Barrel Noir by Almanac Beer Co.

1170843_10101327420101440_28549060_n 934688_10101327419647350_833143809_n 996568_10101327418494660_1307572163_n
Rating: 5.6/5*

Barrel Noir by Almanac Beer Co. is a 10% ABV Imperial Stout with 50% Belgian Dark Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels and 50% American Imperial Stout

Label: 
This oak-aged ale is our love letter to bourbon barrels. Barrel Noir is a sumptuous, inky ale that celebrates the velvety texture and subtle heat that only Kentucky charred oak can impart. Born from a blend of American imperial stout and Belgian-inspired dark ale aged in bourbon barrels, this rich brew can be paired with braised beef dishes and dark chocolates. Enjoyed best in front of a warm fireplace.
___

There are very few Belgian Stouts out there that can take beers to new levels. The style is simply one of my top favorites. Some of these beers are coveted while others are easier to find. Today, I try this one which has been partially aged in bourbon barrels. Many of the ingredients are farm grown locally. So a lot of them are fresh. Upon opening the beer, I knew was another awesome special chocolate beer.

Aromas are of rich milk chocolate, dark chocolate, coconut, bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits, dulce de leche, flan, marshmallows, espresso coffee notes, brown sugar, candi sugar and sweet Belgian bread notes

The flavors are of very rich milk chocolate, rocky road ice cream, pecans, walnuts, almond joy chocolate, coconut cream, vanilla, raisins, prunes, hints of minor cherry and raspberry notes, bourbon, oak, hints of Kahlua, dulce de leche caramel, flan, chocolate cake with brownie batter and minor earthy bitterness to balance it all out.

Aftertaste leaves with nice chocolate, coffee cake and minor earthy notes along with a bit of vanilla. The alcohol is not too fondly present and makes it nice. Very hidden. 

Overall, this beer is simply amazing. Sweet to a not too overwhelming level, yet so many flavors and to a certain point, moderate drink-ability. This beer is a fusion of a bourbon barrel aged quad and an imperial stout which is not something that is done often. So I really think that the right level of brewing fusion is what really makes it outstanding and different from others. The dominating characters that each part brings to the table is simply exquisite. I love chocolate beers, so the extra points in rating are for those awesome awesome chocolate flavors but also because it works so well. A must try for anyone that is a stout and Belgian beer fan. If they ever make this in larger bottles and more available, that would be the best!!

*Overwhelming with milk chocolate, yet not to the super sweet level and enough to give great complexity

Advertisements

Barrel Aged Siren Noire Heavy Seas Uncharted Series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing

1005781_10101298803444450_1861030632_n 993628_10101298805440450_1847710357_n 1005638_10101298805031270_1245257992_nRating: 5.75/5*

Barrel Aged Siren Noire Heavy Seas Uncharted Series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Chocolate and aged in Bourbon Barrels

Label: 
Siren Noire
Rich and velvety, this smooth brew owes its full body to healthy additions of imported specialty grains. The roasted malt flavors of coffee yield to notes of mocha, fig, and raisin – and Belgian cacao nibs impart a decadent chocolate nuance. Bourbon barrel aging finishes by adding tones of vanilla. An unparalleled flavor experience

Uncharted Waters explores the unique changes that happen to beer when exposed to wood. Each beer showcases a robust style, carefully matched with a wood treatment to showcase a range of complex flavors. Vintage dating encourages further exploration on the aging process. As much about the voyage as the destination we hope you enjoy these beers in the spirit in which they were brewed.
___

So I got this on whim. I wanted to get the Holy Sheet Belgian ale they had but unfortunately for me it may already be to late. Well, better luck next year I guess. Anyways, I found this one and I wanted to try as it was a Barrel Aged beer and from a brewery I have never tried before. So I decided to give it a try and damn, what a treasure it was as soon as I opened the bottle.

Aromas exploded with a great ton of coconut, chocolate, marshmallows, almonds, bourbon, vanilla, dulce de caramel (Rocky road fragrances), flan, mocha coffee notes, deep java, frappucino, 

The flavors are way too damn close to rocky road ice cream and coffee to put it as best as possible. Bitterness is definitely like an earthy and it is also oaky slightly. Flavors are are of milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, toasted coconut, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, vanilla, marshmallows, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, chocolate cheese cake, flan, crème brulee, mocha, frappucino and chocolate fudge brownies

The Aftertaste leaves off sweet with nice chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, flan and mocha notes. No alcohol presence and the flavors are complex and intense, I am surprised how they could develop these very nice flavors from such an ABV.

Amazingly enough, while it is not strong with the alcohol, it has a lot of sweet flavors. This is too damn good. I wish I could get this beer more frequently. This is really good. If you are lucky enough to find it and live Bourbon Barrel Aged beers, go get this right away. Coffee flavored Rocky Road ice cream in liquid form.

*I am a chocolate beer fanatic, so the rating maybe a bit bias but I swear, this is like rocky road ice cream in liquid form. Maybe not to the Parabola level but enough to notice. Oh, and Lots of nice coffee to go with it too

Grand Cru by Alesmith Brewing

487395_10101297402412130_346199578_n 1000856_10101297404702540_549048764_nRating: 5.35/5*

Grand Cru by Alesmith Brewing is a 10%ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Label: 
25.4 fl. oz. – First place California State Fair. Grand Cru is a term designating excellence and is reserved for the finest offering from a brewery. AleSmith Grand Cru is brewed once per year in small batches for limited vintage release.

AleSmith Grand Cru is a complex, amber-colored, malty Belgian-style ale. It is brewed using only the finest imported malts, hops and candi sugar, along with an authentic yeast strain from a Belgian Trappist Monastery. Traditionally bottle-conditioned, the secondary fermentation occurring in the bottle gives this ale a natural effervescence.

Taste this truly Grand Cru and you’ll agree: AleSmith’s hand-forged ales are crafted to perfection. 10% alcohol by volume. Brewed & bottled by AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA.
___

Been passing this one up for a quite a while. Alesmith makes really great beer but I never got around to try this one. No longer though. I was able to find this one to give it a try and do a review. Grand Cru is sometimes a complex type that doesn’t really fall into a particular style other than some type of Belgian beer that is really awesome. I’ve considered some of the Grand Crus I have tried in the best as very Epic, this one is no different. In fact, it rates outstanding to world class in some of the beer rating websites.

Aromas a complex conundrum of good stuff. Dark fruits like figs, raisins, plums, wine grapes, cherries, raspberries, Dulce de leche caramel on rye toast, dates, vanilla, somewhat bourbon vanilla character, chocolate, coconut, pecan and hazelnut pie, cloves, bananas in caramel, toffee, butterscotch, candi sugars, brown sugar, apples and apricots.

Flavors are simply phenomenal! Lots or dulce de leche caramel, pecan and hazel nut pie covered in vanilla cream, chocolate Almond Joy with coconut, figs, raisins, plums, slight wine grape notes, dark cherries, raspberries, dates, caramel covered bananas, toffee, biscuit bread, phenols, clove spices, nutmeg, apples, peaches, candi sugar and butterscotch

This beer is kind of crazy as it reminds me a bit of the St. Bernardus and to some extent, hints of the Westy 12. The beer has definitely has a lot going for it. It is a little boozy but that is quite fine as the bready caramel and rich fruits cover that all up nicely. This is a great beer and many Belgian beer lovers will love this one. Alesmith, very well done.

*I Love sweet and Complex beers, this one put it over just a bit. This is my highest rating for a Grand Cru so far