2014 Tequila Barrel Aged Mexican Cake by West Brook brewing (Halloween Review)

12096022_10102889106743890_4040101086858097951_n 12194605_10102889107257860_2160969544030741492_o 12049517_10102889107886600_7877849483527145356_nRating: 7/7

2014 Tequila Barrel Aged Mexican Cake by West Brook brewing is a 10.5% ABV World Class Imperial Stout aged in cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon, habanero peppers and aged 12 months in Tequila Barrels

Label:
Bottled 8/15/2014
Way back in December 2011 , they brewed 1st Anniversary beer – a serious imperial stout aged on cocoa nibs, vanila beans, cinnamon sticks , and fresh habanero peppers. It was so delicious to bring it back once each year and age it for 12 months in oak barrels.

¡Salud!

==Introduction==

Been meaning to try this beer for ages! The original Mexican was soooo good but all of them were always over priced and to some degree over hyped. Maybe it was me but I really wanted to try this one. Long behold we reach 2015 and I was able to finally land one of these for a decent price. Needless to say, splurging on something like this would be ridiculous but since I wanted it and it was at the right price, I got it. This is the first time I try a beer from Westbrook as well so definitely an honor for sure. I have tried so few Tequila barrel aged beers and so few chocolate abuelita beers but the closest I’m sure comes close to this is the Xocoveza Extra Añejo. So without further ado, here it goes. Salud!

Aromas:
Mild habanero, ancho and guajillo chiles, roasted coffee, marshmallows, piloncillo sugar cone Tequila, Agave lechugilla, mezcal, sangria vampiro, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, hazelnut nectar, dark fruit raisins, prunes, currants, blackberries, blueberries, figs, dark cherries, dates, Khalua liqueur, waffle cone, mocha, molasses, Champurrado, Molé hints, pan dulce, milk sugar, ginger bread, crème brulee, flan, sweetened condensed milk, fruit cake, Dark and milk chocolate fudge cake.

Flavors:
Rich Chocolate Abuelita, Tequila, Agave lechugilla, mezcal, charred oak, Cinnamon, Capirodatada Raisin bread pudding, fruit cake, Dark and milk chocolate fudge cake, dark cherries, dark fruits like raisins, prunes, currants, blackberries, blueberries, figs, dates, ginger bread, crème brulee, flan, sweetened condensed milk, Khalua liqueur, waffle cone, mocha, molasses, Champurrado, earthy notes, clove spice, grilled platanitos/bananas, churros, sangria vampiro, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, hazelnut nectar, leche, mild habanero, ancho and guajillo chiles, roasted coffee, marshmallows, piloncillo sugar cone, pan dulce, milk sugar and Molé hints.

Aftertaste:
Rich Dark chocolate, cinnamon, pumpkin notes, mild pepper spice, chocolate abuelita, tequila, mezcal, agave, mocha, vanilla, oak, dulce de leche caramel, earthy raisin bread and coffee. No alcohol in the taste, dark abyss full body, very smooth, creamy, silky, velvety and mildly syrupy and a drinkability that is ridiculously easy. Careful not to finish the bottle in one sitting.

Overall:
It definitely feels like a bucket list kind of beer. As ridiculous as this is, I am really pleased I got this. Funny thing is, the spices are not in the heat but allow for a Mexican style that fits similar to how Molé is made with chile and chocolate. There are only a hand full of beers that really deserve the title a World Class and this rarity gets the one of the highest rating for it. My expectations were really blown away and maybe it is worth what the hype is about. I may have not tried the original but the Tequila variant to me especially a year aged is like a dream come true. So yes, I highly recommend this version especially since the Tequila barrel aging just adds that cherry on top of the already awesome cake to truly make, Mexican! Ahuevo Cabrones! Busquenlo!

Anime Corner:
Dia de Los Muertos Samus Aran from Metroid and Vocaloid Hatsune Miku were used in this pairing for several reasons. You can already see some aspects of Mexican themes like dia de los muertos. The Guns Samus carries would be like those Mexican revolvers, you know, to vary it up a bit. She is in the theme. Also, why did I choose Miku for this pairing? 2 reasons. The first being that I used the picture of Miku on her side with the plugsuit representing the first tequila barrel aged beer I tried from Cupaca (Tequila Barrel aged Barleywine back in 2010) and barrel aging process but second, since she played a well known Mexican song called La Bikina (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqIugY6pk0c) so I know already she will work. Also, she has so much of the blue agave colors which pair with what tequila is made but also the colors of the beer. So the singing then ties to the 3rd drawing where she has the acoustic guitar. So much tequila goodness and so much sweetness from art and flavor experiences!

Sources:
http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b580/qinchao1204/chuyin%2012/wwwafterschoolsyscom-938.jpg~original
http://fashionablygeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/dead_Upload.jpg
http://static.zerochan.net/Hatsune.Miku.full.1518790.jpg

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Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad Brouwerij Castle Van Honsebrouck of Belgium

12186306_10102889105431520_5596441557478703255_o 12182488_10102889106065250_6785100510249778524_oRating: 6/6

Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad Brouwerij Castle Van Honsebrouck of Belgium is a 11% ABV Belgian Quadrupel brewed with Belgian Chocolate and Coffee.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Kasteel Winter (Now known as Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad) is a unique departure from the standard Christmas ales known for their potpourri of cinnamon and clove. In fact, it stands alone as one of the most decadent and elegant Quadruples of Belgium in its own right. This 11% ABV beer pours a Chestnut brown with an off-white head. The nose is rich, with a warming scent of Coffee, Toffee, and Dried Fruits. The mouthfeel is rich and sweet like that of melted candy. The key ingredients to this delicacy is Belgian Chocolate and Coffee…noteworthy phrases in any brewers handbook. All of these elements come together to provide an after taste reminiscent of a tootsie roll.

