2016 Preservation series The Grade A.K.A Squirrel! By The Bruery

14706841_10103627990554810_4776698668215944823_oRating: 6/6

2016 Preservation series The Grade A.K.A Squirrel! By The Bruery is a 7.6% ABV is a Baltic Porter brewed with maple syrup and Fenugreek with natural flavors.

Label:
“SQUIRREL!”

The Grade is in. It’s built on the backbone of a rich, cold-fermented baltic porter made popular in countries bordering the Baltic Sea. We then hammer it home with the bold, sweet flavors of maple syrup and a touch of fenugreek.

==Introduction==
14711274_10103627990574770_1395474795761396310_o
Released to all societies (Preservation, Reserve and Hoarders), this Baltic Porter/Dark Lager was originally named Squirrel. Why thought? There does not seem to be anything relation to squirrels other than the maple syrup and maple trees. Then again, why was it called ‘The Grade’. I do not know that either. Well, regardless, here is the first Baltic Porter I try from the Bruery. The Baltic Porter being a Porter fermented using lager yeast instead of ale yeast makes for one complex beer. The Bruery already being complex as hell with their beers makes me wonder how crazy this would be. Especially the Fenugreek which I have not tried although it is said it tastes like maple as well. Let’s take a closer look at this one, cheers!

Aromas:
Coffee, maple syrup, roasted barley notes, dark fruits figs, currants, cherries, blackberries, raisins and plums, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, peanut butter, walnuts, almond joy, marshmallows, mocha, bananas, clove spice, toasted peanuts, caramel, vanilla, leather notes, anise, mint, Danish cream cookies, brown sugar, cinnamon and fruit cake.

Flavors:
Rich hazelnut, maple syrup, walnuts, pecan pie, praline ice cream, macadamia nuts, toasted coconut, toffee, butterscotch, almond milk, Nutter butter cookies, Bitter Peanut Butter cup, toasted peanuts, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, marshmallow, smores chocolate, fenugreek tea, black tea, mocha coffee, Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, coffee, tobacco, leather, molasses, anise, mint chocolate chip cookies, Danish cream cookies, flan, crème brulee, cookie dough ice cream, cinnamon, earthy hop notes, bananas, clove spice, fruit cake, dark fruit cherries, figs, currants, blackberries, raisins and plums.
14753724_10103627990479960_2176497445977444895_o
Aftertaste:
Finishes with complex sweet nuts like peanut butter and hazelnut, maple, fruit cake, dark fruit, cinnamon, coffee, tea, dark chocolate and earthy notes. No alcohol in the taste, dark full body, smooth, creamy, syrupy and chewy mouthfeel along with moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Freaking delicious and damn exceptional. This beer is like a liquid trail mix of all sorts of nuts, dark fruits, creamy goodness and chocolate. Of course, the complexity goes a long way especially for Baltic Porters and while they are rare styles of beer, this one made by the Bruery is nothing short of freaking awesome. There isn’t much I can say that is bad about this one unless you don’t like strong brews or sweeter tasting ones. I highly recommend picking this one up if you are a preservation member at least.
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Anime Corner:
Makoto Nanaya from BlazBlue was used in this pairing mainly for the old name of the beer, Squirrel. I did not know why it was called Squirrel until I finally took a couple of sips. Since it is very nutty, using Makoto was perfect as she is a squirrel girl. I mainly based it on the flavors and the old name but the colors of the label don’t pair that well for the most part. Either way, I think they should of left it as Squirrel!
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Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/et15FEh.jpg
http://danbooru.donmai.us/data/sample/__makoto_nanaya_blazblue_drawn_by_todd_l_milhouse__sample-a7d0e788c22a7ba70997f8dd255e4330.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/49MKiyu.jpg
http://i4.pixiv.net/img-original/img/2015/09/17/10/35/05/52568339_p0.png
http://tbib.org/images/2392/b9d44f3c0cd0fd6598075d785a9b692ae6bf6945.png

Abundance by Renaissance brewing

11102_10102205526718740_7303628266843194255_nRating: 5/5

Abundance by Renaissance brewing is a 7.6% ABV Baltic Porter brewed with cherries.

