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Norwegian Wood | HaandBryggeriet

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
88
very good
225 Reviews
THE BROS
81
good
Read the review
Norwegian WoodNorwegian Wood
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet
Norway | website

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with smoked malt, munich malt, crystal and chocolate malt, and spiced with juniper twigs and berries.

Added by Sigmund on 06-17-2007

BEER STATS
Reviews:
225
Ratings:
330
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
12.47%
 
 
Wants:
53
Gots:
27
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 225 | Ratings: 330
Photo of josanguapo
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
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

 192 characters

Photo of moose1980
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.

 980 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

 594 characters

Photo of Dentist666
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of brureview
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
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

 202 characters

Photo of craftbeersweden
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
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!

 401 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 758 characters

Photo of ONUMello
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
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

 400 characters

Photo of Phoodcritic
2.52/5  rDev -35.9%
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.

 243 characters

Photo of Scandahoovian
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

 1,660 characters

Photo of bmaggot
4.99/5  rDev +27%
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.

 364 characters

Photo of psoriasaurus
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
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!

 746 characters

Photo of Tone
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

 501 characters

Photo of 57md
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

 169 characters

Photo of doktorhops
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

 1,966 characters

Photo of skipxtracer
4/5  rDev +1.8%

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.

 295 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.01/5  rDev +2%
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

 1,485 characters

Photo of Luk13
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Brown pour with fluffy brown head. Aroma is smoked wood and intense sesame oil. Taste is nutty and smoked malt and wood Lively carbonation. Body is slightly richer than most traditional smoked. Also, it is not a meaty smoked, it leans more toward campfire and nuts. Decent smoked but not on par with the traditional version such as Schlenkerla's. 3.5

 358 characters

Photo of mverity
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared. Pours a creamy looking brown with thick creamy tan head that lasted really well. Sticky lacing and thick legs. Creamy mouthfeel from medium carbonation and rich body. Aroma is light smoke, caramel malt sweetness, and some faint earhty/floral hop. Taste was fantastic! Rich caramel, smoke permeates through everything, but well balanced. Really glad I got to try this one.

 386 characters

Photo of EspressoGuy
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml- batch 488- best for 20.06.14
a:brown with hints of copper
S: deep rich moka; lots of milk chocolatey goodness... but over a short time it does fade to a more muted aroma
T: wow- a smooth brooding smoky moka taste; there's a high mellow bitterness throughout; finish is a bitter stickiness, like salted liquorice; not at all an aggressive smoky beer; the taste is very together and balanced;
M: medium carbonated; medium body
O: the character that was so strong when I first opened and tasted the beer soon faded. Still it's a very appealing beer well-balanced beer but not as amazing as I originally thought it would be. I

 630 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Shikimon for sharing this one at Wowcoolman's tasting.

Batch 432. 2160 bottles produced.

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, smoke, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with smoke and char flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of smoke bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is very smoke forward but doesn't show any juniper from what I can sense.

 622 characters

Photo of Oakenator
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours an amber color with a hint of red coming through. Slightly cloudy. Good head is nice and thick initially then lingers well. Some nice chunky lacing on the glass wall.

S: Smoky, burnt, roasted, malts.

T: Nice layering. Juniper berries up front to middle with a really nice lingering in the mouth of the smoky, roasted malt flavor.

M: Mid bodied - nice pop off the tongue.

O: Enjoyable.

 397 characters

Photo of leaddog
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a dark amber with a finger of bubbly head.

Smell - Smoke like a campfire, smoked malts, spiciness, wood.

Taste - Warm smoky malts reminiscent of a campfire. Similar flavours to lapsang souchong tea. Hint of juniper and spice.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth body.

Overall - A unique smoked beer by HaandBryggeriet. I really like the level of smokiness - reminds me of nights by the campfire. Very well executed.

 462 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in an SA Perfect Pint. Batch 432 printed on the label. Pours a translucent amber with a fizzy, 1.5 inch, butter-colored head that sizzles and pops as it slowly recedes into a creamy, 1/8th inch cap. Nose is difficult to describe - herbal and spicy, some citric acid and just the merest suggestion of smoke towards the back. Taste expresses smoked malt, but it doesn't come across as being overly meaty. There's also an acidic presence (must be the juniper berries), as well as a slight medicinal character towards the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a prickly carbonation, a slightly oily texture and an astringency that stimulates the salivary glands along the sides of the cheeks. Overall, I find myself pleasantly surprised at how much I like this beer, despite Smoked Beers not really being a style favorite. Definitely a good way to accustom the palate to the style without being assaulted by smoked meat.

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Norwegian Wood from HaandBryggeriet
88 out of 100 based on 225 ratings.
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