The beer review

Last week after einar’s guide to post-party awesomeness, AKA known as the hangover’s guide in Reykjavik, we decided to take upon yourselves to try icelandic beer. And not just the regular tap beer, which would be quiet bad, but all the beer you would not find in town.

Though it might be difficult to find some of those in bar, most of the state run liquor shop have those in store.

So, enough talking and let’s drink it up.

Freyja

Sam:
Color: Slightly cloudy but still have a clear color of honey. Rather big bubbles and a light carbonation.
Smell: Honey, that’s the smell. A rather strong smell of honey, though a very pleasant smell of hops counterbalance the sweetness of the honey.
Taste: Delicate and subtle, spices comes rather quickly and add some welcoming bitterness to the beer. A rather long aftertaste remains.

A fresh beer that would definitely accompany a small lunch. A shame that the brewery that made such beer went out of business !

7/10

Einar:
Colour: Gelatinous golden amber, just murky enough to look meadish
Smell: An overwhelmingly pleasant smell of honey and hops.
Taste: It’s a marvelous bitter beer which exibits the non-sweet part of the taste of honey and of course hops.

This tasty marvel might have been brewed explicitly for women, but I don’t care. It’s a taste sensation you will not want to miss! It combines the good bits of two kinds of refreshing beverages, beer and mead. All hail Ölvínsholt brewery (though it’s out of business).

7/10

Gullfoss

Sam:

Colour: Golden with thick white head. Light carbonation and small bubbles.
Smell: A very distinct smell, not really easy to describe, but i’d say but biscuit.
Taste: Almost no carbonation, and no other taste than this biscuit taste, no bitterness no hops.

Very disappointing. A very boring beer that i do not recommend.
3/10

Einar:

Colour: Clear amber with bubbles that would even make the fish in Finding Nemo happy.
Smell: Concretish, smells of manly construction-sites and building cranes!
Taste: It’s unrelentlessly square. No roundness what so ever, it’s a bit like drinking a a big manly c oncrete block! If you don’t want to drink it, build a house with it.

This beer makes no apologies, it’s manly to the end and makes you want to put on a plad shirt and go build something and possibly shoot a deer! It’s like a big ugly builder who can’t even spell his own name, but you just have to love him.

8/10

Bjartur

Sam

Color: Another very clear one. Rather than gold, this one is yellow with a faint reddish aspect.
Smell: Slight smell of hop, some herbs, not very strong or impressive but definitely nice.
Taste:
While at first, almost no taste is present, a couple of second later, taste comes up, and what a taste ! It reminds me of belgian beer with this kind of frutty and a bit dry.

A must try. I’d like to see more of this kind of beer in iceland.

9/10

Einar:

Colour: Amber, clear and clean. Gives a literal meaning to the term “beer-goggles”.
Smell: Unimpressive and unassuming. Smells like a much lesser beer.
Taste: This is the most complex beer I’ve ever drunk. It begins nigh tasteless, but finishes off with a fantabulous roundness, the likes of which I’ve never before tasted. A taste explosion at the end of the cycle that will knock you on your bum.

The expression “the best thing since sliced bread” has now become obsolete. It has now been replaced by “the best thing since Bjartur”. It is absolutely magnificent! [pullquote]It conjures up images of sub-arctic summers out in the country, sitting on a grassy hill drinking beer with good friends.[/pullquote] The fact that it starts out with almost no taste at all is actually better than if the taste would have been consistent, because it comes as a great suprise. It’s comming home to what you expect to be an empty flat, only to find Megan Fox and Jessica Alba wrestling in some form of colourful gelatin.

9/10 – The awesomeness.

El Grillo

Sam:

Colour: No clouds at all, just bright clean.
Smell: Strong smell of various spices but nothing else, no hop no malt. Strange feeling, imagine smelling a wine where no wine smell is detectable.
Taste: Little aroma and no bitterness, the high carbonation makes it very fizzy and that’s the only feeling in mouth you’ll get.. Very poor beer, with few noticeable features.

Though the review isn’t nice, it’s not a bad beer. i’m just picky.
4/10

Einar:
Colour: Clear and golden (as is to be expected from a lager)
Smell: Quite honey-ish, reminds me of spiced mead. It’s not exceptionally inviting but definately interesting and pleasant.
Taste: Quite complex. It starts out bitter, then it turns sour (in a nice way), then it turns bitter and then sour again.

It’s hard not to like this beer, but it’s equally hard to like it. It is a very tasty beer, but it’s trying too hard. It’s like a project partner who is absutively brilliant and hard-working, but who calls you at 3 A.M to consult on ideas.

6.5-7/10

To be continued….

I’m a Swiss expat’ living in Iceland and exploring its possibilities. When i’m not busy guiding or advocating vacation in Iceland, i hang out in Reykjavik and drink coffee.

And yeah, i have met Bjork and the guys of Sigur Rós.

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  1. Dominique

    Def. one of my favourite articles!Really entertaining and it made me laugh a lot. Although I’m not a beer drinker I want to try the “awsomeness-beer” one day :)

    March 25th, 2011 // Reply
  2. Matt Wesp

    Very interesting take on these beers. I am from the US and have not had the chance to taste these yet but I hope to when I travel to Iceland in August.

    April 5th, 2011 // Reply
    • sam

      Don’t worry, beer will still here. If you plan to come around, just bring with you a bottle of a local brewery so we can share it.

      April 5th, 2011 // Reply

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