Viking Fraoch | D9 Brewing Company

very good
84 Ratings
Viking FraochViking Fraoch

Brewed by:
D9 Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States

Style: Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Wild/Spontaneous Sour

Added by ZEB89 on 08-03-2014

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 |  Reviews: 14
Photo of MericanToast
4.59/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AB021816
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ckollias
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SLeffler27
3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A creamy khaki head reaches and sustains two inches for the duration. The dimpled mug magnifies a clear dark copper beer with modest lacing. Ruddy brown yeast flakes float throughout after yeast is added.

The aroma is floral and sweet with a bready body and slight soapy background.

Flavor is extremely sweet with strong lime flavor and tartness. This tastes like Smarties or Sweet Tart candies, and too much so. Lots of herbal and floral flavor lasts long into the finish. Warmth brings out ginger.

A light to medium body with light alcohol, modest carbonation, and a slick texture.

This beer is interesting and clearly follows the style intent. While it is enjoyable, the pungency of the Sweet Tart flavor and aroma is over the top. There is nothing delicate here, making it difficult to consume more than one.

 816 characters

Photo of Jason_cs
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of LWagoner
3.08/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of chrismattlin
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of psmith161
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of caahare
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of joe1510
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


Big thanks to Wilson for the care package from NC! Viking is the darkest of reds, mahogany comes to mind. When backlit it glows a murky ruby red. The beige foam is densely packed and easily reaches three fingers in height. The head shows some impressive staying power though eventually falls to a sturdy crown. Very nice.

The nose is dense with a unique combination of fruity, floral, and tart. Dark berries, a little underripe, kick it off along with a lemon peel twist and cherry skins. Floral notes abound but are sot in nature; heather and a handful of a nearly dried assortment of others.There's a rich backbone of brown sugar, a copper-like minerality, and rich caramel that's evened out by the fruity acidity.

The flavor profile brings all the hints that the nose left behind. A brown sugar and caramel malt backbone run the length while the acidic dark berries mentioned above bring the fruit. A quick flash of lemon peel brightens up the middle and while that fruity acidity lingers through the finish a copper minerality and dried flowers greet it evenly. It's an all around well balanced flavor profile slam packed with depth.

The body is light and lively. A spritzy carbonation brightens it up further and gets those tastebuds going. Sweet hits first but is quickly brushed aside by layer after layer of moderate acidity. It finishes nicely dry and the tartness lingers long after each drink. It even feels a bit tannic on the gums. I could drink a lot of this beer in a sitting. It's that easy to put away and the balance helps that cause.

Viking is a really well crafted beer from D9. To start things off the nose gets you salivating immediately. The balance and depth are superb. You can sit and ponder or drink it away in no time. The mouthfeel is light, airy, and dry. It would be great to have this on the shelf in the area. D9 has been putting out some really superb sours of late with really cool ingredient lists. Thanks, Wil! Keep 'em coming!

 1,977 characters

Photo of dwagner003
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AngusOg
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Wil for this one!
Dark opaque reddish orange, huge billowing head of ecru foam lasts for a few minutes and fades after the first sip.

Aroma is unique, fruity and herbal, exploding with unique character. Funky overripe berries, tart lemon, herbaceous heather flowers. Taste is moderately sour with bracing acidity at the first sip, becoming less so afterwards. Acidic sour lemon, briefly sweet tart berries, tiny underripe green grapes and heather flowers. Puckering with a very dry finish. Big on the sour fruit. Light to medium bodied, ample carbonation. Overall a very unique sour ale with loads of character. Some vague similarity to their Systema Naturae wild ale.

Nothing like a Flanders or Lambic at all, which both traditionally blended old and young beer for balance.
This is something entirely different, a historical recreation of an ancient Scandinavian ale, claimed by the Scots and lost to time, as the label states.

 942 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color with ruby tints. There was an off white, foamy / fizzy head that dissipated fairly quickly. Not much lacing.

S: An interesting aroma of fruit, caramel, an herbal quality, and the sour quality.

T: Tasted of a bit of the herbal quality, a lot of floral notes, a fruitiness (cherries, lemon), a bit of caramel, a vinous quality, and a slight vinegar taste. The taste has more in common with a Flanders red ale, with a heavy sourness competing with the herbal quality of the Fraoch. Unusual, but vibrant and complex.

F: A fair amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A different kind of beer, to be sure. Not for everybody, but worth a try.

 722 characters

Photo of lupercmda
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BMMillsy
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of agreenman19
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L - I have two D9 bottles and the bottle caps have this little dimple. On the Whiskers on Kittens, the dimple is depressed. This bottle it looks like it's about to blow! Pop the top and immediate PSST. Foam starts bubbling up and threatening to spill over but avoids certain destruction just in time. Now I'm sitting here listening to the aggressive fizzling. Let's see what the beer actually looks like after all that! Goddammit, nothing but foam. Bottled just over a year ago... is it past its prime? So much foam. What little beer sits in the bottom of my glass is a turbid caramel brown. Have I mentioned the foam? Sounds like pop rocks.

S - tart cherries and a lactic lambic sort of nose. Very herbaceous. Wild greens, crab grass. Rustic and ancient.

T - not sure if that's sourness or carbonation! Somethings jabbing my shit good! Brings tears to my eyes. Has a familiar taste that I can't quite put my finger on. Rusty metallic a la Flanders Red, sweet tarts. Grassy flowers give it an airy bitterness to help offset the puckered lips.

F - far too much carbonation, but you already knew that. Can't swish anything in my mouth or it froths up. Actually not as bad if you pour aggressively (read: as gently as possible) because it foams the shit up, then you can sit back, relax, and listen to the Rice Krispies as some of the bubbles blow themselves out. Sharp, prickly carb also tends to work well with sours because it amplifies the tartness.

O - this was a wild ride. From the moment I popped the top to the last tear-jerking sip, there's a lot going on. "Rambunctious" is probably a good word to describe this beer.

 1,632 characters

Photo of hman43
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: It pours amber with a slight haze. It has a brown head and ruby hues.

Smell: It has some caramel aromas, herbs, and floral/flowery elements.

Taste: There are flavors of caramel, herb, flowers, earthly elements, and a sweet start with a sour finish.

Feel: It has a light medium body with a sour finish and a slight tart element in the finish.

Overall it is a unique blend of elements that produces a flowery and earthy combination that starts sweet and finishes sour.

 479 characters

Photo of Immortale25
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a teku pint. No freshness date.

A- Pours a light brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains decently before becoming a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and minimal surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves tiny specs behind.

S- Smells like an English mild. Toasty malt that's slightly sweet and maybe biscuity. Not getting any lactic acid presence whatsoever.

T- An interesting mix of toasty malt, mild sourness and hints of spices. I'm not very familiar with heather and the other herbs used so I can't tell which one in particular sticks out most. I guess I can say it's well-balanced because no one aspect is overpowering or clashing. The main thing I get out of it is a sort of grape skin character.

M- Dry and a bit tannic with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- Quite a unique beer. It tastes decent enough but I don't think I would buy it again. Just not something that's in my wheelhouse.

 972 characters

Photo of RochefortChris
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of FriedSlug
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DrMindbender
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of vfgccp
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Savor 2016

10 characters

Photo of KABC
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the first beer I've tried from D9, and I'm impressed. It has nice tartness to it balanced with a subtle fruity sweetness, perhaps a hint of black cherries. A complex brew that is executed perfectly and harkens back to it's medieval roots.

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Viking Fraoch from D9 Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 84 ratings.
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