Jurata Collaboration by Coronado and Cigar City Breweries

1489052_10101684850528000_576981799_n 534072_10101684851461130_2022681092_nRating: 4.15/5

Jurata Collaboration by Coronado and Cigar City Breweries is an 8% ABV Baltic Porter.

Label:
When naming this Baltic porter, a collaboration with Tampa’s famed Cigar City Brewing, we opted for Jurata as a nod to a mythological mermaid known to roam the depths of the Baltic Sea, just as energetic yeast used to brew this deep dark beer navigated our fermentation tanks. Dive in and enjoy Jurata’s true-to-style rich and complex flavors!
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Picked this one up at one of the local liquor store places near my house since I wanted to try this beer for a while. It was a super hyped one, but a collaboration with Cigar City would definitely make for one tasty treat. I figure, scratch this one off the review list and time for a presentation.

Aromas:
Dark Chocolate, molasses, anise, coffee, brownies, roasted barley, caramel, soy sauce, raisins, tobacco, earthy hops, hazelnut, pecans, licorice and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Roasted coffee notes, anise, dark chocolate, roasted barley notes, earthy hops, tobacco, leather, raisin hints, soy sauce notes, nutty pecans, hazelnuts, oatmeal, maple, mild smokey oak, smoked clams, oysters, brown sugar and vanilla hints.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate fading, tobacco, earthy hops, anise and hints of caramel. No alcohol in the taste, moderate to sipping drinkability with medium to full mouth feel.

Overall:
A very good beer that is enjoyable but nothing specifically too extraordinary. Drinks similar to a sweeter Black IPA. I enjoyed Coronado’s Barrel Aged beer better than this one. Although, the rarity of the style makes it interesting. Although one of the best Baltic Porters I had was the one from Uinta called Sea Legs. Although that one is aged in bourbon barrels, so yeah, maybe that is cheating. Nevertheless, this one is very good and worth a try if you are interested.

Anime Corner:
Visitor artwork by moni158 of deviantart.com and original mermaid artwork by houtengeki were used in this pairing to show the Jurata siren which lured men at sea in with their beauty to the their watery graves in the Baltic sea. The label and colors were perfect for the artwork but also the Coronado mermaid was even more perfect for the beer in comparing to the Baltic sea. Aside from the very obvious, is there any other things that can be said about these pairings?

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Pisces Pale by El Borracho Home Brewing

1779069_10101679695922870_586347337_nRating: 4/5

Pisces Pale by El Borracho Home Brewing is a 5.8% ABV English Pale Ale.

Thanks to my buddy William Carranza for hooking me up with his first master piece. This is his first beer made and I was given the honor to do a review for him. We both went to beer class together and he took it upon himself to brew his first batch of beer. I will be right behind you brother .

Aromas:
Caramel, grassy and piney hops, grapefruit notes, mango hints, biscuit bread, rye, malt grain and honey. 

Flavors:
Earthy, grassy and piney hops, caramel, rye bread, honey, mango hints, biscuit notes, mild toffee, grapefruit, citrus, lemon peel, peanuts, toffee and pecans.

Aftertaste:
Caramel, toffee, earthy, grapefruit hops, peanuts and honey. No alcohol in the taste with easy to moderate drinkability and medium body to it.

Overall:
A very good pale ale. Despite’s Will’s advise about a certain flaw in the beer, I enjoyed it more because I actually enjoyed it better this way. The flaw was that there was more malt concentrated due to the missing extra gallon that was not added to the batch, which case the pale ale to be closer to a red ale,winter warmer or an Extra Special Bitter. While it may not have been what he was looking for in the beer, it ended being great! I love sweet caramel beers and this was just that good in my opinion. The best temperature would be to drink it as cold as possible to get more hop profile out of it. It gets sweeter as it get warmer. There is no off flavors, just nice and sweet stuff. Thanks again Will!

Anime Corner:
Zodiac Sign Pisces original artwork by Deviantart.com artist yuhon was chosen as a pairing to my friends beer to show the name of the beer. Pisces Pale was born in early February 2014 and this with the sign and the name as well as Will’s Zodiac sign, this was the pairing I chose. It make not show case many of the colors of the beer itself, maybe the hops since hops are green, but the vibrant hazel eyes of the fishes and the girl hold its true nature, the flow of a sweet awesome beer. Any other pairing notes that you would like to share, please comment below.

 

Power Plant by El Segundo Brewing company

1907557_10101679552879530_1521022671_nRating: 5.25/5

Power Plant by El Segundo Brewing company is an 11.3% ABV Triple India Pale Ale.

Picked up a growler after my first visit to the El Segundo Brewery in El Segundo California. A small facility with a giant power house of flavors. I tried several beers which I really liked while I was there like the Standard Crude in bourbon and oak along with the range of great IPAs, pale ales and porters. This is the second beer I review from them since I really loved the White Dog IPA, but this beer, was in another level altogether. First of all, I have never tried an IPA that is over 10% ABV (Barrel Aged IPAs don’t count). This one is 11.3% and I must say, it sure doesn’t feel like it.

Aromas: Grapefruit, melon, kiwi, oranges, dragon fruit, grassy, piney and floral hops, honey dew melon, strawberry, apple, pear, mango, peach, pineapple, biscuit bread, caramel, lychee fruit, prickly pears, passion fruit, papaya, apricot, herbs, lemon peel and tangerines.

Flavors:
Lots of tropical fruits like grapefruit, kiwi, pineapple, oranges, honey dew melon, mango, papaya, strawberry, apples, pears, peaches, lychee, prickly pears, passion fruit, papaya, apricot, passion fruit, biscuit bread, caramel, grassy, piney, herbal and floral hops, orange gummy bears, lemon, tangerines, raspberries and honey.

Aftertaste:
Tropical fruits aftertaste with very nice grapefruit hop resin, biscuit and caramel. No alcohol in the taste. Very smooth, easy to drink, crisp and refreshing despite the high ABV.

Overall:
Extra ordinary beer out for a limited time. This is one of the finest examples of great IPAs I have ever tried and is the definition of how great IPAs should be. I think it also helps that it is super fresh. If you have ever tried the hoppy wort left over from when making beer, it would most likely be very similar to the hop bitterness but ofcourse, the bitterness does not linger for too long and mainly the tropical fruits do. So if you get a chance to go, definitely try this beer out.

Anime Corner:
Ryuoko Matoi from Kill La Kill was the right pairing for this beer because I wanted to show that the height of power plant smokestacks (in this case a tower) represents the height of evil corporations (hype in the craft beer community) as well as how power plants pollute the earth and cause acid rain to fall (Beer Snobery). Ryuoko is there to represent this Triple IPA and to show that even at the height of all the IPA hype out there (Pliny the Younger, I am looking at you), one will stand up to it to bring it down. Like in Final Fantasy VII where Cloud Strife helped to take down the Mako power plants, Ryuoko would do the same and bring the level of “IPA Hype” away from the overly hyped brews and back into the roots of the local community microbreweries. YES! And this is why I chose this one

Mocha Wednesday by The Bruery

1014082_10101671495491600_1756682980_n 1966856_10101671498834900_1504673027_n 1970798_10101671497782010_137021336_n 1922342_10101671498161250_1633794177_nRating: 6/5

Mocha Wednesday by The Bruery is a 19.2% ABV World Class Imperial Stout brewed with Coffee and Cacao Nibs aged in bourbon barrels.

