Black Butte XXIX 29th Birthday Reserve by Deschutes Brewery

Rating: 7/7

Black Butte XXIX 29th Birthday Reserve by Deschutes Brewery is a 12.2% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Dutche cocoa, Saigon cinnamon, and cayenne. 50% aged in Bourbon and Rum barrels.

In celebration of our 29th anniversary this year’s Imperial Porter delivers notes of dark chocolate and cinnamon spice with hints of coconut, vanilla, and dried fruit finished by a warm dash of cayenne.


Essentially a Double Barrel Porter aging in both Rum and Bourbon. Every year, I try to pick up this annual release of their anniversary beer. Each year is a different blend entirely and while I feel some blends I really liked for the ingredients used, overall, I think each installment is more and more delicious with time. This year they decided to go with a chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne take with Rum and bourbon. That is crazy using a double barrel half take with what seems to be like a Mexican inspiration. Let’s see how the flavors of this one are, cheers!

Rich piloncillo sugar cone, cinnamon, nutmeg, yams, sweet potato pie, vanilla, caramel, bananas, dark fruit prunes, raisins, plums, figs, dates, rum, bourbon, oak, mint, sweetened condensed milk, coconut and marshmallow smores.

Sweet potato pie, capirotada/Mexican yams, piloncillo sugar cone, maple srup, dark chocolate, chocolate milk shake Mexican Chocolate, Belgian chocolate, German Chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, cocoa powder, rum, bourbon, oak, Dark fruit prunes, raisins, plums, figs, dates, currants, cherries
Pancho Pantera chocolate milk shake, banana sundae. Sweetened condensed milk, flan, crème brulee, tres leches cake, pecan pie, bourbon, marshmallows, almond joy, toasted coconut, molasses, mint, clove spice, bananas, grilled plantains, Danish cream, rye bread, piña colada, oatmeal cookies, raisins bread and more!

Finishing with dark fruits, cinnamon, ginger bread, fruit cake, earthy notes, dark chocolate, pecan pie, tobacco, oak, marshmallows, floral tartness, caramel, vanilla and tobacco hints. No alcohol in the taste, Pitch Black Midnight Full body, silky, velvety and smooth mouthfeel and a super easy drinkability which is dangerous. Just like each year, its smoothness will make you want to drink the whole bottle in one sitting.

Seems like every year, a different beer and a different way of preceiving the greatness which is the Black Butte anniversary. This year it seems more of a Mexican style of taste. While although spicy, the overall consensus, it was not super hot but definitely zlong the lines a Mexican desert flowing. Indeed this scream sweetness but the peppery heat is not present. Along with the many versions out there, this one should definitely be picked up!

Anime Corner:
Twili Midna from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princes was chosen once again this year for the Black Butte release as well as the other releases. Just like previous tears, I had chosen her in the previous releases since I wanted to represent the mixing of 2 of the same ale together but one specially blended. Since I did not use the chibi version of Midna for this iteration, I figure I let the adult version of her do all the talking. In this year, the Chocolate, Cinnamon and cayenne represent somewhat of a Mexican Dark Mole feel to the beer. It is actually more towards a Mexican sweet potato pie if it was mixed in with Mexican Hot Chocolate. So since Midna has a cloak like the tilma of the virgin of guadalupe it sorta ties in that Mexican culture aspect of this beer. Who’d of thought Midna would complement this iteration even more!


Speedway Stout by Alesmith

Rating: 5/5
Speedway Stout by Alesmith is a 12% ABV World Class Imperial Stout brewed with coffee.

While I have reviewed this beer in the past, I wanted to bring the dark wheel Rim looking can which fits perfectly with the whole racing aspect. Check out my old review here.

Black Butte XXVIII (28th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery

14500358_10103586625670370_7603281402284353722_o 14468505_10103586625665380_3911454266961627999_o 14481978_10103586625675360_639779613992909017_oRating: 7/7

Black Butte XXVIII (28th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery is 11.5% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Cocoa, Vanilla, Peated Malt and Sweet Orange Peel with 50% aged in Bourbon and Scotch barrels.

Imperial Porter brewed with cocoa, vanilla, peated malt and sweet orange peel, with 50% aged in bourbon and scotch barrels–“The result is our 28th anniversary imperial porter with bright orange and vanilla aroma, layers of roasty chocolate and a warm, smokey finish”

Every year, we celebrate our anniversary with an imperial, barrel-aged version of our flagship Black Butte Porter. Our brewers love to experiment and they always add some fun new ingredients to this beer like chilies, cranberries, figs and other such treats. This year, to celebrate 28 years of brewing, they’ve added the interesting mix of ingredients above for another multi-layered flavor experience.


Essentially a Porter and Wee Heavy Blend. Every year, I try to pick up this annual release of their anniversary beer. Each year is a different blend entirely and while I feel some blends I really liked for the ingredients used, overall, I think each installment is more and more delicious with time. So with year’s version, they decided to go with a chocolate and orange and additionally aging in Scotch. Let’s see how the flavors of this one are, cheers!

Dark fruit raspberries, cherries, prunes, raisins, figs, currants, blackberries, Chambord raspberry liqueur, Smoked Peat, Chocolate Orange cream hints, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, chocolate covered pomegranates, bananas, piloncillo sugar cone, raspberry preserves, Danish cream, coffee cake, Mexican Gansito cake hints, clove spice, licorice, anise, molasses and brown sugar.

Smoked Peat, Chocolate Orange cream balls, orange candies, dragon fruit, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, chocolate covered pomegranates, bananas covered in chocolate, roasted malts, Bourbon, Scotch, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, dark candi sugar, coffee, chocolate mousse, oak, bubblegum hints, fudge cake, dark fruit raspberries, cherries, prunes, raisins, figs, currants, blackberries, walnut cake, pecan pie, clove spice, licorice, anise, molasses, Chambord raspberry liqueur, Mexican Gansito cake, creme brulee, flan, sweetened condescended milk, marshmallows, wine grapes, almond joy chocolate, rye bread, abuelita chocolates, piloncillo sugar cone, raspberry preserves, Danish cream and coffee cake.

Dark fruits, stone fruits, earthy notes, Dark chocolate, pecan pie, tobacco, oak, marshmallows, floral tartness, caramel, vanilla and tobacco hints. No alcohol in the taste, Pitch Black Midnight Full body, silky, velvety and smooth mouthfeel and a super easy drinkability which is dangerous. Just like each year, its smoothness will make you want to drink the whole bottle in one sitting.

Incredible, each year’s version of this beer is nothing short of supremely exceptional. They really out do themselves every anniversary. The complex flavors of the wee heavy, bourbon, chocolate orange and much more really stood through with every sip. This brew was so damn amazing I accidently finished the whole bottle in one sitting! Whoops! Lol but seriously though, not a lot of beers make it this far and even if common ones are this good, you know hypes are trends. Never underestimate what a common beer can do! I highly recommend getting a bottle of this one or two to drink and cellar.

