Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Ölbeat 345: Orava Orwellian Nightmare 2018

Brewery: Orava Brewing (brewed at Cool Head Brew)
Country: Finland
Style: Imperial Stout
Abv: 10 %
What about the beer?
Colour is black with quickly vanishing head. Aroma has roast, espresso and dark chocolate. Taste begins with strong and bitter spicy roast. Bitter heavy roasted espresso and vanilla-spiced dark chocolate take over. Towards the end espresso, chocolate and spicy flavours are joined by dry oaky booze. Aftertaste has bitter dark chocolate and warm oaky-roasty dryness.

Spicy and bitter roasty Imperial Stout. Espresso and dark chocolate come deliciously out with roast, spices, booze and oak. Rich and very tasty, the squirrels (Orava means a squirrel) get the job done.


Propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past? Yep, that's Orwellian enough. A case for System Of A Down.

System Of A Down: Hypnotize (YouTube)

From the 2005 album Hypnotize, the song was written by Daron Malakian and Serj Tankian.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Ölbeat 344: Malmgård Imperial Oatmeal Stout

Brewery: Malmgård
Country: Finland
Style: Imperial Stout
Abv: 9 %
What about the beer?
Colour is black with a finger-thick beige head. Aroma has roasted malts, espresso and cocoa. Taste begins with bitter espresso roast. Strong espresso, bitter roast and dark chocolate take over. Towards the end charcoaly roasted malts and bitter dark chocolate get the strongest grip. Aftertaste has mocha chocolate, bitter roast and cocoa-flavoured dryness.

Charred and chocolaty Imperial Stout. Shortly put, a well-made coffee-chocolate-roasty by the book impy, no tricks. Fits my taste almost perfectly. But that's Malmgård.

This beer was part of Alko's Finnish artisanal beer selection in spring 2018.


Sadly, this majestic beer will probably not be added to the regular selection of Malmgård brewery but will only rule for the short availability period this spring. Almost similar case as their great Imperial IPA was, then. Or how will it be?

Battle Beast: King for a Day (YouTube)

From the 2017 album Bringer of Pain, the song was written by Battle Beast.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Ölbeat 343: Tuju Export Stout N:o 2

Brewery: Panimoyhtiö Tuju (in Finnish)
Country: Finland
Style: Foreign Stout
Abv: 8 %
What about the beer?
Colour is black with a two-finger thick beige head. Aroma has espresso, chocolate and soft milky roast. Taste begins with biting bitter roast. Bitter espresso and roasted salty liquorice take over with sharp spicy chocolate notes. Towards the end both coffee and liquorice round up a bit and give space to dark chocolate and spicy booze. Aftertaste has salty liquorice, strongly bitter roast and dry alcohol warmth.

Bitter and spicy Foreign Stout. Strong & sharp espresso, liquorice, roast and chocolate flavours. Me like it a lot. Seems like we have one high quality brewery near the eastern border in South Carelia.

This beer was part of Alko's Finnish artisanal beer selection in spring 2018.


Since the brewery is from Lappeenranta, I gave in to the temptation to pair their beer with a song by the band loved by everyone from the same town. "Ihminen tietää sen, että / maailma ilman perkelettä / on kuin viini ilman humalaa. / Ja valtakunta, jossa / hyvyys kylpee valossa, / ei sellaista ole olemassakaan."* And to complete my assholeness, I chose the remix instead of the original version from the album Kuolleen kukan nimi (2002). Cheers!
Kotiteollisuus: Valtakunta (Tappava pila -remix) (YouTube)

From the 2002 EP ±0, the song was written by Kotiteollisuus.

*Bad translation: Everyone knows that / the world without the Devil / is like wine without intoxication. / And a kingdom where / goodness bathes in shine / there's no place like that.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Ölbeat 342: Ruosniemen Mandarina Lomittaja

Brewery: Ruosniemen Panimo
Country: Finland
Style: Saison
Abv: 6,3 % 
What about the beer?
Colour is golden orange with a finger-thick white head. Aroma has yeast, orange and pepper spice. Taste starts with yeasty spicy sourness. Peppery yeast and sour'n'sweet citrus fruits take over. Towards the end bitter citrus peel and sweetish sour fruit come through. Aftertaste has sweet orange and dry spicy & peely bitterness.

Fruity and spicy Saison. The yeasty and spicy start turns nicely into bitter peely finish. Well made one from the neighborhood brewery.

