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.
___

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/

Dragoons by Moylan’s Brewing

223033_10101297401469020_1833016644_n 16895_10101297401903150_794494738_n 999402_10101297402147660_1298724131_nRating: 3.9/5

Dragoons by Moylan’s Brewing is a 5% ABV Irish Dry Stout.

Label: 
Dry, roasty and incredibly rich in flavor, Dragoon’s Dry Irish Stout is made with a unique blend of imported hops and malted barley from the United Kingdom. This award winning stout is brewed in the Irish tradition to commemorate General Stephen Moylan,Irish-born commander of the 4th Continental Dragoons during the American Revolutionary War.
___

Been meaning to try this for a while. They had this one at Congregation ale house on tap and as a beer float. It was pretty good from what I remember. I found a bottle and wanted to give it a review. This stout won a 3 gold medals in 2007 at the American Beer Festival, Cal State Fair and the World Beer Champ of the same year. This isn’t the typical “Guinness” type of dry stout for sure. Although Guiness is decent in its own ways.

Aromas are like it came out of nitro brewed process. Strong Milk and dark chocolate fragrance, roasted coffee notes, caramel, pecans, hints of vanilla cream, earthy hops, hints of molasses and toffee

Flavors are of coffee, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla cream notes, hints of molasses, light earthy hop bitterness, tobacco notes, roasted barley, toffee, nuts and hints of brown sugar

Definitely dry finish in the aftertaste not leaving much but slight hints of the milk chocolate and coffee notes. 

The flavors that come out as the beer goes along is what makes this one good. Without the extra flavors it would probably be average at best. Thankfully that is not the case. I think If I find it on tap and I want to drink light but still nice and flavorful while still not being too overwhelming to the palate, I would get this one again.

Silva Stout by Brewmaster Chuck Silva of Green Flash Brewing

539196_10101127265532800_2005317680_nRating: 5.45/5

Silva Stout by Brewmaster Chuck Silva of Green Flash Brewing is a 10.1% Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels

DESCRIPTION
Silva Stout took a lot of patience. We aged our Double Stout in oak bourbon barrels for seventeen months. Flavors are very complex. It starts off with dark chocolate truffles rolled in cocoa powder. Next is the vanilla and wood notes, with rich cherry-like fruitiness. After racking and filtering the ale, we blended in just the right amount of freshly brewed Double Stout to provide the perfect balance of bourbon barrel aging and freshness. Enjoy the culmination of years of flavor development now – no further aging required!
___

This beer goes out to my friend Jorge Silva, who enjoys a fine whiskey but also enjoys certain beers. It has his name in the bottle so I figured it be special. I have tried some of green flash beers in the past but this is the first time I try one of their bourbon barrel aged beers. This is considered another world class ale, highly rated and highly sought after. If you somehow are able to find it at a brewshop or online, get it while it lasts. The aromas very rich in bourbon, coconut, vanilla, coconut, oak, cherries, anise, mocha, chocolate, caramel, and slight walnut or pecan. The flavors are of caramel flan, vanilla, rich oak, bourbon, very rich chocolate, coffee, marshmallow cream, raisins, Kahlua, cinnamon, graham crackers, campfire smores using bitter dark chocolate and earthy hops as well . This is a lot like older viscosity as I remember the flavors were very oaky and bourbon infused but in such a good way where you can taste the bourbon very well without the excessive alcohol. It really says a lot for a beer of this caliber. A type of power in the taste that is a fingerprint into the reputation of the brewery as a whole. This along with other San Diego Breweries is a reason why they make some of the best craft beers in the world. Older viscosity from Port brewing may be a little easier to find, but when they find a beer that is a dessert and bleeds whiskey bourbon into perfection of taste without the overpowering alcohol boozyness is what makes this beer unique. Some brewers can play the game right.

