Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Hot Chocolate | Valkyrie Brewing

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Hot ChocolateHot Chocolate
51 Ratings
Hot ChocolateHot Chocolate

Brewed by:
Valkyrie Brewing
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Chile Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TastyTaste on 12-10-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 51 |  Reviews: 43
Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to fellow BA Roger for sharing this bottle with me,poured deep and dark but not quite opaque with a thinner mocha colored head.A bit of pepper spice and bitter chocolate in the nose but the aromas are on the lighter side,I like the flavors of this beer alot more than most I think it starts out roasted with bitter chocolate tones melding into a big spicey finish and I mean its pretty spicey.Hey I liked it it delivered a good combination of flavors and packed a kick,I would drink again.

 496 characters

Photo of mnstorm99
3.78/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice black pour with a nice tan head that sticks around for a little while.
Aroma is of roasted malts, but there is a touch of floral and spicy hops. Somewhat faint, but it is there.
Taste is nice, Chocolate comes through mostly, but not candy bar like chocolate, just a nice touch of it to go with a roasted flavor and the cayenne doesn't taste like much, but you can feel it...
...which is part of the reason I raised my feel a little, I like the cayenne tinge to the toungue, but this one is just a little thin for a stout.

I like Viking, I think they take some chances, hit or miss.

 587 characters

Photo of SiphonKing
3.07/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours with a stout-like appearance, litte head retention. Aromas of malt hit the nose, no peppery aromas. The taste is exactly the name of the beer...hot chocolate. Somewhat smooth taste with a finish of peppery spicniness (the cayenne pepper perhaps?). A unique beer that could pass as a digestif. Definitely not a beer for sports events and the "light" beer crowd. The more i drank this beer the more spicy heat from the cayenne pepper coated (and remained) in my throat. A little too much...

 504 characters

Photo of drpimento
4/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I like this beer! There's a smoothness to it that is nicely contrasted with the peppery hottness of the cayenne. Also the maltiness. Really, I like the way this turned out. A bit of a problem with head retention and lace, but wth. Nice n dark, very chocolatey, silky. Nice finish.

 280 characters

Photo of thaichile
3.9/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black color with almost no head. Nose is coffee with some slight chocolate notes. Flavor is mocha, a tad bitter, with a very nice heated finish from the cayenne. Kept on drinking this as I was enjoying the heat in the back. I also detected some cherry mixed in with the chocolate which was very nice. I thought this was pretty good, maybe be a bit thin for some, but for me it was a medium to get some chile pepper heat which I am quite fond of. Thanks to JeffKrenner for this bottle

 496 characters

Photo of umustdrink
3.59/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Completely opaque black color. Head is a dark brown that recedes quickly to nothing. Lacing is very thin. Looks like black water after all is said and done.

S - Hot pepper scent with some roasted chocolate malts and some soggy bread notes.

T - A nice dark milk chocolaty taste with a spicy chile finish.

M - Very thin consistency, carbonation provides a nice bite that works well with the flavor.

D - A very interesting beer. Spiciness is really cool, reminds me a lot of a habanero mango ice cream I had recently.

 530 characters

Photo of demcorhip
3.05/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a muddy brownish black, with a very thin tan coloured head. Very scantly and finely laced, and mildly and finely carbonated.

Roasted malts with prominent aromas of coffee and chocolate. Cocoa powder and a pleasant muddy earthiness also present. Spicy cayenne pepper aroma also present, thankfully not dominating.

Interesting flavour, somewhat similar to Kahlua and milk, with a hot red pepper finish. I really like how this one starts out with its slightly muddied flavours of coffee, milk chocolate, and cocoa powder. The heat is there, but easy to get used to, but im having trouble deciding if i like this or not. Theres a pronounced bitterness with the cayenne pepper that just seems out of place. It almost really fits, but just doesnt do it for me.

