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 keanex
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a pint glass.

A: Resembles a soft drink actually, opaque deep chestnut in the middle with a deep red/brown on the edges. Carbonation is stuck to the sides of the glass and there's a thin, but resilient creamy tan head. Very appealing looking beer, as if it'll quench my thirst.

S: Odd smell, it actually reminds me of a Coke or a Pepsi on the nose with the allspice and cinnamon. Some herbs come through, maybe sage? As the beer warms up theres a smell of a brown nut.

T: Very interesting flavor here, some rye hints with a brown nut profile. Some earthy flavors from herbs of some sort. At the very end I get a tinge of a roasted flavor.

M: Creamy yet syrupy, this is quite thick and there's not much carbonation if any at all.

O: This is an interesting beer, it has a brown nut ale semblance to it, but it's rather complex. I wouldn't buy this again, but it's definitely good for the season.

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

A: Poured a dark chestnutt brown color. A nice off white head thats fluffy and delicious looking tops it off.

S: Lot's of stuff going on here. I'm getting some herbal scents. Thyme and sage maybe? Some dark roasted malts and rye or pumpernickle aromas. Different to say the least.

T: Lot's of herbs and spice. Lot's of rye/pumpernickle bread. No sign of alcohol in the flavor profile.

M: Big soft mouthfeel on this beer. I would call it overall medium bodied. Feels good on the finish.

Overall: A real interesting beer thats different and very enjoyable.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this one for a while, not sure what I was waiting for so we'll see how it is. Poured into a tulip. This one gushes a bit when opening. There is a full off-white head atop a very dark amberish brown body.

The aroma is very nutty, with some malt sweetness and fruitiness mixed in. I'm pretty sure I get some of the juniper here as well.

The taste is mildly sweet, with some minty hops thrown in. There is, like the aroma, a heavy dose of nut flavor. This has an insterestingly twangy aftertaste, I kind of dig it.

This is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

This surprised me, I thought it might be past its prime, but I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark brown, brown head, nice lacing.

Nose has a lot of spice, almost seems mentholated. Some malt smell, but hard to smell anything past the minty spice.

Taste is a mix of chocolate and spice, with a hoppy finish. Some dark malt flavor is present as well. Surprisingly mild after the smell.

Mouthfeel is very smooth with mild carbonation. Very drinkable for a holiday ale.

Overall, it is a very drinkable holiday ale with decent flavor and almost humorous smell.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.66/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of brystmar
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally opened this bottle after months on our shelf, and I'm thinking this extra age was its downfall. Really spicy in the nose, plenty of winter herbs floating around but they're hard to pick out. Feels a touch confused, but what's here is good.

Malts ride the wave of a big, thick body. Spices charge forward from all directions, seemingly at random with no rhyme or reason. A touch musty. Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, winter herbs/spices, hints of baker's chocolate at the end. All the parts are solid, but others of the style do it better.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.46/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

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Photo of portia99
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle with a place for a batch # on the label that remains empty, but it does say it is the second release. Got this as an extra in a trade a little way back (sorry, can't recall who the kind BA was that sent this to me). Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Dark, somewhat muddy and opaque brown color. Dense finger of cream colored foam with good staying power. Thick, dense and foamy lacing covers the glass.

S - Is this beer? Smells like an amaro I had recently! Extremely herbal on the nose...more than anything tho, I'm getting peppermint. Cool, pepperminty, spearminty, herbal...very interesting. It smells good, but I really have no idea what to expect for a flavor on this one. I'm staring at the full glass and thinking this is more of a shot sized drink.

T - Sweet, heavily caramelized malt sits underneath a largely indeterminate lot of herbs. The minty aromas don't really carry thru to the flavor - this is truly herbal - amaro/Jaegermeister type flavors is what I'm really getting out of this. This is over the top spices! I do get some dark roasted malt approaching the finish with some black coffee in there too. Getting the sage and carraway listed on the bottle...I'm supposing that the cool flavors in here are from the juniper berries, but I honestly can't identify this as juniper despite the note on the bottle. This is weird for a beer. I do actually like it (and not just a little) - not sure its a bottle that I can finish by myself though. The flavors are good, but in smaller volumes - I'm used to getting these flavors in an after dinner digestif, not in a ful glass pour of beer.

