Bestefar | HaandBryggeriet

BA SCORE
86
very good
67 Reviews
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BestefarBestefar
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
HaandBryggeriet
Norway
haandbryggeriet.net

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by khiasmus on 11-26-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
67
Ratings:
138
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
14.69%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
12
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 138
Photo of dcotom
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Although this is classified as a winter warmer, it has all the characteristics I look for in a Russian Imperial Stout. Deep chestnut color with ruby highlights, long-lasting tan head, big aromas and flavors of dark roasted malts, burnt coffee, and cocoa, a little dark cherry tartness, creamy mouthfeel, clean finish. Overall, an excellent beer that I'd drink year round.

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Photo of thebeers
3.09/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Plum brown with a finger of lush, dark khaki head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Umami, light smoke and malty sweetness in the aroma. This carries over to the taste. It reminds me a bit of meaty olives and beef broth. There's almost a salty quality to it. Then there's dark fruit and a kiss of caramel malt behind, and maybe a little chocolate and coffee behind that.

Thick bodied and creamy mouthfeel.

It's purty lookin, by otherwise ain't my thing. More experimental rauchbier than winter warmer in my book. If you like lightly smokey umami, go for it.

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Photo of makromaniak
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A dark brown to black pour with a beige head. Great aroma of burned malts, caramel, juniper, liquorice, smoke, spices and a bit of chocolate. Taste is amazing...burned n smokey malts, caramel, juniper, red fruit, liquorice, unknown spices?, some coffee, yeast and a bit of chocolate. Great weird beer!

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle, Batch 918, brewed on Sept. 15, 2015 and bottled on Oct. 13, 2015. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a very dark brown color with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is nice and smoky, the brew smells like smoked malt, molasses, chocolate, and dark fruit. For the most part I think the taste is like the aroma, but there's also some woodiness and Tootsie Roll flavors noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and smooth with a low/moderate amount of carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew, I liked the smokiness in it. The smoke is there, but it doesn't overpower the rest of the brew. Definitely worth picking up! $8.99 a bottle.

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Photo of josanguapo
2.18/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From Zombier. In Teku glass. Watching Los Soprano 4x10-11. Pretty smoky, not so much to make it disgusting but enough to not make it easy to drink. ABV well hidden. Low on foam

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Photo of EMV
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a mini-bomber into a tulip.

L: Pours an inky black... thin brown head with sparse lacing.

S: Roasted malts and woodsmoke... vanilla and oak... dark sugars and plum.

T/F: Big time roasted malts... smokey and rich, dark sugars... vanilla... complex and luscious. Notes of chocolate and espresso. Tart cherry and dark fruits. Low carbonation. Sticky... finish is slight hops and char with some bitterness.

O: Wow is there a lot going on with this beer. Very complex and rich... one to sit and savor on a cold winter day.. or a sweltering August day (as I chose for whatever reason). Very solid beer, and I didn't know that they brewed'em like this in Norway.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 447 (Feb 2012)

Appearance: Builds a huge head of beige foam that sits atop the fudge brown liquid; excellent retention and some dots of lacing hang around

Smell: Chocolate fudge, molasses, vanilla and dark fruit; perhaps some spruce and smoke

Taste: Like the aroma, elements of chocolate, vanilla, chicory, smoke and spruce; in the middle, there is a developing sweetness that brings a touch of molasses; after the swallow, the chicory and wood flavors create a somewhat bitter sensation

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: This is sure a hard beer to pin down but that is what it makes it very interesting; I have been enthusiastic about most of the beers from this brewery and this continues the trend

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Photo of BlazerT
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle. Black with medium, beige head. Medicore lacing. Poor lasting. Aroma of roasted malts (mainly milk chocolate) and tart dark fruits notes (cherries in chocolate), some sour wood. Taste is semi-sweet with quite noticable dark fruits flavours (rasins, currants). Light to medium bitterness esp. in the end. Medium to full body, semi-sweet, soft cabronation, oily texture, finish is quite bitter, no alcohol warmth. In general nice beer, despite high ABV no alc. noticable, highly drinkable with some nice sour accents.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1 pint 9 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at approximately 45 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany brown, which doesn't let much light through in an ordinarily-lit room. Forms a decent-sized pale tan head with good retention, though little to no lacing.

Smell: That's interesting. There's more than a hint of some Belgian-esque yeast, with dark fruit and banana in the nose, atop a sweet malty backbone. There's a just a faint hint of something musty beneath. This smells not unlike a quad, or BSDA.

Taste: Sour springs forth instantly as it touches the tongue, a dry, acetic sour that reminds one of a balsamic vinegar. The sourness floats atop a richly sweet malt, which itself contains dark fruits - hints of plum and black cherry. Through the middle, tones of fireplace ashes and leaves appear and disappear. The finish leaves a touch of the balsamic vinegar, mingled with an almost soda-like sweetness and a trace of burnt wood.

