Special Holiday Ale - Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales/Stone Brewing Co. | Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

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Special Holiday Ale - Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales/Stone Brewing Co.Special Holiday Ale - Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales/Stone Brewing Co.

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

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

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

Added by SammyDavisJrJrJr on 11-25-2009

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Reviews: 142 | Ratings: 250
Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of beergoot
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
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...

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Photo of SABERG
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of stevoj
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Pours a dark brown color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of malts, unfermented sugars, fruit and alcohol. The taste starts off with a bit of dark fruits, turning nutty, wheaty and a bit strong. The beer is damn smooth, more than likely from the oat additions in brewing. Brewed with rye, sage, caraway, juniper and chestnuts, they meld together to form a unique flavor but everything is so balanced it is almost non-distinct. The beer is full bodied but very smooth on the palate. Soft, prickly carbonation makes for a smooth drink (the beer poured from the tap just a bit heady). Overall, this would certainly be considered a success, and apparently this was a collaboration between Nøgne Ø, Stone and Jolly Pumpkin. Its not a sour, thats for sure, sorry Jolly Pumpkin fans. It is, however, a very good beer!

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Photo of Beerswag
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz beer aged approx 6 months, poured into tulip hardly any head.lots of big bubbles stuck to the bottom.no lacing. Dark brown root beer colored. Smell of candied ginger, mint, cola, berries. Complex, taste, starts of slightly salty n sweet, menthol laced with a light bodied mouthfeel for a holiday ale, with a chewy/rich taste profile. This beer seems to be a winter aspertif. Herbal and tons of spice notes, cinamon, cardimom, jasmine tea. Starts out rootbeerish, with some gingerbread throught the palate. Mouth is numb with all the menthol or somn. Not my favorite holiday ale, but a unique approach to a holiday style. Cheese paring: pistachio crusted goat cheese, food: lamb stew, pumpkin pie, smoked fish(salmon/trout). Smoked oysters, Cigars too!

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3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. Bourgogne Wine glass. Very dark brown color. Small bubbled foam, yellowish beige in color, forms a close, wide & sticky head & leaves wide lacings on sides. Aroma profile displays : Intense caramel malt & candies, herbal – cumin & anise-, forest, blackberries & dried nuts. Toasted flavors, smoky hues, herbal infusion & dark fruits, underneath molasses & brown sugar. Full body. Moderate but slight sparkling carbonation. Velvet palate & dense texture. Well integrated ABV appears as a kind warming sensation. Fudge chocolate & fruit notes in the middle as well as dried nut zest, subtle spiced & spicy hints. Memories of coffee liquor & sugar –but no cloying- into a sweet toasted malt finish. Dark fruity aftertaste. Complex & flavorful as a Winter Ale should be!!

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Photo of peacebone116
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 500mL bottle into chalice on 2/21/14.

A: dark brown, almost black. Khaki head that recedes but leaves nice ring at leg. Looks like espresso.

N: chocolate & over-ripe cherries...not too complex, but rich. A little touch of peppermint, actually, in the background.

T/MF: creamy body w/ prickly carbonation. Mocha & a touch of hazelnut. There is a pleasant tartness (ripe sour cherries) to back up this sweetness. This beer finishes dry...maybe there is some Brett in here?..and fast. There is a spicy ness, almost like cracked pepper, in the finish.

Overall, very interesting. I never tried this fresh, but I like it now.

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Photo of pkalix
2.99/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

syrup-y, sickeningly sweet. smells like allspice in it (although they don't mention it in the ingredients) and that stuff don't belong in ANY beer. the Stone 12-12-12 killed me on allspice for the rest of my life- that one was DROWNED in allspice to the point of gagging!
this one isn't that strong with it but itdefinitely tastes like it has a bit (coincidentally, it IS a collaboration with Stone). overall... just 'eh'. regrettable, but I didn't dump it, so that's saying something. cant wait for the next one....

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.26/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a brown/black pour with 2 fingers of tan head. the scent is of zesty orange peels, caramel, almost a liquer like scent, molasses, brown sugar. yeesh, this is not a great tasting beer up front.. lots of alcohol falvor, orange peel, ginger, cinnamon, a slight spicyness towards the finish.medium body with low carbonation. i could see how this would've been great during winter months, but honestly, not so much right now, and not so much with some age on it. really not digging this one all that much.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.52/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at La Capsule Cave à Bière in Nancy, France. Deep mahogany pour with a creamy one finger off white head with decent retention and nice lacing. The nose is spicy, complex and absolutely amazing. Hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, coffee, dark fruit, molasses, maple, sage, and rye. The taste is just as amazing and just as complex. Strong malty and spicy base with hints of toffee, cinnamon, nutmeg, pine, maple syrup, black cherries, sage, rye, and chestnuts. I had a beer this past summer in the South of France made with chestnuts and I'm really liking what they add in flavor. Hopefully it catches on. I'm also getting some subtle dark chocolate emerging as it warms. The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with a subtle tanginess on the finish. Overall, this is a home run Winter Warmer! It's amazingly complex but totally drinkable. A top notch beer from three awesome breweries!

