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

bottled
available

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 887   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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3.5
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Arayaga2 (2175) - portland, Oregon, USA - NOV 20, 2007
Chestnut brown in color with big tan head. Aroma is brown sugar and cherries with a smoky edge. Taste is bacony with light body. $6/500ml

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
PhillyHomeBrew (176) - Forest Hills, New York, USA - NOV 20, 2007
Dark head with thick tan body. The fluffy head sticks around for a while. Aroma of juniper and malt. Flavor is very strong malt w/ smoked bacon flavor. Tria -> Philadelphia $6 (but $12 regularly)

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
iowaherkeye (2703) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - NOV 18, 2007
UPDATED: MAY 4, 2009 Batch 72, Brewed Apr. 07. 500mL bottle. Cloudy dark brown with a three finger rocky beige head, good retention. Aroma has a fair amount of smoke, dry wood and some roast, but unfortunately there is some hairspray as well. Although Im not entirely sure what juniper smells/tastes like, Im not getting it here. Flavor is much the same, little sweetness, some wood acidity in the middle with an earthy ashy bitter finish (3-4 out of 10). Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Much better than the piece of crap Viking rauch I had earlier, but thats pretty much a given. 6-4-7-3-13--3.3. RERATE: Batch 109, brewed Nov. 07. Clear copper brown with a 1 1/2 finger light beige head, fair retention. Aroma has a good amount of campfire smoke and beef jerky. There is also some clean caramel malts behind. As it warms, there is a bit of a soapy note, but doesnt really detract too much.The flavor is still pretty smoky, and seems dry (from the smoke) but actually has a fair amount of sweet caramel and lightly sweet toasted malts. There is a light fruitiness that one could possibly say is juniper, though without knowing, I would not have picked it out. Roasty semi-dry finish with bitterness thats around a 3. Highly carbonated with a medium body. I enjoyed this quite a bit more than the last bottle I had. 7-4-8-3-14--3.6

3.4
   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.

3.6
   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 Sams, 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 isnt quite so evident (in either nose or flavor) but theres 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.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
5000 (6862) - 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!


3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
3fourths (9296) - 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.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
TAR (2710) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, 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 thatll ever touch your lips.

3.6
   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 dont 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.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
xmarcnolanx (932) - 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.


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