Norwegian Wood | HaandBryggeriet

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Norwegian WoodNorwegian Wood
Very Good
348 Ratings
Norwegian WoodNorwegian Wood

Brewed by:

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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 348 |  Reviews: 231
Photo of BeerSox
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into nonic.

Turns out as a unique cloudy mahogany hue with a one finger tan head that settles to a cap.

Somewhat sweet, with a touch of toasty malts coming though, but most of the aroma is like the damp air at the beginning of winter when everyone is throwing logs on the fire.

The flavor is somewhat acerbic, with a lot of carbonation as well. The smokes malts are obvious, giving a dried and smoked meat characteristic, almost to the point where it's a little peppery. Full bodied.

An okay smoked beer, but after this one I would rather to back to a more traditional Rauchbier.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #70. Brewed March '07

Pours into a Tripel Karmeliet chalice an extremely hazy opaque dark brown with three fingers of khaki foam on top that slowly falls. Aromas of smoked malt upfront reminiscent of a dying campfire. The meaty quality is there along with an underlying yeast and juniper spiciness. Very earthy overall.

First sip is robust smoky malts with toasted caramel and cocoa accents. Earthy yeast tones meet up with spicy juniper berry and pine flavors. Mellow sweetness throughout that ends with a spicy finish. Tastes authentic and has an old world feel to it. Tasty smoked ale.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp. Solid spritzy carbonation. Goes down easy. Overall, I found this to be an interesting, tasty brew that I would have again!

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Photo of magictrokini
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, I love smoked beers, especially those like the Aecht Schlerenka variety where the smoke is strong. Pours dark brown with nice red edges. Thick head that last the whole way down. Not much lacing. Beautiful campfire aroma. Great mix of wood with the juniper showing through. Oily mouthfeel with enough carbonation to smooth it out. Long, earthy finish. The taste is spectacular. Wood, smoke, and bacon. The malt is rich and hearty, but maintains a pleasant dry quality. Good mix with the chocolate malt gives a bit of sweetness, but not too much to overtake the smokiness. I love this beer. If you're going to go smoked, go the whole way.

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Photo of botham
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle poured into a snifter. pours a chocolate brown with a single finger of rapidly dissipating light tan head. soapy rim last a few minutes.

aroma is of earthy smoke with a light notes of caramel malts and a lightly nutty base with light cedar notes. nicely composed with a warming profile.

taste is lightly roasted with woody smoke, along with caramelized sugars on the back end. the brew is pleasant and not overbearing. ends up being very nicely put together.

mouthfeel is medium bodied and silky smooth in texture. goes down very smooth with a bit of residual smoke and dark malts.

drinkability is good. the flavors are well proportioned and the smoke compliments the malts quite well. a tasty smoked beer that drinks very nicely. cheers!

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Photo of popery
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An interesting mix of smoke and juniper. Norwegian Wood pours a reddish mahogany color with an excellent head. The aroma is strongly smoky with a light alcohol note. The juniper doesn't really come through until you get to the flavor. Altogether, it's an interesting mix of spruce, smokehouse meats, sweet malt and spice. As it warms up, there's a light phenolic note. The smoke doesn't dominate the flavor profile as it does in the aroma. It sits well on the palate, fairly light carbonation, smooth feel. I'm not sure how much smoked beer I can ever stomach in one sitting, but it's certainly enjoyable by the half liter.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was first presented to me at Beer Run by one of the fellas from Left Hand Brewing, after they wrapped up a tasting there. Greatly appreciated it then, and it prompted me to pick up another bottle to revisit, so it all worked out quite nicely!

A: This pours very nicely... deep brown, with some ruby red highlights that need a little more light to really come through. Otherwise, it can give the appearance of being opaque. Head is a creamy off-white, stands about a perfect 2 fingers tall in a tulip (right from the middle of the flare in the glass to the brim).

S: This is not something that could be easily be confused with a rauchbier... it is a unique aroma, with the smoked malts only playing a part in the overall equation. Smokiness tends to be a scent that dominates, but they've managed to keep it somewhat subdued, considering, so that other scents - chocolate, and just a slight earthy (and perhaps even slightly damp) woodiness.

