X-MAS BEER TEST 2020
Well, this has been one hell of a journey…
When I initiated this project, testing Norwegian Xmas beers in the year 2020, that is- I did not know the scope of it. I’ve toasted & tasted, judged, had moments of fun & exhaustion and even learned some things that’ll come in well handy for similar projects in the future.
If you’d like to get to know (yet even better, challenge!) my perception- feel free to go out there and try some of the many fantastic brews of an upcoming scene, that is Norwegian Xmas brews anno 2020.
With that said, it is with great pleasure that I can conclude with the following: The dawn of many a great Xmas beer is still taking place.
So, hope you enjoy this read!
HANSA «Juleøl» (6,5%) 5/6
It’s dark brown, this one- pouring a clear white little head. Aromas include bread, dark caramel, roasted bread, with a spiff of alcohol on top. Tastewise, we’re in the landscape of deep plum-like/fig-like sweetness, entwined with nutty notes for a split second at first. But hey, this journey is far from over! The beer itself is medium-bodied with superb carbonation. Midway, there’s a transformation to burnt grains/heavy bread, before the teasing carpet of hoppy bitterness comes into play in the third slot. Great complexity! Playing ball with sweetness in the smooth, long aftertaste. Quite a bit of unexpected wow!factor here. Very good alternative of the 2020-line, fitting superbly to the heaviest of the Xmas foods- as well as before and after.
HANSA «Juleøl» (4.7%) 4/6
Darkish-red with massive bubbly action going on. Extremely subtle aromas of floral notes and sweetnotes such as caramel. Lightbodied with great freshness, this beer is highly compatible to most food-pairings ranging from lighter veggie-dishes and seafood, to more demanding heavy meals. Woody, lightly spiced, brown sugar and a mild twist of hoppyness in the back makes this a great thirst-quenching allrounder.
HANSA «Julebrygg» (4,7%) 4/6
Dark brown colour. Lays nicely in the glass and tops with great head. Aromas of oak, malts, basement and dried fruit. Non-exaggerated carbonation, very smooth. This beer is close to a crossover between a lighter bock and a root beer. Very nice touch of sweetness, great caramelly layer that evolves superbly towards grain/malts midway, before it all fades out in a mild, sweet aftertaste. Very good for it’s category to be. This is a beer that one can doubtlessly pick up a sixpack of, as it is suitable not only for the seasonal foods- but also for pure everyday pleasure.
CB «Juleøl» (6,5%) 3/6
Transparent red-Brown, lots of foam. Nose is Dark malty, fruity. Light body, fresh 1st impression, before light hoppyness accompanied by sweet sub-taste as fundament lasts throughout. Not overwhelmingly exciting, but also not bad… just a bit bland.
CB «Juleøl» (4,7%) 2/6
Dark Amber visuals, loads of head. I find the nose to be subtly aromatic, consiting of old basement, perhaps a tad of grainfields. Quite lightly carbonated, the taste is malty with a tad caramel, where the hops has overwon. Decently easy-drinking, but no highlight for me. A bit watery and anonymous.
FREDRIKSTAD «Juleøl» (4,7%) 3/6
Brown/burgundish red colour, pours nice head. Nose being lightly nutty, hint of coffee. This also resonnates in the taste, but enhanced malty taste. Good freshness, lightbodied. A little watery though. Goes very well with Rich onion/intense tasty dishes and Xmas food.
FREDRIKSTAD «Juleøl» (6,5%) 5/6
Very much alike it’s lightweight brother, it’s red’ish brown in terms of visual impression. Nose is much deeper, with deeper notes of chestnut, raisin & figs. Thick, great mouthfeel with massive enhancement. No pastry, strong and wide span of tastes that can match big dinner dishes, without being alcoholic in any way. This is the one you could pair with any assocciation of Xmas, be that foodwise or just plain ol’enjoyment.
BORG «Juleøl» (6,5%) 4/6
Chestnut-brown visuals pouring gentle, nice head. Nose being burnt wood, raisins and caramel. Small, delicate bubbles provide freshness, and the taste furthermore enhances the aromas: Lots of caramel, hints of figs, raisins and sweet notes. All entangled in a smooth way, and with a well-integrated hoppiness. Good stuff!
