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 StlHopHead77
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage.375 ml bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

A-Pours out an intense,blackish brown body with 2 fingers worth of dark tawny foam that displayed good retention and left sticky clumps of lacing.

S-This was the beer's only downfall for me.As it warmed more scents could be pulled out but even then it just wasn't as assertive as I would've liked.Smelled of caramelized nuts,dark chocolate covered espresso beans,oak and charred malts.

T-More rich chocolate flavors,sweet nuttiness,vanilla,strong,fresh coffee and burnt sugars.

M-Full and balanced with good residual sugars,bitter coffee,semisweet chocolate and creamy vanilla.Good lasting flavors.

O-A little pricey but I'm glad I got the chance to try it.

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Photo of KAP1356
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. 375 ml bottle poured into a snifter...

A - Pours a deep, rich, brown color that is opaque. A nice 1.5 finger head forms that is light brown in color. It recedes to a collar of the same color.

S - The smell is really nice. Roasted malts, sweet honey, dark chocolate, and dark sticky fruits. Vanilla, oak, brown sugar and a nice, strong, cognac aroma come through adding nicely to the base beer. Way more complex than I thought it would be. Ever so slight hint of alcohol here and there.

T - The taste follows the nose fairly well, just a little less complex. The cognac is less prominent here. Big chocolate and sweet honey covered dark fruits come through. Oak and a maple syrup like flavor also make themselves known. Vanilla also mixes in nicely.

M - Slightly thinner than I would have liked, but about a medium bodied beer. Light carbonation keeps this one feeling silky and smooth.

O - I was really impressed with this one considering how the first round of these BA versions went. So far, this is definitely my favorite of the lot.

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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 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 Hojaminbag
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Cognac version of the Barrel-aged Black Hole has a body that is the darkest shade of brown and completely opaque. Two fingers of brown head settle into a collar and leave some nice lacing behind.

Big notes of cognac dominate the aroma, followed by vanilla, a little bit of anise, roasted malt and coffee. The nose is very complex and quite good.

The lightly smoky, sweet cognac flavor comes through immediately and is very nice. Underneath the cognac is a big sweetness that I assume comes from the honey. The vanilla flavor is nestled down somewhere between the booze and the honey, and although it is definitely there, it could easily get lost in between the other flavors. The malt base has patent black malt along with a little bit of coffee and a good dose of roasted malt. Chocolate flavors come through also, especially in the finish and the after taste. The finish has a little bit of heat, and fusel alcohol flavors do hide in the background, but they aren't glaringly obvious in the finish of this one. The cognac flavors extend throughout the beer and into the after taste, which also features roasted malt and a bit of chocolate. The strongest vanilla flavors that I notice throughout the entire beer also come in the aftertaste.

A little hot on the tongue, and the body is thinner than I would like for a monster of a beer like this one. Prickly carbonation.

I haven't tried a ton of Mikkeller beers because they carry a hefty price tag, but when I saw the entire barrel-aged Black Hole series, I decided to pick up at least one. I'm glad I did, as this is a good example of barrel aging. Although it is a bit hot, for 13%+ ABV.

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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 mulder1010
3.28/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

375 ML poured into a Bruery Tulip

A-- Poured a dark cola color and settled black. Half a finger of light chocolate colored head. Head faded pretty fast and just left a murky sea of film. Decent ring of lacing.

S-- Cognac soaked chocolate covered cherries. Expected a bigger nose than this really. Faint notes of oak but this nose is really soft.

T-- Cognac, followed by sweet dairy chocolate. Thin, soft and sweet. Alcohol is well hidden.

M-- Alcohol is more evident in the mouth. Still pretty soft and thin until the end when get the usual Mikkeller trademark. ASH, CHAR, BURNT RUBBER. Sigh. Medium alcohol burn in the finish. Light bodied and low carbonation. Like this until the finish and the burn from the alcohol.

O-- Light and easy to drink for 13.1%. The alcohol burn in the end is annoying and a turn off. Good notes of cognac though. Not a bad beer but a decent one.

