Let’s Settle This Like Adults, Finland

This beer got the attention of the media visiting Finland when Trumputin met in Helsinki. I have to say it was a great idea to come up with a beer for the occasion, and I am sure this marketing attempt helped this microbrewery a lot on their way to become an internationally known brand.

Appearance. It took me by surprise to see that the beer is a bit cloudy. Colour is very pale. Too pale. A great, white, beautiful head, atypical to pale lagers, but naturally it disappeared quickly. 2.5 stars

Aroma. Not much of an aroma. I tried to find something significant in the aroma, but I failed. 2,5 stars

Taste. Just a hint better than a typical bulk lager. Has to be finished while cold, otherwise the taste is just… No real aftertaste. 2.75

Mouthfeel. It is an OK basic lager, best when it’s chilled enough. 3 stars

Overall. Unfortunately there is not much to add. Basic, boring, no-real-taste lager. Not something a microbrewery should brew. 2.75

Sadly this lager is boring. It is not much better than Heineken, Lapin kulta or Carlsberg. That might be the whole idea in the end, since so many beers were given to international media representatives, and not to professional beer drinkers. Kudos for the idea though!

I have to say that I believe lagers and pilsners will be a “new” trend in microbrewing in the upcoming years. So many different things have now been tested, and the time of focusing on hops seems to be a bit passé. I believe that with some interesting yeasts lager will make its way to microbreweries.

Final rating: 2,7 stars.

Let’s settle this like adults, RPS Brewing, Finland, ABV 4,7%, IBU 20

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Blanche Bio Wit, Belgium

Brunehaut has some interesting gluten free beers, so I decided to try their witbier. I did not really have any expectations, I’ve had some gluten free beers, and most of them have not been anything special. However, I decided to try this one with an open mind, as I usually do with any beer. Belgian wit is not one of my specialities, but it is a clear cut style, therefore easy to rate.

Appearance. Cloudy, light honey-toffee-yellow coloured, a bit darker than wit beers usually are, not so dense of a head, but a nice head, which disappears quickly. 3 stars

Aroma. Quite neutral, yeasty, low malty sweetness, fruity. 3 stars

Taste. Too neutral, hard to find notes of anything. Low grain-flavour, lactic. Yeasty aftertaste. 2,5 stars

Mouthfeel. Light body, carbonated, light acidity. 2,75 stars

Overall. Overall neutral impression. Easy to drink, good as a cold beer on a hot summer day. Not a memorable beer. Refreshing – definitely, tasty – not so much. 2,75 stars

Extra. Great to see more and more organic beers, highly appreciated! I love the magpie on the label!

Final rating 2,75 stars.

Blanche Bio Wit, Brunehaut, Belgium, ABV 5,5%, IBU –

Brown Ale, Finland

Brown Ales, yes again one of my absolutely favourite beer styles (yes there are quite a few). Unfortunately either Finns do not drink brown ales, or Finnish breweries do not brew them. It is extremely hard to find brown ales here. Every time I find one, I definitely try that one. Hint to Finnish breweries: brew brown ales! At least Nordic Brewery did it!

Appearance. Dark brown colour, thick toffee colour once the beer has warmed up. A bit (too) cloudy. A minimal head. 3,5 stars

Aroma. Light, a bit sweet malt aroma with hints of toffee and wood. 3 stars

Taste. Moderate malt sweetness, toasted. Low to moderate bitterness. A hint of earthy hop flavour. I would like to have a sweeter aftertaste. 3,25 stars

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body, low carbonation. 3 stars

Overall. An easy to drink brown ale, not really memorable, but that could be fixed with a few improvements. Could be a bit sweeter, with more toffee or caramel flavour and taste. 3,25 stars

Extra. I appreciate all the info on the label; malts, hops, “suitable for vegans” etc. Highly appreciated!

Final rating: 3,25 stars

Brown Ale, Nordic Brewery, Finland, ABV 5,4%, IBU /EBU 35, EBC 60

Kutuaika, Finland

I have to say I admire breweries that brew lagers. Yes, it takes a long times, yes it takes some skills, and yes, if you brew a good one you’ve made a friend in me. If you brew a good dark lager you might not get rid of me!

Panimo Kiiski has brewed a very nice Czech style dark lager. I am definitely a malt lover, well a malt nerd, and I find it hard to get ahold of decent dark lagers in Finland. My search is over! 🙂

Appearance. That beautiful woodish brown colour, until you look at it in better light, because then it turns to an awesome amber colour. It’s a clear beer with a too small head which disappears quickly. 4,5 stars

Smell. Quite neural, almost commercial big brewery dark lager smell. Absolutely smells like a true dark lager! Hints of roasty and sweet malts. 3,75 stars

Taste. It has that smooth and nice roast, complex malty taste which lingers in your mouth. Some sweetness, especially the aftertaste. Good balance. 4,25 stars

Mouthfeel. Quite flat, smooth, low carbonation, mildly creamy. 4 stars

Overall. A great dark lager experience. Definitely fits the bill, brewed according to style. Respect! 4,25 stars

Final rating: 4,1 stars

Kutuaika, Panimo Kiiski, Finland, ABV 5,5%, IBU 34

Vana Kalur, Estonia

Beer has a special place in my heart, and I can honestly say it is one of the great joys of life to be able to taste so many beers from all around our globe. I should have started blogging about beer years and years ago, but it took me until today to start my own craft beer blog.

When I lived in Estonia I was lucky enough to taste pretty much every single local craft beer available (plus a distinctive amount of foreign beers). I am especially fond of a couple of breweries, and I think about some of the beers even today (it’s as bad as it sounds).

This is why I wanted to start my blog with a good, solid Estonian favourite of mine; Vana Kalur by Veldi Ja Tütred brewed in the beautiful Lahemaa national park. I am a dark beer nerd, no doubt about it, and porter is definitely one of my favourite beer styles.  Vana kalur does not fail a porter lover like me.

Today I made the conscious mistake of starting to drink this porter at fridge temperature. That has definitely an affect on the beer, but it quickly warmed up to the right temperature. Unlike quite a few other beer tasters I look for good beers in the long run, which means that I like to taste the same beer several times, from different batches, to see that the quality holds up to my (and hopefully the brewery’s) standards.

Unfortunately with so many microbreweries popping up left and right I have experienced that the quality of  beers can quite radically change from batch to batch. Of course good brewers try to perfect their products, but sometimes it does not quite work that well… However, Vana kalur has tasted pretty much the same every time I’ve tried it.

Appearance. Nice small head, dark opaque brown colour, creamy, solid look of an English porter.  4,75 stars

Smell. When you smell it you know you’re dealing with a porter. A hint of burnt coffee, some sweet notes, toasted malts. Could be a bit more fragrant. Surprisingly does not smell of alcohol. 4 stars

Taste. Solid porter. Pleasant aftertaste (which is really important to me). Medium sweetness, hint of roasted malts. 4,25 stars

Mouthfeel. Lighter body than expected, smooth, pleasant. 4 stars

Overall. Easy to drink, lighter feel to it than expected. A very pleasant porter for whenever a porter is needed. Highly recommended, an easygoing beer by the bonfire in the summer of after sauna by the fire during winter. 4,25 stars

Extra. I am usually very good at spotting how much alcohol there is in a brew. In this case I would never guess 7,1%, takes me by surprise every time, even though I know the percentage.

Final rating: 4,1 stars

Vana Kalur, Veldi Ja Tütred, Estonia, ABV 7,1%, IBU –