Tropical Platypus by Almanac Brewing

13559112_10103365060887970_4783664572929258138_oRating: 5.5/6

Tropical Platypus by Almanac Brewing is 6% ABV American Wild Ale Dry-Hopped Sour Ale Aged in Wine Barrels with Kiwi, Mango, Lime and Passion Fruit.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION

This special tropical ale is brewed in celebration of City Beer Store’s 10th Anniversary. Inspired by their adorable Platypus mascot, this equatorial sour blonde ale is aged in used wine barrels and oak foeders with an array of tropical fruits. We selected barrels with fruit-forward characters, and amplified those notes with the addition of kiwi, mango, lime and passionfruit. We tied the whole blend together with the addition of aromatic Galaxy hops from New Zealand. The finished beer is a tropical explosion, worthy of our duck-billed inspiration. Pair with celebratory anniversaries, pupu platters and white sand beaches.

When Almanac was in its infancy, City Beer Store was already a craft beer institution in San Francisco. They constantly fought for the craft beer industry and provided a home for new breweries looking to make a mark. In fact, they were the first to sell Almanac’s beer. This beer honors 10 years of providing a home for craft beer.

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==Introduction==

Obtained this one from Craftshack.com along with other great beers. This one intrigued me because I made a tropical IPA with similar ingredients and trying this may give me an incite as to what to expect. The brew is a small bottle as with many of Almanacs delicious beers but with that being said, I will be taking my time analyze this one as I do with others but more importantly, try to take some flavors that may relate to my homebrew that will be ready in sometime in July 2016. The mix of fruits sounds so damn delicious but as a sour, I will have to see if it can compare to other sours I have had in the past. Let’s take a look. Cheers!

Aromas:

Tropical fruit kiwi, pineapple, mango, guava, dragon fruit, margarita notes, lime peel, lemons, limes, white wine grapes, passion fruit, stone fruit peaches, apricots, banana hints, clove hints, coriander hints, vanilla, oak, floral hop notes, lavender, cane sugar, chardonnay, peppercorn and wine grapes.

Flavors:

Rich Stone fruit peaches, apricots, sour apples, tropical fruit kiwi, pineapple, mango, passion fruit, dragon fruit, margarita notes, lime peel, lemons, limes, white wine grapes, concorde grapes, chardonay, peppercorns, waffle cone, cranberries, dark cherries, citrus, grapefruit, grassy, mild pine, floral and earthy hops, tangerine gummies, vanilla, oak, caramel, banana hints, clove hints, coriander hints, lavender, hibiscus hints, guavas.

Aftertaste:

Finishes dry with minor hints of tropics, limes, lemons, stone fruit, wine grapes, grapefruit, citrus and dank hops and sour funky notes. No alcohol in the taste. Hazy Pale Straw body, Crisp, refreshing and effervescent mouth feel with an easy drinkability.

Overall:

A very awesome and very exceptional sour showcasing so much tropical goodness. This is one of the best sours up there with the great ones I really love. The beer does shows a lot of flavors which I would definitely wanna see in my beer as it is supposed to be a tropical fruit IPA. However, this being a sour and oak aged is super well balanced and made. The balance of tart and sweet comes together very nicely. I highly recommend it if you love sours and especially dry hopped tropical sours.
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Anime Corner:

Marino from Megaman X Command Mission was chosen in this pairing as I could not find a platypus but her colors represent all the tropical flavors of the beer. Even though she is not a platypus, her hair is long like the platypus tail and the holder that holds her sword is almost like a platypus bill. It is a stretch but I think the pairing works well.

Sources:
http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/12/127136/1753558-marino_perspective_cged_by_liline.png

http://img00.deviantart.net/09ea/i/2014/289/8/8/marino_by_wing_maiden-d830zf1.jpg

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb209/redninja4/Megaman/1234659355039.jpg

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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

Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine by Almanac Brewing

IMAG5181Rating: 5.4/5

Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine by Almanac Brewing is a 12% ABV Barleywine brewed 50% with pumpkins aged in Brandy Barrels and 50% brewed with spices.

Label: 
This is a beer made with real pumpkins. We hand-roasted over 500lbs of heirloom pumpkins from La Tercera Farms in Bodega Bay. The caramelized gourds were then added to our velvety American Barleywine and aged in brandy barrels for a year. Finally, we blended the barrel-aged beer with freshly brewed ale and added a delicate hint of pumpkin pie spices to round out this decadent autumn sipper.
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Another fine pick up from Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights. This came out recently but it may not last long. This is quite the conundrum of a beer. I have had pumpkin ale hybrids, like pumpkin porters, stouts, barrel aged pumpkin beers and even a pumpkin lambic. Never, have I seen a pumpkin barley wine. The should make this in a 22oz bottle instead. Oh well.

Aromas are of pumpkin in a lot of rye bread, candied sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, toffee, pumpkin pie, brandy, toasted barley, ginger bread, caramel, banana, cloves, oak, apricot, coriander, orange, honey, molasses and oatmeal. It smells very good. Almost like the Surly Seviin.

