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God Jul Barrel Aged - Islay Edition | Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

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God Jul Barrel Aged - Islay EditionGod Jul Barrel Aged - Islay Edition
Very Good
20 Ratings
God Jul Barrel Aged - Islay EditionGod Jul Barrel Aged - Islay Edition

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

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mikesgroove on 04-18-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 10
Reviews by NewGeneric:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with a white head. Even though the beer is very dark, it is very hazy. The aroma is reminiscent of a highly smoked Scotch. I get a ton of peat smoke as well as some toffee malt.

The flavor is more of the same. There is a lot of peat character, as well as smoke, toffee, dark fruit and some chocolate. The beer tastes like a nice scotch, only with the alcohol more well hidden.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 514 characters

Photo of seanthornton152
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of trevorpost
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of jlb502
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thrilled to death to be able to try this one. Being able to get these one offs from overseas makes the trading all worth it in the end! Served at cellar temp and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/17/2010.

The pour was very nice. A deep, dark brown color with a nice even head of light tan that ran across the top of the glass. Trickling down the sides it left a nice amount of lacing throughout the glass. Aroma is full of charred oak and peat notes. very, very full. I have to admit this had one of the fullest aromas and flavors of any barrel aged beer I have ever come across. So much smoke, oak, and peat it was insane. Bringing it up to room temp allowed some nice notes of roasted malts, deep vanilla and hints if burnt cocoa to come through, but this was completely and totally engulfed by the barrel. Nice medium feel was well put together and this may have just been the perfect way to end my night as each delicate sip made me smile more then the one before.

Overall this was tremendously good. A rich, wonderfully aged beer that had all the hallmarks of being left in the barrel just the exact right amount of time. I would seek this out at all possible.

 1,191 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a Nogne O pint glass.

Labeled as "Winter Ale Islay Edition"

A: Pours a murky, cola-brown color with some slight reddening at the edges when held to the light. 1/4 finger of creamy, light brown foam spreads itself across the top and quickly turns to a thin skim. Some light speckles of lace are left behind.

S: Not picking up much more from this but whisky and damp barrel. After it came up to temp I did notice some toasted and caramel malt.

T: Holy crap! Major barrel flavor. One of the most barrel forward beers I've had in ages. I'm not talking Whisky flavor (which this does have plenty of), I'm talking the flavor of the actual barrel. I actually looked in the bottom of the bottle after it was empty and fully expected to see a chunk of charred Whisky cask sitting there. Loads of char, smoky peat fire, and roasted malt.

M: Sure it's dry and bitter but at the same time there's a lurking smoothness that helps tie it together and keeps it from becoming one note. Finish lasts for ages.

D: I loved how it started off by shocking my palate awake then settled down into a mellow smoothness punctuated by raw barrel, sweet malt, and Whisky deliciousness. Do yourself a favor and make sure to swirl around the yeast sediment and pour it into the glass. You'll be thanking me!

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 04-14-2010 23:47:28

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Photo of sacullen
1.16/5  rDev -69.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I have to start this saying I am not a whiskey drinker and even the bottle implies this may not be the beer for me. However, I AM a beer drinker and this is a beer.

Upon pouring it into my glass and taking my first sniff, all I could think about was Band-Aid. I didn't think a whiskey-barrel aged beer would smell like that. Not only that, there was hardly any carbonation. I could only think that a beer with more carbonation would only smell worse.

My first sip made me grimace and think I was drinking from my bottle of Nu-Skin. My next few sips reminded me that this is a large bottle and finishing it is going to be a struggle.

After a little time, subsequent sips made me think that this must be what it is like to pick up a Band-Aid off the ground, covered in dirt and moss, and sucking on it.

Needless to say, I did not like this brew one bit and will never buy it again. I only made myself finish because of the cost but if it was cheaper, this would have been a drainpour.

 987 characters

Photo of csiewert
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of TastyIsBeer
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of herman77
4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes on 11/27
A: Deep dark brown with a smaller light tan head. A few specks of lacing left behind.

S: Tons of peat, smoke and oak. A bit of roasted malt too, but the whisky barrel smell just dominates. This pretty much smells like an Islay Scotch.

T: Peaty, smoke, oak and more peat, smoke and iodine. I haven't had anything like this before. Its different from a Rauchbier, sure its smokey, but its the peatyness and iodine flavor that sets it apart. There is some traditional porter flavors in the mix as well, but its the Islay scotch flavors that are obviously more pronounced. The finish is crazy long with smoke and iodine.

M: Medium body, low carbonation. Pretty smooth.

D: For a porter aged for three months in ex Islay Whisky barrels, it was pretty drinkable. A slower sipper, but good.

 813 characters

Photo of brotherloco
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I like the way this looks in the glass. An almost impenetrable black, but has a slight orange cast when held up to the light. Foam forms a thin ring around the edge and an island (islay, get it?) in the middle.

Smells immediately of the famous Islay peat, what you get from Laphroaig or Lagavulin. Yes, there is that tinge of band-aid, but that's what you get from this distinct form of scotch whisky. My preference tilts towards the less peaty mainland single malts, but I appreciate the style. End of the draw reveals the slightly sweet porter malts.

