Oaked Wheatwine 3rd Anniversary Ale by Manzanita Brewing

7855_10101360006498040_1757734750_nRating: 3.75/5

Oaked Wheatwine 3rd Anniversary Ale by Manzanita Brewing is a 9.5% Wheatwine

Label:
Wow, Wow what a 3 year phase in our lives! It’s been an amazing journey so farm with all of the hats we’ve had to wear to get a small business up and running. Seeing all of you enjoying out beers makes the struggles and late nights so worth it. So many people to thank for us this far: First and foremost our God, our families, our dedicated employees, our investors and our many invaluable volunteers. Toast to your friends as we toast to ours with this 3rd Anniversary beer.
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I have been meaning to try some of their beers for a long time. I am not quite sure when Manazanita started bottling. I do remember I tried to order their pumpkin ale once but was unable to get is as it was sold out. So as part of my beer run, I found this one. I just found out that they recently celebrated their 3rd anniversary and this one was a limited release. Well, knowing myself, I had to get it.

Aromas are light. Apples, caramel, toffee notes, light citrus, biscuit and rye bread.

The flavors are of toffee, rye bread, oak, caramel, coriander, apples, apricot, orange marmalade on toast, bourbon notes, vanilla, coriander, slight coconut, pilloncillo sugar cone, brown sugar and pumpkin or vegetable spices.

The aftertaste is stays a bit bready, light toffee and citrus. Yet another easy to drink well hidden alcohol beer. Although quite silky and buttery mouth feel. Very nice

Overall it was very good beer but still missing something. Also, the flavors are hard to pinpoint. Not exactly bad, just not enough for me to make an awesome review.. I really like how it was easy to drink yet high ABV. The beer is worth trying, if once. I cannot disregard Manzanita especially since I have not tried their other beers which I would definitely like. People say that the variations of this beer are way more awesome. This, I will have to investigate for myself. Maybe report back here 

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Lips of Faith series Pluot by New Belgium

1236441_10101360004751540_459170060_n 1236103_10101360003818410_696789262_nRating: 3.8/5

Lips of Faith series Pluot by New Belgium is a 10% ABV Belgian Tripel brewed with Pluot juice

Label: 
Cross pollinate your tastebuds with Belgian imagination and you’ll be sipping this ale while visions of pluots dance in your head. Pluots? A hybrid of apricots and plums that impart a subtle sweetness. Ferment that with a wild Belgian yeast strain and you have a fruity yet spicy nature with a body reminiscent of red wine. Delicious.
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Along with Paardebloem, I picked up the second summer Lips of Faith ale, Pluot. I figured why not as I am trying this years releases so far. By the way, so far, Cascara has been the winner in the tastings. I actually had to get several of those. Love me some quads 😛 . Well, anyways, time to check this one out. Although by what I am seeing, an apricot/plum fusion does sounds good.

Aromas are of light plums, peaches, biscuit malt, light caramel and honey. Very limited in fragrance.

Flavors are of peach, plum juice, light caramel, biscuit bread, citrus, slight tart but possibly not to the wine level just notes of it. It also tastes like grapes, toffee, apples, sugar cookies and light rye bread.

The aftertaste is mildly sweet but hard to believe it is 10 percent. Especially in the taste. It finishes pretty dry. Seems easy to drink, way too easy lol. Kind of scary but awesome.

Overall it is a still pretty good beer for sure with nice flavors, but I guess I expected more. Still a killer clear body beer. I’d get this this often if I wanted to just get hammered. The notes of Belgian character is still present. If you pick this up, just to try it, go for it but do not expect lots of magic. Just a nice decently good beer, that will probably get you wasted as you cannot tell the ABV in the taste.

Paardebloem Lips of Faith series collaboration by New Belgium and Red Rock brewery

1185754_10101360003354340_899459529_nRating: 4/5

Paardebloem Lips of Faith series collaboration by New Belgium and Red Rock brewery is a 9% ABV Belgian Strong Pale Ale brewed with Peach juice, Grains of Paradise and dandelion greens blended with wood aged beer

Label: 
Using dandelion greens to bitter a Belgian-style ale blossomed from our brewers collaborating with Red Rock Brewing. This being our sixth interpretation together since 2008, expect a wonderfully complex ale fermented with wild Belgian yeast and blended with just a touch of wood-aged beer. Bitterness imparted from dandelion greens and grains of paradise will have you blowing wishes for sips.
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Got this one as an extra to go when buying beers. I have not tried this one nor the other one (Pluot) which were the summer releases for the Lips of faith series. The ones from spring were pretty good. This one is made with fruits and flowers so I am hoping it will be good.

Aromas are of honey, peach, grapes, pineapple, apricot, light biscuit bread, light flower scent, citrus scent, peppercorns, coriander spice, a touch of a caramel and wine notes

Flavors are of grapes, honey, peach, white wine, apples, pears, pineapple juice, plums, biscuit bread, waffle cone, orange juice, coriander spice, light oak notes, caramel, floral bitterness and slight tart nectarine.

The aftertaste is sweet and tangy but finishes dry. The alcohol is somewhat hidden but comes out sweet. This one can be drank easy to moderately

Overall the beer turned out to be very good but nothing too new or mind blowing, simply very good. Reminded me of the Fejoia but more orange juice, floral notes and a bit of oak. For the price I would go with another beer that is just as good or better. This is actually worth trying at least once to get a good feel for it. Also, I apologize about the label, seems like the label paint was peeling from the bottle. I had noticed it after the first pour. As long as the main part of the label is still good.

Grand Cru by Rodenbach of Steenhuffel Belgium

992999_10101358398191100_635887340_n 1185481_10101358398121240_606586928_nRating: 5.09/5

Grand Cru by Rodenbach of Steenhuffel Belgium is a 6% ABV World Class Flanders Red Ale aged in oak vats. Composed of 33% “young” ale and 67% ale matured for two years

Label: 
Rodenbach Grand Cru is an exceptional Belgian ale known as Flemish Red Brown Ale. It enjoys a special status in Belgium as a “Traditional Regional” product. A mixed fermentation ale, Rodenbach is matured in oak vats, giving this ale a signature sweet-sour taste and intense bouquet with a very long after taste like a Grand Cru wine. Rodenbach Grand Cru is a blend of “young” ale (33%) and ale that has matured for two years (67%).
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While looking for the old Lips of Faith New Belgium Grand Cru, I was recommended to get this one instead as it was highly recommended by one of the personnel at the store. I have had may experiences with Grand Crus and those have become a progressing favorite style of mine as I try more. When I read this was a Flanders ale or Flemish Red brown I was was kind of surprised. At first I thought, well, most grand crus are red or brown in color but a lot of Belgian Strong Dark Ales or even Quadruples. At that point I realized, this I had to see. To my surprise, this was not a sour beer at all, it was more delightful

Aromas are of wine grapes close to funky beer, but then I got a rush of greater dark cherry yogurt fragrances as well as dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, toffee, apples, pears, buttery biscuit, butterscotch, raspberries, cherry cobbler, cherry pie, figs, raisins and brown sugar.

