Bunker Bustin’: Thinning the Herd

Well, I decided to take inventory of beers I had in the bunker last night.  I thought I had a lot of Winter brews, and I do, so I am going to be thinning them out as I begin to make way for Barleywine season and the flood of yellow beers to follow.  So what did I find out there?  I have a couple Winter Ales, one from Nogne O, and one from Flying Dog.  I also found a Flying Dog Marzen from back in Octoberfest that somehow slipped through.  I also found a Christmas Beer from Nogne O.  Christmas…Oh yeah, this brew was a Christmas present, and with the beers I had bought for me and my son to share while he was home from college, this one slopped through the cracks…

Nogne o’s Peculiar Yule is a Norwegian Style Ale brewed with spices.  And what a list of spices it is, Ginger, Coriander, Cardamom,  Cinnamon, Cloves, and British Ale Yeast.  It is like they just went to the spice rack and took all the “Cs”.  Fortunately there isn’t any Cumin in there too!

The first thing that happened was when I opened this it just fizzed out the top of the bottle for about a minute.  I actually held the bottle over the glass and let it fizz into the glass for a while then when it calmed down a bit I poured some out and got a massive head on the thing.  Funny though it was just a moderate lacer as I drank it.

The nose on this thing was massive.  As soon as I opened the bottle it was like someone opened a bag of Potpouri.  I was a little apprehensive because it was fizzing all over the place and it was so pungent I thought it might have turned, but when the heat finally retreated a bit and I was able to take a sip it was a very interesting beer that hadn’t turned at all.

Peculiar Yule is the perfect name for this brew because I would say just that, it tasted very peculiar.  Not in a bad way, but not in a great way either, just in a peculiar way.  The mouthfeel was light to medium, and the nose was very piney.  It reminded me a bit of an English Style IPA, and it did use Chinook and Cascade hops.  But the flavor was interesting.  It started out malty, then had a hint of the pine that was so heavy on the nose, then had a layered finish with the different spices lining up and taking their turn with my tongue.  I felt like the only guy in a dance hall full of women.  Each flavor took its turn then handed me off to the next.

Peculiar indeed.


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8 Comments on “Bunker Bustin’: Thinning the Herd”

  1. January 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    I see Nøgne Ø’s products at my best local beer-seller, but I’ve never braved it. There’s no real reason for it, though. What would you recommend, Don?

    • Don
      January 14, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

      Well, John, the Peculiar yule was the first brew I’ve ever had from our Norwegian friends. I have another Islay Ale Winter Warmer (aged in Scotch Barrels) that I have yet to open, but based on my one bottle experience it seems that they care about the beer, and that can only be a good thing.

  2. scott
    January 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    I wish I could stock up like that but I’m like a kid on chritmas when it comes to craft beer. Haven’t tried any of Nogne O’s brews but that’s why I’m here, to find out and read about stuff from real people who aren’t paid (but should be 😉 ) to write about it. The place here in Austin a lot of stuff you have to ask for by name cause its in the back. Not a big deal but I’m fairly new to the game so asking for some stuff is still out of the question. Posts like these will help for sure, thanks Don for keeping it real.
    Drinkin a Santa Fe Chicken Killer right now. Have to say its my first Barley Wine Ale…. not that good…..

    • scott
      January 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

      Wanted to clarify on “not that good”: starts off great but leaves you with that crisp wine burn. Anyway, just didn’t want to read as if I was a hater or something

    • Don
      January 14, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

      Barley Wine is an acquired taste. I didn’t really like them at first either, but strangely this year I started craving them. I guess it just takes a bit of time, and you may never really care for that style, but my understanding is there are 140 styles to choose from now! 😉

      • scott
        January 14, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

        Lol, yes, apparently there is!

  3. Mark S.
    January 15, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    Bunker bustin’ is thirsty work!

    That beer sounds interesting, and makes me want to go look for a barleywine in my locale. I’m generally more like Scott, though. The craft beers come into the house and get consumed within the next month or so. Right now I am working on “thinning the herd” of the last of the Christmas/Winter ales so I can go buy more new, interesting brews. Like your brother Jim, I found most of the Christmas/Winter ales to be pretty uninspired this year, but I hate to pour them down the drain.

    Sometimes it’s hard work being a craft beer drinker…


  4. Stephen
    January 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    Bunker Bustin. It’s a tough job, but somebodies got to do it! On a side note if you need any help feel free to contact me:)

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