He’Brew Jewbelation Reborn 17th Anniversary Ale by Shmaltz Brewing

579331_10101531860057130_359254490_n 1486856_10101531860067110_1509616079_nRating: 5.2/5

He’Brew Jewbelation Reborn 17th Anniversary Ale by Shmaltz Brewing is a 17% ABV American Strong Ale brewed with 17 Malts and 17 Hops

Label: 
How could we hope to top last year’s Jewbelation Sweet 16 with its cupcakes, unicorns, & Satan’s Ferrari birthday cake? massive challenge. So for Year 17, we threw in a whole new dimension to our shtick – we built our very own brewery! After 17 years of contract brewing, our first Shmaltz Clifton Park batch emerged 17 months after the first draft of the business plan. Coincidence? Renaissance means “Re-birth” in French & Italian. In Buddhism, the concept does not truly translate as “reincarnation” but instead as “becoming,” or a “stream of consciousness.” 11 syllables structure a haiku. Shakespeare penned 17 comedies. In The Simpsons episode “Duffness” Homer sings “When I was 17″ about buying his first beer with a fake I.D. “I drank some very good beer. I stayed up listening to Queen, When I was 17.” In The Office, Dwight recites Rule 17 that all Schrute boys must learn: “Don’t turn your back on bears, men you have wronged, or the dominant turkey during mating season.” Knowledge and growth come in many forms. It is taught that Nirvana is only attained when the soul transcends cycles of rebirth. Looks like Shmaltz just isn’t there yet. So with 17 malts, 17 hops, and 17% ABV, JEWBEL4TIONREBORN serves as another mark of our death as a contract brewer and proof of our conversion to a new life as brewery owner…… L’Chaim!!!
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We have reached the 17th anniversary for Shmaltz and with another comes another hop, malt and ABV addition. The 15th, and 16th are exceptional in their own way but even the challenge of figuring out the differences in the beers can be quite the hectic little task. Little by no means, very big in fact. Flavors do change somewhat every year. I do hope to try and show some of those changes in this review. Got this on at Total Wine in Redondo Beach California.

Aromas:
Lots of chocolate, molasses, anise, dark fruits like cherries, raisins, plums, earthy hop notes, citrus, smoke, campfire, marshmallow, bubble gum, banana, rum, coconut, brown sugar, butterscotch and dates

Flavors:
Earthy and grassy hops, Grapefruit, rich chocolate, caramel, dark fruits, coffee, vanilla, hints smoke, rum, cherries, raisins, plums, molasses, anise, mint notes, fruit cake, dates, toasted rye bread in with blueberry jam, licorice notes, banana notes, barley, honey, coconut, butterscotch and more

Aftertaste:
The aftertaste leaves off with good chocolate, citrus, anise, minor smoke, very rich lingering dark fruits. If you were to tell me this was a 17% ABV Beer I would seriously not believe you. Where the hell is the alcohol? All I get is nice bitter and sweetness. Wow they did a great job with the alcohol in this section. A must sip beer but yet something about the beer is very inviting. It drinks like a 10% or lower. This shit is awesomely dangerous and smooth. Although it starts to hit hard like a rock soon after. She is a dangerous mistress ._.

Overall:
Amazingly It is a great beer. Seems a lot better with the extra addition of hops

Anime Corner:
Dazzler from the Uncanny Xmen and Fan made character Rokkochan (made by king-soukutu) are used in pairing with the label colors as well as the whole Jewbelation seen like a celebration by Dazzlers powers. Do not be fooled by the cute chicks here. As a representative of the beer, they are dangerous and deadly. If the drinkability represents cuteness, then the actual 17%ABV is what gives them their strength. They are highly lethal and dangerous. So take it easy with them, be nice. Play with them now and play with them later. Too much will get you wasted on the sidewalk and pummeled

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Firestone XVII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker

1477982_10101531821254890_1963810206_n 1472989_10101531821145110_108429905_n 1470280_10101531821185030_808038373_n 579314_10101531821195010_287334108_nRating: 5.79/5* (Just like last years version, more difficult to explain. Strategy guide included)

Firestone XVII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker is a 13.3% ABV Strong Multi-liquor Barrel Aged Style Hybrid Blend Ale

Description: 
“We blended together 220 oak barrels and seven different beers creating something truly complex and exceptional.” – Brewmaster Matt Brynildson
Bravo / Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels / 30% of Final Blend
-Imperial Brown Ale

Sticky Monkey / Aged in Bourbon and Whiskey Barrels / 25% of Final Blend
-English Barley Wine Brewed with Mexican Turbinado (brown) Sugar

Velvet Merkin / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 15% of Final Blend
-Traditional Oatmeal Stout

Parabola / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 15% of Final Blend
-Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout

Double DBA / Aged in retired Firestone Union Barrels / 8% of Final Blend
-Double strength English Pale Ale

Helldorado / Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels / 4% of Final Blend
-Blonde Barley Wine Brewed with Buckwheat Honey

Wookey Jack / 100% Stainless Steel / 3% of Final Blend
-Black Rye India Pale Ale

XVII ABV: 13.3%
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This year’s batch is very special using. The strategy guide is even longer since they had winemakers assist with the project to get the right types of blends in constructing this beer. Holy shit is all I can say about the information of how much work and effort it took to make this. 

Aromas:
Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, brandy, port wine notes, dark cherry, raspberry, coconut, oak, caramel, toffee, oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies, banana notes, marshmallow, rocky road ice cream, Mexican piloncillo, pecans, hazelnut, raisin bread chocolate pudding, flan, bourbon, rich brandy, candied apples, smoked wood, hint of tropics but very small and other complex fragrances. Crazy part is that it kept changing as the beer got warmer. 

Flavors:
Big Vanilla, toasted coconut, almond joy, toffee, caramel, dark chocolate, espresso, Barley wine, rye bread, flan, hazelnut, pecan pie whiskey, brandy, bourbon, chocolate, rich chocolate chip cookies on rocky road ice cream with cherries, strawberries, hazelnut, ferro rocher chocolate, pecan pie, special oak wood, oatmeal, maple, peach notes, pear, anise, mint, rich rye bread, butterscotch, brown sugar, marshmallows, tropical notes as it got warmer, and lots of other complex flavors. Damn, I ran out of lives, gonna have to start at the last save point.

Aftertaste:
Finishing off with like nice chocolate, port wine, maple syrupy notes, dark fruit oatmeal chocolate chips, marshmallows and oaky vanilla. Boozy notes here an there but everything plays well with the flavors

Overall:
Every year much more complex, much more exceptional. Does it beat out it’s predecessor XVI? Well, yes and no. By that I mean, let is age for a while. You see, the early XVI did not but damn, XVI 1 year later was doing complex virtuoso rock solos around my palette. Do not let that fool you though finding the complexities is difficult even if you have Tequila added like when XVI had PNC, “holy shit nice” is what I was tasting. Parabola by itself wins over all of them only because of the extra chocolate push into into the 6/5 range for extra credit for me. XVII was able to get super close to XVI 1 year later and actually beat the younger age one especially because of the Velvet Merkin complexities to have a hug back up. Magic maybe the bloodstream of the universe like Merkin is the bloodstream of this powerhouse beer. Longer strategy guide and all, this beer still kicking your ass .

Anime Corner:
Yui Takamura from the series Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipe is used in this pairing to show the hard work and dedication that was used to make this beer. Also, the colors of her armor are close to the colors of the beer label and box. Along with her companions, they represent the selections of individual beers that were selected in order to bring this beer blend into fruition. The colors may also be used to represent the dark fruit flavors, brandy, bourbon, chocolate and others. The Strength of the alcohol and the hard work are also represented by the Bushido code she follows as a samurai.

American Beauty collaboration by Dogfish Head and the Grateful Dead

1476440_10101529214369110_639428914_n 1477544_10101529214518810_1451901855_nRating: 4.35/5

American Beauty collaboration by Dogfish Head and the Grateful Dead band is a 9% ABV Imperial Pale Ale brewed with granola & all-American hops.

