So after the overview of Ölvisholt Brughus a couple of days ago - found here - it is now time for a deeper look into the actual beer makers dinner. After a short introduction of Jon by Gonzo from Wicked Wine we started off with a first course.
In came a seabass on melt butter with shrimps and rocket salad which was served together with Ölvisholt's witbier. A beer brought to life in admiration of all the Icelandic women. It is not a traditional witbier but has developed into something slightly different with its foundation in the Belgian witbier but adapted to fit the Icelandic drinkers. The beer was a good match for the light easy fish. The fish together with the orange, wheat and slight spice flavor from the beer felt very Nordic with flavors that weren't overwhelming but where they were supposed to be. If one wants to be critical one could attribute Freya with being a little to restrained on the flavors and aromas in itself. But here, together with food, and especially fish, the flavors merged and the pairing impressed the whole dinner crowd.
Next up was a salsica made by Gabbe's (the owner of O'Connor) mother, a thick sausage served with mashed parmesan potatoes, wich was served together with Skjalfti, Ölvisholt's steam beer. There is a funny history here which is a little to long to write in full, but everywhere where the beer has been released there has been a quake (Skjalfti means quake in Icelandic). The reason for the name is that the brewery is placed right on top of the continental shelf between Europe and North America. Several types of hops, among them Cascade and Styrian Gold is used in the beer. Together with the heavy sausage the crisp lightly hopped beer smoothened the thickness of the salsica while melting together with the parmesan potatoes. Steam beers are perfect with beer, in my opinion, becuase they are crisp, have smooth flavors, but are still malty and characteristic enough to be enjoyable, which this course showed.
Next out was one of the favorites of the evening, lightly prepared bbq-lamb served with a garlic, lemon and chili salsa. Served with Mori, one of my favorite red ales. Caramel, malty but still with bitterness and hoppiness to contrast the malt flavors. Together with the excellent (!) lamb the beer let the garlic and chili flavors add heat and spicyness to the meat while then cut the most aggressive edge from the salsa. Sweet maltiness and the hoppiness worked perfectly with the lamb and this course is really something I would recomend for everyone! Rare to medium rare lamb and buy a box of Mori through Systembolaget, because it will be excellent for late barbeque evenings!
Finally, the grande finale - Lava truffels served with Lava, the smoked imperial stout brewed with 70% smoke malt. Loaded with flavors with a great body without being overwhelmingly heavy this beer is incredible at its best. This beer, believe it or not sells a couple of thousand bottles per week on Iceland. Imagine that for a strong heavy smoked stout in a country where Ölvisholt is the only brewery to brew something else than lagers! Together with the truffels... I wont say no more as it will only upset you. The world stopped for a minute and the flavors just whirled around in my mouth. Adorable! A light touch of smokiness and burnt with the smooth creamy chocolate truffel almost gave a hint of espreso, Cognac and and the best imaginable chocolate. Unfortunately I ate it all before I could take a picture, but I will remember this as this was amazing! Try it yourself, make truffels with preferably Lava as is brings an extra smokey character to the chocolate and enjoy during sunset!
After the truffel was gone, which was way to quick, we tried Lave with some cheese, Goya, Casilla and some prosciotto. The pairing was interesting since the beer now brought fruity flavors from the cheese the and saltiness from the prosciotto but still kept the smooth stout flavors.
Overall, this was a great dinner and Jon was a great guy with lots of stories and a real passion for what he is doing. So I wish all the best to Jon and Ölvisholt and thank him and Wicked Wine for a great evening!