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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: 861
Photo of biboergosum
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle. As spring seems tentative in its approach, I guess these heartier beers still have their place at this time. Ah, who am I kidding, I'd drink this in deepest, sweatiest August, if that's when it arrived here.

This beer pours a very solid black abyss, with only the slightest hints of basal cola 'highlights', and two fingers of thickly foamy, puff-chested light brown head, which leaves an undulating vista of mountain peak lace around the glass as it evenly recedes.

It smells of dark roasted caramel malt, somewhat sour black orchard fruit, thin treacle, grainy coffee beans, vegetal earthy hops, and a touch of zingy warming alcohol. The taste is big chocolate caramel malt, mildly tart dark fruit - the usual suspect plum, prune, and dried cherries, a piffling smokiness, earthy cafe au lait, a subtle oat-borne nut character, dead leafy hops, and a very tame booze edginess.

The carbonation is fairly understated, nothing really tickling the throat here, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, smooth without constraint, and creamy to a certain degree. It finishes on the sweet side, the chocolate, coffee, and caramel holding the fort, with some trickling hop and booze notes providing fodder for any hope of balance.

Another winner from this brewery that only seems to brew the beefiest of beer styles - not that there's anything wrong with that, given their obvious proficiency. Balanced, somewhat, i.e. not too sweet, and with an ABV that is most agreeably shy. What's not to like?

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Photo of Immortale25
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. No freshness date. Much appreciated, BlackBelt5112203

A- Pours a murky 99% opaque black color with a 1/4 inch brown head that retains a bit before soon degrading to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a nice-sized patch of surface foam. Resilient sheet of lacing has tiny speckles.

S- Strong scent of very dark roast brings notes of dark chocolate, molasses, raisin and caramel. The alcohol is quite apparent creating a bourbon-esque aroma.

T- A bit smoother than the smell would imply. The notes turn from dark chocolate to milk chocolate and the caramel is more pronounced. Yes, it's still quite roasty and a bit bitter but the sweetness is more of a key player in the taste. Booze is still around but doesn't spoil the party, just brings more of those hints of whiskey.

M- Quite creamy and slick with medium-low carbonation and the fullest of bodies.

O- A very bold stout with high roast character and a smooth finish. Met my expectations.

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

No date from what I can see.

A: Pitch black with a tall, fluffy, thick, medium brown head that leaves behind just a bit of lace and has a nice ring of foam.

S: Heavy roasted malt, molasses, brown sugar, dark fruits, some chocolate and coffee. Everything you'd expect but with a nice sweetness and chocolaty aroma when given a good swirl.

T: Super balanced between roasty, charred malt and sweet, chocolaty, woody malt. A faint hop presence in the finish?

M: Incredibly smooth, sweet, and seriously delicious. Roasted malt flavor is spectacular.

O: Really let this beer warm up. Allows it to shine. Well-crafted and such a joy to drink.

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Photo of duracell
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500mL into a snifter. Batch 777, brewed on 20/02/12, best before 10/02/16.
A - Pitch black color with a thin ring of espresso color. Some thick lacing left on the glass.
S - Big espresso, dark chocolate, dark fruits (plums and raisins). Relatively sweet to the nose, no apparent alcohol.
T/M - Relatively sweet upfront with a fruity character followed by load of espresso flavors that dries out the mouth. Hop comes at the end with a balanced bitterness and some herbal character. Finishes really dry and lingers forever.
O - Good balance and nice complexity. Definitely coffee oriented but to style. Recommended!

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark mocha head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, char, roasted malt, coffee, toast, raisin, fig, licorice, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with big balance, strength, and complexity of dark roasted notes and light fruitiness. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, char, roasted malt, coffee, raisin, fig, light molasses, toast, licorice, oats, and roasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, char, roasted malt, coffee, raisin, light molasses, toast, licorice, oats, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance and complexity of dark roasted flavors and fruitiness; with zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic imperial stout. Great complexity and balance of very dark roasted malt flavors; and extremely smooth and easy to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering!

