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 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 Pencible
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a clear garnet with some light tan head.
S: It smelled like copper hops and roasted barley, with some creamy yeast and a hint of juniper and caramel.
T: It tasted like sweet caramel and roasted barley malt, with some copper hops and creamy yeast. It had a clean and mild bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat thick and oily with a little carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: I'm not sure where the Sahti character was, since no juniper was really noticeable. The scent and taste were like a red ale or Oktoberfest. Not unpleasant at all, but way off for the style (and therefore disappointing). Did I just sit on this too long, and all the uniqueness already faded?

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Two fingers of head on a clear, copper colored body.
The aroma is floral and juniper. It really smells like a boque of flowers.
The taste is mildly bitter with a light fruit flavor. It’s nice.
The texture is crisper with moderate carbonation and medium body.
It’s an easy drinker with a unique flavor.

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

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; Batch 1, bottled in Spring 2012. Moderately fast gusher upon opening. Pours lightly hazy red copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Slight spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, juniper, raisin, wood, floral, earth, and herbal. Damn nice aromas with good balance, strength, and complexity of malt and juniper notes. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, juniper, wood, raisin, floral, earth, grass, and herbal earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, floral, earth, raisin, wood, juniper, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malty flavors with the juniper notes; with zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium full bodied; with a very creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice take on the Sahti style! Great malt complexity and balance of juniper flavors; and extremely smooth to sip on. I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of obywan59
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish-copper in color with a 2 1/2 finger pale tan head. Great lacing. Crystal clear. Reminds me of Mad Elf, just a bit darker in color in body and head.

Fresh, almost hoplike aroma of the juniper berries is forefront, light citrus and sweet toasted malt back it up.

The taste was a bit of a let down after the aroma. Mostly sweet toasted malt with some acid citrus and the borderline harsh taste of alcohol. Some light earthiness , but not so much as a saisson. It seemed a bit raw at first, but it improved as the beer warmed.

Decent mouthfeel. Medium to medium thick. Light syrup on the tongue, and light burn in the throat.

This beer definitely gets better as it warms. I'm not sure how authentic a sahti it is though. There was zero sediment in my bottle.

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Photo of jdkitchi
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This poured clear brown with a huge foamy head that stuck around for awhile.

It has a different earthy smell, probably from the Juniper. The Juniper adds an interesting element but the taste is a little too sweet and a little too refined and simple.

I haven't had a Sahti before that I can remember so I wasn't sure what to expect from the style. I was expecting something more rustic, cloudy and more complex. I'm glad I tried it but I don't really need to have this again.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two-fingered white head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Medium carbonation and medium body. Crystal clear copper/amber color. Nose is light malt and bready, flavor is malty with a light juniper bite. 22oz bottle $6 Market Basket Concord, NH.

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Photo of lwillitz
4.02/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22-oz bottle into New Belgium globe

A - 3 fingers of khaki foam over a transparent body of red amber, a few rising bubbles of carbonation

S - spice, cherry-like fruit (juniper?), malty sweetness, yeast

T - peppery spice, caramel sweetness, fruity/herbal notes; sweet pink grapefruit and booze in the finish

M - thick medium/full body, medium carbonation, very smooth

O - I wasn't quite sure what to expect of my first Sahti, but I think I like it. Would drink again.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had some at my parents for the holidays. The drink had a dark brown-amber appearance with a decent head that became thin lacing eventually. Aromas had a solid malt flavor with some vanilla and bread hints. The drink was tasty with a strong butter flavor and a slight cherry aftertaste. Medium body and decently creamy. Overall, pretty good for the holidays.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well this is a conundrum beer for I rate this as for what the brewer intended or do I rate it as to whether I like the beer. In respect for this website I will rate as brewer intended...but I am not a fan of Sahti style beers. The beer poured clear amber with a thin white head that is lacing nicely. The scent is a very I nice breeze of berries. The Taste is very fruity...perhaps the reason the Vikings averted scurvy??? There is a nice malt base that balances the fruitiness. The mouthfeel is medium in body with smooth carbonation. Overall the beer is decent...a little to fruity for me....but solid offering by Sammy A!!!

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Photo of BrewMaven
4.01/5  rDev +12.6%
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!

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Photo of dhannes
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass. This is the first I have had of this style, so the review is based on the beer versus other similar beers.

A=Darker red color, with a thinner whitish head. A bit darker than anticipated.

S=Slight hint of fruitiness/berries.

