Imperial Brown Ale - Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

Not Rated.
Imperial Brown AleImperial Brown Ale

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

114 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 114
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 15
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S visit their website
Norway

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Phyl21ca on 03-01-2007

18°P, 30 IBU.

Ingredients: Maris Otter, wheat, brown, amber, Munich and caramel malt; Columbus, Chinook and E K Golding hops; English ale yeast, and our local Grimstad water.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 114 | Reviews: 60
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a large light tan head.
Nose shows lots of nutty and softly roasted malt along with spicy, earthy and slightly resinous hops. Later on some chocolate and diacetyl enters. Very gentle, nothing harsh or aggressive, quite well done.
Flavours show more roasted character but this quickly subsides into nutty malt and dark chocolate only to resurface in the finish as a pleasant roasty bitterness. Again, very well executed without twisting the style to much.
Moderately low carbonation works well.
Halfway between a stout and a porter really.

Photo of laituegonflable
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dirty burnt brown colour, opaque with a huge amount of cloudy haze, and an enormous voluminous head, several inches of retention with a nice aerated bubble cloud, dense at the top and not really sinking. Doesn't leave a lot of lace. Nice, but kind of lacks substance. Lots of head and a cloudy body do not a good beer make; it needs to mean something.

Nose is very grainy. Quite English in character with a lot of sweetness. Fair amount of brown sugar, chestnut character (like an Asian chestnut cake), and a bit of diacetyl that falls short of over-sweetening it. Slight nutshell-woody bitterness and a slight alcohol twang as well. But a pleasant sweet nose, for its minor faults.

Tastes malty and sweet, quite roasty as well. Yeah, pleasant - a lot of toffee, bittersweet with brown sugar, a slight toasted bread note and a bit of oak. Slight licorice spice on the mid and towards the back, the latter of which coincides with an alcohol bite, which is a little hot and quite noticeable, more vodka-esque than a smooth scotch warmth. This is a sweet beer with the right amount of bitterness and edge at the end to clip it off. You've got to hand it to Nøgne Ø, they sure know flavour, and how much is enough. Tasty.

Creamy and gorgeous mouthfeel. Definitely not thin but it just slips through the mouth. Unfortunately a snakebite of booze at the end is a little bit harsh. Otherwise perfect.

Yeah, the Naked Island do it again. A tasty, solid beer from a brewery of true quality.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #63 (Apr 2012):

LOOK: Nearly black, thick lacing

SMELL: Unsweetened dark chocolate, burnt bread crust, fig sugar, floral, alcohol, earthy, freshly spent coffee grounds

TASTE: Sweet, medium body, semi-crisp, figs, cocoa powder, citric pith, hop bitterness, brown malt, nectarine pits, earthy yeast, toffee, black walnuts, blueberry skin, toasted bread, porridge

A big brew for sure, balanced and does not have any intention of being a burden on the palate in any manner. Does it really need that Imperial tag? It is the world we live in right? You'll want to sip this one slow not because of the strength but the long story it wants to tell as it opens up.

Photo of GbVDave
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into my brand new Boulevard tulip (thanks Homebrewhawk!) Label on my bottle is different than the one pictured.

A: Pours a deep, rich brown with some faint burnt orange highlights at the edges. Topping this is a bubbly, light khaki colored head that reaches about 3 fingers thick. As it recedes it doesn't leave much in the way of lace but changes into a thin, creamy skim and unbroken ring.

S: I was immediately greeted with aromas of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and hints of fudge covered dark fruit.

T: Pretty much as above, but with flavors of pan roasted nuts, spicy hops, cocoa, and a hint of cola.

M: Incredibly smooth and creamy with an almost perfect amount of peppery hop prickle to keep this so very interesting.

D: Holy crap, do they turn out some great beer at Nogne O! Make sure you swirl all of the sediment into your glass. You won't be disappointed!

Photo of rarbring
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is dark brown, nearly black, a tan head, good lacing and some curtains.

The smell has roasted tones, sweet dark fruits like raisins and dates and dark chocolate.

The taste is sweet, brown toast, dates and some very dark bitter chocolate.

