Dark Hollow Artisanal Ale | Blue Mountain Brewery

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Dark Hollow Artisanal AleDark Hollow Artisanal Ale

Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Bierman9 on 11-02-2007

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Reviews: 186 | Ratings: 759
Photo of CvilleHopOnTours
5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't always drink Imperial Stouts, but when I do, I definitely want the robust flavors a whiskey barrel is able to impart. Great job guys. We'll see you at the release party! https://cvilletours.rezdy.com/80446/transportation-for-concealed-darkness-day-blue-mountain-barrel-house

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Photo of Riff
5/5  rDev +26.6%
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 rugerj
5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewery, served in 10.5 ounce snifter, beautiful tan head on beer, solid black in color with no light penetration. Excellent lacing is left as beer is consumed. Upfront smell is heavy bourbon, followed by roasted malt and hint of coffee. Heavy bourbon taste with vanilla and oak flavors coming forward, you can tell these are new barrels, blends in great with the dark roast malt and coffee notes.

I like this version better than the previous releases just because the bourbon is more in your face. April 10th they will be releasing the bottles, I will be interested to see how this compares after a little aging. I have all four other versions on storage. Another excellent brew by the folks at Blue Mountain.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.83/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Jeff for bringing this!

Poured inky black with chestnut hues in the light. Tan head that lasts and lasts. The nose is lighter than many big BA RIS's that I've had, but not in a bad way. A delicate bouquet of vanilla, brown malt, molasses, and biscuit melded with black currants and a touch of burnt toast. Coffee becomes more apparent as the beer warms. Medium/full bodied with a bit of dryness in the finish that I enjoy. Decently carbonated, although it could use a touch more. Very nice beer that I recommend seeking out. I think this is something that you can drink any time you feel like having something substantial, but not like a Dark Lord or Bourbon County type of bigness. It shines at tastings as something unique, yet it can make for an excellent low-key type of evening in front of the fireplace.

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Photo of lochraneg
4.8/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pour - dark with a small white head
Smell - bourbon distinct
Taste - can definitely taste the bourbon, but it's not over powering
Overall - Loved it. Age it if you have some

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Photo of Earpe
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this Stout on tap at my local Capital Ale House with a German Burger.

Absolutely loved this stout, and it is probably my favorite of the Stout class of beers. Very smooth going down as it is a bourbon barrel aged stout. Bourbon flavor with a hint of dark charred/coffee. the smell was that of a barrel charred bourbon with hints of coffee/chocolate.

Since, I have picked up a growler and arrived at the same conclusion, this is a very good stout. unfortunately for someone who drinks stouts over any other style, this beer is expensive when compared to some of my favorite of the same class stout.

This is most definitely a stout I will revere as my favorite of the stouts, but will drink it mostly on special occasions or when at a place that has it on tap, as there are a couple other stouts that rank up with Dark Hollow for me....but at a much lower price.

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Photo of WMEugene
4.73/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Nitro-Tap at the brewery - Dark Hollow #14 (aged in Jim Beam barrels). From notes.

A - Almost completely black (brown is the base color) with a thick tan head (excellent retention) and extremely thick lacing.

S - Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and roasted malts.

T - Notes of bourbon, chocolate with hints of vanilla and other malts. Absolutely delicious.

M - Full bodied, a bit of alcohol heat but it remains smooth with a roasted aftertaste.

O - A very enjoyable bourbon barrel stout. A nice balance between the bourbon flavors and the chocolate/vanilla/malts flavors. Well done.

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Photo of AMBNT_notes
4.69/5  rDev +18.7%
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 skepticnibble
4.69/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 750ml Belgian bottle to pint glass; best by date Oct 2016. L: Pours a dark, syrupy black with thick brown head which survives several minutes leaving lace ring behind. S: Black licorice and whiskey most easily detected; oak and roasted malts more subtle. T: Almost smell in reverse with prominent bourbon and roasted malts; oak, vanilla, black licorice more nuanced. F: Thick, chewy, carbonated, and creamy. Decent alcohol bite reminiscent of the bourbon barrel heritage, but not overly boozy. Overall a very enjoyable imperial stout, well represented by BMB. Now for some bourbon neat!

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Photo of nriech
4.68/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On nitro tap at Capital Ale House in Richmond for the Black Moonday event. Also had on tap around Jan 1,09 at the brewery. No difference.

Extremely dark, doesnt get any darker than this. Head was perfect. Thumb height, stayed with the beer to the end.

Excellent aroma, malty, vanilla, a little alcohol.

Taste was excellent, enought to make me plead with the brewery for some way to take some home to no avail. Seriously, I was on my knees. They said it couldnt be bottled or put in a growler. I would have bought a keg if they let me. I think dark hallow was named for their hearts, this stuff is so good.

