Nissefar - HaandBryggeriet

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NissefarNissefar

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BA SCORE
87
very good

161 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 161
Reviews: 97
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 7
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet visit their website
Norway

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Sigmund on 06-17-2007

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 161 | Reviews: 97
Photo of Fatehunter
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a half finger of tan head on a dark brown body with lots of sediment floating around.
The aroma is mild chocolate, cinnamon, earth, and Christmas.
The taste has holiday spice, roasted malt, and chocolate. Nice.
The texture is soft and smooth.
Nice and enjoyable.

Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought for $6.95 on sale after Christmas. 500 ml bottle.

Appears opaque dark brown.

Smells of dark bready malt, floral ginger, maybe spruce, and some harder to define herbal spice. Swirling does not produce much additional aroma.

Taste initially is of darker roasted malts, akin to a porter without as much coffee bean acrid flavors. There is a bit of spice in the middle, but it is not easy to pick out. Bitterness is moderate to low. I was expecting some dark fruit or burnt sugar flavors for whatever reason, there none to be found. Mostly roasted malts in the flavor.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and neither sweet nor dry. Lower carbonation.

Conclusion: Not all that inspired, but not bad either. I just drank the bestefar last night and it was a bit odd, but much more complex and intriguing. This is a fine beer, and I wouldn't be disappointed if I brewed it, but I was expecting something a little bit stranger and interesting.

Photo of BierJager89
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown with a large foamy mocha head.

S: Musty malt, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and oak in the nose. Smells like most old ales, but spicy.

T: Dark fruit and maybe some berries. With the yeast it tastes chocolatey and roasty. An odd dichotomy.

M: Medium bodied, smooth enough.

O: Pretty good festive ale. Recommended.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Okay so I know enough not to expect your typical old ale here as its Haand...
nice deep brown amber pour with quick head. Booze chocolate aromas...some fruit notes.
taste is where this brew shines...chocolate with lots of wood and fruit and a hint of funk. Its not nearly as acidic as most haand...but its got a funk for sure. Lots of leathery chocolate...
really super smooth mouthful..not even realizing its 7%.
overall a really nice brew.
yes its miles away from Bois and Kuhnhenn but its still a great brew

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

wow, what an interesting and delicious beer. one heck of a take on holiday beer. dark dark brown in color, hardly any head, but it doesn't need one to impress me. its rich and silky looking, more like a big porter than an American old ale, with minimal light moving through. the nose is oddly smoked, much like the bestefar they make, with some honey sweetness and a huge roasty body, dark and chalky. the taste is similar, with a short lived campfire vibe for a minute before bitter dark, and finally sweet dark malt flavors come in waves. the finish is dry for the looks and style, with a sharp fusel alcohol untidiness. I like the complexity, depth, and richness of this beer an awful lot. not something I could drink a whole lot of, but I surely appreciate its uniqueness. i don't get the tartness others did, this was smooth all the way for me. in what I can only imagine to be freezing cold Norwegian winters, this is a beer I would want to have on hand. I would strongly recommend it for the holiday season here in the usa. it changes what I thought old ale could be, excellent product.

Photo of bashiba
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a deep dark brown with a thick and creamy head.

The smell is loaded with rich dark chocolate and smokey roasted malts.

The flavor is very rich and malty. Loads of milk chocolate with hints of vanilla and caramel. A bit of dark smokey bitterness balances out the sweetness nicely.

The mouthfeel is creamy and rich.

Very nice. Almosy desert like in richness.

Photo of brentk56
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a brown color with a modest head that leaves a few shards behind

Smell: Licorice, caramel, subtle smoke and dark fruit

Taste: The licorice adds depth to the caramel flavors, up front, with the dark fruit flavors rounding out the profile in the middle; after the swallow, the smoke adds another dimension but the finish adds a holiday fruitcake character

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A really interesting beer that shows a range of flavor

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle purchased from Leura Cellars.

Pours a pretty opaque and slightly reddish black (if you can have such a thing), with a pocked, large-bubbled faintly tan head. This dissipates quickly, only leaving a skeletal structure of big bubbles around the deep, black interior. Body looks somewhat heavy, somewhat fluid: it certainly doesn't have much stickiness to it, but it has some heft and hold very fine carbonation. It looks good.

Nose is rich, dark and roasted, but with plummy dark fruit undertones. Mild milk chocolate sweetness comes through, brushed with a liquorous, boozy brandy character. As often is the case with Haand's beers, there's a lick of smoke to go with it as well, giving a heartening, warming feel to the aroma overall. It's very good stuff indeed.

