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: 790   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.67   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.


2.6
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
Miksu (4972) - Jyväskylä, FINLAND - SEP 2, 2007
0.5 l bottle. Amber to red color. Strong juniper and smoke aroma with maltiness in the background. Heavy juniper and malt flavor with tar. Drying finish. Juniper overload.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 18/20
iep (230) - Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS - AUG 31, 2007
UPDATED: OCT 28, 2007 Murky dark mahogany body, a very dense and longlasting beige head, and lots of lacing. Pineapple and barley in the aroma. Also some pine smoke (lapsang souchong), tobacco, sweet bubblegum and vanilla. Strong grainyness up front in the flavor, with juniper berry and smoke, and a very dry hoppy and LONG finish. Tart, grainy, and dry. A huge flavor profile - yet well balanced. Low CO2, dense mouthfeel. Unique stuff, and very very nice. This is what I’d drink if I didn’t quite want a rauchbier but not really an IPA either..

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
badgerben (4502) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - AUG 29, 2007
Deep, dark reddish color with a towering foamy head. Slightly smoky aroma. Definitely not peat, similar to beechwood, but not quite the same. Same smokiness in the flavor. A bit of juniper coming out. Dry and slightly bitter grain. Finishes with a dry Noble hop taste. Really quite tasty. Impressive!

4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jtw (1111) - farmington, Michigan, USA - AUG 28, 2007
500 mL (i think?) bottle, best before March 2010. fascinating wooden/burgundy color with an almond head that won’t recede. a careful pour still results in a head three fingers thick! moderate carbonation results in a few streams of steady bubbles continuously adding to its almond crown. aroma is heavily smoky, like standing downwind of burning driftwood, with associated preserved and salted fish and meats. imagine perhaps the taste of a freshly-cut but as-yet unlit cubano: mellowed tobacco but slightly green and ever-so-acidic. gin-like juniper and pine behind the smoke, and although the smoke and juniper are strong aromas, it’s not overtly unbalanced.
smoked malt is the primary flavor, accompanied by a tartness and saltiness which is stronger than you would predict from the aroma. dry and roasty and smoky finish, with flavors of honey and pine resin which float around but eventually fade away and evaporate in the dryness of the finish. a pricey treat, but one that would be well-suited to drinking ’round a fire in the winter.

3.8
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Rictus (126) - Camdenton, Missouri, USA - AUG 28, 2007
Dusty floral smell. It has a nice opaque dark amber-brown look too it with a big head (that ended up resembling a single rock). Smokey as all hell and malty. A light sourness in the finish. Soft carbonation.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Enjoyit (3479) - Vadum, DENMARK - AUG 26, 2007
Amber of color with a beige head. An aroma of turf and notes of smoke. A flavor of spice, smoke and salami.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
tyler_mn (1475) - SLP, Minnesota, USA - AUG 24, 2007
Bottle. Aroma of candi sugar, yeast, a whiff of smoke. Some pine and crushed apples. Mildly perfumy. Pours an unattractive swamplike brown. Lots of smoked meat (bacon) on the palate. Slightly earthy with notes of smoked malt, dry hops, apples and pears. Very lively carbonation. Medium bodied. Like a cross between a smoked and a belgian ale.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
boboski (1095) - Alabama, USA - AUG 23, 2007
This beer pours out like it’s been planning a desperate escape from the confines of the glass walls that have contained it for some time. Frenetic carbonation boils up to form a dense, fizzy but compacted, tall beige head with modest retention. The body is a hazy chestnut with brighter mahogany hues at the perimeter. The aroma is the next to attempt a daring break for freedom, this time from the liquid from which it stems. Roasted grains lead the charge, smoke hot on its heels, notes of meats and campfire and burning holiday themed decor in a wild conflagration that is neither restrained nor focused. Juniper essence bolts from the vessel, acidic, a burning green like the aftermath of the initial backdraft from a chemical explosion from deep within the densely forested tundra. Vegetation burns brightly, a smoke signal rises to alert anyone around to its exact location, a bright light in the shady regions of the chilling and desolate northern countryside. Bitterness, like the cold, stings in the flavor. Acidity wrings the mouth dry, like a sponge, cutting into my tongue and cheeks like the bristling vegetation that fans the flames. Smoke is reckless, covering the surface area of the inside of my mouth, then my face, then the surrounding air, devouring oxygen as it bulids in intensity with each smothering sip. The juniper does a marvelous job of replacing hops for a quenching and devastating assault on the tastebuds. The mild sweetness that lingers underneath finds air to breath in a sustained finish, extinguishing heat and scattering cool sensations across the palate. Carbonation, like fireworks robed in silk, further accelerates a broadening of sensations and flavors. A unique combination of smoke and greenery melded into a near-catastrophic taste explosion results in something more refined, more thought-provoking. Holiday themes come to mind. What fun this was!

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
CaptainCougar (7132) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - AUG 22, 2007
Pours a hazy dark orange copper mahogany with a large-bubbled, lightly-lacing, airy off-white head. Dry, earthy, smoky toffee and juniper aroma. Body starts fizzy and over-carbonated with a very light sweetness, a hint of tartness and some dry, woody, lightly burnt flavor. Finishes with some lingering smoke and juniper bitterness and a touch of warmth. A unique brew, but a little too dry and over-attenuated for my tastes.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Nuffield (3714) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - AUG 21, 2007
Big head, brown body. Big smoked flavor! Absolutely lovely, though I couldn’t get the juniper from this underneath all that smoke. Dry hoppy finish. Nothing ugly at all. My friends didn’t like this, but it was right up my alley. Bottle purchased in Baltimore.


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