Dark Hollow Chocolate & Coffee Aged | Blue Mountain Brewery

very good
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Dark Hollow Chocolate & Coffee AgedDark Hollow Chocolate & Coffee Aged

Brewed by:
Blue Mountain Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by EgadBananas on 11-27-2012

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Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 251
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

many thanks to my beer club for this gem. what an interesting barrel aged stout. the pour is jet black, midnight, no light in at all. the head is about an inch tall and mocha colored. it fades fast but it easily rejuvenated with a swirl of the glass. it almost smells like it has chili peppers in it, anaheims or pablanos, vegetative and spicy. of course it also smells like a barrel aged stout, with super roasty dark bitter malts, cold drip coffee, and raw dark chocolate. the booze level is curiously absent from the smell. the flavor is also a little vegetable heavy, but not so much peppers anymore. its a funny flavor to have in a beer like this, I have no idea where it comes from, but it somehow doesn't seem out of place. some light vanilla notes, and the coffee is a lot more heavy than the chocolate. maybe a tad out of balance here, but the chocolate is raw and unsweetened, really nice bitterness it adds to the finish, and is the last flavor to be left on the tongue after the swallow. nice mouthfeel, mellow but adequate carbonation and a full body that retains some runny element. dangerously drinkable as the alcohol doesn't really come out very intensely. overall an exceptional beer, in need of a tiny bit of fine tuning, but easily the best thing ive had out of the state of Virginia!

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Photo of brentk56
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a fudge brown color capped by an inch of tan foam; the bubbles fade quickly but leave some dots and squiggles behind

Smell: Chocolate prevails, with coffee, vanilla and roasty notes underneath; there is just the slightest hint of Bourbon

Taste: Chocolate dominates the front end, growing slightly minty by mid-palate, with a trace of mint lingering into the aftertaste; in the middle, however, the coffee comes on strong and, when combined with the vanilla and roasty notes in the malt, brings a somewhat acrid, bitter flavor to the finish; the hint of Bourbon in the aroma also appears in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: The Bourbon is not prominently noted on the label and it certainly is not a prominent influence on the beer; between a Bourbon-dominated beer and one that has subtle influences, I prefer the subtle but this beer would benefit from the Bourbon being a bit more than a hint; still, this is a pretty good beer, even though the coffee is a bit too acrid in the finish

Thanks, Dave_Treat, for the opportunity

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Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into snifter, best before May 2013 stamped on the cork. Pours fairly pitch black color with a small dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of milk chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa, bourbon, oak, vanilla, toast, toffee, light clove, raisin, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted notes with chocolate, coffee, and barrel character; and good strength. Taste of milk chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, vanilla, toast, oak, bourbon, light char, raisin, toffee, light clove, and roasted earthiness. Slight coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa, vanilla, toast, toffee, bourbon, oak, raisin, brown sugar, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee flavor with moderate fruitiness; with a balanced barrel presence and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy and slick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good barrel aged stout. Nice balance and complexity of chocolate, coffee, roast, and barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the gravity. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque but clear jet black in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the surface of the beer and some dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy dark mocha head that slowly reduces to a half finger thick creamy layer covering the entire surface of the beer. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of darkly roasted coffee, cocoa, and lightly roasted malts.

T: Upfront there is a light flavor of lightly roasted malts with strong flavors of darkly roasted coffee (like an Italian roast or espresso) and cocoa + bittersweet chocolate. There are moderate flavors of charred oak, bourbon, and vanilla towards the finish with just a hint of alcohol in the finish.

M: A little bit heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: Not an amazing barrel aged coffee stout but better than I had expected (I have not been blown away by any beers from this brewery though almost all of them are solid). I wanted a little more from the combination of bourbon barrel, chocolate, coffee, and stout - there just was not enough complexity and subtly to the flavors/aromas of this beer.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First had: bottle purchased from Blue Mountain, Afton, VA

Took a couple of these babies back to the lodge after visiting the brewery. Served in a Blue Mountain barrel glass, solid black pour, with a large, lasting cap of mocha head, slight streaky lacing. Rich, roasty aroma, dark malts, dark chocolate, coffee, charred wood. Coffee was smooth on the palate, good melding of roast and sweetness in the malts, dark chocolate, nice barrel profile, though I didn't pick up too much bourbon, maybe just a subtle hint. Body wasn't quite full, but the mouthfeel was smooth and pleasant, with the higher alcohol level well-hidden. Very nice brew overall. Not a mind-blower, but still a good quality stout.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.12/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Served in a wedding snifter.

