The Event Horizon | Olde Hickory Brewery

BA SCORE
96
world-class
305 Reviews
The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States
oldehickorybrewery.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Habmike on 12-08-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
305
Ratings:
1,761
Avg:
4.36
pDev:
8.72%
 
 
Wants:
847
Gots:
545
For Trade:
85
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 305 | Ratings: 1,761
Photo of Slack
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013
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.

 493 characters

Photo of ThickNStout
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

22oz waxed and stamped bottle from Bruisin Ales (Asheville, NC). 15.99. 2013 vintage, recent release. Served in a Three Floyds teku.

Pours oil black with a half finger light brown head. Nice thin cap and halo of froth reamain and leave a good bit of lace.

Smells sweet and inviting. Chocolate, bourbon, honey, vanilla and caramel. Not too terribly deep but quite nice all the same.

Taste follows the nose in all the right ways. Rich, fudgey chocolate, sweet subtle bourbon, vanilla, honey, oak, burnt caramel, molasses, creamed mild coffee, raw cane sugar, slightly nutty, a little dark fruit and a small amount of booze. The barrel stands out increasingly as it warms but never quite over takes the fudge and honey.

Creamy, light medium body with moderate carbonation. Boubon and fudge linger in the aftertaste.

Such an incredibly drinkable barrel aged stout. Thinner than I'd prefer but it really delivers the flavor. This one is worth a try.

 955 characters

Photo of oline73
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at a tasting this past weekend. Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours black and thick with a layer of cocoa colored head that fades to a thin layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Sweet and smooth with roast, chocolate, dark fruit and some bourbon heat.

Taste: Sweet bourbon with some chocolate and dark fruit notes. The finish is roasty with some dark chocolate but not very bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is thick with smooth carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: This is a great BA Imperial Stout. Goes to show you don't need to have your stouts be 12%+ to be extremely good. I hope to get the chance to have this one again in the future.

 677 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

BOD 12/18/14. Pours almost pitch black. Normal head volume and retention for barrel aged, excellent lacing.

Nice rich nose of bourbon and heavy notes of oak and bitter dark chocolate over a light caramel coupled with plum.

Rich full body with a creamy texture that has an oily component as well. Light carbonation with just a hint of effervescence in the finish.

The flavor profile is borderline World Class. It is intense, extremely complex and one of the most balanced BA imperial stouts I've encountered. It's only shortcoming, which is slight, is the lack of total alcohol coverage. It begins with a bourbon slap that quickly yields to a rich semi-sweet rush of chocolate. The middle is a light bitterness over a fading chocolate that allows the astringent alcohol flavor to manifest itself over a coffee note. As this fades into the finish, light plum notes appear over a sweet vanilla and bourbon background. The finish is slightly astringent and has a moderate alcohol heat.

 995 characters

Photo of roger617
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle reviewed 11/6/2014. Bottle poured into snifter.

A: Pours black with 1 finger of khaki head that reduces fairly quickly and leaves a thin collar with no lacing. For under 10%, I'm surprised at how thick the viscosity appears.
S: Chocolate, bourbon, roasted malt, and just a tad bit of sweetness that I'll attribute to the honey.
T: The dominant flavors are chocolate and honey, with a good compliment of bourbon and roast malt. Lingering flavor is heavy with the honey.
M: Carbed well, fairly bitter. Leaves a dryer after taste that brings the honey flavor out.
O: This one exceeded my expectations. I love the honey addition, it goes really well with the chocolate and bourbon.

 695 characters

Photo of mgp2675
4.35/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting to this one after being stashed away for a while. Drank side by side with Olde Hickory Imperial Stout. I'm not sure if this is the BA version of it but I was guessing that it is.

A- Pours black, nice and thick. The head is a tan-mocha color, definitely not as dark as the head on the Imperial Stout.

S- Vanilla, oak, toffee, a little bit of alcohol burn but not too much.

T- Great tasting beer...vanilla is definitely the dominant flavor, but it definitely has a bitter dark chocolate taste in there. It has some of the characteristics of the Imperial Stout like the bitterness but it's so much smoother. It's a tad sweet, but not too much. I despise really sweet beers and I didn't think this was bad at all. All of the harshness in the flavor is completely gone due to the barrel aging, it's very well balanced.

M- Thick, great mouthfeel.

O- This was a treat. It isn't the best BA stout I've ever had but it's certainly up there. I probably won't seek out more because I already have a bottle to age and that's all I need, but I would recommend trying this if you haven't. If this is the BA version of their Imperial Stout, the barrel aging process made a world of difference. Worth some hype.