==Introduction==

Ramirez Liquor of Boyle Heights definitely has some esoteric brews. It was there that I once found quad straight from a small town in Belgium. I’m referring to the Straffe Hendrik’s bourbon barrel quad which came in a magic crate as the legend told. Well, maybe not so much a legend but the story the dude that works there told me it was definitely pretty enticing. So here is another magical beer, this time from Castle Brewery of Van Honsenbrouck in Belgium. A chocolate quadruple that is actually made with real Belgian Chocolate and Coffee. Such a unique specimen cannot be passed up and it is one that I was glad they still had when I went to pick it up at Ramirez. So let us check this one out and see what it has to offer. Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark Chocolate, Mocha Coffee, tootsie roll chocolate, milk chocolate, roasted coffee, appuccino, steamed milk Butterscotch, Coffee Candy, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit raisins, currants, plums, figs, rock candy, candi sugar, hazelnut nectar, stone fruit peaches, fruit cake, bananas, bubblegum, ginger bread, toffee, clove spice and pecan pie.

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, roasted coffee, chocolate mocha coffee, cappuccino, steamed milk Butterscotch, Coffee Candy, Dulce de Leche caramel, dark fruit raisins, currants, plums, figs, rock candy, candi sugar, vanilla, pecan pie, rich tootsie roll chocolate, brown sugar, fruit cake notes, bubble gum, cinnamon, ginger bread, toffee, stone fruit peaches, apricots, earthy hop notes, rye bread, orange hints, banana notes, clove spice, coriander, hazelnut nectar, toasted chestnuts and flan hints.

Aftertaste:
Coffee, mocha, tootsie roll chocolate, earthy bitterness, caramel and dark fruits linger. No alcohol in the taste, Deep dark crimson medium body, silky smooth, velvety, creamy and syrupy mouthfeel and a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A supreme and exceptional quad. A quadruple that is basically perfected by Belgians and also perfected with the sweet Belgian Chocolate and Coffee that really comes through and through with every sip. I couldn’t help it but this beer tasted so damn good. The fact that it had chocolate and it was my favorite style just added more and more depth. Ofcourse, with a change in temperature comes a change in the flavors as they evolve into much richer and creamier complexities. If you love Belgian Quads, do yourself a favor and go get this tootsie, coffee, berry delight!

Anime Corner:
Ryuuko Matoi from Kill La Kill and original character abbey art were used in this pairing for different reasons. To start, this Quad was way too exceptional to pass up especially using the Ryuuko artwork where she is eating some chocolate. Her colors for the quad and label and the chocolate combine together to execute a pairing that is pretty damn exquisite! As for the original medieval/ abbey characters represent a tribute to the monks of Belgium but also a tribute to the medieval days of beer. Also since the beer is made in a castle, it fits ever more perfect. Since this was a special quadruple, I figured it fits just right. Also, that character represents different flavors especially cherries!

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/f6AWK42.jpg
https://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/441325-1120×680-original-pixiv+fantasia-pixiv+fantasia+t-iceojin-long+hair-looking+at+viewer.jpg

Crispin 15 men by Crispin Cider Company

12038956_10102889103031330_5647808259732274757_o 12183721_10102889103839710_4367296928197495932_o 12188231_10102889104458470_6258601938385881335_oRating: 5/5* Cider Rating

Crispin 15 men by Crispin Cider Company is a 6.9% ABV Hard Cider brewed with Wild Flower Honey & Dark Candi syrup and then aged in Rum Casks

Label:
On a Dead Man’s Chest

Buccaneers & Buried treasure.
Mutiny & Murder. For the love of adventure and a barrel of rum. Drink and the devil had done for the rest.

An epic saga of Colfax classic apple wine matured in dark rum casks, then laced with wild wildflower honey and dark candi syrup.

15 Men rolls strong like a deep ocean swell with notes of burnt caramel and oak, gentle hints of ripe fall apples, vanilla, and exotic floral fruit carried on the trade winds.

Before pouring, give a solid bottoms-up tilt and swirl to disperse sediment evenly and experience the complex aroma and bouquet.

==Introduction==

It’s been a very long time since I brought a cider from Crispin for review. When I saw this one at Ramirez liquor, I wanted to give it a shot since I feel after creating a cider similar to the Saint, creating something like this maybe awesome. Basically, the inspiration to create a rum barrel/oaked cider will help me gauge how I can do more cider experiments. This one seems very delicious. I am still wondering why the cider is not dark as the dark candi sugars usually leave some liquids dark. Possibly a subtle amount was added as to not dilute the color into darkness! Cheers!

Aromas:
Tropical rum hints, oak, golden apples, marshmallow hints, wild flower honey, waffle cone, floral notes, white raisins, vanilla, cane sugar, candy sugar, dulce de leche caramel, plum hints, peach hints, pecan pie hints and sweetened condensed milk

Flavors:
Crisp Apples, vanilla, cane sugar, candy sugar, dulce de leche caramel, rum hints, oak hints, maple, marshmallow hints, wild flower honey, waffle cone, floral notes, white raisins, plum hints, golden apples, peach hints, pecan pie hints, hazelnut hints, cherries, strawberry hints, coconut hints, bubble gum, banana hints, sweetened condensed milk hints and Danish cream hints.

Aftertaste:
Finishing dry with a nice honey caramel and slight hints of oak and rum hints, candi sugar and white raisins. No alcohol in the taste, clear to medium golden apple body, crisp, clean and refreshing and super easy to drink despite the ABV. Even so, do take your time with it to enjoy its infinite subtleness.

Overall:
Damn delicious and complex little cider. The flavors are not super overwhelming but the hints are super complex which was kind of hard to find but became apparent as the cider became warmer. I think that is why I was able to find this one very delicious. The fact that something like this can be replicated makes me want to brew my own cider in accordance to Crispin’s ingredients. This is how I was able to make a similar yet stronger version of “The Saint”. Definitely give this one a shot if you love ciders.

