White Chocolate (2013 Release) by The Bruery

1392755_10101469956028300_1900644049_n 65615_10101469955993370_1841643671_nRating: 6/5* This years is same score as the last

White Chocolate (2013 Release) by The Bruery is a 14.75% ABV Wheat Wine Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels with Cacao Nibs and Vanilla Beans. 

This sumptuous version of our barrel-aged wheat wine style ale has an addition of fresh vanilla beans and TCHO cacao nibs.

Last year, I reviewed white chocolate, essentially the Polar opposite of the Chocolate Rain which can be aged up to 5 years. This year, I wanted to give it another shot as it was released more frequently but to California. If you are able to get your hands on this one, definitely give it a shot. One of my top favorites

Aromas are of vanilla, milk chocolate, white chocolate, oak, dulce de leche caramel, oak, coconut. Citrus, banana, orange, bourbon, tropical fruit, hazelnut, pecans, cinnamon, marzipan, almond, butterscotch, wine grapes, pears, raisins and apricots

The flavors are of white chocolate, vanilla, chocolate, orange, coriander, bourbon , coconut, pears, peaches, wine grapes, cinnamon, pecans, hazelnut, brown sugar, oak, marzipan, almonds, raisins, tart apples, pineapple, tropical fruit, dulce de leche caramel and butterscotch

The aftertaste leaves off with that nice oak and white chocolate goodness with some nice tart and citrus flavors. Definitely a sipper who’s alcohol becomes more and more hidden as it warms up

Overall, still one of my most favorite top Bruery beers. This year’s though, definitely shines more on the white oak and citrus side, at first. Temari plays hard to get second round (2013), so let it warm up and as it goes, you bet damn right you get the white chocolate. Highly recommended if you love Barrel aged beers no doubt.

Anime Corner: Temari Sabakuno from the Naruto series is one bad ass female ninja. One of my favorite all time Anime characters. She is from the Sand Clan of the ninja world, sister to their leader Gaara, Naruto’s close friend. Temari can seem rude and tomboyish on the outside and very cold hearted at times. Sometimes without a care in the world except when it comes to her family and friends. She takes charge and doesn’t hesitate to risk it all. This beer is a representative of her, not just in the colors of the label, the even if she may be harsh in the beginning (tart flavors) she has been known to open up and show her true side of compassion for others (White Chocolate, Vanilla, Cacao) especially her friend Shikamaru, the smart ninja from the Leaf Village (Naruto’s Clan). The part of the tropical and sunny citrus flavors are in terms of her hair (Pineapple, Tropical, wheat wine) and the dessert (Orange, Sunny, citrus, oak). So if you experience her sharp and tart at first, let her warm up to you, you will find the true White Chocolate you’ve been waiting for.

Vanilla Oatis by Ninkasi Brewing

558547_10101465093652540_795564566_nRating: 4.45/5

Vanilla Oatis by Ninkasi Brewing is a 7.2% ABV Oatmeal Stout brewed with Vanilla Beans

A delicious Oatmeal Stout with just enough hops to balance the copious quantities of dark roasted malts, oatmeal for a creamy smooth drinkability, and whole vanilla beans for a rich complexity. To achieve this higher level of decadence, we added whole vanilla beans to the final stage of fermentation – the same process we use to dry hop a beer.

Ninkasi brewing has been popping up in California really recently. They have been releasing some nice beers worth trying. So far, this is the second beer I try. I will pick up more as I can but so far everything is going pretty good.

Aromas are of Milk Chocolate, caramel, mocha, hints or raisins and dark fruits, earthy hops, oatmeal cookie notes, coffee, roasted barley and oats, pecans, dark cherry notes and walnuts

Flavors are of Vanilla, roasted oats, milk and dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, earthy hops, hints if dark cherry and raisins, notes of nutty pecans and and walnuts, caramel, mocha, roasted oats and notes of oatmeal cookies

The after taste is roasty and bitter with just enough vanilla beans to maintain and balanced finish. Moderate drinkability with no alcohol presence

Overall, the beer is very good. Without the Vanilla beans to keep everything in check, the roasted notes and earthy hops would most likely over power the beer. If not for the Vanilla, it be a decent stout but the vanilla beans just make it way more delicious. Worth trying once.

Anime Corner: This is Nia Teppelin from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagan. In the show, she had not revealed her this true form to her friends and this was because this form (Anti-Spiral) of hers was hidden dormant until the second half of the series. In this form, she was brainwashed and had to do everything the anti-spiral threat told her to do including lead the world to destruction. The beer comparison is complemented not just the label to her colors in the artwork, but the Vanilla it self. Just like the vanilla is used to keep stuff in check for the rest of the roasted character of the beer, Her will and love (Vanilla) for the main character Simon, allowed her to break control of the anti-Spirals hold and regain her consciousness back keeping her self balanced and in full control. At that point, she went back to her friends to help fight off the anti-Spiral threat

Optímator by Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

1383015_10101459463086240_901127990_nRating: 5/5

Optímator by Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu is a 7.6% ABV German DoppelBock

The classic German dark beer, bottom fermented ’Doppel Bock’. Full bodied with a deep dark color and rich roasted malt flavor. 

Supposedly only available in USA, at least not in Germany.

First had this beer with several coworkers on draft at the Red Lion in Downtown LA after visiting a brewery, which I will not name here because they were good in their own awesome way (Love that Sunny-D beer). As I remember it, it was so impacting that I had to try it again. From the makers of the delicious Franziskaner Dunkel which to me is the best dark heff in the world, aside from Weistephaner dunkel. Spaten makes an awesome doppelbock that attempts to take on what to me is one of the best Doppelbocks, Celebrator Doppelbock. They did a damn good job of it too as I remember. I was able to pick up a bottle locally and wanted to do a review. This is a common beer and can be picked up in many craft beer or specialty liquor shops. Even Downey Liquor in Downey California has it and they seem like a generic liquor store

Aromas are of rich figs, caramel, cinnamon, milk, sweet potatoes and yams boiled with piloncillo (Mexican sugar cone), vanilla and cinnamon sticks, rich toffee, raisins, hazelnut, cherries, oak, molasses, and chocolate

Flavors are of figs, raisins, caramel, cloves, raisin bread, cherries, rich molasses, cinnamon, sweet potato pie, yams, piloncillo, vanilla, cinnamon, toffee, hazelnut, chocolate, pecans, biscuit bread, brown sugar, whiskey notes, maple and oak

Aftertaste is of raisins, yams, cherries, vanilla, earthiness and piloncillo. Easy to moderate drinking on this one and has intense flavors even where the 7.6% ABV is nowhere to be found. 

Overall it is a damn great beer! Surely close to Celebrator in my opinion but greater to the sweeter yams than celebrator though. I will never forget how awesome it was on draft nor will I forget how much I liked this one. In terms of the style, this one is right next to my favorite Doppelbocks followed by the La Trappe Doppelbock and the Alesmith Decadence 2013 Doppelbock. Freaking unbelievable how the European beers always pull me in. Just so you know, My top 2 best common beers in the world are not even from the United States, leave that to Belgium and Canada for starting me up. Optimator is a definite try multiple times not doubt. Should be an “Octoberfest beer” requirement for sure

6 Geese-A-Laying by The Bruery

1393959_10101459462148120_775351026_nRating: 4.85/5

6 Geese-A-Laying by The Bruery is an 11.5% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with Cape Gooseberries

The Sixth verse of our “Twelve Beers of Christmas” Saga incorporates tangy cape gooseberries into a subtle Belgian-style dark ale. Happy Holidays!

6 Geese-A-Laying is suitable for aging up to 6 years (soon after the release of “Twelve Drummers Drumming”)

The only way, so far, to get this beer is to buy it from the Bruery directly (online or locally) before they hit the distribution line as we approach Christmas. I wanted to do a review, a nightmare before Christmas and before the nightmare, Halloween. Any time is a good time to do a review. Christmas just rolled in early this year.

Aromas are of dark fruits, plums, caramel, pineapple, boysenberries, deep dark cherries, bananas, clove spice, raisin bread pudding, figs, citrus, cantaloupe, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla

Flavors are of Dark cherries, plums, raisins, brown sugar, rich dark cherries, blackberries, blue berries, oranges, pineapple, apricot, peach, cantaloupe melon, peppercorns, vanilla, caramel, toffee, rye bread, raisin bread pudding, cinnamon, gooseberries, bananas, clove spice, coriander spice, fruit cake, ginger, all spice, and nutmeg

Aftertaste leaves a nice clovey spiced, tangy berry, cinnamon, dark fruits, berries and fruit cake taste. It is surely a sipper but close to moderate drinkability. Especially since you cannot find the alcohol

Overall a very good and awesome Christmas offering from the Bruery. There is a lot going on and the tangy flavors are only like a push so that the beer is not overly sweet. Very delicious. Nice way to end the year. Next year will be another year for craft beer and the everlasting expansion of breweries that bring us such great beers. This beer is a very nice beer to have, it has so much good Christmasy stuff going here.

Bombay Berserker by Clown Shoes Brewing

1378366_10101459458091250_1244609620_n 1394467_10101459457966500_2016632879_n 1378509_10101459458061310_1318389965_n 1384270_10101459458081270_1580768352_n 1380249_10101459458131170_383120147_nRating: 4.75/5

Bombay Berserker by Clown Shoes Brewing is a 10% ABV Indian-Style Chocolate Imperial Stout

This exotic stout is a relative of Chocolate Sombrero, with the Mexican spices replaced by the flavors of chai tea, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla. Dear head banging craft beer drinkers, please remember, “Our love for you is like a truck… BERSERKER!”

