White Dog IPA by El Segundo Brewing of California

1234344_10101406244461790_1270308687_n 1016498_10101406244526660_109971997_nRating: 4.85/5

White Dog IPA by El Segundo Brewing of California is a 6.9% ABV India Pale Ale brewed with 50% wheat (Wheat India Pale Ale)

Label: 
Named for Rob’s dog, the White alludes to our use of 50% wheat instead of barley in this beer. Aside from that though, this beer has very little in common with what most people consider a “wheat” beer. The wheat in the malt bill gives the beer a lighter texture and mouthfeel, and helps to accentuate the bright citrus characters of the fruity West Coast and New Zealand hops we use. The result is an IPA that Hop Heads will love, but that is immediately approachable for most people.
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Been meaning to get a review going for this beer. The first time I had tried it on tap at Jean Simmons Rock N’ Brews in Torrance California I was very amazed. This beer almost had that Heady Topper type of flavor. At the time the brewery in El Segundo had not released any bottles of this until recently. The last time I had had it was at their brewery which I still thought, freaking amazing IPA. To add wheat to make it somewhat of a hybrid wheat IPA is freaking amazing.

Aromas are of grassy, piney, grapefruit and tropical hops, orange juice, pineapple, coriander, mango, kiwi, lemon, dragon fruit, passion fruit notes, biscuit and caramel

The flavors are of sweet oranges, mango, pineapple, grapefruit, grassy, pine and tropical hops, biscuit bread hints, coriander, wheat bread, honey dew melon, dragon fruit notes, passion fruit notes, kiwi, caramel notes, honey nectar, and tangerines

After taste leaves off like an orange zest, hop bitterness and a bit of tropics. The beer is moderately easy to drink and quite the refreshing beer.

Overall, this is one of those IPA that if you love some nice hop tropical and somewhat dank type of IPAs, you are sure to like this one. Even people that do not like bitter IPAs, are welcomed slowly into this one. Nothing too bitter and pleasant for even the non-IPA drinker. Here is to you young Heady Topper in the making.

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New Crustacean Barleywineish Imperial IPA Sorta by Rogue brewing

537022_10101405105309660_1790197294_n 1236072_10101405104970340_1926772254_nRating: 4.75/5

New Crustacean Barleywineish Imperial IPA Sorta by Rogue brewing is a 10.8% ABV… umm well, they say it is Barleywine. You be the judge.

Label: 
Dedicated to Crustaceans 
The name sort of says it all. John Maier, our Brewmaster, wanted to create a beer that defied traditional style definitions. The result was a remarkably hoppy yet balanced and malty ale that quickly became a cult favorite in our Newport brewpub. But what was it? It was not quite a barley wine and not quite a double or imperial IPA. Who really cares about putting beers into narrow categories? Great beer – just drink it and enjoy. 

8 ingredients: Weyermann & Bohemian Malts; Bravo, Ammarillo, Falconer’s Flight & Horizon Hops; Free Range Coastal Water & Pacman Yeast
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This beer was supposed to be, well the beer that the infamous Beard Beer was supposed to be based out of (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/beard-beer-by-rogue-brewing-company/). Looks like they did this one with Pacman yeast instead. Well, this should be interesting, a beer that can’t make up it’s mind. Reminds me of the Arrogant Bastard but that one is just labeled as American Strong Ale.

Aromas are of caramel, honey, citrus, ripe orange juice with pulp, earthy and grapefruit hops, pineapple, banana, a bit tropical, toffee, salt bread, almost crab cake or crab meat like? (might be kidding about the crab, might be not)

The flavors are of ripe to matured blood oranges and cream, caramel, grapefruit hops, earthy hops, bananas, saltine cracker notes, pine, pineapple, lots of coconut as it warms up, citrus, toffee, molasses, licorice, crab and crab cake notes (has to be the matured bitter orange flavors, I swear!!), apricots, matured mango, herbs, spices and lemon candy

The aftertaste is like a orange and caramel sweetness followed by bitter grapefruit and earthy to hops. This beer hides alcohol well, it is a sipper though. Not as full bodied and syrupy mouth feel. 

Overall the beer is very good but indeed confusing. You want to say it is IPA tropical but the Barleywine side tells you NO! I love it because it is sweet and bitter but the more I think about crabs the more I think it taste like crabs. I like crabs. I love seafood. I love this beer. I think it would pair exceptionally. This beer reminds me of Surly SYX but not as harsh. I did a review a while back, that one was too harsh. This is what SYX should have been. Then again, I may have been hard on it as it may have needed some aging to bring up the rating. Maybe next time 

Bourbon Barrel Aged Smashed Pumpkin by Shipyard Brewing

541363_10101405104176930_1311754114_n 1234765_10101405104127030_803219720_nRating: 5/5

Bourbon Barrel Aged Smashed Pumpkin by Shipyard Brewing is a 12% ABV Pumpkin Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels

Label: 
Our Bourbon Barrel Aged ales are brewed and carefully cellar-aged in small batches in dedicated bourbon barrels at our brewery in Portland, Maine.

