Noir De Dottignies by Brouwerij De Ranke

542549_10101006082434700_1736660231_n 602841_10101006082524520_237501492_nRating: 4.8/5

Noir De Dottignies by Brouwerij De Ranke is a 9% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale. A pretty rare beer made in a Belgian Brewery that is in West Flanders known of some of the many that do not export or hardly export their products. This beer is known to be heavily hopped. 

Bottle: Unfiltered.
Ingredients: Water; Barley malt; Hops; Candi-sugar; Yeast.
The heaviest ale on our menu with a very rich taste, coming from the six different kinds of malt we use. These malts also give it that rich, dark, nearly black colour. The royal doses of Challenger and Saaz hops bring the typical balance between sweet and bitter.

The De Rank brewery was founded by two good friends; Nino Bacelle & Guido Devose. Their story is a classic in Belgium, where the very best craft brewing usually begins as a passionately pursued hobby, not an occupation. For Nino and Guido, brewing is literally a weekend obsession. For a few hours on Friday and Saturday, every week, the marvelous turn-of-the-century Deca Brewery in West Flanders is turned over to the De Ranke brewers, who make small batches of what many consider the best specialty beers of Belgium. Their beers are robust and flavorful, and famous for their massive hoppiness.

The aromas are of raisins, cherries, figs, slight chocolate and coffee, slight rum, bread pudding, caramel, molasses, anise and spices. The flavors are of mocha, dulce de leche caramel, candi sugar, raisins, cherries, raspberry pomegranate , earthy notes, slight grassy and grapefruit hops, molasses, anise, raisin bread pudding, walnuts, baker’s chocolate and rum. This beer almost reminds me of the Decadence quad but with more earthy hop bitterness. It is an awesome and must try beer. Although the hops may come overwhelmingly at times yet it still does not detract how interesting it is.

Bellerose Bière Blonde Extra by Brasserie Des Sources

402237_10101006079954670_1172880957_n 602769_10101006079375830_413976880_nRating: 5/5

Bellerose Bière Blonde Extra by Brasserie Des Sources is a 6.5%ABV Golden Pale Bière de Garde

Bellerose is a Top fermented beer made with 3 hops from 3 different continents by Brasseries Des Sources(Brewery of the Springs). A mix between French “bière de Garde” and IPA with distinctive aromas of citrus & litchi with a hoppy but refreshing aftertaste ! After less than one year of brewing, this beer have won three medals in prestigious beer Competition and was elected as the “Best Ale over 5% in the UK” at the International Beer Challenge of London 2011 !

According to the research, this beer is a Belgian IPA / French Biere de Garde Hybrid. Fragrances of this beer are of champagne, apples, lemon zest, citrus, biscuit bread, vanilla, flowers, pineapple, banana esters, hibiscus, lavender, french bread, cheese and slight grassy hop aromas. The flavors are of honey, citrus, lemon, vanilla, biscuit bread, Belgian yeast phenols, French Bread, apples, pears, banana, lychee fruit, pine apple, champagne, berries, peppercorns, chamomile (Manzanilla), roses, and pine. The after taste has some minor grassy and hoppy bitterness with honey sweetness that lingers. Never thought I would see a light bodied beer be so flavorful and yet so refreshing and easy to drink. For being an ale that is closest to a lager, this one is definitely delicious. Almost in the lines of a Tripel but without the over powering full body and easier to drink. Very hard to find but very delicious. If you can find it, get it and try it. C’est Magnifique!

Smoke Lager by Surly Brewing

554522_10101004962738580_1660804613_nRating: 5/5

Smoke Lager by Surly Brewing is an 8.2% Baltic Porter. This is not an ale, it is cold brewed like other lagers. Yet… it is strong.

Ebony-hued, Smoke wafts out of the bottle and into your senses, borne on the wings of European traditions, wrapped in American innovation. Lager-brewed, like any true Baltic Porter, with smoked malts from Bamberg, Germany, the home of Rauchbiers, then mellowed by oak-aging. Black malt flavors mesh with notes of raisins, plums, figs and licorice with the subtle smoke on the side, for a complex and luxurious, yet silky smooth drinking experience. It’s a sipper at Alc. 8.2% by VOL., but everyone knows you can’t have Smoke without fire!

