Beer Advent 2016: Round Three, FIGHT!

We’ve officially gotten halfway through the beer advent calendar; another six beers have shown their labels and been consumed in the name Christmas cheer.  I could waste your time by writing some petty words, but I think we’re beyond that at this point.  How about, we dive on in?

December 13th: Nøgne Ø Adventurous Brown – 10 % (Nøgne Ø – Norway)

This beer opened the floodgates for some heavy hitters.  There was very little head on the pour and you’ll notice a sweet metallic smell coming out of the glass. The beer has a bit of a translucent dark brown look to it; very strange for a dark beer to be as clear as it is.  For the first sip, tastes like wood and molasses become apparent.  Second sip revealed brown sugar and possible pine notes, while the sweetness in the beer actually pulls it towards a similarity with a deep barbecue sauce. A pretty solid winter ale for sure!

Final Score: 4 / 5

December 14th: Bersalis Sour Blend – 6% (Oud Beersel Brewery – Belgium)

Before I get into this, I need to put out a disclaimer that I distinctly remember dealing with a sour beer in last years beer advent calender review, BeerAdvent 2015: I Just Got Run Over by a Reinbeer.  I remember it so well because it wasn’t the experience I had hoped for, to say the least.  It is very rare that a beer leaves me asking myself, “why did I put this in my mouth?”  Now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about this one.

As your pour it into the glass, it takes on the bubbling action of a cider pretty much right away.  The head is neither thick or impressive; it pours a bit like a can of no name brand soda.  While it does have a decent pale golden yellow colour, it also has deposits of sediment tumbling around in the bottom of my glass.  On the nose, the beer seems to be mostly of sour lemon.  The flavour isn’t what you would expect after smelling it though.  It actually isn’t all that sour – not as much as the scent would have you believe anyway.  Whatever sourness there is in the beer mellows out to a bit of a indescribable spice.  Really, it comes across as a wheat beer with lemon in it.  Unfortunately, while it does take on characteristics of a sour and wheat beer, it doesn’t really succeed at being either very well.

Final Score: 2.5 / 5

December 15th: Põhjala Öö Imperial Baltic Porter – 10.5% (Põhjala – Estonia)

Ok…..let’s see if I can write more than a couple of sentences about this beer.  There is no head to speak of when it is poured and looks to be a little flat.  The beer is extremely dark, which so far seems to be it’s winning attribute since the marketing of the beer (the label) appears to be largely about night time or darkness.  It is both sweet and bitter and tastes largely of coffee and licorice but not much of either.  I find myself a little bit lost with this beer.  “Meh…”

Final Score: 2.75 / 5

December 16th: Gno More Gnomes (Barley Wine) – 10% (Eviltwin Brewery – Helsingborg, Sweden)

Pours much like a red ale with a nice, thick (but not overly done) head.  Not much to tell about the scent.  In fact, there’s very little scent at all.  Tastes a lot like ……. malt.  Not much else going on here unfortunately.  I was hoping for more and while it wasn’t too bad to drink, I found the substance to be a one note wonder.

Final Score: 2 / 5

December 17th: Black Alligator – 9% (Monyo Brewing Co. – Budapest, Hungary)

First off, I spent a lot of time on google translate trying to figure out what the bottle wanted to tell me about the beer.  This isn’t a bad thing.  I like a good mystery and this bottle delivered.  Since we’re also meddling with a lot of beers from Europe, it was nice to see one of them printed fully in it’s original language.  In terms of the beer itself, it pours dark, tastes clean and finishes light.  Nothing spectacular or earth shattering but what it does do, it does very well without burning my taste buds.  While it does have a fairly high alcohol content, this is a beer I could drink several of with very little difficulty.

Final Score: 4 / 5

December 18th: Molotov – 7 % (Birrificio Del Ducato – Italy)

I was really excited when I pulled this beer out of the box on account of it boasting being made with wasabi.  Pours a nice golden yellow colour in the glass.  As with some of the others in this line up, I have noticed a fair amount of sediment in the bottom of the glass.  There is very little head to speak of.  There is no spice here really and only a faint trace of wasabi flavour.  I was left a little disappointed after what was promised.  This beer is a bit too plain and left me wanting.

Final Score: 2.25 / 5

That’s the end of part three,
Of our beer adventure.
But there’s still mystery,
Don’t leave, madam or sir!

That’s another six done,
some of them were not great.
A few were pretty fun,
So do not show them hate.

If you tune in next time,
We’ll finish off the set.
Hope the last are sublime,
‘Cus this box put me in debt.

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