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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Ratings: 250 |  Reviews: 142
Photo of Blanco
3.16/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

very very dark color with tan head. very strong lacing, albeit from an aggressive pour into my snifter. smell is mostly of roasted malts similar to a porter/stout along with some vague winter spices that are hard to pick out and some dark fruits. very strange caramel and malt flavor right off the bat. there is a flavor in here i'm having trouble picking up. mouthfeel is on the thicker side of things. drinkability is good. it's a decent winter warmer although definitely not worth the $10 price for 500ml

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

72nd review on BA
bottle to pint

1 of 2 on Turkey day

App- Dark chesnut brown with some minor amber highlights. Had a one finger head that didn't last very long.

Smell- Huge smell of the sage notes. The juniper brings a very special aroma that made this one of the best smelling beers I've had.

Taste- A big helping of spicy malt. The taste follows the nose of the sage as well as the after taste

Mouth- Medium carbonation with a balance of spices with a slight citrus note on it.

Drink- The perfect way to end a 25 hour car ride from CA to KS on Turkey Day '10.

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Photo of PenguinBeerFan
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This was an interesting one.

A - Cola black, nice fluffy tan head that petered out quickly.

S - Typical dark ale smells, lots of roasted malt with a the juniper berries coming through behind it.

T - A thick syrupy malty brew, with a little citrus behind it. Nothing really stands out to me.

M - Highlight of the beer. This is unbelievably thick. Mouthfeel is like a taking slug of heavy cream.

D - After one bottle I don't think I'd go for another one.

Overall impressions are enjoyable and this is a beer worth trying, but nothing I will seek out next winter. Might shelve my other bottles, this one strikes me as an ager.

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Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, murky, with a very dense, but soft head consisting of very small bubbles. Looks good.

S: Huge holiday types spice notes coming out of this. Big hit from the juniper and caraway. The caraway is especially strong, and gives off the aroma of spiced meats.

T: There is almost something meat like abut this. Like eating a big sandwich on rye. I don't know if it says holidays, but it certainly is interesting. There is a malty sweetness after the spices fade. As it continues to warm it seems like the spices meld in with the brew better, turning from something a little odd ball and weird, into something that seems to make sense.

M: Medium bodied, carbonation is low, and smooth.

D: This is a one off for me, but definitely interesting to say the least. Fine job.

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Photo of Blakaeris
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark mahogany brown with ruby highlight. Off white head is creamy and dense.

Aroma is very spicy and herbal. Underlying malt sweetness, dark fruit, and alcohol warmth add interesting undertones.

Taste is exactly as the nose lead me to expect. Strong hebal quality dominates (caraway?). Then dark fruit qualities of brandy soaked cherries and caramel malt sweetness makes an appearance. Earthy and nutty. Finishes with fennel and dry cedar.

Mouthfeel is medium-full. Pleasantly viscous.

Overall an interesting and flavorful warmer. Spice character is initially intense, but seems to mellow as it warms. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of bashiba
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark brown with a thin but long lasting tan head.

The smell was big with tons of holiday spice, I can't really nail down exactly, a bit of fennal, but must be the caraway and chestnuts dominating. Strong and unusual.

The flavor has a nice malty brown character with the juniper and chestnuts balancing it out nicely. Much more mild than the nose.

The mouthfeel is the highlight of this beer, very creamy and full.

Nicely drinkable.

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Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of dgilks
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is an interesting beer. It pours a nice dark chestnut brown colour with a mall, tan head. Fair head retention.

Odd, herbal aroma with a powerful medicinal note. Mild Christmas spice note. Weird.

Smooth and malty with a nice sweet note. The herbal strangeness continues with odd juniper notes continuing onto the palate.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. This is really good with a nice creaminess coming through.

An interesting beer to be sure but the flavour is somewhat compelling.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2009 (consumed on 12/20/09) served in a tulip glass.

L - dark brown with a creamy beige head that left a few patches of lacing on the glass.

S - aroma is full of Christmas spices, ginger and nutmeg.

T - well spiced with a hint of rye and a very light touch of bitterness on the back end.

M- medium bodied with a smooth and creamy feel.

D -very easy to drink.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Mahogany with a fluffy tan head and streaks of lace down the side of the glass.

S - Cinnamon, juniper, clove, sage with some caramel and bready malts.

T - Bready and slightly nutty with juniper, sage, cinnamon and clove.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. The spice, alcohol combo have a bit of numbing feeling on the tongue.

D - A little heavy on the spices but I am starting to like that in Winter Warmer's.

