Monday, January 25, 2010
Last friday was "Husband´s Day" or Bóndadagur as we know it in Icelandic. "Husband´s Day" is a day which marks the beginning of the ancient Icelandic month "Þorri". Until the early 1990´s, this day bared no significance except for dinner tradition, but nowadays this day is like a 2nd birthday to men like me, a day when the women go out of their way to surprise their husbands, cook a good meal, give flowers and let open toilet seats and dirty dishes slide.
Luckily, the woman in my life is not only the most beautiful creature on the face of this earth but she is also an exceptional cook, and shares my interest in craft beer. So friday night was going to be special..
For dinner she cooked home made hamburgers. This doesn´t sound like something breathtaking but believe me, it is. Made from scratch with beef purchased straight from the farm, eggs, peppercheese and chili, topped with onions, tomatoes, spinach and dijon mustard, this truly is a thing of exceptional beauty. Being an avid hamburger lover, this hamburger is a work of art, and tastes like God himself made you a hamburger!
With the hamburger I was treated with Kaldi Þorrabjór, from Bruggsmiðjan, a microbrewery in the north of Iceland. This was the 2010 version, a brown amber Vienna with a malty nose. Full bodied with hints of burnt malt. Nice beer, and went down well with the hamburger.
After dinner was the beer that I´ve been waiting a few months for, Ölvisholt Suttungasumbl. A Belgian ale made in a small farmhouse in the south of Iceland. The Ölvisholt brewery is a small company, situated in the south of Iceland in an old barn. The brewery is a bit special and a detailed piece about the brewery is due on this blog and The Hop Press sometime in the near future.
The Suttungasumbl exceeded all expectations. Magnificent orange ale, with a small head. Spicy aroma with obvious tones of yeast and floral hops, with deep layers of something I would tie to an outhouse, and saison aromas. I love it! Faint note of pumpkin as well. The first sips hits you with light bitterness and taste of wild berries balanced perfectly with yeast. The outcome is almost like pumpkin taste! Ölvisholt never fail to impress, and this beer is simply delicious!
The annual "Þorri"-beers are a seasonal product, made for old traditional Icelandic mid-winter food. Dishes like ram´s testicles, putrefied shark, boiled sheep´s head, liver sausage and my favorite, head cheese or brawn made from boiled sheep´s head cured in lactic acid, need beer to go with them!
I almost feel sorry for my friends in New York, not experiencing the Icelandic Husband´s Day, a one way Valentines Day which goes in reverse in next month when we have the annual Woman´s Day!