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HaandBryggeriet Aqua Vita Porter

Formerly brewed at HaandBryggeriet (Norway)
Style: Porter
Drammen, Norway


on tap


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Aqua Vita Porter is a very special brew, this is a powerful porter that has been aged in old Akevitt barrels for several months. We use this technique to blend the 2 flavours and the process has produced a very special beer. We think the flavour of this beer must be very close to how historic porters tasted in the old days when all beers were kept in oak barrels. This is not a beer for the faint hearted, its rather rustic in flavour and aroma. The barrel ageing comes through very well in this beer, the usual acetic flavour from contact with oxygen in the barrel, the spill over of the Akevitt flavours and of course the wood flavours. All this combined with the darker malts makes it unique. And the aroma is so powerful and interesting it just makes you beg for a sip. 6% alc. ABV, 32 IBU, 112 EBC. Serving temp. 10-12C or 50-55F

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
carruthm (1401) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 20, 2009
Bottle. Pours black with a thin ring of head that is lightish tan in color. Taste is lightly sour and moderately sweet. Slightly oily palate. Aroma nor flavor is very bitter but the aftertaste has a slight heat to it. Not bad.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
thewolf (11254) - Kolding, DENMARK - NOV 7, 2009
Bottle, bought @ De Molen.
Pours almost completely black with a small, frothy, off-white head. Aroma has oak, vinousness, light tartness, well roasted and fairly sweet. Medium carbonation, fine mouthfeel. Flavour has oak and quite an acidic edge. Roasted, a bit of chocolate. Raisins, oak and viniousness. Okay, but quite a lot of tartness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
joergen (21507) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - NOV 1, 2009
Bottle in a hotel room in Utrecht. Pitch black coloured with a small beige head. Roasted and light acidic aroma of red wine and berries. Roasted and acidic flavour of berries, oak and red wine. Tart finish. Too acidic.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Gr0ve (2156) - Oslo, NORWAY - OCT 25, 2009
500 ml bottle. First edition. Black. Small coarse head. Vinegary aroma balanced by nice mellow roasted malts. Reminds me a little about Haandbakk, but not that sharp. The acidity is quite distinct and somewhat sharp and unpleasant. Very low carbonation level. Overall there is way too much acidity and vinegar for this beer to be perceived as pleasant.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Jonte (1413) - Gothenburg, SWEDEN - OCT 22, 2009
Bottle. Bishops Arms Järntorget, Porterveckan. Dark brown with a beige head. Light roastiness, oak, lightly sour, a bit sweet, some spices, maybe some aquavit. Rather balanced and I didn´t find it as sour as many others on this site. Maybe a different batch?

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
renffisch (843) - london, Greater London, ENGLAND - SEP 12, 2009
batch 147. 50cl bottle @ biergasthof schiffner. strangely there is no percentage to be found on the bottle anywhere, but it taste about 6-7% strong, so i’l happily go with that :-). pitch black, slight carbonation, thin beige head and no lace. Smell somewhat like a lambic, sour morello cherries, fermented grapes, slight fruit vinegar note, with wood and ever so slight smoke. Best thing is, it tastes even better, the aquavit really comes out and the sourness combines with the roast malts to a beautiful unusual eccentric taste experience! highly reccommend it!!!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
bierkoning (10563) - La Tropica, NETHERLANDS - AUG 20, 2009
Bottle. Deep dark brown color, opague. Hints of oak, aquavit and grapes in the aroma. Full bodied, almost oily texture. tart flavor with alcoholic notes, licorice, grapes and aquavit. Just hints of roast in the aftertaste. Lovely, but is it really only 7% ABV?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Miksu (4972) - Jyväskylä, FINLAND - AUG 15, 2009
Bottled at PBF. Almost black reddish brown color. Sweet, roasty, vinous, smoky and sour aroma. Sweetish, sour and roasty flavor with coffee and acetic acid. Sourness and roastiness, interesting combination. Acetic acid stings in the throat.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
daniele (5780) - ITALY - AUG 11, 2009
scura schiuma non abbondante media persitenza naso intenso tostao leggero caramello acetico legno distillato grappa in bocca leggero acetico etilico tostaoto caramello acquavite piuttosto forte

   AROMA 2/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 5/20
ClubGonzo (4232) - Bergen, NORWAY - JUL 16, 2009
UPDATED: MAR 6, 2010 Virtually no head (very low carbonation),only a brown fringe of thin foam when poured gently. Medium body and surprisingly little complexity in its composition (compared to my expectations), which tips far more towards a kind of sour ale than porters normally do, due to its very present aqua vita flavor. All in all it renders the beer far too sour and vinegar-ish for my taste, and its other components cannot disarm the overpowering sourness of the brew. A flawed experiment from Haandbryggeriet, in my humble opinion.

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