 1,217 characters

Photo of Tucquan
4.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2016-02-03 in Columbia, PA from a 22oz bottled on 2015-11-17.

A - Opaque black with a 1-finger creamy light brown head from an aggressive pour. It has mild lace.

S - Dried plums, dates, licorice, bourbon, milk and dark chocolate, coffee.

T - Rich as can be. Toasted/charred grain, dark chocolate, oak, espresso latte, vanilla, coconut, light bourbon heat and a touch of black licorice. Great roasted bitterness in the finish. Mild umami as it warms.

M - Heavy mouthfeel and mild carbonation yield a milkshake consistency. Really nice.

O - This is a luscious beer. I'm very impressed this much flavor is available at this ABV. Seek this one out; it's really good.

 688 characters

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

2013 Bomber poured into a snifter. Pours like motor oil, thick, viscous, and chewy-looking. Almost no head and a thin espresso bean lacing. 4.25

Smells of deep roasted malts, dark chocolate and some aged hops. Sweet caramel teases the nose as does some vanilla. 4

Roasted malt flavor continues as does rich, bold dark chocolate. Impressive fruit flavors of raspberries and cherries and figs. Sweet honey and vanilla permeate and complement the other flavors, making for some divine flavor combos. The flavor is like a dark chocolate bar with honey and raspberries with a touch of smokiness. Superb. It's not until this really warms that I notice the bourbon emerge. 4.5

Just like the pour, this drinks thick, viscous, smooth, but with a thick, chewy feel. Sweet, roasty, a wince of tartness, spiciness from the bourbon, but there's absolutely no boozy heat. The bitterness on the finish is just right. 4.5

This is just a cornucopia of flavor. I love the fruit notes. Just awesome.

 985 characters

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

2010 Vintage

A: Pours a deep black with a tan/brown head on top, about a finger upon pouring, which reduces to a thin cap on top. Thin lacing.

S: Some dark fruits, cherrys, plum, and raisins mixed with chocolate, bourbon, a bit of oak and vanilla.

T: Similar to the aroma and fantastic. Lots of chocolate and bourbon flavors up front, a bit of brown sugar and molasses. More dark fruit in the middle mixed with a touch of honey.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Glad I was finally able to try this beer, definitely a highlight from the tasting.

 565 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to an ever generous BA for sharing some of this at the Splinter Black release. Nothing like a great impy stout to cure the chills. Served in my Savor snifter.

Pours a deep, dark black color with a thin mocha cap and a slight collar around the edges. The nose is an explosion with fantastic notes of dark chocolate, espresso, vanilla, roast, and a tiny bit of char. The dark chocolate and espresso come together splendidly to create and nice slightly-charred cherry character.

The taste picks up right where the nose left off and is buoyed even more by the excellent mouthfeel, which is thick and really lifts the flavors of this one. Love the espresso notes coming out of this. Full and thick feel coats my mouth and finishes smoothly with just a bit of slight booze, which was welcome on this cold morning. Drinkability is quite good as well. I've been nothing but impressed with Olde Hickory thus far and I'd love to try some more things from them.

 959 characters

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Commis for the hookup on this one...

Poured from a flip top into a Cigar City pint glass...

A - Poures pitch black with a one finger brown head on a fairly agresive pour. Decent amount of head retention, and while the lacing is not the best; there is still some to be had here...

S - Chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, and the aromatic smell of Bourbon...

T - Chocolate, dark roasted malts, vanilla, and plums. Ends on smooth Bourbon note that is not over the top, but is enough to make an appereance and let you know that it is present. The flavors in this one are really balanced, and the abv is well hidden. Delicious...

M - A chewy viscous brew, that is at the time smooth and easy to drink, with a moderate amount of carbonation. Amazing...

D - This one is amazing, Had a hard time reviewing it before finishing the pint. Definitely looking to score more of these. Olde Hickory brewed a top notch beer here...

Cheers...

 939 characters

Photo of Onenote81
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Went to the OHB tasting at City Beverage in town this last weekend, and thought I was only going to get a sample of this, but to my surprise, they had it on tap! Score! Now I can muster the self control to hold my bottle for a little while longer. Enjoyed this one with a couple local BAs, mjmadden and EasyReader.

They poured this one into a pint glass, filled to the brim. A small mocha sheet thinly veils this evil-looking brew. On first whiff, this reminds me a liquid Hershey's bar. Pure sweet chocolate. Notes of vanilla, oak and faint bourbon. This aspect is not as strong as I'd expected, but that's just fine with me. I prefer the roasted/chocolate tones to the boozy ones.