Anime Corner:
Midna (Both Forms) from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princes was chosen once again this year for the Black Butte release as well as the other releases. Just like last year’s, I had chosen her in the previous releases since I wanted to represent the mixing of 2 of the same ale together but one specially blended. They are both the same person and both are kick ass but that was obvious from the fact that I use them for the same beer every year that I represent Twili Midna, the taller one, as the one that represents the barrel aged percentage. In this year, the orange peel and vanilla do complement both of them as they both have orange hair and the chocolate and vanilla by the black and white of their tones.


Raven’s Eye (New Label) by Eel River Brewing

10628116_10101996997852260_9207687194802743130_n 10628221_10101996998471020_1130624855266760143_nRating: 5/5

Raven’s Eye (New Label) by Eel River Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Organic Russian Imperial Stout.

A bold creamy Stout with hints of dark chocolate and espresso balanced by an aroma reminiscent of chocolate, molasses, and plums.

If you think Raven’s Eye Stout is good now, we recommend aging it. Its characteristics become more complex over time, meaning it only gets better with age.

Raven’s Eye Stout has a special place in my heart next to Black Xantus. Back in 2010, when I started to try some craft beers and started to get appreciation for labels, I decided to get this one along with some other beers I had not tried before. This stout stuck out to me even before I started trying the Lost Abbey stuff back then. After several times of trying it, I realize why it was the cousin of the Black Xantus. IT was because while it was not bourbon barrel aged like that one was, it offered similar flavors of the Russian Imperial Stout but with dark fruit flavors. I grew very fond of this one. While it is not sold as often as I like, it is a treat to find it. I picked this one up at Ramirez Liquor when I saw the new label finally came out. So definitely I said to myself, I have to bring this one back! So here it is, once again with the new label. Cheers!

Previous 2012 Review:

Roasted Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Mocha, dark fruits, pecans, hazelnut nectar, rich currants, dark cherry, caramel, anise, earthy roasted notes, molasses, brown sugar and hints vanilla.

Rich dark fruits like raisins, currants, dark cherry, mocha, coffee, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, pecans, Irish cream, bakers chocolate, fudge cake, molasses, anise, hints of oak, earthy roasted notes, sweet toffee, marshmallow smores and brown sugar.

Roasted coffee bitterness, dark fruits, dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel and earthy hints. No alcohol in the taste, moderate to sipping drinkability, creamy mouth feel but smooth and full pitch black body.

Still the greatly awesome beer that I remember. Definitely more dark fruit forward this time around with a good balance. The same beer I had since 2011 still great and in some cases better than the previous times I tried it. The dessert beer next to the Black Xantus and not so barrel aged but yet still up there with great complex flavors for a Russian Stout.

Anime Corner:
Emeralda Kasim from Xenogears was used in this pairing as I used her in many of the Raven’s eye pairing in the past. Her colors seemed to work well with the label of the beer and the green organic aspect of the beer. The colors of her were representative of the taste in terms of the chocolate flavors and more. While her eyes are like the sun and hazel, they show a glimmer of crimson like the eye of the raven as well. She is this beer and the solitude that it represents. Forevermore….


Mogli by Caldera Brewing

10269587_10101845773836400_6632950322471472974_n 10341451_10101845774879310_3514171074839462057_nRating: 6/5

Mogli by Caldera Brewing is an 8.5% ABV World Class Imperial Porter Aged in Oak Barrels with Chocolate.

Caldera’s “Mogli” was inspired by the loss of a dear friend. This is a chocolate, oak-aged Imperial Porter. Mogli is complex, sweet, chocolatey, big and full of unconditional love! Sit, Stay, roll over, cookies? Malt beverage brewed with natural flavor. If ever in Ashland, Oregon, come by and check out the Caldera Tap House. Located 31 Water Street.

Served in a 10 ounce wine glass. Malts: Premium Two Row, Crystal, Munich, Brown, Pale Chocolate, Chocolate, Dark Belgian Candi Sugar, Natural Chocolate, Bourbon-Soaked Oak Spirals; Hops: Galena, Willamette; ABV: 8.5%, IBU: 55, SRM: 55.0

From the Caldera Kettle Series ~ Limited Small Batch Release, Mogli is a beer I have been passing up for the longest time. I guess it wasn’t until recently when I read the label that this beer was made for the loss of one of the brewer’s pet that I was like awe man, this is cute. I definitely had to try it. Now, without further ado, here is Mogli!

Rich Milk, dark and bakers Chocolate, chocolate yoohoo, plantain bananas, rich vanilla, blackberries, blue berry muffins, hints of oak, bourbon, dulce de leche caramel, cocoa powder, cocoa krispies, peanut butter, oatmeal cookies, cookie dough, dark fruits figs and dates, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, hints of coconut, rocky road ice cream, marshmallow, white chocolate, mocha and notes of Kahlua.

Very Rich Milk, dark, bakers and Yoohoo Chocolate covered blueberries, blackberries, Chocolate Cheese cake, Banana Flan, maple grilled plantains, White Russian, White Chocolate, rich vanilla, oak, bourbon, blueberry muffins, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit raisins, figs and dates, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, marshmallow, oatmeal cookie dough, rocky road ice cream, oreo cookies, peanut butter, cocoa krispies, cocoa powder, chocolate cordial cherries, fudge cake, coffee cake, brown sugar and rum.

Lingering rich chocolate, banana and dark fruit complexities with hints of vanilla and caramel. No alcohol in the taste. A sipping beer with a smoothness that can be described like drinking chocolate milkshake. Medium mouthfeel and very creamy.

HOLY SHIT! I love this beer! I definitely have a new favorite. Who would have thought that for beer that is not as coveted as many other well known beers, that this one literally takes the cake, or atleast a huge chunk of chocolate cake. I got this beauty at Ramirez but I have seen it in many places like total wine. I believe they release this almost every year so without a shadow of a doubt, a highly recommended must try. I think what really does this one in is the chocolate and the other ingredients it shows it is made from.

Anime Corner:
Original artwork by Saintversa and allinix of Deviant art were used in this pairing mainly because of the colors and the label. Blue Green or Teal is my favorite color but I mainly wanted to show a black canine as I am unable to find many good pictures to pair these beers with. I take a gut feeling and usually take a perspective when choosing these. In terms of chocolate and dark beer, I felt this was perfect because I wanted to show guilty pleasure and unconditional love, in whatever form it may be for the loss of a pet. Hence why the canine anthropomorphic pictures are hard to see. Especially since anthropomorphic I guess in the “Furry world” (Don’t quote me on this, I am not a Furry) is the dividing line between man and animal or maninal. Essentially I am trying to say how pets are part of a family and we love them as such. Either way, this beer is very special and pleasant that you have to try it!

(Brewerianimelogs On The Road) Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Wreck Alley by by Karl Strauss

10402377_10101827497242840_6320414451540469801_nRating: 5.75/5

Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Wreck Alley by by Karl Strauss is a 12.4%ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Cocoa Nibs, Coffee Beans, Vanilla Beans and aged in Bourbon Oak Barrels.

Like previous versions of Wreck Alley, this batch has additions of cocoa nibs and locally roasted Ethiopian coffee beans. But this time we didn’t stop there. Our brewers split whole vanilla beans from Papua New Guinea, added them to the beer, and left it to age in American oak barrels for an entire year. The result? All of the dark chocolate and espresso-like roast you expect from Wreck Alley, plus exotic vanilla undertones.

