Firestone XVIII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker

10373717_10102208031509120_4150461538555173658_n 10802030_10102208031973190_4909364885338193070_nRating: 6/5

Firestone XVIII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker is a 13% ABV World Class Strong Multi-liquor Barrel Aged Style Hybrid Blend Ale.

Description: (Please Click On The Strategy Guide/Letter From Firestone Walker)
IMAG7335
38% Parabola (bourbon barrel aged Russiant imperial stout),
16% Helldorado (bourbon and brandy barrel aged blond barleywine),
16% Bravo (bourbon and brandy barrel aged brown ale),
14% Stickee Monkey (bourbon and brandy barrel aged quad),
5% Velvet Merkin (bourbon barrel aged oatmeal stout),
4% Hydra Cuvée (a blend too much of a mouthful to describe here),
3% Wookey Jack (black IPA),
2% Ol’ Leghorn (English barleywine, collaboration with Three Floyds, aged in fresh barrels),
2% Double Jack (Double IPA)

==Introduction==

It has been an awesome year for Firestone Walker beers and with the release of their 18th one, they add some new beers into their final blend. As with every year, this one comes with the strategy guide to basically see if you can figure out what’s what. While this is a difficult task, I try to write down as much as I can and see what new flavors this one is composed of versus the previous releases. It really does not matter sometimes as they have all beer exceptionally world class beers. Yes, don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich oak, vanilla, flan, bourbon, maple syrup, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, Belgium chocolate, German chocolate, ferrero rocher chocolate, toasted coconut, almond joy, dulce de leche caramel, rocky road ice cream, marshmallow smores, oreo cookies, cookies and cream, oatmeal cookies, cookie dough, cocada coconut candy, pilloncillo sugar cone, choco flan, dark fruits like currants, raisins, prunes, raspberry, cherries, currants, blackberries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, anise, molasses, brownies, brown sugar, bananas, clove spice hints, mocha, tres leches/three milks cake, dragon fruit, tangerine, pineapple hints and more!

Flavors:
Very strong oak barrel forward character, rich vanilla, bourbon, toasted coconut, almond joy, dulce de leche caramel, rocky road ice cream, marshmallow smores, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, Belgium chocolate, German chocolate, ferrero rocher chocolate, pralines, cookies and cream, oreo cookies, oatmeal cookies, cookie dough, flan, cinnamon hints, brown sugar, hazelnut, macademia nuts, cocada coconut candy, piloncillo sugar cone, dragon fruit, mango hints, pineapple hints, sweetened condensed milk, port wine, maple syrup, dark fruit currants, raisins, prunes, raspberry, cherries, currants, blackberries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, anise, molasses, brownies, brown sugar, bananas, clove spice hints, leather, tobacco, waffle cone, peaches and cream, pecan pie, candi sugars, rock candy, choco flan, espresso, mocha, toffee, tres leches/three milks cake, tangerine and more!

Aftertaste:
Port wine, dark chocolate, maple syrup, dark fruits, rocky road ice cream, oatmeal and oreo cookies, oak, vanilla, coconut, mango, chocolate chips and marshmallow smores with earthy hop notes finish at the end. No alcohol in the taste, Smooth and silky mouthfeel, dangerously easy to drink but should be handled as a sipper and crimson yet pitch black body.

Overall:
Exceptionally great. Each release more awesome than the last. I really think this one is the best one by far. If aged, it will will definitely do wonders I am sure. This one seems to have richer flavors which I am sure were due to the addition of the Three Floyds collab and the Hydra Cuvee as well as the Stickee Monkee, Velvet Merkin and Parabola. This beer is insane and it will only get more insane as time goes on. If you can still find this goodie, definitely get it. It is one of the best!

Anime Corner:
Asuka Langley/Shikinami Sohrty, Rei Ayanami, Haruko Haruhara, and many others from Neon Genesis Evangelion and Fooly Cooly (FLCL) were used in this pairing to represent some of the blends represented by this beer. It is something I have done in the past with this series of Anniversary beers. This was a great pic because not only does it show case the colors of potential ingredients used but also how each flavor tries to out do the other. Also, Haruko was used in a previous Three Floyds collaboration this year (Rue D’Floyd) which represented her wacky aspect as “Not Normal”. The addition of Firestone and Three Floyd’s collab beer into this one made it so she can be in this pairing as well. What a bad ass!. Also, Asuka and Rei have been seen in pairings like Firestone’s Double Jack so they are definitely in the right pairing here too.

Sources:
http://articleimage.nicoblomaga.jp/image/64/2013/f/f/ffd9f7487115ef5bb2d6b22dedcca9f69c75e5641373178280.jpg
http://www.zerochan.net/full/39691

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He’Brew Jewbelation Reborn 18th Anniversary Ale by Shmaltz Brewing

10626199_10102205531050060_5255054618152832588_oRating: 6/5

He’Brew Jewbelation Reborn 18th Anniversary Ale by Shmaltz Brewing is a 12.4% ABV American Barleywine brewed with 18 Malts and 18 Hops

Label:
So Many friends have asked, “When will you Stop?!” The answer is “Never… Well, Um, I Mean Now”! Witness Our Newborn Black Session Barleywine.

