Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat by Anheuser-Busch

1234532_10101391541796050_1081832293_nRating: 2.5/5

Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat by Anheuser-Busch is a 5.2% ABV Belgian-Style Wheat Ale brewed with Pumpkin and Spices

DESCRIPTION:
Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat is a traditional Belgian-style wheat ale brewed with ripe pumpkins and a variety of autumnal spices, including nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, for a refreshingly smooth beer that fully captures all the flavors of fall.
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Shock Top pumpkin wheat has been one of those beers that I usually have avoided for quite a while Mainly as many have advised that the beer is decent but not the best pumpkin beer out there. I would agree, but I have not tried it, until now that is. Last year I did a lot of pumpkin beers, so this year to make it fair, I also want to review those I missed out on. So here’s to the fall 

Aromas are of pumpkin spice, caramel notes, coriander, citrus, oranges, a bit of ginger bread notes and brown sugar

The flavors are of cereal grains, citrus notes, light pumpkin spice note, coriander, ginger bread hints, cinnamon, clove notes, hints of nutmeg and lemon peel

The after taste is of wheat, grains and hardly any pumpkin in the finish. Easy to drink but not quite balanced.

Overall it is decent, but not the greatest example of a pumpkin beer. The notes are here and there but there is no balance and the wheat only makes it partially work. I have have had way better pumpkin beers in the past. Even better Shocktop beers before as well. It is not a terrible beer, just something worth trying once. I would almost say a good gateway to pumpkin beers, although I would definitely would recommend others. I think the problem is that wheat orange and pumpkin sweetness only works partially. It is like saying have a peanut butter and ketchup sandwich or peanut butter and mayo sandwich.

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Paardebloem Lips of Faith series collaboration by New Belgium and Red Rock brewery

1185754_10101360003354340_899459529_nRating: 4/5

Paardebloem Lips of Faith series collaboration by New Belgium and Red Rock brewery is a 9% ABV Belgian Strong Pale Ale brewed with Peach juice, Grains of Paradise and dandelion greens blended with wood aged beer

Label: 
Using dandelion greens to bitter a Belgian-style ale blossomed from our brewers collaborating with Red Rock Brewing. This being our sixth interpretation together since 2008, expect a wonderfully complex ale fermented with wild Belgian yeast and blended with just a touch of wood-aged beer. Bitterness imparted from dandelion greens and grains of paradise will have you blowing wishes for sips.
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Got this one as an extra to go when buying beers. I have not tried this one nor the other one (Pluot) which were the summer releases for the Lips of faith series. The ones from spring were pretty good. This one is made with fruits and flowers so I am hoping it will be good.

Aromas are of honey, peach, grapes, pineapple, apricot, light biscuit bread, light flower scent, citrus scent, peppercorns, coriander spice, a touch of a caramel and wine notes

Flavors are of grapes, honey, peach, white wine, apples, pears, pineapple juice, plums, biscuit bread, waffle cone, orange juice, coriander spice, light oak notes, caramel, floral bitterness and slight tart nectarine.

The aftertaste is sweet and tangy but finishes dry. The alcohol is somewhat hidden but comes out sweet. This one can be drank easy to moderately

Overall the beer turned out to be very good but nothing too new or mind blowing, simply very good. Reminded me of the Fejoia but more orange juice, floral notes and a bit of oak. For the price I would go with another beer that is just as good or better. This is actually worth trying at least once to get a good feel for it. Also, I apologize about the label, seems like the label paint was peeling from the bottle. I had noticed it after the first pour. As long as the main part of the label is still good.

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

Quandary by River North Brewing

299285_10101112240103880_451478671_nRating: 5/5

Quandary by River North Brewing is a 9.6%ABV Quadrupel Ale 

Label: 
A dark Belgian-style ale you can’t quite put your finger on. Neirther wholly traditional nor modern. Familiar, but unidentifiably unique. An ale to slowly ponder, seldom decipher, yet always enjoy.
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This beer’s name is surrounded in perplexity. First, there was no head nor lacing. At 9.6% I was concerned but at the same time intrigued as I thought that maybe this beer is strong but maybe it may hide the alcohol, or it may not. The aromas were nice of the typical quads I love. Dulce de leche caramel, dark fruits, cherries, toffee, banana bread, pecans, raisins, plums, bubble gum and spices. The flavors were where it hit reminding me of the Three Philosophers but not as heavy in terms of the rich bread and full body. However, the flavors are are pretty much there like the dark cherry, dulce de leche bread, pecan pie, bananas, bubble gum, raisins, figs, plums, chocolate notes, citrus, coriander, some pears and apples. The other crazy thing, is because this is a 9.6%, with hardly any carbonation, it is surprisingly drinkable. Alcohol is way to well hidden. I think that is what defines the perplexity in the name of the beer. It is like taking the 3 philosophers and making it lighter in terms of body and some complexity but still keeping the flavor consistency but moderate. I simple terms, it is less filling even if higher ABV. I would like to call it 3 Philosophers light but the beer is actually stronger in ABV. This is not a common beer in California but if I would find it again, I would pick it up for those days I want to just drink quads with less filling 🙂 (What is this a bud commercial? lol). Has that right amount of good flavors I love of some of the best quads in the world but not too involved. Belgian lovers will definitely hit up this one. I think even people that probably don’t like heavy quads might find this appealing. Basically take in the awesome flavors while not being too overwhelming or filling.

