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War Hammer | Valkyrie Brewing

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War HammerWar Hammer

Brewed by:
Valkyrie Brewing
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SheepNutz on 05-21-2002

For Trade:
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Reviews: 87 | Ratings: 107
Photo of emerge077
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was my first introduction to the Viking brewery, I had a 22 oz. around 3 years ago. It was really memorable at the time...

This review is from a 12 oz., purchased yesterday in Madison. Clever label with black & white cowhide, and a strip of 3 rear-view cows.

Pours a completely opaque black, slightly dark brown at the edge where it meets the foam. Initial pour results in a finger of tan mocha foam that is very appetizing. The foam disappears after a few minutes.

Smell is very mild, there's a lactic sourness and dark roasted malt after a swirl of the glass.

Taste has all the right elements, coffee, roasty malt, and chocolate. But it seems out of balance with an artificial plastic note in the first few sips. Nice roast coffee & chocolate aftertaste. It seems pretty light and thin for a Porter even, like a watered down Stout.

It's a decent offering, it just could use more body and have a cleaner presence on the palate. The 22oz. I had so long ago seemed much better by comparison.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viking's Whole Stein delivers an opaque black body with only minimal glints of mahogany when held to the light. It's frothy tan head drops shortly but initially leaves at least a smattering of small, spotty lace about the pint. The nose is rich and bold, however, with notes of bright, sweet caramel; milk chocolate; buttery toffee (diacetyl); and sweet, creamy coffee! As it warms the coffee notes become a bit more roasty; and a waft of almost strawberry-like yeasty fruitiness becomes apparent. Well done! In the mouth it's silky smooth across the palate with a medium body and moderate, very fine-bubbled carbonation that allows it to simply slide away. The flavor delivers everything that the aroma suggests (caramel, light chocolate, coffee) with the addition of a bit more buttery toffee, some nuttiness, a more solid roasted coffee character, and some more "bittersweet" chocolate at the end. It's berry-like fruitiness remains intact, and even carries over into it's dry finish and lingering aftertaste alongside it's nutty, caramelish maltiness. The bitterness is restrained; and it doesn't seem to need to be any fuller as it's low-key roastiness also helps to keep it in check. Hop flavors are minimal at best, but that's OK - this is about malt. And yet it's not overly rich or sweet at all! In fact, it's really well balanced and exceptionally drinkable. It's very nicely done, and certainly worth trying for anyone who's into dark beers and not adverse to a bit of rounding diacetyl!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black coffee black topped by a coffee-with-cream colored head that is a scant one finger in height, even after a somewhat vigorous pour. It looks like carbonation (as in 'a lack of') might be an issue. The bubbly foam is already approaching extinction and no lace graces the glass. Good looking beer though.

I like the nose quite a bit. It smells like fudge brownies studded with butterscotch bits and flecks of vanilla bean. Even though the brewery calls this beer 'a coffee, oatmeal and milk porter', I can't say that I appreciate the java. Why don't they just call it a breakfast porter and be done with it? Anyway, the aroma, while different and probably not everyone's cup of joe, is very nice.

So that's where the coffee went. Odd that it isn't more prominent in the nose. The flavor profile consists of roasted coffee grounds with a bitterness that tastes like it was born of citric hops. The reason that I don't love Whole Stein is a quality that I've noticed in other Viking offerings; namely, a close to overbearing lactic sourness.

I don't mind that characteristic in most porters, in fact I think it adds flavor interest in many cases, I just don't like it to be present to quite this degree. It tastes like curdled cream was added to my breakfast coffee (even though I don't drink coffee, never have and never will). Some of the diacetyl butterscotchiness is still present, although it doesn't work quite as well within the somewhat scattershot flavor profile.

The body/mouthfeel isn't bad for a porter, with one exception. Given the look on the pour, I wasn't expecting much carbonation and that is exactly what I got (or didn't get). Even though it isn't completely flat, the beer lacks any sort of life in the mouth and is, obviously, the poorer for it. This isn't the first Viking beer to suffer this fate. I'm wondering if the boys from Dallas might have some quality control issues.

