Shadowboxing by Monkish brewing

12042702_10102824687760050_832628104663881439_nRating: 4.5/5

Shadowboxing by Monkish brewing is a 7% ABV Belgian Dubbel

==Introduction==

Obtained a growler fill at Monkish. Many of the great beers I have tried but this time I wanted to bring an original Dubbel style from them. The Shaolin Fist was the dubbel but with Szechuan peppercorns and this is the original. I may do a review on the Shaolin Fist sometime in the future but for the mean time, here is the review for the original athlete, the dubbel! Cheers!

Aromas:
dulce de leche caramel, rock candy, candy sugar, Dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, cherries, blackberry, dates, vanilla, biscuit bread, clove spice, banana notes, Stone fruit peaches and brown sugar notes.

Flavors:
Dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, cherries, blackberry, dates, Stone fruit peaches, vanilla, biscuit bread, clove spice, banana notes, rich dulce de leche caramel, rock candy, candy sugar, toffee, molasses, blackberry marmalade, pecan pie hints, raisin bread pudding and fruit cake hints.

Aftertaste:
Nice rich dark fruit, clove spice, banana notes, earthy notes and candy sugar finish. No alcohol in the taste, medium brown body, smooth, syrupy and creamy mouthfeel and an easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
Very delicious Dubbel reminiscent of the delicious Dubbels of Belgium. Sweet mainly and some spicy goodness as part of Dubbels to keep stuff balanced. A good amount of the dark fruits, Belgian candy sugar and more all over. I recommend a try if you are ever at Monkish Brewing.

Anime Corner:
Original Boxer girl was used in this paring as I wanted to pair with the theme of boxing mainly. The name of shadowboxing is the style and training one does to compete in the sport. How does the beer relate to the name it is given? I do not know but two fist are needed to box. If boxing was a form used by monks of Asia (I guess Kick Boxing would work) then the relation to Monks by name and a tie to Belgian Monks and Tibet monks then the beer might have its link by proxy.

Sources:
http://lh5.ggpht.com/-dPstQVRYKoM/TcL2IeYCHCI/AAAAAAAAIJw/fNyu3KN_920/s9000/BoxerGirl.jpg

Sgt. Stiglitz Hefeweizen by El Boracho Home brewing

11178279_352556421607133_3759715342169095004_nRating: 4/5

Sgt. Stiglitz Hefeweizen by El Boracho Home brewing is a 4.9% ABV Germen Hefeweizen.

==Introduction==

A much appreciated and awesome donation by my good friend and homebrew brother, William Carranza. This here is his first Hefeweizen! To go with the the German aspect of it, Will chose the name from one of the characters from his favorite movies, the Inglourious Basterds where the character Sgt. Stiglitz was famous for killing 13 Gestapo officers. I think the fact that the Heff is low in ABV could explain how Stiglitz could swoop in like a ninja and take out nazis. Meaning that the fact that this could be good and make you drink many would enough to take you out too. Let’s examine this one and special thanks to William once again, Prost!

Aromas:
Light banana notes, clove spice hints, bubble gum hints, vanilla hints, coriander, orange hints, peppercorn and peach cereal notes.

Flavors:
Banana, clove spice, coriander spice, orange hints, caramel, honey notes, peach hints, toffee, wheat bread and biscuits.

Aftertaste:
Banana notes, wheat bread, orange hints, honey, caramel toffee and peach hints. No alcohol in the taste, caramel gold body, crisp, smooth and refreshing mouth feel and easy to drink.

Overall:
A very good heff that got better the more I drank it. Definitely in that summer ale range. While it is more of a lighter heffeweizen, a good amount of the delicious banana and clove spice of heffs can be found in this one.

Anime Corner:
Asuka Langley Soryu Shikinami from Neon Genesis Evangelion was used in this paring to go with the Sergeant Stiglitz as she is German descendant and an Eva pilot who would brutally and viciously destroy her enemies down to ripping their guts out in rage. Yes, as seen in The End of Evangelion movie. So definitely fitting for the Sergeant’s character but also this beverage which is easy going and smooth but keep drinking more I am sure you will have a “wonderful” time.