Belzebuth by Brasserie Grain d’ Orge

544440_10101072548785600_1010024809_nRating: 4/5

Belzebuth by Brasserie Grain d’ Orge of France is a 13%ABV Belgian Strong Blonde Ale.

Description:
Bottle (13% abv) and can (11.8%): Filtered.
Ingredients: Water, Barley Malt, Wheat, Rice, Sugar, Hops.
Alcohol content lowered in 2002 from 15% to 13% when brewery changed name from Jeanne d’Arc to Grain d’Orge.
“The dark amber coloured Belzebub offers an intense alcohol flavour with a strong supporting maltiness.”
The 11.8% version is canned in Holland.
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When opening this little bottle you notices that there is definitely not a lot of beer. Exactly 8.4oz of it. This is the second time I try the beer and I have been meaning to do another review. It has been a couple years actually. The aromas are nice. Fragrances of honey, biscuit bread, citrus orange, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, boozy almost like a sweet bourbon, oak, pears, grapes, peaches and some raisins. The flavors are pretty sweet. Belgian yeast phenolic, grapes, caramel, pears, peaches, orange, grape jelly, possibly a strawberry, honey, vanilla, slight raisin bread pudding and quite a good amount of alcohol. While the beer does have some really nice flavors worth checking out, for some, the alcohol could be distracting a bit. It is not as balanced as it could be and it semi hides the alcohol. Regardless, you can still tell about the flavors in this one. Quite good, not the best, but still quite good. Besides, a 13% Belgian style ale from France, you cant go wrong there 🙂

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/

The Three Philosophers by Ommegang (New Label)

526229_10101069453857860_931053769_n 313764_10101069469122270_1245414941_n 382348_10101069469087340_1594364830_nRating: 5/5

Already did a review on this beer a while back. This is the version with the new label. Still one my top favorite beers in the world.

Label:
The Belgian motto is “Strength in Union.” No phrase better describes Ommegang’s delicious Three Philosophers Quadrupel, which unites malty Belgian-style ale with Liefmans Kriek, authentic cherry ale from Belgium. Dark, mysterious cherry-chestnut color. Pair with Strong Cheeses, desserts, or sip as an after dinner ale. 

https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/the-three-philosophers-by-ommegang-2/

The Three Philosophers by Ommegang

Rating: 5/5

The Three Philosophers by Ommegang is a 9.8%ABV Belgian Quadrupple ale blended with 2% Belgian Kriek (Cherry Belgian Ale). This, is my third next best beer in the world, right next to Trois Pistoles and St. Bernardus 12. It is simply remarkable. This is the 2012 edition and I have tried this beer several times to know I really like this one. This beer is now available at Downey Brewery. 

Label:
Created by blending a rich, malty, Belgian-style ale with authentic Kriek, a classic cherry ale from Belgium, our Quadruple is cultured yet wild, curious yet wise.
And remember “Phisolophy Begins in Wonder” – Plato
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The fragrance of the beers is like that of mix of sweet bread, vanilla, caramel and cherries. It is really robust with fragrance. The flavors are very rich. While in some reviews I mentions flavors where in small amounts, medium or rich, this is really rich. Dulce de leche bread, vanilla, capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding with raisins, except this is with cherries and raisins), cinnamon, tangy cherries, raisins, dark fruits like figs and plums, some banana clove, minor pecan, hint of dark chocolate, brown sugar, alittle bit of wine sour grapes but not a lot, just a hint. Many people that have tried this beer enjoyed it. So I don’t see why it would be one of the best. This talking from my personal experience. It is widely available year round in 750ml bottles or in 330ml 4 packs an many craft beers places. Yes, amazingly enough, some of the best beers in the world for me are closer to home than some of the other beers I tired 😛

2011 Review:
SO….. this year I tried the 2011 version. LOL well it is almost the end of the year :P. The Three Philosophers by Ommegang is a true Belgian Quadruple brewed with Cherries. This style is called Kriek where you find a diversity of wine like/beer like flavors as a cherry ale is mixed with this Belgium beauty. Caramel, cherry, bread, unique deliciousness as only found in brews that are the best in 
the world. This is one of my top 10 beers. Originally introduced by my friend Chino, this is a world class for sure. Once that is often missed but surely a necessary pickup. Sometimes I wish they could invent an X-ray tongue tasting device where I can walk into the bev mo or any other craft brew store and learn to pick out the brews of ultimate deliciousness for myself. Sure, there are reviews and all but taste is everything. Until you try it for yourself then you will understand for sure….For anyone that reads my albums here on Facebook you should probably send me some feed back let me know what kind of brews you would like to see posted on here and I will try them and write about them….let me know :)…thanks for reading 😀

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 >:]