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

very good
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Underlig JulUnderlig Jul

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

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
15°P, 30 IBU.

Also sold as "Peculiar Yule".

Ingredients: Maris Otter, Munich, caramel, and chocolate malt; Columbus and Cascade hops; 5 different spices, English ale yeast, and our local Grimstad water

Added by Sigmund on 11-03-2004

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Ratings: 198 |  Reviews: 124
Photo of Asgeirr
4.87/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Total darkness ensures as Nøgne Ø's Underlig Jul pours a pitch-fucking-black along with a light brown crown making the beer in question look like a charred corpse with the skull licked clean by the devastating flames -- hail!

Smell: Up-front salmiac notes, oranges sweetness and acidity, ginger sourness, cloves and a backdrop of sweet cardamom, excellent!

Taste: Intensively bitter, sour and a somewhat burnt -- corpse! -- sense to it. The bitterness lingers on intermixed with the roasted character in a wormwood-sensation adding a tar-like dimension to it.

Mouthfeel: Coarse, full as full can be, thick like a brick in a tub of lard, and rough as a brick showed into your mouth by a anabolic retard! Low in carbonation (probably due to the fact that the beer is so heavy and viscous that they are damned to implode or stay clandestine).

Drinkability: Well composed, extremely long aftertaste, overall pretty awesome -- no compromise all right!

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Photo of brotherliam
4.82/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite bottled beer of this holiday season. Pours a solid dark brown with velvet around the edges. Fantastic tan head that left a nice lace down to the bottom of the glass. The aroma was like a Holiday gift basket, cookies, fruit cake, cinnamon and rum cake come to mind. The first sip was like biting the head off a gingerbread man which lasted through to the aftertaste. What could be more festive than that? As it warmed and the glass got lower I found the other spices and toasty malt. I appreciate what this beer offers. After a year of delicious Imperial Stouts, over the top IIIPA's and great sours that push the envelope, this beer definitely keeps up. I guess I'm a spice head. Just like eating a gift basket though, one was enough.

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Photo of monkeyonmaibock
4.82/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured very dark brown into a snifter. Light tan head left minimal lacing down to the last sip. Aroma is an explosion of ginger. The sweet maltiness balances the spice of the ginger. This is followed by hints of coriander and cinnamon. There is an aftertaste of roasted malt and slight hop bitterness. This is the second beer I've had from this brewery and I am not disappointed for sure.

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Photo of lalaloveyou
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of bram325
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of ILikeGoodCider
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of mrquartetman
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Dark in color, with a brownish head that hangs in there for a while.

S: Strong spicy aroma with strong malt accent. Ginger and clove predominate (see spice list below).

T: This beer is a strong contender in the spiced Christmas beer category with Anchor's Our Special Ale. It is not as cloying or as aggressive as the 2008 Anchor was. More subtle and more satisfying. The spices start it out, but the malt takes over pretty quickly, with a balancing hop in the mix.

M: This complex brew is a kind of a riot of persistent flavors, attributable to its spice list: ginger, coriander, cardamon, cinnamon and cloves. Ginger, cinnamon and cloves are the most identifiable.

D: I wouldn't want to drink more than a single 25 oz bottle at a time (probably shared) so that I wasn't put off by spiciness. I find this a highly drinkable beer - more so than a lot of the spiced winter beers out there.

This beer is a direct analogue with this brewer's Underlig Jul.
While the Underlig is listed on their site as being 6.5% abv (this one is shown at 6.3%), the brewer still states that they are the same beer (rated separately here on BA).

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Photo of becktone
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes 12-25-09

And What a Peculair Yule it has been indeed! What with all the water problems I've been having early this morning and today, Its a wonder this apartment isn't flooded! The Perfect beer for the perfect day and the perfect situation!

Eye: Color is medium to dark brown with garnet to blood red highlights. Clarity is hard to determine based on the deep brown color of this beer....I can see "hints of images" of my lamp through it. Head has great formation and nice retention. Head is frothy in texture with good retention at a tannish dirty tea bag color. I won't ask for more.

