Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

India Pale Ale

Nøgne Ø

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

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

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.
Agree with this review?

Drinkin’ And Thinkin’

Beer Dorks News

Want to know how healthy the craft beer industry is? As always, look to Portland. Craft pioneer Bridgeport announces sudden closure, adding to a growing list of PDX casualties.
Did Anheuser-Busch Chicago offer their shit beer to Cody Parkey before his missed field goal? Because that may explain why he "accidentally" biffed it.
Chicago now has the most breweries of any city in the country. Other things Chicago has the most of: murders, mobsters, and Ditkas.
Trying to spin it positive, BA releases end of year graphic. Only 5% growth in the craft sector when nearly 1000 new breweries opened? That's a collapse waiting to happen.
R.I.P. Tallgrass... another casualty as the regional/national craft beer market continues to get squeezed.
Wait... Constellation Brands cut all of the Ballast Point and Funky Buddha sales staff? They merged it with their Corona/Modelo staff?? We're SHOCKED!!!
Pizza Beer founder crying about failure of company, blames everyone else. Reminder, the beer tasted like vomit. Try having better ideas or making better products so you're not a failure.
It's Bud Light so doesn't really matter, but we expect this beer to be sitting around for awhile.
Indiana brewery to open with controversial beer names to "get the conversation going". Translation: taking advantage of serious issues for free publicity.
Hundreds of amazing beers in Wisconsin and the Cubs took back the one everyone drinks just because it exists and people have heard of it. How fitting...