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

very good
142 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 76-100 | 101-125 | 126-150  | next → last
Reviews: 142 | Ratings: 250
Photo of NoLiberty
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank this with GrassrootsVT over a Christmas dinner. Cheers!

Pours into Mikkeller glassware a dark chestnut ruddy brown with soft cloudiness. A simple toffee colored head beams up and resides into a spotty cap that retains for the full drink. Very little to no lacing. Oh, and I must say that the label design is beautiful and a definite attribute to this beer.

Smell is absolutely dominated by spice with light underlying sweet dried fruit. The spice reminds me of coriander but the label says otherwise. Sage perhaps is where the dry, earthy note comes from. A light biscuity graham cracker aroma pops up subtly underneath and blends the sweetness with spice. Very nice.

Taste is much less spice-focused than I anticipated and this is a welcome surprise. Flavor is very well balanced between round sweet malt, slight rye spiciness, plumy fruit notes and the spices that give the beer some angles. Finishes very smooth with light residual sweetness that's not cloying but gives the beer an aftertaste that welcomes another sip.

Mouthfeel is wonderful: full, round, smooth and soft but definitely not syrupy. This soft character may come from the water but most likely from the malted oats. Also very nice.

Overall a very good beer and one of the only spiced winter beers that I would come back to again. Well done folks.

 1,327 characters

Photo of cwps48
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Virtually no head. Reduces to a brim. Minimal lacing. Nice legs. Opaque orange-ish brown.

S: Sage. Slight piney taste (juniper I suppose). And a little nutty. Small amount of booze in the smell. Smells sweet, but not malty. Perhaps from the oats.

T: Large sage presence. Not as sweet as the smell. Slightly bitter hop character, but very well weaved into the complex of spices. Hint of nut on the back end.

M: Nice, moderate carbonation. Wet finish that begs for another sip.

D: This beer is very smooth. Very smooth. Any alcohol noticeable is actually nice, and slightly warming. Glad I got two of these...

 614 characters

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a Tank 7 tulip. Bottle conditioned. Poured a dark brown with about two fingers of tan head. Very fragrant. Juniper, spruce, eucalyptus. Also some dark malt as it warms. Medium bodied. Dark fruit, chocolate malt and more spices in the flavor. Spruce and Juniper. Very long finish of spices. Very interesting beer. If you like Anchor OSA, this would be up your alley. You wouldn't want to make a night of it, but fairly drinkable. Great holiday brew.

 471 characters

Photo of jampics2
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bottle procured by Adam for his excellent holiday tasting. Poured carefully as to avoid the milky white sediment, served cool. A cloudy brown with a tiny head, looks good! Last years Stone version was a holiday fave, so let's see where Nogne O can take this.

Smell is amazing, bringing back memories of last years holiday parties! Juniper, ginger, spruce tips, amazing nose.

Taste follows - ginger, bitterness, light pine. Sage and caramel malt as well. This tastes good, perhaps a bit more intense than last years offering!

Mouthfeel is nice - good carb and body. Significant without being heavy, nice feel for a sweet and spicey beer.

Drinkability is good. It can be a little overwhelming if you don't dig the juniper flavor, but I do and I enjoyed this. My sample was gone way too soon!

 795 characters

Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up the last bottle at Max's today. Very glad to be able to try this one. Interestingly, the version I'm drinking has the Nogne label on it, showing three wise men (or perhaps three wise guys), with the Nogne O superimposed on it. In any event....

The beer pours an interesting cola color with pretty good head retention and lacing. Don't get a lot on the nose, just some light spice, sweet malt and something of a cola aroma. On the palate, my initial impression was "wow." The beer is fairly sweet, but there is so much spice in this beer, and all of it works well with the base beer (IMHO). I get ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon... all interwoven with some nice dark fruits and chocolate. Mouthfeel is pretty full, with a long, fairly soft, spice infused finish. Drinkability is pretty good, though with the 8.5% alcohol (according to my bottle), sweetness and spice, this isn't exactly the sort of beer you can pound down all afternoon. Still, this is just the perfect, fun beer for the holidays. Excellent stuff.

Note: Can't verify this, but was told that the version made at Stone (was told this version was made at Nogne) is very different from this one. Supposedly, this one has much more spice then the Stone version... so that's something to keep in mind I guess. Regardless, I really did enjoy this particular version.

Edit: Realize now that I posted my review under the wrong beer (hardly surprising given the various collaborative efforts involving these breweries), and so have now moved it. Hard keeping track... :-)

 1,543 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a clear dark brown color with a 1" tan colored head. Some spotty lace develops.

Smell: a nice aroma here as nutmeg, yeast spiciness, and malt sweetness are easy to detect.

