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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:
Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Thorpe429, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

nmann08, Jan 16, 2012
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
Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -24.2%

GRG1313, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Russet red trimmed with bright tangerine. It didn't seem as though much foam was being created on the increasingly elevated pour, but I'm now looking at four fingers of brown sugar colored creaminess that is loaded with character. Honeycomb-like lace sticks like... well... like honeycomb.

This brew's defining feature is the use of juniper twigs. It also contains dark rye malts to give it that winter warmer vibe. Both are noted in the nose, but they're far from obvious and I never would have been able to identify them on my own. Nevertheless, ACA smells pleasantly dark malty, spicy and earthy.

Panimoravintola Huvila brews good craft beer, it's as simple as that. Where Artic Circle Ale is concerned, they decided to do something Finnish without going overboard. Juniper is much more noticeable on the palate, as is rye. This is delicious beer that should be even more so as it gains a few degrees.

A rye porter with juniper gets things about right. Or a sahti with English hops. Speaking of which, there's a surprising amount of herbal-earthy-spicy hoppiness present, which ends up being a perfect foil for the malt sugars. Generous ingredients, wonderful sweet-bitter balance and a highish ABV... sounds like a winter warmer that I can sink my teeth into.

Flavors include rye toast, dark caramel, a little dark chocolate, orange rind and a solid shot of juniper. I would have said gin, but the alcohol is masked extremely well. Any beer that is this interesting deserves a high drinkability score. Besides, it's highly drinkable.

The mouthfeel is somewhere between American porter and Baltic porter... probably closer to the former. It's smooth as silk and is properly bubbled, but a bit more viscosity would have earned it the next highest score with ease.

Arctic Circle Ale is damn good beer and has a Finnish sahti vibe that is irresistible. It's a sad shame that this brewery's lineup isn't more widely available (and less expensive) since they clearly know their way around a mash tun. Recommended.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of kylehay2004
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

kylehay2004, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

Knapp85, May 22, 2011
Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

what a special and unique beer, tastes like some of the ones ive had done with birch syrup, but different from any beer on the market. its a deep ruby to caramel color, clearish until the yeast cake at the bottom of the bottle starts to break up and add some sediment to it, not muc light getting through it, viscous, and not much head even as i try to raise it up. where the lack of carbonation is less appealing in looks, it makes the beer in mouthfeel. love the density of it, carrying the pine notes of the juniper and the sweet malt as long as possible, and its heaviness makes it a perfect winter warmer. i really love the malt in this, its so deep and rich, caramel and toffee and butter cream (in a good way). the juniper is less intense than anticipated, especially in the nose, where it only adds a layer rather than dominating, but it does have a sappy element in the feel, which works. smells and tastes like a traditional english ale yeast, and therefore makes it seem just a little like an english barleywine in style. the aftertaste is amazing, and the more i drink this and let it warm up, the more i like it. my first beer from these guys, and one of my first from finland (if not the very first), i would love to travel here and see whats out there in terms of beer. this is so different from anything else, wonderful!

StonedTrippin, Wednesday at 03:24 AM
Photo of nickfl
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

nickfl, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of jlindros
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

jlindros, Oct 04, 2014
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 MasterSki
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a Surly pint glass. No freshness date, but without hops this doesn't worry me.

A - Small tan foam settles to a near-complete cap and thin collar of bubbles. Negligible lacing. Body is a hazy cola brown color with some ruby highlights.

S - Smells very sweet - plenty of caramel, lightly burnt sugars, and berry flavors. There's some dough and cake character present too, as well as a hint of chocolate and rye malt. Medicinal notes are quite understated, with juniper well in the periphery. Quite barleywine-esque.

T - Taste is less sweet, with more burnt malt and wood character. Also loses much of the depth found in the aroma. I don't get a ton of juniper - this mostly tastes like a barleywine with rye. The bitterness in the finish is a bit more medicinal than hoppy, so I guess that's what makes this a Sahti.

M - Some alcohol warmth that seems a bit excessive for only 7.3% - is this a "winter warmer"? Chewy and viscous full body. Active but soft carbonation. Sticky and lightly tannic in the finish. Drinks like a much bigger beer.

D - It seems like every "Sahti" I have is quite different, and this one is no exception. Quite enjoyable, although the 500ml bottle would probably be best split between two people. If you like rye-wines give this one a shot. I appreciate the delicate touch with the juniper too.

MasterSki, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

drabmuh, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of feloniousmonk
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"... a winter-time specialty that has bee inspired by Finland's northern nature and ancient brewing traditions. Freshly cut juniper twigs and dark rye malts have been combined with Finnish barley malts and British hops to produce this malty dark-brown ale with woody, juniper notes and a long, complex after-taste."

Dark brown color, slim head.

Light hoppy nose, grassy, herbal, some sweetness. Rich malty character.

Taste: There's the wood and the bright berries... intriqueing character. Complex, yet smooth, compelling, yum...Quite a unique brew. props for that/

way to go, Finland!

feloniousmonk, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of mactrail
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A unique and complex perfumey ale.

