Black Hole | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

very good
176 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 176 | Ratings: 195
Photo of blakesell
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a belgian style goblet.

Appearance- Jet black with a nice head roughly two fingers thick. Head is creamy and tan and dissapates into a pillowy froth that doesn't let up quickly. Froth does not stick and looks oily on the sides of the glass.

Smell- Smells like a porter with some extra dark fruits, rasins, figs, a bit of a nutty smell in there. Also a bit of a grape essence. Very malty and very little hop. Caramel and molasses thick in the beer.

Taste- There is a certain sweet complexity to this one. Thick maltiness with that same chestnut that was in the smell. A thick chocolate malt flavor like someone put in malted milk balls into the boil. A smidgeon of hop bitterness lingers on the tongue. A bit of grape skin.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied, very similar to a porter, chewy, although the appearance showed high carbonation, the mouthfeel has very low carbonation.

Drinkability- This is a nice big porterlike brew, but I'm not so sure that I will have a lot of repeat visits to this one. The oilyness isn't all that pleasant, and the fruitiness seems misplaced. Not my favourite Weyerbacher brew.

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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 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 Risser09
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from 2007 poured into a low ball glass

Appearance: Dark black with a striking opacity. Dark tan head lifts to 1" and subsides within a minute. Very little lace is left behind.

Smell: Roasted malt, deep cherry and plum aromas. No hoppiness. Lactic smell.

Taste:Huge roasted mat flavor profile. Smokiness and charcoal are there as well. Sligh alcohol burn. The blackened malt explosion outweighs all other flavors, if any, leaving this beer fretfully unbalanced and one dimensional. I guess you could say there is chocolate and espresso flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smokey and burning with malt flavor. Medium body and not too high in the carbonation (I had been told that some of the Hops Infusion had been way overcarbonated in the bottle). Alcohol is present and not cloying.

Drinkability: As the craft beer world gets more and more competitive, so do my taste buds, and this beer is not my favorite Weyerbacher brew. It has it's niche but would not suffice over, say, an Old Heathen or Blithering Idiot. I can't see anyone pounding a bunch of these away, either. But, a solid beer that could use some tweaking, perhaps for a little bit of fruity flavor.

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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 LeftyBWS
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass. As a physics major, I appreciate the humorous label that refers to this beer as a “singular experience.”
A: Pours a dark brown color, with tones of black towards the top. There’s a half inch of brown head that leaves a small amount of lacing.
S: Chocolatey and malty, for sure. Pretty sweet. There are some faint hops detectable, but I don’t think they’re meant to be prevalent. Seems more like a porter with just some extra sugariness to it.
T: Almost exactly like it smells; very little difference between the two. The malts do wipe out the taste of alcohol, too.
M: Quite nice. Refreshing yet full-bodied. Overall, very satisfying. One of the few beers that makes me say, “That feels good” in addition to, “That tastes good.”
D: I bet this beer would be great with a nice steak or similar meaty dish. It could also probably be worked into any recipe that calls for a brown ale. As a drinking beer, it’s interesting and worth checking out, too, but I can somehow more uses for this beer as a counterpart to a meal than a strict drinking beer.

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

Pours opaque with dark brown hues and a thick tan head the fades fairly quickly. Spotty lacing generated. The smell is a lot like a monster java mocha beverage. Medium bodied, the mouth feel is adequately carbonated and creamy. The full flavored, the light cream coffee mocha taste finishes with a slight boost of coffee that lingers appropriately. A really nice drinker; the 7% ABV is well hidden.

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

Inky black body with a thin khaki head.

Aroma of molasses, caramel, toasted malts, bakers chocolate, sweet cream, and light alcohol. A very nice sweet and pleasant smell.

The flavor is that of a nice porter, but with elements of a dark Belgian ale like fig and plum. Espresso, chocolate, malts, and faint hops.

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

12 oz brown bottle -> nonic
no date

Pours black with thin scarlet highlights in the light. A thick creamy tan head stays put for a while and leaves just some dotted lace.

Nose: Alcohol, roasted grains, patent malt

Thick mouth, with a drying affect. Malty, malty. Charcoaled chocolate and alot of it, some alcohol with a little astringency. A little hot with an all over warming effect.

A good take on the old ale style, would of like to experienced some more hop character. Would probably do well on a cold night, not a hot summers day.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 pt, 6 fl oz brown bomber; served in an oversized wine glass.

Near opaque, toffee brown in color. Creamy, tan head that spreads to the sides leaving a whispy sheet. Trails of thin lacing with decent hold.

