Põhjala - Öö XO
- Alcohol by Volume: 11.5%
- Bottle Size: 330-ml
- Serving Temperature: 54–61° F
- Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Tulip, or Pinot Glass
This first choice, the seamless Öö XO, is a special, Cognac-barrel-aged version of their Öö imperial Baltic porter, which was the very first Põhjala beer released back in 2013. It pours a dense, viscous chocolate-brown color with minimal head—that hefty ABV showing itself in a big way. There’s a nice degree of oiliness and richness when this gets rolled in the glass, as huge aromatics of cocoa and caramel and dense chocolate lead. While it benefits from some time to warm up, this imperial Baltic porter showed beautifully straight from the fridge, with dense dried fruits, cocoa, and a lot of nicely integrated toastiness courtesy of that Cognac barrel.
That first sip should tell you what this beer is all about. This feels unbelievably plush on the tongue: soft-edged, highly generous on the chocolates and roast, and packed to the core with a dense melange of fig, dates, dried cherries, and an immensity of caramelized sugar. Though carbonation is light, it results in a perfect mouthfeel when coupled with the warming effects of the ABV and Cognac barrel. This is super-smooth, seemingly endless in its layers, and the perfect beer of the four to start on. If you haven’t loved porter in a bit, Öö XO will fix that.
You can safely expect that most/all of these four will be ready to go for some cellaring time. The Öö XO is drinking great right now, though, so we’d encourage popping a bottle shortly after these land to get a clearer feel for things. This is especially smooth, with those levels of caramelization right where we’d like at the moment. That combo of dark fruits, plus caramel and subtle honeyed Cognac, has us looking to roasted pork. (Possibly chicken and waffles.)
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