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Bestefar - HaandBryggeriet

Not Rated.
BestefarBestefar

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

105 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 105
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 15.89%
Wants: 4
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet visit their website
Norway

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: khiasmus on 11-26-2010)
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kaelingirl
kaelingirl

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +30.2%

11-23-2011 01:44:48 | More by kaelingirl
Photo of Thehuntmaster
Thehuntmaster

South Africa

4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 13:44:29 | More by Thehuntmaster
Photo of ShogoKawada
ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 01:47:55 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 09:19:45 | More by dgilks
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.8/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2011 21:36:20 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of spicelab
spicelab

Australia

3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 12:55:09 | More by spicelab
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

4.75/5  rDev +23.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2011 22:17:41 | More by drpimento
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 22:00:45 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2011 05:24:13 | More by srandycarter
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2011 10:46:04 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 04:08:28 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2011 06:03:51 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of bruachan
bruachan

District of Columbia

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2011 02:16:28 | More by bruachan
Photo of Gobzilla
Gobzilla

California

3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 20:25:01 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2011 01:35:57 | More by womencantsail
Photo of samie85
samie85

Illinois

2.93/5  rDev -23.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 02:15:38 | More by samie85
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a brown, three-finger head that fades quickly leaving traces of lace. Black color, no highlights, ton of yeast left in bottle. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Oak, chocolate nose, flavor is oak and sweet baked chocolate, higher ABV is hidden. Really good winter ale. Expensive at $11.50 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2011 23:21:06 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Beerenauslese
Beerenauslese

California

4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Body is very dark brown, almost black, with a foamy head that quickly dissipates to a thin cap with a thicker ring around the glass.

Aromas of smoky burnt wood logs, juniper, brown sugar, prunes, dark chocolate.

Dominant taste is charred malt, with some bitter chocolate upfront. The charred malt and chocolate flavor continues into the mid-palate where there is an addition of prune/dark fruit. The carbonation is very effervescent in the mid-palate, but the carbonation diminishes with more time in the glass. Finishes very clean with lingering char notes and a bit of mint (probably from the juniper or other botanical oils).

Body is full and the tight carbonation provides a creamy, if not mousse-like mouthfeel. Very nice evolution of flavors on the palate with the creamy texture of this beer.

This is a very delicious, rich, and drinkable winter ale. I am so dying for a chocolate yule log cake to go with this right now.

Overall, this is a very rich and delicious spicy winter ale. The botanicals (juniper berries or tips) are very well balanced with a strong charred malt/chocolate depth, and it is very smooth. Very nice indeed.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 02:14:34 | More by Beerenauslese
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near pitch black color with a moderate sized tight creamy tan colored head that settles into a solid cap.

The aroma is of a rich brown bread with plenty of herbal spice. Some dark chocolate, cocoa, and juniper. A bit of a band-aid aroma. Not super strong but pleasant.

The taste is of a dark bready malt with some chocolate notes and a hint of smoke. This is followed by some ripe cherry, juniper, and tobacco. Very interesting blend of sweet, sour, herbal, and bitter. I love the earthy quality to this beer, my vision of a winter brew.

Solid moderate body with soft carbonation which leads to a soft and silky feel. Primarily sweet on the palate but has sour and some bitter notes. ABV well hidden.

This is basically my perfect winter warmer. Nice malt body with juniper and other earthy spices. Tastes like a nordic christmas.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 06:26:45 | More by Gmann
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Kristina for sharing this after a long day of work. Served in a wine glass.

A - Pours with a big light mocha foam that settles to a thin cap and thicker collar. Near-black body, and not much in the way of lace.

S - Smells both smoked and spiced. Notes of juniper, dark fruits, cherries, and chocolate. Very suggestive of Christmas, but thankfully not over-spiced like many winter warmers.

T - Plenty of baker's chocolate, juniper, floral spices, and mild roast bitterness and char in the finish.

M - Medium-low carbonation, smooth medium body, minimal alcohol heat, and a clean slightly dry finish.

D - It's among the better spiced Christmas beers I've had, but isn't something I'd purchase again. If you dig spiced, smoked, porters give this one a chance.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 02:08:15 | More by MasterSki
Photo of JohnnyP3
JohnnyP3

Alaska

3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 21:07:26 | More by JohnnyP3
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours pitch black, with a medium brown head, solid lace, average head retention.

S: Fairly herbal nose - juniper, cedar wood, wintergreen, spruce, notes of cola.

T: Strong dark malt, chocolate, with pine needles, a hoppy woodsy finish.

M: Very full-bodied, frothy, medium aftertaste.

D: Interesting beer, really a mix of an imperial porter and a winter warmer, worked well.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 21:09:51 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
Kkottonmouthkngz

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

bottled 8/3/10.
jet black with a huge mocha head thay really takes its time going down. it looks like an awfully comfortable pillow of bubbles both big and small.
smells like big thick spices, and i almost think of fezziwig initially. i get alot of the thick pungent spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. it brings me back to september october and some of the nice spiced pumpkin beers that i enjoyed.
there seems to be some chocolate malts and some other roasty apsects that blend well with the spice, it really is brewed perfectly.
the moderate carbonation really makes the spices pop and just attack my tongue, and im left tasting this beer well after ive taken my sip. the abv is well hidden, which really lets the flavors shine. has to be one of my top winter warmers, hands down.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2010 00:58:44 | More by Kkottonmouthkngz
Photo of GbVDave
GbVDave

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into my trusty Loterbol tulip.

9% ALC/VOL
Bottled on 03 Aug 2010
Total Bottles 2160

A: Pours a dark cola brown with a thin layer of chocolate brown at the edges. An enormous tan head that reached about four creamy fingers hung around for quite a while and left some subtle whisps of lace stuck to the glass. Carbonation was obvious but not at all excessive.

S: Awesome aromas of campfire, peat, spices, dark chocolate, blackened malt, fudge drizzled cherries, and smoky dark fruit.

T: Exactly as above with even more emphasis on the smokiness. Frigging excellent.

M: Thick and sticky with a hint of pepper (from the spices? alcohol?). The finish is full and sweet with a tantilizing prickle.

D: This was incredible! These guys can brew some amazing stuff and this actually made me felt like I was sitting in front of a Nordic fireplace with friends and family. Killer beer!

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2010 00:52:46 | More by GbVDave
Photo of andrewinski1
andrewinski1

New Hampshire

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Really nice, thick, creamy looking mocha head on top of a very dark brown body.

Decent aroma of sweet malt and a bit of hop mintyness.

The taste starts out typical of imperial stouts. It is nice and dry with an emphasis on bitterness and a hint of chocolatey flavor on the way. The finish has an interesting herbal character to it, that aids in drying out the finish. Only in the middle and aided by the chocolate character do I get a hint of sweetness.

The mouthfeel is relatively light, but not too much so for the style. The mouthfeel is almost velvety, but has a little bit more sharpness.

This is a wonderful beer, reminds me of a more herbal Darkness.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2010 08:16:09 | More by andrewinski1
Bestefar from HaandBryggeriet
86 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.