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


on tap

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RATINGS: 790   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.67   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 18/20
TAR (2518) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - NOV 9, 2007
Batch #72 (brewed in April, ’07): Deep rufous. Delicate pour yields a mountainous off-white head which slowly settles and condenses into a fine cream. Mesmerizing nose of plum jam, salt, rauch malt, raisins, roasted bananas, and a plethora of airy esters and plasticy phenols. Extremely earth-laden with hints of leather and wood. Natural carbonation sports the softness and weightlessness of a feather. Just gorgeous. Full and unfiltered, to boot. The cleanness is highly apparent from the get go, as the sweeping airiness cleanses the palate and paves the way for a dense and intriguing rush of plums and raisins. Fruity esters are just as slick as they are bright and defined. Lush smokiness soon takes foothold and buttresses the beautiful body. Musty yeast deepens the initially subdued juniper, with a waxy characteristic. Juniper soon develops a forceful bitterness, holding strong from hereon, and unites with a coarse and equally refined earthy-hop bitterness which augments the already impeccable attenuation with a minty/piney coolness. Malts are pillow soft in their breadiness, and vivid as all get out. Munich malt is well integrated amid a whole host of malt complexities, yet somehow manages to tout its vibrant toffee-glazed biscuit quality. Adept malt extraction here. Finishes remarkably balanced, with juniper leading the way with tangy smoke, bready malts, and dusty cocoa accents offering their elegant whispers beneath the lingering bitterness. All the elements I love (mulitlayered, complex yet subtle, clean yet rustic, proportionate, smoky, fruity, bitter, etc., etc.) are featured so beautifully here. A praiseworthy effort, and as traditional as anything that’ll ever touch your lips.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
RblWthACoz (964) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - NOV 8, 2007
Pours a very dark clouded brown with a good sized tan head that stays. Nose is smoked, yes. But definitely not overdone by any means. Smells like smoked meat. Flavor is smoked, but not a kick in the mouth, thankfully. You get a lasting smoke that has meat character to it. I don’t feel like I get much juniper berries like the label implies. But hey, what do I know. Feel has a pretty full carbonation to it that really takes over the mouth. Liquid is well bodied. Overall a good drink. Not an overpowering smoked beer at all. Still seems a bit one-sided and not extremely complex. And for the price, I feel like I should be getting a whole lot more.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
xmarcnolanx (929) - Kirkwood, Missouri, USA - NOV 6, 2007
Pours with a dense white/yellow head and a deep mahogany color. Aroma is rich smoked malt, but not so big as the Aecht beers. Taste is smoky at first with a little sour malt in the finish. Not as well rounded as I was hoping, but decent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - NOV 4, 2007
500mL bottle, courtesy of artusory. Thanks, Ryan! Pours a hazy, amber-brown color with yellow edges; yellowish head with decent lacing. Smoky and roasted malts in the aroma; cola and brown sugar and peat; mostly dry. Medium-to-full mouthfeel: plenty of smoke and smoked peat at the center; makes one think of a lighter version of Adam; dense smoke, brown sugar, and roasted malts; lengthy, smoke and brown sugar finish; a bit of pepper and spice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
caesar (5316) - Bunnik/Utrecht, NETHERLANDS - NOV 3, 2007
Bottled, batch nr 66. Slight hazy redbrown color, huge frothy brownish head. Soft aroma of some malt, quite smokey, slight fruity, bit weak though, bit yeasty and cheesy. Taste is quite bitter, only very slightly sweet, still the smoked touch coming through, bit nutty. Bit dry palate.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Stine (1627) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - NOV 2, 2007
Robust, glowing chestnut pour, retaining its beige skin throughout and letting only the slightest silhouette through the muck. Beautiful. Punchy, bold aroma of juniper imparts a crisp gin and zesty lime character; needly, cool, and tepidly synthetic. Shades of orange and toffee in earthy sweetness, becoming increasingly fruity and bright with warmth. An overpowering dry cedar quality dominates the initial flavor, leading toward more tart lime juice and wet spruce tips, being thoroughly layered with rustic smoke and crisp fruit sugars. The fire, the mountain air, and the slowness of the roast are intimately and richly felt. Spiced pumpernickel, a touch of soapish coffee acidity, and yeasts with a wild attitude; somehow at once sprightly and dark. Of medium body with a very dry bite in the mouth, finishing with a heavy hit of floral foliage and puckering lemon plastic, warming on the final smack into hot, caramelized sugar and dough. Detailed, and delicate, but perhaps donning too blatant a simplicity of synthetic tone, which is counterintuitive. Altogether intriguing, though. Thanks Zac!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
bhensonb (11491) - Woodland, California, USA - NOV 1, 2007
Smoky, malty aroma. Super reddish hazy amber color with a beige head that just stood tall. Medium body with creamy carbonation. It has the toasted malt character of a stout (smoked stout?), but there are fruit aspects. This suggests smoked meats - i.e., it would go really well with smoked meats. The finish is dry, but not astringent, and there is wood, not just smoke. Now a bit of what might be juniper comes through. This is really good and complicated.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DragonStout (1408) - Pickerington, Ohio, USA - OCT 31, 2007
This was kind of different.Poured brown with an ivory head.The nose smelt of a campfire.Flavor was of smoke and berries with a slight smoky finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
waolsen (1360) - Littleton, Colorado, USA - OCT 30, 2007
bottle. thanks gk. woody brown pour with foamy head. mellow smoke and mild hop aroma. quality smoky flavor. nutty. fire roasted malts. well balanced. smoke is up front and steady.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Storm (2684) - Amager, DENMARK - OCT 28, 2007
Tasted at GBBF 2007. 50 cl bottle. Dark brown colour with a huge white head. Aroma of smoke wood. Very tasty with flavour of smoke wood, spices and ends up very smooth. Hard to drink a lot of this beer.

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