Kaggen! Stormaktsporter | Närke Kulturbryggeri AB

Kaggen! StormaktsporterKaggen! Stormaktsporter
BA SCORE
98.9%
Liked This Beer
4.61 w/ 179 ratings
Kaggen! StormaktsporterKaggen! Stormaktsporter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Närke Kulturbryggeri AB
Sweden
kulturbryggeri.se

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
The cask matured version of Stormaktsporter.

Added by baggio on 05-14-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
96
Ratings:
179
Liked:
177
Avg:
4.61/5
pDev:
7.16%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
1,279
Gots:
6
Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 179 |  Reviews: 96
Photo of Doodler
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At Jason's CO Stout tasting, This was a real treat: to try along side the regular Stormaktsporter. Tiny bottle that pours a deep coffee brown with a very thin tan head, Wow! Barrel flavors come through along with rich, sweet chocolates... mocha,,cocoa, creamy butterscotch... what a masterpiece. I can understand the hype. Never-ending / mouthcoating flavors. My favorite stout of the tasting and of those I've rated. Yummy stuff!

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Photo of Bardwashrind
4.87/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I knew 2010 was going to be one hell of a year for new and rare beer experiences. Never did I think that an encounter with these Swedish beasts would be in store.

Tasted on October 16th, side by side with the base Stormaktsporter. 2008 vintage.

Wonderful hiss as the cap was pried off. Pours a darkened tan head with tight bubbles. Not the darkest stout, almost the color of some porters or bocks when held to the light. Still a beauty in the glass. Could smell the deep char of the barrel from across the room. Sticking my nose in the glass and was overcome by rich oak and roasted grain aromas. Big oak driven vanilla, molasses and chocolate notes with a soft pepper coming out as well. No overly sweetened candy tones, nor soy sauced based astringency found. Just a wonderfully focused and completely distinct quality only found in the best of barrel aged stouts.

This was only the beginning.

Tasting this beer was a lesson in balance. The absolute clear expression of the barrel came through without overwhelming the base beer. No note of oxidation nor any of cloying sweetness. Hops played a very small roll, mostly in bitterness just like the malt. Similar in the nose, big vanilla and floral flavors of honeyed toast and milk chocolate. Not as much molasses as the regular Stomaktsporter, which I liked. Such a pleasure to sip again and again. As rich as some stouts can get and as whiskey forward as other barrel aged beers are, this one truly set the bar without being intimidating.

The labels for these beers are not that exciting on a visual level but their simplistic subtly were perfect in representing the inside nectar.

To age a beer in barrels is the most interesting form of a 'special beer' in my eyes. Many of my favorites are done this way. After having the Kaggen!, I may have to rethink what could be the best.

I don't know of another beer that comes off as being so balanced and yet so complex. Something so varied in flavor while having such subtly. If calling a 10% beer 'clean' makes sense, I want to say thats how this one came off. Truly a beer to be within the top 5 of barrel aged stouts, and in terms of sheer balance, one of the best beers being made today.

Just amazing.

Thanks again Jason (Popkas).

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Photo of drabmuh
4.79/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look everyone, I'm finally in the Kaggen! club. I had pretty much written off this beer to some distant future, after the kids had grown and left the nest the wife and I take a trip to Europe for a month and I would drink the rarest Cantillons and shot gun bottles of Kaggen!...distant distant future, far after the Mayan calendar destroys us all and most of Europe is underwater as a direct result of the war with cyborgs. BUT, Thorpe429 moved that time table up 30 years with a casual invite to come over and help him slay this treasure. I was eager to provide my assistance. Thanks Mike. Might not get another opportunity to do this for several years / decades, I am very appreciative.

Served in a tulip, 2007 vintage. Beer is black. Thin head that breaks and floats toward the walls of the glass, no lacing, the head is a little sad, hard to motivate, carbonation is low, looks like a big stout to me!

