Black Hole stout, won’t you come
Posted on 5/16/2012 at 6:48 AM EST
(372 days ago)
1 Member Rating | Exquisite Overall | 10/10 Appearance | 10/10 Aroma | 10/10 Mouthfeel | 10/10 Flavor
On our quests to find craft beer’s most whimsical creations, we are often confronted with a harsh reality: bigger isn’t always better. More often times than not, the complete opposite is true. I would say in general, the bigger the beers get, the sillier they become. I should note that I consider “big'' beers the ones that start exceeding 10-12% ABV. There are of course exceptions to any rule, and one name that immediately comes to mind is Mikkeller. Few brewers in the world can create monster beers that are palatable, let alone smooth and session worthy. Realistically, that would entail a very, very, very long session, but the take home point here is that “big” is relative in the world of Mikkeller. Case in point: I recently had the pleasure of trying Mikkeller's infamous Black Hole Imperial Stout, a 13.1% ABV behemoth brewed with coffee.
In the glass, this beastly brew has a deep dark brown coloration, not quite black. It comes with a creamy copper-tan head that has good retention. On the nose, I detected a strong coffee roast and a tenacious alcohol burn. That was pretty much it. I’m sure there are plenty of other aromas hidden in there, but those two notes reign supreme. So going into that first sip, I prepared myself for a strong dose of palate punishment. Boy was I surprised. As huge as this beer looks and smells, I was not expecting to find a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. It’s very drinkable and surprisingly light with a pleasant mid-body. It starts off like a silky mocha, enriches in the middle ground, and then exits clean with only a hint of alcohol sting. Wow, simply astounding. I spent the first several sips studying the mouthfeel, because that was hands down the most surprising aspect of the beer. From there I started dissecting flavors. The rich coffee roast comes across as more mocha than black. It’s perfectly complimented by an array of savory dark chocolate notes. I found no hop profile, which isn’t surprising considering this beer’s strength and core flavors. The strength is surprisingly tolerable and the flavors are beautifully balanced. My one absolute recommendation would be to take your time and let this beer warm. It gains a rich buttery character that significantly softens any edges. At that point it’s almost like drinking a coffee shake. Overall, Mikkeller’s Black Hole Imperial Coffee Stout is an exquisite brew that has earned a spot in my imperial stout hall of fame. This beer is simply amazing, a must-try for all imperial fans. To be honest, I can even recommend Black Hole to mid-level beer fans. Yes, you read that right. I just recommended a 13.1% ABV Mikkeller brew to general craft beer fans. It’s that damn good. In closing, I think I will carry on my co-founder’s latest innovation of adding ambiance to brew reviews. Black Hole stout, won’t you come, and wash the thirst away...
Member Comments (6)
Posted on 5/16/2012 at 6:26 PM EST
Again... I have to get this one - but how? Maybe this is the opportunity to make a visit at MIKELLER in the capital of DANMARK : COPENHAGEN... If U like to take a look at the beerlist of Monks Café U can try this: "http://www.monkscafe.se/bryggeri-wallingatan" The list is on the homepage, the column on the right "All världens öl" (beer from all over the world). In the same column U can find "Monks ölraketer" (Monks beerrockets). This list is updated every monday and contains small numbers of special beers. Enjoy and tell me about Ur impression, please. Have a nice time! Cheers for a better beerworld! MEaN Manfred mati08
Oh yes, you definitely need to get your hands on a Black Hole. There are even barrel aged versions to choose from. I recently picked up a wine barrel aged Black Hole brewed with honey and vanilla. Can't wait to try it! And yes, I see a Copenhagen trip in your future. The Mikkeller Bar beckons you Manfred, heh.
Posted on 5/16/2012 at 7:55 PM EST
Thanks for posting the Monk's Cafe list, going to check it out now...
So how does this place work, Manfred? I saw a beer list, but it looks like everything is crafted in house. (I saw one called the Manfred Weisse, ha!) I couldn't find a list of non-house brews.
Posted on 5/16/2012 at 9:26 PM EST
Posted on 5/16/2012 at 9:38 PM EST
I'm not a master of computer - and I'm doing my internetworks from/with my mobile... I have not a common connection via my pc - but soon, in about a month or two. But, I can try another day from the library and send U the list... Don't give up - Until later: Have a nice beertime MEaN Manfred mati08
This thing sounds totally delicious. I seriously can't wait to get my hands on one.
Yes, being the imperial stout lover that you are, you NEED to find this beer. This should be your all consuming mission until you have one in hand. You can thank me later.
Posted on 5/18/2012 at 12:05 AM EST
@mati08 - No worries Manfred, I had a lot of fun browsing around the Monk's Cafe website (although I had to employ Google Translator for the Swedish to English translation, heh). It does look like an awesome place and I'm happy you have a great craft brew destination to frequent.
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