A Well Hidden Estonian Treat
A Review of Hansa Oude Smaak by Olleklubi Brewery
Posted on 7/1/2012 by Chops
                   
Great
Your journey through the lands of better beer can take you to some really interesting places. On a recent trip to the Baltic region of Northern Europe, I found myself walking the streets of Tallinn, Estonia. My only experience with Estonian beer at that point had come from their main export brew: Viru. These beers are easy to spot as they come in bottles that resemble one half of a Madonna bra. I reviewed Viru over a year ago and basically touted it as the Estonian Budweiser. It's stunningly awful. So going into Estonia, I was determined to leave with a greater understanding of their beer culture. Was it all just as bad as Viru, or was there more beneath the surface? Luckily it turned out to be the latter.

I was fortunate enough to stumble upon the Olleklubi Brewery while exploring downtown Tallinn. It's a quaint little place located just outside of the central square. The atmosphere was inviting and the people were friendly and accommodating. I ended up ordering their Hansa Oude Smaak wheat beer. It took only one sip to learn that Estonia does indeed belong on the world beer map.

In the glass, this beer has a rich honey coloration with an orange tinting. It comes with a frothy white head that has good retention. On the nose, I detected some honey infused bready notes and some sweet citrus. Going into that first sip, I expected nothing more than a smooth, flavorful, easy drinking wheat beer.

Yup, that's exactly what I got. The flavor profile matches note for note with the aroma profile. That bready quality of a witbier sets up shop as the foundation for everything else. The hops make their presence known on the middle ground and take on a sweetened citrus vibe. They are quite muted and provide the perfect counterweight to the honey notes. The mouthfeel is very clean and smooth, allowing for lengthy enjoyment of each sip. The finish is also quite clean and leaves behind a crisp herbal-honey aftertaste.

Overall, Olleklubi Brewery's Hansa Oude Smaak is a delightful wheat beer that is perfectly fit for the Estonia summer. I can happily recommend this brew to all levels of beer fans, even though most may never get to try it. On the other hand, this is part of the beer's charm. It's a well hidden Estonian treat. I feel very fortunate to have discovered this brewery on my travels, which was definitely one of my Estonian highlights. I greatly enjoyed my time in Tallinn and will definitely be returning in the future, my first stop of which will be at the Olleklubi Brewery.

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Hansa Oude Smaak by Olleklubi Brewery
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