God Jul - Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

Not Rated.
God JulGod Jul

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

323 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 323
Reviews: 210
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.29%
Wants: 70
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S visit their website
Norway

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sigmund on 12-01-2003

19°P, 30 IBU.

Ingredients: Lager, Munich, caramel, black, and chocolate malt; Chinook, Columbus, and Centennial hops; English ale yeast, and our local Grimstad water.
View: Beers (56) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 210
Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I chose this as #2100 review, as this brewery is up and coming and I'm really enjoying what they produce. Best yet, I needn't have to bring everything in from Europe anymore, several are now available in the New York area. This black ale is a cross between a porter (albeit some coca-cola taste from the carmel etc.), a stout from some toasted barley, a dark ale, shwartzbeir, and an underlying citrus without being overhopped. Well done!

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thick foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, char, spices, and soy sauce aromas. Taste is much the same with smoke and slight band-aid flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of smoke and roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is fairly heavy on soy sauce and smoke aspects in the aromas and flavors.

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What makes a beer a Christmas Beer? Is it adding the predictable holiday spice? Is it just an excuse to make another beer and market it differently? Or do you pick one flavor that represents the holidays well and then hammer it home? This is the tact that Nogne-O takes in this sprucey Porter.

The expected Porter pour delivers a dark brown, slightly hazy beer with a terse rise of off-white foam with moderate lace. A standard Porter look through and through.

Aromas of chocolate and coffee carry robuts (but not out of hand) notes that provide a springboard for spicy, piney hops. All rounded with a mild smokey scent, the beer has a smoother, sweeter scent and also a sharp and bitey hop aroma.

Flavors of caramel and toffee set the tone while coffee, walnuts, and cocoa strike first. Before the initial impression of flavor settles, the on slaught of spruce, pine, and frech cut grasses from hops rival the malt taste and balance it well. All is backed by a soft earthy/peaty/smokey taste that adds more complexity and pulls the flavors together.

Robust and relatively full for a Porter, the body seems to lighten because of the fleeting carbonation, rising alcohols, and hoppy dryness. Quite drinkable in the finish for the robust nature of the mouthfeel early on.

This is a very piney and sprucey American-style Porter. A bit high on roast and coffee along with a bigger overall impression, but not yet a Stout either. Delicious and complex throughout.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

my first beer from norway! looks absolutely gorgeos, raisin brown color with a thick and creamy off-white head that laces like crazy. smells malty and festive, tobacco and dried cherries on the nose as well. not fruit in the taste, just a very well balanced richness followed by a fine alcohol finish. not sweet in the slightest, but way beyond what i would call an english porter. this is an extremely complex, robust, and memorable beer. i will absolutely buy this again, really sensational

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep black color ale with a big foamy head with good retention. Aroma of medium bitter roasted malt with some subtle spices. Taste is reminiscent of a porter with some spices and light chocolate notes with a medium hoppy finish. Body is above average with some medium carbonation and a nice creamy texture. I thought this beer was well balance throughout but would have enjoyed a bit more emphasis on spices.

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out with a nice looking richness to it. The color is black and has some highlights of red and brown in the light. The head fades but leaves a light brown colored film over the top of the beer. The smell of the beer is roasted, with some slight spice and herbal notes. The taste of the beer is chocolaty with some minor warming flavors in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was a little thicker than most English Porters but that seems to be common with Nøgne Ø. Overall this brew was good, I would probably drink it again in the winter.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Darkest chestnut with the slightest suggestion of light behind the glass when directly backlit with blinding sunshine. A thin sliver of orange-amber is visible along the bottom edge, further evidence that Winter Ale looks more like a robust porter than a double stout. The wheat toast colored cap is a looker, as are thick sheets of lace.

The beer certainly smells like a stout. I guess that's what happens when the malt bill consists of Munich, caramel, chocolate and black. Dark chocolate-covered caramels are well out in front, followed at some distance by blackstrap molasses and a hint of coffee. I love the way these guys brew with some of my favorite American hops. They're obvious in the nose as well.

I've always thought that winter warmers should contain spices. According to the ingredients listed on the label, Winter Ale doesn't. That's okay, it's tasty enough without them. Incidently, this is the same beer as God Jul (which is Norwegian for 'Merry Christmas'). I guess they wanted to change the name for export to English speaking countries.

Given the use of such classically American hops as Chinook, Columbus and Centennial, Winter Ale tastes like it was brewed in the Pacific Northwest. I like well-hopped, citrus zesty stouts, but I wish Nogne would have given us something more exotic. This country is full of beer like this. I want something new and different from brewers who are as talented as these guys are.

Other than grapefruit juicy, molasses-laced fudge brownies, there isn't much going on in the flavor profile. Maybe a sprinkling of spices is a good idea after all. Something is needed to give this big ale a Christmas vibe. I'd suggest nutmeg and cinnamon. By the way, alcohol is nowhere to be found on the palate.

