Porter | HaandBryggeriet

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Very Good
116 Ratings

Brewed by:

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Sigmund on 06-17-2007

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Ratings: 116 |  Reviews: 88
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with atomic mocha cloud of head. A bit fo surviving lace at the end. Aromas include a mild roasted barley and malt, a tad of coffee and chocolate malt and caramel. The taste, though never sweet, balances many elements of the above: the roast, the malt, the toffee/caramel, the coffee. It is well done and robust,though not getting extreme point. I particulaly care for its soft mouthfeel of creaminess, and in that it is an excellent porter.This 2007 batch rated at 6.5% abv, and a pricey purchase from Premiere Gourmet.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.36/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Batch 79 (Brewed June '07; Best before June '10) Tasted and reviewed same date - March 18, 2011 - past bottle best date.

Another of the Park Lane, Lancaster, Calif. purchases - bought off shelf 4 years old and tasted/reviewed date of purchase.

Pours black with a thick and firm dark khaki head that's long lasting; nice looking.

Nose is very assertive plumed sweet black coffee; sweet dark chocolate; molasses and burnt honey.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin and watery without character.

Flavors are a bit "old" and likely past prime (per bottle date). Flavors are a bit like citric coffee and very light chocolate milk - not good but not bad. Only strength is in the finish where there is a long and nice light acidic coffee character. Likely not one to drink again and past its prime.

This is an example that not all porters will improve with age and clearly a brew from 2007 likely should not be cellared for 4 years.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle, with that same amusing fingerprint overlay pattern that suggests someone (with a large hand) gripping the label.

This beer pours a solid black, with faint basal cola edges, and three fingers of puffy, frothy, and densely foamy beige head, which leaves a decent array of bonsai tree lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of well roasted bready caramel malt, a touch of dry cocoa powder, bittersweet coffee, licorice root, faint, almost sour lactic notes, and leafy, somewhat vegetal hops. The taste is gritty baker's chocolate, lightly toasted caramel and pale malt, charred coffee beans, tart generic black fruit, spoiled skim milk, a bit of fleshy dry nuttiness, and further earthy, weedy, and moderately vegetal hops.

The bubbles are fairly evenly distributed, and mostly benign, the body on the lee side of medium weight (a bit of a cardinal sin for the style), and smooth, in a halting, sort of pithy manner. It finishes off-dry, the malt thrashing through its death throes, the cocoa and coffee carrying on as if they were camping out in a Starbucks, and that vegetal astringency hung out to dry, but making a lot of noise about the fact.

I don't know exactly what puts the 'Norse' in this Norse Porter, so all I can do is point out the deltas between it and the standard-bearers (for the American and English varieties alike). HaandBryggeriet hits a fair lot of the normal notes, but it really comes down to two things - its unbearable lightness of being, and that weird green veggie persistence. Not something I'd recommend, if you're looking for a world-beating example, I'm afraid.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into pint glass, batch 158, bottled 5/8/2008. Pours a nearly pitch black color with a small 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some slight spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big raisin, plum, chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, biscuit, wood, herbal, and a touch of smoke. Nice and pleasant aromas; with good strength and balance. Taste of chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, raisin, licorice, biscuit, herbal, coffee, and slight smoke. Slight roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, coffee, biscuit, licorice, and raisin on the finish for a good bit. Very nicely balanced flavors, with a nice big malt backbone that is not cloying. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a very nice creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. No alcohol noticed at all as expected. Overall this is a very nice and pleasant porter. Nicely balanced and robust flavor profile; and very smooth. Really enjoyable stuff.

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Photo of brentk56
2.21/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Batch 78

Appearance: Massively overcarbonated, creating a huge head that sits atop the raven colored liquid; on the plus side, there is lots of lace

Smell: Burnt embers and acrid lactose, with hints of coffee and dark chocolate

Taste: Black bread up front, but the flavor turns rather acrid by mid-palate, with a burnt, over-roasted character that is, nevertheless, highly acidic; after the swallow, it settles down a bit, with some coffee and chocalate coming through, but the burnt roast flavors remain a distraction

Mouthfeel: Medium body with buoyant carbonation; hard to wrap the tongue around the liquid, in fact

Drinkability: For the price, I was expecting something much better; very tough to drink

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color porter with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry roasted malt with some strong dry coffee notes is very interesting. Taste is also dominated by dry roasted malt with huge coffee notes which are well balanced and avoid entering into astringency territory. Body is quite full for style with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Enjoyable beer with strong roasted/coffee notes.

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Photo of largadeer
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Comes in a 20 oz bottle with a cool label depicting Jörmungandr, the Midgard Serpent. The beer itself is a dark, opaque brown with a coffee-colored head.

