11 July 2018

The Swedish Empire

Funny how Sweden doesn't get associated with strong and dark beers. Baltic porter and imperial stout are the affairs of near neighbours. Sweden not so much.

That's by way of introduction to The Sidamo Dimtu, an imperial coffee stout from Dugges, over on the west coast near Gothenberg. There's a nordic preciseness to this beer. The ABV is exacty 10%; it smells of a perfect balance between strong dark beer and stimulating fresh coffee, and the texture is rounded, warming and built to satisfy without going to extremes.

Its flavour is very complex. The alcohol is pulling its weight and the almost spirituous side to it forms a framework on which all else is hung. Coffee liqueur is the obvious one; hazelnut schnapps follows, and there's a crunch of green veg -- broccoli and asparagus -- if you look for it. Bitter tar finishes it off, and it ends there, leaving you hanging on that sharp, dry roasted vibe.

This beer seems unsure as to whether it's supposed to be a sumptuous gut-lining rich dessert or an angry astringent power-punk thug. There are elements of both. All I'll say is it's very pleasant late night drinking. That's all you need to know.


  1. "Funny how Sweden doesn't get associated with strong and dark beers"

    That is not very odd: Swedish regulations banned beer stronger than cica 4.5% ABV 1921-1940, above 3.5% ABV 1940-1956 and above 5.6% 1956-1994.

    1. Didn't know that -- cheers!