RateBeer
overall
97
99
style
Brewed by HaandBryggeriet (Norway)
Style: Traditional Ale
Drammen, Norway

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 766   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.68   EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%
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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 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
skoisirius (1584) - 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.

4.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
nuplastikk (4299) - 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.

4.2
   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, Iím 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, Iím at a loss as to whether Iím 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 theyíre 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, itís 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.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Cornfield (5460) - 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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3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
PilsnerPeter (3028) - Flushing, New York, USA - OCT 1, 2007
Bottle: Pours a deep, rusty amber with a huge tan head. The aroma has a nice, feint smokiness, some dried wood, peat, crystal malt, and a bread-y hint. The flavor is a little earthy upfront, with some woody flavors, and peat. The mid-palate gives off a very light tartness from the berries, which is followed by the mildly smoky and leafy/bitter finish. The flavor is a bit less smoky than the aroma, yet itís rich and filled with other nuances which make the flavor robust. A very nice and individualistic brew.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Bov (9335) - Bienne, SWITZERLAND - OCT 1, 2007
courtesy of fiulijn - dark ruby-brown colour with a giant and creamy beige head; unusual aroma of herbs and mint; creamy mouthfeel, a good malt body and a robust bitterness; very long and quite dry, earthy, bitter and herbal finish - deeply good and interesting

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
kp (10886) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - SEP 30, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 20, 2011
Date: September 16, 2007
Mode: Bottle
Source: Roadtrip
Appearance: dark brown, huge beige head that settles down into a creamy head leaving drippy lace
Aroma: sweet spicy aroma with chocolate and musty oak
Flavor: rich chocolate flavor, just a bit of sweetness, touch of bitterness from the oak, underlyng smokey character melds with the wood

Date: September 29, 2007
Mode: bottle
Source: tasting
a lot stronger smoke flavor to the point of a burnt wood character, long bitter finish from the wood and the smoke

Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 13/20
Rating: 3.4/5.0
Drinkability: 7/10
Score: **+ /4

3.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
aracauna (3053) - Georgia, USA - SEP 29, 2007
This is a little on the overcarbonated side. Itís really not as bad as thebeercellar made it out to be, but Iím not a huge fan of when the smoke is this strong. It kind of covers up the rest of the beer. I really prefer the smoke in my beers to be a little more balanced with the rest of my beers.

2.8
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
chimpscampee (566) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 28, 2007
Juniper berries are , of course, what gin is made of and this really tastes of gin, particularly in the finish. You do not smell the smoke but you sure taste it. The nose has a clorine/iodine, cream soda chemical like smell. Interesting but not one Iíd want to try again. Big frothy head.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
KAF (448) - Coralville, Iowa, USA - SEP 26, 2007
Brewed April 07. Nice flavorful head. Smoke aroma on the nose. Dark caramel in color. Smokey in flavor.


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