Sunturnbrew | Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

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244 Ratings

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

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed at the solstice each year since 2008.

This smoked barely wine is brewed with 30% smoked malt and 20% rye.

26° Plato, 50 IBU,

Added by ClockworkOrange on 01-12-2009

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 244 |  Reviews: 133
Photo of randomdanger
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of McNealc31
4.84/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge ecru head floats on top of a very deep amber color. The nose is full of smoked malt. Even the first sip indicates the overwhelming flavors and complexity. Smoky, but not as much as a Rauchbier, there is vanilla, oak, cherries, rye, and lots of caramel malt. There is not much attempt the hide the whopping 11% ABV.

Complex and eminently unique, it’s one to seek out and experience. Though, not for the week palated. It’s an assault.

 442 characters

Photo of johnnieoz
4.81/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

As others may have noted, this beer sure ain't retired! Thank goodness for that...

500ml brown bottle, which looks like the one in the photo. The Batch nr, Brew date and Best before spots on the label are blank. The importers, Shelton Brothers (kudos!), are mentioned but the label also has information in Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish.

A: 'Tis a lovely crimson tide that cascades into the glass. The carbonation appears ample though the lacing is minimal.

S: Ah yes, smoky...its reputation precedes it, this is the first smoked barleywine I have come across. The smokiness is reminiscent of a nice, peaty Scotch.

T: I love both good American and English-style barleywines. As the hops are playing a second fiddle here, I could say Sunturnbrew is of the latter kind. But the smokiness makes this ever so unique, a new sub-category has seen the light of day. The dark, rich fruit flavors of a barleywine are there as is the booziness. Excellent!

M: As solid as can be.

D: This beer makes me want to consume smoked salmon, venison, moose, reindeer, mackerel...It goes down extremely smoothly, and while it would no doubt be wonderful to imbibe this after a meal as the sun turns in the dead of winter somewhere above the Arctic Circle, it would also pair most excellently with said smoked foods and beyond.

My favorite Nøgne Ø beer so far, and that Kjetil, ain't no small thing coming from a Swede! Quite the turn, eh?! Laeckert!!!
My mind is changed, my perceptions are altered and the sun's direction has definitely been turned.

 1,541 characters

Photo of SFLpunk
4.79/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500mL brown glass pry-top bottle purchased at Knightly Spirits OBT, Orlando, FL. No production date printed. This is my second bottle, the first one was bought in Chicago (West Lakeview Liquors) just over a year ago and I'm surprised I didn't review it then.

Pours super dark for a barleywine. White thin head. Smells of glorious malt extract, wet peat, earthen soil and tree bark. Super dank and dark.

Palate is big and slick. Rich earthy flavors, mulch, and wet grass. Hay comes to mind and so does barley flakes. Thick, dark and brooding. Some booze, but it's in check. Long, steeped-grain-dominated finish.

Notes: I feel like I can't write a proper review of this beer to fully express my love for it. This is one of my top 10 all-time favorites and find it hard to articulate why. I guess I'll end by saying it's FFO (for fans of) North Coast Old Stock, Brooklyn Monster and Sierra Bigfoot.

 898 characters

Photo of dtx00
4.75/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of Florya
4.75/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of asigler
4.75/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of torerik
4.75/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of rye726
4.65/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark woody brown with s silky tan head. Nice lacing as well.

Nose has toffee, caramel, figs, dates, plums, smokey malts, chocolate, floral hops and a touch of booze.

Taste is equally complex. Rich malts, burnt candy, subtle hops, dark fruits, molasses, cocoa and peaty smoke.

Creamy body is very well carbonated. Lasting finish of bitter hops, sweet malt and smoke.

Another amazing beer from Nogne. Should age beautifully.

 434 characters

Photo of mazdarx
4.62/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This beer is the Teets!! Is that Chocolate I smell? Some sort of syrup or molasses?? This flavor dances on my tongue like a lap dance from a gal in Amsterdam... this beer is like a flood of sunlight for months on end as it probably ages wonderfully. Enjoy!

 261 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. Label says Batch nr: 474 which I've found through research to mean it's from 2009 and therefore over two years old.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/4 inch head that quickly flutters away leaving a thin ring around the edge of the glass and minimal surface foam. The lacing is active enough for a barleywine that's been sitting this long.

S- Flashes of booze and hops as well as a band-aid-like astringency.

T- The band-aid taste continues and swirls around with smoke and bitterness. As it fades, a slight sweetness emerges to transform the flavor into more of a roasty barbeque. The booze is actually relatively subtle, probably from the aging, as it warms. Lots of woody notes.

M- Oily and surprisingly moist. Medium-low carbonation is more than one could ask for.