Label: 
Inside this bottle, your miracle ticket awaits. It’s called American Beauty, an Imperial Pale Ale inspired by the Grateful Dead. The best way to capture 30 years, more than 100 live albums, 2300 shows? Let the loyal fans drive the recipe. Among thousands of suggestions, granola was tops. It was the main course in millions of parking lot meals and is a sweet and toasty complement to the all-American hops and barley. There was something different about a Dead show. Whether you saw one or 100 you felt it. If only you could have bottled it…
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Another sweet awesome Musical collaboration brought by Dogfish Head. As requested by the, a tribute to the band, they let the fans come up with the ingredients for the beer. They came up with granola, which is very interesting as I have never tried a beer with granola. I love granola for in between meals, although this beer would probably be a meal within itself. Picked this up at Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights California.

Aromas:
Lots of biscuit bread, lots flowers, grassy notes, citrus honey, caramel, grapes, strawberries, dessert wine, lavender, grapefruit notes, herbs, rose notes, granola oats, mild coconut and tropical fragrances.

Flavors:
Grapefruit, grapes, strawberry, honey, lavender, flowers, cranberries, biscuit bread, citrus, granola oats, raspberry, mild tropics, mango, pineapple, coconut, pomegranate, rich red velvet cheese cake, apricot, pear, and almonds

Aftertaste:
After taste is like biting into a bitter flower with honey and grapes with some of the citrus to back it up. Hidden alcohol but a sipper for sure.

Overall:
Very good beer but more sweeter than IPA hoppy bitterness. Some people may like it as it does seem to work (at least for me) as it is pretty sweet, fruit and some tropics but yet it does not deliver lots of hop forward tropics as some of the other best IPAs. I will give it that, with the granola, it makes for a very interesting experience of a beer. Almost like it was granola and berries added. Maybe the whole point of this was to make your palette go through a weird trip of colorful and LSD flavor experiences lol. It sure did that for me. Ofcourse, it is only strictly with flavor experiences, there is NO LSD in this beer.

Anime Corner:
Frostfire Annie and Akali from League of Legends are used in this mainly to relate to the beer’s label and Grateful Dead. I don’t know much about the series but I did like the artwork. It can be seen by Annie’s bear Tibbers used but also the colors of their different albums. So obtaining artwork that fits was a challenge. Until I found something that may sort of fit. The conflict between Annie and Akali can be seen as the hops trying to take over the sweetness of the granola and fruit (Represented by Annie and her bear) Ofcourse, who wins in this beer? Well that should be obvious 

Bourbon Barrel Aged Kopi Luwak Speedway Stout by Alesmith

1464687_10101529208266340_55161898_n 1450803_10101529208071730_433594671_n 1456662_10101529208066740_1669304208_n 936042_10101529208156560_551553138_nRating: 6/5*

Bourbon Barrel Aged Kopi Luwak Speedway Stout by Alesmith is a 12%ABV World Class Imperial Stout brewed with Kopi Luwak Coffee beans and aged in Bourbon Barrels

Label: 
Kopi Luwak is one of the world’s most expensive and rare coffee varieties. The beans are specifically selected for their ripeness and quality by the Civet, a small jungle marsupial that feeds off the fruit of the coffee cherry. They are then gathered by humans from the jungle floors of Indonesia, throughly cleaned, and sun-dried. A precise roasting by San Diego’s Ryan Bros. Coffee leads to extremely aromatic and exceptionally smooth final product that complements this barrel-aged imperial stout amazingly well. Good to the last dropping!
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So there you have it, to put it bluntly, it is basically an already world class stout made with coffee beans that have been pooped out by the Civet cat and then barrel aged the whole thing. Considering this was hard to get, the price of a cup of just the coffee by itself would put the price of this beer to shame. Yet, the flavors are most likely very unique to even the coffee by itself that the palette understanding of the complexity would cause a tongue would send signals to the brain causing a mind blow division by zero. Even if the concept of Civet poop coffee sounds disgusting, one must have an open mind. This is really clean beer too. Anyway, enough of that, on with the review

Aromas:
Straight out of the bottle, uniquely rich pecan pie, bakers chocolate, really fancy coffee, hazelnut, Irish cream, dark fruit, a type of boozyness that smells like cantaloupe, dark and milk chocolate, flan, mocha, java, espresso, Kahlua, dark cherries, floral notes, oak, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, bananas, rocky road ice cream notes

Flavors:
Chocolate covered cherries, really fancy coffee, Kahlua, pecan pie, rocky road ice cream, rich java, mocha, earthly bitter notes, flan notes, bananas, vanilla, caramel, marshmallows, bourbon, oak, floral notes, Irish cream notes, dark fruits, bakers chocolate, dark chocolate syrup, roasted coffee beans, black berries, herbal spicy notes, rum notes, oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies and more flavors I cant make out.

Aftertaste:
Finishing off with layer of roasted fancy coffee, minor earthy possibly off flavor (LOL could be the poop ;)), caramel, chocolate, dark fruit, berries, bourbon, herbal cherry and spices as well as some bourbon. A big sipper with the booziness not detracting from the rich complex but more like it plays well

Overall:
*Bar none, the best coffee imperial stout ever!! I have tried the Mikkeller Beer Geek Weasel Cognac and this one beats it big time. Who knew Civet poop bean coffee could be so good. One of the reasons why this coffee is so great is because the process or digesting these beans causes the impurities and bitterness of coffee to be removed leaving beans that are more appealing, except for the poop part ofcourse.. That gets cleaned off thoroughly (I hope O_O). Definitely world class adding another depth of character that is hard to describe even with the barrel aging part itself for sure. Lots of extra credits here. 

Anime Corner:
Blake Belladonna from RWBY is one of the main characters from the show with a reserved and sometimes antisocial personality. She carries a lot of burden on her shoulders rom her past. She is a Faunus, which are humanoid people with some animal traits. In the show, people may be prejudice against the Fauni as they consider them thieves. While Blake is a good person, she believes the people may be misunderstood seeing how the actions of some of the bad Fauni may give the overall race a bad rap. This part of her history can reflect the cruelty from some of the people who may abuse the Civets they harvest the coffee beans from. It is wrong to abuse some of the animals, but I am hopeful that the beer this was made from did not abuse any of those animals. While fighting, Blake is perceived almost like a ninja, a fast paced ninja. In relation to this beer, she is black like a stout, fast enough to meet the name “speedway stout”. She looks like a black cat which some Civets, even though marsupials, kind look like cats. The red background in the pictures is used to explain some of those dark berry flavors. The bourbon is in her eyes which have seen many things but remain strong and determined.

In the last 2 pictures, Symphony City Kitty by petite-emi.deviantart.com I used to represent the Civet. In weird sort of way I sort of artistic way, I saw this picture as the Civet releasing the berries. The blue background of the Civet may represent the astonishment of the delicious flavors from the coffee beans, either that or the Bullshit of humanity represented by the cities that a small portion of places actually don’t obey animal rights. I really hope the coffee beans picked for this beer were harvested in respect to these creatures. Which leads to the last piece of work where Symphony flicks the cigarette to represent disgust at animal abuse, but also looking very classy as in saying “here is your fancy coffee made from my poop, while I stand here looking classy and awesome, you sick bastards!!” 

Anyways, if you can see any more artfulness in these pieces let me know. While I am against animal abuse, I really hope they harvested these beans with respecting the animals. Otherwise, I’d definitely feel like a hypocritical bastard for drinking this. It is an extremely good beer though. I do Thank you Civets of the world.

Dubbel Dare (Dubbel Coast) collaboration between Cigar City and Alesmith

1459307_10101525490147480_1146607088_n 1422351_10101525489972830_1553672955_n 488015_10101525490002770_940875465_nRating: 4.56/5

Dubbel Dare (Dubbel Coast) collaboration between Cigar City and Alesmith is an 8.5% ABV Belgian Dubbel

Label: 
COLLAB

A tropical interpretation of a Belgian-Style Dubbel, Dubbel Dare is a collaboration created by AleSmith Brewing company and Cigar City Brewing. Keeping their local environments in mind, this dubbel was crafted implementing Coconut Palm Sugar instead of Candi Sugar. Coconut Palm Sugar adds caramel notes to the already complex malt flavor and has lower glycemic index than other simple sugars.

