Smashed Pumpkin by Shipyard Brewing

Rating: 4.75/5

Smashed Pumpkin by Shipyard Brewing is a 9% ABV Pumpkin Ale. Just came out in time for the Fall season :P. It is a beer made with natural ingredients and lots of pumpkins.

Label:

Smashed Pumpkin is a big-bodied beer with a light coppery orange color and pleasing aroma of pumpkin and nutmeg. The OG and final Alc./Vol. provide the structure and body. Pale Ale, Wheat and Light Munich Malts combine with the natural tannin in pumpkin and the delicate spiciness of Willamette and Hallertau Hops to balance the sweetness of the fruit. To fully enjoy all the flavors, this ale is best drunk at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Smashed Pumpkin pairs well with sharp cheeses, nuts, lamb, hearty stews and desserts like flan or pumpkin pie. Chefs find this an excellent beer to cook with in dishes such as braised short ribs. The beer is quite delicious. A lot of Fall flavors of nutmeg, pumpkin, camotes or sweet potatoes and yams. There are flavors or caramel, burnt sugar, pilsner, wheat, orange, coriander, clove, cinnamon, maple, creamy vanilla, ginger bread and honey. Reminds me of when my mom used to make camotes or calabaza con leche….so good :P…She would boil the calabaza with piloncillo (Brown Mexican Sugar Cone). God this is very good. I guess the only difference from JP La Parcela which I had last year is that that one is more of a pumpkin pie or fresh bitter pumpkin. This is more of a naturally sweetened served pumpkin. If you ever find this during the fall, get it…it will put many things like Sam Adams October fest or most pumpkin beers to shame…Alcohol on this??? No way…its hard to tell….way too much awesomeness going on…maybe not la parcela..but then again this is easier to find….go find this now!!

Source: 

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Fruet by The Bruery

Rating: 5/5

Fruet by The Bruery is their 4th Anniversary Ale. It is a 15.5% ABV 100% Old Ale style aged in Bourbon Barrels. This is one amazing beer and Falls just in line with the other great Bruery beers I have tried like Black Tuesday, Tart of Darkness and Chocolate Rain. Diabetes in a bottle…LMAO!!. The old ale or stock ale style is a style made centuries ago that is full of dextrins creating a full malt beer. It is aged for in barrels for several years and reaged once more. So initially when they started, they had old beers and re added new batch to it. It truly is a 4th Anniversary ale…no joke!!!

Label:
Fruet is our fourth anniversary ale. It is the same recipe as Papier and our other anniversary ales, and again was created using the Solera method. Each year we will continue to blend old barrels of anniversary ale with a new batch of the same beer, adding an additional layer of complexity that will grow over time as we continue to age and blend with each anniversary, creating an older average age to the ale. This year, for the first time, we are ONLY offering the 100% bourbon barrel aged version of our anniversary ale. It has taken us four years to work up our capacity enough to do this and we are extremely happy about this offering.

The smell of the beer reminds me of how good Chocolate Rain and Black Tuesday smelled. Roasted Coconut, Chocolate, pecan pie, dulce de leche and dark fruits, Flan, vanilla, sweet condenced milk (Lechera). That is just the smell. The taste is simply phenomenal!!!! Just like the smell, chocolate, pecan pie, dulce de leche, flan, condensed milk, bourbon sweetness without the alcohol. Coconut, caramel, raisins, figs, red grapes like wine, oak, burnt toasty sourdough bread, toffee with almonds…. OH WOW!!…Just WOW!!!!!!!Be careful drinking this one, it will get you in trouble, maybe not in the level of chocolate rain but surely close. This beer hides alcohol very well….not recommended for the lighter beer drinkers…There is a reason why this one in particular was pricey. Some of the beers I get are decent price that I could afford, but this one?? No…..they took care of this one. It isn’t pricey like a wine but it runs you about the same price as a bottle Patron Tequila. Price aside, this is a true collection beer. Only God knows how long this can be aged for. It is amazing that these types of beers exist out there and they are on a level of their own. The fact is that there is beer that can be considered like a collection is crazy. I think it honestly depends on what you are looking for that may make or break what you would consider the best beer in the world. In my Journey I have found the St. Bernardus abt 12 and Trois Pistoles to be the best in my opinion. But this is just my journey, what about yours? I mean for most people they would settle upon any beer they would find delicious, make it a favorite and say it is the best. That is awesome really. As for me…. I have done a lot of tasting and research on this category and this type of beer makes me realize that maybe at some point I should just settle with what I got :)…. Gold is out there…some people believe it is what they want and they will stick to it. Even people out there that say bud light or corona is the best, then so be it. I applaud you because at least you stand for what you like. As for me, I will keep searching and presenting you here with the many beers you may potentially run into and try. It may make you see beer and art alittle differently. If I have done at least that favor to you that that is all I ask. Oh yeah…. by the way… as the dude from beer geek nation would say…Life is too short…drink amazing beers!!!…. and additional to that quote, if you go down knowing that you lived your life by your terms and means, then no one can take ever take that away from you…..Cheers!!!

Saison du Buff Aged in Red Wine Barrels by Stone, Dogfish Head and Victory

Rating: 5/5

Saison du Buff Aged in Red Wine Barrels is the aged collaborative brew of the Beer Epics, Stone, Dogfish Head and Victory Brewing. It is a 7.9% ABV Saison/Farmhouse ale. This one though, Stone decided to be evil and age it in Red Wine Barrels by Stone. Stone…you sure come up with some awesome ideas 😀

Label:

BUFF: Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor. A clandestine organization commided to liberating collective taste buds, citing the dastardly and/or oppresive reign of so called ‘fizzy yellow beer’. 
It’s a saison of sorts; hellaciously herbaceous and hopefully contagious. This was not a ready made ale. Buff is how we think, how we act, and who we are… Brewers united for freedom of flavor! Herbs in our brew? Impossible where I trained in Germany! But America has granted our breweries the amazing opportunity with gusto in making this collaborative ale. Other than the times we’ve seen each other at conferences and fests since we formed BUFF in 2003, this is the first chance we’ve had to get together over a brew (as in making it) and later, a brew (as in drinking it.) I hope you’re able to enjoy this collaborative effort with your old friends! – Sam, Bill, Greg 

This beer has the same flavors of the saison du buff which I reviewed this and last year but with added aged in red wine. WTF does this do to the taste you may ask?…welll..It gives it a nice wine, oak, rosemary, sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley, apples, apricots, toast bread, and Gouda cheese in the after taste. This complexity of herbs, spices and wine is like no other. I almost want to say, it is a wine, cheese and crackers in a bottle. I’m getting some toast bread or cracker spread with Velveeta, seasoning, spices and drinking a lump of wine. Quite PURO PINCHE FANCY as my friend Sal would say and BOUGIE as my Alex would say. The flavors are quite complex…they are messing with my mind. Like all that that I explained but in drink format. This is crazy!!!!!!..WOW..Eschatological Ale+ Judgement Day Ale = It’s over!!!….SAISON LOVERS….THIS IS SPARTA!!!!!!…and by that I mean… if you find this….this could be the best Saison ever O.O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Luciérnaga or The Firefly by Jolly Pumpkin

Rating: 4.75/5

Luciérnaga or The Firefly by Jolly Pumpkin is a 6.5% ABV Belgian Pale Ale brewed with Spices. This time of year, it is available. The summer sour ale. But honestly, it is not as sour as some of the other JP beers 😛

Label: The Firefly, an artisan pale ale brewed in the Grand Cru tradition. Enjoy its golden effervescence and gentle hop aroma. Coriander and Grains of Paradise round out the spicy palate, melting o so softly into a silken finish of hoppiness and bliss! Make any season a celebration! 

It smells of the usual JP funky wine sourness with somewhat citrus and banana fragrance. The taste of this beers is pretty good. The last time I time I tried this beer was last year. Decided to pick it up again to give a chance. Flavors of the JP grape wine vinegar are very low. What happens then on is that it gives way to some sweet delicious oranges, coriander, peaches, green apples, lemon, biscuit bread with honey, very minor earthy hop notes, caramel, minor peppery and cinnamon flavors. In general, though ye may be of sour origination, each beer brought forth is something different that may not be the same. JP, although a mainly sour brewery, has created some of the best sour ales out there like no other brewery. Cheers guys :)!!

