God Jul | Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

213 Reviews
God JulGod Jul

Brewed by:
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
In the US this is called "Winter Ale".

A dark ale brewed specially for the Christmas season, with a rich, complex taste of caramel. This is a strong, dark and rather sweet Christmas Beer – just the way we think a Christmas beer should be.

19°P, 30 IBU.

Ingredients: Lager, Munich, caramel, black, and chocolate malt; Chinook, Columbus, and Centennial hops; English ale yeast, and our local Grimstad water.

Added by Sigmund on 12-01-2003

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Reviews: 213 | Ratings: 333
Photo of jdhilt
3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger thick brown head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Totally black color. Light carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Flavor is roasted chocolate, some sweetness but a baker's chocolate finish. The high ABV is hidden. This porter is on steroids. $7.00 for a 22oz bottle from Tully's Beer and Wine Wells, ME.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Darkest chestnut with the slightest suggestion of light behind the glass when directly backlit with blinding sunshine. A thin sliver of orange-amber is visible along the bottom edge, further evidence that Winter Ale looks more like a robust porter than a double stout. The wheat toast colored cap is a looker, as are thick sheets of lace.

The beer certainly smells like a stout. I guess that's what happens when the malt bill consists of Munich, caramel, chocolate and black. Dark chocolate-covered caramels are well out in front, followed at some distance by blackstrap molasses and a hint of coffee. I love the way these guys brew with some of my favorite American hops. They're obvious in the nose as well.

I've always thought that winter warmers should contain spices. According to the ingredients listed on the label, Winter Ale doesn't. That's okay, it's tasty enough without them. Incidently, this is the same beer as God Jul (which is Norwegian for 'Merry Christmas'). I guess they wanted to change the name for export to English speaking countries.

Given the use of such classically American hops as Chinook, Columbus and Centennial, Winter Ale tastes like it was brewed in the Pacific Northwest. I like well-hopped, citrus zesty stouts, but I wish Nogne would have given us something more exotic. This country is full of beer like this. I want something new and different from brewers who are as talented as these guys are.

Other than grapefruit juicy, molasses-laced fudge brownies, there isn't much going on in the flavor profile. Maybe a sprinkling of spices is a good idea after all. Something is needed to give this big ale a Christmas vibe. I'd suggest nutmeg and cinnamon. By the way, alcohol is nowhere to be found on the palate.

The mouthfeel is reminiscent of a big stout, but isn't quite as viscous or as chewy as the best American double stouts. I won't hold that against it, though, because it fits the beer's flavor profile exceptionally well. With warming, Winter Ale becomes even more heavily silky and whipped buttery smooth.

I couldn't be happier with the four Nogne beers that I've had so far. This brewery would be in the upper echelon of American craft breweries if they were located here. The fact that they hail from Norway is proof that great beer can come from any area of the globe. It may be July, but 'God Jul' to one and all.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled May 2007
Pours with an ample, initially three-finger thick, creamy, lace inducing, brownish tan colored head that sits atop a deeply, blackened, amber colored brew that shows a brilliantly clear, rich, sparkling ruby color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite fruity, with notes of raisins and figs being quite noticeable. A hint of spicy alcohol is just perceptible in the finish. Touches of toasted malt, browned-rustic bread and a hint of coffee like roast aromatics round out some more of the malt notes.

The taste is somewhat sweet, but a spicy, roast grain bitterness dries things out in the finish. The sweetness brings out a certain fruitiness, though it is not as prominent as it was in the nose; I get flavors of sweet plums and raisin. The roast grain character is actually quite a bit more noticeable than it was in the aroma; a burnt bitterness as well as a certain roast-derived acidity are quite noticeable and it mixes with a blackened barley flavor. It is interesting how the roasted malt notes really dry out the finish. At times the body and palate do not seem to have enough heft to stand up to the harsh burnt notes & hints of hot alcohol, but at other times they are in balance.

This is a pretty tasty brew, at times it can seem a bit out of balance, but it is still an enjoyable tipple.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, deep brown in color-bordering on black. Caramel and roasted malt aroma. A hint of espresso. Deep caramel flavor with a touch of espresso thrown in. Nice touch of licorice as well. Good body-fairly lite considering the abv. Very, very drinkable and enjoyable. The more beers I have from this brewery the more I am very impressed.. Kick ass stuff.

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Photo of beckje01
3.03/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It has a nice spice smell for the nose, then tasting it gives good balance of spice and malt with not much activity in the mouth. But its a nice and approachable winter warmer as it hides its alcohol well. I had this as part of a tasting of all the Nøgne we could find it wasn't disappointing but it was my least favorite of their beers. If you see some around only buy this if you really like the style or the don't have any of their other beers.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle bought as a single from Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" brown head over the almost opaque dark brown brew. Head lasts well, with plenty of lasting lace. Aroma is hearty roasty dark grains. Taste is sweet malts upfront, roasty in the middle, with a light coffee bitterness at the close. Warmth creeps up on you. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, with way too easy drinkability. This place keeps impressing me with their offerings.