So I had this crazy idea that since I am always out and about trying different beers, why not try to do some quick reviews for some beers that may or may not make it to bottles and may be draft only. I did something like this long ago ( but never really took off with the idea. This time around I tried a beer at the local Uncle Henry’s Deli near my town which was really damn good. This beer was essentially the same beer I about a year ago ( but with the addition of vanilla beans. Well now, that just added some damn good level of complexity. So basically I liked it so much that I wanted to do a review for it. I also recently heard that this beer may be released in bottles, so if that is the case, I will be sure to review that one too. I will definitely try to do more “on the road” reviews for sure.

Dark, milk, bakers and sweet chocolate, coconut, rich vanilla, oak, coffee, mocha, bourbon, rocky road ice cream, flan, dark fruits like raisins, plums, caramel, toffee, tobacco, brown sugar, anise and berries and cream.

Definitely rich in Dark, milk, bakers and sweet chocolate and vanilla with the mocha coffee coming through very nicely. It is not as light funky as the previous one BA version was which I am sure is where the vanilla comes in. Lots of flavors of caramel, frappuccino, flan, coconut,bourbon, rocky road ice cream, marshmallows, anise, brown sugar, tobacco, toffee, berries and cream, Irish cream notes, dark fruits like raisins, plums, figs and currants.

Caramel, vanilla, rich chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, mild coconut lingers. Very well hidden alcohol despite the big ABV. It sure does not drink like a 12% ABV beer. A sipping beer but is very smooth and silky. It is pretty dangerous stuff as I can see finishing off a couple of glasses and then it would not be good for me.

Way better than the original and the first Barrel Aged version. I like sweeter beers so this one was sweeter than the original and the BA one so definitely a lot of extra credit there. I would highly recommend this one if you can find it on tap of even on the bottle which I am sure I will definitely try to get to maybe add some more pictures or make a comparison. Either way, definitely get your hands on a couple of drinks of this, with responsibility of course.

Anime Corner:
Etna from the Disgaea series has been a consistent character I have used for the Wreck Alley series ever since the first one I did where it shows her by a slab of concrete that was destroyed. Shes a crazy machine. Then in the second one, it shows her huge like Godzilla sitting next to some buildings. Yep. In this instance, the addition of vanilla to the barrel is like her sitting on a Prinny (the blue penguin aka her minion). So the heightened amount of flavors is like her letting her minions do all the work for her where she can just relax!

Topless Wytch by Three Floyds

1795679_10101791721173370_6150131417435990019_n 10152469_10101791721762190_6417298177099271713_n 10306744_10101791722590530_8822678616334050371_n 10168087_10101791722765180_1692902879862278644_1nRating: 5.15/5

Topless Wytch by Three Floyds is a 9% ABV Baltic Porter.

This full bodied baltic porter loaded with roasted, chocolate and coffee notes and a crisp finish is just the beer if you want to get the better of any unsuspecting barbarian from cimmeria.

Since its release in 2012, I spent a long time looking for this beer and now I have finally found it! Topless Wytch is a coveted Baltic Porter from the Coveted Indiana brewery of Three Floyds. Some of their beers are pretty much not only impossible to find in California, they are very are online as well. Unless you know somebody, then you may be able to trade. That is, until recently, when wlvliquors started to carry some of their beers and mainly since my friend Aaron found this one there, I figured I had to get this one as well. So let us dive into this deep dark brew and see what it is all about.

Very robust coffee, molasses, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate shake, frappuccino, cherry notes, currants, raisins, espresso, Kahlua, roasted barley, coconut, anise, soy sauce, molasses, tobacco, pecans, hazelnut, brown sugar and oatmeal.

Dark Chocolate, caramel, mocha, caramel, coconut, milk chocolate, chocolate shake, molasses, vanilla beans, cocoa nibs, cherries, coconut, dark fruit, raisins, dark cherries, currants, bakers chocolate, coffee mocha, toffee, fudge cake, roasted barley, Kahlua notes,oatmeal, brown sugar, pecans, tobacco, soy sauce, hazelnut, pecans, molasses, anise, leather, apples and mild yogurt notes.

Dark chocolate, coffee roasted grains, Khalua, caramel, vanilla, and earthy hop notes. No alcohol in the taste, moderate drinkability despite the ABV, Syrupy with a velvet texture.

I have no idea why, but the 3 floyds beers I have so far, I hate to say this, but some of the hype of is true as maybe the batches that they make are so carefully crafted and hard to find that maybe, just maybe, they are as delicious as they say. This is way to delicious for it’s own good. A Devil’s water per say as some of the drawings show. Either way, if you like Baltic Porters, this one is very delicious and highly recommended.

Anime Corner:
Masane Amaha from Witchblade, Sayla from Fairy Tail and Succubus original artwork by Jessica Elwood were used in this pairing to pair with the dark aspects of this beer, the label and the powerful aspects of the character relating to the complexity of the flavors. All of which are pretty much top less, but that is just the extra . A very powerful beer deserves a very powerful pairing such as this. Yes, evn if demonic at seems, they are sweet, but I am sure that the aspects of seduction since you can’t taste the alcohol are enough to get you wondering. Holy crap!

Matrimonium by Monkish Brewing

1901209_10101743508162630_2099535038_n 10001476_10101743505952060_1882047046_n 10167994_10101743506495970_1610258862_nRating: 5.25/5

Matrimonium by Monkish Brewing is an 11.1% ABV Belgian Imperial Stout brewed with Portola Coffee beans and Lavender.

Released on 3/22 (My Birthday) limited only to the Brewery and in limited quantities. This beer caught my attention since it was like for the”occasion” moment. There are several good friends of mine getting married in March and April and I wanted to do a beer review for the occasion I guess. A limited, yet accessible release from one my local Belgian inspired breweries was a must.

Very fancy chocolate, dulce de leche caramel, chocolate mousse, lavender flower notes, vanilla, anise, hazelnut, peppercorns, herbs, spices, dark fruit raisins, plums, mocha, java, figs, dark cherry, earthy notes, tobacco, oak, marshmallow smores, molasses, toffee, dry apricots, brown sugar and other stone fruits.

Herbal chocolate, lavender flowers, mocha, really fancy coffee, milk and dark chocolate, espresso beans, dark fruit raisins, dark cherries, plums, stone fruits like peach, dry apricots, , vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, peppercorns, hazelnut, anise, Bakers chocolate, earthy hop notes, tobacco, leather, oak, marshmallow smores, chocolate abuelita, cinnamon, capirotada bread pudding dipped in a frappuccino with vanilla coffee beans and lavender garnish.

Lingering Lavender, fancy coffee, caramel, cinnamon, chocolate abuelita, herbs, bakers chocolate and more. No alcohol in the taste. A sipping beer with a full to syrupy mouth feel.

