The Event Horizon | Olde Hickory Brewery

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BA SCORE
96
world-class
287 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:
287
Ratings:
1,704
Avg:
4.36
pDev:
8.72%
 
 
Wants:
853
Gots:
545
For Trade:
87
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Reviews: 287 | Ratings: 1,704
Photo of claaark13
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one arrived unexpectedly on a Friday afternoon. Poured into a Founders snifter. Thanks morimoto, what a surprise.

A - Black, thick appearance with a thick medium tan colored head. Lacing remains across the surface once the head clears. Sticks well to the side of the glass.

S - Just about as bourbon forward as it can get, with some licorice sneaking through. Very potent, very appealing.

T - Honey, bourbon, cocoa. The taste feels a little light in the middle. Finishes with some more bourbon, oak and some hints of cocoa. The flavor is lighter than I'd expect, and doesn't allow for any of the individual notes to dominate. The honey helps carry the flavors from start to finish.

M - Medium and slightly prickly body. The beer appears to be thicker than it feels on the tongue. Highly drinkable based on the somewhat subdued flavor and medium body.

O - Although I find the flavor to be a little light for a BA RIS, this beer drinks so easily. It is also impressive that it is kept at 8.5% with this much bourbon in the aroma and flavor.

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Photo of TheElectricOne
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a coupla tulip glasses, 11/18/2015 batch date:

Appearance: pours super dark brown, basically black in color with a thick and fluffy espresso-colored head. Head sticks around with plenty of retention, leaving spotty lacing. Brew looks semi-syrupy on the pour.

Aroma: potent notes of dark chocolate, wood, and lots of barrel character. No heat at all, and the barrel is nice and soft, lending wood, char, and some mild vanilla.

Taste: WOW. First beer I've ever had from Olde Hickory, but this was a treat. For an 8.5% stout, I don't know how this much flavor was possible. Layer upon layer of decadence, in the form of roasty dark coffee and chocolate, as well as solid barrel notes the whole way through. No booziness at all. Light vanilla, some smoky wood characteristics. This is the real deal.

Feel: again, how this full a body and viscosity is possible at just 8.5% is crazy.

Overall: this was a big surprise, as this bottle was an extra, but it is a fantastic beer. I'd drink this stout any day of the week.

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Photo of SFNC
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as night with practically no head
Smell is Bourbon, tobacco, molasses, scorched sugar and bakers chocolate. Very, very nice!
Taste; Mimics the smell, but this might have spent a little too long in the barrel. The bourbon is quite strong, also a tad too sweet, still enjoyable, but a little restraint would have this in the stratosphere.
Feel is sticky and a big burn from the bourbon. A tad harsh and I love bourbon!
Overall, despite the negatives, quite enjoyable. Some tweaks and this would be mind-blowing!

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Photo of s1ckboy
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottle with about 6 months of age on it.

A - Black body with a finger or so of tan head.

S - Bourbon, oak, sweeness (honey I suppose), hint of dark fruits.

T - A lot of bitterness initially that lingers, chocolate, bourbon, prunes/dates, not really picking up the honey. Bourbon is a bit on the hot side, could have aged this for a while longer.

M - On the lighter side of full. Fairly smooth even with the hot bourbon. Medium carbonation.

Smells sweet, tastes bitter. I think some age would do this a lot of good. Should have gotten 2!

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Photo of ChadQuest
3/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had two differant bottles both Pre & during DLD, One from Hannydawg and not sure about the others bringer, but thanks to both for keeping me from trading alot away for the chance to try this one.
The pour is less dark then expected and is a dark brown with moderate viscosity. I't looks average for a 8.5% stout, i would have liked to see more viscosity & depth of color.
The aroma and flavors really took me off guard, and had huge dark fruit influence throughout with strong Prune & Raisons, with a Soy & Molasses paste holding it together. There was powdered cacao blended in somewhat. I didn't notice any heat and no barrel influence either which was a let down, as being from PVW barrels this is treated as if gold.

