Ølfabrikken Kloster Jul | Ølfabrikken

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Ølfabrikken Kloster JulØlfabrikken Kloster Jul
41 Ratings
Ølfabrikken Kloster JulØlfabrikken Kloster Jul

Brewed by:

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by John_M on 11-12-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 41 |  Reviews: 35
Reviews by wisrarebeer:
Photo of wisrarebeer
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer has been in my cellar for a few years.

A: great head retention, deep copper color, clear
S: deep malt, roasted, licorice
T: full-bodied, great malt, licorice provides a bit of edge to malt, EtOH lurking
M: warm and rounded, very drinkable for EtOH
O: very nice beer, well-made

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Pours a murky brown with a huge pillowy off white head that retains well and laces the glass some.

The aroma is molasses, dark fruits (fig) and some fruitcake spices with some alcohol and hops in the background.

The flavor is sweet sugary malts with some fruit (cherries?). In the finish it has a bit of alcohol and some bittering hops to balance. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a good carbonation level.

Overall, a nice brew. It's an interesting blend that comes out well balanced. The alcohol is slightly too much up front for my tastes.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

2008 vintage. The beer pours a brown color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is alcohol, tobacco, brown sugar, dark fruit and a lot of licorice. The flavor is a similar, with a few additional notes. In addition to the tobacco, roasted malt, brown sugar and nutmeg, I also get some cayenne pepper and alcohol. A very complex flavor profile that is very enjoyable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of seanthornton152
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Belmont Station - 750 ml bottle - glassware:
Duchesse De Bourgogne wine glass

Dark brown with tint of red body, 1 thumb head - very thin head but retains well.

Aroma consists of Molasses, dark cherry, brown sugar, and hint of sourness

Slight sweetness intially, many fruit flavors start to develop - rasins, dark cherry, fig...finishes with a taste of roasted malts.

Thin mouthfeel, active carbonation

Very enjoyable, complex flavors

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with big ruby highlights, very red and glows when held to the light. A nice off white/light tan head grows quickly and retains quite well, turning from fizzy to a nice ice cream lump leaving good lace.

Nose is kind of weak. There is some dark fruit, a fair amount of spices and some honey like sweetness. Almost a sharp borderline citrus smell.

Taste is much more complex than the smell iindicates. Starts off on a fizzy slim kick, but quickly gets much richer. Alot of different dark fruit character going on in here. Some sweet yet astringent fruitiness, plums, dates. The caramel character is also pretty strong. There is quite a bit of spice going on in here as well. very nice. A certain licorice candy action in here as well. I dont know if they put any anise in this, but it could use a little lick of it. The finish is alot more dry than one would guess for the style, or for the pre finish taste. A good dry fruit flavor lingers on the aftertaste along with sugar and some grassy, fruit rhindish flavors.

Mouthfeel is a bit odd. Starts off fizzy and a touch thin, but as the richness flexes its muscle during the middle of the flavor, it is almost like it thickens up. Carbonation could be toned down just a bit. The dryness at the end is odd, but I kind of like it.

Drinkability is pretty good. The abv is hidden extremely well, but the complexity and richness in this one calls for a slow sipping session.

Overall a very interesting beer. Im glad I picked up a couple of these to put some age on. The complexity is very impressive. There are bretter BSDAs out there to be sure, but this one is very unique and very enjoyable as well. Defenitely an experience. Enjoy this one slowly. Good beer.

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Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From Premiere Gourmet. Amberish red cherry coloured body with lasting white foam. Aroma is root beer and cherry and yeast. Very full mouthfeel, this is a sipper. Taste is incredibly complex with licorice, cheery that builds. Other spices in the background.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of IBUnit63
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 corked and caged into Duvel tulip...

Full, 3-finger buttery-colored (slightly burned butter, like when you make popcorn on the stove) head with a good chunky seam and heavy, bready weight. Body is still with a deep mahogany/cherrywood color. Quite impressive - staying power, lacing and all.

