In late September, there’s been another festival happening in Norway before, namely the Zwanze festival.
However- when that stopped taking place in Oslo, Nøgne Ø grabbed the opportunity- and formed their now annual fest: Dark Night. Basically, the idea of having this yearly launch of (one of?) their most demanding beers to produce, has now presented both it’s facets; namely the brewery’s flagship beer Dark Horizon. This once-upon-a-time mythical proud take on an Imperial Stout has been brewed every second year since 2007 (? if I’m not mistaking) and still to this very day, holds high regards with many Norwegians. And not very surprising, as this beer has seen many slight changes/variants throughout the years- spanning from more bitter nuances to more super sweet.
However: as it is only brewed every second year, there’s been a gap to fill… until now, that is. Well, that’s not entirely true either, because the beer in question saw the light of day for the first time in 2021. It is of course the deliciously sweet strong ale under the name Nordic Noir. And as we’re rolling out of 2022, it is the latter to be released this year.
And boy, have they outdone themselves! Not one, not two- but three(!) types is what’s on this year. The base beer being brewed with chocolate malts, juniper and honey- and is tasting fantastic in itself. So, with last year seing a other version simply labeled «Barrel aged», it’s indeed upped some in 22: Sherry edition, as well as another one aged on Vouvray barrels. The first one being somewhat vinous for a split second and the latter emphazising sweetness, it is indeed getting more interesting for each year it’s arranged.
Not to forget the superbly cozy brewpub and awesome brewery-building of Nøgne Ø, the attendees got to taste smashing food brought to Nøgne by Kamil Krystjańczuk: the brilliant chef at Apotekergaarden & his assistant. On top of that- all kinds of years/variants of previous Nøgne beers, superbly executed art, in the form of an orchestra (!) – all in all, a splendid night.