Thursday, 16 August 2012

REVIEW: NØGNE Ø IPA

Et Cetebeer


STATS
  • Country: Norway
  • Style: American IPA
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Serving Type: 500ml Bottle
  • Price: Slightly Pricey

I thought today was the day to break the recent lager domination of Beer O'Clock Australia with one of my favourite beers; Nøgne Ø IPA. Previously I've reviewed the Pale Ale as part of my European Beer Challenge, and I'm surprised that it's the only beer from this brewery I've reviewed.

Nøgne Ø IPA is an IPA in the true American west coast style. This IPA is one of the nicest drinking IPA's out there and is a lot less brash than some of the American brewed IPA's. Kjetil Jikiun, the head brewer at Nøgne Ø, is a genius! I honestly can't recommend any of their beers highly enough! Hopefully this example of the IPA lives up to the hype I just created for it.

The body of this beer is quite orange compared to many IPA's. There is a large 3 finger head of slightly orange tinted head fed by quite a large amount of small bubbles. The retention of the head is impressive and the lacing is exceptional. Nøgne Ø is one of the best pouring IPA's out there, it's a beer I would love to see in top quality restaurants; but I can't see that happening anytime soon...

As with the Nøgne Ø Pale Ale I'm really impressed with the nose. Up front there is lots of caramel malts and some spices, which are somewhat unusual for the style. There is also plenty of fruit, mostly grapefruit, and some nice bitter smelling hops. I can smell some alcohol on the nose which is the only downside to what is otherwise an excellent smelling beer. Hopefully it tastes just as good as I remember!

I've had this beer alot with people who aren't particularly familiar with IPA's and many of them are not instantly put off by an assault of bitterness that many other IPA's can deliver. Nøgne Ø IPA is one of the sweeter maltier IPA's. While there is still heaps of pine and grapefruit hop flavours that I would expect from an American IPA there is also a mellowness that is somewhat different to the stereo type of the style. This mellowness makes this one of the easiest IPA's to drink and lends itself to a number of food matches.

Putting it simply Nøgne Ø IPA is one of the best drinking India Pale Ale's out there. It has the tendancies of a true American west coast IPA but with slightly more malt to balance out the hop hit. Some would say the carbonation is a little high, but the flavour was so good that it didn't put me off. The only thing I can think of better than this is the Nøgne Ø Imperial IPA, that's an incredible beer! This is worth your time and money though, it's easily top 10 IPA's for the price range available in Australia.

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world! 

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