Dark Hollow Artisanal Ale
Blue Mountain Brewery

Dark Hollow Artisanal AleDark Hollow Artisanal Ale
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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,948
Ranked #6,513
4 | pDev: 12%
Blue Mountain Brewery
Virginia, United States
Dark Hollow Artisanal AleDark Hollow Artisanal Ale
Notes: Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. Dark Hollow blends the miracle of two crafts--brewing and distillation--to create a work greater than the sum of its parts. An Imperial Stout has been aged in charred American oak bourbon barrels still dripping with uncut whiskey. For 100 days the young beer patiently breathes in and out of the wood, gaining complexity, character, and serious attitude.
Reviews: 205 | Ratings: 835 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 Vintage, poured out tonigh - 30 Dec 2019. It pours a dark brown, almost black with a nice modest light brown head that lasts and leaves a bit of lacing. In the nose, it is strongly roasted malty with bourbon. In the mouth, it is dark fruits, roasted and burnt malts and a touch (not much) of alcohol. Definitely a sipper!

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Photo of JayQue
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good strong Stout. Pours a dense brown color with a medium dark tan head. Average retention and thick bands of frothy lacing. Aroma is rich sweet malt and a floral aspect, probably a mixture of malt and bourbon. The oak and the bourbon really comes out in the flavor. Great taste of bourbon, malt and some oak bitterness. Mouthfeel is good as well. Very smooth with a slight hint if the 10 percent .abv. A very enjoyable brew!!!;

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Photo of rudiecantfail
4.46/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass. A bitch to get the cork out (almost resorted to a corkscrew), but it was well worth the fight. Surprised there was a best by 11-21-19 date on the bottle. Thought it would've been worthy of aging.

L---As dark as brown can get. If I didn't pour it through sunlight, I would've said black. Ruby around the edges when in direct sunlight. Nice, light brown head with minimal retention and good lacing.

S---Oak, milk chocolate, vanilla, roasty malts. Minimal bourbon. Very much like BCBS, which is a really, really good thing.

T---Follows the nose. Milk chocolate, oak & vanilla are dominant. Some slight booziness from the bourbon, but not very much at all.

F---Thick, creamy & rich. Just like you'd want from a BBA stout. Actually more carbonated than I would've guessed. Definitely a slow sipper, not one for a speed beer.

O---I'd call this one awesome. Everything you'd ever want in a BBA stout.

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Photo of Aldebaran
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Hadn't tried this one until now. Seemed appropriate for the season. Just a bit too much on the estery side for my tastes on an imperial. Nice cherry-plum fruitiness. Closer to a Dubbel , missing the Oak barrel and vanilla qualities.

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Photo of 88caprice
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap in a mini-snifter-like stem glass. What an incredible brew...
Super dark, dark brown creamy head. Very creamy mouthfeel with lots of vanilla, oak wood, and bourbon qualities. Excellent.

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Photo of hman43
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: It pours black with a dark brown head. Head retention is moderate.

Smell: The aroma is laden with dark fruits that include plums and figs. There are moderate roasty flavors. There is definitely an oak note in the background with a bit of whiskey. There are also hints of vanilla.

Taste: The flavors have more of a malt and ester balance with roast and dark fruits (plums and figs) being the most prominent. There is a bit of a burnt element which is light, not strong. There are background notes of vanilla, oak, and whiskey.

Feel: It has a creamy and full body with low carbonation. The alcohol warming is smooth.

Overall, a good imperial stout with plenty of complex flavors and a good body.

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Photo of RABouffard
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A sweet dessert beer, complex layers of flavor, drink in small quantities, it is a bit overwhelming, like a good sweet port, it hits the spot after a nice meal. Purchased in a growler at Blue Mountain.

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Photo of Tim5085
5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It doesn't get much better than this for an Imperial Stout. One of my favorite breweries and favorite beers.
Appearance: Dark, duh
Aroma: Roasty, malty, chocolate or coffee
Taste: Fantastic match of the aroma
Overall: Love this stout

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Photo of dinomite
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty standard dark & heavy beer. Good flavor (mostly dry) and feel, if just a bit thin. Slightly more bitterness than I'd prefer, mostly late in the back of the throat.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75 cl

Pours jet opaque black, tan head dissipates to a lacing.

Smells of cocoa, brown sugar, licorice, fig and pecan.

