Last night, while I brewed the “Peace Coffee Stout Porter Kit,” from Northern Brewer, I had the opportunity to have one of the greatest beers of my life. As I have said before,my two favorites styles of beer are Old Ales and coffee beers. But, imagine if a beer existed that we’re some sort of amalgamation of the two… what would it be? It probably wouldn’t be exactly like Mikkeller’s Black Hole, a coffee infused Russian Imperial Stout, but it would be damn close. Throw some black and chocolate malt into the bill and it is probably exactly what you would get.
Black Hole is as thick as it is delicious. The beer was black as tar with an unnervingly dark head. The smell was sweet with a subtle touch of coffee and a decent spot of roasted/burnt malt. The taste was ecstatic; huge roasted character with coffee undertones from first touch to last swallow. There was a decent alcohol note that warmed my throat and dizzied my head. This is probably the thickest beer I have ever imbibed. It was like syrup, but lively due to the carbonation.
Mikkeller seems to be a rather odd brewing operation. According to their website, it is run by a single Dannish fellow, who contracts breweries to allow him to brew on their equipment. The site lists quite a number of beers, but I have seen very few on local shelves, none on bar lists. Maybe a brewery spotlight would be a good addition to the blog line-up… Anyway, here is how Mikkeller describes the beer themselves:
Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij, Lochristi-Hijfte, Belgium
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.
Water, malt, roasted barley, flaked oats, dark cassanade, honey, hops, coffee, vanilla and ale yeast.
Alc : 13,1% vol. Volume : 375 ml / 12.7 FL OZ
Also, imagine the above picture has been rotated and photoshopped to not look so bad…