HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014 FROM Brewerianimelogs

bleachers_matsuri_by_apdonaton-d4oeigr

Original Artwork by: http://apdonaton.deviantart.com/

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Dark Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged by Mission Brewing

1560590_10101589579292320_243208413_n 1551611_10101589579262380_99030380_n 1510498_10101589578089730_1949458365_nRating: 5.5/5* Last Review of 2013

Dark Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged by Mission Brewing is 11.25% ABV Russian Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
This limited-edition version of our Russian Imperial Stout has been aged for 20 months in Four Roses whiskey barrels. It features Dark Seas’ obsidian, viscous and astoundingly roasty smooth-drinking charms, all taken to new eights from the aging process. Aromas of milk chocolate and bourbon give way to luscious notes of malted milk balls, cocoa, oak and whiskey. An especially spirited version of Dark Seas with softer edges, vanilla hints and barrel-aged complexity.
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Picked this one up at Ramirez Liquor and is also being sold at Uncle Henry’s in Downey California. This beer will see many of the Mission distribution networks so it should be available in many places. I have tried the original back in 2012 but back then, I really did not have a system of ranking. I am sure I would have gave that one a 5 as I really liked that one. Now with the release of this one, I could think of no better way to ring in the new year with a treat like this one.

Aromas:
Milk and dark chocolate, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, flan, dulce de leche caramel, currants, port wine, dark fruits like cherries, earthy but mild hops, brown sugar, marshmallow smores and raisins. 

Flavors:
Bourbon, whiskey, vanilla, oak, marshmallows, toasted coconut, milk and dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, rocky road ice cream notes, smores, plums, brown sugar, molasses, Kahlua, mocha, dark fruits, chocolate cake, bakers chocolate and brownies. 

Aftertaste:
Finishing with notes of the dark chocolate, mild cherry, raisins, caramel, earthy hop notes and currants. The bourbon does not linger. Very smooth-drinking, very creamy, no alcohol in the taste and dangerously delicious.

Overall:
Very delicious beer exceeding the expectations of the original by a great amount. The best part is that it is VERY SMOOTH as hell. No lingering alcohol and very pleasant with nothing over powering and there seems to be enough sweet and bitter balance with everything just smooth sailing.. The Calm before the Storm per say. Makes me wonder if I am still drinking an 11.25% ABV beer, WOW. People that love this one or love Barrel-aged beers will definitely love this one even more.

Anime Corner:
Franco il Nero (Cyan hair), Donne Annonime (Blonde hair), Lily Salvatana (w/ glasses and captain hat) from Outlaw Django Tre Donne Crudeli were chosen for this pairing as a way to salute the end of the year as Franco is saluting in the picture like if she was playing the role of a captain but also because I chose Franco and Donne in the original review. I chose them because pirates relate to the label and the dark seas beer. Pirates carry guns and these two were on the shore of the beach as if they were stranded off at sea. That was my reasoning from it. Now as for the Dark sea aspect, I show you the last pairing which is the one with the girl at sea with the ships coasting the dark seas. Awesome stuff.

2012 Review of the NON Barrel-aged version: 
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/dark-seas-russian-imperial-stout-by-mission/

Sin Tax by Mother Earth Brewing

1005839_10101588108779240_1403404449_nRating: 5/5

Sin Tax by Mother Earth Brewing is an 8.1% ABV Peanut Butter Imperial Stout 

Label:
Why does something so seemingly wrong, have to be so suspiciously right? Something that creeps up on you like lipstick-red nails running up your back, exciting your senses and leaving a lasting impression that keeps you coming back. We used that experience to create Sin Tax.

Premium British crystal and roasted malts meld with a Maris Otter base and American hops, giving way to a brown sugar and peanut butter essence that finishes beautifully. Call it our guilty pleasure. It’s delectable.
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Another awesome peanut butter beer. Peanut butter flavored beers are far few in between. One I tried from the East Coast (Liquid Bliss by terrapin), the Karl Strauss Peanut butter cup beer on tap, the Belching beaver Peanut butter milk stout and now this one. I am definitely loving this trend. Each one very different though offering more chocolate or more peanut butter or a good balance of both. This one has been released in many places and I have found it in Total Wine and more, Ramirez Liquors and now even Uncle Henry’s Deli in Downey California. If you get a chance to find this beer, definitely get it. Mother Earth Brewing of San Diego is a growing company and the more they sell the more they will make to reach different people.

Aromas:
Cocoa Crispies and Reese’s peanut butter cup cereal in coffee instead of milk. Rich peanut butter, dark chocolate, mocha, rich brown sugar, earthy notes, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins hints, marshmallow, butter and honey on toast.

Flavors:
Forward roasty coffee beans, Chocolate, peanut butter, earthy notes, Reese’s peanut butter cup cereal, cocoa crispies, coffee, rich brown sugar, mocha, toffee, raisin hints, marshmallow and peanut butter on toast dipped in double espresso coffee with mild nutella hints. 

Aftertaste:
Leaves with more roasted coffee bean and earthy flavors than the peanut butter and dark chocolate but they do linger for a bit which is sweet. A sipping beer with no alcohol in the taste. Full silky and creamy mouth feel. Extra points for that peanut butter and chocolate though.

Overall:
Great beer with enough peanut butter to make it interesting. The balance of roasted malt and sweet peanut butter chocolate is much better so it isn’t overly sweet. Although, there is more coffee than peanut here. Great stuff none the less and a perfect beer.

Anime Corner:
Scanty and Knee-socks, the Demon Sisters from the Panty and Stocking show I chose for this pairing for a couple of reasons. To represent the devil girl on the label, Sin-Tax as an act of collecting debt from the sinners, and the fact that the Demon Sisters always go by their own Rules or RURU. So in the case of the beer, they are out on a mission to collect this debt with sweet vengeance holding flavors of peanut butter on one hand and chocolate on the other. Let’s not forget the Cinnamon spice and brown sugar of their demeanor. Kick Ass!!

The Ghost of Jacob Barley collaboration between Noble Ale Works and Beachwood Brewing

1517543_10101588105660490_1459661081_n 1491616_10101588105740330_1046275011_n 1546449_10101588105939930_293451625_nRating: 4.85/5

The Ghost of Jacob Barley collaboration between Noble Ale Works and Beachwood Brewing is a 9.6% ABV Winter Warmer brewed with Coffee and Cinnamon.

Label:
Noble Ale Works teamed up with Beachwood BBQ & Brewing and Portola Coffee Lab to brew this Spiced Winter Warmer with coffee. Layered rich with English caramel malts, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon and some of the best coffee on earth, the result is exactly what you’d expect…DELICIOUS! Brewed to celebrate the 2nd Annual Brew Ho Ho Holiday Ale Festival, we recommend that you drink this winter treat as soon as possible in order to experience the vibrant coffee character at it’s peak.
___

Picked this one up at Total wine and more. Beachwood and Noble Ale works are part of the Socal breweries and are definitely growing in distribution. If you are lucky to get this for Christmas, give at go and see if it is to your liking. It sure is an awesome idea.

Aromas:
Very Rich coffee forward, cinnamon, caramel, toffee, nutmeg, gingerbread, brown sugar, toffee, biscuit bread, all spice, fruit cake, pecan pie notes, dark fruit notes, maple syrup, hazelnut and mild earthiness.

Flavors:
Coffee, caramel, cinnamon, roasted coffee grounds, oatmeal, brown sugar, hazelnut, pecan pie, toffee, rye bread, fruit cake, raisins, mocha, java, mild chocolate notes and mild apple butter notes.

Aftertaste:
Finishing of with bitter coffee grounds, fruit cake, maple syrup, caramel and cinnamon lingering.
Moderate to Sipping drinkability. No alcohol in the taste. Syrupy mouth feel.

Overall:
Very delicious beer if you love coffee. The combination of Coffee in a winter warmer is quite the interesting one. I would definitely recommend it. I saw that the breweries also released this on tap with eggnog. I will see what this does to the beer and regular eggnog. Although it may not work. Either way, I would definitely recommend this one

Anime Corner:
Ghost Rider and Black Rock Shooter I chose for this pairing as well as the last artwork piece with the ghost with chains visiting the person behind bars was to portray Jacob Marley who visits Ebeneezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. You can say Ghost Rider visits Black Rock Shooter to warn about something or ensue a battle with her. Black Rock Shooter is a mysterious character from another world or dimension that carries chains and a sword. Like Ghost Rider, you may also say she is a ghost herself. I am unfamiliar as to the origins of the last piece but it still fits the whole ghost visiting Scrooge as the Christmas theme of the beer shows.

Four Scowling Owls by Karl Strauss

1524587_10101588102382060_958083838_n 1524676_10101588103953910_758668113_nRating: 4.5/5

Four Scowling Owls by Karl Strauss is a 9% ABV Belgian Tripel

Label:
Don’t upset these angry birds: share a bottle of this year’s Holiday Tripel. Four Scowling Owls – the next release from our “Twelve Days” holiday series – is a robust Belgian style strong ale with orange citrus flavors and a spicy aroma. Amarillo and Mount Rainier hops balance out the Vienna malt character. The finish is dry and warm, perfect for those “chilly” San Diego winters. Birds of a feather drink together.
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The 4th release of the 12 Christmas beers of San Diego has been released this year for the winter. I wanted to get this beer up and tried to go along with the other 2 beers I have tried from them, which were the Mouette Trois and the Parrot in a Palm Tree. Total Wine and More has recently released this one in Redondo Beach but I am sure it will hit many stores very soon.

Aromas: 
Apricots, peppercorn, citrus, floral hops, orange juice, mango, pineapple, honey, biscuit bread, caramel, pears, peaches, coriander spice, stone fruit, golden raisins, bananas, clove spice and apples.

Flavors:
Bananas, peppercorns, clove and coriander spice, golden raisins, stone fruits like peaches and apricots, caramel, biscuit bread, pineapple hints, floral hop notes, citrus, orange peel, honey and toffee

Aftertaste:
Stone fruit and peppery spices linger with a touch of caramel and flowery hop bitterness. No alcohol in the taste but moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
It is a very good Tripel, but not something that is super mind blowing or something too new. It reminds me of some of the great Tripels out there. So if you like Tripels, you have probably had this one or one that is way better. On its own it still very delicious

Anime Corner:
Choosing anime pairings was simple but difficult at the same time. I wanted to get 4 girls to continue the number aspect of the beer. The only problem was trying to pair them as 4 scowling girls or even pair them as with the label colors or beer flavors. So the only thing I could find was 4 matching girls and 4 girls looking bad ass. They may not be scowling per say, but they sure as hell ain’t smiling, at least the first artwork piece with Fate/Stay night girls are not smiling.

Shock Top Chocolate Wheat and Choc’ Top by Anheuser-Busch

1524663_10101588096264320_530313006_n 1524976_10101588096563720_412938172_n 1512593_10101588105016780_230145779_nRating: 4.5/5 *Chocolate Wheat

Rating: 4.6/5 *Choc’ Top

Shock Top Chocolate Wheat by Anheuser-Busch is a 4.3% ABV Belgian-Style Wheat Ale brewed with spices, cocoa nibs and vanilla beans

Label:
Belgian style wheat ale brewed with spice, aged on cocoa and vanilla beans, and with natural flavors.
Pour down side of glass until 1/2″ is left in bottle. Swirl &pour remaining brew to properly blend spices & release the aroma & flavor. Enjoy!
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There is 2 beers to review here. The chocolate Wheat on its own and the “Black & Tan” version or Choc’ Top which includes pouring a portion of the Chocolate wheat and topping it off with the regular shock top. These beers come in a 6 pack with 3 being chocolate and 3 being shock top. In this review I will talk mainly about the chocolate wheat on its own but also describe how the addition of regular shock top may make or break the beer as it becomes, Choc’ Top

Aromas:
Impressive milk stout qualities, dark chocolate, vanilla, waffle cone, mild rocky road ice cream, caramel, marshmallow notes, earthy spice, brown sugar and peanut butter

Flavors:
Chocolate and vanilla are there and they do seem to mask some of the graininess. The wheat combination works great as the flavors come out like waffle cone, marshmallow, peanut butter hints and rocky road ice cream. It also has flavors of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, coriander spice and earthy grainy bitterness.

Aftertaste:
Finishes a bit dry but some of the vanilla, chocolate and waffle cone character linger slightly. Easy to drink, no alcohol in the taste but the mouthfeel is watery at times.

