Style Details

His­to­ri­cal Beer
BJCP Style Code
27 A9
Pale yel­low to dark brown color; most are medi­um to dark amber. Gene­ral­ly quite clou­dy (unfil­te­red). Litt­le head, due to low carbonation.
High bana­na esters with mode­ra­te to modera­te­ly-high clove-like phe­n­o­lics. Not sour. May have a low to mode­ra­te juni­per cha­rac­ter. Grai­ny malt, cara­mel, and rye in back­ground. Light alco­hol aro­ma. Sweet malt impression.
Strong bana­na and mode­ra­te to modera­te­ly-high clove yeast cha­rac­ter. Mode­ra­te grai­ny rye fla­vor. Low bit­ter­ness. Fair­ly sweet finish. Juni­per can add a pine-like fla­vor; juni­per ber­ries can add a gin-like fla­vor; both should be com­ple­men­ta­ry, not domi­nant. No noti­ceable hop fla­vor. Mode­ra­te cara­mel fla­vor but no roast. Mul­ti-laye­red and com­plex, with kind of a wort­i­ness that is unu­su­al in other beer styl­es. Not sour.
Thick, vis­cous, and hea­vy with pro­te­in (no boil means no hot break). Near­ly still to medi­um-low car­bo­na­ti­on. Stron­gly warm­ing from the alco­hol level and young age, but often mas­ked by sweetness.
Over­all Impression
A sweet, hea­vy, strong tra­di­tio­nal Fin­nish beer with a rye, juni­per, and juni­per ber­ry fla­vor and a strong bana­na-clove yeast character.
Typi­cal Ingredients
Mal­ted bar­ley along with mal­ted and unmal­ted grains, often rye. Low hops. Juni­per boughs used for lau­tering (tra­di­tio­nal­ly in a hol­lo­wed-out log), but often pro­du­cing a juniper/berry cha­rac­ter. Often uses top-fer­men­ting baker’s yeast in a fast, warm fer­men­ta­ti­on (Ger­man Wei­zen yeast is a good sub­sti­tu­te). Not boi­led; a long mash steep is used, with a sepa­ra­te­ly added hop tea.
An indi­ge­nous tra­di­tio­nal style from Fin­land; a farm­house tra­di­ti­on for at least 500 years, often bre­wed for fes­ti­ve occa­si­ons like sum­mer wed­dings, and con­su­med within a week or two of bre­wing. A simi­lar tra­di­ti­on exists in Esto­nia, whe­re the beer is known as koduolu.
The use of rye doesn’t mean that it should tas­te like cara­way (a domi­nant fla­vor in rye bread). The use of juni­per ber­ries will give a fla­vor like gin (simi­lar­ly fla­vor­ed with juni­per ber­ries). The juni­per acts a bit like hops in the balan­ce and fla­vor, pro­vi­ding some coun­ter­point to the sweet malt.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Now made year-round by seve­ral bre­we­ries in Finland.
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
1.076 - 1.120 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.016 - 1.020 SG
4 - 22 SRM
7.0 - 11.0 %vol
7 - 15 IBU