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Norwegian Wood - HaandBryggeriet

Not Rated.
Norwegian WoodNorwegian Wood

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

284 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 284
Reviews: 209
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 10.15%
Wants: 42
Gots: 14 | 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: 284 | Reviews: 209 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of geexploitation
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a huge tan head and murky, slightly russet-tinged hard brown body. The aroma is quite interesting: lots of smoke (beech- or alderwood perhaps?), some creamy caramel malt tones, and a light fruitiness with a bit of zing to it. Very cool. On the palate, significant bitterness and smokiness throughout, although both are most pronounced in the finish. Very dark-roast coffee hits the palate midway through. Flitting along behind everything is an understated fruitiness that I would assume is coming from the juniper berries -- it's quite a welcome addition, as it keeps things from being all dark, hard flavors and instead rounds everything out. Mouthfeel is surprisingly light but overcarbonated. What a unique, interesting, and tasty beer. A smoke-lover's dream but with an extra dimension added with the juniper. Wonderful stuff!

geexploitation, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of Gmann
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy chestnut brown color with a huge dense light brown head. Disappated into a 1/4 inch fluffy cap, very nice. The smell is of bready malt, very light smoke, and a kind of rusty metallic spice twang (juniper?). The taste is strong with smoke and burning wet wood, a herbal almost fruity flavor follows and I must assume this is the juniper. These flavors are well supported by a nice nutty malt backbone. The feel is moderate with very prickly carbonation, probably too much carbonation. Finishes with a malty sweetness and some toasted/roasted bitterness. A very nice smokey brew. I am finding myself to be a fan of these types. The carbonation is a bit strong and the flavors would stick out more with softer carbonation. One or two of these is all I could probably drink in a sitting as the smokey flavor might get cloying after a while. Looking forward to drinking this by a fire.

Gmann, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500mL bottle - Batch 72
Bottled April 07 Best by Apr 10.

Pours a medium chestnut brown with some orange hues. Thick & creamy tan/orange head that thins, but maintains. Decent lacing on the glass.

Aroma is very smokey and woody with just a hint of spice.

All smoke upfront leading into some woody flavors and just a hint of juniper. The base beer is overpowered. Finishes dry.

Medium body, high carbonation.

Overall, a decent smoked beer. I tremendously enjoy rauchbiers and smoked porters, but this guy fell just a bit short. It's quite one dimensonal, and I will esily pass this over for my beloved Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen....

MaltyGoodness, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of erosier
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours an orangish brown color with an extremely tall and thick head that foamed up to the top of the glass very fast. I had to wait for the foam to go down before I could pour some more to fill the glass. Oddly enough it didn't have as much lacing as I would have expected. The beer had a very nice roasted malty base underneath a very smokey aroma. The taste wasn't as smokey as I would have imagined from the aroma but it was still quite smokey. It had a very deep roasted malt base followed by a very woody and smokey flavor finished with a very roasted barely aftertaste. Very interesting and I really enjoyed it. The mouthfeel was very smooth and warming which made for a very drinkable beer. Definately worth a try if you can find it.

erosier, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of aforbes10
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

aforbes10, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of MarcGetty
4.83/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

MarcGetty, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark ruddy bronze with bright orange trim. A greater than optimal amount of carbonation has led to a massive golden beige cap despite a controlled pour. The foam is a wonderful color match for the beer and looks much better as it melts. Very little lace isn't a surprise.

Is the above style accurate? Shouldn't a Scandanavian farmhouse ale that is brewed with juniper twigs in the bottom of the mash tun be called a sahti? Smoked malt isn't typically a part of that style, but the early practitioners of the craft surely roasted their barley over open fires.

Good rauchbiers smell great. This offering isn't quite that smoky, but it's smoky enough to dominate the aroma with ease. Too bad the juniper berries aren't more noticeable. This is shaping up to be mighty fine beer.

Any beer with this much smokiness has to be considered a rauchbier, no matter how it was brewed or what else it contains. At least that's the way I would describe Norwegian Wood if someone was contemplating a purchase. Having said that, its smokiness is more along the lines of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen (moderate) than Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock (massive).

Things definitely improve with time and warming. The carbonation settles down, the flavor deepens and the body firms up a bit. Although I still can't appreciate the juniper twigs and berries, there's an underlying fruitiness (and a subtle spiciness) that makes this much more than a one-trick pony.

