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

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.

California Creamin’ by Mother Earth Brew Company

1425618_10101544162208520_603896414_nRating: 3.9/5

California Creamin’ by Mother Earth Brew Company is a 5.2% ABV Cream Ale

Label:
One of our most popular beers ever, this light cream ale has a malty backbone thanks to some flaked corn and honey malt. A medium bodied cult classic, it is sure to woo the ladies, but also flavorful enough to satisfy the dudes. You’ll swear you were drinking a cream soda…but tricks are for kids.
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This is the first time I try Mother Earth Brewing and first time reviewing the cream ale style. I have tried cream ale in the past when I tried the Sam Adams cream ale in Iowa which was pretty good. Since then, I have not tried another one. This one is made with vanilla so I would assume it would be similar to cream soda as stated in the label. Well, let us see what this one is like. You may find this one at Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights California.

Aromas:
Reminiscent of Or Xata, Rich vanilla beans, cream soda, sweet milk, rice, citrus hops, honey biscuit bread, maize, hints of cinnamon and graham crackers

Flavors:
Similar to Or xata again but not as sweet, citrus hops, cream soda notes, vanilla, butterscotch, honey, graham crackers, citrus hops, maize, some cereal grain and somewhat pilsner component as well.

Aftertaste:
Leaves off with like a buttery vanilla taste, citrus hops lingering, honey and biscuit. The beer is easy to drink with no alcohol presence in the taste. Light, Crisp and refreshing and would be good if it was for the summer

Overall:
This beer is very good. Do not be afraid if it says using corn malt. This is NOT A LAGER. This is actually good. Some people may find it more appealing than others. I would really like to say that this would be a good gateway beer for someone getting into craft beer. It has a good amount of noticeable vanilla and taste very similar to a Cream soda. Good stuff and yes, I would recommend trying one, two, or even three of these.

Anime Corner:
Matryoshka Hatsune Miku was used for this pairing as I was trying to mimic something that had to do with California Dreamin’ like the song. The picture in a sense fits as it shows Miku wondering and kind of looks like day dreaming. When people think of California, they sometimes think of Los Angeles and the city. So the fact that the city comes out of her head may symbolize her day dreaming about California/Los Angeles. Also, the label colors fit with her hair. Matryoshka Miku is actually a version of her that was done in a video in 2010 that could be interpreted as sadden or insane as nothing in the video or the lyrics made sense and is open for interpretation. Sources here:http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/matryoshka. The mere fact that the “Scooby doo” hippy van is there just adds to the whole day dreaming, tripping or even getting high off of drugs aspect of the pairing. So in a sense, there is so much that can be depicted that pairs really well with this piece of artwork and the beer. Can you find any more details about this pairing?

White Dog IPA by El Segundo Brewing of California

1234344_10101406244461790_1270308687_n 1016498_10101406244526660_109971997_nRating: 4.85/5

White Dog IPA by El Segundo Brewing of California is a 6.9% ABV India Pale Ale brewed with 50% wheat (Wheat India Pale Ale)

Label: 
Named for Rob’s dog, the White alludes to our use of 50% wheat instead of barley in this beer. Aside from that though, this beer has very little in common with what most people consider a “wheat” beer. The wheat in the malt bill gives the beer a lighter texture and mouthfeel, and helps to accentuate the bright citrus characters of the fruity West Coast and New Zealand hops we use. The result is an IPA that Hop Heads will love, but that is immediately approachable for most people.
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Been meaning to get a review going for this beer. The first time I had tried it on tap at Jean Simmons Rock N’ Brews in Torrance California I was very amazed. This beer almost had that Heady Topper type of flavor. At the time the brewery in El Segundo had not released any bottles of this until recently. The last time I had had it was at their brewery which I still thought, freaking amazing IPA. To add wheat to make it somewhat of a hybrid wheat IPA is freaking amazing.

Aromas are of grassy, piney, grapefruit and tropical hops, orange juice, pineapple, coriander, mango, kiwi, lemon, dragon fruit, passion fruit notes, biscuit and caramel

The flavors are of sweet oranges, mango, pineapple, grapefruit, grassy, pine and tropical hops, biscuit bread hints, coriander, wheat bread, honey dew melon, dragon fruit notes, passion fruit notes, kiwi, caramel notes, honey nectar, and tangerines

After taste leaves off like an orange zest, hop bitterness and a bit of tropics. The beer is moderately easy to drink and quite the refreshing beer.

Overall, this is one of those IPA that if you love some nice hop tropical and somewhat dank type of IPAs, you are sure to like this one. Even people that do not like bitter IPAs, are welcomed slowly into this one. Nothing too bitter and pleasant for even the non-IPA drinker. Here is to you young Heady Topper in the making.

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/

Threes Anniversary Ale by Eagle Rock Brewing

!294866_10101174691181420_2069728603_nRating: 5/5

Threes Anniversary Ale by Eagle Rock Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Rye American Strong Ale.

