Black Hole | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Black HoleBlack Hole
Liked This Beer
3.79 w/ 195 ratings
Black HoleBlack Hole

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 03-19-2004

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: 195 |  Reviews: 176
Photo of randomdanger
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of shapudding
4.9/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured pitch freakin' black with no real head, just some khakiness that landed in a little ring on the sides. Looks almost like I have a pint glass of black coffee sitting in front of me. A bit of swirling brings some teensy bubbles up to the tops and sides. Maybe it is the name making me think this way, but it looks as though I am staring down at a black moon with khaki cratering...

This doesn't smell anything like an ale! WOW! Scents hit you of all sorts... molassess, caramel, cherry, coffee, bit of chocolate, just amazing! Smells more like a stout or porter.

First sip I get an almost tingling in my mouth, don't know why since the carb is low/med. This is very smooth and flavorful, slightly dry. I could easily enjoy a few more of these in a sitting!
Such an interesting offering for an ale! When my beerbud tossed this one to me, I decided to put it aside for a special occasion, 4th of July I figured would be a nice time to crack this pup~! Good choice!

 977 characters

Photo of TheJudge
4.8/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black as a moonless night, naturally it seems to draw the light towards it. I know, I know, enough with the name cliches. But really, very nice to look at, with a decent thick tan head. I hope the looks aren't deceiving. Chocolate malts dominate the nose, a sweet smell, quite porter-like. So far, so good. Now the test

I believe this is one of the best beers I have ever had. I am a fan of the style, and this is blowing me away. The malt is bitter, then sweet, stimulating all the taste buds on the way in. BIG flavor. The bitterness and sweetness well balanced to cause you to close your eyes and savor.

Despite the look of a glass of dark chocolate, it is not as thick as it appears. While heavier than many in the catagory, it is not a stout. It does not coat the mouth, but flows well. Good carbonation, not overdone, this could have rated a 5

I kept going back for more. When asked if it wasn't too heavy to keep drinking, I ordered another. I would drink this by the pitcher, all night, any night.

 1,014 characters

Photo of Durandal_777
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of Lupe
4.67/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown, almost black, with light brown and mahogany hues when held to the light. Tight beige head leaves behind some lace.

Wonderful dark malt aroma with some roastiness, cocoa nib, coffee and nuts. A note of dark fruit rounds things out.

Flavor is just like the aroma - light roastiness, cocoa nib, mild coffee, and a touch of dark fruitiness. Molasses and nuttiness sets in after the roast. A touch of spice and vanilla finishes things up. Alcohol is just noticeable. Light lingering roasted sweetness.

Medium in body, not as full as I expected. Super smooth and nicely carbonated - just enough. Goes down real easy.

Very flavorful and easy drinking. Nice complexity but not too heavy. Not perfect but one of my favorites.

 740 characters

Photo of SilentSabre
4.54/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I must say, I was really surprised with this one. I was a bit uncertain what to expect. It poured black as ink, as suggested by the name. Oatmeal coloured foamy head faded away in a few seconds, leaving a frothy ring to lace the edged of my glass beautifully. The smell is dark roasted malts, baker's chocolate, coffee beans, and caramel. Magnificent! Taste is more of the same, with quite a bit of sweetness up front, and a dry bitter coffee bean finish. There is also a very slight grapey / wine like character that makes an appearance for a split second. Interesting. Mouthfeel is full bodied, but not as heavy as the smell had me thinking it was going to be. Mouthfeel is very smooth, but thinner than I feel it should have been. Thanks to BeerBeing for this one.

 767 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok, so I picked this one up last year, so this be a 2007 bottle believe. Kept in my cellar since then, i thought it was an RIS, but I guess its an old ale. Served straight out of the cellar and poured into a snifter. Consumed on 09/09/2008.

The pour was very dark, nearly black with no light shining through on this one what so ever. Really dense looking with a nice two inch head of tan foam that quickly rose up from the bottom and capped the top of it very nicely. Faded a little too quick for me and left behind minimal side glass lace.

