Art of Darkness by Ommegang (New Label)

544578_10101070291663890_1780300422_n 268011_10101070308280590_259821861_nRating: 5/5

Art of Darkness… new label by Ommegang. I have already done several reviews for this beer to know this beer is not an ordinary beer. One of my most world favorites along with Trois Pistoles, St. Bernardus, Black Xantus, Three Philosophers, Black Tuesday, Chocolate Rain and others. 

Label:
Ommegang Art Of Darkness unites barley and wheat malts, flaked oats, Ommegang yeast, and noble hops in a bewitching demonstration of the brewing arts. Yet there are no secret ingredients nor mystical incantations. 

There is only the highest realization of the art of brewing a dark Belgian-style ale of extraordinary flavor, aroma, and balance.

This ale walks the line between being savored now, and being cellared to relish later. As a discerning patron of the dark arts, you an make your own choice.
—-

Tread carefully…this one is evil >:)

https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/art-of-darkness-by-ommegang-6-month-version/
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/art-of-darkness-by-ommegang/

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§ucaba (Abacus) 2013 Limited Release by Firestone Walker

625438_10101070283415420_515264557_nRating: 5.25/5

§ucaba (Abacus) 2013 Limited Release by Firestone Walker is a 12.5% ABV Barrel-Aged Barley wine. Considered by many to be the best barleywine in the world. I have never tried this beer and I almost didn’t grab if it wasn’t for the fact that Total Wine had one final box. I’ve seen it in downtown L.A though. It truly is limited unfortunately. So if you can get this one, get it.

Label:
Big boozy bourbon and American oak aromas combined with soft chocolate malty undertones. Complex malt flavors framed in oak, with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, coconut and just a touch of dark cherry. This is definitely a sipping beer, best served in a brandy snifter. This ale pairs well with dark chocolate and sturdy cheeses.

Note: Sucaba is the beer formerly known as Abacus until the Winter 2012 release.
O.G. 27 Plato 
F.G. 4.7 Plato 
I.B.U. 42 units 
Yeast: British Ale (House) 
Cases: 1500 produced 
Color: 36SRM (Dark Ruby)
___

Upon opening the beer, it some really nice and overwhelming fragrances. Reminiscent of some of the other barrel-aged beers I have had from FW in the past. This beer has strong aromas of bourbon and barley. Coconut, vanilla, oak, dark fruits like raisins and cherries, chocolate, coffee notes, baked bread, toffee, flan, dulce de leche caramel, bananas and marshmallow creme. The Flavors are of bourbon, coconut, chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, flan, Leche Nestle (Mexican Sweetened Condensed milk), barley, lemon, toffee, raisin and pecan bread pudding, cherries, bananas, small underlying earthy hop bitterness, light citrus, honey, maple, barrel oak, campfire smores with the marshmallow, graham cracker and dark chocolate and butterscotch. The after taste stays with you for awhile so you can really take your time and enjoy it as you go. My god, I am not sure if there is any barley wine out there like this one. I have never had a barrel-Aged barley wine but this is extremely amazing. Definitely should not be passed up if you can find it. Barley wines are not my biggest favorite of styles but this is really delicious and a must get for sure.

The Three Philosophers by Ommegang (New Label)

526229_10101069453857860_931053769_n 313764_10101069469122270_1245414941_n 382348_10101069469087340_1594364830_nRating: 5/5

Already did a review on this beer a while back. This is the version with the new label. Still one my top favorite beers in the world.

Label:
The Belgian motto is “Strength in Union.” No phrase better describes Ommegang’s delicious Three Philosophers Quadrupel, which unites malty Belgian-style ale with Liefmans Kriek, authentic cherry ale from Belgium. Dark, mysterious cherry-chestnut color. Pair with Strong Cheeses, desserts, or sip as an after dinner ale. 

https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/the-three-philosophers-by-ommegang-2/

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout by Wells & Young

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Rating: 4.65/5

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout by Wells & Young LTD is 5.2%ABV Milk Chocolate Stout made with chocolate malts and dark chocolate.Available quite common and year round. It is probably one of the first stouts aside from Guinness that I had tried back in college. I have neglected this beer for a while so I figure I come back to it 🙂

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Available filtered and pasteurised in 500ml bottles and in nitrocans. Also Nitro Keg on Tap 
Production moved from Youngs to Wells & Youngs in 2007.
Ingredients: Pale ale and crystal malt, chocolate malt, special blend of sugars, Fuggle and Goldings hops, real dark chocolate and chocolate essence.
Chocolate malt and real dark chocolate are combined with Young’s award winning rich, full flavoured dark beer to craft a satisfyingly indulgent, but never overly sweet experience.
___

