Friday, October 25, 2013

HaandBryggeriet Barrel-Aged Porter (6/10)

HaandBryggeriet Barrel-Aged Porter is made in Drammen, Norway.  The barrels used to age this porter are the same ones used to age Aquavit, a spirit flavored with herbs and spices.  Traditionally, Norwegians drink a shot of Aquavit followed by a drink of beer to wash it down.  The label says that "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 Aquavit barrels."

The initial pour of this syrupy thick porter into the glass generated almost nothing but creamy milkshake-like foam.  It took a couple of minutes for the foam to condense back into beer so that I could fill the rest of the glass.  It still retained a very healthy head after that.

It is a practically pitch-black beer with a light brown head.  The aroma hints at chocolate, florals, and a bit of anise or something similar to that.  Mouth feel is creamy and thick.

I've never had Aquavit, so I didn't know what to expect.  The main aromatic and flavor component I detected was anise (or the main flavor in black licorice) and a hint of orange.  After tasting the beer, I looked up information on the flavor of Aquavit.  According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, "Various aromatic flavourings are employed, usually including caraway or cumin seed; lemon or orange peel, cardamom, aniseed, and fennel also may be used."

It's an interesting beer.  I like it, but don't love it.  I'm giving it a 6/10.  The Beer Advocate visitors rate it 89 or "good".

It can be found in Columbus at Ale Wine & Spirits of Powell.

ABV:  8%
IBU:  unknown, but probably below 30
My Rating: 6/10

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