Monday, December 30, 2013
Hammerheart Jormangandrsblod Ale
HammerHeart JB (so reads the growler cap)…somebody's blood. J somebody. (Jormangandrsblod, I learned (because I forgot) via BeerAdvocate.com, and not their very out-of-date website. It means Jormang Anders Blood. Maybe. Whoever that was....Okay, I googled it, it's the Midgard Serpent in Norse mythology. I thought it had a different name. Should have read those "Thor" comic books more carefully.) A red ale of some kind. Or rye ale? We'll figure it out. If I remember right, it's about 7.5% ABV.
On the back, the following quote from The Poetic Edda"
"Tis the best of drinking if back one brings his wisdom with him home." I didn't know Yoda was Norwegian. (I'm sure it rhymes in the original.)
Appearance: highly hazed, rich burgundy coloring, reddish-brown,
big, beautiful head, drifts down, leaves lace, slightly off-white.
Aroma: Sweet malt spills out, matched ably by a handful of hops. Rich and malty. Complex and invigorating. Lively and lovable.
Taste: In the mouth, alcohol hangs hardest, malt is strong and full. Full-bodied, with rising alcohol feeling invading the all avenues of the senses. It nearly stings, and it's not even that strong. Minor hop play perceived, just enough to keep the malt in check.
Hammerheart is quite an interesting brewery. I paid them my first visit yesterday, and was impressed with their operation. Wanted to take one, maybe two growlers home, and found they were priced from $15-$30. And I had just left a new, small brewery whose growlers were all priced at $16, and thought that too high for the quality. The first tier pricing was for the lower gravity beers, but I like every other beer geek in the U.S. of A., I want the big stuff. (Luckily I got a bit of a price break.)So, they have a blonde ale, an IPA, a brown ale and others for those who just want a beer, and aren't into an intense experience.
What if a place like this wasn't so far away, what if they were right in the heart of the city? I might be there every day. They are in Lino Lakes because that's where the owners live, naturally, but they're making big and interesting enough beers that fans of the stuff are driving up there from all over. The tap room is only open two days a week, and days when I normally work, which is why it took me six months to get up there.
At yesterday's visit, there were 12 beers on tap, 4 of which were barrel-aged, bourbon and brandy. Shields and swords on the wall, as well as all manner of nordic paraphernalia. A real mix of people, too, beer geeks plus local yokels, and curious onlookers.
So, what do I think about this beer? It's bigger and bolder than any "red ale" ought to be, and this designation of a "red ale" should be merely viewed as a suggestion, only. 7.5% ABV, also, should not feel so "hot", but it does. And I am liking this, but I don't think there's any possibility I can finish this in one night. To be continued….