Arctic Circle Ale - Malmgårdin Panimo

Not Rated.
Arctic Circle AleArctic Circle Ale

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BA SCORE
88
very good

125 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 125
Reviews: 73
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 26
Gots: 4 | 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: 125 | Reviews: 73 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of AgentMunky
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
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!

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.

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.

Photo of petluo
3/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of Florya
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of Resuin
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Photo of nquigley16
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

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.

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.

Photo of MystikCelt
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of IRONRakkasan
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%

Photo of hays99
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of HumanParaquat
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

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

Photo of RuckusDu
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of AdamP
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of seeswo
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of jrenihan
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

Photo of tobelerone
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Sahti. Nearly clear mahogany body with a small head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing remains. Big time juniper and gin aroma and taste; noticeably but nicely boozy, not too hot. Lots of caramel, toffee, spice, almost reminds of a dopplebock or weizenbock. Sweet and malty with brown sugar, oak, peppery spices, and gin flavors.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation but also very smooth. Lingering finish is a little bit sweet and boozy and also a little bitter. Nice beer, very complex, different, and interesting.

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.

Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Swiss wine snifter.

After a pour of average intensity, this beer forms a small 1/2 finger light tan head over a beautifully clear radiant ruby body. This one is a looker.

The nose isn't distinct. What is here is nice but isn't what I expected. Notes of rich medium-toast malt, caramel, and toffee are evident. The aroma has a very low hop profile. This smells to me like an English winter warmer or even a doppelbock.

The flavor is akin to a big beer, such as a low-hop English barleywine, doppelbock, or maybe a big winter warmer. There is almost no trace of hops in the flavor, but there is a resiny bitterness that lingers, and I imagine that this is from the juniper. There is a slightly tannic-feeling medicinal note in this beer, and I think it is the juniper. I do not taste juniper itself, but I think that this little element is its result. Almost as if one added a small dash of turpentine to the glass. I also taste a touch of rye.

The mouthfeel is heavy and almost syrupy, but not overly sweet or unmanageable.

Conclusion: This is a pretty awesome beer. Almost all the way through the first glass I wasn't that impressed, but then the unique qualities of it began to shine out. There are flavors and feels in this beer that are seldom found. I recommend this if you are the type that is always searching for new forms and manifestations of beer.

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.

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.

Arctic Circle Ale from Malmgårdin Panimo
88 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.