He’Brew Jewbelation 20th Anniversary Ale by Shmaltz Brewing

Rating: 6/6
17038845_10104048592739660_7560130813169187252_oHe’Brew Jewbelation 20th Anniversary Ale by Shmaltz Brewing is a 16.8% ABV American Barleywine brewed with 10 Malts and 10 Hops.

Label:
Celebrating 20 years of Award Winning Beer & Delicious Shtick. L’Chaim!

“Score” is an ancient word for 20. 4 score from Gettysburg, plus Psalm 90 and MLK’s “I Have a Dream”. 20 Years of Shmaltz, one helluva Score, officially complete! About the Fugees 1996 hit The Score, Lauryn Hill said, “It’s like a hip hop version of Tommy.” At age 20, Bette Midler who later played the Acid Queen in the 1st stage show of Tommy, debuted on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof, originally considered “too Jewish” for mainstream audiences. 20 is the Biblical age of maturity, when Jewish Priests could work in the sacred Temple. 20 years after the naked Starman icon 1st appeared on 2112, Rush released their best that’s-what-he-said lyric in ‘96: “I’ve got a pantheon of animals in a pagan soul / Vishnu & Gaia, Aztec & Maya / Dance around my totem pole.” ’96: the Sex Pistols 20th anniv reunion & the final Ramones tour. Married in ‘96, Jack & Meg claimed they were siblings in the early years of the White Stripes. At 20, Woody Allen wrote scripts for Ed Sullivan & The Tonight Show. The title song for his ‘96 musical Everyone Says I Love You came from a favorite Marx Bros movie. After appearing on The Tonight Show with Groucho Marx & opening for Liberace in Vegas, at 20, Barbra Streisand’s debut album skyrocketed her to stardom. At 20, Dave Chappelle was cast by Mel Brooks as Ahchoo in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. When the crowd grumbles at a black sheriff of Rottingham, Ahchoo quips “It worked in Blazing Saddles.” Inspired by the Blazing Saddles musical score, Here’s to conquering fear & hate & taboos. A torch to light the way! To life… L’Chaim!

==Introduction==
17097283_10104048592480180_4448386524462495209_o
Every year, since the 15th anniversary of this beer, I have brought this beer to the site. In each iteration, they have added a hop, a malt and in some cases an ABV point until getting to around 17% ABV. This year only using 10 hops and 10 malt varieties. It calls for essentially a different and yet still very complex Barleywine. In fact many of the previous beers over the years have beer similar with some having different flavors due to the malt and hop use but overall, it is a beer I always go to. I really enjoy this series and hope to try more over the years, Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit cherries, raisins, plums, prunes, figs, citrus, grapefruit, herbal, piney and earthy hops, licorice, molasses, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, milk chocolate, fudge chocolate, smokey campfire notes, roasted barley, tropical notes of guava, beet juice hints, tangerine gummies, tobacco, and soy sauce.
17017135_10104048591986170_4044841238192726773_o
Flavors:
Juicy Citrus and dark fruit blend, oranges, earthy, herbal, grapefruit and piney hops, dark fruit cherries, raisins, plums, prunes, figs, currants, molasses, anise, soy sauce, oaky notes, tobacco notes, licorice, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, milk chocolate, fudge chocolate, smokey campfire notes, roasted barley, leather, tobacco, molasses, rye bread, clove spice, maple syrup, fruit cake, toffee, butterscotch, pecan pie, sweetend condensed milk, flan notes, marshmallows, cotton candy, toasted coconut, honey, tropical notes of guava, beet juice hints, tangerine gummies, dragon fruit and passion fruit.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with dark fruits, dark chocolate, tropical notes, mixed berry blend, earthy, citrus, grapefruit, floral and herbal hop notes along with caramel, vanilla and burnt marshmallow smoke. No alcohol in the taste. Pitch black motor oil full body, Silky, smooth, creamy and syrupy mouthfeel, and a moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
For being their 20th year, this one was damn supremely exceptional as its predecessors. Very complex like always showcasing the sweet dark fruits and chocolate mixed with some piney and citrucy flavors. The alcohol is subtle due to the complexity of the beer overall. Super malts with super hops makes this one a double whamy especially its multiple of x10. Level 20 insanity that I think will appeal to both hop heads and dark strong beer lovers. I highly recommend this one!
17016892_10104048591851440_8639998990907401721_o
Anime Corner:
WyldStyle from The Lego Movie was used in this pairing, as I wanted to mainly pair with the colors of the label but also a character that looks like a bad ass. She has a complex and strong attitude towards many other characters in this series and pairs well with the complexity and ABV strength of the beer. I am sure she can kick the crap out of anyone too. In the past, I have done the same choosing similar characters that I think would pair with the yellows, blues and reds.

I also added Fluttershy at the last minute as this pic of her fits really well with the beer and the punk similarities to Wyldstyle
17039240_10104048592006130_7381982840036623589_o16991845_10104048591547050_5267477711663279126_o
Sources:
http://orig12.deviantart.net/9f49/f/2014/276/4/1/lego_movie_wyldstyle_by_darkness1999th-d81g29h.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ByJSb0tCQAMIGY7.png:large
https://desu-usergeneratedcontent.xyz/co/image/1416/10/1416100294679.png
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Cikp05Rl2Lg/VxjqHQUKfjI/AAAAAAAAAwk/M65H7FyjpfcizfISZu2Yj7QMFOolLS91g/s530-p/e1728be4-72b6-4c93-8d63-15686235a52c
https://desu-usergeneratedcontent.xyz/aco/image/1460/13/1460136496861.png

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2014 2nd Year Anniversary Crowded by Wiens Brewing

13392108_10103320738340710_5358735722803928899_o 13418619_10103320738819750_2430570799214926762_oRating: 4.75/5

2014 2nd Year Anniversary Crowded by Wiens Brewing is an 11.5% ABV Cuvee Blend of Imperial Stout, Imperial Bitter Brown, Double Black India Pale Ale and a Barleywine all aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
Bottled 10/23/2014
We selected Our Finest Barrel Aged Beers from our collection and masterfully blended them together to create crowded.

Celebrate with one now or crowd it into a cellar of your own. Cheers!