Overall:
Probably the best Shock Top beer I have ever had and that is swaying a lot since normally they are average but this one is very good

Anime Corner:
I chose Muramas from Full Metal Daemon to represent the chocolate and vanilla aspects of the beer but also show the winter and Christmas aspect of the new release. It is very good. As for the Choc’ Top I chose and original artwork from artist sigma99 which shows the chocolate embracing the original shock top flavors but the final outcome being a chocolate and orange infusion as shown in the last artwork which the character and the artist are unknown as I was unable to find an original source other than http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/view_post/133565?lang=en 

Choc’ Top:
This is what you make when you do a Black and Tan with the regular Shock Top and the Chocolate Wheat. The only difference in the Aromas and flavors is that you increase the wheat and coriander making it taste more like chocolate covered oranges. It makes it slightly better but does take away more from the vanilla and chocolate. So either way, good stuff

Brothers’ Reserve series Ginger Brrrbon ’13 by Widmer Brothers

1526679_10101588101803220_897622545_nRating: 4.2/5

Brothers’ Reserve series Ginger Brrrbon ’13 by Widmer Brothers is a 10.7% ABV Winter Warmer brewed 90% with Ginger and aged in bourbon barrels with the last 10% being regular winter warmer ale.

Label:
Our brewers added fresh chopped ginger to a few select barrels of our Barrel-Aged Brrrbon ’13, an imperial version of our Brrr Seasonal Ale aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels, for this limited edition brew. The addition of ginger complements the oak, vanilla, and caramel flavors of the beer and results in a smooth winter warmer perfect for the season. 

MALTS: Pale, Caramel, Carapils, Dark Chocolate
HOPS: Alchemy, Simcoe, Cascade
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The last of the Widmer beers I was looking for this year. The Vanilla one was definitely a different beer. Like I had stated before, it was more like a Barleywine than a winter warmer as it was more hoppy and citrusy from what I would expect from a Bourbon barrel aged beer. Either way, it was awesome. Obtained this one from Total Wine and more of Redondo Beach California.

Aromas:
a lot like a Barleywine than a winter warmer, some nice caramel, rich ginger bread and ginger spice, bourbon hits, coriander, citrus, grapefruit, earthy hops, mild tropic notes, cinnamon, dark fruit notes, toffee, rye, tapioca pudding, brown sugar, graham cracker and marshmallow.

Flavors:
Rich rye, ginger spice, barley wine notes, citrus, grapefruit, mild bourbon notes, piney and grassy hops, tapioca notes, herbs and spices, mild tropical notes, coriander spice, caramel, toffee, vanilla, biscuit bread, mild oak notes, brown sugar and chamomile.

Aftertaste:
The ginger, caramel, mild earthy hops and rye bread linger for a bit. Sipping beer and some alcohol in the taste. 

Overall:
It is a very good but not as good as the vanilla version, although this one is complex in its own way. The are more along the lines of Barleywines than winter warmer as there is more hop present. Also, the bourbon really doesn’t strike much to the overall flavor, just hints here and there. On its own as a Barleywine I say it does a good job but it also has enough spices and herbal flavors to make it good too.

Anime Corner:
Inoue Orihime from Bleach was used in this piece since I wanted to represent the ginger spices of the beer. She looks like a Ginger with the orange hair but that only adds to the whole thing. Also, many Winter warmers and Barleywines come in brown to orange hue, so this would better compliment the beer as well.

Hammer of the Holy by Clown Shoes

1485095_10101588091728410_1789017953_n 1471755_10101588091568730_279533253_n 1488143_10101588090969930_463653566_nRating: 5.66/5

Hammer of the Holy by Clown Shoes is an 11% ABV Smoked Imperial Stout aged in 40 year old Jamaican Rum barrels Holy water.

Label:
Hammer of the Holy, an American Imperial Stout aged in 40-year old Jamaican rum barrels, incorporates holy water, signature dark malts, and malt smoked with vampire killing stakes. Dear Undead, “Die, monsters, die!”
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Essentially it is their Vampire Slayer beer aged in Jamaican Rum. Vampire Slayer on its own has been one of the best beers along with Blaecorn Unidragon and the Angry/Very Angry beast line up. Some of the best and exquisitely delicious and to me, world class beers. Ramirez in Boyle Heights California has this one.

Aromas:
Dark Chocolate, sweet milk chocolate, rum, mild tropical hints, caramel, vanilla, oak, smokey campfire, graham crackers, mocha, dark fruits, raisins, plums, coconut hints, rye bread, molasses, brown sugar, earthy and tropical hop presence.

Flavors:
The mild smokey campfire notes of the beer makes it taste like Old Rasputin but not to a bitter degree but smokey, but then the sweet flavors take over. Caramel, dark fruits, raisins, plums, rich dark chocolate, sweet tropical rum notes, oak, graham crackers, marshmallow notes, coconut, rye bread, oatmeal cookies, mild flan notes, hazelnut, coffee and mocha.

Aftertaste:
Sweet berries, oak, smoke, rum, tropical and dark fruit longer for a bit. A sipping beer but closer to easy drinking? Damn dangerous. Dangerously smooth and damn good luck trying to find the alcohol

Overall:
Vampire Slayer was delicious on its own, adding the 40 year old rum, FUCK!!!!! is what I say to that. Very delicious indeed and one that I loved a lot!!! Definitely recommend getting this one and don’t let this one get away. Hammer of the Holy is your weapon against the shitty dead beers of the world.

Anime Corner:
Vivid Blue from the Vividred series and Tia Harribel from the Bleach series I used in this pairing to represent the hammer of the holy as an awesome weapon but as well as to compliment the colors of the label. Tia was mainly used as a remind of what the beer was originally, Vampire Slayer, so in the epic artwork where she stands unleashing the gush of holy water and 40 year old rum towards the evils of the world, you can remember how bad ass that beer was and now enjoy this new epic beer.

Cherry Chocolate Bock by Samuel Adams

1549287_10101588090316240_1931863572_nRating: 4.8/5

Cherry Chocolate Bock by Samuel Adams 5.8% ABV Bock brewed with cherries and cocoa nibs 

Label:
This special release is brewed just for the holidays. For a new approach to a classic favorite, we added cherries to our traditional Chocolate Bock for a sweet, slightly tart note. Aged on a bed of dark cocoa nibs, the malty, chocolaty, and dark fruit flavors create a rich, complex beer perfect for winter. Cheers!
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I had always wanted to pick this up at the local store since I first tried the original Chocolate bock many years ago. I obtained this bottle when I went to one of my friends parties and I was given a bottle to try and take with me. It comes in a 12 pack for the Sam Adams winter season.

Aromas:
Rich strong cherry candy fragrance, chocolate, cherry tootsie pop, biscuit bread, chocolate covered cherries notes, licorice and raisins

Flavors:
Cherry tootsie roll forward, dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, licorice, raisin bread, biscuit bread, and dark cherry yogurt notes.

Aftertaste:
Leaves close to dry but the cherry, chocolate and raisin. Easy to drink, no alcohol in the taste and creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: 
This beer is great if you love a beer that gets to the point in terms of what it is that it is supposed to taste like. A sweet dessert beer for the holiday. Just that fact that it is chocolate brings it that much closer to perfect in my mind.

Anime Corner:
This is an original drawing by Aile Crossroads. I picked this piece to pair as it was obvious. It solidifies the chocolate and cherry flavors that this beer represents as well as complimenting on the colors of the labels. The sexy look of the girl compliments the silky smooth aspect of the beer.

La Trappe Jubaliris XXV 25th Anniversary Ale by Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven

1501787_10101588087322240_2093551938_nRating: 4.56/5

La Trappe Jubaliris XXV 25th Anniversary Ale by Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven is a 6% ABV Belgian Dark Ale

Label:
La Trappe Jubilaris has a full, soft, sweet and caramel like flavour. The beer has an average bitterness, but the hop aroma is clearly present in the background. As a result of yeasting with out own La Trappe home yeast, this beer has a characteristic fruity aroma. Serving temperature 10-12 degrees Celcius. Store in a cool and dark place.

Ingrdients: water, various types of malts, hops, yeast

This La Trappe Jubilaris has been brewed especially in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Dom Bernardus. On august 29th 1988, aged 20, he took his monastic vows. Dom, derived from the Latin Dominicis, meaning Lord, is a title for the superior in the tradition of Trappists.

The La Trappe Jubilaris is a special ale that is a cross between Dom Bernardus’ two favourites: La Trappe Dubbel and the La Trappe Isid’or. This anniversary ale combines the best of both. “Find God and live!”, Dom Bernardus would say. The Koningshoeven Brewery likes to add the following: “Enjow this unique Trappist ale”.

Congratiulations Dom Bernardus!
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Behold, the 25th Anniversary of the awesome Trappist Monastery, Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven in the Netherlands. La Trappe beers have been very awesome. I have only tried 3 of their beers so far and nothing but perfections in each. This I obtained from Total Wine and More of Redondo Beach California. 

Aromas:
Dulce de leche, bananas, oak, bourbon like hints, pecans, floral notes, dates, biscuit bread, banana and raisin bread, vanilla, granola, brown sugar, nutmeg, apples and wine hints

Flavors:
Bananas, dark fruits, oak, spicy cloves, coriander, citrus, dulce de leche caramel, raisins, candy sugars, pecans, vanilla yogurt hints, honey, almond, granola, mild graham crackers, white wine notes, nutmeg, apples, earthy spices and peach.

Aftertaste:
Finishing pretty dry with hints of banana bread and raisin cereal. Easy to drink, no alcohol in the taste but watery like mouth feel although crisp and refreshing. 

Overall:
A very good and close to light Belgian beer. Not overpowering at all. Not the best Trappist beer but delicious and refreshing none the less. You can’t go wrong with banana bunches of oats cereal in a bottle. For those that don’t like a full bodied Belgian beer, this one would probably be awesome.

Anime Corner:
I am unfamiliar with this original artwork for Pixiv Fantasia but the artist is Fujimura marina. The reasoning behind the artwork and this pairing was influenced by the colors of the labels but I was also going for the Monkish or Magical nun look as well. This artwork was very fitting. Let me know what other artistic features you see here.

Rueze by the Bruery

1505000_10101588086643600_1672602365_nRating: 4/5

Rueze by the Bruery is a 5.6% ABV Gueuze Style ale or sour Blond aged in oak barrels 

Label:
Oud Gueuzie

Our take on a gueuze-style ale, this intensely tart and funky beer combines three different vintages of our barrel aged sour blonde ale.

Rueuze is suitable for aging up to five years when cellared properly
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Received this one as part of the preservation society series but is also made widely available to many markets. I have seen it in many places during the season and for many, this beer is an awesome sour.

Aromas:
Lemon, citrus, sour white grapes, grapefruit, biscuit bread, sour apples, floral notes, hints of berries, oak, apricot, hay, barnyard funk, must, and vanilla sweetness 

Flavors:
Lots Lemon peel, citrus, apricot, sour grapes, pears, oak, flowers, hints of berries, tart pears, funky brettanomyces, wet hay, vanilla, cheese and crackers.

Aftertaste:
Tart grapes, cheese and cracker notes, citrus and oak. It is a moderate to sipping beer. No alcohol in the taste.

Overall:
If you do not like sour, you may find this beer to be difficult one. If you love to explore deep into the sour flavors, then this may be one for you. For the most part it is very good only if you enjoy sours.

Anime Corner:
Irma and Elina from Queen’s Blade were used in this pairing with the beer to show case several things. First, the colors from Irma and Elina cover some of the colors of the beer label. Second, When I think of the word Rueze, I think of 2 things. First Rueze almost sounds like rust which makes me think metal and this is representative of their armor and second, Rueze almost sounds like truce in which case they will eventually need to call it that way if they are to end the battle. The harshness of the sour blond flavors is the harshness of Elina’s Strike of the spear in Irma which causes here to make a last minute parry with her swords but it manages to pierce or tear up her so called armor.

Kvasir collaboration by Dogfish Head, Dr. Patrick McGovern and Swedish brewery Nynashamns Angbryggeri

1515013_10101588085710470_683307432_n 1526370_10101588085101690_996990436_n 1459808_10101588086024840_1131452116_nRating: 5/5

Kvasir collaboration by Dogfish Head, Dr. Patrick McGovern and Swedish brewery Nynashamns Angbryggeri, is a 10% ABV Traditional Ancient Ale brewed with lingonberry, cranberry, birch syrup, honey, cranberry juice and herbs. 

Label:
She was a leather-clad priestess, a member of the upper class, and in the most northerly limits of Scandinavia, her tomb guarded a recipe for millennia. In her day, before grape wine arrived from the Neu East, alcoholic beverages were cocktails of sugar-rich ingredients like grain, fruit and honey.With help from biomolecular archaeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern and Swedish brewery Nynashamns Angbryggeri, we’ve unearthed the secrets of her tart, complex grog, and we’re sharing our modern interpretation with you. 
___

The next beer in the Ancient Ale series of Dogfish Head, Kvasir brings forth rich berry flavors according to the bottle description. The Ancient ales have been a hit or a miss in terms of complexity and deliciousness, although to me they have all been very fantastic. I was able to grab this beer from Ramirez Liquor store in Boyle Heights California.

Aromas:
Honey, Raspberries, cherries, cranberries, wine grapes, chamomile hints, herbs, raisins, almonds, strawberry preserves, toasted rye notes, biscuit bread, caramel, toffee, flowers and oak.

Flavors:
Tart cranberries, bit of funky grape, rich strawberry and raspberry preserves on toasted biscuit bread, raisins, rye, cherries, honey, chamomile hints, rye bread, flowery hops, mild earthy hop notes, rich trail mix and nice oak. 

