Total Score: 6.95/10
Well this is a new brewer in my lexicon, my brexicon if you will: Ægir Bryggeri. This Norwegian brewpub has been touted as one of the world’s most beautiful, situated at the foot of a fjord with mountains all around it, the building itself has been built in the style of a medieval stave church – it looks like it belongs in an episode of Vikings. Anyhow Ægir India Pale Ale, named after the Norse god of brewing, is an American IPA made by Ægir Bryggeri’s American ex-pat head brewer. Apparently it is a West-Coast style IPA. TBH I was hoping this beer would be something Norwegian and crazy like the stuff Haandbryggeriet brew with Sea Buckthorne or Juniper twigs, but I’ll settle for a US-style IPA (if it’s decent).
Poured from a 330ml can (ooo, it has the same lids as Colonial that lift off the can!) into a nonic pint.
A: Cloudy deep amber body with a two centimetre off-white cappuccino foam head that leaves some decent lacework on the side of the glass. Proper looking IPA this is, I think Ægir himself would approve (if he even drinks IPAs… of course he does! What kind of brewing god wouldn’t like an IPA? Maybe Bhairava…). 8/10.
S: Hmmm, piney and earthy definitely, but there’s something quite sweet in there as well… orange Starburst candy with a slight butterscotch character (Diacetyl likely). Understandably this brew has traversed quite a distance to get here so it’s not likely to be a miniature hop garden, however it doesn’t stand up to a few of the better West-Coast IPAs out there like Deschutes, Sierra Nevada or Stone. 6/10.
T: Interesting dryness throughout the palate, which is driven by piney/earthy hops with a dried herb bitterness that is slightly assertive but well within the scope of an IPA. What I originally whiffed as butterscotch is actually caramel malts, and there is also a blood orange bitterness in the finish. Aftertaste is drying herbal notes and bitter blood orange. This is different from most IPAs with its focus on drier herbal characters setting it apart from the pack. 7/10.
M: The body is a real winner with this brew being medium bodied, with a decent amount of hop oils and a light but dense carbonation. 8/10.
D: A reasonably tasty IPA, though the hops have definitely altered during the long voyage to Australia, this still managed not to be a waste of time, and in fact I felt like I could down another 5-6 of these before I was truly over it [most beers fail to hold my attention for 2-3 beers these days anyway]. 7/10.
Food match: Great Odin’s Raven, roasted, along with some French fries.