Recently releases in many markets. You can get this one online but if you live in California, it may come out soon as clown shoes beers are becoming more famous here. I was able to get this one online though. Clown shoes has many series. This one is the next follow up to the Chocolate Sombrero and Luchador en Fuego

Aromas are of ginger, chocolate abuelita hot chocolate, caramel, vanilla, chai tea, non spicy curry, dark chocolate, cinnamon, cardamom, bakers chocolate and molasses

Flavors are of Bakers chocolate, caramel, vanilla, roasted malts, mocha, chait tea, hints of curry but nothing overwhelming, cinnamon, chocolate abuelita, molasses and brown sugar

The aftertaste leaves with minor spiciness, hints chocolate, vanilla, mocha and roasty notes. A moderate to sipping drinkability beer with alcohol well hidden. Pretty balanced and nothing too overwhelming

Overall it is a very good beer in it’s own unique way. While I started to taste some of the spices from Chocolate sombrero, it turned the other way around. In good way of course. It it is nothing overwhelming like the other Curry beers I have had like Indra Kunindra or the coconut curry from New Belgium. It definitely has its spices under control. I think it is not a full flavor bashing beer but the offering of variety of these flavors and balance is well hit. Very solid beer and yes, worth the try for damn sure. Especially since you cannot feel the 10% ABV. If this was Barrel Aged, well it would definitely heighten this to a new level of Rock Stardom!!

the GreatER Pumpkin Heavy Seas Uncharted Waters series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing


Rating: 5.2/5

the GreatER Pumpkin Heavy Seas Uncharted Waters series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing is a 10% ABV Imperial Pumpkin ale brewed with spices and aged in Bourbon Barrels

As fall approaches and thoughts turn to Halloween, we roll out the Great’ER Pumpkin. A coppery ale with forward notes of vanilla oak and flavors of Autumnal spice, the ale is brewed with actual pumpkin and imported English malts. Pairs well with turkey legs, sweet potatoes, and an evening looking at the stars…

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.

Available this season in certain places. Online, if you live in California. This is the 3rd beer I try in the Uncharted Waters series and the 3rd Clipper Brewing beer overall. All have been pleasantly awesome. This is their Bourbon pumpkin beer. I have tried many pumpkin beers with ranges of many different flavors. When they start to get into the Barrel Aged category, they become very awesome and generally, something very awesome and different. Some key BBA pumpkin beers have been able to surpass my expectations while the regular ones are still the best at what they do individually.

Aromas of this beer are loaded with oak, vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie, pumpkin flesh, coconut, chocolate, bourbon, coriander spice, ginger bread, fruit cake, flan, brown sugar and cloves

The flavors are of pumpkin flesh, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, vanilla, oak, caramel, nutmeg cinnamon, bourbon, coconut, light matured banana, clove spice, milk, chocolate notes, rice pudding, piloncillo (Mexican hard sugar cone), raisin ginger bread, flan, brown sugar, butterscotch, graham crackers, pumpkin flavored almond joy and pumpkin rocky road ice cream.

After taste leaves very nice pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, banana, clove spice, chocolate hints and bourbon notes. Good luck finding the alcohol in this one. The beer is not full bodied yet it is a sipper.

Overall, an awesome Barrel aged pumpkin serving. Almost on par with Uinta Oak Jacked, although this one has less mature banana notes white this one takes the pumpkin and bourbon and plays with them extremely well. Heavy Seas series makes some damn good beers. Need to get me some more. Although online. If you can get this beer, have at it. If not, take Oak Jacked. These beers are similar, except while one focuses on banana notes, this one got the coconut and chocolate going for it. The extra credit well deserved here. Something about their brewing process gives some delicious chocolate. So far the 3 beers I have had from this series has shown me this. Why? Could be my senses playing tricks. Regardless, very awesome beer.


Shift by New Belgium Brewing

1374294_10101457377316140_1084098931_nRating: 3.95/5

Shift by New Belgium Brewing is a 5% ABV American Pale Lager

New Belgium employee-owners work in shifts to brew to life world-class beers. Those efforts are rewarded daily with a shared end-of-shift beer. We’re passing that welcomed occasion onto consumers in this lightly-hopped Shift Pale Lager. From work to play, from bottle to can, from bold and heavy to refreshing and sessionable; Shift salutes the shift in occasion, package and beer. So, go ahead and get your Shift beer, you’ve earned it! 
ABV – 5.0; IBU – 29; Calories – 160 (per can); Hops – Target, Nelson Sauvin, Liberty, Cascade; Malts – Pale, Munich, C-80; OG – 14.3; TG – 2.3

A present from my friend Carlos Garcia along with the New Belgium Chalice. If you are reading this my friend, thank you so much for the gift. I have not tried this beer before. I like New Belgium beers but for some reason I had skipped this one for a while. Nowhere to run now. Well, according to the description it is definitely for the end-of-shift beer to drink as a treat from all the stresses of a hard days job. Let’s check it out.

Aromas are hoppy, malty and biscuity. Grassy and floral hops, citrus, biscuit bread, honey, guava notes, cereal, crackers and peach notes

The flavors are pretty malty as well with hoppy bitternesss in the back. Grassy and piney hops, honey, rich biscuit bread, peach and pineapple notes, cereal grains and a guava hint

The aftertaste is close to dry but still leaves a nice biscuity residue with light hop bitterness. Refreshing and easy to drink. 

Overall this is pretty good. Quite the surprising little beer from New Belgium. I would drink this 100 times over Budweiser. I like how it falls into that malty pale ale category but is brewed with lager yeast so it is not an ale per say. Definitely surprising stuff and quite the enjoyable stuff. It is also not as hoppy as a pale ale or IPA so they got you covered there. Definitely an after work beer. Take a break from pushing papers.

Forgotten Island by Cigar City brewing

1374901_10101457321912170_1203501524_nRating: 6/5

Forgotten Island by Cigar City brewing is a 15% ABV Belgian Quadruple aged in Jamaican Rum Barrels

This dark complex style of ale originated in the Trappist monasteries of Belgium. It was sipped by monks during fasting and winter months. Forgotten Island adds a tropical twist via aging in Jamaican rum barrels. The barrel lends notes of vanilla, molasses, orange peel, cocoa, brown sugar, nutmeg, hazelnut, apricot and peach. This plethora of flavors and aromas from the rum barrel intermingles with banana, clove, cinnamon,fig, plum and brown sugar aromatics and flavors from the quadruple, creating a contemplative ale perfect for introspective moments far from the cares of the world beyond. 

Released exclusively for the Cigar City Catador club. A hard to get beer unless you know some one who is in the club or can trade/buy from someone online. This is the first time I try a rum barrel aged quad. I have tried a good number of Bourbon barrel ones but never a rum one. Good luck in getting this one

Aromas are very sweet. Velvety dark fruits, currants, plums, raisins, chocolate notes, dulce de leche caramel, figs, raisin bread pudding, oak, rum, rich coconut, vanilla, pecans, bananas, cloves, cherries, blackberries, boysenberries, blackberry marmalade, brown sugar, cinnamon, hazelnut, oranges, apricot, peach, piña colada, tropical fruits like papaya, melon, dragon fruit and other fruit and spices

The flavors are freaking amazing! This would be a great response to the Bruery’s Cacaonut, except it is rum and quad and has more dark fruits than Cacaonut. Yet each is freaking amazing and I can tell you this beer has already exceeded my expectations once again. Rich plums, rich curtants, figs, cotton candy, raisin bread pudding, pecans, peaches and cream, apricot, boysenberry marmalade, toasted coconut, oranges, dragon fruit, melon, papaya, piña colada, nutmeg, hazelnut, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, oak, blackberries, bananas, clove spice, cherries, molasses and other complex flavors. Diabetes in a bottle!

The aftertaste leaves with very nice caramel, dark fruit and tropical fruit flavors with oak rum and spices lingering. Good Luck finding the alcohol. Even at 15% ABV, it is one dangerously smooth and tempting Siren. Does not drink like a 15% ABV, holy crap. Take it easy with this one. Even if you want more, save some for later and share.

Overall, it is exceptionally wonderful and delicious. Think of a Quad that is tropical with rum flavors, coconut and piña colada. Let me put this in comparison with Cacaonut from the Bruery. Cacaonut from the Bruery is liquid Almond Joy with tropical fruits. This is a Dark Fruit Coconut Rum Piña Colada raisin bread pudding. Combining the fact that it is barrel aged, chocolate, quad and exotic is what make this one qualify for the top score which I give to either my best favorite beers or beers that have met the eligibility to be my favorites, even if rare. If I could, I would probably drink this everyday. That would be good, but would not be good for me, but would definitely be good. Cigar City is definitely the East Coast’s Bruery. As far as recommendation, HELL YES!! If you happen to find this parable paradise of an ale, set sail!! You will not regret this one.

Trickster by Midnight Sun Brewing

1378043_10101456510238770_808445350_n 1380009_10101456509595060_1522225064_n 1391845_10101456510333580_1177106462_nRating: 4.23/5

Trickster by Midnight Sun Brewing is a 7% ABV Belgian Ale brewed with Pumpkins and Spices

OK, what do you get when we toss pale malted barley, pumpkin and spices into a stainless steel cauldron then stir in some magic? Trickster! 

The “magic” is actually mischievous Belgian yeast at play. This spooky cool brew will make your glass glow bright despite the gloominess of the season. So… U wanna fool around?

Trick or Treat? Which one is the better beer? The Belgian Pumpkin or the Pumpkin stout? Never heard of a second pumpkin release from Midnight Sun, especially a pumpkin beer made with Belgian yeast. This I definitely had to try. 

Aromas are a lot like Tripel, peach, candy sugars, plums, herbal notes, floral notes, biscuit bread, dulce de leche caramel, cloves and pepper. It also has some of the nice pumpkin notes in there, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger bread, all spice, rye and barley

The flavors are definitely along the lines of a Tripel but with pumpkin and spices. Pumpkin, rich peppercorns, rye bread, caramel, apricot, plum, cinnamon, apples, pear, clove spice, coriander, nutmeg and ginger bread

Aftertaste is malty, spicy, earthy, peppery and sweet. A moderate sipping beer. Balance is average to below average.

Overall it is a pretty good beer but not at being a pumpkin beer. This seems to do well in the beginning but the balance of pumpkin and Tripel only work for a short period of time. It leans more towards a tripel than anything and the pumpkin fades. Better than other pumpkin beers but still not a pumpkin beer and the flavors only for for an instant and fade into something else. I would recommend giving this a try once as it works as a Belgian Tripel a little better than pumpkin. Although it does get better as it warms up. I liked Midnight Sun over this one, so much that I had it twice. This one should be a one timer though just to say you had a Belgian Pumpkin beer.

Duck-Duck-Gooze edition 2013 by The Lost Abbey

1000496_10101456505613040_1491869114_n 1375226_10101456505707850_1816375210_n 1385557_10101456505702860_534572643_n 1376508_10101456505637990_319582315_nRating: 5/5

Duck-Duck-Gooze by The Lost Abbey is a 7% ABV World Class American Wild Ale

There’s an art to corralling a bunch of ducklings A nip to turn Suzy this way or a nudge to launch little Johnny towards the water and suddenly they are all lined up ready to follow along. Or are they? This isn’t something they teach you at Mother Gooze School. You see, there always seems to be that one duckling (or two) who has an agenda all their own. At that point, all bets are of. Then mama goose loses control and her inner Devil comes out. 

