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Valhalla - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
ValhallaValhalla

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BA SCORE
86
very good

40 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 40
Hads: 151
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 5.73%
Wants: 11
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: olympuszymurgus on 01-13-2010

From their menu: "It's thirsty work crossing the rainbow bridge! Fill your horn with the hoppy pagan red ale of pale, Special B and just a pinch of roasted barley, bittered with Sorachi Ace and finished with rare Citra hops. Starting gravity 17.1° plato (1.069), alcohol 5.65% by weight, 6.75% by volume."
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 40 | Hads: 151
Photo of LambicPentameter
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing from my notes after drinking this one on December 1st, 2013. Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bomber with no dating to be found on the bottle to indicate when it was packaged or when it's best enjoyed by. That said, this is a seasonal release that I believe comes around in October-ish, so it's probably 2-3 months old. Poured into a Speigelau IPA glass.

Appearance - Pours a deep tawny amber with rust colored highlights. Given the fact that the hue is rather dark, it's hard to tell, but it looks pretty translucent--no haze or cloudiness to speak of. Atop the body sits an apologetic off-white head with some frothiness, about a finger (or less) thick. Retention is alright, as the foam begins receding immediately, leaving a film across the surface and sparse lacing.

Smell - Heavy caramel smells dominate the nose, with rich burnt caramel and roasted barley leading the way and overpowering the remnants of what might have been a more aggressive presence of fruity hops when this beer was fresher. That said, there are still accents of peach and guava lurking behind the more overt aromas from the grain.

Taste - The grain again is front and center, with classic amber ale flavor profiles--caramel and toasted malt with hints of toffee and some nuttiness along with complementary notes of citrus, stone fruit and guava, as well as some decent herbal hop bitterness, reminiscent of pine.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and moderate carbonation, with some crispness and a slightly sweet finish.

Overall, a pretty tasty beer that would be an outstanding amber ale, but is just an alright IPA. It's hard to say how much age plays a role, because I can tell it's not terribly old--no overt signs of oxidation or that distinctive overly-malted characteristic that comes from an IPA that tastes old. That said, the hoppy fruit profiles just aren't as bright as I might've expected. (1,886 characters)

Photo of JCarey
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Didn't get the chance to see the Elysian booth at AC Beer fest so I picked up a bomber afterwards.

Pours a clean dark amber with minimal head. It does leave a cap and some thin lacing.

Big and sweet on the nose. Bready. Some yeast. And...hops. Not dank or piney.

Taste is sweet. Almost a bit too sweet for me. I feel like the hops take a backseat to the base beer. There is a nice bitterness, but its not too balanced. A lot of citrus.

Mouth feel is quite a but thinner than I expected. Slightly undercarbed.

Overall a decent IPA with a twist. Though with the amount of sweetness they could boost the ABV and hops and make this an IIPA easily, and frankly, I think this would be stellar as a IIPA. (702 characters)

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a lightly hazed copper-amber color with a one finger of just off white head. The head fades over a time span of about 2 min. leaving some bit of foamy lace behind on the sides of the glass.

Smell – A blend of a caramel sweetness and a good showing of a more bready nature are largest in the smell. A rather strong hop aroma is there as well with aromas of a grapefruit and slightly herbal nature being the strongest and just a hint of an earthy smell lurking in the background.

Taste – The taste begins somewhat like what may have been expected from the nose, but slightly skewed. It begins with a rather strong caramel sweetness with a smooth bready taste more so then the nose would have suggested. The hop flavors are on the other side of the skew however with them being lighter than the nose would have suggested. The hop flavors start out almost entirely of a grapefruit taste with that later being joined by some lighter grassy and pine flavors coming to the tongue. A little bit of a tangerine sweetness as well as a tiny bit of yeast taste joins the flavor at the end, leaving one with a rather sweet and moderately, but lighter than the nose would suggest, hop flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. For the sweet and bready flavors of the brew the thicker and creamier body are nice for creating a chewier feel overall, all while still managing to uphold the hop flavors of the brew and making them shine a bit as well.

Overall – A rather sweeter and somewhat lighter hopped IPA with a rather nice chewy feel. This was a rather enjoyable drinker with lots of malt bill but yet balanced some by the moderate hop. (1,827 characters)

Photo of Nerudamann
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - reddish amber color, thick, with almost no head retention (at least with my pour, I might have had a bad pour...or it might be too cold?).

Smell - pretty good mix between malts and hops. The hop smell in particular is interesting, possibly because I'm not sure that I've smelled or tasted these hops before.

