Black Hole (Cognac Edition) | Mikkeller ApS

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Black Hole (Cognac Edition)Black Hole (Cognac 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 BeerAdvocate on 11-05-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 157
Photo of bagpiper2005
4.97/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pour: Jet black. Three fingers of brown head that lasts forever. Leaves lacing all over the glass. Beautiful lacing that sticks all over the glass. Gorgeous beer.

Smell: A little smoky, sweet and caramelly. Molasses, vanilla, coffee, chocolate. Cognac makes its presence known.

Taste: Caramel, brown sugar, and molasses kick things off. Undertones of vanilla and dark fruits. Chocolate and smoke come in force in the middle.. A little woody and smoky, slightly spicy in the finish. Long, smooth, full finish with notes of coffee and bitter hops. Alcohol disguised very well - I can't even notice it in the taste. Warming though.

Mouthfeel: Thick, cteamy, and smooth. Low carbonation. Imagine sipping on some nice, thick latte or something.

Drinkability/Overall: Dangerously drinkable. Incredibly smooth on the way down, like sipping some fine liquor. Amazing bold flavor and drinks way too easy for the ABV.

Final notes: Perhaps the best beer I've ever had. Expensive and worth it. Only a handful of bottles in the world, I lucked out to come across some. It's highly unlikely I'll come across something like this again. Absolutely amazing.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a luscious sable with a fairly thick and fluffy tan head. Aroma is absolutely heavenly - chocolate, smoked wood, licorice, malt and hints of coffee and cognac. Flavor - oh, such flavor! Smoky malt, chocolate, quality coffee, subtle notes of licorice, toffee and cognac, no surprise for the latter. Alcohol bite is firm but not overwhelming. Texture is full-bodied and then a little, fizzy and lively, leaving a tingly and smoky finish. Grab this one whilst it’s available!

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Photo of bradcochran1234
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Oh my! This is...liquid Christmas

A- BLACK as night with a big head

S- Lots of toasty coffee, a little vanilla and a slight toffee

T- WOW! At first the alcohol stands out, maybe a little too cold. As it warms up the coffee and bitter chocolate stand out. Then, as it warms up even more the Cognac comes in on the back of the palate with tastes of sweet vanilla and rich butter.

M- A little bit of alcohol, but over all just smooth and buttery

O- YES, YES, YES... The "Phantom Brewer" does it once again. So far I have tasted the Cognac, the Red Wine Barrel and the White Wine Barrel and this is the best one. Gonna be buying a few more of these.

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Photo of angelogarcia3
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black hole is an excellent beer served on-tap at Sapsuckers in Huntington, NY. They serve this beer in a medium sized brandy glass with a beautiful dark tan head and midnight black color. There is no cloudiness and it is sharp and clean in color. The aroma of this beer is of chocolate liquor & cognac. The first sip is syrrupy but smooth with flavors of chocolate, maltiness, cognac liquor, and hints of spice and a hint of tartness. Definitely a special beer.

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Photo of korguy123
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
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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Photo of TheStove
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this last night at the Trappist in Oakland, CA, poured into a snifter.

Appearance is great. Opaque, inky black with light brown head that lingers for a bit. Initial whiff of the beer is a muted yet obvious warm aroma of cognac.

Lots going on here, initial taste is of rich vanilla giving way to pleasant honey sweetness. A flood of chocolate maltiness is followed by cognac flavor and some light vanilla seemingly from the barrel rather than the beer. Sip finishes with a slight throat burn, excellent effect of the cognac.

Tons of complexity in this one. The vanilla and honey flavors of the beer and vanilla overtones from the cognac sandwich a vast array of malt and chocolate profiles. This beer goes anywhere from tasting like a milk shake, to bittersweet cocoa nibs to a good strong coffee with a healthy amount of Bailey's. I find the cognac influence to be strongly present but not overpowering.

This is an excellent beer and why I've come to cherish the stout style. This is a big multi dimensional beer with tons of flavor and character. Despite the always impressive tap list at the Trappist I had to order a second serving; this one was too good to have just once.

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Photo of frenchblood21
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
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 Georgiabeer
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
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 AmericanGothic
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into a Unibroue tulip.

A: Pours an opaque, jet black color with two fingers of khaki head. Strong retention and lace.

S: Roasted malts, a little coffee, semi-sweet chocolate, a little wine. Very nice.

