3fourths (7520) - Boulder, Oregon, USA - MAY 27, 2012
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 14, 2012 2007 nip bottle at Akkurat in Stockholm. A few days earlier I drank full bottles of the 2006 and 2008 Stormaktsporter, and while both were considered very, very good, I felt the 2006 was faded and the 2008 was still a bit too bright and green. This led me to choose the 2007 as the Kaggen! vintage to try at Akkurat a few days later. My previous rating is from a nip bottle of the 2005, split two ways in 2008, sampled amid a number of other beers of varying style, bitterness and alcohol. given the tendency of Narke beers to be somewhat mellow, focusing more on presenting a flavorful, balanced beer drinking experience rather than a bold, in-your-face drinking experience, my thoughts were lost, only preserved in notes taken four years ago. So I truthfully had no opinion about the Kaggen from that long-ago taste. I decided on this trip that I would experience Narke Stormaktsporter as if it were completely unknown to me. The hype surrounding the beer is hard to ignore, but I feel like I can be honest with myself about quality given all of the things Iíve drank, where Iíve been in my beer travels, and how often I seem to go against the grain. Iíve spent untold amounts of money on beer I didnít enjoy, cheap and expensive both. I trusted myself to honestly evaluate the Kaggen without consideration of rarity, reputation or pricetag. Combine this with the fact that so many people have had 4.5+ "wow" moments with this beer, and I know thereís something in here to find. My previous rating was rather unexciting, so I figured I didnít get the full experience, and this was my shot. So with that all said, how was the beer?
First pour: early on the beer has limited expression given the temperature, a bit colder than is ideal. Early on the nose presents a chewy and creamy melted chocolate chip dark malt character with light touches of faded whiskey and oak. The body is exceptionally savory and frothy, suggesting chocolate fudge and fluffy but savory cake. There is slow growing alcohol warmth as the beer begins to blossom and open up with time, and after about 10 minutes it becomes difficult to put into words... surreal decadence, that would put it best. Prickly, just-bitter cocoa nibs and fudge cake softness with a velvety body. Later on, approaching room temperature, the nose develops some metal and paint yeast notes but itís really quite mild and doesnít spoil the decadent spongy fudge cake deliciousness. Some mild smoke and char are at play later on, and the whiskey remains happily subdued and well-matched for the moderate roast and soft, decadent body. The last sips show a bit more whiskey and alcohol, as expected, but still remains creamy and chewy and perfectly suited for itís size. Delicious. And no fish sauce whatsoever.
previous rating of 2005 vintage sampled in 2008: Appearance is deep black, no apparent light passing through the edges of my glass. A deep brown head sites on top, and when swirled the brown, thick lacing clings to the sides of the glass and slowly crawls back down. Very attractive splotchy lacing. First impression of the nose is rich dark chocolate and a slightly hot aroma of whiskey with faint charred wood as well. For sure the whiskey is not overpowering, and Iíd probably say itís one of the few beers that used whiskey barrel aging is a truly complimentary role. The (faint) char, rich (but not heavy) smoke, and malty scotch notes work together really, really well. First taste is rich chocolate and sharp whiskey, again, complimentary rather than dominating, with oak barrel and delicate, toasted chocolate malts coating the mouth. Over the back itís slightly warming, very mellow and smooth, leaving a rich toffee, amaretto and resinous whiskey coating on the tongue. A few times I even pick up some nice, moist tobacco as well.
jsquire (3228) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - MAY 20, 2012
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2009 bottle. Some bottles come with so much hype that you really donít expect them to live up. This is a really special beer. Dark beer with ruby hints around the edges when held against the light. Brown ring and faint slick of a head in the snifter. Huge nose dominated by the bourbon but with plenty of wood, smoke and alcohol notes. Sticky brown bubbles while you drink. Tons of bourbon flavors with oak, butter, molasses, over ripe fruit and some smoke. Great oily mouthfeel and nice warming alcohol. Incredibly complex and well balanced beer. Many thanks to my Secret Santa for sending this bottle.
JulienHuxley (2136) - Hilversum, NETHERLANDS - MAY 15, 2012
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle at Akkurat. 2008 vintage. Pitch black pour, tan ring of foam. Aroma of dark chocolate, vanilla, molasses, lots of oak. A teeny bit of soy sauce here as well, but much less than the unbarreled version. Taste is wonderful, quite sweet, lots of vanilla oak notes, molasses, light roastiness, so tasty. Smooth without being slick, light carb, full body. Altough itís on its way as well, this still drinks fantastic and is much better than the regular IMHO.
kmyers8807 (176) - Ohio, USA - APR 30, 2012
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle. 2008. lots of malt and chocolate. Seems like a very different beer from when opened to the final sip. Coffee and oak/wood flavors are present with some licorice. Hard to explain because of the complexity. a must try.