Taste: big malt presence with plenty of spices such as nutmeg and sage, along with rye, berries, and a mild nuttiness. Floral bitterness is mild overall. Alcohol is barely noticeable here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly dry throughout with soft crispness at the start and a smooth finish.

Drinkability: this is a bold flavored beer and great for the cold weathe, but one bottle is enough in a session.

 603 characters

Photo of RedBrewer83
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter...

A: Pours a very dark chocolate bordering on black with a huge frothy khaki colored head that is very thick and creamy and hangs on forever!

S: Huge aroma of sage and juniper with a menthol mint background aroma. Very faint caramel malt is barely detected as well. Not sure what to think at this point. The nose is huge but very different....and very one note...herbs.

T: Roasted caramel malt upfront that is quickly dominated with sage, juniper and mint flavors, a little spicy and floral hop note is detected on the finish that lingers long after the swallow. Good, but a little too minty and floral for my taste...Need more malt to balance things out.

M: Smooth mouthfeel of a medium body, carbonation is right on.

D: Too floral to be highly drinkable, very smooth and the abv is well hidden but too many herbs get in the way of this one.

 869 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At this point in time, this is the one beer you can get in Minnesota with the name Stone on the label.

A: Hazy mahogany in color with a cream-hued head that retains itself very nicely. The foam coats the glass.

S: Very unique aroma. malty at first, with caramel and slight fruitiness, but then overpowered with juniper, herbs and floral hop notes.

T: Malt is present up front, with caramel, honey, and dried fruits. The herbs and spices are almost overwhelming in the middle, while the hops take a back seat to everything else. That I find to be just a bit dissappointing.

M: Medium bodied. I would'nt have minded a bit more body on this one. While the flavors are strong, the finish is rather short-lived.

D: This release is very good, and easy to drink. It could have used just a bit more assertive hopping though. That would have bumped up my score.

 858 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

16.9oz bottle

A- Poured into a snifter. Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head.

S- The aroma is pine and juniper berries. There is also an almost minty freshness to it. Almost smells like a cleaning product, but not in a bad way.

T- The taste like the aroma starts out with a nice spiciness that is complemented with juniper, pine, a touch of rye and an array of other spices.

M- The mouthfeel is full bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. Very nice!

D- Overall, this is an interesting brew because it is different but I don't think it is outstanding enough to purchase again. Worth a shot though.

 619 characters

Photo of Jmoore50
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Have had this twice, impressed both times I tried it.

The appearance is dark rust. Nice one finger khaki head with medium lacing.

The smell is superb. Juniper and sage are overwhelming characteristics, along with some sweet caramel notes.

The taste is so pungent in the beginning that it takes you back a bit. Juniper berries are such an interesting flavor in this. Sage paired with Juniper make a dry flowery taste, but the Juniper berries sweeten it up a bit. Towards the end your palate starts getting used to the tastes and a mild caramel malt characteristic shines through.

Delicious brew, dry in the tastes but sweet in the end. More people need to drink this one.


 682 characters

Photo of gford217
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500mL bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a dark, dark brown out of the bottle and sits almost black in the glass with hints of mahogany around the edges. There is a tight, thick beige head that shows very good retention and some legs on the sides.

The aroma is dominated by the spices and juniper, with an almost minty character in the nose. There isn't much of the underlying malts or rye.

The taste is much better and shows a complexity that I think the aroma lacks. The initial taste is dark roasted malts with the juniper coming out right after. The finish starts with a smooth spicy rye with some sage as well.

The mouthfeel is on the fuller side of things and extremely smooth with the rye doing its thing. The carbonation is soft but full of tiny bubbles on the palate.

I think this is a tad better than last years version, though they are certainly very close. The aroma is a bit spicy for me but the taste is excellent, as is the super creamy mouthfeel. Creative and tasty.

 986 characters

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

a - pours a deep dark brown color with burgundy highlights, big frothy khaki head with great retention and lacing

s - big aroma, lots of spruce and juniper berry, as might be expected, light chocolate aroma underneath the spruce and spice

t - big burst of sweet maltiness up front with strong juniper berry flavors, mid-palate is dominated by the spruce, finish is lingering pine with the chestnut addition coming through, alcohol is evident but not overwhelming

m - medium-to-full bodied, medium carbonation, well-balanced on the finish, nice alcohol warming

d - the flavors are intense though not that complex and interesting, not all that harsh on the palate

 665 characters

Photo of jmw141
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving: 1pt, 9 fl. oz. bottle. Three wiseman art in the background behind the Ø. Quite a collabo from these three brewers. Served in trappist glass. I allowed the beer to warm for 15 minutes after removing from fridge.