==Introduction==

I found this one at Mr. K’s Liquor near the Bruery. I really liked the label and really liked that this one was a barrel aged brew. I have not tried anything from Wiens brewing so I figure their anniversary ale is a good way to start especially since I love stouts and this one looks to be a cuvee of beers. An example of this is what Firestone Walker does for their anniversary ales. By blending different amounts of different styles of beers, it breeds a complex beer rich in complex flavors. Some blending of beers are better than others but we will have to see what this one has to offer. Cheers!

Aromas:
Smokey notes, tobacco, leather, toffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, caramel, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, marshmallows, roasted coffee, flan, hazelnut nectar, wine grapes, dark fruits, chocolate smores and rocky road ice cream notes.

Flavors:
Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, oak, toasted coconut, pecan pie, rocky road ice cream, dark fruit raisins, currants, prunes, vanilla, flan, Irish cream, hazelnut nectar, marshmallows, chocolate smores, Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, toffee, earthy and piney hops, smokey and burnt wood, anise, tobacco, leather, lemon peel, funky wine grapes, mint and ash.

Aftertaste:
Finishing dry with notes super earthy and piney hop notes, smokey oak and rocky road ice cream.
No alcohol in the taste, dark murky brown fill body, creamy, silky and chewy mouthfeel and an easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
While I think the score is high since it is using the barrel aging process and even though there is a lot of delicious complexity and aged for 2 years, something is up. I still think it is very delicious, but not the usual exceptional brews that go over the 5 rating. I think the aspect of Black IPA an possibly Bitter Brown might not meld well with the stout and barley wine. The beer is smokey, ashy and hoppy. The Barrel aging sure puts stuff together but it is essentially as the name states, it is “Crowded” in there. While I think the cuvee attempt is awesome and it reminds me a little of Firestone Walker’s blended Anniversaries (The sweeter complex flavors) as you sip it because there is so much rich goodness, yet it still finishes with that slightly unpleasant bitterness. I would definitely want to try this fresher if there is a difference. Maybe this just did not age well. I really think you should give this a shot as the parts that are delicious are very delicious but that smokey and earthy bitterness doesn’t play well.

Anime Corner:
Attila from Fate Stay Night Series, Grand Order and Storia from Pixiv Fantasia were used in this pairing to go with the colors of the label, the crows mainly and the flavor complexity from the ingredients as represented by the various colors. Also, the bad assery is all part of the theme with the crows.

Sources:
http://img1.reactor.cc/pics/post/full/Fategrand-order-Fate-(series)-Anime-attila-(fategrand-order)-3104935.jpeg
http://static.zerochan.net/Storia.(Pixiv.Fantasia.T).full.1864171.jpg

He’Brew Jewbelation Reborn 19th Anniversary Ale by Shmaltz Brewing

12647078_10103054810646940_865342519605831866_n 12631455_10103054812632960_3479657132986191534_nRating: 6/6

He’Brew Jewbelation Reborn 19th Anniversary Ale by Shmaltz Brewing is a 11.9% ABV American Barleywine brewed with 10 Malts and 9 Hops.

Label:
THE 19TH ANNIVERSARY GIFT IS BRONZE. Not exactly silver or gold, but at least it’s on the medal stand! And the Bronze Age was a giant leap forward from the Stone Age – the invention of writing, metal alloys, and year-round agriculture. Evolution! 19 letters spell “He’brew The Chosen Beer”. The Hebrew lunar calendar syncs with the solar cycle every 19 years. In 1919, Congress passed the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. Yay! Congress also passed the Volstead Act which led to Prohibition. Boo! The Vietnam War lasted 19.5 years. The anti-war synth hit “19” reached #1 in the UK (‘85). August 19 is the UN’s World Humanitarian Day. Though I really hate the song, I got my 1st girlfriend in 5th grade because of “Hey 19” by Steely Dan. Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” (which I still love) was named the 19th greatest hard rock song by VH1. At age 19, Lenny Bruce got an honorable discharge from the Navy for posing as a transvestite, Barbra Streisand debuted on Broadway, and Rodney Dangerfield first changed his name to Jack Roy, performing in the Catskills, near our new brewery. Groucho Marx, who once danced the Charleston on the crushed remains of Hitler’s bunker, died the 19th of August (’77). His quip, “Humor is reason gone mad,” inspired the unofficial slogan of the Bronze Age, “He who smelt it, dealt it.” L’Chaim to the power of 19!

MALTS: 2-Row, Kiln Amber, Red X, Munich, Caramel Pils, Crystal 45, Chocolate, Vienna, Roasted Wheat Malt, Flaked Oats HOPS: Chinook, Citra, Centennial, Fuggle, Simcoe, Cascade, Calypso, Amarillo, Palisade

==Introduction==

I got this one at Total Wine and more. The Jewbelation series has always been one of my favorites ever since I tried the Jewbelation 15th anniversary. As each year progresses, there seems to be a difference in the taste of the beer as the difference in hop and malt varieties used give it a different full force of complexity every time. I think 17% ABV was the highest thresh hold they could do but by lowring the variety of malts and concentrating on the smaller number of variety of malts and hops but higher in quantity really focuses on another type of complexity that will still keep changing this beer every year I’m sure. So with that being said, let’s check it out! Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit raisins, plums, prunes, figs, Dark cherries, marshmallows, banana notes, clove spice hints, brown sugar, maple syrup, coconut hints, earthy, citrusy, grapefruit, grassy and pine hops, chocolate, tangerine preserves, peach preserves, oaky notes, tobacco notes, licorice and dark chocolate

Flavors:
Earthy, citrucy, grapefruit, grassy and pine hops, Dark fruit raisins, plums, prunes, figs, Dark cherries, milk chocolate, dark bitter chocolate, molasses, anise, soy sauce, oaky notes, tobacco notes, licorice, coconut hints, marshmallows, tropical dragon fruit notes, milk sugar, leather, rye bread, honey, pecan pie, fudge chocolate, tangerine preserves, peach preserves, marshmallows, smokey campfire notes, roasted barley, leather, banana notes, clove spice hints, brown sugar, maple syrup, dark fruit chocolate cake and toffee

Aftertaste:
Finishing with rich notes of Chocolate, dark fruit blueberry, currants and cherry, caramel, vanilla, earthy, grapefruit and citrucy hops along with hints of smoke. No alcohol in the taste. Pitch black motor oil full body, Silky, smooth, creamy and syrupy mouthfeel, and a moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Every year is different and every year once again supremely exceptional. I think I look forward to this release more often than I should. Even so, they still make this readily available to many places which to me is awesome! One day I would like to try this one on tap and see how it is. Anyway, this one of those balanced American strong beers that will appease malt and hop heads alike! Cheers until next year for this one.

