Firebird by Gigantic brewing

10150639_10101820424855960_8816744483120056967_nRating: 4.65/5

Firebird by Gigantic brewing is a 6.1% ABV Smoked Hefeweizen.

Label:
Beer# 18 in the endless series of limited edition artist and artisan beers.
Firebird Smoked Hefeweizen
A refreshingly complex wheat beer. Aromas of clove and banana intermingle with the light smoke imparted from German malt kilned over beechwood fires.

“Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss”
-Douglas Adams
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A smoked hefeweizen? Never had such a thing but it sure does sound tasty. I got this one online on the bringonthebeer.com site. I have had Gigantic beers in the past and they really have some nice labels that pair awesomely with some of the anime art work. They do this in the name of beer and the arts, so to that, I say cheers!! Now let us see what this one is like.

Aromas:
Burnt sugar, grilled bananas, smokey campfire but doesn’t overwhelm the hefeweizen, sugar cream, oranges, citrus, coriander spice, brown sugar, waffle cone, biscuit bread, honey glazed ham, old orange, peppercorn and clove spice.

Flavors:
Smoked ham, grilled bananas, burnt sugar, clove spice, coriander spice, smokey campfire notes, old oranges, citrus, biscuit bread, brown sugar, honey, graham crackers, toffee, caramel, vanilla, oak, bubblegum and BBQ.

Aftertaste:
Ending pretty dry at the end with a small bit of the smokey oak, banana and clove spice fading. No alcohol in the taste. Easy to moderate drinkability with a light to moderate mouthfeel.

Overall:
A very good hefeweizen if you enjoy hefeweizens and the smoked beer styles. If not, then this one you may not like. However, the way this is done, not one style over powers the other. It is pretty well balanced keeping the beer smoke and the sweetness in line. Definitely recommended if you can find it.

Anime Corner:
Youmu Konpaku from the Touhou series was used in reference to the beer label and the ashy smokey aspect of the beer that blends well with the hefeweizen style. The feather in the back of her sword suggests that she is the firebird referenced in the beer label itself. Any other things you can find from this beer that seem awesome?

Lava by Ölvisholt Brugghús of Iceland

1470120_10101539089339590_304178292_nRating: 4.35/5

Lava by Ölvisholt Brugghús of Iceland is a 9.4% ABV Smoked Imperial Stout

Label: 
The active volcano Hekla is visible from the brewhouse door and occasionally, eruptions are visible from the Ölvisholt farm. The illustration resembles the view from the brewhouse door when an eruption occurs. Full-bodied, pitch black beer with a dense brown head. Richly flavored with notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt and smoke.
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I have never had any beers from Iceland, but a lot has to do with the fact that Beer was not legalized there until 1989. This beer came from the Rare Beer Club’s November release. Apparently, the description in the pamphlet the beer came it says that it is rated as one of, if not, the best Iceland beer. So to try this out and able to do a review here is an honor.

Aromas:
Very nice dark chocolate, caramel, smokey wood, oak, coffee, peat, beechwood, vanilla, anise, earthy hop notes, sweet bread and dark fruits

Flavors:
Definitely campfire charred and roasty wood notes, beechwood, dark chocolate, smoke, molasses, dark fruits, plum sauce notes, light soy sauce, anise, black licorice, molasses, lots of caramel and toffee as it warms up, silky oak, marshmallows, graham cracker smores and bacon notes

Aftertaste:
Finishing off with a smokey, chocolate, licorice and oaky taste that lingers a bit. The beer is a sipper but I cannot tell the difference from the taste. Meaning if I taste boozy or charred flavors. Most likely charred since I do not feel a tremendous amount of alcohol even after drinking this for a while. Good stuff

Overall:
Very good smokey beer. I have tried some really good smoked stouts in the past and this one can definitely go toe to toe with some of the greats. The beer is not unpleasantly smokey or bitter. Everything seems to work so well with this one. The brewery has been exporting to North America so we may see this one in the shelves more often. I would recommend this if you like smoked stouts.

Anime Corner:
The character in this piece is the archer/prophet class from the series Atlantica Online. I could not find her name, just the class. I do not know much about the Atlantica series, but the pairing was done on the whole Lava flowing down the mountains. To my surprise, I chose the artwork from the Atlantica series before I even knew where it was from. Atlantica fits perfectly as Iceland is in the Atlantic.