2011 Review: 
The Jolly Pumpkin fire fly is a very sweet pale ale. Sweet in the form that there is a range of flavors going from fruits, spices like corriander, some slight maltiness to the palette as well as that jolly pumpkin sourness. The funny part about this beer is that the sour notes are noticed at first but the finish is very sweet, almost peach like. This is definitely a summer ale like no other, especially for being jolly pumpkin and their sour style ales :P. Lol the funny thing about it as well is that its quite fizzy so be careful when opening this one. Enjoy :3….

Enjoy By 9.21.12 by Stone

Rating: 4.6/5 http://www.stonebrewing.com/enjoyby/

Enjoy By 9.21.12 by Stone is a 9.40 Double IPA. This is an experiment at stone they are conducting and a very limited edition beer. Go here to find it near you in Southern California, Chicago or New Jersey. The thing about this beer is to see if they can get the freshest IPA possible out there and see how well people enjoy a very fresh IPA. This won’t last long and on 9/21/2012, it will be pulled off the shelves. So if you get to find it, DO IT NOW!

Label:
You have in your hands a devastatingly fresh double IPA. While freshness is a key component of many beers- especially big, citrusy, floral IPAs- we’ve taken it further, a lot further, in this IPA. You see, we specifically brewed it NOT to last. We’ve not only gone to extensive lengths to ensure that you’re getting this beer in your hands within an extraordinarily short window, we made sure that the Enjoy By date isn’t randomly etched in tiny text somewhere on the bottle, to be overlooked by all but the most attentive of retailers and beer fans. Instead, we’ve sent a clear message with the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right now to enjoy this IPA. 
First Batch: Enjoy By 09-21-12.

So how fresh is this beer? Well I was skeptic. Being a fan of super strong bitter, sweet and tropical IPAs I had to try this. The smell of this beers is very hoppy and plant like. They were not kidding. Smells of oregano or MJ with onions dipped in orange and lemon. The flavors?? Well the flavors are of Apricot, peaches, strong honey dew, melon, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, orange, pine, oregano, basil and minor note of sweet garlic. Seems like the hops just glue themselves in the aftertaste. Getting a lot of sweet hoppy goodness here. My GOD…this would be perfect for a Carne Azada…Oh well… I already opened it ._. …Anyways, the flavors are actually not as bitter. The hop grass and pine flow way more. The sweetness of this beer is higher. Also, I noticed that it is unfiltered too so it is not as complex. I would honestly say, this is and maybe Heady Topper, would be the best IPA ever for people that usually hate bitter IPAs. You will love this one. It is also as refreshing as some nice summer lagers. The crazy part, oh yeah, I almost forgot…THE ALCOHOL is still a 9.4%!!! Meaning you will not find it and drinking this beers is very smooth and crisp. Quite the different little beer here and I guess if this is what a newly born fresh IPA is supposed to taste like then, my applause. Go get this before time runs out :/

#EnjoyBy #SoCal

Noël Des Géants by Brasserie Des Légendes

Rating: 4.5/5

Noël Des Géants by Brasserie Des Légendes is a 8.5% ABV Herbed and Spiced Belgian Pale Ale. Brewery of legends makes beers in a medieval castle in a small French speaking town in Belgium. My friend Rich got this beer a while back. It looked pretty good so I had to find it.

Label:

Unpasteurized, Unfiltered, Bottle-Refermented Belgian Ale. The Brasserie Des Légendes is housed in a medieval castle in the town of Irchonwelz, in the French-speaking south of Belgium. Its majestic gate stands high to allow the passage of the occasional visiting giant … as the town is famous for its annual giants parade.

Belgian and Ginger bread with dark fruits such as plums and raisins are noticeable fore front. Some minor coriander spice and orange peel are in there. Along with some Christmas spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. It has some delicious flavors in the back of caramel, sun flower seeds, mint, pecans and hazelnuts.

The beer is fairly a sipping beer, but the alcohol is nowhere to be found and is well masked. Belgian beer people, see if you can find this one later this year. This one is from last year. Just the fact that you are drinking something that was made in a medieval castle….well…damn …that is just legendary!!

Leireken Wild Berries Belgian Ale by Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A.

Rating: 3.25/5

Leireken Wild Berries Belgian Ale by Brasserie De Silenrieux S.A. Is a 5.2% ABV Fruit Belgian beer. It is brewed with Blueberry,Raspberry, Strawbery, Cherry, Pomegranite and Elderberries. For being a fruit beer, there is some slight bitterness to it. It’s emphasis is not bread like other Belgians. It is not a Kriek either. Flavors range of cherries, raspberries with alittle bit of

 bread and sour grape with bitterness maybe from the pomegranate. Like a cranberry bitterness. It is a light beer like the Acai Berry Wheat. I think it is mainly used as a refreshing drink with some fruit flavors. I also think the purpose of this beer is to mix with other beers like the Stouts or Ambers. On its own it is decent and refreshing.

King Cobra 40oz Malt Liquor by Anheuser-Bush

Rating: 2/5

King Cobra 40oz Malt Liquor by Anheuser-Bush is a 6%ABV American Malt Liquor. Why am I doing a review on this? LOL…well…here is the story. 

One day when I was hanging out with my friend Hugo and Oscar we went to a bar and got wasted….the next morning we wanted to keep drinking so we stopped by the liquor store before we went to buy some menudo for the hangover. I was in charge of buying a beer for each so I got Oscar a Tallboy can of budlight and I got a Hop Stoopid. David a.k.a Hugo was joking around and was like get a King Cobra. To his surprise he was like WTF…you actually got this?? We were laughing our asses off. So as a favor to Hugo, he asked me to review this beer. Here it is….LOL

Smells like corn oil, metal and grains. Taste like a minor pilsner with minor sweetness, corn, rice, metallic, and grainny with slight bitterness but not of grass hops ofcourse. The purpose of this beer is to obtain a cheap buzz. Distinguishing different other forty ounces may vary with similar flavors. Some more bitter, grainy, boozy, sugary or metallic in general. In some cases, this is better than a budlight…LOL I guess mainly cuz it will mess you up quicker but it is less watery even if it still taste iffy. There are worst beers out there but this one still sits in the pile of less than subpar beers. Yet the awesomeness of it was the joke that will leave the impression…Cheers bro!!!

Chocolate Rain by The Bruery

Rating: 6/5 *This may have just become my favorite beer ever…

HEY EVERYONE…WHO WANTS DIABETES IN A BOTTLE?? LOL just kidding…Actually only partially kidding ….. >.>
This is Chocolate Rain, by The Bruery. It is Whoopin’ 19.5%ABV Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels with cocoa nibs and vanilla beans. Well.. I don’t even know if it should be categorized as an imperial stout, more like a very complex boozy chocolate syrup drink with some major major chocolate infusion going on. Literally, the most chocolate rich beer I have ever had. The strongest beer I have ever had aside from Tactical Nuclear Penguin at 32% ABV. To me, maybe I just set this as my all time favorite. Choosing Trois Pistoles and St. Bernardus mixed in high amounts of chocolate may make something similar to this…..maybe.

As soon as I opened this bottle I realized the beer was too extreme for me. It smells like hazel and pecan pie with Chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate and did I mention chocolate drizzled all over that pie with whip crème and cherries on top. That was just the smell. The taste was a maelstrom of rich complex chocolate, dark chocolate mocha, pecans, almonds, dipped in dulce de leche, vanilla, browney batter, bourbon, raisins, cherries, raspberries, Leche Nestle, Epitome of Sugar dimension times 10….. This is the ULTIMATE dessert beer. Adding ice cream may actually put you in a comma. Either that or drinking the whole bottle. BE VERY CAREFUL!!! As delicious as this is, one could get carried away. A beer designed to age for many many decades…

Horny Devil by Ale smith

Rating: 5/5

Horny Devil by Ale smith is a 11% ABV Belgian Strong Pale Ale made brewed with Corriander spice, Candi sugar and Trappist monstery yeast. This feel almost a very strong sweet and wheat beer. A heffeweizen crashed into a Belgian Pale Ale and created this strong complexity of a beer. Just like the Leinenkugel’s, it is a strong, fruit pebbles tasting beer. Definitely world class. This beer reminds me of a much much sweeter Curiex from Allagash. The beer ranges of flavors going into sweet caramel candy, honey and vanilla bread followed by rich apricot, orange, lemon, strawberry, plum, peach and pear flavors. Quite boozy as that but I think the candied sugars and fruity pebbles of this beer surely make up for that. Barney, my pebbles!!!! LMAO!! This beer is easy to find at bevmo and is served year round. For the amount of flavor and clear looking body and strong ABV, it is almost a sin not having this one. Try out my Belgian beer brothers

Stout by Ise Kadoya/Nikenjayamochi Kadoya Honten

Rating: 3.5/5

Stout by Ise Kadoya/Nikenjayamochi Kadoya Honten is a 5% ABV Japanese Stout. This beer is the the second in line that I have tried from Japanese craft beers. The last one I tried was the IPA which was more of a delicious barley wine. This beer is quite different than other stouts. It has some roasted malt character which gives off a little dark chocolate and coffee. It has more like a licorice and some minor sour wine notes that remind me of the Madrugada sour stout but to a more lighter degree of flavor and and alcohol. There is some smokey vanilla on there as well. I guess if you come into this one looking for a stout, you will be surprised. Because it does remind me of Madrugada, I will give it some good credit. The beer taste better than it smells as the sourness does smell alittle like old soy sauce. Although soy sauce is good and in the past, this company used to make soy sauces and would only make small batches of beer on occasion. A nice ale over all.