Label:
A hybrid of English Porter and Russian Imperial Stout, Baltic Porters are full bodied and smooth, with rich malt flavours. Abundance is brewed with cherries and this helps accentuate the sweetness of the eleven different malts that we used in the mash. The result is a robust, dark beer with exceptional smoothness, less burnt characters than traditional porters and a mellow cherry finish. Abundance is a perfect pairing for a kiwi barbecue, with an iron curtain influence: venin rye bread

==Introduction==

A Baltic porter from Marlborough New Zealand. I cannot recall if I ever had had a New Zealand beer before, but what this says it has to offer, I was definitely intrigued with the find. I honestly chose this on a whim since I was doing other beer purchases online and I needed to get another beer to finish my order. This one intrigued me since not only was it a regular porter, but a Baltic one at that. The addition of cherries, well, that just added to how much I wanted to try it. I cannot recall if this will be my first review for a New Zealand beer, but this is a new review here on the site for Renaissance brewing. Cheers!

Aromas:
Coffee, mocha, dark chocolate, chocolate milk shake, milk chocolate, dark cherries, cherry cordials, marshmallow hints, soy sauce, molasses, anise, mint chocolate, brown sugar, Dr. Pepper Cherry hints, vanilla, caramel flan hints, rye bread, pecan pie hints, hazelnut, soy sauce and dark fruit raisins.

Flavors:
Dark Chocolate, chocolate milk shake, bakers chocolate, coffee, cherry cordials, dark fruit raisins, dark cherry, currants, black berries, mild rye bead, marshmallow, mild roasty hints, milk sugar, soy sauce hints, mocha hints, pecan pie, dulce de leche caramel, hazelnut nectar, vanilla, Dr. Pepper Cherry hints, anise, Irish cream and mint chocolate cake.

Aftertaste:
Mild Roasty coffee, milk sugar, rye bread, dark fruit, dark cherry yogurt hints and dark chocolate. No alcohol in the taste, medium to full body dark crimson body, easy to drink, smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

Overall:
I could find myself drinking this all day. So much rich flavors and yet so damn smooth. For those that don’t want a super boozy chocolate cherry beer, this fits the bill right here. Lots of flavor complexity with rich sweetness and not overwhelming booziness. Yeah I think I really like this one a lot that I will definitely pick this one up again. Not just worth one try, but several. Especially since all the other great cherry chocolate beers are sometimes harder to find.

Anime Corner:
Asmodeus (Lust) from Seven Deadly Sins was used in this pairing to represent Abundance. Abundance in the sense that this is liquid pleasure to your taste buds. It’s a guilty pleasure. A cherry chocolate and dark fruit guilty pleasure of a beer. This Asmodeus isn’t evil, she only is by name and association with sin. She is very sweet and very approachable and as you can see, there is an Abundance of her to go around. So give her a try, you may like this devil’s water.

Sources:
http://enjelia.deviantart.com/art/7-Deadly-Sins-Asmodeus-394843440

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.

Label:
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.
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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.

Aromas:
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.

Flavors:
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.

Aftertaste:
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.

Overall:
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!

Jurata Collaboration by Coronado and Cigar City Breweries

1489052_10101684850528000_576981799_n 534072_10101684851461130_2022681092_nRating: 4.15/5

Jurata Collaboration by Coronado and Cigar City Breweries is an 8% ABV Baltic Porter.

Label:
When naming this Baltic porter, a collaboration with Tampa’s famed Cigar City Brewing, we opted for Jurata as a nod to a mythological mermaid known to roam the depths of the Baltic Sea, just as energetic yeast used to brew this deep dark beer navigated our fermentation tanks. Dive in and enjoy Jurata’s true-to-style rich and complex flavors!
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Picked this one up at one of the local liquor store places near my house since I wanted to try this beer for a while. It was a super hyped one, but a collaboration with Cigar City would definitely make for one tasty treat. I figure, scratch this one off the review list and time for a presentation.

Aromas:
Dark Chocolate, molasses, anise, coffee, brownies, roasted barley, caramel, soy sauce, raisins, tobacco, earthy hops, hazelnut, pecans, licorice and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Roasted coffee notes, anise, dark chocolate, roasted barley notes, earthy hops, tobacco, leather, raisin hints, soy sauce notes, nutty pecans, hazelnuts, oatmeal, maple, mild smokey oak, smoked clams, oysters, brown sugar and vanilla hints.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate fading, tobacco, earthy hops, anise and hints of caramel. No alcohol in the taste, moderate to sipping drinkability with medium to full mouth feel.

