Bestefar | HaandBryggeriet

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BA SCORE
87
very good
61 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
61
Ratings:
128
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
21.08%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
12
For Trade:
0
BestefarBestefar
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet
Norway | website

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by khiasmus on 11-26-2010

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 128
Photo of bashiba
2.68/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured a deep dark brown with a dark tan head, creamy and long lasting with nice lacing.

The smell has a heavy layer of anise with a light bit of dark cocoa and a touch of smoke.

The flavor starts with a big blast of bitter smokey dark malts leaving a heavy coating of dark roasted bitterness, a bit astringent and almost a bit to burnt tasting. A bit of leathery and slightly sweeter malt starts to eventually sneak through but still can't fight the heavy burnt taste.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewy.

Very one dimensional, I love smokey and burnt flavors normally, but this one is a bit too much.

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Photo of Philousa
2.82/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Imbibed on tap at Good Karma on 12/27/12.

Sits almost completely opaque black with brown edges against the light. Light, fluffy, three finger cafe au lait colored head settles to a thick ring around the glass. Delicate, small bubbles fall back into the drink after each sip. The aroma is hard to get in this place, between the spicy curry and fresh sticky buns in the air, but I get mild coffee, chocolate milk, and cream. Flavor is much more apparent and in your face. Milk chocolate and chocolate milk are prominent, with some slight cinnamon. This is a really creamy beer with a very balanced feel. This isn't very Christmassy, but its a good stout and I don't get any hint of alcohol bite.

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Photo of rand
2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

From 510 mL bottle to nonic pint glass

Aged about 1 year

I knocked this beer over on my carpet the other day, and some beer escaped the cap, presumably from carb pressure as it was a gentle knock. Thought I'd crack this open and give it a review in case it was on its way to skunkville. Unfortunately, upon the first whiff I thought it might be off, but after reading other reviews I don't think that's it - it's just not that good.

A: Dark brown, soda-like carbonation with a head that dissipates quickly. No lacing to speak of.

S: Carob, molasses, a fair amount of booze. The nose was actually the best aspect and improved as the brew warmed.

T: Toasty, roasty, malts, yielding a burnt residue. Semi-sweet chocolate wrapped up in a phenolic overtone. A little too metallic, which accents the alcohol. Flavors are disjointed and seem to change from sip to sip.

M: Strangely thin mouthfeel, way too carbonated.

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Photo of samie85
2.98/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a deep black with a two fingers of medium brown head.

S-Smells like fresh cut spruce needles with some chocolate and roasted notes

T-Big hit of bitter spruce and roast upfront with some chocolate and finishes dry, spicy, and bitter

M-Medium bodied with a slick feel and light to medium carbonation.

D-The roast/woody bitterness upfront never really subsides and is a little distracting to my palate.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.01/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Apparently "grandfather" in Norwegian. Yeah, you can see an animated comet above your head now, eh? Anyway, it pours a bleakly murky black-brown topped by a healthy sienna foam. The nose comprises mint, iceberg lettuce, and parsley, all covered in a healthy layer of chocolate powder. The taste doesn't really differ too far from this recipe, though the greens come off a bit spicier than before, as though some black pepper and clove had been added. This just doesn't seem all that right to me. The body is a staunch medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a nearly chewy feel. Overall, I did not care for this beer. The flavor and scent combinations did not come off as good to me, and a lingering dark green flavor literally leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The worst thing I've yet had from the Hand.

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Photo of BierStein711
3.13/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into pint glass

This is my second winter warmer. I have come to the conclusion that this style is not for me.

A: Looks good, like root beer but with a foam that looks more alive. Two finger dark soda head, this in turn crowns a jet black beer.

S: Cherries, malts, chocolate, coffee, and wood

T: Cherries and dark fruits

M: Chewy

Overall, I can't have this style of beer it seems. If you are into cherries go for it. I was expecting something of a stout, but I was completely disappointed. I won't have this again.

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Photo of match1112
3.16/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: two fingers of a dirty tan head sit atop a deep dark brown body.

s: smoke, dark candied fruits, general sweetness.

t: tasted like someone threw fruits still attached to the tree and smoked the whole thing at once, then tried to cover it up with more tree sap/ molasses.

m: good carbonation with a full body and a long burnt bitter finish.

o: truly disgusted by this beer, had to drain pour half of the bottle. if all winter warmers taste like this i dont think i will try many more.

 489 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Kevin for sending me this one.

