White Oak by The Bruery

1004439_10101243000074850_723175701_n 999005_10101243001132730_790963643_n 1013500_10101242975713670_597609073_nRating: 4.8/5

White Oak by The Bruery is a 11.5% ABV Wheat Wine blend consisting 50% of “Mischief” Belgian Pale Ale and 50% of the “White Oak Sap” Wheat Wine aged in bourbon barrels. This is the base of the awesome “White Chocolate” Ale which I reviewed some time last year.

Label: 
Vivid caramel-esque, coconut-like and vanilla-ish flavors blanketed in a crisp yet robust wheat ale. White oak is suitable for aging up to two years when cellared properly. Best stored and cellared around 55 deg F (13 deg Celcius) in a dark place.
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This beer is the original form of the pre-White Chocolate. I first tried it several days ago and I had to grab a bottle to do a review. 

Aromas start off with a Belgian bread and Saison notes. Smells like matured citrus fruits, orange, mango, lemons, vanilla, bananas, cloves, caramel, bourbon, oak, biscuit bread, honey, coconut, some minor floral and funky notes.

The flavors consist of vanilla, oak, bourbon, caramel, citrus, notes brettanomyces, banana, matured orange, lemon peel, apricots, mango, toasty coconuts, very subtle pineapple, wine grapes, honey, maple, biscuit bread, waffle cone, clove spice, coriander, herbal and floral hops like the Belgian Pale Ale. The after taste is definitely citrus, bourbon, wine and cheese party. Flavors are kind of all over the place but it surely is a different beer. When Imagine how the Vanilla beans and the Cocoa Nibs were added and barrel aged some more, a minor amount of the base flavors were hidden to give way to a much more sweet white chocolate flavor. Now that, is the best part I remember about the other beer which is the part that really confuses me. How is is that when you add the vanilla and cocoa nibs and age it, it creates something simply extraordinary. Alas, that is the mystery and the glory of the brewing process.

As being the base component of the White Chocolate, I can see why this beer reminds me a lot of the Bourbon and Barrel Aged Stone beers I have had before. Similar to the Red Wine Saison du Buff or the Double Bastard Bourbon Barrel Aged beer. Those beers were really different. More to the wine and cheese party after taste which morphs which gives confusion to the taste buds, but in a very nice way.

White Chocolate Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/white-chocolate-by-the-bruery/

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RuinTen a.k.a Ruination Tenth Anniversary (re-release) by Stone Brewing

954807_10101234318358080_479498419_n 1010280_10101234320199390_590801359_nRating: 5.25/5 *A triumphant fresh return to the golden standard.

RuinTen a.k.a Ruination Tenth Anniversary (re-release) by Stone Brewing is 10.8% ABV 110 IBU World Class Double India Pale Ale

Label: 
Back in 2002, we first released out notoriously mega-hopped Double IPA, Stone Ruination PA, and in 2012 we celebrated its 10th anniversary with the release of a very special version that was even bigger and incredibly, even hoppier than the original. If Stone Ruination IPA is “A Liquid Poem to the Glory of the Hop,” then Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA was a “Stage dive into a mosh pit of hops.” Luckily for us, our fans love loud and aggressive brews, specifically when copious amounts of humulus lupulus are involved. The original release of this beer was so instantly beloved by those who dared try it [particularly us] that there was no way we could relegate in one-hit-wonder status. You are holding in your hands a veritable hop monster. We dropped the word “Tenth” but the decidedly indelicate recipe is the same as the one first unleashed in 2012. This belligerently delicious ale has the substantial malt backbone needed to stand up to the whopping five pounds of hops packed into each barrel. If all the hyperbole hasn’t frightened you away by now, we know you’ll love this audacious gem of hoppy splendor just as much as we do. Crank it up!
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The IPA Gold standard is back with a vengeance. One release was not awesome enough. The second is enough to cause havoc with irreparable damage to the palette and I am sure you will love it. AS I remember correctly from last years beer, this not only was so bitter that it lingered, it actually started burning. Maybe not like a chile heat, but like a real hop plant bitter trip to Hell.

