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Special Holiday Ale - Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales/Stone Brewing Co. - Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

Not Rated.
Special Holiday Ale - Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales/Stone Brewing Co.Special Holiday Ale - Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales/Stone Brewing Co.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

213 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 213
Reviews: 137
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.71%
Wants: 12
Gots: 20 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S visit their website
Norway

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Ingredients: Malted Barley, malted Rye, malted oats, hops, white sage, caraway, Juniper berries, chestnuts, yeast.

(Beer added by: SammyDavisJrJrJr on 11-25-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 213 | Reviews: 137 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kshock
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

A- Surprisingly bright brown to a deep ruby red. Decent head retention, with a slightly off white foam. No lace.

S-Very pleasant aroma of spices(i.e sage, carraway, juniper), dont really get the chesnuts in the nose. You can definitely smell the rye malts blending with the spices.

T- The rye has a bold presence through out the beer. The other spices shine through, but rye is the backbone of the flavor.

M- Very mild and pleasant mouthfeel. Delicate on the palate, but has a nice light body.

D- For a holiday spiced beer, this drinks very nicely. Nothing is too over-barring or abrasive.

Kshock, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of rtepiak
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%

mahogany with thick sticky head. nose of winter spice that wonderfully bond with a malt and chestnut core. a bit of herb and juniper berries. the feels is great. nice and nutty malt with a quality of fruit cake and herb bitter finish. that has a lingering extremely mild sour fruit. this is quite subtle due to the fact that you have the nutty quality holding the beer throughout. a fantastic example. i would wish to have it again in season.

had another bottle in the end of oct '10
quite herbal that you can feel it on the tongue. has an effervescent mineral quality on the tongue that feels astringent but earthy like sage. quite brisk but doesn't compromised chestnut feel. wonderful and drinkable the second time.

had it again just after thanksgiving '10. vintage bottle from '09.

well balanced with that wonderful feel again. particularly creamy yet brisk on the tongue. all the herbal qualities were there. great beer. made by the fruit sweet sour/herbal and brisk/creamy dichotomy.

rtepiak, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
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.

mdfb79, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of mulder1010
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

500 ML bottle poured into a globe glass 7-27-09 bottled
Best By 7-27-14

A-- Gusher right from opening the cap. Once settled down it poured a dark mahogany brown and settled even darker. Light brown head settled to just above film but has good head retention. Big two finger head in the bottle!! No lacing.

S-- All over the place. Vanilla, Cinnamon, Juniper berry. Smells more like a big spicy vanilla candle that you light at Christmas. Really good nose.

T-- A lot of vanilla, juniper, and sage. Cinnamon and the malt are in the background. A lot of flavor in this and the juniper berries and sage really stand out. Spice with a lot of flavor.

M-- Pretty high carbonation but works well for what is in it and what it is. The amount of spices have a numbing effect on my tongue and in effect have killed the taste buds. After it warms up more it tastes more the chestnuts come out more and leave a big nutty flavor and the beer becomes more alcoholic.

D-- Sipper in front of a fire. A whole lot of spice and the ABV is decently hidden at first but as it opens up more it becomes more and more alcoholic. Spices and nuts are really good in this but the sheer amount of spice is a bit on overload for the senses. Good winter warmer on steroids.

mulder1010, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of Tilley4
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%

Found a lone bottle of this recently and although its mid-July, I have to give it a shot...

Poured into a Chimay goblet...

Pours a deep reddish black and is looking pretty good in the glass... Nice thick head that seems pretty persistent...

Lovely aromas of all of the good holiday spices.... Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, brown sugar, perhaps a little cocoa and vanilla, a touch of booze as well... It smells like a good Yankee Candle fall scented candle with a little chocolate thrown in... I'm getting some really earthy herbs as well... Maybe some ginger too.... Seems to be a lot going on with the nose here...

