1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Arctic Circle Ale - Malmgårdin Panimo

Not Rated.
Arctic Circle AleArctic Circle Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

96 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 96
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 9.57%
Wants: 28
Gots: 1 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 62 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdfb79
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
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 jdhilt
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

jdhilt, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

nmann08, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of TheGrunt
3.45/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

TheGrunt, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of Bendurgin
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Bendurgin, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -24.4%

GRG1313, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of Ralphs66
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
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 kaelingirl
5/5  rDev +25.9%

kaelingirl, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of Cavery
5/5  rDev +25.9%

Cavery, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Gmann
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
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 TheBeerCarl
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The head is a very thin head when I first poured but when i emptied the rest of the bottle into the glass I got a nice rich and thick head that was light yellowish brown in color. The head lingers for quite a bit which is nice. The body of the beer is kind of hard to describe but it has a dark opaque rosy brown color to it.

Smell: Plum and raisin are the major characters I smell at first with hints of lingering earthiness and a little bit of heat.

Taste: The juniper twigs are very pronounced on the palette with earthiness and bitterness up front and a nice lingering malty sweetness with a hint of juniper. A well balanced flavor profile for the ingredients.

Mouthfeel: A very smooth mouthfeel with hardly any palpable carbonation except for a last minute bite to the tip of the tongue.

This is my first Sahti style ale but it was quite enjoyable. The flavor profiles described in the style guidelines seem to be all present in this ale. I would have like the juniper to come out a little more but other than that this beer was really good.

TheBeerCarl, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
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 Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
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 Duff27
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Half inch, off-white bubbly head. Beer is a brown color. Relatively well kept head retention, good lacing.

S- Brown sugar smelling. Some cola aspects.

T- Very sweet and flavorful. Juniper, spices...dark syrup notes.

M- Well carbonated, crisp on the tongue. Medium mouthfeel, slightly syrupy.

D/O- Rated to style. After trying Arctic Circle Ale, it's no wonder it's (currently) the number one rated sahti in the world. This was my only "want" on BA for the longest time and I just stumbled upon it at a Binny's last weekend!

Duff27, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.13/5  rDev +4%
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 Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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 Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -16.9%
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 Mora2000
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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 Offa
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep red-brown, medium big pale tan head, slowly shrinks to foamy thin top & ring, a little lace.

Aroma is rich toasted bread, lightly caramelized, hints of woody herbal character, some dried fruits, light yeastiness, but all a bit subdued and vague in the face of the caramelized bread.

Taste is spicy fruits with caramlised rich toast & raisin, woody-spicy bitterness with some balancing sweetness. The Spicy-woody bitterness just dominating the finish and a bit too sharp and lingering. Though fairly full-bodied with some good flavour, it ends up being almost one-dimensional, dominated by a fairly flat caramelised toast character with woody-spicy bitterness. It’s good but not great and is less unique in character than I’d expected.

Offa, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of mactrail
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
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 capeannbass36
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

capeannbass36, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

SolomonGrundy, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

avalon07, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
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 100floods
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

100floods, Dec 13, 2010
Arctic Circle Ale from Malmgårdin Panimo
88 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.