Sunturnbrew | Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

very good
131 Reviews
no score
Send samples

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

Style: American Barleywine

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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 131 | Ratings: 241
Photo of joemcgrath27
2.97/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - pitch black with just a bit of hazy light getting through near the stem of the tulip glass, thumb of tan head held nicely with fairly consistent lacing
S - its a smoke bomb, maybe a touch of leather, can't say much more than that except that was not what I was expecting at all
T - so much big smoke to the point that its tough to drink, it is so overwhelming that there is nothing barelywine about it, have a feeling this is in the wrong style
M - once you get past the smoke it actually drinks relatively well for 11%
O - not sure what to say about this, I want to like it but its like i'm sitting around a fire and the wind has shifted in my direction, and that's not a comfortable feeling, strange....

 709 characters

Photo of quirkzoo
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in 2011 I believe so probably about 2 years old at time of consumption.

Appearance is very dark for a barleywine but still brown. Despite it's dark color it has a very nice clarity.

Smell is pleasant if unremarkable. Lots of sweet caramel notes up front with a touch of alcohol. A little bit of dark fruit. Although the bottle says "smoked barleywine" and that is why I bought it, I am not detecting any smoke, perhaps because of the age?

Taste is similar to the aroma. Overall it is very nice. It leans towards the sweeter side with a fair but not overwhelming amount of complexity and balance.

The mouthfeel is very full and is not hot for 11%. Slightly viscous. Not too thick that I had any trouble finishing the 500ml bottle.

Overall this is a solid beer, especially if you like a touch of sweetness in your barleywine. I probably won't seek it out again but I enjoyed this bottle.

 900 characters

Photo of homebrew311
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This beer was on close out at my local shop for 2.99, couldn't pass it up. Pours a dark amber with almost no light passage. Decent head and retention for style. The nose is intense. It starts with heavy peaty smoked malt. This is paired with a touch of oxidization, and then the barleywine character begins to seep through. Notes of caramel, raisin, and molasses come through in small waves with the smoke mostly dominating. The taste leans towards the sweet side in the world of barleywines. If I didn't know better, I would think this was an English b-wine. Heavy brown sugar and molasses provide sweetness on the palate and are backed up by a huge peat smoked malt character. The smoke gains momentum towards the finish, but never quite balances the sweetness. Mouthfeel is somewhat hefty with moderate carbonation. OVerall, this brew is definitely unique, and the smoke does provide an interesting take on the style. In this example, the malt bill leans too far to the sweet side and the smoke just doesn't help.

 1,016 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - pours a dark, tawny brown. A thick finger of light mocha foam maintains well and has great lacing.

Aroma - distant malt and a smoky blanket. Not near as intense as the Yeastie Boys. has a nice woodsy aroma after setup

Taste - sweet malts, plenty of smokiness, and a side of licorice. Alcohol warming on the afteraste, I like the different play of flavors here. Craft and smoke together, I like it. The finish is warm and lengthy, notes of molasses and some slight drying, even some late flavors of dark chocolate as this warms up.

Mouthfeel - thick and smooth, this is pretty chewy.

Overall - one of the most interesting barleywines I've had. The only smoked barleywine I can remember, but the play and interaction of the dfifferent flavors make this one unique brew, which gets harder to do with each passing year of sampling different beers. Here's to Nogne O for a cool distinct beer.

 904 characters

Photo of Resuin
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 0.5 L bottle into a Westvleteren Goblet.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown with a hint of cherry color and leaves about a half finger of light tan head.

Smell: Smoked malts, caramel, salty smoked meats. Very pleasant - not overbearing smoky aromas but definitely present.

Taste: Definitely smoky malts up front, a hint of some dark fruits like plum, raisins and figs. A little bit of alcohol, but a lot less than I expected. A bit of spice as well. Very smooth and tasty.

Mouth-feel: A nice balance between too thin and overly thick - a solid, medium body. Carbonation is noticeable but light.

Overall: A very solid smoked barleywine - exactly what I would hope from such a style. This is extremely well-balanced and the alcohol is expertly hidden.

 764 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

In a snifter this beer was a dark garnet color; very pretty. It had a small off-white head that left a bit of lace.

Nice aroma of smoke and dark fruit. A bit of caramel.

I tasted peat and tobacco primarily.T he fruit seemed to be plum and raisin. Some toffee.

A dangerous beer to drink. So smooth and drinkable, but at 11% ABV, you have to be careful.