Mountain Standard by Odell Brewing

549083_10101118066941850_1444964370_nRating: 4.75/5

Mountain Standard by Odell Brewing is a 9.5%ABV Double Black India Pale Ale

Label: 
As winter sets in, we embrace the darkness, celebrating the change in season with this double black IPA releasing it as Daylight Savings falls back to MST. We handpick hops here in Colorado on the western slope. The robust hops and roasted malt character balance perfectly with just a bit of bitterness. Go ahead, Give in to the dark side.
___

This ales is very rich in flavor and fragrance. This beer screams rich mint, chocolate, caramel, some mocha, grassy and earthy hops, herbs, basil, spices, lemon citrus, and slight smoke. The flavors are of earthy grassy hops, herbs, spices, sweet and dark chocolate, mocha, caramel, mint, anise, molasses, some basil, sweet garlic, lemon, citrus, coffee cake and some slight nutty notes. This beer reminds me of Self-Righteous but with more chocolate flavor than the herbs and spices. While still bitter, it is somewhat smooth and drinkable hiding that 9.5%ABV which can be sensed later.

Oesterstout by ScheldeBrouwerij

575992_10101092848175460_1331982037_nRating: 5/5

Oesterstout by ScheldeBrouwerij is an 8.5%ABV Belgian Stout brewed with Dutch Zealand Oysters

Label: 
From the Scheldebrouwerij, we bring you the expertly crafted ales of a small Belgian brewery from the Antwerp province very near the Dutch border. The Scheldebrouwerij Oesterstout is a soft yet robust stout. Dark as night, the wort from this fully malted ale is filtered over oyster shells from the Dutch Zeeland province. 
___

It has been a while since I have tried an Oyster stout, let alone a Belgian one. The last one I tried was delicious (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/oyster-stout-by-the-porterhouse-brewing-company/). However, the Three Floyds one was awesome too (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/mutiny-the-mollusk-collaborative-brew-by-three-floyds-and-half-acre/). However to be one from Belgium? This I had to experience for myself. The aromas are not fishy. Some fragrances of smoked coffee, a little bit of of saltiness, almost like an apple rum or apple note, chocolate, caramel bread, some type of dark fruit or wine grape, and some molasses. The flavors are of …oh? Very nice. It truly is a Belgian stout. In fact more over than the oysters I am able to sense. Chocolate cake, coffee, strong apples, dark fruits, minor salty notes, possibly the oysters but kind of faint sea and oyster flavor to it,vanilla, caramel, cherries, raisins, some sourness but like a grape sourness and only a little bit and lots of bread and candi sugars. As you let it sit, the somewhat oyster and sea salt comes out, but only a little bit. In fact, it is enough to make it very interesting and give it some bitterness. Seafood is my favorite so I can tell there is definitely a sea and Belgian stout quality to it. Quite the different beer for sure and now is part of my list of best Belgian Stouts ever along with Buffalo, Thirteenth Hour and some of my other favorites. Simply amazing Belgian stout. They pulled it off well.

Aloha B’ak’tun by Maui brewing

522731_10101089985212860_2041559936_nRating: 4.45/5

Aloha B’ak’tun by Maui brewing is a 7%ABV Belgian Stout brewed with chocolate, cinnamon and chipotle.

Label: 
Change is the only constant in life; and this year has been marked with exiting changes. Staff moving on, new staff joining our team and construction plans for the new brewery (Yes, still on Maui). Our final limited release of the year celebrates change and bids aloha to our friends new and old. 

This Belgian stout is brewed with chocolate, cinnamon, and chipotle. It pours deep black with ruby highlights. Layered with roasted malt character hints of bittersweet dark chocolate, clove, cinnamon and subtle peppery notes in the nose. 

The year is ending, the world is not. Raise your hand and toast with us to all the great things to come. Look forward to four new limited releases in 2013.
Mahalo Nui Loa. 

