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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.

Where have you been seeing these guys? Rock'n Roll 7-11 in Highland Park? Anywhere else?

Keep an eye out for Mikkeller, also from Denmark. Ratebeer named them the 5th best beer in the world.

Their Big Bad Worse Barleywine is pricey but worth it.

No idea how I forgot about Mikkeller.
I have a Big Bad Worse in my fridge, waiting to be opened. You are correct, that and the Dark Force were from the 7-11 in Highland Park. I got the Nøgne Ø at the bottle shop of Pizza Port in Carlsbad - but I have seen it elsewhere - Wine House in West LA, perhaps?

as a general rule, i don't drink anything that requires a special keyboard to type the name.

Great blog Jusitn, looking forward to checking back.

I also wanted to invite you to join my social network for beer drinkers, Democracy's Drink. A lot of bloggers have been joining and feeding their blogs through an RSS feed to promote it for free.

I'd love to have you on board.


The Beer Man

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