Anime Corner:
Selvaria Bles from Valkyria Chronicles and the original character pirate girl were used in this pairing to pair with the pirate theme of this cider. The colors may correlate to the flavors of the beer as they do not correlate to the color of the cider or the label although some colors may do. The dark candi sugar, oak, rum and wildflower honey definitely goes with the colors of Selvaria and the pirate girl for sure though.

Sources:
http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/12/127673/1868893-230ae2915dd2a565897e25fb2deef206.jpeg
https://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/414864-1000×1333-gang+road+joker-tob-long+hair-tall+image-black+hair-fringe.png

Pulp Addiction Juice Box Series “Blood Orange” by The Dudes brewing

12049691_10102889098560290_5090024523500785379_n 12182617_10102889100551300_5395735351367451474_oRating: 5/5

Pulp Addiction Juice Box Series “Blood Orange” by The Dudes brewing is a 6.5% ABV Amber Ale brewed with Madagascar vanilla beans, Ecuadorian cocoa nibs and Blood Orange Zest

Label:
Orange Whip? Orange Whip? 3 Orange Whips.
Here’s a brew that will “A Peel”to you! A tantalizing blend of cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, and hand-zested California Blood Orange Flavors makes this dude semi-sweet yet silky smooth. Every sip is bursting with creamy, chocolaty, citrusy flavor – and at 6.5 percent alcohol by volume, it’s sure to get your blood pumping. Orange you glad you picked this up?

==Introduction==

Huzzah! At last, the sweet sweet nectar of chocolate orange delight has finally been canned. While I did want to do a review of this one for a very long time since it’s release on taps, I finally got some cans from Ramirez Liquor after I saw they had it canned. I remember this beer very well and while it is very delicious off of the tap and especially on nitro, I want to see how it fairs in cans as many who cannot make it to the Torrance California area but are able to pick up this one will want to know. So let’s take a look at this one shall we?

Aromas:
Oranges, tangerine, grapefruit, blood orange juice, tootsie rolls, bubblegum, Milk Chocolate, Orange Creamsicle, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, pecan pie notes, caramel,gummy bears, coriander spice, stone fruit peaches, earhy notes and honey.

Flavors:
Milk Chocolate, Orange Creamsicle, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, tangerine, oranges, pecan pie, bubble gum, tootsie rolls, rye bread, dark fruit hints, biscuit bread, stone fruit peach hints, grapefruit soda, blood orange juice, Sunny Delight citrus, earthy notes, toffee, honey, rainbow sherbet ice cream, candi sugar, orange marmalade, matured oranges and gummy bears.

Aftertaste:
Orange, chococolate, vanilla, earthy notes, caramel, biscuit bread, honey and grapefruit hops. No alcohol in the taste, Dark Amber light to medium body, creamy, silky, smooth and refreshing mouthfeel and easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
Love this beer! Perfect! I am glad I was finally able to bring this one here to the site for review. Not many breweries make a chocolate orange creamsicle beer, but the Dudes got this one on lockdown. I know the Bruery’s version is not available anymore but this one is no doubt the next best thing especially since it is chocolate orange flavored. Highly recommended to those that love orange creamsicles.

Anime Corner:
Nadia Cassel from Metal Slug was brought here for a first time review as I wanted to pair her colors and tenacity in the game to the beer. She pairs well with this one as her hair color and eyes go well with the beer label. The bubblegum she blows is similar to the orange drinking from the straw but also the bubblegum and tootsie roll flavors of the beer. Overall citrusy and sweet.

Sources:
http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/10/101969/1658776-metal_slug_ensemble.jpg
http://static.zerochan.net/Nadia.Cassel.full.1013569.jpg

Paris Of The West by Almanac beer company

12185539_10102889096559300_8429183662064423179_o 12186509_10102889094323780_6565612056178130075_oRating: 5/5

Paris Of The West by Almanac beer company is a 9.5% ABV Belgian Quadrupel brewed with Flame Raisins, candi sugar and oranges.

Label:
San Francisco, aka, “The Paris Of The West”, has long been home to a diverse culture of creative bohemians and a bastion of art, creativity and progressive thinking. This decadent dark ale was created in that same spirit – brewed with dark candi sugar, dried flame grapes and orange pee, then fermented with a French ale yeast. Pair with funky Roquefort cheese and visions of a grand tomorrow!

==Introduction==

Obtained this one when visiting Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights California. Quadruples are always the best beers in my honest opinion or atleast my most favorite. This Quad is introduced with using Flame raisins and oranges. Typically, a good quadruple will always carry the flavor of dark fruits initially but I do not think I have ever seen a quadruple made with Flame Raisins. Nor have I tried a beer from Almanac that is actually a 22oz. either. There is always room for new stuff and hence the reason I wanted to try it. So lets take a look at this one. Cheers!

Aromas:
Orange notes, dulce de leche caramel, fruit cake, bananas, clove spice, anise, coriander spice, dark fruit raisins, plums, dates, figs, boysenberries, currants, stone fruit peaches, apricots, vanilla, pecan pie candi sugar, rock candy, biscuit bread, capirotada raisin bread pudding, chocolate notes and toffee.

Flavors:
Rich Dark fruit raisins, plums, dates, figs, boysenberries, currants, candi sugar, rock candy, capirotada raisin bread pudding, biscuit bread, orange notes, bananas, clove spice, anise, coriander spice, ginger spice, fruit cake, chocolate notes, toffee, rye bread, tangerine preserves, strawberries, dark cherries, dulce de leche caramel, pecan pie, vanilla, stone fruit peaches, apricots and old mango.

