Endless Nameless by Cigar City

12028748_10102826618919990_8601399048560632795_o 12017422_10102826619473880_7765847507134468512_oRating: 6/5

Endless Nameless by Cigar City is a ??% ABV Imperial Stout Aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
endless.
nameless.
imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels.

==Introduction==

A name used from a hidden track off of Nirvana’s album, Nevermind. Cigar city brings this very big whale of a beer off the depths of the Grunge Rock abyss. Simply put, the Nirvana tribute beer, this beer was released as part of the El Catador reserve release. Only those in that association would be allowed to get this one. I was able to snag this bottle as soon as I saw it on www.mybeercollectibles.com. Needless to say, that sit can be super pricey but luckily I got this at a decent price. I really got it since I wanted to bring it forth to the website and see how it is. Now, on with the show.

Aromas:
Smells like Beer Spirit, or its dark soul. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German & Belgian chocolate, bakers chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, Mexican 3 leches/Three Milks cake, flan, Dulce De Leche Caramel, Vanilla, Rich Bourbon, oak, marshmallows, grahama cracker smores, molasses, bananas, crème brulee, dark raisins, dark cherries, plums, mocha coffee, Kahlua, Irish cream, agave syrup, candi sugar, rock candy, pecan pie, leather, tobacco, brown sugar and hazelnut nectar.

Flavors:
Rich Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, Bananas, Flan, Vanilla, Bourbon, oak, Dulce De Leche Caramel, Mexican sweetened condensed milk, Mexican 3 leches/Three Milks cake, molasses, hazelnut nectar, tobacco, leather, rye, maple syrup, dark cherries, currants, plums, blueberries, raspberries, dark cherries, coconut pie, mocha, crème brulee, toffee, brown sugar, cotton candy, choco flan, candi sugar, rocky road icecream, almond joy, Kahlua, Irish cream, agave syrup, Yoohoo Chocolate Milk Shake, Chocolate cake and chocolate cheese cake.

Aftertaste:
Long lingering dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, flan, crème brulee, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, hazelnut, dark cherries, marshmallow, pecan pie, coconut pie, bananas, bourbon notes and chocolate cake. Slight booziness but super subtle to keep stuff balanced and not detract from the flavors, beyond the endless and nameless darkness of the abyss body, smooth and sipping drinkability, silky, velvety and syrupy mouth feel.

Overall:
Essentially, this is the Black Tuesday of Cigar City and the East Coast. So many reminiscent flavors of Black Tuesday but leaning more toward milk candies and desserts. Either way, this is ridiculously balanced with the amount of complexity and alcohol. This is definitely a world class beer and a must get to add to your collection of super whales. A Nirvana whale is one beast of a while to collect for a special occasion.

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill (one of my top 4 anime girls) was used in this pairing to pair mainly with the name of the song and the meaning behind it as well as the darkness the beer represents. In the series, Ryuko had to deal with turmoil and darkness. This beer represents that very chaos and attitude in her heart when stuff was not going well in her life during the sad parts of the show. She pulled through ofcourse! She didn’t lose her way! Just like the frustration Kurt Cobain felt as they said fuck it when recording Lithium! And created the song. The beer is dark as the endless abyss with no name.

Sources:
http://static.tumblr.com/3a0b53c0f68bfa5cdf6c584209ffd8f7/9dd108p/eSmn9wfk0/tumblr_static_cq0y11ev48owsg4ksow8okscc.jpg

Big Lushious by Founders Brewing

10406402_10102350611597480_5283677084754503916_n 995608_10102350612281110_7474703038067947494_n 1966835_10102350613309050_3309409244486416948_nRating: 6/5* If you love sugar sweet dessert beers, you will love this one.

Big Lushious by Founders Brewing is a 7.8% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Dark Chocolate and Raspberries.

Description:
Big Lushious is a deep, rich stout that’s packed with flavor: roasted malts, all-natural dark chocolate, a subtle suggestion of burnt coffee grounds and a kiss of tart raspberries. At 7.8% ABV, it’s big, sumptuous and extravagant, but also balanced.

