Black Hole | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

very good
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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.

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Reviews: 176 | Ratings: 195
Photo of DarthVorador
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
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. :'(

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Photo of freeagent
2.24/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Pours jet black with zero head.

Very weak aroma. I'm wondering if this bottle may have seen it's day.

Mouthfeel is as expected. Very light and almost no carbonation at all.

Flavor is bordering on a sour! I was hoping for something with a bit more depth and suspect that this particular bottle is past it's prime.

Overall, I was disappointed. I sat on this guy for too long! It already had five or six years on it when I purchased it a couple of years back and I should of drank it then.
I love Weyerbacher and will continue to enjoy their other fantastic offerings.

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Photo of hoplover82
4.26/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear, very dark almost black , like a blackcherry color with a two finger tan, creamy head that has great retention and lacing.
S-The aroma is filled with sweet dark fruit and burned caramel and a quite warm alcohol presence. Some tart cherries come to mind as well. No hops detected in the nose.
T-The flavor is much like the aroma with tuns of sweet dark fruit like raisins and some tart cherries and molassas. The bitterness from the hops let the malts shine but also keeps it from being too sweet. The alcohol is not too hot but very present. Just right for the style.
M-This beer has a big, sweet, creamy, viscous body, with a soft alcohol sting in the long finish.
O-Overall, personally I like this beer ok, I would've liked more of a hop flavor or aroma for complexity, but judging according to style, this beer truly is right on. Very glad I tried it.

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Photo of bamadog
3.15/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got this one just over a year ago from Crazy Nelson, due to some unfortunate circumstances. So I'll drink this one to him. Review is from notes taken on 7/24/2011 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a dark cola brown/near coffee black and it starts with a healthy one finger, creamy, dark tan head that fades relatively quickly to a thin, incomplete and uneven skim with a thicker, foamier ring around the surface; body is dark and opaque; a few loose strands and spots of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Nose is very solid, and doesn't strike me as an Old Ale -- more like an RIS with bitter sweet chocolate, perhaps some cocoa nibs; bit of smokiness and some dark, sweet cherries; just a touch of some caramel.

Taste: Ah, sad to say it, but I think this one has passed it's prime as the taste isn't as good as the nose made me think it would be -- first and foremost there is a sweet, buttery diacetyl flavor to it and then the cherries, but they come across as a little sour and tart; in the end there is a bittersweet chocolate, with some earthy roastiness and touch of smoke. All in all, if it didn't start so sweet, it would be better. Can't blame a guy for trying, though. This one should have been cracked upon getting as the 7% ABV may not have been enough to keep this one alive and kicking.

Mouthfeel: Mouth is a bit thin and watery, and I would say it's of medium/light in terms of weight; carbonation has held up quite well, and it comes across as soft and mildly prickly; a thin, moist coating is left all over the mouth that becomes cottony dry.

Overall: I wish I would have tried it closer to its bottling date, but what's a guy to do? It was already retired when I got it so it may have been too old at that point, and it's still not a bad offering. The smell is easily the best part.

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Photo of jwinship83
2.98/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle traded to me about 10 months back from user shaggy9356. thanks again. drank from my stone IRS snifter.

A- the pour yields an opaque black colored body that light cannot escape. on top sits a beige colored head. the head sticks around for a while before falling, and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- roasted malts jump out immediately. after that i get some milk and chocolate followed by trace amounts of vanilla. a little bit of coffee moves in towards the end. the alcohol seems pretty well hidden.

T- the taste starts out with more of the lightly roasted malts that i could smell. after that i get some unfortunate signs of oxidation--tartness and wet cardboard. a little bit of chocolate (mostly milk) moves in after that. a little bit of coffee and earthy hops at the end.

M- the body is a solid medium. the carbonation is just a little under average. mild warmth from the alcohol. slightly sour.