Keeping style in mind and appreciating some improvement by the bottom of the bottle, I'm still not able to pull the trigger on the higher mouthfeel score. Better quality bubbles, and fewer of them, would have gone a long way toward putting this attribute up with all the rest.

I've already used lyrics from 'Norwegian Wood' for another Norwegian beer (Nogne Pale Ale), so I couldn't very well use them here. I will admit, however, that one phrase keeps running through my head as I drink. And that is... 'yes, it is good'.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of IPAcraig
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this gem in Atlanta last fall based solely on my fondness for The Beatles song of the same name. This bottle is from batch number 70 that was brewed one year ago, March 2007.

A very good looking beer. A very dark ruby body with a extremely massive brown head.

Smells as advertised, malted barley highlighted with piney juniper berries. It also has a nice citrus character. No smoke is noticeable.

A nice smoked character in this beer, it is more than just a hint but not overpowering. Again this beer has hints of pine and grapefruit, though not from hops. There is a very nice roasted presence that compliments the smoke. I really like this beer. It has some very interesting and unique flavors.

Prickly carbonation and a light lively body.

A very unique experience and I perhaps lack the palate to adequately describe this beer. Nonetheless this was a highly enjoyable brew. This is better than just good Norwegian Wood.

IPAcraig, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The wood and smoke is there in the tasting. That, and the juniper berries linger on in the aftertaste.Smooth drinker, with he smoked malt, leaving the bitterness for the very end. Pours cocoish colour with constant white head. Wood fire oven aroma. Worth a try for smoke fans.

Sammy, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of Domingo
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Norwegian wood smoked with juniper berries? Sounds like it's worth a try.
Pours a reddish-brown color, that's more red than brown. Not sure why, but I expected this to be pitch black...even though rauchbiers typically aren't. It's a little cloudy, but light makes it through.The head on this is HUGE. I poured about 1/2 of it into a glass and with each subsequent pour thereafter the head comes back and takes up 2/3 of the glass.
Smells like smoke up-front, but then I start to get a minty herbal flavor. Reminds me a little of a smoky spruce beer.
The taste is smoky like a rauchbier, but the jumpier berries give it a medicinal aftertaste that's really bitter. It's a novel flavor at first, but after a few sips, I was getting a little sick of it. It does have a little bit of a gin kick in there between sips, but that strong bitter smoke is just too much.
Mouthfeel is thick due to the huge head that keeps forming. Really pretty heavily carbonated.
I have to say that I just didn't care for this. I'm actually learning to like rauchbiers, but this weird variant didn't do it for me. I finished about 3/4 of it and poured out the rest. If you really like smoked beers, this is probably worth a try. If not - avoid this. Everything about this beer is pretty strong, and somewhere I wish there were some more subtle characteristics.

Domingo, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a very nice beer, one I would want to drink again. It was a pretty red/brown color with a thick tan head. The head proved to be very sticky and retained well. I thought the aroma was a little muted. It had a smoky/peaty aroma with a whiff of gin. Taste-wise, the juniper berries were right up front, a litttle sharp, with the smokeiness coming in later. Finally a little bit of hops at the end. Fairly dry beer, but felt good. Ready for more.

lordofthewiens, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of bigeyedfish
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

bottle courtesy of Amada's finest. poured into a pint glass.

a little bit of a gusher. some quick reflexes saved my three-day old crossword puzzle/coaster.

the body, once everything kind of settles from the aforementioned gusher is not really what i expected. a really dense mahogany/burgundy brown body that is almost impossible to see through; it's not an especially dark beer. it's just tough to see through. i honestly didn't know what to expect this beer to look like, but i don't think i expected it to look like this. the head is kind of dense, and pretty sticky within itself, but surprisingly lacking in the lacing department. kind of a yellow/off-white mixture, only a little bit darker. nice looking beer.

across the room you can smell this beer- it smells of berries. up close it's a lot of the same. the intermingling of smoke and juniper berries is awesome- the smoke is the first odor present, but it pretty quickly turns to an aroma of berries. really big smoke on the finish of the aroma, although with a hint of vodka aroma mixed with the smoke. probably the biggest aroma of any beer i've ever smelled. not sure if it's a good thing or not. stings the nostrils.

