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HaandBryggeriet Norwegian Wood

overall
97
99
style
Brewed by HaandBryggeriet (Norway)
Style: Traditional Ale
Drammen, Norway

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 772   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.68   EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Once, every farm in Norway was required by law to brew its own ale. All of that ale had a natural smoky taste because the malt was kilned by fire, and most of it was spiced with juniper berries. Norwegian Wood, a recreation of that traditional style, is made by the "Hand Brewery" - four guys brewing in their spare time, on an absurdly small scale.


4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
tomekk1978 (465) - POLAND - SEP 17, 2014
Barwa: głęboko miedziana, niczym red ale i początkowo dość kalrowna. Piana beżowa, drobno i średnio pęcherzykowa, obfita i ładnie oblepiająca szkło. Aromat: słodowy (herbatnikowo – karmelowy) oraz wędzony z naleciałością orzechowo – kawową. Smak: słodowy, dość pełny , nieco słodki, z lekko zaznaczoną goryczką. Oprócz tego kawa, nieco paloności oraz jałowiec. Interesujące połączenie.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
pictoman (513) - British Columbia, CANADA - AUG 30, 2014
Poured from 500mL bottle [batch 432]. Murky light medium brown with dissipating beige head. Smoke, burnt wood, bitter juniper berries come through subtlety. Subdued flavour, not much of a finish.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
humlelala (984) - DENMARK - AUG 30, 2014
(50 cl bottle from Heinemann Gardermoen; Batch #745; Bottled on May 5th 2014; BBD: May 5th 2016) Pours a hazy dark amber with three-finger tan head that lasts a while. Nice lace. Aroma is gently peaty smoky at first but after a while some hop-like herbal bitterness cuts through the aroma. Oily texture, medium body, medium carbonation and a toasted malt, ascerbic finish. Flavour has some juniper bitterness along with toasted malt acidity. I wonder how much the juniper contributes to the aroma. Of the few traditional ales I’ve tasted this is definitely one of the more harmonic interpretations. Would not mind another one for sure.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Bosbouw (1238) - Gemonde, NETHERLANDS - AUG 28, 2014
Mooie caramel kleur met een volle kraag. Ruikt zoet, herfstfruit, vanille, iets gerookt en hout. Smaakt bitterzoet, vanille, gerookt, fruit.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
cmc619 (409) - California, USA - AUG 23, 2014
Henrik in Bergen, second beer. This was great - sweet, smokey, awesome. Rauchbier and Stone Smoked Porter have some serious competition coming from Viking territory.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Ragnampiza (422) - Rome / Lecce, ITALY - AUG 5, 2014
500 ml bottle from Les Vignerons (Batch 596 22-04-2013). Light amber/copper, hazy and murky looking, with a big, fluffy, creamy and persistent off white head. Lovely smoke on the nose, not in the ashy/campfire type, but more in the fried bacon/meaty chips kind of smell. Quite a bit of fruitness as well (orange, strawberries), some fruit esters and yeast influence. Mild nuttiness in the background. Interesting taste, sweet toasted malts upfront, light astringency, then just a hint of sourness. Definitely more smoky/meaty in the aftertaste. Average to lively carbonation, light to medium body, slightly oily texture. Not something I’d drink everyday, but it’s definitely pleasent.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
GuideDogSaint (293) - Epsom, Surrey, ENGLAND - JUL 21, 2014
Bottle a brother’s house. Pours brown with no head. Lightly smoked aroma with some fruit. Short bitter finish.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
maekchu (2127) - Hirakata, JAPAN - JUL 15, 2014
Bottle from Sugaya. Smoky nose, with berries, caramel, and a sort of mock alcohol presence from the juniper. Hazy reddish brown, big head which diminishes to 1-cm quickly. Smoke, dryish roast malt, and the strong juniper spicing throughout, which seems ashy and spicy. Medium body, and rather high in carbonation. Tasty stuff. Could use maybe a little more body and even more smoke to blend better with the heavy juniper notes.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Majek (333) - Ząbki, POLAND - JUL 10, 2014
Clear dark amber/ruby colour with big but quickly collapsing head. Intensive aroma of caramel fudge and full of peaty and woody note. Quite similar to charcoal. Taste is medium to heavy sweet,low bitter and semi dry (maybe it’s effect of juniper?) Low to medium body and medium carbonation. It’s very interesting and unparalleled beer. Definitely worth to try.

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
NikkTwist (1624) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 2, 2014
Many years ago I had this in a bottle. My first smoked beer ever. The rauch element took a moment to get used to, but I soon acquired a taste for it and have had probably 60 to 70 smoked beers since. So, having said that, I am having this particular brew now for only the second time - now on draft. Khyber Pass. Hazy caramel copper pour. Off-white head. Not much lace. Smoked ham hocks. Charcoal grill. Peat. Leather. Cigarettes. Silky body. Despite the smoke, surprised to find some bright amber fruit underneath - along with some blonde caramel. Yellow plums. Nectarines. Apricot pits. Shiitake mushrooms. Bamboo shoots. Juniper. Peppery finish. More interesting and unique than I expected.


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