Akevitt Porter (Barrel-Aged Porter) | HaandBryggeriet

very good
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Akevitt Porter (Barrel-Aged Porter)Akevitt Porter (Barrel-Aged Porter)

Brewed by:

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Matured on Aquavit casks.

Added by Jeffo on 09-07-2009

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Ratings: 168 |  Reviews: 106
Photo of Bubba83
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I will preface this review with the fact that I don't actually know what Akevitt tastes like.

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle at around 50 degrees into a snifter. A soft pour produced a lot more smooth head than I expected, about two finger widths. Jet black body, the head is a two-tone tan, with a lot of small bubbles. Lacing is quite nice and the retention pretty crazy, it kept like one finger width the whole way through the long session...

Aroma of milk chocolate, caramel, smoke, tobacco leaf, vanilla, and anise. Complex, but the combination strikes me as a little bit odd as well. There's also sort of an off-inky aroma wafting out of the glass too, but it's not too apparent.

Tastes a lot like I remember Paradox Islay tasting. Some of the sweeter flavors up front. I get the chocolate, more like cocoa powder, and then caramel, followed by a decent amount of roast and a peaty quality that reminds me a lot of islay scotch. Licorice notes sort of round things out on the swallow and a decent hit of alcohol. Again, interesting and has some very nice aspects, but feels a bit jumbled in a way and that's what's holding it back.

The mouthfeel is a bit overcarbonated. The consistency is pretty good, about medium, but it's just a bit too lively for a big barrel aged porter. On the plus side, head texture is nice.

Drinkability takes a bit of a hit from the alcohol contributing a good bit towards the end of the sip. If you don't mind a bit of peaty scotch, it's not a bad finish though. I thought this beer was worth trying since it was interesting, but overall I think it could have been a bit more polished and incorporated into a sum of its parts. The building blocks are here for something great.

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Photo of Yesac
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Appears jet black in the glass. Cascading head settles to a small one finger light brown/tan colored hear.

S- Charred wood, heavily roasted malt, hint of chocolate

T- Smooth roasted malt, earthy tones, some dark fruits, bitter chocolate. Over all roasty and smooth.

M- Very smooth, velvety, low/medium carbonation.

D- Great porter over all. Smooth, earthy, roasty. However lacking some flavor by not being as complex as others.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.51/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16.9 oz dark brown bottle. Bottled on 23.07.10
Poured into Sam Adams fluted glass.
It pours a very deep and dark root beer-hued spent motor oil color along with a lively mix of large and medium sized tannish bubbles. Some patchy and webby lacing sticks and stays.
The aroma is a must smell... ASAP! Smells of fresh robust espresso and dark chocolate fumes fill the air surrounding the glass. A nice whiff of black licorice and Akavit is quite noticeable and lasts throughout. A slight woody smell mingles with a bit of grapefruit rind.
The flavor is all over the damn place! Sorry to say, after the lovely aroma experience, the flavor profile sort of falls apart. There's coffee, Akavit, citrus hops, green wood, dark chocolate, followed by an off-putting yeasty sourness. A bit of a copper metallic tang seems a little out of place. Porters, Baltic, Robust, or Imperial should not have any funkiness in the flavor department.
A change of yeast is called for here. I believe this would be a first class beer if only the sour/tart flavors were mellowed out.
Try pairing with ginger candies or very dark, bitter chocolate nibs.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

'Twas the day before X-mas, and all through the house, awesome Norwegian beer was to be had by all!! Pours a beautifully dense, dark brown to almost black. A finger of creamy, dark tannish head foams up, then falters slowly into a small rim. No idea how well-carbonated. Wonderful, complex aromas. Tangy malt, a licorice-like scent way in the back that speaks to the barrel-aging. A distinct liquor scent is in there, but it's impossible to place. Must be the Akevitt. It has a spicy-floral smell to it. Really quite awesome. A hint of smoke, too. Definitely a porter, but also richer. The barrel-aging is excellent. There's this crazy, liquor-like note to the finish that is unique and inticing. Really accents the robust malt notes well, and rounds the beer out by giving it a certain faux-sweetness. 9.6% ABV but painfully expensive at $10.99/half-liter bottle. Worth trying.

What I like most: The wonderful, unique flavor profile from start to finish.

What I like least: The price.

Verdict: SOOOO worth trying, even at the heady price point. Find and drink.

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Photo of corby112
2.91/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a deep dark brown color, almost black and completely opaque without even the slightest hint of lighter color when held to a light source. Fizzy dark chocolate/coffee colored head that immediately fizzles away without leaving a trace of lacing. Visible carbonation bubbling up.

