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 WastingFreetime
4.7/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a dark brown color with reddish highlights, and a light tan two finger head that has fairly nice retention and lacing. Smells of a dark fruit mixture on top of a spicy rye malt and some aroma of dry campfire wood. Flavor is gin-like from the juniper twigs at first and morphs into an earthy noble hop-spiced rye note that sweetens up in the finish to more of a standard caramel malt profile (the rye falls away from the barley), albeit with tannic and gin accents throughout. Luscious smooth and heavy mouthfeel, lightly carbonated. Truly an excellent Sahti, remarkable for being so dark and rich compared to other Sahtis I've had. This one is a must-try if you can locate a bottle.

Photo of Jwren5
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of SLeffler27
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Suddenly builds a big, light-beige, frothy head that drops to a creamy half inch. The ale is a dark maroon with light cloudiness and a dense, almost syrupy film. Modest lacing.

Interesting range of aromas from gin to mint. There is a slight maltiness which is difficult to describe, but appealing.

Overly sweet with malts displaying molasses and some earthiness. Pine or spruce is light and there is barely any distinguishable finish. Fig flavors come out as this one warms.

Arctic Circle has a full to medium body with a smooth, almost velvety texture, light alcohol and light carbonation.

Easy to consume from a pint glass. This worked well as a sipper and equally well with a steak.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid Sahti beer right here. Out of the bottle the pour is cola-like, but in the glass it's more of a dark caramel or leather. Murky with an off-white head that settles to a relatively thick collar.

Whaff of caramel and cocoa at first sniff. Some vanilla and oak. Deeper nose-ful detects herbal spice and juniper, of course. Subtle and not in yo face. The malt is more pronounced.

The caramel and cocoa shift a bit in the flavor with more of a sharpness from the juniper. Almost reaches and anise or licorice taste, but backs down. Dark bread and rye come and go.

Finish is a bit hot and pepperminty, but not really. Has that herbal spice to it. The juniper cannot be ignored

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!

Photo of jdhilt
3.83/5  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.

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of TheGrunt
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Photo of Bendurgin
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of Ralphs66
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Photo of kaelingirl
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of Cavery
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of Gmann
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Photo of TheBeerCarl
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of Duff27
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of Offa
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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.

Photo of capeannbass36
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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