St. Bernardus Abt 12 Oak Aged by Brouwerij St. Bernardus

1979163_10102669026925610_227415077313366870_oRating: 7/5 * A bucket list beer, just saying 😛

St. Bernardus Abt 12 Oak Aged by Brouwerij St. Bernardus is an 11% ABV Belgian Quadrupel Aged in Oak Calvados (Apple Brandy) Barrels

Label:
Brewery St. Bernardus was founded in 1946 in Watou, Province of West Flanders in Belgium.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 is Brewery St. Bernardus’ flagship and is considered as one the best beers in the world. The Abt 12 is brewed following the original recipe from 1946.

This St. Bernardus Abt 12 Oak Aged is brewed using the same recipe and then matured for 6 months in oak Calvados barrels before it is bottle coditioned. This maturation in oak kegs gives the beer a deeper and richer taste, leaving the palate remarkbly satisfied and thirsty for more.

“Bringing Heavenly nectar within reach”

Serve this noble and wonderfully balanced brown ale at 53-56° F in a goblet glass to best enjoy its delicate bouquet.

==Introduction==

Never did I ever think that St. Bernardus would step up their game and release a barrel aged version of their Quad. Not just any barrel either, but the Calvados Apple Brandy barrel. Beers that usually are aged in these barrel jump 100 times the price of the original beer. Good thing this one just doubled the price. By that I mean it is still pricey as hell ranging anywhere from 25-30$ for a 750ml bottle. I didn’t care. I just just didn’t care as unlike any beer from the past, the St. Bernardus is a beer that always held a special place in my heart as it was my favorite when I first started trying different beers as early as 2010 and to this day I can always go back and say it is still my favorite despite the fact that there are others like the Weekday Bruery beers that are levels above it, it still don’t matter. Even after trying the Heady Toppers, the Dark Lords, even the Westvleteren 12… still didn’t matter… Abt 12 was my beer along with Trois Pistoles and Three Philosophers and others… So you can see the fact that this exist must be testament to my resolve not only as a reviewer but for myself and what I truly love and even to my first quadruple that I personally made… Cheers from this is like Cheers of the Heavens!

Aromas:
Rich Dulce de leche caramel Apple pie, Brandy oak, vanilla, Goat milk caramel, marshmallows, Dark fruit plums, raisins, prunes, cherries, figs, dates, wine grapes, raspberry chambord, tamarind, stone fruit peaches, apricots, peach cobbler, mango, pie crust, Dark Candi sugars, Belgian Bread, Danish cream, Rock Candy, figgy pudding, piloncillo sugar cone,Bananas, plantains, clove spice, bubble gum notes, raisin bread pudding, rice pudding, cinnamon, flan, Mexican sweetened condensed milk, Red Apples, Golden Apples, Caramel apples, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, cherry pie and burnt brown sugar.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel, Goat milk Caramel, piloncillo sugar cone, vanilla, oak, marshmallows, Dark fruit plums, raisins, prunes, cherries, figs, dates, wine grapes, raspberry chambord, tamarind, Bananas, plantains, clove spice, bubble gum notes, raisin bread pudding, rice pudding, cinnamon, flan, Mexican sweetened condensed milk, Red Apples, Golden Apples, Caramel apples, Brandy, Port wine, chardonay, stone fruit peaches, apricots, peach cobbler, pie crust, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, cherry pie, dragon fruit, passion fruit, old mangoes, honey dew melon, butterscotch, chocolate notes, tangerine preserves, tobacco, leather, anise, grilled funnel caramel cake, Dark Candi sugars, Belgian Bread, Danish cream, Rock Candy, figgy pudding, Rich caramel Apple Pie goodness with vanilla cake and more.

Aftertaste:
Lingering Apple Pie, dark fruits, stone fruits, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, flan, sweetened condensed milk, Apple brandy, port wine, Danish cream, leather, rye and mild chocolate lingers. No alcohol in the taste, smooth, silky, syrupy and creamy mouthfeel, Dark Golden Brown medium body and a moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
No surprise why this version of one of my favorite (commonly available) beers in the world is simply another one I needed to add to my bucket list of beers. The original St. Bernardus was my inspiration for making the original quad I made a couple of months back as it was one of my favorites in the world while started trying different craft beers along with Trois Pistoles, Three Philosphers and many delicious others. This version is something that really took it above the heaven into that “Ambrosia of the Gods” status. I really didn’t care about the price, I really wanted to bring this one for a review ever since its announcement and I finally did it! I think the whole Calvados/Apple Brandy aspect is what really did it here taking this liquid caramel into an Apple Pie beer goodness. Who knows what will happen to this in … 15 years!

