Review – Stone/Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin Special Holiday Ale
Appearance: Burgundy (the color of Pinot Noir) with a 1″ thick, toffee colored head. Heavy, clumps of lacing.
Aroma: I can pick up on the chestnut and very subtle hints of the sage and caraway. I don’t get any juniper (which is good for me… I hate juniper). I also get a sweetness like nougat.
Taste: Hard to come up with an overall flavor. There is so much going on that you can’t help but break it down into its individual components. The sage and, especially, caraway come through on the palate more than the nose. The chestnut becomes more subtle (I think it is what imparts the little bit of sweetness). Perhaps it’s just my imagination, but there are some flavors I associate with light-bodied scotch, perhaps from the rye malt? It’s hard to tell if any hops were used at all since the juniper seems to be the major bittering agent, but it’s very pleasant and not at all the juniper flavors found in gin.
Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy and a bit cloying. Hardly any carbonation.
Drinkability: One bottle is all I can handle in one sitting. It assaults your taste buds sip after sip and forces you to savor the flavors for quite some time between swigs. A very pleasant diversion of a beer.