Category Archives: Country: Norway

Review of Nogne O/Terrapin Imperial Rye Porter

Hello everyone.  I hope all is well.  Thanks for checking back in on another craft beer review.  Today, I’m going to be drinking the Nogne O/Terrapin Imperial Rye Porter produced in a collaboration effort by Nogne O – Det Kompromisslose Bryggeri A/S located in Grimstad, Norway and the Terrapin Beer Company situated in Athens, Georgia.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the Nogne beers I’ve gotten my hands on, however Terrapin is not distributed in my area.  I’ve heard a great deal of positive things about them though, so let’s hope this brew is a good one.

Neither brewers website, nor, had a description of this particular beer, but I was able to find a bit of information from

Imperial Rye Porter is a dark ale with lots of character, brewed by Spike and Kjetil. The best of both worlds!

Ok.  Not much to go on there, so let’s just pour it and see what we have.

This brew came in a 16.9 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 9.0%.

It poured pitch black with a tan colored head.  The crown was very smooth  creamy, soft and frothy with a lot of tightly compacted bubbles.  It was greatly sized with a tremendous retention time.  The lacing was very thick and clingy as well.  Simply a beautiful looking beer.  One of, if not the best looking Porters that I have ever laid my eyes on. That’s one thing I will say about the Nogne beers that I’ve tried.  They all look phenomenal in the glass.

The nose brought forth a solid dose of roasted malts.  Toasted grains and breads intermingled with hints of coffee and dark chocolate.  The spicy rye was light, however it did seem to release a touch of nuttiness with deeper whiffs.  As it warmed it began to uncover a subtle sweetness that one may find in an Oatmeal Stout.  Kind of milky too. As a matter of fact it started to get real milky and creamy as it opened up.  A very, very nice and inviting aroma to say the least.

The taste also presented a creamy/milky sweetness.  Relishes of coffee and bittersweet dark chocolate added a good source of complexity.  Roasty, toasty malts and grains (as to be expected) really hit the spot.  Like the aroma, the rye remained somewhat subdued, although it was easily detected with long sips.  A very, very good taste in my opinion.

The mouthfeel was full bodied.  Thick, chewy, dry, smooth and creamy with just a touch of chalkiness on the swallow.  The carbonation was on the lower side and a slight bit of warmth was felt from the alcohol.  A plethora of flavors were left behind on the palate long after each sip.  

Man.  I thought this was a great beer.  I altogether enjoyed it very much.  This brew would be great for a cool evening that’s for sure.  The drinkability wasn’t bad either.  I had no problem whatsoever in finishing this bottle.  It was a bit thick, but that didn’t deter me.  I kept chugging.  It’s definitely worth a try if you guys haven’t done so already.  I think I’ll probably pick up another bottle or two myself before too long.  So, with that being said, pick up a bottle of the Nogne-O/Terrapin Imperial Rye Porter and see what you think.  If you like Porters I doubt that you will be disappointed.

Thanks for reading everyone.  Don’t be afraid to comment if you would like.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.35 out of 5
Grade:  A 


Review of 8 Wired/Nogne O/Renaissance Brewing "O Is For Awesome"

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying an Imperial Amber Ale called “O Is For Awesome” produced in a collaborative effort by three different brewery’s.  8 Wired Brewing Company and the Renaissance Brewing Company both located in Blenheim, New Zealand and the Nogne O – Det Kompromisslose Bryggeri A/S located in Grimstad, Norway.

If you have a few moments I would suggest checking out each brewery’s website:, and

From the Renaissance Brewing Company’s website, we find this commercial description.

A 3 way collaboration between Norway and New Zealand. Loosely based on a mix of our 3 flagship beers: Stonecutter Scotch Ale, Hopwired IPA and Batch #100.

Let’s sip.  Shall we?

This brew came in a 16.9 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 9.0%.

It poured a deep brown, oxblood color.  The head was light tan, smooth and creamy. The size was decent and the retention time seemed to be sufficient.  The lacing looked alright.  A few patches of foam were left on the sides of the snifter for a good while. Not a bad looking beer.

The nose smelled wonderful.  Hints of sweet caramel and toffee.  Touches of chocolate and cocoa powder as well as a solid dose of toasted wheat bread and other toasted malts.  Well suited piney hops along with a slight hickory nut type of aroma also.  Very well balanced and pleasing on the nose.  I really liked it.

The taste was very gratifying too.  It was almost exactly like the aroma.  Rich caramel and toffee malt intermingled with dry chocolate.  More toasted breads and malts.  The piney hops mix with some earthiness to create a very “round” and “smooth” flavor profile.  A very light taste of alcohol was found, however it only added to the complexity and never became distracting or obtrusive.  Again, very well balanced and very good.

The mouthfeel was medium to full bodied.  Thick, sticky, dry and chewy.  Medium to low carbonation with a nice warmth from the alcohol.  A nice shot of flavor was left on the palate for a good while after each sip.

No doubt about it.  This is a great brew.  Tons of complexity was had to be pondered. It kind of reminded me of an Imperial Stout actually.  It was a bit thick and chewy for a real high drinkability rating, however if you are looking for a sipper that could be best enjoyed on a cool Fall/Winter night, this may be a brew to be tried.  I wish I had picked up another bottle and squirreled it away that’s for sure.  Have you guys ever tried the 8 Wired/Nogne O/Renaissance Brewing “O Is For Awesome” Imperial Amber Ale?  What did you think of it?  If you would like, leave a comment and let me know.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.25 out of 5
Grade:  A-       


Review of Haand Bryggeriet Haandbakk

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Haand Bryggeriet Haandbakk concocted by the Haand Bryggeriet Brewery located in Drammen, Norway.

This bottle is vintage #10 and it was one of only 2,160 produced.

From the website,, 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
Grade:  A       


Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Country: Norway, Haand Bryggeriet

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