==Introduction==

Founders released this in small quantities to select places. While looking for other beers, I stumbled upon this little diamond in the rough. Founders is typically something we don’t often see around California. While looking for another beer, I included this one just to see how it was. Based on information I gather, this one is supposed to be a guilty pleasure type of beer hence the name and the label may allude to. So let us see if this is the case with the Big Luscious, Cheers!

Aromas:
Extremely Rich Raspberries, Extremely Rich Dark Chocolate, milk chocolate, brown sugar, milk sugar, mild coffee espresso, flan hints, vanilla, fudge chocolate cake, dark fruit raisins, plums, chocolate cherry cordials, dark cherries, roasted malts, Irish cream, Danish cookie notes, caramel chocolate pecan pie and raspberry truffles.

Flavors:
Extremely Rich dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, chocolate cake, fudge chocolate, chocolate cherry cordials, chocolate covered raspberries, chocolate raspberry,extremely rich dark fruit raspberries, dark cherries, currants, raisins, plums, blackberries, mild tart raspberry skins, vanilla caramel, caramel and pecan turtle truffles, anise hints, molasses, flan, cinnamon, brown sugar, earthy notes, cocoa powder, roasted malts, espresso notes, Irish cream, Danish cookie notes and toffee.

Aftertaste:
Rich Dark chocolate, Very rich raspberries, milk sugar, mocha hints, earthy hints, vanilla and caramel linger for a bit. No alcohol in the taste, Ridiculously easy to drink, Creamy and velvety mouthfeel, pitch black full body with like a crimson and brown head signifying more colors.

Overall:
This beer is exceedingly delicious. Like an actual raspberry chocolate cake. No joke, this beer is a legitimate chocolate and raspberry sugar coma. It is so ridiculously easy to drink that I was tempted to just drink the whole thing. It is very addicting. I give this one a super high rating due to how damn close it taste to liquid raspberries and chocolate syrup. A mild complexity. This beer could be stronger but it is not without its merits. I think however, because of it’s strong and lingering sweetness, it will definitely may not be enjoyed by those that do not have a sweet tooth for a beer like this. It is pretty damn sweet and fruity. So if you love very sweet and easy to drink dessert beers, then go for it. Just be careful not to finish the bottle right away. One of the best Raspberry Chocolate beers ever!

Anime Corner:
Kallen Stadtfeldt from Code Geass was used in this pairing since I wanted to use a character who’s colors correlate with the colors and the flavors of raspberries. While I have used Sakura Haruno from Naruto to do raspberry beers or mainly other girls with pink hair, Kallen seem to fit the bill here. The name of Big Luscious goes with how seductive this beer is to the palate. This beer is pure raspberry bliss so having Kallen be seductive in this instance was pretty much the way to go.

Sources:
http://wallpoper.com/images/00/28/24/36/code-geass_00282436.jpg
http://i.neoseeker.com/mgv/407272/272/32/konachancom_32646_code_geass_gun_kallen_stadtfeld.jpg

Mash & Grind by the Bruery

10365814_10102242084566520_3966754426991846494_n 10869828_10102242084960730_6678622636617135545_oRating: 6/5

Mash & Grind by the Bruery is a 13.7% ABV English Barley Wine aged in Bourbon Barrels with Portola Lab’s Lucio Delgado (Columbia) Coffee beans.

Label:
TO HAVE

An English-style classic with rich flavors from time spent aging in bourbon barrels, plus fresh roasted coffee from Portola Coffee Lab.

Mash & Grind is best enjoyed fresh for bold coffee notes, but may develop pleasantly with time if cellared properly.

