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Sunturnbrew - Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

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very good

207 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 207
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 16.41%
Wants: 10
Gots: 19 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S visit their website

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed at the solstice each year since 2008.

This smoked barely wine is brewed with 30% smoked malt and 20% rye.

26° Plato, 50 IBU,

(Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-12-2009)
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Ratings: 207 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of avalon07
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick, murky consistency. There was a thin amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. OK lacing.

S: A strong aroma of malt, caramel, dark fruits, and some hops.

T: Tasted of caramel, a nice malty backbone, hops, and some dark fruits (plums, raisins). Complex and flavorful. Surprisingly, the alcohol content isn't all that overwhelming.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a syrupy finish. Thick, chewy in texture. Full-bodied.

D: A solidly made, drinkable barleywine.

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml picked up in Detroit in the winter. Smoked malts, dry and middling mouthfeel. Really nice after fish, surprisingly not that great with meat. Dark brown colour, moderate amount of off-white head. Good smoke aromas. Drinkable, but not that complex.

Photo of pastradul
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had a bottle with ZX6chris at K&B wine cellars.

Pours/look: very thick, dark brown. With a rough pour some card slowy rises to the top of the glass for a 1/4 thick head. Like the bubbles had to fight through the beer to the top.

Smell: Has a heavy malt/barley smell. But the big aroma finishes with a salty/meaty...ya meaty, not peaty. Makes me want to go buy some BBQ bacon or some teriyaki beef.

Taste: At first when it is cold you mainly pick up the salty and savoury aftertaste of it. A nice malt backbone to it but it is muted do to temp (like you are drinking a nice piece of bacon). As it warms the sweet malt takes over the flavor (now more like BBQ meat) the alcohol becomes more prominent as it warms which is nice for this barleywine.

Overall: A very interesting beer to try. If I have it again I will make sure it is with food!

Photo of prototypic
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sunturnbrew pours a very dark, cherry stained brown color. A little light cuts through and reveals attractive scarlet highlights. It's capped by a light tan head that stretches nearly two fingers tall. It recedes quickly. I suspect the abv killed it. A very nice web of stickly lace clung to the glass.

The nose smells just a tad weak, but is good overall. It's very heavy on dark fruit. Raisin, plum, and figs are prominent throughout. I like dark fruit Barleywines, so that's a plus as far as I'm concerned. Sweet, caramel malt is obviously the base. No complaints here. There's no short ofany sweetness here. I'm not getting much in terms of hops. I question the American Barleywine classification as a result. Nonetheless, it's a nice smelling beer. Just needs more strength.

The flavor actually mirrors the nose. Sunturnbrew has a very sweet, caramel malt base. It's definitely sugary. Dark fruit flavors of fig, raisin, and plum are prominent throughout. They work very well with the malty base, and add a ton of flavor. It's slightly herbal. I'm getting a little of a tobacco-like flavor. Hops really aren't apparent here. I think it'd be a little better with a generous infusion of hops, but it's damn tasty as it is. Alcohol is blended extremely well and doesn't come through much in flavor. It finishes with a tangy, dark fruit flavor.

Sunturnbrew has a medium body that's nice and smooth. Carbonation has been dialed down nicely. As it warms a little, it feels thicker and a little chewy. Drinkability is good. This is a big beer and as the ounces go by, that becomes more and more apparent. Nonetheless, I'm enjoying it.

Nøgne Ø did a nice job with Sunturnbrew. I'm not sure I'd call it an American Barleywine. It just doesn't strike me as one. Perhaps it's the lack of hops. I think it'd benefit from a strong, American hop presence. But, it's a solid Barleywine (of whatever nature), in any event. Good stuff. Definitely worth checking out.

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to gford217 for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a nice very dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, which leaves some nice small islands and some sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with some figs, raisins, plums, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, very nice touch of dark fruits, and some nice smoky notes. Medium body, a nice warming effect going down, a very nice sipper. Very drinkable, a very tasty ABWSA, recommended.

Photo of kaseydad
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hmmmm. Went to the Nogne web site and it looks as if they are no longer brewing this or perhaps each solstice..either way interesting name and kinda cool story on the label. Let's go.

Snifter pour and I am met with a brown/plum colored ale with no head at all except a tiny ring around the glass. I worked hard for foam but none was to be had. Molasses, maple syrup and brown sugar aroma with some dark fruits and sugar cane in the mix. Bitter taste with some medicine-like characteristics and some minor gum numbing well after the sip. There is a nice slight alcohol burn with some warming of the tummy. At 11% this a tough one to conquer as the alcohol tends to shine through.

