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Imperial Stout | Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

515 Reviews
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Imperial StoutImperial Stout

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
23°P,75 IBU.

Ingredients: Maris Otter, Munich, roasted barley, oat, black, and chocolate malt; Columbus and Crystal hops; English ale yeast, and our local Grimstad water.

Added by Sigmund on 02-08-2006

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Reviews: 515 | Ratings: 860
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.64/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Black pour, red to the edge. 1/3" tan head. Aroma was a licorice, chocolate malt, bitterness.

Taste actually didn't come across much like the aroma. Wasn't overly bitter, hid the alcohol pretty well. Some dark fruit notes, some chocolate malt. Expensive stuff, good, but would not repeat given the price.

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Photo of RickyS
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Petroleum. With a rather faint head, kind of clear for this style. The aroma is magnificent: coffee, roasted malts, brown sugars, peanuts, molasses. Marzipan and honey. The taste is dominated by coffee and roasted malts. Cocoa powder. Very prolonged in the finish. Simple but effective. Tasting the beer opens sensitivity to metallic notes. Not much. Not a very thick mouthfeel. Very very good beer.

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Photo of jakecattleco
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a tulip. Brownish black with a pencil thin layer of tan head that dissipates quickly but never completely. Nose was fairly mute with notes of roast and chocolate. Taste matches the nose, nothing overly interesting. Mouthfeel was nice, maybe a bit high on carbonation. Overall a good beer, but kinda meh.

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Photo of teromous
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I don't see a bottle or import date on the bottle. I am drinking this imported to the U.S.

Appearance: Black body with a short khaki film over the top. It's enough of a cap to cover the beer for about a minute. This fades to a familiar Imperial Stout ring. It leaves some spotted lacing. No head retention.

Aroma: It has a massive caramel aroma married with a bit of what smells familiar to coffee. There is chocolate in there as well, a bit reminiscent of brownie batter. It has a very sweet smelling and lovely aroma.

Taste: At first there is this sweet caramel flavor that is immediately washed away with the carbon flavor of charcoal. I want to head off any predisposition by saying that the carbon flavor is very mellow and does nothing more than to add the perfect bitterness to counteract the sweet caramel flavor. Perfectly balanced scales. The end is a light figgy flavor.

Mouthfeel: It has a dry finish and a medium body with a bit of bitterness from roasted grain. It could use a little bit more texture but otherwise it is good.

Overall: I enjoyed drinking the beer and overall I would recommend it. There isn't much more to say about it.

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Photo of aleigator
3.57/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black color with a thin, dark brown head. Aromas of caramel, malt, coffee, figs and sugar. Earthy malts go together with coffee and hints of chocolate. Carbonation is a little higher than expected, but still adds to the warming character of the beer. Coffee is present in a non too bitter way, supporting the malts very well and gets even bigger in the end, by becoming more complex due to an upcoming bitterness, which still leaves space for the malts. Very oily, smooth mouthfeel, medium bodied - different flavors blend together very well. Aftertaste is all about coffee, with a long lasting bitterness. While the beer smells sweet and malty, taste is in great balance between coffee and malts, supported by a fitting carbonation and a decent bitterness.

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Photo of cyguyjg
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark as a moonless night. Small, tight head remains only at the side of the glass but that was not an issue for me. Did not have this on nitro so the body was not as heavy as an Imperial might normally be but I took this to be a plus since the ABV is high. That kept the drinking sensation from seeming too filling. Both taste and texture are smooth. All the flavors are blended together: so well that the only one to stands out, slightly, for me -- that of roasted coffee.

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Photo of alarmclock314
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

16.9oz bottle, no date. Pours black with a medium sized brown head. Straightforward smell of roasted malt and cocoa. More complex taste of roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, and some dark fruit. The taste is somewhat muted, but very balanced. The roasted malt is lighter than with other RIS's. Below average body and above average carbonation. Overall, its balanced and feels well-crafted.

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Photo of Sleepy_Cecy
4.69/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Black as night, you can feel the viscosity as it goes into the glass. Cocoa-powder colored head that dissipates rapidly. Looking at the bubbles remaining in the center of the glass recalls an oil slick.