Excellent mouthfeel as this completely coats and warms the palate. Silky smooth. Soft finish. The bourbon quality complements this beer excellently, but is not in-your-face at all. Lots of roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, mild cold coffee, honey, and hints of vanilla tannins. And only 8.50%, are you kidding me?! This was such a treat. I could sip this one all day. Best thing OHB has ever put out. For those that enjoy the big boozy BBA Stouts, this may not be your favorite, but I loved it.

 1,185 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle split post Sexual Chocolate by Lunch, thanks Paul.

Beer is dark with almost no head, haloed, clinging to the sides of the glass I was drinking out of, carbonation low and some lacing but not much. Looks like a lot of barrel aged stouts.

Beer has a nice aroma, sweet, bourbon, mild oakiness, that late sweetness that almost is dry in the nose, smells very nice.

Beer is medium bodied, creamy on the mouth. Fills out nicely in the back half of the beer. The lead off here is the malt syrupy sweetness, not too sweet or cloying, just enough, the bourbon lets loose next giving some mild heat, not off putting but it is definitely aggressive, the back end is bitter with the roast with a nice finish, the swallow allows the flavor to rediffuse through the palate leaving you wanting another drink. It's a good beer, not the best barrel aged stout I've had but it's up there. Thanks.

 888 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.37/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Chad for sharing. As usual, it took 15 minutes to get the damn Old Hickory wax off. Sampled side-by-side with the Imperial Stout for reference. Served in a New Belgium tulip.

A - Pours with a finger of tan foam that settles to a hazy cap of film and a thick collar, leaving behind spotty lace. The body is pitch black. Looks more ominous than an 8.5% Imperial Stout has any business doing so.

S - Huge bourbon and earthy, roasted grains, lots of chocolate cake, burnt sugars. As it warms up more oak and barrel creeps in, along with a faint whiff of alcohol.

T - Lots of roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, honey, and some earthy bourbon and oak character that keeps things from getting too cloying.

M - Sticky, mouth-coating, and surprisingly full-bodied and viscous for the listed ABV. Booze is well-hidden, and the finish is only lightly tannic.

D - I like this better than the standard Imperial Stout by a fair margin. It's not a particularly subtle beer, but it is a delicious one. Definitely for sipping and sharing, but something I'd happily revisit.

NOTE: I'm pretty sure the 8.5% ABV can't be correct. The base beer is listed at 10.2%!! However, if it really is only 8.5% it sure packs in a lot of flavor and heft, while still maintaining fairly well-hidden alcohol.

 1,296 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: pours black with only a film of head
S: big bourbon, some sweetness. More of dark fruit and molasses than the chocolate notes I look for.
T: very good. The bourbon is smooth, the dark fruit brings a sweetness, there are some chocolate notes.
F: super easy drinking, very smooth, medium thickness. Nice

 304 characters

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 488 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle I brought to share to Curran's tasting.

Pours a thick, dark black, with a one inch head, and a little bit of lacing, not much.

Smells like chocolate, bourbon, roasted malt, and booze. The aroma is fairly bourbon-forward.

The taste is similar, however, the bourbon is better integrated into the smell. There's some cookie dough, cocoa powder, Hershey's syrup, roasted malt, bourbon, and only the slightest booziness- the alcohol is hidden well here. Some slight caramel and vanilla as well.

Medium bodied, but like Lindley Park, could be a little thicker for the style. Still quite creamy and rich in the mouthfeel, with low carbonation. Very drinkable.

Another winner from Olde Hickory, they make some great BA stouts.

 730 characters

Photo of metter98
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a thin dark tan head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of vanilla and oak are present in the nose along with hints of bourbon.
T: He taste is similar to the smell and is dominated by flavors of vanilla and oak; notes of chocolate and dark malts are also noticeable. No roasted or bitter favor are present - there are some hints of sweetness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a little smooth on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer is really easy to drink compared to other bourbon barrel aged stouts because it doesn't feel too heavy and no alcohol is noticeable. Everything seems very well balanced.

 839 characters

Photo of SkeeterElvis
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 in a snifter

Appearance: brown head, moderate lacing

Nose: carob, vanilla, caramel, some cherry/raisin

Taste: dark chocolate, faint caramel, and vanilla fade to smooth bourbon, finishes with espresso which lingers

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, somewhat creamy

One smooth beast.

 290 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.39/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip. Special thanks to readbaron for sharing this one.

