Norse Legend Sahti | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

159 Reviews
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Norse Legend SahtiNorse Legend Sahti

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Sahti

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jneiswender on 01-17-2012

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Reviews: 159 | Ratings: 491
Photo of jtierney89
1.5/5  rDev -57.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Deep amber color with a thin head. Brilliant clarity. Nose is pretty subdued. Some herbal presence, touch of caramel. Juniper is noticeable on the nose. Lots of medicinal notes on the nose as well. Smells like pepto bismal a bit underneath it all.

Has a tea like quality to it. Medium in body. Flavors are faint and subdued. Certain watery aspect to the body at certain points, specifically the sides and tip of the tongue. Touches of caramel on the sides of the tongue. Honey and juniper throughout. Slightly spicy finish. Interesting and unique flavors, again very tea-like but also again too subtle, close to being overly bland. The flavors are dumbed down and almost water like at points.

The finish on this beer lasts a while, it's not good or bad, just not sure what to do with it. It doesn't make me want another sip, but it doesn't make me want food either.

After tasting Dogfish head's Sahti, Norse legend just seems like an attempt at creating another style to flood the market place with. Flavors aren't there and neither is the merit. At it's best it's drinkable with some flavor for 7% ABV

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
2.19/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

From undated bomber but states Batch #1.

Aroma is sweet musky flowers. Pours deep coppery red with a thin non-lasting off white head.
Taste is like a sour version of an Irish red ale, actually very off putting! I was expecting something more Gin-like . This tastes like it WAS dredged up from a thousand year old Viking ship! Caveat to the reader, I never drank a Sahti before so I may not be the best guide to this brew! (But this brew makes me sure not to drink one again!).

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Photo of jneiswender
2.5/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this beer as a sample at the Boston Brewery as part of the tour. Served on tap in a sample glass cool.

Beer had slight ring of a head and an amber body. Minty smell not strong resin. Taste was very sweet. slight mouthwash flavor. But the sweetness really pervades this beer. Little carbonation. I can't say I am a real big fan of this beer. I have not had very many authentic examples of this style but it really doesn't taste anything like I think it would. Not very piney at all.

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Photo of bum732
2.69/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

S: Rich caramel, and odd "homebrew" smell, very caramel tasting, juniper is surprisingly restrained, not much "gin" like flavors.

L: Crystal clear amber-orange, off-white head that dissipates

T: Rich caramel in the taste with some light juniper botanicals. Medium low bitterness with a mild herbal bitterness in the back of the throat. Juniper is very restrained.

M: Medium bodied, medium low carbonation.

Good effort, but the flavors just don't work personally. Glad i got to try it though.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.73/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

A gose, a gingerbread stout, a sahti...dammit, Sam Adams needs to brew us up a kvass soon... Anyway, this "sahti" (quotation marks explained below) pours a clear amber-copper topped by a finger of light khaki foam. The nose comprises a spruce-tip sandwich, all white bread, with only a leaf or two of lettuce separating the other ingredients. The taste brings in more of the same, though now the spruce is in resin form as well, the bread is slightly drier, the lettuce is straight iceberg, and what seems like a bunch of juniper berries finds its way in there for good (?) measure. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly syrupy feel. Overall, this doesn't come off so much as a sahti to me, rather a spruce-flavored amber ale or something. Either way, it ain't that great...

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Photo of PorterLambic
2.76/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first sahti, not really sure where to start this review because I've got nothing to compare it to, just the bottle description.

Pours a clear orangish amber with over two fingers of light tan foam for a head. Initial retention is not so great but it settles at one finger width and stays. Loads of lace.
Smell is pretty light with just some malt and juniper with a kind of soap note.
Taste is malt, juniper, floral and soapy,cheap red wine notes in pretty good balance. The wine note is a bit off-putting but not overwhelmingly so.
Full bodied and lightly carbonated, it leaves a pretty heavy coating on the tongue and palate. I can't say if this is good, bad or just utterly normal for the style.

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Photo of scratch69
2.81/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Dark amber color with half a fingers worth of off-white head. Fair amount of runny lace.

Smell- Muted aroma of malt and just a hint of a wet dog smell.

Taste- Caramel malt and tea flavors at first, but quickly fades into a mild boozy flavor.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, smooth and sticky feeling. Light amount of carbonation.