A muddy medium bodied brew with the Viking trademark of almost no carbonation. Can feel the mild pepper heat in my throat. Almost balanced, but theres something off with the cayenne pepper preventing this one from pulling it all off.

Not very drinkable, but my limited experience with chili beers hasnt led me to one that was. This one has potential, perhaps their cayenne pepper wasnt at its best. Will take some decent reviews of a new batch to pique my interest in this brew again.

 1,309 characters

Photo of CH3CH2OH
3.14/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black/brown with almost no head. The aroma is chocolate cake batter, with a faint hint of chile powder. The taste is much more powerful than the aroma, with a straight balance of malt and hops, with chocolate that seems to cling to the roof of my mouth. The chile outlasts everything else, leaving a satisfying finish. It's a bit thinner than I would like, which is unusual for Viking. I let it warm up quite a bit; I'd shoot for about 55 deg. It's a great concept, matching chile with chocolate, and Viking pulls it off.

 529 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.39/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Opaque dark chocolate with a thin rim of lighter brown along the bottom edge of the glass. The cap is on the small side, even after an increasingly elevated pour, and is way too brittle to last or to leave much glass coverage. In fact, within minutes there's very little of either one. I'm betting that the cayenne pepper is playing havoc with head retention and lace formation.

The nose is a big improvement on the appearance. Hot Chocolate smells like roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate and vanilla. There's a faint whiff of something unusual, but there's no way that I could have identified it as cayenne pepper without reading the label. It definitely doesn't ruin things.

Oh boy, not good. I was hoping that the spice addition would be on the 'just a dash' side of things like the brewery claims so that the beer would be a lightly peppery, lightly warming stout. Way too much was added though and the resulting heat ruins everything. I'm not having flashbacks to Crazy Ed's Cave Creek Chili Beer, but I'm not happy either.

The shame of it is, there's a pretty good American stout in there somewhere. I don't mind chili pepper, cayenne pepper and the like in those pale summertime brews, but it seems way out of place in a stout. I'll have to give Viking points for originality and for truth in advertising (it is hot and it does taste like chocolate), but this beer is a miserable failure in every other way.

The body/mouthfeel is better than decent. It's easily medium for the style and perhaps even a wee bit more full. It's also supremely smooth and makes a more toward lush. I'll have to knock the score back at least a half point though due to the mucous membrane burn. The heat isn't making my mouth feel very good right now.

Hot Chocolate kinda, sorta sounds like a good idea, but it has to be done just right. Viking has added way too much cayenne pepper and has ruined things as a result. Frankly, this beer is a mess and is a new low point for a brewery that struggles to provide high points on any given day.

 2,031 characters

Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.52/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Originally reviewed April 9, 2005. Bottle at the Gitchee Gumee Brewfest 2005. This beer pours a peculiar milky brown, almost like molten caramel. The aroma is stingy and heavily tannic, but a little sweet and floral. The flavor starts off somewhat rounded and chocolately, but then I get blasted by this bland hot spice, that speaks slightly of roasted pepper. I’m not pleased. I don’t like hot things in my beer. Nobody has executed a hot pepper beer that shows balance or melds with beer's other characteristics, and this is not that.

 538 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
2.56/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this one up on a trip to Madison. Pours from the stubby 12oz bottle into my tulip glass a deep black color with a small tan head that quickly falls to a ring. Lots of scrod chunkers on the bottom of the glass. Aromas are really quite odd. Burnt chocolate with a powdery lactic twang. Some vanilla, caramel and a hint of peppery spiciness. Can't say I enjoy smelling this one myself.

First sip brings a mild burnt cocoa maltiness that follows with some heat tingling in the mouth from the cayenne peppers. Lactic twang is there again with only a hint of vanilla. Halfway through the glass it begins to burn the back of the throat a bit. Don't get me wrong, I love hot peppers and food, but this combination is really just not good. The rest of the glass with meet its demise in the sink.