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Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark brown with a large 1 1/2 finger beige colored head leaving a a few globs of lace as it settled slowly in the impy pint glass.Big fruit and brown sugar notes in the nose with a sprinkling of earth and molasses as well.Some real nice complexities on the palate juicy fruitiness and brown sugar and caramel and as some others have noted there is a slight smokiness underneath that lingers well,somewhat raw and earthy in the finish with a light herbal note.Very nice beer here a medium mouthfeel doesnt make you feel like your drinking a heavy beer wich this is somewhat ,I have enjoyed both Nogne brews I have had no doubt.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured a deep black color into my pint glass with a nice tan head and lacing on the glass. The aroma gives you some solid roasted malt notes. The taste gives you more of the same along with a caramel character that is pleasing and at the end you get a slight hop bitterness that is warming. Medium body and smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Darkest coloration, nearly black, with a nice, active toasted tan head. Looks really good!

Aroma is slightly sweet, black, chocolate malt at work, subdued cocoa feel, whispers of spice, anise, etc, but quiet, mellow...

A smooth, dusky affair once in the mouth, thick, rich, roasty. A bit smokey. Hints of caramel, but not as much as the label promises, this is a darker, richer character than that. So beefy, I'd stick it in the stout category. Very supple mouthfeel, big time flavor, huge body, quite tasty.

Not sure I'd pop $5 a bottle for it too often though...but I was happy to try it out!

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Photo of Drew966
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nogne O Winter Ale pours a dark brown with an off white head from a brown 1 pint .9 ounce bottle. The aroma is very mild, it's hard to detect anything. There is a lucious, thick mouthfeel. Caramel malt is noticeable and there is a nice balance of hops. Well done. Recommended.

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Photo of Sammy
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I chose this as #2100 review, as this brewery is up and coming and I'm really enjoying what they produce. Best yet, I needn't have to bring everything in from Europe anymore, several are now available in the New York area. This black ale is a cross between a porter (albeit some coca-cola taste from the carmel etc.), a stout from some toasted barley, a dark ale, shwartzbeir, and an underlying citrus without being overhopped. Well done!

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Photo of Crosling
3.38/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Deep brown color, full foam. Very mild aroma, a hint of dark malt and weedy, herbaceous hops.

Flavor is very interesting and complex and I can see why others like it, but I just don’t enjoy the profile. It has a lot of hints herbal tea, resinous hops and light malt components. Doesn’t seem very together. However, I had their Imperial Stout a couple days ago. Top notch stuff.

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Photo of ZAP
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Dark brown...little head

S-Chocolate covered cherries...also some coffee bean notes

T-Dark chocolate is the predominant flavor but it is complemented by some dark berries, coffee beans, and some mild vanilla beans.

M-Medium bodied, perhaps a little thin...a bit of a creamy texture...

D-This is decent. Definitely a treat from one of the true great beer brewing nations of the world. After drinking this I have now moved Norway to #1 on my list followed by Belgium and then Germany...This is the best Norweigan beer I've had since Nordick Wolf Light back in the 1980's...ahh check that I think that was from Sweden....anyhow I have definitely popped a little Norweigan wood after drinking this....In all seriousness this isn't bad at all but not an all-time great either..

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Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sleek shaped bomber sized bottle, with extremely descriptive label listing ingredients, brewery history and beer write up. Very appreciated. Saved for one of the last days before the arrival of spring!

A really nice gray coloured head would form, rest as an outer trim. Only a couple small patches of bubbles. A dark coloured body, deep brown essentially.

An enticing aroma of some blend of spices, well blended I couldn't even pick out one. Although, as I worked through it I came to believe there may not actually be any in there. I'm not entirely sure. What is certain is that it was pleasant, boasting lots of earthy notes, a variety of malts, and the essence of a Christmas cake/pudding. I liked it.

The mouthfeel gave way to trace amounts of alcohol, hardly enough to note. It came out a little flat with nothing overly bold in the flavour department. A little ashyness, with very, very bittersweet chocolate notes that dominate the palate.

A really good example of the style, nothing mind blowing but I'm certainly anxious to find it again next winter.

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Photo of grub
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

biegaman was nice enough to share this one with me. thanks jan!