Limited release from Surly brewing. Some of their stuff, like 3 Floyds is hard to find so to get something like this is really nice. The smell of this beer was of a nice roasted coffee, cloves, anise, bacon, banana, slight bitter dark chocolate, smoke campfire, cherry oak, toffee and vanilla. The flavors are really nice despite being a Rauchbier. Smoked Honey Glazed Pineapple ham, beef jerky almost, raisins, cherry, caramel, smokey campfire, oak, vanilla, toasted oats, dark chocolate, biscuit bread, figs, licorice, toffee and burnt sugar. This beer is almost like the took a porter, a German bock and a rauchbier and fused them together. Sweetness and smokiness combine to create a smoked beer that is quite unique from others I have had. LOL except maybe “Smoking wood” from The Bruery but that is another story in itself as that one is bourbon aged, higher ABV and more complex. I am surprised this one called a lager. Then again, lager brewing is done in colder temperatures where the flavors can be alittle bit more controlled. Regardless… Awesome job on this beer. Definitely recommended for even those that don’t like smoked beers.

Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat by Jacob Leinenkugel brewing

196223_10101000888273840_2141615468_nRating: 4/5

Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat by Jacob Leinenkugel brewing is a 4.9% Witbier (Belgian Style Wheat Ale)

If you’ve ever experienced a Northwoods sunset, you know it’s a moment unlike any other. So instead of putting it into words, we captured the Northwoods’ finest moment in every batch of our all-new Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat. Brewed with malted wheat, Cluster hops and natural coriander, Sunset Wheat has a soothing taste that will leave you speechless. It’s like your very own sunset in a bottle.

I’ve tried this beer several times and every time I try it it reminds me of one thing… Fruity Pebbles cereal. The fragrance is simply fruit pebbles. Citrus, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, coriander, wheat cereal and flowers somewhat. The flavors are of ….you guessed it.. fruity pebbles cereal. Some light flavors of lemon, orange, blueberry, grape, cherry, raspberry, wheat bread, coriander spice and grain cereal. There is this tiny off putting fruity alcohol in the after taste but it doesn’t detract too much from the cereal and fruity pebbles. A pretty good beer to try if you are into sweet fruit beers or just fruity pebbles in general. Crisp and refreshing for like a summer type of beer.

2011 Review:
All I have to say about this beer is…FRUITY PEBBLES IN A BOTTLE!!. The extra sweetness of the beer and flavor complexity make the unfiltered wheat and coriander taste just like fruity pebbles. A must try !!

Double Barrel Ale by Firestone Walker

67440_10101000887021350_237952427_nRating: 3.75/5

Double Barrel Ale by Firestone Walker is a 5% ABV British Pale Ale.

Our patented Firestone Union uniquely incorporates 60-gallon American oak barrels into the fermentation process that yields beers of extraordinary character and complexity. This system improves the fullness of the palate, balances hop character and lends a clean briskness to the finish. The influence of the toasted oak also imparts unique hints of smokiness and vanilla, as well as a subtle fruitiness to the flavor profile. 

Aromas are of mild citrus, grassy and earthy hops, biscuit, caramel, butterscotch, and a slight smoke or campfire oak. The flavors of this beer are of caramel, anise, slight grapefruit hops, slightly citrusy, earthy, smokey, oak, toasted bread and black tea. I think this beer speaks better in the taste than its fragrance. Not quite as nutty as an amber ale but leans more towards an amber ale that is lightly oaked and smoked. For a beer that is 5% ABV, way better than an average lager. Definitely above average beer with some great flavors to keep stuff interesting. Served all year long.

Samaranth Quadrium Ale by De Leyerth Brouwerijen (Urthel)

549968_10100997917567160_192167254_nRating: 4.9/5

Samaranth Quadrium Ale by De Leyerth Brouwerijen (Urthel) is an 11% ABV Quadrupel Ale

Urthel Samaranth 12 Quadrium Ale is a malty, full-bodied special Ale, brewed in a way that only Belgian Brewers can. Huge mouthfeel and layers and levels of flavor make Urthel Samaranth the perfect beer for the end of a meal or at the finish of a special day. And when you want something different, Urthel Samaranth 12 Quadrium Ale is with its fine bitterness, definitely something different… Try it! First brewed at Van Steenberge, now brewed at Koningshoeven – La Trappe brewery.

