Nøgne Ø - Imperial IPA #500

First impression? Total American barleywine in aroma and a bit in appearance. It smells strong, & very sweet (that barley toy sweetness), with the addition of some hops that give it a moderate citrus / pith slant. It's a deep, cloudy brown-orange, like stream water in our local area. There isn't much head or carbonation.

You know, after smelling this & having the first couple of sips, I expected this to be hot / strong in alcohol, and for it to be rather sweet & a bit of a sipper. As you go on, however, that heat & strong sweetness never really pops its head out. It's a little juicy, & the tropical & citrus hops come out more. The bitterness starts numbing the ol' tastebuds about a fifth of the way through. There is also a doughy component to the taste & aftertaste. The body is medium to full, and the finish only a bit slick.

I wasn't given a "wow" impression at first, but this is definitely one serious strong ale. It's got a punch, but it's very drinkable for a 10% DIPA. I'll remember this one for a while.