Big Swede | Valkyrie Brewing

BA SCORE
86
very good
113 Ratings
THE BROS
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Big SwedeBig Swede
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Valkyrie Brewing
Wisconsin, United States
valkyriebrewery.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 05-13-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
113
Reviews:
89
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
10.65%
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
4
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 113 |  Reviews: 89
Photo of Fartknocker
2.28/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle from a Viking sampler pack

A- very dark brown color with little to no head

S- similar to a coffee stout

T- rather bitter with an even more bitter aftetaste.

M- average, nothing exceptional

D- one was more than enough for me. the bitter tatse and funky aftertaste of one was enough for me

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Photo of tempest
2.69/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I seemed to have a pleasant memory of the last time I tried the Big Swede. My current bottle doesn't match those expectations, however. The aroma is a mix of vegetables and Jell-o chocolate pudding. The flavor follows with a hint of roasted grains and smooth milk chocolate, but mostly ugly veggies flavors. I don't think this bottle has an excuse or anything. I picked it up as a single from a fridge at the Blue Max - same place I got the last bottle. I can at least say the alcohol is well-hidden, bravo. I can't drink the whole bottle of this, though.

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Photo of Duff27
2.8/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Nothing about this beer was appealing.

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Photo of egrace84
2.83/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was looking forward to this, but was hugely let down. A strange plastic note on the taste.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of AmandaSchaefer
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of Hopstout
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of BigMikie
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of IntriqKen
3.01/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours pitch black with a tan head that melt to a tan covering of tiny bubbles.

Aromas are slightly smokey and surprisingly fruity.

Flavors are dark toasted malt, some smokiness, and sweet fruitiness that ends up leaving a bit of citrus in the mouth.

Not at all like an RIS to my humble tongue. Too much fruit sweetness and no toasted brown sugar sweetness. I imagine this is due to the selection of hops but I found it unusual and slightly distracting.

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Photo of Popkas
3.17/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Whoa. This was a shock. I glanced at a few other reviews and saw things like "1.5 fingers" and even "no head". Not sure what is going on with mine, but it poured like root beer hitting vanilla ice cream! The liquid that I could actually see was a deep brown with red undertones.

S: Dark sweet malts.

T: Deep roasted malt, some dark fruit and a touch of a bitter coffee like after taste.

M: Thick and creamy with a bit of fiz.

D: Once the mountain of head died down a little, the drinkability is ok. Not a favorite by any stretch but worth a try.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up while I was in Wisconsin. After the horrid beer from Viking that is called Hot Chocolate, I am hoping for something a little more palatable.

A: Pour dark brown/black, no light passes through, no head to speak of, decent amount of lacing

S: smell of deep roasted malts, molasses, licorice, dark chocolate, no noticeable hop presence

T: lots of sweet malts up front as the nose suggests, dark fruits, lots of licorice, this brew leads towards the sweet side and leaves a sweetness lingering on the tongue, a little too sweet for my liking as far as the style goes, the roasted malts don't come through on the palate like they do on the nose which is a slight dissapointment

MF: a tad thin for and RIS, sticky, syrupy

D: takes a hit in this category due to the heavy sweetness that lingers on the palate. This beer is much better than Hot Chocolate, but it isn't an RIS I would seek out again

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Photo of charliedrama
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An aggressive pour gives a 1 finger head. Heavy alcohol taste.

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Photo of Flyer
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Doesn’t come across as very “imperial,” but it’s fairly enjoyable. Pours inky black with a small head. Very little aroma. The up front is roasty and smokey, satisfying in the way of a good stout but not very intriguing. It finishes a little bitter-sweet. Before this, I’d never had a beer as high as 8% ABV with so little detectable alcohol – for me, that’s not a plus. This is an okay-to-good imperial stout, but its problem is that it lives in a world with more than a few great imperial stouts.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a very dark black pour into a pint glass since I didn;t feel like using a snifter. The head is short and white but hangs around a little. Not a bad RIS but then again, nothing special here. I probably would not buy this beer if it were available. I am not quite sure what made it Swedish style?

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Photo of 22Blue
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of gregy55902
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of CWhite
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of harpus
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a small light tan head. In the aroma, smokey and sweet coffee, In the taste, a sweet oatmeal maltiness. A smooth big bodied mouthfeel and a dry malty and coffee aftertaste. Smooth and nice coffee presence. ABV is not known but was not really tasted, has to be lighter for a imperial stout.

