Prykmestar Savu Kataja
Vakka-Suomen Panimo

Prykmestar Savu KatajaPrykmestar Savu Kataja
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Finnish Sahti
Ranked #6
Ranked #19,209
3.94 | pDev: 12.18%
Vakka-Suomen Panimo
Very Good
Prykmestar Savu KatajaPrykmestar Savu Kataja
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Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 26 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

incredibly unique beer, a sahti style, smoked and with juniper, perfect night cap to our over the top christmas beer celebration, i have never really had anything like this. i like the sweetness here, like toffee and rich bread, and i like the booziness, it makes it very festive and special occasion feeling, the juniper gives this an unexpected freshness, even though its been in my cellar while, botanical and piney, very much appropriate for the holidays, although its interesting and complex enough that i would want to drink this year round. i love the depth here, the smoke is robust as can be, and while i know this kind of thing is not for everyone, i also know its what i like, campfire smoke and hardwood burning, it really warms me up! malt is deep here, barleywine-esque even, with the spruce and the smoke adding quite a lot. there is also a curious yeast profile here, a little english and a little tired, but also with an almost lagered character to it, really a neat way for this to finish, especially after the sweeter middle. great beer overall, really old worldy, rustic, festive, and traditional, and while i didnt need any more beer last night when i opened it, i sure appreciate it. i will buy this again if i encounter it, killer use of the juniper, wholly unique in my experience!

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Photo of oberon
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I picked a good night for a few dark Nordic brews,very damp and chilly.Pours a deep chestnut brown with a thinner but well sustained lighter beige head atop.I get some smoky/meaty notes in the nose with some dark brown sugar as it warms,very warming.The juniper plays a bigger role on the palate along with that meaty smokiness....maybe liquid summer sausage?Brown sugar really lingers in a sweeter finish.A very interesting brew,nice little nuances to it.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 500ml brown bottle into glass. No dating information found on bottle or on label.
Clear body, ruby brown colored. Thin light brown head, which dissipates and leaves an active carbonation surface area from rising bubbles. No lacing.
Has a moderate smoke aroma, with a smoked meat-like component. Also has faint juniper and brown sugar/caramel aromas.
Taste follows the aromas, but the malt (brown sugar/caramel) comes first, then the smoke and juniper, with a slight ashy ending. Definitely has a smoked meat component that gets close to peaty.
Thin to medium mouth feel. Good carbonation. Alcohol is not intrusive.
Very tasty as a smoked beer, with the extra level of the malt providing a firm base. The juniper is light in presence but does provide a wild northern forest type vibe.

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Photo of mwilbur
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 50 cL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a clear, but very dark golden amber hue with 1 inch white head that slowly settles to a thin skim.
S: Smoked wood, juniper, slightly burnt caramel malt, and hints of salted meat. Very interesting.
T: The caramel malt hits first, followed by juniper, then the smoked wood. Hints of gouda and smoky, salty meats.
M: Light-medium body. Caramel sweetness, salty meat, and smoked wood create a very interesting feel. Lingers and matures well on the palate too.
D: Really enjoyed the smoked wood element. With the juniper, it feels like you are transported into a camping adventure in the north woods. I don't believe I've ever had this style before...quite nice!

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(50 cl bottle, poured into a fat tulip glass)

L: ruby red liquid, decent clarity, perhaps very slight haze... some off-white foam with a pinkish tinge forms on the pour, but recedes down to a gummy collar

S: wonderfully smoky right at the start, but not much fragrance from the juniper coming forth... definite note of raisiny crystal malt and wood embers underlying... perhaps a subtle sweet alcohol essence, but no overt booziness

T: smoke front and center, for sure, but a somewhat surprisingly bold, deep, doppelbock-like malt flavor at its core... caramelized malt and a leathery, ashy smoke lingers in the aftertaste... as it goes along, subtle hints of roasted barley and chocolate creep up... actually, some of the woody juniper flavor comes out when the dregs are poured in at the end, but not much