Aftertaste:
Lots of berries in the aftertaste but start finishing tart but with some bready and earhy notes. Moderate to sipping drinkability. No alcohol in the taste either.

Overall:
Not as awesome as the Forte, but damn loving it none the less. Lots of berries are good in this one and with the right caramel and rye bready goodness, you really can’t go wrong if you love sweet but tart and fruit beers

Anime Corner:
Samus Aran from the Metroid series was used in this piece to express several different things. First you have the red and blue colors of the label as well as lady Kvasir who is blonde and magical. Since I first thought of Kvasir the God in Mythology, I made Samus look like a God in a Giant Varia suit patrolling the Universe for vanquishing evil with delicious flavors of berries. That and the fact that this version of the varia suit is actually the gravity suit and is purple like the berries in this beer, I kind of stretched my imagination on this one. What other things do you see in this pairing?

Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale by Wells & Young’s brewing

1486772_10101588081014880_2011908499_nRating: 4.25/5

Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale by Wells & Young’s brewing is a 5% ABV English Brown Ale

Label:
Based on the Great British pudding, full of rich sticky toffee-ness.
___

Been looking all over for this on. After being a fan of the Banana bread, I was really curious to try this. I am not sure why they went with a 11.2 oz bottle instead of the traditional 500ml but I am sure it is a treat.

Aromas:
Rich Toffee, caramel, pilsner grains and cereal, brown sugar, hints of chocolate or like a dark fruit, biscuit bread, butter scotch, almond, hazelnut, honey and vanilla. Sweet fragrances all around.

Flavors:
Caramel, toffee, crème brulee notes, chocolate hints, vanilla, strong earthy hop bitterness, brown sugar, nutmeg, hazelnut, honey, rye bread, butter scotch. The warmer the beer, the sweeter it gets.

Aftertaste:
Caramel, toffee, biscuit bread, cereal grains, earthy hop bitterness and pilsner grains. There is more bitterness making it kind of unbalanced if not drunk at the proper temperature (Too cold is bad). Easy to drink and no alcohol in the taste. Very creamy mouthfeel as well

Overall:
While it is a very good beer, you still have to let it warm up if you want to get that sticky toffee sweetness out. May not be as apparent in the first sip but after a couple, you will notice it linger for a while. Very nice stuff but not super consistent with balance with lower temperatures. For those that do not like super sugary beers, it may just have enough sweetness to cover you but there is more earthy bitterness than sweetness, especially at first couple of sips. Let it warm up and it gets better. What let me give it a higher score than expected was the nice blend of hazelnut and toffee as well as those hints of chocolate and vanilla.

Anime Corner:
Tomoe Mami from Madoka Magica who likes tea and dressing up. Pretty fancy considering this is an English Brown Ale but because the colors in the artwork fit with the label and the fact that the beer consist of the rich toffee flavors (not to mention the English influence like it might have been in the old days), I figured it fit since I Tomoe loves desserts like pudding as well.

Side Project #4 “Dos Cocoas” by Terrapin

1525469_10101588080271370_20787050_nRating: 5/5

Side Project #4 “Dos Cocoas” by Terrapin is a 5.8% ABV American Porter brewed with cocoa shells and cocoa nibs.

Label:
Our fans voted and Terrapin has delivered. In 2012, you elected the beer we should bring out of retirement. The winner? From 2008, Side Project #4- Dos Cocoas!

By using the freshest cocoa shells and nibs from Olive and Sinclair Chocolate Co. , our velvety smooth chocolate porter drips with luxurious excellence. Sit back and melt into this lusciously brewed beverage and enjoy all the succulent flavor this beer has to offer.

Spike’s brewing words of wisdom: “Keep this recipe away from Slugworth!”
___

Another awesome beer from Terrapin. This one I got from Luekensliquors.com as it is difficult to find this stuff here in the west coast. They have other good Terrapin beers as well as Cigar City beers. This one in particular caught my eye because I found out it was made with different types of chocolate. Seeing as I love sweet and chocolate beers, it was easy for me to get this one.

Aromas:
Rich Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, fudge brownie, caramel, mocha, vanilla, notes of brown sugar and toasted coconut notes

Flavors:
Very rich milk, sweet, baker and dark chocolate flavors, espresso notes, earthy hop character, caramel, mocha, toasted coconut hints, brown sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate milk shake and chocolate fudge brownies.

Aftertaste:
Rich Chocolate, mocha and espresso along with earthy hop bitterness lingers. Easy to drink and no alcohol present in the taste

Overall:
Another amazing chocolate brew. Complexity may not the winner here, but the chocolate is. If you are looking for a very chocolate tasting beer, this one is golden. Might possibly be better than Moo Hoo

Anime Corner:
While I have a difficult time trying to find out where this piece is from or even where the characters are from, my reasons for getting this piece of art work had to do mainly with the duality of using 2 different types of chocolate. One from the light and one from the dark. The shells and the cocoa nibs providing some delicious chocolate complexities. The duality of these 2 chicks in the picture represent that. Can you see how this artwork also shows about the beer? Let me know.

Hefe-Weizen by Fürst Wallerstein Brauhaus

1531531_10101588108943910_446320525_nRating: 4.45/5

Hefe-Weizen by Fürst Wallerstein Brauhaus is a 5.2% German Hefeweizen

Label:
In 1598, the royal Oettingen-Wallerstein family experienced the joy of brewing beer for the first time. Although the noble German family has gone through many changes over the years, their sacred recipes and brewing practices remain the same. All Wallerstein gourmet beers are made using local, natural ingredients and spend many weeks maturing in the brewery’s cellar to perfect their signature taste.
___

Got this one at Total Wine and More of Redondo Beach California. Apparently it is exclusive to them, so if you have a TW&M where you live, give it a try. I was definitely intrigued by the label but I also love the old pass time style of the German Hefeweizen, can’t go wrong. So let us see what this is about

Aromas:
Bananas, clove spice, citrus, lemon peel, bubble gum, biscuit bread, vanilla, caramel, wheat, coriander spice, honey and peppercorns.

Flavors:
Banana bread, cloves and coriander spice, toffee, caramel, lemons, oranges, mild peppercorn, honey, mild vanilla notes, bubble gum, pears and apples.

Aftertaste:
Aftertaste is of honey, wheat, banana, clove spice, and a bit of citrus. Refreshing, crisp and moderate;y easy to drink. No alcohol in the taste.

Overall:
A very good Hefeweizen but nothing too out there or new which I have not tried before. It is very sweet and delicious for sure either way so if you are willing to pick it up, go for it. Just know, there are other awesome Hefeweizens out there too. They are pretty new around these parts so I will definitely give them a fair shot as I try more.

Anime Corner:
An original artwork by Akizone was used in this piece to show case some good aspects of the Grman beer. A knight never leaves without his/her sword and this case it was easy for me to choose the art pairing. The colors of her armor compliment the colors of the label. Her hair goes from dark caramel to a light citrus yellow and orange along with the other colors representing some of the other fruity flavors. Can you tell of any other things from this artwork piece?

Delirium Noël by Brouwerij Huyghe

1526093_10101586398786080_1609852847_nRating: 4.5/5

Delirium Noël by Brouwerij Huyghe is 10% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Description: None.
___

This beer is in season for the winter and is found in many places where they sell craft beers or any of the Belgium Delirium Tremens series. I got this one at Downey Liquor in Downey California. These beers along with some of the other Belgium beers are some of the most delicious beers in the world.

Aromas:
Dark fruits, raisins, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, citrus, dulce de leche caramel, candy sugar, ginger bread, apples, peaches, pears, mild peppery spices, brown sugar and mild clove spice.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel, nutmeg, citrus, orange peel, Cinnamon, figs, dark fruits, raisins, cherry notes, pink peppercorns, coriander spice, candy sugar, clove spice, mild banana flavors, ginger bread, pears, peaches, plums, brown sugar, clove spice and apples.

Aftertaste:
Leaves with raisins, ginger bread, plum, peaches, caramel and mild peppercorn spices. A sipping beer. Some alcohol in the taste but it is a sugary sweet alcohol that does not detract from the taste only adding to the nice flavors.

Overall:
A very good Holiday Belgian beer with lots of quadruple flavors. It is a must try if you can find it although you may want to be careful as some places sells this beer pretty pricey while others sell it very cheap. If you decide to get it though, it won’t disappoint at all, so if you love Belgian beers, definitely get this one.

Anime Corner:
Chloe the dark Elf from Elsword is used in this pairing in order to show many aspects of the Delirium Noel. Chloe has pink eyes and hair as well as wearing the Santa Claus outfit to pair with the Delirium pink elephant in the picture. Since she is a dark elf, it represents the dark body of the beer but also the dark fruit flavors. In the label, the pink elephant can be seen playing in the snow at night time while Chloe delivers Christmas gifts. I was unable to find a lot about Chloe’s character other that she is a powerful dark elf which may represent the 10% ABV this beer carries

Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean by Stone Brewing

1526357_10101585218940500_1295748159_n 1496668_10101585219499380_1425887842_n 1513249_10101585219309760_2101571026_nRating: 3.9/5

Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean by Stone Brewing is a 5.9% ABV American Porter brewed with Vanilla Beans

Label:
In 2006, almost exactly 10 years after we first released Stone Smoked Porter, Stone Small Batch Brewer Laura Ulrich had a brilliant idea: What if she added whole Madagascar vanilla beans to a small batch of the finished beer? And voilá, Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean was born! It was an instant hit, as the resulting flavor combinations – rich vanilla melding with the malty, chocolatey, coffee-like characteristics of the beer-were practically made for each other. Originally available only as an occasional growler fill or on tap all-too-briefly at special events or in our restaurant, this exquisite creation was released in a single bottle run for the first time in 2012, much to the delight of its many fans… who instantly began clamoring for more. Your voices have been heard.
___

This is the latest release from Stone Brewing for the 2013 winter season. This is the second time I try and review this beer as the last time I tried it was was in a 12 ounce bottle. Back then, this one was very good. So I hope this one is just as awesome. This will see national distribution wherever stone beer is located. 

Aromas:
Roasted coffee notes, rich vanilla cream, mocha, dark chocolate, notes of campfire smoke, dulce de leche caramel, oak, molasses, brown sugar and earthy hops.

Flavors:
Roasted coffee, campfire smoke, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, subtle vanilla, caramel, molasses, hints of anise, brown sugar, earthy hops, licorice and hints of marshmallow

Aftertaste:
Smoke, earthy hops, roasted coffee grains, vanilla and dark chocolate. No alcohol in the taste with easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
This is a very good beer. While it hit a lot of good notes, for some reason, the vanilla wasn’t as strong as the one I got last year. It does not take away from the deliciousness of the beer. Expect a great porter but don’t expect overwhelming vanilla bean. Some people may like the fact that it is close to a milk stout with that extra vanilla goodness but others will definitely like the smokey aspect. 

Anime Corner:
Hera from Puzzle and Dragons is a demon character in that series. My reason for pairing her with the Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Beans is due to the fact that the artwork compliments the label colors of the beer but also represents the Stone Gargoyle protecting the good flavors and eliminating impurities. Hera’s hair is crimson red representing the fire that is used to roast the malts which gives it the smokey flavors but she also a bit of yellow on some of her hair bangs not to mention that she is alluring which brings the vanilla sweet flavors into play. Alluring drinkers who expect full vanilla but then see the smokey aspect first if not brought to the proper temperature.

Shegöat by the Bruery

1549365_10101585176256040_912968587_n 1483304_10101585175203150_1491038379_nRating: 5/5

Shegöat by the Bruery is an 8.7% ABV Weizenbock.

Label:
All The Wins

We recently discovered this original home brew recipe of Patrick’s with which he won Best of Show awards. Without changing it much, we recreated it for you to enjoy today. Rich, malty and perfect for the winter months. 
___

Got this one along with the Preservation Society release. It will be hitting only local distribution in California, however, you can still get it at www.craftbeerkings.com . I have no idea what a Shegöat is, but all I could find is information on a female goat. According to Google, this is all I got: “One of the branches of augury in ancient Rome dealt especially with the signs which might be derived from animals; and it was believed that if a she-goat crossed the path of a man who was stepping out of his house it was a good omen, and he might proceed on his way rejoicing.” Anyway, on to the review.

Aromas:
Rich caramel, banana bread, Dark fruits, cloves, coriander, citrus, earthy hop notes, caramel, rye, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Flavors:
Rich Banana bread, Plantains, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruits like raisins, plums, citrus, coriander, cloves, raisin bread pudding, pecans, almonds, earthy hop notes, pineapple juice, tart cherry, licorice notes, bubble gum, toasted rye bread, cinnamon notes and honey.

