The Event Horizon
Olde Hickory Brewery

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American Imperial Stout
Ranked #110
Ranked #415
4.38 | pDev: 8.45%
Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States
Notes: Ale brewed with honey and aged in bourbon barrels

50 IBU
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Reviews: 325 | Ratings: 1,836 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ChrisMon02
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle consumed on 5/11/20.

Not quite jet black color with a 1 finger head that lasts longer than I thought it would. Small cap of film sits on top.

Lovely bourbon, char, tobacco, honey, cocoa and faint anise on the nose and palate.

Medium mouthfeel with light carbonation. Drinks bigger than it is without being heavy or cloying.

This was a treat. Wish I could get more although this was 8.5 abv. and the new version is 11.75. Either way, super tasty and satisfying.

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Photo of VABA
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a very dark color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has generous chocolate, honey and Bourbon hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a nicely balanced chocolate, honey and Bourbon flavor
M-A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A great Imperial Stout

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VABA from Virginia, Mar 01, 2020
Photo of stortore
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled 11/22/17, had 1/19/19. Was 8.5% at this time.

Pours near black and opaque, with a one inch head of darker foam and some soapy lacing. Aromas of bourbon, tobacco, oak, caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, malt. Similar flavors- bourbon, milk chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, honey- which really pops out as it warms, some oak, light tobacco. A little sweet, but it’s not a negative. Smooth, somewhat creamy, a very good full body, well carbonated.

Really expressive flavors and aromas, great barrels. The honey works well in enhancing the flavor. Seems like a bigger beer than 8.5%. This is well worth a purchase.

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stortore from Illinois, Feb 18, 2020
Photo of mschrei
4.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12/7/18 bottle, so a year old. Standard appearance, except for almost purple edging. Smell is firstly a sweet honey, almost syrupy, then some barrel booziness, and finally mild roasty malt. Taste is malt with a blended background of sweetness and booziness as the honey and the barrel mesh. Light bodied for a boozy barrel aged stout, oily and sticky, I like it, but it’s not great.

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mschrei from Illinois, Dec 14, 2019
Photo of Bruno74200
4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

With hints of honey, this imperial stout seems less intense than some. Still nice cocoa and vanilla notes and a enjoyable mouthfeel. Quite a sipper which is not a bad thing

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Photo of kemoarps
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This one was on the wants list for a long time before @dragginballs76 sent it along as part of his deluge during NBS BIF #8.
Bottle reads 12/07/18. Seems appropriate given the newly photographed black hole!

Pours an inky black from which no light can escape, even held up to the lamp, it remains solid at the edges. Initial swell of coca powder coloured head is wetter than I'd expect, but it settles in to a light fuzz over the cap. Minimal lacing, but still some.

Mmmm.... nose introduces boozy rich BBA stout flavours we all know and love. Chocolate and vanilla from the bourbon and some slight toasty elements that venture towards graham cracker and a woodiness that almost gives the impression of faint coconut husk. Delicious.

Barrel leads things off, but not in an overwhelming/harsh manner, just that it's the first up to bat. Spicy booze with some vanilla before making way for the next page of the palate which brings out forth chocolate that is split between powdered bakers chocolate and chocolate syrup. There's some dry element in here as well some bitter coffee and a finish of tobacco as well. This will not be mistaken for a low ABV brew as it is every bit of 11.75%, but I wouldn't describe it as hot or harsh. I can't point to what specifically the honey adds to the proceedings, but it's part of a tasty whole that I am grateful to have gotten the chance to try. Thanks Mike!!

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kemoarps from Washington, Apr 11, 2019
Photo of Reef
4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

9/28/2016 22 oz. bomber

A black hole admitting no light, skinny tan head, beautiful full lacing curtain.
Complex fig, prune, ginger, molasses scents for starters, faint ozone, faint musk, probably more aromas will surface as it warms
Bourbon, fig, honey, chocolate show up on first mouthful. A little winey tang aftertaste.
Smooth rich mouthfeel, dry finish, no alcohol burn.
Full flavor at a lower ABV than other BBA imperial stouts, a must have each fall.