Deglet Noor dates and Black Mission Figs were added during active fermentation, adding another complementing sweetness to the grist bill and tying in beautifully with the spice & fruit aromas and flavors provided by fermentation with a traditional Abbey yeast strain.
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Inspired by the late 80’s / early 90’s TV game show, Double Dare, this beer was brewed as a throwback honor to the challenge of creating a beer that was both a Belgian Dubble yet tropical. 

Aromas:
A mix of dark fruit and tropical fruits, rich caramel, pineapple, raisins, figs, dates, plums, mango, flan, peppercorns, apricot, coriander spice, nutmeg, cinnamon notes, chocolate hints, slight coconut, brown sugar, pecan pie, fruit cake and brown sugar

Flavors:
Nutmeg, caramel, pineapple, mango notes, pineapple notes, apricot, peach, raisins, figs, dates, plums, flan, orange slices, coriander, pecan pie notes, mild coconut sugars, coconut hints, kiwi, strawberry notes, biscuit bread, banana notes, clove spice, chocolate, peppery spice notes, cinnamon and hints of fruit cake

Aftertaste:
The flavors of caramel, tropics, dark fruit, pecan pie and nutmeg linger. Moderate to sipping drinkability. Hidden alcohol as well

Overall:
It is a very good beer, but not a super duper dubbel. While it meets the challenge of diversity and tropics, it still not the best dubbel ever. Very good dubbel never the less and if you love Belgian Dubbels still up there with some of the greats. I would recommend a try from it but you may find others to be more inciting.

Anime Corner:
In this set of anime pairings, I have brought back Shiro and the gang from Deadman Wonderland into the mix. The relation to the beer has mainly to do with the whole aspect of audience entertainment and game shows. You see, Deadman Wonderland is a show about part of Japan being sunk into the ocean due to an earthquake and the main character, Ganta Igarashi, trying to save his hide as a prisoner by participating in prisoner games to gather points to save himself from a crime he did not commit. The whole setup earns money from the audience who watch inmates struggle through these twisted theme park games all for the purpose of rebuilding the cities. Shiro, the albino chick is Ganta’s child hood friend who helps him out. They find out that their blood posses some type of special power which helps them out through the ordeals. If we were to set who is who, Ganta is Cigar City and Shiro is Alesmith. These two are fighting the challenge which is Deadman Wonderland or Dubbel Dare to bring forth and awesome brew. The Red of the label represents the blood of their struggle. The artworks also fits with the beers as it shows Shiro eats a tropical dessert but also the fact that the beer uses coconut palm sugars. Sweet White sugar is a representative of Shiro, the albino girl as well as coconut being white on the inside. What other things can you find in this beer pairing?

Samael’s Oak Aged Ale (Batch #9) by Avery Brewing

1460042_10101525488555670_969848465_nRating: 5.2/5

Samael’s Oak Aged Ale (Batch #9) by Avery Brewing is a 16.9% ABV English Barleywine aged in Oak Barrels

Label: 
Samael is the prince of demons, the angel of death, accuser and destroyer. Filled with enmity towards man, he planted the vine, the forbidden tree of paradise. Behold his venom and vengeance, both sweet and tempting, enticing you, his spellbound victim, within his wings.

Samael’s Ale is a super-caramelly, oak aged English-style strong ale. Perhaps the least hoppy (sacrilege here at Avery!!) beer we’ve brewed, to accentuate the malt. The oak is very apparent in this rich and high gravity ale, adding additional depth and complexity with a woody and cask-like nose and a pronounced vanilla flavor on the palate. This potent ale is the second installment, along with The Beast, of our “Demons of Ale Series”.

Brewed with Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, turbinado sugar, hops, yeast, and American oak chips.
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The third and possibly the last of the Demons of Ale series from Avery that I have tried. I apparently missed out on this one some time early this year. I was able to find this at the Liquor Mart in Whittier California. While it is not often I find beers I want to try that may or may not be listed in my Wanted list, it was a reasonable price for a review. At 16.9%, that is one insane Barleywine

Aromas:
Lots or caramel, toffee, burnt sugars, brown sugar, raisin hints, black berry marmalade notes, herbs, oak, vanilla, orange notes, bourbon and rum notes.

Flavors:
Rich Oak wood, earthy notes, rich leather, rich caramel, orange and blackberry preserves, raisins, toffee, burnt sugars, flan, coconut, vanilla, maple, rich rye bread, butterscotch, cereal, french toast, flan, rum, light bourbon, brandy, rich fruit cake, chocolate cereal notes, brown sugar, and rich honey.

Aftertaste:
The finish wants to end dry but there is a maple, leather, dark fruit and rich oak aftertaste with this one. A definite sipper with some boozy notes but nothing detracting from the sweet flavors.

Overall:
Exceptionally delicious beer. Strong but full of flavor. The only thing about this beer that seems to be a strong consistent theme is the oak and partial dryness it comes with. I love that part but it is kind of dangerous as you want to keep sipping more. If you love oak aged beers and Barleywines, have at this master piece.

Anime Corner:
This is a Fallen Angel designed by cushart.deviatart.com To go along with the Samael or Samuel Archangel story, this was the perfect pairing. The hair, the wings fit the label. Also, bursting from the magma shows the oak aged and burnt wood part. The fact that the beer is sweet and ends partially dry, makes one try to drink the whole bottle. It is strong and evil, just like Samael.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Autumn Maple by the Bruery

1463694_10101525485122550_811900833_nRating: 5.45/5 

Bourbon Barrel Aged Autumn Maple by the Bruery is a 13% ABV Belgian Brown Ale Brewed with Yams, Spices and Maple Syrup then aged in Bourbon Barrels

Label: 
TRICK OR TREAT

We don’t need pumpkins in out beer! Bog, bold, spicy and oh so yammy.

This decadent, barrel aged version of our spiced brown ale is suitable for aging up to five years when cellared properly.
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Available from the Bruery store directly. I have reviewed the original Autumn maple last year and I loved it!. Now in Bourbon? Well, I could easily give this one more credit as it was a perfect beer. 

Previous Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/autumn-maple-by-the-bruery/ 

Aromas:
Maple Syrup, bananas, Belgian yeast, cloves spice, toast bread, rye, dark fruits, coconut, bourbon, yams, sweet potato pie, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, vanilla, graham crackers, marshmallows and oak 

Flavors:
Rich Bananas, clove spice, Belgian yeast, Yams, sweet, buttery caramel popcorn, candy corn, toffee, maple syrup, pancakes, bourbon, toasted light coconut, marshmallows, graham crackers, vanilla, butterscotch, Nutella on toasted rye bread notes, dark fruits, raisins, fig notes, Mexican whole cane sugar cone, milk and cooked sugary pumpkin

Aftertaste:
Finishing with maple syrup, yam, milk, banana, bourbon and dark fruit notes. A sipper with the bourbon not detracting too much from the flavor and not being harsh. Heavy, yet drinkable and delicious

Overall:
Exceptionally awesome! While some bourbon barrel aged beers may take away a little bit from the flavor or may be too harsh, this one play very well with all the delicious flavors. If you loved the original Autumn Maple, this one will most likely blow you away. Perhaps, the second best pumpkin like offering this year with no doubt. Awesome!

Anime Corner:
Risty from the Queen’s Blade series is a busty and buff looking strong woman with a heart of Gold. She is Bandit like Robin Hood, stealing money from the Rich and using it to provide food and shelter for poor and starving war orphans. Like the last Autumn maple, I used Risty as her colors best represent the Fall and the beer label. If you notice the old review, she is very joyous and in this version, she looks like a war bad ass. I did this represent her true strength that sweetness that is released from those Bourbon Barrels. Even if she seems vicious, as in the strength of this beer but, just like the original, she is still kindhearted with a heart of gold. You can also associate yams and maple to her colors as well. Even dark fruit colors peek from the tips of her hair.

