Special Holiday Ale - Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales/Stone Brewing Co. - Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
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Ratings: 211 | Reviews: 137 | Display Reviews Only:
3.7/5 rDev -5.6%
Bottle picked up a ways back, I believe at Capone's. Served in a SAVOR snifter at our Christmas in July party last weekend.
Pours a moderate brown-copper color with a slight off-white head and a bit of lacing. The nose brings loads of pine needs and a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon. The flavor takes it down a notch and everything is quite palatable; the pine and spices blend quite well. Smooth feel and a medium body. Pretty good.
07-19-2011 00:57:02 | More by Thorpe429
4.33/5 rDev +10.5%
Chestnut brown that is transparent when backlit with early morning sun, has cherry and orange highlights, and is capped by three fingers of ecru colored froth. This was one of the most creamy looking/sounding pours in quite a while. The only minor negative is an almost featureless head. Lace is scarce at first, then comes through in the end.
The brewers decided to use ingredients indigenous to each of their areas, so they added Michigan chestnuts, SoCal white sage, and Norwegian (actually Italian) caraway seeds. This brew also contains 25% rye malt and oats. Finally, this should be the same basic recipe as Stone Special Holiday Ale, although this ABV is 0.5% lower.
The aroma is tremendous if you're a fan of herbed and spiced beer. Chestnuts and rye malt aren't appreciated, but sage and caraway definitely are. The beer also smells like spruce boughs and cardomom, although neither was used. Pungent and perfumy and more than pleasant.
Nogne SHA is at least as good as my memory of Stone SHA. This is in-your-face ale that blasts the taste buds with flavor and makes no apologies for it. However, it will most likely become slightly palate fatiguing over time, especially since the boys from Grimstad upped the bottle volume to 500 ml.
Pumpernickel toast and seeded rye toast hold down the bottom end with a granite-like solidity. Still not feeling the chestnuts, but then I've never eaten one. The spices are pinging and ponging all over the damn place and making sure the mouth party never winds down for an instant. Great choice of ingredients, perfect proportions.
The mouthfeel almost earns the next highest score. It's closer to medium than to light for the ABV, is incredibly lush, and pampers the mouth from beer entry to beer exit. Not sure how Stone's version has it beat, but then opinions can change from day to day and beer to beer.
Nogne Special Holiday Ale is what happens when three talented brewers put their heads together and start experimenting. It won't be for everyone, but this stuff blows Anchor Our Special Ale (which it resembles) out of the water.
11-13-2010 14:06:55 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.2/5 rDev +7.1%
Appearance: Pours a cola brown color capped by a massive tan head that develops like a stout; plenty of stickage and lace
Smell: Sage and juniper dominate, with spruce, chestnut and holiday spices not far behind
Taste: A spice cake malt backbone with the rye spice prominent serves as a platform for the unique blend of ingredients to shine by mid-palate; the sage and juniper jump out at first, but the chestnut really comes on in the middle; after the swallow, there is a dark fruit addition to the spices, with a lot of lingering spices flavors that last into the finish
Mouthfeel: An abundance of oatmeal makes this beer as thick and creamy as egg nog, and it is the first beer I have tasted where the thickness of the body makes it difficult to detect the carbonation
Drinkability: I go back and forth on the mouthfeel, but have ultimately come to the conclusion that I would like a slightly more traditional mouthfeel; still, the spice character of this beer is very unique and while I would not want more than one at a setting, it is well worth checking out
10-01-2010 01:47:43 | More by brentk56
4.03/5 rDev +2.8%
This Special Holiday Ale starts with a froathy pour delivering a deep brown, light ruby, and almost purple-ish hints. A billowing dense tan head coats the beer evenly and lasts the session, leaving an ordinant amount of lacing behind. A good sturdy look.