Blending Oak Barrels can be a lot like corralling little ducklings. Each barrel has its own personality. Some, like good little ducklings, get in line from the very beginning. Others are quite more problematic and need more nurturing. Duck Duck Gooze is made from all sorts of barrels. Some were great from the beginning while others needed more attention. Duck Duck Gooze was three years in the making. We hope you find it worth the wait

Only released exclusively at the Lost Abbey every 3 years since 2009, this beer ha made a return this year. Last year They could not do it as they had to make way for the Ultimate Box set which was released in 2012. This beer will be slated to release in 2016 again. The beer is made with 3 sets of barrels each aging 1, 2 and 3 years apart and then blended together. I was only lucky enough to get a single bottle eligible for review here at the site. Being probably the best sour ale ever released, I will do my best to review in as much detail as my ability will allow. 

Aromas are very citrusy, lemon, lime, biscuit bread, funky bitter grapes, oak, peach, pears, hints of dragon fruit, earthy must, barnyard hay, floral notes, chamomile and roses

The flavors are musty, and citrusy but some very nice sweetness and oakiness lurks. Lemon, oranges, roses, hay, biscuit bread, chamomile, sour apple, apricot, sour lemon candy, teguacan (Mexican Lime and seltzer water with spices), pineapple, musty grapes and spices.

The aftertaste leaves like lemon on a sour fruit with oak. Basically, it leaves sour but then fades into like a fruity and hay finish. Clear body, but you definitely have to take your time with it

Overall this is puckeringly Awesome. It starts off sour but as you go on and it warms up, it gets good giving some really nice fruity, citrusy and oaky taste. You really have to enjoy sours to like this one, otherwise this beer may not be for you. I think this is one of the reasons it was made this way. Having an open taste to sour helps finding good flavors in them. Jolly Pumpkin helped out for many years to find it. The good thing is that this one is more tart than pure sour. Clearly some sours may be pure vinegar taste but some beers when done very well, are exceptionally awesome, like this one.

Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine by Almanac Brewing

IMAG5181Rating: 5.4/5

Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine by Almanac Brewing is a 12% ABV Barleywine brewed 50% with pumpkins aged in Brandy Barrels and 50% brewed with spices.

This is a beer made with real pumpkins. We hand-roasted over 500lbs of heirloom pumpkins from La Tercera Farms in Bodega Bay. The caramelized gourds were then added to our velvety American Barleywine and aged in brandy barrels for a year. Finally, we blended the barrel-aged beer with freshly brewed ale and added a delicate hint of pumpkin pie spices to round out this decadent autumn sipper.

Another fine pick up from Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights. This came out recently but it may not last long. This is quite the conundrum of a beer. I have had pumpkin ale hybrids, like pumpkin porters, stouts, barrel aged pumpkin beers and even a pumpkin lambic. Never, have I seen a pumpkin barley wine. The should make this in a 22oz bottle instead. Oh well.

Aromas are of pumpkin in a lot of rye bread, candied sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, toffee, pumpkin pie, brandy, toasted barley, ginger bread, caramel, banana, cloves, oak, apricot, coriander, orange, honey, molasses and oatmeal. It smells very good. Almost like the Surly Seviin.

Flavors are of pumpkin, pumpkin flesh, pumpkin seeds, ginger, brandy, candied sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, toffee, pumpkin pie, rye bread, toasted barley, banana, phenol yeast, cloves, ginger bread, coriander, Candied oranges, dried apricots, oak, oatmeal, maple, pecans, molasses, sweet yams, apples, apple pie, brown sugar, pecan pie and Tamed Bastard (Arrogant Bastard with Apple Cider)

Aftertaste is of rye bread, caramel, maple, pumpkin pie and pecans. A sipping bear with the alcohol present but not too crazy harsh.

Overall, it was definitely an unexpectedly very delicious beer. It is definitely like if they took Seviin and brewed it with pumpkins. Freaking delicious rye, caramel, brandy, spicy pumpkin tasting beer. A definite second place to Rumpkin so far this year. While I do believe the barrel aging or hybridism of the styles with pumpkin may outclass the average pumpkin beer, let us not forget, the reason they are higher than the average pumpkin beer is because of that help. If we take a look at regular pumpkin beers, I still think, Good Gourd, La Parcela, Smashed Pumpkins and Pumpkins are still the winners of originality. Anyways, this incredibly delicious Pumpkin Barleywine is a must get an a very delicious one at that.

Udder Love by Beachwood Brewing

1374718_10101453180676240_512568738_n 1385761_10101453180132330_529720014_nRating: 4.45/5

Udder Love by Beachwood Brewing is a 5.9% ABV Milk/Sweet Stout

Udder Love is a traditional milk stout that’s packed with rich flavors. We begin with British Maris Otter malt for a toasty foundation, then layer on three different types of British roasted malts for coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavors. The beer is finished with milk sugar from the heart of America’s dairyland, Wisconsin, adding a silky mouthfeel. Enjoy this smooth and luscious milk stout and fall utterly in love.
Do not Age!

Always an honor and a pleasure to support my local brewery community. This one comes from Long Beach California which is actually close to where I live. A couple of suburbs north though. The first time I visited the brewery, they still had not bottled yet. I have tried several selections of theirs from the source directly like System of a Stout, Full Metal Wee Heavy and Tart Simpson. They have several other awesome ones but this one was one that when released, it really caught my attention. I love sweet stouts, especially if they a very chocolate driven

Aromas are of milk, chocolate milk, sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, espresso, coffee, mocha, creamy vanilla and hazelnut.

The flavors are of coffee roast, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, mocha, vanilla cream, hints of strawberry milk, hazelnut, lactose sugar and brown sugar

Aftertaste leaves a bit of milky sweetness with nice dark chocolate hints and roasted coffee notes. Moderately easy to drink

Overall, it is a rich and creamy and very delicious beer. I have had better ones with a lot more chocolate but this one is just as awesome and sweet. Great offering from Beachwood and an awesome first review here at my site. Definitely give this a shot.

Annual Barrel Series Batch No. 3 Rumpkin by Avery Brewing

1395365_10101453179433730_175450723_nRating: 5.75/5 *New title for an exceeding expectations pumpkin ale

Annual Barrel Series Batch No. 3 Rumpkin by Avery Brewing is an 18.53% ABV Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices aged in Rum Barrels. The strongest ABV pumpkin ale I have tried.

We wondered what would happen if a monstrous pumpkin ale, plump full of spicy gourdiness, were aged in fine fresh rum barrels to add suggestions of delicate oak and candied molasses. Rumpkin is what happened!

A limited released that can be found online now or in some limited places. I found this at Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights California, but hell if I know if they have anymore. May or may not be the best pumpkin beer ever surpassing all the awesome barrel aged beers I have ever tried, all I know though is this one is Strong!! When beer starts to get into the 18% ABV or hell even past 13% ABV which is like the point of no return, then trying the beer alittle bit at a time to savor it is when it matters. This beer has no carbonation, nada!!

Aromas upon opening this one, there some very nice fragrances of pumpkin, ginger bread, bananas, cloves, cinnamon, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, cinnamon, coconut notes, macaroons, rum, pumpkin seeds, nutmeg, sweet yams in maple, piloncillo sugar cone, waffle cone in coconut icecream, molasses, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon notes, brown sugar and some dark fruits. The aromas are rich as in I don’t have to look super hard to guess an aroma. This is very good.

Flavors are very rich like the aromas. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin flesh and yams in cinnamon and maple, pecan pie, rum, ginger bread, old bananas, cloves, cinnamon, coconut cream pie, flan, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, oak, waffle cone, chocolate notes, raisins, plums, pineapple, cherries, coconut icecream, pumpkin pie ice cream and other spices

Aftertaste stays consistent with the pumpkin, caramel, brown sugar, banana, pecan pie and rum. The alcohol has a major presence here. Not detracting from the already super complex awesomeness but it definitely is meant to be sipped, and enjoyed a little at a time.

Overall, this is probably one of the best, if not, the best pumpkin beer I have ever had. It has pretty much everything all the best pumpkin beers I have ever had have. Everything from the nose to taste is very consistent. The only thing about this one though, it is a major kicker. It warms you up like no other. I have had many 18% ABV caliber beers and even some don’t manage to warm you up this good. Not at all in a harsh way, but in a very very pleasant way. This is the type of pumpkin beer you would best enjoy right at the end of the fall nearing the winter when it starts to get a lot colder. If you can still find it, I would recommend you get this but if you cannot get it, there are other super awesome pumpkin beers out there. All it takes is a look

Life is Like… collaboration by Cigar City and Mikkeller

1385491_10101445792577050_719922253_n 1377590_10101445792557090_145495964_n 1381631_10101445792696810_661862072_nRating: 6+/5 *My new second most favorite chocolate flavored beer ever. Why be limited 😦 ????

Life is Like… collaboration by Cigar City and Mikkeller is a 15% ABV Imperial Milk / Sweet Stout brewed with cherries & cacao nibs & aged in bourbon barrels

An imperial sweet stout brewed with cherries and cacao nibs, which is then aged in bourbon barrels. This beer is brewed in collaboration with Mikkeller our generous friend from Copenhagen, Denmark. What you have here is a modest attempt to emulate the experience of biting into a chocolate-covered cherry candy. We hope you enjoy it but you never know what you’re gonna get.

Released exclusively at the Cigar City Brewing tap room, this one had become a quickly coveted beer. I was only able to grab a bottle by pure luck as now a days you either have to get them through trading or online sites that cater to rare beers. If you somehow stumble upon this treasure, the choice to drink now or save for later will be completely up to you. I have taken the brevity to do a review now but check several years later and see if the brew has completely changed into something, possibly extraordinary.

