1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Nissefar - HaandBryggeriet


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

147 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 147
Reviews: 95
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10.51%

Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet visit their website

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Sigmund on 06-17-2007)
View: Beers (42) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 147 | Reviews: 95 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dpnelson1978


3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.
Original tasting: 12/31/2009

500cl. bottle into glass pint.

$7.99 / ea.

S: Ripe red fruit, raisins, and a dark roasted aroma. Smells like a Belgian Dark Ale.

A: Opaque dark brown body with a creamy tan medium head of moderate retention. Some minor lacing and a thin broken cover. Legs.

T: Slightly sour, but balanced taste. Bitter chocolate and coffee notes. Dark roasted malt backbone. No hop character to speak of. Bit of a sour aftertaste.

M: Light body, light carbonation. Smooth and somewhat creamy.

D: Light beer and deceptively high in alcohol. This brew has a unique taste that, while interesting, is not something I would drink in large amounts.

O: Respectable brew with an interesting taste that makes for good conversation, but not "my thing".

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2010 23:07:58 | More by dpnelson1978
Photo of asabreed

New York

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 169. Bewed August 08th, Best before August 10th.

16.9 oz. bottle into a 12. Samuel Smith nonic.

Appearance: Very much appearing like a Guinness: seemingly opaque but really dark, dark amber. A frothy, concentrated-looking head sits a top and leaves some big raindrops of lacing.

Smell: Interesting notes between roasted, sour, and chocolate. Seems more like a Belgian Porter to me here. This is certainly much thinner and less dark than many American Porters, so the roasted and charred are present, but balanced, and fairly minimum. Sour cherries and farmhouse yeast mix with the lighter yet charred chocolate.

Taste: Initially huge sourness, then mellowing into the Porter-like charred nature, coming into some fruit esters, more sourness, and finishes slightly and interestingly sour and bitter, with the chocolate, sourness, and mild fruit overtones, more like cherries or sour apples.

Mouthfeel: For an American Porter, this would be on the thinner side, though it's certainly a complex brew. A little more watery than I'd have liked, with carbonation nearly coming at the very end, oddly enough, and that's it. However, the lack of carbonation does enhance the ability to get more flavor at that point, so it's not lose-lose.

Drinkability: Solid and interesting, and though I would try it again, the price and limited availability make me want to go after some more of their other beers instead.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 17:51:57 | More by asabreed
Photo of sprucetip


3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes. Batch 163, June 08. Poured murky dark brown, but with lots of activity on top. Fizzy tan head dissipates almost immediately. No lacing. Big yeast chunks in bottom of the glass when finished.

Roasty, burnt, and sour/tart influences blending uniquely with some malty sweetness. Floral hops struggle to be noticed.

Prominent but not overly dominant farmhouse type tart sourness leads. Some smoky roasty flavors underneath add a layer of complexity. Some fruitiness accompanies the sour tartness. Very mild bitterness and faintly noticeable hops.

Fizzy bite, medium body but with thinnish sensation. Light viscosity and gentle warming.

I was way stoked to find this in my remote town of 800 in SE Alaska, but had no idea what to expect, but this certainly wasn't it. I didn't know until I went to write this review that it was labeled an American Porter. I'm not exactly sure what category I would place it in, but not that one. I enjoyed it more and more as I nursed the sample, but wasn't thrilled upon first sip. I think the most defining feature of this is the moderate but undeniable tart sourness character that has me thinking "farmhouse."

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2010 00:23:29 | More by sprucetip
Photo of drpimento


3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Odd pour- Looked like it was going to be flat with only some big soap bubbles at first. After the pour the beer started cascading like Guinness and did have a very fine creamy small tan head with no lace. Maybe an error in bottle conditoning if they did that? Color is an opaque brownish black with red highlights. Aroma is excellent with roast malt cocoa coffee pine fruit eucalyptus. Flavor doesn't have quite so much going on but similar and still very good. Body isn't bad but the flatness doesn't help. Finish is like flavor. Sure want to try another that's properly carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2010 22:44:38 | More by drpimento
Photo of dirtylou


3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle - served up at recent scandanavian tasting at brasserie v

appearance: generous pour in a belgian tulip - creamy dark mocha body, light chocolate froth

smell: rich chocolate, sour cherry, woody, caramel, brown sugar, raisin

taste: Interesting porter - rich chocolate is met immediately with a tart cherry presence, oak, caramel, raisin. not nearly as extreme as the NG old english porter, but heading in that direction

mouthfeel: medium-thin body, light to moderate

drinkability: ok

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2010 23:50:24 | More by dirtylou
Photo of froghop


3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours black with a very large khaki head that stays around throughout, and some lacing.

smell is of dark fruit, cocoa, some spice, and a little wild yeast.

taste is of dark fruit, cocoa, spice, a little pepper, some smoke, malt, and a few hops, ends somewhat dry.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2010 00:29:44 | More by froghop
Photo of Brent


3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is either something other than an American porter or it is a bad bottle. Pour was a nice, dark brown. Massive tan head. Up front a wine going on vinegar lactic sourness, follwed by some raisin and prune dark fruit flavors. Finish was dry. Kind of hard to get a handle on - blindfolded I would have guessed a Flanders oud bruin or some other aged Belgian sour style.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2010 14:11:13 | More by Brent
Photo of Tilley4


3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 163... Bottled on June 08, best by June 11..