T=Similar to an amber, but lighter and somewhat sweet...a very faint hint of berries, with some maltiness.

M=Not much body; low carbonation; rather drinkable.

O=Nothing special here...reminded me of a reddish amber with a hint of berries in the background. Will only buy again if on sale and then only for aging.

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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 beergoot
3.46/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear, copper body with a sticky, clinging head. Heavy sweet malt scent; caramel and toffee primarily. Heavy, sweet malt flavors also dominate the taste with some juniper and, to me, slightly smokey hint; some dark fruit hints, but nothing too extreme. Rich, heavy feel; smooth on the tongue with a residual hint of pine or juniper.

I don't know. I was expecting more of a juniper and pine character where all I got was a strong malt sweetness overall. Certainly not a bad beer, but something I would look at as more of a Scottish ale or even a wee heavy. Would I drink it again? Sure, it's tasty. Would I consider this a fine example of the sahti style? No, at least based on the style description on BA. I find very little in this beer that fits that profile. Maybe Norse Legend Sahti doesn't meet my expectations of what the beer should be, it's still a nice beverage to kick back with...

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Photo of flagmantho
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium amber-brown with a haze-free body and a moderate effervescence. Head pours a thick finger of frothy tan foam. Attractive, although not as turbid as the style definition suggests it might be.

Smell: crystal malt character with some sweet caramel and dry toastiness mixed together. The nose of juniper is definitely present as well. Interesting. Balanced, although the malt character here isn't my favorite.

Taste: sweeter caramel character than the aroma, with less toastiness present. The juniper is of a different character here; while in the aroma, it had more of an evergreen feel, here there is an earthier, more bitter element, especially in the strong finish. Quite balanced and actually quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a well-integrated carbonation and a mammoth, silky-smooth creaminess. Love it!

Overall: this is a good beer, although I think I like it more for its novelty than as something I'd want regularly. The juniper creates a good bitterness, but the overall woodiness is a bit much for any kind of session drinking.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.46/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz poured into a Duvel Tulip. Batch #1.

Appearance: Clear dark coppery red when held up to the light. An initial thick rocky light tan foam died down to a 1/4-1/8" foam. Plenty of lacing in strands all over the glass. Nice looking beer.

Smell: Juniper (gin like) dominates the aroma here - I'm not getting a lot else.

Taste: Very unusual. Definite Juniper/spruce flavor mixed in with some deep caramel and buttery notes mixed in. The finish is a little bitter....can't quite put my finger on it as to what that bitter flavor is, but it's there to finish things off. It's like an unusual combination of lemon and pine at the end. Maybe they did hop his beer after all?

Mouthfeel: Slick, light carbonation on the tongue, the thickness is just south of creamy, but it is definitely smooth.

Overall / Drinkability: I've never had a Sahti before so it's hard to rate this one on style. If I read the Beer Advocate description is has some features of the beer (mouthfeel, juniper) but not others (turbidity in appearance). So let me instead state what I think of this as a beer. The Juniper works well as a hop substitute, although there are times where I think I'm drinking a beer spiked with Gin. Could be I'm not a big fan of Juniper. Nice looking beer, feels good going down....not really great in taste and smell. Interesting yes. A great beer? No. Drinkability - I could not finish off the bomber myself even over 2 hours (corked the bottle and kept it in the fridge while I finished the first glass) and so one big glass is more than enough. I think I would give the style a try again, but with food, and not this particular beer again. A good beer to try, but not good for a repeat.

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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 AlCaponeJunior
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Auburn to coppery red, clear, rising bubbles, a light tan head about one finger, with some sticky lacing.

Lots of toffee, caramel, nuts, fruits (mainly dark), spices, a light woodiness.

Taste is more notable on the juniper/wood notes, plenty of caramel and toffee like malts, a little sweetness, some fruitiness, cherries noted, a little brown sugar and some alcohol.

Body is pretty light with ample carbonation, along with a residual sweetness and slick feel.

It's an interesting beer. I only have one other example of the style to compare to, so it's hard to say whether this is a great sahti or not. However, it's certainly tasty in my glass.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Type: 22-oz. bomber
Glass: Karl Strauss pint
From: Costco in San Marcos, Calif., on Dec. 6, 2012
Price: $20 for Small Batch Collection variety 4-pack
BOD: None, “Batch 2” on back of label

Auburn amber with two fingers of khaki tan head. Average-to-above average lacing on the sides. Retention started out good, but got pretty thin half way down the pint glass.

