Bestefar - HaandBryggeriet

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BA SCORE
87
very good

126 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 126
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 14.69%
Wants: 7
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet visit their website
Norway

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: khiasmus on 11-26-2010

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 62
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On a miserably wintry day in Sydney, I thought this was a suitable beer.

Pours a pleasant deep, deep ruby-black colour, with a fizzling and frothy head of pale brown. Body is really surprisingly light given the size of the beer itself. Looks pretty decent.

Nose is bright and extremely vinous, giving off direct characters of red wine cork and a little oak barrel. Spicy and a little fruity, with some musty tannic qualities coming through as well. There's a touch more sweetness than you'd get in say a big, aged Shiraz, and a hint of roast to it, but otherwise it's remarkably similar. Perhaps slightly lacking in complexity, but otherwise good.

Taste is much different, with a bold, roasted smoothness and a smoky back palate, which lends a comforting if somewhat unusual edge to the beer. Feel is a little light, but leaves a smoothness that mingles with the oak and smoke characters. On the back there is a touch of astringency, and a hint of heat to it, which detracts from the drinkability overall.

Overall, a very decent beer, but one I feel perhaps just lacks a little of Haand's usual esoteric charm. There are some interesting parts to it, but it doesn't draw you in and take you deeper what's there on the surface.

Photo of tbeckett
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of danieelol
4.29/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black but with a thin looking body and a big substantial fizzy head. Head dies to nothing quickly (it gets reinvigorated with a refill).

Smell is very lightly smoked chocolate. Very, very chocolatey. Berry/quince notes which remind me of Redoak's (infected) Christmas Cheer. There is also a nice, fresh combination of milk and green apple underlying this. I cannot work out if this is imparted by yeast or hop. I also get some "coffee stout" in the nose, think Peche Mortel. Guessing this has coffee in it. There's also a cola/spicy element. Definite brandy and christmas cake notes. Finally a vinous, cherry character which thankfully cuts off before it gets to vinegar or "Flanders Red" levels. Also some almond and alcohol notes.

Taste is straight off prosciutto and parmesan. Definitely pick up smoked malt in this, although it's not overbearing. Definitely get some spicy bitterness from (I think) both roast malt and hops. Also get some very subtle and enjoyable alcohol on the back palate. These factors limit the beer to a sipper but also prevent it becoming cloying. There's also definite coffee in the taste.

While it looked thin, in the mouth the body feels about medium, because there is substantial residual sugar. You can taste the sugar but the roast and alcohol does keep it in check. Very high carb, particularly for the style and ABV. Works though.

Overall this is actually very good. Good candidate for busting out at a tasting. A 500mL bottle to oneself may be a bit ambitious but I think it has the complexity to keep you till the end. This is the sort of beer which I can see as being extremely in-demand if it happened to be limited release. Almost tastes like it's come out of a barrel already. Edit: Yes, personally I couldn't finish a whole bottle in a single session. Definitely recommended for sharing.

Photo of BierStein711
3.13/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

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

Sampled at a random Monday night tasting at Julio's.

A - Poured a deep brown slightly hazy hue with a nice, fat light tan head that faded rather quickly to leave minimal side lacing.

S - Smell is nice, fair amount of candi malts and fruits (cherries), along with some slight smoke. Would be nice in front of a fire.

T - Taste is rather similar to the nose, with lots of those dark fruits, roasted malts and chocolate. Theres a bit of alcohol on the back end.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit thin for me for a winter warmer with a tad too much carbonation.

O - Overall this isnt a bad offering from HaandBryggeriet. A bit too pricey for me but not a bad beer especially for a winter warmer.

Photo of corby112
3.51/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

Photo of beergoot
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black body; tan, thick head

Smell: Licorice. Sweet, prune and apricot.

Taste: Thick and chewy. Strong dark malt flavors. Alcohol warmth pretty noticeable (not a bad thing, but definitely a strong beer!).

Mouthfeel: Full and smooth.

Overall: This is a strong, robust northern European beer. Sweet, heavy fruitiness stands out. Alcohol strength/warmth is definitely noticeable. Strictly for lovers of strong, dark beers. Something different. In a good way. Count me in...!!

Bought this one partially because of the bearded gent on the label, mostly because I've generally enjoyed the boldness of northern European dark brews over the years.

Bottled August 03, 2010.

