Dark Hollow Artisanal Ale | Blue Mountain Brewery

very good
761 Ratings
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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 Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the brewery. Review from notes.

A: single finger head on a clear dark brown body and very nice lacing.

S: bourbon and whiskey with oak notes dominating. little on the stout side for the aroma.

T: sweet whiskey with light roasted malts, oak and nuts. subtle milk chocolate and earthy hop notes. presence of the Makers Mark barrels is very obious.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Maker's Mark barrels make for an excellent barrel to age I just think the base beer could be better to make this one really stand out.

 546 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and char flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that has a better barrel aged presence in the aroma in my opinion.

 615 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of Knapp85
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a black color, not overly thick looking... Kind of watery looking. The head forms and then rapidly fades. There is a very thin retention with no lacing. The smell of the beer is a little on the boozy side, there is a pretty good amount of oak on the nose as well. Not much bourbon, definitely more of the fresh oak. The taste of the beer has a roasted vanilla note with more oak. In the finding I pick up some spicy rye as well as some raisin like flavors. The mouthfeel is thinner than I expected. Good carbonation. Overall this is decent, it's not quite as big as I was hoping for but it's not bad. Unique enough to give it a try.

 651 characters

Photo of nmann08
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of metter98
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high dense tan head that has very good retention properties and hardly died down and also left lots of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of chocolate and dark malts along with hints of bourbon in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the bourbon flavors become stronger as the beer warms up and contribute flavors of oak and vanilla. The bourbon isn't that strong overall, but stands out because the underlying beer isn't that heavy-bodied.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth and thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer feels like it could have used a fuller body to help support the bourbon barrel aging.

 758 characters

Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #5 - aged in Maker's Mark barrels

Appearance: Pitch black with a huge Belgianesque head that drapes a curtain of lace

Smell: Dark chocolate, with plenty of Bourbon and vanilla; discernable alcohol

Taste: Opens with a bready, dark chocolate character that, by mid-palate, adds a smooth Bourbon and vanilla aspect; the booziness arrives just before the swallow, as well; the finish is nicely balanced with the Bourbon slightly dominating the underlying chocolate flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: A really nice example of a Bourbon barrel aged stout that blends both the whiskey and beer elements to a nice balance

 687 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, best before 10/2015. Pours pitch black color with a 1-2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, caramel, toast, vanilla, bourbon, toffee, oak, light coconut, light char, and roast/oak earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, caramel, toast, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, oak, light coconut, light char, and roast/oak earthiness. Slight roast/oak bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, caramel, toast, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, oak, light coconut, light char, and roast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, balance, and robustness of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; with an great malt/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent barrel aged imperial stout. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,485 characters

Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very dark chestnut brown with a nice tan head.

S: Very nice with notes of bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt, hints of coffee, and some mingling fruit in the background.

T: Somehow the nose did not translate at all to the taste. There is quite a bit too much roast in the flavor, completing dominating everything else that was present in the smell.

M: Quite dry and a bit thin.

D: I could smell this one for quite some time, but the taste left something to be desired. There were some nice flavors in there, but things need to be balanced out just a bit more.

 571 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of oberon
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial nonic a deep choclate borwn with a nice looking one finger beige head atop.Aromas of light bourbon and vanilla,a decent amount of roast and earth as well.Flavors don't have alot of complex ity really with bourbon/oaky notes upfront that meld into a drying roasty finish,a little bitter chocolate lingers.It's not bad but Iam not sure it's worth the price tag.

 383 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blue Mountain Barrel House "Dark Hollow"
25.4 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, corked & caged.
Cork dated "Best By: NOV 2015"
$10.99 @ Cost Plus World Market, Arlington, VA

Appearance: Opaque brown-black body beneath a massive head of very dark tan foam. Excellent head retention and lacing.

Aroma: Dark-skinned fruit, berries and red grape, bittersweet chocolate, and a bit of nuttiness combine with char, a waft of smoke, a light touch of wood, and Bourbon. With each subsequent sniff each of these components appear, but almost always in a different order. It's complex and interesting, but not particularly welcoming.

Flavor: Black coffee comes into the mix, along with a bit of something medicinal (I'm thinking it has something to do with a combination of alcohol and char); and the fruitiness that was there seems to have withered a bit into dried dark fruit. It's bitter, a bit acidic, and a touch astringent. The grain and nuttiness remain, but the oak that was welcoming in the nose returns in the flavor a bit harshly, turning dry and raspy when combined with the bitterness and alcohol; and the Bourbon remains, but it's not quite as pleasant as the nose suggested it would be. As it warms some coconut comes forward, as well as a bit of nuttiness. It's generally disappointing because everything is present but it just doesn't come together properly. Perhaps an additionally year of aging would round and smooth it, at the very least softening the alcoholic edge that it has.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a dextrinous edge and a fine-bubbled median carbonation that foams up when poured, releasing some of its gas, and becoming quite smooth.

Overall: It lacks roundness and polish with sharp points of burnt roastiness, alcohol, semi-tart dark fruit, and misaligned Bourbon. I'm quite sure that fresh Bourbon was added to the barrels before being filled, but that's just conjecture, and to a certain extent completely irrelevant as what's needed is simply more time in the barrel.

 1,994 characters

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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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