Emperor Norton
Almanac Beer Co.

Emperor NortonEmperor Norton
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
IPA - Belgian
ABV:
9%
Score:
86
Avg:
3.87 | pDev: 7.75%
Reviews:
29
Ratings:
93
From:
Almanac Beer Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  1
Gots
  23
SCORE
86
Very Good
Emperor NortonEmperor Norton
Notes: All hail His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Norton I, of The United States and Protector of Mexico! A beloved 19th century San Francisco denizen, Emperor Norton was best known for issuing his own currency, calling for the overthrow of the Federal Government, and for prophesying a future bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland.

Emperor Norton is an eccentric ale brewed in his honor, blending a classic Belgian-style tripel with California-grown summer apricots and dry-hopped generously with Citra and Hallertau Blanc hops. Enjoy in the company of unconventional friends!
Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 93 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by travolta:
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travolta from California

4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Sep 06, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of chrisjws
chrisjws from California

4.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass

A: Light orange, almost straw colored. Very cloudy. Nice two fingers of head. Exceptional lacing on the glass.
S: Apricots right up front, funky belgian yeast right in the background, some tropical fruits, lots of malt sweetness in the background
T: Apricots first and foremost, some funk, some tropical fruit and then finishing sweet with bready malts
M: Medium mouthfeel, coats the mouth with sweet fruity/malty tastes that linger. No carbonation bite at all.
O: Super easy drinking beer. If you want a fruit beer that doesn't taste artificial or overly sweet, this is exactly what you're looking for. It hits all the great parts of a fruit beer without the excess or fake that's so typical.

Jun 13, 2015
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RBassSFHOPit2ME from California

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

If this were categorized as a Funky or Farmhouse Belgian IPA with Apricots, the scores would be higher.

Order with this in mind and you won't be disappointed. You'll actually be somewhat impressed!

Boom! Minds blown.

Aug 27, 2015
Photo of mactrail
mactrail from Washington

3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Hazy yellow amber with a gargantuan pile of foam in the narrow Kolsch glass. A very sharp and zingy mouthfeel. Fruity scent with an unusual hoppy and flowery note.

This is one of the more unusual beers I've tasted in a long time, but that's a good thing. I simply could not fathom what's in this stuff without reading the label. Dry hopped with Citra and Hallertau Blanc. But it's apricots for sure, starting out with the sweet taste of dried fruit and then the tart finish. The alcohol is kind of a sledge hammer after a few sips.

This is a dry and fruity brew with a hot taste of alcohol. It makes me think of the Eau de Vie fruit brandies. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

Jul 08, 2015
Photo of krome
krome from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Oct 06, 2017
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie from California

3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle into tulip.

A: Pours a clear golden with a fluffy white head that slowly faded into a fuzzy collar. A sticky network of lace was left down the glass.
S: Very fresh, fruity, and fragrant hoppy notes of pine, weed, apricot, brussel sprouts, and a slight solventy scent that I’m not sure how to describe.
T: Apricot is prominent alongside notes of phenolic Belgian yeast and mild peppery spice. I still get hints of cooked vegetable, dank and herbal hops, and sweet and bready base flavors. The finish is lightly bitter with a lingering sweetness and peppery spiciness in the aftertaste. The weird solvent quality is still there but I still can’t put my finger on it.
M: Medium-full body, slick and lightly greasy mouthfeel, soft and tingly carbonation. Drinks well.
O: Nice and hoppy with a clean and sweet fruity quality to it. Not my favorite though, but a solid and hoppy take on a tripel.

Jun 29, 2015
Photo of vermilcj
vermilcj from Ohio

4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jul 08, 2015
Photo of oline73
oline73 from Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sep 05, 2015
Photo of djrn2
djrn2 from New Jersey

3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Oct 11, 2015
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Oct 28, 2015
Photo of Rick778
Rick778 from California

3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Jun 02, 2016
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impending from California

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Oct 31, 2015
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.29/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, earth, Belgian yeast, citrus zest, grapefruit juice, nail polish remover, and slight fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, grapefruit juice, nail polish remover, earth, dried apricot, and Belgian yeast flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop and yeast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but the aromas and flavors are an odd mix of fruit, dry hop, Belgian yeast, and nail polish remover characteristics that clash with each other somewhat.

