Black Eye | Avery Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Black EyeBlack Eye
189 Ratings
Black EyeBlack Eye

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 18.82%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged in Rum barrels.

Added by ThatsThatDude on 03-27-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 189 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of Cubatobaco
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A forgotten bottle in the back of the cellar that drinks like a fresh BA Stout. After all of these years the rum barrel is as pronounced as day one. It wouldn't hurt to hold this back for a couple of years to mellow it out. For a Stout that is out of production, it sure makes its presence known. I hope they make this again. The rum barrel keeps this aged stout sweet while the body is full and viscous.

Great beer, Avery!

 424 characters

Photo of Erik-P
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Adamostella
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Kuges
4.29/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.89/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Hypersomnia
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black color. A bit of tan head.

Very strong. Lots of alcohol phenols. Rum, oak, chocolate, cocoa, figs, molasses, raisins, and dates.

Thick and boozy.

Fun to try, but very strong.

 182 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.83/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

BOTTLE: Bottled June 27 2014. Production: 424 cases. Brown glass. Iconic Avery label. Gold foil covers the pry-off crown cap. 12 fl oz format.

18.82% ABV. "Stout aged in rum barrels."

Served chilled into a snifter.

HEAD: Gorgeous shining complexion. Dark khaki-tan colour. Not as creamy, soft-looking, or even robust as would be ideal; it's a bit thin. Recedes within 3 minutes (which is pretty damned impressive at ~19% ABV). Leaves no lacing as it recedes, but I can coax out some streaking brandy-like legs by tilting the glass.

BODY: Predictably, it's an opaque solid black. No yeast/lees visible within.

Appears aptly carbonated. Not a unique or special appearance for a rum barrel aged imperial stout, but certainly appealing.

AROMA: Boozy rum leaps out of the glass, evoking toasted coconut and sugarcane, but no rich white oak. The barrel character eclipses any aromatics from the base, drowning out any notes of dark malts and chocolate malts. I think I find some walnut and/or nougat?

Suggests a chewy boozy beast of an imperial stout with wanting intricacy and subtlety of execution but decent depth of flavour. Aromatic intensity is mild.

TASTE: Tannins and dry wooden tones are present from the get-go, making this imperial stout drink less than clean. Boozy throughout, making one wonder why Avery insists on skyrocketing these 12 fl oz releases through the roof; wouldn't this be better with less heat?

Rum barrel has soaked into the chocolate malts and dark malts at the heart of the beer, but it isn't a harmonious marriage of barrel and base. There isn't egregious clashing, but it lacks the neat cohesion of the best barrel aged imperial stouts and the flavours do seem to be fighting to see which can emerge as loudest. More subtlety and delicate execution would be nice, but it isn't imbalanced in spite of failing to amount to a true gestalt whole of a beer; it's neither too sweet nor too bitter. But the wood tannins are rough and distract from the more conventional imperial stout notes.

Speaking of which, this is pretty simply constructed. No roasted barley, no charred/burnt sugars, no barrel char, no subtle toasted coconut, no coffee or other adjuncts. In a style that includes some of the most intricate beers in the world, that's pretty disappointing.

TEXTURE: Awkwardly dry and rough on the palate at times, evoking stale dried-out wood in combination with the underwhelming barrel flavours. Overcarbonated. Hot and boozy. Heavy and thick on the palate, with a borderline syrupy feel. The chewiness is right for the style, and I don't mind the booze as much as many might, but the lack of a soft silky feel or adequate creaminess makes it less approachable than it could be. Definitely a filling mouthfeel. Not tailored specifically to the flavour profile. Fails to elevate the beer as a whole or to accentuate specific notes.

OVERALL: More drinkable than its ~19% ABV would lead one to expect but less drinkable than the best expressions of the style (and amost any "average" beer regardless of style conventions), Black Eye is a booze-ridden brew that suffers from a lack of seamless layering of barrel and base. Not a unique or special imperial stout, and the base is in serious need of work in terms of complexity and depth of flavour. I adore many of the beers in Avery's barrel aged series, but this is not amongst their strongest efforts by my estimation. I'll enjoy finishing the bottle, but boy am I thankful this rich beast of a beer isn't packaged in bigger format bottles; it'd be a chore at anything above 12 oz (and I find myself wishing I had company to share this with).

I'd like to see a gooey, chewy mouthfeel with more silky softness, as well as a flavour profile with more intricacy and depth of flavour in addition to a more appropriate choice of barrel. The strengths of rum barrels aren't explored here (which is surprising given Avery's control over rum barrels in beers like Rumpkin) and I continue to question Avery's obsession with hugely alcoholic beers.

C (2.83) / AVERAGE

 4,048 characters

Photo of SamN
4.51/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Yowzas, 18%+. WIll it be a spciy meat-a-ball? No, thankfully. Boozy, but no choking heat. Sweet with touches of the vanilla and dark tropical fruits found in god-tier Zacapa 23 yr. Licorice? You betcha. Dark malts are more brandy like than your average stout malt-bill. So much in the nose, but I was too drunk to really pick em out. 2004 vintage.

Not brewed anymore, this was a one-off for Avery's barrel-aged series. Others include a tequila barrel beer, but if you see Mr Blackbeard staring you down from a dusty shelf, you buy it. This beer is fantastic, which is what Avery means in Mongolian. Awesome stuff.

 615 characters

Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.41/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with light brown head, plenty of lacing on glass
S: Huge rum, sweet dates, dark chocolate, roasty coffee, alcohol, raisin, vanilla
T: Bitter chocolate, sweet rum, milk chocolate, alcohol heat, oak, vanilla, maple, raisin, port, molasses
M: Lighter side of thick with plenty of residual sugars
O: Held up great with 3.5 years on it. Still tons of heat but it helps balance the sweetness. Would likely be even better with 3%-5% less abv

 449 characters

Photo of enelson
4.38/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rawfish
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of darktronica
4.53/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A booze bomb, in the best sort of way. Still a gloriously hot mess after nearly two years of ageing in the bottle. Fudge, marshmallow, oak, fire, and spiced rum. More heat to it than some other Avery beers of similar strength, this one has a sharp edge that warns you to sip gently.

 282 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of AlexFields
3.94/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of shoegueuze
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Kurt_Dog
5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of yeaprolly
4.39/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of thatoneguymike
4.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Parmesan
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: pours a pitch black with a nice creamy khaki tan head.

Aroma: Chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, some vanilla and spice from the rum.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, vanilla and spice from the rum. Rum is there but not overpowering. Booze is there but not overpowering.

Feel: Really thick and creamy with light to medium carbonation.

 346 characters

Photo of aaronyoung01
4.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dheldman
4.64/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of MartyIU13
4.41/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CraftFan5
4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This should be fun. 15+ months of aging might do the trick. Let's find out. 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A - An aggressive pour produced a very impressive head. Chocolate mocha brown with tight bubbles on top of an absolutely black body. Amazing.

N - Massive chocolate. Massive. Vinson Massif. Massov Shawarma. Real real big. Underlying the chocolate I get the slightest bitter malt and some maple syrup. Can't wait.

T - Definitely boozy, but not 19% boozy. This is impressively done. I actually don't get much barrel character, perhaps some spice and vanilla, but not much more. The flavor is dominated by roasted malt and maple syrup. Definitely a sipper.

M - Extremely thick, decadently so. It's like a dark, rich sipping chocolate that warms your mouth and throat. I wish it weren't 12:45 in the morning so I could sip this over the next 2 hours.

O - Another impressive huge beer from Avery. Not sure if I like their stouts or sours better.

 968 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Black Eye from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.4 out of 5 with 189 ratings