Parabola Reserve Series No.004 Limited Release 2013 by Firestone Walker is a 13%ABV World Class Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout. Black Xantus’ Big brother 😀
Since founding our brewery in 1996, we have specialized in the rare art of brewing beer in oak barrels. In the fall of 2006, we embarked on a program to barrel age a series of vintage strong ales that would later be used as components of blending beer. That blend would become our first Anniversary Ale, “10”.
After the release of “10”, we released limited amounts of the component beers on draft only. Many of these beers gained a cult following that craft beer fans raved about and begged for us to put in bottle. Parabola was one of these beers.
We present the 2013 vintage of Parabola, a barrel-aged Imperial Stout. It has been said that the only constant is change and the same is true for barrel aged beers. Cut from a similar recipe, Parabola evolves and shows a different face each year; a result of time spent again in the barrel.
Chocolate, charred oak, vanilla, black cherry and coffee are just some of the complex aromas and flavors you will find in this beer
Parabola is a one-of-a-kind sipping beer to last and will reward careful aging for years to come.
Ideal Aging Temperature 45F
OG: 29.5p [plato]
IBU: 82 [high]
Cases: 3500 produced [LTD]
Aged: 12 mo [time in barrel]
Yeast: British Ale [house]
Color: 167SRM [black]
The mess I had to get in to find this beer. Just amazing. Even for Black Tuesday and Chocolate Rain I had to trade for it but it was easier to get than this beer. I almost left work early when I heard the new of it’s release. Driving on the freeway like a mad man, which is really something I have never done for a beer like this. In fact I wouldn’t do a lot of things for certain beers, even when they released Westy 12 in December 2012 I could care less. But this one was something that I really set my eyes on and was damned to get it. It was so hard to get that by the time I got there, it was literally the last one at a Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights, California. I was glad I made it on time. No limits for this release either when sold at their store. Maybe one day I will get another to age but now that I will review this for the masses, it may inspire those to go seek this black liquid gold for themselves, even if online.
Fragrances of this beer are very complex. Hershey’s milk chocolate, almonds, Mexican “cocada” coconut candy, oak, vanilla, bourbon, marshmallows, dulce de leche caramel, sweetened condensed milk, flan, roasty sweet burnt notes, crème brulee, Kahlua coffee, cherries, raspberries, prunes, raisins, capirotada raisin bread pudding, molasses, hazelnut, brownies and a slight cola like smell that reminded me of a Port Wine like Trois Pistoles. Damn, this is very complex.
The Flavors are insane!!: You get a ridiculous amounts of chocolates like sweet, milk, dark, bakers and slight Abuelitas chocolate followed by vanilla, dulce de leche flan, bourbon, cocada coconut candy, roasted coconut, espresso, mocha, crème brulee, dulce de leche, raisins, cherries, raspberries, prunes, hazelnut and walnut capirotada raisin bread pudding, chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, molasses, chocolate chips ahoy cookies, oatmeal, sugar cream of wheat, marshmallows and slight port flavors.
Best way to describe this chocolate cake frosted coffee cake sprinkled with coconut, nuts, dipped in bourbon, made with portwine, dipped in bourbon, vanilla caramel glazed, mixed with fruits with Rocky Road Ice Cream on top and well, just a complete and utter dessert. Should I remind that the bitterness actually comes from the roasted coffee notes.
The insane part is that it is very balanced, very drinkable and un-overpowering, very smooth, and its freaking amazing as it it goes down. Like a nice chocolate and chewy syrup that coats the back of your throat but then becomes like a milk chocolate. The craft beer Holy Grail. This is not Black Tuesday or Chocolate Rain or even White Chocolate. However, this beer proved that it can actually transform with every sip. It’s evolution is insane. Which reminds me of why something like this would be called Parabola. (Skip this if you don’t like math 😛 ) If there was a graph depicting a change of flavors with every try, I would say it fits into the definition of a Parabola. The flavors change going from a bourbon coconut to an extreme chocolate upper limit, then back to a bourbon coconut. Ofcourse the flavors keep changing as you go along to what I described earlier. Also the temperature is in charge of these changes as well. Gets way better as it warms up. Yeah, even if you have to go out of your way to get this, I would recommend it by all means to anyone who has not tried this. Also, apparently, from past years, what may have also contributed to the high rating is the fact that even the Brewmaster said this is the best version yet. So there you have it. Get one for now, cellar one for later.
Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout is an 11% ABV World Class Russian Imperial Stout brewed with espresso coffee beans
Stone Imperial Russian Stout is so thick, rich and well, sinful, you might worry that you’ll be doomed to the fiery pits just for thinking about a sip. It almost seems evil. Rest assured, however, that even though this seemingly pernicious brew is indeed as black as sin, we guarantee that no actual sin was committed in it’s production…you’ll have to add that on your own. This Odd Year addition was brewed in the authentic, historical style of an imperial Russian stout, but with the addition of several hundred pounds of espresso beans from our friends at Ryan Bros. Coffee. Actually, this could be considered historically accurate, since the Russian nobility were as fond of earthy breakfast beverages as they were of hearty dark beers. Catherine the Great herself bolstered her finesse for ruling an empire by drinking five cups of black coffee every morning during her lengthy reign. While we couldn’t fit five cups coffee in every bottle of this darkly delicious libation, we assure you that the deep, rich espresso flavors are unmistakable and meld beautifully with the roasty bitterness of the dark malts. Catherine would have whole-heartedly approved.
Stone’s Imperial Russian stout has been considered by many to be one of the best Russian Imperial stouts in the world. This year they added some espresso. I have many awesome coffee beers before but I wanted to see what this one is about so I could bring forth to you why this one is so good. Immediately off the nose you get rich dark chocolate, espresso coffee aromas with notes of vanilla, caramel, brownies and some earthy hops . The flavors are of rich espresso coffee, caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, camp fire smores, marshmallows, Irish cream, molasses, rye chocolate brownies, milk chocolate, earthy hops and roasty notes. This beer reminds me of Black Xantus but expresses itself closer to a more earthy and roasty coffee bitterness side. Despite the roasty bitterness, it still manages to be very smooth and very drinkable going down. For some the roasty bitterness and the great balance it has with the sweetness is also what makes this world class. You can sense the booziness slightly but that take nothing from the beer itself which is very awesome. The Espresso adds some extra complexity and sweetness that brings out the RIS into a the “Stronger Coffee” zone which really awesome. I am sure this beer will age very nicely. A must try for sure 😛
Blue Moon Blackberry Tart Ale by Coors Brewing is a 5.8% ABV Fruit beer made with blackberries and raspberries.
Crafted with the help of our fans, this limited release fills your summer days (and glass) with the taste of rich blackberries, a smooth malty sweetness, and a hint of refreshing tartness.
Malts: Pale, Munich, Cara 8, Chocolate, White Wheat
Our Twist: Blackberries
Only comes in the Brewmaster’s Seasonal samples. I’ve hear about this beer long ago but never got a chance to try it. Aromas a subtle with hints of blackberries, slight cereal grains, a bit of wheat bread and caramel. The flavors are fruity and sweet. Slight caramel, toffee and mild chocolate notes, blackberries, raspberries, some blue berries, some sweet bread, mild sweet yogurt and blackberry juice flavors. The graininess is actually well covered up allowing more wheat and dark berry flavors to go through. This beer reminds me a lot of the blackberry wheat by Sam Adams. I wanna say that one has a little bit more wheat and bread flavors but this one I found nice in it’s own way. The use of different berries is really brought out. While it is hard to beat Draco from Birrificio Montegioco and Shipyard’s Smashed Blueberry Ale, this one has it’s merits for having very slight complexity that remind me of some notes I have had in those beers. Good stuff to try out for sure.
2013 He’brew Rejewvenator Dubbel Doppel by Shmaltz Brewing is an 8% Hybrid Ale consisting of a Belgian Dubbel and a Doppelbock Euro Lager brewed with all natural dates and Figs
How better to celebrate the evolution of the year than with recipes inspired by generations of the original craft beer warriors, the Monks! Top with a healthy dose of Shmaltz and witness the rebirth of Rejewvenator! “The winter of bondage has passed, the deluge of suffering is gone, the Fig tree has formed its first fruits, declaring all ready for libation.” -Song of Solomon. Dates were used to sweeten beer in Ancient Egypt as early as 3500 BCE. Genesis 3:7: “Their eyes were opened, and they knew that they were naked; they sewed fig leaves and made themselves aprons.” Queen Vic commissioned an 18″ plaster fig leaf for her cast of Michelangelo’s David. “The statue that advertises its modesty with a fig leaf brings its modesty under suspicion.” -Mark Twain. Under a fig tree, Romulus and Remus, mythical founders of Rome, were nursed by a she-wolf and worlds away Buddha found enlightenment. Zechariah: “Nations shall beat their swords into plowshares – all will sit with their neighbor under a fig tree, never afraid.” Mohammed: “Whoever eats seven Tamr (dates) at breakfast shall rise above magic and poison that day.” The Hebrew word for Date palm “Tamar” connotes a woman’s grace. “The only difference between a first date and a job interview is not many job interviews have a chance you’ll end up naked.” Jerry Seinfeld. Psalm 92:12: “The righteous shall flourish like the Date palm.” Thankfully all we need to do is pop open a bottle and rejoice… L’Chaim!