Exceeding expectations in the sense that this is way different from the other Monkish beers I have tried, except Apophatic. This beer takes it to the level of best coffee beers out there. Lavender is already a very enjoyable fragrance of mine but they were able to exact it on the taste with is very unique. A very different and very enjoyable beer. This is not Mocha Wednesday or even a Barrel Aged Kopi Luwak Imperial Stout but this is still in a very special category of flavor. Maybe not as super complex as the others but it falls high in a very unique aspect. This is why local breweries rule, First, the pistachio vanilla ice cream Seme de La Vita beer, and now this. Very damn good and props to Monkish for making such an outstanding beer.

Anime Corner:
Rider from Fate Stay/Night, Nun original artwork and Tokiko and Morichika from Touhou series artworks were used in this pairing to showcase the colors of the label, the flavors and the Monk, church and marriage aspects from the beer. Lavender, the color purple was the perfect choice for Rider, The Monk aspect or in this case the Nun as well as the church represent matrimonium as the woman must take a vow of celibacy like the man but in doing so, it is like saying she is marrying Jesus Christ, so to speak. The Tokiko and Morichika was obvious as it shows the bride and groomsman in holy matrimony. I definitely like how Tokiko’s hair with the blueish purple and white hair pairs very well with the flavors and colors of the label. All in all, I was very happy with choosing the right pictures for the beer as it took a very long time.

Bombay Berserker by Clown Shoes Brewing

1378366_10101459458091250_1244609620_n 1394467_10101459457966500_2016632879_n 1378509_10101459458061310_1318389965_n 1384270_10101459458081270_1580768352_n 1380249_10101459458131170_383120147_nRating: 4.75/5

Bombay Berserker by Clown Shoes Brewing is a 10% ABV Indian-Style Chocolate Imperial Stout

This exotic stout is a relative of Chocolate Sombrero, with the Mexican spices replaced by the flavors of chai tea, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla. Dear head banging craft beer drinkers, please remember, “Our love for you is like a truck… BERSERKER!”

Recently releases in many markets. You can get this one online but if you live in California, it may come out soon as clown shoes beers are becoming more famous here. I was able to get this one online though. Clown shoes has many series. This one is the next follow up to the Chocolate Sombrero and Luchador en Fuego

Aromas are of ginger, chocolate abuelita hot chocolate, caramel, vanilla, chai tea, non spicy curry, dark chocolate, cinnamon, cardamom, bakers chocolate and molasses

Flavors are of Bakers chocolate, caramel, vanilla, roasted malts, mocha, chait tea, hints of curry but nothing overwhelming, cinnamon, chocolate abuelita, molasses and brown sugar

The aftertaste leaves with minor spiciness, hints chocolate, vanilla, mocha and roasty notes. A moderate to sipping drinkability beer with alcohol well hidden. Pretty balanced and nothing too overwhelming

Overall it is a very good beer in it’s own unique way. While I started to taste some of the spices from Chocolate sombrero, it turned the other way around. In good way of course. It it is nothing overwhelming like the other Curry beers I have had like Indra Kunindra or the coconut curry from New Belgium. It definitely has its spices under control. I think it is not a full flavor bashing beer but the offering of variety of these flavors and balance is well hit. Very solid beer and yes, worth the try for damn sure. Especially since you cannot feel the 10% ABV. If this was Barrel Aged, well it would definitely heighten this to a new level of Rock Stardom!!

Raven’s Eye (Redux) by Eel River Brewing

1235477_10101384045563560_1551061574_nRating: 5/5

Raven’s Eye (Redux) by Eel River Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Organic Russian Imperial Stout

A rich roasty brew with a deep “espresso” character. Originally brewed for the Imperial Court in Russia, this stout is a warm festive drink made with the cold Russian Winters in mind. This complex stout is brewed with a combination of nine domestic and imported malts. Only the finest Pacific Northwest hops are used to provide the perfect balance in our award winning beer.

I have reviewed this beer in the past and have tried this atleast several times. To me, this was, and will always be, Black Xantus Evil cousin. I decided to another review before the release of the new label ( This is the same beer that I enjoy so long ago when I first started trying different beers and it has made a nice comeback this year.

Aromas roasted coffee, mocha, dark chocolate, pecans, hazelnut nectar, bits of dark fruits like currants, raisins, caramel, licorice, earthy hops, brown sugar and molasses

The flavors are of rich sweet Irish cream like coffee, hazelnut nectar, mocha, rich currants, raisins, dark cherries, pecans, walnuts, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, molasses, slight licorice notes, slight oak flavors, vanilla, caramel, chocolate fudge brownies with caramel on top, pecans, cherry and raisin syrup, earthy hop bitterness near the end and sweet toffee.

The aftertaste leaves stronger with coffee, chocolate and dark fruit with a slight bitterness at the end. This beer is moderate to sip drinkability, heavy but smooth. Deliciously balanced. No alcohol presence anywhere

Overall, I don’t have to say it, this is a great beer. One of my old time favorites and still around after 2 years. It is one of those over looked beers that really should not be. Truly one of the best dessert beers our there. It will always be the cousin of the Black Xantus, the unbarrel aged epic lore. Feels like visiting and old relative 

2011 Review: (
Black Xantus cousin…Second time trying the Raven’s Eye Imperial stout by Eel River brewing. One of the very few breweries who have the USDA Certified Organic Trademark. Also one of the best Organics I have ever tried. How is this the Black Xantus cousin (Aside from being another dark bird)? or in a sense, why does it seem similar at least to me? Well this stout is a Coffee dominant chocolatey stout just like it. However, other than being less strong, there are more other flavors that Black Xantus does not have that are actually worth trying. There are flavors of Hazel nut, mocha, bread, dark fruits, caramel, milk texture, and some minor hoppy taste. Will it be good for you to try?? Well only if your into stouts and sweet bitter coffee ones. I sure enjoyed it myself that I had to do a ROUND2 review as the last time I tried it was sometimes last year. Will you actually find something delicious in this beer or will you say to this …Nevermore!! >:)..You be the judge. It is a California brew found at Bevmo

Oatmeal Yeti by Great Divide Brewing

9907_10101358396379730_774366284_n1236107_10101358397282920_784323944_nRating: 5/5

Oatmeal Yeti by Great Divide Brewing a 9.5% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with roasted oats and raisins

Much like its legendary predecessors, this Yeti is big, bold and dark. The addition of rolled oats softens Yeti’s notoriously roasty backbone and the small amount of raisins added in the brew kettle create a unique dark fruit character. Just as admired as those that came before it, Oatmeal Yeti Imperial Stout is a softer beast.

I have reviewed a couple versions of the yeti. The first one was the chocolate oak yeti which I thought was delicious. Then came the Belgian Yeti and that one was more phenomenal. The oatmeal yeti is this year’s (2013) new yeti release

Aromas are of sweet, dark, and bakers chocolate, mild espresso notes, more mocha, dark fruits like raisins, figs, pecans, caramel, rich chocolate cake, brownies, smokey notes, brown sugar and slight marshmallows.