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint...

This pours amazingly black with a very thick creamy foamy head of mocha... Extremely persistent head that never falls... Awesome lacing as well... A perfect porter....

Fairly pungent roasted chocolatey malts mixed with a damn surprising hoppiness that I can't believe is still present after almost 2 years in the bottle... There might be a little fruitiness here as well.. Pretty cool for a Christmas beer...

The hops don't come in as prevalent in the taste but they are still there.. The dark roasted maltiness and hints of fruit mix well together here... No real spice to speak of but that's fine with me in the world of often overspiced world of holiday ales... Its a little overcarbonated which isn't that big of a deal but a little more body would be nice...

Overall, an interesting take on a holiday ale... Went well on a cool late March evening accompanied by some smoked gruyere and wheat crackers...

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 14:37:19 | More by Tilley4
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 163. Brewed June 08. Best before June 2011. Consumed March 2010.

A: Poured a charcoal black with an initial head that occupied a greater portion of the glass. The head was foamy, corkboard brown in color, and slowly lapsed leaving a towering center piece in the middle. Only a few speckled patches remained for a lacing. The bottom of the glass finds an accumulation of bran colored yeast cake covering a good portion of the glass.

S: Cough medicine is apparent on the nose. Boozy raisins and plums along with wet cardboard and pancake batter combine to give odd results. Not really intriguing or what I think of when I think of a Christmas ale. There is a faint scent of chocolate and a yeasty tartness that accompanies dried black cherries on the close.

T: The flavor was burnt coffee at first with a bit of yeasty sourness and stale chocolate. Dark fruit of prunes and dates are evident along with dried vegetative matter. The yeastiness comes through midway through the drink and particularly on the finish with strong notes of wet grains and musky barnyard suggestions. Yeasty, against a softy roasty malting. It takes some time to warm up to this but you soon will come to appreciate its flavor.

M: Slight carbonation factor, creamy, but a bit light overall substance wise. A nice yeasty and dry chocolately fade comes upon the swallow.

D: Drinkability was decent. Yeasty, slightly sour though a bomber is plenty for me at any given setting. Good for a serving but comes off rather expensive $7.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2010 23:21:06 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of champ103


4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 04:47:23 | More by champ103
Photo of johnmichaelsen


3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2010 21:34:28 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2010 23:27:14 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aug 2008 bottle

A: black with a beige head that last a few minutes and leaves little, if any, lacing

S: chocolate, alcohol, roasted malt, an unexpected sourness

T: chocolate, toffee, alcohol, a lactic sourness. As I get further into the bottle, the sourness bothers me more and more. While it was intriguing at first, I think it's just a little weird, and is wearing on me toward the end of the bottle. The alcohol is more present than I would like, especially given that this brew is almost a year and a half old, and is only 7% to begin with.

M: Smooth, slightly creamy - I wish the mouthfeel was a little thicker. There's a slight hop bitterness in the finish.

D: A decent beer for the winter season. I'm glad I tried it, but for $9, I'd rather get a good sixer or a nice 750ml.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2010 20:44:40 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Travlr

District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2010 14:41:22 | More by Travlr
Photo of jwinship83


2.17/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

500ml bottle with a best by date of october 2010.

A- this one pours out a very dark brown colored body with ruby red highlights when held up to the light. there is a very small off white head that is composed of very large bubbles.

S- dark roasted malts and wet cardboard. uh oh.

T- dark roasted malts upfront. there are also notes of chocolate. unfortunately i also detect wet cardboard, but not too much. oxidized before the best by date? damn. any sort of coffee or hops had fallen off by this point. no bitterness at all.

M- light bodied and very lowly carbonated.

D- im not sure if this is a bad bottle or what. it was a couple years old (sat on store shelf), but still well before the best by date. id be wary of getting this one again, and if i did it would be the freshest bottle i can find. it seemed like it would be a good beer without the oxidation.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 19:40:49 | More by jwinship83
Photo of peabody


3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a really dark black liquid with three to four fingers of very tan creamy suds.
Smell is fig and sour cherry/oak wood.
Taste is coffee and toasted malts with a fruity sourness for just one second before going back to slight sugar and burnt malt.
Mouthfeel is a little weak. Not much going on here.
Drinkability is pretty good but the watery feel of this brew makes it just so-so.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 07:22:13 | More by peabody
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 15:01:38 | More by Gavage
Photo of JohnnyP3


4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 20:56:47 | More by JohnnyP3
Photo of nickfl


4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours with a nearly complete lack of head, just some loose, fisheye bubbles. The body is black and opaque.

S - A nice, dark aroma of chicory, smoke, and chocolate. Some light spice notes of cinnamon and allspice. Earthy, dark and chocolate-like the aroma is much more encouraging than the looks.

