2014 Bourbon Barrel Aged Magnificat by Monkish brewing

10850301_10102225117294070_7403981009477901996_nRating: 6/5

2014 Bourbon Barrel Aged Magnificat by Monkish brewing is a 12.6% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Holiday/Christmas Ale brewed with holiday spices and aged in bourbon barrels.

Following the traditions of Belgian Noel beers, Magnificat is our first offering of a Christmas beer. Like a Belgian-style strong dark or quadruple ale, this dark beer has a rich, silky malt profile of caramel and roasted malts, rye, and oats, and reveals complementary accents of dark stone fruits and spices from our Belgain yeast. And to create that liquid-Christmas experience, the beer is spiced with clover honey, sweet and orange peels, coriander seed, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Aged in bourbon barrels for 10 months.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all in the world. Another year is almost done and more beers to come for next year. Monkish Brewing in Torrance has released it’s, what I believe is, first bourbon barrel aged beer for Christmas. Only 50 cases of this was released to the public so if you want to get your hands on this winter warmer of a quad like dessert, visit them for sure. For being one of those breweries that is specifically inspired by the awesome works of Belgian beers, this is an awesome brewery. Cheers to another year of beers and have a Merry Christmas. Here is to you and your loved ones, Cheers!

Rich Dulce de leche caramel, fruit cake, vanilla, hazelnut, pecan pie, coconut cream, toffee, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, dark cherries, chocolate cherry cordials, brown sugar, molasses, anise hints, banana, clove spice, coriander spice, pumpkin spice, ginger spice, ginger bread, all spice, nutmeg, stone fruit peaches, applies, red velvet cake, Danish cream cookies, port wine hints, marshmallow chocolate smores, almond joys and dark chocolate.

Rich dulce de leche caramel,oak barrel forward, bourbon, vanilla, flan, cinnamon, rich fruit cake, chocolate cherry cordials, rye bread, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, dark cherries, almond joy chocolate, maple syrup, coconut, marshmallow, dark chocolate smores, hazelnut, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, bananas, clove spice, allspice, nutmeg, red velvet cake, Danish cream cookies, waffle cone, milk sugars, rock candy, candi sugar, burnt sugars, key lime pie, stone fruit peaches, apricot, apples, coriander spice, ginger bread, molasses, anise hints, brown sugar, toffee, port wine hints, leather notes and tobacco hints.

Holiday spices like allspice, nutmeg, bananas, bourbon, pecan pie, dark fruit, fruit cake, gionger bread and bourbon. Some alcohol in the taste but not detracting from the flavors, sipping drinkability, syrupy and creamy mouthfeel and dark crimson full body.

Holy cow! This almost feels like drinking a Bruery Barrel Aged beer, like the Black Tuesday. This beer was quite unexpected as I was not sure how much bourbon and oak barrel character I would get and even enough to see if it would have a dramatic effect on the original magnificat. Damn, was I surprised. The richness I would expect from drinking some very epic bourbon barrel beers is right here but the fact that this one is a holiday beer and a Belgian one at that changes the direction this one goes to. IT goes into an awesome holiday direction. It is understandable that this one is limited but this one is one that would do extremely well with age. This is their strongest beer yet at Monkish and is one I truly enjoyed. If you can somehow find this one or if they still have it by the time you read this, get it. Even at 20$ I think it was all the while worth it.

Anime Corner:
Samus Aran from Nintendo’s Metroid series was chosen in this pairing since I wanted to show a Christmas time anime character. However, due to the fact that this was bourbon barrel beer, I had to bring forth a bad ass yet sexy bounty hunter santa. Samus pairs well with the colors since this beer’s label is very bright and colorful pairing with the colors of her original Zero suit but also the background. The light reds and colors of the Christmas lights also pairs with her and the Metroid hiding behind the Christmas bag. The beer is as strong as complex as her character in the variety of Metroid games but she was also one I used with Founder’s KBS. A great pairing to end the 2014 Christmas year.