Very smooth delicious sipping brew.... The cocoa and vanilla are quite prevalent throughout and mingle very well with the spices. Here... There's a surprising hop bite left here that I didn't get in the aromas but is a welcome addition... Very flavorful throughout and a little sweet to drink too much of... There's as much going on here as in the nose... Earthy and spicy and delicious...

On a cold December night, this would be awesome... It was terrific in July as well... I wonder if they'll do this one again? Really nice... I'd buy this one again for sure

Tilley4, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of drpimento
4.78/5  rDev +21.9%

Super dece beer. Poured with a tan, fine foamy, head and a little lace. Color is an almost opaque, mahoganey brown. Aroma is malty, spicey, dark ripe fruits. Flavor is like aroma but the spices come out more - can definitely pick out the sage and juniper; chestnuts are muted. Body and carbonation are perfect for the style: round full, fine aggresive but not overdone bubbles. Finish is like flavor, very well balance and short to medium long. Easy drinking beer. Could have another. Be real good with hearty meals.

drpimento, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%

Another mid-summer winter warmer. My favorite. There is something about spicy beers in the summer...poured into my long-stemmed tulip.

The body is murky brown with some garnet coloring when light shines through. The pour produces a 2-inch tall white foam cap that sticks around to yield thick laced patterns all over.

This is one helluva winter warmer. Aromas of all sorts of holiday spices. Cinnamon, clove, coriander, and all spice are immediately evident. I just wish there was a touch more of the base beer evident in the aroma. The palate grants my request. A nice nutty malt base is highlighted by fresh chestnuts, sweet dark fruits, dry cocoa powder, and a great spiced character. In addition to what I found in the nose, nutmeg and sage come through. The sage is amazing. That element really brings this beer to a whole other level.

The texture is very smooth despite the more than ample carbonation. I think, though, that I would like the consistency just a touch thicker based on the boldness of the flavor and the color of the beer. This is an easy beer to drink. The lightness of the beer itself, coupled with the great balance and myriad of spices makes this a winner of a winter warmer that really highlights the base beer.

NittanyBeerFan, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
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!

TMoney2591, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of riored4v
4.43/5  rDev +13%

Reviewed 4/19/10.

Poured into a tulip. 1 finger, tan, creamy head. Dark brown body that was barely translucent.

Smell was great with juniper, spices, slight caramel and brown malt. Some sage as well.

Taste had some good roasted flavor, juniper and sage were definitely present and a bitterness in the finish helps lighten the beer up. Slight spiceness and carraway was definitely identifiable. Very good beer with some nice complexity.

Mouthfeel was mild body, medium carbonation and a crisp finish.

Drinkability was good. Amount of spices would limit me. Hides ABV perfect.

I did this with in a side by side tasting with Stone's version. I reviewed Stone's version when fresh, so the side by side was done with an aged bottle.

Stones version had more caramaly and bitterness to it. Light in color as well. Spices became very subdued and mellow.

Nogne's version was darker, hardly any caramel or sweetness in comparison, less bitterness and spices were alot more upfront.

Can't wait for Jolly Pumpkin's version as these have both been wonderful brews.

riored4v, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of neorunner
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

2009 Bottling from Nøgne Ø poured into a Unibroue tulip.

Smell of bottled holiday spices, juniper, and nutmeg along with some roasted malt. Beer is a dark black with a creamy tan head thats extremely persistent and leaves a thick residue on the sides of the glass. The beer has a light body and a residual sweetness offset by a lingering juniper/pine flavor. Malt is apparent in mellow roasted chocolate notes. While tasty I personally have never been a fan of juniper, and that is a key flavor in this beer. However, I expect a good deal of the spices have mellowed since bottling. Subtle dryness remains and allows for a slow enjoyable beer.

neorunner, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of jjayjaye
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%

Pours a hazy cola color with a deep foamy light tan head that fades slowly leaving a nice amount of Belgian lacing. The smell is unique; a nice mix of holiday spices..the sage first out of the box, chocolate gingerbread. Highly carbonated, the effervescent texture adds a creamy smooth feel to the light body. The flavors match up nicely to the nose. A real nice drinker! Many thanks to bmanning for this opportunity.

jjayjaye, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of Brent
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%

I expected the spices in this beer to be more prominent, and I suspected that they must have mellowed quickly in the bottle, but, in looking at other recent reviews, distinct spices were noted, so perhaps the shortcoming lies with me and not the beer. Cola and a touch of caramel sweetness. Juniper was barely perceived as a light, piney note. Alcohol well integrated and lent a touch of pepper.