The aroma really started to throw me for a loop here. This was no old ale. This was a stout brewed with cherries, I am sorry but it was almost a dead ringer for Bell;s Cherry stout, which is a very, very good thing. Rich notes of sour dark cherries, roasted malts and a hint of molasses. Some light licorice, or some other bitter candy rounding it out. The flavor was more of the same. Rich creamy feel was just brilliant and only helped to enhance the wonderful flavors enveloping my palate. Started with a nice rush of roasted malts, slightl bitter with hints of vinous hops complimenting. Then it came, the rush of dark cherries, maybe some plums, but all the way dark, bitter sweet cherries. Just luscous, like a supreme dessert. Smooth, delicate finish was dominated by a long drawn out flavor of cherry again, just solidifying the entire expierence.

Overall wow, I was not expecting this when I popped the bottle. This was very good. I was loving all the rich fruit notes of the front, and the delicat roasted malt, and sweet vanilla like notes in the middle. Really a very well done stout, not sure about an old ale at all, but this was one mighty fine tasting beer whatever the style was. I will be looking for this one again everytime I scour the shelves.

 1,809 characters

Photo of UnionMade
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours an opaque black, topped by a thick froth of beige, slowly settling into a patchy, broken film. The head sits atop stubbornly, holding on throughout the glass. Sparse, patchy lace clings to the glass.
The aroma is richly roasty, with a robust, chocolatey burnt scent. Slight yeasty nuttiness, with mild, slightly woody herbal hops. Softer notes of prune and fig. The malt is really wonderful, with a soft, sweetish caramel coming through with warmth.
The flavor starts with a strong, burly burnt maltiness. A heavy charred taste, softened a bit by chocolate and mild caramel. A wonderful walnutty flavor enters in the middle, adding an earthy, organic tone to the overall feel. Light notes of prune and fig, meandering slowly into a bittersweet, malty finish. Soft herbal hop flavor, with a bit of earthy, woody flavor, adding to the natural, organic feel. The malt provides much of the bitterness, intensifying with a burnt, chocolatey taste. A sweetish, softening touch of alcohol right in the end. A lingering coffee flavor in the aftertaste along with a pervasive nuttiness. A fullish medium body, supported by a moderate, tingly carbonation. The yeast adds to a smooth, almost creamy mouthfeel.
One of this brewery's best. The malt flavors are excellent, and when coupled with the nutty yeast, it creates a smooth, yet robust flavor that totally jives with me. I'd love to have this again, and I hope it remains in Weyerbacher's line-up.

 1,459 characters

Photo of dwvarner77
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep deep brown, almost black color, with a couple fingers of coffee-colored head that falls to a generous lacing.
Aroma is dark, chocolate malt and coffee are prevalent. Flavor briefly begins as kind of fruity, cherry maybe, but progresses darker and darker as an eclipse overtakes the moon. Distinct lingering coffee and roasted malt aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is nice; substantial but not chewy or syrupy. Slight to moderate carbonation imparts a pleasant character. Highly drinkable, quite good overall.

 514 characters

Photo of beermanbrian
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the best beers i've ever had. Too bad it is only a limited edition. Great black color fits its name perfecty. Very smooth finish that was unexpected for such a dark beer. Wonderful chocolate malt taste but no aftertaste. Reminds me of some of the best home brews i've ever made. Please start making this year round!!

 323 characters

Photo of ski271
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very dark brown with almost no head at all, and the tiny light tan head almost fully diminished by the time I dug a pen and paper out of my pocket. Almost viscous looking. Second pint had a little more head, and it lingered a little longer, but not that long.

Smell: Mostly roasted malts, with strong chocolate and moderate coffee aromas. Also slightly floral, and a little molasses and yeast in there. A hint of fruit too.

Taste: More big malts along with some berry, alcohol, and oak. A cookie-like sweetness really comes out as it heads toward the finish. The finish is medium in duration and dry, with a cherry flavor lingering. Nicely done!

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, almost a chewy texture, and very low carbonation. A bit acidic, too.

Drinkability: Initially, thought it smelled more like a stout. Then I thought it tasted more like a porter. But after I finished my first pint and my taste buds were screaming for another one, I thought about the characteristics and felt that, though on the darker side of the old ale spectrum, it is a good representation of a style I don’t see every day. Like I said, I started off thinking it was ok. Actually, wrote my ratings down when I was only half-way done the first pint, but by the time I ordered another and touched my lips to it, I knew I had to alter the numbers. Mostly Drinkability, since there was just something about this beer that really grew on me. Makes me wonder how it is in the bottle, but definitely worth a try if you find it on tap.