I picked this one up since I was really curious. Dubbles and Doppel bocks are both really good beer styles in Belgium and Germany. However but to put them together and with figs and dates, this was definitely up my alley in terms of sweet beer goodness. The aromas of this beer include raisin bread, nuts, caramel, figs, toffee, fruit cake, bananas and cloves. The flavors are quite pleasant. You definitely get those nice Belgian bready notes and some toffee rich notes of the doppel along with bananas, raisins, dates, figs, plums, dried fruits, pecans, some hazelnut, caramel, earthy and spicy notes, fruit cake, slight vanilla, tangy and slightly tart cranberries, passion fruit, very small minty, molasses and licorice hints as well as a slight port wine flavor to it that reminded me of a Trois Pistoles light (If there ever was one). Ofcourse this is not the almighty Trois Pistoles, but needless to say, this beer turned out to be good. The earthy and minty or licorice like notes keep some of the excess sweetness away which tries to keep this hybrid balance. Overall I enjoyed this beer quite a lot. Definitely worth trying. So much so that I might get another one soon.
Otiose by the Bruery is a 8.2%ABV Sour Brown Ale Aged in Oak with Guava.
Created for no purpose besides satisfying an intense craving. Pleasantly tart with tropical notes balanced by roast malt.
Defined as “serving no practical purpose”, the recipe for Otiose was developed during a rare break in the brewing schedule; a recipe we came up with to satisfy our own desires and nothing more. The result is a sour brown ale aged in oak barrels to which we added guava. Riddled with tropical notes which are balanced by it’s malty backbone, Otiose is a rich and decadent sour ale. 8.2%, Cellerable for up to 3 years.
The fragrance of this beer are of sour wine grapes, notes of caramel, guava, lemon citrus, passion fruit, plum notes, apples, cranberry, raspberry, oak and vanilla. Aside from the sour grape wine flavor, this beer has some nice sweet notes. Flavors of pecan, guava, banana notes, cherry, raspberry, caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, citrus, lemon, grapefruit, honey, some toasted rye bread and some sour funkyness. The beer is quite balanced. There is enough tart and caramel notes to make it pretty interesting. This is similar to some of the great Jolly Pumpkin ales. So if you love sours, have fun trying this one 😛
Blue Moon Agave Nectar Ale by Coors Brewing is a 5.6%ABV American Pale Wheat Ale
Inspired by our brewmaster’s travels through Mexico, our limited summer release is crafted with agave nectar for a subtle sweetness and a smooth, crisp finish.
Growing up I used to drink non-alcoholic agave juice. It was basically a sugary juice that was made from the extract of the agave plant. That stuff was very good. When you try Tequila, its that sugary plant flavor that is the agave. So when I saw this I wanted to see what it was all about. The fragrance is very mild. Adjunct grains, almost wheat, sweet agave notes, minor notes of wheat, orange, corn, cereal and sugar. What can be said, it is definitely close to a lager. The flavors are a little more interesting. You do get that sugary plant flavor of the agave (not sure how much is artificial), cereal grains, touch of wheat, cane sugar sweetness, citrus orange, mild hop and grain bitterness, that sweet corn flavor mixed in with agave, Wasn’t the best Agave beer I’ve ever had, (The best being the Tequila Barrel Aged Barley Wine from Cucapa of Mexicali), but still brings some of that minor agave sugary flavor I remember as a kid. Agave beers aren’t that common. So to find something like this which is at least decent is pretty good in my book. Blue Moon for many is faux craft, but for me it is a great way to introduce craft beer to people. A craft gateway. Blue Moon has been trying out different ideas and even if it does come from macros, I’ll still give it a shot. Blue Moon, Shocktop and New Belgium’s Fat Tire were craft gateways for me. So why wouldn’t I recommend some :P. In terms of this beer, some people that are not into craft beer may like this. Now I am wondering how this will mix with a Tequila mixed drink as it is light enough to probably mix with something :P.
Moonlight Ale by Cold Spring brewing is a 5%ABV Black and Tan. Brewed with 50% Porter and 50% Amber Bock styles
A blend of 50% porter and 50% Amber bock brews. The malts for the porter are specialty malts that are dark roasted for the chocolate tones. Three hops are used for citrus flavors, floral aroma, and bitterness. The bock beer is sweeter with mild bitterness and lighter in color These two brews are then blended to create a unique and distinctive ale. The water from glacial spring with natural minerals allows us to brew great ale only here in Cold Spring, Minnesota
$3 for a 32oz of beer. Not bad, especially if it is craft. Good craft at that. I didn’t know what to expect with this beer. Perhaps I was thinking like the Mississippi Mudd or a New castle flavor. Frankly, I was surprised. The aromas of this beer are very good. Fragrances of rich toffee, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, piloncillo unrefined sugar cone, some chocolate notes, cinnamon, earthy hops, and somewhat maple. The flavors were very sweet . This beer made me think of a much sweeter and chocolatey dead guy ale. Tastes like chocolate, toffee, caramel, earthy hops, molasses, unrefined sugar, slight mocha, coffee, maple syrup and slight metallic notes (when drinking from the can). Not sure why such low reviews I’ve see for this beer. I though this was great and for the price and amount, much much better. I guess because I love sweet beers 😛 . I tried in the can and in the glass. This is better in the glass though.
Filmishmish (في المشمش) by The Bruery is a 5.8% ABV Sour Blonde Ale aged in Oak with Apricots
Tart and Fruity with notes of oak and grandma’s homemade jam.
Filmishmish, an Arabic term for “when the apricots bloom”, is a barrel aged sour blonde ale to which apricots have been added. The beer’s already fruity esters are enhanced by the hint of fresh apricot jam and wood shavings. Filmishmish is a well balanced beer, keeping the apricot and oak character present, but putting the flavor of the well formed sour ale at the forefront.
First the Strawberries, then come the apricots. The aromas of this beer are of apricots, peaches, sout grapes, oak, citrus, lemon, apples, honey, sweet peach preserves, almost like wine funkyness. The flavors are of sour apricots, vanilla, stone fruits like plum and cherry, brown sugar, melted whole sugar cone, mushroom notes like the Fantome beers, lemon citrus, apples, peaches, honey notes, wine grapes, oak, floral spices, apricot or peach preserves on biscuit bread. Aftertaste leaves with apricots and honey alone with some dry sour grape and lemon notes. This was pretty good. Very balanced and not just pure sour. Almost like a Jolly Pumpkin or a Fantome beer. This beer is sour overall but has enough fruity tartness to not make displeasing. If you are still not into sours, this will probably be good to try. It really is good and not overpowering with sourness.
Speedway Stout by Alesmith is a 12%ABV Imperial Stout brewed with coffee. Considered a world class beer by many reviews
Speedway Stout’s Ominous, Pitch-Black appearance has become a hallmark of this modern-day classic. Chocolate Roasted malts dominate the flavor, supported by notes of dark fruit, toffee, and caramel. A healthy dose of locally-roasted coffee from Ryan Bros. Coffee, Inc. Added to each batch brings out the beer’s dark chocolate flavors and enhances its drinkability. Despite its intensity, speedway stout’s fine carbonation and creamy mouth feel make it very smooth and surprisingly easy to drink. This beer ages very well and will continue to mature for many years to come.
This beer’s great balance makes it a very food-friendly imperial stout. Pair its roasty flavors and robust mouthfeel with rich beef dishes and char-grilled foods. Both chocolate and vanilla desserts also pair well, as do salty blue cheeses like Stilton or hard nutty cheeses like aged Gouda and cloth-bound cheddars. Serve in a goblet at 50-55 degrees.
I have been meaning to try out the Barrel aged version as soon as I can find it. However, I figured I try it out before the new come. The aromas are very good. Very thick fragrances of bakers chocolate, brownies, coffee bread, hazelnut, mocha, french vanilla coffee beans, latte or esspresso, caramel, dark fruits like black currants, raisins and cherries, oak, and a nice chocolate cake breadiness. Definitely haven’t tried a coffee stout like this. The coffee used in this seems like a coffee enthusiast coffee. Like a Kopi Luwak almost. The flavors also are of very rich, milk, dark and baker chocolate, currants, black cherries, raisins, french vanilla cream, hazelnut cream, pecan nectar, coffee bread, mocha, espresso coffee, chocolate brownies dipped in caramel, and finally camp fire smores with the chocolate, marshmallows, graham crackers and drinking a Starbucks coffee. The coffee in this is definitely high quality stuff. The coffee flavors are very different in this beer. The alcohol is nowhere to be found especially for 12% ABV. Remember, this is not barrel aged so a beer of this high ABV would find it hard to cover up such great alcohol with out aided complexity. The coffee does the job here in place of the bourbon or whatever else aging agent. This beer is simply amazing. I am sure the bourbon barrel one is probably going to be insane once I can find it, and the Kopi Luwak Bourbon one…..well.. let’s just hope I don’t go through the whole bottle in one sitting, it may just be that good.