Flavors are of graham crackers, marshmallows, sweet, milk and dark chocolate, raisin bread pudding, pecans, hazelnut, almond joy, caramel, light espresso notes, oatmeal raisin cookies with chocolate chips, almost a vanilla hint, light smokey and oak notes, figs, chocolate raisin, currants, toasted coconut

The after taste is sweet, dark fruity, bready and chocolatey. The beer is kind of syrupy and velvety like some of the best Stouts I have ever tried. A sipper but not very aggressive to it is moderately drinkable and not so bitter. This is the stuff for certain. 

Overall an awesomely perfect yeti with added flavors that work very well giving another silky layer to an already awesomely complex imperial stout. The Yetis are probably a golden standard of prime imperial stout examples (Basic one’s ofcourse, as Barrel Aged or Belgian Imperial Stouts are in a league of their own). Definitely try this, without a shadow of a doubt, this is a must get unless you find the chocolate aged one or the Belgian one. These are all great. Careful drinking this one, it is kind of addicting and you may end up finishing the bottle.

Barrel Aged Siren Noire Heavy Seas Uncharted Series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing

1005781_10101298803444450_1861030632_n 993628_10101298805440450_1847710357_n 1005638_10101298805031270_1245257992_nRating: 5.75/5*

Barrel Aged Siren Noire Heavy Seas Uncharted Series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Chocolate and aged in Bourbon Barrels

Siren Noire
Rich and velvety, this smooth brew owes its full body to healthy additions of imported specialty grains. The roasted malt flavors of coffee yield to notes of mocha, fig, and raisin – and Belgian cacao nibs impart a decadent chocolate nuance. Bourbon barrel aging finishes by adding tones of vanilla. An unparalleled flavor experience

Uncharted Waters explores the unique changes that happen to beer when exposed to wood. Each beer showcases a robust style, carefully matched with a wood treatment to showcase a range of complex flavors. Vintage dating encourages further exploration on the aging process. As much about the voyage as the destination we hope you enjoy these beers in the spirit in which they were brewed.

So I got this on whim. I wanted to get the Holy Sheet Belgian ale they had but unfortunately for me it may already be to late. Well, better luck next year I guess. Anyways, I found this one and I wanted to try as it was a Barrel Aged beer and from a brewery I have never tried before. So I decided to give it a try and damn, what a treasure it was as soon as I opened the bottle.

Aromas exploded with a great ton of coconut, chocolate, marshmallows, almonds, bourbon, vanilla, dulce de caramel (Rocky road fragrances), flan, mocha coffee notes, deep java, frappucino, 

The flavors are way too damn close to rocky road ice cream and coffee to put it as best as possible. Bitterness is definitely like an earthy and it is also oaky slightly. Flavors are are of milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, toasted coconut, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, vanilla, marshmallows, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, chocolate cheese cake, flan, crème brulee, mocha, frappucino and chocolate fudge brownies

The Aftertaste leaves off sweet with nice chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, flan and mocha notes. No alcohol presence and the flavors are complex and intense, I am surprised how they could develop these very nice flavors from such an ABV.

Amazingly enough, while it is not strong with the alcohol, it has a lot of sweet flavors. This is too damn good. I wish I could get this beer more frequently. This is really good. If you are lucky enough to find it and live Bourbon Barrel Aged beers, go get this right away. Coffee flavored Rocky Road ice cream in liquid form.

*I am a chocolate beer fanatic, so the rating maybe a bit bias but I swear, this is like rocky road ice cream in liquid form. Maybe not to the Parabola level but enough to notice. Oh, and Lots of nice coffee to go with it too

Black Butte XXV (25th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery

1012731_10101291877903290_325407295_n 971375_10101291878467160_102706796_nRating: 5.45/5

Black Butte XXV (25th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery is an 11.3% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with dates, figs and cocoa nibs with 50% aged in bourbon barrels and 12.5% with black currants added.

Dates, figs and chocolate. Black currants, barrel-aged in bourbon casks. The result is an Imperial Porter with a tart berry and chocolate aroma with luscious layers of dried fruit, oak and vanilla. A fitting tribute to the 25th Anniversary of our flagship beer

I did a review of this beer last year ( )

However, this year they mixed it up a bit by adding dates, currants, figs and cocoa nibs making this one a very special beer. Probably close to a Dubbel/Porter Hybrid

Aromas are of bananas, chocolate, raisins cherries, black berries, blue berries, toffee, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, oak, vanilla, toasted coconut, fruit cake, mocha, currants, bit of wine grapes and sweetened condensed milk. Smells like the ultimate chocolate fruit dessert. Awesome. 

The flavors are of milk, dark and bakers chocolate, mocha, coffee, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel notes, oak, bourbon, currants, cherries, blackberries, blue berries, raspberries, dates, figs, toffee, banana notes, tart wine grape notes, coconut, lots of bread quad and dubbel notes and chocolate port wine fruit cake.

The after taste is pretty sweet leaving with a nice roasted coffee bitterness followed by lots of berries, vanilla and caramel to help it along. It finishes a little dry but that is the best part too. Due to this beer’s complexity and dryness, it just makes you want to sip more. Careful though, that is how it it teases you. You see, once you start, you may like and sip after sip you won’t realize that you finished the entire bottle. 

This beer taste a lot like the Brewdog/ Stone Collaboration Bashah in Raspberries and Highland Whiskey Barrels. Lots of fruit, a great amount of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, bananas and more. I never tried the XXI version of this beer but if that one is a lot like Chocolate Rain, awesome, but this beer is phenomenal in the chocolate berry department. It really did turn out similar to a Dubbel/ Porter hybrid. I would say the difference between this beer and my last review of the Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout, is that the other one has more pecans and caramel chocolate where this one is more berries and chocolate. Quite the different spectrum here. But the hybrid is similar. Some type of Belgian Stout or Porter aged in Bourbon barrels. Close enough to some of the best beers I have reviewed on the blog which have exceeded my limits.

Drakonic Imperial Stout by Drake’s Brewing

190054_10101232584198350_941570778_n 988226_10101232587007720_471620672_n 1005892_10101232585510720_424825339_nRating: 4.8/5

Drakonic Imperial Stout by Drake’s Brewing is a 8.75% ABV, 40 IBUs, Imperial Stout

You are holding a Drake’s Drakonic Imperial Stout, A big, malty beast of a beer that exemplifies the way we roll here at Drake’s. Two-row malt is blended with Chocolate malt, roasted barley, and dark Crystal malts to make up the grist. Only one hop addition, Columbus, is added for bittering, allowing the abundance of malt in this beer to shine through. Enjoy the dense brownish head, the silky maltiness, and flavors of licorice, coffee and chocolate, rounded out with a slightly dry finish. here’s to those who don’t fear the mighty!

Aromas of this beer are of milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, coffee, rich caramel, roasty malts, minor earthy hops, vanilla, a minor rum character and whipped cream. The flavors are of milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, dark chocolate, mocha, caramel, vanilla cream, earthy hops, hazelnut and licorice. Another very good example of a stout. Not too smokey or bitter with nice coffee and chocolate with caramel aftertaste that stays with you for a bit. I definitely like the more sweeter caramel and chocolate aspect of this beer. Reminds me of some of the best beers that I have had so far. Not to the level of awesome complexity but still bring some very good stuff home.