Love Child No. 2 by Boulevard Brewing

Rating: 4/5

Love Child No. 2 by Boulevard Brewing is a 9.6%ABV American Wild Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels. Made with 2 lactic cultures such as Lactobaccillus and Breattanomyces. This beer is a sour ale. It is not to the level of tart or funk as some of the Jolly Pumpkins I like but more like a fruity sour. Flavors are this are like very tart but sour sharp, cherry cobbler or sour cherry pie with 

raspberries and wine. The bourbon notes are minor in this one although in the back end there seems to be some caramel, honey and vanilla notes. Some apples, lemons and orange grapefruit is alittle noticeable. I first saw this beer in Iowa when I went to go visit my friend Steve. I meant to get it but I decided I would find it another time. It is a very decent sour ale. The fruitiness covers up most of the sourness of it so it is very enjoyable. Give it a go if you can find it too 🙂

La Fin Du Monde by Unibroue

Rating: 5/5

La Fin Du Monde by Unibroue is a 9%ABV Triple Golden Ale on Lees. By Triple, it means it is a triple fermented Belgian ale. This Triple tops all other Triples over the world. Even the Trappist Triples don’t come close. No wonder Trois Pistoles to me is number one :P. Anyway, this is the second time I get a chance to review this beer. The beers is very common to find. Even the local Albertson’s has it in stock. There are several layers to this beer in terms of flavor,texture and drinkability. It is creamy, crisp, and refreshing. Flavors of Champagne, apricot, pears, apples, oranges, alittle bit of sweet banana nut bread, honey, spices like coriander, . As strong as the beer is, there is hardly a sense of the alcohol. This is kinda interesting because that means you can probably drink more and after a while it will creep up :). So yes, highly recommended, easy to drink, but just be careful :P. This beer takes on that barrier that divides wine and beer into something special. It may truly be The End of the World, or maybe just the empty glass…another round please!!

2011 Review:
Tripple yeast fermentation gives this ale a smooth and sweet taste….even for a 9%, there is no strong sense of the alcohol but emphasis on the sweet complex flavors. beeradvocate.com states that this is the best trippel in the world.

About the Legend: http://www.unibroue.com/en/beers/15/history

Heady Topper by The Alchemist

Rating: 5/5

Heady Topper by The Alchemist is a 8% ABV Double IPA. Considered to be the 2nd best IPA in the world right next to the Fabled, Russian River Pliny the Younger and 3rd best beer in the world overall. At one point it did held the record for the best beer in the world taking battle after battle between Westvleteren 12 and Pliny the Younger. Surprising as to why the best beers in the world are between Belgian Quads/Strongs and IPAs?? Well, maybe because those that do not spend the time to research and explore these types of treasures end up short to realize what truly awesome beer could be…

Label:
From the CAN: “DRINK FROM THE CAN! [x3 for added emphasis]”; “Heady Topper is an Ameri[CAN] Double India Pale Ale. This beer is not intended to be the biggest or most bitter. It is meant to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness on your palate. Tremendous amounts of Ameri[CAN] hops will creep up on you and leave you with a dense hoppy finish in your mouth. So drinkable, it’s scary. Sometimes I wish I could crawl right into the [CAN]. Freshness and control have always been my main concern[s] when it comes to our beer. We are committed to providing you with an unfiltered and unpasteurized hop experience. Why do I recommend that you drink it from the [CAN]? Quite simply, to ensure a delightful, [sic] hop experience. The act of pouring it in a glass smells nice, but it releases the essential hop aromas that we have worked so hard to retain. If you MUST pour it into a glass, you may find that some of the hop resins have settled to the bottom – leave them in the CAN when pouring. This beer is perishable, and at its best when it is young, fresh and hazy. Keep it cold, but not ice cold. Drink this beer immediately, we are always making more. [Undersigned] John Kimmich, The Alchemist, Waterbury, Vermont”; “Don’t be a D-Bag, recycle this [CAN]!”.

How is this beer in Flavor?? The epitomy of Tropical…. The focus of this beer is strictly not on super bitter, just tropical and hop extremities. Pine, Grass, Minor Grape Fruit, major Mango and Peach Flavor, pears, sweet grape, papaya, apples, oranges, pineapples, Sugar Cane, caramel, vanilla and hazel nut. I had saved some from the can and drank it straight…WOW …they are right… Drinking from the can makes it where right amount of hops is more active than served in the glass… How is this possible??? even though drinking from the glass has always been better…Makes no sense but it is what it is…damn GOOD BEER…Wow…Is this really an IPA or a tropical fruit drink with hops??? It is amazingly balanced. You know this is an IPA even IPA haters CANNOT avoid….. Look here is the thing…. I have never EVER had Pliny the Younger, but I am sure if this can go toe to toe…then it is definitely a force to be damn well recognized. Some say it was the Pliny the Younger Killer, I would agree because of it’s availability. I cannot say this enough…this is just brimming with what an IPA evolution into a sweetened and hoppy bitter taste truly is. WOW….JUST….WOW!!!

Bashah 2009 Highland Park & Black Raspberry Reserve by Stone and BrewDog

Rating: 5/5

Bashah 2009 Highland Park & Black Raspberry Reserve the Collaborative minds of Stone and BrewDog bring forth an 8.7%ABV Black IPA aged with Scottish Black Raspberries in Highland Park Whiskey Barrels. It has been 3 years of aging and it is just right for the review. The ABV I am sure has gone higher to newer heights. The Bashah itself already didn’t make any sense, now they aged it to the 10th dimension of flavor and understanding to the power of comprehension root bliss imaginary quantum. One of the things that I noticed may have matured about this beer is the cherry chocolate and coffee. It sorta has some flavors of cherry chocolate Dr pepper or coke with vanilla ice cream. However, this is beer, and ofcourse has way more flavors. Whiskey is there in the aftertaste along with vanilla, caramel, earthy and grassy pine hops, cherries, raisins, peppers. This would kick as a beer float or even by itself. IPA?? yeah right….never…Stout?? Maybe…but no cigar….Amber??…STFU!!!…Beer Unknown? …sounds about right >.>…Oh yeah and before I forget…good luck finding this this little bastard…you won’t…unless you are lucky…..-.-

Hops N’ Roses by Captain Lawrence

Rating: 4.5/5

Hops N’ Roses by Captain Lawrence is a 5.5%ABV American Wild Ale aged in oak barrels with Rose hips, Elder Flowers, and Hibiscus (Jamaica Flower). Now this is a floral beer. When poured into a glass it looks just like a red and pink grapefruit juice. Different beer here. Reminded me of when I opened Tart of Darkness with it’s dark purple look. This is something else. A Tangy, Jolly pumpkin sour like ale with fruity and flowery sweetness and piney like bitterness. The sourness of grape wine brettanomyces is there mainly around the aftertaste. What truly flows is everything else. There are flavors here of the Jamaica, Strawberry, grapefruit, orange peel, roses, apricot, oak wood, cherry, raspberry yogurt. I guess the way flowers and roses smell is what really flows with this beer. Mighty fine :). Not sure which category of people would enjoy this one but one thing is for sure, the more I try it, the more I would it leaves an impression of flavor in the aftertaste. Almost like your drinking the beer still but you are not. Like the delicious sweet flowers just linger. I would almost say like Ruination, except instead of supreme bitterness, its flower sweetness.

