2015 Dark Lord Imperial Stout by Three Floyds brewing

11113041_356045367924905_1557706926414358837_o 10931163_356045481258227_8161204827214375838_n 11206668_356045557924886_4495112891230454187_oRating: 6/5

2015 Dark Lord Imperial Stout by Three Floyds brewing is a 15% ABV World Class Russian Imperial Stout brewed with Dark Matter’s Dark Blood Coffee, Mexican vanilla, and Indian sugar.

Description:
Dark Lord is a gargantuan Russian Style Imperial Stout, with a reverse cascading head that starts out billowing the color of burnt oil like the Dark Lord rising from the black primordial beginnings. Its resonant vinous aroma has been described as cherries, sweet malt, molasses, burnt currants, plums with a port wine alcohol undertow. Mochachino notes buried within. Motor oil consistency, hellishly smooth yet divinely burnt and vinous. The first sip coats your palate with a palatial charred fruit and chocolate blanket. Alcohol burn wiggles its way down your throat with a thick body.

==Introduction==

The Lord of the Stouts is back this year and this time using a different coffee at that. A coveted beer ever since it’s conceptions in the dark murky barrels of the Three Floydian dark depths. Every year it is something different, something special along with their barrel aged variants and this year, their hot sauce and Dark Matter coffee “Dark Blood”. I am not sure if “Dark Blood” was the actual coffee in this one but they did make it using a left over Cognac Dark Lord Barrel. Either way, every year this one is a coveted one and somehow it has become a crazy mission of mine to be able to get this one. So I bring it forth for your analysis in hopes that you will seek out the dark one too!! Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich Dark, milk, sweet, bakers, German, Belgian and Abuelita chocolate syrup, Rich Fancy coffee, roasted coffee, espresso, java, mocha, Khalua liqueur, dark fruit raisins, rich black cherries, plums, figs, currants Danish cookies, English cream, walnuts, pecan pie, cocoa crispies, port wine, oreo cookies, coconut, marshmallows, chocolate mousse, rum hints, cinnamon, walnuts, hazelnut nectar, flan, brown sugar, Irish Cream and bananas.

Flavors:
Rich Cherries, Rich Dark chocolate, Rich fancy coffee, mocha, peanut butter, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, currants, port wine, milk, sweet, bakers, German, Belgian and Abuelita chocolate syrup, Kahlua coffee liqueur, apples, molasses, brown sugar, pilloncillo sugar, flan, vanilla, maple, burnt candi sugars, rich bananas, Danish cookies, English cream, walnuts, pecan pie, cocoa crispies, Black Cherry pie, Irish cream coffee, smokey notes, soy sauce, oreo cookies, coconut, marshmallows, chocolate mousse, rum hints, cinnamon, walnuts, hazelnut nectar, chocolate empanada, churron hints and rocky road ice cream.

Aftertaste:
Very Rich mocha, dark cherry, currants, molasses, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, fancy coffee, khalua liqueur, vanilla, dulce de lecher caramel, coconut, port wine, dark fruits and a grip of sugar! No alcohol in existence! Syrupy, very smooth, soy sauce like and oily mouthfeel like it’s brethren before it and sugar blasting coating the whole mouth. Easy to drink despite it’s ridiculous ABV and its dark abyss, 5th dimension darkness full body with a color that cannot even be perceived by human eyes!

Overall:
Each Year’s version of Dark Lord is definitely different. This one is definitely more coffee forward of a beer. However, as I drank more and more, it took me to the land of chocolate!! la la la la la la la la…..oh umm yes, so where was I? This beer beer rules and it seems each year there seems to be a variant. I can’t help wonder about how close this taste to my special beer that will be ready in November 2015. ObliVixen’s Sangri-Leche Maelstrom. Oh yes, ever since I started home brewing, I wanted to make a crazy beer like this and may other I have loved. But anyway enough of me, This is definitely a change from the one from last year. It is freaking awesome and definitely more forward in the cherry and coffee chocolate department. Extremely and Highly recommended!!

