The Ale Apothecary

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Finnish Sahti
Ranked #1
Ranked #1,387
4.3 | pDev: 8.14%
The Ale Apothecary
Oregon, United States
Notes: SAHATI is our interpretation of traditional Finnish sahti. Starting with a 200-year old Engelmann spruce tree felled on brewery property, we created our own kuurna (an ancient Scandinavian lauter tun) to separate the wort from the grain during brewing. The bottom of the kuurna is layered with spruce branches; the needles act as a natural filter and impart resinous oils into the wort. The hollowed-out trunk of the tree also contributes spruce essence and structure from the raw wood. The beer is made of barley & rye malts along with a sparing addition of Goschie Farms Cascade hops and is brewed just a few times per year.
 SAHATI is in many ways the very definition of The Ale Apothecary, where complex flavors arrive from the very methods used for production…the result is the process impacts the flavor profile at least as much as the ingredients themselves.
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 164 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of CraigDeMoss
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 6/27/2019

Deep amber to brown with little head and lacing. Some thin residual islands of foam along with a full off-white rim. cloudy with nebulas of yeast in suspension.

smells of oak and spruce for sure, cherry and some red wine vinegar in there

you can really pick up the spruce in an initial invigorating fresh zing, then mellows into red wine (cant specify what kind) cherry/walnut wood and orange zest.

feels medium in body and light in the afterburn, which is drying but still refreshing.

great beer, would love to see what age would do this one.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle into a tulip. Bottled 7/11/19, so 9 months old

Pours into the glass like a beautiful amber/copper whiskey. Small off white head dissipates to a thin ring. No lacing, but light carbonation can be detected.

Sour aroma, very mild vinegar, but still pleasant.

Woody, sour, a little earthy and a wine touch. Way smoother than most sours. The only thing I'm not getting is any spruce

Mouth around medium, finish sour with a pleasing warm throughout the throat and chest, the only indication of the 9.26abv.

Overall, you can taste the quality and thought that went into this beer. Not sure what happened to to the spruce, but a very enjoyable drink anyway.

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Photo of beersampler6
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very interesting beer, my first foray into this style. Bottled date 6/27/19. Pours a fairly rusty color, just a little off-white cap of head and minimal spotty lacing. Smells of faint pine, wood, some tart fruit, vanilla, yeast of some sort. Tastes similarly, good balance but quite tart and a little sour. Reminded me a little of a wild ale. Smooth clean crisp mouthfeel, a little puckering, good carbonation. Very interesting and I’ll have to try more from this style.

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Photo of metter98
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is clear dark yellowish amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a narrow collar of white bubbles around the edge of the glass and some lacing on the surface. As the remainder of the bottle pours out, the beer becomes a little browner and cloudier.
S: Light aromas of sourness are present in the nose along with strong notes of spruce.
T: The taste starts out with initial flavors of sourness and then has a mix of sourness and spruce branches, the latter of which linger into the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed the combination of sourness and spruce in this beer.

Note: Bottled July 11, 2019 (9.26% abv)

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of chitoryu12
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: Cloudy dark amber. One finger of foamy white head with poor retention.

Smell: Sour and funky, with a vague spruce note.

Taste: Very sour with a distinct "band-aid" note common to wild ales, with lemon juice and citrus oil flavors. Very mild pine note.

Mouthfeel: Thin and decently carbonated.

Overall: I'm not sure what to think of this. The sourness might need a tone down to let other flavors come forward.

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An awesome gift from Phil! Poured from fridge temp. Not much head on an aggressive pour. Nose is lemon, orange, nectarines, sour funk, honey, vanilla, and a bit of cinnamon spice. Really attractive nose that keeps me coming back for another sniff. Taste is insanely good. A quick sour impact on first taste, with a nice bitterness on the back end. A good amount of citrus peel, orange creamsicle, wheat, and barnyard funk. The grapes from the wine barrels also comes through. This is an outstanding beer and glad I got to try it.

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Photo of bobv
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

375 ml. bottle.
Brewed 7.1.2017.
Bottled 11.8.2018.
852 bottles.
9.24% abv.
Moderate to vigorous pour yields a 1/2 inch off white head over a reddish- orange body with scant lacing. Wonderfully complex nose of spruce, whole ground mustard, herbed vinegar, citrus, and a bit of funk and forest. Akin to a nice hike in spruce woods. Taste tries to mirror the ever-evolving nose, but doesn't quite make it. What it makes is absolute deliciousness. Taste is lemon tartness, pine, and spruce with supporting roles of wet leaves and wet spruce needles. Wow, I need another bottle as it would probably evolve even more. Nice feel and overall, a beer as unique and delicious as, as...well, I don't know; like nothing I've ever had before. Find this beer and savor it! Cheers!!!

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The beer poured a deep orange color with a white head.

Smell - The nose was like green chai tea with obvious spicy notes.

Taste - At the front, I detected huge blood orange, pine, gin, and spices. The sweetness of honey was faint, but standing up to the other elements is tough. Nothing about the taste fades, but it does taste better as it warmed.

