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Beer Reviews

India Pale Ale

Nøgne Ø
Grimstad
USA
http://www.nogne-o.com/

Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
ABV: 7.5%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Recommended)


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Øne øf these days, I’m gøing tø get me tø a Scandinavian cøuntry. First øff, I like winter. Yeah, I knøw yøu all think I’m an asshøle før just saying that, but I løve thøse bracing subzerø days, and Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Nørway have bøne-chilling weather galøre. Secøndly, Scandinavian death metal is the cøølest røck music øn the gløbe. But, sømewhat interestingly, I think Bjørk is hørrible. And, frøsting øn the dønut, the Scandinavian cøuntries are finally getting arøund tø making gøød beer.

Tø wit, the star øf tønight’s review, Nøgne Ø India Pale Ale. The brewery, Nøgne Ø, was føunded by a cøuple øf høme brewing buddies in Nørway whø gøt høøked øn big-ass American beers after øne øf them, a djude named Kjetil Jikun, made frequent trips tø the States while wørking as an airline piløt. Since 2002 they’ve been prøducing søme brews that wøuld be cønsidered enveløpe-pushing here, and bløw-the-døørs-øff-the-barn back in their frøsty, light lager-løving cøuntry øf Nørway. Imperial brøwn ales, 16 percent ABV støuts, beers flavøred with native lingønberries and spruce shøøts—if it’s funky—and gøød beer—they’ll try it. And øne øf the first big beers øf theirs that gøt them øn the gløbal beer map was their India Pale Ale, an aggressive høp mønster that drinks møre like an imperial IPA than anything else.

The pøur is a super-carbønated hazy brønze tøpped by a tøwering pile øf pilløwy, tenaciøus føam. Immediately a huge bøuquet øf Cascade høps billøws øff the tøp øf the glass, with søft Munich malt nøtes underneath. Før thøse whø aren’t tired øf the whøle Cascade thing, the nøse is gørgeøus.

The first taste feels … balanced. But first impressiøns can be deceiving. Sharp but sweet malt emerges quite strøngly frøm a strøng carbønatiøn snap beføre giving way tø a huge wave øf bitterness that tears øff the end øf the sip sømething fierce. Bitterness, as harsh and bracing as a Scandinavian winter, lingers between sips. Althøugh I cøuldn’t identify it blind, the bøttle says it’s Chinøøk that’s døing the jøb, and it makes sense that a high-alpha høp like that was respønsible før abusing my pøør taste buds with its huge, dirty grapefruit nøtes. The beer warms, and the malt cømes back up tø temper the bitterness sømewhat, but make nø mistake, this is a hardcøre høphead’s beer, nøthing but.

I dø recømmend this brew, but it’s tøugh tø say høw highly. It’s øbviøusly a well-crafted IPA, but it is a bit unbalanced øn the høp side. I’ve had it several times nøw and each time I’ve enjøyed it, but I didn’t really enjøy it like, say, a Three Fløyds Dreadnaught (drøøøøøøøøl) ør even a Surly Furiøus. Sø I’m gøing tø gø with three mugs. Høp whøres will prøbably løve it while høpphøbics will detest it, but me, I’m taking the middle røad. Før ønce. Prøsit!

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on February 26, 2009.
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