Taste is a lot lighter than I was expecting, with surprisingly little thickness or sweetness. Mild roasted characters come forward, with some cocoa-chocolate notes later on. Some faint cherry flavours round it out, but the back really just drifts away smoothly, and doesn't leave much of an impression on the back. Booze is well-hidden on the palate, though, without much prickle in the feel or heat in the flavour—the only hint is in the aroma.

Overall, I do like it a good deal. It's smooth and flavoursome, without being particularly heavy or bombastic. The faint Christmas overtones are there, but they're not overt, and it makes the beer feel more subtle and refined than it might have. Good stuff.

Photo of RickS95
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's awfully black with just the slightest bits of brown mixed in. While it might be a shade lighter around the edges, the light gets stuck and can't make it through. The head is light tan and fleeting. It's got a creamy look, but it's gone quickly with a light lace left behind.

The smell just explodes. It's a concoction of dark malts, chocolate, coffee and licorice. The scent is nothing exactly I'd associate with the holidays, it's an exception smelling beer.

The taste is like the smell only muted a bit. It's still a malt bomb, but all the ingredients are on their best collective behavior. Very malty with a slight tag-team fight of chocolate and coffee. Some hop presence in the finish, deep in the finish, provides some balance.

There's a lot of complexity and layers in this beer. It starts off sweet and thick. As it works its way back, the bitterness builds from the chocolate and coffee before finishing strong from the hops. It's viscous and sweet, it's bitter and full-bodied. The alcohol sends only a subtle message, just to show you it's there. The tongue is left slightly coated so you feel and taste the beer long after it's left your mouth.

While I have no idea how this is a holiday beer, I really liked it. It's got a stout or strong porter taste and feel. It's certainly not cheap, but it was very good.

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: jet black, opaque, cloudy, rose-tinted edges - creamy-foamy, tan-colored head with decent retention - is this unfiltered?...sloppy-looking - somewhat ample lace

S: coffee with cream, milk chocolate - prunes and mild ethanol emerge later

T: chocolate out the ass - roast coffee supporting well, mellow and smooth - granola-like malt flavors - definite black cherry and possibly rosemary

F: velvety-soft, fullish body - filling, yet it drops off wonderfully - could benefit from a little more viscosity, however, its current state certainly lends itself to better drinkability

O: another very enjoyable dark beer from HB - quite satisfying and arguably one of their best dark ales

Photo of dgilks
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Opaque dark brown colour with no real head. Okay.

Rich, dark fruit aroma. Lots of almost rum and raisin notes. Good toffee aroma. Nice.

Sweet malt with plenty of caramel and toffee. Dark fruit abounds and some spice notes add interest. Moderately bitter which cleanses the palate.

Medium body with moderately low carbonation. Nice.

A tasty Old Ale. Good fruit, malt and spice balance and integration,

Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, Batch 498 (2160 total bottles). Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both pretty good. It smells like dark fruit (raisins, plums, cherries), chocolate, caramel, and roasted malt. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some berries and spice. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's creamy and coating with moderate carbonation. I think this is a good overall brew, I might have to pick up another bottle soon! At $8.99 a bottle, I think it's worth trying.

Photo of goblue3509
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a thick khaki colored head which leaves some nice lace on the glass. The aroma is of chocolate but then the aroma of sweet dark fruits, raisins, and plums. The taste follows suit, there is a chocolate backbone but then a belgian sweetness takes over before a big deep flavor of dark fruits takes place. There are raisins, plums, and red grapes that dance over the tongue. The mouthfeel is thick and moderately carbonated. Overall this is a very good beer, the taste is big and bold, it is a very complex solid beer.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ever have those moments when you are conflicted between a robust porter and an Belgian-style oude bruin? Yea, me neither. But the craftsmen at the Hand Brewery has brewed a beer just for the occasion if during the holiday season you crave such a thing.

And it's with that porter-ish theme that the kicks off. Medium-dark brown in color, the pour is moderately viscous but still delivers the exuberant carbonation to offer a somewhat Belgiany exercise. A controlled billow of foam rises to the rim and carries a mocha-stained whipped cream cap that retains and laces with bold confidence.

Aromas of chocolate, nutty coffee, starchy malt, and freshly roasted coffee beans leap out at first. However, a quick counterpart of twangy under ripened berries come closely behind for a lightly vinous scent of red grape, green apple, and plumb skin scent.

Robust flavors of chocolate, smooth toffee, coffee, and walnuts all strike the front of the tongue with an early promise of sweetness, succulent, and masculine quality. But the agreement is compromised with a sharp and piercing tartness of dark fruit flavor- black cherry, blackcurrant, plumb, red grape, and blackberry slice right into the sweeter and roastier taste of porter for a decidedly "mature" and "seasoned" flavor that creates as much interest as it does distraction.

