Friday, July 12, 2013

HAANDBRYGGERIET's SOUR/WILD "BLÅBIC"

It's time to talk Norwegian beers again here at Beer Samizdat, and this time we're going to be championing our favorites in that great land, and indeed our favorite in all of the Nordics - HAANDBRYGGERIET. You may recall the interview I did with Jens Maudal from Haandbryggeriet here. One of his beers that I brought back with me from my April visit to his country was  "BLÅBIC", a sour/wild blueberry ale that I had understood to be only available in Norway - until I, A.) saw it at Jane's Beer Store in Mountain View, CA, and B.) spied the "California redemption value" inscription on the bottle I'd hauled home from Oslo. So that's good! Now you Yankees get to try it too!

"BLÅBIC" pours a brownish black color, and it's clear right away that there's a ton of cloudy yeasty sediment floating around. I did not know it was a sour until I tasted it, thinking that it might be a fruity stout of some kind - uh, no, that's a sour. Made with lambic yeast, and aged in oak barrels for one year. Mine was brewed in 2011, and bottled in late 2012. Definitely a general fruitiness in this one, but it's hard for me to specifically pick out blueberries. It's quite luscious, with yeasts that wrap around the tongue. After an initial attack on the senses, the beer evens out, and becomes a real smooth swallow. A nice treat. I'd call it one of their "high-end" beers, but with Haandbryggeriet, they're all high-end beers. 8/10.

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