Dark Horizon 2nd Edition | Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

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Dark Horizon 2nd EditionDark Horizon 2nd Edition
174 Ratings
Dark Horizon 2nd EditionDark Horizon 2nd Edition

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 17.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by akorsak on 12-06-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 174 |  Reviews: 121
Reviews by emerge077:
Photo of emerge077
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Horizontal-vertical tasting courtesy of Dave. Thanks for sharing sir.
This was the only one I took notes on, and the only one really worth dissecting. The "Edition 1" had mellowed nicely, but pretty much on par with any other 4 year old RIS... soy, chocolate, oxidation, /end review.

Here we have a worthy adversary, a formidable fireside companion. Pours jet black with mahogany edges, viscous and oily, dark tan foam creeps up and ebbs away across the obsidian glassy surface.

Smells sweet and peppery, the usual thematic notes of soy, coffee, and licorice. A bit of char and stinging alcohol still present.

Flavors of plum, coffee, raisin, char, in the back is that same alcohol sting. Rich and mildly sweet, chewy feel to the body. Somewhat sludgy. Ever present sting of alcohol still hasn't been tamed... to a distracting level unfortunately, a pity as the flavors are unique and it's tasty despite the heavy handed alcohol burn.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of DefenCorps
4.26/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle that I picked up at the Village Pump in College Park many, many moons ago. Brewed 7th Nov 2007, consumed 10th May 2014.

Pouring black with a thin, dark brown head that rises briefly before falling off to a ring, this looks dark and ominous. Nice legs too. The nose is rich and complex. I was expecting a trainwreck, but this is actually pretty good. Mildly smoky, mildly soy-like, a nice umami savoriness, deep roast, deep, dark chocolate, fudge, unsweetened cocoa, a little bit of simple syrup are all present. Simply put, this is what a near 18% stout should be. Alcohol is noticeable on the nose but nowhere near where I thought it would be.

Opening with a big roasted malt character with moderate bitterness, moderate sweetness and plenty of depth, there are layers of smoke, earth, burnt sugar, toffee, a mild sweetness, some malted milk chocolate, unsweetened cocoa, a mild spiciness from the alcohol that add some licorice notes. Some dark fruit notes are also present, but really, this is dominated by the heavily roasted malts. Ashy notes are minimal, and the excessive sweetness that plagues many high ABV stouts is absent as well. Full in body with a soft, lush feel, creamy in carbonation, this beer finishes long, smoky, mildly bitter and mildly sweet with cocoa and coffee grounds. So silky on the palate! While not as good as the First Edition, this is still excellent. I'm glad I held off on drinking this for as long as I did. Highly recommended.

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Photo of imscotty
4.2/5  rDev +5%

A - This beer pours black as oil. A dark brown head forms and then quickly dies. A tan ring is left clinging o the glass, pretty good lacing.

S - The smell is not as strong as the taste. The most prevalent odor is oaky wood and strong vanilla. Some alcohol, roasted malt and coffee is also evident.

T - This is a strongly roasted tasting beer. The vanilla/licorice flavors are also strong complimented by soy, coffee, slight chocolate and oak. I found the alcohol to be pretty well hidden, present but not assertive. In the finish the oak/ wood flavors become even more pronounced and leave a dry sensation on the tongue.

M - This beer has a great mouthfeel. It is unbelievably velvety and rich without being heavy. Low carbonation, slightly oily. Liquid velvet.

O - This beer is a sipper, I was glad I had some friends to share the bottle with. Very enjoyable in my 8 oz pour, might be a little overwhelming in lager quantities. Drank at 6 years of age and I did not think the alcohol was too hot in anyway. I do not see how anymore aging will improve this beer, but I might put away a bottle to see what another decade will do. Not an overpowering flavor profile, but it had a pretty distance and agreeable taste. If it is worth the money is a question I leave to you, I was glad I bought it.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle. It was consumed alongside the 3rd edition. Both beers ended up being nice and complex.

The beer pours a black color with a brown head. The aroma has a lot of chocolate and coffee in it, as well as some nice roasted malt notes. There is also an aroma component that resembles bourbon. As expected, the beer smells fairly boozy.

The flavor is full of boozy chocolate with some roasted malt also mixed in. Once you get past the big up front flavors, there is a little bit of dark fruit mixed in, as well as a little bit of coffee.

Thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of kingcrowing
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the 2010 Stout tasting in a Orval Chalice.

