Brewed by Nøgne Ø (Hansa Borg)
Style: American Strong Ale
Grimstad, Norway
Serve in Snifter, Tulip


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 969   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.8   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 19   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
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In the US this is called "Winter Ale".

A dark ale brewed specially for the Christmas season, with a rich, complex taste of caramel. This is a strong, dark and rather sweet Christmas Beer – just the way we think a Christmas beer should be.

Recommended serving temperature 12°C/53°F. Great with cheese or nuts. Ingredients: Lager, Munich, caramel, black, and chocolate malt; Chinook, Columbus, and Centennial hops; English ale yeast, and our local Grimstad water.

19°P, 30 IBU, 8.5 % ABV.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
ClarkVV (4003) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 23, 2007
Bottle, probably approaching 5 or 6 months of age, drunk on 7/18/07
Not quite as prominent a head as you usually get with Nogne O’s beers, but still nothing to scoff at and moderate retention as well. Head is a drab, olivine-brown with a dark brown body, tinted with deep magenta/violet. Lacing is moderate, clarity medium-high.
Smells sweet. Yep. Caramel and toffee and brown sugar all mix about, while a strong nuttiness and dense, moist, bready sweetness, akin to fruitcake, takes hold as well. An odd peppery/spicy finish that I suppose may be hops, though it could be any spice/herb for all I know. It hits on the back, but is mostly muted from all of the sticky, thick sweetness of the malt. Warming/breathing do little to alleviate the fat malts in your face and the complexity never really improves. Just seems like a whole ton of caramel malt to me. Roasted/toasted notes are present, but, as in the spicy note, are just beaten back by the sweetness. Medium strength of aroma. A little limpid. No alcohol noted in the nose.
Huge nutty-sweet caramel and brown sugar. Lower than necessary carbonation levels really concentrate the sweetness, but even with more/tighter carbonation, the stuff just seems way too underattenuated. Even what’s there isn’t very complex. Just variations on caramel/brown sugar. Some odd spicing/bitterness as an afterthought, and a sharp alcohol bite on the very tip of the finish. Syrupy, cloying, not complex. Even some oiliness comes through from the, assumed, dark malts, yet I find little roasted notes in the flavor.
Poured it out. Will try again this winter. I guess I’m way off-base here, looking at the other scores.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - AUG 22, 2007
Bottle: Dark ruby color, maybe black, tan head, light lacing. Nose of grape, smoke, licorice, dry rice, some cherry or apricot. The flavor is very smoky and briney with vegetal notes and plenty of hops....vegetal hops. Roasty, spicy, hoppy. Finishes with a large intense body. Good combination int he end.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
haukur (1345) - Reykjavik, ICELAND - AUG 21, 2007
sampled at the blind tiger ale house in nyc. Heavy and oaky but not as heavy as avery jubilation which I had before this. Roasted nuts, oak, tiny hint of chocolate. Well masked, bitter finish

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Drink4Satan (676) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - AUG 20, 2007
pours an opaque brown with a sudsy brown head that retains poorly. the aroma is dark berries married with chocolate and heavily roasted malts, reminding me of some robust porters I have encountered. The flavour was bittersweet roasted chocolate malt with nice bitter hops balancing out the flavour. Some dark pitted fruits are evident, too. There is also a fair amount of yeasty esters in the tatse. The finish is chocolate mostly. The palate is velvety smooth and long lasting. Very soft carbonation adds to the silky quality of the palate.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Alldaydrinker (559) - Norwood, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 17, 2007
Pours an Opaque brown colour with a small tan head. Aroma of caramel malts, chocolate, dark malts and hints of floral hops and copper. Initial taste is roasty, caramel, dark chocolate and slight bitter hops. Finishing with a a chocolate palate that is above average. Mouthfeel is slight sticky with a soft carbonation. Minor head retention of just a light ring around the glass.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
juiceisloose (1055) - Windermere, Florida, USA - AUG 11, 2007
Courtesy mgumby10, thanks Mike. Poured a very dark brown with very little head. The aroma was of roasted malts and nuts, dark sweet fruit, and a little chocolate. The taste is pretty similar with the roastedness coming through of the malts and nuts, but dark fruits come through also giving it a nice sweet taste. This one got sweeter as it warmed up. It had a good full body that finished sweet with some semisweet chocolate. This one was nothing crazy, but pretty good all around. I will have to try this again come christmas time.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
pnista (1007) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - AUG 8, 2007
Dark dark brown with a with a thin dense tan greyish head. The nose is very much in line with a stout or strong porter. Big chocolate and caramel malt. A bit of roast. Some small hint of spice seems to come in. A bit of bubblegum. A bit creamy on the palate with some decent body and relatively subdued carbonation. Sweet caramel and chocolate malt is joined by a stronger roast, spice and slight hop character. A bit of alcohol. A relatively dry bit toasty roasty finish. Really pretty nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
beerbill (3564) - Laurel, New York, USA - AUG 7, 2007
16.9 oz. bottle. Pours a very dark brown, not quite black, with a thick, luscious, tan head that lasted to the bottom of the glass and left light sheets of lace. Very nice aroma of caramel, raisins and bitter chocolate. Not quite as flavorful as the aroma would inidiate, but still pleasant with notes of caramel, bitter chocolate and alcohol. Moderate bitterness and warming at the finish. Medium bodied. I’d like to try this again around the Holidays instead of August!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jimhilt (2451) - Bow, New Hampshire, USA - JUL 22, 2007
Pours a three finger thick brown head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Totally black color. Light carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Roasted coffee nose. Flavor is roasted chocolate, some sweetness but a baker’s chocolate finish. The high ABV is hidden. I wouldn’t call this a Strong Ale, more like a porter on steroids. $7.00 for a 22oz bottle from Tully’s Beer and Wine Wells, ME.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
redlight (2317) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JUL 10, 2007
Rich chocolate and coffee aroma, dark malts and roasted barley. Pour very dark brown almost black, with a tan head. Strong hop flavor which surprises me, molasses, chocolate malts, sweet, with hints of pine resin from the hops. Pretty good winter beer! Even though i’m in florida and its over 90 degrees.

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