Smell - Coffee, a bit of woodsmoke and burnt toast.

Taste - Very roasty and burnt, with flavors of black coffee and baker's chocolate at the forefront. Extremely dry; there's no balancing sweetness to be found anywhere here.

Mouthfeel - Medium in both body and carbonation. Not especially thick, but the flavor is very coating.

Notes - Pretty decent. I was expecting more of a Baltic-style porter, but this is obviously going for something different. Regardless, it's a solid beer. Can't say I'd buy it again unless it came down in price significantly.

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Photo of oberon
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 22oz nonic a deep nearly pitch black with a huge blooming mocha colored head that was a overflow of my glass with even a pretty gentle pour.Deep fruity esters in the nose with a bit of leafy hop and dark roast coffee a bit charred as well.A little prickly in the mouth but nothing that takes away from the drinkibility,quite dry on the palate almost like cola very roasted and earthy in the finish with big dark roast coffee notes.Hmm I like it but it may go overboard in the roasted dry element,I like a dry finish but this to me lacks in any sweetness,all in all still a well made porter.

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Photo of nickfl
4.37/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Two fingers of medium orange-brown foam on top of an opaque black body. The head settles slowly and leaves a little bit of lace in its wake.

S - Robust, sweet chocolate aroma with toffee, caramel and lots of complexity behind it. Notes of licorice, sage, clove, and cinnamon with earthy hops.

T - Surprisingly mild and appropriately porter like up front. The malt starts out light and cola like and quickly intensifies with mild chocolate and aromatic coffee. The beer finishes quickly with coffee notes and mild earthy hops. The flavors that linger on the palate after the beer is gone continue to darken with notes of tobacco and dark chocolate.

M - Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Very drinkable and superbly complex. The aroma is excellent and unusually complex. While the flavor is not as intense, it is still very nice and well balanced. This could be a session beer if it wasn't so hard to come by.

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Photo of dcmchew
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of russpowell
3.49/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours chestnut/mahogany with 2 fingers of pillowy mocha head. Nice viscous appearance, minimal head retention & lacing

S: Coffee & dark chocolate

T: Coffee, dryness & a bit of dark chcolate up front. More of the same as this warms. Finishes chalky with coffee & some dark fruit

MF: Medium bodied, subtle carbonation & slight oilyness

Drinks okay, a bit too much coffee for me. Over priced @ $8.75 a 500ml bottle

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark brown body with a profuse, foamy beige head.

Smell: Roasted malt aroma of high quality chocolate and strong, black fresh brewed coffee. Note of fruity prunes.

Taste: Rich, wonderfully robust roasted maltiness with strong flavors of dark chocolate and strong coffee. Hint of prunes. Light smokiness. Overall, there's a hefty amount of roasted bitterness that pairs with some herbal hop flavors, both of which last far into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: A very nice porter provided you like your porters packed with strong roasty bitterness.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 78. Dark chocolate brown with meager orange and gold highlights. The golden sand colored crown was massive initially and is still three fingers as I type. Large bubbles pop in lazy fashion, leaving large, soft crafters in the upper surface of the head and smeary lace on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is 100% American porter. What should a Norwegian porter smell like? Smoked salmon? It strikes a good balance between brown and chocolate malt, with a minimum of roastedness. While an underlying fruitiness is evident, hops don't make a major splash.

Porter has more tart tanginess than it should. It works well, though, because the brewers have used enough malt and enough of the darker-end-of-the-spectrum malts. Sweetness and the flavors that are derived from barley that is roasted to the chocolate stage keep the sourness from taking over.

I'm aware that the style doesn't exist, but this offering could also be thought of as a 'milk porter' due to the lactic tang. The flavor profile includes chocolate (a mixture of milk and bittersweet), as well as a cornucopia of dark fruits. Raisins and plums in particular. What started out as simple is now halfway to complex as the beer loses its initial chill.

The mouthfeel falls a wee bit short. It's lightly creamy and is appropriately carbonated, but it doesn't expand enough in the mouth and doesn't hang on all the way to and through the end game. Nitpicking? Perhaps.

Norwegian Wood was my first HaandBryggeriet beer. Norse Porter (the name they use for the U.S. market) is my second. They're both solid versions of their respective styles and are both beers that I would drink again if they weren't so expensive. Damn the weak dollar. Anyway, this one is worth a purchase if you don't mind spending a little coin on occasion. Skal!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the pleasure of picking one of these up on my last trip through NC. My first beer from them and I was excited to get to try it. Served at cellar temp and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/15/2009.

The pour was nice with a nice dark brown color and a nearly opaque consistency. Lots of tan foam coming up over the top throughout the session, and this came to a head of three inches and then settled down, but never totally going away, dropping lots of side glass lace.

