Blue Dot by Hair of the Dog

1010419_10101302625310400_9556510_n 559992_10101302625315390_1730783561_n 553973_10101302625325370_1536550032_nRating: 5/5

Blue Dot by Hair of the Dog is a 7% ABV Double India Pale Ale

Blue Dot is named after our planet: we are only a pale blue dot in this universe. Made with Organic Pilsner, Rye malt and a combination of intense northwest hop varieties. Pour slowly to allow the sediment to remain in the bottle. Make everyday Earth Day. Do Something nice for your mother.
O.G. 1074, 80 IBUs.

Another awesome trade from my friend Richard. I had seem this beer many times and have hear great things about it. I unfortunately missed the chance to pick this beer up. Thanks again for the trade man, this review also goes out to you bro.

Aromas if this beer are of grapefruit, floral, piney and grassy hops, tropical fruits like mango, honey, oranges, biscuit bread notes, pineapple, mandarin, and some minor toffee sweetness.

The flavors are of oranges, grapefruit, flower notes, grass and piney hops, biscuit bread, mandarin, oranges, dragon fruit, rye notes and apricots.

The aftertaste finishes dry but still has some nice bitter and fruity notes. It is a very smooth and easy to drink IPA. Might even impress some people that normally don’t like IPAs. Even though it is, 7% ABV, the part that makes it a Double IPA is because of the extra hops they are using here so you get a lot more hoppiness out of this IPA than with a regular IPA. Very well made stuff and is definitely worth the seek if you can find it.

The Beast Grand Cru (Batch 10, 2012 edition) by Avery Brewing

1009815_10101302556208880_567324772_nRating: 5/5

The Beast Grand Cru (Batch 10, 2012 edition) by Avery Brewing is a 16% ABV Belgian Strong Dark ale

The Beast is a seducer – accommodating, complicated, powerful, dark and created to last the ages. Beyond this, it’s futile to attempt to describe Him. He will unveil Himself differently to each of His followers. The mark is in His constitution. Brewed with two-row malted barley, honey malt, and imported Belgian specialty grains (aromatic, pale wheat, roasted wheat, and Special , hops (Magnum, Galena, Saaz, Hallertau, Tettnang, and Hersbrucker), brewing sugars (raisins, dates, blackstrap molasses, alfalfa honey, turbinado, and dark Belgian candy sugar), water, Belgian yeast and another hellion of a yeast strain.OG: 1.138 

Obtained from a beer trade with my good friend Richard. He definitely went out of his way to find this one. I have heard of this beer but I have never really found it. This review goes out to him. Thanks again man . The Grand Cru style is one I don’t often get to try but from the many I have tried, they have all been great. This one is no exception

Aromas are of caramel, grapes, rich strawberry and blackberry preserves, cherries, raisins, plums, candi sugar, biscuit bread, walnuts, vanilla, fruit cake, citrus and rye

The flavors are of lots of sweet forward strawberry preserves, blackberries, raisins, rye bread, caramel, pecan pie, candi sugar, cherries, fruitcake, vanilla, apricots, citrus, hints of coconut and oak

The beer is quite boozy but the flavors cover up any alcohol burn. So while you still get to feel the alcohol potency, the complex flavors help it out a lot.

Overall the beer is freaking great, strong, deliciously complex and it will take control once you finish the last drop. I would definitely recommend this one if you can find it. Also, I wish I had more bottles of this. This is too good to pass up 

Barrel Aged Siren Noire Heavy Seas Uncharted Series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing

1005781_10101298803444450_1861030632_n 993628_10101298805440450_1847710357_n 1005638_10101298805031270_1245257992_nRating: 5.75/5*

Barrel Aged Siren Noire Heavy Seas Uncharted Series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Chocolate and aged in Bourbon Barrels

Siren Noire
Rich and velvety, this smooth brew owes its full body to healthy additions of imported specialty grains. The roasted malt flavors of coffee yield to notes of mocha, fig, and raisin – and Belgian cacao nibs impart a decadent chocolate nuance. Bourbon barrel aging finishes by adding tones of vanilla. An unparalleled flavor experience

Uncharted Waters explores the unique changes that happen to beer when exposed to wood. Each beer showcases a robust style, carefully matched with a wood treatment to showcase a range of complex flavors. Vintage dating encourages further exploration on the aging process. As much about the voyage as the destination we hope you enjoy these beers in the spirit in which they were brewed.

So I got this on whim. I wanted to get the Holy Sheet Belgian ale they had but unfortunately for me it may already be to late. Well, better luck next year I guess. Anyways, I found this one and I wanted to try as it was a Barrel Aged beer and from a brewery I have never tried before. So I decided to give it a try and damn, what a treasure it was as soon as I opened the bottle.

Aromas exploded with a great ton of coconut, chocolate, marshmallows, almonds, bourbon, vanilla, dulce de caramel (Rocky road fragrances), flan, mocha coffee notes, deep java, frappucino, 

The flavors are way too damn close to rocky road ice cream and coffee to put it as best as possible. Bitterness is definitely like an earthy and it is also oaky slightly. Flavors are are of milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, toasted coconut, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, vanilla, marshmallows, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, chocolate cheese cake, flan, crème brulee, mocha, frappucino and chocolate fudge brownies

The Aftertaste leaves off sweet with nice chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, flan and mocha notes. No alcohol presence and the flavors are complex and intense, I am surprised how they could develop these very nice flavors from such an ABV.

Amazingly enough, while it is not strong with the alcohol, it has a lot of sweet flavors. This is too damn good. I wish I could get this beer more frequently. This is really good. If you are lucky enough to find it and live Bourbon Barrel Aged beers, go get this right away. Coffee flavored Rocky Road ice cream in liquid form.

