Haandbakk - HaandBryggeriet

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438 Ratings
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Ratings: 438
Reviews: 221
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 101
Gots: 57 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet visit their website

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-03-2008

The first wild yeast-fermented beer brewed in Norway for over 100 years.

Aged in oak barrels for 2 years.

20 IBU
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 438 | Reviews: 221
Reviews by botham:
Photo of botham
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

bottle poured into a belgian glass. pours a chocolate brown with a single finger of tan head with decent retention and no lacings.

aroma is of vinous rhubarb and a light sour note with fruit notes of grape and a touch of apple right next to the sour note. mellow in the nose with a light tart-like note that fits right in.

taste is of vinous fruit with a subtle sour note that imparts a sharp sour note on the back end. very mellow with a lightly sour aura. excellent.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a vinous and sharp finish and a residual tartness. very soft and well put together on the palate.

drinkability is great. mellow, soft, and a sharp finish come together into a solid sour that creeps up on the palate. very drinkable and supremely drinkable. cheers!

More User Reviews:
Photo of hagbergl
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of Haandbryggeriet Haandbakk, the Norwegian brewery's Flanders Oud Bruin-style ale, at the Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, MA on the recommendation of one of the store owners. A little expensive, but worth it. Nice pick. It was enjoyed in my Dogfish Head snifter.

Appearance (4/5): Haandbakk pours a beautiful deep ruby a few shades lighter than black and is topped by the thinnest bit of taupe head that quickly dissipates to a disk of light foam that follows that beer on its way down the glass. Despite the beer's mysterious look, it also appears a little still, making me fear undercarbonation.

Smell (4.5/5): The nose, to any lover of sour ales, is bliss: it is highly acidic and exhibits nice red wine-like and woody tones, no doubt from the barrel-aging this beer has undergone. Tart berry aromas–blackberry, cranberry–also mix with the vinegar-like acidic notes. I know it sounds kind of strange, but it smells good.

Taste (4.5/5): Predictably, Haandbakk begins sharply acidic, featuring prominent red wine-like and blackberry/cranberry flavors up front. The initial big hit of tartness (surprisingly) does not linger long into the finish, which is actually fairly smooth. No alcohol presence to be found, despite this beer's assertive strength. Woody tones start to dominate in the back. As the acidity abates, fruity flavors stick around to impart a decidedly unique flavor to the finish that definitely tastes "aged"–again, in a good way. This beer is very good.

Mouthfeel (4/5): Haandbakk possesses a medium body and low carbonation. I would have liked to see a little more carbonation in this one, but it's still a damn fine beer. It is quite smooth for a tart beer. It manages to pull off the tartness without being very puckering–it's more mellow than I expected it to be. I am left with a light sourness on the sides and roof of my mouth.

Overall (4/5): Haandbakk is a very interesting, tasty brew. It is a rarity in that it is a strong sour ale. Impressively, the alcohol is very well hidden, allowing Haandbakk's outstanding tart, sour, winey flavors and mellow woody tones stand out unimpeded. This ale is unique among sours I have had, though I would not say it's anywhere near the top of that heap. Very good nonetheless.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this one up on my trip to florida as I had heard very good things about it. Cracked it the other night as I was in the mood for a nice sour. Served chilled in a tulip this one was consumed on 03/05/2009. The pour was very nice with a rich medium brown color and a nice light tan head on top. Nearly opaque with some light reddish touches to the sides and bottom. Deep horse funk on the nose with apple vinegar and ripe sour apples dominating the aroma with some light oak notes as it warmed. The flavor was crisp tart and very full. Ripe apples and sour fruits just ripping through the mouth. Puckeringly good here with a great carbonation level and really solid body all around. Some nice notes of oak as it warms and a rich sour ale really comes to life. Overall a fantastic beer I will gladly buy again.

Photo of womencantsail
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle with the year 2008 on the label.

A: The pour is an interesting dark red/mahogany color with a mild off-white head.

S: A lot of sour cherries with a mild acetic note to the beer. The oak comes through nicely along with a bit of sweet malts in the background.

