Velvet Hammer | Peticolas Brewing Company

very good
26 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Peticolas Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A tribute to our favorite Brewmaster, Greg Matthews, the Velvet Hammer appears as a dark, ruby reddish-brown ale beneath a sheath of protective off-white foam. It is malt-forward with elements of caramel and the sweetness of light brown sugar, balanced nicely by a combination of floral hops and a noticeable alcohol bite. It's a sturdy brew with a smooth character which belies both an inner strength and a slightly full body, along with a moderate bitterness to round out the taste.

Added by Mora2000 on 03-03-2012

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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 324
Photo of qcghost
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at The Holy Grail in Frisco. Tasted like cough medicine. Maybe it had gone bad but whatever it was, this was not at all what I had expected.

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Photo of brentk56
3.61/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Arrives with a clear amber color with a very impressive head; excellent retention and a nice pattern of lace

Smell: Caramel and pine

Taste: The caramel comes on strong, up front, and while there is a piney herbal character that develops in the middle, the finish overall is herbal and sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A decent offering that slants a bit too much on the sweet side for my palate, though I recognize that is a characteristic of the style

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Oak St. Pub in Denton TX
Review from notes:

A - Dark reddish brown with ruby hues on the edges, hazy with a small sudsy cap. Good lacing.

S - Strong caramel malt, tangy dark fruit, earthy hops, pine mostly.

T - Follows the nose with dark caramel malt, fruity alcohol, the fruit is generic and hard to pick out, earthy rugged flavors, pine/herbal hops. Finishes semi-dry with some alcohol and pine.

M - Medium full body, medium carbonation, alcohol shows up a bit, sweet semi-dry finish.

A malty strong ale the has enough hops to balance it out. Plenty of alcohol showing but works well with all components. Glad I had a chance to try this.

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Photo of Tommo
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Really more of an imperial red ale rather than an american strong ale, whatever. Pours a very dark red brown and doesnt particularly smell inviting, not a ton of hop character. Strongly bitter, but smooth enough for 9%. Overall decent

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Photo of stephens101
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Growler fill from Taps & Caps.

Color is a pristine burgundy. The tan froth leaves a few veins of lace. Has an understated aroma consisting of fruit juice and candied sugar. Tastes of grape and prune juice, grain, allspice and taffy with a slightly floral background and piney aftertaste. Medium-bodied and mostly lifeless.

One of those beers that has nothing particularly wrong with it, but doesn't have anything particularly right with it either.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

another neat and innovative beer from these guys, somewhere between an american barleywine and a belgian dubbel, although leaning a little heavier towards the former there. its a light brown to dark red color, mostly clear with a tall and expressive khaki foam head on it. ring laces as i sip on it. smells boozy, fusel alcohol and brown sugar right away, this is a bold one to say the least. some bright hops in here, malt driven and robust on the grain front though, and less yeast character than anticipated. sweet up front in the flavor, molasses or brown sugar there, vegetal hops, not quite bitter enough to balance, a whole bunch of booze, almost has a dark rum quality about it, some burnt sugars, maybe raisin or prune or something in there too. lots happening, mostly all from the grain. in the end though, as much as i like the flavors and how unique it is, it ends up being a touch sweet and a touch hot for me to want more than one of them. looks like these guys do quite a few creative brews, and this is definitely one of them. doesnt remind me of anything i have ever had before. for those that like them bigger...

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Photo of JGlitz87
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the Old Monk in Dallas.

A: deep amber, relatively translucent. Two finger cream colored head that hold well for first few sips.

S: Malts come through strong. Hints of chocolate and nuts.

T: Creamy. Lots of malt. Very flavorful. Hides the high alcohol content very well.

F: Medium Body and Carbonation. Lives up to the name velvet.

