Nøgne Ø Special Holiday Ale Review

The label of this beer has a silhouette of the 3 Magi traveling on camels to find the Messiah. Three brewing kings collaborated on Special Holiday Ale – Nøgne Ø of Norway, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales of Michigan, and Stone Brewing from California.

Special Holiday Ale pours brown with a few bubbles but no head. Sweet malts, juniper, cherry and sage greet your nose. I pick up cherry, juniper, spice, and perhaps some nut from the Michigan chestnuts included in the brew. It’s an interesting beer with a lot going on. It starts sweet with dark fruits then moves to a cola tingle on my tongue and some acidity in my cheeks. The malted barley, rye and oats give it a medium body. The hops are there, but in the background.

The faint sour cheer zing reminiscent of Jolly Pumpkin’s Christmas ale, Noel de Calabaza. Special Holiday Ale is bottle conditioned, 50 IBU and 8.5% ABV.

If you can get your hands on a bottle, please leave it on the mantel instead of milk and cookies.

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    While it’s difficult to picture Santa as a young man, he was once. He met the future Mrs. Claus one snowy night when she offered him a winter ale that she brewed herself. It was love at first sight – for both the Mrs. and her winter ales. With Santa’s growing fame, his favorite brews became named after his favorite day – Christmas. Santa now travels the world each year to spread the joy that began in a stable in Bethlehem two millennia ago.

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