Ølfabrikken Kloster Jul | Ølfabrikken

very good
41 Ratings
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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.

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Ratings: 41 |  Reviews: 35
Photo of nick76
3.28/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The aroma is sweet but not super sweet. Its got fruit, licorice, yeast, and grassy hops. The appearance is hazy brown with a large foamy head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is smooth but thin. Overall its OK but I am a little disappointed.

 250 characters

Photo of Damian
3.72/5  rDev -10.8%
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 corby112
3.86/5  rDev -7.4%
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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Photo of Beaver13
3.88/5  rDev -7%
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 Oxymoron
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Did you just say Yule with a J? Pours a darker chestnut brown color with some lighter brownish hues throughout. Mostly clear with a thick and bubbly off white head. Ok retention and limited lacing throughout.

The nose is a bit sweet with noticeable yeast notes. To start there is a light malt note with some hints of melanodian, but this is quickly over ridden by a brown sugary aroma that blends odd with they yeast. They yeast comes out with a slight Belgian character with a hint of funk. Noticeable fusel notes with a light fruity tart cherry aroma.

The taste is better than the nose. The malt is a bit more distinct with a light kettle caramel flavor. Still a sweetness and a sugar taste/feel in to the end, which is a bit much. A bit of fruity notes with a nice ester backing. Some cherry, figs and dates. A hint of vanilla that comes out as it warms. A bit of astringency from a spicy characteristic, pepper mostly but some licorice and a light herbal thing. Noticeable alcohol burn but not over whelming.

The body is moderate but leaves a dry finish. Carbonation is a bit high with some carbonic bite. Overall there are some nice characteristics but would like the sugar to back off and a bit more yeast notes to shine.

 1,230 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.94/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of garbercury
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
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 VelvetExtract
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another relic found for a fraction of its former price (was $12.79, now $3.99).

A-After nearly taking out my dog's eye with the violent cork launch, the beer is poured into my tulip glass. Pours dark brown. When held up to the light the color is closer to burnt ruby. There are thousands of miniscule particles of floating debris in the beer too. Small head faded and leaves spotty lacing.

S-Dark fruits and toasted brown sugar. Dried plum. Alcohol rears its head too. A bit woody as well. Lighter nose. A slight amount of roastiness.

T-Now I can really taste the cherries. Chocolate covered cherry. Slight amount of wood. Booze is there. Not sour, but definitely cherry-loaded. Aftertaste is pleasant. Warms the cheeks. Thankfully this is one of the chillier summer nights. Almost like cherry cough syrup. Displays an almost medicinal flavor.

M-Heavy bodied. Strong carbonation. Slightly dry. Cherry flavor morphs on the palate.

O/D-This one has held up well over time. Seems like the shelf stay has mellowed out the booze a bit. For less than 1/3 its original price, I would say that this is a bargain.

 1,109 characters

Photo of BeerImmediately
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
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!

 807 characters

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of bigdaddypolite
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Yabev15
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

 256 characters

Photo of TheSarge
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
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 SLeffler27
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My Hoegaarden snifter contains a dark, rutty, brown ale with red highlights and a gargantuan, creamy, tan head that becomes rocky while it slowly deposits a dense lacing.

Sweet malt and a light, pine resin give way to sour apple Jolly Rancher above alcohol fumes. Strong spices followed by cherry and lots of layers and complexity make this comparable to a sweet red wine.

Clearly off balance, however, Kloster Jule closely follows the nose with some cherry cough drops thrown in. The tartness is a bit puckering with a touch of bitterness in a sharp, lingering finish. This one warms well and is highly acidic.

An interesting combination of lively carbonation and a full-bodied syrupy ale. This one has a touch of astringency and more than a little warming alcohol.

Given the alcohol content, and the tremendous amount of character, this dark ale is surprisingly easy to drink. Surprisingly easy to have two in a row. One before dinner and one after, perhaps with a cigar and a book.

 988 characters

Photo of ottovon
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured by whiterascal while watching 30 days of night. vintage '08.

A: pours out a orangish brown with a tan head that fell to leave a coating over the top of the beer.

S: i get cherry, raisins, and some other dark fruits. there is light roasted malt, chocolate, and candi sugar. there is a bit of alcohol in the nose, and some licorice as well. semi-sweet aroma. hints of cola.

T: definitely has some sweetness in it, but finishes a touch bitter and dry. there is roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, candi sugar. there is raisins, and some other dark fruits, as well as a bit of molasses. there is alcohol at the end. it also has some yeasty spice in it.

M: medium-thin body with good amounts of carb.

O: i really enjoy this beer. it is a good sipping beer.

 766 characters

Photo of baggio
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[email protected]

This was the final beer i reviewed during a tasting of christmasbeers before i decided that i was too drunk to review any more beers so notes are a little off.

A: Murky brownish with a beige head that vanishes quickly.

S: Caramel, Fruit, Malts, Belgian Yeast.

T: Dark Caramel, Spices, Belgian Yeast, Ripe Fruit.

M: A very sweet beer with little or no bitterness. Very belgian in style.

We tried a 2007 vintage of this and it was great. Up there with the very best belgians and then just a wee touch of christmas with the extra spices added. Recommended!

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

 449 characters

Photo of seanthornton152
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
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

 456 characters

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

 1,728 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 349 characters

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
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 JoeCeez
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep dark brown with ruby edges and a thick three fingerd foamy mocha tinged head that leaves lots of lacing

S: smells of very rich sweet caramel, dark fruits, dried cherries, figs, spicy yeast

T: very complex... upfront flavors are of tart cherries and sweet black licorice. Supported by dark candy sugar some bitter chocolate, roasted, and caramel malt, some clove and bubblegum yeast and some solvent alcohol, pretty dry finish

M: medium-light bodied with lots of prickly carbonation, as it warms and opens up it becomes incrdibly smooth and creamy

D: the flavors are very complex and each sip entices the palate and begs for another taste of this delicious winter warmer

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Ølfabrikken Kloster Jul from Ølfabrikken
4.17 out of 5 based on 41 ratings.
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