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Norwegian Wood - HaandBryggeriet

Norwegian WoodNorwegian Wood

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

270 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 270
Reviews: 206
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.15%


Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet visit their website
Norway

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed with smoked malt, munich malt, crystal and chocolate malt, and spiced with juniper twigs and berries.

(Beer added by: Sigmund on 06-17-2007)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 270 | Reviews: 206 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SFLpunk
SFLpunk

Vermont

3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On draft at The Farmhouse Tap & Grill.

Pours a hazy orange brown with thick off-white head that takes a while to settle down. Nose is rather odd. Smells like coffee with a lot of cream in it. Can't really nail down the aromas on the one.

Palate is bright and gripping with bitterness. Smokiness is understated and comes across more like barnboards than smoke. Very earthy and dry. Carbonation is frothy and keeps things moving.

Notes: Excellent balance, but a very mild smoke beer.

Edit: After reading the description, I think the odd aroma I couldn't hit was juniper.

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2011 17:58:39 | More by SFLpunk
Photo of osusullins
osusullins

Illinois

4.9/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-31-2011 00:09:40 | More by osusullins
Photo of OutFox
OutFox

New York

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a pint at Rattle N Hum

A - Dark almost reddish tint (it was dark in the bar and it was late so...). A white head with a moderate amount of lacing and retention.

S - Fireplace. Fukn fantastic. I love smoked beers. This one isnt as heavy on the smoke its quite balanced.

T - Same as the nose but moderate on the smoke. I get a lot of wood sort of taste. Really pleasant. Theres a good balance to this beer. Not over the top smoke.

M - Good carbonation and a really nice mouthfeel to this.

O - Fantastic. I love smoke beers and this is already becoming one of my favorites. Not over the top good balance, good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-08-2011 19:04:37 | More by OutFox
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On at Blind Tiger NYC.

A- Brown with a small light tan ring and cloud. Some sticky sure hut only a few spots of lace.

S- Smoky cocoa, leather and some oak. Roast malt, raisin.

T- Roasty malt stout with a prevalent smoke note. Hops are pretty heavy for the style. They lend earthy and even citrus hints. Oak finishes this nicely. Dark fruit heightens as it warms.

MF- Moderate body with high carbonation. Slight sting. Neither overly creamy or watery. Dry. Slight bitters.

DB- Good stuff, becomes fruity at the end. Many nice flavors that balance fairly well. I think I would prefer less fruit but it is still a good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2010 00:07:25 | More by cbutova
Photo of skullsplitter
skullsplitter

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this as the Publick House in Brookline last night. It was a little difficult to give an accurate description of appearance because it was pretty dark by the time I had this drink.

The appearance was a fairly murky brown tea-like color. There was little to no head and lacing was virtually non-existent. From what I could tell there was a very light carbonation.

The smell was quite pleasing. It's been years since I had a smoked beer so I can't really compare it to anything else. It was very light with hints of charcoal and perhaps a little peat. I didn't really get the hint of fruit esters. The smoke smell was never overpowering so I would have expected to pick up something.

The taste was sweeter than I thought it would be. Again, the very light smoky flavor was there along with some caramel and the light taste of the juniper berries. There were definitely some other flavors meshed with the aforementioned that I just couldn't place. Everything was blended very nicely and no one taste outshone the other. Very well balanced.

I found this to be somewhat lighter in terms of mouthfeel. I dare say it was somewhere along the watery lines which was interesting because it certainly did not taste that way. All in all a very strange consistency. Very sessionable. So much so that I had to remind myself of the price tag. I would definitely try again.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2010 12:47:54 | More by skullsplitter
Photo of koopa
koopa

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed on 4/11/10 at the Copper Mine Pub in North Arlington, NJ.

From notes....

Appearance: Pours a light iced tea with red and honey folds, a slightly buttery 1 finger crown, little retention or lace.

Smell: Solid smoke profile over fairly biscuit like malt.

