Rest by The Bruery

 

Rating: 6/6
 
Rest by The Bruery is a 13.1% ABV Imperial Dark Ale aged in bourbon and wine barrels.
 
Description
We had a compelling urge to craft a beer fitting of our friend’s seventh anniversary. But urgency wasn’t part of the equation in this complex beer. Six different malt-forward beers were brewed and set to rest separately in bourbon barrels. After months of oak-aging, a portion was selected and transferred for further maturation in the grand cru of California wine barrels. In many ways, this finished beer is greater than the sum of its parts, but at its core, it’s the seventh beer. It’s a memorable finish, and well-deserving of rest.
Awesome combination of bourbon and wine oak goodness really brings out the greatness of both worlds, the good and the evil, the light and the darkness, the oaky and the funky. Definitely a beer worth savoring.

 

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The Order by The Bruery

Rating: 5.85/6
16903437_10104035747776070_2849272380646441_o
The Order by The Bruery is a 10.6% ABV Belgian Abbey Strong Dark Ale brewed with Dates, Coriander and Spices.

Label:
A NEW NOCTURNE

Storied tradition meets local inspiration in this Belgian-inspired abbey ale, featuring coriander spicing and our love for dates.

Monastic breweries wrote the book on complex ales with elements of dark fruit, spices and caramelized notes. The Order summons that tradition and adds local inspiration with character from dates, Belgian-style sugars and subtle spicing from coriander.

==Introduction==
16991591_10104035747786050_2415556367162878984_o
A new “Year Round” release for all societies and the public. This beer is made in the tradition of the Belgian Abbey styles of Dark Ales such as the Quadrupels, which are actually some of my favorite styles of beer. The Bruery has released several Quads and Dark ales before but the many of them would be barrel aged. I think this is the first time they make an Abbey ale just as a basic style. Which is truly unique. While I have a love for the Bruery, I will need to analyze this one closely as I have to compare this Abbey styles to the many true Belgians I have tried before and possibly my own. Let’s see how this one is and see if it can stand on its own, cheers!

Aromas:
Belgian candi sugars, stone fruit peaches, apricot, apples, peppercorn hints, piloncillo sugar cone, waffle cone, rock candy, candied oranges, dark fruit plums, prunes, raisins, cherries, pomegranate, dates, figs, pecan pie, clove spice, coriander, anise, dulce de leche caramel, bananas and flan notes.
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Flavors:
Rich dark fruit plums, prunes, raisins, cherries, pomegranate, dates, figs, pecan pie, clove spice, coriander, anise, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, bananas, sweetened condensed milk, flan hints, dark chocolate notes, Belgian candi sugars, stone fruit peaches, apricot, apples, peppercorn hints, Belgian sweet bread, piloncillo sugar cone, waffle cone, rock candy, candied oranges, toffee, pears, peach and pear cobbler, floral, citrus and earthy hops, dried mango and fruit cake.
16836650_10104035746907810_2958213650578841909_o
Aftertaste:
Finishing rich with dark fruit, honey, caramel, piloncillo sugar cone, stone fruits, dates and hints of chocolate. No alcohol in the taste, amber hazy orange full body, smooth, velvety and chewy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A well exceptional Belgian dark ale. For a Belgian Abbey Dark strong, it shines tremendously. In fact, I cannot recall the last time the Bruery made a basic Abbey Belgian. For this one, it really is truly amazing. Being a fan of quads and dark ales, this one definitely went above my expectations and would highly recommend it if you love Belgians.
16992069_10104035746942740_2652590530935507169_o
Anime Corner:
High Seraph Altima from Final Fantasy Tactics as the perfect character to use in this pairing as the name of the beer indicates that there is a secret organization in the abbeys. In the game, she is actually the deity that the monks sects try to keep secret. She is actually an angel kept a secret. So since her origin is from monasteries keeping secrets and the name of the beer calls for an organization, this was the perfect name.
16836446_10104035746957710_7829649042459361990_o
Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/LPSLcEq.jpg
http://www.crymore.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Ultima-chan.jpg
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y14/shishisenkou/594b674dc8de0824f3cd83d4953a1e57.jpg~original
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y14/shishisenkou/b123a2b412e3b0572d6f943f0e9fceac.png~original
http://i.imgur.com/5H29oHp.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/5jDQGLU.png

2016 Chimay Grande Reserve Ale Barrel Aged by Bières de Chimay S.A

14203384_498865913642849_6410905480117919217_nRating: 7/7

2016 Chimay Grande Reserve Ale Barrel Aged by Bières de Chimay S.A is a 10.5% ABV Belgian Trappist Dark Strong Ale aged in French Oak, American Oak, Cognac and Chestnut Barrels.

Label:
The “Grande Reserve” Aged in wooden casks is an exceptional beer that benefits from triple fermentation and extended maturing in barrels. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, this beer has an incomparable rounded, wooden flavour.

Ingredients: water, barley malt, wheat, sugar, hop, yeast. More info: Chimay.us/barrel

Commercial Description:
The barrel-aged Chimay Bleue of March 2016 stands out from classic Chimay Bleue thanks to the many nuances provided by the additional fermentation in wooden barrels.
On the eye, the beer boasts a deep brown robe with a bright glint. It’s extremely fine and smooth foam also possesses a slight shade of cream.
On the nose, notes of black tea, jasmine and wood are equally predominant.
On the palate, the woodiness cloaks the bread crust, roasting, mocha and Cognac aromas as well as the empyreumatical notes.
This 2016 edition of barrel-aged Chimay Bleue boasts an excellent blend of the characters of Chimay Bleue and Cognac. This balance between roundness and powerfulness is best appreciated between 6 months and 1 year after it is bottled.

Type of Barrels

For this second batch, a mixture of barrels has been used.
38% of French oak – second utilization
22% of American oak – second utilization
22% of new cognac barrels
18% of new chestnut
Produced in limited amounts using craft-brewing methods.
The sophisticated bouquet is perfectly showcased when served at a temperature of between 10 and 12°C.
Alcohol content: 10.5%
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==Introduction==

I obtained this one at my local shop. Having tried the St. Bernardus abt 12 Oak aged, when I first saw this, I thought I must have it. I couldn’t be driven to buy this thought. At a $40+ price, it just seemed way too expensive. Yes, it is Chimay. One of the best and world renounced Belgian Dark Strong ales but this time, in the barrel aged form. I actually passed this one up several times because of the price. It wasn’t until I talked to my friend Richard Avila about this beer that it was clear what I had to do. He had mentioned that, for a lover a Belgian brews, this is something very special and maybe not to try it, might be missing out on something that could well be loved by the community. He said I should try it for the fans of my work to see if they would be intrigued to get this one. This along with the fact that it was aged in several barrels and not just a single or a double but quadruply barrel aged. It was definitely a moving feat. So without further ado, I finally bring you, the Barrel Aged Chimay Blue Reserve.
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Aromas:
Dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, prunes, dates, dark cherries, red wine sangria, Belgian dark candy sugar, Amber candy sugar, cane sugar, rock candy, grilled bananas, clove spice, toasted coconut, piloncillo sugar cone, pecan pie, hazelnut, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, port wine, Mexican Dulce de leche Cajeta, leche de cabra, tres leches/ three milks cake, flan, crème brulee, sweetened condensed milk, bananas and clove spice.

Flavors:
Rich Dark candy sugar, Amber candy sugar, cane sugar, rock candy, oak, vanilla, cognac, dulce de leche caramel, crystalized caramel, piloncillo sugar cone, Mexican Dulce de leche Cajeta, leche de cabra, tres leches/ three milks cake, flan, crème brulee, sweetened condensed milk, Dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, prunes, dates, dark cherries, dark cherry yogurt, pecan pie, hazelnut, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, port wine, Chambord raspberry liqueur, marshmallows, toasted coconut, rocky road ice cream, almond joy, earthy and herbal hops, pilsner grain, fruit cake, molasses, anise, chestnut cake, red wine sangria, waffle cone, graham crackers, grilled bananas, stone fruit peach, apricot, clove spice, chocolate oatmeal cookie and Danish cream.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with rich dark fruits, oak, caramel, vanilla, marshmallows, port wine, red wine, pecan pie, chestnuts, cognac notes, stone fruits, dark candy sugar and earthy hop notes. No alcohol in the taste, Abysmal Dark Crimson full body, smooth, syrupy, velvety and creamy mouthfeel and sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Even for the price, this exceptionally delicious bucket lister was just damn amazing. It has been a while since I tried Chimay Blue and the Reserve. Essentially, staples in my early days of craft beer Belgian experience. This one, just takes it to a whole new level. I have tried many Belgian Dark Strongs, all amazing and all over the top. This, however, this is some new godly potion. There is so much going on and all of it is so damn appeasing. Definitely, this one is to save for a very special occasion and supremely and highly recommended to all lovers of the Dark Belgian Arts.
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Anime Corner:
Konan from Naruto was chosen in this pairing to represent the Chimay Blue colors but her Akatsuki outfit also represents the Monks of Belgian of which compliments this beer’s Trappist origin. Also, the fact that she can create angel wings also coincided with the divine beverage that this really is. In a way, the quadruple barrel aging is really a way for her to “unleash”!!
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Sources:
http://bellbell2345.deviantart.com/art/Konan-622565109
http://images.forwallpaper.com/files/images/d/df7f/df7fc741/272209/konan.jpg
http://www.zerochan.net/307111
http://i.imgur.com/fUYcfGc.jpg

2011 Bourbon Barrel Aged Grand Cru by Black Diamond

12970836_10103190864074780_7477775824459977104_o 12928205_10103190865192540_5928422493362163486_nRating: 5.5/6

2011 Bourbon Barrel Aged Grand Cru by Black Diamond is a 9% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale which 75% is brewed with Fruit with Vanilla Beans Added and 25% Ale is aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
The designation of “Grand Cru” originates from the Burgundy region of France. Brewers have taken the term and applied to it more elaborate, aged and reserved versions of their beers. Our Belgian-style Dark Ale has been taken to the next level by the careful blending and aging techniques.

After much tinkering -with a number of unique ingredients combined with wood barrel aging- we arrived at this wonderful juxtaposition of fruitiness and maltiness which harmonized magically to produce this delicious winter warmer.

When poured, the beer has a deep mahogany hue. In the aroma, figs and dark fruit intermingle with notes from the wood barrel used, as well as subtle notes of banana and bubblegum from the fermentation process. Aging for twelve months on oak brings forth flavor of the barrel, as well as vanillin from the wood that is complemented by vanilla beans which provide a velvety smoothness and richness . The taste starts with the rich sweetness of the fruit, carries through with a rich mellow center and finishes dry, allowing for another glass as you sit by a cozy fire.

==Introduction==

I first had this beer back in 2012 for my birthday. Back then it was a beer that my brother got me as a gift. Back then I remember this one for being one for being memorable. Not only in its deliciousness but also the sentimental value since it was a gift from my brother. During a trip over to my friend Julio’s house in La Mirada California, I had visited Sammy’s VIII Liquor and they had a bottle of this aging. While the price was right, I couldn’t help but just bring it back to the site, years later after I first tried it. The artwork was really cool as well. So if it is true that the original bottle was from 2011, then I hope 5 years aged has given way to a very delicious brew. Let’s find out. Cheers!

Aromas:
Wine grapes, oak, bourbon, dark fruit berry jam on toasted rye bread, bananas, clove spice, cinnamon, Dark fruit raisins, prunes plums, figs, dark cherries, raspberries, pomegranates, currants, cranberries, Dark fruit yogurt hints, pecan pie, brown sugar, stone fruit apricots, peaches, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, milk chocolate raisins and chocolate cherry cordials.

Flavors:
Rich Dark fruit raisins, prunes plums, figs, dark cherries, raspberries, pomegranates, currants, cranberries, Wine grapes, oak, bourbon, marshmallow smore hints, stone fruit apricots, peaches, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, milk chocolate raisins, chocolate cherry cordials, port wine, raspberry chambord, dark fruit berry jam on toasted rye bread, bananas, clove spice, cinnamon, Dark fruit yogurt hints, pecan pie, flan hints and crème brulee hints.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with rich dark fruits, oak, stone fruit, mild bourbon notes, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, marshmllow and cinnamon hints. No alcohol in the taste, crimson dark murky body, smooth, velvety and mildly creamy mouthfeel with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
An exceptional brew with lots of dark fruit forward flavors with notes of bourbon. This brew reminds me a lot of the Deschutes Anniversary ales except where those are stouts this one is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale/grandcru. Essentially, the Belgian Dark Strong version. Ofcourse, while that is leagues away from this one, I still like this one as it was a gift from my brother a long time ago. I would highly recommend it if you love fruit forward beers with notes of oak and bourbon. Especially if you can find the aged one. Cheers!

Anime Corner:
Janne D’Arc from SNK’s World Heroes was used in this brew pairing since I used her for the pairing long ago. The castle in the label of the brew reminds me of Nockmaar castle from the movie and NES game Willow. In the movie, it had a strong swordswoman named Sorsha which wore armor similar to that of Janne. While there is no anime version of Sorsha, Janne from SNK was the closest I could find. The brew colors, label and Janne bring me back to the nostalgia of the old school Willow series I loved as a child.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/7FyFsFu.jpg
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/jJAQbI0nirg/maxresdefault.jpg

La Gran Conquista De La Emperatriz Carmesí Grand Cru by Nubis Sanctum Ales

12646876_10103058676844050_7406568229014262347_o 12697381_10103058677832070_8314741706470977588_o 12698646_10103058678780170_3076556128561450236_o 12710859_10103058679658410_7613070802157787347_oRating: 4.85/5

La Gran Conquista De La Emperatriz Carmesí Grand Cru by Nubis Sanctum Ales is a 9% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale brewed with Sweet Orange Peels, Anise Seeds and Crystal Candi Sugar.

