The Event Horizon | Olde Hickory Brewery

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288 Reviews
The Event HorizonThe Event Horizon

Brewed by:
Olde Hickory Brewery
North Carolina, United States

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

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Reviews: 288 | Ratings: 1,715
Photo of Verecund
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to beerness for generously grabbing this for me. Batch 1 (2010), opened on February 17, 2011.

Pours black with a thin mocha-colored cap.

Rich, milk chocolate with sweet bourbon running through it. A small amount of charred oakiness, but the toasted coconut is the scent that really rounds this out. My nose tickles with a hint of wild cherry on the finish. Superb.

Sweet bourbon and some of the richest fudge presence I've had in a stout. Some toffee sweetness, vanilla, and earthy oak. The bourbon is nicely integrated and isn't overpowering. It works harmoniously with the honey, berry, and chocolate sweetness, but is surprisingly not cloying.

Sticky, almost syrupy, with carbonation on the lower end of the spectrum. Really silky. It drinks right around or under its ABV - it's certainly less boozy than most imperial stouts.

This has been the talk of the town around here recently, as it was an unexpectedly great offering from Olde Hickory. I can't say I'm disappointed, and I prefer this to any other North Carolina barrel-aged stouts, with the exception of one or two vintages of ORF. I love the dark cherry and toasted coconut notes, the bourbon is well-integrated, the fudge is luscious, and the body is mind-blowing. I wish I had more than this one bottle.

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Photo of ottovon
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to stoutfiend27 for sending this my way.

A: pours out thick and dark. the beer has a nice brown head that faded somewhat quickly.

S: dark fruits, molasses, vanilla. there is bourbon and oak. i get roasted malt, sweetness, bittersweet chocolate and brown sugar.

T: hints of bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, and oak. it has a nice bitterness in the finish. starts out a bit sweet. there is also molasses, brown sugar, burnt sugar, and roasted malt in there.

M: thick and low carbed. smooth mouthfeel.

O: this is a great beer. wish i had more.

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Photo of Cubatobaco
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%

I'll write a full review later, but this beer is in my top 5 BA stouts as of right now. Unbelievable quality, barrel characteristics, and balance. I can't wait to seek out more.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle.

Black beer, foamy dark brown head and nice patches of lace. Aroma is thick with leathery tobacco, dark chocolate fudge, blackstrap molasses, caramel liquor, cherries, and blueberries. Pretty fantastic. Flavor is loaded with massive amounts of chocolate, berries, bourbon, vanilla, and some orange sneaking in at the end. Sugary, sticky, alcoholic, but smooth and creamy. Very nice blankety thickness in texture. Smooth bitterness mixed with soft carbonation throughout. This is a pretty massive beer.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a glass

Black liquid, thin brown layer of brown bubbles

Aroma of bourbon, teriyaki?, umami?

Taste of bourbon, honey , coffee, charcoal charred oak,

Feel the alcohol but doesn't burn, smooth, silky, rich

Great beer

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Photo of joefuzz
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle

Dark brown pour with small almond head. Smells wonderfully of bourbon and chocolate, barrel aging is very apparent. Taste starts with vanilla, brown sugar and oak and ends with some slight alcohol heat. Carbonation is lower side with a slightly light mouthfeel.

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Photo of scbeerman
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque black with a nice tan head. Touch of ripe apple on the nose - interesting alongside chocolate, oak, vanilla, and hazelnut. Taste of bourbon and dark, rich chocolate with notes of honey, oak, nuttiness, and dark umami. Feel is rich and medium-heavy with solid carbonation but not too much. Very good and true to style.

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Date: 02/05/2012
Type: 22oz. Waxed Bomber
Vintage: 2011
Glass: Southampton Large Snifter

Pours a midnight black in color w/ a skim coat brown head that leaves little to no lacing. Aromas of chocolate fudge, German chocolate cake, oak, bourbon, and vanilla. Awesome nose! Taste starts off w/ sweet chocolate fudge and German cak up front, followed by smooth bourbon and oak, and finishes w/ hop bitterness and a good bit of char. Full bodied and lush. Initially, I thought I would be able to polish off the bottle w/ ease, but after almost a whole glass the char on the backside really started to turn me away.

Overall, great beer for what it is, and that is why I rated it so. Not really my cup of tea as my palate has changed considerably, more into less filling brews right now. However, if you want a great BA IS, this one is calling your name.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.49/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz bottle poured into large snifter - 2011 vintage

Pours a viscous blackness with a one-finger crop of tanned head resting on top. Dissolves almost completely, leaving a few spots of film and a very little lacing.

Rich and robust in the nose with plenty of dark chocolate. Syrup and honey tones mix with the vanilla and bourbon-soaked oak. A bit nutty and boozy.

