Knud den Store
Brewery: Nordic Brewing Co.
Type: Imperial Stout
Knud the Great was a mighty Danish king and Viking warrior who during his time ruled Denmark, Norway, England, and "parts" of Sweden. A guy like that deserves a mighty strong beer named after him. Well Nordic Brewing Co. sought to do that with their imperial stout Knud den Store. Before I really start the review, I should say I have been told this is a relatively "young" imperial stout. That means the flavor might change a bit with some age on the bottles. But that only means I get to have it at it's most brutal!
Alex Translates the Label:
"Knud the Great is the biggest and mightiest viking in Danish history. He pounded the English and put hair on Danes' chests. Therefore this imperial stout obviously honors his name. Knud the Great is bursting with kilos of delicious caramel malts and hard roasted malts."
Pours pitch black with a decent sized tan head that stays pretty stable through the first half of drinking. The nose has a lot of roasted malts, black licorice notes, a hint of hops and a bit of a sharp alcohol smell on the back end. Right from the jump you notice two things. One, this beer is damn bitter. I am talking black IPA levels of mouth assault. The second thing, is you don't really care that much because it is also quite good. It is a bitter chocolate with a bit of coffee grounds thrown in for good measure. That heavy roasted malt, I am guessing dark roasted barley and chocolate malt really shine through. At times it is so roasty it almost borders on smokey. That alcohol burn jumps out from around the taste corner every now and again, but I am convinced with a little age it would mellow down and even more dark roastiness would shine through. Like I mentioned before it is bitter. There is a damn good amount of bittering from hops in here for sure, as again mentioned before like a black IPA. I would also not be surprised if they are not being backed up quite a bit by a heavy roasted malt grain bill. Good mouthfeel, full, but surprisingly dry. The aftertaste lingers with bitter dry chocolate and roast forever. This beer certainly lives up to their motto of making beer with body, soul, and brutality. It is not a beer for the timid. That being said, it is certainly a beer for me. I have often described my love of beers that are extreme or aggressive. This ticks those boxes with a big pencil snapping X. If this beer is anything to go by, I am really going to enjoy drinking beers from this Viking brewery.