2016 Preservation series The Grade A.K.A Squirrel! By The Bruery

14706841_10103627990554810_4776698668215944823_oRating: 6/6

2016 Preservation series The Grade A.K.A Squirrel! By The Bruery is a 7.6% ABV is a Baltic Porter brewed with maple syrup and Fenugreek with natural flavors.

Label:
“SQUIRREL!”

The Grade is in. It’s built on the backbone of a rich, cold-fermented baltic porter made popular in countries bordering the Baltic Sea. We then hammer it home with the bold, sweet flavors of maple syrup and a touch of fenugreek.

==Introduction==
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Released to all societies (Preservation, Reserve and Hoarders), this Baltic Porter/Dark Lager was originally named Squirrel. Why thought? There does not seem to be anything relation to squirrels other than the maple syrup and maple trees. Then again, why was it called ‘The Grade’. I do not know that either. Well, regardless, here is the first Baltic Porter I try from the Bruery. The Baltic Porter being a Porter fermented using lager yeast instead of ale yeast makes for one complex beer. The Bruery already being complex as hell with their beers makes me wonder how crazy this would be. Especially the Fenugreek which I have not tried although it is said it tastes like maple as well. Let’s take a closer look at this one, cheers!

Aromas:
Coffee, maple syrup, roasted barley notes, dark fruits figs, currants, cherries, blackberries, raisins and plums, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, peanut butter, walnuts, almond joy, marshmallows, mocha, bananas, clove spice, toasted peanuts, caramel, vanilla, leather notes, anise, mint, Danish cream cookies, brown sugar, cinnamon and fruit cake.

Flavors:
Rich hazelnut, maple syrup, walnuts, pecan pie, praline ice cream, macadamia nuts, toasted coconut, toffee, butterscotch, almond milk, Nutter butter cookies, Bitter Peanut Butter cup, toasted peanuts, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, marshmallow, smores chocolate, fenugreek tea, black tea, mocha coffee, Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, coffee, tobacco, leather, molasses, anise, mint chocolate chip cookies, Danish cream cookies, flan, crème brulee, cookie dough ice cream, cinnamon, earthy hop notes, bananas, clove spice, fruit cake, dark fruit cherries, figs, currants, blackberries, raisins and plums.
14753724_10103627990479960_2176497445977444895_o
Aftertaste:
Finishes with complex sweet nuts like peanut butter and hazelnut, maple, fruit cake, dark fruit, cinnamon, coffee, tea, dark chocolate and earthy notes. No alcohol in the taste, dark full body, smooth, creamy, syrupy and chewy mouthfeel along with moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Freaking delicious and damn exceptional. This beer is like a liquid trail mix of all sorts of nuts, dark fruits, creamy goodness and chocolate. Of course, the complexity goes a long way especially for Baltic Porters and while they are rare styles of beer, this one made by the Bruery is nothing short of freaking awesome. There isn’t much I can say that is bad about this one unless you don’t like strong brews or sweeter tasting ones. I highly recommend picking this one up if you are a preservation member at least.
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Anime Corner:
Makoto Nanaya from BlazBlue was used in this pairing mainly for the old name of the beer, Squirrel. I did not know why it was called Squirrel until I finally took a couple of sips. Since it is very nutty, using Makoto was perfect as she is a squirrel girl. I mainly based it on the flavors and the old name but the colors of the label don’t pair that well for the most part. Either way, I think they should of left it as Squirrel!
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Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/et15FEh.jpg
http://danbooru.donmai.us/data/sample/__makoto_nanaya_blazblue_drawn_by_todd_l_milhouse__sample-a7d0e788c22a7ba70997f8dd255e4330.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/49MKiyu.jpg
http://i4.pixiv.net/img-original/img/2015/09/17/10/35/05/52568339_p0.png
http://tbib.org/images/2392/b9d44f3c0cd0fd6598075d785a9b692ae6bf6945.png

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Sabre-Toothed Squirrel by Smog City brewing

10686922_10102186520996360_7528366550511468236_n 1441375_10102186521625100_7263735776660165560_nRating: 4.65/5

Sabre-Toothed Squirrel by Smog City brewing is a 7.0% ABV American Amber Ale.

