Hot Chocolate - Valkyrie Brewing
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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
2.33/5 rDev -25.1%
Opaque dark chocolate with a thin rim of lighter brown along the bottom edge of the glass. The cap is on the small side, even after an increasingly elevated pour, and is way too brittle to last or to leave much glass coverage. In fact, within minutes there's very little of either one. I'm betting that the cayenne pepper is playing havoc with head retention and lace formation.
The nose is a big improvement on the appearance. Hot Chocolate smells like roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate and vanilla. There's a faint whiff of something unusual, but there's no way that I could have identified it as cayenne pepper without reading the label. It definitely doesn't ruin things.
Oh boy, not good. I was hoping that the spice addition would be on the 'just a dash' side of things like the brewery claims so that the beer would be a lightly peppery, lightly warming stout. Way too much was added though and the resulting heat ruins everything. I'm not having flashbacks to Crazy Ed's Cave Creek Chili Beer, but I'm not happy either.
The shame of it is, there's a pretty good American stout in there somewhere. I don't mind chili pepper, cayenne pepper and the like in those pale summertime brews, but it seems way out of place in a stout. I'll have to give Viking points for originality and for truth in advertising (it is hot and it does taste like chocolate), but this beer is a miserable failure in every other way.
The body/mouthfeel is better than decent. It's easily medium for the style and perhaps even a wee bit more full. It's also supremely smooth and makes a more toward lush. I'll have to knock the score back at least a half point though due to the mucous membrane burn. The heat isn't making my mouth feel very good right now.
Hot Chocolate kinda, sorta sounds like a good idea, but it has to be done just right. Viking has added way too much cayenne pepper and has ruined things as a result. Frankly, this beer is a mess and is a new low point for a brewery that struggles to provide high points on any given day.
10-07-2006 19:47:35 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.88/5 rDev +24.8%
Thanks to fellow BA Roger for sharing this bottle with me,poured deep and dark but not quite opaque with a thinner mocha colored head.A bit of pepper spice and bitter chocolate in the nose but the aromas are on the lighter side,I like the flavors of this beer alot more than most I think it starts out roasted with bitter chocolate tones melding into a big spicey finish and I mean its pretty spicey.Hey I liked it it delivered a good combination of flavors and packed a kick,I would drink again.
05-05-2008 21:32:33 | More by oberon
3.95/5 rDev +27%
A finger of mocha foam tops off this chile beer. Black body, head doesn't stick around forever, similar to Viking's other stouty beers. Rich chocolate aroma, slightly lactic, some funky chile aroma.
Sweet and dense chocolate flavors, with a building peppery cayenne spice in the finish. Well integrated, the chile isn't too intense, more akin to adding a pinch of pepper to liven up a dish. The mouthfeel is slightly thin, slightly dunkel-ish, but this can be overlooked due to the tasty flavor. Overall I like this, and would drink a couple at a time. This is great stuff if you like a little chile heat in your cocoa. Points for creativity...chiles and chocolate isn't that big of a stretch really.
12-15-2008 02:24:10 | More by emerge077
2.8/5 rDev -10%
Deep, impenetrable black color, tiny, soon disappearing head, dwindles to a ring of cocoa-brown bubbles on the edge of the glass.
Aroma: chocolate and pepper, as advertised. Rich, cocoa-powder, with hits of peppery heat.
Taste: bleuhhh!!! Weird as it sounds, chocolate and pepper, what are they doing together here? Not tasting very good. A mushy, dark cocoa feel, swiftly invaded by cayenne pepper, messing about the mouth, and then they drift off the palate in a blink. Halfway through, it gets more palateful, but the pepper heat gets stronger as well. Sticks longer in the mouth as well.
This is a daredevil's beer. Get together with your drinking buddies, buy a bunch of these, and see how many you can put away before your stomach starts to rot.
Another weird idea from Viking, bafflingly executed.
01-19-2005 02:29:45 | More by feloniousmonk
2.68/5 rDev -13.8%
Pours a two finger dark brown head that fades instantly leaving no lace. Black color. Faint carbonation and heavy bodied. Chocolate nose. Roasted chocolate flavor, smooth with some bite but no noticeable cayenne pepper - broken down by the yeast?? $1.59 for a 12oz bottle from Blue Max Liquor Burnsville, Mn.