Aromas of this is exactly what I had expected and more!! Cordial Cherries, Chocolate covered cherry notes, vanilla dulce de leche caramel, milk chocolate, cherry rye bread, flan, bourbon, hazelnut, dark cherry notes, roasted coffee, Kahlua, mocha, banana, cloves and cake

The flavors are basically, Chocolate Rain brewed with cherries. The flavors are very awesome, on point and rich. Lots of rich cherries in the taste, Cordial Chocolate-covered cherries, raspberries, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, Kahlua, bourbon, mocha, banana notes, hazel nut, vanilla, cherry flan, dulce de leche caramel, cherry rye bread, dark fruits like raisins, figs, blueberry and raspberry jam notes, cherry skin and rich cherry cake

The aftertaste leaves like a combination of chocolate, cherry and vanilla syrup with some very nice bourbon notes. The alcohol is mildly present and really almost hidden. A very syrupy sipper. Almost like drinking liquid gourmet Cordial Chocolate cherries. As the beer warms up, more cherries start to come out. Give it some time and enjoy

Overall, just plug it into my veins!! Freaking awesomely delicious Chocolate Rain, basically with real cherries. Cigar City is The Bruery of the east coast for me. Now you add the awesome gypsy Mikkeller into the mash and you have a beer that is so rich and sweet, it really does make me wonder if the meaning of Life is like… enjoying it and making the best of it. A symbolic representation of life is most likely represented in this bottle or anything you love. Either that or this is Diabetes in a bottle (Willford Brimly voice). And in several years, if you are alive to enjoy it, take it and share it with the lucky ones. You most important ones because they are what make life worth living. This is true to what they say it is. To me, this is actually better than the than the Cherry Rye Bourbon County in the chocolate and cherry department.

Suede collaboration between 10 Barrel, Stone and Blue Jacket Breweries

1381783_10101447276428400_669711275_n 1380276_10101447276488280_1337927881_n 1383718_10101447276558140_1166499879_nRating: 4.5/5

Suede collaboration between 10 Barrel, Stone and Blue Jacket Breweries is a 9.6% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Calendula Flowers, Jasmine and Honey

Due to our participation in at least a half a dozen collaborations each year, one might perceive Stone as the craft beer equivalent of a bee flitting indiscriminately from one brewery to the next, all the while drawing precious nectar-the expertise and creativity of those institution’ brewmasters. Another buzzy operation that gets the same rap is Bluejacket, a new, Washington, D.C.-based operation headed by industry veteran and constant collaborator Megan O’Leary Parisi. But make no mistake, Stone and Bluejacket are intensely selective about the contemporaries we invite into our brewhouses. We look for the same high level of passion and daringness to flip a beer style on its head that we employ on a baily basis. So, when Parisi and Stone brewmaster Mitch Steele decided to collaborate, it was essential that they tap a special individual to complete their triad of fermentation domination, and they found just that in Tonya Cornett, the brewmaster at Bend, Oregon’s 10 Barrel Brewing Company. Together, they decided on a sturdy yet velvety base of imperial porter and developed a plan to celebrate the bounty of the environs in which it was produced by harvesting avocado honey, jasmine and calendula flowers (some from our very own Stone Farms)and infusing them into the beer to create something complex and uniquely Southern Californian. Consider it craft cross-pollination at its finest.

“Suede evokes thoughts of richness, color and, most of all, a soft, seductive texture-everything we wanted for this beer.”
Tonya Cornett//Brewmaster, 10 Barrel Brewing Company

“There’s always something to learn from someone and vice versa. You can talk about brewing all the time, but it’s not until brewers put their heads together that they really learn how the other thinks.”
Megan O’Leary Parisi//Brewmaster, Bluejacket

“I normally don’t think of brewing imperial porters outside of the winter season, but the addition of local honey and jasmine will make this beer an all-season wonder.”
Mitch Steele//Brewmaster, Stone Brewing Co.

Recently released and soon to hit all Stone Brewery markets, this is the latest collaboration beer release from Stone brewing. This years releases have beer some of the best. Coffee IPA and Wheaton Woot Stout being some of best ever. Let us check this one out and see how it goes. Looking at the ingredients, this one will probably be another porter, or something completely different.

Aromas are of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha, black and blue berries, honey, vanilla, caramel, flowery notes, molasses, jasmine, perfume and anise

Flavors are of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, blueberries, blackberries, grape preserves, honey, flowers, raisins, plum notes, vanilla, molasses, earthy hops, espresso, marshmallows, mocha, caramel, chocolate cake with raisins and pecans

The aftertaste is of bitter espresso, dark chocolate, berries and and some earthy flowery notes. The mouthfeel is silky. Little alcohol presence but definitely a sipper

Overall it a very good beer. Lots of sweetness but also decent bitterness. Although the bitterness started to leave as the beer got warmer. This made the beer super pleasant. It was very enjoyable after I let it warm up. Definitely recommend this one and definitely take your time with it.

Saison Blanc by The Lost Abbey

1391713_10101447275899460_1663932238_nRating: 4.25/5

Saison Blanc by The Lost Abbey is a 5.5% ABV American Farmhouse Ale/ Saison brewed with Golden raisins and white pepper

It’s honest brutal work out there in the fields. There’s no shade between you and the land needing to be farmed. Harvest time brings longer days spent toiling under the fiery sun as sweat and dust bake mud cakes on your face. All day every day, it’s always the same. Been that way for years and it’s not changing anytime soon.

Your family has been turning this soil since your daddy was knee high to the grasshoppers and your son will soon learn the important of this earthen existence as well. Someday, he’ll pass your work ethic on to his son. And the pulse of this land will continue beating. Without families and farms there would be no crops. Without barley, there would be no beer. Neither is a world we want to live in. So as you CAREFULLY pop this cork, please pause to reflect on those who reap what they sow enabling us to have amazing bottles of beer at the end of each day…

Picked this one up at Ramirez Liquors. A Lost Abbey beer doesn’t go by that I don’t review. Unless it is a super exclusive box set that offsets you a grand just to get. While that idea was awesome I would have loved to review the box set, I will leave that story for another day. Anyways, they are known for awesome raisins they use to make their beers, like judgment day ale for example. This offering is made with Golden Raisins and white pepper, so it should be good I hope.

Aromas start with the nice floral, spice and fruity notes. Definitely sweet golden raisins, white grapes, peach, pear, apples, biscuit bread, pepper corns, champagne, white wine, flowers, hibiscus, citrus, lime, grassy and piney hop notes.

The flavors are or golden grapes, banana, phenol, cloves, bread, grassy, floral and piney hop presence, white peppercorns, coriander spice, brettanomyces, green apples, apricot, white wine, flowers, hibiscus, waffle cone, Belgian sweet bread yeast and hay.

The aftertaste leaves like bready, buttery, hoppy with flowers and fruity sweetness. It is a full bodied beer even at 5.5%ABV. It is pretty refreshing but with moderate drinkability

Overvall, it was a very good beer with very good flavors. However, in terms of distinguishing itself from others I have tried in the past, well it doesn’t do it for me. Worth a try but even for the $5 price tag, you can definitely get yourself a different saison that may be just as awesome or even better. I am looking at Stillwater Artisanal. A great job none the less, it delivers a pretty awesome and solid offering of a saison but nothing too overwhelming or unexpected.

Happy 1st Brewerinanimelogs Anniversary!

205379_10100698959765990_1738326347_nHappy 1st Brewerinanimelogs Anniversary!


Today I celebrate the one year anniversary of my blog which started going public last year October 17th, 2012. Back then, I posted my first review here (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/black-xantus-imperial-stout-by-nectar-alesfirestone-walker-2/ ).


A lot of people do not know but I started reviewing beers for friends in facebook in 2011. Hence the reason why when I first started the blog, I had decided to add all my previous Anime Pairings in this blog. I have to give major thanks to my friend, Flor (Celeste) Gonzalez who encouraged me to take my reviews and share them with the world. Right now, my friend is going through some difficult times as she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Please keep my friend in your prayers. Flor if you are reading this, I definitely plan to bring you some nice beers my friend.


I also wanted to give a little back story as to when I truly started doing reviews and when my love for Craft Beer all began.  In 2010, after my mom had passed, I was a very active person. Exercising and doing personal competitions with my friend Sal. I still do my exercise but I definitely do it on a self motivating terms. After jogging our first 5k run, we decided to get together with my friend Jorge and Carlos. We had visited the Bevmo liquor store which had many craft beers. Keep in mind, I had already had a thing for craft beer label art since my first introduction to the Lost Abbey ales when I visited my friend Adrian in West Covina California. So this gave me a chance to basically, try something off and different. Even more different than 2002 when my friends introduced me to New Belgium’s Fat Tire.


Anyways, so we tried the beers and they were very strong. I remember back then I got the Lost Abbey Serpent’s Stout for everyone to try. My friend Natalie said, this was so thick, making a religious joke saying, like the blood of Christ. I had spent a lot of time looking at different labels. Beer labels and other beer things to the point where I wanted to get some of those beers to try myself.


While my tasting was very limited and I wanted beers based on labels, it wasn’t until 2011 when my friends Jose, Johan and I formed Beer Tuesday meetings to try different  beers. I had a collection of beer labels at the time but we also started to add our findings on Facebook posts, or atleast I did. I had spent a long time trying to gather beer information to see which beers were good and which would fit the meetings. Bevmo was my friend. At some point, my friend Jose a.ka Chino got married that year and moved away with his wife. Johan had also lived far away and started to do his own thing. Jorge got a house, Carlos had his house with his wife, Jorge’s sister Lissette, and Sal had moved into an apartment with his girl Marisella around October 2011. I was pretty much stuck in the hobby by myself. My passion for beer and labels grew greater.


At this point I decided to find my own beers and do my own reviews as I had seen many people were doing them. I started doing a lot of research on beer tasted and findings. At some point, my hobby had shifted from basic beer label collection to beer tastes. It wasn’t until sometime in October 2011 when I took a picture of Black Xantus. Keeping in mind, Black Xantus and Lost Abbey were some of the very first craft beers that I enjoy and to this day are always in my top 10, that I decided to take a picture and do a special review. Unfortunately the picture is not in this blog but I will post it here because it meant something. It meant the beginning of the Brewerianimelogs.


