Black Hole (Bourbon Edition) | Mikkeller ApS

97 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Black Hole (Bourbon Edition)Black Hole (Bourbon 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 gford217 on 05-27-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 181
Photo of ScottishBrew83
5/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For appearance the lush, viscous black liquid poured nicely with a dark brown head that dissipated quickly.

The smell of this beer was exceptional with a huge bourbon nose and plenty of roasty coffee stout aromas.

The flavor of this beer is complex to say the least. The bourbon cuts right through at first then it holds back to let the roasted coffee and cocoa flavors come forward. The taste progresses to let the silky honey, vanilla, and trace caramel flavors roll over the tongue. This is undoubtedly a Russian Imperial Stout with many characteristics indicative of the style.

The mouth feel of the beer is smooth and has a thick viscosity akin to espresso. The concentrated oily texture makes for a pleasantly smooth drinking experience when enjoying such a complex and flavorful beer.

Overall, this beer is excellent. The complex and concentrated nature of this beer creates an adventure for your palette. I would highly recommend this beer even though it is expense. The price justifies the care and craft of this immense brew. It has a sophisticated array of flavors that I would expect from masterful brewers. Great job on this amazing ale. Slainte!

 1,165 characters

Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.8/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Jet black, a couple carbonation bubbles, half finger light brown head.

S - Bourbon & milk chocolate.

T - Chocolate fudge, bourbon, oatmeal, coffee.

M- Smooth, bourbon sticks to your tongue and I don't want it to ever leave!

O - Each black hole barrel version I try I like more than the one before! This is my favorite blac hole, and one of the greatest beers I have ever had!

 382 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.78/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Strong aroma is smoky with notes of coffee, unsweet chocolate and molasses, with a firm woody bourbon overtone - very appetizing. It pours a luscious opaque sable with a VERY thick and persistent fluffy light tan head. Flavor is - SU-PERB! Rich and smoky, strong tones of quality roast coffee, unsweet chocolate, molasses, caramel, charred wood and good bourbon. How could I complain? Texture is not just full-bodied, it is thick as cream and fairly tingly with a strong alcohol bite. This beer is danged near perfect, and a MUST for all stouties!

 547 characters

Photo of BierJager89
4.71/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Literally black with a dark brown head. Perfect appearance for an imperial stout. Very deserving of the name Black Hole, a thing so dark it's blacker than black. It sucks light into an inescapable void, through the infinity of endless ages.

S: Caramel, coffee, vanilla, honey, roasted malt and a touch of alcohol in the nose. In short. It smells amazing.

T: Coffee, chocolate, honey, a lingering hint of vanilla in the finish. Bitter aftertaste of alcohol is unpleasant, but the beer is delicious.

M: Creamy, full bodied and quite smooth. Alcohol takes a bit away from the smoothness.

O: One of the best Mikkeller beers out there. Worth a try if you can find it. I still can, but according to BeerAdvocate it was only brewed once.

 779 characters

Photo of russwbeck
4.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Such a beautiful looking beer. Thick black pour out of the bottle with a very large, deep brown head. The size of the bubbles and thickness of the head reminds me of a sponge above the beer. Lacing is great, retention is only ok.

S: The aroma is really rich. Chocolate, roast, coffee, bourbon, vanilla, and booze. At times, the alcohol seems to be a bit too much for the rest of the ingredients...but I don't mind it. The aroma is really well put together.

T: This taste is extremely deep and well balanced. The vanilla I'd say is the most surprising part, as it really asserts itself and helps curb the intensity of the other flavors. I think the honey is playing a role in the sweetness as well. A very nice blend of chocolate and bourbon make this an intimidating offering. The coffee finish adds a dry roast character that is much needed. Booze is noted throughout the taste, but certainly only adds to the balance. All of the flavors play together very well. Really impressed here.

MF: The body is thick and heavy, carbonation low, and finish dry. I found it to be really drinkable because the flavors all worked very well together. That 13% will catch up to you!

O: Really happily blown away by this one. It was easy to justify the price when I saw what all this was brewed with, and it did not disappoint.

 1,319 characters

Photo of Tim460
4.62/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Mikasa stout glass.

Poured black with a tanish/brown head.

The smell coming from this beer is simply amazing a mixture of coffee and bourbon with a hint of chocolate. Tastes of coffee up front with a subtle hint of chocolate. Strong bourbon taste on the back end. Warming alcohol sensation throughout but seems right at home with the bourbon flavor.

This is a heavy beer and it lets you know it. Very complex yet the flavors meddled together nicely. Mikkeller has quickly become one of my favorite brewers and though his beers are expensive, they really deliver in terms of quality.

 600 characters

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.55/5  rDev +21.3%
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.

 580 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a (synthetic) corked and caged 12.7oz bottle into a Mikkeller tulip.

A: Pours a fantastic black with dark coffee brown highlights. Sitting on top is a dark mocha colored layer of creamy foam that slowly melts down to an unbreakable collar. Lace curtains all the way!