Whole Stein (Holstein. Milk porter. Get it?) is an interesting beer, but not an especially good one. I get the feeling that something might have gone wrong with this particular batch, but the fact that I've had similar problems with this brewery in the past makes me think that they have bigger issues. The next time I make the trek up to Madison, I'll grab another bottle and give Whole Stein another go round.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an opaque, black body with a tiny, tan-colored head.

Smell: Roast and dark chocolate on the nose with a slight herbal, earthy note.

Taste: A bit of roast and coffee with some lightly sweetish dark chocolate hints. Earthy, roasty bitterness. Sweetened black coffee on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Acceptable, but thin and wholly unremarkable. Thanks, but no thanks.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thoroughly black in color, with a finely roasted head of tannish foam that sits and stays in the glass.
Deep, dark, arcane aroma, rich as it gets, full as can be, the nose flooded with associations of plums, dates, raisins, coffee, chocolate, molasses, and maybe more.
Thick texture, lush taste, flavor engorges the senses, rich and roasty, but creamy, as well.
A "coffee/milk/oatmeal porter", is it? A tall bill to fill, and somehow they carry it off; it should be a mess, but it's wonderful stuff, an amalgam of the best of many styles of stout/porter, some of which are awfully hard to find good examles of on their lonesomes.
body is about medium, finish is, too, and the flavor remains sweet and creamy, ever so easy to toss back.
Top of the heap of sweet stouts, er, I mean, "milk/coffee/oatmeal porters."

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Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown stubby bottle into a pint glass.

Wow, this name is pretty accurate, it feels just like I'm drinking milk here. There's some cocoa and roasted oat and barley flavors, but the overall flavor seems a touch empty, or rather, tasting like skim milk. Kinda weird and kinda cool all at once, I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a two finger brown head that fades to a thin layer leaving some lace. Black color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Burnt chocolate nose. Burnt chocolate flavor but smooth, finish has some bitterness but not from hops. $1.59 for a 12oz bottle from Blue Max Liquor Burnsville, Mn.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)
described as a coffee Oatmeal Milk Porter on the label
A- This beer has a black dense body with a thin dark tan film of head that fades to a thin ring. The only sign of carbonation is a few tiny bubbles stuck to the glass.

S- This beer has a vinous black malt aroma with some dark chocolate hints with notes of tootsie roll and light pepper. the finish is a soft tangy coffee note that increases as the beer warms.

T- This beer has a roasted black malt favor that turns inky as the beer warms. There is a slight cream flavor with some tap water flavors in the finish. As the beer warms there is a slight coffee bitterness that comes through in the black malt but it is still faint.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a watery/slippery texture. There is no real alcohol heat but a soft astringency from the black malt comes through at the beginning of the sip.

D- This beer has some nice malt aromas and some nice malt flavors but it turns thin and watery at the finish. Great start to this beer just a diluted follow through.

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Photo of ppoitras
2.57/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle received via GIF8 from stewdawg. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a minimal 1/8" brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head is quickly down to an uneven film, with average lacing. Aroma is coffee with a lactic tartness. Taste is worty, coffee malty yet thin, with a touch of tartness and a chalky close. Mouthfeel is thin and undercarbonated, and drinkability is actually more like flatish soda than beer. Won't be looking too hard for this one again, unfortunately.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.13/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, unknown bottling date. Served in a snifter 11/14/2014.