Ichigo Highway Collaboration by The Bruery and Hangar 24 is a 5.5% ABV American Wild Red Ale aged in red wine barrels with strawberries.
The Bruery & Hangar 24 are divided by the 15 Highway, but brought together by a shared love of experimental brews. Ichigo, meaning both “strawberry” and the numbers 1 and 5 in Japanese, is a complex, sour red ale aged with strawberries picked from the fields next to Hangar 24’s brewery. Ichigo Highway is best enjoyed fresh due to the fleeting aroma and flavor of strawberries. Best stored and cellared around 55 degrees F (13 degrees C). Ideal serving temperature is 50 degress F (10 degrees C). Best served in a tulip or wine glass.
Ichigo Highway is a collaborative beer that we created with Hangar 24 Brewing from Redlands, CA. The base style is a sessionable sour red ale that we aged in oak barrels along with a whopping amount of strawberries, most of which were picked from the fields besides Hangar 24’s brewery. Aged for approximately 8 months, this beer has developed a pleasant funk and a delightful acidity that is balanced by the intensely sweet aroma and flavor of the strawberries as well as a unique dryness achieved by using a sake yeast along with our house strain along with souring bacteria. Available in November. 5.5% ABV, Best enjoyed fresh due to the fleeting aroma and flavor of the strawberries
Being an anime fan and a big fan of the show “Bleach”, I anticipated this review for a long time ago since the beer released way back when. A very hard to find beer unless you are a member of the Reserve or Hoarders Society. I was able to trade for this brew in order to bring Ichigo, the shinigami here to the stage. One of the things to note about the fragrances about this beer, is that there is alof of strong ripe strawberry aromas but also the grape wine aromas are there too as well as this sugary scent of strawberry preserves. You can also sense the funkyness and citrus like many sour beers. Some grapefruit, apricots, apples and cinnamon as well. While still tart and sour to the smell, it is also very floral too. Like hibiscus and roses. The flavors are very much sour as expected. A ton of bitter ripe strawberries, apricot, apples, sour wine grapes, lemon, grapefruit, slight cinnamon spice, wine oak funkyness, and a bit of sake and tea like flavors . You will only like this beer if you enjoy sours, let’s put it that way. I happen to enjoy some sour beers like Jolly pumpkin for example. The sweeter flavors actually start to come out as the beer warms up. Yep, aside from the name being Ichigo, if you do not like sours even if your a fan of the “Bleach” show, you may not like this one. Which then I assume that only people that like sours will like this one. It is a very good sour. It happens to be a bonus for me as I enjoy craft beers, sours, anime and “Bleach” 8)
Rating: 6/5 *Like Trois Pistoles, this is a very common beer. Since my seek for the Holy grail of Westvleteren 12, I realized, that this beer is the closest but because of its commonality and its availability, it has become my favorite beer in the world right next to Trois Pistoles. Forget all the worldly hypes because this beer is truly from God!!
St. Bernardus Abt 12 by Brouwerij St. Bernardus is a 10%ABV World Class Belgian Abbey Quadrupel.
Brewery St. Bernardus was founded in 1946 in Watou, Province of West Flanders in Belgium. These exceptional quality ales are brewed by using only the finest malts, local grown hops, yeast and artesian water pumped from a depth of 500 feet. After the brewing process these traditional ales are matured in tanks for three months, before being bottle conditioned. The results is a naturally carbonated ’living ale,’ which can be aged for up to 15 years and will satisfy the taste of even the most discriminating connoisseurs.
“Bringing heavenly nectar within reach”
Abt 12 – abbey ale brewed in the classic “Dubbel” Style of Belgium’s best Abbey Ales. Serve this noble and wonderfully balanced brown ale at 52-56 degrees Farenheit in a goblet glass to best enjoy its delicate bouquet
Here is some history from the Abbey and why it is very close to Westvleteren even without the “Trappist name”:http://belgianbeerspecialist.blogspot.com/2010/09/westvleteren-and-st-bernardus-real.html
I can give several reasons and do many more reviews of this beer’s grandeur. However, it would be nothing short of what I haven’t already covered in the past. I will be doing another review, in 15 years 😉
I changed my mind, lets have at it. I still have some left over but also I still have one cellaring for the next 15 years. More than likely, as the earthy hops go down, this is gonna literally be a complete caramel sticky mess but so good I might give it a 7/5 ;). I realize my previous review may not do this enough justice. Fragrances are of raisin bread pudding, very rich dulce de leche caramel, earthy mild hops, apples, slight apricot, slight chocolate, more dark fruits like figs, grapes, slight cherries, banana, cloves, sweet bread, candi sugar, slight peppercorn notes and spices. The flavors are of rich liquid dulce de leche caramel, apples, banana, raisins, cherries, figs, raisin bread pudding, slight Leche Nestle (Sweetened Condensed milk) sugary notes, candi sugar, raisin bread pudding, pecan pie, brown sugar, clove, bubble gum, slight earthy hop notes, stone fruits, fruit cake, currants and slight wood oak like the dulce de leche they sell in Mexico that comes in wooden boxes. So there you have it. Now go get this one. Every craft brew place has this, it is hard to miss 🙂
Kurofune Porter by Baird Beer of Japan is a 6% Baltic Porter
Kurofune (means “Black Ships”) was the word the Japanese used to describe the American gunboats that came to open Japan to western trade. Kurofone Porter is sleek and forceful, but leaves a winning bittersweet taste of chocolate and coffee on the tongue. “Do not resist the superior might; cunningly acquiesce, and embrace.” Kampai!
Baird Beer is brewed at the foot of Mount Fuji by Japan’s pioneering craft brewery. Lovingly and authentically crafted, it is unfiltered, re-fermented in the bottle, and naturally carbonated. Please drink contemplatively, Beer Drinker-san.
I haven’t had a chance to review a lot of the Japanese beers (which I should seeing as my website sure has a lot of “Japanese” influence 😉 ) Anyways, I decided I finally give this a go. The fragrance of this beer is very nice. Starts with fragrances like bakers chocolate berries and raisins, molasses, coffee, slight banana, slight hazelnut and caramel. The flavors are of milk chocolate, molasses, raisins, blackberries cherries, coffee, mocha, roasted malt notes, hazelnut, slight soy taste and some earthy hop notes to it as well. Stuff like this makes me wonder how craft beer and sushi would be like. Some of the beers like Asahi black and others go great with sushi. However, I am thinking some craft beer, especially from Japan would make great pairings for sushi. Anyways, if you can find this little bottle of amazing go get it. It is a very good porter. Oishi desuyo!!! ^_^
Undercover Investigation Shut-Down by Lagunitas is a 9.6%ABV American Strong ale. Brewed with an I.B.U of 66.6
We brewed this especially bitter ale in dedication to all the world’s would-be astronauts, in remembrance of the 2005 St. Patrick’s Day Massacre on the Brewery Party Grounds and also in joyous celebration of our 20-day suspension that following January. Do the crime. Do the time. Get the bragging rights. Cheers!
