RateBeer
overall
98
99
style
Brewed by Nøgne Ø
Style: Spice/Herb/Vegetable
Grimstad, Norway

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 461   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.71   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
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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!


zeke626's rating

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
zeke626 (423) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAR 5, 2012
Bottle shared by akevitt. Pours a cloudy dark brown body with light brown head. Strong juniper aroma with holiday spices, mainly nutmeg and cinnamon along with some sage caramel malts, and nuts. Flavor is similar, rather malty and sweet with a light rye spiciness. Thicker mouthfeel than expected, although soft on the palate. Slight juniper/pine flavor on the finish. Definitely interesting.


3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 13/20
Beersiveknown (2979) - NORTHERN IRELAND - SEP 17, 2014
Bottle at home from drinkstore
pours hazy dark brown with lazy fobbing from bottle forming a fluffy mid tan head. Rich caramel and nutty aroma with a herbal undertone. Fairly dry, the rich chestnut flavour I associate with beers of this type (though probably only pick up on it because i know its there). Dry herbal notes in finish but sage not identifiable particularly. Not much coming in from the Juniper either. But very smooth, full bodied but not hot, well made beer.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Mora2000 (5695) - McKinney, Texas, USA - AUG 31, 2014
Fourth release. Brown pour with a few bubbles but no head. The aroma has some toffee, juniper and cherry notes. The flavor is a bit different. The raisin and cherry character mixes with some toffee, leather, tobacco and chocolate. Medium mouthfeel and low to no carbonation.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
cernjoh (124) - Ohio, USA - AUG 23, 2014
Poured from a 2-9-13 bottle into a snifter. Aroma is of chestnut and maple. Appearance is a cloudy maple brown with a small tan head that dissipates slowly. Taste is unlike other holiday beers in that it is not overly spiced and has a nice caramel nutty flavor. Palate is very good with a pleasant level of carbonation. Overall my favorite holiday brew and amongst my favorites overall. I highly recommend this. Cheers.

4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
fitwitchik (314) - USA - AUG 23, 2014
Poured from a bottle into a snifter mahogany with a thin head. Aroma is spicy boozy some hops? Flavor is exceptional. Not a huge winter warmer fan but could sip this on a cold night easily. Juniper there as well as the nutty flavor. Brown sugar is just right and the spice simply moderate. Best winter warmer I have ever had-PERIOD~Excellent!!

3.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
johndoughty (3979) - cheslyn hay, West Midlands, ENGLAND - JUL 8, 2014
Bottle. Brown with a small head. Spicy with a medium body. Not a lot of impact considering its strength but still worth trying. Definitely a Christmas/ Winter ale.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
RussianDragon (467) - - JUN 21, 2014
Bottle. Pours a dark brown with quickly fading head and slight lacing. The aroma is huge, with holiday spices and pine at the onset. Nutmeg, cinnamon, juniper, and ginger notes. Flavor is complex, spicy sweet, and overpowering. Rum-spiked wassail with a cinnamon stick in front of the tree on Christmas Eve. Thin to medium bodied.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Stuu666 (2283) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - JUN 15, 2014
Bottle at home. This is excellent, sweet and malty, toffee, some aniseed, light spices, hint of juniper.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ERB92 (299) - Bergen, NORWAY - JUN 9, 2014
Berries, spices, nuts and a hint of coffee in the aroma. Dark brown with a red tint and a beige head. Medium to heavy sweet and medium bitter. Full body with average carbonation. Overall a interesting, complex and rich ale.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
solidfunk (4005) - Washington D.C., Washington DC, USA - MAY 2, 2014
Nice brew that comes together well to highlight juniper berries more than the other elements. Light sense of nut as well. Light sweet finish, soft carbonation. Tap at Churchkey.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
KansaiBeerLvrs (2048) - Kyoto, JAPAN - APR 29, 2014
Shared by Mick, 2009 bottle of the Special Holiday Ale. A nutty brown pour, with a thin filmy beige head. A spicy nose of juniper & spices. Smooth medium bodied beer with a nice flavor of sage, juniper, spices, nuts & malts very pleasant.


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