T: Starts with sweet chocolate, roasted malts and coffee behind that, finishes equally bitter and sweet. Not really picking up the cognac as an individual flavor, but a little wood is present on the finish. A bit mellow but very rich-- no complaints. Wait-- now that it's warming, I think I am getting the cognac at last.

M: Big mouthfeel, very creamy and smooth, very fine.

O: Wow, another win for Mikkeller. Don't know how they keep doing it, but they surely know how to make a strong stout. Delicious stuff. Find it and be happy.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of spycow (thanks Chris!). I shared this with my wife to celebrate Monday night football on Thanksgiving week. This pours a brownish black color, very opaque with a finely celled milk chocolate colored foam.

Nice candied liqueur aromas laid over the roasted malts, slightly sweet with a well integrated cognac note. The more I smell it the more I like it, sort of akin to an Eclipse. The cognac flavor comes through well without adding any burn, very well done barrel aging as far as my tastes go. Initially sweet with long lasting aftertastes of liquor and malt. Light carbonation helps lend this a silky mouthfeel.

This was actually better than I expected in every way, I wouldn't mind having it again anytime.

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

Date: July 24, 2011 Mode: Bottle Source: Discount Liquor, Waukesha, WI Appearance: Opaque black and thick tan head. Aroma: Delicious mix of chocolate and alcohol. Flavor: Chocolate and high end alcohol, maybe some vanilla in there, very smooth and an oaky finish. Other: Amazing beer that is able to blend in a very high alcohol content.

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Photo of ludachris
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For an RIS, I couldn't ask for anything more in appearance. Thick, viscous, and black as the dickens with a mounstrous three finger frothy chocolate milk brown head. Long, horizontal patches of lace stick to the sides of the glass along with a thin film of alcohol.

The nose is absolutely huge, bursting with dessert-like aromas, reminiscent of a rich chocolate cake. On the sweet side, there's sweetened dark chocolate, smooth and rounded vanilla and oak, buckwheat honey, brown sugar, and a scoop of strawberry jam at the very bottom. Syrupy, alcohol soaked raisons also ooze over the top of the glass and I assume come from the Cognac barrels. On the other end lies notes of old and weathered wood, char, and roast. Maybe even a touch of smoke. Alcohol tickles the nose, but is no more pronounced than many of the other components that make up this big and complex RIS.

A big first sip gives a big alcohol punch to the back of the throat. I know it clocks in at 13.1% ABV, but based off the nose, I wasn't expecting it to have that much of a kick. A minute later, a warming feeling still lingers in my chest. Many of the flavours have smoothed out and melded together. Sweetened dark chocolate is spread across the top of the tongue while charred wood and roasted malts come up from beneath. The notes of vanilla and oak are delicate in comparison but still but manage to give a feeling of softness in this hefty stout. Honey is also lathered on top and extends to the tip of the tongue. The finish is both roasty and woody with a touch of fruity sweetness. The more I sip on this, the more tame the alcohol becomes.

When I think of full bodied, I'll now think of this. Creamy, mouth coating and incredibly rich. Some dryness comes through with the roasted notes and alcohol. When I first started drinking this, it seemed the alcohol was far too pronounced. After warming up and a few more sips however, it integrates well into the rest of the beer.

As my memory serves me, this has to be the biggest RIS I've had to date, in terms of both alcohol content and feel. I'd love to drink this in a year or two with the hopes of the alcohol dumbing down a bit. I'm not that familiar with Cognac but that didn't take away from me appreciating this. Big thumbs up to Mikkeler. I'll be sure to pick up a couple more barrel aged versions of this.

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Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrive with a pitch black liquid capped by a coffee-colored foam that leaves a patchwork design of lacing

Smell: The cognac is recognizable from the first whiff, with vanilla, roast, chocolate and coffee elements

Taste: Roasty flavors and chocolate, up front, with the cognac quickly coming on, bringing a vanilla character, as well; while it is boozy and filled with cognac, after the swallow, the dark fruit, chocolate and coffee elements are also quite prominent

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; rather creamy, too, with plenty of warmth in the gullet

Overall: A very well-balanced, complex RIS, but still quite aggressive

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Photo of seand
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
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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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a nonic tasting glass at Northdown.

Appearance: My pour is black with dark mahogany edges and a nice tan head. A little lace is left after the first sips, but the lace fades away with the rest of the head from the high ABV.