Double Bastard (2013 Release) by Stone Brewing

1455978_10101525470945960_828458695_nRating: 5/5 

Double Bastard (2013 Release) by Stone Brewing is an 11.2% ABV World Class American Strong Ale

Label: 
“Ye Shall Know the Bastard, and the Bastard shall Set you Free”

Double Bastard Ale
Warning: Double Bastard Ale is not to be wasted on the tentative or weak. Only the Worthy are invited, and then only at your own risk. If you have even a modicum of hesitation, DO NOT buy this bottle. Instead, leave it for a Worthy soul who has already matriculated to the sublime ecstasy of what those in the know refer to as “Liquid Arrogance.”

This is one lacerative muther of an ale. It is unequivocally certain that your feeble palate is grossly inadequate and thus undeserving of this liquid glory…and those around you would have little desire to listen to your resultant whimpering. Instead, you slackjawed gaping gobemouche, slink away to that pedestrian product that lures agog the great unwashed with the shiny happy imagery of its silly broadcast propaganda. You know, the one that offers no challenge, yet works very, very hard to imbue the foolhardy with the absurd notion that they are exercising ‘independent’ thought, or attempts to convey the perception it is in some way ‘authentic’ or ‘original.’ It’s that one that makes you feel safe and delectates you into basking in the warm, fuzzy, and befuddled glow of your own nescience. Why so many allow themselves to be led by the nose lacks plausible explanation. Perhaps you have been so lulled by the siren song of ignorance that you don’t even notice your white-knuckle grip on it. You feel bold and unique, but alas are nothing but sheep, willingly being herded to and fro. If you think you are being piqued in this text, it is nothing when compared to the insults we are all asked to swallow streaming forth from our televisions and computers. Truth be told, you are being coddled into believing you are special or unique by ethically challenged “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” marketers who layer (upon layer) imagined attributes specifically engineered to lead you by the nose. Should you decide to abdicate your ability to make decisions for yourself, then you are perhaps deserving of the pabulum they serve. Double Bastard Ale calls out the garrulous caitiffs who perpetrate the aforementioned atrocities and demands retribution for their outrageously conniving, intentionally misleading, blatantly masturbatory and fallacious ad campaigns. We demand the unmitigated, transparent truth. We demand forthright honesty. We want justice! Call ‘em out and line ‘em up against the wall… NOW.

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Countless times have I specified the greatness that is the true king of beers, the arrogant bastard. It was only but a dream back in 2011 when I first tried the Double Bastard for the first time. I detail the story in my previous review. Back in my beginnings of craft beer drinking days when my buddy Rich told me about The Arrogant bastard, when I first heard of this of the original I was amazed. When I found out there was a double, nothing could stop me from trying it and thanks to my friend chino, it came to be. From then on, the successor of kings was this one. I have tried this beer countless times and I always find myself every year trying it again. In fact, I am cellaring one since 2012. That is how much I liked it. 

Aromas:
Barleywine-esque, lemons, citrus, dark fruits like raisins figs, caramel, toffee, buttery butterscotch, vanilla, biscuit bread, oak, grassy, floral, herbal and earthy hops, grapefruit, mango, brown sugar and rye bread

Flavors:
Lots of toffee, lots of caramel, Rich Orange juice, lemon hints, citrus, tangerine marmalade on toasted rye bread, grapefruit, dark fruits like raisins, dates and figs, dark cherry hints, caramel, Barleywine like flavors, hidden mango, vanilla, oak, earthy, floral, grassy, grapefruit hops mango, and butterscotch on sourdough bread

Aftertaste:
The aftertaste continues with orange, grapefruit, earthy hop bitterness with continued caramel, toffee and raisins. A sipper with no alcohol in the taste. The alcohol will hit you later don’t worry *Evil Grin*. It maintains the aggressiveness while still having a unique smoothness too it as well. 

Overall:
Bar none, Exceptionally great beer and one of my top favorites. Even if available only seasonally, it is still readily available so it is possible a lot of places in the United states now carry this magnificent piece of craftsmanship. The successor of the crown of the king of beers. No doubt you will always get a recommend from me on this one. The beers I can almost compare this too is also Surly Seviin, except not as hoppy. Stone Old Guardian is close but not as orange and grapefruit forward.

Anime Corner:
Lilith Aensland and Jedah Dohma. Lilith, the one with wings and Jedah the blond one. Long ago I used this picture for the first review because I wanted to explain double bastard as 2 separate entities. Sweet and Bitter. Sweet Lilith with the bat wings is a representative of the gargoyle of the label while emphasizing the sweetness trying to take over and soften up the arrogance which is Jedah. The bitter and dark Jedah which, while evil and super arrogant inside, has now transformed (due to Demitri’s Midnight Bliss) into a much sweeter, yet a bit bitter, delicate flower. Keep in mind, it seems, the tables have turned as Lilith with her sweet cunningness has now engulfed the frail Jedah into her own version of the dream that is now this beer, The Double Bastard. Even if she has to tear the layers of flavor, she will find the balance needed in this great beer.

Dragonhösen by Boulder Beer Company

1463675_10101525463775330_1283158220_nRating: 4.89/5 

Dragonhösen by Boulder Beer Company is a 9% ABV Imperial Oktoberfest/Märzen lager

Label: 
Late at night in the dark cellar or among the rows of towering vessels at Boulder Beer, if you listen carefully you can hear the eerie sound of the Dragonhosen.
Brewed with generous amounts of Vienna and Munich malts for a rich, full-bodied malty flavor, Dragonhosen begins as a traditional Oktoberfest lager, then stealthily breathes fire with 9% alcohol by volume. Hallertau and Czech Saaz hops add balance with a mild earthy aroma and flavor with moderate bitterness.
If you find yourself at Boulder Beer, listen closely and beware… if you hear a scratching and scraping coming your way, the bite of the Dragonhosen is sure to follow.
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Dragonhösen or Dragon Trousers… Not sure what they meant by this. Unless it they meant, it is befitting dragon of a beer. Challenge Accepted! Even if it is not October anymore, that doesn’t stop anyone from trying special Oktoberfest beers. This sucker was hard to find in California. In fact, many stores online will not ship it. Until I found the craftkings.com. One of the reason I was attracted to this beer was the label but the style. German beers are delicious and sweet. The best part is that it comes in a 22oz.

Aromas: 
Caramel, toffee notes, biscuit notes, honey, butterscotch, caramel sugars, earthy spice, brown sugar, nutmeg and rye

Flavors: 
Rich caramel, toffee, rye bread, honey, hazelnut, biscuit bread, butterscotch, nutmeg, caramelized, toasted bread, mild earthy hop notes, brown sugar, sugar cone, graham crackers, fruit cake notes, hint of a dark fruits and dates 

Aftertaste:
The beer leaves a nice caramel and rye bread aftertaste with some earthy bitterness. Alcohol is not present in the taste and has moderate drinkability

Overall:
This beer is very good overall. It is a beer that seems to fall more along the lines of a doppel bock or even a Barleywine. I think this is the reason why I liked this one a lot. Malt forward and sweet! I think if you have tried some of the best German Doppel bocks out there, it may be close to this one. Love me some good German beers. 

Anime Corner:
Not sure what series this character is from. I could only find something about a Chinese series called “Scratch” and the character is Maid: Dragon King Ao Guang’s daughter. Anyways, the use of this piece of artwork in my mind could clearly be seen from the label’s art work. That and the fact that this woman is like a half woman half dragon. All to perfect and majestic, the Dragonhosen 

Rugbrød by The Bruery

1450107_10101519284733180_1477069528_nRating: 4.45/5

Rugbrød by The Bruery is an 8% ABV JuleBryg style Dark Rye Ale.

Label: 
SAY WHAT?

A deep auburn colored robust Danish-style ale with spicy rye, and caramelly, bready malts.