This was one of the beers i was really excited for when i saw it out, but it was a let down. I even gave it a 2nd chance the next day, and can't report any differant.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dressed all in black he is, a gangly silhouette of bones, coattails and the ever-present tan top hat and collar, his signature of sorts. Few know his story, they only know him as the lurker upon the street corner, to be seen by the lamplight, and a "g'devenin sir," or "howdy, ma'am," all to be heard. Next to the old baker's shop, he can sometimes be seen seated comfortably atop an old icing-bucket, humming small swatches of forgotten tunes and grinning at any passersby, as some small children run to him and give him great big hugs, while others cower behind their well-to-do mothers who hurry past.
The aromas waft out of the bakery-door... The old walls of oak still lending their peculiar brand to all of the other aromas that are fighting their way to be first in your nostrils, perhaps they'll make a lasting impression and you'll choose this bread or that pastry... toffee, almonds, coconut, chocolate, a peculiar candy-sweetness from all of the sugar caramelizing, and he smiles and lights his pipe as you step into the wonderland of flavours and tastes, he looks on from outside as each new flavour captures you in its grasp and takes your tastebuds and mind on a fantasy tour, one complete with the low humming of his forgotten songs and the occasional "howdy do!"
So you pull your bourbon-flask from your pocket and take a pull between each new delectable treat that is placed before you, and the experience melds into something like this: bourbon barrel infused with toffee and chocolate, coconut and vanilla, "g'day sir," coffee-bitter with amaretto and cocoa, "Yes ma'am, well ma'am, thankee ma'am," a slight warm finish of dark chocolate and hazelnut-cream "evenin, young feller."
Thin and warm, the bourbon washes down the wisps of sugar-cane and brown sugar, a plain-as-day representation of a light syrup extracted to a dark brown congelatin chocolate monster, a ridiculously roasty and nutty version of the style...
So you step down and out of the shop, a few choice parcels under your arm and a slight lilt in your voice, "g'day, sir," "g'day young feller. Find somethin' to your likin?"
"Yes sir."
"Well son, I tell 'ee... naught but a few in this 'eer warn world can build 'em like 'at. You'd a-better enjoy that 'un. I heard tell the ol' shop-keeps about done in this 'eer warn world. You'd a-better enjoy them 'uns awhile 'ees 'eer... I spect when he goes on up to the great kitchen, well 'eel receive a job well done... but me, son, I'll be a-movin on, and make no mistake."
"Thank you sir."
"g'day, son. Make your mama proud today."
"Yes sir."

Thanks to kkipple for a taste of this.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours - Jet black with thick mocha head, excellent lacing.

Smell - There is a big honey and dark bitter chocolate smell, the bourbon also stands out. Oak smell as well as a touch of vanilla.

Taste - The honey and bitter chocolate take over the taste, the bourbon is also prominent. The taste is very powerful and all of the ingredients stand out it is very well balanced.

Feel - Heavy rich feel, well carbonated. Sightly dry on the end.

Overall - This beer tastes as described, i am not sure if I was expecting more from what I have heard about this but wile it was good it did not live up to what I was expecting. Could be my fault from what I was expecting.

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Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally found a bottle of the 2012 release over the weekend and was anxiously looking forward to popping it last night. This beer is pretty legendary in our parts, and the mixture of several malts, 4 hops, locally farmed honey and aging in bourbon barrels is infamous. Poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head glass.

A: Near jet black/brown, no turbidity but virtually opaque. Minimal head, first pour gave me maybe 5mm thin line and 2nd pour (a little warmer and more vigourous) gave be a nice 2 finger chocolate brown head which pretty minimal retention and some light lacing.

S: You immediately get the feeling that this will be a big boozy monster. You smell the honey sweetness first, but the bourbon notes dominate the nose. Nose is almost quad-like and says "buckle up".

