So, this time it's going to be the season beer last Christmas (Nøgne Ø Special Holiday Ale). It's the crown jewel created in collaboration with three breweries: Nøgne Ø, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales And Stone brewing company. This is a once in a year seasonal beer which is done every year but it's never the same. Confused? I was too. It's a beer that is done each year following the same recipe with Norwegian juniper berries, Michigan chestnuts and white sage from Southern California. The difference is created by changing the brewing and aging practices. This tradition was started in 2008 in San Diego.
The beer comes with 8,5 % of alcohol, which is quite a lot to a Finnish taste. In this beer however it's very nicely covered with the different nuances of the taste. But before the taste you notice the nice dark brown color (105 EBC units) that is dim because of the sediments in the beer. The aroma of this beer conceals a lot inside. You can notice the spiciness that comes from the chestnuts and the juniper accompanied with the hops (Brewers gold and Columbus in this case). More complexity to the scent follows with the malts (Münchner, Crystal, Chocolate, special B, Rye and Oat malts in this case) and their sweetness. Especially the Chocolate stands out very strongly.
Taste includes signs of awesome hops used that work really nicely in balance with the juniper berries' sour taste. The IBU is however "only" 50 which makes this beer an "easy drinker". There's also a lot off honey in the after taste. This combined with the nice hoppy aftertaste and I'm sold at least. With each single sip you take you can find new kinds of branches of flavor. This makes the beer last long. It also causes you to be left with the feeling that one of these is not enough!
It's tasteful enough to stand by itself but might be accompanied with some season foods as well. I think that the alliance of Finnish Christmas ham and Nøgne Ø Special Holiday Ale could be the next big thing.
If it is the complexity and quality you are after, then here's a beer for you! Pity though that next year this beer is no longer available... as such but it might even get better right?
Coming up are the middle Twins from the American Canis Major:
"Good people drink good beer." Hunter S.Thompson