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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 854   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.67/5   EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%
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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
xnoxhatex (1305) - Grand Rapids/Chicago, Michigan, USA - NOV 16, 2007
Batch #70 bottle from West Lakeview Liquors, Chicago. Dark brown with ruby red tint and huge beige slowly dissipating head. Smoked aroma with dryish roasted malt. Flavor is all smoke with some sweet malt taste, dark fruit, pretty intense. Small to medium body that is well carbonated. Big smoke that is very nice all around.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - NOV 12, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 9, 2012 Bottle from Sam’s, Durham. Very interesting notion, one I was completely unfamiliar with prior to this bottle. A very lively pour, with massive head and carbonation. The berries are faintly evident in the nose, but generally crowded out by the smoke. As the beer settles down, the smooth smoke isn’t quite so evident (in either nose or flavor) but there’s a pleasant balance between the tart berries, some hops, and the firewood flavor. Most of what I got was a Belgian black, but there are enough distinctive notes to give this one props.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
5000 (6599) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - NOV 9, 2007
Bottle: Dark caramel, burnt, brownish in color, large frothy light beige head, clumpy lacing.   Smoked malt nose, very slight bacon and/or pork fat.   Sweet smokey malt start, subtle hop presense, clean on the backside, lingering campfire and ash.   A little bright, bubbley, and certainly tangy on the tongue.   Not getting much Juniper Berry out of this one.   Smoke and ash tend to dominate, followed by the malts.   Moderate to full body and mouthfeel.   Has sort of a Belgianesque sweet bubbley aspect after the finish.   Yeah, like a smoked but with some sort of sweet Belgian yeastie backside.   Unique, and quite tasty.   While the nose seems to hint bacon or pork products, it does not come out on the tongue, thankfully.   Different from the norm, and in my opinion well recieved.   Literally, a Rauchbier start with a Belgian backside.   Very different, and quite well done.   Yum!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
3fourths (8811) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 9, 2007
500ml bottle. Muddy brown body with a tan head. The nose on this is hugely rich, with heavy toasted grains, toasted wheat bread, faint yeast esters, meaty smoke, and drying, aged wood. The body is medium to light, with a softness and spiciness that’s pretty unique. Heavy flavors of toasted bread, lightly charred grains and more of that meat/jerky/smoke flavor. Good stuff, and something that stood out from the rest of the beer sampled on this night.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
TAR (2526) - 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 (5971) - 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 (1714) - 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!

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