In all praises on various beer blogs for Norwegian craft brewers like Nøgne Ø, Ægir and Kinn, we must not forget Haandbryggeriet. The Drammen based brewery has several interesting beers on the market, and some of them are very innovative.
As I read the label, Southern Cross India Pale Ale looked like a winner to me. After tasting it I am not that sure. The beer is cloudy and nearly golden in the glass. Although it has been in the fridge for a week, it has an extreme amount of carbonation. As you can see from the photograph, there is not room for all the beer in a half litre wheat beer glass.
In the nose there are hops and scents of pepper. It has a bitter taste with a touch of pepper, but it lacks the fruity notes as mentioned on the beer label. The finish is hoppy and bitter. It is a nice IPA, but give me a pint of for instance Ægir IPA from bottle any day. It is better and much more fruity than this effort from Haandbryggeriet.
Haandbryggeriet's Dark Force is marketed as a wheat stout. In the glass this is a nearly black beer with as good as no carbonation nor head. In the nose I feel dark chocolate and some sweetness. The taste is more interesting, as I feel both dark chocolate, some coffee and a touch of mints. The finish is semi bitter with cold coffee taking the lead. Dark Force is a great beer, and it is one of the best I have tried from Haandbryggeriet.
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