Overall- I am totally unimpressed with this one. The only thing this beer has going for it is the mouthfeel. This is the first beer from Samuel Adams that I wish I wouldn't have bought.

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Photo of zhanson88
2.96/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a deep burnt copper color with only a trace of caramel colored head. Head retention and lacing are minimal. Not at all what I was expecting this to look like, but an interesting look.

Smell: Very faint. I get a hint of biscuity malt, as well as some fruitiness, maybe berries.

Taste: Some caramel peeks through initially, followed by berry-like fruitiness, and some tea flavors. Very unique.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Pretty light bodied and smooth, but a bit light on carbonation and not too lively. Overall, very interesting but not a favorite. Worth trying though.

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Photo of FlemingVSKing
2.98/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'm mixed on this. In a way.

The most obvious aspect is flavor, and while it's not bad perse', the fruit elements are extremely light and finish with a dry tone. This is just really all that can be said about this brew.

There isn't much of a profile after that.

It is drinkable, and enjoyable, but nothing I'd race back for. The biggest highly for me was probably the aura of the brew being a throwback. I really connect to those ideas and value attempts to honor these more classic styles of various historical cultures, but while this may have been dead on balls accurate, Sam Adams other attempts at this, like Dark Depths, are just more bold and satisfying.

 664 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Brownish amber with 1 finger of fizzy head. Low carbonation and thin spotty lacing.

N: A lot of thick caramel and nougat. Fruity-grape presence and a hint of pepper.

T: Honey and grape juice are upfront with a hint of pepper. Only slightly reminiscent of juniper berries. Big malts of caramel and nougat are mid-palate along with a note of tobacco. Finishes with herbal mint, dry hay and grass.

M: Medium bodied, smooth and sticky.

O: Tastes like a Mead and a Scottish Wee Heavy had a baby. Honey sweet and caramel rich with earthy characteristics. The juniper berry flavors aren't quite there but it's interesting none-the-less.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer was a handsome auburn color with a generous white that showed a decent level of retention. The aroma was a pleasant lemony tea scent with a spicy aspect to it. In the initial taste, one picks up the pepper which is followed by a strong sensation of black jelly beans. There is a certain degree of Earthiness to the taste. The peppery sensation lingers in the aftertaste, as does the tartness. The beer is smooth and goes down easy. With a better taste, this could be an easy drinker. I have a had several sahtis which I have greatly enjoyed. I feel such a strong level of dislike for this one because it lacks the expected sweetness. There is not much of a tea flavor, but there is big black jelly bean flavor.

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Photo of gpogo
3.01/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Clear deep brown body with a near white head that leaves a sparse light lacing.

A- Sweet large malt aroma. Not much juniper initially, but hints of it come in.

T- Intensely sweet malt flavor up front, brown sugar and molasses. Some bitterness comes in at the end and stays through the finish. Metallic flavors at the end as well. The more I taste this, the more the juniper taste comes to play, but never even close to overwhelming.

M- Medium to heavy body that likes to coat your mouth and stick around a bit. Moderate-low carbonation.

D- Not as awful as it could have been, not as great as it could have been either. I would have liked more juniper and less metallic taste. A bit on the boozy sweet side, so not exactly sessionable.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.05/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear brownish amber with a thin, fizzy off-white head.

S: Very neutral on the nose with faint aromas of rye bread, juniper berry, and caramel. Really doesn't smell much like a traditional sahti.

T: Notes of rye bread, caramel, juniper berry, and minerals wash across the palate. The finish is clipped and dry with a late surge of juniper flavor.

M: Medium in body, very dry, and firm upon entry. The finish is thick and somewhat sticky. Carbonation is relatively forceful. Alcohol is very restrained.

O: There really isn't much to this ale. Compared to traditional Finnish sahtis, it is lacking in flavor and complexity. Not a great effort.

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Photo of mrfreakybig
3.06/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

I saw this at a local store, so I figured I'd give it a try. It pours a gorgeous deep reddish color that I sat and looked at, enjoying the color alone, for a while.

From there, there wasn't a whole lot going on with this beer. I picked up a little berry/fruity flavor, but not much. Some malt, a reasonable amount of fizz.