Label:
Legend tells a story about an Empress in the earlier parts of the Millennium that would unravel the mysteries of the universe by her dabbling in the arts of alchemy science and the supernatural. They called her the Crimson Empress since she enjoyed the color of blood. Not much is known about her or how she got into power in the first place. All that is known is that she had many advisers who would tend to her kingdom while she freely dabbled into the light and the darkness.

Her fascination with the unknown eventually lead to the discovery of a magic potion which allowed her to travel into other realms of existence and travel to the future subconsciously. Not much is known as to why this happened or even how this potion was made. People do know that it did cause her speak in other tongues and create her own apparel that seemed out of place for it’s time. While other powers could not overthrow her, as she was able to conquer many lands due to innovations and secrets that came as a result of the magic in the potion, she was eventually consumed by it. Many have come close to replicate the potion but none have come closest…until now!

Ingredients: Water, Malts, Hops Anise Seeds, Sweet Orange Peels, Crystal Candi Sugar & Belgian Wit Ale Yeast

==Introduction==
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Behold! The magnificence of her grace, The Carmesi Crand Cru, or in this case, Crimson Grand Cru. Project #14 came to fruition with my need to create a Grand Cru like the ones by Alesmith, North Coast brewing and even the ones from Belgium. Essentially, the special kind of Dark Belgian Strong ales that are velvety, sweet but also clear and in some cases. The need to make a nectar like that was what inspired the brew. After looking around for different things that make the consistency of the brew I finally had it figured out. Surprisingly, it did not take long to make this one since it only sat in the fermenter for 1 month before I bottled it. The other thing is that it uses a Belgian Wit strain. So in terms of the style, stuff was definitely coming together as to why the Grand Crus taste the way they do. Anyways, time for the Cru Brew, Cheers!

Aromas:
Oranges, vanilla, Dulce de leche caramel, Anise forward, stone fruit peach notes, pears, apples, dark fruit raisins, figs, cherries, citrus, oranges, strawberries, stone fruit peach notes, pears, apples, mango hints, marshmallows, graham crackers, wafflecone, piloncillo sugar cone, rye bread and licorice.

Flavors:
Belgian Candi sugar, dark fruit raisins, figs, cherries, citrus, oranges, strawberries, leathery notes, bananas, clove spice, anise, licorice, molasses, tangerine hints, rye bread, biscuit bread, rock candy, stone fruit peach notes, pears, apples, vanilla, caramel, ginger bread, fruit cake hints, wine grape hints, guava preserves/membrillo, mango hints, marshmallows, graham crackers, wafflecone, honey combs and piloncillo sugar cone.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with some earthy hop notes, anise, coriander, candi sugar, oranges, vanilla, caramel and ginger spice. Slight alcohol in the taste, Dark Sunny Orangey Crimson medium body, creamy, smooth and refreshing mouthfeel with a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A very delicious brew I made here! Originally, even for a 9% ABV, the alcohol levels were high until I was able to let this sit for another month and damn it, it’s just about right to me. One thing I did notices on this one, it was extra spicy. Not in the way of heat but spicy in the sense that I would typically get from some different Belgian beers. It is not a bad thing but I think it is a bit much. I think next time I do this one, I will use less of the anise. Regardless, the best temp to drink it is warmer. That’s when all the rich sweet Belgian goodness started to appear. I was super pleased with the way this came out and glad I made the label for it.
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Anime Corner:
Asuka Langley Shikinami Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion was my pairing that I used to make this brew since I wanted to pair with the Strong Red of her colors and the whole aspect of the brew being red in color but also orange under certain lightings. When I think of Grand Crus, I think of Royalty or something in relation to a beverage that is highly regarded. When I found the picture of Asuka as a Queen holding and spilling her drink, that’s when it hit me to make the label with her. In the description I mentioned that she was doing time travel and this fit the reason she is wearing the red plugsuit as it is not an apparel of the time period in the story of the description. All and all, I love how it came out and the butt pic? Well she’s royalty so bow down!

Sources:
http://static.tumblr.com/a7ff925dc64b9b5d566f6f9345d88825/mqkyq0i/bDKnlp4s1/tumblr_static_9cw0s1vj01kwg4kk0sksc0wo0.jpg
https://brewerianimelogs.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/09da1-asuka.jpg

Gulden Draak The Brewmaster’s Edition by Brouwerij Van Steengerge

12604913_10103044458866990_7532730666234875988_oRating: 5.45/6

Gulden Draak The Brewmaster’s Edition by Brouwerij Van Steengerge is a 10.5% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale aged in Whiskey Barrels.

Label:
Our brewmaster, Jef Versele, crafted this exclusive Gulden Draak Brewmasters Edition as a tribute to his grandfather Jozef Van Steenberge and the 230th birthday of the brewery. His inspiration came from his numerous trips to the United States and his deepest respect for the craft beer culture. This exclusive Gulden Draak combines the technology and the craftsmenship of the traditional brewing process. By letting the beer mature on whiskey barrels it gives it a distinctive and gentle finish that you have never tasted before.

==Introduction==

Obtained this at the local Bevmo as I was intrigued when I saw a video review of it. I also wanted to try it as it was made aging in whiskey barrels. There is this crazy mysticism when doing this process especially when you do with an already mystic style such as the Belgian Strongs and Quads. These to me are already some of the best beers in the world. So with that being said, I could not pass up the opportunity for this one. At the price of about $18 to $21 you gotta wonder. Even so, I have not gone wrong with some of the other Belgian Strongs or Quads before like the Straff Hendrik 2011 Belgian Quad II that was aged in Bourbon barrels and came in a crazy crate that was delivered by an old woman in a cloak telling stories of magic and the unknown. (All is true except for the old lady… magic is true though… magic rules!) Anyways, let’s see if the beer is worth you hard earned cash. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich honey, waffle cone, Belgian Candi sugar, Bananas, clove spice, bubble gum, Stone fruit peaches, apricots, pears, apples, mango hints, waffle cone, marshmallow, toffee, biscuit bread, Rock candy, apple pie, pecan pie hints, hints of Whiskey, vanilla, oak, brown sugar and crème brulee.

Flavors:
Stone fruit peaches, apricots, pears, apples, mango hints, dark fruit plums, figs, dates, white grapes, pineapple hints, hints of Whiskey, vanilla, oak, bourbon, waffle cone, marshmallow, bubblegum, bananas, clove spice, toffee, biscuit bread, Rock candy, Belgian Candi sugar, apple pie, pecan pie hints, butterscotch, tangerine preserves, floral hop notes, dulce de leche caramel, crème brulee, sweetened condensed milk, honey, piloncillo sugar cone and brown sugar.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with rich candi sugar notes, bubble gum, peppercorn, bananas, clovey notes, waffle cone, vanilla and caramel. No alcohol in the taste, rich golden honey full body, smooth, silky, crisp and refreshing mouthfeel and a moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Damn!! Now that’s a good Belgian. Yes, the whiskey aspect is subtle indeed, but over all a well made Belgian Golden Strong as it is more of a Golden strong than a dark strong. I think if you like Belgians, you can definitely pass this one up if the price is too much. You can get other delicious Belgians for less. Now if you want your money worth, look for the 2011 Straffe Hendrick Bourbon Barrel Aged Quad or even the Apple Brandy Oak Barrel Aged St. Bernardus 12!

Anime Corner:
Blackbird vs Veloce from Carciphona by Shilin (Ashen-Ray.com) were used in this pairing to represent the dynamic meeting of the Whiskey Barrels as it meets the mighty Belgian Strong Ale. The colors work so well with the label and the aspect of the golden dragon. The red colors represent the darkness of the whiskey barrels. The overall gold background goes well with the colors of the beer but also the golden label.

Sources:
http://orig08.deviantart.net/601d/f/2011/318/7/7/carciphona___duel_by_shilin-d4g7rtn.jpg

Chimera by Birrificio Del Ducato of Italy

1512736_10102980467855490_6193384398576883752_n 3563_10102980468349500_3568249495145359942_nRating: 4.85/5

Chimera by Birrificio Del Ducato of Italy is an 8% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This is a top fermented beer which undergoes a secondary fermentation in bottle. It draws inspiration from the great Belgian Abbey beers. With the color of a friar’s robe, it has aromas of caramel and alcohol preserved fruit (pear, plum and morel) with light roasts. The mouth is warm and complex with an unexpected dry finish that makes drinking easier.
“To all those who still hold dreams and will never cease to search for the happiness they deserve”.

Perfecting this beer was certainly challenging. Countless variations were jettisoned before arriving at the refined version we are proud to brew today. The current Chimera is most easily compared to a Belgian Dark Strong Ale. I traveled frequently in Belgium as a young man and I always enjoyed very much its beers. Today’s Chimera resembles those beers that awakened a lifelong fascination with the creation of this wonderful drink.
“It is like following an illusion we fell in love with a long time ago leaving us with the realization that when we pursue our dreams the immortality of spirit is found”.
18°

==Introduction==

Obtained this one from my friend Steve in Iowa who was able to send me this and other brews we found while I was in Ames Iowa. This one caught my eye mainly because it was from Italy and I really loved the design. Many of the Italian beers I have tried in the past like Draco and Demon Hunter were some of the best beers I have ever had. So needless to say, this was a rarity as I have never seen it before. The colors of the label also intrigued me. That and the fact that this was Belgian style, it was definitely going to go back with me somehow. Now that I got it, let’s bring it to the site and see what it is about.

Aromas:

Rich dark fruit, raisins, prunes, plums, figs, dates, black currants, blue berries, dark cherry, candi sugar, beat sugar, rock candy, toffee, brown sugar, bananas, clove spice, leather, tobacco, dulce de leche cramel, vanilla, blue berry cobbler, stone fruit peach, apricot, chocolate notes and rum hints.

Flavors:
Rich dark fruit, raisins, prunes, plums, figs, dates, black currants, blue berries, dark cherry, candi sugar, leather, tobacco, dulce de leche cramel, vanilla, blue berry cobbler, stone fruit peach, apricot, chocolate notes, beat sugar, rock candy, toffee, brown sugar, bananas, clove spice hints, port wine hints, red wine hints, oak hints, pepper corns, rum hints, citrus notes and fruit cake.

Aftertaste:
Dark fruits, vanilla, caramel, wine notes, floral notes, and stone fruit. No alcohol in the taste, dark chestnut brown body, smooth, creamy and watery mouthfeel and easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A very good Italian beer made in the Belgian Dark arts. There were so much berries and malty flavors to pick out. It was definitely vinous at some points and definitely reminded me of some of the other Italian favorites but mainly unique to this brewery. A small little bottle but definitely worth the try and worth the pick up.

Anime Corner:
Franceska Mila Rose, Cyan Sung Sun, Emilou Apacci and Tia Harribel from Bleach were used in this pairing since they become a Quimera Parca so naturally, the name of the beer and the label just seemed to fit so well with them and the colors just stand out as well. Granted, Tia Harribel was not part of Quimera Parca but she is their leader and one of my favorite anime characters from Bleach so ofcourse I would include her.

Sources:
https://brewerianimelogs.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/dcdf3-19.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/92/b6/d5/92b6d58a3a82a592a853736f30771d01.jpg

CebadAgua NocturnFresca by Nubis Sanctum Ales

11953405_10102786510028530_5643095009961644245_oRating: 5/5

CebadAgua NocturnFresca by Nubis Sanctum Ales is a 8% ABV Belgian Dark Barleywine dry hopped with Jarrylo Hops.

==Introduction==
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Partial base wort was brewed using brewing equipment at Monkish for the “Monster Home brew Event” back in June 2015. The idea was to create a base pale wort using the equipment at Monkish brewing. Each person would get 5 gallons (or 10 or more depending on how much you would pay) from this concoction you would take it home add to the wort to change the style completely to more than 10 different styles of beer. I purchased 10 gallons and for the second of my home brew concoction I decided to go with a heavier beer adding extra LME and some new especial hops that would give some interesting flavors. Since the idea behind this beer was something dark like the night, the name “CebadAgua NocturnFresca” is a play at the words Agua de Cebada (Barley Drink) and Nocturna Fresca (Of The Fresh Night). Essentially, It is supposed to mean “Fresh Barley Drink of The Night”. A summer’s night type of beer. A fresh, “Barleywine” with a lighter gravity to be enjoyable and full of flavors. So this is what came out of it. Let’s take a look at my final creation of the summer, cheers!

Aromas:
Cola hints, Stone fruit peaches, mango hints, apricot, apple notes, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla , tamarind, hibiscus, floral notes, dark fruit cherry, plums, rich prunes, raisins, figs, dates, candi sugar, currants, raspberries, blue berries, tart black berries, tropical fruit notes, prickly pear, lychee fruit, dragon fruit, passion fruit, spicy notes, licorice hints, anise, rock candy molasses, and anise.

Flavors:
Hibiscus flower drink, Cola hints, molasses, dark fruit cherry, plums, rich prunes, raisins, figs, dates, candi sugar, currants, raspberries, blue berries, tart black berries, Stone fruit peaches, mango hints, apricot, apple notes, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla , tamarind, hibiscus, floral notes, peppercorn hints, mint, chocolate hints, spicy notes, clove spice, bananas, pears, tangerine, tropical fruit notes, prickly pear, lychee fruit, dragon fruit, passion fruit, spicy notes, licorice hints, anise, rock candy and fruit cake.

Aftertaste:
Rich dark fruit, molasses, tamarind, spicy fruit cake, cola notes, earthy notes, pears, vanilla and other tropical fruit notes. No alcohol in the taste, crimson/bloody moon dark brown full body, creamy, smooth, refreshing, crisp and moderate mouthfeel with an easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
Such a crazy beer border lining a Belgian dark strong with some character of a light Barleywine that I was able to get thanks to special hop notes I added. It is crazy to think that when I brewed this beer, it was meant as a joke and pun to the name Jarrylo as being the Mexican Soda Jarritos. Who knew this beer would turn out to be like an agua fresca/ Fruit-ade type of beer with some flavors of soda but spicy fruit galore. Writing everything I do every step of the way, trying to replicate this beer will be a challenge as it was made using large brewing equipment and grains. So I will see how it goes. For now, this is a high recommend.

