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

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111 Reviews
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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 139
Photo of Rhettroactive
3.33/5  rDev -22.6%
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.

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Photo of grandq
3.52/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes - bottle purchased at Spuyten Duyvil

Pours black as can be, with almost no head in the oversized wine glasses. The scent - WHOA - alcohol! I think you could chloroform someone with this. Behind the alcy fumes lies coffee, vanilla, a bit of molasses, but my nostrils were too singed by the time I got to those. The taste, as expected, is pretty hot on the alcohol but flavors of molasses, cocoa, toffee, coffee, a hint of plum and a dash more coffee on the end keep the booziness at least somewhat in check. I'm a stickler about coffee and chocolate flavors - both can seem artificial or too overpowering, but this one keeps both to subtle levels, and the beans employed seem top notch. The mouthfeel is quite nice. It's silky until the force of its intense alco-beams vaporizes the thick nectar completely off the tongue.

The taste and mouthfeel is pretty damn good but this is ultimately a bit of a dissapointment for me - way too booze-forward, not enough complexity. Even for a sipper this is rough to get through. This totally wrecked my palate for the day (and pretty much wrecked me too, despite sharing with two others), so I only wound up with one more set of notes to review from despite several subsequent beers.

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Photo of jedwards
3.55/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

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Photo of egajdzis
3.6/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an opaque black color with a thin, tan head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, a bit of chestnut, and strong alcohol. Taste of more sweet chocolate, roasted malts, dried fruits, and alcohol, with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Yeah, it's an imperial stout, and the alcohol is well covered... but a top 100? Not even close. Shit, this score is probably over-rating it some!

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Photo of craytonic
3.7/5  rDev -14%
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.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle: starless sky black, with maybe dark brown edges and a dark espresso roast frapee foam. Head dies quickly, like a coca cola, aromas are all DARK roasted malts, dark fruits, a touch of vanilla, hot alcohol, chocolate, maybe a hint of espresso, and cocoa poweder? Taste is similar to the aroma, alchol is in your face, but this is still pretty smooth for 16%. Not as masterful as the solar eclpise from Kuhnhenn, but I see what they are going for here. Mouthfeel is thick, but thinner than you would think, however, this may lead to a better drinkability in the end. Extreme and in your face, tasty, but not the best super high abv stout that I have had in my day

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Photo of Jwale73
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have been waiting for the right occasion to crack this one, so in celebration of Independence day I decided to share with some friends. Bottle #4125 (thanks to session1979 for this). Served in my Allagash tulip at about 58 degrees. Poured an inky black - perhaps the one of the darkest beers I've ever tried (def. in the top 3). No head and no lacing on this one. Nose reveals booze and malt with a trace of some light, fruity esters, caramelized brown sugar and some char. Taste is sugary, boozy, soy, salty, molasses, toffee and brown sugar - maybe even a trace of artificial sweetener. Mouthfeel was medium-light (closer to medium), with a carbonation level that approached still - a little bit lacking for the style. The start of this beer is promising, in flavor and nose; however, the middle and finish was less than spectacular. I've been cellaring this for several years and I have to say that I was really disappointed. There are some interesting qualities to this brew; however, the best part was the blend we made with DH2. I hate to say it, but I think it's past its prime.

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Photo of billab914
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
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)

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Photo of Lunch
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really excited to try this as soon as ygtbsm94 pulled this out of his cellar. Thanks, Brad!

Poured into a Great Lakes snifter and this pours a very dark brown with just a slight tan head that disappears quickly. Looks kinda oily in the glass, but good for a 16% Imperial stout.

Smell is very subtle and really subdued for a beer of this size. Getting a lot of booze, roast, and perhaps some chocolate (but probably not, wishful thinking). Taste is boozy as well, but strong flavors of chocolate, roast, hint of coffee (most has faded) and perhaps a hint of dark fruit. Fuller bodied and smooth with light carbonation.

Pretty good overall, perhaps I had too high of expectations.

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

Bottle #02099.

Appearance: Pours an opaque black body. As for the head, no dice!

Smell: Fragrant aroma of heavily roasted malts, coffee liqueur, acrid smoke, molasses, blackberry preserves, along with some sweetish wafts of alcohol.

Taste: Dark, roasty malts with a sharp hit of coffee and a bit of molasses. Smokey tobacco hints. A touch of vinous blackberry based fruitiness. As it warms, you gain a dash of low-sodium soy sauce. Earthy, roasty bitterness on the finish. Distinct alcohol presence on that finish too, btw.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Mild carbonation. As warming as you'd imagine.

Drinkability: Pretty decent for a high-octane stout, but it's still pretty green and could only benefit from some age.

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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 rfgetz
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of mentor
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle chared by Crosling, thanks a million. Pours a dark brown decent head over pitch liquid. Didn't pour like motor oil thick, as I was expecting. Smells anise, alcohol, minimal chocolate and coffee. Decent alcohol sting burns my nose and sinuses. Paper and horse barn-manure are undertones I find unpleasant.

