Dark Horizon 1st Edition | Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

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Dark Horizon 1st EditionDark Horizon 1st Edition
140 Ratings
Dark Horizon 1st EditionDark Horizon 1st Edition

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 16.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
37 P, 75 IBU.

Inspired by the USA, malt from England, bottle from Germany, the name is from Japan, sugars from Mauritius, hops from the Pacific Rim, yeast from Canada, coffee from Columbia, and brewing skills from Norway.

6.000 numbered bottles.

Added by Sigmund on 06-17-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 140 |  Reviews: 111
Reviews by Gobzilla:
Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev -7%

More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shadowy raven body. Utterly starless yet not necessarily thick looking. No noticeable sediment. Froth is initially large and the color of melted Hershey chocolate bars. It almost immediately dissipates to nothing. Aroma is just as I expected it to be and just as any aroma for an RIS should be: Coffee and chocolate primarily with a touch of vanilla and a pinch of toffee. In addition, Dark Horizon boasts some powerful Baltic Porter like dark fruit aromas and flavors of figs and grapes. Flavor/mouthfeel is boozy but not in a distracting way – rather in a warming and flavorful way. It contains strong coffee liquor notes, dark fruits, coffee beans, toffee syrup, and hints of woody vanilla. Touches of spice touch the tongue from time to time giving the sensation, but necessarily flavor of cinnamon or nutmeg. Considering the ABV, I don’t think one can rate drinkability of this beer a whole lot lower than flawless. The strength becomes and issue over time, however, it never quite unbalances the beer. It’s pretty remarkable. Even at $22, Dark Horizon is well worth a try.

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Photo of StoutHearted
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark is apt, as the beer poured a thick, dark, black color with a frothy tan head. I discerned a fig or prune scent at first. It was gentle on the tongue, and there was a coffee flavor with a winelike mouthfeel. A few sips later, there were some changes, like it started to get more of a bite. Strong tastes of chocolate and coffee grounds without the bitterness associate with both. It started feeling like sparkling cider on the tongue. Later, I noted grape tones and the booziness warmed up my tummy. A surprising beer that provided many changes with each sip.

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

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue III:

Bottle #01759. Inspired by the USA, malt from England, bottle from Germany, the name is from Japan, sugars from Mauritius, hops from the Pacific Rim, yeast from Canada, coffee from Columbia and brewing skills from Norway. 75 IBUs.

Black. Pitch black. Like death waiting for you at the bottom of an abandoned well. Massive cascading milky coffee-colored head that retains a very healthy looking creamy foam lace that's got plenty of leg. Fresh roasted coffee, dark sugars, suggestions of dark forest fruits, fermented honey, dark chocolate, cream sherry, and a slight hint of port wine booziness in the nose, incredibly complex, yet soft. Whoa. This is one seductive beer. Silky creaminess on the palate, with a full and viscous body that's a bit syrupy and slowly coats the palate with a rich and roasted malt character of dark-roasted coffee and high percent and slightly bitter dark chocolate. Sweet sugary center with buttery toffee. Juicy sherry-soaked cherries. Slight alcohol burn with some spiciness. Lingering chocolate cake and a hint of smoke.

Despite it retailing for around $22 a bottle, it's well worth seeking out for the experience and definitely not as hot and boozy as we expect for a 16-percent beer.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle in a fancy case. Pours a motor oil opaque black with a thin brown head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar.

The aroma is dark chocolate, some candy sugar, vinous fruits and sharp alcohol.

The flavor is bitter baker's chocolate, grainy malts, black licorice, some sour vinous fruitiness, sweet candy sugar, and a big wallop of warming alcohol. The mouthfeel is pretty full and low on carbonation.

Overall, this is truly a big beer. It's fun, but way too harsh on the alcohol. At $22 for a 500ml bottle, it's good to try once.

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Photo of tjthresh
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pure black with brown head. All kinds of stuff going on in the aroma. Chocolate covered coffee beans, salty soy sauce, and hard wood smoke. Fantastic flavor. Bitter dark chocolate fudge mocha. Throw a shot of some sort of dark fruit liquor it there. Full body. High carbonation. Silky. Warm finish. Amazingly drinkable, not that I'd try to drink a whole bottle by myself.

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Photo of badbeer
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with a tan head and good lacing and retention. Smell of molasses, alcohol, chocolate, roast, maple syrup, hops, and brown sugar. Taste has all the same things as the aroma and does not disappoint. Full of intense and well-rounded flavors, I really wish they'd make this same recipe again. Medium carbonation and full body. I look forward to trying this at any time I can. One of the the few beers that seems to hold up to and surpass its hype.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of glid02
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at the Mikkeller pub in Copenhagen.

