Style: Smoked rye beer
Brewery: Svartbergets Fjällbryggeri
Svartbergets opened in 2017 and brew in a restaurant basement in Åre. It is also the brewery that is highest above sea level in Sweden. First released in 2018, this is a rye based beer that has been produced using smoked malts. They are well known for their strawberry kettle sour called Strawberry Hills Forever. This beer actually only arrived at work about 2 hours before the tasting, so I was very relieved when the package turned up! I love smoked beers, and not enough people have experienced them, so this was the perfect finale for the tasting.
This was dark copper to amber in colour, with a long-lasting fluffy beige head. The body was average for the style, with a medium body and light lacing present. The aroma was that blend you only get with smoked beers: BBQ, bacon, campfires and toast. I absolutely love the smell of smoked beers, and when they are made well, it is just delightful to inhale. The smoke level in this beer was about perfect, with the notes coming through well without being ashtray level overpowering. The taste was medium to full, with the rye notes combining nicely with the toast, dried fruit, wood and ham flavours. The mouthful with medium again at first, moving to rather dry in the aftertaste. The smoke lingered lightly on the palate, along with some raisin and resin notes after swallowing.
I understand that not everyone likes smoked beers, but I think it’s a great and underappreciated style. Big wood smoke notes coupled with the sweet malts and dry finish made this beer very easy to drink and enjoyable. This was a great smoked beer and I can’t wait to try this with some nice slow cooked ribs or burgers.