Stone 16th Anniversary IPA

Rating: 4.6/5

Stone 16th Anniversary IPA is a 10% ABV Double IPA brewed with Lemon Verbana and Lemon Oil.
Amber and orange looking IPA with grassy honey and lemon fragrance.

Label:
We’ve been loving creating Collaboration beers with great creative brewers from all over the world these last several years-unique beers that would never have existed without the free-flowing imagination and idea generation of the collaborative process. However, when it comes to the Stone Anniversary Ales, it’s all us. Yet, it is indeed still a collaboration with great creative brewers (if we do say so ourselves). We’re talking about our own brewing team, of course. And while some of our beers, anniversary and otherwise, have been designed by a single person, the Stone 16th Anniversary IPA was definitely a team effort. 

This year our brewing team was inspired by some exotic-ish additions of the lemony persuasion. Yes, it’s a Double IPA (can you really say you’re surprised?), but as we strive to do with all our Stone Anniversary Ales of the let’s-take-this-IPA-in-a-new-direction variety, we’ve brewed up a Stone-worthy divergence from tradition. The amount of rye malt we used isn’t quite enough to warrant the appellation “Rye IPA,” but it still adds hints of spiciness that contrast deliciously with the tropical fruit flavors and aromas of the Amarillo and Calypso hops. Add a few European specialty malts, some lemon verbena, and three more hop varieties to the mix, and you have a highly complex brew melding both bitter and fruity hop notes with rich toasted malt character punctuated by nuances of spicy rye and subtle lemon. 

The bastards at Stone bring forth an awesome addition this year. With a more fruity and lemon IPA. The beer has the basics of best enjoyed DIPAs with the flavors of grapefruit, pine and grassy hops along with caramel and honey. This time they added rye to it gives it a toasted bread flavor. Adding the herbal and spices of the lemon verbena and lemon oil is like dipping that toasty bread into massive amounts of lemon drops with orange and pineapple juice. There is some floral aspects as well. Like the way a flower smells is what is in the aftertaste. Not the same type of bitterness of hops but a bitterness of sweet like plants or flowers. There is no hint of the alcohol as the great flavors seem to hide it well. Overall not as mango tropical but a good combo none the less. Awesome IPA worth the pick up.

Black Tuesday by The Bruery


Rating: 5/5 

Black Tuesday by The Bruery is an 18.2% ABV Imperial Stout. SHIT…just as I was typing this information about Black Tuesday, all of a sudden Facebook goes down..LOL conspiracy…>.>…oh well.. I am still reviewing this for the people…yes… GOLD it is….Still I can’t help wonder if there was a reason for this or just a coincidence…either way….here it is…

Label:

“I cannot help but raise a dissenting voice to statements that we are living in a fool’s paradise, and that prosperity in this country must necessarily diminish and recede in the near future.” – E.H.H. Simmons, President, NYSE, January 1928 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wall_Street_Crash_of_1929 Our infamous Black Tuesday is an Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon barrels for over a year. Rich caramel, toasted malt, vanilla, burnt wood, anise are just a few of the many flavors of this rich, decadent imperial stout.
ABV: varies, IBU: 40, SRM: 100
http://vimeo.com/16035690
http://vimeo.com/7322604

Did I wait??? no… I did not… I did not wait to get this… I had some sources…but I go it anyways…This is the answer to Dark Lord Imperial Stout…for California…This cannot be beer…beer has some form of alcohol. I cannot sense any alcohol..EXTREMELY SMOOTH!!!….All I sense if pure chocolate, chocolate, dark chocolate, mocha, roasted coffee, bourbon, vanilla, burnt sugar, cherry, sweet plum and raisin, sugar glazed just for fun, oh yeah and more sugar. A smokey sugar honey glazed ham with glazed over more sugar. WOW…. just ..wow….it really is the end here…diabetes in a bottle..wonder what people will say…it will be the crash of 2012 but many will be like …none ..none of this matter… either that or just go insane….as for me…just chill here…hangout and relax…Stouts lover…. Extremely sweet beer chocolate lovers with well… palate of smoke…go find this..this beer survives economical, social, natural and any hardships you can think of. Damn it all!!! I like this even better than Dark Lord Imperial….take in with EXTREME CAUTION…save the rest for later

Double Bastard Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels by Stone

Rating: 5/5

Double Bastard Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels by Stone is their 2009, Quingenti Millilitre, 11.5% ABV Hell of a vintage American Strong Ale…. Damn that’s a Sentence full. Even so is the description:

Take the famously lacerative muther of an ale, double bastard, age it in bourbon barrels for a couple of years and what do you get? 1) Lucky if you get any at all. 2) Lighter in the wallet as we’re not going to age it on our dime. 3) Envy and heart ache: You’ll have to deal with the envious actions and reactions of those you previously thought of as supportive friends and you’ll have to endure the heartache of knowing that basking in the glow of this ale will be fleeting at best – an all-too-brief respite from the harsh, unforgiving reality that is life – and then gone. So, you’d better be damn sure that now is the right time to open this …. but you’ll never know if you don’t – Greg Koch

Damn it Greg :(…why you gotta be such a bastard…LOL…well at least I hope this review helps friends try this and find out what its about. Good thing I still like to recommend and at times share some good beers with my friends and good people :). I was able to find this by mere luck at some random liquor shop…aging for sure…Upon opening this one it shot out in a raging inferno of fragrance. Oak Bourbon, sweet sugar, caramels, dates, raisins…damn. Flavors are of the double bastard with the bourbon. Caramel, vanilla, bourbon, raisins, barley wine. The piney, grassy aggressive hops linger at the back with an over all buttered up toast bread after taste. It feels like I just had a nice buttery toast breakfast. Man… this seems that way. Being a fan of the Regular Arrogant Bastard and the Double Bastard, it was worth the again and worth the find. I really, really, REALLY HOPE stone releases this again. It’s not even too aggressive bastard. It is like the bastard became classy and sitting by the fire smoking a pipe…LOL…damn good beer. Can’t finish the entire thing…saving it for later….the alcohol..well…what alcohol?? There is no alcohol hardly.

Serafijn Christmas Angel by Microbrouwerij Achilles of Itegem

Rating: 4.99/5

Serafijn Christmas Angel by Microbrouwerij Achilles of Itegem Belgium is a 8%ABV Spice Belgian Pale Ale. Not a big town making this beer but damn…Fucken Ridiculous….Upon opening the bottle, the carbonation was very intense. Had to pour it over the sink as to not lose some good beer. Even though this is this a Belgian Pale ale, it does surprise me big time.. Flavors of a Belgian quad here. I was able to get this as it was on clearance. LOL meaning it must have been sitting there since Christmas. Oh well, Christmas in the summer is not too bad sometimes. This beer reminds me of the St Bernardus Christmas Ale. Wow….just a lot of dulce de leche caramel, honey, vanilla, butterscotch, bread, minor flavors of raisins, grapes, nutmeg, cinnamon and other Christmas spices as well as minor coconut, pineapple, rum and grassy notes. Surely the one to find, thanks to my friend Richard Avila for the recommendation :). A BPA worth trying especially if you are able to find it later this year.

Angel’s Share by The Lost Abbey

Rating: 4.85/5

 is an 11.5%ABV Brandy Barrel Aged Strong Ale. This version is aged in Brandy Barrels. The last time I tried this beer was on my 28th birthday last year with friends. Managed to pick it up again this year to give it another go. 

