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Akevitt Porter (Barrel-Aged Porter) | HaandBryggeriet

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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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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 164
Photo of brewcrew76
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black to dark brown with ruby highlights and no head. Several small, solid chunks of yeast sludge float around the glass.

S - Roast malt, chocolate, light coffee, hints of wood and vanilla. Light herbs that become slightly more pronounced as it warms.

T - Milk chocolate, light roasted malts, wood and vanilla. Again the herbs are light become more pronounced as it warms. I couldn't place them but after googling aquavit barrels that caraway is slightly noticeable.

M - Thin with low carbonation.

D - Good beer and very easy to drink for a 8% barrel aged beer but I was hoping for a little more.

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Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.25/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Batch 288. Bottled 23.07.10. Tasted March 1, 2012.

Pours pitch black with a bubbly 3-finger mahogany head, leaving small streaks atop the glass. Somewhat pillowly retention with dense lace.

Nose is heavy on the chocolate- from chocolate covered raisins to chocolate sauce to mocha. There's a boozy character that I recognize in other spirit barrel-aged beers but since I've never had an akevitt, I'm not sure what direction the actual spirit takes this beer. There are, though, undertones of grainy malt, earthy spice and a sour woodiness. Other aromas include cashew, faint herb, anise.

Full bodied palate is incredibly sweet, like a rich chocolate pie, getting rather cloying and distracting for a good second. It's a shame, cuz that sweetness is the only thing holding this beer back. I would exchage a bit of dryness for a higher alcohol, and bump up the hopping, cuz the bitterness is almost completely lost in the molassas-like syrup. The bit of roasty coffee is very welcome, while some tangy chocolate taffy leads the finish with a slight woody-acidic twang, a bit out of whack with the still cloying sweetness that just seems to linger far too long. A bit of boozy black pepper spice would be really nice right about now.

Certainly an idea that needs to be done right, an akevitt barrel aged porter could certainly be amazing, but the sweetness on this completely kills it for me. I bought this on the shelf recently, making it about one and a half years old on the shelf. Not sure what's wrong with this, as there are no mentions of sweetness in recent reviews. Maybe I'm tasting an older batch? Such a shame too. Now I'm 0/2 with Haandbryggeriet.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Note: This was batch #356

A: Pours jet black with a two finger foamy tan head. The beer showed good head retention and moderate amounts of lacing.

S: The aroma has nice notes of coffee, bitterness, and hints of spirits. The smells of alcohol become more pronounced as the beer warms.

T: Coffee still leads the flavor profile and the taste is very well balanced. The alcohol of the spirits is definitely present in the flavors but it is quite pleasant.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation but not as smooth as one might have expected because of the harshness of the spirits.

O: The taste of alcohol is a little too present for my palate and makes it not as easy to drink as other beers in this style that I have experienced. Still a good beer and it grows on you as you drink more and it warms up.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Quite an amazing pour: initially, it looks like it's not going to form a head at all, just leaving some yellowish-brown turbulent bubbles in the top of the deep, brown-black body. But then tiny bubbles start to nucleate forming a rich, chocolate-brown head of very fine film. This eventually settles out a little, but it's still creamy when it's filmy. Body is rich and full, leaving powdery static carbonation when swirled. Lacing is excellent. Looks like a fantastic beer.

Nose is intense, with big roasty high-cocoa chocolate characters, and savoury, slightly spicy characters of cardamom, aniseed and caraway seed. There's a hint of booze to it too, but it mellows into a nutty amaretto sort of character. Really quite unique and incredibly pleasant and complex.

Taste is a little lighter and less complex, but it has such a length on the palate, lending sweet chocolate on the front, before smoothly transitioning into a roasted bittersweet finish. Chocolate and cocoa still seem to me the dominant flavours, and some of the spice suggested on the nose has dropped out a little. Still the roastiness has nuanced layers to it, giving some brewed coffee tones above the smoother bitter chocolate notes.

Feel is wonderful, at once slick and light, but with that chewy lingering character that allows the flavours to mellow and develop in the mouth.

