Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ode to a Russian Shipwright (Olvalde Farm and Brewing, Rollingstone, MN)

Luscious head the color of the inside of malted milk balls sits on a dark brown to black opaque ale that is listed as an Imperial Stout Porter on the label.  Across the top it notes that it was brewed with spruce tips.  Website says it was brewed in honor of the brewing legacy of Peter the Great and the ingredients of the Baltic region, including rye and spruce.

Ode to a Russian Shipwright by Olvalde
Light roast in the nose, but clean and pleasant.  Spruce is there, but tucked underneath the roast.  Many spruce beers can slap you in the face with the pine smell, but not this one.  Slight spice in the nose, but not sure if it's the rye, spruce or some hop (or yes).  Taste has a sweet malt taste, less roast, dark fruit, and a rye twang that makes it stand up well in the mouth.  This is elegant for its size, and creates a well balanced beer that's clearly well done but doesn't have to blow out the taste buds to prove it.

Luckily, I got a bit distracted while drinking the beer and it warmed up very nicely.  Highly recommend letting this one warm up a bit in the bottle before pouring it.  Spruce comes out more in nose, and it improves the taste because the subtle flavors come out more without losing balance.

And, this beer is a local Minnesota product from Olvalde farmhouse brewery in Rollingstone.  I didn't know where is was either--think Winona.  Guessing more people will know it soon enough.  Pick up this fine artisan beer with a swing top cap--got mine at the Four Firkins.  For me, a nice way to finish a lazy day at home for Thanksgiving.


  1. I need to get this one ASAP. And nice Duvel glass!

  2. Cal, this is a fabulous picture. I really like how you captured the texture in the head. It just LOOKS yummy.