Norwegian Wood | HaandBryggeriet

BA SCORE
88
very good
338 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good
Read the review
Norwegian WoodNorwegian Wood
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet
Norway
haandbryggeriet.net

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
Ratings:
338
Reviews:
226
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
10.18%
 
 
Wants:
53
Gots:
28
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 338 |  Reviews: 226
Photo of mothman
2.72/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into CCB Snifter

Pours 1/2 finger of fizzy head that settles a bit. Good retention from there. Color is a dark chocolate brown.

Aroma: Lots or roasted malts with what must be the juniper berries. Has smoke near the end. Very malty with notes of chocolate. Maybe some other spices.

Taste: Fairly smokey and burnt. The juniper berries are covered up by the smoke here. It has some light bacon flavors with notes of ash. It tastes almost soured in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very fizzy. Reminds me of drinking an amped up carbed be pop. Medium bodied with way too much carbonation. Ends very dry.

Overall, nothing I enjoyed too much. Not very drinkable and I am starting to like smoked beers more. This one just didn't work for me. It might be hard to finish this one.

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Photo of cbutova
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On at Blind Tiger NYC.

A- Brown with a small light tan ring and cloud. Some sticky sure hut only a few spots of lace.

S- Smoky cocoa, leather and some oak. Roast malt, raisin.

T- Roasty malt stout with a prevalent smoke note. Hops are pretty heavy for the style. They lend earthy and even citrus hints. Oak finishes this nicely. Dark fruit heightens as it warms.

MF- Moderate body with high carbonation. Slight sting. Neither overly creamy or watery. Dry. Slight bitters.

DB- Good stuff, becomes fruity at the end. Many nice flavors that balance fairly well. I think I would prefer less fruit but it is still a good beer.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer appears a medium to light copper hue with orange highlights. Upon popping the cap, the beer begins to ooze foam like a slow erupting volcano. The massive head eventually subsides, leaving a very stubborn 1/4 inch head with long lasting retention, yet no lacing.

S: A really complex aroma consisting of smoke, chocolate, candy, butterscotch, roasted malt, toffee.

T: The aroma is an accurate indicator of what flavors one might expect from this smoked beer. The smoke flavor is certainly apparent, though not as heavily pronounced as in most rauch beers. Overall, the beer is a bit sweet, with a tasty blend of butterscotch candies, toffee, and chocolate. The juniper berries are undoubtedly responsible for the floral / herbal flavors that contribute to the growing sweetness.

M: medium body with a sweet, somewhat sticky feel.

D: A tasty brew. I recommend sharing the bottle, as it's better in small quantities.

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Photo of Xul
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy amber with two fingers of foamy off-white head. Retention is very good as it takes quite a while to recede.

S: Lots of smoked malt up front, taking on both a smokey bacon quality, as well as a charred wood quality. Juniper berries are light but clearly evident, along with some faint sweet, bready malts.

T: Smoke is strong up front again with charred wood opening things up before a smoked meat character comes in and takes over. Juniper berries and a general herbal quality come in on the mid-palate and rise above the smoke, before giving way to a burnt, smokey finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation, feels lively on the tongue.

D: Very balanced for a smoked beer, the flavor never becomes overwhelming.

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Photo of tigg924
3.47/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, cloudy, light brown in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: smoked malt and faint florals

Taste: light smoked pale malt, sweet florals, earth, and some charcoal

Mouthfeel: light bodied, slightly watery, smoky with a bitter backbone, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I like the mix of of the smoke and sweet florals. I wish the malt here was a tad less pale and the florals were a bit more present. This is an interesting beer, worth picking up. Not sure if I would get this again, but certainly worth the try.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this beer at Euology Tavern, Philadelpia PA.

A - Nice murky brown body with a bubbly beige head.

S - Smells quite nice with scents of smoked wood and fire and some sweetness.

T - The taste is obviously very smokey and full of wood. I imagined the brewers putting chocolates onto a dry slab of wood and setting it all on fire.

M - This one was pretty medium bodied altho a little too carbonated I thought. Would have been smoother with less.

D - Certainly a fan of smoked beers, and this one was tasty and smokey but took me some time to finish the whole bottle.

Notes - Try this beer. Its smokey, old fashioned and uniquely brewed. Definately a potent taste burst, just have it in smaller doses.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle - best by March 2010 - served into a tulip glass

Pours a cloudy burned caramel sort of color. It was pouring out of the bottle as a lighter shade, sort of yellow, but it ended up turning much darker. Odd. The head was one finger in size and sort of dusty in color.