07-03-2006 22:20:25 | More by jdhilt
3/5 rDev -3.5%
Some typical Viking attributes... Barely a pop when I open the bottle. Nary a head forms even with a vigorous pour. And some of the same types of musty yeasty aromas are present.
This headless, black beer leaves no lace. The aroma is more cocoa than chile. The flavor, however, is more chile than cocoa. A lot more chile. This one is hot. Damn. It lingers. It's an interesting brew, but not one I'd revisit anytime soon. Just not my kind of beer.
12-19-2004 06:11:10 | More by Bighuge
1.4/5 rDev -55%
This was, quite frankly, the worst beer I have ever had. Definately not my cup of tea(or hot chocolate, if you will). Blechhck! I'm not sure where to begin. When I first heard of this I thought it would be interesting and worth a try. But its all wrong for my palate. Very wrong.
The color is a besmirched blackened brown muddy thing that pours very thin and without much head or carbonation. Aroma has weakened cocoa-like nuttyness with a small hint to the cayenne. Oh, but the flavor does not mistake where the cayenne is. Its smack dab in your face and absolutely disgusting. I can't imagine the look on my face I must of had after the first sip. I must of looked like I was poisined or something. I nearly gagged it was that bad for me. Its suppose to be a chocolate stout with cayenne seasoning, not cayenne bludgeoning. The chocolate is nearly invisible, and what is detetced is very artificial and stale. It doesn't help that it nearly does nothing but sit like water. The body is super thin and weak and all I get is a bunch of nasty cayenne that never fits. Yuk, yuk, yuk! Viking? What the hell are you doing to me? I so enjoy a couple of their beers, but this, along with countless others, are just soooo out there that its time to do a reality check and get back to the basics of making a finely crafted brew, not some basement science project gone horribly wrong that will rise up to destroy its maker.
01-28-2005 21:08:27 | More by tavernjef
4.08/5 rDev +31.2%
I like this beer! There's a smoothness to it that is nicely contrasted with the peppery hottness of the cayenne. Also the maltiness. Really, I like the way this turned out. A bit of a problem with head retention and lace, but wth. Nice n dark, very chocolatey, silky. Nice finish.
02-18-2008 04:14:00 | More by drpimento
3.35/5 rDev +7.7%
Appropriately enough, this pitches an opague chocolate brown fluid. Nearly uncarbonated, and only a patchy brown skim exists. Another description might be "cola-hued sod".
Milk chocolate and burnt grain nose. Underpinned with charred wood.
Begins with coffee grounds and milk chocolate. Templatic stout stuff here. All burnt grain and cocoa. Lightly woody as it progresses. Viking's swamp-mud yeastiness arises, bringing earthen hues of moss, decomposing bark, and mushrooms.
With cayenne so proudly touted on the label, it's head scratching for a second: Where are they?
Oh, there they are. They loiter at the opening of the throat, and burn, just a little. It's not the M-80 blast of some pepper beer, just glimmering sparkler.
The typical undercarbonation of Viking's brew is not an Achilles' heel here, but a general lack of bulk is.
This could have been atrocious....and I actually expected that it would be. It's not. It's all about the gimmick, but as an "experience beer", it's not all bad. In all reality, aside from its lack of body, this is probably pulled off as well as it could have been.
One is probably enough, though.
04-09-2005 06:44:09 | More by cokes
3.05/5 rDev -1.9%
I usually always give good scores for appearance so this is the exception. It looks piss poor, no head, particulate-laden brown swamp. It smells like chocolate and chile powder. The taste is cocoa powder and pepper. Its not gross but I don't really care for the pairing of chocolate and pepper.
01-28-2009 03:01:26 | More by ArrogantB
2.85/5 rDev -8.4%
Dark chocolate black with a bubbly, quickly-disappearing cocoa brown head. Syrupy chocolate sweetness, cocoa powder (baking), backed by roastedness and nostril-burning heat. Im not kidding. Weird. Sweet chocolate milk sweetness. Like a sweet stout. Light roastedness. A strange hot, spiciness descends into the finish. Chili mixed with chocolate, eh? Weird but not as bad as I expected. Full-bodied, with a syrupy, cloying feel. Light carbonation. All add up for an odd feel. Not for mass consumption.
03-03-2006 00:59:13 | More by alexgash
1.75/5 rDev -43.7%
Picked this up while I was traveling through WI. I had never heard of Viking before, but I love chocolate stouts, and I love hot peppers... so I was very excited to try this.