Mouthfeel - This is not your average ale. There was some serious body here.

Overall - The beer is expensive, which is my only gripe. Otherwise, this is a peak form sahati.

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Photo of REVZEB
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer #4 from AA and I have loved them all, do this officially make me a fanboy? I just love the creativity and quality, just take this sahti for example, great herbal, grassy and pine elements in the base of the taste, but then huge bursting acidic and sour lime, lemon, passion fruit, melon, and orange creamsicle. There are so other flavors floating around like honey, rye, funk, beet, wild yeast and wood as well. Smell is spruce pine needles, lime, honey, rye, funk, and wood. Funk felt most in feel, with lingering acidity and sourness. Pretty beer with the lacing and orange glow! Best sahti I have ever had hands down!

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Photo of Dactrius
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice enough looking initially but the cloudy dregs must've accounted for 1/3 of the bottle or more. Impressive integration of spruce into a beer with it really coming out on the aftertaste. Rather tart on the first sip but afterwards the sourness wasn't that noticeable on the tongue but my stomach definitely was not pleased with the acidity. Never had anything else quite like it. Never would've guessed this was 9% ABV. This is my first beer from them but the base beer (i.e. without the spruce) seems like it must be outstanding.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wine glass from a 750ml bottle. Split with the wife.

Pours a nice bright orange that has some hazy notes to it as well. Bright with some amber hues. Nice 1 inch dense white head that is very dense and almost creamy.

Nice woody notes are present in the nose. Spruce notes are present along with some mild almost minty freshness.

Flavor is quite complex. Wow. Pine notes that aren't too intense but just right and refreshing. Notes of mild juicy tartness. Unripe pineapple and slightly sweet peach juice is present. The mixes between the pine/spruce and the fruity juice notes are marvelous. Slight wild tartness with some nice oak notes are present as well.

Mouthfeel is intersting. Almost thick and oily but balanced with the intense dense carbonation.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours an exceptionally clear copper tone with 1-2 fingers of tight off-white head.

S: Light tropical notes of pineapple together with peaches balanced by fresh cut pine, as opposed to pine sap. Hints of apricot juice, buttery oak and lemon juice together with a mustiness on the finish.

T: Grape skin mustiness, oak butterness, underripe pineapple, apricots and lemon juice balanced out by light pine notes. Extreamly complex.

M: Medium bodied with tight and active carbonation.

O: Very complex and intriguing, this beer does not disappoint and is well worth the price.

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Photo of rudzud
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Shared with JLindros and Threelions.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a crystal clear gold hue with a thin head that faded to leave thin lacing. 4

S - Aromas of nice fruity hops, peaches and pineapple. Real nice spruce and pine notes, the spruce is super balanced. Interesting.4.25

T - Taste is lightly funky, definitely some wild stuff happening. Super complex, for almost being 10% the alcohol is hidden incredibly well. The spruce and pine are rather subdued but there. Nice light lemons, sweet malts. Once again, super complex. 4.25

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, alcohol hidden completely like usual. 4.25

O - Overall this beer was super complex, I do wish there was more spruce notes though. That being said, real happy with it. 4.25

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of jlindros
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nov 1, 2013
Another thanks to rudzud for splitting.

Huge fizzy head fades weirdly big bubbles, mostly clear golden almost orange color. 4

Nose big pineapple and spruce pine out front, little sweet candy, almost gingerbread like, gingersnap, orange candy creamy, decent pine in general but not a ton, little oaky note, little wine too. 4.5

Taste fair pine and spruce, nut not crazy pine, fair pine fur tree, with herbal notes, little lemon tartness, slight creamy, some mild oak and vinous touch. Little flemmy funky feel, fruity notes, etc. Complex and blended well. Finish is dry, nice bitter spruce pine tree, little lemon tart acidic bite ava flemmy notes, light funk, light lemon pledge too. 4.25

Mouth med bod, nice carb, little booze late. 4

Overall decent, nice balance enjoyable. 4.25

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour at the post-FWIBF bottle share held at the Adelaide Inn in Paso Robles, CA.

Batch 1/9/14.

Pours a murky orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, grain, earth, Brett, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour malt, fruit, and acidic flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is tasty, refreshing, and quite sour.

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Photo of BeerCruncher
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this was an interesting one. Ale Apothecary has created a new category of sour with Sahati.

Pours a hazy golden yellow with an slight orange hue and a big foamy head.

It literally smells like the fresh outdoors. Pine needles, sap, fresh cut grass and lemon. Definitely some funk in the smell, but the pine dominates.

The smell carries right over into the taste. Very earthy, wood, a bit oily but that didn't bother me one bit. This is mother nature at it's finest. It's all about the dominant pine taste with this one. Very well carbonated, almost champagne-like.

