1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Hesjeøl - HaandBryggeriet

HesjeølHesjeøl

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

85 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 85
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 9.02%


Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet visit their website
Norway

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
The name translates to "Hay Pile Beer".

Made from 3 grains, barley, oats and rye and fermented with our special wild house yeast.

28 ibu. 21 ebc colour
Serving temperature 8 - 10 C or 46-50 F

(Beer added by: GbVDave on 02-03-2010)
View: Beers (42) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 85 | Reviews: 55 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of July2Nov
July2Nov

Hawaii

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice burnt-orange-brown. Has an inch and a half head that dwindles down to half an inch.

Smell: Sweet plum with an undercurrent of smoke near the end of the nose.

Taste & Mouthfeel: The nose indicates more of a sweetness, while the mouth notes it's mostly a full-bodied smoke taste. There is a bit of bitterness and sweetness to it that reminds me of currants. Has a bit of heat to it. The Smokiness of the beer is really the upfront flavor that you get and is what really describes this brew! Also tends to have a peppery aftertaste that is gentile and smooth.

Drinkability: If smoke is your game, then this beer is what your looking for. I'm not a huge fan of this type of beer, but I can appreciate it for what it is. While I tend to divert from this style, I do have to say that this was one of the better ones that I have tried. Would consider drinking it again...and that's saying something.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 07:03:18 | More by July2Nov
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy amber colour with a medium sized off-white head.

Sweet, malty aroma with good notes of stone fruit. Nice.

Malty but dry flavour with a moderate bitterness and nice fruitiness. There may even be a touch of funk here. Really nice.

Medium body with moderately-low carbonation.

A nice, tasty beer with plenty of flavour. Yum.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2010 07:48:55 | More by dgilks
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with my girlfriend, who is not a fan of smoked beers.

Cloudy amber color with a brisk off-white head and ok carbonation.

The aroma is smoked white bread crust and a just opened package of instant oatmeal with dried pears.

The taste is a simple smoked toasted grain that makes me think of a little bit of pumpernickel and homemade white bread had a beer baby, smoked, thats what this beer would beer.

Nice carbonation helps the smokey flavors dissipate, and not linger too long. Which might make you want to take another sip.... and another... and... etc.

My girlfriend doen't like smoked beers, but she liked this one, and so did I. In my book, that says something

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 03:57:51 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a cloudy orange (perhaps copper) color with a thin layer of off-white foam.

S: A sweet and fruity nose, very reminiscent of a Belgian pale ale. Some subtle undertones of smoke and a bit of apple, orange peel, and sweet fruit.

T: The smoke is overwhelming here. The roles are sort of reversed here with the smoke being the dominant flavor and the fruit, sweetness, and Belgian notes being subtle and in the background.

M: The body is medium with a high level of carbonation and a mildly astringent finish.

D: I would have liked the flavors to be more in balance here, or at least a bitter mirror of the aromas.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2010 23:31:08 | More by womencantsail
Photo of spicelab
spicelab

Australia

3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a maple syrup colour with a satisfying head that slowly recedes.

Smell is a mixture of sour, lambic notes, familiar HaandBryggeriet Norwegian wood and tropical fruit that pokes through late.

Taste is definitely Norwegian wood upfront, with a metallic, prickly bitterness that pretty much neuters the components in the nose. A little disappointing.

Coats the mouth nicely, but has a somewhat mouthwash character which dries the palate a little excessively.

Agree very much with the previous reviewer. This is a very interesting beer, but it's all but impossible to say whether it works as a package.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2010 08:49:07 | More by spicelab
Photo of Parrotshake
Parrotshake

Australia

3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle from Beermasons. Stuff like this is pretty much worth signing up for, not on the merits of the beer but for the fact that I get to try it.

Nothing I've seen anywhere but this site suggests that this beer contains any smoked malt. Anyone know for sure that this is in the right category? I tend to think it isn't.

Pours a rich dark orange with a massive puffy head. Slightly cloudy, quite alluring.

The smells coming out of my glass are not quite what I expected. Smells Belgian. Big musty yeast nose with juniper berry and alcohol following up. Bit of apple peel and overripe fruit. Smells like a saison or two I have had before.

There IS a light smoky flavor. Is it that it is smoked, subtly, or that other reviewers are tasting more smoke than I am through the power of suggestion? Regardless, any 'smoke' flavor takes a back seat to a few other things. Surprisingly hop-forward - leafy/grassy/herbal hop flavors which ease back to rye and a chalky and kinda soapy yeast flavor, with more bitterness in the finish. Odd, but pleasant. Peppery/spicy notes emerge the more you drink it. Again, more like a saison than anything I can think of.

