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The Event Horizon | Olde Hickory Brewery

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289 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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 289 | Ratings: 1,717
Photo of GabrielM
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Bruery snifter.

A - a body as dark as a black hole with a half an inch of espresso-colored foamy head on top.

S - the smell is amazing! Sweet bourbon and honey are pouring out of my glass, as well as hints of chocolate, coffee and oak.

T - everything the nose predicted - bourbon dominates, followed by chocolate, coffee, vanilla and some honey sweetness. The oak and some bitterness close it out as it flows down the throat.

M - ultra creamy with the perfect amount of carbonation.

O - this is an excellent representation of the style and one I've been wanting to try for a while now. Great bourbon, coffee and vanilla notes put this is the upper tier as far as I'm concerned.

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Photo of brystmar
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from 2010. Opened alongside the 2011 for comparison.

Roasty malts, caramel, fudge, bourbon, and vanilla fill my nostrils. Full, creamy body greets me with well-balanced bourbon flavors against the rich stout base. Molasses and deeply roasted malts shine here. A touch of dark fruits hit my throat as I swallow, somehow imparting zero alcoholic warmth. This is a very good RIS.

The '10 was significantly more complex and better layered than the '11, which tasted amateur-ish by comparison. The newer batch had a little too much bourbon, and it didn't integrate well with the other flavors present. I was quite disappointed in the '11, truth be told, particularly when the '10 was this good.

Would love to get my hands on another bottle of the 2010!

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Photo of birchstick
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Event Horizon

A - pours black in color without a head

S - bourbon, sweet honey, chocolates erupt out of the glass

T - sweet malts with some honey are upfront. These fade to a really nice chocolate flavor that move on to some great bourbon flavors.

M - thin but and a little dry, but works welll

D - really solid brew overall. This is one of the best barrel aged beers I have had in recent memory. Highly recommended!

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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.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.22/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

huge thanks to TATURBO for bring this out to share! Thanks Chris!

beer reviewed from notes taken 6/1/12.

Poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: Light black bodied beer with a dark brown cap that drops to a ring around the glass.

Smell: light roasty malt, honey, and chocolate chips. Just a hint of black licorice.

Taste: The smell is just a bit underwhelming compared to the nose. But it still tasty beer. Milk chocolates, black licorice, molasses. Really mellow oak, vanilla, bourbon and caramel notes.

Mouthfeel: medium body with low carbonation levels. Mellow, silky and smooth.

Overall: Really solid beer. I love my BA stouts and the addition of honey in this beer adds some really unique complexity to the nose of this beer. Love the fact that some breweries are trying to make a nice mellow stout instead of the in your face bourbon bombs. With thant said i could use just a touch more barrel notes in the taste of the beer. The nose and mouthfeel are my favorite aspects of this beer, but its a well integrated beer that melds flavors together.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 2011 waxed and capped bottle. Chilled and served into my Kate the Great tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark brown to black in color. Nice dark brown lacing around the rim. A bit lighter in color than most imperial stouts.

Aroma: Milk chocolate, fudge cake some through really strongly upfront. Lots of molasses, caramel, vanilla and bourbon all nicely balanced throughout. Really great balance of the barrel aging and the base beer.

Taste: Big chocolate cake, fudge, and a little smoke character from the base beer really is dominant upfront. Bourbon, vanilla, and caramel sweetness really start to stand out and take over. Really nice balance of the barrel character and the base beer. Not boozy at all. The lower than average ABV doesn't affect how strong the flavors are at all. This is really flavorful and balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Not too heavy at all.

Overall, a really great bourbon barrel stout. I can't believe the ABV is as low as it is. The amount of flavor and the balance is incredible. Definitely worthy of its reputation and near the top of my favorite imperial stouts.

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Photo of Duff27
4.21/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No head on dark brown/black body. Good alcohol legs.

Smells like chocolate chip cookies!! Lovely.

Follows the nose. Roasty, no astringency. Drinks bigger than 8.5%abv for sure.

Smooth medium mouthfeel, Low carbonation.