The aromas are of strong malty chocolate, underlying coffee and mocha notes, vanilla, caramel, earthy hop bitterness and some smokey fragrance. The flavors are of like a borderline brown ale. A great amount of dark, milk and sweet chocolate shines in the taste along with coffee, mocha, vanilla crème, cocoa, smokey bitterness but only slight, caramel, toffee, a bit of hazelnut, earthy hop bitterness, some minor graininess. While it is not at the level of some of the most extreme imperial chocolate dessert beers, like organic chocolate, or even chocolate rain, it’s emphasis on being chocolate is more apparent than other stouts. Hence the reason why beer fusions work very well with this stout. This beer works way better as a dessert beer on its own even. Just the fact that it is a common beer is also worth getting as this is as close to a more chocolate beer than any of the rare stuff out there. Recommended? Yes, if you enjoy chocolate. In fact if you ever plan on doing beer fusions, this is the choice 😛

Weihenstephaner Vitus by Bayerische Staaatbrauerei Weihenstephan

150438_10101066243631180_1465725325_nRating: 5/5

Weihenstephaner Vitus by Bayerische Staaatbrauerei Weihenstephan is a 7.7% ABV World Class Weizenbock

DESCRIPTION
A light-coloured, spicy single-bock wheat beer, for both beer lovers and the beer connoisseur. Extra long and cold storage in our monastery cellars makes this single-bock a really special beer with full body and a distinctively great mouthfeel. Prost!
___

Rated one of the best German world class beers ever, to some some extent, even higher than their Dunkelweizen, which is one of my favorite, Vitus is the life energy drink of gods. A strong fragrance of Banana, honey, cloves overwhelm the nose . There are also aromatic hints of rich honey, oranges, peaches, wheat bread, honey, lemon and sour dough bread. The Flavors are extremely orgasmic. Major flavors of the bananas, honey, vanilla, peach, slight oranges, lemon, toffee, banana, sour dough bread, Wheat, caramel, cane sugar, piloncillo sugar cones and some phenolic pepper corns. I cant explain it but this beer sits with you long after the after taste. A strong taste possession overwhelms one who seeks this beer. Keeping to the true elite Bavarian roots. Drink of elites and gods, the epitome of German beer plethora in a bottle of delight. Highest of German beers.. world class recommended.

Vinaceous by Hangar 24

528400_10101066242268910_581437599_nRating: 4.75/5

Vinaceous by Hangar 24 is an 8.7%ABV Local Fields Series Old Ale brewed with Red Wine Grapes and aged on French oak

Label:
The first beer in our Local Fields Series, Vinaceous was created to combine the best characteristics of wine and beer. Brewed in the style of an English Old Ale, this beer deviates from tradition with an ample addition of freshly crushed Mourvedre grapes from Temecula. Vinaceous pours a deep burgundy color and boasts flavors of rich malt, brown sugar, dark berries and a touch of oak in the finish. Additional Information: As with each beer in our Local Fields Series, we looked to local growers for inspiration. For Vinaceous, we obtained some Mourvedre grapes from our friends at Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula. Wilson Creek has been producing outstanding wines in Southern California since 1996. We anticipate that this joint venture will further demonstrate the exceptional qualities of artisan wine and craft beer and how they can work harmoniously together.
___

A wine and Beer hybrid. Old Ales, as I have stated in previous reviews are a historic recipe going way back to 100’s of years. Adding to a wine and aging makes this beer pretty historic in itself. The aromas are of wine, caramel, grapes, raisins, capirotada bread pudding, some chocolate notes, oak and barley character. The flavors are or raisins, caramel, fruit cake, wine grapes, capirotada, pecans, oak, black berries, currants, brown sugar, peach, pear and lots of toffee. It was an interesting mix of flavors. Some reaching towards the wine and some towards the beer. Overall it was pretty good and worth getting. I actually was able to find this in downtown L.A. I had left it alone and when I came back it was gone. I asked the store if they still had it. Luckily they had one stashed in the back. If it wasn’t for that I would not be doing this review :P. Definitely try it out if you can find it. I am not a wine connoisseur but this is very exquisite. I once tried such a hybrid with the Noble Rot from Dogfish head. But this one is more of a full bodied beer. I like this one better 😛

Crooked Line Series Sea Legs by Uinta Brewing

559886_10101066236869730_1781372966_n 285274_10101066238246970_1375446029_nRating: 5/5

Crooked Line Series Sea Legs by Uinta Brewing is an 8%ABV Baltic Porter aged in Bourbon Barrels

