Imperial Stout | Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

519 Reviews
Imperial StoutImperial Stout

Brewed by:
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
23°P,75 IBU.

Ingredients: Maris Otter, Munich, roasted barley, oat, black, and chocolate malt; Columbus and Crystal hops; English ale yeast, and our local Grimstad water.

Added by Sigmund on 02-08-2006

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Reviews: 519 | Ratings: 882
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I don't believe this is retired, it was readily found and delivered by Papsoe. A 500 ml. with very thick body and head, dark brown. Straightforward quality RIS, some chocolate and coffee, roast, but not too much of anything. Roast and anise aroma. Bittersweet chocolate mostly. A bit acidic in mouth like having unsweetened hot cocoa. Very nice.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick and black with a thick dark tan head.

Initial nose smells like chocolate syrup. Thick, creamy and bold mouthfill, extremely attractive.

Huge thick dark bitter chocolate flavors with hints of sweet coffee and espresso. This has layers of chocolate and coffee flavors, layered in different chocolate and coffee nuances. Some deep, bold rich roasted malt and some big and bold sweet black licorice flavors.

The body and balance of this stout matches the deep rich flavors. A winner.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a really hearty stout, appropriately dense for its norwegian heritage. dark brown almost black, with a soft eggshell finish and over an inch and a half of micro bubble tan head as dense as they come. the nose shows a simple beer at heart, dark barley, cara deepness, and a lioghter almost herbal quality, but rather straightforward. the flavor starts with the dark roast of the barley, and a residual sugar that is tough to explain. maybe slightly under attenuated property, but it works with the rest of the heft here. come dry dark bakers chocolate and a hint of licorice meld into a rather smooth semisweet finish that suggests oatmeal, but i dont know if its there for real or not. bitterness abounds after the swallow though, a nice transition. body is enormous, overweight even, but in a wintery context with some nice rare red meat, its a match made in heaven. smooth as gravy. worth what they ask for it.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was on tap at the Tap & Table, I managed to get the last of the keg right before it was kicked. The look of the beer was a murky blackish brown color. There was a ton of sediment in the glass from the bottom of the barrel. However the smell of the beer was decent, it had lots of roasted malts, a sweet boozy aroma, a little coffee in there too and some earth. The taste of the beer was pretty good, again chocolaty and roasted. Found it to be a little too earthy, probably from all the yeast and stuff in it. I'd need to have this one again to really get a good grasp of it. The mouthfeel was pretty good, overall this beer seemed to have a good amount of potential. If I see it again I'll have it again for sure.

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Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high mocha colored head that quickly died down and left some lacing in the center of the glass and a ring of bubbles around the edge.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of dark roasted malts and notes of chocolate in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and well balanced; it has flavors of dark burnt and roasted malts and chocolate.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
O: This beer is incredibly drinkable considering its alcohol content, which is well hidden.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A delicious and succulent stout that down plays the harsh roast for smoothness and creaminess.

Deep aromas of char, espresso, burnt chocolate, sweet rum, and light fruitiness of cherries and licorice fill the nose in most robust fashion. Light smoke (campfire) gives a slight phenolic/roasty scent that prevents the stout from a flawlessly clean aroma.

As the beer pours a viscous and dark, opaque brown, the beer releases a froathy tight medium brown head that retains well, right down to the last sip covered with a delicate creame. Lacing is fair.

Flavors of roasted barley and cream/vanilla mix in both an acrid coffeeish and bitter cocoa way and also a flavor of heavy cream or milk sugars. The intense flavors up front fade from roast and into the cherries, anise, and currant notes that carry the bold beer into the malty-sweet, long lasting finish of brownies and rum-soaked fruitcake. Though delicious, there seems to be a cavity where the connective structures of the beer should be- it just doesn't come together as great stouts should.

Robust and full, the stout has an early impression of viscous malts and bitter/acrid roast. The beer weakens evently, allowing the toffee malt to become noticed and allows for better drinkability going into the finish. With a long, lingering malty/roasty dryness, the beer gives mild warmth and light roasty astringency on the throat.

