ielandic white ale

Einstök Ölgerð: Icelandic White Ale (Iceland: Belgian Wit: 5.2%)

Visual: Pale yellow. Moderate off white bubbles and low carbonation.

Nose: Thick and musky fruit. Pineapple and passion fruit. Cloves. Cream. Lemon cordial. Pepper.

Body: Sprityz. Fresh lemon. Meringue. Cream. Sweet lime jelly. Lemon curd. Cinnamon. Toffee. Orange.

Finish: White grapes. Meringue. Cream. Cinnamon. Dry lemon. Wheaty. Passion fruit. Vanilla. Bubblegum.

Conclusion: This would probably have been more highly rated if it had not come hot on the heels of its Canadian competition. It really did have bad timing to be entering my tasting notes list.

By itself it is a pleasant, sweeter edged take on the wit style, though with a satisfying dryness behind it which tempts it back from being compared to the more commercial and over sweet wits. It has slightly unusual notes such as toffee in amongst the lemon, and a pungent fruit thickness in the aroma that hints as some good experimentation with the style.

Also odd is that the beer is nowhere near as spiced as many examples of the style, they are not completely absent, but the beer does seem to be focusing elsewhere for its most prominent elements.

Where it is most traditional is the finish, drying and with that Belgian yeastiness given full effect. It’s a nice touch that allow the slight oddities of the body to coexist with the style expectations.

Its main problem is that it came after Dieu Du Ciel awesomeness, and in comparison it seems very mainstream despite its quirks. It really isn’t though, yes it is sweet like a lot of mainstream wits, but it uses that full funky yeast character and pushes its own way with its different interpretations.

Not bad, but not up there with the greats.

Background: Beer from Iceland! Ok, I’ll admit that was mainly why I picked it up. I’m allowed my quirks. Anyway, picked this up from Independent Spirit, I’ve seen their bottles around a bit in craft beer pubs recently, but never got around to giving it a try. Anyway, not much to say on this one, so few preconceptions going in.