Dark Horizon 1st Edition
Nøgne Ø

Dark Horizon 1st EditionDark Horizon 1st Edition
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Stout - Russian Imperial
4.31 | pDev: 7.66%
Nøgne Ø
Retired (no longer brewed)
Dark Horizon 1st EditionDark Horizon 1st Edition
Notes: 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.
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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 142 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Rhettroactive:
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Rhettroactive from Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 500mL bottle to Portsmouth glass on 3/24/12
*From notes

-- Muchos gracias, IrishColonial --

A: Dark, but then what's new. A good pour yields a dissapointing .25 finger head that fades entirely too fast. The creamy colored collar is decent at best.

S: Boozy for sure. Hints of green earth and a solid amount of minced garden box herbs.

T: For a beer this big, it's incredible how well hidden the alcohol is. Lightly roasted coffee hits the fore and rides to the mid, where the alcohol kicks in and rolls back. A touch of char and grass wrap things up.

M: God is this thin. Pretty flabby stuff. Dissapointing.

O: Lets cut things straight here: we had this in the same evening that featured RareR DOS, Peg's Batch 100, BCBS '05 & '06, BCBS Vanilla and East End Toaster. So you tell me how WOW this is given the night's prior transgressions.

Having said that, this is just not the beer I was hoping for. Inspsired? Sure, but it just didn't come together to form a coherent and vibrant RIS. For a beer this old, it seems to have held up well, but it ain't something I'll seek out.

A decent tick.

Mar 25, 2012
More User Reviews:
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AKBelgianBeast from Alaska

4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Dec 21, 2007
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BARFLYB from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Once again thank you oglmcdgl for breaking out this gem for the "let's get drunk" tasting. This one for sure helped at 16%. Poured into some snifters.

A- Dark Horizon is dark, duh. The liquid is a jet black with some thickness to itself once condensed in the glass. Hard pours yielded no head whatsoever, not even some faint bubbles. No lacing at all from this, just a thin black film from the liquid.

S- It was noted that this had a somewhat similar smell to DFH WWS with sweet dark fruits coming up. Deep roasted malts and molasses. I get some burnt coffee but rather light considering it's supposed to be a main ingredient according to the bottle. Dark chocolate makes a good dent while the 16% is well hidden but not completely.

T- This horizon is huge, it took me a while to get to know it. Not your average stout. I gotta say the coffee was not in the forefront as it has faded in this not so fresh bottle. Either way a nice coffee taste that is underneath a big rich chocolate cake taste. A nice malt base built in giving off a nice roast that does not overpower. Dark fruits play a role along with alcohol and some vanilla.

M- The carbonation on this was on the low end and barely noticable, but it's there. This one has a nice step above medium bodied feel. For the size of this I was expecting a thicker feel The alcohol is there in the feel but this could of been way hotter, it's masked well. A bit chewy while this one begs to be sipped.

D- This one was huge, 16% to be exact but it did not taste like it. Once I stood up that's a different story all together. Very small sips are some patience are needed for this one cause it is very unique & takes time getting use to. The alcohol got a bit much and hot when this reached true room temp but I kind of enjoyed the burn. Do not attempt to drink a whole bottle to your head, I don't think it can be done.

Jun 17, 2009
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CrellMoset from Virginia

4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle #02535, cracked with gford217 (whose kindness and generosity really blows me away) - thanks! Poured into a Terrapin snifter.

Appearance: A deep and inviting-looking brew, borderline black but not quite all the way there. It's got a gorgeous, foamy, fine, and even coffee-colored head that sticks around for a surprisingly long time, given the fact that this Behemoth is 16% abv. Although it's thick and heavy-looking, it's not nearly as thick and heavy-looking as you would expect, which is definitely points in its favor.

Aroma: Starts with dark, roasty sweetness - bakers chocolate, full and Italian roast coffee, and a faint simple sweetness which intensifies with time. Absolutely no alcohol until it warms up considerably, which is impressive. Dark fruits also become more evident as things warm up - figs, burnt raisins, blackberries. I'm smelling the remains in the bottle now the morning after and getting an overwhelmingly vinous, port-like fruit note. Impressive.

