Tweet As I mentioned in previous post, I have loads of pending tasting notes, some are a couple of months old, actually. Considering that Christmas is still rather fresh in our memories (and around our waislines) I will start the winter clearing with one of the Christmas specials I had during the last Holidays.
I had already tasted one of the beers from Nøgne Ø. It was their Imperial Stout, which was part of the selection my friend and fellow beer blogger Knut Albert brought me on his visit to Prague last summer. I liked the beer a lot, so much so that I almost choose it as one of the beers of 2008. I was really looking forward to tasting their God Jul, brought to me by Gunnar, another Norwegian beer enthusiast with whom we had a fantastic lunch at Chýně together with his brother.
I waited until the weekend between Christmas and New Year to open it. I wanted to drink it and taste it when it was quiet. I really like the minimalist design of Nøgne Ø's labels, and also all the information they offer on them (in Norwegian, but you can find it in English on the website, though I must also thank Gunnar for bothering to print an English translation of the label). They recommend us to drink the beer at 12°, so I put it outside for a few minutes to chill while I read the rest of the info. It is brewed with Lager, Munich, caramel, black and chocolate malt; Chinook, Columbus and Centennial hops; English ale yeast and the local Grimstad water. What caught my attention the most, though is the advice of, after buying it, letting the beer stay for 2 to 3 days to allow the sediments to settle.
Having waited already a few minutes, it was time to open this Nordic delight. It pours a very dark amber, almost black, topped by a generous beige head. In the bouquet I felt coffee, spices, wood and some tobacco. It's got a very generous body, it starts with chocolate that slowly becomes dry and rather spicy (clove, cayenne pepper?), it is intense, but not overwhelming. Its 8.5%ABV shows its presence in the form of booze, like a hot drin spiked with a dash of good quality Rum. An archetipical winter beer, a very slow drinker that I kept on enjoying several minutes after finishing the glass. Thanks again Gunnar for this lovely beer.
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