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Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
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

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Photo of Kshock
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Surprisingly bright brown to a deep ruby red. Decent head retention, with a slightly off white foam. No lace.

S-Very pleasant aroma of spices(i.e sage, carraway, juniper), dont really get the chesnuts in the nose. You can definitely smell the rye malts blending with the spices.

T- The rye has a bold presence through out the beer. The other spices shine through, but rye is the backbone of the flavor.

M- Very mild and pleasant mouthfeel. Delicate on the palate, but has a nice light body.

D- For a holiday spiced beer, this drinks very nicely. Nothing is too over-barring or abrasive.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.55/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

mahogany with thick sticky head. nose of winter spice that wonderfully bond with a malt and chestnut core. a bit of herb and juniper berries. the feels is great. nice and nutty malt with a quality of fruit cake and herb bitter finish. that has a lingering extremely mild sour fruit. this is quite subtle due to the fact that you have the nutty quality holding the beer throughout. a fantastic example. i would wish to have it again in season.

had another bottle in the end of oct '10
quite herbal that you can feel it on the tongue. has an effervescent mineral quality on the tongue that feels astringent but earthy like sage. quite brisk but doesn't compromised chestnut feel. wonderful and drinkable the second time.

had it again just after thanksgiving '10. vintage bottle from '09.

well balanced with that wonderful feel again. particularly creamy yet brisk on the tongue. all the herbal qualities were there. great beer. made by the fruit sweet sour/herbal and brisk/creamy dichotomy.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500 ML bottle poured into a globe glass 7-27-09 bottled
Best By 7-27-14

A-- Gusher right from opening the cap. Once settled down it poured a dark mahogany brown and settled even darker. Light brown head settled to just above film but has good head retention. Big two finger head in the bottle!! No lacing.

S-- All over the place. Vanilla, Cinnamon, Juniper berry. Smells more like a big spicy vanilla candle that you light at Christmas. Really good nose.

T-- A lot of vanilla, juniper, and sage. Cinnamon and the malt are in the background. A lot of flavor in this and the juniper berries and sage really stand out. Spice with a lot of flavor.

M-- Pretty high carbonation but works well for what is in it and what it is. The amount of spices have a numbing effect on my tongue and in effect have killed the taste buds. After it warms up more it tastes more the chestnuts come out more and leave a big nutty flavor and the beer becomes more alcoholic.

D-- Sipper in front of a fire. A whole lot of spice and the ABV is decently hidden at first but as it opens up more it becomes more and more alcoholic. Spices and nuts are really good in this but the sheer amount of spice is a bit on overload for the senses. Good winter warmer on steroids.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.37/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Found a lone bottle of this recently and although its mid-July, I have to give it a shot...

Poured into a Chimay goblet...

Pours a deep reddish black and is looking pretty good in the glass... Nice thick head that seems pretty persistent...

Lovely aromas of all of the good holiday spices.... Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, brown sugar, perhaps a little cocoa and vanilla, a touch of booze as well... It smells like a good Yankee Candle fall scented candle with a little chocolate thrown in... I'm getting some really earthy herbs as well... Maybe some ginger too.... Seems to be a lot going on with the nose here...

Very smooth delicious sipping brew.... The cocoa and vanilla are quite prevalent throughout and mingle very well with the spices. Here... There's a surprising hop bite left here that I didn't get in the aromas but is a welcome addition... Very flavorful throughout and a little sweet to drink too much of... There's as much going on here as in the nose... Earthy and spicy and delicious...

On a cold December night, this would be awesome... It was terrific in July as well... I wonder if they'll do this one again? Really nice... I'd buy this one again for sure

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Photo of drpimento
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Super dece beer. Poured with a tan, fine foamy, head and a little lace. Color is an almost opaque, mahoganey brown. Aroma is malty, spicey, dark ripe fruits. Flavor is like aroma but the spices come out more - can definitely pick out the sage and juniper; chestnuts are muted. Body and carbonation are perfect for the style: round full, fine aggresive but not overdone bubbles. Finish is like flavor, very well balance and short to medium long. Easy drinking beer. Could have another. Be real good with hearty meals.

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

Another mid-summer winter warmer. My favorite. There is something about spicy beers in the summer...poured into my long-stemmed tulip.

The body is murky brown with some garnet coloring when light shines through. The pour produces a 2-inch tall white foam cap that sticks around to yield thick laced patterns all over.