Anime Corner:
Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost In The Shell was used in this pairing as I wanted to pair with the colors of the label for this brew and they are similar to the dark fruits and the dark color of the beer. Every year I try to find some similar label colored characters. This year though, with Motoko being a deep an complex character definitely a great fit for this amazing brew!

Sources:
http://static.zerochan.net/Kusanagi.Motoko.full.1507656.jpg
http://k33.kn3.net/9/2/1/C/4/1/977.jpg

2012 Provisions Collaboration Series: A Stein’s Throw by The Bruery and TAPS Fish House & Brewery

12631479_10103052892261400_1179493632016598532_n 12622092_10103052893828260_1425801807497012753_o 12644808_10103052894172570_7324834607620759899_nRating: 6/6

2012 Provisions Collaboration Series: A Stein’s Throw by The Bruery and TAPS Fish House & Brewery is an 8.5% ABV Barleywine SteinBier brewed with Date Sugar & Granite.

Label:
STONE AGE

Located just 5 miles from The Bruery, TAPS is one of the country’s most awarded brew pubs. Known for their classic European beers (and delicious Sea Bass), we decided to brew something classic, yet complex by heating granite rocks to 900° F before adding them to the wort for an intense caramelization. A Stein’s throw is suitable for aging up to 2 years.

==Introduction==

It’s been more like close to 4 years since its release. I was able to snag a bottle from the Bruery through their holiday sales. I have always wanted to try this one ever since my friend Will Carranza tried it at the Bruery when he went there a couple years ago. At the time, I was not aware of the different awesome beers from them except the exclusive ones. So when I saw this rarity pop up, I had to bring it to the site. Especially since I have not had this style and the method they used with granite rocks is crazy! I would think at those high temps, would the sugars become caramelized for the yeast not to be able to ferment it? Well, maybe they have a way to blend the wort with more malt and I think that’s where the Barleywine aspect comes in. Let’s see what this is about, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit raisins, dates, figs, plums, sugar plums, currants, toasted biscuit bread, trail mix, berry granola bar, rich Caramel, dulce de leche caramel, Mexican Goat Milk Caramel (Cajeta), Toffee, Raspberry Marzipan, bananas and clove spice, burnt sugar, Stone fruit peach notes, orange preserve hints, honey, waffle cone, marshmallows, pecan pie, macadamia nuts, rock candy, figgy pudding and flan notes

Flavors:
Rich Caramel, Dulce de leche caramel, Mexican Goat Milk Caramel (Cajeta), Toffee, Dark fruit raisins, dates, figs, plums, sugar plums, currants, rich dark candi sugars, English cream, vanilla, grape notes, port wine, Stone fruit peach notes, orange preserve hints, honey, waffle cone, marshmallows, pecan pie, macadamia nuts, rock candy, figgy pudding, flan, crème brulee, malted barley, raspberries, pomegranate, toasted biscuit bread, trail mix, berry granola bar, strawberry shortcake, Mochi Sakura cakes, Raspberry Marzipan, bananas and clove spice and burnt sugars.

Aftertaste:
Lots of dark fruits, caramels, flan, dark candi sugars, bananas, honey, orange preserves toffee, fig pudding and flan. No alcohol in the taste, Rich dark honey colored full body, silky, smooth, creamy and rich mouthfeel with a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
Time has done this beer some amazing miracles. I was really blown away by how this beer was. I never tasted it back then to compare how it has age but what I have here is something that I would like to pour over some ice cream. Super damn complex and malty with come sugars that go in different directions of sweet. Not cloying but just in variety. Not sure if I can find this again but if I did, I would get several of these!

Anime Corner:
Seras Victoria and Sir Integral Wingates Hellsing from Hellsing were used in this beer pairing to pair with the burning hot granite which was used in the wort to super caramelize the beer and the collabotation. Essentially, the extreme temperatures are synonymous to the fires of hell. Also, as the wort becomes caramel and the color of the brew becomes blood red it looks like some of the colors of the artwork and the evil look of Seras as well. Seras would be like the Bruery and Taps is Integral. Combining both to come up with this masterpiece.

Sources:
https://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/456345-724×996-hellsing-alucard+%28hellsing%29-victoria+seras-integra+wingates+hellsing-walter+c.+dornez-junshi+%28junbox%29.jpg
https://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/415144-1530×2970-hellsing-victoria+seras-orika+nekoi-single-tall+image-short+hair.png
https://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/162945-1920×1200-hellsing-victoria+seras-single-highres-wide+image-blonde+hair.jpg

2013 Reserve R&D Series Critical Hit by Ninkasi Brewing

10465535_10102499761420040_5671206349719221169_oRating: 5.25/5

2013 Reserve R&D Series Critical Hit by Ninkasi Brewing is a 10.4% American Barleywine.

Label:
Bottle Number: 06967/10000
In the Ninkasi tradition, this Barley Wine is hopped to high heaven. Critical Hit has a rich malty expression but the 11 varieties of hops linger on the palate. Two-hundred and twenty pounds of hops were used to make only 17 barrels of beer! Its high gravity nature warms the cheeks and soul. Pull out your 20-sided die — Critical Hit does double damage so you might have to roll versus save if you take this ale for granted!

==Introduction==

I obtained this one at qualityliquorstore.com along with some other awesome beers. Ninkasi makes some pretty awesome beers. So to see that they made a barley wine and in the theme of Dungeons & Dragons and many of the Rolling dice games, I was really intrigued as my other geek side arose. A D&D beer essentially here to meet the dual geek side. Awesome stuff I think. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rye bread, Floral, herbal, grassy, piney and herbal hops, toffee, butterscotch, stone fruits like peach and apricot, vanilla, flan hints, caramel, pineaple, dragon fruit, honey, gummy bears, orange marmalade, dark fruit raisins, cherries, brown sugar and maple syrup.