i'm not sure where this ranks in terms of smoked beers- i can't say the general style is one i'm well-versed in. even more, the scottish gruit/ancient herbed ale is one category that up until this moment, i did not know beer advocate even had. you really do learn something everyday. so it's tough to say if this is good or bad for a smoked beer- kind of like the first time you have a gueze.

as for the body, well, it most definitely tastes like it smells. i think if anything, it is a lot closer to scotch whiskey in respects to similar flavors than to any beer. it's kind of peppery, only if the pepper had been eaten off of a fern. there are juniper berries on the finish, but the initial flavor of smoke+pepper+ferns is more than dominant. there's even a slight hint of bittersweet cocoa, which is intriguing. a really intense beer. wow. yeah, really tastes like smoke. wow.

with all the flavor that this beer has, it's hard to remember that it's only 6.5% alcohol. but it does explain the lack of mouthfeel and carbonation. there's some light palate grip on the outer parts of the mouth, and some mild sensations on the finish, but not a whole lot. the flavor is kind of king with this beer. not room for much else.

drinkability? if this were a 12 oz bottle it'd probably be higher. so let's say this is a beer you split between two people (drinking from a bomber). well, it's pretty drinkable in that case. the smokiness is something you are shocked by and learn to appreciate over time. but a bomber by yourself? you need to really, really love smoke. if you're smoky the bear, this beer might be for you.

if you're not, and you're only mildly interested in smoky beers, well, this beer becomes less drinkable. after awhile it almost becomes a chore. between the huge aroma, the fact that there is still a half-finger of head at the end of the bottle of that the juniper berries and smoke make for a beer taste that kind of makes you grimace, well, let's just say it's better than average. but not by much.

i wish i had another bottle of this to split amongst friends- this is one of those beers that has to be seen to be believed. i'm happy i tried it, i now have new found appreciation for this style of beer, stone's smoked porter now seems a lot more drinkable and i need to make a more concentrated effort to drink more Scandinavian beers; but other than that, well, by default, this is my favorite beer that shares a name with a Beatles song. ha. i could end this review on a positive note. i just lost a buck. to myself. i once had a beer, or should i say, it once had me.

bigeyedfish, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 70, brewed March 2007; Sampled January 2008
Smokey aromatics greet my nose as I pour this brew into my glass. It is very well carbonated and easily produces a tan crown of froth that is a full five fingers in height (including almost two-finger above the rim of my glass. The smoke is definitely the dominant characteristic of the aroma; the smoke is a mix of salt, meaty umami, smoked cherry, smooth phenolics and perhaps a hint of plastic. The aroma is pretty appetizing, but it is very hard to smell anything other than the smoke.

Still well carbonated the beer foams just a bit as it hits my mouth. It smoothes out considerably as the beer flows across my tongue and even picks up some chewy texture and almost creamy quality to it by the finish. The beer has a smooth, hearty smokiness to it up front, but picks up a touch of sharp esters and phenolics towards the finish. Up front the smoke character melds in with the malt sweetness so well that the sweetness is not overly noticed, but instead makes the smoke seem quite appetizing. Somehow the smoke balances this up front note in the finish with a bit of sharper phenolics, but there are also some dry, lingering, toasty grain notes in the finish as well. Touches of berry notes seem to be in the flavor as well, though it seems very hard to pick them out underneath the smokiness. The smoke combines quite well with the heft of this brew; it is just enough to be chewy, but not so much as to make this anything near a sipping brew.

An interesting idea, but it seems somehow not all that well executed. The flavor is wonderful if you like smoked beers (which I do), but I really wish more of the juniper could have come through. In the end it is a bit one dimension, especially considering I was hoping for a smoked beer with something else going on. Still this is a tasty brew and one that I am certainly enjoying.

Gueuzedude, Jan 25, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled April 07 Best before Apr 10. Batch 72 6.5% ABV

A: Cloudy brown color with 4 fingers of tannish head. Retention is very good with some lacing as well.

S: Smell is totally different. Herbal with a touch of smoke and meat.

T: Very herbal and flowery up front. Then the smoke slowly rolls in. Finishes with a very intense burst of juniper.

M: Med body. Hard to describe this one. Well carbonated but it doesn't feel like it is.