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tried this beer a month ago and remember enjoying it immensely...

The beer pours a deep black-brown with an inch of creamy tan head that laces - slightly reminiscent of Guinness. Honestly, it looks like it could have poured from a nitro tap. The nose is potently herbal with notes of white sage cutting through the surface. It reminds me of the holidays poured into a glass with an initial rye bread sweetness perfectly blended with chestnuts and piney sage. The beer was more aromatic and flavorful when I had it a month ago, but it still packs a distinct punch of flavor. The taste carries a lot of bready sweetness which transitions into a slightly bitter, herbal finish. The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and modestly sweet with a fresh herbal finish. There is definitely a touch of roasted chestnuts/malt which compliments the beer's herbal aftertaste. This beer is very well done and definitely worth trying. It encapsulates everything I want in a winter warmer with a unique twist on the traditional winter warmer spice profile. It's an excellent collaboration beer with easy availability, wide distribution, and reasonable price point.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a dark brownish hue with good head and lace. A peppery, hoppy spiced beer is my first aroma, but I pick up some good sweet malts like caramel or figs as well. Beer is well-balanced as both minor citric hops and sweetness (I seem to pick up figs and toffee which is odd) are both evident, and the beer passes easy and fullish as there is a breadiness to the beer that makes it an easy passing, dessert sipper. A quality brew that is easy to drink and enjoyable which is all one can ask for a winter style beer.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.44/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2nd Release (2012) from 0.5L bottle

A: Pours a lightly hazy deep ruby color with 1/2 a fingers worth of head that doesn't last for long

S: Malts, light rye spiciness, spices (caraway, sage), juniper berries, nuttiness, and dark fruits all fill the nose with great complexity. Very aromatic and awesome

T: Follows the nose with immense complexity. Get all the above mentioned, starting with the malts and spices and moving its way into the nuttiness and dark fruits. Finishes with a touch of alcohol sweetness and light leafy hop bitterness

M: Medium-full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Very smooth and slightly chewy (attributed by the oats)

O: This is far and away the best winter warmer I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. Very complex and so easy to drink. I'm extremely glad that Nøgne decided to put out another release of this (maybe Stone and JP did as well, but I'm not sure), as this would be a regular winter beer in my fridge, even at the price of $9 for the 0.5L bottle. This gets the highest of recommendations from me for the style

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

Dark in color almost brown ale likeness, with nose of chocolate roasted nuts and a similarity to Chinato( a desert red wine that is more like vermouth). Flavor is chocolaty to with roasted malt notes and a kick similar to cayenne which must be the sage.

Overall; It was an enjoyable beer and look forward to seeing how this beer does over time.

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Photo of rand
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 650 mL bottle to a Mikasa pint glass

Aged one year from this review

The brew pours with a viscous complexion, slow and syrupy like a thick imperial stout. A marshmallow-y head forms, which quickly dissipates and leaves little lacing

The nose is crisp, unripe berries with a sharp vinous quality. Sweet malts counter. There are lots of phenols bouncing around with a touch of booze, giving the bouquet a medicinal edge.

The flavors are a lot more malt-forward than expected, which really forms the base of the flavor profile. The medicinal aspects hit mid-sip and kinda take over. Hints of unripe berries, holiday spice round the flavors, but they kinda get trounced by the phenols.

The brew is medium-bodied, which was really unexpected from the pour. Though this would permanently coat the palate from the looks of things.

Well, it's not bad, but as I'm finishing the bottle I feel it's on the dull side. Could use a little hop twang or some funk to liven things up. Doesn't quaff all that hard, but I doubt I'll go chasing this one down either.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.57/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 12/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a dark red amber. Nice medium head and lacing. Looks viscous and nicely made. Malty, spicy aroma. Mmm. Mellow malts, light and dark fruit, spices. Peppery hop finish. Nice presence of sage and juniper berry. One year old bottle. Wish I had saved more. Did not review this fresh, but this is superb. I will buy again if at all possible.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a half-litre bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. Batch number is blank, but the label reads "This is the second Nøgne Ø release of Special Holiday Ale, which was first brewed in San Diego in 2008."

A: Pours a viscous, mahogany brown with tan head and plentiful bubbles. Mellow, inviting, and opaque. Good lacing.

S: Strong spices, but quite medicinal (sage?). Syrupy, tinged with fruit. Fennel? Oh, apparently caraway seeds.

