Einstök is the number one craft beer in Iceland and is slowly emerging all over the United States. Up for review today is their Doppelbock, a limited edition brew for the holiday season. Their site describes the beer as “malted barley and chocolate tones define the traditional style, while the robust aroma and long, mellow finish make this the perfect companion for holiday adventures.”
Icelandic Doppelbock pours a dark, chocolatey brown with a firm, tan head that rose to just about two fingers at its height. The aroma of chocolate, caramel, barley, and something else I can’t quite put my finger on. Very little carbonation can be seen due to the darkness of the beer. This is a dark, rich looking beer.
The first sip definitely follows the nose with notes of barley, chocolate, caramel and malt. There is also a hint of butterscotch, which might be the aroma I couldn’t quite pinpoint. It is absolutely delightful. There is a slight alcohol taste mixed in, almost like a smooth whiskey on the backend that really gives this beer a nice profile. The amount of carbonation is on the lighter side, a perfect complement to the beer. There is a slight vanilla, oak finish like you would get from a whiskey barrel which is very pleasant.
The mouthfeel is almost syrupy on the tongue but smooth at the same time. It finishes smooth. The flavor profile stayed consistent throughout the session which only invited you to take yet another sip. There was some lacing on the glass to mark your progress but it wasn’t going to remind you of your grandmother’s table with the lace.
At 6.7 percent ABV this beer will warm you during the cold winter months and give you a nice rosy glow in the cheeks. It really would be a pleasant sipping beer any time of the year. I could see myself drinking this around a fall campfire or by the fireplace during the holiday season. I could even drink this on a warm summer night, a perfect nightcap to a good day being outdoors.
Overall this is a really good brew. Einstök has produced some really tasty beers and this one is no different. The one problem I have with it is it is a limited holiday release. If you are a fan of this type of beer, like myself, then you will be happy. It is a rich, smooth offering that lives up to the Doppelbock standard. This is a fun beer and another home run by Einstök.
Einstök is quickly becoming a major factor in the American beer market. If you have ever tried them you will know why. Brewed in the small fishing port of Akureyri, Iceland, Einstök brews four year-round offerings and three seasonal beers. Their Icelandic White Ale will be the third beer we have reviewed from them. You can read the other reviews here and here.
Einstök Icelandic White Ale pours and slightly hazy, pale, yellow. The white, foamy head stoop about one-and-a-half fingers tall at its height. Tiny bubbles can be seen rushing to the surface. It looks light and refreshing. The aroma is one of yeast and coriander. It is a subtle aroma, just enough to invite you in to sip.
Icelandic White Ale has a unique taste among other white ales I have tasted. You get the yeast and some orange notes. This has your typical white ale flavors but it stands out to me. It has that little signature that lets you know you are drinking an Einstök. Maybe it is the water they use, glacial water is what they advertise. The main flavors are a little malt, yeast, orange citrus, and a tiny bit of hops. It feels light and crisp in the mouth with a moderate amount of carbonation. It finishes smooth, however, with a tiny kick of spice mixed in. It is a pretty refreshing beer. The crispness makes you want another sip before the first is done and the smoothness is almost as if the beer is agreeing with you and going down easy to accommodate you.
Overall, this is a beer you can drink year round. The refreshing taste makes it a little more of a summer beer for me. It is crisp and smooth so it goes well any time though. No one flavor dominates and all work together to bring you a very good beer. The only complaint is price. If this were just a tad cheaper Icelandic White Ale would be a go-to. At 5.2% ABV it can be had at any time you feel like having a brew. The one true complaint I have is that they don’t sell this in 12-packs or cases.
Einstök’s Icelandic Arctic Berry Ale is a limited release witbier flavored with bilberries grown near the Arctic Circle. This ale comes in at 5.2% ABV and should be found wherever Einstök is sold near you.
Upon pour you notice that cloudy golden yellow that is typical with witbiers. It pours with a nice, thick white foamy head that is creamy and laces the glass beautifully. You notice a pleasant aroma of berries that teases your taste buds. It isn’t overpowering but it is evident that bilberries will definitely be playing a role in the flavor.
The first sip is pleasant with berry playing an obvious role. Einstök has managed to produce a beer that allows the berry to come through but also doesn’t overpower the beverage or taste artificial as can be the case in so many berry-flavored offerings. The sweetness and slight tartness plays well with the malt and hops.
It is medium-bodied and very smooth. You will get some malt on the back with a little hops. The malt and hops really play second fiddle to the berry here. There is moderate carbonation that lasted throughout the drink.
This is a solid summer beer. The berry flavor is unique and the bilberries taste a little like a strawberry and raspberry had a three-way with a blackberry. It really is unique and refreshing. The witbier needs to be slightly more up front, however. Still, this is a fun beer that would pair well with raiding the beach or just settling in by the lake. You can add it to your summer BBQ feasts and conquer a couple in a sitting with no problem.