Black Hole (Cognac Edition)
Mikkeller ApS

Black Hole (Cognac Edition)Black Hole (Cognac Edition)
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Russian Imperial Stout
4.22 | pDev: 10.43%
Mikkeller ApS
Retired (no longer brewed)
Black Hole (Cognac Edition)Black Hole (Cognac Edition)
Notes: Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij.
View: Beers
Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 158 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.29/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer poured a deep black color with little visible carbonation.

Smell - The scent of leather radiates from this one with the smokiness of the stout.

Taste - In terms of the stout profile, this is pleasantly smokey. The overall profile has huge leather notes with red grapes and chocolate. The promised honey and vanilla have disappeared in aging. The leather red grapes continued in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - My one complaint is the feel. The viscosity is more like a black lager than a stout.

Overall - This bottle was enjoyed side by side with the tequila verson. Tequila won.

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Photo of Resuin
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a stemmed glass. This is 5 or 6 years since bottling.

A: Pours black and leaves a half finger of tan head which quickly fades to a tan rim around the glass.

S: Delicious spiced cognac, licorice, plums, dark chocolate.

T: Dark chocolate, oak, a touch of smooth heat, vanilla, honey, cognac. Very smooth.

M: Low carb but enough, creamy, full body.

O: I'm impressed by this one. Really smoothed out and without any oxidation. Very nice and drinkable with a complex array of nice flavors.

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Resuin from Massachusetts, Dec 18, 2016
Photo of jlindros
3.39/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Light fizzy head, dark brown color.

Nose light, muted, faint chocolate and roast, faint cognac booze.

Taste smooth chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toffee boat, faint cognac, little booze, little bitter spicy hop

Mouth is med bod, light carb.

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jlindros from Massachusetts, Feb 21, 2016
Photo of vegas1211
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, Il. This beer smelled as good as it tasted. It was the 2011 version and the flavours held up quite well. Notes of vanilla and toffee followed by bitter chocolate and caramel. Nice thick mouthfeel and smooth finish. Overall one of the better brews Ove had from Mikkeller.

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vegas1211 from Illinois, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great beer- so well balanced and complex. A lot going on here, but it's so seemlessly integrated and smooth. Part of the reason is that is has some age on it, which tends to mellow things out a bit. You certainly can't tell that this is 13% abv. When first opened, I noticed the cofee and the honey quite distinctly, after a bit the coffee has faded a bit and the honey is more mellow but still distinct. The cognac notes continue to linger, but as a back- note and harsh at all. It serves more to underline the mellow roasty notes of the coffee and grain and add a roundness to it all. The vanilla and honey cancel any lingering sourness from the coffee and grain and add a welcome modicum of sweetness. Just lovely all around, and maybe smells even better than it tastes.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
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, cognac, vanilla, some dark fruit, and some booze.

T - Dark chocolate and sweet dark caramel malts, roasted coffee, cognac, vanilla, black licorice, molasses, some vanilla and 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 cognac barrel adds some nice complexity.

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ngeunit1 from Massachusetts, Feb 07, 2013
Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Mikkeller oversized wine glass (proper!). Poured pitch black with a one finger brown head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit, wood, sweet alcohol, plums, raisins, and sugar. The flavor was of sweet malt, wood, roasted malt, honey, dark chocolate, alcohol, dark fruit, and subtle coffee. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. This brew had a huge amount of complexity. The cognac barrel definitely made itself known throughout the brew. I wish the coffee aspect would have come through a little more to add some more acidity to the brew, but beggars can’t be choosers. Definitely worth your time trying this one. Can’t wait to try the others that are sitting in my fridge currently.

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thagr81us from South Carolina, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of cvm4
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark body with a 2 finger tan head. Not much lacing to speak of

S - Very forward nose with all the cognac and boozyness showing through. Lots of oak, sweet chocolate & a slight coffee.

T - Very boozy, even from the beginning. Lots of roasted malts, vanilla & cocoa nibs. It can come across as sweeter than I'd prefer.

M - Medium carbonation, body is lighter & not as heavy as I'd expect.

O - I've had the bourbon, peat whiskey & tequila versions & this is the best of the bunch by far.