Magnificat by Monkish Brewing

1484319_10101561164226340_1783595688_nRating: 4.9/5 

Magnificat by Monkish Brewing is a 10.1% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Christmas ale brewed with spices

Following the traditions of Belgian Noel beers, Magnificat is our first offering of a Christmas beer. Like a Belgian-style strong dark or quadruple ale, this dark beer has a rich, silky malt profile of caramel and roasted malts, rye, and oats, and reveals complementary accents of dark stone fruits and spices from our Belgain yeast. And to create that liquid-Christmas experience, the beer is spiced with clover honey, sweet and orange peels, coriander seed, nutmeg, and cinammon.

It is Christmas time at the local brewery here in Lost Angeles and Monkish has finally started releasing beer bottles at their local. Knowing that this is only for the season, I decided to get one of these bottles from my local brewery for review. As I stated in my previous reviews, I loved the Anamoly and the Seme De La Vita which I loved on tap. They are barely starting distribution in the south land here and will be hitting some locations of California. If you are in the area, stop by and give them a try. Another reason I am reviewing this is because I loved it when I had it on tap

Lots of dark fruits like raisins, plums, prunes, oats, licorice, citrus, mint, chocolate, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, sweet bread, a bit of ginger, herbs, nutmeg, cinnamon spice, brown sugar and molasses. 

A subtle amount of mint and pine goes through, good amount of citrus and oranges, dark cherries, raisins, plums, maple, dark chocolate, earthy notes, molasses, anise, licorice,vanilla, caramel, ginger bread, raisin bread pudding, coriander spice, toffee, herbs, cinnamon and brown sugar.

The aftertaste is chocolatey, spicy, bready, toffee, earthy notes, citrus, herbs and peppercorns linger. A sipper but one that is very enjoyable and there is no alcohol in the taste

This is great beer. The bottle version of the beer seems more minty than chocolate at first but let it warm up and the flavors blend very well. I love the flavors of both that I have tried so this one is a definite hit with me. Although the way Seme De la Vita hit was simply amazing. They will soon be releasing bottles of that but if you are in the area, go to Monkish and check out this awesome Belgian goodie for yourself 

Anime Corner:
Maya Natsume from Tenjou Tenge aka La Trappe Quad girl is the one I used for this pairing for several reasons. I personally call her La Trappe Quad girl because I used her in my previous review of La Trappe Quad which I used her hair colors and eyes to represent dark fruits. In this part, I show her as being ready for more of a festive Christmas tradition. So if you can buy the fact that it is a Christmas beer and she was paired with a Belgian beer in the past, just take my word for it, it works.

Trois Pistoles by Unibroue

392735_10101113207505200_2137198974_nRating: 6/5 *This and St. Bernardus are my top favorites in the world, so please advise as it maybe bias or ambiguous to your decisions… never the less, this one still world class and a common beer at that.

Trois Pistoles by Unibroue of Canada is a 9%ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale. The ultimate in best beers in the world at a very common distribution.

Trois-Pistoles is a remarkably mellow dark ale. To complement its aroma of ripe fruits, it has a pleasant aftertaste that lingers on like old port wine

Enough said, this has been one of my favorite beers ever since I started this hobby. I’ve had this beer over and over again. In fact, this beer can age for at least 7 to 9 years. So definitely will do another review then.

The aromas are of Dulce de leche caramel, Belgian bread, dark cherries, figs, plums, raisins, pears, apples, apricots, chocolate port wine, grapes, vanilla, pecans pie, candi sugar, almost like a coca cola scent, rum, earthy, brown sugar, and whole sugar cone. The flavors are just epic!!… A major rush plum, cherry, raisins, dark and sweet chocolate, port wine, raisin bread pudding, dulce de leche caramel, Belgian bread sweetness, candi sugars, rum and some maple notes. The ale is almost like a Rum and coke but if they were baked in a chocolate cake with fruits and lots of caramel all over and ofcourse the cake batter was made with port wine. While I have had other extremely awesome beers that are super rare and hard to find, this one never let me down, even since the beginning. That is why this beer and St. Bernardus will always have that special place in my heart. This is a world class beer, look it up its awesome!