 354 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: slow-rising, compact head sporting some big bubble...sudsy/slimy lace bloblets...good amount of a misty cap, chunky collar - moderately dark brown liquid, rather turbid (chill haze? unfiltered?)

S: obvious smoke malt right up front, roasted plum, stewed apple?

T: dark, lightly bitter chocolate - vague cinnamon spiciness, but not quite flavor - caramelized steak fat - campfire-y wood - sort of a menthol evergreen - the alcohol is present, however, it is buffered nicely by the caramel-y and roasted malt flavors - not much in the way of typical (American) barleywine flavors

M: lightly powdery - semi-hot alcohol and mellow smoky acridness, smoothed out by the medium-bodied malt foundation - weak frizzy carbonation balanced against a mildly syrupy pull across the tongue

O: this was pretty darn good - nice twist on the strong, dark, malty, boozy style - admirable balance

 884 characters

Photo of Converge
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml into a tulip. Dated 12.01.12, making it one year old.

A - Pours a deep garnet hue with a bubbly tan head. The dense head slowly dissipates, settling to a thin skiff of foam and a ring that leaves sticky sheets of lace. Nice looking brew, and extra points for presentation.

S - Intense smoke aroma! Toasty caramel malt, with molasses slight salty notes. Huge resinous earthiness, with dank earthy hops, spices, old wood, and a dominant smokey character that I really enjoy. Mild notes of citric rind, leather, and English tobacco. I'm loving the nose on this one. Some distant sweetness, with crystal malt and toffee poking through the salvo of smoke. Complex, unique, and inviting.

T - Tons of intensely smoked malt on the palate, with old wood, peat, resinous earth, and English tobacco. Hops are reserved for an American barleywine, but still evident with dank forest, and slight pine notes. Some spice from the rye malt, as well as some sweet malty notes of toffee, deeply caramelized malt, and molasses. Mild fruitiness, with both slight citric notes as well as dark fruits; dates and raisins. Thoroughly complex, with a damn sizable profile.

M - Thick and creamy, with smooth carbonation and mild boozy warmth. Definitely fits the profile.

D - A unique offering from Nøgne Ø that seriously delivers on big, bold flavors. Certainly not for just any palate, this beer is intense and the full force smoked malt assault isn't going to appeal to everyone. Luckily for me I'm not one of these people, and I enjoyed this brew a lot. It does become somewhat tedious, and I definitely get the medicinal/band-aid/chemical qualities some other reviews talked about, but the positives far outweigh the negatives for me. Props to Nøgne Ø for brewing something intriguing, unique, and most importantly, flavorful.

 1,820 characters

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into snifter; no bottle dating, but should be at least a year old. Pours hazy very dark reddish brown with a thin light khaki head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin film that lingers. Minimal spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of caramel, molasses, toast, pine, citrus rind, raisin, smoke, wood, spicy rye, bread, earth, tobacco, herbal spiciness, and light alcohol esters. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of molasses, caramel, fig, toast, pine, citrus rind, floral, biscuit, raisin, prune, smoke, spicy rye, earth, tobacco, wood, and herbal spiciness. Light earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, molasses, dark fruits, tobacco, toast, earth, spicy rye, light smoke, wood, light pine, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Great flavor balance and complexity; zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. The minimal carbonation definitely works well here. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent smoked rye barleywine. Great flavor complexity, depth, and balance; very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,255 characters

Photo of zaphodchak
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark cloudy brown body and a nice fluffy tan head. Bottle had no dates, but I think it's 6mo old-ish (I bought it about 3 months ago). Laces a treat.

Smells big-- smokey, but the sort of tangy, barbecue kind of smoke. Not like rich and oaky. If that makes sense.

Dang. This is pretty nice. Tastes like barbecued plums spiced with some bittering hops. I can get the rye in there as well (reminds me in that way of New Holland Charkoota Rye) which is a fantastic bold complement to support the smokiness, and wheat to give it body; otherwise it would be too tangy/thin/oily. This worked really well. Great proof that 'barleywine' means whatever you want it to mean.

Rich, thick, and luscious. Strong point of this beer.

If I'd known this was to be an American Barleywine, I might've passed. Not that the style description is inaccurate, though the beer defies pigeonholing. Darn well-crafted.

