Tasting Notes – Vinland Kveik

Kveik in the Winter Sunset

My last post on my blog was the brewing of my advent beer for this year – a Norwegian-style Kveik, “reimagined” using ingredients that would have been available (minus the malt) to the Vikings who set foot in Canada over a thousand years ago.

Last night was this beers “turn” in my brew-clubs annual advent exchange, so its time for some tasting notes.

Appearance: Pours with an effervescent light copper body and a thick white head.

Aroma: A spiciness that is hard to describe – vanilla, pepper, and a bit of a generic “spice”.

Flavour: When young the beer had a notable orange ester character, alongside a spiciness that had discernible vanilla, pepsi and allspice-like notes. As it aged these flavours mellowed into a more generic spiciness (still good, but without the dominant & discrete flavours) and a more subtle citrus-ish ester character. This spiciness was built on top of a malty backbone with a low-level hop bitterness. Balance is malt-forward. Aftertaste is a lingering malt sweetness and spiciness from the spruce.

Mouthfeel: Moderate-to-high body, creamy and smooth, but highly effervescent. A lower level of carbonation would likely have been better for this style of beer.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer, both young and aged, but with a preference for the younger beer. When young, the beer had several flavour notes that stood out – vanilla, all-spice, and orange. Combined with the maltiness, these flavours created the ultimate Christmas beer with a character similar to that of a spice cookie. As the beer aged these distinct flavours blended to a more generic citrus & spice character – still pleasant and nicely balanced, but without the distinct flavour notes of the younger beer. When (not if) I rebrew this beer I’m only going to make a few minor tweaks:

  1. I’m going to further enhance the orange character by pitching less yeast and fermenting a few degrees warmer (in the range or 39-42C)
  2. I’m not going to bother tracking down native north American hops (hop character was minimal and I doubt you’d notice much of a difference with any other hop being used)
  3. I’m going to keg it much younger – traditional Kveik is usually brewed for 3-4 days before transferring to the serving vessel, whereas I kegged after 14 days.

Hopefully the warmer ferment and shorter fermentation cycle will capture more of the orange character and preserve those unique spice notes.

6 thoughts on “Tasting Notes – Vinland Kveik

  • December 30, 2016 at 5:39 PM

    Probably – I'm not completely up to date on the naming conventions of the different styles.

  • December 16, 2016 at 5:27 PM

    Ah. It's really important to keep this stuff straight, because otherwise people can't learn from what you did, and if you pass it on people have no idea what they're brewing with. I bet it's Sigmund's yeast. TYB has only one of the strains, but you've probably used all three.

  • December 16, 2016 at 4:14 PM

    I do not know exactly which strain it is (it s not Muri…which I really want to get my hands on). Bjarte sent it to me, but wasn't sure which one it was. It is one of the Voss strains, and he thought it was the one not available from TYB.

  • December 16, 2016 at 3:56 PM

    You don't say which kveik you used. From some hints dropped in the other blog post I assume it was Muri. Correct?

    Note that kveik is the traditional yeast, but not the beer. So nobody brews kveik, they just use it in the beer. 🙂


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