Hamer & Sikkel
Brouwerij De Molen

Hamer & SikkelHamer & Sikkel
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English Porter
Ranked #148
Ranked #27,951
3.77 | pDev: 12.47%
Brouwerij De Molen
Very Good
Hamer & SikkelHamer & Sikkel
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 90
Photo of KooVee
2.91/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

33cl bottle, 8m old.

Dark brown colour, medium head.

Aroma is pervaded by licorice mixed with molasses. Some chocolate and coffee but they are in a secondary role. So, a bit on the sweet side.

Taste is a further disappointment. Thinnish body, little new beyond the aroma, still no roasted notes. Bitterness is negligible. Carbonation is not helping things, being quite strong for the style. Water profile seems to emphasis chloride, which produces a soapy/minerally impression.

With the wateriness, this all feels like a halfway house on the way to soda pop. I do not recognize what many others seem to have detected. Maybe the recipe has changed? Definitely weak and mediocre, with caramelly aspects that,yes, are often hallmarks of British porter in its death throes, but do not make for interesting brewing.

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Photo of Zet
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown/black with a modest layer of foam. Lots of chocolate in the nose, together with malt, bitter hops, oats and roasted coffee. The taste is more coffee than chocolate, with a nice mild hop kick in the finish. Mouth feel is light and soft, which suits the theme of this beer in my opinion: a well balanced and accessible english porter.

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Photo of FLima
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black color with a huge beige head with eternal retention.
Nice aroma with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, a bit of caramels, English hops and prunes.
Flavor with notes of roasted coffee, pine and earthy hops, oats, plums and dark chocolate-cocoa. Dry and bitter aftertaste. You can still feel the 35 IBUs after so many years.
Light body with bordering effervescent carbonation.
English earthy Porter with an American feel-strength and lots of cocoa and relatively hop notes. Interesting.
I am surprised this has lasted for so many years with such low abv.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, with little light transmission in the glass Foamed out of the bottle and produced a half glass head that dissipated to a persistant half finger khaki head with light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, cocoa, light coffee and some oxidation notes. Just checked the date on the bottle and this is apparently quite a few years old (although new to the store..thanks Shelton Brothers!!!!). Flavor is dry biscuity toasted malt, cocoa, light quality coffee. Finishes with lingering mocha and a mild bitterness. The initial flavor is very attenuated, but the aftertaste is light, but delightful. Medium bodied with peppery, sharp carbonation; over carbonated. This is a mixed bag. If it's as old as I think it is, I'm missing a quite pleasant porter. The flavor is light, but nice chocolate and coffee flavors that are fully exhibited in the finish. The carbonation makes me think that this is over its prime. I liked this and will retry it if Shelton ever ships fresh beer to the Northwest (in my dreams).

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Photo of Dzu
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint from 0.33l bottle.
L: Semitransparent dark brown/black with a huge beige foam head.
S: Dark fruits, plums, wine.
T: Dry , fruity, coffee.
F: Medium body and high carbonation.
O: Something between belgian dark ale and potter. Andlike it.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a becher pint glass. The appearance was a mostly dark brown color with a thin off white to tan thin head. Messy lacing. The smell takes on a moderately thin roasty coffee bean to sweet dark fruity blend running into some milk chocolate. The taste was semi-sweet with the roastiness blending nicely to balance. Delicate aftertaste of the sweet milk chocolate to dark fruits. Dry finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fair sessionability about it. Carbonation runs about a medium. Bitterness seems to be hidden a bit because of the carbonation. Still, it really moves nice and smooth on my tongue. Overall, as an English Porter - all of the aromas and flavors match. The feel is good too. I would definitely have again.

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Photo of Everydayoff
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap served in a pint glass at Wishbeer, Bangkok.

Very deep brown to black in color with thick everlasting khaki head, it withstands with exceptional retention and leaves sticky lacing wave all along the glass-side.

The aroma is invitingly packed up with chocolate and coffee together with roasted, caramel, nutty, woody, brown bread, fudge, toffee, and nice sweetness yet smoothness of oats.

The taste is led by roasted flavor with only slight sourness together with coffee, chocolate, wood, charred nut, brown bread, caramel, fudge, toffee, and both oaty sweetness and smoothness just like the aroma. The finish has upright bitter kick from both hop and roasted profile to give a bitter end.

Medium body with quite smooth mouthfeel and rather low carbonation through the taste buds, the overall feeling is well-rounded with a very dry finish.