D: Never had this style of beer before so drinkability is a hard decision. I split the bottle and that is fine with me. A sipper I would say though the smoke is not overwhelming nor are the spices. Totally different and worth tracking down if you can.

aerozeppl, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of doubleipa
2.2/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Didn't really know what to expect. Great, very smoky aroma, as expected. Huge, light-brown, mostly lasting head. Cloudy, brown color. That's were the good experience ended. This is like nothing else I've every had. It tasted plain awful. i couldn't drink very much of this. Huge dissapointment.

doubleipa, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark clouded brown with a good sized tan head that stays. Nose is smoked, yes. But definitely not overdone by any means. Smells like smoked meat. Flavor is smoked, but not a kick in the mouth, thankfully. You get a lasting smoke that has meat character to it. I don’t feel like I get much juniper berries like the label implies. But hey, what do I know. Feel has a pretty full carbonation to it that really takes over the mouth. Liquid is well bodied. Overall a good drink. Not an overpowering smoked beer at all. Still seems a bit one-sided and not extremely complex. And for the price, I feel like I should be getting a whole lot more.

RblWthACoz, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of objectivemonkey
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Into an imperial pint glass, pours a dark russet brown, approaching black, ruby to blood red hues around the edges, a (too) massive tan head forming quickly, requiring numerous pours, very airy too.. eventually settling to a manageable half inch and getting much more creamy. The lacing is pretty nice too... yhar, it good.

The smoky aroma is obvious, but the rest takes its time to come through, what with the massive head, but once out the berries peek through. And if its possibly for an aroma to smell 'dry'... well, this one does.

The best I can describe this taste is as follows; a burnt marshmallow over an autumn campfire, minus the marshmallow, dipped lightly in gin. Plus some bark. If that sounds gross, clearly you're a pansy, cause this is a delicious brew. Its a bit dry, a slightly sour feel to it, a little meaty even. Then I notice some caramel malts mutter its greetings through the middle. There are some odd things at work in here, but I like it.

The mouth is a bit odd though, dry as expected but also too carbonated, leaving the already medium body feeling a bit thin. Later the carbonation backs off, and thickens up a bit. Overall, it was a bit much at first and then later, but through the middle of this beer it was a very enjoyable journey, and would recommend trying it. But paying $8 for this, one and done.

objectivemonkey, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a small glass, the liquid is a hazey brown and has excessive carbonation. The head is way too big of light tan and leaves little lace.

The smell is interesting, lots of smoke and a slight gin and alcohol aroma. The Gin scent comes from the berries.

The taste is good, with in the style, and my experience is limited, the beer seems to taste good, as far as most smoked beers it is good but I would not chose this one regularly because of the berries.

The mouthfeel is ok a bit this and way too much carbonation.

The drinkability is not that great as it is a bit strange.

Prosit, MK

MuenchenerKindl, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of Zorro
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$6.99 at Jubilation in Albuquerque, it is a little pricey.

Murky dark reddish brown colored beer with a decent tan head that doesn't fall.

Wow did some one order a Rauchbier? Quite smoky smelling from a distance. A little sweet and pretty strongly spiced with juniper berries and smoke. For some reason there is a fairly strong vanilla aroma.

The taste begins very dry, very spicy and very smoky. This is a beer that doesn't suffer from lack of flavor. Very woody and smoky if you like dry smoky scotch you will love this. Juniper shows up mostly as an after taste. Not quite up there with German Rauchbier but this is a beer dominated by the smoke. This does lack subtleties, this is smoke and juniper berries and dry and that is all.

The mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability will be decided here on your like or dislike of strong smoke flavor in a beer. This is a beer that has smoke flavor in spades and if you don't like that you will have a hard time drinking it. I like a smoky beer so I love this.

Zorro, Nov 30, 2007
Photo of HomeBrewJunkie
3.1/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Norwegian Wood pours a nice dark brown, with a huge creamy head. The retention of this head is amazing. When exposed to the light I see a burnt orange color poking thru.

I imagine a smoldering piece of oak when put to my nose. Under the smokiness, juniper berries sweeten the nose. Some malt sweetness is present, but toasted and smoky malt is more prominent.

