Black Hole Sun
Black Market Brewing Co.

Black Hole SunBlack Hole Sun
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #202
Ranked #4,050
4.2 | pDev: 14.52%
Black Market Brewing Co.
California, United States
Black Hole SunBlack Hole Sun
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 72 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by gregmoscetti:
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gregmoscetti from California

4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The nose is sweet, oaky and toasty. Reminiscent of Parabola. Taste follows suit but is DEFINITELY hot. The taste is sweet and chocolaty. Some light wood and vanilla. Tollhouse cookie dough. A year or 3 in the cellar would make this excellent. Mouthfeel is creamy and full.

Overall is a 4, but when you consider the price in comparison to -bal arms race, I cant help but love it a little more.

1 year later, this beer is spectacular. Rich and complex, with the bourbon taking a back seat and the wood shining through. Heat is felt without being tasted. It's like the richest chocolate brownie in a glass. If I can stumble upon more of this somewhere, let me know. I'll buy a bunch.

Oct 19, 2012
More User Reviews:
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Vermonthiker from Vermont

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Oct 24, 2012
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vurt from Oregon

4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased at Vendome Liquors (Toluca Lake), poured a few ounces at a time into a Bruery snifter.

Heavy, oily, and bible black with burnt umber highlights where the beer meets the glass. A good swirl yields a half-assed skin of mocha colored foam which quickly disappears and leaves stray bubbles behind. This beer coats the glass and the viscosity hints at the huge mouthfeel to come.

Massive burnt sugar, tangy roasted coffee, and high cacao-percentage dark chocolate, all on top of a sturdy foundation of concentrated dark fruits: mostly raisin, fig, and prune. Oh, and alcohol. Tons of it.

Sweet chocolate right up front, a combination of creamy milk chocolate and fruity dark chocolate. Coffee with cream right behind that, followed by several kinds of rich malty sweetness: caramel, toffee, a touch of molasses and a slight saltiness. Intense prune and fig and blackcurrant and alcohol-soaked raisin flavors underneath it all. The long-lasting finish is dark chocolate, Oreo crumbs, alcohol, and some Kahlua, and it lasts and lasts. A bit of salty smokiness at the very end.

Full-bodied, and no lie. Viscous and oily texture with low carbonation that provides a welcome bite. Serious alcohol warmth.

Let's not mince words: this beer is a BEAST. Huge, intense, and so much better than the last music-themed bruiser from Black Market (the hot mess known as Quadrophenia). The dark chocolate and intense fruitiness remind me of Dark Lord, but without that beer's soy sauce/refined white sugar character. The alcohol flavor is obtrusive and just plain rude. A fine and massive example of a Russian imperial stout, and one of the better non-barrel-aged stouts I've had in a while. Age it if you have the patience; this one is going to be untamed for a long time to come. Approach with caution.

Oct 19, 2012
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largadeer from California

3.5/5  rDev -16.7%

Jan 14, 2013
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Halcyondays from California

4.02/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours as black as an Alaskan winter night. Black Hole, they weren't kidding. Mild cap of brown foam, some spotty lace. Definitely an imposing look.

S: Big right from the first smell. Lots of nuttiness, walnuts. Dark chocolate syrup and molasses. Lots of sweet dark malt.

T: Dark chocolate for days, lots of coffee ice cream flavour. Endless mocha. Small hint of char on the back end. This tastes like heavy malt syrup, no real hop character.

M: Extremely full-bodied, long sugary aftertaste of heavy malt which surprisingly never gets cloying. Lush, creamy, only a mild booze character which is impressive on a beer this big. It does get spirituous in the finish, but this is quite pleasant.

O: I'd love to see what 2-5 years of aging does to this beast, but I enjoy what it's doing now. It reminds me a lot of Old Viscosity, except it's even bigger than that beer which is a little crazy. Price is very good, all around a tasty big stout, I liked it quite a bit. This not a beer that will blow your mind, but for a huge stout that's fun to drink this young, go for it.

Nov 12, 2012
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imperialking from Illinois

4.06/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 25, 2015
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Jeffo from Netherlands

4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from ScottO in a recent box. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Thick, sludgy black pour yields a 1+ finger, medium looking, creamy, mocha colored head with very good retention. Black body with medium levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a nice full cap. A ring and dots remain but leave no real lacing down the glass. Great color and head, but no lacing, unfortunately.

SMELL: Big, roasted nose with lots of roasted malts, piles of pure, dark chocolate, some molasses, light coffee notes and cream. Very roasted with some charred and burnt grains.

TASTE: Quite a bit more charred and boozy than the nose had lead on. Burnt and roasted grain up front with some sweet molasses and tobacco up front. Quite flavorful. A big finish of roasted and charred grain, sweet molasses, boozy brown sugar, bitter dark chocolate and mild hints of tobacco lingers on the palate. Boozy and flavorful for sure. Lots of residual sugars probably.

PALATE: Medium-full body with medium levels of carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down fine with a burn at the swallow and finishes slightly sticky. Heat lingers. Boozy for sure, but full and creamy.