==Introduction==

After reviewing the other MASH variations, I am unsure how the Coffee variant could top the coconut, but we definitely have to focus on this one now. This was also released to Reserve Society members only and you may have to trade to get this variant. MASH by the Bruery is in itself an insanely rich and delicious beer that really shoots up to the top of the best Barleywines in the world in my opinion especially of the English style. This coffee variant is something I have been meaning to try and is one that I passed off a taster as I was too exited to the coconut and the fact that I was willing to wait to focus on this one. So let’s dive and see how this one differs from the regular MASH. By the way, Portola labs is one of the best I have seen for brewing some of the best coffee beers out there. Well, except for the rarities of Kopi Luwak, Intelligentsia, Jamaican Blue, Jobella and Dark Matter and their variants such as Unicorn’s Blood, but I digress. Check out my other reviews on those if you want. As for this one, let’s take close look shall we? Cheers!!

Aromas:
Rich milk chocolate coffee, rich roasted coffee grounds, java coffee, espresso, frappuccino cream, coffee cake, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, bourbon, oak, banana split, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, banana clove spices, rich mocha, coconut hints, marshmallow, chocolate smores, custard, sweetened condensed milk (Leche Nestle), rocky road icecream, pecan pie, tobacco, brownies, chocolate bread, toffee, butterscotch, raisin bread pudding and maple.

Flavors:
Rich mocha coffee, Java, espresso, Khalua, dark chocolate abuelita, roasted coffee notes, coffee grounds, dulce de leche caramel, frappuccino, mocha latte, flan, plantain hints, almond joy, dark chocolate pecan pie, danish cookies, cinnamon, bananas, hazelnut, tocacco, rocky road icecream, bourbon, toasted coconut hints, butterscotch, macadamia nuts, dark fruit, plums raisins, dark cherry, sweetened condensed milk, tapioca pudding, custard, chocolate cake, coffee cake, crème brulee and maple.

Aftertaste:
Roasted coffee, vanilla, caramel, crème brulee, rye bread, marshmallows, coconut hints, almonds and frappuccino cream lingers. No alcohol in the taste, moderate drinkability, creamy mouthfeel and a dark brown full body.

Overall:
Hot Damn, if you love coffee, this one is like Coffee Central! The coffee is strong in this one. The colder the sharper coffee strength. You get more coffee roast as it is cold, but when it warms up, that is when you get the best out the beer. I definitely suggest trying it a variant temperatures as it will vary as the temperature gets warmer. Aging this will let more coffee and other flavors go through but as it is right now as it warms up is definitely pure coffee beer Nirvana. I do think this reaches the heights of best coffee beers in the world and the best coffee Barleywine ever and I highly recommend if you can get some bottles to age too.

Anime Corner:
Aqua from Kingdom Hearts makes a triumphant return in the beer scene with this pairing. The last couple of times I used her were in pairings such as 1556 Ale from New Belgium, Rochefort 10 and Jamaican Blue Coffee Speedway Stout from Alesmith. She relates to this beer in the sense of the deep and by that I mean deep darkness. Darkness which is presented by the rich coffee roast but mainly because even with the strongest of the Dark, she can battle it with light as she is a Key Blade Master which are very few from the series. You see, Mash & Grind is not a dark beer. It retains its barleywine caramel colors, super strength and complexity and yet presents the darkness. Aqua has been locked in the darkness for a long time but her light is always brimming never to extinguish!

Sources:
http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2012/002/1/d/dark_aqua_by_annria2002-d4l2k63.jpg

2014 MASH by the Bruery

10507124_10102061173623500_2930308288137729552_oRating: 5.95/5

2014 MASH by the Bruery is a 12.4% ABV English Barley Wine aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
TO HAVE NOT

An English-style classic with rich flavors from time spent aging in bourbon barrels.

Mas is delicately rich and malty ale, best enjoyed fresh , but may evolve pleasentyly over time if cellared properly.
___

This beer was released by the Bruery in 2013 and re-released for 2014 to the Reserve society. This beer was something I was always curious about but mainly let it slide because I was not a member at the time and something I through I could get better for. As it turned out, now I finally had a chance and I wanted to see if this beer was really worth it. A barrel Aged Barleywine. I could only start to think of Bourbon County Barleywine. At 750ml, I had to get it for sure. So here you go, the MASH review from the Bruery!