Fortunately, the aroma of this beer is much more pleasant than the appearance. Huge silky chocolate malt presence with hints of roasted malt, coffee bean, burnt toast and oatmeal. The nose is really complex with hints of dark fruit and alcohol sweetness complimenting the spirit presence. I'm not familiar with Aquavit but it's presence is noticeable. There's also some slight earthy oak and subtle hints of spice and vanilla. This smells excellent!

Soft carbonation tickling the tongue up front followed by a silky, slight viscous chewy mouthfeel that thins out toward the finish which is hot and dry. The spice from the liquor is prominent as well is the aquavit flavor. Although this beer is over a year old it is still pretty hot. Peppery spice with slight anise and dark fruit notes. Hints of plum, raisin, grape and dark berries. The silky chocolate malt notes from the aroma are very faint and are completely overpowered by the overwhelming heat. The earthy/oak barrel notes are also faint and the vanilla hints from the aroma are absent. An interesting take on barrel aging, especially with the spicy traditional Scandinavian spirit, but this is kind of one note, not very well balanced and too alcohol heavy. I'm glad I got to try it but at the high price tag I would recommend avoiding it.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

apperance: deep dark brown, almost ebony

smell: deep dark malts. heavy coffee, woodsy

taste: wow, very ipresseive depth of flavors. vanilla, oak, sublt smoke

mouthfeel: full bodied

drinkability: I want this again period. fantastic beer and it wowed me even after just drinking a dreanuaght for the first time.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 11/13/10 notes.

a - Pours a black color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, strong coffee, roasted malts, and chocolate. The smallest hint of oak as well. Very enjoyable.

t - tastes of bourbon, strong coffee, oak, roasted malts, and chocolate. More oak than the smell and a touch hot, but still quite good.

m - Light to medium body and light carbonation. Again, a touch hot, but I was surprised how light this beer was on body and carbonation.

d - I thought this was a very good barrel aged porter. I loved the smell; very complex and lots of great bourbon in there. Would definitely like to pick up a bottle of this one.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz. bottle,

A: Pours black with a big tan head originally (3 fingers) but recedes into a standard one finger. Fizzy, solid lace.

S: Roasted malts, coffee, brown sugar, notes of spirit.

T: Dark chocolate is heavy throughout. Aquavit is an interesting spirit, it's not going to take over a brew ala bourbon, but it is going to give a nice undercurrent of flavour and this is what it does here. Malt is bittersweet overall with notes of treacle and a boozy spiritous finish which is where the aquavit reaches the forefont.

M: Full-bodied, smooth and creamy, soft carbonation, a big beer.

D: Aquavit is a spirit I've had before, but have never experienced a barrel aged beer from its barrels. An interesting experience, I wouldn't say it's worth $10 a pint, but its something most beer drinkers will greatly enjoy.

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Photo of Xul
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark brown with some ruby highlights around the edges, capped by a finger and a half of foamy, tan colored head. Retention is moderate as the head settles down to about a half finger where it holds steady.

S: Mild, sweet chocolate up front with roasted malts and light coffee, along with some faint dark fruits. Some barrel notes lurk in the background with an herbal spirit character.

T: Roasted grains, sweet chocolate and some light mocha flavors up front. Akevitt character comes in on the mid-palate along with a dose of dark fruits, leadig to a finish of chocolate covered cherries.

M: Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation.

D: ABV is well hidden, very drinkable for a barrel aged porter.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Bobby.

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a thick tan head sitting on top.

S: A subtle smoke/peat character that I find enjoyable in such a dose. The roast is prominent and there are mild milk chocolate and coffee undertones to the beer.

T: There's a decent amount of chocolate, coffee, and roast to the beer which stand up nicely to the pronounced, but balanced, peaty flavor. A slight spiciness as well as some alcohol and spirit presence.

M: The body is medium and the carbonation is somewhat low, but smooth and lends itself to a pleasant mouthfeel.

D: I'm not always a fan of the peaty and smokey beers, but this was good. Well balanced and quite enjoyable overall.

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Photo of emerge077
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled: 15.09.09
Exactly a year old.

Black with a dense layer of chocolate milkshake foam on the surface. It doesn't lace much, but the retention is good considering it's 10% abv. The lace slowly ebbs back into the foam it came from. Trails of tiny bubbles are visible at it's edges.

Ominous char, dark and roasty aroma. A light brown sugar sweetness peeks out, suggesting spiced cookies, somehow a little floral (maybe an expression of the akevitt).

Chewy feel with some initial bitter black char, that slowly evolves over time. At first it's big and brash with bitter dark chocolate, becoming mellow with traces of wood and tobacco in the finish, with occasional flashes of unknown herbals. The long, slow fade of it's flavors really make me want to slow down and take my time with this. Definitely rich, this surpasses RIS' from lesser breweries. Carbonation is mellow and the alcohol is in check.