T: The tartness is pleasant and sharp, both acetic and lactic, but leaning slightly more toward acetic. There is a nice sour cherry fruitiness along with some dry oaky character.

M: A medium bodied beer with a very lively carbonation, sometimes a bit too much so.

D: A really nice oud bruin that balances the vinegar component well. I would definitely pick up another one of these.

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a rusty brown color with garnet highlights; the modest head fades to a film with bubbles around the circumference and leaves dots of lace behind

Smell: Oaky tartness dominates, with cherry, tarmarind and currant elements

Taste: Fruit forward, with the sour cherry, currant and tamarind adding both sweet and tart aspects; by mid-palate, the acetic sourness builds, with the oak becoming dominant and remaining so, into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; prickly on the tongue from the acetic quality

Overall: A really fine beer that is a great example of the brewer's skill

Thanks, mrmiles, for the opportunity

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 49. Brewed 10.10.06. Best before: 10 days from today. The foam gushing on crown cracking was slow enough to allow the muddy coffee bean colored liquid to be corraled into the snifter with no overflow. A surprisingly stubborn beige cap has appeared, though little lace ends up on the glass.

The aroma is a nostril-pleasing fusillade of fruit vinegar, musty oak, and an earthiness that adds even more depth. It doesn't smell like this offering will be sweet in the least. And it may be a puckerbomb of the highest order.

Wow! Wow! And Wow again! This might be the most potent Flanders oud bruin in the history of the style. This stuff is not for the faint of palate, that's for damn sure. Each mouthful is a barely controlled megaton blast of sour acidity... that, thankfully, has a wonderfully well-crafted beer interdigitated with it.

Flavors include sour cherry vinegar, hints of slightly darker fruit macerated in caramel, and a oakiness that is prominent, but far from over-the-top. The amount of acidity is almost overwhelming at times. Look out tooth enamel and stomach lining. Funky bugs (Norwegian wild yeast and lactobacillus) add yet another layer of complexity.

The mouthfeel is perfectly appropriate for the style. It doesn't seem very big in the first half of each mouthful, but hangs on admirably and becomes lightly oily and sticky on the finish. Lightly tingly bubbles are easily managed and add even more mouth interest.

If there's any beer that should hold up well after almost five years it's an oak barrel-aged 8.5% Flanders oud bruin and wild ale hybrid. This quite the experience, but it's almost too intense for all 500 ml to be enjoyable. My advice: find someone with an adventurous palate to share it with.

Photo of nickfl
4.74/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - One and a half fingers of light brown head on a opaque, dark brown body. The head doesn't stick around too long, and the lace is minimal.

S - Sweet and sour, pungent and spicy. Acetic acid, black cherries, and subtle woodiness.

T - Puckering sourness, quickly tempered by fruity malt. A strong toasted oak note appears in the middle along with mild roasted malt flavors. The oak lingers into the finish and remains even as the sourness fades away.

M - High carbonation, medium-thick body, and a very dry finish.

D - Spectacularly drinkable. I am quite partial to flemmish sour beers and this is one of the best that I have ever had. The sour, spicy aroma is spot on and the flavor is complex and satisfying in a way that makes me truly sorry I did not get another bottle of this when I had the chance.

Photo of brownbeer
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this many times. This bottle was shared by busternuggz.

A mysteriously dark red brew with a light brown cap.

It has an ideal aroma for this style. Oak, vanilla, black cherry, and the balsamic vinegar is there but not overpowering or off-putting like I've found in other examples of Oud Bruin.

With a very smooth entry we're greeted by warm vanilla tones and dark fruits (cranberry, black cherry, pomegranite, maybe currants). Just a touch of balsamic vinegar and a zip of refreshing sourness all finished by light, red wine-like tannins.

Awesomely drinkable and one I've taken for granted that we've had so readily available in Springfield, Mo for over a year now. Go Norway.

Photo of goatxpower
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought a bottle at Star Grocery

A- Looks great. Pours dark brown, with a nice fluffy tan head.

