Norwegian Wood | HaandBryggeriet

BA SCORE
88
very good
336 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:
336
Reviews:
225
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
10.18%
 
 
Wants:
53
Gots:
28
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 336 |  Reviews: 225
Photo of JamnesCameron
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

 502 characters

Photo of MADhombrewer
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
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!

 581 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 573 characters

Photo of spratmi
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

 692 characters

Photo of Yetiman420
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 718 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 689 characters

Photo of stumac
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
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

 344 characters

Photo of orsulacp
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

 492 characters

Photo of John_M
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

 1,041 characters

Photo of peabody
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

 472 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
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

 781 characters

Photo of farrago
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

 1,148 characters

Photo of Rainintheface
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
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

 398 characters

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

Bottle from River's Bend.

Poured black color with a large frothy brown head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Moderate roasted coffee and dark fruit and woody smoke aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture. Solid dark roasted flavor with medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

Solid complex beer.

 323 characters

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into stein.

Pours chocolate brown, kind of murky, with a huge, fluffy tan head. Some visible effervescence around the edges of the glass.

Nose is quite smoky, with an organic peatiness around it, raisin and dark fruit underneath.

Taste has lots of dark fruit (raisins) and cocoa up front, some brown sugar as well, with the peaty smoke coming in about midway and really coming out around the finish. Finish is juicy, smoky, just a hint of smoked sausage, echoes of raisins and brown sugar wrapped in smoke. Really nice. Smoke contributed to the beer without totally wrapping up the entire character like some rauchbiers.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, light carbonation.

Drinkability is really rather high for a smoked beer - I could have drank more than one of these, and the sweetness in this coupled with the smoke would make this an absolute grand slam with pulled pork barbecue.

 895 characters

Photo of Bung
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Foggy amber pour, with a large whitish foam head. Earthy aromas of raisin, sweet malt, slight red berries and peat/smoke. Poured into the dimple mug and the lacing lasted strong throughout the entire beer, but was not as sticky of a mouthfeel as this might indicate. Flavor has some malt, light red fruit, prune and smoke. Maybe juniper berry, but I really have no idea what juniper berry tastes like. Solid medium body but finishes very clean with not much lingering good or bad. There is a creaminess to it that works really well with the flavors. I thought this was a little dopplebock-esque, with all the good comparisons that might come with it.
Unique, drinkable and worth trying. For sure one of the best of this style I've had.

 735 characters

Photo of tjsprague
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Haandbryggeriet Norwegian Wood

I've had smoked ales before that tasted too much like smoked meat. This was a perfect balance of smokiness and beer. It's not the kind of beer that you could drink all night, but perfect to warm you up. To me, there was only a hint of juniper flavor which was complementary to the smokey taste. It is definitely unique amongst the smoked beers and the best I've had yet.

The beer had a nice body, not to thick but just right to go along with the smoke flavor. Hops were not really present in the taste nor was it overly malty. All of the flavors melded well and neither the smoke or the juniper were overpowering.

It's worth a taste.

 669 characters

Photo of pangea001
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy dark amberish-brown. More amber around the edges.

Smell: Smokey and sweet. Maybe a bit of spice somewhere in there.

Taste: Smoked sausage. There's a sweetness there that grows as it warms. No outright juniper, perhaps it's there to temper the other flavors?

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a slightly fluffy feel. Pleasant carbonation.

Drinkability: I probably wouldn't have more than one of these in a night. Which isn't to say it's not drinkable. I'm enjoying this beer.

Overall: I received this beer as a Christmas present. It's the first beer of this style I've had and I'm enjoying it. I've got another Scandinavian beer to try later. Word.