I used to take pictures of beers and did small reviews here and there for my friends, trying to introduce something they had never seen or something they would like to try. One time I had grabbed a picture with an anime picture in the background from my Television set. I had looked at the picture and stopped. Listening to my father’s “Recuerdos, Mexican Oldies” Something hit me. Something hit me to take my favorite hobbies which is anime and video games and pair them together. My first work was not great. However, I kept taking pictures and writing. Pairing my favorite anime characters, and even trying to relate them to the beer. I felt like I struck an artist gold mine. I started to call it, “Brewerina Artisan Logs” on facebook albums. It was basically, Breweriana as in collecting beer paraphernalia, Artisan, in artistic ways and logs, writing about them. I had done many pics and reviews on facebook and I kept it personal really. It wasn’t until my friend Flor, which had mentioned earlier, encouraged me to do a blog. An actual site, on wordpress to share my idea with the world. On that faithful day on the 17th of October 2012, I added my first post. I started adding the many “Anime and beer” related posts I could think of that I had on face book and put them here as well as  newer ones. Before long, I had the website going. I noticed many people started to like the posts. Many people started to see the artwork and see how it related with each other. Brewerianimelogs, the collection of beer and anime artwork pairings and reviews had begun!!!


Today, I still keep adding more and more beers as I can. I have even started visiting different breweries with my friends Alex Alcaraz, Richard and his wife Megan, Jose (a.k.a Chino), his wife Cynthia and his brother Juan, Jorge and his girl Emily, both Julio and his girlfriend Janette, Oscar, Alex Bahamaca, Hugo and papa Rick as well as tried many beers with everybody. To this day however, the only thing I have to admit that is holding this idea back is the fact that the artwork is not mine. I have no ownership to any artwork but my own written reviews. I make not money nor am I sponsored by any one. I have a very strong passion for this idea which may one day bring people that love beer and anime together. I will take no credit over the art, just the idea and the written work. As you have seen with many of my posts, there is no modification to the original artwork and is simply used in a creative way. What I do hope in the future though, is possible using my written work to launch something different. Possibly a Youtube channel on beer and if I do decided to add artwork, it will be with original artists consent. Regardless of what happens, I will continue to do this blog because it has become a great hobby and a great passion of mine. To all that have managed to read this far, please like my post and to you fellow craft beer fan, Thank you for reading and thank you for loving this little anime and beer website!!


Cheers to All and Cheers to another year of Brewerianimelogs!!


Flor’s Blog: http://theliterarypinup.wordpress.com/

Artwork Source: http://e-shuushuu.net/images/2008-09-20-116009.jpeg

Isabelle Proximus (Allaverdogportrush) collaboration between Allagash, Avery, Dogfish Head, Port Brewing’s The Lost Abbey and Russian River Breweries

1383150_10101445803435290_828107755_n 316047_10100288110635940_826948610_n 393050_10100312481960610_850996889_nIsabelle Proximus (Allaverdogportrush) collaboration between Allagash, Avery, Dogfish Head, Port Brewing’s The Lost Abbey and Russian River Breweries is a 7% ABV American Wild Ale. This beers is retired and no longer brewed. This information is from an old review. It is merely a reminiscent of a time when 5 brewers did a large collaboration.

AKA Belle Proximus, a collaborative effort between Tomme Arthur, Vinnie Cilurzo, Lorenzo Dabove, Rob Tod, Adam Avery and Sam Calagione. 

In March of 2006 five guys-Adam Avery, Vinnie Cilurzo, Rob Todd, Tomme Arthur accompanied Sam Calagione and Lorenzo Dabove The Prince of Pajottenland through a tour a tour of Belgium’s finiest Gueze producers. Many of the mysteries of Lambic production were answered along the way. They vowed to return to the states to brew a sour beer celebrating their experiences. In November of 2006 the reunited at Port Brewing to brew Isabelle Proximus. 

In this bottle, you’ll find the answers to many of the questions that were first posed along their journey near the river Senne. However, like the mysteries of lambic beers, there remains one lingering question that was left unresolved. we hope like us, the next time you’re on a pilgrimage to Brussels you’ll drop by the Empire Club and let us know whether you prefer Green or Orange….

As a toast to the Anniversary of my blog, I take a step back and show you an old review. Back then I never had the idea of anime and beer pairings as I do now. However, I found a picture that I think would have fit perfectly with that beer from yore. Not to mention the fact, that I may have give this one a high rating as well since this beer was made with a great collaboration effort of 5 breweries. It was one awesome beer, it was drunk at its best aging state as any longer and it would have gone bad. But here it is for your reading pleasure, my review of the Isabelle Proximus.

2011 Review:
How prestigious the occasion to try a beer such as this. I never thought it be possible. A retired beer that is extremely hard to find. Where do I begin to describe this world class oddity of beerdom. The Isabelle Proximus Wild Ale is a massive collaboration of Allaverdogportrush (better known as Allagash, Avery, Dogfish Head, Port Brewing’s Lost Abbey and Russian River Breweries….wooh thats a lot. Put it simply, this beer came out in like 2006 and was only meant to age for some time. In fact it was recommended that this be consumed by this year to get the best freshness out of it. Since I will be taking a vacation soon on beer tasting to focus working out better and eating better, I decided to celebrate my new routine with this cellar treasure. Hey you only live once, so here’s to a long life and to the memories of trying awesome beers. I will be back soon, but what I will do is beer taste in moderation as well. A hobby break but not forgotten….love this hobby …Anyways…about the beer itself. This beer is made with Wild yeast. If you read any of my other postings, wild yeast is used to make these delicious beers have a more sour, winey, like flavor which compliments its already existing ingredients such as malts and hops and other awesome things. Like the Jolly Pumpkin ales . This beer however is a little more special an magical. The balance comes from tart, refreshing and citrus taste. There is some malty sweetness (Dogfish Head) to compliment and some slight bitterness (possibly from Avery or Allagash) as well as the bready goodness (Port and Russian). Story goes that owners of the breweries took a trip to Brussels in Belgium to answer the mysteries of Lambic brews. And so in this bottle that’s what is is. Truly one of the best and most collaborated brews I have ever had and a great way to try my new routine…CHEERS GUYS !!!!!

Pumpkin Ale by Bootlegger’s Brewery

1377274_10101445794632930_1687386444_nRating: 4.5/5

Pumpkin Ale by Bootlegger’s Brewery is a 6.1% ABV Pumpkin ale brewed with Spices & Molasses

Bootlegger’s Pumpkin Ale is our Fall Seasonal release. We combine cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, brown sugar, and real pumpkin to create this special beer. A Beer that reminds us of coming home to family and getting the fresh pumpkin pies out of the over. A perfect beer to sit back and relax with while watching the leaves change color in the fall

Bootlegger’s brewery in Fullerton California has been an up and coming favorite of mine. Right next door to The Bruery, they have been releasing some very nice and incredible beers. As with all pumpkin beers, I had to get theirs to give it a run and review for this is the time of the fall and time for some good pumpkin beers. There have been many pumpkin beers reigning champions in their own unique ways for me. Let us see how this one ranks

Aromas are of pumpkin, apples, plums peach, cinnamon, nutmeg, piloncillo (Mexican sugar cone), pumpkin pie, maple, ginger bread, sweet potatoes, brown sugar and yams

Flavors are of pumpkin, sweet potato pie, maple, apples, nutmeg, cinnamon, pilloncillo, pumpkin flesh, molasses, caramel, rye bread, vanilla, anise, mint, clove spice, apples and apricot

Aftertaste is like sweet potatoes, cinnamon, pumpkin flesh, pumpkin seeds and nutmeg. Easy to moderate drinkability. Not too overwhelming and moderately refreshing. Good stuff

Overall, it is a very good beer. It may not be Pumpking or Smashed Pumpkins but it is definitely above average. No artificial pumpkin spice but true good ingredients. Definitely worth a try if you can find it. If you are able to find other good ones, so be it as well but if this is all you find you definitely cannot go wrong here.

Smokestack Series Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) by Boulevard Brewing

1379780_10101445795780630_1913651140_nRating: 5.35/5

Smokestack Series Bourbon Barrel Quad (BBQ) by Boulevard Brewing is an 11.8% ABV Belgian Quadrupel divided into 16% ale and 84% aged in bourbon barrels with cherries

Based loosely on the Smokestack Series’ The Sixth Glass, this abbey-style quadrupel is separated into a number of oak bourbon barrels where it ages for varying lengths of time, some for up to three years. Cherries are added to make up for the “angel’s share” of beer lost during barrel aging. Selected barrels are then blended for optimum flavor. The resulting beer retains only very subtle cherry characteristics, with toffee and vanilla notes coming to the fore.

Limited release of this beer and I was able to find this one online on many of the supporters beerpulse.com has. I heard great things about this beer. Not only is it a quad, which is one of my favorite styles of beer, but also bourbon barrel aged. It is essentially the Sixth Glass in bourbon barrels with cherries

Aromas cherries, rich vanilla, bourbon, dulce de leche caramel, pecans, dark fruits like raisins, plums, figs, oak, wine grapes, port wine, good cheese and wine, flan, cinnamon, rye bread, earthiness, bananas, clove, funky notes and brandy

Flavors are of cherries, bourbon, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, wine grapes, oak, dark fruits, raisins, figs, bananas, flan, brandy, good wine and cheese, cinnamon, brown sugar, candied sugar, dark cherries, pecan pie, walnuts and tart raspberry

Aftertaste is like a wine and fancy cheese glazed with dark fruit spread on rye bread. Oh yeah, and bourbon too. A definite sipper with alcohol presence but not present in the flavor.

Overall, the beer is freaking great. Fancy and delicious. It does not taste like BBQ but I am absolutely certain it sure pairs marvelously with a BBQ Chicken or Pork dinner. This is delicious as hell. Boulevard makes some awesome beers and I have only had the privilege to try few as they are from Colorado. Many will come soon. As far as this beer goes, it is definitely recommended. Yes it passes the extra credit course!!

Decadence 2013 Anniversary Lager by Alesmith

1383115_10101443952504570_492062793_n 1374914_10101443950588410_605639162_n 1378691_10101443952828920_1707280061_nRating: 5/5

Decadence 2013 Anniversary Lager by Alesmith is a 10% ABV German Doppelbock Lager

AleSmith Decadence Anniversary Ale was originally brewed in 2005 to celebrate our first decade in business. Our brewers had such a great time creating it that they decided to brew a new style each year to commemorate our anniversary.

Now in our eighteenth year, we bring you yet another addition to this legendary series. AleSmith Decadence 2013 is a classic German-style Doppelbock that follows the ancient brewing tradition of Bavarian monks. Originally called “Liquid Bread,” this style is characterized by a rich malt backbone that showcases notes of bread crusts and subtle hints of chocolate . A German lager yeast balances these flavors with a clean, full-bodied finish. Drink this meal in a glass now or cellar it for years to come.