Sources:
http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/379623-2480×3508-neon+genesis+evangelion-gainax-soryu+asuka+langley-eva+02-jacky-long+hair.jpg

Humdinger Series Belgo Sutra by Magic Hat Brewing

1239606_10101382481388180_30846482_n 1185889_10101382480015930_645808691_nRating: 4.65/5

Humdinger Series Belgo Sutra by Magic Hat Brewing is an 8.2% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with Figs and Dates

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION (Ratebeer.com)
A complex Belgian Strong Ale brewed with figs, dates, and dark candi sugar. Throw out your inhibitions and lose yourself in intense pleasure.

Official ddescriptionmagichat.com/elixirs/belgosutra)
Beer has never known such sensuality as with Belgo Sutra. Brewed with six different malts and fermented over figs and dates, this Belgian-Style Dark Ale offers a deep complexity that caresses the palate to a scream-inducing climax.
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Despite the fact that the ratings on the websites are moderate to good about this beer, I still wanted to seek out for 2 reasons. Great label art but also, I am a fan of Belgian Dark Ales. Also, this beer is mainly sold in the east coast so it was no easy task to find. I had to resort to online sources. 

Aromas are of dark fruits like raisins, plums, caramel, chocolate notes, cherry, earthy spices, bread, candi sugar, figs, dates, cinnamon, brown sugar, cloves and banana notes.

The flavors are of figs, and dates, plum notes, raisins, candi sugar, walnuts, maple, cinnamon, clove spice, rye bread, pears, apricots, molasses, chocolate notes, bananas, caramel, cinnamon, brown sugar, cloves, lemon meringue and slight cherry notes. 

The after taste stays figgy, nutty, notes of residual raisin and caramel notes. Alcohol seems to be a little present in the fragrance but not as much in the taste.

Overall the beer is very good. A very nice strong dark ale close to a quad even, which I think should be considered a quad. I does a very good job in a lot of aspects, but you can definitely find way better Belgian strong darks out there that are more common. Not that this should be passed up though. If you can find it, get it as it is pretty limited and worthy of taste merit.

Cuádruple 2011 edition by The Bruery

1010684_10101265117436480_2062014029_n 1013963_10101265112845680_1263655758_nRating: 4.8/5

Cuádruple 2011 edition by The Bruery is a 10% ABV Provision Series Belgian Quadruple brewed with Agave

Label: 
Cuádruple is our spin on the classic Belgian-style quadruple, brewed with a heaping amount of dark agave nectar. It will age gracefully for several years. 

Description (beeradvocate):
Cuádruple combines elements of Belgium with elements of Mexico, hence the name, meaning “quadruple” in Spanish. We blended a classic Belgian quad recipe by removing the standard Belgian candi sugars and replacing them with dark agave syrup. The resulting beer is a luxurious tribute to two very different parts of the world. 
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Was able to find this bottle at the Bruery tasting room for a decent amount. Interesting for them to sell a beer that has not been seen for several years. Oh well, when the opportunity rises. This beer has been aging for 2 years so I wanted to get a review going. There are not of agave beers out there or Tequila barrel aged beers for this matter. This one is unique since it is one of my favorite styles but made with agave instead. I have had agave juice by itself on several occasions as many of the local Mexican super markets sell the little bags of juice. As a kid, this was my version of Hi-C 

Aromas of this beer are of agave juice,lots of candi sugar, dulce de leche caramel on pecan pie, a sweet potato like fragrance, raisin bread pudding, plums, dates, rich figs, toffee, cinnamon, brown sugar and molasses.

The flavors are of definitely of a quadruple with the dulce de caramel, raisins, figs, plums, candi sugars, dates, ripe banana notes and spicy cloves followed by agave juice, dark chocolate, vanilla, dried apricots, sweet potato pie, pecans, walnuts, molasses and Tequila notes.

The flavors stay consistent through and through always bringing out rich quad notes with agave sweetness. After taste stays sweet with apricot bitterness and raisin sweetness. The beer hides the 10% ABV well making it of decent drinkability. An amazing beer with great flavors. Belgian beer lovers will find this one a bit different. The agave nectar really does the job taking the Belgian quad into more of a Mexican approach on delicious flavor.