The flavors was definitely not what I has presumed. You don’t get much sour notes, but instead more tangy cherry notes and more fruit driven flavors like apples, apricots, raisins, figs, wine grapes, raspberries, tart cranberries, currants and black berries. You also get dulce de caramel, vanilla, cherry cobbler, cherry pie notes, oak wood, light lemon dash, earthy spices, and Black cherry yogurt.

The aftertaste is caramel sweet and cherry tart with some nice light acidic and bready notes. Not your typical sour at all. Dark crimson blood body yet pleasing to drink.

Over all, I was highly impressed. This is the first time I try a Flanders that was not more tart to sour flavored. This is the sour noted beer that many of those people that love fruity beers but don’t like sours would absolutely love. Now I see why its simply amazing. Leave it to Belgium to create the best beers in the world. If they can take a lighty funky beer and make it compete with the quads and dark strongs as “Grand Crus”, that has got to be Godly.

Oatmeal Yeti by Great Divide Brewing

9907_10101358396379730_774366284_n1236107_10101358397282920_784323944_nRating: 5/5

Oatmeal Yeti by Great Divide Brewing a 9.5% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with roasted oats and raisins

Label: 
Much like its legendary predecessors, this Yeti is big, bold and dark. The addition of rolled oats softens Yeti’s notoriously roasty backbone and the small amount of raisins added in the brew kettle create a unique dark fruit character. Just as admired as those that came before it, Oatmeal Yeti Imperial Stout is a softer beast.
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I have reviewed a couple versions of the yeti. The first one was the chocolate oak yeti which I thought was delicious. Then came the Belgian Yeti and that one was more phenomenal. The oatmeal yeti is this year’s (2013) new yeti release

Aromas are of sweet, dark, and bakers chocolate, mild espresso notes, more mocha, dark fruits like raisins, figs, pecans, caramel, rich chocolate cake, brownies, smokey notes, brown sugar and slight marshmallows.

Flavors are of graham crackers, marshmallows, sweet, milk and dark chocolate, raisin bread pudding, pecans, hazelnut, almond joy, caramel, light espresso notes, oatmeal raisin cookies with chocolate chips, almost a vanilla hint, light smokey and oak notes, figs, chocolate raisin, currants, toasted coconut

The after taste is sweet, dark fruity, bready and chocolatey. The beer is kind of syrupy and velvety like some of the best Stouts I have ever tried. A sipper but not very aggressive to it is moderately drinkable and not so bitter. This is the stuff for certain. 

Overall an awesomely perfect yeti with added flavors that work very well giving another silky layer to an already awesomely complex imperial stout. The Yetis are probably a golden standard of prime imperial stout examples (Basic one’s ofcourse, as Barrel Aged or Belgian Imperial Stouts are in a league of their own). Definitely try this, without a shadow of a doubt, this is a must get unless you find the chocolate aged one or the Belgian one. These are all great. Careful drinking this one, it is kind of addicting and you may end up finishing the bottle.

Batch#1000 Bryeian by The Bruery

1150797_10101357022498000_103830154_n 1233325_10101357023975040_1432943984_nRating: 4.9/5

Batch#1000 Bryeian by The Bruery is a 7% ABV Cascadian Dark Rye Ale

Label: 
Congratulations to Brian Pramov & Bryan Keas of Denver, CO, for winning our Batch #1000 homebrew competition! Their intensely hoppy, dark rye ale caught the judges’ attention and was the unanimous choice for best in show.

We don’t often make hoppy beers, but when we do, they taste something like this. Congrats to our Batch 1000 homebrew winners on this recipe. Bryeian is dark, malty and full of piney hops. Best enjoyed as afresh as possible.
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Aromas are of fresh hops but very nice malt coming through. Rye bread, caramel, grapefruit, pine, oak, toffee, chocolate,orange, citrus, mango notes and toast bread with butter.

The flavors are of rye bread, caramel, coffee and chocolate hints, pine, grapefruit, earthy and grassy hops, molasses, anise, butterscotch, tropical notes of pineapple with caramel, roasted hazel nut, somewhat oaky and smokey notes, black pepper, slight graham cracker taste, brown sugar, buttered toast with caramel spread.

The aftertaste stays malty with a nice amount of hops and kind of buttery. The alcohol is well hidden and it is fairly drinkable.

Overall, this beer reminds me of Black IPA or Rye Black IPAs should truly be like. This is freaking phenomenal. Damn the Bruery, they make a lot of their beers hard to rate down. I can say that the the only beer from them that I didn’t feel to fond of was the Hottenroth. One day I will get a bottle to review, but almost everything I have ever had from them seems to so many levels of deliciousness. I almost tried to down play this one but as I kept sipping, it reminded me a lot of the Rye Anniversary ale from Eagle Rock Brewery except if you made it into an IPA and roasted the malts. Probably the best Black Cascadian Ale I have ever had, except the Stone 15th Anniversary in Bourbon Barrels, but that’s another review to look at  . The rye does wonders for this beer amazingly.

Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung (Ragnarok / Twilight of Gods) IPA

1235028_10101357010122800_818281747_nRating: 4.7/5

Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung (Ragnarok / Twilight of Gods) IPA is 9.5% ABV German Double India Pale Ale brewed mainly with German Hops and Pilsner malt

Label: 
Life is never dull at Stone, but the last year has been one of the most eventful yet. We threw open the doors to Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, our second decidedly eclectic brewery restaurant, installed in historic former Naval Training Center buildings (including their original mess hall). We outfitted it with a 10-barrel brewhouse, 40 taps serving Stone and guest beers, a huge outdoor garden area, and 650-plus seats. Hey, “small” is for other people. Well, come to think of it, we do have our own version of “small” in our brand-new-as-of-August craft beer-centric Stone bar and eatery in Terminal 2 of San Diego International Airport. At any rate, plan your trip accordingly. And we doubled the size and production capacity of our brewery, built the new Stone Packaging Hall and, oh yeah, found out we’re now the 10th largest craft brewing company in the country. We can hardly believe we fit that all into one paragraph, much less 12 months. Through all that growth, like hop bines rooted in fertile soil (see what we did there?), we kept our feet securely planted on terra firma, remembering that it’s all about the beer—we’d be nothing without it. And so, as we prepare to celebrate 17 years of straining the seams of the ale envelope, we again focus squarely on beer via our annual anniversary offering, while at the same time laying to waste long-held concepts of what German hops can and cannot do, as well as what the world has come to know about San Diego IPAs—thanks much in part to our family of beers.

Inspired by new experimental German hops, our brewing team is celebrating our 17ten Jahrestag by taking palates on an unconventional tour of Deutschland by way of Southern California. In doing so, we used a grain bill comprised exclusively of pilsner malts and German hops with crazy awesome names: Herkules, Hersbrucker, Magnum, Merkur, Opal, Smaragd & Strisselspalt. Dry-hopping with Sterling, a U.S. hop with Saaz parentage, lends a bit of familiarity, but be forewarned, this is a unique beer that takes the IPA—a style we’ve already pushed far beyond its previous limits over the years—to interesting new territory. Schumpeter chose economics; we chose beer. Our creative destruction has been aimed squarely at the previously-held-dear conventions of what beer can and should be. Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA is the latest in a long line of innovations, but nowhere near the last. Not by a long shot.

