I Think She Hung The Moon by Naughty Brewing

10176208_10101765851486430_1250351598853916076_n 10169242_10101765850338730_6440529521905195647_nRating: 4.8/5

I Think She Hung The Moon by Naughty Brewing is an 8.5% ABV Saison/Farmhouse ale.

Label:
The very nature of this beer is to be a bit provocative. Belgian candy sugar and Mexican piloncillo sugar cones dry the body, sweet pecan smoke adds a bold stroke, followed by the tart note of hibiscus. We had a vision of a dark, dry and smoky beer that we know you will enjoy!
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A great thanks to Aaron at beermetaldude.com for an awesome donation. This beer’s mix of interesting ingredients made it very appealing, aside from the label which pairs great in my opinion. This is something special as I never imagined the use of pilloncillo can pair with Belgian candy sugar. I have had beers that have that pillocillo like flavors to it but seeing one using the actual cones, that is awesome! The story behind this collaboration starts with James Vaello who created this homebrew, founder of Naughty Brewing, and who was able to launch his recipe with the guidance of Aldebert’s Brewery to be able to mass produce this unique beer. James’s brewery is picking up and I hope this review helps out the Texas community but also bring the attention of the California and even the worldly readers of my site about this beer. Thank you and Cheers guys!!

Aromas:
Dulce de leche Caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, pilloncillo sugar cone, pecan pie, stone fruits like plums and apricots, dark fruits, mild smokey notes, biscuit bread, peppercorns, coriander spice, brown sugar, berries and floral notes.

Flavors:
Dark fruits, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, flan, mild smoke, pecans, tart berries, lots of pilloncillo sugar cone, cinnamon, peppercorn, coriander spice, herbs spices, stone fruits like apricot, pineapples, hibiscus flowers, chocolate, mesquite, waffle cone and cherries.

Aftertaste:
Maple, earthy hops, pilloncillo, peppercorns, caramel, toffee and mild smoke. No alcohol in the taste, moderate drinkability with a medium mouthfeel.

Overall:
A very good beer that drinks more like a Belgian brown or amber ale than a Saison. Some saison characteristics are there but they are subdued by the other sweetness. Not bad at all and is actually very good as I like some of these flavors from a beer. Balance is decent but tends to lean more toward the sweet Belgian and Mexican candy. So even if the style is more toward a Belgian brown or amber, it is still a very delicious beer. Definitely give this a try if you can find it and I hope maybe we can see this beer in California some day, Cheers!!

Anime Corner:
Serina Usagi Tsukino or the protagonist of Sailor Moon was used in this pairing for the very obvious reasons. I have never used Serina in the past an this opportunity to use her was the best to showcase the high popularity of anime in the 90’s. Not all anime girls are sailor moon as anime goes but anyways, this was perfect since I wanted to pair with the label of the girl on the moon and well, her similar hair style was well. This anime was very popular here in the US and in Mexico. Not sure about in Belgium, but the fact that Mexican pilloncillo was used in this beer definitely reminded me of when I used to watch the series back in the day along with Dragon Ball Z. The beer is as sweet as Serina’s character but also showcases a bit of smokiness. They say that moon rocks smell smokey, like gun powder. So it fits the beer flavors even more. While the style may confuse people since they say it is a saison but leans toward other styles just showcases people’s expectations. Not many will like Sailor Moon but those that grew up with it will remember a lot about it. The ironic part is that this beer may not meet up to many’s expectations as to what a saison is but I definitely embraced the difference and enjoyed it.

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.
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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?