Norwegian Wood - HaandBryggeriet
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Ratings: 284 | Reviews: 209 | Display Reviews Only:
4.9/5 rDev +24.4%
I have had this on tap and out of a bottle. One of my favorite smoked beers.
The beer pours a hazy brown with a tan head. Not much lacing.
The nose of this is wonderful. You can really smell the smoke, but it is nicely balanced by the juniper berries. Sweet and smokey like the best bbq. I think what sets this beer apart from other smoked beers to me is that the smoke smells authentic. Not like that liquid smoke smell. It smells specifically like hickory to me. I could sniff this bouquet and get hungry easily. This beer goes well when paired with all smoked meats.
Speaking of smoked meats... that is exactly the flavor that my palate pulls from this beer. Like the best carbonated beef jerkey you ever tasted. I absolutely love it. The hickory smoke flavor is evident immediately and lingers in the mouth. The berries give both a sweetness that comes in the middle and a very subtle tartness on the backend that is balanced throughout by the smoke. Light bodied, not heavy at all. I could drink this all day. The taste lingers just long enough to not be offensive. Very nice beer. Again, this is by far my favorite smoked beer.
10-31-2011 00:09:40 | More by osusullins
4.9/5 rDev +24.4%
An AWESOME beer. Combines a subtle smoked character (wood type unknown) with a fairly strong juniper character. All of this is backed by a medium to full body and a great balance.
Slightly cloudy, but this adds to the mystery of this unusual beer.
I highly recommend this beer.
09-26-2007 01:13:28 | More by beerking1
United Kingdom (England)
4.83/5 rDev +22.6%
Appearance: This beer certainly has an amazing head, a poofy, rocky, pearly, parchment-colored thing with great retention despite lots of activity. Body is a thick, smoky orange - dare I say burnt sienna?
Smell: Powerfully spicy and herbal, a wild concoction of evergreen, marjoram, fennel, carraway, leather, and wet autumn leaves. Maple syrup, brown sugar, Johnny Walker Red Label, cherries, and burnt cedar round out the malts, providing an earthy foundation to the earthy top notes. Smoky, earthy, piney, earthy, fruity, earthy.
Taste: Mmm. Somewhere between Arrogant Bastard and Hitachino Nest Classic lies this ale (both gustatorially and geographically). Very spicy, herbal hops with notes of grass, thyme, and lemon brush up against a woodsy, earthy backbone reminiscent of wheat toast, honey, cocoa, whiskey, and pecans. Juniper berries provide a bold, overriding gin-like spice that combines with a kick of alcohol for a beer that tastes stronger than it is - in a good way.
Mouthfeel: Frothy and lush, brisk and dry.
Drinkability: This is a dangerously drinkable and delicious beer. I will have to keep my eye on this brewery because this one hits it out of the park.
10-08-2008 20:25:52 | More by soulgrowl
4.83/5 rDev +22.6%
A few weeks ago I was at Tria in Philadelphia on a Friday night ans spied Norwegian Wood from Haan..ggagga..not-gonna-work-here-anymore in Norway, described as a smoked beer which piked my interest. I'm a huge Rauchbier fan and just had to try it.
Two very expensive bottles later and I was hooked.
Yesterday I ventured out to Wayne's Beer Yard to purchase some. Like most beer in Pennsylvania I had to buy an entire case of it. Over $200 USD for a case, but I went for it anyway.
The beer I acquired has a beautiful logo on the front (see the lit match hidden in the far corner?) with a note that it is from "Batch Nr 70 brewed in March 07 and good until March 10. Ingred: Water, hops, yeast, malted barley, and juniper.
I tool one of the two twelve packs to a friend's house to sample amongst three BAs. Two of the three of us were very impressed with the beer. I used a tall 0.5l Schlenkerla Rauchbier glass.
Norwegian Wood pours a dark brownish-red color with a lot of head when first poured. The caramel colored head quickly dissipates leaving a small ring of head throughout the rest of the beer.