*I am a chocolate beer fanatic, so the rating maybe a bit bias but I swear, this is like rocky road ice cream in liquid form. Maybe not to the Parabola level but enough to notice. Oh, and Lots of nice coffee to go with it too

2013 British-Style Old Ale a.k.a 2005/2010 Decadence by Alesmith

44679_10101298802261820_1809725194_nRating: 5.45/5

2013 British-Style Old Ale a.k.a 2005/2010 Decadence by Alesmith is an 11% ABV Old Ale

Great American Beer Festival 2008
“Small Brewing company of the year”
Old Ale Category Triumphs
Gold Medal Great American Beer Festival 2008
Gold Medal World Beer Cup 2008

Originally brewed in 2005 as the first in our annual Decadence series, AleSmith Old Ale follows the tradition of class British-style Old Ales. This rich, malt-forward ale showcases soft notes of currants and dried fruit along with complex dark sugars, all of which are balanced by a subtle bitterness derived from the addition of traditional English hops. AleSmith Old Ale is ready to be enjoyed now or it can be aged for upwards of twenty years to further enhance its amazing depth of flavor. A hearty ale designed to please Bacchus himself!

They will be releasing this beer every season due to its popularity. I snagged a bottle as I was looking for beers at the store. I always have a hard time deciding what to pick. I like all the beers and certain styles. This is a style of beer that I do not often get to review but the style has always been very good.

Aromas started off with lots of raisins, cherries, caramel and walnut bread pudding. British beers like these always have forward malts. There is notes of toffee, brown sugar, butterscotch, vanilla, pecan pie, molasses, biscuit, black raspberry jam and some fruit cake

Flavors are of caramel, toffee, dark fruits like raisins, black berries, apples, pecan pie, walnuts bread pudding, raspberry jam, molasses, figs, vanilla, chocolate notes, anise, earthy hop hints, port wine notes, butterscotch, nutmeg, fruit cake, and brown sugar

The aftertaste finishes with like a raisin, caramel and anise taste with some port wine and earthy bitterness as it leaves completely. Good stuff, and the alcohol is well hidden. Amazing stuff, also, others say that the previous recipe was oxidized. There is no oxidation in this one at all, it’s just pure good beer.

This ale is meant for aging, so I am sure it will improve with time for sure. Even as fresh as it is right now, it is very delicious and I almost feel like I can definite drink more of this stuff. One of the best English styles ever.. Damn Alesmith is very good.

Special Edition Bavarian Nutmeg Virgil’s Root Beer

1002299_10101298799227900_123339407_nSpecial Edition Bavarian Nutmeg Virgil’s Root Beer (0.0% ABV  ) Non-Alcoholic

Using Natural Ingredients, we brew a root beer so pure, so rich and creamy, You’ll swear It’s made in heaven.

Virgil’s is a superb blend of spices and herbs gathered from the world over; anise, licorice, vanilla (bourbon), cinnamon, clove, wintergreen, sweet birch, molasses, nutmeg, pimento berry oil, balsam oil and cassia oil.

So here’s the deal, I was coming back from Las Vegas with a couple of my friends and we stopped at a store that sells Alien Jerky somewhere in the middle of the dessert. This store was packed with people buying items from Jerky, to hot sauces to craft sodas. I found this root beer and I was like wow, pretty neat. Comes with the cork stopper like a nice beer would. I am not that big into craft soda scene but I had the crazy idea to just do a review of this root beer since it is made with many ingredients. By the way, I have never reviewed a soda so I will apply some of my beer review skills to it, just for fun. Nothing too serious.

Aromas are of like a regular root beer. Licorice, cinnamon, molasses, vanilla and sugar. Nothing too crazy. I guess the real stuff is in the flavors.

The flavors are way better than the average root beer. Definitely getting some vanilla, sugar cream, nutmeg, licorice, molasses, cinnamon, faint chocolate, faint mint, hazelnut, brown sugar and caramel.

Wow, not too bad at all. Real good stuff. Not to be taken too serious but if you do, know that this special root beer is freaking awesome. I think that is all I can say as this is not beer . Still, if you ever find it at a craft soda store, yes!!, pick it up. The flavors are more complex than plain old root beer

Jaded (Import Series Vol. 3) by Stillwater Artisanal

521656_10101298380287460_1036522167_n 1069250_10101298375187680_684462962_nRating: 4.8/5

Jaded (Import Series Vol. 3) by Stillwater Artisanal is a 9% ABV Dark Wheat Ale brewed with Rose, Violet and Jasmine

Commercial Description: 
Brewed with good friend, Urbain Coutteau of De Struise Brouwers. Urbain describes this work as “Dark chess-nut coloured ale with a nice steady off-white head. Aroma is all about finesse, loads of blossoms and spring flowers. The mouth-feel is refined, playful and complex with Saison like peppery flavours. Soft nutty after taste with a bite.”

This beer is quite elusive. Especially in the west coast. It has been 2 years since I have been looking for this beer. Lucky for me, it was released again this year. Ever still, quite the elusive one. Now that I have found it, I spend time no more to bring this review to you in hopes that maybe you too will try it, IF you can find it. (

Aromas of this beer are of lots of rich caramel and phenols, toffee, pecans, flowers, biscuit bread, honey, apples, coriander, chocolate notes, roasted barley notes, pineapple, raisins, prunes, hints of banana, clove spice, candi sugars, peppercorns, citrus and rye

Flavors are of hibiscus, grapes, rose petals, pineapple, plums, raisins, dates, caramel, toffee, banana, peppercorns, cloves, coriander, dried apricot, candi sugars, citrus, floral hops, honey, biscuit bread, chocolate notes and minor wine notes like a nice port but only near the end.

The after taste leaves a nice bready, flowery, caramel sweet residue with a bit of like an earthy hop bitterness.

Essentially, this is a Belgian Strong Dark Wheat Ale, the brethren of the Dunkelweissen style except made with Belgian yeast instead of Bavarian but closer to a dark saison. Really crafty I should say. I would expect nothing less from the awesome Stillwater beers I have reviewed so far. I have not found one I didn’t like and I would definitely recommend this one. It was definitely worth the wait, but luckily I have tried something similar. Although the flowers added to the mix is what really drives this beer.

Grand Cru by Alesmith Brewing

487395_10101297402412130_346199578_n 1000856_10101297404702540_549048764_nRating: 5.35/5*

Grand Cru by Alesmith Brewing is a 10%ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale

25.4 fl. oz. – First place California State Fair. Grand Cru is a term designating excellence and is reserved for the finest offering from a brewery. AleSmith Grand Cru is brewed once per year in small batches for limited vintage release.