Aftertaste:
Banana bread, cloves, caramel, dark fruit notes, spices and earthy bitterness lingers. Easy to medium drinkability. Some very minor alcohol in the taste but clears up as the beer gets warmer, so let it warm up

Overall:
The beer is fantastic! If the Bruery ever made a German beer that is awesome it be like this. The beer reminds of my days with Franziskaner Dunkelweiss. One of the best banana German beers. Although, the Weizenbock is the stronger version of a Dunkelweisse, it its just epic win. That is why the label says all the wins. If you like German beers, you will probably love this one, I sure did.

Anime Corner:
I chose Asmodeus from the Seven Deadly Sins series to represent the She-Goat. I could not find the true meaning of the word Shegöat so I found this one. She is part of the 7 demons of sin who represents Lust and exposes her victims in such fashion as well. She looks like a goat in the pictures but she also represents the banana flavors of the beer or the banana in the banana split she is on. Since the beer is fruity tasting, the pictures compliment it perfectly. Shegoat really is tantalizing, isn’t she? 

Brothers’ Reserve series Vanilla Brrrbon ’13 by Widmer Brothers

1477901_10101564935348980_1481477607_n 1506872_10101564936771130_356420254_nRating: 4.5/5

Brothers’ Reserve series Vanilla Brrrbon ’13 by Widmer Brothers is a 10.7% ABV Winter Warmer brewed 90% with vanilla beans and aged in bourbon barrels with the last 10% being regular winter warmer ale. 

Label:
Our brewers added fresh whole vanilla beans to a few select barrels of our Barrel-Aged Brrrbon ’13, an imperial version of our Brrr Seasonal Ale aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels, for this limited edition brew. The addition of vanilla beans heightens the vanilla character imparted by the barrels, and adds a delicious layer of complexity to the beer’s oak and caramel character, making for a smooth warmer perfect for the season. 

MALTS: Pale, Caramel, Carapils, Dark Chocolate
HOPS: Alchemy, Simcoe, Cascade
___

Definitely wanted to try this beer as soon as I saw it. I have not tried the Brrrbon series but with vanilla beans? This I had to get it. I have only tried a few Widmer beers and have enjoyed some of them. Lets see how this one turns out

Aromas:
Vanilla, slight bourbon character, figgy, earthy and piney hops, caramel, hint of dark fruits, cinnamon and ginger bread. Not big on the aromas but that is okay

Flavors:
Flavors are of bourbon, coriander spice, citrus, grapefruit hops, vanilla, oak, rye bread, caramel, orange creamsicle, ginger bread, barleywine notes, tropical fruit hints, oak, some dark fruits and cinnamon

Aftertaste:
Citrus, caramel, vanilla, earthy hops and a bit of ginger bread. Alcohol is partially present in the taste but nothing detracting too much. A sipper at that though

Overall:
A very good beer but a different beer for sure. I am not sure because I was expecting a very caramel and vanilla beer but it is actually that and some notes that seems like IPA notes. Very peculiar but definitely not a bad beer by any means. It was inviting at that but it is interesting how the vanilla plays with the bourbon and the citrus. More like a barley wine than anything

Anime Corner:
Panty Anarchy from the Panty and Stocking series I used in this one to pair the beer label colors and vanilla flavors. Panty can be crude many times and is often getting into a lot of trouble (representing the hoppy barleywine like aspect). She is strong fighter but also loves to be very flirtatious (Strong ABV and Vanilla)

Partridge in a Pear Tree (6 years aged) by The Bruery

1003878_10101488279547820_2107639094_nRating: 5.45/5

Partridge in a Pear Tree (6 years aged) by The Bruery is an 11% ABV Belgian Abbey Quadrupel 

Label: 
WÆS HÆIL!

Belgian-Style Abbey Ale Quadrupel, Verse One. Love or hate the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song, you re bound to love this rich, malt-accented ale. After sharing a bottle with family and friends, there s a good chance you ll all be singing with jubilation!
___

Released in 2008, as the first verse in the Twelve days of Christmas, I was able to stash away this bottle to be tried when reaching half ways of the series. I wanted to try this as I have tried all the other ones except this one. It is an elusive beer and I am not sure, but I hope I make it to try the 12 drummers drumming to try this beer once again, if possible, at its peak age of the 12 years. Life is short so I definitely wanted to bring a review to see if you can find something close to this beer. You may not have had a chance to try it but I am sure as being a Belgian Quad and me trying several quads, I am sure I have found something similar. Also, I am sure the ABV has risen into at least 12 or 13%

Aromas:
Super rich Plum, sugar plums, raisins, figs, dates, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, butter scotch, deep dark cherry, pears, prunes, vanilla, molasses, brown sugar, cloves banana spice, nutmeg, candi sugars, apples, abbey sweet bread, wine grape hints and peach

Flavors:
Flavors are dead on quad, lots of dark fruit, dark cherries, dulce de leche, caramel, prunes, vanilla, sugar plums, raisins, rich matured pears, figs, dates, molasses, brown sugar, light soy sauce hints for bitterness, brown sugar, chocolate notes, bananas, nutmeg, butterscotch, toffee, raisin bread pudding, peaches and crèam and pecan pie.

Aftertaste:
Cherry, raisins, plums,dark fruits, dulce de leche caramel, pears, peach, raisin bread pudding and complexity. Very smooth and close to easy drinkability with alcohol no where present in the taste. If this is what cellaring does, I definitely cannot wait for the cellar quads I have saved. By the way, careful as this one is very good that you may want to finish the bottle, slow down though. Easy does it.

Overall:
This beer has aged incredibly well and has become very delicious. While I understand it is hard to find, I can definitely compare it to some of the finest quads I have ever had, like St. Bernardus 12, Ommegang Three Philosophers, De Halve Mann Straffe Hendrik II and possibly close to the Achel Trappist. The Dark fruits is the biggest player in this beer for sure. Recommended if you can save one until 2020 and see how much more it has developed. Trust me, if you love deep dark fruit quads, then you have had this one for sure. Merry Christmas !

Anime Corner:
I introduced Nia Teppelin in a previous review. In this review I wanted to talk about the qualities I saw in this artwork that best fit the beer. If you look at Nia’s green and yellow long hair, it resembles that of a pear tree. In this picture it looks like she is sitting on her hair, thus, the partridge in the pear tree. Also to best fit the colors of the label, the red outlines of the suit as well as the green fits it quite nicely. She is the partridge in the pear tree, she is the first verse, the quadruple sweet dark fruit side resembles the part of her personally of how she is always sweet with everyone and her friends, but her race and ancestry has a dark past. This beer has aged to become more sweet than bitter bringing out her best qualities after 6 years. Can you find any other artistic features in this piece?

Abbey by New Belgium

1512801_10101561386106690_1780227651_nRating: 4.8/5

Abbey by New Belgium is a 7% ABV Belgian Dubbel

Label:
A beauty of a Belgian dubbel with six different malts and an authentic Belgian yeast strain that’s happiest being served in a New Belgian globe glass.
___

Yes, I agree. While it would be plain and simple to use the NB globe glass, I decided against it since I wanted to use the Monkish glass to appeal to the art pairing. Anyways, this beer comes out every year around the Fall/Winter season ready for X-mas. I have never got a chance to review it since the last time I bought a 6 or a Folly 12 pack, they are all gone. This one did not get away and is here for the review. You can get this nation wide in 6 pack or the NB Winter Folly pack.

Aromas:
Rich banana bread, dark fruits like raisins, plums, figs, dulce de leche caramel notes, vanilla, chocolate hints, cinnamon, ginger bread, nutmeg, biscuit and toffee

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel notes, dark fruits forward from the raisins, the plums and figs, dates, banana bread, coffee and chocolate notes, cinnamon, ginger bread, nutmeg, earthy hop notes, molasses, anise notes, clove and coriander spice, peppercorns and bubble gum hints

Aftertaste:
Close to a dry finish but some biscuit, raisins, earthy hop bitterness and caramel linger for a little bit. Despite being a dubbel quite the easy drinking. No alcohol in the taste either.

Overall:
A Great beer very delicious. To the height of many of the New Belgium beers that I have tried, only some have made it with a high rating. This one takes the cake and is probably one of my favorite annual releases from New Belgium. This beer definitely makes it to the world class (14th best dubbel according to beer advocate). Belgian beer lovers will love this one

Anime Corner:
I am not sure who created this piece but I was able to find it when looking for different pictures online. This was a perfect pairing because it includes everything about Belgian Abbeys, monks, monasteries and so forth. A tribute to the Belgian abbeys

Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout by Goose Island

1520827_10101561182295130_779222728_n 993745_10101561181960800_352237998_nRating: 6/5

Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout by Goose Island is a 12.7% ABV World Class Imperial Stout brewed with Mulberries, Boysenberries and Marionberries and aged in Rye Whiskey barrels

Label:
This Bourbon County release is Inspired by the berries our brewers first remember eating from the trees in their backyards. Full of the dark, spicy, and pleasantly sweet flavors, this trio of berries nicely compliments the flavors imparted from barrel resulting in a smooth, jammy stout perfect for sipping on your back porch.
___

The 5th variety of the Bourbon county series I try. One with lots of berries. Like many beers, this one is coveted as well and released on Black Friday. If you want to get this one, you will have to trade or find it online. Either way, just like the other Bourbon Counties, they are a must try, even if once.

Aromas:
Deep dark chocolate covered cherries, raspberries, black berries, dark fruits, subtle bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel, boysenberry preserves on rye bread, marshmallows, cherry flan, mocha, coffee, rocky road ice cream dark cherry and rocky road ice cream, bananas, toasted coconut and rich fancy berry desserts

Flavors:
Liquid chocolate raspberry bliss! Lots of raisins, dark cherries, boysenberries, black berries, blue berries, currants, dark chocolate, oak, marshmallow, raspberry cheesecake, banana split, lots of berry preserves on rye bread, toasted coconut, cherry chocolate cake, vanilla, rich caramel, flan, blackberry jam, molasses and more complex flavors as it develops

Aftertaste:
Slightly tart raspberries, chocolate, bourbon notes, coffee, vanilla and oak, but mainly the combination of all the berries is what truly lingers. No alcohol in the taste, a sipper, yet smooth and dangerous like the previous.

Overall:
Damn exquisite like its brethren. This on is more berry forward. Distinguishing the berries is difficult but doable. Either way, I think I love this even more than the regular BCBS. Like the “Life is Like..” beer, this would the berry mash up equivalent. Damn good and damn well worth getting if you can find this and love fruit beers.

Anime Corner:
Lily Salvatana from the Tre Donne Crudeli “Outlaw” Django was used in this pairing to represent once again, the old west in Bourbon county but also the colors and aspects of the beer. The berries found for this beer were found in a back yard. Most people in their backyards would practice shooting which is what she is doing . Her hair color is the representative of the berry flavors as well as the colors she wears, more flavors.

2013 Quingenti series Batch no. 8 Crime by Stone brewing

1460138_10101561183387940_855753986_n 1512435_10101561187444810_818161176_n 1475777_10101561191002680_1633661186_nRating: 3.5/5

2013 Quingenti series Batch no. 8 Crime by Stone brewing is a 9.6% ABV Chile beer which consist of Lukcy Bastard ale brewed with chile peppers and aged in bourbon barrels

Label:
On Arrogant Bastard Ales 13th birthday we threw all our bastards together—Arrogant Bastard Ale, OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale and Double Bastard Ale—to create Lukcy Bastard Ale. Later, a crime was committed against this gorgeous beer by adding an absurd amount of freshly harvested local 
peppers, including mid-level-heat red and green jalapeños and ultra hot black nagas. Caribbean red hots, Moruga scorpions and fatalis, and thus Crime was born.
___

I love spicy food more than the next guy. I would even try some of the hottest stuff, but damn, I wasn’t sure if I was up to the Arrogant Lukcy Bastard challenge. Especially one that is made with chile peppers. Considered the second hottest beer in the world, or so I have heard, don’t quote me on it. I am not sure how to approach this but I will do my best 

Aromas:
Rich chiles like my dad makes, fresh red and green japalapeño and piquin peppers, flowery notes, hints of caramel, hints of bourbon but hidden, oak, caramel, spices, grapefruit, vanilla and earthy hop notes

Flavors:
Caramel, bourbon, Pizza crust, flowers, very rich and hot pepper spice but the peppers are still distinct. Earthy hops, grapefruit, vanilla, oak, flowers and spices.

Aftertaste:
It keeps burning a but the flowery, peppery and fruit chiles are still distinct as well as some earthy hops, caramel spice, and oak lingers a bit. A strong Sipping beer, no alcohol, but still burns. Very careful with this one PLEASE

Overall:
It is a good beer, but damn it is pretty hot. This would be perfect with a nice steak or chicken. The arrogant bastard taken to heights of new arrogance. Truly doth deserveth thy saying: “You’re not worthy!!” Many people will not like this unless you love beer and really hot chiles. This one is a little more tame and sweeter. I am sure the punishment will be my doom. By the way, this numbs the tongue and you will eventually lose the flavor. This is more of a novelty item. I would highly suggest not getting this beer unless you really love beer and chile, otherwise, you will not like it. This would probably be good for cooking too . But that is it. 

