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Black Hole (Bourbon Edition) | Mikkeller ApS

very good
96 Reviews
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Black Hole (Bourbon Edition)Black Hole (Bourbon Edition)

Brewed by:
Mikkeller ApS
Denmark | website

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.

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Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 179
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.

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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.


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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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a small tan head. The aroma is very heavy on the oak, with some bourbon and vanilla notes also mixed in. There is also some strong chocolate and a little bit of maple in the aroma.

The flavor is similar. The flavors that stand out the most are vanilla and maple, with some nice oak and chocolate notes also mixed in. The roasted malt is also present, as are some whiskey notes.

Thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

The consensus of the group was that this was the best of the six barrel-aged Black Holes that were shared at the tasting.

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Photo of mikehblack
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A- Jet black with a surprising amount of brown, espresso head. Head recedes quickly but is leaving some lacing on the glass along with visible alcohol.

S- Tons of bourbon upfront. Smelling some sweetness as well as slight alcohol. Maybe a bit of vanilla coffee.

T- Bourbon. Sweet vanilla on the back of the tongue. Not getting much coffee, aside from some roastiness. Definitely some heat going down.

M- Silky smooth. Good amount of carbonation which surprised me based on previous Black Hole reviews. Coats the mouth a bit with bourbon heat.

O- Quite a tasty stout, really shows off the barrel's influence. Makes me want to try the other versions.

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Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first of the Barrel Aged editions of this beer.Poured jet black into a snifter,a thin walnut colored head atop.Deep vanilla and roast aromas with chocolate and toasty oak coming into play as well,the vanilla stands out along with an alcohol sweet zing as it warms.Vanilla tinged bourbon flavors with chocolate and roast,again as the beer warms more alcohol induced sweetness comes into play.This is a sipper,but its rich and warming,a very nice RIS.

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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.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Blinded review alongside the rest of the barrel aged Black Hole lineup.

A – Black with dark brown highlights. Creamy, dark mocha head with great retention and ok lace.

S – Smokey character with bright booze, vanilla, light chili spice, amaretto, and candied almonds. Complex and well balanced.

T – Sweet up front with caramel, prune, and vanilla honey, and counter balanced by a dark char smoke. Bright bourbon booze throughout. Sharp, semi-dry oak backend.

M – Smooth, medium body with a huge booziness to it.

O – Strongest booze of the barrel aged series, and that’s saying something. [my blinded guess was bourbon]

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Photo of Agold
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

When I popped the cork on this one I knew it was flat right away. Pours pitch black with no head at all even with a vigorous pour. Aroma is big coffee vanilla and oak. There is also a bit of caramel. Very pleasant. It tastes very nice. Oak complements rather than overwhelms the flavors of the stout with a bit of roasty coffee and mild coco coming through the bourbon. Mouthfeel is pretty off. No carb and kinda light. Not good mouthfeel at all. Overall the flatness of the beer kind of ruins it a bit. Could have been better with a bit heavier mouthfeel and a bit of carbonation.

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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.

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Photo of Chincino
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was excited to try this beer because I'm a big fan of Mikkeller beers.

The beer poured a very dark brown, almost black and had very little tan head.

The aroma was strong and a bit overpowering of Bourbon. The aroma also had nots of vanilla, malts, and honey.

The taste is smooth and complex. Good carbonation with this beer.

I would recommend this beer as a beer to end the night with.


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Photo of Urbancaver
2.86/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

7 barrel varieties with the base beer.

Pours a dark dark brown, almost black.

Minimal head.

Smells sweet, and chocolate heavy.
Very cloying on the nose and tongue.
Tastes sweet and cloying. Overall way way to sweet.
Mouthfeel is thick and boozy. Overall pretty mediocre

Better than the scotch

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle from Supermarket Liquors, 2010 C&C version. $13. Into a NB Globe.

A: Pitch black. An aggressive pour yields only a few small cap of tan bubbles. No lacing to speak of. Completely opaque. Dark and intimidating. A little head would help.

S: Nice notes of vanilla, coffee, chocolate and straight up bourbon. This has definitely calmed down from the straight booze bomb that it was last year when I popped open a bottle. Smells quite nice. The coffee has come on quite nice as it continues to warm.

T: Strong flavors of bourbon and coffee, two of my favorite flavors melded into one. Tons of roasted barley and charred malts, a fair amount of caramel and vanilla as well. Lingering aftertaste of bourbon and oak stick around. Would like a little more depth though, not a huge malt profile outside of the roasted barley and caramel. Still quite tasty.

