Brewed at De Proefbrouwerij

Style: Imperial Stout
Copenhagen, Denmark
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1278   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.96   EST. CALORIES: 393   ABV: 13.1%
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Finally……! Black Hole is what Mikkeller is all about. Daring, vulgar and extreme. From the very beginning Mikkellers goal has been to push the limit and with this warming, intense imperial stout, a new chapter in the Danish beer history has been written. The high bitterness from the hops and the sweetness from the malt and alcohol, creates a good balance which makes Black Hole an explosion of nuances, but also leaves a feeling of a perfect and complex beer – in the heavyweight category.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 2, 2008
August 2011 Cork Date; Sampled January 2008
Pours with an initial fat one-finger thick, creamed-chocolate tan colored head that sits atop an opaque, black colored brew. This brew is clearly coffee influenced, as I pour it I get that distinct aroma of burnt berries that is often found in coffee. Over the top roast aromatics make this smell like cold, concentrated espresso, heavily burnt grain husks and sharp, roast acidic notes. In addition to the burnt berry notes, there is a touch of something like deeply burnt raisins, though overall not much of the fruit character is noticeable in the aroma. The aroma is actually quite harsh; it is a bit too sharp, acidic and burntly astringent for my preferences. The aroma sort of has a burnt vegetal note towards the finish, or perhaps it is a burnt plastic phenolic.

Somewhat lighter in heft than I was expecting, in fact this really seems to accentuate (or exacerbate depending on your perspective) the sharp, acidic and burnt flavors of this brew. The burnt flavors show from beginning to end; they considerably dry out this brew, especially in the finish where the tongue is left with an acidic, dry, charcoal note that has one looking for some refreshment. Up front this brew shows some promise as the sweeter malt notes contribute flavors of dark chocolate, burnt prunes, and a somewhat creamy mouthfeel, but by the finish the beer has just become so harsh and astringent. The coffee notes and burnt malt notes are huge here; this is so much harsher / acidic / burnt than the worst pull of espresso that I have ever had. The overbearing burnt charcoal notes really effect the mouthfeel of this brew, where it should be rich and creamy feeling it ends up thin and flabby.

The twin, roasted combination of blackened grain and roast coffee is just too much for my assaulted taste buds. This is possibly the harshest finishing beer I have ever had. The assault is just punishing and is not even really enjoyable in its unrelenting character. I wonder if this will mellow out any in the next ten years? Well I do have another bottle and that will surely sit for quite some time before I crack another. Harsh enough that it feels like a hangover waiting to happen, but all of that carbonized malt & coffee will probably leave me quite filtered and purified.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MrBendo (1064) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - JAN 2, 2008
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2008 New bottle. Pours deep brown with a medium head. Aroma of espresso and dark roasted malts. A big, big beer; espresso, dark fruits, licorice, roasted malts and grassy hops. Heavy body and chewy. There is some hint of the high ABV. A little warm. But classy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
WabashMan (1017) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - JAN 1, 2008
A nice imperial, though it struck me as being a tad too vinous and relying too much on the alcohol flavors. It didn’t have the same heaviness that a lot of imperials have, which made for a unique experience. Good...but perhaps a bit disappointing, given its ratings.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Angeloregon (2055) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 1, 2008
Poured form a bottle a deep dismal (in a good way) black body. Opaque with a thin wispy brown-gray head. Nose of sweet, bitter and mildly sour grittiness. Far from cloying. Big on the coffee aromatics. Toasty and lactic in the finish. Peaty smokiness present. Earthy and rather complex. Not as thick and luxurious as I would have liked, but classy and rich all the same. Alcohol is hidden craftily and this beer is better and better as it warms and unveils its true genius.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JPDIPSO (5045) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 1, 2008
Dark brown with a dark seafoam looking head. Big mocha aroma; sweet coffee, light espresso, hints of roasted malt, mild brown sugar and toasted oak. Quite lively on the palate. Close to feeling thin, but enough richness to help restore the feel. Sweet fruity start with some berries, plums and prunes. Middle has some pipe tobacco, light tar, alcohol, heavily roasted malt and a touch of anise. Finish is quite hot with the vapor from the alcohol hitting the nose more than the throat. The stomach has a real fire now. Linger is light with toasted and charred wood along with a hints of toasted malt and hickory. This will be a killer (imo) in a few years. Right now it is a bit hot, but still a great imperial stout. The coffee actually added to the brew; rather than over-power as too many coffee stouts have a tendency to do.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Bockyhorsey (2610) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - JAN 1, 2008
Bottle from the wife for Christmas gift. Alcohol on the nose along with an unique aroma couldn’t figure out but thought of smell of new leather jacket. Sweet roasted malt flavor along with a sweet licorice candy flavor as well. Smotth on the palate concidering the alcohol presence in the beer. Has warming effect on the body and may need to have some asprin handy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
turbo (1271) - Arizona, USA - JAN 1, 2008
Very rich roasty malts, burnt wood, a little smoke and a big warming effect. Burnt wood and alcohol finish on this, the last of three awesome beers this New Years morning. Good beer!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Habanero (3156) - Tranbjerg, DENMARK - JAN 1, 2008
Bottle: Pours with a pitch black body and a tan head. Lacing is precnt. Nose of coffee, dark fruit and roasted malt . Flavour of coffee, chocolate, roasted, malt and liqourice. Oily texture. Full bodied. Slightly bitter finish with some alcohol.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
brewandbbq (269) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 1, 2008
Pours opaque black with a massive overflowing head of light brown. The spongy, rocky foam settled to a good quarter inch for the duration of the glass. Aromatics are hugely laden with coffee grounds, roasted barley, and bitter chocolate. Almost a bitter promise for whats to come. Mouthfeel is dry and thick, with carbonation adding a perception of increased body. The pallet is unapologetically filled with coffee. The coffee is centerstage, and is somewhat biiter in nature, akin to spent grounds. After the coffee, plenty of dry and roasty chocolate steps up, as does some acrid black malt. Alcohol is noticable, but no heat and does not detract. Finishes with lingering bitter coffee and more acrid black patent. A big beer for sure, but the coffee is a bit harsh, and leaves the beer tasting like a coffee stout rather than an Imperial with coffee.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Pailhead (5558) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - DEC 31, 2007
UPDATED: APR 5, 2008 Courtesy of Styles

Bottle: The aroma consists of chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, coffee, fruit, and alcohol. It pours a dark brown with no transparency and a small beige head and spotty lacing. The flavor starts with chocolate, grape, and roasted malt. The finish is very hoppy with lots of citrus and piny hops with light alcohol. Coffee comes more in the aftertaste. Medium-full bodied with a slick mouthfeel. 7-4-8-4-17

The aroma has lots of chocolate, plums, roasted malt, alcohol, grapefruit, caramel, and light coffee. It pours a dark brown, virtually black, with a moderate brown head with decent retention and spotty lacing. The flavor starts with a quick dose of caramel, chocolate, and roasted malt. The finish has lots of grapefruit hops, pine, moderate coffee, moderate alcohol, and a hint of smoke and wood. A little too hot in the finish right now. In my opinion, this definitely needs some aging in order to smooth out and mesh the flavors. Full bodied with a slick oily mouthfeel. Will have to revisit again after it has sat a while. 7-4-7-4-15

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