 894 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, I bought it last September so it has about a year of age on it if not more than that. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like peated/smoked malt, band-aids, caramel, vanilla and some candied fruit. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like peated/smoked malt, band-aids, wood, herbs, fruit, caramel and also a slight medicinal flavor. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and coating with moderate carbonation. I liked this brew a lot, but I also like the taste of peaty/band-aid flavored beers and whiskys. I'd definitely buy this one again. $9.99 a bottle.

 699 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Review from 9/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark, nearly black, red amber. Extremely light carbonation visible, no real head, but sufficient carbonation on the tongue. Aroma of roasted malt, light smoke and bit of medicinal esters. Sweet dark fruits, caramel, light smoke with a sweet, slightly hopped finish. Somewhat light bodied for a barley wine. A pleasant, somewhat sweet barley wine. I will age one of these.

 439 characters

Photo of biboergosum
2.94/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. Hey, the 'sun turned' not that long ago around here too, and its effect is, as usual, becoming slowly more noticeable. I do like the creepy Inuit with the old-school futuristic shades depicted on the label.

This beer pours a murky, dark reddish brown colour, with one finger of dense, and tightly foamy beige head, which leaves a solid, uninterrupted mesa profile of lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of acrid smoked malt, fruity and medicinal at the same time, which is a bit of an assault to the ol' olfactory senses, lemme tell ya - so not much else could be perceptible beyond that. The taste is more of the same meaty smoke character, unfortunately, though thankfully blended into a heavy caramel/toffee malt, with some burnt (of course) field berries and singed (yes) bitter leafy hops grinning and bearing it all for our mutual displeasure.

The bubbles are probably as scared as I am, and do their best to show it by staying low and out of the way, the body rendering the first good news in terms of a decently hefty medium weight, and an inexplicably discordant overall smoothness. It finishes on the sweet side, the struggling malt having its day in the face of the medicinal, band-aid-esque smokiness. All else is seemingly lost in the fray.

Jebus H. Christ! I was initially distracted by the folksy solstice info, so I didn't actually read the ingredients before jumping into this. Turns out there's nothing there that would indicate the palate-fuck one should expect here - should a brewer be obligated to indicate smoking the shit out of any of their malt-based inputs? Anyway, take a possibly agreeable big barleywine, toss in on the BBQ, and see what transpires, I guess. It does settle down about halfway through (yeah, I persevered), but maybe that's just a side-effect of the heretofore ignored 22-proof booze.

 1,867 characters

Photo of wordemupg
2.72/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500ml bottle poured into tulip 14/7/12

A dark brown with a deep dark amber edge, thumbs width of dark tan head has decent retention and leaves a few rings of lace

S Oh Dear! I get burnt band aid, rubber, and salted berries, wasn't expecting smoked malt and this ones smells like they soaked the malt in chemicals before smoking it

T a little improvement over the smell but the band aid is still strong and I get a little juniper and smoked meat helping its cause but it needs more help then that, smokey peat lends a hand but I can't get over the adhesive, chemical thing it has going for it

M very thick and has perfect carbonation, no heat is quite impressive for 11%, in fact I get not booze anywhere with this one, quite sticky on the lips and if it weren't for the aftertaste I'd have something special in this department

O once I caught whiff of the burnt adhesive I just couldn't shake it, I don't dislike the salty peat but It's overwhelmed by lousy aspects of this beer, I'm impressed how well the the booze is hidden but I'd rather have boozy heat too be honest

I had very high hopes for this one after the gems I've had from this brewery. perhaps I got a bad bottle because its pretty rare I'm way below the average, either way I won't be buying any to see how they age

 1,288 characters

Photo of beergoot
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark mahogany red. Thin but persistent head, tannish, with clinging lacing on the glass.

Licorice and molasses, mixed with ripe, dark fruits (like figs and dates) announce the aroma. A gentle waft of alcohol presence blends nicely into the grain and hop character.

Taste and mouthfeel are big and complex. Rich and syrupy but with enough variety to suck you in to further exploration and appreciation. Intense malt and hop bitterness notes thrust and parry throughout the taste, bringing intense pleasure and surprise in every sip.

An enormous beer feast for the mouth. Not for the faint of heart, but will be a welcome find to lovers of the rich and favorable ales, especially those of the Northern European kind...

 733 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one during the Greenville Beer Exchange/American Grocery Beer vs. Wine Dinner! This beer was paired with a crispy pork belly, purple cape beans, spicy slaw in a ham hock broth. The wine it was facing off against was Kiralyudvar Tokaji Furmint Sec.