Hops: Willamette, Saphir
Malts: Pale, Whole Wheat, Munich
Yeast: Top-fermenting English
Color: Honey
Aroma: Oak spiced, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon
Body: Light to medium
Finish: Warming, smooth, and velvety
IBU: 35
SRM 14.85

Recommended Serving temperature is 55 deg. Fahrenheit in brandy-style stemware. Aged over 100 days. Unlimited shelf life
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As an added bonus last year, Shipyard released this hard to get beer along with their awesome smashed pumpkin yearly release (which to me is the “best common” pumpkin beer ever). Unfortunately, I was never able to pick this release up until recently. One of the local places had it in stock for a limited time. So as pay back for last year of missing out on this beer to review, I will spend no time wasted and get on with the show.

Aromas are of rich vanilla, whiskey, bourbon, oak, pumpkin, dulce de leche caramel, honey, squash, brown sugar, pilloncillo sugar cone, maple, cinnamon, sweet potatoes, toasty coconut, chocolate hints, flan, pecans, nutmeg, coriander and citrus.

The flavors are of oak and whiskey. Vanilla, coconut, pumpkin pie, pecans, nutmeg, cinnamon, whipped creamed flan, dulce de leche caramel, sweetened condensed milk, maple, sweet potatoes, marshmallows, chocolate notes, graham crackers, pumpkin flesh in pilloncillo sugar cone syrup, milk, brown sugar, cloves, coriander, citrus and ginger pumpkin bread.

The aftertaste is oaky and sweet with pumpkin and bourbon whiskey lingering. This beer is boozy and is definitely a sipper. Do not let the moderate body fool you. The mouth feel on this is close to syrupy. YUM!!

Overall, this is way better than the original smashed pumpkin. I think I drank this way too fresh as the booze was not well hidden. It is not a problem at all as I rather enjoyed those sweet oak and whiskey notes. They compliment the pumpkin very well. This, however, needs sometime to sit in a cellar for a while in order to become exquisite or exceed expectations. Nevertheless, An awesome beer that has become on par with some of my other Barrel aged and non-barrel aged pumpkin beers I have reviewed here. 

Original Smashed Pumpkin Review:
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/smashed-pumpkin-by-shipyard-brewing/

Warlock (Blackwater Series) by Southern Tier Brewing

1233628_10101396321098290_36871604_n 1003928_10101396320893700_1998980934_n 1237635_10101396320838810_730696591_n 11219_10101396320803880_943768510_nRating: 4.85/5

Warlock (Blackwater Series) by Southern Tier Brewing is an 8.6% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Pumpkins and Natural Flavors

Label: 
Warlock is brewed to enchant your palate on its own and also to counterpoint our Imperial Ale, Pumking. Make your own black magic by carefully pouring this Imperial Stout into a goblet

Master of the Underworld
Dark and mysterious, the Blackwater Series is serious about high gravity. Reanimate your senses with Warlock’s huge roasted malt character, moderate carbonation and spicy pumpkin pie aroma
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Time for the fall and as fall approaches, so does the array of delicious pumpkin beers. I have tried many pumpkin beers last year and brought them forth here to review. This year I will try out a handful as well and may even review some of the past ones I have done. Warlock is actually supposed to the the Dark Sorcerer version of the Pumpking. Basically if Pumpking turned into a stout or close to it. This years release seems to be very promising

Aromas are of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate candy corn, pumpkin, pie crust, hazelnut, squash, cinnamon, nutmeg,vanilla, piloncillo sugar cone, buttery caramel popcorn, butterscotch, caramel, brown sugar, ginger bread, cloves and spices

The flavors are of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, roasted pumpkin seeds, lots of Halloween candy corn, butterscotch, caramel buttered popcorn notes, caramel, pumpkin notes, pumpkin spice, ginger bread, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, cinnamon, molasses, vanilla, mocha notes, cloves and hints of banana

The aftertaste leaves with pumpkin, chocolate candy corn sweetness and a bit of roasty notes that linger. While beer has a moderate level of sip-ability, good luck trying to find the alcohol. It is covered up in buttery Pumking goodness

Overall, to me this was better than Pumking. Mainly, the milk stout properties works very well with that buttery pumpkin pie and candy corn flavor making this one that more amazing. He beer is easier to find online so far as it is still trickling down the distribution nooks and crannies. If you like Pumking, you may actually enjoy this one. No down, an awesome Imperial Pumpkin stout

Iron Maiden Trooper by Robinsons Brewery

539732_10101395283048550_1985003758_nRating: 4/5

Iron Maiden Trooper by Robinsons Brewery is a 4.7% ABV Extra Special Bitter (ESB) Premium British Beer.

Label: 
Onward, Onward
Rode The 600…
The Charge Of The Light Brigade, which inspired the Iron Maiden song The Trooper, took place at the Battle Of Balaclava (1854) during the Crimean War when 600 British cavalry courageously charged the massed Russian artillery. This gallant but foolhardy assault resulted in a massive loss of live and came about due to a misunderstanding of an order given by the commanding officer, Lord Raglan.

