Garún Icelandic Stout NR.19 | Borg Brugghús

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Garún Icelandic Stout NR.19Garún Icelandic Stout NR.19

Brewed by:
Borg Brugghús

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Garún is named for the strong and brave heroine of one of Iceland's most popular folktales "The deacon of Dark River (Myrká)." A tale of ghosts, undying love, and life triumphing over death told against the backdrop of elements essential to Iceland's character: ice, snow, and flooding waters whirling dark and mysterious. The same elements that inspire this rich, intense, bold and swirlingly varied Icelandic stout.

Garún is a dark aura of intense richness and haunting aroma with notes of chocolate, licorice and coffee. Skál!

Added by metter98 on 12-10-2013

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Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 191
Photo of g_rat
3.64/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Jet black, small brown head with moderate retention & no lacing

S: Roasted malt, syrup, licorice, hints of dried fruit

F: Medium bodied, a little bit sticky, minimal carbonation, mild alcohol burn. Somewhat creamy; Surprisingly smooth for such a high abv stout.

T: Black coffee prominent, followed by licorice, sweet caramel balances out the bitterness, and finished with spiced rum

O: Good all around no BS stout. Not very complex. Suprisingly smooth for 11.5% abv

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Photo of puboflyons
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

From the 330 ml. bottle Lot no. 012027. Sampled on June 27, 2016. My first beer from Iceland.

The pour is jet black but there is not a lot of head.

The aroma has an abundance of dark roasted caramel, black licorice, dark fruit, and some alcohol.

Full body and also creamy.

The taste has the same pointed dark malt and dark fruit character with the booze still in the mix. There is a semi-dry finish. I bet this one could sit for a couple years and still be good..

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Photo of ONUMello
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500mL on tap into a pint glass at Micro Bar in Reykjavik
A: Pitch black with a one-finger tan head
S: Tons of cocoa, dark malts, licorice and coffee
T: Matches the nose, primarily cocoa with licorice in second place and dark malts/caramel/coffee to finish
M: Full-bodied, quite bitter with noticeable alcohol
O: Impressive. This would definitely drink well during the endless nights but was enjoyable during the midnite sun also. I just wish it were a bit less alcoholic/bitter

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Photo of MAB
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Wow-- I was all over the map in the individual ratings.

This looks good in a glass. Super dark. Not much head though.
Smells sweet and chocolately.
The taste is something amazing. Bursting with malt and chocolate, there's a pleasant bitterness to offset. Mostly, though, it's the 11.5% alcohol trying to push through. You can tell it is there, lurking, but you're still tempted to gulp the entire bottle down.
The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. For me, this could have used a bit of extra carbonation.
Overall, the taste trumps the other characteristics, and the final rating improves the overall score.

1) It's great to find an Icelandic beer, at all, and
2) It's great to have found a really good one. Skál!!

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a stein here at Bjor Gardurinn.

Appearance: Thin motor oil with a subtle fan head rising to maybe half a finger's length. Drops quick after one sip or maybe before the first sip.

Smell: Light alcohol vanilla and mocha tones.

Taste: This is where the brew gets points and I do mean points...complex sweet cocoa and hints of light rum. Light coffee...and a little spiced cinnamon.

Mouth: medium carbonation, but intensely sticky and paired with beef ribs and the taste offsets everything and stick

Overall: I keep getting amazed at the bar. On tap and on point...Salud!

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours an opaque thick viscous jet black in color with light to moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and very faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy very dark mocha head that slowly reduces to a large patch of mottled thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark roasted malts and dark malts with moderate aromas of licorice and dark chocolate. Light notes of freshly brewed coffee.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of dark malts and dark roasted malts with a hint of charred malts. There is a moderate amount of dark chocolate and caramel sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of freshly brewed coffee and licorice. Moderate amounts of roasty bitterness which fades away pretty quickly with a lingering sweet licorice sweetness.

M: Slightly less than full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Pretty easy to drink with very well hidden alcohol - though this is definitely a beer that needs to be enjoyed and sipped slowly. Very enjoyable with big bold flavors and a moderate amount of sweetness - nice amounts of complexity.

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Photo of PorterPro125
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: 330 mL Bottle

A- Pours a completely opaque, black liquid that shows a little brown around the edges. Not much to speak in the way of head: Light dusting of tan bubbles on the surface..

S- Beautiful aromas: Candied fruit, sweet coffee (almost latte), followed by a typical roastiness (malt and coffee-like).

T- Follows the aroma well. Finishes with an aftertaste identical to that of good quality dark-roast coffee.

M- Heavy, creamy body and low carbonation. The body definitely lives up to the 11.5% ABV!

O- An excellent Imperial Stout that offers intense, rich flavours and a giant body. With an 11.5% ABV, it's definitely one to sit back and savour slowly.

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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle poured into tulip.

Pours almost totally black with dark brown highlights and one finger of creamy coffee head that leaves puffy brown clouds of lace as it recedes.

Smells fantastic. Rich dark fudge, candied dark fruit, creamed coffee, sweet black licorice and campfire smoke.