—Greg Koch & Steve Wagner, Co-Founders, Stone Brewing Co.
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Cheers to another year of the Arrogant Bastards of Stone Brewing Co. This year they bring forth a German inspired IPA using mainly German ingredients such German hops and German Pilsner malts. As soon as I opened the beer I was not sure what to expect as when I think German I think sweet sweet banana Bavarian notes or deep caramel toffee from the doppel bocks. I don’t think I have ever had a bad beer from Germany really. Just like the Belgian beers, simply World Class

Aromas are of lemon grass, piney hops, citrus, grapefruit ,interesting tropical notes of banana, strawberry, peach notes, kiwis, mango, pineapple, light caramel, biscuit bread, slight peppery notes, light butterscotch, a bit of floral notes and mint.

The flavors are very hop forward with taste of Grapefruit, grassy, herbal and piney hops, caramel, biscuit bread, pineapple, apricot, peach, banana notes, hints strawberry, kiwi notes, mango, orange preserves or marmalade, piney, garlic, onion, Italian herbs, peppery spices, honey, toffee notes with a slight minty finish.

The aftertaste leaves hints of caramel and tropics but mainly bitter and herbal. A lot going on here to hide the alcohol. Making it refreshing and moderately drinkable

Overall better than last year but under the 15th.. What can I say, I love me that “Black IPA” complexity that hinted chocolate. I did not get the Bavarian Banana Caramel forward IPA I was thinking but that is actually fine. This is still a very good beer and is quite different from what I was expecting. In terms of IPAs, this covers almost every aspect I could think of in IPA flavors. The extent of hop varieties bring this beer to a deep complexity that would be like saying the opposite spectrum of let’s say a “super complex barrel aged quad” but mainly in terms of the hop spectrum. Meaning, of all the different types of complex flavors you can get from different amount of hops, you actually get that complexity here and way more. You got the whole range from piney, to tropical to herbal, to bready to malty, to fruity, to even the spicy and garlic side. An IPA Jack of all trades and more. Maybe something about the Pilsner malts helping it out 😛. Get this while you still can as I do not think they will release this again. It is a very awesome beer. Prost!

Grand Gru by Abbaye-Abbey du Val-Dieu

1239642_10101353312512840_1852664825_n 1234101_10101353312562740_447530807_n 1011629_10101353309933010_684180145_nRating: 5.15/5

Grand Gru by Abbaye-Abbey du Val-Dieu is a 10.5% Belgian Strong Dark Ale/Quadruple

Label: 
This authentic Abbey ale is based on the recipe perfected centuries ago by the monks of Abbey du Val-Dieu.

Anno 1216
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While browsing for grand crews at the store near my house, I was looking for a grand cru beer to try as this type of beer has become a favorite of mine (like Belgian quad or strong dark weren’t already lol) The person at the tells me to try this one as it is lower in prices than even Alesmith Grand Cru. So I go with it as it is authentic Belgian stuff. Hell yeah!! Now the interesting thing is, many site cannot compare this as a quad or a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, I’ll say it is both. Grand cru is already kind of borderline anyway in terms of beer styles.

Aromas were rich in dark fruits like plums, raisins, figs, dulce de leche caramel, chocolate notes, grapes, pears, oak, earthy spices and blackberry preserves

The flavors are much better than the aroma. Very rich raisins covered in dulce de leche caramel, raisin bread pudding, plums, pears, dates, figs, sweet bread, butterscotch, flan, cinnamon, grapes, cherries, blackberry preserves, peppery notes, loads of candi sugar, pilloncillo sugar cone, brown sugar and rye bread. As the beer warms up, you get more complex flavors of pecan pie, hazelnut and banana which is definitely awesome.

The aftertaste continues with raisin and caramel sweetness and leaves an nice dark fruit and pecan taste in the palate. Full to medium body yet, the flavors cover up the alcohol a lot to the point where it is quite drinkable. I almost want to finish the whole bottle as it is is damn good. 

Over all, to me knowing it is an Abbey Ale (I love authentic Abbey and Trappist ales) and the fact that it hits it home with the caramel and the raisins, it is a phenomenal beer. May not be to the Alesmith in terms of complexity or even as buttery raspberry preserve on toast as the Avery beast, but it still hits those Belgian lover spots in my heart reminding me of the St. Bernardus. In fact, I may actually get this over other grand crus. Especially since it is cheaper in price and easier to find. The best part is that it is a complex Belgian so this actually starts to transform in flavors as it warms up, this is why I gave it a higher rating.

Faster, Bigger, Better, Bolder (Gradually, Quietly, Steadily) Collaboration by The Bruery and Dogfish Head

561586_10101353305317260_515181196_n 1238112_10101353308041800_1114235904_n 1004932_10101353309314250_926516231_n 1231294_10101353303510880_121072834_nRating: 4.6/5

Faster, Bigger, Better, Bolder (Gradually, Quietly, Steadily) Collaboration by The Bruery and Dogfish Head is an 8.25% ABV Japanese Herb/Spiced Beer brewed with Kumquats, spices and Sake yeast

Label:
We brewed this beer to honor our brethren in Japan who stood strong in face of adversity when faced with disaster. Created with traditional Japanese ingredients and sake yeast, this beer is best consumed fresh.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION (Ratebeer.com)
Two of the most out-of-the-box breweries around, The Bruery and Dogfish Head recently combined forces on a brew; the result is as intriguing as one might expect. Inspired by the strength of the Japanese people to remain sturdy during the recent earthquake that hit their small island nation, the beer’s depth of flavor comes from flavors steeped in tradition. The ale is brewed with a spin on the traditional shichimi togarashi, or Japanese seven spice blend. Ginger, cayenne, white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and nori were added to a base blonde ale that was created using two kinds of rice. Replacing the typical orange peel included in shichimi, whole kumquats were pulverized and added to the whirlpool, giving the spiced beer a kick of fresh citrus. A blend of sake yeast and The Bruery’s house yeast was used to ferment this beer into a dry and complex ale, different than anything you’ve likely had before. One dollar from every bottle sold will be going to help the brewers and beer drinkers of Japan in need of our support to fight back from disaster.
First in the Collaboration Series for the Bruery.
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I remember I had always wanted to get my hands on this beer but never got the chance. I found this one at the 38 degrees Grill in Alhambra California. It seems this beer was made in 2011 in commemoration of the March 11, 2011 Earthquake in Japan. It seems the beer was also named after that Daft Punk Song (Harder, Better, Faster Stronger). Regardless, the beer states best consumed fresh. Will this be past it’s prime or just at the perfect serving? Not too sure but keep reading to find out.

Aromas seem fresh still :). Citrus, peaches, apricot, kumquats, apples, mango, biscuit bread, caramel, wine grapes, coriander, wheat bread, herbs, flowers, hibiscus, lemon peel, green tea, funky notes and and slightly peppery

The flavors are of grapes, apples, citrus lemon peel, kumquats, peaches, honey, biscuit bread, coriander, rice sake, green tea, peppercorns, hints of caramel, peach cobbler, hints of mango, floral notes, herbs and spices

The aftertaste leaves pretty dry with only hints of the grapes, citrus, biscuit bread and sake notes. Still a refreshing beer amazingly and drinks smooth as well.

