Norwegian Wood
HaandBryggeriet

Norwegian WoodNorwegian Wood
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Style:
Smoked Beer
Ranked #17
ABV:
6.5%
Score:
88
Ranked #10,793
Avg:
3.95 | pDev: 10.13%
Reviews:
232
Ratings:
352
From:
HaandBryggeriet
 
Norway
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  55
Gots
  29
SCORE
88
Very Good
Norwegian WoodNorwegian Wood
Notes: Brewed with smoked malt, munich malt, crystal and chocolate malt, and spiced with juniper twigs and berries.
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Reviews: 232 | Ratings: 352 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of flagmantho
flagmantho from Washington

3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 500mL bottle into a tulip. This is from batch 868, bottled 6/19/15.

Appearance: murky amber-brown hue with a finger of frothy ivory foam atop. Muddy, but not unattractive.

Smell: mildly smoky with a bready malt aroma; it's nice, if not particularly complex.

Taste: the smoke is a bit more pronounced in the flavor, backed by a mild malt that's bready but not too sweet. There's also a nice balancing bitterness at the end of this one — I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a huge carbonation and a big creaminess that I really dig.

Overall: this is a good smoked beer. The underlying base reminds me of an altbier, and the smoke adds a lot of character without being overwhelming. I don't know whether, or how much, this bottle's age affected the flavor, but right now it is pretty tasty.

Sep 18, 2019
Photo of Fordcoyote15
Fordcoyote15 from Kentucky

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

L - tawny and murky light brown. Not what I was expecting. Head is the whitest I've ever seen in a beer.

S - apple juice. Mesquite bbq. Sweet.

T - smokey, dry, bitter. Potent. Both meaty and peaty smoke.

F - borderline flat. Not sure if intentional or not.

O - not my favorite smoked beer.

Mar 22, 2018
Photo of Beersnake1
Beersnake1 from California

3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from fridge temp at a bottle share. Pours light brown and transparent. Nose is spice and smoke. Taste is sweet, grapes, mint, smoke, and slight bitterness. Almost saison like. Mouthfeel is medium and dry.

Dec 02, 2017
Photo of SABERG
SABERG from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle dated 19-06-2015 into the test glass
A - Tawny copper colored, steady carbonation feeds a resilient cap of off white.
S - Smoked grains, a bit of toffee, juniper, spring tobacco
T - Some charred cherry, pine, sweet smoked malts, herbal and autumnal,
M - Medium in body, well carbonated, semi sweet, with a well constructed finish
O - A delight, with some age a well rounded flavor profile.

Nov 09, 2017
Photo of MikkelHanson
MikkelHanson from Nevada

3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

I usually dont like smokey beer or tea. To me the "smokey" taste ends up tasting burnt and ashy. This beer pulls off the smokey flavor perfectly. Its very well done and it has complex flavors. Its thick and would pair well with cheeses and meat. Fantastic beer. I didnt expect it to be that good. Compliments to the brewer. Keep em coming!

Sep 09, 2017
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

with this brew, i double down on my position that these guys are among the best in the world, the very best, and these is nothing else like this out there at all. nice cloudy pale brown to amber color, and a two inch off white head that continues to rise over the rim of the glass, slowly, methodically, and with no intent on resting. aroma here starts with some light campfire smoke and dry mature wood ready to be thrown on to said fire, with a cocoa note, a wild yeast and dry bretty twang, dried fruits like raisins and figs, and a little fresh lemon zest as well, lots happening here. the flavor is well rounded too, with the smoke leading the way but not defining it by any means, wood and citrus swirling around mature but mild bretty weirdness, wild, not so cultured as what we are used to from american brewers, and not without a malt presence beyond the smoked aspect, with chocolate and maybe some wheat in here too. a slight botanical note, piney maybe, sage or tea too, nice with the curious wild complexion. bone dry and insanely effervescent and without any acidity despite the yeast driven nature of the whole thing. bitter smoke and woodsy vibes to finish, just amazing beer thats drinkable for days and madly interesting. these guys dont get one fraction of the love they deserve from the beer geeks. come on guys, this is some special sauce here!!!

Jun 06, 2017
Photo of schlimenhaumer
schlimenhaumer from New York

3.06/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a 500ml bottle at Cardinal in Stavanger, Norway. Batch 997 and bottle notes a best by date of 22 June 2018. Traditional Norwegian Smoked Ale with Juniper Berries.

