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Black Hole | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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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 pezoids on 03-19-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 176 | Ratings: 195
Photo of brentk56
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, almost black color with a fizzy beige head that retains nicely and leaves a few thick shards of lace; looks more like a stout than an old ale

Smell: Nice mocha aroma, but there is an underlying odd plastic odor that is rather distracting

Taste: Starts out rather auspicious, with some nice chocolate and mocha flavors; however, the finish has some phenols that are intended to provide an old ale complexity

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I would like to see a bit more old ale complexity in this; it's OK, however

Thanks, LittleBreeze

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark color porter with a small foamy dark head with average retention. Aroma of roasted malt and coffee is rally enjoyable and really easily detectable. Taste has got a really creamy texture with the mix of roasted malt and coffee being well balance. I really did dig this porter because even though it is not extreme in any way it is very well balance.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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

Opaque mahogany that isn't a black hole since rather generous red-orange-bronze highlights can be seen along the bottom edge of the pint glass. The buttered wheat toast colored crown is tight-bubbled enough to stick around for a bit and to look good while doing so. It looks like it'll be a better than average lace maker. Ultimately, I observe a jagged, crown-like collar.

Weyerbacher hedges and calls Black Hole 'porterish'. I'll go along with that. The nose is more hearty porter or light milk stout than anything else. It features gently roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, black coffee and (barely) vanilla. There's also a lactic sweet-and-sourness that I find appealing. I know that old ale is something of a grab bag style, but I don't get the connection.

The beer isn't as wonderful on the palate, partly because the mouthfeel wimps out way too early. There's plenty of roasted maltiness (with respect to flavor at least) that has a charred character that isn't all bad. The sourness that I picked up in the nose plays a much larger role than I'd like. While it doesn't ruin the beer, less of it would be better.

Chocolate has faded and sweet coffee with cream (sour milk?) is now prominent. There's also a tart apple fruitiness that isn't entirely welcome. Vanilla is still in the house. I like bitter beer, sweet beer and sour beer (sometimes all at once) but here, for some reason, the combination isn't working out. The flavor lacks direction and tastes confused rather than complex.

As noted, the body/mouthfeel leaves a little something to be desired. It's firming up a tad as it sits, but is still too light. It's odd to have such a boldly flavored beer leave the taste buds so quickly. Sour lingers the longest. I have no problem with the subdued amount of carbonation.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this Weyerbacher offering. What I got was a sour, full of flavor, light of body, 'porterish' type beer. I know that Black Hole isn't a true black hole since escape velocity was easy for me to achieve. I won't be entering its gravitational field again, especially not at $5.99 per bomber.

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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 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 Slatetank
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decanted at 45 degrees into my La fin du Monde glass.
A - A deep brown that is almost black w/ cola shaded hues. The head is 2.5 fingers of fluffy cappucino foamy head that clings to the glass well.

S - A rich roasted malt and dark chocolate aroma, like a stout. Dry, nutty scents w/ gentle cream odors.

M - Deep roasted, slightly charred w/ a full feel and ample carbonation.

T - A deep coffee roasted taste w/ toffee and molasses. A gentle hazelnut-like roastiness follows the dark tastes w/ a woody, pine-like hoppiness that keeps up w/ all the malt. A bittersweet chocolate flavor w/ a tinge of sour cherry rounds out the taste making my mouth slightly dry from the concentrated sugars. The brown sugary flavor lingers as I take the last sip.

D - A very good ale, but a tinge cloying. This is the kind of ale you want to drink slowly with a glass of water, it seems stronger in taste than it is. I would wouldn't hestitate to have two or three, though. It was far more drinkable than the 2 beers I reviewed prior to it.

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Photo of smcolw
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours like an Irish stout. Dark beige head with good lasting power and even better ring lace. Nearly black.

Strong dark malt aromas; almost like a cross between a porter and a dry stout. Some creaminess, too.

Good chocolate flavors; notable black patent malt presence. Light hop for balance. Very full bodied with a low level of carbonation.

As an old ale, this is a very dark and robust one. I'd categorize it far more closely to a stout. And it is a pretty good one at that.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep ruby brown almost black big frothy tan head on top, leaves even rings of lacing. Aroma: Nice herbal hop profile with a chocolate and mild coffee derived from dark malts. Taste: Incredible creamy mix of coffee and milk chocolate light on hops in the finish great beer possibly my favorite from Weyerbacher, whether it's a porter, schwarzbier, or old ale hybrid...I like it. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied creamy textured great brew. Drinkability: Is this beers strength they weren't going for the biggest beer but it's damn flavorful and hella drinkable comparable to Yuengling Porter which is actually lagered but what they hey I like this beer.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Terminal ebon, with shimmers of crimson, wafer thin cocoa head.
Ripe fruit, mixed with with roasty malt, in the aroma...nicely met. rustic, edgy, woody.
In the mouth, smooth, tasty, roasty, dark malts, charcoal and chocolate. A mild "old ale", less strong than than the style should afford. Maybe that's best, I think, as I enjoy it more as I get further in...fuller body, well-rounded mouthfeel. Nice texture, dry, sophisticated finish.

much thanks to KafkaEsb!

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

Bomber bottle, w/o freshness dating. Weyerbacher calls this one an English porter on their website (?), pours the expected black, tan head ,leaves fine, well developed lacing. Nose is molasas and raisins. This is a flavorful dark brew. heavy on the raisins, black coffee, cocoa, chocolate and dark malts. Chalky, drying hops for balance. Long lingering dry finish. So so porter, or a very dark old ale. Decent malty complexity, fair sipper, cant say, I'd love to knock back more then one of this brew.