S- smells incredible. Vanilla, Sherry, Oak, berries.

T- This is a world class sour. It's more tart then sour, really. Not very acidic/vinegar tasting. Vanilla, Oak, Blackberries, Cherries, Sherry, a little bit of stouty roasted malts. Very complex and tasty.

M- Has an almost stout-like mouthfeel to it. Thicker then most sours/bruins that I've had, it seems.

D- I'm not a HUGE sour fan, which costs the beer some points on that alone, but this is as good as any of the sours that I've had. Honestly, for the money, this is as good as Concecration or even Cuvee de Tomme. Just can't see me drinking it (or Concecration and Cuvee de Tomme for that matter) very often.

Photo of Pliny_the_Self-righteous
3.29/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Draft @ Mikkeller Bar SF on 1/19/15. Pours a red, brown color with minimal head. Aroma is acidic, red grapes, malt, and brett. Medium to thin bodied. Taste is vinegar-like acidity with tones of cherry, grape and funk with a bitter finish. Decent flanders red.

Photo of DuckducKgueuze
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

mmm. . . . . did duchesse get married to the king of boon geuze??? i must brag that i am the first person in north carolina to sip on this sour, velvety goodness - well - he told me i was the first. it said "sour", i said "baby, please, i must have it. . . i love norway" so all i have to say is i love it on this indian summer november night.

Photo of mondegreen
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle into a large Allagash chalice. Bottle says brewed in May of 2008 and bottled in March 2008. I'm not sure how they pulled that one off. Anyways, it appears to be a 2008 vintage. On with the review...

A: Bottle opens with foam rising slowly out of the bottle. Pours a murky brown/deep red with a thin dense off white head. Carbonation steadily rises from the bottom, keeping the head firmly in place.

S: Complex nose. Most certainly a healthy dose of tartness. I'm also picking up hints of sweetness and must. I'm not sure what rhubarbs smell like, but they might be comtributig to the sweetness.

T: Obviously very tart up front. Tart cherries and light vinegar overwhelm at first, followed by a pleasent subtle subtle sweetness. It hits the back of my throat with a shock of sour, leaving a slght burn. Once the sourness passes, I'm left with a relatively thick coat of light fruit sweetness. This really is an interesting beer.

M: Medium bodied and very well carbonated. Feels great on the tounge, matches the style well.

D: This one is keeping me intrigued. I'm no expert on Oud Bruins, but I think this is an excellent brew. Highly recommended if you are interested in sour styles.

Photo of daveytheformer
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'09 vintage bottled May 10th 2010 poured into a Delirium snifter.

Pours dark brown with a light reddish tint. Thin tan head that fades to some spotting.

Smells sour, tart, and funky. Oak and cherries. Sour grapes and some vanilla. An almost eggnog like aroma.

Tastes dry with a lovely woody sourness. Vinous and malty. Ever so tart.

Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation.

Overall is amazing and I don't really know what I would change this in any way. Really like Haand beers and this might be my favorite yet.

Photo of glid02
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this courtesy of ATLBeerdog - much obliged!

Pours a murky brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head dissipates into a thin layer on top and leaves decent lacing.

Smells of tart cherries and green apples, with hints of vanilla and a certain funky earthiness that reminds me of wet leaves, but in a good way.

Tastes great. Not quite as tart as the smell led me to believe, but I still puckered up a bit on the first sip. More cherries and berries than apples that give way to an oaky mellowness that rounds out the end of the sip. The sourness doesn't stick around for the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness with active carbonation that makes it go down smoothly. More body than I was expecting.

Drinkability is good. This is a very seamless sour that does everything right. Tart, but not too tart, mellow, but not too mellow, etc.

Overall I thought this was more along the lines of an Oud Bruin than anything, and a good one it was. Pick this one up if you see it around, and thanks again to ATLBeerdog for sharing this.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a teku)
bottled lo Feb 2011
A- This beer pours a dense brown body with a red glow at the base with a thick ring of light tan big bubbles that soon dissipates. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- This beer has a fruity cherry brett note with a soft wet wood finish.

