‘The Einstök Brewery is located just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle in the fishing port of Akureyri, Iceland where water flows from rain and prehistoric glaciers down the Hlíðarfjall Mountain through lava fields, delivering the purest water on earth and the perfect foundation for brewing deliciously refreshing handcrafted ales.’
Sounds good doesn’t it? It’s like that Icelandic story telling you hear when you visit museums. But instead of picking up pencil or rubber from the gift shop, you can grab yourself some Einstök instead. Ale lovers rejoice as Iceland has given us a name to toast all year round, and personally, what a cracking toast they make.
So how do I come to this conclusion? Let’s take a look at how the brand came about.
Baldur Karason became the first Icelander in fifty years to train at the prestigious brewing program at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. With this mighty qualification, he was named as Brewmaster and using his knowledge and creativity, he became the ideal man to become the head brewer for Einstök. It’s three founders Bernard La Borie, David Altshuler and Jack Sichterman hatched the idea to bring the hand-crafted Icelandic beer to the world, taking advantage of the location of Akureyri and the water available to them from the prehistoric glaciers, they have been able to create four expressions for the world to enjoy. I’ve been lucky enough to try the three main varieties, so below, I give to you my tasting notes –
Einstök White Ale – 5.2%
Clean and crisp on the nose with a very soft offering of orange. The softness continues onto the palate, with the orange present and a slightly creamy texture. Crisp, dry finish.
Einstök Pale Ale – 5.4%
Instant malt and citrus aromas on the nose that sharpens but soon mellows again. Soft on the palate, with a deep malt flavour and a thick caramel texture that creates a long after-taste.
Einstök Toasted Porter – 6%
Chocolate, roasted malts and dark fruit combine well on the nose, with coffee hints following. Malt dominates the palate, with the sweet fruit coming through alongside toffee and licorice. Slight dry finish.
They also have a limited edition winter brew named Doppelbock which I am yet to come across on my Einstök journey. The Toasted Porter is my personal favourite, but the Pale Ale and White Ale are a close runner. I never would have had Iceland down as an ale producer, but to come out with a brand like this, and for me to instantly warm to all three is by no mean feat. Grab yourself some bottles, and do as the Vikings did; Drink – Conquer – Repeat.
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