Viking Fraoch
D9 Brewing Company

Viking FraochViking Fraoch
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Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale
Ranked #3
Ranked #3,845
4.17 | pDev: 9.59%
D9 Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States
Viking FraochViking Fraoch
Notes: A raiding party to your senses, this Viking beer is meant to be enjoyed unapologetically. Sweet, floral and exploding with sour flavor, this ancient ale was created by the Vikings, claimed by the Scott's, lost to time and given rebirth by our brewers to share amongst the enlightened.
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 106 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by woodychandler:
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I finished early with my New Flying Dog Beer Sunday (Week 694) & so I am kicking off New G7, I mean, D9, New Beer Summit, I mean, Sunday (Weak, I mean, Week 694) with this beer. It's going to be yuge!

From the bottle: "A raiding party to your senses, this Viking beer is meant to be enjoyed unapologetically. Sweet, floral and exploding with sour flavor, this ancient ale was created by the Vikings, claimed by the Scots, lost to time and given rebirth by our brewers to share amongst the enlightened."; "Never Kettled[;] Gluten Reduced[;] Tamed Microflora[;] Titratable Acidity"; "Brand and Design by the FUZE/".

I Pop!ped the cap & began a slow, gentle pour as it looked as though there might be some lees resting on the kick/punt. Once sufficiently decanted, I gave it a vigorous in-glass swirl, but it was defiant in briefly raising a finger of fizzy, foamy, deep-brown head that could not wait to dissipate! Even the beer sat in stony silence, defying me to make that first stupid move. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Wow! Nose held an intense fruity sourness that caused my sinuses to wince in response. Blackberries? Huckleberries? Maybe blueberries, but a bit too sharp, IMHO. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium, not watery, but not far beyond it. The taste was extremely sour, hitting the hinges of my jaw, just under my ears with … wait for it … sour cherries! Phew! My uncle used to make a homemade sour cherry wine, so I don't know why it took so long for me to identify it in this beer. The style is wide-open in terms of its adjuncts and since wild yeast was probably a common fermentation starter, I have no doubt that this is pretty authentic. It sure was eye-opening! I had spent the day delving into hop-driven beers, so this was a total shift, both in thought & taste. Phew. Each sip caught me right on the edge of my jaw, on the hinges, under the ears.
As a nascent boxer in my youth, I got tagged there once & thankfully, I was wearing a headpiece so that he didn't get me on the ear! Still, this beer was making my ears ring like that time & my nose was watering, to boot. Good thing that I took all of my pills today! I got some light puckering of my lips, suggesting tartness, but sour was where this was really at. Finish was dry, sour and had me reaching for a bottle of water as I gasped for breath. Do I need my inhaler next?!? Phew!

Jun 11, 2018
More User Reviews:
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Mildly hazed ruddy brown hue, thin but sturdy off white lacing. Bold malty nose gets slapped by an even tartness, hint of heather and funk as well. Mild crispness, semi-chewy medium body. Bold tartness but not overwhelming at all, bit of funk in the middle. Fresh bread, faintness of caramel, overripe stone fruit, & subtle heather. Tartness lingers, so does a faint funk and mild graininess.

Pretty damn exceptional, love the tart character ... very unique.

Feb 22, 2015
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emerge077 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Oct 19, 2016
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joe1510 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
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!

Dec 22, 2016
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep hazy Amber color with a small creamy off-white head that retains nicely after the pour

S- smells very similar to a Flanders red ale. Notes of balsamic vinegar, dark cherries, pickled ginger along with some floral notes

T- taste follows the nose with lots of similarities to a Flanders red; flavors of red wine vinegar, dark cherries, Vinous toasted oak, brown sugar, ripe pear and lemon. Pickering finish that leaves a slightly sweet floral linger

M- medium-light body and carbonation leads to a super foamy mouthfeel and a bone dry finish

O- much more sour than expected, definitely worth a try if you're a fan of the Flanders red ale

Feb 13, 2016
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another big ol' thanks to the Joe for this interesting and delicious sounding beverage. Cheers!

