Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S

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Finnish Sahti
3.89 | pDev: 12.6%
Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Notes: A cooperation between Norewgian brewery Nøgne Ø and Swedish brewery Dugges, this is their interpretation of the traditional Finnish style.

Brewed with malt, hops, rye, wheat, sea wormwood, juniper twigs, honey and yeast from Belgium, Germany and Britain.
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Reviews: 153 | Ratings: 186
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very cloudy apricot orange colour, with a really lovely fluffy head of fine and silky white foam. Lacing is good. Looks still and bulbous in my tulip glass, not very active, but not bad. In fact, it looks very thick. I have to say I heartily approve.

Fair bit of honey, with a very fragrant, probably hoppy, but given the style possible not, character. Something rich and organic as well, not dissimilar to a Belgian yeast note. Almost a smoky character coming through as well. Lots of slightly unusual characters. Not as insanely bizarre as I'd expected from my first Sahti experience, but enough oddities in the aroma to keep me guessing.

Taste is particularly odd. There's certainly more of the honey note, and the gin-like juniper note is present in a sharp pinpoint at the very back. Otherwise, the palate is full of bursting malt and light phenolic alcohol - to my mind, quite reminicent of a dry Belgian pale ale. There's just enough bitterness to tip it out of the true Belgian style profile, and the character of the bitterness is slightly different to hops, but it's very subtle. Some light citrus comes in late as well, like orange peel. Nice. Note a huge note from the rye, although there is a depth to the grain character. Mouthfeel is particularly smooth. All up, this is a very tasty brew, and a wonderful uniqueness.

A very pleasant, refreshing and surprisingly drinkable brew. I particularly liked the thickness in the body, which just makes you have to appreciate all the different flavours as you chew your way through it. You know, I was expecting to say something akin to "not a beer for everyday", but I certainly could drink this everyday. It really is terribly pleasant, and not nearly as confronting as I'd been led to believe.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky light copper in color. No head forms on the pour.
Smell is light fruit, mostly lemon and some kiwi. Can't quite put my finger on the flavors. Never quite experienced the flavors that I'm getting in this beer.
Decent carbonation and fairly smooth in the mouthfeel. You get a hint of the alcohol in the flavor. A little heat in the back of the throat.
A new experience. Not something that I'll seek out, but quite the experience.

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Photo of pwoods
3.16/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml from Hyde Park.

A: Murky orangeade pour. Nearly no head or lacing.

S: Pungent acidic notes, kinda funky smelling. Lots of difference spices.

T/M: Lots of spices with very little hops. Medium malts. I know there's supposed to be a lot of spices but it's a bit too much for me. Medium light body with medium carbonation.

D: 11% is very surprising.

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Photo of spointon
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 16.9oz brown bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This beer poured a hazed dark orange color with a ton of ongoing carbonation release and some fine particulates (I stopped short of adding the significant dregs from the bottom of the bottle). The creamy off-white head rose 3/4" and then settled to a thin but solid cap. No lace.

S= Though it was more muted than I wanted it to be, I smelled a heavy malt and honey combination with a slight hop presence later. There was also alot of spice in there too. It was somehow earthy and sweet all at once.

T= A nice blend of sweetness and spice in this one. Lots of rich malty goodness flowed hand in hand with a big honey flavor. The rye added another layer of richness and a spicy note. The juniper, flowers, and citrusy hops combined to create a leafy tea-like earthiness that complimented the sweetness well. Alcohol stayed well hidden, as the finish arrived dry and slightly bitter.

MF= Heavy side of medium bodied (from the rye I suspect) with a peppy carbonation bite. The fullness combined with this crispness was very interesting and pleasant.

D= This was my first Sahti and I am impressed. This was a complex and challenging ale that I would gladly drink again and could even see myself having two pints of in an evening.

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Photo of ballewblake
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a duvel tulip from bottle.

Nice white head drops fast, cloudy, some residual foam on the glass sticks. Super floral nose, earthy, twigs, alcohol, some funk hints, jasmine. Odd aftertaste at first, sweet, great body and mouthfill. Very drinkable.