This beer was very nice. It came in smelling like an IPA but also malty like a Barley wine. With fragrances of grassy, piney, citrus and grapefruit hops but also some sweeter notes of caramel, toffee, rye, biscuits and a little herbal. The flavors are of caramel, biscuit and rye bread, grassy and piney hops, sweet grapefruit, orange and lemon citrus, floral and herbal spicy hints. I wanna say this beer is closer to the Hop Stoopid level in terms of flavor but with more sweeter malts. This beer is a 9.6% so aside from being delicious, it is a kicker. Also, hardly any booziness to sense as the flavors mask all that. It will get you later trust me. A 6 pack is enough to take down any one… 😈
Black Tuesday (2012 edition) by The Bruery is a 19.2%ABV Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels. Very Huge beer. Right next to Chocolate Rain, considered to be one of the few most sought after, world class beers. This is the second time I get a chance to try. There might not be more to say about this beer that has not already been said in my previous posts. Regardless I will break it down as this one has not been aging for too long (about half a year in the bottle + the amount they cellared in the barrels)
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
One of the things that strike me the most about this beer, just like Chocolate Rain, is that it’s intensity when it comes to chocolate is insane. This version’s ABV is much higher than the last time I tried the beer and I am sure it won’t change the rating at all. Also, this one’ is more focused bourbon to go with that awesome chocolate intensity. In fact, some of the fragrances are pretty serious. Black Tuesday introduces aromas rich banana, vanilla, bourbon, caramel, roasted coconut, oak, dark fruits like cherries raisins, sweet, dark and milk chocolate, strong hazelnut (but not as awesome as Grey Monday), pecan pie, very nice smokey sugar, like a roasted marshmallow on a graham cracker, chocolate then laced with dulce de leche caramel, some slight agave syrup, almost candi sugar, choco flan, creme brulee and a lot of sweet goodness that is hard to make out but its very appealing. The flavors boozy for sure, but very smooth a very delicious. The flavors are what gives this beer magic. Just like Dark Lord Imperial stout but more just smoother and something about it that is up there so awesome. These flavors include, sweet, dark, milk chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak, dulce de leche caramel, cherries, mocha, coffee, plums, raisins, burnt sugar, crème brulee, anise, chocolate cake, chocolate brownie batter, rum, chocolate smores, marshmallow, graham crackers, waffle cone, roasted coconuts, pecan pie, hazelnut cream, port wine, agave nectar, apple butter and many more complexities. Like other high ABV beers, this one should be taken with caution. It is extremely good, but sip carefully. Not to be consumed in one sitting. This version of Black Tuesday is on par with the Chocolate Rain high ABV (about .03%less) and some points below Grey Monday. One of my most top favorite beers along with Grey Monday, Chocolate Rain and White Chocolate. While these may be my rarest of favorites, my most common all time favorites will still be St. Bernardus 12 and Trois Pistoles. There are several ways to get Black Tuesday, although it is quite the hassle but so damn worth it. This is probably the last time I get it since it is very rare unless I get one to let sit for several years or one is given to me or served somewhere. Should definitely be on some of the craft beer bucket lists.
2010 Version Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/black-tuesday-by-the-bruery/
Chocolate Indulgence (2012 New Label Version) by Ommegang brewing is a 7% ABV Belgian Stout brewed with Real Belgian Chocolate
Chocolate Indulgence offers a thick tan head of foam resting atop of the rich onyx-hued liquid. The aroma immediately speaks of dark chocolate and dark malts. The gentle herbal notes of perle hops compliments the darker aroma notes, making the ale savory to all the senses
I have had this beer last year. The 2007 version which was Ommegang’s 10th anniversary beer. I loved the way the beer was back then so when I hear it was re-released, I had to try it fresher to taste the difference. The aromas are of dark chocolate, sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, slight toasted barley, dulce de caramel, coffee, some dark fruits like plum and raisins, banana and hazelnut bread, cloves and spices. The flavors are fresher than the last time I tried the 2007 version. You really get a great amount of chocolate covered raisins on coffee hazelnut bread dipped in banana pudding all layered with dulce de leche caramel. That is the just of it but to pin point this with individual terms, we get very rich dark, sweet and milk chocolate, raisins, prunes, plums, slight cherry notes, bananas, hazelnut, coffee and mocha bread, brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, slight peppery spices and smoked barley flavor to even out all the sweetness. Ommegang makes some of the best beers in the world. This beer just happens to be perfect into the category of my favorite Belgian Stouts like Thirteenth Hour, Buffalo Stout, Art of Darkness and many others. I have never tried it fresher but it does seem that the chocolate does fade a bit over time to give way to a more complex smokey and dark fruit flavors. Which is not bad at all, but what can I say, I’m cuckoo for cocoa beers. I already gave a 5/5 rating to the original but I think really enjoyed the greater chocolate flavor of the fresher version of this beer. It is way too amazing for words. Even when it warms up, the chocolate becomes very abundant and very pleasurable. No wonder its called Chocolate Indulgence.
2007 version review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/chocolate-indulgence-by-ommegang/
Beard Beer by Rogue Brewing company is a Belgian Blonde/Golden Ale with an ABV of ~5.6%. Not sure if this is the final name of the beer or if it was a prototype release. Originally released in April 1st, 2013 whom many believed was a joke. Joking aside, the plans were already in motion for this beer’s development since 2012 which was going to be called “Chatoe Rogue New Crustacean Barleywine”. While this may still be true, the beard yeast will most likely be used in that project.
Beard Beer is brewed with a yeast created from Brewmaster John Maier’s Beard. No Need to freak out, Brewers have used wild yeasts in beer making for centuries. John has had the same Old Growth Beard since 1983 and for over 15,000 brews, so it is no great surprise that a natural yeast ideal for brewing was discovered in his beard.
What does Beard Beer taste like? Try it, we think you’ll be surprised…
This is probably another one of those crazy open minded experiments for me. The last weird beet I tried was the Rocky Mountain Oyster stout which surprisingly was very awesome. Now there is really no beard hair in this beard but the yeast from John Maier’s beard was used to make this. Yeast is technically found almost anywhere and many of them have been known to be able to ferment sugars. So there is definitely nothing weird about this beer and science, or is there? Anyways, here’s to science!
Upon opening this beer I got some very nice fragrant notes. Biscuit bread, citrus, guava, peppercorns, pineapple, banana, lychee fruit, pears and apples. The flavors are very good actually. Flavors are of biscuit bread, honey, slight caramel, peppercorns, apples, citrus, pineapple, bananas, slight mango, slight grassy bitterness, guava notes, spicy cloves, coriander and minor tart lemon peel. The aftertaste remains mainly bready and fruity with some nice spice and some bitterness. This is beer is basically a light Tripel or a saison. The beer is very drinkable, fruity, crisp and refreshing. This is the perfect beer for the coming summer and is perfect for the spring time. Don’t be afraid to try it, it really is is good.
*ABV is calculated based on Rogue’s notes on calculating ABV based on Plato divided by 2.5. In this case (14/2.5)=5.6% approximately (http://rogue.com/beers/beers.php )
2011 Barrel Roll No. 3 Pugachev’s Cobra by Hangar 24 is a 16.5%ABV Russian Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels
PUGACHEV’S COBRA: The brainchild of Victor Pugachev — not for the faint of heart. Pilot suddenly raises the aircraft nose to near vertical before dropping back to attack mode. Get ready for an assault on your senses with PUGACHEV’S COBRA, an intense Russian Imperial Stout. This rich, black beauty with a thick caramel head is bursting with aromas of chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon, licorice and dark fruits, while flavors of chocolate-covered plum, sweet malt, bourbon, and roasted coffee explode on your pallet. Three different dark roasted malts and rich maple syrup are combined in a truly unique brewing process to create complexity and depth. Once fermented, it’s then aged for eight months in freshly emptied bourbon barrels. This powerful concoction is designed to be enjoyed now with friends or cellared to perfection and savored in the years to come.
As recommended by my friend Julio who once had it on tap about a year ago. Been looking high and low for this piece of treasure to finally be able to do a review. Time to suit up and lift off into the heights of amazing flavors. How will it do with the other great imperial stouts out there?
Upon opening the bottle, the aromas are very good. Definitely on par with some of the greats, maybe even better! Rich bourbon, vanilla, oak, sweet milk and dark chocolate, brownie batter, coconut, banana, hazelnuts, dulce de leche, crème brulee, coffee, mocha, maple, hints of dark fruits like raisins, apples and smokey wood. The flavors are very amazing. Heat of Bourbon flavor but low booziness, vanilla, bananas, coconut, dulce de leche caramel, raisins, Kahlua coffee, rum and very rich chocolate almost to the side of Black Tuesday but more focus on bourbon than chocolate yet still very strong with the chocolate. There are also flavors of flan, licorice, molasses, chocolate cake, chocolate syrup and whiskey. This one is very very good. The flavors are very rich and the bourbon flavor is amazing. Not the booziness but the actual oakyness and vanilla of it. No Joke, this beer was definitely near the top. A must get if you somehow are lucky to find it. I had to look online for this one unfortunately. Now next time it is one tap, that I will have to see. But you also have to realize, this has been aging FOR 2 YEARS!! so the much fresher version may not provide the strength and complexity. So get one now and save the other for later. Go get this beer!!
2012 Barrel Roll No.04 Hammerhead by Hangar 24 is a 13.8%ABV Barleywine aged in Rye Whiskey and Bourbon Barrels
A well executed HAMMERHEAD is smooth and dramatic. This beer is no exception. Hammerhead is a big, complex, American-style Barleywine featuring two English caramel malts and four American hops. Hammerhead’s character is enhanced by dry hopping and then aging the deep amber liquid for six months in charred oak rye whiskey and bourbon barrels. Spicy aromas spill from the glass: rich caramel, citrusy hops, bourbon and oak. Layered flavors of toffee, vanilla, brown sugar, spice and rye whiskey lead to a warm and slightly bitter finish. This is a strong ale, meant to be sipped, savored and enjoyed.
Additional Information: Hammerhead: A ¼ loop to vertical, airspeed decreases and plane appears to stall. Nose then rotates and plane descends on vertical down line and out with ¼ loop.