Flavors:
Rye bread, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, grassy, piney, herbal, grapefruit, floral, and citrus hops, maple syrup, toffee, biscuit bread, gummy bears, passion fruit, dragon fruit, pineapple, crème brulee, flan notes, sweetened condensed milk hints, dark fruit raisins, cherries, honey, mango, orange marmalade, stone fruit peaches, apricots, tangerines and brown sugar.

Aftertaste:
Rich hoppy bitterness lingers in the palate along with some hints of caramel, vanilla, toffee, maple and earthy hop notes. No alcohol in the taste even for close to a 11% ABV. Clear crimson red body, silky and syrupy mouth feel and sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A perfect example of the super hoppy American Barleywines but excels a bit in the sense that it is well balanced giving rich way to its super malty sweetness but also a super hoppy punch of doom. Rolling the die isn’t going to make you enjoy this one, it is already at the 20 for you as shown in the label. I would recommend this one if hoppy Barleywines are your thing for sure as it is a great example of the style.

Anime Corner:
This original character was used in pairing to pair with the colors but also the representative of chance. As you can see in the picture, she throws not only dice but other items that are used in games of chance such as gambling. The beer is a representative of taking a chance at something awesome but also the wizard as it strike with magic and a critical hit. This is seen through what she is wearing.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/E5efcU4.jpg

Winter Slayer by Arcade Brewery

10255764_10102435244522420_6818035184838587617_n 11012840_10102435243654160_1948606549506888418_oRating: 4.85/5

Winter Slayer by Arcade Brewery is a 9.1% ABV Oat Wine Style Ale

Label:
An Oat Ale That’s Got Your Back.

==Introduction==

I found this one along with the Mega Milk at www.wineandcheeseplace.com . This one intrigued me as well as the Mega Milk as they relate to video games in the craft beer world. The knight is reminiscent of fantasy and futuristic NES games or even Atari games. It seems more like a label for a video game. It is damn awesome so in this case, I chose it more because of the exclusivity since we don’t get any of their brews in California but also since it was a limited release. Let’s check out this bad ass beer, cheers!

Aromas:
Peppercorns, Stone fruit peaches, apricots, white grapes, wheat bread, biscuit bread, coriander, honey, vanilla, minor tropical hints of pineapple, dragon fruit notes, apples, marshmallows, graham crackers, herbal and floral hops, brown sugar, cinnamon, orange and lemon peels, butterscotch hints and banana hints.

Flavors:
White grapes, wheat, coriander notes, honey, vanilla, biscuit bread, raspberries, cherries, white raisins, stone fruit peaches, apricots, orange peel, lemon peel, cinnamon hints, banana hints, butterscotch, pineapple, dragon fruit notes, apples, marshmallows, graham crackers, almonds, floral and herbal hop hints, brown sugar, peppercorn spices, chardonay, caramel, toffee, butterscotch and melons.

Aftertaste:
Honey, grapes, granola bar, berries, orange peel, stone fruits, earthy notes and flowers. Slight alcohol in the taste, Light to medium golden body, moderate mouthfeel and moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A very good oat Wine reminiscent of the Blonde Barley wine or the Wheat wine ales I have had before. It interesting with quite the different complex flavors that you typically do not find in other beers but a special set of lighter Barleywines. Of the style, I like other ones, like oh I don’t know, The Bruery White Chocolate!! However, since it is a rare style, this one I enjoyed a lot and I highly recommend it.

Anime Corner:
Lucina from Fire Emblem was used in this pairing since I wanted a character that would pair well with the knight. The knight reminds me of several different things. Dragon Warrior for NES, the helmet reminds me of Vile from Megaman X but I get this feeling like Wizards and Warriors from NES too. Either way, the colors of the artwork fit this one perfectly. Lucina is the knight in this picture and she is a slayer. Also to go along with the left eye shining, she has a shining eye on her left eye that is in the game called the mark of Naga also known as the brand of Exalt.

Sources:
http://www.zerochan.net/full/1315296
http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2013/283/7/9/ceroxide_s_commission_a_by_gashi_gashi-d6pknt8.png

2014 Preservation Series Oaked Old Richland by The Bruery

10881673_10102260551498640_1215265056226552938_n 10873492_10102260551962710_1812467087028492704_o 1973946_10102260552491650_3738902779129797754_oRating: 5/5

2014 Preservation Series Oaked Old Richland by The Bruery is an 11.1% ABV Hoppy American Barley Wine aged in Wine Oak Barrels.

Label:
Our version of an American Barleywine, Old Richland is quite hoppy with a caramel-like malt base that finishes with a hint of woodiness. Best when consumed fresh as the hop character will dimminish with age.

==Introduction==

Obtained through the Preservation Society membership which is the one that sends 3 beers quarterly. Now since this is the last one of the year and only one sent per membership, I wanted to bring this one forward as this was the last one they released for the year in general. This one is a hoppy barley wine so I assume it will be nothing like the MASH series and more of it’s own beer. The fact that they used a variety of hops (Simcoe, Centennial and Sterling) may make this one super hoppy. The aging in thw ine oak barrels may bring out some of that hidden fruitiness though. We will see, come follow me and let’s take a close look, cheers!

Aromas:
Strong herbal, floral, citrus, piney, grassy and grapefruit hops, vanilla, oak, toffee, caramel, roasted peanuts, peanut butter roast hints, smokey oak, brown sugar, old mango, pineapple, peppercorns, marshmallow smore hints, wine grape hints, almond, pecans, stone fruit apricots, rye bread, leather, passion fruit, honey dew melon and dragon fruit.

Flavors:
Citrus, Piney, Grassy, Grapefruit and floral hops, vanilla, caramel, oak, toffee, apples, smoke hints, graham cracker smores, old mango, pine apple, dragon fruit, honey, stone fruit apricots, rye bread, lemon peel, almond, pecans, earthy hops, marshmallow hints, peppercorn, floral notes, herbs, peanut butter hints, roasty peanuts, wine grapes, orange preserves, honey dew melon and passion fruit hints.

Aftertaste:
Such a bitter and hoppy finish definitive of the barley wines, caramel, oak, toffee, peanuts, vanilla, earthy, piney and citrus hops linger for a bit. No Alcohol in the taste, clear to medium amber brown body, moderate to sipping drinkability and slightly syrupy yet smooth mouthfeel.