O- i was surprised to have a bottle of this beer, since im not sure it has been brewed since i joined BA. i also wish that i would have gotten a chance to see it before it started to go downhill. if this gets brewed again, ill be all over it.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Black Hole is an aptly named beverage, if only for its appearance. It pours, well... black and is completely opaque except for some mahogany highlights around the edge when held up to an obscenely bright desk lamp. The head is a frothy tan foam that fades all too quickly, and leaves mediocre lace on the snifter.

The aroma is big, ballsy and very stout like. It has some amazing bitter chocolate notes that just about make my mouth water. There is also a bit of coffee, but this does not seem quite as roasty as a stout would be. Sweet dark malts also linger in the background.

The flavor is not quite as good as the aroma, but still very nice. The cocoa seems to be a little bit less in the forefront, but is still a key component. I would say that the major flavor is that of dark molasses and roasted barley. There is a definite roasty coffee like character, and a bit of astringency to this brew. Perhaps some sour cherry notes are buried in there as well.

The mouthfeel is probably the most disappointing aspect of this beer. It is medium, but feels watery and dead. The finish is a decent mix of sweetness and roasted bitterness, but it cannot salvage the tepid body.

The watery mouthfeel makes this go down fairly easily, but I wish it was fuller and drank slower. Supposedly Weyerbacher has stopped making this beer. I wish they would have just put a bit more effort into the recipe, as it could have been something really special.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-pours a black liquid with a burnt caramel colored head that is dense and creamy.

S-lots of chocolate with notes of vanilla, hints of molasses behind with a touch of roasted coffee.

T-big time chocolate, touch of vanilla and molasses, notes of roasted coffee in the back

M-smooth on the palate but a little thin, low carbonation letting the body fall off in the back.

D-pretty straight forward stout style beer, roasted dark malts and nothing else and not really well done. the thin body gives it a watery presence.

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Photo of meatyard
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to AltBock for this, one of about 4 doz. beers given to me before his recent stationing to Okinawa for 2 years.

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2" light brown head that falls at a moderate rate to a cover while not really leaving any lace.
The smell is a bit of alcohol, coconut, dark dried fruit and sweetish malt.
The taste is toasted malt up front and has a smoky flavor about half-way through that resembles smoked dried figs or plums, peculiar.
Mouthfeel is on the medium side of light, more carbonation than expected and a bit sweet.
Drinkability: It's not playing in the same league as a number of other available old ales, maybe that's why it was discontinued. It isn't bad at all but left me wanting HotD Adam-(maybe tomorrow).

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears super dark black/brown with a light brown head that falls slowly. Nice lacing. Smells of roasted malt, brown sugar, some dark fruit. There is char flavor, chocolate maybe some coffee. This is listed as an old ale but seems much more like a stout or porter. Medium body with decent carbonation...pretty smooth. Overall it is fairly tasty but not what I was hoping for in regards to style.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I grabbed this at some random store in NJ about 2 years back.

The pour is a very dark brown, black almost, with a dense, light brown head that recedes to a disk, leaving a little lace.

The nose is quite interesting. Mildly smoky and a little oxidized, this has a pleasant burning paper smell. Just a touch fruity, there's a little plum like character. With time, the smoke does grow, and I pick out some nutty character too. Unsweetened cocoa and coffee grounds are noticeable too. The palate opens with a blend of smoke and a little caramel, and a little chocolate and coffee too. Fruity in the mid palate, I get some muted cherry character along with a little plum. Sweetness is on the low side, though a definite caramel presence is noted. A little thin and drying on the finish with a lingering smoke character, this is solid stuff. Carbonation is on the medium-high side, and maybe a touch too much? All told, a solid beer.

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Photo of CAOMarcos
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of Timmush
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If you haven't visited the Weyerbacher Brewery yet... you should do so. Nothing to complain about with the tastings. I actually was feeling guilty that I was "tasting" the same beer 3 times, but the guy behind the taps said to me.. "Why are you standing infront of a bar with no drink in your hand.?" and grabbed for my glass to refill it.