I was recommended this beer by a friend advising that it was pretty awesome. In fact, seems like most things from Belgium are very awesome. So I decided to give it a shot. This one however is actually brewed in the Netherlands for The Leyerth, Ruiselede, Flanders, Belgium. The fragrance starts off with caramel, candied sugars, raisins, grapes, oak, slight boozyness, and some sweet bread. Upon trying it I noticed a good amount of rich dulce de leche caramel and raisin bread pudding, toffee, walnuts, cinnamon, apples, plums, grapes, bananas, nutmeg, cloves and a little bit of that yeast phenol . The aftertaste is almost like yogurt trail mix with a slight boozyness. The alcohol is mildly present in the taste but does not take away from the sweet overall flavors of the beer. It is a great beer if you can find it. 😛

Starfish by Fish Brewing

530599_10100997914822660_641357718_nRating: 4.25/5

Starfish by Fish Brewing is a 7.5% ABV Imperial Red/Amber Ale. This is part of their Reel Ales Series.

Born in Head Brewer Tony Powell’s home brewery, this West Coast Style Imperial Red Ale is a hearty celebration of the brewing art. Almost welcoming you, four hops impart floral, citrus and sprucy Northwest notes to open the festivities. Then, seven malts and flaked barley dance happily across your palate. In the finish Starfish waves a crisply fond farewell. Convivially forthright without cloying agendas, Starfish is like time well spent with your future best friend.

Aromas of this red ale are of grassy hops, grapefruit, caramel, toffee, biscuits, roasted nuts, honey and butterscotch. The flavors are of honey, barley wine almost, caramel, toffee, biscuit bread, slightly bitter grassy pine, earthy and grapefruit hops, citrus, orange, roasted peanuts, almonds and a bit of buttery biscuit. The after taste remains sweet and malty through and through. A pretty good amber ale.

5 Golden Rings by The Bruery

424574_10100997914019270_1680951615_nRating: 4.8/5

5 Golden Rings by The Bruery is a 11.5% ABV Belgian Strong Golden Ale brewed with Pineapple Juice and Spices

The fifth verse in our “Twelve Beers of Christmas” saga incorporates sweet, cake-like spice into a rich and robust golden ale. Happy Holidays!

This is the latest installment to the 12 beers of Christmas. The aromas of the 5 golden rings is reminiscent of some of those special Tripels or special Belgian Pale Ales. This has aromas of pineapple, apples, mango, guavas, apricots, banana cloves, biscuit bread and possibly like a vanilla danish. The flavors are of mango, pineapple, peaches, guavas, oranges, apples, pears, banana cloves, biscuit bread, bit of pepper corns, caramel, honey, vanilla, coriander spice, wheat and cane sugar. The aftertaste is of caramel, banana and more pineapple. Well hidden alcohol. Although it is a pretty sweet beer and I love sweet beers, the hard part is trying to distinguish between what was of flavors created through actual fermentation versus what was added to give it the easily noted flavors. I don’t really mind this at all. In fact I wouldn’t rate the beer this high if I didn’t think it was delicious but just be warned that you will get a great amount of pineapple which was a added versus fermentation created. Either way, great beer worth the try. People that don’t like tangy and sweet beers may not find this one appealing. To each his own I say. Besides, this is meant for aging. It is still too early in the tasting process to see it’s true potential over a several years. I am sure it will blow my mind next time :D.

2 Turtle Doves by The Bruery

379663_10100997912622070_59218585_nRating: 5.2/5

2 Turtle Doves by The Bruery is a 12%ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale Brewed with Cocoa nibs & Toasted Pecans

The second verse of our “Twelve Beers of Christmas” saga begins with caramel and toasty, nutty malt with a luscious layer of chocolate. Happy Holidays!

The 2nd bottle their 12 days of Christmas. As soon as I opened the bottle I got a rush of amazing dark fruit character. Raspberries, cherries, grapes, raisins, plums, cranberries, blue berries, chocolate, cinnamon, ginger spice, hazelnut, dulce de leche caramel and some sweet bread mocha fragrance as well. The flavors are of dark chocolate covered raisins, cherries, slight wine funkyness, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, oak, coffee, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecan pie, roasted almonds, chocolate mocha, whipped cream and coffee cake. This is a luscious desert in a bottle. I would only have to assume it is to die for when floated with ice cream. I will admit, I almost wanted to chew although it is just liquid ;). The aftertaste is a lot like a caramel, chocolate mocha, whipped cream and coffee. As for the alcohol it does no deter from the drink-ability or the flavor. It is kinda smooth going down for a 12% which is quite unheard of. What really wins for this is the flavor. Just way good. This beer has probably been aging for quite a while and has developed a great amount of complexity. It is freaking delicious.

The Royale Beer #5 by Gigantic Brewing Company

184673_10100992655602180_1861313622_nRating: 4.6/5

The Royale Beer #5 by Gigantic Brewing Company is a 6.3% ABV Belgian Pale Ale. This is the 5th beer in the endless series of limited edition artist and artisan beers. Hooray for Beer and Art 😀

A beer fit for sophisticates and flaneurs, The Royale is a golden concoction of fruity and citrusy flavors meant for whiling away one’s time in brasseries, cafes and pubs, or anywhere friends can be found.