Taste: Same as nose but less inspired.

Mouthfeel: Crisp medium body.

Drinkability: Goes down easy as its fairly well balanced.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2010 15:34:39 | More by koopa
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a barely transparent mahogany-honey brown with a cream-white, fine-bubbled head. Rich, malty, smoked-wood aroma has an undertone of barbecue. Smoky, barbecue-like flavor is malty wit hints of spice, caramel and even sweetness. Tingly, lively texture rounds out a very tasty and distinctive beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2010 01:34:25 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly hazy brownish-amber color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of bright and crisp smoked malts - think ground sausage and salmon wrapped in bacon and leather - with smoother caramel malts backing it all up.

Tastes similar to how it smells although the flavors don't pop quite as much as the smell intimated. Smoked malt flavors kick things off and sweeten a bit midway through the sip. A light bitterness comes in shortly thereafter with slight wood-y notes and carries through to a mildly bitter and crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have a probem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this smoked beer ranks right up there with the best from Schlenkerla and the juniper adds just a hint of earthiness that's well served here. If you're a fan of smoked beers then this one is well worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2010 00:11:30 | More by glid02
Photo of farHillsBrewer
farHillsBrewer

Maryland

4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2010 02:48:08 | More by farHillsBrewer
Photo of mverity
mverity

Florida

4.56/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 04:01:25 | More by mverity
Photo of EspressoGuy
EspressoGuy

British Columbia (Canada)

3.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml- batch 488- best for 20.06.14
a:brown with hints of copper
S: deep rich moka; lots of milk chocolatey goodness... but over a short time it does fade to a more muted aroma
T: wow- a smooth brooding smoky moka taste; there's a high mellow bitterness throughout; finish is a bitter stickiness, like salted liquorice; not at all an aggressive smoky beer; the taste is very together and balanced;
M: medium carbonated; medium body
O: the character that was so strong when I first opened and tasted the beer soon faded. Still it's a very appealing beer well-balanced beer but not as amazing as I originally thought it would be. I

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 23:31:18 | More by EspressoGuy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Shikimon for sharing this one at Wowcoolman's tasting.

Batch 432. 2160 bottles produced.

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, smoke, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with smoke and char flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of smoke bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is very smoke forward but doesn't show any juniper from what I can sense.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2013 19:55:02 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Oakenator
Oakenator

Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours an amber color with a hint of red coming through. Slightly cloudy. Good head is nice and thick initially then lingers well. Some nice chunky lacing on the glass wall.

S: Smoky, burnt, roasted, malts.

T: Nice layering. Juniper berries up front to middle with a really nice lingering in the mouth of the smoky, roasted malt flavor.

M: Mid bodied - nice pop off the tongue.

O: Enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 00:31:40 | More by Oakenator
Photo of leaddog
leaddog

Alberta (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a dark amber with a finger of bubbly head.

Smell - Smoke like a campfire, smoked malts, spiciness, wood.

Taste - Warm smoky malts reminiscent of a campfire. Similar flavours to lapsang souchong tea. Hint of juniper and spice.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth body.

Overall - A unique smoked beer by HaandBryggeriet. I really like the level of smokiness - reminds me of nights by the campfire. Very well executed.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2013 06:01:13 | More by leaddog
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.76/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in an SA Perfect Pint. Batch 432 printed on the label. Pours a translucent amber with a fizzy, 1.5 inch, butter-colored head that sizzles and pops as it slowly recedes into a creamy, 1/8th inch cap. Nose is difficult to describe - herbal and spicy, some citric acid and just the merest suggestion of smoke towards the back. Taste expresses smoked malt, but it doesn't come across as being overly meaty. There's also an acidic presence (must be the juniper berries), as well as a slight medicinal character towards the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a prickly carbonation, a slightly oily texture and an astringency that stimulates the salivary glands along the sides of the cheeks. Overall, I find myself pleasantly surprised at how much I like this beer, despite Smoked Beers not really being a style favorite. Definitely a good way to accustom the palate to the style without being assaulted by smoked meat.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 23:02:12 | More by Jwale73
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark amber color ale with a large dirty white foamy head with good retention and some light lacing notes. Aroma consists of smoked malt with some light tart fruit notes. Taste is a complex mix between some tart fruit notes with some smoked malt with light dry caramel malt notes. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well put together and quite original.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2012 19:52:57 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

If this beer is anywhere near as satisfying to me as its musical namesake, I’ll be happy. Cheers.