T: Again you get honey and brown sugar sweetness on the entry, with a finish which is really driven by the charred bourbon barrels. It's nice and very elegant. This beer changes dramatically in complexity as it warms and opens up. First pour (cool) is really driven by honey and bourbon, but once it warms for 15 - 20 minutes you start to pick up lots of other layers: dry cocoa powder, toffee , caramel and vanilla. Almost each sip can be a little different. Really complex and intriguing. This is not a boozy beer at all, no alcohol burn, the nose is just deceiving in that it gives you that impression that you are in for a monster.

MF: Really slick, oily and viscous. Not fork and knife thick like some imperial stouts, but definitely substantial. Coats the mouth in a very sexual way which is addictive, especially near the bottom of the glass. I actually would have liked a bump more carbonation to release the flavors more fully, but I think subtle is part of the plot here.

All in all, A truly EPIC beer which lives up to the hype of being one of the best, if not , the best beer brewed in North Carolina. Definitely worth searching and definitely worth cellaring. Let it open and warm a bit for maximum enjoyment.

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Photo of RAlmeida77
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - Deep black...very minimal head forms and dissipates quickly.
S - Sweetness....honey, bourbon and chocolate. Smells very decadent.
T - Exactly as the nose. Nice sweetness from the honey. Notes of bourbon and some fudginess. Drinks thick for 8.5%abv.
M - Super smooth. Coats the mouth and throat with chocolate and honey deliciousness.
O - Really shocked at how amazing this beer is. Thoroughly enjoyed though the bomber is a bit much to drink by your self due to the sweetness. Will seek this out again.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to kbutler1 for sharing this one.

22 oz bottle poured into a KBS snifter glass.

A- Pours pretty thick, dark brown basically black color, dark brown ½ finger head, really nice lacing when you stir it up.
S- The aroma is very nice, big bourbon aroma, vanilla, oak, nice rich chocolate aroma, dark malts, sweet bitterness.
T- The taste is very similar to the aroma with some dark fruit flavors coming out, rich chocolate, dark malt, pretty sweet, slight roasted notes, oak, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, really rich complex beer.
M- Medium/big mouth feel, decent carbonation, smooth and creamy, slight dry finish.
O- I was really impressed with this beer. Really easy drinkability, each sip was rich and complex, really nice dessert beer.

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Photo of OneEye78
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a deep black with almost no head. Taste of molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, a hint of chocolate and a slight barrel spice. A little sweeter than I like, but very well done.

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Photo of Soonami
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BrewerDan23 for generously sharing a bottle of Event Horizon at a recent tasting. I am now ISO of one, although the 900 bottle run might make it tough to get.

This beer is pitch black with mocha that quickly dissolves to a finely knit ring of lace. The aroma is earthy and mushroomy featuring the smell of freshly baked bread and a light whiff of bourbon. The beer tastes very creamy and light on the palate for a double stout. There is a hot chocolate quality to the roasted malt that isn't too harsh or astringent. It's not too sweet with a great drying oaky bourbon finish. As it warms the barrel character really comes out and you can really pick out toasted coconut.

This is a delicious beer and I guess the delicate menage of malt, roast, barrel and bourbon is helped by the low ABV that really allows the individual ingredients to shine and not be masked by the high alcohol or residual sweetness. This definitely lives up to the hype.

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Photo of rpstevens
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to brentk56 for this SS10 bomber. Poured into a New Belgium goblet. The beer has a deep black center with hazy brown edges and a thin mocha head that quickly fades to a tight ring, leaving some traces of oily lacing.

The smell is really great on this one. Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, deep-dark red cherries and roasty malts. The dark and roasted characters give way to sweet caramel, vanilla, alcohol and generous amounts of honey before the bourbon and barrel really take over. The bourbon smell is really spot on, it overwhelms once you catch hold of it, but it's pleasant and welcome.