Taste follows the nose, with a bit of sweet malt backing. It's interesting how much lighter the flavor is than my memory of the regular edition Nøgne Ø Winter Ale. Porter style malts dominate the middle of the flavor but leave quickly on the finish and leave a strong smokey peaty aftertaste.

Carbonation is a bit low, but overall mouthfeel and drinkability is good. Don't get much of the ABV at all.

They aren't kidding with the warning on the side of the label. If you haven't had a dram or two of Islay scotch, you'll be very surprised by the flavor of this beer. It's certainly a niche brew, but I'm really glad I got to try it.

 1,191 characters

Photo of tuckerlikesbeer
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of AlexAfonin
3.94/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of buckyp
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of OakedCanuck
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into tulip. Labelled as "winter ale"

A - This beer pours a deep, cola brown with accenting reddish/purple edging. A sandy tan head forms about an inch of head that leaves thin, horizontal lacing.

S - Whew, smells like a smokehouse that is burning a dried out compost heap. VERY earthy smoke from the peat. You do pick up some oak, whiskey, toffee, burnt coffee.

T - Peat, peat and more peat, and whiskey. This one is very over the top. It almost tastes like I am drinking it straight out of the barrel. Aside from that, there is some roasty chocolate, lots of wood, some pepper and very minor brown sugar.

M - Medium, drying, slightly bitter

O - An interesting beer. It tastes exactly like you'd expect however you would expect it to be better balanced and not so lopsided to the peaty, smoky side. Ok, but won't be having again.

 853 characters

Photo of MasterSki
3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

US import version labelled as Winter Ale - Islay Edition. Served in a Half Acre pint glass.

A - Pours with a late-rising dime of tan foam that settles to a thick ring and partial cap, with a few thin fingers of lace. Body is a very dark brown that approaches glass, but reveals a transparent light brown glint at the fringes of the glass.

S - Dear God, this smells like straight up scotch whisky. Peat, smoke, permanent marker, salt, iodine, and seaweed - it's all in there. There's some faint wood, and as it warms up there is a hint of sweet malt in the background. However, the base beer has pretty much been obliterated.

T - Taste like burnt peat and wood. There is some glazed ham implied by the combination of sweet malts and smoke character. I found the base beer to have elements of burnt malt and anise, and those are present here, although it's hard to tell if they are actually from the base beer or from the barrel-aging (or both).

M - Not much alcohol heat, considering it tastes like whisky. Body is somewhat thin and undercarbonated - watery in fact. Somewhat slimy finish. Not really digging the feel, although it certainly makes the beer go down quickly.

D - After taking one whiff I immediately regretted opening this without friends to share. No one needs 500ml of straight up Islay flavored beer. That being said, the lack of alcohol and watery thin texture makes it incredibly easy to slam down.

To be fair Nøgne Ø warns you on the label. “Please be aware that this is not a subtle beer. If you are unable to appreciate the flavor of Islay Scotch whisky, then this beer is certainly not for you. Three months of aging in fresh Islay whisky barrels did this. Certainly great for whisky lovers, but not necessarily for those in search of subtle and balanced flavors.”

I can't be too critical if this was their goal, as they were remarkably successful in achieving it. I can, however, say that this isn't something I'd pay $17 for again.

 1,968 characters

Photo of jzlyo
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of dgilks
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with reddish highlights with a big, creamy tan head. Decent head retention.

Earthy, smoky aroma with strong phenolic notes. Nice, the barrel really comes through.

Smooth, sweet chocolatey porter notes come through with smokey, salty, phenolic overtones from the Islay barrels. Really cool if you like this type of whisky.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Nicely accentuates the flavours.

Really interesting beer. The Islay barrels definitely dominate but I like the flavours and enjoy this beer. Another great beer from Nogne O.

 549 characters

Photo of Daniellobo
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice Islay aged brew. Actually not half as assertive or complex as it suggests but pleasing nevertheless.

Presentation: 500 ml brown capped bottle. Simple front label design with the Nøgne Ø in a wood pattern, black background with silver framing and falling snowflakes. Includes a small paragraph noting the intent, ingredients, and main characteristics of the brew. Lacks bottling or freshness date (late 2010 release) Shows 8.5% Alc. by Vol. Served in a snifter.

A - Dark brown pour with a good head, fair retention, soft surface memory and some touches of lacing.

S - Nice nose, softy woven, not that assertive, Whisky, malt, caramel, generic Islay sense with some peat, salt and weed. Recognizable but not too strong.

T - Taste follows the nose but in this context while good it does not give the full Islay sense promised. General Islay profile, again a layer of peaty, salty, and faintly weedy flavor. Over sweet malt, caramel...

M - Medium body with soft carbonation, smooth feel, and a creamy end, touch of booze emerges in the finish with a warming spicy presence in the tongue.

D - Good sipper, but lacking a push to make it memorable.

Notes: Pity, this is good but feels a bit generic. It is almost as if they were trying to do a pleasing-entry level Islay brew... It is nice but would love to see it pushed further. In all fairness it is probably my fault, it is a good brew but I was expecting more of it.

 1,430 characters

God Jul Barrel Aged - Islay Edition from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 20 ratings
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