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.
Very Good
260 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 260 |  Reviews: 146
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of StonedTrippin
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...

 1,446 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown/black with a nice tan head. Nose is all cloves and spice with lavender undertones and a nose "finish" of sage. Nice nose all around;

Mouthfeel is incredible. Rich, "top of the milk bottle" thick creamy character with big body and texture. Nicest mouth of any holiday ale I've tried. Tastes rich and "expensive." The body along with a perfect balance just makes this feel great in your mouth.

Flavors follow expectations at this point. Rich fruity malt, big spices with the sage standing out but not being overbearing. Flavors are big, rich, full and super complex. You can find carmel, toffee, coffee, fruity malts, sage, carroway, winter spices, licorice, espresso and you can even get hints of the chestnuts and junipers if you look for them.

Finish is very nutty and spicy with cloves and allspice.

Quintessential holiday ale for me. Wouldn't drink it every day but perfect for a few once a year treat at the holidays. This can also age a bit which should be an interesting drink.

 1,008 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Knapp85
4.46/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured out as a deep brownish red color that had a yellowish white head on it. This beer looks super thick, it looks like the bubbles forming the head are actually struggling to get to the top for air. In the light this beer look fantastic, beautiful looking color with a nice creamy looking head. The aroma is very impressive as well, it's loaded with pine, spices, and some Christmas berry aromas. There is a slight hop aroma in there too. The taste of this beer has a healthy amount of spices, pumpkin, berries, and even a touch of mint in the late aftertaste. The mouthfeel is thick and heavy, it's got the a really great feel to it for the winter months. Overall, this is probably the best Winter Warmer I've had to date. I enjoyed just about everything this beer had to offer. Look forward to having this time and time again during the winter months.

 866 characters

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Special Holiday Ale starts with a froathy pour delivering a deep brown, light ruby, and almost purple-ish hints. A billowing dense tan head coats the beer evenly and lasts the session, leaving an ordinant amount of lacing behind. A good sturdy look.

This Winter Warmer gives a lot of malty flavors and aromas up front. Very creamy, rounded, and full- nearly chewy. But then the beer settles just a bit as the spicy allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange zest, and clove rise giving the beer more complexity and depth. Light on hops, the beer relies on the spices for balance as well. The maltiness keeps the spices from becomming astringent. The complex malt bill seems to be rooted in a cleaner Scottish Ale style.

A delicious beer that obviously tilts toward the sweet-malty side and keeps the spices in check.

 815 characters

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into tulip, almost a gusher upon opening. Pours dark brown color with a nice 2 finger dense light tan head with good retention. Some decent lacing on the glass as well. Aromas of ginger, cinnamon, all spice, roasted malt, molasses, and nuttiness. Taste of tons of cinnamon, clove, all spice, ginger, and nuttiness in the front; that leads to strong notes of toffee, caramel, and molasses on the back. Big lingering notes of roasted malt, caramel, and molasses with spices after the finish. Great balance of flavors as well. Nice smooth medium-full body with fairly high carbonation. Drinkability is great for the level of alcohol. No alcohol noticed in the taste and a slight warming after the finish. Overall an excellent winter warmer, probably the best one I have had yet.

 789 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cola brown color capped by a massive tan head that develops like a stout; plenty of stickage and lace

Smell: Sage and juniper dominate, with spruce, chestnut and holiday spices not far behind

Taste: A spice cake malt backbone with the rye spice prominent serves as a platform for the unique blend of ingredients to shine by mid-palate; the sage and juniper jump out at first, but the chestnut really comes on in the middle; after the swallow, there is a dark fruit addition to the spices, with a lot of lingering spices flavors that last into the finish

Mouthfeel: An abundance of oatmeal makes this beer as thick and creamy as egg nog, and it is the first beer I have tasted where the thickness of the body makes it difficult to detect the carbonation

Drinkability: I go back and forth on the mouthfeel, but have ultimately come to the conclusion that I would like a slightly more traditional mouthfeel; still, the spice character of this beer is very unique and while I would not want more than one at a setting, it is well worth checking out

 1,068 characters

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Ciocanelu
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.

 361 characters

Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My second winter warmer/CHRISTmas beer of the season.Poured into a imperial nonic a deep murky chesnut brown with a thinner creamy beige head that held well,aromas are herbal with alot of raw nuttiness,I would say raw fits the nose profile pretty well.A full mouthfeel,it seemed to be lower carbonated,flavors start out sweetish and cakey with juniper, and a sharp herbal note in the finish.A nice cool weather beer here,Iam not a big fan of jupiner berry flavors, but there is a nice mix of other flavors in the profile.