Aftertaste:
Dark fruits, Stone fruits, oranges and candi sugar linger along with some earthy notes. No alcohol in the alcohol in the taste, dark amber full body, smooth, creamy, silky and velvety mouthfeel as well as a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A perfect quad! Definitely showing the many flavors of what I love about quads including the dark fruits, chocolate, clovey banana notes and more. The combination of ingredients of this one give way to to other delicious flavors and spices. While it is not as delicious as the actual quadruples from Belgium, this one really was a delicious treat either way. Seek this one out and give it a shot if you like Belgian Quadruples.

Anime Corner:
Aqua from Kingdom Hearts was used in this pairing as I wanted to pair with the colors of the vibrant dark fruits and label as well as the complex flavors. Aqua currently lies in the darkness of the abyss in accordance to the story to someday see the light. The darkness of this beer represent this but because the beer is flavorful and sweet, you can tell it represents how well she is fairing in the dark. Or atleast that is what I believe.

Sources:
http://konachan.com/jpeg/b60980bdeaec540e9de64ffeab4f559c/Konachan.com%20-%20167169%20aqua_%28kingdom_hearts%29%20blue_eyes%20blue_hair%20hanadog%20kingdom_hearts%20short_hair%20water.jpg
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-zreqqGqen9s/TYVMJfJFfsI/AAAAAAAABh8/gXmFxva4N_I/s1600/266435.jpg

24 Carrot Golden Ale collaboration by Juli Goldenberg, Stone brewing and Monkey Paw brewing

12189531_10102889092582270_3658660521371823198_n 12186368_10102889093290850_5681781129447996488_oRating: 4.85/5

24 Carrot Golden Ale collaboration by Juli Goldenberg, Stone brewing and Monkey Paw brewing is an 8.5% ABV Belgian Carrot Cake Golden Ale brewed with Carrots, Cinnamon, Raisins and Vanilla Beans.

Label:
2015 marked the seventh year of our American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned Stone Homebrew Competition. As in the previous years, dozens of Southern California’s finest recreational fermentationist brought their “A” games. While judging their impressive and wide-ranging handiwork, we noticed something -many of the homebrew entries we’ve received over the history of this competition have incorporated culinary elements of been crafted to mimic the flavors of popular dishes and beverages. From Mexican hot chocolate to Black Forest cake, after-dinner mints to piña coladas, the gold medalist from our annual brewing battle have tackled some interesting and challenging flavor profiles…and persevered. But none have been as foodie-forward as the quaff concocted by this year’s winner, Juli Goldenberg. Our first-ever female victor added carrots, raisins, cinnamon and more to a Belgian-style golden strong ale to create a beer that is the liquid embodiment of carrot cake. The aforementioned flavor enhances bring the fruity, carroty and spice elements to the cake, while vanilla and milk sugar contribute the flavor and creamy texture of fluffy cream cheese frosting. The result: nothing short of brilliant and well deserving of the 24 karat (carrot?) golden opportunity to be brewed by Stone and distributed across the country.

“Homebrewing offers the chance to experiment with pretty much anything you can think of to do to a beer. I am so excited to collaborate with Stone, an icon of San Diego craft beer, and Monkey Paw, a model for continuous experimentation. Cheers to weird beers!”

Juli Goldenberg// Winner, Stone Homebrewing Competition

“Working with Stone and Juli to incorporate culinary artistry and homebrewing innovation into a project of this scale is above and beyond any brewing experience I’ve had.”

Cosimo Sorrentino//Head Brewer, Monkey Paw Brewing Company

“Juli’s recipe is the perfect demonstration of the Innovation and spirit of the fantastic San Diego homebrewing community. It is our distinct pleasure to brew this beer with her.”

Mitch Steele//Brewmaster, Stone Brewing Co.
==Introduction==

Stone’s newest homebrewing competition winning collaboration is here and it is definitely different. For the many brews I have tried over the years, I do not think there has been a carrot cake like beer. I am always open to crazy beer recipes (just like the 99 scorpions). When executed correctly, these beers can be awesome and some will give new experiences. This type of experimentation is kind of what pushes me to try something new now that I do my own homebrewing. It should pave the way for the culinary arts to meet the craft beer arts. Let’s take a look and see what this carrot cake beer is all about.

Aromas:
Carrot cake hints, cinnamon, citrus, grapefruit, grassy and tropical hop bitterness, Golden raisins, Dark fruit raisins, plums, flan, dulce de leche caramel, apple notes, brown sugar, banana hints, clove spice, candy sugar, honey, horchata notes, guava, mango hints, stone fruit peaches, raspberry hints, Danish cream, butterscotch and vanilla.

Flavors:
Rich Carrot Cake flavors with citrus, grapefruit, grassy and tropical hop bitterness, Carrot juice, Golden raisins, Dark fruit raisins, plums, cinnamon, flan, dulce de leche caramel, flan, vanilla, brown sugar, hazelnut nectar, Candi Sugar, piloncillo hints, horchata notes, guava, mango hints, dragon fruit, passion fruit, stone fruit peaches, raspberry hints, Danish cream, butterscotch, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, crème brulee, bananas and clove spice.

Aftertaste:
Citrusy, grassy, piney hop after taste with the full fledged flavors of the carrot cake like the carrot juice, whipped cream, brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins left. No alcohol in the taste. Clear golden orange body, smooth creamy, silky and refreshing mouth feel and a moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A very delicious Golden ale that really does taste like what it sets out to be, a carrot cake dessert in a bottle. Essentially I couldn’t help but notice how very similar it was to my Bubulubu White Choco Stout/Golden Ale in the sense that if I took out the Coffee and Cocoa nibs and replaced it with Carrot concentrate, raisins and cinnamon, and the rest was the same like the milk sugar, vanilla beans and the Golden Ale stout, then you pretty much have a similar tasting and very delicious beer. I highly recommend this one as it really took the aspect of culinary and home brewing the next level here. Cheers!