Flavors are of pumpkin, pumpkin flesh, pumpkin seeds, ginger, brandy, candied sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, toffee, pumpkin pie, rye bread, toasted barley, banana, phenol yeast, cloves, ginger bread, coriander, Candied oranges, dried apricots, oak, oatmeal, maple, pecans, molasses, sweet yams, apples, apple pie, brown sugar, pecan pie and Tamed Bastard (Arrogant Bastard with Apple Cider)

Aftertaste is of rye bread, caramel, maple, pumpkin pie and pecans. A sipping bear with the alcohol present but not too crazy harsh.

Overall, it was definitely an unexpectedly very delicious beer. It is definitely like if they took Seviin and brewed it with pumpkins. Freaking delicious rye, caramel, brandy, spicy pumpkin tasting beer. A definite second place to Rumpkin so far this year. While I do believe the barrel aging or hybridism of the styles with pumpkin may outclass the average pumpkin beer, let us not forget, the reason they are higher than the average pumpkin beer is because of that help. If we take a look at regular pumpkin beers, I still think, Good Gourd, La Parcela, Smashed Pumpkins and Pumpkins are still the winners of originality. Anyways, this incredibly delicious Pumpkin Barleywine is a must get an a very delicious one at that.

Barrel Noir by Almanac Beer Co.

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Rating: 5.6/5*

Barrel Noir by Almanac Beer Co. is a 10% ABV Imperial Stout with 50% Belgian Dark Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels and 50% American Imperial Stout

Label: 
This oak-aged ale is our love letter to bourbon barrels. Barrel Noir is a sumptuous, inky ale that celebrates the velvety texture and subtle heat that only Kentucky charred oak can impart. Born from a blend of American imperial stout and Belgian-inspired dark ale aged in bourbon barrels, this rich brew can be paired with braised beef dishes and dark chocolates. Enjoyed best in front of a warm fireplace.
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There are very few Belgian Stouts out there that can take beers to new levels. The style is simply one of my top favorites. Some of these beers are coveted while others are easier to find. Today, I try this one which has been partially aged in bourbon barrels. Many of the ingredients are farm grown locally. So a lot of them are fresh. Upon opening the beer, I knew was another awesome special chocolate beer.

Aromas are of rich milk chocolate, dark chocolate, coconut, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, dulce de leche, flan, marshmallows, espresso coffee notes, brown sugar, candi sugar and sweet Belgian bread notes

The flavors are of very rich milk chocolate, rocky road ice cream, pecans, walnuts, almond joy chocolate, coconut cream, vanilla, raisins, prunes, hints of minor cherry and raspberry notes, bourbon, oak, hints of Kahlua, dulce de leche caramel, flan, chocolate cake with brownie batter and minor earthy bitterness to balance it all out.

Aftertaste leaves with nice chocolate, coffee cake and minor earthy notes along with a bit of vanilla. The alcohol is not too fondly present and makes it nice. Very hidden. 

Overall, this beer is simply amazing. Sweet to a not too overwhelming level, yet so many flavors and to a certain point, moderate drink-ability. This beer is a fusion of a bourbon barrel aged quad and an imperial stout which is not something that is done often. So I really think that the right level of brewing fusion is what really makes it outstanding and different from others. The dominating characters that each part brings to the table is simply exquisite. I love chocolate beers, so the extra points in rating are for those awesome awesome chocolate flavors but also because it works so well. A must try for anyone that is a stout and Belgian beer fan. If they ever make this in larger bottles and more available, that would be the best!!

*Overwhelming with milk chocolate, yet not to the super sweet level and enough to give great complexity

Bier De Chocolat by Almanac Beer Company

941248_10101288137833420_135999525_nRating: 4.6/5

Bier De Chocolat by Almanac Beer Company is a 5.5%ABV American Porter

Label: 
Our Robust Porter is brewed with hand-roasted cocoa nibs from Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco and organic Ivanhoe Hops grown in Clear Lake, California. Rich flavors of roasted malts and chocolate hints of smoke and vanilla makes this beer the perfect pairing for Texas-style smoked brisket, chicken mole and Dandelion’s dark chocolate.
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This is my first take at an Almanac beer, never had one before but from what I can see of their labeling, they take pride in Farm raising beer ingredients and making beer. Good stuff and fresher than what others may provide.

Aromas of this beer are of lots Dark and milk Chocolate, mocha, coffee notes, vanilla cream, earthy hops, caramel and molasses.

The flavors are of rich dark and milk chocolate, earthy hop bitterness, mocha, coffee, vanilla notes, caramel, brownie batter and a slight bit of smoke.

The after taste is a little bitter but the vanilla and chocolate carry this one along very nicely. Could your more chocolate, but that’s just me being picky as I love chocolate beers that are more closer to chocolate than anything. 

This one does a great job of giving enough chocolate but not being overly sweet and detracting from the already good flavors of roasted coffee and earthy hops. Definitely a nice pick up for chocolate porter lovers.