The mouthfeel is reminiscent of a big stout, but isn't quite as viscous or as chewy as the best American double stouts. I won't hold that against it, though, because it fits the beer's flavor profile exceptionally well. With warming, Winter Ale becomes even more heavily silky and whipped buttery smooth.

I couldn't be happier with the four Nogne beers that I've had so far. This brewery would be in the upper echelon of American craft breweries if they were located here. The fact that they hail from Norway is proof that great beer can come from any area of the globe. It may be July, but 'God Jul' to one and all.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A gem that was pulled up and out of the cellar. I am not sure why I decided to go with this one last night, but seemed as good a choice as any. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 09/14/2009.
 
Wonderful pour here again with a dark brown liquid that was only barely translucent. Huge head of tan foam on the top that settled down only briefly to coat the sides of the glass with a thick, spider like web of lace. Dark roasted malts are all over the aroma. Notes of molasses, cocoa, hints of brown sugar and light touches of everything from licorice to dark fruits. As it warmed it got a touch one sided as some elements of peat started to break the surface. But taken the first sip all was forgotten. Just huge rich notes of chocolate malts and a touch of licorice just come across the tongue in waves of flavor. Rich and very sweet, hints of molasses and roasted coffee now come across the tongue. Very well put together I have to admit, just a wonderful mixture of flavors. Little light on the palate but still serves its purpose well. For over 8 percent I have to admit I was quite pleased overall.
 
Solid here and other fine offering from them and one I would love to try again. They seem to really be quite solid in all they do and this one is no exception.

Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark brown with a large 1 1/2 finger beige colored head leaving a a few globs of lace as it settled slowly in the impy pint glass.Big fruit and brown sugar notes in the nose with a sprinkling of earth and molasses as well.Some real nice complexities on the palate juicy fruitiness and brown sugar and caramel and as some others have noted there is a slight smokiness underneath that lingers well,somewhat raw and earthy in the finish with a light herbal note.Very nice beer here a medium mouthfeel doesnt make you feel like your drinking a heavy beer wich this is somewhat ,I have enjoyed both Nogne brews I have had no doubt.

Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with a one-finger, brown colored head. It left sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of chocolate, roasted malts and some floral notes.

T - It tasted of roasted malt, chocolate and some spicy hops. Nice bitter kick with a warm alcohol heat.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a smooth, dry finish. A medium-bodied ale.

D - This is a very good English-style porter. It works really well as a winter brew.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.62/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with full, foamy, cream-colored head and when held aloft to the light -- chunky bits everywhere! This beer is obviously a creature of the night, so please keep it far away from sunshine and harsh, bright lighting.

Smell: Dark malt aroma with notes of dark chocolate, licorice shavings, and a mild roastiness.

Taste: Dark malt flavors of dark chocolate with some roast. Twinge of tart fruits. Sip of cool mint water. Herbal hops. An earthy, roasty bitterness builds as you drink, obscuring the sweeter malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid winter release from Nøgne Ø.

Photo of nickfl
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - As the beer pours, one finger of medium brown foam forms on top of the black body. The beer is quite opaque, with only a hint of brownish amber showing around the edges when held up to bright light. The head settles slowly and leaves a small amount of lace in its wake.

S - Nutty, brown malt aroma, complimented by notes of banana, raisins, cinnamon and brown sugar. The overall effect is very reminiscent of spiced baked goods.

T - It begins with a thick, rich malty note with hints of brown sugar. This is followed by clove, nutmeg and some dark fruit. In the middle, roasted malt and chocolate come out and slowly fade into the same nutty, banana bread like character from the aroma. The dark chocolate notes return to linger in the finish along with a some minor hop character and a hint of tobacco.

M - Thick, silky body, high carbonation, and a surprisingly dry finish.

D - This is a complex and impressively drinkable winter brew. The high carbonation and dry finish help to prevent the malt and spice character from becoming cloying in the way they tend to in other winter beers. At the same time, it retains the impressive complexity that is characteristic of Nogne O beers and manages to evoke a distinctly wintry atmosphere for the drinker.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.49/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nøgne Ø Winter Ale
16.9 oz bottle, no apparent freshness dating.

As it is the month of May as I sit down to review this beer (labeled "Winter Ale") I highly doubt that this bottle is even close to being fresh. I'd guess it's about 8 to 10 months old. Surprisingly, it shows no signs of oxidation. Of course it does appear to be bottle-conditioned, which would help. As for the hops or anything else, I'm not sure. Keep that in mind...

It's a very dark mahogany brown in the glass, but not black. Initially it was clear, but once I roused the yeast it became cloudy. Of course that's fine for such a dark beer. The head is an orange-tinted dark tan, and although it drops, it does maintain a silky surface covering; and it does leaves nice spots of tiny lace around the glass.