Aromas:
Dark fruits like raisins, plums, dulce de leche caramel, old bananas, clove spice, toffee, plantains, macaroons, toasted coconut, hazelnuts, almonds, pecan pie, chocolate, toffee, macamadamia nuts, rocky road ice cream, custard, brownies, chocolate cake, rye bread, maple, mocha, capirotada raisin bread pudding, cinnamon, and condensed sweetened milk.

Flavors:
Rich toffee, dulce de leche caramel, toasted coconut, macaroons, marshmallows, rich bananas, clove spice, crème brulee, flan, plantain, almonds, pecan pie, chocolate, hazelnut nectar, toffee, macamadamia nuts, rocky road ice cream, custard, brownies, chocolate cake, rye bread, mocha, dark fruit raisins, plums, capirotada raisin bread pudding, cinnamon, condensed sweetened milk and maple.

Aftertaste:
Bananas, caramel, dark fruits, butterscotch, rye bread, chocolate hints, almonds and toasted coconut macaroons linger. No alcohol in the taste, medium to full bodied, a sipping beer and syrupy mouth feel yet smooth.

Overall:
Undoubtedly exceeding my expectations. The Bruery making a fucking Barley wine that can actually compete with even the world class ones and yet not recognized due to its availability!? Unheard of!! This should definitely be world class as it definitely proves what the true English Barleywine can truly be like. As I look at the EBWs from before this one is definitely one of the top ones! Highly recommended!

Anime Corner:
Senkanseiki from the Kantai Collection was used in this pairing to pair with the colors of the label and the evil that the beer represents. Evil in the sense that it is very good, it is too damn good making you want to drink the whole bottle. However, despite its richness and deliciousness, this one must be taken lightly and savored a sip at a time. The colors of the artwork resonate with the awesome flavor complexity of the beer ranging from the dark cherry, coconut, dark fruits and so forth. The strength of Senkanseiki can also compliment the strength of this beer’s ABV. So much can be said about this delicious treasure but the best part of this is leaving it to you, the reader to make of it what you will!

Sources:
http://e-shuushuu.net/images/2014-06-12-654736.jpeg

Smokestack Series Chocolate Ale by Boulevard Brewing

1013345_10101694082327400_1405826777_n 1962754_10101694082701650_1729149984_n 1958463_10101694081204650_634359598_n IMAG6036Rating: 5/5

Smokestack Series Chocolate Ale by Boulevard Brewing is a 9.1% ABV American Strong Ale brewed with cocoa.

Label:
One of the brightest stars in a city filled with culinary treasures, Christopher Elbow has world wide reputation for handcrafted masterpieces. His sweets are distinguished by their use of unusual, sometimes surprising ingredients, and that adventurous spirit has left its print on this special ale. The aroma is given over to earthy, fruity, cocoa, with just a hint hops. Smooth layers of dark chocolate intertwine with threads of caramel, vanilla, and nutty malt as the flavor warms and rounds to a bitter sweet finish. 
___

Picked this up at the local Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights California. Chocolate ales are something that definitely bring my attention. I cannot help it as they really are my favorite types of beers. Sometimes there is a Bias for chocolate beers in my reviews, but you can definitely tell. So take it with a grain of salt and try them for yourself to decide. As far as this beer goes, I was surprised by the color. This was not your typical dark beer.

Aromas:
Citrus, dark chocolate, rye bread, dark chocolate, caramel, very mild earthy hops, cinnamon, peanut butter, vanilla, bananas, clove spice, cocoa crispies cereal, hazelnut, pecans, tootsie roll, brown sugar and molasses.

Flavors:
Dark Chocolate, milk chocolate, champurrado flavor, bakers chocolate, caramel, candi sugar, cinammon, earthy spices, bananas, cloves, chocolate cake, peanut butter hints, rye bread, mild flan notes, cocoa crispies or cocoa puffs cereal, citrus, mild dark fruits, tootsie rolls and white chocolate.

