Horizon Tokyo Black | Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

27 Reviews
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Horizon Tokyo BlackHorizon Tokyo Black

Brewed by:
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Norway | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 16.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MasterSki on 11-23-2013

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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 117
Photo of SayBoom
4.86/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottled: 29.11.2012
That is really sweet oak/coffee bomb! Though it has 16 ABV, it is very mild and non aggressive beer. Unbelievable rich and easy drinking. Obviously very delicious. One of the best non BA stout that I have had.

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Photo of ajm5108
1.74/5  rDev -59.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Pours with very little head or carbonation. Aroma is way off for me, it has some black strap molasses, chocolate and other similar notes deep in the well, but there is this overwhelming nail polish / astringent alcohol smell that is brutal. unfortunately, the taste doesn't redeem it. I imagine it is what drinking paint thinner is like. Just a real unprocessed alchohol / chemical flavor. If you grin and bear it, you might find just the most distant whispers of an actual beer, with some chocolate malt and coffee, but this beer is just bad. I have never had a Nogne O beer before, but I know Brewdog and their gimmicks, and this is par for the course. I am not a brewing expert, but I know they use some sort of freeze technique to boost the ABV of the beer, and I'm guessing that is what gives it this awful smell and taste.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle a deep motor oil black with a thin tan cap.

Boozy aroma with roasted malts, molasses, and tobacco.

Tasted of roasted malts, cocoa, molasses, leather, and vanilla with a warm buzz to the palate.

Medium-to-full bodied and smooth with a lighter carbonation.

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Photo of drpimento
4.82/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ooohhh, sooo good! Aroma of coffee, cocoa, roast, tobacco, leather, malt. Flavor's similar to nose, perfect balance between bitter-sweet & tang. Super smooth and easy drinking. And thanks again to John K for this amazing gift!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice dark brown foamy head with some retention and light lacing notes. Aroma of dry roasted malt with black chocolates notes, light tobacco notes and some molasses. Taste is a complex mix of dry roasted malt, woody notes, molasses and candi sugar with some black chocolates notes. Body is full and close to motor oil with some warming alcohol that is perceptible. Quite intense and complex but also quite a rewarding beer.

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Photo of darktronica
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

8.5 oz bottle poured into a Westy XII goblet. Low to medium carbonation produces no head to speak of, only a thin rim of tan foam at the interface between liquid and glass.

Nose is rum raisin ice cream and rolled oats, mixed with the smokiness of a peated whiskey--maybe a hint of hazelnut or brazil nuts. Taste follows up by adding a smidge of vanilla extract, a generous dose of oak, and a lingering finish of cocoa powder with cherry cordial undertones. As it warms, the 100 IBUs emerge as the bittersweetness of blackstrap molasses. I did not detect any of the wet paper or cardboard oxidation noted in the Bros' review. A different batch, perhaps?

For 16%, this hides the alcohol exquisitely. Really nice dessert beer.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.86/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #86 (Mar 2014):

Big, Bold, Blended, Sipper

This is the redux of the Black (Mikkeller) Tokyo (BrewDog) Dark Horizon (Nøgne Ø) collaboration from 2010. It’s a serious pour. Black as nothingness with a boozy, sherry, nutty and wood nose, followed by a creamy, smooth, viscous body full of black treacle, toffee, chocolate, coffee, dried fruits, charred raisin, wood and smoke. A lingering wet-paper oxidation note is quite noticeable, which is our only beef with this beer. Otherwise a kickass brew to warm and sip; beware, the alcohol content is deceiving.

STYLE: Russian Imperial Stout | ABV: 16.0% | AVAILABILITY: Limited

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Photo of biboergosum
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

250ml, black cardboard-ensconced bottle, the 2012 edition, just now arriving here - thanks for the two and a half years of aging, guys!

This beer pours a solid, unadulterated black, but for the most minor of basal cola syrup edges, and one anemic finger of loosely foamy, and generally bubbly light brown head, which leaves a few stray specks of sea plume lace around the glass as it quickly dissolves.