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Photo of clickpush
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks - first glass pours clear but not much carbonation, second one tons of carbonation but lots of particulate. Bottom of bottle completely mucky and cloudy. If you combined the clarity of the first with the carbonation/head retention from the second glass we'd be in better business.

Smell: The honey aroma is overpowering. Ripe fruits. Too ripe. Bread dough. Minty.

Mouth: Complex combination of herbs and malt. Alcohol is a bit too high and residual sugars a bit too rich, but the beer is oddly not too difficult to drink. Carbonation is good. Solid body. Honey finish undesirable. Overall is a meh.

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Photo of vrazionale
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pt. .9 fl. oz. bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter.

A - Ruddy brown body with a modest head and soft lacing across the top of the brew.

S - Lots of winter spices, juniper berries (as expected), evergreen, dark honey, a slight touch of citrusy hops. Maybe even a bit of seaweed, as crazy as it sounds. There's a lot going on here - my palate isn't refined enough to pick up on the many subtleties here.

T - Slight hop bitterness up front, with a long finish that nicely melds the spicy flavors and the sweet malts. The spice seems to come from the juniper, the seaweedy flavors (again!), woodsy herbal notes, and the peppery, earthy rye flavors, while the sweetness really calls to mind dark honey.

M - While the finish is long and intriguing, the mouthfeel is a bit sticky and clumsy. The carbonation doesn't make itself known, but I suspect that higher carbonation would have dumbed down the complexity on the finish, so I'll take a bit lower carbonation here.

D - Well, I've certainly never tasted a brew anything like this. Very woodsy, sweet, and beguiling. I couldn't drink this over and over, but the evocative flavors are really fascinating. It's July in Boston, but while drinking this brew, it's not too difficult to imagine sitting next to a fireplace in a snowy, dreary night in a small Scandinavian pub. If you see this on the shelves, pick it up, for sure.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single from Wilburs in Ft. Collins, not sure on the price though. 16.9 Oz Bottle.

A: Cloudy brown/gold color, lacks an actual color, kind of a transition between brown and gold, first pour looked copper, second pour looked like fresh apple cider. Very interesting. White head with pretty fair retention, pretty nice lacing.

S: Herbal, junipers, smells bitter, slightly funky as well, just a hint of barnyard, booze, everything is really fighting around for a place here, rye malt is very strong in there, very unique smelling beer.

T: Honey, pine, citrus, slightly funky and sour, the honey is very present the rye malt in there also imparts a strong flavor of rye, slightly astringent from the alcohol and wormwood as well. Really an odd beer, and I can't think of anything that I can compare it to. Truly unique.

M: Medium thickness, nice carbonation, extremely dry, and slightly hot from the alcohol.

D: Ummm, I think this would be a nice winter beer, a good change of pace, but this is truly an odd beer, I don't know much about the style, but this is just weird. I can't say that I will seek this specific beer out again, but I look forward to finding more Sahtis. Interesting.

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Photo of GbVDave
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into two goblets. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Pours a hazy honey-color with the tinyest sliver of off-white head. Almost no lace is left behind and there was quite a bit of suspended sediment floating in the glass.

S: More than anything else we noticed the sweet and earthy presence of honey. Slowly, aromas of rye malt, toffee, juniper, and perfume-y wildflowers emerged.

T: Once again honey looms large here. Following close behind is caramel/toffee, spices and spicy rye, tangy juniper, and an alcohol flavor that we thought was "fruity".

M: Big and sweet, with an excellent bit of white pepper spiciness. Very clingy finish.

D: Excellent considering the heft of this. This was about 4% more than we expected but all the other stuff going on inside made for a pretty big beer that wasn't a chore to drink and very easy to enjoy.

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Photo of imaguitargod
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a small head which stuck around for a while and an interesting, amber/brown color. Thicker body than what I was expecting, but definitely not a negative, and heavy carbonation. Sweet like honey right up front followed by a hint of rye/wheat and a big finish of Juniper Berries! Fantastic sipping beer.