Taste - much like the smell, but with an interesting acetyl type of taste toward the middle of the tasting, but that's very quickly taken over by the wallop of the hops' taste and bitterness. The bitterness isn't too long lasting. Rather, it leaves you with a slightly present feel of the hops on the palate.

Mouthfeel - medium in body...not too creamy and not to thin.

Overall - a very interesting-tasting beer that I am very glad that I picked up and tasted. (821 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On-tap at Augurs Well, New York, NY

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that died down and left a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose—oranges seem to stand out in particular.
T: Much like the smell, the taste has flavors of orange along with notes of grapefruit. The hops contribute a light to moderate amount of bitterness that is mostly noticeable in the finish. Hints of alcohol are also noticeable in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a nice citrusy IPA, although the alcohol seems to get in the way of the taste as the beer warms up. (817 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This beer is a reddish, clear beer. It has an off white soapy head. The smell is clean and hoppy. Scents of grapefruit an fresh cracked pepper are notable. The taste is spicy and sweet. Balanced. Lots of American hops in the finish. Full body. This is a fine brew. (264 characters)

Photo of ADZA
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber hue with a creamy three finger head and beautiful clingy lacing I like its look,the smell is citrus hoppy mixed with a big caramel malt backbone and its simple but it works,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated and from first taste I know I want more of this it's hoppy with hints of citrus,lime,a touch of stonefruit only broken up slightly with a touch of sweet caramel and the finish is a floral hoppy bitterness and overall it's not a total hop bomb but is beautifully balanced and so sessionable that even this big bottle will leave me wanting more and yes I'll be back for this one cheers. (628 characters)

Photo of EBeckett3
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- red-amber with white head & excellent laces
S - sweet malt, slight citrus, tempting
T - hoppy, hoppy, hoppy - bitter with slight sweetness, crisp bitter almost sour finish
M- medium bodied, crisp finish left just a tinge of bitter on the tongue
O- if you love hops (esp. citra) then punch the clock - very drinkable & good with spicy food (had calamri w peppers on the second round)

Poured into a 16 oz pint glass at the Pourhouse in Westmont, NJ (450 characters)

Photo of draheim
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz into a tulip. Pours a deep ruby amber w/ a 1-finger beige head.

Aroma is sweet malt and juicy, citrusy hops. Smells clean and bright.

Taste is likewise a blend of sweet and hoppy/bitter. Lots of grapefruit rind and tangerine. Finishes sharply bitter.

Mouthfeel is crisp and medium-bodied, crisp finish.

Overall a really nice, drinkable beer. Would gladly have this again. (380 characters)

Photo of griffinn
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, almost opaque amber-cinnamon color; looks syrupy/sticky. Thin head that reminds me of the skin you get when you heat up honey. Lacing deteriorates slowly.

S: Hoppy but not really fruity. Clean smelling. Smells boozy.

T: More bitter than I expected, managing to just overpower all other flavors. Definite cloying, lingering sweetness after the initial hit. Strong malt flavor, but fruit flavors seem indistinct. Overall simple bitterness is the dominant taste.

M: Resiny, syrupy, clingy. The alcohol bites you a little bit, more than I expected from 7.5% ABV.

O: Eccentric. A good effort, if a little unrefined - the hop and malt flavors seem to clash instead of blend. I've never heard of a "red IPA," so this was an interesting try. Glad I picked it up, but I'll probably try something else next time. (815 characters)

Photo of wl0307
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Coming in a 650ml bomber brown bottle, bottle-conditioned; production date 15/02/2013, served gently chilled in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a dark orangey amber colour with very light haze, a thick and well-lasting foamy beige head, and very fine carbonation.
S: rather intense pear-ish fruit-esters and candy-ish pale malts present upfront, coupled with sweet citric aroma, sweet flowery or lychee-ish hops, and some notes of overripe melons; given a swirl, the nice and perfumy resinous lychees and green melon-ish hoppiness come to the surface, but always against a thick bedrock of intensive pale malts.
T: lightly sweet malty upfront, paired with a very focused resinous hoppy flavour of lightly spicy and also richly citric/grapefruit-zesty hops, a pleasant level of yeasty acidity, and just a healthy dose of pale-coloured malts as a balancer, rendered pretty dry and bitter by the good level of bitterness all the way through to the lightly-tannic, considerably bitter and slightly slick finish. In the long end the alcoholic feel secretly creeps up, but never in an assertive manner. Given the dry-ish mouthfeel prevailing from the mid-taste onwards, the attenuation in the end doesn't feel as high as I first thought it would be, where the concentration of malt sweetness and esters seem to contribute a somewhat… “focused” and “substantive” feel on the palate… (does this description make sense?)
M&O: the mouthfeel stays wonderfully soft and nicely carbonated, the body full-ish without being thick, and the flavour profile comes rather balanced as far as I’m concerned. All in all, compared with other “Red” IPAs I’ve tried, this one stays actually much close to one’s typical American IPA or DIPA, where the hops dance elegantly on top of a decent malt backbone with just enough esters to add to the complexities. A very nice, even drinkable, one, to me. (1,904 characters)

Photo of emyers
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a Dogfish Head IPA glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy medium amber color (not quite as "red" as I was expecting given the name) with a huge, 2 inch white head.