T: Again, the smoked malts are certainly there, but not overpowering the beer with the big 'meaty' flavours. It's got all sorts of delicate flavours going on, trying to be sought out. Unfortunately, I find juniper to be something that is lacking on the tongue. Granted, with a beer of this nature, they may not be a 'primary ingredient' of sorts, but I find myself quite hard pressed to really pick it up. Maybe hints of it, but that might just be my head talking because I want to. Rather, the chocolaty, somewhat nutty, and smoky flavours stand out. There's a tiny little twang of a fruity tartness on the finish, and then it returns to a more malty, chocolate flavour.

M + D: A nice prickle of carbonation right off the top, introducing a bigger sized body. Heavy side of medium, I suppose would be the most accurate I can come up with using a limited 'descriptive phrase bank.' The amount of alcohol is quite low, though. Admittedly, I expected it to be considerably higher... 8 or even 9%, but no complaints. There is a lot to be said for a beer that is able to be on the lower alcohol side with this kind of flavour.

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Photo of Jayli
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had 8/16
This beer pours a thick toffee color with an off white one finger head that recedes quickly. Not much lacing to speak of. Nose is of caramel malts, dark fruits and berries, and a hint of smokiness. Taste is berries and dark fruit at the forefront, caramel malts fill out the middle, and a hop finish. Throughout the whole beer a nice balance of smokiness plays against the tastes. Medium body, moderate carbonation, somewhat oily at first and fills out to a nice creaminess. This is a nice beer to sit with for a little bit.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a fairly pretty dark-brown beer with a small tan head. The nose is malty, with a low level of smoke drifting across (not heavy, like a rauchbier). Lots of roasted malt in the flavor makes this taste more like a slightly smoked stout. I like juniper berries as flavoring agents, but I can't taste them here. I think the primary flavors are really too dominating to allow the juniper to come out. The end adds a little tartness.

Not as interesting a beer as I had hoped, but it's still quite drinkable.

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Photo of MunchkinDrinker
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark opaque brown with a thick tan foamy head and plenty of lacing.

S - Smells like a campfire. Smokey with a citrusy undertone. Almost sweet. Very pleasant.

T/M - Carbonation hits first, but is quickly replaced by a strong strong smoke flavor. A light piney/citrusy flavor peaks right as you're swollowing before the smoke finds its way back to the top.

D - The smoke is powerful, and does make it hard to get through.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500mL bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass. Brewed in November, 2007 - best before November, 2009.

Liquid is cordovan with falu red highlights. Very dark, but good clarity. A short-lived tan head is quick to dissipate leaving behind a very thin ring sustained only by the high carbonation.

Aroma is of roasted malt, and savory wood smoke, and a hint of brine or wildflowers. Subtle.

The flavor reminds me of a good dark lager, with toasted black bread and cleansing hop tartness. Coriander and juniper berries are present as well, but play a supporting role to the lightly smoked malt centerpiece. The finish is long and complex with roasted rye, wheat, and malt notes along with crisp botanical spice, a woodsy sweetness hinting at anise. Flavors intensify and become richer and more stratified as the liquid warms.

The mild astringency of the malt and smoke combined with the benign warming from the alcohol leave the impression of a freshly extinguished fire in your mouth. The juniper and hops dance around the edges thanks to the effervesence of this light-bodied brew.

A unique, mouth-watering concoction that would pair well with properly prepared salt-cod, rakfisk, wild game, and wild greens.

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Photo of ffejherb
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1pt. 9oz. bottle into small pilsner glass on 6/10/09. Thanks to FooFaa for sharing.

A - Poured a cloudy reddish copper body with over a finger's width of bubbly beige head that retained quite well and left some patchy lacing around the glass.

S - Meaty and smokey with somewhat of a charcoal character and lots of earthy hop notes. Aroma is burnt, charred and reminiscent of hot dogs on the grill, but not the cheap-ass ones... gourmet dogs!

T - Lots of meat and smoke with a charred, burnt malt character and plenty of earthy, herbal hop bitterness.

M - Medium body with a pretty lively effervescence and a syrupy texture. Mild bitterness on the palate with an astringent finish.