Another glorious year for Alesmith and their over the top great ales. Cheers to you guys!! There has not been any review that I have had from them that has been bad. Everything I have had so far is either great or exceptionally exceeding expectations. Now to their 18th anniversary they release the German Doppelbock. A style of dark German beer which already, I have yet to get a bad review from. This style is simply remarkable. Now made by Alesmith? Well, we shall see

Aromas to start give a very nice toffee, caramel, biscuit, dark fruit raisins, banana, clove spice, figs, earthy notes, chocolate, rye bread, blackberry marmalade hints and hazelnut.

The flavors are very rich in toffee, dark raisins, cherries, plums, dulce de leche caramel, dates, figs, bananas, clove spice, rye bread, hazelnut, chocolate notes, boysenberry marmalade, cinnamon, gingerbread, fruit cake, apricots, earthy bitterness, pecans, grapes, anise and molasses.

The aftertaste is fruity, nutty and minor spicy. Almost like trail mix in a bottle, without the salt. Where is the Alcohol? Wow this is drinkable for a 10% ABV. Holy shit smooth!!

Overall I was very impressed. This is a great beer. It is very close to the quadruple beer style. It’s supposed to be made as a lager but in the German style. This is very befitting of the season, you know, Oktoberfest and the Fall and what not. People have to get this, it is a must try. Especially since it taste like trail mix!. If I would drink this at Oktoberfest, I would definitely need to carried home as I would not be able to taste the alcohol and this would cause me to get drunk quick. I am still waiting to taste the alcohol and well, feel it, but I know it will creep up very soon here.

Proprietor’s Reserve Series No. 001 Velvet Merkin by Firestone Walker

994600_10101439809452280_289346014_n 1383987_10101439809497190_924111021_nRating: 5.2/5

Proprietor’s Reserve Series No. 001 Velvet Merkin by Firestone Walker is a 8.6% ABV World Class Oatmeal Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels

Velvet Merkin is the beer that almost wasn’t; at least in name… After all, it’s not your style to conceive monikers that are confounding scandalous or comical. But in this instance, we inadvertently achieved all three of these things with “Velvet Merkin.” And so the name went off the grid for several years, but now it’s back due to popular demand. If we get asked we’ll say it’s all your fault.

Once in the glass, however, Velvet Merkin is dead serious – The 2013 vintage outpaces its predecessors. Aged for a gull year in seasoned Bourbon Barrels, this decadent oatmeal stout holds your nose hostage with chocolate and vanilla-bourbon aromas. Rich flavors of dark chocolate truffle, Bourbon and espresso ultimately yield a beer that is dangerously smooth and increadibly drinkable. 

Velvet Merkin is one-of-a-kind sipping stout that is built to last, and that will reward careful aging for years to come. Hoarding tendencies may occur. 

One of the last bottles I was able to get at Ramirez Liquor stores in Boyle Heights California near down town Los Angeles, this is a coveted beer and a first time bottle release for Firestone Walker. There many stores online that are still carrying this and will ship it to you. Get this one before it is gone for good. While you wait, read this review and let me know what you think of the beer once you get a chance to try it.

Aromas are of oatmeal cookies, oreo cookies, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, milk chocolate, marshmallows, vanilla, bourbon, graham crackers, caramel, mocha, espresso, roasted barley, oak, hazelnut and ferrero rocher chocolates

The flavors are awesome! Dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha, oreo and oatmeal cookies, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, marshmallows, rocher chocolate notes, espresso coffee, oak, hazelnut, pecans, cookies and cream and coconut.

The aftertaste leaves with some flavors of vanilla, bourbon, oak, oatmeal, chocolate and. Hidden alcohol and the drinkability is easy to moderate but it goes down very smooth

Overall, this is an awesome beer exceeding a few points of expectation and note. If you love cookies and cream and oatmeal, you will like this one. Not to mention the fact that it is very smooth and close to easy drinking for an 8.5. An outstanding example that a beer need to be over the 10% ABV range to bring about some of the best flavors out there. Simply put, a must get and extraordinarily delicious. Release the Merkin unto thy palate for its magic, the bloodstream of the universe, will take you to some really sweet places.

Pumpkick by New Belgium

546930_10101439808184820_403516156_nRating: 2.8/5

Pumpkick by New Belgium is a 6% ABV Pumpkin ale brewed with pumpkin juice, cranberry juice and spices

What’s that bite of tartness doing in a pumpkin beer? Adding the unexpected kick of cranberry juice to brighten this traditionally spiced seasonal ale. PUMPKICK is brewed with plenty of pumpkin juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, but it’s the cranberries and touch of lemongrass that send your tastebuds sailing.

Pumpkick is a beer that was made as a rerelease of Lips of Faith Kick which I had a couple of years ago. Back then the beer was a collaboration with Elysian and possibly the recipe has changed a lot since the the last time I tried it. I will review and see if this pumpkin beer is as good as the Kick I used to remember

Aromas are of cinnamon, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, biscuit malts, caramel, hints of cranberries, cherry candy hints and a bit of brown sugar

The flavors are of pumpkin spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, light cranberry notes, biscuit, caramel, brown sugar and pecan notes.

The aftertaste is pretty dry. Very refreshing and easy to drink.

Overall it is an okay beer. The original kick was way better from what I remember. That one actually had distinct flavors of pumpkin and cranberry which worked pretty well for it. New Blegium unfortunately no longer makes it. If this was their replacement, I think they need to kick it up a notch with more awesome flavors or just bring back kick!! Either way, it is not a bad beer for a 6 pack and it has good merit in its own way, especially for the season. Worth trying once but I would recommend getting a stronger pumpkin beer.

Cacaonut by The Bruery

1377129_10101439803763680_855321709_n 1374855_10101439804107990_2042561779_n 1377960_10101439804058090_1123003662_n 1378644_10101439803988230_1993895123_nRating: 6/5*

Cacaonut by The Bruery is a 15.6% ABV American Strong Ale brewed with Coconut, Vanilla Beans & Cacao Nibs and aged in Oak Barrels.

Nuttin’ Better
A Unique blend of several of our barrel aged ales with toasted coconut, cacao nibs and vanilla beans. Cacaonut is bursting with flavors of spice, cocoa, rich toffee, and tropical notes. 

The unique blend was inspired by a favorite dessert of ours, the chocolate dipped coconut macaroon. Cacaonut is suitable for aging for up to three years. Best stored and cellared around 55F (13C) in a dark place.

Secret recipe huh? Well, I did some research and found the blends may be White Oak Sap, Barrel Aged 5 Golden Rings and some of the Anniversary Ales. The Bruery has made some of the most exceedingly unexpected delicious barrel aged dessert beers I have ever tried. After trying several ones like Black Tuesday, Chocolate Rain, White Chocolate, Melange 3 and others, I was not expecting such beers to exceed my expectations this much. In fact, this is the reason I started to give greater than 5/5 ratings for beers that I feel truly deserve that “exceeding expectations” category. Not to mention the fact that anything that taste closest to chocolate is where I go bonkers over the beer. Just to be fair though, I will try to brake this complex monster as best I can. All I will say now before I start is this…. Almond Joy Chocolate while drinking blended tropical juices

Aromas are of rich milk chocolate, dark chocolate, super rich vanilla, rich coconut, dulce de leche caramel, sweetened condensed milk (Lechera), coconut milk, vanilla, bourbon, oak, flan, crème brulee, tootsie roll, almond joy chocolate, brown sugar, maple, dark fruits, plums, raisins, boozy sweet aromas, port wine, pecans, hazelnut and much more.

The Flavors are epic chocolate coconut bliss. I’m done!! That’s its. Just kidding. There a very distinct rich toasted coconut flavor coming from this. This is super close to what the had in mind of chocolate macaroons. Dark Chocolate, maple syrup, vanilla, flan, bourbon, plums raisins, almond joy chocolate, toffee, brown sugar, pecans, hazelnut and walnuts. There are also tropical flavors here as well of hidden citrus, coriander, pineapple, caramelized mango, chocolate bananas, dragon fruit, dark cherries, blue berries and clove spice. 

The aftertaste is very toasty coconut milk, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon and almost like a Queso Fresco quezadilla toasted note taste. Pretty interesting but I really think it is the bready coconut in action here. A definite sipper, boozy but nothing to get in the way of ultimate complexity. 

*Overall, this one is exquisitely delicious and amazing. These are the beers I wish I could drink everyday. It is beers like these that defy what beers are and what beers truly be!! (At least the dessert ones). I am fanatic of chocolate beers and pairing the coconut here gives it some very complex flavors to the already complex barrel aged blend selection as I mentioned above. I apologize if this sounds too snobby, it is not my intention. But I would like for you to take this with a grain of salt and if you get a chance to try it (and you love coconut, chocolate and tropical fruits) you will most likely love it. Unless you do not like complexity and strength in beers then you best off with something lighter. Also, as with all “Diabetes in a bottle” beers, drink and enjoy in small amounts please!!

Yoko Littner For the Win!!

Lips of Faith series Yuzu by New Belgium

1383393_10101439800495230_2109199200_nRating: 4.39/5

Lips of Faith series Yuzu by New Belgium is an 8% Berliner Weissebier brewed with Yuzu Juice

Who zu Yuzu? It’s a friendly fruit with grapefruit-meets-orange flavor that got involved with the souring side of New Belgium in this bottle conditioned wheat beer. They got on well enough to make this imperial berliner weisse style ale a smooth, delightfully tart sipper with a dry finish. 

The next release under the Lips of Faith line for New Belgium is Yuzu. I think I have ever had Yuzu before but it seems similar to an orange. Well, Ill give it a shot and see how it goes

Aromas are very citrusy. Orange, lemon, lime, biscuit bread, honey, coriander, wheat, tangerine, grapefruit, apricot, mango, melon and lemon candy

Flavors are of orange, sour lemon, biscuit bread, peppercorn notes, lime, honey, hints of funk and tart fruit, wheat bread, coriander spice, herbs, grapefruit, mango, lemon candy, tangerine, lemon peel, lemon grass, sour apple and sour dough.

The aftertaste leaves alittle dry but still carrying notes of the funky fruit, wheat, orange and lemon flavors. It is very refreshing and quite the easy to moderate drinkability. For being a clear beer, it almost feels like a Belgian Pale Ale.