Label:
Known locally as Hopopio Maltocutus, our Sabre-Toothed Squirrel befriends you with a complex caramel and toasted malt character, then quickly flaunts its fangs with a solid hop profile lending notes of sweet citrus, pine resin, and a touch of peach.

This cunning cuddly companion is more Amber than IPA with lingering toffee like sweetness, but you won’t soon forget his substantial hop presence and firm bitterness in the finish.

Sabre-Toothed Squirrel is a balanced and approachable hoppy Amber that pairs well with full flavored foods and remains drinkable despite his HOPPY BITE!!
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Recently released by Smog City, this cute squirrel label had me going. I said to myself, well, I do love their beers, this is a new release, and I can’t help it it but that is a damn cute and dangerous little squirrel. So there you go, I got it. Pick this one up locally at Smog City directly in Torrance California or keep an eye out as some stores will start to carry this really soon. So let’s take a look and see how this beer is.

Aromas:
Caramel, toffee, pecan pie, citrus, piney, floral and grassy hops, toast rye bread with honey, tangerine, peanuts, hazelnut, brown sugar, pineapple hints, walnuts, dragon fruit, maple syrup hints, cherries, mango, vanilla, herbal notes, grapefruit and coconut hints.

Flavors:
Caramel, rich biscuit, rich toffee, citrus, piney and grassy hops, rye bread, coffee hints, chocolate hints, hazelnut, pecan pie, tangerine, peanuts, honey, peach notes, toasted bread, brown sugar, coconut hints, dragon fruit, vanilla, herbal notes, mango, maple syrup and cherries.

Aftertaste:
Lingering toffee, caramel, piney, citrus, grapefruit, hints of tropical fruit linger, grassy and herbal hops. No alcohol in the taste, clear to medium body, easy to moderate drinkability, light to moderate mouthfeel.

Overall:
A very good amber for sure. The balance of hoppy and sweet is there and is very enjoyable almost tot he point of easy to drink. This works out well for those that love refreshing beers but also like some malt profile and caramel to their beers. Mainly me as I love sweet beers. So yeah, definitely pick up this little guy here, you won’t regret, yes he bites but not till later so enjoy.

Anime Corner:
Makoto Nanaya from BlazBlue was used in this pairing as she is the cutest squirrel girl in anime and video games I could find. She is a powerful fighter so I believe just like the hops are the bite of the sabertooth squirrel, she will kick your ass in such fashion. She is cute as hell like the little squirrel and is probably as sweet as well once you get acquainted.

Sources:
http://i765.photobucket.com/albums/xx294/girlsay/20131110B62F78C9D_zpsce75ad23.jpg
https://41.media.tumblr.com/60c110ad41de3784b55502c347ac71d0/tumblr_mlp87cRo4i1qi9bico1_500.jpg

Luchador En Fuego by Clown Shoes

10351177_10101855183683990_8779161895050756324_n 10370452_10101855184163030_3003840842845087066_nRating: 5.7/5

Luchador En Fuego by Clown Shoes is an 11% ABV Mexican Chocolate Imperial Stout brewed with ancho and chipotle chiles, spices, vanilla and aged in Heaven Hills and Wild Turkey bourbon barrels.

Label:
Spiced with vanilla, cinnamon, ancho and chipotle peppers, then aged 100% in Bourbon Barrels, this beer wants to leap onto your palate like a luchador who dives into the ring from atop the highest rope.
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Here is the original review I did for this beer: (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/third-anniversary-ale-luchador-en-fuego-by-clown-shoes-brewing/) Back then, this beer was their third anniversary beer and was re-released again due to the great demand. This beer is essentially their Chocolate Sombrero aged in bourbon barrels with chile peppers.

Aromas:
Dark chocolate abuelita bricks in milk, milk chocolate, cinnamon, Vanilla ice cream, cherry, oak, subtle ancho and chipotle chiles, bourbon, dulce de leche caramel, flan, chocolate abuelita, pilloncillo sugar cone, bananas, champurrado hints, mole, coconut, waffle cone, marshmallow smores, hazelnut, leche nestle, crème brulee and capirotada raisin bread pudding.

