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Norwegian Wood - HaandBryggeriet

Not Rated.
Norwegian WoodNorwegian Wood

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

289 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 289
Reviews: 211
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.43%
Wants: 42
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet visit their website

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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 289 | Reviews: 211 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of corby112
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark brown with a foamy beige head. Aroma dominated by smokey malts and wood. Also contains hints of fig and dark fruits. Flavor again is domnated by smoky/ woody maltiness that is nicely balanced with fig, spice and dark fruit. Very complex and tasty!

corby112, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, batch 86, brewed 8/07. Pours a dark murky brown with a light tan head. Aroma of spices and spruce. Flavor of spices initially, some sweet fruitiness, and smoke in the finish. An interesting and tasty beer!
Appearance: 4/5
Aroma: 7/10
Palate: 4/5
Flavor: 8/10
Overall: 15/20

LilBeerDoctor, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of jdhilt
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a five+ finger, thick light tan head that fades slowly and leaving traces of lace. Cloudy deep amber color, yeast left in bottom of bottle. Good carbonation, medium bodied. Smoky, caramel nose. Flavor is sweet, woody and smoky with some caramel. Pricey at $11.50 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer and Wine Wells, Me.

jdhilt, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of Viking
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, hazy, harvest orange color. Has a big, creamy head with excellent retention and bits of residual lace on the glass.

Aroma is very smoky, with hints of burned wood (like the remnants of a campfire the next morning), a bit piney, and a faint fruity sweetness.

Very smoky flavor, as well. Lightly woody, with a bit of cherry-like tartness. Malt flavor, like a light caramel, begins to come out as the beer warms.

This brew is very smooth, and almost creamy and chewy.

Very interesting and tasty beer. I'll definitely have to try more from this brewery (assuming I can find more).

Viking, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have had a few Haand beers and came away impressed and have wanted to try this for awhile.Poured into a 22oz nonic a slight hazed russett brown with a huge blooming light tan head that went over the side even with a gentle pour,aromas were of hard wood smoke,juniper,and cherry,almost like burning cherrywood.Smooth mothfeel, it glides down easy.Flavors as expected have some real smoke attributes along with almost a phenolic-like clove spice to it,there is a sweet fruit element as well.A nice drinkin brew,I like smokey beers and this has the smoke and a little more to offer,quite good.

oberon, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of Ljunkan
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Ljunkan, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of Bananaman
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow! A really unique beer from Haandbryggeriet. Very interesting, thanks to Ljunkan for sharing this one.

Dark deep red/brown color with a nice white head.

The smell is really brilliant! Seldom have I smelled such a fantastic beer. Some smoke with lots of berries, smells almost when you put spruce on a campfire.

The flavor is pretty smoky too with lots of different notes of bitter berries, prety malty too. And there are some nice hoppiness to that balances all of it.

Bananaman, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of soulgrowl
4.83/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

soulgrowl, Oct 08, 2008
Photo of watchnerd
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at City Beer in San Francisco.

Dark and thick, almost as dark and thick as the Deschuttes Abyss.

Lots of roasted malt flavors and it definitely tastes smoked. If it had a thicker mouthfeel, one could mistake it for a porter.

Doesn't have a strong hope note and the juniper berries are infused in a very subtle amount, mainly imparting a bit of tang and dryness. To be honest, I would have known 'something' was in there, but couldn't have identified it as juniper berries had the label not told me so.

A very enjoyable beer for the winter and fall, but not exactly a hot summer BBQ beer.

watchnerd, Sep 18, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 86 brewed 8/2007, BB date 8/2009. From 500 into that Riedel Vinum Cab glass...

Pours a deep, wicked dahhhk chestnut body with a copious, yeasty, frothy, cappucino-foam 2-finger head with very good lacing. Great first impression.

Mild sarsparilla tone with strong carbonation zing. Lots of oak character in malt with what seems to be exceedingly piney hops but may be an effect of the juniper berries. Juniper berries? OK, I can see that...but what the hell is this?! It's pretty damn good...that's what it is, Jake...

This is very austere - first thought is a single malt Scotch barrel-aged taste - and then I remember the juniper berries. A little slate and spent charcoal drives the smokiness with a fair amount of earth and hop pine in tandem. Juniper berries add a nice bite to this. Sturdy.

The woodiness of the malt and aging as well as the juniper and piney hops drive this to be a light-woody-rustic effort that is very hearty on one hand but by no means feels heavy. The finish is nicely splintery, if that can be a good thing.

This is a great ski lodge beer. Very woodsy and dry but quite comforting.

IBUnit63, Sep 17, 2008
Photo of lightindarkness
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep cola colored brown body with an attractive one finger off-white head slowly settling to a thin layer over the beer.

