Dark Horizon 3rd Edition
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

Dark Horizon 3rd EditionDark Horizon 3rd Edition
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Russian Imperial Stout
3.6 | pDev: 23.89%
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Retired (no longer brewed)
Dark Horizon 3rd EditionDark Horizon 3rd Edition
Notes: Brewed in March 2008 with Grimstad water, malted barley (brown & smoked), sugars, coffee, hops, yeast. Sat, untouched, in conditioning tanks until August 2010 when it was dry hopped (with Nelson Sauvin hops) and dry "coffeed" (with Den Gyldne Sterke espresso). After a month of dry hopping/coffeeing, it was bottled/released in September 2010.
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Reviews: 114 | Ratings: 205
Photo of ratedz
2.81/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours jet black with a thin mocha head, which dissipated quickly and left behind a little lacing on the glass. Not too surprising given the high ABV.

The smell reminds me of a blend of bitter coffee and soy sauce.

Hints of coffee in the taste, but the strange soy sauce smell that appeared in the nose is slightly present in the taste also. Very sugary sweet.

Slightly above average body and very little carbonation. Drinkability is average at best due to the strange soy sauce flavor. It's a good thing this was a small bottle because it wold be tough downing a 12oz or larger bottle of this stuff. I had high hopes for this one, but am very disappointed.

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Photo of Tripphop
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank for breakfast today with scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. Great alternative to coffee! The color is very dark, hardly translucent black with light brown edges that let through just a tad of light. A few tiny bubbles appear after an intense pour from almost a foot above the glass, no head whatsoever. The aromas are not appealing, stale coffe grounds and burnt malt, but the taste says otherwise. The initial flavor is bomarded with sweet coffee liquer. Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth, the high IBU's with a lack of hop flavors masks the alcohol quite well. The finish lingers with sweet licorice notes and an iced coffee coating that clings to your cheeks. Smoky bacon and cheesy eggs work like a champ with this beer, what a breakfast.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

250 mL bottle from Capone's bottle shop, Norristown, PA. Poured in to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours an abject ebony, thicker'n'snail snot and twice as dark. Only the faintest dashes of light illuminate the interior of this one, and then only around the edges, rendering them a deep sienna. Carbonation is very fine and painfully slow, visible in occasional streams around the edges of the tulip, tumbling, creeping, inching upwards towards the surface. Even a tumultuous pour yielded a poor head, fizzy and a quarter finger high, fading inside five seconds to a thin and centralized but oddly persistent sheen of surface snow and a thin, creamy collar. Agitation tosses a few flecks of lacing up on the sides of the glass that do their best to stick and do for a surprising amount of time, likely due to the thickness of the beer, and despite their glitter and sheen. I know it's 15.5% and coffee-infused, but even this one seems like it's lacking a little.

Aroma: Very liqueur-like. Teriyaki notes mingle with Kahlúa to suggest strong coffee, soy sauce, vanilla bean, and just a hint of alcohol bite buried underneath all the sugary notes. Almost like dark corn syrup at the edges, most of the nuances are buried beneath the sweetness, though a few other dark fruit notes and faint leather do sneak through the paint thinner saccharine notes as it warms.

Taste: Unbelievably sweet. Waves of relatively simply sweet, sugary, reduced coffee are strong up front, definitely the dominant note, much like in the nose but even more pungent. It's as if someone made themselves a cup of coffee and then freeze distilled it. At the periphery, you get a slew of toast and soy sauce as well as cocoa nuances, but this one really is all about the coffee. Unfortunately, it grows more about the soy sauce as it warms. Cherries, dates, and plum jam mingle with a sweet, almost chile-esque sweetness, dark and subtle, like anchos.

Mouthfeel: About as thick as you'd expect from looking at it and the speed of the carbonation, and though it's definitely well within syrupy territory and occasionally smacks up against the border of cloying, it manages to avoid slipping down that (slimy, slippery, sugary, syrupy) slope by virtue of a fair amount of fine, well embedded carbonation, which gives it just enough lift to keep it a little creamy, giving it just enough boost off the tongue to make it enjoyable.