Rich, milk chocolate and creamy, caramel aromas. Hints of toffee and dried hazlenut. Subtle dark fruity esters: plum, grape. Touches of alcohol.

Rich, milk chocolate with roasted pine and hazlenut. Plum, raisin, and dark cherry hints prior to a dry mustiness. A moderately full floral and pine hop presence makes for a gritty bitterness. The aftertaste is filled with a smooth milk chocolate.

Medium bodied; smooth and creamy with a nice balance in malt and hops.

A pretty decent Old Ale; however, more one-dimensional in maltiness than other offerings for the style.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a thin yet extremely dark cola color with great carbonation. Head has a full on light carob color creamy head jutting up a good two inches.

S: Chocolate pudding, carrot cake, aluminum, cola and café au lait.

T: Actually begins with a little lemon custard on the tip of the tongue. Quickly chocolate milk aspects take over from any citrusy moments that had occurred and introduce a smooth roasted bitterness. Some banana becomes more apparent as it warms with minor nuttiness that goes well with it. Finishes mildy tangy with a good sweetness and gentle French roast.

M: Full bodied and creamy like frothed milk.

D: Not bad. Good flavor. But really nothing stands out in this beer.

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

A- deep brown almost black body with thick dark tan head. Good head retention. Left behind some lacing in the glass.

S-Deep roasted malt, carmel, and coffee.

T- much like the smell. Warm roasted cofee and malt up front. Sweet carmel coffee aftertaste. No bitterness or taste of alcohol in this one.

M- moderately heavy body and medium carbonation. Very smooth beer to drink. Well done.

D- This is a good winter beer. The sweet roasted carmel cofee flavor is great for that season. I enjoyed this one and will have it again.

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Photo of badbeer
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured very dark, almost black, with a light tan head that retained well and left some lacing. Smell had a small amount of roastiness, semi-sweet, a bit of hops as well. Taste had some roastiness, noticeable, but not plentiful. There was some sweetness, lactose, and some bitter, hoppy flavors as well. Mouthfeel was on the lighter side of medium and carbonation was on the higher end. Good drinkability, I could probably stand to have a few of these, even at 7 percent.

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Photo of EStreet20
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. I've had this one in the "cellar" aka my garage fridge for quite some time now, maybe a year but not sure. Poured into a shaker pint glass.

A - Nice dark, near black brew. When held up to the light some red shines through. The head is about two fingers, fairly fizzy and a tan color.

S - Get some nice chocolate here. A bit of a coffee hint behind it. Reminds me of a porter.

T - Has some nice coffee like flavor and some licorice coming through. Some fruits but just not as "big" flavorwise as some other old ales.

M - For the syle I thought it was a little light. Basically medium bodied overall. Could use a fuller feel.

D - By no means a bad beer. Still that fruity character needs to be kicked up a notch to make this one you truly want to keep sipping.

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Photo of KOPBeerDrinker
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle this beer yielded a slight brownish head about a 1/4" thick which quickly dissipated. In the glass the beer is a deep brown coffee color, almost black. Smells of sweet roasted malt and chocolate. Tastes of roasted choclate malt and a little coffe, bitter and slightly hoppy. Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Not much lacing on the glass. Easy to drink. Enjoyed this beer and would buy it again.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented in a shaker style "pint" glass. Appears a dark brown color with about an inch of dense, dark tan foam. Smells of rich roasted malts, coffee, nuts, and cocoa. Tastes of bitter mocha with emphasis on the dark chocolate notes. Nice caramel malty backbone and a touch of bitter hops. Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. This beer drinks similarly to a porter, a style which I am a fan of. Tasty stuff. Recommended.

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

Weyerbacher Black Hole
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours an opaque black with a fluffy head on top. Light brown highlights cover the sides of the glass. Patterns of sticky lacings appear. Looks like a porter or stout.

Interesting nose with whiffs of roasted malts and fruity notes.

Dark roasted flavors with hints of chocolate covered cherries and a sour punch quality. Snappy hop finish with a heavy malt backbone. Molasses, brown sugar and grape soda fruitiness. This beer is interesting and hard to classify.

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Photo of MmmIPA
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first Old Ale and by the look and smell of it.Its looks very temping.Served in a wide mouth wine glass.

Black cola looking body with a off white ring.I can smell the malt in it.I wanna say I taste chocolate in this, its faint but I can taste it.I can also smell the booze in it.Maybe I smell caramel in it also.I like the taste of this very much.The carbonation is sorda on the high side.Did I mention that this is a tasty brew? :) I would buy this again or look for it on tap.Its a shame that this is only a winter brew.Great brewing Weyerbacher!


