05 December 2010

Open It! IV and V: Nøgne Ø Dark Horizon and Orkney Dark Island Reserve

At a friend's Hanukkah party last night: his Dark Horizon, my Dark Island Reserve.  There were lots of other beers present, including a Founders rye IPA, but these were the "Open It!" candidates.

The back label says it all: 17.5% (which conflicts with the company's English-language website page on the beer), on par with Dogfish World Wide Stout as presently brewed.  (There was a bottle of original DFH WWS we didn't make it to.)  The color and head matches, and it was an awful like WWS in character--once you get that high in alcohol and blackness, little else matters.

The Orkney Dark Island Reserve, by comparison, was more drinkable, with lots more ale and fruit esters present, with hints of treacle, stone fruit, and--of course--peat smoke.  Much more palatable at 10% abv.

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