The Event Horizon | Olde Hickory Brewery

BA SCORE
96
world-class
303 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:
303
Ratings:
1,752
Avg:
4.36
pDev:
8.72%
 
 
Wants:
849
Gots:
549
For Trade:
88
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Reviews: 303 | Ratings: 1,752
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 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 mtomlins
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank fresh (~6 months old). Rich dark chocolate, roasted grain, soy sauce, boozy bourbon all entice the nose and flatter the taste buds. An incredible nose with a really nice palate, smooth, round and complex. Delicious.

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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 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 axeman9182
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, 2012 vintage. Thanks to Tiger33 for the hookup. The bottle was allowed to warm just a bit before being poured into my NEBCO 668 tulip.

The Event Horizon pours jet black, and a careful pour yields almost three fingers of burnt caramel tinted foam that actually rises up past the rim of the glass, without spilling out over the side. Head retention is pretty good, but lacing is definitely a bit spotty. The nose is wonderful, with aromas of cocoa powder, oak, bourbon, brown sugar, and vanilla all wafting out of the glass. The flavor profile shifts and consolidates a little bit. The beer is definitely more oak and bourbon forward on my palate than in the aroma, and most of the vanilla is phased out and replaced by more brown sugar. Dark chocolate continues to provide a base for all of these characteristics to play off of. The mouthfeel is great, because while it still has that slightly chewy aspect to it, it feels a little bit less heavy (thanks to the honey?) than most big stouts, and as a result it comes across as a fair bit more drinkable. As with all great stouts, the carbonation is nice and muted. I found this super fresh bottle of The Event Horizon to be just a tad barrel forward for my taste. It's still a very good beer, but even just a little time to mellow and come together should yield spectacular results.

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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 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 sommersb
4.79/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted On: 01-27-2013
Freshness: 2012 Vintage
Packaging: 22 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap with wax seal
Glassware: Wellington
Purchased: Single from Duckworth's, Charlotte

Picked this up at the 2012 Event Horizon release party in Charlotte at Duckworth's

Appearance is a jet-black beer, opaque, topped by a nice tan head that dissipates fairly quickly (not unexpected for a beer this big). Lacing on the glass is good.

Smells are big and bold, of sweet milk chocolate, dark roasted malts, strong bourbon, vanilla, and oak wood. Just a wonderful aroma...

Taste is intense, starting with a big hit of booze, then leading into the rich, dark malt grain bill, plus chocolate/cocoa nibs and vanilla. Perceived bitterness is very low.

Mouthfeel is smooth and luscious. Full-bodied with low carbonation. Finishes rich, with dark and sweet chocolate plus a hit of the whiskey.

Overall, this is a world-class beer in my book that hits on all cylinders. Highly recommended!

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

Event Horizon
2011
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 Newport_beerguy
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!

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

Smell:
A lot of honey and bourbon on the nose.

Taste:
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.

Feel:
Slightly thin but finishes nicely with the aforementioned late carb.

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

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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 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.

**UPDATE**
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 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 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 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.

REVISED:

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 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 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 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 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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The Event Horizon from Olde Hickory Brewery
4.36 out of 5 based on 1,752 ratings.
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