500ml bottle from 2009.

Pours SO SO black with the biggest darkest head ever, it's almost orange it's so dark. Nose is very boozy an malty with a great sweetness.

Taste is boozy but no idea it's as strong as it is (17.5%) based on the taste alone. It's very drinkable and malty. Awesome beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Tasted today during my stout tasting.

Real black in color with a beautiful tan head. It fizzles away pretty fast.

I smell licorice, chocolate, coffee, booze and nuttiness.

It tastes the same but it's fairly bitter. That's a surprise. Still pretty hot with that high ABV, but at the same time, feels really nice going down. Not much alcohol burn at all considering.

This 17.5% is hidden fairly well. I'm glad I tried some now as I'll go back and buy another bottle to sit on for a year. This has the potential of being one of the best imperials out there.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a snifter)
Brewed on nov.'07 #12901

A- This beer pours an inky jet black body with a blackish hued brown head that is thick and bubbly. With each sip the beer stains the glass with a hint of black before sliding back into the body.

S- This beer has a big black inky dark malt smell with an earthy prune and fusel alcohol heat to follow. There are some yeasty notes with charred raisin in the finish.

T- This beer has a just bitter black malt inky flavor with dark honey notes and some vinous port notes. Hints of graham and black raisins with a licorice quality come through as the beer warms a bit but are still faint. The finish is a fusel heat with charcoal taste minus the smoke and an exhale of black roasted malt after each sip.

M- This beer has as medium-full mouthfeel as long as the head is around and a silky texture that thins out as it warms. There is a warm alcohol heat that turns hot pretty quickly.

D- This beer has a huge flavor of the blackest of black malt with big alcohol heat to compete with it. This beer required a water chaser after each sip just to get my tongue ready for another sip. The experience was interesting but there wasn't any balance or support by other flavors just a big kick in the teeth black malt flavor. The packaging was a bit much and I would have rather save the money and just had the small bomber without the tin. I wonder what this beer might taste like with lots of age but I will be fine just reading others experience on BA.

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Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of asabreed
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me first say that I've had some bottles of good stuff for a while, and this year I've tried many. In good cellar conditions -- or what I thought were, if I'm not wrong -- I fear that I let many of them sit too long. So I decided to have a treat for myself over three or four hours, crack this open, and see what it brought. The brew, from the bottle, was created on November 5th, 2007. They recommend to let it reach maturity until fall 2009, and it should be consumed before 2020. I imagine this may last that long, but I didn't buy another bottle, and it's almost a year after fall 2009, so let's do it. Also, friends Ryan and Mary Anne just gave birth to healthy twin boys, so this is also a toast to them.

Bottle #11803. Poured into a Samuel Smith 12 oz. nonic. Purchased for around $23 -- give or take -- at The Wine Source near Baltimore, in November of 2009.

Appearance: Massively opaque, as expected, with a mocha-colored head. More retention appears that I thought would be present, with small drops on the glass, and though the head dies fairly quickly, because of the ABV I was surprised it was there for that long in the first place.

Smell: Initial alcohol is certainly present, with hints of anise, black coffee, definite caramelized brown sugar, rich hunts of chocolate and dark berries, and slight black magic marker. A lot of roast, char, and caramelization is going on all over the place. As it warms, the anise aroma adds a perfumed and nuanced sweetness to everything. Wonderfully rich and balanced all around.

Taste: Huge roasted and charred malts at the forefront, balanced nicely with the caramelized brown sugar sweetness. The alcohol is there, but welcome, warming, and almost magically visceral, if you will. The presence of berries is more dominant here than in the aroma and works well with the charred and sweet flavors, adding a third element to the already-complex balance. Coffee with two sugars comes through as it warms, along with a good sense of bitterness working with the charred malts. Chocolate is the flavor that, with each sip, works well and differently each time. I think for what they set out to do with this, it'd be impossible for it to be better, especially for the 17.5% ABV, which is, to date, the (very close second) highest ABV in a beer I've ever had. Also, I would've been shocked to find this out had I not known until the end of consumption. I also want to mention that there will probably be many folks who talk about the "heat" of the brew and that the alcohol needs to mellow. Though I don't find this harsh, I'm starting to think that the "best by" dates on the bottles should be listened to, at least for a lot of beers, and that I may not go as crazy as I did in the past with cellaring. As you can tell, I'm beyond thrilled with this beer right now, almost one year beyond their suggest maturity date.

