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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Event Horizon
Pours extremely dark and opaque. No light whatsoever. Reddish tan head. Dark sticky lacing.

The nose is super roasty and has a bit of sweet honey. Bourbon is big, offering vanilla, dry oak, and toasted coconut.

The flavors offer much more boozy notes than the nose suggests. Tons of semi-sweet roast, bakers chocolate, and bourbon. Vanilla and sweet honey.

Mouthfeel is medium and pretty smooth but an overly amped carbonation.

Overall, pretty nice brew but a bit overly carbonated.

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Photo of dcloeren
4.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JR for splitting yet another awesome bottle with me.

Poured an inky black and looks thick as it pours out of the bottle. Got about a finger of dark cinnamon colored head that stuck around for maybe 3 seconds before receding to a thin ring around the edges.

The aroma on this beer is amazing. Getting hit in the face with big bourbon and oak notes right off the back with the sweet smell of honey kissing my nose on the back end. Roasted malt and dark chocolate and vanilla round off this amazing smelling beer.

Taste follows the nose to the T except the honey sweetness blends into the main body just to sweeten it up a bit. Great bourbon notes, nice chocolate coated roasted malt and smooth vanilla making up the back end.

Full bodied, thick and slightly chewy. Just enough carbonation to make its way through this thick stout to tickle my tongue. Couldn't ask for a better body/ mouthfeel for this beer.

Overall, this was a BIG TIME stout with a some serious kick. I dont know if I could really ask for anything else from this beer. I thought the honey gave the beer just the right amount of sweetness and I loved the big bourbon and oak characteristics. JR is knocking this tasting out of the park! THanks again!

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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 Powderhornphil
4.14/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 vintage

Nothing unexpected that this beer pours black. Jet Black. It is of note the richness of the caramel colored head about 2 fingers deeps. Nice.

Not a bourbon bomb, the nose has hints of bourbon, deep cacao, some barrel and vanilla.

The taste starts with a sweet bourbon and continues to cacao. Lots of bittersweet roast. It tastes like a 90 percent cacao chocolate bar with the healthy does of bitterness. But there's a honey, malty sweetness to balance it and it finishes like the dryness of just swallowing a chocolate covered expresso bean.

Medium mouthfeel. not too heavy.

Certainly worth it to try this beer at least once.

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Photo of kkipple
4.45/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared with KP, ATLBeerdog and UncleJedi - the hits keep on coming.

Impossibly thick black wax needs to be cut before you can get to the delicious beer inside. Once you pour it, you realize why this is called Event Horizon - it is black as black, real pitch, and sports a creamy, Zhukov-tan head. Yum.

Super tasty nose here: Malty-dark sweet, black bread, molasses, smooth and roasty, vibrant, rich, brownie-batter, chocolate, full, wholesome, no "holes" in the nose here - light vanilla, chips of oak. Very rich - outstanding, frankly.

Taste is solid... okay, more than solid, this is tasty as mess. Full-flavored, sweet and chocolaty, with synergistic roast, mocha, sweet honey, even some evident (distracting, but should fade) hop bitters. Very solid chocolate malt / black patent roast bitterness keeps the thick choco-honey sweetness at bay, and works together VERY well... maybe too well... the bourbon and oak is slight, but there, and is quite mellow. In fact the whole beer is so well put together, it's a minor miracle. What's Olde Hickory doing over there?

Mouthfeel is creamy, rich, full and wonderfully carbonated, the finish is roasty and ends rather unhappily with a slouch of sour-roast and bourbon, kind of stumbles over the finish line, if you will. The only real big misstep here - but given the brilliance of the rest of the beer, I can forgive this.

Olde Hickory Event Horizon is:

A. The best beer from Olde Hickory to date.
B. The finest North Carolina stout not called Sexual Chocolate.
C. Something you need to try immediately.
D. All of the above.

The correct answer is "D". Class dismissed!

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

On tap it was more carbonated when I had it at TJs in Carrboro.

Pours a thick pitch black, almost forceful effort needed to leave the bottle. No head and no carbonation. ill come back and add cellaring reviews as needed.