Anime Corner:
Neliel Tu Oderschvank from Bleach was chosen in this beer pairing as she is the second in the whole monster brew theme. The pairing includes darkness but the colors represent the strong hop (yet not hoppy but very fruity and spicy) presence of the Jarrylo hops. These hops are not really for IPA or Pale Ale use but can be as thy give a spice characteristic. Nel, while semi-clothed but looking like a bad ass indicates the flavors of “spiciness” and the “sweetness” that the beer brings respectively. As she is an Arrancar, just like Harribel, both monster brews were definitely very enticing in their own way and I hope I can come up with the recipe again to brew them again.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/1j9znin.jpg

Espiritu Obscuro by Mill Valley Beerworks

11754511_10102702346353210_6199801891950033876_oRating: 6/5

Espiritu Obscuro by Mill Valley Beerworks is a 9.2% Belgian Dark Strong Ale brewed with spices and aged in Four Roses Casks.

Label:
Dark Belgian-style ale brewed with spices aged in Four Roses bourbon casks.

==Introduction==

Espiritu Oscuro or Dark Spirit is definitely what this was the carbonation started to have a mind of its own and really come alive. The beer was literally going insane even after I carefully poured it from the glass as you can see from the picture, it started to rise out of the glass making me think the foam was literally going to overflow. Ice cream Float Dark Belgian almost. The aroma was super complex which I will explain in more detail. I have never tried anything from Mill Valley but looking visually as to what I have experienced so far, I am pretty damn impressed. Now lets take a Dive into the dark soul of the beer shall we?

Aromas:
Supreme Dark fruit super chocolate explosion!! Dark fruit raisins, black cherry, figs, plums, prunes, dark cherries, boysenberries, blackberries, pomegranate, dark chocolate, Bakers chocolate, Milk chocolate, German Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Chocolate abuelita, rocky road ice cream hints, cinnamon dulce de leche caramel, flan and 3 leches/ 3 milks cake, Coffee, Mocha, black cherry yogurt, tobacco, leather, rye bread, molasses, rock candi, dark Belgian candi sugar, beet sugar, flan, pecan pie, clove spice, bananas, plantains, bourbon, marshmallows, vanilla and molasses.

Flavors:
Rich dark chocolate, Bakers chocolate, Milk chocolate, German Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Chocolate abuelita, Dark fruit raisins, black cherry, figs, plums, prunes, dark cherries, boysenberries, blackberries, pomegranate, Coffee, Mocha, black cherry yogurt, tobacco, leather, rye bread, molasses, rock candi, dark Belgian candi sugar, beet sugar, flan, pecan pie, clove spice, bananas, plantains, bourbon, marshmallows, chocolate smores, rose petals, oak wood, whiskey, rock candy, Belgian sweet bread, pilloncillo, vanilla, rocky road ice cream hints, cinnamon dulce de leche caramel, flan and 3 leches/ 3 milks cake.

Aftertaste:
Rich dark fruits like cherries, prunes, figs, rich coffee and mocha notes, cinnamon, chocolate abuelita, tobacco, bourbon, caramel, dark chocolate, cherry yogurt and marshmallows. No alcohol in the taste, dark like the antimatter of a black hole in space full body, sweet, creamy, silky, syrupy, velvety and very smooth mouthfeel and damn easy to drink for some unholy reason.

Overall:
WOW, this beer reminded me so much of Black Damnation III Black Mes it wasn’t even funny. For a pint bottle, I really want to get several of these now. For being my first beer from Mill Valley Beerworks, this is so damn amazing. They really have created a really unique beer that I am really not sure I could recreate but damn as well I will try. With super rich complexities at such the low 9.2% ABV, I have to figure it out. For the mean time you better make DAMN SURE that you get this beer as it is a killer and damn loveable and tremendous.

Anime Corner:
Kiryūin Satsuki from Kill La Kill was chosen in this pairing as I wanted to show something that looked like the fizz I got from the beer along with the dark fruit colors. The funny part about Satsuki which is Ryuko Matoi’s sister is that she has everyone kneeling before her might! An aura of light always shines upon her and is cast over the on lookers who dare defy her. Yet, if you were to take the opposite and stab the darkness of this beer with the light, you will still find Satsuki there as shown in this artwork, She shines supreme among the darkness to uncover the complexities of this beer and bring them to your unworthy tastebuds!

Sources:
http://img11.deviantart.net/57c3/i/2014/313/9/e/clear_cut__kill_la_kill___by_hatsoff_designs-d84ibb3.jpg

2015 The Stoic by Deschutes Brewing

11142429_10102665592293640_5359375517951436326_oRating: 5.75/5

2015 The Stoic by Deschutes Brewing is a 10.9% ABV Belgian Quadrupel/Strong Dark Ale brewed with Pomegranates with 16.5% aged in oak wine barrels and 16.5% aged in Oak Rye Whiskey Barrels.

Label:
Four Nuanced Fermentations. Aged, Sequestered, in select wine casks. Ergo a stoically brewed quad, with the spell binding complexity of its medieval ancestors.

==Introduction==
Brewed every 4 years, there is a debate going on whether this is a Quadrupel or a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Despite the debate, many brewers know that the key to great Belgians is in the Belgian Candy sugars. What I believe makes a good Belgian Strong as a home brewer is basically experimentation. The fact is, experimentation is the biggest form to brew a strong complex beer. The fact that you are using a Belgian strain of yeast in your experiment is what set it aside from a quad. Put it this way. If you intended to brew a basic quad, a great deal of different grains and and lots of Belgian candi sugars would go in your brew. If you add extras, it may deviate into a Belgian Strong. Even, then, this is is still a Quadrupel. You know why? The base beer is the start enforcing “Belgian Candi sugar sweetness” throughout its entirety. If that is the case, then a Belgian Strong goes beyond this type of sweetness possibly incorporating something else. The confusing part is when a basic quad starts to taste similar to a Belgian Strong. For that instance, you may also have to look at its stronger roots whether it deviates away from the Belgian Candi or not. It is a complicated matter but even beer should not be complicated, so cheers.

Aromas:
Rich dark fruits, pomegranates, bananas, clove spice, dragon fruit, passion fruit. Mango hints, leather, molasses, flan, phenolic notes, stone fruit peaches, apricots, pear, brown sugar, Belgian Candi Sugar, Rock Candy, citrus, maple syrup, walnuts, almond milk, rye bread, leather notes, waffle cone and honey.

Flavors:
Rich Stone fruit peaches, apricots, pears, lychee fruit mango hints, Rich dark fruit raisins, dark cherries, blueberries, c figs, flan, port wine notes, Rich dragon fruit, passion fruit, pomegranates, pomegranates, marshmallows, coconut, almond joy, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, bananas, clove spice, oak, whiskey hints, flan, molasses, brown sugar, rich Belgian Candi Sugar, Rock Candy, citrus, maple syrup, walnuts, almond milk, rye bread, leather notes, waffle cone, honey, lavender, floral notes, peppercorn and sweetened condensed milk.

Aftertaste:
Lots of rich dark fruits, oak, wine, bourbon, some stone fruit and exotic fruits, Belgian Tripel and Dubbel notes, floral notes, and pomegranate tartness. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV, Crimson Clear body, smooth, creamy and crisp mouth feel, easy to moderate drinkability despite the ABV. What’s going on here?? Danger for sure.

Overall:
All and all, to me this is a quad because it started out as quad. The fact that it added the whole barrel aging aspect is the extra part which goes into the Belgian Strong Dark Ale area. The fact is, if the beer was already “super complex to begin with leaning away from Belgian Candi sugars” then this is your Belgian Dark Strong Ale. Trois Pistoles, for example, is not a quad since it already had those port wine notes even before anything else would be added which was not.

Anime Corner:
Tenshi Hinanawi from the Touhou project series was used in this pairing as I wanted to pair something similar like I did with Flandre Scarlet in the aspect of overlooking the planet as total bad assery. While the Stoic (unlike NOT the Stoic) reserves its place as not tainted by evil but still holy and powerful showcasing every aspect of delicious complexity with every sip. The colors pair those flavors in terms of the colors of the ingredients.

Sources:
http://images.forwallpaper.com/files/images/9/9236/9236690e/398113/above-gensokyo.jpg

Batch# 8 Collaboration Not Litigation, A collaboration between Avery and Russian River brewing

11049488_10102499679304600_6885569862060281025_oRating: 5.5/5

Batch# 8 Collaboration Not Litigation, A collaboration between Avery and Russian River brewing is a 8.9% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Cuvee of Avery Salvation and Russian River Salvation.

Label:
Salvation. The name of two intricate Belgian-style ales, created by us, Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing and Adam Avery of Avery Brewing.

After becoming friends a few years ago, we realized we both had a Salvation in our lineups. Was it going to be a problem? Should one of us relinquish the name rights? “Hell, no!” we said. In fact, it was quickly decided that we should blend the brews to catch the best qualities of each and create an even more complex and rich libation. In April 2004, in a top secret meeting at Russian River Brewing (well, actually it was packed in the pub and many were looking over our shoulders wondering what the hell was going on), we came up with the perfect blend of the two Salvations.

Natalie, Vinnie’s much more significant other, exclaimed, “We should call this Collaboration, not Litigation Ale!” “Perfect,” we shouted! We celebrated deep into the night (or is that morning?). Fast forward to November 14, 2006. After talking about it for over two years, we finally decided to pull the trigger and Vinnie made the journey to Avery Brewing to brew his Salvation exactly as he does in his brewery. This was blended with Avery’s Salvation December 11th, 2006. We hope you enjoy it as much we enjoyed brewing and blending it.

Gezonheid!

– See more at: http://averybrewing.com/collaboration-not-litigation-ale/#sthash.51OEiSKD.dpuf

==Introduction==

I obtained this one at qualityliquorstore.com. I had this beer a couple of times in the past but this is the first time I bring it forth for a review. It is about time. Collaboration not litigation started as a need to show the craft beer world that at some point, it is not about ownership over the name of a beer that people should fight over. Let bygones be bygones and combine the 2 to make a special cuvee. This is something many uppity breweries should take a lesson rather than take it legal action over trivial things such as names of beers. I feel this beer is the embodiment of that bond that many craft brewers share. Basically, the need to pursue the passion for great beer. Unfortunately, breweries going to fight against other breweries is such a pain that separates people. Anyways, that’s just my 2 cents on that. Let’s give this beer a go. Cheers!

Aromas:
Bubblegum, dark cherries, Dark fruit raisins, plums, dates, figs, currants, blackberries, Black cherry notes, Belgian Candi sugar, rock candy, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, flan, pecan pie, honey, cherry marzipan, citrus, Pan Dulce, grape notes, toffee, burnt sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar and capirotada raisin bread pudding.

Flavors:
Rich Belgian Candi sugar, rock candy, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, flan, pecan pie, Dark fruit raisins, plums, dates, figs, currants, blackberries, Black cherry notes, cherry marzipan, citrus, honey, floral hop notes, peppercorn, biscuit bread, capirotada raisin bread pudding, raspberry and strawberry preserves and jam, leather, rye, Pan Dulce, grape notes, toffee, burnt sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar, rich bananas, clove spices, hazelnut, walnut spread, Stone fruit peaches in syrup, apricots, pears, dragon fruit notes and passion fruit.

Aftertaste:
Dark fruit and berry preserves, Pan Dulce, floral hop notes, cherry marzipan, citrus, stone fruits, rock candy and rich candy sugar linger. No alcohol in the taste, crimson body, moderate drinkability, slight creamy.

Overall:
Everything I love in the dark Belgian beers, Belgian quads, tripels and dubbels is in this beer. There was so much going on in this beer and it was so damn delicious. I remember from the last time I had I knew I would love to try it again from the bottle. The Belgian spirit of beer is in this beer. This one should be seeked out for sure.

Anime Corner:
Unso (PFFK) Duality from Pixiv Fantasia: Fallen Kings were used in this pairing to go with the spirit of collaboration. The original beers have their own uniqueness as you can see, even if they have the same name, represented by both of the characters looking similar kissing the birds. The colors also represent the colors of the flavors such as the dark fruits and berry flavors for example. All and all, the beers are unique but they bring their own uniqueness to the table and should not fight for over having the same name. Both brewers are a great inspiration for the craft beer world showing that instead of fighting over subtleties is not what the whole craft beer is about.

Sources:
http://www.zerochan.net/full/1691228

Lupulus Classique Noir D’Ardennes by Brasserie Les 3 Fourquets

10897056_10102323458048410_5916944723079893208_nRating: 4.55/5

Lupulus Classique Noir D’Ardennes by Brasserie Les 3 Fourquets is an 8.5% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Label:
Top-fermented beer, crafted with inspiration.

==Introduction==

“Humulus Lupulus” or as translated better, the “Humble Wolf” is the main mascot for the hidden Farm of a brewery in Ardennes Belgium. This is the first time I try a beer from Les 3 Fourquets or The 3 Boiling Kettles and I really wanted to find it when my friend Richard showed this one to me. Now that I finally got it, I will give it a shot and let you know what I find. Cheers!

Aromas:
Oak, herbal and floral hop hints, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit raisins, plums, tart cherries, raspberries, vanilla, oak, chardonay, funky wine grapes, peppercorn, brown sugar, rye, citrus, dark candi sugar, orange preserves, butterscotch, lavender, licorice and waffle cone.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche Caramel, Dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, funky wine grapes, caramel, oak, mild tart lemon, peppercorn, molasses, Belgian candi sugar, white grape, lavender, herbal notes, vanilla, butterscotch, old orange preserves, rye bread, anise, licorice, tart raspberry, blackberries, waffle cone, floral notes, grapefruit hints, pecan pie and trail mix.