The aromas of this beer are of yeast bread and grassy hops with fragrances of banana, grapefruit, citrus, grassy herbs, spices, fruity esters, floral almost like a saison and farmhouse ale. Reminiscent of the the Eschatological and the Bitter Monk. The flavors are of grassy, grapefruit and pineapple hops, citrus, banana bread, biscuit, pears, apples, grapes and flowers. It is a great beer if you can find it. However, if you can find the other BPAs even better. It is an awesome example of a Belgian Pale Ale and truly delicious. Maybe not blow your mind delicious but is still great.

Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout by Goose Island Beer Co.

Rating: 5.75/5

Cherry Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout by Goose Island Beer Co. is a 13.7% ABV Imperial Stout aged in rye whiskey barrels with whole cherries

Our brewers love experimenting with their beer almost as much as they love drinking it. This unique blend, aged in rye whiskey barrels with loads of whole Michigan cherries, is the one they are proud to finally let you share with your friends at home – or not. After your first sip, you’ll agree, this beer has some real stones.

I once did a review under the Original 2008 Bourbon County Stout ( and I found it to be freaking amazing. So in 2012 they decided to release this variant which was super hard to find. I already know this is gonna be good and I highly recommended it you find it. Now on to the Review. The aroma of this amazing beer is of coconut, vanilla, whiskey, oak, flan, dulce de leche caramel, walnuts, rich dark and milk chocolate, cherry, cranberries, coffee, mocha, . The flavors are like a cherry pie or tart cherry cobbler with caramel made with chocolate dipped cherries, cinnamon, rich dark, milk and sweet chocolate syrup, pecans, raisins, coconut, vanilla, flan, oak, bourbon, coffee, whipped cream, Mexican vanilla crème filled sweet bread with vanilla cherry and chocolate pudding. The aftertaste leaves a sweet chocolate cherry trail with coconut, bourbon, vanilla and leche nestle (Mexican Sweetened Condensed Milk). No alcohol trace and no Boozy burn off of this one. I almost wanted to chew this beer as it truly is a dessert in a bottle. It is an extremely delicious world class beer. I know that Goose Island is an AB-InBev bought craft brewery but politics about beer aside, this is a new guy that stepped into the ranks of best beers in the world. I think I just liked this beer so much because it was so close to Grey Monday and Chocolate Rain it was not even funny. Just like the pictures above with Haruko, It will blow your mind!!!

Quingenti Millilitre Series Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11 (Aged in Red Wine version)

578489_10100991498281460_1736874845_n 320905_10100991498171680_1978002014_nRating: 5.11/5

Quingenti Millilitre Series Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11 (Aged in Red Wine version) is a 10.6% ABV Chile Beer brewed with Anaheim Chilies and cinnamon aged in Red Wine Barrels. BRILLIANT 😛

Our Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale proved to be an eccentric diversion from our previous lineup of innovative Belgian-inspired brews. And considering we’re Stone, that’s really saying something. This unprecedented beer was brewed with cinnamon stick and Anaheim green chiles, giving it an amazing flavor profile unlike anything that came before it. It certainly didn’t need any enhancement, but we just don’t know when to leave well enough alone (and we’ve demonstrated before that you can, indeed, improve upon perfection). So we decided to tinker with it a bit and laid a small portion to rest in wine barrels. Not wanting to limit our experiment to only red or white wine barrels, we chose both. Treat yourself to a bottle of each and compare. All in the name of science, of course…

An already awesome Chile beer that came out in 2011. One which I had already reviewed in 2012 ( but now aged in Red Wine. Very Interesting. Fragrance of Red Wine grapes, apples, possibly some pepper plan, tamarind, smells like that tamarind Mexican candy as well with the chili powder, some caramel, a slight aroma of Belgian yeast and banana bread and cloves. The flavors are of Mexican Tamarind candy, tamarind juice, chile peppers, cinnamon, chile powder, pears, bananas, red wine, a bit of sour grapes, cranberries, raspberries, plums, raisins, sour apple, dulce de leche caramel, banana bread, cloves, oak wood, and vanilla. The aftertaste leaves those awesome Belgian banana esters with the chile peppers (with out the heat ) wine and tamarind. This one is pretty freaking awesome. The original, the beer I aged and the Red Wine version are remarkable beers. Especially for being chile beers. Now this is another level of awesome. If you can find it, try it. It goes down so nicely and the alcohol….hmmm what alcohol :P.

