Dark Horizon 4th Edition
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

Dark Horizon 4th EditionDark Horizon 4th Edition
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Russian Imperial Stout
4.29 | pDev: 8.62%
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Retired (no longer brewed)
Dark Horizon 4th EditionDark Horizon 4th Edition
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 142
Photo of jmasher85
3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nøgne Ø's Red Horizon is not one of my favorite beers, but it was certainly revelatory the first time I drank it. It inspired me to try the less unique-seeming Dark Horizon which, while quite good, didn't live up to the mind-f**k that was Red Horizon.

Pours a thick syrup that is almost black, but still just on this side of brown. Some head but not much, and it doesn't stick around for long, so take those nice, long sniffs early on. They will reveal the usual coffee, chocolate (not quite bitter enough to be cocoa), malted grains that are also a bit sweet and rich like brown sugar and molasses, and more than a hint of anise.

The taste brings out all these things and more. The coffee is a bit more pronounced, but still hardly bitter - I guess it's more like a mocha. Anise dies down a bit, but a slightly briney flavor comes to the fore, which I guess a lot of reviewers might describe as "soy sauce" in stouts, but to me it seems more like seawater salt than umami salt. The texture is pretty good - thick, little carb, bold malty finish that's a bit sweet and roasty, barely bitter, and just what you'd look for in an imperial stout. Crazily smooth for such a high ABV, but not sure if that's a plus or not; if I wanted something that tasted like 8%, I'd drink something that was.

Overall, it's a very good beer in it's style, but it's not much better than many other similar heavy stouts and porters I've had. I shouldn't be comparing it to a drastically different beer by the same brewery like Red Horizon, but considering it costs about as much - $20 for a pony bottle - I was hoping for a beer that altered my mind about beer the way Red did. Not the case. Buy any other great RIS for about 1/3 the cost.

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Photo of RickGrimes
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pure black like motoroil, Small head that disappear wickly. Notes of dried fruits, brown sugga, some Coffe, roastines, licorice, some sweet vanilla notes pheraps. So sweet from the first si, a lot of plum, it's a fruit cake with rum, dried fruits, And some alcohol presence. On the end a little Coffe Kick, And a great alcol notes. Dessert beer, one of my favourite from nogne

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Photo of cbutova
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Stoutfest IV reviews.

Thanks a ton Emma.

A- Black ink pour from two bottles into several glasses. Very light tan cap is frothy and has good retention for the ABV. Spotty lacing with a few small webs.

S- Massive roast and caramelized malts. Some alcohol but the spiced raisin, brown sugar, molasses and toasted nuts take over with the blackened barley.

T- Licorice comes to mind big time with a large base of burnt bitter grains, bitter dark chocolate, spiced raisins, alcohol, caramelized brown sugars, yeast spice phenols and toasted nuts. A hint of cherries.

MF- Thick and severely oily body. Slick with a slightly creamy texture finishing with an intense heat.

Reminds me of the other Dark Horizon I had in the past. Massive massive flavor and texture. Just a beast.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.53/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

8.5 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Inky black body. Medium khaki head. Thin collar.

Smell - Coffee. Fudgy chocolate. Boozy with a light fruitiness.

Taste - Coffee and a lot of fruitiness. Intense roast and sugar. Gets bitter quickly. Boozy finish.

Mouthfeel - Heavy. Boozy. A little sluggish.

Overall - Good, but nothing remarkable.

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Photo of ericheise
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

You know I'm beginning to really like the Scandinavians! This is a phenomenal dark ale brewed coffee beans very dark very heavy great for those cold winter days or nights. In spite of his high alcohol content this went very smooth very silky, delicious. I don't remember how much this bottle was but I wish I bought two. Cheers!

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Photo of Rutager
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two fiddy millz. Cheers, Simon!!

A. Pours a very deep brown, almost black, not much for head but not still.

S. Licorice, estery booze (maybe a little fusel), dry roasty dark malts and black coffee. Smells like early bedtime.

T. Oooh, here we go. Nice dark coffee, dry cocoa, dark roasty malts, a touch of smoke, some dark frutiness. Dangerously little alcohol taste.

