El Mole Ocho Vintage 2013 (High Gravity Series) by New Holland Brewing

536939_10101477015022020_1845921661_n 602103_10101477025945130_1597653307_n 1452035_10101477026618780_148683817_nRating: 4.65/5

El Mole Ocho Vintage 2013 (High Gravity Series) by New Holland Brewing is a 10.5% ABV Herbed/Spiced ale

Our exploration into the flavors of mole, the legendary sauce of central Mexico. Malty aroma and rich, cocoa-laden body laced with an invigorating tinge of dried chilies and coffee. Pairings poultry, red meat, dark chocolate.

Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, in my tradition is a time when we pray for our loved ones who are no longer with us. It is a day in celebration and remembrance. This day, I offer a review for a beer which came to me, just in time, online. So I figured it be the perfect occasion to let you in on a special beer that is made with flavors of mole and spices.

Aromas of this of mole, chocolate abuelita (Mexican Dark chocolate), cinnamon, champurrado (Mexican Chocolate and Atole drin), chile de arbol (red dried chiles), raisins, brown sugar, dark fruit notes, clove spice and pecans

Flavors are of dark Chocolate, chocolate abuelita, bananas, cloves, cinnamon, champurrado, notes of chile, molasses, brown sugar, dark fruit notes, pecan notes, caramel, berries and toffee.

Aftertaste continues with nice cinnamon, cocoa, chile notes, clove spice and dark fruit. Seriously hidden alcohol. No where to be found here. Moderate to sipping drinkability. It goes down kinda smooth

Overall, very good and a good pairing for Dia de los Muertos. A great amount of good sweets and spices. Not enough of the heat which is good, because some people prefer not to have a lot of heat. This beer reminds me of the New Belgium’s Mole Ale, however, the one that truly takes it in terms of mole beers, is Dark Lord De Muerte. That is intense stuff. This one is a definite recommend though for sure.

Anime Corner:
In the theme of the label and the day, it is easy to see what I was going with Orihime and Ulquiorra from Bleach, Lydia from Beetlejuice (Always speaking and fooling around with Ghoul Beetlejuice) and also Konan from Naruto. For Konan, this is not canon to the series but the way she looks is a special technique called Jashin in which the host does a ritual with a sample of the victim’s blood. By committing sepukku, the host unleashes the same death onto the victim. The host survives the ritual impaling and the victim dies in its place. Pretty crazy stuff coming from the Naruto Universe. Aside from that though, Jashin style looks like a skeleton and Konan, always wearing a flower on her head, seems to fit right in with the label and theme. Cheers!!

Mexas Ranger (Tequila Barrel Aged) by Mikkeller

17743_10101112255557910_1242787346_n 253670_10101112258372270_2145209974_nRating: 4.8/5

Mexas Ranger (Tequila Barrel Aged) by Mikkeller is a 6.6% ABV Chile beer brewed with spices, almond milk, cocoa, chiles, black beans, avocado leaves and aged in tequila barrels.

This beer has no description hardly and if I were to guess what it might taste like, it would be close to the complexity I got in El Murcielago (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/el-murcielago-by-cigar-city/)

I have had other Tequila barrel aged beers like Firestone 16th (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/firestone-xvi-sixteenth-anniversary-ale-by-firestone-walker/) which adds tequila barrel aged PNC and the Cupapa Tequila Barrel aged beer(https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/tequila-barrel-aged-ale-by-cerveceria-cucapa-of-mexicali/)

The aromas are very complex. Just like that which I remember of El Murcielago. Like having a Chicken Lime dinner plate with fragrance of avocado, lemon, tequila, chocolate, chile spices, Chile Tapatio, slight mole, frijoles, slight almond or pecan, slight tortilla, limes, tomato and oysters . The flavors are of tapatio and raw chiles if they were sweeter and a lot of less heat, tomatoes, onions, tequila, Abuelita’s dark bitter chocolate, almond joy coconut and chocolate, hazelnut, special spices, slight bitter avocado peel, lime, mole, beans, vanilla, raisins, caramel, some bitter or salty oyster like notes, herbal hops, garlic, soy sauce, agave, oak, wine grape sourness some biscuit bread and corn tortillas. I don’t know whether the label is racist or not. I don’t really care though. I am Mexican and I find this beer very intriguing. The label maybe controversial, but the beer is not controversial at all. This was similar to El Murcielago in many ways. It is still a very complex style of beer that is close to some Mexican spices as possible but still carrying the overall bitterness and chocolate with it. It is weird but deliciously awesome. A must get if you can find the Tequila version.