S: I was surprised at how pronounced the coffee was in the aroma. I was expecting more of a syrupy sweet bourbon smell, but the coffee really helped tame that. Just like all the other ones in this series, the complexities come out as it warms. I picked out espresso and boutbon, heavily roasted malt, dark fruit, dark chocolate, brown sugar, fudge and a bit of tart cherry.

T: Exactly as above with the sole difference being a creeping alcohol flavor that adds rather than detracts, by bringing just a pinch of solvent booze.

M: Of the series I felt this was the fullest of the bunch. Sticky and creamy with some sweet bourbon and chocolate, prickly hops and alcohol, with bitter espresso and dry roasty malt.

D: Yikes! This went down too easy. Only at the last couple of sips did the booziness really blow up. Fantastic, my favorite of the series.

 1,132 characters

Photo of FranzBC
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Wow I cant believe this beer is rated so low... I think this bottle is from 2010; no cork just a cap. At 13.1% with quite a bit of age this beer is super smooth. The coffee and bourbon are dominate in the long lingering taste. Tastes quite a bit like aged KBS in my opinion. No sharp bitterness like many Mikkeller stouts.

 325 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer plus the the others in the series were very good. I feel that the Bourbon was my favorite though. The beer poured out as a jet black brew with a nice creamy brown colored head on it. The smell of the beer is boozy and very roasted, had a light amount of bourbon on the nose. The taste has more bourbon that the nose does. The other flavors in there was of heavy roasted malts and boozy heat. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. Overall this beer was great in my opinion. Should have bought more.

 510 characters

Photo of CasanovaCummins
4.41/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

brewery notes: Stout ale brewed with coffee, honey, and vanilla, aged in bourbon barrels.

Pours a dark, wine-tinged brown with light lacing. Almost resembles a Porto.

As it warms it smells of bourbon, caramel, and slight metallic prune. Only the slightest hint of honey. It goes through phases and goes from cold metal to warm fruits and back again.

Very thin body with a slightly acidic, almost acrid taste. The initial taste is rather flat, but then blooms into a charred bourbon that develops into a very lingering and more weighty after -taste. A cold fruity hop note mingles with the earthy tobacco flavors. Almost musty. Tastes of mushrooms and leather.

The after taste is the clear standout of this beer. The initial flavors come off as a bit distant, even cold, but the lingering note is of cocoa nibs and bakers chocolate. You can spend a good amount of time with the lingering flavors.

One of the better Mikkeller offerings I've had.

 949 characters

Photo of jpro
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle from CBX into a shaped Mikkeller tulip...

A: Tar black with a coffee brown, one-finger head of foam; nice retention leaves a thick sheet of lace (surprising, considering the abv)

S: First... bourbon; some woody / vinous notes in there, too, along with some rich, roasted and sweet malt aromas.

T: Bourbon. Followed by sweet, black patent maltiness; some distinct vanilla and honey sweetness peeks through towards the finish, followed by a dry, woody finish; very complex.

M: Full-bodied; high carbonation, yet velvety; warming... very nice.

D/O: A tasty sipper; very robust and high abv... its a bit more harsh than some other bourbon barrel aged brews, but good nonetheless.

 694 characters

Photo of dogfishandi
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

 1,205 characters

Photo of Arenbeer
4.37/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7floz Cork and Caged bottle into a Goblet

$13.99 at Decicco's in Ardsley

A- Pours solid black with pretty much no head other than a rim of different sized bubbles around the glass. No retention as it goes down the glass but leaves some serious alcohol legs behind.

S- Coffee up front that's followed by a lot of bourbon and musty oak notes. Getting notes of fresh leather, sweet vanilla and coconut as well. The base beer shines through but the presence of the bourbon barrels hear is undeniable.

T- Deep dark roasted malts up front with burnt coffee, and bitter unsweetened dark chocolate. But what really makes this beer shine is the barrel flavors. Lots of char, sweet vanilla, coconut, and of course boozy bourbon that blends so nicely.

M- Medium to light bodied with low carbonation and a nice clean finish with a good warming feeling down the throat from the bourbon. Body is a little to thin for me especially for this style.

Overall this is definitely hands down my favorite of the line-up. The beer and the barrels blend so nicely and create such a complexity of flavors that is satisfying every sip. If you can get this serious buy these and only these. The rest will disappoint, glad I saved this one for last.


 1,244 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.32/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 ounce corked and caged bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a 1/2 inch brown head. Not much head retention, but there is a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice and strong, it smells like roasted malt, coffee, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, and honey. The flavors are mostly the same as the aroma, but the coffee and roasted malt flavors are stronger compared to the chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and honey. There's also some burnt/charred malt noticable. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's creamy and a bit slick with decent carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's an easy enough brew to drink. The 13.1% ABV is hidden well for the most part. I think this is a good overall brew, I'd probably buy another bottle if I came across this again, although it is pricey.

 800 characters

Photo of daveytheformer
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a huge khaki colored head that dissipates to a sticky lacing on the glass.

Smells really sweet like coconuts, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, oak and a light roasted malt aroma. Repeated whiffs and the coconut turns into honey.

