From Iceland — The Grapevine Christmas Beer-Off

The Grapevine Christmas Beer-Off

Published December 12, 2011

The Grapevine Christmas Beer-Off

Víking Ölgerð/Vífilfell
From the distributors of Coca-Cola. Those are the people that brought you SantaTM, you’d expect something a little more Christmassy. A traditional bock, quite bitter, pleasantly malty, not bad but lacks body and quite dull. Local reviewers have apparently been very happy with it though. Good, not exceptional.
RATING: 3.5/5
Basically Malt Extract (if you’re North or South-American—think Malta) with an alcohol volume. A sweet stout, very thick and malty and contains liquorice.
Full-bodied, can enjoy with or without a meal, especially around Christmas and especially with the heavy salted, fatty food
RE: Like the design of the label the beer was a bit overloaded. Too sweet and too much. But it gets points for being unique and I’m curious if it would go well in orange soda (a traditional non-alcoholic Icelandic Christmas drink is made with Malt Extract and orange soda). Might even be awesome.
In a world where Egill’s Gull wins a prize as the best standard lager in the world, anything is possible.
Einstök Brewery
From Akureyri, brainchild of Baldur Kárason brewmaster at Víking Ölgerð.
What the bock is up with all those bocks?
Christmas beers are strong, I’m getting tipsy
What the hell is up with this label! Vikings did not wear horns! Let alone antlers!
RE: I like the green colour on the bottle. Very soothing.
DN: The beer is not very demanding. It doesn’t speak for itself.
RE: You’re just pissed off about the label. It’s a fantastic beer, tastes like spruce and chocolate. Full-flavoured and works on its own or with a meal.
RATING: 4.0/5 for beer -1 for label
Named after the lazy husband of Grýla, the child-devouring ogress of Icelandic Christmas mythology.
It has a woody…greenwood smell to it. First taste is like sour hey, new milk…manure.
RE: Tastes like shit?
DP: Not quite but it is under-aged
RE: They recommend it with venison or game. Maybe, I don’t have any lying around.
DP: Can’t think of a meal this would go with. Would work well as a marinade for something like sausages.
RE: Overall this is a beer that should have been sold in a smaller bottle, they were going for barley wine but I’m getting an Old English vibe—boozy and cheap.
RATING: 2.5/5
Dry ale, hint of orange zest, nuts and rye, dark reddish amber.
DP: It talks a big game with three types of Czech malts. I like the normal Kaldi better. It doesn’t really impress. Remains too long in the aftertaste and too carbonated.
RE: Sheesh, you’re hard to impress. I would call this the best session beer out of the bunch. I can’t really see what’s so Christmas-like about it, though, other than it being heavy on the caramel like the rest.
RATING: 3.5/5
Borg brugghús
RE: Fantastic red-brown ale, sweet & spicey and everything nicey. Tastes of oats. Kills with a double-smoked lamb, can vouch for it. Also goes great with the first four Metallica albums.
DP: I’m plastered. I’m calling this a night.
The best beer with a meal of the ones tasted. Very solid beer.
RATING: 4.5/5
We regret to say we did not get around to tasting Egils Jólagull, Gæðingur Jólabjór or Víking Jólabjór this year due to time-, budget- and liver-constraints.

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