Label:
Complex and drinkable, Sea Legs delivers flavors of roasted malt and chocolate. Sea Legs was aged in Bourbon Barrels for nearly 12 months adding toasted vanilla and bourbon notes to the flavor profile. This Medium-bodied Baltic Porter has a complex malt profile and mild hop bitterness. With a hidden ABV of 8%, Sea Legs is a siren of a beer.
___

An evil beer that draws in the craft beer treasure explorers of the 7 seas of flavor. This siren mistress tackles the olfactory senses with fragrances of vanilla, oak, chocolate, cherries, molasses, bread, walnuts, pecan pie and somewhat herbal or hoppy. The taste buds are tainted with awesome cursed flavors of bourbon, oak, milk chocolate, vanilla, wine grapes, cherries, molasses, caramel, burnt coconut, earthy hops, pecan pie, slight bready notes, some herbal notes like a basil as well as some nice slight spicy notes. While not being extremely overwhelming alcohol wise, this is dessert in a bottle. It is rich and delicious. Extremely pleasant in every form. It is not your usual porter or barrel aged beer. Some seductive qualities that may only be found in the deep darkness of flavor. I really do not think they were kidding when they said this was the siren of beers.

Board Meeting by Port Brewing

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Rating: 4.8/5

 is an 8.5%BV Brown Ale brewed with Coffee and TCHO Cocoa nibs

Label:
It’s 6 AM and you have two appointments on your calendar for today. A Board of Directors meeting at 10 AM requires your attention. But Last night you got the call signaling a dawn patrol session this morning. Surf is out of the west and the swell is building. A morning stop for a cup of Joe on the way to the ocean’s edge has you fueled. Early morning surf report on the radio indicates clean conditions up and down the coast. A Parking lot surf check at the break confirms the conditions are perfect. 

All systems go and your first board meeting of the day looks promising. You trade a neoprene wet suit and a brisk ocean paddle knowing full well later you’s be surrounded by stodgy old men and fussy women sitting in over stuffed leather chairs reviewing corporate minutes as the smell of pastries and burnt coffee hang in the air. It’s a scene that repeats itself year after year . But none of this bothers you anymore. Life taught you early on not all board meetings are created equal. 
___

New from Port Brewing comes a brown ale unlike some of the brown ales I have had before. This beer is more full bodied like a porter or a stout. But I guess in terms of brown ales I would have to look and see how it would differ. The aromas are of coffee, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, earthy notes, and brown sugar. The flavors are great. It is not as bitter as a porter or a stout in terms of hops and smokeyness. This lets flavors of bakes chocolate, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, caramel, biscuit bread, coffee cake, brown sugar, hazelnut, berries, figs, and other sweet flavors shine through. The bitterness is very little as it is mostly from the coffee. This beer was so good it was hard not to stop drinking it. It is pretty drinkable and the aftertaste is sweet and nutty. Quite frankly one of the best brown ales I have had in a while. Aside from hazelnut nectar. This is going to be a new beer that will appear regularly. Brown Ale fans will love this one and those that do not like Brown Ales will start to love the style with this one

Blasphemy (2 year aged edition) by Weyerbacher

484917_10101066229968560_1726995094_nRating: 5.9/5 (2013 2 year aged)

Blasphemy (2 year aged edition) by Weyerbacher is an 11.8% Trappist Belgian Quadruple/Quad Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels. I found a 2011 bottle last year (based on the bottled date) and aged it for close to a second year. So this is a 2 year old aged quad. The ABV is probably higher, in the 13-15% maybe

Label:
Blasphemy is our award winning QUAD aged in bourbon barrels. But not overaged, so we’ve picked up gentle vanilla oaky notes which complement rather than supercede the complex qualities that already make QUAD such an incredible beer.
___

Based on the label… another year of aging may probably make it more complex. In fact, some beers with ABV’s (except some hoppy IPAs, lagers, some pilsners and others) above 9% can age nicely. Some can age for as much as 10 to 15 years. I was not gonna risk this one too much although technically I could have >:). Upon opening the beer, it explodes with complex aromas of pecan pie, bourbon, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, hazelnut pecan pie crust, whipped cream, buttered toffee, bananas, coconut, oak and a ton of dark fruits, wine characters and even champagne like characters. IS this really a quad? The flavors are very orgasmic to say the least. I took this beer into the upper echelons of craft beer flavors. In the past year when I first reviewed this beer, I made it a top 10 favorite. Well, now it just butted its face into the territory of my top favorite beers in the world. It is butting heads with St. Bernardus, Trois Pistoles, Chocolate Rain, Black Tuesday and Grey Monday. For a beer to meet such a rich completion is just too good to be true. The beer envelops the taste buds with with strong complex flavors of Dulce de leche caramel, pecan pie, hazel nut honey, walnuts, capirotada, vanilla ice cream, waffle cone, Irish cream, bananas, coconut, oak wood, butterscotch, bourbon, cherries, dark fruits like raisins, plums, blue and black berries, wine grapes, port wine, champagne flavors like apples, peaches, pears and some graham crackers and marshmallows. The only thing missing is chocolate although I could have swore some notes in there… maybe … maybe not. But then it would be a Belgian Stout aged in Bourb-… oh wait…lol. The beer is quite heavy in flavor and the alcohol can only be savored with the rest of the flavors and not diminish from the other rich flavors. A mind blowing experience!! Well at least for me. Way better than last years review. Well played Weyerbacher, well played….. 