Nice dark amber in the glass with a small head but very good lacing as you sip and swirl. Clear, not turbid as the traditional style suggests. Some forest aromas, pine and dry grass. Malty with some definite sweetness and well-bodied. Rye is quite evident with the dry and grainy flavors. Some kind of odd fruit makes me think of dried jujubes. Or hibuscus tea. Drawback is the overly bitter and very long aftertaste of either the hops or unrelieved pitchy boughs.

If you like rye beers or odd flavors, this one is both intriguing and well made. I'm at a loss for words to describe how odd it is, but thoroughly drinkable. It would be worth comparing with other juniper flavored beers. I definitely want to try this again, and I'll be looking to see if there are any others in this style out there.

mactrail, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +1%

MarkyMOD, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of mdfb79
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
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!

mdfb79, Jan 18, 2012
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 jwc215
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, poured into tulip glass:

Pours dark brown with a fluffy/bubbly tan head that holds up well and leaves a thin sheet of lacing.

The smell is of caramel/toffee with woody, minty notes. Quite robust and wintery!

The taste is of sweet mollases, caramel/toffee and brown sugar. Sweetness balanced by a woody, minty character that give it a dryness in the long finish.

It's creamy and hits full-bodied.

Unique and delicious, it's a malty winter warmer with a Sahti spicing influence. A great "sipper" to have on hand in the winter. Abv shows just enough to give it a warming touch that is welcomed. Look for this one for a winter treat!

jwc215, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of smcolw
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly no head, but it does leave some streaky, but limited, lace. The beer is a solid brown color where light passes through easily. Very cloudy, looks muddy.

Plentiful sweet caramel. Smells like a rich duppelbock or a barley wine. No notable juniper berry aroma.

Drier than the smell lets on, but still very sweet. There's some nice balancing toastiness to the swallow. The aftertaste is surprisingly astringent like Gin with a mild kick of alcohol kicked in. Wonderfully different and remarkably drinkable. Full bodied with a low level of carbonation.

smcolw, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

50 cL bottle,

A: Pours burnt sienna with a creamy, rocky soft white head, leaves abundant lace.

S: Juniper is in the background, the beer smells very malty and is a bit boozy which scares me a little, but it seems to be in a good balance with the malt here. Fragrant.

T: The rye malt is prominent adding a spicy bready component (reminds me a bit of Old Jubilation) that works well with the juniper. There is a good hop counterbalance to this beer which keeps it from being over the top. Woody, oaky undercurrent throughout, the juniper is most prominent in the finish.

M: Full-bodied, creamy, lightens up a bit in the finish which is nice, it's not overbearing, quite smooth.

D: A bit of a change of pace for me, I haven't had a winter warmer for a while. This one was almost like an imaginary blend of Anchor OSA and the aforementioned Avery Old Jubilation, quite an interesting brew, even in the heat of late September.

Halcyondays, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a semi-opaque (because of the darkness of color) mahogany in color with a finger tall beige head. The head reduces to some extremely thin patches and a much thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: Aromas of malty sweetness with hints of caramel and toffee in addition to juniper.

T: The flavor is dominated by the juniper with other woody hints and there is some definite malt sweetness as well (with more caramel than toffee).

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with some dryness in the finish.

O: Very interesting flavor profile and aroma with so much of the juniper presence. The beer was easy to drink but not really something I would call sessionable.

dbrauneis, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one fizzled in my luggage on the way back from the US, seemingly losing a third of its volume into my suitcase. Looks like it was just pressure related, however, as I successfully uncapped it with a decent fizz, and there's plenty of carbonation still visible. Lucky save.

Pours a very rich and thick deep brown-mahogany colour, twinges of red to it. Head forms languidly through the dense body, a large-bubbled crown of speckled yellow-white. Minimal lacing, cloudy body. Looks very heavy, rich and sweet. I love it.

Nose is very deep and sweet, with hints of pepper and resiny bark. The juniper is noticeable here, giving a slight bite that almost resembles turpentine. Sweet, sugary caramels are dominant though, and the juniper merely cuts through them like hops would cut through a good double IPA. Lovely.

Taste is smooth and rather sweet, with a cleansing bite on the back, which is like hops, but completely unlike hops as well. The cleansing bitterness is reminiscent of it, but the flavour is very different. Sharper, more woody and resiny. For some reason, I think of describing it as "echoey" - the bites of bitterness seem to reverberate bit by bit. The sweetness is still here in abundance, but it's a deep dark malty bitterness, with the spice of pumpernickel rye bread coming through as well.

Feel is smooth and rich.

Very interesting brew. I've not had a dark sahti before, but I can see now that it works. Sahti seems like such an odd style to me, but every time I have one I get more and more enamoured with it.

lacqueredmouse, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a fan of juniper, and therefore of Sahti. Not a lot of examples around, so it's nice to find one I haven't tried. This one is billed as having been brewed with juniper branches. Pours a slightly murky brown with a medium head that fades to a thin cap. Smells malty, but with a delicate juniper note. The taste is nice. Very malty, and with a little bit of a vinous, fruity note- perhaps prunes, and a nice note of juniper. Clean and light in the mouth. Not the resinous explosion of juniper I'm looking for, but very pleasant nonetheless, and it is billed as an "Arctic Ale" rather than as a traditional Sahti.

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