Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Red Label for Christmas

The Christmas beers have just arrived in Norway. It is the one time every year when the newspapers take some interest in the beer scene, arranging blind tastings where the winner might just as well be the one nearest in taste to the everyday pilsner.

I think the award for the nicest Christmas beer label this year should go the Nissefar label from the newly started Haandbryggeriet. Red for Christmas with an innovative design and informative, too.

Though when it comes to information content few can beat the new Nøgne Ø label series. Stating not only bottling date (in addition to the largely irrelevant best before date for this bottle-conditioned type of beer) and batch no., the brewers also take pride in telling us the malt, hop and yeast varieties used, the degrees Plato and the IBUs (International Bittering Units). With even advice on how to store and serve it (no, not half-frozen as is common with bland lagers), how can you go wrong?

Back to Nissefar, the (Christmas) gnome, or specifically the beer itself, which is not at all bad. To quote from my Ratebeer review:

"Dark, almost black, with a creamy beige head. Roasted malts aroma with hints of coffee and chocolate. The flavour is sweet, but balanced, ending dry.Chocolate and roasted malts are dominating. There is even a hint of some refreshing citrus. Full body, soft."

The bland lager loving newspaper critics would hate it.....

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