Friday, 17 February 2012

REVIEW #40: Holy Smoke (Nøgne Ø)

Pours mahogany with creamy beige head. The nose is nothing but peated, smoky malt; very much reminiscent of a German rauchbier (a Bamburg speciality). Peppery (spicy) spearmint notes upfront from the noble hops lead into a deeply smoky middle. The finish is a beguiling blend of lingering smokiness and herbal, peaty, medicinal tartness; a mintiness shines through to produce a refreshing coolness. It is decidedly dry and mildly bitter. Medium bodied erring on the light side and very smooth despite the smoke; these are clear signs that a (cold-fermenting) lager yeast has been used.

This beer is not actually Nøgne Ø's but Erlann Eldorsen's, the man who won the Norwegian Championship for Homebrewers 2011. He is described by Nøgne Ø as one of the most experienced home brewers in Norway. Its clear to see why Holy Smoke fared so well in the championship, being such a unique beer. It almost tastes like a porter, yet is in fact a 'dunkel' rauchbier, a dark smoked lager of the Bamburg tradition, yet produced in Norway. Delicious!
  • MALTS: pilsner, crystal, munich & peated malt 
  • IBU: 32
  • ABV: 6%

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