Mouthfeel: I'm not sure what yeast is present here, but it does the job wonderfully. There's a ridiculous amount of back-end creaminess working with the middle-timed spritz of carbonation coming through. Not even close to cloying, which blows me away, since I've had so many beers less than 10% ABV that were like pure tar compared to the elements going on with body and carbonation here.

Drinkability: Sure, the price is steep, as everyone's aware, but also with the tin it comes in, wrapped in orange tissue paper, that's going to add on to the price. That said, for all the so-called amazing beers I've had lately, this is easily one of the best, which makes it an insanely delicious and euphoric treat to have. I've been plenty impressed with Nogne O so far, but this makes me want to track down every single Dark Horizon I can find in the future. I doubt I'll ever be able to get a bottle of the first edition, but I'll be trying to get a bottle of each one in the future.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Glad to see this back on Anchortown shelves. In a metal tin this year with gold labeling, and wrapped in a little orange piece of tissue paper.

Pours impenetrable jet black with a fizzy tan/brown head that reduces pretty quickly leaving minimal lace.

Nose is very different than I remember from 1st Edition. Not as much coffee as I remember. Some dark malts, but there is a significant dark fruit presence here. A tiny bit of chocolate.

Taste is quite nice. Coffee is there, but again I feel it is less up front than batch 1. Sugar presence also seems weaker here, although there is a significant sweetness. A very high and hot alcohol presence (as expected this young at 17.5%) Some slight chocolate flavors, and a good roasted malt profile. The finish has a decent bean like bitterness. There is some vanilla presence in here. Could be the tiniest splash of sour cherry in here. As this warms, and I get to the end, there is actually some very slight vinous notes here. Normally I would think wine barrels, or at least fresh oak barrels, but I don't think in this day and age of Wine/Bourbon/Brandy barrel aged coffee oatmeal imperial vanilla chocolate rye smoked double molasses stouts brewed with brett, cocoa nibs, eye of newt, and hemp, that Nogne would fail to advertise this on the label, so I will write it off to my palate being paranoid. The aftertaste lingers with some bitterness and alcohol. Yeah.

Mouthfeel is a bit weak here, really expected a bit more viscosity for the abv. Thin, a bit slick, but about right as far as bitterness. I would really like some more thickness here.

Drinkability is as good as it can be for the refonkulous abv. Quite well looking at it relatively. But make no mistake, this one is hot, especially right now, this young.

Overall an enjoyable stout beast. I remember being much more overwhelmed and impressed with batch one though. I guess we will see how this one does with age, and I may have to suck it up and pop one of my remaining batch ones for a side by side. A good buy, but Im not sure i can justify spending $20 bucks on more than a couple bottles to age. I hope this one gets better with time, but as of right now, (stressing the fact that this is still quite young) it doesn't quite stand up to last years, IMO. That being said, still a fine stout, and one worth trying and defenitely a 5 star cellar candidate. This one in all likelihood, WILL improve with a good year or 5 of cellar time. Good beer.

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Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Expensive bottle in metal container. Found at Premiere Gourmet and aged a year. Pours reddish black with a whisp of head. Above average carbonation, great aromas of coffee, roasted brley and licorice. The taste is mostly coffee, it is boozy, and chocolate.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500mL bottle into my Portsmouth tulip.

Impenetrable bistre body, with faint seal brown edges where the opacity gives way to a viscous oily layer. Dark tan foam forms a thin collar and a delicate surface slick, both largely overcome by the immense ABV. A vigorous swirl brings the malestrom back to life temporarily. Not much lacing...

Rum, sherry, burdock root, and molasses in the nose - though every aroma is surprisingly restrained.

Rich malt, bittersweet chocolate, light coffee, molasses, and faint stewed fruit (e.g. dates, figs) flavors lead into a mild bitterness from hops. The finish is sweet and hot at first, though some bitterness again tempers the impact of the sugars...

Chewy, oily, syrupy body - quite full though carbonation is just sufficient. Very warming, though not quite solventy.

I half expected to have to employ a cavalcade of metaphors to dispose of this review, but this beer wasn't nearly as complex or deep or unique as I was expecting. It's a bit different for the sake of being different I suppose, but there are better examples of the style more widely available...the alcohol neither adds or detracts significantly from the proceedings...