A bit boozy and syrupy up front, giving way to a rich chocolatey character. Brownies and bourbon with a pleasant splash of vanilla. The honey adds a nice bit of sweetness, but doesnt quite go over the top. The oaky tannins lie underneath, followed by the burly dark malt backbone. Roasty and warm with some slight nuttiness. Chocolate with a light touch of roasted coffee beans. Finishes sticky and boozy with some lingering vanilla.

Fuller body, slightly milder carbonation, smooth and creamy, sticky and chewy while drinking. This is an easy stand out for me - I love the balance of flavor and somewhat aggressive barrel character. The addition of honey adds a nice dimension that you typically wouldn't see in some other barrel aged beers.

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Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing this one after he aged it a year.

A – pitch black with a soft, short, foamy, brown head

S – roasted malts, anise, black licorice, coffee

T – roasted malts, dark fruits, burnt sugar, coffee, anise, honey, vanilla, bourbon

M – full bodied, smooth, perfectly carbonated

This is a rich and complex beer that has a fantastic flavor profile. It has depth and character. It has perfect balance and showcases little subtleties throughout. This is definitely one of the better stouts that’s out there.

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Photo of aleckpa
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 32 oz. growler from Hops and Grapes in Hickory, North Carolina.

A: Black like motor oil. There is a small burnt mocha head that goes away quickly However, there’s great lacing. Can’t see anything through it.

S: Vanilla, chocolate, oak, and of course some bourbon This is a really good smelling beer. A lot of the flavors are subtle, but complex. All the scents come out as the beer warms.

T: Front of the tongue, I taste the bourbon, back of the tongue I get the flavors I smelled. The vanilla, chocolate, oak, and bourbon. Also get some honey. There is some alcohol burn, which surprised me at 8.5%, but it isn't bad. Regardless, it is dangerously easily drinkable.

M: Creamy, smooth, and full bodied. Not too thick, well balanced. Feel some of the tingle on your tongue from the carbonation.

O: This is easily my favorite offerings from Olde Hickory. I think it is well balanced with a lot of complexities. It tastes even better as it warms. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of surfcaster
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just released 2013---Holiday treat

A: Black, opaque with a small head and lacing that followed to the bottom

S: Prominent bourbon notes and sweet vanilla

T: Bourbon on the nose is stronger than on the tongue but very well integrated and a bit more subdued than some offerings. Honey and vanilla come through big on the back end. Delightful, smooth and just a pleasure.

M: Full bodied but not syrupy.

O: Strong performance this year. Not the bourbon bomb some can be--very integrated. Easy to drink. Will save at least two--one to side by side with the KBS release and one for next year to compare with the 2014--I bet a year will make it even better. Well done--a trade worthy NC offering.

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Photo of nUgZ
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber from the 2011 release.

A: Pours an extremely dark color, almost pitch black with a half finger head and some lacing.

S: Lots of fruit, dark chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, and bourbon.

T: Very sweet and nicely balanced flavors of hops, malts, honey, oak, chocolate, and a touch of alcohol. The bourbon aging works wonderfully with this one.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with good carbonation.

O: This is a great example of what can be done with a barrel aged stout. I am very impressed. I'll have to see if I can get a couple bottles of this years release.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz, 2011 vintage
5oz mini snifter

A: Pours really deep black color. Some reddish hues toward the corners of the glass. Just a faint light head. Fades quickly to a ring. Seems to be nicely carbed. Like the look of this one.

S: Great nose on this one. Even after a year in the bottle, a big bourbon forward nose. I love it. Big vanilla, toffee and oak. Deep roasted malt character as well. Some coffee. Some dark chocolate blending with the bourbon.

T: Wow. I am shocked, but this is right up there for me. Wasn't expecting to like it this much. Tons of sweet vanilla flavor from that BA'ing. As with the nose, still really dominant but it's blended so well. Doesn't hurt that the ABV is a little lower too. Getting dark chocolate with that toffee/caramel/vanilla/oak flavor. Some coffee is there, but that is not the main flavor. Long finish that only improves as this beer warms.

M: Full bodied. Mouth coated.

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Photo of derftron
4.51/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Friend brought back a bottle to Oregon from N. Carolina

bomber split between 4 of us

smell was of chocolate, oak, honey, sugar, bourbon

very little head and small amount of lacing left on gleass

this beer was a real treat. sooo smooth and tasty. never had anything from this brewery and we were all very impressed. just a solid imperial stout that drank bigger than 8.5% would lead you to believe. definite sweetness to the beer, but very well balanced and had a good bourboun.oak character that evened things out. loved it

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.51/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle

A- Deep dark pitch black with medium to medium low on lacing, dark coffee in color. Minimal legs.