A: Pours a very dark brown color with a finger of tan head forming.

S: There's a huge herbal aroma coming from this. Seems like a ton of sage. Quite a lot of pine and spruce to the nose, as well. Some definite roast and maybe a bit of chocolate.

T: A weird combination of floral and herbal flavors. The same intense sage flavor is there along with spruce and some tart berries. Dark chocolate and roasted malt character is present too.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: A little too funky for me. I wanted this to be good, but I couldn't really get into it.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a perfect pint. Batch 490.

3.5 A: Black color. Three fingers of foamy tan head. Retention is pretty good, but just a short ring of lacing is left.

3.75 S: Wow, this is surprisingly dry. It's a roasty, nutty dryness. Sprucey, pine sappiness. Chocolate and caramel. Quite pleasant.

3.25 T: Taste isn't quite as good as the nose. Chocolate, an almost tangy caramel, and a light spiciness. Nuts, pine, and molasses. Not nearly as dry as the nose. Indeed it verges on sweet. It's okay, but I'm not a huge fan of the tanginess.

3.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light creaminess. The big complaint here is that it's quite sticky and causes some amylase balling.

3.25 D: It's okay, but it's no Odin's Tipple.

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Photo of corby112
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 384.

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears black in the glass with a frothy, two finger beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Spicy aroma with some smokey, roasted malt and dark fruit notes. Hints of pepper, juniper and licorice along with some toasted oak and deeply roasted dark malt.

Medium bodied and slightly oxidized with heavy carbonation that mellows out as I work through the bottle. Very dry and roasted with lots of dark malt flavor and wintry spices. Hints of burnt toast, smoke, coffee bean, dark chocolate and oatmeal along with some peppery spice and sweet fruit. Sweet hints of juniper, cranberry and dark cherry as well as some anise/licorice. The high ABV is well masked with no heat to speak of. As it warms the malts become more prominent but the tart fruit and spice notes are still there. A decent winter porter but not something I would buy again.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma has quite a bit of menthol in it, as well as some roasted malt. The beer smells a bit like mouthwash. The flavor has a lot of mint and chocolate notes, as well as some roasted malt and a touch of alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pint .9 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into De Molen stemware in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are very high; I love the style and country.

A: Pours a three finger head of fair cream, nice thickness, and good retention. Colour is a nontransparent solid black. Appealing - generally.

Sm: Musty chocolate, cream, nuts, bourbon, and light vanilla. Bourbon?

T: Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, cream, and nuts. Fairly complex but far from amazing. I do like it but it's not exemplary. Flavorful but not exemplary. Good nut bot exceptional.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but dry and coarse enough to suit its demands, if that makes sense. Not too thick or thin. Suits the flavours generally.

Dr: Drinkable enough, and in the service of the flavours. Flavorful indeed, but inherently lacking. Not up to par per the quality. Good but over-indulgent.

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Photo of spicelab
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With thanks to [email protected] Liquor

Dark chocolate with a very audible one-finger chocolate brown head. After it falls, this spooky mini-island of noisy head remains, bubbling away busily in the centre.

Sweet and oaky. Charcoal, dark fruits and some delightful complex woody notes. Ubiquitous Haand yeast is present as always, with touches of Sambuca and spice. Very intriguing.

Taste provides more lactic sourness and yeast character. As a consequence, the subtlety in the nose doesn't quite come through. Mainly get sarsparilla, chocolate and woody notes.

Smooth and rich, with just a touch of booze heat and carbonation sizzle. Thankfully the aggressive looking carbonation is not as it appears.

Satisfying but also a chore. Nicely rustic flavour profile with the right amount of booze punch for it to work. The real flaw for me is the overbearing nature of the yeast, which is common to all beers from this brewery.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to the many BAs who sent me this one. bottled 13 months ago, 2160 bottles.

A- Big dark dark brown body and a billowing big earthy brown head. Really good staying power and pretty heavy lacing. Nice in the glass.

S- Lots of molasses, kind of hard to pick out much else.

T- Lots of heavy sweet malt, briny, smoky, and sweet. Pine and juniper. Birch root and vanilla, orange peel too... hodgepodge of flavors. Interesting.

M- Thick, heavy, moderate but fitting carbonation.

O- Weird, but it grew on me. Flavor profile is very unique and uncompromising. Once it settles on the tongue/coats the mouth it tastes much better and softens a bit. Kind of reminds me of Bell's eccentric ale 2009 with a bit of smoke.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good lookin out drew for sharing this bottle

A: poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights that had a thin khaki head and left very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: huge sage aroma pops out on the first whiff but was able to detect some chocolate, caramel, and roastiness.

