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Nissefar - HaandBryggeriet

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

97 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 97
Hads: 164
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 7
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet visit their website

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.
View: Beers (37) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 97 | Hads: 164
Photo of glid02
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours black with a 1.5-finger brown head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of muted roasted malts with good amounts of dark chocolate aromas. Also present are hints of licorice.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smooth roasted malt flavors with good amounts of dark chocolate kick things off. Midway through the sip very mild amounts of anise flavors work their way into things before fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall this beer didn't blow me away but I found it to be very smooth and easy to drink. Worth a shot.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger beige head that fades slowly to a thin layer, leaving some lace. Black color, no highlights. Roasted chocolate nose. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is roasted chocolate and molasses. Pricey but worth trying at $10.00 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of baggio
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

3 months since xmas and i'm still not trough all of my xmasbeers. Time to review one more!

A: Dark with a huge, creamy, beige head. Looks promising

S: Licorice, Chocolate, Berries, Heavily roasted malt, coffee with cream, spices.

T: Syrup, Bitter chocolate, Spices, Anise, Burned coffee, salt, dried fruit.

M: A porter with a slight touch of fruit. Very refreshing burned aftertaste with a touch of fresh fruit. Different but yummy. Medium carbonation.

Something to enjoy after your christmasguests have left. Very good indeed. Try it!

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Photo of John_M
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an American porter? Whatever. On tap at Max's today.

In any event, the beer pours a fairly dark amber copper color with OK head retention and minimal lacing. The nose is quite meaty and smokey, with a hint of sweet malt. It's a fine smelling beer, especially for those who appreciate an Alaskan smoked porter every now and again. I also get a considerable amout of smoke on the palate as well, with some underlying sweet malt. The smoke counters the malt flavor pretty well, leading to a fairly long, relatively dry finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a fairly long and drawn out finish. At least for me, the smoke is not a detraction at all, and so I think this beer's drinkability is pretty good.

While this beer is not the least bit porter-like in my mind, it's still a very easy to enjoy dark ale (which is how it's described on the beer menu at Max's). Interesting beer.

The folks at Max's assured me that this was indeed what I was drinking, which has me wondering if they might have tweaked the recipe. My review of this beer on tap is nothing like what I recall from the bottle version I had some time back.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a hazy dark brown with some sediment in the bottom and absolutely no head and almost no carbonation. Smells strongly of European licorice, bitter chocolate, and deeply roasted grain as well as a touch of sweet malt. Interesting. The taste is quite deep and rich for an American Porter. Less licorice here, but it is still quite noticeable. There is a a fai bit of malty sweetness and some herbal bitterness and molasses. Still, the overall effect is dry, not overly sweet. Rich and delicious. The mouthfeel is smooth, but lacks carbonation and is the tiniest bit sticky as well. A little thick to drink too much of, still, quite interesting.

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

How does a Norwegian Christmas beer qualify as an American Porter? Huh...well, this pours black into a Duvel tulip black with a mocha foam. Spotty network of lacing, looks nice. Cocoa, anise, pumpernickel bread in the nose. Rich and roasty taste, blackened malts, chocolate or carob, sassafras, molasses, with a mild amount of residual spice that lingers in the aftertaste. Low carbonation, sort of a smooth lactic feel. Kind of average yet well crafted, for the money i'd much rather have a sixer of Anchor OSA.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a rich dark brown with a thin tan cap.

Aroma of sweet malts, brown sugar, raisins, and nuts.

The taste is very nice with sweet malts, caramel, chocolate, raisins, sour cherries, and nuts. Nice mellow chocolate mocha notes in the finish.

Light-to-medium bodied, smooth, and lightly carbonated.

It's a bit past the holidays but still a damn fine beer. So drinkable!

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Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark brown in color with a 2" head that lasts a while.

Smell: malt sweetness, hint of chocolate, some soft spiciness, and a mild earthy quality makes up an interesting aroma.

Taste: big malt presence, with some licorice, chocolate, and a moderate bitterness. There is a mild smokey quality to this beer and a hint of spice showing up late.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Crisp at the start, less so at the finish. Long aftertaste with this beer.

