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 | website

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:
1,703
Avg:
4.36
pDev:
21.33%
 
 
Wants:
853
Gots:
545
For Trade:
86
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Reviews: 287 | Ratings: 1,703
Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look - Pitch black and oily, no carbonation and no head at all.

Smell - What a smell! Has a nice roasty coffee smell that hits you immediately. Definitely on the sweeter side; molasses, brown sugar, malts, honey, vanilla, bourbon, and all come together to create an incredible smell. Surprisingly, very mild dark chocolate scent, Unlike most reviewers who seemed to sense this strongly.

Taste - Much roast-ier than the smell, sets a great base for a rich, sweet beer. Bitter chocolate, oak, bourbon and some vanilla and honey dominate this beer. Aftertaste of coffee, not the greatest to me, tastes like *old* coffee.

Feel - Least favorite part of this beer, it seems like a contradiction to me... It's almost as if it's a mixture of oil and some water, it hits you thick, but once you swallow, I realized it was much thinner than I originally expected.

Overall - Excellence upfront, results in average results on the back end... but you get a beer for what it gives you overall, and this beer's positives definitely outweigh the negatives.

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Photo of Radome
4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from a 22 oz bottle.

L - Super dark brown with maybe some ruby red in the thin line along the glass that light penetrates. Initially a fine dark tan head that fades to almost nothing. A tiny whisp of lacing.

S - Incredibly complex nose has chocolate, espresso, bourbon whiskey, vanilla, plums.

T - Depth of flavor is unbelievable, especially in an imperial stout of relatively low ABV (for the style). Coffee, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak all swirl about and last forever in the finish.

F - Thick body and low but creamy carbonation seem appropriate to the experience. Moderate to high alcohol presence fits in well. Strong hops blends with the roasted coffee-like bitterness.

O - This is a great example of the style. Barrel aging mellows and adds complexity to a great imperial stout.

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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 gopens44
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks very nice with a black, opaque body and deep copper / brown head that leaves behind just enough lacing to look pretty involved.

There is a great nose to this, which is best described as a blend of Bavarian creme and that fancy, rich, subtle European chocolate. Like Toblerone are along those lines.

Taste is equally fun, as this may be the most well balanced BA'd RIS I've ever had. Fun chocolate, subtle bourbon and a little coffee in the finish. You certainly get the barrel, but it's not overpowering and does not contribute any sort of astringent element to a barely noticeable heat.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 11/18/2015. Poured into pint glass. It pours jet black with a foamy, mocha-colored head and lacing. It's a very aromatic stout with a strong fragrance of bourbon, Cocoa, toffee, and coffee. The smell is very inviting! The first taste encountered is the bourbon; it's strong but smooth and mellow. It is followed by honey, toffee, milk chocolate, coffee, and a hint of dark fruit. It's absolutely decadent; one of the best BA stouts I've ever had. What is really impressive is the mouth feel It's rich and creamy as expected but with an ABV of 8.5% it's not overpowering like BCBS or KBS. It might be a little less viscous than the latter but the flavor is right with them. Overall, I'm thrilled to be able to try this. It is a world-class BA Imperial Stout that is right up there with the kings of the style.

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Photo of FBGordon
4.43/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. 2014 vintage.

A: Pours get black with a mocha head that pops up after the fact and quickly dissipates into a slim ring. A tiny bit of uniform lacing.

S: Lots going on. Chocolate, coffee, a little bourbon, as well as notes of honey, hazelnut and vanilla bean.

T: Smooth dark chocolate and bourbon up front with a touch of honey and graham cracker on the back end. A pleasant roasty bitterness on the back end with the chocolate.

M: Smooth as glass with tiny carbs up front, it glides across the palate like silk. Finishes clean with almost no alcohol warming.

O: Absolutely fantastic. I don't know what it tastes like the day after bottling, but the age on this one couldn't have hurt. It's one of the more delicious stouts I've had in a while. Cheers!

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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 Dactrius
4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Jet black with minimal head. Smell and taste are pure and intense bourbon, vanilla and chocolate. Definitely reminds me of BCBS but it's crazy that this is just 8.5ABV, it tastes and feels like a much, much bigger stout. This has got to be the best BB stout I've had at this low of an ABV.

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Photo of KensWorld
4.6/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From 22oz bomber bottled 11/18/2015 picked up in Asheville month ago. Below average looking. Smell is typical of stout, but no BA smell or taste. Still Extremely complex tasting, full bodied and unique. Great stout. World class!

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.34/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours black and oily. Small khaki head is very slow to form and vanishes quickish. Some small amount of spiderweb lacing.

Bourbon and oak on the nose. Dark chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla, and caramel.

Big oak and vanilla barrel notes on first sip. Roasted malt and caramel. Bourbon is there but mild, much less than expected considering the nose.

Rich, creamy mouth feel. Moderate carbonation. Oily on the tongue. Barrel is very prominent and lingers. Just the right amount of sweetness to balance the barrel and roasted malt.