Pours black with a half-finger brown head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of smooth roasted malts with large amounts of dark chocolate flavors. Also present are good amounts of dark fruits - plums mostly with hints of raisins.

Tastes good however it's not quite as complex as the nose. Sweet roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by good amounts of dark chocolate flavors. Boozy dark fruits join in midway through the sip, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very smooth thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I have to say I was a bit disappointed with this beer. It was a nice and complex brew however the flavors weren't as well-integrated as I was expecting. Still, it's worth a shot to decide for yourself.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

this beer is quite the marvel. bottle # 4011. I put # 1000 something in the cellar. For-ev-er. Pours a thick black tar with ever so slight hints of ruby red around the edges of the glass. Thin tan head. the nose reeks of dark chocolate, molasses, coffee beans and sugar. Taste is dark chocolate malts with coffee and tons of sugar. Alcohol slaps the mouth. A whisky like stomach heat is produced. The coffee sticks out the most besides the alcohol. Be prepared because this beer will slap you in the face like devitos wife on its always sunny. 16% is quite evident. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy as hell. about the same texture as tomato soup. Creaminess as it goes down, and coats the throat in good liquor taste. Drinkability is its only real flaw, but anything 16% has limited drinkability. If you decide to drink one of these to yourself. Give your car keys to someone to hide. Fantastic now, but could defenitely be a marvelous brew with several years in the cellar. Way to go nogne.

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Photo of Sammy
4.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma of good coffee and alcohol fumes. Tia Maria, only thicker. Pours very black, with aged look of white head on top. Drinks medium plus mouthfeel, a coffee liquor, rich, and kind of one-dimensional. Smooth, with chocolate aftertaste and sediment.500 ml. in fancy container at $22 plus $1.50 duty from Premiere Gourmet. Sipper.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz bottle, scooped at Star Liquor a solid year ago at least. split with bort on his final evening in town while watching some obscure hunter thompson

appearance: snifter treatment, very dark ebony body, tan char head. looks innocent enough but inherently evil

smell: loads of dark chocolate, fiery bourbon, tons of sludgy dark roast coffee

taste: an evil creation - dark belgian chocolate, smooth bourbon, dark roast coffee, bitterness levels kept well within reason...pretty remarkable in all its power - vinous traits with superb complexity

mouthfeel: creamy with a lingering alcohol burn

drinkability: exceeds expectations - a lot of alcohol but controlled bitterness

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Photo of jimbomill
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had a "stout night" a couple of Friday's back. 2006 Dark Lord was one of the stable of stouts.
The Dark Horizon was simply the best beer I ever had, so far.
The appearance was typically stout, almost a blue black. The smell was a wave of rich complexity, enough malt in the aroma to notice without much effort. I like that. The taste was the offspring you get when rich marries silky. Mouthfeel was a-plenty. neither thin nor burdonsome, what was it that Goldilocks said when she got to that third bowl?

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Photo of Photekut
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of prototypic
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many, many thanks to todd1 for sending me this one several years ago.

1st Edition - #00546

The first release of Dark Horizon certainly lives up to its name. It’s a very dark chocolate fudge color. Looks pitch black. No light cuts through at all. A dark mocha colored crown tops it. It rose to just under a finger in depth before falling quickly. I’m sure the abv had something to do with that. Lacing was light, but sticky.

The nose is definitely impressive. It’s very malty. Roasted and chocolate malts seem to be the base. Smells like bittersweet dark chocolate. Coffee is strong in the mix. It is quite deep and features an abundance of secondary scents, including molasses, dark fruit, and perhaps some soy sauce and herbal notes. The last two are faint. Alcohol is definitely noted, but doesn’t smell like 16%. Perhaps it’s integrated pretty well over the last three years or so.

The flavor is good. Chocolate and roasted malts are definitely the base. It’s a little sweeter than expected. Bittersweet dark chocolate is noted, but it tastes like some sweeter milk chocolate notes are here as well. Coffee is easily noted and complements the malts extremely well. The flavor profile really explodes with depth at this point. Molasses, dark fruit, soy sauce, and some interesting herbal notes. The herbal flavors taste somewhat like hop remnants. I’m curious as to how hoppy this was fresh. Alcohol is definitely there and is a tad warm. No big shock at 16% abv. Finishes sweet and malty with a twist of coffee and tangy dark fruit.