The taste follows the smell, but it's a bit more muted. The sweet notes of honey, vanilla and caramel hit the tongue first, followed by the dark chocolate, roasted malt and barrel flavors. The finish is all sweet bourbon heat and dark fruits, the flavor will probably develop with a little time in the bottle.

The beer is well carbonated and has a nice heavy body, fitting for the style. I would have guessed that this beer would be 11-12% based on the nose and taste, so I am surprised to see that it's only 8.5%. The alcohol is a bit overbearing, it's a sipper but it's good. This beer was a welcome surprise, glad I got to try it.

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Photo of divineaudio
4.2/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle courtesy of chrisheartsbeer. poured into my founders snifter.

a - pours black. no light escapes this one! gave me a pinky's worth of dark brown head that quickly calmed to a film and left a few spots of lacing here and there.

s - vanilla, bourbon, raisin, faintly herbal, faint booziness.

t - wow! bold barrel flavors here with plenty of other things going on for complexity. vanilla and bourbon are at the forefront, but there is also an espresso-like malt base underneath. has notes of raisin, molasses, faint charcoal and a mild sort of booziness. bitterness shows up as a mild earthiness and the beer finishes bittersweet.

m -full bodied for sure. carbonation level is adequate, but could stand just a bit more. finer co2 profile, slight alcohol warming. very rich.

o - a (very) rich and decadent barrel aged stout that i enjoyed quite a bit. i especially like the fact that it's not a 12% or 14% monster so i can drink a little more of it, though finishing a whole bomber is a challenge due to it's sheer richness. i'd love to get my hands on another bottle or two to save for special occasions.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
3.68/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Poured into a snifter. It was pitch black with a tiny ring of mocha colored foam that didn't leave any lacing.

S-Coffee, chocolate, bourbon, blackstrap molasses

T-Roasted malt, coffee, bourbon, leather, and a lingering flavor that I can only describe as like an artificial sweetener.

M-Fairly thick and creamy, with not much carbonation at all.

D-This was a one and done for me I didn't like the leather note and the lingering odd aftertaste.

Overall, I was disappointed in this beer. I have had Olde Hickory's regular imperial stout and thought it was amazing, but this let me down. However, I would try this again and recommend others trying it as well.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%

Poured from the 11 oz bottle into a snifter glass.
Pours jet black with minimal caramel head.
Smells a lot like bourbon and roasted cherries.
Tastes huge. Intense flavor of a cherry cordial and roasted malts. Tons of cherry, tons of chocolate.
Mouthfeel is is very thick and very heavy.
A sipping beer that will fill you up very fast. Intense flavor.

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Photo of cardsfan
4.92/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Wow, what more can I say. I just picked one of these up really because their was a limit on how many you could get. Ended up being my favorite beer. At 8.5%, it is super smooth and extremely easy to drink. While I love the BCBS, the 15% can sometimes be overwhemling whereas Event Horizon's % is perfect. Small and great colored head, fantastic vanillia and bourbon smell and the taste is exactly what you want in a bourbon barreled stout. By far my favorite beer and would love to get some more!

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Photo of uvachief
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 edition. Bottle. Poured a pitch black body with minimal head and tan lacing. Not a lot of head and head dissolved quickly. This concerned me. Smell is slight bourbon, aged oak, chocolate, toffee and raisins??? Coffee buried in there. Taste is very small. What I mean is you don't get overwhelmed with booze or bourbon. It's a smooth but only medium bodied stout. You get all the traditional imperial stout rates including above but vanilla and mild coffee. Smooth, medium-bodied beer with great balance along with bits of stickiness and there are hints of everything including mild coffee, vanilla, wood, chocolate and booze. The taste really improved as it warmed up. Finish is a little hint of coffee, chocolate and bourbon. It's really smooth and easy to drink. Not a high ABV so this one you could drink several and enjoy. Really liked it. Try it!

