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 larryarms847
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours garnet brown with a thick two finger head of off-white foam.

Juniper, spice, caramel, and toffee.

Slight spice, juniper, oak, toffee, and heavy caramel note.

Medium-heavy bodied, medium-high carbonation, caramel/toffee sweetness, and some berry tartness.

Overall, not mind blowing, but certainly not terrible. An interesting style and worth a repeat sampling.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 6oz bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It has a burnt orange body with amber highlights. Two inches of tan head feebly cling to the sides of the glass.

S - I smelled juniper as soon as I opened the bottle. Once I poured it in my glass I smelled a lot of malt. It reminded me of cereal.

T - I tasted all malt up front. I tasted some dark berries. The juniper came in the finish and lingered in the aftertaste.

M - Medium with little carbonation.

O - The malt and the juniper remind me of a Christmas beer.

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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 WastingFreetime
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured out a brown-tinted garnet color with fizzy head for about a minute, minimal lacing on the glass. Medium body and carbonation levels.

Intensely sugary sweet molasses, brown sugar, figs, ginger and only a modicum of juniper aroma with a nuance of buttermilk and leafy hop aroma on the side. Hmm, I was expecting a lot more juniper wood in the nose than this. The flavor, however, has some of that woody splintery bite that I have come to expect from Sahtis. Unfortunately, it's just too pastry-dough-sweet overall for the herbal and leafy hopping to match for my personal tastes.

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Photo of charlzm
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to a Triple Petrus snifter. Beer is a deep, clear amber. A two-finger yellowish head forms and reduces soon to a thin skin. Minimal sheeting on glass.

Aroma is similar to dark fruitcake. Juniper very prominent as well. Tea-like notes.

On the tongue, beer is not very similar to style guidelines but still a fine, drinkable collection of flavors. Slightly tea-like with sweet dark malts (trace of caramel) at the front, astringent juniper imparts a resiny, piney berry flavor. Fairly significant bitterness on finish.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with plenty of carbonation bite and some dryness.

This is a surprisingly drinkable beer, all things considered. The ABV is not noticeable in the flavor, but by the time I got to the end of the bottle, I was feeling some warmth and a little fuzziness around the edges. Better to share a bomber of this, I think.

And to reiterate: not to style, but a nice stab at making it perhaps more approachable to a less exploratory populace?

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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 KickbacksSteve
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into small snifter. Off-white head atop an amber body. Clear lacing, sticky. Aroma includes sweet caramel and brown sugar. Taste is malty sweet and caramel with maybe some toffee. No bitterness to speak of but none expected considering the style. Very easy to drink, no alcohol taste anywhere of note. Very tasty brew, interesting and tasty.

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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 Zorro
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clear red colored beer with a good tan colored head.

Smell is sweet and malty with strong molasses scent. Slight spruce aroma but it takes some effort to sniff it. Bread with figs is the other strong scent.

Starts out sort of sweet with a strong malty flavor and a woody after taste. Spruce taste is much stronger than the scent no missing it. Malt and spruce or spruce and malt, that is what this tastes like. Slight stinging in the mouth, strong bitterness for the style tastes like they threw in some spruce bark or something.

Mouthfeel is full.

Overall an interesting malty beer.

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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 EkimGram
3.52/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: 22oz bottle poured into a standard pint. Colour is a rich auburn-brown. Tiny head fades quickly to a thin ring. No visible carbonation.

Smell: Sweet, bready malts are dominant with a nice woody juniper hint to support it. Grainy, sweet, and a little odd.

Taste: Very interesting. The juniper takes on a gin-like abrasiveness that is almost matching the sweet malts in presence. Aftertaste is strong and lingers on the breath as a bready-boozy flavour.

Mouthfeel: Nice full body that isn't heavy or too thick. Silky, very mild carbonation.

Overall: This brew - my first of this style - is rather peculiar. The taste is almost off-putting at first but as it warms up and I get "used to" it, it becomes rather enjoyable.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.95/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of Deingeist
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz draft at Thirsty Moose in Portsmouth NH.

A: Dark red/brown, a very clear beer, but because of its tawny wine darkness it's not really see-through. Cream colored head dissipated quickly. Lacing with a swirl but otherwise not much.

S: This beer didn't smell like a whole lot. It smelled sweeter than the average beer, and it wasn't an unpleasant smell, just not a huge aroma. If I had let it warm up some, the smell probably would have unfolded.

T: It didn't taste quite as strong as I was expecting/hoping, but it had a nice flavor. It had a somewhat maple-like malt profile, more sweet than bitter, some pine and citrus flavor, somewhat fruity but not floral. The flavor increased some as the beer warmed, but it never became so sweet or piney that it became difficult to drink. As this beer is a sahti, it is not a hoppy beer as the juniper is meant to take the place of hops as a flavoring and preserving agent. Overall pretty well balanced.

M: This beer suffers from what I call the Sam Adams mouthfeel problem: Somehow a bit syrupy and watery at the same time. It's just nothing special. It's not at all bad, but it didn't wow me. Some carbonation, enough to make it taste interesting and not flat, but not a ton, and a bit more light-syrupy than full bodied/unfiltered.

