Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nøgne Ø-Jolly Pumpkin-Stone, Special Holiday Ale

Special Holiday Ale 

-Nøgne Ø
-Jolly Pumpkin

Brewed by:
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S 


Winter Warmer |  8.5% ABV


Commercial Description:
This is the second release of Special Holiday Ale, which was first brewed in San Diego in 2008. Each brew is following the same recipe, including Michigan chestnuts, white sage from southern California and Norwegian juniper berries, but differences in brewing and aging practices produce different beers. Cheers to being different! Skål! (

This is a collaboration Christmas Ale between  Nøgne Ø, Norway - Jolly Pumpkin, Michigan - Stone, California. Apparently this is the second release. I did not see this last year when Stone produced it. This years brew is produced by the big  Ø, Nøgne Ø from the Norway. This was a surprise that my son John (BierVlog) brought over the house. 
I don't know why but on some of these Christmas Beers I thought I would add the Commercial Description from

Pours a cloudy dark brown with a very rich off white almost tan head. The beer is almost completely opaque with just a little bit a dark amber hues on the bottom of the cervose class. The head looks very rich and creamy.

The initial aromas are just wonderful, full of Christmas spice. Wow, nice toasted almost roasted malts, Christmas spices like cinnamon clove and a nutty background. This is one of those beers that I just can’t wait to dive into.

Wow, Wow, Wow, That’s a Christmas Beer! I am almost speechless after that first sip. This is the most flavorful Christmas beer that I’ve had since last years Anchor Christmas Ale. Let me try to regroup and attempt to describe what I’m tasting in this brew. 

It starts out with a roasted malt sweetness then in mid sip you have a very creamy mouthfeel and start to get some of those spices. The backend of the sip is just backed with the most delightful Christmas spices of cinnamon and juniper. It give you the most delightful spicy pine flavors. The final finish is of that lingering Christmas spices.

This is just a fantastic Christmas beer. It’s more than just a winter warmer it is Christmas in a Glass! I like Christmas beers that taste like Christmas. I know that sounds corny but to me a Christmas beer should have those classic spicy flavors that remind you of Christmas. This beer has it all and at 8.5% it is also a nice winter warmer.

This is one of those special beers that I just want to keep nursing. It has warmed and opened up a little and just keeps getting better. The beer seems smoother if that’s possible and you now start to pick up some alcohol in the brew.

The final sip was at 64 degrees and still fantastic.

I certainly started off these Christmas beer reviews with a big winner. I highly recommend this beer to anyone that likes a spicy Christmas beer. Like I said earlier this is Christmas in a class.


  1. Dear John,

    Merry Christmas!

    We had this yesterday before dinner. It was really good, very tasty and fragant.

    As always your blog was a great source of information.



  2. Thanks G,
    I'm glad you liked it.

    Merry Christmas!