Dark Hollow Artisanal Ale | Blue Mountain Brewery

very good
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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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Ratings: 761 |  Reviews: 187
Photo of
1/5  rDev -74.7%

You had this beer. Write a review.

Photo of tviz33
1.25/5  rDev -68.4%

Photo of mattday25
1.75/5  rDev -55.7%

Photo of MADPolo
2/5  rDev -49.4%

Photo of fehrminator
2/5  rDev -49.4%

Photo of LSMroz
2/5  rDev -49.4%

Photo of e30todamax
2/5  rDev -49.4%

Photo of Gyle41386
2.12/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Review from notes:

Cork shot across the room, and the beer soon followed. We should have known right then...

Dark brown, almost black pour. Monstrous head retains well and leaves some good lacing.

This beer smells like bananas. Seriously. Bananas and bourbon. I don't know if maybe some oak and vanilla scent components interacted in a way that would create banana bread, so I've got no clue. Definitely a weird aroma.

Flavor pretty much follows. This beer was a fruity, sugary, over-carbonated mess. Don't think anyone particularly liked it.

 547 characters

Photo of maximum12
2.35/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to AtlCarl for an excellent trade: this is the last bottle standing, having slipped into the upstairs fridge & dropped behind some arugula. 750ML bottle split with my wife.

Pour is black & very, very frothy. I have to stop halfway through the pour & hand off the glasses...I find this a bit sinister. Nose isn't all that active, Roast, not much else.

Dark Hollow doesn't impress at first blush. Over-carbonation aggravates the palate & distracts from the tastes. Getting past that, there's an almost lactose sweetness, malt sweetness, There's an undercurrent of currants, not quite dark fruit, but the breeze of a suggestion. Smooth to the point that the barrel is undetectable. Roast, but in a thin, cheap coffee sort of way. Very thin. Looking at my mostly full glass, I'm wondering if I'm going to waste kidney space on this.

I'm not. This is simply not a very good beer. My first taste of this brewery, & it's left me thinking I don't really need another. Or the rest of this one, for that matter.

 1,014 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
2.46/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Corked and caged 750mL bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). 19.99. Best by 03/13, purchased in 2012. Served in a goblet.

A fairly attractive oily black liquid fills the goblet with a one finger cap of tan foam. A thin head remains, leaving lots of lace.

The nose is quite subdued. Smells of chocolate, oak, char and some brown sugar. Meh.

Things really unravel in the taste. The flavor impressions of rotted wood and mildew make it taste like this was aged in an old log rather than a bourbon barrel. Through that there are notes of dark fruit, chocolate, cheap "extracty" bourbon, earthy vegital bitterness and a little booze. A few ounces is all I can force down before the remainder of the bottle punishes the drain.

The body is actually ok. Creamy, medium feel with moderate carbonation. Finishes with more of that earthy wood rot, a little dark fruit and some cocoa.

Dark Hollow just earned the unenviable distinction of being hands down the worst barrel aged stout I've ever had. I'll accept a little fault for giving it three years before consuming (despite the quote on the bottle stating that this can be aged). But I recall that this was far from great when I drank my first bottle in January 2013 and none of my other cellaring let-downs have been this dramatic.

 1,288 characters

Photo of oregonskibum
2.5/5  rDev -36.7%

Photo of brez8791
2.5/5  rDev -36.7%

Photo of chakadrum
2.5/5  rDev -36.7%

Photo of Dreadnaught33
2.51/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer was very disappointing to me unfortunately, though Ben (BigSexy410) was nice to share it anyways.

The beer pours a nice dark color with ok head and some lacing, pretty solid overall but a little more fizzy than you like to see normally.

The smell is a bit scary, it's like powdered cocoa and a little bit of oak but it all has a kind of strange off sweet thing going on that is not what you normally smell in a BA imperial stout. I'm missing the rich malts and sweet and savory bourbon that usually is customary in these types of beers.

The flavor is just downright awful, there is no anchoring dark malt, only a very slight fake vanilla taste, again cocoa powder, and then basically nothing. Huge let down.

The feel is not very good either, thin and bubbly, the taste and this together just make me not want to have much of this at all, it was hard to get thorough three sips let alone my half pour of the bottle. I dumped this. Maybe this batch was off, but I really think this was a big letdown and I was hoping for better.

 1,040 characters

Photo of bennetj17
2.57/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Black color, pour appears quite thin for Stout and virtually no head develops at all. Thankfully a tiny ring appears as there are some miniscule bursts of carbonation about the edges. The aroma is very faint, and I don't get much of the typical chocolate/coffee notes I would expect for the style. I do notice some light alcohol fume with some toasty oak and vanilla character, with perhaps a hint of black cherry.

Lightly sweet/fruity alcohols carry the taste until I get to a harsh warming finish. There is a dry toastiness that shows up awhile after the finish which was better than anything I tasted when it was actually on the palate. This thing doesn't even taste like a stout. The mouthfeel was too thin and the carbonation was very lacking.