Overall:
True to that west coast style Barley wine. Drinks almost like a malty IPA but with lots of hoppy goodness going for it. Quite frankly, I think this is the most hoppy I have ever had from the Bruery and typically, they say no to IPAs or bitter beers. Despite the fact that the wine oak is subtle due to the HOP Super Presence. You still get notes of it.. Such a great beer and best fresh too as this is possible the freshest I have had from them (hop wise). If you would like this beer, I am unsure if you need to trade for it or if they will have extras like they did with Ignis Fatuus which hopefully they will. I can definitively recommend this one if you love close to IPA hopped Barleywines.

Anime Corner:
Freya Crescent from Final Fantasy 9 was brought back for this pairing with the Bruery since she is a favorite character of mine from the series. I this pairing I tried to pair with the colors of the label but also the flavors of the beer. Freya has the perfect colors of the beer as well as the sweet caramel flavors. She is ready for battle to decimate the flavors of the palate with a barrage of sweet and Bitter hops. You can see this from the greens of her clothing which represents the hops and the reds the caramel. The Oak as seen in the armored purple version of Freya brings forth the flavors of the wine and dark fruit like characters while the floating javelins represent the onslaught of hop madness inducing the taste buds all at once and yet being alleviated by the malty sweetness which is poured in like rain.

Sources:
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g289/Aevitas7/Final%20Fantasy/freya_thief.png
http://oi59.tinypic.com/veci2g.jpg

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

Eight by Surly Brewing

10801864_10102205524822540_8166432178663971312_nRating: 6/5

Eight by Surly Brewing is a 12%ABV Oat Wine Aged in High West Rye Whiskey Barrels.

Label:
get surly

“When it’s done” is a phrase we’ve used to describe release dates for our beers for many years. When you’re putting the beer first, it just makes sense. Our anniversary is technically in February, but this unique Oat Wine style ale needed to age in High West Rye Whiskey barrels until, well… until it’s done. Here’s to Eight great years, and we’ll all be celebrating soon in our all new Destination Brewery.

The idea behind our anniversary line-up of beers was to give Todd, Surly’s Head Brewer, free rein to use whatever ingredients and methods he wanted to brew the beer. This year’s bottle artwork is a one-of-a-kind illustration collaboration between Todd and local artist Josh “Jawsh” Lemke.

This beer was designed for barrel aging, so it’s been a great opportunity to work with our friends at High West Distillery® in Park City. Utah. Brewed with Golden Promise and Aromatic malt Oats, and Milk sugar fermented in stainless steel then aged in High West Rye Whiskey barrels, this golden hued Oat-Wine style ale summons notes of spicy vanilla marshmallow and aromas of honey and whiskey.

==Introduction==

Another awesome year has come for Surly brewing and the release of their long awaited Barley wine is now here. Every year, I await the release of their anniversary ale since trying the Surly 4. Some releases are greater than others but sometimes you have to dig deep online to find these obscure beers… or just go to france44.com and get them, I guess that’ll work. Anyways, this year they made an oatwine aged in Rye whiskey barrels. I have tried many barley wines, some wheat wines, but never an oatwine. So the fact that this one is barrel aged, I will try to find the original beer somehow but if not, at least I will let you know how this year’s Surly anniversary turns out. Come, join me into the abyss of flavor experience…

Aromas:
Marshmallow cream, chocolate smores, vanilla, oak, dulce de leche caramel, flan, custard, dark fruit raisins, cherries, white chocolate, toffee, butterscotch, bourbon, rye bread, rye whiskey, capirotada raisin bread pudding, Lechera sweetened condensed milk, bananas, clove spice, pumpkin spice, tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, piña colada hints, pecan pie, hazel nut, oatmeal cookies, Danish cookies, oranges, citrus, coriander spice, macadamia nuts, marzipan, burnt sugar, brown sugar and candi sugar.

Flavors:
Bourbon, Rye whiskey, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, oak, flan, custard, tobacco, leathery notes, sweetened condensed milk, oranges, coriander spice, mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, pears, apples, toasted coconut, piña colada hints, rich white chocolate, toffee, mild pumpkin spice, cinnamon, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, Danish cookies, Tres Leches cake, marshmallow cream, bananas, clove spice, chocolate smores, butterscotch, rye bread, brown sugar, marzipan, hazelnut, burnt sugar, candi sugar hints, dark fruits like cherries, raisins, plums, biscuit bread, capirotada raisin bread pudding, pecan pie and almond joy chocolate.

Aftertaste:
Lingering dulce de lecher caramel, burnt sugar, white chocolate hints, citrus, mild piña colada hints , bananas, toasted coconut, rye whiskey, earthy notes and pecans. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV, smooth, creamy and silky mouthfeel, sipping drinkability with some notes that makes this really easy to drink and a full golden brown full body.

Overall:
There is no surprise here. The moment I realized I really liked this one was right when this beer started to have some special tropical hints and white chocolate for some reason. I kept tasting white chocolate at times especially as it got warmer. I am not sure if that is part of the Oat wine or the combination of the that with the whiskey. What an amazing beer for their anniversary that they released. I really enjoyed this one. If you would like to obtain this one, I got it at france44.com where they are very limited and selling out very quick. So yes, I highly suggest you get this special anniversary ale.

Anime Corner:
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki from the Naruto series is one of the main antagonist from the series. She was brought here in this pairing for several reasons. Mainly for her great pairing with the label, the evil that she is flows great with Surly and the white chocolate aspect I kept getting from the beer. All the colors in this pairing show many of the flavor complexities that this one shows. Surly unleashed a special type of demon from it’s sealed state and now with her sweet onslaught of flavors, she will take back what was hers. Your lack of not trying this beer. She is all powerful, complex, sweet in appearance and flavor but overall, just evil!!

Sources:
http://rikamello.deviantart.com/art/Ohtsutsuki-Kaguya-478836486

Ol’ Leghorn collaboration by Firestone Walker and Three Floyds brewing

10670274_10102069141710390_4260297735774778352_n 10646964_10102069146455880_4706552414182859628_nRating: 4.65/5

Ol’ Leghorn collaboration by Firestone Walker and Three Floyds brewing is a 10.5% Wheat/Blonde Barley Wine.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Ol’ Leghorn was initially brewed by Floyd and Brynildson during last year’s Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest. In a shout-out to Firestone Walker’s and Nick Floyd’s mutual English heritage, this blonde barleywine was brewed with traditional English ale malting varieties—Golden Promise and Optic base malts- with no specialty malt added.

