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Norse Legend Sahti - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Norse Legend SahtiNorse Legend Sahti

Educational use only; do not reuse.

474 Ratings

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Ratings: 474
Reviews: 157
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 14.77%
Wants: 31
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Sahti |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jneiswender on 01-17-2012

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 474 | Reviews: 157
Reviews by BWED:
Photo of BWED
3.17/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've been slacking on jotting notes about beers, especially on here, but I felt inspired tonight, and plan on writing on here more often. I have been picking up a few of these Sam Adams "experimental" brews, and trying them out. I guess I actually get to review Norse Legend. When I saw this at the store, it was the first Sahti I had seen, or even heard of for that matter. I decided to culture myself and learn a little more about this style. Surfing the interwebs, including BA, I learned that this style is quite historic, and I am happy that Sam Adams has shined its old light into my eyes. Anyway...

Poured into a pint glass from a 22 oz. bottle.

A- Chestnut body with a two finger head, yellow-white, retaining as a frothy film throughout consumption, and abundant lacing left behind.

S- Roasted caramel, with a slight, alcoholic sting in the background. No apparent hoppiness in the smell.

T- Sweet, roasted, almost smoky malt, maybe a little brown sugar, with a bit of a piney, citrus bite. The juniper evergreen-ness hangs around.

M- Smooth, and much lighter than I expected. Medium body, very drinkable.

O- I'm glad I was introduced to this style of beer. After doing my research, I learned that Sam Adams did a few things differently in the brewing process than people who have made more traditional Sahti: using juniper berries instead of branches, and hopping the beer. I'm not saying this is a bad method, because I'm sure it is much more conventional for mass production, but I look forward to trying a more traditional Sahti, someday. I like Norse Legend. It is nothing spectacular, but it is a fine tasting beer. It has also reminded me that there is so much out there that I don't even know, and that my beer tasting journey has barely begun.

More User Reviews:
Photo of npala86
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of DaftPatrick
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of generallee
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Jason
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz brown bottle, no freshness date ... just a batch #.

LOOK: Clear tawny hue, decent lacing

SMELL: Spicy, juniper, loads of caramel, estery, earthy, cake batter, creamy

TASTE: Chewy medium body, slick, malty, caramel, bready, spicy juniper, mild hopping, raisins, very sweet finish

Strong ale with juniper, that is all we have here ... no rawness or tart character. Refined and too sweet. I want to cook with this beer a hell of a lot more than I want to drink it.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, red/brown in color, high carbonation, clear

Smell: wood, berries, and light caramel--very pleasant but not overpowering

Taste: wood, earth, and berries dominate, there is a touch of grassy hops at the end and a taste of lavender throughout.

Mouthfeel: sweet start and body with slight bitterness towards the end--the taste lingers quite a bit, high carbonation, light body

Overall: I admit I have not had a lot of shati's to compare this with, but it is damn tasty. Very interesting and complex. One of the better small batch brews Sam Adams has come out with. I wish the bitterness was left off the end, but I would grab this again.

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy red-amber color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of toffee and caramel as well as a good dose of juniper. The flavor is similar. I get a good amount of juniper and some the toffee and bread notes. Thin mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A pretty good beer, although not as heavy on the juniper and gin-like notes as some other sahtis I have tried.

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of NoetheMatt
3/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.89/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a sampler glass.

Appearance: Darker amber color with a white head.

Smell: Interesting smell, reminded me of a stout, actually to be more exact it remined me of a Irish Car Bomb smell.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Medium bodied and thicker. Taste was not anything I was used to at all. Sweet with carmels maybe, and fruits, I think it is the junipers.

Overall: Decent brew, glad I tried it, probably will not have it again.

Photo of bsp77
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Mug.

Appearance: Clear rich amber with thin head.

Smell: Toffee, sickly fruit, juniper. Odd and fairly faint aroma.

Taste: Juniper, tree bark, toffee. Somewhat bready and spicy. Herbal finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body that is somewhat lager-like.