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Reef from South Carolina, Feb 23, 2019
Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a motor oil black with a thin tan head. Light amount of sticky lacing.

S - Aroma is dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla and honey.

T - The taste is dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, honey, oak and bourbon.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a soft dry finish.

O - Very tasty BBA stout. Mouthfeel is a little thin but the big flavors definetly make up for it.

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TreyIsWilson from Michigan, Jan 05, 2019
Photo of darktronica
4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fresh release in the new 4-pack bottle format, from December 2018. I've always liked The Event Horizon more than the regular Imperial Stout because the ageing and barrel treatment takes the edge off of the base beer's olivine, green quality. What's left is a robust, unique stout with a moderately sweet mid-palate and dry finish. Some green apple and wildflower honey on the nose, with bitter dark chocolate, birch bark, and very light sorghum on the palate.

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Photo of AyatollahGold
4.51/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An imperial stout brewed with honey and aged in bourbon barrels.

Pouring from a 12 oz. bottle dated 12/07/18 into a snifter glass. This beer pours out as black as night with very minimal highlights. It forms a pinky width of caramel colored crown that is very fast to dissipate.

The smell is a bourbon and dark fruit wonderland. Bourbon, oak, dark fruit, chocolate, leather, tobacco, vanilla. Wow. A lot going on, and in a good way.

The taste brings that dark fruit once again along with the vanilla, leather, heavy bourbon and oak still. Slightly roasty chocolate.

The mouthfeel is dry leather and oak. Could use a little more bounce from carbonation but not lacking any in the thickness or full body aspects.

Overall, I might have detected a very slight honey, but not enough to be noteworthy. I feel like that would be hard to achieve with a stout of this nature. What I did detect was a very enjoyable and complex stout. There is a reason it has the rating it does. It’s good.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another thanks to the Joe for this delectable concoction. Cheers!

Bottled 11/22/2017.

The Event Horizon is a beautiful beer. The pitch black body acts as a mirror. A gloriously beautiful mirror, obviously. No light can penetrate it, and an appropriately rich espresso head slowly descends into a fine ring and small amoeba patches on the surface.

Plenty of booze off the bat. Sweet smelling with a chocolate and vanilla influence front and center. "A twinkle of honey" is accurate. Dark honey. Very, very dark honey. More like black strap molasses. A touch of charred oak, not smokey but toasted.

Perhaps the added year of aging helped here, I don't know, but this is frickin' delicious. It's sweet and is reminiscent of a marshmallowy BA stout, but better. Not disgustingly sweet. Just right. Vanilla, check. Chocolate, check. Coffee... fig and blueberry... molasses... check, check, check. The honey actually comes in a bit in the flavor as a drizzle over lightly toasted almonds. With a little warmth, a touch of holiday spice comes to. Or perhaps that's just my imagination.

Rich and creamy to the fullest with an emphasis on sweet. Almost zero carbonation, in fact quite flat especially after being subjected to the inevitable tick of time. There's a nutty, toasty element and spiciness in the end that seems to be the sole provider of a bitter finish, and that's just fine by me. It acts like a big boy, but the warmth keeps true to it's advertised abv.

This is one delicious and complex beer. Another example that stouts, or any style for that matter, don't need to be extreme to achieve top shelf. Don't get me wrong. This beer is extreme. Extremely delicious, extremely beautiful, and extremely enjoyable to sip.

Cheers, and thanks again Joe.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 11/22/17; drank 11/13/18 @ the Yarchives.

Black appearance.

A rough pour yielded a nice dark tan head; frothy lace.

Dark roast coffee bean, raspberry, chocolate & mild honey notes in the nose.

Creamy, medium thick mouthfeel.

Milk chocolate & dark roast coffee bean flavors up front; honey & mild fresh earth & faint raspberry notes on the finish. Almost no booze heat.

A bit thin for the style, but enjoyable. I'd have another.