Quite a bit of bourbon but so strong that you have to sip it. Chocolatey, toasty malts, vanilla, and oak.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.64/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into 22oz snifter; jet black with visible carbonation up the sides feeding a huge fluffy dark brown mocha head that doesn't fade at all practically, and leaves incredibly fine lacing when it finally does.
Smells of big dark roasted malt, vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate, coffee, slight dark fruit.
Taste is incredibly well-balanced; starting notes of sweet chocolate and vanilla are then smashed to bits by huge roasted malt, and as that recedes barrel character of oak and bourbon reveal themselves, finally giving way to a dark fruit/burnt sugar/bittersweet aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is fizzy and big.
Overall, this is a great take from the other side of BA stouts. Where most are very barrel-forward, this one takes a calmer approach, balancing bourbon and oak evenly with dark roasted malt and chocolate. Well done!

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Photo of Xenoreactive
4.63/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Preliminary: This is legitimately one of Virginia's finest draft-pour imperial stouts. Let me reiterate: this has to be a draft pour. Out the bottle, it loses it's thick, coating texture and chocolate-cake flavor that a fresh keg has.

Look: Straight off of draft, there is barely any head. It dissipates rather quickly and leaves a lingering patchy ring. 2spooky... This has an oily and thick appearance with its pitch-black color. My body is ready.

Smell: Charred wood, bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, (a tinge of butterscotch), black forest cake, macerated berries, balsamic vinegar, mocha and angel farts are all detectable. Very appetizing smell.

Taste: Incredibly complex brew. Heavy bakers and dark chocolate attack your palette with bourbon undertones that bring out smoked wood, vanilla, toffee (butterscotch?), caramel and some spiced fruitiness. This has a unique balance of chocolate/vanilla that is juxtaposed with earthy notes. Since this absorbs sweetness and bourbon notes from the barrels, it cloaks the 10% all too easily. Booziness is barely present, towards the end.

Feel: Texture is dense and inviting. Has a bit of a chewy edge on it that makes it feel like liquefied bourbon chocolate cupcakes (angel farts). Very low carbonation.

Overall: Having had this over 20 times on draft, it is hard to fall back on any other local breweries' imperial stouts. This is consistent out of the keg and always retains its phenomenal characteristics. Unfortunately, the bottled variant just can not keep up with draft's integrity, so it is unfair to judge it based off that experience.

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Photo of templar316
4.61/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Corked, caged to duval tulip. Pours with moderate darkness and khaki head, that lingers. Deep fruit notes; plums and blackberry, dance with the thick bourbon heat. Roasty, purpley, malt notes ride into a maple sugar finish with bright cherry sour hop echo fading into the middle distance. it's smooth! Sugar plum darkness, to cotton candy moutain the truth will set you free. A dark, dank, slow creeper, I couldn't find a flaw. World class from the Blue Mountain!

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Photo of hops202
4.59/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle Poured into a stone snifter. Bottle appears to be around a year old.

Has a great look - black with a tiny bit of dark brown which might just be from the caramel carbonation bubbles. A delicious looking silky caramel head with plenty of lacing. Aroma has plenty of big vanilla notes - bourbon is present, chocolate and creamy sweetness. Taste follows the nose fairly well but with a ton of creamy goodness. Lots of vanilla bourbon and chocolate and a super silky smooth mouthfeel. Definitely gets better as it warms. Overall a very well done BBA stout.

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Photo of lilbrewmonkey
4.58/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Total Wine.

Looks to be from BMB's new production arm, Blue Mountain Barrel House.

I'm used to dated corks indicating batch # from these guys, but looks like their just date stamping corks now with a best-by date (cool! Never seen that!)

Nice pop, waft of CO2 escapes from neck. Poured into a goblet. Nice head rises on pour (medium pour).

Low dark malts for a BA IS, but lets the bourbon and oak shine through. Hints of dusty cocoa.

Good flavor, bourbon, vanillin, light prune undertone. Mouthfeel sufficiently heavy, lightened a bit from carbonation level, which is something I like about the classic 750s out there.

Yum! Will buy again!

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Photo of TheFunGuy
4.57/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was served as a black pour at a beer tasting. Thin tan head and faded fast.

The smell was malt, whiskey, and vanilla in perfect combination. The taste was very close to the smell, but the taste was so vanilla I asked the marking person if they had added vanilla. She said no, it was all from the barrels. I mostly loved the taste, just a touch too much vanilla. Not overwhelming, just a bit more than expected.

The mouthfeel was sort of thin for the type and taste, but seemed okay.

I recommend the beer, and we will be stopping by on our drive through the valley this fall.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.57/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From nitro-tap to goblet on BMB's patio, overlooking the gorgeous mountain scenery on 4/30/11
*From notes

From batch #13, aged in Four Roses Bourbon barrels

A: Even putting this one up to the light doesn't help, as it's a black hole, swallowing every bit of light that hits it. Creamy .75 finger head and exceptional lacing.

S: Toasted coconut, mild cocoa and smooth whiskey. The Four Roses is certainly detectable but sweet Jesus, this is absolutely perfect.

T: Extremely mellow, and I say that with much due respect. Unlike so many other ADIS's, Dark Hollow doesn't seek the EXTREME edges of the style, pushing the boundaries to places it's never been. No, BMB's Dark Hollow is quite content to kick back, put it's feet up and simply let the nature of things do the talking.

In a word, balance.