Trooper is a premium British beer inspired by Iron Maiden and handcrafted at Robinsons brewery. Being a real ale enthusiast, vocalist Bruce Dickinson has developed a beer which has true depth of character. Malt flavours and citric notes from a unique blend of Bobec, Goldings and Cascade hops dominate this deep golden ale with a subtle hint of lemon.
www.ironmaidenbeer.com
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The long highly acclaimed and awaited Iron Maiden Beer, The Trooper has arrived in states. Listening to Iron Maiden since I was in grade school, there has been and important part of the band in my heart growing up. Not to mention the fact that I still listen to Iron Maiden today and pairs well with Naruto manga. So now to have the beer is an honor. Despite what I find about this beer, whether awesome, or gimmick, I do not really care. This beer exists, so be it! Live to fight/drink another day!!

Aromas are of caramel, pilsner grains, honey, toffee, biscuit bread, orange, herbal hop notes, berry iced tea and a bit of sweet grapefruit

The flavors are way better than a standard pilsner. Caramel, honey, biscuit bread, pilsner grain, earthy hop bitterness, lemon, peppercorn notes, berry green tea hints, cherry hints and toast bread.

The aftertaste is herbal and sweet with some pilsner and hop bitterness. Easy to drink, very refreshing and would definitely want more.

Overall, the beer is very good. The pilsner I have had was a Czech Pilsner called Staropramen and this one blew that one away. It has nothing to do with this being Iron Maiden either as good pilsners are hard to come by. Yes, this is an ESB, and it is not a pilsner. However, the English pilsner malt flavor is present. While the beer is not super ultra mind blowing, it is still very good. I would definitely want to buy some more just to have others try it. Very refreshing beer, and on that note, it is fucking Iron Maiden FTW!!

Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black by Allagash brewing

533992_10101395283597450_1145893645_n 1175423_10101395282349950_383455296_n 1175213_10101395281546560_1309066990_nRating: 5.75/5 *Bring on the chocolate

Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black by Allagash brewing is a 9.2% ABV Belgian Stout aged in Oak Bourbon Barrels

Description (Beeradvocate.com):
Our Belgian Style Stout, Black, aged for one year in bourbon barrels. The toffee,chocolate and coconut nose is followed by a smooth bitter chocolate and bourbon flavor. The finish is dry, roasted and warming. 
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First heard of this one several months ago. It was believed that back then this would only be released in small quantities from Portland Maine. Not very many online places will ship this. Some will depending on where you live. I hope we can expect more as the time comes. As I mentioned in other reviews about Belgian Stouts, these tend to be some of my favorite styles of beer. Allagash Black was very good after the many times I have tried it. Now for a Barrel Aged version? Well, we shall see how seductive this one is.

Aromas are of coffee, caramel, mocha notes, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, raisins, oak, bourbon hints, vanilla, slight coconut aroma, pecans, dark fruit, fudge brownie notes and cherry hints

The flavors are of rich milk chocolate, dark chocolate, coffee, mocha, pecans, hazelnut spread, dulce de leche caramel notes, bourbon notes, slight oak and smokey notes, vanilla, dark fruits like cherries, raisins, plums, chocolate cake batter, brownies, coconut notes, spicy cloves, anise and almond joy chocolate

The aftertaste leaves with a nice chocolate brownie sweetness along with smoke and oak notes to keep stuff balanced. Not in the realm of super strong barrel aged beers but the alcohol is super hidden. Definitely a sipper and meant to be enjoyed for a while

Overall, the beer freaking great. The bourbon, although subtle, brings forth new flavors as well brings about stronger flavors, especially the chocolate and caramel. The flavors get more complex as the beer warms up. Similar to the Folklore Pappy Van Winkle, this beer brings a whole lot to the style. The beer just starts to give out a great amount of coconut, chocolate, dark fruits, bourbon and caramel as it warms. Goes to show, that even for a barrel aged beer under 10% ABV, might be worth the price.

Original Allagash Black Review
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/allagash-black-by-allagash-brewing/

Windowsill by The Bruery

1233475_10101391540932780_1930520574_n 1237015_10101391541526590_197555696_n 1237018_10101391541312020_124420662_n 1240551_10101391541162320_2037504717_nRating: 4.85/5

Windowsill by The Bruery is a 10% ABV Fruit Ale brewed with Raspberries and Rhubarb and fermented in Oak barrels. A pie-inspired collaboration between The Bruery and Evan Kleiman of Good Food on KCRW

Label: 
Evan Kleiman, host of KCRW’s Good Food, was inspired to collaborate with Patrick Rue and The Bruery after enjoying a homemade Rhubarb Raspberry Pie. The rhubarb’s fruity sourness tempered with the sweetness of the fresh raspberries and the wheat crust, begged to be bottled up in the form of a bubbly beer. Keeping the original pie recipe in mind, specialty grains were chosen to mimic the crust, and rhubarb and raspberries were used in varying stages of the brewing and fermentation process. The resulting beer is reminiscent of a fresh country pie, cooling on a farmhouse windowsill.
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The pie beer. A lot of beers seems like they could taste like pie. Lots of pumpkin ones sure do. However, this one, is focused on being a pie in a bottle. Long anticipated wait for this beer when I first heard of it. Also, if you live in California, you can get this. The Bruery will send it to you:http://www.thebruerystore.com/p-107-windowsill.aspx

Aromas are of tart raspberries, blueberries, guava, pie crust, caramel, biscuit bread, honey,strawberries, brown sugar, rhubarb, herbal, cane sugar, flowers, hibiscus, grapes, rhubarb, vanilla and oak.

