Archive for December 29th, 2010

New horizons

Nøgne Ø has come a long way. Their beers have won awards around the globe, they try hard to keep up with demand. Their design has matured, too, their rather basic Ø is being used in new and inventive ways.

So, some of their more sophisticated beers are now being sold with more elaborate packaging, and, probably in more appropriate bottles, too. Here are three of them, all clearly related to the first two Dark Horizon beers, which were instant sell outs.

The Sweet Horizon presents itself as a dessert beer. As dessert, not with dessert, perhaps. Pitch black, low carbonation, vinous aroma with some balsamic vinegar. The nose promises cocoa and cherries, too.

I get blown away a bit from the sweetness. There is dry cocoa powder, sure, but there sure is a lot of sugar in this, I’d almost say overwhelming. Then the subtle nuances creep in, and I am seduced. Velvety chocolate. Madeira and marsala wine. Soot, liquorice and coffee. But very sugary coffee, if that is your thing.

The Dark Horizon 3 is very similar – it is essentiality the same beer with an extra bit of fermentation. A bit more chocolate and cocoa, perhaps, but there is a load of sweetness here, too. Not as balanced as the previous versions, the sugar overtakes it all. Should have had more aggressive yeast to eat some of this, IMHO.

The Red Horizon is something quite different. A very complex ber, brewed with sake yeast. Loads of sweetness, spices, slightly salty, yeast.Vermouth-like, hints of vintage port. This would be interesting to try as an aperitif. I think this is a very interesting direction to explore, let’s hope we’ll see more like this.

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