T: the chocolate and sage flavora did blend good on the palate but had spice caramel accents and a touch of roastiness.

M: the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a spice, herbal, roasty, and sweet finish.

D: drank decent but was super sagey and did kinda overpower the rest of the brew.

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Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 8-3-10

Pours brownish black in the glass, audibly fizzy, tan foam that lasts for a couple minutes before fading on the surface.

Malted milk balls, molasses, roasted malt in the aroma, slight oxidation.

Taste is similar, roast chicory and molasses with a slight biting astringency. Long lasting roasty aftertaste. Medium to full bodied, not too sweet but there's a slight tootsie roll taste from the oxidation. Overall it was ok but probably a year or two too old.

Thanks to Julie & Ryan for this one!

Rating #3500

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Photo of srandycarter
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown almost black. Big tan head slow to leave. Some small bubbled cling.

S - Spicy. Medicinal. Not probably inaccurate for style, but not my cup.

T - Big up to smell. Again, probably in style, but I just don't like it all that much.

M - Good carb, balance ok considering.

D - Awful choice for me to rate, as I obviously don't care for this style.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tap at Deja Vu aka The Artist Formerly Known As Biero. From notes.

A - Poured black with a one finger, brown creamy head. Spotty lace and a film of retention.

S - Milk chocolate, nice dark fruit, vinous, stone fruits, licorice, oak.

T - Dark fruit, not stouty in flavour but more of a black Belgian style. Interesting. Fresh tree fruits, oaky twan. Vinous. Red wine characteristics and lighter fruits.

M - Mild carbonation, medium silky body, sweet fruity finish.

O/D - An odd flavour. Strangely 'light' for so much darkness. Nice fruit flavours and complexity but maybe a bit sweet. Cool beer.

 599 characters

Photo of falloutsnow
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

From: John's Grocery, Iowa City, IA
Date: None (batch 384)
Glass: Tulip

Haand's Bestefar is a good tasting and smelling stout-like beer that's a bit rough around the edges (appearance and feel) and demonstrates how important an appropriate mouthfeel is to the overall enjoyment of an ale or lager. The focus is on roasted, chocolate, and smoked malts, combining to give a more assertive stout-like flavor to the beer than what seems to be this one's relative, Nissefar. In general, solid enough to try once, but not sure I'd revisit given the ready availability of equally delicious stouts/porters at a more affordable price point.

Pours a 2.5cm tall head of dark tan foam, composed of medium and large-sized bubbles, which is unexpectedly effervescent as it rapidly burns down the glass. Retention is obviously below average, lasting less than a minute in its decline. Lacing is also fairly minimal, a few lines and dots haphazardly adorning the inside of the glass. The body is colored a very dark brown, light bringing out lighter orange-brown hues around the edges of the body. Carbonation is not visible through the opaque body.

Aroma is of roasted malt, dark chocolate, black licorice, roasted coffee beans, smoked malt, and ethanol, all smoothed-over by a touch of cream. The licorice and ethanol components make this a bit harsh, but the cream-like bit manages to tame them somewhat.

Front of palate finds semi-sweet chocolate with roasted and smoked malt components. This blends into a mid-palate mixture of roasted malt, dark chocolate, hints of smoke, slight prune and raisin-like esters, and faint roasted coffee beans. The malts are definitely in the caramel, chocolate, and roasted categories. The back of the palate notes roasted malt, dark chocolate mousse, modest vanilla and ethanol. Aftertaste is of smoked and lightly roasted malt, without significant chocolate or coffee components; the result is fairly delicious.

The beer is medium to medium-light in body, with aggressive, vigorous carbonation. The two are not well suited to each other, and the beer feels prickly and overly carbonated as a result. Though the carbonation foams the beer upon the palate, this happens too quickly, and substantial carbonation still remains, "burning" the palate. Ethanol can be marginally felt on the throat. Closes dry and with modest stickiness remaining on the palate.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer appears dark brown with tinges of crimson. No head and no lacing...huh. The aroma and flavor are consistent with one another, with notes of alcohol, malt, dark fruit, and some roast. Perhaps a hint of chocolate. The beer is medium bodied, with a healthy alcohol presence. Low carbonation. Overall, a decent brew. I'm glad I tried it, but won't order it again.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle bought on sale after Christmas for $6.95. Poured into a St. Bernardus Chalice. Batch 593, 2280 bottles made (according to label). No date, but from the store this is apparently a recent vintage.