There's no doubt that we have a fantastic stout on our hands. But it lacks the unity and seamlessness that we see from Old Rasputin and Sam Smith's Imperial Stout.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle. As spring seems tentative in its approach, I guess these heartier beers still have their place at this time. Ah, who am I kidding, I'd drink this in deepest, sweatiest August, if that's when it arrived here.

This beer pours a very solid black abyss, with only the slightest hints of basal cola 'highlights', and two fingers of thickly foamy, puff-chested light brown head, which leaves an undulating vista of mountain peak lace around the glass as it evenly recedes.

It smells of dark roasted caramel malt, somewhat sour black orchard fruit, thin treacle, grainy coffee beans, vegetal earthy hops, and a touch of zingy warming alcohol. The taste is big chocolate caramel malt, mildly tart dark fruit - the usual suspect plum, prune, and dried cherries, a piffling smokiness, earthy cafe au lait, a subtle oat-borne nut character, dead leafy hops, and a very tame booze edginess.

The carbonation is fairly understated, nothing really tickling the throat here, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, smooth without constraint, and creamy to a certain degree. It finishes on the sweet side, the chocolate, coffee, and caramel holding the fort, with some trickling hop and booze notes providing fodder for any hope of balance.

Another winner from this brewery that only seems to brew the beefiest of beer styles - not that there's anything wrong with that, given their obvious proficiency. Balanced, somewhat, i.e. not too sweet, and with an ABV that is most agreeably shy. What's not to like?

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Photo of brentk56
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a big beige head that displays great persistence and drapes the lace

Smell: Very roasty, with molasses, chocolate and coffee tones; hints of fruit, too

Taste: Surprisingly piney and bitter up front, with the chocolate, molasses and coffee flavors developing by mid-palate, as the bitterness becomes more pronounced; after the swallow, the bitter and smokey flavors dominate, although there is a lingering licorice sweetness that complements the other rich flavors

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A bit on the unbalanced side, but still quite tasty

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Photo of largadeer
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pitch-black, viscous, chewy stout. Pours with moderate head, almost as dark as the body. Head retention is fair. The nose is very burnt and sugary - it smells like espresso with a few teaspoons of sugar in it. Molasses, dark chocolate and burnt toast are prevalent in the taste. Incredibly thick and heavy on the palate; I've tasted 12% stouts that felt lighter. This is a good brew - recommended if it can be found for a reasonable price.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of black chocolate with subtle coffee notes was well balance and very enticing. Taste is a perfect balance between some black chocolate malt with a very subtle hint of sweetness and some subtle coffee. Creamy texture is incredible with a thick body à la Bells Expedition. No alcohol was detectable and carbonation was low. Definitely the best beer I have tasted from this brewer up to now.

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Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apparently never reviewed this, but i've had it at least once before. Cellared 2007 vintage, served at 55º in a tumbler, coincidentally it's about the same temperature outside.

Rich and sticky mocha foam, it crackles at first then subsides, leaving an unbroken skim that sticks to the sides. Jet black in the glass with some auburn highlights when poured against the light. Arcs of random lacing is left along the edges. Aroma is mostly char and bitter chocolate, with a hint of molasses in the background.

Flavors of bakers chocolate, a good amount of spicy licorice that lingers in the finish with a bitter edge of charred malt. Wisps of smoke in a bigger sip. Rich and creamy feel (oats) that blankets the palate and feels so nice on a cool Fall evening. Cellaring seems to have subdued any perceptible alcohol, though it's still a sipper.

I've been waiting awhile for cooler weather to break this out, glad I did!

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Photo of nickfl
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours out with one finger of dense, orange-brown foam and a coal black body with no traces of light penetration, even when held up to a light bulb. The head has reasonable staying power and leaves rings of lace in its wake as it settles.

S - Velvety, earthy hop aroma. Notes of coffee, chocolate, licorice, and banana.

