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Arctic Circle Ale - Malmgårdin Panimo

Not Rated.
Arctic Circle AleArctic Circle Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

76 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 76
Hads: 136
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 8.16%
Wants: 30
Gots: 10 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Malmgårdin Panimo visit their website
Finland

Style | ABV
Sahti |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 03-03-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 76 | Hads: 136
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.77/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle: Poured a clear brown color ale with a medium size off-white head with OK retention. Aroma of roasted malt is mostly dominant with some vague spice notes. Taste is dominated by roasted malt notes with light dry caramel and some distant spices notes. Body is light with medium carbonation. I thought this was short on character and not something I would seek again. (371 characters)

Photo of rudzud
2.93/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Thanks to JLindros for sharing

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a dark dark murky brown hue with a thin head that faded to leave a really thin halo. 3.25

S - Aromas of well, incredibly bland. No berries, no sahati notes. Incredibly bland and vegetative. Hmm... 2.75

T - Taste is rather mediocre, very sweet, lightly sticky, light rye and darker malts. Thin, no real juniper, faint caramel. Ehhh 3.25

M - Mouthfeel is thin and watery, very bland. 2.25

O - Overall this beer was a big confusing mess. Really rough. 2.75

Serving Type: Bottle (550 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light fizzy small head, dark murky mud cola brown color.

Nose oxidation, weird herbal spice note, sweet candy and molasses like, little dark fruits, husky straw malt, little caramel, etc, raw bread and dark rye, lots of fermenting bread, mild raisin. Later mild medicinal juniper.

Taste semi sweet, thick and syrupy, candy molasses, chewy, mild sugar cane stalk husky like, raisiny as well, mild baking spices, candy, little bitter juniper and twig like. Finish semi sweet, mild baking spices, sweet molasses and syrupy notes lingering, etc.

Mouth is med bod, Syrupy light carb.

Overall meh, not a big fan of the style and this is meh even for the style. (660 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours out as a redish looking ale with some darker brown shadows in it. The lacing is pretty good. The smell is very herbal, and has a little bit of an earthy booze aroma too. The taste to me seemed a lot more like a barley wine than anything else to me. The mouthfeel was a little thick but not oily. The overall take I have on this is that it really wasn't what I thought it was going to be. Glad I tried it but found it to be a little too much for me. (464 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
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 (456 characters)

Photo of TheGrunt
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice Sahti-type beer. Dark muddy colour, almost nil foam and light carbonation. For some reason I can't get anything special out of the smell. Nice, but somehow bland taste: it's without any special kick.

I think this is a nice Sahti-type beer. I'm no huge fan of sahti, so I don't get specially excited from this either. Sahti fans like this probably very much, that I can say. (379 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is dark brown with small, off-white head that dissipates to a film quickly.

Scent consist of floral and herbal notes. Juniper, something that I cannot place that is somewhat minty?

Taste is malt, caramel, herbs of some sort, juniper. Very 'natural' flavours. Not bad but not really my thing.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Light for the ABV.

Overall? I have zero experience with the style. My first Sahti. I think it is OK as a beer, no real idea how it rates as a sahti. (486 characters)

Photo of TerryW
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Coffee coloured under a moderate head that settles to a full cap. Only spotty lace. Nose is all burned caramel malt, comes across as fairly sweet. Whiff of alcohol. And indeed, sweet to taste, with some sort of interesting funky, smoky thing happening. Good that way, but sweetness means this is just a one off. The smoke/funk is what I'm assuming is the juniper and that makes it kind of an interesting brew despite the sweetness. Noticeable alcohol as you go. Worth a try, but be prepared to find your way past the sugar to see what else is in there. (552 characters)

Photo of Ralphs66
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
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. (557 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
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. (805 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to TurdFurgison for picking up this bottle in Chicago at West Lakeview for me. Served in a Val-Dieu chalice.

Poured a fairly-dart brown with a thin light tan head that receded quickly without leaving too much lacing. The nose carried a bit of juniper and darker malts, plus a faint herbal quality. Flavor has a touch of roast and some darkened malt plus juniper and miscellaneous spicing. Not over the top in any direction. Light-medium body with good carbonation and a semi-dry finish. Pretty nice brew. (512 characters)

Photo of vincicle
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
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. (404 characters)

Photo of Bendurgin
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one is a Christmas gift from Andy. Poured into a pint glass. This one pours a dark muddy brown color with about a finger of rocky beige head.

Pleasant to smell with sweet toffee and molasses aromas. Caramelized sugars in the aroma with a dark bready character to round it out. A pungent dark fruit aroma lingers in the background. Malty here with a dark German bread character to it. Juniper flavors with other berries and the likes of plumbs come through. The flavor losses the sweetness that the aroma has.

Medium body here and this is a mostly still beer. Very light carbonation is noticeable on the finish. A lot going on here. This is also my first of the style. This is enjoyable but I don't see how often I would want to drink something to this nature. Good for a change of pace, and I wouldn't mind sampling some other Sahtis. (843 characters)

Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Go Packers...Go Bears...Go somebody!!!

Pours a hazy, deep rusty amber. Lightly carbonated. A short finger of head. Slight lacing. Deep aromas of orange peel, cinnamon, some piney notes. Very nice. Very sweet notes in there too, like honey. Flavor is big and robust, I get some cinnamon. Some alcohol (all through the drink, too), and it's only 7.3% ABV. Some other things in there too: caramel malt, some of the aforementioned orange peel. Finish has a nice, hoppy bitterness, but that may be the juniper used in the brewing process also. Not nearly as sweet as I thought it might be, either. Decent beer. $8.99/500ml bottle, though, so it's not cheap. Decent but I probably wouldn't buy it again.

