Greetings from Copenhagen!
I have to say that this was a huge disappointment in terms of Christmas beer… perhaps I am becoming more critical in terms of my expectations of Christmas beers (or spoiled by the array of seasonals now available in the U.S.). I anticipated from the coloration that this would measure up to the Norwegian Christmas beers of seasons past in terms of full-bodied and caramel taste, but it unfortunately, did not. (Note to friends in the US – you are not missing anything here.) Measuring in at 5.6% ABV, the pouring was wonderful only in color, but the aroma (non-distinctive), taste (bland), and overall experience made for a forgettable experience. The best thing about this pour was that there was gentle snowflakes falling outside!
BUT… all is not lost as I sampled a second, surprisingly good second pour – none other than a Carlsberg (yes, a Danish institutional brewery) Carl’s Special Golden Ale (see photo below).
This brew was definitively caramel in aroma with a hint of molasses and competes with some of the nicest craft amber/golden ales I’ve tasted here or in the U.S. I anticipated a much more industrial (mass-produced) flavor having had the Tuborg immediately before. But the Carl’s Special IS special – full-bodied, refreshing with caramel/toffee aftertones. (Hmmm… hints to Budweiser – if Carlsberg can do a good job on a specialty amber, perhaps there is hope?) Carl’s Special Golden Ale measured in at a respectable 4.6% ABV but packed taste rivaling a much more robust brew.
Recommendation: If you happen to be in these Scandinavian parts anytime soon, the Carl’s Special Golden Ale is definitely worth the price of a pint!
Next post — Microbrewery visits in Copenhagen and the Christmas lights of Tivoli Gardens at night.
Until the next pint,
An unOfficial beer goddess.