AleSmith Grand Cru is a complex, amber-colored, malty Belgian-style ale. It is brewed using only the finest imported malts, hops and candi sugar, along with an authentic yeast strain from a Belgian Trappist Monastery. Traditionally bottle-conditioned, the secondary fermentation occurring in the bottle gives this ale a natural effervescence.

Taste this truly Grand Cru and you’ll agree: AleSmith’s hand-forged ales are crafted to perfection. 10% alcohol by volume. Brewed & bottled by AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA.

Been passing this one up for a quite a while. Alesmith makes really great beer but I never got around to try this one. No longer though. I was able to find this one to give it a try and do a review. Grand Cru is sometimes a complex type that doesn’t really fall into a particular style other than some type of Belgian beer that is really awesome. I’ve considered some of the Grand Crus I have tried in the best as very Epic, this one is no different. In fact, it rates outstanding to world class in some of the beer rating websites.

Aromas a complex conundrum of good stuff. Dark fruits like figs, raisins, plums, wine grapes, cherries, raspberries, Dulce de leche caramel on rye toast, dates, vanilla, somewhat bourbon vanilla character, chocolate, coconut, pecan and hazelnut pie, cloves, bananas in caramel, toffee, butterscotch, candi sugars, brown sugar, apples and apricots.

Flavors are simply phenomenal! Lots or dulce de leche caramel, pecan and hazel nut pie covered in vanilla cream, chocolate Almond Joy with coconut, figs, raisins, plums, slight wine grape notes, dark cherries, raspberries, dates, caramel covered bananas, toffee, biscuit bread, phenols, clove spices, nutmeg, apples, peaches, candi sugar and butterscotch

This beer is kind of crazy as it reminds me a bit of the St. Bernardus and to some extent, hints of the Westy 12. The beer has definitely has a lot going for it. It is a little boozy but that is quite fine as the bready caramel and rich fruits cover that all up nicely. This is a great beer and many Belgian beer lovers will love this one. Alesmith, very well done.

*I Love sweet and Complex beers, this one put it over just a bit. This is my highest rating for a Grand Cru so far

Dragoons by Moylan’s Brewing

223033_10101297401469020_1833016644_n 16895_10101297401903150_794494738_n 999402_10101297402147660_1298724131_nRating: 3.9/5

Dragoons by Moylan’s Brewing is a 5% ABV Irish Dry Stout.

Dry, roasty and incredibly rich in flavor, Dragoon’s Dry Irish Stout is made with a unique blend of imported hops and malted barley from the United Kingdom. This award winning stout is brewed in the Irish tradition to commemorate General Stephen Moylan,Irish-born commander of the 4th Continental Dragoons during the American Revolutionary War.

Been meaning to try this for a while. They had this one at Congregation ale house on tap and as a beer float. It was pretty good from what I remember. I found a bottle and wanted to give it a review. This stout won a 3 gold medals in 2007 at the American Beer Festival, Cal State Fair and the World Beer Champ of the same year. This isn’t the typical “Guinness” type of dry stout for sure. Although Guiness is decent in its own ways.

Aromas are like it came out of nitro brewed process. Strong Milk and dark chocolate fragrance, roasted coffee notes, caramel, pecans, hints of vanilla cream, earthy hops, hints of molasses and toffee

Flavors are of coffee, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla cream notes, hints of molasses, light earthy hop bitterness, tobacco notes, roasted barley, toffee, nuts and hints of brown sugar

Definitely dry finish in the aftertaste not leaving much but slight hints of the milk chocolate and coffee notes. 

The flavors that come out as the beer goes along is what makes this one good. Without the extra flavors it would probably be average at best. Thankfully that is not the case. I think If I find it on tap and I want to drink light but still nice and flavorful while still not being too overwhelming to the palate, I would get this one again.

Black & Blue by Dogfish Head

999069_10101295878895270_1465842618_nRating: 4.25/5

Black & Blue by Dogfish Head is a 10% ABV Belgian Golden Ale brewed with Black raspberry and Blueberry puree.

Black & Blue is golden Belgian Ale made with over 300 lbs of fresh blackberries and blueberries. With a deep purple full body and a long-lasting lacy pink head, this ale is both attractive and delicious! It is tart and fruity, like our brewers! The subtle bitterness of Hallertau and Saaz hops shines through the fruit forward flavor and sets the palate aglow. (30 IBUs). This tasty brew has smooth but noticeable alcohol warmth. Belgian yeast gives this brew a characteristically dry spicy finish. The beautiful interplay of fruit, spice, and alcohol is complimented by a soft malt profile, and a high level of carbonation.

Aromas are of grapes, biscuit bread, raspberries, blueberries, wheat, cherries, citrus, peach, apples, coriander spice and strawberry jam.

The flavors are of lots of tart black and blueberries, wine grapes, apple, apricots, biscuit bread, wheat, apples, citrus, coriander spice, bananas on toast with strawberry jam, and clove notes.

Pretty sweet, fruity and tart beer. Hard to sense the alcohol. It is one of those beers that hides the alcohol very well. The beer almost feels sorta like a wine in the after taste but leaves a good amount of very nice residual banana and fruit on bread.

Overall, for people that like wine or fruit beers, this is very nice. What makes it that more delicious is the Belgian yeast strain which gives it that nice clovey, banana bread like flavors through out the beer. 

Certainly this does very good in comparison to other fruit beers. Except for maybe their Forte beer and the awesome Montegiocco Draco which is brewed with lots of Blueberries and makes is actually taste like a blueberry muffin. Anyways, that is another beer in a past review. Still, this beer does very well for itself. It is one of those beers that I would go with if I am in the mood for a fruit beer. Unless its chocolate and fruit, then that would be something else altogether

Black Butte XXV (25th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery

1012731_10101291877903290_325407295_n 971375_10101291878467160_102706796_nRating: 5.45/5

Black Butte XXV (25th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery is an 11.3% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with dates, figs and cocoa nibs with 50% aged in bourbon barrels and 12.5% with black currants added.

Dates, figs and chocolate. Black currants, barrel-aged in bourbon casks. The result is an Imperial Porter with a tart berry and chocolate aroma with luscious layers of dried fruit, oak and vanilla. A fitting tribute to the 25th Anniversary of our flagship beer

I did a review of this beer last year ( )

However, this year they mixed it up a bit by adding dates, currants, figs and cocoa nibs making this one a very special beer. Probably close to a Dubbel/Porter Hybrid

Aromas are of bananas, chocolate, raisins cherries, black berries, blue berries, toffee, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, oak, vanilla, toasted coconut, fruit cake, mocha, currants, bit of wine grapes and sweetened condensed milk. Smells like the ultimate chocolate fruit dessert. Awesome. 

