Up On The Rooftop by Four Sons Brewing

15777064_10103856769499970_694736657413844147_oRating: 5/5

Up On The Rooftop by Four Sons Brewing is a 10.1% German Doppelbock brewed with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Allspice.

Label:
Dark, Rich and Malty German Lager brewed with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Allspice.

Four Sons Brewing is Family Owned & Operated in Huntington Beach, CA. We invite you “Join Our Family” And Share Our Passion for excellent craft beer.

==Introduction==

A special thanks to my friend and fellow Homebrew brother, William Carranza for giving me a special present for Christmas, a Holiday DoppelBock. Now the style already being a rich a malty brew would make sense to fit with Christmas and the additional holiday ingredients of the winter season. I cannot recall if I have ever had a holiday inspired doppelbock other than the time I had the peaches and pecan Shiner Holiday Bock. However, that would be a regular bock. The first brew I had tried from Four Sons was “The Coco” which to me was a coconut Fat Tire. Probably the best Coconut Amber or the only coconut Amber I have ever tried. Amazing. This is the first time I bring a brew from 4 Sons brewing here on the website, thanks to Will, and a good way to finish up the 2016 holiday season. I look forward to trying this one. I have heard great things about them but I have not had a chance to see many of their brews around. With this one, it would be a great way to gauge them for the site and for my audience. So here is to you and your loved ones in these fine holidays, cheers!

Aromas:
Cinnaon, Nutmeg, clove spice, allspice, pumpkin spice, piloncillo sugar cone, figgy pudding, fruit cake, pecan pie, bananas, Danish cream, Ginger bread, dark fruit raisins, plums, apple pie, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel and toffee.

Flavors:
Ginger Bread, Candy Cane, Christmas cookies, All spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, dark fruit raisins, sugar plums, figs, dates, candi sugar, pumpkin spice, piloncillo sugar cone, figgy pudding, fruit cake, pecan pie, apple pie, Danish Cream cookies, earthy hop bittermess, toasted rye bread with tangerine preserves hints, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, bananas, clove spice, anise, dark chocolate and strawberry hints.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with rich fruit cake flavors, dark fruit, lingering spices of cinnamon, ginger bread, clove spice, pumpkin and piloncillo sugar cone finish. No alcohol in the taste, honey amber clear body, smooth, rich, creamy and velvety mouthfeel with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A very delicious and perfect holiday ale. A Ginger bread Apple pie and fruit cake in liquid form. Definitely Holiday spice forward and holiday spice driven. While the dark fruit aspects that make great doppelbocks is present, the style does work giving this one a malty dark fruit and spicy fruit cake feel. Very aligned with the holidays and a 10.1% ABV to keep people warm. For being the first beer from them, I can say I am very intrigued to try their next beers. A definite recommendation.

Anime Corner:
Neopolitan from the RWBY series in Christmas attire was used in this pairing as I wanted to represent the holiday aspects of this beer. The Doppelbock aspect is represented in Neo’s Strawberry and Chocolate appearance. Essentially, she is duality. She is nice and sweet on the outside but she is definitely a dangerous trickster and part of the antagonists group in the series. Regardless, it was nice to see her in the Holiday spirit to help with this beer pairing.

Sources:
http://68.media.tumblr.com/6c60ec305285a5819e430624aefa1fc4/tumblr_oi1t1dTjfc1s5wms6o1_1280.jpg

Christmas Bomb! By Prairie Artisan Ales

10264576_10102422409434040_2640029733800160283_n 11025709_10102422410132640_2141404932070867740_oRating: 5.25/5

Christmas Bomb! By Prairie Artisan Ales is an 11% ABV. Imperial Stout brewed with Spices.

Label:
Made By People Who Truly Care… From Oklahoma With Love…
I Made My Family Disappear…

==Introduction==

Thanks to Aaron Mendiola from www.beermetaldude.com for providing this rarity for me. Prairie Artisan Ales is hard to find especially around California. Even harder to find is this Christmas Home Alone Liquid Gold. This label is awesome. I really like the Home Alone Parody on this. As this beer goes, it is the Holiday version of their Bomb! series. I have tried the awesome Pirate Bomb which was pretty damn amazing. Let’s see how this one compares. Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark chocolate, chocolate abuelita, milk chocolate, oak, mocha, fancy coffee, espresso, roasted coffee grains, earthy bitterness, dark fruits like prunes, raisins, dark cherries, molasses, fruit cake, cinnamon, anise, raisin bread pudding, smokey notes, marshmallow smores, and graham crackers.

