Mikkeller 'Black Hours Stout' Bourbon Barrel Stout

Mikkeller Black Hours Stout 1
Mikkeller 'Black Hours Stout' Bourbon Barrel Stout. 6% abv. Black color. Finger+ of small-bead mocha head. Excellent retention and superb lace. Nose of dark malt, black coffee. Front taste of bitter herb, mild coffee, cocoa powder. Aftertaste is burnt herb, dank bittersweet dark chocolate. Medium body. Mouthfeel is astringent, medicinal, tangy.

This beer is a surprising disappointment. At one of my local bottle shops, I chose Black Hours out of a selection of other similar beers because:

1) I love barrel-aged brew
2) I love bourbon-infused taste
3) I love Mikkeller

Sadly, this beer was lacking in all three areas. There are no wood notes or bourbon flavor, not in the aroma nor the taste. Forgetting the bourbon barrel for a moment, if I were to judge this beer simply as a category stout, I would still merely rate the overall impression as fair or passing. It's pedestrian as a standard stout, much less a supposedly bourbon-infused barrel-aged one. Mikkeller usually hits home runs, but this beer is a reminder that even the most gifted brewery has its duds.

Black Hours Stout beer was a collaboration between Mikkeller and musician Hamilton Leithauser. If you are a fan of Leithauser, only then would you perhaps want to try this beer, if only to taste something that your favorite musician helped create. If Leithauser truly had a hand in the creation of this beer, I suggest he revisit his recipe and have another go at it. Until then, pass on this one.

From the brewery:

"Bourbon BA dry stout. Brewed at D’Proef in Belgium."
[source: mikkeller.dk]

Mikkeller Black Hours Stout 2

Mikkeller Black Hours Stout 3
The excellent head retention and lacing are just about all this beer had going for it.

Mikkeller Black Hours Stout 4