RateBeer
overall
96
99
style
Brewed by HaandBryggeriet (Norway)
Style: Traditional Ale
Drammen, Norway

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 846   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.67   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.


4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Ernest (6749) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - SEP 24, 2007
Bottle (batch 72, brewed Apr 07). Head is initially large, frothy, off-white, mostly lasting. Body is hazy dark amber, bottle conditioned. Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (toasted grain/nuts/bread, dark chocolate), lightly hoppy (herbs, flowers), with a strong note of smoke, lighter notes of rosemary, cassis, earth, wood. Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly sweet, moderately bitter. Medium body, velvety texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic. An extremely fun beer to sample, the sort of beer that can re-invigorate a beer geek that’s gotten jaded (not to suggest I am anything of the sort). Big hit of smoke in the nose, but what I like is that it’s not as dense and overwhelming as, say, Schlenkerla...you can smell other things under it without straining. Exceptionally clean tasting and well-balanced. Very classy.

3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
reakt (949) - Greater London, ENGLAND - SEP 24, 2007
Bottle from Uto, shared with Mes, Chris_O, Harrisoni and HogTownHarry. Amber with a lasting off white head. Quite gassy. Smoke and juniper in the nose with some yeasty notes. Bitter hops and smokey wood, reminded me of rauch weizen with a fruity hint. Not bad overall but still unsure of smoked beer at this point.

4.2
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
CheesedMan (555) - Saint Cloud, Florida, USA - SEP 23, 2007
I was a bit hesitant, as I thought I did not like smoke in my beer. This beer may have changed my mind. Smoked malts and juniper dominate, I know boboski said Christmas on fire, but is like my aunt at christmas, the one with the Marlboro and Gibson’s gin on her breath. I am smitten. Flavor is bold and odd. Smoke, juniper and a nice bitterness dominate the flavor, though nothing is over powering or off putting. I am going to have to get a few more bottles of this stuff.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
HogTownHarry (6293) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - SEP 22, 2007
Bottle (500ml). Shared with chris_o, mes_and_sim, harrisoni, reakt and duff - via ... reakt?. Amber-copper pour, bubbly, large lasting frothy off-white head. The aroma was coming at me from many directions - belgian spicy yeast, peaty malt, dry, woodsy - now I see it was made with juniper, I realize what I was trying to pin down. The taste is quite dry, and there’s quite a hit of smoke and iodine, very much like an Islay scotch - finishes bitter and minerally, long and sharp. The mouthfeel is lively, minerally and has a tangy aftertaste. Iron and even vague sour fruit - what’s not to like?

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Ughsmash (7387) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 21, 2007
Bottled, Batch 70, BB 03/10. Poured lightly hazy medium caramel with a creamy cap of beige head.. stuck around for quite a while. The aroma was quite odd, but enjoyable.. lots of sour oak, smoked peat, some vanilla, and juniper branches in the background. The flavor didn’t mesh as well.. very sour from the berries and oak, chalky caramel, more dark fruits, and toffee in there.. smoky sour finish. Sharp and sour on the palate with too much barrel influence.. felt good otherwise.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
DeweyDell (159) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - SEP 21, 2007
500 mL bottle. Pours a very natural-looking hazy brown/red color with a very large cream-colored head. Aroma is yeast, oak, bourbon, smoke and alcohol with a wee bit of fruit sweetness. Flavor is whoa, incredibly smoky... I feel like I am drinking a campfire. It’s well-balanced though, nice sweetness to it, a really unique beer. I have to say that smoky beers are not the norm for me, but this one seems abnormally complex and drinkable. It’s good.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
DrHomolka (761) - Portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 21, 2007
500ml bottle. Batch #70, brewed March 07. Upon popping the cap a generous amount of brown foam gushed out of the top. Poured ridiculously carbonated - a dark red/brown body underneath a plethora of rocky, off-white foam. Plenty of yeast makes its way into the glass. Aroma tingles the nostrils. Prickly wood, pine, cedar, and a lot of smokiness. Very oaky. Char. Taste is very strong. Flavor of smoke is intense and in your face, surely the most smoke I’ve tasted in a beer before. Charcoal and oak in the flavor as well. Salt and peat. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and carbonated, though it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment. I am a fan of smoke but this one is almost too much. An admirable beer but a bit over the top on the flavor for me. Still glad I tried it though.

2.9
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Skinnyviking (7905) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - SEP 15, 2007
Bottle. Fluffy and very high off-white long lasting head. A lot of the beer came streaming when I opened the bottle. Hazy dark red brown body. Roasted barley malt aroma with notes of wood. Pleasant smooth and round barley malt flavor with a light touch of smoke. Some bitterness at the end and in the aftertaste. Low carbonation.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
beastiefan2k (2867) - Emerald City (formely NYC & KS), Washington, USA - SEP 14, 2007
This may probably be the best label I have seen this year (if not ever). I love the fingerprints and the whole word play as well as design. If I were to rate label this would get a perfect score. Pours with a big, strong head, bubbly and loud. Beautiful murky brown body, no clarity but some light radiating at the bottom of the glass. Aroma is strong smoke with an undercurrent of faintly tart tropical fruits (must be the juniper). Taste is very tart-y smoke. Mouthfeeel is very fizzy form the strong carbonation, but works here because this is the first thoroughly refreshing smoked beer I have ever had. It comes out as a tart/smoke beer, which is awesome. Great idea and great execution. 500ml bottle, Hobgoblin tulip glass.

4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
redlight (2317) - Orlando, Florida, USA - SEP 13, 2007
Cloudy amber with a huge tan head. Vanilla, smoke, earthy, oakey, the juniper blends great with the smoke and oak tanins. Some chocolate and tobacco also. The juniper and oak balance out the smoke, there’s also a good amount of hop bitterness. This beer is intense but not overkill. Great beer!


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