A- Dark brown body, opaque and dark. Minimal mocha head, very little retention time, no lacing. [3.5]

S- Coffee, dark fruit, no roast. Hint of milk chocolate. Earthy. Not particularly impressive, fairly average nose. [3]

F- Initial taste is odd, with the dark fruit flavours giving me a slight cherry flavour without any tartness; switching over fairly quickly to a mildly bitter coffee flavour mixed in with minimal milk chocolate sweetness, finishing off with a bitter, resinous earthiness and coffee bean. There is not very much depth or intensity of any one flavour; it is simultaneously strange and bland. [3.25]

M- On the thinner side; low in carbonation and quite astringent coffee bean and cherry flavours on the finish. It gets a bit more drinkable as it finishes, but for the most part it's not something I'm looking to guzzle, as it is fairly bitter and slightly metallic on the finish overall. [3]

O- Weird beer. I may have gotten an old bottle, but the coffee flavours manifest mostly as a bitterness on the finish and there is minimal lactose character with little to no roast character that porters typically have. Not a beer I would recommend, unfortunately. [3]

Final score: 3.14

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to TATURBO for a bottle of this beer to sample. Thanks chris!

12oz shorty poured into snifter.

Appearance: light black bodied beer with a huge 3 fingers plus light brown head. A rootbeer float / cola like head that slowely drops down to thin cap. Not much lacing from the head, but justa little spotty lace.

Smell: Roasty and nutty. Lactose, chocolate, and oats.

Taste: Little bit of roast and milk chocolates. The beer has a finish of really salty peanuts and a bit of oxidation is noted in the beer as soy sauce, but it fairly minimal at this point. Also a little bit of roast expresso lingers once the salty peanuts and soy sauce notes subside.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied for a porter with very high carbonation. This beer has too much carbonation. Its very aggressively carbonated and really almost harsh and prickly. It does inhance the roast notes in the beer. its also a bit thinner than i would have expected.

Overall: Tame the carbonation down and make the beer a little bit thicker and you would have a great beer! It not a bad beer and its better than average, just a little bit rough around the edges.

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Photo of Viggo
2.52/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle picked up in Wisconsin.

Pours an opaque dark brown bordering on black, no light gets through, medium sized light brown head forms, quickly settles to a medium ring around the glass and a thin layer, no real lacing. Smell is very weak, very light lacto sweetness, a bit of coffee and chocolate roast, oats, light fruit, thats it. Taste is slightly bettery, lacto sweet, oats, milky, some chocolate, light coffee roast, biscuit, still very watery. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low to medium carbonation, pretty crap like the other one I had. Just totally weak and no flavour.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.45/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an opaque brew. Nice creamy brown head tops it off. Lacing ability is good. Coffee, cocoa, sweet lactose, burnt malts and molasses all make an appearance on the nose. There are some nice burnt malt and java tones in this brew. Molasses is on the tongue as well. Some nice graininess also. Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety. Body is about medium-full. There's actually some lactic sourness barely perceptible too. This is probably my favorite brew from Viking. The label calls this beer a Coffee flavored Oatmeal Milk Porter.

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Photo of drpimento
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a fine tight dark head, tiny bit of lace. Almost opaque dark brown. Light aroma. Creamy mouth, roasty nutty, coffee, toffee, yummy decent brew. Drinkable. Good finish. Carbonated just right for the style. Not a summer beer. Perhaps almost a session beer.

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Photo of Gusler
4.26/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The pour is an inky black, the head modest in size, the texture frothy and the color a winsome light chocolate, as it evolves the lace forms a fine sealing sheet upon the glass. The sweet malt seems to dominate the nose, chased by the toasted grains and a hint of fresh brewed coffee also noticed, fresh, crisp, and clean with the start thickly malt and sweet, the top is moderate in its feel to the palate. Finish has a pesky acidity, the hops pertinent in their spiciness, droughty and bittersweet aftertaste lingers on the palate. At 3.5% ABV, this is a Porter that would have me drinking it all night long, never thought of a Porter as a “session beer”, but I do now, thanks to “tavernjef” for this bottle, and my thanks and gratitude to the fine “Crafts People” at Viking Brewery for such a fine beer.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, rileys

appearance: pours into a bell's pint glass - big black body with a creamy chocolate head and little lacing

smell: creamy and roasty, trace dark fruits, raisins, dry coffee grounds and bakers chocolate, nice and rich

taste: dark roasted malt, raisin and plum, dates, dry chocolate, coffee grounds, doughy (or is that cardboard?). pretty standard porter

mouthfeel: creamy, but a little light feeling

drinkability: good

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Photo of ZAP
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice little surprise here...thought this was a marzen beer and when I poured it out I said "What the F#ck is this?" Turns out I was blessed with a coffee flavored oatmeal stout and a pretty good one at that.