Overall this reminds me of a Port and is a little on the boozy side. Would go well with a nice cigar. Be sure to take this down a little below room temperature to get the most out of it.

Photo of Mora2000
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this beer.

The beer pours a murky dark brown color with a white head. Not real attractive. The aroma is rye, smoke and caramel. The flavor is rye, meaty BBQ smoke and caramel sweetness. Low carbonation and a very thick mouthfeel.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark melot with a sparse mocha colored head that never musters enough strength to fully form nor retain. A thin ring collar is all that is left seconds after the pour revealing a bare polished surface. Really not a lot to go on or judge by.

S: The nose was quite aromatic, full of dried fruit (plums, figs) with a vinous alcohol nature. Very smooth and well rounded with hardly any detection of its 11%abv nature.

T: The initial flavor was sweet caramelized grain juice with dried maple syrup and a fairly high rate of acidity. Loaded with dark fruits of juicy plums, figs, and raisins, things are rounded out by a soft drying vinous touch of wine-like detections of pruny dark grapes. A warming alcohol touch, never indicative of its full strength, dark juicy plums and a nice light touch of smokiness and charcoal bid farewell here with very good results. As with the nose the flavor was very smooth and polished.

M: The mouthful was full bodied, viscose with a syrupy fell and a flat carbonation factor. Leaves a nice warming of dark fruit and a silty fell of charcoal behind on the tongue.

D: A nice slow sipping barleywine best consumed at >50F to bring out its dark fruited and warming nature. Fairly easy going down despite its big alcohol this is sure to delight the taste buds.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a dark cola-color with a very thin tan head.

Aroma of roasted caramel malts, toffee, and wisp of smoke.

Tastes of roasted caramel malts, raisins, toffee, sugar, vanilla and booze. The booze, however, was not as hot as you would think at 11%.

Medium bodied with a dry stickiness and mild carbonation.

Nogne consistently delivers and is one of my favorite brewers. This one was delicious as expected.

Photo of PBoegel
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I finally broke down and bought this and the Tiger Tripel after wavering on the Imperial Stout and Batch 100 for so long.

This beer is an incredibly unique ale and most similar in context to Dogfish Head Immortal Ale and by no means should be categorized as an American Barleywine.

The beer pours a dark coffee brown with light tan to dark cream head that breaks quickly.

Aroma is sugar, caramel, some roastiness, underlying smokiness (which I was not expecting, had no idea of the grain bill when sampled) lots of maple, hints of honey, no hop character.

Flavors are maple, peat smoke, some roasty notes in the middle, dried cherries, cocoa bean. Dark rum characters emerge as it warms, some spiciness from the rye and notes of port and cognac.

Low carbonation, very warming but not harsh burning heat from alcohol, medium body with a leaning toward sweeter finish.

Very interesting and worth seeking and aging.

Photo of coldmeat23
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees

Pours a medium-to-dark shade of brown, with some crimson tinting. Minimal head of tan colored foam. Lacing is in tiny little spots, but nicely sticky.

Big notes of caramel maltiness. Dark fruits. Light hints of smoke.
A simple nose, but it's nice.

Big caramel sweetness hits first. It's folowed closely by a light smokiness, then finishes with some rye spiciness. There is a touch of dark fruit presence along the way and some hints of tobacco with a light touch of leather.

Medium bodied with a mild level of carbonation. This leaves it extremely smooth, almost light feeling, but there is almost no creaminess at all, which I find to be needed in a good barleywine.

The 11.0%abv is hidden fairly well, taste-wise, but it starts to hit me rather quickly. While this is decently drinkable, there are alot of other barleywines on the market that I'd rather have.

Photo of yemenmocha
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy brown with virtually no head, even with a vigorous pour. Nose is weak with some faint caramel/toffee, raisins, and brown sugar. The palate comes through with the anticipated flavors on the nose with plenty of raisin sweetness, and a sugary sweet finish. High alcohol is masked relatively well.

Photo of froghop
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark brown with a thin khaki head, and some lacing.

smell is of caramel, some spice, malt, and a touch of dark fruit.

taste is thick, warming, malt barley, a little smoke, some sweetness, and toffee, end is oily, and bitter.

overall not bad of a barleywine.

Photo of DrinkingAleToday
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep murky amber with a thin head that quickly dissapates.

S: Huge aroma of sweet barley, hints of carmel, dark fruit, chocolate, and smoke, underlying everything hints alcohol.

T:Nice biscuity/bready malt flavor, slight sweetness, some roast and chocolate comes through, dry finish from the rye, as beer warms the smoke becomes more evident. Moderate amount of hop bitterness, alcohol warms the palate. Alot of flavors but they mingle nicely.