Aftertaste:
Funky grape, dark fruits, oak, vanilla, caramel, anise, licorice, wine grapes and earthy notes but mainly finishes dry. No alcohol in the taste, medium to full body, sipping drinkability and creamy mouthfeel.

Overall:
A very good Dark and mildly Tart Belgian. This beer was surprising. I was expecting a Sweet Abbey style Dark Belgian but what I got fits exactly with the whole wolf in the woods in the land where the Brewery is in Ardennes Belgium. You see, this beer is almost like a Dark Strong ale and Belgian Pale Ale Cuvee. The flavors of what makes each of those individual characteristics great using the hops and the dark candi sugars is what compliments this fine beer. I was dumb founded at first but the more I tried it the more I liked it. I would recommend a try if you really wanna get this as it is quite unique.

Anime Corner:
Vocaloid Hatsune Miku as Little Red Riding Hood was fitted perfectly in this little pairing for many reasons. Being the first beer from Les 3 Fourquets, the whole aspect of the forest, the wolf from the brewery trying to find little red riding hood and the color of her hair fits with the whole lupulus. If you look closely, you can see the wolf in the background but then again, Miku looks pretty evil herself. What if she is the true wolf in the woods disguising herself like the sweet innocent wolf looks like in the label. That is the mystery and hence why this beer is a mystery in flavors of nature as well.

Sources:
http://www.zerochan.net/full/1641460

2014 Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale by Unibroue

1476031_10102260548205240_5752277679111153271_n 10750398_10102260550355930_873715226710888547_oRating: 4.8/5

2014 Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale by Unibroue is a 9% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale brewed with Spices and Natural Flavors.

Label:
Unique and limited edition, this Belgian style ale is crafted once a year as a special treat for those of you who appreciate flavorful, bottle-conditioned ale with character.

Our Vintage Ale is a rich, dark and full-bodied ale with a fine and generous coffee-colored, beige foam. It’s ready to enjoy right away and you may also wish to cellar a few bottles. It will evolve interestingly well, developing more complex flavors as the years go by. Keep the bottle upright in storage.

Brewed with a delicate balance of noble hops, Roasted malts and spices, this is a remarkably smooth ale with a wonderfully complex finish. It is best served slightly chilledaround 53 degrees Fahrenheit and pairs exceptionally well with grilled salmon steaks, curried lamb, beef or tuna au poivre. Crafted and bottled exclusively for Trader Joe’s

==Introduction==

Trader Joe’s is not a typical store I usually visit as it is nowhere near my home. That and the fact that I usually go to other shops to get special beers. My friend Richard told me about this beer at the Trader Joe’s and advised that this one would be good to try. Trader Joe’s has always had good selection according to Richard. I can definitely vouch for that as he used to work for them back when craft beer was hardly in the major stores but now see them more often. So since I really like Unibroue, I definitely had to see what this one was about. So here we go, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruits like raisins, figs plums, dark cherry, vanilla, coffee, phenolic notes, dark candi sugars, brown sugar, port wine notes, stone fruit hints like apricots, pears, apples, dulce de leche caramel, oats, molasses, anise, and cola notes.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel, Coffee, Oats, molasses, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, dark cherries, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, port wine, cola notes, candi sugars, anise, raisin bread pudding, bananas, clove spice, pears, apricots, apples, grapes, pecan pie, phenolic notes, rum hints and wheat bread.

Aftertaste:
Dark fruits linger along with port wine notes, stone fruit hints, candi sugar and coffee. No alcohol in the taste, smooth and creamy mouthfeel, moderate drinkability and pitch black body.

Overall:
This is a very good Belgian Dark Strong reminding me of some of Unibroue’s best, like Trois Pistoles. This taste similar to Trois Pistoles but not as through as that one. I still think it is a great ale and you should try it if you happen to stop by a Trader Joe’s. However, if you don’t get the chance, just go with Unibroue’s other beers as those are more widely common and just as great if not way better. A great Belgian beer none the less.

Anime Corner:
Irisviel von Einzbern and Saber from Fate Zero were used in this pairing to represent the collaboration of Trader Joe’s and Unibroue. Unibroue is Irisviel and Trader Joe’s is Saber. Together bring about an awesome Belgian style that reminds me a lot of Trois Pistoles. As you can see this fits since they are inside what appears to be an abbey or a church or even monastery. The darkness in their eyes and colors represents the Belgian arts of great Dark Strong Ales with the fruity complex. Not too bad for some bad ass collaborations.

Sources:
http://tp.hellodm.cn/data/attachment/forum/201301/10/210543bvvvhvvyvlhw0vmy.jpg

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.

Description:
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.

==Introduction==

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!

Aromas:
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.

Flavors:
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.

Aftertaste:
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.

Overall:
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.

Sources:
http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/237404-1000×1200-metroid-samus+aran-kuroma+%28atapi%29-long+hair-tall+image-light+erotic.jpg

Bourbon Barrel 6 Geese-A-Laying by The Bruery

1658627_10102242083054550_7081712490930231431_o 10850137_10102242083718220_5300601505743687190_nRating: 6/5

Bourbon Barrel 6 Geese-A-Laying by The Bruery is a 12.9% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with Cape Gooseberries and aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
WÆS HÆIL!

The Sixth verse of our “Twelve Beers of Christmas” Saga incorporates tangy cape gooseberries into a subtle Belgian-style dark ale. Happy Holidays!

6 Geese-A-Laying is suitable for aging up to 6 years (soon after the release of “Twelve Drummers Drumming”)

==Introduction==

Released a year later while aged in bourbon barrel providing a double whammy of a beer. This beer was released for the Bruery’s reserve society in November. Coming up to the ending of the year and the holiday, I wanted to bring this one forth. Now this is sure to age even farther into the future but for now, after a whole year and in bourbon barrels, I can only imagine that this is going to be something super special. So let’s hop into it, cheers!

Aromas:
Super Dark Fruits like cherries, boysenberries, raspberries, gooseberries, currants, plums, raisins, figs, blueberries, dulce de leche Caramel and banana complexity up front followed by clove spice, stone fruit peaches, apricots, pears, apples, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, ginger bread cookies, dark candy sugar, rock candy, coriander mild spice, raisin bread pudding, marshmallows, coconut, bourbon, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, brown sugar and chocolate smores.

Flavors:
Banana and dulce de leche covered with dark fruits like cherries, plums, raisins, black berries, currants, gooseberries, raspberries, candi sugar, rock candy, figs, vanilla, figgy pudding, bourbon, brown sugar, rich dark cherries, marshmallow, chocolate smores, ginger bread cookies, cinnamon, stone fruits like apricot, peaches, melon hints, toffee, peppercorns, rye bread, leather, clove spice, coffee cake, capirotada raisin bread pudding, toasted coconut, all spice, nutmeg, rocky road icecream, salted caramel, fruit cake, port wine and dark berry cheesecake hints.

Aftertaste:
Rich dark fruits like cherries, raisins, caramel, stone fruit, fruit cake, gooseberries, vanilla, marshmallows, toasted coconut hints, mild mango and mild bourbon. No alcohol in the taste, syrupy mouthfeel, dark brown full body and moderate drinkability despite being aged.

Overall:
Exceeding the expectations even more than the original. This is basically like a fruit cake syrup loaded with a ton of dark fruits, caramel and and some super complex Dark Strong flavors. Alot of the tangyness from the original is now more subtle. This beer aged for another year since its release now with bourbon barrels, yeah that would be the reason for the increase in complexity 2 fold. This one was an exclusive to Reserve members but I have notice that more and more Bruery beers are making their way to the public. So maybe someday this one will be available. If not, definitely trade for this one if you tried last years 6 Geese-A-Laying.

Anime Corner:
Sasha Blouse as well as the main Attack on Titan girls were used in this pairing to connect the 6 Geese-A-Laying from last year. I wanted to focus on Sasha for this one since she has not gotten a chance to step into the light with her own beer pairing much and the fact that when it comes to food, she is awesome and funny. The rest of the girls not in their uniforms and out and about represent the 6 geese-a-laying including Sasha with the cheeseburger. Bourbon barrel aged beers do certainly bring about the complexity and inner most works of a beer 🙂

Sources:
http://static.zerochan.net/Sasha.Braus.full.1487134.jpg
http://yayaftw.deviantart.com/art/Shingeki-no-Kyojin-Girls-460903442

Holiday Belgian Strong Brown Ale by Avila Ales

10615512_10102208548642780_528146605221522982_nRating: 5/5

Holiday Belgian Strong Brown Ale by Avila Ales is a ??% ABV Belgian Strong Brown Ale brewed with Oak chips, Cinnamon Sticks, allspice and Star Anise.

==Introduction==
My friends Richard and Megan Avila have been busy brewing some very awesome magic potions. In September, they visited King Harbor brewing in Redondo Beach which were able to donate their equipment for my friend Richard to create a 5 gallon bucket of just Brown Ale wort. While there were many there, many would take their buckets home and customize their own recipe even further. Richard and Meg decided to go with a Belgian yeast strain for this brew. As the weeks passed, they added oak chips, cinnamon sticks, all spice and star anise to fermenting bucket which then after close to 2 months, this Belgian goodie was born. They were awesomely kind to donate some of their beer to me to do a review. One thing to note, while there may have not been a last gravity check to verify the alcohol by volume, this beer was definitely strong, complex and yet, smooth and easy to drink. A conundrum yet a masterpiece of a Holiday Ale for sure. One day, they plan to open their own business to get these awesome creations rolling and hopefully, with my reviews here, you may be enticed to try them. Cheers.

Aromas:
Mint chocolate, anise, bananas, clove spice, molasses, vanilla, oak, campfire hints, rock candy, brown sugar, coffee hints, dark fruit raisins, cherry hints, milk sugar, candi sugar, flan hints, cinnamon, ginger spice, all spice fruit cake and pecan pie.

Flavors:
Banana, clove spice, anise, molasses, Dark fruit raisins, mild prune notes, cherries currants, oatmeal cookies, coffee hints, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, oak, marshmallow smore hints, hints of maple, piloncillo hints, milk sugar, toasted coconut hint, biscuit bread, mint chocolate chip, honey, nutmeg, fruit cake notes, pecan pie notes, cinnamon, ginger spice, all spice, vanilla, caramel, rock candy, candi sugar, brown sugar and some flan hints.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate, oatmeal cookies, anise, banana hints, clove spice, dark fruit and earthy notes linger. No alcohol in the taste, drinks way too easy yet you can tell this is strong, Pitch black brown body and a creamy.

Overall:
A perfect holiday ale ranging from a lot of sweet complex flavors with the oak bittering out the sweetness. This is a “drink and sit by the fire place” beer. My friends really nailed this one for sure. The complexity and sweetness is reminiscent of some of the best Belgian beers out there. The addition of the oak, cinnamon, allspice and Anise gives it an additional level of depth that quite possibly is what is responsible for making this one smooth as well although I can only assume at this point. I hope they brew this one again as it was the best beer yet!

Anime Corner:
Akemi Homura in Akuma form from Madoka Magica was used in this pairing because I wanted to show case several aspects about this beer including ingredients, flavors, strength and complexity. The abbey like monastery used as the background in this pairing goes well with the style of the beer and the brown colors making this a Belgian brown. The fact that she looks sweet and innocent goes with the smoothness and rich complexity of the beer. The fact that she is in Akuma form or Demon form represents the unknown aspect of the ABV. The fact that drinks super well but it is dangerous since you do feel it after just a little goes to show how truly powerful this beer is. Also, the colors represent the beers flavors and to some extent the added ingredients which gave this beer perfection.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/eY0bhFA.png

2013 Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer by Brouwerij Het Anker

1016899_10102129193496130_1899845987482862341_nRating: 5.6/5

2013 Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer by Brouwerij Het Anker is an 11% ABV World Class Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Label:
Every year on the 24th of February, we celebrate the birth of Charles Quint. Therefore we brew a special beer in limited edition called ‘Grand Cru of the Emperor’. This exceptional beer is a special version of the Golden Carolus Classic, with an enriched taste palate and mysterious aromas added. The caramelized malts and its 11% Alc. Vol. give the Cuvée of the Emperor the warm roundness of wine together with the refreshing taste of beer. It is imperially crowned with a special cork so it can be preserved for a long period of time with a constant cellar temperature of 12° C. An imperial beer to cherish and enjoy in moderation.
Was 8% abv in 2000-2002, 10% in 2003 and 11% in 2004.
___

Aging for a year now, this beer seems just right for the review. I had over looked this one for a long time and I do remember my friend Richard telling me about how great this beer was. I finally decided to give it a try as I have passed this one up for a long time so I did not want to pass it up again. According to what I saw about this beer, it seem ridiculous and just like the great quads and Belgian Dark Ales, this was one of the many awesome ones. I definitely had to bring this one forward for a review.

Aromas:
Rich Dark fruit aromas like raisins, figs, plums, dark cherries, currants, blueberries, boysenberries, pecan pie, dark candi sugars, rock candy, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel, grapes, peaches, apples, hazelnut, licorice, anise, cinnamon, bananas, clove spice, molasses, chocolate and flan hints.

Flavors:
Dark fruit raisins, figs, currants, boysenberries, blueberries, plums, rich dark cherries, dulce de leche caramel, banana cream pie, clove spice, pecan pie, hazelnut, vanilla, flan hints, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, almonds, rock candy, dark candi sugars, licorice, anise, molasses, chocolate, brown sugar, peach, grapes and strawberry jam on buttered toast.

Aftertaste:
Leaving traces of dark fruit, caramel, pecan pie, banana notes, buttery toast and chocolate hints. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV, a sipping beer, smooth velvety mouthfeel, medium to full deep crimson body.

