Imperial Stout Highland Edition
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

Imperial Stout Highland EditionImperial Stout Highland Edition
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Russian Imperial Stout
4.09 | pDev: 10.02%
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Retired (no longer brewed)
Imperial Stout Highland EditionImperial Stout Highland Edition
Notes: Aged three months in fresh Highland Scotch Whisky barrels procured with help from Mikkeller and BrewDog.
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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 28 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black in color with a thin layer of tan foam. Intense roasted malt and wood aromas. A decent amount of whiskey followed by heavy char. A hint of chocolate (dark chocolate, to be more precise). The flavor is quite similar to the aroma. Lots of roasted malt and whiskey with strong wood notes. There is a hint of booze and a bit of bitter dark chocolate.

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Photo of silentjay
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure of the vintage of this one, but I'm pretty sure its at least 2 years aged.

absolute jet black with a smallish dark, dark, mocha head that settles at 1cm in height, lacing very well.

definite peat smoke aroma from the scotch barrels, balanced with some deep roasted coffee and dark cacao.

starts off with some sweet chocolate, bitter cacao, charred malts, burnt coffee, with a drying and peppery peat smokiness coming in next. finishes charred and peppery. good balance between sweet/roasty/smoky/scotch flavors.

a bit on the lighter side of full-bodied with a creamy body and subtle, yet present carbonation.

Well, I definitely enjoy this sipper. I didn't have it fresh to compare, but I think the smoothness of this beer is due to the aging.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.31/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a pitch viscous black with a creamy brown head that settles to a thin covering and leaves nice lacing.

S- Slightly peaty scotch, dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, and a light fruitness. Very deep and interesting.

T- Sweet dark chocolate, smoke, and some fruitiness. Acidic and kind of flat on the finish. Where is the scotch?

M- Acidic, flat, and dry. Surprisingly thin and boring.

O- Looks and smells pretty nice, but it kind of goes off the rails from there. I can see how many people could like this but it isn't my cup of tea.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - A nice dark tan foam settles to a thick ring, some wispy patches, and a minimal amount of lace - good retention here. Body is pitch black, with a hint of angry red at the fringes.

S - Well, the Highland whisky is obvious, but thankfully it is well-integrated and doesn't obliterate the beer like the other scotch barrel-aged beers I've had. The scotch barrel imparts notes of smoke, chaw, jerky, oak, vanilla and perhaps the faintest touch of permanent marker. Being that, there is plenty of the base stout, with chocolate, fruity yeast, and that quintessential Scandinavian flavor.

T - Taste is similar, but with a bit of smoked meat, soy, and unami present, as well as some light char. Otherwise it's a large amount of roasted malt, semi-sweet chocolate, and perhaps a touch of dark fruit. There's some mild bitterness and whisky bite in the finish. I'm shocked by how well the base beer held up, as I've seen other, much stronger, beers disappear when put in scotch barrels.

M - Creamy, medium-full body, lower carbonation, light alcohol, and a oaky, dry, and tannic finish. Seems more substantial than the listed 9.5%, but not any more boozy.

D - This is very good, and I'll be very disappointed if Nøgne doesn't re-visit this recipe in the future. Hopefully West Lakeview has some bottles left because I think more of my friends need to try this beer. If you're a brewer and you're considering doing a scotch barrel beer you need to try this, as it's a great example of it done right.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.92/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Highland Edition of this Imperial Stout opens with an intoxicating aroma that seems to pour out of the bottle, and is thick with both Imperial Stout notes (coffee, tobacco, chocolate malt) and quite un-subtle blasts of world-class whiskey. The combination of these aromas brings to mind bourbons and cognacs, as well as ports, and the presence of huge fruit esters such as fig and black cherry, combined with touches of vanilla and anise, make this one of the more deliciously-smelling beers I've opened in quite a while.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a black Imperial Stout blast that is almost unbelievably full of ash, tobacco, black coffee, black malt, and chocolate malt, the flavors so thick that they seem to coat the tongue and throat. Mixed in with these is the flavor of whiskey, though perhaps thankfully it is not quite as present here as it was in the nose. Instead, the whisky notes bring welcome vanilla and charcoal overtones to the stout, nicely complementing the overall beer. Strong hints of fig and black cherry are also present, and it says much that even though hops clock in at 75 IBUs, they're little noticed in the flavor profile, mostly coming in as a soft buzz on the palate. Some light alcohol vapors do tinge the edges and can be quite harsh if the beer is left to linger on the tongue for long enough. The aftertaste is almost exclusively chocolate and black malt ash, and lingers for a very long time. Mouthfeel is a silky and gloopy medium-heavy, and carbonation is medium-light.