Anime Corner:
Lightning Claire Farron, from Final Fantasy XIII series was chosen in the previous version of the Dark Lord but this time I brought a new Dark Lord… Miriam, from “Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night” which is the new upcoming Kickstarter series by Koji Igarashi (Godfather of the Castlevania series). Based on the progress, artwork and tribute to the castlevania games, Miriam seems like a major bad ass. I know this game won’t be released until 2017 but I figured I wanted to pair her with an awesome beer like the World Class Dark Lord Imperial Stout. Her colors are a good representative of the gothic but also the occult mysteries and the straight up powerful.

Sources:
http://40.media.tumblr.com/0b13732a8486fe83ea1e0c17240659cc/tumblr_no751qv3xO1s2ut1zo6_1280.png
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CE1G2sxWEAABEKc.jpg:large
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/gAz3SAm6Mw8/maxresdefault.jpg

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Photosphere Phil by Clown Shoes brewing

11209606_10102559766190000_4896817392146577969_nRating: 5/5

Photosphere Phil by Clown Shoes brewing is a 7.5% ABV American IPA

Label:
Most humans recline on a chaise lounge by the pool, or at the beach. Not Phil, the Clown Shoe rep for CA. Phil motors up to the photosphere of our sun, where a temperature of 6000 K does not defeat his epic ability to chill. The beer is built off the recipe for Space Cake, but with a lower ABV, more crisp body, and Citra hops.

==Introduction==

A California only Clown Shoes release. I was kind of hoping we saw a Unidragon variant, but oh well. Maybe next time. Never the less, I still wanted to bring this one forward as it is a lighter version of the Space Cake but with Citra hops. I obtained this one at the local Ramirez Warehouse in Boyle Heights. I really liked Space Cake so I am definitely curious to see how this one changes with less ABV. Let’s check how the session feels with this beer.

Aromas:
Mango, oranges, orange peel, lemons, grapefruit, piney, floral, grassy and citrus hops, tropical fruis like pineapple, dragon fruit, guava, lemon peel, papaya, lychee, cherries, tangerine, biscuit bread and berry notes.

Flavors:
Citrus, lemony, grapefruit, piney, floral, grassy and dank hops,Orange peel, great amount of tropics of guava, mango, passion fruit, dragon fruit, honey dew melon, papaya, pineapple, strawberry notes, lychees, sweetened condensed milk hints, caramel, raspberry hints, biscuit bread, caramel, toffee, tangerines, peaches apricots, chocolate cherry hints, cream-sickle hints, vanilla, gummy bears and prickly pears.

Aftertaste:
Tropical fruit notes linger, lots of orange, grapefruit, stone fruit hints, biscuit bread, sweet cream and cherry hints. No alcohol in the taste, smooth, crisp and refreshing mouthfeel, golden honey light body and easy to drink.

Overall:
I don’t know what to say but this beer is just as awesome and more drinkable than Space Cake. A perfect IPA!! Some of the elements I enjoyed from space cake are there for sure and while some of the flavors are hinted than they were in Space cake, the other citrus and tropical notes are more forward. This maybe a California only beer but I’m sure you can get this online before it is gone. In fact, get several as this beer is very easy going!

Anime Corner:
Koriand’r a.k.a Starfire from Teen Titans was used in this pairing as I wanted to find a character that would pair with the fiery sun but also the whole Space Cake aspect of the beer. Her colors go well with the color’s of Phil’s couch and just lounging. Starfire is as strong as the strength of the hops but is also as gentle as the drinkability and lighter side of the space beer.

Sources:
http://sakimichan.deviantart.com/art/Starfire-Teen-titan-511386913

American Strong by Oceanside Ale Works

11146570_10102559763285820_8128317900146279208_nRating: 5/5

American Strong by Oceanside Ale Works is a 9.2% ABV American Strong Ale.

Label:
American Strong is high in malt character with luscious malt complexity. Featuring six select varieties of northwestern hops, the balance is malty with a hint of fruity esters. It’s brewed in Oceanside, California, near the historic Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, in a city whose rich military history makes it truly American Strong. Now you can enjoy Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of great craft beer with OAW’s American Strong Ale.

