Midvinter Ol | HammerHeart Brewing Company

very good
14 Ratings
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
HammerHeart Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by KYGunner on 03-23-2014

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 14 |  Reviews: 6
Reviews by barczar:
Photo of barczar
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black as night with one of the darkest heads I've seen.

Tar, roast malt, espresso, and dark chocolate dominate the aroma. Mocha, licorice, plums, and dates add complexity.

Flavor is more roast dominant than the aroma, fairly bitter, but with an initial brandy and nutty malt sweetness. Underpinnings of cocoa, raisins, and figs are subtle.

Body is fairly light, smooth, with minimal carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

A little more roast dominant than I prefer, but the brandy and underlying dark fruit and chocolate character keeps me going back for more.

 569 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of SD-Alefan
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aquavit barrel-aged version.
Enjoyed on tap. Pours an opaque black with a dark tan, finger-and-a-half head that dissipates to some lingering lace.
The aroma is loaded. Roasted char and dark chocolate, black coffee, dark fruits, charred oak and a hint of booze.
Tasty and complex on the tongue. Dark chocolate and roast coffee up front then some char and smoky notes come on followed by prune and raisin and just a hint of tartness. As it warms, a touch of fennel and oak, a bit of vanilla and a lingering bitter, slightly herbal, finish. A hint of boozy warmth.
Mouthfeel is medium and smooth.
It all comes together into a very appropriate drink for these frozen midwinter Midwest months.

 688 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750 ml mini growler from the brewery. Poured into a Hammerheart tulip glass. 2016 version aged for one year in aquavit barrels and coming in at 10%.

Appearance: Pours jet black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Slight finger of tan head that quickly fades away.

Smell: A rich, boozy, and spicy aroma with a scent of aquavit, winter spices, and roast. Big barrel presence with a strong scent of aquavit liquor. Spice scent of pepper, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, nutmeg, and anise. Dark roasted malt with a scent of dark chocolate, coffee, smoke, toast, biscuit, caramel, and toffee with yeast. Sweet hits of molasses and vanilla. Dark fruit hints of fig, raisin, and prune. Also some nice hints of earthy hops. A very good complex aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a rich, boozy, and spicy taste with notes of aquavit, winter spices, and roast. Upfront barrel presence with notes of aquavit liquor. Mix of winter spices including notes of pepper, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cardamom, and anise. Dark malt notes of dark chocolate, coffee, toast, biscuit, smoke, toffee, and caramel with yeast. Some sweet notes of molasses and vanilla. Dark fruit undertones of raisin, fig, and prune. Some earthy hop bitterness towards the finish. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Fairly thick and hot as expected. Finishes dry.

Overall: A really good barrel aged brew. Nice mix of aquavit barrel, spice, and roast notes.

 1,464 characters

Photo of KYGunner
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured like an oatmeal stout as it set up a frothy tan head with a dull black coloring.

The aroma holds a roasted malt, toasted nut, sweet dried fruit and a Christmas spice of cinnamon, nutmeg and anise.

The flavor is hugely complex with deep chocolate, caramel malt, marshmallow, Graham cracker, toast, roasted nut, anise, maple syrup x2, cinnamon and nutmeg. This finishes with a vinous brandy soaked fruit.

The feel is dry, lightly carbonated with almost no bite but a fullness and heaviness that makes it a bit slow to drink.

This is a slightly different take on the Winter Warmer as it keeps the malt and spice but then diversified it with more chocolate, maple and nut. This makes it one of the better entrants to this genre.

 740 characters

Photo of jakemn91
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DangerDawg
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

With brandy lovers in mind, Hammerheart has a beer for you. What's starts out spicy and stout-like takes on a fortified wine taste that promotes spirit spiciness, savory vinous tones and a tangy acidity that's sure to bring delight to fans of grape as well as grain.

This brandy-soaked version of Midvinter Ol pours with a near-pitch black appearance, only softened by the deep crimson low lights that illuminate its edges. While a pop and a fizz of short-statured head simmers atop the beer, its longevity succumbs to the barrel influence buried within. The ale prefers an ominous brandy-type appearance as much as it does of stout.

Sharp aromas announce its brandy influence with gusto as even the strong aromatics of roasted nuts, dark coffee, cocoa, campfire and charred toast are dwarfed by the beer's barrel character. Savory sherry, tangy tannin-rich red wine, tart blackberry, plumb and currant all rise with wafts of wine and stout intermittently.

Its taste is malty-sweet at first- weaving together the taste of french-roast coffee, burnt toast, cocoa powder and smoldering embers with that of black-strap molasses and burnt sugar. Its middle palate opens with an introduction of dark fruit- plumb, blackcurrant, raisin, blackberry and red grape seem sprinkled with herbal allspice before the barrel locks in its taste to finish. That's when the drunken fruit tones come alive with the spice of brandy, its oaken flavor and a finish of tang and pepper.

What seems to be a rich and lavish body is quickly dissected by the beer's wood spice and spirit heat as it picks apart the beer's early carbonation and residual sweetness with pinpoint precision. What's left is a powdery-oak finish with merlot, brandy and char echoing in aftertaste.

Midvinter Ol is simply a stout up front but brandy in the rear. Its a tale of two halves that are threaded together seamlessly. Perhaps a Frankenstein of flavor, the individual tastes are full, brash and unapologetic; and I'm not sure I'd have it any other way.

 2,014 characters

Photo of mattmarka1
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of kybeerdrinker
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of Mdog
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Jet black, big brown head. Much more carbonation than usual Hammerheart 750's.

Smell: Spices, vanilla/wood, roasted malts.

Taste: Starts with chocolate and spiciness, gets more fruity as it warms up. Not a lot of barrel in the taste, unless that's where the fruitiness is coming from. Dark chocolate bitterness in the finish. As usual, Hammerheart beer is hard to describe for me.

Overall: I had this a couple years ago, but missed it last year, so I had to get some with the late 2015/early 2016 release. Good stuff, as usual Hammerheart puts a ton of flavors into the beer, so it's hard for me to pick them all out. Kind of a stout with a touch of barrel and some unique fruitiness.

 709 characters

Photo of bfirkin45
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of tykechandler
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Midvinter Ol from HammerHeart Brewing Company
4.09 out of 5 based on 14 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.