Light warm earthy smoke on the nose with a mildly sweet roasty malted background. No particular characteristic is overly strong, but overall very pleasant.

Taste is also pleasant, though particularly mild. A splash of sweetness up front, followed by watery malt, then building in flavor to an earthy herbal bark taste and some mild smoke. Roasted grains lay a thin base for the middle, with a faint tart sweetness on the finish. Lingering smoky aftertaste. Not overly flavorful or stunning, but a good tasting beer.

Nice lighter creamy medium body with soft carbonation tingle on the center of the tongue. Drinks smooth and finishes slowly, fading over a few seconds.

Nicely drinkable with pleasant taste and feel. Not outstanding in any particular dimension, but a solid brew. Smoke is mild and adds to the character.

lightindarkness, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which leaves some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some yeast, with some grassy notes and corinander. The taste is malty, sweet, yeasty/grassy, with some smoky notes, nice touch of corinander. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew, recommended.

Wasatch, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of YankChef
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a U.K size guiness pint glass

Appearance: slightly Hazy amber brown with tints of rust. Initial 3/4 inch thick head that is pillowy and fluffy and slightly offwhite beige.

Aroma: yes SMOKE, big time woody smokiness that you would expect in a beer with wood in its name. Herbaceous spiciness as well, the juniper comes through as well. Even subtle aromas of caramel and chocolate.

Taste: The first sensation is a slight tingle that is akin to a peppery spiciness, but black pepper not chile as it is not overwhelming. Then there is a yeasty breadiness that follows and thats where the juniper and woodiness shines through as well. Very interesting.

Overall: A very interesting and unique brew... I can almost invision a farmhouse and burning fire as I drink it. I don't know much about Norway, but this beer is very telling about its beer culture. One of a kind, at least as far as I have experienced.

YankChef, Aug 19, 2008
Photo of ohmybock
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My second time trying a bottle of this brew...and still I like it quite a lot. This one pours a deep red color with a small, but long-lasting head. It's actually fairly clear in color, but if you swirl the sediment in the bottom of the bottle (and add it to your glass), it becomes a bit cloudy like a hefeweizen.

The aroma is a mixture of smokiness and mild tart/sweetness...and maybe a bit of phenolic (weizen?) peculiarity as well. The flavor seems to hit the tongue with smokiness first, followed by some fruity/tart flavor...maybe that's the juniper? The smokiness reminds me quite a bit of the best Bamberg brews, but the rauch character isn't as omnipresent as the Schlenkerla brews, possibly not as much as the Spezial brews either. There's a bit of tartness in the flavor which I've had in some other smoked brews. I'm not sure if it's a result of the smoked malt or possibly the yeast, but whatever it is...I like it. Whatever the case, I think this brew is catered more toward those who like a somewhat heavy smoke flavor in their beer. If that sounds like "you", then give this one a try!

ohmybock, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of jjayjaye
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy deep dark orange amber color with a big foamy light tan head that resists fading. A good amount of sheeting Belgian lace left behind. The smell is really unique. Smokey, earthy, funky, and yeast with a tartness. The mouth feel is light-medium bodied, alive with a bright tingle of tart effervescence. The earthy roasted smokey taste with a little chalky NECCO wafer chocolate thing going on. I'm finding more and more to consider about this one. Definitely having a gas with it. I'm getting a little chest warmer with the 6.5% ABV...don't understand that. Hey, take one for a spin.

jjayjaye, Jul 14, 2008
Photo of ph2001
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz bottle in pint glass

this poured with TONS of head. a deep reddish amber color. smells smooth and hoppy, not really of smoke.

there is a nice swettness that is pretty mild. the smokiness doesn't really come into effect until the aftertaste, then it seems pretty strong, but nice. i don't really taste any of the juniper berries either. the carbonation was out of control on this one, could definitely be toned down a bit.

ph2001, Jul 12, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint-.9 oz bottle from Batch 72 (April '07) with a freshness date, poured into a pint nonic glass yields a hazy brownish amber body stocked to capacity with wild rivulets of active carbonation feeding a gigantic hand's width of fine, fine-bubbled cappuccino foam. The silly-large head features outstanding retention as fat, fluffy pillows of foam that languish in the glass, leaving huge, obese swatches of lacing.

Smell is sweetly woody and smoky, with fragrant green juniper right up front and malty caramel lurking in the back. Lots of lingering aromas to be savored in the aftertaste here--if it were cologne, I'd wear it.

Taste is spicy with a light citrusy note and smooth, with a pleasantly-bitter burnt note of smoky caramel. The smokiness is subdued at first, but really builds to dominate the drink in a positive way, connecting the flavors together in a wonderfully flavorful, nicely balanced drink.