S- Even at it low ABV relatively speaking with some other big BA stouts, this comes off as a chocolate-first bourbon bomb. Nice toffee and creamy malt notes in there too! There is a lot going on in this beer.

T- Following the nose with big chocolate, a very nice calm and very present bourbon presence. The toffee and smooth malt is there to finish a superbly made BA stout.

M- My knock on Lindley was the lack of carb; this has the perfect about of carb and it is very smooth and very creamy. Love it.

O- Olde Hickory is new on my radar, but I love the BA stouts they are doing!!

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Photo of russpowell
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this today at the Olde Hickory Tap Room down town...

Pour black & oily with a modicum of tan head. Minimal head retention & some sticky lacing

Nice Bourbon notes, some cheyy, oak & vanilla

Dark chocolate, Bourbon, & oakyness up front. A touch of dryness gives way to a bit of earthy coffee & molasess with nice vnnilla swwetness. Finishes dry, smooth & soothing, not perfect, but a damn good take on the stylr

MF: Chewy,sooth & warming

Drank very easy for the style. This brewery has really progessed in the last few-3 years, well done OHB. You've done this ex-Hickory, NC resident proud!

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Photo of airohead2001
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to glazeman. Accompanied by the Z-pack. Really excited to try this beer.

This is a pretty looking beer. Started with a beautiful looking 2 finger brown-red, coffee appearing head that eventually faded. A good swirl or two brings the thick foam back. Brown-yellow syrup coats the walls of the snifter.

The smell is perfect for the style - combines the vanilla, nuttiness, and maple syrup of CBS with the dark fruits of Dark Lord.

Taste is also one of the best of it's style - Smoooth bourbon and vanilla through out with roasted coffee in the background. Whereas other bourbon American stouts end with a harsh bitter finish, The Event Horizon is smooth through the finish. The balance is perfect.

THICK THICK THICK. Great mouthfeel.

Thanks to the smooth balance of this outstanding beer, the drinkability is very high.

Overall, this beer was amazing. Nuff said.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black with a small mocha head

Rich dark chocolate aroma and toasted coconut. Bright dark cherries and charred oak.

An amazingly bold flavors for a lower abv barrel aged imp. stout. Milk chocolate and rich malt coats your tongue. Finishes with high quality bitter dark chocolate and medium toasted oak. Bourbon doesn't push through very well but is rather soft and intertwined within the milk chocolate. I wouldn't mind it being more pronounced. This beer is so rich and silky and you could easily put back a few glasses. Hype warranted.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bomber into a Darkness glass. Thanks go out to the generous kingkong for sending this my way. Shared at a tasting.

A: Fully black body under a finger of incredibly dense, creamy brown head. Terrific retention and lacing. Gorgeous stout.

S: Big, sweet, and roasty. Chocolate, molasses, licorice, bourbon, vanilla, coconut, and just a hint of dark fruit. Complex and lovely.

T: Roasty up front, with dark chocolate dominating while coffee and molasses swirl underneath; some bourbon and vanilla nuances show up midway through, but the base stout's malt and roast are always more noticeable than the barrel. The finish is a little odd, combining vanilla with surprising dryness from the roastiness. Absolutely spectacular overall: not overwhelming in any way, and drinkable throughout. Terrific stout.

M: Medium-to-full body with lots of creamy froth. A little over the top carbonation-wise, but extremely enjoyable nonetheless.

O: I flirted with giving this one a perfect score for flavor, but shied away in the end - only because its impeccable balance made me feel like something was ever-so-slightly missing. I could have dealt with just a big more bourbon presence, and look forward to trying a fresh bottle of the 2011 vintage to see if the barrel is more prominent right out of the gate. Terrific beer, and entirely worthy of its high scores - if not some of the outsized trades it was demanding a while back. Huge thanks, again, to kingkong for generously making this one possible.



I was fortunate enough to try the new 2011 version of this (also thanks to kingkong's remarkable generosity), and it was every bit as delicious. I can't believe how much flavor they pack into such a moderate ABV. Terrific beer.

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Photo of Rutager
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle. Thanks for this and all the other great bottles, mrbubbler.

Appearance. Pours a thick black with half a finger of deep brown head.

Smell. Chocolate truffles with some woody, vanilla bourbon and a little bit of liccorice and molasses. If I didn't read the label, I wouldn't have got the floral honey that I'm also picking up, but I did read it so whatever... ;-)

Taste. Huge dark chocolate and some warm bourbon. A nice sweetness present that doesn't drown out the chocolate bitterness and dark roasted malt.