The flavors are of very tart raspberries, tangy and herbal rhubarb, cherries, guava notes, strawberries, vanilla, hints pie crust with whip cream, blueberries, hibiscus, herbs, spices, lemon peel, blackberry preserves, sugar cane, caramel, brown sugar, concord grapes, citrus, honey and butterscotch biscuits

The aftertaste is borderline tangy, tart and mildly sour with a bit of herbal bitterness and lingering fruity and bready sweetness. Like a tart pie. Definitely a sipper. The beer shows no alcohol in the flavor.

Overall, I have not have had rhubarb before, but I have heard it is very tart, if you can work with the tartness to find the sweet delicious raspberry and pie crust, then you have an awesome fucking beer here. A tart pie in a bottle. If you let it settle and warm up, you will enjoy this. Not quite a sour beer but definitely quite the tart one. If you love sours and love to play with flavors, this one is freaking amazing. Not overpowering sweet but enough tartness to make it even. If you are not a sour or tart beer person. As for me I really enjoyed this one. Sweet and tart at the same time.

Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat by Anheuser-Busch

1234532_10101391541796050_1081832293_nRating: 2.5/5

Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat by Anheuser-Busch is a 5.2% ABV Belgian-Style Wheat Ale brewed with Pumpkin and Spices

DESCRIPTION:
Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat is a traditional Belgian-style wheat ale brewed with ripe pumpkins and a variety of autumnal spices, including nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, for a refreshingly smooth beer that fully captures all the flavors of fall.
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Shock Top pumpkin wheat has been one of those beers that I usually have avoided for quite a while Mainly as many have advised that the beer is decent but not the best pumpkin beer out there. I would agree, but I have not tried it, until now that is. Last year I did a lot of pumpkin beers, so this year to make it fair, I also want to review those I missed out on. So here’s to the fall 

Aromas are of pumpkin spice, caramel notes, coriander, citrus, oranges, a bit of ginger bread notes and brown sugar

The flavors are of cereal grains, citrus notes, light pumpkin spice note, coriander, ginger bread hints, cinnamon, clove notes, hints of nutmeg and lemon peel

The after taste is of wheat, grains and hardly any pumpkin in the finish. Easy to drink but not quite balanced.

Overall it is decent, but not the greatest example of a pumpkin beer. The notes are here and there but there is no balance and the wheat only makes it partially work. I have have had way better pumpkin beers in the past. Even better Shocktop beers before as well. It is not a terrible beer, just something worth trying once. I would almost say a good gateway to pumpkin beers, although I would definitely would recommend others. I think the problem is that wheat orange and pumpkin sweetness only works partially. It is like saying have a peanut butter and ketchup sandwich or peanut butter and mayo sandwich.

Hell or High Watermelon Wheat by 21st Amendment

971970_10101391541606430_139708255_nRating: 2.85/5

Hell or High Watermelon Wheat by 21st Amendment is a 4.9% ABV Wheat Ale brewed with watermelons

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Unfiltered, American-style wheat beer. Brewed with 400 pounds of fresh watermelons.
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This beer was a gift by one of my friends who went down to Lake Tahoe in Nevada. I have never heard of a wheat beer made with watermelon. I have tried this one before but this is the first I give it a shot a review.

Aromas are of wheat bread, cereal, pilsner grains, coriander, hint of plant and watermelon

The flavors are of wheat, cereal grains, coriander, watermelon notes, biscuit bread, honey, citrus, lemon and almost like red bean paste notes

The after taste is malty, grainy and sweet. The beer is refreshing though and easy to drink.

Overall it was a decent beer. Seems closer to a lager with watermelon flavor. Nothing complex or overpowering. This is probably worth trying once.

The Zombies Take Manhattan Imperial Zombie Killer by B. Nektar Meadery

1235139_10101385075025510_1873119161_n 601378_10101385076163230_1171027814_n 598511_10101385077340870_357269747_nRating: 5.25/5 *Mead Rating

The Zombies Take Manhattan Imperial Zombie Killer by B. Nektar Meadery is a 12%ABV Imperial Mead fermented with Apple, honey and cherries added then aged in rye whiskey barrels

Label: 
We thought we had them under control. The antidote was working. But life, or even death, finds a way. After a year of successful treatments, their bodies stopped responding and grew nearly twice their normal size. Now they’ve overrun the city. I fear it’s too late for mankind. They’re coming… B. Afraid
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Thus begins, the second chapter in the story of the zombie killers. Equipped with a sweeter and stronger tasting arsenal, I am sure will be awesome. This is the second Mead I get to try and the barrel aged version of the one I had reviewed which was very delicious. Check out the first chapter here: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/zombie-killer-cherry-cyser-by-b-nektar-meadery/

Aromas are of vanilla, strong cinnamon, apples, cherries, raspberries, rye bread notes, whiskey, green tea, chamomile, hibiscus, caramel, mint, flowers, brown sugar and oak

The flavors are of rye bread, rye whiskey (not over powering at all but delicious), apples, dark cherry and raspberry yogurt, cherry cobbler, vanilla, cinnamon, mint, chamomile, hibiscus, butterscotch, slight smokey from the oak, pine tree, spices, brown sugar and flowers.