Overall: This is just odd. I like the taste, but the aroma is a little out of whack. Also, while I have never had a truly traditional Sahti, I am sure this is not it. Shouldn't a Sahti be turgid with some wild yeast characteristics? This just seems like a stronger Amber Ale with some juniper and rye.

Photo of Ammertime
3.61/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A beautifully clear ruddy brown. There's very little head, and what it has evaporates very quickly. Tiny bubbles continue to effervesce throughout. I like the way this looks.

S: The fragrance is pleasant but underwhelming for a sahti. There's a whiff of warm bread but not a lot else.

T: Malty, with a dash of earthy fruitiness (banana?). I am a bit surprised by how dry it is. There's also much less pepper here than I anticipated, not a tremendous amount of spice at all on the front end. The juniper is not particularly strong. There is a warm pleasing aftertaste however that is a bit peppery.

M: Just right. Not thin at all, maybe even leaning a little to the rich side. Deceptively low on booziness.

O: It's not a stunning beer, but I'd buy a bomber again for ~$6.50 and would recommend it to friends. You can really feel its potential; perhaps the bottle just needs to be aged a little longer or would be better on draft. At the very least, I think this would be a tremendous baseline for homebrewers who are considering their own sahti, simply because the appearance and mouthfeel are just right on target while there's room for improvement in terms of taste (sweeter and spicier please!).

Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Norse Legend opens with a thick, malty nose resplendent with doughy wheat bread, yeasty baguette, floury French bread, and toast crust, all drizzled with molasses and honey and sprinkled with brown sugar. Orange and apricot fruit esters add nuance, as do touches of grapefruit and pine from the hops. There are also hints of caramel, vanilla, cookie, and cherry. But the yeasty, doughy malts by far win out, lending the beer a dark bread and molasses overtone. As a whole, the nose is very enticing, featuring a good range of darker aromas, tinged slightly by tantalizing fruit esters and pine. The aromas are slightly on the lighter side, and tend to fade relatively quickly, and so could have used a bit more body and staying power, but are otherwise quite nice.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a surprisingly peppery, spicy note, the juniper berries adding layers of pine, juniper, and pepper that immediately add layers of flavor not quite hinted at on the nose. The effect is noticeable and definitely not subtle, but at the same time not at all overpowering, about the level of a light juniper tea in terms of strength, blending nicely with the other flavors. Below the juniper spice are dark breads and molasses, as well as some touches of cherry, orange, and apricot sugars, and piney hops. The beer does get a little more woodsy and full of juniper, sap, and pine needle late in the mouthful as the sugars die off, and the aftertaste is a continuation of these latter flavors, with what seems to me like a slightly-too-strong mouthful-of-juniper-berries addition. Mouthfeel is medium-light to medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good fare, and a nice addition to the Sam Adams Limited Release series. I did wish for a bit more body and potency in the beer, the 7% ABV and the concomitant lower sugar levels making for less strength and more wateriness than I would have preferred. Still, the flavors here are unique and nicely developed, offering excellent interplay and nuance. Worth trying.

Photo of bpfrush
2.5/5  rDev -29%

Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 650 ml bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Batch No. 1.

Appearance: Pours a very deep brownish amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big off white head giving about five fingers. Good retention and lots of lace around the glass.

Smell: Upfront aroma is very bready and malty like a Doppelbock. Big hints of caramel, toffee, and biscuit. Big hint of the juniper berries and some other dark fruit. Some rye like spice. Also some wood and a hint of citrus fruit. Brown sugar rounds it out. Smells pretty good.

Taste: As expected from the smell, a big malt profile. Lots of caramel, toffee, biscuit, and some dark fruits. The juniper berries are pretty noticeable and add a nice kick. Spice, wood, and citrus all from the berries according to the label. Also some brown sugar. A pretty nice spicy and fruity taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and somewhat chewy and syrupy.

Overall: A pretty good brew. The spices and wood are a nice balance to the sweet malts. Nice to see a old style kept alive.

Photo of briandaube
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of TCJosh
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of williamjbauer
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of chinchill
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint glass at Laseters Tavern.

