On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Arctic Circle Ale, Malmgard Brewery, 7.3% ABV
During the holiday season, it’s easy to look towards the great brewing countries to see what holiday ales they’re brewing up. With the selection available on the shelves today, it’s easy to overlook craft breweries from other countries. With its high contrast, graphic label, I was able to spot Arctic Circle Ale on the shelf.
Arctic Circle Ale pours out a dark reddish brown color with ruby hues and a beige colored head. The aroma has a deeply toasted malt character, some caramel notes, and dark fruit quality. The flavor, like the aroma, is malty balance between deep toast and caramel. There’s some dark fruit notes reminiscent of dates and some raisin. There’s also an herbal quality to the flavor. Hop bitterness is medium, possibly medium-high, with a slight tannic quality also. This is a full bodied beer with medium/medium-high carbonation, and a balanced finish.
I haven’t had too many Finnish beers before so I’m just soaking this up. If you hadn’t told me where this beer was from, I’d have guessed it was Belgian-style but with a herbal/earthy character to it. It’s a pleasant change to the beers we’ve been tasting this season.