Viking Black Death Beer

Total Score: 6.95/10 Oyster1 Coffee1 Smoke1 Nonicpint1

This ominous sounding Black Death Beer comes from the Viking Brewery in Iceland. Now the other brew I had of theirs – Viking Lager, was indeed a lacklustre beer, but I have heard many good things, whispers from men with long hair and big beards who may or may not have been Icelandic… or Danish… or craft beer geeks… either way lately I’ve had a massive Stout craving and I’m hoping this relatively well-priced Icelandic brew can subside my latest Stout-lust with its roasty charms.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Presents a deep, dark, murky brown sea of Stout with a thin mocha lace that resides to a ring that leaves me wanting for a beautiful nitro can consistency… oh well, can’t really hold it against Viking for not using a draught widget can I? 6/10.

S: Aroma is a promising mélange of roasted coffee bean, oyster, hints of smoke and forest berries (sort of has a Crowberry aroma to it – we all remember Crowberries from my review of HaandBryggeriet’s Kreklingøl – the beer that destroyed my last keyboard). The nose is more dry and smoky than sweet. 7/10.

T: Intriguing, that oyster character really comes through with a salty/meaty (umami) flavour upfront. Following this is: roasted coffee, smoke and dry wild berries in the finish… it’s not quite a Germanic/Japanese looooong dry finish but it’s also not far off it. The saltiness of this beer automatically singles the experience out – salty brews are fairly rare IMO… definitely a beer that makes you go “Hmmm”*. 7/10.

M: Lacking in body with a mid to light wateriness unbecoming of a decent upstanding Stout but oh well, with a light carbonation. 5/10.

D: Overall not a bad effort considering, you know, Iceland and all that… though I must say Iceland compares badly to its Nordic cousin (that mystical place they call: Norway – the nor-est of ways) with brewers like HaandBryggeriet pumping out champion brews such as Norwegian Wood. Which coincidentally is the brew that Black Death Beer reminds me most of, it’s just not as good I’m afraid. 8/10.

Food match: This is one Stout that I would recommend with seafood… specifically: oysters, mussels and scallops.

*“Yeah!” (if you can guess that obscure 90’s music reference I will buy you a beer!)

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