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


on tap

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RATINGS: 772   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.68   EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%
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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 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
skortila (4505) - Baarn, NETHERLANDS - OCT 15, 2007
Aroma is great. It has a lot of smoke, juniper indeed, perhaps pine, some roasted malts even, wood. Nice and complex. Hazy, brown coloured with a medium, beige, lasting head. Taste is quite bitter and has smoke, juniper/pine, some maltiness. Leaving a dry, pleasant and lingering finish. This is truly remarkable stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
EithCubes (4895) - New Jersey, USA - OCT 13, 2007
Bottle (Batch No. 70, brewed March 2007). Good robust smoked aroma, woody with chocolate malt. No sign of juniper. Deep mahogany pour with a huge, excitable, spoonable, rocky, creamy, - perfect -, beige head. Taste is more urned than smoked, though the latter is there residually, with creaking planks of wood and dusty yeast. Dry but not overly so, with just a slight herbal edge that isn’t juniper but does compliment nicely. Medium body but kinda blase and uninterested in the feel. Solid and darkly satisfying but doesn’t knock my socks off.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
yobdoog (1888) - Woodridge NY, New York, USA - OCT 12, 2007
Maybe it was all the other exceptional stuff I was drinking but I didn’t get much more than smoke. Like drinking a liquid steak, it was actually meaty. Aroma has much more smoke than the taste. The smoke overpowers any remnance of fruit.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BigBeer45 (1252) - Michigan, USA - OCT 11, 2007
A dark ruby pour with lots of darkness, a persistant tan head, aroma reminded me of a wood fire, some berries, dry and oily smoke fragrances, hints of candy sweetness and malt, smokey wood and dark bread flavor, taste of faint brown sugar that quickly disappeared, there is a wood taste in the finish, flavors of roasted malt, some dry bitterness on the tongue that has a faint bitter chocolate flavor, smoke and wood sticks to the tongue, burnt flavor here and there, smoke flavor pretty much dominates, lots of carbonation and prickly in the mouth.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
robertsreality (2460) - Minnesota, USA - OCT 7, 2007
Murky Peach Brown Color with Sandy Head. Solid Smokey Aroma with Undertones of Sweet Berry. Heavy Bodied. Dry and Creamy Mouthfeel. Smoke Dominated the Flavor Profile with Undertones of Dark Malt, Chocolate and Perhaps a bit of Caramel...with Some Balancing Notes from Juniper Berries. Dry, Thick, Smokey Aftertaste. Ends Quite Balanced, Making it Quite Alluring to Keep Imbibing. Very Nice Traditional.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
egajdzis (5336) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 7, 2007
Poured an amber color with a small, off white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of caramel, light smoke, a bit of juniper, burnt leaves, banana, and smoke, roasted malts as well. Taste was sweet, with caramel malts, up front, light chocolate, berries, with wood, and smoke in the finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
skoisirius (1715) - Earth, Washington, USA - OCT 7, 2007
Milky thick brownish orange color. Light bacon aroma mixed with juniper. The smoked wood flavor really kicks in the back of the palate. Light meaty flavor throughout the body. Burnt and dark cocoa flavors. Long lasting head. Damn good for a smoked bier.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
nuplastikk (4396) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 5, 2007
16.9oz bottle. Top knotch stuff. Thick chocolately opaque brown color. Full bodied all out smoke flavor. Rich and satisfying. The juniper gives the beer a nice spicy touch, which leaves a pleasant herbal aftertaste. Expensive at 7.99+ a bottle in the store, but well worth trying if you a fan of the rauch.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - OCT 4, 2007
Freshly imported bottle (2007) from Shigadeyo, thanks! Drunk on 9/26/07
These top-tier Scandanavian breweries really have bottle conditioning nailed down. Between these guys, Mikkeller, Olfabrikken, Nogne O and Gourmetbryggeriet, among others, I’m extremely impressed. Glowing auburn-magenta with light peach and orange tones. Tiny bubbles rise, bolstering a massive off-white head that laces profusely and is retained throughout the entire glass. High clarity, leaving the sediment behind.
Surprisingly spicy, and not surprisingly smokey, I’m at a loss as to whether I’m smelling both hops and juniper or just juniper. It sure smells like hops up front, with a fully herbal, almost wintergreen/spearmint nose, which gives way to cinnamon and clove phenols, followed by a heaping dose of very well-attenuated, fresh, woody, smokey caramel malts. Rich, without being too sweet, they are interrupted, at interval, by poignant dots of what must be juniper acidity. Works incredibly well in balancing the sweetness (which would not be overbearing even without the juniper). Clean, but fresh yeast, no alcohol or flaws whatsoever. Marvelously elegant, with a high strength of aroma, to boot!
Sweet and spicy, with a gingerbread and cinnamon spice-like flavor incorporated in to the maltiness. Smoke is more laid back than in the nose, but still provides wonderful complexity and woody tones to contrast with the rich caramel/toffee maltiness. Near-perfect bitterness/acidity is attained from the juniper (and hops, if they’re in there), allowing one to focus on the smoke, take a break and focus on the acidity and then come back to the smoke and malt. Not on the magnitude of Schlenkerla, but then, it’s not supposed to be, nor does it need to be. Very, very carbonated, but with breathing it evens out, more or less. Supple, unfiltered texture, no flaws.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Cornfield (5482) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - OCT 1, 2007
Interesting and enjoyable beer. From the bottle it pours a slightly hazed deep brown with a huge, spongey beige head. Complex aroma, malt and old wood, tart berries and pine smoke, all spiced up. The flavor is as complex, but more relaxed. The malt tastes peat smoked, there are quiet christmas spices, and a soft herbal bitterness appears. Very neatly blended. The finish is dry and smokey. Quite good, one to be repeated.

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