Special Holiday Ale
Nøgne Ø

Special Holiday AleSpecial Holiday Ale
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From:
Nøgne Ø
 
Norway
Style:
Winter Warmer
Ranked #18
ABV:
8.5%
Score:
88
Ranked #14,676
Avg:
3.93 | pDev: 9.92%
Reviews:
151
Ratings:
114
Status:
Active
Rated:
Aug 22, 2021
Added:
Nov 25, 2009
Wants:
  18
Gots:
  27
SCORE
88
Very Good
Special Holiday AleSpecial Holiday Ale
Notes: Collaboration with Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales & Stone Brewing

Ingredients: Malted Barley, malted Rye, malted oats, hops, white sage, caraway, Juniper berries, chestnuts, yeast.

First brewed July 27. 2009. Batch #440. Brewed with Stone and Jolly Pumpkin, 2009. Brewed at Nøgne Ø. Also brewed at Stone, Escondido, California, USA, 2008 and Jolly Pumpkin, Dexter, Michigan, USA, 2009.
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Photo of RayCannata
Reviewed by RayCannata from Louisiana

3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Close to zero head.

A rich, murky dark brown color.

GIve the complex spices in the smell, the high alcohol, and the color, I guess I expected the flavor to be more potent. It was actually a bit thing considering the rest of its attributes.

I enjoyed it. Would be great for the cold winter's night it was intended (instead I drank it on a hot summer's day at Cornell U.).
Aug 22, 2021
Photo of woodychandler
Reviewed by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.64/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
I was really inspired to purchase Holiday beers today in anticipation of making my annual Christmas Crock Pot Roast. It is something that I came up with a few years back when I was unable to travel as I would have liked & hit upon what has become a Chez Woody tradition. In addition to the standard ingredients, I add a bottle (or two) of a Holiday Ale to the mix as added liquid. It might be an easy cop-out to simply use Anchor's Our Special Ale every year, but I am a better cook than that. I took through Gourmet Cooking in HomeEc (Foods) during high school & once aspired to being a cook. This shall be this beer's audition!

From the Bottle (gasp!):

I Pop!ped the cap & started a slow, gentle C-Line pour into the awaiting glass. I was a bit off put by its lack of head, but I kept going until the glass was nearly fully charged. No head, but a wee bit of skim & a ring of bubbles around its circumference. Color was Dark Brown to Very Dark Brown (SRM = > 27, < 34) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was at once both nutty & spicy, reminiscent of cookies that we made each year in HomeEc. My kitchen outshone others at baking & we churned out cookies for better than a week, experimenting with spices of all stripes thanks to our multicultural, multiracial composition. This had that wild spiciness on the nose of many cooks adding to the mix! It was not the standard Blah, blah, blah of cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger. Instead, this was more like cardamom, star anise & cloves. 8=O Plus, there was an unabating nuttiness that I could not wrap my olfactory senses around.

Roasted chestnuts for the season? No, more subtle than that. More towards water chestnuts & peanuts, neither actually nuts, but subtle enough to be possibilities. Ever cooked with chestnuts, walnuts, almonds, et al? They can become overwhelming in a dish very quickly, where this was extremely subtle. Hmm.

Mouthfeel was a big, thick gob in my mouth & on my tongue. It felt like pudding on the initial sip! I let it just kind of roll around on my tongue as I took in its variegated flavors. It was spicy, sure, but not as intense as on the nose. Likewise for its nuttiness.

I cannot say that, in sum, it reminded me of anything in my experience or exbeerience, but dang, it surely tasted good! Spiced nuts. 8=O But how to recreate it in a dish of my own? 8=( It defied quantification. Frankly, I would be more interested in the origin of its nuttiness than its spiciness as I can always experiment with the latter. Nuts are tougher to crack. ;=)

Finish was appropriately dry, as any beer that includes spices as an adjunct should be expected to be. That said, it was neither overwhelming nor gasping. It made a solid case for going into my Crock Pot in less than two weeks. YMMV.
Dec 14, 2020
Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
Reviewed by Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured from a 22oz bottle into a high sided tulip glass.

Look is a dark hazy brown with a thin off-white head.

