RateBeer
overall
96
99
style
Brewed by HaandBryggeriet (Norway)
Style: Traditional Ale
Drammen, Norway

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 871   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.67/5   EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%
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.


4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
BOLTZ7555 (3014) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - MAR 15, 2008
How anyone can rate the appearance less than a 5 is beyond me!!! This is as close to a fiery brew as one can get!!! Placing your nose up to this one will remind you of campfires and summer barbeques; smokey sweetness. Visually stunning!!! This is a roaring red body with intense bubbles flickering toward the surface to create the biggest head you’ve ever seen. Flavor is pulled pork and smoked ham. The taste isn’t quite as aggressive as Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen...which is a good thing in my opinion. Unique and amazing!!! Well done!!!

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
zebracakes (1339) - Washington DC, USA - MAR 15, 2008
Bottle. Pours hazy orange brown, off white head. Aroma is smoked pineapple ham, some acidity. Flavor is the same and spicy with various levels of smoky complexity (really no other way for me to describe it).

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
bu11zeye (12604) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - MAR 15, 2008
(Bottle, Batch NR 70) Pours a lightly cloudy deep amber body with a small beige head. Aroma of smoldering dry wood, light fruitiness, and roasted nuts. Flavor of wood plank smoked meat, caramel, and light yeast and fruit sourness.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
YourDarkLord (1800) - Urbana, Illinois, USA - MAR 10, 2008
Second beer from this Norwegian brewery. Previously tasted Dark Force, which was excellent. Though not a prefered style, this was also very good. Hazy deep brown body with a large, frothy ecru head. Spice, berries, sweet malt, new wood, pine tar in the aroma. The flavor is recalls some peaty and smoky Scotch with a hint of fruit. Very pleasant and soothing feel. Nicely crafted. Isn’t it good, Norwegian Wood. Tusen Takk.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
luckygirl (1223) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAR 8, 2008
Batch 100. Brewed Okt. 07. Best before Okt. 09.<P>Beer is cloudy, moderately dark brown. Head is huge, frothy/rocky, off-white. Lazily diminishes, mostly lasts.<P>I’m blown away. I haven’t been this excited by a beer in a while.<P>Aroma is rich, textured, smoky, savory, balanced. Malty with moderate notes of roasted grain, toasted bread crust; Hoppy with a light, unobtrusive supporting note of noble herbal; Yeasty with a trace of cellar, hint of blue-veined cheese tartness; Trace of juniper flickers in and out with a sparkle, moderately cloak in a gorgeous note of savory, cleansing smoke. <P>The flavor is lightly sweet, moderately acidic (dry), lightly bitter with a long, lightly acidic (juicy), lightly bitter finish.<P>The body is light, the texture is watery, the carbonation is lively/fluffy.<P>Devastating.

4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - MAR 7, 2008
What a brew. This one pours a deep cherry amber color with the tallest froth this side of Houblon Chouffe. It lingers like road kill til just the ring and a bit of canopy are left. Aroma is strong with defined smoke with a twitch of bubblegum fruit. Medium nectar with ample residual effers. Texture is a bit fiberous. Moderate smoke (mesquite) flavor integrated into the malt and hop ratio creating a delicate balance. I think back to my childhood. The boyscout days by the campfire. Burning everything I could carry to the fire. Theres a bit of citrus to ponder, roasted malt like strong black coffee, leather. This is a beer Charles Brawnson would love. The finish is bittered nicely leaving a parched palate ready for more.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
auerbrau (3203) - Ithaca, New York, USA - MAR 5, 2008
UPDATED: MAY 7, 2008 Bottle (March 2007). Wild running-naked-in-the-woods smoked aroma jumps from the glass. I kill a squirrel, roast it over open flame and smother it in crushed blueberries. Vibrant, tangy and dappled with soy. That’s an exciting aroma. Pours a clear, brilliant ruby, with orange fringe and soft, redolent birch heartwood head. Flavor finds a home amongst the juniper smoke. A really expressive, soft flavor. Light sea oats, fresh grain bread, and rich caramels. Dry, dry, dry which makes it just delightful in my eyes. The back end carries a really powerful wallop of herbs, ranging from searing rosemary, to softer subtle chamomile. Fresh and bright. The smoke wisps in through the pine bough air. Snow melts. Smoke character is not overwhelming, only assists the complexity coming from the yeast and juniper. A fantastic beer!

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
MartinT (9191) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 4, 2008
My Bottom Line:
Bountiful wooden smoke sweeps the lean caramel maltiness, letting the eclectic, spicy fruitiness of juniper berries rise to the occasion before it is brushed by a leafy hop bitterness. The quality of this eminently drinkable Traditional Norwegian Ale makes you curse the day that farming law was repealed.

Further Personal Perceptions:
-An everlasting tower of foam protects the cloudy dark russet.
-The large, prickly bubbling doesn’t help the mouthfeel much and is the main reason why this beer didn’t cross the threshold of excellence for me.
-The dry wooden smoke in the nose is simple and effective, but not as appealing as the flavor profile.
-The fruitiness is well balanced with the smokiness.
-The mix of smoke, yeast and bittering hops creates an earthy puff towards the end.

1-year-old bottle; best before March 2010. Thx Jason!!

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 4, 2008
Pours a dark brown with a foamy beige head. Aroma dominated by smokey malts and wood. Also contains hints of fig and dark fruits. Flavor again is domnated by smoky/ woody maltiness that is nicely balanced with fig, spice and dark fruit. Very complex and tasty!

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Sammy (10882) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 28, 2008
The wood and smoke is there in the tasting. That, and the juniper berries lingers in the aftertaste. Pours cocoish colour with constant white head. Wood fire oven aroma.


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