Drinkability: this beer has a nice flavor profile which keeps you interested for the entire bottle. Worth trying this one out.

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Photo of champ103
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2008 bottle.

A: Pours an opaque brown color, nearly black. This is a slow gusher, but manageable. The beige foam finally settles to a nice two finger cap. Good retention, and light lace.
S: Sweet malt up front that is lightly roasted. Lots of spices in the nose. Cinnamon and ginger. Vanilla and some chocolate as well.
T: Follows the nose. Sweet malt with some cinnamon and ginger. Piny flavors as well. Chocolate lingers. Lightly roasted.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Crisp, but smooth at the same time. Smooth and easy to drink. I am having no problems finishing the bottle.

This is interesting. I would not call this a porter, though this does have a few years of age. I have not had this fresh, so it is hard to say. Still, this reminds me a lot of Anchors Our Special Ale. In that vain, this is something that is very enjoyable. Recommended.

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Photo of Jayli
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at The Publick House 12/21
Served in a tulip

A: This beer pours and opaque black with a 1/2 inch of brown head. Head recedes quickly leaving no lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla and smoke.

T: Taste starts with a bitter dark chocolate and vanilla flavoring before moving in to a nice rich caramel and toffee flavoring. Finish has a hint of licorice and a nice smokiness that carries through.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, somewhat crisp body with a thicker feel to the finish.

D: Goes down easily, very tasty not too filling, nice kick, nice representation of style. For me, this is a beer to sit with for a few rounds.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with plenty of highlighting. Tanned head is about an inch initially, but recedes to a small collar and thin film on top. Good lacing that's really sticky.

Nose is quite rich, with dark fruit sweetness and some roast character coming in behind. Nice and powerful - it's great.

In the mouth it exhibits a nice complexity of flavors ranging from a mild coffee note to caramel, back to anise, with a hint of milk in the finish. A tiny bit of smoke is in there late as well.

Smooth, full mouthfeel with little carbonation, although the flavors are well enough restrained that the bubbles aren't missed. I'm impressed with this take on the porter, even if it's not exactly what an American Porter is normally like.

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Photo of beardtongue
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought the Nissefar on a whim for Christmas festivities. My family is hosting for the first time ever this year, and I have been running around making everything perfect - a huge tree, decorations, real garlands, candles, yard lights, stockings, fires in the fireplace, eggnog, everything. Who gets to host xmas is a little bit of a contentious point in my family, so I felt a lot of pressure to make things perfect. I made sure to point out the origin of this beer to my Norwegian family, too much probably, but in the end they were busy making gingerbread houses and playing with my son and shopping, and Nissefar ended up turning from one of my holiday touches into my little personal moment of appreciation, and for this purpose it served admirably and lets face it, mouthfeel etc was not even a consideration.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brewery is really quite special, everything they do is very unique. This beer pours out as a deerp brown color with a litter brown colored head. The smell of the beer has some chocolatey aromas blended with some dark fruits and stuff. The taste is a little malty, a little sweet and a little dry. The mouthfeel had a decent thickness to it which was nice. Overall this was a pretty good holiday ale. I'd enjoy having it again one day.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holiday ale or not, this one is a decent beer. Pours near opaque black, perhaps very dark brown with light tan head that is rather thick. Nose has a chocolate-whoppers candy sweetness to it. On the palate there's more dark chocolate coffee goodness with enough hops to balance it out so it's not overly sweet. Rather easy drinking for the style.

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Photo of JohnnyP3
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 191, purchased in Rogaland, Norway. Bottle appears to have a date this batch was brewed on (20 Oct 2008).

A: Very dark, would say opaque, with a respectable tan head. As the beer is consumed, it coats the sides of the glass with lacing.

S: Dark chocolate is the most noticeable smell. Also detected hints of cinnamon, spices, and dark fruits.

T: A pleasant dark chocolate taste hits you upfront and then quickly transitions to a medley of dark fruits, such as plums, dates, raisons and figs. The fruit flavors really cascaded across the tongue. Finishes off with subtle hints of dark chocolate. Flavors capture the holiday season well.