This has been aging for over a year and it is the perfect time to test it’s incredibility. This was defnitely seen right upon opening the beer. This definitely reminded me of Sucaba. The fragrances are very rich of caramel, bourbon, coconuts, vanilla, almost like a chile or herbal spices, some minor hops, flan, rich oak wood, peach, apricot, possibly dark fruits and a complex aroma that is very dessert like. The flavors start very rich almost syrupy. Dulce de leche caramel, Bourbon, coconut, vanilla, earthy and grassy hops which provide somewhat tropical flavors like peach, pineapple, sweet grapefruit or a mango. Like a caramel flan that is made with crème Brulee or sweetened condensed milk over sweet peaches, raisins, black and blue berries. Other flavors I can get from this are milk marshmallow cream, brown sugar, pecan pie, walnuts, maple, graham cracker smores with chocolate. I am not really sure if this is just as good or better than Sucaba. Reason being because it has aged for another year unleashing some complex flavors that I could not find in Sucaba. Also the beer is very complex and thick bodied like some of the best out there. I honestly think that the reason has to do because I would need to let Sucaba age for another year or 2. Also, the flavors are very dead on to some of the stuff I listed. I was very very impressed.
Second Anniversary Grand Cru by Figueroa Mountain Brewing is a 10.7% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Hand picked – imported – specialty malts, and a yeast strain from the Brasserie de Rochefort gives this Belgian-style strong ale aromas of dried stone fruit, raisins and dates atop caramel and toffee. Rich and malty-sweet but with a dry, warming finish.
Looking back at the first time I tried this beer in Pasadena’s own King’s Row Gastro Pub, I remember I had to order this one like 3 times. What can I say I realized it was an amazing beer. I only recently was able to get one of these for review. Aromas are of delicious Belgian beer goodness. Dark fruits like plums, cherries, raisins, dates, figs, dulce de leche caramel, whole cane unprocessed sugar cones, sweet bread, biscuit, like a port wine reminiscent of Trois Pistoles, grapes and some minor chocolate. The flavors is where it’s at. The flavors are close to the Cherry and Belgian bread from Three Philosophers but lighter in terms of mouth feel. You get raisins, cherries, toffee, dulde de leche caramel, dates, apples, plums, minor banana esters and cloves, grapes, brown sugar, honey biscuit and Belgian bread dipped in a light port wine. This beer is great since it allows the great complexity of some Belgian beers but drinkable level. It is not a quad, but it is close to the Trappists as it is using Rochefort yeast. Overall, this is definitely a must try. Now I need to go back to Pasadena and get some more on tap. This little bottle was kind of pricey but very worth it. Just supporting local breweries here in California 😛
Third Anniversary ale – Luchador en Fuego by Clown Shoes brewing is an 11%ABV Imperial Stout brewed with spices, vanilla, and aged in bourbon barrels.
Our third anniversary beer us sizes Chocolate Sombrero, using extra ancho chile and adding chipotle pepper. We aged the brew 100% in Wild Turkey and Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. May it leap onto your palate majestically, like a luchador who flies into the ring from atop the highest rope.
They took the chocolate sombrero and amped it up. This beer has very nice aromas of bourbon, oak, vanilla, coconut, marshmallow smores with the chocolate and gram crackers, some spicy chiles, mole, hazelnut and pecan pie, Dark chocolate Abuelita bars in milk, cinnamon, dulce de leche caramel, leche nestle (sweetened condensed milk), crème brulee, raisin bread pudding and ofcourse flan :P. The flavors are dead on cinnamon, champurrado, hot chocolate abuelita, dark chocolate, capirotada (Mexican raisin bread pudding), pecans, vanilla, coconut, Bourbon, dulce de leche, oak, flan and slight chile spice but only enough to give it character. This beer is really close to Hunahpu’s Imperial Chocolate Stout, although the emphasis takes more of a chocolate sweeter and bourbon boozy side than the spicy chile and chocolate complexity. This is a great beer. Got this one at Ramirez Liquor’s in Boyle Height’s California. This one is a rarity amongst itself as it is hard to find East coast beers and especially of this caliber here in the West coast. Magnificently awesome beer! If you enjoy closer to bourbon beers than this one is a must get.
Obscura Cacao collaboration between Telegraph brewing and twenty-four blackbirds chocolate is a 7.3%ABV Herb/Spiced ale brewed with cocoa beans and with cocoa beans added.
We teamed up with our friends at Santa Barbara’s Twenty-Four Blackbirds Chocolate to create Orbscura Cacao. Made with whole Dominican cocoa beans—prized for there subtle, fruity character and rich chocolate flavor— Obscura Cocoa emphasizes notes of apricot, banana, and tropical fruit, all in perfect harmony with an underlying and unmistakable cocoa character. Pair this unique ale with one of the Twenty-Four Blackbirds artisan chocolate bars for the ultimate chocolate experience!
This ale is quite different. I almost expected a dark ale in appearance, but this ale is quite dark in the sense of trying to figure out what it is taste wise. Aromas are of peach, bananas, raisin, plums, papaya, coriander spice, caramel, slight chocolate, candi sugars and veggies. The flavors are of banana, caramel, coriander, peach, raisins, cocoa notes, close to a white chocolate but more bitter, sweet potato /yams with little sweetness, pumpkin spice and pears. Different from what I was expecting. It is an interesting beer regardless but it is something I would only pick up once. I assume they were trying to go for like the Theobroma feel of using cocoa nibs in a clear ale or like the White Chocolate from the Bruery. Although those beers are in another league altogether. The flavors are not as balanced as I liked it to be yet this is still a decent beer. It is closer to the Fantome Chocolat but lighter and more sweet and bitter than sour.
Chocolate Sombrero by Clown Shoes Brewing is a 9%ABV Mexican Chocolate Stout
Roasted dark malts plus extra chocolate malts plus ancho chile plus cinnamon plus organic vanilla extract plus a chocolate eating, beer drinking, Clown Shoes wearing, multi limbed, gorgeous and glorious Mexican wrestler on the label. That’s the recipe for a Chocolate Sombrero!
Thinking of the Fry from Futurama meme (Hmm… not sure if racist label, yet, could be a good beer). Ahh, who cares. This is what happened to the Wiccans who got offended at Witch’s wit or some other controversial labels totally ignoring what good things were said and how good the beer was. I tend to ignore controversy and go straight to the source about what this is all about, beer flavors and art work. I am Mexican and I like having an open mind 😛 . Got this one at Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights California as recommended by one of the guys there. This review is for you Alex :). So I decided to give it a try. Fragrances are of lots of dark chocolate, Chocolate Abuelita (Mexican dark hot chocolate bars), milk chocolate, coffee, mole or pipián sauce, cinnamon sticks, mild spicy chile smell, almost like a cola aroma, earthy hops and slight hazel nuts. The flavors remind me a lot of that New Belgium Mole Ole beer I had a long time ago. This is very good. Flavors are of sweet chocolate, dark chocolate Abuelita, mild ancho chile spice there for enhancing the flavor,slight coffee, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, cinnamon sticks, some pecan and hazelnut notes, very mild bitter earthy hops and slight banana notes. I have had other chile beers as well as chile stouts and this one is pretty good. Not too overwhelming with heat or spices and enough bitterness and spiciness to control the levels of rich chocolate. I still like how this is still more chocolate than anything else, so yeah, this one is a highly recommended beer for sure.
Aphrodite (Aphrodisiac or Aphrodisiaque) by Brasserie Dieu du Ciel is a 6.5%ABV Canadian Stout brewed with real cocoa and vanilla beans
Aphrodite is a black ale expressing aromas and flavours of vanilla, dark chocolate, and roasted malt. The vanilla and cocoa marry nicely, without out-competing each other, to produce a surprisingly well balanced beer. This beer is mildly hoppy, but the cocoa introduces a touch of bitterness. Never too sweet, this highly appreciated dessert beer is brewed with first rate cocoa and vanilla beans
It has been a long time since I tried this little bottle, I almost forgot how good it was. It is considered a world class beer as it balances the sweetness of vanilla and chocolate but has a very nice complexity. Aromas are of rich Dark and sweet milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, earthy roasted coffee fragrance, and some slight dark fruit and berry notes. The flavors remind me a lot of the Samuel Smith organic chocolate or the Odell’s milk chocolate. Chocolate is a win for me so that’s another point for being world class. You can the the rich chocolate and vanilla cream flavor but not a whole mess to overwhelm. It is not Chocolate rain but still has those flavors I love so much. Some slight oak and bourbon barrel flavors are they but slight. Rich caramel, a bit of mocha sweetness with coffee bitterness, and a slight dark fruit taste but very minor. Not sure if this is a nectar to raise sexual arousal, but it sure is arousing the taste buds. It really is good stuff and a definite recommend for stout lovers
Aphrodite or Aphrodisiac (as seen in some bottles) is a delicious stout made with vanilla, dark chocolate, roasted malts, mild hops,bourbon and cocoa. The sweetness of the Vanilla is balanced well with the bitterness of the cocoa. You can tell a lot of the flavors like the bourbon, coffee, chocolate and vanilla are very well present and pleasant to the taste buds. A great dessert beer to have right before having a desert in bed with a partner….oh did I just say that out loud D: …lmao!!..Regardless, a great beer to try and one you wont regret taking home with you 😛
Hop Kitchen Series – Hoppy Bock Lager by New Belgium brewing is a 6.9%ABV German Maibock/Helles Bock.