Mouthfeel: Very carbonated, almost sharp to drink, which the vinegar sourness plays off of.

Overall: An interesting beer, definitely of a sort I have never encountered before - much like a Flanders Red or Oud Bruin meeting a quadrupel. I don't know that I would repeat it, but it made for a fascinating experience.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle bought on sale after Christmas for $6.95. Poured into a St. Bernardus Chalice. Batch 593, 2280 bottles made (according to label). No date, but from the store this is apparently a recent vintage.

Very opaque and murky dark brown body under a fizzy brown head.

Intense and aromatic nose. Brown apples, molasses, yeast, wort, something like tootsie roll and after swirling, a touch of fireplace.

Massive carbonation is limiting my ability to discern flavors initially. Swirling produces a huge head.The flavor has an interesting complexity, and makes me wonder if this is something like a BSDA mixed with a little tart/sour oud bruin or other flanders style beer. If one was to dry and powder tootsie rolls, I think I taste that. Some yeasty phenolic spice, and some little ripe fruit esters. A small portion of malt, and an interesting tartness. Not sour, but but more tart and semi-dry. Maybe a slight hint of lemon.

This beer has rich carbonation even after some swirling. Otherwise the feel is not all that heavy from the tartness. Feels as if it was made with some sugar.

Conclusion: This is a layered and complex beer. Very interesting flavors, and mostly yeast-driven I think. Very non-American, which is nice. I wonder if it could stand up to a few years of age without much residual sugars, because I would like to see what is underneath all the yeasty phenolic and estery flavors.

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Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 8-3-10

Pours brownish black in the glass, audibly fizzy, tan foam that lasts for a couple minutes before fading on the surface.

Malted milk balls, molasses, roasted malt in the aroma, slight oxidation.

Taste is similar, roast chicory and molasses with a slight biting astringency. Long lasting roasty aftertaste. Medium to full bodied, not too sweet but there's a slight tootsie roll taste from the oxidation. Overall it was ok but probably a year or two too old.

Thanks to Julie & Ryan for this one!

Rating #3500

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap into tulip at theresas in wayne pa .
Deep black color with tan head. Huuge coffee and dried fruit aroma with a hint of tobacco notes. Nice bitter coffee and slight cherry flavor. Sweet chocolate and raison finish. Smooth but somewhat thin body for such a robust brew. Overall another great Haand brew.

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Photo of metter98
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark red when coming out of the bottle and is nearly jet black in appearance in the glass. It poured with a finger high dark tan head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles in the center of the glass and a collar around the edge.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark fruits, molasses and toffee are present in the nose. These become stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell, except that the flavors are a little stronger and there are hints of chocolate and roasted malts as well as a slight amount of malty sweetness. No alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation with some notes of warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer has enough complexity in the taste to allow it to be slowly sipped, but the alcohol is remarkably well hidden considering its strength, which also makes this beer very drinkable.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a perfect pint. Batch 490.

3.5 A: Black color. Three fingers of foamy tan head. Retention is pretty good, but just a short ring of lacing is left.

3.75 S: Wow, this is surprisingly dry. It's a roasty, nutty dryness. Sprucey, pine sappiness. Chocolate and caramel. Quite pleasant.

3.25 T: Taste isn't quite as good as the nose. Chocolate, an almost tangy caramel, and a light spiciness. Nuts, pine, and molasses. Not nearly as dry as the nose. Indeed it verges on sweet. It's okay, but I'm not a huge fan of the tanginess.

3.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light creaminess. The big complaint here is that it's quite sticky and causes some amylase balling.

3.25 D: It's okay, but it's no Odin's Tipple.

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Photo of IPA35
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled the 17th of February 2012, best before the same date in 2014. From the De Molen webshop. My second Norwegian beer.

A nearly black beer, some brown at the bottom of the glass, with a big brown head that fades quickly.

Smells interesting. An earthy sort of maltiness that reminds me of a British session stout or a schwarzbier like Köstritzer. Molasses for sure, liquorice, (dark fruity almost-) sweetness and a sort of smokiness. Alcohol is noticable.

Taste is interesting too, a bit of a hybrid beer in styles. The flavours are stout like, I do get dark malts, coffee, dark chocolate and all those darker notes. Also smokey, burnt notes as well but I expected it to be more of that. Some sweetness, not overly sweet though and it is not very fruity; the slightly sweet, chocolate-like, roasted malts form the backbone of this beer. Alcohol is pretty well hiden, it add a slight spiciness. The beer as a whole is pretty spicey as well.

