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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 565   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.71/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
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!

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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
joergen (27042) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - NOV 7, 2010
Draught at Mikkeller Bar. Dark brown coloured with a small beige head. Sweet and fruity aroma of caramel and dried fruits with notes of spices. Sweet and fruity flavour of caramel, dried fruits, spices, hops and berries. Sweet finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ungstrup (36226) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - NOV 7, 2010
Draft. A black beer with a brown shine - seemingly a bit murky with a thin tan head. The aroma has strong notes of ginger and cardemomme as well as medium notes of roasted malt and chocolate. The flavor has strong notes of spices - ginger and cardemomme, combined with medium notes of malt and chocolate, leading to a dry spicy finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Pinball (12003) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - NOV 6, 2010
dark brown, small yellow head. 3 aroma of roasted grains, licorice, 7. Flavor is strong licorice, lots of licorice, roasted grains, licorice. 7 .

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TET (2885) - Kaarina, FINLAND - NOV 5, 2010
Dark brown beer with medium and beige head. Aroma is untypical, but not bad and it slightly reminds to Haanbryggeriet Norwegian Wood. Roastiness, junipers, hint of alcohol and slighlty sweet and sour aroma. Flavour continues naturally from the aroma, roastiness, some liquirice and sourness, junipers and spicyness; when the beer is warmer flavour is more balanced. Overally, nuancees are hard to describe, meaning weird. Full bodied and smooth to drink. Hard to rate, maybe too weird, but still there are something unique and interesting; I think I have to taste another bottle.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
thewolf (12328) - Kolding, DENMARK - NOV 5, 2010
Tap @ Mikkeller Bar, Cph.
Pours deep brown, bordering on black. Small, creamy, beige head. Aroma has lots of freshly ground ginger, light chocolate malty goodness, coriander, some cardemum peeping through. Really Christmas in a glass. Medium carbonation, great dry and light creamy mouthfeel. Flavour is really delicious. There is an oaky, barnyardy hint in there behind lots of dark chocolate, ginger, some cinnamon, light cardemum. Long malty and spicy dry finish. Really lovely beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
esox (1225) - Oulu, FINLAND - NOV 4, 2010
Bottled. Deep reddish brown colour. Thin but creamy head. Warm aroma of sweet rye bread, some malt syrup, and light fruitiness. And the the spices: lots of cardamom-like aromas, menthol, licorice and other medicinal/herbal stuff hard to define. A touch of chocolate in the finish. Sweet maltiness gives quite enjoyable balance and hides the alcohol. Full bodied, low carbonated and syrupy texture. Truly a beet that gives you strength.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
tiong (6847) - Espoo, FINLAND - NOV 4, 2010
UPDATED: DEC 22, 2012 500ml bottle from Alko
Batch 526, brygget 030810

I tasted a draught version of this last year and sadly the bottled version is nowhere near it. Taste is somewhat raw and too spicy, needs at least few months of aging. 7-4-7-3-13

Re-rated on 22.12.2012, vertical with Stone’s version.
Batch 526, brygget 030810 - Pours dark brown, almost black with a smooth white head. Aroma of strong spicy notes, raisins, plum, ripe fruits, hops and yeasty notes. Taste is smooth, spicy and malty with licorice, some hints of dark ripe fruits, yeast and plum. Finish is smooth and spicy with caramely malty notes. Nice, certainly a lot better than 2 years ago. Reminds me a bit of Nøgne’s #100 with a lot of spices.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ClubGonzo (5609) - Bergen, NORWAY - NOV 1, 2010
Bottle @ the NØ brewery, Grimstad, from the first batch of the second edition of this collaboration Christmas beer. Pours a near-black, deep brown body with a big tan head, just as a sturdy Christmas brew is supposed to. Aroma is molasses, nuts, dark malts and some herbal sweetness (the California white sage?) and hints of cinnamon and muscat. Very Xmas-y indeed. Taste is licorice, clove or muscat, hints of coffee, brown sugar and abundant, full maltiness. Very nice. Palate is smooth, yet filling - this has more or less all the qualities of a stand-out Christmas beer. A great beer from this collaboration between three top international breweries.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
bleeng (1669) - Seattle still not near Beersel., Washington, USA - OCT 30, 2010
Nose is cinnamon, unknown spices. Taste is all spices and some malty chocolate. Cinnamon, christmas spices. Alcohol is evident. Reminds me of some of the Anchor Xmas brews. Can’t drink a ton of this but it works on a nice cool fall night.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
bluebetty (1021) - AUSTRALIA - OCT 24, 2010
Bottle. Pours a nice dark brown with decent tan coloured head. Some lacing. Big ginger aromas supported by toasted malt and a hint of alcohol. Flavours of toasted malt up front. Spicy and bitter finish. Oily mouthfeel. Really enjoyed this one,

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