Nose: Huge on spice. Big spruce like aroma-juniper berries, though the label states that there are no juniper berries in here...interesting. Very piney, clove comes through too, not too much though just right. Cinnamon is there to support it. Some hops come through to support with hints and hits of citrus. This beer smells great, very pine tree like in a pleasant way-like an air freshener for your car but not a fake araoma like those have. Woody and sappy aroma. Very tree like, as if I just broke the bark off a pine tree and have the sticky and annoying sap all over my hands. Overall a great blend of spices, none come too forward to name and all are here. Its just a great araoma here. Very satisfying.

Tongue: Hop bitterness is right upfront with some floral character and bitterness as well. This is followed by the spices used in this beer. Spices linger on the palate in the aftertaste. Malt character is kinda roasty/toasty, no caramel flavors present. The fact that I'm talking about the malt first shows that the malt is quite simple and supportive while the spices take foreground and are showcased in this beer. Malts back them up well. Ginger and some bitterness from spice, well actually I think that its ginger that really lingers in the aftertaste and lends balance to this. The ginger, while not really bitter gives off a quality that substitutes for it and while its not bitter...the flavor of the ginger and the dryness it has lends balance....and thats fresh ginger...as in I just ate a piece before eating sushi. A very enjoyable brew.

Feel and Drinkability: Body is much lighter than I expected it to be, very easy to drink. Finish is dry. Carbonation is very low leading to the impression of a heavier body, but in all reality this body is fairly light....I might say that its inbetween medium and light. Ginger really does a good job of drying things out...almost gives it an oakish quality. Ginger is the big player here, fresh ginger, not silly dried spice...this beer has a lot of "oily fresh and crunchy" ginger. This is one that I'm definitely enjoying and its giving me inspiration to create a "ginger ale." Pick it up if you can, its worth the money.

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Photo of drpimento
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best holiday beers I've had. Poured slightly colder than their recommended 50 degrees F with a smallish tan, foamy, thick head that settled after a bit and good lace. Color is a very slightly hazy mahogany. Aroma is spicy - clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, others?, malt, toffee. Flavor's much like nose, tang is up front, followed by a mild bitter which was perfectly complimented by a softness of body. Fairly dry, and spices are not overdone. Body is perfect, ditto carbonation. Finish is like flavor, no off notes at all, and of average length. This is one of the most drinkable of spice beers. Glad it's in La Crosse!

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Photo of walshclimb
4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours chocoolate brown wit a nice tan head that dissipates slowly, leaving good arching lace. Very spicey aroma with clove, cinnamon, maybe bay leaf?, and I don't know what else - Reminiscent of beef stew. Good malty IF with long live bitter aftertaste. Some of the spices are there, but it is not as overpowering as you might expect from the aroma. A litte chocolate and maybe anise show up as the beer warms. Medium bodied with relatively high carbonation that bites your tongue a ilttle. This is a nice complex beer that is great for winter. The nose is intensely spiced, but the flavor is surprisingly well balanced. Complex but not overwhelming. Try it with a good cheese fondue.

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Photo of JohnnyP3
4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

.5L bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Batch number 460, brewed on 12 Oct 09 and best before 12 Oct 12. Pours a dark, muddy brown with some red hues. Cloudy pour with a frothy off-white and thick head of at least 2 fingers. Great stickage as the foam lingers on the sides of the glass. Beautiful lacing.

The smell is peculiar and unique! Smelled like a gingerbread man was hiding in the bottle when I popped the cap. There is certainly a wide spectrum of spice aromas wafting from the glass as I smell the contents. I can detect the aforementioned gingerbread, cinnamon, spruce, juniper, vanilla, peppermint, and perhaps a sugary frosting. This one you have to smell to believe. As I said, it is really something else. Can't wait to see how it translated in the taste.

The answer to that question is extremely well. Just about every scent is well represented in the taste. The gingerbread really shines through. There is also a prevailing malty sweetness coming from hints of cinnamon sugar, vanilla, cardamom and a bit of a minty, dry snap at the end perhaps from the interplay of the hops. Truly a Christmas in a bottle that manages to cover myriad traditional holiday flavors.

The mouthfeel is quite substantial. This is a smooth, thick, and rich feeling beer that rolls across the tongue and down the throat in a velvety smooth cascade.

Drinkability is interesting on this one. I thoroughly enjoyed drinking this unique specimen, but it's complexity and barrage of Christmas flavors may make this one to sip and savor one or two at a time. I don't consider that a knock against Underlig Jul, however. Seek this out and give it a try if you are a Christmas beer aficionado. As far as the spiced holiday beer category goes, I have a hard time seeing how you can make too many improvements on this.