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cvm4 from Mississippi, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

yup, this one is big time. big big time. it pours midnight black, literally like the depths of space. its dense as blacktop, and has a small off white head that doesnt stick around too long. im smelling tons of alcohol, as well as sweet tobacco notes, raw honeycomb, and spent espresso grinds. the flavor is easily as complex as the nose, with the honey notes really adding something special here. the cognac barrel adds some potency to the alcoholic profile, as well as a light woody tone that is trying not to be overpowered by the huge roasty malt and coffee flavors. its bitter and its sweet, everything in excellent proportion. this is an order of magnitude more complex than the standard black hole, and one of the more enjoyable mikkeller big stouts (and there are a great many of those). mouthfeel is huge. massive body and light carbonation. a little on the syrupy side, altough not as bad as some others. the alcohol is almost to a brutal level here, and this bottle demands to be shared. what a sensory experience!

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Photo of danieelol
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With thanks to IBS

Pours a dark black, though not as thick as I'd like, with nice head and lacing.

Smell is a lot like BA George! Faint Frangelico. Molasses, coffee, chocolate. Subtle milk/fruits. Almost get some herbal, tea-y notes.

Taste is chocolate, rounded fruity maltiness. Have had the Bourbon iteration and this is quite distinct. Strong notes of hazelnut, caramelised chocolate and coffee. Faint hops.

Mouthfeel is a little thin and watery for my preference but does have some sugar thickening it up. Somewhat of a harsh and astringent aftertaste. Faint drying alcohol.

Overall a nice beer. Coffee comes through more in this version, not sure if that may be cause this is fresher.

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danieelol from Australia, Jul 11, 2012
Photo of Dope
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pitch black with a big and dense medium brown head. Fades slowly, leaving substantial fluffy lacing behind.

S: Like the tequila version I had last night, it's loaded with sweet molasses. This one actually has just a little roasted malt character coming through with some char and chocolate. Nice fruitiness, grapes and raisins maybe? Hint of alcohol bite unlike the tequila version as well.

T: A little fruity cognac up front which quickly turns into heavy, heavy charred oak and smoke. Vanilla kicks in and is present through the aftertaste. A little honey also helps to sweeten up the ash and results in a decent finish. Quite boozy and not nearly as sweet as the tequila version.

M: Heavy, slick and a bit chalky. This beer is quite ashy and I swear it even has ash in the mouthfeel too.

O: As mentioned I just had the tequila version last night. Amazing how different the two versions are. The tequila version was very sweet and heavy on the molasses. This has almost no molasses and is much better balanced. Tons more roasted malt character in this too which is what I wanted to see from the tequila version. Overall I give this one the edge, it's just a better overall beer.

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Dope from Massachusetts, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of xnicknj
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap at farmers cabinet

Pours an inky black with a tiny toasted brown head resting on top. Some patchy lacing clings to the glass with some wispy film littered across the top.

Aggressive nose with cognac and booze, tempered by soothing oak and vanilla. Highly roasted malts with a touch of tobacco and smoke. Chocolate sweetness with dark malts. Boozy and warm.

Warm and boozy right out of the gate with heavily roasted (almost charred) malts. Dark flavor with caramel and chocolate, followed by some toasted bread crust. Cognac and oak with residual vanilla, leather and tobacco. Heavy and boozy in the finish.

Fuller body, milder carbonation, sticky and thick on the tongue. This is nowhere near as bad as some people make it out to be - although the flavors are a bit clumsy due to the heavily roasted and charred notes in the nose and flavor profile. The volume is definitely amped up on this one.

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xnicknj from Pennsylvania, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of dbrauneis
3.76/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours jet black in color with just the most subtle hints of dark amber when held up to the light. The beer has a thin tan head which reduces to a ring at the edge of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: The alcohol is very present in the aroma - the combination of the high ABV and the cognac aging is intense. There are also some caramel sweetness, roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, oak, and charred/burnt wood.

T: Mild sweetness of caramel/toffee on top of burnt and extremely dark roasted malts. There is a less than subtle hint of the cognac as well - vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, and something slightly chalky tasting.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Some alcohol heat is present in the finish.