Overall the beer is surprisingly still awesome. Aged for 2 years and it is still awesome. So it makes me wonder how much fresher it was having it in 2011 and having it now. Regardless, still a pretty good beer. Biiru wa, totemo oishii desuyo!! Kanpai! ^_^b

Seme Della Vita (The Seed of Life) by Monkish Brewing

1235040_10101349977840550_1961150138_nRating: 5/5

Seme Della Vita (The Seed of Life) by Monkish Brewing is a 9.8% ABV Belgian Tripel brewed with pistachios and vanilla beans

Description: 
Luxurious, nutty, creamy, vanilla, fruity and complex
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First time hearing about this beer I was surprised since I have never heard of a beer that is brewed using pistachio nuts. Monkish Brewing happens to be very close to where I work so I figured I could not miss out an opportunity for this. Normally I do not do reviews for on-draft brews. Mainly because I have not found one that required me to pair it with an Anime artwork like I usually do for other beers on this site. I usually like how labels compliment the artwork but also mainly how the beer does in terms of flavor, smell, history artwork and such. I had heard that this beer would never leave the brewery as it was highly coveted. There are no growler pours to take home, they do not distribute kegs of this nor do they plan to ever bottle this one. Funny things happen when something gets really loved. Beers become very limited and only few batches made. I had asked them to keep making it at least as this had become my new favorite of from all the different beers I have tried from Monkish so far. Hopefully, one day they will change their mind and distribute more, even bottle it. That way everyone can try this nice piece of lost treasure of art and taste.

Aromas of this beer are phenomenal! Biscuit bread, rich vanilla, caramel, pistachio and hazelnut notes, cake, cinnamon, peaches, peppery notes, apples and notes of chocolate reminiscent of a light “White Chocolate” beer from “The Bruery” but without the bourbon and deeper chocolate. There are also some nice notes of citrus and flan.

Flavors are of very rich vanilla, caramel, pistachio nuts, almonds, cinnamon, hazelnuts, coconut notes, apple notes, cake batter, vanilla Twinky, Tres Leches cake notes, flan, peppercorn hints, peaches and cream notes and bananas

As the beer gets warmer, the the vanilla starts to give off notes of chocolate and candi sugar. I almost thought I was drinking the White Chocolate beer.

Aftertaste leaves off sweet and going into the pistachios nutty notes, cinnamon and vanilla.

Overall this beer is awesome, but it is definitely a sipper. While the alcohol is hidden in the flavor, it still felt as you go. Even for a clear body of a beer like this, it was crazy how much complexity they were able to get with this. A very unique beer with some uncommon ingredients. Should be sought if you are ever in the Los Angeles area. Hopefully one day they will make enough of this for all to try :3 . Like the art work implies, this is a beer lover’s dream, get lost in it!

 

Salt Lick (Censored) by Jester King and The Salt Lick BBQ collaboration

1150312_10101347411298920_1176994635_nRating: 4.5/5

Salt Lick (Censored) by Jester King and The Salt Lick BBQ collaboration is a 6.7% Pecan Wood Smoked Saison/Farmhouse ale barrel-aged in wild yeast.

Label:
First came the witches, and soon after there were vampires. They came in droves and each time one popped up it seems to be better looking then the last., each polished to a blinding luster. For a brief moment even werewolves even had there moment in the spotlight, plucked and preened to studio perfection. Then, to our astonishment, monsters comprised of nothing more than smoke joined this pop phenomenon – and that we couldn’t resist.

Notes:
Crafted in the once commonplace, Old World tradition of bière de coupage, young, dry hopped ale is blended with old, barrel-aged sour beer fermented with native yeast. A portion of the malt was smoked over pecan wood at The Salt Lick BBQ (Censored) in Driftwood, Texas. Unfiltered, unpasteurized and naturally conditioned.
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Last year, this beer used to be called Salt Lick but per Texas law below, they had to change it:
Update: Our original label application for Salt Lick Pecan Wood Smoked Saison was rejected by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), after having been approved by the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB). We have renamed this beer “Censored” for sale in Texas.

Here is the original label: http://beerpulse.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Jester-King-Salt-Lick-Pecan-Wood-Smoked-Saison.png

Along with Das Wunderkind!, I was able to get this one online as well. Jester King makes some of the finest Saisons out there. Goes to show that each Brewery does not have to brew a particular variety of styles but when focused a certain style can go into depths that no other beer can. Yes I am looking at those breweries like Jolly Pumpkin (Sours), Stillwater Artisanal (Gypsy Saisons), The Bruery (Belgian Styles) and many more . I will definitely try to get more amazing JK reviews going . So far I have 5 beers. Check out my other reviews .

One thing to not about this beer, when I opened it, sat it down on the table to take pictures. The beer came to life . Unlike my previous experience with Fantome Boo! Where the beer came gushing out to no ends, this one slowly but surely started to rise, little by little as it came out the bottle and surprised me about a minute later. Now I understand what the label meant about the paranormal :S

Aromas of this beer are quite intriguing. Very Smokey, campfire oak, honey glazed ham, pineapple, peppercorns, tart citrus, musty grapes, minor flower notes, herbs, rotting wood, hidden spices, peaches, apples, salt, hay, lemon juice, tobacco and BBQ pit with spices.

The flavors are of lemon, citrus, salt, smokey honey glazed ham, biscuit bread, Tejuino (Mexican fermented corn drink with lime, sugar and salt), tamarind, hazalenut, over matured orange, sourdough wheat bread, coriander, lemon pepper spice, white peppercorns, barn yard hay, very oaky, musty grapes, a touch of apricot, apples, butter, apple cider vinegar notes, black pepper, sage and other earthy spices.

The aftertaste is somewhere between, salty, smokey, tart, slight sour, fruity and spicy. Quite the combination and smooth and moderately refreshing in fact. This seems way too good to be true. Like drinking this around late august, early September is like perfect because you get nice refreshing notes and that campfire warmth feel you would get as the times approach the fall.

Amazingly this is the first time I have had a beer that is both strictly smokey and slightly sour. Reminds me a lot of Tejuino which is a Mexican fermented corn drink with lime, sugar and salt and sometimes chile added. Very Unique, very interesting, and very delicious. You probably will bee to have an acquired taste for sours or even smoked beers to greatly enjoy this one. Although to me, the balances with the saison is not too overwhelmingly smokey or sour. It fits perfectly in both sides of the universe. Excellent stuff and very awesome if you can find it .

Very Angry Beast by Clown Shoes Brewing

14164_10101347409567390_363804656_n 1151034_10101347408599330_1481012420_n 1185157_10101347409183160_519431837_n Rating: 5.55/5*

Very Angry Beast by Clown Shoes Brewing is an 11.5% ABV World Class Imperial Stout blended with equal parts of Blaecorn Unidragon and Vampire Slayer both aged in bourbon barrels.

Label: 
Hoppy Feet guy extinguished evil via a sharp stake through an undead chest. Now, Blaecorn Unidragon, full of fury, has expelled another bloodsucker from Earth. We hate vampires, but love Vampire Slayer, which we blended in equal parts with Blaecorn Unidragon, bourbon barrel aging the mix to beget Very Angry Beast.
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I have been following this series carefully since the first release of the awesome Blaecorn Unidragon. Both Blaecorn and Vampire slayer very awesome beers as well as the Porcine Unidragon. When they aged the Blaecorn Unidragon and blended it with basic vampire slayer, that was awesome within itself. Now both are blended for the ultimate concoction.