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, Nov 14, 2018
Photo of Benish
4.19/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a highly viscous pitch black color. Almost of maple syrup consistency - surprising for a 8.5% abv. Aroma not as complex as I have hoped, upfront is bittersweet dark chocolate with heavy notes of bourbon, quite more bourbon forward than many other BA stouts. The flavors are just the same, very rich bittersweet chocolate soaked in heavy bourbon. Maybe just a twang of cherry. The bourbon is so prominent at the finish, you think you're drinking bourbon alone. Flavors kind of fall short with chocolate and bourbon, was hoping for more. Mouthfeel is rich and medium to full body, again impressive for a 8.5% abv beer. Overall this beer proved an exceptional appearance and mouthfeel for a lower end ABV imperial stout. But the flavors are not as complex as I wished, it had only two main things: chocolate and tons of bourbon.

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Benish from Wisconsin, Nov 13, 2018
Photo of sulldaddy
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp 22 oz bottle poured into a snifter. The foil wrapper on the cap is a little difficult to open as the pull tab fails, but the cap pops off fine.
The beer pours a rich dark chocolate color with no light passing through the glass. A creamy tan head of 1 cm foams up and fades to a sturdy edge layer. This ring remains throughout the sampling of the beer. The aroma is dark chocolate and some coffee grounds. I also get a little bit of an anice note and some sweet floral honey too, but only very faint in the background. The booze is well hidden at this point and I dont get any hops here either.
First sip reveals a thick body with silky smooth texture and fine and soft carbonation that rolls easily across my palate. Big robust brew is delivering so far.
Flavor is what I would expect with all malt profile. Dark chocolate, roasted notes, some anice again, bourbon notes come through with some sweetness. The sweetness lingers a bit after each swallow. Still no hops at any point on this one. The heat from the booze is pretty well hidden throughout and the beer sits heavy in my belly after each sip.
Quite a nice robust Imperial Stout. Very glad to have tried this one and I would be very glad to have another bottle.

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sulldaddy from Connecticut, Nov 12, 2018
Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

bottled 11/22/17

L-The beer pours dark brown to black. The head is one finger of mocha colored bubbles. The head recedes to a thin film with sparse lacing.
S- The nose is primarily dark chocolate mixed with moderately strong bourbon presence. As the dark chocolate mixes with the sweeter vanilla bourbon presence I get more of a impression of milk chocolate.
T-The strongest presence on the palate is chocolate. It starts out dark like the nose, but sweetens as the flavors transition to the bourbon. Roast presence is very mild.
F- Mouthfeel is medium, a touch light for the style. There is a touch of slickness. Carbonation is on the lighter side of medium.
O-A really tasty stout. More chocolaty than roasty. Mouthfeel is a touch light, but a really solid barrel aged stout. Recommended.

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Photo of Tony210
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with a fizzy mocha head, big and foamy, unusually large bubbles in the head. Nose is big but not exciting. Lots of chocolate and alcohol, some barrel, touch of coffee. Flavor is big roasty chocolate, more fudge, sweet vanilla, dark roast coffee, lots of bourbon barrel. Pretty full bodied, thick and chewy, a touch too much carbonation for the style. Overall an outstanding beer.

Bomber dated 11/22/17
4.5 rating

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Tony210 from New Jersey, May 17, 2018
Photo of Franziskaner
4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black in color with no light penetration. There's a fingernail of brown around half of the rim. The nose is packed with sweet bourbon and honey. I'm tasting lots of sweet bourbon, honey, and a plethora of dark roasted barley appears at the back of the palate. The mouth is thick, sticky, and chewy.

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Franziskaner from Missouri, Apr 29, 2018
Photo of Sabtos
3.89/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stark black with a slanted mocha head settling to a bubbly collar and thin film.

Smell is dark chocolate and maple from the bourbon's oak, with a raisiny fudge brownie.

Delivered via a medium-thin body that thickens up as it warms with a light bubbly carbonation, there's a lot of chocolate covered raisin that's a little smoky. Some oaky bourbon and chocolate wafer hang in the background, with a nutty swallow, which is very, very dry, giving me cottonmouth.