 1,529 characters

Photo of jakester
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is from a sampler case from Weyerbacher. Expiration date clearly marked on the case!! Yea!!

Pours an opaque black with a 2 finger tan head of foam. Drops to a coating and a ring in about 5 minutes. Good lacing on the glass.

Aroma is strong dark chocolate, currants, fruity. Roasted black coffee. Some alcohol present. Caramely chocolate malts, for sure. Herbal/spicy hops in the background.

Flavor is different. Kind of like a stout, but it's not. Coffee, yes, but prunes and currants, too. Noticeable hop bitterness for balance. Hop flavor is herbal/spicy. Has a long aftertaste that is roasted coffee, a little sweet, and warm.

Mouthfeel is rich and luxurious. Dark sweetness, some bitterness; has a full, round feel. Finishes dark and warm. Pleasant.

I've seen this reviewed as a sweet stout, but I don't think that is accurate. The profile for Old Ale is dark amber to black, less attenuated, alcohol present, flavors of raisins or currants. This is that. A very good beer.

 997 characters

Photo of Fish113d
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass chilled, it pours an oily black color w/ a tan surface layer dissipating to some lacing on the glass with an oily surface.

Aroma is mainly of roasted malts and a lot of coffee tones. Some bakers chocolate noted as well. Maybe a touch of rasberry in there also.

Rasberry up front along with a huge roasted malt flavor. Coffee comes through on the finish with a rich mocha aftertaste. Very yummy!!! Nothing crazy, but tasty!

Full-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation at a cooler temp. Turns rich, creamy, and smooth as it crosses my palate before the swallow. Maybe just a hint of alcohol.

Very drinkable! For an old ale that I expected to be much "bigger", it really hit the spot nicely! Definitely, a great bottle!!!

 777 characters

Photo of mhewes
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A : Pours a really dark amber/brown bordering on black. It has a not-quite tan head that slowly went down and left some good lacing.

S : Nice roasted malts, some coffee aroma along with hints of chocolate and dark fruit

T : More like a porter with the nice roasted malt and coffee flavors. Some chocolate sweetness hidden in there also.

M : Thick, smooth, good carbonation

D : Not sure it's an old ale, more like a porter or milk stout. However, it was extremely good and I'd love to have more.

 498 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Weyerbacher's new winter seasonal ale, "Black Hole" is certainly named right. It's black as pitch beneath a full head of dark tan foam that holds well and leaves nice lace about the pint. It's similar to an English-style "old ale", or strong dark ale; and notes of molasses, cocoa, and dark chocolate reside in the nose with just a touch of yeasty fruitiness. The body is medium-full and it's fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation leaves it lightly creamy and silky smooth across the tongue. The flavor is rich without being bold (if it were a chair it would be a well-worn antique leather reading chair that you seem to sink into rather that sit upon), and delivers an impeccably balanced combination of dark chocolate & caramel-accented malt drizzled with molasses and punched up with a subtle note of spicy alcohol. It finishes almost without notice as the molasses lingers on the palate with its combination of deeply caramelized and almost burnt sugar slowly receeding. What bitterness is present is well entwined in its lush, dark malt; leaving it almost seamless from beginning to end. With the exception of its somewhat elevated alcohol content, this is a brilliant session ale that never quite astounds you but always satisfies. Rich without being bold. Spectacular. Most certainly worth seeking out for fans of English-style ales.

 1,337 characters

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Is this really an Old Ale, or a stout? Super dark, beyond porter almost Dry Irish Stout in its color. Wonderfully frothy head that laces immediately on the tilt. Crisp clean nose, nice sprinkling of alcohol fennels. Dry, nutty body, super smooth, back to the DIS I mentioned earlier.

IMO Weyerbacher is a little inconsistent. Inconsistent when talking about craft beer isn't necessarily a bad thing. Some good beers, some bad. This one falls clearly in the first category.

 475 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one seems to be hit or miss with some folks, but it was certainly a hit for me.

It pours adeep dark brown to near black colour with a nice creamy tan head that leaves a decent sticky residue on the glass.

The smell is a chalky malty chocolate with earth tones throughout. Sweetness dominates but doesn't overpower the dry and more rugged earth notes.