Serving type: bottle.

Jul 13, 2015
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jeff1973 from California

4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 22, 2015
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Jugs_McGhee from Louisiana

2.6/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Sep 16, 2015
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westcoastbeerlvr from California

4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 23, 2015
Photo of dipso123
dipso123 from Oregon

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Small head, brief and little to no lacing, a bit hazy. Aroma is more alcohol than malt or hop. Taste starts with light citrus and goes to alcohol and heat fairly quick. Not one of the better Almanac efforts I've had. Can't recommend.

Oct 09, 2015
Photo of afsdan
afsdan from Colorado

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 20, 2015
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.49/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It has a big apricot nose suplemented with Belgian yeast stone fruit aromas, over ripe fruit, and traces of citus and biscuit. It pours hazy gold, releasing streams of tiny bubles rushing to refresh a 3" white to cream colored foam cap that takes 5 minutes to reduce to a thick, lacy film. Apricot and Belgian yeast flavors lead the attack lightly sweetened by honey and supported by a mild biscuit flavor. Over ripe fruit, banana, stone fruit and citrus flavors are slighly lower in intensity. A moderate hop bitterness emerges by mid-palate and carries through into the after taste where the beer dries slightly. the Belgian yeast flavors and texture moderate the hop bitterness a little. Mild, soft alcohol flavors come out as the beer warms. Emperor Norton has a very creamy medium body with light warming and slightly above average, soft carbonation. Overall the flavors are well-rounded yet interesting and complex.

Mar 22, 2017
Photo of Nugganooch
Nugganooch from California

3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On Tap at Soma Eats – San Francisco, CA
4oz taster - Notes taken on 06/11/2015

A: The pour is a very clear and burnished gold look with a soft shade of brass brushed in. Head is fairly lacking as well as any sticky remnants. What is present is a light and frothy short-lived paper white fizz.

S: I get citrus peel, lemongrass, and chamomile shifting into more sweet malts and lightly toasted grains. There is something somewhat dank and tropic to the hops as well with a little grapefruit zest emerging. The finish reveals a bit of the Belgo yeast character with some coriander like spices. Interesting choice of hops here it seems.

T: Tastes sweet with a bready sourdough like maltiness and touch of vanilla crème. The finish remains dry and light however. Definitely picking up some mild yeasty twang like old dusty barn and soft banana esters with coriander and dried lemon peel. Has some golden fruit and apricot fused with the hops which are tangerine and tart melon, tropical flowers, as well as some light herbaceous notes. The beer has a mild bitterness to it overall and feels a bit laced with alcohol here. Quite a lot going on to this one. I am on the fence with this one really.

M: Light in body with a cream like consistency and a drying finish. There is a mild peppery bitterness to this that aids in that crisp retreat. Pretty clean overall.

D: A real interesting brew to say the least. Seems like way too much going on here but it sort of all comes together at times. Definitely not a fav for me but nice to try and maybe worth revisiting down the road.

Dec 03, 2015
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kylehay2004 from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jul 28, 2015
Photo of heymikew
heymikew from California

3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nov 30, 2015
Photo of deNerval
deNerval from California

3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sep 16, 2015
Photo of bigred89
bigred89 from Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aug 28, 2016
Photo of DBosco
DBosco from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm going to guess this was an 042916 bottling date, batch 2063, from the ink sprayed note on the 22oz bottle. Well, it was the last one left on the shelf, and I'm thinking it has not aged that well. I think the hops have gone a little off and the apricot is not as fresh either. Seems like it was probably an interesting idea; maybe they should try it again sometime and back off on the oily hops.

Jan 21, 2018
Emperor Norton from Almanac Beer Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 93 ratings