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Sabtos from Ohio, Nov 18, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours like motor oil and it looks like pouring motor oil (wow, nice). There is a nice pure jet black colored body. The head is thin as there is less than a half a finger’s worth. The smell has some dark chocolate up front with a super large amount of honey and then the bourbon comes into play. I do get some light vanilla and dark fruits. The taste has all of the previously mentioned flavors come to combine and give off a slight oaky quality that ends up giving off a super sweet sticky oaky bourbon vanilla aftertaste. The finish is quick with a sort of vanilla chocolate alcohol coming into play slightly dry. The palate is about a medium to heavy in body and not really sessionable - she’s a sipper. Carbonation comes across fairly smooth but with the element of Bourbon in there. I will have to admit the alcohol is slightly felt but honestly in a good way. Overall, holy moley, is this damn good or what? Definitely again if I could get it.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer had a murky black color with a slight off white head.

Smell - In the nose, I detect raisins in dark chewy liquid form.

Taste - The beer has smooth chocolate, raisins, and just a hint of booze. There are also hints of tobacco and figs before more dark chocolate in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - As far as smoothness and balanced carbonation, this beer hits it out of the park.

Overall - For a non-BA stout, this beer is an excellent demonstration of the style.

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Photo of Roguer
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Good sized head, but poor retention.

Tons of bourbon on the nose, along with chocolate and coffee. Nuts, oak, and toffee.

Wonderfully straight BBA stout on the palate. Chocolate and roasted barley, perfectly balanced bourbon and oak.

Wonderfully thick and creamy feel. Because of the bourbon, this comes across hot despite being only 8.5% ABV.

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Roguer from Georgia, Mar 26, 2017
Photo of ElMariachi29er
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I opened a bottle of 2014 after drinking another BA Stout I picked up from a limited release event. The other stout was awesome and worthy of the hype it's getting currently. Then I opened this. It is every bit as good and I was very impressed. A solid, well executed brew with roasted malt/chocolate notes and taste. Then it has a very nice, slightly sweet finish. I was left wishing I had another bottle to share! If you see it, get it. Or better yet, get two and age one.

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ElMariachi29er from North Carolina, Mar 22, 2017
Photo of Slack
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz

Pours a deep.brown to black color with no head. Minor lacing on a sip.

Nose is dark fruit, oak, subtle bourbon, and a bit of malt.

Taste is bourbon, honey, oak, coffee, a bit of vanilla, and molasses.

Mouthful is medium to heavy and smooth. Carbonation is low. Finish is semi dry.

3+ years of aging has removed any and all hotness to this beer. It has changed into a strongly balanced bb stout that is really drinkable. Would recommend aging this for a couple of years.

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Slack from Virginia, Mar 19, 2017
Photo of maxdeusphallis
4.79/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Strong roasted malt and bourbon on the nose. A little vanilla and some very dark chocolate.

Pours dark as midnight in hell. Small tan head that disappears pretty quick.

Taste is complex and thick. Smoky vanilla, caramel and toffee. Sweet backend - molasses and dark fruit. Thick - almost syrupy.

Some heat in the throat.

Not much hop bitterness or presence. Almost like drinking sweet liquid smoke mixed with thick milk chocolate nougat.

Reminds me of Millers Toll. Super rich and complex beer.

I love this beer - but be careful, its rich like a chocolate cheese cake.

Almost too thick for me - but I love it. Feel like I need a shower for my beard after this one. Feels like it should have a higher ABV. At 8.5%, less alcohol than the thickness and complexity of the beer would suggest.

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maxdeusphallis from North Carolina, Feb 17, 2017
Photo of Tommo
4.02/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was pretty nice, but fell short of being truly stellar. Very nice flavor, and the bourbon comes through strongly but has some astringency. The body was pretty thin with very minimal head. Overall nice but not my favorite

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Tommo from Texas, Feb 13, 2017
The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 1836 ratings