The flavour is more of the same, though interlaced with some alcohol notes and a bit more burnt malt flavour as opposed to rugged earthiness. There is a nice combination of silky smoothness and big beer bite to the mouthfeel. Carbonation is a tad on the low side, but it works well here and is just about right in my mind.

I thoroughly enjoyed this brew. It's well balanced all around without any major, or even minor, at that, flaws. This is simply another winner from the Weyerbacher folks.

 862 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have never had an Old Ale like this before! I would have never imagined this was an Old Ale, I would have thought it was a Russian Imperial stout with all the rich dark flavors. And to think this blessing came from a great trade with tgbljb.

Appearance: Dark opaque brown almost black with head hues and a thick creamy 3 finger light brown head. Thick lacing and a frothy cap lasted the duration of the beer.

Smell: Toffee. Molasses. Unsweetened Chocolate. Dark roasted malts and coffee.

Taste: Burnt chocolate, coffee malts, dark raspberries, toffee all make up the fantastic complex layers of the beer. Magnificent! It has a slight coffee - hop bitter with an alcohol sharpness that balances it perfectly.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth creamy medium body beer. It is not overly carbonated but just enough to create a smooth creamy mouthfeel from beginning to end.

Drinkability: WOW! I am thrilled to have been blessed with this beer. I will certainly seek it out again. One went down so nicely I just wish I had a few more. Great work Weyerbacher, you knocked this one over the fence.

Hope this is helpful.

Thanks to tgbljb for the trade!
Heres to finding good beer in Lancaster PA :) Cheers!

 1,235 characters

Photo of CAOMarcos
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours dark, with a tall, rich brown head that stays around for a long time. Smells of molasses, licorice, and chocolate are very powerfully presented. Black Hole Ale tastes really good. Hints of chocolate, molasses, and smoke are detected on the palate. This is a beer that is very rich and satisfying.

 312 characters

Photo of DarthVorador
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I was looking over the list of retired weyerbacher brews when I spotted this one and remembered it quite fondly. It was one of my favorites 8 or so years ago & I wish they'd bring it back. :'(

 192 characters

Photo of johnniemarg
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Deep dark brown when poured, this is opaque black in the glass. Nice big one inch medium brown head fades to a golden brown crust on top of the beer.

Aroma is coffee, lots of dark roasted malt, molasses.

The taste is mostly roasted malt. It starts off a little sweet but then some hop bitterness comes in. You can really taste the roasted malt in the finish. Very malty, yet well balanced.

Nice creamy medium-bodied brew.

I wasn't expecting much from this and was pleasantly surprised. Although this is listed as an old ale, this to me tastes like a nice strong porter. I like this beer a lot and could drink it all day long.

 680 characters

Photo of clvand0
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a medium head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is mostly comprised of chocolate and a bit of lacto sweetness. The flavor is very much how the aroma suggested - this seems like a big milk stout or a porter, not an old ale. Very tasty though. The mouthfeel is pretty thick on this one and the drinkability is good. I think the style is wrong here.

 409 characters

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark black with a tall copper head that falls to a creamy film and leaves some nice lace. Smells very earthy with liquorish, prunes, and some coffee and alcohol. In the taste, there are some very complex dry flavors that swirl about one another. The base is a coffee-like dry roasted sourness with an earthy fruity hops. There are also notes of dark fruits and sharp orange citrus. The mouth feel is light bodied with a nicely paired small bubble carbonation. Nice beer.

 488 characters

Photo of BeerBeing
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown glass US generic longneck bottle, multicolored ob black label

Appearance: black in color, thick and creamy brown head, very good lacing

Smell: coffee, chocolate, molasses, roasted malt (very "tasty" aroma in general)

Taste: full body, rich mouthfeel, strong malt, bitter hops, coffee, some prunes

Notes: one of my favorite (in general) and one of he best from Weyerbacher for sure

 417 characters

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque dark brown with tinges of auburn peeking through. Thin brown head. Smells chocolatey, roasted cocoa, lightly smoky.

Tastes of sweet roasted malt, Sweet milk chocolate, light cocoa bean with a bitter dark chocolate type finish. Full bodied with a smoky aftertaste. Nice stuff. Old ale? Old Ale channeling Milk Stout I say.

 340 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Black Hole from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 62.1% out of 100 with 195 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.