Nanoq Polaris Julebryg

Reviewed by on February 3, 2014 in Winter Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Nanoq Beer

  • Origin: Greenland

  • Rated On: December 28, 2012

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 6.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: between cold and cellar temperature

  • Style: Winter Warmer

  • Rating: OKAY

The Review

The first Greenlandic offering to grace the shelves of, well, I’m not hesitating to say, anywhere outside of Denmark and that frozen Danish colony itself. Beyond discerning that this is brewed with water extracted from Greenlandic ice, I’ve got nothing as far as cultural references go, so onto the drinking, eh?

This 500ml bottle pours a crystal clear, medium rusted amber hue, with one finger of fizzy, foamy pale tan head, which leaves a low berm of gasket lace around the glass as it quickly abates.  It smells of thin caramel malt, though at the same time quite fruity – pear and melon, predominantly, with various spices jockeying for attention – clove, licorice root, and cinnamon stand out the most, among a faint grassy, leafy hoppiness. The taste is light bready, somewhat caramelized malt, more savoury spices in the vein of cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and dried juniper, some apple orchard fruitiness, and very soft piney, leafy hops. No evidence of the extra point of alcohol.  The carbonation blends into the background, the body coming in on the weak and light side of things, though generally quite smooth. It finishes with a dry, almost woody push, like the stems of the fruit that just were, as the malt just doesn’t have the legs.

The European influence is not a surprise in this nascent North of 60 (I’ll actually have to look that up) offering – fruity, spicy, some boreal forest notes; however, it all feels a wee bit too thin, too ethereal, to convince me that I’d want to depend very much on its warming qualities when they’re needed most.

Brady White

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