Tastes are lots of chocolate, dark fruits, promised vanilla and a pleasant roasted coffee characteristic round out the flavor. The lady says rotten wood.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied. Very light carbonation that works in this beers favor.

Overall is top notch in my book. Would love to try all the different variations of Black Hole.

 591 characters

Photo of jampics2
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

 1,436 characters

Photo of gford217
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375mL bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours pitch black with a massive three finger tan head that clings to the sides stubbornly leaving sheets of lacing on the way down.

The aroma is really sweet but really roasted if that makes sense. There is some light vanilla and bourbon hints with a heavily roasted black malt backbone. There is sweet chocolate, coffee and dark fruits. Big aroma, especially as it warms.

Well, the taste really brings the coffee, much more than the aroma. It takes like a bourbon-spiked iced mocha - coffee, cream, milk chocolate and bourbon. The finish lets you know the ABV is not kidding around with a boozy burn.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and like an oil slick. Moderate carbonation and super roasty and super sweet.

I liked this one more than the original for two major reasons - the coffee is more pronounced and the bourbon is more subtle and complimentary than I was expecting. I think I need to revisit the original now actually...

 988 characters

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

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

Smells of roasted malts, dark chocolate, vanilla, and smooth bourbon. Also present are mild amounts of coffee.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Robust roasted malt flavors serve as the backbone and are joined by equal amounts of vanilla, bourbon, and dark chocolate flavors shortly thereafter. The flavors sweeten a bit midway through the sip before coffee flavors temper the profile before a solidly bitter ending.

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

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I found that the bourbon and scotch barrels had the most influence on this beer and the bourbon did the best job of the two of augmenting as opposed to overpowering. A very nice beer that's well worth a shot.

 955 characters

Photo of beergoot
4.21/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Intense black body with a thick, creamy, sticky, light tan head; sudsy clumps of foam clinging to the glass. Deep, sweet chocolate aroma infused with cocoa and anise; crème de menthe. Big, sweet and bitter milk chocolate with a noticeable bourbon-barrel undertone; sharp, boozy aftertaste. Rich, heavy mouthfeel.

The bourbon barrel aging really shines through on this one and does a fine job complementing the deep, rich malt sweetness. There's a deft softness to the taste and flavor that is nicely offset with a good, boozy sharpness. Balanced and complex throughout.

 571 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to Founders tulip.

A - Black with half a finger of brown head.

S - Very sweet up front - chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak and some coffee notes. The ABV is noticeable without being distracting.

T - The ABV is noticeable up front and gives way to a mix of barrel characteristics and the base beer. Bourbon, oak and light vanilla come together with roasted malts, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, char and molasses. Fairly complex with good integration of the base beer and the barrel characteristics.

M - Medium body. Light to moderate carbonation.

 558 characters

Photo of Cmack15
4.2/5  rDev +12%
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.

 618 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a jet black with good carbonationa nd a nice dirty white head

S: Bourbon, lots of dried dark fruits and booze

T: Wow. Lots going on here. Roasted malt and chocolate. Figs, raisin, bourbon, smoke, wood and tobacco.

M: Booze sting, vanilla, wood, tobacco, warm

D: Wow, A bruiser!

 291 characters

Photo of mullenpc
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Brooklyn tulip at about 60 degrees.

Appearance - Pitch black, just as you would expect. A somewhat vigorous pour produced about a two finger espresso foam colored head full of very fine bubbles. No carbonation issues from the looks of the pour.

Smell - Bourbon dominates, along with a sweet, vanilla-laced dark chocolate. Very sweet smelling imperial stout. Honey, charred malts, and coffee sneak in behind the bourbon and chocolate.

Taste - There's not a lot going on here compared to other bourbon barrel aged stouts that I've had, but it's still a flavor that I love. Bourbon is immediately recognizable at the front, followed by a sweet chocolate/honey/vanilla. The finish is bitter but no overly so, mostly roasted malts and coffee. The drinkability is ridiculous for a 13.1% brew. This is incredibly smooth with no overly boozy aftertaste, though you do get a great warming sensation with each sip.

Mothfeel - Lack of carbonation is not an issue with this bottle. Mouthfeel is medium to full, very creamy but with more of a well-rounded finish rather than being syrupy. Mouthfeel reminds me alot of Olde Hickory Imp. Stout and Old Rasputin

Overall - I thought that this was miles better than the scotch aged Black Hole, which is the only other beer I have tried from this series. I've got another bottle of this which I cant wait to try in a year or two.

 1,378 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4.16/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | 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, roasted coffee, molasses, black licorice, oak, vanilla, Bourbon, some dark fruit, and some booze.

T - Dark chocolate and sweet dark caramel malts, roasted coffee, black licorice, molasses, vanilla, oak, Bourbon, some 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 and sweet finish.

D - Nicely balanced big imperial Stout. Nice body and mouthfeel. The Bourbon barrels add some nice depth and complexity.

 639 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Black Hole (Bourbon Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
3.75 out of 5 based on 181 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.