This Winter Warmer gives a lot of malty flavors and aromas up front. Very creamy, rounded, and full- nearly chewy. But then the beer settles just a bit as the spicy allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange zest, and clove rise giving the beer more complexity and depth. Light on hops, the beer relies on the spices for balance as well. The maltiness keeps the spices from becomming astringent. The complex malt bill seems to be rooted in a cleaner Scottish Ale style.
A delicious beer that obviously tilts toward the sweet-malty side and keeps the spices in check.
02-20-2010 16:00:41 | More by BEERchitect
4/5 rDev +2%
Picked up a bottle of this to do a side-by-side tasting with the old Stone version.
A: Fairly similar to the previous version in that it's a dark brown with some reddish highlights and a tan colored head.
S: The sage seems to be the most dominant of the flavorings in this beer. The juniper is also quite present and overall the beer just has a very "spicy" feel to it. There is a bit of sweetness hiding in there as well.
T: Despite the nose, the flavor is a little more restrained in terms of the spices. The rye does lend its version of spice to the beer, and the sage is still there as well. A nice sweetness and a mild (hop) bitterness.
M: Fairly full bodied with moderate carbonation.
D: Like the Stone brewed beer before it, this one is good, but "different". I enjoy it for the creative ingredients and being able to make a pretty decent beer, but definitely one of those winter time only beers.
01-07-2010 02:53:52 | More by womencantsail
4.63/5 rDev +18.1%
Pours dark brown/black with a nice tan head. Nose is all cloves and spice with lavender undertones and a nose "finish" of sage. Nice nose all around;
Mouthfeel is incredible. Rich, "top of the milk bottle" thick creamy character with big body and texture. Nicest mouth of any holiday ale I've tried. Tastes rich and "expensive." The body along with a perfect balance just makes this feel great in your mouth.
Flavors follow expectations at this point. Rich fruity malt, big spices with the sage standing out but not being overbearing. Flavors are big, rich, full and super complex. You can find carmel, toffee, coffee, fruity malts, sage, carroway, winter spices, licorice, espresso and you can even get hints of the chestnuts and junipers if you look for them.
Finish is very nutty and spicy with cloves and allspice.
Quintessential holiday ale for me. Wouldn't drink it every day but perfect for a few once a year treat at the holidays. This can also age a bit which should be an interesting drink.
01-16-2010 02:12:43 | More by GRG1313
4.47/5 rDev +14%
This beer poured out as a deep brownish red color that had a yellowish white head on it. This beer looks super thick, it looks like the bubbles forming the head are actually struggling to get to the top for air. In the light this beer look fantastic, beautiful looking color with a nice creamy looking head. The aroma is very impressive as well, it's loaded with pine, spices, and some Christmas berry aromas. There is a slight hop aroma in there too. The taste of this beer has a healthy amount of spices, pumpkin, berries, and even a touch of mint in the late aftertaste. The mouthfeel is thick and heavy, it's got the a really great feel to it for the winter months. Overall, this is probably the best Winter Warmer I've had to date. I enjoyed just about everything this beer had to offer. Look forward to having this time and time again during the winter months.
06-13-2011 18:53:59 | More by Knapp85
3.95/5 rDev +0.8%
My second winter warmer/CHRISTmas beer of the season.Poured into a imperial nonic a deep murky chesnut brown with a thinner creamy beige head that held well,aromas are herbal with alot of raw nuttiness,I would say raw fits the nose profile pretty well.A full mouthfeel,it seemed to be lower carbonated,flavors start out sweetish and cakey with juniper, and a sharp herbal note in the finish.A nice cool weather beer here,Iam not a big fan of jupiner berry flavors, but there is a nice mix of other flavors in the profile.
11-17-2010 21:32:21 | More by oberon
4.38/5 rDev +11.7%
Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.
Not sure what the difference is between this one and the other one, but this is the bottle and ABV I'm dealing with, so...yeah... It pours a very dark brown, showing only the slightest tinge of translucence, topped by two fingers of cream-colored foam. The nose comprises black cherries, nutmeg, brown sugar, chocolate-covered strawberries, rye bread, cinnamon, and molasses. The taste holds notes of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, rye bread, banana bread, raspberries, maple syrup, vanilla, peppercorns, red grapes, red apples, and cashews. Tastes like the holidays... The body is a strong medium, with light carbonation and a smooth, semi-chewy feel. I wish it were the holidays more often, if'n it meant more of this kind o' beer would be available. Get some!