It smells of sharply phenolic alcohol, roasted caramel malt, bittersweet chocolate, black licorice, saucy cafe-au-lait, tanned leather, soused dark orchard fruit, vanillan cookies, and a tame herbal, weedy hop bitterness. The taste is rich, lightly toasted caramel malt, dark, sugary cocoa powder, slightly musty leather, tipsy plums and prunes, melted marshmallows, a somewhat acrid yeast twinge, and tame earthy, piney, and herbal hops.

The carbonation is mostly AWOL, anything fizzy or frothy long ago having left the building, the body a sturdy medium-full weight, and generally smooth, the alcohol and hops apparently not interested in causing a ruckus, as such. It finishes sweet, but in a strangely moderated sense - I fully suspect that the booze has something to do with that.

A decent, well amped-up RIS, however, the smoothness and balance one expects from such a blend is somewhat lacking here. Lots of flavour, sure, but I'm sensing a dearth of fullness on the palate, probably due to an elevated ABV that has minor integration issues. Anyways, interesting, but not particularly worth revisiting the very high shelf tag/volume ratio.

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Photo of tbeckett
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage.

A - Black pour with a one finger deep mocha head that faded extremely fast.

S - Amazing aroma. Lot's of leather. Dark fruit, coffee, vanilla, some heat. Lovely and complex. Inky black colour. Not much to speak for retention or lacing, but that's logical due to the ABV.

T - Booze, dark fruit, huge dark fruit and leather component. Vanilla more tame. Lot's of nice baker's chocolate. Some good caramel or sweet sugary candy of the like. Booze is definitely there but mingles well. Seems like a whisky chocolate cake or something. Enjoyable stuff.

M - Full body. Finish has some boozy notes to it with a good bitterness and a bit of burn. Carbonation is fairly low and appropriate.

O/D - Winner. Worth the price tag too. This is a great sipper, complex and enjoyable. Alcohol is there, but worth it.

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Photo of Bradaplast
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage cracked 2015.
Pours nice deep black with minimal head.
Nose is very complex. Bakers chocolate, marshmallow, caramel, barrel astringency? Slight alcohol heat.
True sipper. No booze bomb heat at yaste. Alcohol is masterfully hidden. Very complex but missing something on the back end. Like this beer!

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Photo of mothman
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Black with no head.

Very rich. Chocolate and caramel. Lots of dark dried fruit. Roasted malts with coffee. It's a very straight forward imperial stout and the alcohol is hidden well.

Silky smooth. Full bodied. Ends dry with some roast.

Fun to try. Nothing overly unique, but very solid and tasty. Worth a try.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

"Horizon Tokyo Black."

BOTTLE: .25L brown glass. Branded pry-off pressure cap. Comes packaged in a sleek cardboard box redolent of fine whiskey packaging. Imported by the Shelton Bastards. #05509. Batch 894/895. Brewed 29.11.12.

Live ale. 100 IBU. 16% ABV. Served cold into a snifter at high altitude in Castle Rock, CO. Reviewed live as an imperial stout.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1.5 fingers wide. Dark chocolatey tan colour. Good creaminess and thickness, with a soft-looking even consistency and a nice complexion. It retains quite well considering its high ABV - easily 1.5 minutes, leaving no lacing.

BODY: Opaque solid ink-black. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible. Decadent and luxurious.

Appears aptly carbonated. It's a good looking imperial stout. I can't wait to try it.

AROMA: Fudge. Rich chocolate. Chocolate malts. Dark malts. Cream. Cocoa. Caramel. Marshmallow.

It's not too sweet, and the alcohol is surprisingly well disguised.

Any roasted barley is buried beneath the malts.

It's a pleasant inviting aroma with mild aromatic intensity, but I find myself wondering why it isn't more rich or evocative given the intricate brews it's a blend of. In spite of its 100 IBUs, I find no detectable hop profile.

TASTE: Fudge-like and sweet, with plenty of milk and dark chocolate tones throughout. The sweetness helps tame the harsh acrid bitterness Mikkeller's Black contributes, and mutes the alcohol warmth; I'd never guess this was 16% if I tried it blind. Surprisingly, I do pick up on some faint hop character - a dank cannabis-like resin note. Complementary notes of cream, caramel, and baker's chocolate lend it still more intricacy. Hints of molasses. A fleeting hint of peat. Mild charred and burnt characteristics.

To my surprise, I can't find any dark fruit or coffee. The chocolate dominates.