The aroma was very rich, lots of roasted malts and a good bit of coffee and chocolate mixed into it. Really quite nice and full bodied. Light smoked flavor to it as I take the first sip. This mixes in very well with a subtle chocolate and dark fruit flavor. Smooth, mellow consistency and even carbonation left this one sitting in the mouth very nicely. No hint of alcohol at all as I just sipped through this one over and over.

A very nice beer here, not mind blowing, but very solid in nearly every way. Not sure it was worth the price tag here, but still very good.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a shaker pint glass at Durty Nellie's.

Batch 208. It may not have been on-tap (is it ever?), but I'll take it from the bottle here, too. It pours a lovely black-brown topped by a steady finger of light tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, juniper, clove, nutmeg, and a light bit o' chocolate. The taste is very similar, with some nice additions of coffee and cola. The body is on the thicker side, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly syrupy feel. Overall, a very nice porter, another success from the Hand.

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Photo of a77cj7
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 5/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark brown with a tan head with good retention. Aroma of dried fruit, toasted malt. Thin porter flavor up front with usual dark malts, hint of wood, dark fruit. Dry middle and dry, slightly sour finish. Malts perk up a bit in the middle when warmed up, but still tastes watered down. Dry finish seems more like an Irish porter than an American one. Very flat, watery finish. No bad flavor notes, but nothing outstanding either. At $10 a bottle, not going here again. Like another reviewer, my bottle was labelled "Norse Porter" and had an ABV of 6.5.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #78
Brewed: May 07
Best Before: May 10

Pours a very nice black color, very nice carbonation, awesome two-finger plus creamy tan head, with tons of nice thick creamy sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with some very nice chocolate/toffee notes. The taste is malty, slightly sweet/bitter, lots of chocolate/toffee. Medium body, with a dry/bitter finish. Very drinkable, this is one fine American Porter, and another tasty brew from HaandBryggeriet.

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Photo of jwc215
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 208 - Brewed 20.01.09, best before 20.01.11:

Despite a careful pour, the first pour foamed up - nearly all head - foamy tan. After pouring some, it continued to foam up a bit over the bottle. As it settles it reveals a dark brown brown - nearly black - body. Subsequent pours were better.

The smell is of licorice/anise, mild smoky earthiness, a bit sour, with some coffee/toffee.

The taste is of chocolate, toffee, some licorice/anise with coffee notes. Overall, it is on the sweet side, though would be better if some mild sourness didn't fade in and out. It has a smoky touch in the finish.

Spritzy carbonation is rather annoying, but still holds up to medium-to-full bodied. Alcohol shows a bit.

Not too crazy about the sourish notes, especially in the nose, but there's enough goodness going on besides it. Also could be less spritzy. An "interesting" brew - wouldn't get again for the hefty price of nearly $10 a 500 ml bottle.

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Photo of Gavage
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label states Batch # 78.

Appearance: black in color with a fluffy 3"+ head that lasts forever. Nice lace covers the glass.

Smell: bitter dark chocolates and roasted malt sweetness are the main aromas.

Taste: deep roasted malt tones with dark chocolates, caramel, prunes, and a bit of earthiness. There is a pretty hearty bitterness here for a porter, creating some dryness.

Mouthfeel: medium in body. Nice roasted aftertaste lingers a while. Smooth and dry from start to finish.

Drinkability: the higher bitterness and dryness knocks this down a bit for me despite the wonderful flavor profile. Couldn't see having more than a few glasses of this.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.51/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A Norse porter, eh? Perhaps a style on its own, b/c this one has a bit of twang to it.

Pours a dark brown/ruby/black with huge foaming head that looks like a chocolate malt foam.

Aroma of coffee, black licorice, dark plum and chocolate. coffee stands out the most

The flavor is a bit odd. Coffee and milk chocolate are the key factors. It's a bit sweet, but more like a spoiled sweet. It has some tartness, I think, to it. Smooth, but the bubbles/head up front betray this. I thought it would have been more tingly, but it's pretty smooth. Plum skin seems to be the tannin.
Overall a nice drinkable porter, even if it is a bit odd. Not bad at all

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Photo of beernads
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of avalon07
4.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from a bottle to an imperial pint glass. Had a black color and a completely thick consistency. There was a good inch of creamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Surprisingly, not much lacing.

S: A strong, sharp aroma of malt, coffee, dark fruit, and chocolate.

T: Tasted of coffee, raisins, dark chocolate, and roasted malt. Complex and flavorful, but it doesn't necessarily fit in with the typical American Porter style. Still, very tasty.

M: A lot of carbonation with a dry finish. Full-bodied, but never too heavy.

D: Extremely drinkable. One of the more interesting porters I've tried recently.

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Porter from HaandBryggeriet
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 116 ratings