The weather is colder, the days are shorter. It is almost the end of November, and juleøl (Christmas beers) are once again available in Norwegian supermarkets and at Vinmonopolet, if you prefer stronger beers. Most macro breweries have several Christmas beers available at various strengths. In addition to these breweries craft brewers like Nøgne Ø, Haandbryggeriet and Ægir also brew juleøl.
I have tried some of the different Christmas beers during the last week. During the next weeks there will be reviews of juleøl now and then here on this beer blog, but first we will take a look at three Christmas beers available at Vinmonopolet.
Last year I felt that Nøgne Ø's Special Holiday Ale was the best Christmas beer. This year I was a little bit disappointed. The Special Holiday Ale is a very good beer, but I remember it as better in 2009. The beer is nearly black, has nearly no carbonation but builds a thick and lasting head. In the nose there are spices, malts and a hint of coffee. The beer has a nice body. There are many spices dancing around in the mouth before a bitter finish with coffee and a hint of dark chocolate.
Nøgne Ø's second juleøl is called God jul (Merry Christmas). This is even better than Special Holiday Ale this year. In the nose there is malt, hops and a touch of toffee. In the mouth dark chocolate takes the lead with a hint of coffee before a half bitter finish.
Haandbryggeriet's Nissefar is another very good juleøl. It is nearly black with very little carbonation and a little head. There are aromas of cold coffee, prunes and some malts. In the mouth the prunes lead on with tastes of raisins, cold coffee and some sweetness.
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