Brent, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of GbVDave
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a De Glazen Toren tulip.

A: Pours a dark cola brown with a creamy, one finger, light khaki colored head on top. Retention is ok but, sadly, with hardly any lace left on the glass.

S: Interesting mixture of aromas going on here. Initially, I picked up a distinct dark chocolate aroma. That led into scents of caramel, juniper, sage, pine, roasted nuts, and citrus.

T: Excellent flavors here! Again, the beginning is chocolate and caramel with cola. Then the flavor shifts to the spicy side with flavors of juniper, sage, white pepper, basil, and rosemary.

M: Full and coating with some sweetness and a large dose of spicy dryness. Finishes with a really cool, white pepper tingle on the tongue.

D: My favorite of the series, so far. Is the JP version going to be sour? We'll just have to wait and see.

GbVDave, Mar 26, 2010
Photo of mwilbur
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%

Poured from 0.5L bottle into snifter.
A: Pours an extremely dark brown (almost no light comes through with backlighting) with the faintest hint of light tan head.
S: I pick up the sage first, then the juniper berries. Soft and sweet caramel malt.
T: Rye and soft oats, caramel malt, a sweet nutty note (must be the chestnuts), and a well balanced mix of spices (juniper berries, caraway, and sage). Very pleasant, especially for style.
M: Slight fizz on the tongue. Heavy feel, but not from the ABV. A dense and chewy brew. Nice feel: I love the feel of oat and rye and this brings the two together beautifully.
D: I find winter warmers not the most drinkable style, but for style this does well. Recommended if you happen to still find this one.

mwilbur, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of dzni
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%

Placed in the fridge for about 15 minutes before pouring into a tulip glass.

A - Dark, nearly opaque, but with a slight reddish hue, 1/2" head that goes away pretty quickly
S - cranberries, citrus, milk chocolate
T - Wow, a lot going on here - get that currant or cranberry, an herbal quality (anise?), some slight nuttiness or earthiness... now getting some like rose petals or a floral quality
M - Silky smooth, medium bodied
D - I couldn't drink this all night, but it's a great after dinner beer with a lot going on. Plus, it changes as it opens up, making it all the more interesting. Despite the flavors, it's also not one of those super-fruity, heavy bodied, heavy alcohol beers that knocks you out.

As an experiment, I tried placing the remaining half bottle of beer in the fridge for a bit. After one hour open in you drink it.the fridge, the beer seemed to have more sour notes, but other flavors were more muted (maybe due to it being colder). Still getting some strong flavor, like anise or something. Maybe it's the caraway? Still smooth, but less creamy. I liked it better closer to room temperature.

dzni, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of beerthulhu
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%

- A collaboration between Nogne O, Jolly Pumpkin, & Stone brewed with a distinct ingredient native to each brewery's region (Norwegian juniper berries, Michigan chestnuts, & South California white sage) respectively.

A: Poured a rich mahogany with a 2 finger solidy foamy head that was sandstone in color and strong retention wise. A good deal of bubbly action could be detected around the glass's outer edges while tan colored macro size particulate matter slowly settled and accumulated on the glass bottom. A spongey bubbly lacing, about the size and width of a finger snakes down the glass wall in a wavy fashion.

S: The nose was light with the Michigan chestnuts coming through initially which smelled to me like a big bowl of walnut shells. Soft notes of dried cola and fennel could also be easily picked up but not as dominant. There was a bit touch of fresh roastiness closing things out. A fair amount of complexity but the strength was low here making you work for an appreciable scent which would of faired better if amped up.