Aroma: Dark chocolate with raspberry undertones. Bitter touch of coffee and a hint of vanilla underneath.

Taste: Flavors slid seamlessly from a complex, minerally dark chocolate to black coffee to firewood. The hint of vanilla in the nose carries through on the palate, creating a burnt marshmallow finish (complete with a bit of charred stick). And that finish lasts, lingering on the center of the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and silky, but with a bit of carbonation that prevents it from becoming treacly.

Overall: Great complexity and a beautiful brew. Silkier than a La Perla nightie. Truly satisfy and complex.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at The Birch in Norfolk, VA.

This one pours a steely dark black, dark as night, with a very small head, and no lacing.

Smells like roasted malt, licorice, dark fruit, chocolate, and coffee.

This tastes like a pretty typically great Scandinavian-style Imperial Stout, great balance of chocolate and coffee, with some more interesting licorice and dark fruit flavors. It almost tastes port BA without actually being that. Nice.

This is pretty thick bodied, with a very creamy mouthfeel, and lower level of carbonation.

A really solid imperial stout here, hits all the right notes for sure.

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Photo of pat61
4.6/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours nearly black with a 2” tan head that looks like a nitro pour. Leaves thick lace. S: Dark malt and yeasty fruit aromas.
T: Achieves an exquisite balance between toast and roast malt flavors, malty chocolate, traces of coffee, yeast driven fruit, and hops that begins slightly sweet and then dries out. Traces of wine. Nothing harsh or burnt.
F: Soft and very creamy smooth, rich full body.
O: A delightful, rich yet easy to drink Imperial Stout.

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Photo of FLima
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

As deep black as it can be with a thick and thin dark caramel head with short retention.
Aroma with predominant notes of high grade cocoa chocolate, lots of black currant and some licorice. Hints of charred grains, coffee beans and molasses.
Flavor with predominant notes of dark fruits (Brazilian jabuticaba, black currant, plums), cocoa, spices, vanilla, charred grains, a bit of ash, licorice, molasses, chalk yeast, mocha, tobacco leaves and earth. Dry aftertaste with a bitterness that comes mostly from its roasted malts that insists to stay put.
Full body deceivingly lighter with mild carbonation and quite viscous. Alcohol of 9% abv is incredibly hidden, or simply absent.
A complex dark fruity and roasted Imperial Stout with a bold character without hopping it in excess. Perfect execution, who did this, knew exactly what was doing. Its gifts are hidden between the lines, take your time. It gets better and better once it warms up.
It held perfectly through time, this is 4 years and 1 to go to their best before date. It may have lost its aroma strength.

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Photo of lefty713
4.84/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The smell is absolutely amazing. Easily among the best aroma's I've ever had from a beer. The mouthfeel is perfect, just the right thickness without feeling sticky. The taste is among the best I've ever had from a basic imperial stout (no coffee beans added, BBA, etc...). Nice and complex, changes a couple times in your mouth.

Need to acquire again, this is absolutely top notch.

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Photo of interzen
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Look: Dark brown, almost tar-like with a bubbly tan head. Decent retention and some lacing but nothing special. Not sure whether or not my eyes were deceiving me, but this seemed fairly viscous when pouring.

Smell: As soon as the top was off the bottle there was a delicious aroma of dark, roasted malts and a hint of chocolate, the latter of which intensified once in the glass. Given the ABV, there was very little alcohol noticable on the nose, which bodes well.

Taste: Absolutely delicious - I don't think there are words to do it justice. You get everything in the smell, plus a bit - slightly burnt flavours, chocolate, coffee, burnt sugar and maybe the faintest hint of liquorice spiciness. The alcohol is very well hidden, and only really becomes noticeable as a warming feeling once it hits your stomach.

Feel: Quite a full body, as you'd expect from a stout and an Imperial in particular. Has quite a 'viscous' feel to it but by no means hard going. There's a nice transition from the burnt, tarry, earthy flavours up front to a dry, alcohol-tasting finish.

