In order to get me through to the first games of spring training at the end of the month, I ordered a set of DVDs and a book by Andreas Viestad on Norwegian cooking. Norway. Land of Knut. Being a Canadian son of Scots immigrants, much of the food is familiar but formed as if made by that crazy aunt who spend a year studying in Oslo. Potatoes and fish but oddly few internal organs of mammals. Mussels and buttered heavy bread but dill and juniper, too. Berries and cream. Then I remembered the beer.
This beer was found at Bello Vino for 6.99, smoked ale flavoured with juniper. The only juniper ale I've tried was Rogue's Yellow Snow, since renamed merely Juniper Pale Ale. What - they thought a beer named after dog urine had branding issues? The hand of the Shelti are upon this bottle as I see no actual Norwegian name for this brew. Not so much as a "norsk øl"! Would it not cost less to just ship me the beer as labeled locally? I feel like I just got marketed to.
Chestnut ale with a thick meringue head of tan, this stuff smells like smoked fish across the room. In the mouth, much less of a cold ember than Bamburg rauchbier but it is still smoked. And the effect is not as one dimensional as out of the haze pops the drying evergreen note of the juniper, like a couple of well placed drops of gin. The balance makes each much more, well, bearable and gives one visions of hard cheese and cured fish. Malty support with a bit of brown sugar and date. How is it that my Nova Scotia - land of venison and oysters, kippered and pickled herring, blood pudding and haggis, sauerkraut and Lunenburg sausage - never created a beer that could stand with them like this one? A beer for warm buttered oatcakes with honey.