2016 Akevitt Barrel-Aged Porter by HaandBryggeriet is a 10% ABV Norwegian Porter aged in Aquavit/ Akevitt Barrels.
Batch 981 Barrel-Aged Porter from HaandBryggeriet from Drammen, Norway members of the Scandinavian Craft Brewers Guild 1pt, 9 oz. 500 ml
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.
I haven’t had this beer in yeeeaaarrrss!! Back then when bourbon barrel aged beers were hard to come by, there was this crazy beer aged in Aquavit/Akevitt which is the traditional Scandinavian drink of yore made since the 15th Century. This brew was bottled back in 2016 so it has sat for about a year. I had recently found it even though back then it was one of the rarest beers to find, especially because not many beers are aged in Aquavit. In fact, I have tasted no other beer ever with this spirit, so yeah, it is pretty damn rare. It is not a hyped beer, in fact it is under hyped but it is still one rarity of a whale. Let’s see how it is, cheers!
Dark fruits, smokey, licorice, anise, fruit cake, dark currant flan, oak, burnt sugar, rock candy, port wine, red wine, funky notes, dark farmhouse hay, tobacco, herbs, black tea, spices, banana, clove spice, brandy, cognac and some dark spicy liqueur or wine which I assume is the Akevitt.
Deep oak, licorice, anise, roasted barley, herbs, spices, dark fruits raisins, figs, prunes, cherries, plums, bananas, clove spice, smokey notes, marshmallow, earthy hops, dark farmhouse hay, mint, black root, black tea, dark chocolate, port wine, rum, bourbon hints, juniper berries, cognac hints, chardonnay, raspberry Chambord, rye bread, leather, tobacco, blueberries, fudge cake, flan, stone fruit apricot, fruit cake, brown sugar, currants, rock candy, peppercorns, brandy notes, wine grape notes, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla and brettanomyces.
Lots of smokey, earthy and cholatey notes lingering for a long time with the nice dark fruit, oak, fruit cake, leather, tobacco, licorice and funky port wine. No alcohol in the taste, pitch black dark body, chewy, smooth, creamy and syrupy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.
An exceptional and unique brew. Much of the rating I give has to do with the special barrel aging and the fact that it reminds me of some of the greats of the world like Ommegang Art of Darkness, Stillwater Folklore, Lost Abbet Serpent Stout aged and even De Struise Brouwers Damnation. However, its uniqueness also shines in this herbal, spicy, muddy, oaky, leathery and dark fruit aspects of the Akevitt which really makes this beer way different. Some flavors which I can make out from the beer but others is really difficult. Regardless, it sits in the bucket list categories for esoteric, dark aged European beers.
Shayla Shayla from El Hazard was used in this pairing as she was use in the previous iteration of this beer. So it was only fitting that she make a return in this one. Some of the funky oaky flavors as well as the herbal and dark flavors can be seen in some of the art work represented by dark skinned and red haired Shayl Shayle on some farm hay. Yes, this was the inspiration.