My first few sips are a very pleasant creamy mouthfeel followed by a big hit of cocoa nibs. The chocolate intensity is actually largest at the end of the sip. The coffee from the aroma comes through on the palate as a charred, slightly bitter background note. I find that the coffee flavors serve to balance out the chocolate sweetness throughout the drinking experience. The mouthfeel is quite velvety and satisfying. My initial tasting was at 66 Freedom and as the beer warms up, oak starts to come through along with vanilla.
The balance is very good. I often find with oak aged beers that the alcohol can take over the palate. With the Jõuluöö, the chocolate, oak, vanilla and alcohol balance are nicely synced up.
Flavors on the finish are chocolate, coffee, with a light astringency which serves to prevent a cloying sweetness.
Overall, I found the Põhjala Jõuluöö a very good beer. A satisfying example of an oak aged stout. I would love to see a release example at 10% ABV or above to see how far they could push the flavor profile.
Jeremy M - May 3, 2018
Nicely done John Mctavish! Sounds delicious