God Jul - Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 301 | Reviews: 210 | Display Reviews Only:
4.49/5 rDev +9.8%
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.
Serving type: bottle
05-21-2013 22:05:48 | More by NeroFiddled
4.7/5 rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
(served in a 15cL sample glass)
Appearance: Very dark brown, hint of red. Rich creamy head
Aroma: Dark chocolate, coffee, and smoked malt.
Taste: Caramel, chocolate throughout, candied fruit, and toffee. A smokiness is also present.
Mouthfeel: Perfect! I wish most dark strong ales could match this. Dry finish but enough residual sugar to balance it.
Overall: Excellent winter ale!
Serving type: on-tap
03-16-2013 21:22:17 | More by mxchap
3.71/5 rDev -9.3%
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.
Serving type: bottle
03-15-2013 04:00:52 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.23/5 rDev +3.4%
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.
Serving type: bottle
03-14-2013 04:08:03 | More by superspak
4.25/5 rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
my first norwegian beer. i think. still special. had a heck of a time trying to locate it on BA, though.... a small grammar/language/typo barrier...
an 'english porter', it's the typical super dark with small tan head on top. 2nd pour was of a thicker head.... and thick lacing down the sides.
smells fig-gy and fruity sweet. interesting. kind of a cross of a super malt and a stout.
taste is also very interesting. earthy, dark-fruity, malty and thick. at 8.5% abv, this is quite a product. the website doesnt list a description for this one particular brew but i am intrigued with learning about this brew and company. it's a smooth drink, a little bitter, a little thick, a slight spice and a lot of sweet malt taste.
at 8.5%, they did a great job on the flavor. i honestly wasnt expecting much; i was thinking it would be more along the lines of those pathetic russian Baltika beers that really just suck (see? capitalism IS a good thing!). but it serves a definite and distinct purpose and i like it! not to be unoriginal, but 4.25 straight across the board.
Serving type: bottle
02-09-2013 02:25:03 | More by pkalix
3.94/5 rDev -3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A - 4.75 - Black unless you hold it right up by a light bulb, then it's deep ruby red around the edges. Thick, creamy, textured, beautiful, cream-colored head with a shiny moist look like pudding. Endures for quite a while. Now that's a head. A beautiful beer.
S - 3.5 - Wet malt, faint coffee, a little chocolate, fruity in a way that's hard to put your finger on, almost a candied yam element. But fairly faint. Would score higher in aroma if not so faint.
T - 4.0 - Mild malt sweetness, a little tangy, with that same vaguely yam thing going on. Reminds me of the liquid in a can of candied yams. Faint bitterness from black malt, hint of milk chocolate. A mature bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.
M - 4.0 - Medium body, slightly sticky, yet very easy drinking. Feels good in the mouth.
O - 4.0 - Very enjoyable. Mild yet flavorful and interesting. I had a fresher one a couple years ago and I think it's better fresher. The difference was significant. I think some of the char fades and the sweetness comes forward. It's still very good at that point but somewhat less complex. I've since found that you definitely want to pour the sediment rather than leave it in the bottle - it adds some of that complexity you want.
Original review from Thanksgiving 2011:
Wow. This is one of those beers that makes you realize beer is an art. I haven’t had a beer this well crafted in a long time. It's hard to put this taste into words. The aroma is something like leather - reminiscent of Ardmore scotch in that way. That’s not something I expected or wanted, but it makes for an additional interesting facet.
When I poured it, I thought that the marvelous head could be eaten with a spoon. So I ate a mouthful. The flavor I got was moderate hop bitterness, that’s all.
But when I drank that thick, black, viscous stuff, I got something so smooth, with something almost fruity in there. Somewhere in here too is the taste of ash or char, a bitterness that's not a hop bitterness, which adds a nice layer of complexity. So rich and thick and smooth and complex and balanced. Aftertaste on the exhale is ash with a hint of dark chocolate.
It’s gone now and I’m sad. These Nogne O people know what they’re doing. Everything of theirs I’ve tried so far has been excellent. Norway, what other treasures are you hiding?
Serving type: bottle
01-23-2013 15:51:21 | More by BrownNut
4.43/5 rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Labeled as "Winter Ale" - Product of Norway
LOOK: Pours a pitch blackish brown. Light whipped cream like head tops a solid two inches and has staying power. Leaves plentiful lace down the pint glass.
SMELL: Roasted malt, cocoa and dark chocolate aromas. Alcoholic esters are in full force with hints of fruit and anise. Dark breads and more than a whiff of hops.
TASTE: Chocolate and molasses flavors are well defined from the malts used. There is also a considerable hop presence chiming in with pine, resin, peppery spice and earth tones. Very light acidity but noticeable. Astringent roast adds a drying note in the finish. As it warms, coffee, wood and slight heat come through more or less in balance.
FEEL: Medium bodied, smooth creamy consistency with adequate carbonation level for the style. Does finish ashy, roasted and dry.
OVERALL: The kind of beer that grows on you, by the time the bottle was finished I really enjoyed it immensely. A homage to a once again relevant export trade, this is a fine porter. I would recommend this beer to any dark beer drinker.
Serving type: bottle
01-12-2013 01:21:07 | More by Stinkypuss
God Jul from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
91 out of 100 based on 301 ratings.