Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales/Stone Brewing Co Special Holiday Ale 2009

I've got so much to say between these morons passing this ridiculous healthcare bill, breweries that are so busy that they neglect customer service and don't answer questions from consumers, my miracle working at the office, end of the year crap, etc. But tonight, just a beer review. Take those thoughts as mini-previews into the next few weeks.

Tonight I'm drinking a beer that I've been looking forward to for a few weeks now. That is Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales/Stone Brewing Co Special Holiday Ale brewed by Nøgne Ø in Grimstad, Norway. This is a three brewery collaboration and is the second release of this holiday ale; the first was in 2008 in San Diego and I'm guessing that the third release will be in 2010 and brewed in Michigan. Each release uses the same recipe which includes something from each brewery's turf: Michigan chestnuts, white sage from California and Norwegian juniper berries.

The aroma is full of malts and spices, mainly cinnamon, and is also nutty. I'll go out on a limb and say that there is also a lingering juniper aroma in the background, but I could be wrong. Nice aroma, but nothing wow. Flavors start out with big malts, with some roasted flavors too. Spicy nutmeg, caramel, chocolate and maybe some honey also have their day. VERY low carbonation, creamy texture, chewy thick body. You will start to feel and detect some of the 8.5% alcohol toward the end of this pint-sized bottle. The finish is nutty and those flavors last on your palate. All of the flavors do start to stand out a bit more as the beer warms up a bit, but even then, nothing is profound. Those ingredients local to each brewery--not stars like I thought they'd be. The flavors are blended terrifically with lots of nuances, but I guess I was expecting a bit more.

This beer had some super-duper hype, and I'm sorry to say that I believe the beer doesn't live up to that. Its reputation was built on the names of the terrific breweries in the collaboration. Look! Every groupie wants to grab the rock star's sweaty t-shirt, and this beer was like that! But I want to be in the cool clique, though. And if you want your say, you'll need to try this beer and weigh in!

Juniper Bonsai Tree From Bonsai Boy

Galil Roasted Chestnuts, 3.5-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 24)

Indoor Culinary Herb Garden Starter Kit- Start Growing Fresh Cooking Herbs & Spices- Great Gift Idea!- Seeds: Parsley, Thyme, Cilantro, Basil, Dill, Oregano, Sweet Marjoram, Chives, Savory, Garlic Chives, Mustard, Sage

2 comments:

Mike - MikeLovesBeer.com said...

I thought the juniper in this was really strong and really caught me off guard.

Beer Drinker said...

I read on the bottle the three local ingredients they used and tried to find them. I guess for me, the nuttiness stood out more.

That and it wasn't one of your clove and nutmeg holiday beers, a little different in that way.