Yep, this beer smells perfect. I could have smelled it all day long, just smelled it. I didn't want to drink it, I was afraid I couldn't smell it anymore. This feeling was universal I have to say. There was chocolate and vanilla in there, a healthy but not overly oakiness as well. There is sweetness and mild alcohol but its not cloying or hot at all. Its very "complex" -- it almost turns to a liquor aroma after a while, a mild whiskey or something slightly fruitier, but its not oxidized.

Beer is a little lighter in the body than I was expecting but I suppose I should have been expecting the way it was due to the ABV being so high. Leads off with a definite sweetness, mild alcohol but its not drying. Great palate connectivity, the beer sort of coats the tongue, lingering with these subtle fruit flavors and general sweetness, creamy in the mouth, no help from carbonation at this point but this beer doesn't even need it. Its a very good beer. Have it again? Definitely. If I ever get a hold of a bottle of this, it will be shared with a group of beer nerds who fantasize about this as much as I had.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.92/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to a very generous BA for the chance to finally taste this one.

2007 Vintage

Pours jet black with a mocha head and a tad bit of lacing as it makes its way down. The smell is incredibly complex and quite forceful--I could actually get a pretty good whiff of it upon opening the bottle even before pouring it into my glass. Nose consisted of nearly every imperial stout adjective imaginable with great notes of chocolate fudge, vanilla, espresso, burnt dark fruits, roasted malt, and a bit of barrel characteristics. The taste brought things forward even more, really just layering the complexities in a very intense manner.

The chocolate fudge really stood out to me at time, but in all honesty it was really difficult to pick out individual throughout, as everything was just so well integrated. In essence, all I can really say is that this is exactly what an imperial stout should taste like. I would say that for a beer with this incredible amount of flavor, the feel was a bit thin. However, the carbonation was really nice and let the flavors shine through. Drinkability was just out of this world. I can't wait until the day when I get to try this again.

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Photo of Brabander
3.97/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brewer was also at the Borefts festival in Bodegraven, the Netherlands. In De Molen, a fine dutch brewery there were a lot of good breweries.

I asked the lady bartender for the 2009 version.

Poured in my the Molen tasting glass this beer looks very warm. A nice dark head and a darkbrown fluid. Lots of chocolate and coffee. This kind of beer is not my style but i could not resist trying this hyped beer. I wanted to buy some bottles to try it at home but they were all sold out in a few minutes.

Because i am not really a stout lover this review is lower than normal!! Sorry for that...

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Photo of kbutler1
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle.
2008 vintage. Pours one of the darkest, deepest brown/black colors in an IS that I have seen. Slight mahagonay reddish tan head with good lace. A mixture of aromas including oak, roast coffee, dark chocolate, and a slight touch of vanilla. Chocolate is the first aroma that comes to mind when I first took a smell. Medium mouthfeel. Loads of tastes as well that include the dark bittersweet chocolate and leather. Sweet malts (maybe the honey?) up front with a lingering bitternes. Extremely well balanced. My only gripe (a very small one) is that I would love to have the mouthfeel a little bit heavier. I will say that it has a great velvety, creamy medium mouthfeel though. Just outstanding! Really wish they made this more available and in BIGGER bottles!

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Photo of mothman
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had a sample of the 2007 at RBSG 2010 and when kbutler1 cracked a 2008 bottle I was pretty jacked.

Decided to listen to some O Fortuna for this review

Poured into CCB snifter.

Pours 1/2 finger of tan head that fades down to a ring. Leaves some splattered lace.

Aroma: Lots of oak up front. Amazing amount. Chocolaty and velvety. Very rich. Vanilla notes with hints of caramel. The oak is dominate, but in a good way. Very warming.

Taste: Starts out a bit muted, but then the flavors hit. Huge oak again with vanilla. Roasted malt and chocolate. It is so silky smooth. Very rich. Caramel notes. Dried fruit flavors. I get a dose of licorice in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Rich, velvety, smooth, warming. A great mouthfeel to it. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very oaky.