Taste: Very sweet - easily one if not the sweetest RIS I've ever had the pleasure of partaking in - but not one-dimensionally so. Everything that was in the nose is here as well - sweet chocolate and two-sugared coffee, those dark toffee and molasses-esque raw sugar notes, the same berry and dark fruit notes - but there's also a mild wine-like tannin quality that grows stronger as it warms. The alcohol's also definitely there, but it's very smooth and slick, not hot or harsh. Truly exceptional.

Mouthfeel: Pure velvet. Masterfully crafted, it's very even, silky, and velvety, without being oily or slick. The sweetness isn't cloying or filmy, either - just very well-done.

Drinkability: How can a 16% abv beer get a 4.5 on drinkabililty? I don't know - but it does. Deviously complex and enjoyable. Likely my new favorite RIS, and it's a shame this is probably the only one of these I'll ever be able to enjoy. Many thanks again to gford217.

Aug 10, 2008
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Goliath from Illinois

4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and opaque through it's center. Suprisingly, there are light brown edges on this beer. A quarter inch of brown head forms on top and lingers with nice retention. No real lacing to speak of.

The arom ais gorgeous. Some coffee notes, chocolate, vanilla, and as EmperorStan put it - Cookie Dough. Really just delicious!

The taste is awesome. Some coffe and chocolate for sure. But chocolate certainly takes the lead. Notes of vanilla are also present as well as an overaqll sweetness with a bit of roasted maltiness. Really tasty and balanced.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and lightly carbonated.

The drinkability is high with awesome flavors, and undetected levels of alcohol. So smooth and easy drinking for a High abv beer. A true feat of beer brewing.

Oct 08, 2008
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Sep 14, 2008
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BoitSansSoif from France

4.17/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Feb 20, 2008
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Asher1982 from Maryland

4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this beer up on the reccomendation of Jamie at Max's. You could really pick up on the alcohol smell when opening the bottle, but the taste was different. Dark black, with hues of red when held in the light. The head was brown and miniscual. The tast had many different flavors that I could pick up on. There was wine fruits, coffee, vanilla, and a nice little alcohol burn in the throat when swallowing. This is a good "sit back with a snifter and relax" kind of beer. Don't let the price tag scare you, it's worth it.

Feb 13, 2008
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DmanGTR from New York

5/5  rDev +16%

Jan 29, 2013
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LilBeerDoctor from New York

3.85/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 9/4/08. 500th rating!!! Bottle #022390. Pours a dark inky black with a small quickly disappearing dark tan head. Aroma of alcohol, sweet roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, vanilla. Flavor of the same as above, lots of caramel, sweet roasted malt, vanilla, apple skins, with an alcohol burn in the finish. Very smooth mouthfeel. Sweet but not overly cloying. For a 16% beer, this is remarkable. Very nice.
8/4/8/4/17 (4.1/5)

Dec 26, 2008
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spycow from Illinois

4/5  rDev -7.2%

Oct 31, 2014
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OlieIPA from California

4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decided to open this beast up all by myself! Considering the fact that I'm Norwegian, adds another aspect to this beer that's very exciting. Anyways...here I go.

A: This viscous and black liquid poured just like any good Imperial Stout should and developed a nice 1-finger head that unfortunately mellowed away after a minute or so. No lacing was visible and no head seemed to arise after several rigorous swirls.

S: The smell is well developed and very complex. It includes, but isn't limited to, mixtures of rich dark chocolate and strong coffee notes. The alcohol "hotness" comes off as almost wine like, creating this very complex...yet delicate balance of sweet and roasted malts.

T: The initial taste is very unique... and delicious I might add. The first sip can be best described as a very roasty dark fig/coffee combination. I didn't detect any robust dark chocolate flavors that the aroma indicated, but there was some sort of flavor similar to it lingering throughout the whole beer. The finish (like the bottle description indicates), reminded me of a very strong cabernet sauvignon or merlot...at least with the alcohol bite and dry-like qualities.

M: Thinner that what the pour indicated...but I seriously think this might be due to the high alcohol content of this beer. Anyways, full body for the most part...with a very distinct dry finish.