Flavors:
Dark and milk Chocolate, Chocolate abuelita, vanilla, flan, bourbon, oak, coconut, marshmallow smores, waffle cone, rocky road ice cream, ancho and chipotle subtle pepper heat, bananas, dulce de leche caramel, leche nestle, mole, pecan pie, cinnamon, champurrado, capirotada raisin bread, dark chocolate raisins, prunes, pilloncillo sugar cone, hazelnut, crème brulee and coffee.

Aftertaste:
Chocolate, champurrado, flan, coffee, bourbon vanilla, cinnamon, oak and bananas. Subtle alcohol but its the variety that helps qualm the heat. A sipping beer with a velvet and silky mouthfeel.

Overall:
Very exceptional beer and one that is still very delicious. Taking the Chocolate Sombrero and amping it up to the next level makes this one very coveted. Highly recommended and very enjoyable. The best part, is that this will most likely be released yearly which is awesome as it will not be a limited released. This is one of those beers that when it comes to barrel aging, it really brings out some of the Mexican desserts that I really like. Awesome stuff.

Anime Corner:
Shayla Shayla from El Hazard and Taokaka from Blaze Blue are used in this beer pairing as I used them in the last time I did the review for this beer. I haven’t really broke it down why I chose them Taokaka was used for chocolate sombrero because I wanted something that would pair with some of the colors and the hidden aspect of the Chocolate sombrero dude with the mask. In this case, Taokaka’s hoodie was the sombrero and the fact that you can’t see her face is the mask. Now Shayla Shayla in the previous review had painting on her face similar to a mask and her colors paired very well with the colors. To put the icing on the cake, I found the Shayla Shayla one where she is surrounded by fire completing the Luchador en Fuego or Wrestler on Fire aspect. Taokaka represents the deadly aspect of how far and strong the Luchador is.

Bombay Berserker by Clown Shoes Brewing

1378366_10101459458091250_1244609620_n 1394467_10101459457966500_2016632879_n 1378509_10101459458061310_1318389965_n 1384270_10101459458081270_1580768352_n 1380249_10101459458131170_383120147_nRating: 4.75/5

Bombay Berserker by Clown Shoes Brewing is a 10% ABV Indian-Style Chocolate Imperial Stout

Label: 
This exotic stout is a relative of Chocolate Sombrero, with the Mexican spices replaced by the flavors of chai tea, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla. Dear head banging craft beer drinkers, please remember, “Our love for you is like a truck… BERSERKER!”
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Recently releases in many markets. You can get this one online but if you live in California, it may come out soon as clown shoes beers are becoming more famous here. I was able to get this one online though. Clown shoes has many series. This one is the next follow up to the Chocolate Sombrero and Luchador en Fuego

Aromas are of ginger, chocolate abuelita hot chocolate, caramel, vanilla, chai tea, non spicy curry, dark chocolate, cinnamon, cardamom, bakers chocolate and molasses

Flavors are of Bakers chocolate, caramel, vanilla, roasted malts, mocha, chait tea, hints of curry but nothing overwhelming, cinnamon, chocolate abuelita, molasses and brown sugar

The aftertaste leaves with minor spiciness, hints chocolate, vanilla, mocha and roasty notes. A moderate to sipping drinkability beer with alcohol well hidden. Pretty balanced and nothing too overwhelming

Overall it is a very good beer in it’s own unique way. While I started to taste some of the spices from Chocolate sombrero, it turned the other way around. In good way of course. It it is nothing overwhelming like the other Curry beers I have had like Indra Kunindra or the coconut curry from New Belgium. It definitely has its spices under control. I think it is not a full flavor bashing beer but the offering of variety of these flavors and balance is well hit. Very solid beer and yes, worth the try for damn sure. Especially since you cannot feel the 10% ABV. If this was Barrel Aged, well it would definitely heighten this to a new level of Rock Stardom!!