A: Pours a lifeless murky brown with zero head. There appears to be floaties... pretty much looks like muddy water
S: yikes... the front is all diacetyl, some tootsie roll chocolate quality and a little bit of zing from the cayenne
T: again, lots of off flavors in the front. Diacetyl, artificial chocolate, and a very unpleasant burn from the pepper that leaves tingling on the throat. Needless to say... this one is not living up to my expectations. Nearly a drain pour.
MF: low carbonation, medium body
D: not good... at all.. I thought perhaps I got a bad bottle, but given the other poor reviews, I don't think that is the case. This may be one of the worst beers I have ever had. I guess there is a reason why this brewery stays below the radar here on BA. Let's just hope the Swedish imperial stout is a little better.
12-31-2009 02:56:13 | More by homebrew311
2.65/5 rDev -14.8%
12 oz bottle. This one pours a deep brown color, bordering on black, with a very small head that leaves only small wisps over top. No bubbles appear to be working their way to the surface on this one. Aroma is pretty well all cocoa. Comes across pretty lifeless and could definately use some more to it. Flavor is right there with the cocoa, but this fades to a nice coffee and chocolate finish. On the second sip, I start to get the pepper on this one. It gives an itial tingle of heat and pepper flavor. The heat hits the back of my throat and my stomach as a pretty harsh burn. After two sips, the pepper flavor is really all that I am getting from this one. Not really enjoy it. Mouthfeel is a thin moderate with an absence of carbonation. I'm not enjoying the burning sensation in my esophagus and stomach. I just don't think this is an enjoyable beer.
05-11-2006 01:29:19 | More by kmpitz2
3.63/5 rDev +16.7%
Smells like hot chocolate. Poured with a porter like look and held some porter aroma's of malt.
Little to no head upon pour and anything there left immediately. Quite a bit of sediment on bottom of bottle that floated in the glass.
Porter chocolate flavor up front that is really quite nice (little sweetness, little chocolate). In a bit the hot pepper kick in, but maybe cuz' this bottle is a bit old it's not too intense, in fact it's not bad. Rather long hotness from pepper in the end, but it blends with the malt. A slight touch of oxidation (from age I assume).
Moderate feel and carbonated mildly.
Drinks fine as long as the pepper isn't too sharp.
This is better than I expected. Not great, but decent and interesting. It went just fine with my taco salad.
03-20-2009 17:34:06 | More by garymuchow
2.7/5 rDev -13.2%
This brew comes in a sixpack rather than the typical large bottle, kind of unfortunate in that its not the most drinkable brew from a brewery with a lot of odd entries anyway. A "chocolate stout" with cayenne seasoning. Dark pour, head is middling and leaving just traces of lace. Aroma is lighlty malty, some buttery tones and traces of the cayenne pepper. Mouthfeel is light and the carbonation underdone, and the flavor just doesn't get a lot of foothold in the chocolate arena before the pepper becomes very hot and dominates the beer. Lingering aftertaste. Not the most strident chile beer, maybe a different idea than others, and it is an interesting transition. Now I have five more and I can't think of other occasions I'd want to consume them.
12-10-2004 16:12:20 | More by ADR
1.73/5 rDev -44.4%
Pours a dark, opaque brown, with lots of yeast clumpies floating around, and what looks like the bottom of a cup of hot chocolate on the inside of the bottle. No head. I really mean that, not a trace of head. Smell is of chocolate, maybe a little chili spice, but maybe it is just me trying to place it there. TASTE IS TERRIBLE. The cocoa flavors do not mix well with the chili, giving it a smokey/ashtray flavor. This reminds me of the flavor in your mouth after vomiting (the acidity). I love hot food, put tabasco on a minimum of 2 meals a day, however this absolutely abhorred. Not good at all. Oh yeah, and the mouthfeel has lackluster carbonation. Blechl.
07-21-2005 00:18:42 | More by TastyTaste
2.55/5 rDev -18%
Picked this one up on a trip to Madison. Pours from the stubby 12oz bottle into my tulip glass a deep black color with a small tan head that quickly falls to a ring. Lots of scrod chunkers on the bottom of the glass. Aromas are really quite odd. Burnt chocolate with a powdery lactic twang. Some vanilla, caramel and a hint of peppery spiciness. Can't say I enjoy smelling this one myself.
First sip brings a mild burnt cocoa maltiness that follows with some heat tingling in the mouth from the cayenne peppers. Lactic twang is there again with only a hint of vanilla. Halfway through the glass it begins to burn the back of the throat a bit. Don't get me wrong, I love hot peppers and food, but this combination is really just not good. The rest of the glass with meet its demise in the sink.
