Brewed by Nøgne Ø (Hansa Borg)
Style: Spice/Herb/Vegetable
Grimstad, Norway


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 494   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.7   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
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This is the second release of Special Holiday Ale, which was first brewed in San Diego in 2008. Each brew is following the same recipe, including Michigan chestnuts, white sage from southern California and Norwegian juniper berries, but differences in brewing and aging practices produce different beers. Cheers to being different! Skål!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
gam (3385) - brisbane, AUSTRALIA - FEB 14, 2010
Frothy biege head on top a misty brown pour aroma earthy spice bit of pepper flavour spicy chestnut juniper berries bright flavoured ale finish smooth with bright flavours good malt and smooth bitter not bad

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - FEB 14, 2010
Had this side by side with the Stone one. It was a bit sweeter and I think would have benefited from a little bit more bittering hops. Spices are pretty nice though with the sage and chestnuts being a bit more pronounced that in the Stone. Decent holiday ale.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
jefcon (1434) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - FEB 14, 2010
Pours gently with a smooth, soft layer of foam and considerable lacing. Chocolate aromas rise off the beer, with a nutty backing quality that makes this beer smell inviting and warm. Palate is absolutely excellent. The alcohol isn’t hot, the chocolate and spices come through brilliantly, and mouthfeel is full and the finish is long and nutty. It’s a really smooth spiced ale, with a lot in common with the palates of better milk stouts. Nice caramel notes towards the finish in addition to a heavy dose of cocoa and semisweet chocolate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JackT (71) - Lansing, Michigan, USA - FEB 14, 2010
Pours brown with a tan head. The aroma is berry, spice, mint, and dark fruit. The flavor has some roast, caramel, cinnamon, and nutmeg, all balanced well with bitterness, and the finish is slightly sour. The mouth feel is very smooth and creamy.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jrob21 (2705) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - FEB 13, 2010
I am just realizing the concept behind this beer so had to check my last rating of version one from stone. This version seems to be much more dependant on the juniper berries as last year’s was much more hop dominant. Distinct yeast presence gives the flavor a wildness that is a little more pronounced than I remember as well. Fruity finish and sweetness that lasts a while. Very seasonal so don’t hold on to this one for too long. A uniquely spicey berry and pine aroma. Very prominent with that berry here which I wish just a tad toned down but this is a pretty entertaining beer nonetheless.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
keepersj12 (2785) - Sicklerville, New Jersey, USA - FEB 13, 2010
How do you pronounce Nogne? Great aroma of Thanksgiving and Christmas waifs up from the bottle. Absolutely beautiful dark mahogany with a big tan head. Flavor is complex with sweet malt and molasses up front with a bunch of spice in the middle followed by some hop bitterness. Finishes clean and crisp. One of my top Christmas beers even though it’s February.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
vyvvy (4178) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - FEB 11, 2010
Pours chestnut brown with a large rocky tan head. The aroma is very spiced up with toasted malt, hints of maple syrup and brown sugar, but the spice offsets the sweetness and it seems balanced. The spices aren’t what I’m used to having, so I’m not sure which stands out more, but it is powdery and earthy. Medium / full body that has some slickness and has frothy carbonation. The flavor starts with the aroma traits, but the malt is more prevalent to balance out the spices and chestnut shows through especially on the finish. There is some noticeable alcohol, but it is integrated well with the other flavors. The finish is dry and spiced. An interesting and enjoyable beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Travlr (13679) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - FEB 5, 2010
Bottle courtesy of tarheels86 - thank you sir! Dark maroon color with a thin off white head that settles quickly to leave scant lacing. Aroma of pumpernickel and rye breads. Taste starts as a corned beef on rye and progresses to birdseed. But in a good way. Interesting, and slightly experimental, but not extreme.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
beerguy101 (5319) - Newark, California, USA - FEB 4, 2010
Sampled on 1/2/2010. This ale pours a dark brown color from a 50cl bottle. Medium sized white foamy head with decent lacing. The aroma is juniper, caraway, dark fruit and sweet. A medium bodied spiced ale. The malts are dark fruit and sweet, nutty and spicy. The hops are earthy and floral. Nice carbonation. Hints of chocolate and banana. Nice holiday Ale. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
JoeMcPhee (8746) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 4, 2010
Deep brown pour with a thick tan head. The nose is really great. Bright herbal/spicy nose with loads of rye and caraway as well as a heavy dose of juniper. There is a bright minty component as well that works really well. Light date fruitiness and a bit of gingery spice as well. The flavour is quite a bit sweeter and richer than the Stone brewed version. There is a bit less of the spicy rye component but there is more fruity malt complexity. Great stuff.

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