Good Porter with its rich and deep character and same time pretty easy to enjoy at any time.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.19/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

One interesting question is why Dutch De Molen seems to be most successful in the British tradition using dark malts, particularly the RIS. But let's save that question for later.

Before I review, my curiosity got piqued about why DeMolen beers started appearing frequently in Chicago. From their Statement of Purpose on their website, it appears they have an arrangement now with the distribution network for La Trappe. And that makes sense since the 4 De Molen beers I've had all perform at the Trappist level.

Not knowing this new distribution deal, I poured this porter into a La Trappe glass (such serendipity!) and it looked luscious, dark and with lots of tight bubbles. Amazing for a porter bottled almost five years ago (in an 11 ounce size and capped, unlike the picture above.)

Hamer & Sikkel is a playful name I presume to convey that porter was the defining beer of Britain's Industrial Revolution and the hammer and sickle on the red flag of communism. More than a good joke, it is a very pleasant, soft and pleasing porter. Its malts smell and taste blended in the best of the British tradition. But, its mouth is remarkably, perhaps uniquely, bubbly, soft and with just enough of the old/sour to make it authentic. Well Done !

An interesting brewery that I will buy from again... since its importers and distributors are letting me see it more.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Damn near gushing khaki head, with a clear, dark red-brown body. At full pour, including some of the sediment at the bottom of the bottle, it turns it to a muddy, Cocoa Puffs milk.

Smell is nutty caramel, nougat, and downright sticky toffee pudding. I even get some peanut butter.

Taste is treacle, and again stick toffee pudding. They were going for English Porter, well the English feel is layered on thick, regardless of my lack of experience with the actual style English Porter. I also taste cake, nuts, caramel, and a little sweet cola. As it warms, raisin, and smoke emerge.

This beer livens as soon as it hits the palate. Light, fizzy, really frothy and bubbly.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a murky dark brown with a small off-white head that has short retention

S- malty aromas of brown bread, caramel, some nuttiness along with some cocoa

T- tons of flavor, given the abv; big brown may notes of bread crust, caramel, chocolate, roast and plenty of earthiness, finishes nutty and sweet

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns slightly creamy into the finish

O- solid and straight up, with high drinkability

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Photo of rex_4539
4.51/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Jet black color, one finger brown head, nice lacing, minimal carbonation.

S: Sweet coffee, chocolate, roasted malts. Superb!

T: Coffee, roasted malts.

F: Extremely smooth and drinkable.

O: This is an amazing porter. Will definitely grab it again.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle, Beergium - Pours darkish brown/black with a very large tanned foamy head. Medium/high carbonation. Nice lacing. Smell - roasted malts, yeasty, caramel. Taste - sweet, lightly smoked malts with a light bitter finish. Lovely porter.

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Photo of flagmantho
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: hue is extremely dark brown, nearly black. Head poured 3 or 4 fingers of frothy light-tan foam. The head was absolutely massive and took a long time to settle down. Hopefully it's not infected or something!

Smell: very richly malty with a little bit of chocolate and roasty character. The malt on this bad boy is huge, especially considering its moderate ABV.

Taste: a roasty character with a little bit of chocolate and a nicely malty base. I happen to really like it.

Mouthfeel: medium or medium-light body with an absolutely massive carbonation. This beer doesn't taste infected or soured at all, but the carbonation is really absolutely insane. I like the creaminess but damn, and you'll almost never hear me say this, the carbonation could be taken down a notch!

Overall: a good beer. Crazy carbonation; prepare for a gusher. Still absolutely worth trying.

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Photo of drmeto
3.22/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

-pours the darkest of brown with copper tinges and a medium,frothy,beige head
-nutty ,coffee,chocolate,spicy,vanilla,toasty
-light to medium body
-medium to high carbonation
Very flat on the nose.Taste is o.k

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Photo of sleazo
4.58/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Rake in London. Nice roast chocolate and coffee nose. The flavor is amazing though. Starts out with the nice rosy coffee and seek chocolate notes but ends with a nice fig and plum finish. Outstanding

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark bodied with brown hues and ruby highlights. Fluffy khaki head laces and retains nicely.

Nose is somewhat sweet with the cocoa and caramel presence overlaying the rest.

More pronounced roasty coffee on the flavor with some bread and chocolate.

Dry and a fairly light body.

