Day 10's beer comes to us from Skagafjordur, Iceland. Gædingur is the name of the brewery, which, as near as I can determine, is not very large, and only has about four different styles to their name. This is an incredible validation for the Advent Beer Calendar in my eyes, because the odds of my having a chance to taste this beer without it would be pretty low, even though I would love to visit Iceland on my way to Finland or the Faroe Islands at some point.
Gædingur Stout pours an inky black, as anticipated, with a bit of caramel coloured foam that does not linger. It smells of bitter chocolate, coffee, and...licorice? Yes, a quick check of the label reveals that in addition to water, malted barley and hops, this stout also contains licorice. Now, this isn't going to sit well with everyone, but as a fan of both licorice and stouts, and having seen them work together before, I am excited about the prospect.
A smooth, creamy mouthfeel, accompanied by the familiar coffee and dark chocolate notes, but the licorice presence very quickly asserts itself. There are just enough hops to balance out the maltiness, so there is very little bitterness in either the taste or the aftertaste. Delightfully crafted, but those who are not fans of black licorice are unlikely to have their minds changed by this beer.
It is a much lighter beer than my previous foray into licorice beer, the vaunted Imperial Megadestroyer from Howe Sound in B.C; Gædingur clocks in at a respectable but still modest 5.6% compared to their 10%. Both the licorice and alcohol are more subdued in Gædingur's offering, making the prospect of having a couple of these at one go far more realistic.
Gædingur Stout is definitely in the running for my favourite thus far, and I would love to try it again.