Flavors:
Dark Chocolate, Milk chocolate, Chocolate Abuelita, Espresso notes, oak, mocha chocolate, roasted coffee grains, earthy bitterness, dark fruits like raisins, prunes, dark cherries, molasses, anise, cinnamon, fruit cake, raisins bread, caramel, vanilla, smoked wood, marshmallow hints, flan, ginger bread, hazelnut, pecan pie, tobacco and leather notes.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, earthy notes, caramel, vanilla, smokey notes, ginger bread and fruit cake. No alcohol in the taste, smooth and creamy mouthfeel, Easy to drink despite the strong ABV and pitch dark body.

Overall:
While this one does exceed my expectations a bit as it is a great and amazing beer, the other variants that are Barrel Aged give it the higher complexity. For this one, the Christmas spices make this one that amazing. As I said to, the label is freaking awesome. Takes me back to the times I would watch Home Alone for Christmas. I definitely recommend this one.

Anime Corner:
Original character and Jibril from No Game No Life were used in this pairing to go along with the label and the whole Home Alone theme and the old cover of Macauly Culkin yelling. It fits great Probably not much to do with Christmas but I did this for lulz.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/0Ykt3oI.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/On5KYBb.jpg

Bourbon Barrel 6 Geese-A-Laying by The Bruery

1658627_10102242083054550_7081712490930231431_o 10850137_10102242083718220_5300601505743687190_nRating: 6/5

Bourbon Barrel 6 Geese-A-Laying by The Bruery is a 12.9% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with Cape Gooseberries and aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
WÆS HÆIL!

The Sixth verse of our “Twelve Beers of Christmas” Saga incorporates tangy cape gooseberries into a subtle Belgian-style dark ale. Happy Holidays!

6 Geese-A-Laying is suitable for aging up to 6 years (soon after the release of “Twelve Drummers Drumming”)

==Introduction==

Released a year later while aged in bourbon barrel providing a double whammy of a beer. This beer was released for the Bruery’s reserve society in November. Coming up to the ending of the year and the holiday, I wanted to bring this one forth. Now this is sure to age even farther into the future but for now, after a whole year and in bourbon barrels, I can only imagine that this is going to be something super special. So let’s hop into it, cheers!

Aromas:
Super Dark Fruits like cherries, boysenberries, raspberries, gooseberries, currants, plums, raisins, figs, blueberries, dulce de leche Caramel and banana complexity up front followed by clove spice, stone fruit peaches, apricots, pears, apples, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, ginger bread cookies, dark candy sugar, rock candy, coriander mild spice, raisin bread pudding, marshmallows, coconut, bourbon, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, brown sugar and chocolate smores.

Flavors:
Banana and dulce de leche covered with dark fruits like cherries, plums, raisins, black berries, currants, gooseberries, raspberries, candi sugar, rock candy, figs, vanilla, figgy pudding, bourbon, brown sugar, rich dark cherries, marshmallow, chocolate smores, ginger bread cookies, cinnamon, stone fruits like apricot, peaches, melon hints, toffee, peppercorns, rye bread, leather, clove spice, coffee cake, capirotada raisin bread pudding, toasted coconut, all spice, nutmeg, rocky road icecream, salted caramel, fruit cake, port wine and dark berry cheesecake hints.

Aftertaste:
Rich dark fruits like cherries, raisins, caramel, stone fruit, fruit cake, gooseberries, vanilla, marshmallows, toasted coconut hints, mild mango and mild bourbon. No alcohol in the taste, syrupy mouthfeel, dark brown full body and moderate drinkability despite being aged.

Overall:
Exceeding the expectations even more than the original. This is basically like a fruit cake syrup loaded with a ton of dark fruits, caramel and and some super complex Dark Strong flavors. Alot of the tangyness from the original is now more subtle. This beer aged for another year since its release now with bourbon barrels, yeah that would be the reason for the increase in complexity 2 fold. This one was an exclusive to Reserve members but I have notice that more and more Bruery beers are making their way to the public. So maybe someday this one will be available. If not, definitely trade for this one if you tried last years 6 Geese-A-Laying.

Anime Corner:
Sasha Blouse as well as the main Attack on Titan girls were used in this pairing to connect the 6 Geese-A-Laying from last year. I wanted to focus on Sasha for this one since she has not gotten a chance to step into the light with her own beer pairing much and the fact that when it comes to food, she is awesome and funny. The rest of the girls not in their uniforms and out and about represent the 6 geese-a-laying including Sasha with the cheeseburger. Bourbon barrel aged beers do certainly bring about the complexity and inner most works of a beer 🙂

Sources:
http://static.zerochan.net/Sasha.Braus.full.1487134.jpg
http://yayaftw.deviantart.com/art/Shingeki-no-Kyojin-Girls-460903442

Merry Christmas by Five Stones of Cibolo Texas

1656118_10101641997356100_621406791_nRating: 5/5

Merry Christmas by Five Stones of Cibolo Texas is a 7.9% Holiday Amber Ale handcrafted with Cinnamon, Vanilla Beans, Nutmeg and Allspice.