Anyway... This, to me, is not an OLD ALE, it tastes like a Porter all the way.
Chocolate, Coffee, Mollasses. A very good beer.
The color is impressive. Dark Chocolate - almost black.
The smell is not the greatest, a little to much of an alcohol smell.
All in all, worth a try.

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Photo of Lothore
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep brownish black with a phenomenal, light brown, 2 finger, fluffy head.

S- Smell is fairly one dimensional, roasted malt, hints of coffee and possibly some chocolate, a bit metallic.

T- Lots of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate malt, sort of an underlying creamy flavor.

M- Thick with medium carbonation.

D- This wasn't a standout for me but it has definitely aged well and hides the 7 percent ridiculously well. This is by no means an old ale and is misclassified on this site. It is 100 percent a porter, no question in my mind.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark fruit, roasted malts, dark chocolate, bourbon, caramel, some alcohol and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty with flavors of dark fruit, bourbon, dark chocolate and caramel, not overly sweet. Not sure what it is, but there's a little bit of an acidic quality to it. The hops presence is mild but brings a little balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, not the first beer that I would choose in the style but it's still a good beer.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ericwo for the bottle.

Pours a very dark brown color with a small off white head.

Scent of dark fruit, hops, chocolate, molasses, a hint of smoke, prunes, and some oats. Nice and complex, the alcohol is subdued well.

Taste of tea, tobacco, chocolate, caramel, oats, and prunes. Nice complexity here, but the flavor is a bit weak initially. It finishes pretty nicely with a lasting flavor of tobacco and faint roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth, carries well through the mouth.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle split with oglmcdgl. Thanks for the chance to try this.

A- This appears black but with closer inspection some brown hints are shown so this isn't exactly a black hole but close enough. This closely resembles a coca cola texture. A small tan one finger head came and went leaving some spots of foam.

S- A nice amount of roastiness with both chocolate & minimal coffee in the nose. A bit of raisins and some caramel malt come into play as well. Some nuttiness and vanilla cream. Black hole has some porter qualities which is interesting.

T- A bunch of roasted coffee in the front with molasses trailing. This has a slight espresso quality. Also within the roasted profile some chocolate and toffee as well. Some fruits like cherries and plums. There is no way of getting around the caramel malt as it is in the spotlight, resembling more of a porter like taste. Some hops used for a slight bittering aspect which is welcome.

M- A mix of creamy and slighty bittering with the alcohol lingering barely but noticeable. Medium bodied with slight carbonation. A decent amount of smoke is also felt. Very robust for an old ale. A very nice feel all around.

D- I only had 6oz but could of went for more. Not a session ale but at only 7% who cares, I would drink it like one. This does not remind me of an old ale moreso a porter. This is an interesting take on the old ale style though and a good feat by weyerbacher. I would like to find a bomber of this sitting around.

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Photo of BigIrishman
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass

Appearance: Dark black with 1 finger white head, pretty much no lace.

Smell: Pretty much all malt, even a bit of oatmealish character to it.

Taste: Sweet, mostly due to the huge malt flavor, slight fruity background.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light.

Drinkability: Not too bad, but the flavor definitely gets lost after a couple.

Notes: Definitely a good ale to have during hearty meals, won't overpower the meal, but you still get a ton of flavor out of it.

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Photo of Mauerhan
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i have been eyeing this every time i go into my store room. wondering what kind of goodness was inside. well tonight i find out.

they were not kidding when they named this beer. an awesome pitch black with deep red highlights. huge amounts head with fantastic lacing.

smell is sweet, malty, fruity, smells fucking awesome.

taste is cant put to many words to this. this taste makes me happy. rich sweetness from the malts and the dark fruits. a nice malt backbone. this is just a tasty beverage.

mouth is smooth, thick. good golly miss molly i just want to drink this beer all the time.

great drinkability. not any presence from the alcohol. good times had by all. if anything this beer has made me want to brew an old ale. looks like i have my next home brew target.

