December 25, 2011
Underlig Jul (Peculiar Yule)
This time of year Christmas and winter beers abound. You canít walk into a store without finding at least one specialty six pack. Iíve picked up many this year and I wanted to share this one as it is a rarer find. I present you with Underlig Jul (Peculiar Yule in the States) from Nogne O in Grimstad, Norway.
It poured a rich dark brown color with a touch of a ruddy orange color to it. It was dark enough that light only passed through at the edge of the glass. When held up to a gentle back light, it appears to be slightly hazy. As it was pouring a thick, tan foamy head consisting of a mixed size of bubbles formed. The head faded slowly and lasted through most of the beer. There was some beautiful complex lacing on the side of the glass.
This smells unlike most bears Iíve had. It had a spiciness mixed with a slight floral and citrus hop scent. I was able to detect hints of cinnamon, cardamom cloves, orange zest and chocolate malts. Itís very complex and some of the scents may be just various others mixing together to give the allusion to others. The flavor starts with a citrus hops and chocolate malt flavor that moves rapidly to the spices you can detect in the scent. There is a touch of ginger in the finish. As the beer warms up to room temperature the flavors really start becoming more individually detectable.
It is a medium bodied beer with a moderate level of carbonation. There is almost no coating in the mouth.
According to the bottle this beer was inspired by Glogg, a traditionally Scandinavian spiced wine drank in the winter. As not only an avid glogg snob, but also as a maker of it, I can detect the influence, especially in the scent. Now as there are many different types of Glogg, this is a particular spicy version. I really enjoyed this beer and am fortunate to have been able to enjoy one, and enjoy it I did on this fine Christmas day. If you even get a chance to try one, I would recommend it. I give it 7 out of 10.