D: This is a category that I have a hard time giving a score to. Many times...I'm confused whether to score this beer on personal preference or based how well and easy it might be for all beer drinkers to actually consume. For this brew...I can honestly say that I was impressed with both aspects. A complex flavor that masked the alcohol content better than any beer I've ever had.

Overall: Is this an epic beer? It's on the cusp of being one...but I feel still lacks some of those qualities that make me grin when one does reach my palate. A great brew that is worth seeking out and devouring by yourself. Cheers!

Jun 27, 2009
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jenitivecase from Kansas

4.57/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Inky black, with a dark brown head. Slight lacing.

S: Coffee, malty, roasted goodness. Caramel, candy sugar overtones. Imperious. Slight whiff of alcohol, but not much.

T: Intense. Lots of sweetness up front, with the caramel flavors very pronounced. Fades into coffee and roasted malts, with a decent amount of bitterness. I am giving this a 5 because it fulfills my archetype for what an imperial stout should be. Very well constructed.

M: Full-bodied and rich, with a very textured taste. Chewy. Leaves a bit of an aftertaste, but not much.

D: Pretty intense; I don't know if I could ever drink more than one of these. That said, for a 16% beer, the alcohol is concealed disturbingly well, making it dangerous.

Very nice. As I said before, archetypal.

Oct 08, 2008
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billab914 from Virginia

3.85/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to IrishColonial for sharing this one. Poured from a 500ml bottle into a tasting glass. It poured black in color with a small amount of bubbles sticking to the edges of the glass. Pretty close to still looking.

The aroma is somewhat boozy with chocolate, dark fruits and a little bit of soy sauce. The dark, roasted, slightly burnt malts are noticeable, but a little overshadowed.

The taste also shows a lot of boozy alcohol throughout. Some nice dark fruits, cherry like flavors are there along with a little chocolate and light roasted coffee.

The mouthfeel is a little slick with carbonation being moderate.
Overall it was a good, but not great beer. It was a little too boozy and sweet, but the dark fruits and chocolate were pretty good in it though.

Mar 30, 2012
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imperialking from Illinois

4/5  rDev -7.2%

Oct 22, 2012
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to ygtbsm94 for sharing this bottle. Bottle #667. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a deep black with a thin head that quickly fades sideways into a tan collar. The nose is a bit weak with some booze, light roast, and a bit of black licorice. The flavor really comes on strong after that; really uber-rich on the tastebuds. Loads of roast, chocolate, and a bit of black licorice. Extremely enjoyable. Really smooth. Full body and quite big. The coffee is long gone. A really fantastic beer. Thanks again, Brad.

Apr 12, 2011
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craytonic from District of Columbia

3.7/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opaque black pour, decent head, some lacing. Aroma is heavily acrid roast/burnt coffee, the stuff you find in the bottom of a coffee pot or in the filter of a coffee maker. Some burnt/caramelized fruits and smokey tobacco as well. Alcohol is a bit too present, mouthfeel is standard. I get the feeling there is a fair amount of caffeine, but no proof of that. Not particularly drinkable.

Jan 19, 2010
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rfgetz from New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Jet black. No head. Looks like an oil slick on top.

S- Dark roasted malt. Dark molasses. Rich, but not overly roasted coffee. Some dark fruit and a touch of dark chocolate. Slight boozy note.

T- A rich, sweet boozy molasses and vanilla taste up front. Dark roasted malts, dark fruit (fig and plum) and bittersweet chocolate. Little bit of coffee as it mellows in the mouth.

M- Thick yet smooth. Minimal carbonation (by design?). Oily residue and boozy burn.

D- The boozyness of this from the burn to the after effects make this something to be sipped and shared. Quite an experience!

The 2nd addition hides the booze a bitter better and is a touch smoother.

Aug 20, 2009
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corby112 from Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle.

Pours pitch black with a foamy coffee colored head. Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, sweet alcohol and dark fruit. Very complex beer with amazing flavor. Smooth maltiness up front with dark chcoloate, roasted coffee, and dark fruits like raisin, plum and blackberry. Bitter roasted coffee finish that is balanced by a nice bitter coffee flavor. Very drinkable considering its strength, but also posesses a pleasant alcohol warmth. Excellent!