~Jonathan Passow

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Photo of ShareANevada
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500 ml Bottle from Hyde Park Wine & Spirits

Served at 55 in a tulip stem. The color is a thick and rusty. A murky brown, that surprisingly, is not at all see through.

A somewhat warm and spicy scent, with a gentle pine and juniper presence, not overwhelming. Small head, you keep expecting to smell some hops here.

A remarkably smooth pull from this glass for the strength hiding within. A very pleasant rich taste is not overdone at all with the earthy ingredients. The light honey sweetness is nice, and for the potency, is very well done. There is a fuminess of this that cut right to the brain, perhaps thats the wormwood... hmmm.

It makes me wonder about setting one of these back to calm the alcohol in this. This is certainly a supper, but we probably saw that a mile away.

While there isn't really anything that makes me want to drink this frequently, I am quite pleased to try such a unique brew, and to have a little taste of my Swedish heritage. Well done.

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Photo of gford217
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a bright clear amber with tons of bubbles feeding a creamy white head that clings to glass and leaves solid lacing. FWIW, the second pour was extremely hazy and had tons of floaties...looked completely different.

The aroma is very strong and very herbal. The juniper is definitely the first thing I notice with plenty of honey sweetness and some additional herbal spices that I can't specifically identify. There is an overall earthiness to all the aromas, maybe from the rye and yeast. Very interesting.

The taste is not quite as over-the-top with the herbal tastes. There is a bit of yeasty spiciness up front with the honey and underlying malts forming a slightly sweet backbone. The juniper comes back in the finish and leaves an interesting burn in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a bracing spiciness, especially in the finish from the juniper.

Overall, a new experience for me as I've never tried a sahti before and so the uniqueness could be from trying a new style. Either way, I enjoyed it but I doubt I'll go out of my way to try it again.

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Photo of Ch1mpy
3.17/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy orange colour, white head. Little to no lacing.

Flowery smell with strawberries. There are also some sharp, acidic tones to the smell.

The taste leaves something to be desired. There is little evidence of the juniper and the wormwood other than some bitterness. It is balanced though and the alcohol is rather well hidden.

The mouthfeel is relatively sweet and pleasantly dry and it is also rather drinkable but not something I would buy again.

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Photo of ATPete
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle

batch 318

Pours a honey orange yellow color, very viscous in appearence during the pour, a small but thick white head forms and hangs out during the glass. Huge nose, a bit overwhelming trying to pick this aroma apart, spices, lots of em, curry powder, safron, very ripe fruit notes, eggy, with some notes of vanilla and cinnamon, gingerbready malts, very interesting, the 3 different yeast strains used sure do confuse the nose. Slightly boozy in flavor though not quite 'hot' lots of layers in flavor, sugary sweet honey comb, strawberry stems, corn meal and 2 seperate waves of bitterness, one asusming is from the juniper the other from the hop varietals. Big full bodied beer, viscous and a sipper for sure, but a sipper i truly enjoyed. I would pick up 2 bottles, one to split with a friend in the colder months and another to hold on to for a couple of years and revisit...

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Photo of MasterSki
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee. It's been on the "coming soon" list in Chicago but I couldn't bother waiting any longer. Served in a Red Hook pint glass.

A - Three fingers of dirty white foam that dissolves fairly quickly and leaves minimal lacing. Hazed peach/orange color that has a nice glow and tons of bubbles racing upwards. The lack of lacing and mediocre head retention were a bit of a disappointment - otherwise quite nice.

S - You can really smell the honey above everything else, but there is also plenty of toffee malt and a bit of obvious alcohol. There's a bit of light spice/herb as well, but the honey is just overwhelming (more so than most braggots I've had). Unbalanced is the only way to describe this.

T - The taste is more in line with what I expect from a Sahti (well - at least to the two others I've tried). Lots of lightly sweetened bready malt, saison-y Belgian-style yeast, honey, medicinal herbs, and a woody aftertaste from the juniper twigs. The balance is much better here, and there's plenty of depth. Also, no obvious alcohol is a plus.

M - Dry finish (like oak-heavy brews) with a bit of residual stickiness. Moderate carbonation, on the lighter side of medium bodied, with some alcohol warmth that kicks in pretty quickly.