Quingenti Millilitre Series Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11 (Aged in Red Wine version)

578489_10100991498281460_1736874845_n 320905_10100991498171680_1978002014_nRating: 5.11/5

Quingenti Millilitre Series Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11 (Aged in Red Wine version) is a 10.6% ABV Chile Beer brewed with Anaheim Chilies and cinnamon aged in Red Wine Barrels. BRILLIANT 😛

Our Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale proved to be an eccentric diversion from our previous lineup of innovative Belgian-inspired brews. And considering we’re Stone, that’s really saying something. This unprecedented beer was brewed with cinnamon stick and Anaheim green chiles, giving it an amazing flavor profile unlike anything that came before it. It certainly didn’t need any enhancement, but we just don’t know when to leave well enough alone (and we’ve demonstrated before that you can, indeed, improve upon perfection). So we decided to tinker with it a bit and laid a small portion to rest in wine barrels. Not wanting to limit our experiment to only red or white wine barrels, we chose both. Treat yourself to a bottle of each and compare. All in the name of science, of course…

An already awesome Chile beer that came out in 2011. One which I had already reviewed in 2012 (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/stone-vertical-epic-11-11-11/) but now aged in Red Wine. Very Interesting. Fragrance of Red Wine grapes, apples, possibly some pepper plan, tamarind, smells like that tamarind Mexican candy as well with the chili powder, some caramel, a slight aroma of Belgian yeast and banana bread and cloves. The flavors are of Mexican Tamarind candy, tamarind juice, chile peppers, cinnamon, chile powder, pears, bananas, red wine, a bit of sour grapes, cranberries, raspberries, plums, raisins, sour apple, dulce de leche caramel, banana bread, cloves, oak wood, and vanilla. The aftertaste leaves those awesome Belgian banana esters with the chile peppers (with out the heat ) wine and tamarind. This one is pretty freaking awesome. The original, the beer I aged and the Red Wine version are remarkable beers. Especially for being chile beers. Now this is another level of awesome. If you can find it, try it. It goes down so nicely and the alcohol….hmmm what alcohol :P.

Mayan Apocalypse Judgment Day Ale by The Lost Abbey

224949_10100956403816050_40157343_nRating: 5.25/5

Mayan Apocalypse Judgment Day Ale by The Lost Abbey is a 10.5%ABV Belgian Quad brewed with Raisins, Chiles and Spices. The original Judgment Day Ale with the 4 horseman of the Apocalypse is one of my top 10 favorite beers. So this will probably give it a slight twist 😛Label:
Five thousand years ago the Mayan Calendar last turned over. Since then, Nostradamus. The Book of Revelations and random Shaman have all prognosticated that mankind would meet a fateful end. Currently, our demise is is scheduled for December 21, 2012for it has been so decreed our world is about end not in a Christian Judgment Day but rather a Mayan Apocalypse.

Funny thing is. The Mayan’s don’t actually believe in the concept of an Apocalypse. We at The Lost Abbey didn’t want to miss an opportunity to update our original judgment Day recipe to accompany us as we collide towards this impending Rapture. Like us, we’re pretty sure you can believe in dried chiles. Cinnamon and Tamarind working well together in this beer. This means, you can count on this little bottle of beer to help you survive this cultural Armageddon. Please pop the cork and enjoy this version. We’ve got you covered. See you on December 22nd wherever life may take us.

