The ancient month of Þorri is often celebrated with a mid-winter festival in Iceland. Local breweries celebrate by releasing seasonal beers, which of course we had to sample for ourselves.
See below for our impressions of three of Iceland’s best festival beverages.
Personally, I have never been much of a fan of IPAs, but Bóndi surprised me with its light colouration and smooth flavour profile.
Bóndi is a beer produced by Viking brewery, its name referencing Bóndadagur, or “Men’s Day”. The drink perfectly balances Citra and Amarillo hops to create a fresh and fruity taste.
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This session IPA is unfiltered, giving the beverage a dense and cloudy haze—very much like the Icelandic weather.
Dry with a medium body, Bóndi is crisp and delicious, boasting hints of grapefruit and lemon for those with a sensitive palate.
The brewery, Borg Brugghús, released two beers recently, but for the sake of our livers, we only decided to try one; Surtur 61.
The beer’s name is derived from the fire demon, Sutr, from Norse Mythology.
This imperial stout was brewed purposefully for Þorri and boasts a powerful flavour profile of Gunnars kleinuhringir, otherwise known as Icelandic chocolate donuts.
Dark and sweet, Surtur 61 has a strong alcohol content of 12.1%. However, the flavour profiles are so all-encompassing on the tongue, one can’t really taste it, lending itself as the perfect choice for a leisurely night down the pub.
Surtur 61 is aged in rye whiskey and bourbon barrels, giving it a rustic bite that compliments the chocolate base.
The drink is highly recommended for beer connoisseurs looking for something a little different.
Segull Þorrabjór, by Segull 67 brewery, is made in Siglufjörður in a renovated fish factory—once the biggest employer in the entire area.
Tours of the brewery will quickly reveal the fascinating family history behind the operation.
In Icelandic, ‘segull’ means ‘magnet’, hence the northern-pointing needle on the bottle’s logo. For lovers of the golden nectar, there is little doubt you’ll quickly find yourself attracted to this festive drink.
This dark ale has a rich flavour of toasted malt and a hint of chocolate, as well as subtle, yet lasting aftertaste of cherries and raspberries, though manages to avoid being too sweet or too bitter.
With an alcohol content of 5.2% and a cloudy body, Segull Þorrabjór is definitely not one to miss for gastronomes.
Have you tried drinking any of the beers listed above, or have you attended Þorrablót in Iceland? What are your favourite Icelandic beers? Be sure to leave your queries and thoughts in the Facebook comments box below.