Overall:
Why did I not get this one sooner? This beers is ridiculously flavorful. It really is complex and somewhat of a Christmasy beer as it does have some notes of a Belgian Holiday Ale. Like St. Bernardus Christmas, this one screams warmth for the coming holidays. Yes it is still fall, but might as well let the cold start to come in. Regardless, this is damn great and it is one I would definitely pick up again. I highly recommend this one for sure.

Anime Corner:
Queen Wadritte Belkstein Hordaine from Fantasy Earth Zero was used in this pairing as it was the most perfect one I could find to pair with the label as well as some of the might and flavors this beer has to offer. For this one, you can tell it obviously pairs with Emperor Charles Quint and his horse but as you look at the different shades and colors you can already tell that this goes well with all the different flavors offered in the beer.

Sources:
http://www.zerochan.net/208071#full

2009 Birra Artigianale Draco (5 year aged) by Birrificio Montegioco

10583940_10102017681926210_657510507677618174_n 10609527_10102017682530000_5964678051733629388_nRating: 6/5

2009 Birra Artigianale Draco (5 year aged) by Birrificio Montegioco is an 11% ABV Beertilla/Mirtilla/ Italian Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with Blueberries.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Draco has a dark red color and a persistent head. It is full bodied and has a moderate level of carbonation. The nose shows a great complexity with aromas of honey, caramel and forest fruits. The hops brings out pepper and plum. The initial taste confirms the nose with notes of caramel and initial sweetness. The finish is a fine balance of hops and bitter notes. Draco is produced using a mix of select malts. The beer is fermented three times. During the second fermentation the blueberries are added along with the yeast and malt sugar. The alcoholic content obtained from the fermentation of the malt is of 8.5% by volume, while the final one is 11% by volume.
______

A tribute review to an old favorite which was brewed in 2009 and kept hidden in the dungeon of Nubisanctum never to see the light of day until now. Draco has awaken and wants revenge on my palate. This was the first beer I have tried from Italy back in 2011 which had a really awesome dragon label. The fact that the beer had blueberries and a Belgian Strong Dark Ale was enough for me to definitely go out of my way to find it. I had bought 2 bottles back in 2011 and decided to keep one hidden. Back then I did not know the beer had already been 2 years old but at that time it was damn good. Trying it again 5 years later is what is definitely worth the wait in gold. If you can somehow find this amazing bottle, that would be awesome as I am not sure if this is still brewed anymore. Good Luck and Cheers!…or at least I will need it to tame this beast!

Aromas:
Rich Dulce de leche caramel covered blueberry muffin, dark fruit raisins, plum, raspberry, dark cherries, figs, raisin bread pudding, flan, bananas, clove spice, bourbon, vanilla, marshmallow, port wine, pecan pie, hazelnut, crème brulee, toffee, rye bread, stone fruit peaches, apricots, apples, peppercorn, rock candy, dark candi sugar, blueberry cheesecake, blueberry yogurt, wine grapes, tart currants, brown sugar, sour apples and honey.

Flavors:
Rich dulce de leche caramel, blueberry muffin, blueberry cheesecake, caramel sour apple, Danish cream, dark fruit raisins, tart currant skins, plums, raspberries, figs, raisin bread pudding, notes of bourbon, marshmallow, chocolate hints, graham crackers, brown sugar, flan, bananas, pecan pie, clove spice, port wine, peppercorn, toffee, rye bread, rock candy, dark candi sugar, biscuit bread, honey comb, hazelnut, wine grapes, honey, stone fruit peaches, apricots, dragon fruit, dark cherry yogurt, matured apples and dried blackberries.

Aftertaste:
Blueberries, pecan pie, caramel, earthy notes, rye bread, bananas and vanilla linger. No alcohol in the taste. Sipping yet smooth drinkability, Dark gold and amber full body, mildly syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall:
Aged has done this old reliable some great justice. Reminding me a lot of Trois Pistoles if Trois Pistoles had gone Gold and amber. The beer has become more smooth than the last time I remember it and a lot more dark fruit forward as well but creating a greater complexity of flavors as well. It is more dangerous as well since you need to take your time with it. This elusive beer is one that was rare top favorite of my and still holds its place as on of the best despite what other reviewers say. I think the problem is that not many people have tried this beer to get to really know it. Specially if they can find a vintage one like this one. Highly recommended for sure! Just like I mentioned in my original review:

“Dragons are legendary, stories of fairy tale, but trust me they do exist and the magic brew they make is friggin’ awesome!! If you ever spot one like this…take it…it really is a nice magic potion….”

Anime Corner:
Freya Crescent from Final Fantasy IX was used in this pairing as the last since I wanted to pair what goes great with Dragons and in this case, Dragoons. Freya is a lone Dragooness having to do many deeds for her kingdom harvesting the power of the dragons. Her story is a sad one but she lives to reclaim herself in a world with turmoil and has many friends to help her. While Freya herself is on an anthropomorphic rat and not a dragon per say, she fairs well with the dragons as awesome creatures of legend and lore. Or at least in the sense of final fantasy. She not only pairs well with the beer herself in terms of the colors of the label, the flavors being ingredients and their colors but also a rarity that is much more beautiful skin deep and aged than when the original beer came out. Freya is one of my favorite Dragooness’s, Lady of the Dragons!

Sources:
http://blog-imgs-27.fc2.com/s/i/z/sizurueuphoric/freija1.jpg
http://www.zerochan.net/full/928329

La Bestia Aimable (1 year aged) by Ranger Creek

10514734_10101895937682650_549469929983741255_nRating: 4.8/5

La Bestia Aimable (1 year aged) by Ranger Creek is a 9.4% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with honey.

Label:
Bottle Conditioned
Batch# LB-011
Date: 6/25/2013

In 1685, the explorer La Salle claimed Texas in the name of France, landing at Matagorda Bay on a ship called the Aimable. In honor of Texas’ French and Mexican heritages, we created a complex Belgian-style ale with a name to match: La Bestia is Spanish for “The Beast,” while Aimable is French for “friendly.” This devilishly friendly dark strong ale has a rich, complex nose of deep berry and fig with cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper spicy notes, and a superbly drinkable body full of rich, dark fruit flavors. The use of Texas honey and a well attenuated body in the Belgian abbey tradition make this beer superbly drinkable despite its high alcohol content. La Bestia Aimable pairs well with carbonade, lamb, game and fowl, rich cheeses such as triple-crème and Gorgonzola, as well as decadent desserts like sticky toffee pudding, dark chocolate and raspberry cake, and tiramisu.
___

Special thanks to Aaron from www.beermetaldude.com for donating this beer to me. It has been sitting around until today, 6/25/2014, exactly 1 year from the date it was bottled. This is a Belgian quad that you can only find in Texas. Ranger Creek is straight from San Antonio Texas. This is the second beer I try from them. Their other beer was really good so I cannot wait to try this one too. Cheers Aaron and Cheers to Ranger Creek for making this!

Aromas:
Dark fruits like plums, raisins, dulce de leche caramel, oak, funky sour hints, stone fruits like peaches, apricots, honey, apples, rye, smoked peat, cinnamon, dark chocolate, tart raspberries, candi sugars, brown sugar, molasses, anise and flowers.

Flavors:
Caramel, chocolate, tart raspberries, dark fruits like plums and raisins, lots of oak, sour wine grapes, coffee, espresso, port wine notes, cinnamon, vanilla, cherries, molasses, raisin bread pudding, pecans, prailines, honey, apples, rye bread, smoked peat, stone fruit apricots, peaches, mild clove spices and bananas.

Aftertaste:
Raisins, plums, caramel, earthy notes, sour grapes, figs, cinnamon. No alcohol in the aftertaste. A sipping beer, with a medium mouthfeel.

Overall:
Very delicious! This beer reminds me of a Sour Quadruple hybrid. It is not all sour but mostly fruity and tart. The tart aspect with the oak gives it some balance to the sweet quad. I would say, it almost drinks like a Flemish brown like the beers made in the French speaking areas of Belgium I would recommend giving this one a try. It does seem like age has made this one more refined. Be careful when opening this beer as it’s contents could spill upon opening. Best opened over a sink or have the glass ready as to not to spill a drop!!

Anime Corner:
Evil Monster daughter by unknown artist was used in this pairing to pair with the label and the aspect of La Bestia Amaible which is the Friendly beast. The colors pay tribute to an array of flavors provided by this beer. Lots of things going on. The high ABV can be said to be so well hidden that you cannot tell if she has good intentions or not. Either way, delicious and awesome. You decide if the voyage through this beer is well worth your while.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/1AFOkr2.jpg

Modern Romance by Midnight Sun brewing

10441110_10101855185660030_8849422213577237842_n 10383518_10101855186882580_8116320430953076281_nRating: 5.5/5

Modern Romance by Midnight Sun brewing is a 9.3% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with cacao nibs, cocoa powder, cinnamon, chilies and maca and aged with cocoa powder 

Label:
Raw cacao powder and roasted cacao nibs add an earthy element. But every romance needs some spark. Modern Dwellers’ signature Mayan Spice blend provides sultry, lingering heat that seduces the sweetness of the malts. It’s not for everyone but, for some, there is nothing else.

In an exciting collaboration, Midnight Sun and Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge—a local artisan chocolatier—designed and brewed a very special dark ale that celebrates our strengths—and weaknesses: sensuous chocolate, warm spice, fiery chili, provocative character and amorous mood. 
___

Obtained this guy at craftbeerkings.com, I wanted to give it a shot especially since I love chocolate beers. I heard this one was a Belgian style strong dark ale with chocolate and chile. Oh hell yes! I had to try it. So here it is, the review for your enjoyment and let us see if this beer holds it’s weight as a good chocolate beer.

Aromas:
Strong Milk chocolate shake, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, mocha coffee, nutmeg, dark fruit prunes, subtle to hints chili pepper, chocolate abuelita brick,molasses, toffee, and currants.

Flavors:
Very dark chocolate, chocolate abuelita brick, milk chocolate powder, mocha coffee, dulce de leche caramel, raisins, prunes, vanilla, subtle chili pepper, cinnamon, ginger spice, nutmeg, subtle chile spices, currants, toffee, molasses, anise, Mexican mole sauce, oak, port wine, cherries, fudge cake, all spice and hazelnut nectar.

Aftertaste:
Chili pepper mainly in the finish but not super hot. Mainly cocoa powder, dark fruit, molasses, earthy notes, . No alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer with full and somewhat syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall:
I gave this one a good amount extra credit since I love chocolate beers and the fact that this one definitely whops a lot of chocolate and is pretty balanced and not overly sweet. The Belgian aspect falls into perspective only a little bit drinking more like a Belgian Stout than a Dark Belgian Strong ale. The cocoa powder takes away the majority of the heat that would have been there even if you can tell this is a chile beer. Not the above best of all of my favorite chocolate beers but it definitely is up there and very delicious. Something definitely worth trying. It is pretty sensual.

Anime Corner:
Naruto himself and his harem of girls that come out in the series were used in this pairing. Pretty much, all the main ones. These fan arts were made by uzmakiee-naruto and StikyfinkaZ-003 of DeviantArt.com. In an attempt to pair with the label used in this beer and something that comes to mind of this beer’s flavor if a wet dream, was the main reason why I thought this pairing would work fantastically. Awesome stuff!

Sources:
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Gift-For-The-Main-Character-162738736
http://uzmakiee-naruto.deviantart.com/art/Naruto-600-1653189-438992671

The Sinner Series Lust by Amager Bryghus of Kastrup Denmark

10151430_10101743477838400_197419239_n 10174776_10101743478492090_212339181_n 10007047_10101743478941190_1392018898_n 1016895_10101743482334390_1108637270_n 1618627_10101743482613830_1594406848_nRating: 5/5

The Sinner Series Lust by Amager Bryghus of Kastrup Denmark is a 9.2% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Label:
Danish: Denne stærke belgiske ale er så sødmefuld, at vi ikke er bange for at kalde den for rendyrket begær på flaske. Under brygningen blev stemningen så løssluppen, at brygger Jacob og brygger Morten brød ud i store mængder spontane kindkys til hinanden. Hvis ikke Thomas Schön var dukket uanmeldt op, var det sikkert ikke stoppet ved kindkyssene. Denne øl er så vellystig, at vi ikke garanterer for følgerne, hvis du serverer den for kæresten i stearinlysenes skær: det kan meget vel ende i en langvarig forsørgerpligt. Vi har brygget en øl med de mest sensuelle sukre, vi kunne finde i Netto og så har vi krydret den med velrenommerede afrodisiaka som spansk flue, østers og pulveriseret hjortepenis. Eller osse er vi bare fulde af løgn…
Vi er ikke stolte over at være syndere, men i det mindste er vi åbne omkring det…

English: This strong Belgian ale is so rich, so sweet and so luscious, that we wouldn’t hesitate calling it pure lust in a bottle. During the making of this beer the general mood in the brewhouse turned somewhat sensual if not downright erotic! And everybody involved in the brewing spontaneously engaged in heavy cheek kissing. If it wasn’t for the unexpected ring of the doorbell things could have gone even further… This beer is so lustful that we cannot vouch for the consequences if you serve this to your girlfriend over a candlelight dinner. This may very well result in a lifelong payment of child support. We have brewed a beer with the most sensual of sugars we could find at our local grocery store.

We were tempted to spice it up with well-renowned aphrodisiacs like Spanish fly or oysters, but frankly we didn’t see the need for it.
We’re not proud to be sinners, but at least we’re open about it…
___

Anime meets beer, is exactly what I thought when I saw this label. This was a controversial label as some European countries like Sweden consider this too sexy too sell. Either way, it made it here to the Western Hemisphere and is one I had my eyes on for a long time. So I picked this one up and definitely wanted to bring it forward. There is something about the beer label I will also mention that I noticed later on in this review but first thing is first, the review of this decadent beers please!