Mouthfeel is quite light with really mellow carbonation. Almost seems still in the glass halfway through. This is not a chile beer that I'll be picking up again. This one didn't do it for me at all...maybe you'll have a different opinion!

 1,038 characters

Photo of jdhilt
2.73/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a two finger dark brown head that fades instantly leaving no lace. Black color. Faint carbonation and heavy bodied. Chocolate nose. Roasted chocolate flavor, smooth with some bite but no noticeable cayenne pepper - broken down by the yeast?? $1.59 for a 12oz bottle from Blue Max Liquor Burnsville, Mn.

 308 characters

Photo of UnionMade
3.12/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Dark, muddy brown. Almost no head. Roasty, irish dry stout aroma, with a bit more of a dry, baker's chocolate presence. Doughy yeast. Maybe a little bit of a spiciness, but the aroma is weak and hard to gather. The pepper comes through more and more the further down the glass i get. The flavor starts out mild and very cocoa chocolatey. Very much like a mocha coffe with steamed milk. Nice enough. Pretty one dimensional, then there's a very unusual spiciness in the ass-end of the finish, followed by a touch of actual spicy, hot pepper heat. I can definitely say I've never had this in a beer before. The yeast presence creates a familiar, amazingly convincing chocolate chip cookie flavor, when coupled with the malt. The pepper sits in my stomach with a dull tingle in the back of my throat. I'm not sure I like this kind of heat in a beer. I don't care too much for it in food, either. Pepper isn't my thing. Sign me up for wasabi, horseradish or curry. Well, I wouldn't want to find those in a beer either.
Interesting, but I can't help but imagine this one was dreamt up just to call a beer "hot chocolate." In mexican cuisine, pepper and chocolate goes together well (mole), but it's perhaps a little too unusual for me. The pepper is good, but the stout aspect could use some work. Very simplistic, pretty much just chocolate without any complexity. Maybe if this were a bit drier or more robust, the flavors would seem more complex. The malt's so milquetoast that the pepper feels out of place.
Thanks for the bottle, Jim? :)

 1,538 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
2.7/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. This one pours a deep brown color, bordering on black, with a very small head that leaves only small wisps over top. No bubbles appear to be working their way to the surface on this one. Aroma is pretty well all cocoa. Comes across pretty lifeless and could definately use some more to it. Flavor is right there with the cocoa, but this fades to a nice coffee and chocolate finish. On the second sip, I start to get the pepper on this one. It gives an itial tingle of heat and pepper flavor. The heat hits the back of my throat and my stomach as a pretty harsh burn. After two sips, the pepper flavor is really all that I am getting from this one. Not really enjoy it. Mouthfeel is a thin moderate with an absence of carbonation. I'm not enjoying the burning sensation in my esophagus and stomach. I just don't think this is an enjoyable beer.

 857 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.62/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Heartburn in a bottle. Looks ok. No head to speak of but it’s really dark, I’m mean truly impenetrably dark. That’s cool. Smells pretty decent, like peppers and chocolate. The taste, however, bleigh!!! Typically Viking yeast and barley flavors with plenty of nice, well…hot chocolate flavors. Too bad the pepper is misplaced, unbalanced, and nearly undrinkable. I’m not saying that this beer is all that hot. It’s not. I just don’t like the particular pepper that they used. I don’t care for the flavor and boy did they ever use a lot of it. You can see pepper flakes floating around in there, tons of the stuff. Body is way too light. This seems connected to the head thing. Carbonation is minimal and the beer seems watered down. I really like Viking brewery, especially their experimental stuff but this one misses the mark by yards.

 844 characters

Photo of alexgash
2.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Dark chocolate black with a bubbly, quickly-disappearing cocoa brown head. Syrupy chocolate sweetness, cocoa powder (baking), backed by roastedness and nostril-burning heat. I’m not kidding. Weird. Sweet chocolate milk sweetness. Like a sweet stout. Light roastedness. A strange hot, spiciness descends into the finish. Chili mixed with chocolate, eh? Weird but not as bad as I expected. Full-bodied, with a syrupy, cloying feel. Light carbonation. All add up for an odd feel. Not for mass consumption.

