tmrmwel (1190) - Bergen, NORWAY - APR 22, 2010
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle from Vinmonopolet. Pours dark, almost black, with an almost unnoticeable head. Good porter aroma, with a very distinct hint oak cask and akevitt. Malty taste of strong coffee, some roast and hints of burnt caramel and chocolate. The akevitt kicks in with a fresh sour taste of floral and light herbal impact, but not nearly so much as to overshadow the porter feeling.The palate of the beer is good, with a full body and pleasant, but although slightly watery, texture and almost missing carbonation. A good, surprisingly drinkable beer, but doesn’t really stand out either as a porter or a sour/seasonal beer.
yobdoog (1888) - Kingston, New York, USA - APR 19, 2010
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
A lot going on here. Some dark malts, roasted malts, sweetness, wood, bourbon and some must. A bit earthy with a touch of bitter malts and hops. Nice body and has some wood too. Smooth.
badgerben (4576) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - APR 19, 2010
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
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.
Beerman6686 (5158) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 17, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
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.
sunnyridge (222) - USA - APR 17, 2010
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
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.
popery (1599) - San Francisco, California, USA - APR 17, 2010
3.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
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. It’s a tad sharp but it works well with the beer. The flavor is dry, perhaps a bit drier than I’d like. It’s also a bit too thin, but it’s a very enjoyable beer.
beerguy101 (5319) - Newark, California, USA - APR 11, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
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.
abstractbeer (239) - NORWAY - APR 10, 2010
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
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. I’ve got a couple more bottles of this, and one from an earlier batch - it’ll be interesting to see how they develop!
Update 2010-10-08: I finally opened the bottle of batch 225 I’ve 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 I’m listening to the show the Grateful Dead played on this date in 1984.
But let’s 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-can’t-put-my-finger-on aroma. Some wood/oak in there too. The "akevitt"-taste is definitely there, though not coming straight in my face, it’s more like it’s 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 can’t be right. On the other hand, Haandbryggeriet has a reputation of being unreliable lately...
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - APR 4, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
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. I’s love to see what the akevitt that came out of the barrels tastes like.
Travlr (15065) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - APR 2, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle at the Publick House. Black, dark brown head that doesn’t 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!