White Oak by The Bruery

1004439_10101243000074850_723175701_n 999005_10101243001132730_790963643_n 1013500_10101242975713670_597609073_nRating: 4.8/5

White Oak by The Bruery is a 11.5% ABV Wheat Wine blend consisting 50% of “Mischief” Belgian Pale Ale and 50% of the “White Oak Sap” Wheat Wine aged in bourbon barrels. This is the base of the awesome “White Chocolate” Ale which I reviewed some time last year.

Label: 
Vivid caramel-esque, coconut-like and vanilla-ish flavors blanketed in a crisp yet robust wheat ale. White oak is suitable for aging up to two years when cellared properly. Best stored and cellared around 55 deg F (13 deg Celcius) in a dark place.
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This beer is the original form of the pre-White Chocolate. I first tried it several days ago and I had to grab a bottle to do a review. 

Aromas start off with a Belgian bread and Saison notes. Smells like matured citrus fruits, orange, mango, lemons, vanilla, bananas, cloves, caramel, bourbon, oak, biscuit bread, honey, coconut, some minor floral and funky notes.

The flavors consist of vanilla, oak, bourbon, caramel, citrus, notes brettanomyces, banana, matured orange, lemon peel, apricots, mango, toasty coconuts, very subtle pineapple, wine grapes, honey, maple, biscuit bread, waffle cone, clove spice, coriander, herbal and floral hops like the Belgian Pale Ale. The after taste is definitely citrus, bourbon, wine and cheese party. Flavors are kind of all over the place but it surely is a different beer. When Imagine how the Vanilla beans and the Cocoa Nibs were added and barrel aged some more, a minor amount of the base flavors were hidden to give way to a much more sweet white chocolate flavor. Now that, is the best part I remember about the other beer which is the part that really confuses me. How is is that when you add the vanilla and cocoa nibs and age it, it creates something simply extraordinary. Alas, that is the mystery and the glory of the brewing process.

As being the base component of the White Chocolate, I can see why this beer reminds me a lot of the Bourbon and Barrel Aged Stone beers I have had before. Similar to the Red Wine Saison du Buff or the Double Bastard Bourbon Barrel Aged beer. Those beers were really different. More to the wine and cheese party after taste which morphs which gives confusion to the taste buds, but in a very nice way.

White Chocolate Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/white-chocolate-by-the-bruery/

Third Anniversary ale – Luchador en Fuego by Clown Shoes brewing

559716_10101128492548850_459122122_n 551528_10101128484694590_283036949_nRating: 5.65/5

Third Anniversary ale – Luchador en Fuego by Clown Shoes brewing is an 11%ABV Imperial Stout brewed with spices, vanilla, and aged in bourbon barrels.

Label: 
Our third anniversary beer us sizes Chocolate Sombrero, using extra ancho chile and adding chipotle pepper. We aged the brew 100% in Wild Turkey and Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. May it leap onto your palate majestically, like a luchador who flies into the ring from atop the highest rope.
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They took the chocolate sombrero and amped it up. This beer has very nice aromas of bourbon, oak, vanilla, coconut, marshmallow smores with the chocolate and gram crackers, some spicy chiles, mole, hazelnut and pecan pie, Dark chocolate Abuelita bars in milk, cinnamon, dulce de leche caramel, leche nestle (sweetened condensed milk), crème brulee, raisin bread pudding and ofcourse flan :P. The flavors are dead on cinnamon, champurrado, hot chocolate abuelita, dark chocolate, capirotada (Mexican raisin bread pudding), pecans, vanilla, coconut, Bourbon, dulce de leche, oak, flan and slight chile spice but only enough to give it character. This beer is really close to Hunahpu’s Imperial Chocolate Stout, although the emphasis takes more of a chocolate sweeter and bourbon boozy side than the spicy chile and chocolate complexity. This is a great beer. Got this one at Ramirez Liquor’s in Boyle Height’s California. This one is a rarity amongst itself as it is hard to find East coast beers and especially of this caliber here in the West coast. Magnificently awesome beer! If you enjoy closer to bourbon beers than this one is a must get.

Chocolate Sombrero by Clown Shoes Brewing

547439_10101127270452940_666475813_nRating: 4.8/5

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

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