It pours blackish brown with little to know head...nice burnt malt nose with some java tones...taste is heavy on the burnt malt....relatively smooth in the mouth, but not as slick as I expect from an oatmeal...the java notes are subdued on the buds, but nice and unobtrusive...some excellent burn malts with a dark cocoa like flavor....very nice beer.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great black color, rich looking and thick with a thin cocoa brown head that fades to a leave a few spots of lace and upon drinking gets small patches and strings.

Smell is solid coffee, somewhat espresso-like but closer to a dark coffee, has burnt cookies, dark chocolate and lovely notes of sweet oatmeal and molasses, reminds me of Milk Duds, Malted Milk Balls, a sweet chocolate chip cookie with a burnt bottom dipped in rich coffee. Ahhh....what a fabulous aroma!

Guess what? It tastes like it smells! Starting with easy, sweet dark roasty malts, chocolate tangyness rendering more sweetness and the oatmeal really makes this wonderfully sweet throughout the taste and then finishes strong with a nice rich easy coffee flavor and drying. Again tasting like not-so-thick Milk Duds, Malted Milk Balls, a sweet chocolate chip cookie with a slightly burnt bottom dipped in rich coffee. This is not thick and rich like an Imperial Stout, this a milk version so its much lighter in that regards but just right for what this accomplishes.

Feel is a nice and smooth milky medium body and great lingering of coffee dryness holding some in the finish in the back of the tongue. One hell of a nice "coffee oatmeal milk porter"!
Viking has a acquired a new fan with this one.

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Photo of morimech
3.69/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black with a small tan head that quickly settles to a thick cap. Just a little spotty lacing is left on the glass.

I smell coffee, roasted malt with a touch of milk chocolate. An appetizing aroma.

The flavor is more straight forward porter than I expected. Very malty with a burnt bitterness on the finish. I do not get much from the coffee or oatmeal. I also expected some sweetness.

A little thin and a bit overcarbonated. A light body for such a malty beer.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. I expected much more from reading the description on the bottle.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.55/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Black, with a tan head. This smells like dessert. The aromas are sweet, malty and boozy with an interesting blend of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, vanilla, caramel, and more! The taste is sweet and sticky up front with an amazingly malty middle and a huge finish of sweet coffee, chocolate, caramel, and more. Like I said, dessert. The mouthfeel is thick, but not too thick considering that this is a stout-porter of some sort and the drinkability is very good as well. An awesomely unique brew from Wisconsin. Ah, yes, i'd like another....

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.47/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: My second Viking offering tonight, and yet again, the picture in the BA database doesn’t really do the bottle full justice. Heavyweight looking, a thick golden foil encases the crown cap, and almost covers the entire neck of the 22ounce brown glass bottle. The top of the foil has a red round sticker with the words ‘Something Special from Wisconsin’. The main (and only) label has a silver background with dark blue text. A Viking Longboat rides the froth atop a large Mug. Listed as ‘Whole Stein’ and described as <take deep breath> ‘A Coffee Flavored Oatmeal Milk Porter’. No strength or freshness date listed.

Appearance: Very dark black thick viscous pour with a minimal head. What does form is better in nature from a top-up rather than from the initial pour. Still, neither have much retentiveness. The smooth looking ¼” head eventually slowly ‘pops away’ and slowly dissolves to reveal only a halo covering that leaves little lacing. Good carbonation to start with, rapidly descends to minimal levels.

Nose: Sweetish nose overall, dark roasted malts, sugar laden bitter-sweet dark chocolate coffee. Nice nose that lingers heavy in the air above the glass and has some decent strength. Gets more ‘bitter’ as it warms with a stronger roasted coffee feel.

Taste: Starts with lots of burnt skidmark malts that build into a sharp edged dark charcoal malty center. Long after the swallow, the dry finish starts to reveal mocha coffee, dark bitter cooking chocolates and some thick burnt toasted after-tastes.

