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:
4.45/5 rDev +13.5%
2nd Release (2012) from 0.5L bottle
A: Pours a lightly hazy deep ruby color with 1/2 a fingers worth of head that doesn't last for long
S: Malts, light rye spiciness, spices (caraway, sage), juniper berries, nuttiness, and dark fruits all fill the nose with great complexity. Very aromatic and awesome
T: Follows the nose with immense complexity. Get all the above mentioned, starting with the malts and spices and moving its way into the nuttiness and dark fruits. Finishes with a touch of alcohol sweetness and light leafy hop bitterness
M: Medium-full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Very smooth and slightly chewy (attributed by the oats)
O: This is far and away the best winter warmer I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. Very complex and so easy to drink. I'm extremely glad that Nøgne decided to put out another release of this (maybe Stone and JP did as well, but I'm not sure), as this would be a regular winter beer in my fridge, even at the price of $9 for the 0.5L bottle. This gets the highest of recommendations from me for the style
12-05-2012 04:22:09 | More by BEERMILER12
3.78/5 rDev -3.6%
Dark in color almost brown ale likeness, with nose of chocolate roasted nuts and a similarity to Chinato( a desert red wine that is more like vermouth). Flavor is chocolaty to with roasted malt notes and a kick similar to cayenne which must be the sage.
Overall; It was an enjoyable beer and look forward to seeing how this beer does over time.
12-02-2012 19:30:07 | More by RollBounce
3.43/5 rDev -12.5%
Poured from a 650 mL bottle to a Mikasa pint glass
Aged one year from this review
The brew pours with a viscous complexion, slow and syrupy like a thick imperial stout. A marshmallow-y head forms, which quickly dissipates and leaves little lacing
The nose is crisp, unripe berries with a sharp vinous quality. Sweet malts counter. There are lots of phenols bouncing around with a touch of booze, giving the bouquet a medicinal edge.
The flavors are a lot more malt-forward than expected, which really forms the base of the flavor profile. The medicinal aspects hit mid-sip and kinda take over. Hints of unripe berries, holiday spice round the flavors, but they kinda get trounced by the phenols.
The brew is medium-bodied, which was really unexpected from the pour. Though this would permanently coat the palate from the looks of things.
Well, it's not bad, but as I'm finishing the bottle I feel it's on the dull side. Could use a little hop twang or some funk to liven things up. Doesn't quaff all that hard, but I doubt I'll go chasing this one down either.
11-01-2012 05:05:41 | More by rand
4.6/5 rDev +17.3%
Review from 12/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a dark red amber. Nice medium head and lacing. Looks viscous and nicely made. Malty, spicy aroma. Mmm. Mellow malts, light and dark fruit, spices. Peppery hop finish. Nice presence of sage and juniper berry. One year old bottle. Wish I had saved more. Did not review this fresh, but this is superb. I will buy again if at all possible.
07-04-2012 03:52:42 | More by LiquidAmber
4.18/5 rDev +6.6%
Poured from a half-litre bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. Batch number is blank, but the label reads "This is the second Nøgne Ø release of Special Holiday Ale, which was first brewed in San Diego in 2008."
A: Pours a viscous, mahogany brown with tan head and plentiful bubbles. Mellow, inviting, and opaque. Good lacing.
S: Strong spices, but quite medicinal (sage?). Syrupy, tinged with fruit. Fennel? Oh, apparently caraway seeds.
T: Mmm, very nice. Sharp juniper near the front is excellent, but I think the chestnut really seals the deal. Deep, powerful flavours, dominated by spice and pleasant malt. Touch of fruit. The finish is lightly dry and full of sage. The ingredient list goes a long way towards describe the taste of the beer.
M: Smooth and velvety-thick. Good, and it works really well with the style. Firm, with the smoothness offset by spice.
O: Excellent! It's mellowed very well. An ideal winter warmer...rich, spicy, nutty, and warm. Inviting and enchanting. Highly recommended.
Ingredients: "Grimstad water, malted barley, malted rye, malted oats, hops, white sage, carraway [sic], juniper berries, chestnuts, yeast."
"Each brew is following the same recipe, including Michigan chestnuts, white sage from southern California, and Norwegian juniper berries, but the differences in brewing and again practices produce different beers."
06-15-2012 05:37:55 | More by AgentMunky
4.43/5 rDev +13%
This beer is a medium brown that lets some orange-red highlights shine through. A compact creamy white head with a yellowish tint is between one and two fingers tall and stable, dropping lacing thinly at first, but thickening in patches as it falls.
This beer may have the most unique aroma I've smelled; it's certainly one of the most unique. It's difficult to pick things out without effort; this is a thinking beer. There's some nuttiness to it under a very unusual blanket of grains and spices. Malt makes a strong foundation, and it seems there's an earthy spiciness much like rye. There's a breadiness along with sweetness and a smidge of cooking spices. The spiciness is at a great level and complementary to the malt it supports, adding plenty of depth while mingling so things come out indivivually. Sage comes out strongly too, even more than the pie spice note, and something like pine but more like the needles than the cone.
This is one complex beer. As winter warmers go, it's got what it should: a strong malty base and a spiciness that isn't overdone. What it adds is a spruce needle note, rye (I'm assuming; it's pretty discenrable), and something like sesame seeds. Adding in a nice nutty note makes it even better in my opinion.
The body is medium and this one is lightly carbonated. It's pretty creamy and has a bit of richness to it along with a little crispness. It goes semi-dry in about the middle.
As far as Winter Warmers go, being a catch-all style and made for cold weather, it can only get a little better. This is one of the best I've ever had.
02-16-2012 16:36:16 | More by Brenden
3.63/5 rDev -7.4%
From notes yesterday evening. Internet was down.
A - Pours a very dark red, nearly black with two finger head. Nice lacing.
S - Very interesting. I'm picking up some bublegum right up front along with a bunch of spices. Some sage, pine, maybe juniper in there.
T - Moderate hoppy pine, spice, juniper, medicinal type of berry. Some clove and black licorice in there as well. Seems like they threw in whatever spice they could get their hands on. A bit much.
M - Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Spices linger after each sip.
O - This was a very spiced up winter warmer. I have had nothing quite like this. Tasted like eating a bunch of random spicy berries out of the forest. Maybe give this a shot if you see in on the shelf but not really worth seeking out in my opinion.
02-11-2012 17:20:10 | More by pigc
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.