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a .5L bottle at Abe's Cold Beer for $18. Gotta love the metal sleeve and orange wrapping paper. I'm impressed that this beer drank so easily for the strength. Definitely more in league with 10-12% stouts and no doubt easier than the delicious sludge that is Dark Lord. The body was pitch black and managed a short tan head. I got big, but not overpowering, coffee flavor in the back around with smooth dutch milk chocolate and a hint of spices. Very drinkable for the strength and worth a try if you're not a tight-wade like me.

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Photo of cjacobsen
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thank you to sweemzander for sharing

Deep, deep black. Very little brown head with crimson around the edges where it met the glass.

This had a hell of a smell to it. There was a decent amount of alcohol present with chocolate and coffee mixed it. As it opened up, there were traces of roasted malt and raisin.

Licorice and booze hit you immediately. It was one that caught me a little off guard. There was a decent amount of coffee and a bit of a smoky sense that stuck around in the aftertaste, and the aftertaste lasted a long while. It was one that sat with you for a bit. As it warmed and opened up longer it got really tough to drink.

This brew was thick and coating, almost like a syrup. It was a full beer and felt like it.

I couldn't see paying full price for this. Luckily, sweemzander got it on a deal price and has one to hold on to for several more years to see how it develops. It got rough towards the end. One to muscle through once it got warm.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of philipquarles
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

50cl bottle. Pours the blackest black that a beer can be. Very minimal light brown head. Looks like something that one shouldn't ingest. Smells of sweet, dark fruits, molasses, heavy chocolate, Some alcohol, though not nearly what one would expect from a beer that weighs in at 17.5%. Tastes of raisin and rum. Heavy chocolate and molasses. Very earthy/stony. Alcohol is apparent, but not in taste, only in the warming feel. Quite complex and loaded with flavor, but a bit hot. Not terribly drinkable, though it makes for a nice breakfast sipper.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of CooperEllis
3.02/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

.5l bottle from travisd13. Thank you, Sir.

I realize I'm 'slamming' this particular offering. But I am actually enjoying it, just not as a beer. This is the closest I've ever to come just dropping ice cubes in and popping in a movie (I drink scotch and watch movies. If you didn't know that the last sentence might not make as much sense. Also, I frown on ice in scotch, typcially. However, that depends on the ice and the scotch. If this was scotch, I wouldn't turn down an ice cube).

It looks very nice.

The nose is straight alcohol. And maybe not even edible alcohol, but rubbing alcohol. It is hard to get past. Once you do there are clearly discernable notes of roast malt, carob and almost overripe dark fruit. It is the sort of aroma that reminds you of pleasent late spring days when its too hot to eat and the plums have started to get oversoft.

As I said above, I'm enjoying the taste, but I do not equate it with a RIS. I suppose I do with some sort of barrel ageing, but even then this is a bit over the top. There is a very strong peaty aftertaste. There is also a nice burnt oatmeal cookie taste.

Mouthfeel is fine, there is a bit too much booze in there or else I'd rate this much higher. It fills the palate and the nostrils (if, indeed, I spelled that correctly).

I wouldn't chose this as a 'go to' RIS. I am wondering how I will ever finish a .5l bottle at 17.5%. I would be happy to have a full verticle of this (say 10 years) and do an every-other year tasting with 9 other folks. In fact, I think I'll plan on doing that. ISO DH 1.0 and 2.0.


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Photo of Luweezy
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of bluejacket74
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle, bottle # 04324. Served in a snifter, the brew pours dark brown/black with almost an inch brown head that didn't stay around for too long. Not much lacing either, but the beer did look pretty good when I first poured it in my glass. Aroma is roasted/charred malt, dark fruit, coffee, smoke and some licorice. The taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like roasted and charred malt, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, dark fruit, coffee and some booze and licorice. Good roasty bittersweet flavors in this brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and coating with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's nice and smooth, and really easy to drink considering the 17.5% ABV. I like this brew a lot, I'm glad I picked it up when I did.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a quite large dark brown color head with good retention but minimal lacing. Aroma of raisins with sweet rich malt with subtle lactose notes as well. Taste is also a nice mix between some deep sweet rich notes with a nice creamy texture and some dominant dry raisins notes reminiscent of a dark Belgian ale. Body is quite full with a somewhat oily texture but creamy mouthfeel with good carbonation and light warming alcohol notes. Well done overall though a bit too much to have on a regular basis.

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Dark Horizon 2nd Edition from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 174 ratings