Meet the first in our new Hop Kitchen series: A German-style springtime lager brewed with rye then loaded with Hallertauer, Perle and Fuggle hops for a spicy, earthy aroma. This Hoppy Bock Lager offers a medium body and slightly sweet malt character perfect for your spring hop-fling.
For being a light bock, it sure has more hoppy aromas. There are aromas of hop grass, some what piney, not too citrusy but just a bit and not tropical, caramel aromas, some honey, and biscuit bread. The flavors are of grassy hops, honey, herbs, honey, some caramel, some peppery notes, slight biscuit and rye bread, orange peel, citrus, pilsner grain and slight notes of flowers. Definitely not like Dead Guy Ale and closer to a pale ale or pilsner with some German notes but that is really all there is too it. It is a good beer to try but nothing super extravagant. Surely worth a try at least once. You do gotta admit though, it is is a tasty lager and once many lager drinkers would probably enjoy than plain old lager.
Old World Hefeweizen by Bootlegger’s Brewery of Fullerton California is a 5% ABV German Hefeweizen
Our German-style Hefeweizen is an unfiltered wheat beer that is handcrafted using only pure imported Hallertau Mittelfrueh noble German hops to give it an original old world taste. With its white creamy long lasting head, golden color, subtle aroma of bananas, and light hop taste, our Hefeweizen has a crisp refreshing taste. The smooth balanced finish makes this a perfect beer for everyday enjoyment!
So the last time I tried this was a while back. I picked up a bottle out of curiosity since I really haven’t tried a lot of the Bootlegger’s stuff but do love hefeweizens. I was pleasantly surprised. The aromas are of bananas, apples, citrus, orange peel, coriander, almost like a peach, a bit of floral notes, cloves, wheat bread and mango notes. The flavors are of banana bread, caramel, cloves, apples, pears, bubble gum, orange, lemon, coriander spice, some flower notes like a nice saison as well as some peppery notes. There are also some peach and some what plum flavors still pull through some how which is really good. Unless this bottle has been properly taken care of because I think it still holds the old label, then giving it sometime in the yeast allowed to develop some extra fruity notes. Taste a lot better from the last time I remember it. Definitely a recommended good hefeweizen.
Silva Stout by Brewmaster Chuck Silva of Green Flash Brewing is a 10.1% Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels
Silva Stout took a lot of patience. We aged our Double Stout in oak bourbon barrels for seventeen months. Flavors are very complex. It starts off with dark chocolate truffles rolled in cocoa powder. Next is the vanilla and wood notes, with rich cherry-like fruitiness. After racking and filtering the ale, we blended in just the right amount of freshly brewed Double Stout to provide the perfect balance of bourbon barrel aging and freshness. Enjoy the culmination of years of flavor development now – no further aging required!
This beer goes out to my friend Jorge Silva, who enjoys a fine whiskey but also enjoys certain beers. It has his name in the bottle so I figured it be special. I have tried some of green flash beers in the past but this is the first time I try one of their bourbon barrel aged beers. This is considered another world class ale, highly rated and highly sought after. If you somehow are able to find it at a brewshop or online, get it while it lasts. The aromas very rich in bourbon, coconut, vanilla, coconut, oak, cherries, anise, mocha, chocolate, caramel, and slight walnut or pecan. The flavors are of caramel flan, vanilla, rich oak, bourbon, very rich chocolate, coffee, marshmallow cream, raisins, Kahlua, cinnamon, graham crackers, campfire smores using bitter dark chocolate and earthy hops as well . This is a lot like older viscosity as I remember the flavors were very oaky and bourbon infused but in such a good way where you can taste the bourbon very well without the excessive alcohol. It really says a lot for a beer of this caliber. A type of power in the taste that is a fingerprint into the reputation of the brewery as a whole. This along with other San Diego Breweries is a reason why they make some of the best craft beers in the world. Older viscosity from Port brewing may be a little easier to find, but when they find a beer that is a dessert and bleeds whiskey bourbon into perfection of taste without the overpowering alcohol boozyness is what makes this beer unique. Some brewers can play the game right.
Indian Brown Ale by Dogfish Head is a 7.2%ABV Brown Ale brewed with caramelized sugar and hopped liberally and often.
Indian Brown Ale A cross between a Scotch Ale, an I.P.A, and an American Pale, this beer is well hopped and malty at the same time. It is brewed with Aromatic Barley and caramelized brown sugar. – 50 IBU available year round, bottles & draft – Descriptors: Notes of molasses, coffee, ginger, raisinettes, chocolate
Right up there with Board Meeting, considered a world class beer among reviewers. This beer fragrance is close to a porter with its aromas of chocolate, coffee, mocha, milk chocolate, rich caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, hazelnut, slight brownies and some raisin notes. The flavors are of coffee, hazelnut, caramel, earthy hop bitterness, coffee and chocolate cake, some plum and raisin notes as the beer warms up. The after taste of mocha and hazelnut stays with you for a bit. Definitely up there with the best of the browns ales in the world. Although the Board meeting was slightly a little more delicious, this is still a great and awesome beer.
Bourbon Barrel Stout by Anderson Valley Brewing is a 6.9%ABV American Stout aged in Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrels
Complexity. Aged for three months in Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels, this luxurious stout has a deep ebony hue and a beautiful mahogany head. The woody, vanilla-like notes imparted by the barrels mingle with aromas of fresh baked bread, toffee, and espresso and envelop the rich chocolate and roasted barley flavors with a fine bourbon character. Our exclusive partnership with Wild Turkey gives Anderson Valley a world class, consistent source of barrel age, allowing our brewers to explore new frontiers in barrel-aged craft beer.
Immediate aromas from this beer are of milk chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, slight coconuts, mocha, coffee, caramel, slight anise, brownie batter, bakers chocolate and brown sugar. The flavors are are chocolate chips, brownies, dark chocolate syrup, earthy hops, caramel, vanilla, oak, bourbon, milk chocolate, slight coffee, coconuts, graham crackers, brown sugar, maple, some anise and some roasted hazelnut notes. The beer is really good. It is not extremely boozy but it does have the right amount of barrel-aged notes to make it awesome. I have had other barrel aged stouts that were definitely better, but this one gets a good grade because it is the type of beer that provides the great bourbon barrel-aged flavors at smaller ABV with closer moderate to easy to drink levels which is good for those that are beginning to roam into barrel-aged territories of craft brewing. It is no Abyss or Chocolate Rain, but it is still a very good beer.
La Folie 2013 by New Belgium is a 7% ABV Sour Brown Ale also known as Flanders Oud Bruin style
Seriously Sour. This Flanders-Style Reddish Brown Ale Was Fermented 1-3 Years In French Oak Barrels For Mouth Puckering Perfection
Strangely enough, this one was considered a very highly sought out beer. Even the reviews on the websites put it in world class status. Last time I saw something like that was with their abbey ale, which I swear, ultimately awesome. Still gotta get me one of those for the reviews here :P. Aromas are just like some of the Jolly Pumpkin beers I have had in the past, especially La Roja. Fragrances of sour dark cherries, wine grapes, currants, raisins, figs, some sweet caramel, strong oak barrel, tart cranberries and some hazelnut. The flavors are just like some of the sours I remember but with a little more sweet flavors. Tart apples, cherries, grapes, earthy caramel, mouth puckering cranberries, currants, raisins, sweet caramel, peaches, vanilla oak, strong beech wood, funky, acidic, biscuit and chocolate flavors reminiscent of the New Belgium ingredients like Fat Tire. Maybe if they were to take the Fat Tire amber and turn it into this sour, then you would have a winner known as La Folie. It takes a special liking to enjoy a beer like this. Sours are usually a moderate favorite of mine if made right. Jolly pumpkin makes a vast variety of sours that are unique as they took sours into newer realms. I can see why many believe this is a World Class beers. It truly is in the world of sour beers. It is like La Roja but more flavors. This would pair well with other things even foods I am sure. So if you are a sour beer fan, get this for sure, otherwise, it may not be your thing.
Cacao Chocolate Porter by Aztec Brewing is a 6.4%ABV Porter brewed with cacao nibs
A classic porter aged on cacao nibs to add a rich chocolate flavor
Found this one at Ramirez Liquor in East Los Angeles. Aztec Brewing is up and coming from Vista California, so this is another example of fine beers from local micro breweries. The aromas are of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, some coffee, vanilla, caramel and a fragrance that reminds me of Molé spices on spicy rice. Pretty interesting for sure. The flavors are of dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, light notes of dulce de leche caramel, sweet milk chocolate notes, some minor spicy notes and toffee. Over all, this is very good. It has enough sweet chocolate to keep it interesting but it is mainly a rich sweet porter. It is not to the level of chocolate rain or some of the best chocolate beers, but still, pretty awesome for locally brewed stuff 🙂
Black Racer IPA by Bear Republic is an 8.1% ABV Black India Pale Ale
Black Racer™ blends Bear Republic’s love of hops with the Pacific Northwest’s appreciation for dark ales. Our pit crew brews this award winning ale which boldly defines a new frontier of flavors and always maintains pole position. Race to the Dark Side™.