Killer Penguin by Boulder Beer Company

424554_10100991492957130_927827763_n 408597_10100991492592860_1668579335_nRating: 4.45/5

Killer Penguin by Boulder Beer Company is a 10%ABV Barleywine.

Dark garnet red in color with undertones of candied fruit, Killer Penguin is an aggressive, full-flavored Barleywine-style ale and a perfect beer to share among friends. Once a year we release a very limited amount of Killer Penguin, making this our most rare and sought-after bottled beer. 

Hard to find little guy. The aromas are of slight pine, grapefruit and grassy hops, honey, caramel, toffee, cherries, raisins, biscuit, citrus and candied apple. The smell is not too particular hop strong but you can still tell some of it. The flavors of this barley-wine focus a little more on caramel sweetness and a little on bitter grass hops. There are some other flavors of cherry, raisins, raspberry, maple syrup, sugary biscuit bread, pineapple, apples, and butterscotch. Surprisingly smooth, easy to drink and well hidden alcohol. It is hard to believe this one being a 10% ABV, but maybe that is also what makes it special 😛

Birra Etrusca Bronze collaboration with DogFish Head, Birra del Borgo, Baladin and Dr Patrick McGovern

25975_10100990484083920_983623981_nRating: 4.75/5

Birra Etrusca Bronze collaboration with DogFish Head, Birra del Borgo, Baladin and Dr Patrick McGovern is an 8.5%ABV Traditional Spiced and Spiced Ale brewed with honey, hazelnut flour, heirloom wheat, myrrh, gentian root, raisins, pomegranate juice & Pomegranates

Dogfish Head worked with our Birreria Brother Brewers (Birra del Borgo and Baladin) and biomolecular archeologist Dr. Patrick Mcgovern to create this Ancient Ale. We made a research pilgrimage together to earl Etrusca warrior tombs in the hills and along the coast of Tuscany. The 8th c. B.C. Recipe is based on chemical and botanical evidence of tree resins; beeswax and honey; whole pomegranates; hazelnuts; grapes; and apples found inside ancient jars and drinking-bowls. It represents the prehistoric mixed beverage of Italy before the arrival of wine. Our version is fermented with bronze, a popular material brewing and cooking in the Etruscan era.

Dogfish Head has been known to come out with some really awesome ales. Especially those with a lot of history behind them and research. This one is one of their latest coming all the way from Rome
Upon opening the beer, there was a great amount of fragrance that reminded me of the Shati beer. Honey, biscuit, herbs, spices, Banana cloves, flowers, citrus, grapes, cherries, pomegranate, sweet bread, brown sugar, hazelnuts and almost like a corn or wheat tortilla smell. The flavors are kinda mixed and complex. Hazelnut and caramel biscuit bread, candi sugar, oranges, banana cloves, raisins, pear, grapes, pomegranate, herbs, spices and slight peppercorn. I almost feels like sugary and fruity wheat or corn tortilla in the after taste. Not a bad thing at all really. It is different in a good way. Some of the ingredients I have not tried so I can only guess as to how close the flavors are of the beers to something I can relate to. Another Delicious Ancient Masterpiece brought to life by Dogfish Head. Give it a try 😛

Chupacabras Pale Ale by Cucapá

485946_10100990483315460_1112023763_nRating: 3.5/5

Chupacabras Pale Ale by Cucapá of Mexicali Mexico is a 5.8% ABV Pale Ale. This is the 3rd Cucapá beer I have tried. Some of the other 2 like the Tequila Barrel Aged Ale and Obscura ale have been pretty good beers.

Chupacabras; a mythical extraterrestrial animal said to inhabit both of the Americas. The name translates literally from spanish as “goat sucker”, an activity avidly performed by this creature. Sightings of this cryptid have been reported all the way from Puerto Rico to Maine crossing all of central America and Mexico in his journey. 

This pale ale is in a way very related to this legendary creature. From one end this brew can be found from Mexico as well as in the U.S. on the other hand [sic] Chupacabras Pale Ale fortunately does not suck goats but will suck you into believing that there is a truly unique Mexican beer. However it is not necessarily an extraterrestrial however we like to think it is.

