Nøgne Ø Winter Ale Review

Nøgne Ø is an outstanding Norwegian brewery pushing against a traditional lager-only beer culture. I previously reviewed their collaboration Special Holiday Ale. Today, we turn toward their Winter Ale. At least that’s the name on the US import. In other Scandinavia the name is God Jul, which in Norwegian means “Merry Christmas.”

Ø Winter Ale pours deep, dark brown with a no visible head. At least for a few seconds, and then a fine khaki colored foam head half a finger deep forms. I pick up sweet toasted malts, caramel, coffee, cocoa, and a hint of spices on the nose. Smelling this beer, you know it’s going to be dark, full-bodied, and sweet. It is.

As the beer comes up to room temperature the flavors develop. It begins with roastiness: toasted malts, chocolate and coffee. Bitter, dry with a touch of smoke. Later I pick up cherry, plums, and some cranberry acidity. I thought it would be much sweeter than it is. It’s actually more balanced.

It’s brewed with Chinook, Columbus, and Centennial hops and registers at 30 IBU. The 8.5% alcohol makes it a proper winter warmer.


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required Email Address *

    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.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.