Beer Review: Garún Icelandic Stout by Borg Brugghús

5e18abe37bccaAn 11.5% Icelandic stout? Who am I to resist!

From the label:

Garún is named for the strong and brave heroine of one of Iceland’s most popular folktales “The deacon of Dark River (Myrká).” A tale of ghosts, undying love, and life triumphing over death told against the backdrop of elements essential to Iceland’s character: ice, snow, and flooding waters whirling dark and mysterious. The same elements that inspire this rich, intense, bold and swirlingly varied Icelandic stout.

Garún is a dark aura of intense richness and haunting aroma with notes of chocolate, licorice and coffee. Skál!

Stats: ABV: 11.5%

Tasting notes:

This beer pours out as dark as an Icelandic winter night with a finger of dense yellow-brown head that dissipates slowly and leave trickles of stalactite lacing.

The nose is rich with notes of roasted malt, caramel, licorice, molasses, undefined dark fruit, and a surprisingly gentle whiff of booze. The palate matches the nose, with the addition of dark chocolate and coffee. The mouthfeel is full-bodied, with perfectly moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

I’m a big fan of imperial stouts and Russian imperial stouts. They are big, boozy, and rich with a complex combination of flavours. Often times though, they have an overpoweringly boozy nose and once you have finished a bottle, you are pretty much done with beer for the night, because you are so full.

However, this Icelandic stout was a different story. The nose was no where near as boozy as I’m used to, despite the 11.5% ABV, and it lacked the iron aftertaste that imperial stouts sometimes have. What more is that this was not a heavy meal in a glass and once I finished the bottle, I was craving another!

I’ve been wanting to visit Iceland for a long time, but after trying this and their Nordic saison, it’s good to know I’m going to have a great brewery to hang out when I visit.

Rating: 4.75/5