BORG «Juleøl» (4,7%) 3/6
Dark and thinfloating, massive carbonation. Nose in direction of fruityness and lightly roasted malts. As expected, subtly so as it is the easy version of their Juleøl. Taste Leans towards sweet malts, a tad of dark roast coffee and surprisingly noticeable degree of bitterness. A nice easy-drinking beer for the season we’re in.
EIK & TID «Syrlig jul» (5%) 3/6
Light straw-like yellow colour. Great bubbles when pouring, albeit close to no head at all. Smells fresh of citrus/lime, in addition to yeast and pineapple. Fresh start, notes of grass. Light bodied. Flavours are at first sharp and acidic, something that is enhanced towards the end. No christmas spices traceable. Very atypical for a so-called «christmas beer» to be, yet still fresh and well-tasting beer… it remains to be said. Even though the lack of referances to Xmas- in my eyes, that is.
Black and beautiful, thick floating. Nose is cherries, subtle sweet liquorice, jam and candy. Body is not as thick as expected. Great sweet intro of Xmas cookies, a hint of nuts, Blackcurrant and copious amounts of chocolate & candy. Alcohol not detectible at all, very smooth for those who like their massive stouts sweet as hell.
«Ashes to ashes» (10,5%) 4/6
As expected, this can holds no ray of light. Pours a supercreamy café creme head. Rather a black mass with a strong caramel flavour, this candycane resembles a delicious toffee chocolate, rather than Xmas itself… But so delicately that I do not mind. (On top of that, the artwork on the can is cool too!) So, what does it taste like?
Quite fresh with medium-to-heavy body, it definitely embraces the caramel to an intense level. Other flavours include chocolate, caramel and nuts- all which is a part of Xmas for many. A bit synthetic albeit not disturbingly so, this stout is quite light in taste for a stout with over ten ABV to be. A little milky and sweet in the start, which transcends into more acidic middle, before the subtle coffee traces rounds it off.
«Christmas Morning» (4,7%) 3/6
This one smells of candy more than anything. I get jam, banana and candys. A very light body and very much resemblance to what I would describe as a British kind out of the stout category. It is fresh and easy-drinking, not overly carbonated, with subtle tastes of strawberries, chocolate and mild coffee. This one should work well during summertimes as well as Winter, I reckon.
«Super Santa» 2020 (4,7%) 3/6
Nose: Dark roast coffe, chocolate & caramel. Fresh with great carbonation. Light-bodied, quite watery with easy going tastespectre… mainly coffee and a little hoppy sting.
«Sticky little fingers» (13,5%) 6/6
«Sticky toffee cinnabun» is what the can’s label claims… and sticky, thick and full it is too, judging by the looks of it. Thick oil! With big creamy head. Rich with smells- one can find delicious features such as toffee/caramel, chocolate, vanilla, Xmas pastry sprinkeled with seasonal spices. This also applies to taste elements, which are many in here: Thick body, selected fine liquid chocolate pralines, caramel, nuts, with a hint of bitterness trying to compete with the sweetness. A gigantic choco-bomb in velvety layers. No alcohol traces whatsoever, really delicious. Almost a bit over the top… but, who doesn’t like too much of the good stuff?
«Julemjød» (Mead, 12%) 6/6
Bright and golden, transparent beautiful visually. Now, the fact that this is mead and not beer has to be underlined of course. But having had several of this beverage as well (& being a huge fan of the beverage when it’s done well), I’m looking tremendously forward to this. Nose is rich of honey- warm, beautiful sweet honey. This entangled in with Xmas spices of the best sorts… all the while whilst being clear and distinct. Now, let’s get two the most important part: taste.
Light bodied. Sweet, with cinnamon, carnation, Anise and all that is Xmas associations intact, delicately & supremely executed. Real wow-factor indeed! Perhaps it could been a bit thicker/concentrated, but hey! I’m being picky, searching for any improvement possible at this level. This is such good and cozy holiday-drink that is close-to-the-top. As a matter of fact: It is hard to imagine a better mead for these times that are Xmas. Beautiful!