Overall, this is a superb Imperial Stout, and I suspect would be so even without the whiskey barrel aging. But this latter process adds immense flavor and character to the beer, and the result is astounding and incredibly delicious. A must-try for Imperial Stout fans.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bottle has been in my cellar a year.

Opened with a healthy pop. Poured into a Gouden Carolus chalice. Body is jet black. Poured to a half inch head, which is light brown and thickly foamy. Motile sudsy lacing doesn't stay on the glass long and heads back down into the brew. Head has decent retention, but dissipates to a ring halfway through the glass.

Smells inviting--rich, sweet, and complex. Lots of dark fruit--raisin particularly, and some dark cherry, with vanilla and marshmallow. Definite single malt scotch whisky notes. There is a bit of char in the nose (burnt campfire wood).

This is tasting quite smooth. First sip has some char bitterness with coffee and dark sweet fruit, but is well balanced by sugars, then the scotch comes through midpalate, along with some alcohol, but not overpowering at all. Finishes dry with a bit of powdery char residue and slight hop bitterness. It is a nice balance between bitter and sweet.

Body is somewhat thick and the carbonation is lively, giving this a creamy and pleasant mouthfeel.

This is a delightful RIS, pleasant to drink with a nice complexity and subtle flavors.

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Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I recently picked up a bottle from a local bottle shop for $16 dollars, it was a little pricey but worth it.

A: It pours a jet black with a thin foam, absolutely nothing can be seen through this beer.

S: It has a beautiful fragrance of rum raisin with a tiny bit of oak and muscavado sugar, as well as sweet scotch.

T: A smooth sweetness of muscavado sugar and oak rolls over the tongue, along with a dark fig and smooth roast coffee. Surprisingly the barrel is not overpowering but lends its nuances to the beer. There is a slighty oakyness present, but it actually smooths out the roast coffee that is present.

M: It has a rich mouthfeel which coats the tongue and lingers with its subtle sweetness.

O: Overall, this beer is pretty exciting to try because it doesnt have some of the harshness that some bourbon barrel aged beers have. I think the scotch barrel really rounds out the beer and smoothes out the harsher characters that may of been present before the barrel. Having had the base version, this version is quite well rounded and amazing. The way the barrel brings out the fruity characters is amazing. Even though there was no molasses added the barrel adds a very molasses and muscavado sugar character. This was definitely well worth the price tag.

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Photo of dgilks
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inky black with a small, but creamy tan head. Fair head retention.

Robust, chocolatey aroma with a smooth coffee overtone. Mild coconut and oak. Some vanillin, roast and fruit come through too.

Rich, sweet malt with lots of cacao and a hint of espresso. Oak is prominent as well.

Medium body with moderately low carbonation. Nice.

A solid stout with lots of flavour and nicely balanced barrel notes.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

JustinA1 busted this one out the other night. Thanks Justin! Following review composed from notes.

Poured into a 10oz. snifter.

Appearance: Poured out thick, black and oily, forming a sinister char-brown red with red undertones. No light penetrates this beast; it's opaque all the way to the outermost edges. Head retention is decent, it settles as a moderate-sized crown. Stringy lacing.

Smell: Roasted barley, molasses, red currants, chocolate mousse, whiskey, and sweet, floral notes. Aroma was HUGE at first; it mellows out with time. Very enjoyable.

Taste: Starts out just like the aroma, but all of the flavors quickly evaporate, leaving nothing behind except a watered-down booze. The aftertaste is a weak mixture of char and ethanol. What a letdown.

Mouthfeel: Flat, watery, thin, roasty, and dry. None of the flavors (except ethanol) exhibit any staying power. Lousy.

Drinkability: This wasn't difficult to get through, but I certainly had no interest in drinking it. Pretty flavorless on the palate, especially for an imperial stout.

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Photo of dbossman
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a dark brown head that fades to a thin but stead head; lacing is great for what it is

S: Nice oaky whiskey; raisins and vanilla and a bit of coffee; a bit of earthy mustiness; something else funky here...feet--in a good way :)

T: Not as much whiskey-laden as the aroma would indicate; vanilla and coffee and chocolate shine through along with a pleasant woodiness (raisins too); malty goodness

F: A bit more thin that I would prefer but still fairly creamy

D: A nice whiskey stout; very drinkable

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Photo of largadeer
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice extra from Sean. Thanks.

This is a very, very dark beer - the pour is nearly opaque, and it's an impenetrable black in the glass. Light carbonation feeds a small dark brown crust that settles to a crown.