06-27-2010 21:53:42 | More by TMoney2591
3.98/5 rDev +1.5%
Beer poured from a bottle into a snifter. Beer is brown and hazy. Forms a white head of small bubbles that falls away leaving some lacing on the walls.
Beer has a spicy almost soda like sweet aroma to it. Lots of nutmeg and other spices -- maybe a slight alcohol.
Medium bodied beer. Lots of spice up front with a definite roast character in the back. Beer is a little "hot" with the alcohol. Second taste, finishes nicely, overall pretty drinkable and the mouthfeel is fine. I'm not sure I would get it again but I'm learning again this year that I'm not a fan of the winter warmers. Take a look if its your style, otherwise skip it.
01-09-2010 01:34:59 | More by drabmuh
3.9/5 rDev -0.5%
Poured from a 500 ML bottle into a tulip. 2009 vintage.
a - Pours a dark brown color with 2 inches of tan head and hight carbonation evident.
s - Smells strongly of spices and those juniper berries. Also some cinnamon, pine, and a hint of vanilla. Interesting.
t - Tastes of roasted and caramel malts, spices, and vanilla.
m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and would be even better with a tiny bit less carbonation.
d - I thought this was a pretty good winter warmer that was definitely heavy on spices in both the smell and taste. The smell had a very unique smell to it, which I think was the juniper beers, and the taste was a pretty standard winter warmer. Would give another shot and would be interested in trying side by side with the other breweries' versions.
08-08-2010 23:24:04 | More by mdfb79
4.25/5 rDev +8.4%
Appearance: pours a clear dark brown color with a 1" tan colored head. Some spotty lace develops.
Smell: a nice aroma here as nutmeg, yeast spiciness, and malt sweetness are easy to detect.
Taste: big malt presence with plenty of spices such as nutmeg and sage, along with rye, berries, and a mild nuttiness. Floral bitterness is mild overall. Alcohol is barely noticeable here.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly dry throughout with soft crispness at the start and a smooth finish.
Drinkability: this is a bold flavored beer and great for the cold weathe, but one bottle is enough in a session.
12-22-2009 13:36:24 | More by Gavage
4.22/5 rDev +7.7%
500 ml bottle into tulip, almost a gusher upon opening. Pours dark brown color with a nice 2 finger dense light tan head with good retention. Some decent lacing on the glass as well. Aromas of ginger, cinnamon, all spice, roasted malt, molasses, and nuttiness. Taste of tons of cinnamon, clove, all spice, ginger, and nuttiness in the front; that leads to strong notes of toffee, caramel, and molasses on the back. Big lingering notes of roasted malt, caramel, and molasses with spices after the finish. Great balance of flavors as well. Nice smooth medium-full body with fairly high carbonation. Drinkability is great for the level of alcohol. No alcohol noticed in the taste and a slight warming after the finish. Overall an excellent winter warmer, probably the best one I have had yet.
06-20-2011 03:44:42 | More by superspak
District of Columbia
3.23/5 rDev -17.6%
Bottle shared by Thorpe429 at the Christmas in July party. Thanks Mike!
The beer is brown, with a small head that fades rapidly, leaving minimal lacing. The aroma is grandiose, with pine, Christmas spices, and alcohol. The flavor brings a huge pine needle flavor, like drinking Christmas tree juice with cinnamon and nutmeg sprinkled on top. The body is thin, and the flavor, while decent, is overbearing. I would prefer more balance and subtlety. A small portion was more than enough for me.
07-20-2011 21:32:07 | More by Huhzubendah
Special Holiday Ale - Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales/Stone Brewing Co. from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
88 out of 100 based on 211 ratings.