Tag Archive: Põhjala


Kees: Multi Beer: Pohjala: 4 Wheel Drive (Netherlands: Quadrupel: 10.2% ABV)

Visual: Very dark brown to black. Opaque main body. A grey dash of a head.

Nose: Dry roasted nuts. Malt chocolate drinks. Brown sugar. Figs. Dried banana.

Body: Smooth, slightly creamy mouthfeel. Light cream flavour. Raisins. Plums. Brown bread. Dried banana. Hints of cloves. Malt loaf. Lightly chalky. Light strawberry touch. Milky coffee.

Finish: Malt chocolate. Brown sugar. Yeastie feel. Banoffee. Milky coffee. Malt loaf. Big chocolate late on.

Conclusion: Ohhh myyyy, this is a complex one. Smooth, despite its high abv, with hints of alcohol at its core, but clean, lightly creamy and very smooth of body. It just slips down the throat and there are no rough edges to hide the many subtleties of this beer.

Now the smoothness is a mixed blessing in my mind. Long time readers may remember I kind of like the rough edges of a big Belgian and miss them when they are gone. The big thing that makes the difference here is that it gives you a lot in return for their absence – the level of depth to this beer is amazing and a lot would be lost to those rough edges.

At its base it is all that quad goodness – malt chocolate and brown sugar – just delivered very smooth. Dark fruit come out to play from time to time, though in an odd quirk it leans into a milky coffee set of notes more heavily than expected in an almost porter way. Though it doesn’t dent the quad character.

The coffee notes aren’t the most unusual thing though – there are lots of dried banana notes under that and a touch of cloves that give a hint of a call to a weizenbock within this quad and that is very nice. It manages to mix a very Rochfort inspired quad with subtle touches from other dark beers, while still staying super smooth, all creating an epic experience.

Different that the standard quad experience, but still faithful enough and every change from expectations gives you a range of subtle extra notes that makes for a super rewarding beer.

As long as you are happy with the smoother quad than the usual Belgian take then this is a must have.

Background: Kees have been pretty epic so far, so I Was interested in a big quad from them. Then I hear it is inspired by Rochefort’s epic quad, and my interest increased. Don’t know much about the collaborators, Multi Beer and Pohjala. Multi Beer in particular is hard to google for more info, for obvious reasons. Anyway, been a while since I put on some Praxis, so feeling for some odd jazz funk electronic guitar mix I put Transmutation on for a play. This was another beer grabbed from Independent Spirit‘s online shop. I actually did these notes about a week ago, will try to get actual notes uploaded more often!

To Øl: Põhjala: Graff Gadient – Rye and Apple Gose (Estonia: Gose: 5.8% ABV)

Visual: Light clear brown to apricot. Short lived off white head.

Nose: Cloying sweet apricot. Crushed palma violets. Stewed peaches. Apple. Thick syrup character. Apple pie fillings. Cough syrup.

Body: Apple pie filling. Oak. Apple juice. Tart. Rye bread. Acidic front. Oats.

Finish: Tart cider. Dry fudge. Acidic pear. Varnish air. Fresh cut apples. Menthol cough sweets. White wine.

Conclusion: I’ve come to accept that the goses I encountered in Germany, and the goses I encounter in the rest of the world are going to be totally different things. That’s cool, styles cross pollinate and pick up local character. Even with that said, this, this is unusual.

It is tart, kind of gose meets lambic or berliner weisse – that bit sharper and tarter than most gose are, and with lots of the apple on show. It is a mix of tart cider like notes, matched with thick apple pie filling sweetness, all over dry rye bread notes.

Now that is odd, not not that odd, definitely not odd enough to trip my WTF? radar. So what is unusual, ok, but unusual is this menthol cough sweets to cough syrup set of notes that come across in a medicinal but very syrupy way. That was unexpected. It matches with the stewed apricot and peach notes, so is not as out of place as you might expect – but is still a strange feel and taste based on 1) My expectations of a gose 2) My expectations based on the special ingredients and 3) my expectations of any beer ever.

It isn’t bad, but it feels weird – you can be enjoying those tart apple notes, and general acidic character – when suddenly you are hit with the cough syrup notes and it just takes out out of it. It breaks up the experience in a way that ruins the flow of the beer.

Interesting but the medicinal cough syrup notes just make it one I can’t get into properly.

Background: This is described as both a rye and apple gose, and half beer half cider. Made with spontaneous fermented cider, Estonian apple juice and three varieties of thyme, this sounded odd enough to be worth a try. Not tried anything from Põhjala before, but To Øl tend to be pretty good. This was another one grabbed from Independent Spirit. Put on a mix of Jonathan Young stuff while drinking, mainly his excellent track “Bait”- an original track rather than the covers he tends to do. Well worth checking out.

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