T - Dark malt and chocolate flavors with notes of caramel, chicory, and bittersweet chocolate. Some light acidic notes enhance the mild coffee essence in the middle and lighten the caramel sweetness. The beer bursts open in the finish with a lush complexity full of chocolate, dark fruit and subtle spices. Lingering chocolate and smoke flavors caress the tongue and lend the aftertaste great depth.

M - Smooth, medium-thick body, very low carbonation, and a semi-sweet finish.

D - Based on the apperance and the readily apparent lack of carbonation, I was expecting the worst form this beer. I was decidedly wrong. The aroma is quite nice with a well balanced collection of rich, velvety chocolate and spice character, but it only begins to hint at the flavor. The beginning is relatively light and slightly acidic with just some minor caramel flavors, but it comes to life in the finish with a wonderful depth of flavor. There is a dark, bittersweet and earthy cocoa flavor that compares in richness and intensity to only a few other beers that I have ever had. It speaks volumes about this brewery that they have created a beer that is able, at this relatively modest level of alcohol, to display flavors that I have only ever seen in over the top, extreme imperial stouts. What's more, these flavors take on a different sort of clarity and depth because of the light body and relative simplicity of this beer. I think this beer is quite an unusual achievement, or it would be for almost any other brewery, but I have come to expect nothing less than excellence from HaandBryggeriet.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2009 06:24:49 | More by nickfl
Photo of yemenmocha


4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2009 01:58:31 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of budgood1


3.08/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours out of the half litre bottle an opaque cola brown colour with some auburn highlights. fair sized light tan head rises and recedes leaving some clinging lace. aroma of chocolae and toffee with some lactic whiffs mixing in with some other ripe red fruit notes. so far so good. the taste follws suit with some cocoa and sour cherries...plums...prunes...all wrapped up nicely by some moderate yeasty notes and floral hop nuances. smoky, burnt, sweet, sour and salty all at the same time...weird. medium bodied with a slightly oily and flat, slick mouthfeel. drinkability is just ok...although for me this is a one and done.

certainly brewed with the holiday spirit in mind. not sure what it might pair with food wise...maybe some chocolate covered pretzels?

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 21:35:21 | More by budgood1
Photo of Vengeance526


3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a small tan head that quickly fades away and leaves light traces of sticky tan lacing.

Interesting aroma that starts off sweet with chocolate and caramel, then turns to sour cherries in the back.

Taste again reveals a strange mix of sweet and sour flavors. A mild hint of chocolate upfront quickly gives way to sour cherries and plums. Some smoky flavors come out next, all leading to a finish that again goes back to the subtle sweetness of chocolate and caramel. Although a mild sweetness seems to go in and out throughout each sip, the sour flavors are much more noticeable overall. I don't really know what to make of it...its not really that bad, but damn is it weird.

Light to medium body, feels a little thin. This one has its moments, but the taste is just too strange for me to want more. Not really sure what makes this a Christmas beer, and I don't think it was worth it. Interesting to try but I won't be revisiting this.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2009 23:40:47 | More by Vengeance526
Photo of popery


4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark malts, sour, very low carbonation, Nissefar is probably not a beer that will make everyone's Christmas wishlist, but I think it's great. The beer pours an opaque coffee black with a very small mocha head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is in the fruity stout/porter malt range with some vanilla, oak and faint souring. The flavor is sweet and sour with a soft hop bite in the finish. The mouthfeel is smooth, like drinking a beer pre-carbonation. Nissefar is a different and enjoyable experience if you don't mind some sour in your flat porter.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2009 05:28:33 | More by popery
Photo of Richardberg

New York

3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glasses. Opaque, cloudy, dark brown with a huge head of tan foam. Slightly toasty malts, sour fruit, oak. Interesting combo, not quite what I expected -- not in a bad way, just not sure the flavor combo really works, especially when you put an elf on the label.

Medium bodied feel, mild carbonation, nice & creamy/smooth, didn't linger on the tongue as long as I'd like though. Alcohol bite was about right for a decently crafted 7% -- if you hid it completely, you wouldn't keep Santa warm, after all.

Enjoyed this beer but not for the expected reasons...will search elsewhere for true winter ale satisfaction.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 07:49:15 | More by Richardberg
Photo of TLove

District of Columbia

3.23/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Very interesting, fruity, lambic-porter blend with a sour, smoked malts in the body. A bit off for an American porter, but this beer is structurally adept and overall, pretty damn good.

The body is a deep, dark brown with a very think glass-clinger of a head that disappears very quickly. A sour, fermented fig and tones of chocolate and some smoky spices. It is a very rich malty body with a nutty, raisiny, caramely cherry flavor from front to back. Alcohol is present, but not particularly strong. Carbonation is limited, a creamy mouthfeel. Has a taint of vanilla and a tingly, soda-like tingle on the tongue.

Starts to come to its own as it warms. Matures as a winter warmer, but finishes like a spiced ale or smoked lambic.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 01:00:09 | More by TLove
Nissefar from HaandBryggeriet
87 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.