Label:
MORNING AFTER

This exquisite version of Black Tuesday is brewed with TCHO cacao nibs and coffee beans from Portola Coffee Lab.

Mocha Wednesday is a perfect follow up to a Black Tuesday. This invigorationg ale will age gracefully if cellared properly, but the both chocolate and freshly ground coffee flavors will be most prominent when consumed fresh.
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Fucken right, the only beer this year from the stupidly exclusive and expensive hoarders society of the Bruery I was able to obtain thanks to a great donation. You will most likely have to trade or spend a grip of money on this rarity of rares. Black Tuesday, Grey Monday, White Chocolate, Chocolate Rain and Melange #3 have been my top favorite Bruery beers and today on this very Wednesday, a Mocha Wednesday, I contribute this beauty to the reviews. Thank you so much mystery person for the generous donation. Cheers!!

Aromas:
Alesmith Kopi Luwak coffee aroma complexity, rich mocha coffee, espresso, roasted coffee beans, Kahlua, dark, Belgian, German, sweet, bitter, milk, fudge and baker’s chocolates, bourbon, Dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, flan, hazel nuts, pecan pie, Bailey’s Irish cream, dark fruits, raisins, figs, plums, raspberries, cherries, almond joy, rocky road ice cream, fudge, chocolate chip cookies, molasses, oak, earthy notes, brown sugar, mint, anise and toasted coconut.

Flavors:
Toasted coconut, Kahlua, mocha, java, espresso beans, Kopi luwak coffee, dark, Belgian, German, sweet, bitter, milk, fudge and baker’s chocolates as in the aromas, dark fruits like currants, cherries, raspberries, raisins, figs, plums, raspberries, cherries, almond joy chocolate, See’s coffee candy, brown sugar, chocolate mocha flan, coffee cake, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla beans, oak, bourbon, rum, Bailey’s Irish cream, cookies and cream ice cream, anise, mint chocolate ice cream, pecan pie, hazelnuts, maple syrup, earthy chocolate sugar notes, tobacco, roasted cashews, mocha syrup and more chocolate, damn!

Aftertaste:
Lots of Kahlua coffee. You know the alcohol is there but all you taste is sugary sweet Frappucino and coffee to the point where you can’t sense it until it is too late. A major sipping chocolate mocha syrupy mouth feel beer, but scarily, a smooth beer as well. This beer is no joke.

Overall:
Holy Shit, this kicks a lot of the best coffee beers right in the nuts. I think this is really the best damn coffee beer I have ever had with Alesmith Barrel Aged Kopi Luwak Speedway Stout being the second runner up. This definitely is a warming welcome to the already great line up of Bruery beers specifically the ones I had mentioned earlier in my post. No doubt about it, it is not as chocolatey as Chocolate Rain, but the consistency and the coffee to give it a complex coffee-mocha flavor that makes it extremely unique. Something like this is what meets the highest expectation exceeding criteria that I look for in some of the best beers in the world. A rarity, but a lovely beer just the same. That and at 19.2% is the 3rd highest ABV I have ever tried next to Chocolate Rain and Tactical Nuclear Penguin (32% ABV although too harsh).

Anime Corner:
I looked for a couple of days figuring out which character to choose and after watching Naruto this past weekend, who else can actually make a great pairing but the 3rd Akatsuki Rogue Ninja leader and one of the top female ninjas in the series (next to Temari ofcourse), Konan of Amegakure. The alcohol shows her unique strength. The perfect pairing idea came from the label and a need to find one of my favorite characters to fit. Her blue hair and hazelnut eyes fit perfect with the beer label colors. Her strength is not the only thing that matters, but the rich sweet aspects of her flavors characterizes the deep love she has for her friends Nagato and Yahiko (Also known as Pain). The rarity of this beer is the rarity of her discipline. For the smallest times you do get to see her fight, she is a bad ass ninja. Hence the reason her smoothness and seduction will make you pay greatly later on if you try to consume her in one sitting. Patience is virtue!! Aside from these aspects, if you know this character or can even guess, what other aspects of this pairing compliment each other?

Orange Shandy by Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

1618667_10101669922878130_1678351225_nRating: 3.5/5

Orange Shandy by Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company is a 4.2% Shandy made with Oranges.

Commercial Description:
Our latest shandy, Leinenkugel’s® Orange Shandy is a traditional wheat beer with refreshing natural orange flavor inspired by the orange harvests. With a zesty, citrus taste, it’s just what you need to stay on the brighter side of the season.
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Got this one in a 6 pack. They sell 12 packs of this as well. I am sure it is sold in many places that sell Leinenkugel beers. It is not a too crazy beer but I figured, might as well. Let’s see what this one is all about.

Aromas:
Oranges, coriander, wheat, honey, cereal grains, lemons, mild berry like that of their “Sunset Wheat” with its fruity pebble like aroma.

Flavors:
Lots or sweet oranges, cereal grains, coriander spice, fruit pebble cereal like taste (possibly the yeast they use or a berry like flavor), mild berries, lemon peel, honey and wheat.

Aftertaste:
Mild cereal and orange juice sweetness. No alcohol in the taste. Crisp, refreshing and easy to drink. 

Overall:
A good beer that actually taste better Shocktop. Way more fruitier than the average orange wheat beer but sweeter for sure. I enjoy the Hangar 24 Orange wheat more but this beer is made specifically to taste like fruity oranges so it works with no surprise. It definitely fits with the categories of summer beer and is one that sits nice on a hot summer day.

Anime Corner:
Nami from One Piece was chosen in this pairing to pair with the flavors, label, and style of the beer. It is all about Oranges here and it is the reason I chose it. Picking oranges and drinking orange juice on a summer day is what comes to mind when pairing this beer.

Coronado Collection series Barrel Aged Stupid Stout by Coronado Brewing

1609691_10101668329396480_996958789_nRating: 5/5

Coronado Collection series Barrel Aged Stupid Stout by Coronado Brewing is a 9.8% ABV Imperial Stout aged in oak bourbon barrels.

Label:
The “Coronado Collection” is the limited release of our barrel aged liquid treasures. 2013 Release #3: Stupid Stout Imperial Stout aged in oak bourbon barrels.
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I picked this up at the local Downey liquor store. I have tried a Coronado collaboration and the Coronado Red ale but to try something like this is pretty special as I have never had any of their barrel aged stuff. They sure put an emphasis on the mermaid. I love Barrel aged beers but each one better than others and some which are just out of this world.

Aromas:
Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits like currants, raisins, grapes, black berries, coffee, oak, dark chocolate, molasses, anise, dark cherry, hazelnut, mocha and toasted coconut.

Flavors:
Bourbon, dark fruits like currants, raisins, grapes, blackberries, dark cherries, mocha, coffee, vanilla, caramel, dark chocolate, tobacco, molasses, anise, hazelnut, flan, toasted coconut, oak, mild marshmallow smores, chocolate fudge cake and a bit of mint.

