Nøgne Ø Two Captains Imperial IPA

I’ve already reviewed several Norwegian beers here over the last six months, and on the whole I’ve found them to be a really refreshing take on all the respective styles.  Label design is always interesting and informative, and I really hope they are able to make some in-roads here in the United States.  With IPA Day approaching, I was hoping to find one I hadn’t yet reviewed.

2captainsThe beer pours a very nice cloudy orange with fluffy head and light lacing on the glass.  The nose is very inviting and I’m guessing based on the malt sweetness and caramel notes amidst the pine I get when sticking my nose in the glass that this isn’t going to be a garden variety Imperial. 

Taste delivers what the nose promises.  It’s hoppy for sure, but not a palate-thrashing take on the style.  Two Captains has a medium body and a slightly chewy mouthfeel which you don’t get in most IPA’s.  Carbonation is relatively light which adds to the more mellow character of the beer. 

Some hints of caramel sweetness to balance off the citrusy hops which are there in abundance.  I’m not able to pick out as many oddball fruits as some reviewers, but I got grapefruit, orange, and apricot.  Biscuity malts also help in the balancing act.  A relatively dry, pleasantly bitter finish with some warming effect from the 8.5 ABV.  It’s not unpleasant, but makes you appreciate how well some DIPA’s of similar ABV content (e.g. Heady Topper) mask the alcohol.

Overall, another very enjoyable and unique take on a style by the Norwegians.  I have really grown to be a fan of these Scandinavian breweries.  Jim’s traveled there recently and might want to add his two øre on what he tried in Scandinavia in its fresher state, but count me as a fan of these Norwegian breweries.  This one is worth picking up to shake things up a bit and is a great intro to beers from this part of Europe.

Vitals: Served at 48F into my CBS pint glass (thanks Shannon!). 8.5% ABV.  100 IBU’s. 

Taste: B+/A-. If you’re not as patient with more subtle beers and just want hops to the EXXTREME, you might rate this lower.  It flirts with A- for me. 

Drinkability: B-. A pretty smooth-drinking beer, but it also packs the typical double IPA punch.   

Packaging: A-. Nice design, good info on the beer itself though I’d have like to know more about the origin of the name.

Value: C. Not cheap, but not something you’d want to drink all the time anyway.   

 

 

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