T - Big chocolate and coffee flavors up front, with a curious lack of malt bitterness. The hops come in immediately afterwards with a big, smooth, round bitterness. Notes of licorice, caramel and some black cherries. Quite a bit of yeast character comes out as the beer warms, hints of banana and clove. The finish is drawn out malt bitterness with the expected notes of smoldering wood and tobacco as well as some subtle hop flavor.

M - Heavy body, moderate carbonation and a sweet finish.

D - Highly drinkable for such a big beer, it hides its 9% well. While this didn't get me quite as excited as some of their other offerings, it is another solid, very well balanced beer from Nogne O.

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Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have liked the other Nogne brews I have had in the past and this one was true to form as well.Poured into an imperial pint glass a jet black I mean no light showing through,a large two finger dark mocha colored head atop.Alot of complexities in the nose,heavily roasted with underlying smoke and wood,a hint of vanilla and leafy hp as well.Flavors are heavily roasted and quite bitter,a French roast coffee flaor dominates up front along with some real smokey flavors,some bitter chocolate and molasses comes through,finishing earthy,bitter and a little raw.There is some serious use of Columbus hops used in this impy stout,if you like a big stout with some rough edges you will love this,very nice.

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark mocha head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice dense soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, char, roasted malt, coffee, toast, raisin, fig, licorice, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with big balance, strength, and complexity of dark roasted notes and light fruitiness. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, char, roasted malt, coffee, raisin, fig, light molasses, toast, licorice, oats, and roasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, char, roasted malt, coffee, raisin, light molasses, toast, licorice, oats, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance and complexity of dark roasted flavors and fruitiness; with zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic imperial stout. Great complexity and balance of very dark roasted malt flavors; and extremely smooth and easy to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering!

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Photo of Kegatron
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle into a Duvel tulip at cellar temp.

Pours an inky pitch black with a huge foamy tan head. It actually takes quite a bit of work to eventually get the whole bottle in and I think that most of you know that the Duvel tulip isn't a small glass. Eventually it all settles down into a handsome looking creamy head that retained well with good lacing. Aroma has a suprising amount of citrus to it but I also pick up some chocolate, roasted malt notes, and a whiff of heat.

Once again, the taste is strong up front with a surprising amount of fresh hop citrus. While definitely surprising, I actually found this to be quite pleasing as it imparted a real freshness to the beer that I really enjoyed. The middle is thick with sweet chocolate and coffee that melds into a finish that's a combo of burnt notes and hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is almost to thin at first but seems to thicken up some as it warms up more. For 9%, I found the alcohol to be pretty well hidden, maybe just adding a little bit of warmth to each sip.

This was definitley a different was still really tasty and drinkable Imperial Stout. That citrus element threw me for a loops at first but the more I drank, the more I appreciated it. I look foward to more from these guys in the future.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearane: Pours a rich black body with a pillowy, though thinning tan-colored head.

Smell: Deep, delicious aroma of dark chocolate, sugar-coated vanilla beans, roasted malts, with some flowery, herbal hops mingled within.

Taste: A scrumptious blend of dark chocolate, nut-filled brownies, French vanilla coffee, and some subtle hints of port and smoke with just enough of a herbal, hoppy zip to maintain some semblance of balance until the roasty finish, which is somewhat dry and lingering but leaves a sweet caramel-vanilla aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Its full-bodied without being too heavy or a chore to drink. Mild carbonation. Some alcohol warmth.