Overall, the oak in this beer was spot on. It was the keynote in this beer, but didn't distract from the other flavors. Very drinkable. It is a shame it comes in such a small bottle. Thanks Kevin for sharing this one!

EDIT: as the beer warms, I finally get the honey flavors and it becomes more sweet. I like it.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Bottle at Akkurat, split with a friend. I can't find my notes for this, or the other bottles we had at Akkurat. So everything here is from a foggy memory on a day where I hadn't slept in like 36 hours and was pretty much walking around in a daze. Pour was black with maybe some brownish edges. Nose was pretty wonderful, some elegant bourbon, oak, plethora of dark fruits, roasted malts, almost smoky. Sweet and amazingly complex flavors swirling around. Sweet malts, sweet honey, dark fruits, some spicy oak and bourbon, smoky, roasted malts. Really surprised at the smoke element in this. As it keeps breathing and warms some breathtaking nuances take shape, I think the honey became more pronounced. It should not be served cold. This was super complex and a delight to drink.

From another 2008 bottle, consumed August, 2011. Nose is lush roasted malt with a smokey edge, molasses, charred oak, rich bourbon. I always forget how prominebt the bourbon is in this. Mouth is super thick and chewy. Really heavy on the charred, roasted qualities. Possibly the thickest, creamiest beer I've ever had. Dry fudge and bourbon-soaked raisins. Lots of sweet dark fruits as it opens. A lingering heat and bitterness around the edges that isn't entirely integrated. Great, but probably not deserving of the highest marks, at least at this age, for this particular bottle. I've certainly had better imperial stouts, barrel aged or not, and much more attainable.

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Photo of rarbring
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is dark,black and oily, has a small beige head leaving little lacing but having good curtains.

The smell is all Christmas plum cake combined with slightly smoked sausage, vinous tones, Madeira and a whiff of yeast.

Avery well balanced taste, sweet candy upfront, marzipan and some oak tones, then roasted bread, slightly of coffee beans.

The brew has little carbonation, a complex and oily body.

This is truly a great stout, this three way divided 2008 bottle was enjoyed at Bishop's Arms in Linköping, Sweden

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Photo of callmemickey
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Kaggen enjoyed at Akkurat

A: Deep black body with a smallish khaki head of tight bubbles. Receded over a minute or two leaving behind some whispy lacing.

S: Delicate milk chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and some oak. The bourbon barrel aging is undeniable but it is quite restrained and silky.

T: Like the nose, the bourbon barrel aging is graceful. That said, its subtleties are somewhat lost in its meekness. I prefer barrel aged stouts that are a bit more potent, but refrain from burning your throat off. Milk chocolate, oak, vanilla, and bourbon are all here. Surprising, not as much roasted malt as I was expecting.

M: The mouthfeel is the standout element of this beer for sure. Nice and thick, with a luscious, velvety feel as the beer coats the tongue. No burn with just the slightest hints of the 10% ABV.

D: Quite nice. I think just about anyone can appreciate the quality here, but its just not quite the bourbon barrel RIS that I absolutely crave.

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Photo of rvdoorn
5/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2008

I had the privilege to drink this beer for the First time at the Molen bier festival, and I experienced it as the best beer I ever had. However, I was still wondering how it would stand out against the upper-class of "American" (Russian) Imperial Stouts. Thanks to Dan I could have an epic beertasting evening with some friends with Surly Darkness, Darklord, Kate the Great, Abyss, Sexual Chocolate, Cigar City 110K OT Batch2, Speedway stout and on the other side, Stormaktsporter regular and Kaggen!.

Look: very very very dark, with an magnificent dark brown creamy head.

