Norwegian Wood
HaandBryggeriet

Norwegian WoodNorwegian Wood
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From:
HaandBryggeriet
 
Norway
Style:
Smoked Beer
Ranked #19
ABV:
6.5%
Score:
88
Ranked #14,136
Avg:
3.94 | pDev: 10.15%
Reviews:
232
Ratings:
121
Status:
Active
Rated:
Jul 20, 2022
Added:
Jun 17, 2007
Wants:
  55
Gots:
  28
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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Ratings by bark:
Photo of bark
Reviewed by bark from Sweden

3.07/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2
Batch #66, brewed in February 2007.

The colour is brown with a tint of red; the liquid is hazy. The two finger head is yellowish, compact and uneven. It builds a fine crater while leaving some lacing.

The smell is malty with lots of smoked favours. There are also some full bodied notes of gin and junipers. Some sweetness as well as dry-sour slightly chemical flavours (including some yeast).

The taste is strong, may I say demanding? At first, a very dry malty flavour is quickly replaced with a soap-like spicy flavour of juniper berries, lavender and a sour touch of citric acid. Then, notes of lightly smoked malt emerge. The thing is, I cannot find any sweetness at all in it, making the beers body quite weak. The strong aftertaste got dry and very yeasty notes, some gin-like flavours; almost no smoke at all. I remember the rather chemical sour-yeasty flavour (not 100% pleasant) from other Haandbryggeriet brews. Do they have a signature yeast strain?

The carbonation is medium strong; lots of small bubbles that tickles the mouth. The liquid is a little thick without getting any particular smoothness.

I must admit that brewing a beer with smoked malt and juniper berries is a quite daring task. Sadly, I think this beer is a little too much for me, making it hard to finish. And that is never a good sign.
Oct 26, 2007
More User Ratings:
 
Rated: 3.48 by desint from Belgium

Jul 20, 2022
 
Rated: 4 by warpedrevolution from Illinois

Oct 14, 2019
Photo of flagmantho
Reviewed by flagmantho from Washington

3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
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
 
Rated: 4.51 by sunnovgoat from California

Jun 28, 2019
 
Rated: 4.08 by emerge077 from Illinois

Jun 14, 2019
Photo of Fordcoyote15
Reviewed by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +1.5%
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
 
Rated: 3.89 by _nickg_ from New Jersey

Feb 16, 2018
Photo of Beersnake1
Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
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
 
Rated: 4.09 by NightINgale from Russian Federation

Nov 29, 2017
Photo of SABERG
Reviewed by SABERG from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
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
 
Rated: 4.25 by paulish from New York

Oct 30, 2017
 
Rated: 3.89 by Leiermann from Pennsylvania

Sep 17, 2017
Photo of MikkelHanson
Reviewed by MikkelHanson from Nevada

3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
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
 
Rated: 3.5 by Sweffin from Wisconsin

Jun 07, 2017
Photo of StonedTrippin
Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
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
Reviewed by schlimenhaumer from New York

3.06/5  rDev -22.3%
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
 
Rated: 4.1 by dcmchew from Romania

May 24, 2017
 
Rated: 4.16 by redbarnbikes from New York

Mar 07, 2017
 
Rated: 3.88 by OompaMentor from Georgia

Jan 07, 2017
 
Rated: 3.79 by shelby415 from Oregon

Dec 17, 2016
 
Rated: 4.75 by capes from Illinois

Dec 10, 2016
Photo of krome
Rated by krome from Illinois

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
This one is very strong on the smoke taste, the juniper is there, but greatly overshadowed by the smoke.
Dec 07, 2016
 
Rated: 3.5 by jgunther71 from Illinois

Dec 07, 2016
 
Rated: 4.78 by Vylo from New Jersey

Jul 26, 2016
 
Rated: 4.04 by HeartofMiami from Florida

Jun 23, 2016
Photo of josanguapo
Reviewed by josanguapo from Spain

3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
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
 
Rated: 3.75 by StoutAtTheDevil from Alabama

Apr 15, 2016
Photo of moose1980
Reviewed by moose1980 from Germany

3.94/5  rDev 0%
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
Reviewed by Beginner2 from Illinois

4.06/5  rDev +3%
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
 
Rated: 4.3 by Saviour from Russian Federation

Feb 09, 2016
Photo of Dentist666
Reviewed by Dentist666 from Russian Federation

4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
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
Reviewed by brureview from Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
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
 
Rated: 3.75 by AlexAfonin from Russian Federation

Dec 18, 2015
 
Rated: 3.71 by yeaprolly from Washington

Dec 02, 2015
 
Rated: 4.08 by Oleg85 from Russian Federation

Nov 28, 2015
 
Rated: 3.65 by jagada from Pennsylvania

Nov 20, 2015
Photo of BlackBeerPirate
Reviewed by BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
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
 
Rated: 3.88 by CBrodbeck from Florida

Sep 18, 2015
 
Rated: 4 by archero from Texas

Sep 18, 2015
Norwegian Wood from HaandBryggeriet
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 353 ratings