Akevitt Porter (Barrel-Aged Porter) - HaandBryggeriet

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Akevitt Porter (Barrel-Aged Porter)Akevitt Porter (Barrel-Aged Porter)

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BA SCORE
89
very good

162 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 162
Reviews: 105
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 10
Gots: 13 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet visit their website
Norway

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jeffo on 09-07-2009

Matured on Aquavit casks.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 105
Reviews by BrownNut:
Photo of BrownNut
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to tulip, served cool. Dated Sep 2009, drunk Dec 2012.

A - 3.75 - Opaque black, fizzy tan head that dissipates in seconds. It keeps popping in little tiny bubbles at the surface. You can feel it on the tip of your nose as you sniff closely. Some enduring head would be nice. The guy before me got good retention somehow.

S - 4.25 - I don't know what I'm smelling here. It's almost like a musty leather booth in somebody's basement with a hint of malt... but not in a bad way. A little coffee. A hint of something borderline sweet or syrupy, almost like a barely sweetened chocolate syrup if that were possible. Later something vaguely fruity, but sort of that fruity smell that booze can have. Later a little sherry. The smell grew on me throughout the glass. Interesting.

T - 4.25 - I don't know what aquavit tastes like so I can't really identify those components from amongst the rest, but certainly there is a mature taste. Wood, leather, a little coffee, and a mild level of barely sweetened chocolate. I'm left with a dry woody dusty aftertaste with that chocolate mild bitterness. I'm not getting the same alcohol heat others have mentioned, but then mine is 3 years old. Although I am feeling pretty good and warm after my pint. Interesting.

M - 4.0 - Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation sting, though of a tiny variety.

O - 4.0 - Well what an interesting beer. These are the kind of random buys I like, the kind that turn out to be interesting in a way you haven't experienced before. It always pays to buy at least one random beer per trip that you've never heard of, and increasingly for me it keeps paying off to buy Norwegian. Overall this is a very well balanced and well crafted beer that kind of keeps you guessing as to what you're tasting, but that process is enjoyable. It's not too sweet and the mature notes please the discerning palate. Somebody upstream commented that this was definitely a porter and not a stout but, traditional arguments about the difference between the two styles aside, I say this could pass for anybody else's stout.

More User Reviews:
Photo of brownbeer
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a brown head, very intruiging.

Dark, rich aromas of black licorice, cherry, wood, bakers chocolate, and a notable hoppiness.

The flavors are dry, woody and chocolaty, green hops, caramel, dark vanilla, and smoke.

This is an amazing, complex beer, worth trying and being suprised by. Haand does a great job, we love these guys.

Photo of glid02
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours black with a 1.5-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of equal amounts roasted malts and dark chocolate with good amounts of anise and spicy alcohol undertones. As it warms an indistinct spiciness intensifies.

Tastes good. Strong roasted malt flavors with an ashy quality kick things off and are joined quickly by mild dark chocolate flavors. Midway through the sip a good amount of earthy spices, including anise, take over along with a strange artificial-tasting sweetness and carry through to a mildly bitter ending. Mild spicy flavors and charred malt flavors linger on the palate.

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

Drinkability is alright. I finished my glass without a problem however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this was a very unique beer with the combination of charred malt and spices. I recommend not letting this warm up too much as the charred malt becomes a bit overpowering. Worth a shot.

Photo of quirkzoo
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, dark brown with 1 finger of brown head that sticks around for a long time.

Lots of chocolate on the aroma with a little bit of roasted malts, molasses and a definite herbal aquavit background

Very well balanced on the palate, the barrel treatment is present but doesn't beat you over the head.

The mouthfeel was smooth with a good level of carbonation on the high side for a barrel aged porter but it works in this beer.

Overall I get the aquavit the most in the aftertaste. It is an interesting beer, worth checking out if you like gin.

Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, 8% ABV. Can't say that I've had a lot of Scandinavian aquavit (spelling varies), but from what I remember, it's like herbal or spiced vodka. Should be interesting, at least.

This beer pours a stout emulating, motor-oil black, with ever so slight cola highlights, and one finger of bubbly, soapy Brown Cow head, which bleeds away very quickly, leaving but a few forlorn arcs of amoebic lace around the glass in the process. To the point - I likey.

On the nose, the aroma verily jumps out at you, what with the roasted chocolate malt, dry coffee, herbal hop twang, and a slight sugary pear fruitiness. The taste is sweet licorice and vanilla-laced caramel malt, baker's chocolate, mild coffee, and a soft herbal drupe character, as if the weak choice of aquavit as barrel treatment will not go unheard.