I never found the juniper twigs and berries in the drinking, per se, but I can smell and taste it in the aftertaste as I breathe, leaving me wondering if it is masquerading as the 'spicy' hop-note. Caramel is more pronounced, as is the smoke, as things warm up a bit.

Great drinkability.

cvstrickland, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle copped from State Line Liquors...
"Traditional Norwegian Smoked Ale with Juniper Berries" as per the description on the front logo sticker...
Nice appearance - a hazy, murky, deep, dark brown hue that strongly resembled a barleywine along with a humongous foamy and frothy head that exhibited adequate staying power and deposited a thin film of lacing around the glass...
Smell replete with malts, berries, and smoked duck...
Great smokey flavor along with a nice hint of roasted malts, bread and butter, and a strong suggestion of chocolate and mocha...
Taste was truly complex and different, very enticing...
Creamy, thick, mouthfeel along with a pretty good level of drinkability for such a complex brew...
Definitely worth a try...

dsa7783, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of mhewes
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A : Pours a light brown with a huge head that never seems to go down. Leaves good lacing on the glass when it does.

S : Roasted malts along with some smoke. There's also some notes of juniper berries

T : There's a nice, not overpowering, smoke flavor that melds well with the juniper berries. A little bit of tartness to it.

M : Medium body, good carbonation

D : Great beer. Definitely one I would love to drink again.

mhewes, Jun 23, 2008
Photo of Beaver13
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz bottle. Batch 100, brewed 10/07, best by 10/09. Pours a murky light brown with a huge big bubbled rocky fizzy light tan head that retains well and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is complex - toasted chocolate malts, dark fruits, smoke, wood and a little alcohol.

The flavor is bready chocolate malts, dark fruits, fruitcake and spices with a decent bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium with lots of sharp carbonation.

Overall, an interesting and fun beer. It tastes interesting, but doesn't quite align with my tastes.

Beaver13, Jun 21, 2008
Photo of merlin48
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pours a cloudy copper body with a fluffy beige head that subsides into spiderweb lacing. Lovely aroma has notes of caramel, funky juniper berry, and subtle campfire smokiness. Medium body and carbonation. Taste is complex and quite interesting. Smoke is more evident in the taste than the aroma, lending an outdoor smokiness. Assertive bitterness seems to derive from the hops profile. Caramel malt sweetness is easily apparent though understated. The juniper berries add an odd earthy herbal character, much like a good gin. Mild roasty notes add to the complexity. A very interesting and worthwhile experience that is also an enjoyable sipper.

merlin48, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of scruffwhor
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer even looks smokey, rust with dark shades of copper and ruby. The head is a light tan right after the pour tahst recedes a on the quick side after a couple of sips. Can't see any bubbles through this thick looking quagmire. When you smell the beer sitting stgnantly, you get the earthy juniper berries with a touch of nuts. But when you swirl the beer, you get a big whiff of smokey malts that have a touch of caramel. This is one unique tasting beer. Herbal berries,very smokey malts giving notes of toasted nuts and mixe with the taste of a campfire. Snokey palate with a touch of dark sweetness. Good sipper.

scruffwhor, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of Rzzzzz
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Isn't it good!

Batch 86. Poured into a Beatles Rubber Soul pint glass. I mean, if you've got one, is there really another choice?

Brown and somewhat cloudy with a thick cream colored head. This has a spicy, floral nose, presenting more spice than smoke, somewhat unexpectedly, with a nice roasted malt aroma in the background. Flavor starts off a mix of spice and (understated) smoke, with a fruity follow. Lingering malt and herb flavors. Complex and nicely balanced.

Carbonation was a bit heavy at the start, but mellowed a some as it warmed for a nice mouthfeel. Each sip gets better. A good tasting, interesting beer.

Freshness label suggests it will last a while--I'll have to hunt down some more and see how well it ages. But for now...this beer has flown.

Rzzzzz, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of bluejacket74
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, Batch NR 86, brewed August 2007, best before August 2009. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/ruby red with an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The aroma is smoky and spicy, it smells like smoke, wood, spice and a slight fruity aroma that I assume is from the juniper berries. The taste is the same as the aroma, it's smoky, spicy, herbal and a little bit fruity. Aroma and taste are both very nice. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a little bit creamy with some lively carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and easy to drink. If you like smoky beers, then I think you'll like this one. I'd definitely buy this again.

bluejacket74, Jun 15, 2008
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(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.

rhoadsrage, May 30, 2008
Norwegian Wood from HaandBryggeriet
88 out of 100 based on 289 ratings.