If you look into the bottle you can see quite a bit of yeasty sediment which can be poured out if you so choose. Many of my fellow Schlenkerla Rauchbier fans love to do get every last drop of the sediment out of the beer.
Not much of a smokey smell as you would expect, in fact, overall the smell is quite muted. The flavor is quite strong and pronounced which is interesting for a beer without much going on in the aroma department.
The taste is the absolute strong suit of this beer. Smokey, caramel, with a few notes of fruit. Absolutely terrific. Not over powering, not meek and mild, just right.
Even with such a bold taste the beer remains quite drinkable. Having two or three glasses with some snacks is ideal and unlike some bold beers which you tend to nurse, Norwegian Wood remains friendly glass after glass.
I highly recommend that you try this beer if you can. However, don't splurge for a case unless you are one of the rare folks that know and love Rauchbiers as you may be disappointed.
03-16-2008 19:02:38 | More by MarcGetty
4.72/5 rDev +19.8%
Poured from a 0.5L bottle labeled as batch 243. Brewed 14.09.09. Use by 15.09.11.
Pours a gorgeous copper, a little cloudy, with an awesome crowning head at least 2-fingers in width. The head does not budge. Wonderful lacing on the side of the glass. Very promising to say the least.
Smell is definitely smokey and I can detect the juniper berries used to spice it. Almost a "juicy" smoke smell with some smoked meat aroma thrown in. Maybe even a little smokes salmon thrown in?
Taste definitely does not disappoint! A delicious wet smoked taste that exhibits excellent balance. Can taste the juniper that adds a delightful spice to the overall experience. Overall delivers an earthy, charred wood, smokey, tour-de-force--a smoked beer lovers dream. The smoked quality also blends nicely with some sweet malt tastes.
Mouthfeel is amazingly smooth and seductive considering the amount of carbonation that appeared to be bellowing forth when I poured this beer. Just enough carbonation to keep it crisp and versatile with some cheeses, for example.
Drinkability is outstanding. A pleasure to savor the flavors as I drink, imagining this beer being brewed on a Norwegian farm using traditional process. Kudos to HaandBryggeriet for a winning recreation of this traditional Norwegian style.
06-12-2010 15:17:22 | More by JohnnyP3
4.6/5 rDev +16.8%
Background: This recreation of a traditional farmhouse ale from Norway is brewed from wood-smoked malt and spiced with juniper branches and berries.
Appearance: Opaque medium brown, foams enthusiastically and the tan head exhibits great retention.
Smell: Spicy pine scents from the juniper, subtle smoke seems to grow in intensity as you take additional sniffs. Hints of dark malt and slight dried fruit aromas.
Taste: Smoke may seem subdued in the nose, but it comes through here with a vengeance. Hefty wood smoke flavour is the first and last thing you taste. Vague fruitiness sliding into juniper comes through in the middle. A hint of meatiness is almost gamy; slight sour yeast character. Besides the smoke, the long finish also contains a resiny reminder of the juniper.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and medium-bodied, high carbonation and a tongue-coating tingly sensation from the juniper resins.
Drinkability: I love this beer. It's bold and assertive, with sufficient complexity to keep the beer geeks happy.
11-18-2007 07:16:18 | More by flowerysong
4.56/5 rDev +15.7%
Bottle shared. Pours a creamy looking brown with thick creamy tan head that lasted really well. Sticky lacing and thick legs. Creamy mouthfeel from medium carbonation and rich body. Aroma is light smoke, caramel malt sweetness, and some faint earhty/floral hop. Taste was fantastic! Rich caramel, smoke permeates through everything, but well balanced. Really glad I got to try this one.
03-03-2014 04:01:25 | More by mverity
4.55/5 rDev +15.5%
Delightful all around and the last swallow was the best, sorry to see it end.
Dark-brown with substantial tan head.