Overall the beer is very good. This is some kind of Wheat, fruit, Belgian Pale and wild ale all put together. You get funky, tart and sour hints, tropical fruit and wheat notes.

Take the Black Stout collaboration by Game of Thrones and Ommegang

1382812_10101435699803050_1709517878_n 1375745_10101435699798060_796599398_n 1381171_10101435699823010_1410032006_nRating: 4.5/5

Take the Black Stout collaboration by Game of Thrones and Ommegang is a 7% ABV Belgian Dark Ale brewed with licorice root and star anise.

A stout as dark at the winters that once engulfed Westeros, as robust as the men who swear their oaths at the weir wood tree. Chocolate and caramel sweetness are balanced by hop bitterness. Roasty, woodsy notes, and an earthy finish.

Pour slowly so as to not disturb the yeast sediment, but with enough vigor to create a luxurious head and release the rich bouquet.

The second release of Game of Throne series of beers is one that is a Belgian Stout. One of my favorite styles. Ommegang decided to brew many of these so make sure to pick this one up before it is gone. Also, even if this could be a gimmick, similarly like the last beer, you can never go wrong with Ommegang beers.

Aromas are similar to a Black Ale, with fragrances of chocolate, licorice, chocolate, caramel, dark fruit, roasted malt, peppercorns, earthy hops, fudge brownie, incense, oak and brown sugar.

The flavors are of roasty and lightly smoked malts, dark chocolate, anise, mint, licorice notes, cola, dark fruit, raisins, plums, clove spice, caramel, earthy hops, pepper, oak, plums, espresso and mocha

The aftertaste is of sweet chocolate, earthy bitterness, dark fruit, and brownie notes. This is a full bodied beer so it is best enjoyed sipping. As it warms up, the beer becomes more balanced. Initially it was pretty roasty but as it warmed up, stuff started to fit together.

Overall this is a very good beer. If you watch the show this may be more enjoyable. I actually do not watch it, but I like good beers and this one is good stuff. Looking at the label with the tree, all dark, woodsy and deep roots in the earth, the flavors make a lot of sense. Might go with Lord of the Rings movies too, who knows. Belgian beer lovers and even those that don’t like licorice will like this one.

Mohshinobi: http://mohshinobi.deviantart.com/

Evil Dead Red by Alesmith Brewing

1385216_10101434256680080_432426697_n 1379708_10101434256675090_1434306946_n 1384064_10101434256555330_501628676_nRating: 5.2/5

Evil Dead Red by Alesmith brewing is a 6.66%ABV Amber/Red Ale. First limited bottle release.

Each Halloween we release this special concoction to celebrate one of our favorite holidays. Deep blood-red in color an intense aroma of pine and citrus from an abundance of American Hops balances the sweetness and rich, bready flavors of this bee’s caramel malts. The result is a fiendishly smooth brew that will make your taste buds scream with delight.

This beer pairs Excellent with Toffee, Caramel, Apples or your favorite Horror flick.

After a long wait, 3 years to be exact, Alesmith finally releases their coveted Evil Dead Red Ale. I remember as far back as 2010 when the clerk at the local BevMo told my friend that they sold this in bottles but were out of stock, I remember looking it up only to find that it was never in stock. This is because it was never bottled until 2013. I remember its cousin the “My Bloody Valentine” and this is supposed to be way better. Well let’s see.

Aromas are of rich orange, grapefruit, pineapple, biscuit bread, caramel, piney and grassy hops, cherries, toffee, kiwi, strawberry, cinnamon, herbs, spice notes, earthy hops,nutmeg and raspberry candy notes

The flavors are herbs, spices, basil, oregano, caramel, grapefruit, orange, pineapple, grapefruit, apricot, strawberries, mango, pecans, honey, biscuit bread, toasted wheat bread, peanuts, cinnamon notes, rye bread, raspberries, walnuts, vanilla, butterscotch, kiwi dragon fruit, coconut, pecans, vanilla and toffee 

The aftertaste is of caramel, herbal hops, citrus and nutty. The beer is perfectly balanced. Not to sweet not too bitter. Easy to moderate drinkability

Overall this is an awesome beer bringing forth some of the best flavors of what true ambers should be. Extremely delicious and extremely flavorful. Beeradvocate.com rates it 7th best in the world. In 2010, it used to be number one. Now that is is available more, it may turns those odds. This is very equivalent to the nugget nectar or pretty damn close to it.

Alaska’s Most Wanted Series: Berserker by Midnight Sun Brewing

1377988_10101434254040370_1178468085_n 1385898_10101434255527390_442576642_nRating: 5.35/5

Alaska’s Most Wanted Series: Berserker by Midnight Sun Brewing is a 12.7% ABV World Class Imperial Stout brewed with maple syrup & molasses all aged in oak bourbon barrels

Vicious and viscous, this menacing brew pours opaque black with a creamy maduro-colored head. Its aroma offers seductive whiskey, chewy red wine, dark fruit and lavish tobacco. Berserker Imperial Stout invades your taste buds with in-your-face flavor. Weighing in at almost 13% alcohol by volume, Berserker is completely out-of-control. Give it a good fight.

This is the first time I try this very epic beer. I heard great things about this beer and long behold, Ramirez Liquor had this in stock for review. Depending as to how this turns out, I think I will grab another bottle although I doubt there will be anymore left. Regardless, if you are able to find this beer just get it.

Aromas are of strong dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha, dark fruits, raisins, plums, strong with pecan and hazelnut notes, marshmallow, almonds, toasted coconut hints, flan, forward bourbon, rich caramel, toffee, maple syrup, oak, vanilla, molasses, licorice, anise, fudge cake and brownies

Flavors are of rich velvety maple syrup oak, bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, molasses, raisins, dark cherries, black berries, wine grapes, port wine, caramel, marshmallows, toasted coconut, roasted coffee notes, pecans, hazel nut, campfire oak and a banana notes.

The after taste leaves with a bit of bourbon, roasted notes, berry notes, maple sweetness and roasted coffee bitterness. Definite sipper and has a moderately boozy alcohol presence but does not detract from the flavors. In fact it seems to be what adds the extra complexity to this beer. Although the bitterness may also take a little bit from it.

Over this is pretty kick ass and awesome. This beer is lovely and syrupy focusing a lot on the bourbon, oak, maple and berry flavors but also focuses on roasted bitterness. It is not bad but some people that may want more sweetness or super duper complexity will be left wanting more as the bitterness may get in the way. I like bitterness on this though. It surely does not disappoint. It does exceed my expectation points and gets some extra credit, but not the chocolate level of supreme that I enjoy in these types of beers. Still a freaking great beer.

2013 Barrel Roll No. 1 Immelmann by Hangar 24

1378233_10101428786197970_827203505_nRating: 5.75/5

2013 Barrel Roll No. 1 Immelmann by Hangar 24 is a 11.4% ABV Imperial Porter aged in Bourbon Barrels

IMMELMANN: An ascending half loop followed by a half roll resulting in level flight in the opposite direction at a higher altitude

Just as it takes consummate skill to perform the Immelmann maneuver in the air, it takes the choicest ingredients, patience and consummate skill to bring you our IMMELMANN, a Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Porter. This hand crafted beer is brewed with 2-Row, Munich, Cara-Munich, Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Malts, Oats and Cocoa Nibs, along with whole Vanilla Beans. Aged in Bourbon Barrels for six months and blended with twenty percent fresh Porter to produce enticing aromas of chocolate, coffee, tobacco, bourbon and sweet malt along with a complex pallet of dark roast chocolate, oak and maple followed by a subtle vanilla finish. This is an intense, yet refined flavor experience to be savored today or aged to be enjoyed at your leisure.

Do a Barrel Roll!! This was the first beer in Hangar 24’s Barrel Aged “Barrel Roll” program which was first released back in 2010. They released it again in 2013 and have decided to keep it California limited. I was lucky to barely get a bottle of this one to review. This one I got at Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights, one of the best rare treasure beer shops in Los Angeles since I first started looking for rare beers. It sold out within the first couple of hours of it being posted on the internet. If you are lucky to find this one and enjoy the barrel roll series, definitely pick this on up.

Aromas are of milk chocolate, hazelnut nectar, pecans, rocky road ice cream, dulce de leche caramel, coconut, bourbon, oak, vanilla, molasses, mocha, coffee, flan, brown sugar, campfire smoke hints, tobacco and almond joy

The flavors are of bourbon, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, pecan pie, caramel flan, dulce de leche, toasted coconut, vanilla, oak, mocha, molasses, brown sugar, rocky road ice cream, marshmallows, tobacco, almond joy chocolate, cherry notes and some smokey notes

The aftertaste is of rich chocolate, hazelnut, almonds, caramel and bourbon. This is a sipper and meant to be enjoyed. The alcohol is barely noticeable and does not interfere with the rich flavors.

Overall it exceeds expectations, mainly due to the rich chocolate, caramel, mocha and bourbon flavors. This does not seems like a porter but more like a stout or strong ale yet the porter flavors are there in some aspect as it is pretty freaking sweet (Both is flavor and awesomeness of course) It is close to Pugachev’s cobra but still missing some more richer flavors. Yet, still flies the beer treasure skies of space and beyond. Definitely do this barrel roll!!

Oude Tart by the Bruery

1378644_10101428781257870_622054171_nRating: 4.5/5

Oude Tart by the Bruery is a 7% ABV Flanders/Flemish Red ale aged in oak barrels.

Oude Tart is a Flemish-Style Red Ale aged in red wine barrels for 18 months. Pleasantly sour with hints of leather, dark fruit and toasty oak. Oude Tart is suitable for aging up to five years when cellared properly

Of the many sour releases by the Bruery, I have not tried this one. This is readily available around the Fall season. There are a few Flanders Red ales that I have tried. The ones that I like are La Roja by Jolly Pumpkin and the Rodenbach Grand Cru. Let us give this one a shot and see how it goes.

Aromas are of caramel, funky wine grapes, tart cherries, red wine, raisins, lots of wood oak, leather, lemon, cellar mustiness, brown sugar and vanilla bread

The flavors are of toffee, caramel, vanilla, oak, wine grapes, tart cherries, cranberries, red wine, leather, raisins, lemons, raspberries, sour apples, tart raspberries and slight biscuit bread flavors

The aftertaste leaves with a tart cherry, leather and caramel flavors. The drinkability is definitely sipping and alcohol is hidden

Overall the beer is very good. More tart than sour. I think what allows for such is the fact that it is aged for a while in the oak but also the rich ingredients also counter some of the sourness. So while it is still a sour, it is more of a tart beer. This beer reminds me of La Roja by Jolly pumpkin but with more oak and less wine flavors. Definitely a good try if you love sours.