Very nice effort from HaandBryggeriet, they are one to watch.

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Photo of jikvig
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dark dark brwon, but no foam at all. I think there was something wrong with this bottle, so you should test this beer out for yourself.

Nice nose with yeast, burnt malt and a hint, just a hint of carraway. It ends up with coffee as well.

No foam in the mouth, it got a rich taste with just alittle to much sweetnes, got spice, vanilla and licorice.

This bottle had to be flawed, that`s the only thing explaining the lack of Co2.
If it had any Co2, it would be a B-

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Photo of kbutler1
2.78/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Poured into a tulip glass a dark brown with a tan head. Aroma is of dark malt with toasty notes. Pick up a faint slight tart flavor that must come from the barrels. Smoky and alcohol taste. Not very smooth. Sweet, spice, booze, and barrels with a bitter ending. Alcohol is way to prevalent in this.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Batch 225, bottled 9/15/09. Another gem acquired on a side-trip to State Line (well worth, it, I tells ya!). It pours a very nice black-brown topped by a thick finger or so of tan froth. The nose comprises chocolate, booze (similar to bourbon), oak, vanilla, caramel, molasses, roasted malts, blackened biscuits, and charred wheat. Very nice. The taste encompasses all of the above, adding in some honey-covered biscuits as well. The booziness adds a decisive burn, but it is not unbearable, nor is it really all that bad at all. It's all lovely concoction. The body is lighter than expected, a solid medium, with a light carbonation and a very smooth and creamy feel. Overall, a wonderful (wow, I never thought I'd say wonderful again...) brew, one I wish had many of. Get some!

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Photo of jdhilt
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Will pour a five finger brown head that fades quickly to a thin layer, leaving traces of lace. Black color, no highlights, ton of yeast left in bottle. Good carbonation and heavy bodied. Chocolate and oak nose. Flavor is roasted chocolate, smooth, higher ABV is hidden. Batch #225, bottled Sep 9, 2009. This ages well. Pricey at $11.95 for a 500ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees

This one pours up a nicely impressive black color. Two-fingers of loose, chocolate brown colored foam sit on top. The retention is okay and the lacing is good, but fairly slippery.

Lots of the expected porter notes are in this nose. Big hints of dark roasted malts. A fair amount of coffee beans and a decent showing of chocolates. Nice hints of oak and some interesting herbal notes are here, as well. There is almost a 'neutral grain spirit' kind of scent here also, but it's very faint.

The porter flavors follow the nose and are quite tasty, but then I've come to expect that from the brewers at HaandBryggeriet. They make some damn fine beers.
Along with all of that chocolate/coffee/roasty goodness though is a little something extra. A mild hint of grain alcohol, along with a good dose of herbs. Caraway is easily spotted, along with fennel and anise and a light hint of cumin. This is very interesting, to say the least. Nicely complex.

This is full-bodied with a nice, medium level of carbonation. It is smooth and deliciously creamy, just like a good porter should be.

The 10.00%abv is very warming, within this beer. It's a very tasty beer, but I believe that a little will go a long way.
Definitely something to be on the lookout for, if you've never had it.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle, Batch #225, bottled 9/15/2009. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch brown head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. Aroma is chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, dark fruit and some oak. It's a mostly sweet and strong aroma. There's a lot going on with the taste of this brew! I can taste roasted malt, licorice, caramel, smoke, oak, dark fruit, herbs, vanilla and chocolate. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's slick and creamy with good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's smooth and just plain goes down easy. I think this is a very enjoyable brew, I've liked the other beers I've had from HaandBryggeriet in the past, and this one is likely the best one I've tried from them.

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Photo of tpd975
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to SeaBass

A: Pours a dark black nice tan head, little retention and only spotty lace.

S: Aromas of roast, mild chocolate, dark fruit and a touch of smoke.

T: Nice roasty flavors, hints of licorice, mild wood, and chocolate. Some coffee lies beneath with a bit of earthy tobacco.

M: Medium in body, light in carbonation.

D: Good pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of pmccallum86
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the mothman for busting this out.

Pours a dark brown/black color with a small cocoa colored head that dissipates quickly.

Tons of cocoa and roasted malts with some wooden barrel notes as well.

Taste is of chocolate cocoa and caramel with some oaky wooden vanilla notes from the barrel aging. Some light spiciness as well, interesting beer, but something just seems a little off.

Light bubbly full mouthfeel, pretty nice.

The drinkability here is decent, and interesting beer to try but something just seems a little off.

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Photo of mothman
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours 1/2 finger of tan head that fades down quickly to nothing. Color is a fairly black for a porter.

Aroma: Some sour notes, then the oak and spice from the barrels kick in. Chocolate, caramel, and dark dried fruits.