2012 Review:
Rating: 5/5 

Blasphemy!!!! is what they will be saying…Blasphemy!!!. How could you drink, Weyerbacher’s 11.8% ABV Quadruple ale!! is what they will say. Yes you will be expelled from the rights to eternal salvation…yes you will be kicked out of society…yes you will be disowned and abandoned….but never fear…maybe this time you can make your mind straight and pursue something you really want out of life. No one should lay and die…life is about giving it your all!!

This is what I thought at first try. I didn’t even know this was gonna be like this. I am a major fan of Quadruple fermented ales. This one adds to one of my easy favorites. How did this happen you say? Well, it happened at the first sip. I got a ton of bourbon, whiskey caramel angel share like flavor along with a pecan pie. Yes a PECAN Pie. Adding vanilla, caramel, raisins, bananas, cherries and other dark breads, fruit and other complexities…… WOW….I have had many good beers that I am super thrilled about but this one just waltz into my cathedral of top ten beers, took a drunken piss all over…made me clean it…and said …”I’m the new fucken beer in these parts”. How could I say no…DAMN Little bitch!!!.. (Remembers the Raven’s Nevermore of Edgar Allan Poe). Let me just say one thing about this beer, aside from tasting like pecans and pecan pie with sweet dark fruits, The devil really is in the details. The 11.8% ABV is masked way too well. Like there is no burn or bitterness to it. How could this be from a beer that is not well known? Sorry to those that do not understand extremely good beer….Our taste may differ, but while one drinks to justify his social habits …another works in the arts of taste, art and experience….and social…depending if I see the same point of view ofcourse. My Belgian Beer Brethren will not be disappointed by this one. Whether the alcohol, the devil or the beer talking, whether Blasphemous or not…I have to tell you…this one beer is supreme!!

Migdal Bavel (AKA Tower of Babel) collaboration by Stillwater Artisanal and Extraomnes

420354_10101060596353370_621134300_n 28992_10101060588050010_309083145_nRating: 4.75/5

Migdal Bavel (AKA Tower of Babel) collaboration by Stillwater Artisanal and Extraomnes is a 6.66%ABV Italian Saison made with Myrrh an Szechuan Peppercorns.

Description:
a crisp blond farmhouse ale brewed with Myrrh & Szechuan Peppercorns.
___

Been looking all over the place for this one. Took almost half a year for me to find to so reviewing this one was gonna be such an awesome task. Aside from the eerie 6.66%ABV, this beer has some mysterious aromas and flavors. The aromas start off herbal, floral and spicy. Fragrances of bread notes, flowers, mango, peppercorns, citrus, grapefruit, oak wood, pears and pineapple. The taste is very rich in herbs, spices and funky wild yeast. Flavors can gather are of citrus orange, slight pineapple, lemon, herbs, flowers, honey, vanilla, peppercorns, a bit of wine grapes, banana bread, bubble gum, pears, mushrooms, basil, coriander and spices. The after taste leaves with some nice grassy and spice bitterness which still complemented by flowery sweetness. I am unsure as to how Myrrh taste but possibly the little bit of herbal and spicy bitterness maybe a result. Either way, another awesome saison and an awesome collaboration. Saison and Farmhouse ale fans will enjoy this one 😛

Fillmore Fusion by Lagunitas Brewing

11212_10101059919784220_1027903425_n 551403_10101059919414960_1880041555_nRating: 4.75/5

Fillmore Fusion by Lagunitas Brewing is a 5%ABV American Pale Ale

Description:
Brewed to honor the 100th Anniversary of the building housing the historic Fillmore Theater in San Francisco. The resulting 5% ABV beer utilizes a new, experimental hop called ADHA 483.
___