D - The smell starts to get cloyingly sweet pretty quickly, and the 11% is a little too strong for the 500ml serving size. Thankfully the aftertaste is clean and the carbonation is moderate. I'd try this again in a more reasonable serving size, but any future bottles would have to be shared with at least one other person.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a lightly hazed, orange-amber body with a smallish, scant, white head.

Smell: Expressly aromatic nose of fresh honeycomb, a heavy layer of herbs, young juniper seedlings, marzipan, spice, and even a few hints of alcohol.

Taste: Altogether sugary sweet taste of honey candy leads the way, but this is followed by strong, sharp herbaceousness I'll attribute in part to the wormwood. It's odd, in the span of a couple months, I went from having zero beers with wormwood in it to four. For me at this point, it somewhat harkens back to the gentian-laden Weyerbacher Decadence. Juniper presents some woody and fruity hints. Touches of spicy rye. Lightly acidic. A few slim traces of almond syrup. Blips of peppery alcohol on the backend, though nothing to denote a beverage of 11%. Dry, long finish with none of the flavors wanting to retire quietly.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Some stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Interesting and arresting, particularly as it's not everyday one comes across a sahti, particularly one so boldly and uniquely envisioned as this one. That said, this isn't a brew I would reach for on a daily basis.

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Photo of Murchmac
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured a cloudy hazy orange, looked a little like if a hefeweizen and a DIPA had a baby.

Very brilliant honey, berry sweetness, it did have that herbal medicinal tree? smell to it. Very good, my nose was on this like a stockbrokers in the 80's to a mirror.

Great taste of honey and berries, some tree and earthyness, yeast and malt round it out. This must taste like mother natures armpit sweat.

Overall a great beer, would buy this over and over crimson and clover.

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Photo of brendan13
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a tulip glass a hazy dark orange colour with a couple of centimetres of slightly off white head that hangs around for a bit.
S - A very fragrant herbal honey character is the first thing that hits. Some spicy esters and earthy undertones. Vauge fruity hints.
T - Herbal honey also comes through quite strongly in the taste followed by a nice bready maltiness & spicy character. Some fruitiness also comes through.
M - Medium to full bodied, quite a high carbonation. Lingering herbal honey sweetness.
D - Certainly not something to session but this is one of the most interesting beers I've had so far. Not for everyone as the honey is very dominating but well worth trying at least once.

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Photo of peabody
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a cloudy light amber with three fingers of white fluffy suds .Some lacing.
Smell is belgian yeast and spices. Nutmeg and corriander and bready goodness.
Taste is bready for sure. A very little sour hint up front with the mellow sweet following. Then the alcohol burn. This is def. 11%. Great Belgian taste here and the burn warms all the way down.
Mouthfeel is a little sticky from all the sugar and that dries out quickly and makes you crave another drink.
If it weren't so high in ABV this would be a great session brew.

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Photo of bark
2.75/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The colour is red-orange-brown; the liquid is very cloudy. The finger thick head sinks quickly to an off-white layer. No lacing.

The smell is yeasty and sweet with some Belgian notes of exotic fruits and orange peels.

The taste is very strong and a bit lemon-sour. Earthy/yeasty notes and a chemical flavour of alcohol and solvents. Broth and sweet exotic fruits; mostly oranges but also some apricots. The quite mild aftertaste got fruity flavours - mixed citric fruits, some spices, a quickly passing bitterness, rye bread and quite a lot of warming alcohol. Dough and lemons in the finish.

The carbonation is strong; the sharp bubbles are very small. The liquid is a bit thick and sticky.

If I didn't know what this was, I would have guessed "a Frensh bière de garde with some lemon peels". I found this one too heavy and... unfinished. Besides, where are the juniper berries?

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well, here's something you don't see every day. I saw a bunch of cases on the floor at Gordon's and one of them said, "Sahti." Not sure what makes sense from a glassware perspective, but the Duvel tulip is a safe bet. 50 cl.