Tasty bevy here. The aroma was great. Thanks to TATURBO for bringin this.

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Photo of CruisaC
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 version thanks to Chris.

Pours a pretty standard black with a dark mocha head.

Smell is fairly dominated by bourbon. Almost a little one dimensional.

Fortunately the taste is much more complex. Some chocolate, booze, vanilla, finished with some roasted coffee mix in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is nice and thick which is fitting for a bbal stout of this magnitude.

Glad to have snagged a couple of these, one was definitely headed down my gullet.

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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 MrVonzipper
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an oily viscous black with a mocha foamy head. Decent retention and spotty lacing. 

Nice nose full of chocolate brownie and dark fruit. A little bourbon. 

Flavor is quite nice. Great balance and a wide range of flavor. Nice roasted nutty notes along with mild dark fruit, bitter chocolate, molasses, mocha coffee and a touch of rich dark honey on the back end. 

Full bodied mouth. Creamy smooth medium carbonation and a little bit dry  

This is a fantastic beer. Very well executed. Great all around.   

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Photo of derkfromwi
4.59/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Poured into New Belgium Globe glass

A: Half-inch dark mocha head that fades leaving a nice ring around edges of glass, pitch black color, decent lacing for an IS

S: Bourbon, chocolate, oak, molasses, very complex with a very nice blend of malts, touch of spiciness

T: Sweetness from honey and some malts I'm guessing, dark chocolate, bourbon, oak, bitterness from hop blend, very tasty

M: Smooth and velvety, light carbonation, medium-full bodied, a bit warming

O: Very good Imperial Stout, got a feeling that this will be gaining in popularity pretty quick, I think this beer will be a permawant for me

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Photo of Jeffo
3.97/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Got bottles of this in a couple trades. A big thanks goes out to jbeatty for the 2011 and another massive cheers to Stakem for sending us the 2010. These were well appreciated gents.

From a bomber into a snifter
Vintage: 2011
Black wax with 2011 stamped into the front

Note: Drank the 2011 and 2010 afterwards for comparison purposes. Review is for the 2011.

APPEARANCE: Pours out a thicker looking black, yielding a one finger, medium-thick looking, dark tan head with good retention. Head slowly fades to a thin, bubbly wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass. Jet black body with no carbonation evident. A slight wisp remains to the end and leaves touches of lacing down the glass. The 2010 looked exactly the same.

SMELL: Bold nose on this one with plenty of bourbon, vanilla and oak aromas. Dark chocolate and some nice molasses come through from the base beer, with the roasted qualities providing a faint base. Bold and enticing for sure. The 2010 was a touch mellower on the bourbon barrel notes, but more chocolate and base beer played a roll.

TASTE: Big flavors as well. Oak and bourbon up front with vanilla and notes of milk chocolate. A bit of nail polish remover as well, but barely worth noting. Sweet honey and dark, bitter chocolate at the swallow into a big and persistent aftertaste of bourbon, molasses, bitter dark chocolate and a touch of sweet, caramel and honey. Pretty complex and flavorful, and the barrel meshes well with the base beer. The 2010, by comparison, had mellower bourbon barrel flavors, no nail polish remover, with more chocolate and molasses. The heat from the barrels had also mellowed and made it a way smoother drink. Would score this vintage higher.

PALATE: Medium body and medium, slightly prickly carbonation. Not really creamy enough for the style, goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky on the palate. A bit of a burn at the swallow and a touch of heat lingers. Surprising, given the lower ABV. The 2010 vintage, on the other hand, was smoother, creamier, and showed no heat. Much nicer, making it a more enjoyable drink.

OVERALL: This is a more than solid, lower ABV barrel aged imperial stout. The flavors were very complex, with the barrel components and base beer working well together. This is a good example of the barrel complimenting the beer as opposed to dominating it. The rougher and slightly hot feel held it back a little, unfortunately. As a comparison, the 2010 vintage was perfectly smooth and showcased an even better balance between base beer and barrel. Decadent and impressive. Either this beer does great after a year, or the first bottling in 2010 was slightly superior. In the end, this is a solid beer worth tracking down, and I’d love to drink it again. Thanks again for the trades jbeatty and Stakem. Highly recommended.