Aroma is winter spice mix with an intense toffee caramel malt.

Taste is less of the spices and more of the malt.

Good cold winter drinker.
Dec 29, 2019
 
Rated: 3.96 by WDJersey from Colorado

Mar 24, 2019
Photo of hblucher
Rated by hblucher from Arizona

4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Without using too many fancy beer terms, this one was pleasant and enjoyable and just what I expected from this beer style and Nøgne Ø.
Dec 24, 2018
Photo of avalon07
Reviewed by avalon07 from South Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark, mahogany brown color and a thick, murky consistency. There was a half inch of off white, creamy, long-lasting head. Above average lacing.

S: A nice aroma of malt, spices, an herbal quality, a nutty quality, and hops.

T: Tasted of a moderate amount of the nutty quality (chestnuts, hazelnuts), some light hops, a bit of malt, lots of spices (cinnamon, sage), a bit of rye, and some dark fruit. A pretty solid, likable flavor. It's heavier on the spices than most winter warmers, but it works. Pretty tasty.

F: An average amount of carbonation with a warm, syrupy finish. Medium-bodied.

O: While this beer has its minor flaws it's still an easy to drink beer. Worth a look.
Apr 25, 2018
Photo of craftbeersweden
Reviewed by craftbeersweden from Sweden

3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Dark brown beer with a thick, creamy, beige head.

Nose of licorice, raisin, dark bread, cookies and caramel.
Taste: Dark bread, raisin, cherries, hazelnut, spices, roasted malt, cinnamon, a bit of dark chocolate, brown sugar and dark syrup.
Mouth: Thick, almost creamy mouthfeel. Medium to full body. Crisp carbonation with small bubbles.

This is a great winterwarmer!
Apr 07, 2018
 
Rated: 4 by ricknelson from Vermont

Jan 29, 2018
 
Rated: 4.01 by Silke_Neryn from Sweden

Jan 18, 2018
 
Rated: 4.23 by Heeenrik from Finland

Jan 05, 2018
 
Rated: 4.04 by PJCarnell from Massachusetts

Jan 03, 2018
Photo of Korbynlehr
Reviewed by Korbynlehr from Kentucky

4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Dark and strangely a white head. Little to no hoppy aftertaste. Chocolate is thick to me, dark chocolate to be exact. Decent ‘Christmas ‘ ale would be great sipping next to a fire.
Dec 10, 2017
Photo of StonedTrippin
Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
this is a cool beer, different as winter stuff goes, but it tastes a little old to me from the keg, slightly oxidized, faded, and on its way to stale. given that i havent seen kegs from these guys in the colorado market for a long time, this could well be an old one. that said, its still got some cool layers, i like the chestnut with the malt, sweet and roasty and sort of protein rich and pithy all at once, a neat balance to the residual sugar thats here and a cool nuttiness. i like the sage here too, a dried herbal presence is like a thanksgiving note to the whole thing, festive and not overdone. lots of booze for its moderate strength, some wet cardboard and cedar too, i get the rye spice balancing the sweet crystal malt and then a cherry, cider, apple cider, and rye bread complexion, like spiced grog or punch, but somehow crystal clear in my glass, amber hued and deep looking. refined in appearance and probably better brand new than it is now, however old. a gin note and a rye whiskey element too, there is a lot going on here, raisin and dried fig, light metallics, and the sage again, rubbed and oily but also reserved and sort of timeless, endearing, and warming with these malts. this is fancy and cool, holiday-esque for sure, and awesome to find it on tap. i wish it was fresher, but it has a lot of likeable aspects, and these guys continue to hold my attention, i just wish i could find their beer a little more often...
Dec 01, 2017
 
