Saturday, December 10, 2011

Midtfyns: Jule (Chistmas) Stout – Where’s Christmas?

Scandinavia is home to the origins of Christmas beer, and thankfully, the Vikings that settled in England took that tradition with them. While the origins of “Jule Øl” are not specifically tied to Christmas, today we associate Christmas beer with darker lagers and stouts, along with the smells and tastes of ginger and cinnamon, to name a few. While Midtfyns Jule Stout hails from one of the three Scandinavian countries, namely Denmark, and is a style especially suitable for Christmas, namely a stout, there is nothing else about this otherwise wonderful beer that really speaks to Christmas. In short, Midtfyns basically makes a fantastic stout with this one, but not a uniquely “Christmassy” stout. 

Life outside the bottle begins with a mild head and an enticing super dark brown color – almost black. Jule Stout's light brown head imparts clingy and rather dense lacing that remains in the glass long after consumption. The aroma whispers of chocolate, roasted malts, and coffee, with a bit of a hoppy note (although still malt forward). With a 7.6 percent ABV, Jule Stout's overall taste is definitely on the bitter side, although the first few seconds come with rather sweet hints of chocolate, coffee, and liquorice. The mouth feel is creamy, with a distinctively dry finish. 

Overall, Midtfyns makes a very solid, well-balanced, bitter-sweet stout. However, outside of the general beer style, where’s the Christmas in Jule Stout? After finishing an entire glass, I was left wondering where some of the spiciness was – spices that would have distinguished this as a genuine Christmas stout. How is this really different from many other stouts out there, including some fine products made by Midtfyns that can be purchased all year round?


Midtfyns Jule Stout on Ratebeer:

Midtfyns Jule Stout on BeerAdvocate:

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