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Garún Icelandic Stout NR.19 - Borg Brugghús

Not Rated.
Garún Icelandic Stout NR.19Garún Icelandic Stout NR.19

Educational use only; do not reuse.

26 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 26
Hads: 155
Avg: 4.32
pDev: 15.74%
Wants: 23
Gots: 30 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Borg Brugghús
Iceland | website

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout | 11.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: metter98 on 12-10-2013

Garún is named for the strong and brave heroine of one of Iceland's most popular folktales "The deacon of Dark River (Myrká)." A tale of ghosts, undying love, and life triumphing over death told against the backdrop of elements essential to Iceland's character: ice, snow, and flooding waters whirling dark and mysterious. The same elements that inspire this rich, intense, bold and swirlingly varied Icelandic stout.

Garún is a dark aura of intense richness and haunting aroma with notes of chocolate, licorice and coffee. Skál!
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Reviews: 26 | Hads: 155
Photo of SLeffler27
4.51/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours richly dark and nearly black with a thick, very dark walnut foam. The head reaches two inches before slowly receding to a thin blanket, leaving spotty lace on a B-United teku glass.

Sweet cherries and chocolate cordial grab the nose before making way for charred oak, rich malt, licorice, and anise. Warmth clarifies without progression.

Deep roasted malt gives way to a balance of bittersweet licorice. Molasses and plum pudding are detectable before a long, modest finish that brings out cherries and bittersweet chocolate. This all terminates back to licorice. Warmth brings out black raspberry.

The texture is soft and smooth like jersey cotton, and the body is full. Modest, prickly carbonation punctuates the strong presence of alcohol. Residual sugar is left on the lips.

This is an excellent sipping beer for a cool autumn afternoon while reading. This would shine with a cigar. The Icelandic legend on the label is a nice touch. Warmth between the 60 to 70 degree range intensifies the chocolate flavors and brings out a light sourness.

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Photo of Svingjo
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich black colour with a finger thick brown head that literally sticks around leaving a sticky foam around the glass. Lots of dark fruit (plum, fig and dates), licorice, coffee, chocolate and slightly burnt toffee. Wow, the flavour! Very malt forward along with all those same smells now converted to flavours exploding on the tongue. There is a slight alcohol burn that you may expect from the high ABV, but it is masked in the malty sweetness. The carbonation is in the medium range. A very nice imperial stout.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer brings me back to my vacation in Iceland; the nice thing about drinking it *outside* of Iceland is that it's actually cheaper as an import in Canada, given the absurdly high taxes on alcohol in the Nordic countries.

Pours a beautiful dark, dark inky black, nearly opaque, capped by some cappuccino-foam head that recedes quickly but leaves some ringing and some lacing. Tiny bubbles are apparent when you swish this thick beer around in the glass.

Smells of plums, figs, raisins, licorice, dark coffee and darker chocolate. Slight creaminess, faintly herbal. Taste echoes that--warm, slightly biting alcohol, coffee beans, dark chocolate, licorice. A touch of candied sweetness and then dark stone-fruits. Carbonation is mild, body is thick but not heavy (if that makes sense). It's not--for me--a standard-bearer of the style, but it evokes very fond memories and is quite a nice beer given the relative youth of the brewing industry in the nation from which it hails. A nice imperial stout.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pour pitch black with a mocha colored head, no head retention, some lacing, low carbonation, looks really oil, made that lovely gulping sound when I poured it out of the bottle, no light comes through whatsoever, looks very nice.

A: Dark fruit bomb, figs, plums, raisins, lots of roasted smells, lots of aroma, hint of coffee and chocolate, alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming, smells pretty big.

T: Like the nose, getting lots of dark fruits, figs, plums, dates, raisins, hit of moderate coffee and dark chocolate like bitterness in the middle, then those dark fruits reemerge with a big dry finish, lingering dark fruits, very tasty, very smooth and drinkable.

M: Nice big creamy mouthfeel, balanced carbonation, big dry finish.

O: This reminds me of Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout but with more aroma, flavor, and alcohol, not as drinkable as SS Imperial Stout, but definitely bigger. If you like imperial stouts that are very dark fruit forward with hints of coffee and dark chocolate, this is your stout, cheers!

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Photo of Tone
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of strong alcohol, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, yeast, and slight wood. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of strong alcohol, strong sweet malt, slight roasted malt, hint of wood, and slight yeast. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, and blend, but low complexity.

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Photo of Antg8989
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque very dark brown. Smell is of soy sauce and cooked rice. Taste is full..some prunes as well. Definitely abeer to have in the cold winter months.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Torst in Brooklyn, NY.

This one pours a dark silky looking black color, with barely any head, and basically no lacing.

The beer smells like dark fruit, mainly raisin, with additional aromas of silky chocolate, slight coffee, licorice, and roasty malt.