The flavor is similar to the aroma smoky and oaky. Acidy almost like liquid smoke. The smoke and wood take charge of this beer, and doesn’t give any slack to the other flavors. I get flavors from the berries, but they taste like they are smoked as well. Finishes dry almost as you are licking that smoldering piece of oak. However as it warms it grows on me. It’s a little sweeter now but the smoke, wood and acid like flavors are still very demanding.

Moderately carbonated feels good in the mouth. Not to thick and not too thin just right. Although I have yet to be won over, it’s had good mouthfeel.

I will leave you with this. If you are a fan of smoked and or woody beers I would give this a try. It overwhelms you with these flavors though. Personally I did not think this beer was all that bad. If you give it time it might grow on you too. Don’t be too quick to judge with this one let it warm up a bit.

HomeBrewJunkie, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of flowerysong
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

flowerysong, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of GbVDave
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

Batch # 72 Brewed : Apr. '07 Best Before : Apr. '10

A: Pours a cloudy, reddish-brown, dark-amber color. Getting it all in the glass takes a while due to the huge head on this. It eventually settles down and turns into a 1/2 finger cap of smooth and creamy foam.

S: Smoke and roasted malt are front and center, but also there are hints of hops, chocolate, and juniper to keep things interesting.

T: Smokey and burnt malt and bitter hops. The juniper adds a nice spicy zing to this. Not an extreme "gin" type of juniper flavor, just a perfect amount of sass to make things really interesting. There is also a teeny, tiny dark chocolate covered tart cherry flavor as well. Just about perfect amount of smoke, not too strong, not too weak.

M: Peppery and spicy with some smooth malt to even things out.

D: What an interesting beer. The ABV is just right and everything just seems to fall into place with this one. Excellent!

GbVDave, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of sinistrsam
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a ruby brown with a large tan foamy head. Decent lacing throughout the time I was drinking it.
Roasted malt and smoke, maybe some mild dark fruits in the nose.
The taste was rather malty and sweet, with hints of roast, smoke, caramel, very mild hops. Very unique.
Starts sweet with biting carbonation and fades into a semi-sweet smokiness which coats thetongue and leaves a good aftertaste. Overall medium-bodied.
I was impressed with this beer but not overwhelmed; I guess I had never had a Norwegian beer, and certainly not this style. The price was pretty unreasonable, so maybe I'd feel better about it if I bought it myself.

sinistrsam, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of Patrick999
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Ommegang chalice. Head is very nice and retains well. Appropriately enough, the color is a smoky caramel. I like the way this looks, so I'm going to give it a high score.

I think I actually get some grassy hop foremost in the aroma, maybe a singed hop, because there's the smoke coming in. Hey, this *is* a smoked ale...what did you expect? There's a little sweet aroma as well; I assume this is the juniper.

Taste - I've had Rogue's smoked ale and Alaskan Smoked Porter, and to me this has elements of both, though perhaps a closer cousin to Rogue's Smoke Ale. It's heavily smoked, but the smoke doesn't seem to weigh heavily on the palate. Very drying with the smoke, light hop and juniper, with a lingering surprisingly bitter, smoky aftertaste.

Drinkability is high, but you'd better be in the mood for a smoked ale. I'm drinking this by itself, but I can only dream of how well it would go with BBQ or smoked salmon.

Patrick999, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of Metalmonk
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Expensive at $7.99 a bottle, but the novelty/promise of a Norwegian smoked beer with a classy label got me. Pours a muddy deep brown, with a thin light-tan head made of very small bubbles. Small ribbons of lace appear as the beer disappears.

Roasted grains and a musty presence in the aroma remind of a Scotch ale, but the woody/smoke element gives a unique slant to this beer.

Flavor is very much smoke, a little peat, more smoke, wood, and smoke. I suppose it would pair well with bacon. That's right, pair it with bacon. Apparently this is brewed with juniper, but you have to really use your imagination to sense it amidst the smoke haze. It's not as robust as expected, partly due to the light, fizzy mouthfeel. Finish has an astringency that somewhat reminds of soap.

This is good and interesting, but not great and legendary. I expected a bolder, more complex character; has its problems along with its positive attributes. Looking forward to their Russian Imperial Stout.

Metalmonk, Oct 26, 2007
Norwegian Wood from HaandBryggeriet
88 out of 100 based on 284 ratings.