“Holy night” (6,5%) 4/6
This one is golden yellow, light and transparent colour. Pours small head. Nose being subtly spiced, but mostly grainy. Lots of carbonation provides this true-to-it’s-style blonde great freshness. Light to medium bodied, it tastes of bread, biscuits and spices. Smooth all around X-mad beer for sure.
“7 Sorter” (6,5%) 4/6
Dark transparent Amber colour with creamy calm head. Aromas hinting towards dark ryebread, nuts and caramel. Taste is lightly stingy from spices, followed by a touch of beautiful malty sweet middle, released by a light bitter, roasty end. Great compagnion to the most typical, classic Xmas meals.
“Mōdraniht” (8%) 4/6
Judging by the looks, it’s a dark and relatively thin bodied beer we’re dealing with here. Beautiful creamy light carpet of foam to top. Massive spice-contents in the nose, crossed with a dash of coffee. Rosemary playing a lead role here. Lots of christmas-baked goods too, a real bomb. Taste-wise, it’s challenging; refreshing and a bit of herbs at first- then, mature, deep & dark. The hint of pepper comes through. Sweetness. Finally, coffee taking over, going in for landing on a long, bitter outro. This smooth operator works wonder for the dessert as well as for the main course.
«The beginning» (6,5%) 4/6
Definitive Xmas spices here! Exciting and not too one-dimentional in any way. Notes of thyme, rosemary and a little bit acidic. Lightly carbonated and armed with tastes of sweet fruits, adjusted well by a maturity. Medium bodied. Will accompany most heavy seasonal dishes perfectly.
«The middle» (6%) 5/6
This bev’rage takes place at the deeper and darker plains. A fine, smooth bubbly head surrounds the edges. Nose containing elements of coffee and burnt homemade caramel. Light and refreshing, the caramel appears enhanced in the taste-section- with notes of nuts and milk chocolate. Noticeably little bitterness, but much candy. Might very well be another one of these tonight…
«The end» (10%) 4/6
As one would expect, this one’s black as night, with light foamhead on top. Light coffee & chocolate nose. Perhaps a hint of well-hidden spices. Thick body with light carbonation. Sweet prelude to a liqorice/spice middle. Spices coming through towards the end, noticeably ginger. All on a carpet of subtle bitterness & heat from the alcohol. Quite smooth.
«Julebokk» (9%) 4/6
No surprise with the color being black. Looks a bit thin when pouring, with nice foamy head on top. Nose is subtly oakey. The taste is light fruity with hoppy middle. A little alcoholic, but suitingly so. Powerful! Light to medium body.
«Ægirs jul» (4,7%) 4/6
Dark brown when pouring, almost like pickled wood. Best little head. Light aroma with notes of caramel & bread, otherwise bot very bold at all. The taste is fresh at the same time as it is not overly carbonated, making this a great alternative to many foods. Mild flavours of oak, malts and a subtly fruity and gentle aftertaste. Very little bitterness, something that makes it an excellent choice to many a food pairing.
«Julenatt» (10%) 5/6
The description of this beer promises a porter with oranges playing the main part. As for the nose, this is an accurate description with orange just being the distinct dominant aroma. To the extent that orange flavor roars so loudly over the other notes in here, apart from some minimalistic coffee-trace in the backseat. Medium bodied. Great taste with super degree of sweetness balanced with fruityness and a bitter aftertaste.
«Julefred» (6,5%) 3/6
Woody brown visuals, pouring creamy head. Spiced and nicely carbonated, providing both Xmas relevance and a fresh twist to it. Taste of coffee, nuts and spices. Very mild and a bit watery. When that’s said, it’s easily drinkable and it’s really got some good Belgian vibes for sure.
«Solsnu» (7,5%) 4/6
Now this beer I am cross paths with before I think… but is this a typhical Christmas beer? I am getting grass, wheat and earthy notes from the nose here. Pretty yeasty too. And it does pour a nice, creamy head for sure. The body is quite full, the beer still seeming fresh. The taste is the farmhouse like, delicate and comfortable. Subtly spiced. But Christmas beer? Regardless of that, at least it is well well tasting beer for sure.
«Vintervarmar» (8,5%) 4/6
Colour is Dark/brownish-red. Light carbonation going on here, pours little head. Nose is subtle with hints of caramel and chocolate. Still, highly fresh tasting, even though associations to rustique elements of the nose and nutty notes.