This version of Dark Horizon has a medium body that feels more and more substantial with warming. Carbonation feels light and restrained. Ultimately, it is smooth. Nonetheless, the flavor is very big and bold with enough alcohol warmth to know it’s a beast. Finishing this 500 ml bottle will take quite a while.

Dark Horizon is definitely a bold beer from Nøgne Ø. It is chock full of flavor and is quite complex. At the end of the day, it is good. Having said that, its big, bold nature and some of its flavors definitely make it a novelty. I wouldn’t drink one of these with any frequency. It’s just a little too big and warm. I also would prefer a little less dark fruit tanginess. Good stuff though. No doubt about that.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

Photo of sketchcornwell
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As I was Drinking this beer it became a conversation peice between me and my buddy. This is a very complex beer and a great experience to drink. It poured very smooth with little to no head.
Black an opaque in color but not thick.
The smell realy threw me off. It was very sweet wtih citrus notes almost like a Grand Cru.
tast started of with a light citrus and finished with a bitterness that was easily identifiable as a mix of the hops and coffee beans.
The Beer was smooth in texture but the tingle of the alchohol was fery present.
Good drinkability, but a definite slow sipper.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1st edition. Bottle #04038.

A: Poured a dark, viscose engine oil color with dark plum highlights when held up to the light. A flat dark nutmeg/cinnamon colored head topped things off briefly before quicly dissipating to a thin ring around the glass.

S: rich, with dark heresy chocolate, and a nice deep roasted coffee aroma. Spicy dark fruit (prunes) also contribute and enrich the experience. Spicy alcohol scents round things off here.

T: The initial flavor was spicy and dark roasted malts with loads of ripe dark fruit (prunes) and a huge coffee roasted bitterness. Dried prunes and a dark earthy bitter hoppiness are also noted. There is a noticeable acrid charred malting, and minerality with some dark liquor and dried grapes. The beer finishes with some spicy alcohol fusels, and rum soaked raisins which faded beautifully off the tongue.

M: silky smooth, with a flat carbonation and felt oily and very nice on the tongue. A sharp acrid bitterness soon follows and graces the tongue upon the swallow.

D: Overall a dark and bitter roasted beer perfect for that dark snowy wintery night. The abv is noticeable as well a noticeable acrid bitterness that I think only adds to the intriquing nature of the drink.

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tasted soon after 1/3 bottle was spilled when the bag broke on the way home.

Rich with Colombian coffee overtones in the aroma. Highly phenolic, caramel interlaced with coffee. This would make the perfect companion on a long train ride. Prickly hot alcohol, still integrated with the monster coffee stout within. Highly palate coating. Watch out, this is a truly devastating RIS. It can surely kick your ass. Maybe better off cellared...

11/11: Thanks Dave for sharing a 4 year old cellared bottle. Much more mellow, light soy, chocolate, and roasty notes. Similar to other aged RIS, hard to pinpoint much, but better than I recall. Still a bit of alcohol sting present, though not as hot as the initial sample 4 years ago after that fateful bike ride :S

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry coffee with nice roasted malt notes. Taste is also dominated by dry coffee with some black chocolate and ends with a dry hoppy bitter taste. Body is quite full with good carbonation and surprisingly enough alcohol is not discernable. Well done but still somewhat overrated in my opinion.

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4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

About as dark as a head gets with active dark brown and rich carmel colored bubbles that fade fast, leaving no lace. Body is a pure sticky thick blackness. Nose is an odd but attractive feel with a mix of port, smokey malt, coffee and dark fruit. With first sip you realize this is something special. Big richness floods the mouth with rum soaked dark fruit, dark toffee, rich coffee notes and a healthy dose of carmalized burnt malt. A bit of candy like sweetness builds up on the back of the tongue. Alchol is only a backround note in the flavor but warms the belly well. Very impressive for 16%. Mouthfeel is big and thick like nice liquor. Definitely a sipper when it comes to drinkability but very good overall.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Thick, dark silky texture that doesn't let light through. Little to no head.

S-Coffee, chocolate, dark dried fruits (date and raisin), tawny port.

T-Tawny port w/chocolate espresso, and the mix is not unpleasant. This ass-kicking stout is unlike anything I've had, and it's strong. It's sweet, a little syrupy, although less than I would expect, and I can tell the alcohol is present, but I would never guess 16%.

M-Pleasant. The body is thick, but not as much as I was expecting.