Served from bottle into a wine glass. Poured a deep ruby red brown with a one finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount fairly quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, smoke, smoked meat, and earth. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, smoked meat, smoke, earth, and earthy hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. The smokiness in this one was definitely the star of the show. A lot of the subtle flavors of a good Barleywine were partial covered up due to this fact unfortunately. Granted the flavors that came out were quite nice and seemed to be fairly well balanced for me. A nice brew that I'm glad I finally got to try.

I voted for the wine pairing on this if I am honest. The general concensus was that the wine was better with this dish.

 1,149 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours a rich but clear nut brown in color with a thin light beige head. The head reduces to a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: Lots more smoke than I was expecting along with dark roasted malts and a slightly medicinal hint.

T: Very sweet and smokey - there is a subtle iodine/band-aid like flavor from the smoke. The beer's flavor becomes more medicinal as it warms.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: A little too medicinal for my palate - I usually enjoy the iodine/band-aid hints from the smoke but this one is too intense, especially after the beer warms. There is something in the smoke that is a little different from peat but I cannot identify, though I really like whatever it is. Not sure this is one I'd get again.

 847 characters

Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin ring of white bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are very strong aromas of smoke in the nose along with notes of band-aids.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but stronger and the iodine (band-aid) flavor is more apparent, which takes some getting accustomed to.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is not for the faint of heart. It shares a lot of similarities in the smokiness with a rauchbier but is stronger and fuller bodied.

 592 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle poured into a CBS snifter. My last Nøgne Ø barleywine was infected, but this one looks significantly safer.

Smell - Smoke dominates and perhaps overpowers a lot of other aromas. The malt is faint, but present, as a touch of caramel. Definitely has a band-aid aroma, but it isn't that intrusive.

Taste - Hops are much more prevalent in the taste than the smell. Smoke and hops at the start of the flavor, giving way to a more complex malt bill. Caramel, a touch of fruit to the taste, and just a hint of rye. The finish is slightly bitter and has that unpleasant band-aid flavor again.

Mouthfeel - Thick and mouth-coating. Nice weight. Medium carbonation. The problem is the astringency and band-aid flavor in the finish. It makes the lingering taste unpleasant.

Overall - A nice, smokey barleywine with an off-flavor that can't be ignored. Just the right amount of smoke, too, which is rare in a beer. Stupid band-aids.

 939 characters

Photo of shanblur
4.34/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a snifter. Freshness date obscured. A - Dark brown to black with little foam to speak of. S - Dark fruit with a good amount of smoke. Some booze smell as well. T - Similar to the smell with dark fruit and smoke with a lingering finish. M - Slick and oily with no carbonation present. A great smelling and tasting beer. Wish I had more. Definitely not easy to come by.

 391 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown colored beer with a small tan colored head.

Smells smoky. Abundant smoke aroma and a medicinal band-aid smell. Fruity scent but it is mostly obscured by smoke.

Starts out a little sweet, but mostly smoky and a little salty. A little fruit shows up after you adapt to the smoke. Caramel and some fig flavors under the smoke. Moderate bitterness and some Nordic licorice flavor. Abundant chest and stomach warming from the alcohol. No way around it though, this is more Rauchbier than Barleywine.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall an interesting beer but more a Rauchbier than a Barleywine. Smoky as hell.

 611 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

 1,025 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a large, creamy head.
Nose shows peat, caramel and campfire. Very syrup-like smelling.
Flavours follow along the same lines; peat, caramel. Very sweet, earthy characters. Some faint smoke. Very approachable, especially considering the alcohol content.
Nice thick, syrupy body.
A bit too rich though.

 321 characters

Photo of pants678
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cloudy amber body with an off-white head.

Smells of figs, smoke and caramel.

Smoke comes first and there's a subtle maple and wood on the back end. The malts stand out on this brew and it's sweet, but more so like a raspberry and has a real base of brown sugar that's slightly peppery.

Nothing but smooth with a medium body that's very Belgian in the carbonation but also in its bite.

 389 characters

Photo of kawilliams81
3.34/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- pours a dark amber, 1 finger white head. No lacing.

S- smoke! Peat, dark fruits, wood.

T- lots of smoke and peat, some dark fruits, wood, rye.

M- medium body and a little thin for a 11% beer.

O- just not doing it for me. The smoke and peat in this beer just don't work with this style. Just not good!

 336 characters

Sunturnbrew from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
3.86 out of 5 based on 241 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.