Really big barrel notes without a very strong bourbon presence.

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Photo of wulfie85
3.9/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good beer, but nothing I would seek out. The oak and the bourbon came through well from the barrel, however wa not as thick as I was hoping for. Still good thoug

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Photo of tbryan5
4.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2011 Vintage poured into tulip. (5 years old)

This beer lived up to the hype for me. Completely oaky and boozy without being overwhelming. Great body and mouthfeel. It wasn't like oil but was not watered down either. An amazing beer that will surprise you at 8.5%. I haven't had it fresh but age hasn't hurt this beer in the least.

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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 ThisWangsChung
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage at Tasty Beverage Co.

I really love the bourbon qualities of the aroma - there is a ton of oak, vanilla, and banana, topped with a hint of coconut. Despite the age, there's still a bit of black coffee floating around, along with plenty of honey, dark chocolate, and roasted malt. I love how it condenses so many notes I love in a BA stout, while staying in a smaller package. The flavor profile is heavy on the dark chocolate and dark fruits. Not as roasted and barrel-y as the nose suggested, but both show up as wonderful subtleties on the mid-taste and finish. No alcohol is to be found, but plenty of dark chocolate, vanilla, and coconut are. The feel, though a touch light, compensates with a skillful combination of coating richness and clean dryness. I could, would, and probably should drink this all damn day. Olde Hickory is now on my watch list after what can only be described as a masterpiece.

4.54/5: Best black hole ever!

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Photo of clayrock81
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a black body with minimal head and tan lace ring down glass. Aroma is boozy like bourbon, woody, chocolate and coffee as well and even hints of dark fruits like toffee and prune. 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 minor boozy aspect of this beer is evident in the heated finish but even this is tempered from notes of honey, toffee and dark fruits like prunes/raisins. Dangerous sipper as there are lots of flavors to taste while the booze doesn't hit you.

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Photo of chinchill
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

December 2014 bottle.

Nicely sweet with excellent, moderate BB aging affects.
Great balance. Moderate complexity. Exceptionally smooth. Well hidden alcohol.
Overall: excellent

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Photo of smanson56
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark black color into my snifter glass. the dark tan head disappeared fast at the end of the pour.
The beer is something that is barrel aged from the nose. This is a wonderfully done beer from the nose.
The taste follows the nose lots of barrel aging and lots of nicely roasted malts perhaps a little coffee overtone but it might be from the roasted malts.
The mouth feel is perfect nice smooth the creaminess is there the way a great BBA stout should be

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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 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 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 Rizzy17
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Pours like motor oil. Thick and dark. Dark brown head.
S: Figs, raisins, molasses on the nose. It smells fantastic.
T: Figs, molasses, and chocolate. Some sweetness towards the end, might be honey or vanilla, I can't tell. Gets boozier as it warms.
F: Smooth and thick.
O: Wow. Super complex. There's a lot going on here. Very good!

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Photo of GOBLIN
4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aromas for this beer are out of bounds ! Appearance isn't as pitch black as I would like to see but still pours a respectable dark with a thin khaki colored head. Flavors of chocolate, maple syrup and bourbon mingle with the roasted malts and create a slick and sticky barrel aged imperial stout. Overall, not as full bodied as I would have hoped . . . Actually I had a fresh bottle of this a year ago and thought it was much better. With a year on this one I don't think the aging has done this beer justice. However, it's still a very tasty and well made stout with enjoyable barrel character that you can still easily drink the whole bomber by yourself and not hate yourself tomorrow. On this cold and rainy winter evening . . . It's just right.

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Photo of TimZebGir
4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I feel like the taster I had on tap was fuller bodied and creamier which is why I bought this bottle. The bottle had me a little underwhelmed, but that's not saying much since I was blown away at the Hickory tasting room.

A (3/3) - Very dark, basically black with thick creamy head that resembles dark foamed milk
S (11/12) - Heavy dark chocolate notes with hints of bourbon, on subsequent sniffs the alcohol comes through a little stronger
T (16/20) - Chocolatey goodness with a sour bourbon finish
M (5/5) - Pretty creamy with a dry and bubbly finish
O (8/10) - Proof that a barrel-aged beer doesn't have to kick you in the face with bourbon, dark malt, and alcohol, this beer is subtle...and as I'm writing that I realize how ridiculous it is that this heavy-hitter counts as subtle in 2016.
(43/50)

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Drank over xmas 2015 with the brother and whatnot. Pours black, tan head, 1/8". Aroma of wood and bourbon, chocolate is minimal.

Good sweetness as if rye barrel. A little bit of bitterness quickly fades as the more sticky chocolate malt helps out like its the calvary. A little bit of bourbon in every sip. Good stuff, but its also nothing to trade across the country for. Solid 2nd tier offering. Honey is good for the mouthfeel.

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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.

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The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
4.36 out of 5 based on 1,703 ratings.
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