Ultimately, while it's absolutely a complex beer, I don't find much nuance, and I expected a lot more intricacy and depth given its three constituents. I do like it, and it satisfies my imperial stout itch, but it leaves something to be desired. Surprisingly, they managed to address the issues I had with Mikkeller Black - a beer I was not at all a fan of. Balanced but not quite gestalt. I think any blend (or in this case, interpolaton) is unlikely to taste like a cohesive whole, but this does.

Above average flavour duration and intensity.

TEXTURE: About as syrupy as a beer can tolerably be, and as full-bodied, thick, and viscous as you'd expect. It's dessert-like, smooth, and wet, with an apt carbonation and a soft gooey feel. Not too chewy. It hides its alcohol surprisingly well, but make no mistake - this is very much a sipper.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or rough.

OVERALL: Drinkable, sure, but it's not something you gulp down. I'm glad the bottle size is reasonable, and would like to see more breweries put their imperial stouts in smaller formats. Its sweetness does start to get to me the more I drink, but overall it's a very satisfying dessert brew. I did hope for better given the breweries (and beers) involved, but it's an enjoyable treat with lots of intriguing fudge character.

Low B

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Photo of Gasc0igne
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Obsidian in the glass, red hue on the very edge with an inch of tanned head that recedes relatively quickly to a simple and clean ring around the edge of the beer. The alcohol gives this beast terrifying spider alcohol legs, amazing lacing.

Huge chocolate on the nose and a big hit of roast. Some alcohol noticeable. Unmistakable dark fruit presence. Not very interesting.

Following the nose with a huge chocolate front. Syrupy-sweet. Harsh transition to a bitter dark chocolate with very noticeable alcohol. Ends with alcohol heat and a sweet-yet-funky fruitiness.

Full bodied. Low carbonation, a bit drying (from aclo?). Sticky.

A solid Russian Imperial Stout but not the standout I was hoping for.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

250 ml bottle, brewed 29.11.12, Batch # 894/895. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a 1/4 inch tan head that fizzled away quickly. Pretty much no lacing at all. The brew smells like molasses, roasted malt, dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate and some smoke. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some woody earthiness, coffee, milk chocolate and charred/burnt malt noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's coating and a bit creamy with moderate carbonation. It's also smooth and easy enough to drink. For a beer that's 16% ABV, the alcohol is very well hidden! I liked this brew, my only complaint is with the small bottle, I just wish this came in a bigger size (330 or 375 ml maybe?). Definitely worth a try!

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.99/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Horizon Tokyo Black has a thin, tan head, a very dark brown (just say "black") appearance, and a few little splotches of lacing left on the glass. The aroma is very, very strong- peat moss, charcoal, smoke, dark-roasted malt, chocolate, black cherries, and malt. Taste is of all that, plus straight-up alcohol, black syrup, the darkest-brown sugar, black bread, elevated (but, not harsh) bitterness, and menthol. Mouthfeel is heavy, syrupy, and stinging. Horizon Tokyo Black finishes boozy and strong.


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Photo of Treyliff
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #800
Bottled 11/29/12, batch 894/895
Poured into a snifter

A- pours an opaque jet black color with a small fizzy khaki colored head that reduces quickly, leaving just a ring behind, lots of alcohol legs

S- heavy roasted malt aroma up front gives note of charcoal, campfire, smoked wood, bitter dark chocolate and a hint of coffee. Sweet aromas of molasses, caramel/toffee, burnt brown sugar, fermented black cherries & figs & licorice. Herbal/earthy/woodsy notes close it out

T- big smoky charred malt flavors mesh with deep dark chocolate, molasses, melted toffee, coffee & wood smoke. Among all of these bold flavors, a district sour, almost tartness breaks through with strong flavors of dark cherry & blueberry, providing an almost vinous-like quality. As it closes out, more chocolate kicks in with a hint of sugared smoked meat

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel, with a smooth slightly warming finish, ABV is hidden quite well for 16%

O- a big boozy sipper that surprisingly stays within the parameters of the style. More and more flavors continue to pop out as it warms, a treat that is to be sipped and savored

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Photo of anteater
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Jet black, fine spotty khaki head

S: Raisins, booze, chocolate

T: More of the raisins and chocolate from the nose but with the addition of coffee and a really nice bitterness. I think the bitterness is what rounds this beer out and takes it from good to great. Nowhere near the amount of alcohol heat I expected - far smoother than Black Tuesday or World Wide Stout for comparison.

