Right out of the bottle this Norwegian import has the potent promise of well grown hops, carefully pruned and placed with intention. Nogne O is one of the rising superstars of the new European scene of beer, which is taking the best of American styled ales and mixing it with centuries of Euro-brewing knowledge.
This IPA has a great amount of head and well balanced body. I always notice the yeast first when I try European beers; my palate isn't discerning enough to distinguish particular yeast strains, but I always notice a crispness and clarity with these beers. Even though they've used an English ale yeast, the effect is still the same, they're doing something different over there. Here's me drinking the IPA, notice the Blazers glass, it's a very important part of drinking beer successfully.
The surprising thing about this Norwegian Frankenstein is that while it reeks of bright citrusy hops, it tastes much more like hops low with alpha acids, and that dark apple-y flavor mixes impeccably with a big malt presence for a pleasant result. The malts are strong and bold, unusual for an IPA. I wish the finish was a little smoother, but it does give an acid alpha kick that is enough to remember that you're drinking an IPA. Nogne O aspires to ordain each of their beers with a different and distinct personality. I haven't tried any of their others, so I can't say for sure whether each one is distinct, but would I be willing to introduce this IPA at a party as my friend? Absolutely.
India Pale Ale: ****