Label:
I remember my childhood when the phrase Merry Christmas was used without hesitation. Somehow over time, “Merry Christmas” has disappeared from many greetings you hear and see this time of year. We at 5 Stones want to say “Merry Christmas” to you and yours this season and sincerely hope you spend it with those closest to you and not miss the true meaning of Christmas. We suggest you share “Merry Christmas” with family and friends during a festive get together or just a silent winter night. Merry Christmas and cheers!
___

A great thanks to Aaron at www.beermetaldude.com for passing this Christmas goodie on to me and great thanks as well to the good people at 5 Stones for making this awesome beer. We don’t normally get your beers out here in California but to do a special Christmas review, even if it did just pass about a month ago, it is still an honor to try something thing like this. While I have tried many Christmas ales in the past with similar ingredients, the addition of the vanilla beans will most likely take this to the level of where the best Christmas beers should be. Well, let me break it down as best as I can.

Aromas:
Fragrances like flowers almost, vanilla, dark fruits, raisins, cinnamon, oats, nutmeg, candy sugar, chocolate notes, caramel, ginger bread, fruit cake, mild coffee, earthy hop hints, sugar plums, molasses and anise.

Flavors:
Rich sugar plums, dark cherries. raisins, mild coffee, molasses, vanilla, caramel, fruit cake, dark chocolate, oatmeal cookie, maple notes, nutmeg, pecan pie, ginger bread, floral notes, cinnamon, rye, toffee, mint, coriander spice, anise, licorice hints, raisin bread pudding and grapes.

Aftertaste:
A good amount of the anise, nutmeg, dark fruits, vanilla, cinnamon, caramel, ginger and earthy notes linger. No alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer with moderate mouthfeel.

Overall:
Awesome stuff, definitely reminding me of the Monkish Anomaly but if it was Christmas flavored and had lots of vanilla. The vanilla definitely makes an interesting impact on a beer when normally it is not seen in other Christmas offerings. Fucking awesome beer and definitely a great Christmas offering. Hope to see this beer again, maybe later this year but definitely keep growing. I hope the Texas shipping liquor laws changes so we can see more of you guys here. Cheers!  

Anime Corner:
Elwyn from Shinning Tears was chosen for this beer pairing to go with the elf on the label. A perfect Christmas art piece to go with a perfect Christmas beer. A lot of the colors are very obvious but that’s the beauty of it. Can you find any other awesome things from this beer?

6 Geese-A-Laying by The Bruery

1393959_10101459462148120_775351026_nRating: 4.85/5

6 Geese-A-Laying by The Bruery is an 11.5% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with Cape Gooseberries

Label: 
The Sixth verse of our “Twelve Beers of Christmas” Saga incorporates tangy cape gooseberries into a subtle Belgian-style dark ale. Happy Holidays!

6 Geese-A-Laying is suitable for aging up to 6 years (soon after the release of “Twelve Drummers Drumming”)
___

The only way, so far, to get this beer is to buy it from the Bruery directly (online or locally) before they hit the distribution line as we approach Christmas. I wanted to do a review, a nightmare before Christmas and before the nightmare, Halloween. Any time is a good time to do a review. Christmas just rolled in early this year.

Aromas are of dark fruits, plums, caramel, pineapple, boysenberries, deep dark cherries, bananas, clove spice, raisin bread pudding, figs, citrus, cantaloupe, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla

Flavors are of Dark cherries, plums, raisins, brown sugar, rich dark cherries, blackberries, blue berries, oranges, pineapple, apricot, peach, cantaloupe melon, peppercorns, vanilla, caramel, toffee, rye bread, raisin bread pudding, cinnamon, gooseberries, bananas, clove spice, coriander spice, fruit cake, ginger, all spice, and nutmeg

Aftertaste leaves a nice clovey spiced, tangy berry, cinnamon, dark fruits, berries and fruit cake taste. It is surely a sipper but close to moderate drinkability. Especially since you cannot find the alcohol

Overall a very good and awesome Christmas offering from the Bruery. There is a lot going on and the tangy flavors are only like a push so that the beer is not overly sweet. Very delicious. Nice way to end the year. Next year will be another year for craft beer and the everlasting expansion of breweries that bring us such great beers. This beer is a very nice beer to have, it has so much good Christmasy stuff going here.