Aftertaste:
Coffee, dark fruit currants, grapes, caramel, earthy notes and oak. The alcohol is mildly present in the flavor but does not detract from the flavors. A sipping beer with a full mouth feel.

Overall:
Damn delicious, but in a different way. It may not have exceeded expectations but it is still a perfect beer. The bourbon barrel aging of this beer makes it go more towards dark fruit, anise and coffee flavors than actual bourbon complexities like a richer amount of coconut, flan, marshmallows and such. Nevertheless, still a perfect beer worth trying. This beer reminds me of Ballast Point’s Sea Monster.

Anime Corner:
This mermaid creature is an original character from the card series called Monster Collection Fujimishobo Bushiroad which was used in this pairing to represent the Coronado mermaid, the collection series to pair with the “Coronado Collection” but also the flavors of the dark fruits and currants.

Tumescence collaboration by The Bruery and Bottlelogic brewing

IMAG5969 IMAG5968Rating: 4.4/5

Tumescence collaboration by The Bruery and Bottlelogic brewing is an 8% ABV Saison/Farmhouse Ale brewed with Mangoes, Raspberries, Herbs and spices.

Label:
RAGING HAPPINESS

This saison was brewed with brettanomyces, mangoes & raspberries and a selection of herbs and spices for extra enjoyment.

The OC beer community is growing quickly and luckily it is filled with amazing people. We had a lot of fun brewing this experimental ale with our old friends who are now our new neighbors. Best enjoyed fresh, but may pleasantly evolve over time if cellared properly
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The first collaboration of the year for The Bruery and maybe for Bottle Logic. This was a february release for the Reserve society but will also be released for the preserve society and possible to the markets soon next month. A saison is a delicious style of beer brewed in the French speaking parts of Belgium, or so I heard. They are very prominent by many breweries and even my favorites are from Stillwater Artisanal. So, for the brewery to make one with mango, this I had to see.

Aromas:
Mango, peppercorns, hibiscus, raspberries, grapefruit and herbal hops, citrus, coriander spice, strawberry, cilantro, lemons, biscuit bread, brettanomyces funk, stone fruits like apricots and peaches and apples.

Flavors:
Lots of flowers, spices, mango, grapefruit hops, tart raspberries, peppercorns, stone fruit apricots, peaches, sour apple, sage, grapes, funky brett, biscuit bread, farmhouse hay, lemongrass, cilantro herbs, pineapple, strawberry, chamomile and hibiscus.

Aftertaste:
Citrus, herbs, spices, mild mango, tart raspberry, herbal and grassy hops. There is no alcohol in the taste. This is moderate drinking beer.

Overall:
If you love saisons, you may love this very delicious beer. At some points, the herbs were pretty sharp but I think that was the point when they needed to balance out the sweeter tropical notes of the beer. In this sense, it is not as sweet as other saisons but the bitter flowers, spices, herbs and some sweetness of the tropical fruits do come together nicely. 

Anime Corner:
Ignis from Jingai Makyō was chosen to for the pairing of Tumescence for the label, beer colors and flavors. Tumescence is actually the word for inflammation of something. In this case, Ignis representing the raspberries and Mango fights off the demons of the living Brettanomyces to maintain a place in the beer so that it does not sour out and shows the tropics a bit more. The surrounding red of her hair and the red of the background really shows the raspberry and mango aspects of the beer. Can you see any other art of this luminescent beer that pairs with the artwork?

Smooth Criminal by The Bruery

1901117_10101663523911710_1016588777_n 1001236_10101663524540450_1394720629_nRating: 5.96/5

Smooth Criminal by The Bruery is a 15% ABV English Barley Wine and Saison Blend aged in bourbon barrels

Label:
ANNI ARE YOU OKAY?
Ever accidentally blend two brews, curse a bit, and then smile when tasting the excellent result? Us too. Rich malt, hops and wood come together harmoniously in this unique ale.

Smooth Criminal is the splendid result of moving a bit too quickly in the brewhouse. An accidental addition of Saison De Lente to a fermenter full of our Anniversary ale led us to ask, “Anni, are you okay?” She was. Best enjoyed fresh , but may pleasantly evolve over time if cellared properly.
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I have yet to try Saison Lente but this beer blended with Bois is probably very epic. Bois is already a beer that I highly enjoy but the addition of another blend may make or break a flavor enhancement. So far, the Bois Fume was freaking epic, let us see what Saison Lent did to “ANNI”versary ale. 

Aromas:
Bananas, peaches, apricots, apple butter, vanilla, oak, bourbon, dulce de leche caramel, coconut, milk chocolate, pecan pie, hazelnuts, dark fruits like raisins, plums, cherries, figs, dates, grapes,apples, rum, Flan, brown sugar, peaches and cream, crème brulee, toffee and marshmallow smores.

Flavors:
Bananas, dulce de leche caramel, peaches, herbal spices, floral hops, peppercorns, toffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, rum, apples, apricots, dark fruit raisins, figs, dates, prunes, cherries, pecan and hazelnut pie, walnuts, raisin bread pudding, marshmallows smores, rye bread with orange marmalade spread, flan, crème brulee, dark and milk chocolate, white chocolate, wine grapes, maple syrup, burnt sugars, candy sugar, brown sugar, and butterscotch, flowers and coriander.

Aftertaste:
Peach, grape, rye, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, pecan pie, earthy and floral notes and citrus linger. The alcohol is presently mild but does not detract from the delicious flavors. This is mildly smooth. 

Overall:
Something about adding other beers to Bois take the beer to another spectrum of flavors. The Bois Fume was very delicious and now this one freaking awesome. I think I enjoyed Bois Fume more but this one is freaking delicious. If you enjoy both beers I am sure the hoppy, floral and citrus addition eill have you liking this one. A play at ANNI or Anni-versary is a well played criminal. A thief in the night exposing new flavors to the palate.

Anime Corner:
Vocaloid, Haku Yowane, was chosen for this pairing to represent the aspect of “Michael Jackson” and Smooth Criminal. Haku for the aspect of the beer and MJ, co-inside with themes of music since she is a musician but her name means utter bad thoughts. A pun to, “Who’s Bad?” In terms of the label, I did not get the colors right but the flavors of the beer such as the dark fruit, cherry and plums are there in in her clothing colors and evil eyes. Her white hair represents the addition of the Saison Lente (A white blond beer) that was added to Anniversary (Evil thoughts of Haku influencing the pure beer) and then creating this, Smooth Criminal. I’m just glad I found a great picture to pair with this beer and tribute to MJ’s “Smooth Criminal”.

Bois Fumé by The Bruery

1619294_10101663514700170_359443355_n 1779168_10101663519685180_404076231_nRating: 6/5

Bois Fumé by The Bruery is a 16.2% ABV Old Ale and Imperial smoked rye porter blend aged in bourbon barrels

Label:
VOULEZ UNE FUMÉE? (Would you like a smoke?)

This rustic beer is the result of barrel aging a blend of our Anniversary, English-style old ale, with Smoking Wood, an imperial smoked rye porter for a pleasantly sweet quaff with an dry, peaty finish.