Pours a turbid honey color, indeed with notes of orange zest. Head is about 1/3 finger but it doesn't stay long; it's replaced by what looks like the Milky Way galaxy in the center of the glass, with stars...errr...yeast wisps in the surrounding areas. In this case there's actually a fair amount of rising carbonation. Looks plausible enough so far.

Well, there are the juniper berries and a bit of a barnyard scent faintly reminiscent of a Belgian farmhouse ale. Definitely a whole lot of sweetness and yeast electricity. I can pick off the twigs, too - a little piney and heather-ish. Pretty good but a bit weird.

Let's play word association..."Nogne sahti..."

I got it..."saison on crystal meth."

Now I don't know what the hell crystal meth is, even though I watch Dog the Bounty Hunter every other week. But that's the only way to describe it. Heavy carbonation with a Saison-esque yeast strain and electricity...austere hop and grain profile, lots of honey and those crazy juniper berries. This is like a David Lynch flick. Very entertaining but quite weird. Juniper berries, twigs, leftovers...whatever...they're pretty well dominating. I like it but am a bit disturbed. Oh yeah, it has a viscosity to the honey notes. Pretty damn boozy to say the least.

Sure, there's a boozy burn to this one. It goes between dry and austere and sweet and viscous rather randomly at different points on the palate. Something for everyone, I guess? The juniper does help to clean this out and make it rather dry, compounding the burn. At its core and with warmth it definitely gets to be a more piney version of a saison. I'm liking this more and more as it warms up. A whole lot more.

Purists may indicate that this is not your ancestors' Sahti. Well I wasn't around then so don't ask me...I have no &*(%in' clue. It's definitely some weird stuff, and it's definitely some well-crafted, enjoyable interesting stuff. It's 11% ABV and it shows, but along with the viscosity and booziness it drinks very nicely. I hope I can dig up some of the Goose Island version among others (or a true Finnish version) to sample side-by-side, 'cause this was quite an unexpected treat.

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Photo of Scriba
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The liquid is amber in coulour and a bit hazy (I tried to leave the sediment in the bottle). The head is finger thick and white, but it quickly disappears.

Honey dominates the smell. There is also a smell of Belgian yeast (perhaps like an Belgian blonde).

The honey also dominates the taste. The alcohol is also very present together with the taste of Belgian yeast (horse blanket is perhaps the proper description). There is also a strange bitterness. I don't know if it's the hops or the wormwood.

The CO2 is quite hard. That also makes it quite Belgian.

Under the circumstances (honey and alcohol) it's rather gulpable.

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Photo of Ljunkan
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange yellow colour with a small white head.

Interesting smell of juniper twigs, honey, spices, yeast, flowers, caramel and citrus. Really interesting smell I must say, the honey maybe dominates but there are lot of things going on here.

Taste is sweet with lots of honey, a light acidity, flowers, yeast (presumably belgian), spices, caramel and citrus.

Mouthfeel is nice and filling, very smooth for the high ABV, carbonation is quite soft, medium to full bodied.

Overall this is very drinkable stuff and very interesting. Maybe not what a real "Sahti" should be like but a very tasty, weird ale ...

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Photo of Bananaman
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This was really interesting, both Dugges and Nøgne Ø are great breweries, so I was psyched to try their interpretation of the traditional drink from Finland, Sahti.

The beer pours a brown-orange-yellow color with a fine white-beige head. The bottle is really nice aswell.

Aroma holds a lot of Juniper pines but also notes of caramel and honey. Some Belgian-ish yeast notes aswell. Nice!

Taste is pretty similar to the smell. Lots of juniper pines and honey, but with a nice touch of dried fruits.

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Photo of kittylitter
2.98/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Rich foam, which collapses pretty quickly, At first the smell is much like a Belgian spontaneously fermented beer, but after a while the honey aroma dominates. The taste is rather sweet, again with honey. Reminds me of meed, but even if there is no hops in this beer, there is a slight bitterness, which I guess comes from the juniper berries. Rather interesting beer, and I am an experience richer for trying it. But I'll probably not drink it again.

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Sahti from Nøgne Ø - Det Kompromissløse Bryggeri A/S
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 186 ratings