2011& 2012 Reviews: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/trois-pistoles-by-unibroue/

 About the Legend: http://www.unibroue.com/en/beers/18/history

Trois Pistoles (Three Coins) is named after a small village of Quebec. Founded over 300 years ago, Trois Pistoles gave birth to several legends, including one about the Black Horse. It involved a local bishop who conjured up a good devil (appearing in the form of bridled black steed) to haul large brick stones to construct a new church. When someone accidentally removed the bridle, the black horse suddenly vanished just as the last remaining stone was to be set. This stone is still missing, as can be seen when visiting the local church.

Lips of Faith Series Cascara Quad by New Belgium

577377_10101092847541730_1773082401_nRating: 4.75/5

Lips of Faith Series Cascara Quad by New Belgium is 10%ABV Belgian Quadrupel brewed with dates and coffee cherries added

Local roasters Novo Coffee turned us onto Central America’s Cascara, the fruit or husk that surrounds coffee beans. When dried, it can be made into a tea with hints of cherry and tobacco. Blend that into a quad fermented with gorgeous malts and date sugar for a crazy complex beer to warm winter nights. 

Freaking sweet. Quads are some of my best styles out there. To know that NB brewed a quad, definitely had to get 2 of these. The aromas are somewhat apparent but still there. Chocolate, cherries, biscuit bread, vanilla, caramel, some dark fruits, a little bit of bananas and very faint oakyness or brown sugar. Flavors are almost like Three Philosophers, almost. Cherries, chocolate, dulce de leche caramel, bananas, cloves, phenolic esters, biscuit bread, coffee cake, raisin and pecan pudding, dates, toffee, tobacco, candi sugars, . In terms of flavor, that is what hits this one home. Maybe not as aromatic as other quads but the flavors are great. The balance could use a little work as you can sense the alcohol but doesn’t detract too much from the flavors of this one. I picked up 2 since I thought it would be awesome. Well, I sure was not disappointed. This is still a very good beer and would pick up again if no other quads available. Also, at 10% this is definitely a winner. Just be careful because if it warms up then the booze becomes more apparent but the complexity is still complex but not supremely complex. Some people may like this while others may not.

Quadrophenia by Black Market Brewing

556706_10100940989097270_1345948295_nRating: 4.75/5

Quadrophenia by Black Market Brewing is a 11% ABV Quadrupel ale.


Quadrophenia is a Belgian style quadruple ale. Trappist ale yeast adds the spicy , phenolic flavors sometimes mistaken for added spices. The caramel come from the Coconut Palm Sugar added to the brew to lighten the body. The smoothness of Quadrophenia is deceptive, but make no mistake, it’s 11%ABV. Enjoy Quadrophenia in a chalice or tulip style glass.

Quadrupels are some of my favorite beers in the world. Each one more sweet than others. This is the first beer I try from this brewery so I’ll see how it is. Fragrance of the beer starts off with a nice scent ot that banana esters, caramel, dulce de leche bread, candi sugars and dark fruits. Some slight citrus off fragrance as well. The flavors are just like that of the quadrupel ales that I enjoy. Banana and raisin bread, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, plums, candi sugar, slight chocolate, toffee and spices. Some oakyness in there is in the aftertaste but the sugar is still dominant. It is not like some of the other Belgian Quads that have that Mexican cajeta (caramel) flavors but minor oak is there . The most interesting part about this beer is its drink ability. It goes down pretty smooth. The alcohol is not harsh for being 11% ABV. Well done with the balance of flavors as well. Quadrupel and Belgian beer lovers may like this one. It is delicious but it still missing that authenticity of Belgian that could only be produce with the strictest of ingredients. Having sugar added might not make it as authentic although the Trappist yeast does. Regardless, it is still a great beer worthy of the try. It goes down so well and not too overwhelming. It hits those quad notes for me for sure. LOL Although it is harder to find than let’s say..oh St. Bernadus 12 abt 😉

