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overall
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95
style
Brewed by HaandBryggeriet (Norway)
Style: Imperial/Strong Porter
Drammen, Norway
Serve in Shaker, Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 280   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 246   ABV: 8.2%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Norsk: De gamle norske gŚrdsbryggeriene laget mÝrke, kraftige og fyldige Ýl, som denne klassiske porteren, til alle hÝytidsfeiringer som jul, bryllup, begravelser, dŚp og lignende.

English: The old farm breweries of Norway made special beer- dark, hearty, earthy beer like this classic porter - for weddings, christenings, funerals or any occasion at all.

Aged in Akevitt barrels.

Editorís note: ABV fluctuates. Formerly known as Akevitt Porter.


4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
badgerben (4502) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - APR 19, 2010
Rating #3700. Black color with a thin head. Aroma of chocolate, strong roasted barley and light anise. Lots of coffee, roasted barley and anise flavors. Light oakiness. Dry finish. Aquavit did not impact it nearly as much as I expected, which worked out great.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Beerman6686 (4709) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 17, 2010
This poured a pretty much black color with a beige head. Aroma was lots of dark roasted malts, bourbon, and other liquors. Flavor was burnt coffee and malts, bourbon and some other gin like qualities. Very strange tasting beer, but interesting.

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
sunnyridge (222) - USA - APR 17, 2010
Umm....Wow. Pours a very dark espresso brpwn holds a one finger head that fades into a ring. Aroma of raisin, toast malt, chocolate. Taste is big with a grape/raisin tone melding with a coffee accented milk chocolate. The body is well balanced not too big not too small, even. The barrell aging offeref some wood notes too. Most impressive.

3.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
popery (1455) - San Francisco, California, USA - APR 17, 2010
Pours black, wall to wall. The head is a tight dissipating jumble of mocha-colored bubbles. The aroma is chocolate, roast, ash and licorice alcohol oak barrels. Itís a tad sharp but it works well with the beer. The flavor is dry, perhaps a bit drier than Iíd like. Itís also a bit too thin, but itís a very enjoyable beer.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
beerguy101 (5294) - Newark, California, USA - APR 11, 2010
Sampled on 4/2/2010. This Imperial Porter pours a eclipse black color, with a hint of ruby highlights from a 50cl bottle. Medium sized beige foamy head. The aroma is chocolate and coffee, some herbs, a touch of wood and yes some Akevitt. A medium to full bodied Imperial Porter. The malts are chocolate, coffee and herbal. The hops are herbal and spicy. Nice balance. The Akevitt character is very evident and come out more as it warms. Interesting beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter with a touch of alcohol.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
abstractbeer (238) - NORWAY - APR 10, 2010
UPDATED: OCT 23, 2010 2010-04-10: 50cl bottle from Vinmonopolet, batch 247, the bottle has been left "in peace" for 2 weeks. Pours black as the night, with practically no head. The smell is fruity, with lots of dark caramel and a pinch of alcohol. The taste is a nice balance of sweet and bitter. In the aroma I find caramel, coffee, dark chocolate, malt, a pinch of alcohol and some plum and leather. It feels soft in the mouth, very little carbonization, slightly oily, quite full body and with a bitter, somewhat dry finish. Iíve got a couple more bottles of this, and one from an earlier batch - itíll be interesting to see how they develop!

Update 2010-10-08: I finally opened the bottle of batch 225 Iíve had sitting in my beer "cellar" for 9 months now, since today is the birthday of my late father. This batch is said to be better than #247, or at least this one has carbonation. For the occation Iím listening to the show the Grateful Dead played on this date in 1984.
But letís get to the beer: It pours a pitch black brew with a frothy, light brown head. We have CO2! Nose and aroma is pretty much as I remember #247 - freshly baked, slightly roasted bread, caramel, lots of coffee og hints of really dark chocolate. Slightly bitter, long-lasting aftertaste with a wonderful coffee-and-something-else-I-canít-put-my-finger-on aroma. Some wood/oak in there too. The "akevitt"-taste is definitely there, though not coming straight in my face, itís more like itís just there, very well integrated into the beer. The 10 % abv is noticable all over the line, and feels very warming. This beer will good on cold Norwegian winter days! I just bought two bottles of the latest batch, 288, to save for those cold, dark, snowed in days.

Quick note on batch 288: Extremely sour!!!! Bad bottle? Too cold? This canít be right. On the other hand, Haandbryggeriet has a reputation of being unreliable lately...

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - APR 4, 2010
50cl bottle. Dark brown with a small beige head. Spicy aroma with some licorice and oak, all over a solid malty, chocolate sweetness. The barrel character is very unique and refreshing, with an alcoholic bite that contains some herbal and woody spice. The base is solidly malty and chocolate oriented, with subtle hops and a creamy finish. Iís love to see what the akevitt that came out of the barrels tastes like.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Travlr (13428) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - APR 2, 2010
Bottle at the Publick House. Black, dark brown head that doesnít last, but does leave slight lacing. Aroma of roasted coffee, milk chocolate. Taste is big roasted malt, subtle grappa in the middle, very subtle oak apparent only at the end. Interesting a complex, flavors are not overpowering. Well done!

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - MAR 31, 2010
Bottled 09-09. The pour is black with a tan, moderately full, fluffy head which settles slowly to a very small, frothy layer and almost no lace. The nose is very intriguing and woodsy; oak, maple wood, and light rustic make up the woodsy notes, light currant, milk and dark chocolate, molasses, light anise, wisps of alcohol, burnt caramel, and hints of some seed-like note (fennel?, caraway?). The flavor is much of the same; milk and dark chocolates are rich and prominent, molasses is still there, burnt caramel, faint anise, oak and maple wood remain, light coffee notes, and the seed note still faintly there. The palate is full, soft to lively, round, velvety, and mildly warming. The finish keeps a less than moderate bitterness from the seed notes, the oak, and mild hop bitterness with other notes of milk chocolate, light anise, and burnt caramel. A bit of a surprise but a pleasant surprise. Great malt richness with the balance of other complementing notes (wood, seed notes, and mild hops). The alcohol presence was perfect and the seed notes, I assume from the Akevitt, were a nice complement to the beer. Exactly what I look fir in an imperial porter.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
nickd717 (3573) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAR 27, 2010
Mmm, -bal aging. I love it. Bottle from K&L I believe, shared by Sandstone on BA. Labeled as "barrel-aged porter." Pours darkest brown with a one-finger tan head and good lacing. Nice aroma, very roasty, along with wood and chocolate. I just love the aroma of -bals in the morning. Nothing like it. Flavor is very roasty and even ashy/charcoaly. Oaky barrel notes along with spices (caraway?) and a little booze. Grainy on the mouthfeel with medium-full body. Just a little boozy, which isnít surprising for 10% ABV. Overall pretty solid. Good drinkability.


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