O: Not the easiest beer to drink as the alcohol presence is much too in your face. I find the alcohol in this beer to be a little harsh and tough to easily drink. The beer improves as it warms but is a little too much for me. Not sure I would get this one again.

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dbrauneis from North Carolina, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.2/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours the same unapologetically cheerless, black body with a medium-small, mocha-toned head. Let's see where the cognac takes it from here.

Smell: Burnt malted barley, ashen and charry as it always is in the Black Hole series, with a hint of bittersweet chocolate and a faint, less-than-supporting fruitiness, assumably aided by the cognac.

Taste: Moderate sweetness over the roasted malts, still ostensibly harsh, and the bittersweet chocolate taste, still a bit crude. Small hints of vanilla, sea salt caramel. A singe of unworthy cognac. Those malts just remain harsh, chalky, and acrid throughout. Boozy, harsh, sugary finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-light carbonation.

Overall: I'm not too terribly keen on this one either, no. Well, that closes out the red wine, white wine, and cognac varieties for me. Next up: tequila, whiskey, and bourbon!

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Photo of frenchblood21
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into wine glass.

Appearance- Almost pitch black, but not quite. Espresso colored head that is very thin and goes right away.

Smell- Where to begin with this beauty? Just like the bottle says, coffee, honey and vanilla. Maybe a hint of dark chocolate.

Taste- Like the nose, but somehow more complex. Honey, vanilla and alcohol burn right up front, then that turns into, almost like magic, coffee and charred barrel.

Mouthfeel- A bit thin for a stout. Still has the slight burn, but I'm sure that would go away after a year or so in the cellar.

Overall- Is this beer perfect, no of course not. With that being said, the nose and taste are remarkable. Maybe the most complex taste I've ever experienced in a beer. Totally worth the price tag.

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Photo of MacQ32
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - near black caramel head that quickly dissipated, minimal lacing

S - sweet vanilla, honey and cognac, pretty strong

T - sweet vanilla, a little roastyness, some honey, straight cognac

M - medium body and fair carbonation, a bit of a sipper

O - good cognac flavor, heavy on the vanillas and roasty coffee flavors

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MacQ32 from South Carolina, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of seand
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nearly opaque dark brown, with a small amount of dense tan head. Just a bit of film retains on parts of the surface and around the edge of the glass, leaving a few spots of lacing.

S: Densely sweet, with notes of chocolate, coffee, and just a touch of licorice and whiskey. A nice blend.

T: Nice complexity; deep sweetness, leading into roasted malt and caramel. The finish continues with the roasted notes. Subtle whiskey notes, but that's probably mostly because I'm specifically looking for that. There's a lot going on, but it's so well blended that it's hard to pick out individual flavors.

M: Full body, medium smooth carbonation.

Overall, great. This is a really fantastic beer.

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seand from California, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of Jadjunk
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

#147. On tap at Taco Mac Decatur. My first Mikkeller beer. Reviewed from notes.

(Appearance) Solid black, spotty surface cover, light brown lacing. 4

(Smell) Black malts, licorice. A great woody cognac aroma. Aroma is intense up close. 4

(Taste) Delicious heavy wooden boozy flavor. Smoky licorice, black raisin and dark roasted black and caramel malt flavor. Tart dry smoky finish complete with wood tones. Complex. 4.5

(Mouthfeel) Smooth. Heavy mouthfeel, medium alcohol presence. 3.5

(Overall) A fantastic beer, I'd recommend getting this while it's still around. 4

Black Hole (Cognac Edition)

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Jadjunk from Georgia, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of eric5bellies
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a deep deep ebony colour with a tanned head that retains well.

S - Sweet roasted malt, cocoa and oaky sweetness that is reminiscent of vanilla.

T - Quite sweet up front with a little roasted malt charachter. Alcohol is non existent. Chocolate present with a little coffee. The cognac is there but not predominant.

M - Full body and minimal carbonation.

O - Would have liked to have seen less sweetness and more cognac in this brew. Nonetheless a very solid showing from Mikkeller.

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eric5bellies from Australia, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of liamt07
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Pino, part of our Black Hole blind tasting. 375ml into a snifter. My clear winner of the night.