«Tomasmesse 2019» (10,5%) 6/6
Wow! This is a proper Xmas beer. A Christmas classic that’s one always assoccites quite a bit degree of excitement to. On the nose we find Caramell’ish notes and spices of Xmas. The beer is medium to full bodied, with suitably little carbonation. So let’s get to the most exciting part: The taste. The 2019 addition brings out sweet, fruity notes and blend it with spicy, hoppy perfection. Super-balanced, playful on the palate making this beer an example of perfection. The hops rounds it all off with elegance in the aftertaste.
OSLO BREWING CO:
«Red and wheat Christmas» (5,9%) 4/6
Bright transparent red, light red. Pause very little head. Nose is obviously highly fruity with strawberries, cherries and winegum. There’s also a strange note that I find hard to describe… perhaps a spice? Well. Furthermore, it tastes a tiny little bit acidic at first, then very subtle fruityness that lasts surprisingly long. Very lightbodied, which suits this one perfectly. Incredible for it’s light ABV to be! And I must admit it is tasty, In addition to the fact that it can suit most occations.
«Multekrem V.2» (4,7%) 4/6
Bright golden and transparent visuals, pouring a small polite head on top. In other words, this is looking quite interesting! And that applies two other aspects as well, nose nonetheless: Here we find beautiful floral notes of buttercup, sweet fruits including a light touch of oranges, in addition to the obvious cloudberries that goes without saying. So does this come out clear in terms of the tastes? Little carbonation, light bodied beer that would work wonders to many dishes. After a quick sudden sharp and acidic start, comes the middle of sweetness… only to be overtaken by a stingy “high freqency” hoppy-sting in the end. Refreshing, interesting alternative.
«Flåklypa juleøl» (6,5%) 3/6
Burgund/Bright red’ish in colour, with smooth little white head. Nose is bread, farm-like- and on the third inhalation, also rich on caramel with fruity notes. Taste then? At first, fresh and rustique at the same time. Then the bread and sweetness comes full force, rounded off in the end by hoppy bitterness. Lasts long into the aftertaste, before letting go slowly. A little surprising- and at certain points a bit raw/young, but all over a decently good choice.
«Jæren juleøl» (4,7%) 4/6
Visuals: orange/brown with small, neat head on top. Nose is subtly fruity, with notes of peach, orangepeel and grain. So, can the taste hold up? Fresh, mild & light bodied, it is smooth and extremely subtle. Less of the characteristics from the nose, it emphazises more bread-like and earthy flavours, but with a mild sweet layer far in the back. Halfway through, an impressive hoppiness emerges- surprisingly great balanced for such a light beer to be. Very good, and may be enjoyed to most foods ranging from heavy to easier, as well as just pure enjoyment.
«Jærpilt» (6,5%) 5/6
Red on the verge to dark pink, with a neat creamy head on top. Nose is yeasty, full of raspberries, sour cherries mixed up with sweet vanilla notes. Very well carbonated. Fresh, stingy sour entrance with a little velvety sweet carpet above, that evolves smoothly. There are some spices in here which blends into the picture really well. Very good, acidic & berry nuances. That acidic start which fades calmly over in sweet, fruity delicious flavours is to die for.
“Brekko Vinter Quadrupel” (10,8%) 5/6
Strikingly beautiful visuals here, with a brown-burgundy, transparent look. Topped with tiny head (I reckon this is a powerful one!), and armed with nose features of pure delicassy: Raisins, plums and brown sweet caramel. Super complex taste too! Medium to thick-bodied, it’s vineous with layers of figs, oak casks, nuts and a hint of sour mash. Absolutely splendid choice for late wintry evenings!
«Tradisjonell Julebokk» (9%) 5/6
This beer promises “100 % Xmas vibes”. According to the colour, Xmas is going to be rather dark…
Pours dark amber-brown with nice creamy, long lasting head. Nose is that of a classic, good brown ale: Dried fruit, bread and all the delicious stuff in the mash herein. Taste is mildly powerful, enhancing the subtle hops, choco-caramel, nuts & smooth lurking fruityness. Subtle yet still complex within it’s own kingdom, so to speak. Alco is not traceable at all, really smooth. The most northern brewery of the nation strikes again!