The body on this dissapoints, it is a bit light for it's strengt and it is extremely well carbonated. This hampers the flavour experience in my opinion.

Overall a pretty tasty beer that could do with a little less carbonation.

EDIT:

As it sits in the glass (after adding the yeast) the carbonation becomes more toned down so you don't end up with a mouth full of foam and the sweetness comes out more.
It has a slight warming alcohol to it.

 1,391 characters

Photo of rand
2.95/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

From 510 mL bottle to nonic pint glass

Aged about 1 year

I knocked this beer over on my carpet the other day, and some beer escaped the cap, presumably from carb pressure as it was a gentle knock. Thought I'd crack this open and give it a review in case it was on its way to skunkville. Unfortunately, upon the first whiff I thought it might be off, but after reading other reviews I don't think that's it - it's just not that good.

A: Dark brown, soda-like carbonation with a head that dissipates quickly. No lacing to speak of.

S: Carob, molasses, a fair amount of booze. The nose was actually the best aspect and improved as the brew warmed.

T: Toasty, roasty, malts, yielding a burnt residue. Semi-sweet chocolate wrapped up in a phenolic overtone. A little too metallic, which accents the alcohol. Flavors are disjointed and seem to change from sip to sip.

M: Strangely thin mouthfeel, way too carbonated.

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Photo of bashiba
2.68/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured a deep dark brown with a dark tan head, creamy and long lasting with nice lacing.

The smell has a heavy layer of anise with a light bit of dark cocoa and a touch of smoke.

The flavor starts with a big blast of bitter smokey dark malts leaving a heavy coating of dark roasted bitterness, a bit astringent and almost a bit to burnt tasting. A bit of leathery and slightly sweeter malt starts to eventually sneak through but still can't fight the heavy burnt taste.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewy.

Very one dimensional, I love smokey and burnt flavors normally, but this one is a bit too much.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

From: John's Grocery, Iowa City, IA
Date: None (batch 384)
Glass: Tulip

Haand's Bestefar is a good tasting and smelling stout-like beer that's a bit rough around the edges (appearance and feel) and demonstrates how important an appropriate mouthfeel is to the overall enjoyment of an ale or lager. The focus is on roasted, chocolate, and smoked malts, combining to give a more assertive stout-like flavor to the beer than what seems to be this one's relative, Nissefar. In general, solid enough to try once, but not sure I'd revisit given the ready availability of equally delicious stouts/porters at a more affordable price point.

Pours a 2.5cm tall head of dark tan foam, composed of medium and large-sized bubbles, which is unexpectedly effervescent as it rapidly burns down the glass. Retention is obviously below average, lasting less than a minute in its decline. Lacing is also fairly minimal, a few lines and dots haphazardly adorning the inside of the glass. The body is colored a very dark brown, light bringing out lighter orange-brown hues around the edges of the body. Carbonation is not visible through the opaque body.

Aroma is of roasted malt, dark chocolate, black licorice, roasted coffee beans, smoked malt, and ethanol, all smoothed-over by a touch of cream. The licorice and ethanol components make this a bit harsh, but the cream-like bit manages to tame them somewhat.

Front of palate finds semi-sweet chocolate with roasted and smoked malt components. This blends into a mid-palate mixture of roasted malt, dark chocolate, hints of smoke, slight prune and raisin-like esters, and faint roasted coffee beans. The malts are definitely in the caramel, chocolate, and roasted categories. The back of the palate notes roasted malt, dark chocolate mousse, modest vanilla and ethanol. Aftertaste is of smoked and lightly roasted malt, without significant chocolate or coffee components; the result is fairly delicious.

The beer is medium to medium-light in body, with aggressive, vigorous carbonation. The two are not well suited to each other, and the beer feels prickly and overly carbonated as a result. Though the carbonation foams the beer upon the palate, this happens too quickly, and substantial carbonation still remains, "burning" the palate. Ethanol can be marginally felt on the throat. Closes dry and with modest stickiness remaining on the palate.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

awesome beer, kind of style defying. pours like a real dark chocolate milk, creamy and rich, brown but not super dense, few fingers of bubbly dark brown lace. the nose is quite smokey to my surprise, and also heavily clad with notes of licorice and heavily toasted malt. almost comes off like a smoked porter, but its more woody and earthy and grandfatherly than that. flavor is big and unique, feels scandinavian to me in every way. its got some dark chocolate flavor, but almost no sweetness at all, its smokey, but quick, its also real tame for 9% abv, i cant hardly taste it at all. there is something holiday about this, but this is a whole new take on a winter warmer. there is no spice, no molassas, no honey, no candy sugar, its just a really nice fireside bottle of dark dark organic feeling beer that id be happy to drink around the calendar. a little thin in mouthfeel for a winter warmer, even though this is nothing like american warmers, id still like a little more body. carbonation is nice though and the finish is smooth and rich, yet drinkable too. the yeast puzzles me, as does the image on the bottle, but this was a really complex and gourmet beer without some of the frills usually associated with the style. i loved it.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 447

Pours a really deep, rich mahogany body beneath the creamy, dark tan head which very slowly dissolves to leave a consistent ring of lacing around the glass.