M - Not typical...medium bodied with a lowish creamy carbonation. Gives a distinct coolness in the mouth, especially on the exhale. Roasty on the finish (along with the cool York Peppermint Patty sensation). No trace of alcohol, even at 8.5% - all herbs.

O - I went into this one with absolutely zero expectations or knowledge of what to expect. In the right context I think this is actually a very good beer. A somewhat warm late April night might not be the best timing for this. Late night, after a good meal, snow outside, in front of the fire, sharing this bottle with a friend or two...this would be great. Hopefully I can remember to pick up another one of these for the next such occasion - although, after the winter we had here in MA, not looking forward to that occasion especially.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.31/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Man am I tired...another 65+ hour work week...This ale better be frickin' good, 's'all I have to say...

the basics: $10.49/500ml bottle (YIKES!!) and 8.5% ABV (nice)...

Pours a beautiful, slightly hazy reddish brown. More red at the edges. Head rises slowly like the waves at the beach and threathens to spill over the edge of the glass...Super creamy, dark tan, leaves velveteen sheets of lacing...Gorgeous, one of the best I've seen...

These aromas are fabulous...I get some all spice, cinnamon, maybe cardamon...A hint of hops perhaps, but fleeting, and a nice roasted malt backbone...So far, this ale is elite...

Flavor is creamy smooth...It's luscious in your mouth...The flavors are more subtle than expected, but they evolve and mesh very well...The ale itself tastes like it wants to be a porter, but they backed off the roasted malt component to let the lighter malts take command. The spices used never seem to overpower the drink at all...They seem to be melded in harmony, which is rare for a winter ale, particularly one at this ABV...This beer is unbelievably delicious...I could drink this all day it's so easy going and flavorful and creamy...It's freaking awesome...If I had to compare it to someone that is both foreign and American, I'm not sure where I'd go....Let's think...I'd call it the Czech girl that Shannon Elizabeth played in "American Pie"...She's like the newer generation's Phoebe Cates....

What I like most: The wonderful, nuanced and smooth flavor profile...

What I like least: The outrageous pricetag, but not really anything else..

Verdict: World class Holiday Ale...Absolutely worth tracking down even at this outrageous price point...

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Photo of capra12
3.59/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed solo, served out of a short pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark and slightly murky brown with 1 finger of head that dissipates rather quickly.

Smell: I get cinnamon, brown sugar, pine cones and a hint of brown malts.

Taste: opens with a subdued caramel malt profile that seems like it is being held back by a intense spike in flavor profiles from the nose, cinnamon, pine cone, brown sugar and a surprising mint. Unfortunately there is a stale brown ale and hop bitter profile that sneaks in at the very end, leaving the palate confused.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, and slightly drying.

Drinkability: I prefer the stone version of this and would have preferred to have it fresh despite it being in the fridge since purchase. I recommend this to those seeking a christmas spice beer with finish that reminds you that its beer you are drinking.

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

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown with a 1 finger tan head

smell: gingerbread spices, malts,

taste: cinnamon, all spice, malts, sweet

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

drinkability: a very nice winter warmer. would like to track down the other 2 bottles.

the CPJ

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Photo of Jesse13713
3.22/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Finally picked this up because of my love for JP beers.

Appearance - Pours much darker than expected. One finger of rich vanilla head sits atop a completely blackened opaque beer. This looks like it is going to be very sweet. It laces to the glass like a coat of paint.

Smell - Smells of light berries and spices. A slight pine in the nose as well. To me, the nose is quite faint and isn't overpowering or pulling me in either direction. As the appearance suggested to me, I predict this to be slightly sweet.