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 15.11.11 and bought at Ølbutikken.
Drank 24.09.12
Another hostel review.
Oh yeah, this looks like a big impy stout. I'm not getting any light even at the bottom curve. There is a nice large thick brown head. A nice almost full sheet of lace from where I'm not drinking from.
On the nose is a lovely roastiness like coffee with some chocolate and dark fruit and licorice undertones.
Coffee on the taste upfront and some dark fruit which gave way to dark chocolate and ends leathery and dry.
A big smooth and creamy mouthfeel on this. Just the right amount of carbonation for this beer. You can feel it moving gently on the tongue.
Thanks to Scandinavian beer prices I bet I paid more than I would have stateside, but my lovely state doesn't get this great breweries stuff. Had this in my backpack and had to crack it in Budapest after way too many lagers through east central Europe. Hit the spot.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.74/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a thick dark brown/black pour into a tulip, finger of tan head. smells of coffee mostly, dark roasted grains. subtle chocolate and coffee notes up front, nice roasted bitterness coming through in the middle of the palate, finishing with a nice dark coffee roast flavor. medium (borderline full) body with a slight hint of carbonation.. feels a bit watery for an imperial stout.

honestly, i had way higher hopes for this one. it was really a sub-par imperial stout, and coming from this brewer, it's hard to believe they'd be ok with this. now don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible or anywhere near that. i just get the feeling that nogne o is a very prestigious brand of beer and expected a prestigious imperial stout, whereas this was just "pretty good".

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Photo of Makkara
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Impenetrable by light, this beer is black as night and has a smallish caramel coloured head. Aroma of smoke and generally a very roasty scent. Beautiful. Taste is very complex in my opinion, having alot of roastiness, fruit and slight bitterness. Definitely interesting, you notice new notes on every sip and gulp. The mouthfeel is rather light and easy, which is what I prefer, and goes down rather easy. Wish I had more of this, definitely a keeper.

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Photo of Philousa
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Inky black, this beer is void of color. Head is hard to coax out, a thin line of khaki clings to the glass. A big swirl brings out a thin layer of head that looks like crema on an espresso. Lots of chocolate in the aroma. Sweet like a milk stout with  noticeable alcohol aroma. I also get slight spice, like sage. Taste consists of burnt toast, licorice, bakers chocolate, some caramel, and slight oak in the malt. The beer bitters out well with grassy hops, perhaps the source of sage I sniffed earlier. The finish is dry and somewhat chalky, feel is slightly watery which is quite a feat considering the amount of malt going into this. Alcohol is hidden well.

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Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

LOOK (5/5) – Pours a jet black colour and is opaque. Head is very good: rises large off the pour; rich tan /mocha colour; it lasts exceptionally long given the abv and recedes with some really nice Belgian lace. Some alcoholic ‘legs’ visible.

SMELL (4.5/5) – Very good, it has a really nice roasted and sweet aroma that is reminiscent of a coffee with cream. On the malt side I get: lots of coffee; caramel notes; some dark fruit (plums, prunes) as well. That being said, the overall intensity of the malt aroma was only medium-high. There was also a good bit of floral and perfumy alcohols that complimented the touch of fruitiness quite well. Hop aroma was mild.

TASTE (4.5/5) – Similar to the aroma. Malt character is of the same sort, very much like a rich coffee and cream with caramel and dark fruits, the alcohol and fermentation add some really nice lighter characters that play off the dark sweetness really well (think rich chocolate cake). There is also a bit of nuttiness from the oat. Hop flavour was minimal, but was of a more earthy character (I did detect a slight hint of resin, though). Hop bitterness was medium-high and did a good job of drying out the finish and letting the roasted flavors take hold to avoid a cloying finish. Alcoholic flavour are definitely there but are not hot (a touch solventy on the finish); again, this plays with the coffee and melanoidins very well.

FEEL (4.5/5) – Full bodied with medium-low carbonation play really well. I think that it hit a nice balance between being really velvety and fluffy.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Pitch black pour with a gorgeous two finger caramel-colored head with good retention and crazy lacing. Big roasty nose with a subtle sweetness to it. Loads of dark chocolate and coffee along with hints of vanilla and peat with just a touch of licorice. The bitter dark chocolate and roasty coffee dominate the taste as well, along with hints of dark fruit, leather, tobacco, molasses, licorice, and some burnt espresso. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with a great bitter dry finish. The 9% ABV is almost non-existent making this scary drinkable. Yet another top notch offering from Nøgne Ø!