It really helps that this beer was poured at the exact right temperature at Torst. I got a lot of nice complexities out of it, with the three main flavors being dark fruit, dark chocolate, and licorice. There's a little bit of roastiness and coffee, but the three aforementioned flavors are more strong, making the flavor profile unique, as I feel more stouts lean more towards coffee flavors.

This has a very silky smooth mouthfeel, with a lower level of carbonation. Very drinkable, even with the more intense flavors and higher ABV here.

Only my second beer from Iceland, Lava being the other one, but it seems that they know how how to do stouts up there.

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Photo of timfc
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

My favorite season is imperial stout season. I love them big, chewy, and to coat the tongue.

A: great. In an 11oz tulip on tap. It's got a dark brown, more than rootbeer but not black color. Good tan lacing that fell back to a persistent ring. There are lots of CO2 bubbles along the side of the glass making it lighter in color.

S: there's just not much. I expected more. A little malt and alcohol.
T: builds... First it looks with some roast in the middle of the tongue and then spreads into malt, warming from the alcohol, and depth across the tongue and palate. 30 seconds afterward and I'm still getting new flavor.

M: personal preference, I'd like more body. But, it's easily supporting what's here.
O: I'd drink this whenever I saw it on tap. It's a great beer. Not top 10 for imperial stouts, but that's a hard list to crack. But I'd rate it with Luscious.

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Photo of BFCarr
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On draft in tulip glass. Very drying/astringency with dark fruit/prune notes. Doesn't taste like a 12.5% beer. If you're a fan of imperial stouts, give it a try. Makes me want to go to Iceland.

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Photo of leaddog
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a dark chocolate brown with two fingers of dense mocha head.

Smell - roasted malts, coffee bean, hint of licorice, cocoa, mild earthy and leafy hops.

Taste - Starts off with the roasted malts then goes into the coffee bean, hint of licorice, cocoa and finishes with the mild earthy and leafy hops.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied with light carbonation. Finishes with the coffee bean and cocoa.

Overall - A stellar stout. All flavours work in unison together. I liked the coffee bean flavour along with the cocoa. Worth seeking out this brew as it won't disappoint.

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Photo of tkdchampxi
3.81/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Oh, that's pretty good. There are some really interesting flavors here, almost like a mix between a barleywine and a barrel aged stout. Complex flavors with just a touch too much carbonation. The high ABV is completely masked. I wish this had more coffee/ roast qualities, however. Some interesting sweet notes, reminiscent of coca cola, is what gives this a barleywine quality

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Photo of dar482
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The aroma has a hint of smokey meat, coffee, and roasted malt.

The flavor has rich chocolate, licorice bitterness, the beer then flies on the mid palate. Dark fruit on the finish, but the beer has issues of being watery despite its ABV.

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Photo of Michael_B_Friesen
4.48/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big beer, Poured black and thick, with a two finger creamy tan head.
Coffee, rich dark malt and dried figs from the nose.
The palette I got espresso, licorice, toasty, cocoa, caramel and very malty, but not as sweet as I was expecting from a beer this big. It went down quick... too quick... now I need more. The alcohol is hidden too... until it's already down.
over all impression was this was serious, big, malty imperial stout, that wasn't sickly sweet. A great example! I want more, and will seek it out.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle - nice to see a strong stout from Iceland make its way here, beyond the basic pilsners we've already received.

This beer pours a solid black hole, with the barest of basal amber edges, and three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly brown head, which leaves some broken cobwebbed lace around the glass as it slowly seeps away.

It smells of creamy milk chocolate, dense caramel/toffee malt, black licorice, milky coffee, mild wet ash, and earthy, herbal, and slightly perfumed hops. The taste is quite consistent - lush candy bar chocolate, bready caramel, toffee pudding, a hint of nougat, sweetened coffee, Nordic anise 'treats', and a hint of toasted wood, one that may actually be due to the crazily understated alcohol warming.

The carbonation is mostly under the radar, providing support as opposed to fizz, the body a rich medium-heavy weight, and generally smooth, a slight metallic twang growing as things slowly warm. It finishes on the sweet side, just, as all that cocoa, caramel, and creaminess can only be bridled so much by the attendant char and booze.

