RateBeer
overall
97
99
style
Brewed by Nøgne Ø (Hansa Borg)
Style: Spice/Herb/Vegetable
Grimstad, Norway

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 511   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.71   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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!


3.7
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
jsquire (3760) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - FEB 26, 2010
Turbid brown color with a thin beige head. Big alcohol nose with spice and hair spray. Warm, almost smokey flavors with sage, juniper and other spices and caramel sweetness. Big, malty beer with lots of spices and hot alcohol.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
mastabass666 (277) - California, USA - FEB 25, 2010
Pours red-brown with a tan head. Aroma-winter green, minty, herbal, malty. Taste- spruce, earth, herbs, mouthwash, wintergreen, chocolate. Weird but good.

4.1
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Taverner (1100) - San Ramon, California, USA - FEB 24, 2010
WOW! Notes of damn near every fruit in the nose of this one! Aroma is fresh cane sugar and kola nut. Pours a cola brown with head that goes away. The juniper really works in this one! Finish clean.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - FEB 24, 2010
Poured a murky brown color with a tan head. Yeasty spicy aroma with some chocolate malt notes. Dry chocolate flavor with a very long spicy finish. Dry finish and warming. Light to medium bodied.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
brokensail (13679) - Orange County, California, USA - FEB 21, 2010
A: Fairly similar to the previous version in that it’s a dark brown with some reddish highlights and a tan colored head. S: The sage seems to be the most dominant of the flavorings in this beer. The juniper is also quite present and overall the beer just has a very "spicy" feel to it. There is a bit of sweetness hiding in there as well. T: Despite the nose, the flavor is a little more restrained in terms of the spices. The rye does lend its version of spice to the beer, and the sage is still there as well. A nice sweetness and a mild (hop) bitterness. M: Fairly full bodied with moderate carbonation. D: Like the Stone brewed beer before it, this one is good, but "different". I enjoy it for the creative ingredients and being able to make a pretty decent beer, but definitely one of those winter time only beers.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
13mikey (503) - New Hope, Minnesota, USA - FEB 21, 2010
500 ml bottle from Princeton’s. Very dark brown pour with a big tan head. Aroma is full of spices, I can’t really pick out the individual ones but it definitely has a "holiday spice" feel to it. Mouthfeel is chewy and flavor is sweet with those same spices and it ends in a delightfully flavorful finish with a hint of chocolate. This beer really embodies a holiday ale.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
danielcurtis81 (1519) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 19, 2010
500 mL bottle from the Best Damn Beer Shop I think. I thought I missed this one earlier in the season. The appearance is a deep chestnut brown with a thick medium brown head. A lot deeper then I remember Stone’s take. The juniper berries jump out first to the nose followed by coriander, sage, and pine-sol. The flavors start with a full rich malt with the juniper hitting the sides to push the beer forward, sage and pine follow to provide a really full mouth.. Some dried cranberries as well. A little better then I remember the first rendition. I am most excited about JP’s soured version if the rumors are true!

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
1FastSTi (3344) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 19, 2010
Thanks Chuck. The beer pours to a deep black mahogany/ruby body with a thin but coating off-white head. The aroma is quite balanced. I never would expect that sage, chestnuts, and juniper berries would work together. The sage comes off sweet and blended with the juniper smells almost like thyme and oregano. The flavor seems pretty chocolate-like with a nice sweet herbal compound. The finishing flavor of the beer seems to have some nuttiness which could likely only be the chestnuts. The palate is kind of dry stout like.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
MIBRomeo (2570) - Wisconsin, USA - FEB 19, 2010
Very dark Ruby almost brown pour w/ a short dense tan small bubbled head w/ perfect lacing. Full well coated and lightly creamy palate. Big aroma tons of fresh sage a light juniper berry - fresh & bright light sweet caramel underneath and a bit of an earthy note. There’s a light nuttiness in the aftertaste that I might not have placed as nuts had I not read the description. There’s also a hint of something that comes through as chocolate in the aftertaste as well but I’m not sure that it’s chocolate. An original taste & delicious.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
yespr (36095) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - FEB 19, 2010
50 cL bottle. Pours hazy dark brown with a thick off-white to tan head, Aroma is dark spiced, ginger and cinnamon. Hard roasted malt too. Sweet, ginger fruity and dry spiced. Citric and dry into the finish. Dry and citric lasting impression. Too spiced for my liking


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