Relabeled as "Viking Scottish Sour Ale", from a 12 oz bottle.

Dark berries crushed and blended with cooked beets bleeding out a smooth and soft looking deep purple, or even more fitting, "beet red". Beautiful. It snaps with fizz as carbonation rushes to display a cranberry red foam that quickly rescends its invitation.

Acidity is noticeable with a continuing theme of berry fruitiness. Blackberries and dark cherries with a stingy pinch of mulling spices. Beneath lies a Cabernet, perhaps even more Bordeux-like red wine support.

Sour dark cherries is immediately present. Once again, blackberry, even huckleberry joins in to add a little dark sweetness. Caramel tags along almost undetected, but it's there and seeing how this is a Scottish ale, caramel malt abundance wouldn't surprise. A woody element comes on the back end, further enhancing its wine like characteristics.

Slightly puckering at first, but the sweet notes smooth things out. Though the bubbly appearance was brief, their presence is felt in a spritzy like manner. It's dry, but somehow still manages to leave a sticky coating to the roof of my mouth.

This is a good, fun beer. The base Scottish ale is noticeable despite this favoring sour dominance. It's dry, light, and tart, all the while being intensely proud. Reminds me of a Kriek, but with a caramelized base. Delicious.

Dec 21, 2018
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STLBeer7458 from Missouri

4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Jan 08, 2021
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oberon from North Carolina

3.47/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aug 11, 2015
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psmith161 from Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Feb 14, 2017
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metter98 from New York

4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear dark red in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, but consistently left a short head covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of sour cherries are present in the smell.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of cherries.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and slightly tart on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This tastes more like a wild ale than a gruit beer, but nevertheless it is a very nice sour and is pleasant to sip and savor. Unfortunately, I didn't get much of the herbs that were used in lieu of the hops.

Serving type: bottle

Nov 29, 2015
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BeerForMuscle from New Jersey

4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Aug 14, 2017
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JMC_TM from North Carolina

4.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Apr 28, 2015
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halo913 from Connecticut

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 07, 2016
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kell50 from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Nov 07, 2014
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aug 08, 2015
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avalon07 from South Carolina

4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Sep 27, 2016
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-Scottish style sour ale. 750 mg/l titratable acididty. Gluten reduced.

A: Beautiful deep burgundy coloring has a quickly lapsing head to a polished surface. Soft spacious rise of effervesce. Small encircling foam ring around the outer vessel edges.

S: Some sour caramel malt sweetness. Earthy moss and forest scents along with fresh apple peel. Sour fruitiness of moderate proportions, cherries, with a smooth and pleasant aroma.

T: The flavor had a smooth and polished sourness of fruit with a sharp acidity. Sour cherries and apples mostly. Some sour lemon tartness, with a light lingering aspect of vinegar post-swallow. The sour factor was sharp and well defined, some dark grapes.

M: Crisp and oily mouthfeel, very acidic, with a nice fullness compliments by style.

O: Overall the sourness was clean and sharp, well defined, but for the most part overshadowed the scottish accents. Good to style, moderate drinker. Never kettled sour.

Feb 07, 2018
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SLeffler27 from New York

3.74/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Jul 09, 2017
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chinchill from South Carolina

4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap in Asheville.

Loads of fig and similar dark fruits in the nose. The aroma only hints at the moderately strong flavor, including a near puckering tartness. As I prefer, there's no funk accompanying the tart, but there is a lot of fruit and a touch of various herbal suggestions.
Lively, medium carbonation.

Overall: a remarkable hybrid.

May 21, 2016
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memphischas from Tennessee

4.35/5  rDev +4.3%

Oct 05, 2014
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oriolesfan4 from Maryland

2.7/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

May 23, 2016
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zoobcool from Nevada

5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great sour. Never been a big fan of sours, but this has changed my opinions.

Dec 20, 2014
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ckollias from Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jul 11, 2017
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Bilco from Pennsylvania

4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apr 23, 2015
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jpw123 from Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 29, 2015
Viking Fraoch from D9 Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 106 ratings