Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Berentsens: Jule Avec – A serious holiday treat from a maker of many things

Located in Egersund, a small fishing town on the southern tip of Norway, Berentsens manufactures a variety of beverages like soda, apple cider, and of course beer. Jule Avec is the first Berenstens brew I’ve sampled, although I do have one of their intimidating 19 percent ABV Christmas beers maturing in the cellar. At 9 percent ABV, Jule Avec (2011 sample) is a remarkably flavorful beer, with substantial amounts of complexity and balance. 

The body appears with a super dark brown tone and a sizable, fluffy tan head. Being dense and clingy, the lacing suggests a very serious Christmas beer, which indeed it is. The aroma is a relatively rich blend of sweet malts and dark fruits, most notably raisins. The taste is largely sweet, with references to chocolate, caramel, and again lots of raisins. Given the 9 percent ABV, I was surprised to find no clear reference to booze, although it was a bit noticeable after some warming. The body is medium with a syrupy mouthfeel and a somewhat dry finish.

If you have the chance to try this, I definitely recommend taking it. Comparatively speaking, it’s reasonably priced, potent, and very tasty certainly one of the better Christmas brews out there, and it’s brewed by a company that doesn’t even specialize in beer.
On a separate note, Berentsens has a pretty nice description of the history of beer in Norway, although it’s written in Norwegian (see last link below).


Berentsens Brygghus: http://www.berentsens.no

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