T: The flavor was spicy cola with a fresh cypress and pine experience (could be juniper leaves) coming through on the initial sip. Warm chestnuts with a sweet and spicy woodys flavor is complimented by a light offering of caraway (licorice). There was a really nice hint of warm evergreen, almost forest-like that concludes with a bit of warm dried caramel and licorice on the trail. I failed to detect or pick up on the use of white sage, but am pretty unfamiliar with its attributes to begin with. Overall an exceptionally smooth and refined flavor, with a wintery evergreen feel and soft warming of alcohol makes this a perfect fit per style.

M: The mouthful is quite lively with a good deal of carbonation presence producing a nice creamy texture. Warm evergreen and soft licorice combine with a soft warming to please on the hold. The body is medium in fullness.

D: Very nice drinking experience with a earthy evergreen flavor makes this delightful to consume. To many holiday ales and winters try to overload on the spice rack, this delivers a earthy wintery feel that seems very natural. At 8.5% it drinks more like a 6.5%. A special collaboration between 3 notable breweries comes together nicely here making for a worthy purchase and something to talk about.

beerthulhu, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of ADZA
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%

First things first i love the label really appealing for some reason anyways onto the brew it pours a nice very dark Kola beer colour with nice carbonation that leaves a creamy two finger head and lacing here and there,the aroma is like a spicy fruitcake with hints of ginger,nutmeg,cinamon and nuts,it has a full creamy mouthfeel with a very unique taste with spicy fruit being the most dominant and also some hints of boozy expresso yet for a full flavoured brew it has a nice easy light finish and is very moreish and even though you can taste a little alcohol after the first few sips it definately dissapears,will buy this again whether it be Xmas or not cheers.

ADZA, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%

Presentation: Brown 16.9oz pop top with a really cool label; barley, rye, oats, hops, white sage, carraway, juniper berries, chestnuts...wow!

Appearance: Hazy dark brown beer, capped with a beige head which soon fades to a thick film with decent retention. A good amount of tiny-bubbled carbonation.

Smell: In a word, exotic. Thsi is spicy, dark, and beguiling. Dark candy sweetness and a hint of chocolate and pumpernickel with a dark, pungent herbal note almost reminiscent of menthol. Really interesting!

Taste: Dark and mysterious. Lots of sweet and juicy dark fruit. This is definitely boozy, but in a pleasant, firm, non-harsh sort of way. A bit of dark roasted malt in here as well, just the barest suggestion of piney juniper, definitely a kick of pumpernickel bread with the bready sweet chocolate and caraway notes. There's just a hint of nuttiness, but maybe I'm picking up on that because I know it's in here.

Mouthfeel: Fairly full

Drinkability: Medium

Conclusion: This is a beguiling and fascinating winter warmer. Great job to Nogne O for this year's version. The only downside is that it's really too crazy complex and intense to make it something I'd want all the time. Still, one of the best spiced winter warmers I've had yet!

BedetheVenerable, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of coldmeat23
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees

This pours up a deep, dark brown color with rich, ruby highlights. Two-fingers of creamy, light tan colored, foam sit on top. The retention is very good and the lacing is in thick strands which are nicely sticky.

Notes of juniper, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger are fairly easily spotted. A nice caramel malty sweetness is also here. Light touches of yeasty rye bread. Very mild notes of chestnuts, along with cherries and plums.

Man, the spices are dominant within this one. The juniper and ginger seem to be the standouts. A nice sweet and roasty malt presence. Light traces of dark fruit sweetness. Fresh made rye bread. Light touch of smoke.

This has a medium, almost full, body. The medium level of carbonation is filled with tons of teeny little bubbles that give this a very nice creaminess.