M: Velvety is the best way to describe it. Not a great deal of carbonation, but certainly not flat. Smooth.

D: Very respectable choice to drink by the fire on a winter evening. Excellent warming character to this beer. Not a beer to drink several of in a setting. Better suited to slowly savoring/contemplating. Could have gone for a second, perhaps.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got the Off! Four 7" box set and am raging to Keith Morris!! Hell Yeah!

The tale behind this beer is hilarious. Look up the Nisse online and read about it. Great idea.

Pours a dense, dark opaque, deep brown. Very much like a thick Porter. A thin wisp of head comes up, and it's dark tan in color. Holy mackerel, the nose on this beer = awesome. Huge and robust and complex and - just incredibly rich smelling. I get lots of malt - some chocolate and some caramel. More of the former. There are many other things going on, though. A certain sweetness in there. Can't right place it. Also some kind of fruit - like molasses covered raisins. Maybe even concentrated cherry juice. Just unique and beautiful. Some allspice, too. Too much going on at once - it's hella rad!!

Yum, omfg...It's tangy, like a strong porter or stout. Lots of spice up front, some of the allspice but also something herbal, like juniper. This has alot of the same qualities that the '10 Anchor X-mas does. This is more "earthy", however. There's also a roastiness that the Anchor lacks. The finish is long and hoppy-malty - more malt than hops. Delicious and this beer screams X-mas to me. Perfect for Winter. 7% ABV. Here's the kicker - $8.99/half-liter so this is wicked expensive.

What I like most: The incredible aroma profile and "earthy" flavors.

What I like least: The price and the lack of head.

Verdict: ALMOST worth the insane price, and definitelt worth trying.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of Travlr
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark maroon color with a slight edge head, no real lacing to speak of.
S: Aroma of a chocolate shake with fresh vanilla beans thrown in.
T: Flavors follows the nose - chocolate milk and vanilla beans.
M: Posses almost a thickness, so great marks for mouthfeel.
D: Second best beer of New Year's Eve 2009, this one is worth looking for.

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Photo of philipquarles
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle from 8/08. Pours opaque, very dark brown with a small beige head. Strong chocolaty, dark malt on the nose, along with some dark fruit. Slightly tangy. Dark roasty taste, again with plenty of cocoa. Slight sourness that works really well here, surprisingly. Dry finish. Medium, creamy body. Really pleasant-drinking, if unconventional, porter.

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Photo of bashiba
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 8/4/10 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains rich roasted malts, dark chocolate, black coffee and what smells like Belgian yeast.

T: The taste is very malty up front and very smoky with a very hearty malt character and what seems like a Belgian yeast backbone. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a nice dark beer with a Belgian twist on it making it worth drinking for a while.

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Photo of Sigmund
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle conditioned, 500 ml. Very dark colour, nearly black. Large brown head. Delightful aroma of roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, prunes, caramel and oak. Flavour is not quite as complex but still good, bitter roasty and coffee notes combined with bittering hops dominate, on a background of dark bitter sweet chocolate, hints of English liquorice. Roasty bitter aftertaste. Anyway, this is a very fine effort from Haandbryggeriet. Not a beer for the traditional Scandinavian Christmas dinner, but try it if you have chocolate pudding for dessert - or simply enjoy it on its own!

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Photo of Gehrig
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the magnificent Crane Alley in Champaign, IL.

Two lush fingers of mocha froth top a deep, dark brown body, with some lacing on the pint glass; nice looking beer. Good, roasted malt nose with plenty of fruity, berry aromas. The chocolate smell is most welcome.

Good taste, subtly complex, with this being malt forward, as it should be. Chocolate, caramel, a small bit of coffee bean (wish it were more) are present, nicely so and particularly prominent in the first half, with a good, fruity second half especially in the finish. The sweet fruit and rich, roasted malt interact very well, and the creamy mouthfeel works wonders here.

I found this to be a really good porter, very accessible and enjoyable, and the fruit was a welcome surprise and element. Very well done, and I'd love to have more of this and other wares from HaandBryggeriet in the future.

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Nissefar from HaandBryggeriet
87 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.