Imperial Stout Trooper (2009 edition) by New England Brewing

181271_10101204815911220_293241217_n 971536_10101204815147750_1368371218_n 10500_10101204814354340_1817616532_nRating: 5/5

Imperial Stout Trooper (2009 edition) by New England Brewing is a 8.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout.

Brewed in a brewery not too far away and not too long ago… Imperial Stout Trooper is a full bodied stout with a majestic blend of seven different malts and Northern Brewer hops.

In A Galaxy… Far far away…. or basically in my room… I bring you a rare beer. Welcome to the Darkside of Brewing. Regardless of the gimmick or not, this beer has been rated because it is delicious. This version is the 2009 version which still has the unmodified Storm trooper helmet. Needless to say, I don’t think this beer is 8.5% anymore. It is possibly in the 10% or 11% ABV. As with many of my beer and anime pairings, I had a hard time trying to find something. Hope you enjoy this one 

Aromas are awesome, Oak Chocolate yeti like. The hops have definitely faded over time but the oatmeal, oak, smoke and rich dark chocolate is still there and very good. There is also flavors of vanilla, caramel, coffee, mocha, slight marshmallow, raisins, rum, and toffee.

The flavors are of Bakers chocolate, dark chocolate, Chewbaca Chocolate (Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti reference  ), milk chocolate, coffee, mocha, dark cherries, some bitterness but not from hops. Possibly oak, earthy or roasted coffee bean bitterness. Some vanilla, caramel, raisins, rum, anise, hazelnut, 

Would I recommend this beer? You better fuuu- believe it. This beer does not disappoint. It is very drinkable, WAY TOO DRINKABLE and Greatly delicious. I can feel the force/alcohol in this one. I cannot tell it in the flavor, but in the effect later on that it is a stronger beer. I am not sure how this beer would be in it’s prime as the bottles are hard to come by. Even the newer releases are hard to find. Regardless… Lucky you must be, To find this beer you must… Onward into the Darkside Trooper and don’t hold back!!

Mephistopheles’ Stout 2012 by Avery Brewing

600797_10101163689533810_1969873893_n 181400_10101163688875130_1511798770_nRating: 5/5

Mephistopheles’ Stout 2012 by Avery Brewing is a 16.2%ABV World Class Imperial Stout

Mephistopheles is the crafty shape shifter, the second fallen angel; he who does not love light. Herein he patiently lies, waiting and willing to do your bidding, but for a price. Enter into his darkness, a tangled and intricate labyrinth of bittersweet rapture.

Brewed with Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, turbinado sugar, hops, and a hellion of a Belgian yeast strain.

Been meaning to try this one for a while. I kept passing it by the store but one of my friends recommended I give this one a shot. So here we go.

Aromas are of very rich dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, coffee, cherries, raisins, prunes, soy sauce, caramel, vanilla, tobacco, brown sugar, coffee cake, smoked malts and molasses

The flavors are very good. Despite the fact that it is at a very high ABV, it is really good. Reminds me of Old Rasputin and Chocolate oak aged Yeti with flavors or dark, milk, bakers chocolate, cherries, raisins, prunes, figs, coffee, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla,molasses, brownie batter, chocolate cake, chocolate syrup, anise, licorice, minor soy sauce, smoked campfire oak, chocolate cake, Belgian bread, hazelnut and earthy hop bitterness. I can pin this beer to many others I have had and this definitely is a great example of a great world class imperial stout, non barrel aged of course. This beer reminds me of a Dark Lord imperial stout if it was more smoked and had Belgian characteristics. I definitely recommend this one for sure. If you are able to find this, get this for sure. While it is is seasonal, it is actually easier to find than many other beers of this caliber which are harder to find. This is my third Avery beer I have tried and it definitely makes me want to try their other awesome beers.

Speedway Stout by Alesmith

539648_10101141430091910_1736433839_n 521771_10101141414373410_1308248859_nRating: 5/5

Speedway Stout by Alesmith is a 12%ABV Imperial Stout brewed with coffee. Considered a world class beer by many reviews

Speedway Stout’s Ominous, Pitch-Black appearance has become a hallmark of this modern-day classic. Chocolate Roasted malts dominate the flavor, supported by notes of dark fruit, toffee, and caramel. A healthy dose of locally-roasted coffee from Ryan Bros. Coffee, Inc. Added to each batch brings out the beer’s dark chocolate flavors and enhances its drinkability. Despite its intensity, speedway stout’s fine carbonation and creamy mouth feel make it very smooth and surprisingly easy to drink. This beer ages very well and will continue to mature for many years to come.

This beer’s great balance makes it a very food-friendly imperial stout. Pair its roasty flavors and robust mouthfeel with rich beef dishes and char-grilled foods. Both chocolate and vanilla desserts also pair well, as do salty blue cheeses like Stilton or hard nutty cheeses like aged Gouda and cloth-bound cheddars. Serve in a goblet at 50-55 degrees. 

I have been meaning to try out the Barrel aged version as soon as I can find it. However, I figured I try it out before the new come. The aromas are very good. Very thick fragrances of bakers chocolate, brownies, coffee bread, hazelnut, mocha, french vanilla coffee beans, latte or esspresso, caramel, dark fruits like black currants, raisins and cherries, oak, and a nice chocolate cake breadiness. Definitely haven’t tried a coffee stout like this. The coffee used in this seems like a coffee enthusiast coffee. Like a Kopi Luwak almost. The flavors also are of very rich, milk, dark and baker chocolate, currants, black cherries, raisins, french vanilla cream, hazelnut cream, pecan nectar, coffee bread, mocha, espresso coffee, chocolate brownies dipped in caramel, and finally camp fire smores with the chocolate, marshmallows, graham crackers and drinking a Starbucks coffee. The coffee in this is definitely high quality stuff. The coffee flavors are very different in this beer. The alcohol is nowhere to be found especially for 12% ABV. Remember, this is not barrel aged so a beer of this high ABV would find it hard to cover up such great alcohol with out aided complexity. The coffee does the job here in place of the bourbon or whatever else aging agent. This beer is simply amazing. I am sure the bourbon barrel one is probably going to be insane once I can find it, and the Kopi Luwak Bourbon one…..well.. let’s just hope I don’t go through the whole bottle in one sitting, it may just be that good.

Bourbon Barrel Stout by Anderson Valley Brewing

536838_10101122854891760_984799768_nRating: 4.5/5

Bourbon Barrel Stout by Anderson Valley Brewing is a 6.9%ABV American Stout aged in Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrels

Complexity. Aged for three months in Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels, this luxurious stout has a deep ebony hue and a beautiful mahogany head. The woody, vanilla-like notes imparted by the barrels mingle with aromas of fresh baked bread, toffee, and espresso and envelop the rich chocolate and roasted barley flavors with a fine bourbon character. Our exclusive partnership with Wild Turkey gives Anderson Valley a world class, consistent source of barrel age, allowing our brewers to explore new frontiers in barrel-aged craft beer.

