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


on tap

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RATINGS: 820   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tronraner (2459) - Walland, Tennessee, USA - AUG 21, 2007
Bottle. Pours opaque dark mahogany with very large ivory head. The aroma is light smoke, assertive spiciness, some cedar-like wood notes (juniper and cedar are related, so I guess that makes sense), and some caramel. The flavor is very obviously smoke-centric, but it is a much more rounded smoke flavor than a typical rauchbier. A moderate chocolatey malt backbone lies underneath with some rather distant berry notes. The finish has an ashy sort of bitterness, entirely compatible with the other smoke tones, and some hoppiness as well. A lingering, charred dryness sticks around for quite a while. I really like this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Skyview (5283) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - AUG 21, 2007
Sampled from a 16.9 oz bottle supplied by brewfiend. Pours a medium brownish amber brew with a creamy off-white head that has good retention and lacing. Aroma of roasted chocolate malt, citrus/piney hops, a touch of smoke and black pepper. Taste is slightly sweet, medium bodied, light carbonation with flavors of roasted malt, chocolate, some smoked hard wood and some juniper. Finish is slightly dry, burnt malt and some piney/juniper aftertaste.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
OhioDad (2492) - Hilliard, Ohio, USA - AUG 19, 2007
Bottle pours dark brown with a creamy offwhite head that stays pretty well. Aromas of smoke, bacon, but a sneaky berry characteristic beneath that. Overall the flavor is dominated by smoked meat. Campfire, some caramel, and other slight yeasty flavors but an underlying tartness with the berry flavor. Interestingly complex and pretty nice to try.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - AUG 18, 2007
Whoa, this beer was a surprise. Tossing 1/3 of the bottle into my glass resulted in a massive rocky four inch tall beige head that lasted for minutes. Initially, all I could pick up was a solid smoke on the nose. As the head slowly sunk into the body, an almost hop like berry character emerged. Unlike most smoked beers, the smoke on the nose didn’t remind me of meats, just good burnt wood. The body however was a different story. Holy smoked pork batman - I’m picking this up for my next Ramadan party. And I’m talking GOOD smoked pork here. The finish had a faint berry character which I assume is juniper. The flavor lingers quite a while. A truly excellent brew that I can’t wait to try again.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
joebrew (608) - Farewell Minny; Hello Puyallup, Washington, USA - AUG 18, 2007
Pours a nice murky reddish brown with a huge rocky beige head. Definate somked meats and very light dark fruit aroma. Nice tart almost an odd berry flavor that I can’t place, light smoke, and a very powerfull bitter bite that I can only atribute to the nature of juniper berries, but the palate is killer and the finish is very long lasting.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
sliffy (2040) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - AUG 16, 2007
Bottle: Pours a murky brown with a big tan head. Aroma, smoky with some dark fruits. Flavor, fruity, some smoky notes, and some caramel malts. Solid, and well balanced.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 16, 2007
What to expect from a traditional ale? Nice, tan frothy head over a dark mahogany body. Smokey, definetely. That’s probably its most striking character. It also has a lot of earthiness, with medium maltiness. Very full flavor. There is a little more alcohol in the nose than I would generally like, which surprises me since its not that high in ABV.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
notalush (5216) - Denver, Colorado, USA - AUG 16, 2007
Hazy amber pour, with a gigantic off-white head - wonderfully woody and smokey aroma, much like schlenkerla, with juniper very subdued, some biscuity malt, earthy, leathery notes - soft mouthfeel - quite dry, with mineral/chalk notes - the smoke is not as prominent as the aroma suggests, nor is the juniper - smoke and wood combine with the dry, earthy qualities to give the beer a charcoal-like character that is not entirely pleasant - an interesting mix of spices near the end, plus something else, lurking far in the background.......WORMWOOD! - good lord, why? - sure, there’s only a little bit, but even that is too much - the beer was doing so well, but this wormwood taste lingering on my tongue is starting to kill the experience.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
argo0 (11891) - Washington DC, USA - AUG 16, 2007
(50cl, bottled 3/07) Enormous tan head fills the glass, eventually revealing a lightly hazed ruby body. Aroma is medium sweet, smoked wood, light juniper. Taste is medium sweet, wood, some caramel, earthy, berry, smoke/burnt, light sourness. Soft, light-medium body.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Rune (8898) - Tromsø, NORWAY - AUG 16, 2007
200ml taster from bottle. Pours a russet body colour under a thin tan cap. Firm lacing on the glass. Woody and earthy smell with notes of moderate smokiness. Flavour got a brush of juniper berry and a blend of spicy malts followed by dark fruits. Slightly yeasty bitterness towards the end (Tromsø Ølfestival, 15.08.2007).

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