Friday, 30 December 2016


To Ølekalender (Part 5)

Having greatly enjoyed the previous few years of beer advent calendars, I went searching for one that was a little outside the box (pardon the pun) this year. I ended up settling on the To Ølekalender from Danish brewers To Øl.

We get a wide variety of To Øl beers here in Australia, of which I've had the pleasure of sampling about 20, however I'm confident there will be a number in this box that I haven't had before (Untappd's latest count is 262 beer produced by To Øl!).

I don't speak Danish, but I think it's fair to say that To Ølekalender is a play on To Øl (which I know means two beers) and calendar. Like in previous years I hope to get a post up roughly every five days, so you can follow along my progress. If you're here I'm guessing you've already read Part 1 (link), Part 2 (link), Part 3 (link) & Part 4 (link) so let's get into the last 4 beers!

Day 21 - Sur Galaxy - When I saw the name Sur Galaxy come out of the box I was genuinely excited. I was even more excited when I found our it was a sour Black IPA hopped solely with Australia's own Galaxy hops! I'm obviously very across what Galaxy hops tastes like and I'm expecting plenty of passionfruit.

Naturally I was right, with bitter passionfruit the dominant hop aroma and flavour. It was however like no other Black IPA I've ever had! {Actually on second thoughts that a lie their was sour Black IPA I tried in France, but that's a story for another day.} It was highly hopped, aggressively sour and had plenty of roast! It's a really out there beer, but it's also a really good beer!

Day 22 - Black Bauble - Day 22 brought about a beer I'd never heard of before; Black Bauble. Apparently it's a Porter, brewed with some smoked malts, that has been spiced with cardamom and orange peel. Apparently it's to evoke memories of chestnuts roasting on an open fire and Christmas... Being a Southern Hemisphere inhabitant this certainly doesn't ring true, but here's hoping the beer will be delicious.

It was! Was there really any doubt? After 22 days I should probably know that it will almost certainly be excellent. It was packed with cardamom, to the extent that that was all I could smell initially. Caramel and roast malt flavours came through to taste, along with some of the orange peel, however there was no sign of the promised smoked malts.

Day 23 - Santa Gose F&#% It All - Of all the ideas behind the beers in the To Ølekalender this one may take the cake. Basically Santa goes f&#% it all and takes December off, doesn't deliver any presents and has a holiday in The Bahamas. Naturally (with the name) this is a Gose and is supposedly packed full of tropical fruit flavours (guava, passionfruit and mango), which I'm guessing are native to The Bahamas.

I think this would go very close to being my favourite beer of the To Ølekalender; it was superb! I could pick all three of the aforementioned fruits and peach, in addition to some zesty lemon that may be a by product of the acidity. There's limited saltiness, but it is present and leads to a nice dry finish which combines beautifully with the tartness. As a side note; this beer went on sale today in Melbourne - so if it sounds like your sort of thing I would look into it quickly.

Day 24 - Snowball Saison - The honour of being the last beer fell to the famous To Øl Snowball Saison. Quite why I haven't tried this before I'm not sure, but I do know plenty about it! The idea behind it is an alternative to the big sweet malty beers that are normally the staple of Christmas dinners. This is supposed to be a very crisp, dry, liberally hopped Saison and I'm looking forward to it immensely!

It didn't let me down either with a wonderful fruity Saison greeting me. It's moderately tart and has plenty of Belgian funk, with some Brettanomyces making themselves known but not overpowering the beer. Just as they promised his would be perfect to cut through the fat of a big Christmas dinner.

Clearly my auto-posting settings weren't set correctly as this post still isn't up on December 30 and it was supposed to on the 26th, so apologies for that guys. I have absolutely loved this To Øl advent calendar and would absolutely recommend it to anyone who loves a variety of really high quality, and often highly hopped, beers. It's absolutely worth the money and I'd be keen to get it again next year!

Remember it's always Beer O'Clock somewhere in the world!

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