This is the first of what I hope will be several beer of the moments devoted to special holiday releases. First up is the Kloster Jule from Olfabrikken, a small brewery in Roskilde, Denmark. The brewery was started in 2003 by a couple of Danish friends who had a passion for strongly flavored unpasteurized beers. There was some concern in the beer world when Olfabrikken was purchased by Gourmetbryggeriet early this year, but judging by the taste of this beer, I think some of the concerns can be laid to rest.
The Kloster Jule is a belgian strong ale, that includes an addition of Danish sour cherries, candy sugar and licorice root. It is everything a great Christmas beer should be. The 9.5 percent alcohol gives it some warmth, the cherries add some tartness, and the malt gives off some nice chocolate notes. The smell and the taste are wonderful, and would be a great addition to the holiday meal table, or as an after dinner drink.