The bubbles are quite sedate, but still make themselves noticeable at times, the body a decent medium weight, smooth, and a tad sugary. It finishes still rather sweet - chocolate, tame coffee, vanilla, and a muddled fruitiness still keepin' the party pumpin'. Urgh.

Anyways, this is a hell of a porter, given its big stout leanings. Less successful are the barrel effects - a slight herb and fruit whiff is all I got, and seems like a bit of a waste of the time invested, even if the resultant product gets on just fine without it.

Photo of Lucho
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours an almost black but not translucent dark brown with a half inch head that slow dissipates to a nice thin creamy brown mocha.

Smell: Barrels, coffee, spices, a little bit of alcohol on the nose. There is some dark chocolate and some wood also.

Taste: It comes out with the dark chocolate with a little sweetness from likely the barrels. I am getting the coffee as well at the end but not like you would expect. leaves the mouth slightly dry but finishes smooth. Lets see how it warms up. I might be getting some hops in there that is what might be leaving my tongue slightly dry. Now there is some vanilla coming out. After further google investigation, the Aquavit Barrels were used to age a liquor that was fermented with spices and herbs. They said Dill and also Caraway seeds, and now it does have some slight dill character.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body with nice carbonation on the tongue.

Overall: This is a very interesting beer with very slight nuances that set it aside from other BA porters. The Aquavit Barrels have added that slight twist and make it perfect style for Norway and there drinking culture. Thanks Norway for my first Euro BA beer. Yummy.

Photo of nickd717
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mmm, -bal aging. I love it. Bottle from K&L I believe, shared by Sandstone.

Pours darkest brown with a one-finger tan head and good lacing.

Nice aroma, very roasty, along with wood and chocolate. I just love the aroma of -bals in the morning. Nothing like it.

Flavor is very roasty and even ashy/charcoaly. Oaky barrel notes along with spices (caraway?) and a little booze.

Grainy on the mouthfeel with medium-full body. Just a little boozy, which isn't surprising for 10% ABV.

Overall pretty solid. Good drinkability.

Photo of russpowell
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 3 fingers of mocha colored head.Nice lacing & better head retention

S: Roasty malt, caramel & hazel nut & mocha, some dark cherry & figs

T: Roasty grain, cocoa, mocha & a bit of charred grain. Dryness comes through as this warms, along some peppery spice/hops, plus coffee & charred grain. Finishes dry, slightly twangy, with some mocha & charred grain, some woody dryness & a bit of warming booze

MF: Medium bodied, creamy, somewhat warming

A very nice barrel aged porter that is bit different, helping it to stand out a bit. This is still in great shape with 2 years of age on it. One of the better Shelton Bro Imports I've had

Photo of Gmann
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a near black color with a dense toasted khaki colored head that settled into a sparse cap.

The aroma is of a subtle milk chocolate and vanilla, tootsie roll, with some alcohol vapors. There is a non-descript herbal characteristic, perhaps mint.

The taste is of a chocolatey porter. Nice roasted notes as well as a dash of coffee. There are some light herbal notes; juniper and spruce. A light sour punch in the end. This is more porter than anything else. The barrel aging seems subtle but does add a bit of booziness.

The feel is moderate to well bodied with prickly caronbation. Drinks well but there is a roasty bitterness that weighs it down.

Traditional porter with some added notes from the barrel aging. Perhaps a bit too much ABV. A good pickup, interesting. Seems the herbal flavors balance out the malt.

Photo of bum732
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Roasty wood, very herbal, bready chocolate.

L: Dark black, tan creamy head with ok retention and solid lacing.

T: Very bold maltiness with a prominent roast element. Big chocolate bread notes. Low bitterness with very subtle spices. Some mint as well. Quite sweet throughout, finishing quite sweet with some mint chocolate.

M: Medium full body, medium low carbonation, a little slick on the palate.

Pretty solid, aquavit comes through more in the nose that taste, quite sweet.

Photo of Bung
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml July 2010 bottling.
Murky dark brown pour with a wonderful brown layer of foam. Retained really well.

Roast, chocolate milk, some boozy oak. Some earthy yeast tones.

Taste, a big beefy roasty with dark chocolate beast. Coffee, cocoa and peat later. The barrel is really a subtle complementary.

Almost creamy smooth, coats well enough. Not too warm either. This drank easy for the size.

Right up my alley, an excellent example to me. The dark brews from Mr. Haand are fantastic.

Photo of emerge077
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled: 15.09.09
Exactly a year old.

Black with a dense layer of chocolate milkshake foam on the surface. It doesn't lace much, but the retention is good considering it's 10% abv. The lace slowly ebbs back into the foam it came from. Trails of tiny bubbles are visible at it's edges.

