Sunday, February 12, 2012

Magic Hat Juniper Rye

A typical Finnish Sahti is a style of beer brewed with rye and juniper berries and fermented with wild yeast. Magic Hat's Juniper Rye is brewed with both rye and juniper berries but fermented with an English Ale yeast. I sampled it at Junior's on Main St.  - can be found only on draught at various locations. Junior's recently got a very nice draught tower currently with three beers on tap. Stop in for great beer and pizza.

Alcohol Content: 7.2%
IBU: 25
Malts: 2-Row Pale, Rye Malt, Cara Vienna, Carafa
Hops: Northern Brewery
Adjuncts: Juniper Berries

Price: $5.25
Medium: Served in a regular pint glass

Aroma: A dominantly spicy and herbal aroma with a bit of a pepper kick to it. There in lies some bready malts and earthy/ somewhat piney hops. The pine nose could be more consistent with the use of juniper berries over the NB hops. Minimally sweet and slightly toasted malt backbone.
Appearance: Presented a slightly hazy, deep amber color. Poured for a rather thin, white-ish head that started to fade after a few sips, keeping to the sides of the glass.
Flavor: Some butterscotch/ toffee qualities and a slightly toasted sweetness in the beginning. This is quickly overrun by a spicy graininess and a hint of pine in the bitterness. The finish was moderately dry with an herbal tea-like spice. The presence of juniper berries was only slightly apparent about mid-taste. A nice balance of spice and sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Although spicy, I was impressed with the smoothness from start to finish. There's also a nice warming sensation from the alcohol content which paired with the spicy graininess. Moderate body and some creaminess. Also a bit chewy, possibly from a large amount of unfermentable sugars.
Overall Impression: I figure this to be one of the best beers that Magic Hat has introduced. However, I would have liked to see more of a presence from the juniper berries. If you like this then you would definitely like Goose Island's Mild Winter.

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