Medium carbonation, small soft bubbles and an oily sweet feeling, a dry finish.

A really good balanced beer with lots of malty tones.

Photo of mdagnew
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from The Lighthouse, Jordanstown

Poured a deep mahogany nutty brown colour. Nice creamy tan head poured very tight, thick and foamy with a whipped meringue like topping then faded fairly quickly to decent thick covering. No carbonation at all... some light lacing...

Aroma - Lots of roasted chocolate malts, tobacco smoke notes, strong peppery and grassy hops, roasted (maybe slightly charred ?) nuttiness, strong nutmeg spiciness, some anise, black coffee, woody hints, creosote traces, dark dried fruits (raisins and currents)...

Taste - Big grassy and earthy hop bitterness up front followed by lots of (charred) roasted malts, some pine notes, spicy dark fruits (raisins, dates, plums), dark chocolate, light smokiness, roasted nuttiness, light treacle sweetness...

M&D - Pretty sharp and dry... medium bodied... Pretty drinkable for 7.5%

Overall - A pretty decent brown ale although i prefer mine a little more malty than hoppy... definitely recommended though...

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

On tap at ChurchKey poured into sampler glass. Interesting back story that it was first brewed in the spring 2006 in Nørrebro Bryghus in Copenhagen, Denmark, as a joint brew between Nøgne Ø and Nørrebro. Nørrebro calls their version “Double Knot Brown”. Pours hazy reddish brown beer with a frothy quickly diminishing beige head, good lacing throughout. Intense hard roasted malty aroma with notes of nuts, burned caramel, molasses and dried fruits. Taste is bittersweet and hard roasted with a sugary texture, full body and wonderfully integrated notes of licorice and grapefruits, probably coming from the hops. Lingering dry, medium bitter finish.

Photo of bashiba
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark brown with a thick and creamy 5 inch head that lasted and lasted, nice lacing as well.

The smell was light creamy chocolate and dark caramel malts.

The flavor is very brown, nutty and bready with hints of toffee and chocolate with a nice lightly bitter finish.

The mouthfeel is very creamy and thick.

Very nicely done, the Nogne I have had to date.

Photo of wvsabbath
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - 16.9 oz bottle

Appearance - Dark brown/tan, traces of black. Monster 3+ inch head with a ton of lacing.

Smell - Malts, nuts, brown sugars, roasted coffee. Sweet fruits and spices. Chocolate and cocoa nibs. Smells awesome.

Taste - Very malty, roasted chocolate and cocoa dominte the flavor. Sugars, dark fruits and booze are also very present. Coffee mixes well with the hops to give that bitter, dry hop feel.

Mouthfeel - Thick and syrup quality, tounge gets the malts, coffee and chocolate flavors. Hops add the bitterness after the malt bomb. Palette gets remaining malts and hops, along with chocolate, cocoa and molasses and brown sugar.

Overall - Awesome, very tasty and full of flavor. Almost closer to a porter then a brown ale with all the coffee and chocolate, but the nutty malts bring it together in the end. So smooth, rich and easy to drink. Worth a drink for sure.

Photo of brendan13
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured from the 500ml bottle into a pint glass a dark amber colour with a substantial inch of light beige head that hangs around for a fair while.
S - Chocolate & dark fruit predominately. A toffee touch. Some nutty hints & very vauge floral hop notes.
T - Chocolate & toffee maltiness comes through - quite sweet. Dark fruit is there but more muted.
Floral and herbal hoppiness comes through more in the taste too.
M - Light to medium bodied, fairly low carbonation. Some warming alcohol at the end.
D - Decent but not something I'd rush about to buy again. Unless your a fan of sweet brown ales there are better choices from this brewery.

Photo of Blakaeris
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark, velvety mahogany with a thick and creamy head that hangs around forever.

Aroma is an unusual nutty malt sweetness with hints of cocoa and a complex herbal hop bitterness.

Taste is bready caramel malt as expected. However, I am surprised at the amount of smokey charred dark grain. Malt has a nice bit of burnt toffee. Finishes clean and dry with herbal hop notes, and a touch of the cocoa from the nose and a bit of lingering alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a nice resinous coating of hop oil.