The after taste is of oak, cinnamon, apples, cherry and rye taste. No alcohol presence in the taste, going down, Nothing!! This is way to easy too drink, way too easy for it’s own good. I said it’s own good, not mine. If were to drink 6 of these I would become a zombie and I wouldn’t even know it

Overall, it went past the original. The insane part of this mead is that the whiskey is very hidden. So hidden that it is kind of dangerous as it is very smooth. No alcohol burn no nothing. The only part that is strong is the rich and delicious flavors. The second and possibly the last chapter in the zombie series for B. Nektar brings forth some really undead and unbelievable tale of a mead. Let’s just put it this way, for 12%ABV, I get slighter alcohol strength to some degree in like let’s say barrel aged beers. For those I don’t, they did an awesome job with their complex blend. This may not be super complex like a special Barrel aged stout for example, but it becomes champion of fooling the population. No wonder the zombies took over. 

Raven’s Eye (Redux) by Eel River Brewing

1235477_10101384045563560_1551061574_nRating: 5/5

Raven’s Eye (Redux) by Eel River Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Organic Russian Imperial Stout

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
A rich roasty brew with a deep “espresso” character. Originally brewed for the Imperial Court in Russia, this stout is a warm festive drink made with the cold Russian Winters in mind. This complex stout is brewed with a combination of nine domestic and imported malts. Only the finest Pacific Northwest hops are used to provide the perfect balance in our award winning beer.
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I have reviewed this beer in the past and have tried this atleast several times. To me, this was, and will always be, Black Xantus Evil cousin. I decided to another review before the release of the new label (http://www.eelriverbrewing.com/sites/eelriverbrewing.com/files/ravens_0.jpg). This is the same beer that I enjoy so long ago when I first started trying different beers and it has made a nice comeback this year.

Aromas roasted coffee, mocha, dark chocolate, pecans, hazelnut nectar, bits of dark fruits like currants, raisins, caramel, licorice, earthy hops, brown sugar and molasses

The flavors are of rich sweet Irish cream like coffee, hazelnut nectar, mocha, rich currants, raisins, dark cherries, pecans, walnuts, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, molasses, slight licorice notes, slight oak flavors, vanilla, caramel, chocolate fudge brownies with caramel on top, pecans, cherry and raisin syrup, earthy hop bitterness near the end and sweet toffee.

The aftertaste leaves stronger with coffee, chocolate and dark fruit with a slight bitterness at the end. This beer is moderate to sip drinkability, heavy but smooth. Deliciously balanced. No alcohol presence anywhere

Overall, I don’t have to say it, this is a great beer. One of my old time favorites and still around after 2 years. It is one of those over looked beers that really should not be. Truly one of the best dessert beers our there. It will always be the cousin of the Black Xantus, the unbarrel aged epic lore. Feels like visiting and old relative 

2011 Review: (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/ravens-eye-imperial-stout-by-eel-river/)
Black Xantus cousin…Second time trying the Raven’s Eye Imperial stout by Eel River brewing. One of the very few breweries who have the USDA Certified Organic Trademark. Also one of the best Organics I have ever tried. How is this the Black Xantus cousin (Aside from being another dark bird)? or in a sense, why does it seem similar at least to me? Well this stout is a Coffee dominant chocolatey stout just like it. However, other than being less strong, there are more other flavors that Black Xantus does not have that are actually worth trying. There are flavors of Hazel nut, mocha, bread, dark fruits, caramel, milk texture, and some minor hoppy taste. Will it be good for you to try?? Well only if your into stouts and sweet bitter coffee ones. I sure enjoyed it myself that I had to do a ROUND2 review as the last time I tried it was sometimes last year. Will you actually find something delicious in this beer or will you say to this …Nevermore!! >:)..You be the judge. It is a California brew found at Bevmo

Zombie Killer Cherry Cyser by B. Nektar Meadery

1235004_10101384039914880_1366539685_n 1238924_10101384041107490_727514236_n 1185353_10101384044974740_812140037_nRating: 5/5 *Mead Rating

Zombie Killer Cherry Cyser by B. Nektar Meadery is a 5.5% ABV Mead made with apples, honey and cherry juice

Label:
Dedicated to the freaks and geeks! What started as a top-secret experiment with Michigan honey, cherries and apple cider became a viral epidemic. It won’t be easy to service, so grab your weapons and don’t forget this bottle for backup! Serve cold…. zombies hate the cold…. B. Ware GrrrHaarrhUrrgh…
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So here is my first attempt a reviewing a Mead. A Mead (according to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mead) is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey and water. Honey and water can also be added to a grain mash then strained after fermentation. Some people add spices, fruits and other ingredients to create different types of meads. So in the list of different type of Alcoholic beverages, this is basically a honey wine. Sweet stuff, expect it that way

Aromas are of apple jacks, cinnamon, cherry, flowers, vanilla, honey, hibiscus, chamomile, grapes, raspberries, cranberries, light biscuit notes and mint

Flavors are of rich tart black cherry yogurt, apples, cinnamon, vanilla notes, honey, Jamaica (Hibiscus Flowers drink), chamomile tea notes, elderflower notes, biscuit bread notes, raspberries and cherry cobbler at the end.

