overall
96
98
style
Brewed by HaandBryggeriet (Norway)
Style: Traditional Ale
Drammen, Norway

bottled
available

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 895   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.67/5   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.

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4.2
auerbrau (3203) - Ithaca, New York, USA - MAR 5, 2008
UPDATED: MAY 7, 2008 Bottle (March 2007). Wild running-naked-in-the-woods smoked aroma jumps from the glass. I kill a squirrel, roast it over open flame and smother it in crushed blueberries. Vibrant, tangy and dappled with soy. That’s an exciting aroma. Pours a clear, brilliant ruby, with orange fringe and soft, redolent birch heartwood head. Flavor finds a home amongst the juniper smoke. A really expressive, soft flavor. Light sea oats, fresh grain bread, and rich caramels. Dry, dry, dry which makes it just delightful in my eyes. The back end carries a really powerful wallop of herbs, ranging from searing rosemary, to softer subtle chamomile. Fresh and bright. The smoke wisps in through the pine bough air. Snow melts. Smoke character is not overwhelming, only assists the complexity coming from the yeast and juniper. A fantastic beer!

3.8
MartinT (9852) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAR 4, 2008
UPDATED: FEB 27, 2017 My Bottom Line:
Bountiful wooden smoke sweeps the lean caramel maltiness, letting the eclectic, peppery fruitiness of juniper berries rise to the occasion before it is brushed by a leafy hop bitterness.

Further Personal Perceptions:
-An everlasting tower of foam protects the cloudy dark russet.
-The large, prickly bubbling doesn’t help the mouthfeel much and is the main reason why this beer didn’t cross the threshold of excellence for me.
-The dry wooden smoke in the nose is simple and effective, but not as appealing as the flavor profile.
-The fruitiness is well balanced with the smokiness.
-This is not very far from a Stjørdalsøl’s flavor profile.
-The mix of smoke, yeast and bittering hops creates an earthy puff towards the end.

Bottles.

3.9
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 4, 2008
Pours a dark brown with a foamy beige head. Aroma dominated by smokey malts and wood. Also contains hints of fig and dark fruits. Flavor again is domnated by smoky/ woody maltiness that is nicely balanced with fig, spice and dark fruit. Very complex and tasty!

3.7
Sammy (12105) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 28, 2008
The wood and smoke is there in the tasting. That, and the juniper berries lingers in the aftertaste. Pours cocoish colour with constant white head. Wood fire oven aroma.

3.4
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - FEB 24, 2008
Hazy light brown body with a small light tan head. Nose is hickory, oak, toffee and raisins. The flavor is lightly sweet with smoke, vanilla, caramel and grapes. Medium body is rough with moderate carbonation.

3.8
marchcow (664) - Coralville, Iowa, USA - FEB 23, 2008
From batch 72. Nice smoky roasted malt and hops and fruit aroma. Very bubbly head, reddish brown colors. Smoky malt, earth, sweet citrus, some meaty saltiness. Well carbonated palate with a smoky dry finish. Well balanced and good.

4
malrubius (2864) - Springfield, Vermont, USA - FEB 21, 2008
500 ml bottle in pint glass. Too dark in bar to really see color: muddy brownish red (?) with awesome dense, puffy tan head. Smoke and sour fruit aroma. Smokey flavor with round fruity malt and juniper tartness. Medium body and medium-low carbo for nice soft mouthfeel An interesting combo of flavors. A must try for smoked beer lovers like me, but perhaps a little disappointing for people who don’t like berry beers, like me. Still, a great tribute to traditional historic brewing styles. Brings the past to life.

3.9
alexsdad06 (10289) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 20, 2008
16.9 oz. bottle. Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown color with a large foamy beige head diminishing to a persistent 5mm blanket of suds. The aroma is moderately spicy, hints of fruit, caramel malt, chocolate, and smoke. The flavor opens with a heavy dose of smoke, but it is wonderful. The malt presence is noticable, but not as sweet as the aroma would lead you to believe. There is a mild hop bitterness to the finish. Overall this is a surprisingly excellent brew. Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel.

3.7
porterhouse (1580) - Boothbay, Maine, USA - FEB 18, 2008
(500 ml bottle (Batch 70, brewed 3/07) from <A HREF=http://www.ratebeer.com/Place/maine/portland/ target=blank>Downeast Beverage Co.) Pours darkish caramel brown, looks a little cloudy. A big four finger, somewhat foamy biege head arises with each pour. Eventually settles to a thin somewhat globby covering. Aroma is sweet - kind of like dark rum, maybe brown sugar and wood, juniper perhaps - kind of hard to decipher the aroma. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, lightly syrupy and a bit fizzy. Flavor is fairly heavy smokey wood with light malt sweetness and I suppose juniper berries (although I’m not real familiar with their taste). Light-medium bitter. Quite smokey - this could easily be called a smoked beer - kind of a combo between a smoked and a spiced. Not sure I really like the juniper however.

3.9
hophead75 (2012) - Largo, Florida, USA - FEB 17, 2008
Via trade with emacgee. Lightly hazy amber in color,with a small tan head. Aroma is heavily smoky- campfire, wood, caramel, light yeast and earth. Taste is very smoky, with alot of campfire, cedar, light notes of fruit, sweet caramel. Body is medium, finishes off with smoke, wood, and earth. Thanks Ethan!


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