Overall:
A very good beer that is enjoyable but nothing specifically too extraordinary. Drinks similar to a sweeter Black IPA. I enjoyed Coronado’s Barrel Aged beer better than this one. Although, the rarity of the style makes it interesting. Although one of the best Baltic Porters I had was the one from Uinta called Sea Legs. Although that one is aged in bourbon barrels, so yeah, maybe that is cheating. Nevertheless, this one is very good and worth a try if you are interested.

Anime Corner:
Visitor artwork by moni158 of deviantart.com and original mermaid artwork by houtengeki were used in this pairing to show the Jurata siren which lured men at sea in with their beauty to the their watery graves in the Baltic sea. The label and colors were perfect for the artwork but also the Coronado mermaid was even more perfect for the beer in comparing to the Baltic sea. Aside from the very obvious, is there any other things that can be said about these pairings?

Parrot in a Palm Tree by Karl Strauss

484752_10101494937505220_223810333_n 1468748_10101494937719790_1711247771_nRating: 5.45/5

Parrot in a Palm Tree by Karl Strauss is an 8.5% ABV Holiday Baltic Porter aged in Port Wine Barrels

Label: 
In San Diego, we’re not known for our partridges or pears but we can all relate to those noisy parrots and their relentless “caroling”. Parrot in a Palm Tree is a robust Baltic Porter brewed especially for the Holidays. Aged two months in San Pasqual Tawny Port barrels, the resulting brew isn’t for the birds. This winter warmer boasts a complex bouquet of dark fruits, espresso and chocolate, with hints of oak in its warming finish. Raise a glass to 2010 or save a bottle as this limited release will age with the best of them.
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A rare beer that I was only able to find online. This beer is the first in the Twelve Days of San Diego Christmas beers. Aged 3 years so far as the beer came out in 2010. Just the fact that it is aged in port wine gives me that reminiscence of Troise Pistoles. I have been looking for the previous versions of the Karl Strauss Christmas beers. Last year I had the third installment, Mouette à Trois (Three Seagulls) which I reviewed and though the world of that beer. The fact that it aged since 2010 and in Port Wine? I can only think the world of this beer. 

Aromas:
Just like the Bruery’s Partridge in a Pear tree, very rich dark fruit raisins, figs, plukms, dark cherries, raspberries, sweet port wine, grapes, chocolate, pecan pie, brown sugar, fruit cake, light coffee, caramel, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, strawberry marmalade and raisin bread pudding 

Flavors:
Good amount of rich port wine but nothing that burns, pleasant raisins, chocolate, mocha, coffee, java, hazelnut, pecan pie, fruit cake, molasses, Blackberries, currant marmalade, vanilla, dulce de leche, raisin bread pudding, rich figs, coconut, and brownies.

Aftertaste:
The aftertaste leaves off rich as well, with nice figs, raisins, port wine, chocolate, coffee and fruit cake breadiness. Hard to detect the alcohol in the taste, but if anything it brings a great splash of flavors. Easy to moderate drinkability with hardly any harshness. Kinda smooth really

Overall:
Freaking great and very delicious. Exceeding expectation but expected from a beer that is aged in port wine barrels and tasting like Trios pistoles, but also close to the initial flavors of the Bruery’s Partridge in a Pear Tree (except the pear). That and I love parrots. Sue me, I just do. Each flavor I had mentioned earlier is not only notes, but actual nice rich flavors coming through Highly recommended if you can find it. It is aging very well and hopefully by the 12th Christmas of San Diego release will be just at peak.

Anime Corner:
Dizzy is one of the characters from the Guilty Gear series. In the Art work, it matches the beer label as she is with the parrots. The colors are representative of the label as well. In terms of the complex flavors, it brings forth one of her ultimate features, which is complexity of power and emotions. The sweetness of this beer and complexity only shows you part of her true potential. If this beer is mean to age until the 12th release of the Christmas of San Diego beers, her true potential will reach its peak. 

Vocaloid Hatsune Miku in the second picture represents the same color as the parrot thus complimenting the label. That is about it for my visual comparison. She is also sweet like this beer.

Kurofune Porter by Baird Beer

24640_10101140014598570_121548260_nRating: 4.6/5

Kurofune Porter by Baird Beer of Japan is a 6% Baltic Porter

Label: 
Kurofune (means “Black Ships”) was the word the Japanese used to describe the American gunboats that came to open Japan to western trade. Kurofone Porter is sleek and forceful, but leaves a winning bittersweet taste of chocolate and coffee on the tongue. “Do not resist the superior might; cunningly acquiesce, and embrace.” Kampai!

