Wednesday, August 22, 2012
from the middle of the atlantic ocean
If you thought that Iceland was in the middle of nowhere, check again. Just south of the Island, towards the coast of Scotland are small islands called the Faroe Islands. A very small country with a delightful language and proud people.
When I received this as a gift at work I was surprised but also happy, because although the Faroe islands are not far away, this is something I dont see every day and is rather hard to get hands over.
What I gather is that Okkara started out as a microbrewery in an abandoned chicken farm in Tórshavn. They have only been operating since 2010 and export to Denmark as well as trying to battle the other Faroe brewery, Foroya, at their home ground.
Looking over their catalogue of beer nothing seems out of the norm, typical northern European brewery brewing mainly lager beers, but nothing is as it appears. They are trying something different, they have an imperial porter as their flagship export beer and their last christmas beer was a barley wine.
Out of these five that I got I could not wait to get my hands on two of them, the very interesting Okkara Rinkusteinar and the Okkara Brendan, a 2,500 bottle batch of a hoppy quad.
They did not disappoint. Of Okkara Rinkusteina I was not expecting much, it´s an ale that has been filtered with hot rocks, something that is a bit cliché and touristy when you think about but the beer was a bit special. It had this dry hoppy bitterness without the floral and fruity aspect of the hops. A fine ale that would accommodate every dish of Scandinavian cuisine very well. A fun experience and definitely something out of the norm.
The quad was something else and it also brings me to the never ending discussion of over hyped Belgian beers. I swear to you, if this had the Rochefort label or of some other famous Belgian this would be thought as one of the most sought after beers in the world.
Dark brown, cloudy with a small film of a head. Massive aroma of spices, candy, sugar, caramel and sweets. Very yeasty but perfectly balanced by the hops as they leave you with a fantastic aftertaste of rock sugar, yeast and caramel. The only downfall is that the beer is maybe a bit too young but oh boy, will this be massive if aged for a year or two. I liked the fact that this was a big Belgian, and it was very well masked and it also did not leave you with an overly sweet palate after each sip.
The porter sits now in my fridge waiting to battle an all new Iceland porter coming soon, more on that later