Aftertaste is quite sweet with honey lingering and tart cherry presence. Very easy drinking, sweet but not ultra sweet. The honey and spices give it a nice mellow flavor which doesn’t over power with too much sweetness. The level of sweetness actually seems very natural

Overall, this is a very amazing, what can I say. I could drink this all the time. It is almost like borderline cider and wine but rich in honey. Find this in time for the apocalypse before it is over and they are all gone. The Zombies have taken over Manhattan is the next chapter in this crazy episode of Mead releases of the apocalypse. Don’t Miss it, it will be awesome!!!

Maiden The Shade by Ninkasi Brewing

1236326_10101382483139670_1161652118_nRating: 4.25/5

Maiden The Shade by Ninkasi Brewing is 6.8% ABV Specialty India Pale Ale

Label: 
In salute to the playful side of summer, we had fun with this beer! Maiden the Shade has a big robust hop character from the liberal use of 7 different varieties of hops. It s completed with a light colored malt backbone to stay in balance. Kick back and enjoy!
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This is the first Ninkasi beer I have ever tried. Recently Ninkasi started to show up locally at a very prominent rate. They bring forth some interesting sound beers. I will try and review a couple as I come across them. For now, I picked this one up because back in 2010 I had remembered this label. It was a beer that had the Iron Maiden font and and while it may no be the Iron Maiden beer which came out earlier this year, it has some interesting influences. 

Aromas are of floral,herbal and piney hops, peppercorn hints, tropical fruit like pineapple, mango, kiwi, grapefruit, citrus, honey and biscuit bread

The flavors are of citrus, flowers, grapefruit, piney and grassy hops, passion fruit, mango, pineapple, kiwi, biscuit, peppercorn hints, biscuit bread, caramel notes and peach notes.

Aftertaste is tropical sweet with a bit of hoppy bitterness. Quite the refreshing IPA and easy to moderate drinkability

Overall this is a very good IPA. This IPA bring out floral and tropical notes from the range of hop flavor spectrum. Those that enjoy these aspects as well as a nice dose of bitterness will enjoy this one. Quite the interesting first review for one of the Ninkasi beers. Very good stuff.

Humdinger Series Belgo Sutra by Magic Hat Brewing

1239606_10101382481388180_30846482_n 1185889_10101382480015930_645808691_nRating: 4.65/5

Humdinger Series Belgo Sutra by Magic Hat Brewing is an 8.2% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with Figs and Dates

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION (Ratebeer.com)
A complex Belgian Strong Ale brewed with figs, dates, and dark candi sugar. Throw out your inhibitions and lose yourself in intense pleasure.

Official ddescriptionmagichat.com/elixirs/belgosutra)
Beer has never known such sensuality as with Belgo Sutra. Brewed with six different malts and fermented over figs and dates, this Belgian-Style Dark Ale offers a deep complexity that caresses the palate to a scream-inducing climax.
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Despite the fact that the ratings on the websites are moderate to good about this beer, I still wanted to seek out for 2 reasons. Great label art but also, I am a fan of Belgian Dark Ales. Also, this beer is mainly sold in the east coast so it was no easy task to find. I had to resort to online sources. 

Aromas are of dark fruits like raisins, plums, caramel, chocolate notes, cherry, earthy spices, bread, candi sugar, figs, dates, cinnamon, brown sugar, cloves and banana notes.

The flavors are of figs, and dates, plum notes, raisins, candi sugar, walnuts, maple, cinnamon, clove spice, rye bread, pears, apricots, molasses, chocolate notes, bananas, caramel, cinnamon, brown sugar, cloves, lemon meringue and slight cherry notes. 

The after taste stays figgy, nutty, notes of residual raisin and caramel notes. Alcohol seems to be a little present in the fragrance but not as much in the taste.

Overall the beer is very good. A very nice strong dark ale close to a quad even, which I think should be considered a quad. I does a very good job in a lot of aspects, but you can definitely find way better Belgian strong darks out there that are more common. Not that this should be passed up though. If you can find it, get it as it is pretty limited and worthy of taste merit.

Raspberry Brown by Lost Coast Brewery

1176190_10101372967923240_517940443_nRating: 4.2/5

Raspberry Brown by Lost Coast Brewery is a Brown Ale brewed with natural raspberry flavor

Label: 
Brown Ale with natural raspberry flavor. A chocolate Brown Ale with the essence of ripe red raspberries, made with malted barley, chocolate and caramel malts, hops, and natural raspberry flavor. Raspberry Brown is perishable. Keep refrigerated and drink when fresh.
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Bottled 04/26/2013. May not be as fresh, but I will give it the benefit of a doubt. You see, I picked this up for review because during one of my outings when trying different beers, I came across this one. I have had other Lost Coast beers but have not had a chance to put these on my blog. They are are pretty good beers. This one was very rich in raspberry

Aromas are of chocolate, rich raspberry tootsie rolls, caramel, toffee, pecans, hazelnuts and brown sugar.