Smells of honey and bourbon, and dry grains. None of the initial stout smells are there, probably taken over by the barrel aging flavors.

Tastes like it smells. Honey is the biggest flavor here. It kind of takes over, and I like it. Vanilla is there that compliments the bourbon smoothness. And yes its as good as it sounds. Hyped up and deserving. A spicy oaky wood just runs all over.

Same keg, 45 days later. I get more barrel, but more specifically it feels like honey bourbon barrels. Very slick and smooth. Still highly rated. Cant wait to try with dakkon54 and the rest of the guys at Parrothead pub in April!

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

22 oz. bomber poured into my cigar city tulip.

A: Pretty much opaque. A two finger, dark brown, head appeard and left some nice rings of lace.

A: Smells of rich chocolate, toffee, vanilla, roasted coffee, and caramel. The bourbon notes are not as in your face as other BA brews of the same caliber. But IMO are right on the mark.

T: Just an outstanding fusion of the barrel and the beer. Bourbon, as in the nose, is not overpowering, but accentuating. The notes of vanilla and caramel from the barrel balance perfectly with the roasty coffee and chocolate flavors in the brew.

M: Mouthfeel is a touch thin, but carbonation is just about right.

O: A really outstanding beer. I am very impressed by the balance between the barrel and the beer. I would absolutely have this one again. Skal.

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Photo of kevdemers
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz bomber dated almost exactly a year ago!

Very dark brown with brown head. A lot of late carbonation after the pour.

A lot of honey and bourbon on the nose.

Outstanding, a lot of flavor, I've had other stouts much greater in ABV with not as good a profile. Quick roasty start gives way quickly to a more ashtray finish (the only negative). Hot alcohol on the taste but no burn due to the relatively low ABV, a tricky palate-twister.

Slightly thin but finishes nicely with the aforementioned late carb.

Fantastic impy stout, glad my NC trading partner shared this.

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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 mulder1010
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Beerness for this bottle. Owe you big time on this.
Shared with Mr. Kennedy
Bomber poured into a snifter

A-- Thick, dark, bold and oily. Looked like pure motor oil at first and then a half finger of dark leather head reverse cascaded up. Eventually no film at all. Head stuck around a little bit and went to dark leather film. Left no lacing at all but a dark, oily substance on the sides of the glass. Looks a lot bigger than what it should be. As I drank on I did get red tints on the sides of the glass but otherwise pitch black.

S-- Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cherry dates, marshmallow, oak, bourbon and cheese?? I thought slight hints of blue cheese mixed with parmigiana cheese. Really bizarre but good smell. Kept changing by the minute. Oak and bourbon really small in comparison to the rest or the smells.

T-- Thick, rich and dark. A brownie on overload really. Chocolate, Carmel, marshmallow, coffee, and some hops to give this life and a bit prickly.

M-- Chewy, thick and rich. Almost decadent in a way. Hops faded in the mouth, leaving milk chocolate, changing to bakers chocolate, with Carmel and coffee acidity in the end. Bourbon and oak still on the soft side here. Alcohol is non existent for the size of the beer. Low carbonation and massive heavy feel. Lots of malts with this. Does get a bit one dimensional at the end.

O-- A much bigger feeling stout than it really is. Big beer but easy to drink. Could use a bit more carbonation and more of a silky feel to it though, as it became very coffee acidic in the end. Quite unique as the hints of bourbon and Oak just toy with the senses. This was far more about malts than anything else. Worth trying.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.1/5  rDev -6%

From notes on 4/5/14

Bought a bomber of this while down in Chapel Hill for work. Heard it was good and sort of sought after around here. Poured jet black with a 1.5 inch dark brown head. Lots of boozy smell. Very sweet smelling. Reminds me of the smell of melting chocolate. Some mild fruit aromas as well. Very tasty. Lots of boozy bourbon flavor. More than most barrel aged beers. Lots of roasty sweet chocolate flavors. Slightly raisin and floral tastes. Pretty good. Very heavy though. I’m sitting in my hotel room by myself. Wish I had someone to share this with. Might be hard to get through.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-black body with a tan head that quickly disapates
S-nice oaky smell. Almost smells like licorice.
T-a lot like it smells. Very smooth oak burbon taste.
M-medium. Body and so smooth
O-good brew. Close to worth or equal to the hype. Crazy drinkable and redonkulously smooth. Only knock is no head...