You certainly get smoke in the nose of the beer, though it is pretty light. This is no rauchbier. There are slight whisps of juniper and generic herbaceousness. Mostly I smell sweet amber malt. Perhaps it is because this beer is a few months past the "best by" date but there isn't much going on in the aroma.

This is the rare smoked beer that opts for a balanced approach. The smoke serves to highlight the malt sweetness. The juniper is there, but only faintly. This beer has the tendency to very in taste from sip to sip, which is intriguing. Pretty tasty though not as sharp as I was hoping for. The finish is nutty and sweet.

The mouthfeel works well. It is a medium-sized body with adequate carbonation. Pretty even-keel throughout. The balance of the beer makes for an exceptionally drinkable example of the style.

This is a nice beer. I wish it were more assertive, though. This beer would work best when paired with food.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Boy can this brewery spring some serious wood! It seems they are firing on their largest cylinder with this Smoked Ale.

This beer pours with a very froathy ruby/mohogany color, medium haze, and very creamy head of lightly tanned color. Leaving little lacing behind, this beer takes on a very malty/froathy Dopplebock appearance.

Aromas of obvious smoke is balanced (or an attempted balance) by toffee malts, spicy rye-like grains, and dark stone fruits of dates and figs.

Flavors take over where the aromas leave off. Sweet malts of molassas/toffee mix well with the dehydrated cherry, date, fig, prune fruits just before the full brunt of the smoke/campfire tastes set in. Once they do, the beer takes on an oaky, smokey, and meaty (melanoidin and unami) character that leans on soy sauce and sweet barbque from early palate on. Even a bold nutty and mild chocolate character persists after the fruity start. Delicious and appetizing.

And like Dopplebocks, this beer begins creamy and weighted but soon evolves into a malty dry, but still froathy, texture that leaves very little sweetness on the tongue. Instead, the fleeting malts, medium smoke, and sweet alcohols contribute to a long but dry finish.

This is a very nice Smoke Beer that shares a lot of commonalities between a true Rauchbier and a Dopplebock.

Thanks again Mikeyv35!

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Photo of jikvig
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a high foamy head on top of a gloudy red/brown colour.

Nice malted aromas, coffee and juniper on the nose.

Rich in flavours, got alot of aromas going for it. As I said, juinper and coffee is present, also some chocolate, licorice and even some burnt coffee beans on the back end (you know, more raw than coffee). Bitternes very aggresive in the beging, but is smoothening out after the inital start. Complex

This is a really interesting beer, with a modest nose and a powerful taste. Adding the wild growing herbs to the mix absolutely adds a sting to the whole mix. Norwegian Wood never tasted as good as this.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

It took me a while, but I finally got a second chance at this beer. It pours a translucent tawny amber (more toward the brown end of the spectrum) topped by over a finger-and-a-half- of cream-colored foam. The smell comprises smoked ham, roasted malts, light toffee, and wheat, though smokey notes dominate. The taste holds notes of everything listed above, though the smoke is toned down slightly, the toffee is joined bvy a light caramel, and the wheat is toasted. The body is a solid medium, with a lightly moderate carbonation and a slightly watery, smooth feel. Overall, a very nice smoked beer, one that I wish was easier to obtain on a regular basis.

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Photo of JohnnyP3
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 0.5L bottle labeled as batch 243. Brewed 14.09.09. Use by 15.09.11.

Pours a gorgeous copper, a little cloudy, with an awesome crowning head at least 2-fingers in width. The head does not budge. Wonderful lacing on the side of the glass. Very promising to say the least.

Smell is definitely smokey and I can detect the juniper berries used to spice it. Almost a "juicy" smoke smell with some smoked meat aroma thrown in. Maybe even a little smokes salmon thrown in?

Taste definitely does not disappoint! A delicious wet smoked taste that exhibits excellent balance. Can taste the juniper that adds a delightful spice to the overall experience. Overall delivers an earthy, charred wood, smokey, tour-de-force--a smoked beer lovers dream. The smoked quality also blends nicely with some sweet malt tastes.

Mouthfeel is amazingly smooth and seductive considering the amount of carbonation that appeared to be bellowing forth when I poured this beer. Just enough carbonation to keep it crisp and versatile with some cheeses, for example.

Drinkability is outstanding. A pleasure to savor the flavors as I drink, imagining this beer being brewed on a Norwegian farm using traditional process. Kudos to HaandBryggeriet for a winning recreation of this traditional Norwegian style.

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Photo of skullsplitter
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this as the Publick House in Brookline last night. It was a little difficult to give an accurate description of appearance because it was pretty dark by the time I had this drink.

The appearance was a fairly murky brown tea-like color. There was little to no head and lacing was virtually non-existent. From what I could tell there was a very light carbonation.