Aromas are just like I remember, a lot of hoppy aromas ranging from grassy, pine needles, grapefruit, herbal, dank, hop oil, tropics to the brim like mango, pineapple, papaya, passion fruit, dragon fruit, citrus, lemon peel, oranges, tangerines and peaches. The flavor are in your face bitter with straight burning hop character, pine needles, dank hop oils, grapefruit, lemon grass, herbs and slight floral notes, some nice biscuit and caramel along with the in between tropics of the citrus, tangerine, peach, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, dragon fruit, kiwis, papaya, lychees and some nice peppery notes. The After taste just lingers in Hopmaterasu ([Unquenshable Black Flames]Naruto reference) burning to the untrained palette. However, if you are willing to continue drinking, on top of those green hellish flames will lie some nice tropical residue to keep you from fading into the oblivion (Leave that part to the alcohol  ). Very nice thing those hops do , ain’t that sweet of them. This beer is awesome. It is so awesome that I think it makes it the prime reason why they may only be able to release it one more time. Maybe even release it every year if not. I think that if they were to release it as a yearly, it may or may not detract from the original Ruination. However, it if they did do that, it would be nice to have a variety or Ruination to choose from. You know, Hard mode versus Expert mode sort of thing. Get this beer while you still can. Stop Reading this and go buy this beer before it is gone. As for the Brewery–exclusive-Camp-out-all-night-Black-Friday-style-for-only-enjoy-3-pints-Pliny-the-Younger…. eat it!!!!!!

Still need more convincing about the greatness of this beer? Read my past review 

2012 Original Review:
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/stone-ruination-tenth-anniversary-ipa/

Drakonic Imperial Stout by Drake’s Brewing

190054_10101232584198350_941570778_n 988226_10101232587007720_471620672_n 1005892_10101232585510720_424825339_nRating: 4.8/5

Drakonic Imperial Stout by Drake’s Brewing is a 8.75% ABV, 40 IBUs, Imperial Stout

Label: 
You are holding a Drake’s Drakonic Imperial Stout, A big, malty beast of a beer that exemplifies the way we roll here at Drake’s. Two-row malt is blended with Chocolate malt, roasted barley, and dark Crystal malts to make up the grist. Only one hop addition, Columbus, is added for bittering, allowing the abundance of malt in this beer to shine through. Enjoy the dense brownish head, the silky maltiness, and flavors of licorice, coffee and chocolate, rounded out with a slightly dry finish. here’s to those who don’t fear the mighty!
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Aromas of this beer are of milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, coffee, rich caramel, roasty malts, minor earthy hops, vanilla, a minor rum character and whipped cream. The flavors are of milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, dark chocolate, mocha, caramel, vanilla cream, earthy hops, hazelnut and licorice. Another very good example of a stout. Not too smokey or bitter with nice coffee and chocolate with caramel aftertaste that stays with you for a bit. I definitely like the more sweeter caramel and chocolate aspect of this beer. Reminds me of some of the best beers that I have had so far. Not to the level of awesome complexity but still bring some very good stuff home.

Lagunitas IPA

945913_10101230397265980_1402534153_n 994790_10101230397964580_2133816704_n 1006169_10101230398249010_2042266440_nRating: 4.75/5

Lagunitas IPA is a 6.2% ABV India Pale Ale

Label: 
This is our unique version of an ancient style. A style as old as the ocean trade routes of the last centuries Great Ships. Not as old as the equator they had to cross twice enroute, nor as old as the 10,000 or so miles of Di-Hydrogen Oxide and Sodium upon which they sailed, but older than the Circulithium-4 Lentloid that binds the Lupulin Quartnate onto your taste buds. Weird. Think about it. Now stop. OK, go again, now stop. Think again, and stop. But we digress. Made with 43 different hops and 65 various malts, this redolent ale will likely float your boat, whatever planet you’re on.
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I have had this beer many many MANY times. To think I never sat down and just did a review of this. It is crazy. Really crazy to no do one of such a great beer.

