Dogfish head strikes againthis time with Sahtea, a beer based loosely on a 9th century Finnish recipe. Instead of boiling their wort using modern methods, Sahteas wort is caramelized using white hot river rocks. Sahtea is then fermented with German Weizen yeast. Next, juniper berries foraged from the Finnish country side are added alongside black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and black pepper.
The nose of this beer is dominated by the German Weizen yeast, while the above listed spices take a back seat. Sahtea pours a cloudy golden color with a minute creamy head; again one is reminded of a German Weizen beer. The black tea is prevalent up front, while a hint of juniper berries is evident towards the finish. This is a smooth beer, with some alcohol detectable, although it is well hidden overall for a 9% ABV beer. Containing only 6 IBUs, it is no surprise that Sahtea has absolutely no hop presence whatsoever. Sahtea is reminiscent of Franziskaner Weissbier with a horde of black tea and spices dumped into it.
Overall, this is another awfully unique and far fetching beer from Dogfish Head Brewery that is based on an ancient recipe. The German Weizen yeast dominates the smell and taste; besides that Sahtea seems to be a fairly balanced beer when considering the complex ingredients used. Sahtea is worth a shot if you are the adventurous type. Just like Dogfish Head claims for all their beers, Sahtea is an off centered beer meant for off centered people. Will you be trying Sahtea?