 503 characters

Photo of bucko
2.55/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a jet black with no head, and very, very little carbonation. After tasting a variety of Viking's beers, this comes as no surprise. C'mon guys, where's the carbonation? Coffee liqueur dominates the aroma with perhaps a hint of spice/heat (or nicotine?) and maybe, just maybe, some chocolate. The taste is smokey, spicy and devoid of chocolate. Another reviewer said that this tasted like an ashtry, and I can't get that out of my mind. The taste is just plain weird. I'm not opposed to a mix of chocolate and peppers, but the pepper dominates and quite frankly, the pepper flavor isn't that good. I'd like to see more chocolate and less (perhaps different) pepper flavor. Mouthfeel is average, though I think I'd like it better with a bit more carbonation. This isn't terribly drinkable. I have a four-pack and I suspect that the last two will sit in the cellar for a bit.

 877 characters

Photo of battlekow
3.99/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks pretty weird, an almost completely flat pitch black color with odd, brown, seed-looking flecks floating around in it. Smells great though, really strongly of chocolate and stoutish roasted coffee with just the barest hint of spicy pepper. Tastes fairly low-key, not boisterously chocolatey or peppery, but there's definitely some of both, and I disagree with previous reviewers that these two flavors clash horribly. There's a caramel malt base with rich chocolate and roasted veins running through it and a spicyness that builds as the stout characteristics taper. The beer's two main flavors are inversely related, and it transforms from a tasty chocolate stout with flashes of hotness into a peppery beer with some lingering hints of chocolate, both within a sip and as the beer warms. The drinkability takes a hit as the bottle goes on due to the cayenne, but still, Hot Chocolate was much better than I expected.

 923 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
1.79/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pours a dark, opaque brown, with lots of yeast clumpies floating around, and what looks like the bottom of a cup of hot chocolate on the inside of the bottle. No head. I really mean that, not a trace of head. Smell is of chocolate, maybe a little chili spice, but maybe it is just me trying to place it there. TASTE IS TERRIBLE. The cocoa flavors do not mix well with the chili, giving it a smokey/ashtray flavor. This reminds me of the flavor in your mouth after vomiting (the acidity). I love hot food, put tabasco on a minimum of 2 meals a day, however this absolutely abhorred. Not good at all. Oh yeah, and the mouthfeel has lackluster carbonation. Blechl.

 661 characters

Photo of cokes
3.35/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appropriately enough, this pitches an opague chocolate brown fluid. Nearly uncarbonated, and only a patchy brown skim exists. Another description might be "cola-hued sod".
Milk chocolate and burnt grain nose. Underpinned with charred wood.
Begins with coffee grounds and milk chocolate. Templatic stout stuff here. All burnt grain and cocoa. Lightly woody as it progresses. Viking's swamp-mud yeastiness arises, bringing earthen hues of moss, decomposing bark, and mushrooms.
With cayenne so proudly touted on the label, it's head scratching for a second: Where are they?
Oh, there they are. They loiter at the opening of the throat, and burn, just a little. It's not the M-80 blast of some pepper beer, just glimmering sparkler.
The typical undercarbonation of Viking's brew is not an Achilles' heel here, but a general lack of bulk is.
This could have been atrocious....and I actually expected that it would be. It's not. It's all about the gimmick, but as an "experience beer", it's not all bad. In all reality, aside from its lack of body, this is probably pulled off as well as it could have been.
One is probably enough, though.

 1,145 characters

Photo of Skidz
3.17/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy chocolate brown and sits nearly opaque in similar tones. Smallish dark tan head recedes quickly to the sides leaving a placid black surface.

Smells rich and roasty with big hints of cocoa and coffee. Borders on burnt and has some charred wooden aromas, dry and dusty. Hop character is mild, some leafiness.