This is a unique and interesting beer. It seems to be a cross between a porter and a nut brown ale, with a generous hop dosing. This has to be the best Brown Ale I've had.

Photo of Sigmund
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle conditioned, courtesy of Cardinal, Stavanger (Norway’s best beer bar, untill someone proves me wrong, see Places section). Sampled side-by-side with its "sister brew", Nørrebro Bryghus Double Knot Brown Ale (pasteurised and unfiltered keg, see separate rating). ABV is 7.5%, 19 degrees Plato, 40 IBU. Very dark brown colour, moderate head. Darker than Nørrebro DKBA. Lovely malty aroma with plenty of aromatic hops, notes of chocolate and leather too. Rich and roasty flavour, plenty of malts and oak. Roasty long aftertaste. Excellent beer!

Photo of beerdrifter
4.64/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Pours a dark murky brown with nice tan two finger head with great retention and lacing. Wonderful unique nutty, toasty nose with hints of chocolate, fresh roasted coffee, caramel, and just a touch of soy sauce. The taste is roasty and bold malty perfection. HInts of sweet brown bread, maple syrup, toffee, figs, chocolate, soy sauce, and just enough peppery hops to keep it honest. The mouthfeel is smooth and full bodied, thick and creamy, with just a touch of bitterness on the finish. I'm not typically a big Brown Ale fan, but this beer has absolutely blown me away! Definitely the best Brown Ale I've ever had, and right up there overall. An amazing beer!

Photo of psoriasaurus
4.49/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nøgne Ø does it again!!! The only way I can think of to describe it is scrump-diddly-umptious. Like all Nøgne Ø ales, its absolutely beautiful out of the bottle, pouring a dark mahogany with a perfect muffin top 5 cm head which lingers FOREVER until dissipating into frothy rocky dregs of head. Without a doubt top marks on appearance. As far as flavor goes - lots of malty chocolate/caramel/dark fruit/whatever you imagine (citric pith?? lol whatever floats your boat) flavors going on, as expected in an imperial brown ale. It's goddamn perfect for the winter. My only (slight) complaints are that it is just a tad bit effervescent for my taste, and just a little bit more boozy than expected. Also, taxes in Scandinavia absolutely BLOW for beer, and it shows with the $10 price tag for a pint (this is the same for all Nøgne Ø beers, but you probably already know that if you are reading this review). Totally worth it though, grab it if you see it. Overall, superb ale, som alltid kommer ifrån den kompromisslös bryggeri.

Skål!!

Photo of joecast
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another treat for me in another brown ale. Imperial even. Sort of another interpretation of the brown or dark IPA style. Yes please.

A few shades short of black with a red amber tinge at the edges. Beautiful foamy tan head with great stability and lacing. This is bottle conditioned so there is some cloudiness as the last of the bottle is poured onto a glass.

Great malty aroma as it warms. A bit chocolate and coffee but neigh is dominant over the other. A nice touch of roast malts. Going by the bottle dating (a nice touch) this is about a year old so no surprise the hops have faded. Still, as a brown ale this is a winner.

Taste as well is much more weighted towards the darker malt character. In saying that, there is a complexity added from the hop bitterness and dryness of the dark malts (though no roast or chocolate?). It does maintain a nice sweetness in the background and has a clean finish.

Wasn't convinced on the mouthfeel but it's just about right really. Light enough to remain drinkable but not so light that you can't savor it.

Fantastic brown ale. This is becoming one of my favorite styles, when done well, and this was done exceptionally well.

Photo of BucBasil
4.86/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer is an almost completely opaque dark brown to black color, with just a bit of cola brown at the bottom of the glass coming through. Really nice looking. Head is dark tan and foamy and settles down to just a foamy residue after a minute.

S: Lots of roasted malt and burned read character. Reminds me of a bakery kiln after use - some dark chocolate, bittersweet smoky remains of malty and bready baked items that are also noticeable. A bit of molasses in there. Just heavenly aroma.