‘Okole Maluna,
Garrett 
___

Belgian Stouts are some of my favorites. So when I found this one I had to get it. The fragrances are are roasted coffee, bakers and dark chocolate, bready notes, raisins, slight peppercorns, mild pepper, tobacco, molasses and slight caramel. The flavors are mainly of coffee, dark chocolate, slight tobacco, smokey (in the glass), dulce de leche caramel (mainly when in the can), bready notes, raisins, slight chocolate covered cherries, slight peppery notes of chipotle but hardly enough to detect heat at all. I tried it both out of the glass and the can. Frankly, it taste better out of the can than in the glass. I guess like heady topper, certain things taste better when out of certain containers. Although after letting it sit for a while in the glass, the flavors like that of the can were there. All and all, an awesome beer, very good Belgian stout but kind of not as full flavor impacting like Thirteenth Hour or Buffalo Stout. Still, great pick up and one I would try again 🙂

Board Meeting by Port Brewing

285655_10101066236625220_750631760_n

Rating: 4.8/5

 is an 8.5%BV Brown Ale brewed with Coffee and TCHO Cocoa nibs

Label:
It’s 6 AM and you have two appointments on your calendar for today. A Board of Directors meeting at 10 AM requires your attention. But Last night you got the call signaling a dawn patrol session this morning. Surf is out of the west and the swell is building. A morning stop for a cup of Joe on the way to the ocean’s edge has you fueled. Early morning surf report on the radio indicates clean conditions up and down the coast. A Parking lot surf check at the break confirms the conditions are perfect. 

All systems go and your first board meeting of the day looks promising. You trade a neoprene wet suit and a brisk ocean paddle knowing full well later you’s be surrounded by stodgy old men and fussy women sitting in over stuffed leather chairs reviewing corporate minutes as the smell of pastries and burnt coffee hang in the air. It’s a scene that repeats itself year after year . But none of this bothers you anymore. Life taught you early on not all board meetings are created equal. 
___

New from Port Brewing comes a brown ale unlike some of the brown ales I have had before. This beer is more full bodied like a porter or a stout. But I guess in terms of brown ales I would have to look and see how it would differ. The aromas are of coffee, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, earthy notes, and brown sugar. The flavors are great. It is not as bitter as a porter or a stout in terms of hops and smokeyness. This lets flavors of bakes chocolate, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, caramel, biscuit bread, coffee cake, brown sugar, hazelnut, berries, figs, and other sweet flavors shine through. The bitterness is very little as it is mostly from the coffee. This beer was so good it was hard not to stop drinking it. It is pretty drinkable and the aftertaste is sweet and nutty. Quite frankly one of the best brown ales I have had in a while. Aside from hazelnut nectar. This is going to be a new beer that will appear regularly. Brown Ale fans will love this one and those that do not like Brown Ales will start to love the style with this one

Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XV by North Coast Brewing

382030_10100953674296030_1531994946_nRating: 5.5/5

Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XV by North Coast Brewing is an 11.9% ABV Russian Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
Never say Die!

Every year we age a special batch of our much-loved Russian Imperial Stout in Bourbon barrels. The depth, intensity, and complexity of the flavor profile of this special release, like its predecessors, make it a worthy tribute to Old Rasputin.

Prior to 2010, Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin was released in such limited quantities that it was available only at the North Coast Brewing retail shop in Fort Bragg, California. However, we received so many requests for this beer that we began producing enough Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin to put into broader, but still limited, distribution.

This a pretty awesome beer. Upon opening this one, there was immediate aromas of rich coconut, vanilla, bourbon with roasted coffee, chocolate, caramel and some notes of Mexican sweetened condensed or flan. Maybe California’s response to Bourbon County Stout? The flavors are pretty sweet. The boozyness is only slight the flavors that hit the palate. Sweet rich chocolate, espresso, mocha, vanilla, caramel, whipped cream, rich Mexican flan, bourbon, coconut, figs, raisins and prunes. Another masterpiece exceeding the expectations. A must find for Barrel-Aged Stout lovers. Just awesome is what this is. If the original Old Rasputin is world class, this takes it to another level for me.

Mouette à Trois (Three Seagulls) by Karl Strauss

148619_10100950630046730_1994997927_nRating: 5/5

Mouette à Trois (Three Seagulls) by Karl Strauss is an 8.5%ABV Holiday Fruitcake Dubbel. 