Label:
“Threes was brewed to commemorate our 3-year anniversary and, as good things come in threes, it embodies all the great things that have happened to us in the past 3 years. Comforting aromas of toasted bread and jasmine complement the peachy esters, toasted marshmallows and alcohol warmth on the palate. A substantial hop presence and dry finish balance out this delicious full-bodied strong rye ale. Cheers to an amazing 3 years, and many more to come!
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Eagle Rock is one of the local breweries in my town of Los Angeles California. I have only had a couple of their beers, but when I saw they had an anniversary ale out, I had to see what was up.

The aromas of this beer are of caramel, rye toast bread toffee, biscuit, marshmallow, brown sugar, and a faint fruitiness. The flavors of this beer are of lots of toffee, caramel, rye toasted bread, slight roasty bitterness, barley wine notes, citrus, grapefruit, floral and piney hop notes, chocolate and coffee notes, brown sugar, hints crème brulee, butter scotch, honey and biscuits, rye whiskey notes and maple. This beer is nicely balanced having some sweet hop flavors along with more sweeter caramel and rye flavors. It goes down nice and smooth too. The level of booziness is minimal to moderate but nothing detracting from the the overall beer. This beer really hits a lot of nice sweet notes. Definitely a lot of rye and toffee in this beer. Eagle Rock is one of my local breweries here in LA so I think I will be trying even more of their stuff soon. Their Jubilee was an amazing beer and this one is just as awesome as this beer.

Bourbon Barrel Stout by Anderson Valley Brewing

536838_10101122854891760_984799768_nRating: 4.5/5

Bourbon Barrel Stout by Anderson Valley Brewing is a 6.9%ABV American Stout aged in Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrels

Description:
Complexity. Aged for three months in Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels, this luxurious stout has a deep ebony hue and a beautiful mahogany head. The woody, vanilla-like notes imparted by the barrels mingle with aromas of fresh baked bread, toffee, and espresso and envelop the rich chocolate and roasted barley flavors with a fine bourbon character. Our exclusive partnership with Wild Turkey gives Anderson Valley a world class, consistent source of barrel age, allowing our brewers to explore new frontiers in barrel-aged craft beer.
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Immediate aromas from this beer are of milk chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, slight coconuts, mocha, coffee, caramel, slight anise, brownie batter, bakers chocolate and brown sugar. The flavors are are chocolate chips, brownies, dark chocolate syrup, earthy hops, caramel, vanilla, oak, bourbon, milk chocolate, slight coffee, coconuts, graham crackers, brown sugar, maple, some anise and some roasted hazelnut notes. The beer is really good. It is not extremely boozy but it does have the right amount of barrel-aged notes to make it awesome. I have had other barrel aged stouts that were definitely better, but this one gets a good grade because it is the type of beer that provides the great bourbon barrel-aged flavors at smaller ABV with closer moderate to easy to drink levels which is good for those that are beginning to roam into barrel-aged territories of craft brewing. It is no Abyss or Chocolate Rain, but it is still a very good beer.

§ucaba (Abacus) 2013 Limited Release by Firestone Walker

625438_10101070283415420_515264557_nRating: 5.25/5

§ucaba (Abacus) 2013 Limited Release by Firestone Walker is a 12.5% ABV Barrel-Aged Barley wine. Considered by many to be the best barleywine in the world. I have never tried this beer and I almost didn’t grab if it wasn’t for the fact that Total Wine had one final box. I’ve seen it in downtown L.A though. It truly is limited unfortunately. So if you can get this one, get it.

Label:
Big boozy bourbon and American oak aromas combined with soft chocolate malty undertones. Complex malt flavors framed in oak, with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, coconut and just a touch of dark cherry. This is definitely a sipping beer, best served in a brandy snifter. This ale pairs well with dark chocolate and sturdy cheeses.

Note: Sucaba is the beer formerly known as Abacus until the Winter 2012 release.
O.G. 27 Plato 
F.G. 4.7 Plato 
I.B.U. 42 units 
Yeast: British Ale (House) 
Cases: 1500 produced 
Color: 36SRM (Dark Ruby)
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Upon opening the beer, it some really nice and overwhelming fragrances. Reminiscent of some of the other barrel-aged beers I have had from FW in the past. This beer has strong aromas of bourbon and barley. Coconut, vanilla, oak, dark fruits like raisins and cherries, chocolate, coffee notes, baked bread, toffee, flan, dulce de leche caramel, bananas and marshmallow creme. The Flavors are of bourbon, coconut, chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, flan, Leche Nestle (Mexican Sweetened Condensed milk), barley, lemon, toffee, raisin and pecan bread pudding, cherries, bananas, small underlying earthy hop bitterness, light citrus, honey, maple, barrel oak, campfire smores with the marshmallow, graham cracker and dark chocolate and butterscotch. The after taste stays with you for awhile so you can really take your time and enjoy it as you go. My god, I am not sure if there is any barley wine out there like this one. I have never had a barrel-Aged barley wine but this is extremely amazing. Definitely should not be passed up if you can find it. Barley wines are not my biggest favorite of styles but this is really delicious and a must get for sure.