Drinkability: All the flavors are lush and well-blended, what's not to love? A delightful, tasty Imperial Stout. So far, I'm diggin' all the Nøgne stuff.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours jet black with about a half finger of light brown head. A very light amount of carbonation is visible and the head reduces slowly as the beer warms up to room temperature. Moderate lacing is present.
S: Notes of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee.
T: Very rich flavors in this beer - tastes of chocolate and coffee with a fair amount of lingering sweetness.
M: Medium bodied with light amounts of carbonation.
O: The taste of the alcohol is very well hidden in this beer which makes the beer quite enjoyable. I could drink several of these beers though I shudder to think of my level of tipsiness if I did that. I think this is a much better beer for a cold winter day than another time of year. Definitely a beer that I would buy again.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black pour, one finger mocha head before a nice sticky lace with nice traces on the glass.
Rich roasted malt up front, robust, rough, woody, plus very dark chocolate, caramel and toffee, faint cream and a drizzle of coffee powder. Low dark fruit, big emphasis on the "stout".
The taste doesn't entirely follow the nose, at least regarding the "dosage". Starts quite juicy with nice clear raisin, dry plum, some fig and date, mixed with some coffee acidity (even some faint citrus in the back). The dark fruit has a nice sweetness to it that stands up to the other rough elements from later on. Gets "lumpier" with dark chocolate, burnt sugar and some spices showing up, the somewhat usual licorice, cinnamon, vanilla. Roasted malts dominate the finish, right after a short flash of hops. Burnt dark bread, smoked wood, ash, charcoal, getting more intense till the aftertaste.
Thick body, low to medium carbonation, fits well with the robust nature of the beer. Should be noted that the aftertaste has some lingering hops and dark fruit, which is nice.
A big strong Imp Stout, seemed simple at first, but has nice complex flavours. Had it just 8 months old.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Onyx with onyx highlights. A brighter day outside my front window might have resulted in a faint lightening at the edges of the glass. Then again, it might not have. I got a bit overzealous with the pour and ended up with at least three fingers of dense, creamy, mochachino colored foam. A thick blanket of shredded lace, along with everything else, makes the appearance score an easy call.

This is one serious smelling RIS. The malt bill makes for interesting reading (wheat, oats, Maris Otter, Munich, crystal, chocolate, black and roasted), but the only ones that make a splash are the final three. Maybe the final four. The splash is more like a tidal wave of dark chocolate, black coffee, blackstrap molasses and black licorice. I can't wait to upend the glass.

Nogne Imperial Stout is everything that I'd hoped it would be (after drinking and loving Nogne Porter). It isn't as big and as bad as the biggest and baddest of the style, but it's as delicious as all get out. This Norwegian brewery nails each and every style with unerring precision.

The flavor profile follows the nasal profile to a 'T'. All of the flavors born of hugely roasted barley swirl throughout the mouth in perfect harmony. Bittersweet chocolate-coated coffee beans and anise are especially prominent; the latter being something that I loved in Nogne Porter as well. A hint of vanilla makes me think of Oreo cookies. Although sweetness is favored over bitterness, there is a subtle tightening on the sticky, impossibly long finish.

Maybe it's the wheat and oats, but the mouthfeel isn't quite up to snuff for the style. While it's plenty viscous, that underlying, all-encompassing hugeness isn't there. Things are improving as the beer sits, just not enough for the next highest score to be granted. The label suggests a serving temperature of 50 degrees. I used an (estimated) 55 degrees. I plan to start my next bottle out at 60.

It's too bad that Nogne Imperial Stout doesn't come in bigger bottles because this one is nearly gone and I haven't had my fill yet. Nogne is one of my favorite non-U.S. breweries because they're so consistent, right across the style board. It's a shame their beer isn't more widely available. If I had access, I would single-handedly keep the export side of their business profitable.

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Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours an effervescent black with 3+ fingers of mocha colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruits, iron, chocolate, plus some boozeyness as this warms

T: Dark fruit, iron, raisins, & prunes up front. Rich baker's chocolate, drynesss & a bit of roasted malt as this warms. finishes dry & chocolatey. with a touch of oakyness. On the cusp of a 5.0

MF: A bit over carbonation detracts from the chewyness, plus a bit of chalkyness

Drinks great for the style & ABV, great Imp stout, albeit a bit pricey at $9.50 for .5 liters

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this bottle on my last trip through Asheville. I was honestly shocked that i had not tried it before. Anyhoo, very nice 600ml bottle was served at cellar temp in a terrapin snifter. Consumed on 09/17/2008.