Anime Corner:
Lola Bunny from Looney Toons and Space Jam was chosen in this pairing since I wanted to pair with the aspect of Carrots and Rabbits. I could of gone with Bugs Bunny, but you don’t often get to see Lola and she is perfect as she also has the orange basketball which pairs nicely with the colors of the beer carrots. Since this beer reminded me so much of the Bubulubu one I made, Lola is a reminder as her brown fur was the color or my beer that tasted similar to this.

Sources:
http://orig11.deviantart.net/d65c/f/2015/203/f/0/lola___space_jam_by_namwhan_k-d92bs0y.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/36/c6/a6/36c6a6ea0825ab5966d02213589892c7.jpg

Nein by Surly brewing

12184248_10102889090765910_3829470539746128859_o 12191229_10102889091439560_3401080660801145018_oRating: 5.45/6

Nein by Surly brewing is a 10% ABV Smoked Dunkelweizen/Rauchbier aged in Charred Oak barrels.

Label:
Who would have thought, when we sold our first keg in 2006, that we would raise our 9th Anniversary glasses in a new brewery, restaurant, and beer hall? So much has changed in such a short time, both at Surly and across Minnesota. The state’s beer scene is exploding and we are proud to have been part of the boom. Two things, however, haven’t changed a bit – Todd’s distinctive take on beer styles and our local artists’ amazing talent. Erica Williams’ meticulous design for NEIN is the perfect match for Todd’s approach to his craft.

Cheers to nine years!

Inspired by a recent trip to Bamberg, Germany. NEIN is brewed with oak-smoked wheat malt, fermented with German Hefe yeast and aged on charred oak. It’s a huge, complex, dark beer, delivering the intense flavors of smoked banana, vanilla and clove.

==Introduction==

Surly is one of those breweries that really stands on its own. An awesome complex and evil (in the demon theme) but deliciously good brewery that really stands out just like the Three Floyds. However, unlike Three Floyds, there is a sense of strong appreciation that is not overly hyped and yet consistently themed, especially since their beers maybe a little difficult but still obtainable if you are able to look hard enough. A world class brewery with so much to say about its awesome glory in the craft beer world that brings a lot of crazy awesome brews. Now for their 9th anniversary ale, it is my pleasure to bring it forth to the site. Cheers!

Aromas:
Smoked oak wood, dark chocolate, banana notes, clove spices, dark fruits like, raisins, figs, prunes, plums, cherry notes, oatmeal cookies, toasted coconut , fruit cake, brown sugar, clove spice, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, marshmallow smore hints, anise, and maple hints.

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, smoked biscuit, grilled bananas, plantain, clove spice, coriander spice, mint chocolate, rye bread, dark fruit raisins, figs, prunes, plums, cherry notes, blue berry notes, stone fruit peach, oatmeal cookies, molasses, anise, coffee cake, maple notes, dulce de leche, vanilla, biscuit bread, toasted coconut hints, flan, fruit cake, oak, smokey campfire, chocolate marshmallow smores, graham crackers, piloncillo sugar cone, banana nut bread, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie and boysenberry cobbler.

Aftertaste:
Smoked wheat, bananas, dark chocolate, earthy notes, clove spices, anise, fruit cake and oak. No alcohol in the taste, dark brown full body, creamy, smooth and chewy mouthfeel with a moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Exceptional beer reminiscent of an old favorite of mine called “Art of Darkness” Ommegang but also some other smoked heffs I had a while back. Unique as always still, Surly has made this one quite unite not being overly smokey but still being everything it can be from the banana clovey and spicy notes that I enjoy from lots of my German beers. An imperial German beer at that and very much full force in terms of flavors. Get this one while it lasts! Cheers!

Anime Corner:
Mari Illustrious, Rei Ayanami and Asuka Sohryu Langley/Shikinami from Neon Genesis Evangelion were used in this pairing as I wanted to pair mainly with the 3 lions and the multiple eyes similarly to the way the Evas (Humanoid/Alien Robots from the show) appear but also right down to their core which is what these 3 awesome girls represent. On one hand, you have each representing the lion, especially with Asuka being the German Japanese influencer, Rei the dark fruit and Smoking hot yet intellectually mixed Mari and the other the lions as robots and then them wearing the dresses. The whole point of the dresses was for a celebration!!!!

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/C7MkFnC.jpg
http://k38.kn3.net/taringa/1/2/4/2/4/0/03/marduk5233/EAD.jpg?2675

Rojzilla by Jolly Pumpkin

12080262_10102850714497260_7013942095835337544_o 12068865_10102850715510230_6580475559548106264_o 12080250_10102850716203840_9015774510376298724_oRating: 5.25/6

Rojzilla by Jolly Pumpkin is a 7.4% ABV Michigan Sour Amber/Flanders Biere aged and oak barrels.

Label:

‘Twould Fill With Joy, and madness Stark

The Hoi Polloi!

That’s a quote – Can’t remember from whence at the moment.

==Introduction==

Finally, the king of all Flanders beer monsters has arrived. This beer is essentially La Roja but aged for a year-and-a-half in a 100-bbl oak foudre then split into regular oak barrels at varying ages which basically creates a mutated, radioactive giant red cat that’s pissed! Not the average Puss N’ Boots or the General Cat of La Roja Du Kriek. This is what happens when that very red cat is pumped full of catnip to levels over 9000! Seems legit to me and as a Godzilla tribute, Fuck YEAH! This beer was damn hard to find online until I found the K&L Wines that provided 1 per customer purchase. As much harder to find that La Roja or even the elusive Roja Du Kriek. Time to take on a beast decades in the making!

Aromas:

Stone fruit tart apricots, peaches, apples, mango hints, Rich oak caramel, toffee, dulce de leche caramel, rye bread, lemons, wine grapes, Chardonay, Cherry yogurt, Tart raspberries, cranberries, Strawberry Danish hints, Concorde grape hints, tejuino maize drink, tart orange peel, coriander, minor hints of tropics like dragon fruit, passion fruit, lychee and musty earthy notes.

