Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Beer Advent Calendar Day 4- Haandbryggeriet Fyr og Flamme

Good evening all. Day 4 has brought an offering from Norway in the form of Fyr og Flamme, an IPA from Haandbryggeriet (Drammen, Norway). Haandbryggeriet have garnered a lot of positive reviews in recent times and yet somehow I've only had one of their offerings in the past, so what better way to change that than by sampling one of their best? This particular beer is the brewery's interpretation of De Molen's Vuur and Vlam, and has been brewed with three hop types and Maris Otter malt before being bottle conditioned. Sounds promising, so let's get to the review after the pics....

Fyr og Flamme (6.5% ABV) pours an amber colour with a very lively white head that maintains itself well throughout drinking; there's also some lacing during the early stages. The aroma is light and fruity, with mango, peach, grapefruit, resin and some caramel sweetness in the background supporting everything. The power of the hop-derived fruitiness isn't particularly significant, and I'd go so far as to say that it resembles a pale ale as opposed to an IPA, but it allows the beer base to come through more which is a pleasant surprise. The taste delivers much of the same, with grapefruit, orange, peach, biscuit malt, caramel and a subtle bitterness that lingers in the finish. The flavours are just as subtle as the aroma, with the citrus fruits coming along first but quickly giving way to a brief appearance from the malt, before the bitterness washes over everything to leave behind some grapefruit notes. The aftertaste is reminiscent of a dry martini with gin botanical flavours popping up now and again. The mouthfeel is moderately thick and the beer is well-carbonated, which would've worked nicely with a slightly hoppier beer but still compliments the flavours on show with this offering. Overall, this is a decent beer with a good amount of characteristic hop-derived flavours balanced in a very drinkable package. I don't know if it's inherent to this beer or if I decided to drink it too late, but it definitely could've done with more hop power to warrant the IPA label; despite this it's still good enough for me to recommend. Would definitely like to try it fresh though to see if it truly deserves the acclaim!

Until next time....

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