M: Full bodied chewy barleywine. Smoke and rye add to the complexity.

D: Another great beer from Nogne-O, a very complex and delicious barleywine.

Photo of popery
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This isn't the prettiest barleywine at the ball but it's got a big, intense flavor. For the most part, I really don't care about a beer's looks and that is also true here - just nitpicking. It's a muted dark brown beer with little head - looks like a weak cup of coffee. The aroma is velvet punch of caramel malt with notes of raisins, prunes, brown sugar and molasses. The flavor isn't overwhelmingly sweet for the size of the beer. It's not terribly drinkable but good for 11% abv. It's an excellent version of a big American-style barleywine.

Photo of Patrick999
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark, a little foam but it was quick to settle.

S - Lot of raisins and chocolate in the aroma, I thought it smelled like a Belgian Strong Dark. A smoky BSD, mind you. Really nice aroma, you didn't have to dunk your nose into the glass too far to get a hold of what this one was all about.

T - This was one of those beers that bowled me over with flavor. This has flavor bomb written all over it. Smoked barleywine, and it was definitely smoky...no doubt, but it wasn't overbearingly smoky. Little more so as it warmed, but never to the point of being too much, there was a ceiling on how smoky it got. Lightly smoked meats. Bitter chocolate and sweet raisin, neither dominated, a well-balanced sweet-and-dry beer. The considerable 11% alcohol was certainly felt, and perceived on the palate, but not tasted. Spicy rye bread too. Just a ton of flavor and loads of fun to sip on.

F - Well, this wasn't fooling anyone, this was a full-bodied barleywine through and through. It lands full on the palate.

D - A very interesting, well-crafted beer. However, it is one to share. If not, you'd better clear your calendar, because you're gonna be there a while.

Photo of davod23
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into my Bruery tulip. Really have no idea what to expect from this beer.

The pour is a clear, deep, dark brown, with perhaps some faint ruby highlights. An initial tan-colored head emerges but dissipates to a thin collar almost immediately. Tiniest bit of spotty lacing.

Aroma. Hmm. It's okay. Not bad. Boozy, the 11% makes itself known. Smells of sweet malt, caramel, and I think I detect the rye in there too.

Taste is quite good. Sweet caramel and toffee, followed by a slight bitter bite at the end. The alcohol is very well hidden, surprisingly. The only way I know it's strong is because it's so warming on the way down. Long, lasting finish. I get a hint of spicy cinnamon towards the back half of the bottle. Sticky. Nice.

Mouthfeel is okay. It could be improved with a tad more carbonation, or perhaps to be a bit thicker. As it is, it seems like it is not optimal.

Drinkability is just okay. It's a bit sweet to drink a lot of this stuff, and the emergent spiciness is nice, but only in smaller quantities. I enjoyed this bottle, but I don't think that I would reach for another one for a while.

Photo of BigDank
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a different but decent brew. Pours a nice dark brown, close to black with a light brown somewhat creamy head with a short stay. Lacing was minor and spotted the glass here and there throughout. The smell was very malty and pungent as with most barleywine types with a bit of a scent of alcohol which also made itself present slightly in the taste. Drinkability I would say is medium as it is a little higher in alcohol and the flavor is good but nothing to be revered. The first drink has a bit of tartness and just a little bite but it later mellows out to a smooth easy drinking brew. Not one of my favorites from Nogne O but one that I would definitely try again.

Photo of nickd717
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from K&L Redwood City, shared by mfielden - thanks, Mark!

A - Pours deep dark brown with a small off-white head.

S - Aroma is caramel, smoke, dark fruits, and alcohol.

T - Rauchbier-like smoke as well as lots of caramel and toffee. Some phenolic fruit notes, red wine, rye, and some earth. Just a tiny bit boozy.

M - Medium body with a fairly smooth mouthfeel and a little alcohol warmth.

D - Drinkability medium-high. Overall this is pretty solid stuff, but not outstanding.

Photo of ElGordo
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Jimmy for providing me a bottle as a birthday gift last month. Poured from the 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
Body is a cloudy, almost muddy dark brown color with some garnet highlights when held up to the light. Next to no head, and a very still body to boot. Aroma is full of sweet, fruity malt with a touch of roasted character, along with a good hit of smoke (alder, maybe?). The hop profile is also fruity, and is accompanied by notes of plum and faint toffee, along with a serious hit of booze.
Palate is sweet up front, with notes of dark fruit and sweet dark malt. Fruity hops with a faint touch of citrus come through mid-palate, building in bitterness towards the finish. A rich, warming finish s quite pleasant and welcome.
Body is rich and full, the stillness not really detracting one bit from the huge, assertive character of this beer. While the heat and booze are a bit much to take at times, the flavors are well-balanced and unique. A tasty, special offering.