Flavors:

Deep oak, vanilla hints, dulce de leche caramel hints, wine grapes, Cherry yogurt, Tart Raspberries, lemons, Strawberry Danish, floral notes of hibiscus, lavender, dark fruit raisins, plums, dark cherries, figs, cranberries, peppercorn, coriander spice, butterscotch hints, rye bread, rose petals, Stone fruit tart apricots, peaches, apples, mango hints, tejuino salted maize cocktail, rye bread, dragon fruit, passion fruit, lychee fruit, chamomile, musty earthy notes, puckering tart oranges, biscuit bread, toffee hints, ginger spice and honey dew melon hints.

Aftertaste:

Super Dry finish with lots of oak, cherry notes, wine grapes, earthy notes and vanilla. No alcohol in the taste, smooth and creamy mouthfeel, Amber medium body and a moderate drinkability.

Overall:

Damn crazy sour amber with a variety of super complex flavors that I think many who love sours will come to appreciate. While La Roja is a strong component in this beer, the complex oak by using different barrels makes this one pretty crazy. I do not think I have ever seen that done for any beer really. It makes this one unique and well definitely worth a pick up if you love sours, but only if you love sours really. Love me some sours and those that do, go get this one!

Anime Corner:

Pururun/Polly Esther from Samurai Pizza Cats returns here for this pairing as I wanted to represent how La Roja went even more wild than before to the point that it became a beast as Polly unleashes! As a Tribute to Godzilla, I added the Female personification of the raged nuclear Godzilla and also the Samurai Armored/Gundam version of Polly as it represent the other love for robots! The pairings pair with the label mainly but also the Gian 100BBL barrel that they had used to ferment this great beer.

Sources:

http://i.imgur.com/mmPpgnK.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/7HFT2hc.png

http://img09.deviantart.net/9801/i/2014/172/2/5/burning_godzilla_by_gamerag3-d7nao3z.jpg

PranQster by North Coast Brewing

12068818_10102849583713360_5124066634343540358_oRating: 4.5/5

PranQster by North Coast Brewing is a 7.6% ABV Belgian Golden Ale.

Label:
Belgian Ales represent the height of the brewers’ art. Sophisticated brewing techniques, yeast blends and unique flavoring elements have elevated the beers of Belgium to the status enjoyed by wine in other countries. PranQster follows in this tradition using a mixed culture of antique yeast strains that results in a floral nose, a full fruity flavor and a clean finish.

==Introduction==

First time I tried this beer was in 2012. Fastforward to 2015, and my friend Jose, aka Chino, gives me a bottles of beer as payment for fixing his wife’s computer and I was like, SOLD! I had tried many of the other ones including this one but to be honest, I never really had the chance to just sit down and review it. Many of North Coast brews like Old Rasputin and Grand Cru, which are some of my favorites I cheer on about. PranQster was a very delicious beer but I guess I just never brought it to the site, until now! So without further ado, lets take a look at PranQster.

Aromas:
Floral notes, honey, pineapple, grapefruit notes, banana esters, phenolic clove spice, Oranges, peppercorns, wafflecone, pears, bubblegum hints, lemon candy, rock candy, candy sugar, stone fruit peaches, mango, apricots, vanilla, kiwi hints, papaya, passion fruit, coriander spice and cane sugar.

Flavors:
Oranges, peppercorns, Floral notes, honey, pineapple, grapefruit notes, banana esters, phenolic clove spice, candy sugar, stone fruit peaches, mango, apricots, vanilla, kiwi hints, papaya, passion fruit, coriander spice, honey dew melon, wafflecone, pears, bubblegum hints, lemon candy, rock candy and flan hints.

Aftertaste:
Dry finish with peppercorn, stone fruits, phenolic and estery banana notes, Grapefruit hops and floral notes. No alcohol in the taste, Sipping drinkability, clear golden light body, crisp, clean, refreshing and moderate mouthfeel.

Overall:
A very good Golden ale representative of the delicious beers of Belgians, especially Belgian singles. Phenolic, Clovey and spicy like the many greats before it. Not in the Tripel category but pretty near it. A solid Golden for sure and one that is worth trying for sure but not one that I would consistently pick up. I guess my taste for Golden ales has expanded to something even higher. However, for those that are craft beer entry level, this is a good introduction to the delicious worlds of Belgians. Delicious and not overly punching.

Anime Corner:
Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt and also Chuck! cosplaying as the Gorillaz were used in this pairing as they represent the gluttony of the dudes in the label. Mainly though, for the name, pranQster. They are up to no good playing by their own rules. They do what they want. This beer is refreshing and it does what it wants in your taste buds. At one time it will be lots of fruit and at another time it won’t. Learn to play a prank on this one if you will be one to succeed.

Sources:
http://wallpaperus.org/wallpapers/05/187/gillaz-stocking-1980×1080-wallpaper-947494.jpg

Matt’s Burning Rosids (1.5 years aged) by Stone Brewing

12036842_10102849582959870_5159456874156938205_nRating: 5.5/6

Matt’s Burning Rosids (1.5 years aged) by Stone Brewing is a 10.5% ABV Imperial CherryWood Smoked Saison.

Label:
Honoring His Memory
Matt Courtright

Life is extraordinarily precious, joyous…and fragile. In 2013, we suffered the tragic loss of our dear friend and coworker, Matt Courtright. In the midst of our grief, we pulled together as the family we are, suggesting and exploring numerous ways to pay tribute to our dearly departed colleague. In the end, we felt there was no finer way to honor his memory than to brew one of his most recent and special beer recipes.

Everyone at Stone recognized Matt’s prowess and passion for brewing. He loved to explore all beer could be, rather than limit himself or his brews to accepted parameters. He conceived a Belgian-style saison with his Stone friend and compatriot, Brian Bishop. Infused with cherrywood-smoked malt, the beer was dubbed Burning Rosids, referencing the rosid plant family from which cherry trees hail.