Mouthfeel. Big and thick mouthfeel with low+ carbonation and a bit of smooth boozy warmth. Very nice.

Overall. I knew I'd like this beer because I've been dreaming about Lindley Park since I tried it. This didn't disapoint with a ton of dark chocolate and a nice complimentary amount of smooth bourbon. Great stuff.

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Photo of ASUBeer
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured into a large snifter.

A: a dark, oily stout with a small dark tan head that spreads out and then falls back to the edge of the glass.

S: the nose on this beer is terrific. You get a smooth oak, bourbon scent with a light tobacco, molasses and honey in there too.

T: so mellow and balanced. I'm really surprised by how balanced this is while basically fresh. You get a warm dark chocolate and honey taste that is quickly chased with a warm bourbon and oak taste.

M. Very silky and the honey definitely gives it a sticky texture that makes it a very nice, slow sipping stout.

O: Overall this is a home run of a barrel age stout that really is different than most BA stouts I've had. The nose is fantastic and this beer is very smooth for being do young.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to a couple guys for this.

4.0 A: Black color. One and a half fingers of creamy medium brown head. Retention is about average and a thick ring of lacing is left behind.

5.0 S: The nose exceeds any expectations I've had. This gives off rich and powerful, yet graceful aromas. Tons and tons of sweet milk chocolate with a soft, smooth roastiness. Lightly leathery bourbon nows enters the scene and in perfect proportion. The beer itself is easily the main attraction, but the bourbon adds an impressive sideshow. The bourbon itself is woody overall with oak and vanilla coming from the barrel. Sweet caramel and molasses, with the slightest touch of honey.

4.5 T: Bourbon and honey are much more prominent in the taste, especially the honey. Still a good bit of chocolate, but nowhere near as much as in the nose. Again, plenty of caramel and molasses with a soft roastiness. Light earthy hop flavor. Leather and a touch of char from the bourbon along with a good bit of vanilla and oak. Pretty much no booze. Honey gives it's distinct flavor in moderate proportions.

4.0 M: Heavier medium to heavy body. Quite heavy for the ABV. Good moderate carbonation. Woody aftertaste. Creamy, but I wish it was more so to give a velvety texture.

4.5 D: This is a very good beer, there's no doubt about that. I'm not a huge fan of stouts that use honey so I'm a little negatively biased against this brew, but I would have no problem trading for it again. That said, I'd say that the hype behind this is more than justified. If you like honey stouts, this is likely the best. Well done OH.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle split with, and courtesy of, milwaukeeclassic. Possibly the only saving grace during yesterday's Cutlergate.

Pours deep black with no light penetration. A thin crimson ring lines the periphery. Absolutely no legs on this beer and after no sip, no evidence is left of there having been one bad mutha in this glass. Gotta ding it for that.

Nose and taste are in harmony, so I'll comment as such. Incredibly rich chocolate cake and bitter bakers chocolate meld with a decadent creamy butterscotch. Bourbon shows as smooth vanilla along the back end. Mildly evident alcohol heat is in no way distracting. A few friends who don't typically drink stouts commented on the butterscotch blast. It works quite well and offers a slightly different dimension from many ba stouts. Overall, a silky decadent beast.

Quite thick and full bodied with a near batter like consistency. Drank like the old bowl of cake batter my mom used to give us while baking. My glass disappeared in a hurry, and while it may have been in part to the Bears early ineptitude, I believe the beer deserves most of the credit.

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Photo of Dope
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 bottle

A: Pours pitch black with a small medium brown head. Fades very quickly, only a smattering of lacing on the glass.

S: Bright and delicious bourbon. Loaded with caramel, toffee and some molasses. Brown sugar and some oaky vanilla. A bit of roasted malt character comes through with rich dark chocolate overtones. Alcohol stings just a bit. Reminds me a lot of BCBS to be honest.

T: Up front, some caramel and toffee with a bit of alcohol burn. Strong dark chocolate with a bit of coffee, char and anise in the middle. Dark chocolate pervades the entire beer. Finishes with some strong oak and vanilla and just a hint of some dark fruit. More long lingering oak in the aftertaste. The honey shows up floating around in the aftertaste too.

M: Not as heavy as you'd expect but it is oh so creamy and smooth. A touch chalky in the aftertaste.

O: An excellent barrel aged IS. So creamy and chocolatey! It's sort of like drinking brownie batter or maybe chocolate cake. Sweet (but not overly so like some) and chocolately with a wonderful balance of complex flavors. Top notch example of the style, kind of like a slightly less harsh BCBS but with a little more chocolate. A must-have for the chocolate lover.

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The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
4.36 out of 5 based on 1,715 ratings.
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