Rated: 3.75 by heysuz from Indiana

Nov 10, 2017
 
Rated: 3.75 by brittanylicious from Indiana

Nov 08, 2017
Photo of dcotom
Reviewed by dcotom from Iowa

4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Poured from 22-ounce bomber into an Oleg Cassini signature goblet. Dark Buckeye-colored body with reddish-brown highlights and a thick, almost nitro-like, tan head. When I think of a "winter warmer," this is what I want it to be. It's malty, it's spicy, it's a little sweet, and it really warms you up on the inside. The alcohol is quite prominent, even at a relatively modest 8.5% ABV. Well done, and well deserving of its ranking among winter warmers.
Jan 05, 2017
Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
Reviewed by The_Kriek_Freak from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours a viscous maroon brown with a tan head that sticks around. Aroma is of raisins, licorice and sage. Flavor is of raisins, caramel, dark fruit, chocolate, sage and juniper berries. Smooth and syrupy mouthfeel. A very enjoyable winter warmer.
Jan 02, 2017
 
Rated: 4.49 by logicalparadox from New York

Dec 14, 2016
Photo of beergoot
Reviewed by beergoot from Colorado

4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Hazy, reddish-brown body with a decent, creamy, light brown head. Light aroma of dates and figs; cherries and brown sugar; hints of holiday spices. Toffee and nut flavors; mocha with cinnamon and nutmeg; licorice. Heavy, warm and velvety body; plenty of rich, residual sugars coating the palate.

The look and smell are okay but the taste and moutfeel are awesome. They deliver a hammer blow of depth and complexity, all nicely balanced in a warm and not-too sweet body. Outstanding overall...
Dec 14, 2016
 
Rated: 4 by bluehende from Delaware

Dec 10, 2016
 
Rated: 4 by weezarc from Maryland

Dec 04, 2016
Photo of SABERG
Reviewed by SABERG from Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Poured from a bottle not dated but brewed in Norway, into the modified tulip glass.
A - Dark amber color, wonderful clarity, gentle carbonation.
S - Dark fruit, toffee, chestnut, a bit of spice.
T - Follows the nose, wonderful winter flavors, nutty, spicy, malty.
M - A bit slick, linger is malty and delightful.
O - A fine seasonal offering from this brewer, worth seeking out.
Dec 01, 2016
 
Rated: 3.97 by dental from Massachusetts

Feb 17, 2016
Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Bottle share. Strong ale characteristics, some spice. Mild pour, huge aroma, spicy taste. Cinnamon, nutmeg, normal holiday flavors. Medium, slightly sticky body.
Jan 19, 2016
 
Rated: 4 by kylehay2004 from Illinois

Jan 02, 2016
 
Rated: 4.43 by wonothesane42 from New Jersey

Dec 27, 2015
 
Rated: 4.16 by OGShotzy from Pennsylvania

Dec 24, 2015
Photo of Sabtos
Reviewed by Sabtos from Ohio

3.24/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Nope. Smell is a little medicinal and weird, and while taste improves drastically over that, it's still a bit of an oddball for me. It's a bit spicy and grainy, a little darker in malt and fruit, with some booze and fruit cake.
Dec 23, 2015
Photo of Ciocanelu
Reviewed by Ciocanelu from Romania

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Dark chestnut color with light brown head. Aroma has sweet malts, pumpkin pie spices and some dark fruits. Taste starts a bit sweet and spicy with dark fruits like figs and dates, caramel and nuts. Overall it's very balanced for a spiced ale. Body is quite heavy with low carbonation. Overall I think this is one of the better Christmas beers I tried this year.
Dec 21, 2015
 
Rated: 3.77 by msquared36 from Ohio

Dec 19, 2015
 
Rated: 3.47 by sweemzander from Illinois

Nov 18, 2015
 
Rated: 4.5 by mikepcarney from Ohio

Sep 21, 2015
 
Rated: 4 by nathanmiller from New York

Jul 27, 2015
 
Rated: 3.5 by AlexM from California

Jul 06, 2015
 
Rated: 4 by dandiprat2015 from Illinois

Jun 20, 2015
 
Rated: 3.37 by AlexFields from Tennessee

May 01, 2015
 
Rated: 4.09 by dcmchew from Romania

Apr 30, 2015
 
Rated: 3.96 by Sweffin from Wisconsin

Apr 24, 2015
 
Rated: 4 by MSandahl23 from Indiana

Mar 23, 2015
 
Rated: 4 by Hayley_86 from Netherlands

Feb 26, 2015
Special Holiday Ale from Nøgne Ø
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 265 ratings