Last year I started doing a series of blogposts in which I detailed my experiments mixing pale ales and stouts from the same brewery to make a Black and Tan. Most of these I’ve been able to do on a whim, however, there are a few, like this one, that require time to be set aside.
The pale side of my Nøgne Ø black and tan is their Imperial IPA. It is how I want an IIPA of this strength (10%) to smell and taste. It reminds me of Dogfish Head’s 90 Minute IPA. It has similar mixture of bitterness and caramel taste to it. The aroma is that distinct IIPA aroma that I’ve found in other IIPAs but never been able to adequately describe (much to my annoyance). Overall this is yet another beer in the Nøgne Ø range that I’d buy much more regularly if it was slightly cheaper.
The dark side of the black and tan is Nøgne Ø’s Imperial Stout (9%). In comparison to other Imperial Stouts I’ve had, and also the other Nøgne Ø beers I’ve had, it’s somewhat disappointing. It’s nowhere near as rich and flavoursome and aromatic as I’d like an imperial stout to be, and if anything, it seems rather thin. Maybe it’s an age thing. I have had both of these beers in my possession for the better part of a year now. Saying that though, I’ve found that imperial stouts usually get better with age, though as with all rules, there are always exceptions.
As for the mix, the IPA dominates both the aroma and the taste, with the stout hardly being noticeable at all. This is hardly surprising, considering the lack of any real distinctive characteristics in the stout. Whilst I’d buy the Imperial IPA again, I’d probably not bother with the Imperial Stout. If memory serves right, it’s the first beer I’ve had from Nøgne Ø that I’ve not enjoyed. Their Saison and Porter are both wonderful beers that I’ve enjoyed a few times, and Sunturnbrew is pricey, yet worth it for a treat.
So, after much delay, the Nøgne Ø black and tan. Not really worth the wait, but at least I’ve done it now.