Bois Fumé is a combination that makes all too much sense. Smoking Wood and Bois (French for ‘wood’) combine force3s in a unique winter warmer. Best enjoyed Fresh but, may pleasantly evolve over time if cellared properly.
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Non merci, je ne fume pas. Je préfère la bière artisanale s’il vous plaît… or something like that. I will do an exception with this one though. Two of some of the best beers Bruery bees combined in a blend. Talk about a Melange. But in all seriousness, this beer is a Reserve exclusive and one that can probably be achieve by just mixing the Bois and Smoking Wood beers to make Bois Fumé (French for Smoking Wood, no surprise here). While Bois was already close to exceed expectations and Smoking wood for me was perfect, a blend would surely skyrocket the results. Let’s see what this one is about shall we? Cheers!

Aromas:
Lots of rye bread with bananas,vanilla,dulce de leche caramel, coconut, milk chocolate, pecan pie, dark fruits like raisins, plums, cherries, figs, dates, wine grapes, sherry, apples, Flan, vanilla, sweet condenced milk (Lechera), crème brulee, oak wood, toffee, marshmallows, rum, whiskey, bourbon, brown sugar, burnt sugars and mocha coffee.

Flavors:
Campfire Smokey notes, bacon, dark and milk chocolate, oak, bourbon, dark fruits, raisins, bananas, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, vanilla, rum, apples, peach, figs, dates, prunes, cherries, pecan and hazelnut pie, marshmallows, flan, sweetened condenced milk (Lechera), crème brulee, wine grapes, sourdough and rye bread, toffee, sherry, burnt sugar, brown sugar, butterscotch hints, Honey, scotch, mocha, maple syrup and coconut.

Aftertaste:
Smokey oak, dark fruit, bourbon, wine, earthy but sweet coffee notes. The alcohol is subtle in the taste but the smokey sweet flavors cover for it very well.

Overall:
Fucking Epic, this beer was definitely more than I expected. They are somehow referring this to be a winter warmer on the bottle. I have no idea how it is possible but it sure is. This is a freaking crazy beer. Like I stated before, I already loved both the smoking wood and the Bois and this just took it to another level. It is highly recommended if you can find this variant. Just be cautious, it is the most booziest smoked beer I have ever had so if you like smoke and boozy, you win a “fancy campfire or sitting in a fancy chair listening to classical music near a fire place” type of beer.

Anime Corner:
Rei Ayanami and Rei Ayanami 3.0 from Neon Genesis Evangelion were used in this pairing to symbolize the original Bois anime picture I chose. In the first scene, the colors portray fire or Rei being engulfed by flames of glory. Well not in a bad way but like in a “Goku powering up super saiyan” kind of way. Also, the addition of the Black and White Ray sitting over lava show off the complexities of the beer in terms of the sweet and smokey colors. Not to mention the fact that they are surrounded by lava or magma. The wave of the cloth symbolizes the smokey aspects of the beer as Rei 3.0 holds the cloth over the lava. Also the Rei sleeping symbolizes the extra strength of this beer is enough to put anyone to sleep. That is all I have, but can you find any other pairings for this beer?

Hot Lips Real Fruit Cherry Soda

1620586_10101660100696860_2108733179_nHot Lips Real Fruit Cherry Soda is a 0% ABV (Non-Alcoholic) Craft Soda made with dark sweet and red sour cherries

Label:
Each deliciously refreshing bottle of HOTLIPS begins with fresh fruit picked at peak ripeness from family farms in the Pacific Northwest. Out all-natural CHERRY us a luxurious blend of sweet and tart varietals joined with soft, smooth bubbles.
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Another soda review. Yes, sometimes variety is good even if it may be short at times. I will give my best to give a good review but I cannot rate the soda as it I don’t consider myself good at it. Well, here we go. 

Aromas:
Cherry yogurt, prunes, cherry cobbles, cherry pie.

Flavors:
Dark Cherries, yogurt, Sour cherry cobbler, prunes, cherry skins and raisins.

Aftertaste:
Cherry and prune in the aftertaste. Moderate to Easy drinkability.

Overall:
A very good and not overly sweet soda. The focus is definitely not artificial but more along the lines of matured fruit or sun dried fruits. It is not the best soda ever, but if you are looking for pure sugary cherry flavor, you won’t find it here and many will find it appealing for that reason.

Anime Corner:
Mitsuru Kirijo from Persona 3 was used in this pairing to showcase the Red hot cherry lips and the dark cherry aspects of the soda. The label colors fit perfectly and this character is not sweet, she is cool and collected. So that would bring in the prune flavors in.

2013 Serpent’s Stout by The Lost Abbey

1654447_10101659994000680_1743785428_n 1653412_10101659995482710_476630824_nRating: 5/5

2013 Serpent’s Stout by The Lost Abbey is an 11% ABV World Class Belgian Imperial Stout.

Label:
From the beginning of time, it was so decreed, “From the this Tree of Knowledge, you shall not eat this fruit”. Soon enough, the Serpent slithered through the Garden convincing Eve to taste the nectar from this forbidden fruit. Once bitten and shamed, she then tempted Adam. Together, their actions brought Original Sin upon our world.

Discontent to rest on his laurels the Serpent continued his cunning ways bringing forth more temptations. Ultimately, he foisted upon the world his own Serpent Stout – a liquid so dark and viscous that all who tasted soon fell victim to this evil incarnate. Some turned to false prophets seeking advice. None of it mattered. Each struggle revealed the battle between Good and Evil. And now that you are holding a bottle of this liquid, it is certain he has tempted even you… So, welcome to our Darker Side of Life – home of the Serpent Stout’s Original Sin and the tastiest beers known to man.
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When it comes to drinking craft beer, sometimes you always find your self going back to some of the beers that started it all. This evil brew of sin was the original and first Belgian Imperial Stout that I have ever tried. Back in 2010 when I first started getting into collecting beer labels, this was one of the most artistic ones that I have tried from the Lost Abbey, and was one of my top favorites. A beer like this something that you really don’t forget. To many people, they all have a special set of beers sometimes they always want to go back and try. For me, this so called “blood of Christ” was something evil, dark, special and delicious. I try once more after those many times I tried it oh so long ago! It is a common here in California and in some places too. Sometimes, you just gotta go back.

Original Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/serpents-stout-by-the-lost-abbey/

Aromas:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, dark fruits like raisins, currants, plums, figs, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, roasted coffee notes, earthy hops, toffee, mild mocha, graham crackers, smores, brown sugar and molasses.

Flavors:
Dark, milk, bakers and fudge chocolate, roasted coffee beans, dark fruits like raisins, currants, plums, dulce de leche caramel, eathy hops, vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, toffee, mocha, graham cracker smores, flan, tobacco, oak, candy sugars, anise, raisin bread pudding soaked in chocolate syrup and coffee.

Aftertaste:
Earhy notes, oak, dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and caramel. No alcohol in the taste with a sipping, yet scary, smooth drinkability. I am not kidding, this is is why this beer is so evil. It goes down smooth like hell even with a syrupy mouthfeel. 