The beer was then racked to a combination of retired bourbon barrels and new American oak wine barrels for aging at Firestone Walker Brewing Company. In fearless 3 Floyds fashion, another batch of dry-hopped Ol’ Leghorn was recently brewed for blending into the aged beer, to add a fresh, hoppy layer to the more intense spirits barrel and oaky character of the initial batch.

The result is a staggeringly hoppy blonde barleywine that will first be unveiled at the 2014 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest in Paso Robles on Saturday, May 31. Additionally, 22-ounce bottles will be available for purchase (six bottle limit per customer) at Firestone Walker’s Brewery Store on Sunday, June 1 starting at 10 a.m., with very limited market release later in the month. Ol’ Leghorn is meant to be consumed fresh in its youth, and vigilantly cold stored in the meantime.
___

This beer was made during the time that 3 Floyds was touring with other breweries this year to create collaboration brews. While hard to come by, I really wanted to bring this beer forth to the site as FW and 3F make some crazy world class beers. So I wanted to see if their collab could truly be remarkable. Well here it is and now we can find out for sure.

Aromas:
Vanilla, oak, honey, citrus, piney and grassy hops, orange preserves, caramel, toffee, butterscotch hints, rich mango, dragon fruit, peaches, apricots, white grapes, peppercorns, rye, coriander spice, clove spice hints, earthy hop notes, graham crackers and marshmallow.

Flavors:
Lots of honey, oak, citrus, vanilla, caramel, toffee, grassy, grapefruit and piney hops, tropical fruit like, mango, pineapple, dragon fruit honeydew melon, stone fruit like peaches, apricot, apples, lemon peel, orange peel, biscuit bread, coriander spice, orange preserves, rye bread, cinnamon, graham crackers, almonds, pecans, earthy hops, graham crackers, marshmallow hints, floral notes and peppercorn notes.

Aftertaste:
Citrus, tropical fruit, caramel, vanilla, piney and floral and earthy hops linger. No alcohol in the taste, syrupy yet smooth mouth feel but sipping drinkability and a light to medium body.

Overall:
A very good Blonde Barleywine / Wheat Wine. This beer seems more hoppy than some of the other barley or wheat wines I have tried for that matter. Then again , White Oak from the Bruery was pretty damn citrucy. They say this beer should be consumed fresh but I think it can withstand some time although the tropical aspects will fade with time and be more rich with sweetness. While this one is very good, I can only say that it is worth a try just once but if not, you are not missing out. There are other Wheat wines just as good if not better. Even if it does have 3F and FW on the label, I can at least say it was very good but don’t bet your hype on it.

Anime Corner:
Erza Scarlet and Mirajane Strauss from Fairy Tail were used in this pairing to represent Firestone Walker and Three Floyds in their collaboration of evil but also to represent the colors of the rooster with the reds and the whites. The power of these 2 collaborators to bring forth such an awesome collaboration is pretty much legendary. I can only state that the idea was awesome but was nothing momentous. So they pretty much represent that. The awesome idea.

Sources:
http://kurogane-raziel.deviantart.com/art/Erza-and-Mira-427735578
http://createapk.com/project/2014/09/kazulkira/mirajane-strauss-wallpaper/image/131282-mirajane-strauss-wallpaper.jpg

2011 Hellshire I by Oakshire brewing

10653420_10102056444959780_1348526635417096660_n 10659332_10102056446476740_2725776183311675554_n 10700006_10102056448797090_5415215982118373812_oRating: 5.25/5

2011 Hellshire I by Oakshire brewing is a 10% ABV Barleywine aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels for 10 months and now bottle aged for 3+ years.

Label:
Deep within the recesses of the alcoves and antechambers of Oakshire Brewing lies another realm. It’s a place where beers are carefully laid to rest in oaken sarcophagi. They slumber for aeons and emerge as wholly new and unique entities, fueling the malformed creatures that populate those blasted and eldritch wastes. That place is HELLSHIRE. Hellshire I is an American Barley Wine Ale aged for nearly nine months in freshly emptied Bourbon barrels. Notes of vanilla, coconut, oak and bourbon intertwine with the beer’s complex malt and hop character. It’s ready to enjoy now or can be cellared, cool and dry for several years.
___

Long ago, I traded for this beer. I wanted to save one for cellaring and the other was reviewed in 2012. I decided to wait 3 years before trying this one again to see how it had changed. It seems that the beer has matured plenty and I wanted to give it a go since I had already tried the Hellshire III before. The only way to get this beer now is on online auctions or trading. I can somewhat recall what the experience with this one was like back in 2012 but I can only assume. Either way, I brought it back from the depths of NubiSanctum hell cellar to see the light again. Damn was Hellshire mad or what?! Either way, here we go!

Aromas:
Old Dark fruit forward like prunes, raisins, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, musty oak, bourbon, toffee, fancy wine and cheese, old mango, old oranges, oatmeal, pecan pie, hazelnut, molasses, coffee cake, butterscotch, toasted coconut, rye bread, nutella notes, dark chocolate and maple syrup.

Flavors:
Dark fruits like prunes, raisins, figs, maple syrup, cherries, Caramel, Rye bread, coconut, vanilla, earthy notes, musty oak notes, bourbon notes, oatmeal, hazelnut, pecan pie, fancy wine and cheese party funky hints, rich pecan pie, toffee, pralines, old oranges, old mango, butterscotch, coffee cake, nutella hints, molasses, brown sugar, almond joy and dark chocolate notes.

Aftertaste:
Old Oranges,rye bread, nutella hints, caramel, vanilla, coconut, oak, bourbon, earthy and musty notes linger for a bit. No alcohol in the taste. Age has made this one smooth, medium to full body, mildy syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall:
Age has made this one very awesome . It reminds me a lot of the Stone Bastard in the Rye but with a dark fruit and caramel forward flavor profile than the hidden hop notes found in the fresh Stone one. It also reminds me of the Barrel Aged Blockhead Doppelbock from the Coney Island Series. Would I recommend this one? Yes!! It really gets better with age or at least at this point, aging has done this one some crazy magic. If it is hard to believe this is still 10% ABV, Call it an 11% better.