This beer was part of Alko's Finnish artisanal beer selection in spring 2018.


So, Mandarina Lomittaja means a Chinese stand-in, doesn't it? Bad and cheap, but will do.

Steve Poltz: Chinese Vacation (YouTube)

From the 2003 album Chinese Vacation, the song was written by Steve Poltz.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sessio #5 (Feb 2018): Beer travel

This post is a part of Sessio, Finnish beer bloggers' monthly posts on the same topic. The topic is selected by a monthly changing host. This topic was selected by Arde arvioi, who will wrap up the Sessio posts in his blog. I will take part in Sessio whenever the subject feels nice and I have time to write a post.

For this month's Sessio, Arde selected beer travel as the topic. The topic suits me nicely, even though I'm not an experienced beer trekker. That's just the way it is, and that's the way it'll probably be until the end. Just a couple of little flaws crack my snifter and prevent me from being a keen beer globetrotter.

I don't have the money for beer travel. My monthly pay goes to mortgage, electricity, water, gasoline, home insurance, the Internet cable and the waste disposal. Besides that there's the family with different kind of needs: wife wants to decorate the garden and kids have their hobbies. Plus we all eat food bought from the grocery store - no free lunches nor dinners for the whole family. Of course, someone might consider it rude and arrogant to even propose canceling the family holiday plans - or moving to a smaller house, eating cheaper food or lowering the standard of everybody's everyday life - just because Daddy wants to fly to the States alone to have a pint or two of fresh West Coast IPA. And that would be rather justified to think that way.

I don't have the time for beer travel. When the time is divided between work, home/family and sleeping, I wonder that there is any "my own time" at all. Well, of course there is - at it's best even a couple of days in a row. Mostly though, if I have more than 24 hours of idle i.e. non-programmed time, I like spend it with the people I love most: wife, kids, even the whole family, friends, parents and all other than not-in-law people in the world. Spending time in traveling - moving from the place I am to the place I want to be - presents the lowest quality time for me. The shorter the period spent in the target is, the more useless the time spent in traveling feels. In the rare cases where I travel for beer to participate in a beer festival in Finland, the beer is the necessary excuse to spend time with a friend or to do something completely different in the city where the festival takes place.

I don't find beer an important enough reason for traveling. Of course, beer would surely taste better and fresher if it's enjoyed near the brewing place. Of course, the atmosphere for enjoying beer is more unique and original near the home of that specific beer. Of course, drinking beer in various destinations would expand my experiences of beer to something that can't be achieved without traveling. Yes, but still for me it's only beer. I tend to choose the destinations of my spare time trips by the things that can be actually done or that can be seen in the destination rather than checking out the beer scene. If I'm not too enthusiastic traveler in general, why should beer turn me to a keen one? I don't need traveling to fill up some kind of experience vacuum, since the smaller, cheaper and less distant experiences reserve that space well enough. Why should I travel to California or Vermont for any reason, if I can get a better personal experience e.g. while playing in the local swimming hall with kids, working out on the crossbar in a nearby park or riding my bike in a cold, horizontally draining rain? Life without beercations might sound flat and boring, but for me that's simple and happy life.

However, for some unexplainable reason, during the last couple of years, I seem to have learned to enjoy the short moments of my working trips - couple of hours in the evening or the last hour before the train leaves - in a local beer restaurant or pub. Here are some pictures from the visits in this February, so this blogpost won't be totally dry.

Turku, 8 February 2018
Radbar - Radbrew Total Blackout Porter

Mallaskukko - Amager Bringer of Summer

Tampere, 13 & 15 February 2018

Konttori - Amager/Barrier The Mortician

Konttori - Wylam Jakehead IPA

Konttori - Amager/Barrier The Mortician (2nd take)

Konttori - Maku/Machine Sea Buckthorn IPA

Helsinki, 19 February 2018

Black Door - Cool Head DDH Ipanema

Black Door - Cool Head CITRACITRACITRA

Black Door - Plevnan Tropic Bomb


If it wasn't clear before this post, now it is: I don't know shit about beer travel. And I don't want to. I'm enjoying my life here at Land's Edge. And I know the essential difference between the traveler and the tourist.

David Lee Roth: Land's Edge (YouTube)

From the 1994 album Your Filthy Little Mouth, the song was written by Terry Kilgore and David Lee Roth.