(Grimstad (Rygene), NORWAY) – Nogne O is punishing transatlantic shipping authorities this winter with all the beer the Norwegian brewery is sending to the States. In all seriousness, AB-InBev probably ships more beer over in a day than most, if not all, craft breweries do in a year. That is not to take anything away from Nogne O, however, because four new beers in one season is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to imports.
First things first, available now in the U.S. is the second edition of Nogne O Jolly Pumpkin Stone Special Holiday Ale. The first was brewed in April 2008 at Stone’s facility and this version was brewed this past July at Nogne O’s facility. The beer uses the same ingredients as the original: white sage from Southern California, chestnuts from Michigan and juniperberries from Norway. The differences in brewing and aging may have lead to a slightly different beer though. What do you think?
Nogne O General Manager, Scott Larrick, had the following to say about the second collaboration, “The Special Holiday Ale is really, really good, I think. In Norway, while in general they are only beginning to take beer seriously, they do take Christmas beer seriously. There are all kinds of competitions, in various media, for which is the best Juleøl, or Christmas beer, of the season. The tasting panel from Norways largest newspaper, VG, chose the Special Holiday Ale. Unfortunately, we sent most of it to the US and by the time the article came out last week it was sold out from the distributor.”
Next are the beers still to come: Nogne O Winter Ale Islay Edition, Nogne O Imperial Stout Highland Edition, and Nogne O Imperial DunkelWit.
Larrick cautioned that there will only be 60 or 70 cases of the barrel-aged beers coming to the U.S. “It was a bit of a test situation, we have not done it before. But it turned out quite well, so we will explore doing it again.”
Here are the label specs:
Nogne O Imperial Stout Highland Edition
“We at Nogne O wanted to improve our imperial stout. We soon found that to be a difficult task as the beer is full of everything. Then we got some fresh Highland Scotch whiskey barrels with some help of our friends at Mikkeller and BrewDog. They proved to be the perfect enhancement for this beer. After three months of aging in their barrels, we were quite pleased.
9% ABV, 75 IBU, 22 deg. P
Malt: Maris Otter, Munich, Crystal, Chocolate, Black, Oat, Wheat, roasted barley
Nogne O Winter Ale Islay Edition
“Please be aware that this is not a subtle beer. If you are unable to appreciate the flavor of Islay Scotch whisky, then this beer is certainly not for you. Three months of aging in fresh Islay whisky barrels did this. Certainly great for whisky lovers, but not necessarily for those in search of subtle and balanced flavors.”
8.5% ABV, 30 IBU, 19 deg. P
Nogne O Imperial DunkelWit
“[This beer] is an attempt to combine the best of many brewing cultures. Indeed, we hope to please the Belgian ale partizan, the dark ale enthusiast, as well as those who love big ales with this one product.” This was brewed with copious amounts of coriander and orange peel. The website mentions that the beer gives off banana and milk chocolate aromas.
Larrick described it as “very spicy like a super wit, but also cocoa-y like a dark beer” in a tweet last week. The brewery bottled it last Tuesday.
10% ABV, 25 IBU, 24 deg. P