Tastes mildly sweet up front and breaks into a charred chocolate and coffee flavor. Moves into somewhat soured flavors ranging from immature grapes to apple skins. I don't pick up much in terms of spicy warmth, frankly I don't taste any at all. Maybe a small amout of actual pepper flavor, but no real spiciness. I'll occasionally get a light tingling on the back of my throat, but not a whole lot. This might be a positive attribute. Finish is smooth, very little bitternes, with lingering malty sweetness and loads of chocolate.

Very smooth and creamy, light and delicate carbonation levels. Big full body, easily handled.

I was expecting the worst, and I got mediocer, which I consider a win considering the style. In terms of its base beer, it's decent, and actually quite easy to drink.

 1,129 characters

Photo of tavernjef
1.47/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This was, quite frankly, the worst beer I have ever had. Definately not my cup of tea(or hot chocolate, if you will). Blechhck! I'm not sure where to begin. When I first heard of this I thought it would be interesting and worth a try. But its all wrong for my palate. Very wrong.
The color is a besmirched blackened brown muddy thing that pours very thin and without much head or carbonation. Aroma has weakened cocoa-like nuttyness with a small hint to the cayenne. Oh, but the flavor does not mistake where the cayenne is. Its smack dab in your face and absolutely disgusting. I can't imagine the look on my face I must of had after the first sip. I must of looked like I was poisined or something. I nearly gagged it was that bad for me. Its suppose to be a chocolate stout with cayenne seasoning, not cayenne bludgeoning. The chocolate is nearly invisible, and what is detetced is very artificial and stale. It doesn't help that it nearly does nothing but sit like water. The body is super thin and weak and all I get is a bunch of nasty cayenne that never fits. Yuk, yuk, yuk! Viking? What the hell are you doing to me? I so enjoy a couple of their beers, but this, along with countless others, are just soooo out there that its time to do a reality check and get back to the basics of making a finely crafted brew, not some basement science project gone horribly wrong that will rise up to destroy its maker.

 1,416 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep, impenetrable black color, tiny, soon disappearing head, dwindles to a ring of cocoa-brown bubbles on the edge of the glass.
Aroma: chocolate and pepper, as advertised. Rich, cocoa-powder, with hits of peppery heat.
Taste: bleuhhh!!! Weird as it sounds, chocolate and pepper, what are they doing together here? Not tasting very good. A mushy, dark cocoa feel, swiftly invaded by cayenne pepper, messing about the mouth, and then they drift off the palate in a blink. Halfway through, it gets more palateful, but the pepper heat gets stronger as well. Sticks longer in the mouth as well.
This is a daredevil's beer. Get together with your drinking buddies, buy a bunch of these, and see how many you can put away before your stomach starts to rot.
Another weird idea from Viking, bafflingly executed.

 808 characters

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.07/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours to a deep dark brown, almost black with a light brown head that diminishes almost instantly...typical with Viking. The aroma is of chocolate and a bit of roasted malts. I am seaching for the peppers in the aroma and they just are not there. The flavor is chocolate and malt in the front, which then flows to a fresh peppery taste. It is very thin and watery and the peppers have a bit of warmth in the finish. It needs some more carbonation, kinda flat. I'm a big spicy food fan, so I like it hot...this isn't as hot as I was expecting. Needs more pepper in the aroma and the chocolate and pepper heat in the flavor.

 622 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.02/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Some typical Viking attributes... Barely a pop when I open the bottle. Nary a head forms even with a vigorous pour. And some of the same types of musty yeasty aromas are present.

This headless, black beer leaves no lace. The aroma is more cocoa than chile. The flavor, however, is more chile than cocoa. A lot more chile. This one is hot. Damn. It lingers. It's an interesting brew, but not one I'd revisit anytime soon. Just not my kind of beer.

 450 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Hot Chocolate from Valkyrie Brewing
Beer rating: 3.16 out of 5 with 51 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.