Upon opening this beer, I knew something was quite different about this beer. This was in a good way of course. The hoppy fragrance is quite different adding like an exotic fruit character like a lychee, kumquat, dragon fruit or persimmon like aroma. Some of the grassy and pine notes are subtle and give way through some more tropical fruit flavors such as the grapefruit, mango, oranges, tangerines, caramel, cherries, and like a gummy bear sweetness. The Flavors are awesome. Starts off with typical west coast California grassy, piney and grapefruit hops followed by those exotic fruits like a persimmon, dragon fruit, lychee or kumquat. We also come a nice tangerine, orange, lemon, mango, papaya, pear, slight cherry, apple, herbs and spices. A very crisp and sweet Pale Ale. Refreshing as well. Definitely a summer type of beer with some very interesting flavors. A must try.

Naughty Girl Blonde India Pale Ale collaboration between New Albanian, De Struise and Louisville Beer Store

574676_10101059918930930_2080890803_n 75541_10101059918222350_2095235923_n285263_10101059917453890_633345016_nRating: 4.5/5

Naughty Girl Blonde India Pale Ale collaboration between New Albanian, De Struise and Louisville Beer Store is 6%ABV Belgian IPA.

Label:
It started out as a Belgo-American menage a trois, but then the brewers arrived and transformed the trans-oceanic affair into a beery lover pentangle. The collaborative minds at Louisville Beer Store, De Struise Brouwers and New Albanian Brewing Company offer this, a willfully disobedient Blonde India Pale Ale with a hop on her shoulder. 
Malts: Rahr 2-Row, Rahr Premium Pils, Castle (Belgian) Aromatic, CaraPils 
Hops: Cascade, Galena, Golding, Cascade for warm dry-hopping 
Yeast: De Struise House Ale 
OG 14.4 degrees plato 
IBU: 69
___

Naughty girl sounds like an awesome name for a beer. Blonde Ale, Sweet and Bitter. Aromas of this beer are of light bready notes, banana, mango, herbs, peppercorns, some underlying grassy hops, grapefruit and orange. The flavors are more grassy and hoppy bitter up front. The sweet bread, biscuit, wheat, honey, peppercorns, banana, pears, apples, light apricot, grapefruit and citrus comes alittle bit afterward. There is some spicy herbal almost agave like notes in there as well. Pretty nice. Some of the sweetness I get is reminiscent of the De Struise yeast while the hop profile is that which I remember from New Albanian Electoral Ale. I have had some more world class Belgian IPAs but this one is good for those who like a refreshing experience as well. Not just a lot of full bodied type of beer but medium to light type which provides a good amount of flavor while still keeping it crisp and refreshing. Belgian IPA lovers may like this one

Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout by New Belgium

62172_10101058680557640_1414040541_n 563030_10101058681455840_1067729971_nRating: 4.5/5

Imperial Coffee Chocolate Stout by New Belgium is a 9% ABV Imperial Stout with Coffee and Chocolate added.

Label:
Serving up cold and jet black, this imperial stout should be taken seriously for about one minute as the dark foam builds. Then, enjoy its velvety chocolate-covered smoothness and delicious aroma of sustainably-grown, locally-roasted coffee.
___

The aromas of this beer are typical of dark chocolate and roasted coffee, with fragrances of cappuccino, caramel, whipped Irish cream, light sugars and vanilla. The flavors are of strong roasted coffee, with caramel, dark chocolate, frappuccino, vanilla, whipped cream, almost milk chocolate shake like, some bitter earthy hops, and cinnamon. This beer is similar to a milk stout but more bitter, especially in the after taste. Although it doesn’t feel like some of the other full bodied stouts. As far as coffee goes, this has it down pretty solid. Like drinking coffee with very little sugar. Very good and definitely a recommended beer to try 🙂

John John Rum Aged Hazelnut by Rogue Brewing

13151_10101058675787200_1682231222_nRating: 4/5

John John Rum Aged Hazelnut by Rogue Brewing is a 5.6% ABV Hazelnut Nectar Brown Ale aged in Hazelnut Spiced Rum Barrel

Label:
A nutty twist to a traditional European Brown Ale. Dark brown in color with a hazelnut aroma, a rich nutty flavor and a smooth malty finish.

12 Ingredients:
Great Western 2-Row Brown, Carastan 13/17, Crystal 70/80, Crystal 135/165, Beeston Pale Chocolate & Rogue Micro Barley Farm Dare™ malts; Rogue Micro Hopyard Independence & Revolution Hops;
Hazelnut Extract, Free Range Coastal Water & Pacman Yeast.