Anime/Comic Corner:
Mystique from Marvel’s Xmen as well as her posing as Ms. Marvel was used in this pairing since the original time I used her was when I posted my first try at Hellshire. She pairs well with the label as well as the aspect of the beer history in terms of her appearance of death and hell. The colors she represents pair well with the colors of the beer label as well as some of the flavors including the dark fruit, caramel, red wine, and citrus and mango.

Sources:
http://thequarterbin.com/wp-content/uploads/76_ms__marvel_48.jpg
http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5ov8jjewq1rydvyko1_1280.jpg

20th Anniversary by Saint Arnold Brewery

10606463_10101996990022950_8027400074730348410_n 10622929_10101996987273460_8741369572496244393_n

Rating: 5.35/5

20th Anniversary by Saint Arnold Brewery is an 11.2% ABV English Barleywine.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Our 20th Anniversary Ale is pure, with no additives or preservatives. In order to maintain the freshest flavor possible, we do not pasteurize our beer. Many of its subtle flavors are delicate and would not stand up to the heat of pasteurization. We recommend that this product be stored cold to avoid any degradation in flavor. Malt: This beer is brewed with Maris Otter, pale two row, Munich and Chocolate malted barley. Maris Otter accounts for 60% of the grist. Hops: We bittered the beer with Centennials, finished it in the kettle with Cascades and dry hopped with Simcoe. Yeast: We use our house Saint Arnold yeast.
___

An awesome thanks to Aaron at www.beermetaldude.com for obtaining this beer for me. This beer is the main aspect of celebration for the good people at Saint Arnold Brewery in their 20 years of making awesome craft beer. From the few beers I have tried from Saint Arnold, thanks to Aaron, I have come to realize how delicious their work is. I know definitely have more to try from them but they also have even more new projects as the years go buy ever increasing the greatness that is Saint Arnold. Hopefully one day we get to see their beers in California. Until then, Cheers to the anniversary, cheers to my friend Aaron and cheers to you, the readers!!

Aromas:
Citrus, mild grapefruit, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, chocolate, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, pecan pie, raisin bread pudding, hints of oak, hazelnut, oak, cherry, earthy hop notes, bananas, dragon fruit, pineapple, old mango, butterscotch, rye bread, green tea, honey, clove spice, peach, guava hints and papaya.

Flavors:
Grapefuit sugar, mild citrus, tangerine, orange gummy bears, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit, crème brulee, tropical fruit notes like pineapple, dragon fruit, mango, papaya, butterscotch, leather, green tea, rye bread, clove spice, banana hints, peach, guava, raisin bread hints, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, chocolate hints, brown sugar, earthy and floral hops, oak, hazelnut, pecan pie, honey and pears .

Aftertaste:
Grapefruit hops linger in the end but are faded by the sweet caramel, raisins and rye bread with sweet tropical fruit cake notes. No alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer, full mouth feel with a medium body.

Overall:
Damn, goes to prove why I like this style so much. Not everyone makes a barleywine so good, but this one is definitely formidable. The balance of hops and sweetness comes together really awesome exposing a good variety of hoppy citrus flavors moving toward exotic fruits and getting into the caramel and dark fruit goodness. It seems well in tact and well maintained. At 11.2%, this is definitely ageable and I really wanna see what happens after another 20 years. Either way, great work on the anniversary beer to Saint Arnold and for sure, this beer should not be missed if you can get it.

Anime Corner:
Dizzy from Guilty Gear was used in this beer to represent not only the colors but the whole aspect of saint. Even if Dizzy is an artificial magical creature, she well looks like an angel which fits with the whole aspect of the saint. The green wing is your hoppy side, Dizzy in the center is the tropical flavors while the white lady wing is the utter bliss and seduction into the realm of sugar. They pretty much are a part of her and how balanced and complex and almost heavenly this barleywine is, so is Dizzy. She is the representative of the Saint in Saint Arnold.

Sources:
http://www.fightersgeneration.com/characters/dizzy-wallpp.jpg

Chicken Killer by Santa Fe Brewing

10386738_10101996971834400_5246588909261658759_nRating: 5/5

Chicken Killer by Santa Fe Brewing is a 10% ABV American BarleyWine.

Label:
Chicken Killer Barley Wine is the revolutionary beer that will someday define America’s unique Barley Wine style. Chicken Killer is brewed with twice the ingredients of the Santa Fe Brewing Company’s other products, and only half the usual amount of liquid is extracted from these ingredients. This makes one serious ale. At ten percent alcohol, Chicken Killer is actually as substantial as wine, but this is not to say that it is difficult to drink. On the contrary; be careful with this one. The flavors of the ale are at first as overwhelming as the intense Santa Fe sun. But in the same way our sun gives us the unrivaled brilliant colors of Santa Fe, the potency of Chicken Killer gives us the remarkable spectrum of flavors that can be found in no other ale, in no other city. Check out out website: www.santafebrewing.com
___

Chicken Killer comes from New Mexico’s oldest microbrewery. A first time try for me which was provided to the site thanks to Aaron Mendiola of www.beermetaldude.com. This American style barleywine plans on changing the way people view barleywines and maybe unique to how it’s done in New Mexico. With this review, I hope I can showcase what their vision is. It is always nice to put great beers on the map or in this case, the internet for others to know about such beer treasures. Cheers!

Aromas:
Pecan pie flavors, dark fruit raisins, leather, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel, plums, figs, capirotada raisin bread pudding, citrus, biscuit bread, butterscotch, cinnamon, hints of oak, dark cherry, earthy notes, clove spice, banana, old mango and hazelnut nectar.

Flavors:
Pecan pie, dulce de leche caramel, cinnamon, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, rye bread, capirotada raisin bread pudding, earthy notes, leather, dark cherries, hints of oak, citrus, tangerine, mandarin preserves on biscuit bread, honey, green tea, peppery spices, bananas, clove spice, piloncillo sugar cone, old mango, strawberry, pitaya (Dragon fruit) and hints of chocolate.

Aftertaste:
Caramel, vanilla, dulce de leche, citrus, earthy hops and some tropic hints. No taste of alcohol in the flavor, a sipping drinkability yet you want to keep drinking, hazy to medium body and full mouth feel.

