Like I said in my last review, I always grab every Mikkeller brew I see whenever I go to the store. This was the other new beer I saw. It’s a coffee imperial stout with 13.1% alcohol, and it has earned a score of 100 on RateBeer.
As black as can be from the very beginning of the pour. The head was a nice coffee color with good persistent thickness and a very clingy lacing.
Dark, sweet, red fruit. Strong aroma hops. Malt. Honey. Coffee. Caramel. Perfect.
It has that thick velvet softness that you expect from an excellent imperial stout but it’s also heavy and has a bite that grows the longer you hold it in your mouth, due to the high alcohol content. It was an interesting contrast. Usually with this style, I want to hold it in my mouth for a long time to see how fluffy it will get. But the alcohol tingle made me want to swallow it before it became painful. After it was down, my palate cleared up very quickly and I couldn’t wait to take another sip.
Even before the beer touches your lips, your tongue is ready to accept coffee malt sweetness because of the aroma. But I was surprised to find that those tones don’t show up until the end. The first thing I tasted was fruit. Well, probably a chocolate covered fruit. Chocolate covered black cherries. Dark, unsweetened, baker’s chocolate covered black cherries. After that the caramel, coffee, malt, and hops that you’d expect from a great imperial stout reared their heads. But that initial fruit quality is what really puts this over the top for me.
If this wasn’t so expensive, I’d buy a whole case of it. Mikkeller – Black Hole has just skipped in line to top of my list of personal favorites. Usually, I finish these reviews before I’m even half done with the beer. But this time, my glass is nearly empty. I couldn’t put it down.
MUSIC PAIRING: This beer promised to be the epitome of a dark, heavy, brooding, slow-sipping imperial stout. So I decided to throw on the darkest, heaviest, most depressing record I own. And I own a lot of doom metal so that’s saying a lot. But when looking through my record collection, I couldn’t find anything heavier, nor anything that made me feel more “black” inside, than the Chelsea Wolfe/King Dude 7″ Split. Specifically the song “Fight Like Gods” on Chelsea Wolfe’s side of the album. If you’re a sad drunk, I don’t recommend listening to this song when inebriated. If you’re a happy drunk, it’ll make you a sad drunk. It was perfect.
Sip slowly and enjoy in good company.
P.S. I just noticed that there is a shit ton of yeast settled in the bottom of my glass so if you don’t like that, be sure to decant it off. Personally, I’m planning to drink it.
P.P.S. Fight like Gods by Chelsea Wolfe might be the darkest and most heavy record I own at the moment but that’s because I only just ordered “Sex Tape/Snuff Film” by Bongripper and it hasn’t arrived yet. I wonder if my music pairing would have gone differently……..