T: A bit different from the smell in that there is a lot less roasted character and almost no burned or smoky character. Very nice bread and chocolate notes in there with a luscious creamy sweetness that penetrates through everything. Light bitterness on the back end, like a nicely baked cookie - sweet enough yet the crispiness underneath lets you know it was baked somewhere.

This is an amazingly lovely brew. One of the best I've had in some time, and I love brown ales. This does the style justice and more.

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.49/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle poured into a pint glass at cellar temperature.

L - Deep brown color with a big 3-finger tan, bubbly head. Fades pretty quickly and leaves hardly any lacing behind.

S - Toasted and nutty malt with hints of chocolate and an underlying current of citrus and floral hops as well. Terrific brown ale aroma.

T - Starts off with sweet chocolate, toasted, and nutty malt flavors and finishes with a pleasantly bitter finish with citrus and floral notes. Really tasty.

F - Medium-to-full bodied with more carbonation than expected (not a bad thing), a full and creamy mouthfeel, and a very dry and slightly bitter finish. Toasted sweetness and dryness linger for a while. No real sign of the alcohol except a slight palate-warming feel after the finish.

O - Best brown ale I’ve had so far by a long shot. It has a ton of malt character and a nice, complementary undercurrent of hop aromas and flavors. Perfect mouthfeel. This is a great beer and I’d really love to try more from Nøgne Ø. I definitely recommend this to not only brown ale fanatics, but lovers of all styles.

Photo of Pintofbrown
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a bomber into a glass stein.

Appearance- The head is great! It swells to three-fingers with a chalky consistency. The head is pot marked with lots of bubbles and craters. The lace is really thick, and web-like.

The body is an opaque dark chocolate. There are a few bubble columns noticeable in the glass. Very good looking beer!

Smell- A bountiful whiff of malts on the nose, mostly of the bread malt variety, which is how I like my browns. There is also a much sweeter note, like raisin dwelling in the depths. There is a slight brandy character from the alcohol as well, but it is very subtle.

Taste- Color me impressed! The drink begins with some more of the roasted and bread malt that is picked up on the nose. That continues through the entire drink, but it sweetens up as you move into the middle and end of the drink.

This is where some of that raisin quality starts to come out and mingle with the bread malt. The finish is not quite as sweet as it is roasted and spicy. That is thanks to the slight alcohol that comes out here.

More bourbon-like now than the brandy that is picked up on the nose. And again, it has a spicy quality to it, not quite as harsh as pepper, but easily picked up. Just a really solid brown that hits big with the roasted malt and bread malt qualities that make the style so enjoyable.

Mouth feel- I can not sell the mouth feel on this one well enough. Right away, the incredible creaminess of this beer is apparent; talk about rolling over the tongue!

And it is a very thick and heavy drink, definitely full bodied ad mouth filling. I really do not think this could have been done any better.

Overall- Everything that should be looked for in a great brown ale. The nose is full of malt with a distinct character, although maybe not as big as it could be.

The taste profiles incorporate the nose just as well, and remain interesting through the entire drink, however that peppery finish from the alcohol was the only thing keeping this from being a perfect flavor score.

And oh my the mouth feel. Just perfect use of carbonation found in this one. Nøgne Ø has done brown ale lovers a great service!

Photo of spicelab
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle thanks to Lukie@IBS. Has quite a bit of age on it and a design that precedes the one pictured.

Chocolate brown, two-finger, milky looking mocha coloured head. Gravity defying raised ring and film.

Sweet and stouty nose. Some pungent roasty notes, sweetened dark chocolate, touch of tar, raisins, sour cherries and candy cane. Hops where are you?

Dominated by milk chocolate, caramel and confectionery sweetness. Nice enough for what it is, but I'm bemused by the absence of hops.

Smooth and syrupy. Bit of carbonation tingle on the tongue and very mild bitterness.

Dead set presents like a stout in every way. Nary a hop in sight. This bottle is more than 18 months old so perhaps unsurprising.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

0.5L bottle poured into a Darkness snifter.