Label:

Way down in Kentucky and across the pond in Scotland, distillers age their whiskeys for many years in oak barrels. Over time, some whiskey is lost to evaporation. They refer to this loss of spirits as “The Angel’s Share.” Each time a barrel is filled, a measure of this liquid seeps into the oak and is lost forever. Our Angel’s Share is a barrel aged burgundy colored ale infused with copious amounts of dark caramel malt to emphasize the vanilla and oak flavors found in freshly emptied brandy barrels. Each batch spends no less than 9 months aging in the oak. As with all of our beers, this beer is brewed for sinners and saints alike. So be an angel and share it with a friend or two.
http://www.lostabbey.com/lost-abbey-beers/non-denominational-ales/the-angels-share/ 

Simply remarkable. If the liquid that is lost by those brandy barrels is extracted into a delicious beer such as this, then this is nothing quite short of a drink they serve at mass. Masking its brandy properties only to the very end, this beer explodes with rich flavors of vanilla, caramel, raisins, sour cherry, chocolate, grape, buttery toast, minor hazelnut and ofcourse brandy booze only in the after taste. Every brewery I’ve tried has it’s signature notes. For the lost abbey, its their raisin puree :P. Does a good job not to overwhelm in terms of alcohol. Just wait though…you will be blessed with bliss in moments away…LOL

2011 Review:
Was looking for this one for a while. Saved it for my 28th birthday. This is unlike many beers I have had. More like a wine since it is mixed well with the aged bourbon. Definitely worth trying

Black Phoenix by Bootlegger’s Brewing

Rating: 4/5

Black Phoenix by Bootlegger’s Brewing is a 6.70% ABV Stout brewed with coffee beans and Chipotle peppers. This beer while being a stout, is very drinkable. It is not as spicy as the Stone Porte with chipotle. The flavors of coffee, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, raisins, chipotle chile and other spices flow but they are not as flavor intense as the other one. Making this beer more drinkable. Also some of the heat comes in at the after taste but only slight :P. While the Stone one does have more to offer, this one is easier to find and more drinkable than other stouts. The Chipotle gives it an extra sense of flavors for sure 😛

SŸX by Surly

Rating: 3.6/5

SŸX by Surly is their 6th anniversary ale. It is a 15% ABV American Strong Ale. Aged in barrels made with 6 different species of wood. The design was of the label was made by artist Michael Berlund which was inspired by a sculpture made by his friend Brad Krisko. 

Label Description:.

“Woah. Who would have thought? Another great year flew by. bringing us to the big SIX. What better way to celebrate than to challenge ourselves with unfamiliar brewing techniques and materials? Utilizing six wood species in a “Honey Comb*” shape for aging this year’s anniversary beer. SYX comes in at Alc. 15% by Vol. and is one to be savored with its pale gold color, dry toffee and fruit character and warming afterglow finish. 

This beer is more like a bitter mixed drink. While flavorful and nice, it is pretty strong and the alcohol can be detected. It also has some woodsy fragrance. The flavors are of toffee, caramel, orange peels and orange juice, lemon, honey and pineapple. While the flavors are good, the alcohol does dominate here which is decent at best. It is almost like this beer is trying to go in the direction of a barley wine and an IPA at the same time but ends up somewhere in the middle. I would only recommend this if you like strong alcoholic beers.

Double Double Barrel Ale by Fire Stone Walker

Rating: 5/5

Double Double Barrel Ale by Fire Stone Walker is a 12% ABV Imperial Special Bitter Barley Wine. It is twice the strength in terms of flavor and alcohol as the original DBA. The DBA is aged for about 10 months in real oak barrels with British yeast. This beer reminds me so much of rich toffee found in many barrel aged beers. However it is a dulce de leche type. Flavors range from dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, honey, maple, toasty coconut, toffee, almonds, oak, bourbon, apples, raisins, plums and toasted bread. It is more sweet than bitter really. The flavors and levels of masking and balances are good here. It is not as strong as the Barrel Aged Blockhead, but it is similar in flavor although this has other flavors not found in that beer. It has some minor quad aspects to it so that is why I like this as well. Barley wine and barrel aged beer lovers find this one and give it a try. It is a damn good and delicious beer 😛

Shallow Grave by Heretic

Rating: 4.25/5

Shallow Grave by Heretic is a 7% ABV American Porter. This beer is silky and smooth. Best part is it hardly has a lot of smoke or bitterness to it. 

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION

Shallow Grave Porter is dark as night, perfect for a cool evening out in the woods. This a big, dark ale with a complex and rich chocolate and caramel malt character followed by a touch of warmth and light malt sweetness, leaving you ready for more after each shovelful. You will love this so much you won’t have time to dig a six-footer, so make it a Shallow Grave. We’re sure you’ll dig it.

Flavors of coffee and dark chocolate with some caramel sweetness and possibly vanilla. Has a minor chocolate chip cookie dough sweetness. I’m pretty impressed with this one. First had it at my friend Oscar’s birthday party when we did a beer run. Surprising enough, some 7-11s are carrying more craft beer now a days. This is awesome because more people should “dig up” some treasures of their own. If you like sweeter porters then this is very good. Give it a try … somewhat easy to drink and flows well :P.

Zombie Dust By Three Floyds

Rating: 5/5

Zombie Dust By Three Floyds is a 6.4% ABV American Pale Ale. According to many reviews and websites, the best American pale ale in the world. Upon opening this beer it was definitely a sure thing. A pale ale trying to be at the level of a Double IPA but without the mass amounts of alcohol. Meaning, it is easier to drink and it is sweeter than bitter IPA and well this is quite important because obtaining the flavors of this beer would seem to take a level of Double IPA brewing…but it is not that heavy. Amazing….

Label:
This intensely hopped and gushing undead pale ale will be one’s only respite after the zombie apocalypse. Created with our marvelous friends in the comic industry. Art by Tim Seeley. Opening this I really thought it was a Double IPA. Most Double IPAs are generally caramel, very tropic sweet and hoppy. Ofcourse with a good amount of alcohol and possibly more bitter. This beer consist of much sweeter flavors such as caramel, pineapple, mango, peaches, pears and oranges while still maintaining the grassy hops and alittle bit of pine. It still has notes of lemon and grapefruit but not to the level of IPAs. For people that do not like IPAs, this would probably be a great alternative that is definitely not so bitter. The awesomeness of a DIPA but without the massive bitters and alcohol. This beer is what many close to lager like beers should be. Great amount of flavor, less alcohol and over all delicious and refreshing. Pale Ale fans or hell, IPA and DIPA fans should go grab this. Its very good.

Pentagram (Surly 5) by Surly Brewing

Rating: 4.25/5

Pentagram (Surly 5) is Surly Brewing’s 5th Anniversary Ale. It is an 8.2% ABV Wile Ale. Made with 100% pure Brettanomyces aged in Red Wine Barrels. The result is a beer that maybe only sour ale lovers will understand. I love Jolly pumpkin ales so this is very similar. Here is some info from the label:

In the Surly brewhouse, brewing our Anniversary beers mean one thing: forget what ya know and try something different. In honor of FIVE glorious years we bring you a 100% Brettanomyces fermented dark ale aged in red wine barrels. Flavors of sour cherry, tobacco, oak and classic “brett” barnyard funk balanced by dark Munich malt chewiness. Enjoy immediately or age at celarr temperature for a couple years. 

Although this beer is sour, it has some nice sweet flavors to balance it out. Flavors of wine, raspberry, cherry, caramel, vanilla crème, iced tea and toasted bread . The acidic vinegary taste while not big as other sours, it still somewhat hides some of the other flavors. Although this could be that way due to the age of the beer. As time goes it, maybe the sourness will increase. I think as I try more, the beer gets better. Surly has some…umm interesting art work. Not sure if many conservative or religious people would approve though. I know some would probably think , WTF…LOL then again I didnt seem to get that reaction from the Stillwater Artisanal Echatological ale I tried a while back. That one was even more devil looking >.>. The only evil thing about this beer is the sour part. But it is really is delicious.

Evil Twin by Heretic Brewing

Rating: 3.8/5

Evil Twin by Heretic Brewing is 6.8% ABV Amber Ale. This ale has a good balance of hops and malts. The beer is not too sweet nor too bitter. This gives way to the semi sweet caramel, dried cherry, raspberry and cranberry with grassy and oregano notes. It reminds me of the herbs and spices of like that of Escondidian Black IPA but not as strong. Just a hint. The sweetness is like that of tongue Buckler but toned down. There is also some smokey but pleasant after taste. The point of this beer is that it definitely tries to balance everything so that it is not too overwhelming in one area of flavor but balanced out and it is easier to drink. Amber Ale fans will definitely like this one

Trappistes Rochefort 10 by Brasserie de Rocheffort in the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy

Rating: 5/5

Trappistes Rochefort 10 by Brasserie de Rocheffort in the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de Saint-Remy is a 11.3% ABV Belgian Quadrupple fermented world class quad ale. An Authentic Trappist ale along with the other 7 Authentic breweries such as Achel, Westvleteren, Orval, La Trappe, Chimay, and Westmalle. This is the second time I try this beer and was a trade in with my friend Richard Stan Avila for the Ruination 10th Anniversary. Been meaning to review this again since my last review in 2011. The beer is extraordinary. Seems like each trappist brewery likes to brew beer in their own fashion for the similar style. Rochefort 10 is alcohol heavy, with some raisin, plum, fig and caramel bread. The carbonation reminds me of another fruitier pilsner beer. That might just actually be something else. Although it might seem like an apricot and pear type of sweetness. Not as sweet as St. Bernardus 12 in the sense of caramel sweet but the sweetness is is more in the fruits. Some of the bitterness is slight but that is possibly some earthy hops. As of today, this rates second best quad while St. Bernardus is third and Westy 12 is the best in the world. Nuff said…delicious, complex trappist, worth getting… 

2011 Review:
Overwhelming with fruity and malty flavor from the dark fruits and belgian yeast, the number 10 is 11.3%ABV which is well masked by sweet flavor with hardly any bitterness. One quad ale that is more magical than others and it’s place as second best quad style in the world is well fitted next to its Westvleteren cousin. Somewhat of an easy beer to find but even if it is in a small bottle, the flavor is worth every penny of your $2 and something cents. STOP READING..GO BUY THIS BEER!!…lol

Bourbon County Brand Stout Vintage 2008 by Goose Island

Rating: 5/5

Bourbon County Brand Stout Vintage 2008 by Goose Island brewing is an Imperial Stout that actually has a mystery Alcohol By Volume range. You see, the bottle states that back in 2008 it was 13%ABV. It has been 4 years since this beer has been cellared according to one of my contacts who traded this beer for me. The most recent version of this beer according to beer advocate is 14.5%ABV. This thing must be well beyond that. Possibly maturing to a 15 or 16% ABV. Nevertheless, this beer was meant for again. Trying this beer is quite the prestige really. Something maybe I don’t often get to do. Here is what is listed on the label:

“I really wanted to do something special for our 1000th batch at the original brewpub. Goose Island could have thrown a party. But we did something better. We brewed a beer. A really big batch of stout-so big the malt was coming out of the top of the mash tun. After fermentation we brought in some bourbon barrels to age the stout. One hundred and fifty days later, Bourbon County Stout was born-A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with a thick foam the color of bourbon barrels. The nose is a mix of charred oak, vanilla,carmel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer. It overpowers anything in the room. People have even said that it’s a great cigar beer, but I haven’t yet tried a cigar that would stand up to it.” Brewmaster Greg Hall; 

Unbelievably Chocolatey with coconut flavors. Maybe at some point in time this beer was alittle bitter and maybe more coffee flavored. As soon as I opened it I was very very impressed. As a fan of sweet beers, this was amazing. The taste was just very powerful. Not alcohol wise but sweet. Think about it this way. If you have ever enjoyed an AlmondJoy with its almond, chocolate and coconut crème filling, then this is what this taste like in liquid form. There is some nice coffee mocha flavor in there as well. Vanilla, Bourbon, Raisins, toffee and licorice. There is hardly any sense in it’s alcohol strength. A world class stout and up there with the many many fine beers of the world. If you ever find it, doesn’t have to be from 2008, but even from now…buy 2…one for now and the other for several years from now :P…WOW…just ..WOW

Swing Harry Tropical Quad collaboration by Mikkeller and Cigar City

Rating: 4.95/5

Swing Harry Tropical Quad is a collaboration brew between Mikkeller and Cigar City Brewing. This is an 11.4% ABV Quadruple ale. Quadrupple as in 4 times fermented. Never really had a quadrupple that had other fruit flavors, aside from the usual dark fruits found in many delicious quads. LOL also another awesome thing about this beer is that it has ties to the Pitfall Video Game on the label itself. The extra fruityness adds some flavorss that are special and only unique to this type of beer. Cigar City usually makes beers that are …well…different. Just like the Murcielago which was like no other beer I have ever had.

Description:
A collaboration between Mikkeller and Cigar City, bottled by Mikkeller. This is described as a Belgian style ale brewed with Papaya and Mango and aged in Grand Marnier Cognac barrels. It’s ingredients include water, malts, brewing sugar, Citra and Simcoe hops, papaya, mango, and brettanomyces claussii yeast. 

So how is this beer anyway? Well Let me start off with the basic quad elements that I get from this beer. Dulce de leche and Leche Nestle (Sweetened condensed Milk) on a toasted bread. Now we add raisins, cherries, plums and figs. It also has some licorice, oak and cinnamon too. There are some minor sweet hoppy grassy flavors in the back but not bitter. Just earthy hop tasting. Now it goes into the tropical flavors. Those I can definitely pickup are pineapple, peaches, mangos, papaya and strawberry. The alcohol is somewhat hidden but its more of a Bourbon or cognac flavor. It is well balanced. Cognac Barrel Aged quad with tropical flavors, a definite success for Belgian lovers out there. Recommended Dessert beer to pick up.

World Wide Stout by DogFish Head

Rating: 5/5

World Wide Stout by DogFish Head is an 18% ABV Imperial Stout. This beer is the second time I try it so I know it is fucking great!!! Definitely world class. It comes close to the Dark Lord Imperial Stout but in terms of Alcohol it has more and in some essence, more sweetness. Drinks more like a coffee and chocolate wine really.

According to the Brewery:

Brewed with a ridiculous amount of barley, World Wide Stout is dark, rich, roasty and complex. This Ageable Ale clocks in at 15-20% ABV and has a depth more in line with a fine port than with a can of cheap, mass-marketed beer. 

So what is this delicious dessert beer like? Chocolate, vanilla, caramel, coffee, Port wine, raisins, cherries, bourbon and barley. The sweetness flows through and through and even in the after taste lingers with a minor sweet, smokey and alcohol heat feel. It is creamy yet syrupy. Hardly any bitterness of any sort. Top notch one of the best stouts out there and one of the strongest in alcohol…LOL cept Tactical Nuclear Penguin….but that’s a completely way different story altogether…LOL…Anyways…highly recommended for all stout and high ABV, barrel aged, sweet beer lovers.

2011 review:
A stout among kings. One with a hazard cap…lol. The Dogfish World Wide Stout is an amazingly strong and delicious beer. Strong by it’s 18%ABV and delicious by its ingredients. If stout was ever a wine, this would be it. The flavors of coffee/chocolate, dark fruit, barley are pretty overwhelming and linger on. The strongest beer I have had and also one that packs a massive punch even if in a little bottle. Dogfish head some of the best beers in the world and this one is and awesome one that should not be missed if you find it…LOL just follow the hazard triangle cap 😉

Tactical Nuclear Penguin Imperial Stout by Brew Dog

2011 review:
Reigned supreme as strongest beer in the world at one point, the awesomeness that is Tactical Nuclear Penguin Imperial Stout can only be described as a wine or liquor of the beer world. Best enjoyed in moderation and in small servings at a time :). The stout smell flavor reminds me of Mexico…like when your out in the rural areas….Like when I was a kid at my god mothers house. A sm

okey roast flavor as well as bacon like roast with complements of chocolate and coffee. Leaving you with a warm feeling from the 32% ABV. It took a long time to find this as well as for an inexpensive price :/. At first I didn’t think I was worthy of buying something like this but after being in the game for quite a while it hit me (aside from the having the beer of course) ….I just had to try it. Beer for the dedicated. Visit the website for the full story of how the strongest stout in the world came to be. Freezing process extracting all the alcohol until they have a beer so strong it can only be called…EPIC http://vimeo.com/7812379

New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Series Clutch



2011 Review:

New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Series has brought out another masterpiece called Clutch. It is a collaboration brew with New Belgium and Maryland Hard-Rockers brewing companies. This beer is reminiscent of another favorite of mine called Jolly Pumpkin’s Dark Dawn or Madrugada Obscura. The beer is a Stout with nice roasted malts but it is actually mixed in with a sour wood ale. The flavors I get from this is the sweetness of coffee/chocolate of stouts, but sourness of dark fruits like cherries is present in the after taste, just like Madrugada. I definitely enjoyed this beer as it reminded so much of the Dark Dawn it was awesome. Nevertheless, the beer is limited and worth enjoying while it last 🙂

New Belgium’s Kick


2011 Review:

New Belgium’s Kick is an ale brewed with pumpkin and cranberries. The beer pour really coppery and amber colors. This beer looks like something that would of been brewed by Jolly Pumpkin ales but it is a collaboration of New Belgium and Elysian minds. The beer is reminiscent of one of my favorite pumpkin ales, La Parcela but with extra flavor of cranberry giving this one a sour and tart taste to the palette. Because of it’s strength it also reminds me of La Ephemere Apple. There does seem to be some apple and grapey notes in this one. A beer that seems more like a strong pumpkin berry cider at that with a wine like after taste. The label intrigued me and the taste took me to Halloween early this year. Definitely in the right season for this one and a pick that should not be missed 🙂