Aftertaste:
Chocolate, mild bittering earthy hops in the finish but mainly cinnamon and caramel linger. No alcohol in the taste. A sipping beer with a medium mouth feel.

Overall:
A perfect beer but you definitely need to let it warm up to get richer chocolate flavor. It is very different at first because it falls somewhere between the colors of chocolate rain and white chocolate from the Bruery (Beer Color only). A light brown per say. The flavor is not as exceptional but it falls somewhere in the middle in terms of beer color because although I was expecting a darker beer, the lighter beer aspect still lets the chocolate shine in this beer which was very surprising. This beer is not specifically chocolate but you can tell chocolate is still there. My extra credit can only do so much for the chocolate in this beer but it may not be enough to exceed my expectations like other chocolate beers. Still recommended and worth a try.

Anime Corner:
Korra from the Legend of Korra was used in this pairing because while fits in the style of my favorite character, Yoruichi, I wanted to portray an in between chocolate and white chocolate type of beer. Her wearing the outfit from Kill La Kill shows the strength of the beer as it warms up. The more she shines the more she becomes powerful. Chocolate is sexy so she definitely shines in that aspect too . This is a rare release too so she is a very rare character sometimes in these reviews .

2011 Barrel Roll No. 3 Pugachev’s Cobra by Hangar 24

306081_10101131075327940_749733813_n 548867_10101131079115350_668536258_n 532932_10101131079125330_716776184_nRating: 5.8/5* Aged for 2 years, so the ABV is probably higher but the complexity is what gives it the high score.

2011 Barrel Roll No. 3 Pugachev’s Cobra by Hangar 24 is a 16.5%ABV Russian Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels

Label: 
PUGACHEV’S COBRA: The brainchild of Victor Pugachev — not for the faint of heart. Pilot suddenly raises the aircraft nose to near vertical before dropping back to attack mode. Get ready for an assault on your senses with PUGACHEV’S COBRA, an intense Russian Imperial Stout. This rich, black beauty with a thick caramel head is bursting with aromas of chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon, licorice and dark fruits, while flavors of chocolate-covered plum, sweet malt, bourbon, and roasted coffee explode on your pallet. Three different dark roasted malts and rich maple syrup are combined in a truly unique brewing process to create complexity and depth. Once fermented, it’s then aged for eight months in freshly emptied bourbon barrels. This powerful concoction is designed to be enjoyed now with friends or cellared to perfection and savored in the years to come.
___

As recommended by my friend Julio who once had it on tap about a year ago. Been looking high and low for this piece of treasure to finally be able to do a review. Time to suit up and lift off into the heights of amazing flavors. How will it do with the other great imperial stouts out there? 

Upon opening the bottle, the aromas are very good. Definitely on par with some of the greats, maybe even better! Rich bourbon, vanilla, oak, sweet milk and dark chocolate, brownie batter, coconut, banana, hazelnuts, dulce de leche, crème brulee, coffee, mocha, maple, hints of dark fruits like raisins, apples and smokey wood. The flavors are very amazing. Heat of Bourbon flavor but low booziness, vanilla, bananas, coconut, dulce de leche caramel, raisins, Kahlua coffee, rum and very rich chocolate almost to the side of Black Tuesday but more focus on bourbon than chocolate yet still very strong with the chocolate. There are also flavors of flan, licorice, molasses, chocolate cake, chocolate syrup and whiskey. This one is very very good. The flavors are very rich and the bourbon flavor is amazing. Not the booziness but the actual oakyness and vanilla of it. No Joke, this beer was definitely near the top. A must get if you somehow are lucky to find it. I had to look online for this one unfortunately. Now next time it is one tap, that I will have to see. But you also have to realize, this has been aging FOR 2 YEARS!! so the much fresher version may not provide the strength and complexity. So get one now and save the other for later. Go get this beer!!