The flavors are of milk, dark and bakers chocolate, mocha, coffee, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel notes, oak, bourbon, currants, cherries, blackberries, blue berries, raspberries, dates, figs, toffee, banana notes, tart wine grape notes, coconut, lots of bread quad and dubbel notes and chocolate port wine fruit cake.

The after taste is pretty sweet leaving with a nice roasted coffee bitterness followed by lots of berries, vanilla and caramel to help it along. It finishes a little dry but that is the best part too. Due to this beer’s complexity and dryness, it just makes you want to sip more. Careful though, that is how it it teases you. You see, once you start, you may like and sip after sip you won’t realize that you finished the entire bottle. 

This beer taste a lot like the Brewdog/ Stone Collaboration Bashah in Raspberries and Highland Whiskey Barrels. Lots of fruit, a great amount of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, bananas and more. I never tried the XXI version of this beer but if that one is a lot like Chocolate Rain, awesome, but this beer is phenomenal in the chocolate berry department. It really did turn out similar to a Dubbel/ Porter hybrid. I would say the difference between this beer and my last review of the Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout, is that the other one has more pecans and caramel chocolate where this one is more berries and chocolate. Quite the different spectrum here. But the hybrid is similar. Some type of Belgian Stout or Porter aged in Bourbon barrels. Close enough to some of the best beers I have reviewed on the blog which have exceeded my limits.

Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout collaboration

21401_10101288151301430_28487189_n 1005292_10101288154914190_341235333_na6ea6b52ceb4cb123cb0414703659d4aRating: 5.6/5

Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout collaboration is a 13% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with rye, pecans, wheat, hops, awesome (beer + sci-fi)*geek ideologies with a 1/4 of it aged in bourbon barrels. 

Wil Wheaton first called us in 2004 ask if it’d be OK for him to put the Arrogant Bastard logo on his blog’s website (back when people still asked permission to do such things), and I just so happened to answer the phone (back when I still answered the main line sometimes). Since he was so damn enthusiastic about our beers, I said ‘Sure, no problem,’ all the while thinking ‘Hmmm…this guy’s name sounds familiar.’

Months later, in a serendipitous turn of fate, I reached out to our 10,000th email newsletter subscriber…drumroll…Wil Wheaton. Since his gigs in the iconic Stand By Me and Star Trek: The Next Generation, Wil has become quite the renaissance man, adding author, w00tstock innovator, and homebrewer to his resume. His enthusiasm for the fermentable arts and our beer was such that after many occasions of sharing grog over the years, we decided it was time to brew in collaboration.

It was a no-brainer for us to choose Drew Curtis—who many know as the twisted mind behind—as our third cohort. Drew was an old friend of Wil’s that I had serendipitously met (when he saw me and told me, ‘Dude, I love your beer) and enjoyed many beers with at the famous TED conference three years in a row. The beer you hold before you is an imperial stout made with wheat (Wil pretty much insisted), and we also paid tribute to Drew’s Kentucky roots by adding rye and pecans to the mix and partially aging the beer in bourbon barrels. The result? Nothing short of serendipitous.”

Greg Koch @stonegreg CEO & Co-founder, Stone Brewing Co. & Beer Seek

“Being a geek isn’t about what you love; it’s about how you love it. I’m a sci-fi geek, a disruptive technology geek, and a tabletop game geek. I’ve been lucky to do lots of work in those fields, but this is the first time I got to be a professional beer geek, and it was awesome.”

Wil Wheaton | @wilw Actor, Homebrewer & Professional Seek

“Beer tastes like my website…all over the map, but I’ve never met a beer I didn’t like.”

Drew Curtis | @drewcurtis Founder, & News Geek

Phew!! (@_@;)

That was a lot of writing for a label of a beer that mixes a couple of geek hobbies and ideologies into one. Kinda like my blog 

Aromas are of vanilla, mild Black Tuesday-ish aromas of milk and dark chocolate, pecan pie, caramel, bourbon, oak, hazelnuts, coconut, raisins, plums, rye bread, mild banana wheat, licorice, molasses and brown sugar

The Flavors are of milk and dark chocolate, mocha, dulce de leche caramel on pecan pie with rye pie crust, toffee, coffee notes, bourbon notes, vanilla, coconut, raisin bread pudding with pecans, almonds and hazelnuts, plums, dark cherries, bananas, slight wine grapes, earthy hops, mint, licorice, molasses, coriander, citrus, and butterscotch spread on wheat toast.

The beer is mildly boozy but the nice chocolate, vanilla rye and wheat make up for it. It is also sweet but not to overly sweet. Thanks to the hops to keep everything together.

Lot’s off dessert elements going on here. This beer reminds me of like a Quadruple and Imperial Stout fusion aged in bourbon barrels but just enough to give it some added character and not detract flavors which ofcourse this beers already has a good amount of . Damn, they got it fucking right. Really fucking right. It seems to work. Stuff is balanced out and the beer is great. Beer geeks will love this one and well hopefully non-beer geeks too. Now I see why they made it so people go out and get all 3. It’s not just the labels, but the beer is that good as well.

Here are the links to the pics I took with the third label:

Or check out the Gallery

This is the third label original art:

Bier De Chocolat by Almanac Beer Company

941248_10101288137833420_135999525_nRating: 4.6/5

Bier De Chocolat by Almanac Beer Company is a 5.5%ABV American Porter

Our Robust Porter is brewed with hand-roasted cocoa nibs from Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco and organic Ivanhoe Hops grown in Clear Lake, California. Rich flavors of roasted malts and chocolate hints of smoke and vanilla makes this beer the perfect pairing for Texas-style smoked brisket, chicken mole and Dandelion’s dark chocolate.

This is my first take at an Almanac beer, never had one before but from what I can see of their labeling, they take pride in Farm raising beer ingredients and making beer. Good stuff and fresher than what others may provide.

Aromas of this beer are of lots Dark and milk Chocolate, mocha, coffee notes, vanilla cream, earthy hops, caramel and molasses.