Great aromas rise from the glass including brown sugar, sweet nuttiness, hints of spice, and sweet malt.

The flavor offers sweet brown sugar and nuts as well as toffee and perhaps a hint of butterscotch with just a hint of winter spice. There may even be a touch of maple.

This is a pretty full bodied brew with medium carbonation and a coating, syrupy finish. An enormous mound of yeast is left at the bottom of the bottle after the pour.

This is a great winter ale and unique versus its counterparts in that it has eased off the spices and pulled more towards a hearty brown ale.

 753 characters

Photo of Philousa
2.82/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Imbibed on tap at Good Karma on 12/27/12.

Sits almost completely opaque black with brown edges against the light. Light, fluffy, three finger cafe au lait colored head settles to a thick ring around the glass. Delicate, small bubbles fall back into the drink after each sip. The aroma is hard to get in this place, between the spicy curry and fresh sticky buns in the air, but I get mild coffee, chocolate milk, and cream. Flavor is much more apparent and in your face. Milk chocolate and chocolate milk are prominent, with some slight cinnamon. This is a really creamy beer with a very balanced feel. This isn't very Christmassy, but its a good stout and I don't get any hint of alcohol bite.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark clear brown color ale with a large foamy head with OK retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry fruits with some light residual sugar notes is quite nice. Taste is a nice mix between some dry fruits with some residual sugar notes and some caramel and light toffee notes. Light chocolate notes could also be detected. Body was about average with good carbonation and well hidden alcohol. Well made and quite enjoyable beer for those colder winter days.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Man, that dude on the bottle has an epic beard! If the beer inside this bottle, doesn't measure up the image on the label, then the'll re consequences and repercussions!

Aah, the pour looks promising as a deep mossy brown beer flows into the snifter with a heavy handed porter-like visual weight. Any darker, and the beer would be stout black. A creamy whipped froth builds upon the beer with sandy-tan froth, showing tremendous staying power, billowing growth, and sticky lace. Though its color speaks porter, the turbulent carbonation cries Belgian.

Strong smoky sweet scents of toast, chocolate, coffee, and campfire churn in the nose with a decorative bouquet of lavender, clove, rosemary, spruce, and peppery cinnamon. The strong malt presence keeps the beer's aromas grounded and keeps the focus on more beer-like characteristics with the spices adding a side note of intrigue.

Rich tawny flavors spear off in a lot of different directions. Starting off with a base taste that's reminescent of chocolaty porters, coffeeish stout, smoky Scottish ales, and nutty brown ales. The malty sweetness is sliced by a piercing tinge of berry-like tartness much like darker Belgian ales do. Light vinous acidity, peppercorn, and mild toast char pave the way for the perfumy taste of spices to rise in finish. All those aromatic compounds come to life in taste where the rosy, flowery, holiday spices to balance the taste in the timid presence of woodish hops.

Its moussey textures are an attribute to the deeply embedded carbonation into the malt compounds for a very creamy and starchy upstart. The beer lightens considerably as the acidic notes are felt with spring of carbonation off of the tongue. A late palate of fruit, spice, and tannin close the beer with a lingering taste of bittersweet chocolate and blackberry.

Bestafar is spectacular "winter warmer" that agrees with malt heavy trends for this time of year, but refuses to succumb to the syrupy sweet taste that lull many brewers during the holiday season.

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Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 384

Pours mahogany with 4 fingers of fluffy mocha colored head. Good head retention & above average head retention

S: Smokeyness, dark fruit both fade a bit as this warms

T: Follows the nose, carob & black currants up front, also some bozzeyness & dryness. Chocolatey notes as this warms, a touch of pineyness & woody hops, plus figgyness & slight boozeyness. Dark fruitty finish with woody dryness, along with a bit of brown sugar & a touch of booze warmth. Almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Chewy, low carbonation, turns fairly creamy as this warms

This is a pretty heavy hitter, a bit pricey, but well worth a try

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Photo of Mora2000
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma has quite a bit of menthol in it, as well as some roasted malt. The beer smells a bit like mouthwash. The flavor has a lot of mint and chocolate notes, as well as some roasted malt and a touch of alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Bestefar from HaandBryggeriet
3.88 out of 5 based on 138 ratings.
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