Oooh...smells like a spicy Quad - creamy dark malt with nice, subtle yeast electricity, hop pine, brown sugar and slight clove. A little coriander and molasses in there too.

Whoooa, camel...after a thankfully brief tinny front with a cold bicarb feel, this burns off to reveal a huge Quad/BSDA with insane, bountiful malt, mild, creamy spice of clove, cinnamon, ginger and a whole lot of brown sugar and molasses. Sweet, syrupy and huge - perhaps dark dried fruits on deep background too - a little raisin maybe? Hop pine shows up in a cameo. This is big.

One word...velvety. The spice is tempered by the molasses and brown sugar nicely. Huge malt and electric yeast work in Beautiful Chemistry. This pacgage is put together.

Definitely one to sip but this is brutally well done. Excellent.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into two red wine glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a muddy, dark, caramel-y brown color. Capping this is a creamy, light-khaki colored head that slowly recedes into a swirly skim and thick ring. Droopy ropes of lace left behind.

S: Subtle aromas of caramel, spices, cherry, chocolate, and very subtle aromas of anise and yeast.

T: Flavors of toasted malt, caramel, chocolate, spicy yeast, candi sugar, slightly tart cherry, toasted nuts, and raisin. Heather says that the cherry flavor seems more like dark fruit; raisins and plums, and that the cherry is more apparent in the nose than the taste.

M: Big and sweet with a great spicy dryness that does a nice balancing job. Slightly tart in the middle with a nice and dry hop finish.

D: Alcohol is so well hidden yet by the end of the bottle, our cheeks were a little warm. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of TheSarge
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this bad boy into an old PBR chalice. With a semi quick pour, this brew makes a two finger thick light tan head, that sticks around well, the body is bronze on the outside, then turns to a tawny dull brown that is nearly opaque when held up to natural light.

The aroma is of cola, booze, chocolate, and maybe vanilla with some cherry mixed together.

In the taste I get a whirlwind of flavors that bounce from dark dried fruits, to tobacco, to chocolate, some cherry and vanilla again, and has a warm boozy coziness in the end.

For a boozy beer this feels thin from beginning to middle, but then the warmth kicks in to let me know this brew is serious. It is lightly carbonated too, which makes me surprised that this isn't too syrupy.

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Photo of garbercury
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2nd bottle of this I have had, this one is aged for about 18 months....Poured into snifter.

A--Deep reddish amber. Lacing sticks a bit to the glass.

S--Medicinal, has some cherry notes in the nose.

T--Cherry, spice, good flavor.

M--Good smooth mouthfeel.

D--As this beer warms, the more it reminds of me of why I got a second bottle to age. This is an excellent BSDA and a great choice on a cold early winter night. Excellent brewery, great beer.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber to brown-ish color, with a big off white to light tan head. In the aroma, licorice, anise, and a small hint of cherry. In the taste, licorice, anise, and a small tart cherry in the end. A smooth and medium to big bodied mouthfeel, and a semi dry licorice aftertaste. Big flavor, dry spices, and hints of tart cherries, quite nice.

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Photo of John_M
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Debut release at Max's today. I gather they're having an Olfabrikken release party today.

The beer pours a dark brown color with red hilights. Head retention and lacing is sensational. The retention lasts and lasts, and there is sticky lacing all around. This beer looks very impressive.

On the nose, this is all I could want or hope for in a holiday beer. There is a boatload of milk chocolate and maraschino cherry, with a hint of licorise underneath. On the palate... damn this beer is delicious. The flavors replicate the nose, and the beer has a long, smooth, creamy finish. There is also a slight woodsy flavor to this beer, which adds to its complexity. This beer is not heavy at all, and you could really get into a lot of trouble drinking this. Maybe it would wear me out after a glass or two, but after the first couple of sips, all I could think was.... hmmmm... I wonder if I should have another one of these. Sigh. Probably not; the beer is pretty rich, but in any event, this beer is absolutely delicious. Yumm....