The flavors are of rich dark and milk chocolate, earthy hop bitterness, mocha, coffee, vanilla notes, caramel, brownie batter and a slight bit of smoke.

The after taste is a little bitter but the vanilla and chocolate carry this one along very nicely. Could your more chocolate, but that’s just me being picky as I love chocolate beers that are more closer to chocolate than anything. 

This one does a great job of giving enough chocolate but not being overly sweet and detracting from the already good flavors of roasted coffee and earthy hops. Definitely a nice pick up for chocolate porter lovers.

Pivo Hoppy Pils by Firestone Walker

60757_10101288137234620_1041794758_nRating: 4.5/5

Pivo Hoppy Pils by Firestone Walker is a 5.3% ABV German Pilsner dry hopped in Saphir

Everything we love about classic German Pilsner with a hoppy Bohemian twist. Pils is a bright straw colored lager beer with playful carbonation topped with beautiful white foam lace. Delicate lightly toasted malt flavors underscore noble German hop character. Hallertau-grown Magnum hops deliver the lupulin foundation while generous amounts of Spalter Select hops bring floral aromatic and spicy herbal notes. As a twist on the traditional Pils, we dry hop with German Saphir for a touch of bergamot zest and lemongrass. A refreshing, light-bodied and hop-driven Pils.

Some pilsners can actually be really good. Especially when made right and with good quality ingredients. One of my favorite Pilsners was the Staropramen. This intrigues me because it is hopped up to taste like a pale lager. So on with the show.

Aromas are of light grassy and floral hop notes, pilsnery sugary malts, lemongrass, biscuit bread and peppercorns.

The flavors are of refreshing grassy hops, citrus, lemon peel, peppercorns, biscuit bread, floral hops, herbs and spicy notes 

This is what lagers and pilsners should be like. Very clean all the way through with very nice crisp and refreshing aftertaste with a nice dry and light lemony feel. Well balanced, nothing too intense but something that is so very relaxing. This beer is very sessionable and a great gateway beer for the non-craft drinkers. Awesome stuff

Kellerweis by Sierra Nevada

1001029_10101288136890310_471380571_nRating: 4.6/5

Kellerweis by Sierra Nevada is a 4.8% ABV Hefeweizen

Kellerweis is one of the few American Hefeweizens made using the traditional Bavarian style of open fermentation. This difficult and labor-intensive technique adds uncommon depth and flavor complexity. Our hazy-golden hefeweizen is deeply flavorful, refreshing and perfect for a sunny day. To serve, pour two-thirds into a glass, swirl and pour the rest.

Long ago, they used to have it as a common beer near where I live until they decided to change things. I have seen this one in many other places and it is quite common. So I finally got around to getting this one to do a review.

Aromas are very nice. You get the really nice banana, clove spice and sweet biscuit bread you get with the Bavarian style, wheat, honey, coriander, orange, lemons, phenols and slight peppery notes

The flavors are of banana, clove spice, phenols, caramel, biscuit and doughy bread, floral hops, peppercorns, coriander, citrus, lemon and slight toffee notes.

The aftertaste is sweet and hop like bitter. This is pretty damn close to the good German heffs as they get. The best part, is that this is a common. So if you are a fan of heffs, especially German ones, definitely grab a six pack this is. Good stuff for sure.

Obsidian Stout by Deschutes Brewery

1003321_10101288136476140_1180481259_nRating: 4.75/5

Obsidian Stout by Deschutes Brewery is a 6.4% World Class American Stout

Deep, robust and richly rewarding, this is beer to linger over. Obsidian has distinct notes of espresso, chocolate, roasted malt and black barley, with just enough hop bite to cut the sweetness.

Considered the second best regular American Stout in the World by Beer Advocate. A common beer at that, I wanted to see what makes this one good.

Aromas are of dark and milk chocolate, roasted coffee, vanilla, caramel hints, licorice, molasses, hazelnut, tobacco hints and a bit of smoke.

The flavors are of dark and milk chocolate, roasted coffee, vanilla cream, rye bread, brownies, caramel notes, tobacco, licorice, smoked ham, earthy hops, currants and espresso notes.

The beer almost feels like a dry Irish stout except for the fact that the flavors stay lingering so technically not dry at all. Only an illusion of the palette. Lots of coffee bitterness in the aftertaste.

Maybe because I am a fan of Russian, Belgian and American Imperial Stouts that I cannot see this one in the heights of the awesome imperial stouts. But in the height of just basic American stout, trust me, Guinness bows before this one’s might! The different amount of flavors is enough to distinguish it as one of the best. As you let it sit, the bitterness does seem to dissipate giving way to nice chocolate and caramel flavors. I think the key as to why this beer is good is because of the developing flavors that change with every sip. Kinda like, Abyss?…well… not that far, but it’s a start.

HopWorks IPA by Hopworks Urban Brewery

1075634_10101284553296860_17952362_nRating: 4.95/5

HopWorks IPA by Hopworks Urban Brewery is a 6.6% ABV Organic India Pale Ale

Ride your Bike!
Our namesake IPA is a Northwest classic. Generous additions of organic Ahtanum, Centennial, Palisade and Cascade hops find their way into the kettle, hop-back and dry-hop. This judicious use of the “brewer’s spice” creates rich and resinous flavors of citrus fruit and pine. The finest organic 2 row, Munich and Caramel malts then bring balance to your new favorite beer.

Wow, aromas are incredible. Lots of grapefruit, caramel, piney, herbal and grassy hops along with orange, toffee, biscuit bread, honey and some tangerines.

The flavors are awesome, lots of grapefruit, piney, herbal and grassy hops along with biscuit, honey, dulce de leche caramel notes? (It somehow seems to workout, go figure), tangerines kiwi and passion fruit.

The aftertaste is kinda bittersweet. It is balanced through and through. It is incredible easy to drink as well and refreshing.

