City Steam Norwegian Wood | City Steam Brewery Café

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12 Ratings

Brewed by:
City Steam Brewery Café
Connecticut, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Santa has outdone himself this year. Hopefully, you've been extra "nice." While his helpers were busy checking their lists, Santa commissioned us to craft a beer that he could enjoy by the fire after the big day. Think cocoa, cinnamon, lovely snow bunnies & a bear skin rug. Why, that dirty old Elf! Norwegian Wood is a sumptuous spiced dark lager with a nice malty feel. Celebrate the season in style with a pint of our wonderful Christmas specialty.

Added by far333 on 12-04-2004

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Ratings: 12 |  Reviews: 10
Photo of grahuba
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BigGold
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had at City Steam Brewery, 5.30 ABV version on draft into pint tumbler. First beer from City Steam, and although not my favorite style, Norwegian Wood is well-balanced between the Vietnamese cinnamon, Dutch cocoa and roast malts.

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Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a pilsener glass at City Steam Brewery Cafe in Hartford, Conn.

A: Dark, russet brown with ruby highlights beneath a thin cap of off-white foam. Left some soapy lace on the glass and had some visibly wisps of carbonation pockets.

S: Sweet and spicy with the essence of cocoa nibs, cinnamon and dark brown sugar. No real hops to be found, this appears its going to be a malt-forward specialty brew.

T: Aroma confirmed in the flavor. Sweet roasted malts to begin with the addition of cocoa powder, cinnamon and some more spicy nutmeg or allspice. A little bit of bitterness, but this may be malt driven in the roast. Finishes a bit chalky with some spicy sweetness that clings to the palate.

M: Full-bodied brew with some sticky malt sweetness and chalky cocoa powder and cinnamon resins.

O: A dark, sweet specialty spiced brew for a chilly night cozied up to the bar. Reminds me of Hooker Nor'easter in the sense that its a slightly jacked up brew at 6% ABV and derives most of its appeal from additional cinnamon and cocoa nib flavors. One or two then I'm through.

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Photo of VOR
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is to me a specialty taste thing. Those that love it love it. those that don't. Simply don't

Kind of light right off the top. but the cinnimon comes on with the nose and immediately with the cocoa taste. The beer is more of a vessel for the cinnemon. it hits later and stays there a little too hard for me. After 3 you might forget its there a bit, so you can drink it if its what you have, but if you do not like the spice you will NOT like the beer.

This does not suit my tastes. I tend to hear great things from women. Not so much women that are "beer fans" but "the wife who usually drinks a merlot or marrini" not saying its a "girly beer either" yeah I use "" a lot. Its a fine beer, but it tends to have a passionate support from my buddies wives, but the guys perfer a more traditional beer like, well anything without spices. While at the bar on Friday someone ordered 8 Growlers for a party. it is quite popular to all though... nuff said.

So back to the beer. Its smooth despite the cinnimon. light enough to drink a few if you like it. strong enough to notice.

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Photo of aquatonex
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A quick second beer after the White Rabbit, I was excited to try a spicy wintry beer.

Pours dark brown, rather opaque, with some creamy head and good lacing. Smells like chocolate and cinnamon, something you'd expect from a winter drink from Starbucks, along with some malts. Taste followed with rather prominent cocoa and cinnamon flavors along with toasted malts. Was slightly sweet. I was expecting a bit fuller body, but was still quite good. An excitingly different beer that was surprisingly good.

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Photo of Damian
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank on-tap at City Steam Brewery, Hartford, CT

Poured a translucent, deep, dark mahogany with a foamy, two-finger, light tan head. The head slowly faded to a substantial film of lace with a thick ring along the edge of the glass. Lots of drippy lacing.

Smell was rich and sweet. Powdered cocoa and cinnamon came through strong along with some vanilla and a general maltiness.

Taste was similar yet more complex. Carmel and roasted malts were noticeable initially before the Mexican chocolate and cinnamon kicked it. Finish was somewhat hoppy and, surprisingly, a touch dry. I don't think I have ever tasted a more perfectly balanced "sweet" beer.

Mouthfeel was lush, creamy and silky smooth. Full-bodied, yet so drinkable.

This beer goes down like candy and would be a perfect nightcap on a cold winter night.

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Photo of BlueHammer
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ohhhh man is this good! I had this on tap at City Steam and wow! This beer was a dark chocolatey brown color, opaque. It is a cinnamon cocoa beer and its smell reflected this but only slightly.

First sip, a little sweet initially, fading in to a hoppy finish. It tasted a little bit of cocoa. The cinnamon doesn't hit tilll later. You have to finish the sip, swallow, let it sit and then there it is - cinnamon! It was a delight!

This beer went down smoothly with just a slight carbonation that added to the overall allure. I am looking forward to going back and having more, especially since when it's gone, it's gone!

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

dark with major separation.. almost clear with tan hues around the edges but deathly black in the center. thin ring, no lacing. nose is buttery cinnamon, like the crumbs on a coffee cake. christmasey and inviting. goes down smooth with a light but noticeable european hop presence and surprising, velvety density for such a low abv lager. leaves some almond biscotti and huge toasted cinnamon stick behind. WOW. this is very flavorful and equally drinkable. not much chocolate here imo save the color.

super awesome, a true achievement and one of the top american seasonal beers i've had in some time. quality lager base with adequate hops and body go a long way in crafting a session xmas beer. kudos to ron.

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Photo of Boto
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught: This one pours an opaque, brown color. There was some tan head to it, along with some lacing down the glass. There were hints of cinnamon and cocoa to the nose. Some malty sweetness also. The taste is definitely cinnamon up front, but it is not overdone. Some cocoa and maltiness in the aftertaste. A good winter seasonal. The only drawback to the beer is that it was served VERY cold. The aroma and taste improved as it warmed up a bit.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Grabbed a few of these during a recent Green Drinks networking meeting. The beer came chilled in a pint mug and exhibited a dark brown color with rich ruby highlights. There is a beige spongy head of about 1 cm on the surface that fades slowly to a surface layer as I drink. The aroma is cocoa and malt with a hint of roasted scents but not so much cinnamon as the description has me expect.
First sip reveals a silky smooth texture and nice chewy body. The flavor is a mix of cinnamon and chocolate up front that gives the beer a nice sweet start followed by some raisin or ripe plum as it flows to a nice crisp finish leaving a malty chocolate flavor in my mouth.
The beer is amazingly smooth and I chose to drink several of these during the nite as the beer seemed perfect for a brisk winter evening.
Go give it a shot if in/near Hartford!

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Photo of far333
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

City Steam's 2004 holiday seasonal - A dark lager laced with cinnamon and cocoa.

Deep dark brown, with chestnut highlights where light passes through the edges of the glass. Low aroma of cocoa, but I don't detect cinnamon. A half-inch high brown bubbly head sits atop for a few minutes, and feels like meringue as the liquid breaks through it. Very even mouthfeel with moderate carbonation leaves little tingles on the top of the tongue. Flavor is an even balance of cocoa and cinnamon upfront. They work together better than I expected, playing off each other and taking turns stepping on the taste buds. Some plum comes out in the finish, joined by a faint hint of tangy cherry. A dark and rich malt current rides beneath, joined by a subtle hop bitter that rounds it all out.

Nice job Ron. My wife thanks you for doing this one this year. Damn that Growler law.

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City Steam Norwegian Wood from City Steam Brewery Café
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 12 ratings