Immediate aromas from this beer are of milk chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, slight coconuts, mocha, coffee, caramel, slight anise, brownie batter, bakers chocolate and brown sugar. The flavors are are chocolate chips, brownies, dark chocolate syrup, earthy hops, caramel, vanilla, oak, bourbon, milk chocolate, slight coffee, coconuts, graham crackers, brown sugar, maple, some anise and some roasted hazelnut notes. The beer is really good. It is not extremely boozy but it does have the right amount of barrel-aged notes to make it awesome. I have had other barrel aged stouts that were definitely better, but this one gets a good grade because it is the type of beer that provides the great bourbon barrel-aged flavors at smaller ABV with closer moderate to easy to drink levels which is good for those that are beginning to roam into barrel-aged territories of craft brewing. It is no Abyss or Chocolate Rain, but it is still a very good beer.

Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout by Wynkoop Brewing (April Fools Ed.)

561302_10101118554644490_10430060_nRating: 4.8/5

Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout by Wynkoop Brewing is a 7.5%ABV Foreign Stout brewed with….. Bull Testicles. Yep that’s right… >.>…. who has the balls to try this lol.

The beer is a meaty foreign-style stout brewed with loads of dark malts, specialty grains and freshly sliced & roasted bull testicles. A special ultra-limited-release beer, it weighs in at 7% ABV and 3 BPB. (That’s balls per barrel.)

This was the April 1st 2012 April Fools joke of the year for craft brewing. The crazy part about this is that many people thought this was real and eventually, the brewery decided to make this a real deal. I am pretty open minded about a lot of things. Some things even like Kopi Luwak (Civet Cat pooped Coffee Beans) are actually not bad. Many people would find this offensive. I even doubted myself whether I actually wanted to do this or not. Once I got my hands on these, well, there was no turning back. Many people said it wasn’t bad and had a “nutty” taste to it. Like actual peanuts, walnuts or hazel but well I was skeptic but too bad. So I said screw it. If I am the kind of guy who has had frog legs, snails, Iguana tails, crickets and other things, why not this? Well, this may not be the craziest thing I’ve done, but oh well. Hell, in Mexico, one time my aunt tried to give me some cooked Bull balls and I said no. Anyways…. The fragrance was like a nice bakers chocolate, a little bit of coffee notes, some hazelnut, caramel, light vanilla, slight funkiness (possibly the ball meat) and earthiness too. The flavors are of….really nice actually. Wow. Joking aside this was really good. A lot of caramel, milk and bakers chocolate, vanilla, almost like a very minor raisin and rum flavor, some pecan, hazelnut cream, chocolate mousse, walnuts, like a oak or barrel aged quality but very very small notes and very small notes of like a smoked meat or smoked steak like flavor in the aftertaste but sometimes that is normal like a smoked dry stouts I have had before which people say taste kind of like ham or bacon. Although, the extra chocolate probably makes up for what would be the testicular flavors if there was any. Although there was hardly any smoke in this beer. If I was not told that there was bull testicles in this, I would not have known. This stout is amazing. Joking aside, creamy chocolate, nice sipper and really nice after taste. I could not find anything that resembled meat (except maybe in the aftertaste)or salty oysters like in the sea oysters stouts I have had before. Hype and skepticism aside, this turned out to be a really great stout. Although I am not sure if this is quite possibly the biggest gimmick in weird beers I have tried so far. Civet poop coffee was quite good too. 

For those interested in the original video that started it all, here you go:

I had a hard time trying to find something that would fit the whole “Bull Ball” theme. Then I remember that Red Bull uses synthetic Taurine which is an ingredient that could also be obtained from Bull Testosterone (although they don’t). So yeah I put two and two together and there you have it. Enjoy

Vampire Slayer by Clown Shoes Brewing

480280_10101112241830420_2006912402_n 483242_10101112254080870_1771976731_nRating: 5/5

Vampire Slayer by Clown Shoes Brewing is 10% ABV American Imperial Stout, cousin of the Blaecorn Unidragon

In a world full of uncertainty, hardship, and people trying to hold us back, do we need Vampires, too? Clown Shoes says, “No! Die, monsters, die!”

Our second anniversary ale incorporates signature dark malts, holy water, and malt smoked locally with hickory, ash, and vampire killing stakes.

I have had the Blaecorn unidragon (
The Angry Beast which is essentially a blend of both Blaecorn Bourbon Barrel Aged and Vampire Slayer (This beer) (
Even the Porcine Unidragon (
However, now I complete the series by trying that Vampire Slayer

The aromas are of light coffee, dark and bakers chocolate, some soy sauce, some anise, roasted coconut notes, slight vanilla and caramel fragrances. The flavors are of Milk chocolate, coffee, smoked malt, honey glazed ham minor notes, some caramel, molasses, slight licorice, almost like oreo cookies and crème, mocha, cappuccino, vanilla, almost like a pecan or hazelnut dessert and some dark fruit notes like a raisin, cherry or currant. It gets sweeter as it warms up and the smokiness starts to fade away. That’s where this beer strikes gold, just like the Blaecorn Unidragon. I think now that I have tried this one, I think the Angry Beast was more a full hybrid of the two beers with only some bourbon notes. I understand where this one is coming from so I probably would have rated the Angry beast higher. Oh well, maybe next time 😉 . This has Holy water, so it is definitely a bonus 😛 . Those that love imperial stouts will love this one as it is a very exceptionally awesome one. Just like its cousin, it draws it’s sword to fight Vampires while its cousin fights Dragons…. so yeah….it works ^.^

Barrel Aged Wreck Alley by Karl Strauss

525152_10101102355587530_102859647_n 72699_10101102356311080_1016620103_n 480802_10101102356375950_906223931_nRating: 5.35/5

Barrel Aged Wreck Alley by Karl Strauss is a 10%ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Cocoa Nibs and Coffee Beans and aged in Bourbon Oak Barrels.

When we tasted the first batch of Wreck Alley Imperial Stout, we knew barrel-aged versions were in the cards. The only questions were when and how often? Batch #1 answers the first question, and as for Batch #2, you’ll just have to wait and see. Brewed with the same darkly-kilned malts, Tcho cocoa nibs, and Ethiopian coffee beans from Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, Batch #1 was aged three months in American oak bourbonbarrels. The resulting brew is a dark, unblended, and richly flavored union of dark chocolate, espresso, and toasted oak. Grab a bottle while you can, this limited release won’t be around for long

Been waiting a while for the right time to get this. The fragrance of this beer is of nice dark, milk and bakers chocolate, coffee, some vanilla, some bourbon and funky oak. The flavors are very good and it was a surprise as the fragrances weren’t as complex. The flavors are of a lot Milk chocolate, vanilla, very rich dulce de caramel which is unlike many beers I have tried, a good amount of funky oak, grapes, plums, berries and creme, minor bourbon and almost like a chocolate and blueberry cheese cake flavor. This almost reminds me of the Hellshire II. The Coffee is not as strong or bitter as the smell but it is still there to lend a mocha like twist. It is highly drinkable which is very surprising. Not only is this a 10%ABV beer but the boozyness or even bourbon lends a hand only enough to make this incredible. This may not be like the utmost ABV high of dessert beers I have ever had but, simply because it is a rich and thick dessert beer with hardly any sense of alcohol that I could find offending or even attributing, I still consider this a great beer. I like it a lot. I really think it has to do with my love for rich sweet beers like chocolate rain or organic chocolate. Hell, it lends to hints of berries and crème. That’s good stuff!! Sometimes you don’t have to be highly impacting or complex to get to the sweetness that is a great beer. Some people may not find it as great because it is not a supreme bourbon bomb dessert but regardless it is still a winner and a favorite of mine now.