M: A little bit too thin for my taste, carbonation is really light here as well. A little more body would help this out a ton. A little warmth, but not nearly as boozy and hot as it was a year ago. I just wish it was a little thicker.

O: Not a bad beer, and certainly my favorite out of all of the -bal black holes. I would really like a lot more body here though. The -bal's have seemed quite a bit more thin than the regular black hole. Not really worth the $13 price tag, but still a flavorful treat.

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Photo of DaveHS
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of phichifiji00
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Black with a finger of thick, creamy tan head that fades very slowly. Slight lacing.

Smell: Bourbon is very prevalent, honey, coffee, vanilla, chocolate and a bit boozy as it warms.

Taste: Bourbon dominates, with himts of honey and vanilla at the forefront then fades to coffee towards the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, heavy carbonation, very smooth and creamy as it warms up. A bit boozy, but not overpoweringly so, considering it's 13.1% ABV.

Overall: A tasty beer. I like the combination of bourbon, honey and vanilla. Not sure the coffee is needed or fits well with the other flavor elements, but very drinkable, especially considering its ABV.

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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!

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Photo of CaptainTripps
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A .5L bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours pitch black with a large - 3 fingers worth - bourbon brown head. leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

S: A very sweet mixture of bourbon, vanilla and milk chocolate. Also getting oak, honey and booze. Slight roasted character as well.

T: Bourbon, vanilla and milk chocolate are the biggest components. Roasted malt character and booze make up the rest of this beer. Simple but gets the job done.

M: Medium to almost full bodied beer with moderate to light carbonation. Works fine with this beer. Alcohol is strong, but I like it.

O: A simple barrel aged stout that gets the job done. I love the straight forwardness in this beer.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Mikkeller brew. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: pitch black ('natch) with a thick dark tan head that settled slowly but never completely disappeared

S: coffee, bourbon, molasses, cocoa - sweet and burnt

T: semi-sweet with some chocolate, maybe a little of the honey, and notes of the bourbon - Somewhere between North Coast's Old Rasputin and Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout.

M: a little sticky, no bitterness or bad aftertaste, the high abv is invisible - no burn or astringency

O: a very good beer - I hold the Old Rasputin in very high regard but have lost some of my enthusiasm for the Bourbon County stout, and this beer is a good middle ground between the two.

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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!

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Photo of jsanford
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Cigar City Snifter.

Pours like "Regular" Black Hole, which is a dark, ominous black with a thin mocha head that fades to a slight ring. Big aromas and flavors of bitter roasted malt and burnt coffee, with strong Bourbon notes of oak, caramel, and vanilla. The Bourbon integrates nicely with the base beer, and takes a lot of the harsh edge off (thankfully). Mouthfeel is slightly creamy, with a full body and low carbonation. Much better then the base beer, and a good "control" for the rest of the Barrel-Aged versions, but I've had about a million Bourbon-aged beers that were better.

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Photo of stakem
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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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.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a large tan/brown head that diminishes quickly. Scent is sweet bourbon with vanilla. Quite a bit of coffee as well. Some wood. Taste very bourbon-y with nice amount of vanilla and a ton of booze. Lots of vanilla coffee flavor with hints of wood and toffee. Mouthfeel is pretty full-bodied without being overly syrupy. Drinkability is descent...will be much more drinkable when the booze mellows out. Overall, this is a tasty beer, but will only improve with time. Too hot right now.

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Photo of peacebone116
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from .5-L bottle into a Delirium snifter.

A: Black with a brown head that fades slowly to lace.

N: Coffee & bourbon-like booze & sweet vanilla.

T/M: Medium to heavy mouthfeel with a creamy body and dry finish. Alcohol is prominent. Flavors are a bit muddled, but I definitely get the sweetness of honey and vanilla with bitter coffee & chocolate finished out with a bourbon burn.

Very good beer--maybe bit young and maybe not worth the money that I payed for it ($16), but the only way I can confirm this theory is to buy another bottle, give it some time to age a bit, and try it again.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high tan head that died down ever so slowly, leaving some lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of bourbon in the nose.
T: The taste is somewhat more complex compared to the smell and has flavors of bourbon along notes of roast chocolate malts plus some hints of vanilla.
M: It feels on the heavier side of medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate. There is a moderate amount of carbonation along with some warming from the alcohol. Only a hint of dryness is detectable.
O: The beer is extremely easy to drink considering the strength because the alcohol is well masked from the taste (except for the bourbon).

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Black Hole (Bourbon Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
85 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.
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