==Introduction==

I was able to find this one at my local shop and this along with Daliesque, The DUDE IPA and Bleuet, this would be the 4th beer I try from OAW. Ever since Mark Purciel, owner at OAW introduced me to the video (http://www.thehopshighway.com/video/) he was interviewed in about this beer I had been meaning to try it. I finally have it and even as I write I am pretty damn excited to give this one a whirl. Such Pride, Much ‘Merica, Wow Craft Beer, Very Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich toasted rye bread over honey and peanut butter hints, toffee, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, honey, dark fruit raisins, cherries, plums, blackberries, dragon fruit, strawberry notes, butterscotch, toffee, hazelnut nectar, flan, salted caramel ice cream, rocky road, waffle cone and marshmallows

Flavors:
Rye bread, rich dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, honey, grapes, Apples, pears, apricots, strawberries, dragon fruit, passion fruit hints, black currants, black berries, dark fruit cherries, raisins, plum, marshmallow smores, graham crackers, milk chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, toffee, pecan pie, floral notes, rich hazelnut nectar, peanut butter hints, flan, rock candy, butterscotch and salted caramel ice cream.

Aftertaste:
Rich rye, honey and caramel linger along with hazelnut, fruity notes and earthy notes as well. No alcohol in the taste, creamy mouthfeel, sipping drinkability and a caramel brown body.

Overall:
Very awesome indeed! Lot’s of malty sweetness that I love from awesome beers like these reminding me almost of a Barleywine but yet more of a rye ale with some complex fruitiness. I loved this one so much I unfortunately did not save any and drank it in a sitting. Lucky it was my last beer for the night and was definitely spot on in many ways. I love malty beers and this one hit the spot for me on so many levels. Long Live America and thanks to Mark Purciel for making this awesome beer 😛 . Cheers Oceanside Ale Works!

Anime Corner:
Lumisa Kosugi from La Mulana 2 was used in this pairing as I wanted to give a good representation of American and Strong and well, this awesome picture came up of this cowgirl that happens to be Japanese but proud American bringing in the whole aspect Anime pairing. I really like how bad ass she looks and goes as bad ass with the beer.

Sources:
http://nigoro.jp/ja/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/lumisa.jpg

2015 Spotlight Series Drew & Steve’s Imperial Mutt Brown Ale by Stone brewing

11204438_10102559762347700_1186578175724337250_nRating: 4.65/5

2015 Spotlight Series Drew & Steve’s Imperial Mutt Brown Ale by Stone brewing is a 9% ABV Imperial Brown ale.

Label:
Steve Via
Drew Neldon
This beer does not actually contain any dogs

Two very different members of the same tribe lending the best of each other to the conceptualization of a hybrid; such is the basis for introducing something new into the world- a mutt, if you will. It is this scenario, applied against the backdrop of Stone’s pilot brewhouse, that birthed this beer: a complex, chocolate-covered brew crafted by an unlikely yet dynamic duo, a malt bill savant and a brewer who had never met a brown ale he liked before tasting this beer. These craftsmen coming together was as inconceivable as the conception of this beer, but as with the rise of unlikely crossbreeds such as the much-adored labradoodle, it ascended ti the top of the heap in our annual in-house Stone Spotlight Series brewing competition and now rests cradled in your hands as the 2015 champion. Given fullness and layers of flavors from Vienna, Victory and Chocolate Wheat Malts, and pleasing, refined sweetness from Honey Malt and turbinado sugar, it’s a rich, smooth beer brewed with respect to traditional English methods and a heaping helping of New World Innovation. The British-American bulldog of the craft beer world? Perhaps. Best in Show? Absolutely.

Since 2014, we’ve divided out Brew Crew into teams of two as part of the Stone Spotlight Series competition, in which each team develops a creative recipe, vying for the chance to have their brewed on a large scale and distributed nationwide. Learn more about Drew and Steve (and last year’s winners) at stonebrewing.com/spotlight

==Introduction==

When I first saw this beer, it reminded me the Bailey’s Bitchin Brown Ale that my friend Will gave me for some reason. I thought maybe they took his idea but I see now it was mere coincidence as they tried to represent a mutt or dog mix as a hybrid of beers. Good show Stone. Now I bring you the review of this little beer. Hope it is awesome as brown ales are my moderate favorites and I usually tend to go for others. Cheers!