D - One of the meatiest beers I've ever had for sure. Isn't it good, Norwegian Wood? Yes it is.

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Photo of SuperSpy
4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

The beer is a very dark, cloudy amber. The head is more than an inch thick and has the popping, crackling sound of a soda. Very little lacing as the head dies down.

Lots of smoke in this one. Other than smoke there are no other discernible aromas, even as the beer warms, but that's not surprising.

The taste has some sweet malt, with a hint of molasses or brown sugar and of course plenty of smoke. The smoke is not overpowering and honestly is very, very well balanced for a smoked beer. Although I've had better smoked beers, I haven't had many that had such a good balance of medium body and non-overpowering smoke flavor that I would be able, and want, to drink more than one.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured in a snifter to get a nice nose full of smoke. Smoke is definitely there.

Appearance is hazy amber.

Aroma is definitely smoke. BBQ in a glass.

Smoke is evident in the taste, but not overpowering. Some malt comes through. Cannot taste the juniper.

Mouthfeel was good overall...not too thin or syrupy.

Drinkability was good. This would be awesome with ribs. But I could not drink more than one at a sitting.

This would age well. May buy a few to lay down and try this winter and next spring.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Cloudy cooper, with a big fluffy, off white head.

S- Smells like bacon, and an old campfire. Very smokey. I can smell some hops in there as well.

T- It tastes like bacon, with a little malt sweetness. I can taste the juniper berries, but that taste is small. My girlfriend thinks it tastes like a bacon wrapped date.

M- Mouthfeel is a little thin for me,but ok.

D- I love bacon,and this was great until about half way into it, then it got a little too much for me.

I drank this at room temp, but I think it could have used some fridge time. Very interesting beer, though!

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Photo of WesWes
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a decent malt scent of roasted, crystal, and peated malts. The smoke aroma is mild with a nice roasted dryness. The taste is good as well. It has a very smooth, peated flavor that's balanced with crystal and roasted malts. There is a slight Juniper berry taste up front, but it fades quickly with the smoke overcoming it. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a tastey beer. I've been wanting to try it for awhile.

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Photo of spratmi
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a very dark ruby brown color with a thick amber three finger head. There was some amount of thick foamy lacing throughout the tasting.
S: The smell was dominated by a strong malty sweetness with a hint of smoke.
T: The initial taste was strongly dominated by a deep smoked wood flavor - there was almost an ashy note to the smokiness, but in a good sense. A sweet malty flavor mingled with a dry bitterness and a very slight hint of berries. I also noted a hint of bittersweet chocolate. The beer had a lingering bitter smoky finish.
M: This beer had a medium but very carbonated mouthfeel with a bitter dry finish.
D: Good drinkability with a complex flavor and interesting finish.

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Photo of Yetiman420
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pulled out of my suitcase and consumed in a 10 oz clear plastic cup. Shaken up quite a bit and lots of carbonation on the pour.

Appearance is rating once the beer settled to a chocolate milk light brown with a 1/2 finger tan head.

Aroma is sweet, malty, with some sourness. Next couple of pulls detect smokiness. Aroma is unique and attractive.

Served on the warmer side and picking up mostly light smoke and malt from the flavor. Too much carbonation is impacting the flavor of this beer.

I keep coming back to the aroma - trying to pick up the berries and my mind is telling me I smell them way off in the distance.

This one would be easier to understand and appreciate under the category of a smoked beer.

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Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick, cloudy texture. There was a half inch of creamy, long-lasting head and some good lacing.

S: Strong aroma of smoke, wood, malt and possibly some chocolate.

T: The taste was very strong with smoke, to the point it almost overwhelmed the other elements. Also tasted of malt and a tinge of fruit (the junipers advertised on the bottle?). Reminds me more of a rauchbier than anything else.

M: A decent amount of carbonation and a super dry finish. Medium-bodied. The smokey aftertaste can be a bit much.

D: While drinking this beer is an unusual experience, it is definitely drinkable. Certainly NOT for everyone.

