Beer review: Ringnes / Brooklyn Brewery Imperial Polaris

Time for a review of a collaboration beer between Ringnes (a Norwegian macro brewery owned by Carlsberg) and Garrett Oliver from Brooklyn Brewery. The beer is a doppelbock in style with a whopping 10% ABV. The beer was brewed with honey, orange peel, coffee and the simcoe hop variety was used in the process. Not your average Ringnes beer in other words…

Half of this batch has been bottled and will be released this year. Some of the remaining beer will be aged on used bourbon barrels from Heaven Hill (the beer was put on the barrels today actually) and will most likely be released some time next year.

The name of the beer was inspired by Fridtjof Nansens first trip to the North Pole, where the crew was served Ringnes bock beer.

Ringnes / Brooklyn Brewery Imperial PolarisLooks

Lovely clear dark brown color with a reddish hue. The head is egg-white and disappears quickly. The label also looks really good!

Aroma

I’m getting mostly honey and caramel from the aroma. There are also some hints of the big ABV.

As the beer gets slightly warmer some citrus notes appear as well.

Flavor

I poured this beer at around 6°C and let it sit in the glass for a while. When I had the first sip the beer had a clear hint of alcohol in the flavor, but it was still a bit too cold. When the beer reaches ~11°C the hint of alcohol is hidden behind caramel sweetness and some hints of nuts, hops and honey. There are some clear citrus hints as well. I can’t pick up any hints of the coffee though.

The mouth feel is not as full as I would have expected. It has a very crisp feel to it, and the carbonation level is comfortable.

The beer feels a bit unbalanced and probably needs some more time in the bottle. I would love to put some bottles of this beer in my cellar to see how it ages.

According to the label this beer should be served at 10-12°C. I would say that 10°C is the absolute minimum, and the beer changes drastically when it gets a bit warmer.

Finish

The finish is medium long with some fresh sharp citrus notes up front and a nice bitterness taking over after some seconds. There is also a hint of the alcohol present, but not too much.

Rating

The beer felt a bit too young and unbalanced, and will most likely get better with age. Even though it felt young, the beer is very enjoyable. Score: 3.8/5.

Disclaimer: I received this bottle from Ringnes.

Ringnes / Brooklyn Brewery Imperial Polaris

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