Aromas:
Caramel, smoked peat, dark frui raisins, vanilla, brown sugar, coffee cake, dark chocolate, mocha notes, oatmeal, Belgian Candi sugar, molasses, bakers chocolate, butterscotch, hazelnut nectar and pecan pie hints.

Flavors:
Brown sugar, caramel, cinnamon, smoked peat, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, dark fruit raisins, hazelnut nectar, oatmeal, Belgian candi sugar, piloncillo sugar cone, vanilla, chocolate, coffee cake, earthy hop notes, bakers chocolate, molasses, butterscotch and peanut hints.

Aftertaste:
Hazelnut hints, earthy notes, dark chocolate, turbinado sugar and pecan notes. No alcohol in the taste, Crimson Dark full body, creamy, syrupy and velvety mouthfeel, sipping drinkability.

Overall:
This beer is awesome. Almost like a mix between a brown ale and scottish ale with some stout notes. There are some earthy hop notes in the taste which tries to balance out the sweetness and complexity. An interesting use of ingredients making this one a rush and mix of complexity. I would definitely recommend it worth trying once especially if you like brown ales. Other than that it is very good and will likely try it on tap at Stone’s store.

Anime Corner:
Original artwork by Falvie was used in this pairing as I wanted to use a dog like character to represent the mutt. Her colorful appearance with a mix of colors displays what mutts really are. A smart and diverse breed of animals. Also, her complexity represents the complexity of this beer. It does hit you hard if you are not careful, hence the hammer!

Sources:
https://cdn.weasyl.com/static/media/ae/58/76/ae58760d1fa6749ed3e871bc3d913d5ad8936ed2872140367e7cf6af5dcce4b6.png

Exponential Series Big Bad Baptist by Epic brewing

11209728_10102559758465480_1575391328245295934_nRating: 5.5/5

Exponential Series Big Bad Baptist by Epic brewing is an 11.2% ABV World Class Imperial Stout brewed with cocoa nibs and coffee added and aged in whiskey barrels.

Label:
Release#44
You are holding something special-one of only a few thousand bottles released. Intrigued? Visit www.epicbrewing.com to explore this limited brew’s precise details.

==Introduction==
I obtained this one online at craftshack.com. This beer seemed very intriguing from the couple of times I saw it. I definitely wanted to pick it up as it reminded me of a Belgian stout but also the whole whiskey barrel aged coffee and chocolate aspects were appealing. This is my first beer from Epic brewing. Their line of beers really do seem intriguing in general so I hope to find some more. Cheers!

Aromas:
Very Roasted coffee, mocha, espresso, dark chocolate, mocha coffee, milk chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, dulce de lechecaramel, cinnamon, dark fruit, smokey notes, dark Belgian candi sugar, oak, anise, molasses, mint, chocolate abuelita, piloncillo sugar cone and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Rich mocha coffee, espresso, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, dark fruits like raisins, plums, fig notes, anise, molasses, mint, chocolate abuelita, piloncillo sugar cone, dark Belgian candi sugar, oak, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, cinnamon, ginger spice, rye bread, whiskey notes, almond joy, fudge brownies, coffee cake, peppery spices, smokey notes and marshmallow smores.

Aftertaste:
Rich mocha and fancy coffee lingers, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, darkfruit hints and earthy notes. Despite the ABV, there is little to no alcohol in the taste, dark full body, creamy, syrupy, smooth and silky mouthfeel, sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Exceeding some expectations for sure. For that love coffee and chocolate mocha beers, this one hits many of those sweet teeth. The barrel and bourbon are there but subtle as coffee does seem to cover it but this is still very rich and complex despite this and for its complexity and the chocolate notes I definitely think it is world class. If you are not into coffee, this may not be for you. Highly recommended either way.