Smell: amazingly rich: raisins, other dark fruits, vanilla, bourbon, oak, coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts. Maple syrup and creamy milk. too much to describe

Taste: wowowowowow, this is the best tasting beer I ever had. Compared to most other imperial stouts, all of the smell comes back in the taste. And man, this beer is so well balanced. The aftertaste I like the most, long and it is so incredibly rich and creamy.... creamy coffee and chocolate, and some bourbon....

Mouthfeel: not extremely thick, but so creamy and smooth. The alcohol is extremely well hidden.

Overall: I had this beer together with some big American RIS beers. Well, these US-beers could not even come close to this Swedish beauty, they were so unbalanced (especially in the aftertaste) compared to this almost magical balanced kaggen! This beer humiliates all other attempts to brew an imperial stout, besides the regular stormaktsporter and the abyss, which finished 2nd and 3rd just after the kaggen. The best beer I ever had. I feel so happy I could try it again, and even more blessed I have another bottle in the basement to age. Worth the hype, this beer is art!

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Photo of pompix
4.55/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2008

Apparence : Black, compact head.

Smell : Dark fruits (blackcurrant), chocolate, vanilla, coffee, woody notes, vinous, spicy... Wow wow wow, really GREAT !

Taste : More or less the same, very long finish, incredible !

Mouthfeel : Creamy, full bodied, low carbonation, Perfect !

Drinkability : So Drinkable, where is alcohol ?

A true Monster !

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Photo of jrallen34
4.97/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review of 02-02-10
I drank this 2008 version 250 ml bottle into my Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours pitch black with a nice creamy dark tan head. Its very pretty and fluffy. The head rises about 2 fingers stays around a couple minutes and leaves a sopay head. The lacing is a little lighter than I would have hoped for.

The aroma is medium in strength, pretty matly to start lots of sweet chocolate, some vanilla and light bourbon on the end. There is a tiny bit of oak. Overall, its pretty understated.

The taste is super smooth its sweet up front with sweet chocolate, in the middle it brings some depth with some nice oak/bourbon than as the beer finishes you get a little more oak and vanilla.

The feel is very nice, very viscous and a very lasting taste.

The drinkability is nice, can't really taste any of the alcohol.

---
Review of 07-06-2010.
Re-tasted at the brewery
- 08 kaggen vs 08 stormaktsporter, the stormkatsporter was the better by everyone.
-05 kaggen(first year of Kaggen) vs 05 stormaktspoter, the kaggen won this around.
- Tried the 09 kaggen directly from the barrel. Its on Wild Turkey, only going to be about 800 bottles, this one is going to be special. Unreal vanilla already presenting, aroma is one of the best ever, taste still getting there but this will be awesome.
-06 version that was not barrel aged put into a glass bottle and just sat for 3 years, awesome vanilla notes on the front, beer itself is almost syrup lots of acid, a little tough to drink but interesting
- 08 kaggen that is 4 parts kaggen and 1 part smoked beer. This is not a commercial beer, made by the brewery for him and his friends. This was the best of the lot, unreal balance and totally amazing. They need to make this, it would hit top 5 easily so balanced with tons of vanilla, smoke, wood, and coffee. AWESOME.

Each version is totally different, the 08 that I reviewed and gave a 4.55 is widely considered in Sweden as the worst batch. The 05 was clearly better than the 08, the variants were unreal. Everything about this beer is awesome, good variations, good story, super rare, and even better people-owners at the brewery. If you are beer freak as Hans would call you this is a beer you have to somehow track down. They plan to keep the batches small and will continue to sell at a much lower price then the market commands because they want the average person to get the beer. It will continue to be distributed mostly to just the local restaurants in Orebro and a couple bas in Stockholm and Copenhagen, but expect to pay at least 60 US dollars. Your best bet is going to be here around the release and go to a local restaurant.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.7/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For semi-milestone review #350, might as well go for one of the big boys.

A - Pours a viscous black with a surprisinly large fine bubble, tan head on it. Quite nice looking.

S - Amazing. Huge chocolate smell with some burnt oak, mild coffe, great toffee. Nice roasted malts with subtle traces of vanilla as it warms.