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Photo of drpimento
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Very good interesting beer. Poured with a large thick long-lasting light tan head, some lace and a very dark brown color. aroma is that of dark malt licorice leather perfume Cocoa. Flavor is like aroma; more complex and has some saltiness to it; very tasty. Perfect body. I could drink this solve the day and all the night.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled and bottle conditioned
Deep brown color, thin beige head. There are flakes in the beer, doesn't look nice. Taste is okay, roasted Greek coffee. Expected more from this one.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. Just a wee bit of Googling, and general inference, points the way to the purported style.

This beer pours a clear, very dark cola brown hue, with one measly finger of silkily foamy beige head, which, all for naught, seeps away in an instance, leaving but a few random specks of lace around the glass.

It smells of biscuity, chocolate-forward caramel malt, a bit of ash, and soft leafy, earthy hops. The taste is much more coffee-accented, as the astringent espresso pitches ahead, the caramel malt morphing heavily towards the bready side of things, the bittersweet chocolate hovering in stasis, with some soft earthy, weedy hops lingering in the background.

The bubbles are present, accounted for, and no more effusive than that; the body on the light side of medium weight, due to an unfortunate thinning character, but generally smooth nonetheless. It finishes off-dry, barely, as the chocolate and graininess of the malt falter, and the acerbic coffee and hops notes take up the flag.

An agreeable enough porter, although the lack of overt sourness (being my relatively new benchmark) seems quite lacking here. Otherwise, a decent enough offering.

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Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a cloudy consistency. There was a big, tan-colored, creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A very underplayed aroma of malt, hops, and some chocolate.

T: The taste was very much like the aroma: A good amount of malt, light hops, and a mild chocolate tinge. Like the smell, the taste was a bit on the thin and unremarkable side.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry, prickly finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Not necessarily a bad beer, but kind of unremarkable.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottle (33 cl.) purchased from Clem's and tasted in 2012.

Appearance : deep black color, very little tan head with too big tan bubbles.
Smell : caramel and roasted malt aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : roasted malt flavors, leading to bitter finish.
Drinkability : an average beer in the style English Porter.
To drink at cellar t°.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Dark brown, almost black pour with tan two finger head that fades quickly with minimal lacing. Nice roasty nose with hints of cocoa and espresso with a touch of brown bread. The roasted malt dominates the taste. Tons of cocoa and bitter dark chocolate with hints of espresso and sweet caramel with a bit of brown bread, fresh hops and vanilla. I'm usually not a big Porter fan because they often have a thin and watery mouthfeel. But this is much more substantive then most Porters I've experienced. It's not as thick and chewy as a stout, but has a nice medium body to it with a subtle creaminess. This is by far the best Porter I've tasted. So glad I picked up two of these!

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Photo of Jeffo
3.84/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Found this at the Bierkoning in Amsterdam.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A slight gusher. Pours a three finger medium-thin looking fluffy noisy crackly beige head that quickly pops and cracks away. Dark brown in color with lots of carbonation. Head quickly fades to a thick foam cap. A think wisp and a ring remains, leaving touches of lacing on the glass.

SMELL: Decent strength nose for the ABV. Roasted malts with hints of pure chocolate and roasted coffee beans. Some freshly baked dark bread from the barely as well. Quite nice actually, especially once the head dies down somewhat.

TASTE: Roasted malts and lots of pure cocoa powder. Flavors of fresh dark bread again. Some caramel malt in there as well, leading into some bitter chocolate and coffee notes at the finish. Mild but lingering aftertaste is bitter-sweet and plenty roasted.

PALATE: Medium-thin body and slightly lighter on the palate. Very creamy smooth for sure, goes down smooth with higher end carbonation, and finishes dry on the palate. Light and creamy for sure.

OVERALL: A decent and drinkable porter. This is definitely a Belgian style porter, and showcases some of the more agreeable flavors and aromas in the style. Check it out if you can.

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Photo of Sammy
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Absumaster for delivering this good porter only available back home. Black and lots of off-white bubbly head. Lots of lace. Mollasses and sharp nose, also farmy-the yeast? Above average mouthfeel and a bit sour in the finish, like a dark Belgian.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very dark brown beer with a creamy, settling head.

Smell is roasted and burned with chocolate malt notes. Some woody notes. Mild.

Taste is burned with notes of raw tobacco leaves. Burned character is mild. The label mentiones the use of oak chips in the beer, which give the beer a woody taste, that is a little sharp at the back of my tongue. Bitterness is medium and never takes the lead.

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Hamer & Sikkel from Brouwerij De Molen
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 90 ratings