Really lovely brew this one, even by the high standards I place on Haand. They really do a good line in "Scandinavian" pseudo-traditional beers, which ironically puts them in the avant garde of the craft beer scene.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger-high dark tan head that gradually died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Aromas of herbal spirits from the akevitt barrel aging stand out in the smell, which also has some hints of roasted malts.
T: Similar to the smell, the akevitt spirits stand out in the taste and impart some booziness to the underlying flavors of dark roasted malts with hints of bittersweet chocolate.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol.
O: The flavors are rather well balanced and the spirits from the barrel aging do not dominate the overall taste and makes it interesting.

Note: Batch #356

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Photo of wordemupg
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into tulip 16/1/12

A near black with just a little cola at the edges, nice dark two fingers of foam retains quite well but only leaves a few polka dots of lace

S some smokey peat, dark chocolate, a little licorice, juniper maybe some spruce too, overripe cherry, and a little booze. smells pretty earthy and complex

T a little smokier then the nose with more herbal notes, maybe even a little chocolate mint, quite woody but burnt, and this mixes with everything I smell, again pretty complex tasty dark roast

M sticky and pretty full bodied just enough bubbles and a strong lingering aftertaste of herbal burnt char, the aftertaste is better then it sounds

O I loved this one for sure, big bold flavors and smell with a complexity too match

another winner from these guys, this ones up there with Odins Tipple and that's some pretty elite company, I like the barrels imprint on this beer very interesting stuff. this ones worth aging I need more

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black, viscous pour with a foamy deep brown head. Head fades fairly quickly leaving dark lacing and a centralized miniature Le Brea tar pit carbonation formation.

S - Sweet and roast all the way. Sweet, almost chocolate covered coffee beans and cocoa powder. A sweet milk sugar scent and some gooey malt sweetness. The wooden barrel dryness and notes pushes through.

T - So rich and chocolatey with a dry, bitter roasted coffee flavor. Black coffee, lactose, roasted coffee and semi-sweet chocolate wrapped up together. Dry oak nuances accompany and compliment the dark flavors. This tastes more like a coffee/milk stout than it does a porter. Very robust and packed with flavor.

M - Viscous on the palate, full bodied and rich. Drying and warming. A wonderful mouth here. The abc very well hidden by the way.

O - Dark and delicious, if you love everything that has to do with coffee, chocolate and wooden barrels.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, 8% ABV. Can't say that I've had a lot of Scandinavian aquavit (spelling varies), but from what I remember, it's like herbal or spiced vodka. Should be interesting, at least.

This beer pours a stout emulating, motor-oil black, with ever so slight cola highlights, and one finger of bubbly, soapy Brown Cow head, which bleeds away very quickly, leaving but a few forlorn arcs of amoebic lace around the glass in the process. To the point - I likey.

On the nose, the aroma verily jumps out at you, what with the roasted chocolate malt, dry coffee, herbal hop twang, and a slight sugary pear fruitiness. The taste is sweet licorice and vanilla-laced caramel malt, baker's chocolate, mild coffee, and a soft herbal drupe character, as if the weak choice of aquavit as barrel treatment will not go unheard.

The bubbles are quite sedate, but still make themselves noticeable at times, the body a decent medium weight, smooth, and a tad sugary. It finishes still rather sweet - chocolate, tame coffee, vanilla, and a muddled fruitiness still keepin' the party pumpin'. Urgh.

Anyways, this is a hell of a porter, given its big stout leanings. Less successful are the barrel effects - a slight herb and fruit whiff is all I got, and seems like a bit of a waste of the time invested, even if the resultant product gets on just fine without it.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

rather surprising that not a lot of breweries don't barrel age in spiced liquors. prove interesting. this is a prime example of a great porter with some interesting undertone and a wonderful feel. pour looks just right. with a off white head. nose expands greatly as it warms. oaky and doughy and a bit of spice to apples. palate is porter malt, chocolate, roast, and the herbal notes... spice. black pepper warmth. great blend of both.

