11 Faroese Beers Reviewed

While I was in the islands I tried and reviewed 11 beers from the two Faroese breweries. Seven selections from Okkara and four from Föroya, including a pale lager made especially for the solar eclipse event, aptly named Sólarbjór. A solar eclipse commencement beer was an exciting first find at my hotel, but sadly it was nowhere near drinkable. Rough, raw and tainted by fermentation defects.

Faroese Beer Reviews

Okkara Brandan

10.4% Abt/Quadrupel
Bottle. Lightly hazed amber with a thin white head and some retention. Fruity and malty aroma impression is caramel and toffee, red apples and cherry liqueur, with a touch of pine resin hoppiness and subtle basement must yeastiness. Full bodied, moderately sweet with strong bitterness, the hop character is grassy and sharp and lasting in the finish, and the mineral quality that seems common in Okkara beers works well with the rich malt sugar and sharp hops. It doesn’t scream Belgian, there’s not much in the way of yeast, and with the strong resin hoppiness and caramel malt it fits more taste-wise with American Strong Ale and Imperial Red Ales. More interesting aroma than their other products, and though it’s overly bitter (hence the ASA resemblance), it works well against the sugar. The most enjoyable beer I’ve had from Okkara. Definitely not a booze-bomb or overly alcoholic like some reviewers have mentioned, I’m happy to find.

Okkara Rinkusteinur

5.8% Amber Ale
Draft. Clear amber with a short white head. Simple malt and ester profile is red apples and caramelized sugar, while spicy phenols suggest cinnamon and nutmeg and metal flakes, while hops come across slightly vegetal and there’s a strange pumpkin flesh character present (and this is unspiced), but altogether it’s still enjoyable. Medium bodied, sweet and lightly bitter, though a little coarse and grainy and minerallic.

Okkara Risi

8.1% English Pale Ale
Bottle. Clear chestnut brown body with a short off-white head. Malty and estery aroma of slightly oxidized brown malt, plum and black cherry esters, lightly vegetal / leafy aroma hops and a sharp flint / mineral quality that seems phenolic. Medium-full body, rich and sticky and savory, turning chewy in a sweet and bitter finish that tastes of maraschino cherries, grapefruit and red apples. It’s more flavorful than the other Okkara beers I’ve tried so far, but still strange in the nose with that sharp flint quality and mostly dull malt expression. It’s a bit chewy and sweet but the flavor balance seems to work okay.

Okkara Kelling

6.8% German Hefeweizen
500ml bottle. Cloudy pale gold with a short white head. Mild aroma of wheat, lemon and green banana with calcium and metal notes that seem common across all Okkara beers. Medium bodied, cloyingly sweet with low bitterness and sharp mineral acidity. There’s an underlying chalkiness that I would guess is the suspended yeast, it’s silt-like and a little gritty in the mouth, not that pleasant with the under-attenuation... the whole effect is a bit goopy-sweet, and like their other beers the ingredient expression is pretty dull. The brewer calls it Hefeweizen but it’s not very much like German Weizen, and at near 7% it could be considered Weizenbock.

Föroya Bjór Classic

Föroya Bjór
4.6% Amber Lager/Vienna
Draft. Clear pale amber with a thin white head. Your basic toffee malt and caramel chewy simple malty lager from Föroya. Medium-light body, moderately sweet with low bitterness and acidic and relatively low carbonation leads to a flabby texture. It’s a little nutty and minerallic with little to no hop character and a syrupy and short finish. Another simple amber lager of the Faroes.

Okkara Klassik/Classic

4.6% Amber Lager/Vienna
Complimentary can on Atlantic Airways flight 402. Clear brown with a short off-white head. Simple malt aroma impression is toasted grain and bread and caramel, it’s lightly phenolic and vegetal with a chalky, almost lactic yeast quality, and a very odd moldy mushrooms and soil aroma that grows as it warms, and at times crosses over into "moldy dish rag" territory. Medium-light body, lightly sweet with low bitterness and light acidity. Overall its a simple Amber lager that seems ale-like in texture and aroma (which makes sense after later confirming this is a post-fermentation blend of Pilsner and Porter), it’s a little dirty and syrupy with a watery thin finish, and I can’t get past the psychedelic mushroom resemblance.

Föroya Bjór Black Sheep

Föroya Bjór
5.8% Amber Lager/Vienna
From draft at Hvonn Brasserie in Torshavn. Clear dull amber body with a thin white head. Unpleasant buttery diacetyl and toffee malt aroma with notes of calcium and granite. Medium-light body with some chewy malt sugars, lightly bitter and acidic with a quick finish. Simple and dull and faulty.

Okkara Tróndur

7.5% Imperial Pils/Strong Pale Lager
Draft. Lightly hazed amber gold with a thin white head. Rich and sticky in the way of Bockbier. Sugary and cloying in the mouth with bitterness low enough to betray the name Imperial Pilsner. Chewy and syrupy and a little alcoholic, and not unlike malt liquor in both aroma/flavor and body. Trace DMS manifests as cauliflower and corn, while some hot alcohols prick the tongue in the finish.

Föroya Bjór Solar Eclipse Sólarbjór

Föroya Bjór
4.6% Pale Lager
From bottle at Hotel Føroyar, Torshavn. Clear gold with a thin white head. Husks, concrete mix, cereals, corn / DMS in the aroma, with creeping notes of chemical cleaner, sawdust and metal. Light body, lightly sweet, low bitterness, coarse and grainy and fizzy across the middle turning to a watery, short finish fizzy, pretty much your standard international lager drain pour. Pretty cool that they made a beer just for the 8,000 eclipse visitors, but pretty disappointing that it’s so lousy.

Föroya Bjór Pilsnar/Veðrur (Ram)

Föroya Bjór
4.6% Pilsener
Draft. Clear gold with a thin white head. Pale malt cereals with strong DMS (concrete mix and corn kernels) in the nose, aroma hops are stale and powder-like. Light bodied, lightly sweet with sharp and raw bitterness and a watery, thin finish. Very stark and minerallic, but at least the bitterness offers something.

Okkara Vanliga

4.6% Pilsener
Draft at Hvonn Brasserie in Torshavn. Clear and sparkling gold with a short white head and noticeable chill haze. Aroma is grainy raw pale malt with distinct vegetable DMS. Light bodied and watery and fizzy and brash with that Okkara house calcium mineral quality. Hops are lightly herbal and vegetal, plus it’s husky and saccharine sweet and a little sour as well. Doesn’t seem like a serious lager.
BJCP-certified beer judge, photographer, and software developer from Boulder, Colorado. I use this site to chronicle my worldwide beer adventures shared through photography and stories, with a focus on traditional old world brewing practices.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *