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

108 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.92%
Wants: 14
Gots: 7 | 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:
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.

(Beer added by: Phyl21ca on 03-01-2007)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
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 bluntedboywonder
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of seanwhite
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of spicelab
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
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 cobrarax
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark, red brown colour, slightly hazy. Light brown, not too dense foam. Leaves some lacing. Large bubbles.

S: Quite malty. Some soy sauce and cocoa. Dark bread. Some rye. Some hop and caramell. Rather luxurious.

T: Very sweet with roasted malts and some caramell. Nicely balanced discrete bitterness. Some coffee and cocoa. It tastes like some kind of mix between an imperial stout and an ordinary brown ale. Aftertaste is bitter and stays around for quite a long time.

M: Rather high carbonation. Viscosity is ordinary. Easy to drink.

O: Nothing extraordinary, but good anyway. Would probably fit great with meat dishes.

Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear dark brownish amber in color and poured with a thin off white head that faded away, leaving a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass and some lacing down the sides.
S: There are sweet aromas of caramel and nutty malts in the nose.
T: The taste is very sweet with flavors of caramel and hints of nuts and roasted malts. No bitterness is discernible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of a sticky and syrupy feel.
O: Overall, the beer comes across as being too sweet and the sweetness isn’t balanced off by any bitterness from the hops. It’s like drinking an extremely sweet Belgian Abbey Ale with some flavors you would expect from a Brown Ale.

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out with a nice deep brown color, the head was a nice creamy tan color. The head left behind a pretty nice lacing. The smell of the beer was sweet and heavily roasted. The taste of the beer had some ice dark roasted nut flavors mixed with some sweet caramel. The mouthfeel wasn't too thick for being an imperial. Overall it was a very flavorful beer and I found it to be pretty good.

Photo of JohnnyS17
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice deep brown with not much transparency. Served to me with about a finger thick of thin head that left good lacing throughout the beer.

The beer has a nice roasty malt smell. There is also a nice earthy, hoppy tones to the beer. The taste is very similar with a nice crisp roasty taste. The body is a medium build with slight carbonation.

I am usually not a fan of beers with considerable hop to them, but this beer is an exception. The roasty malt and earthy hops are balanced really well, which leads to a refreshing beer.

Photo of SleepyMonk
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled 1 Pint bottle poured into a pint glass.

Dark body. Color is almost an opaque black except for some cola hues around the edge of the glass. Moderate 1 finger of head and mild lacing.

Aroma is packed with roasted malts with a nutty texture. A strong yeast blend also features. Deep and slow drawn inhaling gives back an earthy, almost moldy, funk aroma. Nut flavors keep coming up but I also get hints of mushroom which is very interesting.

Taste is a real treat. Many of the aromatic features are present but they are in no way over he top or dominant. The malt flavors take on a whole meal bread dough character and once again nuts sit in well with hints of brown sugar.

Moderately bodied, surprisingly it tends to fall towards the light end of moderate, with a well balanced degree of carbonation. Very smooth and syrupy with a bright, yet easy, up front taste and a dry finish.

Damn good take on the style and a fantastic beer.

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 BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chestnut brown with orange-bronze highlights along the edges of the glass. More than three fingers of fluffy brown sugar colored foam look great. The head, which develops even more character as it melts, is doing a fantastic job laying down lace. Brown ales can't look much better than this.

Despite the fact that it hails from Norway, the nose is everything that an American brown ale nose should be. The reasons why include what smells like a wonderful combination of malts and plenty of American (and English) hops. Good things are expected on the taste buds.

Nogne Brown Ale is a rock-solid version, so it is no surprise that Nogne Imperial Brown is as well. I'm glad the brewers didn't Imperialize the hell out this offering by cranking the ABV up to 10.0% or beyond. A little restraint is exactly what was needed to provide a satisfying drinking experience.

Flavors include toasted brown bread, sugared pecans, caramel-toffee, tea leaves, and hints of cocoa and coffee. It all comes together in delicious and easy drinkable fashion. Some of the initial 40 IBUs have probably faded, which brings things into near perfect malt-hop balance... slightly favoring the former.

The mouthfeel is glassy smooth and supple. A little more heft would have put it into the stratosphere for sure. Low end carbonation is right where it needs to be.

Nogne Imperial Brown Ale is just as good as Nogne Brown Ale... just a wee bit bigger. I'm not sure what a Norwegian brown ale would taste like, so it's a good thing that the boys from Grimstad are so adept at creating American-style beer. As always, this brewery makes me (and my mouth) very happy.

Photo of dgilks
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spicy, fruity aroma with notes of American hops. Darker fruit esters and bready melanoidins.

Hazy, brown colour with a creamy, tan head. Good.

Smooth, bready malt. Raisiny esters. There's a few hops here but not much. This is pretty malt focussed for an American brown.

Medium-full body with moderately-low carbonation. Good.

This is an interesting, malt focussed ale. I expected more hop character and the ester profile is a little odd.