The aroma has a strong oak character, though there's no overt scotch whiskey presence. Vanilla and dark chocolate scents are prevalent, with earthy, woody undertones beneath.

Rich dark chocolate consumes the palate; it's like taking a bite into a quality chocolate bar. Creamy on the tongue with a hint of sweetness, this is ultimately rather dry, though thankfully neither overly burnt and bitter or heavy on the oak. The barrel lends a touch of vanilla and caramel, but it seems more neutral in character, contributing mellow tannins and a woody/earthy note rather than blatant whiskey flavors.

This is very nicely balanced, easy to drink but fairly layered and complex. Great stuff.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jet black color with nice bubbly brown head that lingers and revives as I sip and fill up my snifter with a little more.

The aroma is a rich chocolate with just a little milk, but smells mostly of high % black chocolate. I also got some bitter brunt coffee beans, black prunes, and just a little oakey Scotch.

Lots of semi-sweet, creamy dark chocolate mixed with coffee and some dark, burnt fruits. Dancing around with all of these flavors, and just hinting at its presence is some oakey Scotch.

This palate was rich and full bodied with some silky yet very carbonated and spunky on the tongue. One of the easiest drinking RIS's I've ever had.

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Photo of Bisho
4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Holy shit!
If you have read any of my other reviews you would probably know I have a big affection for this brewery and in particular, the regular brew of this beer.

I am not a big fan of the scotch/islay infused beers as I think it usually sends the beer over-the-top and into spirit territory. With this one it combines perfectly and sends it into the stratosphere.

My only wish is that it could be more readily available out here in the land of OZ. I have only ever had 3 of them and I have not been able to get a hold of another one in the last 4 months!

An absolute must try if you love Imperials!

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Photo of Patrick999
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a pleasant surprise, to say the least. Poured into a Saxo snifter. Mostly black body with a tinge of red, thin head.

Not the most aromatic whiskey-barrel aged stout I've ever had. Mostly cherry alcohols with some char.

OK, now we're talking. This is a very balanced barreled stout. Vanilla, coconut, char, chocolate, coffee - they are all there, but nothing really wants to be dominant. Which is fine with me. Like the O regular imperial stout, it has a long aftertaste of chocolate and char.

It's not terribly carbonated, which again, works for me. I prefer beers of this type to be on the thinner side of full-bodied.

This is a whiskey-barrel aged stout you could have a bomber of, and still have the chops left to order another beer. It's big, but trust me, it won't kill you. The 9% here seems very manageable and reasonable. For a barrel-aged stout, it is very drinkable. It isn't amazingly bold - I think maybe 6 months in the Highland barrels instead of 3 would have done this better, but this is a petty complaint to say the least.

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Photo of DaveonBA
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours thick, black, and mean looking. What little head there is is an espresso color.

Smell: Smoke, chocolate, coffee, whiskey, some slight fruityness.

Taste: Same as the smell. Very complex. Long finish. Outstanding. Very smoky and dry, but has a sweet side, and still yet a tart side.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body, light to medium carbonation. About right for a barrel aged stout.

Drinkability: Fantastic. Not hot at all. Smooth and delicious.

I went out on a limb to get this because it was on sale, but I'm definitely going to grab another bottle at full price because this is outstanding.

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Photo of fear025
4.46/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma:There are whiskey and dark fruits in the nose, as well as dark roasted malt.

Appearance:Black with dark brown foam with terrific lacing.

Taste:This beer tastes of deep rich chocolate and subtle whiskey. There are also complex dark fruit notes which lend a hint of tartness.

Mouthfeel:Very full bodied with a slight alcohol burn, not too syrupy.

Drinkability:This is a fantastic sipping stout, as you drink it, the complexity really makes itself known. The brewers have outdone themselves with this one.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a Nogne O pint glass.

A: Pours pitch black with a thin yet very creamy layer of espresso crema colored foam on top. Retention is decent but not too much lace was left behind.

S: Initailly, I was pulling in big aromas of boozy, rum soaked raisins. As it warmed, the Whisky began to come out, as well as dark chocolate, fudge brownies, bruised dark fruit, campfire smoke, char, and milk chocolate.

T: Pretty much as above, but what gave the edge to the taste was this excellent tug of war between the chocolate and the smoky Whisky flavors. Definite barrel flavor comes on in the finish.

M: Thick and coating with a peppery undercurrent that leads to a dry and woody finish. A bit spicy and prickly.

D: I think that the spiciness and the woody barrel characteristics helped bump this up to a 4.5 It helped to keep things from becoming leaden and too heavy. Excellent!

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Imperial Stout Highland Edition from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 28 ratings