Aromas:
Dark fruit, raisins, figs, prunes, cherries currants, brown sugar, espresso, dark and milk chocolate, biscuit bread, dulce de leche caramel, biscuit bread, toffee, rye, honey and butterscotch.

Flavors:
Coffee, Dark fruits like figs currants, raisins, prunes, cherries, blueberries, black berries, dates, hints of hazelnut, praline pecans, port wine, lavender flowers, oats, honey, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, rye, biscuit bread, earthy notes, dark and milk chocolate, toffee, butterscotch, honey, brown sugar, toasted bread with jelly, leathery notes, tobacco, clove and hints of banana .

Aftertaste:
A variety of dark fruits still linger for a long time like cherries, raisins, blue berries, black berries, honey, rye, caramel, candi sugars, chocolate, earthy notes, toasted rye bread and grape jelly. No alcohol in the taste, sipping beer with smooth quality which is dangerous for the ABV. Good thing it is only a small 500ml bottle. It also has a syrupy and velvet mouth feel.

Overall:
Perfect beer if you love sweet dark fruit Belgian beers. This is almost like reminds me of La Corriveau by Le Bilboquet but more fruitier and well, it is a Belgian beer so more of a Dark Belgian style. There is this New Belgium Fat Tire base that reminds me of the malty caramel beer but if you took that beer and did not filter it and make it stronger with a ton of complex flavors and syrupy. You would come close to what this beer is. It also has some English Old Ale meets Belgian dark aspects too. Hard to describe. It is damn good, and I am not just referring about the sexy label, no, this is pretty fucking good and highly recommended.

Anime Corner:
Lust from Full Metal Alchemist was not only the best pairing for the beer, she was the star of the label. I am not sure if Amager got the inspiration, but this was way too perfect. I was kind of surprised that I did not catch this earlier but it make so much sense to use Lust from FMA on this. She is one seductive woman who searches to find weak-minded alchemist and turn them into victims. This beers sweet and complex flavors compliment her power and her seductive ways. The strength of the alcohol makes her very dangerous for those that try to court her too fast, trust me, if you take this beer and you don’t take your time, you will be sorry. Lust is that kind of character.

Apophatic by Monkish brewing

1962854_10101714194796850_1128585019_nRating: 5.5/5

Apophatic by Monkish brewing is a 12% ABV Belgian Quadrupel brewed with Orange Peels, Cinnamon, Coriander Seed & Fennel Seed.

Brewed along with Select Monk 2 for the 2nd anniversary of Monkish brewing, this beer is pretty limited and only sold at the brewery. I wanted to do a review of this special beer for several reasons. I love high ABV beers, Belgian Quadrupels are one of my most favorite styles, Strong Belgian Quadrupels are rare, Monkish makes great Belgian inspired beers and this is the first quadrupel. I have tried and reviewed the Anamoly, Belgian Strong Dark ale and the Seme De la Vita, Tripel made with Vanilla beans & Pistachios, but I think this was my favorite when I first tried it. The massive power house, unaided by food can case problems. I only drank 2 glasses and I was done for that night. So, to only bring forth the review today, I will only be doing this glass and that is it. Cheers to Monkish for finally releasing a Quadrupel. 

Aromas:
Lots of Dark fruits like raisins, plums, prunes, blue berries, cherries, currants, subtle cinnamon, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, blueberry muffin, port wine, clove spice, fennel, hints of orange and coriander. 

Flavors:
Blueberries, Raisins, figs, prunes, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, orange, coriander spice, licorice, anise, tart berries, fennel, coriander, raisin bread pudding, chocolate notes, port wine, oats, blueberry muffin, maple syrup, cherries, currants, cinnamon, mild bananas, clove spice, raspberries, rye, pecan pie and hint of rum.

Aftertaste:
Prunes, currants, blueberries, fennel, orange, coriander, caramel, vanilla,. The alcohol is present, but there is this smooth aspect to the beer but also a sipping quality. 

Overall:
Reminicing of that Unibroue Trois Pistoles, Montegioco Draco and The Lost Abbey Judgment Day ale. Damn perfect beer exceeding expectations by a small amount. Despite the ingredients used, there was more very dark and fruity flavors to this one. Several reasons why I really love this one and was the reason I picked this one up for review. I don’t think I have tried a close to blueberry flavored quad. This is quite the dangerous yet delicious beer which is a good reason to be careful with this one. 2 glasses and no food can equal the end of the night. Especially since the 8oz. Pours are very generous (Seem more like 12-16oz.) IF you get a chance to visit Torrance, stop on by and give this a go. 

Anime Corner:
Yoruichi Shihouin (Right) and Ryuko Matoi (Left) from Bleach and Kill La Kill were chosen in this special pairing to compliment the label (Yoruichi hair), the complexity of flavors (Ryuko with cherries and blueberries, dark fruits in her eyes, Yoruichi with orange and spices in her eye colors, hair and speaks of dark fruit raisins), the strength of ABV (Both supremely strong female characters), My favorite style, Quadrupel (2 of my favorite characters), Smooth but dangerous (Both travel at the ridiculous high speeds and attack without mercy if their friends are in danger), very warming and satisfying beer (Very caring and kind hearted despite Ryuko always being the tough girl and Yoruichi, well always being alluring). There are more things I can definitely say as to why it fits this beer, but I will leave it to you to see what else you think works great in this pairing.

Ryoko Fan Art by Jimbobox of Deviantart.com
Yoruichi Fan Art by rikamello-d72jj0w of deviantart.com

2012 Barrel Aged Grand Cru by Alesmith

1780896_10101691111371220_926055113_n 1911609_10101691110507950_886143519_n 10001516_10101691105972040_729515033_nRating: 5.75/5

2012 Barrel Aged Grand Cru by Alesmith is a 10% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale aged in Red Wine Barrels.

Label:
This Belgian-Style Ale has been matured in American and French Oak Barrels for a year to add layers of complexity to its rich flavor profile of dark fruit and Belgian caramel malts. The oak and red wine flavors by the barrel-aging process blend seamlessly with subtle hints of raisin, plum, and bitter-sweet chocolate from the beer. Enjoy now or continue to age in a cool, dark place. Serve in a goblet at 50-55%
___

Obtained this one through a donation to the site. This is the 3rd Barrel-aged beer I try from Alesmith, being that the best one was the Kopi Luwak Bourbon Speedway Stout. A chance to try one of my favorite beers from them in barrel aged form and bring it forth to you guys is an honor. Hopefully it is good enough for a recommendation, although I can already tell you, it will be since I loved the regular grand cru.

Aromas:
Very rich red wine grapes, chardonnay, port wine, merlot, oak, dark fruits like figs, raisins, prunes, plums, currants, cherries, raspberries, cranberries, Dulce de leche caramel, dates, leather notes, vanilla, bourbon hints, milk chocolate, coconut, pecan and hazelnut pie, cloves, bananas in caramel, toffee, butterscotch, candi sugars, brown sugar, peaches, apples and apricots.

Flavors:
Lots of dark fruits like figs, prunes, raisins, plums, currants, raspberries, cherries, cranberries, dulce de leche caramel, flan, brown sugar, port wine, red wine, merlot, leather, milk chocolate hints, bananas, clove spice, vanilla, bourbon like notes, coconut, oak , pecan pie, hazelnut cream, butterscotch, rye bread, rock candy, candi sugar, peaches, pears, apples, apricots, good wine and cheese party and lychee.

Aftertaste:
Dark fruits, caramel, wine notes, oak, tart fruits and slight buttery rye. No alcohol in the taste yet has a smooth character which is kind of dangerous as I can easily try to finish such a good thing in one sittings. Savor her as much as you, she will love you for it or feel the full wrath.

Overall:
Exceeding the expectations of its predecessor, the Alesmith Grand Cru, providing even richer fruitier flavors along with more caramel and candi sugars. I already loved their Grand Cru, but this is taking it to a whole new level with the oak wine characteristics that already bring something very interesting to the table. Especially since most Grand Crus already have an aspect of wine aging. This is not sour in any way and really is an incredible beer.

Anime Corner:
Milla Maxwell is back from the original review to show case the power of the beer in a form of complex flavor and strength animated by her ultimate powers. The fire, earth, water and air elements are a way to artistically show the improvement in the variety of flavors that this beer has. Especially after it aged for 2 years. In the picture where the guy tries to break her out shows that the beer has matured well and is ready to take on. Either that or he just wants to get her now. Regardless, she is damn stronger, maybe not ABV wise, but flavor wise for sure. Any other pairing ideas you can see in these pictures?

Delirium Noël by Brouwerij Huyghe

1526093_10101586398786080_1609852847_nRating: 4.5/5

Delirium Noël by Brouwerij Huyghe is 10% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Description: None.
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This beer is in season for the winter and is found in many places where they sell craft beers or any of the Belgium Delirium Tremens series. I got this one at Downey Liquor in Downey California. These beers along with some of the other Belgium beers are some of the most delicious beers in the world.

Aromas:
Dark fruits, raisins, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, citrus, dulce de leche caramel, candy sugar, ginger bread, apples, peaches, pears, mild peppery spices, brown sugar and mild clove spice.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel, nutmeg, citrus, orange peel, Cinnamon, figs, dark fruits, raisins, cherry notes, pink peppercorns, coriander spice, candy sugar, clove spice, mild banana flavors, ginger bread, pears, peaches, plums, brown sugar, clove spice and apples.

Aftertaste:
Leaves with raisins, ginger bread, plum, peaches, caramel and mild peppercorn spices. A sipping beer. Some alcohol in the taste but it is a sugary sweet alcohol that does not detract from the taste only adding to the nice flavors.

Overall:
A very good Holiday Belgian beer with lots of quadruple flavors. It is a must try if you can find it although you may want to be careful as some places sells this beer pretty pricey while others sell it very cheap. If you decide to get it though, it won’t disappoint at all, so if you love Belgian beers, definitely get this one.

Anime Corner:
Chloe the dark Elf from Elsword is used in this pairing in order to show many aspects of the Delirium Noel. Chloe has pink eyes and hair as well as wearing the Santa Claus outfit to pair with the Delirium pink elephant in the picture. Since she is a dark elf, it represents the dark body of the beer but also the dark fruit flavors. In the label, the pink elephant can be seen playing in the snow at night time while Chloe delivers Christmas gifts. I was unable to find a lot about Chloe’s character other that she is a powerful dark elf which may represent the 10% ABV this beer carries

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

Description:
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.
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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

Aromas:
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. 

Flavors:
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.

Aftertaste:
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

Overall:
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.

6 Geese-A-Laying by The Bruery

1393959_10101459462148120_775351026_nRating: 4.85/5

6 Geese-A-Laying by The Bruery is an 11.5% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with Cape Gooseberries

Label: 
The Sixth verse of our “Twelve Beers of Christmas” Saga incorporates tangy cape gooseberries into a subtle Belgian-style dark ale. Happy Holidays!

6 Geese-A-Laying is suitable for aging up to 6 years (soon after the release of “Twelve Drummers Drumming”)
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The only way, so far, to get this beer is to buy it from the Bruery directly (online or locally) before they hit the distribution line as we approach Christmas. I wanted to do a review, a nightmare before Christmas and before the nightmare, Halloween. Any time is a good time to do a review. Christmas just rolled in early this year.

Aromas are of dark fruits, plums, caramel, pineapple, boysenberries, deep dark cherries, bananas, clove spice, raisin bread pudding, figs, citrus, cantaloupe, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla

Flavors are of Dark cherries, plums, raisins, brown sugar, rich dark cherries, blackberries, blue berries, oranges, pineapple, apricot, peach, cantaloupe melon, peppercorns, vanilla, caramel, toffee, rye bread, raisin bread pudding, cinnamon, gooseberries, bananas, clove spice, coriander spice, fruit cake, ginger, all spice, and nutmeg

Aftertaste leaves a nice clovey spiced, tangy berry, cinnamon, dark fruits, berries and fruit cake taste. It is surely a sipper but close to moderate drinkability. Especially since you cannot find the alcohol

Overall a very good and awesome Christmas offering from the Bruery. There is a lot going on and the tangy flavors are only like a push so that the beer is not overly sweet. Very delicious. Nice way to end the year. Next year will be another year for craft beer and the everlasting expansion of breweries that bring us such great beers. This beer is a very nice beer to have, it has so much good Christmasy stuff going here.

Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black by Allagash brewing

533992_10101395283597450_1145893645_n 1175423_10101395282349950_383455296_n 1175213_10101395281546560_1309066990_nRating: 5.75/5 *Bring on the chocolate

Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black by Allagash brewing is a 9.2% ABV Belgian Stout aged in Oak Bourbon Barrels

Description (Beeradvocate.com):
Our Belgian Style Stout, Black, aged for one year in bourbon barrels. The toffee,chocolate and coconut nose is followed by a smooth bitter chocolate and bourbon flavor. The finish is dry, roasted and warming. 
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First heard of this one several months ago. It was believed that back then this would only be released in small quantities from Portland Maine. Not very many online places will ship this. Some will depending on where you live. I hope we can expect more as the time comes. As I mentioned in other reviews about Belgian Stouts, these tend to be some of my favorite styles of beer. Allagash Black was very good after the many times I have tried it. Now for a Barrel Aged version? Well, we shall see how seductive this one is.

