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

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334 Ratings
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 334 |  Reviews: 214
Photo of
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

17oz. bottle

Opaque, dark black, even when held up to light. Large, creamy tan colored head. Lots of lacing.

Scents of chocolate and caramel. Coffee. Alcohol. Spicy -- clove seemed dominant.

Taste was, initially, mild coffee. Chocolate and caramel really picked up as it warmed. Dark fruits. Alcohol. Bitter at the finish, herbal and peppery.

Medium + in body. Coating and sticky almost. Low to medium perceived carbonation. Silky mouthfeel. Pretty dry, probably more due to alcohol.

Very good! An excellent winter beer.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The snowflakes on this Winter Ale bottle label were a slight departure from the stark Nøgne Ø bottles seen before. The beer came out dark brown, and formed a four finger thick beige head. The smell was a wonderful symphony of raisins, plum, chocolate, and hops. The taste was similar, and felt a little like biting into a chocolate coated rum raisin candy from a Christmas gift tin. The finish was a little astringent-roasty and presented some mouth drying hops. A bit small and coarse in the mouthfeel department. Another winner from the brewery that refuses to disappoint.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I very much enjoyed this winter ale from Nogne, and would not hesitate to recommend. Its flavor is not the most complicated beer flavor in the world, but that doesn't mean it isn't good!

This beer poured an opaque black with lots of very sticky head. Aroma was a nice roastiness...potent and uncomplicated. Flavor was roasty with some bourbon-ness. Mouthfeel was a bit viscous and very pleasant.

I heartily enjoyed this beer, and would definitely recommend.

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Photo of andrewm190
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours black or a very dark brown with a slightly brown tint to the foam. The beer gives a medium head with good retention. The smell is interesting, nothing really dominates, but it does have the roasted malt. There is a slight hint of chocolate. The bottle advertises a bit of caramel, it is hard to pick it out directly, but there clearly is the sense of something sweet. The taste matches the smell, and it is a delicious combination. At the tail end the sense of hops comes out, while the front end give a very well balanced feel of roasted malts, chocolate, and perhaps a very slight hint of the caramel. The beer keeps a very smooth feel on the palate, not at all overwhelming in the carbonation. Not overwhelming in any way, yet full of delicious flavor, this is one of my favorites.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black, with light brown head.

Nose has some roasted qualities with cookie dough.

Palate is a yummy roasty/malty monster. Very dry, nice hop balance, but overall a big roasty monster.

Finish is somewhat clean and long, with chocolate sweetness.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a jet black opaque body with a thick bubbly but creamy tan head. There are microbubbles stuck to the side of the glass but none are floating visibly.

S- The smell of dark raisins has a green raisin quality and some smooth roasted dark black malt notes.

T- This beer has a dark black bitter malt flavor with a molasses and dry chalk note to it. There is a note of caramel and a tartness that comes through when the beer warms a bit. The finish is a soft green bitterness with an herbal hop note to it. The bitterness of black malt and hops linger together after the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a light chewiness in the texture and no alcohol heat in the finish.

D- This beer has a smooth dark rich flavor with some nice green hops flavor to it. Well balanced and just right for the cold winter months.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 500ml bottle into a pint glass. Body is a deep dark brown color with garnet highlights, topped by a half-inch of creamy, light tan head. Aroma of rich, roasted malt, along with a good dose of sharp, citrusy hops. Palate is huge on the roasted malt up front, providing a nice rich, sweetness throughout. A mildly bitter hoppiness comes through right before the swallow, leaving a well-balanced aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, with a slightly oily finish. The considerable alcohol is well-hidden, making the beer quite drinkable. This is an interesting interpretation of an English porter brewed by a more Baltic-style brewery. Good stuff.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.72/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought at Erickson's Fine Wine in Eagle, Idaho. Standard Nogne 500ml bottle. $7.49/bottle. No "best by" dating, but that's ok... not complaining here. Enjoyed from an oversized wine glass while listening to "One Track Mind" from Rythmic Cartel.

The owner of Erickson's told me he tried one and it fizzed out of the bottle; he was concerned that he accidently shook it up or something ... Nope, mine did the same thing; it wasn't a gusher or anything, but there definately was some slight carbonation issues.

Very dark brown with little light getting through... big but short lasting light tan head.... absolutely no lacing.

Smell=sweet caramel with a little lite roasted coffee... possibly a little butterscotch ... the darkness is overpowering any real hop aroma ... slight American hop nose as it warms up.

More of the same with the taste ... I am worried the fizziness is taking away from the tasted and mouthfeel .... It is not too overcarbonated in the glass, but once it hits my tongue, the carbonation sorta bounces all over the place. Barring the carbonation issues, this is a big-boned American porter .... and for a 8.5 % brew, the alcohol is no where to be found. Overall, this is a pretty good brew and would buy again for inspiration if I was brewing up a big porter.

I was sooo suprised to see a Nogne beer in Boise.... and I am stoked. I really hope we get access to the full line, I loved their RIS and really want to try Dark Horizon and their Barleywine ... Cheers to Boise's import scene getting much better, especially around the holidays ... and Cheers to Shelton Brothers... Thanks.

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Photo of Viggo
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle picked up at West Lakeview Liquors in Chicago.

Pours a clear dark brown/red, nice when held up to the light, big thick tan head forms, massive lacing, settles to a medium layer. Smell is rich and malty, chocolate and roast, toffee, bread, butter, nutmeg/allspice, classic strong porter qualities, very nice. Taste is sharp roast, toffee, bread, chocolate, cinnamon/nutmeg spiciness, yeasty, bitter roast and spice finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Smooth, easy to drink, but gets kind of muddy in the finish like some of the other Nognes I've had, which kind of makes my mouth feel dirty, but good winter beer nonetheless.

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Photo of CWiggins
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beers from this brewer have just become available in the Raleigh/Durham area. Their labels are certainly unique; I tried the imperial stout based on that alone! Winter ales always intrigue me. I was a little disappointed to discover this is really a porter, but my feelings changed upon the first full taste. I hope this brewer does eventually produce a true winter ale; I'd seek it out.

My surprise was evident when pouring this beer into my pint glass. The pitch black hue and slightly thicker than normal texture made me think of porter or stout. A very thick tan head formed and hung around for quite some time. The nose is of dark espresso, with bittersweet chocolate overtones and some warming alcohol and hops.

I found it interesting that the texture is thinner than I imagined it would be. It's reminiscent of a German beer with its lean mouthfeel. The flavor is of light hops and dark malts, with overtones of coffee, chocolate, and a light sweetness that I can't quite put my finger on. It's a very nice beer with a light porter profile. I can't wait to try some other offerings from this Norwegian brewer.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was an expensive beer at 5.99 for 500ml but I figured since the Imperial Stout was so good, why the fuck not? It looks like a porter to me, brown with a cocoa colored head. It also smells like a porter, roasty. Mouthfeel is silky and smooth. Taste is a little cocoa, oats, everything about this beer screams porter to me. This actually has nothing in common with the winter warmers I have had, I feel fucking deceived. I understand that beer from Norway has to cost more being an import but unfortunately this one is not worth the price unless you like obscure Norwegian porters like some kind of fucking nerd. Like me!

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Photo of jdhilt
3.63/5  rDev -11%
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 +1.7%
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 -14.2%
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 -2.5%
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 -25.7%
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 +1.2%
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%
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 +0.5%
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%
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 -4.9%
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 -2.5%
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 -17.2%
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 -10.5%
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 -6.1%
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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God Jul from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 334 ratings
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