Medium mouthfeel without much carbonation. Chalky dryness, not entirely refreshing. Fair enough. Not one to drink much of, considering the flavors on offer.

Interesting as hell but a bit jumbled - rating to style is hard. What do you compare it to? A bit odd and kinda tiresome by the end of the bottle. With food I expect it'd be different. Get me some smelly washed-rind cheese and that sort of thing and It'd be ideal. Unaccompanied, the chief attraction is probably the novelty.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2010 08:02:47 | More by Parrotshake
Photo of peabody
peabody

Kentucky

3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy ice tea color with more yellow than amber in the light coming through this one. Two fingers of off-white suds adorn the glass.
Smell is Hop and yeast. Very little sugar and malt come through though. Mabey a slight alcohol and some raisin/date in the background.
Taste is smoked ham on rye bread. Man, this tastes like they poured liquid smoke in there. Almost too much smoke.
Mouthfeel is very clean for such a smokey flavored brew. Finishes with a slight bitterness that is kinda nice compared to the extreme smokiness you get up front.
Drinkability is only OK if you can handle the smoke.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2010 21:32:40 | More by peabody
Photo of msmezher
msmezher

California

3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hesjeøl is the first beer from HaandBryggeriet I've had the pleasure of drinking. Not too smokey for being a smoked beer, and had a little sweetness in the malt. It poured with a little bit of white froth, and had a medium-full bodied texture. To me some beers really are an experience to drink, and some maybe more for their rarity than purely by their taste. Smoke beers, sour ales, chile beers are few and far between, and I think that counts for something. What I liked most about this beer was it was definitely out of the ordinary, and left me wanting more from Norway.

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2010 06:34:09 | More by msmezher
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with an off-white, two-finger head that fades slowly to a thin layer and leaving some lace. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Hazy amber color. Nose is smokey wood. Flavor is a smokey, burnt wood. Not your usual harvest ale. Label has 7.0% ABV. Pricey at $9.45 for a 500ml bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2010 22:17:05 | More by jdhilt
Photo of fear025
fear025

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma:Smells sweet, malty, a little bit smokey.

Appearance:Caramel in color, fantastic head, great retention.

Taste:This beer has a pretty bold flavor. Malty flavors and bitter hops abound in the foretaste. I can taste the mild smoke more through the mid and aftertastes. The nutty malt also comes through nicely in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:Lots of carbonation, and a little astringency.

Drinkability:This is a unique beer, not very sessionable, but lots of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2010 18:29:25 | More by fear025
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

3.08/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Chopp ao Beachwood BBQ, vá a cerveja:

A mix of orange brown, but leaning towards that darker color. Head and lacing are fine. No, it's not a smoky nose I'm getting, I'm getting more of a hopped nose. Grapey hops and floral aromas. It's not bad.

Hesjeøl is not very smoky; it's very subtle at best. It tastes more like it's Belgian, and not a great one at that. The first half of the glass was fine, slightly sweet from the malt and yeast, a tingle of pine, dry. The second half yields a little woddy smokiness as it warms, but also some raw veggie flavors. The aftertaste of aspirin-like bitterness makes the beer go down a little slower.

Unusual is the best way to describe this beer. I like seeing more smoked beer options, but at least showcase that flavor to a larger degree.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2010 03:31:30 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a light red with a firm finger of white head, some lace.

S: Hint of smoke, got some Belgian-type yeast esters, dark fruit.

T: Nice dark biscuity malt with a mild smoke character, for a smoked beer it's not coming to the forefront. For me, a saison type beer at it's base, dark fruit, some plum type flavours, rye spice, I liked it even if it's not what I expected.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth, soft carbonation, easy drinking.

D: HaandBryggeriet is super rare so I don't know how Beachwood got this. Definitely a try for something different, don't expect anything near Schlenkerla though.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2010 22:25:46 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Xul
Xul

California

4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark golden with almost volcanic carbonation running up through the body, capped by two fingers of frothy, off-white head. Retention is good and sticky lacing is left down the glass.

S: Smokey malts up front with a peat component, green apples, lemon zest, a moderate peppery spice, and some very light funk that blends with the peat and smoke.

T: Moderate smoke with some background roastiness up front, which gives way to light fruits - lemon zest, green apples, and some faint green grapes - over a rye base. Peppery spice comes in late, leading to a spiced, somewhat charred finish.

M: Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation, has a pleasant smoothness.