A: pours a translucent ruby color with a thin off-white head that leaves spotty lacing. Notable sediment suspended evenly throughout the glass

S: caramel malt notes up front with a define smoky character. Some faint juniper in the background

T: similar to the nose, caramel and bready malt up front, followed by a bit of herbal bitterness (not particularly hoppy) with smoke character coming through on the long finish. A unique flavor profile, and I'm glad I got a chance to try this in Norway.

M: medium bodied with minimal carbonation; wet

O: an interesting brew overall, and a new style for me. My first beer from Haandbryggeriet if memory serves, and I'd certainly give them another try for unique brews and styles. B-

May 28, 2017
Photo of josanguapo
josanguapo from Spain

3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From XXXII. In Bavaria glass. Watchig Game of Thrones 6x04. Another smoky beer, not of the worst ones but the smokiness still hides all and dont feel the juniper berries nor anything else much

Jun 12, 2016
Photo of moose1980
moose1980 from Germany

3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered from a webshop. Batch 824, with a BBD of 30.12.2016.

Appearance - Amber-golden, clear, with a thin head that left legs but no lacing.

Aroma - The smokiness is reminiscent of scotch, though not as peaty as an Islay. The juniper berries come through with a minty, earthy spiciness, which perfectly complements the smoked notes.
However, one fault would be that it gives it a very faint aroma of lightly burnt rubber.

Taste - Smoke, biscuit maltiness, with a slightly bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel - Nice carbonation, medium body, and a crisp finish.

Overall - I live in Germany, and thus Schlenkerla has become the standard for which to judge all smoked ales by, which I realize is probably a little unfair for all others. Although this one is not as great, given the addition of the Juniper berries, it does give it an extra dimension that also makes it a great winter warmer, either indoors by the fireplace or outdoors next to a campfire.

Paired with some chili.

Mar 14, 2016
Photo of Beginner2
Beginner2 from Illinois

4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A lot of borrowing from other styles here and making something unique with local spices. But much of the malt comes from the smoked lager master malt houses in Franconia. I like this ale and it has more of a spiced character and more of a chocolate bitterness than Franconia's rauchbiers (lagers).

HaandBryggeriet ("hand-crafted brewery" in Norwegian) has 3 ales on the "1001" list including this. I want to find another one of these and sit it next to Schlenkerla (with other other smoked beer lovers... and see if we can taste those Franconian roasted malts through the ale yeast and spices.

Feb 29, 2016
Photo of Dentist666
Dentist666 from Russian Federation

4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into pint.
Pours completely hazy copper/brown beer with big beige head, good retention.
Smell - smoked, juniper, diacetyl, spicy.
Taste - nice combination of smokiness and juniper, dark fruits, spices and other esters, bitter finish.
Medium body and carbonation.
Excellent beer for those who seek for a harsh complexity, only tad cloying.

Feb 08, 2016
Photo of brureview
brureview from Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a light caramel color with a 4 F head in a Mikasa tulip. The head resolves within a few minutes.

The aroma is light, smoke, spice, and roasted malt. I could smell the smoke just after opening the bottle.

The taste is wondefully smoky with a roasted malt flavor.

The beer finishes with a good bitterness and roasted malt/smoke.

Excellent beer! It's my first beer from a Norwegian Brewer. Wonderfully spicy, smoky, and with a pungent bitterness.

Jan 09, 2016
Photo of BlackBeerPirate
BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Taste: robust, smoked woody malt, unique notes of earthy spices and dry finish. Dark amber color with a smoked bacon nose, Medium to full body. Large head. Made Juniper berries. The smoked aroma is King

Nov 03, 2015
Photo of craftbeersweden
craftbeersweden from Sweden

3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 801. Best before: 2016-10-27. ABV: 6.5%

Clear mahogny colored. A two finger high, beige, head.

Nose: Smoke, campfire, ash, soap, charcuteries, dried fruit, oak and meat.
Taste: Roasted malt, burned sugar, ash, dark fruit, smoke, nuts and grapefruit.
Body: A medium body. High carbonation. Dry, bitter finish.

If you like smoked beer and especially Aecht Schlenkerla you got to love this!