What I like most: The nice, robust and uniquer flavor profile.

What I like least: The price and slightly astringent flavors.

Verdict: decent and unique, but a little pricey. (875 characters)

Photo of RuckusDu
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - crazy bubble action. Only about a half finger of head. Large light beige bubbles. Body is rootbeer brown.

S - nice caramel, some other sweetness, and a hint of chocolate.

T - not quite as sweet as the aroma. Some good light hops beaks it up. Chocolate and caramel dominate.

M - god carbonation and body. Only slightly buttery.

O - pretty good but nothing to fly to Finland for. It is refreshing and simple. (416 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
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. (1,285 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a half-litre bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice.

A: Clearish, with no head. Red-orange.

S: It smells...like spicy dirt? Herbal, grassy(?), gentian root, pine bark, fruit (pears and strawberry), and perhaps...yeast? It's complicated and strange, but pleasant. I imagine this is mostly the juniper?

T: Huh. It's okay, I guess. The history makes it more interesting than it is. It's a flattish, blandish beer, with a definite herbal note that is pleasant but not overpowering. The finish has a surprising amount of bitterness, but the yeast tastes stale and dead.

M: Unremarkable.

O: I'm definitely glad I tried this, and would suggest you do the same, but I will probably not be seeking it out in the future. Still pretty cool! (743 characters)

Photo of Resuin
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 50 cl bottle into a Chimay Chalice.

Appearance: Pours a muddy-copper color and doesn't leave a head. Not a particularly "attractive" beer, but let's see how it smells.

Smell: Caramel and malts up front, also has a smoky characteristic to it.

Taste: Caramel and malts again, a bit of juniper in there as an afterthought that actually helps lift this one up a bit. As it warmed up in my glass, the flavors became more pronounced and this definitely improved it.

Mouth-feel: A little watery, but not too dramatic. Not very carbonated for a beer with a body this light for the style and ABV.

Overall: Although this is different than I expected after reading the description on the bottle, I now see what they meant. The juniper was extremely subtle, but I definitely see why this a "winter ale". A malty brew with a fairly light body, this beer delivers what it promises, I just wish the juniper was a bit more pronounced. (937 characters)

Photo of tanarm
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (823 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (2,091 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger white head that vanishes quickly to a trace leaving no lace. Deep brown color. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Sweet juniper nose and flavor has malty sweetness with light, dry juniper finish. $9.00 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me. (290 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the time of this review, this is the #1!!! Sahti on the beeradvocate best of list, decent little beer. My quest is asymptotically approaching completion.

Beer is darker than expected but clear with a thin off white head of small bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation, low retention.

Aroma is mildly sweet with some interesting spice.

Beer is nice overall. Interesting, sweet up front, a little dry on the back, almost a peat quality to it, earthiness, mild spice. A good little beer, I'd like to try it again some day. (525 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

No head on a murky brown with golden hues body. Aroma of dark fruit, mostly fig, red apple, raisin and plum with some caramel and candy sugar as well. Flavors are a little bittersweet with more dark fruit initially including sour cherry, fig and raisin with a toffee, chocolate and caramel finish which is more bitter and sharp/tart than sweet. The base is bready throughout. Light to moderate carbonation with a relatively thick body that coats the mouth. Nice to try one of this genre from the area for which it is known. Well balanced and becomes more drinkable as its enjoyed. (580 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from 01/15/12 notes.

Blind beer #11 from Tmoney. Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a hazy reddish brown color with one inch of off white head and low to moderate carbonation evident. 4

s - Smells of dark fruits, caramel malts, toffee, fruity malts, and light spices. Smell is nice but a bit faded. I'm thinking this one is a barleywine, maybe with some age on it due to the fading. 3.5

t - Tastes of caramel malts, dark fruits, toffee, spices, vanilla, and light wood or oak. Not as faded as the nose, but definitely a little bit, so still thinking a barleywine that is a few years old. A step up from the nose. 4

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and pretty easy to drink. Thinking around 8-9% ABV. 4

o - Overall I liked this one quite a bit, though the nose seemed a little faded. Lots of caramel and toffee, and no strong alcohol to it. I'll guess an 8% American Barleywine that is a few years old. 4

And the reveal is....Arctic Circle Ale by Malmgårdin Panimo. Style is actually a Sahti, not a barleywine...whoops! Very nice beer, and a Want. Definitely reminded me of a barleywine as I got a lot of caramel and toffee, and I didn't get any juniper berries at all (which is a good thing as I normally don't like that in a beer too much). Very cool, thanks Kyle! (1,308 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours with a small head of white foam on top of a lightly hazy, amber-brown body. The head settles quickly and leaves only traces of lace.

S - Fruity notes of cherries and juniper with a bit of bready malt.

T - A very brown, bready malt profile up front with some juniper in the middle. Finishes with a distinct, rye bread flavor and lots of lingering juniper mustiness.

M - A fairly thick body, moderately low carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - A big, heavy, malty beer that is bready and rustic in the way that you would expect a sahti to be. Not something I would drink every day, but well worth trying if you come across it. (647 characters)

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Arctic Circle Ale from Malmgårdin Panimo
88 out of 100 based on 76 ratings.