I was very disappointed in this beer. I could not even finish one glass of it. If you are going to the trouble of barrel aging a beer for 100 days I think it would be wise to have at least a decent beer to start out with. I'm not sure what went wrong here and while cellaring a year or two might help, I don't think it has enough going for it to ever be that good. Not recommended...

 1,136 characters

Photo of ilikebeer03
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of Deltoro
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of Buckeyes1
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of rderedin
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of birchstick
2.88/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark Hollow RIS with a #15 on the cork

A - pours dark with no head to speak of

S - sweet chocolates and a little bourbon in the nose

T - chocoaltes open this guy up and moves on to a somewhat subdued amount of spicy bourbon. Not very complex and a little underwhelming.

M - smooth and full bodied beer

D - decent bourbon barrel beer...not uber complex but enjoyable. Maybe since it was stacked up next to some of the best barrel aged beers in the world, it fell short of what this style can be.

 500 characters

Photo of baybassboy
2.88/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to IrishColonial for throwing this in a LIF box...

Served at cellar temp into a Stone IRS tulip

A: looks thin on the pour. Dark brown with way too much light showing through for a 10% IS. Huge head for a careful pour. Much more than I would expect from a bba beer

S: not much on the nose at all. I get a weird, briney, saltwater sense on the nose. Little to no heat. Some coffee, vanilla, and bourbon, but quite muted overall

T: can't get past that briney, saltwater taste. The bba char is there, but is hardly noticeable in the background. Aftertaste is much better. A bit of coffee and dark chocolate... Vanilla and some alcohol heat

M: thin... Too thin for 10%. It is drinkable, I'll give it that. But it is not what I am looking for in the mouthfeel of a big IS

O: stoked I got to try this small brewery treat. Big thanks to IrishColonial. Given the chance, I would pass on this beer a second time. All that said, my mother and sister in law loved it. Guess its just not my thing. Decent, but not too good by my standards

 1,038 characters

Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
2.91/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured very dark brown, almost black, into my stout glass. The head is 2 fingers of light brown froth that simply won't quit -- I've never seen a head with such staying power! Needless to say, the lacing was tenacious, too.

S: Molasses. Dried fruit. Grape juice. And bourbon.

T: Super sweet at first contact with the tongue -- VERY heavy on the malt sugars! Bitter chocolate is the next flavor, followed by sour grapes. Grapefruit rind tart and bitter notes from the hops develop slowly in the finish, intensify, and linger on the palate.

M: Fairly well carbonated, but the 10% ABV delivers a little burn before the slightly astringent finish.

O: What looked so promising at the pour rather disappointed in the mouth. The sweet malt was overpowering, and the tart-bitter, astringent finish was simply not pleasant. I'd hoped the bourbon barrels would have mellowed it (as they do some scotch whiskeys), but not so. I'll not be buying another bottle, and in fact will take advantage of Trader Joe's guarantee to return the unused portion for a full refund.

 1,062 characters

Photo of barhoc11
2.94/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Thin

S: Smells pretty good actually, bourbon really comes through

T: The bourbon and stout do not mix well, aftertaste is very bad

M: Thin but not horrible

O: I thought this was not good at all, I didn't have high expectations either. This beer was lacking in every category and I couldn't get through the entire bottle, what a waste.

 341 characters

Photo of khiasmus
2.96/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A castle, as it were, or perhaps a crest... The headless horseman, you say? Farbeit from me to claim, as this one has a massive pillow atop, a lacing, beautiful pillow atop a dark brown, stained dark wood, the old guard of pikes and wooden shields, times were hard for those, they weren't warriors, but were cast, cast as targets as the knights came behind, horses tripping over the piled dead left from the walls of lethal spikes.
A sour oakiness, bananas in the rucksack, milk chocolate and cream, massive vanillins, but it's too much, really, too sugary, too banana-popsicle summer days, not dark enough to merit the name or label, childish.
And the flavour is more so, those banana popsicles overwhelming the more artisanal notes of chocolate and brown sugar, a light sour oak that fades into a finish of burnt grain. The days are long in the burning-fields, burnishing the weak weapons of wood, dreaming of the wife that you will likely never see again, as you are cast aside, crushed in the wake of the massive tide, the arrows cascading down from the ramparts of this ill-illustrious king.
The carbonation is massive, the finish warming and astringent.
It really is a mess, a banana-popsicle-sugar-burnt grain mess. Some aging may do it good, or it may simply explode in your cellar. Be careful with this one. The movies show glorified warriors, but in real life it's bloody, dark, painful, sweaty, and deadly.

 1,418 characters

Photo of apasternak
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Didnt get enough barrel in this

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Dark Hollow Artisanal Ale from Blue Mountain Brewery
3.95 out of 5 based on 761 ratings.
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