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Photo of chicano4craft
2.48/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into snifter. Black with a fingers worth of tan head that dropped to a crown pretty fast. Looked like carbonation may be low.

Nose is heavy on the cognac. It's so strong it's hard to get anything else. Woodiness from the barrel with hints of sweet chocolate.

Taste is not to my liking. Alcohol is all over this beer. A slow burn in my chest is followed by subtle coffee, vanilla, and sweet malt. Cognac comes off sort of paper like. Weird.

Mouthfeel is not good. Body is thin. Under carbonated.

Overall I was disappointed. I like cognac but it just didn't mesh well with the stout. The body wasn't strong or thick enough to support such a strong alcohol presence.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate, coffee and roasted malt. I don't get much cognac in the aroma.

The cognac characteristics are also missing in the flavor. There is a heavy chocolate character, as well as some roasted malt, maple and oak. There is also a light amount of vanilla in the flavor.

Thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

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Photo of rudzud
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From notes taken during a tasting with a friend.

A - Poured into a snifter an oily black with a two finger mocha head that leaves very nice side lacing and good clouding. Spectacular for a this high of an ABV.

S - The nose is mostly very nice cognac with some very light chocolate. Unfortunately I feel the cognac is overpowering the stout a little.

T - Nice chocolate and sweetness, with very nice barrel notes and cognac flavours. Really pleasant taste.

M - Light, smooth, creamy with just a little carbonation. Not too hot at all!

O - Not bad but not super amazing. Mikkeller Barrel aged black hole has been hit or miss...either undrinkable or pretty good. This is solid, but not quite as good as the tequilla one.

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Photo of wcintula
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured at the Ginger Man into a snifter.

Black body, chocolate brown, one finger head, a beaut.

Smells sweet, a lighter sweetness than most RIS. Not so much a malty sweetness as it is a candy-like, fruity sweetness.

Drinks more mellow than many RIS out there, the roasted bit of the profile sits back and lets the cognac do the smooth talking. This beer will take you out to dinner, buy you a few drinks, and by the end of it all, you want to take this beer to bed.

Good Night.

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Photo of Rickythejeweler
3.89/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black, one finger light brown head, nice lacing.

S - Brown sugar, bitter hops, barleywine scents.

T - Cocoa powder, coffee, candi sugar, dark fruits, medicinal alcohol flavors.

M - Warming, smooth, slick on the tongue, a little thin.

O - It is a decent brew but not as good as I expected, I think the bourbon is the best I have had.

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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 stabzmcgee
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is nice. Sheer black as the blackhole from its name. Tan leather halo laces the snifter. Smell is great. Vanilla and cognac sweetness. Taste is much of the same. Light cocoa and sweet chocolate and roasted malts, with the added cognac smoothness and taste. Overall one of the better mikkelwr black hole Ba.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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 – Milk chocolate: Yoo-hoo more specifically. Cognac. Bitter cocoa and raisins. Almond extract and white chocolate as it warms.

T – Sharp alcohol takes the lead and holds it through the finish. Sweet caramel and dark fruit center. Agave, honey, and brown sugar sweetness pair with bitter chocolate and a dry oakiness deeper in the profile.

M – Medium body is soft with warm alcohol front and center.

O – My guess was Cognac.

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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 GregSVT
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours dark black with a nice dark tan head that fades to a layer and leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of honey, vanilla, dark english toffee, and some sweetness from the cognac.

T: The taste follows the nose pretty closely. The bigger flavors are honey and cocoa with a nice molasses backbone.

M: The feel is creamy and medium bodied.

O: Very complex stout and definitely better than the bourbon version I had a while back.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7 barrel varieties with the base beer.

Pours a dark dark brown, almost black.

Minimal head.

Smells sweet, and chocolate heavy. Barrel characteristics. Smells buttery and enjoyable. Tastes a bit boozy and harsh.

Side by side with roger's bourbon pumpkin cake. The cake blew me away...

The beer was so so

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Photo of brew3crew
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jackie o's tasting baby!!