Chimay Peres Trappistes Grand Reserve 2012 by Bières de Chimay

484273_10100936358691640_1190877036_nRating: 5/5

Chimay Peres Trappistes Grand Reserve 2012 by Bières de Chimay S.A. is a 10.0%ABV Belgian Strong Dark Trappist Ale. This is exactly the same as the Chimay Blue except for the fact that it has been aged and the ABV is 10% vs. the 9% of the Chimay Blue. I have already done the Review on the original Chimay Blue in the past: (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/chimay-grand-reserve-ale-by-s-a-bieres-de-chimay/)

In 2012, the Chimay Trappist brewery will be celebrating its 150th birthday. To mark this occasion, the Chimay Grande Reserve (Chimay Blue Cap) will be adorned by a decoration inspired by its long term tradition.

No doubt in my mind, hands down, Belgian Trappist beers are just simply some of the best in the world. Some of them are Dark Belgian ales while some maybe quadruples. There is a major difference between them. While the some quads taste like Dark Belgian beers, not all Dark Belgian beers are quads (Trois Pistoles example with its port wine taste). Trappist beers, as far as I have had them though, are as close to a dessert made with candy sugar, caramel/dulce de leche bread, dark fruits like raisins, plums, figs and sometimes others like cherries, blackberries, and blue berries. Chimay brings it further by introducing hoppy flavors like those of a BPA (grass or earthy pine) but only to a minor level but detectable and enjoyable. The fragrance brings about somewhat hoppy and pilsner like smells but the real secret is in the flavor. As the beer sits close and closer to room temperature it brings about those richer candy,sweet bread, waffle cone, graham cracker, banana clove and spicy flavors. The difference between this and the regular is somewhat uncanny. I dig for some oaky or boozy flavors but they are very faint. If I sit this one next to the regular Chimay blue, I would find it hard to tell the difference. However, if you let it sit for a bit, you start to get some vanilla and possibly pecan flavor. By this time, the hops have faded away. Still, very awesome Belgian beer. I would choose the Chimay Blue since it is not as expensive though but your choice :). Bevmo has this for a limited time.

Duvel Rustica by Ommegang

Rating: 4.25/5

Duvel Rustica by Ommegang is an 8.5% Belgian Strong/Imperial Golden Ale. 


Duvel Rustica is our American farmhouse interpretation of Duvel Golden Ale, renowned worldwide as the finest Belgian Golden Ale. Like Duvel, our ale begins with a perfect balance of fine malts and noble hops, then undergoes fermentation with Ommegang’s proprietary yeast. 

Duvel Rustica is a richly flavorful and aromatic brew with the depth and complexity of the finest Belgian ales. Enjoy the alluring flavors and aromas, fine carbonation, full body, hazy rustic golden hue, fluffy white head and dry, warming finish. 

I almost want to consider this a Belgian Pilsner. If you were to add Belgian yeast to a lager you would get something similar to this. I have had many Belgian Pale Ales and even some Golden Ales that have more sweet Belgian fruits and candied sugars. Despite this, I love how this beer presents itself. The bitterness is like that of a pilsner amplified into the realms of Belgian beer. I really think a lot of people that like so called Belgian Lagers like Stella will realize that if you took that beer and made it is more mature, fermented and super complex, and definitely unfiltered, you would get a golden ale truly worthy of then name, Duvel. This isn’t Stella at all though, no where near its league as Ommegang is legend amongst the beer world. This beer is mix thought. Some flavors of strong candied sugar on warm sweet and biscuit bread, vanilla, pilsner flavor like cereal, pears, orange peel, grapes, lemon, some grassy, tangy, pine and pineapple with grapefruit hops. There is is sour dough bready after taste as well. Like a rye bread. Quite the delicious beer at that. I would have to compare Duvel vs. this one to see if one is better than the other. Many beer lovers may like this one 😛