Specs: 
19º PLATO
33 IBU
73.6 AA
36º Lovibond
___

I am a big fan of the Hazelnut Brown Nectar, so to find that they made a Rum aged version is simply awesome. The aroma of this version is of pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, dark fruits like a wine grapes, rum, almost like a coca cola, molasses, brown sugar, slight sour grapes, prunes, biscuit bread and caramel, cinnamon, oak and other spices. The taste is of sour grapes, prunes, rum, coconut, some hazelnut, cranberries, vanilla caramel, biscuit bread, pecans, cinnamon, oak, earthy hops, lemon and spices. The aftertaste is a mix of sweet and some sour flavors. At first it was mostly sour but then the beer got better as I went along adding more spicy and sweeter hazelnut and berry notes. An interesting beer for sure, but I still liked the original much better. This version takes it into interesting places of flavor but just not where I thought it would. The beer is not bad, in fact its very good but not sure if it was because of the low ABV but sometimes with Barrel Aging beer, it takes beers into planes of higher complexity. This did it but only into the “light” type of complexity. Still, if you like Hazelnut Nectar, you may like this one.

Plum Riot by Bootlegger’s Brewery

223427_10101057095339430_506205679_nRating: 4.8/5

Plum Riot by Bootlegger’s Brewery is a 7.8%ABV Belgian Dubbel brewed with plums and rock candy. Dubbel is an Belgian beer style that uses a double fermentation process.

Label:
For too long the plum has played second fiddle to more prestigious fruits. Biding their time in angry passage, the raging plum flavors have been plotting an uprising for centuries. The time and place for such a revolt is now. With the release of the cork, the first wave of plum flavors will attack your nose leaving nothing but the mark of their sweet and tart aromas. As this effervescent beer enters your mouth, the second wave strikes as the plum notes pummel and pillage your taste buds, surrounding them with an assault of flavor that demands respect. The age of the plum has finally arrived!
___

Aromas are of sugar cane roots, plum, pears, apples, cinnamon, apple pie, peach cobbler, wine grapes, piloncillo sugar cone and dulce de leche caramel. The flavors are of plums, pears, slight pineapple, dulce de leche bread, vanilla creme, apple pie, peach cobbler, piloncillo sugar cone, unrefined sugar, raisins, dark berries, cherries, and figs. In a sense it is mainly a sugary plum beer. It is quite nice and Belgian like mainly focusing on fruit sweetness. While it doesn’t bleed more bready flavors and focuses more on dark fruits and sugar as well as some pie crust. Even so, it is still a nice beer if you are into sweet tasting beers. Which I sure as hell am so this is very delicious for me.

Alaskan Imperial Red by Alaskan Brewing

75563_10101057093577960_1342637641_n 482436_10101057094585940_992914372_nRating: 4.8/5

Alaskan Imperial Red is Alaskan Brewing Limited Edition Pilot Series Imperial Red Ale at 8.5% ABV.

Description:
A full-bodied deep mahogany ale with ruby red highlights. Citrus notes of chamomile, grapefruit and Meyer lemon brighten the aroma. A zesty array of hop flavors from mango and bitter orange to green mint and hibiscus meld with the nutty, roasted caramel and subtle dried fruit flavors of the complex malt profile to create a surprisingly fresh, yet warming example of the style.
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Aromas are of sweet caramel, rich grassy, piney and grapefruit hops, biscuit bread, peach, mango, pineapple, cherry juice and almond. The taste is truly where this beer outshines the aroma. The flavors are of Toffee, caramel, grapefruit, mango, citrus, cherries, honey biscuit bread, grassy and piney hops, chocolate, biscuit, tropical flavors like pineapple, peaches and melon as well as some nutty pecan and almond notes near the end. The aftertaste continues on with like a barleywine or cherry rye bread with only some minor bitterness that does not linger for too long and stays constantly sweet . The great thing about this beer is that it plays very strong in terms of the sweet and bitter flavors but combining both to make a very nice balance. So much balance and great flavor that each side compliments each other rather than detract. You get strong sweet and your tropical hoppy bitterness as well. Amber ales are usually not my style but ambers like these sure as hell make me rethink the style as more to them than what others may see them as. Amber lovers will love this one.

Ovila Abbey Quad with Plums collaboration between Sierra Nevada and the Monks of the New Clairvaux Monastery

26316_10101052519783880_1276305417_nRating: 4.75/5

Ovila Abbey Quad with Plums collaboration between Sierra Nevada and the Monks of the New Clairvaux Monastery is a 10.2%ABV Belgian Abbey Quad brewed with Sugar Plums.

