#174 BrewDog Nøgne Ø Mikkeller – Black Tokyo* Horizon

Black Tokyo HorizonName: Black Tokyo Horizon
Brewery: BrewDog with Nøgne Ø & Mikkeller
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 17.2%
Source: Hashigo Zake

Here it is guys – the most expensive beer on Beer for a Year to date, and probably the most expensive beer I’ll ever drink unless someone buys me something even fancier for my birthday. Which is in April. April 18th, FYI.

Obviously if you’re one of the elite crowd who has supped an End of History or Tactical Nuclear Penguin, then this beer will seem neither boozy or pricey to you. But for me? Spending $45 on a 350ml bottle seemed more than a bit extravagant.

I probably wouldn’t have bought it except that I was already phenomenally pissed when I did (I got it at Hashigo Zake – go figure), and it was actually a gift for my Dad’s 60th. He kindly followed my instructions not to open the beer without me, and bought it to the wedding in Greytown we were at on the weekend to share it.

It poured thick and black, with the teensiest little head – a bit like an espresso.

It smelled like molasses mostly, as well as roasty coffee, dark fruits and bitter coffee.

In the mouth it was sweet and syrupy, with more coffee, chocolate, and soy sauce and a really bitter, citrussy hop finish. The alcohol was well-hidden considering it was 17.2%, but there was a pleasing alcohol burn after it had slipped down my throat.

It was sort of evil somehow, but in a good way. We tried to share some with the rest of the family but they thought it was a bit much for midday drinking before a wedding (pansies), so we finished the lot. I wasn’t going to let a drop of $45 beer go to waste!

And here’s my glass afterwards, which had at least 75c worth still clinging to the sides:

Published in: on February 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#109 Nøgne Ø – India Pale Ale

Nogne O IPAName: India Pale Ale
Brewery:  Nøgne Ø (Grimstad, Norway)
Style: IPA
ABV: 7.5%
Source: Galbraith’s  Alehouse (Auckland)

You might think, given that my last post was about the Nøgne Ø tasting session, that I just cheaped out and used two beers from the same day for two posts. But it’s not so! I just went back to Galbraith’s yesterday and had another one, because I liked them that much. (Also, because I was going  to a concert at the Powerstation across the road).

Anyway. I already wrote a little about Nøgne Ø(and how to pronounce it) in the last post so I’ll just cut straight to the chase. The IPA, which is on tap at Galbraith’s RIGHT NOW) had an intense aroma of fruity and piney hops, and was crisp and spicy in the mouth. It was really bitter but balanced with a toffee malt sweetness, and had a lip-smackingly refreshing dry finish.

The only problem with this beer was that it was kinda pricey (I think it was $12.50 for a tulip on tap) – which isn’t surprising give that the keg has come all the way from Norway. Even so, as someone who’s not exactly rolling in Rutherfords, I’d probably go for a more affordable (and perfectly respectable) New Zealand equivalent next time.

Righty-ho. Time to sleep – drink today’s beer – watch election results – moan – drink more beer, etc etc. I promise the next post will be better, and it will be about the newly crowned (as in, about an hour ago) Champion Brewer of the National Homebrewing Competition. Ooh err!

Published in: on November 26, 2011 at 4:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

#108 Nøgne Ø – Imperial Stout

Nogne O Imperial StoutName: Imperial Stout
Brewery: Nøgne Ø (Grimstad, Norway)
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 9%
Source: Galbraith’s Alehouse (Auckland)

Say it with me now: Nurg-nuh er. Nuuuuuuuurg-nuh errrr.

While it sounds as if I am trying to expel mucus from somewhere deep in my throat – what I’m actually trying to do is pronounce Nøgne Ø – the Norwegian brewery name that literally translates to mean “Naked Island.”

If you live in Auckland (and other places too, I expect), you will need to learn to say nurg-nuh-er. This is because there are Nøgne Ø beers currently for sale at Galbraith’s (you can even try the IPA on tap, if you’re quick), and believe me you don’t want to miss out simply because you’re too shy to get guttural.

I had this Imperial Stout at Galbraith’s on Thursday, as part of a tasting session with Nøgne Ø’s brewer – Kjetil Jikiun. Kjetil had flown over all the way from Norway (his ‘day job’ is flying planes, FYI) and Dominic from Hashigo Zake was taking him on a beer tour of NZ.

We tried around seven of Kjetil’s wonderful beers (maybe more, maybe less – things got a little hazy tbh), starting with a crisp, Belgiany Saison and climbing ever higher toward the big black beast that I’ve named this post after. For each one I took a photo thinking this would be my beer of the day, and then changing my mind when I tried the next one.

While we drank each beer Kjetil gave us a little run-down of how the beer came about and what they were trying to achieve etc etc, which looked a bit like this:


Now, on to this Imperial Stout.

As I said it was about the seventh beer we’d had so my memory is p r e t t y rubbish, but I do know that it tasted like Christmas and Easter and my birthday all at once. It was rich and boozy and perfectly bittersweet, and slipped down my throat like chocolate milk. I think there were flavours of dark chocolate fudge, raisins, a hint of espresso and sharp fruity hops… along with sugar and spice and all things nice. Obviously I’m trying to describe the indescribable… So just get to Galbraith’s and try it for yourself.

And remember: Nuuuuuuuurg-nuh errrr!

Published in: on November 26, 2011 at 1:12 pm  Leave a Comment