I’ll admit, I first reached for Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales’ Hyrrokkin ( pronounced “hero-kin”) solely for the name. Meaning “fire smoked,” in Norse mythology Hyrrokkin was a giant whose steed of choice was a horse that can transform into a wolf. Sign me up. This oak-aged saison is no delicate flower either, and with a blend of ginger and blood orange, it’s battle-ready.
Despite the inclusion of blood orange, Hyrrokkin has no orange or pinkish hue to it. In a glass, it’s golden color could pass for a pilsner. What it lacks in vibrance it makes up for with an aroma that knocks you off your feet. Ginger leads the way with just a touch of yeastiness and citrus. In a good way, it’s a scent that would be well suited for a scented candle.
Jolly Pumpkin has ample experience working with deep and unusual flavors, and the first sip of Hyrrokkin reminds you of that pedigree. Ginger remains at the forefront, but it doesn’t overpower. After the initial spice passes, this beer delivers a blend of bitter and sour with each sip. Either ginger or blood orange on its own could be the centerpiece of an intense, almost undrinkable beer, but Jolly Pumpkin manages to combine both into something you want repeatedly.
Ginger has become one of my pandemic pantry staples, and a little truly goes a long way. By aging Hyrrokkin in oak for 23 months, Jolly Pumpkin seems to have taken just enough of the burn out of that flavor fireball. And by mixing it with an equally subdued blood orange component, Hyrrokkin ultimately tastes like a master class in restraint.