A: Pours syrupy, very thick dark brown, thin tan head, smooth head looks like melted marshmallow. As the head dissolves is leave a pattern on top of the beer that looks like tons of rice-sized cells. Quite a sight. Give the glass a twirl and the head reforms and begins to dissolve in a new pattern like a Twilght Zone spiral. Then after a few minutes the cell-shapes appear like ghosts dotting the head (they aren't craters from popped bubbles). I think this head is a living organism!

S: pine, blast of pineyness, lime, spice. I've never smelled anything like this. It makes me feel like I can clean with it and drink it at the same time. UNIQUE!

T: I'm very anxious to taste this one. Sweetness is there but subdued in the beginning. It almost feels like it should taste much sweeter than it does. Its like unsweetened molasses in the mouth. The spices kick in at the front and taper off all the way to the end. Slight finishing bitterness.

M: Thick, very syrupy. Goes down easy and the alcohol at 8.5% is not very noticeable.

D: Drinkable. Perfect nightcap (I'm having mine as an after dinner snack while I watch some Mythbusters).

Overall: One of the best I've had in a while. Truly is a winter warmer and probably the best I've had this season (I feel ashamed for not rating the last many beers I've had, so I start again here).

 1,561 characters

Photo of jdklks
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours a good looking dark brown, gleaming like caramelized brown sugar with a dark tan head. smells of many spices. pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and, most of all, JUNIPER. some nice hoppiness and some dark, very roasted maltiness.

the flavor is huge on the spiciness up front. again, lots of juniper. some brown sugar sweetness through the middle, and then a blast of roasted malts in the finish and aftertaste that pretty much wipes out any hint of what came before. this beer would be better if it let up on the roastiness a little.

the mouthfeel is average at best. too thin and over-carbonated. three titans of brewing worked on this beer but give me a jubelale instead. still, a pretty good beer.

 703 characters

Photo of Onibubba
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful dark brown pour with a nice beige head. Smell is overpowering. Juniper, and an almost warming menthol like mixture of herbs. Smells strongly medecinal, like some old world apertif. Taste and body remind me of a nice dubbel, highly carbonated. The taste is not as intense as the smell, but balances things out with a slight bitterness. Alcohol does make its presence known. Very nice sipper.

Glad I had the chance to try this. One of the more unusual beers I have ever had

 482 characters

Photo of timtim
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this one looks really pretty to me. Nice, dark brown with a tan head that looks good, holds well and leaves nice lace on my glass. sage hits me first in the nose, followed by juniper and sweet, nutty, toasty goodness. taste is a well balanced mix of all of the above which comes together to create it's own personality, forming a taste that reminds me of the candies in my granmother's house that had a really odd boozy herbal medicine thing going on with them. the things going on in this beer are all triggers for festive christmas time moods and feelings for me all sliding down to my belly on a slick and slightly prickly bed of beer that leaves a sagey piney fresh herb kiss of a finish that really lingers in a kind of dry way. nice. out there. proper. all said and done, this could be like my anchor tradition. one a year to get me in the mood, and i can't wait for next year.

 883 characters

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Completely blank space follows the Batch nr, Brygget, & Best føre sections on the label, which would be a bigger problem if this wasn't a one-off... This is from the Nøgne Ø bottling of the Special Holiday Ale, so from a 16.9oz bottle. Into the Bruery tulip glass...

A - Very dark opaque mahogany body with a nice two fingers of redish-tan head. Good head retention with no lacing.

S - Yay! it's not overwhelmingly spicy! Already liking this one. Dark sweet malt with definate rye bready/spicey presence. The juniper and sage adds a nice herbal bite, helping the hops balance out the dark malts. I do love balance in a winter warmer.

T - Sweet caramel and cherry flavors are dominate in the entry, with spice and sage notes following. Before the swallow the swallow, I picked up some rye graininess, notes of banana and nuttiness. The juniper seems present throughout, but really shows in the swallow, along with the hops and a slight alcohol bite. The juniper never really dominates the beer, like it does with so many winter seasonals. The hops are balancing, but allow for a very malty and sweet finish.

M - Silky and soft mouthfeel, with just enough heft to feel full bodied. You can tell they used oats.

D - In a world of over-spiced winter brews, this one is a nice respite. Still spiced, but not to much. They did not just throw a bunch of ingredients into a beer, but crafted a brew that utilized all the ingredients to add to the beer. What results is a well produced beer, that yet somehow misses feeling spectacular, yet I can't seem to pin-point why.

 1,580 characters

firstprev| 76-100 | 101-125 | 126-150  | next → last
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.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.