It is an interesting IPA. I have had many IPAs in the past some ranging from more hoppy bitter, to tropical and herbal, but this one is adds a kick by adding the organic munich malts. It gives it a nice caramel sweetness that works well with the IPA hop goodness. I would like to think amber but no, this is not an amber. There is more hops here. Besides, I really think that people that do not necessarily like IPAs should give this a go. There is enough IPA bitterness to keep it going but the sweetness makes it interesting. My favorite IPAs are usually the more tropical ones, but this seems to work so very well! I could find myself drinking a lot, just as good as some of the best I have reviewed here 

Dulcis Succubus by Le Trou Du Diable

64860_10101284538940630_830920379_n 943629_10101284537972570_671423545_n 74650_10101284541340820_893619856_n 1001522_10101284539793920_1115042580_nRating: 5/5

Dulcis Succubus by Le Trou Du Diable of Canada is a 7% ABV Saison/Wild Farmhouse Ale aged in Wine Barrels

The beer is fermented with wild yeast and aged for six months in French oak barrels that previously held botrytized California white wine, creating a complex aroma of honey, vanilla, apricot and leather. The abundant flavor is bittersweet with notes of peach and American hops. Carpe fermentum!

Translated as Sweet Succubus by The Devil’s Hole Brewing is a beer that was not easy to find. Had to place myself on a waiting list. I guess people do seek this one. Right now, has this one for a hefty price, however, if you love sours and saisons or even wine, this might be up your alley. Carpe fermentum!? = Seize the beer 

Aromas of funky funky bready yeast with wine and grape must fragrances came out of the bottle. Other notes I gathered were of vanilla, peach, oak, good fancy cheese, earthy and floral hops, pepper corn, honey, apple, pineapple and cider.

The flavors a lot like that of the Jolly Pumpkin but mainly like the Saisons from Fantome in Belgium. Flavors are of Honey, biscuits, lemon peel, white wine, vanilla oak, peach, apricot, wine grapes, dessert wine, floral and earthy hops, spices like coriander, peppercorns, lemons, leather, apples, biscuit bread and some nice fancy cheese.

Leaves like a nice fancy cheese aftertaste. Not bad at all. We are dealing with “living” brettanomyces in the beer afterall. Love these living ales. The sourness does not come in as strong. There is a good amount of funkyness and some sourness to make it appealing but also giving way to sweeter flavor with some hop bitterness. Overall it is really funky and reminiscent of those great saisons from Stillwater and Fantome. Hell even some of the Stone aged beers might be similar. Awesome stuff. I would think that this would fit the bill as a during dinner or after dinner type of beer. Wine aged beers seem that way 

All these fancy wine aged beers have something in comparison. They give off this funky cheese notes, even if minor. This is very good stuff though. Here is how I would compare this beer to: 

Before I forget, the label was an awesome design made by aditya777 ( )

Cheers 😀

Imperial Loakal Red by the Bruery

1069842_10101279480832120_86644223_n 999369_10101279483451870_1707428513_nRating: 5.5/5

Imperial Loakal Red by the Bruery is a 12%ABV Imperial Amber/Red Ale hybrid made with 75% Red Ale and 25% Red Ale aged in oak Barrels

We took our hoppy American red ale, delightfully citrusy and full of flavor from new American Oak – and made it bigger, bolder and more exceptional. Imperial Loakal Red is best enjoyed fresh. Please store in a cool, dry place. The ideal serving temperature is 50 deg Fahrenheit (7 deg Celsius). Best served in a tulip or wine glass.

When I first had the chance to try their Loakal Red, I was very impressed. The beer was along the lines of Troeggs Nugget Nectar and My Bloody Valentine. I was recommended to actually try the Imperial version of it. After opening the bottle the aromas were very rich. Hype aside, I would consider this to an even higher amber status than Nugget nectar and the Valentine which are harder to get.

Aromas are of very rich caramel, toffee, oak, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, citrus, grapefruit, grassy and herbal hops, honey, vanilla, coffee notes, french toast, brown sugar, cherries, mango, maple syrup, scotch, apricots, dragon fruit, coconut and pecan pie.

The flavors are close to a Barleywine, its crazy. You get lots of rich caramel flavors, vanilla, toffee, oak, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecan pie, french toast covered in maple syrup, brown sugar, citrus, grapefruit, grassy, herbal and floral hops, honey, cherries, mango, peaches, pineapple, scotch whiskey notes, slight coconut and tangerines.

The alcohol is present but the beer hides it well. You don’t feel it until alittle bit later. Quite the flavorful rich beer. The after taste keeps lingering with sweet caramel and hop bitterness. It is very pleasant. Will definitely need to get this again. This has become my new favorite amber ale. It is not often I get to try ambers but this one fits the bill perfectly as to what awesome ambers should be.

Belgian-Style Apple Ale by Hopworks Urban Brewery

1003276_10101279480283220_362030466_nRating: 3.9/5

Belgian-Style Apple Ale by Hopworks Urban Brewery is a 5.8%ABV Belgian Golden Ale brewed with Organic Apple Juice

Hopworks Organic Apple Ale is the marriage of a traditional Belgian Golden Ale with juice from Organic Washington and Oregon apples. Delicate floral aromas layer over tart flavors of freshly picked Honeycrisp and Gala apples. A subtle wheat malt body gives way to a refreshing, effervescent finish. Crisp and delicious as a Fall day in the orchard.

Aromas are of apples, peppercorns, floral an bready hops, flowers like that of saisons, hibiscus, biscuit, 

Flavors are of apples, peppercorns, biscuit bread, honey, pilsnery malts, spicy cloves, flowers, tangy and funky fruit notes almost like a citrus and apricots.

This beer finishes dry leaving a nice refreshing bitterness with some apple and apricot notes. 

For a light, refreshing and crisp Belgian ale, this one goes a long way. For me, I like more apple and Belgian over powering beers like Ephemere or even non beers like the Crispin’s the Saint. Technically the latter is not beer but aside from that, I enjoyed this one. I feel as if I can drink several of these and still feel some great apple and Belgian notes. This is better than the Shocktop Apple Crisp even though that one was the best of their line of beers I have tried. However, this cannot be compared as it is way better than that.

Galactic Imperial Red by Hopworks Urban Brewery

999026_10101279478851090_1033965570_nRating: 3.8/5

Galactic Imperial Red by Hopworks Urban Brewery is a 9.5%ABV Imperial Amber/Red Ale coming in at 100+ IBU

Hopworks Galactic Imperial Red; One small sip for man, one giant bottle for mankind. Robust caramel malt flavors battle NW Centennial, Cascade, Magnum and Nugget hops for interstellar supremacy. Throw down your quarters before it’s game over.