Aromas of nice grapefruit hops, citrus, pine, some decent amount of tropics like mango, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, apricot, some caramel, biscuit bread, honey and floral hoppy notes.

The flavors are of grassy, herbal and grapefruit hops along with nice tropics of lemon and orange peel, apricots, pineapple notes,mango, sweet caramel, honey, biscuit, passion fruits, papaya, pine needles and nice spicy breadiness. The after taste leaves with a nice refreshing bitterness and really nice tropical taste.

I’ve had my fair share with this one and you really can’t go wrong here. It is a great tasting IPA with not a lot of overpowering bitterness and is a great example that shows that even if you don’t go with a double IPAs, even the regular one like this will still enough pleasing tropical goodness. IF you like tropics over overpowering hop bitterness. It has enough hoppy bitterness to make this really good as a great example of the West Coast Style. There are only a handful of really outstanding IPAs and this is no exception. The good thing about this one is that it is more common than some other IPAs. So even if there is no other alternative, this one sure fits the bill of Great IPA.

Polycot by Hangar 24

1013407_10101219869548610_686532914_nRating: 4/5

Polycot by Hangar 24 is 7.2% ABV Local Fields Series Wheat-Wine Ale brewed with Apricots.

Label: 
Apricots are the first fresh fruit of summer which makes Polycot the perfect way to welcome the season. This wheat ale is brewed with hundreds of pounds of organic apricots grown in Southern California’s high desert. The mellow wheat balances perfectly with the natural apricot flavors and aromas to create a fresh, pleasantly tart summertime treat.
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Summertime is here and this beer is one that I have been meaning to try since I first started trying the different Local Fields Series Ales. This is actually the last one of the series so far. It starts again with Essense.

Aromas are of citrus, oranges, peaches, apricots, lemon, grassy notes, pears, slight peppercorn honey fragrances, biscuit bread and coriander.

Flavors are directly of honey, peaches, apricot and oranges followed by biscuit bread, coriander, lemon peel, pears, tangy and tart fruits with like a minor grape sourness but not funky sour just tart. The beer finishes dry so it make you want to sip more. A decent beer none the less and worth the try for the summer. The other good thing about it is that it is crisp and refreshing too. Not the best in the series but still a good beer. Especially one made with apricots. 

The other day I got some ideas for mixing beers to make like black and tan styles. One that they serve in the local brewery near my house is called “Chocolate covered Cherries” which includes a chocolate stout and a cherry wheat beer. This would be nice to make something similar. Peaches or Apricots in Chocolate. Just a thought 😀

Knuckle Sandwich by Bootleggers

1515_10101218238961320_968552110_n969054_10101218225313670_1442045989_n 993771_10101218224001300_1008180281_n 935922_10101218225982330_1294493020_n972142_10101218224969360_1763847830_nRating: 5/5

Knuckle Sandwich by Bootleggers is a 10%ABV World Class Double/Imperial India Pale Ale

Label: 
This is a beer that truly lives up to its name! Brewed with copious amounts of North American hops, this Double IPA has a colossal hop profile and an aggressive aroma. Helping round out the floral and citrus notes is a huge malt backbone that provides a great mouth feel to this heavyweight hitter.
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First had this at King’ Row Gastropub in Pasadena California. Back then I wasn’t aware how great and very sought after this beer was. It is brewed locally here in Fullerton California but even the demand for this beer is insane. By the time I wanted a bottle to review, it was sold out pretty much everywhere. I went to the local liquor store in the street where I grew up since I knew back then they had some nice beers but had not been back there since 2011. To my surprise, there it was, the Elusive Knuckle Sandwich. Even so, there was not many left and I am sure they would be gone soon enough. Didn’t hesitate to get this one to be able to do a good review and bring this one forth in another one of my Art and Beer pairings.

