Black Hole | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Black HoleBlack Hole
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 |  Reviews: 177
Photo of cpetrone84
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
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 -4.5%
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 -5.5%
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 -3.7%
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 +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.

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Photo of Timmush
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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 +1.8%
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 -3.4%
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 +0.3%
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 +4.2%
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 -4.5%
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 +11.6%
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 +0.8%
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 +4.2%
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 -20.3%
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 +8.7%
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 +2.4%
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 +17.9%
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.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
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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Photo of LunaChick
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brewery is fast becoming one of my favorites.
This beer pours almost black but there are some ruby hues present. Thick tan head fades quickly but leaves a decent ring and some lacing.
Aroma is warm with alcohol, dark chocolate and rum soaked fruits.
The flavor is slightly bitter chocolate backed by roasted malt with a big plum finish. The alcohol warmth in the aroma lingers as this beer definately will warm you up on a blustery cold day.
Mouthfeel is decent medium bodied, not thick like a stout, but definately along the lines of a porter. Carbonation is present throughout but doesn't interfere. Tingly.
I scored this one lower on drinkability because at 7% alcohol its not meant to be a session. I could drink 2 max. After that I would happily proclaim that "I can't feel my feet"

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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.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber/ almost black, with a tan head. In the aroma, roasty cocoa, and a small hop presence. In the taste, just as in smell, roasty cocoa, a small hop presence. Very stout-ish. A thick, rich and bitter mouthfeel, with a dry and hoppy aftertaste. Big hops and very stout like, very nice for an old ale.

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Photo of AltBock
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. undated bottle with another one Weyerbacher's crude 1980's computer generated labels. This one depicts a space station in the middle of some galaxy. There's nothing to the space station. It's just a whole bunch of circles and lines trying to form a space station looking object.

When poured into a Stoudt's pint glass, this beer actually poured a black hole colored beer. I thought it was going to turn out to be a darkish brown color, but it was instead a sloid black color. On top of this black beer was a creamy 3/4 of an inch tan head of foam. This head of foam had great retention that left behind a creamy tan film and a fair amount of tan streaks of lace around the glass.

The aroma was was dark and rich with roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate. That was it! There might have been a hint a dark fruits in there, but they were covered up by the coffee and dark chocolate.

The taste had the roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate like the aroma had, but it was in the taste where tasted like they were watered down. Behind these watered down flavors was a hint of roasted malts, a splash of sweet caramel, and a fig or two hiding in the backgound.

The moutfeel was on the medium bodied side ready to cross over to the full bodied side. The aftertaste to this beer was that of roasted coffee beans, a smidge of bitter dark chocolate, and a subtle touch of roasted hops. This time, it didn't taste like they watered down the flavors.

It's too bad they had to water down the coffee and chocolate in the taste. That was a bit disappointing. Either way, this is still one of Weyerbacher's better 12 oz. bottled beers.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
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 tpd975
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark clear bright black hue with tones of brown showing thru. Poured with a nice one finger head which died to a nice solid ring. There was spotty lace noted as well.

S: Nice smokey aromas with hints of chocolate and green hops. Hints of rum pushed thru as did raisins and booze.

T: Bold and smokey brew with the chocolate, coffee, and hops dominating.

M: Medium to full in body somewhat flat with low carbonation.

D: Not bad for the style

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Black Hole from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 195 ratings
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