Ominous char, dark and roasty aroma. A light brown sugar sweetness peeks out, suggesting spiced cookies, somehow a little floral (maybe an expression of the akevitt).

Chewy feel with some initial bitter black char, that slowly evolves over time. At first it's big and brash with bitter dark chocolate, becoming mellow with traces of wood and tobacco in the finish, with occasional flashes of unknown herbals. The long, slow fade of it's flavors really make me want to slow down and take my time with this. Definitely rich, this surpasses RIS' from lesser breweries. Carbonation is mellow and the alcohol is in check.

Very nice effort from HaandBryggeriet, they are one to watch.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle, Batch #225, bottled 9/15/2009. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch brown head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. Aroma is chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, dark fruit and some oak. It's a mostly sweet and strong aroma. There's a lot going on with the taste of this brew! I can taste roasted malt, licorice, caramel, smoke, oak, dark fruit, herbs, vanilla and chocolate. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's slick and creamy with good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's smooth and just plain goes down easy. I think this is a very enjoyable brew, I've liked the other beers I've had from HaandBryggeriet in the past, and this one is likely the best one I've tried from them.

Photo of TruePerception
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Haand Bryggeriet's Barrel-Aged Porter, aged in Aquavit barrels. 10% ABV (had to look it up, since it's not listed on the bottle).

A: A bit over a finger of cocoa brown head. Slow dissolve. Pours rich, dark brown; black in the glass. Dark golden brown in the dimple. Very little lacing, and it doesn't stick.

S: Light hard licorice candy smell up front. Not a lot of aroma to this one. Dark roasted malt. Soft cocoa. Slight sweet char note.

T/MF: Mmm. The flavors are pretty light, too. Roasted flavor is between bittersweet chocolate and light coffee. Herbal and anise notes to compliment. Very slight char on the back end, and into the finish.

Nothing really stand-out about it, but it's just a nice porter with an interesting twist. Not quite as good as the Odin's Tipple or Dark Force, but still good in it's own right.

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark black color porter with a nice thick brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of chocolate malt with light dry roasted malt with some liquor notes. Taste is also a nice mix between some barrel-aged liquor notes with some black chocolate and some dry roasted malt notes. The barrel-aging is well balanced and cut some of the rough edges. Body is quite full with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very enjoyable beer and really enjoyed the spirit notes that came through this one.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Mike at Bob's tasting. This is clearly my first time drinking a beer aged in akevitta/aquavit barrels.

Pours pitch black, with a small half inch head, and a little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smells like roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and some interesting spices/herbs that remind me of menthol or spearmint.

The taste is similar. The barrels provide an interesting dimension to this porter. I'm not getting a whole lot of "barrel character-" meaning oak, vanilla, coconut, etc, but the spirit itself provides an interesting character, slightly fruity, with sort of a menthol of spearmint character that really works with the base porter, which is delicious on its own- lots of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate. Slightly bitter finish from the roast.

Medium bodied, wish it was a tiny bit thicker. Very drinkable. Creamy smooth mouthfeel.

One of the most unique beers I've ever had, I'll have to keep an eye out for more beers from this brewery.

Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: looks pitch black, like a stout, with a nice thick temporary head. The beer moves around in the glass like a much "lighter beer" (less viscous)

S: sweet malt, caramels at first, burnt notes; the alcohol overtook the bulk of the other odors once it hit me

T: this is a different-tasting beer, and definitely going to be an individual taste thing. I have never had a akevitt, and I suppose that is what I'm tasting here. Taste of herbs, carraway, and herbal vodka, but in a porter format. It is not as sweet as it looks like it might be, but more on the bitter side. The bitterness has a crisp herbal edge that I found appealing. I like gin, single malt whiskies, and herb vodka, and this beer has some taste-connections with them. I would imagine that if you don't like hard alcohols like those, you might not like this beer. But if you enjoy strongly flavored (more bitter/herbal than sweet) spirits then this beer is a worthy buy. It's bitterness is also like espresso (without sugar), but it has a mellowness that tones down the astringency.

M: a much "thinner" drink than it looks, and palate cleansing - carbonation and alcohol make it sharp and crisp, only a vague linger of the sweeter maltiness.

O: I was pleased. This is a hard-drinking beer. I like sweet stouts and porters, no doubt, but this style of beer appeals to a different taste set, which may or may not agree with you. This being my first Norwegian beer AND my first akevitt barrel-aged beer, I lack a strong frame of reference, but I am inclined to say this is a really cool beer, and certainly worth a buy.

My question: why is a Norwegian porter aged in akevitt barrels (a traditional Scandinavian spirit) considered an "American Porter"?

