Saturday, December 31, 2011

Beer bLoNg's Early 2012 Beer Line-up

There’s a lot of stuff in the beer cellar right now, and I thought I would share a bit of what will be coming out of there in the next month or two. For starters, there are tons of Christmas beers (almost literally), including many macro-brew varieties that I just never got around to trying during the holiday season. Furthermore, a lot of the beers in this list are not new to me. I’ve had quite a few of them in the past some of them on numerous occasions, but either failed to take tasting notes or took rather poor ones that are simply not good enough to produce a respectable review. 

So here’s the list, starting with the first row and then moving onto the second (an serious business) row.

Row One

Orval, Belgian Trappist Ale; 6.2 percent; Florenville, Belgium. I’ve had this quite a few times in the past and certainly look forward to tasting it and reviewing it in the coming weeks. Its scores on and BeerAdvocate are impressive, and, based on my past samples, I expect my review to be nothing but positive.

Dahls, Juleøl (Christmas beer); 6.5 percent; Oslo, Norway. I’ve never had a Dahls brew, but the company is owned by Ringnes (which is in turn owned by Carlsberg), so I don’t really expect it to taste much different than many of the other macro-brew Christmas beers widely available in Norway. That said, most of these 6.5 percent versions are quite robust and tasty.

Erdinger, Schneeweisse Winterbier; 5.6 percent; Erding, Germany. What can I say? Everything I’ve had from Erdinger has been top-notch, and I expect nothing less from this one. I’m somewhat surprised I never had it before.

Silenrieux, Joseph Bio/Organic; 5 percent; Silenrieux, Belgium. I’ve previously sampled their Sara Buckwheat Ale and really liked it (I took good notes, so expect a review of that one soon). 

Rodenbach: Grand Cru; 6 percent; Roeselare, Belgium. I’ve had this once or twice before and loved its fruity and sour feel. I can’t wait to try it again.

Lancaster Brewing Company, Strawberry Wheat; 4.7 percent; Lancaster, PA, USA. I’ve had this in draft form numerous times at their brewpub and loved each one of them. However, I had a bottle of it over the summer and found it wanting in flavor and appearance. We’ll see how this one goes, but I’m not expecting it to be a top performer.

Berentsens, Stelliger Divum Juleøl; 19 percent; Egersund, Norway. I’ve never had this Christmas beer before, but I’m very much looking forward to it. At 19 percent ABV, it’s either going to be seriously complex or nothing but booze. I’ll be letting this one sit in the cellar for a few months before trying it, so the review will have to wait (assuming I am patient enough to keep away from its lure).

Nøgne Ø, Imperial IPA (#500); 10 percent; Grimstad, Norway. A very outstanding IPA. I’ve had it twice, but my tasting notes are rather rough, and this one deserves a quality rating. So, I’ll try it a third time before giving an official reviewing. But, its damn good, I promise!

Lervigs, Jul; 6.8 percent; Stavanger, Norway. I’ve sampled several of their products – e.g. the Konrad’s Stout, Lucky Jack APA, and White Dog Norwegian Wheat on several different occasions, and each sample revealed a respectable level of quality. I received this one as a Christmas gift and will probably use it to liven up my February.

Mack, Juleøl; 6.5 percent; Tromsø, Norway. I’m sure I’ve tasted this somewhere along the line, but I can’t really remember it. Mack is one of Norway’s larger brewers, and I don’t expect this one to be much different from the other 6.5 ABV Christmas beers out there (not necessarily a bad thing, really).

Hansa, Juleøl; 6.5 percent; Bergen, Norway. I’ve had it dozens of times, but never gave it an official review. So, I picked one just for that purpose. 

Fredrikstad (Hansa Borg), Juleøl; 6.6 percent; Sarpsborg, Norway. Well, let’s wait and see. I’m not expecting it to be much different than the Hansa Juleøl listed previously. Maybe I should have a drink off between the two of them.

Row Two

Port Brewing, The Lost Abbey, 10 Commandments; 9 percent; San Marcos, CA, USA. This one has been sitting in the cellar for some time now. It’s only half mine, so I’ll have to wait until convening with the other ‘shareholder’ before reviewing it. My expectations are high.

Port Brewing, The Lost Abbey, Judgment Day; 10.5 percent; San Marcos, CA, USA. This one is a Christmas gift, so it’s all mine! Again, my expectations are high.

La Rulles, La Granda 10; 10 percent, Rulles, Belgium. I’ve had this on several occasions, and could just write a review based on my notes. But, this one has been in the cellar for some time now, and I plan on popping it open in the coming weeks. So, I’ll wait with the review.

Haandbryggeriet, Bestefar (Grandfather); 9 percent; Drammen, Norway. Haandbryggeriet makes some really remarkable and somewhat experimental stuff. So, it goes without saying that sometimes experimentation can go awry, resulting in some really weird brews. The ratings for this one are very good, and I’m looking forward to reviewing it myself. 

Paulaner, Hefeweissbier Dunkel ; 5.3 percent; Munich, Germany. I cannot believe I’ve never had this one. It’s not rare or anything, but I just never managed to find the time for it. I drink their Hefeweissbier all the time. I suspect this one will not be much different than the similarly styled Erdinger.

Nøgne Ø, Bitter; 4.5 percent; Grimstad, Norway. I’ve had this probably a scillion times or so, and I could easily write a review for it now. But, I’ll just wait and write one after consuming this particular bottle. 

Haandbryggeriet, Fyr og Flamme (to be excited, lit. fire and flame) IPA; 6.2 percent; Drammen, Norway. As I said before, Haandbryggeriet makes some really remarkable and somewhat experimental products. So, it goes without saying that sometimes experimentation can go awry, resulting in some really weird brews. I have no idea what to expect from this one.

Haandbryggeriet, Røyk Uten Ild (smoke without fire); 8.5 percent; Drammen, Norway. Had it before and loved its smoky profile. I cannot wait to give it a review for this blog.

Herslev, Økologisk Hvedeøl: 5.6 percent; Roskilde, Denmark. I’ve had their crazy, but tasty Pilsner. This one has been in the cellar for quite some time, so I think it’s about ready to sample.

Ægir, Ratatosk, Double IPA; 9 percent, Flåm, Norway. My expectations for this one are high, as they usually are for Ægir’s stuff.  

Mikkeller, Beer Geek Brunch, Weasel; 10.9 percent; Copenhagen, Denmark. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. Out of all the beers on this list, Beer Geek Brunch is probably the one I most look forward to. For some reason, I’ve had a hard time finding it. The local bar I frequent - Henrik Ø og Vinstove – carries it, but they were always sold out when I asked for it. So, I patiently waited for it to turn up at the wine monopoly, and finally it did.


  1. Looks like a good collection! But I really want to know more about you guys, why don't you have a "about" page?

  2. Sorry about that. I just have not gotten around to making an "about us" page. Been focused on the reviews. But, I'll take your advice and make one.


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