Tuesday, January 08, 2008 

Imperial Norway

At an iceberg pace, fine Scandinavian craft brewed offerings are slowly coming to the United States, though quite difficult to find. Three of these breweries seem to be popping up in superlatives everywhere: from Denmark - Ølfabrikken and from Norway - Haandbryggeriet and Nøgne Ø, the two I've been lucky to come across. Both were dark and scary stouts.

Nøgne Ø Imperial Stout
84 / 100

The more intimidating bottle was from Nøgne Ø - det kompromissløse bryggeri. The text on the label told of "The Uncompromising Brewery" poetically. I'm sure Vikings would gets with this.

The stout itself was dark as night. Viscous as a motor oil with a slight cappuccino head, I immediately thought this foreboding libation would be conqueringly murderous. It was quite tame actually. A nice sweetness added to the dark malt texture and slight bitterness.

Haandbryggeriet Dark Force
90 / 100

I poured this into a tulip glass, the color was motor oil though seemingly a little less viscous. The aroma was coffee, roasted malts and a touch of smokiness. The flavor came as almost a cross between a RIS and a strong porter. The malts were foremost with the smokiness in the finish. Despite the 8.5% ABV it went down like less potent porter. Fine beer.