The aroma displays dark fruit (cherries, raisin), light chocolate, some lightly smoky/roasty notes, and a bit of peppery and piney character. It's interesting and welcoming.

In the mouth it's medium bodied with a distinctly dextrinous edge. The carbonation is median, and it's delicately bristling before warming to become creamy smooth.

Flavor... ? The flavor is exactly as the aroma suggests it will be, but fuller. I get more fruit, including plums, figs, and some juicy apple; and I get more chocolate, fudge and toffee/dark caramel. What I don't find is a lot of dark roastiness, which I appreciate. If this is an English-style porter then we can leave that behind. There's a bit of coffee-like roastiness, yes, but it's more like a sweet and creamy coffee than espresso. It's not harsh or acidic, but as it warms it really opens up, and a much more smokey note appears. It becomes much rounder, and softer as well, with the sharper notes of the fruitiness fading into the cushion of the milk-chocolate and caramel drizzled malt. Ahh, and there are hops! It's fairly well balanced by a bitterness that keeps to the lower end but pushes at the malt, but there are also some pine and spruce-like and leafy hop flavors that appear in the finish. Quite nice. I'm thinking East Kent Goldings for the leafiness, but I'm not sure where the spruce and pine is coming from (Chinook? Actual spruce tips?). Surprising! Who would have thought it could be so complex at the start of the glass?

Overall, it's quite an impressive ale. It's surprisingly complex, and it takes the taster on a journey through several different types of flavors (fruitiness, maltiness, and hoppiness) while always displaying a varied 'listing' in each category, and never going overboard on any one of them. Nicely balanced. Superb!

Note: The recommended serving temperature for this beer is "12˚C/53˚F", and I would totally agree with that. However, I started this beer cooler, and without doing so I highly doubt you'd find such a variation of flavors.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a very generous tan head. Malty nose with chocolate tones. Flavor is syrupy sweet. Slight molasses hitting your palate with a quick hit of alcohol that just as quickly vanishes. There is also a slight dusty kind of taste to it as well I think. Feel is thick on the liquid. A pretty good level of carbonation hitting your mouth. Basically this feels like a porter or a stout would. Overall drinkable, yes. A bit thick on the mouth, but it's a winter warmer. Certainly not light, but certainly not a bad beer. Worth a shot. Just be ready for something a bit thick.

Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at TJ's Restaurant and drinkery served chilled and allowed to gradually increase in temp.

The color is as black as coal with no light passing through and thick light tan cap. The bead is fine and retention is good. The smell is very malty with cocoa dominance and slight caramel essence with a light alcohol impression. The feel is mostly sweet with good body if perhaps on the thin side for the style. There is a lot of roast but it stays in balance with mild alcohol.

The tast has some bitter roasted grain with subtle creaminess from the caramel which brings some sweetness and there is a chocolate character which is more dark chocolate in flavor with very mild bitterness. The finish is mostly dry with a slight alcohol presence. Overall this is a big porter which is very drinkable and may just be a little dry for the style but has plenty of malt flavor. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a roasty strong porter.

Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pay attention here, this beer is a slow gusher. Meaning if you spend more than 5-10 seconds after popping the cap to pouring the foam will slowly some out like a charcoal snake firework. Oddly when I poured it out it simply left a more than ample head rather than a half glass of foam. Go figure. Very dark brown color, almost dark enough to cover up the few turbid yeast chucks floating in the beer. Subtle yet very pleasing dark malty aroma of toasted cocoa nibs, light molasses and cake batter. So damn smooth with a creamy full body and semi-crisp carbonation. Lots of chocolate and cocoa flavors, slight charred malt and dark roasted coffee in the back. Suggestions of dark fruit (burnt raisins) lead to a mildly warming and deceiving alcohol, deceiving until the beer warms up a little and then there is a clear breath of the 8.5% abv. Finishes dry.

I visited this beer for the first time at the annual Christmas Party @ Track 84 in RI this past December. All I have to say is that at first sip I could not get away from this beer, its not about being perfect its about being a favorite and this beer is certainly up their as an all time favorite.

Photo of mactrail
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Rich, roasted, sharp dark ale. Nice chestnut color with modest head. Unusual nutty flavor with roasted malt that ranges all over the map. Sweet malt with a raw grainy, alcoholic flavor. Spritzy mouthfeel. Nose of warm caramel.

Quite deserving of a taste if you like dark malty beers. Blindfolded you might think it was an Imperial Stout. Quite bitter aftertaste after you sip a while. Label says only 30 IBU so maybe there is a lot of burnt malt. Taste is quite powerful but the very bitter edge gets tiresome after a while. "Winter Ale" is the name on the label.