Overall:
Perfect example of one of the best Belgian Imperial Stouts. This beer was so good back then, I am currently aging one for a couple of years to come still. By then, I am sure it can sure fly above the “more than perfect/exceeding expectations” ratings. Even for a bottle as early as this, it is still damn great complex beer. One of my top favorites and a highly recommended stout. 

Anime Corner:
Ichigo Kurosaki and Fade to Black Rukia Kuchiki from Bleach were the perfect pairing back then when I did a review for this beer still continuing the tradition are used to pair the Adam and Eve label. The aspect of Adam and Eve relate to Rukia ad Ichigo since Rukia was possessed by evil twins and Ichigo tries to fight Rukia to try to save her from the possession. As you can see in the picture where Rukia attacks Ichigo, it is synonymous with Eve trying to lure Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. Crazy idea I had back then but damn it works. Hell, Serpent’s Stout is pitch black like the “Fade to Black” version of Evil Rukia. Definitely one of the best pairings I have for one of the original beers that started me into craft beer. Cheers!!

Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer

1899899_10101659992683320_929680375_nFlying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer is a Non-Alcoholic (0% ABV) Butterscotch Cream Soda.

Label:
A Magical Brew
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In the past I started to do some side reviews on Root beer, Hard Liquor and even Hard Lemonade. Specifically stuff that caught my fancy. So today I do a review on a non-alcoholic craft soda/beer.

Aromas:
Butterscotch, Vanilla, caramel, sugar and flan.

Flavors:
More Butterscotch, Flan, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla.

Aftertaste:
Lots of butterscotch, vanilla and sugary sweetness that lingers. Easy drinking.

Overall:
For being a cream soda/ Butterscotch Beer, It is pretty dead on to the flavors. If you love craft soda, cream ales, and butterscotch, you will love this one. 

Anime Corner:
Original artwork by anje was used in this pairing mainly to showcase the colors of the label and the butterscotch flavors. The label has a picture of a cauldron and since the theme is about magic, then the next step would be something in regards to witches’ brew or in this case, the witch. Can you find any other aspects about this pairing?

Lips of Faith series Wild² Dubbel by New Belgium

1511912_10101650975992840_757577343_n 1186190_10101650976965890_1269245178_nRating: 4.75/5

Lips of Faith series Wild² Dubbel by New Belgium is an 8% ABV Belgian Dubbel Brewed with Schisandra Berries.

Label:
This wild Colorado version of the Belgian Dubbel ropes you in with clove and dark fruit aromas. Deeply rich and malty, every sip has a creamy texture true to Belgian tradition before it rides off with hints of black pepper and cinnamon from the addition of shisandra berries.
___

Been looking for this beer since November. Yes, it was quite the damn elusive find even for a brewery who is well established with distribution. Got this one at the liquor mart in Whittier California but you most likely can find it in many stores that sell the New Belgium Lips of Faith series. The series has ranged from hit or miss beers but over very good beers. This was the last beer from 2013 in the Lips of Faith Series. I can’t wait to see what we get this year. For now, on to the review and cheers friends!!

Aromas:
Lots of banana, cloves, dark fruits like figs, plums, raisins, raspberries, peppercorn, soy sauce, dulce de leche caramel, cinnamon, flowers, herbs, chocolate, biscuit, apricot, peaches, brown sugar and candy sugar.

Flavors:
Not sure what Schisandra berries are supposed to taste like but if they are anything like raspberry or currants, it is close. The banana, bubblegum and clove spices is there but mixes with like a plant and soy sauce. That is not the dominant though as you can still tell it is a dubbel by the dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, raisins, dark cherries, toffee, plums, figs dates, apricots peaches, brown and candy sugars. Some other flavors are of chocolate, biscuit bread, rye, cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, citrus, pineapple, pear and coriander, herbs and other spices.

Aftertaste:
The raisin and caramel notes linger along with some earthy notes. No alcohol in the taste with medium to full body mouthfeel and easy to moderate drinkability. 

Overall:
Very good dubbel with lots of complex flavors but I just cant help feel like there is this Chinese gourmet aspect to it. It is isn’t a bad thing but if you have had Belgian beers with Szechuan peppercorns, you know the type of spice I am talking about. It makes the beer that more awesome!!It is like adding their Abbey Ale with the berries adds this complex experience. You definitely have to try it to understand what I mean. I think this beer is definitely on par with the quad I had last year.

Anime Corner:
Lily Salvatana (purple hair) and Franco il Nero (Teal hair) from Tre Donne Crudeli/Outlaw Django were the perfect pairing in this beer because I wanted to show case the cowboy aspect of the beer but also the flavor profile of this beer. Beginning with Lily who represents the dark fruit and caramel of the Dubbel style and then Franco with the stone fruit, herbs and spices added from the Schisandra berries. Yeah it goes all over the place. A takes two to make a Dubbel. Can you find any awesome details about this pairing?

Baphomet 15th Anniversary Ale by Snoqualmie brewing

1798677_10101650973393050_311715670_nRating: 4.66/5

Baphomet 15th Anniversary Ale by Snoqualmie brewing is an 8.3% ABV Imperial Red Dunkel Bock

Label:
They say the Devil’s in the details! Baphomet is the 15th card in the Tarot deck, and this beer was designed for our 15th anniversary last year, but we missed it. The beer and the eye-grabbing label were just too good not to release, so it is now our 15th + 1 anniversary release! This special celebratory offering is a devilishly delicious high gravity Red Ale! The high alpha Bravo hops add a wicked bite. The Munich malt provides loads of mouthwatering malty character, and select crystal malt provides its bloody red hue.

This devilishly concocted full bodied brew featuring the highly unique citric quality of the Bravo will be enough to spin your head around- and you won’t even need an exorcist!

O.G. 1.080
Alcohol By Volume 8.3%
IBUs ~ 80
Unfiltered and unpasteurized
___

This label has got to be reaching out to wall the conservative Christian fanatics as evil and all that sort of stuff. I ain’t gonna lie, this looks scary as fuck. But hey, it is still an awesome label and many fans of the occult will probably enjoy. The beer must be fucking awesome though, let’s check it out!

Aromas:
Lots of caramel, toffee, rye, vanilla, citrus, grapefruit, raisin notes, grassy and earthy hop notes, brown sugar, biscuit, hazelnut, peanuts and hints of molasses.

Flavors:
Toffee, caramel, tobacco, earthy hops, rye toast with orange marmalade, grassy hops, grapefruit, dark fruit raisins, vanilla, hazelnut, peanuts, brown sugar, biscuit bread, lots of aggressive pine and herbal hops.

Aftertaste:
Lingering grassy and earthy hops, with little caramel and dark fruit drying up quick. No alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer with a full body mouth feel.

Overall:
A damn very good beer. This drinks more like an Amber ale than a bock, or at least a bock that has been hopped. This devil’s water is sweet but also bitter. A similar to this would probably the Stone Levitation but then again, with the bock aspect this one adds more dark fruit and caramel to it. You will lots of hop bitterness though so really watch out.

Anime Corner:
Shaydeya Xeretas and Kazumi Original art and characters by sugarnhoney and TrueRageXRT of deviant art were used in this pairing to compliment the overall label. The colors with Baphomet and the background were perfect for this pairing. Just like Baphomet is chilling drinking a beer, the devil girls are chilling just taking a smoke. Can you find anything else about this pairing that is not obvious?