Mouthfeel: Big and bold it delivers quite a punch at first. The bitter-sweet coffee feel fills the mouth and this mixes well with a lovely soft oatmeal feel that nicely balances the dry bitter chocolate feel. Hardly any time goes by before the thick burnt malts back this up more so with a long bitter after-taste.

Drinkability: Not exactly a pounding Stout, for it does have an Imperial Stout feel, but the impressive taste profile makes this a beer that you want to experience mouthfeel after mouthfeel, which precipitates a high drinking activity which in turn adds to a rather cool quaffability.

Overall: This is quite something, what sounded like a joke at first, this “Coffee Flavored Oatmeal Milk Porter” more than delivers the goods; though I am sure it is an offering than can equally divide a room of dark beer lovers between whether this is a really a Stout, or a Porter. Who cares! It is well worth seeking out.

It's great but I’m on the fence with the style. So here is a 'Stout-Porter' Thanks to BigHuge, for this Wisconsin 'Porter-Stout'!

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Photo of cokes
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is just one hell of a beer. Viking blew me away with this one. Dubbed a "coffee flavored oatmeal milk porter". Sounds sort of gimmicky, but it delivers on all counts.
Pours black with a dark tan/brown head. Fades out, but not quickly.
Oaty sweetness and burnt malts on the nose.
Taste contains both the sweet oatiness and the roastedness but accentuated with some coffee and faint chocolate flavors.
Drinks so nicely...mouthfeel puts their "imperial stout/ baltic porter" to shame.
Just delicious.
One bomber is never enough.
This is top of the line stuff.

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Photo of alexgash
4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, I must say that this is the first (and only) coffee oatmeal milk porter I've had. Kudos to Viking for their creativity. Pours a murky brown with a light brown head. Smell consists of roasted barley, coffee grounds, smoked salmon, and peat bog, with a bit of a lacto-vanilla edge. Interesting and even weird. Taste is similar with burned roasted malts, some lacto-sweetness, and even some winey tangy-ness. Full, creamy mouthfeel for its strength and quite drinkable.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.09/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am sampling courtesy of Feloniousmonk and BIF 20! Thanx!

The chilled bottle is poured into a pint glass. The beer pours a thick viscous black as it glides down the side of the glass.
A lite fluffy tan head foams up half the glass even with the most gentle of pours. Appearance takes a small hit due to overfoaming.
Aroma is roasted malt and coffee mixing with some brown sugar and chocolate milk scent. Appealing on the nose for sure.
First sip reveals a thinner body than expected and slightly prickly carbonation.
Flavor starts with a bit of coffee and sweet chocolate milk again mixing to make a mochaesque start. There is actually a brief hit of piney hops in the middle and then the malts take over again on the finish with a lingering roasted malt dryness in my mouth.
Quite a nice brew that goes down very smoothly. NO idea of abv but the beer offers no clues.
I would drink again if given the opportunity.

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Photo of Deuane
3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dusted the cobwebs off of this one, hope it's still good. Thanks to nflmvp for this one!

A-Deep, dark brown/black with a monstrous tan head (hope it's not infected) that slowly settles to a thin cap of retention. Head holds on strong and leaves nice swaths of lace.

S-Subtle and muted but notes of ashy coffee, milk chocolate and roasted malt does come though although quite disappointingly so.

T-Well, the flavours on the palate come through nicely thank you very much. Rather rich, earthy bitter, chocolate cover espresso beans with a smoothing moderation from lactose and creamy oatmeal.

M-Medium-light and feels a bit on the thin side. Decent overall though with good lingering earthy coffee and roasted chocolate malt bitterness.

D-A few misgivings give way and all totaled this turns out to be a nicely drinking brew. Full flavoured, even if a touch this in the body. A tasty combination that works well together. This would be a great flavour combo for your favorite barista!

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War Hammer from Valkyrie Brewing
3.61 out of 5 based on 107 ratings.
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