Nein by Surly brewing

12184248_10102889090765910_3829470539746128859_o 12191229_10102889091439560_3401080660801145018_oRating: 5.45/6

Nein by Surly brewing is a 10% ABV Smoked Dunkelweizen/Rauchbier aged in Charred Oak barrels.

Who would have thought, when we sold our first keg in 2006, that we would raise our 9th Anniversary glasses in a new brewery, restaurant, and beer hall? So much has changed in such a short time, both at Surly and across Minnesota. The state’s beer scene is exploding and we are proud to have been part of the boom. Two things, however, haven’t changed a bit – Todd’s distinctive take on beer styles and our local artists’ amazing talent. Erica Williams’ meticulous design for NEIN is the perfect match for Todd’s approach to his craft.

Cheers to nine years!

Inspired by a recent trip to Bamberg, Germany. NEIN is brewed with oak-smoked wheat malt, fermented with German Hefe yeast and aged on charred oak. It’s a huge, complex, dark beer, delivering the intense flavors of smoked banana, vanilla and clove.


Surly is one of those breweries that really stands on its own. An awesome complex and evil (in the demon theme) but deliciously good brewery that really stands out just like the Three Floyds. However, unlike Three Floyds, there is a sense of strong appreciation that is not overly hyped and yet consistently themed, especially since their beers maybe a little difficult but still obtainable if you are able to look hard enough. A world class brewery with so much to say about its awesome glory in the craft beer world that brings a lot of crazy awesome brews. Now for their 9th anniversary ale, it is my pleasure to bring it forth to the site. Cheers!

Smoked oak wood, dark chocolate, banana notes, clove spices, dark fruits like, raisins, figs, prunes, plums, cherry notes, oatmeal cookies, toasted coconut , fruit cake, brown sugar, clove spice, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, marshmallow smore hints, anise, and maple hints.

Dark chocolate, smoked biscuit, grilled bananas, plantain, clove spice, coriander spice, mint chocolate, rye bread, dark fruit raisins, figs, prunes, plums, cherry notes, blue berry notes, stone fruit peach, oatmeal cookies, molasses, anise, coffee cake, maple notes, dulce de leche, vanilla, biscuit bread, toasted coconut hints, flan, fruit cake, oak, smokey campfire, chocolate marshmallow smores, graham crackers, piloncillo sugar cone, banana nut bread, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie and boysenberry cobbler.

Smoked wheat, bananas, dark chocolate, earthy notes, clove spices, anise, fruit cake and oak. No alcohol in the taste, dark brown full body, creamy, smooth and chewy mouthfeel with a moderate to sipping drinkability.

Exceptional beer reminiscent of an old favorite of mine called “Art of Darkness” Ommegang but also some other smoked heffs I had a while back. Unique as always still, Surly has made this one quite unite not being overly smokey but still being everything it can be from the banana clovey and spicy notes that I enjoy from lots of my German beers. An imperial German beer at that and very much full force in terms of flavors. Get this one while it lasts! Cheers!

Anime Corner:
Mari Illustrious, Rei Ayanami and Asuka Sohryu Langley/Shikinami from Neon Genesis Evangelion were used in this pairing as I wanted to pair mainly with the 3 lions and the multiple eyes similarly to the way the Evas (Humanoid/Alien Robots from the show) appear but also right down to their core which is what these 3 awesome girls represent. On one hand, you have each representing the lion, especially with Asuka being the German Japanese influencer, Rei the dark fruit and Smoking hot yet intellectually mixed Mari and the other the lions as robots and then them wearing the dresses. The whole point of the dresses was for a celebration!!!!


Southern Charred by Stone Brewing

1476646_10101519287123390_144164125_nRating: 5.45/5*

Southern Charred by Stone Brewing is a 12.6% ABV American Strong Ale which consists of 2012 Double Bastard Ale Aged in Charred Oak Barrels, Kentucky Bourbon Barrels and Kentucky Bourbon Barrels that used to contain “Stone Suitable for Cave Aging”

Double Bastard brewed August 2nd & November 2nd, 2012
Arrogant Bastard Ale’s (really) big brother, this dark amber ale is brewed with a huge malt bill and a belligerent amount of hops. It’s a heavy, bitter beast of a beer and absolutely not for the timid.

In the Whirlpool: CLASSIFIED

Unfiltered and aged 10 months in 51% Kentucky Bourbon Barrels, 8% American Oak Barrels (charred)
13 Months in 41% Kentucky Bourbon Barrels second-use
Bottled: October 2013

Cellar Notes:
The charred American oak barrels lend intense smoke and vanilla flavors, while the Kentucky bourbon barrels add nuances of butterscotch and caramel. These meld with rich dark chocolate notes produced by Kentucky bourbon barrels that once held “Stone Suitable for Cave Aging” – (An Imperial Smoked Porter Tribute to Danny Williams) to produce)a very complex, well-structured beer with intense flavor.

I have tried the Double Bastard aged in Bourbon barrels in the past. This release is aged in 3 different barrels implying a very southern whiskey like experience to the already awesome Double Bastard. Limited time so if you can find this one, they recommended a cellar. At least a cellar on Crime and Punishment. Those will be beastly

Very rich vanilla, coconut, flan, caramel, bourbon, oak, smokey and roasty notes, chocolate notes, crème brulee, toffee, whiskey character, maple, honey, chocolate orange notes, campfire wood, chocolate smores, marshmallows, graham crackers, brown sugar and deep berry notes. Boozy nose feel

Definitely a variety of whiskey, scotch and bourbon notes but pleasant. Rich Toffee, vanilla, smokey wood, campfire, marshmallows, chocolate notes, graham crackers, caramel, coconut notes, orange notes, coriander, earthy hops (still present), burnt oak, maple, honey, flan, brown sugar, berry notes, cherry notes and raisins.

The aftertaste is definitely of the presence of Double Bastard. Rich vanilla Toffee with citrus bitterness, coconut, vanilla, whiskey, campfire oak and earthy hops. A sipper with the booziness only as present as it needs to be to get the different variables of bourbon, scotch and whiskey out but nothing to burn harshly.

Exceptionally great and complex. This beer will definitely develop stronger oak and vanilla character with possibly more fruit and toffee characters as the years pass by. No telling what will happen. Except the 2009 version tasted like a wine and cheese party which was brilliant.. Price wise, it is a lot. I have to thank a person who hooked me up with this for doing a review. Although, 500ml bottle isn’t quite a lot of beer. Seeing the level of complexity it took to make this I would understand. Although, I would say it is better if you find it on tap if possible. It is only a few times I review these due to the price ($18-$23 per bottle) but I would recommend them if you like as sometimes, they are worth that much in experience.

*Extra credit for the exceptional complexity with the different use of oak barrels bringing out delicious dessert flavors.

Anime Corner:
Lilith Aensland and Jedah Dohma from Darkstalkers which I had chosen for this piece had to do mainly with why I chose them for the first Double Bastard I did a long time ago. The Double bastard portion had to do with my idea of 2 girls combining in higher flavor profiles. I will be redoing the original Double Bastard soon to recap on the epic beer to show what I mean. The Bat wings of Lilith and the dark Jedah (Midnight Bliss form) represent the gargoyle and the darkness of arrogance. So you have a sweet and bitter flavor profile from the Double Bastard. The fact that in this picture, Lilith is moving away from the bottle and into the arms of Jedah, symbolizes the repel effect of burning or charred effect the oak bourbon barrels have on the Double bastard beer. In the previous Double Bastard picture I used, it is Lilith who is embracing Jedah instead. So it seemed to fit in my mind somehow.