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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 capeannbass36
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured hard into a Duvel tulip.
Dirty purple brown in color. Cloudy, hazy.
Off white 3/4 inch head that disappeared fairly fast.

S- Whiff of juniper upon opening. Fruity.

T- Sweet malt and juniper.

M- Medium body. Smooth. Decent carbonation.

O- A very unique taste. Really cannot compare it to any other beer that I have tried. Might be able to drink two at one sitting. (377 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 avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a rust color with a thick, cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A very sharp, herbal smell, with some hints of caramel.

T: Tasted of caramel, malt, that herbal quality (which I assume is the juniper), and a slight hoppy presence. An interesting take on the Sahti. It almost has some qualities of a barleywine.

M: A well carbonated beer with a super dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This is a solidly made, drinkable beer. (514 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (703 characters)

Photo of 100floods
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a creamy brown with a tan head that turns into lace. Rich yeast, herbal aroma. Very close to a Belgian brown ale, sweet, a little gummy. The juniper twigs come through nicely as well. Very pleasant aroma. Pretty full body, very smooth. The juniper twigs really come through in the flavor, but it's definitely not a bad thing. It's almost a nice replacement of the hops, which you can hardly taste. There's a noticeable sour taste, but it comes second to the juniper as if to compliment it, very nice. It almost create its own herbal bitterness. This beer is nice because it's not a Belgian beer, but has elements of one. I definitely like this brew a lot. The Scandinavians definitely have a way with herbal drinks. Very enjoyable. (737 characters)

Photo of crossovert
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml brown bottle with white plastic.

It pours a lot nicer than the other Finnish sahti, Kataja, that I have had. It is a deep reddish brown with a big off-white head. The head sticks around for a bit and it recedes with some nice lacing.

The smell is a lot like a Munich dunkel, different form other sahti's I have had. It has a nice chocolatey dark malt presence. The juniper is there as well.

The taste is a little bit similar to the other sahti's, but again it reminds me a ton of a Munich dunkel. It ahs that immense drinkability to it, though it is 7.3%. There is an underlying bitterness, perhaps form the juniper twigs that is welcome. There is so much chocolate and caramel in there that just tastes really great, like a northwoods imperial Munich dunkel.

If you can find this try it, it is awesome. (813 characters)

Photo of SilentSabre
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured up a lovely dark, reddish bronze colour with a two finger thick cookie dough coloured head with a nice, thick, soapy froth on top. Very nice!

Smell is mostly sweet, toasted malts, a bit of a maple syrup smell, some cooked fruit, an earthy aroma, and perhaps a light touch of alcohol ( which seems strange coming from something that's only 7,3%).

The flavour almost seems to be sweet and bitter simultaneously with the maple syrup in the smell a bit more pronounced in the flavour followed by a noticeable shift toward bitter toward the finish, and a bit of the juniper noticeable a second or two after you swallow. This is a rather bizarre brew, for sure. Very good, but odd, nevertheless.

Mouthfeel is much heavier than I was prepared for, but I enjoy that. Especially on a chilly, rainy night such as this. I have seen this before and merely passed by it. I'm very glad I chose to try it out; while definitely strange, I really enjoyed this one! (962 characters)

Photo of mj001jk
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
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. (637 characters)

Photo of laituegonflable
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep earthy red colour, dark brown but with cuprous tinge around the edge. Head is ochre and consists of large bubbles, thin crown retaining. Lace is disappointing, but notwithstanding, looks like a nice sweet, heavy beer.

Smell is sweet and quite boozey. Very like a fortified wine, with dark raisins and cherry hints. Lots of molasses and just that smell of toasted sugar. Yes, very pleasant indeed; the right amount of sweetness for a strong, sweet beer without going overboard.