Label:

Mouette a Trois est la meileure biere que vous avez jamais goute ou notre nom n’est pas Karl Strauss. Mouette a Trois, meaning Three Seagulls, is the 3rd installment in our less than literal “Twelve Days” series of holiday ales. Brewed with fresh apricots, cherries and a blend of spices, the resulting strong ale is Belgian Dubbel meets fruitcake. Rich layers of candied fruit and warming spices are punctuated by notes of toffee and fresh baked bread. Aging on brandy-cured French oak adds hints of vanilla that linger through a warming finish. Don’t. Even. Think. About. Regifting.

Sounded pretty interesting, so I said pourquoi pas? First pour of the beer had hardly any head retention. The fragrance of this beer is of cherries,peach, apple, citrus, chocolate, caramel and sweet bread. The flavors are quite fruity. There are some flavors of raisin, cherry, apple, peach, gummy bears, chocolate, coffee cake, buttery bread, dulce de leche caramel and vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, walnuts, almonds, oak wood, some flavors of the brandy, earthy hop and cider bitterness but the caramel and vanilla compliment in the after taste. Quite the complex, sweet, but not full bodied or overpowering Christmas beer. Now that is Christmas in a bottle. Pretty fancy and well worth trying. I’m liking this one a lot.

Stone Vertical Epic 12.12.12

531830_10100945227872730_1355826940_n 537715_10100945228366740_800225002_n 222227_10100945226934610_1338416443_nRating: 4.85/5

Stone Vertical Epic 12.12.12 is a 9% ABV Belgian Strong Ale brewed with Spices. It is the Final release of Stone’s Epic Series. I have only had a chance to try 10, 11 and 12 but that is still cool to be part of something. Today is 12.12.12 so I figured this would be the right time.

Label:

The Final Chapter in an “Epic” Series

As with any good epic, herein lies the promise of larger-than-life experiences, heroics, and twists and turns as the adventure unfolds. This bottle-conditioned ale is chapter eleven. Now is the time to enjoy it in a “vertical” tasting side by side with its ten Stone Vertival Epic Ale brethren! Each one unique to its year of release. Each with its own “twist & turn” in the plot line. Each one released one year, one month and one day from the previous year’s edition.

This year’s Stone Vertical Epic Ale is the very last one. Yep, this is it. The final chapter. Or as they say on the last slide in some old films: “Fin.” No worries though: this edition is particularly well-suited for prolonging the experience, as it’s as cellarable as any in the series, or more. In this, the final edition, you can expect a perfectly balance *womp* of spices: cinnamon, ginger, allspice, sweet orange peel, clove (only a little!) and rosehips, all in the context of a dark Belgian style abbey-ish beer…but not as sweet. Dry even. Stone style. Thanks for coming on this Epic Stone-style journey with us! You can rest assured there will be new adventures to come…

The fragrances of this beer are pretty phenomenal. Starting with some banana, raisin and plum notes, mint, coffee, licorice, almost like a Black Saison smoke, sugar and cinnamon cookies, flowers, chocolate, caramel biscuit and toffee. The taste of this goes into different places. Flavors of chocolate, coffee, banana, caramel, cinnamon, dark fruit, smokey flavors almost like a BBQ ribs so its smokey but sugary, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, flowers like roses, biscuit bread and ginger bread, herbs and other spices. The after taste is of chocolate, banana, mint and some earthy and citrus bitterness with some more graham cracker, sugar or ginger cookies. Not sure if they tried to combine all the beers together or something but they try to hit on many flavor aspects here. Belgian and somewhat Porter or Stout like blend with a lot of what seem to be some holiday spices. It is quite good and I think specifically brewed for the holidays and the last week before the so called end of the world. Anyways, for being the last beer it surely fits and I am sure a year from now, this will probably taste very wonderful so I will leave it room for some improvement and save one for 13 13 13…lol well 12.12.2013 🙂