As far as winter warmers go, this one is quite drinkable. The flavor of the 8.50%abv is hidden very well, but it definitely has a nice warming sensation to it. I wouldn't really want to drink it in July, but November through March it would be very welcome in my glass.

coldmeat23, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of gory4d
4/5  rDev +2%

Pours a dark, murky brown with a high, dense, tan head that leaves just a little lacing. The smell is juniper, cedar, malt syrup, salted potatoes. The taste is toffee, juniper, collard greens, pork fat -- it'd go well with soul food. It's thick and chewy, moderately carbonated. Goes down smooth, but not too quickly.

gory4d, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of hoppymcgee
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%

Thanks to BigDank for this bottle.

Poured from a 500mL bottle into a big ass mug.

A: Pours with a luxurious, roaring, textured head that lasts and leaves a nice coating.

S: Juniper, boysenberries, and nutmeg with chestnuts in the background.

T: Berry marmalade-like, with a hint of cinnamon and a bit of cocoa powder. Notes of walnut, caraway seed, and sage.

M: The best feature of this beer. Rich, creamy, and silky as it goes down.

D: Spot on for 8.5% ABV. I usually can't handle much of a winter warmer because of the cloying spiciness, but this one is an exception.

Bravo. I usually don't care/go for the winter warmer variety but I enjoyed this one. This all-star collab nailed it on the second release of the Special Holiday Ale.

hoppymcgee, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
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.

BEERchitect, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of Ladybugger
4.43/5  rDev +13%

Poured from a cellar-temperature bottle into a goblet. Pours a deep dark brown with ruby tones, hard to see through, with a creamy tan head that quickly dissipates. Aroma is unusual and complex, sweet with hints of juniper, rye, and alcohol, as well as other things I can't tease out. Flavor is roasted malts, with juniper upfront and a hint of coffee and chocolate on the way down. There is a pleasant heat from the alcohol, and a lingering sweetness to the roasted afterflavors. There is such a depth of flavor that I feel like I've only skimmed the surface, but I've run out of words. There is more carbonation than is apparent from the appearance, and it carries the flavor into your mouth with a burst. This brew has a rich mouthfeel, almost creamy. It's delicious and drinkable, but perhaps not more than one.

Ladybugger, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of ToasterChef
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%

Poured from a cellar temperature bottle into a Gouden Carolus chalice. It has a dark ruby/brown color, almost like a glass of cola. There is a modest tan foam head that settled down to a skim of foam. No light can penetrate through the sides of the glass, but near the top of the beer some light filters through and I can see bubbles rising to the top. The aroma can be classified and spiced malt. I am picking up nutmeg, sweet candy and a bit of juniper. It's very interesting. It has a big roasted malt flavor. You can taste the rye a bit of the nuttiness from the chestnuts. It also has a touch of warm alcohol that lingers on, along with some forest-like flavors (probably the juniper I picked up in the nose) and finishes up with a slight coffee bitterness. I was surprised at how thick this beer was when I first tasted it. I rolls around your mouth and doesn't want to leave once you've swallowed. It has the kind of body that demands respect and attention. It is hearty enough to earn the name winter warmer. Despite the big body and flavors, I find the beer to be quite drinkable. At no point do the spices overwhelm, nor does the ABV. This is an ideal beverage for a long winters night. Highly recommended!

ToasterChef, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of dpodratsky3
4/5  rDev +2%

500 ml bottle poured into pint glass

A: Massive tanish creamy head, the beer itself is almost soda colored, but with a more brown note

S: Very similar to a menthol cough drop, maybe menthol or peppermint is used as a spice?, definitely a dominant note, interesting

T: Same as smell, but obviously with a more bitter note, same peppermint/wintergreen notes, could use some more flavor to handle the spice though

M: Not heavy, but a touch above medium, not super carbonated, but still good

D: Decent, peppermint/menthol flavor is hard to overcome at times

Notes: A very interesting beer from this collaboration. Definitely winter themed with all the spice going on. If you like it, it will be a good beer, but still not great. If that distinct flavor isn't you're thing, you may hate it, as it is completely dominant throughout the aroma and smell.

dpodratsky3, Feb 15, 2010
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 213 ratings.