Been waiting to see what this release is about. Racer 5 and Racer X are some of the best West coast IPAs out there. Now for this one, should be interesting. The aromas start off more hoppy and aggressive than other Black Ales or Black IPAs. Some of the other ones start with more malty sweetness forward in the aromas. This one has the grassy, piney, grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas up front followed by the roasty chocolate malty sweetness after. The taste is very much so hops and IPA goodness full front followed by the sweet malt near the end. Flavors of Grapefruit, Mango, earthy, grassy, piney and somewhat floral hops, lemon, citrus, mint, molasses, minor dark chocolate, minor vanilla and caramel notes here and there, somewhat herbal and spicy, some minor roasted coffee notes, possibly a dark fruit note as well, mostly all IPA. This one caught me off guard. I was thinking it was gonna be more malt driven, but when they state, this is a “Black IPA” it almost seems like it really is an IPA with a dark complexion. An IPA that still a regular IPA but stepped into the dark side. Think Crystal Pepsi vs. Regular Pepsi. Ofcourse, it is still not as tropical strong as other IPAs but the fact that they got it to where it is a dark IPA even with some minor sweet roasty notes, it is still pretty amazing. It is also pretty drinkable too for that big ABV. Awesome stuff
OB Golden Lager by Oriental Brewery Co., Ltd of South Korea is a 4.5%ABV German style Pale Lager
Made with 100% German Hops and Golden Malt
My friend Adrian once advised me about this beer. He said it was really good, even for a lager. This I had to see for for myself I had seen this beer a couple of times but it wasn’t until I had gone to see Dommin at a concert in Fullerton California was it that I got this beer. I enjoyed it a lot in fact. So much I had to get one for a review. The aromas are of honey, grain, slight banana breadiness and corn cereal. The flavor is really what shines for this beer, not so much the smell. The flavors are of light banana bread, coriander, light honey, light graham crackers, cereal grains, minor grassy and lemon bitterness. This was actually better out of the bottle than in the glass. Strange enough. I also think the best thing about this beer it is very smooth. The graham cracker and banana like taste as made awesome by German beers is what stays in the aftertaste. That’s the thing, it seems to go down smooth with only minor bitterness from the hops. I thing the fact that used a tulip glass makes the beer flavors disperse where as drinking it from the bottle you get the whole octoberfest/marzen flavors a little better this way. I would call this a very light Marzen almost. Although it is still a light beer and even from the bottle, still smooth as hell. Very refreshing as well 😛
Quingenti Millilitre Series Stone Ruination IPA (Aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels) 2013 Series Batch #6 is a 7.8%ABV Imperial India Pale Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels
Brewed September 17th, 2011
Our “Liquid poem to the glory of the hop,” Stone Ruination IPA has been assaulting palates for 11 years with over 100 IBUs of deliciously intense bitterness and vibrant hop flavors
In the mash
Pale & Crystal malt
In the boil
In the whirlpool
Unfiltered and aged
16 months in American Oak Kentucky Bourbon Barrels
IBUs 59 ABV: 7.8%
Bottled February 2013
Cellar Notes: Intense hop flavors still shine brightly despite the lengthy aging time. The barrels lend a pleasantly astringent aftertaste with plentiful walnut and almond tones. Despite an expected loss of IBUs from aging, a robust hop bitterness lingers to meld effortlessly with the oak tannins.
I first had the honer to try this with my friend Rich at the Stone Company Store in Pasadena California. We were able to pour a bottle at the cafe area to taste it. It was then that I realize this was something very special. Even if it was 500ml, which I wish they sold if for less than what I got this for or atleast had it on tap, regardless it was good, unique and quite the different Gold Ruination. I have tried the Gold IPA standard, Ruination IPA and the 10th Ruination IPA before and I realize that these beers are very good so I wanted to see how epic this beer was true to the original. Upon opening the beer, there was an aggressive yet tamed rush of grassy, piney, grapefruit hops which I am used to but then they were immediately followed by bourbon whiskey, vanilla, citrus, caramel, flan, herbs, wine grapes, flowers, honey, almost like an expensive wine cheese, apples, raspberries, peach, mango, oak, almost like a champagne and tamarind. The flavors are of rich oak, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, non-over-powering whiskey, expensive wine cheese, rich grassy and piney bitterness, grapefruit, coconuts, citrus, mango, tangerines, kumquats, Italian herbs, spices, Sweetened condensed milk, maple, crème brulee, flan, burnt sugar, hazelnut nectar, walnuts, pecan pie, mint, flowers, peppercorns, tamarind, raspberries, champagne, bready banana and vanilla cake. As the beer gets warmer that is where you start to get more like a berry taste. While yes it is not the the usual IPA that is best drunk fresh, this is is like taking that same Epic Gold standard and equipping it with golden armor ready to take on years of aging. Almost like sending a man to the moon, this beer explores for the first time (at least to my knowledge) the idea that India Pale Ales CAN be aged… give the right preparation… Go on golden hop warrior and evolve into a heavenly knight of justice ready to strike all the evil beers with less flavors… YES!!!! Just remember, I came into this beer with a very open mind considering the IPA loss vs the Bourbon gain. So if you go into this believing in pure IPA, it may not fit you really. Many IPA lovers might find this one a bit not right but those that love both IPAs and Bourbon beers will ascend into a new realm of nirvana. Enjoy this one if you find it…
Iron Throne Blonde Ale collaboration by Game of Thrones and Ommegang is a 6.5% ABV Belgian Blonde Pale Ale
Blonde ale with malty sweetness and a touch of fruity spiciness, Noble Hops aromas and notes of citrus. Suitable to serve to kings, or pretenders to the iron throne.
Pour slowly so as to not disturb the yeast sediment, but with enough vigor to create a luxurious head and release the rich bouquet.
Ommegang makes some of the best beers in the world but this beer seems like a marketing gimmick really. Regardless, I was able to get a bottle to review for a couple of bucks. The artwork is amazing I will give it that 😛 so I tried to pair some awesome artwork to go with it. The aromas are of some of the best beer fragrances but typically the same as you would find in a tripel or Belgian blonde with fragrances of caramel and honey biscuit bread, banana, bubble gum, apples, peppercorns, citrus, flowers, lemon grass, slight apricot and spices like cloves. The flavors are close to an Allagash Curiex or even the Duvel Rustica. Peppercorns, honey, toasted biscuit bread, slight lemon, grassy notes, slight sour apples, peach, bananas, bubble gum, orange juice, whole grains, clove spice and coriander. It is a very awesome beer for sure, but don’t expect nothing new from what you would get from some of the best Tripels and Belgian Pales out there. Even so, this is a great gateway beer for those seeking into trying Belgian beers. Hence the reason why it is more of a lighter bodied beer than some of Ommegang’s best (Art of Darkness or Three Philosophers) in my opinion ofcourse ;). Still worth a pickup. I will admit that as the beer warms up, it does get even sweeter flavors, almost like a vanilla and burnt sugar flavor, so I guess just give it a moment while drinking it, it could surprise you.
Dayman Coffee IPA collaboration by Aleman, Two Brothers and Stone is a 8.7%ABV India Pale Ale brewed with roasted coffee beans
Jim Moorehouse, Nate Albrecht and Brad Zeller, three pals planning #to open a Chicago brewpub under the moniker of Aleman, won first place at last year’s Iron Brew homebrewing competition in the Windy City (judged by none other than Greg Koch, Jason Ebel of Two Brothers Brewing, and celebrated Chicago brewer, designer and author Randy Mosher). Their style-bending IPA artfully married the assertive tropical bite of Citra hops with amazing coffee flavor and aromatics #to create something truly unique and exceptional. Serendipitously, Two Brothers recently kicked off a new adventure roasting their own coffee beans, and provided just-in-time freshly roasted java for the brew. The result is an innovative IPA that’s well balanced and intensely flavored thanks to the felicitous blend of hops and fresh roasted coffee.
