Brewery: Reittausblogi (in Finnish) – Homebrew
Style: Smoked Bock
Abv: 6,5 %
Won’t find this @RateBeer
Continuing from where we were left last time, it’s time for the other beer in Harri’s delivery. Have to say in this post – if it hasn’t become obvious – that from the Finnish beer blogs available, Reittausblogi shows most diversity when it comes to showing knowledge and dedication to beer. I mean the product, not the bullshit around it. The know-how and the experience in brewing, sharing the recipes, the homebrew reviews, the sahti knowledge… and still some exceptionally thorough reviews of commercial beers on the blog.
That would be something to admire… if only he lived elsewhere than Rauma. As all the Finns know, there’s a long feud between the city of Pori and the medieval dwelling of Rauma. This shows up especially in the world of sports. Whatever the ball game, there’s always a rivalry. In Finland’s national sport Finnish baseball, the ladies club Pesäkarhut in Pori fights for medal position every season – and in Rauma the women have surely tried bats, balls and mitts on, too. In football, the European version, the clubs in Pori, Jazz and Porin Pallotoverit, have won some national titles in the past – and in Rauma they know that the ball is round and it’s not allowed to touch it with your hands (unless you’re a goalkeeper, but that’s yet something to be learned in Rauma). In ice hockey, the Pori club Ässät won its last championship in 2013 – while in Rauma they know that you’re supposed to skate with skates but using the stick and controlling the puck is still challenging. 😉 Get the picture?*
Before we get lost in labyrinth of common knowledge, let’s get back to the beer…
Before the review let’s give the word on the brew to the brewer himself:
Reittausblogi Höyrysavu (Smoked Bock)
Smoked Bock, 6,5% abv
This is a new recipe I created past summer. A Smoked Bockbeer aimed for the märzen season. It is fermented with a lager yeast, but in low ale temperatures (18 degrees) – so basically it could be considered as a steam beer also, but I prefer smoked bock. Lagers are fermented around 10 degrees normally, but I don’t have the equipment for that. The name in finnish. ”Höyrysavu”, literally translates as ”Steamsmoke”. For this beer I tried to get a good malty body with clean fermentation aromas, tasty smokiness and balanced hop bitterness. Simple, drinkable stuff for the long and cold autumn ahead. I added some juniper from my own backyard to the end of the boil for some ”house flavour”.
Malts: Weyermann Beech Smoked Barley Malt (GER), Chateau Munich (BEL), Weyermann Caraaroma (GER)
Hops: Sladek (CZE)
Spices: Juniper twigs with needles, no berries
Yeast: Mangrove Jack M54 California Lager
What about the beer?
Colour is ruby brown with a finger-thick natural white head. Aroma has smoked meat, roast bread and malts. Taste begins with bitter, cured ham flavoured smoke. Meaty smoked caramel malts take over with roasty and spicy side notes. Towards the end slightly wood-flavoured smoky-roasted bitterness gets on top. Aftertaste has strong smoke, roasted bitterness and spicy malty dryness.
Strong and delicious Smoked Bock. Smoke is powerfully present throughout the show. Behind the spicy flavours – effect of the juniper, perhaps? – is a solid malt base. Seems that Harri has hit as near to an authentic Bamberg smoked beer as possible. I would call this a success. Yes, this is definitely a success. Thanks and a big hand for this treat to the neighbour rival, too.
Harri’s arguments for the choice are short but profound: Cash, barbeque hut, peace, smoked beer.
Johnny Cash: Heart of Gold (YouTube)
From the 2003 box set Unearthed (Disc 2 – Trouble in Mind), the song was written by Neil Young.
Since the brew is clearly German style smoked beer that rocks, it doesn’t give too many options. And let’s say that Harri seems to have a taste for heavy music, so this is partly a tribute to that direction, too.—
Accept: From the Ashes We Rise (YouTube)
From the 2014 album Blind Rage, the song was written by Peter Baltes, Wolf Hoffmann and Mark Tornillo.
* As everyone knows, I’m not from Pori, so I don’t consider this kind of opposition funny at all. But in the blog, I take a daily 15-minute break from making fun of people living in Pori, so it was the other town’s turn to be laughed at. Basically, the people in Satakunta region are all the same, despite the tribes here are pretty talented in finding differences when there are none.