Once upon a time more or less only Norwegian beers were available in shops and supermarkets in Norway. Nowadays it is very different. A lot of brands and beers are sold both at Vinmonopolet and supermarkets, and it is easy finding new beers if you just visit several outlets.
Anchor Steam Beer is sold at Vinmonopolet. It is a beer that has been praised by beer bloggers, but I was very disappointed when I tried the beer for the first time. It looked delicious in the glass with its brownish colour, nice head and some carbonation. In the nose I felt more or less nothing, and the beer was nearly tasteless until a semi bitter hoppy finish. I will try it again in Summer and see if it feels better then. What I had here, was a boring beer.
Coors Light is another boring American beer. Budweiser and Miller have been available in Norway for years, so this year it is Coors' turn in some supermarkets. Coors Light is a fizzy pale lager with a malty nose. It the mouth it feels watery, but it has an interesting touch of pines. It is not bad, but I can think of many pale lagers available in Norway that are more satisfying than Coors Light. I will not buy it again.
Brakspear Oxford Gold is one of the British ales sold in some Norwegian supermarkets. It is an organic beer, and in the glass it looks lovely with a golden colour, some carbonation and a medium sized and lasting head. In the nose there is sweetness and some malt. This beer also feels watery, but it also has a touch of toffee before a finish with hops and grapes. This is a nice beer, but again there are better alternatives available.
From Germany comes the Weihenstephaner brewery. I like its ordinary wheat beer, but Vinmonopolet also offers Weihenstephaner Vitus at some outlets. Vitus is a weizenbock with 7.7% alcohol. It seems unclear in the glass. In the nose there are bananas, and bananas are also leading the beer taste before a finish with a touch of vodka. It is an average beer, but I prefer Weihenstephaner's normal weizen to it.
BrewDog's Trashy Blonde is sold in better stocked Norwegian supermarkets. It is a beer with a tiny head and some carbonation. There are some aromas of grapefruit in the nose. In the mouth a bitter, hoppy touch is dominating together with a touch of grapefruit. Trashy Blonde is not a favourite for me. It is another beer I will not seek out, but I will drink it if somebody offers me a glass.
The Samuel Smith brewery is known for having several interesting beers. Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale is sold at Vinmonopolet in Norway, and it is a copper coloured beer with nearly no carbonation and a medium sized head. In the nose there is yeast and caramel. Toffee dominates in the mouth before a yeasty finish with a touch of caramel. This is a very nice brown ale, and it is one that I will buy now and then. This is a great beer for a cold Spring day in front of the fireplace.
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