18 malts, 18 hops, and now 12.4% ABV so we can ship to allll our states again. Jewbelation 18 is now in session – L’CHAIM!

The gold charm dangling in the chest hair of Jews everywhere spells the Hebrew word “Chai” meaning “Life”. It’s numerological value is 18, the anniversary of Shmaltz! Unlike Alice Cooper’s “I’m Eighteen” from the album, Love it to Death, 18 I belted out the barroom anthem “To Life, To Life, L’Chaim” onstage in Fiddle on the Roof. At age 18, Mary Shelly began writing Frankenstein, published Jan 1, 1818. Mel Brooks fathered his first child 18 years before his 1974 Young Frankenstein re-created the iconic “It’s Alive!” In the 18th week of pregnancy, a fetus may start to kick , suck its thumb, & show genitals on an ultrasound. The Enlightenment in the 18th century culminated with US & French revolutions. On the 18th of April 1775, Paul Revere famously hollered “The British are coming!” After Beastie Boy MCA passed, Licensed to III (Horsey/Paul Revere/Quart of Beer/Girlies) reentered the Billboard Chart at #18. Simpsons shtick from Homer vs. 18th Amendment: “To alcohol – The cause of, & solution to, all of life’s problems.” Just to be clear: At 18, you might be legal to smoke, vote, buy port, gamble, & fight wars, but you CANNOT buy this beer. Then there’s Carl in Caddyshack: “So we finish the 18th and I say, “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something for the effort?” He says. ‘There will be no money, but your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.’ So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.” Welcome to being here now, with so many blessings 18 years in – and growing Jeremy Cowan, proprietor.

==Introduction==
Damn that was a long label to write down. It took me a while, but here we are. Another awesome release of the Jewbelation. While unfortunately, this release was less than the 18% ABV as what I thought it was going to be, that is okay as I will see how they were able to make this complexity a reality using as many malts and hops as possible and then turning this into a Barleywine. So let’s dig into this one and see how it compares to the past ones. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich dark fruit syrup, cherries, plums, prunes, figs, blueberries, raspberries, currants, bananas, dragon fruit, bubble gum, tangerine candy, earthy grassy, citrus, grapefruit hops, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee butterscotch, marshmallows, anise, licorice, rum, coconut, rye bread, leather, Khalua coffee, fudge syrup, pecan pie, coconut, tobacco, milk sugar and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Rich dark chocolate, molasses, dark fruit raisins, plums, prunes, figs, soy sauce hints, hazelnut, oak hints, earthy, grassy, citrus, grapefruit hops, rye bread, maple syrup, dark cherries, currant syrup, leather notes, marshmallows, anise, licorice, bananas, rum, coconut, bubblegum notes, brown sugar, fudge syrup, tangerine candy, butterscotch, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, dragon fruit syrup, Khalua hints, roasted barley, milk sugar, tobacco, leather, honey, butterscotch, chocolate cake and pecan pie.

Aftertaste:
Rich Chocolate and Blueberry syrup along with caramel, earthy and citrus hops linger. Slightly boozy in the taste but mainly sugar due to the variety of hops and malts. Silky and syrupy mouthfeel, murky motor oil full body and sipping drinkability but still drinks easy for some reason.

Overall:
A strong tasting as if it was an 18% ABV beer yet less alcohol. It is almost like they took a page from Dark Lord lore. This is a syrupy rich beer and full of rich sweet complex flavors forward. Mainly in the dark fruit department really. Literally like drinking syrup. I am not sure what I like more, the fact that it was so syrupy to pour on an ice cream or just how it reminded me of drinking beers which are way stronger than what this one is classified as. I am sure many will pass this one up under the radar for other hyped beers this year but trust me, this is all too well worth the pick up that it is insane. Especially if you love those super syrupy Dark Lord like beers.

Anime Corner:
Sheik/Zelda from the Legend of Zelda was used in this pairing to pair with the colors of the beer label and how swift yet strong like a ninja smooth and deadly this beer it. It makes no sense in the sense of how strong and complex the beer feels while the beer is only 12% ABV and believe me, I have tried beers like this that are typically in the 16~20% ABV and this is not one of the. That is why I feel since Sheik is actually princess Zelda posing as a bad ass ninja in Hyrule, she sneaks so well using her magic to make this beer so damn complex and feel like something it is not. In fact, Sheik was so hard to figure out in the beginning, that many though Sheik was a dude only later to find that it was Princess Zelda all along. There is a reason why all the Legend of Zelda games have her name in the title. You just cannot judge a bad ass book by it’s cover, and you certainly cannot judge Zelda/Sheik for being such a bad ass.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/27fN5da.jpg

Stone 18th Anniversary IPA by Stone Brewing

10552578_10101997012313280_1380475334386717132_n 10568790_10101997011699510_3105606976666758702_n 10624833_10101997011245420_9100824856778088106_nRating: 5.25/5

Stone 18th Anniversary IPA by Stone Brewing is an 8.5% ABV Golden Brown Double India Pale Ale.