Poured a dark brown/black, with a finger of brown head. Light retention, leaving a thick collar and great legs. Nose has light fruitniess and a gentle spirit character, a bit of berries, light honey, alcohol, some smoke and caramel. Taste is fruity, dry with some tar and caramel. Gentle cognac notes (in retrospect) cover the palate, roast, honey and char also. Full thick and chewy feel, sweet with a roasty and charred finish. Quite sweet, but not bad at all - interesting contrast between the roast.char and cognac/spirit qualities.

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liamt07 from Ontario (Canada), Jan 13, 2012
Photo of peensteen
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Premier, part of the blind Black Hole tasting.

Near jet black, nearly one finger of brownish tan head, some lace on the glass. Smell is roasty with some oak and vanilla notes, coffee and chocolate, light alcohol, cognac spirit scents are there but fairly subtle. Taste is quite roasted with some coffee present, lightly sweet cognac notes, oak, chocolate and vanilla, more coffee and charred notes in the finish. Medium carbonation and full bodied, good feel with a nice overall weight. Solid stuff here, not as good as Black Cognac but still very nice, would have this again but would take the Black if I had the choice.

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peensteen from Ontario (Canada), Jan 13, 2012
Photo of silentnoiz
3.12/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank A/B with the Black (sampled all but the Rum same night).

A - very dark small head slight lacing

S - roasty boozyness

T - boozy, interresting, a bit bitter

M - same as the rest of this series

O - interesting brew, quite bitter on the back end, fun to try

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silentnoiz from Tennessee, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of mondegreen
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz bottle into a Stone Tulip. 2011 Vintage.

Pours pitch black with a thin, but respectable, khaki head.

Nose is a bit tame but nice. Wood and cognac take center stage.

Taste is quite sweet. The beer takes on the character of the barrels well, and the cognac treatment was quite nice to this one.

Mouth is light for an RIS, but not to the beer's detriment. It works.

Overall, cognac barrels are a far better fit for Black Hole than harsher bourbon or scotch barrels. Black hole is a relatively thin, highly attenuated beer, so the softer cognac barrel matches perfectly. In my opinion this one is the best of the line up, and I'd recommend it to friends.

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mondegreen from Georgia, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of korguy123
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into snifter. No freshness date.

A- Syrupy black as night pour. Two finger light tan head that slowly drops to a half inch and stays put. Lacing is oily gobs all over the glass.

S- Chocolate and coffee. The honey is more upfront than the White Wine version I had earlier. The vanilla again isn't as upfront as I would have liked but I'm a vanilla nut. The back end is where you get into the wonderful barrels and cognac. It smells amazing. I haven't had the opportunity to partake in any other cognac beers other than a 2009 Angel's Share and this one takes the cake in the aroma department. It's very smooth and balanced.

T- Coffee and bakers chocolate right up front, followed by a dark devils food cake taste from the vanilla and honey and cognac. Alcohol is invisible with this one. There is a wonderful earthiness from the barrels and it really suits this well.

M- Medium to full bodied, slightly prickly carbonation makes this very palatable and not so heavy and syrupy as some barrel aged beers can get. The slightest feel of the 13% there but very minimum.

O- This I think is Mikkeller's best beer to date. This makes me excited for the others in the barrel aged set as well as wanting to hunt down more cognac beers.

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korguy123 from Ontario (Canada), Dec 30, 2011
Photo of Scotchboy
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Sampled 12/22.

Mikkeller Black Hole, Cognac Edition, on-tap @ Bittercreek Ale House, Boise ID.

A: Opaque and quite thick, with a decent khaki head with surprising retention.

S: Roasted malt, lots of chocolate and sweetness (assuming from the barrels), extremely light sweet white wine character. A touch of oak, real alcohol presence.

T: Follows the nose, though this beer is more sweet than it is roasty. The chocolate is predominant and blends well with the barrel characters. Surprised at how well this brew meshes, and again, no overwhelming alcohol presence.

MF: Smooth, creamy full body...light carbonation, but that actually works well in this beer.

O: Surprised that this wasn't a booze-bomb, Mikkeller did a good job here and the Cognac barrels are really nice. I'd recommend it. Wish it were cheaper.

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Black Hole (Cognac Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 158 ratings