Aromas are of grassy and floral hops, a little bit of pineapple and peach, caramel, cereal and wheat grains. The flavors are of some grapefruit, grassy and floral hops along with some caramel, slight mango, apricot, pineapple, coffee, peanuts, biscuit and grains. This pale ale seems to be more on par with an amber ale or bock but not as balanced. The hops seem to linger in the aftertaste but then disappear leaving some biscuit and caramel sweetness. It is still a good beer. While I think the Tequila Barrel Aged Ale one is one of the best I’ve tried, this one still worth a try if once.

Decadence 2012 Anniversary Ale by Ale Smith Brewing

317988_10100989000392250_1238405132_nRating: 5/5

Decadence 2012 Anniversary Ale by Ale Smith Brewing is a 12%ABV Belgian Quadruple Ale. Right below The Cloak of St. Martin 13% ABV, this is the strongest quad I have ever tried. Each year, decadence is a different beer style. This year pays tribute to the Belgian Monasteries and their age old brewing methods for Holy Beers 

Alesmith Decadence Anniversary Ale was originally brewed in 2005 to celebrate our first decade in business. Our brewers had such a great time creating it that they decided to brew a new style each year to commemorate our anniversary.

Now, seventeen years after we started, we’re proud to present another great addition in this ongoing series. AleSmith Decadence® 2012 is a big Belgian-style quadruple ale. A variety of Belgian malts impart notes of bread and ripe fruit with subtle hints of cloves and molasses. Its creamy mouthfeel is balanced by a rich, full-bodied finish. This rare offering is meant to be savored and will age nicely.

Get this one while it is still out there. Belgian Quads or Quadrupel ales are some of my all time favorite beers being fermented 4 times to release a world of complexity that truly creates a world class style of beer. The aromas of the Decadence the the similar dulce de leche caramel, raisin bread, dark fruits and candied sugars like other quads. However, Decadence seems to offer some more aromas. From what I can tell, I gather some ginger bread, fruit cake, cherries, cinnamon and banana cloves. Almost Christmasy in a way. The flavors are pretty much like the name. So decadent and delicious. WOW… first sip and It was a just a bit more than the fragrances gave into. Dulce de leche, caramel, chocolate, a small amount of mocha coffee, ginger bread, bananas esters, cloves, molasses, anise, cherries, cinnamon, dates, pecans, raisins, plums, and slight raisin bread pudding flavor. It is almost in par with The Lost Abbey’s Judgment Day Ale except it has more flavors and much stronger in flavors and in ABV. Forget the fact that it says 12%ABV, you can’t tell that it is even in there. It gets you later but no strong boozyness just a lot of sweet Belgian caramel dark fruit bread goodness….. This is a must grab for Belgian fans…

Bigfoot Ale by Sierra Nevada

546981_10100988997363320_484453504_nRating: 4.45/5

Bigfoot Ale by Sierra Nevada is a 9.6% ABV Barleywine 

Bigfoot is a beast of a beer, brimming with bold flavor from massive amounts of roasted malt and spicy hops; brewed in the barleywine style, with a rich, bittersweet body and whole-cone Pacific Northwest hops.

First introduced in the winter of 1983, Bigfoot is a cult-classic beer brewed in the barleywine style, meaning a strong, robust, bruiser of a beer with the refined intensity of a wine. Bigfoot is prized by beer collectors for its supreme cellarability. Under the proper conditions, it can age like a fine wine, developing new flavors and character as it matures in the bottle. Each new release or “expedition” is vintage dated. Collect your own and see the flavors develop and progress. 

Barleywines are the type of beer styles that that range from bitter to bittersweet and are intense in terms of alcohol, hops and complex flavors. They can also be cellared to age like wine. This beer has avery nice grassy and pinecone hop aroma, with other fragrances of caramel, lemon peel, honey, pineapple and biscuit bread. The flavors are of the nice Sierra Nevada pine cone, grassy hops at mild bitterness, pineapple, raspberry, apples, caramel, toffee, powdered sugar, cinnamon, butter on toast biscuit bread and slight boozy feel. As I said, these beers get better with age. This is probably too early in its stage but it will probably get a lot better after a while.

L’Affriolante by Le Bilboquet

184500_10100988354521580_804710165_n 66469_10100988352665300_1365923733_nRating: 4.9/5

L’Affriolante by Le Bilboquet is a 7% ABV Spiced Amber ale.

Tantôt elle taquine, tantôt elle séduit. On se sait pas comment l’aborder. Une bière forte et douce à la fois, légèrement sucrée, réhaussée d’un soupçon d’épices. L’Affriolante saura égayér vos soirées aussi bien que vos journées. Tout ce que vous souhaitez, c’est de la toucher de bout des lévres et de vous laiser border. Santé!