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Photo of Damian
3.72/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 1 pt 9.4 fl oz bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
Served in a chalice

The beer poured a murky, muddy, mahogany color with crimson highlights. There was no real head but merely a thin, light tan cap that faded to a wispy film.

The aroma was rather intriguing. Rich, smooth and fruity with a discernible sweet/sour quality. Somewhat caramel-like. Spicy and a touch herbal. Dark fruits (including cherries) were noticeable. As much as I enjoyed the complexity and subtle nuances of the aroma, I wish it was more intense.

Like the aroma, the flavor was an interesting mix of sweet and sour. Fruity and boozy right away with a noticeable Belgian yeast quality. Dark Belgian candi sugar was discernible. Some brown sugar as well. Spicy in the center. Woody and dry. Metallic notes were apparent in the slightly hoppy, sour and boozy finish. As the beer warmed, licorice notes came out in both the flavor and the aroma.

The mouthfeel was the saving grace of this beer. The liquid was medium bodied and creamy with a fine, crisp and lively carbonation. Light and airy yet supple, the beer enveloped my tongue like a cloud.

Drinkability was okay. I would have liked the alcohol presence to be less noticeable.

I enjoyed this beer but thought it fell short in both intensity and complexity. As with most of the Olfabrikken beers, this one was not cheap (I paid $16 for my bottle). It is unlikely that I will be visiting it again.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from Wilbur's in Ft. Collins, set aside in their temporary "Christmas Beer" section. Around $11.

A: Very dark brown in color with an enormous light tan head, a good 2 inches worth or creamy, dense bubbles, lots of clumps of sticky lacing, for the most part opaque, tons of red accents. Very nice looking beer.

S: Spicy yeasts, banana, sour cherries, there's a definite licorice note and a few other spices, smells somewhat piney or spruce even. Has a lot of doughy, bready notes that mixed with the pine/spices/cherry really make this smell like the holidays. Decent smelling beer.

T: Very interesting notes of sour cherries are there, as well as a substantial hop profile and lots of spices, hop profile is slightly skunky but pairs nicely and balances out the sweet malt notes. Very nice flavors here, nothing was skimped on here. Spices add another layer of complexity, but don't overwhelm the beer. Pretty substantial booze note, but it works. Nicely done.

M: A fair amount more body than I had expected, medium carbonation, warm alcohol, fairly dry. Nice.

D: Easy to drink and great for a cold January night. It is not hard at all to split this one with someone else. Excellent beer, and I may have to snag another one to let it cellar for a while. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Poured into a Goblet glass a deep amber/brown color, very nice carbonation, awesome huge three-finger creamy head, that settled down to a one-finger thick/creamy sticky lacing. The nose is malty, slight yeast, nice dark fruit notes, with some spicyness. The taste is very nice, malty, with a slight yeast note, sweet, nice fig/raisin/plum notes, slight spicy. Full body, with a slight dry finish. ABV hidden very well. Very drinkable, this is one freakn' awesome brew, highly recommend.

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Photo of Travlr
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

80 deibel cork pop, but fortunately no gusher.
A: Very dark maroon color, medium tan fine bubble head that lasts forever; delicate lacing.
S: Aroma of dark fruits and caramel,and evident alcohol.
T: Flavor begins with ripe cherries and dates, and a bit of nutmeg. Lots of malt. Nicely complex and interesting.
M: Excellent body.
D: Delicious winter brew.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber brown moving towards mahogany as the yeast settles. The head is lightly tanned, quite tall, and quite sticky. It really is a beautiful looking beer, and doesn't lose any grace as it warms.

Fruity, spicy nose that features the cherry juice along with a nod towards anise that grows stronger with warmth. Dark fruit is also a major player so far, with fig and date dusted with brown sugar as the prime movers.