I remember thoroughly enjoying the normal Dark Hollow, so the addition of chocolate and coffee sounds like a great idea to me. This stuff pours a very dark black-brown topped by a half-finger of off-khaki foam. The nose comprises cocoa, coffee, an what seems like a vague hint of roasted malts way in the background. The taste sorta brings in more of the same, but the aforementioned notes are relegated to the very back of the bus whilst the front and middle seats are populated by sour-ish red grape, berry, and mild blood. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, this beer didn't do it for me. It smells great, but either there's an infection here or the beer just wasn't made all that well, 'cause it tastes pretty bad and comes off as a bit too thin for its own good.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark cola with deep brown highlights. Light khaki head with par retention and retention.

S - Super roasty. Dry grains, fresh wood, light raisin, vanilla, soft bourbon, dry cocoa, red wine.

T - Wow, awesome integration and super smooth. Think milkshake meets chocolate stout. Chocolate, vanilla, cake batter, cream, molasses, caramel, butterscotch, bitter cocoa. Soft oak backdrop

M - Smooth, medium body to style.

O - The flavor profile is net sweet, but is still fantastic. Great drinkability at 10%.

P - Pairs excellent with Mallomars; the bitter cocoa and sweet marshmallow is a match made in heaven.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.04/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. A few wisps on the surface. Chunky collar.

Smell - Raw coffee flavor. Very green and almost peppery. Chocolate. But coffee is dominant.

Taste - Extremely sharp coffee flavor. Same raw, green coffee. Still tastes like green peppers. I don't get much barrel out of this. Some chocolate though.

Mouthfeel - Medium high carbonation. Rough bitter coffee finish.

Overall - Eh. Very average and too much coffee. I have a regular version of this and I hope it doesn't have this offensive coffee flavor.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-Pours quite close to black. Minimal head. Light doesn't want to dive through this brew. Very light lace.

S-Coffee grounds and rich chocolate with hints of oak. The aroma could definitely use a bit more strength. The bittersweet (bitter coffee, sweet chocolate) nature of the aroma combined with the oak is nice however.

T-Very close to the nose. Coffee grounds, sweetened coffee, bitter and sweet chocolate notes and a kiss of oaky burn on the back. One must love coffee if they're going to agree with this one.

M-Rather thin for a beer like this. Could use more body. Flatter carbonation. Boozy tingle.

O/D-I personally enjoyed this beer a bunch. It has its low points but overall it is a neat beer.

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Photo of Suds
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very dark, incredibly intense black beer. The head is blown, towering, and solid. It is a beautiful brew. The smell is of dark chocolate, espresso, and booze. Not much malt gets through the other scents, but it is still a striking aroma. The taste is a little more acrid than I expected, with a bit of dryness and a lot of alcohol warming. Nice, but it could have been better. Very thick and full in body.

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Photo of claspada
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost completly black with dark brown along the edges. There is a smallish tan head that dissipated rather quickl leaving a decent amount of lacing.

Aromas begin quite roasty and coffee forward. Dark roasted maltiness, espresso, dark bitter baker's chocolate. Some light oak and vanilla emerges as it warms.

The tastes follow the nose with lots of roasty dark espresso, dark chocolate bitterness and lesser baker's cocoa. The roast is quite intense and really masks most of the sweeter vanilla and bready sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. I expected a bit more chewiness in the finish but the roasted flavors really own the show.

Overall this was a pretty decent beer, the roast is a bit overbearing for my liking but I have definitely had roastier and less drinkable. Could use a bit more barrel induced flavors/sweetness to balance for my preference but worth a go if you come across it.

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Photo of n2185
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours black with two fingers of tan head that fades into a frothy ring with a little lacing.

S: Fresh roasted coffee up front with creamy vanilla and cocoa following. Light bourbon and oak aromas bring up the finish.

T: Roasted malts here with semi-sweet chocolate and robust coffee flavors following. There is an underlying vanilla sweetness with some bitter char accompanying. Oak and light bourbon bring up the finish with a slight alcohol warmth.

M: Medium-thick body with medium carbonation, this beer is surprisingly drinkable for a big stout. I'd like a little thicker and creamier body, though.

O: A pretty good beer, overall. I wish the bourbon were just a little more present and the body a little thicker, but those are just nitpicks.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Portion of a 750ml bottle into a Hunahpu's snifter. From notes.

A: Pours a dark brown color. The head is a thin white-shaded collar.

S: Chocolaty, with a bit of coffee. I also notice slight caramel and roasted qualities.

T: At first, faint chocolate gives way to a vegetal, stale coffee profile. After a couple of sips, it balances out fairly well. The finish has a bit of 'saltiness' that I enjoy somewhat, too. Barrel influences are very subtle here.

M: Rather thin, and not really creamy, either. Still, the sweet/bitter balance is nice.

O: Ramp up the body, use better coffee; and we could really be talking about something kickass here. As it stands, it's a pretty good imperial stout with quite a few glaring flaws.