Rugbrød Rye Ale is suitable for aging up to 2 years when cellared properly, around 55 F (13 C) in a dark place. Best served at 50 F (10 C). Pour carefully, leaving the yeast sediment behind in the bottle. Best served in a tulip or wine glass. For proper pronunciation, chef recommended food pairings and recipes, please visit our website.
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Rugbrød is Danish for Rye Bread. It is brewed in the Scandinavian Christmas beer tradition called Julebryg. This beer is actually available year round and is one that I have over looked for quite sometimes. I have not tried all the Bruery beers but I sure like the ones I have tried to far

Aromas:
Rich rye bread, caramel, maple, toffee, peanut butter, mild chocolate notes, some dark fruit character, light peppery spice, brown sugar, molasses, and light floral notes

Flavors:
Rye bread, peanut butter, roasted peanuts, some dark fruits like raisins, caramel, caramelized sugars, toffee, plums, cherries, sour dough bread, peppercorn notes, chocolate notes, brown sugar, molasses, coriander spice, floral notes and some hazelnut hints as well

Aftertaste:
Finishing off with some nice rye, caramel and dark fruit notes, this beer is a sipper but nothing hard in the alcohol

Overall:
The beer is very good and close as possible to the Autumn Maple but focusing more on the rich rye bread and nutty brown ale like qualities. Liquid Danish sour dough bread. Makes me wonder what a Danish Cookie beer would taste like. Surely a good idea for sure. A recommend if you like Belgian beers, brown ales and rye beers. 

Anime corner:
Shura Kirigakure is a character from the series Blue Exorcist. She works as a Upper First-Class Exorcist and Inspector for the Vatican. She has a laid back personality using slang and is blunt speaking what ever she wishes to say. She even would rather slack off and drink while letting others do her work. The part of this piece of artwork I applied for this beer is in the label with the Red, to orange and yellow to even the brown on her jacket. She works for the Vatican so in terms of Belgian type of beer it works. Brown also works in terms of the Rye Flavors but also in her laid back and blunt personality which is present in the hidden alcohol yet sourdough bread like flavors. She seems to be a little nutty with her words but that is just the way this beer is. Just the fact that she is laid back and likes to drink says something about just grabbing a nice beer for the Holidays and taking a step back and enjoy. Cheers!

Southern Charred by Stone Brewing

1476646_10101519287123390_144164125_nRating: 5.45/5*

Southern Charred by Stone Brewing is a 12.6% ABV American Strong Ale which consists of 2012 Double Bastard Ale Aged in Charred Oak Barrels, Kentucky Bourbon Barrels and Kentucky Bourbon Barrels that used to contain “Stone Suitable for Cave Aging”

Label: 
Double Bastard brewed August 2nd & November 2nd, 2012
Arrogant Bastard Ale’s (really) big brother, this dark amber ale is brewed with a huge malt bill and a belligerent amount of hops. It’s a heavy, bitter beast of a beer and absolutely not for the timid.

In the Mash: CLASSIFIED
In the Boil: CLASSIFIED
In the Whirlpool: CLASSIFIED

Unfiltered and aged 10 months in 51% Kentucky Bourbon Barrels, 8% American Oak Barrels (charred)
13 Months in 41% Kentucky Bourbon Barrels second-use
IBUs:95
Bottled: October 2013

Cellar Notes:
The charred American oak barrels lend intense smoke and vanilla flavors, while the Kentucky bourbon barrels add nuances of butterscotch and caramel. These meld with rich dark chocolate notes produced by Kentucky bourbon barrels that once held “Stone Suitable for Cave Aging” – (An Imperial Smoked Porter Tribute to Danny Williams) to produce)a very complex, well-structured beer with intense flavor.
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I have tried the Double Bastard aged in Bourbon barrels in the past. This release is aged in 3 different barrels implying a very southern whiskey like experience to the already awesome Double Bastard. Limited time so if you can find this one, they recommended a cellar. At least a cellar on Crime and Punishment. Those will be beastly

Aromas:
Very rich vanilla, coconut, flan, caramel, bourbon, oak, smokey and roasty notes, chocolate notes, crème brulee, toffee, whiskey character, maple, honey, chocolate orange notes, campfire wood, chocolate smores, marshmallows, graham crackers, brown sugar and deep berry notes. Boozy nose feel

Flavors:
Definitely a variety of whiskey, scotch and bourbon notes but pleasant. Rich Toffee, vanilla, smokey wood, campfire, marshmallows, chocolate notes, graham crackers, caramel, coconut notes, orange notes, coriander, earthy hops (still present), burnt oak, maple, honey, flan, brown sugar, berry notes, cherry notes and raisins.

Aftertaste:
The aftertaste is definitely of the presence of Double Bastard. Rich vanilla Toffee with citrus bitterness, coconut, vanilla, whiskey, campfire oak and earthy hops. A sipper with the booziness only as present as it needs to be to get the different variables of bourbon, scotch and whiskey out but nothing to burn harshly.

Overall:
Exceptionally great and complex. This beer will definitely develop stronger oak and vanilla character with possibly more fruit and toffee characters as the years pass by. No telling what will happen. Except the 2009 version tasted like a wine and cheese party which was brilliant.. Price wise, it is a lot. I have to thank a person who hooked me up with this for doing a review. Although, 500ml bottle isn’t quite a lot of beer. Seeing the level of complexity it took to make this I would understand. Although, I would say it is better if you find it on tap if possible. It is only a few times I review these due to the price ($18-$23 per bottle) but I would recommend them if you like as sometimes, they are worth that much in experience.

*Extra credit for the exceptional complexity with the different use of oak barrels bringing out delicious dessert flavors.

Anime Corner:
Lilith Aensland and Jedah Dohma from Darkstalkers which I had chosen for this piece had to do mainly with why I chose them for the first Double Bastard I did a long time ago. The Double bastard portion had to do with my idea of 2 girls combining in higher flavor profiles. I will be redoing the original Double Bastard soon to recap on the epic beer to show what I mean. The Bat wings of Lilith and the dark Jedah (Midnight Bliss form) represent the gargoyle and the darkness of arrogance. So you have a sweet and bitter flavor profile from the Double Bastard. The fact that in this picture, Lilith is moving away from the bottle and into the arms of Jedah, symbolizes the repel effect of burning or charred effect the oak bourbon barrels have on the Double bastard beer. In the previous Double Bastard picture I used, it is Lilith who is embracing Jedah instead. So it seemed to fit in my mind somehow.

Black Tuesday (2013 Release) by the Bruery

563717_10101500300847040_355562397_n 480354_10101500300208320_5775099_nRating: 6/5* This years is the same as previous years

Black Tuesday (2013 Release) by the Bruery is an 18.9% ABV Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label: 
NEW DEAL

I cannot help but raise a dissenting voice to statements that we are living in a fool’s paradise, and that prosperity in this country must necessarily diminish and recede in the near future.” – E.H.H. Simmons, President, NYSE, January 1928

Black Tuesday Will age gracefully for many decades of economic fluctuations. Best stored and cellared around 55 °F (13 °C) in a dark place. Ideal serving temperature is 55 ° F (13 °C). Best enjoyed in a tulip or wine glass
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Let’s not kid ourselves here, 18.9% ABV? Nope, I am calling it 19% ABV. One of the strongest but favorite beers that I have ever stumbled upon and one of the more coveted ones. This year, the Bruery has been a little more graceful in releasing more beers to the public than in the past. Even if their web page kept crashing just the like the Stock Exchange Crash of the 1920s. I was lucky to even get the bottle from them this year. Lucky for many though, through out October and parts of November, they had their Barrel Aged months so definitely offered them on tap to the public. Since I have done reviews for this beer several times, I 

Aromas:
Rich bananas, vanilla, bourbon, caramel, roasted coconut, oak, dark fruits like cherries raisins, sweet, dark and milk chocolate, strong hazelnut (but not as awesome as Grey Monday), pecan pie, very nice smokey sugar, like a roasted marshmallow on a graham cracker, chocolate then laced with dulce de leche caramel, some slight agave syrup, almost candi sugar, choco flan, creme brulee and a lot of sweet goodness that is hard to make out but its very appealing.