Photo of largadeer
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared by Sandstone last night. Thanks, Roger. Opaque black body with a dense tan head that recedes to a thick, frothy crown. The aroma is pleasantly boozy and roasty, underscored by rich dark chocolate and a subtle spicy component reminiscent of anise. Similar on the tongue: very pleasant mild spirit-like heat, black licorice, chocolate. The blend of mild heat, subtle spiciness and dark chocolate is thoroughly enjoyable. Finishes bittersweet with a slightly chewy texture. Very good.

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger-high dark tan head that gradually died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Aromas of herbal spirits from the akevitt barrel aging stand out in the smell, which also has some hints of roasted malts.
T: Similar to the smell, the akevitt spirits stand out in the taste and impart some booziness to the underlying flavors of dark roasted malts with hints of bittersweet chocolate.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol.
O: The flavors are rather well balanced and the spirits from the barrel aging do not dominate the overall taste and makes it interesting.

Note: Batch #356

Photo of IronDjinn
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 500 ml brown bottle, batch #356. The bottle tries to foam over upon uncapping, and a tall tight spongy mocha head fills most of the glass at first. When the head eventually recedes and the glass can be topped up the body reveals itself as an intense opaque pitch black with a thick cap remaining.

Aroma reveals treacle, licorice, alcohol warmth, earthy wood, dried figs and black currants.

Molasses sweetness up front in the flavour, figs and dates, some boozy warmth, oaky wood, with rum and raisins on the finish. Also picking up notes of cafe au lait and light milky chocolate.

Full-bodied mouthfeel, full creamy smooth texture, moderate texture. A great porter that all strikes me also greater than the sum of its parts, all of which are rather formidable to start with. Rather amazing in fact, this is certainly one of the best porters I've had in quite some time, and shall be stocking up on more.

Photo of Fladder
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark brown color. Dark brown head, somewhat thick with fair retention.

Slightly acrid roast smell with a hint of chocolate.

Pronounced alcohol taste which lightens up the roasted characteristics of the porter a bit too much.
I couldn't taste the barrel aging like I normally can with other barrel-aged beers. This might be due to the use of Aquavit barrels. The taste definitely has some Aquavit-like undertones.

The beer imparts a heavy feeling in the mouth with a subtle smoke flavor. As this aftertaste sunk in, I found it mysteriously appealing.

At first, I thought this beer was rather unimpressive. However, it grew on me. The deep roast supports the alcohol taste into the aftertaste in a very unique way.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle of batch 288, bottled 23.07.10. Pours a rich black color with a bubbly brown head. Fades pretty quick and lacing is not all that great.

Never had aquavit before, but I can definitely smell some liqueur-type, spiced alcohol. I guess caraway is the most common spice used, and I can see that here, along with hefty roast and general dark chocolate porter aroma.

Taste still flashes some heat, but remains pretty smooth overall thanks to a moderate sweetness and coffee-esque roastiness. Fair amount of bitterness and drying effect on the finish. Some dark fruit creeps out as it warms. Interesting and complex brew that throws out some new and exciting flavors along the way. Very recommended.

Photo of Xul
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark brown with some ruby highlights around the edges, capped by a finger and a half of foamy, tan colored head. Retention is moderate as the head settles down to about a half finger where it holds steady.

S: Mild, sweet chocolate up front with roasted malts and light coffee, along with some faint dark fruits. Some barrel notes lurk in the background with an herbal spirit character.

T: Roasted grains, sweet chocolate and some light mocha flavors up front. Akevitt character comes in on the mid-palate along with a dose of dark fruits, leadig to a finish of chocolate covered cherries.

M: Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

D: ABV is well hidden, very drinkable for a barrel aged porter.

Photo of Etan
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz bottle into a snifter. Batch 288, #?/3240, bottled 7/23/2010.

A: Straight black body with a thick chocolate head.

S: Smells of roast, mild coffee and chocolate, grain, and a hint of dry wood.

T: Woody roast and coffee, dark grain, a bit of chocolaty sweetness. The barrel lends some dry fruity liquor notes closer to the barrel-aged character from fortified wine rather than whiskey.

M: Viscous and creamy.

O: Not bad. The barrel character is interesting, almost port-like, but not as sweet. I think it dries the beer out a bit too much though.

Photo of weeare138
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch # 225
Appears a dense midnight toned black with a small tan cap that slowly fades away into a mild film and hearty collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, vanilla, raisins, brown sugar, port wine, and floral notes.
Taste is of the aromas with a remarkable flavor with a port wine, warming, vanilla, caramel, mild smoke, and cream. Perfect.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, warming, smooth, and lip smacking with residual sweetness.

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Akevitt Porter (Barrel-Aged Porter) from HaandBryggeriet
89 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.