So it has finally come….opened this one at 12:00 AM on the dot 12-21-2012…trying this one for the occasion, the special Judgment day Mayan Apocalypse Ale. So let’s get into it…before the world ends today…. Immediate fragrance of this was something else. Being a fan of chiles and spices and Belgian quads (Ale fermented 4 times). Aromas of Cinnamon, Mole, chocolate abuelita (Dark chocolate Mexican hot cocoa), guajillo, chipotle, dulce de leche/cajeta caramel, candy sugar, some minor capirotada fragrance (Mexican Raisin bread pudding with pecans, bananas, spices and other fruits and flavors. Definitely rich in smell. The flavors of the end of the world are a Mexican and Belgian clash. I have never had a quad that was melded like this… WOW….. It took Judgment day to a new level. Immediate Dulce de leche/ cajeta, Capirotada with mild chile peppers (not too hot but enough to notice you are drinking chiles), coffee cake, Belgian candy sugars, pan dulce/sweet bread, dark fruits like figs, raisins, plums, cinnamon, dark chocolate like that of abuelita, and some tamarindo/tamarind at the end of the flavor. In the after taste, the Tamarindo calms anything that has to do with the chile spices leading them into Belgian Abbey redemption. Even the Devil can redeem for his sins…. lol although the Mayans and early indigenous did not believe in such things…but greater beings from the stars. Great Mathematicians creating meaning for the moon sun and the stars… and that is what this is about. It may not be the end of the world just yet, but the beginning of something new…something else. Keep in mind, as my dearly mother one said: “The end of the world comes to those who’s time has run out” explains that no matter what..whether it is the end of the world today or tomorrow…every one is on a schedule to someday pay the piper a.k.a death and will do so regardless of Apocalypses, End of Times, Armageddons, Raptures…you name it….I leave this this…. and the message explained from the original Judgment day ale…Belgian and Mexican alike will love this creation…. so if you seek this after 12-21-2012….try it out… as for finding meaning in your lives and this whole End of the World business…According to the original label: 

“Live an inspired life. Find opportunities in everything to make a difference. Seek out new and spontaneous adventures and when you find them, embrace them as if they were the devil’s song. For an interesting life is one worth living. Challenge yourself to embrace passion, persistence and a motivated way of life. So that when Judgment Day arrives from nowhere, you’ll go out knowing full well that you’ve lived your life on your terms and they can’t take that away from you.”

Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11

77040_10100945064719690_1558588846_nRating: 5/5 (Aged since 2011 to be drank 12.12.12)Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11 is a 9.4% ABV Belgian Strong Ale Brewed with Anaheim Chiles & Cinnamon. This is the second to last series of the Stone’s long run Vertical Epic Series started in 2002. I aged this in the dark for exactly one year to be drunk on 12-12-12. I also included my last year’s review for comparison so we can see how it has mat

ured 😛Label:
“As with any good epic, herein lies the promise of larger-than-life experiences, heroics and twists & turns as the adventure unfolds. This bottle-conditioned ale is chapter ten, and is specifically designed to be aged until sometime after December 12th, 2012. Provided you can wait that long. At that time, enjoy it in a “vertical” tasting along with its ten Stone Vertical Epic Ale brethren. Each one unique to its year of release. Each with its own “twist & turn” in the plot line. Each one release one year, one month, and one day from the previous year’s edition.

This year’s Stone Vertical Epic Ale might justifiably be considered the non-sequitor edition. We somehow came to the conclusion that adding Anaheim chilies from New Mexico’s Hatch Valley, plus whole cinnamon sticks, to an amber-hued brew fermented with Belgian Flanders Golden Ale yeast (which provides fairly invest character, with lots of clove & banana overtones) would create a very tasty result. And we believe it does! The Anaheim chili is known for its rich flavor more than endorphin-inducing heat, and the cinnamon adds a nice twist… part of the promise behind the Vertical Epic Ale series itself. As with any epic, remember that it is not just the destination, but the journey!”