Flavors:
Lots of chocolate covered bananas, dulce de leche caramel, flan, bourbon sweet, dark, milk chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oak, cherries, mocha, coffee, plums, raisins, burnt sugar, crème brulee, anise, chocolate cake, chocolate brownie batter, rum, chocolate smores, marshmallow, graham crackers, waffle cone, roasted coconuts, pecan pie, hazelnut cream, port wine, agave nectar, apple butter and many more complexities.

Aftertaste:
The rich banana, bourbon, chocolate, rich dark fruits, hazelnut, cherries, marshmallow, coconut, pecan pie, all of it! Stays on the palette like a rich dessert. Boozy, but damn smooth and damn dangerous. Sipping drinkability but because it is smooth, you made be tempted to drink it easily. Do not try to finish the bottle in a single sitting. Bad things happen 

Overall:
*There is nothing more I can say which I have not professed about this beer in past reviews other than get it if you must!! All I can do now is see about finding another bottle and cellaring it for maybe 20 years and see what happens. I hope to live long enough to enjoy but more than likely I will finish it. Maybe

Anime Corner: tl;dr 
KOS-MOS or (Kosmos Obey Strategical Multiple Operation Systems), from the series Xenosaga is one of my Three most favorite characters in anime. She was chosen for this particular beer in 2012 to go along with some of my most favorite beers of all time. In terms of who she is is representative of how bad ass this beer is. To me, Black Tuesday is representative of a crash which brings about chaos. Polar to chaos is order or cosmos. While there is is a mess among chaos, there is always a glimmer of hope that will restore the balance to the universe, and that is order or KOS-MOS. In other reviews I have reviewed her character when it comes to the divine and holy (The Lost Abbey Judgement Day, Mayan Judgment, Angel Share, Sede Vacante and even Sam Adams Tetravis). In the game, SPOILER ALERT She is Mary Magdalene’s vessel for which Kaos is Jesus Christ. SPOILER ENDS. Yeah, the spoiler may not make sense but there are many websites ready to explain. Anyways, Black Tuesday label, although hard to see holds some shiny blue but also some shiny brown. The blue part represents KOS-MOS for me and the brown is the sweet chocolate. Once you find out how sweet and understanding this character is, it makes a world of a difference which is why Black Tuesday makes a world of a difference to me. Although the cold harsh reality of her initial computational robotical android form is may seem a bit cold when the series first started. Not to mention the fact that she is a definitely over powered character, which may be the alcohol and the fact that this beer should not be consumed in one sitting. She should be enjoyed slowly. The artwork also represents Black Tuesday as the dark matter of space, the upper frontiers of awesomeness and good beer. Tuesday is just another cycle of the stars.

Parrot in a Palm Tree by Karl Strauss

484752_10101494937505220_223810333_n 1468748_10101494937719790_1711247771_nRating: 5.45/5

Parrot in a Palm Tree by Karl Strauss is an 8.5% ABV Holiday Baltic Porter aged in Port Wine Barrels

Label: 
In San Diego, we’re not known for our partridges or pears but we can all relate to those noisy parrots and their relentless “caroling”. Parrot in a Palm Tree is a robust Baltic Porter brewed especially for the Holidays. Aged two months in San Pasqual Tawny Port barrels, the resulting brew isn’t for the birds. This winter warmer boasts a complex bouquet of dark fruits, espresso and chocolate, with hints of oak in its warming finish. Raise a glass to 2010 or save a bottle as this limited release will age with the best of them.
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A rare beer that I was only able to find online. This beer is the first in the Twelve Days of San Diego Christmas beers. Aged 3 years so far as the beer came out in 2010. Just the fact that it is aged in port wine gives me that reminiscence of Troise Pistoles. I have been looking for the previous versions of the Karl Strauss Christmas beers. Last year I had the third installment, Mouette à Trois (Three Seagulls) which I reviewed and though the world of that beer. The fact that it aged since 2010 and in Port Wine? I can only think the world of this beer. 

Aromas:
Just like the Bruery’s Partridge in a Pear tree, very rich dark fruit raisins, figs, plukms, dark cherries, raspberries, sweet port wine, grapes, chocolate, pecan pie, brown sugar, fruit cake, light coffee, caramel, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, strawberry marmalade and raisin bread pudding 

Flavors:
Good amount of rich port wine but nothing that burns, pleasant raisins, chocolate, mocha, coffee, java, hazelnut, pecan pie, fruit cake, molasses, Blackberries, currant marmalade, vanilla, dulce de leche, raisin bread pudding, rich figs, coconut, and brownies.

Aftertaste:
The aftertaste leaves off rich as well, with nice figs, raisins, port wine, chocolate, coffee and fruit cake breadiness. Hard to detect the alcohol in the taste, but if anything it brings a great splash of flavors. Easy to moderate drinkability with hardly any harshness. Kinda smooth really

Overall:
Freaking great and very delicious. Exceeding expectation but expected from a beer that is aged in port wine barrels and tasting like Trios pistoles, but also close to the initial flavors of the Bruery’s Partridge in a Pear Tree (except the pear). That and I love parrots. Sue me, I just do. Each flavor I had mentioned earlier is not only notes, but actual nice rich flavors coming through Highly recommended if you can find it. It is aging very well and hopefully by the 12th Christmas of San Diego release will be just at peak.

Anime Corner:
Dizzy is one of the characters from the Guilty Gear series. In the Art work, it matches the beer label as she is with the parrots. The colors are representative of the label as well. In terms of the complex flavors, it brings forth one of her ultimate features, which is complexity of power and emotions. The sweetness of this beer and complexity only shows you part of her true potential. If this beer is mean to age until the 12th release of the Christmas of San Diego beers, her true potential will reach its peak. 

Vocaloid Hatsune Miku in the second picture represents the same color as the parrot thus complimenting the label. That is about it for my visual comparison. She is also sweet like this beer.

2013 (Brewcifer) Darkness by Surly Brewing

1456584_10101489612296980_2120143065_n 1441207_10101489613913740_1383984554_n 1392964_10101489614223120_164624249_n 1451618_10101489612756060_1145465204_nRating: 5.55/5 *

Darkness by Surly Brewing is a 10.3% ABV World Class Russian Imperial Stout

Label:
Brewcifer Lord of Darkness

From the depths of the Brewhouse he arises! Enveloped in raging flames, his shadowy visage commands submission to the dark nectar in his goblet. Brewcifer holds before you a massively opaque black brew with notes of chocolate, coffee, dried tart cherries and raisins. The thick body of this Russian Imperial Stout finishes sweet, with a piney resinous hop character.

Brewcifer commands that you enjoy this creation in a tulip glass, to capture the complex aromas and flavors. Brewcifer would suggest that you share with a friend. Brewcifer doesn’t want you to be a jerk.

Each year, we select a different artist to create a Darkness-inspired monstrosity. This year’s fiery creature is from the dark imagination of local artist Josh “Jawsh” Lemke.

Omar Ansari Todd Haug
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Happy National Stout Day 😀 !! I Was able to find this one online, special thanks to Ben for hooking me up with this one. A contribution that is well appreciated here at brewerianimelogs. This evil brew comes all the way from Minnesota. The beer is a response to 3 Floyds Dark Lord RIS. Surly has made some of the best Midwest beers ever. I have tried several of their special releases and the majority have been very outstanding. This is the first time I try this and may consider picking this one up for future reviews if I like it.

Aromas:
Deep rich dark chocolate, milk chocolate, , earthy hops, roasted coffee, dark fruit notes, vanilla, toffee, caramel, that special sweet raisin bread pudding, surly yeast, dark cherries, hints of spices, anise, currants, chocolate cake, walnuts, hazelnut, some tropical essence like a hint of grapefruit and piney hops, chocolate covered mango notes, brown sugar and molasses.