D-I don't feel like I'm drinking beer, but it's good, and if I ever come across a bottle I'll buy it. I would substitute this for port. It's like a drink to accompany a rich dessert, and the coffee that follows all in one.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally getting a chance to try this wonderful beer. I have had it sitting in the cellar for a few months and just decided to grab it out of their last night as I was in the mood to really knock back a little something heavy for a change, well I figure this one will fit the bill for sure! Pulled the 16.9oz bottle out of its cardboard tube and poured it into my Terrapin Chalice at cellar temp, looking to polish it off over the course of the night. The look was exceptional, with a deep, dark, brwon liquid coming forth, pretty much opaque with no light shining through on this one whatsoever. A nice two finger hight head of dark chocolate colored foam then rose up out of the depths and stayed around for a good five minutes before finally settling down to a thin film across the top that lasted thoughout the session. Deep side glass lace then persisted all the way down the glass. Really a big, full looking beer.

The aroma was heavenly, with deep, dark chcolate and rum soaked molasses coming through almost immediatly. This was big and the alcohol notes were well noted in it. Hints of coffee, some licorice perhaps and a touch of vanilla were then added into the mix. Quite complex and really just a dark, bourbon filled smell. The flavor followed through on the aroma's promise, really coating the mouth and warming the belly with each passing sip. There was the initial rush of cocoa and coffee beans, before the alcohol came kicking in behind it. A rush of bourbon hit the palate and knocked you back for a moment before easing down and giving way to some oaky flavors with a touch of molasses and vanilla. Some dark fruits buried in there, but pretty well hidden, maybe rum soaked raisin flavor. The finish had a touch of hops, just enough to give the slightest bit of a bitter touch to it and left that longlasting alcohol flavor on your tongue.

The Mouthfeel was very good, it was a full bodied beer, not a s thick as you big RIS's but still very nice indded. Velvet like carbonation kept everything moving along nicely and let the flavors slide over the tongue and filll you nicely. As for drinkability, we may have to discuss this. At 16% ABV, many people will not find this to be exceptionally drinkable, however I have to disagree. This was a monster strong beer, but the alcohol was well blended in and used to enhance the overall expierence. I did not find this harsh, hot, or out of balance, and I had no issues sipping on this and finishing off the bottle throughout the night. For something so strong, it could not have drank any better.

Overall I would have to say this one more then lived up to my expectations. It was really a very well done beer and a huge stout that is well deserved of its reputations. I have not had much expierence with the brewer, but this for sure will be enough to get me to look toward them much more. Definitly a high quality beer for sure and something I would not only drink again, I will still be actively looking for.

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Photo of blackie
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: into a snifter, coal black in color - some brown coming out when lifted to the light - with a ring of mocha head roused with each tilt of the glass, and eventually dying back to nothing

s: a monstrous, thick roast bomb, black and roasted barley syrups and cola concentrate, smoked meats, rich brown sugars, dark liquor booze, ridiculous levels of complexity

m: thick, chewy body but not quite syrupy, carbonation on the lighter side

t: a stew of thick, rich roasts comprise the body of this frightfully bold stout, charred barley and dark chocolate condensed into a pretty intense experience, toasted brown sugars, burnt meat finish with lingering cola syrup, chocolate covered caramels, alcohol presence perfectly reasonable for the abv, absurdly smooth given the weight of what's going on here

d: challenging but totally enjoyable, impressively drinkable given the purely massive character of this beer

split with dirts on my last night in Madtown for this particular Great Taste adventure, post a near-death experience at Effigy Mounds

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Photo of largadeer
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received from leftmindedrighty in a trade a while back. Thanks!

Appearance: Dark espresso brown, not as black as I was expecting, but impressive nonetheless. Pours without much in the way of head or lacing, but that was expected from a 16% beer.

Smell: Coffee with sugar, molasses, a bit of dark chocolate. Surprisingly mellow for such a big beer; there's barely a hint of alcohol.

Taste and mouthfeel: Very sweet, but thankfully not excessively so. Flavors of caramelized sugar are balanced by a huge roasted malt flavor. This is a little lighter in body than I was expecting, which isn't to say that it's thin, it's just not massive. Ultimately that's probably a good thing. Coffee and molasses in the finish, ending with surprising dryness. Impressively smooth and clean, no acrid flavors or harshness, no noticeable alcohol. This is some very well made stuff, but it's intense. Definitely one to be shared with a few like-minded people.

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Dark Horizon 1st Edition from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 140 ratings