Matt’s smile and voluminous laugh were infectious mainstays around the brewery. By no means a shrinking violet, he was exuberant, courageous, unfailingly positive and the type of stalwart friend that everyone was happy to have in their corner. He was larger than life in so many ways…and without a doubt, an incredible brewer. We, Matt’s brewing comrades and friends at Stone were proud to hoist our mash paddles and brew this recipe as a symbolic gesture of how much he meant to everyone and how immensely we will miss him.

Rather than regarding Burning Rosids as a somber memento, please think of it as a celebration of Matt. We do. When you drink this very special beer, please join us in raising your glass, both in Matt’s memory and in tribute to everything he so passionately stood for: caring for others, passion and skill for his art, and laughter…lots of laughter. Among the long list of things he held dear were GoDesignInc.org, a charity committed to fulfilling the architectural needs of developing communities around the world; and TKF, a non-profit working to stop youth violence by educating, mentoring and making positive impacts on high-risk communities. We are proudly contributing funds earned through the sale of this beer to this worthy organization in Matt’s honor.

Enjoy, and please remember that life and those we hold dear are precious gifts to be cherished every day. Consider sharing this beer, conversations on life’s passions and, again, lots of laughter, with good friends as we remember ours.

Stonebrewing.com/BurningRosids

==Introduction==

Picked this one up as it is no longer brewed. I love that it is still around in some locations. Never got a chance to do a review but since I do remember how good this one was back then, I wanted to do the review. It is a special beer in honor of someone who lived and died for their passion, which was craft brewing. Many would say how they die by the sword as an honor to serve the greater purpose. Life is short and the meaning is to live for something you love. In this modern society case, we live and breathe craft beer and share with our loved ones our passion for what the craft beer movement really stands for. So much so, that as for me, trying different beers, to reviewing them and now home brewing to share that passion and educate others is something that I really do love. Everyone has something they cherish. Well, for me, my family and friends are very important, but also share the love Anime and Craftbeer. So to bring this beer forth and review but also reflect on life and its own treasures of the senses and experience, I can simply just raise that glass and say cheers to life, to Matt and all other passionate people that really work hard to make that difference in people’s life for even the smallest influence and contribution changes the world for the better. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich honey, orange preserves, orange peel, tangerine marmalade, floral notes like lavender, hibiscus, roses, sakura cake, rich stone fruit peaches, peach nectar, apricots, mango hints, bananas, clove spice, peppercorn, coriander spice, lemon notes, rye bread, toffee, butterscotch, dulce de leche caramel, phenolic notes, candy sugar, maple syrup, guava quince cheese (Membrillo), butterscotch and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Rich Honey, honeysuckle, sakura cake, rich stone fruit peaches, peach nectar, apricots, mango hints, bananas, clove spice, peppercorn, smokey notes, plum sauce, mild tartness, Tejuino hints, white raisins, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, dark cherries, waffle cone, marshmallows, grapefruit, oranges, coriander spice, lemon notes, rye bread, toffee, butterscotch, floral notes of lavender, raw like the sun orange preserves on toasted biscuit bread, Rich tangerine marmalade, guava quince cheese (Membrillo), dulce de leche caramel, phenolic notes, candy sugar, maple syrup and Mexican sweet bread.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with some smokey notes, stone fruit peach, orange preserves, earthy notes, grapefruit and floral hops and bananas. No alcohol in the taste as it has mellowed over time, easy to moderate drinkability, creamy, syrupy and a Golden Cherry light to medium body.

Overall:
1 year and a half later and this beer is damn phenomenal. So much more richer flavors than when I first tried it on tap sometime last year. The rich phenolic flavors of the Belgian styles, Saisons along with the smokiness that brings about delicious flavors that developed overtime. Essentially, giving way to much stronger fruits and flowers. Much like the way the flowers blossom when they are ripe. This is very delicious and if you ever find more of this beer, it is worth saving a couple of bottles. In Matt’s memory, he would have loved this beer. Cheers to you Matt!

Anime Corner:
Vocaloid Sakura Miku was used in this pairing for the Cherry blossoms/Sakura aspect of the flavors and cherry wood. I have not used this Cherry version of Miku as I never knew it existed. My original pairing for the beer was mainly to be something with cherries, the forest or even burning rosids. I found this artwork as I feel it pairs the best. Very lighthearted, innocent but yet power and delicious like the beer and the tribute to Matt.

Sources:
http://img4q.duitang.com/uploads/item/201404/05/20140405212216_QmzfH.png

Blå Spøg Else collaboration by Mikkeller and Three Floyds

12034420_10102849580260280_3267370887212404091_o 12122471_10102849580938920_2136938409145135943_n 12079864_10102849581492810_5058367464597253386_oRating: 5.25/6

Blå Spøg Else collaboration by Mikkeller and Three Floyds is a 7.7% ABV Blueberry Lambic aged in Oak Barrels.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
The newest addition to the ever expanding collaboration brew list. Once again arm in arm with our FFF brothers. Blå Spøgelse, paving the way with its blueberry and oak barrel action, will knock you right off your feet.

==Introduction==

Been looking for this beer for 2 years! Blå Spøgelse or ‘Blue ghost’, just like when Pacman collects the large pill and the ghosts turn blue. This beer is essentially a major tribute to Pacman and as such, was one of the reasons I wanted to bring it forward to the website as it represents a great deal to the Video Game Community along with the Craftbeer community. Many adults in this age will recognize that retro label for sure. Especially those that love sours. Mikkeller and Three Floyds are not your average players in the craft beer industry but are definitely high in the popular craft chain just like The Bruery, Stone, Russian River and even Firestone Walker in California. So anyway, the fact that this beer is finally here, let’s take a look and get READY! To chomp on… umm…. try some delicious beer Insert Pacman Theme Paku Paku Paku Paku!