Medium-full in body, the beer's early fullness is predictably thinned out by the fruit-inspired tartness. What's left is a tawny middle palate of conflicting coffee-ish astringency, fruity tartness and lingering powdery sherry character.

Nissefar is a challenged taste that circulates around porter-like roots but with a seemingly forced "aged" or "cellar-like" character. The result is a stale and uneven Belgian-tasting "Oude Bruin" type of beer. No one aspect of the beer seems genuine, but it seems to be an invention unto itself and offers a charming rusticity that's part of the problem and part of the charm.

Photo of shleepy
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black, or at least very dark brown. Thick brown-ish head with good retention.
S: Lots of caramel, roastiness; hints of spices.
T: Lots of coffee flavor, in addition to the caramel/roastiness/spices.
M: Surprisingly not too heavy. Smooth texture and medium body for the style.
O: A balanced holiday ale. 4

Photo of AgentMunky
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a half-litre bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. Batch 307. Bottled 7 September 2010. Total bottles: 3240.

A: Fluffy, tannish head. Mahogany and opaque. Good lacing.

S: Old yeast, only slightly stale, slightly fruity. Chocolatey.

T: Two different pours (the first half and the last half, with the yeast) result in two very different beers. The first is fruiter (berries), more carbonated, and (to my mind) more interesting. The second half is very nice; tastes almost like a stout. It's sweet and full of chocolate, flatter and more old ale-y.

M: Kinda dead.

O: I quite liked this beer! It's done well in its two years of bottle life. Recommended. Would have again.

Photo of falloutsnow
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from John's Grocery in Iowa City, IA
Bottled 07.09.10
Poured into a standard US pint glass

Nissefar combines smoked and roasted malt to very satisfactory conclusions in this winter-themed beer. The overall impression is of a sweet-smoke-stout with well-defined flavors that stand out, alongside a truly smooth and enjoyable mouthfeel that has both the right heft and carbonation levels. A definite one to revisit for sure.

Pours a very nice, medium-intensity tan head of super-dense, small bubbles reaching about 2-3cm. Head has excellent retention, taking many minutes to sink to a thick cap atop the beer. Leaves excellent lacing in its wake. Body is a dark brown to black, with a slightly lighter amber-brown color around the edges when held to a light. Carbonation is still visible streaming along the sides of the glass.

Aroma is pleasantly of roasted and smoked malt, not as intense as Aecht Schlenkerla's brews, but still noticeable This is supported by malt sweetness, mostly caramel, and some sweet cream component as well. Slight metallic (iron) tinge to back of aroma.

Tastes opens with some dark malt sweetness that quickly transitions to roasted malts, cream, and a bit of chocolate on the front of the palate. Smoked malt appears most at mid-palate, which becomes the central character that the sweetness, roastedness, and chocolate revolve around. This smoked flavor induces a mild sourness that prevents the other, sweeter flavors from becoming cloying. Closes out with chocolate syrup, leading to creamy roasted malts. Aftertaste is of mildly bitter roasted malts, char, smoke and coffee with cream.

Beer is medium bodied with fairly light, though still noticeable, carbonation, which produces a very smooth and slightly creamy overall mouthfeel. Phenols and ethanol provide very slight spiciness, appropriate for this winter-themed beer. The finish is very dry, again, seemingly on target for a roasted, smoky stout-like ale.

Photo of mlazzaro
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #169 500 ml bottle
Brewed Aug. 08
Best before Aug. 10

This beer is technically "expired" - Cellared longer than expected (forgot about it). I think I'm fine aging an old ale 4 years.

Smells of fruity yeast and caramel malt. Slightly oxidized alcohol aroma. Interesting. Tan head over a dark and murky black beer. Brown around the edges in the light. Head didn't hold very well.

Flavors have sizable range and are curiously balanced. Ashy charcoal + dark caramel malts. Slightly sweet finish. True fruit coming from yeast, very raspberry-like. Hop presence is mild, and found in suiting bitterness.

Thinner mouthfeel than I expected, and sweetness is strong but not overbearing. Strange that the flavors are darker until the end you get a punch of sugar cane (bright sweetness). Warming to the esophagus from booze content. Smooth mouthfeel hides ABV well. Mild carbonation which I appreciate.
Pretty good beer.

I always appreciate a born on date. But I think I will decide when my beer expires, this was delicious.

Photo of SABERG
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 2010 bottle into a modified tulip glass, across the table from my beautiful brunette wife.

A - Huge, towering head, took time to settle down. Color deep mahoghony. Lacing forever.

