Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nøgne Ø: God Jul – A Holiday Icon

There’s just something so cozy about drinking strong, dark Norwegian beer at 60 degrees north in Norway during the holiday season, amid falling snow and Santa. Well, for those familiar with this part of the world, you’ll surely know that the latter two are really the stuff for postcards rather than winter’s harsh and wet reality. But Nøgne’s God Jul is as real as it gets, and if you have the chance to try this 8.5 percent ABV pleasure, I strongly recommend jumping on it. It may make the holidays more enjoyable (or at least bearable for those holiday skeptics).

Life outside the snowflake speckled bottle begins with a robust, foamy beige head that imparts a seriously sticky web of lacing. The aroma is largely coffee with a touch of chocolate, liquorice, and some unidentifiable smoked scents that definitely accentuate Nøgne’s product as a real holiday icon (or at least it should be). Overall, the taste closely resembles the aroma, including the smokiness and some spiciness perhaps, although the alcohol reference was surprisingly strong in the taste. 

Overall, this is an excellent brew – perhaps the best Christmas beer I’ve had so far this year, although BrewDog’s Santa Paws is certainly a closer second. It's leaps and bounds better than their still quite tasty Underlig Jul. God Jul’s distinct smokiness really adds to the holiday spirit, and I will certainly be cracking open one of these on Christmas day. I might even leave one out for Santa…sorry Santa, not a chance!

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