A: Translucent, ruby-red body; tan, fizzy cream head that only lasts for a minute. Minimal retention looks like powder over the body, with very little lacing.

S: Hickory, smoked-cured meats, campfire, pepper, and sweet maple come headlong in a tumult of deep, roast-forward malts – a gripping, full smell. It doesn’t lay waste to the subtlety of the nose, though, as smoked beers are wont to do: there are spaces for apple butter and a light herbal character to rest. Still, this nose is mainly smoke.

T: The palate lives up to the smoke-and-juniper description on the label – if you’re thinking char and herb tastes, that is. It begins with a malty, crackling smokiness, tasting of bacon, fig, burnt toast, cedar, almond, and smoky char bathed in semi-sweet chocolate. There’s lots of dark complexity, but the chocolate comes through with intensity matching the smoke, drawing attention to the sweetness of the palate. And then the herbs: juniper and mint bolstering a bevy of lemony hops, tastes that I didn’t think I’d be getting in a beer this dark. They’re certainly welcome, though. Finishes with a toasty, tannic bitterness.

M: Slightly astringent via that hard water character that can only be found in beers produced in Europe; I’m convinced I won’t be able to find that texture in the United States. And as far as European beers go, this one is pretty thick: medium carb and medium body.

O: The chocolate in this beer is keeping me excited for each sip; it’s a taste I haven’t found anywhere else. And beneath all that, it shows nice play between bright herbs and bitter smoke. Just goes to show the skill at which Haandbryggeriet operates: every beer I’ve had from them has been complex and satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2012 02:51:14 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 209
Brewed feb. 09
Best bef. feb. 11

Poured a nice reddish-brown color with a good off-white head. Definite smokiness to the smell along with some grain sweetness. Taste nicely combines sweet, malty grain flavors with smoke. Mouthfeel comes across soft and light.

Despite being sampled about 19 months after the "best bef." date, this beer brought out a nice combo of smoke flavor with a gentle malt sweetness. I didn't catch any of the juniper berry component of this beer. This beer would be a perfect introduction to someone who is curious about smoked beers but my be a bit leery about being overwhelmed with some of this style's bolder examples. I was a bit surprised that such a relatively light body still packed such a wonderful flavor. Not too big...not too little...A fine beer...

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2012 23:45:23 | More by beergoot
Photo of sommersb
sommersb

Tennessee

3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 09-19-2012
Freshness: Batch 432
Packaging: 500ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Pint glass
Purchased: Single from Argonaut Liquors, Denver

The brewery website has a nice description about the history of this beer in Norway and the ingredients used. They say it is a recreation of ales all Norwegian farmers were compelled to brew by law!

Appearance: Dark copper-colored and cloudy beer, topped by a large off-white head. Excellent lacing and head retention in the glass.

Smell: Big smoked aromas here, reminiscent of a campfire, plus woody (oak) and earthy notes.

Taste: As in the aromas, the taste is dominated by smoke flavors. The website says they use imported smoked malts from Bamberg, the home of the rauchbier. The taste reminds me of meat as well, like bacon. Other flavors are from the juniper twigs and berries, used instead of hops, which impart some wood/piney characteristics.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated and having a body between medium and full. The finish features smoked meat flavors - not really sweet or dry, but balanced between the two. I think the edge smooths out as the beer warms up.

