Norway boasts some spectacular breweries. Tonight I'm trying two new different beers from two different, but very respected breweries.
Let's dive straight in!
It's certainly got a big muddy sediment to it (left in the bottle) and the nose is certainly inviting. Big on the orange and marmalade, quite a bit of toffee, and almost bonfire toffee. You get the impression that, while they may have packed this beer to the rafters with hops, they didn't scrimp on the malts either.
It's a fantastic tasting beer, even after almost a couple of years. Rich sweet caramels, burnt toffees, ripened oranges, pears and apples with a hint of honey coming in. Just enough of a bitter tang in the finish to make you crave the next mouthful, and deservedly so - it's really really good beer.
Anyone can put shed loads of hops in a beer - it's easy. Can you make a beer which doesn't taste like shoes after 3/4 months? That's the mark of a great brewer. I've had a few beers from HaandBryggeriet now, and if you need any advice about them here it goes: See their beers - buy their beers - simples.
The second beer of the night goes to Beer Here's Pumpernickel Porter. This beer's a little confusing. Where's it brewed for one thing? I read on the side; Nogne O, so most probably it's brewed there - by who I still don't know. Secondly it says it's a "Pumpernickel Porter", and in the description, it's called a "Stout brewed with spices added" - I think this may confuse a few people. I lastly got thinking about what Pumpernickel actually is. Is it just a bread or is it a type of spice/grain that you add to make P.bread, I'm not too sure, so I really don't have a clue how you add it to a beer!
Let's just drink it though ey? It's dark, it's 7.5%, and it smells great! It stinks of dry rye bread, or those crispy rye crackers you spread your cheese on - it's really strange. There's a little lactic, burnt malt/burnt toast essence going on in the beer too which reminds you of the Porter/Stout side of things.
It's really good. A thick, smooth and rich mouthfeel. The flavour is instant and intense, but not too overpowering that it would put a lager drinker off. Lots of the flavours that you want, and would expect from a beer like this (or what you would imagine this to be) Dark chocolate, liqourice, burnt coffee, oak, a little smokey whisky, raisins, rye and rye spice. Rye Rye Rye! There's plenty of burnt bitterness in the finish too, making the beer great all rounder.
As they say on the bottle:
"Hops were harmed in the production of this beer"
Go get some beers from Norway. Oh... and you don't need to go to Norway to get them, I got these from Cambridge.