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Photo of jspruit
4.59/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this 0.5L bottle in Denmark and drank it back in Ireland.

The color is a darkish brown/black with some ruby notes with a 1/2 finger head that is an off-white with some tan hints.

The smell is a real mixture of spices-mostly Christmas type like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom-with some maltiness and a little floral and yeasty. The smell itself is very pleasant.

The taste is very nice with all of the spices mentioned above that are evident in the initial aroma. But there is alot more to this beer than spces as it there is some dryness and malty notes that are evident too. There is some slight nuttiness and some raisin hints too. At the end of each sip are some really nice notes that are more evident in porters and the maltiness becomes stronger-I really liked that too.

The overall balance of all of these flavors is really quite impressive actually and I enjoyed the whole thing really as it feels great going down without too much carbonation.

There is a fair amount of sweetness so I can't drink too much of this one in one sitting, but I'd like to because it is quite enjoyable. I'll definitely look for this one next year and recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting Christmas beer.

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Photo of bark
4.57/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The name translated: "Strange Christmas".

The colour is pinch black, the foam is two fingers thick, pale brown, compact and firm.

The smell fills up the room, with notes of spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom allspice), soy sauce, some roasted malt, some alcohol and bitterness. Very different indeed, much like the traditional Swedish yuletide flavours. There is a liberal clod of yeast in the bottom of the bottle.

The taste is even more complex (I almost wrote “complicated”); lots of those spices surprisingly dry malt (I had expected a sweet beer), notes of ginger snaps, almonds, and raisins. The finishing is dry – bitter with somewhat fruity and spicy notes and some alcohol. The aftertaste is very balanced with the spices and fine malty flavours, maybe with a touch of mint and eucalyptus.

I find it impressive to balance out this chaos of flavours. It reminds me much of the traditional (and very popular) Swedish Christmas drink “Glögg”; mulled sweet wine.

The carbonation is very fresh but not too strong with small bubbles that bring out all those flavours even more.

Different. Very much Christmas. And boy did I enjoyed it!

 1,176 characters

Photo of beergoot
4.57/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very ruddy brown, partially opaque, with a rich, creamy, very thick, mountainous tan head. Good rings of lacing...

Aroma is heavy with spice and pine, anise, licorice, and heavy malt grain sweetness. Very heady...

Rich caramel and brown malt notes in the taste. Slightly roasty. Subtle alcohol burn that complements the style. Further sips bring out ginger and cinnamon flavors (much like a holiday ginger bread or ginger snap cookie)...A hint of bitterness, but malt and hop spiciness dominate. Also maple and molasses...

Surprisingly light bodied for such a rich and complex beer. Smooth, chewy, robust finish...

An amazing richness and complexity to this beer offering. Definitely fits the winter festival ale model. Although drinking this one on a relatively warm early March Sunday, it still is a joy to drink. Definitely one for people looking for an immense winter holiday brew...

 899 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a soft cola color with a light reddish-orange hue capped off by a dirty khaki colored head that was fizzy and barely 1 finger high, settling rather quickly to a thin, whispy film covering. A thin sheet lacing clings to the glass walls.

S: The nose was fresh ever-green pine needles with soft dried sap hints. A nice citrusy aroma blends well with the soft roasted chocolate malting which adds some nice earthy notes. What I liked most of all was the subtlety of the spices used here. The ginger, cloves and cinnamon are detected well enough but are well balanced in regards to one another and the malting providing compliment hints of spices without drowning out one another or the maltiness. Beautifully spiced, with a nice maltiness makes for a really nice nose here.

T: starts off nothing less then superb with a soft roasted chocolate malt helping with some seemingly spicy clove hints. Theres a very nice winter feel here as well (see their winter ale). Very earthy with fresh ever-green pine, cinnamon, and ginger dancing off the tongue with a spicy but well even manner with respect to one another. The munich and chocolate malting was equally superb and would be hard pressed to find a finer example of malt flavor then right here. Theres a nice spiciness of cloves but is quick off the tongue on the finish and fade providing just the right amount to be appreciated without overstaying its welcome.

M: silky with a little bit of edgeiness provided by the carbonation. Medium body and just a nice experience overall leaving a soft roasted lacing that was earthy and dry behind on the swallow.