Smell: The aroma is balanced with cognac, vanilla, roasted malt, and some coffee. The cognac starts to really dominate as the beer warms up a bit.

Taste: The flavor has a bit less cognac and further complexity than the aroma. Fully roasted malt borders on burnt, with dark chocolate and vanilla adding a nice sweetness. The cognac flavor comes in during the middle of the sip, and with it a determined alcohol note. The oak comes through a little bit as the sip wanes, and the finish has a little bit of everything - some coffee, more roasted malt, cognac and some soft sweetness. The balance in each sip was startling.

Mouthfeel: The body is quite full, with smooth creamy carbonation. The cognac and barrel thin the beer out a little bit in the middle and end of the sip. A tingle accompanies this additional alcohol presence.

Overall: I have not had a lot (maybe any) cognac aged beers, but this certainly impressed me. The vast majority of Mikkeller's beers have been interesting and challenging to my palate.

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Photo of marvin213
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty black with tan bubblies--what more do you want? The smell is like a dream: peaty black stout with honeyed vanilla and sweet, succulent cognac. If BCS is THE cigar beer, I'd like to know what this is...!

Taste is straight what it's supposed to be: all those flavors melted into one single malt beverage! That thick, syrupy cognac burn in the background makes quite the presence. This is truly a man's beer!

Despite the conglomeration of tough, manly ingredients, the mouthfeel is relatively thin--a surprise, really. Overall, it's tough to return to at $16.99 a pop. I offer, though, that this is a great one. A must for big-time, barrel-aged stout lovers, and a golden ticket to beer-drinkin cigar lovers!

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Photo of joshuaseresse
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up from the store, $13.99 a bottle. 375ml. Silver foil:

A - Solid black with a thick mocha head about 2 inches thick that dies into thick foam ring around the edges with murky, bubble colonies in the middle. Lacing is solid.

S - Smells of nice cocoa, light booze, a little wood and vanilla sweetness. The honey is only slight with the roast malts and coffee notes very subtle. A little bit of caramel. Pretty nice and smooth smelling.

T - The honey comes through nice and sweet, while the cocoa and vanilla follow. Little bit of pure chocolate in the middle. The taste is rounded out by wood, a bit of booze and roast from the malta and coffee. Little bit of caramel, brown sugar and candy sweetness. The ABV is well hidden.

M - Pretty well carbonated. The end is slightly toned down and a tad bit watery. The roast and coffee leaves the mouth a little dry and the charred feeling from said roasted coffee.

O - A really nice brew. The ABV is totally undetectable. I'm really pleased by the smell and flavor of this brew. It doesn't really lack anywhere. I'm going to buy more of this...just to have around the house for whenever. With that said, this is a whenever brew. Nicely done.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an incredibly beautiful pitch black that is thick. A huge frothy dark tan head graciously crowns the beer. The head is also thick and slowly and reluctantly recedes leaving a ton of heavy lacing clinging with love to the sides of the glass. Smells of rich chocolate and freshly baked cake dominate the nose. Some burnt malts and booze adds to the aroma. First sip is glorious with cognac taking charge and shaping the immense flavor. Bitter dark chocolate, vanilla, and some boozy notes follow in the finish. Mouthfeel of this puppy is superb – creamy as Wisconsin chocolate whole milk from a cow you raised from birth and exclusively grass fed. Mouthfeel is as good as beer gets with this one. Did I say CREAMY? I should say it again! ABV is super well hidden. World Class Beer!

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Photo of gford217
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle with silver foil.

Pours like the other Black Hole variants, pitch black with a surprisingly big head that recedes very quickly to a thin collar and leaves some spotty lacing.

Aroma is really good on this, surprisingly good actually. I really think the cognac mellows out the original nose, which is a good thing. There is some sweet fruit and lots of malts and oak, but the abrasive Black Hole aroma is tamed a bit.

The taste is, again, better than I remember any version of this beer being. There is lots of sweet booze from the cognac but it doesn't burn and is actually pleasant. Much more pleasant than the original Black Hole taste which is too over-the-top in just about every aspect. This has oak with smooth cognac booziness and just enough of the heavily roasted malts, chocolate and coffee from the stout.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with strong carbonation and the burn in the back is actually quite pleasing.