Smelled toffee, caramel, roasted nuts, dark fruit and black cherry. Could smell the alcohol for sure, but it was smooth.

Tasted not quite as good as the smell, but similar. Got the dark fruits first. The bottle says Juniper berries, but I don’t know what those are. I kind of got dates and dark cherry. Also some toffee, roasted bitter nuts, some rye and still that hint of liquor.

Medium body. Thin, oily texture. Average carbonation. Long smooth finish.

My first new rating for a Sam Adams in a long time. Big fan of the company and the presentation of the Small Batch Collection pack. Not a bad beer overall, I may have homered it a little bit.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From: Binny's, Bolingbrook, IL
Date: None, "Batch 1" on back of label
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

More "wet forest" aroma and scent-like than the only other sahti I've had, this beer pulls more from juniper than, perhaps, it's original brethren (the Finnish sahti I had was much more intensely caramel heavy and doppelbock-like than this). I enjoyed this for its unique flavors and for avoiding becoming boring or one-dimensional throughout the entire bomber. Not a beer I'd find myself going back to repeatedly, but one I'm glad SA brewed and I was able to try.

Pours a 3cm tall head, composed of small bubbles of a modestly dark tan color, appearing quite frothy and dense. Retention is excellent, as might be expected from the tight packing of bubbles. Head eventually falls to a thin cap atop the body of the beer. Lacing is rather average, a few small splotches and dots of residual foam across the sides of the glass. Body is a very dark amber brown color, transparent, with light revealing brighter red and orange hues. Carbonation is visible and substantial.

Aroma of a toffee-scented ale aged on juniper wood, yielding some "wet forest" scents; some ripe, watery blackberries; and vague spiciness (phenols?).

Taste involves substantial juniper twig/wood flavor over a toffee-like malt base with hints of pine-like juniper needles/berries and phenolic spiciness. Front of palate picks up strong juniper wood with caramel-colored malt base: sweet with solid juniper wood flavors. Mid-palate is of ale soaked on juniper wood, a toffee-like malt composition, and some spiciness from juniper wood, needles, or berries. Back of palate picks up continued toffee-like malts, and a bit of ethanol, particularly as this warms. Aftertaste of toffee malt sweetness and lingering juniper wood or "wet forest" scents.

Beer is medium bodied, with medium-intensity carbonation that results in a slightly prickly at first, but quickly foamy and smooth afterwards. Closes semi-dryly.

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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 cjgator3
3.32/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark reddish brown color with an off-white head with good retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is pretty faint, not a lot going on there. There is a little bit of sweetness from the malt along with some citrus from the juniper berries.

T- The taste like the aroma starts out pretty faint but there is a large wave of sweetness that comes through in the middle along with a citrusy fruitiness in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a lot of carbonation.

O- Overall, not bad but this beer was lacking a little for me.

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Photo of mactrail
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is kind of a nose-wrinkler, but taste pretty good. The juniper berries are well in evidence, but pleasant. Handsome coppery amber in the tall Stella glass. Plenty of foam and well carbonated on the tongue. Nose is fruity and spicy like some kind of Christmas relish.

Rather sweet and fruity. It's a little on the spicy side but could use a little more edge. A delicate balance and makes you appreciate the simple resiny bitterness of good old hops. A little herbal and medicinal, but not overly bitter. This may be a cleaned-up and sweeter version of the old brew. It's hard to drink much at once, but it's intriguing.

You can't fault the way Boston makes all the elements work, and packages this with nice foam and beery substance. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Liticker's in San Diego.

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Photo of LeRose
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Liked this one after a few disappointments from Sam’s. Strange but pleasant color (a little blusih/purple tint to it), not very carbonated. A bit on the sweet (molasses or dark brown sugary) and chewy side, thick mouth feel.Very malty in a Belgian kind of way. Definitely get the juniper berry taste - kind of a nice Tanqueray tang to it that helps cut the sweetness. Bought a couple more. Interesting and tasty. Nice for a change of pace, although I don't know how representative of the style it really is. I do like the juniper berry flavor.

From notes...

Update: Opened a bottle that was six months old from purchase date. This has mellowed quite a bit and the gin-like component is pretty subdued. Still present, but more an afterthought than it was. Sweet and malty flavors, caramel/toffee more forward. Sweet but not sticky-sweet. Still a decent beer to drink in my opinion, but I'd rather have it fresh with the juniper more prominent. More brown in color versus original notes.

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