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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 Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%

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.

Phyl21ca, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of cosmonick
1.5/5  rDev -61.9%

cosmonick, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of RobertColianni
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%

RobertColianni, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of Resuin
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Resuin, Nov 03, 2012
Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

BarryMFBurton, Oct 24, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

t0rin0, Oct 09, 2012
Photo of beergoot
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%

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...

beergoot, Oct 01, 2012
Photo of freewill35
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

freewill35, Oct 01, 2012
Photo of Willbfun
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Willbfun, Sep 30, 2012
Photo of Florya
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Florya, Sep 22, 2012
Photo of sommersb
3.98/5  rDev +1%

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.

sommersb, Sep 20, 2012
Photo of spoony
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

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.

spoony, Aug 24, 2012
Photo of liamt07
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%

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.

liamt07, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of kaelingirl
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

kaelingirl, Jul 10, 2012
Photo of BeerTruck
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

BeerTruck, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of askeladden
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%

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.]

askeladden, Jun 21, 2012
Photo of zaphodchak
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%

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.

zaphodchak, Jun 16, 2012
Photo of bruachan
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%

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

bruachan, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of cincyfan90
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

cincyfan90, Jun 03, 2012
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%

500ml bottle. ½ Pint glass. Enjoyed on apr´12.Inviting pours orangish red in color. Yellowish froth creates a thick layer crown. Involving smokiness both in flavor & aromas. Juniper touch to the nose. Mildy maltiness & low bitterness. Slightly spicy palate, smooth sensation. Notes of resins & wood linger in to the aftertaste. Flavorful, well balanced, smart beer. A delightful beer suggested as session beer in cold weather despite its ABV. I´d really enjoyed it very much.

GONZALOYANNA, May 23, 2012
Photo of Duff27
3.9/5  rDev -1%

Feb '09 bottle

Thin off white head on a medium brown body. Head recedes to a collar around the glass.

Tangy fruits from the nose.

More fruits that turn to smoke at the very tail end. "Very Sahti-ish". Minimal alcohol presence.

Still well carbonated for being 3 years old.

Pretty unique beer here. I found it more similar to a style akin to a Sahti than a smoked beer....this may be attributed to its age but like I said earlier, still enjoyable.

Duff27, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of sonorb7
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

sonorb7, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of polishkaz
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

polishkaz, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of wordemupg
4/5  rDev +1.5%

500ml bottle poured into tulip 22/3/12

A glows a reddish amber with a loose light tan thumbs width of foam that ends up looking soapy leaving random lace

S smokey yet a little fruity, a little licorice and spruce, smells pretty earthy with some faint hops

T leather and tobacco work well with the spicy juniper, pretty unique when you add on what I smell, not overly smokey but its hard too miss

M medium-full with just enough bubbles, very long aftertaste of twiggy char

O interesting stuff unlike any other brew I can think of, no booze detected is pretty impressive too

this one has been elusive to me other then at a beer fest but I wasn't taking notes, pretty glad I was finally able to grab a bottle its good stuff

wordemupg, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark red brown amber. Two finger medium off-white head that dissipates relatively quickly, leaving nice lacing. Aroma is intense smoke and peat with an almost metallic element, probably from the peat. Taste is neutral malt, smoke, light peat and understated dark and light fruit. The finish is dry and smokey, but mellow. Medium bodied. Well done. Not quite as sweet as some of my favorite smoked beers, but I like the flavor progression and taste of this. The peat in the finish is a little bit of an off flavor for me, but overall this all works.

LiquidAmber, Mar 01, 2012
Norwegian Wood from HaandBryggeriet
88 out of 100 based on 284 ratings.