Yo Soy Ün Berliñer by Freetail Brewing

1000927_10101650972519800_24424596_nRating: 4.5/5

Yo Soy Ün Berliñer by Freetail Brewing is a 4.4% ABV Berliner Weisse aged in oak barrels.

Label:
So stood President John F. Kennedy at the steps of the Rathaus Schöneberg, preparing to deliver what would become his iconic speech in front of 450,000 free citizens of West Berlin. “Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is Ich bin ein Berliner!” A half-century later, our country embroiled in bitter political debate over the most trivial of ideals, we present this wood-aged Berliner Weisse as a tribute to the world of Freedom and an olive branch of collaboration to all those who can’t seem to get along. For those who wish to drink it, “Lass’ sie nach San Antonio kommen” – Let them come to San Antonio! Ingredients: Pilsen malt, malted wheat; traditional German hops; top-fermenting yeast; lactobacillus; natural, limestone-filtered, Edwards Aquifer H2O; jelly-filled donuts.
___

This is the third Free Tail beer I have tried from Texas. Thanks to my good friend at www.beermetaldude.comfor hooking up a great of the great. So far, a lot of the Freetail brewing stuff has been awesome! I cannot deny their world classness in their ever growing brewery. Hope one day we can get some of their beers here in California. Thanks again Aaron and thank you Freetail, ya bat rastards!

Aromas:
Oak, Honey, oats, cereal grains, barley, wheat, citrus, lemons, grassy hops, funky brettanomyces, peppercorn, hay, and biscuit bread.

Flavors:
Lots of lemon, citrus, rich wood oak, biscuit bread, tejuino, teguacan, salt, sour apples, tart sweet lime, sour grapes, vanilla, wet hay, honey, cereal grains, oats, wheat, coriander spice, barley and sourdough bread.

Aftertaste:
Lemon, grains, oats, barley, grassy notes and mild sour apples. No alcohol whatsoever, moderate drinkability with a very refreshing, crisp and palate cleansing dryness.

Overall:
While Berliner Weisse isn’t my favorite style, this is very good. It reminds me of drinking a tejuino or teguacan. One is a Mexican flour drink made with salt and lemon and the other is similar but with setzer water. Although, this beer is more way more than those basic drinks ofcourse. You have to have a good appreciation for sours and Berliner weisse beers to appreciate the qualities of this one. Also, the sourness is not overwhelming but fitting more of this style and more of the tart than sour aspects.

Anime Corner:
Wo-Class from Kancolle/Kantai Collection was used not for the color of the beer but for several aspects. This character is supposed to be some kind of Alien girl with a ship. In the series it supposed to be a fleet of WWII ships fighting alien ships. The ships happen to be these personified characters. The way it relates to the beer has to do with the label color but mainly the barrel aging process of lactobacillus in the oak that ferments the beer. Yes, literally, the little alien thing on her head represents that bacteria which makes the beer, in this case the “blonde girl”, sour out. The purple and red colors represent some of those oak and wine like properties of the fermentation. So yes, it is a stretch but it still looks bad ass. That and the fact that the girl has evil eyes like a vampire which fits the whole “Free Tail” bat of the beer. The girl is the Berliner!

Aloha Piña by Five Stones of Cibolo Texas

1610106_10101650971332180_1630488230_nRating: 4.85/5

Aloha Piña by Five Stones of Cibolo Texas is a 6.43% ABV Golden Ale hand crafted with fresh Pineapple and Roasted Jalapeño.

Label:
“Dude, you need to brew a beer with pineapple and jalapeno!” The inspiration, of course, came while eating a Hawaiian Fire pizza with those toppings. 5 Stones Craft Brewing Company has brewed this American Golden Ale with massive amounts of fresh-cut pineapple, two-row crystal and dextrine malts, Amarillo hops, honey, and roasted jalapenos. Our hope is that you will enjoy this ale, share with friends, and have a “Aloha-Pina Moment” for yourself. To you, we say “Mahalo!” and thank you!
___

Another sweet hook up from Aaron at www.beermetaldude.com and his friends at Five Stones brewery out in Texas. Mahalo! Guys., it is an honor. So this beer is brewed with pineapples and Jalapeños. The only thing that I have tried that may come close to this could be the Stone 11.11.11 but then again this is more tropical than that I am sure. Well, on to the review to see what this special treasure is all about, Cheers!

Aromas:
Wow, very tropical aromas, citrus, mango, papaya, apples, grapefruit pineapple, peppercorn, honey, biscuit, flowers, caramel, subtle pepper spice. 

Flavors:
Definitely tasting the Jalapeño, not to the overwhelming heat but the very nice toasted and peppery notes are there along with pineapple, cherry, oranges, mango, papaya, kiwi, lemons, grassy and floral hops, mild honey, mild rye, caramel, biscuit bread, sourdough, apricot, peach, apples, melon, flowers, herbs and spices. Damn, just needs the sauce and we got us a pizza!

Aftertaste:
Finishing with the pineapple, mild peppery notes, flowers, honey and biscuit bread. No alcohol in the taste with a easy to moderate drinkability. Very refreshing and almost crisp. Also, after a couple of sips, the roasted Jalapeño heat will longer a bit. It is quite nice and warming.

Overall:
Crazy and very delicious tropical beer. I can definitely see why the whole pizza thing was definitely the inspiration. It would pair so damn well too. Lots of tropical fruits along with the Jalapeño comes out freaking amazing. Damn, I wish they sold this here in California. I know I would pick this up often. Definitely recommended if you can get your hands on this for sure!

Anime Corner:
Tia Harribel from Bleach in her Resurreccion mode is the perfect pairing for this. You may not know, but here original form hides her face which is basically all skeleton all the way from her nose, down to her mouth, breast and collar bone. In her unleashed form she takes on a more human like persona. She is mainly a water type Espada that is truly more along the lines of a Shark. That aspect pairs with the just the tropics as well as the skull on the label. Her blonde hair and skin represent that of the golden ale and pineapple flavors. Her skin is that of a sunny suntanned which pairs with the beaches of Hawaii. The Flames in the background represent the fire blaze and kick of the Jalapeños in the beer. I you look at some of my other reviews with Tia Harribel, you will see her skeleton form. Can you find any other details about this pairing?

2011 Project Bourbonic Plague by Cascade Brewing

1888652_10101647503521700_1062009294_n 1601349_10101647504195350_1981199463_n 999398_10101649156324470_562184422_nRating: 6/5

2011 Project Bourbonic Plague by Cascade Brewing is a 12% ABV North West Style Sour ale aged in oak barrels and spices.

Label:
This NW style sour ale is a blend of spiced Double Porters that were aged in Bourbon and Wine Barrels for 18months before aging on dates and spices for up to an additional 12 months. This hand-packed and bottle conditioned sour ale should be served at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 
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Obtained from bringonthebeer.com and a rare specimen at that, this ale is a conundrum and a hybrid all of its own. I have not had a sour aged in wine oak and bourbon and let alone one aged in wine as well. Lots of work and preparation time spent in this little complex gem.