Aromas are of deep bourbon vanilla, oak, dulce de leche caramel, marshmallows, flan,coconut, dark chocolate, graham crackers, bit of rocky road ice cream, sweet milk chocolate, pecans, almond joy, mocha coffee, toffee, butterscotch, chocolate cake and some dark fruit notes.

The flavors are of bourbon, lots of nice warm bourbon (not overwhelming boozy, just sweetnes) and oak flavors, vanilla, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, coconut, marshmallows, raisins, butterscotch, almond joy, not as big on the rocky road as the smell but some notes are there. There are also flavors of black berries, possibly dark cherry notes, dulce de leche caramel notes, graham crackers, earthy hops, fudge brownies, more bakers chocolate that sweet milk chocolate, almost semi sweet but the flavors seems to work. Some other flavors are of mocha, honey glazed ham notes and brown sugar.

After taste is a litle boozy leaving very nice residue of vanilla, coffee, chocolate, bourbon and minor smokey notes. While the beer can be boozy later on after several sips, it is quite the smooth beer. Take heed though, while it is easy to drink it will hit. This dynamic duo of Femme Fatale (Obviously referencing the art ) shows no mercy

Overall it was quite an overwhelming experience in many aspects. Beers that go over the 5 rating seem to be beers that usually are Chocolate extreme or amazingly sweet or caramel extreme or just something that is way out of the ordinary in terms of flavor. This beer, while it may not have reached the heights of chocolate, the concoction of the bourbon, the coffee notes, dark fruit notes, buttery caramel, vanilla rich, the oaky and let us not forget the chocolate, is what set the score for me. Really great job by Clown Shoes brewing in bringing this amazing beer to the hands of many. Salute to you and Cheers!!

———-
Blaecorn Unidragon Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/blaecorn-unidragon-russian-imperial-stout-by-clown-shoes-brewing/ 

Vampire Slayer Review:https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/vampire-slayer-by-clown-shoes-brewing/

Angry Beast Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/angry-beast-by-clown-shoes/

Porcine Unidragon Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/porcine-unidragon-by-clown-shoes/

As follows Eschatological Ale by Stillwater Artisanal 2013

1004512_10101346420020450_310169627_n

 

Rating: 5/5

As Follows Eschatological by Stillwater Artisanal is a 9% ABV Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Label:
===========

1. To come or go after; proceed behind 2. To move along the course of; take 3. To adhere to; practice 4. To engage in (a trade or occupation); work at 5. To come after in order, time, or position 6. To occur or be evident as a consequence of 7. To grasp the meaning or logic of; understand.
==============================

I have done several reviews on this beer and still to this day, freaking awesome beer. One of my favorite Belgian Pale Ales. The 2013 version now comes in 4 packs with a different description (Belgian Style Golden Ale vs. Eschatological Ale). The beer is pretty much the same but I think the 750ml bottle had more body too it. This still does not detract from the awesome flavors this beer provides. It is more available than ever and still… mysteriously evil and creepily delicious 😛 

2012 Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/as-follows-eschatological-ale-by-stillwater-artisanal/

Fresh Squeezed IPA by Deschutes Brewery

945978_10101346419112270_122286693_nRating: 5/5

Fresh Squeezed IPA by Deschutes Brewery is a 6% ABV World Class India Pale Ale

Label: 
This mouthwateringly delicious IPA gets its flavor from a heavy helping of Citra and Mosaic hops. Don’t worry, no fruit was harmed in the making of this beer. 
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Picked this up recently at the local Bev-Mo near work. Heard that there was a lot of talk about this beer. Normally for me, I try to look at different IPAs and see what are the most tropical, the most hoppy, the most herbal or even the most orange juice and caramel I can find. Every single IPA or DIPA brings something to the table. As best as I can, I will try to analyze this one. Hell even, the label makes it look like its gonna be a tropical thunder. 

The smell is like grapefruit juice or Squirt Grapefruit soda. This is quite different already as I never seen a more grapefruit forward IPA. There are also aromas of biscuit, caramel, lemon candy, orange jolly rancher, pineapple, orange, subtle piney and grassy hops, kiwi almost like a strawberry or a berry note and mango.

Flavors are quite different but awesome. Lots of pineapple and grapefruit juice, oranges, caramel, piney and grassy hop notes, mango, kiwi, strawberry notes, dragon fruit, orange jolly rancher notes, pecan notes, buttery biscuit, tangerine marmalade, peaches and cream, orange cream popsicle, grapes, raisins, blueberries and papaya.

The aftertaste is awesome. A well balanced bitterness of the piney hops with nice grapefruit and pineapple tropics. I think what really makes this beer great is the balance and drinkability. Very awesome for sure.

The talk wasn’t just that, all talk. This beer is an awesome IPA. I love sweetness of beers and hoppy as well. This one brings both together is such an awesome way that literally works extremely well. This is something I wish I could drink for breakfast everyday. Right next to the Heady Topper, almost, except this is the sweet pink grapefruit where as heady is the orange juice of IPAs.

The art work is sort of like a surprise. Matching the label as best I could, think of it as Master Chief (Green for hops) unveiling the secret sweetness inside :3

Das Wunderkind! by Jester King

1175003_10101346418059380_1900771048_nRating: 4.75/5

Das Wunderkind! by Jester King is a 4.5% ABV Organic Saison/Farmhouse Ale aged in oak wine and whiskey barrels with wild yeast.

Label: 
There are many among us who, in spite of their best efforts, just never quite seem to fit in. It’s only a rare few, however, who, very early in life, develop the self-asurance and presence of mind to be neither conformists nor rebels, instead carving their own paths and following their own dreams, regardless of what anyone else might happen to think. Take flight, mein Wunderkind, don’t ever let gravity hold you back!

Description: (jesterking.com)
Mature beer, re-fermented in oak barrels with wild yeast and souring bacteria is blended with fresh, dry-hopped beer prior to bottle-conditioning. Dry and lightly tart, with notes of citrus, barnyard, and tropical fruit.
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Been looking for this little prize long ago. Since last year actually. I was finally able to find one online. Soon as I saw it, I had to get it and do a review. I paired this beer with a piece of artwork that best presents it. Flight of Das Wunderkind! Or “The Wonder Kid” in German. 

Aromas are those nice floral spices, peppercorn, sourdough bread notes I really enjoy in saisons. As an added treat, there are also notes of oak, grapefruit, citrus, hay, apricots, lemon, apples, dandelions, roses, sweet caramel, light whiskey notes, grapes and earthy notes

Flavors are of peppercorns, sourdough bread, wine grapes, caramel, oak, light whiskey notes, lemon peel, green apples, slight funky notes but not too sour, grapefruit, apricot, peach, hint of strawberry, flowery spices, hay, earthy hops, coriander and light vanilla notes.

The aftertaste is mildly funky with citrus, lemon , oak and wine taste but shortly sour. More like flowers and peppery spices.