Knuckle Sandwich by Bootleggers

1515_10101218238961320_968552110_n969054_10101218225313670_1442045989_n 993771_10101218224001300_1008180281_n 935922_10101218225982330_1294493020_n972142_10101218224969360_1763847830_nRating: 5/5

Knuckle Sandwich by Bootleggers is a 10%ABV World Class Double/Imperial India Pale Ale

Label: 
This is a beer that truly lives up to its name! Brewed with copious amounts of North American hops, this Double IPA has a colossal hop profile and an aggressive aroma. Helping round out the floral and citrus notes is a huge malt backbone that provides a great mouth feel to this heavyweight hitter.
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First had this at King’ Row Gastropub in Pasadena California. Back then I wasn’t aware how great and very sought after this beer was. It is brewed locally here in Fullerton California but even the demand for this beer is insane. By the time I wanted a bottle to review, it was sold out pretty much everywhere. I went to the local liquor store in the street where I grew up since I knew back then they had some nice beers but had not been back there since 2011. To my surprise, there it was, the Elusive Knuckle Sandwich. Even so, there was not many left and I am sure they would be gone soon enough. Didn’t hesitate to get this one to be able to do a good review and bring this one forth in another one of my Art and Beer pairings.

Aromas are very tropical and grassy. Grassy, piney, citrus, floral and grapefruit hops, pineapple, mango, papaya, kumquats, lychees, peaches, guavas, dragon fruit, melon, a scent of plum, orange, lemon, biscuit bread, caramel, pepper notes and mint.

The Flavors are of Caramel, sweet bread, vanilla, rich grassy, herbal, piney and chewy hops, followed by very nice tropics of oranges, pineapple, mango, plum notes, cherry notes, papaya, kumquats, lychees, peaches, dragon fruit, apricots, guavas, very mild banana notes and honey dew melon. The aftertaste lingers with a lot of tropics and herbal hops. The alcohol is somewhat hidden does not detract from the beer’s flavor. In fact, it adds like a honey flavor as well. It is quite balanced for sure.

This beer is essentially what hop head dreams are made it. This beer does not disappoint and it is as awesome as the last time I remember it even though I had it fresher back in March. It a fist full of awesome IPA goodness. Dare I call this one, Heady Topper the 2nd? Yes, I just did. The balance is phenomenal and if you are mainly into more tropical IPAs, then this one is to try. I myself love Tropical IPAs as well as Super hop bitter ones as well. This would be in my top list of awesome Double IPAs along with Ruination, Pliny the Elder, Double Jack, Hop Stoopid, Hangar 24’s Double IPA and others I have reviewed so far. A great example in great west coast double IPAs

 

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Ruby created by DawnBest http://dawnbest.deviantart.com/art/The-Many-Forms-of-Ruby-the-Echidna-345683691

 

Otiose by the Bruery

935014_10101146739631550_1924334654_n 427812_10101146739252310_1507309113_nRating: 4.45/5

Otiose by the Bruery is a 8.2%ABV Sour Brown Ale Aged in Oak with Guava.

Label: 
Created for no purpose besides satisfying an intense craving. Pleasantly tart with tropical notes balanced by roast malt.

Description:
Defined as “serving no practical purpose”, the recipe for Otiose was developed during a rare break in the brewing schedule; a recipe we came up with to satisfy our own desires and nothing more. The result is a sour brown ale aged in oak barrels to which we added guava. Riddled with tropical notes which are balanced by it’s malty backbone, Otiose is a rich and decadent sour ale. 8.2%, Cellerable for up to 3 years.
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The fragrance of this beer are of sour wine grapes, notes of caramel, guava, lemon citrus, passion fruit, plum notes, apples, cranberry, raspberry, oak and vanilla. Aside from the sour grape wine flavor, this beer has some nice sweet notes. Flavors of pecan, guava, banana notes, cherry, raspberry, caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, brown sugar, citrus, lemon, grapefruit, honey, some toasted rye bread and some sour funkyness. The beer is quite balanced. There is enough tart and caramel notes to make it pretty interesting. This is similar to some of the great Jolly Pumpkin ales. So if you love sours, have fun trying this one 😛