Taste - If this doesn't taste like Christmas; I don't know what does. A huge complexity of spices that is heavy on the palate. Slight hints of cinnamon. It is extremely heavy in eggnog and nutmeg. Definitely not as sweet as I expected it to be. As with the smell, I am not pulled in either direction between sourness or sweetness. Reminds me of other heavily spiced beers; such as Harpoon's Winter Warmer paired with Great Lakes Christmas Ale. Slight pine lingers as well; with light caramel malts and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable to me only because I enjoy the complexity of spices. If you don't like the taste of spices or are not a huge fan of Winter Warmer's, you will probably severely dislike this beer. I enjoyed the balance and blending of the spices to creat a well-balanced beer. Spices can be overpowering on your first few drinks; but they ultiamtely smooth out to make this beer light-medium bodied.

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Photo of nhindian
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a Stone tasting glass.

A - Pours a burnished copper body, with a chestnut mahogany glow to it, especially when held up to the light. Even for the relatively undersized glass I poured it in, it still grew a magnificent, 2-fingered, off-white head with good retention. The consistency of the head is interesting, as it is more like a whipped-cream texture, with very little bubbles and more like a sheet of foam. Very slick looking and smooth. Lacing is up there with the best as well, absolutely coating the glass and not yielding to gravity in the slightest.

S - If a brewery is looking for inspiration as to how spices should be incorporated into beers, they should look no further than this specimen. The aroma is blossoming with sage and juniper and has a bit of a rye bread smelling quality to it, maybe from the caraway? But each component integrates smoothly with the next, rather than what I got from another Stone collaboration in Victory's version of Saison du BUFF, where it seemed the spices were just there to overpower. I don't think another beer could capture the essence of 'Christmas' better than this beer as the nose automatically harkens me back to cold winter days and warm living rooms, sitting next to the fireplace with the family.

T - As in the nose, everything in this beer melds together great in the taste. Here I feel the sage actually takes the spotlight, and the nuttiness from the chestnuts makes an appearance as well. Again, even though the sage pops a bit more here, it still works within the structure of the beer as its not overly spices and lets the sweetness from the malts develop before complementing them, rather than overshadow them. Finish is moderately long, with a semi-dry, spicy finish.

M - Mouthfeel is light-bodied with moderately low carbonation. Doesn't really coat the palate, but the finish leaves a nice, pleasant after-taste.

D - Drinkability is high. The alcohol is nowhere to be seen in this beer and the incorporation of spices and unique ingredients help to enhance the beer drinking experience rather than hinder it as I felt Saison du BUFF did. While a bit pricey at around $10 a bottle, I'll be on the lookout for this next year if its available to pop actually around the holidays!

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

A: Extremely dark brown with a thin tan head that holds up well.

S: Pretty great smells off of this one: lots of spiciness, juniper, sage and a lot of malt sweetness that smelled a lot like marzipan.

T: Tastes very Belgian. Some sweet yeast flavors that reminded me a bit of Chimay. A bit of nuttiness behind the yeast flavors and some herbal bitterness on the finish that seemed a little out of place. Pretty tasty but not worth the steep price.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruddy brown color with a two finger, but quick and fizzy tan head.

The aroma has maybe some roasted bread grains, but its mostly sage, carroway, juniper berries, and other potent spices that dominate the nose. This is not bad, just one dimensional.

The taste has a much better blending of malts and spices. You get a nice roasted malt that adds dark breads and a little chocolate to the interesting mix of herbs and juniper berries and what not.

This is an interesting and warming Winter Warmer sipper. Nice for a Chicago snow storm.

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Photo of rye726
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, hazy mahogany with a silky tan head. Nice malty nose has chocolate, dates, figs and spices. Taste is a nice blend of caramel, toffee, dark pitted fruits, nutty malts and xmas spices. Full body, light carbonation. Much better than original batch!