Aromas are of coffee, caramel, mocha notes, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, raisins, oak, bourbon hints, vanilla, slight coconut aroma, pecans, dark fruit, fudge brownie notes and cherry hints

The flavors are of rich milk chocolate, dark chocolate, coffee, mocha, pecans, hazelnut spread, dulce de leche caramel notes, bourbon notes, slight oak and smokey notes, vanilla, dark fruits like cherries, raisins, plums, chocolate cake batter, brownies, coconut notes, spicy cloves, anise and almond joy chocolate

The aftertaste leaves with a nice chocolate brownie sweetness along with smoke and oak notes to keep stuff balanced. Not in the realm of super strong barrel aged beers but the alcohol is super hidden. Definitely a sipper and meant to be enjoyed for a while

Overall, the beer freaking great. The bourbon, although subtle, brings forth new flavors as well brings about stronger flavors, especially the chocolate and caramel. The flavors get more complex as the beer warms up. Similar to the Folklore Pappy Van Winkle, this beer brings a whole lot to the style. The beer just starts to give out a great amount of coconut, chocolate, dark fruits, bourbon and caramel as it warms. Goes to show, that even for a barrel aged beer under 10% ABV, might be worth the price.

Original Allagash Black Review
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/allagash-black-by-allagash-brewing/

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.

Grand Gru by Abbaye-Abbey du Val-Dieu

1239642_10101353312512840_1852664825_n 1234101_10101353312562740_447530807_n 1011629_10101353309933010_684180145_nRating: 5.15/5

Grand Gru by Abbaye-Abbey du Val-Dieu is a 10.5% Belgian Strong Dark Ale/Quadruple

Label: 
This authentic Abbey ale is based on the recipe perfected centuries ago by the monks of Abbey du Val-Dieu.

Anno 1216
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While browsing for grand crews at the store near my house, I was looking for a grand cru beer to try as this type of beer has become a favorite of mine (like Belgian quad or strong dark weren’t already lol) The person at the tells me to try this one as it is lower in prices than even Alesmith Grand Cru. So I go with it as it is authentic Belgian stuff. Hell yeah!! Now the interesting thing is, many site cannot compare this as a quad or a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, I’ll say it is both. Grand cru is already kind of borderline anyway in terms of beer styles.

Aromas were rich in dark fruits like plums, raisins, figs, dulce de leche caramel, chocolate notes, grapes, pears, oak, earthy spices and blackberry preserves

The flavors are much better than the aroma. Very rich raisins covered in dulce de leche caramel, raisin bread pudding, plums, pears, dates, figs, sweet bread, butterscotch, flan, cinnamon, grapes, cherries, blackberry preserves, peppery notes, loads of candi sugar, pilloncillo sugar cone, brown sugar and rye bread. As the beer warms up, you get more complex flavors of pecan pie, hazelnut and banana which is definitely awesome.

The aftertaste continues with raisin and caramel sweetness and leaves an nice dark fruit and pecan taste in the palate. Full to medium body yet, the flavors cover up the alcohol a lot to the point where it is quite drinkable. I almost want to finish the whole bottle as it is is damn good. 

Over all, to me knowing it is an Abbey Ale (I love authentic Abbey and Trappist ales) and the fact that it hits it home with the caramel and the raisins, it is a phenomenal beer. May not be to the Alesmith in terms of complexity or even as buttery raspberry preserve on toast as the Avery beast, but it still hits those Belgian lover spots in my heart reminding me of the St. Bernardus. In fact, I may actually get this over other grand crus. Especially since it is cheaper in price and easier to find. The best part is that it is a complex Belgian so this actually starts to transform in flavors as it warms up, this is why I gave it a higher rating.

Anomaly by Monkish Brewing

1186090_10101340748965290_1613237542_nRating: 4.8/5

Anomaly by Monkish Brewing is a 8.5% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale made with oats and wheat

Description: 
A strong, dark ale with tastes of chocolate, caramel, and dark stone fruits along with a silky mouthfeel from oats and wheat.
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This is the first time I do a review for a draft only beer. Monkish is a pretty new brewing company in the city of Torrance California (Los Angeles county) specializing primarily in Belgian style ales. They have been active creating many different beers using many unique ingredients such as hibiscus, rose hips, pistachios, vanilla beans, Sichuan peppercorns, elder flowers, chamomile and many more. They mainly distribute kegs locally and other parts of the state so trying their beers might be difficult to find. Hopefully if you live in the south land part of California, you may want to give their beers a go. 

Aromas of the anomaly are of dark chocolate, coffee, dark fruits like plums, raisins, cinnamon, port wine, slight cola notes, candi sugars, caramel and raisin bread

Flavors are of plums, dark chocolate, figs, raisins, mocha coffee, slight oak, wine notes, cola, molasses, anise, licorice, brown sugar, caramel and hints of banana and cloves.

The aftertaste remains with some notes of plums and figs and raisin bread. The booze is not present in the taste and gives a warm feeling after every taste. Also, it is quite smooth for a Dark Belgian.

I love dark Belgian beers and this one, aside from their new beer Seme Della Vita, is one of my favorites from this brewery. Reminds me of some of the good Dark Belgian flavors from beers like Trois Pistoles. They only recently started putting this one in growlers. So if you are ever in Los Angeles Area, check out Monkish Brewing, definitely a unique set of beers. 

Site: http://www.monkishbrewing.com/beers/

The Beast Grand Cru (Batch 10, 2012 edition) by Avery Brewing

1009815_10101302556208880_567324772_nRating: 5/5

The Beast Grand Cru (Batch 10, 2012 edition) by Avery Brewing is a 16% ABV Belgian Strong Dark ale

Label: 
The Beast is a seducer – accommodating, complicated, powerful, dark and created to last the ages. Beyond this, it’s futile to attempt to describe Him. He will unveil Himself differently to each of His followers. The mark is in His constitution. Brewed with two-row malted barley, honey malt, and imported Belgian specialty grains (aromatic, pale wheat, roasted wheat, and Special , hops (Magnum, Galena, Saaz, Hallertau, Tettnang, and Hersbrucker), brewing sugars (raisins, dates, blackstrap molasses, alfalfa honey, turbinado, and dark Belgian candy sugar), water, Belgian yeast and another hellion of a yeast strain.OG: 1.138 
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Obtained from a beer trade with my good friend Richard. He definitely went out of his way to find this one. I have heard of this beer but I have never really found it. This review goes out to him. Thanks again man . The Grand Cru style is one I don’t often get to try but from the many I have tried, they have all been great. This one is no exception

Aromas are of caramel, grapes, rich strawberry and blackberry preserves, cherries, raisins, plums, candi sugar, biscuit bread, walnuts, vanilla, fruit cake, citrus and rye

The flavors are of lots of sweet forward strawberry preserves, blackberries, raisins, rye bread, caramel, pecan pie, candi sugar, cherries, fruitcake, vanilla, apricots, citrus, hints of coconut and oak

The beer is quite boozy but the flavors cover up any alcohol burn. So while you still get to feel the alcohol potency, the complex flavors help it out a lot.

Overall the beer is freaking great, strong, deliciously complex and it will take control once you finish the last drop. I would definitely recommend this one if you can find it. Also, I wish I had more bottles of this. This is too good to pass up 

Jaded (Import Series Vol. 3) by Stillwater Artisanal

521656_10101298380287460_1036522167_n 1069250_10101298375187680_684462962_nRating: 4.8/5

Jaded (Import Series Vol. 3) by Stillwater Artisanal is a 9% ABV Dark Wheat Ale brewed with Rose, Violet and Jasmine

Commercial Description: 
Brewed with good friend, Urbain Coutteau of De Struise Brouwers. Urbain describes this work as “Dark chess-nut coloured ale with a nice steady off-white head. Aroma is all about finesse, loads of blossoms and spring flowers. The mouth-feel is refined, playful and complex with Saison like peppery flavours. Soft nutty after taste with a bite.”
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This beer is quite elusive. Especially in the west coast. It has been 2 years since I have been looking for this beer. Lucky for me, it was released again this year. Ever still, quite the elusive one. Now that I have found it, I spend time no more to bring this review to you in hopes that maybe you too will try it, IF you can find it. (www.thepartysource.com)

Aromas of this beer are of lots of rich caramel and phenols, toffee, pecans, flowers, biscuit bread, honey, apples, coriander, chocolate notes, roasted barley notes, pineapple, raisins, prunes, hints of banana, clove spice, candi sugars, peppercorns, citrus and rye

Flavors are of hibiscus, grapes, rose petals, pineapple, plums, raisins, dates, caramel, toffee, banana, peppercorns, cloves, coriander, dried apricot, candi sugars, citrus, floral hops, honey, biscuit bread, chocolate notes and minor wine notes like a nice port but only near the end.

The after taste leaves a nice bready, flowery, caramel sweet residue with a bit of like an earthy hop bitterness.

Essentially, this is a Belgian Strong Dark Wheat Ale, the brethren of the Dunkelweissen style except made with Belgian yeast instead of Bavarian but closer to a dark saison. Really crafty I should say. I would expect nothing less from the awesome Stillwater beers I have reviewed so far. I have not found one I didn’t like and I would definitely recommend this one. It was definitely worth the wait, but luckily I have tried something similar. Although the flowers added to the mix is what really drives this beer.

Grand Cru by Alesmith Brewing

487395_10101297402412130_346199578_n 1000856_10101297404702540_549048764_nRating: 5.35/5*

Grand Cru by Alesmith Brewing is a 10%ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Label: 
25.4 fl. oz. – First place California State Fair. Grand Cru is a term designating excellence and is reserved for the finest offering from a brewery. AleSmith Grand Cru is brewed once per year in small batches for limited vintage release.

AleSmith Grand Cru is a complex, amber-colored, malty Belgian-style ale. It is brewed using only the finest imported malts, hops and candi sugar, along with an authentic yeast strain from a Belgian Trappist Monastery. Traditionally bottle-conditioned, the secondary fermentation occurring in the bottle gives this ale a natural effervescence.

Taste this truly Grand Cru and you’ll agree: AleSmith’s hand-forged ales are crafted to perfection. 10% alcohol by volume. Brewed & bottled by AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA.
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Been passing this one up for a quite a while. Alesmith makes really great beer but I never got around to try this one. No longer though. I was able to find this one to give it a try and do a review. Grand Cru is sometimes a complex type that doesn’t really fall into a particular style other than some type of Belgian beer that is really awesome. I’ve considered some of the Grand Crus I have tried in the best as very Epic, this one is no different. In fact, it rates outstanding to world class in some of the beer rating websites.

Aromas a complex conundrum of good stuff. Dark fruits like figs, raisins, plums, wine grapes, cherries, raspberries, Dulce de leche caramel on rye toast, dates, vanilla, somewhat bourbon vanilla character, chocolate, coconut, pecan and hazelnut pie, cloves, bananas in caramel, toffee, butterscotch, candi sugars, brown sugar, apples and apricots.

Flavors are simply phenomenal! Lots or dulce de leche caramel, pecan and hazel nut pie covered in vanilla cream, chocolate Almond Joy with coconut, figs, raisins, plums, slight wine grape notes, dark cherries, raspberries, dates, caramel covered bananas, toffee, biscuit bread, phenols, clove spices, nutmeg, apples, peaches, candi sugar and butterscotch

This beer is kind of crazy as it reminds me a bit of the St. Bernardus and to some extent, hints of the Westy 12. The beer has definitely has a lot going for it. It is a little boozy but that is quite fine as the bready caramel and rich fruits cover that all up nicely. This is a great beer and many Belgian beer lovers will love this one. Alesmith, very well done.

*I Love sweet and Complex beers, this one put it over just a bit. This is my highest rating for a Grand Cru so far

3 French Hens by the Bruery

993891_10101213608880040_868492750_n 988458_10101213606574660_1022864022_n 971878_10101213607417970_297930175_nRating: 4.8/5

3 French Hens by the Bruery is a 10% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Label:
The third verse of our “Twelve Beers of Christmas” saga incorporates vinous and oaky notes into a bold and spicy dark ale. Happy Holidays!

75% Belgian-Style Dark Ale,25% Ale Aged in French Oak Barrels
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This beer is hard to come by especially since it is the 3rd installment of the Bruery’s 12 Beers of Christmas. Last year’s was 5 Golden Rings. Why am I reviewing a Christmas beer in the summer time? Well what better time than now. This is the 2010 release so it has been sitting around for about 2 and a half years bringing up the complexity and ABV to newer heights

The aromas start off quite fruity. Pineapple, peaches, cherries, plums, mango, oak, wine grapes, apricot, apple, caramel, candied sugar, wine, slight cocoa, anise, guava and biscuit bread with honey.

Flavors are of mix of a Belgian quad and a sour. However, the sour is only in funky notes, not necessarily sour. You get flavors or caramel, raisins, wine grapes, slight chocolate, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla oak, guava, pineapple, mango, papaya, plums, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger bread, honey, brown sugars, peppercorn notes, clove spice, slight funkyness like that of Jolly Pumpkin beers without the sourness, molasses, and brown sugar. The aftertaste is slightly vinous and funky but delicious. Mainly from the oak I would think.

Quite the new experience for me really. I never had a beer that gave that Belgian quad like flavors with awesome funky notes that I would with like Jolly Pumpkin. I guess something close would be like the Fantome Belgian beers. It is a very nice experience for sure and aging has definitely gave it what was necessary to bring out some epic flavors from this. Now all I need to find is Partridge in a Pear Tree.

Second Anniversary Grand Cru by Figueroa Mountain Brewing

524681_10101129754165560_1250385001_nRating: 5/5

Second Anniversary Grand Cru by Figueroa Mountain Brewing is a 10.7% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Label: 
Hand picked – imported – specialty malts, and a yeast strain from the Brasserie de Rochefort gives this Belgian-style strong ale aromas of dried stone fruit, raisins and dates atop caramel and toffee. Rich and malty-sweet but with a dry, warming finish.
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Looking back at the first time I tried this beer in Pasadena’s own King’s Row Gastro Pub, I remember I had to order this one like 3 times. What can I say I realized it was an amazing beer. I only recently was able to get one of these for review. Aromas are of delicious Belgian beer goodness. Dark fruits like plums, cherries, raisins, dates, figs, dulce de leche caramel, whole cane unprocessed sugar cones, sweet bread, biscuit, like a port wine reminiscent of Trois Pistoles, grapes and some minor chocolate. The flavors is where it’s at. The flavors are close to the Cherry and Belgian bread from Three Philosophers but lighter in terms of mouth feel. You get raisins, cherries, toffee, dulde de leche caramel, dates, apples, plums, minor banana esters and cloves, grapes, brown sugar, honey biscuit and Belgian bread dipped in a light port wine. This beer is great since it allows the great complexity of some Belgian beers but drinkable level. It is not a quad, but it is close to the Trappists as it is using Rochefort yeast. Overall, this is definitely a must try. Now I need to go back to Pasadena and get some more on tap. This little bottle was kind of pricey but very worth it. Just supporting local breweries here in California 😛

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.