Flavors are similar, with the cherries on spotlight as the licorice plays backup. Pretty spicy, but also warming and full of flavor. Well balanced. The malted barley shows evidence of chocolate (roast) character as well as caramel (sweet) notes. The hops are last on the ingredient list, and show up only as a mildly herbal inclusion.

The mouthfeel definitely shows the effects of the wheat malt, as the last sip is as light and sippable as the first. There is a drying component that leaves the drinkability in tact even as the flavors grow more pronounced with the warming temperature.

I am very impressed with this "Ale brewed with spices". Olfabrikken has hit another nail on the head; this brew could be mistaken for a fine Belgian ale - if not a Trappist - and the kicker is that it grows more drinkable as it approaches room temperature. To me, that is the litmus test for pretenders to the throne, and Kloster Jul (this is how it is spelled on my bottle) is a superb effort.

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Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly clear dark and amber brown. Thick crème head. Nose is sugary and sweet. Minor yeasty alcohol edge. Flavor is thick with malts and smoothly sweet. Almost seems to be a touch of vanilla. Cherries are there, sure. Mild though. Wood tones seem a bit more prominent. Overall though there are touches of fruit and a really mature and beautifully mature sweet tone. Feel is smooth on liquid and the carbonation is very appropriate. This is a very nice beer. Very nice. Try it if you have the chance.

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Photo of bigdaddypolite
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of DmanGTR
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes in December 09

Poured a murky brown/hazelnut with a light tan head that left decent lace. From the getgo, I am hit by a huge waft of licorice and a tiny twang of cherries. A caramel and toffee body then carries me over a field of anise, and finally to a vat of rum soaked raisins. The taste is equally satisfying. This is a rare form of licorice... it's licorice I actually enjoy! Quite amazing, though the body could be boosted slightly. Booze is apparent throughout.

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Photo of beeraroundtown
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The nose presents warm dark cherry, licorice, caramel, and fig. The flavor was a bit heavy on the spice. Reminds me of Chimay blue when it first hits the palate, sweet caramel and soft chocolate with a vigorous carbonation. Finishes by drying out into a potent licorice spiced flavor amongst the boozy warmth. This is a good by-the-fire winter brew, warming with lots of spice, as it warms a rum raisin cake note finishes it off, lingering fig flavors with a subtle alcohol heat. I grew to like this more as kept at it.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into Chimay goblet.

Pours with a dominating 3f of creamy, tan head which fades to an impressive perma-film, and leaves tons of lacing. Body is a deep brown with mahogany edges

Aroma is powerful. Spruce needle up front giving it some major 'holiday points', followed by Belgian yeasty spice, and some sweet caramel maltiness.

Flavor is a bit boozy - whiskey sour. Got some lime, black licorice, cocoa nibs, and mincemeat. Interesting, and somehow definitely reminiscent of Christmas.

Great carbonation for the alcohol level - it cuts everything nicely and keeps it from getting heavy. Definitely some aftertaste from the additives.

Ok on the drinkability - great aroma and taste, combined with a nice mouthfeel make this a really nice sipping beer for the holidays. If you can find it, get it!

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Photo of corby112
3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes:

This c&g bottle opened with a loud pop and poured a very dark ruby/chestnut color with mahogany edges when held to a light source. Two finger frothy tan head with decent retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic hunks of lacing behind.

Spicy peppery aroma with hints of clove, cinnamon and dark fruit. Hints of grape, dark berry, raisin and fog and well as a slightly medical cough syrup character.

Tight carbonation up front with a surprisingly full medium body, sweet and spicy flavor and slightly bitter dry finish. Lots of spicy notes, especially pepper, cinnamon and clove balanced by a nice malt backbone and sweet dark fruit presence. Hints of dark cherry, raisin, fig and plum. Well balanced and that medical flavor that I find so unpleasant in Xmas beers is kept to a minimum.

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Ølfabrikken Kloster Jul from Ølfabrikken
Beer rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 41 ratings