Ever wanted to drink like a viking? Well good news, there’s a Viking Drinking Horn for you to get your Viking on. Today we review the Drinking Horn by Norse Tradesman. Norse Tradesman is by far not the only supplier of Drinking Horns. There are many choices to choose from and well… let’s just say that some reviews are more favorable than others.
Some of the common problems with most Drinking Horn Mugs seem to be leaking, and smell. The latter part being the biggest concern with most reviewers.
Some even report that certain mugs from certain companies smell strongly of manure and thus impossible to drink from. However, Norse Tradesman Mugs comes with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee so I had nothing to lose.
We did unfortunately have to test the 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, as our mug arrived with a sizable crack in the top (not pictured) and some superficial damage to the bottom portion. Which brings me to the first part of my review. Customer service.
So without any more delay let’s get to the review!
I contacted Norse Tradesman online asking for guidance to how they would like to proceed. I also offered up a photo of the damage. I did however forget to even mention the crack at the top of the
mug. I also had contacted them on a holiday weekend (labor day) and was growing impatient for a reply. It was at this time I noticed that the style mug I had chosen was no longer in stock so a replacement was not a possibility. So much to my behest I decided that refunding the purchase through amazon would be the correct recourse and write the whole thing off as a lose.
I could not have been more wrong. A scant few hours after I requested the refund, Norse Tradesman contacted me and offered apologies for the delay in response as well as explained that due to the natural material used (Ox Horn in this case) and handmade that imperfections can happen.
Keep in mind I had completely forgotten to mention the crack, just the slight damage to the bottom. What’s more they also noticed that my mug (Thor’s Hammer) was no longer in stock and offered a sizable discount for a replacement mug of my choice. It’s one thing to say you offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and another to actually do it. For this I applaud Norse Tradesman. Good job!
So with my faith renewed and truly impressed with the customer service. I did not hesitate to order another one and eagerly awaited the replacement.
Upon opening the box you are presented with a plastic bag and inside that bag you will find a stylized logo branded burlap sack holding the mug. The sack is drawn tight at t
he top with draw strings. This adds a little something extra to your unboxing experience and in my opinion, shows that the company is willing to go the extra mile to make their product unique and an experience from the minute you open the box. The opening experience was fun, and the sack is like a small momento of the occasion after it is
over. This also makes a great gift, presentation wise.
Inside the sack you will find the mug, wrapped in yet another protective plastic bag.
Only one thing Norse Tradesman could have done better here for packaging. Some paper padding inside of the sack would not be a bad idea in my opinion. That aside I moved on to inspecting the new mug.
Norse Tradesman makes their mugs from ethically sourced natural ox horn and boasts a massive 20oz compacity (And that is the smallest one!) of liquid as well. Which of course is perfect for your next pint + head. Each horn is unique to the animal it came from and will not look exactly like the next. We love this idea, as you never know what color or designs might be in your mug. Ours came black with streaks of white and grey, and a touch of copper brown. We were very pleased with the overall aesthetics of the mug.
The mug displays beautifully as a shelf piece as well because of the super high polish that it has. The mug averages a thickness of around 1/4″ and varies only slightly in other parts of the mug, which is to be expected. The style of mug we ordered came with 4 lines hand carved into the mug. You could almost imagine a rugged long bearded viking carving away on his prized vessel while sitting by a roaring fire at night in the cold vastness of Norway. The black plastic bottom was perfectly seated to the mug body with no visible cracks or imperfections and stamped with the company logo with white raised ink.
I was however unexpectedly struck at how light the mug was. It weighs in at a mere 11.3 oz. Which might give one the impression they are holding a plastic mug but the reality is that Natural Horn is unusually light for it’s size.. This is why horn is used in many applications, including knife handles.
So now came the real question. Did it smell? Did it leak?
I plunged my nose directly into the mouth of the mug and inhaled deeply. The mug did not present anything other than a faint smell of the food safe lacquer. Which I am sure, if given time, will eventually dissipate with use. Let’s face it though, we are dealing with all natural horn here. It could smell, and if it had, I would have used the technique sent to me via email from Norse Tradesmen to get rid of the smell. Add some lemon essential oil (or fresh squeezed whole lemons, peels and all) into the mug and leave it overnight. This should remove any lingering odors to a tolerable level.
Next I checked the vessel for any cracks. I carefully inspected every inch of the mug for any major defects and found none. So I proceeded to fill the mug with water to check for leaks. On a side note, some reviewers (of various other brands) have stated that once wet, the smell of manure will emanate from these types of mugs. I am also happy to say that even while wet the Mug did not offer up any strange smells.
I let the water stand in the mug and carefully checked for leaks. The mug did not leak even a small bit.
Norse Tradesman is the kind of company you WISH everyone was like. They stand behind their products and truly believe in customer satisfaction. The Drinking Mug is of great quality and I would not hesitate to recommend one from Norse Tradesman to my viking loving friends. However, my one and only “con” for this mug is that I do wish they would add some protective padding inside the sack to protect the mug.
My only regret? Not buying two when I had the chance. I will certainly be back for another one in the near future.
I would recommend this to my friends
You can find Norse Tradesman’s Viking Drinking Mug at Amazon
You can also find them at the official Norse Tradesman Website
This review is the sole opinion of The Brew Monks and in no way officially endorses or condemns the product(s) or company behind the product. If a product has been received for free it will state so in the review. Your purchase experience may vary.