Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Explosive naked island

Nøgne Ø is one of Norway's craft breweries. They have several beers in their line-up, and all of them are unpasteurized and unfiltered. Here in Norway Nøgne Ø's beer can be found at the stately alcohol outlet, Vinmonopolet. The beers are also sold abroad, and due to the high taxation on alcohol in Norway, they are probably cheaper elsewhere.

Nøgne Ø's India Pale Ale is a strong beer with 7,5% alcohol. According to the label it should be served at 10 centigrades and is recommended to cigars or grilled and tasteful meat and cheeses. Pricewise this is an expensive beer in Norway. At 64 NOK for a half litre bottle, you may buy two 0.33 litre bottles of Hoegaarden at Vinmonopolet or enjoy a bottle of Erdinger wheat beer and have change for a bierwurst or a large packet of crisps. Or perhaps you will have a sixpack of small Tuborgs brewed on licence in Norway from a supermarket?

In the glass, this beer has an unclear, amber colour and an offwhite, solid head. There are some sediments in the beer, and the beer label is clear on this fact. If you buy a bottle, you should at least put it away for two or three days to make the sediments assemble on the bottom. The beer label also recommends that Nøgne Ø's India Pale Ale is to be enjoyed in small sips. The first test of the beer tells why. There is a lot of taste here. The palate more or less explodes as scents of spices, malts and hops bombard the mouth. There are also some notes of citrus in it, and it gives a long, solid aftertaste.

Nøgne Ø's India Pale Ale is not my favourite beer, but it is an interesting brew full of taste. Actually, it makes me think of a remark in the motion picture Mozart. The somewhat musical emperor has heard a new opera composed by the great composer, and he gives his remarks on the work. Mozart is told that the opera has too many notes - a comment based on theories given by the court composers that the human ear is only capable of enjoying only a certain amount of musical notes in an evening. For me this India Pale Ale gives too much. It is enjoyable - but only in small sips and small amounts. But maybe this is first and foremost a beer for sharing?

Nøgne Ø's India Pale Ale
NOK 64
Bought at: Vinmonopolet

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