«Amber juleale» (4,5%) 3/6
This beer looks like almost a lager, but hints of a little lightly red in it. Suitably little hand when pouring and malty nose with hints of cloudberry. Medium-bodied.
As for taste, it’s freshly bubbly and hints subtly towards the hops (Citra & Apollo), citrus being dominant underneath. Quite smooth & quenchable.
«Vellagret juleøl» (4,5%) 2/6
This one is quite a bit darker brownish red with small head whilst pouring. Nose detects strong malty flavur, with tiny hints of nuts&fruit. Body is real thin, quite watery- something that doesn’t make this a winner for me at all. I must say I expected more from the well stored Xmas beer, still it tastes allright and would pair all right with food. If you want a lighter beer and not all the heavy ones, this is for you.
«Juleøl» (4,5%) 3/6
Dark amber/brown visuals, pouring need small head. Aromas in here includes dark fruits, chestnut and raisins. So what does it taste then? The first thing that strikes is the suitable carbonation, not too much and not flat. Then, caramel sweetness unfolds and provides a long, mysterious great feel. It lies very well on the palate, and I can picture this go really well to most foods, as well as off the food table. An easy but nice, mild Xmas beer.
«Very Cherry Christmas» (8%) 4/6
Judging by the looks of it, it is a medium to thin-bodied one… but let’s see. First off, the nose has got some interesting features such as massive spice layers of carnation, rosemary, cinnamon and marzipan. Surprisingly fresh and thicker & more velvety than presumed. Opens with a touch of sweet almonds before the spices start dancing on the palate. Then, a bit stingy-be that from hops or the spices. Regardless, it’s in a good way. I find lots of Xmas in here. Well done.
«Jule Stout» (4,7%) 3/6
A black and apparently well-carbonated stout. Light nose mainly consisting of coffee, but also some sweetness. Extremely light bodied, fresh with chocolate and a hint of coffee. No bitterness, albeit a tad acidic aftertaste. Good and easydrinking though.
«Tons of Rock Unholy night» (7%) 3/6
Dark-looking, pouring big head. Light-bodied and dry mouthfeel with a nutty taste to it.
«Gulating collab juleøl 2020» (4,7%) 3/6 Light beer w/christmas spices such as cinnamon. Interesting take on a Xmas beer.
«Trolldom & mystikk» (6,5%) 4/6
-In all fairness, it’s a beer within the Norwegian range of legal beers for sale in everyday stores- and for that, this is pretty good stuff- highly interesting take on a Xmas beer.
Nose is yeasty, Apple and banana. Murky, Dark yellow presentation. Subtle bubble action, ripe fruity taste. Cloudberry providing that sour, cultured taste. Sweet start, acidic ending. Extremely dry aftertaste.
«Tons of Rock Black Christmas» (4,7%) 4/6 Black as tar. Nose is woody, a tad burnt wood, almost bonfire’ish- in combination with chocolaty and tobacco notes.
Light-bodied, subtly carbonated beer that could even work well at autumn/early spring nights. Lightly burnt wood, milk Choc. Very mild, due to non powerful body.
«Mulm & mørke» (9,5%) 4/6
Oh Yeah! Promising visual aspect: Black (finally a dark, dark beer!) pouring a very little head. Nose is dried fruit, a lot of sweetness and a little macron-coffee snacks and alcohol. Tastes like: light to mediumbodied, lightly carbonated. Brown sugar, chocolaty and milky. Not particularly a Xmas beer is what comes to mind, but a well-tasting light stout indeed.
«Tannjul» (8%) 4/6
Ah! Now we’re talking… from the moment you pour it in the glass and the small creamy white brownish head appears, this one has got my attention. The nose showing clear references to Xmas nuts, licorice and oaky(smoky?) hints. Let’s give it a go… Taste is Great and far more complex then the other beers from the brewery at hand. Great degree of freshness, lots of coffee strikes you quite immediately. A nice nutty layer lies underneath supporting, and the licorice is much more defined by sipping. Medium bodied but still powerful, this is a great alternative at the trad Xmas food-table too. A strong 4 is my verdict.