Pumpkin Lambicus by Timmermans Lambic Brewery

1379530_10101428780244900_1828523104_nRating: 3.5/5

Pumpkin Lambicus by Timmermans Lambic Brewery is a 4% ABV Pumpkin Lambic

Two traditions are brought together here in a unique complacency, namely an original succulence never tempted before. The result is sublime, liberating a graceful taste tinted by a controlled acidity on the lambic confused with the dry fruity of the pumpkin and the discreet sugar added. By crossing the middle of the mouth appears a taste of brown sugar remembering and accentuating the convivial touch of Halloween.

I have tried different lambics in the pat. However, I have not really sat down and reviewed any. His year I wanted to add a pumpkin lambic to this year’s pumpkin beer trip. 

Aromas are of cinnamon, pumpkin, apples and apple cider, pear, nutmeg, cereal grains, brown sugar, all spice, wheat and coriander notes.

The flavors are of pumpkin, gingerbread, apple cider, apple pie, pumpkin pie notes, tart berries, cinnamon, nutmeg, wheat, cereal grains, candied apples, caramel, brown sugar, pepper and coriander spice.

The aftertaste leaves with like cinnamon, tart green apple and pumpkin spice notes. Drinks easy and is refreshing.

Overall a pretty good lambic. It has a good amount going for it, but not a rich amount of pumpkin. Still delicious as it reminds me of apple pie with some pumpkin pie notes. It is worth trying atleast once. However, if you are looking for a pumpkin beer, you can definitely find something more awesome

Capricho Oscuro Batch 5 by Cigar City Brewing

1383159_10101428773358700_1514628837_nRating: 6/5

Capricho Oscuro Batch 5 by Cigar City Brewing is a ??% ABV World Class American Strong Ale

This beer is a blend of at least five different beers, including Hot Blooded Foreign Stout, Puppy’s Breath Robust Porter, and several vintages of Warmer Winter Winter Warmer. These beers were aged in some cognac and brandy barrels before being blended together.

Hard to come by, looked and looked for this piece of barrel aged treasure all over. Hard to get. Impossibly rare? Maybe, not as much as other but still it was hard to come by. This beer seems very good but very evil and mysterious. Without an ABV to gauge it, I am pretty much lost in the dark as to how strong this one is that it is kind of scary. Perfect art pairing with Majora from Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask. Anyway, if you manage to find this one, choose wisely.

Aromas are of rich dark fruits like raisins, prunes, figs, dates, dark cherries, raspberries, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, toasted hazelnuts, pecans, coconuts, vanilla, cognac, brandy, notes of Hunnapu like the spiciness of it, caramel flan, chocolate cake, dessert wine, port wine, rocky road ice cream, almond joy and maple

The flavors are of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, brandy, cognac, dark cherries, raisins, figs, prunes, toasted coconut, hazelnuts, pecan pie, flan, port wine, rocky road ice cream notes, almond joy notes, caramel, vanilla, toffee, raspberries, maple, molasses, anise, slight smokiness, leather, tobacco, bourbon, Cordial Cherries and chocolate covered raspberries

The aftertaste is pretty complex leaving trails of sweet caramel, chocolate, oak, brandy, cognac, dark fruits and a bit of port wine. This beer is a definite sipper. The alcohol is noticeable but very pleasant and warming. The alcohol only brings the rich flavors above and it is nothing harsh. 

Overall this is an amazingly delicious beer, exceeding exceptions. I cannot guess the ABV from the taste which is scary but also good that it comes in a small bottle to sample. Definitely like some of the best beers in the world. Close to Melange 3, close to Black Tuesday, Grey Monday and even some of the other Bruery anniversary ales. What can I say about CCB, other than it is “The Bruery of the East Coast” making some of the best beers in the world possible like many champions. If you can find this, definitely get it.

Justin Blåbær collaboration between Evil Twin, Westbrook brewing, and The Charleston Beer Exchange

1379736_10101428770753920_653049464_n 1280481_10101428770868690_1142309413_n 1378249_10101428770988450_288645984_nRating: 4.15/5

Justin Blåbær collaboration between Evil Twin, Westbrook brewing, and The Charleston Beer Exchange is a 4.5%ABV Berliner Weisse brewed with Blueberries

OMG! It’s JUSTIN BLABAER!!! If you have “Blabaer Fever,” then this is the only cure. We stuffed so many blueberries into this beer- it’s going to make you shout, “Oh, Baby!” This is dedicated to AVSB, A&F YFFL-EW, MW, RWM, BE, SS, RC.

A collaboration between Evil Twin Brewing, Westbrook Brewing Co, & The Charleston Beer Exchange.

Produced and bottled for Evil Twin brewing at Westbrook Brewing Co. in Mount Pleasant, SC.

LMAO!! A beer to pun Justin Bieber and a disturbing label at that. The beer, flavors may be a different story all together. For being at an ABV 0.3% stronger than a Bud light, this session beer may actually be flavorful. According to BeersPulse.com (http://beerpulse.com/2013/07/evil-twin-justin-blabaer-mania-invades-cbx-on-tuesday-750/), Blåbær is Danish for Blueberries, and the “Justin” model in the label is actually Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin Brewing 

Aromas are of blueberries, coriander, pink grapefruit, raspberries, wheat, sour grapes, wine grapes, citrus, lemons, candy sugars and strawberries

The flavors are of wheat, biscuit bread, sour grapes, wine grapes, strawberries, tart blueberries, citrus, lemon, tart cherries, coriander, oak flavor and green apple.

The aftertaste is semi dry with a little bit of sweet wheat bread and tart blueberries. Very refreshing and easy to moderate level of drinkability.

Overall the beer is very good. There is just enough tartness and light bodied flavor to this from making it a complete sour. If you do not like sour or tart beers, this may or may not be for you. It has only a tart amount of sourness and does not overpower like an actual sour. Not quite sure if I am believer, but I do like Blåbær beers.

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale by Coors Brewing

1376603_10101428763538380_607849606_nRating: 3.25/5

Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale by Coors Brewing is a 5.7% ABV Pumpkin ale

We crafted this rich amber colored ale with a feast of fall flavors like vine-ripened pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. Then we added a touch of wheat for a smooth finish. It’s the perfect complement to fall’s crisp, clear days.

Of all the times I have tried many pumpkin beers, I had yet to review this one. I picked this one up along with the caramel apple spiced ale and decided to do a review of yet another pumpkin beer. Pumpkin beers are awesome, each unique to a variety of flavor profiles ranging from pumpkin pie, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin flesh and spices. I did many reviews last year and this year I seek more. So here is to Blue Moon and their version of a pumpkin beer.

Aromas are of light ginger bread, pumpkin notes, cereal grains, pilsner, cinnamon, brown sugar, slight wheat grain and hints of clove spice

The flavors are of moderate pumpkin notes, caramel, all spice, nutmeg, cereal grains, cinnamon, pilsner, toffee, biscuit bread notes, brown sugar, graham cracker notes, light clove and coriander spices

The aftertaste leaves with sweet pumpkin hints and very little grains. Easy to drink and refreshing beer.

Overall the beer is good. I think this is better than Shocktop Pumpkin wheat. The wheat and pumpkin is not well balanced with that one. Doesn’t seem to work too well for some reason. However, here, the ingredients do work better. While it is not a mind blowing pumpkin ale like I have had before, it is a nice refreshing pumpkin beer that people with light palettes may enjoy. Definitely could drink several of these.

Blue Moon Caramel Apple Spiced Ale by Coors Brewing

1234472_10101428762295870_1715574366_nRating: 3.2/5

Blue Moon Caramel Apple Spiced Ale by Coors Brewing is a 5.8% ABV Herbed/Spiced beer made with apple juice and spices.

Thank You to All Our Fans that helped us craft our latest limited autumn release. For this fall seasonal, we blended fresh apple juice with cinnamon, nutmeg, and caramel malts for a warming spice taste.

This release came out in the Blue Moon 12 pack for the fall release. The beer sounded interesting, so I saved a bottle for review. I was looking at it for a while. The only other Blue Moon that is exotic that I would like to try is their peanut butter ale.

Aroma are of cinnamon, caramel notes, nutmeg, apples, cereal grains, pilsner, maple notes, and spices

The flavors are of apples, cinnamon notes, caramel, hints of toffee, sugar, cereal grains, nutmeg, spices, brown sugar notes and coriander spice.

The aftertaste leaves dry with slight sweet and grainy taste. Refreshing and easy to drink.

Overall the beer is good. The sweet caramel, apple and spices comes in the begging but then it is drowned by the cereal, pilsnery taste. It is an enjoyable beer and something that should be tried a few times if on tap where available but I probably won’t seek it again unless it is sold in singles, 6 pack and something to drink only if I want little flavor to the beer and drink several.

Why Can’t IBU? by Stillwater Artisanal

1380783_10101428760858750_1213259403_nRating: 4.45/5

Why Can’t IBU? by Stillwater Artisanal is a 5.7% Hop Accentuated Belgian India Pale Ale

The awesome Stillwater Artisanal has released another awesome beer. This time with a fancy label. 3D at that. This beer goes into the more hoppy direction starting at it’s base, a farmhouse ale to then become a very hoppy Belgian IPA. However, the hops are supposed to be stronger, hence the pun in the name.

Aromas are of grassy, piney, floral and herbal hops, peppercorns, flowers, hibiscus, biscuit bread, clove spice, farmhouse hay, orange juice, citrus, black pepper, spices, apples, apricots and peach.

The flavors are way more hoppy than your typical saison but not super bitter aggresiveness. Flavors include grassy, piney, floral and herbal hops, biscuit bread, spices, flowers, peppercorns, black pepper, hibiscus, cloves, lemon, honey, hints of tropical fruits, mango, apricots, peach, grapefruit and oranges

The aftertaste is dry buts a nice floral and grassy hop finish. It is a easy to drink, crisp and refreshing. 

Overall, I think is a very good beer. It reminds me why I love Belgian IPAs and BPAs in the first place. The beer is pretty hop forward but still able to carry the nice saison and Belgian IPA flavors. If you like Belgian beers and Hoppy IPAs, this would be an interesting one to enjoy.