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

This is batch 356 and my bottle says 8% and it pours a dark as night black hue which leaves little head and lacing,the smell is strong boozy alcohol,oak,tobacco and raisins soaked in brandy,the mouthfeel is medium bodied,boozy and dry finishing with tastes of chocolate coated cherries,raisins soaked in brandy,a very light touch of burnt coffee,sticky date pudding and finished with a dark Belgian chocolate bittersweetness and overall it doesnt look great out of the bottle but it does taste good and definately a perfect brew for a hearty Xmas feed,cellarbration or mourning as they say on the bottle one for big occasions cheers.

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Photo of samie85
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A. Pours a black color with two fingers of glistening, dark brown head.

S. smells smoky and roasty all at once with notes of sweet chocOlate.

T boozy and smoky with some roast and chocolate.

M. Thin at first with low carbonation and slightly chewy feel.

D very interesting and glad I got to try this one; the booze fades after it warms a little.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

A. Very dark in appearance, opaque in that way where you can't quite tell if it is a very very very dark brown or if it is truly black. Two fingers of finely bubbled tan head which lasts for around five minutes and leaves some pretty nice looking lace streaks in it's wake.

S. At first whiff I get a hit of Pear Eau du Vie but that is replaced with a strange kind of char-burnt morning bun scent mixed with a bouquet of dried medicinal herbs soaked in a quarter shot of hillbilly moonshine. Honestly. This is the best way I know how to describe the smell, as bizarre as it sounds.

T. Acidic spice and tartness hit at first like an extremely herbal gin shot; followed by the thick chocolate porter burst followed by a brief sort of soy sauce saltiness with a drying booze finish.

M. Semi viscous and on the lighter side.

Really interesting take on a porter and definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of unusual barrel treatments.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: looks pitch black, like a stout, with a nice thick temporary head. The beer moves around in the glass like a much "lighter beer" (less viscous)

S: sweet malt, caramels at first, burnt notes; the alcohol overtook the bulk of the other odors once it hit me

T: this is a different-tasting beer, and definitely going to be an individual taste thing. I have never had a akevitt, and I suppose that is what I'm tasting here. Taste of herbs, carraway, and herbal vodka, but in a porter format. It is not as sweet as it looks like it might be, but more on the bitter side. The bitterness has a crisp herbal edge that I found appealing. I like gin, single malt whiskies, and herb vodka, and this beer has some taste-connections with them. I would imagine that if you don't like hard alcohols like those, you might not like this beer. But if you enjoy strongly flavored (more bitter/herbal than sweet) spirits then this beer is a worthy buy. It's bitterness is also like espresso (without sugar), but it has a mellowness that tones down the astringency.

M: a much "thinner" drink than it looks, and palate cleansing - carbonation and alcohol make it sharp and crisp, only a vague linger of the sweeter maltiness.

O: I was pleased. This is a hard-drinking beer. I like sweet stouts and porters, no doubt, but this style of beer appeals to a different taste set, which may or may not agree with you. This being my first Norwegian beer AND my first akevitt barrel-aged beer, I lack a strong frame of reference, but I am inclined to say this is a really cool beer, and certainly worth a buy.

My question: why is a Norwegian porter aged in akevitt barrels (a traditional Scandinavian spirit) considered an "American Porter"?

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle bought at Buy-Rite Liquors in Cranbury, NJ, for, huh, $9.99? I was just too curious to pass this up...

Appearance: The pour is heavy and carbonated, producing a three-finger coffee-colored head so thick and sticky you could scoop it out and eat it straight up. Retention is quite good- at least one full finger of that head remains throughout, leaving some serious lacing.

Smell: Not so good in this department, although if you let it warm up it will reward you... quite opaque, with that "clean", herbal kick you get from vodka. Sort of like bitters in a cocktail, or the brine I prepare for my pork belly. Booze at the end, along with some milk chocolate and wood.

Taste: The aquavit barrel becomes ever more pronounced, with a bigger herbal kick. Now it definitely feels like I'm drinking a vodka-barreled brew! Booze, chocolate, spice and more alcohol to boot... not so balanced. Very roasty, bitter and dry. Makes me think of a messed-up imperial stout.