Sometimes it teases you, sometimes it charms you. One does not know how to approach it. With both a strong taste and a mild flavor, this beer slightly sweet with a touch of spice. L’Affriolante will enrapture your evenings and enliven your days. Once it hits your lips you will know it is everything you wished for. Cheers!

Now this is a pretty potent amber ale. Haven’t had something like this before especially in an amber ale. Fragrances of rich honey, hops, caramel, cinnamon, vanilla, fruit cake, nuts, grapes, cherry, roses and toffee. The flavors are of honey, caramel, peach nectar, nuts, maple, toffee, vanilla, biscuit bread, plums, cherries, raisins, dried grapes, pineapple, almonds, cinnamon, butterscotch, coriander and ripe sweet orange creme. For being an Amber ale, it is more sweet than bitter really. Quite nice actually. Seducing almost :P. Drinks more like a Christmas type of beer with oh so much sweet honey. Simply very delicious give it that. I need to find more of these Canada beers. Simply just that damn good. Troise Pistoles is my toe to toe World Beer favorite along with St. Bernardus abt 12. Belgian Inspiration in Canada 😛

La Corriveau by Le Bilboquet

486221_10100988348673300_1230825162_n 547030_10100988350364910_788662313_n 483930_10100988349317010_88185805_nRating: 5/5

La Corriveau by Le Bilboquet is a 5.5%ABV Oatmeal Stout. This beer is based on the story of Marie-Josephte Corriveau or La Corriveau as she’s know in Quebecois Folklore. She was sentenced to death by hanging in chains and cage by a British court marshal for the crime of murdering her second husband. Legend has it that she haunts people at cross roads…

Du haut de sa potence, la Corriveau vous regarde déguster une bière noire aux arômes d’expresso et de chocolat noir. Sa robe profonde est coiffée d’une crème riche et onctueuse qui cache une amertume tranchante, digne des idées noires qui hantaient l’esprit de cette meurtrière légendaire.

Hanging from the gallows, La Corriveau watches you as you are savoring this black beer with espresso and ark chocolate aromas. Its deep color is topped with a rich and unctuous cream that hides a sharp bitterness, worthy of the gloomy ideas that haunted this legendary murderer’s mind.

This is quite the good beer coming from Canada. Eerie tribute but damn good beer. Aromas are of coffee and chocolate with a lot of dark fruits like raisins, blue berries, black berries, tart cherries, wine grapes, oatmeal, caramel, roasted coffee, and a little bit of vanilla. It is quite potent and interesting fragrance. The flavors have another unique story to tell. The flavors are of sweet and dark chocolate covered grapes, cherries, raisins, blue and black berries, raspberries, mocha coffee, whipped cream, oatmeal cookies with cherries and toast covered in fig jelly. The aftertaste leaves with these nice coffee and caramel notes. Berries covered in chocolate dipped in coffee and mocha is a major emphasize. I am not sure if it is the Oatmeal sugars which provide the unique smoothness and special sugar which give it such a berry like sugary flavor but this is just too good. Maybe the legend is true. The sorts of flavors with a stout that was not made with certain indicated ingredients…just..supernatural stuff. Amazing Stout and a must try….I think all beers are enchanted and full of magic…take your taste buds to levels beyond reasoning.

Stillwater Artisanal Sensory Series v.1 – Lower Dens

481299_10100988286318260_1859954446_n 306548_10100988287530830_109302783_nRating: 4.5/5

Stillwater Artisanal Sensory Series v.1 – Lower Dens is a 6% ABV Spiced and Herbed collaboration ale brewed with Jamaica (Hibiscus Flowers) between the Lower Dens band and the genius that is Stillwater Artisanal.

welcome to the sensory series 
a collaboration to create the experience to stimulate the 5 senses: Sound, sight, smell, touch, taste
In this first collaboration, Stillwater works with Lower Dens to make an ale based on an interpretation of their song, “In the End is the Beginning.” On the bottle itself, a QR code will link to an exclusive Lower Dens performance of the song.