Smell: Citrus hops, some lemon zest and spice, and a healthy dose of caramel malt. I'm not getting the big tropical fruit punch that I usually love about citra hops. I feel like the malt may be to blame - while I'm normally a big fan of balance in my IPA's, in this one the malt seems like it's getting in the way a bit. Still a lot of good things going on with the hop profile.

Taste: That's more like it! The interaction between the malt and hops works much better here. Balanced very nicely between the citrus, grass, lemon zest, and tropical fruit (which I'm very pleased to see sneak in here) from the hops and the caramel and toast from the malt. Perfect amount of bittering hops on the finish. Very well done.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied. Bittering hops dry out the palate on the finish. Medium to high carbonation adds to the crisp bite on the finish.

Overall: Well-made beer. While the malt and hops clash a little in the nose, they meld beautifully in the taste. (1,168 characters)

Photo of Smurf2055
2.76/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

On tap at Naked City.

Pours dark orange with a decent carbonation.

Smells spicy and bitter, somewhat like Arrogant Bastard.

Taste is along the same lines, malty and bitter.

Crisp but kind of hard to drink, but not my thing. Sort of a let down with a name like Valhalla, one of the few Elysian has put out that I didn't like (331 characters)

Photo of LordChesterfield
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is exactly what it sounds like. It is slightly red in appearance and has all the great qualities of a red ale and an IPA together at last. The flavor is not particularly complex but has deep notes of a red ale malt with the extra bitterness of an IPA. There don't seem to be any floral characteristics and you can definitely taste the alcohol at 7.5% which I consider to be a fault. It's quite sessionable and coming in 20oz pints can be quite intoxicating. I enjoy it but only drink it when nothing else is available. It's not interesting enough or delicious enough for me to order on a regular basis. (607 characters)

Photo of sam_bliss
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into glass

Hazy red-orange buried under a thick bubbling frothy orange-cream head that sticks around for a while. As it dissipates at a geologically slow pace, splotchy foam lacing is left on the side of the glass. Satsuma and tangerine scents lend sweetness to the fresh, hoppy aroma. The clean smell of pale malts reminds me almost of pilsner malt.
The taste starts with some stone fruit and a smidgen of roasted, unmated barley. Some creaminess balances the puckering Sirachi Ace hops that present their lemony bitterness halfway into the experience and don't relent until well after the swallow. The dark Special B malt touted by the bottle description provides some prune-like caramelized sweetness that keeps the bitter fruitiness of the Citra hops in check. The body is a bit fuller than the average India Pale.

The malt mix adds some redness to the pale malts but this Red IPA is much more IPA than Red. I kind of expected these exciting hop flavors from Elysian.

Valhalla has a lot more going on than most American Ambers, especially as far as fruit-balanced bitterness goes. If you like Torpedo of Sierra Nevada this is something to try out. I am not a big fan of Ninkasi's Believer Double Red, but if that had more malt, body, and flavor, it would be Elysian's Valhalla. (1,294 characters)

Photo of T-Luv
2.11/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 1.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

A- a mellow amber glow does not a "red" make. Also, the sediment was a bit much for me. There was too much dead yeast at the bottom of my nonic that I couldn't finish.
S- nothing to exciting. A bit of citra hop aroma, nothing special.
T- despite the other shortcomings, it tasted pretty great, which is all that matters right? Very balanced. Quite dry with a little fruitiness.
M- very creamy for the style, which I didn't mind at first, but again, the sediment just got to me on this one.
Overall, an ok beer, but ultimately another disappointing offering from this brewery. (575 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in straight pint glass. If you're gonna call a beer a "Red IPA" I'd expect it to be red, not the typical orange-amber so common in the style. The beer had less than 1/4 inch of white head that that had moderate retention and light lacing.

The aroma was a nice blast of citrusy hops, with just a slight hint of malt in the background. There may have been a touch of floral notes, but I wasn't quite sure. Again, citrusy hops dominated the tongue, but there was a malt smoothness at the back that wasn't apparent on the nose. That slight suggestion of floral tones was also there.