1pt 0.9oz bottle.

pours very deep brown, nearly opaque, with a half inch head of very fine tan bubbles. drops slowly to a thin layer on top of the beer and a ring around the edges. spotty lace.

aroma is nice. bit of alcohol. nice toasty caramel character. bit of floral hops.

taste is good. nice and roasty. bittersweet chocolate. light alcohol. coffee. moderate bitterness. nice bready malt. caramel.

mouthfeel is good. medium body with a nice moderate carbonation level.

drinkability is good. very well balanced, hiding its alcohol quite well. reminds me of a porter in many ways...english, or maybe baltic. very nice.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours like iced coffee…quite dark but light can traverse it. Head is an excellent mass of latte colored thick bubbles.

S: Chocolate milk, café au lait, boysenberries, roasted barley and some fresh cream

T: Begins much like a milk stout. Some mellow grape like tangy nips hit the tip of the tongue while some lactose sweetness spreads towards the center. This flavor seems to last for a few seconds until bitter chocolate happens upon the back sides of the mouth. Bitterness of the roasted variety with a swath of piney hops and progressive cocoa as the beer warms. Finishes somewhat dirty with a dustiness to it.

M: Medium body, sort of thin for the style but the carbonation is nice.

D: Well, so far I’m unimpressed by this brewery. The beers don’t suck but nothing has blown me away. This beer is definitely drinkable.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep black color ale with a big foamy head with good retention. Aroma of medium bitter roasted malt with some subtle spices. Taste is reminiscent of a porter with some spices and light chocolate notes with a medium hoppy finish. Body is above average with some medium carbonation and a nice creamy texture. I thought this beer was well balance throughout but would have enjoyed a bit more emphasis on spices.

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Photo of Gavage
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottles labeled "Winter Ale" in U.S. with the same snow flakes over the O. God Jul references Christmas.

Appearance: dark brown almost black in color with a 1" tan colored head that lasts a while. Moderate lacing develops.

Smell: soft chocolate and malt sweetness are very mild.

Taste: chocolate, malty, caramel, vanilla, prunes, raisins and a mild bitterness. Faint alcohol is warming.

Mouthfeel: smooth throughout. Short aftertaste with mostly chocolate and malt sweetness. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: a solid beer that has drinkability knocked down a notch since the alcohol is noticeable.

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Photo of bark
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle conditioned. The colour is black, the liquid is clear. There is a low beige head and some lacing.

The generous smell is dry - bitter with roasted malt and notes of coffee, cocoa and a hint of alcohol.

The taste is strong; smoky and roasted malt with some sweet notes of coffee and fine dark chocolate. There are lots of hops; the dry bitter base got chemical flavours of wax and chalks, bitter spices and ditto citric fruits. The aftertaste is roasted and dry, I found some spices (cloves? basil?) and a hint of orange.

The carbonation is mild with small bubbles. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth.

A fine one, but a little too much alcohol.

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Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

A: Dark black with a one finger khaki colored head. Slight ruby tones near the bottom & sides of the glass. Very close, appearance-wise, to their porter.

S: Aromas of roasted malt, nuts, and baking bread. Faint whiff of alcohol.

T: Burnt, roasted malt with a big dose of bittersweet chocolate. Some flavors of nuts, hops, sweet toffee, and tart fruit round this out.

M: Oily and dry. Pleasantly bitter and tangy, to the tongue, in the finish. Sweet tofffee keeps the bitter mouthfeel from going too far.

D: Very drinkable. A terriffic beer to spend a cold and snowy evening with.

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Photo of Jredner
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

50 cl bottle. Perfumey alcohol and spice dominate the aroma. It’s somewhat harsh really like a faint whiff of acetone. The body is a deep brown and holds fairly lasting thumb thick tan head. Sweetened pumpernickel, spice and lightly roasty with a soft mouthfeel and a very mild spice/alcohol heat. Never really delivers anything to make you say, "Well that's nice." But, despite that it is a decent enough brew.

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Photo of Loki
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Revied from notes taken on 8/25/05 that I'm finally getting around to putting in BA.com. Thanks Alekeep and Biergirl, and your Norwegian friends, for sharing these wonderful beers during our Norwegian Beer dinner.

Appearance: Dark brown with a thin beige head

Smell: Predominately sweat with solid, roasted malt and caramel aromas. Some leather with hints of spices. More malt aromas than anything else.

Taste: Almond nuttiness, toffee, hints of chocolate, roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, clean and crisp.

Drinkability: Very solid brew. Nice, easily approachable beer.

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Photo of Sigmund
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(500 ml bottle). Christmas/Yule ale from Norway's sole uncompromising micro brewery. Only 5000 bottles made. Bottle conditioned. Deep copper colour, hazy only when yeast is poured. Moderate head. aroma of oak, leather, caramel and spices. Flavour is malty and spicy, alcohol is evident. Drier than I expected. Good bitterness. A good beer, but after all the good things I've heard about it, I expected even more.

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God Jul from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
4.09 out of 5 based on 333 ratings.
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