Flavors are of dark chocolate, raspberries, bitter coffee notes, caramel, tootsie rolls and tootsie pops, hazelnuts, cherry candy, biscuit bread, butterscotch, buttered toast, pecans, milk chocolate notes and toffee.

Aftertaste is kind of like tootsie rolls and remains for a bit before fading, easy to drink, sweet mostly.

Overall, I liked this beer on what it was meant for. A sweet chocolate dessert. Maybe not super complex like some of the more awesome raspberry or cherry beers (Yes I am looking at you Bourbon County Cherry Rye :P) but it gets the job done. When I first drank this I liked the sweetness of it, maybe not the complexity but the sweetness. It is no overpowering but easy to drink with mild to moderate flavors. To me it was very good and I am sticking with it. Creamy, fruity, sweet and mildly velvety. Delicious stuff if you choose to see it that way. Love my sweet beers .

Bourbon Peach by Unity Vibration

1176279_10101372966650790_185815930_nRating: 5/5 *Kombucha Rating

Bourbon Peach by Unity Vibration is a 7% ABV Kombucha Wild Ale brewed with peaches and aged in bourbon barrels

Label: 
Our Bourbon Barrel Aged Kombucha has double the rich, delicious bourbon flavor as it ages with juicy, whole, organic peaches. This unique beverage is a culmination of the ancient process of kombucha brewing, paired with the newer brewing process of a uniquely American high gravity ale.

Reminiscent of summer campfires and refreshing swims in the great lakes, out kombucha beer is always unfiltered, raw and living. Taste the freshness and distinctive flavors you can only find with this process and unique combination
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First thing to note about this beverage, is that it is very important and I mean, VERY IMPORTANT!! to open near a sink. The moment I opened this beer, a lot of the pressure was released causing me to lose some of the liquid  . Fortunately I saved a good portion of it. This the first time I try a Kombucha beer so I will try my best at reviewing this one.

Kombucha (昆布茶 or Japanese “Kelp Tea”), as referred to here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kombucha ) is a special type of effervescent fermented tea using bacteria and yeast as part of the fermentation. It was definitely effervescent since the bubbles would not stop even as type this. This sucker is really alive!! This also says it could be good for health. Well, that depends I guess. I cannot make any claims on that. Most Kombuchas are non alcoholic. This one is. So I guess it depends on the fermentation process used by Unity Vibration

Aromas of this are of mushrooms, apricot, funky notes, sourdough, vanilla, oak, peaches, lemon grass, vinegary grassy notes, pears, flowers and other fruits. The sour and funky fragrances come more across than the sweeter fruity side here.

The Flavors are… wow!… I was expecting this to be as strong as the nose. Not at all like the nose. The vinegary sour notes are only in the nose. The taste is much much sweeter with very nice tangy notes. Sweet Peaches, apples, pears, tangy cherry, sugar cubes, vanilla, slight oak, mushrooms, lemonade, grassy and vegetable notes, black tea, slight funky notes, sour dough bread, honey, peach preserves, light bourbon notes, maple syrup, brown sugar, coriander, wheat and grapefruit juice.

After taste us pretty dry leaving a little bit of a sugary plant feel. It tingles going down but easy to drink.

Overall was at awe as to how different this beer was. It somewhat defies logic in taste and aromatic expectations. They seem very different. This is a very unique forth coming creation into the craft beer movement. I am not sure if it should be categorized as beer as it falls into the realms of beer/cider/wine/tea/mead and lambics. Very unique stuff and very delicious in its own category.

Lips of Faith series Coconut Curry Hefeweizen by New Belgium

1240347_10101372958018090_1866690177_nRating: 4.3/5

Lips of Faith series Coconut Curry Hefeweizen by New Belgium is an 8% ABV Hefeweizen brewed with coconut, herbs and spices

Label: 
The list of spices in this coconut curry hefeweizen is almost as long as the list of awards bestowed on home brewer, Remin Bonnart. Together we brewed up a traditional German-style wheat beer whose fruity estersand spicy phenols pair perfectly with the spicy and fruity character of curry spices. Pour yourself a plateful.
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So here is the fall release of the the Lips of faith series. A coconut curry hefeweizen. Indeed a unique sort of beer that probably has not been done before. I have had other coconut beers and the curry beer Indra Kunindra from Ballast point. Very good indeed. This brings forth something different though, let us see where this goes

Aromas are very unique and very different. Citrus, curry, toasted coconut, oak, campfire, spicy chiles, cinnamon coriander, bananas, cloves, walnuts, chicken and gravy, biscuit bread, herbs, spices, floral burnt incense, citrus and lime.

The flavors are definitely like curry, rich toasted coconut, marshmallow, coriander, cumin, cayanne pepper, citrus, lime, cinnamon, tangerine, banana, clove, pecans, biscuit bread, caramel, chicken and gravy hints, ginger bread, flowers, burning incense, barbeque sauce hints, spices of India and mango.

Aftertaste is almost floral, bready, lemon and spicy. It is quite the easy sipper. Definitely take your time with this one. It is very odd and different. 