M: Thick as you'd expect but not too thick to where its syrupy

O: As I was writing this review, I realized how much I really liked this beer. I bought it expecting a good beer, maybe something a little different but damn! This is a really solid, totally delicious RIS.

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Photo of dogin26
4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is WILD.

Tar black with a coco head that fades quickly but that is a given since it has such a high ABV

Blueberry's are super dominant on the first whiff, dark fruits come after with some wood smoke.

The flavour follows after the smell with blueberry's and dark fruits. Then i get a maple wood coming through which ends on some soft soothing smoke.
Really enjoyable

Simple but pleasant mouth feel. The alcohol is hidden well but still gives you that lovely warmth.
Great stout that rewrites the flavor profile of stouts.

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Photo of bnes09
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep, jet black and perfectly opaque. Thin, copper colored head on the pour with weak retention. Understandable though considering the strength of this beer.

Dark aroma of pork sausage smoked over maple wood. Espresso and wheat notes.

Black currants and burnt molasses provide mildly sweet flavors. Definitely a burnt malt quality on the palate. Toasty and smoked flavors follow the nose. Smooth wood flavor. Also, an assertive, earthy and herbal hop presence. Great balance between malt and hop flavors. Leaving toward bitter in the end. Strong boozy finish. As it warms the beer develops added cocoa and dark fruit notes with a smoother overall character.

Dense, full body. Slightly sticky feel. Surprisingly well carbonated.

Highly complex and tasty. Different from any other beer I have had.

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Photo of aslamm75
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Color: deep black
Aroma: faint, subtle coffee and chocolate
Taste: similar to above, I can definitely taste the Tokyo. This beer is a little "hot" and will likley get better with time.
Mouthfeel: smooth, a little bit too carbonated
Overall: 4.3

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Photo of endovelico
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Now and then I'll come across a beer that challenges my thoughts on everything I thought I knew of a given style. To the point that I'm unable to rate it to its own style even if It doesn't in any way stray too far off the existing guidelines. This is one such brew.

What is amazing about this brew is how - as I hinted at above - It's within guidelines, yet still manages to amaze you as it tweaks its profile in all the several available spectrums to create something that feels truly unique. To make matters more confusing, this is a 16% brew we're talking about, and by all accounts it's one of the most drinkable IRS I remember having.

The nose is subdued, muted almost with dark fruit, praline and fusel like notes protruding through.

The taste a bit more intense and doesn't really follow on the nose with its own woody, coffee and smoky notes dominating.

The palate is even more intense, with robust (but not cloying) sweetness, slight smoky twang, the softest carbonation and just a great coating texture wrapping everything up neatly. The ABV? Remarkably illusive.

Overall, while this isn't a beer for every drinker or occasion - even if I think that for a beer this big It's probably as consensual a beer as you'll ever get - It's so unique and powerful that I would probably rank this - bar a few very select quads - as one of the best desert beers I have ever had, surely the best desert IRS.

Come to think of it, a Quad IRS IS probably the best short-cut way to describe this. Anyway, I digress... Fantastic beer and the best collaboration brew I have ever had most likely.

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Photo of Misanthropy_Sipping
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'll just point this out right now... I would buy this again... even at the big price for a little over 8oz.

Appearance... black with very thin bands around the rim that are reminiscent of molasses and chestnut hues. Very little to no head, but just as expected for such a high ABV beer. Carbonation has a milk chocolate tone to it. Just as expected and just as hoped for.

Smell. What a blast! Rich, dark, fudgey chocolate. Charred wood and coffee, hints of molasses, caramel, smoke, fermented cherries, almost wine-like. A touch of vanilla and prunes. Quite boozy. I could crawl into this glass and just live for awhile just by the smell alone.

Taste... ahhh yeah. The taste. This is great. This is so big and out of control and wonderful. The chocolate is a bit more dry to the taste but is all the way there in it's rich dark cocoa nib flavor. The coffee is pretty present but is not bashing around. The coffee lends to a gentle smoke tone that really helps bring out the citrus tones of the hops. The charred wood is present with the smoke. The wine like tones are there with the dark cherry and prunes. The vanilla is slipped in there. Just a hint of dry caramel and herbal accents. It has a brown sugar sweetness. The sweetness is no cloying either... it is just all out tasty.