Drinkability: DH1 this is not. I even liked it a little less than DH2, which I had about a month or so ago. At 15.5%, I'm not sure this one has stellar drinkability. And at nearly $2/fl. oz., I'm not sure how I feel about this one's value, either. Glad I had a chance to try it, but I doubt I'd buy it again if given the opportunity.

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Photo of BarrelO
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

250ml bottle poured into a snifter. Thumbs down for the pointlessly elaborate packaging (A metal cylinder AND tissue paper! Fancy!). Thumbs up for a sensible bottle size. 500ml is way too much for a beer this big. Just because I don't have any friends doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to enjoy quality beer.

A: Pours black with brownish notes. Head is nonexistent as expected.

S: Sugar and coffee.

T: Intense sugary sweetness with coffee on the back end. I have a hard time believing that this is 100 IBU, because I'm not picking up any hops at all. The sweetness fades, but the coffee lingers in the aftertaste. Amazingly, alcohol is undetectable.

M: Medium-bodied but strongly syrupy.

D: I think this beats out 120 Minute as the easiest drinking high alcohol beer I've ever had. I never would have guessed that this was 15.5% ABV in a blind taste test. In fact, if the flavors weren't so intense, it would almost be sessionable. This isn't an all day every day beer by any means, but it is an excellent nightcap.

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Photo of Retsinis
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Fellow BA split this bottle with me, so I had 4.25 oz's I guess. More than a shot if it were a spirit, and enough to give an accurate review, imho that is.

Poured from a 8.50 oz bottle into a Bruery Tulip glass. Color was pitch black. Poured with a thin espresso hue of a head that just sat on top like cream. Light did not penetrate this when held to the light either.

The Aroma, very sweet malt, some heat, roasted malts, chocolate, but predominately are of coffee, or iced cappuccino to me. I love coffee, so it's a welcomed whiff of a smell.

The taste is of a bold French roast coffee, with sweet dark chocolate, sweet toffee and alcohol. This has some heat, but not as harsh as I expected considering this is fresh. A nice cigar would probably pair very well with this beer, as it is a sipper, with the bottle size and cost, encouraged if your inclined.

Mouth feel is thick and smooth. Didn't have enough of this beer to allow it to warm up, sadly, to pick up on all of the complexity that some seem to have gotten out of this beer, (hops, really? Know there in there, but didn't detect ANY)

To me, overall, it is well balanced, but seems the coffee & chocolate notes were the most prevalent. (again, may have been too cold) Could have been a bit more carbonated for my taste, but at this high of ABV, you can't really expect it.

Good buy for the curious, and probably to cellar as well. I love the style, glad I got to try it.

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Photo of avalon07
4.27/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and a thick, impenetrable consistency. There was a small amount of tan-colored, foamy head that quickly dissipated. OK lacing.

S: A sharp aroma of coffee, chocolate, caramel, dark fruit and alcohol.

T: Tasted of coffee more than anything else, with some raisins, caramel, and chocolate. Alcohol wasn't as prominent as I expected, but still evident (not nearly as evident as it was in the previous Dark Horizon edition). A robust flavor.

M: An average amount of carbonation with a slick finish. A full-bodied beer with a viscous character.

D: This beer reminded me of Nogne's Sweet Horizon, with a bit more coffee. This won't appeal to everyone, but I did find it drinkable.

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Photo of plfahey
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

8.5 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Jet black. Opaque. Thin tan head with moderate retention. Some lacing.

Aroma-Smells like coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, rum, and alcohol. Serious alcohol. No hops. Not bad, but not incredible.

Flavor-Extremly sweet up front-coffee, chocolate, mocha, and some caramel. Dries very quickly to peppery, slightly hot alcohol flavors. It's good, but it would be much better if aged for a couple years to mellow out the alcohol,

Mouthfeel-Medium full body, medium low carbonation. Alcohol is somewhat hot and harsh. Could use some aging.

This is good, but I don't think it's worth the pricetag. If aged for a few years, the alcohol would mellow out and this would be a tasty beer, but if I were to factor the price in, I would rate this a fair degree lower.

