Archive for the ‘Scandinavian Ale’ Category

IPA Week: Mikkeller Simcoe Single Hop IPA

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

While Mikkeller is officially located in København, Denmark, head brewer and co-creator Mikkel Borg Bjergs refers to himself as a “gipsy-brewer” for his habit of brewing in facilities located around Europe and the world. The Simcoe Single Hop IPA, for instance, was brewed at the De Proefbrouwerij in Lochristi, Belgium.

2009-07-05-mikkellerThe Mikkeller Simcoe Single Hop has a rich hoppy aroma that draws your attention from across the table. A thick citrus and delicate floral hop nose dominates, rich and round and full. Just a hint of toasty pale malt comes through as well. A generous pillow of creamy beige head sits atop a very hazy caramel-colored beer with plenty of chunks of yeast at the bottom.

A bitterness that is quite strong but not at all sharp hides the delicate hop flavor to some extent. Light citric and flowery hops meet the tip and sides of the tongue while the pervasive bitterness rides up the middle. Just sweet enough to give a solid creamy palate, this beer avoids being overpowered by the hop bitterness or the active carbonation. The problem with beers that have amazing aromas is that no matter how good the flavor is it will always be just a little bit disappointing. Likewise with the Simcoe Single Hop: the wonderful flavor is overshadowed by the near-perfect aroma.

Overall an incredible IPA. Despite being almost 7% alcohol this beer has a great delicate character that makes it way too sessionable. If I had several around I’d easily get myself in trouble.

++Mikkeller Simcoe Single Hop IPA

4.3 (4-9-8-5-17)

12 Beers of X-Mas: Oppigårds Winter Ale

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

I know I have been slow with updates. Well… deal with it.

This evening I had a bottle of Oppigårds Winter ale. It is brewed by the Oppigårds Bryggeri in Hedemora, Sweden. It pours a lightly hazy mahogany with some straw head. The aroma is light: light with alcohol, light with hops, light with spices like coriander. There is also a bit of medicinal phenol aroma.

The flavor is refreshing and light, with a playful carbonation. There is a slight sharpness (perhaps alcohol) on the front and sides of the tongue. There is a strong hop bitterness on the middle and just a hint of sweetness at the back. There is a bit of a roast character as well. Overall the taste is balanced and smooth, a bit too smooth.

+Oppigårds Winter Ale

3.4 (3-6-7-4-14)