O: Strong offering from a local brewery. Creamy/smooth nature is very nice for the strong ale/stout category.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Holy Grail Pub in Plano. The beer pours a hazy orange-brown color with a tan head. The aroma has a lot of sweet caramel notes with some cherries and dark fruit, as well as a little bit of pine. The flavor is more of the same. I get some pine and orange notes from the hops, as well as some caramel and cherries. The alcohol is definitely present, but doesn’t hinder the drinkability. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of BigBry
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Draft at Flying Saucer.
Arrives clear dark amber color with a very high and tight head, off-white foam has excellent retention and a nice lace pattern.
Smell has lots of caramel sweetness, and pine hops.
Taste starts with the caramel malt sweetness, brown sugar, maple syrup, lots of piney, herbal and floral hops.
Mouth feel is medium to full, nice body with moderate carbonation, just enough alcohol to warm your tongue without being to harsh or burn.
Overall, very good with no complaints.

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Photo of bmwats
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a tulip.

A: Dark brown with a ruby hue. Pours a medium, white, foamy head. Settles fairly quickly, leaving a ring of foam around the rim and a blanket of foam on the surface.

S: Light cinnamon-y bread. Earthy and woody.

T: Lightly bitter, licorice and cinnamon toast, pecan shells.

M: Chalky, and lightly syrupy. Bitter, dry finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

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Photo of kemoarps
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy copper/mahogany body topped off with a crisp, velvety tan head. Beautiful from above.
Caramel malts come in big up front with some spicy hops. Sweetness that I can't quite tag, hints of raisin and chocolate, but really more the caramel/spicy/piney hops.

Flavour is an interesting blend that comes in waves. Starts out soft with some rye-like spice and the caramel. Waves of tobacco and brown sugar come through and escort you to the finish which emerges from behind the curtain with a definite pine bitterness that gathers and carries through the finish.
Medium body, like a comforter. Appropriate carbonation, The alcohol blends into the other flavours well, and the finish is long and bitter.
Another tasty Texas brew from @Bulldoza, thanks Nick!!

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Photo of D9sus4
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried today for the first time on draft in Addison, Texas. Good body, creamy but head dissipated quickly. Toffee, brown sugar, orange peel, with a big malt backbone. Not too hoppy, like a good Imperial IPA should taste.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

My first review from my notes during my week in Texas. This was a part of a sampler flight at the Common Table in Dallas.

(A)- Pours a clear reddish amber hue. Some good froth and lacing left behind.

(S)- A lightly spicy rye/wheat profile. A good sweetness underlying it with caramel and a subtle smokiness.

(T)- Similar to the smell, only more/better showing in the hops area. A big and vibrant sweet rye-like caramel spiciness with a nice finish of citrus and pine.

(M)- A nice carbonation level and balance. A great showing of what an imperial amber can be like while still having a nice hop profile. Mildly bitter.

(O)- This is a big favorite down here since you see it everywhere. Definitely seems like an imperial red ale meets the catch-all style of an american strong. Definitely an enjoyable malty treat.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Nice light brown to tan head that leaves a decent lacing. Nice deep amber reddish color. Solid taste of richly roasted caramel malts layered nicely with the hops. What's not to like!

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Photo of Premo88
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32 oz. growler poured into tulip
(from Whole Fords west Fort Worth)

L: dark red/copper, murky to start with but it clears up to virtually crystal clear; pushes up thick head of beige/offwhite foam that has that "craft" foamy look, like thick meringue or whipped cream; some lacing and some sticking and it keeps a decent collar; beautiful

S: big malt up front ... brown sugar, even pinch of licorice and raisin, a little "darker" thank caramel/toffee; a second wave of aroma hits and it's very floral, American-hop floral ... gosh ... it's nice and complex, like a hoppy American brown ale

T: that first sip is almost all velvet, caramel/toffee malt so sweet it's like a doppelbock; the hammer of bitter hops hits in the aftertaste and then starts building and building and building, and it's piney and earthy, tastes like a mix of American and fuggle or some other kind of Old World hops

F: ale soft, decent carbonation but it's got a bit of heft and a slight slickness to it; very drinkable for a beer this big, for all of the ale qualities (soft, heavy, slick), it's lightened up quite a bit by the carbonation

O: fantastic brew; it's got enough malt presence to keep it from tasting like a mislabeled IPA/DIPA ... and it's strong, both strong in flavor and strong in ABV -- the 9% is completely hidden in the flavor but completely there

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - cloudy dark auburn with a white head
Smell - sweet Carmel malt w piney hop
Taste - similar to the smell but much more hop forward
Feel - crisp carbonation and a full body
Overall - strong but not over bearing string ale, really good.