OVERALL: This is really good. It's definitely got a big alcohol punch, but that never gets in the way of the big flavor profile this one brings to the table. The charred malt flavor and tobacco give it a European twist, though it is never as offensive as some of the Danish examples can be. Very black, interesting and complex flavor profile, and a solid feel on this one. One worth checking out if you get the chance. Thanks again ScottO. Recommended.

Feb 24, 2014
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black with a thin dark brown head that leaves a thin ring around the glass and light lacing. Big aroma of dark toasted malts, molasses, cocoa and licorice. Flavor follows aroma, bit molasses, licorice, dark dried fruit, chocolate, finishing with very concentrated flavors, as if figs, dates and molasses were reduced to a thick liquid. Medium to heavy bodied with some creaminess. A big, fully flavored imperial stout. Although it is warming, but flavors are so dense that the monster ABV is well covered. It took a real effort to pace myself to not drink this too fast. A beer equivalent of a liqueur. The dark malts are somewhat buried by the other flavors, but an interesting flavor profile sets this apart from other RIS. Nicely done.

Dec 16, 2014
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hickmancase from California

5/5  rDev +19%

Oct 27, 2014
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Retsinis from Arizona

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Oct 22, 2012
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zestar from California

4/5  rDev -4.8%

Aug 08, 2014
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FosterJM from California

4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1698th Review on BA
Bottle to Black Market Pint

Shared by Vince at Steve's house

App- Holy hell this is black as shit! I will say almost the darkest stout I've seen. Good dense center, black color with only a slight edge color reduction. A few bubbles but not a head really. A few dots of cling.

Smell- This is a good deep aromatic stout. Even in a pint glass the rich malts are there and balanced against a bakers/dark chocolate with a small booze. Very rich and decadent on the nose.

Taste- WTF!! How can 15% be this smooth. It's very creamy and dark chocolate forward. The rich malts are sitting there just being mellow and paired with a whip cream like flavor. Huge chocolate for days. Jesus this was good.

Mouth- A large and full body with a low and creamy carbonation. Residual, malts, chocolate and whip cream like flavors.

Drink- well 15% is really FN good! So well layered and balanced and not boozy at all! I have no idea what they did, but damn it was good.

Jan 21, 2013
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.91/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BigTuro for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, and burnt dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, licorice, and anise 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 thick mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but quite thick and strong.

Feb 23, 2014
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Gobzilla from California

3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Nov 03, 2014
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Bonis from Ohio

3.83/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dec 26, 2014
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Jugs_McGhee from Texas

2.58/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap purchased for $9.49 and served into a New Belgium goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. 15% ABV confirmed. Expectations are above average; the lad at the store I got this at was a good salesman.

Served a bit warmer than refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Cracked the cap without issue. No carbonation surging or other problems. Just a satisfying ksshh.

As I poured, it became obvious no head was going to form, so I increased the vigor of my pour considerably.

A: Pours a one finger beautiful rich tan colour head of great cream and thickness and decent retention for the high ABV (about forty seconds). Body colour is a solid black. Not quite a pitch or jet black. Opaque. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Chocolate, a hint of roast, dark malts, some coffee, and caramel. A pretty standard aroma for a good beer in the style. Nothing strikes me as special or unique, but so far so good. An average strength aroma. No yeast or alcohol comes through.

T: Chocolate, cream, overdone coffee, stunted dark malts, roast, and an obnoxious finish resembling curdled cream. Somewhat acrid throughout. Hopping is a bit aggressive for the style yet adds little of value to the profile. Imbalanced. Not at all subtle. Not very complex either - especially not for the style. It's deeply flawed, yet strangely, little alcohol comes through. No yeast comes through. I'm going to let it warm, but it's very unimpressive so far. Too stale and bitter.

Mf: Smooth, wet, thick. Decent carbonation. Sticky. Too present on the palate. Wrong for the style. Needs coarseness, dryness, and cream. Doesn't suit the flavours all that much at all.

Dr: It does hide its ABV fairly well, I'll give it that. But's too horribly imbalanced to be a success within the style. Feels like an undercooked garage homebrew attempt at the style. I wouldn't bother with this again. It's probably better on draught.

Low C-

Nov 02, 2012
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Wowcoolman from California

4/5  rDev -4.8%

Feb 23, 2014
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penginpunk from California

4.75/5  rDev +13.1%

Apr 27, 2013
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crob3888 from California

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Feb 01, 2015
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westcoastbeerlvr from California

3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Jan 13, 2013
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DVMin98 from North Carolina

4.31/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Super boozy right off. Lots of bitter chocolate. Thick and chewy. Becomes very sweet as it warms, but not off-putting. Solid offering. I soloed this thing and was glad to not share :P

Feb 13, 2015
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rawfish from California

4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Jun 06, 2016
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mattreitz49 from Florida

4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aug 07, 2015
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funkel81 from Colorado

3.25/5  rDev -22.6%

Nov 03, 2012
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DarthKostrizer from California

4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Jun 11, 2013
Black Hole Sun from Black Market Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 72 ratings