The body was the typical medium of the style, and enjoyable. Drinkability was good, I'd certainly drink a few more of these. Overall, a pretty nice take on the style. Red, this brew is not. Tasty, it certainly is. Worth your time when you see it. (834 characters)

Photo of beergoot
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Medium amber colored body with a thick, chunky white head. Vibrant pine aroma; spicy. Bold malt sweetness combined with an equally prominent hop bitterness. Medium bodied, thick and chewy; syrupy.

A nice, bold IPA. Heavy presence with the malt and hops with the alcohol noticeable but definitely taking a background role (taste-wise). Try one if a wild and crazy IPA is what you're looking for. (395 characters)

Photo of hreb
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Elysian's Fall entry in their Manic IPA series, Valhalla Red IPA, pours with a huge yeasty and flowery aroma. For a "red" IPA the beer is surprisingly hazy and pale orange. Flavor is totally crisp with big alpha hops and a super dry aftertaste. While I love the aroma, the bitterness is a little harsh for my tastes. Still, the hop profile is pretty unique (Sorachi Ace and Citra, according to the label), so hardcore hopheads will probably find this more enjoyable. For me, probably my least favorite of the Manic IPA series. (526 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks again to Eric for sharing these 3 Elysian hoppy offerings with me. I enjoyed this one the most. Poured into a tulip, the brew appears a a hazed copper color with 2 fingers worth of yellowish froth. A solid display of retention to the cap with a webby pattern of lace falling down the wall.

The smell is fruity and bright with a clean hop and alcohol inclusion that blends together nicely with suggestions of rinds, earth, herbs, pith and zest. Pretty much all the citrus-like hop inclusion one could ask for in a standard smelling hoppy brew.

The flavor reiterates the nose with characteristcis of herbs and bright zesty rind components. It gets a bit catty as more sips are taken with some fruit elements like grapefruit being noticed in the aftertaste.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Overall a pretty decent brew that I wouldnt mind having again sometime. Of the 3 hoppy elysian brews i got to try, I enjoyed this one the most. Thanks again Eric. (993 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

great amber ale. drinks like an amber and an ipa. caramel and toasty readiness. piney and citrus rind bitterness. balance is impeccable and the beer is extremely drinkable. medium mouthful, coats the back of the tongue, faintly slick mouthful . big hop presence throughout (272 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a reddish amber color with a two finger head. Mild lace develops during the session.

Smell: caramel and fruit sweetness rises to the nose

Taste: caramel, bready malt, ripe fruit, and a decent bitterness creates a well balanced ale.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Light crispness at the start, smoother and a bit dry at the finish.

Overall: a slower sipping beer but has a refreshing quality to it. This red ale has a nice bitterness that makes it interesting. (482 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
4.24/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a beer that treads the line between IPA and red ale. The citrus hops ( the Sorachi is a big part) really add a big freshness to the proceedings while the malt hods it down. There is a bitterness to the finish but the beer seems quite balanced. (251 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.36/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy, dark golden orange color with tangerine edges and a two finger yellowish beige head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Streaks and chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Floral, citrus hop aroma with resinous pine and a sweet malt presence. Hints of grass and sticky pine needle along with citrus and tropical fruit notes, notably grapefruit, mango and orange peel. Underneath, there some sweet caramel malt as well as hints of toffee, biscuit and hazelnut. Malts stronger than expected in the nose but they don't really interfere with the hops too much.

Medium bodies with a crisp, bitter hop bite that provides some earthy dryness which lingers over the citrus and sweet malts into a dry finish. Not as complex as the nose suggests with dry, sticky hops and only subtle citrus/tropical fruit notes. Grassy with bitter pine needle and minimal grapefruit and orange peel flavor. Also, the malt backbone is stronger than the nose would have you believe with hints of caramel, toffee and hazelnut. Faint roasted presence as well the dominant flavor is still hop bitterness. Decently balanced but the hop profile is a bit one dimensional and the malt flavors are a bit strong for my liking. (1,229 characters)

Photo of Profchaos20
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, served in a tulip.

A - Pours a hazy amber with some orange hues, attractive looking beer. A two finger fluffy white head, that leaves tons of lacing and some chucks of foam along the side of the glass.

S - Citrus and mango hops pop and dominate the nose, lots of grapefruit. Smells awesome to a hop head like me. Notes of orange, pine, and resin.

T - Sweet malts upfront, citrus and grapefruit in the middle, finishes with some bitterness at the end. Not as bitter as would be expected from the aroma. Mango and orange notes, bitterness lingers on the palate.

M - Medium body, medium to low carbonation, pretty smooth.

O - Very good IPA from Elysian, I would definitely buy again. (699 characters)

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Valhalla from Elysian Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.