Chocolate Sombrero by Clown Shoes Brewing

547439_10101127270452940_666475813_nRating: 4.8/5

Chocolate Sombrero by Clown Shoes Brewing is a 9%ABV Mexican Chocolate Stout

Label: 
Roasted dark malts plus extra chocolate malts plus ancho chile plus cinnamon plus organic vanilla extract plus a chocolate eating, beer drinking, Clown Shoes wearing, multi limbed, gorgeous and glorious Mexican wrestler on the label. That’s the recipe for a Chocolate Sombrero!
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Thinking of the Fry from Futurama meme (Hmm… not sure if racist label, yet, could be a good beer). Ahh, who cares. This is what happened to the Wiccans who got offended at Witch’s wit or some other controversial labels totally ignoring what good things were said and how good the beer was. I tend to ignore controversy and go straight to the source about what this is all about, beer flavors and art work. I am Mexican and I like having an open mind 😛 . Got this one at Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights California as recommended by one of the guys there. This review is for you Alex :). So I decided to give it a try. Fragrances are of lots of dark chocolate, Chocolate Abuelita (Mexican dark hot chocolate bars), milk chocolate, coffee, mole or pipián sauce, cinnamon sticks, mild spicy chile smell, almost like a cola aroma, earthy hops and slight hazel nuts. The flavors remind me a lot of that New Belgium Mole Ole beer I had a long time ago. This is very good. Flavors are of sweet chocolate, dark chocolate Abuelita, mild ancho chile spice there for enhancing the flavor,slight coffee, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, cinnamon sticks, some pecan and hazelnut notes, very mild bitter earthy hops and slight banana notes. I have had other chile beers as well as chile stouts and this one is pretty good. Not too overwhelming with heat or spices and enough bitterness and spiciness to control the levels of rich chocolate. I still like how this is still more chocolate than anything else, so yeah, this one is a highly recommended beer for sure.

Saint’s Devotion by The Lost Abbey

526927_10101095686682070_1742354079_nRating: 4.75/5

Saint’s Devotion by The Lost Abbey is a 6.66%ABV Belgian Pale Wild Ale brewed with Brettanomyces.

Label: 
It’s an unassuming road leading to the priory. Here, off the corner of two intersecting roads, dedicated monks have been making beer for over 150 years. It’s always been a simple life — the kind that requires they brew only enough to sustain the activities of their monastery. In the silence of passing seasons, they pray, they brew and retire in solitary existence behind the sheltering walls. They live a most interesting life. Most likely one we couldn’t sustain.
Nearby, each summer, the trellised fields spring to life as rows of resinous green cones are trained toward the heavens. Rumor is some monks love these hops and being surrounded by budding yellow aromas and the leafy pungent fields inspired them. Since we aren’t sensible enough to locate our brewery near hop fields, we can only offer this blond ale in celebration of our Abbey brethren and their steadfast Devotion.
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The last time this beer was released years ago. Way before I got into beer tasting or any thing related to craft beers. This year it was released in small batches. For those that never tried this one. I’ll admit, I have yet to try the regular Devotion, which I will be getting soon. So being a big fan of The Lost Abbey beers is no excuse. The aromas are very sweet. Cane sugar, flowers, vanilla, pilloncillo sugar cone, caramel, flowers, peaches, apples, honey, biscuit bread, orange marmalade, slight mango and herbs. The flavors are a bit different. Some vanilla, sugar cane, caramel, and honey, peaches, citrus and mango are still there. Although since this is a Pale and Wild ale, there is some hoppy, grassy, and rich grapefruit bitterness and some funky grape wine sourness as well. Nothing too detracting from the ale but balances out the sweetness. Some other flavors like peppercorns, prickly pear, papaya and banana notes. As you let the beer sit, some more grapefruit sweet, sour and bitter flavors come out. This was quite good and got way better as I let it sit. So now there is no reason to not try the regular. Although the regular may not taste like this awesome one, I am sure it will still be Holy…

Organic Gingerbread Ale by Bison Brewing

68911_10100950628080670_97443679_nRating: 4/5

Organic Gingerbread Ale by Bison Brewing is a 6%ABV Gingerbread spice ale brewed with Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon

Label:

Gingerbread Ale our spiced holiday porter is brewed with only a touch of spices for the aroma of fresh baked gingerbread men! The chewy dark malt flavors are sure to smooth out that dinner with the in-laws.
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The aromas on the beer are of cloves, gingerbread, cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe some pumpkin spice but it is not very fragrant. The flavors of this beer are not too strong. I can tell that there is some cinnamon, some ginger spice, a little bit of biscuit, ginger bread, some grainy cereal, faint chocolate and coffee, and somewhat of banana notes as well in the after taste. While this beer is not super overwhelming, it is still pretty good. Very drinkable and goes down well. Worthy of a taste although Sam Adams Merry Michief I think is a better alternative for the holiday season. Still, if you want a gingerbread beer that comes in a pack to share got get this one.