Nov 28, 2008
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Arbitrator from California

4.37/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lightly chilled 22oz bottle into a glass. Generously shared by largadeer at a tasting to honor ramnuts' visit down to the Bay Area. Thanks for this one, Chris.

A: As expected, pours a pitch black body. Generates a surprisingly large head for something with this ABV; the light brown cap retains pretty well (again, for the ABV) and leaves some lacing during the first few sips.

S: Dark, roasty fruit aromas. I've mentioned elsewhere that I'm not a huge fan of overt fruit aromas in my imperial stouts, but this is one of the few beers that pulls it off nicely. Cherries, raisins, prunes, and figs are seamlessly blended into aromas of roast, smoke, chocolate, and espresso. I keep expecting something warm or boozy, but it never really comes. It has cooled off since release, I'm told.

T: The warmth here is a little more apparent, even at a tasting where Perfect Storm and Black Tuesday are involved. Again, it's not hot, but you can tell this is a big boy. Dark, dried fruits and anise lead the way with an intensely sugary flavor that is well offset by smoke, tobacco, and earth. It's very flavorful, and while I wouldn't call it balanced, the interplay between the sweet and the bitter is an example of strong tastes holding each other in check. The battleground defined early on, the finish brings out roast, cocoa, and espresso with a general hop bitterness and light oxidation. What's most impressive to me is how well the beer cleans up after itself, leaving my palate ready for the next sip. This is tasty, but not a wrecker. The aftertaste has a lot of cherry.

M: Viscous, velvety, and flavorful. Of course it's warm, but it's not hot.

D: I'm surprised by how much of this I drank. I honestly think this is the culprit for my grogginess and feeling-like-crap the next morning. And more recently, Dark Horizon 2nd did the same thing. I'd still drink it again.

Jan 26, 2010
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Sparky44 from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -13%

Mar 24, 2013
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GRG1313 from California

3.75/5  rDev -13%

Aug 18, 2014
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jedwards from California

3.55/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Jwale73 for opening this (and a DH2!).

Pours with zero head, large bubbles cling to the sides of the glass. Incredibly dark beer -- tilting my tasting glass I can't even see through a thin layer of it. Smell is slight roast and grain, heavy malt and rubbing alcohol, taste begins with molasses and soy sauce, lots of grain/malt and slight charcoal, and finishes again with rubbing alcohol. Mouthfeel is oddly thin with almost no carbonation.

I've never had DH1 before so I can't speak to how it's aging, but this is not as good as I was expecting. Still an impressive beer and has some very interesting things going on, but leans heavily on the sweet/boozy side and doesn't have the strong roast/coffee/bitter flavors to balance it out.

Jul 10, 2010
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stakem from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Big thanks to ClockworkOrange for sharing this. 500ml poured into a snifter, the brew appears black in color with tan cap. A thin penline of head sits atop and some lighter brown is seen around the edges.

The smell includes notes of raisins and a bit of booze. Some chocolate and roast. Faint coffee before a smoothness similar to vanilla creeps into the nose.

The flavor is roasty with hints of coffee and alcohol. Raisiny alcohol esters evolve getting mildly solvent. Some vanilla and sweet chocolate round things out.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is mild almost watery at times but thats probably due to the volume of alcohol and age at this point. It is very easy drinking and I appreciated the chance to try this after regrettably passing on this years ago when I saw it with a big sticker price.

Jan 31, 2013
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Sean9689 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, Alex! Bottle poured into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours black, thin mocha head, thin ring.

S - Light roast, dark chocolate, somewhat smooth booze (for 16%), and some char. All nice and smooth...the age has done this one some good. The sweetness and booze work nicely together.

T - Similar to the nose. Roast, chocolate, booze, and some light dark fruity notes. The booze is definitely there, but the age has mellowed it down to a "standable" level. The sweetness is nice as well, and mixed with the booze makes this an enjoyable brew.

M - Full, light carbonation, rich and boozy creamy finish.

O - A nice RIS that's smoothed out wonderfully. I would suggest opening your bottles now, as I think the booze is smooth enough to enjoy, while still packing a punch. Recommend.

Feb 01, 2012
Dark Horizon 1st Edition from Nøgne Ø
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 142 ratings