Taste follows nose with more thick caramel drizzled fudge, creamy coffee and black licorice. Mild green hops.

Feels big and creamy. Full bodied with mild carbonation. Finishes off-dry with some bitter chocolate and coffee.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. A big rich dessert of a stout.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours richly dark and nearly black with a thick, very dark walnut foam. The head reaches two inches before slowly receding to a thin blanket, leaving spotty lace on a B-United teku glass.

Sweet cherries and chocolate cordial grab the nose before making way for charred oak, rich malt, licorice, and anise. Warmth clarifies without progression.

Deep roasted malt gives way to a balance of bittersweet licorice. Molasses and plum pudding are detectable before a long, modest finish that brings out cherries and bittersweet chocolate. This all terminates back to licorice. Warmth brings out black raspberry.

The texture is soft and smooth like jersey cotton, and the body is full. Modest, prickly carbonation punctuates the strong presence of alcohol. Residual sugar is left on the lips.

This is an excellent sipping beer for a cool autumn afternoon while reading. This would shine with a cigar. The Icelandic legend on the label is a nice touch. Warmth between the 60 to 70 degree range intensifies the chocolate flavors and brings out a light sourness.

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Photo of Svingjo
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich black colour with a finger thick brown head that literally sticks around leaving a sticky foam around the glass. Lots of dark fruit (plum, fig and dates), licorice, coffee, chocolate and slightly burnt toffee. Wow, the flavour! Very malt forward along with all those same smells now converted to flavours exploding on the tongue. There is a slight alcohol burn that you may expect from the high ABV, but it is masked in the malty sweetness. The carbonation is in the medium range. A very nice imperial stout.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer brings me back to my vacation in Iceland; the nice thing about drinking it *outside* of Iceland is that it's actually cheaper as an import in Canada, given the absurdly high taxes on alcohol in the Nordic countries.

Pours a beautiful dark, dark inky black, nearly opaque, capped by some cappuccino-foam head that recedes quickly but leaves some ringing and some lacing. Tiny bubbles are apparent when you swish this thick beer around in the glass.

Smells of plums, figs, raisins, licorice, dark coffee and darker chocolate. Slight creaminess, faintly herbal. Taste echoes that--warm, slightly biting alcohol, coffee beans, dark chocolate, licorice. A touch of candied sweetness and then dark stone-fruits. Carbonation is mild, body is thick but not heavy (if that makes sense). It's not--for me--a standard-bearer of the style, but it evokes very fond memories and is quite a nice beer given the relative youth of the brewing industry in the nation from which it hails. A nice imperial stout.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pour pitch black with a mocha colored head, no head retention, some lacing, low carbonation, looks really oil, made that lovely gulping sound when I poured it out of the bottle, no light comes through whatsoever, looks very nice.

A: Dark fruit bomb, figs, plums, raisins, lots of roasted smells, lots of aroma, hint of coffee and chocolate, alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming, smells pretty big.

T: Like the nose, getting lots of dark fruits, figs, plums, dates, raisins, hit of moderate coffee and dark chocolate like bitterness in the middle, then those dark fruits reemerge with a big dry finish, lingering dark fruits, very tasty, very smooth and drinkable.

M: Nice big creamy mouthfeel, balanced carbonation, big dry finish.

O: This reminds me of Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout but with more aroma, flavor, and alcohol, not as drinkable as SS Imperial Stout, but definitely bigger. If you like imperial stouts that are very dark fruit forward with hints of coffee and dark chocolate, this is your stout, cheers!

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Photo of Tone
4.14/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of strong alcohol, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, yeast, and slight wood. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of strong alcohol, strong sweet malt, slight roasted malt, hint of wood, and slight yeast. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, and blend, but low complexity.

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Photo of Antg8989
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque very dark brown. Smell is of soy sauce and cooked rice. Taste is full..some prunes as well. Definitely abeer to have in the cold winter months.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Torst in Brooklyn, NY.

This one pours a dark silky looking black color, with barely any head, and basically no lacing.

The beer smells like dark fruit, mainly raisin, with additional aromas of silky chocolate, slight coffee, licorice, and roasty malt.

It really helps that this beer was poured at the exact right temperature at Torst. I got a lot of nice complexities out of it, with the three main flavors being dark fruit, dark chocolate, and licorice. There's a little bit of roastiness and coffee, but the three aforementioned flavors are more strong, making the flavor profile unique, as I feel more stouts lean more towards coffee flavors.

This has a very silky smooth mouthfeel, with a lower level of carbonation. Very drinkable, even with the more intense flavors and higher ABV here.

Only my second beer from Iceland, Lava being the other one, but it seems that they know how how to do stouts up there.

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Photo of timfc
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

My favorite season is imperial stout season. I love them big, chewy, and to coat the tongue.

A: great. In an 11oz tulip on tap. It's got a dark brown, more than rootbeer but not black color. Good tan lacing that fell back to a persistent ring. There are lots of CO2 bubbles along the side of the glass making it lighter in color.