T- The dry wood and tart flavor has some berry and cola notes coming through as the beer warms and a wood and brown malt note to follow. There is more brett funk and a cherry hint near the finish that fades in to a slight fruity aspirin and a touch of astringency lingers.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel has a slick texture and no real alcohol heat but a touch of astringency.

O- The bright fruity notes blend with some nice funk hints and a dry finish with hints of wood really add some nice depth to this beer. The beer takes on more vinous qualities and the body thins as it opens up. The bitter aspirin quality fades into more of a tartness as the beer opens aswell.

Photo of Stigs
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, Vintage 2008 - bottled May 2008. Best by: this month!

Served in a chalice.

A - pours with a bit of tan colored film. the beer is dark brown, cola colored.

S - wow. insanely tart, yet letting some cherry, strawberries, and grapes through. sour is balanced by some oak and vanilla sweetness.

T - begins with a swift flash of dark cherries, oak, and a bit of ash. sweet again through the middle with a fair amount of vanilla and apples. brief eye watering sourness and acidity, but finishes with some hints of chocolate and vinegar.

M - light bodied with a high amount of crisp, tingly carbonation - very active. a bit chalky through the finish, though wiped clean by tartness and acidity.

D - well balanced. great at displaying the "beer behind the funk/sour" as well, as the dark malts are actually very detectable. great peek at the style.

Photo of augustgarage
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Brewed May 08, Bottled Mar 08" - I'm going to guess they got that reversed ;-) The 2008 vintage comes in at 8%.

Poured from a 500mL bottle into my White Birch tulip.

Rosewood body with rust highlights and a creamy desert sand head - which is small but lasting. Lacing adheres well and cascades down in slow waves until it resembles a mackeral sky against a glassy backdrop.

Black cherry, faint sherry, dark malt, and faint cocoa aromatics. Lush and inviting.

Rich deeply aged vinegar notes - like a mix of sherry, balsamic, and red wine varieties leads into a bloom of malt and fruit mid-palate. Currants, cherry, and wild honey dipped wheat bread. The wood comes out in the finish to add a slight dryness with a phantom of smoke which perfectly rounds out the sweetness and acidity.

Creamy, lightly effervescent, medium bodied, and faintly tannic without being astringent.

One of the best examples of the style I've tried, very flavorful without being harsh or aggressive. As drinkable as La Folie (a slightly different style I realize) but with a more pronounced sense of terroir.

Pairs very well with food (this style generally does better as part of a meal in my experience) - in this case some goat gouda and a fresh baguette...

Photo of BigBossMan
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dark and thick, the color of prune juice with the consistancy of chocolate milk, nice lacing even though not much head

S - strong sour smell, almost like lemon juice or even lemon pledge

T - a SOUR! sour but with complex flavors of whiskey, cherry, lemon, rubarb and a hint of prune - great flavors!

M - very carbonated but creamy

D - fairly drinkable, smooth because of citrus but strong, a special occasion beer

Haandbakk is a complex and enjoyable beer.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by schen9303. March 2008 vintage with a best before date of 2011. Poured into a Lindemann's flute.

A: Gentle pour so as not to disturb the sediment yields a nice 2.5 finger off-white fine head that's rough around the edges. Retention is decent but not overwhelming. Beer is a cloudy reddish brown. Lacing is stringy and sticky though sparse in areas.

S: Sour cherries and prunes and over-ripe strawberries are the fruits behind the overwhelming vinegar presence. Also very strong and aggressive booziness lets me know exactly what I'm getting into. Gentle oak rounds out the aroma's, peaking towards the end.

T: Sour cherries and vinegar at the start with the vinegar never really going away. A bit strong for my tastes here as this covers the much more subtle red fruit notes such as the strawberries and prunes that are barely noticeable. Oak barrel aging makes its presence felt, smoothing out the flavors. Finish here is overly messy and just keep souring and souring. Aftertaste is actually more sour than the beer itself, making me pucker long after the beer is gone from my palate.