Anime Corner:
Lilith and Morrigan Aensland were used in this pairing because I have used them in some Arrogant bastard beers. Lilith steals the spotlight here because I used her in the lukcy bastard pairing before. The addition of Morrigan in the picture as well as Lilith having her mouth open can represent the “hot and heat” of the beer. Them sitting there almost looks like the home of a crime syndicate hence the name of the beer. The one where Lilith is sitting down represents the beer aging and the last one where it seems there are flowers below Lilith are the chiles that were added to this beer. Awesome stuff.

2013 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout by Goose Island

1476443_10101561170793180_385908439_nRating: 6/5

2013 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout by Goose Island is a 13.4% ABV World Class Imperial Stout brewed with Los Inmortales Intelligentsia Coffee beans and aged in bourbon barrels.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION (Ratebeer.com)
Everyday Goose Island smells the wonderful coffee roasting next to our brewery at Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea. This world class roaster puts the same passion and skill into their coffee as Goose Island does with its beer. This excellent stout is made with a different coffee from our friends next door each year. With the change in coffee comes a change in the flavor profile, making each release truly unique from the previous years. 
___

The 4th and possibly the better variety of the Bourbon county series I try. It is also Beer advocate’s number 4 best in the world. Like many beers, this one is coveted as well and released on Black Friday. If you want to get this one, you will have to trade or find it online. Either way, just like the other Bourbon Counties, they are a must try, even if once.

Aromas:
Very fancy coffee, mocha, espresso, roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, vanilla, Irish cream, earthy notes, bourbon hints, dark fruits, chocolate coffee cake, mocha rocky road ice cream, oak, marshmallows and cinnamon.

Flavors:
Lots of very fancy coffee, Kahlua, bourbon notes, Irish cream, dark fruits, mocha, java, espresso, dark fruits, dark cherry, rich vanilla, dulce de leche, marshmallows, oak, chocolate mocha ice cream, rich dark and milk chocolate, double chocolate chip cookies and rocky road ice cream

Aftertaste:
Lingering to the finish is that very fancy coffee, mocha, vanilla, oak, bourbon, chocolate and dark fruit character. Not as much heat as the original and like the original, no alcohol in the taste. A definitely dangerous sipper but by that I mean, it is just like a fresh cup of coffee in the morning or frappuccino. Smooth!

Overall:
Exquisitely world class, just like its brethren. I think what really makes it this far is the coffee. This may be the 4th best beer in the world but, personally for me though, the Alesmith Bourbon Barrel Aged Kopi Luwak was the best overall coffee beer ever. This one, just like that one, is damn good and should not be missed if you are a fan of the series. 

Anime Corner:
Donne Anonime from the Tre Donne Crudeli “Outlaw” Django was used in this pairing to represent the colors of the label, the old west for the Bourbon County aspect of it and the Los Inmortales coffee. The way I saw it was like the previous Bourbon County’s using cow girls and the old west. Los Inmortales could be seen by the cowboy hat, the life beyond death is immortal. Her name is “the Stranger”, she comes from places unknown and just like a thief in the night, she comes to swoop up that world class spot.

Magnificat by Monkish Brewing

1484319_10101561164226340_1783595688_nRating: 4.9/5 

Magnificat by Monkish Brewing is a 10.1% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Christmas ale brewed with spices

Description:
Following the traditions of Belgian Noel beers, Magnificat is our first offering of a Christmas beer. Like a Belgian-style strong dark or quadruple ale, this dark beer has a rich, silky malt profile of caramel and roasted malts, rye, and oats, and reveals complementary accents of dark stone fruits and spices from our Belgain yeast. And to create that liquid-Christmas experience, the beer is spiced with clover honey, sweet and orange peels, coriander seed, nutmeg, and cinammon.
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It is Christmas time at the local brewery here in Lost Angeles and Monkish has finally started releasing beer bottles at their local. Knowing that this is only for the season, I decided to get one of these bottles from my local brewery for review. As I stated in my previous reviews, I loved the Anamoly and the Seme De La Vita which I loved on tap. They are barely starting distribution in the south land here and will be hitting some locations of California. If you are in the area, stop by and give them a try. Another reason I am reviewing this is because I loved it when I had it on tap

Aromas:
Lots of dark fruits like raisins, plums, prunes, oats, licorice, citrus, mint, chocolate, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, sweet bread, a bit of ginger, herbs, nutmeg, cinnamon spice, brown sugar and molasses. 

Flavors:
A subtle amount of mint and pine goes through, good amount of citrus and oranges, dark cherries, raisins, plums, maple, dark chocolate, earthy notes, molasses, anise, licorice,vanilla, caramel, ginger bread, raisin bread pudding, coriander spice, toffee, herbs, cinnamon and brown sugar.

Aftertaste:
The aftertaste is chocolatey, spicy, bready, toffee, earthy notes, citrus, herbs and peppercorns linger. A sipper but one that is very enjoyable and there is no alcohol in the taste

Overall:
This is great beer. The bottle version of the beer seems more minty than chocolate at first but let it warm up and the flavors blend very well. I love the flavors of both that I have tried so this one is a definite hit with me. Although the way Seme De la Vita hit was simply amazing. They will soon be releasing bottles of that but if you are in the area, go to Monkish and check out this awesome Belgian goodie for yourself 

Anime Corner:
Maya Natsume from Tenjou Tenge aka La Trappe Quad girl is the one I used for this pairing for several reasons. I personally call her La Trappe Quad girl because I used her in my previous review of La Trappe Quad which I used her hair colors and eyes to represent dark fruits. In this part, I show her as being ready for more of a festive Christmas tradition. So if you can buy the fact that it is a Christmas beer and she was paired with a Belgian beer in the past, just take my word for it, it works.

Bourbon County Brand Barleywine by Goose Island

1483126_10101561159286240_422900391_nRating: 5.95/5 

Bourbon County Brand Barleywine by Goose Island is a 12.1% ABV World Class English Barleywine aged in bourbon barrels

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Aged in the third-use barrels that were once home to Kentucky bourbon and then our renowned Bourbon County Stout, this traditional English-style barleywine possesses the subtlety of flavor that only comes from a barrel that’s gone through many seasons of ritual care. The intricacies of the previous barrel denizens – oak, charcoal, hints of tobacco and vanilla, and that signature bourbon heat – are all present in this beer. Hearty and complex, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine is a titan and a timeline; a bold, flavorful journey through the craft of barrel aging.
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This is the 3rd variety of Bourbon County brands that I have tried aside from the Cherry Rye and the Stout. Highly coveted and sought after. Just like the others, sold on Black Friday with each being very unique in their own way. Best bet to get this one is through online sources or via trade. I bring this forth to see if I can put it to the test. Both Beer Advocate and Ratebeer give it 100 overall. Lets see if this is is true.

Aromas:
Chocolate chip and dark fruit cookies, almond joy, Rich flan and pecan pie, rich chocolate, rich hazelnut, almonds, pecans, macadamia, oak, vanilla, bourbon, breme brulee, rocky road, butterscotch, toffee, custard, chocolate cake and brownie batter.

Flavors:
Very rich caramel pecan pie, bourbon, vanilla, milk chocolate, chocolate with peanuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, hazel nut, dark fruits, rich dark cherry, toasted coconut, almond joy, flan, maple, rye bread, oak, rich campfire smores, tobacco, toffee, butter scotch, custard dessert, sweetened condensed milk pudding and other complex sweets. 

Aftertaste:
Lots of dark fruits, pecan pie, chocolate covered macadamia nut,bourbon notes, oak and vanilla linger. No alcohol in the taste, yet the heat is warming for the body. A sipper, but a dangerous one as it feels smooth as hell.

Overall:
Exceptionally world class and extremely good. Only reason it did not get a 6 is because the Lost Abbey Sede Vacante had other things I loved a lot about Barleywines and the fact that it taste much like the Bourbon county stout but with more emphasis on pecan pie. Is it worth the hype? Only if you can find it and afford it. If not, I have shown other beers that have been very exceptional Barleywines. Yet this one definitely comes in second best in the world for me. 

Anime Corner:
Shimma Kunoichi by Genzoman of Deviantart was used in this pairing to represent the color of the label but as well as the bad assness of the beer. As with the previous bourbon county, The old west was used but the one thing I could link Feudal Japan to the Old West was the fact that there was a movie where ninjas and cowboys did go head to head. The Warrior’s Way it was called. Anyways, the strongest aspect is mainly with the colors and possibly some of the delicious flavors found in this beer.

Blasphemy 2013 edition by Weyerbacher

1525721_10101561141237410_1864233356_n 1489261_10101561140638610_564518262_nRating: 5.9/5 

Blasphemy 2013 edition by Weyerbacher 11.8% ABV Belgian Quadruple aged in Whiskey Barrels

Label:
Blasphemy is our award winning QUAD aged in bourbon barrels. But not overaged, so we’ve picked up gentle vanilla oaky notes which complement rather than supersede the complex qualities that already make QUAD such an incredible beer.
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Third Time’s a charm with this one. This is the 3rd time I review this beer and every time it is always one of the best Pecan Pie Quads ever. This year they are sporting a new label. Really awesome. This one I was able to get online as it is not sold from what I have seen, here in California.

Aromas:
Lots pecan pie, bourbon, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, hazelnut, whipped cream, buttered toffee, bananas, coconut, oak and a ton of dark fruits like raisins, plums, cherries, figs, some wine characters champagne and flan.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel, pecan pie, hazelnut, honey, walnuts, raisin bread pudding, vanilla ice cream, waffle cone, Irish cream, bananas, toasted coconut, oak, butterscotch, bourbon whiskey, cherries, dark fruits like raisins, plums, blue and black berries, port wine, apples, peaches, pears and some graham crackers and marshmallows.

Aftertaste:
The sweet vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, raisin bread pudding, rich pecan pie , hazelnut and bourbon notes linger for a while. The beer is a sipper with the alcohol only coming through as needed but not to detract from the sweet flavors. You get the bourbon and the quad flavors fine.

Overall:
Very similar to previous years and each just more exquisite. The 2 year version seems to be more hefty and buttery than this one but this is still over the top. Close to being on of my favorite quads in the world. Worth a pick up if you can find it. Belgian and Barrel Aged beer loves may love this one

Anime Corner:
Raven from Teen Titans I used for the new pairing to represent the new label colors. I used Raven to signify the raven that is on the label. I also used Dark Angel by Nezu-nyan of Deviant art in the original pairing of beer because everything from the background, to the raven, the cemetery and the blue night sky was part of the original label. Couldn’t find a better pairing 

Bourbon County Brand Stout 2013 by Goose Island

1475918_10101561136481940_1824322649_n 524597_10101561135573760_1651569211_n 1497796_10101561138462970_1626910477_nRating: 6/5 

Bourbon County Brand Stout 2013 by Goose Island is a 14.9%ABV World Class Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION (ratebeer.com)
“I really wanted to do something special for our 1000th batch at the original brewpub. Goose Island could have thrown a party. But we did something better. We brewed a beer. A really big batch of stout-so big the malt was coming out of the top of the mash tun. After fermentation we brought in some bourbon barrels to age the stout. One hundred and fifty days later, Bourbon County Stout was born-A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with a thick foam the color of bourbon barrels. The nose is a mix of charred oak, vanilla,caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer. It overpowers anything in the room. People have even said that it’s a great cigar beer, but I haven’t yet tried a cigar that would stand up to it.” Brewmaster Greg Hall; 
IBU’s 60-High Color – Midnight 

Editor’s Note: Baudoinia Fulton & Wood Series offering (And the Low Storage entry from FoBAB 2012) is simply Bourbon County Stout aged in the same barrels. It has been alted as it offers no different recipe or barrel type simply the presence of a distillers fungus on the barrels that adds no distinct characteristic to the beer from the fungus itself except for possible oxygen exposure changes. While Brewers Intent indicates that they consider it a new beer, no true distinction aside from this oxidation amount and possible aging time differences seperates the beers. It’s essentially a single barrel Bourbon County version something we have always treated as regular Bourbon County Stout in the past.

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One of the most sought out little bottles out there. I have tried the 2008 version of this beer and it was probably just as fantastic. Of course, back then I gave it 5/5 without including the extra credit system I implemented with my reviews. Essentially, this beer comes out every Black Friday. The Bruery responds similarly releasing Black Tuesday on October which is another beer of the much but same World Class caliber. 

Aromas:
Very rich milk and dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, banana notes, flan, bourbon, toasted coconut, almond joy, rocky road ice cream, dark fruits like raisins, figs, licorice, hazelnut coffee, Irish cream, earthiness, oak and other good aromas

Flavors:
Lots of rich milk and dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, bananas, coffee, mocha, dark cherry, dark fruits, raisins, plums, oak, lots of coconut taste, brownie batter, chocolate cake, rocky road ice cream, Kahlua notes, licorice, pecan pie, marshmallow smores, crème brulee, rum hints and other dessert flavors.