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Photo of humuloner22
4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I had this one fresh and aged from the 2011 edition. This review reflects the aged edition of this one. It was poured into my favorite imperial pint glass and allowed to open up to the air for several minutes. The color was dark and murky just like a good stout should be. It had a slight red hue but overall a pretty good indication of what was ahead. The smell was so nice a slight sweetness but also had a richness to it. Also you could smell the bourbon in the beer which I love. I don't know how accurate the information I received was but I hear it was aged in used Pappy Van Winkle barrels, which is the big chief in bourbon these days. That information alone shows that these guys know there stuff when aging beer. The taste was thick and inviting with a sweetness but not cloying. You could definitely taste some dark plum, dried fruit, but also coffee, toffee and the honey playing a subtle role in all of it. The biggest and most impressive characteristic was the bourbon. You could definitely taste the bourbon and oh it was so grand, although this does have a good bit of alcohol it is balanced well with the more prevalent flavors incorporated in this very complex stout. I would rate this beer as one of the best ones I have ever had in its category and look forward to trying some of the 2012 editions as I have a few bottles being cellared as this is written. If you can get your hands on this beer, whatever edition you will not be dissatisfied.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
3.1/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled at Sexual Chocolate 2011. Pours a deep black color with a thick brownish white head and a small amount of lacing. Smells of sweet chocolate and coffee. Tastes of coffee, chocolate, toffee, and some roasted malts. No hops anywhere. Mouthfeel is medium and drinkability is low. I don't care for it.

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Photo of Jmoore50
3.48/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am very particular with my barrel aged stouts. Look at my reviews and you will tell which ones I prefer. jh1982 brought this one out and I didn't think it was spectacular. He said he preferred the other Olde Hickory Stouts, which he had a few days before.

The appearance on this is great. It is a dark thick black, and poured heavily produces a nice fluffy brown head. Its thick, its black, and the head retention is good.

The smell is of sweet bourbon, tons of bitter cocoa, some roasted malts and vanilla. It smells incredibly sweet.

Lots of bitter cocoa, a strong character in this. It has a sweet bourbon and sweet honey taste that is left in the background by the cocoa. LOADS of cocoa, like hot chocolate mix. Not really melding well, kind of muddled. I wouldn't say it was smooth, but its got a lot of flavor going on.

Its a pretty heavy beer with good carbonation. The bitterness from the beer paired with the bourbon threw me off a bit. Overall I could pick a few dozen better barrel aged stouts, and this would not be one of them. Kind of let down, but still not a terrible beer at all.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of my Beer & Cigars BIF package - thanks mjmadden! (Enjoyment shared with 5 other people)

A. Pours black with a bit of creamy tan head that leaves a bit of lacing.

S. Cocoa with bourbon and vanilla with a touch of dark fruit (figs) with honey/ molasses sweetness.

T. Dark chocolate, bourbon, bright honey sweetness, dark fruits with more bitterness becoming more apparent on the tail.

M. Medium bodied with a medium level of creamy carbonation. A bit dry on the end.

D. I really like this beer; possibly my favorite from NC (over BA Sexual Chocolate).

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Photo of winningwes91
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Definitely the second best ba stout nc has. Looks exactly like Lindley park. Smells like chocolate and bourbon with a little hint of vanilla in the background. Taste is more vanilla dominant. Excellent stuff

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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

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Photo of JohnG190
4.74/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks Jeffrey2310. 2013 bottle. Pours pitch black with no discernable head. Lots of chocolate on the nose with hints of bourbon. Probably the best representation of chocolate in a stout that I have come across. Chocolate dominates the palate with hints of vanilla, bourbon, and dark fruit. Full bodied mouthfeel that is bolstered by the utter lack of carbonation. Finishes slightly bitter, with a final flourish of chocolate. Overall, an extremely complex and layered stout that definately benefited from a year in the cellar.

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The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
4.36 out of 5 based on 1,704 ratings.
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