Flavors:
Very good dark chocolate, piney, earthy hops, chocolate covered mango, vanilla, caramel, toffee, delicious rye bread, dark fruits raisins, dark cherries, currants, coffee, mocha, Kahlua notes, molasses, raisin bread pudding, tart raspberry skins, anise, pecan pie notes, brown sugar, cherry Dr. Pepper syrup notes, maple syrup, molasses, peaches and cream

Aftertaste:
Sweet,bakers dark chocolate, mild tropical and earthy hop aftertaste with lots of berries, dark fruits and syrupy mango linger. No alcohol what so ever in the taste, dangerously smooth and easy to moderate drinkability. Scary stuff

Overall:
Exceptionally epic and delicious example of the style. Goes to show that not all great beers have to be bourbon barrel aged to exceed expectations. This one does its own, with no extra help. The interesting part is how the hop flavors come to play along exceedingly nice with the stout flavors. Almost saying, I am just as important as the rest of you sweet chocolate goodness. Lends a very hefty hand. You get more sweeter tropical notes as the beer gets warmer. That is where it becomes it’s best. Highly recommend it if you can get this one online or lucky enough to know where to get it or have someone who can hook it up. This devil’s water is insanely sweet and I honestly wish they would sell this year round. Would definitely be one of my favorite Russian Imperial stouts that were not Barrel aged. Definitely meets that World Class qualification.

*This beer gets the extra credit for exceeding my expectations and it did it without the help of barrel aging

Anime Corner:
Ryuoko Matoi is a character from the Kill-La-Kill series. A fierce and ruthless character who shows no fear when it comes to finding her father’s killer. Her outfit and and personality best fits the label as well as the name, Darkness, although since the beer is pretty sweet, it is a part of her personality that makes her self conscious of her body while fighting.

Second character is Satan from the series The Seven Deadly Sins from Nitro Plus. She obviously fits the brewcifer label for her being and her colors. While she is passionate about war against good, she has a weakness for cute animals which is best represented by Darkness flavors being so sweet, mysterious, smooth and appealing.

The Third character is a demonic form of Sakura Haruno from the Naruto series. While she never has this form, canonically, it is a fan art that best fit the beer in terms of the label, demon look, pink hair for the dark cherry flavors and the sharp green eyes which reflect the out-pour of the tropical hops notes within the stout

Firestone XVI Sixteenth Anniversary Ale (1 year later) by Firestone Walker

1424553_10101488277137650_1745197429_n 1451454_10101488276239450_930836238_n 1459304_10101488277496930_1457209677_nRating: 5.8/5 * This version has been aged for 1 year since it’s release

Firestone XVI Sixteenth Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker is a 13% ABV American Strong Ale combining several blends of beers all into this fine master piece. I had saved an extra bottle from last year to present during the time that the 17th anniversary was to be released. It was stowed away for the entire year. I will not go into much detail about the label or the strategy guide as I literally wrote a book on reviewing this beer last year. This year the 17th anniversary is around the corner and will be heading to many stores all over. Therefore, I will try and pick up a bottle to bring forth a review. Hopefully better or as good as last year’s review which you can check out on the link below. 

Link the last year’s Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/firestone-xvi-sixteenth-anniversary-ale-by-firestone-walker/

Today, I want to go over the evolution and differences that I will try and pick up from last year to see what may have changed or reviewed from last years. First thing I can already tell is that it feels boozier from last year. Could have possibly grown to a 14 or 15% ABV. The difficulty in this review is trying to get the development from last years and how the strategy guide is useless here as I cannot tell which of the individual blends has developed more as the complexity has gone beyond my understanding. Either way, cheers and wish me luck.

Developed Aromas are of more dark fruits, more chocolate covered raisins, dulce de leche caramel, rich vanilla, coffee, smokey undertone, dark cherries, agave nectar, rocky road ice cream, ferro rocher chocolate pecan pie, bigger amounts of oak, bourbon, tequila, coconut, a wine grape character, chunky munky banana and cherry ice cream and kahlua coffee

Flavors have developed into more of rich rock road icecream with pecans, coconut, marshmallows, whiskey, agave tequila, wine hints, agave nectar, dark cherry yogurt undertone, raisins, dark and lighter fruits like peach and mango, caramel, kahlua chocolate, almond joy chocolate, banana chunky munky, smokey oak, vanilla, mocha frappuccino notes, more danish cookies, more leche nestle, maple, pecan pie and other complex flavors. 

Aftertaste is of dark fruit, chocolate, roasted coffee beans and distinct liquor booziness. Nothing that is overwhelming or burning. In fact, it almost feels like the beer has mellowed out and gotten a bit smoother too. A definite sipper still though, this is a heavy ABV beer.

Overall:
More spectacular than before. You will get more enhanced flavors like stronger dark fruit and chocolate flavors along with a bigger booziness that plays well with others. You can tell there is a difference in the liquors as well, like the tequila and bourbon. I would definitely recommend it if you missed out on last years as this one was made with PNC. This year’s is made with Velvet Merkin, so I will definitely try my best to bring that beer forward here. Definitely a pick up if you can get it.

Anime Corner:
This is Shiba’i Chuutatsu from the Battle Vixens Series is the main Spoiler Alert Villain, goes by Kentei Spoiler Ends. This character, while deceiving others to be handicap, has no remorse towards others, much less her own comrades in the series. The dragon tatoos on her arms glow as she powers up her chi. She is actually very powerful when she unleashes her dragon stage. Oh yeah, she can play guitar too, go figure.

In the last beer review, I posted most of the cast of Battle Vixens “Ikki Tousen” but I also posted one of Sonsaku Hakufu, the protagonist of the series who also has the spirit of the Dragon. I have only seen he first half of the series but I understand it is her destiny to stop the villain. In both pictures here I wanted to show 2 abstracts. In the first picture I wanted to show how some of the colors of the label fit Hakufu in the picture. The cast of the series is supposed to represent the different beer blends that go into making this beer. In this beer review, we can see how they have “developed” or most of them. The colors of Shiba’i’s outfit were perfect for the label but in contrast with the development of the beer’s dark fruit, chocolate and dark cherry flavors, I wanted to show how the powerful this character was. Also, her hair is pink so that’s another fruit like cherry. You be the judge

Top Shelf Series Tart Attack by NoDa Brewing

1255475_10101484477387380_616502460_nRating: 3.75/5

Top Shelf Series Tart Attack by NoDa Brewing is a 4.3% ABV Berliner Weissebier brewed with Blackberries.

Label: 
This Berliner Weisse style sour ale is full of character and flavor at only 4.3% alcohol by volume. We sour mashed this ale to create a lovely tart and bright flavor. To further the tart character, we rested it on blackberries after its fermentation was complete. The result is a bright and complex tart ale with both semisweet and dry notes throughout. This ale was brewed to honor Pints for Prostates and all their work in bringing awareness to prostate cancer. So men… get tested, live longer and enjoy more craft beer!

For more information, please visit PintsForProstates.org
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Pink against Prostate Cancer goes many ways too. This beer is a light bodied rosy pink. This beer was released by the Rare Beer Club for the Pints for Prostates campaign where the money that they get from selling these beers goes to a good cause. 

Aromas:
Wheat bread, lemon, citrus, tart black berries, funky wine grapes, grain, minerals and yogurt notes

Flavors:
Lemon,citrus, tart cherries, tart blackberries skins, coriander, wheat bread, grains, yogurt notes, wine grapes, light funky hay notes and mild herbal hints

Aftertaste:
Leaves with a hints of bread, yogurt notes, grains and lemon but then quickly becomes dry. Very refreshing, easy to drink, crisp and light. 

