Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Amon Amarth — Ragnarök

Three Floyds Brewing Co.
Munster, IN

Style: Porter

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

The first time my eyes fell across a listing for this beer, I was sitting in a bar with death metal rumbling in the background. I pointed at the menu and asked the tattooed and pierced waitress about it. She gave me the once over. “You have to try it.” I agreed. Who wouldn’t want to try a beer brewed by Three Floyds in conjunction with members of the Scandinavian death metal band Amon Amarth, and named for the Norse mythology’s end of days, when the gods themselves fall in battle?

(Little did I know at the time that a pint would cost me 12 dollars. Don’t worry, though. Oden will bring us home when we die.)

I never thought I’d see it again. But the next time I visited the Three Floyds pub in Munster, Indiana, lo and behold, they were selling bombers of it. So I grabbed a couple and smuggled them home, fated to write tonight’s review for all you beer dorks and/or death metal fanatics out there.

The beer pours as ebony as a raven’s wing with a firm crown of tan foam. The nose is green hops and roasty chocolate. As the beer warms, an intriguing bit of smokiness comes out in the nose, but doesn’t quite make it onto the tastebuds. At the front of the sip is bright, piney hop bitterness, giving way to a wave of silky smooth roastiness. That bitterness fades the warmer the beer gets, and by the end of the bottle it slides out of the way just enough to let in faint coffee and vanilla notes folded into the maltiness. The body is big and firm—and stays that way from start to finish—rounded out by the medium-length, chocolaty finish.

The first time I had this one I lumped it in with the Cascadian dark ales/black IPAs that’re the current trend in craft brewing, but—this being Three Floyds, after all—Amon Amarth—Ragnarök is much more complex than that. The folks in Munster call it an “Æsir porter,” throwing in loads of roast malt, some smoked malt, and even honey (very Scandinavian). But it’s really more akin to an imperial stout. On first blush it seems on the hoppy side, but let this warm up—preferably in front of a roaring bonfire in the Scandinavian (or Midwestern) countryside—and savor each sip, and you’ll be rewarded with all kinds of subtle nuances. I found Amon Amarth—Ragnarök intriguing and enjoyable. Fill that drinking horn and raise it high, take a sip and hear the black birds cry.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on April 9, 2012.
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