S - Caramel, smoke, figs, some tobacco the good kind. Light booze and warm leather.

T - Smoked malts, hints of spice, snap near the end. Really pleasnt as it warms.

M - A little light, clearly balanced. finish is medium and happily not sickly sweet.

O - As a winter, holiday style the balance was spot on, not to spiced, oily etc. I applaud the group. Well done.

Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml, a crazy gusher, beige-brown head and blackish liquid.Keeps on gushing 20 minutes later. Leaves behind enormous foam, that is at once a tasty malt, and also a weak body of licorice and spice. Aroma of licorice porter. OK drinkability, a pint is too much. July 2010 bottling.

Photo of TheBrewo
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew was served from the tap at Rattle N’ Hum in New York, NY. It arrived in a standard pint glass and gave a dark black coloring. There was no head to be seen, as the glass was full to the top, but rings of medium brown bubbles floated around the top. As the beer disappeared spots of lacing were left around the glass. Carbonation appeared average, and no sediment was noted. The aroma reminded us of a standard American coffee stout. The malts were deep, with a hint of smoke and roast. There was sweetness of caramel and cream, and a cutting metallic note. As we sipped, the flavoring began with sugary sweetness. This floated about a sea of porter-dark malts, mild vanilla, and bright lactic sourness. The middle moved forward, with the sweetness moving to honey, and the malts taking it to a step deeper. The smoke from the nose began here, which actually helped to pull things together. We finished with chemical phenols, more of those crisp and dark malts, and more of a general toasty flavor of fire. The aftertaste breathed of thick smoke, bittering grain, and souring alcohol, which was not very apparent until now. The body was light and the carbonation was medium. The feel to each sip was cooling and lightly coating, with faint metallic slickness. There is light cream and pop, but nothing spectacular. The abv was standard, and the beer drank easily.

Overall, what we found to be most enjoyable about this brew was the smoke. At first it was light and souring, making for a cleaner finish, but by the end it became an integral component of the beer’s complexity. Otherwise, this guy is fairly simple, staying true to style, except for a few points when it veered onto the pathway of the porters.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Batch 307, 07.09.10

Uncontrollable full hand of dark tan head. Creamy on top, but sudsy in the middle. Deep brown body.

Kinda metallic smelling with some orange, maybe spice. Not good.

Taste, on the other hand, is a different story. The orange tang, but riding on something that's between an RIS and a dunkel lager. Which you would think would just be a stout, but it's not. Alt is not actually the first thing that comes to mind. There's coffee and some spice, cinnamon maybe, and orange (rindy) and a bit of chocolate. Much nicer than the smell.

Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth, not too foamy in spite of the massive frothing on the pour.

If it weren't for the smell, this would be great. As it is, it's still pretty good.

Photo of beergoot
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: opaque deep, dark brown, almost black body with a thick, creamy tan head

Smell: cherries and chicory; raisins; smoked peat

Taste: dark, roasted malts with chocolate. Nuttiness. Very noticeable alcohol warmth throughout. Tangy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: smooth maltiness with medium-heavy body.

Overall: after cleaning up the spillage from the bottle spewing upon opening (it wasn't shaken and was opened at around 55F), I proceeded to sample this bad boy. Definitely a strong beer with a decent balance between the complex flavors and the alcohol content. I don't know if this particular bottle was over-primed, but ignoring the 'exploding' bottle opening fiasco, this is a mighty tasty northern European brew.

Photo of rudzud
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried at a Julio's Monday tasting. Incorrectly billed as somethign that wasnt an old ale. Should have guessed...

A - Poured a deep, dark brown nearly black with a small offwhite head that faded to leave nice side lacing.

S - Smell is somewhat of a let down. Very faint notes of belgian esters, chocolate, and light fruits (cherries).

T - Taste is slightly better. The spices are slightly more prominant of maybe some allspice,with a bit more chocolate and light fruits. Theres a bit of a charred malt flavour too.

M - Mouthfeel is alright, though a bit thin for something thats 7% and an old ale. Would like it to be more full bodied.

O - Overall this beer was just alright. There are MUCH better old ales out there, and much better offerings from HaandBryggeriet.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood I for Winterfest, 2010 Vintage,

A: Pours practically black with a light off-white head. Some thick lace.

S: Some notes of spice, dark chocolate and sugar, hint of gingerbread.

T: Lots of dark chocolate flavour, never real roasty, porter like. Light hints of spice and floral hops, but a malt dominated brew.

M: Medium-bodied, certainly thins out a bit in the finish, soft carbonation.

O: A lower alcohol old ale, but it works fine. Good flavours, quite the enjoyable effort.

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Nissefar from HaandBryggeriet
87 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.