Overall the beer is awesome is you love saisons that have nice funky notes which are not too sour but pleasantly tart. The added wine and whiskey barrels give it some character but do not overwhelm much of the beer. The spices, flowers and fruity flavors along with the tart and oak flavors take care of that.

Or Xata (Horchata) by the Bruery

1010022_10101344572986920_427979140_n 542201_10101344573690510_1355761887_n 1170921_10101344574349190_122706565_nRating: 6/5*

Or Xata (Horchata) by the Bruery is a 7% ABV Blonde ale brewed with Rice, Cinnamon and Vanilla Beans

Label: 
¡Que Rico!

Living in Latin American influenced California, horchata is one of our favorite drinks. Our take on the traditional agua fresca incorporates rice and lactose along with spices for that sweet, creamy character that we’ve come to love. Or Xata is best enjoyed fresh. Please store in a cool, dry place. The ideal serving temperature is 50 degress Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius). Best served in a tulip or wine glass
___

First tried this in Restaurant “Cinco” near LAX when the Bruery first poured for the public. Back then I had this with some tacos de azada, to my surprise, it was a perfect pairing. The Bruery would eventually release this too the public. So now many can try this exotic creation which to me was mind blowing. 

Aromas are of rich cinnamon, vanilla, bread, brown sugar, rice pudding with dulce de leche caramel and spices. 

Flavors are pretty dead on like liquid churros and horchata. Lots of vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, brown sugar, rice pudding, pan dulce, leche nestle (sweetened condensed milk), clove spice and banana notes.

The aftertaste also leaves sweet but not too sweet, more cinnamon really. Perfect. The alcohol is hidden well and will hit you later on as you sip more. 

Just like I remembered it a month and a half ago. Simply amazing dessert beer here. It really is perfect. All the flavors are exactly what are set out to be. Definitely spot on. When pairing with taquitos or any Mexican cuisine, awesome!!!

Try to get your hands on this if possible. If you live in California, the Bruery will send you a bottle . Cheers!! (http://www.thebruerystore.com/p-99-or-xata.aspx )

*Exceed my expectations several times, it is not too overwhelming with alcohol , it is overwhelming with awesome horchata and liquid churro flavors.

Genghis Pecan by Clown Shoes brewing

1148754_10101340753017170_1012943602_nRating: 4.6/5

Genghis Pecan by Clown Shoes brewing is a 7%ABV Pecan Pie Porter brewed with roasted pecans

Label: 
Our new Pecan Pie Porter no longer uses extract, but rather brown sugar and pecans roasted by friends at The Gallows in Boston. Buddy Hadry, a rep at Bella Vista in PA, gave me the name for this beer, the second Pecan beer now that he has named. Thank you, Buddy!
___

What does pecans have to do with Genghis Khan? I have no clue, other than the last name rhymes with pecans. Pecan pie or pecan flavored beers are some of my favorite notes that I find in many beers that I try. One made with pecans, well let’s see how good it is.

Aromas are of hazelnut, pecans, roasty coffee, brown sugar, spices, biscuit bread, nutmeg, cinnamon and chocolate

The flavors are of pecan notes, some hazelnut, coffee, pecan pie, walnuts, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, caramel, dark chocolate, biscuit bread or pie crust, molasses, butterscotch and a bit of nutella on rye.

The aftertaste is sweet, toffee and biscuity with alittle bit of roasty notes The beer is not super heavy but moderate to drink with silky mouthfeel 

Overall the beer does not a super strong pecan pie flavor like I get in a lot of bourbon barrel aged beers and quads but it still has some pecan, nutty and bready flavors. Also very nice drinking. For some reason, the biscuit, nutty and buttery feels reminds me of some notes I got from trying a Far Tire. Ofcourse, this one is way better than Fat Tire (Imperial Fat Tire?). Well regardless, this was very delicious and enjoyable. Don’t expect to be blown away by pecans and pie, but the notes and buttery nut bread are strong here 

Big Hugs 2011 edition by Half Acre Brewing and Dark Matter Coffee Company

897_10101340750976260_551078974_nRating: 5.2/5

Big Hugs 2011 edition by Half Acre Brewing and Dark Matter Coffee Company is a 10%ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Dark Matter Coffee

Description: 
This beer is a thug. Big and chock full of tender embrace. 

A specialty brew. Grab it when you see it. 10% ABV.
___

Hard to find, but aged for 2 years, this is Big Hugs. Looks like a nice kitty that wants to give a loving Christmas embrace, but in reality, it’s intentions are difficult to tell. Many have lost and have fallen victims to it’s temptations (either willfully or by bloody force). Opening this beer, it definitely smelled way different than other stouts to begin with.

First thing I noticed in the aromas were that there was a good amount of dark fruits and molasses. The beer has developed nicely. Above it are the rich cola like aromas followed by super dark chocolate, fancy coffee, a peppery and spicy aroma, possibly nutmeg notes, vanilla, caramel, toffee, brownie and hazelnuts

The flavors are like a rich fancy coffee with spices, Kahlua notes, vanilla, hazelnut, bakers and dark chocolate, hazelnut, raisins, molasses, walnuts, toffee, brownies and spices but not heat wise, definitely something else (must be the fancy coffee)

The aftertaste is roasty, semi sweet dark chocolate, spicy and a touch boozy. ABV has probably increased to a 11% or 12%. The mouth-feel is moderately syrupy so this one is definitely a sipper.

Overall, age has done this one wonders. Either that or the beer has always tasted this nice. Regardless, it was definitely interesting, different and kinda creepy.

Anomaly by Monkish Brewing

1186090_10101340748965290_1613237542_nRating: 4.8/5

Anomaly by Monkish Brewing is a 8.5% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale made with oats and wheat

Description: 
A strong, dark ale with tastes of chocolate, caramel, and dark stone fruits along with a silky mouthfeel from oats and wheat.
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This is the first time I do a review for a draft only beer. Monkish is a pretty new brewing company in the city of Torrance California (Los Angeles county) specializing primarily in Belgian style ales. They have been active creating many different beers using many unique ingredients such as hibiscus, rose hips, pistachios, vanilla beans, Sichuan peppercorns, elder flowers, chamomile and many more. They mainly distribute kegs locally and other parts of the state so trying their beers might be difficult to find. Hopefully if you live in the south land part of California, you may want to give their beers a go. 

Aromas of the anomaly are of dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruits like plums, raisins, cinnamon, port wine, slight cola notes, candi sugars, caramel and raisin bread

Flavors are of plums, dark chocolate, figs, raisins, mocha coffee, slight oak, wine notes, cola, molasses, anise, licorice, brown sugar, caramel and hints of banana and cloves.

The aftertaste remains with some notes of plums and figs and raisin bread. The booze is not present in the taste and gives a warm feeling after every taste. Also, it is quite smooth for a Dark Belgian.

I love dark Belgian beers and this one, aside from their new beer Seme Della Vita, is one of my favorites from this brewery. Reminds me of some of the good Dark Belgian flavors from beers like Trois Pistoles. They only recently started putting this one in growlers. So if you are ever in Los Angeles Area, check out Monkish Brewing, definitely a unique set of beers. 