Overall: As stouts go, this one is an absolute killer - fantastic smell, massive flavour profile and a well-disguised ABV. I suspect this would benefit from some aging but as it comes it's absolutely stunning. The first beer I've had from Nøgne Ø and it certainly won't be the last - this should be on the shopping list of any stout enthusiast.

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Photo of Derek
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice tan head that shows lots of leg.

Boozy aroma with some tar and licorice.

Tasty brew, blackstrap molasses, licorice, tar, bakers chocolate and dark rum.

Moderate to full body is quite acidic, a bit chalky with a drying alcohol finish.

Enticing, pleasant drinker.

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Photo of spoonhawk
3/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On the heavier side of things but manages a thick head. The mouth feel is viscous but far from sticky.

Charred grains and french roast dominate upfront. Hints of barely sweet chocolate come through midsip, providing some relief from the more forward burnt flavors. The finish introduces some earthy hops that build on the drier flavors, and the alcohol shows a bit more than I was expecting it would.

The lingering flavor mixes a touch of sweetness, a ton of charred and burnt malt, and a present but not offensive alcohol.

A solid, straight forward RIS. I think the execution was on-point, and the lack of evident flaws is commendable. But, for me, it was a little too much char and a little too one-dimensional.

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Photo of 94Sip
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Overall: Had this in Arendal, Norway at Kitchen & Table restaurant. Poured from the 500mL bottle into a large wine glass. This was a great RIS - lots of complex flavors typical of the better imperial stouts. This is the highest rating I have given a RIS. If you have a chance to find this beer, get it and try it. Don't miss the opportunity if it presents itself.

Look: Typical dark black stout - not a great amount of head, but what was there stuck around the whole time and left a great looking lace on the glass.

Smell: Lots of dark chocolates, coffees, roasted grains. Very deep aromas - you could leave your nose in the glass for a long time and really enjoy it.

Taste: early dark fruit flavors, followed by some chocolates/coffees, and then finishes with a real nice toffee/caramel/dark maple syrup sweetness. Like most other RIS, let this one warm up to the recommended temperature because it tastes so much better than when it is refrigerator cold.

Feel: Just the right amount of thickness - moreso than a smaller stout and typical of a RIS. Carbonation was just right.

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – A dark black color with a nice chocolate head. Decent lacing when first poured, but very little lacing as the head begins to subside.

Smell – Has a nice strong scent to it. Roasted malt, burnt dark chocolate, barley, and s’mores.

Taste – Malt, barley, dark chocolate, charred wood, and a little hops.

Mouthfeel – Feels a little light at 9% (I tend to like 12-18% in a stout). Lightly carbonated, slightly creamy, lingering aftertaste.

Drinkability – A good, but not exceptional stout.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark dark brown almost black like oil with similar viscosity and khaki colored head. Cocoa, roasted malt, and some licorice on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with some roast.

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Photo of TwoPack
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

This is really fantastic. Deep rich mouthfeel. Good lacing. Aroma and taste of molasses, coffee, cocoa, tofee. Really rich and full mouthfeel. A little too much booze on the finish, but overall an excellent stout.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed from a growler in a snifter, this fine imperial stout pours a thick black with dark brown edges, a moderate dark tan head, and decent lacing. Nose of mild coffee, cocoa, vanilla, booze, and deeply roasted grains. Flavors are candied and delicious with sweet chocolate and mild coffee to the front and sides, vanilla to the back and on the aftertaste with intense warming and deeply roasted grains on the aftertaste. Slick coating mouth feel, mild carbonation, and lots of sweetness. A smooth imperial stout experience.


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Photo of EagleTalon
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a thick light brown head and black color. Aroma is dark cherries, vanilla and tons of mocha and a bit of bread and smoke. Flavor is smooth, creamy, roasty and damn delicious with a soft vanilla and hop finish. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. Overall an outstanding imperial stout.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2016. Purchased ages ago from the York Beer & Wine shop and stored carefully. The label promises a rich, black ale with coffee, chocolate and dried fruit flavours. I've wanted to sample a brew from these guys for ages - here goes.....