F: body has some bulbous marbling on it, but it's not quite chewy going through, and doesn't seem to trail much residual stickiness, perhaps with the soft burn of the alcohol cutting it a bit... probably wouldn't pair this up with any greasy, fatty foods (though BBQ grilled chicken does seem like the perfect flavor compliment) owing to its semi-leaded texture, but it's a fine grog on its own

O: pretty much tastes like a smoked doppel bock (or perhaps Scotch ale)... not sure what's missing compared to a fresh bottle, and it doesn't really taste like most other sahtis I've tasted and/or brewed, but this was very enjoyable as it was, right up my alley, and certainly worth going back and grabbing a couple more bottles ... seems like the score should be higher...

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Photo of hman43
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours brown with ruby hues in it. The head is tan and has moderate head retention.

Smell: It has the aroma of smoke. There are moderate bacon elements in the smell with the smoke. There is some light spiciness with is as well.

Taste: The smoke is the dominant element with some dark fruit in the background. The dark fruits are plums and dates. It also has a moderate amount of malty richness to it featuring molasses and maillard products.

Feel: It has a moderate body towards the full side with a bitter sweet smoky aftertaste.

Overall, this is a complex smoked beer with a good supporting cast of dark fruits and malty richness to it.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a very interesting beer. It pours jet black with a eggshell-tan head of good retention and nice lacing. The aroma is very smoky, much like a smoked porter. Some burnt bread and ashtray notes. No sweetness on the nose. The taste is fairly complex, with a nice balance between the bitter smokiness and the sweet malts. I know that this is listed as a sahti here (presumably due to the use of juniper branches in the brewing process) but this does not taste as one. It's more of a smoked ale, and if one reads the notes that the brewery released about this product, it is clear that they do not brew this to be a sahti.

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Photo of mikeg67
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz bottle. Pours brown with tall, long-lasting, fluffy off-white head. Aroma is of smoked malt, leather, wood and bacon. Body is medium, creamy and smooth. Taste is of brown sugar, smoked wood, bacon and dark fruit. Finish is long and sweet. Interesting, tasty brew if you like smoked.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Celebrator pokal. Pours a dark mahogany brown with a one finger khaki head with good retention and nice lacing. Aroma of light caramel malt and smoked malt; sweet, savory smokiness dominating. Flavor is caramel malt, and savory smoke, like the aroma. The base is slightly sweet and deeply malty, very similar to a doppelbock. Medium bodied with a slight creaminess. A very faithful take on a German smoked bock style beer. The malts have a flavorful caramel profile. The smoke is rich and reminiscent of a smokehouse, like the best German rauchbiers. Not to complex, but well balanced with the malt fully supporting the smokiness. No juniper notes detected, despite the name.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.27/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: 50cl. Brown glass. Generally appealing label art. Branded black pry-off crown cap. Purchased at an Alko in Kuopio, Finland. Best before: 02/27/17.

9.0% ABV.

Served chilled into a pilsner glass at low altitude in Kuopio, Finland. Expectations are average. Reviewed live as a smoked beer per the label.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Off-white. Okay thickness, I guess. Not full, even, or robust. Recedes within 1 minute, leaving no lacing. Pretty lackluster across the board.

BODY: Caramel-brown. Somewhat dull. Translucent. Nontransparent. Not hazy/cloudy/turbid. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible. It certainly isn't the opaque solid black I'd expect in a smoked beer, or the deep amber-black of a good rauchbier, but it's fine for the style.

Appears undercarbonated. Looks okay at best, with no unique or special characteristics. The poor head retention and unremarkable body don't have me optimistic...

