Thursday, April 17, 2014

Olde Hickory Brewery - The Event Horizon

As most people who know me can attest, I like sweet things. And it probably goes beyond what most people would consider to be a "reasonable" level. For example, pretty much every day after high school, I used to hang out with my best friend, Alex. Our after school activities pretty much always started at the same two places- the Palisades Recreation Center tennis courts or at a basketball court in the Palisades. But first, we had to load up on the good stuff-sugar. If we were playing tennis that day, the routine was usually to go with ice cream. A pint of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food ice cream each and we were good to go. If we were playing basketball that day, it was chocolate milk time. But, naturally, chocolate milk isn't sweet enough on it's own, so we would get a big Nesquik, drink about a quarter of it, and then fill the rest with sugary cereal (usually Golden Crisp, AKA- Brown Sugar in a Box) and make a ludicrously sugary cocktail out of the two. It was like a Ghetto Smoothie for white kids who hadn't discovered alcohol yet. How we're not both in the clutches of advanced diabetes is beyond me. Knowing that about me now, you would think that there pretty much wouldn't be a beer that I would consider too sweet. I mean, if Golden Crisp Ghetto Smoothies weren't too much sugar, what could be? At #149, The Event Horizon.

The Event Horizon pours pitch black (hence the name, which is a fantastic name, by the way) with a milk chocolate head that wells up in the glass and finally settles at about half a finger above the surface. Each sip yields some nice tracks of lace. The smell was where things started to get a little strange. Barrel-aged stouts can often smell a little sweet. But after one sniff of The Event Horizon, I knew it was on another level. A huge blast of molasses and brandy soaked raisins Ndamukong Suh's your face the second you get near the glass. When this beer is cold, it's almost sickeningly sweet. I just tried not to smell it as I was drinking it. But as it warmed up, it started to pick up a lot more depth and I could start to see where the hype for this beer was coming from. Once you free yourself from the grasp of the molasses and raisin notes, you start to pick up marshmallow, wet earth, charcoal, oak and ash. Much better.

The taste opens with a sweet and syrupy wave of chocolate and raisin. The middle gives a touch of milk chocolate along with some fudge and just a touch of bourbon. The finish shows just a touch of charred malt and light oak before diving back into the chocolate and raisin sweetness it opened with. For a barrel-aged beer, this tastes surprisingly non barrel-aged. The sweetness, coupled with the syrupy mouthfeel definitely catches up to you in a hurry. And as the beer warms, the smells in here get better, but it becomes increasingly harder to drink because of the sweetness. I'm really glad I got to try this one, but I wouldn't recommend jumping through too many hoops to try it. Unless, somehow, you like sweetness even more than I do. Then this beer was pretty much made for you.

Final Grade: B

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 134

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