“Nøgne Ø thinks the Russian tsar would have liked his stout this way. A dark, rich ale in which a generous sweetness with roasted malt bitterness. Serving temp.10°C/50°F. Great with vanilla ice cream or dark chocolate.”
Served in a sniffer glass. As to be expected this ominous-looking stout pours pitch black with a finger and a half of tanned foam topping it off. As it reduces there are patches of wavy lace that is left clinging to the walls of the glass. A dominant roasted aroma leads out along with this creamy vanilla scent that not only works in to balance it but adds this lovely lactosey sweetness. Earthy wafts of tobacco and licorice tussle between scents of burnt wood and what almost could be described as truffle. Undertones of espresso, dark chocolate and fruitcake also present boldly as do sweeter notes of prunes and ripened cherries. Wow, the depth and contrast on this nose is amazing. In the mouth it certainly holds a decent weight, it’s full-ish in body, slightly oily in texture and moderately carbonated. The 9% ABV is really well contained and adds to the high drink ability of this stout. The palate is treated to a big burst of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and spicy licorice. Hints of wood chips creep in mid way as again, big roasted notes push forward in to a sweet figgy, chocolatey and charred finish. To say that we were expecting a bit more from a beer that scored 99/100 on Ratebeer would be a little harsh. This R.I.S definitely offers all the characteristic aromas and flavours…plus a bit more, but it doesn’t completely have us in awe. On the other hand though, it is one to quaff on and enjoy with gamey meat or a cigar next to a roaring log fire on a cold winters night. Another solid offering from Nogne O.