Very opaque and murky dark brown body under a fizzy brown head.

Intense and aromatic nose. Brown apples, molasses, yeast, wort, something like tootsie roll and after swirling, a touch of fireplace.

Massive carbonation is limiting my ability to discern flavors initially. Swirling produces a huge head.The flavor has an interesting complexity, and makes me wonder if this is something like a BSDA mixed with a little tart/sour oud bruin or other flanders style beer. If one was to dry and powder tootsie rolls, I think I taste that. Some yeasty phenolic spice, and some little ripe fruit esters. A small portion of malt, and an interesting tartness. Not sour, but but more tart and semi-dry. Maybe a slight hint of lemon.

This beer has rich carbonation even after some swirling. Otherwise the feel is not all that heavy from the tartness. Feels as if it was made with some sugar.

Conclusion: This is a layered and complex beer. Very interesting flavors, and mostly yeast-driven I think. Very non-American, which is nice. I wonder if it could stand up to a few years of age without much residual sugars, because I would like to see what is underneath all the yeasty phenolic and estery flavors.

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Photo of JohnnyP3
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

50cl bottle, batch 312. Brygget 17 Sep 10, best before 17 Sep 12. Bestefar is the Norwegian word for Grandfather. In this case, it refers to the father of father Christmas, or Nissefar as he is known in Norway. Label states that this beer is the perfect companion for a cold winter night spent contemplatively in front of a fire, or for those festive fireside moments.

Poured into a C&B Belgian beer glass. Pretty much an opaque jet black pour with a substantial amount of carbonation. Something that, to me, has almost become a Haandbryggeriet trademark appearance and mouthfeel. So much so that the initial pour produces a half glass of beer and half glass of head. 4 fingers worth, in fact. Obviously a very active beer. The excessive head is somewhat slow to recede. That's ok, probably needed to warm up a bit.

As far as the nose goes, somewhat of a muted smell. I'm picking up some dark and winter fruits, I think. Plum and/or pear. Also getting a little cocoa and dark chocolate aroma. I'm thinking there is a bit of a burnt quality to the smell as well.

Upon tasting this beer, there is an explosion of flavors cascading over each other. Not at all expected after the somewhat muted nose. But, wow, I'm getting definite dark chocolate bitterness with some dark fruit to match. Raisons dipped in dark chocolate anyone? Somewhat of a dry/burnt/roasted finish. Black licorice aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is quite lively and somewhat rough. Highly carbonated. Somewhat on the thinner side and not as viscous as was expecting. But, there is still good substance to the body of the beer as it swirls in the mouth. Regarding drinkability, very drinkable. The 9% ABV is almost an afterthought as far as drinkability goes. This one might improve with a little age on it. Great sipper for savoring by the fire and considering your life's course and your place in the grander scheme of things.

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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big roasted malt aroma. Very dark brown pour, with a small white head surviving. Richer sipping taste as warmed, easier drinking before room temperature reached. Good drinkability. Very silky smooth mouthfeel of chocolate and roasted malt, not much in the way of spices. Bottled August 2010 and aged well, with appropriate carbonation right there.

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Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 384

Pours mahogany with 4 fingers of fluffy mocha colored head. Good head retention & above average head retention

S: Smokeyness, dark fruit both fade a bit as this warms

T: Follows the nose, carob & black currants up front, also some bozzeyness & dryness. Chocolatey notes as this warms, a touch of pineyness & woody hops, plus figgyness & slight boozeyness. Dark fruitty finish with woody dryness, along with a bit of brown sugar & a touch of booze warmth. Almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Chewy, low carbonation, turns fairly creamy as this warms

This is a pretty heavy hitter, a bit pricey, but well worth a try

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Photo of BlazerT
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle. Black with medium, beige head. Medicore lacing. Poor lasting. Aroma of roasted malts (mainly milk chocolate) and tart dark fruits notes (cherries in chocolate), some sour wood. Taste is semi-sweet with quite noticable dark fruits flavours (rasins, currants). Light to medium bitterness esp. in the end. Medium to full body, semi-sweet, soft cabronation, oily texture, finish is quite bitter, no alcohol warmth. In general nice beer, despite high ABV no alc. noticable, highly drinkable with some nice sour accents.

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Bestefar from HaandBryggeriet
87 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.