Sahti (New Belgium Brewing Co.)

The Lips of Faith series is New Belgium Brewing’s fun series.  Well, at least I think it is.  Usually there are more sours than any other type of beer in that series but this time around I found their Sahti.  A Sahti is a traditional Finnish rye ale that is brewed with juniper.  This one however had some lemon and orange peel added to it for a little extra something.  I’ve had rye ales before and ales brewed with juniper but it’s pretty rare to find them mixed.  In fact I’ve had one other Sahti ale before.  This one was called Sah’Tea and was brewed by Dogfish Head Brewery.  This one is different from New Belgium’s because of two things.  The first is the addition of Black Tea to the beer (hence the Tea part of the name).  The second was the method of production.  Their method involved heating rocks and adding them to the wort for the boil.  This adds a nice caramelization of some of the wort for a nice flavor addition.  But this review isn’t about that one (but I do highly recommend it if you can find some) instead it’s about New Belgium’s Sahti.

The color of the body is a light coppery amber with an off white head and has a very clear appearance.  The aroma is malty, sweet, and citrusy (mostly lemony).  The taste is sweet with some juniper bitterness (at least that’s what I assume since there was an earthy taste I couldn’t identify), slightly citrusy, grainy (from the rye), and a hint of caramel.  The mouth feel was very similar to most amber ales which makes sense being that this was an amber ale.  I liked it but Amber thinks it tastes like fat tire (perhaps she needs to be reminded of what that tastes like).  When it was super cold it did.  I’m also working without aroma since I was cooking. It’s true.  She was cooking and I have more trouble with aroma and taste when she is cooking.

I didn’t know that Sahti ales were just rye ales brewed with juniper until I looked into it for this review.  Being familiar with the Dogfish Head one I assumed it was more the method than the ingredients.  That being said before I knew this I had received my next kits for brewing and one happens to be a juniper rye ale.  We’ll see how that comes out, but for now I’ll be drinking more of this so I know what I’m aiming for.



One response to “Sahti (New Belgium Brewing Co.)

  1. I really like the photo of this one. Ale with juniper makes me think of gin! I don’t think I’ve ever had a rye ale either. I wonder what that’s like…

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