Site: http://www.monkishbrewing.com/beers/

Holy Sheet Heavy Seas Uncharted Series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing

934683_10101327425635350_1681737459_n 999123_10101327426977660_1777526877_n 1098173_10101327426463690_1603637619_n 543858_10101327426423770_332987039_nRating: 5/5

Holy Sheet Heavy Seas Uncharted Series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing is a 9% ABV Belgian Abbey Dubbel aged in Brady Barrels

Label: 
Rich, complex and unique. Abbey style ales are transcendent, and ours stands proudly in the ranks. Aged in brandy barrels, Holy Sheet is a mahogany ale brewed with Belgian Abbey yeast, candi sucre, and unique crystal malts. Rounded, spicy caramel flavors mixed with vinous notes and oak overtones, this ale pairs well with quiet contemplation…

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.
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Been looking for this beer since I first heard of it. It was not an easy find at all since many of the Heave Seas Beers aren’t normally sold around in the west coast. Thank goodness for online stores.

Aromas are of dark fruits and caramel like cherries, raisins, figs, dates, grapes, preserves, some vanilla and toffee notes, apple, white wine notes, banana, coconut, brandy, oak, rye and biscuit bread.

Flavors are of coconut, dark cherry preserves, rich dulce de leche caramel spread on raisin bread pudding, biscuit, vanilla, toffee, raisins, dates, figs, oak, brandy, candi sugars, banana phenolic notes, marshmallows, grapes, minor white wine notes and chocolate on rye bread

The aftertaste leave sweet and slightly boozy but not too boozy. This works very well as the alcohol is hardly present overall and is very pleasant. This makes it quite the moderately drinkable beer at that.

Overall Holy Shit I mean Sheet is very fucking delicious. This is my second Heavy Seas beer and already I love the beers I have reviewed so far. Definitely recommended for those that love Barrel Aged beers but also Belgian beers.

Stillwater Artisanal Sensory Series v.2 – Small Black

527031_10101327424821980_25508198_n 525723_10101327424782060_68340150_nRating: 4.5/5

Stillwater Artisanal Sensory Series v.2 – Small Black is a 5% ABV Black Saison brewed in collaboration with the band Small Black and Stillwater Artisanal.

Label: 
welcome to the sensory series 
The Stillwater Sensory Series is a collaboration between Stillwater Artisanal and singular musical artists. In the second volume, Stillwater works with Small Black to make an ale based on an interpretation of their song, “Breathless” On the bottle itself, a QR code links to this exclusive performance of the song. Ultimately, this is a true artistic collaboration that aims to create a full sensory experience – sound, sight, smell, touch, and taste.
__

Aromas are of roasty malts, dark fruits, wheat, peppercorns, earthy hops and spices, biscuit bread, light honey, citrus, coriander spice and slight coffee notes.

The Flavors are of wheat, slight clovey spiciness, roasted barley, peppercorns, dark fruit notes, slight dark chocolate, floral notes, earthy hops, citrus, coriander spice, smokey notes, notes of molasses and slight hazelnut

The aftertaste and slighly sweet and smokey with that nice bready taste provided by many of the awesome Stillwater ArtisanalAles. Easy to drink at a low ABV

Overall, you may get away with passing on this, but if you do pick it up, you will try this one and it will be like trying a light Folklore or similar to it. The smokey character is only minor and not overwhelming which lets a lot of the other sweeter and floral flavors through

While you watch the video: http://www.stillwatersensory.com/ you get sense of what it is about. It is pretty good stuff. The track they used for this beer, “Breathless” is freaking awesome too.

Ommegang Gnomegang Collaboration

945978_10101327421368900_1439469380_n 1016992_10101327421443750_197598945_n 993397_10101327421014610_2098514948_nRating: 4.85/5

Ommegang Gnomegang Collaboration is a 9.5% ABV Belgian Strong Blonde Ale

Label: 
This delectable blonde ale is a co-creation of two famed farmstead breweries: Ommegang in New York and Brasserie d’Achouffe (Chouffe) in Belgium’s Ardennes Mountains. The Chouffe gnomes brought us their yeast and we used it in primary fermentation, then bottle-conditioned with our yeast creating a fruity, aromatic and full bodied ale.
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For a very long time, I always wanted to try this beer since I became a fan of Ommegang. Also, I have known Chouffe beers to be awesome. Like the one time I reviews the IPA Triple. It was exquisite. This ale was brewed years ago but was finally re-released. So before I lost my opportunity to try it, I had to get a bottle to review

Aromas are of fruity esters, peppercorns, apples, honey, spices, sourdough and biscuit bread, floral hops, coriander spice, vanilla and citrus

The flavors are of sweet honey, biscuit bread, butter scotch, pears, apples, slight peach notes, peppercorns, floral hops, spices, sourdough, phenolic notes, bananas, citrus, lemon peel, vanilla, grapes, plums, coriander, candi sugars, oatmeal, flowers and wheat

The aftertaste leaves with a nice biscuit with honey and tangerine jelly. I was quite impressed by this one. Almost easy drinking but still warm feeling that this beer brought. While the alcohol is not too present in the taste, it gets you after. 

They pulled a great beer that is close to a Belgian Pale and Saison. A golden ale bringing a lot of great complexities and sweetness to the table. Definitely one that should be picked up.

Barrel Noir by Almanac Beer Co.

1170843_10101327420101440_28549060_n 934688_10101327419647350_833143809_n 996568_10101327418494660_1307572163_n
Rating: 5.6/5*

Barrel Noir by Almanac Beer Co. is a 10% ABV Imperial Stout with 50% Belgian Dark Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels and 50% American Imperial Stout

Label: 
This oak-aged ale is our love letter to bourbon barrels. Barrel Noir is a sumptuous, inky ale that celebrates the velvety texture and subtle heat that only Kentucky charred oak can impart. Born from a blend of American imperial stout and Belgian-inspired dark ale aged in bourbon barrels, this rich brew can be paired with braised beef dishes and dark chocolates. Enjoyed best in front of a warm fireplace.
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There are very few Belgian Stouts out there that can take beers to new levels. The style is simply one of my top favorites. Some of these beers are coveted while others are easier to find. Today, I try this one which has been partially aged in bourbon barrels. Many of the ingredients are farm grown locally. So a lot of them are fresh. Upon opening the beer, I knew was another awesome special chocolate beer.

Aromas are of rich milk chocolate, dark chocolate, coconut, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, dulce de leche, flan, marshmallows, espresso coffee notes, brown sugar, candi sugar and sweet Belgian bread notes

The flavors are of very rich milk chocolate, rocky road ice cream, pecans, walnuts, almond joy chocolate, coconut cream, vanilla, raisins, prunes, hints of minor cherry and raspberry notes, bourbon, oak, hints of Kahlua, dulce de leche caramel, flan, chocolate cake with brownie batter and minor earthy bitterness to balance it all out.

Aftertaste leaves with nice chocolate, coffee cake and minor earthy notes along with a bit of vanilla. The alcohol is not too fondly present and makes it nice. Very hidden. 

Overall, this beer is simply amazing. Sweet to a not too overwhelming level, yet so many flavors and to a certain point, moderate drink-ability. This beer is a fusion of a bourbon barrel aged quad and an imperial stout which is not something that is done often. So I really think that the right level of brewing fusion is what really makes it outstanding and different from others. The dominating characters that each part brings to the table is simply exquisite. I love chocolate beers, so the extra points in rating are for those awesome awesome chocolate flavors but also because it works so well. A must try for anyone that is a stout and Belgian beer fan. If they ever make this in larger bottles and more available, that would be the best!!