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Photo of tempest
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

What a fun beer, reminds me of Middle Ages' Wailing Wench a bit. The aroma matches floral, citrus juice hops with sweet toffee malts and bread crust. On your tongue, biting grapefruit and orange rind hit first, but then the barley rolls through with dry toasty bread, sweet toffee candy, and a light smoky roast. It doesn't feel as thick as most imperial reds or barleywines, but the malt flavor is fantastic. Get a pint next time you're in Texas.

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Photo of jkanavel
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Live Oak, and at Caves.

The appearance is very dark red, plum in the middle, with crimson around the edges. Its a little murky because of the deep color.

It smells amazing, leather, mild esters. Not too much hop presence here.

Its pretty complex on the palate. Very malt forward, alcohol, red stone fruits, and plenty of chocolate.

The mouthfeel is rich, thick, creamy head. I wanna try it on nitro.

Overall, this is one of my favorite local brews these days. Big ups.

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Photo of ranger7
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very nice. Somewhat hoppy, but nice malt notes too, similar to a amber/red ale in that respect. Medium bodied. Nice taste. Terrific with my fish and chips. One of the best offerings in Texas.

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Photo of tang214
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my new favorite beer (until the next one). Had it a few times at various places around town. Color is reddish-orange with a slight haze. Aroma is a pungent piney-ness with a twist. I am very curious about the types of hops they have used in this brew. Good body and mouthfeel make this a very drinkable beer despite its "size" (abv and OG). Good rich malty carmaelly flavor but not at the expense of the hops. I will be drinking this whenever I can. I'd love to see more of it from Peticolas. I can't wait to try their Scottish Ale.

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Photo of Airtejas
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really flavorful beer. To me it had a real nutty feel initially with a smokey after taste. I probably wouldn't recommend it to a newby but all of you craft-beer lovers should appreciate it.

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this beer at the bar at the Texas Theater, where JFK's assassin Harvey Oswald was captured in 1963. It is a historic and pretty exciting ambiance, which adds to the pleasure of drinking this great strong ale.

Look: semi-clear reddish brown hue with a thin white head.

Aroma: sweet caramel and pine

Taste: caramel and piney hops, some orange/grapefruit, very tasty.

Feel: medium body and carbonation, very smooth, and velvety, but strong.

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Photo of Danobold
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Definitely echo one of the previous posts, this is a new favorite for me. Had it on draft at Common Table in the Uptown/Downtown-ish area, and it was greatness.

Interesting imperial red ale, with a mellow mouth feel and a nice balance - it starts out hoppy but it is well balanced with the malt in the beer, and it leads to a surprisingly smooth experience. Finishes with a bit of an alcohol aftertaste, although not unpleasant by any means. I'd definitely get another one next time I'm there, and would highly recommend.

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Photo of doombuddha
4.71/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is delicious. I mean absolutely, positively a go-top beer. This beer is the first beer I think about when I am out and about. Do yourself a favor and get this beer.

It is a flavorful beer with quite a lot going for it. The flavor definitely is a good one, but in a way that it changes as you drink it. Some beers have only one note. This is an exception. Enjoy!

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Photo of Donfloridasmith
4.72/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Name is appropriate. Goes down really smooth and after a couple pints, it hits you like A hammer. Great finish. An outstanding beer that I suggest everyone try.

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Velvet Hammer from Peticolas Brewing Company
4.02 out of 5 based on 324 ratings.
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