M. Full body, low carbonation.

Overall. This beer wasn't on my radar at all but super happy to have tried it. Also happy to have noticed that it was a coffee stout and didn't leave it too long ...I've been thinking it was a non-adjunct beer like the other 2-fiddy I have that looks almost the same. Great stuff despite the ridonkulous abv, quite an achievement. Thanks again, Simon!!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

250ml bottle poured into tulip 27/7/14

A shes a black one, not much for a edge, noisy head falls quickly leaving no lace, she looks like slow boiling motor oil when still and leaves some color and wide legs after a swirl

S burnt sugar, coffee, chocolate syrup, dates, raisins, faint peat smoke, licorice, molasses, earthy notes, some spice I can't place

T more coffee in the mouth, sweetener included, dark chocolate of all kinds, booze plays a part but I wouldn't guess 16%, some chocolate covered cherries, dark toffee, still plenty going on

M thick, oily on the palate, a little numbing on the tip of the tongue, enough bubbles to cream it up a bit, some heat but in manageable, coffee and smokey earth on the finish

O shes a rich little monster, lots going on and the 16% is hidden fairly well, 250ml is a good size bottle for this one and bigger and I'd need a friend

I completely forgot I had this one hiding in my collection, I would've drank this one months ago if I remembered that I had the thing. Worth a try but a very costly little nip if you were wanting to stock up.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from an 8.5 bottle bottle into an Utopias snifter. Purchased in Attleboro, MA.

Appearance - Pours a deep brown, nearly opaque body with a light mocha head that reduces pretty slowly to leave a ring of foam.

Smell - Dark fruits, coffee, caramel and burnt sugar, some soy, toffee, molasses, some vanilla. The aroma is subdued but complex.

Taste - Initially this is quite sweet.. brown sugar, vanilla, milk chocolate upfront. This transcends to dark fruits, then a super roasty, charred malt, burnt coffee flavor that sticks around for a while.

M- For such a high ABV, this isn't super thick. Lightly carbonated.

I couldn't quite get past the super sweet flavor of this beer. Other than that, pretty complex. Not sure it was worth the price for such a small bottle.

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Photo of BradC
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque black with a thin head that fades and leaves very light lacing.

Smells of licorice, earthy hops, slight coffee

Flavors of roasted malts, licorice, very faint coffee notes, mild alcohol burn and a bitter finish

Medium carbonation and full bodied, this is a sipper.

A very interesting stout here, not over the top with the coffee but full of Flavors.

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Photo of boddhitree
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had it on tap at Braukunstlive 2014 in Munich, Germany.
Very fresh since they flew in or drove down from Norway with a plastic sort of keg.

They described it as a Coffee Imperial Stout, and boy was it ever. WOW! There was licorice, coffee, and high alcohol with a tad of a burn to it. Wonderful beer.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a very slight amount of head which has little retention. The head is a medium beige with hints of burnt umber while the body is a dark, opaque chocolate brown. Some spots of lacing here and there.

Nose- Pretty subdued for such a big beer. Reminds me a bit of a milk stout but I'll be disappointed if this tastes like a milk stout. Creaminess that mixes caramel, coffee, and chocolate. Some cocoa. Very slight vinous character. Maybe raisins or cherry. No real heat though.

Taste- Starts off with chocolate that mimics Tootsie Roll and quickly moves into sticky, burnt caramel that has slight tones of popcorn and even butter. Definite presence of heat that leads into a mix of raisins, cherry, and plums. Pretty hot but not anything I would call messy. In fact, I wish there were more complexity. It's a solid RIS but it doesn't seem to be a 13 buck for 250 mL's good. Some toffee, maybe even a little bit of vanilla. There is some coffee but not as present as the label would suggest. This seems to have been released about 7 months ago, so perhaps that has faded. Pretty good balance and integration for such a strong beer. Good to really good but lacks the complexity to go beyond that. Definitely reflects the Muscavado sugar in its sweetness but does not commit the sin of being cloying. Starts to show more of the fruit esters (cherry, plum, raisins) which balance well with the chocolate notes. Closer to really good but definitely a sipper.

