Nøgne Aurora Australis II

Reviewed by on August 8, 2016 in Summer Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Nøgne Ø

  • Origin: Grimstad, Norway

  • Rated On: August 9, 2016

  • Best Before: Brewed on August 21, 2013

  • ABV: 11.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Tripel

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

An ‘intercontinental transequatorial Tripel’, aged in Aussie port barrels on its trip back from Bridge Road Brewers to Scandinavia.  The obvious second iteration of this process, and now playing with a different Belgian style to boot.  A whole lot of that almost nonsense just screams out summertime indulgence, no?

This 330ml bottle pours a somewhat hazy, medium golden amber colour, with one chubby finger of puffy, broadly foamy, and kind of fizzy ecru head, which leaves but a few upward spews of whale blowhole lace around the glass as it quickly evaporates.

It smells of sauced-up pears and apples, gritty and grainy pale cereal malt, a lesser white (is there such a thing?) port barrel woodiness, candi sugar, wayward yeast, and some indistinct earthy spice.  The taste is bready and slightly doughy pale malt, a sugar-boosted caramel/toffee joint, some still white wine-based port essences (the flor present and duly accounted for), further quotidian Belgo-yeast, muddled pome fruit on a bender, and more hard to pinpoint, but welcome all the same, generic spiciness.  The bubbles are fairly understated in their plainly subservient frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and strangely smooth, as the heretofore hovering booze and spice seem to do that thing where they just have to hit the can together – amirite?  It finishes off-dry, the mixed malt and addled fruitiness (some of it retained from the antipodean port, sure) playing us out in a very amiable manner.

Overall, the robust character of this particular offering just about mollifies the heady shelf tag excesses – lots going on here, and in a mostly blended and easy to approach way – the port certainly doesn’t overstay its welcome, and only makes the typically strident base Tripel more gentle and inviting.  Pretty good stuff, all on its own merits.

Brady White

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