Anime Corner:
Temari Sabakuno from Naruto, Kos-Mos from Xenosaga, Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill, Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach as being my favorite anime characters always get the best pairings in some of the beers I truly feel are deserving of that ‘Heavenly and Godly Ambrosia’ Liquid status as with many of the beers I have tried, I have used them in the previous St. Bernardus Abt 12 review except with the introduction of my recent favorite girl, Ryuko Matoi. Like I said before, the original version of this beer was my world favorite, my desire, my love and passion that became my favorite style of beer and today, the fruit of my labor with my homebrew ‘Las Quad-tro Monjas’. Yes indeed, I don’t have to explain much about this and long time readers can already infer why I choose them. The greatest of the greats.

Brandy Barrel Bois (5th Anniversary ale) by The Bruery

10154900_10101867879731010_6459360768481902051_nRating: 6/5

Brandy Barrel Bois (5th Anniversary ale) by The Bruery is a 15% ABV World Class Old Ale aged in Brandy Barrels.

Commercial Description:
The traditional fifth anniversary gift is something made of wood, or “Bois” in French.

Bois is our fifth anniversary ale, loosely brewed in the English-style Old Ale tradition using our house Belgian yeast strain and then blended using the solera method. A portion of each of our anniversary ales is saved in our barrels and blended in with the next year’s production, providing more complexity and depth of character that comes with age. Layered with complex flavors of dark fruit,vanilla, oak, and burnt sugar, Bois is a robust ale, surely the perfect beer to mark this major milestone.

This variant of the Bruery’s 5th anniversary beer has been sitting around for about a year aging. This variant is aged in Brandy barrels, the whole dynamics of the original Bois are either enlightened more or possibly stays just as delicious as when I first tried Bois last year. So here it is, Brandy Barrel aged Bois for your reading pleasure.

Here is the original review of the Bourbon Barrel one: (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/bois-5th-anniversary-by-the-bruery/)

Aromas:
Rich dark fruits, dates, bananas, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toasted coconut, dark chocolate, pecan pie, cherry cordial, dark cherry ice cream, vanilla ice cream, Flan, crème brulee, Tres Leches, wine grapes, brandy, oak, apples, Leche Nestle sweetened condensed milk, toffee, marshmallows, brown sugar, raspberries, maple, molasses, sherry and port wine.

Flavors:
More dark fruit like prunes, raisins and figs forward than the original, brandy barrel, wine grapes, raspberries, cherry cordial chocolates, oak, apples, Tres Leches, dulce de leche caramel, marshmallows, toffee, coconut, macaroons, apples, dark cherry yogurt hints, flan, vanilla ice cream, dark cherry ice cream, crème brulee, wine grapes, port wine, sherry, molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, leather, black berries and blueberries.

Aftertaste:
The Brandy with the wine like tangy notes linger along with the sweet caramel, flan, vanilla, dark cherry, coconut hints, and chocolate port linger for a little but dry up. No alcohol in the taste. Smooth yet sipping beer. Full to syrupy mouth feel.

Overall:
Simply outstanding!! Somehow, Brandy always something very amazing to beers that Bourbon does not. Each spirit barrel adds an additional component that really makes the beers vary. With Bois, it is like taking an already over the top beer and modifying it into new ways it was maybe never meant to go before. This one I got directly from the Bruery. If you go there, you should definitely get this one, I highly recommend it!!

Anime Corner:
Rei Ayanami was used in last year’s Bois and I brought Asuka Langley Sohryu Shikinami from the previous beer (Fruet) to represent the addition of the Brandy barrel to Bois. They are from Neon Genesis Evangelion. In this picture they sit holding each other like really close friends. They are both very powerful in the series. The addition of brandy adds more fruit to the beer, like in the Fruet represented by Asuka. Her colors also represent the Red Wax addition to Bois.