Taste is also quite sweet. Strong and syrupy with molasses, brown sugar and caramel, and a strong hit of vanilla beans. Yeah, very sweet but with a good cocoa hit towards the back as well, and overall a very dry palate and feel. Syrupy on the front, but almost grainy and dessicated on the back. Good flavours though, sweet and nutty and a nice boozey hit as well. Good vibe to it.

Yeah, heavy, but it has all the right flavours and in good proportions. An interesting style to which I have no comparison point, but it's a nice beer anyway. (1,033 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (1,540 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 Halcyondays
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (927 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Different than I expected and much different than another juniper beer I've had. This one reminds me of a softer easier chewy porter or stout. Poured with a fine light tan head that settles down to a thin cover and some lace. Color is a a cloudy brown with dark amber highlights. Aroma is very malty with hints of rye fruit roasty and the juniper. Flavor is the same but with lots more going on. Roast comes out more. Very well balanced. Texture is like I said, chewy and full with great carbonation. Nice finish. Session. (522 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
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 (431 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 augustgarage
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
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. (1,280 characters)

Photo of berserker256
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark reddish brown color and a massive dense light tan head that lasts. Light does not pass through this beer. Sweet and peppery smell. Carmel, molasses, rye, and spicey pepper (I would bet from the Juniper) are the most notable scents that I detect. Very smooth texture and nice low carbonation. Great blend of bitter spice to counteract the sweetness. Taste very much reflects the aroma. I've had these types of beers before when they were too sweet and syrupy and this beer does an excellent job of avoiding those characteristics. A little alcohol warmth is present after it goes down the throat. Very good beer. Significantly better than the last Suomi beer I had. (668 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (704 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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! (649 characters)

Photo of Rayek
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Deep tarnished copper, with good clarity and active carbonation. A pillow like nougat head has decent retention and leaves a fair amount of lace.

S: The label says rye and juniper are in this beer, and they really come through. The rye's distinct caraway aroma and the juniper's minty effervescence are the dominant aromas. Behind them are a bit of lemon tea and light roasted grain.

T: The nose transitions nicely into the flavor. The rye is strong all the way, with its distinctive flavor lasting through the finish. Flavors of black tea, lemon and dried twigs round things out. Quite different, to be honest.

M: The medium-thick body starts out way too carbonated, but quickly settles down to become quite pleasant. Feels slightly sticky.

D: I was honestly a touch disappointed when I first started this. Too fizzy and too subdued in its flavor. As it warmed and breathed; however, it got much better. Overall, it comes across to me as a Sahti/Rye Beer hybrid that's quite unique. A fine winter pickup. (1,036 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (2,017 characters)

Photo of popery
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet, malty and spicy with a tinge of juniper. I really like juniper and Sahti, so I just wish that there was a stronger juniper character if anything. The beer pours a purplish brown, translucent but quite dark, with a creamy off-white head. The aroma is spicy and malty with notes of hops and juniper. It's more along the lines of an English Strong Ale with a bit of holiday spice. The malt has a really nice flavor, like a good barleywine. There are fruit notes, raspberries and plums, mixed with brown sugar and rum. The juniper is light and woody. The hops (or maybe it's just bitterness from the juniper twigs) are relatively strong. There's a fair bite in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is full and round. A very enjoyable little nightcap. (746 characters)

Photo of Proteus93
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (815 characters)

Photo of peabody
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (560 characters)

Photo of DaveHS
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep burgundy, with almost no head. Leaves thin, soapy Belgian lace.

S: Light, grassy hops, light boozy notes, and typical English barleywine maltiness. Very light juniper aroma.

T: Surprising. I expected the juniper to completely dominate the character, as it often does in Scandinavian herbal beers. Actually, the juniper flavor is subdued, just one component of a pleasant, slightly hoppy back palate. Delicate barley and rye malt sweetness. A touch of banana bread.

M: Medium-bodied. Soft at first, with a slightly dry finish.

D: Very drinkable. If it weren't $11 a bottle, it would be part of my regular rotation. (633 characters)

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