Aromas are very tropical and grassy. Grassy, piney, citrus, floral and grapefruit hops, pineapple, mango, papaya, kumquats, lychees, peaches, guavas, dragon fruit, melon, a scent of plum, orange, lemon, biscuit bread, caramel, pepper notes and mint.

The Flavors are of Caramel, sweet bread, vanilla, rich grassy, herbal, piney and chewy hops, followed by very nice tropics of oranges, pineapple, mango, plum notes, cherry notes, papaya, kumquats, lychees, peaches, dragon fruit, apricots, guavas, very mild banana notes and honey dew melon. The aftertaste lingers with a lot of tropics and herbal hops. The alcohol is somewhat hidden does not detract from the beer’s flavor. In fact, it adds like a honey flavor as well. It is quite balanced for sure.

This beer is essentially what hop head dreams are made it. This beer does not disappoint and it is as awesome as the last time I remember it even though I had it fresher back in March. It a fist full of awesome IPA goodness. Dare I call this one, Heady Topper the 2nd? Yes, I just did. The balance is phenomenal and if you are mainly into more tropical IPAs, then this one is to try. I myself love Tropical IPAs as well as Super hop bitter ones as well. This would be in my top list of awesome Double IPAs along with Ruination, Pliny the Elder, Double Jack, Hop Stoopid, Hangar 24’s Double IPA and others I have reviewed so far. A great example in great west coast double IPAs

 

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Ruby created by DawnBest http://dawnbest.deviantart.com/art/The-Many-Forms-of-Ruby-the-Echidna-345683691

 

3 French Hens by the Bruery

993891_10101213608880040_868492750_n 988458_10101213606574660_1022864022_n 971878_10101213607417970_297930175_nRating: 4.8/5

3 French Hens by the Bruery is a 10% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Label:
The third verse of our “Twelve Beers of Christmas” saga incorporates vinous and oaky notes into a bold and spicy dark ale. Happy Holidays!

75% Belgian-Style Dark Ale,25% Ale Aged in French Oak Barrels
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This beer is hard to come by especially since it is the 3rd installment of the Bruery’s 12 Beers of Christmas. Last year’s was 5 Golden Rings. Why am I reviewing a Christmas beer in the summer time? Well what better time than now. This is the 2010 release so it has been sitting around for about 2 and a half years bringing up the complexity and ABV to newer heights

The aromas start off quite fruity. Pineapple, peaches, cherries, plums, mango, oak, wine grapes, apricot, apple, caramel, candied sugar, wine, slight cocoa, anise, guava and biscuit bread with honey.

Flavors are of mix of a Belgian quad and a sour. However, the sour is only in funky notes, not necessarily sour. You get flavors or caramel, raisins, wine grapes, slight chocolate, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla oak, guava, pineapple, mango, papaya, plums, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger bread, honey, brown sugars, peppercorn notes, clove spice, slight funkyness like that of Jolly Pumpkin beers without the sourness, molasses, and brown sugar. The aftertaste is slightly vinous and funky but delicious. Mainly from the oak I would think.

Quite the new experience for me really. I never had a beer that gave that Belgian quad like flavors with awesome funky notes that I would with like Jolly Pumpkin. I guess something close would be like the Fantome Belgian beers. It is a very nice experience for sure and aging has definitely gave it what was necessary to bring out some epic flavors from this. Now all I need to find is Partridge in a Pear Tree.

Bois (5th anniversary) by The Bruery

970628_10101211257098030_73146055_n 7274_10101211258066090_1797444077_n 960094_10101211259503210_304924783_nRating: 5.9/5 * Just take my word for it, this, like their other anniversary ales are exquisitely World Class

Bois (5th anniversary) by The Bruery is a 15%ABV World Class Old Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels 

Label: 
This sturdy beer marks our fifth year, and we are grateful for the outpouring of community. Together may our supporters, our brewery and this beer grow in complexity and refinement over the years.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION (beeradvocate.com)
The traditional fifth anniversary gift is something made of wood, or “Bois” in French. 