T: Mmm, very nice. Sharp juniper near the front is excellent, but I think the chestnut really seals the deal. Deep, powerful flavours, dominated by spice and pleasant malt. Touch of fruit. The finish is lightly dry and full of sage. The ingredient list goes a long way towards describe the taste of the beer.

M: Smooth and velvety-thick. Good, and it works really well with the style. Firm, with the smoothness offset by spice.

O: Excellent! It's mellowed very well. An ideal winter warmer...rich, spicy, nutty, and warm. Inviting and enchanting. Highly recommended.

Ingredients: "Grimstad water, malted barley, malted rye, malted oats, hops, white sage, carraway [sic], juniper berries, chestnuts, yeast."
"Each brew is following the same recipe, including Michigan chestnuts, white sage from southern California, and Norwegian juniper berries, but the differences in brewing and again practices produce different beers."

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Photo of Brenden
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a medium brown that lets some orange-red highlights shine through. A compact creamy white head with a yellowish tint is between one and two fingers tall and stable, dropping lacing thinly at first, but thickening in patches as it falls.
This beer may have the most unique aroma I've smelled; it's certainly one of the most unique. It's difficult to pick things out without effort; this is a thinking beer. There's some nuttiness to it under a very unusual blanket of grains and spices. Malt makes a strong foundation, and it seems there's an earthy spiciness much like rye. There's a breadiness along with sweetness and a smidge of cooking spices. The spiciness is at a great level and complementary to the malt it supports, adding plenty of depth while mingling so things come out indivivually. Sage comes out strongly too, even more than the pie spice note, and something like pine but more like the needles than the cone.
This is one complex beer. As winter warmers go, it's got what it should: a strong malty base and a spiciness that isn't overdone. What it adds is a spruce needle note, rye (I'm assuming; it's pretty discenrable), and something like sesame seeds. Adding in a nice nutty note makes it even better in my opinion.
The body is medium and this one is lightly carbonated. It's pretty creamy and has a bit of richness to it along with a little crispness. It goes semi-dry in about the middle.
As far as Winter Warmers go, being a catch-all style and made for cold weather, it can only get a little better. This is one of the best I've ever had.

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Photo of pigc
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes yesterday evening. Internet was down.

A - Pours a very dark red, nearly black with two finger head. Nice lacing.

S - Very interesting. I'm picking up some bublegum right up front along with a bunch of spices. Some sage, pine, maybe juniper in there.

T - Moderate hoppy pine, spice, juniper, medicinal type of berry. Some clove and black licorice in there as well. Seems like they threw in whatever spice they could get their hands on. A bit much.

M - Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Spices linger after each sip.

O - This was a very spiced up winter warmer. I have had nothing quite like this. Tasted like eating a bunch of random spicy berries out of the forest. Maybe give this a shot if you see in on the shelf but not really worth seeking out in my opinion.

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Photo of PatrickSwayze
2.91/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled from Nogne Ø

A: Pours deep dark brown with a medium brown head. Damn bottle though was a gusher. I managed to salvage more then half. 

S: Crazy amount of spices knock the nose. I can't distinguish anything. Really muddled together.

T: Crap load of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg and a gentle roast the graces the tongue at the finish.

M: A medium bodied brew that tingles the taste buds with really no heavy sweetness.

O: It's a decent drink, and in my opinion has to many flavors that dont seem to really complement each other.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.72/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into tulip glass. Hazy brown body with a disappearing beige head. Nice aroma of caramel malt, dry fruit, spices like sage and juniper, some oak and relatively mild funkiness. Flavor has some pleasant cellar notes, sweet malt, caramel and Christmas spices. Fine body, balanced bitterness and a long and sweet aftertaste where the bitterness becomes more evident. Overall, an interesting beer but will not seek for this again.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle, split in Madison

appearance: biblical label...served in a new belgium chalice - garnet-mahogany body, creamy tan lace

smell: wild stuff - spruce, juniper, spice, nutmeg, malt

taste: really enoyed this norwegian offering - heavy doses of holiday spice (cinnamon, nutmeg) and spruce really liven up this winter warmer. a nice roasty malt body, xmas cookies, sage, molasses and rye.

mouthfeel: medium body, interest array of flavor and texture

overall: really enjoyed

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Photo of GilGarp
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 bottling served cool into a goblet.

A deep dark brown color with a slightly hazy appearance. The head is thick and creamy and slow to settle.

Aroma is sweet and fruity with spice notes.

Flavor is complex but balanced. Almost fruitcake-like with mixed fruit, nuts, and spices. Caramel and honey sweetness mixed with a fairly strong hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, strong in flavor with great depth. The alcohol is noticible but not overpowering.

Overall a really great winter warmer, once of the best I've had.

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Special Holiday Ale - Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales/Stone Brewing Co. from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
3.95 out of 5 based on 250 ratings.
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