This is an interesting combination. I never thought such a combination would be possible inviting the citrus and coffee to combine in such a way. The aromas are such that you get citrus, mango, grassy hops, but the coffee and java roast brings out some nice caramel and sugar notes. Strange, it is like smelling a porter but brought the level of citrus and hoppy IPA. Very unique indeed. The flavors are something else. They really got the balance correctly on this one. It invites rich flavors of piney grassy, orange citrus, grapefruit but also balances the extra bitterness with caramel, coffee, chocolate, mocha, pecans, walnuts, hazelnut nectar and vanilla. You can also get some mango, tangerines and papaya out this. I think this beer would be close to like a tropical latte almost. Of course you have to remember the hop bitterness adds some rich notes that will please IPA lovers. I honestly think this beer would probably be a gateway into the world of IPAs because it starts of with the sweetness of the coffee and slowly takes you in the hoppy and tropical realms of the IPA world. Yet another unique master piece. For something that probably would mix, like sweet and bitter, they really got a way with this one. Loving this one for sure.
Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout by Wynkoop Brewing is a 7.5%ABV Foreign Stout brewed with….. Bull Testicles. Yep that’s right… >.>…. who has the balls to try this lol.
The beer is a meaty foreign-style stout brewed with loads of dark malts, specialty grains and freshly sliced & roasted bull testicles. A special ultra-limited-release beer, it weighs in at 7% ABV and 3 BPB. (That’s balls per barrel.)
This was the April 1st 2012 April Fools joke of the year for craft brewing. The crazy part about this is that many people thought this was real and eventually, the brewery decided to make this a real deal. I am pretty open minded about a lot of things. Some things even like Kopi Luwak (Civet Cat pooped Coffee Beans) are actually not bad. Many people would find this offensive. I even doubted myself whether I actually wanted to do this or not. Once I got my hands on these, well, there was no turning back. Many people said it wasn’t bad and had a “nutty” taste to it. Like actual peanuts, walnuts or hazel but well I was skeptic but too bad. So I said screw it. If I am the kind of guy who has had frog legs, snails, Iguana tails, crickets and other things, why not this? Well, this may not be the craziest thing I’ve done, but oh well. Hell, in Mexico, one time my aunt tried to give me some cooked Bull balls and I said no. Anyways…. The fragrance was like a nice bakers chocolate, a little bit of coffee notes, some hazelnut, caramel, light vanilla, slight funkiness (possibly the ball meat) and earthiness too. The flavors are of….really nice actually. Wow. Joking aside this was really good. A lot of caramel, milk and bakers chocolate, vanilla, almost like a very minor raisin and rum flavor, some pecan, hazelnut cream, chocolate mousse, walnuts, like a oak or barrel aged quality but very very small notes and very small notes of like a smoked meat or smoked steak like flavor in the aftertaste but sometimes that is normal like a smoked dry stouts I have had before which people say taste kind of like ham or bacon. Although, the extra chocolate probably makes up for what would be the testicular flavors if there was any. Although there was hardly any smoke in this beer. If I was not told that there was bull testicles in this, I would not have known. This stout is amazing. Joking aside, creamy chocolate, nice sipper and really nice after taste. I could not find anything that resembled meat (except maybe in the aftertaste)or salty oysters like in the sea oysters stouts I have had before. Hype and skepticism aside, this turned out to be a really great stout. Although I am not sure if this is quite possibly the biggest gimmick in weird beers I have tried so far. Civet poop coffee was quite good too.
For those interested in the original video that started it all, here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1fV3edEdfE
I had a hard time trying to find something that would fit the whole “Bull Ball” theme. Then I remember that Red Bull uses synthetic Taurine which is an ingredient that could also be obtained from Bull Testosterone (although they don’t). So yeah I put two and two together and there you have it. Enjoy
Samuel Smith’s Yorkshire Stingo is a 9%ABV English Strong Ale aged in oak casks
Some of the oak casks at Samuel Smith’s date back more than a century with the individual oak staves being replaced by the Old Brewery coopers over the years. Gradually the casks soak in more & more of the character of the ale fermented in stone Yorkshire squares. Yorkshire Stingo is aged for at least a year, matured in these well-used oak casks in the brewery’s underground cellars deriving fruit, raisin, treacle toffee, Christmas pudding and slight oaky flavours, before being further naturally conditioned in bottle. Allow time for east to settle before opening then pour gently.
This is probably considered England’s best strong ale in the world. It definitely showed it as I have never seen a barrel aged English beer at something as high as 9%ABV. The aromas are amazing. It is the very same English malt aroma but now with that bourbon, vanilla, caramel, oak, chocolate and coconut fragrance. Wow is what I would describe the scent of this beer. Other aromas of dark fruits like raisins, black and blue berries, biscuit bread, honey, apples and somewhat like barley wine. The flavors are of oak, vanilla, caramel, chocolate, strong marshmallow creme, slight coffee, slight coconut, slight flan, slight bourbon, apples, dark fruits like plums, black berries, blue berries, raisins, cookies and cream, sweet raisin and pecan bread pudding, cinnamon, flan, some what creme brulee, walnut and hazel nut creme. It is an over the top, exceptional beer. I think if it was found often, I would definitely pick it up over and over again. You can’t beat this as it goes in par with some of the best barrel aged beers out there. This beer along with organic chocolate, oatmeal stout and winter welcome are some of my favorites from this brewery along with Goblin King from Wychwood are my favorites from England. Brewdog I won’t include in the Great Britain mix as they are another Scottish story all together 😉
Key Lime Pie by Short’s Brewing is a 5.75%ABV Fruit beer made with marshmallows and lactose with lime and graham crackers added.
Made with fresh limes, milk sugar, graham cracker, and marshmallow fluff, we were able to recreate this popular dessert into a heavenly drinkable version. The prominent flavors are immensely sweet, yet tart, with subtle hints of graham cracker coming through in the nose and remain on the back of the palate. A Gold Medal Winner at the 2010 GABF.
This is another one of those strange what if beers. It is essentially a beer with lime, marshmallow and graham cracker flavors. Upon opening the beer there was a rush of sweet Mike hard lime scent to the nose. There was also this caramel, sugary, cinnamon, graham cracker, citrus, mint, and vanilla. The flavors are of lemon and lime tart, lemon meringue, caramel , some pie crust , graham cracker, sour grape or boysenberry cobbler, almost like a muddy cookie, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and coffee bread notes, spicy marshmallow smores without the chocolate. This beer is like a pumpkin beer would bee if they used limes instead of pumpkins. While it is very tasty and delicious, it is a rather strange beer but also incredibly unique. Nothing I ever tasted was way different than this. Even El Murcielago which was a Tequila Barrel Aged beer which was very unique in its own way was nothing like this one. It is not a style that would probably be seen in many places and kind of hard to get. I actually was able to get a bottle of this online as it is very limited unless you live in Michigan possibly. Overall very unique and very delicious but very different, in a good way.
Mountain Standard by Odell Brewing is a 9.5%ABV Double Black India Pale Ale
As winter sets in, we embrace the darkness, celebrating the change in season with this double black IPA releasing it as Daylight Savings falls back to MST. We handpick hops here in Colorado on the western slope. The robust hops and roasted malt character balance perfectly with just a bit of bitterness. Go ahead, Give in to the dark side.
This ales is very rich in flavor and fragrance. This beer screams rich mint, chocolate, caramel, some mocha, grassy and earthy hops, herbs, basil, spices, lemon citrus, and slight smoke. The flavors are of earthy grassy hops, herbs, spices, sweet and dark chocolate, mocha, caramel, mint, anise, molasses, some basil, sweet garlic, lemon, citrus, coffee cake and some slight nutty notes. This beer reminds me of Self-Righteous but with more chocolate flavor than the herbs and spices. While still bitter, it is somewhat smooth and drinkable hiding that 9.5%ABV which can be sensed later.
Yuengling Traditional Lager is a 4.4%ABV American Red Lager
An iconic American lager famous for its rich amber color and medium-bodied flavor – with a roasted caramel malt for a subtle sweetness and a combination of cluster and cascade hops, this true original delivers a well-balanced taste with very distinct character.
Brewed by one of the oldest breweries in the United States of America and made in the east coast. Long a go a buddy of mine recommended that I try this one. I was able to find it at Ramirez Liquor in Pico Rivera California which is kind of rare to find really. The bottle came in a green bottle but was a definite pale amber look to it. The aromas I got from this are the ones I usually get from Heineken green bottles, but once in the glass I sense some fragrance of nuts, grain and caramel. The flavors are also like Heinneken a bit but with some caramel malty honey taste. Some flavors of metallic, grains, nutty cereal, slight caramel note, slight grassy bitter notes. As the beer went on, the more honey and caramel notes started to arise better than its Heineken profile made it to. That’s where the good stuff was. I think this lager would probably be a lot better on tap. Unfortunately it could be hard to find here in the West. There was no bottled on date for this one and usually for lagers and those in green or clear bottles are more enjoyed fresh than set to sit for later consumption. While this is still not the best lager ever, it is indeed better than some of the other lagers I have tried in the past. The beer does have more character than the average lager and I could tell, it is just that the green bottle adds some good portion of that Heineken flavor. Some of this isn’t nearly too bad as some of the Fantome beers that come in green bottles are simply amazing but also very unique since they use mushrooms for brewing. So yeah, not all green bottles are bad, but don’t expect them to age well.