The smell was quite pleasing. It's been years since I had a smoked beer so I can't really compare it to anything else. It was very light with hints of charcoal and perhaps a little peat. I didn't really get the hint of fruit esters. The smoke smell was never overpowering so I would have expected to pick up something.

The taste was sweeter than I thought it would be. Again, the very light smoky flavor was there along with some caramel and the light taste of the juniper berries. There were definitely some other flavors meshed with the aforementioned that I just couldn't place. Everything was blended very nicely and no one taste outshone the other. Very well balanced.

I found this to be somewhat lighter in terms of mouthfeel. I dare say it was somewhere along the watery lines which was interesting because it certainly did not taste that way. All in all a very strange consistency. Very sessionable. So much so that I had to remind myself of the price tag. I would definitely try again.

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Photo of Atricapilla
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is a light milk chocolate brown with a fairly thin dirty white head. Beer had fairly consistant carbonation. Aroma was heavily smoked, with a bit of grain. Flavor was fairly smooth; dominated by a thorough smoke, but not overpowering. Had a substantial maltiness and chewiness I had not encountered in a lot of smoked beers.

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

- Traditional Norwegian smoked ale with juniper berries. Batch 209. Brewed in Feb. 09. Best before Feb. 11. Consumed 5/26/10.

A: Poured a nice amber ice tea color with a rapidly evolving 4 finger straw-beige foamy head that cleanly slid down the glass walls leaving no visible lacing. Retention was fair, maybe a bit less so considering its initial state, leveling off to a spongy thin coating within a matter of 2, maybe 3 minutes tops. Effervesce was medium, composed of tightly bound micro bubbles rising at a moderate rate.

S: The aromatic appeal gets things off to a rather good start. Not quite as intense as an Aecht Schlenkerla it did provide a smooth beautiful offering of smoky goodiness. Freshly burnt ambers emit at medium strength along with soft hints of charcoal. The nose however quickly diminishes soon after the pour lacking any retention and would of easily garnished higher regards if I didn't have to rush to appreciate the intake. No real signs of the forementioned juniper berries perhaps covered up by the smoky nature.

T: Sweet grains are highlighted by a smooth smoky character. The juniper berries are there, but swallow to quickly and you might miss them. Fleshy berry skins, dry twigs and sweetly toasted caramel grains come briefly and quickly upon the initial sip but quickly succumb to a smoky appeal that gathers steam towards the finish. Smoky charred wood, burnt vegetation with a finish of silky ash all coming off very smooth and refined. There is a nice malty sweetness that is woven within the smoky flavors.

M: The mouthful is near full, almost like cough syrup with only a modest showing of carbonation. The real treat comes after the swallow with a silky ash coating the tongue.

D: Solid drinkability. The smoky malt adds nice highlights without being overbearing with a good tongue coating appeal. Overall good all the way around.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to piginapen for sending me this bottle.

The beer pours a hazy dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is meaty smoke with some charred wood, ash and burnt malt. The flavor is smoke, roasted malt, chocolate, juniper and dark fruit. The aftertaste is extremely smoky. Thin-medium and slightly watery mouthfeel. Low-medium carbonation.

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Photo of Deuane
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing a bottle of this.

A-Hazy, deep copper with a robust, light tan head that settled to medium cap and left nice webbed lace.

S-Mmm, mmm, smoky and earthy with a light sour twang. Very similar to a popular local meat product called Lebanon Bologna.

T-Smoke richness with an almost chewy quality. Full flavoured roasted malt with an earthy bitter finish.

M-Medium bodied with very nice lingering smoke character and mild earthy bitterness.

D-Well, it is not a secret that I am a smoked beer lover and this one surely is a well done smoked beer. Quite tasty with plenty of flavour and an accompanying, underlying bitterness that accents the smoked malt nicely.

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Photo of koopa
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed on 4/11/10 at the Copper Mine Pub in North Arlington, NJ.

From notes....

Appearance: Pours a light iced tea with red and honey folds, a slightly buttery 1 finger crown, little retention or lace.

Smell: Solid smoke profile over fairly biscuit like malt.

Taste: Same as nose but less inspired.

Mouthfeel: Crisp medium body.

Drinkability: Goes down easy as its fairly well balanced.

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Photo of Kendo
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch # 72. Brewed April 2007, Best Before April 2010. Consumed April 29, 2010 (after putting it in the DBF in late March, so about 3 years in the cellar on this one).

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is clear reddish-amber with a big (3+ finger) foamy beige head that snaps, crackles and pops as it settles (relatively quickly at first, then slowing), leaving no lace.

S: Smells mainly of smoke and peat and charred wood. "Campfire," my wife said and that's not far off. Also some sort of fruitiness, I think.