Mellow,balanced amber malt with a strong smokey nose. Hints of dark fruit and bacon?, maybe hickory smoke. Distinct memorable smokey finish. Very drinkable for a smoke beer, my pint went down easy.
On Tap at Max's.
03-03-2010 02:48:08 | More by farHillsBrewer
4.55/5 rDev +15.5%
Walnut brown with hints of red. nice little off white head. Laces well, but quickly. Smells awesome, like hickory chips and gin. Makes it smell like Bacon in Alaska. Flavor is light at first, but quickly becomes a smokey blast, very complex. I can taste the juniper berries under the smoke, but its the smoke itself that carries the beer. Full of woody goodness with a simple pale ale backbone. hops still distinguishable. Medium to light bodied. Highly drinkable if you like the whole smoked beer thing.
04-02-2008 01:33:43 | More by aforbes10
4.47/5 rDev +13.5%
$7.99 for a1pt .9fl oz bottle. 6.5% ABV. Pours out to a hazy very dark brown, forming a modest dark tan head with poor retention and absent lacing. Lots of dark sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Nice little yeasty beasties. The aroma is nice and rich with smoke and caramel, maybe a little sour milk with swirling. Mouthfeel is bright with a medium dense body. The taste opens up with plenty of smoke. I like my smoked beers smoky, and this is very smoky. I love it. It has a big malt body in the middle, followed by a little earthiness. The juniper doesn't stand out and the bitterness is mild, so it leaves plenty of lingering malt in the aftertaste. A hearty brew. I really enjoyed this, but I'm not convinced it's worth the $8 price.
11-05-2009 22:42:58 | More by Mitchster
4.45/5 rDev +12.9%
50 cl bottle from Vinmonopolet, Oslo, shared with Bananaman.
A very special and cool beer!
Pours a dark red/brown color with a small, but nice, foamy head.
Smells of smoke, burnt wood (almost like an old campfire), berries & juniper needles. Very nice smelling-beer imo.
Taste is of smoked malt, burnt wood, some berries and juniper needles, notes of some malty sweetness. A very special taste overall.
Mouthfeel is good, though it's a bit thin, but I like it anyway.
Overall a very unique beer!
10-19-2008 13:06:16 | More by Ljunkan
4.43/5 rDev +12.4%
First off, I love smoked beers, especially those like the Aecht Schlerenka variety where the smoke is strong. Pours dark brown with nice red edges. Thick head that last the whole way down. Not much lacing. Beautiful campfire aroma. Great mix of wood with the juniper showing through. Oily mouthfeel with enough carbonation to smooth it out. Long, earthy finish. The taste is spectacular. Wood, smoke, and bacon. The malt is rich and hearty, but maintains a pleasant dry quality. Good mix with the chocolate malt gives a bit of sweetness, but not too much to overtake the smokiness. I love this beer. If you're going to go smoked, go the whole way.
09-10-2009 18:00:22 | More by magictrokini
4.43/5 rDev +12.4%
(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer pours a thick antique white head that takes up the full glass. Soon it slowly melts into a deep brown body with an amber glow and strong waves of micro bubbles glide past the sides of the glass. The head last and last through the beer.
S- The light yeasty perfume note gives way to a roasted malt note with a soft marshmallow hint to it and a soft smoky note that increases as the beer warms.
T- The taste of soft smoky dark roasted malt has nutty flavors and some caramel malt notes. There is a nice taste of fresh cream that fades to a spicy hop finish with a slight bay leaf quality to it and a faint juniper berry note. There is a soft band-aid note at the finish but it is pleasantly smoky and not over the top.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft alcohol heat that adds a nice warmth to the malt.
D- This beer has a nice balance of smoky dark malts and hops with some nice support from a fragrant yeast strain.
05-30-2008 19:29:37 | More by rhoadsrage
Norwegian Wood from HaandBryggeriet
88 out of 100 based on 284 ratings.