Photo of rye726
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark woody brown with s silky tan head. Nice lacing as well.

Nose has toffee, caramel, figs, dates, plums, smokey malts, chocolate, floral hops and a touch of booze.

Taste is equally complex. Rich malts, burnt candy, subtle hops, dark fruits, molasses, cocoa and peaty smoke.

Creamy body is very well carbonated. Lasting finish of bitter hops, sweet malt and smoke.

Another amazing beer from Nogne. Should age beautifully.

Photo of GRG1313
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a super thin head that's hard to get on a pour and just as hard with a quick swirl. Nice looking black with tan when you get it.

Nose is all toasted grain, toast with jam, candi sugar with a bit of carmel, toffee and sugared coffee. Really nice complex and layered smells.

Mouthfeel is creamy with a little buttery mouthfeel.

Flavors are an initial hit of sweet malt/sweet carmel to bitter coffee, bitter black chocolate and toasted malt and grains. Espresso coffee finish.

All in all a layered, well balanced and complex brew that is most inviting. Well made; high quality.

Photo of johnnieoz
4.83/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

As others may have noted, this beer sure ain't retired! Thank goodness for that...

500ml brown bottle, which looks like the one in the photo. The Batch nr, Brew date and Best before spots on the label are blank. The importers, Shelton Brothers (kudos!), are mentioned but the label also has information in Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish.

A: 'Tis a lovely crimson tide that cascades into the glass. The carbonation appears ample though the lacing is minimal.

S: Ah yes, smoky...its reputation precedes it, this is the first smoked barleywine I have come across. The smokiness is reminiscent of a nice, peaty Scotch.

T: I love both good American and English-style barleywines. As the hops are playing a second fiddle here, I could say Sunturnbrew is of the latter kind. But the smokiness makes this ever so unique, a new sub-category has seen the light of day. The dark, rich fruit flavors of a barleywine are there as is the booziness. Excellent!

M: As solid as can be.

D: This beer makes me want to consume smoked salmon, venison, moose, reindeer, mackerel...It goes down extremely smoothly, and while it would no doubt be wonderful to imbibe this after a meal as the sun turns in the dead of winter somewhere above the Arctic Circle, it would also pair most excellently with said smoked foods and beyond.

My favorite Nøgne Ø beer so far, and that Kjetil, ain't no small thing coming from a Swede! Quite the turn, eh?! Laeckert!!!
My mind is changed, my perceptions are altered and the sun's direction has definitely been turned.

Photo of clickpush
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: 500ml bottle to tulip glass. Short hiss when I open the cap. A relatively light pour yields a thin off-white head that sticks around for about 15 seconds before thinning out to a weak looking halo. There are lazy bubbles in the body of the beer. It's a very dark brown beer, relatively good looking texture - a good swirl leads to hefty bubbling. Looking forward to what else it has to offer.

Nose: Smell is piney and inviting. Hops seem to dominate the aroma until another swirl reveals the malt. Brown sugar, alcohol, raisins. For the strength of the beer, I'm surprised the aroma is not more distinct or complex. However, the balance between malt, hop, & alcohol is superb.

Mouth: Wow, where did this smokiness come from?! I got no smoke in the aroma. Tons of smoke, rich residual sugars, and alcohol heat. A medicinal quality of fruit esters and syrupy sweetness. Some citrus hop notes in the back of the mouth, and a lingering chewy, somewhat hoppy, somewhat smoky finish. Too much residual sugar. Mouthfeel is thick and lacking in strong carbonation - but this is characteristic of barleywines (as this beer is classified).

Overall: The flavor combination is masterful - I just think this could have been pulled off at 7-8% abv, and saved us some of this overbearing likeness to breakfast syrup.

Photo of BirdFlu
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Certainly a somewhat-bizarre beer from the Norse maniacs at Nøgne very dark for a barleywine in color and other characteristics. Pours as dark as a brown ale with very little head. Smells very sweet like tart candy and hops, somewhat similar to barleywines such as Bigfoot. Taste has qualities similar to some altbiers like doppelsticke, somewhat-smokey if you look for it, though still retaining barleywine tart sweetness. Very noticeable hop presence. Mouth is moderate-bodied for the heavy flavor. Smooth carbonation. Quite delicios and easy to drink, especially with the potent flavor. Very interesting.

Sunturnbrew from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
87 out of 100 based on 207 ratings.