Overall I am amazed as to how different this beer is. I have had a curry beer before which was more chocolate and coffee curry https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/indra-kunindra-by-ballast-point/. This one is taking a lighter style like the heffeweizen and doing something very different things. Very good beer for sure but very unique and different. May be off putting to some. A beer that taste like a fancy Indian dish?? unheard of.. LMAO!!! Speaking of which, wonder how well it would fare with a nice curry dish. Could we reach the utmost highest levels of Nirvana? Possibly, if not, this definitely fits as one of the more exotic beer pairings of taste, art and experience, ciyarsa !!! 

Cho-tokkyu (The Cider “Super Express/Bullet Train”) by Crispin Cider Company

582061_10101370715537040_1152586743_nRating: 4.8/5 *Cider Rating

Cho-tokkyu or Choutokkyu (The Cider “Super Express/Bullet Train”) Artisanal Reserve by Crispin Cider Company is a 6.5% ABV Cider Fermented in Sake yeast and organic rice syrup.

Label: 
Naturally fermented with authentic Sake yeast using a premium blend of fresh pressed apple juice, not from concentrate, with no added malt, spirit, or grape alcohol. A racy, high-speed cider that remains crisp and well balanced. Cloudy and straw colored with an exotic polished complexity. Cho-tokkyu is clean, vibrant with an authentic dry sake finish and a distinctive apple backbone. Cho-tokkyu Artisanal Reserve cloudy hard cider is unfiltered and uses racked apple wine smoothed with pure organic, gluten free, rice syrup. No added colorants, sorbate or benzoate preservatives. Best served cool to cold. As with all our Artisanal Reserves, give a full bottoms-up tilt and swirl to disperse unfiltered apple-wine sediment evenly.
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Next in the line of sought after ciders I have tried. Many of them awesome, like the ones that use Irish Stout and Trappist yeast and even the Whiskey barrel aged ones. Simply phenomenal and delicious. Yes it may be made by Coors, but Ciders tend to be on a league of their own. This one is made with Sake yeast. I have tried many sake before I am familiar with the taste and the smell. Also, this beer unlike many ciders I have seen is actually more clearer white than yellow. Almost a Lemonade kind of color,

The aromas are of sake for sure, rice, apples, vanilla notes, sugar dough, and hints of coconut. Not much to the aromas but these little aromas a pretty dead on.

The sake notes in the flavor definitely shine as well as the bit of milky rice and vanilla notes. The cider has flavors of apples, slight earthy bitterness, melons, small hints of coconut but extremely subtle, chia seed juice, citrus hints, cinnamon, tapioca pudding, sweet bread and honey.

The aftertaste is pretty dry leaving only a little bit of the apple, rice and milky coconut aftertaste. Not much alcohol to talk about either but it definitely goes down smooth and is quite refreshing

Overall it is a very good cider. Maybe not as complex as the other ones but this one started getting a lot better as it warmed up. Some more notes of like doughy red bean ice cream, tapioca and milky coconut started to come out which made it very enjoyable. Hell, even some horchata notes in there too  . Definitely a different cider for sure.

Tetravis (Barrel Room Collection) by Samuel Adams

1175272_10101370713002120_1469488660_nRating: 5/5

Tetravis (Barrel Room Collection) by Samuel Adams is a 10.2% ABV Belgian Quadruple (Quad) Aged in Oak Barrels with Rich notes of Currants, Raisins and Clove

Label: 
Bold & rich, this enveloping quad builds its force and character through interlacing layers of flavor.

Its deep complexity begins with a molasses sweetness with notes of dark fruits like raisin and fig and develop further with an undercurrent of tart spice from its distinctive Belgian yeast for a truly transfixing brew.

One of our brewers’ favorite places to experiment is in the barrel room at our Boston Brewery. It’s here that each of our Samuel Adams Barrel Room Collection brews was born.

To lean more about this unique set of ales visit SamuelAdams.com
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Been looking for this quad all year long to go with my last review, the Belgian Thirteenth Hour Stout. I am a big fan of quadruples, so a beer made by Sam Adams I definitely could not pass up. Especially a Barrel Aged one.

Aromas start off with nice dulce de leche caramel notes, vanilla, apricot, plums, raisin bread pudding, brown sugar, candi sugars, toffee, slight oak notes, banana, currants, some clove notes, molasses and figs.

The flavors are where it’s at. Reminiscent of Trois Pistoles, rich dark fruits like raisins, figs, plums, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, port wine, chocolate notes, dates, molasses, rum notes, cola notes, pecans, bananas, cloves, phenols, oak wood notes, apricots, pears, brown sugar and cinnamon.

At 10.2% No alcohol present in the taste. Aftertaste ends a little dry with some notes of the raisins and caramel making you want to drink more, even if it is a sipper.

Overall I definitely enjoyed this one. The Barrel room series so far has been nothing but splendid stuff. Something about this beer really reminds me of a St. Bernardus and Trois Pistoles hybrid. Definitely more Trois Pistoles. Maybe Sam Adams and Unibroue use similar Belgian yeast?? Regardless, this is fantastic stuff. Belgian beer lovers may enjoy this one for sure. Even if I can find Trois Pistoles easier, this is definitely an awesome beer.