Mouthfeel- Very close to heavy bodied with lots of syrup to the texture. Very little carbonation, just very thick and very sugary. Some smoothness that is somewhat disrupted by the heat.

Drinkability- Pretty accessible for a 16% beer. I would like it to be a little more complex and for that reason, I do not think it's worth its price tag. I might buy this edition for aging or another edition if it got rave reviews. Otherwise, probably not.

Overall- Good to really good, probably closer to really good. Much of that assessment is because of its ability to control its high alcohol content. Worth a try but if you balk at the price for such a small bottle, you wouldn't be wrong- there is better for much less and more of it. Still interesting.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

250ml bottle, wrapped in purple tissue paper, and sold in a strange triangular black cardboard box. I presume that the runic-esque characters on the label translate to "Dark Horizon"? I am indeed sharing this with someone I think deserves it - me!

This beer pours a solid abyssal black, with the barest traces of basal cola highlights, and one finger of puffy, and mostly just broadly bubbly light brown head, which leaves some low-lying sheet lightning lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of strong roasted caramel malt, hard toffee, a slight lactic sourness, coffee - with a whole ton of brown sugar stirred into it - raw molasses, singed dark chocolate, a woody vanilla sweetness that duly evokes some Bourbon County traipsing, warm black fruit - prune and fig, mostly - and an earthy, musty, and somewhat leafy hop bitterness. The taste is big caramel and toffee malt notes straight off the bat, followed tightly by a mildly heady, semi-sweet espresso jolt, dark reduced sugar, treacle, softly boozy oak staves, fading natural vanilla, oily seasonal nuts, and more understated leafy, woodsy, and earthy hops.

The carbonation is decently supportive, and under the radar in its goings-on for the style, the body near-full, dense, viscous, smooth, and generously creamy. It finishes on the sweet side, but in a well-moderated manner - the near-unseen 100 IBU hops churning away underneath it all, and the fruit, cocoa, coffee, and faux-barrel esters all kicking in for the cause.

I gotta admit, that when I first read the marketing spiel on the packaging, all I took from it was 'green beans', i.e. the sort you have with meat and potatoes - yet I strangely did not put it past this brewery to concoct such a thing. Turns out, all they were talking about was coffee beans, and how they start with 'em young, before they make it into this beer. Anyway, a well-flavoured, and weirdly restrained in its intensity big stout, which means that, given the metrics here - Nøgne Ø has achieved one hell of a balanced offering.

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Photo of mverity
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from Proof Bottle Shop. Pours an inky, lily black where only the thinnest edge is dark brown. Zero head or collar. Aroma is earthy roasted malt, burnt coffee, boozey warmth. Taste hides the high abv better than the aroma. Coffee and dark malt up front, a slight booze burn in the middle, that fades into sweet earthy malt. Silty, sooty mouthfeel, but I wish this had a richer fuller body.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It's been quite a while since the last installment of Dark Horizon- but it was certainly worth the wait as the 4th Edition is smoother, creamier and more succulent than past editions and without compromising its robust roasted flavor or supporting sweetness.

Lightly carbonated, the ale pours with a creeping inky settlement. As a dainty creme rises, the ale could easily be mistaken for espresso. Jet black and ominous, its quite an intimidating looking beer. A gentle swirl reveals its trailing brandy-type legging.

Roasted sweetness is strong on espresso roast, dark chocolate and burnt sugar. Its charred scent is lightly campfire-like as more woodish and nutty tones round out the beer's malty aromatics. Mild vanilla, heavy whipping cream and fruit tones give the beer's alcohol scent a bourbon and rum character.

To taste, the beer saturates the palate with black-strap molasses, brown sugar and milk sugar. As threads of bourbon-like alcohol pulls the sweetness together, the flavors are further wrapped with high espresso, heavy toast and something akin to burnt marshmallows. Savory and robust, its extreme flavors rise and fall with roasted walnuts, burnt embers and overcooked toffee here and there.

Its full body is creamy and lush- partly due to its enormous malt sweetness and firmness but also because of its low carbonation that allows the ale to drift into all those nooks and crannies of the mouth. Its slow and lumbering procession is slow to dry, slow to recede; drifting patiently into finish, acting more like port or cordial. Its uncommon warmth says much the same.