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Photo of Pencible
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This poured a totally opaque black with thick dark tan head.
S: It smelled like oak and fresh roasted coffee, with some bitter dark chocolate and vanilla.
T: It tasted like rich dark chocolate and fresh roasted coffee, with some oak and chili powder and vanilla and toasted coconut. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was fairly thick with a little smooth carbonation. Nice big body.
D: This was a great barrel aged stout. Complex and delicious scent and taste, with a great body. It had a smooth finish and well hidden alcohol, so it was easy to drink but worth sipping. Would probably age quite well, but is already fantastic fresh. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of Dope
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Best by June 2014.

A: Opens with barely the lightest hiss. Pours a very dark brown with a midsized light brown fluffy head. Head fades slowly, leaving substantial and almost solid lacing behind.

S: Lots of coffee and chocolate, that's for sure. Nice fresh roasted coffee. No sign of the bourbon.

T: Again, no sign of bourbon at all that I can pick up. Maybe the lightest hint of caramel and vanilla sweetening everything up? Very nice mixture of mellow chocolate and coffee up front regardless. No sharp flavors, just well-integrated and smooth. Like this beer has been aged for 5 years already. Flavors turn a touch bitter (barely) in the finish, lending more of an acrid coffee and bitter baker's chocolate taste instead. Maybe a little drying oak in the finish? Zero alcohol burn.

M: Low carbonation, fairly thick and VERY smooth.

O: Hmph, I was not expecting much with the mediocre reviews on this one. But damn, I was pleasantly surprised. Coffee and chocolate flavors are very tasty and super smooth, mellow and well-integrated. No real barrel presence which is a bummer but I feel there may be a slight bit of sweetness from the caramel/vanilla flavors that usually accompany bourbon. Beer is very sweet in general; not cloying but definitely a dessert beer. Smooth mouthfeel, silky flavors and no alcohol tastes leads to an incredibly drinkable 10% barrel-aged stout. Only thing I would have liked to have seen is a little more prominent roasted malt to add some complexity, and/or more bourbon character for the same reason. But make no mistake, this was very nice.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a medium thick, maybe a tad towards the thicker side. Nice growth of a brown mocha head that ends up looking like hot chocolate foam very thick around the edges. Lacing is in brown sheets in spots, more curtain-like in others.

Nose is a strong coffee aroma. It comes on a little bitter up front, the raw cacao note maybe hitting first before an undercurrent of semi-sweet chocolate. In some whiffs that second note comes as a less sweet chocolate with some marshmallow. On the down side, there's really not much from the bourbon barrel.

A heavy-medium feel with a bold flavor profile. Like the nose, the bitter roasted coffee grabs the most attention. My initial sips actually gave me some green pepper bitterness (first sip actually had a tiny bite, but I didn't get it again) as well. The opening is a bit of barely sweetened dark chocolate. This transforms to the cacao-specific notes before the coffee joins the party. The bitter cacao seems to join with the coffee to create a very dark, bitter roast coffee. There's a little bit of carbonation to keep it from being full creamy in the end - but there is a creamy nature near the end of the feel.

Maybe just a tad on the bitter side, and the barrel is not an evident flavor or scent. If I really try, I can think about how it might be supporting the other flavors (maybe vanilla adding some sweetness?), and maybe in the lingering aftertaste a little wooden oakenness. Overall, I really enjoyed it, but if you are looking for a decent bourbon character, this might not be the beer to grab.

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Photo of argock
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml brown corked and caged bottle into a clear glass snifter. Best by July 2014 on the cork. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Gorgeous stark black body with 1-finger dark beige head with good retention leaving a soft cap of foam and even some spotty lacing which is amazing for a 10% beer.

S: Bourbon and alcohol are the most prominent aromas with coffee, bitter baker's dark chocolate, and medium crystal malt raisin and date with a hefty amount of roast. A bit harsh on the alcohol side.

T: The flavor is good but is done in by the strength of the coffee in the finish which makes it a little too bitter when thrown on top of the bitter dark chocolate, slightly acrid roast, and high IBU bitterness. There is no hops flavor per se but the bitterness of this brew is a bit much and it catches up to you, which also brings a slightly vinous, grapey, mildly sour and astringent flavor to the finish which doesn't leave the best aftertaste. While this beer has some light to moderate crystal malt sweetness, it is not enough to counter the bitterness. The dark fruitiness in the aroma is lost behind the strong coffee and dark chocolate. There is some light vanilla in the aftertaste along with bourbon burps.

M: Too thin and I think more heft would help to temper the bitterness. Carbonation is on the money though. Reasonably dry but this beer isn't really supposed to be.

O: I think this beer could be improved, but I think the base beer will need to be altered with more medium and high lovibond crystal malts and less black malt. Another approach would be to decrease the coffee exposure time and sweeten the chocolate character somewhat. It just comes off as a harsh beer, even when warmed beyond 60F. I like BMB's beers, and this one needs some toning down and softening.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Settles in the glass with a black body and a foamy tan head.