Photo of rarbring
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
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 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 tavernjef
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Gorgeous glowing brownly umber with spectacular deep golden highlights. Tall waft of light tan foam grows quickly and fluffy to just over an inch. The crown of foam slowly twindles down to ever present thick skim and collar that lasts the entire session. With tons of lacing in spotty snowflaked sheetings covering the glass.

Aroma is soft and mildly roasty with a nice twang of deep dark breadyness. Some notes to brown sugar sweetness, vanilla, and maple.

Flavor is quite well rounded with a nice melding, soft, soothing combo of roast and tang that are both bready sweetened and darkly crusty with over baked pastry edges. Solid tone of soft roasty breadyness smoothed over even more so by a darker sweetness that touches to some maple, brown sugar, and vanilla hints. Nice chewy finish with a puff of cinnamon thrown in. A complexing subtle flare and softness about it. Yummy nice.

Body is just over medium, not huge my any means, but unbelieveably soft in a wonderfully drawn out fluffy texture and rounded dark sweet bready darkness that flows right down with amazing ease. Gone in no time flat. Scrumptiously drinkable!

A winner of a Brown from Norway! A usually boring style brought to its top notch showmanship here. Too bad the price point for one bottle can get you a micro sixer of just about any other halfway decent brown or better. But definately something to be looked at for what most other browns should strive to be like.

Photo of Blakaeris
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
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 bashiba
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
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 lacqueredmouse
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours quite a dark and very opaque brown colour with an exceedingly fine head of beige foam. Lacing is sticky and stays in sheets down the glass. Lovely. Body looks very thick and heavy. Lovely looking beer.

Nose is full of roasted nutty characters, with a hint of booze and slight wine mustiness. Hint of dusty chocolate powder and a tantalising spirit spiciness. Quite sweet, but dark and refined. Very delicious.

Taste is quite boozy, with some sharp spiritous character mixing with the roasted biscuit character and the extra cocoa chocolate bitterness. Finish is surprisingly but pleasantly dry, with a dusty high roast grain character lingering throughout. Feel is surprisingly thin on the back. It suits it in a way, but almost feels like it needs something more to support it.

Very nice brew, and one which is susceptibly drinkable.

Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 08/26/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with 2 inches of brown head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts and roasted malts mostly. Some nuts, dark fruit, and spice as well.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, caramel malts, and dark fruits.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A pretty good brown ale. Would try again.

Photo of JohnnyP3
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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

The beer pours a mahogany brown color with fairly good head retention and decent lacing. The aroma profile is OK, though nothing to get excited about. I get some brown sugar and a hint of chocolate, but that's it. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, with a bit more flavor than expected. There is still the brown sugar and light chocolate, but there is also some peppery bitterness in the finish that is nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and soft, with a fairly long finish. Drinkabiliy is pretty good, with the alcohol well disguised and integrated into the flavor profile.

Not sure I quite understand the "imperial" aspect to this beer, but otherwise this is an enjoyable, easy to appreciate brown ale.

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A delicious, creamy, and smooth Brown Ale. Certainly larger than the style descriptions suggest, but not forced or so large that it looses what's best about Brown Ales.

The dark brown ale carries a medium haze (typical for Nogne-O beers). The froathy pour releases a lightly tanned and restrained head with solid retention and light on lacing.

Malty rich aromas show deep caramels, sweet breads, chocolates, and lightly toasted nuts. No major ester or hop profiles to mention.

Flavors follow up on aroma- farily simplistic yet well balanced flavors of soft breads, bitter chocolates, and cooked caramel flavors fuse together harmoniously for a creamy/mily/vanilla rich flavor with a long linger into the finish.

Creamy and robust textures early fade to a silky smooth, velvety feel late than avoids crispness or dryness, allowing for that long chocolatey, nutty finish.

The beer shines by giving me more of what makes English Brown Ales best- the chocolates, malts, and nutty flavors. But by not forcing the issues, they avoid a muddles mess of fusal alcohol, distracting esters, or unnecessary phenols. A well melded and sculpted Brown.

Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brown color and a murky, cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of off white, foamy/creamy head and good lacing.

S: Had that typical nutty aroma brown ales have, along with hops and a sweet malt.

T: Tasted of hops, caramel malt, and that nutty quality. As browns go, this was pretty tasty.

M: A very good amount of carbonation with a super dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This is probably as good an American brown ale you could find. Drinkable.

Photo of WorldWideStout
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought back by my parents from their trip to Norway, though I could've sworn I just saw this at Chevy Chase liquors a week ago. But I've been wrong before...

A: Dark, almost opaque brown, with a small off-white head that quickly recedes.

S: Pretty weak. A little bit of mustard spiciness.

T: Spicy at first, with a mild malty sweetness that pervades throughout. There is some roastiness that is especially prevalent at the end, with some coffee notes as well. There is a small, bitter aftertaste.

M: Light, appropriate carbonation that stays throughout the sip. Fairly creamy, though a little watery at times as well.

D: Good - nothing offending or too intense.

Perhaps slightly more interesting than some others of the style, but nothing special or worth seeking out.

Photo of laituegonflable
4.03/5  rDev 0%
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.

Imperial Brown Ale from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
90 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.