Brewed by HaandBryggeriet (Norway)
Style: Old Ale
Drammen, Norway


on tap


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RATINGS: 127   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.32   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
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This beer is our new X-mas beer for the coming season. Milder and less powerful roasty taste than Nissefar. More maltiness from the crystal malts and more fruity taste from lots of aroma hops, incl a hard to describe taste from our secret ingredient.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 11/20
wunderbier (1434) - Tampere, FINLAND - DEC 28, 2007
UPDATED: AUG 29, 2008 Opaque brown color under an impressive mound of tan foam. Scratchy, woolen nose comes with spruce tips, Dutch processed cocoa and black cherry pits. Surprising, but restrained, malt sweetness is followed by dry chocolate before a massively spicy, herbal and coniferous finish. Flavors linger despite vigorous pinpoint carbonation; silky texture, light weight.

Bustling and lively despite time in the bottle; a spicy treat.

50 cl bottle, brewed on April 2007, best before April 2009, composite total score.

Hazy maroon and grape-skin hue, bottle conditioned, with a tall, soapy, light tan head. First smel is of damp wool and quite strong at that. Grape skins follow with hints of milk chocolate. A touch of smoke and pipe tobacco (unburnt) comes next. Caramelised pineapple and strong perfume find their way out of this elixer. Hazelnuts, leather, coffee and an airy beach aroma round out the package. Moderately sweet to begin with flavours of red grapes and dark chocolate. Fairly dry with elements of toasted whole wheat bread, leather and tobacco. Grape like acidity throughout with a light pepper tingle in the aftertaste. Lingering flavours of chocolate and cough syrup. Dryness starts to build vinous aspects--oak and cherry pits. Medium bodied with an oily texture, explosive carbonation and some light astringency. This beer is positively fascinating and wonderfully complex, but it feels as if there’s no focus at times and maybe the beer is just being busy for the sake of being busy. Still, a good sipper and really powerful in aroma and flavour for 6% abv.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
jbrus (4991) - Delft, NETHERLANDS - DEC 27, 2007
Bottle@Home. Floral aroma with some licorice and black currant. Ruby color, light brown head, good lace. Light sweet, light bitter, roasted, licorice, little soapy. Body is a bit thin. Flavorful but a bit out of balance. Thanks Yngwie.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
tarjei (1954) - Bryne, NORWAY - DEC 23, 2007
50 cl bottle. Dark brown color, big beige head. Dark malt, yeast, fruit, hops, hints og choclate and coffee.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 12/20
Tranquillity (1453) - Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS - NOV 24, 2007
Bottled. Dark brown beige head. Warm gluhwein aroma, nuts and fruits. Very silky, strong malty taste with christmassy undertones.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
FatPhil (10702) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - NOV 19, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 24, 2008 500ml bottle. (6-4-7-3-13=3.3)
Not really an ’old ale’, IMHO. Opaque brown, head the size of a pint glass. Methinks the bottle conditioning went a bit OTT. Mostly hoppy nose, some spicy sweetness to that. Doesn’t feel too fizzy in the mouth though, reasonable carbonation. Taste is very bitter, clear hop taste present, a little astringent. Behind that there’s a reasonable roastiness - quite burnt in fact. The finish is the astringent hoppiness. Tongue is numbed a bit - hard to blame that on 6%, so it might be the hops, or it might even be clove in the spicyness - is that the secret ingredient?
Rerate: 500ml bottle (Batch 55) (7-4-7-4-13=3.5)
Burnt caramelly taste, some marmite. Sweet hoppy aroma. Dry toasted bread finish. Improved with age, almost seems like a different brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
raymondwave (931) - FINLAND - NOV 19, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 28, 2007 Bottle 0.5 l. Pretty much opaque brownish black with a foamy dunkelweizenlike head. Nose is fruity with spices and malts. Nice and fresh, but hard to pick up anything specific. Flavor is a bit sweet and sour (baltic porter style) with a dry roasted finish. Very foamy carbonation (bottle conditioned?). Ashiness and sourness of a good porter combined with fruitiness and mouthfeel of a belgian double. Very interesting and damn good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
oh6gdx (22398) - Vasa, FINLAND - NOV 11, 2007
Bottled. Very dark ruby red colouur with mediumsized beige brownish beige head. Aroma is mild caramel malts with some spices and licorace. Also some slight bittering notes. Flavour is quite much the same, but leaves at a quite mild stage. Once it warms up it gets some rubbery hints. Surprisingly watery in the flavour.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Jukkabro (3484) - Tampere, FINLAND - NOV 10, 2007
Near black colored with red hints. Medium sized brown head. Strong Christmas in nose with cinnamon, yeast and obvious licorice, interesting one. Medium bodied. Flavor is more roasted with drying palate, still some cinnamon here, though not as much in aroma. Licorice comes also up in flavor, crispy carbonation. Stouty creamy-roastiness lasts in aftertaste. Complex, still not very well balanced brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
TBone (13824) - Pori, FINLAND - NOV 5, 2007
Bottled, batch #54 (BB 04/2009)
Very dark ruby color, medium-sized steady beige head. Nose is spicey (cinnamon, clove), has some dark malts, chocolate and dominating aroma of resin. In the flavor first impression is that this is using same yeast than Nøgne Ø, yeast is also very distinct here. There is some licorice, some spices (not very much, less than aroma indicates), dark malts and metallic touch. Finish is kind of empty. Light alcohol and yeast in the aftertaste. Ok XMas beer, but I’ll prefer Dark Force...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
sayravai (4691) - Helsinki, FINLAND - OCT 31, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 4, 2007 (Bottled) Deep, dark, ruby red with a large, beige head. Xmas-spicy aroma with roasted malt, and some resiny menthol. Roasted-malty, slightly gingerbready and christmas-spicy - although not very interesting - flavor. Reminds me a bit of Diamond Beer’s Kerst Bok. Yeast brings in some ashiness, but doesn’t affect the flavor much. Medium-bodied, soft-carbonated palate. The first bottle sampled was very different with extremely intense, burned color malt feel all over. The second sample was somewhat warmer, but I don’t think that alone would make such a difference. I hope the latter was closer to the average... (Bottled) Deep, dark, ruby red with a large, beige head. Xmas-spicy aroma with roasty-burned malt and some wheaty oatmeal feel. Very burned-color-malty, ashy flavor with some toffee underneath. Pouring in the yeast brings in some licoricey, even Belgian feel, with some wheaty notes - but still it’s pretty much masked by the color malt. Medium-bodied, quite low-carbonated palate. I don’t know what they’ve been {thdr}inking while making the recipe, but this kind of a color malt overdose should be criminalized...

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