S- Roasted malts, a slight hint if sweet bourbon, hints of vanilla and oak.

T- Roasted malts come through the most, with a sweet bourbon presence coming through as well. Coffee comes through towards the end and lingers to the finish.

M- Smooth, full bodied, medium carbonation, some fizz to it.

O- Pretty good flavors, but not huge on flavor. An improvement on the original though.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Fantastic chocolate and coffee flavor with nice notes of barrel and bourbon. This is very thin though. The thinness doesn't take away from just how delicious this is and with it's price point it's a huge winner.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, with a finger of dark tan head. Leaves a little bit of lacing.

The initial aroma is nothing other than chocolate and roasted coffee beans. It moves to a mellow vanilla, oak and bourbon note, with a hint of burnt, roasted malts. Quite impressed with the aroma as the barrel doesn't overwhelm, is still very much there, but allows the chocolate and coffee to still play significant roles.

Again, lots of sweet cocoa notes and slightly bitter roasted coffee. The chocolate leaves a sweet linger. There's a hint of vanilla, and the charred wood and subtle bourbon-y notes are great.

The feel is good, and it's full bodied, but not as thick and chewy as a big stout like this could be. Minor flaw, really.

This drinks incredibly smooth, with no noticeably alcohol. I haven't had the normal Dark Hollow, but this is nothing short of an absolute treat!

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Photo of Florida9
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thin black in color. Dark brown or cola like firms a thin, dark colored head. Good retention on what it is there. Light lacing. Aroma is chocolate, cocoa and a cheap-woodsy coffee note. Taste is thin for the style. Lots of coffee. Unfortunately it's cheap acidic thin coffee. Dry bakers chocolate. Dark malts. And then there is a slight sourness. Possibly infected? Thin for the style. Lightly acidic. Slightly chalky. Mild bitterness. Meh, not the greatest beer.

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Photo of DCLAguy11
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really impressed that I could actually taste the chocolate in this compared to similar styles I've had in the past. The coffee is nice and clean without being overly bitter. Really nice balanced beer.

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Photo of Chaney
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber, split with my wife, and poured into an Olde Hickory glass.

A: Poured black as night, but didn't appear that oil-like in terms of pouring viscosity. Slight mocha head that stuck around for a while.

S: Really not that potent... maybe so wet barley with a tinge of roast.

T: Some sweet, candy notes, not much bourbon, but quite good. The candy and barrel-aging washed over the potential "coffee ground" quality that I usually hate (ala. Bell's "Java Stout"). Really tasty.

M: Sweeter and more dessert-like than a lot of coffee brews on the market, a good bit of splotchy lacing, and milk chocolate staining of the palate.

O: Much more in the "Nestle's" realm in terms of chocolate than in the dark, bitter, Dagoba-esque one. Still, this was pretty tasty.

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Photo of Beejay
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Remember remember the 5th of November! Guy Fawkes day, and election day.. seems like an appropriate time to open a big beer.

A: Barely a pop when the cork came out. Black with a slight amount of dark tan head.

S: Oh that is fantastic. The aroma is graceful, rich, and complex. Dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, and bourbon notes. The smell of freshly brewed espresso lingers faintly in the nose, while the chocolate and oak dominate.

T: Coffee and chocolate intermingle with the charred oak flavor from the barrel. The imperial stout comes through bringing with it hints of vanilla, and brown sugar, possibly the crust of a creme brulee. The finish is all coffee.

M: A little more thin than I would like, but still medium bodied. The carbonation is a tad low for me as well. There is a nice luxurious creamy feel to it, which I rather enjoy. The finish has a lingering bitterness that is reminiscent of the bite from dark chocolate.

O: Overall very tasty, and just what I was in the mood for. However in comparison to similar styles beers, this one doesn't break mold. While it is incredibly delicious, it just isn't quite world class...

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: into a large snifter, pitch black body, finger of dark foam; left sparse lace sprinkle behind

S: roasted chocolate, roasted dark coffee beans, whiskeyed wood

T: brings all the impressions from the nose in, and adss bittersweet dark chocolate, cold espresso, a suggestion of something cleaner, perhaps anise; currents of woods and whiskey barrels overlay the deeper flavors

M: smooth, mellow, slightly coating, vaporous over the tongue

O: Having enjoyed their base Dark Hollow stout, I found this to be very enjoyable - adding chocolate/coffee and bourbon barrel aging a stout is almost a guaranteed way to create a more complex and rewarding drink. No reason not to grab a bottle if you like the style and flavorings.

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Dark Hollow Chocolate & Coffee Aged from Blue Mountain Brewery
4.03 out of 5 based on 251 ratings.
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