Aftertaste:
The very nice bourbon, vanilla, rich chocolate, caramel, flan, coconut and it stays with you for a while. Sipping beer for sure and still trying to find the alcohol in taste or atleast how it would detract from the flavors. Very dangerous as you will want to drink it all in one go. Even though you can but definitely meant to be enjoyed.

Overall:
Exceptionally exquisite. If you have had Black Tuesday, this beer is synonymous in lots of aspects and the alcohol cannot be found anywhere in the taste. You get hit later with it. What makes this beer so good is that it stays with you for along time. The flavors don’t go away so quickly. I think this is one of the reasons why people like it so much. Very rich and flavorful.

Anime Corner:
Franco il Nero from Tre Donne Crudelli is used in this pairing since I had used her in the 2008 Bourbon County pairing to show this one will get you nice a buzzed but also warm you up inside. Also, the whole them of Cowboys and Cowgirls I used in this pairing with the beer because whenever I think of Bourbon and County, I think of the Old west. This beer should have won the west. Since it was the original Bourbon county pairing, it stuck.

White Chocolate Moo-Hoo by Terrapin Brewing

1480624_10101544593399410_356396108_n 1470119_10101544593105000_1955831982_n 1002033_10101544592925360_290551225_n 1455152_10101544590340540_361566125_nRating: 6/5

White Chocolate Moo-Hoo by Terrapin Brewing is a 6.1% ABV Milk/Sweet Stout brewed with White Chocolate and cocoa nibs

Label:
If cocoa nibs from Olive & Sinclair in our Moo-Hoo “Chocolate Milk Stout” wasn’t enough, then how about adding white chocolate to the mix just for good measure? The Terrapin “White Chocolate Moo-Hoo” combines the Yin and Yang of the chocolate world into one decadent beer. All the original flavor of Moo-Hoo you remember, all the new flavor of white chocolate you’ll never forget.

Cheers!
Spike & John
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White Chocolate

Aromas:
Lots of White chocolate candy, Danish Cream, milk chocolate, yoo hoo, dark fruits, mild coffee notes, flan, rich vanilla, caramel, rich white chocolate dessert, tres leches/Three milks, sweetened condensed milk and more!!

Flavors:
Flan, vanilla, caramel, Rich buttery White chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cheese cake, red velvet, chocolate cake, earthy hops, dark fruits, yoo hoo chocolate drink, chocolate shake, Danish cream, crème brulee, tres leches cake, sugary cream, Danish cream and pecan pie.

Aftertaste:
Lots of buttery, silky white and dark chocolate cream, mild coffee and earthy hop bitterness but then dissipates leaving only the sugar sweetness. Very drinkable, very smooth, very delicious, no alcohol but I would still take my time with it. It is very unique and takes time to appreciate this

Overall:
Right next to the Bruery’s White chocolate, this is ridiculously good. As I mentioned in a past, usually sweet beers or any beer that exceeds expectations usually gets extra credit. This includes chocolate beers. Simply knowing that this beer has both the Ying and Yang of chocolate. The flavors are very different from the Bruery’s white chocolate focusing more on the milk chocolate candy of dark and white chocolates. This new flavor of a beer is very different and very unique to the white chocolate style of beer. A rarity among beers and should be highly sought out. WOW!!!

Anime Corner:
Temari and Yoruichi from Naruto and Bleach prospectively are both ninjas and two of my most favorite anime characters ever alongside with KOS-MOS of Xenosaga. I used this art work to pair the White and Dark Chocolate aspects of the beer. The Ying and Yang if you will. You also see this in my reviews for Chocolate Rain and Bruery’s White Chocolate as well. Not only using them because they fit, but mainly because they are my favorite characters and paired with my favorite beers. You may find that a lot throughout my reviews, especially the 6/5 or even the Melange 7/5 rating. Either way, the artwork fits. Temari and her summon, Katamari, the weasel I used to represent the separate aspect. This is a White Chocolate beer and she has a while weasel that is Black and white. The cow pictures I used are mainly to represent the cow suit the Terrapin mascot wears in the label. Seeing as this is a Milk Sweet Stout. The last one with the purple cow is used to represent the flavors of the beer are like all the colors of the rainbow and she looks bad ass too. So it fits in my perspective of creativity.

California Creamin’ by Mother Earth Brew Company

1425618_10101544162208520_603896414_nRating: 3.9/5

California Creamin’ by Mother Earth Brew Company is a 5.2% ABV Cream Ale

Label:
One of our most popular beers ever, this light cream ale has a malty backbone thanks to some flaked corn and honey malt. A medium bodied cult classic, it is sure to woo the ladies, but also flavorful enough to satisfy the dudes. You’ll swear you were drinking a cream soda…but tricks are for kids.
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This is the first time I try Mother Earth Brewing and first time reviewing the cream ale style. I have tried cream ale in the past when I tried the Sam Adams cream ale in Iowa which was pretty good. Since then, I have not tried another one. This one is made with vanilla so I would assume it would be similar to cream soda as stated in the label. Well, let us see what this one is like. You may find this one at Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights California.

Aromas:
Reminiscent of Or Xata, Rich vanilla beans, cream soda, sweet milk, rice, citrus hops, honey biscuit bread, maize, hints of cinnamon and graham crackers

Flavors:
Similar to Or xata again but not as sweet, citrus hops, cream soda notes, vanilla, butterscotch, honey, graham crackers, citrus hops, maize, some cereal grain and somewhat pilsner component as well.

Aftertaste:
Leaves off with like a buttery vanilla taste, citrus hops lingering, honey and biscuit. The beer is easy to drink with no alcohol presence in the taste. Light, Crisp and refreshing and would be good if it was for the summer

Overall:
This beer is very good. Do not be afraid if it says using corn malt. This is NOT A LAGER. This is actually good. Some people may find it more appealing than others. I would really like to say that this would be a good gateway beer for someone getting into craft beer. It has a good amount of noticeable vanilla and taste very similar to a Cream soda. Good stuff and yes, I would recommend trying one, two, or even three of these.

Anime Corner:
Matryoshka Hatsune Miku was used for this pairing as I was trying to mimic something that had to do with California Dreamin’ like the song. The picture in a sense fits as it shows Miku wondering and kind of looks like day dreaming. When people think of California, they sometimes think of Los Angeles and the city. So the fact that the city comes out of her head may symbolize her day dreaming about California/Los Angeles. Also, the label colors fit with her hair. Matryoshka Miku is actually a version of her that was done in a video in 2010 that could be interpreted as sadden or insane as nothing in the video or the lyrics made sense and is open for interpretation. Sources here:http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/matryoshka. The mere fact that the “Scooby doo” hippy van is there just adds to the whole day dreaming, tripping or even getting high off of drugs aspect of the pairing. So in a sense, there is so much that can be depicted that pairs really well with this piece of artwork and the beer. Can you find any more details about this pairing?

The Abyss 2013 Release by Deschutes Brewing

1459902_10101544182762330_465279393_n 1462996_10101544183111630_452578967_nRating: 5.75/5

The Abyss 2013 Release by Deschutes Brewing is an 11% World Class Imperial Stout brewed with Black Strap molasses, Licorice with cherry bark and vanilla added with 6% aged in oak bourbon barrel, 11% aged in Oregon Oak Barrels, and 11% aged in oak Pinot Noir wine barrels.

Label:
It’s dark. It’s deep. It’s mysterious. Aged in French Oak and Bourbon barrels, this special brew has immeasurable depth inviting you to explore and discover its rich, complex profile. The flavor of molasses and licorice draw you in further and further with each sip. The Abyss beckons. Enjoy the journey.
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I have previously reviews the 2009 version of this beer. I decided to give it another round as I may not often get around to reviewing this one again. Upon looking at this one, I saw it was made a bit differently than the 2009 version. I had to give it a shot.

Aromas:
Madrugada Obscura, basically sour stout notes, wine notes, roasted coffee, dark and milk chocolate, smokey oak, dark fruits, coconut, cherry notes, flan notes, espresso, molasses, licorice, clove spice, cinnamon and other complex notes.

Flavors:
Wine, Bourbon, Stout, Marugada Obscura, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, cherries, dark fruits, raisins, figs, smokey quality, Port wine, vanilla, caramel, oak, roasted chocolate, coconut, flan, licorice, molasses, pinot noir and earthy hops. After letting it warm up it started to evolve in flavors again. Funny as the 2009 version evolved too. Now this thing is tasting a bit like banana notes, crème brulee, raisin bread pudding, overall bitter roasted coffee, Kahlua, mocha, barley wine caramel, toffee, butterscotch, almonds, pecan pie, cherry, plums, hazelnut and well, it seems to keep going. I will stop right here.

Aftertaste:
Finishes off very complex with the dark chocolate, dark fruit, dark oak, dark bourbon, dark flan, dark dark dark!! Good Luck finding the 11% ABV in the taste. She is pretty deadly seeing as it is asipping beer but with chances are you want to drink and drink. Evil!!

Overall:
Exceptionally World Class just like the 2009 version. However, the addition of the extra blending has definitely changed the flavors to even more complexities giving it that much earned extra credit. Like I said in my last review: (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/the-abyss-2009-vintage-reserve-by-deschutes-brewing/ ) it keeps you on your toes trying to see what other complexities come up. Think of it as a Haunted house, you have no clue what the fuck is gonna pop up as you go along. Scary shit… Evil Beer…. Loveable experience. Much needed recommendations

Anime Corner:
Rukia Kuchiki (Hollified version) from Bleach was used in this pairing to show several things I had in mind when pairing this beer. In the series, the hollow form is what happens when after a soul passes and loses its tie to the body. If the soul reaper does not cleanse the soul, it will roam the earthy, become a monster and try to eat other souls. Rukia is a Soul reaper in the show but there are many characters such as humans and even soul reapers that have treaded into the hollow form and were able to come back to their original form. Rukia never becomes hollow but this only serves as a representation of what that form would look like. Most hollows are mindless and possibly evil. In some cases, she can be seen as sadistic with no remorse or pity for anyone. Aim for the kill, hunger for more flavors. Thus, this evil version of Rukia is paired with this beer to show how evil the beer is. That is why you have to be careful not to drink it all in one sitting. Since the hollow form is a form of evolution into possibly higher form of power, you can say the evolution of flavors as the beer warms up and the alcohol content represents this hollow form. Also, the Cero Blast that Rukia is charging up in her hand represents, The Abyss. The Cero is like an endless charge of energy concentrated and sucked up like a black hole. This infinite darkness is this beer, The Abyss.

Lips of Faith Series Cigar City and New Belgium Collaboration

891_10101542495004610_434845542_nRating: 3.45/5

Lips of Faith Series Cigar City and New Belgium Collaboration is an 8.5% ABV Chile beer brewed with Anaheim and Marash Chiles aged in Spanish Cedar

Label:
We’re about to light up Florida with this Cigar City collaborative brew. Our Belgian yeast tangos with Anaheim and Marash peppers along with loads of citrusy hops to create an ale full of spice. Aged on Spanish cedar to salute our mutual love for wood!
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The beer with literally no name, other than the fact that it was collaborated with New Belgium and the awesome Cigar City. Lips of faith series is a good series and has been a hit or miss in some instances. The beers have ranged from Good to Very good and some even Great in the past years. I am not sure if there one I truly disliked or found average (Pluot lol) they came together to brew a beer made with chiles. 

Aromas:
Sweet Honey dew melon, kiwi, apricot, mango hints, mild pepper notes, lemon, oranges, grapefruit and citrus hops, pear, hints of cedar, caramel and biscuit bread

Flavors:
Apricot, pepper notes but no heat, citrus, grapefruit hops,hone dew notes, orange peels, biscuit bread, lemon, grapefruit peel, mild spiciness, tangerine notes, butterscotch, pears, cedar wood and light plum hints

Aftertaste:
This beer finishes off with lots of grapefruit skins, citrus, grassy bitterness and a bit of pepper notes. No alcohol present in the taste with a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A good beer but nothing super intensive. It is more on the hoppy, bitter and a bit fruitier side than anything. The least heat intensive chile beer I have ever tried. The balance to bitterness and what would like to be chili heat doesn’t seem to meld well. On a good note, the aromas are much better than the flavors. Could have been more but hey, at least is a good beer. I feel it is better than Pluot for sure.

Anime Corner:
Sakura Haruno and Kushina Uzumaki from the Naruto series are used in this pairing to represent a pairing of 2 hot heads unleashing the rage which is supposed to be the peppers used in this beer. While the beer may not be hot at all, the intent for the artwork and for what it was supposed to represent was at least done creatively. Sakura has a bad temper at times and has this crazy super strength that comes from her inner being. Kushina on the other hand, nicked named the Red Hot-Blooded Habanero, would become an actually deadly beast. Even before she had the 9 tailed fox embedded in here, she was still a demon in disguise. That crazy attitude, mother of Naruto, is most likely the where the guts to never give up comes from. Some of the colors of the artwork match the label a bit but the nick name and the tempers they have was the intent for a collaboration Chile beer, Sakura being New Belgium and Kushina Cigar city.