A- Pours a gigantic tan frothy four fingers worth of head that dissipates REALLY slowly, dark brown almost black color, red hues come off the bottom, really nice bubbly lacing.
S- Dark malts upfront, nice roasted notes, coffee, cocoa, nice bitterness comes through, not much else going on, the aroma is fairly muted.
T- Roasted malt right away, slight cocoa, coffee, sweet bitterness comes out as well, nothing really special or unique coming out of this beer.
M- Medium mouth feel, well carbonated, dry finish, smooth drinking, easy drinkability.
O- It’s a solid offering from Nogne, nothing unique or that stands out but I enjoyed every sip. It was a satisfying beer on this cold winters night.

Photo of baggio
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle@home

This one was brewed in 2006 although i bought it 2009-02-13!

A: Dark brown with a very generous head and lots of lacing.

S: Chocolate, Roasted malts, Caramel, Fudge, Raisin.

T: Raisin, Chocolate, Fudge, Milk chocolate, Caffe latte, Hint of port wine.

M: Very sweet and very low bitterness. Low carbonation.

A bit too sweet but quite nice to sip at during an hour. Try it with either chocolate or cheese because it pairs well with both. An interesting beer.

Photo of mattsander
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Deep brown with a long lasting beige head.

S: Toasty, nutty, chocolately, very nice. There is a metallic element here that detracts from greatness.

T: I'm not sure I would describe this as imperial, but its a very nice brown ale with a great balance of roasted and caramel elements.

M: Creamy and satisfying but finishes quite dry.

Very nice beer.

Photo of aleigator
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Yields a mohagony brown color, with a decent, stable head.

Smells of chocolate, cane sugar, toffee, together with a fair amount of wood. Reveals a note of matured, fruity hops among a bready malt foundation.

Has a medium body, with a fitting, lively carbonation.

Tastes of coffee, toasted malts and sugar, along with hazelnuts and a spiced note. Coffee is well pronounced, providing a convincing balance to sugar and molasses. Finishes fairly sweet, with a slick dryness shining through.

Tastes great, ranges between sweet and bitter in a convincing, complex way. Charred malts, old hops and coffee exhibit a convincing balance to molasses and caramel.

Photo of BrownNut
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell - moderate malt, not very prominent

Mouthfeel - starts off soft and round, ends moderately dry

Taste - moderate roasty grain, malt sweetness, a combination of a slightly chalky mouthfeel and a hint of dark chocolate that's not very sweet. The warmer it gets, the more that dark chocolate flavor comes out and gets a bit sweeter and mellower.

Aftertaste - A very little bit of bitterness, a touch of sour on the top of the tongue, and some dry chocolate on the exhale

Overall - I call this a solid offering and very well done. I'm not a big fan of a very roasty taste, but I like the way they've incorporated that flavor element here. Not overstated, but rather balanced with the other elements. Artful balance seems to be Nogne O's real talent. Their stuff is classy. Sessionable, I would drink this all night and be very happy.

Photo of JohnnyP3
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a .5L bottle. Batch 403, brewed on 15.12.08, best by 15.12.13.

Poured a caramel brown with some orange hue on the edges. Very cloudy with 2-3 fingers worth of tan, creamy head. Yeast is visible after the pour, floating near the surface and mixed with the head. At first, the smell was quite muted. Further investigation revealed a nose of roasted nuts, sweet caramel notes and some hints of fruit, perhaps apricots?

Taste...where to begin? Wow, this one has a lot going on. Nutty, fruity, caramel, hints of chocolate, and the list goes on. There is a definite sweetness from the caramel malts and a mild chocolate flavor as well. Starts sweet and ends sweet with some bitterness and fruit in between. Also a hint of smoke. The fruit comes across as apricots, dates and maybe stewed pear? Complex and delightful. Try this with a flavorful cheese and it hits a home run. Roasted nuts are in there as well.

A well carbonated beer. In fact this one was a bit of a gusher when I popped the cap. But that helps it be such a wonderful compliment to grilled meats and flavorful cheeses. Drinkability is excellent. So many complimentary flavors as work here that you need to have another just to decipher them all. 7.5% abv is barely noticeable in the taste and mouthfeel. A well crafted, complex brown ale.

Imperial Brown Ale from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
90 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.