Aug 26, 2015
Photo of tillmac62
tillmac62 from South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 364. Pours a clear medium amber with distinct garnet notes which, under bright light, approaches red. World class head volume, lacing and retention.

Outstanding nose of campfire oak smoke, a hint of bacon and a touch of yeast.

Medium bodied with a texture that approaches creamy. Superb carbonation with a nice effervescent burst in the middle and a nice prickly finish.

The outstanding flavor profile is intense, but lacks the rich meaty bacon complexity and balance (by being too heavy on the oak smoke) when compared to world class Aecht Schlenkerla. It begins with oak smoke and a bit of juniper bitterness. As these fade in the middle, bacon and caramel take the forefront, but just barely. The finish is a slow fade of smoke and juniper.

Jul 29, 2015
Photo of ONUMello
ONUMello from Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16.9oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Hazy, muddy brown with a 1+ finger head that lingers
S: Malt, smoke, pine, grilled meat and spice
T: Generally matches the nose. Malt/smoke but more juniper comes through here. Unique notes yet in a way unbalanced
M: Medium-bodied, smoky but again lacks ideal balance
O: I like the style and there are some unique flavors here, it just isn't coherent overall

Jun 30, 2015
Photo of Phoodcritic
Phoodcritic from Michigan

2.52/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

I cannot easily evaluate the quality of this beer, because I didn't find it to be drinkable. Most of this $9 bottle went down the drain. I've enjoyed a few smoked beers; clearly I don't care for one where the smoke dominates everything else.

May 19, 2015
Photo of Scandahoovian
Scandahoovian from Massachusetts

4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Upon opening, a steam-like, tan haze swirled around inside and just escaping the mouth of the bottle. I expected it to begin foaming, champagne-like, which it did, but not immediately as I had expected, catching me off-guard. The foam was wonderfully effervescent, somewhere between brown and tan, and created a huge head with a frothy top. Happily, the foam died down before I became impatient to drink the beer. A distinct, butterscotch, chocolate and smoke smell wafted up in a fairly full manner, though not quite as much as I would have liked. The butterscotch and mostly chocolate taste was definitely pleasant, too, but also a little bit less than I had hoped for; however, the mixed-in smoky flavor was fantastic. I have had only a few smoky beers, and in all the smoke taste seemed separated from the rest of the taste and kind of industrial or cigarettey. This smoke was clean, like that of a hardwood fire, and subdued but not faint like what would emanate from a hearty fire in the hearth of a well ventilated chimney. A slight flavor of the fire's wood was mixed in with the smoke. Along the way, there were periodic, faint hints of subdued lambic fruitiness, perhaps from the juniper berries, though not discernibly juniper-like. Too bad. The field was a bit or watery than I had expected, based on the richness of the head. Also, though the beer poured a kind of orangey-brown with lots of bubbles, the effervescence wasn't really discernible. I suppose the bubbles were just too small, so it made a neat appearance, but didn't add to the experience in the mouth. Overall, this was a more than pleasant beer, with a superlative smokiness to it.

Jan 28, 2015
Photo of bmaggot
bmaggot from Lithuania

4.99/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is quite an experience.
Being very fond of smoky smell and taste I can certainly say that this beer successfully embodies everything that can be felt by burning a fire in the woods. With generous dash of juniper.

Deep amber with huge head that decreases slowly.
Majestic smell of cold burning wood and juniper.
Tastes as it smells with addition of sweetness.

Jan 02, 2015
Photo of psoriasaurus
psoriasaurus from England

4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had some norwegian wood for this one for quite a while and finally had the opportunity to pick one up today. Pours a beautiful, deep mahogany with a hardy, rocky, creamy head. Nose is not what I expected - the smoked malt is definitely subdued... this beer has the nose more of an imperial brown ale in that it is a slightly sweet caramel chocolate nose rather than a smoky one. Not surprisingly, the taste follows suit. A little less smoke than I was hoping for, but nonetheless an elegantly crafted smoked beer. It's definitely a different spin on the style, with the complex array of spices and malts up front and the smoked malts riding caboose. All in all, it is a highly enjoyable beer, perfect for a cozy winter night indoors.

Skål!

