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Nissefar - HaandBryggeriet

Not Rated.
NissefarNissefar

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

158 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 158
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 6
Gots: 6 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 158 | Reviews: 96 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smithmd4
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of PearlyGates
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of beergoot
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
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
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
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 DrBier
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of Halcyondays
3.88/5  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.

Photo of MsRif
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA. Poured a dark brown color with a minimal tan head that retained well, leaving spotty lacing. Had an aroma of dark chocolate, sweet malts, dark fruits and spices. Very enticing. Tasted primarily of dark chocolate, dark fruits and spices. Slightly yeasty and boozy.

Between medium and full bodied with low carbonation. Very drinkable...best saved for the end of a session due to the fullness in body.

Photo of Rifugium
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

This is not a porter, but rather an old ale, and it was labelled as such on the beer menu at Teresa's.

Served in a tulip glass, this beer poured a dark brown with a small tan head. Sweet, malty aroma, hints of chocolate, dark fruit, and spice. Taste of dark malts, followed instantly by a huge licorice profile, chocolate chips, and notes of spice and a slightly syrupy booziness in the background. Interesting and tasty. On the heavier side of medium-bodied, and quite drinkable. Definitely worth revisiting.

Photo of Zorro
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy brown colored ale with next to no head.

Smells sweet and spicy with caramel and figs with some allspice and spruce. Chocolate and cherry brandy complete the scent.

Starts out mildly sweet with a strong charred barley flavor. Toasted bread and chocolate. Some spruce appears from behind the hefty patent malt flavor and that is about it for taste.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall an OK beer but not one I will drink again.

Photo of sweetLew
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Father Christmas has brewed up his winter blessings and sent it straight from his dedicated little elves in Norway. Everything the brewers from HaandBryggeriet concoct seems to recall a rich, hearty adventure into Viking territory - Nissefar is no exception.

The beer pours a deep reddish brown with a thin but robust tan head. Scents of an earthy and woody malts are subtle, but it's the brew's taste and mouthfeel that bring the Christmas cheer. The first sensation is one of a sharp sweetness, that fades and washes away as the rich maltiness spreads over the palate. Faint alcohol and hop character are detectable within the complexity, along with some fig and date fruitiness, all well balanced for a dynamic drinking experience. My chestnuts are roasting on this open fire.

At just over 7% alcohol, Nissefar is well drinkable and would pair well with a hearty winter meal; skip the milk and leave some Nissefar out for Santa this year!

Sample was fresh, brewed Sep. '11. Procured at ØL.

Photo of Elfastball7
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of sveinungws
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Jwren5
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of jondeelee
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nissefar (a word apparently meaning "Father Christmas" in Norwegian) is a holiday ale, and the batch from which my bottle sprung was brewed over two years ago--so there's no telling what time has done to the drink. Still, the nose is delicious and Christmassy, filled with huge dollops of figs, raisins, caramelized brown sugars, and even not-so-subtle jolts of port and brandy, with just a shovelful or two of chocolate malt thrown in for good measure.

On the tongue, the beer is just as strong as the nose hinted at, though the flavor profile is far different, for here the deeper fig and raisin notes are initially subsumed under a strong brandy river which carries hints of Flemish sourness (which I suspect might not be quite as present in a fresher bottle). A goodly smattering of hops is also present, providing a strange, though tasty bitter grapefruit counterpoint to the brandy. Late in the mouthful, after the sugars have died off a bit, the chocolate malts and fig flavors are allowed to shine through, fading to pure chocolate malt at the end--though still accompanied by the grapefruit hops. Aftertaste is mainly chocolate malt and hops, and lingers for a long time. Mouthfeel is medium-light, which is strange considering the power of the flavors, and carbonation is medium-light.

Overall, even though my bottle's "Best before" date was three months ago, this is fantastic beer: carefully, lovingly crafted by people who obviously put their hearts and souls into their work. I look forward to my next encounter with this brew--hopefully with a fresher bottle, and on a cold Christmas morning.

Photo of Gehrig
4.15/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of DaveHS
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Full disclosure: This one is marked "Best by August 2010." So we'll see.

A-Dark ruby with a small, bubbly mocha head and almost no lacing.

S-Milk chocolate, light roasty malts, the slightest hint of sharpness (oxidized?)

T/M-Almost no carbonation. Milk chocolate sweetness, rye bread, moderate acidity in the finish suggests oxidization.

D-This was past its prime, but hinted at a really solid beer. Will try fresh and re-review.

Photo of Jeffo
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this at De Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter.
Batch 191. Brewed 10. 2008 and best before 10. 2010. Old red label.

APPEARANCE: Brown pour makes a one finger, medium looking, tan head what quickly fades to a wisp and ring. Black body and next to zero carbonation evident. Transparent around the edges. Ring remains and leaves a couple dots of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Roasted malts and some roasted coffee beans. A touch of caramel and some cocoa poser as well. Quite mild, but what's there is nice.

TASTE: Some roasted malts, but a good dose of dark fruit, grapes, raisins and dates, and a touch of spices. Some bitter chocolate and roasted coffee notes on the swallow. Aftertaste is bold and lingering with dark fruits, grapes, some bitter chocolate and a touch of sourness. Pretty nice. Kind of a cross between a porter and a Belgian double.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Somewhat creamy and smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly mouth-coating. Fine here.

OVERALL: Quite enjoyed this Christmas porter. The nose could be a little bigger, but it had plenty of nice flavor and drank away quite easily. I've never had a fresh bottle, but if my previous experience with Haand is any indication, the ageing has mellowed out the carbonation and made it much more drinkable. Worth checking out if you get the chance.

Photo of rtepiak
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i shouldn't have read this originally. this was much better than given off to be.

this was a winter warmer style porter quality beer with a sweetness of a aged hop quality. afterall. the hop was about a year and some old at this pine... but hopping resembled something of a tangerine citrus. nice and sweet chocolate covered citrus. palate was that but not as syrupy as expected. rather lean and quick finish of something some bright. note of tangerine, chocolate, clove, and fruit cake sugar. dessert... and simple fruit character.

Photo of beardtongue
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of ToasterChef
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big chocolately head with filmy bubbles. Opaque brown liquid. Nice chocolate aroma. Some winter spices and pine in the nose as well. Chocolate sweetness, some alcohol and a finish that reminds me of prune juice. This is a slick, full bodied beer that has low carbonation and an oily coat. It drinks very well. This bottle is about two years old; I imagine that a fresh one would be very impressive.

Photo of Gmann
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown color with a small loose bubble head that settles into a weak ring around the glass. Almost looks flat.

The aroma is of a light milk chocolate with a sprucey spice, almost a mint character.

The flavor is of a chocolatey malt with a some sour berries and spruce. Some caramel sweetness.

The feel is moderate, semi-chewy with very soft carbonation. Sweet on the palate and finishes slighty sour and a tad sticky.

A rather one dimensional porter. I was hoping for more of a spice/herbal flavor. The beer needs some life to it.

Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Nissefar from HaandBryggeriet
87 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.