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: 864   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.


3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
MartinT (8957) - 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 The quality of this eminently drinkable Traditional Norwegian Ale makes you curse the day that farming law was repealed.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 (10566) - 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.

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - FEB 24, 2008
Hazy light brown body with a small light tan head. Nose is hickory, oak, toffee and raisins. The flavor is lightly sweet with smoke, vanilla, caramel and grapes. Medium body is rough with moderate carbonation.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
marchcow (664) - Coralville, Iowa, USA - FEB 23, 2008
From batch 72. Nice smoky roasted malt and hops and fruit aroma. Very bubbly head, reddish brown colors. Smoky malt, earth, sweet citrus, some meaty saltiness. Well carbonated palate with a smoky dry finish. Well balanced and good.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
malrubius (2426) - Springfield, Vermont, USA - FEB 21, 2008
500 ml bottle in pint glass. Too dark in bar to really see color: muddy brownish red (?) with awesome dense, puffy tan head. Smoke and sour fruit aroma. Smokey flavor with round fruity malt and juniper tartness. Medium body and medium-low carbo for nice soft mouthfeel An interesting combo of flavors. A must try for smoked beer lovers like me, but perhaps a little disappointing for people who don’t like berry beers, like me. Still, a great tribute to traditional historic brewing styles. Brings the past to life.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
alexsdad06 (8166) - Ohio, USA - FEB 20, 2008
16.9 oz. bottle. Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown color with a large foamy beige head diminishing to a persistent 5mm blanket of suds. The aroma is moderately spicy, hints of fruit, caramel malt, chocolate, and smoke. The flavor opens with a heavy dose of smoke, but it is wonderful. The malt presence is noticable, but not as sweet as the aroma would lead you to believe. There is a mild hop bitterness to the finish. Overall this is a surprisingly excellent brew. Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
porterhouse (1580) - Boothbay, Maine, USA - FEB 18, 2008
(500 ml bottle (Batch 70, brewed 3/07) from <A HREF=http://www.ratebeer.com/Place/maine/portland/ target=blank>Downeast Beverage Co.) Pours darkish caramel brown, looks a little cloudy. A big four finger, somewhat foamy biege head arises with each pour. Eventually settles to a thin somewhat globby covering. Aroma is sweet - kind of like dark rum, maybe brown sugar and wood, juniper perhaps - kind of hard to decipher the aroma. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, lightly syrupy and a bit fizzy. Flavor is fairly heavy smokey wood with light malt sweetness and I suppose juniper berries (although I’m not real familiar with their taste). Light-medium bitter. Quite smokey - this could easily be called a smoked beer - kind of a combo between a smoked and a spiced. Not sure I really like the juniper however.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
hophead75 (2012) - Largo, Florida, USA - FEB 17, 2008
Via trade with emacgee. Lightly hazy amber in color,with a small tan head. Aroma is heavily smoky- campfire, wood, caramel, light yeast and earth. Taste is very smoky, with alot of campfire, cedar, light notes of fruit, sweet caramel. Body is medium, finishes off with smoke, wood, and earth. Thanks Ethan!

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Joeh (2049) - Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - FEB 17, 2008
Bottle from Utobeer. It pours a murky brown with quite a thick head. Smoke dominates the aroma, quite like German rauchbier smoke, but maybe a little more ashy, also quite yeasty. Thick in the mouth and surprisingly sweet, yeasty, of course lots of smoke quite a green, piney finish. Very enjoyable.


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