Label:
Ovila Abbey Quad with plums is heady with aromas of caramel, rich malt, and dark fruit-balanced by the spiciness and delicate fruity notes of a traditional Belgian yeast. This beer features sugar plums grown on the grounds of the Abbey, and harvested by the monks in Vina. We hope you enjoy this collaboration ale.
___

Ahh just like my favorite style but with stronger dark fruits. The fragrances includes lots of sweet Plums, raisins, prunes, cherry, vanilla, candi sugar, dulce de leche caramel bread, capirotada, banana and pecans. The flavors are of plums, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, bread, chocolate, raisins, plum sauce, prunes, cherries, bananas, candi sugars, Belgian yeast, capirotada with plums and raisins, molasses, clove and coriander spice, nutmeg, pecans and minor port wine. The after taste taste dry but plum fruity. The regular quad was more focused on the overall Trappist balance. While this is really nice and awesomely good, it still was more plum driven than the original Ovila quad. Not a bad thing at all but I enjoy the more caramel like Ovila quad. This is still pretty epic and up there with the dark fruit concentrated types. Belgian beer lovers get this one. Surely a must try and a must pick up again 😛

I go into depth about the New Clairvaux Monastery in my original review:https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/ovila-quad-by-sierra-nevada/

My Bloody Valentine Ale, cousin of Evil Dead Red by Ale Smith

164448_10101052141192580_1959620084_n 17523_10101052149510910_928732152_nRating: 5/5

My Bloody Valentine Ale, cousin of Evil Dead Red by Ale Smith is a 6.66%ABV Amber/Red Ale. First time for this one :P. Truly a beer for the occasion. To share with your loved ones 😉

Label:
Don’t spend this single awareness day alone – grab a beer! The red-blooded cousin of Evil Dead Red Ale, our Halloween brew, is beautiful crimson color. Notes of caramel, toast, and bittersweet chocolate balance an intense bouquet of floral hop aromas that we know you’ll fall in love with. The finish leaves a pleasant, full-boded sweetness on the palate that won’t spread angry rumors about you to all you friends like that one time when I was… ohh… umm… Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pair this beer with jilted lovers, reservations for one, or your favorite emo album.”
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Upon opening this beer, well they sure as hell were not kidding. This is like an IPA fragrance with an Amber Ale body. Fragrances of rich grapefruit, citrus, piney, grassy hops, cherries, rye, blood >:[, peanuts, caramel, biscuit bread, pineapple, basil, herbs and spices, Valentine’s sugar candies and cinnamon. Flavors explode of crimson tart and sweet cherries, caramel, toffee, balance grassy and piney hops, citrus orange, mango, apricot, valentine’s candy, rye, cranberry, blood red tart raspberries, biscuit bread, chocolate, strong tropical fruits, peanuts and walnuts. The after taste stays with you with a balance of cherry sweetness mixing with with hoppy bitterness. Damn, quite the surprising Amber Ale. Extremely delicious, extremely balanced and extremely flavorful. A true amber among ambers. It is through and through one of the best damn Amber ales I have ever had. That is saying a lot considering it is like my 5th or 6th favorite style of beer. If Evil dead Red is at the top for Halloween World class beers, it is surely not a surprise why this is just freaking awesome!! Truly a love beer :3

Folklore by Stillwater Artisanal (2013)

 71717_10101051880669670_606677221_nRating: 5/5

Folklore by Stillwater Artisanal is an 8.4%ABV Belgian Strong Dark Mythic Tradition Ale. This is the second time I try this brew and yes… the beer is quite legendary. A favorite of mine from the Stillwater Artisanal line.


Label:

Human history is filled with myths and legends that shape and define our culture. Rituals, celebrations, gatherings.. whatever. One thing that’s for sure, is we enjoy a proper shindig. So let’s get the stories flowing and share a little ’Folklore’. A bracingly deep ale, built dark and rich with an elegantly lean body, accompanied by heady aromas of Belgian yeast, earthy hops and gently kissed by a wisp of smoke.

