HammerHeart Brewing Company
Löly Sahti Ale
HammerHeart Brewing Company Löly (8.9% alcohol by volume) is Sahti Ale, a traditional farmhouse ale from Finland that is at least 500 years old. Evidence of similar beer on a sunken Viking ship dates back to the 9th century. Nordic farmers made beer with whatever they had on hand, using a variety of malted and unmalted grains including barley, rye and oats. Instead of hops, they seasoned the beer with juniper and they filtered the mash by pouring it through juniper twigs. The beer is often heated but not boiled. Modern brewers may use some hops for their antiseptic qualities. Yeasts were typically reused, handed down for generations and shared among neighbors. The aromas from popping the can signal that you have a real rustic beer in hand. Löly has a spicy nose with juniper leading, some light wood notes and a few funky and spicy yeast notes. The aromas reveal a rustic yeast treated very well. The beer pours brilliant copper brown under a 2’ beige head with good retention.
The malt flavors are rich. Some dark sugars first hit the tongue joined by dark dried fruit, berries, juniper. A dark fruit sweetness balances with an almost gin-like juniper bitter and an almost astringent woody bitter note pops up in the finish. The yeast provides some fruit flavors and a hint of banana. The finish is divine, filling the mouth and aftertaste with some really nice dark sugar flavors balanced by a light juniper bitter and layered spices and fruit.
Löly has a medium body and carbonation with some astringent notes in the finish. The alcohol is smooth and not or or harsh. The beer's rich malts and spicy juniper mask most of the alcohol flavors but it provides a gentle warming. This is an incredibly unique, well crafted beer that you will want to find and drink. It is full flavored, rustic and well composed. I have four of these in my fridge right now and will probably need to buy more tomorrow. I rate this beer 93..