Before I poured the beer, I was sort of expecting a dark ale of sorts. A beer brewed with tea, and juniper berries that ranks in at 9% alcohol by volume. I was wrong. It is really more of a golden ale.
Brief description from the website:
"A modern update on a 9th century Finnish proto-beer.
Brewed with rye, we caramelize the wort with white hot river rocks, then ferment it with a German Weizen yeast. In addition to juniper berries foraged directly from the Finnish country-side we added a sort of tea made with black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and black pepper.
The spicing is subtle and balanced and Sahtea is a highly-quaffable, truly-unique brew with a full-mouth feel."
- Pours a slightly cloudy bright orange and golden color. A couple of fingers of white foam stuck around briefly, and has left a rather thick creamy island of foam in the center, and a medium sized ring ready to lace up the glass.
- A very herbal, spicy, and somewhat sweet scent strikes first with light brown sugar, spicy nutmeg, clove, grassy pine hops, and candy. Very interesting, and rather good smell. Perhaps the juniper shines through quite a bit and I'm not used to that. Light ginger shines.
- Quite the earthy grain bill. Somewhat sweet, but not overly so.. bit husky, herbal, light citrus zest, juniper, and more herbs. Certainly a sweet clove flavor, perhaps some corn, and strengthy esters. Overall balanced, and quite interesting.. certainly not bad. The tea certainly balanced and rides well towards the finish. Certainly a nice dose of ginger as well. Lot's of the German yeast shows through too with a touch of wheaty banana.
Mouth Feel: (4.5)
- Medium bodied, not very thick. Slightly drying, and leaves the palate a touch puckered. Well carbonated.. almost perfectly. Makes the mouth water. Certainly a beer with a good feel.
- Overall this beer is quite good and worthy of some high marks. It is very unique, and isn't shy on the extra ingredients. Luckily the flavors meld well together, leaving a very flavorful ale which is quite balanced. Certainly one I would say is a must try, and can easily fit in as one of my favorites from the brewer. A brewer in which I have had more beers that I dislike than like. That is slowly changing.
A- / 4.05
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)