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There is a good amount of smoke and roasted notes in the fragrance. Chocolate, sweet bread, grapes, raisins, cherry, caramel, champurrado, port wine, floral spices and peppercorns. The flavors are of a dark saison leaning toward Belgian Chocolate Stout. Mocha Coffee, dark and bakers chocolate, dark cherries, raisins, caramel dulce de leche bread, earthy hop bitterness, port wine, champurrado and a glaze of honey smoke. The aftertaste is left with lingering bread, plum and chocolate sweetness. Simply fantastic. A Rauch Black Saison/ Belgian Sweet Chocolate Stout hybrid. Evil looking, almost macabre and so good for the taste.. and the soul..
2012 Review:
Have you ever wondered if there was an ale out there that people talk about it in myths in legends? Well maybe not beer. More like actual historical and cultural myths and legends. Folklore Mythic Tradition Ale by Stillwater Artisanal (gypsy/gangster) brewer for me is such a beer. Well mainly because I have been looking for this beer for a while. LOL but seriously, the ale is a respective tribute to the human history and how with the myths and legends that people tell define what people cultures are. Whether it be through traditions of rituals, gatherings or any form of celebration within the cultures, one thing for sure is, it is about being social and sharing stories. This brew has both good and evil written all over. It is what is awesome about the our cultures that we have both elements to bring about awareness as well as a guide as to how lead ones life through decisions. Tribute to this super fine ale. This is a Belgian yeast beer with earth hops, roasted malts and smokey oak flavor. Chocolate, cherry, plum and caramel bread overwhelms the palette with minor pine bitterness that lingers after. This ale drinks like a stout but it is not heavy like a stout. It flows well. There also seems to be some floral notes in here as well. There is also a bit of sourness too it that stays after but then is immediately replace with sweet and bitterness after every sip. Wish they would sell more Stillwater Ales here in California. Beer aside, the art is very detailed and well rich. This bottle, like the Stateside Saison or any of the other Stillwater beers is worth collecting on its own. An awesome find, legendary and mythical at that because if you ever find it, then you know the story of this ale was true >:)

Whiskey Barrel Aged Amber by Indian Wells

69231_10101022799733100_2056917037_nRating: 4/5

Whiskey Barrel Aged Amber by Indian Wells is a 12% ABV Imperial Red/Amber Ale Aged in Whiskey Barrels. First Barrel Aged Amber I have ever tried. 

Label:
As a young boy in the 1940’s, Cliff Fyffe used to Contemplate the old, broken whiskey barrels in the Evan Williams Distillery Yard. He noticed the barrels were sweating out the aged Kentucky whiskey in the summer heat. The whiskey would pool in the barrels in amazing quantity. Cliff shared this memory with the Indian Wells Brewing Co. founders, Rick and Greg, who suddenly had an inspiriation! They reached out and contacted Evan Williams Distillery directly and ordered a dozen, 55 gallon, used oak barrels that had held their flagship whiskey for two years. 

Indian Wells Brewing Co. then left these barrels in the direct Mojave Desert sun until the whiskey sweated out. When the barrels were ready, they brewed a special ’amber’ style lager by using their own natural artesian spring water, filling the whiskey barrels and allowing them to lager down to 34-degrees for months. Our own delicious whiskey barrel aged amber lager. It pairs well with BBQ and is just great for sipping. 

We hope you enjoy drinking it as much as we enjoyed making it. 

Cheers, Rick and Greg
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Got this one at Emilio’s Beverage warehouse in Lakewood CA. Never really tried a barrel aged amber before so I figure why not. The aromas are of Vanilla, coconut, bourbon, caramel, banana, cherries, maple, oak, walnuts and pecans. The taste of the beer are of Caramel, vanilla, bourbon, peanuts, pecans, cherries, whiskey, marshmallows, apples, apricots and cereal grains. Not the best Barrel Aged beer out there, but definitely a little better than some of the other ambers I have tried. The flavors are not super intense. The whiskey and alcohol are more noticeable in the aftertaste than other beers. Although the burning is not there. While the amber style is not my supreme favorite, I really think this one is definitely worth a try. Barrel Aged beers just add more to a regular beer. However, some may not agree. In this case, for me it was above average. I must have got the good bottle 😛

Hoegaarden Original Belgian Wheat Beer by Brouwerij van Hoegaarden

379260_10101022798350870_1014131793_nRating: 3.9/5

Hoegaarden Original Belgian Wheat Beer by Brouwerij van Hoegaarden is a 4.9% ABV Witbier

Label:
Unfiltered, naturally cloudy. A delicious and surprising refreshing taste, naturally cloudy and brewed using a unique recipe of wheat, malted barley and a subtle hint of coriander and orange peel
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Aromas of lemon, hops, orange peel, coriander spice, wheat bread, honey, banana, cloves, peppercorn, flowers and biscuits. The taste is of light coriander and clove spices, light Belgian wheat bread, oranges, lemons, honey, peppercorns, some grassy hops but with minor bitterness, bananas, pears and pineapple juice notes, The biggest thing about this beer is that is is quite refreshing. Belgian flavors that come not so overwhelming but enough to be pleasant, easy to drink and is low in ABV. While not the greatest of Belgian beers, still above average from normal beers, easier to find in some cases and definitely one to get for the summer. Very good beer to check out 🙂