Tastes chocolate toffee coffee, and alcohol burn. These flavors are potent and nicely in tune, complimenting each other. Extereme in many ways, yet the dimensions are balanced. Needs more time to meld and for alcohol heat to settle, but decent now. Under the major players are some anise, fig, and other dark fruits. Md thick body that comes across as thinner, because of the peppery alcohol sting. Good drinkability, but I suspect it will get much better as the alcohol settles and fruity characters rise in intensity.

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Photo of thequeen711
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Manna from heaven! Just a true gem in the world of beers, Everything about this beer is great, nice rich black pour, smell and tasteare heavenly,mouthfeelis velvety smooth, and is a highly drinkablegift! Be careful, the 16% ABV will knock you on your a**!

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Photo of weeare138
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to TomDecapolis for picking up this bottle at Capone's. Bottle # 02397.
Appears a pitch black with dark brown edges when held up to the light. The small, tan head fades into a mild film and fizzy collar. Scattered streaks and spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, brownies, roasted nuts, espresso, dark fruit, and lactose.
Taste is of the same with syrupy, rich cocoa, brown sugar, coffee, and cream coming to the forefront.
Mouthfeel is chewy, syrupy, thick, rich, and boozy with black grapes lingering inside the hearty mix of coffee and cream.
This was pretty nice but gimme other java infused brews, such as Peche Mortel for now. Considering the price...there are many other fine choices to be had with your hard earned money. Try a bomber of Stone RIS for about 1/5 the cost.

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Photo of ncvbc
4.07/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Almost an impenetrable blackness, with the smallest suggestion of a brown edge at the bottom of the glass. Finger thick tan head rises and falls soon after, leaving a brown ring atop the abyss. The smell, well, it has a bit of booze. Aside from that, this one has a whole lot going on. Dark bitter chocolate, hints of dark fruit, and a faint roast that comes more toward the front as it warms. A lovely scent of sweet pipe tobacco lingers. Taste somehow manages to hide the alcohol much better than the nose. Where in the nose it almost brought a tear to my eye from the heat, that was nearly vanished in the first sip. A sweetness up front. Dark fruits soaked in alcohol. Almost a port like flavor. It's almost like a cross between wine and beer at this level of strength. Roast flavors come through toward the finish and definitely stand out as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is pretty big and rich, but not entirely full for such a monster. I suppose the alcohol takes from the texture to an extent, while warming me up at the same time. It's still luxurious. I know for sure that I can't drink a bottle of this, much less half of one split with a friend. Well, I guess I had a little more than half the bottle but either way, this is a true sipper. Don't underestimate that.

I owe Lupe a big thanks for this in a trade a while back.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into multiple glasses. Thanks to everyone for the assist!

Bottle # 04107

A: Pours an oily, evil black that slides out into the glass. A mocha coffee colored head forms briefly on top before settling down to a creamy skim and collar that left a small amount of lace behind.

S: Blackened malt, rum sauteed raisins, dark chocolate fudge, molassas/brown sugar, and a hint of hot booze & soy sauce. Sadly the coffee was just a memory at this point as it had completely faded away.

T: See above with quite possibly the slightest suggestion of peat. Spicy chocolate flavors were abundant and I noticed the very beginnings of soy sauce.

M: Slick and oily on the front end. Bitter, spicy, and astringent on the back end. And, a middle that was an excellent balance between the two.

O: This was quite a lovely stout. It held up very well in the 4 years that I've had it in my fridge. Would've loved to try it when it was fresh to see how the coffee played into the rest of the flavors. Very, very good.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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

Appearance: balck in color with a 2" tan colored head. The head lingered around shortly before leaving some surface spots.

Smell: big coffee, softer chocolates, and loads of alcohol leap from the glass for easy detection.

Taste: roasted malts, loads of strong coffee flavors, bitter chocolates, prunes, raisins, some hints of molasses, and a decent bitterness. There is a bit of an earthy tone throughout. Alcohol plays a big part in the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth throughout. SUper long aftertsate as the flavor linger in the mouth forever.

Drinkability: this is a real slow sipping beer, and the bigger bottle is perfect for sharing with some friends. Not a cheap beer, but definitely worth at least one bottle to try.

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

Bottle generously shared by fly. A big thank you from Erin and me for this one!
Pours a solid black, with a very short lived head in a makeshift snifter. Smell is dark dried fruit, raisiny, roasted malt and some mild alcohol that is unobtrusive. Taste is initially somewhat spicy and tingly roasty flavored malt, with flavors of dark fruit and a hint of coffee towards the tail end of it. I wouldn't call this a coffee beer so much as an extremely well balanced huge imperial stout. Alcohol is extremely well hidden for 16%, and I highly enjoyed this beer.

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Dark Horizon 1st Edition from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
4.3 out of 5 based on 139 ratings.
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