An average, if somewhat unusual beer. Worth checking out as long as you don't expect it to knock your socks off.

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Photo of scoobybrew
3.06/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - clear deep amber color with a thick off-white head that is well retained

S - sweet malt with hints of caramel and some hints of juniper

T - sweet malt up front with moderate juniper associated flavors throughout, finishes slightly dry

M - medium-full body with moderate carbonation

O - This is certainly not one of the better of the small batch series produced by Boston Beer Company. The absence of other spice components make this fairly basic and 'one-dimensional'. The yeast used here isn't very interesting as well - not enough funkiness.

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Photo of beertunes
3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I don't have a lot of experience with this style, so not much of a baseline, just keep that in mind. Served in a straight pint glass. Poured a very attractive, clean, clear,dark copper color with 1 inch of off-white head that had low retention and light lacing.

The aroma was mostly sweet malts, with a light spice/pine scent. The taste was nearly identical, but the spiciness seemed a bit more noticeable. The body was nicely full, although a bit sticky. Drinkability was OK, but this would be 1 at a time beer for me, mostly due to the sweetness. Overall, a nice enough example, would probably be a decent introductory brew.

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Photo of prototypic
3.11/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Norse Legend is a very deep copper color. It’s crystal clear. Backlighting gives it a very bright scarlet appearance. Impressive color. A soft tan head covers the top and rises to a surprising two and a half fingers in height. Retention is very good as it took a while to completely dissipate. Lacing was sticky and quite thick. Looks good!

The nose is definitely a bit weak and needs strength in a big way. It kicks with off with a malty scent. Smells a bit sweet – like caramel or toffee. There’s perhaps a bit of light cocoa-ish chocolate, as well. There is a bit of light berry scent. It’s interesting, but isn’t exactly good. It does smell a bit earthy and grainy throughout. I’m not getting any alcohol. It doesn’t smell overtly bad, but it doesn’t smell good either. It’s average. A little work would easily improve it.

The flavor is rather consistent with the nose. The malt base tastes like a mix of caramel and chocolate varieties. It’s a little sweet. Cocoa is definitely noted and tastes equally as strong. Some light berry notes weave in and out, but never taste like the centerpiece. They’re not good or bad, just kind of there. They have sort of a tangy quality which isn’t all that appealing. It is grainy and earthy. Alcohol is definitely in the background, but doesn’t overwhelm the flavor. Finishes malty and a little tangy. It’s okay. Not great by any stretch.

Norse Legend has a medium body. Carbonation seems to be active, but never feels harsh. It’s not quite soft or creamy, but it’s not bad. It goes down alright, but the flavor holds it back a little. I wouldn’t say it’s very drinkable.

Honestly, I can’t imagine any reputable Norseman characterizing this beer as ‘legendary.’ It’s just okay in about every respect. Frankly, the flavor needs something to liven it up a bit. If you’re looking to simply try a Sahti, it’s worth grabbing a bottle. There are far better representations of the style though.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ah yes, Norse Legend. Like Alexi Laiho.

Coppery brown color with some thin retention. Some lace and a big spit wad of retention in the middle of my glass.

Smells like juniper and tree bark with toffee.

Taste features a subtle version of the typical sahti woody evergreen and mint as well as some dark, bready orange marmalade sweetness.

Norse Legend hits upon the requirements from the style but doesn't venture very far from that. Norse Legend is more Soilwork than Kalmah if you know what I mean.

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Photo of JustinQ
3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: 2 oz poured into English pub Glass

Appearence: Deep Amber, Red, Low co2 but nice head. Looks rustic

Aroma: Faint Juniper, Faint Malt, No hops, Very light aroma all around

Taste: Juniper up front as well as in the back of the palette, no hops, no off flavors, very earthy and woodsy

Mouthfeel: Slick and then it dries, Nice on a hot day

Overall: I like it alot, It is the best Sahti I have tasted however I am not sure about how authentic they did it. I Know they did not strain hrough juniper and I have not read anything about usinghot rocks.? Otherwise great beer

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hanging onto a rich Finnish tradition of dextrin-rich farmhouse ale that employs a filtration bed of juniper stems, this Samuel Adams beer is inspired by those notions but isn't handcuffed by them either. This is what results...

