I had two choices. The ratty old bottle with the ripped red foil over the cap and mangled paper labels, and less information and stories on the back. OR... The shiny new bottle with no foil, better labels, and a little more intrigue. I chose B. I am guessing that a few of you will ask me why I didn't buy both for a vertical. First, I spend enough cash in that place as it is. Second, there are no dates on this anyway--if you can translate L0165 15:00 I may go back. Third, I don't really care that much unless this is so awesome I can't resist!
The name of the beer comes from the 7th Viking Earl of Orkney, Thorfinn Hauskaluif. I'm guessing he's the bad ass depicted on the front of the bottle. Finally, this is a 330 mL diminutive bottle, so it got put in a smaller snifter as punishment!
Delicious caramel aroma with sweet brown sugar. A bit earthy. The flavors also start out with rich caramel but there is also quite a bit of sweet sugary candy. Very smooth. You can feel the 8.5% alcohol warmth and presence right from the beginning but only as it intensifies some fruity raisin and grape flavors. Brown sugar and molasses add to the sweetness while the alcohol battles it from being overly so. Lightly spicy, low carbonation, silky texture. You finish with more sugar. Pretty good overall. Not my favorite but I certainly did like it.
Update 02/07/2011: Here is a copy of an email sent to me from Christine Sinclair at the brewery. She explains the "L" and the new design. Thanks, Christine.
Hi RobThanks for the message.To answer your question the L simply stands for Lot as in Lot No and you were spot on with the rest.The new label with illustration of the Viking will be what we are staying with as the old photograph of the person is no longer in a format compatible with modern printing and the foil always seemed to be less than perfect by the time it got to the shelves. No changes to the content though, just to make that clear!!Always enjoy reading your write upsBest Regards
Christine SinclairTHE ORKNEY BREWERY
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