Aromas:
Dark fruits raisins, plums, tart raspberry, stone fruits like apricots, sour wine grapes, blueberries, flowers like hibiscus, chamomile, lavender, roses, oak, vanilla, caramel, Blueberry yogurt, Blueberry cheese cake hints, lemon hints and funky notes.

Flavors:
Blueberry yogurt, Blueberry cheese cake, vanilla, oak, hibiscus, lavender, wine grapes, port wine notes, tart blackberries, dark fruit raisins, plums figs, hints of Danish cream sweetness, banana hints, Belgian phenolic notes, funky notes, rich lemons and lemon peel, Stone fruit tart apricots, Concorde grapes, blueberry cobbler hints, tart green apples, blueberry pie, pecan pie, brown sugar, piloncillo sugar cone, marshmallow hints, anise, hints of chocolate, mushrooms, vegetable hints and sangria mezcal grape hints.

Aftertaste:
Finishing dry with creamy cheese cake or blueberry pie sweetness but over super sour tart blueberries, raspberries, vanilla, stone fruit, oak and dark fruit. No alcohol in the taste, Super purple and magenta full body, creamy, effervescent, crisp and refreshing mouthfeel, sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A sour but a sour pushing some boundaries. A lot of the extra credit for this beer came in especially from the way they were able to balance it out with some complex sweetness as this is not your typical sour. While the sourness is the forefront of the beer, the other half is taken over by a complex fruitiness and and dessert like characteristics. Glad I was able to find it after a 2 year search! Essentially, it took them a while to brew it and have be brought here to the states. Go find this one online before it is gone for sure! If you love sours, this is awesome!

Anime Corner:
Samus Aran from Metroid, Ky Kyske & Sol Badgirl from Guilty gear, Lucina from Fire Emblem and even PacMan himself all pair with this unique beer as a tribute to Pacman. Samus represents Pacman in this pairing as it looks like she is traveling through corridors of light and darkness like Pacman would. She has the same hair color as pacman and blue for blueberries. Ky represents Pacman and Sol the Ghosts in the pacman games and finally, Pacman himself with Lucina representing the blueberries. Overall, Pacman beer tribute complete!

Sources:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/ed/d2/7c/edd27ccfc65b1cc96d657eb442a62e56.jpg
http://konachan.com/image/0ce5476e8e38f8d5942e514028b21151/Konachan.com%20-%2024049%20cosplay%20guilty_gear%20ky_kiske%20sol_badguy.jpg
http://i3.pixiv.net/img-original/img/2014/10/02/23/23/08/46313650_p0.jpg

Beer# 31 Ume Umai (Delicious Plum) by Gigantic brewing

12091381_10102849579406990_3095887656506076660_o 12095233_10102849576343130_4444264306122364780_oRating: 4.35/5

Beer# 31 Ume Umai (Delicious Plum) by Gigantic brewing is a 7.5% ABV Specialty Grain Ale brewed with Plums and Black Rice.

Label:
“Party For Your Right To Fight.” – Chuck D

Inspireed by the Japanese flavor palette, we combined plums, black rice and pilsner to make a unique beer experience. Brewed “Dry” in the asian manner, Ume Umai is fruity yet earthy and above all, refreshing and delicious.
==Introduction==

Its been a long time for a Gigantic beer review. I don’t often get a chance to try their beers but they have been coming out more frequently however. Which hopefully I will be trying more if something intrigues my eyes. Ume Umai or Japanese for “Delicious Plum” is the beer I bring forth. With Plum and Black Rice or Forbidden rice which is mainly native to countries such as China, Thailand and Indonesia. An interesting ingredient at that and some forms of this rice comes in like a purple color.

Aromas:
Plum soda, Sake hints, Red bean ice cream mochi balls, peppercorn spice, caramel, vanilla, bubble gum, clove spice, bananas, oranges, Lychee fruit, Coriander spice, sakura cakes, ginger spice hints, grape skins, guava notes, lavender, sweet rice balls, cane sugar, apples, floral hops and cereal grain.

Flavors:
Oranges, Lychee fruit, Coriander spice, Rice pudding, stone fruit peaches, apricots, dark fruit plums, Red bean ice cream mochi balls, peppercorn spice, caramel, vanilla, bubble gum, clove spice, bananas, rice cakes, sakura cakes, ginger spice hints, grape skins, guava notes, sake notes, sweet rice balls, cane sugar, apples, floral hops, hibiscus, lavender hints, sweetened condensed milk, biscuit bread, plum sauce and cereal grain.

Aftertaste:
Leaving traces of dark fruits, stone fruits, hints of tropics, earthy notes, rice pudding, sakura cakes and coriander spice with oranges. No alcohol in the taste, cloudy full golden body, creamy, crispt, effervescent and full mouthfeel and a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
Very good brew with some very Japanese like flavors especially the rice dessert flavors. With the plum combination, this turned out to be very sweet and interesting. Being a smooth and lagerish like beer full of a complex flavor that was definitely worthy of merits. While it was not super boastful in its flavors as it was not head on fruits but lightly noted, it definitely gave it some credit for being above refreshing. Worth a try and maybe more.

Anime Corner:
Wo-Class from Kancolle/Kantai Collection was used in this pairing since I wanted to pair a character that has an octopus or some kind of tentacle monster on their head and went well with the flavors and ingredients of the beer like the color of the dark fruits and plums as well as the rice patties from where the black rice came from. Simply put, pairing that works with the beer label and flavors and colors.

Sources:
http://file.blog.fc2.com/jingaidaisuki/dec71d57f928_134E4/sinnkai059.jpg
http://konachan.com/sample/24261575452244fa04602ce2e80ffb9c/Konachan.com%20-%20189426%20sample.jpg