The beer pours with a surprisingly dark bronze color and brightly clarified- much darker and clearer than I know traditional sahti to be. But its lively carbonation releases a creamy sand-stained head that retains well, even as it slowly fades into a liquefied blanket across the glass. Broken rings of lace adorn the glass along the beer's downward drift. It's a very nice looking beer; just more Scottish ale-looking than Finnish.

Strong toffee aromas exude from the glass and carry with it pronounced notes of horehound candy and fennel seed. Berry-like juniper character is a stretch but can be pulled from the robust malt bill, if ever so slightly. Nowhere can the almost saison-character of traditional sahti be found. Instead a malt focused sweet scent carries the beer with seeming little balance.

Flavors are even more malt-dominant that even the nose suggests. Tasting nearly of English strong ales or Scottish ales- the heavy sorghum, toffee, and peanut brittle taste coats the mouth early on and never reliquishes. The slightest rebuttal comes from a slight berry-like tartness that hides underneath and is easily mistaken for fruit esters and grain character. The malty-sweet ale is heavily dependent on deeply caramelized malts and reluctantly receeds very deep in the finish to allow a grain and berry tartness to close the beers taste.

Full bodied, but because of the beer's high level of residual sweetness and not because of the protein rich heft. Sugars sit heavily on the mouth and prohibit any meaningful finish beyond a cola-like tact, toast, and rummy alcohol warmth.

But not is all lost- the Boston Beer Company is only inspired by sahti and isn't making an attempt at replicating authentic versions. But the only resemblance to me is a barely noticable juniper character.

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Photo of BWED
3.17/5  rDev -11%
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.

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Photo of dadonabike
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
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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Photo of KajII
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Suggested Glassware: Nonic Pint]

The pour was a clear dark reddish amber with a large (2-3 finger) cream colored rocky head that had decent retention, reducing to a puddled film with a large collar which did create some excellent streaky lacing.

The aroma was of a sweet caramel malt, spruce hops and an earthy yeast with notes of citrus (grapefruit and orange), toffee, juniper berries and a mild woody scent.

The taste was sweet and very malty with a hint of berry and a touch of toffee from the beginning, with the finish being a tad citrusy and having a mild bitter woody taste at the end. The flavor was a bit long in duration with an earthy citrus taste that was left to linger.

Mouthfeel was just below medium in body with a slightly syrupy texture and a soft mild carbonation.

Overall this turned out to be a rather interesting beer, not a great brew nor a bad one either; in fact I would call it unique to say the least. This was unlike any Sahti I have ever tasted and it possessed an aftertaste that I found to be a bit too long and not overly pleasant.

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Photo of Jason
3.2/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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Photo of CHickman
3.21/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Batch No. 1: Pours a hazy red amber color with a foamy 1 finger light tan head that was full of bubbles and faded about average to on the slower side, leaving OK spotty lacing and rings as it went down. The second half of the bottle pored much darker and was chestnut brown in color.

Smells of caramel, dark fruit like a cherry, sweet candy or brown sugar, malt, orange peel, toffee and light funk. There are earthy notes that smell like a twig or pine cone, but the nose is basically sweet and malty with the caramel really showing through.

Tastes like it smells, but with a lot more floral and herbal notes, almost like a blast of pine cone or Pine-Sol and dry flower petals or thyme. The flavor is sweet, but also earthy and slightly bitter like dry hops and spruce tips were floating in the brew. An odd mix of caramel, dark fruit, candy sugar, malt, orange peel, yeast funk, sour apple, pine cone, tree bark and herbs; I assume the Juniper berry tastes like the smell, so I guess that is noticeable having never tasted a Juniper berry. Seems like a traditional Scottish beer with the heavy pine cone and spruce earthy notes which took away from the initial sweetness.

Mouthfeel is chewy and thick, with a sugary sweetness that gives way to an herbal earthy dryness, with very mild and almost flat carbonation. Too strange to drink as a session beer, it is a nice nostalgic experiment that hides the ABV well but just doesn’t taste very good.

Sahti is a style I don’t know much about, but if this is a good representation then I may avoid it as I’d much rather be drinking a stout or IPA. The Vikings may have enjoyed it, but with the current craft beer movement I’d rather spend my time on better styles.

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Norse Legend Sahti from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.56 out of 5 based on 491 ratings.
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