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

Sexy Betty by Nebraska Brewing

1471826_10101542532604260_786362468_n 1424582_10101542532998470_1049321028_n 1460225_10101542533148170_2067768172_nRating: 5.4/5

Sexy Betty by Nebraska Brewing is a 10% ABV Russian Imperial Stout aged in 50 year old American Brandy Barrels

Label:
A sweet nose greets the adventurous in this marriage of our Black Betty Russian Imperial Stout and 50 year old American Brandy barrels. An elegantly pleasant surprise wakes the palate which migrates from a hint of Brandy into the wonderfully lingering roasted malt character.
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This is the first time I try a beer from Nebraska brewing. One of the main reasons is because they are pretty pricey brewery. Lots of the beer sold ranging into $20 or more per bottle. Since I have always over looked them, I decided to pick one up to see how worth the money they are. When looking t the label, I realized why they are so expensive. Aging beer in 50 year old barrels is no joke. That has got to be a very delicate process. This beer came out last year as the Inception series #3 which was aged in cognac, but this year, in brandy barrels, 

Aromas:
Roasted coffee, earthy hops, dark chocolate, like Old Rasputin, oak, vanilla, licorice, molasses, vanilla, light toffee, light marshmallows and rich dark fruits

Flavors:
The flavors are a lot like Old Rasputin if it was aged in Brandy, dark fruit, cherries, raisins, grape notes, plums, dark chocolate, roasted coffee, earthy hops, mocha and Kahlua. As it warms up there are underlying tropical fruit hints, bakers chocolate, flan, crème brulee, caramel, vanilla, oak, raisin bread pudding, figs, dark cherry yogurt hints, port wine notes and raspberry Chambord hints.

Aftertaste:
The sweet dark fruits, dark chocolate, brandy and coffee linger for a bit in the aftertaste. A sipper for sure but the best part is that you cannot taste the alcohol

Overall:
It is a great beer. Just let it warm up to the proper temperature and then you will see what the 50 year old Brandy really has to offer, lots of magic!! At first it was more like Old Rasputin, then, it changed and became more pleasant and delicious. Would I recommend this? Only if you can afford it really. If you cannot there are some other, and to a very good extent, Imperial Russian stouts that scream epic and exceed expectations more than this one. Although, this one is freaking great and worth trying even if once. So there you have it, expensive but it will be your choice, take her or leave her. Although she is calling your name 

Anime Corner:
Meiya Mitsurugi from the series Muv luv Alternative Total Eclipse is used in this pairing to show some of the label colors. The strength of the 50 year old Brandy and the ABV can be best represented by her armor, weapon and strength. The colors of her armor and looks also compliment the label. She is a Sexy looking girl in cybernetic armor.  If that still did not compliment the Sexy Betty part, I added Evelynn from League of Legends to compliment more.

Figgy Pudding (2 year aged) by Block 15 brewing

1460991_10101539123790550_1482820932_n1424532_10101540492447750_1758508559_nRating: 5.75/5

Figgy Pudding (2 year aged) by Block 15 brewing is an 11% ABV English Strong Ale brewed with molasses and matured in Brandy Barrels with figs and spice

Label: 
Our holiday offering brewed with English pale and specialty malts and molasses. Matured in freshly emptied brandy barrels and conditioned with mission figs. Gently spiced with the world’s finest Ceylon cinnamon and whole nutmeg. ‘Now, bring us some figgy pudding!’ the carolers demand. We are pretty sure this ale is what they mean though you will will want to keep some for yourself.

Our brewers are dedicated in bringing beer enthusiasts traditional, unique, and challenging bottle conditioned ales brewed with the finest ingredients from our region and around the world. Drop by our brewpub and enjoy over 13 hand crafted ales and lagers in our historic downtown location. View our bottle our aging journal , real-time tap list, menus, and events at Block15.com
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As the Christmas song goes, wishing people a Merry Christmas then goes to saying, bring some Figgy Pudding and a cup of good cheer! I think this beer suffices as to everything that is Christmas. I was able to find this beer online at mybeercellar.com. If you are lucky, you will find it for a good price. Yes, it is quite the pricey one, but in order to bring forth what this beer is like, some chances are taken. So think of it as a gift from me to you. If you like the beer review, then seek it.

