1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Hesjeøl - HaandBryggeriet

Not Rated.
HesjeølHesjeøl

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

89 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 6
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rtepiak
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

bartender at spyten divuel states is a smoked lager.

Much darker than schlenkerla helles as in orange gold. Pour is a nice head that lets out so much apple and woody acid leather notes all in a cloud of floral perfume. Automatically the question not to ask is whether this is a superior beer. Its more astringent but still balanced. Palate of chalk, smoke in one spectrum and apple pie and hints of sour notes that all combine into a grassy bitter end. Well carbonated. Ready for hams and creamy cheese. I love this brewery.

rtepiak, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of drpimento
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Very interesting good beer. Let the bottle warm a bit out of the fridge. Poured with a foamy, fluffy, frothy, billowy, clumpy, cream colored head and lots of lace. Color is a clear medium dark amber with some bubble trails as they should be. Aroma is yeast, toffee, malt, dark riper fruit, and a hint of sm oke. Flavor is similar but smoke is much more prominant, followed by a sweet tang that really works to balance the whold. Finish is like flavor and has a long duration. Bit boozy there at the end too. Session if you're in the mood for this kind of thing. I rarely am.

drpimento, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Well, slap me 'round and call me Susan....this is a smoked beer. Huh, didn't see that on the label. Surprised a bit, but not let down.

Pours a full golden body with a nice, rich white head-- 1 1/2 fingers. The head did not go away. Love it.

Grassy aroma, some char and roasted malt. Wasn't thinking of smoke, but did pick it up. Sort of peaty without that 'muddiness' to it. Spicy and tingly.

There's the smoke. Nice camp fire type smoke. Some wood, some grass, some grains. Toasty malt. The spice is light but unapologetic. Carbonation adds to the feel of it being refreshing. Light body, very nice drinking

Mebuzzard, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of meatyard
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Pours an amber/orange with a 2-finger off-white head that has good retention but leaves only moderate lace.

The smell is smoky, fruity and has pleasant malt notes. As the beer warms the fruit and floral aromas decline a little leaving some smoke and bread.

The taste is nicely, but not strongly, smoky followed by a fruit and floral-like taste. Here again, as in the aroma, there is some decline in the fruit and also the smoke as it warms.

Mouthfeel is medium and adequately carbonated.

Overall: I enjoy good smoked beers and this one is pretty good. A little more smoke as it warmed could have made it a bit better but it's still a good smoked beer

meatyard, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of ksimons
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%

A-Pours a dark copper with about two fingers worth of lightly tan head

S-malts, smoke, and fruity/floral notes. For a smoked beer was hoping for a more powerful smoke smell

T-Starts with a malt, breadlike taste and mixes with some sweet fruity notes and then ends with a decent about of smoke at the end

M-medium body, moderate carbonation, leaves a smoky taste in the mouth

Overall this beer might be trying to cram too much into one drink, but it is good tasting, not too heavy not too light, and easy to drink

ksimons, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.05/5  rDev -21.6%

Thanks to heyta for sending this bottle out my way. Served in a tulip.

Gusher when opened at a cold temperature. Pours a slightly-murky orange-copper color with a thin white head that dissipates very quickly into a thin collar. The nose carries some light smoke and a bit of wood and spice. The flavor is fairly smoked with a bit of the woody character maintained. Not a strong smoke character, but there is a lot of the moderate smokeyness, if they makes sense. Overcarbonated and a light, fizzy body. Not a huge fan.

Thorpe429, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of Scrumtralecent
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%

On tap at Bavarian Lodge

A - Dark copper with light cream head, good head retention slowly giving way to the copper color.
S - Nice smoked barley smell is the forefront with some sweet almost candied scents coming after.
T - Smoke is quite apparent when cold, but is a smooth mellowed smoke blended in with the brew which imparts some sweet and almost citrus notes. As it warms, more fruit comes out and the smoke is less apparent. An enjoyable and complex taste.
M - Mouthfeel is nice and medium bodied with some tingling in the cheeks and smoke being left throughout.
O - Overall a very solid beer and enjoyable drink. Enjoyed the smoked malts and sweet Belgian like qualities play against each other. Perfect medium bodied ale for a hot day like today when a stout would be too much.

Scrumtralecent, Jun 09, 2011
Photo of amccormi
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

Poured into a Piraat tulip glass, creating about an inch head that faded 5 minutes later to a lingering ring. The color is auburn with more orange higlights around the edges, very hazy.

The aroma is at first bright with fruity esters, then comes a bit of malty sweetness and a hint of barnyard earthiness and grassy hops.

Malts lead the flavor with spicy rye, a little caramel sweetness and a light touch of smoke in the background. It has a nice earthy yeast character and finishes with a nicely balanced dry hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is spot on for a nice saison, effervescent, but not much.

I think this is a great farmhouse style beer. t offers a very different sort of malt complexity than most saisons or Bier de Gardes. Pretty smooth and rather refreshing. I will buy it again.

amccormi, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of crossovert
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%

500 ml bottle.

It pours a nice orange/red/amber copper color with a foamy, but sudsy off-white head that has some soapiness to it. It recedes slowly with some nice lacing.

The smell is lightly smoky but refreshing. It has notes of smoke but also some fruits like oxidized apple and candied orange peel. There is some spiciness from the yeast and the rye. Rounding it out is some caramel sweetness.

The flavor is a little less smoky and more of a funky and fruity beer. It has notes of wild yeast that add a bit of barnyard funk. It works nicely with the interesting malt bill.

The mouthfeel is very nice, overall a nice beer.

crossovert, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of July2Nov
4/5  rDev +2.8%

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.

July2Nov, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of dgilks
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

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.

dgilks, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of scruffwhor
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

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

scruffwhor, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%

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.

womencantsail, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of spicelab
3.2/5  rDev -17.7%

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.

spicelab, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of Parrotshake
3.2/5  rDev -17.7%

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.

Parrotshake, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of peabody
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%

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.

peabody, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of msmezher
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

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.

msmezher, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of jdhilt
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%

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.

jdhilt, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of fear025
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%

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.

fear025, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%

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.

DoubleJ, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of Halcyondays
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%

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.

Halcyondays, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of Xul
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

Xul, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +2.8%

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!

TMoney2591, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of JohnnyP3
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%

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.

JohnnyP3, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of jikvig
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

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!

jikvig, May 21, 2010
Hesjeøl from HaandBryggeriet
87 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.