 521 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up a ways back, I believe at Capone's. Served in a SAVOR snifter at our Christmas in July party last weekend.

Pours a moderate brown-copper color with a slight off-white head and a bit of lacing. The nose brings loads of pine needs and a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon. The flavor takes it down a notch and everything is quite palatable; the pine and spices blend quite well. Smooth feel and a medium body. Pretty good.

 430 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 ML bottle into a tulip. 2009 vintage.

a - Pours a dark brown color with 2 inches of tan head and hight carbonation evident.

s - Smells strongly of spices and those juniper berries. Also some cinnamon, pine, and a hint of vanilla. Interesting.

t - Tastes of roasted and caramel malts, spices, and vanilla.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and would be even better with a tiny bit less carbonation.

d - I thought this was a pretty good winter warmer that was definitely heavy on spices in both the smell and taste. The smell had a very unique smell to it, which I think was the juniper beers, and the taste was a pretty standard winter warmer. Would give another shot and would be interested in trying side by side with the other breweries' versions.

 794 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chestnut brown that is transparent when backlit with early morning sun, has cherry and orange highlights, and is capped by three fingers of ecru colored froth. This was one of the most creamy looking/sounding pours in quite a while. The only minor negative is an almost featureless head. Lace is scarce at first, then comes through in the end.

The brewers decided to use ingredients indigenous to each of their areas, so they added Michigan chestnuts, SoCal white sage, and Norwegian (actually Italian) caraway seeds. This brew also contains 25% rye malt and oats. Finally, this should be the same basic recipe as Stone Special Holiday Ale, although this ABV is 0.5% lower.

The aroma is tremendous if you're a fan of herbed and spiced beer. Chestnuts and rye malt aren't appreciated, but sage and caraway definitely are. The beer also smells like spruce boughs and cardomom, although neither was used. Pungent and perfumy and more than pleasant.

Nogne SHA is at least as good as my memory of Stone SHA. This is in-your-face ale that blasts the taste buds with flavor and makes no apologies for it. However, it will most likely become slightly palate fatiguing over time, especially since the boys from Grimstad upped the bottle volume to 500 ml.

Pumpernickel toast and seeded rye toast hold down the bottom end with a granite-like solidity. Still not feeling the chestnuts, but then I've never eaten one. The spices are pinging and ponging all over the damn place and making sure the mouth party never winds down for an instant. Great choice of ingredients, perfect proportions.

The mouthfeel almost earns the next highest score. It's closer to medium than to light for the ABV, is incredibly lush, and pampers the mouth from beer entry to beer exit. Not sure how Stone's version has it beat, but then opinions can change from day to day and beer to beer.

Nogne Special Holiday Ale is what happens when three talented brewers put their heads together and start experimenting. It won't be for everyone, but this stuff blows Anchor Our Special Ale (which it resembles) out of the water.

 2,090 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe429 at the Christmas in July party. Thanks Mike!

The beer is brown, with a small head that fades rapidly, leaving minimal lacing. The aroma is grandiose, with pine, Christmas spices, and alcohol. The flavor brings a huge pine needle flavor, like drinking Christmas tree juice with cinnamon and nutmeg sprinkled on top. The body is thin, and the flavor, while decent, is overbearing. I would prefer more balance and subtlety. A small portion was more than enough for me.

 493 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this to do a side-by-side tasting with the old Stone version.

A: Fairly similar to the previous version in that it's a dark brown with some reddish highlights and a tan colored head.

S: The sage seems to be the most dominant of the flavorings in this beer. The juniper is also quite present and overall the beer just has a very "spicy" feel to it. There is a bit of sweetness hiding in there as well.

T: Despite the nose, the flavor is a little more restrained in terms of the spices. The rye does lend its version of spice to the beer, and the sage is still there as well. A nice sweetness and a mild (hop) bitterness.

M: Fairly full bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: Like the Stone brewed beer before it, this one is good, but "different". I enjoy it for the creative ingredients and being able to make a pretty decent beer, but definitely one of those winter time only beers.

 908 characters

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Special Holiday Ale - Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales/Stone Brewing Co. from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 260 ratings