T - I am always skeptical of beers that shoot up the charts with a small number of reviews, but this has definately lived up to everything I could have imagined. Velvety chocolate coats the mouth, but it's a nice, slightly roasty cocoa that combines with the rest of the roasted malts nicely. Slight licorice notes and brown sugar. There is a muted coffee flavor and everything is brought together by the oaked taste. Truly fantastic.

M - Smooth, full bodied, velvety is the word that keeps coming ot mind.

D - I'm guessing a little bit, because the bottle is so small, but I could definately drink this non-stop. Fantastic brew, I don't know if I will ever get a hold of more, but I would sure love to.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From 6/12/10 notes. Got to sample this side by side with the normal Stormaktsporter thanks to nimbleprop, huge thanks Mac! 2007 vintage.

a - Pours a dark brown color with an inch of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of oak, chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits, and vanilla. Hint of coffee.

t - Tastes of oak, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and dark fruits.

m - Moderate to light carbonation and medium body. Smooth and very easy to drink.

d - As I mentioned in my Stormaktsporter review, I thought they were both very similiar, but amazing. I think the normal version has more dark fruits, while Kaggen! has more oak to it (which I prefered). Both are easily 2 of the best beers I have ever had, and I would love to try them again some time.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage bottle

The only beer I wanted to drink for my birthday, I had saved this for most of the last year, waiting for the day I could open it. Served cold and poured into a six ounce snifter, this one was consumed on 06/11/2010.

Pours the darkest, thickest, oiliest looking black right out of the bottle. This combines with a thick chocolate colored head that really just gives it that full and complete look. A monster looking stout and I was in heaven as the blacklights shine off the side of my glass. It should be noted half of this was enjoyed while I was walking around an arcade at 11:30 at night, the rest back at the room.

Aroma is exceptional and I would have expected nothing less. Deep notes of roasted malts, burnt licorice, oak, hints of leather and deep coffee and chocolate. Massively complex and rich. Warming brings out like touches of vanilla that are kissing the sides of it. Huge body and flavor here. Thick and exceptionally full bodied. This was an immense beer in every sense of the word. Deep and dark, foreboding with the huge flavor of roasted malts and rich vanilla and oak notes flooding my palate. Simply amazing. Sweet vanilla and sugary notes coming into play now and leaving a rich chocolate and vanilla filled finish that left my palate clean.

Overall every bit worthy of the hype. Easily one of the best 5 RIS I have ever had. Cannot imagine how good the regular version is as I have heard it blows the doors off this.

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Photo of ucusty
4.59/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to AskOfficerFriendly for sharing! Vintage 2006. Dark pour with a thin chestnut colored head. Aroma consists of honey, and roasted malts. Full bodied & a creamy mouth-feel. Complex flavors Vanilla, Chocolate, roasted malts, coffee and dark fruits. Dry finish! Wow what a solid beer

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Photo of bark
4.4/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008.

The colour is black; the low head is warm brown. Some fine lacing occurs.

The warming smell got notes of wood and strong wine. Hints of alcohol. Lots of grand yet balanced flavours of coal, matured hops, mild bitter flavours and a hint of smoke.

The taste is very elegant with sweet caramelized notes, some fresh oxidized cask flavours, sour hints and a smoke that reminds of Islay whisky. It is overall matured, but some raw hoppy flavours make it more demanding and interesting. The strong aftertaste is malty with chemical hints of medicine and band-aids. Some alcohol in the finish.

The light carbonation is made of very small bubbles. The liquid is thick and sticky.

One of the most hyped beer during the last years... And while it is a splendid cask matured imperial stout, I found it a little too much for me.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.87/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep black with a small brown, foamy head. Settles fast with just a bit of lacing left that also disappears fairly fast.