This is one helluva winter warmer. Aromas of all sorts of holiday spices. Cinnamon, clove, coriander, and all spice are immediately evident. I just wish there was a touch more of the base beer evident in the aroma. The palate grants my request. A nice nutty malt base is highlighted by fresh chestnuts, sweet dark fruits, dry cocoa powder, and a great spiced character. In addition to what I found in the nose, nutmeg and sage come through. The sage is amazing. That element really brings this beer to a whole other level.

The texture is very smooth despite the more than ample carbonation. I think, though, that I would like the consistency just a touch thicker based on the boldness of the flavor and the color of the beer. This is an easy beer to drink. The lightness of the beer itself, coupled with the great balance and myriad of spices makes this a winner of a winter warmer that really highlights the base beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Not sure what the difference is between this one and the other one, but this is the bottle and ABV I'm dealing with, so...yeah... It pours a very dark brown, showing only the slightest tinge of translucence, topped by two fingers of cream-colored foam. The nose comprises black cherries, nutmeg, brown sugar, chocolate-covered strawberries, rye bread, cinnamon, and molasses. The taste holds notes of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, rye bread, banana bread, raspberries, maple syrup, vanilla, peppercorns, red grapes, red apples, and cashews. Tastes like the holidays... The body is a strong medium, with light carbonation and a smooth, semi-chewy feel. I wish it were the holidays more often, if'n it meant more of this kind o' beer would be available. Get some!

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Photo of riored4v
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 4/19/10.

Poured into a tulip. 1 finger, tan, creamy head. Dark brown body that was barely translucent.

Smell was great with juniper, spices, slight caramel and brown malt. Some sage as well.

Taste had some good roasted flavor, juniper and sage were definitely present and a bitterness in the finish helps lighten the beer up. Slight spiceness and carraway was definitely identifiable. Very good beer with some nice complexity.

Mouthfeel was mild body, medium carbonation and a crisp finish.

Drinkability was good. Amount of spices would limit me. Hides ABV perfect.

I did this with in a side by side tasting with Stone's version. I reviewed Stone's version when fresh, so the side by side was done with an aged bottle.

Stones version had more caramaly and bitterness to it. Light in color as well. Spices became very subdued and mellow.

Nogne's version was darker, hardly any caramel or sweetness in comparison, less bitterness and spices were alot more upfront.

Can't wait for Jolly Pumpkin's version as these have both been wonderful brews.

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Photo of neorunner
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 Bottling from Nøgne Ø poured into a Unibroue tulip.

Smell of bottled holiday spices, juniper, and nutmeg along with some roasted malt. Beer is a dark black with a creamy tan head thats extremely persistent and leaves a thick residue on the sides of the glass. The beer has a light body and a residual sweetness offset by a lingering juniper/pine flavor. Malt is apparent in mellow roasted chocolate notes. While tasty I personally have never been a fan of juniper, and that is a key flavor in this beer. However, I expect a good deal of the spices have mellowed since bottling. Subtle dryness remains and allows for a slow enjoyable beer.

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

Pours a hazy cola color with a deep foamy light tan head that fades slowly leaving a nice amount of Belgian lacing. The smell is unique; a nice mix of holiday spices..the sage first out of the box, chocolate gingerbread. Highly carbonated, the effervescent texture adds a creamy smooth feel to the light body. The flavors match up nicely to the nose. A real nice drinker! Many thanks to bmanning for this opportunity.

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Photo of Brent
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I expected the spices in this beer to be more prominent, and I suspected that they must have mellowed quickly in the bottle, but, in looking at other recent reviews, distinct spices were noted, so perhaps the shortcoming lies with me and not the beer. Cola and a touch of caramel sweetness. Juniper was barely perceived as a light, piney note. Alcohol well integrated and lent a touch of pepper.

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

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a De Glazen Toren tulip.

A: Pours a dark cola brown with a creamy, one finger, light khaki colored head on top. Retention is ok but, sadly, with hardly any lace left on the glass.

S: Interesting mixture of aromas going on here. Initially, I picked up a distinct dark chocolate aroma. That led into scents of caramel, juniper, sage, pine, roasted nuts, and citrus.

T: Excellent flavors here! Again, the beginning is chocolate and caramel with cola. Then the flavor shifts to the spicy side with flavors of juniper, sage, white pepper, basil, and rosemary.

M: Full and coating with some sweetness and a large dose of spicy dryness. Finishes with a really cool, white pepper tingle on the tongue.

D: My favorite of the series, so far. Is the JP version going to be sour? We'll just have to wait and see.

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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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