BeerSkull (1069) - SWEDEN - APR 11, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Draught at Stockholm Beer Festival:
The smell and the taste is rich and full bodied with notes of roasted malt, smoke, oak, chocolate and fruit. The taste is lovely round and smooth with a warming alcohol in the finish. Awesome beer!
HELL666 (27) - Athens, GREECE - APR 7, 2012
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Color jet black with rich brown head. Aroma: roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, vanilla and light wood and alcohol, similar taste. Full bodied, very smooth, carbonation soft, bitter finish with long duration...
maekchu (1459) - Hirakata, JAPAN - APR 1, 2012
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle generously shared by KyotoLefty. 2007 vintage. Amazingly complex aroma: thick hunks of chewing tobacco, deep veins of chocolate mined from a secret source of sweetness, cherries, and dark ripe fruit. Thick dark head with beautiful lacing. Super-rich flavors, fruity, and complex, and really hard to describe. Medium-full body. A great unabashedly Old World stout. Unrestrained but classic.
PatBateman81 (178) - Caserta, ITALY - MAR 28, 2012
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Bottle 2008 version, 0.3 taste 2007 version @ Nšrke Kulturbryggeri (÷rebro, Sweden). *Hearty-rate*: the perfection in form of imperial stout. Drink it, period. *Rational-rate*: every time I have Kaggen! Stormaktsporter I never feel used to such a masterpiece. As I said to everyone: had many of the BIG IRS whales, like Black Tuesday, Darkness, Darklord, The Abyss, Eclipse, Dark Horizon, ecc., ecc., but this one tower above all. The reasons? Color is intense black, with a brown head like moka. But complexity starts from the aroma: you could never get enough of smelling, you touch something different every time. And difficult, extremely difficult to hive off single components. Itís burned sugar, molasses, apricot, oak, vanilla, plum, cherries, chocolate, coffee, syrup, spice, herbs. Bond between all that stuff is almost indivisible, even more in taste, it comes out an holistic property. Difficult to explain. But fact is, and could seem a paradox, separately from complexity, Kaggen! isnít difficult to have, even though 25 cl is the best format, because hits directly the bullís eye of senses without hesitation. You donít need to be an experienced taster for appreciation and understand youíre facing something SO BIG. Moreover, itís pointless making long analysis and list all flavors, since the best side itís just the wholeness of such a full body; warms mouth and palate, in a great alternation between sweetness and bitterness (more the first) and the PERFECT balance of malts and hops. Herbaceous character, given by heather honey, isnít invasive and oak aging as well. Itís ambrosia, no way. Breweries like Nšrke arenít just their hype-geek productions, try other ones (cAmarillo, ÷rebro Bitter, and so on) and youíll catch how they great could be as artisans. Long live HG and Berith.
dreadnord (1014) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 27, 2012
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
2008 bottle. Pours thick and black with an average brown head. Looks decadent. Nose is mellow yet potent at the same time. Light smoke, melon, spice, chocolate, roasted coffee, oak, apricot, maple syrup and alcohol. Super complex. Flavor is sweet up front. Rich. Bitter peeks through and becomes more prominent in the middle and balances well for a bittersweet dry finish. Mouthfeel is like heaven on the tongue. Unreal how good this is. Believe the hype kids.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
teorn88 (1617) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - MAR 24, 2012
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
25cl bottle. 2008 vintage. Pours a thick black color with a nice medium brown head. Creamy foam. Alcohol legs sticking to the side of the glass. Aroma is complex and heavenly: to me it smelled like they placed the finest RIS in a delicious port wine barrel. Chocolate, oak, red wine, red berries, coffee, licorice. Taste is on the same level, extremely smooth and balanced, with a fantastic complexity. Again, chocolate, red berries, red wine, wood and coffee beans. Iím not sure if this is the age of the bottle speaking here, but this was the most gentle and yet delicious imperial stout ever tried. It retained all the flavours os typical roasty ones, but without the sometimes overwhelming bitterness. This was less bitter then average RIS to me, it struck a perfect balance. And yet so much complexity. Heavenly. Body is thick and oily with a the perfect amount of carbonation. This is probably the first exceptionally-hyped beer that I truly enjoy as expected. Actually, probably even more tha that. Perfection is not of this world, but I can see giving this a perfect 5.