O- I read a review where the reviewer said that, in their experience, Sunturnbrew peaks at around 6 to 12 months. Honestly, I don't see how less aging could make this any better. I say, let it sit.

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Photo of biegaman
4.57/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sunturnbrew's remarkably dark tone plays into the fact that it's brewed on December 21st - the darkest, longest night in the northern hemisphere. While not exactly black, it is too dim to really make out any colour or highlighting; total darkness without total blackness. Not making any sense? Well, the beer does claims it'll inspire "a change in perception".

And "change" is right! I've never smelled a beer quite like this - a tea, yes (the smoky pine tar aroma is nearly identical to that of a lapsang souchong, where the leaves are smoke-dried over pinewood fires); in food, yes (it's eerily reminiscent of smoked ham); in scotches, hell yes (is this not aged in used Islay casks?) - but in a beer, no, nothing quite like this.

Sunturnbrew is different because it's made with 30% smoked malt *and* 20% rye. The spiciness of the latter distinguishes this from other smoked beers. But the beer is truly spectacular, however, by virtue of the fact that it was brewed as a Barleywine - that most rich, intricate and sticky-sweet of styles with tastes of caramel, nougat, figs, dates, plums, and dried apricot. Combined with the smoky pine notes these flavours become almost sedative.

Nøgne says this is best enjoyed in front of the fireplace, but take my word, Sunturnbrew offers enough warmth and relaxation (not to mention, smoke) to simulate the fireplace. The taste of candied fruits is a compliment to the rich texture of sweet, caramelized malt. There's enough juniper wood and botanical flavour to smack of gin, but also such a mellow and nuanced fortified wine-like profile you'd swear it was aged in port barrels.

Perhaps most of all, however, Sunturnbrew is a beer for lovers of peaty, smoky scotches. It may be brewed in Norway, but this beer has the iodine- and sea brine-soaked notes notorious of Islay single malts. This obviously makes it a 'love-it-or-hate-it' beer but, as someone who loves Lagavulin and Laphroaig just as much as J.W Lees and Old Guardian, I consider it brilliant.

There may be no beer better suited to the longest, darkest night of the year than Sunturnbrew. It is a soothing, satiating, distinctively 'wintry' beer that fans of barleywines, smoked beers, smoked meats, cigars, Islay single malts, lapsang souchong tea, fortified wines, artisan gins, or just unique taste experiences in general really aught to seek out.

 2,367 characters

Photo of imbibehour
4.54/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a small snifter at Churchkey.

Has a very brown red body, if it wasn't so brown and red this could pass as a brandy or whiskey. Very small collar with no head that's present or staying.

What is that smell? What it's smoke almost as if from a peat fire. Big barrel notes and hints of scotch whiskey, slight pepper, even some sweet cola, bacon, malt, wow is this whiskey or is this beer? I am shocked, this has to be the the first beer I have ever smelled that smells like whiskey of ANY kind at all. A small toast malt hint but masked by all the whiskey like feeling.

Upon taste is a dense bacon, whiskey notes mostly of a strong but still soft feeling barrel tannic quality. Mouthfeel though is very numbing and a real sense of novocaine. That might be off putting for some but it's a minor thing that doesn't detract about how special and unique this beer is.

Man this is great I want more. This is truly whiskey beer on tap right here.

 959 characters

Photo of Vanz
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of beerluvr
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of imfrigginfly
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of ReeseMax3
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of MickeyD
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of superdoopersauce
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of nebuchadnezzer
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice dark red colour, almost the same shade as blood, with a filmy but fine head, that forms with extreme difficulty through the heavy and firm body. Lacing is good, despite the nebulous nature of the bubbling on the top, but the extremity of the viscosity probably helps with that. Looks very nice.

Lovely big and smoky characters on the nose. But with lovely roasty characters welling up like the trails from the last charcoal embers of a campfire. It's a lovely aroma. Just delicious.

Initially smooth on the palate, with a huge welling of phenomenally flavoursome and leavened wood smoked goodness. Lovely smokiness throughout the palate, mixed with a generous sweetness to support it, and a hop oil finish which clears out the smoke with a robust bitter/boozy balance. Carbonation is just right; it lifts a little at the start to help accentuate the smoke, then fizzles out to give a smooth and velvety finish.

I love the way it travels through different elements so progressively. By the end, the palate is soothed enough that you want another sip, but every time you do, you get taken on another wild adventure.

This is a really excellent beer; one that cements Nøgne Ø in my mind as one of the great breweries of the world at the moment doing really interesting things. It's smooth, but hugely robust and flavoursome, and supremely balanced between extremities. A really phenomenal drop of beer.

 1,422 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Molson2000
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of Chrily
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

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Sunturnbrew from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 244 ratings