AROMA: As a smoked beer, the note that should dominate is...well, smoke. And it does, thankfully. I get some roasted pork meat, smoked malts, hints of the harsher ash-tray like notes of char, burnt character, and ash that turn off so many drinkers to this style, and smokey sugars, but it's never too harsh, rough, or unappealing. In fact, the smoke is undercut by a nice caramel sweetness from the malts as well as a hint of nuttiness.

Aromatic intensity is average. It's a pretty restrained smoked beer.

No booze, off-notes, overt hops, or obvious yeast character are/is detectable.

No juniper (kataja) to be found...

TASTE: The taste delivers on the promises of the aroma - though it's worth noting the flavour profile is rather simplistic (or even plain) for a smoked beer. But thankfully, it delivers the requisite smokiness, with notes of smoked meat (pig, if it matters), smoked malt, beech, and some mild burnt character - but I find no harshness in terms of ashiness or char. There's little bitterness to this beer, with no overt hop profile manifesting in the flavour profile, and (as the aroma suggests) the caramel/caramalt cuts the smoke with a pleasant sweetness. I think there's some Marzen malt in there too...

Not tannic or estery, with a clean taste more redolent of a lager yeast than an ale yeast. In fact, it resembles a Baltic porter in that respect.

Simple though it may be, the balance is nice - which is tough in a smoked beer. I'm glad the smoke isn't too shallow or reticent, but they could push the smoke still further; the caramalts could take even more of a smokey beating, and I'd like more depth and intensity of flavour. By no means an intricate or nuanced smoked beer, but for a Finnish offering it's surprisingly good. I like it.

Average duration of flavour. Has no obvious yeasty notes (e.g. vitamins, clove, banana, phenols), hops, or off-notes.

Not finding any juniper in the taste. Did they smoke the juniper? It's not coming through at all.

TEXTURE: The harsh scratchy rough feel you may expect in a smoked beer is absent here, bolstering drinkability, but I can't help but think that a more traditional (and less approachable) mouthfeel would actually benefit it. Doesn't the subtle coarseness and dryness of most smoked beers help accentuate the principal smoke? Why cater to the hoi polloi if you're sacrificing a fundamental characteristic?

Carbonation is almost ideal. It's medium-bodied where it should be full-bodied. Unrefreshing (to style). Has sufficient thickness, heft, and weight on the palate without coming off syrupy, though it is a bit sticky.

There's not a natural harmony of texture to taste, but this mouthfeel does suit the flavour profile generally well.

OVERALL: Not on the level of Bamberger Rauchbier or a good smoked porter, but respectable for a Finnish offering. I do have to wonder where the juniper (kataja) is; it doesn't come through in the beer in any way whatsoever. Its high price point precludes me from a second purchase, but I'd recommend it to those desperate for a change from Finland's punishing pale lagers. It's more drinkable than it ought to be, but that will appeal to more casual drinkers. I look forward to trying more offerings from Vakka-Suomen, but this isn't world-class. Definitely well above-average by current Finnish standards, though.

Low B- (3.27)

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Photo of drpimento
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Really good beer and I'm not partial to smoke beer. This was served with a small to medium tan head that settled very slowly. Color is a hazy/cloudy red brown. Aroma is mostly smoke rounded with sweet malt. Flavor is similar plus some spice and cut with a little carbonic tang. It has a full, rich, perfect body and good carbonation. Finish is like flavor, has a major alcohol presence, and slowly tapers in a balanced way. This is a hugely smokey beer that work well in this beer. Perhaps session in the right mood or setting. I feel very lucky that I got to try it here.

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Photo of baggio
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

[email protected] pint pub, Helsinki.

A: Dark brownish with a small, white head.

S: Smoked meat, Peat, Roasted malt.

T: Smoked meat, Peat, Wood, Roasted malt, Dark caramel.

M: Very balanced beer and insanely drinkable for being 9%. Alcohol is very well hidden.

This is a really good beer. Could definitely see myself drinking more of this in the future.

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Prykmestar Savu Kataja from Vakka-Suomen Panimo
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 26 ratings