Overall:
This is a perfect barley wine. It is outstanding! It drinks more along the English Barley wine style so it is definitely sweeter and to some degree, the old ale style. While still maintaining the hop like flavors found in American Barleywines, it finds a way to mesh in the nice flavors I like from sweeter old ales and English Barleywines. Yes, give this one a try, it is great!

Anime Corner:
Carmen Serdan by Genzoman was chosen for this pairing because I wanted to pair the Mexican Revolution attire that was worn in those days as well as the label which shows the similar attire. Also, the fact that the beer tries to show that certain beers can be unique, in this case, barleywines, it goes to show hard the craft beer revolution is working to bring great flavors to the masses as well as inform them that beer can be more than just bitter yellow water. So, synonymously this beer is important to the brewery and so is the meaning. Cheers!

Sources:
Definietely check out Genzoman’s art and description about the artwork about the Mexican Revolution.
http://genzoman.deviantart.com/art/Carmen-Serdan-103601296

2014 Old Numbskull by Alesmith brewing

10154068_10101781209798250_5999639314207889844_n10295723_10101791759641280_4499715671406915606_nRating: 5.2/5

2014 Old Numbskull by Alesmith brewing is an 11% ABV World Class Barleywine.

Label:
Caramel and toffee notes abound in this deep copper-colored American Barleywine Style Ale alongside toasted mail and a hint of ripe dark fruits. Old Numbskull showcases malt sweetness, intense American hops, and an aggressive bitterness. Extremely well-balanced, the full-bodied mouthfeel and assertive hop profile leads into a deceptively smooth finish. Old Numbskull can be laid down for years to come.

This barleywine ale absolutely loves food. Its Rich sweetness pairs particularly well with roasted meats, braises, and stews or a bold, decadent such as sausages, pate, and a variety of pungent cheeses.
___

Another Alemisth I had yet to review. I was able to get this one as it is in the season for the offering at Ramirez Liquor in Los Angeles California. You can also find this one wherever they sell Alesmith beers. It is a common beer around here and yet, this is the first time I have it.

Aromas:
Toffee, caramel, piney, earthy, herbal and grapefruit hops, raisins, figs, brown sugar, butterscotch, old mangoes, apples, stone fruit, biscuit bread, cinnamon, hints of oak, old oranges.

Flavors:
Earthy, piney and grapefruit hops, rich caramel, pecan pie, rich toffee, biscuit bread, apples, dried apricot, tangerine marmalade on rye bread, cherries, cinnamon, mango, oak hints, papaya, coriander spice and honey.

Aftertaste:
Close to dry but some caramel, toffee, rye, earthy and piney hopes with a bit of grapefruit. No alcohol in the taste, smooth yet a sipping beer. That is the dangerous part because at 11% ABV, you just wanna keep going. Take it easy though.

Overall:
Definitely exceed expectations quite a bit. A mix of an English Barleywine clashing with the American styles to create, well, a Numbskull. That’s what happens when you class these 2 beers together. There this aspect about this beer that invites you to feel the hops but nothing that overwhelms as it slowly eases you into the zone of sweet caramel dessert beer goodness. A good amount of hops but nothing overwhelming and just sits right. It is not as awesome as the Grand Cru or the Old Ale but this is one of those Barleywines that just sits very well. Highly recommended for sure.

Anime Corner:
Original fly girl artwork and Jedah from Darkstalkers was used in this pairing mainly for the numbskull name and the label colors. The numbskull aspect as you may tell, has to do with the little skull on he fly girl’s head as well as the Jedah looking like she forgot something or something is not quite right. Also the fact that the fly girl is drinking a wine and well as the description says, old numbskull loves food, then it very well fits as all flies love food and love sugar and well, this beer is so good that even some of the flies want some too. Evil flies though >.>. So watch out

Brothers’ Reserve series Vanilla Brrrbon ’13 by Widmer Brothers

1477901_10101564935348980_1481477607_n 1506872_10101564936771130_356420254_nRating: 4.5/5

Brothers’ Reserve series Vanilla Brrrbon ’13 by Widmer Brothers is a 10.7% ABV Winter Warmer brewed 90% with vanilla beans and aged in bourbon barrels with the last 10% being regular winter warmer ale. 

Label:
Our brewers added fresh whole vanilla beans to a few select barrels of our Barrel-Aged Brrrbon ’13, an imperial version of our Brrr Seasonal Ale aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels, for this limited edition brew. The addition of vanilla beans heightens the vanilla character imparted by the barrels, and adds a delicious layer of complexity to the beer’s oak and caramel character, making for a smooth warmer perfect for the season. 

MALTS: Pale, Caramel, Carapils, Dark Chocolate
HOPS: Alchemy, Simcoe, Cascade
___

Definitely wanted to try this beer as soon as I saw it. I have not tried the Brrrbon series but with vanilla beans? This I had to get it. I have only tried a few Widmer beers and have enjoyed some of them. Lets see how this one turns out

Aromas:
Vanilla, slight bourbon character, figgy, earthy and piney hops, caramel, hint of dark fruits, cinnamon and ginger bread. Not big on the aromas but that is okay

Flavors:
Flavors are of bourbon, coriander spice, citrus, grapefruit hops, vanilla, oak, rye bread, caramel, orange creamsicle, ginger bread, barleywine notes, tropical fruit hints, oak, some dark fruits and cinnamon

Aftertaste:
Citrus, caramel, vanilla, earthy hops and a bit of ginger bread. Alcohol is partially present in the taste but nothing detracting too much. A sipper at that though

Overall:
A very good beer but a different beer for sure. I am not sure because I was expecting a very caramel and vanilla beer but it is actually that and some notes that seems like IPA notes. Very peculiar but definitely not a bad beer by any means. It was inviting at that but it is interesting how the vanilla plays with the bourbon and the citrus. More like a barley wine than anything

Anime Corner:
Panty Anarchy from the Panty and Stocking series I used in this one to pair the beer label colors and vanilla flavors. Panty can be crude many times and is often getting into a lot of trouble (representing the hoppy barleywine like aspect). She is strong fighter but also loves to be very flirtatious (Strong ABV and Vanilla)

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.