Sexy Betty by Nebraska Brewing

1471826_10101542532604260_786362468_n 1424582_10101542532998470_1049321028_n 1460225_10101542533148170_2067768172_nRating: 5.4/5

Sexy Betty by Nebraska Brewing is a 10% ABV Russian Imperial Stout aged in 50 year old American Brandy Barrels

Label:
A sweet nose greets the adventurous in this marriage of our Black Betty Russian Imperial Stout and 50 year old American Brandy barrels. An elegantly pleasant surprise wakes the palate which migrates from a hint of Brandy into the wonderfully lingering roasted malt character.
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This is the first time I try a beer from Nebraska brewing. One of the main reasons is because they are pretty pricey brewery. Lots of the beer sold ranging into $20 or more per bottle. Since I have always over looked them, I decided to pick one up to see how worth the money they are. When looking t the label, I realized why they are so expensive. Aging beer in 50 year old barrels is no joke. That has got to be a very delicate process. This beer came out last year as the Inception series #3 which was aged in cognac, but this year, in brandy barrels, 

Aromas:
Roasted coffee, earthy hops, dark chocolate, like Old Rasputin, oak, vanilla, licorice, molasses, vanilla, light toffee, light marshmallows and rich dark fruits

Flavors:
The flavors are a lot like Old Rasputin if it was aged in Brandy, dark fruit, cherries, raisins, grape notes, plums, dark chocolate, roasted coffee, earthy hops, mocha and Kahlua. As it warms up there are underlying tropical fruit hints, bakers chocolate, flan, crème brulee, caramel, vanilla, oak, raisin bread pudding, figs, dark cherry yogurt hints, port wine notes and raspberry Chambord hints.

Aftertaste:
The sweet dark fruits, dark chocolate, brandy and coffee linger for a bit in the aftertaste. A sipper for sure but the best part is that you cannot taste the alcohol

Overall:
It is a great beer. Just let it warm up to the proper temperature and then you will see what the 50 year old Brandy really has to offer, lots of magic!! At first it was more like Old Rasputin, then, it changed and became more pleasant and delicious. Would I recommend this? Only if you can afford it really. If you cannot there are some other, and to a very good extent, Imperial Russian stouts that scream epic and exceed expectations more than this one. Although, this one is freaking great and worth trying even if once. So there you have it, expensive but it will be your choice, take her or leave her. Although she is calling your name 

Anime Corner:
Meiya Mitsurugi from the series Muv luv Alternative Total Eclipse is used in this pairing to show some of the label colors. The strength of the 50 year old Brandy and the ABV can be best represented by her armor, weapon and strength. The colors of her armor and looks also compliment the label. She is a Sexy looking girl in cybernetic armor.  If that still did not compliment the Sexy Betty part, I added Evelynn from League of Legends to compliment more.

Voodoo Doughnut Pretzel, Raspberry & Chocolate Ale by Rogue brewing

1488110_10101540527477550_730329696_n 1456125_10101540527113280_827354320_n 1467440_10101540526150210_2045395498_nRating: 5/5

Voodoo Doughnut Pretzel, Raspberry & Chocolate Ale by Rogue brewing is a 6.75% ABV Brown Ale brewed with Pretzels, Raspberries and chocolate. The next in line variant of the Voodoo Doughnut series. Another Homer Simpson beer

Label: 
Dedicated to Tres & Cat Daddy, The Rogues of Voodoo Doughnuts

A Collision of Crazies.

They say the third time’s a charm, and this time the collision of crazies created a Pretzel, Raspberry & Chocolate ale inspired by Voodoo Doughnut’s Voodoo Doll doughnut. The Voodoo people say the magic is in the hole. We think it’s also in the bottle.

14 Ingredients: 2-Row, Munich, C120, Chocolate, Black, Kiln Coffee & Rogue Farms Dare™ and Risk™ Malts; Rogue Farms Rebel Hops; Pretzels, Raspberry Extract, Chocolate, Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

Specs:
13.5 deg PLATO
31 IBU
73 AA
78 deg Lovibond

Pairing:
Doughnut, Dessert
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Another awesome beer by Rogue, this time, made with chocolate, raspberries and pretzels. I was able to find this from Rogue’s website directly but they may actually be shipping across the nation just in time for the holidays. 

Aromas:
Lots of raspberry notes, caramel, milk chocolate, doughnut, maple, This one definitely hits a lot of Jelly doughnut fragrances, rye, sugary raisins, hazelnut hints, pretzel bread notes and pecan pie

Flavors:
Pretzel and lots of chocolate come more forward with the rich raspberries riding along through out the beer, roasted coffee, earthy hop presence, mocha, hazelnut, doughnut hints, caramel, raisins, raspberry jelly doughnut, maple, pecan pie, tootsie roll,vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, blueberry yogurt notes, and cherry hints. Gets more flavorful as it warms up.

Aftertaste:
Finishing the beer, you get lots coffee and roasty bitterness with the chocolate and raspberry notes still lingering as well as the buttery pretzel bread notes. No alcohol in the taste and easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
It is a great beer (At least to me)!! I would like to say I enjoyed this one way more than the original and possibly as much or a step up from Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Banana Ale Voodoo Doughnut. This one is way more like a liquid doughnut with roasted coffee. This is a breakfast in a bottle and what made it perfect in my opinion was the way the raspberries balanced themselves with the chocolate and doughnut flavors. This was a dessert just on its own. Also, the ABV is not overwhelming. If you did not enjoy the previous 2, this one may or may not make your day. Worth a try I say

Anime Corner:
The artwork used to pair this beer had to do with many different aspects. It mainly has to do with Voodoo dolls and desserts. The colors of each of these artworks can pair just about everything from the colors of the label, the beer bottle and even the flavors of the beer. Notice the doughnut in the artwork 😛?

Shake Chocolate Porter by Boulder Beer

1471828_10101540508415750_513383517_n 1472874_10101540508535510_1845927651_nRating: 4.45/5

Shake Chocolate Porter by Boulder Beer is a 5.9% ABV American Porter brewed with cacao nibs

Label: 
Our twist on the traditional American porter, Shake chocolate porter is black in color with rich, dark chocolate aromatics and flavors and subtle coffee-like notes. This unique brew blends five different grains, including Chocolate Wheat, that along with cacao nibs create a devilishly delicious chocolate finish with a velvety mouth feel.
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Got this one as an extra for shopping online. I have tried many chocolate beers. Some more awesome than others. This one specifically caters to tasting like chocolate or a chocolate shake. At the ABV, this I had to try. I do believe you don’t have to have a really high ABV for a beer to taste like it was intended, although it helps sometimes

Aromas:
Chocolate ice cream notes, chocolate wafers, hints of mocha, coffee, caramel hints, vanilla hints, hints of rocky road, milk shake notes, lactose, cocoa pebbles and cocoa crispies cereal

Flavors:
The flavors are of bitter dark chocolate, sweet milk chocolate, cocoa crispies, cocoa pebbles, lots of bitter roasted coffee throughout, mocha notes, caramel, vanilla, chocolate ice cream, waffle cones, milkshake malt, lactose, tootsie roll hints, pecans and toffee notes.

Aftertaste:
Lots of chocolate milkshake, chocolate wafer notes, waffle cone, caramel and vanilla and mild roasted coffee. No alcohol present but even at such an ABV, it has moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A very good beer but if it wasn’t for the chocolate, it would be more coffee bitter. I will give it the benefit of the doubt because it got sweeter as beer got warmer. Funny though because as the coffee went away, the chocolate shake and cocoa nibs shined as well. I would recommend it worth trying. It is not the ultimate chocolate porter but when it says there is chocolate, there is a good amount of it even if the coffee roastiness takes over at times. A great representative of a chocolate shake

Anime Corner:
Filia from Skullgirls is a nice girl that has a parasite, named Samson, on her hair that made her lose her memories. She is on a quest to retrieve her memories. The pairing of this beer which I saw was that she is drinking a milk shake but ofcourse, it is an alcoholic milkshake. On one end, you have the sweet chocolate milkshake flavors but on the other end, you are drinking an alcoholic beverage. The second photo couldn’t be any more perfect as it fit the label very nicely with the brown and yellow circles. In terms of flavors, Filia represents the sweetness of the beer while Samson is the Alcohol and roasty bitterness that is given by the coffee.

Figgy Pudding (2 year aged) by Block 15 brewing

1460991_10101539123790550_1482820932_n1424532_10101540492447750_1758508559_nRating: 5.75/5

Figgy Pudding (2 year aged) by Block 15 brewing is an 11% ABV English Strong Ale brewed with molasses and matured in Brandy Barrels with figs and spice

Label: 
Our holiday offering brewed with English pale and specialty malts and molasses. Matured in freshly emptied brandy barrels and conditioned with mission figs. Gently spiced with the world’s finest Ceylon cinnamon and whole nutmeg. ‘Now, bring us some figgy pudding!’ the carolers demand. We are pretty sure this ale is what they mean though you will will want to keep some for yourself.

Our brewers are dedicated in bringing beer enthusiasts traditional, unique, and challenging bottle conditioned ales brewed with the finest ingredients from our region and around the world. Drop by our brewpub and enjoy over 13 hand crafted ales and lagers in our historic downtown location. View our bottle our aging journal , real-time tap list, menus, and events at Block15.com
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As the Christmas song goes, wishing people a Merry Christmas then goes to saying, bring some Figgy Pudding and a cup of good cheer! I think this beer suffices as to everything that is Christmas. I was able to find this beer online at mybeercellar.com. If you are lucky, you will find it for a good price. Yes, it is quite the pricey one, but in order to bring forth what this beer is like, some chances are taken. So think of it as a gift from me to you. If you like the beer review, then seek it.

Aromas:
Rich reminiscence of the Lost Abbey’s Sede Vacante, Brandy, vanilla, prunes, rich figs, raisins, sugar plums, nutmeg, fruit cake, cinnamon, ginger bread, apples, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, cherries, black berry preserves on rye bread, hazelnut notes and oak

Flavors:
Rich Raisins, Figs, Plums, prunes, Brandy, dark cherries, chocolate notes, caramel, oak, vanilla, rich fruit cake, toffee, cherries, red velvet cake, apples, apricot, butterscotch, blackberry preserves, ginger bread, cinnamon, apples, pear notes, nutmeg, molasses, rye bread, raisin bread pudding, pecan pie notes, wine like sangria and communion wine

Aftertaste:
The aftertaste is rich with raisins, caramel, raisin bread pudding, fruit cake, oak and some brandy hints . There is no alcohol present in the taste from what I can tell. It is a big sipper never the less.

Overall:
Exceptionally awesome. Reminded me a lot of the Lost Abbey Sede Vacante in the flavor and smell. The only difference is that it was not as strong or super complex as that one but anything that can match it close enough is definitely worth the extra credit and my attention. If you can find this one, give it a try. It sure is cellaring pretty nicely and the 11% ABV is hard to find. If this is true Christmas in a bottle then they did a damn good job of representing it

Anime Corner:
Ignis from Jingai Makyou is used in this pairing to represent a more laid back feel to sitting down and enjoying a glass of ale. Although, even if it looks like wine, the glass she is drinking could be represented by figgy pudding as some of the brandy and rich flavors do also include some wine and dark fruit characters. She fits the label perfectly as the person on the label and her raise the glass to toast the holidays. The strength in the alcohol comes in her strength of fighting demons. She is a kind and friendly woman which is represented in the sweet figgy and dark fruit flavors. Are there any other things you can find from this pairing?

Lava by Ölvisholt Brugghús of Iceland

1470120_10101539089339590_304178292_nRating: 4.35/5

Lava by Ölvisholt Brugghús of Iceland is a 9.4% ABV Smoked Imperial Stout

Label: 
The active volcano Hekla is visible from the brewhouse door and occasionally, eruptions are visible from the Ölvisholt farm. The illustration resembles the view from the brewhouse door when an eruption occurs. Full-bodied, pitch black beer with a dense brown head. Richly flavored with notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt and smoke.
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I have never had any beers from Iceland, but a lot has to do with the fact that Beer was not legalized there until 1989. This beer came from the Rare Beer Club’s November release. Apparently, the description in the pamphlet the beer came it says that it is rated as one of, if not, the best Iceland beer. So to try this out and able to do a review here is an honor.

Aromas:
Very nice dark chocolate, caramel, smokey wood, oak, coffee, peat, beechwood, vanilla, anise, earthy hop notes, sweet bread and dark fruits

Flavors:
Definitely campfire charred and roasty wood notes, beechwood, dark chocolate, smoke, molasses, dark fruits, plum sauce notes, light soy sauce, anise, black licorice, molasses, lots of caramel and toffee as it warms up, silky oak, marshmallows, graham cracker smores and bacon notes

Aftertaste:
Finishing off with a smokey, chocolate, licorice and oaky taste that lingers a bit. The beer is a sipper but I cannot tell the difference from the taste. Meaning if I taste boozy or charred flavors. Most likely charred since I do not feel a tremendous amount of alcohol even after drinking this for a while. Good stuff

Overall:
Very good smokey beer. I have tried some really good smoked stouts in the past and this one can definitely go toe to toe with some of the greats. The beer is not unpleasantly smokey or bitter. Everything seems to work so well with this one. The brewery has been exporting to North America so we may see this one in the shelves more often. I would recommend this if you like smoked stouts.