The high ABV is not detectable at all. I could see this growing on some as they drink it, but this had me from the moment I smelled it. Thank you @BourbonBob for sharing.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

very very neat beer here, unlike anything ive encountered before. apparently fermented in an old hollowed out tree trunk? thats the word, and its very cool if its true. the beer ha cloudy but bright, just darker than golden, with a fluffy and .lasting muted white head. lots going on with the nose, from intense pine tree aromas to softer birch syrup and floral notes, its different, almost ancient or medicinal or for some other healing or ceremonial purpose than beer, it just has that vibe. the flavors are even more alive than the nose, with a spruce or pine complex taking the lead, but an interesting wood profile too that isnt oak, its much more musty and less familiar. the yeast is also unconventional, not sure if its brett or not, but it definitely has some funkiness. massive body and carbonation levels makes this extremely strong beer seem like a session ale. its remarkable how much of an afterthought the booze is for me here, its just so interesting i never notice it there at all, although im not sure its particularly well hidden. i love beer that is new to me, that brings something else to the table. that reinvents what we all think we know beer to taste like. this is one of those beers, once in a life time mix of flavors, what a treat!

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Photo of MarcWP
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Teku.

Pours amber, hazy unfiltered, with two finger off white head that leaves gorgeous lacing. Lovely carbonation bubbles fight their way to the surface.

The nose on this presents a lovely bouquet. Wine barrel, citrus hops, white grapes, spruce is definitely their, green forest, Pinot, and rose hips.

On the palate you get a good burst of tartness followed by a semi sweet finish that wants to dry out but doesn't completely. Juicy white grape and pink wine character, fresh squeezed lemon, woodsy spruce, a little grapefruit, and astringent young plum.

Mouthfeel is what it should be. Heavy side of light body, ample carbonation, and awesome pucker that transitions to a chewy astringent and sweet after taste that makes you want to come back for more.

Overall, this is worldclass. Not sure it is a beer that can tickle anyone's fancy, but the use of spruce, fresh wine barrels, hops, and yeast selection make for an effervescent drinking delight. A nice sourness that can please sour heads, juicy citrus hop character that would appeal to hopheads, and spritzy body that can get the attention of cider and champagne drinkers alike. Beware though, as the spruce is definitely upfront and lends an astringent woodsy character not like oak. That is the one detail that could turn some off.

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Photo of stakem
3.79/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle with a date of (5/31/13) poured into a snifter. The brew pours a pale golden color, slightly hazed with a white cap. A solid 3 fingers of head rest atop, slowly fading leaving a full wall of lace on the glass.

The smells includes an unmistakeable amount of pine-like essence. Juniper possibly overtop an herbal, grassy and lemony wheat base. Some mild sulfur and funk evolve as it warms.

The taste runs an entire strange gauntlet of attributes: oily pine, nondescriptive fruitiness, vinous and earthy tones all overtop a wheat saison-like base. Despite the initial oily feel it gets dry.

This is a light bodied brew with a modest effervescence of carbonation. Initially this was a little hard to stomach with a borderline abrasive pine/solvent nose. But as it warmed up and breathed it really grew on me.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a tulip. 5/31/13 bottling date. 11.14% ABV.

murky golden color with a big foamy head. smell is incredibly complex. spruce, pine, farmhouse funk. oh ya. taste starts out very woody then ends with a bit of fruit and with a very dry finish. such a complex beer and so awesome. ABV absolutely undectable...incredible. light bodied honestly, high carbonation.

overall a world class beer. ale apothecary killed it.

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Photo of Rutager
4.21/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks for hauling this one up for me, Steasy66!

Appearance. Pours a hazy peach gold and is topped with 1.5 fingers of frothy head that settles to a thick skim.

Smell. Peaches, black currants, spruce and floral pine scents. Very nice.

Taste. Black currants again, floral spruce and fresh wood, traces of oak and other tangy berries. 10.5% is not at all apparent ...very dangerous.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, strong carbonation.

Overall. Another fantastic beer from TAA. Very unique and high quality stuff.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL from BS.

A: Golden color with a firm white head. Decent lacing and ones

.N: Dominant spruce, white wine, nectarine, apricot, oak.

T: Sour and sweet. Lots of intermingling flavors. Very, very good

.M: Medium body, a touch of dryness like a Moscato.

O: Very unique. The flavors are well matched together.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled April 19, 2013.

Appearance - Very pale hazy body with a huge white head. Lasts forever.

Smell - Wow. Spruce and pine. White wine. Blended seamlessly. Acidic.

Taste - Spruce again incorporated very well. Pale malts. Sourness piggybacks the spruce. A bit of sweetness in the finish. White wine is more muted, but comes back in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy. Well carbonated.

Overall - Easily one of the most unique beers I've had in a long time. Really good and like nothing I've had before.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle split with friends on 6.29.13

A - Pours a hazy medium orange with a fizzy white head that sticks around for a long time.

S - Tons, I mean tons of spruce/pine/trees scents. Hard to pick up much else.

T - Again lots of Pine-like flavors from all the spruce tips. Acidic wood, some lemon. Really hard to get past all the pine, but it wasn't a bad thing.

D - Good carbonation with a lighter body.

O - A ton of pine flavors form the spruce tips that were used in brewing this. Very refreshing, and even with all of the pine, I would have this one again. I wish I had another bottle to age and see how this one develops.

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Sahati from The Ale Apothecary
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 164 ratings