Galaga fans will remember the similarities of this bottle’s beer label. This beer is an organic made beer using organic ingredients. 

Aromas of this beer are of piney and grassy hops, citrus, rich caramel, toffee and biscuits.

Flavors are of Caramel, citrus, slight grapefruit, grassy and piney hops, toffee, biscuit bread, maple, slight peppercorn, earthy and metallic hop notes, oranges and herbal bitterness

The alcohol is somewhat noticeable in this one. I think it gets better as you drink more of it but in the beginning it wasn’t overly impressive. I think the hop character over powers the rest of the beer but some may find this appealing. I like more tropical hop characters but these are more herbal to explain what I mean. The balance is somewhat impartial. You get more hop than malt but that is not too bad at at all. While overall this is still a very good beer, there are other ambers that do more wonders. Still worth the try for sure if you love ambers.

Firestone Walker’s Reserve Porter

945071_10101269314181170_790760088_n 934610_10101269316142240_117215119_nRating: 4.85/5

Firestone Walker’s Reserve Porter is a 5.8% ABV American Porter

A singularly distinctive beer that represents our finest brewing efforts, Walker’s Reserve is a elegant dark ale featuring robust flavors of toffee, caramel and bittersweet chocolate. This brew employs five specialty malts, as well as oat and barley flakes, for added complexity and flavor.

I was in the store yesterday and I figured, why not. I have tried many other FW beers so at least I can have a good profile on this site to suggest to the masses. There are many reviews about this one. Some range it from world class to very good or even great and exceptional. Parabola was off the charts for me, so why not this one right?

Aromas are of mocha, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, earthy notes, lightly roasted pecan scent and almost like maple, vanilla, caramel and brown sugar. So far so good

The flavors are of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, mocha, rich expensive coffee roast, caramel, vanilla, Irish cream, a touch of earthy hops and smokiness, slight tobacco, molasses, chocolate brownies, brown sugar, pecans, hazelnuts, hint of mint,a bit of raisins and oak notes.

The beer leaves a mild coffee bitterness with nice notes of the vanilla and chocolate. 5.8% is not a lot of ABV, but this ones does very well. A fine example of what great porters should be. This is not an average porter by no means, this is very delicious stuff. FW knows their stuff.

Michigan Hatter by New Holland Brewing

971526_10101267891836560_1974819404_nRating: 4.25/5

Michigan Hatter by New Holland Brewing is a 4.8% ABV Michigan India Pale Ale

Michigan Hatter celebrates our local agriculture with its Michigan-grown Cascade hops from the Leelanau Penninsula. Bright and aromatic, with delicious malt notes underneath a citrusy showcase of hops. Pairings: sharp cheddars, herb-roasted poultry and curry.

New Holland has many beers in the Midwest. This is the first time I try a beer in their “Mad Hatter” series. Yes, the label had a good role and me wanting to pick up this beer. That and I heard good things about this series. I am familiar with New Holland as they make the awesome Dragon’s Milk Stout. A very awesome aged stout at that. Well on to the review.

Aromas of this beer are of grapefruit, citrus, floral and piney hops. Some tropical fruits like mango and pineapple can be sense as well as caramel honey and biscuit from the malts. 

The flavors are slightly malt driven with lots of grassy, herbal, floral and piney hop presence. You get a good amount of grapefruit, orange peel, citrus, herbs, caramel, honey, rye, biscuit, hints of mango and pineapple.

The aftertaste leaves nice and dry with minor bitterness and sweetness. This goes down well. It is crisp and refreshing and very well for the summer for sure. A very good session beer. What really hits with this one is that is a nice balance of sweet and bitter. The tropics are hinted while the hops are present and the malty taste events it out. If you like session beers and one that is awesome, this one is awesome for sure. Very nice flavors at a low ABV 

SeVIIn Anniversary Ale by Surly Brewing

972030_10101265131737820_1140015423_n 992784_10101265133803680_1906668729_n 970772_10101265137027220_1406577916_nRating: 5/5

SeVIIn Anniversary Ale by Surly Brewing is a 12.5%ABV Belgian Strong Ale brewed with Rye, Oats and Wheat.

Get Surly
Seven years! It seems not that long ago that I was delivering beer and Todd Haug was splitting a 30-barrel batch between kegs and cans. Now we’re planning a new brewery that will brew more beer in a week than we sold in our first year.
The idea behind our anniversary line-up of beers was to give Todd, Surly’s head brewer free rein to use whatever ingredients and methods he wanted to brew the beer. This year’s bottle artwork is a one-of-a-kind illustration collaboration between Todd and local artist Brent Schoonover. Here’s to Seven, and many more.
-Omar Ansari

Continuing our quest to despoil and desecrate conventional beer styles, we’re raiding Trappist traditions to produce this Belgian Style Ale brewed with Rye, Oats and Wheat. Our first beer EVER brewed with Wheat! Belgian yeast creates classic clove-spiced banana aroma and flavor. Dry hopping brings floral and citrus aromatics to the biscuity-smooth malt body.
-Todd Haug

So another year comes and this time Surly is trying to make mends by releasing their anniversary ale in the way of the Trappist monks. Ofcourse, Surly being Surly, always has a scheme. Though, Trappist ye may be, your colors and Soul can clearly be seen as tainted.

Aromas of this beer are like a Belgian Pale Ale but with Rye. Sweet bread, caramel, toffee, herbal hops, citrus oranges, candi sugar, wheat, rye, funky notes, peppercorns, honey, apples, floral notes and slight oakyness.

The flavors are of caramel, wheat, rye bread, honey, Oatmeal, candi sugar, dulce de leche caramel, orange, raisins, plums, bananas, apples, clove spice, peppercorns, herbal and floral hop notes, dried apricot marmalade on biscuit bread, pears and a small bit of wine grape notes. 

The alcohol can be noticeable but just a bit. It is not strong in the sense that it affects the flavors of the beer but only adds along the way to remind you, hey, this is a 12.5% ABV. The crazy part is that it still felt pretty drinkable to me. That is where you could fall into danger. Take this only in moderation and share with others. While it is a great and deliciously sweet, bitter and only tad funky, it will creep up fast and take over. You are dealing with sinister powers here. Their previous anniversary ales proved it. The conspiracy of the Trappist styles is hidden within the flavors of each sip. Is this an Evil beer? Well, you be the judge.