When I first had this beer back then I enjoyed it a lot since it was a blend of a Belgian bread and carmel beer with Chile spices. After opening the bottle, you can definitely tell it has fermented well. There are dark plum and raisin notes in the aroma which are stronger than before with more sweet caramel and bread. I can kinda smell the chiles in there but it probably is not as heat spicy as last year. This is nice because you can get a sense of how well beers age that it feels like maybe the ABV shot up but the fermentation is way more complex. Upon tasting this beer, I can feel that the chiles somehow gave way to like a caramelized pumpkin and tamarind taste. You definitely do not get anymore heat but the pepper is there in small notes. This is very good. It is so complex with its rich sweet bread and caramel flavor like that of like St. Bernardus as well. There are some sweet matured citrus like a orange candy . There are some notes of bananas, cloves and cinnamon. Some herbs and spices are in the after taste along with tamarind. Even after warming up into room temperature, there is a lot of sweet Belgian beer goodness and some tamarind.

A couple of sips and the beer starts to kick in. This thing had to have increase from a 9.4 to like maybe a 11 or 12. In it’s prime, this beer tasted a lot like I explained it below. If you were more into the pepper spice you won’t find it here unfortunately. But if you were looking for the Belgian beer experience here than this is the beer for sure.

2011 Review:
Banana and Chile Bitterness beer. Damn it Stone…Y you gotta be so good every year and surprising :P. Last years was manzanilla sweetness (10.10.10) lol . This is this years release of the Stone Vertical Epic (11.11.11). Yeah crazy number and crazy time to release such a beer. What if…JUST….what if they ever released a Belgian type of beer that could be made with chiles…Mexico meets Belgium kinda thing. Well here you have it. Breath taking and delicious. HELL even when I first took the first whiff off the bottle I’m like this is gonna be DAMN GOOD!!!. Damn….haven’t been stoked since the last time I found the best beer in the world. LOL well.. yeah… I know good beer when I smell it, taste and see it. Although there is not a lot of intriguing art to this beer, seeing is not always believing when it comes to stone beers and other beers with less appealing labels. Yes, even the best beers in the world don’t have a label at all (Ahem…Westy12)… Anyways…how to I begin to commemorate this beer. I have tried some chile beers but not one that told me hey…dude….capsaicin…chile flavor…here!!…It is not that its super spicy but for those that enjoy good chile not for the heat and know the flavors of chiles they know it anywhere they taste it. Hell even me and my dad who are super big fans of heat and chiles know how the flavors tastes. No doubt it is definitely in here. But also banana. Ahh yes that sweet banana flavor from the Belgian yeast, but this is specifically Belgian Golden Flanders yeast. Also the other thing that adds to the beer is the cinnamon…great compliment to tone the chile flavor. AHHH its so damn goods this beer,.. recommended…for sure..maybe its just the weird number 11.11.11 but they hit it dead on. LOL also the thing with chiles when you lick your lips you usually get a great heat. I never had a beer that reactivates the chile when you lick your lips…Surely they knew what they were doing with this masterpiece. Thanks again stone for an awesome brew and hope to have more …until 12.12.12 my friends 😛

The Vixen By Samuel Adams

ImageThe Vixen Chocolate Chili Bock by Sam Adams is a German bock style brew made a la “Theobroma” (Dogfish Head Chili Beer) but darker in the more German style. The beer is made with different types or malts including caramel, roasted, pale and Munich. Spices such as chiles grown in Mexico, cocoa nibs from Ecuador and Cinnamon from south east Asia. All of these ingredients come together to produce a magnificent brew. There is a lot of notes of sweetness in the beginning from what seem to be caramel, chocolate, very minor coffee, some dark fruit and vanilla followed by a more spicy and capsaisin minor heat flavor of the chiles with cinnamon. LOL it is almost like a seducing mistress. Very sweet at first and then…Well…stuff gets kinda hot afterwards ;). But yes, an enjoyable beer with stout like notes but more of a sweet and not as heavy beer. Overall I am glad I got this. Looks like one of their, not often found, kind of beers. Worth a try, especially for those that like the chile flavor but not with an extreme heat. LOL this would probably an equivalent of making a chocolate with chile like they did in the Aztec day in Mexico. Very good 😛