Nøgne Ø God Advent
Reviewed by Brady White on December 8, 2014 in Holiday Guide
- Brewery: Nøgne Ø
- Origin: Grimstad, Norway
- Rated On: December 1, 2014
- Best Before: March 26, 2018
- ABV: 10.0%
- Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature
- Style: American Strong Ale
- Rating: GOOD !
This 250ml bottle pours a hazy, dark orange-brick amber hue, with three chubby fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and mildly bubbly beige head, which leaves some randomly spaced webbed lace around the glass as it evenly fades away.
It smells of big citrusy (blood orange, white grapefruit, and lime) hops, before a spicy, generally menthol-esque astringency assaults (with tough love, I’m presuming) my nasal passages, over top of a grainy, gritty pale and caramel malt, a weird earthy yeastiness, and some straight-up phenolic alcohol esters. The taste is more subsumed citrus and other indistinct orchard fruitiness, spicy yeast, underwhelming grainy caramel and bready pale malt, a suggestion of oversteeped tannic black tea, tame herbal, grassy, and piney hops, and a now well-behaved booziness. The bubbles are pretty much understated in their wanly fizzy nature, the body a heady medium-heavy weight (for the actual style I may have in mind), and way more smooth than anyone could have expected at first sniff. It finishes off-dry, sure, the malt holding some damned fine cards, but the lingering yeast, and chuffed-up hops stick around to keep things honest in the face of that lurking alcohol.
Yes, a stellar start to the Craft Beer Advent calendar – big, boozy, and relatively exotic. I don’t know what these Scandinavians are complaining about, as if you’ve ever had a day-lit, snow-free Christmas, when you expect otherwise, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Furthermore, I’m guessing that the balance they refer to here is between the malt and hops, which solidifies my impression that this is, without any judgement, simply an American Strong Ale, but a very good one at that.