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

I'm not sure how to describe this as other than a blac-beer hybrid. Not in reference to schwarzbier, but to all very dark beers. It seemed to have a little impy stout in it at the same time as a black lager. Throw a little robust porter in there too, and that's Black Hole. Interesting and new, but not amazing.

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

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick, creamy tan head that slowly faes to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich black malt scent with a bit of coffee and chocolate aroma. The taste is decent. It has a thin roasted black malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes earthy and dry. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a strange brew. It looks and smells like a porter/stout, but it has a lighter body and an elevated abv. . Anyway, this is a pretty good beer, but not what I was expecting.

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Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color with a 1" head. The head slowly receded to a thick surface foam. Light lacing develops. The aroma is of coffee and dark chocolate. The flavor is a nice balance of dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, molasses, and mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a mild crisp finish. Roasted tones last long into the finish. Medium bodied, even though it looks thick and chewy. Really enjoyable - drinkability is good, even though I slowly enjoyed this on a rainy afternoon. Worth finding.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Aprilluvsbeer for this one.

Pours a black color, nice carbonation, small tannish creamy head, lots of small islands and nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, some licorice, vanilla, oak, toffee/caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, there's some licorice in there, vanilla, oak, good dose of toffee/caramel. The finish is slightly dry. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a nice Old Ale, recommended.

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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 Stinkypuss
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Black with an off white head and some decent lace.

S. Toasted malt and a hint of booze. Not bad.

T. Fully robust and theres a smokiness to it. Hop prescence is minimal. Some notes of coffee. Pretty good.

M. Full bodied and filling. Nothing intrusive.

D. The alcohol is hidden well, a nice dark ale.

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Photo of Zorro
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear deeply brown colored ale with red highlights when held up to the light. Very strong head forming beer, thick brown head doesn't want to die.

First thing I noticed about the smell is a strong coffee liqueur aroma and coconut, from a distance I might add. Strong coffee and chocolate aroma with a lesser coconut to it. Highly roasted malt with a slight charred edge to it.

The taste starts out Mild and heavily roasted with an earthy taste a little like a roasted mushroom. Taste is basically a porter nearing on milk stout, mostly chocolate and roasted drain.

Mouthfeel is good.

Interesting but I don't think it is an Old Ale, Milk Stout I would say. An OK beer but I would try a different Weyerbacher beer rather than try this one again.

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Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a one-finger brown head, fades quickly, leaves no lace. Black color. Light carbonation and heavy bodied. Nose is roasted coffee. Starts sweet with roasted coffee, finishes mellow, seems like a sweet stout to me. $5.40 for a 22oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured very dark brown/ black beer with some faint mahogony highlights. Has a big creamy dark beige head. The aroma is mostly whiskey barrel and oak with some vanilla in the background. Mostly sour notes in the taste. With an alcohol burning on the back of the throat and tongue.

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

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a jet black dense body with a thick caramely tan creamy head with a big mat of bubbles on the top.

S-The slightly salty smoke note blends into a dark roasted chocolate nib note that is followed by an aroma of black roasted malt in the background. As the beers warms there is a note soft tart raw grain to the black malt and a tootsie roll smell to the chocolate nibs.

T- The light smoky tartness leads to a taste of cream and black roasted malt with a soft bitterness to it. There is a light sweetness that lingers with the flavor of black malt.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slippery texture and no alcohol heat at all.

D- This beer had some interesting flavor complexity but the chocolate tootsie roll flavor kept getting in the way.

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Photo of akorsak
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle purchased as part of the Jester's Choice variety case.

A: The ale is dark, far darker than any old ale I've ever encountered. The color is cola-like, a dark brown that borders on black at the widest points of the glass. The head neared 1/2 a finger and has left no remnants as the beer is consumed.

S: The aroma is one of roasted malts, caramel and a strong milk chocolate presence. The grains are somewhat thin, having a strong caramel presence that I'd call pedestrian.

T: The flavors all yell porter over old ale. The roasted malts have chocolate, caramel and some burnt blackstrap molasses flavors without pushing the malt quotient over the top. Some hop bitterness lightens up the taste a tad, but the dark roasted flavors refuse to be silenced. This is a decent take on a schwarzbier rather than an old ale.

M: The mouthfeel is dark and roasted without going to the extreme of a stout or porter. The body does allow some caramel malts to come through, which soften up the darker flavors significantly.

D: The ale has a moderate abv and a nice solid taste. For an ale lacking a style, it works on several levels.

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Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased somewhere in NoVA, either WF/Vienna, WF/Annadale, Norm's, or Rick's.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" medium brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head lasts well, with reasonable lacing. Aroma is deeply of foasty dark malts. Taste is of the same well-roasted grains, with a light fruitiness in the center, and a pleasantly bitter close. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good, especially for the style. An interesting, enjoyable brew, whose alcohol will sneak up on you.

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

Dark brown with chestnut highlights, a rough pour generated about an inch of moussy, light brown head. Decent retention and minimal lacing. Sweet caramel booze aroma with roasted and chocolate notes. Strong burnt and roasted character with moderate bitterness. Some caramel and cocoa are thrown in there as well. The dark malts really linger in the finish. The body was a bit light, but the texture was decent. This seemed to have a bit of boldness at first, but I became less impressed by the end. Not bad, not great - and the roasted malts come off a little too powerful.

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