Photo of kojevergas
3.53/5  rDev -9%
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.

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

A - Huge, tan, foamy head fizzes away above a dark molasses body with golden edges adorned with big particles of sediment. Minimal lacing.

S - Smoke, yeast and cherry. Some boozy heat.

T - Coffee and dark bitter chocolate. Roasted malts and smokiness.

M - A touch thin for my liking, highly carbonated with a dry finish.

O - Yep, a top wintery ale. Perfect for a cold, rainy evening in front of the telly.

Photo of match1112
3.16/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

Photo of Auror
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in August of 2010, so this has been cellared for a year and a half or so. Had one of the same batch last year, so looking forward to seeing what happened to this.

Pours great and looks like an imperial stout. Dark brown almost black with a tan-ish head (hues of orange/amber in the head). OK lacing, with a 1/4in head that persists for a while.

The aroma is very fruity. Cherries, maybe some figs, very fragrant. Very slight chocolate hint too.

The taste is surprisingly similar to the nose. I remember more subtle flavors dominated by winter spices and malt last year, but this is all dark fruit, the same that I smelled in the nose, first and foremost. A little bitterness on the tip of the tongue and sides of the mouth, but not at the same levels of a stout. I picked out some more coffee as the beer warmed a bit. 1.5 years in, this actually reminds me more of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale than a Winter Warmer. There was a little alcohol at the end, as the beer did start at 9%.

The mouthfeel was nice. Full but not oily. The carbonation was still a good level and not faded.

Overall, this is a different beer than the one I remember, but very good. From how it held up, I could see it holding it up well for a while. That dark fruit flavor was striking.

Update:
Tried this same batch for the 3rd year in a row. This bottle had more spice presence. It balanced the dark fruit nicely. Flavors of anise and mint balanced the cherries. Very enjoyable.

Photo of redleaves
4.85/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Almost a year old. Creamy head, more than you would think with the age. Pitch black. Nice nose, roasty molasses and malty. Very roasty flavor, more molasses nice maltiness. Very full flavor nice carbonation. Dark fruits, cherries and plums. Once again more than expected. This beer would go a few more years and cut out the bite, but I don't think I want that. There is nice bitter at the end a dries slowly. Very complex. Wow unbelievable beer, I could drink this all night, awfully pricey but worth it. 2nd best winter warmer I've had.

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.62/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle 9,0% Abv.
Served chilled in a tulip wine glass.
Batch 1 bottled 03/08/2010 *Note: this is the batch prior to the one pictured above - this bottle has a white label with a small picture.

I bought this beer because Hans Langseth is on the bottle - he is my idol - I would love to have his beard!!! I hope the beer lives up to the awesomeness of the man on the bottle!

Appearance: Wow, this looks like an imperial stout - pitch black body, topped by a massive, creamy, light mocha coloured head that displays great retention, but doesn't leave much in the way of lace. Light alcohol legs are visible on the glass.

Smell: Wow, I could smell this from the minute I cracked the cap. The initial aroma reminds me of mint laced dark chocolate!
A few more sniffs reveal one of the most complex noses I have encountered. I have no idea where to start.
It almost seems like every sniff yields something completely different.
Some of the most prominent notes include spruce, juniper, wild sage, mint, fresh coriander and strong spices (nutmeg and crystallized ginger). The base notes are dark chocolate, dark fruit (cherries and plums), dark caramel, peated malt, smoke and lots of molasses. As the beer warms the Imperial stout notes become stronger and some vanilla and oak character is also noted.

Taste: As with the nose, this is one of the most complex flavours I have come across. Deeply roasted malt, dark fruits and dark chocolate are overlaid with juniper, spruce, mint, nutmeg and an array of other spices. Wood, molasses, dark toffee, peat and smoke are also noted as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Full, slightly sticky body with velvety smooth carbonation - I could just gulp this stuff down!

Overall: Stunning! One of the most interesting and complex beers I have come across. If I ever see another bottle I will most certainly buy it.

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Photo of dgilks
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown colour with a smooth, creamy tan head. Very good head retention. No lacing.

Strange combination of tartness, roast and herbs. Mildly fruity and smoky. A strange combination that works oddly enough.

Slightly sweet malt with some nice fruity character. Mild acrid roast on the palate and some tartness. Good.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Decent.

