Let’s Drink Beer – Sam Adam’s Norse Legend (Sahti)
I got suckered into buying this because the back of the bottle claims: “Legend has it that barrels of this ancient brew were found on sunken Viking ships.”
I know it’s bullshit advertising, but man. Why wouldn’t I want to try it? It’s escapism in a beer. I can pretend to be a Viking while drinking it.
Color when poured is a dark, nearly opaque brown, with a thick off-white head. I can feel the ship’s deck rolling beneath my feet.
It smells like a Killian’s Irish Red, before Killian’s changed the recipe. However, there is a firm overtone of fruit. Makes sense, as Norse Legend was (according to the label – and perhaps ancient prophecies?) brewed using juniper berries and aged on juniper berries.
Holy shit this is good beer. Why don’t I have a stein? I feel like I am disrespecting my noble Viking comrades by not drinking this out of a stein. I hang my head in shame, and my horned helm slips forward on my head.
It’s 7% ABV, which seems a bit light for a (supposedly) Viking brew. And it’s smooth!
It’s a mild flavor that comes through on the front and sides of the tongue. I’m not a fan of fruit beers; I think I bring that up all the time in beer reviews. But this juniper berry thing? Yeah, that’s working for me. It isn’t packed with citrus or loaded with sweetness. Just a very light touch that lets you know something’s in there. It might be too light for some – I had hoped for something a little bit rougher, but the absence of over-fruitiness is nice so it worked out for me.
And…and now it is gone, just like the way of my people, the Vikings. Let us rest our swords, raise our bearded heads towards the setting sun, and lament that all things in time must perish from this earth. Farewell, sahti! Come, valkyries, take this mighty ale to Valhalla, for it was the noblest of juniper berry beers and fierce in battle. My heart will be in fimbulwinter until we meet again on the plains of Vigrid at Ragnarok!