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Photo of tombcrypt
2.91/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

One time I made a solution of raisins and coffee that I soaked in rum for a month,to add to an imperial stout I was making. This beer tastes and smells exactly like that solution. Very odd flavor profile. Coffee, charred sugar, smoke, and raisin. Picture taking a spoonful of blackstrap molasses and a shot of espresso and mixing it around your mouth.

The alcohol is soooo smoooth in this beer though. Seriously, 15.5%??? I would never believe it.

This being said, that's about the only good thing I can say about this beer. The overwhelming coffee flavor stands in the way of drinkability. I wouldn't recommend spending $15 or $16 on this.

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Photo of jjanega08
2.35/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A= This beer pours a deep black color and from the pour it looked hazy. I like to check out the beer as it comes out of the glass and this one looked hazy and sort of grey. The head on it almost looked non-existant and I thought it was flat for a second until a thin skin rose to the top for a second. No head retention or lacing is evident but there are long legs.

S= Deep and smokey. Sort of interesting. Never smelled a beer like this before. Meaty smellig. The coffee comes through nicely as well. I get a little soy sauce from it. The alcohol I feel like is there however the heavy meaty smokey notes totally cover it up. It smells earthy sort of. I can't quite put my finger on this smell but I do recognize it. Not totally my thing I must say. While it is huge pungent and different I dunno how much I like it in my imperial stout.

T= The smell comes through quite a bit in the taste. It is much sweeter than I expected from a 100 IBU beer. There is a lot of sweetness that hits the tip of your tongue and sits on your lips. The sweetness tastes like sugar water to me it's so sweet. The middle is more like the traditional RIS. There is still a lot of sweetness to it. The coffee comes through in the end mostly along with a little heat from the alcohol. Really unique. It also has a bit of a soy sauce taste to it. It reminds me of the dredded Sam Adams Triple Bock a little bit... not quite as bad.

M= It hits you super slimy and flames your tongue on the back. Too thin.

D= Well I must say I'm a little dissapointed. I'm happy this is such a small bottle because I dunno how much of it I could handle. Sip this slowly for sure and let it warm. It get a little better with warmth.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks Nick3. From notes.

A: Pours a deep brown body that appears nearly black in the glass. The head is very short-lived, leaving only a few tan swirls on top of the film when all is said and done.

S: Caramel, chocolate: very deep, sweet, and inviting. There's a strong element of smoke that, with the variety of coffee they used, reminds me heavily of smoked ancho peppers. It's not solventy, but there is a booze component on the nose that hints at the strength of the beer.

T: It's initially very sweet. Caramel, chocolate, toffee. There seems to be a strong underlying bitterness that prevents the beer from becoming cloying, though the richness of the sugars is hard to hide. The finish brings out a spicy bite that, as in the nose, suggests to me some kind of pepper was involved. With more sips I realize it's a nice interaction between smoke, hops, and straight-up sugar burn (like eating a tablespoon of raw sugar: that drying presence on your throat is what's going on here).

M: Rich, lush, and thick. Very much a sipper beer. There's some heat involved, but it doesn't feel particularly hot. The sugar burn at the end can be pleasant on a cold night, but I'm looking for a little more complexity when you have the high ABV and high gravity of this beer to work with. Right now it drinks like a heavy version of a smaller stout with a simple flavor profile.

D: This is sized appropriately. No need to put a beer this big in larger bottles. I enjoyed the little bit I got, and this seems (from reputation) to be the smoothest of the 3 DH editions out of the gate.

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Photo of Gmann
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep chocolate brown color, looked a bit thin on the pour. The head was rather small and disipated into a light ring.

Big roasted malt aromas, caramel and coffee are strong as well. Some chocolate notes as well as a light sour berry. There is a touch of a medicinal antiseptic scent which seems to be coming from the alcohol.

Whoa, wasn't expecting this flavor profile, flavor is quite sweet. The taste is sugary sweet with strong coffee flavors, reminds me very much of straight kaluha. There are some chocolate malt notes but these are quickly squashed by the sweetness. Some small rustic, woody notes try to pop through as well as some hop flavor. This beer is screaming for a sweet offset, gets cloying after a while. Notes of sour berry start to arise as the beer warms.