S - Very rich. Upfront is chocolate and fudge like smells, quite sweet. There is a very slight touch of coffee and a fair amount of tobacco as well. Also can smell some vanilla. Overall fairly sweet but very nice to smell.

T - Follows the nose a bit. Upfront it is fairly sweet with a good amount of chocolate/fudge along with some molasses. A good amount of vanilla and other oaky flavors are also quite present here, along with just a bit of whisky like taste. Just a bit of coffee is there. Also a bit of dark fruit as well. A number of flavors that fade in and out and change with each sip, with the constant really being the chocolate and the vanilla/barrel tastes.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

D - Easy to sip beer. This depends most on how you feel about sweeter tastes in beer. I really like the flavors it uses so I would gladly drink more. The ABV holds drinking multiples (but so does my wallet and availability).

Notes: Vintage 2006 - Drank 2010. A very enjoyable dessert like beer. Glad I was able to finish off my time in Sweden at Akkurat and finish of the night with one of these. Yes there are better beers, and definitely yes, you can get more value of beer for the cost of this, but it is a very nice beer that is worth trying if you have the time and money and are in Stockholm.

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Photo of ohoh
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A 2005 bottle shared with friends at the Rover, Gothenburg, sometime 2009. Served from bottle in tasting glasses.

Pours jet black, with a brownish head, little lacing.

The smell is what you expect from a beer like this, chocolate, coffee, oak but in a very complex composition. I'm sure there are lots of other aromas in there that I couldn't make out at the time.

Oh my god. It really lives up to the hype. Really the same tastes as smells, but more powerful and a hint of fruitiness. Feels great in the mouth, smooth with a nice sweetness on the end.

It seemed very articulate and matured, and as we were drinking the 2005 vintage that's not surprising, but I found it refined in a special, complex way that makes me long for the next time I get to taste this beer.

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Photo of afausser
4.65/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My 100th review, split with CrellMoset (no less, the night before I start tryouts for law review...)

Appearance: Pours a thick and oily black with a slight (half a finger, maybe?) coca-cola and syrupy brown colored head, which disappears almost immediately. A few slight streams of carbonation bubbles float to the top. The ring of head that is left sticks around for a bit, and is quite literally that--just the slightest pretty little ring around the edge of the glass. Looking at the top of the glass, there's a slight foam swirl almost reminiscent of a hurricane, but you can also see clusters of carbonation bubbles as they stream to the top in three or four distinct clusters near the wisps. A fine sheet of glittery lacing with surprisingly nice retention before it disappears down the side of the glass.. Looks clean, simple, and nice. As its drunk, cherry tones are visible around the edge of the glass.

Smell: The nose on this one is huge! It's a few feet away from me, and I can smell bits of it from here--barrel notes, slight cherry tones, smells delicious even from afar. Bringing the glass to my nose, candy and caramel/molasses notes are also heavily present, but there's something odd about this one. I'm getting both green and red apples out of it, and--there it is--a strange buttery note. Not so much like butterscotch as quite literally, butter. A bit of coffee grounds and dark chocolate round things out, along with subtle rum-soaked raisins and clove spice notes blending into the background. Spearmint and anise notes are also present, particularly when agitated, but aren't overwhelming like they can be in some brews--they are apparent for a moment and then blend back in with the syrupy dark candy notes. The sour notes are really quite inviting when blended with the roast coffee and dark chocolate, and are mouthwatering. Reminds me a bit of red wine as it warms, but also has some soy sauce notes tossed in.