The pour was deep, dark and black, though I have to admit could have used a bit more of a head. Still though nice, with an opaque bloackness that no light could penetrate. What was there of the head faded fast, but left behind a broken crown, that itself produced no side glass lacing at all.

The aroma was richly smoked, kind of shockingly at first but you quickly became accustomed to it and dove right in. Lots of raosted and smoked malts that really stole the show, with hints of molasses coming in behind, but not nearly coming close to balancing. The flavor was a bit more complex, and to be honest one of the best parts of this beer. Rich notes of peat, smoked malts, and vanilla were all right out in front. A huge malt bill on this one. Some nice chocolate notes as it warmed, with molasses coming though on the tongue, Earthy bitterness finishing it off nicely and briinging the smoked vanilla flavor back for a repeat on the dry but very sweet finish. Smooth medium bodied for a big stout, which is still saying full to begin with. An easy sipper with all but the slightest of alcohol well covered up and quitely reserved.

Overall wow. This was a very tight and very good imperial stout. It was not as good as the dark horizon, but for a year round RIS, any friggin day of the week. I would go out and try this one if you havent. It was well worth it.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 16.9 oz brown bottle into a La fin du monde tulip cold.

A - An oily black w/ a 3 finger tan head that settles into a thin ring.

S - The smell of rich chocolate and dark malt odors present a great aroma along w/ a touch of alcohol and pine. The malted milk/vanilla scent is present in the smell also.

M - Rich luxurious, full bodied w/ roasted and fruity ale textures. The stout has a slightly bitter roasted quality.

T - Dark roasted African coffee comes to mind w/ slightly citric tastes. Wonderful chocolate notes and a brief interlude of vanilla and graham cracker w/ toasted flavor and deep tannic plum tastes. An alcoholic warmth and resinous pine hop bite are noticed as the temp becomes closer to room temperature. Smooth cream and cocoa mix with a hoppy bite to create a great blend of roasted and bitter.

D - A big Imp. Stout at 9% and a well balanced one. Quite drinkable, smooth and focused w/out much viscosity or overbearing roastiness it retains a smooth stout-like body. The hops are balanced well with the malty essence of this big dark ale.

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Photo of billab914
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured black in color with a thick and dense tan head to it. The head faded to the edges of the glass where it left just a bit of lacing.

The aroma has a big roasted malt character to it. It has some chocolate, coffee and burnt flavors to it with some nice smoke coming through. It has a lot of sweetness to it with some brown sugar and molasses notes to it as well.

The taste has a lot of flavors going on. It has an almost brown sugar like sweetness to it. The roasted, burnt, chocolate, coffee flavors really come through as well in the flavor. It's really balanced for an imperial stout overall.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it has a lot of great flavors to it. It had more sweetness to it then many in the style but it actually balanced it pretty well. Decent beer for the style and a well made, well balanced one as well.

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Photo of smcolw
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has the darkest head I've ever seen: Light brown. Thick and rich with plenty of chunky lace on the glass. Near black color where no light can pass.

Toasted malt aroma without any burnt touches. Light cocoa, almost a white chocolate smell. Attractive and certainly not extreme. Light hop in the background.

There are burnt elements to the taste. Very dry on the tongue. I can almost taste the chard pieces from a barbeque. Smooth body with a near perfect richness and carbonation. The aftertaste is of burnt toast and heavily roasted nuts--almond and hazelnut. Close to harsh finish, but it stops just shy of that monicker.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is inky black with a thick consistency. Not all that much in terms of visible carbonation but a quite fluffy tan head on top.

S: This one relies heavily on the roast with a bit of coffee. There might be just a hint of dark chocolates, but again, it's almost all roasted malt.

T: A decent amount of bitter, dark chocolate. The roast is once again the primary flavor with some coffee flavor and a bit of bitterness and alcohol on the finish.

M: A medium bodied beer with a moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth on the tongue with just a bit of warmth.

D: Not overly boozy, necessarily, but a fairly pedestrian and one dimensional RIS.

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Imperial Stout from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
4.12 out of 5 based on 882 ratings.
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