Jan 19, 2011

Nøgne Ø Dark Horizon

I’ve been lucky enough to snag a couple of various Nøgne Ø products over the past couple of years, but there was always one of the brewer’s beers that I was always on the look out for, but never came across. That is, until a couple of weeks ago when a local shop had a few of the 3rd edition of Dark Horizon sitting on the shelves, just waiting for me.

Now, this was never a holy grail beer for me, but it was up toward the top of my stout wish list. How would it compare to my awesome experiences with Nøgne Ø’s Porter or Imperial Stout? More importantly would it live up to my own expectations?

Nøgne Ø Dark HorizonNøgne Ø Dark Horizon in the basement

Brewed with “…generous amounts of brown malt and even some smoke malt…” the beer is not a brew to be taken lightly. Even after a year plus in the bottle (I believe this 3rd edition was shipped Spring 2009) this brew was a handful. It’s a big beer that carries a heavy alcohol footprint (15.5% ABV) and a very robust and roasty nature.


Dark Horizon sits in the glass with a dark, murky brown appearance and a smallish brown head that faded quickly.


An extremely strong, black roasted coffee character dominates the nose with a light boozy presence. There’s a touch of sweetness on the nose, as well.


This brew takes a few sips to fully get used to its in-your-face nature. There’s a big sweetness, a large roasty char and a solid alcohol presence with every sip. The dark roast coffee and sticky sweetness hit quickly as chocolate and dark fruits come out more toward the warming finish. The mouthfeel wasn’t as full as I would have liked, but still had enough body for the style.


I enjoyed Dark Horizon, but I’m not 100% sure that it was worth the $18 price tag, especially considering the smaller bottle size (8.5 fl oz) that it’s packaged in. I would say that a little time in the cellar would help tame this one a bit, but it had already been in the bottle for a year and a half before I got a hold of it. If the price were a touch lower, I’d consider getting a couple of bottles for cellaring, but as it is, I probably won’t. At least now I can check it off of my wish list.

Rating: 4/5

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