Tastes richly of brown sugar, molasses, fig, mesquite, pecan, walnut, and toasted bread malts. Oak and bourbon in the aftertaste.

Full body with light stinging carbonation on the tongue. Warms a bit going down.

Very flavorful and rich, a slow sipper and very enjoyable. Definitely worth a grab and compares well to other big beastly stouts.

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Photo of Radome
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Tasted from a large corked bottle in a red wine glass.

L - Darkest brown, almost black color. Impenetrable to light. Dark tan head poured 1 in. thick in a fluffy, solid, mousse-like pile. Persists as a thick sheet and gobs of lace.

S - Strong malt and alcohol aromas: Dark roasted coffee, bitter chocolate, Crisp, cracked grain. Strong bourbon. No hops aroma.

T - Roasted malt flavors dominate, with bitter coffee and chocolate milk over toasted bread notes. Hops and yeast are unimportant contributors. Mid palate has nothing distinctive, but the finish is full of bourbon flavors followed by the bitter coffee again at the very end, with a bit of oak.

F - Medium body. Low carbonation. Medium to high bitterness keeps the sweetness from becoming cloying. Low alcohol presence.

O - This is a good imperial stout with a somewhat low level of bourbon character. It is definitely part of the aroma and flavor spectrum of the beer, but I find it disappointingly low.

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Photo of HopOnTheCraftBeerTrain
4.83/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer will always have special meaning to me because it got me into craft beer. The beer packs a wallop and is very heavy bodied, but the flavors just come through so well. Beautiful dark, opaque black color with a small, tan, creamy head. Tastes and smells of coffee, chocolate, malt, touch of vanilla, and the wood notes from the bourbon barrels. It's a boozy beer, but it is so good, it'll be tempting to drink the whole bottle or the bar's supply.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.59/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by date of 03/04/18

Appearance - Pours black with cola brown edging and a tan, finger width head. Sub-par retention, resulting in a thin, broken layer of suds and a thing ring around the edge of the glass. A few decently sized spots make up the lacing.

Smell - Bourbon booze and roasted malts are prominent upfront. Lesser chocolate. hints of vanilla and oak.

Taste - Interesting flavor. Almost the opposite of the aroma. More wood character than expected; in fact it might be the prominent flavor here. Lesser chocolate and bourbon booze. A hint of vanilla. Roast character is surprisingly underwhelming and fleeting. Finish is mildly boozy with lingering earthy wood bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with low, near lifeless carbonation. Flat, wimpy finish.

Overall - It's certainly a unique BA Impy, but I'm not entirely sold on the wood-driven flavor profile. If it had a roasted finish, I'd probably enjoy it a bit more, but alas.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.33/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Unknown vintage; drank 12/24/15 @ JoJo's Virginia.

Black appearance.

A rough pour yielded a HUGE dark khaki head (careful pouring!); frothy lace.

Oak, bourbon, cream & bakers chocolate notes in the nose.

Medium thick, creamy mouthfeel.

Oak, bakers chocolate & caramel flavors up front; bourbon notes on the finish. Pickle juice notes emerged as this warmed. Interesting but boozy & not great. I've had my last.

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Photo of delta490
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's pitch black with just a hint of lighter tan head around the rim. It leaves little spots of oily small head that slowly,slide back to the beer. The aroma is great, rich and deep, with vanilla, cocoa, burnt sugar, and maybe some dark fruit hanging out. The taste isn't quite as distinguished as the aroma but it is still really good and is an amalgam of some of the more distinct aroma qualities. It's full and slick with a little tingle from alcohol and carbonation.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Solidfunk, big thanks
Pours a solid black with a frothy creamy tan head that persists. Roasty earthy with hints of molasses and dark pitted fruits. Sweet brown sugary malts in the flavor with bits of oak bourbon and hints of vanilla and coconut. Bit of an alcohol warming this one is definitely a sipper but its also pretty damn tasty too.

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Photo of von_kaiser
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Barrel & Bushel in VA. Absolute delight to stumble upon. Little bit of chocolate, little bit of roast, lightly rich body, dark brown appearance. Nit picking at it, it could have been fuller and left a better lace. Worth trying.

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Photo of AMBNT_notes
4.69/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I had this on draft at the brewery.

This is the best stout I have ever had. This beer is so full of flavor and unbelievably good. This beer is dangerously delicious.