Mouthfeel: Full carbonation and flavor, a tad too harsh on the booze/barrel/aquavit side but still yummy. Quite "aquavit-y" at the end, with a hoppy/bitter/dry kick that remains throughout. Water, please!

Overall: Needless to say, I love the experiment. Do I love the beer? Not necessarily... a little harsh around the edges, not so easy to drink. Ended up being a chore and not a joy to drink. Will not revisit, but glad I tried it once.

Oh, I paired it with a habanero dark chocolate that had me begging for fresh cold milk!!! :-)

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle of batch 288, bottled 23.07.10. Pours a rich black color with a bubbly brown head. Fades pretty quick and lacing is not all that great.

Never had aquavit before, but I can definitely smell some liqueur-type, spiced alcohol. I guess caraway is the most common spice used, and I can see that here, along with hefty roast and general dark chocolate porter aroma.

Taste still flashes some heat, but remains pretty smooth overall thanks to a moderate sweetness and coffee-esque roastiness. Fair amount of bitterness and drying effect on the finish. Some dark fruit creeps out as it warms. Interesting and complex brew that throws out some new and exciting flavors along the way. Very recommended.

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Photo of JizackFH
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a really dark brown color that lets no light pass through. It has a small finger of tan head on top. The head falls to a small ring pretty quickly, and leaves behind some specs of lace on the glass.

S - It smells of dark toasted malts right away. There are some big chocolate and coffee aromas. There is some fruitiness and some sort of a weird alcohol aroma that I am going to attribute to the akevett barrels.

T - The taste starts off with some roasted malt bitterness. The coffee and chocolate notes that stood out in the nose are present. There is some woody alcohol flavor that has some spice flavor to it as well. The finish has some dryness to it, and leaves a bit of lingering roasted bitterness on the palate. Some booziness is present here as well.

M - This has a pretty full body and lower carbonation. There is some nice roasted malt bitterness, as well as some sweetness. There is also some alcohol warmth in the finish.

O - This has good drinkability. It is most definitely a sipper, but the flavor is quite nice and interesting. It is a solid porter to begin with, and I think the akevitt barrels add a nice complexity and interesting flavor. I wish I could have tried the actual spirit before, so I could get a better taste for the flavors the barrel would impart on the beer, but oh well. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer, and i would buy it again.

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 07/23/10 (Batch #288). Tulip glass.

A: Pours black with two fingers of dense, dark brown head. Very good retention, minimal lacing.

S: Roasted malt, milk chocolate, undertone of creamy vanilla, and a tiny bit of anise and spice.

T: Roasted malt, a little anise, some alcohol taste, finishing with some melted dark chocolate, finishing with a mild coffee bitterness.

M: Rich. Medium body and high Coca Cola, harsh carbonation.

O: Good porter, not much barrel presence besides a little anise, but there's not enough of that to really differentiate itself from a normal porter. A little plain for the price (~$13).

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It's starting to get cold and dark in London again – no time like the present to start drinking the kind of strong, rich stouts that made me fall in love with beer in the first place. Akevitt Porter has a thick, dark chocolate black body with a very shy, milk chocolatey head of small but volatile bubbles. Rich with oak and dark malts, the aroma is a mine of chocolate, malted milk, coffee, molasses, figs, vanilla, walnuts, caramel, spiced with plenty of caraway, anise, tobacco, and floral hops. Increasingly smoky as it warms, and very interesting; the akavit is not subtle but well-incorporated with the base malt aromas. Tangy and earthy on the palate, with a crisp caraway entrance and a long, luscious chocolate finish. Juicy and rich yet sharp and bitter, this one balances coffee, citrus, licorice, oak, and red wine – and yet it isn't quite as complex as the nose led me to believe. Even so, it's tremendously mouthwatering and a wonderful nightcap for a cold late summer evening. Possibly an excellent match for game, assuredly for chocolate and blue cheese.

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Photo of schwaeh
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 288 bottled 7-23-10

A: Pours black with a frothy 1 finger head. The dense head fades very slowly. Very good carbonation, especially for a -bal.