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Photo of chaz01
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opened up a bottle that I had cellared for a year, poured into a Belgian goblet type glass.

A: Dark brown, opaque with at milky tan head initially that recedes quickly.

S: Flowery floral aroma -- lavender soapy scents

T: I taste more lavender and a ginger spicy notes. This blends well with a cocoa powder in the background that gives me an all around mouthfeel that reminds of a spiced cocoa on a cold winter's day. The cocoa taste last long into the finish, giving the beer a pleasant lingering sensation.

M: I get more of a light to medium bodied creamy and milky mouthfeel.

D: Nice holiday beer that I really enjoyed and would definitely seek out again if it were available -- too bad this was only a one time collaboration effort.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky, yeasty brown color with an extremely small off-white head. Scent definitely has the juniper berries and some light tartness to it. It also has some medicinal aromas as well. I also get a tiny bit of chocolate and spices. Taste is surprising... Has a tad bit of that funkiness that JP is known for, but nowhere near the amount their normal lineup has. I also get some dark malt flavors and roasted chestnuts. The taste has a somewhat medicinal characteristic to it also...which is this beers only flaw I think. Not really getting the juniper berries in the flavor, but I do get mild chocolate flavors and and some delightful spiciness. Mouthfeel is exactly how I would want a winter warmer to be... full bodied and a bit syrupy with a tiny bit of alcohol burn. Drinkability is fairly decent. Winter warmers a by far not a style I prefer, but this is one of the better ones by far. The medicinal characteristics bring this beer down a bit though.

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

Served from a bottle, received from a friend in California. This winter warmer not necessarily disappointing, but it was not what I was expecting from a collaboration from three stellar breweries. It was very good for the style on appearance and mouthfeel, but the taste and smell where a bit off for me. Had a slight metalic taste, so I poured into a different style of glass and it still had the same smell. Not picking up any Juniper berries in the beer, but I am slightly getting some of the nutty flavor as well as the sage. I can see where they were trying to go in being experimental on this beer, but it just didn't tickle my fancy per se.

Alcohol is showing up a little more as it warms but not as prevalent when initially poured. Sweeter and more "warm" after it has been sitting for 20 minutes so I am upgrading my score slightly. I would recommend this beer to try for it's uniqness but not for the drinkability, smell or taste.

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Photo of crvcac
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: slightly opaque brown. Nice effervescence
Smells: wild sage, bouquet of random spices.
Taste: amazing. Very unique. Sage, toasted malt, sweet chestnuts. Wonderful. I love the the presence
Of sage without being overbearing
Mouthfeel: just right
Drinkability: would love another

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

Bottle has been sitting quietly for a month, yet was a foamy volcano when I opened it.

Great looking pour once it was in the tulip. Nose has a good bit of that shaving cream/Angostura Bitters that I got from Underlig Jul (Pecular Yule), but not as strong and mixed with a sturdy bit of malt.

Taste delivers pretty much the same but with less spice and more of a mellow malt flavor. A fairly satisfying spicy bitter finish comes on at the end.

Quite an odd brew, but appropriate for a spicy Winter Warmer.

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Photo of shodrod
3.31/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(poured into a tumbler)

This beer pours a dark, Coca Cola color with a think tan head. Aromas of steel and cough medicine are present with a slight hint of hops. A heavy sweetness dominates the front of this beer. Caramel, vanilla, brown sugar and a hint of worcestershire. The finish a very slight hop note.

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Photo of Drew966
2.32/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Special Holiday Ale, a collaboration between Nogne O, Jolly Pumpkin and Stone Brewing pours a dark brown color from a twenty two ounce bottle. The aroma is medicinal. So is the flavor. This beer really just does not work for me. I could get through a glass, but medicinal is the only taste that I can get. Some of my friends liked it... at least until I mentioned that I thought it tasted medicinal, then they quickly agreed and also decided they didn't especially like it. Your mileage may vary.

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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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