Taste: The spice notes from the barrels show right away. It brings some floral flavors to it. Then the chocolate and caramel malt show. Has some roasted/smokey flavors to it. Some oak, light vanilla, and dark fruits to it.

Mouthfeel: Very roasted, smooth, and dry. Medium to full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends dry, malty, and boozy.

Overall, this beer is boozy with a big floral/herbal flavor. Lots of the barrel aging shows here. Somewhat drinkable, but there is a sour flavor that adds an odd flavor with this beer.

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Photo of weeare138
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch # 225
Appears a dense midnight toned black with a small tan cap that slowly fades away into a mild film and hearty collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, vanilla, raisins, brown sugar, port wine, and floral notes.
Taste is of the aromas with a remarkable flavor with a port wine, warming, vanilla, caramel, mild smoke, and cream. Perfect.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, warming, smooth, and lip smacking with residual sweetness.

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Photo of drpimento
4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa, this is one heavenly beer, mmm mm! Poured with a thick foamy frothy fluffy light brown head and a tiny bit of lace. Color is an opaque brownish black. Aroma is malt roast burnt sugar ( can't smell some of other stuff as my snooter don't work so well). Flavor is absolutely divine: Very rich traditionally classic sweet (but not overly so) porter. Body is thick full and round with the perfect carbonation - just enough fizz to balance the sweet fullness of the liquid. Very satifying. The Norwegians have given us another sublime product that easily goes with another that is near and dear the the hearts of us here in Wisconsin, the cheese slicer. Bravo to our brothers!

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Photo of albern
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is not your average American Porter, even by a long shot. It is an odd beer and I'm not sure that I'm sold on it. I'm definitely not enamored with the beer. It pours a very interesting fizzy, and I mean really fizzy, head right out of the bottle. The beer sparkles right out of the bottle and then the carbonation and the head and everything else just disappears. You're left with a really inky black, thick porter that smells like a Baltic Porter. The ABV is present in the nose as is the smoked and woody characteristics of the beer. The nose is pretty intense. There are some deep caramels and chocolates in the nose on top of the woody and chicory aromas.

The taste is pretty intense as well. There is a mouth prickly lingering fizziness. There is not a creamy part to this beer. It's woody, its smoked, it has lots of dark malts, it has a biting little sting in the finish. It isn't quite a Baltic Porter, but it is close. This is not a typical American Porter if that is what you are seeking out. This is a sipping beer with some tree bark,strong cherry chicory, some booze soaked figs, and plenty of ABV. I'm not sold on this beer.

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Photo of darklordlager
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haand Bryggeriet Akavitt Batch 225 Total Bottles: 2160 Bottled: 9/15/09

By the sediment on the bottom, looks to be bottle conditioned...

A: Poured into a snifter a pitch black colour with a moderate dark tan head. Not the best retention, but the colour looks terrific.

S: sweet lactose and chocolatey malts, licorice, some smoke. A little bit herbal.Not very intense.

T: Very intriguing flavour, although I've never had the pleasure to try Aquavitt by itself. The best way I can describe it is a very woody flavour with some herbal backing-spearmint. The porter is sweet, with prominent flavours of milk chocolate and roast. Nice tartness in the finish helps to add complexity. Wow! After the somewhat bland aroma, I was not expecting such an interesting and tasty liquid!

M: Medium-heavy mouthfeel with low carbonation. About right, as it lets all the flavours seep into the tongue.

D: A very enjoyable and different beer from a brewery that I cannot spell for the life of me...perhaps I need to buy more to get more practice?

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Photo of WorldWideStout
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark brown. First pour yields a huge, mocha-colored head, but subsequent pours don't do much. Head dissipated within two minutes; decent lacing.

S: At first, I mainly get roasted malts, with perhaps a tad of hops. The more I sniff, however, the more I notice a mineral, toothpaste sort of smell. It's not unpleasant, and works with the hops to balance out the roastiness.

T: Fairly similar to a good, strong porter not aged in Akevitt barrels. Starts off with hops, then roastiness comes in. Towards the end, I do get a little bit of that mineral taste, along with a slight burn which I'm fairly certain is not from the alcohol, as it is not accompanied by an alcoholic taste, and just seems different.

M: Well-carbonated with a neither thick nor thin body and slightly creamy.

D: It's fine, but the slightly odd taste keeps it from getting very high marks.

This is a good beer, but not great, and I didn't really taste much of a difference between it and a regular higher abv porter or stout. Reminded me somewhat of an Old Rasputin, but slightly thinner and a little stranger.

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Akevitt Porter (Barrel-Aged Porter) from HaandBryggeriet
4 out of 5 based on 168 ratings.
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