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Photo of Mdog
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, almost no head at all.

Smell: Some chocolate, and maybe a little banana?

Taste: Starts sweet and roasty, then dark chocolate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium, not as heavy as a lot of imp. stouts.

Drinkability: Pretty good stuff.

This is a pretty good beer from Viking. It's not as amped up as other imperial stouts but has more there than a regular stout. One of their better offerings.

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Photo of ADR
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Extremely dark brown, sub-black but opaque. Dark tnnish head, creamy with condensation on the top. Laces in multiples of numerous dots. The aroma is roasty, burnt wheat toast with a green grain sense and a slight astringency. Medium body and slick in viscosity, flavor is dominated by fruit, raisin that ranges a bit too far into an unripe grape wine-iness and overall acidity. Finishes with an oily coffee impression, perhaps re-inforced by generous hops. The set-up seems good, some alcohol power, just wanting a little more rich sweetness to balance the load.

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Photo of Chaz
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an inky-black to the eye. When held to direct light it's more like a deep crimson-brown, but it's pretty darn dark at any rate. A medium-firm pour produces a darker tan head, with good retention and lacing. The nose is fairly non-descript by comparison to many other renditions in the style, with dark and caramelized/burnt malts, and light notes of toffee, bitter chocolate, and licorice. Lightly fusel and boozy - hooray booze! A bit more expressive on the first sip, with the roasted malts and semi-sweet / bittersweet chocolate notes making an immediate impression. Some of those dark malts seem bitter (burnt) and acrid, and in this case help to balance out the rather cloying sweetness of this brew. Fairly warming and certainly quite warming as it warms, the alcohol is nonetheless "cooler" on the palate and in the aromatics than I recall it being back in the bomber bottle days. Notes of sweet red apple, plum, date, and lighter licorice. Body seems a bit thin for the style but this doesn't harm the drinkability, and might actually improve it. Mouthfeel is just about average (I'm erring on the side of familiarity . . . ) This is perhaps a bit more "average" than I recall (especially with the scores of great RIS and American Stout renditions available these days), and is sweeter than I like in the style. Still, Big Swede is a solid brew worth revisiting. A sipper, well-suited toward cooler months, as well as a dessert beer ready and waiting for a cigar or two to mellow out with.
Served chilled, in a bulb.

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Photo of Casey10
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a extra I recieved in a trade. I thought it wasw okay somewhat watery for a RIS. It has its upsides and downsides of course. I can not rightly recomed this or really want to try it again.

I may be biased so I am not giving this a high recomendation or directions as to find this.

Again not bad, but there is so much better out there.

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Photo of Greggy
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pitch black body with a tan (band-aid color) head, pretty thick at 1.5 fingers height. As it recedes, it leaves a decent coating of lacing.

S- Big Chocolate, some cream, a bit of graham cracker, some dark fruits, and some sweeter Hershey's chocolate notes. Very sweet smelling.

T- Starts out with a very sweet chocolate that is a bit cloying. I would like to have seen a much larger bitterness right off to balance the show. There is quite a bit of sweetness in there that almost has fruity (think orange) brightness. The finish is much like the start: Sweet and not overly complex.

M- Feels a little thin for a russian impy. Carbonation is low which I like.

D- This isn't a bad beer at all, but it has room for improvement. A hoppier edge would be very nice and would really help the lack of complexity.

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Photo of demcorhip
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance
This brew poured a dark black, with a hint of ruby around the edges when held up to light. No head, and essentially no lacings in this very slightly carbonated beer.

Aroma
The burnt malts produced bitter scents of espresso and dark chocolate. Creamy notes also present, as well as a faint floral grassiness.

Taste
The burnt malts produced flavours of dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee. A hint of oak? An even lesser hint of vanilla? Some sweeter roasted malts present with a touch of caramel, and the mild earthy, floral, and grassy contribution from the hops and yeast compliment the bitter flavours.

Mouthfeel
This is a medium bodied flavourful and balanced brew. Its mostly roasted bitterness is balanced nicely with some creaminess and sweeter malts, as well as the earthy, floral, and grassy notes. Not much carbonation in this offering.

Drinkability
This is a tasty, drinkable, almost big beer. Not quite session fare, and certainly not crossover fare, except maybe for those who are big fans of espresso or dark chocolate. A good, substantial drink on a cold weather day.

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Big Swede from Valkyrie Brewing
3.85 out of 5 based on 113 ratings.
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