Anime Corner:
The character in this piece is the archer/prophet class from the series Atlantica Online. I could not find her name, just the class. I do not know much about the Atlantica series, but the pairing was done on the whole Lava flowing down the mountains. To my surprise, I chose the artwork from the Atlantica series before I even knew where it was from. Atlantica fits perfectly as Iceland is in the Atlantic.

Bone Warmer by Grand Teton Brewing

1488046_10101539042204050_609663904_n 1453311_10101539042528400_225505053_nRating: 4.5/5

Bone Warmer by Grand Teton Brewing is an 8.2% ABV Imperial Amber/Red Ale

Sleeve Description: 
2013 marks the 25th anniversary of Grand Teton Brewing. In celebration, we’re bringing back three of our favorite styles for this year’s Cellar Reserves. Bonewarmer Imperial Amber was first brewed in 2006 and sold out faster than any other beer we’ve made. Bone Warmer, brewed in the “strong ale” tradition, is a beer of great character, with exceptional malt flavor and warming alcohol content.

Historically, brewers often drew three different runs from the same barley mash. The first, used for strong ale or “best beer,” had the most flavor, color and fermentable sugars, and produced beer with the most alcohol. The second was used for a less strong “table beer,” and the third, a lighter and cheaper “small beer.”

Our Bone Warmer is brewed the same way, using only the first runnings from an extraordinarily thick, strong mash of Idaho 2-Row Metcalfe and Harrington barley malt, along with dark German Munich and caramel malts. We subtly spiced it with Idaho Chinook hops, fermented it at cool temperatures and cold-conditioned it for smoothness and drinkability.

The resulting ale is the color of roasting chestnuts. It is voluptuously malty and only slightly sweet- with a hint of toffee and a warming dry finish. It’s an ideal accompaniment to rich meaty stews, wild game, roasted fowl or root vegetables, and aged cheddars.
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This beer peeked my interest a couple of times at the store but I never got around to grabbing it until I saw it a second time. I love winter warmers and holiday beers so I figured, what the hell, why not. I haven’t tried Grand Teton stuff in a long time so I figure I was over due to come back and try some of this brewery’s great beers. I have yet to have a bad experience from any of the beers I have tried form them so far. Hell, they are the ones to made Black Cauldron Stout, one of my favorites. 

Aromas:
Lots of toffee, caramel, nuts, plums, raisins, subtle earthy hops, fruit cake, apple notes, apricot nints, cantaloupe, biscuit bread, maple syrup, toasted rye bread notes, brown sugar, honey and mild berry notes 

Flavors:
Caramel, toffee, fruit cake, dark fruits like raisins and plums, hazelnut, apples, walnuts, earthy notes, toasted rye bread with blackberry preserve notes, biscuit bread, ginger bread, pecan pie notes, nutmeg, oak notes, maple, marshmallows and spices

Aftertaste:
Finishing off with rich caramel notes, fruit cake, ginger bread, dark fruit and spices, this beer is quite in the holiday spirit. 

Overall:
A very good amber that generally is peeking into the Winter warmer direction. The fact that there is a lot of holiday spices is definitely what makes I closer to the winter warmer category. While it may not be the end all be all of winter warmers or amber ales for that matter, it is definitely a very delicious brew and one that should be obtained for the holidays if you are still able to find it.

Anime Corner:
Samus Aran and Krystal from Nintendo are used in this pairing along with Coco from Crash Bandicoot. While it is not obvious as to why I chose them, I will explain. For the label aspect, the color of the dog and the blue rug and chimney compliment Krystal, Samus and Coco’s suit. While Samus is not a dog, she has some colors that fit the blond color of the dog as so does Coco. The winter warmer or bone warmer aspect might be an innuendo really. With a warm and sunset evening, if Samus and Krystal had a kid, could it look like Coco? Well, in a weird way, that is essentially what I was going for. You can also say that when love is in the air or when the winter comes, one wants to keep warm and stay close.

Four Anniversary Ale (Aged for 3 years) by Surly Brewing

1424457_10101539036984510_11028724_n 1458437_10101539040487490_689900917_nRating: 5.45/5

Four Anniversary Ale (Aged for 3 years) by Surly Brewing is a 10% ABV Double Espresso Milk/Sweet Stout brewed with Coffee

Label: 
Get Surly!

You are holding four, Surly Brewing’s fourth anniversary beer. The idea behind our anniversary line-up of beers was to brew a beer that is one-of-a-kind. Head-Brewer Todd Haug has free reign to use whatever ingredients and methods to brew these beers. This year’s bottle artwork is also a one-of-a-kind illustrated by local artist Adam Turman.” Omar Ansari.

“In the Surly brewhouse brewing our Anniversary beers means one thing, forget what you know and try something different. Brewed with too many Espresso beans, too much Roasted Barley, and a healthy dose of Milk sugar, this Double Espresso Milk Stout has layers of chocolate, espresso and smoke flavors intertwined with a velvety lush body.” Todd Haug.
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A rarity within itself. Only released in 2010 an now a days, you have to search deep to find this one. Another cellared gem which I am reviewing for the holidays. I have never tried this before, so trying it now will probably be a treat. I will describe this on as best I can to see if it will be worth it for you to seek out. Love the label too, which was one of the reasons I was looking for this one as well.

Aromas:
Lots of dark fruits like raisins, plums, cherry, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, rich espresso, mocha, roasted coffee, Java, caramel, old pear, slight champurrado atole, cinnamon notes, mild oak, mild tobacco, and lactose sugar

Flavors:
Like sweet rich cup of coffee, espresso, mocha, marshmallows, dark fruits going like raisins, cherry, plums, milk and dark chocolate, lots of lactose sugar, hints of cinnamon, caramel, java, flan notes, crème brulee notes and rye bread notes

Aftertaste:
Finish is of dark fruit, chocolate and lactose with a rich bitter roasted coffee aftertaste. Good luck finding the alcohol. Still, a sipper none the less, but the level of sweetness may make you want to drink the whole bottle…yeah, it is that enticing.

Overall:
Very delicious exceeding expectations slightly. The aging of this beer may have been responsible for those awesome dark fruit notes but also maintains a sweet caramel infused, mocha coffee goodness that keeps going all throughout the beer. The coffee is there to detract the super sweetness and does a good job of it. It is not a super complex beer but damn does she deliver a good cup of Joe. Most of the flavors were spot on. It is not fancy coffee, but it is very delicious. I think this is the second best Coffee Stout I have ever had. If you like really sweet but nice roasted deep coffee beers, then yes, go get this one. 

Anime Corner:
Sayo Hitsugi from Triage X is paired with Surly Four for many reasons. Aside from her hair color and clothes more or less matching the label, there is also something about her personality that best suits the pairing. Aside from the evil mask that pairs with the skeletons in the background, and the fact that Surly makes evil beers, she also tends to be a harsh nurse. She shows no mercy towards anyone who is not her comrades and will kill to prove it. She is powerful and her armor and artillery proves it. Her aggressiveness can be represented by the double roastiness and bitter coffee aspects of the beer and the armor and strength is the Alcohol content. However, her sweet and thoughtful side is what has really developed since 2010 thus what makes this beer much more sweeter and showing those rich dark fruits and caramel flavors. Even if the label does not show it, this beer is just as evil as the other great Surly beers. Awesome

Pugsley’s Signature Series Mint Chocolate Stout by Shipyard brewing

935614_10101539003905800_1149963378_nRating: 4.85/5

Pugsley’s Signature Series Mint Chocolate Stout by Shipyard brewing is a 9%ABV American Stout

Label: 
Description: Mint Chocolate Stout is a dark, silky beer with aromas of chocolate and licorice. Smooth chocolate and coffee flavors upfront lead to a subtle spearmint finish. To fully enjoy all the flavors of this ale it is best drunk at 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Malt: Pale, Flaked Barley, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Rolled Oats, Whole Wheat, Black, Caramunich II

Hops: WGV (Whitbread Golding Variety), Perle.
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The Shipyard series has been one of my favorite for beers since the Smashed Blueberry ale, Smashed pumpkin ale and even the Double Old Thumper ale. The beers that I have tried from them so far really work to come close as possible as to what they are intended to taste like. It seems that this is well executed as their use of ingredients can make the intended flavors really come out, where as other breweries use more of special recipes to magically summon the flavors (The Craft that makes craft beers) which makes them more magical and complex. Never the less, if you are able to com up with special recipes using the right ingredients and execute it well, then the achievement has been met (Alchemy vs. Magic). When I first saw this one at the local store, it was a no brainer to pick it up and do a review. Total wine in Redondo Beach California but it should also hit Downey Liquor and many of the Southern California markets soon.

Aromas:
Rich Mint Chocolate chip ice cream, licorice, molasses, evergreen, spearmint, baker and dark chocolate notes, anise, roasted coffee notes, caramel and light vanilla. 

Flavors:
Lots of mint, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, roasted espresso, licorice, notes of molasses, anise, Mint Chocolate chip ice cream, spearmint, herbs, evergreen, earthy hops, Mint Chocolate chip ice cream coffee, hints of herbs and spices.

Aftertaste:
Leaves a nice minty, chocolate, roasty coffee and licorice taste. Hidden Alcohol, moderate to sipping drinkability

Overall:
The beer is very good. It is not overly complex and gets the job done when it comes to meeting expectations of what a “Mint Chocolate Stout” is supposed to taste like. The chocolate keeps it together but the stronger notes have to be in the mint and the earthy hops and roasted coffee bitterness. This one is way more minty than the Stone Belgo Anise, but it is still like drinking Mint Chocolate Chip Ice cream and coffee in a bottle. It is possible that people who do not like Licorice beers may not find this one appealing, but the sweet chocolate definitely keeps it from being too much like licorice. Definitely worth a try and one I definitely get again.

Anime Corner:
The personified anime version of The Creeper from Mine craft was used for this pairing to compliment several aspects of the beer. To begin, the obvious is the green and brown to represent the mint and the chocolate as well as the label colors. The creeper is a kamikaze character from what I gather about the Minecraft game. I have not played minecraft but the artwork is very cute and I figure it would work for this sweet beer. The fact that the Creepers linger until they explode can represent the lingering of the rich mint and chocolate in the after taste. What keep Creepers away from players are cats. The fact that there is cat in this picture could signify the balance that this beer has. It is not too bitter and has enough mint to make it very good but not overly minty to make it like toothpaste. The cat being in the picture could also mean that the girl Creeper is actually a Creeper spy. Either way, I am sure the smoke from her cigarette (roast and licorice flavors) will catch others attention.

Flemish Red Ale Grand Cru by Brouwerij Strubbe

1477572_10101538898382270_343257248_nRating: 4.85/5

Flemish Red Ale Grand Cru by Brouwerij Strubbe is a 6.5% ABV Flanders Red Ale aged in oak barrels

Label: 
A “Sour reddish brown ale” with a light sweet tint. Aged for two years in Bordeaux oak barrels and blended.
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Ever since the Rodenbach Grand Cru, there was something special about actual Belgian Red ales which I did not expect. Taken the fact that some of the other Flemish Red ales I have tried may have been way tarter to close to sour kind of beers. That is really not a problem for me as I like sours especially Flanders sours like La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin. Never the less, I still enjoy more sweet beers and have a palate for enjoying a wide variety of flavors. I got this one because I wanted to try another example of a Grand Cru, seeing as how I have yet to try one that hasn’t let me down 

Aromas:
Lots or cherry, grape, caramel, apricots, pear, oak, wine notes, sweet biscuit bread, raspberry preserves, cherry pie, brown sugar, strawberries, honey, peppery spices and a bit of cinnamon

Flavors:
Rich in Cherry, toffee, caramel, moderately tart cranberry, strawberry notes, sweet bread, wine grape notes, oak, apricots, plums, earthy notes, cherry pie, dates, figs, honey, peppercorns, brown sugar, pears, peaches and apricots.

Aftertaste:
The beer finishes close to dry leaving some sweet oak., cherry, caramel and biscuit bread notes. No alcohol in the taste and easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
I found this one to be very good. More along the lines of moderately tart than sour. It seems more like that Window Sill beer from the Bruery but sweeter. It is actually fruitier and oakier than it is sour. Belgian and Flanders Red Ale lovers will like this one

Anime Corner:
Rias Gremory from High School DXD is used as the pairing to showcase the label colors. Her personality is very sweet like this beer but if anyone messes with the person she loves, she becomes sour. The reason she is not very sour is due to the fact that she is more accepted in the Human world than seen as a Devil, which her family to a clan of Devils. Therefore, this beer is not completely evil and is with the Belgian beers and abbeys, it is blessed as a Grand Cru which makes Rias a good person… hopefully