«Sterk jul» (6,5%) 4/6
Pours quite dark with white, fine line of foam. Looking rather transparent red in glass, produces aromas of dried fruit, dates, Xmas spices and woody notes. Which brings us to the taste: Deep but lightbodied. Sweet and seductive at first, before it goes further onto nuts, caramelly sweetness, oaky rounded off hop-bitterness, all well balanced. Another great brewery to provide us with the smooth stuff of Xmas.
«Rød jul» (4,7%) 2/6
Deep Amber-brown colour and pretty creamy head, this inviting Xmas beer has a very light malty nose of subtle sweetnotes and a tad fruityness to it. Carbonation is there in abundance, which helps out on the freshness side of things. In the aspect of taste however, there’s very mild/light traces of fruity taste, albeit quite watery. Overall, I find this pretty bland. Allright to quench the thirst, but that’s that.
«Juleøl 2019 Pinnekjøtt røykbock» (8%) 5/6 Interesting colour on this one. It has got a somewhat murky brown red color to it, topped with a creamy little head. The nose is also highly interesting on this one: there’s definite traces of smoke, old boatwood, some burnt hints and deep inside- some well hidden fruityness… can’t wait any longer, let’s dive into this. First off, the taste is surprisingly balanced, albeit very complex. As promised on the bottle, this beer should pair very well with smoked heavy foods, making it a grand alternative for this season that we currently are in. Lightly carbonated and medium bodied, it has got a lot of interesting nuances to it, such as the caramel under the smoky veil. There’s also a bunch of spices going on underneath, boosted by the juniper berries. Well-tasting and interesting!
«Vellagret juleøl» (9%) 4/6
Mahogny-brown colour, pouring large white head. Nose: Smooth, gentle notes of figs, dried fruit, nuts and a touch of tobacco. Taste is super-balanced with a bit of caramel, lots of roasted flavour and suitable bitterness. Medium-to-light bodied. Very good to counter heavy food dishes.
«Premium juleøl» (6,5%) 5/6
Looking great, brown with a creamy head in glass. Nose is clearly fruity, with definite features such as figs, dates, raisin, leather and nutty notes. Taste resembles caramel entwined with chestnuts, in addition to the already mentioned aromas. The body is medium, sections are nutty, acidity, fruityness, with a rusitique, oaky finish. Close to perfection here! Absolutely splendid to all Xmas’y occasions.
«Juleøl» (4,7%) 3/6
Clear red-brown colour, pours thick foamy head. Nose is lightly catamel, malty and a hint of spice. Massive carbonation provides lots of bubbles. Very light, a little watery taste. More like a Dark lager. A mediocre Xmas beer amongst an exciting type of beer and a great year of selection. I’m expecting much more from it’s more powerful brother…
«Bryggerimesterens juleøl» (4,7%) 4/6
Deep rusty brown colour. Nice head when pouring which lays well in the glass. Nose brings forth notes of dried fruit, oak and licorice. The taste ressonates in terms of Depth, with a superb malty middle, dominated by licoricy notes. An easy layer from the hops is underlying and lands the experience in an aftertaste of delicate sweet fashion.
«Ekstra god jul» (2020) (13,5%) 6/6
Dark, delicate and thick- floating. Nice foamy head. From the notes I clearly get coffee and licorice and tangled in a smooth way. As far as taste goes, there is nutty Flavur as well as dried berries. Suitably low carbonation and great full body. Subtly spiced for the Xmas season. This taste is close to perfect with a long, sweet aftertaste.
«Svart jul» (2020) (10%) 5/6
Looking pure black and pours a massive thick creamy light brown head on top. (So thick in consitency, you could eat it with a spoon!) Nose has clearly defined Elements of Xmas pastry, Xmas spices such as cinnamon, rosemary & thyme & much much more. However, the dominating flavor here is definitely the Christmas pastry which is here in abundance. As for the taste, there’s burnt/roasted coffee making a grand entrance here, adding to the flavors of the nose. Not very surprising, the pastry he’s also resonating very well here. This is a fine beer for desserts, not for the actual meals. I believe typical desserts such as rice cream and/or cheese selections would works wonders.