Overall:
This is a pretty good beer. While the ABV makes it light, the its a good enough amount of tart to go around. Nothing extremely sour neither. One of the reasons I believe is the top shelf or table series is because it is the type of light beer that is served at a fancy dinner. It would work wonders with some nice meat, cheeses or even a very nice salad

Anime Corner:
Mio Akiyama from the K-ON! Series. I do not know a lot about the series other than the character is shy and likes to play Bass. She tends to freak out over things that make her scared or embarrassed. In this picture, the other characters are making fun of her to see what she would look like in a Maid outfit. While they laugh it off she mutters MOE MOE KYUN! and does a heart with her hands. While MOE MOE KYUN in Japan is used to describe something cute and sexy, it was taken as a cross reference in this picture to also refer to KAME HAME HA! In the same reference where Goku from Dragon Ball Z does a wave. Basically in this picture she’s is charging a pink heart beam to blast the other girls for making fun of her. 

The beer reference comes into play in many aspects. The beer is pink and is Tart. The name tart attack in the context of the picture refers to the pink attack she is powering up to launch. Just like the beer has some nice fruity and easy going flavors, the tart part of it will attack the taste buds. Also, her outfit is of a maid. Since the label shows like a waiter serving the beer, I wanted to show it is similar as in this maid here is serving you a Tart Attack!

Malheur Zestig by Brouwerij De Landtsheer

1380507_10101484476918320_823335324_nRating: 4.8/5

Malheur Zestig by Brouwerij De Landtsheer is a 10% ABV Strong Golden Belgian IPA

Label: 
Aromatic hops of European origin. Malheur Zestig has a high level of bitter units and a balanced hop flavor.
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Get this from the Rarebeerclub.com While trying to order, Jolly Pumpkin’s Los Vivos y Muertos Saison, they had to replace that beer with this one due to the Government shut down in early October 2013. While I was a bit disappointed, great talks about this beer made me think otherwise. Since I had ordered previously to get the JP beer, I was sent this one instead. Not a bad choice at all considering that it is made by the brewery who has ties to De Halve Maan Brewery. I was pleasantly surprised.

Aromas are of white peppercorns, cloves, peach, floral and herbal hops, apricot, biscuit bread, herbs, coriander spice, citrus, vanilla, slight oak hints and pears

Flavors are of the awesome Belgian IPA goodness I like but with more fruit and herbs. White peppercorns, peach, phenolic spices, cloves, coriander, flowers, honey, herbal hops, apricot, biscuits, vanilla bread, waffle cone, citrus, lemon, pear, apples,

Aftertaste is mildly hoppy but floral, herbal, fruity and honey sweet. This is one good Belgian beer. Very nice, smooth and refreshing. Hidden alcohol and moderate drinkability.

Overall, an amazing great Belgian IPA. It hits the right places. Nice Flowers and hop character and releasing some very nice bread, yeast, spicy and fruity flavors. Definitely recommended if you love Belgian beers for sure.

Anime Corner:
Alkaid from the Dothack series. A character with a fiery and pride driven personality defending herself at any moments notice (Hop and white peppercorn influence of the beer). While maybe hot headed, she is a very loyal friend and a protector to those she trusts and respects. She would defend their honor as well (fruit and vanilla sweetness). This beer not only matches some of this characters personality but also her colors, red hair with the yellow and black outfit. If you see any other pairings to this art piece let me know

Reunion Ale ’13 A Beer For Hope collaboration by Shmaltz and Terrapin

1385580_10101484472462250_1979555791_nRating: 4.25/5

Reunion Ale ’13 A Beer For Hope collaboration by Shmaltz and Terrapin is an 8% ABV Brown Ale brewed with Cocoa Nibs, Vanilla, cinnamon and Coffee

Label: 
Benefiting the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research

Teaming up with Terrapin Beer Co. for the third time, Shmaltz Brewing returns as a production partner for Reunion ’13. We brew Reunion each year in memory of our dear friend and partner in this venture – Virginia MacLean. Virginia lost her battle with Multiple Myeloma in 2007. It was her wish that we continue to raise finds and awareness on behalf of The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research (www.imbcr.org). 

This year’s beer is a dark ale brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla, cinnamon and coffee from NYC and Upstate NY. It was inspired by a fantastic dessert that we used to share with Virginia at our favorite restaurant. 

Many thanks to all who have supported this project and have helped us honor Virginia’s Memory.

Cheers – Pete & Alan
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This is the first time I try the Reunion series. A beer with cocoa nibs, vanilla, cinnamon and coffee? Yes Please. The good thing about the beer as well is that it is for a good cause. My mother died of cancer so anything that works toward fighting the dreaded disease is a definite win in my book.

Aromas are of coffee, hints of chocolate, mocha, hints of vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, caramel, biscuit bread, clove hints and nutmeg

Flavors are of coffee mainly, roasted coffee grounds, nutty mocha, vanilla notes, chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, toffee, biscuit bread and clove spice

Aftertaste leaves with cinnamon, dark chocolate notes, coffee roast and a little bit of vanilla and close to dry finish. Alcohol hidden but moderate drinkability.

Overall, the beer is really good although, just be cause it says cocoa nibs and vanilla, you gotta be a little picky. The chocolate and vanilla though comes in subtle being taken over by cinnamon and coffee flavors near the end. It is one that you may want to be careful though because if you do not like cinnamon and coffee, this beer might not be for you I personally like this combination but I think I like chocolate and vanilla better. It is more on the spicy side than the sweet side. Recommended especially since it is really good and for a good cause.

Anime Corner:
Tifa Lockhart and Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII are paired with this beer for a couple of reasons. Besides the fact that Reunion is important in the series when it comes to Jenova and Sephiroth form the same series. However, reunion of Cloud and Tifa in this sense because they come together to thwart off the evil. The colors in the label represent mako energy from the series which you can see is greenish. Fighting for a good cause to save the world, this beer fights for the battle against cancer, therefore, fight on!!

El Mole Ocho Vintage 2013 (High Gravity Series) by New Holland Brewing

536939_10101477015022020_1845921661_n 602103_10101477025945130_1597653307_n 1452035_10101477026618780_148683817_nRating: 4.65/5

El Mole Ocho Vintage 2013 (High Gravity Series) by New Holland Brewing is a 10.5% ABV Herbed/Spiced ale

Label: 
Our exploration into the flavors of mole, the legendary sauce of central Mexico. Malty aroma and rich, cocoa-laden body laced with an invigorating tinge of dried chilies and coffee. Pairings poultry, red meat, dark chocolate.
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Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, in my tradition is a time when we pray for our loved ones who are no longer with us. It is a day in celebration and remembrance. This day, I offer a review for a beer which came to me, just in time, online. So I figured it be the perfect occasion to let you in on a special beer that is made with flavors of mole and spices.

Aromas of this of mole, chocolate abuelita (Mexican Dark chocolate), cinnamon, champurrado (Mexican Chocolate and Atole drin), chile de arbol (red dried chiles), raisins, brown sugar, dark fruit notes, clove spice and pecans

Flavors are of dark Chocolate, chocolate abuelita, bananas, cloves, cinnamon, champurrado, notes of chile, molasses, brown sugar, dark fruit notes, pecan notes, caramel, berries and toffee.

Aftertaste continues with nice cinnamon, cocoa, chile notes, clove spice and dark fruit. Seriously hidden alcohol. No where to be found here. Moderate to sipping drinkability. It goes down kinda smooth

Overall, very good and a good pairing for Dia de los Muertos. A great amount of good sweets and spices. Not enough of the heat which is good, because some people prefer not to have a lot of heat. This beer reminds me of the New Belgium’s Mole Ale, however, the one that truly takes it in terms of mole beers, is Dark Lord De Muerte. That is intense stuff. This one is a definite recommend though for sure.

Anime Corner:
In the theme of the label and the day, it is easy to see what I was going with Orihime and Ulquiorra from Bleach, Lydia from Beetlejuice (Always speaking and fooling around with Ghoul Beetlejuice) and also Konan from Naruto. For Konan, this is not canon to the series but the way she looks is a special technique called Jashin in which the host does a ritual with a sample of the victim’s blood. By committing sepukku, the host unleashes the same death onto the victim. The host survives the ritual impaling and the victim dies in its place. Pretty crazy stuff coming from the Naruto Universe. Aside from that though, Jashin style looks like a skeleton and Konan, always wearing a flower on her head, seems to fit right in with the label and theme. Cheers!!