Bois is our fifth anniversary ale, loosely brewed in the English-style Old Ale tradition using our house Belgian yeast strain and then blended using the solera method. A portion of each of our anniversary ales is saved in our barrels and blended in with the next year’s production, providing more complexity and depth of character that comes with age. Layered with complex flavors of dark fruit,vanilla, oak, and burnt sugar, Bois is a robust ale, surely the perfect beer to mark this major milestone.
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I was able to finally get a hold of this beer. Every year they keep adding more of the and more. This one is no exception to the previous. I already know it is going to be awesomely great.

Aromas start with bananas drenched in vanilla and dulce de leche caramel, Roasted Coconut, Chocolate, pecan pie, dark fruits like raisins, plums, cherries, figs, dates, wine grapes, sherry, apples, Flan, vanilla, sweet condenced milk (Lechera), crème brulee, oak wood, toffee, marshmallows, rum, bourbon, brown sugar and burnt sugars

Flavors of this beer are of ripe bananas, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, rum, apples, peach, raisins, figs, dates, prunes, cherries, pecan hazelnut pie, marshmallows, flan, sweetened condenced milk (Lechera), crème brulee, super fancy chocolate, white chocolate, wine grapes, maple, sourdough and rye bread, toffee, sherry, burnt sugar, brown sugar, butterscotch and raisin bread pudding.The mouth feel is thick and the boozyness is there but in a good way. Has like a caramel, fruit and wine aftertaste.

What can I say but another fine year and another fine masterpiece from the Bruery. I think the fact that there are slightly more vinous and bourbon sugar flavor to it this year than last year is the fact that the Papier they added with every batch is adding more and more complexity to it a la Solera method. I am sure their other varieties are over the top. But even the regular Bois is just simply brilliant! Definitely have to get another one for aging. This beer will only get better as time goes. If you get the chance to get this beer, do not miss out!! It is not as exclusive as Black Tuesday, Chocolate Rain, White Chocolate, Melange 3 or others, but still up there in the awesome levels and ratings.

Click here for last year’s anniversary ale (FRUET)https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/fruet-by-the-bruery/

Imperial Stout Trooper (2009 edition) by New England Brewing

181271_10101204815911220_293241217_n 971536_10101204815147750_1368371218_n 10500_10101204814354340_1817616532_nRating: 5/5

Imperial Stout Trooper (2009 edition) by New England Brewing is a 8.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout.

Label: 
Brewed in a brewery not too far away and not too long ago… Imperial Stout Trooper is a full bodied stout with a majestic blend of seven different malts and Northern Brewer hops.
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In A Galaxy… Far far away…. or basically in my room… I bring you a rare beer. Welcome to the Darkside of Brewing. Regardless of the gimmick or not, this beer has been rated because it is delicious. This version is the 2009 version which still has the unmodified Storm trooper helmet. Needless to say, I don’t think this beer is 8.5% anymore. It is possibly in the 10% or 11% ABV. As with many of my beer and anime pairings, I had a hard time trying to find something. Hope you enjoy this one 

Aromas are awesome, Oak Chocolate yeti like. The hops have definitely faded over time but the oatmeal, oak, smoke and rich dark chocolate is still there and very good. There is also flavors of vanilla, caramel, coffee, mocha, slight marshmallow, raisins, rum, and toffee.

The flavors are of Bakers chocolate, dark chocolate, Chewbaca Chocolate (Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti reference  ), milk chocolate, coffee, mocha, dark cherries, some bitterness but not from hops. Possibly oak, earthy or roasted coffee bean bitterness. Some vanilla, caramel, raisins, rum, anise, hazelnut, 

Would I recommend this beer? You better fuuu- believe it. This beer does not disappoint. It is very drinkable, WAY TOO DRINKABLE and Greatly delicious. I can feel the force/alcohol in this one. I cannot tell it in the flavor, but in the effect later on that it is a stronger beer. I am not sure how this beer would be in it’s prime as the bottles are hard to come by. Even the newer releases are hard to find. Regardless… Lucky you must be, To find this beer you must… Onward into the Darkside Trooper and don’t hold back!!