The feel is light to moderate with soft carbonation, sweet on the palate, finishes sticky and fairly slick. The ABV is surprisingly well hidden.

Geez, don't know what to think of this beer but very thankful that it comes in a 8oz bottle. This stout is extremely sweet and cloying. Some roast and hop flavor come through but not nearly enough to offset the sweetness. The flavors aren't bad but you need to drink this beer in small doses. The best part of the beer is when I burp I get a wonderful fresh hop aftertaste, weird.

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Photo of Nesued
4.85/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Obtained from Green's on Piney Grove Road in Columbia, SC. Kudos to the staff for bringing this offering to our jurisdiction.

Appearance - Poured a deep dark brown/black. A nice tan head formed upon the intial pour, with moderate lacing forming on the sides of my DFH snifter. The head resolves to a nice ring with support from below obvious. Can't see through this bad boy.

Smell - Caramel nose jumps at you with a somewhat sweet malty backbone showing through as well. Some aroma hops gracing the table but not to distraction. Toasty/bready warm an inviting nose. Lovely depth, it appears, to follow.

Taste - Lush/bold in your face chocolate/coffee presence. Wow, this caught me off-guard. As the song says, "breathe deep...", for this is something to savor. Small sips lead to explosions of coffee and chocolate flavor profiles. Caramel and toffee round out the middle. Outstanding peppery/hop bite at the end lead to a cleansing finish that strips the lush flavors from your tongue, so you can start all over again.

Mouthfeel - Again, rich and lush. So complex and dense it's like you are chewing on your beer (in a good way). Ample carbonation. Doesn't detract or overdo, very much adds as appropriate.

Drinkability - 15.5% ABV? Where?? This is a dangerous offering from several standpoints. This is the smallest Dark Horizon offering in the three years they have been making this available, yet is priced accordingly. This is the best Dark Horizon so far. After not being impressed at all with 2nd edition, this not only puts them back on track, but exceeds their 1st edition benchmark. Buy all you can. I did.

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Photo of oregone
4.87/5  rDev +35.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

TheBeerCarl (below) whom shared in this adventure gave a great summary. I would however note:

The appearance was the only non-perfect aspect here. Nothing to distinguish it from the oily and viscous Darkness consumed before (perhaps slightly more opaque), or many other BIG stouts. Not perfect, but excellent.

I found the hops to play more evenly on the nose and palate, with more of a rich herbal contribution to the heavy choco-coffee and crazy malt complexity. There is an interesting earthy/stone note that brings the extra wow.

I found the mouthfeel to be one of the most amazing aspects. Like melting chocolate in your mouth. For the high ibu's, no abrasiveness, just silky and mouthcoating.

Just huge thick stuff that I couldn't get enough of. So damn good that you want to savor each little sip, and hence, an amazingly high drinkability. Just begs for more to slowly enjoy.

I. Need. More.

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Photo of TheBeerCarl
4.89/5  rDev +35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is crazy little SOB.

It comes out of the bottle like a dark brown motor oil accompanied by a thin tan head.

The nose took me by surprise. Initially there are the stereotypical stout notes: coffee, chocolate and vanilla but let it warm up and all you can smell is intense citrus hops, like opening a new package of chinook hops from the homebrew store. I don't like to drink stout cold so I waited for this moment to drink any of it.

Rich chocolate with caramel hits your mouth with light hints of coffee and vanilla. There is next to no hop character on the pallet but when you smell it, you would think you're about to taste an IPA. Its a crazy dichotomy that works for this little strong guy. The heat really isn't present at all which is impressive for a 15.5% beer.

The mouthfeel is as rich as it looks, full bodied (39 degrees plato) with a little bit of carbonation that tingles the pallet.

This beer was given to a friend of mine by a guy visiting the brewery he works at in trade for some stuff in the reserve room. Amazing beer if you can get your hands on it.

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Dark Horizon 3rd Edition from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 205 ratings