S: there's just not much. I expected more. A little malt and alcohol.
T: builds... First it looks with some roast in the middle of the tongue and then spreads into malt, warming from the alcohol, and depth across the tongue and palate. 30 seconds afterward and I'm still getting new flavor.

M: personal preference, I'd like more body. But, it's easily supporting what's here.
O: I'd drink this whenever I saw it on tap. It's a great beer. Not top 10 for imperial stouts, but that's a hard list to crack. But I'd rate it with Luscious.

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Photo of BFCarr
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On draft in tulip glass. Very drying/astringency with dark fruit/prune notes. Doesn't taste like a 12.5% beer. If you're a fan of imperial stouts, give it a try. Makes me want to go to Iceland.

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Photo of leaddog
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a dark chocolate brown with two fingers of dense mocha head.

Smell - roasted malts, coffee bean, hint of licorice, cocoa, mild earthy and leafy hops.

Taste - Starts off with the roasted malts then goes into the coffee bean, hint of licorice, cocoa and finishes with the mild earthy and leafy hops.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied with light carbonation. Finishes with the coffee bean and cocoa.

Overall - A stellar stout. All flavours work in unison together. I liked the coffee bean flavour along with the cocoa. Worth seeking out this brew as it won't disappoint.

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Photo of tkdchampxi
3.81/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Oh, that's pretty good. There are some really interesting flavors here, almost like a mix between a barleywine and a barrel aged stout. Complex flavors with just a touch too much carbonation. The high ABV is completely masked. I wish this had more coffee/ roast qualities, however. Some interesting sweet notes, reminiscent of coca cola, is what gives this a barleywine quality

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Photo of dar482
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The aroma has a hint of smokey meat, coffee, and roasted malt.

The flavor has rich chocolate, licorice bitterness, the beer then flies on the mid palate. Dark fruit on the finish, but the beer has issues of being watery despite its ABV.

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Photo of Michael_B_Friesen
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big beer, Poured black and thick, with a two finger creamy tan head.
Coffee, rich dark malt and dried figs from the nose.
The palette I got espresso, licorice, toasty, cocoa, caramel and very malty, but not as sweet as I was expecting from a beer this big. It went down quick... too quick... now I need more. The alcohol is hidden too... until it's already down.
over all impression was this was serious, big, malty imperial stout, that wasn't sickly sweet. A great example! I want more, and will seek it out.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle - nice to see a strong stout from Iceland make its way here, beyond the basic pilsners we've already received.

This beer pours a solid black hole, with the barest of basal amber edges, and three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly brown head, which leaves some broken cobwebbed lace around the glass as it slowly seeps away.

It smells of creamy milk chocolate, dense caramel/toffee malt, black licorice, milky coffee, mild wet ash, and earthy, herbal, and slightly perfumed hops. The taste is quite consistent - lush candy bar chocolate, bready caramel, toffee pudding, a hint of nougat, sweetened coffee, Nordic anise 'treats', and a hint of toasted wood, one that may actually be due to the crazily understated alcohol warming.

The carbonation is mostly under the radar, providing support as opposed to fizz, the body a rich medium-heavy weight, and generally smooth, a slight metallic twang growing as things slowly warm. It finishes on the sweet side, just, as all that cocoa, caramel, and creaminess can only be bridled so much by the attendant char and booze.

Wow, one deftly authored Imperial (or in this case, Icelandic) stout - robust flavours abounding. As scary as the overall sensation that this beer evokes is, that pales in comparison to the fear I have that I won't be able to stand up after killing this small bottle, given the near-complete integration of the 23-proof alcohol. Skál, indeed.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle poured into tulip 11/11/14

A black liquid with a deep cola edge, two fingers of dark mocha foam quickly falls to a thick film that has staying power but leaves no lace

S chocolate syrup, licorice, coffee, almonds, just a hint of booze, coco powder, earthy notes, pretty solid

T more dark roast, charred wood, espresso opposed to coffee, darker licorice, just darker in general, I'd never guess 11.5% but there's a little booze, rich and intense, I'm grooving on this one

M thick and creamy, just a little sticky on the lips, faint heat and a heavy dark roasty finish that just keep going

O I didn't know what to expect but this ones great, big and bold, full and rich, I want to try some more brews from these guys

A great beer I never knew existed, a great value at 4 and a half bucks, with some bang for your buck as well I'll be buying more of this for sure

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lot 012027.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, bitter cocoa, char, earth, and dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with dark roasted malt, cocoa, char, dark fruit and slight soy sauce flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great balance between roast and dark fruit aspects that make this quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of mrhartounian
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This was a very nice surprise. I had never tried an Icelandic beer and wasn't quite sure what to expect. What I got was one of the better non-barrel aged stouts I have ever had. Aroma of a cross between milk and dark chocolate along with plenty of coffee. The taste followed the aroma perfectly. Only a bit surprised by the slightly watery mouthfeel, but I mean only slightly. Just fantastic. Price is not cheap, but then again almost half of a DFH WWS. Highly recommended.

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Garún Icelandic Stout NR.19 from Borg Brugghús
4.28 out of 5 based on 191 ratings.
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