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Photo of Beer-Zombie
3.72/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this brew pours up an opaque reddish brown color with dark peach edges and a nice off white head. the nose is smoked bacon, smoked ham, smoked pork, burnt wood. the taste is a lol rough on the edges, I get very smoky pig products, subtle malts, slight hop bittering, no juniper twigs though, medium body, high smooth carbo. A decent smoked brew

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Photo of orsulacp
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown body with hints of ruby under a fluffy light tan head. The nose has smoke, but not much and a powdered chocolate smell and a little bit of vanilla. There is a nice spiciness at first then some chocolate with a hint of caramel sweetness. All of the flavors really blend together well, spicy then bitter then sweet with a little spiciness left behind. It has a nice tight carbonation that makes the flavors open up a bit more. It is like a Palo Santo light, and that is a good thing.

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Photo of John_M
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

What a very odd beer.

The beer pours a brownish amber color with outstanding, pillowy head retention and OK lacing. The beer looks very impressive. On the nose, this beer is a complete mess. I know it's billed as a smoked ale with junniper berries, but the combination is not attractive. There is the noticeable smoke and gin aroma, along with an underlying hint of chocolate. However, the combination of smoke and gin gives this beer a sandlewood, dish soap aroma. It's not the least bit attractive. Thankfully, the beer on the palate is nothing like the nose, consisting primarily of milk chocolate, coffee grounds and a hint of licorise. There is also a hint of the gin flavor, but it's very light and not at all obtrusive. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a soft, long finish. While the abv. is fairly low, it's very difficult getting by the aroma on this beer. I literally had to hold my breath every time I took a sip, which is not how I want to enjoy a beer.

This was an interesting beer, but have no plans to ever purchase it again.

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Photo of peabody
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a slightly cloudy darker ice tea with one finger of off-white suds. No lacing to speak of.
Smell is smokey wood chips and caramel malt. Slight spice but mostly wood.
Taste is smokey wood. Reminds me of sugar cured ham. Anise and licorice with burnt wood. Almost a coffee flavor. Aftertaste of caramel malt and sugar toffee. The bitterness and the sourness must be from the juniper berry.
This is just an OK beer. Could be much better with not so much burnt wood.

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Photo of brentk56
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark mahogany with a massive head that descends without leaving much in the way of lace

Smell: Campfire smoke, with just a hint of smoked bacon, but plenty of other elements underneath, such as chocolate, licorice and, as the beer warms, juniper berry

Taste: Smoke is all over the opening, and it takes a while for the ash flavor to make way for the other elements I smelled in the aroma; by mid-palate, all of the complexity is in full swing, with the chocolate, licorice, apple and juniper blending in very nicely; after the swallow, the flavor profile dries out with a hardwood finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body but way too much carbonation

Drinkability: As much as I enjoyed the flavor and aroma, the mouthfeel is a major detraction from drinkability

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Photo of farrago
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dense head, surface looks like rolling hills of off-white, little lacing and while it starts off over three fingers deep, steadily evaporates downwards. Very dark red-brown color, only if you hold the glass close to a light does the transparency become evident. In the nose it's easy to finger all the smokiness but it's not a one trick pony, behind this lays medicinal witch hazel, cocoa powder fried in butter, campfire ashes, peat moss, cinnamon stick and a touch of caramel and toffee for shock absorption, very light squeak of mixed black fruit scents. Medium-bodied, if you could turn your mouth into a fire burning oven, this is what it would taste like. A metallic cave water, tar and Lapsang Souchong tea leaves keeps it aggressive. The carbonation acts like a thin jet stream through the palate, not steadily stirring the pot but creating turbulence. Piney juniper berry influence. Otherwise, the fruit element is very low, likewise no citrus of note. Anise seed and dried strips of game, less chocolate or caramel. Clean finish with expected big inner mouth perfume. A very good curiosity, couldn't drink more than two in a sitting.

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Photo of Rainintheface
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: dark amber with ruby, cloudy but bright (if that's possible) 2 finger off-white dense foamy head. great lacing and moderately high carb

S: mild smoke, berries, bacon and faint hawaiian pizza

T: berries, smoked bacon and Canadian bacon

M: moderate body, crisp carbonation, dry with a bit of sweetness. Fantastic mouthfeel

D: I'll certainly have again. The berries and smoke play well together

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Norwegian Wood from HaandBryggeriet
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 348 ratings