«Julequad» (2020) (10%) 5/6
Dark red brownish, on the verge to black. Pours a light nice head in glass. The nose is licorice, fruits, cherry notes and the body is medium to heavy. The taste kicks off a bit acidic, converting into sweet notes of cherry before the cops come in to play. The fruityness is always lingering throughout. Fantastic work!
«God jul» (2020) 4/6
As expected, there’s no transparency to find here. Completely black with creamy, neat head. Looks not too thick in terms of consistency when pouring, which will be suitable. Nose reminiscent of roasted coffee, bread, leather amongst other things. A hint of vanilla too? So, let’s get down to the real deal and taste this…
Intro is a tiny bit acidic at first, then fruity without being sweet. The bread comes through clearly here too, as well as some spicy notes teasing underneath, together with licorice. Medium-to-thick bodied. I bet it’ll do very well with aging too, but it is drinking superbly now. There’s a bit of tobacco late in the aftertaste as well, after the mild bitterness settles. Good stuff indeed!
«Brun jul» (2020) 3/6
Almost black in color with a small head whilst pouring. In the nose I find dark berries/fruits mostly, but also a hint of coffee.
It’s quite fresh and bubbly, but also a bit light/watery. A bit more dept to in in taste, with coffee coming subtly through. Hints of nuts as well.
«Nissemor» (2020) (6%) 4/6
Nose: hints of licorice and fruits.
Body: medium bodied
Taste: As detected in the aromas, there’s licoricy, fruity taste that’s further enhanced with a light hint of coffee midway. Smooth balance making this a classic, good all-around Christmas beer.
«Even s’more Xmas 2019» (11,1%) 5/6
Well, I am very familiar with this one from previous years. However, that does not mean that I’m not looking equally much forward to this one, being a sweet tooth myself. Pitch black with a lightly brown head to show, this heavy weight’er offers a lot of a lot: nose being marshmallows, lactose, chocolate, sweet caramel. The taste lives up to it too: We enter deeper into the milk chocolaty world with a mild veil of coffee underneath. Also, The acquits barrels does actually come out in a good fashion, countering the otherwise candybomb superbly. I also think that the extra year of bottle cellaring has helped a bit.
«Even s’more Xmas 2020» (11%) 6/6
The good ol’Haand strikes again! This time, the annual version of the current year is what we have at hand. I seem to recall that the accurate barrels what’s a bit short last year, but drinking the 2019 version again this year totally eradicates that perception. But what about 2020 then? First off, the nose are really, really subtle here. It’s like I get nothing apart from a tiny hint of chocolate. This doesn’t scare me at all- let’s dive in…
Wow! These guys have definitely worked on this beer. The Aquavit barrel-sting are almost not present at all, rather a full-bodied chocolate bomb of dimensions. Darker chocolate… just… more. It is also a little bit less carbonated which suits it well. Balanced further to perfection, I find it really difficult to choose between two such distinct versions of the same beer, because they’re both sublime within the category, in their own way. Fantastic candy for adults, A great side after food/late night dessert postludium. A winner, this one!
«Norse Yule» 4/6
Dark and beautiful colour. This juleøl comes swept in a dark cape, like a Darth Vader in liquid shape. It’s got a somewhat nutty smell to it, accompanied by dried fruits and oak. As for taste, it’s carrying rustique notes of oak, leather and sweetness.
«Halvors jul» (8%) 4/6
Nose is licorice as well as tobacco, subtly smokey. As for the actual taste, it resembles distinct flavours of licorice and anise seed. A bit stingy for my taste, aquavit tease so to speak.
«Fatlagret bestefar» (9%) 4/6
Dark with nice foam. Nose is leather and tobacco. Getting down with it, it’s fresh and tasty, with a smooth oaky feature. A subtle fruity intro. Rounded off, beautiful entrance that evolves into a sharp direction, but with balanced aquavit notes.
«Julegløgg» (6%) 5/6
Acidic aromas, a bit fig-like. Delicate and medium bodied with sweet features, honey’ish with acidic mid-section, helped well by exciting exotic spices. Absolutely splendid. Delicious.
Thanks to all participating breweries!
Scribbling: I. Burheim
Photo: I. & M.K. Burheim