*Overwhelming with milk chocolate, yet not to the super sweet level and enough to give great complexity

Robert & Ryan / Rip Current / Stone R&R Coconut IPA

76035_10101316762155050_928126366_n 46375_10101316761037290_1434459790_n 1004846_10101316760233900_1743591119_nRating: 3.8/5

Robert & Ryan / Rip Current / Stone R&R Coconut IPA Collaboration is a 7.7% ABV India Pale Ale brewed and flavored with coconut

Label: 
This collaboration beer is a celebration of the homebrewing spirit and an example of counter-intuitive thoughts coalescing beautifully into something exceptional. Case in point is the seamless marrying of toasted coconut and a hop bill brimming with tropical fruit notes. Longtime homebrewers Robert Masterson and Ryan Reschan teamed up to enter this beer in our annual American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned brewing competition and, though it was the first beer they’d ever brewed together, they sailed past the competition like a tropical ocean breeze on a pleasure cruise bound for India. After winning, the duo reached out to their friend, highly decorated homebrewer and 2011 AHA Ninkasi Award winner Paul Sangster of the newly opened Rip Current Brewing Company, to assist in dialing in the recipe. Together with Sangster’s skilled partner Guy Shobe and Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele, Masterson and Reschan present fellow craft beer enthusiasts with a most delicious and original style of IPA. Open, enjoy, rest, relax and repeat as needed.

“On the nose, you get lots of tropical fruit—mango, passion fruit, pineapple—with some sweet orange and stone fruit from the hops along with toasty coconut sweetness.” Ryan Reschan /I Winning Homebrewer 1 love the tropical spin that Robert and Ryan added to an already great IPA recipe.” Mitch Steele II Brewmaster, Stone Brewing Co. “The true lest of a beer like this is the balance between the fruity hop and the coconut flavors and, with this one, you feel like you’re drinking a tropical drink on the beach.”

Paul Sangster // Co-Founder/Brewer, Rip Current Brewing Co.
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Aromas of this beer are a very nice mix tropical and hoppy. Mango, grapefruit, kiwi, dragonfruit, apricot, pineapple, grassy, floral and piney hops and some coconut notes

The flavors are very tropical and hoppy as well. The break down is more tropical than hoppy though. Leading in with some prickly pear, mango, citrus, pineapple, grapefruit, hints of toasted coconut, piney and floral hops.

The after taste leaves hoppy and tropical as well but instead of more tropical in the end, it fades out with citrus and grass hop goodness with minor coconut hints. 

This beer is pretty good but it is somewhat fair in terms of finding the coconut. While it is hinted, I think I got more coconut as I drank more but the coconut is consumed by the hops. Not a bad thing at all as I really like tropical and hoppy IPAs but in terms of coconut it is only hinted slightly more than other IPAs. I remember watching the video about the collaboration (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqPDASoFJDA) and they specified that this was like a piña colada in a bottle. The truth is that it is true, but only to a minor to moderate extent. This beer does not boast lots of coconut and piña colada flavors but the notes are definitely there. Do not get your hopes up and expect a head on piña colada tasting beer but do expect an IPA that does have hints here and there of the flavors and aromas.

Overall, the beer does a pretty good job and bringing some very nice tropics to the scene and some nice hints that would not be found in some other IPAs. Either way, it is a pretty good beer and should still be tried. Maybe you can find more flavors than I can’t 🙂

Even More Jesus by Evil Twin Brewing

60441_10101309179465820_260231825_nRating: 5.25/5

Even More Jesus by Evil Twin Brewing is a 12%ABV World Class Imperial Stout

Label: 
A Few times in the history of craft beer it has happened that a highly praised beer rises beyond mortal stardom into a higher godly league. Usually the recipe to make such heavenly drops is thick fudge-like body, pitch black color, amazingly overwhelming aromas of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and muscovado sugar, obviously only made in limited amounts and most crucial of all – it must taste rare!
___

Picked this one up as an extra to go along with Racer 15. Holy shit, I did not know this beer was so coveted until I read some information on it.

Aromas are of very rich bakers, sweet, milk and dark chocolate, coffee, mocha, dark fruits raisins, figs, plums, molasses, minor soy sauce and smokey character, licorice, caramel, earthy hops and brown sugar 

The flavors are of roasted coffee grains, dark fruits like raisins, plums, cherries, vanilla, Kahlua liquor, lots of notes that remind me of Dark Lord RIS like the syrupy dark, milk chocolate, fudge brownies, caramel, molasses, but more earthy bitter with like a soy sauce, anise and licorice taste. 

This beer is quite the syrupy dessert. Like drinking Dark Lord but more towards the smokey bitter-fruity sweet. The aftertaste was earthy and smokey bitter at first but as you drank more, it became much more sweeter. A nice dark fruit sweetness that can be found in a lot of awesome beer but melds awesomely with the bitter notes. The sweet and the smokey bitter plays hand in hand at some point making this one supremely awesome. No wonder it is rated exceptional to World Class status. Evil Twin Brewing, I am surprised this wasn’t brewery exclusive, because this is fucking awesome! Thank You Jesus!! 

Café Racer 15 by Bear Republic

1010393_10101308962420780_820626949_n 643973_10101308962919780_1939417553_n 524311_10101308961263100_1438719848_nRating: 5.25/5

Café Racer 15 by Bear Republic is a 9.75% ABV Double/Imperial India Pale Ale

Label: 
Café Racer 15™ features aromas of bright citrus and resinous pine from the generous use of Citra, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hops which are complimented by a dry malt finish. The result is a high revving Double IPA that is loud and assertive, much like the rebellious street racers who inspired it. Never ride alone…
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Just in time for IPA day, this version of their double IPA is supposed to be more west coast (more hoppier due to the greater variety of hops as stated above) than the Racer X which was more English tradition plus hops. This beer won the Great American Beer Festival Silver award in 2012.

Aromas are very hoppy and tropical. Grapefruit, mango, kiwi hints, citrus, prickly pear, pineapple, floral, dank, piney and grassy hops, lemon peel, biscuit bread, honey notes and caramel

The flavors are awesome as well. Lots of flowy, oily, dank, piney and floral hops, grapefruit, pineapple hints, mango, honey dew melon, kiwis, passion fruit, papaya, peach and apricot notes, dragon fruit, blood oranges, lemons, caramel and biscuit bread with tangy mandarin jelly

After taste lingers in the tropics. Almost like I just got drinking some type of hoppy bitter fruit punch. Kinda hard to find the alcohol in this one as well. It is also very refreshing, surprisingly smooth and well balanced both in the hop, malt and tropical aspects. 

Just like Racer X, definitely as close to Heady Topper, maybe closer. I honestly think the difference from the 2 IPAs is that Cafe 15 is way more tropical. Simply amazing and gets more tastier with every sip. Seems to be way better than Racer 5. I am sure this beer will soon be coveted, so if you find this savor it!! It really is an amazing IPA. Happy IPA day everyone 🙂