It this concluding entry my three part Yule Beer series (see part one & part two here and here respectively) I will discuss the handful of yule beers (aka Juleøl, Julebrygg or Julebokk) that contain an alcohol percentage above 7.1%. Enjoy!
Aass Juleøl Premium (Norway - Drammen) 9.0%
Darkly malty. Bitter caramelized sugar. Yuley but it didn't have the impressive flavour I expected from Aass, their 6.3% beer is better.
Ringnes Julebokk 2010 (Norway) 9.0%
A dark chocolate tasting smash in the mouth with a malty aftertaste. It is black in a glass and really good. I did not expect this from Ringnes: although their Juleøl Sterk was good, their lager is so so and their lower alcohol Juleol is just blah.
This one is really well balanced and smooth, not heavy, on the tongue. This strong tasty beer, with its smoky undertones and deftly measured sweetness, has surely ruined countless Norwegian Christmas dinners and work parties as it is 9.0% ABV wrapped in a Trojan Horse of deliciousness and therefore more than capable of overrunning the unwary. If they sold this year-round I might give up wine! Not to be missed.
St. Martin - Cuvee de Noel (Belgium) 8.5%
From the "Abbaye de Aboij Van" this 'Certified Belgian Abbey Beer' smelled of cinnamon at first. Oddly, when I set it aside for a moment (that's odd in and of itself), it very slowly spouted a pillar of foam out of the bottle so I poured it into a glass revealing a cloudy walnut brown colour. I drank the last sip from the bottle getting a mouthful of grit (delicious grit but way, way too strong tasting) which is a rookie mistake, I should have known better, but we carry on.
Inhaling the aromas of this beer brings me back to the three glorious days I spent in Brussels: smells of flower and spice seem to be the trademark of Belgian abbey beers, but this beer also has much more distinct tones of ginger and cinnamon (spice and everything nice to borrow a phrase). Obviously not in the same style as Norwegian Yule beers or German winter beers, but this beer is an absolute hit, and a must try.
Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed reading about these delicious (and not so delicious) Yule Beers and the Norwegian Christmas tradition that they are continuing.