A-black body with tan head around the edges

S-nice cognac smell that is very inviting. Cwnt wait to dive in

T-follows tthe nose. Very nice. Better than I expected.

M- medium boey and smooth

O-one of the better ones we have had of yet

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Photo of litheum94
3.35/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12.7 oz green bottle. Reviewed 9/4/11. Thanks to daysinthewake for sharing.

Deep black body, with a frothy, tan head that leaves nice lacing.

Smoked meat and coffee tones. Some chocolate. Not much cognac on the nose, but the brandy tones fight back as it warms. Pecans also show up.

Very ashy and charcoal like, in flavor and mouthfeel. Smoked meats and dark chocolate. Some apple brandy flavors. Smooth and smokey.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a Darkness snifter.

A - Two fingers of tan foam settles to a thick cap, leaving behind glass-coating lace. Black body. Looks exactly like an imperial stout should.

S - Sweet cognac, milk chocolate, vanilla, and honey. Aroma is quite sweet, with only mild roast, smoke, and coffee character that intensifies a little bit as the beer warms up. Alcohol is surprisingly well-hidden

T - Taste has that quintessential Scandinavian character to it - not sure if it's the water, yeast, or terroir, but tastes 'Danish' all the same. There's a bit more oak and soy character, particularly in the finish along with a touch of spirit alcohol, but otherwise it's mostly cognac, dark chocolate, smoke, and a bit of char. Far less sweet than the aroma implies, and far more in line with what I expect from Mikkel. Gets a touch boozy when it warms up, but nothing excessive for a 13.1% beer.

M - Big, sticky, viscous full body, some light warming alcohol, medium-low carbonation, light tannic character in the finish. Surprisingly clean finish with only light lingering stickiness.

D - Not as wonderful as Cognac Black, but exponentially better than the other barrel-aged Black Holes. I drank about 8oz, and then used the rest in a birthday cake for my wife - probably could have drank the whole bottle though. It's in the top tier of Mikkeller offerings and it's an essential beer for cognac barrel-aged beer tastings.

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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 SpdKilz
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Zwanze Day.

Appearance – Poured into a Cantillon stemmed glass. Dark black color, slight mocha colored head.

Smell – Bittersweet cocoa, booze, wood, vanilla, and dark fruits.

Taste – Rather sweet up front. Not so much malty or molasses but sugary chocolate sweet. This melds into a nice oaky and slight bitter coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, lower carbonation, finishes dry.

Overall – This was actually a surprise after trying some of these other beers in the series. Not a bad version at all. Would pick up again to age.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter at The Firkin.

Still hoping for a more-than-just-tolerable offering from this barrel-aged line. This one pours a solid onyx topped by a finger of sienna foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, chocolate syrup, light molasses, light coffee, and an offhand hint of some exotic (to me, anyway) booze, which I assume to be the cognac. The taste intensifies the roast and the molasses, adds in a small bit of oak, and tosses in a good amount of somewhat buttery cognac. The booze is definitely present throughout, but it serves as a nice compliment, rather than an imposition. The body is a solid medium, closing in on some heft, with a light moderate carbonation and a nearly chewy feel. Overall, this is so far the best of the barrel-aged editions of Black Hole. The barrel adds a rather enjoyable character, which sorta makes me wanna try some cognac sometime soon...

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Photo of thetastywort
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Bruery Tulip glass.

A: Almost lives to the name, but has a nice dark tan color against the light. Coffee-colored head with great lacing.

S: Immediately hit with the cognac. The chocolate and vanilla aromas quickly follow with nice earthiness. Absolutely beautiful and opens up as it sits.

T: Sweet and roasted flavor with nice chocolate and vanilla flavors. Boozy finish of cognac with coffee bitterness. Although, very smooth and warming.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Definitely a sipper.

O: A great beer that would be great for a sampler with the other variations. It’s too early to tell since this is the first one I’ve tried. Could possibly be my favorite of the bunch. Very complex and just a great RIS. I would buy again, but $$$$. After I go through the other variations, I’ll cross my fingers and hope my local store still has whichever is my favorite.

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