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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 Evil_Pidde
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Evil_Pidde, Mar 30, 2013
Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of DaPan
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

DaPan, Nov 15, 2014
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.

LiquidAmber, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of popery
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

popery, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of peabody
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

peabody, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of Proteus93
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Proteus93, Aug 21, 2009
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.

TheBeerCarl, Sep 26, 2011
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.

SLeffler27, Feb 07, 2012
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
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 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 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 BGDrock
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%

Appearance: murky, dull brown, like prunce juice; fine, almond coloured head with good retention and stickiness

Aroma: loads of spice - cumin, clove, allspice, with some toffee lying underneath - definitely peaking interest

Taste & Mouthfeel: big, rich toffee flavour aggressively coats the palate, bringing to mind a scotch ale; a whisper of hops cuts the sweetness, and coupled with light spice notes - now almost completely indistinguishable - it leaves a dry, mildly burnt finish, eager for another sip; reading a couple reviews after I did mine, flavours I couldn't quite identify in the finish were likely contributed by the juniper, interesting

Overall: great aroma, big flavour, easy drinking, and not overwhelmingly sweet when it could easily have been - could still treat this like a dessert beer though, it gives a delightful sense of sticky toffee pudding

BGDrock, Nov 15, 2014
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 100floods
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
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
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 mick303
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured slightly chilled into a tulip glass. A dark coppery brown colour, quite hazy with minimal film but some decent lacing.

S - aroma is very interesting, caramel malts, estery spice, juniper, also a rustic yeasty aspect which compliments the malt. Some floral and heather aspects, really interesting, mulled apple cider.

T - a malty start with a bit of caramel sweetness, a character a bit reminiscent of apple cider with a nice spicy rye body and then a full junipery flavour, caramel malt and honey, earthy bitterness, maintains a bit of spice to the finish. Well accentuated and flavourful.

M - nice moderately big body with a nice resiny spice to it, quite a pleasant juniper character, a light carbonation to it. Very drinkable.

Pleasant and complex. This is my first Sahti and this is a delightful and well made beer. Interesting combination of caramel malt with a touch of juniper resin and flavour, kept in really nice balance, with some rustic yeast characters and fruitiness, apples and mulled peach, a pleasant herbal finish with a bit of a medicinal quality but artfully balanced with the lingering malt. Well-recommended.

mick303, Yesterday at 02:39 AM
Photo of avalon07
4.08/5  rDev +3%
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 laituegonflable
4.08/5  rDev +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.

laituegonflable, Nov 19, 2010
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 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.

bluejacket74, Dec 20, 2012
Photo of kevinlater
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into nonic pint. "finnish ale brewed with juniper twigs" (to be honest i've never tasted juniper before). best before aug 6, 2016, which is printed at the very top of the bottle's neck. poured on november 16, 2014

a: an opaque, deep caramel colour. a very aggressive pour yields 2.5 fingers of head

s: full of caramel and earthy scents. some fruity aromas like slight grapefruit, figs, and raisins, and a pinch of alcohol

t: starts off with a huge and distinct spicy/herbal-y/earthy quality, which i'm guessing is the juniper flavour, along with strong malty caramel. mid-palate exhibits mild raisin/fig notes, along with a potent punch of a kind of smoky taste, which is quite interesting. the finish (heh) has lingering herbal bitterness, with touches of caramel and smoke

m: medium-ish body and medium-minus carbonation. feels quite thick in the mouth, really nice

o: an intriguing, flavourful beer. give it a shot

kevinlater, Sunday at 10:24 PM
Photo of Rayek
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Rayek, Dec 07, 2009
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
Arctic Circle Ale from Malmgårdin Panimo
89 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.