S: Big chocolate, anise, cocoa, peat, and other complexities from the Aquavit. It seems that aquavit is a different animal than most liquor, I'm digging it quite a bit. The liquor is really well integrated and compliments the porter great. Soft and smooth all the way.

T: Very smooth here, the alcohol seems nonexistent. Roasted malt, chocolate, and light whiskey flavors make the body up. This has a sweet and smokey jerky-like flavor that BA porters tend to get. Everything works well making this one of the most easy drinking %10 beers I've come across.

M: Thicker side of medium. Has a nice prickly carbonation that softens this porter up and makes it creamy.

O: This is much better than expected(I'm glad, cuz it wasn't cheap). I was worried from others that this would be real boozy but alas this is easy drinking and very pleasant. My only gripe would be that silly beef jerky flavor that develops. They do it right in Norway.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice idea, Norse farmhouse porter aged in aquavit barrels, and the result is very tasty. Pours black and slightly viscous with a a caramel brown head that fades to a ring and a swirl. That seems fine for a strong barrel aged beer. Smells sweet to start and then with lots of dry licorice notes and a bit of bitter chocolate. I don't smell a lot of caraway or herbs. The taste exhibits more of the caraway and herbal notes, particularly on the finish where you get a big hit of spicy caraway and herbs as well as a dose of alcohol. Almost reminiscent of chili peppers. The rest of the taste is filled out by roasted notes, licorice, and quite a bit of cocoa. Slightly hot, with a nasal clearing effect on the finish. This is an extremely interesting beer that would be perfect in the dead of winter. Fascinating.

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Photo of Bung
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml July 2010 bottling.
Murky dark brown pour with a wonderful brown layer of foam. Retained really well.

Roast, chocolate milk, some boozy oak. Some earthy yeast tones.

Taste, a big beefy roasty with dark chocolate beast. Coffee, cocoa and peat later. The barrel is really a subtle complementary.

Almost creamy smooth, coats well enough. Not too warm either. This drank easy for the size.

Right up my alley, an excellent example to me. The dark brews from Mr. Haand are fantastic.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

enjoyed this at a barrel aged tasting on 2011-08-06.

dark color, to style in most ways...smell is funky and dominated by peat. there is porter in there as well, but peat all day. lots of roast on the porter. actually very nice smelling. very different tasting. super peaty again, but the peat works on the porter. the mouth is ok and overall this was unique and interesting but very peat all over it...so if you don't dig peat, don't go near this.

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Photo of alexhahn82
3.08/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 288 - A run of 3240 Bottles - Bottled 23-07-10 -- 9.6%

A - Rich rich black with a hint of dark red to it. Small .25 finger head, not much lacing if any.

S - chocolate, vanilla, sweet with a hint of alcohol.

T/M - Chocolate that is cut with and almost Fernet (alcohol) like quality to it. The herb flavor is definitely strong, but not in a scary overpowering sort of way. Creamy medium viscosity.

O - Overall a very tame, and I mean that in a good way, sort of Porter. This is well played, they do not let the soul of the beer escape them in that its clearly a porter, as far as flavor goes I would say 70% traditional chocolaty Porter, with a 30% interpretation of the Aquavit Barrels.

PP (Price Point) - $13 for a 25oz bottle is pretty damn good in my opinion. Very well played for a beer exported over here to the States, they didnt slam the Aquavit down our throats, a strong 9.6% ABV is damn good, seek, destroy!

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark drk brown with a nice tan head. Looks very appealing appearance. Smells roasty and nutty and very wonderful. The nose is top notch. Tastes Nutty and roasty. Lots of great malt characteristics. Overall one of my favourite porters! Something i would love to have again

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

Thanks for sharing Beerandbourbon

A - Black body. Just dark. Thick ring of grey/brown head.

S - smoky wood, you can smell the akevitt, coffee, dark malts. Nice smell.

T - Woody, dry, sweet chocolate, bitter hops and coffee, smoked meats. Pretty good.

M - nice robustness here. a bit dry. Pretty good.

O (D) - this is pretty interesting. A tasty beer.

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Akevitt Porter (Barrel-Aged Porter) from HaandBryggeriet
4.01 out of 5 based on 164 ratings.
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