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Part of a flight of 10 at the brewery. Pours an oily black color, with a thick, long-lasting tan head. Initial impression is caramel and vanilla, with bourbon overtones. Maybe some oak in there too - a very rich, full-flavored stout. Mouthfeel is smooth, thick, and oily - just about perfect. Alcohol is pretty evident, but oh well. Finish is sweet and smooth. Really good - my favorite of the flight by a long shot.

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Photo of Tohibii
4.41/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch espresso shade that won't let any light through - the head doesn't actually stay around that long in comparison to some other stouts. Mild scent that teases primarily of sweet spirits.

Very rich mouth feel with a lot of complexity that pulls it in different directions. The Bourbon really comes through and it's like a beer/spirits medley, but as an accent that was welcome rather than as a booze burn. There's a spice tang and a slight bitterness right on the back of the tongue, but overall it's quite sweet.

The feel and flavor really lingers on the palette for a good while, doing so in a delicate manner that definitely isn't an "aftertaste" with all the negative connotations that embroils. Think of it more like a 'resonance' to go all fancy-dan with it.

Still very much a sipper and woe to he who throws this one back; each individual flavor is mild, but in aggregate it's a heavy one and probably best had with some food at 10% ABV (full disclosure: it's 10 PM and I'm having with Baby Swiss Cheez-itz, but I bet it would be GREAT with some pulled BBQ and slaw).

Overall this was excellent and probably the highest quality Stout that I'm seeing locally without going hunting or spending way too much (this was $7 for a 24 oz bumper at Costco); worth it to go out of your way to get this and I was quite surprised to see only three other reviews here on the Advocate. No coincidence that all who've written about it here love it.

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Photo of weareallfalafel
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter after the bottle sat on the counter for a few minutes. Pours deep and opaque black with a great half inch, brown head, that didn't longer much or leave much lacing, but it's 10%abv, so I expected as much. Smell is a little tame, but has notes of burnt sugar, vanilla, and bourbon. Taste is much more pronounced with a decently big hit of caramelly, marshmallow like flavor. Taste moves smoothly from chocolatey and caramelly to oak/bourbon. Feel is very full in body, with a little more burn than I'd like, but it's still fairly smooth for what it is. Overall, this is the best offering I've had from Blue Mountain, if not the only one worth spending hard-earned cash on. I'd recommend this for sure, and I dig it.

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Photo of stortore
4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a snifter.

Pours dark, near black, opaque, with a two finger head of darker foam, lots of lacing. Smell is bourbon, malt, chocolate, vanilla, toffee, a little smoke. Really smells terrific. The taste leans more toward the malt first, then bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, oak, molasses, some caramel, a little cocoa. Smooth, pretty full bodied, lots of carbonation.

Have had this on draft and in the bottle before, this batch is incredible. Really well blended, the bourbon dominates but doesn't overwhelm. Flavor and aroma are terrific. Could be a little fuller bodied, but that's an observation, not a criticism. Well worth a purchase.

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Photo of OldSwampy
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Incredibly dark brown beer with a generous dark tan head. Some lacing though it might have been stronger. Nose perhaps understated considering the flavor, but still a nice, dark, funky, woodsy aroma. Taste is huge and complex, grows nicely, and never seems haphazardly put together. Notes of burnt wood from the bourbon barrels as well as some sweet bourbon flavor. A little vanilla in there, too. Moves from sweet middle to creamy malty end. Bitterness from stout hops is nicely integrated at beginning and end. Other flavors I'm reminded of include grilled meat, mushrooms, and chocolate. Great beer.

Best by date 4/09/17, opened & enjoyed 19 June 2016.

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Photo of Riff
5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Out of the bottle it's a pleasant imperial stout. From a tap this is pure bliss and easily the best beer I've found brewed in Virginia.

Body is thick, a little thinner from the bottle, both have a pleasant mouth feel. Nice hints of bourbon, but not overpowering, enough to add a good mix of vanilla in. Clean finish, does not linger for a long time afterwards. Easy to drink and ages well in the bottle.

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Photo of ksimons
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-pour is black with no visible highlights seen and a fingers worth of dark tan head that leaves a small layer of lacing on top

S-aroma of lots of bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate

T-taste is similar to the smell with a strong bourbon taste, dark malt, chocolate, light dark fruits, and has a char finish

M-almost medium body, moderate carbonation

Overall a bourbon heavy stout, could have a fuller mouthfeel, but overall is very nice tasting

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Dark Hollow Artisanal Ale from Blue Mountain Brewery
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 835 ratings