Pours a deep redish-brown with a creamy looking tan head. The head has medium duration, before reducing to a ring, but leaves leaves lots of varied sticky lacing. Unexpectedly clear.

Has a rather unusual aroma that is hard to describe but does include a breads malt base. 3.75.

The taste is also unusual and hard to describe beyond noting a modestly interesting woodsy and spicy flavor, probably juniper but it also seems that there is a significant hop component.

O: my first santi, I think. Worked well with a steak sandwich.

Photo of mrosenfeld32
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%

Photo of Zachb4au
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Brenden
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Norse Legend, on tap at Ye Olde Cock n' Bull in Toledo, comes in the mug with little head to speak of but a layer of foam. The beer itself is a heavy (but not thick) red-brown. Lacing is left only in spotting, a bit light but consistent enough.
This is actually a pretty tough style to judge. I had no idea what it was going in, but I figured I'd give a solid brewery a try at something new. Smelling and tasting it, I thought it most reminiscent of a lighter sort of Scotch ale (read: not Wee Heavy). I get a moderate sweetness behind some light roasty notes and something peaty with a hint of fruits and vague spicing not of the peppery but kitchen variety. The nose is tougher because is was light, almost indistinct.
The flavor, I thought, worked it out well. It was stronger than the nose and offered a bit more in terms of complexity, and light notes of smoke and wood along with a dark, barley-like grains note eked their way out as well.
The feel, particularly reading the style profile was too light and thin, even a bit nondescript in the depth. It had enough to keep it going but wasn't particularly interesting.
Overall this is an interesting beer in a style unusual to the day. BBC does a respectable job here.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.79/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, deep, dark mahogany color, speckled with reddish highlights and a full finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic. Rich aromas of toasted malt, dried stone fruit, like raisins, apricots, prunes, as well as aromas of honey and dark molasses.

Taste: Interesting flavors of dried stone fruit up front, such as prunes, dates, figs and raisins, followed by strong notes of molasses and brown sugar-like sweetness. The beer finishes with a touch of herbaceous bitterness at the finish. Not quite hoppy, but herbaceous.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and pretty smooth as there is very little, but a touch, of carbonation. With an ABV of 7.0%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: A very tasty beer. I really like the flavors of dried stone fruit and molasses and brown sugar-like sweetness. The herbaceous bitterness as the finish provides a very interesting counterpoint as well.

Photo of BrewMaven
4.01/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part one of the Small Batch gift pack.

Pours a beautiful deep clear amber and packs a nice 3 finger fine off white head.

Just getting over my first cold in more than a long while, I'm not up to snuff (lol) in picking up aromas at the moment. Regardless, I do sense a fruity sharpness and a hint of yeast when burying my nose in the glass.

Initial sips are showing berries up front and a slight sourness though the middle. finish is a bit dry and clean.

Mouthfeel is moderate and slick. with fine gentle carbonation.

A nice start to my 3 day weekend!

Photo of dadonabike
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Beautiful dark amber color, crystal clear. A solid finger of head that leaves pleasant lacing.

S: While its cold the malt and juniper balance quite nicely. Notes of toasted malt, caramel then juniper/gin, stay in there to long and you start to get some medicinal notes

T: Very sweet to start with hint of the woods. I expected this to be much more overpowering. Tons of malt up front then hints of juniper and sweeter spice notes like clove, allspice, and coriander. Almost has a smoky quality. Very Christmassy.

M: A rich mouth feel, enjoyable but it could get a bit cloying.

O: As above I expected this to be much more in your face, smacked with a tree type of thing. I’m glad it was not. My first sip impression was “not so bad” witch for something off the beaten trail can be an ok impression. (I wish my attempted at a gruit had rated that high) I find this an enjoyable beer. I would not have more than one in a night and I may never grab this again, but I am glad to have tried it and would recommend it to my friends. I would say treat it like a barley wine. A sipper around the fire, split with a friend, cold winter night kind of thing.

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Norse Legend Sahti from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
80 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.