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: 1026   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.81/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 19   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
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 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
SanfordBrewer (1500) - Sanford, Florida, USA - APR 23, 2010
opaque dark mahogany, lasting thick creamy tan head, creamy medium body.

aroma: charred chocolate malt.

taste: very chocolaty and slightly charred malt all the way through. a little bit of leafy hop flavor toward the bottom.

comes across like a weaker, or porter, version of one of the super rich and complex Scandinavian mega stouts (like their own).

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
nearbeer (4876) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - DEC 8, 2007
UPDATED: OCT 21, 2009 500 ml, "God Jul" version. ("Winter Ale" version for 2009 update). Huge head fizzes out of the bottle on this opaque black beer; settles down and lasts well with some nice frosty lace. (Winter Ale version head was much more tame - even better!) Chocolate, evergreen, juniper, vanilla, orange-caramel and slight hickory on the nose. Front taste is spicy orange, cocoa, dark-roasted nuts and coffee balanced well by some earthy-spiced whiskey and toffee. Charred mesquite and bitter-grass herbs catch up and finish strong, leaving a cured tobacco, charred oak, whiskey and peanut aftertaste. Medium-heavy body is roasty dryish, and drinkably smooth with some light tingle. Super complex brew. God Jul indeed!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Ingevara (904) - SWEDEN - FEB 29, 2008
Ooohh!! This is rich, this is powerful stuff. Once I got the top off the bottle it started foaming over the top. I quickly directed it down an old english pint I bought on Ghuznee Street, Wellington 18 years ago. It filled with coffee (not american, real!) colored aromatic stuff, crowned buy a thick foamy layer of tinted, airy ale. Head! That’s it. That’s an ale head, I finally grasp the meaning of it. I had a quick sip and offered one to my wife. She said Ooohh!! just like I had felt myself. So much aroma, so many flavors, so dense, so christmassy (it’s February now) ... so ...MUCH! This is an exceptional beer. You find all the usual christmas spices, but there is also a clear hint of resin and bog myrtle. It is good enough to just sip, and it just get better as it slowly approaches room temperature (I started it too cold - I know). I’ll have this with a sturdy meal with pork or brussel sprouts, or on its own just for pleasure, or with saffron cookies or marsipan bread, or a Västerbotten cheese, or anything else that can match its heavy generous amount of straightforward flavors. But first of all I hope I’ll have it again. And again, and again.................. I’m in love.................. I long for next Christmas.................

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
superhaffy (23) - NORWAY - DEC 1, 2011
UPDATED: DEC 29, 2011 No Christmas without Nøgne Ø’s God Jul, this is the X-Mas beer that all other X-Mas beers are measured up against! This is smooth as silke running down your throat, so soft and well balanced, but still so rich, full bodied and full of taste and complex. If I only could bring one Christmas beer to an deserted island, this would be it...

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
ALLOVATE (2895) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - MAY 25, 2012
A Christmas bevvie as it deserved, the thermometer peaking in our al fresco as the beer came out. An ale not quite adept to the gruelling heat of the festive season in Oz, but geez it f*&ken worked. Like a hot coffee on a sunny day in Jamaica - works!!
At just on cool and into shallow chalices. Smoky, burnt brown and opaque with streaky yeast leaping up from the base. Thick, well set and creamy tan head is persistent and yields a fine lace. Sniff.., what? Sniff......., sharp spice? Sniff again; melanoidins, strong , sweet, rich - unexpected - with hints of wood, rusted car body, charred, burnt oak, sordid garden mulch (aids, somehow!), leather, nutmeg and mace. Smells of all that and then a new sniff simply discharges something reminiscent of a dank cellar full of oak, musty, with metallic, rusty notes and a spicy alcohol kick - Lovin’ it. Quite rich, well rounded and penetrating, into every area of the mouth and beyond. Lighter than expected body, the carbonation mild but just enough to add fuel to this elixir. Big, bellowing warmth on first sip; aniseed, camphor and nutmeg come through. Packed full of such rich chocolate and heavily roasted coffee beans mid-palate to build. A dash of vanillin, heather and heavily smoked timber just adds to this one being undoubtedly a near perfect ale. Loses its bounce and widens its load as it fully warms. This is a controlled, beautifully made beer that well and truly f%&ks up ones conception. Near Perfect!! (50cL, BB 18/08/15, Mane Liquor, Belmont)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Hallstein (483) - Skogn, NORWAY - DEC 28, 2011
One of my favorite beers of all time. Pours a dark red/brown color with a nice head. Nice malty Chocolate-coffee-ish flavor with notes of christmas spices. There is no christmas without this beer, it’s freaking awesome!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
TorbenJensen (1457) - Valby, DENMARK - SEP 19, 2015
In addition to a nice foam smells really good of chocoklate and a hard roasted malt is both caramel and smoked. The taste is expected to be very sweet, but fortunately it is not the case. It tastes slightly bitter chocolate, a little caramel and it’s also a bit smoky in flavor. I can not so much sense why it should be called God Jul (Merry Christmas), for it has nothing special Christmas flavor about it.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Ljunkan (530) - NORWAY - JAN 29, 2008
UPDATED: AUG 26, 2008 Maybe one of the best Christmas beers last year. Flavor is dominated of roasted malt, liqourice, coffee, chocolate and nuts. Quite complex beer overall, and defintely enjoyable. Maybe 50 cl is a bit over the top, but I had no problem enjoying it. 080827: Oh... this is amazing. I had a bottle from 2007 (bottled august last year) and it had aged beutiful. Not that roasty as I remebered, and much more balanced with a amazing palate. Aroma is a bit smokey with some chocolate. Flavour is chocolate, fudge, some coffee, nice hoppy taste of grapefruit. Maybe even the best beer from Nögne.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
gws57 (1275) - Saint Charles, Illinois, USA - MAY 25, 2008
Found this in a bomber bottle at Binny’s in St. Charles, Illinois. Very thick, opaque dark brown pour with a thick, tan head. Awesome nose of roasted almonds, cherry, raisins and black licorice. Flavor is just as good, with some spiciness, huge amounts of chocolate and coffee malts, and some smokiness. No alcohol in the finish; I had no idea how strong this beer was until it had already knocked me on my butt. This was outstanding.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
77ships (7976) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - JAN 1, 2012
UPDATED: JAN 1, 2014 (01/01/2012) 2008 Vintage 50 cl. bottle @ home (bottled on 05/06/2008 – batch 366) – purchased from Alvinne shop: A: dark brown with a very slight red hue – S: molasses, liquorish & winter spices – T: molasses, liquorish, winter spices, red berries, vinous aftertaste, dark berries, chocolate & slight coffee plus touch of alcohol (judging by the other reviews the aging has mellowed out this one quite a lot, well-blended and certainly not harsh or heavily roasted)– B: slightly above medium carbonation, medium/very drinkable body - lovely ////////////////////////////////////////////// (31/12/2013) Tried a 2009 Vintage. Not as good as the previous one, heavy on liquorish, simpler with light Porto notes. Keeping only the old score in account given the age.

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