If the prospect of drinking a beer made with whale testicles makes you a bit queasy, it probably won’t help to learn that they’ve been smoked with sheep dung first.
The brewery named it, Hvalur 2, the drink has an alcohol content of 5.2 percent.
We smoke the testicle by the old Icelandic way, with dried a sheep’s poop, and this method gives the beer a really unique smoke flavor,” said Steðji co-owner Dagbjartur Arilíusson.
On the other hand, the folks at Steðji claim that Hvalur 2 is healthy and perfect for ‘true Vikings’, because whale meat is low in fat. But the drink has not been well-received by animal rights activists and anti-whaling campaigners, who are already unhappy with Iceland’s practice of commercial whaling, despite an international ban. Fin whales, in particular, are classified as endangered on the conservation Red List.
The testicles are cured “according to an old, Icelandic tradition” before being salted and smoked. One is used per batch and they can weigh nearly 6 pounds each, according to The Times.
But despite of the benefits they give, it’s not the gross-out factor that has conservationists upset about the newest edition to Iceland’s Stedji brewery, which created the brew for the country’s midwinter Thorri Festival. According to The Guardian, the testes are being harvested from endangered fin whales.
The Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) group condemned the whale-flavored beer,
Reducing a beautiful sentient whale to an ingredient on the side of a beer bottle is about as immoral and outrageous as it is possible to get. The brewery may claim that this is just a novelty product with a short shelf life, but what is the price of an endangered whale which might have lived to be 90 years.”
But Arilíusson defended his brewery’s products, insisting that there was nothing unethical about the practice.
We live in a country that allows whaling and the whaling is very controlled by the Icelandic authorities, but fisheries here are self sustainable and very responsible. According to our research, the fin whale in North Atlantic is not at risk of extinction,” he explained.
Hmmm…soundslike things are heating up.
But if you are to ask, would you still drink a glass of beer from smoked whale testicles?