Baird Beer is brewed at the foot of Mount Fuji by Japan’s pioneering craft brewery. Lovingly and authentically crafted, it is unfiltered, re-fermented in the bottle, and naturally carbonated. Please drink contemplatively, Beer Drinker-san.
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I haven’t had a chance to review a lot of the Japanese beers (which I should seeing as my website sure has a lot of “Japanese” influence 😉 ) Anyways, I decided I finally give this a go. The fragrance of this beer is very nice. Starts with fragrances like bakers chocolate berries and raisins, molasses, coffee, slight banana, slight hazelnut and caramel. The flavors are of milk chocolate, molasses, raisins, blackberries cherries, coffee, mocha, roasted malt notes, hazelnut, slight soy taste and some earthy hop notes to it as well. Stuff like this makes me wonder how craft beer and sushi would be like. Some of the beers like Asahi black and others go great with sushi. However, I am thinking some craft beer, especially from Japan would make great pairings for sushi. Anyways, if you can find this little bottle of amazing go get it. It is a very good porter. Oishi desuyo!!! ^_^

Crooked Line Series Sea Legs by Uinta Brewing

559886_10101066236869730_1781372966_n 285274_10101066238246970_1375446029_nRating: 5/5

Crooked Line Series Sea Legs by Uinta Brewing is an 8%ABV Baltic Porter aged in Bourbon Barrels

Label:
Complex and drinkable, Sea Legs delivers flavors of roasted malt and chocolate. Sea Legs was aged in Bourbon Barrels for nearly 12 months adding toasted vanilla and bourbon notes to the flavor profile. This Medium-bodied Baltic Porter has a complex malt profile and mild hop bitterness. With a hidden ABV of 8%, Sea Legs is a siren of a beer.
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An evil beer that draws in the craft beer treasure explorers of the 7 seas of flavor. This siren mistress tackles the olfactory senses with fragrances of vanilla, oak, chocolate, cherries, molasses, bread, walnuts, pecan pie and somewhat herbal or hoppy. The taste buds are tainted with awesome cursed flavors of bourbon, oak, milk chocolate, vanilla, wine grapes, cherries, molasses, caramel, burnt coconut, earthy hops, pecan pie, slight bready notes, some herbal notes like a basil as well as some nice slight spicy notes. While not being extremely overwhelming alcohol wise, this is dessert in a bottle. It is rich and delicious. Extremely pleasant in every form. It is not your usual porter or barrel aged beer. Some seductive qualities that may only be found in the deep darkness of flavor. I really do not think they were kidding when they said this was the siren of beers.

Smoke Lager by Surly Brewing

554522_10101004962738580_1660804613_nRating: 5/5

Smoke Lager by Surly Brewing is an 8.2% Baltic Porter. This is not an ale, it is cold brewed like other lagers. Yet… it is strong.

Label:
Ebony-hued, Smoke wafts out of the bottle and into your senses, borne on the wings of European traditions, wrapped in American innovation. Lager-brewed, like any true Baltic Porter, with smoked malts from Bamberg, Germany, the home of Rauchbiers, then mellowed by oak-aging. Black malt flavors mesh with notes of raisins, plums, figs and licorice with the subtle smoke on the side, for a complex and luxurious, yet silky smooth drinking experience. It’s a sipper at Alc. 8.2% by VOL., but everyone knows you can’t have Smoke without fire!
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Limited release from Surly brewing. Some of their stuff, like 3 Floyds is hard to find so to get something like this is really nice. The smell of this beer was of a nice roasted coffee, cloves, anise, bacon, banana, slight bitter dark chocolate, smoke campfire, cherry oak, toffee and vanilla. The flavors are really nice despite being a Rauchbier. Smoked Honey Glazed Pineapple ham, beef jerky almost, raisins, cherry, caramel, smokey campfire, oak, vanilla, toasted oats, dark chocolate, biscuit bread, figs, licorice, toffee and burnt sugar. This beer is almost like the took a porter, a German bock and a rauchbier and fused them together. Sweetness and smokiness combine to create a smoked beer that is quite unique from others I have had. LOL except maybe “Smoking wood” from The Bruery but that is another story in itself as that one is bourbon aged, higher ABV and more complex. I am surprised this one called a lager. Then again, lager brewing is done in colder temperatures where the flavors can be alittle bit more controlled. Regardless… Awesome job on this beer. Definitely recommended for even those that don’t like smoked beers.