Aromas:
Rich reminiscence of the Lost Abbey’s Sede Vacante, Brandy, vanilla, prunes, rich figs, raisins, sugar plums, nutmeg, fruit cake, cinnamon, ginger bread, apples, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, cherries, black berry preserves on rye bread, hazelnut notes and oak

Flavors:
Rich Raisins, Figs, Plums, prunes, Brandy, dark cherries, chocolate notes, caramel, oak, vanilla, rich fruit cake, toffee, cherries, red velvet cake, apples, apricot, butterscotch, blackberry preserves, ginger bread, cinnamon, apples, pear notes, nutmeg, molasses, rye bread, raisin bread pudding, pecan pie notes, wine like sangria and communion wine

Aftertaste:
The aftertaste is rich with raisins, caramel, raisin bread pudding, fruit cake, oak and some brandy hints . There is no alcohol present in the taste from what I can tell. It is a big sipper never the less.

Overall:
Exceptionally awesome. Reminded me a lot of the Lost Abbey Sede Vacante in the flavor and smell. The only difference is that it was not as strong or super complex as that one but anything that can match it close enough is definitely worth the extra credit and my attention. If you can find this one, give it a try. It sure is cellaring pretty nicely and the 11% ABV is hard to find. If this is true Christmas in a bottle then they did a damn good job of representing it

Anime Corner:
Ignis from Jingai Makyou is used in this pairing to represent a more laid back feel to sitting down and enjoying a glass of ale. Although, even if it looks like wine, the glass she is drinking could be represented by figgy pudding as some of the brandy and rich flavors do also include some wine and dark fruit characters. She fits the label perfectly as the person on the label and her raise the glass to toast the holidays. The strength in the alcohol comes in her strength of fighting demons. She is a kind and friendly woman which is represented in the sweet figgy and dark fruit flavors. Are there any other things you can find from this pairing?

Capricho Oscuro Batch 5 by Cigar City Brewing

1383159_10101428773358700_1514628837_nRating: 6/5

Capricho Oscuro Batch 5 by Cigar City Brewing is a ??% ABV World Class American Strong Ale

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION (Ratebeer.com)
This beer is a blend of at least five different beers, including Hot Blooded Foreign Stout, Puppy’s Breath Robust Porter, and several vintages of Warmer Winter Winter Warmer. These beers were aged in some cognac and brandy barrels before being blended together.
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Hard to come by, looked and looked for this piece of barrel aged treasure all over. Hard to get. Impossibly rare? Maybe, not as much as other but still it was hard to come by. This beer seems very good but very evil and mysterious. Without an ABV to gauge it, I am pretty much lost in the dark as to how strong this one is that it is kind of scary. Perfect art pairing with Majora from Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask. Anyway, if you manage to find this one, choose wisely.

Aromas are of rich dark fruits like raisins, prunes, figs, dates, dark cherries, raspberries, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, toasted hazelnuts, pecans, coconuts, vanilla, cognac, brandy, notes of Hunnapu like the spiciness of it, caramel flan, chocolate cake, dessert wine, port wine, rocky road ice cream, almond joy and maple

The flavors are of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, brandy, cognac, dark cherries, raisins, figs, prunes, toasted coconut, hazelnuts, pecan pie, flan, port wine, rocky road ice cream notes, almond joy notes, caramel, vanilla, toffee, raspberries, maple, molasses, anise, slight smokiness, leather, tobacco, bourbon, Cordial Cherries and chocolate covered raspberries

The aftertaste is pretty complex leaving trails of sweet caramel, chocolate, oak, brandy, cognac, dark fruits and a bit of port wine. This beer is a definite sipper. The alcohol is noticeable but very pleasant and warming. The alcohol only brings the rich flavors above and it is nothing harsh. 

Overall this is an amazingly delicious beer, exceeding exceptions. I cannot guess the ABV from the taste which is scary but also good that it comes in a small bottle to sample. Definitely like some of the best beers in the world. Close to Melange 3, close to Black Tuesday, Grey Monday and even some of the other Bruery anniversary ales. What can I say about CCB, other than it is “The Bruery of the East Coast” making some of the best beers in the world possible like many champions. If you can find this, definitely get it.