Oak. THe barrel has added a nice caramel note to offset the ashy roast. Lots of sweetness again. I really quite like the intensity of this.

Medium-full body with moderately-high carbonation. A little prickly for me.

As noted above, I like this. Big bourbon oak character and the stout is quite nice with lots of sweetness, chocolate and a bit of ash. Good.

Feb 20, 2012
GOGRANDE from Colorado

3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: black and very sticky with a small head light colored head.

S: lots of bourbon vanilla and choc...and I mean alot. this beer has a big nose.

T: eehh...doing the side by side here with the regular and the rum and I am still a little sad.
The bourbon in the nose is great, and I taste alot of it, BUT all the great coffee, honey, choc that comes with the regular is so faded! This is better than the rum but still not as complexe as I would like. I get bourbon up front with vanilla choc and coffee beans, but it just doesnt match up to the regular. :(

M: STILL mouthfeel is thicker on the regular than in the bourbon BA. Not happy about that at all. Was hoping for a step up instead of a step down.

D: again...its pretty drinkable but I really like prefer the regular.

Thoughts: Sorry guys need to go to go barrel aging school :(

Sep 02, 2010
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Cmack15 from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mikkeller makes some amazing beers and interesting beers. He is never afraid to push the boundaries and explore the realm of brewing and this brew showcases that pursuit. A dark medium body with light carbonation. The bourbon aging really comes through in the nose and taste in this beer. The coffee note is also felt in the taste but not so much the nose. This beer has a lot going on with it and I think that makes it hard to decipher it. I think with some age and letting this beer breathe a little before you drink it will really improve this beer. Worth checking out but not sure I would revisit this beer.

Oct 09, 2011
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KGarrett from New York

5/5  rDev +29.9%

Nov 16, 2011
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atone315 from Wisconsin

4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

Mar 10, 2012
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mikeyv35 from New York

4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date: 06/04/2010
Type: 12.7oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2010
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

Poured an ink black in color w/ a 1/2 finger light brown head that left nice lacing on the glass. Nose was of bourbon, oak, light coffee, and possible very very subtle honey in the background. Taste was almost exact to the nose, w/ bourbon and oak up front, and light coffee coupled w/ honey and hop bite in the finish. Brew was medium bodied and the flavors were very rich. The bourbon really hung on the palate nicely. I was worried about the drinkability, but the bourbon did not overwhelm me, and the bottle size was spot on. Drank the bottle pretty easily, but did end up decently intoxicated by the end.

Overall, I enjoyed this version of Black Hole and felt the bourbon was very well integrated. However, I would take the wine version over this version any day of the week.

Jun 05, 2010
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sisuspeed from New Hampshire

3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 9/26/10 notes

A thin, off-white film sits on top of a black body. Still leaves some lacing in a Portsmouth tulip glass.

Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and a bit of alcohol heat on the nose. Roasted coffee beans and light honey mix with dark, roasty, malts. Good, but not really at the next level.

Vanilla, sweet dark malts and alcohol heat on the tongue. Some coffee on the edge of being burnt. Bourbon comes through, but almost takes a back seat. Not too bad, but its not BCBCS. Floral aspects of the honey come through though, which is nice.

Mouthfeel is smooth with light carbonation. Pretty good, but the body is a bit thin.

Drinkability is a little bit above average for this type of beer. A fairly tasty barrel aged stout, but there are better. Still interested in trying some of the other variations, but probably don't want to pay the price.

Oct 28, 2010
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megamass from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

May 20, 2013
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Arbitrator from California

1.2/5  rDev -68.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks to Nanoslug for bringing this.

I don't have anything constructive to say about this beer, other than "at least it's not the Black Hole Scotch Whiskey." This has a similar electrical fire / burning rubber smell, but instead of being peaty, it's obviously bourbon-dominated. It's quite hot, with a charred, slick mouthfeel that simultaneously reminds me of fires, burnt rubber, and oil spills.

Again, the equivalent of an $18 bomber for this is a complete ripoff for a beer that shouldn't even have been released in the first place.

Nov 13, 2010
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sammo from Kansas

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Jul 07, 2012
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kkrez from Colorado

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Nov 15, 2011
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wethorseblanket from California

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nov 23, 2015
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jampics2 from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared with friends at an afternoon Saturday tasting! Sampled alongside the wine and rum versions. This was the best cohesive beer in the bunch, but, although I love bourbon, this was just a hair short of the amazing wine barrel version.

This beer looks great in the snifter. Black and thick with acceptable head retention. Nothing out of this world, but good nonetheless.

This beer smells really nice. There's a great bourbon and roasted coffee/chocolate component. But again, there are much more expressive bourbon barrel aged stouts out there. This is good but not great....until...

When I take my first sip, I'm blown away. Mikel is doing such a service to beer peeps through his series like this - you have the yeast series for beginners, the single hops for intermediates, and the barrel aged black hole series for us professionals. The beauty of this series and this beer is how the bourbon barrel pulls out the vanilla and honey elements. The roast is kicking butt, as it does with all the versions, but this has just a nice cohesive, smooth taste.

The mouthfeel is a touch thin as with all the versions. But this one is creamy and finishes with some great lingering vanilla and bourbon notes. So, this was easy to drink and enjoyable. Really good, just short of the amazing balance and complexity of the wine barrel. If you buy one of these, get the wine. If you buy two, the bourbon is awesome and a really rewarding beer.

Aug 26, 2010
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JamnesCameron from Illinois

4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter.

Pours black as night, what else is new? Tan head, does not last, leaves a little lace behind.

Aromas of roast, vanilla, oak, and coffee. Compared to the scotch whiskey barrel aged, this is much more 3-deminsional.

First sip is of coffee first (interesting), vanilla, oak, and roast. Tastes like stout float with vanilla ice cream, delicious.

Mouthfeel is thick, bust roasted, mildly sweet, again, like a stout float would feel.

Drinkability is awesome. this is so much more complex and enjoyable than the scotch barrel aged. This is desert in a bottle.

Aug 21, 2010
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GRG1313 from California

3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Oct 26, 2013
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AleWatcher from Illinois

2.02/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Looks thin and flat. Dark brown.

Dammit. It's thin and flat. The coffee is all but gone and now reminds me of stale coffee from a pot that was on the burner for 4 hours and got a little scalded.
No carbonation.

The nose is boring-- where's the vanilla? Where's the bourbon? This is unimpressive. Wow, what a disappointment.

Dec 14, 2011
Black Hole (Bourbon Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 181 ratings