Overall: This ale reminded me of Yazoo's Sue smoked porter as well as the German rauchbiers. A slow sipper due to the intense taste, but a well-constructed beer I'm glad to have tried.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2012 04:42:09 | More by sommersb
Photo of spoony
spoony

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From a bottle into a snifter.

A-Copper and amber tones. Thin head of lighter colored foam dissipated, but never went away completely.

S-Campfire and wood. Smoke is very strong, but I found it pleasant. Just a hint of the junipers mentioned on the label.

T-Smoke and charcoal. Oak is there, too. A touch of yeast and malt, but I didn't get much juniper, which is probably OK since the smoke is plenty to handle.

M-Mothing special. Medium body with lighter carbonation.

O-After the overwhelming smoke subsided, I noticed some more fruit flavors and I started to enjoy it. My palate was probably blown out by the end, but I managed to finish most of the 500 ml bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2012 03:50:33 | More by spoony
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from ZorPrime, thanks Eric! 500ml into a tulip, batch 408, bottled September 30, 2011.

Reddish brown with a cream coloured cap. Good retention and a bit of lace. Nose has some smoked wood, caramel, toasted bread and some mild darker fruit notes that could be coming from the berries. Some earth as well. Taste has some heavily charred wood/bread, caramel and some herbal, fruity notes. Drying, with charcoal and burnt matches in the aftertaste. Medium body and a relatively low carb. An OK smoked beer, but doesn't really stand out for me as it's a bit harsher in some regards than I appreciate within the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2012 03:32:24 | More by liamt07
Photo of askeladden
askeladden


3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a beer that doesn't smell like beer: once opened, the aroma of smoke is extremely strong. Smoked salmon, smoked beer... It seems that Norway lies in the very deep hearth of this brew. I know that "5 should be rare", but a 5 for a smell like this is mandatory!

A - dark amber color, very opaque body. The foam is quite firm but not so thick.

S - read over. Wrapping strong smoked smell that reminds of a burning match.

T - smoked flavor above all. The juniper berries give a dry fruity taste.

M - it's 6.5% abv but the mouthfeel is not that strong. The alcohol is almost totally covered by the mixture of smoked and fruity flavors. It leaves a thin layer of aftertaste that lasts for several hours.

O - if you like the smoked aroma (as I do) drinkability is not an issue. Not for everyone though: either you'll love or hate it.

[I'm not a native English speaker but I hope you'll understand my review.]

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2012 08:47:25 | More by askeladden
Photo of zaphodchak
zaphodchak

Virginia

3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thinnish offwhite head, and deep amber body. Some lace.

Incredibly pungent smoke, a bit odd.

Acrid, harsh smoke. Piney, almost, maybe tannic. It's like you're eating a popsicle, but it's just the popsicle stick.

Some medium carb, kinda coarse.

Decent but kinda harsh in terms of drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2012 00:54:49 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of bruachan
bruachan

District of Columbia

4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

it's been awhile since i review a beer, which is stupid because i drink plenty of good stuff

reddish copper color with merengue head and promising lacing to start

aromas are smoky and hoppy. the latter spicy and herbal

the smoke and juniper tandem magnificently. the spicy tang of berry melds well with the gritty smoke, as both ride the sweetness of a full-bodied brew. which brings me to my next thought...

even if 6.5% isn't strong, the beer is a mouthful. it's fun to evaluate what fun smoke it, other than just contributing awesome. it's spicy and earthy

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2012 03:16:02 | More by bruachan
Photo of cincyfan90
cincyfan90

Rhode Island

4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice dark color that gives it a thick and viscous appearance; maintains a nice off white head.

S: Barbecue, charred wood, subtle coffee

T: A complex evolution of flavor notes displays barbecue smoke, and dark chocolate. Smooth carbonation aids in presenting the flavors.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2012 23:31:14 | More by cincyfan90
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Norwegian Wood from HaandBryggeriet
88 out of 100 based on 270 ratings.