La Citrueille Celeste de Citracado by TheBruery, Elysian and Stone

2011 Review:
Here’s to the fall and to Halloween and to everything else that comes really close awesomeness. Another great find is this. A triple collaboration between TheBruery, Elysian and Stone Brewing Companies. They bring forth a autumnal beer called La Citrueille Celeste de Citracado. A beer made with pumpkins, yams, fenugreek, Lemon Verbena & Birch Bark. Yeah pretty complex really. This beer is very awesome in flavor. Like having a pumpkin pie and smelling the autumn air as the leaves fall down. Cinnamony, tangy like a heff. Sweet and malty but the bitterness is spicy and earthy plant like :P. Probably something you would want to enjoy in the fall for sure….Summer was long gone a while ago…. Now getting ready for Christmas. It is not often that I do my hobby anymore but I surely don’t forget 😛

El Camino (Un) Real Black Ale by 21st Amendment, Stone, and Firestone Walker

2011 Review:
Another unique (Unreal as stated in the bottle) beer collaboration by 21st Amendment, Stone, and Firestone Walker Breweries. This is the El Camino (Un) Real Black Ale. Now about FW that I know about, makes very delicious beers like the hint hint “Black Xantus”, Merlin Stout, Solace, Union and Double Jack which I have tried in the past. The beer they bring today is an ale of pure magnificence. I have to stop and drink as I write this as it is …damn… good…The ale itself is made from nice spices such as Fennel and China Seed and Pink Peppercorns as well as a nice touch of Mission Figs. The ale is a sweet complexity within itself. You get flavors of chocolaty fig newton with caramel, vanilla and some roasted coffee. This beer actually also reminds me of the Still Water Scanner Darkly ale which I had a while back that had notes of dark figs and raisins. Ahh delicious. Bitterness is minor from stone, oaky sweet malty flavor from firestone and something complex of 21st century I’m sure. Regardless, the guys did a great job and I really like this collaboration. Leaves me thinking what other citrus malty fruity flavor will i find in this beer. Maybe I’ll go into a comma over 9000 flavors…LMAO….regardless…good all the way through

Highway 78 Scotch Ale collaboration by Green Flash, Pizza Port and Stone brewing

2011 Review:
Highway 78 Scotch Ale is a brew collaboration by Green Flash, Pizza Port and Stone brewing companies. At 8.8% alcohol it is a very smooth and delicious malty ale. The smell is a mix of things such as caramel, coffee, chocolate and other sweet dark things. The Flavors is awesome. The scotch is there but it is very well masked by the sweetness of the malts and spices which brings other flavors into the mix such as dark fruits like raisins and figs. Earthy and smoky oak flavors are well present in this one. Reminds me of the Wee heavy but not as strong. Definitely a more complex at that especially if the minds of some of my favorites brewers like Port and Stone were involved. Definitely want to buckle up for this brew ride down the dark lonesome road, of course you wont be driving, someone else will >:)

Japanese Green Tea IPA by Ishi, Stone and Baird

2011 Review: My friend Julio shared this with me. The Collaboration of Ishi, Stone and Baird bring a lot to the table here. Some minor malts, nice grassy hops, and the green tea. You definitely get the IPA bitterness flavor out of this but it seems more on the citrus and tangy side. Possibly from the green tea blend provided of this beer. The beer itself is also very refreshing and worthy of a taste. Wonder if it is anti oxidant and healthy as well XD!!!

Cherry Chocolate Stout collaboration by the minds of Stone, Troegs and JF&KF

2011 Review:
Cherry Chocolate Stout collaboration ale is a magic little dessert brew made by the minds of Stone, Troegs and JF&KF brewing companies. The mix of rich chocolate empowering flavor and and the very well mixed cherry make this ale so delicious that it is like eating those Cherry Chocolate drops they have in Christmas. The flavors stays with you warm and snug way after. Why only such a small bottle…if it is so damn good…WHY??? X3……For people that love dessert beers this one is a must to try to your tasting collection. It will add that much more to remember by :). I definitely will pick this one up again. 😀

Yeast Hoist by Brouwerij Sterkens

2011 Review:
A very delicious bready abbey style yeast ale with a range of flavors. Not as tangy as Calabaza blanca or Carnivale Ale, but a smoother and sweeter taste. This caught my eye as you can save the the bottle after drinking it. It also comes with a small story about the universe and where it is headed. Worth picking up

Stateside Saison by Stillwater Artisanal

Stateside Saison by Stillwater Artisanal is a 6.8%ABV Saison/ American Farmhouse Ale. The Flagship ale of gypsy brewer Stillwater Artisanal. Making some of the best works of beer as well as showing us some exquisite artwork that can ever be found on beer. Here is some information from the label about the beer:

Stateside Saison pays homage to old world tradition while celebrating new world innovation. Naturally brewed with the finest European malts & fresh aromatic hops from the United States & New Zealand. It’s then fermented using a classic farmhouse ale yeast and bottle conditioned to enhance stability. The outcome is a beer of unique design and exquisite taste, showcasing some of the best attributes of modern-day craft brewing. 

This is the second time I try this beer so I figured I talk about it alittle further. The last beer I got to review was the Eschatological Ale which was the 3rd year anniversary to this one. Some of the flavors I still remember. The Fragrance of this beer is quite good with scents of lemon, grass, hiscus flowers, peppers, herbs and some bread. The flavors of this beer are of nice grassy and florescent hops and spices. Oranges, lemons, apricots, passion fruit, pepper spices, mushrooms, honey, hibiscus tart, sour apple and herbal seasoned bread aftertaste. You can’t go wrong with this Saison. Simply one of the best out there and possibly hard to find. Locally here in L.A., Found this one last year at Wally’s Wine of West Wood and Ramirez Liquors in Boyle Heights. Good luck finding some of the other great Stillwater Artisanal ones… I sure had a hard time. A true treasure in art, taste and experience!!

2011 Review:
A complex fancy Ale. A nice yeasty emphasis in flavor with sour wine like after taste. Truly an ale best enjoyed for especial occasions…But any day can be a special occasion for trying a new beer 😉

Chocosaurus Rye collaboration by The Bruery and Bootleggers

Rating: 4.25/5

Chocosaurus Rye collaboration by The Bruery and Bootleggers is a 7% ABV Black Rye Lager with Cocoa Nibs and Vanilla Beans. This beer is no longer brewed but may potentially be released in the future again. It was a trade in for me. So this beer is not an ale, it is a lager meaning fermented in cold instead of warm temperatures. The beer was created in collaboration between the neighboring breweries (Bruery and Botleggers) here in California. Smells very delicious with fragrances of raisins, chocolate, caramel and bread. So how does this beer taste? The beer taste more like a chocolate German bock. Flavors are of bitter sweet dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, with dark fruits like raisins and plums and alittle bit of toasted bread. It is not smokey but more sweet and spicy. There is some pilsner malts in there that give off these honey notes to the beer. I wouldn’t say it is like drinking chocolate milk but it feels alittle bit that way. A bitter chocolate milk with spices. Overall a delicious desert lager. Possibly the highest score I have given to a lager 😛

V-Twelve by Victory Brewing

Rating: 4.25/5

V-Twelve by Victory Brewing is a 12% ABV Belgian Style Quadruple. This beer surprised me as it is a clearer, copper looking beer. Hell even the taste was not like other Quadruples I have had before. The very noticeable thing about this beer is that it masks the alcohol WAY TO WELL. The Flavors are of lighter dark fruits but more of a caramel, orange marmalade on toast. Some raisin, cherries cough drops, pineapple, tangerine, orange, sangria, and pepper spices. It is also somewhat easy drinking. While Rich in flavor, it is passes lightly. LOL which is very scary as you can easily drink the entire bottle not even notice until it is gone. Such a crazy beer…wow. Aging this beer is probably a must as it is too young of a beer to drink. But very very delicious and quite the different little quadruple. If I took the Tangerine Orange beer and added Belgian yeast, I would probably have this. Refermenting to quad state for this beer is quite impressive as it it didn’t get too complex and thick but took another complex direction of flavors. Also I have never had a 12% ABV quad before so this is quite the treat :P. I am sure as time goes on it will release even more complex flavors.