D: Goes down fairly easy but the smoke, char, and spice keep it from being too quaffable.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 04:20:15 | More by Xul
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Batch 254. Hmm, farmers required by law to make beer? Finally, a coercive act I have no problem with. This apparent relic of bygone days pours a not-quite-clear garnet-amber topped by a finger of thick off-white froth that tries to live forever but ultimately fails. Ah, the mortality of bubbles. The nose exhibits a healthy dose of peat smoke up front, almost like fiery oregano or something, with some wheat, grasses, and wood making up a rather rustic backdrop. The taste holds a rather more subdued smoky character, still fairly dark, that served as a compliment to the somewhat citrus-y and flowery wheat notes. Imagine a very subtly hopped wheatwine which was then nicely smoked. Good times, baby. The body nears heft, with a light carbonation and a somewhat dry feel. Overall, another good time from the Hand boys. Keep 'em comin', you crazy Norwegians!

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2010 21:49:27 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of JohnnyP3
JohnnyP3

Alaska

4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 50cl bottle into an imperial pint glass. Batch 265, brewed on 19.01.10. Best before 24.03.12.

Pours a hazy copper with some gold highlights on the edges. Head consists of 2 fingers of white foam that gradually reduces to about one. Foam sticks to the glass very nicely. Some sediment pours from the bottle, adding some particles and cloudiness to the beer.

The scent of this beer is one of smoke, juniper berries, and some slight pine/citrus aromas from the hops. Tasting this beer reveals a delicious wet smokiness, again--juniper berries and a nice bitterness to the finish. The hops deliver some citrus notes on the finish and some spicyness in the middle and are balanced out well by the malt that delivers a brown sugar-like sweetness. A very pleasing combination that is also refreshing. The smoke flavors permeate, but are not at all overbearing. Fantastic overall balance in this beer. Not as smokey as HaandBryggeriet's Norwegian Wood, but there are some additional flavors going on in this Hesjeøl that provide real character. Hesjøl means Harvest Ale, and this beer conjures up images of harvest time smells and flavors. Well done.

Mouthfeel is very pleasing. Nicely carbonated without being fizzy. Great paring with cheeses. Drinkability--I find this beer to be highly drinkable. It is a pleasure to pick out the flavors, savor the smokiness, and enjoy the refreshing taste of this hearty ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2010 14:40:37 | More by JohnnyP3
Photo of jikvig
jikvig

Norway

4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark, brown golden in colour, and a very lively foam.

The nose gives some sitrus, honey, alittle apple and some really nice smoked malts component.

Really tasteful beer, a nice creamy foam, a suddle bitternes and it stays long in the mouth.

This is a really, really good beer, well-balanced and a long, rich finish!
Perfeckt for what it is made for; Drinking on a hot summerday after a hard days work!

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2010 19:54:07 | More by jikvig
Photo of koopa
koopa

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed on 4/11/10 at the Copper Mine Pub in North Arlington, NJ.

From Notes....

Appearance: Tawny - slight hazed russet autumn brown with yellow folds, a 1 finger white crown, little retention and soapy lace.

Smell: Apricot, nectarines, honey, spice (Cinnamon like but not quite)

Taste: Same as nose but with a slightly smokey malt. I'd score it a 4.2 for taste if I could. Nice twist with the smoked malt but I wish the base brew was better.

Mouthfeel: A touch too thin for me.

Drinkability: I'd score it higher if I liked the mouthfeel more.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2010 15:32:30 | More by koopa
Photo of SilentSabre
SilentSabre

North Dakota

3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured up a dark reddish orange like slightly down tea. Sandy coloured finger and a half head stayed in place for several minutes.
I got more of a musty, yeasty smell and some sweet fruity aromas than anything else. Smoke was almost an afterthought. In fact, I don't think this is rauchbier at all.
Taste, while good, is absolutely nothing like a rauchbier, further cementing my suggestion that this is mis-lable on BA. Either way, flavour is huge on the spice with a strong malty presence, alot like a dunkelweizen. Strangely, at only 6,5%, the alcohol was very detectable. Still a good beer, just a bit more assertive than I was prepared for. Mouthfeel is silky and pleasantly carbonated.
I couldn't see drinking too much of this at one sitting, but it *is* tasty to just enjoy occasionally.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2010 22:57:41 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle - served up at a scandanavian tasting recently at brasserie V

appearance: hazy copper-amber body, patchy white lacing

smell: very smoky. A lot of smoked beers come off with smoked meat aromas, but not this one, pure char.

taste: same as aroma would indicate - fiery char, smoked wood, peppery spice, rye, sweet dried fruits. interesting beer - label proclaims "norwegian harvest beer" - i guess!

mouthfeel: spicy and dry

drinkability: good

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2010 23:42:27 | More by dirtylou
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to an imperial pint glass. Had a dak amber color and a thick, hazy consistency. There was a huge amount of white, foamy, long-lasting head. OK lacing.