Though Edition #4 is as extreme as the others, its roast character is much less ashy and powdery and its sweetness is supporting and well integrated into its roast. Its simply a much better put together ale than those first few attempts.

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Photo of charlzm
3.66/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a flute/tulip kind of almost-goblet glass from Mother Earth Brewing.

Beer is black with almost no carbonation. A meager tan head that doesn't even cover the entire surface area forms and in moments is just a ring around the edges. Minimal sheeting but the beer itself does have some legs.

Aromas of coffee, anise and a strange, agreeable scent I can only describe as fur; it reminds me of a dog I once had. Some sweetness as well.

Flavor is pitted fruits, some coffee and anise: more fruity than anything else. Not particularly bitter. Or complex, for that matter.

Mouthfeel is smooth and thick. Alcohol burn on the finish.

I'm surprised that this beer is as tame and agreeable as it is with the high ABV it has. Probably not going to develop anything extra with time. If you have it, drink it now. If not, I would not recommend buying it at the price point.

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Photo of t420o
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Nøgne ø Dark Horizon 4.edition

A- pour yields a fizzy tan 1/4 finger head receding quick leaving only a small ring on the edges. Beer is pitch black in color. 3.25

S- roasty, very earthy, chocolate, hints of black coffee, dark fruits. Some light alcohol, as expected 4.25

T- really earthy, ripe dark fruits, roasted malts, black coffee, lightly bitter. The alcohol is nice and warming. Very well done. 4.25

M- extremely smooth and velvety. Nice thicker mouthfeel as well with lower carbonation. Really excellent. 4.75

O- a lot less sugary/sweet tasting than many Imperial Stouts and very nicely done. A pleasure to sip on. 4


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Photo of SawDog505
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16 oz snifter. Poured as black as any beer I have ever seen, with a 2 inch mocha head, Auth an aggressive pour, leaves a little lace behind before it turns into a layer of mocha bubbles. Smell is bold, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, alcohol as you would expect from 16%, dark fruit, and oaky vanilla. Taste is all of that especially roasty, bold alcohol flavor, but not over the top for its heft, and some oak in the finish. Body is medium, nice carbonation for its size, definitely dry as expected, and a sipper that drinks fairly easy for its abv. This is really nice, the price is over the top, but it really is a treat.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky pitch black, light can not penetrate! Thin mocha head that dissipates very quickly. Not much lacing. Aromas of bitter coffee, dark chocolate, fortified wine, toffee, dark stone fruit, a lot going on in the aroma. Palate opens with strong roasted coffee with gobs of chocolate, toffee, stone fruit, red wine. Hints of spice and soy sauce. You can feel the 16% ABV. Smooth, slick mouthfeel, full bodied with no carbonation to speak of. Overall, an outstanding Imperial Stout, as complex as the finest barrel aged stout and as drinkable as a much lower ABV stout. Nice work Nøgne Ø!

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Photo of froggyfrog
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Totally opaque black/brown body. Dark short-lived head.

S: Bright coffee. Dark fruit. Brown sugar.

T: Sweet dark fig, dates, woody, floral, roast, light booze.

MF: Sweet and coating but not thick or cloying.

O: A bit spendy but not a disappointment at all.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Stumbled upon this at my local store a week or so ago and needed to save up some fund to grab a bottle. Poured out as a very dark black color like it should with a thin mocha colored head on top. not much lacing or retention on this one. The smell is much more fruity than I remember from the previous version. It must be the green coffee beans that were used as opposed to the roasted ones. Very interesting on the nose but it doesn't give off too much coffee in my opinion. The taste is roasted, sugary and slightly acidic, it's almost herbal flavored. The mouthfeel is not quite as thick as I thought it'd be. There is a good carbonation to it but really should have more body I think. Overall I was hoping for a little more on all levels of this beer. I've enjoyed the 2nd and 3rd editions quite a bit but this one fell short I think. Better luck next year.

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Dark Horizon 4th Edition from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 142 ratings