Some weeks back I picked up some new beers from Nøgne Ø at Vinmonopolet Vika in Oslo, all of them in lovely small 25cl bottles. The bottles might be small, but the beers are certainly not. I have tried all four of them, and here are the reviews.
Bridge Road Brewers / Nøgne Ø Aurora Australis
This is a collaboration beer brewed at Bridge Road Brewers in Australia, then shipped to Norway in red wine barrels, and then blended and bottled at Nøgne Ø in Grimstad, Norway. The beer is a Belgian Quadruple with an ABV of 11%.
Nøgne Ø have brewed together with Bridge Road Brewers before, and I have reviewed one of them, India Saison.
Dark brown color with a beige head. The head has a really good retention and leaves some really sticky lacing on the glass.
Really fruity aroma up front. I’m getting sour cherries, sweet malts, hints of red wine and some sting from the alcohol.
I’m getting sweet malts, dark fruits and red berries, brown sugar and red wine. The hints of red wine is not too overwhelming, as some beers aged in red wine barrels tend to be.
In my opinion the sourness does not really fit the beer. It’s good, but it’s a bit off.
As the beer warms up some of the sourness disappears and some more lovely warming malty hints appears.
The finish lasts very long and has some hints of cherries up front and some lovely hints of sweet malt and chocolate. The sourness lasts for quite a while.
I’d really love it if this beer was less sour. For me it ruined it a bit, and personally I don’t think it’s anywhere near a good quad. Score: 3.5/5.
Nøgne Ø Sour Brown
This is a brown ale that has been aged for 9 months in Oak barrels. The ABV is 5%, slightly higher than the regular Nøgne Ø Brown Ale.
Murky brown color with a beige head that quickly disappeared.
Lovely slightly sour and fruity aroma. There are hints of roasted malts, chocolate and some woody notes. I really enjoy the aroma on this beer.
Nicely balanced sour flavors, perhaps a bit on the mellow side. There are some nice fruity hints lurking in the back with some sweet roasted malts. The beer is indeed quite balanced, but I keep waiting for something more to appear in the flavor profile. It’s a bit too bland.
The mouth feel is medium and the carbonation is smooth.
The finish has hints of coffee, cocoa, roasted malts, and some sourness.
A smooth and pretty decent sour ale. My favorite part was the finish, where the roasted malts shines. Nøgne Ø brew world class beers, but when it comes to sour ales they have more to learn. Score: 3.7/5.
Nøgne Ø Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
The base of this beer is in my opinion Nøgne Ø’s best beer, and one of the best Imperial Stouts in the world. A little while back I tried the Cognac Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, which was quite impressive. I don’t know too much about the barrels used, so if anyone reading this knows any more, please leave a comment! The beer has an ABV of 9%, which is the same as the regular Imperial Stout from Nøgne Ø (which I have not yet reviewed).
Pitch black pour which generated a lovely dense head. The head almost looks like a light brown chocolate mousse! The head has really good retention and leaves lovely lacing in the glass.
Up front I’m getting some sting from the alcohol and some clear hints of the barrel aging. There are also hints of roasted malts, molasses, coffee and some vanilla. It reminds me of the regular Imperial Stout, with some extra fruitiness.
As with the aroma this beer reminds me quite a bit of the regular Imperial Stout, but the barrel aging makes it less enjoyable on many different levels. The beer feels a lot less balanced. I’m getting more sting from the alcohol and there is a fruity hint which reminds me of ripe pear which I don’t really care for at all.
The mouth feel is full and the carbonation is a tad bit too sharp.
Up front I’m getting alcohol, which is quickly overpowered by chocolate, coffee and roasted malts.
I had high hopes for this beer, but the aromas/flavors from the barrel aging is a bit too prominent. The regular Imperial Stout from Nøgne Ø is miles ahead (or, using my method of scoring, a bit more than a point ahead). Score: 3.9/5.
I have some extra bottles stowed away so I’ll try it again in a while to see how it ages.
Nøgne Ø “Almost undrinkable” 100% Peated
The last of the lot is a beer brewed with 100% Scottish peated malt with a ABV of 8.5%. The commercial description reads:
… This malt generates an intense smokey flavor and aroma. In fact its intensity makes this beer almost undrinkable, unless you blend it with other ingredients.
I tend to like peated/smokey single malt whiskeys as well, so let’s see what I think about this one.
The color is amber / yellow with very little head. The head disappears quickly.
A good amount of peat/smoke is present on the nose. I’m also getting a good amount of sweet malts.
The peat/smoke is also the dominating flavor, but I’m also getting caramel sweetness. There is also a fruity and spicy hint present.
The body is medium and the carbonation is slightly sharp.
The finish is quite long, and hints of smoke lasts all the way till the end. There is also some nice sweet malty flavors in the finish.
I don’t find this “almost undrinkable” at all. For me this is highly drinkable, although I can understand that this can be a somewhat challenging beer for some. If you enjoy peated whisky this might be a bit easier to swallow. Later on I will try to blend this beer with others to see what a hint of smoke might do.
I’m not really sure how to rate this beer though. Score: 3.7/5.
And that’s that folks! Four interesting beers which you should pick up if you get the chance!