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

A: dense black body with a thick creamy dense dark tan head

S: roasted malt and dark bitter cocoa; cold black lightly sweet coffee

T: deep dark currant and roasted espresso; dry cocoa powder and slight booze

M: bitter tack and heavy body; slight stick; alcohol astringence around the edges

O: built to travel - great RIS, nice and strong with the crisp bitter flavors and the roasted dark chocolate malt undertones. Definitely suitable for cold weather endeavors, and warming by firelight

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Photo of mintjellie
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ink black and completely opaque. No highlights. The only trace of colour is a large, retentive, and lacy tan head. Licorice, black coffee, and dried fruit aroma betrays very little alcoholic potency. Roasted malt flavour is up front with dark roast coffee and char notes, which are then joined by molasses, raisin, and black plum. This gives the beer a bittersweet flavour profile. That charred flavour holds on long into the drying finish. It shows very little of it's 9% ABV. The flavour shows great depth. Full-bodied with moderate carbonation and a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. This full-flavoured stout is delicious and looks like sex in a glass. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a 8 oz snifter.

A- pours pitch black with a 1 finger dark brown head. Big waves of lacing remain on the glass.

S- roast, dark fruits, some smoke amd peat.

T- big roast and pleated malts, dark fruits, some bitterness and ash.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Dinks fairly easily with a slight dry finish.

O- nice RIS. Peat is not overpowering like many Nogne-O, Brewdog, Mikkeller, etc beers.

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Photo of secondtooth
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasting note: This is a 2+ year old aged bottle.

Pours a deep opaque oil-black, with a thick head of dark foam. Lace is thick and impenetrable...not detailed, just a wall of lace.

Nose is dark fruit and bitter chocolate. Formidable!

Taste is, again, dark bitter chocolate with some sweeter coffee textures at the back of the palate. I get some underlying berry and dark fruit in the mix, too.

A superb imperial stout here, world class, and right up there with the big American names.

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Photo of CManuel
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a nice brown head that lingered for a bit. Smells mostly of roasted burnt stuff, a bit of sweet chocolatey and coffee smells mixed. Nice mouthfeel and body on this beer, tastes of burnt roasted flavors with some sour/fruity notes, though they are subtle. I enjoyed this beer but would be hesitant to spend the $$$ on this when there are better and cheaper options available. Straightforward solid imperial stout.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Black and substantial, shiny, body with a small dark brown head that leaves irregular spiderwebs of lace down the glass.

Fairy typical aroma of a big stout: dark, roasted malts, some coffee and chocolate, along with mild dark fruits and licorice.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, though there's more licorice and dark fruit character present than in the aroma. This is complemented nicely by big notes of roasted malt and some mild chocolate.

Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation, at least for the style.

Good, and I'm glad I got to try it, but often too expensive to make a purchase worthwhile.

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Photo of Rutager
3.91/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to liamt07 for this from the CANBIF.

Appearance. Pours thick and black with a massive, almost 4-finger dark tan head that lasts and lasts.

Smell. Roasty dark malts, just a little molasses and coffee, even less dark chocolate and plums.

Taste. Dark roasty malts, a little molasses and black licorice.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium, smooth carbonation.

Overall. Great stuff. Nothing fancy, just a solid imperial stout/ris.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 16.9oz bottle into wine glass at a cafe in Oslo, Norway.
Pours a deep oily black with a slight brown/tan head. Smells of bitter coffee, roasted malts, piney hops, and a hint of dried fruit.
Taste is of roasted coffee malts, chocolate, vanilla, hops and dried fruit. Really complex and tastey RIS, in fact its excellent. A bit bitter, but nice. Well worth a try of this beer. For a price of $10 USD (in the states) is very worth it, because this cost me USD $25 in Oslo! But it was worth the elevated price.

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Photo of flyingpig
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark black with a huge, thick bubbly head that is a medium brown head that slowly reduces in size over the course of a few minutes. It eventually settles to a thumb sized head that stays for the duration.

Huge coffee aroma with a lot of spice and a huge alcohol kick along with some roasted malts and a sort of milky smell toward the end. There is a hint of vanilla and some mild dark fruits as well and a lingering creamy bitterness.