 665 characters

Photo of Redwood21
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ok, this beer seems overall decent. the head doesn't last long enough to get a 4.0 and the flavor is pretty solid. the aroma is definitely spicy but not overly so. the beer is overall a good solid representation of the style, which is why a solid 4 is what i gave most. the drinkability is right up there with this style

solid

good

beer

 339 characters

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

A - A dark, reddish brown body, appears to have good clarity with some ruby colored highlights. It pours with a large and dense, white head that sticks around for a while and leaves heavy rings of lace in its wake.

S - Strong, earthy, meaty smokiness; reminds me of Bamberg. Some caramel maltiness, chocolate, and herbal notes just barely manage to peek out from behind the smoke.

T - Toasty brown malt up front that is quickly overwhelmed by smoke and the flavor of caramelized pork. Roasted malt comes up in the finish along with mild coffee and some hop bitterness.

M - Medium body, high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - This beer is all about smoke, and for some people that is going to be a turnoff. For others, such as myself, the smoky complexity of this beer is deeply satisfying. My only complaint would be that the advertised juniper character doesn't really come through.

My natural inclination would be the pair this with smoked pork since that is basically what it tastes like. I would be a bit concerned that pairing smoked beer with smoked meat would be too much, and I might opt for grilled pork loin instead.

 1,132 characters

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

Dark brown with a hefty dose of orange highlights, tons of carbonation leaves the head towering above the rim of the glass and about three inches tall - despite a super-controlled pour. Not much lace, but that head is a keeper.

The smoke component definitely catches the nose right off, leading the charge up the nostrils with very little else to register.

I like the flavor; there's a ton of smoke, but it's pleasantly mild and allows notes of flowers and spiciness to make this more fun to drink than your average rauchbier.

The mouthfeel is close to awesome, but a little more than required. There's a real need to sweep the smoke off the palate when you're talking about brewing with juniper, but since the berries don't really come into play anyways, I would shoot for a sturdier mouthfeel.

I like it, but probably won't return for another.

 853 characters

Photo of gmcfarre
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pt .9 oz bottle poured into traditional pint glass
Batch 100 - Brewed 10/07 - Best Before 10/09

A - Pours a fairly opaque, ruby-tinted milk chocolate brown color with a massive 2+ inch light tan head. Lacing sticks a bit as the rocky head ever so slowly disappears.

S - As the label suggests, this brew presents strong smoke and juniper flavors that actually compliment each other quite well. Sweet dark roasted malt flavor.

T - Smooth sweet dark fruit and caramels flavors are quickly joined by a strong, earthy smoked flavor. Some chewy toffee and roasted malt taste as well. Juniper shines through, but not as loud as I might have thought. Finish is high on roasted smoke flavor and sweetness.

M - Expressive carbonation with a fairly light body given the darker color. Smooth on the palate with a smoky dry finish.

D - A slightly different take on a smoked beer that may be very appealing if you like that kind of thing. If smoked beers aren't your thing, this still might be worth trying as an entry to the flavor, but it would be best to share the larger sized bottle. Alcohol is not much of a factor.

 1,118 characters

Photo of corby112
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark brown with a foamy beige head. Aroma dominated by smokey malts and wood. Also contains hints of fig and dark fruits. Flavor again is domnated by smoky/ woody maltiness that is nicely balanced with fig, spice and dark fruit. Very complex and tasty!

 283 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, batch 86, brewed 8/07. Pours a dark murky brown with a light tan head. Aroma of spices and spruce. Flavor of spices initially, some sweet fruitiness, and smoke in the finish. An interesting and tasty beer!
Appearance: 4/5
Aroma: 7/10
Palate: 4/5
Flavor: 8/10
Overall: 15/20
3.8/5

 287 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a five+ finger, thick light tan head that fades slowly and leaving traces of lace. Cloudy deep amber color, yeast left in bottom of bottle. Good carbonation, medium bodied. Smoky, caramel nose. Flavor is sweet, woody and smoky with some caramel. Pricey at $11.50 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer and Wine Wells, Me.

 330 characters

Norwegian Wood from HaandBryggeriet
3.93 out of 5 based on 336 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe