Dogfish Head Brewery Style: Sahti  Alcohol by vol: 9.0% IBU’s: Availability: limited release

Here’s an interesting beer from Milton, Delaware’s Dogfish Head Brewery.  The Sah’tea is Dogfish’s take on a 9th century Finnish ‘proto-beer’ according to the brewery’s web site.  My roommate had a bottle sitting around in our pantry so one night last week we popped it open and poured a few glasses.

Appearance: The beer poured real nice showing a great head on top of a cloudy but very inviting, citrusy, copper colored body.  Lots of yeast particles floating around in this one…like a snow globe, but forgivable in this case being such an intricate beer fermented with a German Weizen yeast to keep the beer opaque.

Aroma: Sah’tea is brewed with juniper berries imported from Finland which was the first thing I noticed in the beer’s aroma.  Very raisin-like smell with a hint of booze. Noticed a Chai smell too I t hink

Taste: Really pleasant with a soft but tart mouthfeel.  Also noticed a bit of sour apple in there.  The bitterness is definitely highlighted by  the unique specialty spices.  The brewers added a tea made from cardamom (a type of ginger), cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and black pepper which play nicely for a lingering aftertaste.

Final thoughts?: I liked it.  A solid beer if you can get over the yeasty appearance and it drinks really well considering all the stuff that was tossed in this beer during the brew.  I also think the brewing process of this beer is cool using hot river rocks in the kettle, nodding to long-lost brewing methods.  Drink this beer quick though.  As it sits a lot of the alcohol begins to creep up and creates a hot, boozey flavor that usually competes with the beer’s natural taste. Drink this beer out of a glass for full effect

Style: Sahti  Alcohol by vol: 9.0% IBU’s: Availability: limited release

Unofficial Rating: B

Bottoms up!

Dogfish Head’s founder/owner Sam Calagione discusses his version of Sahti

ps.  if you’ve never seen the show Brewmasters which aired on the Discovery Channel about 6 months ago, check it out. It shows how Calagione and his staff come up with the ideas/recipes of their special releases while also giving you an inside look into what it’s like running a large-scale craft brewery.

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