Mouthfeel is heavy but not thick. The booze scours and the hops help dry it up and keep it from being sticky and too oily. It is a bit oily but the mouthfeel is all just so well in balance with the sweetness on this. I'm loving this beer.

If you like Imperial Stouts, this is an unusual and powerful experience. I've had a few similar brews but they have been few and far between. It definitely is one of a kind. Find it! Try it! I will say this one more time... I'd buy another myself, even at the high cost.

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Photo of Damian
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank from an 8.5 fl oz/0.25l bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Brewed: 29.11.12/Batch nr.: 894/895
Served in a snifter

The beer poured jet black. Thick and viscous, like motor oil. A super tight and creamy, one-finger tall crown of caramel colored froth topped the liquid. Tiny droplets of lacing trickled down the glass. The head eventually faded to a mass of foam that later turned into a thick, bubbly ring. Quite an impressive head with solid retention for a beer of this magnitude.

Smokey notes dominated the nose. Peat smoked malts were apparent. Super boozy and almost fusel-like. Lots of char and ash. Quite woody. Touch of fruity sweetness. I thought I picked up some plastic notes as well. As the beer warmed, the smokey, peaty notes intensified.

The flavor profile was much smoother and more rounded than the aroma. Boatloads of roasted malts came through on the front end. Strong dark fruit notes. Plums and raisins were most noticeable. Lots of brown sugar sweetness. Like the nose, the flavor profile was super smoky and peaty. It definitely tasted like this beer had been aged in single malt Scotch barrels. There was a moderately boozy kick on the finish but, considering the ABV, it was surprisingly subtle. Char-like notes came through as well.

On the palate, this 16% ABV imperial stout was far thinner than I anticipated. The slick, oily liquid contained an ultra fine and mild carbonation that made the beer seem slightly creamy once it settled.

While Horizon Tokyo Black may have had a less than stellar aroma and mouthfeel, the flavor profile was amazingly smoky and complex yet very well balanced. I am astonished by how well this beer masked its amazingly high ABV. Despite the steep ($14) price tag, this is worth the splurge. I would love the opportunity to one day sample the different variations on this beer.

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Photo of beergoot
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Jet black body with a thin but lasting light tan head. Strong roasted grain, cocoa and bitter chocolate, and coffee aroma. Flavor and feel exudes richness and depth that mimic the aroma along with some estery hints of dates and figs; subdued alcohol heat and well ingrained hop bitterness incorporated in the taste; heavy mouthfeel, smooth and velvety.

This is my kind of collaboration, especially for a powerhouse style like a Russian imperial stout. What's truly amazing is how well restrained the ABV (16.0%) comes across. You could almost call this an imperial Russian imperial stout (IRIS) with this kind of ABV, yet the charm and warmth of the dark roasted grains remains the high point. Yeah, I nearly moan with ecstasy with this one...

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Photo of MaximalC
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours nearly black with a modest head of mocha foam that soon dissipates into a thin ring. Complex aroma smells of roasted malt, espresso, molasses, dark fruit, anise, and booze. The booze is actually fairly muted in the aroma considering this beer is a whopping 16% ABV.

As far as the taste goes: I am in flavor country... The alcohol delivers a dextrous numbing at first blush, followed by a wave of molasses and dark fruit, including currants and plums. Woody notes creep up in the middle to nice effect, while the faintest whiffs of dark chocolate may lurk beneath the sweet, boozy backbone. The finish is just sublime--full and robust, it envelopes the palate in a boozy haze somewhere between bourbon and red wine--and it nearly doesn't go away. While the alcohol is definitely present, it's deftly integrated and a vital component of the experience. I've had far weaker beers that taste caustic by comparison. The body is medium-light and the mouthfeel is slick and smooth, yet slightly sticky.

Overall, this is a nearly faultless imperial stout. It's smooth, rich, warming, and delivers a finish that is second to none. If I had to choose one flaw, it's that the bottle only holds 8.5 ounces of the stuff. If you don't like this stout, you probably don't like stouts.

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Horizon Tokyo Black from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
92 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.