I recently got my hands on a sample of Slottskällans Nelson. A couple of Swedish beer bloggers have already posted about the beer: Ofiltrerat, Allt om Öl and Pilsner.nu. They all seem to like this beer and gave it nice scores.
My first thought when I heard the name was that this would be a single hop IPA or APA, but as it turns out this is a single hop lager using Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zeeland. They also used pilsner, münchener and pale caramel malt when brewing this beer. It was originally brewed for the finish market which is why the percentage is set at 4,5%.
When I first open the beer I get a noose full of fruity hops. Very fresh with green fruits, most notably gooseberry (krusbär). It also has a pleasant bready malty base to stand on.
The first sip reveals a similar taste as the smell. Lots of fruity hops, I got the gooseberry but also some tropical fruits, melon and lime. At the end I get some grass and a light to medium bitterness. It’s not an overly malty brew but it got enough bready malts to carry the hops.
This is not similar to an industrial lager, the closest comparison I can think of is S:t Eriks Pilsner. they are both fairly hoppy with allot of fruits and a nice freshness to it. Both should work well on a hot summer day since they are both thirst quenching. On the plus side for Nelson is the fairly low 4,5%,ABV, you can easily drink a bunch of these and still not fall of the lawn mower.
The description I got said this beer would work well with both regular home cooked food and spicy food like Indian for example. I decided to try this beer with some Mediterranean style meze food. As with most spicy food the result was that the bitterness became stronger and the fruits from the hops disappeared a bit. But the bitterness was still pleasant and the overall flavour of the beer was enhanced. I felt the combination worked out pretty well. However I feel I need to try this with some spicy Indian food.
All in all I feel this is a well brewed modern lager with a fresh fruity flavour that I wouldn’t mind drinking more off. It is of similar quality as the other top Swedish craft lagers.
Final Score: 3,7/5.