Aromas:
Red Wine, dark chocolate, dark fruits of raisins, cherries, plums, blue berries, currants, dates, caramel, vanilla, oak, bourbon, coconut, funky sour grapes, port wine, cinnamon, fruit cake, flan, almond joy, fudge brownie, brettanomyces, stone fruits like apricot, peaches and lychess, molasses, fancy wine aromas, flowers and other stuff, damn.

Flavors:
Rich flow of crazy complexity! Red wine, sour grape notes, Chocolate covered currants, tart dark Cherries, raisins, plums, prunes, blue berries, black berries, dates, apples, apricots, pears, oak, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, fudge brownies, peaches, flan, cinnamon, brown sugar, fruit cake, rye bread, dulce de leche caramel, coffee and mocha notes as it warms up, key lime pie, hints of peppercorn, mild brandy and more sweet stuff.

Aftertaste:
Lingering wine and bourbon, caramel, mild sour notes, raisin bread, tart cherries and sugar. NO alcohol in the taste, surprisingly and also moderate to sipping drinkability. Yes this is pretty smooth surprisingly.

Overall:
The best sour ale I have ever had aside from my favorite sour like Jolly Pumpkin’s Madrugada Obscura. Most sours don’t exceed my expectations but damn, this is just above and beyond! The flavors are really complex where at some point you feel like sour tart cherries, then wine, then sweet chocolate, then bourbon then caramel, then flan, then… damn! This should not even be categorized as a major sour beer as it really is more than that to the point where people that do not love sours will find some kind of crazy appreciation for this poison in a bottle, that’s, this is just the poison you need. At some points I thought this felt like Chocolate Rain if it went sour…lmao!!

Anime Corner:
Midna from Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess and Dead Master from Black Star Rock Shooter were the perfect poisons I mean pairings for this beer. The colors as well as the magic Midna uses like casting a spell is what is used to make this liquid death very tasty. Same for the Dead Master in her dark green castle background. Midna is another favorite character of mine as well so the pairing did the beer justice in show casing several aspects of witchery, the plague and medieval times too. Dead Master represents the aspect of death which the bubonic plague brings.

Vintage Series Barrel Aged 2012 Dancin’ Monks by Aldebert’s Brewery

1558586_10101647502174400_1058111900_nRating: 4.8/5

Vintage Series Barrel Aged 2012 Dancin’ Monks by Aldebert’s Brewery is a 9.1% ABV Belgian Dubbel Aged in oak barrels. 

Label:
The Ale: A complex ale with a sour wine funk and plum fruit aroma. Pairs well with tangy cheeses, rich meats, fried foods and fruit based desserts.

The Story:
The Columbian Monks could really cut loose during the annual retreat hosted by Del at his Naivasha Lake House in Kenya. After a glass you might find yourself doing your own little happy dance.
___

I am familiar with Aldebert’s brewery as I have tried one of their beers back in 2011 when my friend Matt had hooked me up with it long ago. This rich goodie was provided by my good friend Aaron at www.beermetaldude.com in Texas. A Texas exclusive beer but generously donated to the site for review. So it is with great pleasure and a great honor to try this limited edition vintage ale here.

Aromas:
Caramel, wine grapes, funky notes, oak, mild bourbon, leather, honey, chardonay, apricots, vanilla, honey, apples, brown sugar and cloves. 

Flavors:
Caramel, plums, raisins, wine grapes, oak, vanilla, honey, wheat, funky barnyard hay, mushrooms, brettanomyces, candy sugars, tart cherry, peppercorns, apricots, sour apples, citrus, coriander, fancy cheese, bourbon, banana notes, clove spice, tangerine marmalade on rye bread and butterscotch.

Aftertaste:
A dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar aftertaste with a good amount of barnyard hay and funky wine oak notes. No alcohol in the taste but moderate to sipping drinkability on this one. While yes, it is a funky little beer, it has a smooth component too it too.

Overall:
A very good dubbel and a particular style that I have not tried before. I have tried Bourbon Barrel Aged quads before but a Wine Oak Barrel aged dubbel is quite a treat and very unique. Although, this beer reminds me of the Fantome Beers of Belgium with similar flavors. They are very good and this one is just as good if not in par to those. Amazing stuff and an honor to try them.

Anime Corner:
Wang Yuanji from Dynasty Warriors was used in this beer pairing to represent the the Monk’s dancing as in the beer name but also to represent the beer label’s colors. The blue dress with the gold pair those colors. In the background it almost looks like Wang is dancing. Can you see any other features of this pairing that best complement?

2014 Old Bat Rastard by Freetail Brewing of San Antonio Texas

1690625_10101647501291170_1296809488_nRating: 5.4/5

2014 Old Bat Rastard by Freetail Brewing of San Antonio Texas is an 8.2% ABV Winter Warmer/Olde Ale.

Label:
Every New Year Old Bat Rastard unfurls his withered wings and stretches, feeling for any sign of the sun warming his would-be thumb. If there is no warmth, he’s in for a long winter; if however he feels a sunrays’ warmth, he folds his leathery appendages back, content to know spring is not far. Deep, tawny brown, our winter warmer welcomes you with its inviting malt aromas and caramelized sweetness. Thick, full and increasingly bitter, this is the beer to break the dead of winter. Suitable for aging but also for sharing, so don’t be a rastard – pass some along to your closest compatriots. 

Ingredients: 2-Row, aromatic, dark crystal, caramunich & roast malts ; subdued, yet imposingly present hops; top-fermenting yeast; natural, limestone-filtered, Edwards Aquifer H2O; New Year Resolutions. 
___

Special thanks to the ultimate beer metal dude, Aaron for this Rocking beer here. Check out his website at www.beermetaldude.com. This beer is an exclusive out at San Antonio Texas, so if you are lucky to get this one, definitely pick it up. This is the second beer I have had from Freetail and so far everything I have tried has been more than exceptional. I have only seen labels of this beer without really knowing what this is all about until now. If it is anything like La Muerta, expect it to be more than perfect.

Aromas:
Very rich caramel, dark fruits like raisins, plums, dates, prunes, fruit cake, chocolate, fig pudding, toffee, port wine notes, grapes, apples, molasses, anise, rye bread, vanilla and blueberries.

Flavors:
Very similar to the Figgy pudding ale I had long ago, rich dark fruits like figs, raisins, plums, currants, prunes, black berries, blueberries, toffee, rye bread, vanilla, hints port wine, grapes, apples, dulce de leche caramel, candy sugar, molasses, anise, pecan pie, hazelnuts, mild flan hints and earthy hops.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with like an earthy bitter aftertaste that is balanced with the caramel, dark fruits, rye bread and vanilla. No alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer with a good full mouth feel.

Overall:
Damn… This is freaking great!! It exceeded some of my expectations in the category of perfect beer because of the extra rich complex flavors reminding me of the Figgy pudding ale I had long ago but also the Sede Vacante ale but not as strong. This is freaking great and another great honor to try a beer like this from Texas. We don’t get many like this in California but damn, I really wish we could have a lot like this one here. 