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A very dark brown hue that appears ultra-black in the glass. Produces a decent head of creamy mocha foam that lasts for a few minutes before subsiding to a patchy surface layer. Slight lacing.

S: Aroma of intense roasted malt with notes of coffee, burnt grain, cocoa, molasses, prunes, dried fruit, a touch of vanilla, mild smokiness, earthy yeast and faint stewed leaves. A hint of warming booze in the background. Simply superb.

T: Tastes of supremely decadent roasted malt with a complex character and a powerful bitter finish. Notes of coffee, burnt grain, dark malt, cocoa, molasses, dried fruit, fruitcake, subtle smokiness, a twinge of vanilla, earthy yeast and stewed leaves. A whisper of alcohol in the background. Slightly sweet, followed by a strident, malt-driven bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with soft carbonation and fantastic body. Stimulates the palate, though could be a tad livelier. Somewhat astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of rich roasted malt, coffee/chocolate, fruitiness and bitter burnt notes.

O: Excellent - a monster stout with an amazing character. It looks great, while the aroma and flavour are replete with roasted malt, coffee and dried fruit. Complex and bitter. Lovely creamy body. A top-notch imperial stout; Nøgne Ø have outclassed themselves. Add this to your must-try list.

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Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best russian imperial stouts out there, an excellent example of the genre. Pitch black pour with a bit of head. Smells of roasted malts and boatloads of dark cherries. The taste follows the same notes, simple components yet excellently blended. Smooth mouthfeel and a bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black pour, one finger mocha head before a nice sticky lace with nice traces on the glass.
Rich roasted malt up front, robust, rough, woody, plus very dark chocolate, caramel and toffee, faint cream and a drizzle of coffee powder. Low dark fruit, big emphasis on the "stout".
The taste doesn't entirely follow the nose, at least regarding the "dosage". Starts quite juicy with nice clear raisin, dry plum, some fig and date, mixed with some coffee acidity (even some faint citrus in the back). The dark fruit has a nice sweetness to it that stands up to the other rough elements from later on. Gets "lumpier" with dark chocolate, burnt sugar and some spices showing up, the somewhat usual licorice, cinnamon, vanilla. Roasted malts dominate the finish, right after a short flash of hops. Burnt dark bread, smoked wood, ash, charcoal, getting more intense till the aftertaste.
Thick body, low to medium carbonation, fits well with the robust nature of the beer. Should be noted that the aftertaste has some lingering hops and dark fruit, which is nice.
A big strong Imp Stout, seemed simple at first, but has nice complex flavours. Had it just 8 months old.

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Photo of BucBasil
4.69/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer is completely opaque and black even when held directly to light. The head is also one of the darkest I've ever seen, a thick foamy much seeping up from the mud of this brew. The whole thing looks almost like some melted chocolate ice cream on top of some motor oil. Crazy.

S: Very chocolatey with some booze hidden underneath. Really reminds me of chocolate cookies right after they have come out of the oven, then smothered in chocolate pudding which was then allowed to sizzle on the still-hot baking pan. So in other words, some burnt chocolate and roasted malt with lot s of dough and molasses, topped off with a somewhat sweet character. Crazy.

T: Chocolatey with some tobacco smoke and plenty of dough and roasted coffee. Amazingly complex. I'm sure I could come up with a different note each time I took a sip of this. Not as boozy as some imperial stouts and that's a good thing. I expected this thing to give me a brutal punch at the end, but in reality is was very mellow and only revealed even more flavor as it slowly made its way into my stomach and then my bloodstream. Crazy.

One word keeps coming to mind each time I think about this beer and it's "crazy." Not in a super hoppy DIPA way that kicks you in the face with a huge amount of some flavor, but in that it's supremely hard to pin this one down. It's crazy because it's so many contradictory things at once. Not only in that such a huge beer can be subtle, but also that beneath that subtlety lies a complexity that is like a gift every time it hits your tongue. Well balanced and extremely flavorful, strong and yet dangerously drinkable, this is a beer that I will want to come back to again and again.

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Imperial Stout from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
92 out of 100 based on 515 ratings.