Dec 31, 2014
Photo of Tone
Tone from Missouri

3.91/5  rDev -1%

Pours a cloudy, brown color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of roasted malt, sweet malt, slight hops, smoke, hint of coffee, hint of chocolate, and a hint of yeast. Fits the style of a Smoked Beer. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with a high carbonation level. Tastes of strong smoke, roasted malt, slight sweet malt, slight hop, and slight chocolate. Overall, decent appearance, good aroma and body, but the high carbonation level is unappealing.

Nov 21, 2014
Photo of 57md
57md from Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Copper. Some smoke on the nose but it is not super potent. Smokiness in the flavor profile as well. Aside from the smoke, the rest of the flavor is pretty unremarkable.

Oct 16, 2014
Photo of doktorhops
doktorhops from Australia

3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Time for some Norwegian Wood, which would sound a bit X-Rated were it not for the novel by Haruki Murakami with its title based on The Beatles song "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)". HaandBryggeriet are actually a Norwegian brewer, so I guess in this beer the reference has come full circle (as this brew is smoked with actual Norwegian wood).

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: A pleasing hazy deep auburn body with a massive 3 inch tan head that soon settles to a thin lace on top. HaandBryggeriet are (for me) renowned for their explosive heads - their Kreklingøl ruined my last keyboard (which is why I always open beers in the kitchen now). 7/10.

S: Smoke notes give this brew a burnt sesame oil aroma, followed by toasted pine, hints of pepper, and a thin malt base, expecting little but smoke in the flavour now - a bit too much for my liking. 6/10.

T: The flavour, thankfully, is delightfully sweet, smoky and nutty. There is a dry Juniper berry finish and more nuts than you can poke a squirrel at. The burnt sesame oil flavour lingers on well into the aftertaste and is right on the border of being overbearing. 9/10.

M: Mid to light(ish) bodied with a classic HaandBryggeriet explosive carbonation that strangely does not give me the hiccups like most fizzy drinks. Perhaps a touch watery is the biggest criticism with this beer. 5/10.

D: Well this is quite a departure from any other beer I’ve ever had. Even a Rauchbier like Schlenkerla Urbock tastes different to this Smoked Beer. I give it big points for being so far out there and unique, and despite it being a bit watery/gassy, I fully endorse this brew - if like me - your tongue is seeking new challenges in the beer world. One of the best HaandBryggeriet brews so far, and I would recommend this first before you attempt to topple the tipple (Odin’s Tipple). 9/10.

Food match: The sesame oil smoke in this brew made me long for fried egg noodles in sesame sauce.

Oct 14, 2014
Photo of skipxtracer
skipxtracer from New York

4/5  rDev +1.3%

Had this on tap at Amundsen Brewery in Olso. Pours amber, no discernible head or lacing. A nice drinkable smoky beer. A lot of effervescence but with tiny bubbles. Leaves a buzz in your mouth like a well made Gewurtztraminer. Taste is smoky of course but the malts really come through. Fun beer.

Aug 18, 2014
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier from New Jersey

4.01/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(batch 561 - poured into a balloon)

A: somewhat hazy auburn colored liquid, bit of sediment does cloud it up a good bit toward the end... tall, open, frothy/sudsy foam on the pour; retains exploded texture and volume as it recedes... looks wild and rustic altogether; a frothy cap remains till the end... with the rest of the sediment poured in, it becomes remarkably opaque, nebulous

S: floral, sweet smoke... dark, toasted malt... moderate campfire quality to the smoke later emerges, ahead of the floral notes... the intensity of the aromas very much die down with the addition of the sediment...

T: bold, hard-hitting smoked embers, backed by an equally bold seedy, herbal flavor... moderate toasty malt backbone, however, nearly absent of sweetness... so, in essence, it's mostly woody, earthy, smoked, dried vine/stem-like vegetation with a mildly biting, enlivening bitterness... bit of a phenolic, wild culture funk on the edges?... alcohol fairly well hidden, tiny touch of bubblegum and the skins of the juniper berries real late in the aftertaste

M: frothy and dry; not a terrible degree of roundness to the body, but it's not thin or sharp... no heat or burn in the aftertaste outside of what the smoked grain provides... altogether soft and float-y

O: for smoke beer lovers, this is actually a real treat... out of the bottle, it doesn't look as pretty or drink as clean and muscular as it does on draft... I'd suggest really taking care to not pour out too much lees

Jun 10, 2014
Norwegian Wood from HaandBryggeriet
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 352 ratings