Advent Beer Calendar 2010: Day 7: Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin/Stone Special Holiday Ale

Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin/Stone Special Holiday Ale
Image copyright 2010 Carla Companion

Today’s pick comes from fellow Hop Press blogger Carla Companion: The Beer Babe.

Carla selected the Special Holiday Ale collaboration brew from Nøgne Ø, Jolly Pumpkin, and Stone Brewing, an 8.5% ABV beer brewed with chestnuts, white sage, juniper berries, and caraway seed.

It pours with a really creamy head that stays for a while and seeped out of the bottle when I was first trying to open it…. The smell was at first vaguely reminiscent of cookies baking. There is definitely “spice” in this beer – and the sage, caraway and juniper leap right out at you. Put your nose in deep and you’d swear it was a ginger snap cookie – but there’s no ginger to be found in this brew. There is some maltiness there, but the spices certainly are the overwhelming smell here.

As far as this beer’s place on the advent calendar, I’d say it is solid. It reminds me of the incense they used to burn at Midnight mass in the church I attended in my youth, and the yeast+spice combination does make me think of baking cookies. With each sip I liked it more and more, and I think I could only have topped off the experience if I were sitting with a bottle of it while watching new December snow fall.

Go read Carla’s full review; if you’re like me, you’ll want to go pick up a bottle of this beer immediately.

BeerAdvocate: A-. RateBeer: 3.73/5, 98th percentile.