Mouthfeel is quite light with really mellow carbonation. Almost seems still in the glass halfway through. This is not a chile beer that I'll be picking up again. This one didn't do it for me at all...maybe you'll have a different opinion!
07-06-2006 02:44:10 | More by orbitalr0x
3.1/5 rDev -0.3%
Dark, muddy brown. Almost no head. Roasty, irish dry stout aroma, with a bit more of a dry, baker's chocolate presence. Doughy yeast. Maybe a little bit of a spiciness, but the aroma is weak and hard to gather. The pepper comes through more and more the further down the glass i get. The flavor starts out mild and very cocoa chocolatey. Very much like a mocha coffe with steamed milk. Nice enough. Pretty one dimensional, then there's a very unusual spiciness in the ass-end of the finish, followed by a touch of actual spicy, hot pepper heat. I can definitely say I've never had this in a beer before. The yeast presence creates a familiar, amazingly convincing chocolate chip cookie flavor, when coupled with the malt. The pepper sits in my stomach with a dull tingle in the back of my throat. I'm not sure I like this kind of heat in a beer. I don't care too much for it in food, either. Pepper isn't my thing. Sign me up for wasabi, horseradish or curry. Well, I wouldn't want to find those in a beer either.
Interesting, but I can't help but imagine this one was dreamt up just to call a beer "hot chocolate." In mexican cuisine, pepper and chocolate goes together well (mole), but it's perhaps a little too unusual for me. The pepper is good, but the stout aspect could use some work. Very simplistic, pretty much just chocolate without any complexity. Maybe if this were a bit drier or more robust, the flavors would seem more complex. The malt's so milquetoast that the pepper feels out of place.
Thanks for the bottle, Jim? :)
05-19-2006 07:11:08 | More by UnionMade
2.13/5 rDev -31.5%
As I start to pour the beer I get about one inch of beer in my pint glass and it foams up like a volcano and blasts out of my pint onto the floor. Luckily I was standing next to the sink so most of the geiser went down the drain. I give it a minute and try again. FUCK! Same thing. So after some serious care I have about six ounces of beer left. It's black as night with no head or lace.
The aroma is rather nice. I wasn't anticipating something good after the pour. Rich coffee and smoked malt. Hints of chocolate and the cayanne is definitely lurking in there.
The flavor is a solid amount of coffee and hints of dark chocolate. A touch of camp fire and then the pepper. Damn the pepper. This beer is has the second most heat I've ever tasted. The heat title goes to Cave Creek. The pepper just over powers everything.
The body is a total dissapointment as well. Not that I'm surprised after the pour. Thin and way over carbonated. It's more like coke than beer.
Overall except for the aroma this beer is a complete FAIL. I'm hoping it was a bad bottle. I will have to talk to the guys at Viking about this one.
06-26-2010 00:57:46 | More by beerwolf77
2.58/5 rDev -17%
Heartburn in a bottle. Looks ok. No head to speak of but its really dark, Im mean truly impenetrably dark. Thats cool. Smells pretty decent, like peppers and chocolate. The taste, however, bleigh!!! Typically Viking yeast and barley flavors with plenty of nice, well hot chocolate flavors. Too bad the pepper is misplaced, unbalanced, and nearly undrinkable. Im not saying that this beer is all that hot. Its not. I just dont like the particular pepper that they used. I dont care for the flavor and boy did they ever use a lot of it. You can see pepper flakes floating around in there, tons of the stuff. Body is way too light. This seems connected to the head thing. Carbonation is minimal and the beer seems watered down. I really like Viking brewery, especially their experimental stuff but this one misses the mark by yards.
03-20-2006 02:28:53 | More by DaPeculierDane
4/5 rDev +28.6%
Pours black with a dark brown head. Aroma consists of cocoa powder, chocolate malt, caramel, toffee and some vinous notes. Medium in body. Dark chocolate malt dominates the flavor profile. It's not bitter though. Rich chocolate midway almost reminds me of Devil's Food cake, but not as sweet. Pepper heat really hits you in the back of the throat and lingers into the finish for a few seconds. As such, it warms the back and roof of your mouth. I really like this as a winter offering.
06-23-2009 20:15:32 | More by Winter
Hot Chocolate from Valkyrie Brewing
74 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.