Color me surprised and impressed with this beer, which I really think is the best version of Black Hole I've ever had. Smooth and (shockingly) drinkable vs. the others. I need to try the original again as the barrel variants are better than I remember the original being.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
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 BEERMILER12
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Silver foiled 12.7 oz (375 mL) bottle

A: Pours a pitch black color with about a fingers worth of mocha/brown head that lasts for a good while. Quite surprising given the 13.1% abv

S: A good bit of coffee dominates for the most part, along with some sweet vanilla, dark chocolate, and some type of wood

T: Very nice. Burnt coffee lasts throughout, with notes of everything else found in the nose. Vanilla, charred wood, and dark chocolate are the most easily picked out. Honey adds to the sweetness, but overall the sweetness isn't overpowering. A very nice dark grape-like presence as well from the cognac. Alcohol also adds a bit of complexity throughout. Bitterness lingers as well, from the coffee and dark chocolate no doubt

M: Heavy bodied with light carbonation. A touch under-carbonated for my tastes, even in a BA RIS

O: The cognac is definitely not overpowering here, and some barrel aging processes can do that. It adds some nice complexity, and that is all I could ask for/want out of any BA beer. The alcohol in this one is killer, so I would try to share this, even with the smaller size. Great job by Mikkeller on the BA'ing job for this one

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Photo of GabrielM
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Bruery snifter.

A - dark as a moonless night in Hades with a good amount of coffee-colored head on top. Looks spectacular!

S - cognac, vanilla, coffee and chocolate aromas exploding from the glass. I'm really blow away by the intensity and complexity of the nose!

T - all the flavors mentioned above but with the addition of ALCOHOL! It makes sense now - the really strong nose must mean this bottle is relatively fresh, which also explains the huge amount of heat.

M - tingly and delicious with awesome concentration and carbonation, but still pretty damn hot.

O - this is an amazing barrel-aged stout, but it's just too hot right now, so a few points were deducted in Taste and Mouthfeel. Give this one a year and it will be stellar.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a viscous black that is deep in color. There is about a fingers worth of dark, almost brown head.

The nose is full of booze, vanilla, coffee, and sweetness.

The taste is very smooth and dessert-like presenting flavors of sweet honey and cocoa, coffee, vanilla, oak and booze. It's very enjoyable and dangerously drinkable.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Enough carbonation to bring all the flavors out but there's not too much which is enjoyable.

Overall, this a great barrel-aged brew that is very enjoyable, drinkable, sweet and delicious. Awesome

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Photo of JizackFH
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer pours a really dark brown color, almost black. It has about 2.5-fingers of chocolatey head resting on top. The head has good retention, and it leaves some scattered lace behind on the glass.

S - The nose has a good amount of dark roasted malt right away. There are some aromas of coffee, chocolate, and dark fruits. A good bit of cognac is detectable, which is to be expected. Also, I am getting some vanilla, brown sugar, and something that is coming off a little spicy that I can't quite put my finger of. There are a lot of different aromas going on here.

T - The taste starts off with a good bit of dark roasted malt. There is a pretty strong cognac taste, but it isn't too boozy. There are some good flavors of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and some brown sugar. Also, I am getting that spiciness that was showing up in the nose, but I still can't tell what it is. The finish leaves some lingering roasted malt bitterness and some boozy cognac burn.

M - This has a pretty full body on it, but not as heavy as I thought it would be. It has a good amount of carbonation. It goes down easy and has a nice velvety feel to it. This has some dryness on the back end, as well as some boozy warmth.

O - This has good drinkability. It is a sipper for sure, but it isn't as heavy as you think it would be. The taste is nice and complex, and there I really like what the cognac barrels did to it. Overall, I think this is a really nice beer, and I really enjoyed it. I definitely recommend trying this one out, and I look forward to trying out the other variations of this one.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a snifter.

Pours nearly black with a good mocha head and a few spots of lacing on the way down. Thin collar throughout. The nose brings the unmistakable stench of cognac plus some roasted malt, chocolate, and light coffee. Cognac pervades. As it warms, some light vanilla character. Flavor is mostly cognac and backed very well with some roasted malt and dark chocolate. Everything is well integrated and blends quite well. Medium body and slightly oily. Light carbonation. Solid brew.

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Black Hole (Cognac Edition) from Mikkeller ApS
4.16 out of 5 based on 157 ratings.
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