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Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Steve - Thanks Steve !

2010 Bottle -

A: Pours a deep black with slight mocha lacing , good carbonation.

S: Slight vanilla , deep roasted malts , bourbon.

T: Vanilla , bourbon , chocolate, roasted malts , slight sweetness.

O: Overall a solid bourbon aged stout that I'm glad I had a chance to try , very well blended and balanced beer.

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Photo of schwaeh
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle

A: Dense black beer with a 3/4" tan colored head. Fairly decent lacing along the glass. High viscosity for the abv.

S: Crazy smooth bourbon chocolate. Good amounts of toffee and anise. The alcohol seems very low but all of the aroma and bite remains high. I couldn't imagine a barrel aged stout being at a better integrated point than this.

T: This is such a great base stout used here, not over the top, just damn good brewing. Bourbon is sewn into the soul of the beer at this point. Nothing overpowers or becomes too much with event horizon. Roasty, chocolate, and coffee malts are used in a great balance and the honey just adds a nip of sweet to the brew. Slight oak-vanilla nuttiness adds some more complexities.

M: Higher carbonation than most stouts in this class. Real creamy and easy going. Goes down smooth.

O: Fairly tame in a very good way, just smooth chocolate with sweet bourbon hints. A nice well brewed stout to stand up to a little barrel aging. I hope I can get the chance to try this a little fresher.

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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 Kegatron
4.12/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz wax topped bomber into a couple of oversized snifters. 2011 Edition. Big thanks go to Barscream for sharing this.

Pours as black as an oil slick in the glass, with a thin covering of burnt mocha head. This maintains some frothy edges, leaving back a rich cascade of spotty lace and brown oils down the sides of the glass. The aroma is quite dense in the nose, with notes of fudge, molasses, vanilla, and coffee. Charred oak adds some zip to the edges of this, while an underpinning of warmth gives this a little sharpness as well.

The taste is chocolate syrup, roasted coffee, vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, and some green herbal hops. The barrel really gives this a charred feeing tannic sharpness that keeps the overall profile from coming off as too overly sweet and decadent yet hangs in the finish with a little too much strength with a burnt and woody feel. This does start to dissipate and full integrate itself until unfortunately it’s more towards the end of the glass. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a thick chewiness that is sharp feeling up front but then creamier along the back. There is some alcohol present here but it mostly seems to be coming from the barrel flavors.

This showed some moments of greatness but never quite got over the hump for me, as this retained a bit too much of a charred burn throughout that seemed to hold this back some and a complete melding of barrel and beer that occurred a little too late in my opinion. This is still a really nice BA Stout but I wouldn’t break the bank for it.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.77/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage. Capped and waxed bottle into a Southampton oversize snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a big, black mocha head with little retention. Thick legs with spotty and sticky lace. Solid.

Boozy nose with hints of mocha, sweet soy sauce, fudge, chocolate, and molasses. Robust and very aromatic.

Sweet cocoa and mildly boozy. Chocolate, soy sauce. Finish is grainy cocoa powder and fudge. Sweet but with nice balance. Taste like it smells, which is temptingly decadent.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Sticky and smooth going down. A touch over-carbonated which makes this one feel a bit thin at times.

Real glad to have had the chance to give this one a shot but I'm not overly impressed here. Simply a solid offering in a style that's flooded with great beers. Still worth a try for sure though.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage poured into snifter. Thanks to kingkong for this beer!

A: Pours an almost black with pretty much no head. A faint collar formed and left some spotty lacing down the glass after each sip.
S: I get rich notes of molasses, chocolate and a hint of vanilla, coffee and soy sauce.
T: Smooth as can be with flavors of sweet dark fruits, chocolate, toffee, brown sugar and a hint of nuts. Luckily I’m not really getting any soy sauce. Alcohol warmth is faint, and the finish contains some nice barrel notes.
M: Medium-thick body, low but bubbly carbonation, with a very smooth and creamy mouthfeel.
O: An excellent stout, and one I have been wanting to try for some time now. Very smooth and flavorful, thanks again kingkong!

