This bottle is vintage #10 and it was one of only 2,160 produced.
From the website, haandbryggeriet.net, we find an enticing narrative of how the beer was developed in 2006, but I chose to take the description straight from the label of the bottle instead.
The “Hand Brewery” has always been obsessed with the original Scandinavian brew – ale made by farmers – aged in wood, deep, dark, and invariably, naturally, sour. So, when the boys got their famous hands on some wonderful oak barrels, everyone knew what would happen next…
Sounds good. Let’s pour and take a drink.
This beer came in a 16.9 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 8.0%.
It poured a very deep burgundy/oxblood type of color with some nice ruby highlights shimmering at the bottom of the snifter. From a relatively easy pour a very light tan, minimally sized head was formed. It had some fairly large and loose bubbles, but the retention time was adequate enough. The lacing didn’t look too bad either considering the style. In fact, a thin ring of foam was left circling the liquid for the duration.
The aroma was spectacular. Deep, dark sour grapes, black cherries and blackberries. Very tart smelling with hints of oak and wood. Very sweet and rich with just a touch of a vinegary relish. It was very reminiscent of a red wine I thought. Wonderfully balanced and detailed.
The taste announced a nice, pungent sourness and tartness. More fruity goodness of blackberries, dark grapes and back cherries. Again, a little bit of a vinegar savor along with a more prominent stab of oak and wood at the back of the palate. Once the beer settled and opened up I began to notice a very light touch of yeast and bready malt. A very exquisite taste.
The mouthfeel was medium bodied. Extremely dry, and slightly “bitey”. It began sharp, but became quite round and silky smooth as it was allowed to breathe and my palate adjusted. The carbonation was medium to low and just a wee bit of warmth was felt at the back end. An impressive amount of flavor was left behind after each swallow too.
Man, this was a gorgeous beer. A beautiful sour in my opinion and one that shouldn’t be passed up if you have the opportunity to try it. I was surprised at how easy it became to drink as I worked my way through the bottle. I don’t know that I’ve had a sour that was quite like this one. It just had some subtleties that really appealed to my taste buds. Most notably the combination of the wood, vinegar and the tart blackberries. I should pick up another bottle of this at some point this Winter to sip on and enjoy as the fireplace is flickering. So, with that being said, try the Haand Bryggeriet Haandbakk if you can and let me know your thoughts. I’m betting that if you like Sours…. you’ll like this one.
Thanks for reading and commenting everyone. I really appreciate it.
Until next time. Cheers.
Score: 4.3 out of 5