Anime Corner:
Galatea from Claymore is shown here as a nun and the white eyes go perfectly with the baptist. It is easy to see why I chose Galatea. With the whole baptist thing and holy beings, I used Galatea as a nun in this case since she is powerful and holds a strong magic. Just like this beer. She is a big bad nun!

Sources:
http://safebooru.org/images/601/ab45d6ad085b471aed384f611ac768a62aef51f3.jpg?606145

Ruination 2.0 by Stone Brewing

11160623_10102559752981470_8915077311550199444_oRating: 5/5

Ruination 2.0 by Stone Brewing is an 8.5% ABV World Class Double India Pale Ale.

Label:
When this double IPA first hit the scene in 2002, the hoppy beer landscape was far different than it is today. Ales offering an onslaught of resinous humulus lupulus were virtually unknown. Thankfully, that is no longer the case. Terms such as “lupulin” and “IBU” are well established in the craft beer lexicon. And with the knowledge of all that hops have to offer comes the desire to go beyond bracing bitterness. Fortunately, Stone Ruination IPA has always been crafted to celebrate all facets of the hop—its beauty and poetry, its boldness and might. As craft beer has evolved, so too have techniques for extracting the best and the most out of hops. So we modernized Stone Ruination IPA, coaxing every last drop of piney, citrusy, tropical essence from the Centennial, Citra, Simcoe and Azacca hops that give this beer its incredible character. Join us in cheering this, the second stanza in our “Liquid Poem to the Glory of the Hop.”

==Introduction==

An update to the Golden Standard of IPAs. I haven’t reviewed the original Ruination in years and now they went ahead and upgraded to a more “hop” modern type of double IPA. A more tropical rounded updated based on the Citra and Simcoe used in this beer. Ruination was and most likely still is one of the best Golden Standards, but now that the recipe is different, can it stand up not only to the it’s own standards but the best IPAs in the world of today? Only a few sips and taking notes will tell the truth. Follow me as we investigate. Cheers!

Aromas:
Tropical aromas like mango, citrus, kiwi, papaya, pineapple, guava, strawberry hints, caramel, orange peel, herbal, citrus, grapefruit, Piney, grassy, herbal, oniony, blue basil, garlicky dank and earthy hops, orange zest, lemon drops, lychee, biscuit bread and kumquats.

Flavors:
Herbal, Citrus, grapefruit, Piney, grassy, herbal, oniony, blue basil, garlicky dank and earthy hops, hop oils, passion fruit, tropical fruit like kiwi, mango hint, dragon fruit, papaya, pineapple, guava, strawberry hints, caramel, biscuit bread, vanilla, stone fruit peach, apricot, toffee hints, orange zest, lemon drops, lychee, kumquats and honey dew melon.

Aftertaste:
Citrus, Piney, grassy, herbal, grape fruit, tropical, dank, oniony, garlicky and spicy hops linger along with caramel and vanilla hints finishing with some tropical hop burn vs. herbal of the original.
No alcohol in the taste, clear gold body, crisp, refreshing moderate, easy to drink despite the ABV unless you are not used to palate wrecking IPAs then definitely a sipper for you.

Overall:
Still a perfect beer as before but this time really balancing the tropical elements of the hops which was not previously there in the original. The update version may not please the pure herbal and grassy enthusiast/hope head but instead introduces a side of the ruination hop burn that it could not do before from the original recipe. I am going to miss the older recipe even though I love more tropical IPAs but this is still very well made and still a good representative of the golden standard that West Coast IPAs are known for.

Anime Corner:
Zabel/Lord Raptor from Darkstalkers/Vampire Saviour was used in this pairing since I used her in the original Ruination. Back then, Ruination not only stood for the palate wrecking machine but also ruining the someones character with different aspects, such as smoking or any other inhibitor that may be deemed a ruin in societies eyes. Not to say beer in general is the ruination but the way society sees the ruination of some people with substance abuse is the ruination that your palate sees. Unless you have a tolerant palate like mine, then let people do what they want and screw societies idea of what is normal. Whether it be their idea of how people should be or what people should drink (craft vs. macro). Live your life as you please!

Sources:
http://sbff08.deviantart.com/art/zabel-blissed-again-209579896