Wow, one deftly authored Imperial (or in this case, Icelandic) stout - robust flavours abounding. As scary as the overall sensation that this beer evokes is, that pales in comparison to the fear I have that I won't be able to stand up after killing this small bottle, given the near-complete integration of the 23-proof alcohol. Skál, indeed.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle poured into tulip 11/11/14

A black liquid with a deep cola edge, two fingers of dark mocha foam quickly falls to a thick film that has staying power but leaves no lace

S chocolate syrup, licorice, coffee, almonds, just a hint of booze, coco powder, earthy notes, pretty solid

T more dark roast, charred wood, espresso opposed to coffee, darker licorice, just darker in general, I'd never guess 11.5% but there's a little booze, rich and intense, I'm grooving on this one

M thick and creamy, just a little sticky on the lips, faint heat and a heavy dark roasty finish that just keep going

O I didn't know what to expect but this ones great, big and bold, full and rich, I want to try some more brews from these guys

A great beer I never knew existed, a great value at 4 and a half bucks, with some bang for your buck as well I'll be buying more of this for sure

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lot 012027.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, bitter cocoa, char, earth, and dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, dark fruit and slight soy sauce flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great balance between roast and dark fruit aspects that make this quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of mrhartounian
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This was a very nice surprise. I had never tried an Icelandic beer and wasn't quite sure what to expect. What I got was one of the better non-barrel aged stouts I have ever had. Aroma of a cross between milk and dark chocolate along with plenty of coffee. The taste followed the aroma perfectly. Only a bit surprised by the slightly watery mouthfeel, but I mean only slightly. Just fantastic. Price is not cheap, but then again almost half of a DFH WWS. Highly recommended.

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Photo of beerwithbears
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beer was served in a standard pint glass. Appearance was dark and very dense. Notes of roasted nuts, creaminess, and alcohol on the nose. Head is a light beige color. Overall an excellent beer from Scandinavia. However, my bottle was a whopping $9.50. I'm still trying to decide if the beer was worth that much.

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Photo of Haukurtor
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured with a think tan head, dicipated after only a few minutes.
Aroma of licorice and dark chocolate.

Tastes of burnt caramel,licorice, strong coffee and dark chocolate, warm alcohol.
Slight sherry notes. Surprisingly dry with a rich roasted malt character.
Quite impressive.

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Photo of avalon07
4.46/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of tan-colored, foamy, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A very subtle aroma of malt, chocolate, coffee, and something sweet.

T: Tasted of dark chocolate, some roasted malt, coffee and a bit of licorice as well. A complex, forceful, yet not overwhelming flavor. Not very boozy considering its high ABV% Very well crafted.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a smooth, creamy finish. Full-bodied.

O: This is a stout of the classic style. An extremely likeable, drinkable beer.

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Photo of Trifecta1
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Garún from bottle from 2011. Purchased for 4.99.

A - Exactly what I like to see. Staining brown, thick, almost no head, opaque darkness.

S - Soy, licorice, dark chocolate, alcohol.

T - Wow. Incredible. VERY big flavor, very aggressive flavor profile, but very smooth. No alcohol taste, big on the black licorice and burnt chocolate. Interesting lasting taste, bitter and acidic. Unique, and fantastic.

M - Thick, sticky, moderate carbonation. Reminds me of a slightly more carbonated Dark Lord or Darkness.

O - This gets a high A. Fantastic stout, really sticks out. Deserves higher ratings.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Reuben's Brew snifter. Pours near black, appearing opaque black in the glass with a thin, light brown head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of sweet toasty dark malt, licorice, hints of dark dried fruit and chocolate. Flavor follows, with sweet dark toasted malt, dark chocolate, light molasses, lots of licorice, clove, unusually spicy for a stout. Finishes with a moderate hop bitterness and residual licorice. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A quite different take on a stout, with more light spicing flavors and less dark malt than usual. Although the licorice forward, it is very well balanced and the spice flavors complemented the overall taste. The ABV was well covered, very impressive as this one is quite warming otherwise. A flavorful and different stout that was very enjoyable. Good job.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.94/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

New Year's Day 2014. Served from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours intense full on black. A little foaming, of a medium brown color. Warm coffee nose. Burnt bitters. Licorice hints. Hearty heavy taste. Deep impassioned bitter. Alcohol burn. A sipper for sure. Black licorice all over. Pace yourself.

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Photo of jtierney89
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch Black, thin tan head. Extremely strong nose, able to smell it from quite a distance. Lots of rich dark and sweet cocoa on the nose, touches of anisette and licorice.

Extremely rich, decadent and velvety. lots of cocoa and licorice flavors up front. Well aged port line wine flavor and acidity through out the beer including up front are lots of port and rum raisin flavors along with chocolate covered raisin flavors. Surprisingly subtle yet interestingly savory. Deep and complex. Bristly carbonation, slick heavy body. A unique beer in terms of sweetness, acidity and savor. An 11.2oz worth sharing, a little boozey but so so good.

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Photo of metter98
4.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is absolutely jet black in color—no traces of color are visible near the edge of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with the consistency of motor oil with a short dark tan head consisting of large bubbles that quickly died down, leaving a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of licorice are present in the nose along with notes of chocolate and dark malts.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that all of the flavors—particularly the licorice—are a lot stronger.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a really nice stout if you like the taste of black licorice. It is also quite drinkable because any traces of alcohol are well hidden from the taste.

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Garún Icelandic Stout NR.19 from Borg Brugghús
93 out of 100 based on 26 ratings.