Photo of russpowell
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly effervescent mahogany/black with 1 finger of tan colored head. Below average lacing & head retention

S: Licorice & coffee, plus some booze & leafy hops, once warm

T: Coffee & roasted malt dominate up front, along with a bit of licorice. Some chocolate & mint, oaky dryness, plus vanilla as this warms. Finishes dry with leafy hops, much roasted grain & baker's chcolate.

MF: Chewy with low carbonation & oilyness

Drinks fairly well for the ABV, a very nice porter. A little too big & complex to session on. A great one for the dessert or cheese & nut course

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Cola almost pitch black body wit a dark tan head, fine soft carbonation speckled lacing is left behind. Aroma has dark roasted malts a bit of toffee and cocoa dusted in the air, with an interesting spruce, pine, and light anise character. Flavor has herbal notes more spices with an astringent dark chocolate, herbal tea acidity. Actually quite enjoyable lighter than it sounds medium bodied natural soft carbonation a complex and satisfying winter ale that has aged well.

Photo of MasterSki
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up one of these at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - Three fingers of dark tan foam with excellent retention and lovely rings of lacing. Dark, dark, brown - almost black - and slightly lighter at the fringes. Great looking brew.

S - Chocolate malt, caramel, licorice, bread, some floral hoppiness, and a touch of booziness.

T - A touch soapy, but with plenty of dark chocolate, burnt malt, and a strong aftertaste of roasty bitterness. It's a bit of a letdown from the smell, and the soapy note is a little distracting.

M - Moderate carbonation, with a slight tingle on the upper lip. Medium to full bodied and very smooth. It's one of the best things about this brew.

D - The roasty bitterness builds up quite a bit, but otherwise it's eminently drinkable. My wife and I quickly downed the 500ml bottle.

Probably a little overpriced but I was glad to try it.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Darkest coloration, nearly black, with a nice, active toasted tan head. Looks really good!

Aroma is slightly sweet, black, chocolate malt at work, subdued cocoa feel, whispers of spice, anise, etc, but quiet, mellow...

A smooth, dusky affair once in the mouth, thick, rich, roasty. A bit smokey. Hints of caramel, but not as much as the label promises, this is a darker, richer character than that. So beefy, I'd stick it in the stout category. Very supple mouthfeel, big time flavor, huge body, quite tasty.

Not sure I'd pop $5 a bottle for it too often though...but I was happy to try it out!

Photo of smcolw
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was purchased under the name "Winter Ale".

Nice three-finger head that has good lasting power and sticky lace. Dark, dark ruby color; light barely passes.

High oily factor from the alcohol content--almost smells like a brandy or port.

This is a highly flavorful beer. Strong black patent malt flavors but I wouldn't exactly describe it as coffee. The overall liquor is quite dry. The body is relatively thin with a high level of carbonation.

I think this is a tad too potent for me to enjoy regularly. I like the level of flavor. If I were to describe it, I'd equate it to a double porter.

Photo of jwc215
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one was almost a gusher - began to slightly pour out of bottle after opening - pours black with a towering tan head that leaves some sticking lace. Nice head retention.

The smell is of caramel, chocolate with a nice citric touch.

The taste is of caramel, chocolate, some dark graininess. Juicy hops lend a citric background with only a touch of bitterness. A touch of smokiness comes through as it warms. It has a semi-sweet finish.

Medium-bodied, pretty smooth - a bit sticky.

It's nice - I do remember liking the other porter by this brewery more. Something about this one could be richer, but good as it is. I like the innovation of this brewery to create unique brews that use Pacific NW hops with English malt/yeast. The beers are a bit pricey, but worth the money for ocassional treats (well...at least the porter and this one - as these are the two I've had so far).

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. A slow gusher upon opening. Pours fairly pitch black color with a nice fairly dense and fluffy tan head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of raisin, apple, chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, cocoa, toast, toffee, molasses, clove, pine, floral, light smoke, dark bread, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt and fruity notes. Taste of raisin, apple, chocolate, toast, cocoa, caramel, roasted malt, toffee, dark bread, molasses, floral, light pine, light smoke, and roasted earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, chocolate, caramel, toast, roasted malt, floral, light pine, light smoke, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of dark malt flavors with moderate fruitiness; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent English porter! Great balance and complexity of robust dark malt and dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of WesWes
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich, complex, malt scent that boasts of burnt toffee, chocolate and hops. It also has a slight roasted character. The taste is great! It has a smooth and creamy caramel malt flavor with a moderate roasted feel and light chocolate notes. It goes down easy with some yeasty esters in the finish. The mouthfeel is outstanding. It is a full bodied beer with near perfect carbonation. This is an exceptional winter ale. It's quite complex and very easy drinking; a real treat!

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God Jul from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
91 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.