I had a couple of these in my cellar since the last review date and I was worried that they wouldnt last but some BA told me they would,so I let em sit.I really enjoyed this beer fresh.Lets see how it holds up.Poured into a oversized wine glass.

Small brown head sits atop of a brown body with some red in the edges.This beer looks very sexy now.Small patches of lace on my glass.

Upon opening the beer,the smell of cola and chocolate come from the bottle.I smell some dark fruits,and possibly some belgian yeast?

The first taste is sweet chocolate.I want to say that the chocolate sorda taste like a ash tray.Not in a bad way at all either.I know thats hard to explain.Faint taste of hops.

The mouthful is very creamy.Carbonation is still a little more harsh then I would like it to be.Maybe another few months in the cellar would fix that.

Once again this beer satisfies.Damn fine and very drainkable.I hope this just doesnt come in the variety packs and im able to buy a 6 pack of itself.Great job Weyerbacher.

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Photo of JasonA
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark cola with little to no head. Lacing down the side where poured and little head.

Smells yummy, maybe like a RIS. Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate. Some ABV, but that yummy ABV kind.

Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee. Some flavor I cant place, not toffee, but something sweet. No real hops, but finishing taste ABV, excellent for the style.

Full bodied. Smooth. Nicely carbonated, sits well in the mouth.

Very yummy beer. Would love to have more. I bet this celler's well. Please pour me another.

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Photo of nriech
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Kind of 80s looking art on the bottle, looks like it shoud be on the side of an arcade game.

Apppearance: Very dark brown, right on the edge of being black. A brown head about an inch, good lacing at the top.

Smell: Dark fruits seems to be the general concesus on the smell. I agree but cant quite pin down which. Sort of like figs and plum, but ... dark....? Roasty toasty malts also are evident.

Taste: Malty, light on the hops. Chocolatey and light coffee. Doesnt really stick to the pallate but is almost porter like. Dry malts, almost bitter. Not very strong or complex. Easy to drink and not offensive to any foods I can think of so would easily work with many meals.

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Photo of Dubbercody
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark toasty chocolate interesting beer. Sweet, easy to drink despite it's malt flavor...the ease can be attributed to the thinness of this porter. I normally like my beers a little chewier, but the flavor of this great beer made up for it ands down. The alcohol is well balanced within this brew. A tasty one indeed.

Thanks BeerBeing

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Photo of kirok1999
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a stout looking black with ruby tinges. Nice tight sticky head that leaves good lacing. Smells sweetly of caramel malts, roasted grain, and slight bittering hops.
Taste is kind of hard to describe as to a style. Characteristics of a strong ale, almost Nosferatu-like, smoky, caramel sweet, tiny carbonation bubbles. Lingering smoky malt aftertaste. A nice brew that is easy to drink.

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

This is like a Guinness for the summer. I understand why this scores in the 3.8 range. it's not amazing but everyone who has had it has liked it here. I've suggested that it's like Guinness but not quite as meaty.
The Weyerbacher variety case with Black Hole, Winter Ale, House Ale and Hops Infusion has been an easy case to choose to insure having a variety of nice beers around.

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Photo of jdg204
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another selection from my self-made Weyerbacher variety case. This was another winner from Easton's beer kings.

Appearance - Very nice deep brown, almost black color.

Smell - Deep roasted smell of coffee is very present.

Taste - Once again a deep coffee flavor comes through strong. There's almost a smoked flavor in the aftertaste. Very unique and pleasant, unlike any porter/stout I'd had before.

Mouthfeel - Nice light carbonation and a very consistent and not too heavy texture. Definetly a slow sipping beer.

Drinkability - This was a very unique brew living up to the claim on the label. I very much enjoyed it as it was definetly distinct from a stout/porter by providing a lighter texture than a porter yet a darker flavor than a stout. This was a great find and I look opening more in the future and with a good friend.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber to a pint glass. The liquid is Dark brown to black with good carbonation. The head is one finger dark tan and left no lace.

The Smell is oddly sweet. A big roasty toasty burnt smell, but with sweetness.

The taste follows, Bitter burnt toast with a big sweetness, Very dry.

The mouthfeel is good. Some what thin more like a porter, but with a nice bity fizzy carbonation going on.

The drinkability is good, The beer is very nice and drinkable. Also very unique and interesting all in all. Prosit.MK

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