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Photo of matty
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black beer with slowly fading rich foamy head.Aroma is a mix of dark fruits and coffee.Taste is dark fruit,coffee,chocolate and an alcohol warmth on the backside.Very smooth and creamy.I have nothing but good things to say about thios beer,I would recommend and buy again!!

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Photo of macster
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Although the Weyerbacher web site lists this as "Porter-ish" it really seem to posses more Stout characteristics. Pours quite thick and black with some red highlights. Aroma a bit restrained, but some pleasant notes of dark chocolate, roasted malts, coffee and black cherry comes through. Palate seems a bit light, not as full as you would expect after the thick pour. Flavor dominated by the roasted malts at first followed by the presence of some restrained coffee, milk chocolate, dark cherries and some smokiness coming through in the finish. In the end I suppose its a light stout or a big porter? Anyway, pretty good stuff.

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Photo of maximum12
3.02/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Downed a North Coast Old Stock old ale last night, & it couldn't possibly be more different than this brew unless it came in a can with "Bud Light" across the front.

The old ale is black. Dark black, like a RIS. Dark fruits come out of the glass, the smell is very nice. Tastes a little off, like a porter that someone tossed some cherries into, decided to age out, changed his mind on the yeast a few times, then just figured, well, what the hell, we'll call this an old ale. An odd mishmash of color, smell, taste, & rather thin beer for its appearance & pedigree. I'd be hard-pressed to drink more than one of these.

Well, this is the first non-very-good Weyerbacher brew I've sampled, so I guess that's a pretty damn good run of great beers. I had high hopes for this one, but it's only decent.

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Photo of CoolJosh
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A Finger and Half of buff colored head, that pours really foamy and quickly diminishes, leaving only a thin layer to remain. The color is an extremely dark blood red, not quite opaque, but very dark nonetheless.

S Tons of fruits come straight to the nose. Plum, some darker grapes, some dark cherries, a touch of sherry. A lot of sweetness here, I'm really looking forward to the taste...

T creamy, with some mediocre carbonation and tons of dark fruit flavors which compliment the scent. Some toned down bitter chocolate, and a tad bit of caramel are also present here. some nut flavors too, so much comes through here, as it's packed with so many flavors to savor and enjoy. I felt like I caught something new with every sip. The mouthfeel wasn't as smooth as I was hoping for though..

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Photo of treyrab
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed this at Barley's and Hop's back in Pittsburgh. Poured it into a pint glass...

A: Pours an extremely dark brown with red hues coming through when held to a bright light. Very dark. A nice one finger dark tan head that dissipates quickly and laces pretty well.

S: The smell is not as complex as I was expecting. It has a very light porter smell with some roast, chocolate, and a metallic smell as well.

T: The taste is a bit more complex than the smell, luckily. There are various stages to the taste which was awesome. First it starts with nice coffee flavors that build into a great smoked chocolate roast finish.

Overall, this is a decent brew. Old Ale? Don't think so. It is a porter in my book. Either way, it is a good offering by Weyerbacher.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured hard into pint glass giving rise to a rich tan and greyish thick head. Beer has a deep dark brown color almost black with not much light coming through. Some light does show off a dark cherry red hue. Good head retention.

S: Dominant roasted and burnt malt tones with notes of black cherries, vanilla, sherry and milk chocolate. Ymmm. Slight spicy hop aroma but almost hidden under the roasted thunder.

T: Predominant roasted malt as the backbone with vanilla bourbon type flavors coming out fast. Chocolate flavor a bit bittersweet and there are also some sweeter fruity esters. Hops may add some bitterness but not much flavor. Very much like a robust porter.

M: Creamy medium to thick body with smooth carbonation and some alcohol warming in effect. Does not finish too dry.

D: Great drinkability and considerable flavors that are in balance. Another great beer from Weyerbacher! Drink it cold or cellar temperature. Try with some premium chocolate!

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Black Hole from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.8 out of 5 based on 195 ratings.
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