Taste: Wow! Sour notes predominate at the top of this brew--tastes like granny smith apples--but underneath there is a strong coffee and even stronger dark chocolate and cocoa powder undercurrent. Again, a little bit of a buttery note. Almost no dark fruits (in terms of raisins, prunes, etc) but a definitely both sweet and sour cherries, and sweet raspberry syrup, the consistency of which is quite light. a coffee and burnt hop aftertaste, with some oak notes burnt in. I absolutely love the sour notes on a darker beer. Again, it seems so very simple for being such a complex and well blended brew. Gets a little sweeter and more molasses-like as it warms, but the initial sour and dark notes are still dominant. Not at all hot.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel on this is excellent. Extremely tiny bubbles make the brew crisp, but are barely there, making drinking this one amazing. The aftertaste is not abrasive and blends in nicely. This is a superb, if understated mouthfeel--and though it's got small carbonation, if it were overdone this one would be nasty, and if it went flat the tiny bubbles would be sorely missed. Gets even more superb, crisp, and spicy as it warms.

Drinkability: Drinkability is amazing for a 10%--I know it's a small bottle, but there's no heat, the flavor is wonderful, and this is truly well brewed, living up to the hype (and the cost!). one to sip, but I can't imagine it being any other way. Its rare that I rate drinkability highly on a beer that has this high of an ABV, as by its nature it should not be drinkable. Making an exception for this one, the second time in about as many weeks. Wonderfully done.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.72/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2005 vintage, 180ml bottle, into smallish tasting glass. Big props goes to Alex for breaking this one out at our Pre-Night of the Living Ales Tasting.

A - Pours black, tan head, a bit of retention and a hint of lacing.

S - Honey, chocolate, molasses, coffee, oak, etc. This is a very complex beer, so it's hard to pick out everything in this one. I'm sure I'm missing some notes but rest assured, it's awesome.

T - Even better then the nose. Lots of honey up front, some chocolate, oak, dark fruits. Lots of stuff to pick out here and like the nose, very complex.

M - Maybe a touch too light, but very rich and smooth. Sweet finish that makes you want to come back for more.

D - We split this bottle several ways, but I could have easily drank the entire thing (if I were being greedy). It was very special to have the 2005 version, which already has 5+ years on it. I won't probably ever get to try a '05 again, but perhaps I'll get to compare some of the newer vintages versus this.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.47/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #1000, courtesy of bosse as part of my first international trade. 2008 vintage 25 cL bottle, poured in to a 12 oz. brandy snifter

Appearance: Kaggen! pours a dark, molasses black, thick, and even with an intentionally vigorous pour, you don't get any of that "glurgh" you need as it sloshes through the bottle neck in order to coax a head out of this one. Whether this is the result of some fluid force from the smaller volume or the neck shape/size or because this beer is so slick, so greasy that is just slides - whoosh - right out the bottle, I know not. The end result is a cocoa morass, capped by a quarter finger of fuzzy, furry chocolate sheen that fades within a minute to a dense but delicately creamy collar maintained by infrequent effervescence, a few eruptions and arcs of shiny lace, and the thinnest dollops of frost on the surface of the otherwise motionless, charred landscape. Agitation and the beginnings of the sipping ritual tosses up delicate and thin sheets of chocolate frosting, the staying power of which give me second thoughts about the score.

Aroma: And sooty is right. A great traditional RIS nose, heavy on the charred malts and the fruits. The char was the first thing I get, not harsh or astringent, but sort of like the way a beechwood bonfire smells when you're at a good distance. The smoky coal melds well with bittersweet cocoa, toast, and a few wisps of coffee. Agitation coaxes out the really good stuff, though, causing the aforementioned to transition seamlessly to cherries (a teriyaki overtone), plums, and figs, and dragging out some beautiful barrel notes, namely toasted coconut, faint leather, and oak. Agitation also releases the note that gets this one knocked down half a point - portable event toilet, slightly sour, slightly chemically. Soy sauce or perhaps red wine vinegar add a not undesirable twist on this one as it warms.

