A life just as ordinary

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Beer – #636 – Mata – Sahti

Improbably beer, impossibly nice music, improbable numbers and imposing on a party.

traditionally brewed in an open wooden trough

This is a 500ml bottle of a beer that is 9 % ABV, making it 270 calories a serve size, the bottle contains 3.5 standard drink units.

Brewed by Aotearoa Breweries in the style that is Style: Sahti/Gotlandsdricke/Koduõlu and that happened in Kawerau, New Zealand

Sahti is a traditional Finnish beer made with juniper berries and rye malt. No hops. Juniper berries add acidity and the beer was traditionally filtered through juniper twigs for an added tannic bitterness.

Do I look excited?

Do I look excited?

Sahti is traditionally brewed in an open wooden trough called a kuurna, where juniper branches & berries are mixed with hot water and malt to create the sugary wort.

However Mata have added a kiwi spin.

This Sahti uses manuka tips rye malt and juniper berries resulting in a strong ale with a sweetish spicy character and banana aromas.

So what could possibly go wrong? Well this is the winner of the recent SOBA beer awards, so not much I hope.

Aroma is one of a fruity drink. Sweet syrupy fruity.  The aroma in the glass is even more massive bloom. Which settles to a beer that if you really sit and just smell lets you a hint of the acahol astringent, possibly just an aroma. It’s very red in the glass, it’s not a good photo, you’ll have to trust.

Mata SahtiThe taste is like nothing else. Well that’s a lie it’s like it’s supposed to be I guess. Thick rich, and then a really woody note, like wood, not pine, wood, like tree. It is a full mouthfeel experience.

Exceedingly interesting as a beer, and enjoyable too, it’s lovely and sweet not cloying, also it’s bitter without excess, just nicely balanced, and is rather moorish.

As it warms, because invariable I have it too cold, there are more subtle notes of banana and faint rosewater too. Aromatic perfume, and yet it all adds up, make sense.

But. It is a heavy drinking beer, the tastes and sensations are dialled right up, right up high, and each sip is again an explosion, slightly different but still the same, and for me, perhaps only me, this is rather wearing. I want to have the rush, the impact, then I want to settle in an enjoy, with this each sip is the same rush. Which is great, and different and really interesting, but sometimes you need to calm the farm.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 9 of its things from the thing. An easy pick for the ‘greats’ of beer, this really does introduce a new style, and using available thing in NZ brings to life a hop free beer that is both extraordinary and at the same time familiar. Brilliant!

The double dip review

Am I enjoying it? It is extraordinary and memorable, it’s a winner.
Would I have another? I would, later, I couldn’t have two, that would be madness. (I could have two and that would be madness)
Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Yes, the more the merrier, this is really really something.

Music for this  ‘ Tess Parks and Anton Newcombe ‘ and album ‘ I Declare Nothing ‘ of course on the Spotify  This is with the The Brian Jonestown Massacre‘s Anton Newcombe, and I like them a lot


A traditional ale style unique to three areas; A Finland the Swedish island of Gotland and the Estonian island of Saaremaa. There are subtle differences between them and also between sahti from different regions in Finland. In general however these are strong ales made with a combination of rye and barley malt. They have minimal hop character and instead receive most of their flavor by virtue of being filtered through juniper twigs. Most examples will exhibit a strong yeast character and many homebrewed traditional examples are made with baking yeast. Such yeast often generates a highly phenolic character as well. Some examples will also have a smoky character and this is particularly evident in gotlandsdricke.


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This entry was posted on July 18, 2015 by in Beer, Beer of New Zealand, Beer Review, Craft Beer, Critic, Justsaying, Mata, Sahti and tagged , , , , .

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