La Trappe Bockbier by Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven

994519_10101265122745840_1887007567_n1013600_10101265124317690_767718593_nRating: 4.9/5

La Trappe Bockbier by Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven is a 7% ABV Trappist Bock

La Trappe Bockbier is a unique seasonal product, available from autumn onwards. the only Trappist bock and what is more, one that continues to ferment in the bottle. A beautiful deep red colour with a light, bitter aftertaste. 

It has been a very long time since I reviewed a beer from La Trappe. The last one I reviewed was their quadruple which was amazing. La Trappe being one of the 8 registered Trappist breweries in the world makes simply exquisite beers. According to Beer advocate, this is the best beer in its style. The Bock style was brewed in German Monasteries to pass the lenten fasts but some believe it was brewed during the month of Capricorn and so many Bock styles always have the goat association with it. It was used as a symbol of better times going from winters into the spring.

Aromas are of figs, raisins, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, hazelnuts, chocolate, brown sugar and rye bread.

Holy crap, you the flavors are borderline quad but with rich German malt aspects. Dark fruits like raisins, dates, dulce de leche caramel, rich toffee, banana, clove spice along with rye, pecans, hazelnut nectar, chocolate, raspberries, apricot, cinnamon and brown sugar.

This goes down very well. The mouth feel is rich even for a 7% ABV. Lots of malty sweetness, toffee and caramel in the aftertaste. This bock is very good. I think I liked it because of it s quad like elements. It is made by Trappist so you definitely cannot go wrong with this one. All I have to do now is find a 750ml of this.

Bird on a Wire by Crispin Cider Company

1017680_10101265120500340_1931197068_nRating: 5.25/5 *Rating based on ciders reviewed and compared so far only

Bird on a Wire by Crispin Cider Company is a 6.9% ABV Blended Hard Cider aged in Bourbon whiskey casks with Tupelo Honey.

Authentic American cider. Not forever, just for now.

Dances across the palate, like a band playing and people swayin’. Spend some time, wait a minute. Set it free. 
Blended using 4 unique apple-wines aged in both rye and Bourbon American whiskey barrels. Apple-wines fermented with:Irish Stout yeast, Belgian Trappist yeast,Sake yeast and our original Colfax Classic.

The final blend is finished with Tupelo Honey aged in Bourbon barrels and a lingering open-mouthed kiss of fresh-pressed apple juice. 
Balanced and very smooth, toasted oaktannins, whiskey notes, with soft rye spice, cask-woody vanilla and cinnamon.

Blended straight from whiskey barrels.Give a solid bottoms-up tilt and swirl to disperse sediment evenly and best enjoy whiskey aromas and unique bouquet.

Enjoyed at cellar temperature, 50/55F.With or without 1 or 2 ice cubes. Age-worthy.

Regardless of being a Coors subordinate, they make some hell good ciders. So far I have reviewed the ciders fermented in Irish Stout yeast and Trappist yeast, the latter being my favorite. Now I think I have a new favorite with this one.

First aromas that come as soon as you open the bottle is whiskey and rich stuff at that. It is followed by that bourbon vanilla sweetness, caramel, coconut, rye bread, cinnamon, apple, honey, oak, spices and brown sugar.

The flavors are of cider apples, whiskey, bourbon vanilla, oak, slight coconut notes, dulce de leche caramel flan notes, honey, crème brulee, white wine, champagne, brown sugar, cinnamon, french toast with apple butter, rye bread and cinnamon, bear claw doughnut with apples and cinnamon, and apple pie with rich caramel.

No doubt about it, a little at that, but still freaking amazing. Really brings about great Cask/Barrel aged goodness as some of the best bourbon liquors and bourbon aged beers can bring but in cider form. Who knew cider can deliver a good level of craft in its own way. I gotta find more of these bottles. They need to make 22oz. Bottles of this or even make like a 6 pack. This would make for a great cider for people to try for those that are skeptical of trying the Craft Cider side of beverage connoisseurship.

Cuádruple 2011 edition by The Bruery

1010684_10101265117436480_2062014029_n 1013963_10101265112845680_1263655758_nRating: 4.8/5

Cuádruple 2011 edition by The Bruery is a 10% ABV Provision Series Belgian Quadruple brewed with Agave

Cuádruple is our spin on the classic Belgian-style quadruple, brewed with a heaping amount of dark agave nectar. It will age gracefully for several years. 

Description (beeradvocate):
Cuádruple combines elements of Belgium with elements of Mexico, hence the name, meaning “quadruple” in Spanish. We blended a classic Belgian quad recipe by removing the standard Belgian candi sugars and replacing them with dark agave syrup. The resulting beer is a luxurious tribute to two very different parts of the world. 

Was able to find this bottle at the Bruery tasting room for a decent amount. Interesting for them to sell a beer that has not been seen for several years. Oh well, when the opportunity rises. This beer has been aging for 2 years so I wanted to get a review going. There are not of agave beers out there or Tequila barrel aged beers for this matter. This one is unique since it is one of my favorite styles but made with agave instead. I have had agave juice by itself on several occasions as many of the local Mexican super markets sell the little bags of juice. As a kid, this was my version of Hi-C 

Aromas of this beer are of agave juice,lots of candi sugar, dulce de leche caramel on pecan pie, a sweet potato like fragrance, raisin bread pudding, plums, dates, rich figs, toffee, cinnamon, brown sugar and molasses.

The flavors are of definitely of a quadruple with the dulce de caramel, raisins, figs, plums, candi sugars, dates, ripe banana notes and spicy cloves followed by agave juice, dark chocolate, vanilla, dried apricots, sweet potato pie, pecans, walnuts, molasses and Tequila notes.

The flavors stay consistent through and through always bringing out rich quad notes with agave sweetness. After taste stays sweet with apricot bitterness and raisin sweetness. The beer hides the 10% ABV well making it of decent drinkability. An amazing beer with great flavors. Belgian beer lovers will find this one a bit different. The agave nectar really does the job taking the Belgian quad into more of a Mexican approach on delicious flavor.