Saturday, June 2, 2012

HaandBryggeriet Barrel-Aged Porter -- FloriBrew Guest Post

Floribrew Mike came back for another guest post today. You probably remember his review of Wild Night Honey Cream Ale back in March. This beer story, however, has some crazy unpronounceable words in it. Thanks a lot, Mike.

Barrel-Aged Porter from HaandBryggeriet

I was recently having a conversation with a bar manager while having a beer, and he asked if I had ever had Haand’s Barrel-Aged Porter. I had never had it and am always up for trying different beers so I ordered one.

His big selling point was that it was aged in Akevitt barrels. I bet you’re wondering what the heck is Akevitt, right? I sure was. I wonder if we can get it locally? Might need to check into that.

I did a little research and found this on the HaandBryggeriet website – “Akevitt is said to be Norway's best kept secret. Akevitt was probably first made around 1500 and the Linie Akevitt first appeared 200 years ago. This spirit is aged in ex sherry barrels and undergo during aging a long sea voyage. Its supposed to cross the line (equator) twice on this voyage. It is customary for the ships to sail to Australia and back.”

The label art on the front of the bottle has some finger prints as if someone was holding the bottle and their hand wrapped around along with an ornate dragon that looks like something off of a Viking flag.

The back of the bottle has this short paragraph discussing the particular beer and the brewery:

“Once, all farmers in Norway made beer. Some also made Akevitt, a spirit flavored with herbs or spices. A shot of Akevitt was traditionally chased with a shot of beer. In a brilliant turn of one-stop-shopping ingenuity, the Haand brewers – four guys making beer in their spare time, on an absurdly small scale – have aged this traditional dark, hearty farm Porter in Akevitt barrels. 8% Batch 356 Total bottles 1080 Barrel-Aged Porter from HaandBryggeriet from Drammen, Norway members of the Scandinavian Craft Brewers Guild 1pt, 9 oz. 500 ml”

This is a BIG, bold beer. I was Surprised that it is only 8%. It has a traditional porter aroma. It poured with virtually no head at all and left a good bit of yeast sludge at bottom of the glass when I was done. This is a very smooth beer with low carbonation levels. There were heavy chocolate flavors notes. Little bit of spice finish on tongue, probably from the Akevitt barrels.

This is a beer that will definitely find its way into my cart if I ever come across it in a store.

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