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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 854   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.67/5   EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%
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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JPDIPSO (5133) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 15, 2008
Lightly hazed bronze color with a hint of red when held to the light. Diminished light tan head. Somewhat fizzy in feel. Smoked herb aromas. This has a real traditional flavor to me. I seem to catch coke (the solid carbonaceous material derived from destructive distillation of low-ash, low-sulfur bituminous coal) dried malt in the flavor. Also a mild grass and herbal hops component. Perhaps a bit of pine. Quite bitter in the finish and a long linger. This is the type of brew I like to spend an afternoon with as I’m smoking meat. I catch a light HotD Adam in this one, which is always a plus in my book.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
gunhaver (1030) - Tampa, Florida, USA - FEB 3, 2008
UPDATED: JUN 4, 2008 Bottle. Pours a cloudy ruby red, with tons of fluffy white head. Lacing is as thick as syrup and refuses to budge. Smells of loquacious smoke, berries, cider, and a general campfire feel. But muted. Flavors of smoke, grapefruit, and some nutty malts. Smooth with a bitter bite. Roof of the mouth is unaffected. Easy drinking if you enjoy this kinda taste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jzzbassman (1525) - Arlington, Texas, USA - FEB 3, 2008
Batch 70 March 2007. Pours a lovely chesnut brown with an everlasting tan head. Huge smoke aroma, dominates all else. Flavor starts promising, but the band-aid like phenols are really overwhelming in this one. Very still carbonation.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jmikolich (1477) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - FEB 1, 2008
whatever size, bottle, pours a nice deep dark mahogany this has the initial taste of some pine, then transitions into roasy smokiness that is refreshing from the over powering bitterness or roast commonly found in beers, nice drinking this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DrBayern (1139) - Morehead City, North Carolina, USA - JAN 28, 2008
1 pt. .9oz. bottle marked Batch 72 April 07, drunk on 1/28/2008. Hazy mahogany with a big, rocky light tan head. A not so subtle subtle smokiness comes through over a layer of brown sugar and pine. This isn’t smoky like a Bamberg rauchbier, but the smoke is certainly a main player. Medium body, slightly astringent, leaving a clean palate. This actually fairly bitter right from the start, and the bitterness slowly builds, with a burnt sugar and molasses flavor tempering the flavor profile. I like smokes beers, and this is well brewed and quite pleasing.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
RoyceH (1197) - Hesperange, LUXEMBOURG - JAN 27, 2008
Bottle at cgarvieuk coolbeans party. Dark brown chestnut, thin beige head. Pine and smoke, bacon, hop. Mouth smoky, pine malts, some hoppiness. Some leafiness. Bitter end, bit too carbonated. Quite good.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
suzquaffs (12) - Surrey, ENGLAND - JAN 26, 2008
Dark red with a good head. Smoky aromas followed by smoky taste. Highly carbonated. Not a lover of smoked beers and this doesn’t convert me!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
1FastSTi (3357) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 25, 2008
Batch 70, brewed March 2007; Sampled January 2008. Pours to a deep hazy ruby body with a foamy head that looks like it came from a cola. The aroma out of the bottle was insane. Most smoked meat based aroma ever. But when it was poured into the glass, it has a salted light meat and juniper berries. The majority of the smoke went away when poured. The rough assumption is that this is a porter because it’s a lot like it with the chocolate malt. Juniper berries come through as well. Very unique and the smoke comes through. The palate is roasted and medium bodied.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
FlacoAlto (4045) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 24, 2008
Batch 70, brewed March 2007; Sampled January 2008
Smokey aromatics greet my nose as I pour this brew into my glass. It is very well carbonated and easily produces a tan crown of froth that is a full five fingers in height (including almost two-finger above the rim of my glass. The smoke is definitely the dominant characteristic of the aroma; the smoke is a mix of salt, meaty umami, smoked cherry, smooth phenolics and perhaps a hint of plastic. The aroma is pretty appetizing, but it is very hard to smell anything other than the smoke.

Still well carbonated the beer foams just a bit as it hits my mouth. It smoothes out considerably as the beer flows across my tongue and even picks up some chewy texture and almost creamy quality to it by the finish. The beer has a smooth, hearty smokiness to it up front, but picks up a touch of sharp esters and phenolics towards the finish. Up front the smoke character melds in with the malt sweetness so well that the sweetness is not overly noticed, but instead makes the smoke seem quite appetizing. Somehow the smoke balances this up front note in the finish with a bit of sharper phenolics, but there are also some dry, lingering, toasty grain notes in the finish as well. Touches of berry notes seem to be in the flavor as well, though it seems very hard to pick them out underneath the smokiness. The smoke combines quite well with the heft of this brew; it is just enough to be chewy, but not so much as to make this anything near a sipping brew.

An interesting idea, but it seems somehow not all that well executed. The flavor is wonderful if you like smoked beers (which I do), but I really wish more of the juniper could have come through. In the end it is a bit one dimension, especially considering I was hoping for a smoked beer with something else going on. Still this is a tasty brew and one that I am certainly enjoying.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Finn (5176) - Tromsø, NORWAY - JAN 24, 2008
Bottle 0,5 l at Tromsø Ølfestival 15 Aug 07. Dark golden colored. A tanned creamy head. Hoppy and fruity aroma. Juniper? Carbonated. Strong malty and fruity flavor. Dry bitter aftertaste. A bit unbalanced.

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