Santa’s Little Helper Oak Barrel Aged Ale by Port Brewing

Rating: 4.75/5

Santa’s Little Helper Oak Barrel Aged Ale by Port Brewing company is a 12%ABV Imperial Stout aged in Oak Bourbon Barrels for about a quarter of the year. Port Brewing’s strongest beer, aside from Lost Abbey brand :P. When the first batch of the regular santa is released around the winter time, the guys at Port brewing put some of it away into Oak Barrels, age it and then bottle it for the summer. Christmas in July :P. I tried the 10%ABV one last year and it was misleading at 10%ABV. I knew they were wrong. Do this time they come clean and just give you the 12% ABV. Take a lot of caution, this one is heavy.

Label:
Everyone knows that Santa delivers toys and gifts to little girls and boys each Christmas Eve. But what does he do with the sleigh the other 364 days a year? Well rumor has it he hitches up the reindeer each July testing driving to ensure it’s still in operating condition. At the North Pole they mark their calendars calling it Christmas in July. 
How do we know that? Well, Virginia, each year Santa stops by Port Brewing to load up his sleigh with beer for his return trip to the North Pole. He’s a big fan of Santa’s Little Helper, and for the last nine months our brewers have been extra naughty aging some in bourbon barrels. Hopefully Santa won’t drink it all by himself, but we wouldn’t blame him if he did.

LOL good thing Santa divides his beers with the reindeer, otherwise we would be see Santa get busted for a FUI (Flying Under the Influence). So I reviewed the beer last year and I definitely had a lot to say about this one. So let me start with the basics before I am consumed by Santa’s other helper, Krampus. The beer has NO CARBONATION. Pure Oil, Dark Gold, Texas Tea. The beer cleary brings out the bourbon fragrance with a flavor straight of pure bourbon that is reminiscent of Angel Share. The flavors to follow are the awesome chocolate, Vanilla, Port Wine and coffee cake served with Cherry, Raisin and plum syrup. Back end finishes with a dry smokey yet lingering whiskey and bourbon sugars. You can tell right away that the flavors are all over the place. Sometimes I like that about beers…unbalanced and always leave you wondering. Keep Drinking it!! Now I understand Port Brewing and Santa’s conspiracy. Knock people out with this beer and then Santa raids your fridge or worse…LOL click on the link below about Santa :P…. Anyways, this beer is supreme!!!! not doubt it is one of the most defining stouts out there. It is not like Ketchup Syrupy Dark Lord Sweet (Althought that beer is supreme above all Stouts)…but it is delicious. Sweetness comes and goes and then you are left with a balanced after taste. Whether you are naughty or nice…it don’t matter, good beer doesn’t discriminate and neither doe Santa’s Oak Bourbon Barrel Aged Little Helper

2011 Review: 
Bourbon aged and delicious Christmas in July Santa’s little helper Barrel Aged Imperial Stout is an amazing beer. Take the original Santa’s Little Helper and age it for 9 months in Bourbon Barrels and you get this magnificent master piece of a Christmas beer. Bottle says 10%…trust me, this is not 10%…LMAO….The guys at Port Brewing took it to the lost abbey sinners level..LOL something Santa
would drop hot coals, which is probably in this beer too. Anyways, on to the taste. Simply remarkable!!!…Taste of strong bourbon but very sweet as it is masked by roasted malts which give it that traditional chocolate and coffee flavor. However, since it is a christmasy kind of beer, there is definitely some cherry, earthy, cinnamony, nutmeg and vanilla flavors as well. Very thick and strong in taste, and surprisingly…no fizz. In alcohol world, no fizz means high alcohol. So yeah the label says 10%…It is not….Port Brewing just being evil. But this is truly a magnificent Christmas present for sure.

Brux Domesticated Wild Ale collaboration by Sierra Nevada and Russian River

Rating: 3.8/5

Brux Domesticated Wild Ale collaboration is made by Sierra Nevada and Russian River brewing companies of California. It is a 8.3% ABV bottle refermented Belgian style ale made with wild Brettanomyces yeast. The beer reminds me of the Lost Abbey’s Inferno Ale but not a Golden Ale in color. Some Brettanomyces ales have flavors like saisons/farm house ales but the distinctions are quite different. One being more flowery fragrant and fruity with bread notes, Saisons, and one more bready, tart and hoppy with complexities added by using the brettanomyces. One thing though, the taste is like that of smelling what it is like in a farm..alittle bit. So Saison does flow in this one as well. This ale produces flavors of bread, pears, lemon, peppery spices, minor banana clove and caramel . This beer was definitely made for aging. I think after a year or 2 or even 5, this beers flavors will grow more and more complex. Sometimes when it comes to beers that are meant to be aged, the ratings may not be appropriate. I guess this is why some of the Quaddruples, Barrel Aged, certain sweet chocolate stouts and even some of the best IPAs are rated higher in my list due to this reason. That or I have tried them several times to know I enjoy them so much. Overall, nothing too new for me really :P… Still up to par with some really good beers of the world.

La Trappe Isid’or Oak Aged Trappist Ale by Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven

Rating: 4.5/5

La Trappe Isid’or Oak Aged Trappist Ale by Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven is a 7.5% ABV Belgian Pale Ale aged in Oak Barrels. This beer was specially brewed to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the brewery and was named after brother Isidorus who was the first brewer at the O.L.V. Koningshoeven Abbey. In his style, it was aged in Oak barrels which ensured the balance and rich taste after aging. La Trappe is known for brewing Authentic Trappist along side the other 6 breweries that brew delicious Trappist beers. This was an exclusive find I found at a store in Glendale. Not sure if they ran out. But if you happen to find this beer, well it is quite delicious. Drinks more like a Quad with Belgian Pale Ale personality. By this I mean the caramel, vanilla, dulce de leche bread and dark fruits like raisins, plums, sour apples and cherries are there but the grassy hops instead of being grassy, they are more earthy. This is kind of unique in a way because the yeast and hops of the Pale Ale side derive some wooden oak flavors that remind me of like a sweet buttery cheese bread but then finishes off with a special sweet wine taste. Quite the interesting little beer for sure 😛

El Murciélago by Cigar City

Rating: 5/5

El Murciélago by Cigar City Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Double Cream Ale aged in Tequila Barrels with Cumin and lime Peels. This is the second time I try a Tequila Barrel Aged beer and for one, this beer was something “completely different” than what I was expecting. In a very good way of course

Label:

The bat (or “el murcielago”) had a very important role in the making of this beer. Our winged furry friends were responsible for the pollination of blue agave plants, which of course leads to tequila. That tequila was aged in barrels,and those barrels were eventually emptied and found their way to our brewery. We then Filled those barrels with a high gravity double cream ale. And to give it even more of a southwestern kick, we added some cumin and lime peel as well. El murcielago, we tip our hat to you. 2011-2012 has been designated by the United Nations as the Year of the Bat. Go to www.batcon.org for more information about supporting these awesome flying guys. 

To start off, this beer was completely different from what I was expecting. Let me put it this way…the way this beer and smell taste is like the Fiesta Lime Chicken at the apple bees. I for one happen to like that selection. When they say double cream in this beer, I really thing they mean sour cream and tequila. The flavors are of salt and with lime, , agave, caramel, coconut, honey, chile pepper spices without the heat, cumin, cinnamon and bread. Finishes with wood/oak and lechera Flan sweetness in the aftertaste. Taste grows as it warms up too. Good luck finding this one…not an easy find at all 
:/

I chose this piece of artwork as the bat and the bees do pollination. One in terms of Agave and the other in terms of Flowers. So this was just the perfect pairing.

Populist IPA by Eagle Rock

Rating: 3.75/5

Populist IPA by Eagle Rock is a 7% ABV IPA made here in Los Angeles. The last time I tried an L.A. locally made beer was Angel City brewing. Aside from Downey Brewery too ofcourse lol. They set out to make this beer as well balanced as possible. Strong hoppy flavor without a lot of bitteness. The beer flavors are typical of IPAs with the grapefruit and pine. A good balance of tangerine, orange peel, light caramel, toast, little bit of honey, grassy hops with a pineapple aftertaste. A decent IPA but nothing as complex as other I have tried. One thing to note about this beer is definitely that it is sweeter and less bitter than others so it has that going for it. More hoppy 😛