S: Didn't have a particularly overwhelming smell, but did have traces of hops, wheat, sugar, smoke, and herbs.

T: Tasted of hops, a bit of malt, sweets, a grassy quality, and an herbal component. Despite this being classified as a smoked beer, the smoke isn't as noticiable as it is with other beers of the style (Aecht for example). Still, a nice, easygoing flavor.

M: A very good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: An interesting, drinkable beer. Very easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2010 13:11:38 | More by avalon07
Photo of EPICAC
EPICAC

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a hazy, amber color, and is topped by a beige ring of a head. The aroma is fruity and malty with notes of banana, caramel, and toffee. There are also notes of grassy hops and smoke.

This beer opens up with sweet, malty notes of molasses and toffee over grassy undertones. Some spiciness appears in the center along with a dry smokiness that builds towards the finish. This beer is full-bodied, moderately carbonated, and had a grassy dryness in the finish.

I liked this beer quite a bit. Normally smoked beers are heavy handed with the smokiness, but the smoke in this one wasn't overpowering at all.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2010 19:28:33 | More by EPICAC
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap @ Armsby Abbey.

A: THick frothy head fades slowly over the super hazy dark brown and slightly marroon color.

N: Some nice malts, a decent amount of smoke but not heavy. Some light brown sugar and molasses, with a slight spice, and slightly toasty.

T: Starts right off the with smoke, but again is pretty light compared to many others. A slight smoked meat with that, chewy malts, malty overall with some brown sugar and molasses. Some light spicy hop character, a little sweet.

M: Medium but a little lighter than I expected but with good carbonation.

F: Small finish, especially for a smoked beer. A little sweetness but it dries well. Slight malt and molasses. More light smoke and some dry smokey malts as well as a slight spicy hop. It finishes short and then just disappears.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2010 18:02:54 | More by jlindros
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Two fingers of light brown foam on top of a golden-brown body with light haze. The foam settles slowly and leaves light lace.

S - A light, smoky aroma with caramel and toasted malt. Some spicy character in the background cinnamon, clove, and a little bit of tannic oak.

T - Bready, toasted malt up front with light smoke. A little bit of acidity creeps up in the middle with more brown sugar notes. Finishes with a spicy character and increased smoke. Lingering brown malt and spice notes of allspice, clove, and smoke.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - One never knows what to expect with these revivalist, traditional beers, and aside from smoke I really wasn't sure what I was getting into when I popped the cap off of this bottle. I expected something spicy, probably with some juniper; instead I get a lot of toasty, brown malt and muddy clove and allspice/cinnamon. It's kind of like a Belgian pumpkin ale. It isn't really an unpleasant combination, but there is something missing; it seems like it needs a bright note of hops, acidity, or a pungent spice like coriander to lift the heavy malt and smoke off the palate. As it is, it becomes a bit cloying toward the end of the glass and is not quite as drinkable as it might be. Nevertheless, it is an interesting, rustic beer and not quite like anything else that I have had before.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2010 07:10:45 | More by nickfl
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Leon's Full Service in Atlanta.

Pours a hazy copper color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of lightly smoked malts, sweeter caramel malts, and earthy hops, in that order. As it warms the hop aromas intensify a bit and a bit of spiciness jumps in as well.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Equal parts sweet caramel malt and mild smoked malt flavors kick things off. Very mild amounts of rye enter into things soon thereafter before fading to make way for good amounts of leafy and earthy hop flavors. The hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

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

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass without a problem and could easily have another.

Overall this was one of the more interesting beers I've had recently. It went down easy - no surprise as it had two specialty malts I like a bunch - however it didn't seem to really own any one of its many facets. Still, worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2010 03:57:33 | More by glid02
Photo of HeyItsChili
HeyItsChili

China

4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours murky amber with globby white film on top. The head is really viscous and just sits there watching and judging.

S - Sweet brown sugar, sort of candy flavor, blood orange, lemon.

T - Really subtle smokey flavor. Oak, floral hops, spices, really a ton going on here I can't quite grasp the whole flavor profile, it's pretty complex.

M - Really smooth, medium bodied.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2010 02:15:04 | More by HeyItsChili
Hesjeøl from HaandBryggeriet
87 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.