Overall: I think this beer is one of Sam Adams better beers because it is interesting and I enjoy drinking beers that aren't really "traditional beers" in the German sense of the word and it was great to finally get to try it on draft. I remember about five years ago they had it on rotation but I was never able to try it. There are so many other beers out there that I have to try and my regular drinking beers (IPAs mostly) so I'm not sure I'll be drinking it again, but maybe if it goes away I'll miss it and want to try it again next time around.

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Photo of rodney45
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deeply crimson inlaid amber, with a cream colored thick head that dissipated quickly but laced the glass with a web of norse style runes.

S: Deep chocolate malt profile, with crystal malt overtones. Slight hint of munich malt and plum.

T: First taste is malt all the way, crystal, munich, and chocolate. Secondary flavors are a lemon, walnut and pecan, which is pretty sour oddly enough. Third notes are non overwhelming english style hops, with a dry finish that has an ever so slight hint of gin ( grassy/juniper-esk flavors)

M: Overly thick and creamy, definitive of the style. Moderate carbonation, and no alcohol ethers present.

O: My first Sahti, and i feel that this may not have done an adequate job of defining the style. It seems a lot more like a belgian double, or a quad, than anything else. Enjoyable.

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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 Cavanaghty
3.89/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of RickS95
3.97/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber with some brownish orange mixed in. Fairly clear, though it's dark enough to be mostly opaque. The head is a contrast in white, but doesn't have much staying power. After swirling, it's got an attractive lace left behind.

It's got a refreshing smell of some lighter malts and just a bit of citrus and some some of red berry (I have no idea what color a juniper berry is, but it smells 'red').

Malty, but spicy and floral taste. I can't quite put my finger on the spices I'm tasting, but it's cinnamon-like and really works well with the other flavors.

Medium bodied. Starts off slightly sweet before the spices take over. It's never too spicy or too malty, it's very pleasant. There's some heat from the alcohol, but it's welcomed and happens relatively deep in the swallow.

I tend to think of Sam Adams' beers are generally overrated, but I really enjoyed this one. The beer has something, I'll just call it a 'pleasantness' to it. It's easy to drink and has moderate alcohol. A very good beer.

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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 jtd1969
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Brownish red. Reminds me of a bourbon pour in color. A good amount of carbonation that was brownish as well.

S - sweet and malty, caramel, yam,
T - Caramel, earthy tones (Rich tea effect?)through out, Juniper berry flavor was through out but definitely not overpowering.

M - It was medium bodied, good carbonation for an ale. Easy to drink.

O- It was a solid beer. Not something I buy over and over, but not a bad beer. It was a good beer for a lazy Sunday afternoon at the house.

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Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark caramel amber with a big, thick, dense, brownish head that has great retention

S - big bready aromas, cake batter, some caramel, a bit sweet

T - bready, sweet caramel, some faint pepper, some earthiness, the juniper berries are there but faint and mostly in the finish

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

I'm not sure what I was expecting going into this beer, but I'm not disappointed. It's very malty and a bit earthy. The berries are there and play nice with the malt bill. I would definitely recommend this. I'll probably buy another bottle.

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Photo of Suds
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a chestnut colored brew...slight head. Wood, malt and citrus are present in the aroma. I'm not sure that I discerned juniper, but it does have a resin character. The taste has some toasted malt character and a solid bitterness. Wood and resin in the finish. Not overly hoppy. Full mouthfeel and lingering aftertaste. Nice.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle, Batch #1. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a clear reddish/amber color with about an inch off-white head. The head stays around a while, and there's a good amount of lacing. The aroma is nice, it smells like berries, caramel, bready malt, sweet spices, and some tea and herbs. It tastes like caramel and bready malt, slightly bitter herbs, toffee, berries, and a bit of apple. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit thick and chewy and has moderate carbonation. I liked this brew, it's worth a try.

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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 BeerKangaroo
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Batch No. 1:

This is my first Sahti ever, so like every new style I try I always add my usual disclaimer "I probably won't know what I'm talking about just in case anyone reads this."

Into a pint glass:

A: dark red/brown body that gives an awesome foamy white one finger head. Some ringy lacing is left here and there.

S: seems a bit complicated (wishing I bought another one to age and possibly see if any other smells develop). However, I do smell some honey and malty citrus aspects going on. As the beer warms, there is some syrupy/molassess thing going on - pretty good.

T: about the same smells combined very nicely in the taste. I do notice the juniperberries as the beer warms. There's a slight weird resemblance to a scotch ale.

M: medium with some sharpness coming through here and there, but nothing bothersome. The alcohol is well hidden and makes the beer fairly drinkable.

O: ok, so I like this beer (good appearance, good smells, decent taste and a pretty good mouthfeel) but I have nothing to judge it on. I'm pretty sure I'd have it again, but probably next time I'd buy two of them just so I can age one and taste one fairly immediately. In the meantime, I'm most likely going to seek out some other Sahtis just to compare.

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Photo of Brenden
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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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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