Needless to say I scanned the barcode just for the full effect :P. Initial aromas are very floral and sweet like that of Eucalyptus, Roses, Hibuscus and peppercorns. Lots of tropical aromas like Mango, Orange, papaya, pineapple, lime and also a bit of bubble gum. The Flavors are that of a Saison with its nice bready yeast, peppercorns,herbs, pineapple, hibiscus, mango, papaya, stone fruit, tangerine, peaches, pears, apples, roses, manzanilla (Chamomile tea), cane sugar, banana cloves and biscuit bread. The after taste is of nice buttery bread with orange and sugar cane. This would probably go good with some nice cheese. I think this beer reminds me a lot of the stateside but with more tropical flavors. It is pretty good

While you watch the video: you get sense of what it is about. It is pretty good stuff

Nitro (aka Milk Stout) by Left Hand Brewing

538611_10100984461493240_1216028623_nRating: 5/5

Nitro (aka Milk Stout) by Left Hand Brewing is a 6% ABV Milk Chocolate Sweet Stout. It is the original Milk Stout but using special equipment to bottle it with nitrogen which is responsible for less carbonation and with more creaminess. I think since I poured in a tulip glass, a lot of the foamy head was gone. It is still very creamy though.

Brewed on the Banks of the Mighty St. Vrain Super Smooth with soft roastiness and Mocha Flavors.

This English style of beer, also known as Sweet Stout or Cream Stout, first appeared in London in the late 1800’s. The early brewers touted the health benefits of the milk sugar in this beer which today relates mainly to the increased amount of calories(no real health benefits…sorry). The milk sugar adds a well rounded sweetness to this dark beer and makes it an outstanding, year ’round stout.

One of the nations top sweet milk stouts and for many reasons. On the lines with Moo Hoo Milk Stout but more coffee notes. The aromas are of a very nice coffee, mocha and caramel frappucino fragrance with notes of chocolate milk. Quite nice really. The Flavors are way too creamy and smooth. Hardly any bitterness and goes down very nice. Liquid Frappucino with nice flavors of dark chocolate, coffee espresso, mocha, caramel, whipped crème vanilla, lots of sugar, milk chocolate, and almond milk. Mouth feel in the after taste is coffee and chocolate with hardly anything rough. So much rich creamy goodness. It is soooooo damn easy to drink. People would probably have a hard time deciphering whether this a beer or a cold special coffee. Definite craft beer gateway. It is really outstanding…gotta try 😀

Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds by The Bruery

545212_10100984460819590_2004368584_nRating: 5.25/5

Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds by The Bruery is a 14.8%ABV Belgian Dark Ale Brewed with spices and aged in Bourbon Barrels.

The fourth verse of our “Twelve Beers of Christmas” saga incorporates ginger-like spice into a rich and robust dark ale. Happy Holidays!

This is a barrel aged version of the original 4 calling birds. Haven’t tried the original but this one is still awesome, maybe even better :P. The aromas immediately are of strong vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, coconut and banana crème pie, bourbon, raisins, cherries, holiday fruit cake, some chocolate and coffee cake. The flavors are pretty complex with a major solidification of Bourbon, Vanilla, matured Banana, dulce de leche caramel, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, fruitcake with dark fruits like plums raisins, cherries, a bit of apple, hazelnuts, pecans, dark chocolate and and some citrus. The aftertaste is a lot like banana and raisins with some good bourbon and vanilla still there. The alcohol is well hidden, yet do take your time with this. While it is very delicious, it is past the 10%ABV and quite hefty in alcohol. An 8oz serving would suffice and save some for later :). Good flavor is hard to come by. Some beers meet or exceed expectations. For me, this one exceeded them quite a bit. If you can find it…fuck yeah!!!

Blue Moon Belgian Pale Ale aka Pale Moon by Coors Brewing

481217_10100981947980340_2041138425_nRating: 3.2/5

Blue Moon Belgian Pale Ale aka Pale Moon by Coors Brewing is a 5.4% ABV Belgian Style Pale Ale. It isn’t often I get to review some of the regular stuff we see on the market but if I have the opportunity, I will give it a shot. While I do prefer other beers I don’t mind trying even some of the other beers. When it comes to beer, it is important to keep an open mind even if you onlywant to try the beer once.

Our interpretation of a pale ale is brewed with a touch of wheat for a smooth finish and Cascade hops for a subtle hop aroma. We add a twist of orange peel and hibiscus for a well-rounded, balanced taste.

The aroma of the beer is of pilsner and grains with small amount of caramel bready fragrance, citrus and honey. The flavor is like light brown ale with small flavors of caramel, honey, minor notes of biscuit and wheat bread, peanuts, orange, pilsner and grain. I don’t sense a lot of the hops in this one as the bitterness seems to come more from the pilsner and citrus which the after taste leaves some orange flavor. This would probably be a lot better on draft and would be a great substitute for lagers when available. This used to be called Pale Moon but now it goes by its new name. Now if only blue moon would release some of their more specialty crafts that they only have on tap… would be interesting to review those …maybe….