ClubGonzo’s Norwegian Naturist

Norwegian Naturist by ClubGonzo, Spice/Herb/Vegetable, 7.3% ABV, 31.7 IBU.

ClubGonzo's Norwegian Naturist, batch no.  36.

ClubGonzo’s Norwegian Naturist, batch no. 36.

Another beer in the Norwegian/Israeli homebrewing project of ClubGonzo and Shmuel Naky/Naama Halevi, this time a dark beer with juniper berries, meadowsweet and honey.

The naturist pours a cloudy, dark brown body with a light-brown head that stays big for a long time, before it ends up as a fully covering film, some build-ups at the walls and pretty lacing on the glass.

The aroma is moderate with notes of dark roasted malts and gentle smoke. In the back there is coffee and herbs. Unfortunately, as I often find is the case with herbal beers, the herbs has a certain unfresh feeling, almost rotten.

...and thanks to Murat at Café Sara for the glass!

Norwegian Naturist in the glass (which, by the way, was kindly donated by the fantastic staff at Café Sara in Oslo).

The flavour is pretty strong and partially follows the aroma, but with more complexity and hardly any herbal rottenness. It’s the pleasant and gentle smoke that dominates, together with the roasted notes, dark caramel and coffee. The herbs are present as an interesting crisp and resinous background. Maybe the rotten stuff in the aroma is caused by the meadowsweet, while the herbal touch in the flavour is due to the juniper berries? Finally, in the late aftertaste there is a very nice touch of honey. The taste is moderate sweet and the long finish is light to moderate bitter. (Talking about the bitterness: hey, ClubGonzo, an IBU of 31.7? Not 30, not 32, but 31.7? We need to have a chat about significant numbers and uncertainties one day!)

Very nice mouthfeel, with a medium body, a creamy and smooth texture, soft carbonation and a light dry finish.

Conclusion: An interesting, inventive, tasty and successful brew! The only thing I didn’t fancy was the notes of decomposing herbs in the aroma.

Aroma:      6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Taste:      7/10
Palate:     4/5
Overall:    14/20
Ratebeer score: 3.5/5.0

One comment on “ClubGonzo’s Norwegian Naturist

  1. Nice one! 🙂 I’m with you on this one, I think it’s a really successful take on the traditional (smoked) farmhouse beers of Norway. 🙂 It did moderately well as my contribution to this year’s Nationals in homebrewing, scoring 101 in initial rounds, only 7 points behind the beer that made 2nd place from its style category group (in the preliminary rounds). I’m pretty sure the herbal what-is-it-stuff you mention is the meadowsweet, which (when “fresh”; that is dried but not added to the beer) comes across as sort of sweet and mildly mustard-like in flavor and aroma. In retrospect, the beer would probably done better without the meadowsweet addition but you know me: I love to experiment and when Hanne Frosta offered my a portion of it I couldn’t resist. 😛 Oh, and I keep my IBU readings at two digits, coz dats just da way I ROLL! 😉

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