Very spicy and a good mix of roasted malts, touches of alcohol and some vanilla along with a little bit of coffee. There is a helping of dark malts and dark fruits with a little plum.

As mentioned the beer was very spicy with a full body, good carbonation and lingering bitter finish. The beer feels quite creamy and goes down well with a good balance between the flavours and the high alcohol content.

Very strong on flavours with a good balance and a taste that grows on you with each sip. There is a lot going on and most of the flavours compliment each other quite well. The beer definitely improves as the drink goes on, even though it starts well.

1001 Beers Blog:

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a sludgy pitch black color that looks immensely thick. The head is a dark tan color about one finger tall before fading to only a small ring on the glass in quick fashion.

S: Wow, the chocolate, licorice, and roasted malts on this one are strong! After a while, though, they seem to fade out and become only moderately strong, but still, this smells like it will be right up my alley.

T: No one note seems to dominate this - licorice and chocolate initially, dark fruits in the midtaste, and a roasty finish. Concurrent sips cause less of the chocolate and more of the fruitiness to appear, all while notes of char and smoke help balance the sweetness. Every once in a while, I can taste a 'ping' of earthy, piny hoppiness; and even a little truffle, giving it further complexity. Actually, I'm more impressed by its balanced structure than I am with the actual flavor profile, which is kind of damning it with faint praise in a manner. Even still, a great RIS, without a doubt.

M: Super creamy and sophisticated, with an initially silky texture giving way to a gentle, delicate finishing dryness and a medium-heavy body. Roasted malts linger subtly on the palate. As much as I like the flavor of this, the real reason this is such a joy to drink is because its texture causes my tongue to go into an orgasm. Plain and simple, THIS is how you make an imperial stout feel in the mouth. Damn near perfect, this is its trump card.

O: If I could compare this to any other RIS on the market, I'd say it's very reminiscent of Old Rasputin in terms of its flavor and aroma, albeit with greater refinement. I REALLY enjoy this, but it's a poor value at $10/bottle (it's worth it, though!) Actually, the biggest flaw with this is this simple fact: I'm more in love with how it was crafted rather than how it tastes. Who cares?! Any stout fan worth his/her weight in saffron should try this one.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - tar black with a thick dark brown head that dissipated very slowly
S - sweet chocolate and roasty aromas dominate
T - dark chocolate, sweet dark fruit, burnt roasty, with slightly sour note, rounded out with sweet alcohol
M - medium thick body, somewhat chalky, with a building abv heat, finishes full
O - big bold flavours as a big beer should have, not best in class but definitely worth a try if you are a fan of the style

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Photo of brystmar
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle is at least 1yr old. Aroma shows deeply roasted malt, black coffee, and a touch of heat. Taste is about the same: this is a very "dark" stout that focuses on the malt character. Minimal coffee, zero chocolate, nothing exotic or crazy. Nice body.

A straightforward imperial stout. Hard to justify this purchase when Founders Imperial Stout is cheaper and significantly better in all areas.

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Photo of DevilsCups
3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

0.5L bottle poured into a DFH Sig Glass.

A - Pitch black in body. Looks fairly viscous when pouring. Settles to a nice light brown head that dissipates moderately. Very foamy, tight bubbled head.

S - Roasted malts, milk chocolate notes and slight alcohol heat. Decent aroma.

T - Roasted malts go along with the chocolate notes. The alcohol presence is there, but not overwhelming. Oatmeal is noticeable as well. There's almost a pimento olive note in the aftertaste as well. Really interesting brew. Bitter finish, coffee style bitterness.

M - Could stand to be thicker. I feel like I type that a bunch with stouts, but this one could be much improved with a little thickness. Slightly coating.

O - Cool beer. Worth a try for sure.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Chappy's. Pitch black color with an inviting mocha head. Head fades a bit, but leaves some nice looking lace. Can't really ask for much better look for the style.

Nose has plenty of chocolate and caramel. Maybe a hint of vanilla thrown in with some slight roasty notes.

Roasty malt is the theme here. Some dark chocolate as well. A hint of caramel, but not as much as I thought from the nose. Well hopped, with some hop bitterness combining with the roasty notes pretty well.

Body is full, with some softer carbonation which gives a creamy feel. Some warmth from alcohol but not overwhelming. A pretty nice beer.

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