D: Very good drinkability and one of the best by style. The perfect balance of malt and spices, balance and abv makes this a dream going down and one that should not be missed.

 1,795 characters

Photo of Florya
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of psoriasaurus
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of Lombardian
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of bobsy
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Premier Gourmet in Buffalo.

Dark brown pour with a finger of creamy head that laced well and had good retention. Minty, herbal and gingery nose, with a gingerbread background. Really floral, spicy taste, with juniper coming through strong. I'm trying to nail the spice flavours - cinamon, ginger, cloves... All this is grounded by a sweet biscuit base and subtle notes of molasses and cherry. Its perhaps the most balanced and well-judged spiced beer I've had. Medium-smooth body works perfectly and helps this go down well.

 537 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a muddy brown color and a thick, viscous consistency. There was a big, creamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A super-spicy aroma of cinnamon, ginger, coriander, malt, and hops. One of the most aromatic beers I've ever smelled.

T: Tasted of cinnamon, ginger, chocolate malt, a mild hoppiness, and some coriander. Not as dynamic as I would have thought, but still very tasty.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a very dry and smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: An exceptionally drinkable beer.

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a kick ass ginger nose along with moderate contributions of cinnamon and clove. The taste is awesome. It has a solid malt base that boasts of pale and crystal malts. It's light going down with loads of ginger and hops in the finish. It's quite refreshing actually. The ginger really stands out. The cinnamon and clove just round out the flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a terrific beer with tons of flavor. I love the hop/spice combo. They seem to play off one another.

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Photo of Sigmund
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Bottle conditioned, 500 ml). Another new Yule/Christmas beer from the craft brewers of Nøgne Ø. Very dark brown to ruby colour, decent head. Nice aroma of dark malts, caramel and spices (cardamom and cloves). Unashamedly sweet with a velvety mouthfeel, but not cloying. Rich and malty flavour with caramel, distinct cardamom and cloves (also some ginger and nutmeg??). Sufficient hops and spices in the aftertaste. Very good beer! I’m sure it’s nice enough with cookies, but definitely a treat on its own!

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 ounce bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours brown with a few yeast floaties noticable, along with about an inch and a half frothy tan head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. The aroma is strong, I immediately smell ginger along with some cinnamon, citrusy and pine hops, and coriander. For me the spices really stand out in the aroma. The taste is very similar to the aroma. Ginger is the strongest taste, and then there's some citrusy (orange and grapefruit) and pine hops, cloves, cinnamon and a little bit of chocolate. As with the aroma, I think the spicy taste overpowers the other flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's easy and enjoyable to drink. If you don't like ginger and/or spicy beers, then this beer probably isn't for you. But I do like ginger and spicy beers, so I liked this brew a lot. I'll have to pick some more up next year if it gets brewed again.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 1.9 pint bottle into a hefe glass.

A- clear, reddish-mahogany body with a dense, foamy, tan head

S-Very strong cardamon front, cola, cloves, some hop scent in there

T-Strong cardamon front, spicy, some sweet malt, piney, and some ginger.


D-very different from the run of the mill spiced Christmas beer. Cardamon is one of those spices you either like or hate. I like it so I enjoyed this beer. Fun, complex, great mix of flavors.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle, bought at the Long Beach BevMo,

A: Pours a very dark mahogany, with a pillowy cap of light tan, capuccino coloured foam. Lacing is very light, but the head retention is outstanding, get a minimum of a centimeter throughout the whole pint.

S: Strong notes of holiday spices, most notably cinnamon and clove, ginger snaps evident as well, very enjoyable.

T: Huge amount of cinnamon and ginger right off the bat with a hint of the listed coriander. Malt comes into play offering baker's chocolate, sweet toffee from the Maris Otter malt, and a bittersweet character that works well with the spices. A light piney hop character comes out in the finish with a bit of orange peel and clove. As it warms to room temperature the spice comes more into balance and makes it that much more drinkable.

M: Solid mouthfeel, very spicy. Medium/full body with light carbonation.

D: After being dissapointed with the Nogne Pale and Imperial Stout, the Dark Horizon and this beer right here have changed my mind about this Norse brewery. A very good Winter Warmer, although the $9 price tag will limit my purchase of this wonderful winter ale.

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Underlig Jul from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
3.91 out of 5 based on 198 ratings.
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