Taste: A definite honey-like sweetness is large up front, providing for a surprisingly light introduction. This is complimented by the char - or, rather, the void caused by the lack of too much heavily caramelized sweetness allows the char to come through - and the presence of green apple tartness. Shadows of caramel, toffee, molasses, sweet cocoa, and ligh toast mingle with diacetyls and tart esters of green apple and cherry, along with raisin and figs. The alcohol is incredibly fine, so well-integrated and smooth, its as if its presence is spread out so well, buried so completely, hidden so entirely that it's merely textual (or flavorful) white noise. Woodiness is larger here than in the nose, spicy, bright, and green, whereas leather is about on par and coconut far fainter, though the barrel on the whole comes through just as strong. Don't know why people are getting spirits out of this - these barrels taste pretty virginal to me.

Mouthfeel: Let this one sit open for a while while the carbonation dies down. Although I initially found the carbonation to be a little intense - a bubbly, large, slightly uneven feel in a body that was thick and pretty slick but not heavy or syrupy by virtue of its relative lack of unattenuated sugar - once it had stood in the open for about five minutes, the result was a smooth, oily joy, nicely carbonated, and nearly the perfect balance between crisp and assertive on the one hand and creamy, smooth, and even on the other. This one found its way home to near 5.0-territory in the end.

Drinkability: My initial thoughts were that I was very impressed but not utterly wowed by this beer. At least, not 4.6 wowed, or, alternatively, #2 in the world wowed. This was difficult, one of my first real attempts to go in to a beer this hyped with a clear head (it involved no drinking beforehand, for one, and forgetting about the price tag that came associated with this brew, for two). The aroma was probably the highlight, and from there is continued along at a pace, but nothing really completely hit a home run with me. What I did appreciate was its authenticity - it doesn't try to be too large, too bold, too dry, too sweet, or too in your face. This is a real RIS, full of bright esters, dark fruits, and yeast overtones, and doesn't take any prisoners in this department. To boot, it's a real RIS with a great barrel component. And finally, it hid its 9.5% extraordinarily well, better than many of the best.

But there are better beers out there, and now that I'm remember the price tag, I can add that there are better ones out there for the cash it took me to land this white whale. If you get the opportunity to try it, it may be worth it to knock it off your list, but I won't be looking to create a vertical or stash a few away in the ol' cellar. If anything, it's good to know that we here in America can make beers comparable to the best that they can throw us from overseas. So here's to a great beer, to American craft breweries, and to BA on this, the occasion of my #1000th review - cheers to all!

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Photo of tpd975
4.32/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

HUGE thanks to bossee for trading me all those gems from across the pond.

2006 Version

A: Pours a nice dark rich black with a small brown head. Some okay retention with just a few spots of lace.

S: Lots of roasty, dark chocolate, coffee, and mild oak.

T: Roasty and chocolaty up front. Coffee in the middle with hints of oxidation and coconut showing through. There is a nice malty sweetness that is nice without being too sweet. The oak is rather mild and can be picked up in the finish.

M: Medium in body, smooth and easy drinking.

D: Pretty good. Really look forward to the 2008 bottle I have on the way.

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Photo of vacax
4.38/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage 250 mL bottle indicating 9% ABV. Thanks for sharing this gem.

The beer itself is black, possibly a very dark brown with a ring of translucence around the glass. Proper head and retention, plus a bonus surprise of leaving a brown coating when the glass is swirled. The aroma gives me dark fruits, mostly prune, large amounts of smoke, some chocolate, and peppery spiciness. It just about runs the gamut in different aromatic qualities in an imperial stout, with the smoke taking a bit much of a front seat for me.

The taste is firstly malty though, with dark chocolate up front followed by a smoke and prickly pepper quality. Midpalate does bring a bit of alcohol, but also roasted barley which extends to the finish and closes with a bready malt goodness. The body is respectably coagulated and complemented by mid-range levels of carbonation, which lifts up the smoke and highlights the dark fruit and chocolate nicely.

Very good beer for sure. Not life changing in the taste, but a reputation built on quality. One minor life change is that I can finally cross this off of my wish list.

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Kaggen! Stormaktsporter from Närke Kulturbryggeri AB
Beer rating: 98.9% out of 100 with 179 ratings
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