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Photo of beerenjoyer1
4.67/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Peabody's in Boone, NC had the Event Horizon in their inventory. Thanks again!

A - Pours black with a slight medium brown foam. Light does not penetrate this beer.

S - The malts come through with hints of honey used in making this beer. A slight smell of sweetness and alcohol is present as well. I did get some slight bitter scent which must be the hops.

T - Bourbon, malts, hops, honey, and a sting of alcohol come through each taste which is awesome. An aftertaste of hops, bourbon, honey, and alcohol all with a richness of an imperial stout.

M - A great feel of this complex beer that it requires that time be taken to enjoy the taste, aftertaste, and the post aftertastes/scents that accompany good beers such a this.

O - I would recommend this beer to everyone and to let this beer warm some and if you can let it age in your brew frig. A definite must try! Nice job Olde Hickory, keep up the good work!

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Photo of Finatic
4.12/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, 2011 vintage into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark, jet black color with a small light brown head. Very little lacing that receded very quickly.

S: Dark chocolate with hints of bourbon, oak, vanilla and some molasses.

T: Bourbon taste is very prominent with some chocolate and vanilla. Leaves a very bitter aftertaste. No hint of honey that I can taste.

M: Very smooth considering the bitter aftertaste. Very well carbonated.

O: This could do with some aging IMO. I would rather have Silent Night.

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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 GregSVT
3.45/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into a tulip - 2011 Vintage

A: Pours a very dark brown, nearly totally black, with a medium sized brown head that fades to a ring and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of vanilla, hints of molasses, dark roasted malts, bakers chocolate, and some earthy hops in the background. The hops actually lend an odd aroma which I'm not a fan of...the rest smells delicious.

T: The taste is molasses, vanilla, dark chocolate, honey, and the earthy hops from the nose. It's a touch bitter on the finish which is surprising.

M: The feel is thick and creamy.

O: This isn't much different from the regular Imperial Stout besides some vanilla and molasses characteristics. The feel is about the best part of the beer. Could probably use a bit more time in the barrel.

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Photo of bballmj2k
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage - released in November, only a few months old now.

A - Solid oil black with a really dark brown head that lingers with great lacing.

S - I love the way this beer smells. So much coconut, toasted oak, vanilla, bourbon, roasted malt. Hints of some dark fruitiness thats really mild.

T - Sweet flavors dominate. Not quite as complex as the nose. Dark chocolate and bitterness are on the back end.

M - Silky smooth but not quite as thick as I'd like in something thats barrel-aged. It's a lower ABV stout (comparatively) so thats justified, just want a bit more body.

O - This is great - I haven't had a ton of barrel-aged stouts but this ranks up there with the best (BCBS, ORF...)

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Photo of Crass3000
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out black as night with a nice small brown head that dissipated quickly.

Smell is nice chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, and a tiny bit of dark fruits. Taste is just as amazing. Awesome chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, dark fruits, and a really nice tiny hint of bourbon in the background.

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

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into Duvel tulip. Black wax shows 2011 vintage. Received in a fantasy football BIF from tclapper, this has been a real big want for a while, thanks alot Tim!

A: Pours a pitch black with a nice full caramel colored head. Long lasting, leaving beautiful lacing on the sides of the glass. Some light getting thru towards the edge of the glass.

N: Big notes of bourbon, chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla, and some moderate oak.

T: I don't get any of the honey in the nose, but I get it on the palate and it is very subtle, but pleasurable and unique. There is a good amount of bitterness, both from the some nice hop and honey alike. Dry roasted malt, followed by punchy dark fruits, and chocolate.

M: Slightly dry mouthfeel, but it was well carbonated and had a great texture. Wasn't heavy, or too sweet, or cloying. Very round, and well balanced. Good hop coming through. Really impressive beer.

D and O: Great beer, thanks alot Tim! Great beer, not extremely high in the ABV realm, which is appreciated, yet didn't skimp on any flavor.

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The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
4.36 out of 5 based on 1,717 ratings.
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