Label:
The Hoppiest Golden-Brown IPA on Earth
The 18-year milestone is a significant one, affording us a brilliant apex from which to employ crystal clear hindsight. Looking back to who we were when we embarked on this humble yet noble journey to the craft the finest of ales, we see a company that, while much , much smaller, was every bit the sincere, bullish, determined entity it remains today. Since Day one, we’ve fostered grand-scale aspirations while stalwartly maintaining long-sightedness firmly fixed on a bevy of goals. From brews extending the idea and definition of what beer can be through their intensity , outlandishness, decadence and refinement; to venues and facilities harnessing and celebrating Earth’s elemental resources; to helping awaken collective consciousness to the great worth of authentically, consciously well-crafted artisanal items; to playing a major tole in bringing together and cementing the bonds of peers within our industry; we have accomplished a great many objectives. But we’re far from done!

As we compose the text for this celebratory beer—a golden-brown India pale ale dry-hopped exclusively and abundantly with El Dorado hops—we stand ready to leap from the precipice of all we know into a new era for our company, our beers and, most importantly, our fans. It’s one that will see us exploring new territory, both geographically and creatively, as we evolve from pacesetters for the American craft brewing movement to cross-planetary champions of the worldwide cause of craft, hoisting our banner to proclaim artisanal beers’ vast superiority over stripped-down, business-driven, industrialized, fizzy, yellow mediocrity. We thank you for shadowing us for the first 18 years of our journey, and welcome you to join us for next leg and all that follows.
___

Congratulations to Stone on their 18 year success making a difference and sticking it to the man (tasteless macro beers) and just basically making some really great beers over the years. While some beers have been more unique than others, Stone has bee one of those breweries that is a favorite of mine. Arrogant bastard was one of my first strong gate way ales that lead me to try stronger and stronger beers. While other craft beers like Fat Tire form New Belgium were my gateway, Stone showed me what true beers can really taste like when they are truly potent. Nevertheless, thanks for making the craft community a powerful force that it is today. You along with many others have paved the way to the Beerevolution and the consistent drive to find more rare, lost treasures of taste and experience. Cheers!!

Aromas:
Peaches in pilloncillo sugar cone, Tangerine candy, Cotton candy, mandarin herbal spices, flan hints, dulce de leche caramel, citrus, grassy, piney, floral, herbal and earthy hops, lemon peel, lemon heads,pecan pie, tropical fruits like dragon fruit, mango, stone fruits like apricots, chocolate hints, rock candy, mint, coffee notes, brown sugar and toffee hints.

Flavors:
Peaches in pilloncillo sugar cone, Citrus, grapefruit, grassy, floral, herbal, piney and mild earthy hops, dulce de leche caramel hints, cotton candy, pecan pie, hazelnut hints, Tangerine candy, mandarin herbal spice, orange, strawberry, rock candy, tropical fruits like mango, dragon fruit, passion fruit, honey dew melon, hints of papaya, pineapple, stone fruits like plum, apricot, clove spice, garlic, onion, lemon, rye bread, mint, flan hints, chocolate notes, lemon heads, honey, coffee, butterscotch hints, brown sugar hints and toffee hints.

Aftertaste:
Cotton candy, Tangerine and lemon candy, strawberry,hazelnut, citrus, grapefruit and lots of herbal dank notes linger. No alcohol in the aftertaste, easy to drink, crisp and refreshing, and light to medium golden-brown to amber body.

Overall:
A perfectly delicious and unique IPA. Seems like stone keeps pushing the way toward IPA and hop monsters that truly can be unique in many aspects aside from just being bitter and Arrogant. This is still an IPA while still introducing some sweet unique flavors that are not just tropical or citrus caramel but more nutty, chocolatey, coffee and other fruity varieties. You definitively cannot age this and recommend getting this one for sure. I highly recommend it!

Anime Corner:
Yoshihime from Sengoku Saga by Yamada Rokkaku was used for the Stone 18th Anniversary since I wanted to show several aspects of stone. Let’s start with the label. You have the blue and grey colors that pair well with the the artwork. Second, the gargoyle has always been represented by either a devil like creature or demon but in this case not evil but mainly used to ward off bad flavors of beer. The third is the shogun/general attire. While I have shown Arrogant bastard as being a bushido code samurai and the fact that Stone is a revolutionary, I have given the general attire to many pictures in the past. If you look closely, Asmodeus and Astoroth have similar general attire. While although revealing, the sexyness is only a distraction because what lies within the sweetness is pretty deadly but awesome while taken responsibly of course. This Iron Maiden can be a formidable ally to fighting the war of great flavors but she can also be a double edge sword if taken lightly and not responsibly. Remember that….

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/mohWL.jpg