michael-pollack (4960) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 17, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
750ml Bottle: Aroma of spices, cardamom, lemon grass, juniper, pumpkin, and spices. Poured amber/gold in color with a small, lose, off-white head that disappeared quickly. Cloudy. Not sparkling. Full of tiny particles throughout. Flavor is lightly sweet and very spiced. Tastes of lemon grass, juniper, cardamom, spices and pumpkin. Medium body. Oily, then dry texture. Average carbonation. Spiced, pumpkin, juniper finish is dry. Too many spice flavors that just overwhelm each other. The spicing is not "subtle and balanced." 9%ABV is undetectable.
Ernest (6728) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUL 14, 2009
3.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
Head is initially very small, fizzy, off-white, fully diminishing.
Body is hazy dark yellow.
Aroma is moderately malty (caramel, toasted grain), lightly hoppy (flowers, herbs), lightly yeasty (cobwebs, basement), with notes of coriander, cardamom, nutmeg, orange and lime peel, chamomile, ginger.
Flavor is moderately to heavily sweet, lightly acidic, lightly bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Medium body, watery/syrupy texture, fizzy/lively carbonation, lightly to moderately alcoholic.
A spice bomb to be sure, but the combo is admittedly quite pleasant (and complex). I wish the "beer character" would shine through the heavy spicing more, but as I say, itís far from a one trick pony in that department. Looks like cloudy soda pop thanks to a brief fizzy head. But the main thing keeping this from a higher score is that itís too unrelentingly syrupy-sweet to drink more than a few ounces of (unless you have a serious sweet tooth I guess). Not a surprise for this brewery in the latter case, as a large number of their products have that fault...Sam must be quite a sugar nut!
Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - JUL 14, 2009
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: AUG 1, 2009 Bottle 750ml pours a golden body with an off white head. Sweet clove and tea with a spicy pepper body with more tea and lighter fruit character. Wow this got me bent and i loved every bit of it. Highly underrated.
DocLock (8530) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 13, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours hazy deep gold with 1-finger, fluffy white head. Nose is hopcitric, chai tea spice, herbs. Tastes malty, slightly cloying, with hopcitrus and heavy Chai tea spice notes in the flavor. Also late floral, peppery, and honey notes upon repouring, which gets more turbid. The repour looks post-Centrum urine yellow, with a flavor a bit like Boddingtonís mixed with chai tea might taste. Unique and interesting, this one is worth a try to show what originality can do within the confines of beer brewing.
emacgee (4376) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - JUL 12, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Glad to see Bob and Jason are having all kinds of beer together...douchecanoes. Anyways, this thing pours a bright gold with a thin white head. Looks pretty unassuming. The nose is very pungent, sweet, spicy, aroma is very reminiscent of a pumpkin beer, nutmeg/allspice. Flavor is sweet and spicy, mild alcohol, nutmeg and allspice come through. Nice level of carbonation and hidden alcohol.
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUL 11, 2009
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle generously shared by durhambeer - thanks, Bob! Pleasant golden beer as the base, and the pour demonstrates this pretty nicely. Mild carbonation, and a fairly appealing nose of honey, yeast, ginger, and other spices. You can certainly get the cardamom in the nose, and this really reminds me of one of those organic teas you buy in Whole Foods, specifically the "Throat Coat" variety. Sharp and boozy taste, getting a lot of ginger heat (even though not advertised). Treacle, slightly thin body. Another "interesting" experiment from DFH, but surely this isnít whatís on tap in Valhalla.
Pastor (799) - Skowhegan, Maine, USA - JUL 10, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
I split this bottle among 4 friends and Let me tell you I was glad. The bottle poured into a Portsmouth snifter produced an extremely short lasting head that faded away to nothing. The color of the brew was hazy golden yellow to brown.
The first thing that you experience after you crack open the bottle is the aroma of chai it is that predominant. The nose and the flavors make this brew. The chai eventually followed by some other wonderful spices and then juniper as it warms. Flavors on this brew follow the nose to a "T" but it is also very complex. Like I said I was glad I split this one It would have been way to much to finish the 750 but I enjoyed every drop of my glass. The mouthfeel is great and there is a light carbonation to this one as well. I will pick up another bottle the next time I see this I was that impressed
durhambeer (2500) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - JUL 10, 2009
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle from Wine Authorities. Iím struggling with this one. Not sure what I expected, but it wasnít this, exactly. I guess I didnít read the label, because it tastes like all the ingredients... dry Weizen yeast, some lemon/lemongrass, juniper and chai spice weirdness (cardamom and cloves, particularly), and slight tea notes. Just not really sure why all these things are hanging out together, and Iím thinking they should start looking for new friends. Tastes much better than it smells, and hints at a Belgian golden ale, which almost saves it for me... but doesnít quite.
jredmond (6297) - Manhattan, New York, USA - JUL 10, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle slit with Ryguy and Fannon. Pours a bright orange with haze, and a small white head. The aroma is slight malt, honey and alcohol. The taste is tea, honey, malt, lemon, coriander, and spice.
FlyingTaco (112) - Massachusetts, USA - JUL 9, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Reviewed on 6/22/2009...so...Chai tea and juniper berries, huh? Only other Sahti Iíve tried was from Nogne ō so donít confuse me with any maven of the style...the Duvel tulip seems like itíll work just fine for this one. Mild "pffft" of the cap.
Pours a very cloudy, farmhouse-ish flat and ultra viscous honey gold with a fair amount of lemon pith. Relatively translucent - active yet sparse carbonation is visible from the bottom up. One downer is really no head to speak of - just a couple of yeast wisps. This is really almost gelatinous, itís so thick.
Well, I can definitely make out the juniper and a little honey with a lot of deep sweetness. Can make out the spicing of the Chai tea very nicely. Not sure of the style guidelines but this smells pretty damn good to me. Just a little bit of mild yeast electricity here.
As comforting and viscous as it looks and smells, it rolls down the gullet the same way. There are all of the nice elements of juniper, Chai, clove and a light note of honey sweetness. A bit of dryness from the yeast clearing everything out keeps everything pretty clean, even with the gravity of it all. Quite good. Itís not the shock to the system that the new(er) world Nogne ō offering was - this seems more subtle and mellow.
I really enjoy the palate feel of this one. It has a heavy quotient at first but the yeast and spiciness really dry it up well for the weight class while also keeping it very clean and refreshing on the finish. Almost spritely from the juniper (which is not overstated...its own blessing) and the mild Chai tea spicing. Very even-keeled and excellent.
First Sammy C. digs out the Old Odense Ale in a collaboration with NB. Now this. Nothing like playing old B-sides people havenít heard in a while...or ever! This is a fine offering that drinks quite well - maybe the heft and viscosity make it at least somewhat of a sipper, but itís enjoyable all the way through. Nice job.