M: Medium bodied, lightly carbonated, smooth in the mouth, but tingly and vibrant going down. Finish again, is overly messy to the point where it eclipses the rest of the experience.

D: I can see why this is a highly regarded brew and while it may not be for me, I have to give credit where credit is due. Strong and upfront with massive unapologetic flavors, this is no doubt a bold beer. Feel is amazing and helps to meld the outherwise out of control sourness. Highly recommended if you like sours but remember this may be unlike any other you've had.

Photo of riotontheroad
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Absolutely incredible smell! The taste was barely a notch below the smell. A very rich, full, and complex drink. Definitely pair this one with some great food. The wine characteristics really come through. A little was left in the bottle the next morning ( I couldnt take the entire thing down by myself) and it still had that amazing smell.

Photo of cjgator3
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle
Brewed 10.10.06

A- Pours a dark reddish brown color with a light tan colored head. 

S- The aroma is very sour and acidic with a lot of oak and cherries. I love aromas with huge complexities like this one.

T- The taste like the aroma is sour with oak, leather and vinegar. It is also very acidic like the aroma. This is top notch stuff!

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This is a very tasty beer. The acidity makes it a sipper but this one is welcome in my fridge anytime. Highly recommended!

Photo of dbossman
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Belgian glass.

L: Dark, thin head, cloudy, it's really dark and black--looks a bit like prune juice

S: Sour; balsamic vinegar; lemon and other citrus

T: Sour; rhubarb; a lot of Balsamic vinegar flavoring; also very lemony

F: quite carbonated but balanced and a bit creamy throughout mouth

D: a slow sipper; smooth but quite strong; this is quite drinkable or at least sippable for a sour

Photo of hooliganlife
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

vintage 2008

pours a deep brown with ever slight amber. creamy head. great retention.

the alcohol is well apparent. light sour grapes with a hint of lemon. light sour cherry.

nice light sourness up front. light cherry with a deep oak and mustiness. bit of sweetness at the end. very earthy through out. finish has a bit of a roasted flavor, which adds some dryness.

creamy up front and dry in the back. lots of carbonation.

very good, a very nice approach to this

Photo of nickd717
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle from K&L Redwood City

This beer has a great dark mahogany/crimson appearance with a well-retained three-finger light beige head and good lacing.

The aroma is very interesting. Sweet and sour cherries have a big presence in this one, along with oak, balsamic vinegar, and maybe just a slight nail polish note.

The flavor is excellent and has no significant nail polish presence. This one has benefited from its time in the -bals it seems. Great oaky flavors. This seems to be somewhat of a Flemish red to me, with great fruity flavor (cherry mostly, with some other red berry notes) as well as a substantial vinegar presence. Medium tartness level.

Palate is very smooth and creamy with medium-full body and only mild acidity.

Overall, I really liked this one. It was very drinkable for a sour ale. I still don't know how to pronounce the name of this brewery. Why can't they all be as easy as "Stone" or "Bell's"?

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.52/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle poured into a CBS snifter. Bottled 2/10/2011. Vintage 09.

Appearance - Dark reddish brown body. Looks very dark in the large CBS glass. No head as I'm pouring it, but it produces some large discrete bubbles that managed to stick around for a while.

Smell - Red wine is very prominent. Acidic, but not overwhelming. Oaky with a grassy aroma that is slightly off-putting. Not sure what that is. Chocolate manages to come through in faint notes.

Taste - The red wine is the dominant flavor here, as well. Slightly sour. Not anywhere near as sour as I expected. Malty body with a strong oak presence and that same grassy flavor. It's not hops. It's like it was aged on freshly cut branches. The finish is musty.

Mouthfeel - Pretty heavy. None of the sugars come out, but I feel like some stronger bugs would have soured it more and dried it out. Low carbonation doesn't help.

Overall - So I actually think it's good to drink. Not my favorite, but nothing close to bad. A lot going on and maybe some of the flavors aren't my favorite. No vinegar, which I love.

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Haandbakk from HaandBryggeriet
93 out of 100 based on 438 ratings.