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inky black color with a sort of rust brown head.

Smells of bakers chocolate, molasses, oak, taninins, a touch of chalk, dark chocolate, charred malt and some tar.

The taste is a little heavy on the honey, lots of tannins and oak, a good bit of char in the finish, but not much bourbon character. The honey/molasses is overpowering at the front with too much char on th end.

Mothfeel is heavy, but slick and not too syrupy. Carbonation is great. It could be more viscous though.

Not my favorite bourbon imperial stout to say the least. I felt like it went from somewhat cloying sweetness straight to tar like tannic flavors. Alcohol is fairly well hidden though.


Sampled at oakquinox. It's awesome. Clearly some bottle variation on this one.

Look is the same. Smell is chocolate, fudge, brownie, tobacco, WTF this is not the same beer. Taste follows smell plus some toffee and coffee.

Dear Olde Hickory, you guys blow at bottling. Waaay too much variation. This is a fantastic beer, but y'all North Carolina homies need to figure your shit out. Kthanxbye!

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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 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 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 jeonseh
3.96/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Shared by leftyhyzer at NWI tasting group super bowl drinking

A - Dark chocolate color with thick body that coats the glass. Light brown on the edges with small amounts of carbonation and not head

S - Bourbon on the nose with light caramel and vanilla. Dark, roasted chocolate and slight honey

T - Sweet bourbon vanilla up front with light caramel. Light honey, roasted malt, and slight smokiness. Finish is slight roasted coffee that lingers on

MF - Light body with light bitter coffee that lingers on in the finish to create a slight astringency

O - Solid fudgy beer with chocolate and honey sweetness. The honey adds a nice sweetness to the beer overall that is unique in a stout

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

Pours thick and looks like used motor oil. Quick fading head and leaves good lacing

Reeks of Bourbon in a good way, slightly sweet from the honey and a slight dryness from the malts

Tastes sweet right from the start but the Bourbon kicks in very quickly along with dry wood and highly roasted malts. Finishes with a slight alcohol burn and leaves the palate dry

Heavy body with very low volumes of carbonation, finishes semi dry and aftertaste fades quickly. Alcohol is noticeable but not in a bad way. Easy to drink slow

An excellent beer and the honey adds a nice sweet touch to a style with big and robust flavors. Definitely a seeker

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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 mverity
4.14/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep inky black with a medium chocolaty head that faded within 45 seconds into a medium collar and wisps at the surface. Aroma is dark chocolate, deeply roasted malt, some charred earth, some wine-like must. Taste is earthy and roasty at the front, some dark chocolate in the middle, and some wine must at the end. The honey really plays well in the aftertaste. Thick rich body and medium carbonation.

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Photo of tewaris
4.07/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't quite remember who shared it but I think it was Kevin again. Thanks!
Fairly standard -bal Imperial Stout with a dark, smooth body and tiny head. The aroma is full of chocolate notes and vanilla, and of course bourbon. Tastes chocolaty and is reminiscent of BCBS without the booze. Mouthfeel is good for an ~8% beer. An achievement in the sense that so much flavor is packed into this beer without being too strong. Very very good.
3.5, 4, 4, 4, 4.5

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Photo of jpro
3.83/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz (2013) bottle from Peabody's. Poured into a Left Hand stout glass...

A: pours black with a three finger, mocha head of milkshake-like foam; no lace.

S: bourbon; vanilla; sweet malt and honey; a touch hot as it warms.

T: chocolate; sweet roasted malt; bourbon; honey; it's not that rosary or bitter... Perhaps a bit too sweet.

M: medium-full body; high carbonation; sticky.

O: a nice barrel aged stout, but too sweet for me.

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