Folklore by Stillwater Artisanal (2013)

 71717_10101051880669670_606677221_nRating: 5/5

Folklore by Stillwater Artisanal is an 8.4%ABV Belgian Strong Dark Mythic Tradition Ale. This is the second time I try this brew and yes… the beer is quite legendary. A favorite of mine from the Stillwater Artisanal line.


Human history is filled with myths and legends that shape and define our culture. Rituals, celebrations, gatherings.. whatever. One thing that’s for sure, is we enjoy a proper shindig. So let’s get the stories flowing and share a little ’Folklore’. A bracingly deep ale, built dark and rich with an elegantly lean body, accompanied by heady aromas of Belgian yeast, earthy hops and gently kissed by a wisp of smoke.


There is a good amount of smoke and roasted notes in the fragrance. Chocolate, sweet bread, grapes, raisins, cherry, caramel, champurrado, port wine, floral spices and peppercorns. The flavors are of a dark saison leaning toward Belgian Chocolate Stout. Mocha Coffee, dark and bakers chocolate, dark cherries, raisins, caramel dulce de leche bread, earthy hop bitterness, port wine, champurrado and a glaze of honey smoke. The aftertaste is left with lingering bread, plum and chocolate sweetness. Simply fantastic. A Rauch Black Saison/ Belgian Sweet Chocolate Stout hybrid. Evil looking, almost macabre and so good for the taste.. and the soul..
2012 Review:
Have you ever wondered if there was an ale out there that people talk about it in myths in legends? Well maybe not beer. More like actual historical and cultural myths and legends. Folklore Mythic Tradition Ale by Stillwater Artisanal (gypsy/gangster) brewer for me is such a beer. Well mainly because I have been looking for this beer for a while. LOL but seriously, the ale is a respective tribute to the human history and how with the myths and legends that people tell define what people cultures are. Whether it be through traditions of rituals, gatherings or any form of celebration within the cultures, one thing for sure is, it is about being social and sharing stories. This brew has both good and evil written all over. It is what is awesome about the our cultures that we have both elements to bring about awareness as well as a guide as to how lead ones life through decisions. Tribute to this super fine ale. This is a Belgian yeast beer with earth hops, roasted malts and smokey oak flavor. Chocolate, cherry, plum and caramel bread overwhelms the palette with minor pine bitterness that lingers after. This ale drinks like a stout but it is not heavy like a stout. It flows well. There also seems to be some floral notes in here as well. There is also a bit of sourness too it that stays after but then is immediately replace with sweet and bitterness after every sip. Wish they would sell more Stillwater Ales here in California. Beer aside, the art is very detailed and well rich. This bottle, like the Stateside Saison or any of the other Stillwater beers is worth collecting on its own. An awesome find, legendary and mythical at that because if you ever find it, then you know the story of this ale was true >:)

Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Cauldron by Grand Teton Brewing

307218_10100969359522710_644190825_nRating: 5/5

Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Cauldron by Grand Teton Brewing is a 8% ABV Russian Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels. 

This is part of a rare release of brewers’ series beers that may be available soon. The beer has no particular description noted. I have tried the regular version of this beer in the past and have considered it a favorite. With a release of a barrel aged version, it brings forth something even more magical, mystical, dark and well, just delicious. 

The aromas of this beer come off as a semi sweet semi bitter bakers chocolate, coffee, mocha, vanilla, some bourbon, oak, dark fruits and berries. The taste reminds me of the Oak Aged Chocolate Yeti with bourbon. It is pretty good. Like a Dark and semi sweet/bitter bakers chocolate and coffee cake dipped in a little bit of bourbon with notes of wooden oak barrel, caramel, vanilla, blackberries, raisins, cherries, sweet bread, minor earthy hop bitterness with disappears into some coconut like notes but just a little bit. It is quite smooth and rich going down. It is not super boozy but you get some nice notes of the oak and the bourbon. It is not like the Old Rasputin Barrel Aged but it is still a great barrel aged stout. Remembering how good the original was for me, this is a great step up in complexity and a must find.

Dragonstooth by Elysian Brewing

75199_10100933726197180_1390636216_nRating: 4.8/5

Dragonstooth by Elysian Brewing is a 7.5% BV Oatmeal Stout. Oatmeal stouts are the type of stouts that provide that smooth taste as well as are responsible for a little bit of extra sweetness not found in other stouts even for being full bodied. Oatmeal Stouts differ in the sense that they are are stouts with smoother and richer taste.


A smooth and sturdy stout, made with 10% rolled oats, roasted barley and chocolate malt. The name is referential to the founders of Thebes, warriors who sprang from the earth when the teeth of a slain dragon were sown by Cadmus. Bittered with Chinook; finished with Cascade and Columbus hops.

This beer has strong aromas of sweet chocolate, bakers chocolate and dark chocolate along with coffee bread and mocha. The flavors are balanced as there is still some coffee roasted notes to balance out the sweetness. This is a very good and sweet beer. Not to the ultimate chocolate level but close. Coffee caramel cake dipped in Rich dark, sweet, and bakers chocolate (like the chocolate oak aged Yeti) with roasted bitterness that only works to balance and not to make the stout bitter. Other flavors I can tell is like a creamy oatmeal with cinnamon but only notes of it are there. It is a smooth beer for being a rich and heavy stout. The after taste is only as bitter as a small amount of coffee beans go but the sweetness of the oatmeal lingers. I am not sure if they decided to give me an older beer (Possibly aged) as this one is the older label. The new one is different. If it was aged, it aged very well and therefore the review is right on.

Mocha Porter by Rogue Brewing

23885_10100928490409740_1000318734_nRating: 4.45/5

Mocha Porter by Rogue Brewing is a 5.3%ABV Sweet Porter 


Ruddy brown in color, a bittersweet balance of malt and hops with a light cream finish.13 Ingredients:
Malts: Great Western 2-Row, 
135-165, 95-115, and 70-80 Crystal; Chocolate, Black, Carastan & Rogue Micro Barley Farm Dare Malts
Hops: Williamette & Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution & Freedom hops
Yeast & Water: Rogue’s Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.
No Chemicals , Preservatives or additives
54 IBU
73 AA
77º Lovibond

Rogue makes some pretty awesome beers. This one should be no exception. The some smokey bakers chocolate aromas and sweet caramel on a mocha Frappucino. The flavors are of caramel, chocolate, coffee grounds, mocha, brown sugar, earthy hops,. Vanilla, raisin bread and whipped cream. There is this underlying chocolate cake flavor that reminds me of the Oak Aged Yeti. Good stuff here :P. So much rich flavor and a little bits of alcohol. Worth the try 🙂