Label:
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
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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.

Allagash Black by Allagash Brewing (1 year Aged)

486427_10101095685090260_2105219987_nRating: 5/5

Allagash Black by Allagash Brewing is a 7.5% ABV Belgian Stout. This version I aged for about a year until the right time to try it.

Description: 
Allagash Black, our new Belgian style stout, is brewed with German 2 row barley, Torrified wheat and oats, balanced by a large addition of Belgian dark candi to give the Black a full and silky mouthfeel. Roasted malts give this stout its classic chocolate, toast and malty taste, and contribute to chocolate notes and a hint of roasted coffee in the aroma. The Black is fermented with a Belgian yeast strain and refermented in the bottle with the methode champenoise to make this beer truly unique. Availability: 750 ml bottles, 5.17 gal kegs ABV: 7.5% Original Gravity: 1.072 Recommended Serving Temperature: 55°F Recommended Cellaring Temperature: 55°F
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This is the second time I try this beer. The first time I tried it was about a year ago. I saved a bottle to let it sit for about a year to see if the levels would intensify. Oh man did they now. Upon opening the bottle there was an immediate rush of caramel and vanilla fragrant smoked. Some aromas of chocolate coffee, mocha, some pecan and caramel bread, some minor aromas of dark fruits and apples. The flavors are of bitter dark chocolate, roasted coffee, slight smokiness, bananas, molasses, boysenberry pie, some coffee cake, dark tart cherries, plums, raisins, figs, dry apricots, some dulce de leche caramel, some vanilla, candi sugar, earthy hop and citrus taste. This beer reminds me a lot of Folklore by Stillwater Artisanal in that it is still a very good Belgian stout but with some smokey aspects to it. Although, Folklore had a little more of a dark saison aspect as well. More smokey and bitter than 13th hour Stout but it makes up for that with the rest of the flavors which are awesome. A very awesome beer and one to have many a times. The Abyss doesn’t come out all the time but I would say if this was barrel aged, you would have Deschutes The Abyss.

2012 Review:
Allagash Black, the brew that is so similar to 13th hour but more bitter chocolate than. The Belgian Style Stout is brewed with 2 Row barley, torrified wheat, oats, both roasted and chocolate malt and a generous portion of dark caramelized candy sugar. There is definitely a silky mouth feel as stated in the description. Almost like velvet Merlin. The brew has a lot of reminiscent chocolate/coffee bread taste like the 13th. There is also hints of caramel vanilla, citrus, raisins, figs, cherries and dried apricot. Even if the base overwhelmed is malty bitter sweet chocolate, as I go through this brew it definitely lets out a lot of other complex flavor due to the Belgian bready yeast here. Step into this beer…if you dare…it looks evil but very delicious and lovely and good :). Just like the pic of Midna. You never know what you will find in this brew. Also the bitterness of this beer does remind me of the Old Rasputin hoppy bitterness. Allagash does a great job of balancing the complexity of this brew with that of malty sweet, bready complex, and hoppy bitterness. Surely some one that likes Stouts, Belgian, and hoppy ales will surely, like this complex creation. Looks sorta plain and dark from the outside but they have always said, it is the inside that counts. So give this one a try and take a step into the dark…or black side of the ale world. 😛

Delirium Nocturnum by Brouwerij Huyghe

417686_10101094072122660_557008352_nRating: 4.8/5

Delirium Nocturnum by Brouwerij Huyghe is an 8.5% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Description: 
Colour and sight: Dark brown-red. A compact white-yellow, stable and lacing head. Scent: Touches of caramel, mocha and chocolate. Spices such as liquorice and coriander are also present. Flavour: Initially, a very good mouthfeel of alcohol and softness. This is followed by an increasing bitterness, partially from the hop, but also from the roasted malt and chocolate malt. Towards the end a nice balance between bitterness, sour and sweet
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Last time I tried this beer was at a bar near my house. It is actually quite a common beer in many of the beer shops. I figured why not, so I picked it up to do a review. The aromas are interesting. It has like a caramel sweet scent but also some what of a coca cola scent, some chocolate, apples, pears, peppercorn fragrance, raisins, some phenolic breadyness, and citrus. The flavors are close to a tripel or a farmhouse ale as I can sense the peppercorn flavor. There are some dark cherries, raisins, bread, pears, caramel, somewhat of a minor sourness but like a grape sourness but also like wild yeast floral and spicyness, champagne, wine like notes, coriander spice almost and some waffle cone with brown sugar. IT is rather interesting. It meets the expectations for being a Belgian beer for sure but also maintaining somewhat of a drink-ability aspect to it to it. Not as heavy as some of the other Belgium beers but close enough. I would think this or even the Tremmens would be good example of Belgian beer gateway for those that haven’t tried too many Belgians. Very good stuff

Aloha B’ak’tun by Maui brewing

522731_10101089985212860_2041559936_nRating: 4.45/5

Aloha B’ak’tun by Maui brewing is a 7%ABV Belgian Stout brewed with chocolate, cinnamon and chipotle.

Label: 
Change is the only constant in life; and this year has been marked with exiting changes. Staff moving on, new staff joining our team and construction plans for the new brewery (Yes, still on Maui). Our final limited release of the year celebrates change and bids aloha to our friends new and old. 

This Belgian stout is brewed with chocolate, cinnamon, and chipotle. It pours deep black with ruby highlights. Layered with roasted malt character hints of bittersweet dark chocolate, clove, cinnamon and subtle peppery notes in the nose. 

The year is ending, the world is not. Raise your hand and toast with us to all the great things to come. Look forward to four new limited releases in 2013.
Mahalo Nui Loa. 

‘Okole Maluna,
Garrett 
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Belgian Stouts are some of my favorites. So when I found this one I had to get it. The fragrances are are roasted coffee, bakers and dark chocolate, bready notes, raisins, slight peppercorns, mild pepper, tobacco, molasses and slight caramel. The flavors are mainly of coffee, dark chocolate, slight tobacco, smokey (in the glass), dulce de leche caramel (mainly when in the can), bready notes, raisins, slight chocolate covered cherries, slight peppery notes of chipotle but hardly enough to detect heat at all. I tried it both out of the glass and the can. Frankly, it taste better out of the can than in the glass. I guess like heady topper, certain things taste better when out of certain containers. Although after letting it sit for a while in the glass, the flavors like that of the can were there. All and all, an awesome beer, very good Belgian stout but kind of not as full flavor impacting like Thirteenth Hour or Buffalo Stout. Still, great pick up and one I would try again 🙂

Art of Darkness by Ommegang (New Label)

544578_10101070291663890_1780300422_n 268011_10101070308280590_259821861_nRating: 5/5

Art of Darkness… new label by Ommegang. I have already done several reviews for this beer to know this beer is not an ordinary beer. One of my most world favorites along with Trois Pistoles, St. Bernardus, Black Xantus, Three Philosophers, Black Tuesday, Chocolate Rain and others. 

Label:
Ommegang Art Of Darkness unites barley and wheat malts, flaked oats, Ommegang yeast, and noble hops in a bewitching demonstration of the brewing arts. Yet there are no secret ingredients nor mystical incantations. 

There is only the highest realization of the art of brewing a dark Belgian-style ale of extraordinary flavor, aroma, and balance.

This ale walks the line between being savored now, and being cellared to relish later. As a discerning patron of the dark arts, you an make your own choice.
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Tread carefully…this one is evil >:)

https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/art-of-darkness-by-ommegang-6-month-version/
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/art-of-darkness-by-ommegang/

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.


Label:

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.

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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 >:)

Noir De Dottignies by Brouwerij De Ranke

542549_10101006082434700_1736660231_n 602841_10101006082524520_237501492_nRating: 4.8/5

Noir De Dottignies by Brouwerij De Ranke is a 9% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale. A pretty rare beer made in a Belgian Brewery that is in West Flanders known of some of the many that do not export or hardly export their products. This beer is known to be heavily hopped. 

Label:
Bottle: Unfiltered.
Ingredients: Water; Barley malt; Hops; Candi-sugar; Yeast.
The heaviest ale on our menu with a very rich taste, coming from the six different kinds of malt we use. These malts also give it that rich, dark, nearly black colour. The royal doses of Challenger and Saaz hops bring the typical balance between sweet and bitter.

The De Rank brewery was founded by two good friends; Nino Bacelle & Guido Devose. Their story is a classic in Belgium, where the very best craft brewing usually begins as a passionately pursued hobby, not an occupation. For Nino and Guido, brewing is literally a weekend obsession. For a few hours on Friday and Saturday, every week, the marvelous turn-of-the-century Deca Brewery in West Flanders is turned over to the De Ranke brewers, who make small batches of what many consider the best specialty beers of Belgium. Their beers are robust and flavorful, and famous for their massive hoppiness.
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The aromas are of raisins, cherries, figs, slight chocolate and coffee, slight rum, bread pudding, caramel, molasses, anise and spices. The flavors are of mocha, dulce de leche caramel, candi sugar, raisins, cherries, raspberry pomegranate , earthy notes, slight grassy and grapefruit hops, molasses, anise, raisin bread pudding, walnuts, baker’s chocolate and rum. This beer almost reminds me of the Decadence quad but with more earthy hop bitterness. It is an awesome and must try beer. Although the hops may come overwhelmingly at times yet it still does not detract how interesting it is.

Art of Darkness by Ommegang *6 month version

Rating: 5/5 *6 month version2012 (6 months later)

Art of Darkness by Ommegang is an 8.9% Belgian Dark Ale. What can I say, this is the third time I try this beer. I enjoyed it so much I took 2 bottles and started to aged them. I have one aging right now but decided to try the 6 month version. As I had mentioned before, this one is on my list of favorite beers ever. Reminding me of the Thirteenth Hour Stout. Taste more like Stout if it was hybrid with Troise Pistoles and St. Bernardus. Now the thing is, now the chocolate and dulce de leche bread are pushing through further and further. Looks like maturation is starting to make the ABV higher but also bringing forth more sweetness along side with the dark Belgian fruits like the plums, raisins, prunes and cherries. I will probably hold off on this beer for several years and see where it goes. 2012 (Earlier Review)

So it comes down to this huh?? Dabbling with things that should not be dabbled with. But what can one achieve with finding something beyond the taboo of brewing?? Well if anything, hope you don’t get cursed along the way >:)… So for those that may not want to dabble in darkness… I took it upon myself to try this beer before it hit the stores. In fact this beer isn’t even set to release until April 2012. Let’s just say I got the hookups. This is … Art of Darkness Belgian Dark Ale. It is a brew at 8.9% ABV made by Ommegang brewing. A homage to the dark arts of brewing some of the best dark beers in the world. A la Troise Pistoles, Thirteenth Hour Stout, Terrible, St Bernardus 12, Westvleteren, etc. Baler and wheat malts combine with flaked oats, Ommegang yeast and noble hops. Even though the beer is has no secret ingridients like eye of newt or special incantations. The theory is simple, the flavor is complex and delicious. I think I shoul start by mentioning that this beers is much like the Thirteenth hour stout, devils chocolate cake/bread.It follows vanilla and faint grassy citrus bitterness. The sweetness overwhelms both the the after taste and the boozy alcohol feel.Some raisins and licorice flavors are present in there as well. Overall it wants to fit somewhere in the middle of the triangle that composes the best beers in the world for me, Trois Pistoles, St. Bernardus abt 12 and Thirteenth hour. However, it does go toe to toe with the Three philosophers as well except one is cherry bread and the other is chocolate. This Devil’s water is damn sweet, and if you would want to dable at this fine masterpiece…well…good luck >:]

Art of Darkness by Ommegang

So it comes down to this huh?? Dabbling with things that should not be dabbled with. But what can one achieve with finding something beyond the taboo of brewing?? Well if anything, hope you don’t get cursed along the way >:)… So for those that may not want to dabble in darkness… I took it upon myself to try this beer before it hit the stores. In fact this beer isn’t even set to release until April 2012. Let’s just say I got the hookups. This is … Art of Darkness Belgian Dark Ale. It is a brew at 8.9% ABV made by Ommegang brewing. A homage to the dark arts of brewing some of the best dark beers in the world. A la Troise Pistoles, Thirteenth Hour Stout, Terrible, St Bernardus 12, Westvleteren, etc. Baler and wheat malts combine with flaked oats, Ommegang yeast and noble hops. Even though the beer is has no secret ingredients like eye of newt or special incantations. The theory is simple, the flavor is complex and delicious. I think I shoul start by mentioning that this beers is much like the Thirteenth hour stout, devils chocolate cake/bread.It follows vanilla and faint grassy citrus bitterness. The sweetness overwhelms both the the after taste and the boozy alcohol feel.Some raisins and licorice flavors are present in there as well. Overall it wants to fit somewhere in the middle of the triangle that composes the best beers in the world for me, Trois Pistoles, St. Bernardus abt 12 and Thirteenth hour. However, it does go toe to toe with the Three philosophers as well except one is cherry bread and the other is chocolate. This Devil’s water is damn sweet, and if you would want to dabble at this fine masterpiece…well…good luck >:]