T: Mildly smoky with charred peat. Some basic malt foundation and a touch of some sort of spice. Slight bitterness at the back of the sip provides some balance, but the smokiness is still there.

M: Call it medium-bodied beer with active (maybe a tad too active), big-bubbled carbonation.

D: OK. Drinking it alone right now it's a tad bit too smoky; it'd probably be a better brew with some sort of grilled food, e.g., a burger, sausage, pork. . . .

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a barely transparent mahogany-honey brown with a cream-white, fine-bubbled head. Rich, malty, smoked-wood aroma has an undertone of barbecue. Smoky, barbecue-like flavor is malty wit hints of spice, caramel and even sweetness. Tingly, lively texture rounds out a very tasty and distinctive beer.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint. Beer is brown and completely hazy, forms an offwhite brownish head of big bubbles that falls away quickly to NO head and NO lacing.

Mild aroma of malt sweetness and a little bacon / smoke. I don't know what to expect.

Beer is medium bodied with some sweetness up front. Tastes really good. The smoke is subtle and comes up late and lingers with this bitterness from roasted malt in the back. Its like a smokey porter or something like that. Almost like a strong brown porter. Pretty good beer.

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Photo of jwc215
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brewed Feb. 09. Best before Feb. 11.

Pours clouded caramelish dark amber with a thin tan head that stays. Some trailing lace slides down the glass with minimal stickage.

The smell is of smoked wood and juniper. The smokiness is strong, but not overwhelming, allowing a caramelish maltiness to come through, as well as a vague hop aroma. Interesting, smoked wood aroma...

The taste is of sweet caramel with smoked wood. Not quite to the point of smoked meat, as in the Bamburg brews, but close. There is a caramelly maltiness and vague hop touch. A unique smoked taste. A touch of juniper gives a gin-like touch in the finish.

It has ample, even spritzy, carbonation. Medium-bodied.

An "interesting" brew. On sweet side, but with balance. Notably, though not overwhelmingly, smokey. Sounded like it would be like a smoked sahti, but juniper comes across differently here. A unique brew - don't know that I would have it again for the hefty over $10 for the 500 ml bottle, but was interesting/creative.

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Photo of glid02
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly hazy brownish-amber color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of bright and crisp smoked malts - think ground sausage and salmon wrapped in bacon and leather - with smoother caramel malts backing it all up.

Tastes similar to how it smells although the flavors don't pop quite as much as the smell intimated. Smoked malt flavors kick things off and sweeten a bit midway through the sip. A light bitterness comes in shortly thereafter with slight wood-y notes and carries through to a mildly bitter and crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have a probem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this smoked beer ranks right up there with the best from Schlenkerla and the juniper adds just a hint of earthiness that's well served here. If you're a fan of smoked beers then this one is well worth a shot.

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Photo of tubacharlie
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The scent of evergreen boughs and hops hits the olfactory right away when decanted.

Good three-finger tan head, reflecting the red-brown color of the slightly hazy brew.

Rich maltiness with a smoothly melded hop presence and creamy texture on the tongue. After a full introductory swig, the last bit of liquid in the bottom of the bottle was swirled around to release the yeasty sediment, then added to the glass. This resulted in a cloudier, more fragrant beverage with more complexity as the yeast and juniper involved the entire palate and nostrils. An exuberant explosion of flavors ensued, with pleasing results.

Smoked fiskesalat with some garlic potatoes and brown beans would go down real easy with this traditional brew, made of peat-smoked malt and juniper berries.

This was labeled as batch no. 142, brewed March 08, best before March 10. Further aging would not hurt this beer though, in my opinion.

Interesting label note: at one time in Norway, every farm was required to brew its own ale. Not sure if they were required to drink it though!

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Photo of Parrotbeak
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy amber with a two inch, creamy, off-white head that remains.
Smoked malts up front on the nose, with some sausage and a little barbeque. There's a very faint sweet aroma here as well.
Taste is more smoke, with the same sausage and barbeque. Not as intense as I hoped, but still quite nice.
Mouthfeel is just a bit flat, lacking a level of carbonation I'd prefer. Slightly watery, with a medium-light body.
Good drinkability. I really like these smoke ales, and this is another one that didn't disappoint.

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Photo of farHillsBrewer
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Delightful all around and the last swallow was the best, sorry to see it end.
Dark-brown with substantial tan head.
Mellow,balanced amber malt with a strong smokey nose. Hints of dark fruit and bacon?, maybe hickory smoke. Distinct memorable smokey finish. Very drinkable for a smoke beer, my pint went down easy.
On Tap at Max's.

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Norwegian Wood from HaandBryggeriet
3.93 out of 5 based on 338 ratings.
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