Appearance: In the glass, this is nearly black with dark red edges. There is no head, even with an aggressive pour.

Smell: Roasted malt with almost no burnt aroma, cocoa, sweet molasses, and some dark fruits, mostly fig and plum. Vanilla, oak, and sweet bourbon mellow in the background.

Taste: The bourbon flavor pops right up front, but it is not too dominant. Although it starts out quite sweet with a molasses flavor, it dries out just a bit with the roasted malt. The dark fruits provide further depth to the full roasted malt and cocoa flavors. The finish stays mostly sweet, with a very smooth overall flavor.

Mouthfeel: This has a very full body, with a full stickiness to go along with it. A little dryness at the front of the sip lightens it out a little bit. Lightly carbonated, maybe undercarbonated a bit. Quite smooth. No real bourbon burn or booziness to speak of.

Overall: The flavors still haven't melted together seamlessly, which to me signifies that a little bit more time in the cellar will help out. Even so, this was smooth and delicious. Maybe due to the lighter than insane ABV, but it was not too boozy either.

 1,234 characters

Photo of scifan
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After working up a sweat trying to peel off a huge layer of wax I was finally able to pour this into my Portsmouth balloon glass.
A hard pour reveals a big dark brown head with a thick pitch black body. Looks every bit the part of a big ol imperial stout. Very nice. Leaves some lacing as the head quiets down a bit.
Smells great. Lots of sweet dark malts hit the nose along with hints of tobacco and juicy dark fruit. With some nice roastiness rounding it all out. Just a hint of bourbon shines through.
The barrel aging makes itself known in the taste. Smooth oak and vanilla come across first and followed by sweet dark malts. Then a nice roasty finish.
The mouthfeel is one of the best parts of this beer. Very rich and velvety smooth, everything a imperial stout should be and more. The carbonation is spot on. Not a hint of any alcohol and this goes down very smooth. Olde Hickory is one of my favorite breweries in NC and this beer did not dissapoint. Nice Job.

 968 characters

Photo of angelmonster
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review is of 2013 vintage

Pours opaque black body, head is cappuccino colored and 1/5 of an inch. Head retention was average for barrel aged stout and lacing was above average.

Smell is big on oak, whisky, fudge, caramel, and slight soy sauce. Charred malt balances out intense sweetness. Hops arent there but alcohol is definitely present.

Taste is robust, extremely flavorful, with lots of alcohol but not harsh. This beer drinks more like 11 or 12% rather than 8.5. I would totally believe brewers if they said there was a heathy dose of chocolate in this beer, also getting coffee, but alas neither are used to produce The event horizon. Theres a slight bitterness as beer warms; vanilla, honey, oak, and bourbon reveal themselves as temperature rises.

Mouthfeel is huge with this stout. Viscous, well carbonated, on the brink of chewy. Beer leaves a slightly oily coating on the tongue. If only the head retention was there, this would have been a perfect 5.

Overall this beer is as great as it was when I first had it at Gabf in 2011. Intense malt, alcohol, char, and everything else you'd want in an imperial stout. The event horizon always has an open invitation in my fridge.

Note to self: Take notes on a fresh bottle

 1,242 characters

Photo of Josh012012
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

really reminded me of BCBS. I mean I swear that's what I was drinking.. but after getting half way through the bottle it got to be a but much where BCBS just seems to get better and better the more you drink.. now if I had only had one glass this would have been even more awesome.

 281 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Joe. Thanks brah. Pitch black pour, small fizzy dark brown head. Huge anise aroma with some coconut, lots of bourbon and woody oak, roast, sweet chocolate, caramel, yum. Flavor follows with lots of bourbon and anise and settles into vanilla and caramel. Roast and chocolate are there, and there's an extra sweet tang that I assume is from the honey. Surprised how well this stands up to the barrels at only 8.5%. Rich body, medium low carbonation. Even better than expected.

 486 characters

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pitch black with a half finger of light tan foam that quickly recedes to a light film.

S: Very complex, strong bourbon supported by milk and dark chocolate, malted milk balls, toffee, and caramel.

T: Very strong dark chocolate and bourbon start off with light, smooth roast and some subtle dark cherry in the background. I get malted milk balls like in the aroma as well. So complex, so tasty.

M: Thick yet very easy to drink. Hard to describe how this is easy to drink yet very viscous.

O: Amazing. So complex, so viscous, yet easy to drink. Everything is very well integrated. Tons of chocolate, moderate bourbon, toffee, and malted milk balls.

 679 characters

The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
4.36 out of 5 based on 1,761 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe