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Arctic Circle Ale - Malmgårdin Panimo

Not Rated.
Arctic Circle AleArctic Circle Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

114 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 114
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 26
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Malmgårdin Panimo visit their website
Finland

Style | ABV
Sahti |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 03-03-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 114 | Reviews: 69 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by falloutsnow:
Photo of falloutsnow
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From: Wally's Wines, Los Angeles, CA
Date: None
Glass: Tulip

This was a sampling of my first sahti, had little in the way of expectation as I've never had the style before. Very rich and malty, quite caramel-laden, very little hop presence and the juniper (at least in this bottle) is subdued and in the background. Overall, I suppose I would have appreciated the juniper being a bit more noticeable in both taste and smell, as this would have differentiated the beer and the style from a bock or imperial brown ale. This is highly drinkable, but perhaps not something I'd spend $7 for a bottle of again, given that no dating is present and little reference to work with.

Pours a 1.5cm head of light tan foam, composed of small to medium bubbles, with average retention. Fades to a thick ring around the glass with modest lacing (a few large spots here and there). Body is a dark brown with reddish hues, opaque, with light bringing out lighter orange-red tints amidst the general brown backdrop.

Aroma of caramel, syrupy malts, richly roasted nuts. Seems to be missing the juniper, or it has dissipated with age (of course, I'm not sure how old this bottle actualy is). Rather doppelbock-like, when considering the caramel, malt intensity, and vague nuttiness of it all. This smells just fine, but I'm not sure if it's indicative of a quality, fresh sahti or not.

Overall, flavors are rich, malty, with slight hints of juniper and woodsy resin. Tasting opens with caramel sweetness that features slight chocolate as well. Mid-palate experiences rich caramel malts with modest juniper-like pine flavors. Back of palate continues the hearty caramel malts, but also some tanginess and bitterness, possibly from the juniper or ethanol, which can also be lightly detected. Aftertaste of caramel malts mixed with light juniper berry/twig flavors and subtle bitterness.

Beer's body is medium-heavy to heavy bodied, with medium-low carbonation, the result being a mouthfeel that is exceptionally smooth and full. Does not close dry, but there is a bit of stickiness across the palate and lips.

falloutsnow, Nov 26, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up during a trip to Baton Rouge. Not my first Sahti, but my first Sahti that was brewed in Finland. Excited to try this one, as it is also my first beer from Finland.

The beer pours a dark brown-orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the caramel and toffee malt. I don't get the juniper in the aroma. That being said, the juniper is present in the flavor. I also get some smoked malt and and toffee, as well as a little bit of chocolate. All of the flavors meld well together and make an enjoyable beer. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, May 07, 2011
Photo of BGDrock
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%

Appearance: murky, dull brown, like prunce juice; fine, almond coloured head with good retention and stickiness

Aroma: loads of spice - cumin, clove, allspice, with some toffee lying underneath - definitely peaking interest

Taste & Mouthfeel: big, rich toffee flavour aggressively coats the palate, bringing to mind a scotch ale; a whisper of hops cuts the sweetness, and coupled with light spice notes - now almost completely indistinguishable - it leaves a dry, mildly burnt finish, eager for another sip; reading a couple reviews after I did mine, flavours I couldn't quite identify in the finish were likely contributed by the juniper, interesting

Overall: great aroma, big flavour, easy drinking, and not overwhelmingly sweet when it could easily have been - could still treat this like a dessert beer though, it gives a delightful sense of sticky toffee pudding

BGDrock, Nov 15, 2014
Photo of mj001jk
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a thin hazel-colored foam.

Aromas are reminiscent of some Belgian ales from the past, sweet molasses, spicy wood and herbs with red apple sauce dominating the olfactory sense. Very appealing...

Initial mouthfeel is fresh and lively, dry yet satisfyingly rich in flavors. Again, a slightly sour Flanders red ale comes to mind when comparing this to anything I've had before. An incense-like tannic sensation on top of a minor alcohol burn on the finish reveals the juniper clearly, but not in any intrusive way.

Everything is balanced perfectly for me and it goes down way too smooth considering the 7.9% ABV.

mj001jk, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a jet brown body that is very dense with some sticky light tan foam and some microbubble in slow motion trailing up the sides of the glass.
S- The dark dry toffee smell has some gentle roasted malt notes and a spicy peppery cola note in the finish.
T- The soft caramel dark flavors have a slight roasted quality to them with a soft spun sugar note in the background. There is a nice pepper note in the finish with a soft pine flavor that is not hoppy.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat.
D- The nice caramel flavor taste like the wort had a long boil with some nice spice finish that is not hoppy but balances the sweetness nicely.

rhoadsrage, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of mrbigpappa
4.8/5  rDev +21.2%

mrbigpappa, Sep 18, 2014
Photo of augustgarage
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been hunting for this one for a few months now - glad to see one during Winter (even if it is nearly 80F here in Los Angeles). Poured from a 500mL bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Body is a hazy sienna topped by three fingers of unstable rocky buff foam which recdes to a half finger with decent lacing and a faint sheen of legs.

The juniper is up-front initially when you open the bottle. After the beer settles a bit in the glass subsequent whiffs bring on more nuance with a delicate presence of hops. A light malt scent merges with a weak tea aroma to round out the nose. No spices, yeast, or alcohol is noted.

Very woodsy palate entry - herbaceous and earthy, like a pine heavy IPA except this is a Juniper forest. Some caramel and toasted malt. Mellow fruit with a dab of honey blends with the malt which leads into a very mild bitterness, cleaning up the finish. The aftertaste is surprisingly roasty. The water seems notably pure, when combined with the juniper, it brings to mind a clear mountain stream.

Medium-light bodied, with excellent carbonation.

All in all a unique concoction that has elements of some American Amber ales as well as some components of an English Bitter - all filtered through a Finnish prism. Subtle but worth seeking out.

augustgarage, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of dirtylou
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle, served up at scandanavian tasting at brasserie v

appearance: served in a belgian chalice - bright tangerine body, light bubbly beige ring

smell: toffee, caramel, fresh juniper berries, woody, adequately hopped

taste: very interesting beer - the juniper twigs add a nice twist, dark rye malt, woody, bready, honey, apple peel.

mouthfeel: medium body, abv comes through right about at the listed level

drinkability: good

dirtylou, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of aztraz
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

aztraz, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of vincicle
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: dark auburn color with a short, thin head, surprisingly low carbonation.
Smell: strong malty characteristics, dark rye with a distinct hoppiness and only a slight hint of juniper
Taste: a nice warming maltiness with more juniper flavor then the smell hints. The hoppiness tends to distract from the beer for my personal taste but an overall excellent winter beer, even if it's not quite winter yet.

vincicle, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of Ralphs66
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pouring out like a still beer....hmmmm, wondering if there's a problem. No head at all. Got some molasses on the nose, and of all things, Brennivin (the black death national drink of Iceland). yeah, go figure. I like the flavor, but it seems muted. My second Sahti; DFH being the first and that beer was friggin over the top. I'm going to let it warm a bit and see what happens. Well, not alot of change after waiting 10 minutes or so. It's decent, and I'm enjoying it, but if I find yet another Sahti to try, I'll move on. No need to come back to this one.

Ralphs66, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of russpowell
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a crimson head mahogany with a sliver of tan head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Figs, cinnamon, & peppery notes

T: Dark fruit, some medicinal notes, & dryness up front. Leafy hops, raisins & more dryness as this warms. Finishes with woody hops, figs & dryness, just a bit of medicinal twang...

MF: Medium bodied, near zero carbonation

This is alright, the juniper is fairly muted. Had way better & (fresher?) American versions for much cheaper

russpowell, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of Gmann
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a small tight off white head that settles into a frothy ring.

The aroma is sweet with dark fruit. Lots of prune and raisin, reminds me of an old ale. Some toffee and caramel. Very sweet.

The taste is sweet, though not as sweet as the aroma. Lots of raisins and grapes, sweet toffee malt. I don't get a lot of twiggy juniper. Not sure if this is an old sample but the juniper faded, its not there. Perhaps a light sour berry from the juniper. Reminds me more of a lightly spiced old ale.

The feel is light to moderate with fizzy carbonation. Sweet on the palate but enough juniper to give a slight bitter balance. Drinks light and easy.

Definitely not as herbal and raw as the other that I have had. Seems more like a wheat old ale. Needs more juniper at a minimum.

Gmann, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of Keene
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Keene, Jun 25, 2014
Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -24.2%

GRG1313, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of beerthulhu
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

- Brewed with freshly cut juniper twigs and rye.

A: Against the light appeared a deep crimson red with a strong sense of carbonation. A fizzy tan tinted head, only moderately retains while no appreciable lacing was observed.

S: Darken sweet malts, rum raisins, with a dried sweetness of molasses/syrup presents itself on the nose. Juicy ripe plums also come into play with an overall light to moderate strength. Decent, only wish it was more dominant.

T: Sweet juicy fruit, cherries, with plums and a light touch of fresh licorice opens things up on the initial flavor. A warming, almost boozy honey sweetness is detected midway through the experience along with a dry spiciness of cola and dried caramel. Things really sweeten up on the finish with honey, apple peels and a slight boozy and rye spiciness coming through with just a touch of licorice.

M: The mouthful was fullbodied with a honey-like consistency and texture. Visible carbonation was light providing just enough tingle along the tongues edges to get noticed while things close out with a slight spicy booziness.

D: Ok drinkability, warming with a wintery booziness and dried sweetness. Ones enough though at any given sitting. The flavor was good enough, but just about every other aspect was barely above par.

beerthulhu, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of bluejacket74
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with about a half inch tan head that sticks around a little while. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is rich and malty, the brew smells like caramel malt, dark bread, herbs, and some dark fruit. The herbal and caramel flavors are strong in this brew. It also tastes like nuts, dark bread, and some dark fruit. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's syrupy and slick with low/moderate carbonation. I think this is a good brew, I liked it! $8.99 a bottle, I think it's worth trying at that price.

bluejacket74, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of ivyman
4/5  rDev +1%

ivyman, Oct 20, 2014
Photo of tanarm
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sort of a haze to it. Dark Brown in color. Bone white head fades quickly. Seems aged.

Aroma is woody, dusty, earthy right away. Tart fruitiness lingers in the background. Not sure about this...

Taste is nice, very complex. Earthy, woody flavor gives way to the fruitiness. Dried fruit, raisins, cranberry, with a touch of candy sweetness. Dried cherries. Oak. Finish is dry enough. Slight toffee, caramel. Some alcohol comes through. Juniper is there throughout it all, but not so its distracting. Dry, chalky, almost tannic in finish.

Carbonation is medium low. Good for style. Medium bodied.

Overall a really tasty, balanced, well made beer, very unique. I'm glad to have tried it. This will never be the most popular of styles but I think it has its place on a cold day when you want something besides a barleywine.

tanarm, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of peabody
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out dark brown with two fingers of slightly tanned suds. Some lacing.
Grass and hops with an alcohol raisin and caramel finish.
Taste is kinda coffee like. I get a fig and sweet caramel with some bitterness/blackness at the very end. The alcohol does come through a little after the flavors leave the palate.
Mouthfeel is very good. You get this bitterness then the boozey feel then it all goes away in an instant. This is a cool beer.
Drinkability is good here too. Even though this is a 7.3%er, it has a great finish and makes you want more right away.

peabody, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone Brewery flute glass. Pours a medium to dark ruddy orange amber, a half finger off-white head the slowly dissipates into a thick ring around the glass, leaving lacing. Nice aroma of caramel malt and dark fruit, reminiscent of a barleywine. Interesting mellow flavor of caramel malt, a light sharp sourness from the rye and a earthy, piney flavor from the juniper. Finishes with resiny juniper bitterness and residual caramel malt. Somewhat subdued flavor, but very pleasant and interesting. Medium to full bodied. A very nice sahti and one I hope to try again.

LiquidAmber, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of WillAndSarah
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

WillAndSarah, Oct 26, 2014
Photo of Proteus93
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost appearing to have a bit of a garnet glow. Head is creamy, light tan, and full of bubbles... the beer itself had a nice little shimmering of bubbles on first pour, as well.

S: Sugary sweet, caramel aromas. Quite rich malts, and a touch of a chocolate scent - it's modest and almost a passing thought, really.

T: A little more of a toffee flavour than caramel, somewhat bready... dark breads, which would suggest the rye malts coming through. The juniper twigs don't offer a lot of 'juniper taste,' but rather give it a slightly woody taste.

M + D: A nice, full body... it's even a bit chewy. It has a bit of a thick feel going down, which is slightly exaggerated by a soft warming of alcohol. An interesting brew, though I can't quite place it into a specific style category.

Proteus93, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

DrBier, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is cloudy reddish brown in color and poured with a finger high dense off white head that slowly died down and never completely faded away. A slight amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of caramel, malty sweetness and toffee in the nose along with notes of juniper.
T: The juniper stands out but these are well incorporated into the overall taste, which also seems to have a bit of spicy and woody flavors in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There is a slight amount of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is very drinkable for the style because the juniper flavors do not overwhelm the palate.

metter98, Jan 02, 2011
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Arctic Circle Ale from Malmgårdin Panimo
89 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.