A nicely crafted ale with a unique flavour profile. Good tart fruit profile which complements the roasty, dark malt profile.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of spicelab
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With thanks to Adam@Platinum 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.

Photo of drpimento
4.73/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh boy, what a beer! Pours with a large, thick, creamy, foamy, frothy, tan head with brown highlights that settles right down to a ring around the edge of the glass and no lace. Color is an opaque very dark brown. Aroma is complex with different spices, malts, cocoa, roasty, and toffee. Flavor is very similar and adding to that some fruitiness and some bittersweet flavors. Lots going on. Body is excellent and so is carbonation. Finish is a little boozy and fairly long with almost all the characteristics hanging tough. Good sipping beer although it's good enough to take some mouthfulls, but the alcohol gets a little too bold. Then again, it is a winter warmer; but still, not quite a session brew.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of heyta. Initially poured from a 16.9-ounce bottle at fridge temperature into a Mikasa tulip and allowed to warm.

Pour yields a brew that is nearly black. Foam immediately shoots up to form a dense light mocha head with good lasting power, as it stays at a half-finger for most of my session with it. Some spotty lacing on the edges of the glass. The nose carries a good amount of wintry spice and what seems like a bit of juniper. The flavor is a nice combination of juniper and what seems similar to clove, if not that itself. A bit of roast there as well and a nice chocolate presence. Medium to full body with low-to-medium carbonation. Solid brew. A nice nearly-Summer treat.

Photo of srandycarter
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

this was a crazy beer. having decided to crack it open right with dessert last night i had no clue what i was getting myself into. served cold and into a snifter.

the pour was a thick dark brown with only slight bits of light coming through to change it from a back note. a huge tan head then rose up from the depths and settled across the top of the glass. really just a thick look to it.

the aroma was boozy, with lots of peat and smoked malts that really filled the air. hints of molasses, chocolate, rich caramel and dark fruits all make their presence known. with the thickness of a milkshake the first sips slide over the palate doing their best to coat it so fully you do not even know where to start. just tremendous in every aspect. rich smoked malts and sweet flavors finish the job with a kick of smooth boozy oak and bourbon to round it out.

overall a massive beer. a great change from earlier in the day and just a really great example of how to go big with the style. could do this one again anytime.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.01/5  rDev -22.4%
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.

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really don't see how anyone's getting all these complex, dynamic dark fruit flavors out of this. I really dig this beer. I'm all about the random brews I cross paths with that burst at the seams with sharp, dark-green-leafed dominance to them. I can count them on one hand, but they were all quite memorable.

Never will I forget this smell of this - SAGE. Before this has time to warm and reveal its dark-roasty, bitter-chocolate malty goodness....Goodness!, do we smell the pungent, peppery sting of hairy leaves of sage. I certainly get feelings of juniper (knowing its mark having had bottles of juniper liqueur from Italy), especially in the late aftertaste (paired with that bitter chocolate). Okay - so the aromas consist of sage, juniper, and bitter roasted barley - congratulations!

It's a very rough look. Caramel-reddish highlights to its otherwise dark murky brown hue. Spritzy, moderately sudsy dense foamy head wells up on pour and sinks back down.

The sage sears the tongue, enabled by the alcohol (though you don't taste ethyl - cheers!). This is most of what you'll get from the get-go. The bitterness from the roasted malt further accentuates the cold-fresh vibrancy of its herb content. An English cocoa porter foundation resides below. Sage and juniper, juniper and sage cavort on top. Further below, I'd add some lingering toffee-coffee hard candy flavors as well. Super-late warming feeling.

My friend, whom I shared this bottle with, could not get past the sage (redundant) screaming throughout. Have patience, my friends. Accept what this is for what this is and you'll find a quite unique, albeit seasonally-pigeon-holed, dark roasty (but happily not all that bitter) ale with dynamic pine-tar wondrous-ness. Shit, I would drink this each winter.

Photo of bruachan
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a very frothy beginning, with the stormy-looking liquid comprising a minority of my glass. minimal lacing

airy hop aroma with dry roast.

roasty roasty but plenty of sweetness. blackcurrant, resiny hops. dry and astringent roasting, which stands apart from the beer's body, which diminishes its porter-ness. some soy sauce at the finish. pumpernickel crust, almonds

Bestefar from HaandBryggeriet
87 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.