Anime Corner:
Sakuya Izayoi from Touhou Project was chosen for this pairing to represent the aspect of time. It is the new year and Old Bat Rastard waits for the Spring as it is too cold outside. Her evil red gaze shows the possibility of her being the Bat Rastard although it is not admitted because even the undead vampires have secrets they won’t admit. In the anime series she may not be a vampire, but she works for a Devil, so it sort of fits. I was also looking for a period in time based on what Old Rat Bastard was wearing and it seems to fit something around the steam punk theme. So it fits in my mind. Any other way this pairing fit in your mind?

Floraison by Monkish Brewing

1653297_10101641997545720_3711806_nRating: 4.75/5

Floraison by Monkish Brewing is a 6.4% ABV Saison/Farmhouse Ale dry flowered with Chamomile and Hibiscus.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION (Ratebeer.com)
An experimental summer beer that starts off in a saison direction with oats and wheat but steeped with hibiscus and chamomile. Then the beer is “dry flowered” with more hibiscus, chamomile, and sterling hops. Floraison is robed with pinkish & orangish hues and gives a bouquet of floral, spicy, tea-like aromas and flavors.
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Picked up a growler fill at Monkish Brewing at Torrance California. They have been one of my favorite growing local breweries and one with Belgian specific theme going on with the beers. I have reviewed 2 beers so far but this is my third favorite from them and is one that I always pick up. It is now joke with chamomile and hibiscus, you can definitely taste it.

Aromas:
Lots chamomile, hibiscus, peppercorns, biscuit bread, honey, floral hops, green tea, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, raspberry notes, sun flowers and oats.

Flavors:
Hibiscus flower(Jamaica) flavors, pink peppercorns, oatmeal, barnyard funk, hay, chamomile, vanilla, honey, green tea, citrus, tart raspberries, cranberries, biscuit bread, caramel, coriander spice, cinnamon, herbs, raisins, apples, apricots and cherry.

Aftertaste:
Floral and grassy finish with some citrus and chamomile lingering a bit. No alcohol in the taste, easy to drink with a crisp and refreshing taste.

Overall:
Very good beer reminding me of the chamomile teas my mother used to make for upset stomachs. The hibiscus adds a great amount of flowery complexity. This is my third favorite beer from Monkish next Anamoly and Seme De La Vita. They are slowly distributing the to stores but if you happen to be in the southern California area near Torrance, you should definitely stop by the brewery and give Monkish a try. 

Anime Corner:
Vocaloid Luca drawn by okingjo was used as the inspiration for this pairing to portray the very flowery aspects of the beer as well as its pink colors. The word floraison means to blossom and she is definitely blossoming some very good colors to pair with the beer. The whole wedding dress aspect of it is tied to this beer being of an Abbey Style which leads to Monks, which leads to church which leads to people getting married. So a link in that direction was definitely one that was well fitted for the Floraison beer.

Merry Christmas by Five Stones of Cibolo Texas

1656118_10101641997356100_621406791_nRating: 5/5

Merry Christmas by Five Stones of Cibolo Texas is a 7.9% Holiday Amber Ale handcrafted with Cinnamon, Vanilla Beans, Nutmeg and Allspice.

Label:
I remember my childhood when the phrase Merry Christmas was used without hesitation. Somehow over time, “Merry Christmas” has disappeared from many greetings you hear and see this time of year. We at 5 Stones want to say “Merry Christmas” to you and yours this season and sincerely hope you spend it with those closest to you and not miss the true meaning of Christmas. We suggest you share “Merry Christmas” with family and friends during a festive get together or just a silent winter night. Merry Christmas and cheers!
___

A great thanks to Aaron at www.beermetaldude.com for passing this Christmas goodie on to me and great thanks as well to the good people at 5 Stones for making this awesome beer. We don’t normally get your beers out here in California but to do a special Christmas review, even if it did just pass about a month ago, it is still an honor to try something thing like this. While I have tried many Christmas ales in the past with similar ingredients, the addition of the vanilla beans will most likely take this to the level of where the best Christmas beers should be. Well, let me break it down as best as I can.

Aromas:
Fragrances like flowers almost, vanilla, dark fruits, raisins, cinnamon, oats, nutmeg, candy sugar, chocolate notes, caramel, ginger bread, fruit cake, mild coffee, earthy hop hints, sugar plums, molasses and anise.

Flavors:
Rich sugar plums, dark cherries. raisins, mild coffee, molasses, vanilla, caramel, fruit cake, dark chocolate, oatmeal cookie, maple notes, nutmeg, pecan pie, ginger bread, floral notes, cinnamon, rye, toffee, mint, coriander spice, anise, licorice hints, raisin bread pudding and grapes.

Aftertaste:
A good amount of the anise, nutmeg, dark fruits, vanilla, cinnamon, caramel, ginger and earthy notes linger. No alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer with moderate mouthfeel.

Overall:
Awesome stuff, definitely reminding me of the Monkish Anomaly but if it was Christmas flavored and had lots of vanilla. The vanilla definitely makes an interesting impact on a beer when normally it is not seen in other Christmas offerings. Fucking awesome beer and definitely a great Christmas offering. Hope to see this beer again, maybe later this year but definitely keep growing. I hope the Texas shipping liquor laws changes so we can see more of you guys here. Cheers!  

Anime Corner:
Elwyn from Shinning Tears was chosen for this beer pairing to go with the elf on the label. A perfect Christmas art piece to go with a perfect Christmas beer. A lot of the colors are very obvious but that’s the beauty of it. Can you find any other awesome things from this beer?

Dawn of the Red by Ninkasi

999277_10101641995889040_228833755_nRating: 3.4/5

Dawn of the Red by Ninkasi is a 7% ABV Imperial Amber/Red Ale.

Label:
An IRA bursting with notes of mango, papaya and pineapple, this beer finishes juicy with a subtle malty backbone. It doesn’t take brains to know hoppy, tropical IRAs are a great way to welcome warmer months ahead!
___

Picked this one up at Ramirez. Loved the label and the Dawn of the Dead movie. It may be a gimmick maybe but it as an inexpensive gimmick I could afford and bring forth. So I will do my best to give this one a good go. Hunt for the Zombies, Fuck Yeah!

Aromas:
Grassy and grapefruit hops, mango, citrus, caramel, biscuit bread and other mild tropics.

Flavors:
Biscuit bread, grassy and grapefruit hops, caramel, apple notes, cereal grains, mango, caramel and toffee, papaya, orange notes, peanuts and almonds.

Aftertaste:
Leaving with some very mild tropical fruit but mainly grassy and earthy hoppiness with some cereal grains. No alcohol in the taste, easy to drink and very refreshing.

Overall:
A very decent amber but nothing too explosive. It gets better as it warms up but I can only recommend it if you love the label which is bad ass! This goes to show, labels aren’t always everything. Still, a good beer none the less if you still decide to get it just don’t expect overwhelming tropical fruit.

Anime Corner:
A.B.A from Guilty Gear was used in this pairing as with most of the other zombie beers I have tried, this one fits the Bill perfect to show case the “Red” aspect and the Dawn of the Dead movie reference. Some can say the “giant key” she carries is the sun rising, hence, dawn of the red. It is a stretch but still a good pairing. Also, how the beer is bitter, she has that bitter face.