Off Color Bare Bear

Since I’ve been getting home before Val lately, I’ve been watching a lot of documentary series on Netflix. I just finished a series on historic British murders. Now, I’m watching a documentary series on the mysteries of history. This episode specifically is about the history of Abraham Lincoln. I’m absolutely loving this. Anyways, beer.


ABV: 7%

Style: Sahti

Trivia: According to brewery website, “Bare Bear, at 7% ABV, is actually fairly weak when compared to traditional examples that would range from 7 to 9% ABV. We also don’t use any of the traditional equipment, because, well, we don’t have it. But we do add juniper berries to the mash and then again in the kettle along with oak staves that impart a tannic character to the final beer. We use a saison yeast instead of bread yeast because we like it better and we use stainless steel fermenters instead of milk jugs because we are a commercial brewery and our customers would probably get mad if we served the beer flat out of old milk jugs. Consumers today are way to particular for my tastes.”

Random: We have a lot of birds in the front yard. I love watching them since we have so many different species.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy mahogany color with no carbonation due to how dark the beer was. On the nose, I picked up caramel malt, brown sugar with a touch of fresh spearmint. The taste was much less sweet than the nose. I tasted juniper berries, peppermint and spearmint. Then, there was some plum sweetness with grain and toast. The body was light with equally minimal carbonation. The booze didn’t come through on the taste. It had a quick and herbal finish. A single bottle of this was $3, which broke down to $.25 per ounce. I thought this was an interesting beer and enjoyed it, although some of the flavors were a bit disjointed.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Samuel Adams Norse Legend

This was the first beer that I had at The Spot in Point Pleasant (check out my Beer Bars/Restaurant section for a review). It’s actually getting difficult for me to order beers even at decent beer places because I’ve reviewed so many. This was one of the two beers on tap that I hadn’t reviewed (of course I had the other one right after to review). So, here’s one of the newer offerings from Sam Adams.

ABV: 7%

Style: Sahti

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “One of the key characteristics of Sahti is its juniper flavor. Traditionally this was achieved through filtering through full juniper branches. Although this works well through the hand-carved kuurna, (wooden trough), it proved to be quite a challenge in our brewery. With some more experimentation we developed a recipe where we age the beer on a bed of juniper berries that impart an herbal, woodsy, and fresh evergreen character. The distinctive juniper is combined with the dry spiciness of rye and a base of roasted sweetness from specialty malts. Hallertau Mittelfrueh hops bring a fresh citrus flavor that perfectly complements the brew’s rugged character.”

Random: I’m really liking how Sam Adams is going outside of the box and making these styles. I think it will get more people into some of the more obscure styles.

This one poured with a thick, one finger, off white head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear mahogany color with moderate carbonation. The nose was light, lighter than I expected, actually, with a little bit of spruce. That was a bit of a disappointment. I like when I get a unique, big nose from a brew like this. But, the taste definitely made up for it. It started with some sweetness and then went to nuttiness and then the herbs came out. I got pronounced spruce and juniper. The taste was much milder than I expected, but I think it made it more accessible to someone who hasn’t had the style before. The booze wasn’t a factor in this and the brew finished quickly. Although I would have it again and I really enjoyed it, it could use a slight increase in the flavor. Worth a shot.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Dogfish Head Sah’tea

This humidity is killing me. One of the benefits of living in New Jersey is the disgusting and constant humidity of the summer. Anyways, nothing really exciting today. Work was…well, work. Another crazy day, but at least I only have one more day before the weekend. So, the beer that I’m having tonight is part of the Ancient Ales series by DFH. And yes, although this is a beer that I really wanted to try, I am having it now so that I can get the Ancient Ales badge on Untappd. If you’re on there, feel free to add me by the way. So, here goes.

ABV: 9%

Style: Sahti

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “Sahti is a traditional beer from Finland made from a variety of grains, malted and unmalted, including barley, rye, wheat, and oats; sometimes bread made from these grains is fermented instead of malt itself. Traditionally the beer is flavored with juniper berries in addition to, or instead of, hops; the mash is filtered through juniper twigs through a trough shaped tun called a kuurna in Finnish. Sahti has a distinct banana flavor due to the yeast. Sahti is a top-fermented brew (ale), and while baking yeast has been used traditionally, ale yeast may also be used in fermenting. The end product is a cloudy, mildly alcoholic beer with yeasty and phenolic flavors and distinct taste similar to banana. Sahti is traditionally homebrewed but in recent years commercial versions have become available. Commercial Sahti usually has around 8 percent ABV. Due to its higher percentage of alcohol Sahti is only sold in pubs or state-owned Alko stores. Sahti has to be stored cold until consumption and is therefore not available in all Alko branches.”

Random: This is my first sahti.

This brew poured with a one finger pure white head that dissipated moderately and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear yellow color with lots of active carbonation on it. The nose was crazy fragrant. I definitely got the chai tea with lots of clove and nutmeg. I also got a bit of juniper and fruit. This was definitely one of the more interesting fragrances I’ve ever gotten on a brew. On the taste I got much of what was in the nose. I got chai, earthiness, juniper and cloves. Lots and lots of cloves. The body itself was a moderate thickness and the carbonation didn’t come through as much as I thought. Due to the intense spice, this is definitely a sipping beer. The finish lingered with lots of chai spice. Although it’s very interesting, it was my least favorite of the Ancient Ales. Worth a try, but split the bomber.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0