Relaxed and smooth booze flirts with 50% dark cocoa covered coconut shavings. It should be noted that BMB changes up the barrels from batch to batch, but I must say that the Four Roses conditioning on this one is insanely delicious. In the end, it all comes together like a chilled, bourbon induced coconut hot chocolate.

M: The mouthfeel is really, really good - but not great. It's not extremely viscous, but rather a bit more accessable, as it drinks quite well. The nitro tap really adds a complexity to this that I dig.

O: Ssssshhh! Don't tell anyone that Blue Mountain's Dark Hollow is one of the top five Barrel Aged stouts in America. I had a "moment" with this one, and I cannot wait to share it with my closest friends and family.

Simply put, this is bottled perfection.

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Photo of cdhaines
4.56/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks and tastes exactly like a good stout should - thick, smooth mouthfeel with just the right amount of smokiness, light bourbon flavor from the barrels used

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Photo of FinchSCF
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours pitch-black with a dark tan head. Widdles down to a small layer on top, sewn in with carbonation. Looks nice and thick.

S - Vanilla and chocolate right up front, with a little woodiness. Not much else, but when it smells that good, you don't need much else.

T - That wood comes through right up front, little kick of booziness straight into the vanilla, with coffee and chocolate tailing off the end. 10% abv is very, very well hidden. Roastiness lingers in the aftertaste but could be better if the notes hung around longer.

M - Silky and thick - Very good feeling on the tongue. Leaves little to no residue on the tongue, not what you'd expect from how it feels.

O - Fantastic. Could be better if the aftertaste was a bit more loaded. Was maybe a bit much for the price I paid for it but definitely worth trying once at the very least.

Edit - Over warming, the astringency comes through more and makes it harder to taste everything else. Dropped the score a little, since I enjoyed it a little less as this happened.

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Photo of oldn00b
4.44/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours near jet black with thin tan head.

Nose is slightly bourbon forward, definitely plenty of roasted malt notes but also lots of chocolate as well. Coffee not so much.

Flavor follows suit. Bourbon is a great addition but not the focal point of the beer.

Barrel adds nicely to the body. Well rounded, no rough edges. This is probably the best barrel stout VA has to offer, in terms of ones always readily available.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the last bottles of the year.

Finger of tan head, opaque black-brown body.

Deep vanilla bourbony body,

Deep, rich flavor, plenty of malt and alcohol with bourbony burn and richness. Very, very faint cherry.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, quite nice.

Overall, this is a fantastic barrel aged stout, makes me proud of my state.

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Photo of Strawbs
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a very interesting beer. Didn't know what to expect as the front label says it's an ale, while the back label says it's a stout.

Pour it out & was greated with the thickest, creamiest head I've ever seen. The liquid was black, so I'll call it a stout.

Intense nose of oak & bourbon. Similar flavor with the addition of caramel. Overall very enjoyable taste, though body was thinner than the head lead me to expect.

No alcohol content on the bottle. Beer was very smooth & not hot at all. Quite surprised to see 10% when I researched it.

Not only would I drink this again, I'd even buy it! Thanks to Tuquon for the generous sample.

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Photo of DaveBlack
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark beer, essentially black, with a tiny bit of red showing at the edges. A moderately aggressive pour left me with a good 3+ fingers of head that has a long retention and leaves a little bit of lacing.

S: Dark fruits, caramel, dark chocolate, alcoholic phenols, a slight woody/smokiness. There is a LOT going on in this aroma, much more than the average stout.

T: Not the deep, coffee and chocolate notes that one might expect from an imperial stout. Instead the flavor is much lighter, with dark fruits, roasted malts, oak, vanilla, and a hefty shot of bourbon that comes out even more as it warms.

M: moderately heavy, but once again, not quite what the designation of "imperial stout" leads one to expect. Slightly syruppy, and very little carbonation..

O: Being that I love bourbon, and am not one to get too caught up on labels and styles, I think this beer is delicious. Lots of complexity, the bourbon plays nicely with the stout elements. Complex, malty, boozy and delicious. Worth a look for sure.

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Photo of advill88
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours completely pitch black with a massive mocha head.

Smells of rich chocolate, bourbon, and hints of coffee.

Taste is a combination of chocolate and bourbon, with hints of vanilla...extremely malty. Mouthfeel is heavy bodied, rich, and creamy.

I love bourbon and great beer, so I feel that this is a perfect best of both worlds. I'd say I could drink this all night, but with the high ABV I'd probably die. A delicious sipper.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.39/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Daily Growler in Upper Arlington, OH.

Pours a dark, oily looking black with a half inch head, and small little spots of lacing down the glass.

Tastes include rich dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and some mild alcohol.

The taste is similar. Dark roasted rich malt flavor, tons of chocolate, sweet subtle bourbon, some smoke, not much, and some vanilla and oak. Very smooth, and quite delicious. The barrel character doesn't punch you in the face, more like it caresses it very nicely.

Medium bodied, could be thicker for the style. Creamy smooth mouthfeel, very drinkable for the ABV.

An excellent BA stout that seems better than the reviews to me.

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Dark Hollow Artisanal Ale from Blue Mountain Brewery
3.95 out of 5 based on 759 ratings.
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