Gr0ve (2107) - Oslo, NORWAY - MAR 22, 2007
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: APR 12, 2007 500 ml bottle. Sample served at the Norwegian Christmas beer festival 2006. Pitch black and compact. Small dark brown head that subsides. Leaving a thin white fine-laced head layer at first, but then it disintegrates leaving only a little at the edges. Slight alcohol whiffs. Sweet chocolate and coffee aromas. Intense alcohol bite combined with a sharp roasted edge. Very intense. Flavours are quite intense and sharp. The alcohol edge/feel is much like after swallowing a sip of scotch whiskey. Very nice and very enjoyable.
presario (4521) - Stampede City, Alberta, CANADA - MAR 20, 2007
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to TimE for sharing this Christmas 2006. Thick black beer with minimal brown head. Smells like a malt wine, then sherry, then scotch. Maybe the best molasses liqueur ever! Thick oily palate. Best comparison would be World Wide Stout. Molasses and soy notes in the finish,
oh6gdx (19915) - Vasa, FINLAND - MAR 20, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottled@RBESG 2006. Extremely dark brown, close to pitch black colour, with small beigeish brown head. Aroma is alcohol, vanilla, chocolate, some toffee (almost fudgeish) notes, as well as roasted malts. Flavour is chocolate, smoke, roasted malts and some softer dark fruits. The finish is caramel, vanilla and a bit coffeeish. Alcohol gives indeed a sting, but for being 16% in alcohol this is very well done. I believe aging would do it better.
Beer4000 (4255) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - MAR 20, 2007
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAR 21, 2010 500ml Bottle. I’ve been one of the few lucky to follow the development of this marvelous creation from the start to the release. From a wonderful, strong brew with a bit raw alcohol character this has matured to a perfect, well balanced world-class beer. The biggest surprise is how the alcohol manages to be this well hidden. This is actually the most balanced beer above 10% abv I have ever tasted, simply impressive. The body is totally black, not possible to see trough. The head has a delicious small rust-brown color. This is just the definition of a perfect appearance for an imperial stout. The aroma is very powerful; you need some time to adjust before taking the first sip. Espresso coffee, bitter chocolate, dry fruit, roasted malt, vanilla and port. The flavor has the same elements as aroma, but in addition some kind of elements from really fine well matured vine. All these elements of flavor are experienced so incredible well balanced together. It’s a rather sweet beer, but not in a sticky way. It’s powerful but not more than you easily manage to empty a whole bottle by yourself. It so close to perfect I can imagine, and the only reason to not go all the way to the top of the scale is the usually ratebeer reason: You never know what to expect from the future, so you have to leave room for something possibly better. God knows what that would be?
TimE (2938) - Tokyo, JAPAN - MAR 19, 2007
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
I cannot think of a bigger honor for a beer geek then to be able to name a world class beer. In June 2006, I first sampled a mystery beer from Nogne in paper cups in front of Tokyo station, thanks to Nogne brewer, and pilot, Kjetil. The beer blew me away and I went home and sent several suggestions to Kjetil, but was passionate in my plea to call the beer Dark Horizon. Kjetil got back to me and said the name would be tweaked to Nogne Dark Horizons. As the beer comes out of the bottle, it would be easy to think it is an Imperial stout or used motor oil. However, the nose paints a completely different picture. Sherry, port, dark chocolate, molasses, bourbon, burnt raisins, dark cherries and a touch of smoke. Extremely intense mouth of dark chocolate, smoke, dark fruit, dark cherries, strawberries, truffles. With hop bitterness tickling the back of the throat. Alcohol is fairly well hidden. The dark chocolate and dark fruit finish only lingers for a brief six or seven hours. What the hell is this beer? Stystically challenged IMO, but when you have tasted heaven on earth, why care?
Kevin (2023) - Colorado, USA - MAR 19, 2007
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
pitch black orange gray thin head. Other than the overwhelming alcohol nose this has: butter, mint, vanilla, and fudge. Wow, this is hot. Taste is green raisin. Raisin and bitter chocolate. Marshmallow & booze. Layer on layer of goodness. Amazing depth. Gets better with each sip until I realize the glass is empty.
5 8 9 4 18
sayravai (4667) - Helsinki, FINLAND - MAR 19, 2007
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUL 16, 2008 (Bottled) Almost black color with a smallish, lacy head. Very strong, port-wineous and liquourish aroma with vanilla, alcohol (softens with yeast), loads of malt, plums and burned sugar. The intensive flavor is extremely everything: anise-herby, smoky, sweet-malty, aromatic- and bitter-hoppy, and ashy-dry. The long aftertaste is very astringent-hoppy, but also sweet-syrupy-malty. Alcohol is hidden even better in the flavor, than in the aroma. Extremely full-bodied palate is low-carbonated, liquour-like, very warming and sticky. This beyond excellent winter warmer is a delicious dessert brew, and pretty much renders all glühweins/glöggs useless. Despite of all this, Dark Horizon is not soy-sauce, like Sam Adams Triple Bock or many British old ales. Even at a hot summer terrace, it remains enjoyable The best beer I’ve had so far! (07/2008: This has aged soooo well! Not as syrupy-sweet anymore, but all the aromas and flavors are still intact. This one is pure gold.)
Sigmund (4654) - Tau, NORWAY - MAR 18, 2007
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle conditioned, at Ølkulinarisk Aften, Kristiansand. This beer nearly left me speechless - I’d never have expected a 16% ABV beer to be this wonderful and well balanced. I think yngwie’s description nails it pretty well. LOVELY aroma and flavour, where notes of oak, fortified wine, coffee and chocolate come in front. A great match with chocolate dessert, could probably also have been a great match with the very mature stilton cheese we had as the previous course (NØ Amber was a bit light-weight for the stilton IMO).
yngwie (12514) - Kristiansand, NORWAY - MAR 17, 2007
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 14, 2007 Bottled. Finally this beer got its release. I’ve been so lucky that I have followed it from the birth and seen it’s development. At a dinner with beer-pairings in Kristiansand, Norway, it was served with a heavy, dark chocolate dessert and single-bean coffee. It was a perfect match. It’s first impression is an almost over-whealming aroma with chocolate, coffee, alcohol, vanilla and notes of a wet wood in the summer-time. It’s body is as black as the original sin, yet it’s clear, but not see-through. The head is quite small and brown-colored. Almost like milk-chocolate. When sipped, (as you know, you don’t drink beers like this, you sip them), there’s a good dash of alcohol, but not in a bothersome way, ’cause it’s supplemented by chocolate, coffee, mocha, vanilla and some vague hints of wooden barrels. The mouthfeel is full and warming, and the beer ends in a long finish with alcohol, chocolate, cocoa-notes and coffee. It almost feels stinging, but that’s probably due to the alcohol. It feels good to finally get to enter the rating of this beer, it is (until so far) only equalled by Mikkeller’s X Imperial Stout 2006. The name indicates other editions of this beer, but can they match this one? (070317)