Black Butte XXIX 29th Birthday Reserve by Deschutes Brewery

Rating: 7/7

Black Butte XXIX 29th Birthday Reserve by Deschutes Brewery is a 12.2% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Dutche cocoa, Saigon cinnamon, and cayenne. 50% aged in Bourbon and Rum barrels.

Label:
In celebration of our 29th anniversary this year’s Imperial Porter delivers notes of dark chocolate and cinnamon spice with hints of coconut, vanilla, and dried fruit finished by a warm dash of cayenne.

==Introduction==

Essentially a Double Barrel Porter aging in both Rum and Bourbon. Every year, I try to pick up this annual release of their anniversary beer. Each year is a different blend entirely and while I feel some blends I really liked for the ingredients used, overall, I think each installment is more and more delicious with time. This year they decided to go with a chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne take with Rum and bourbon. That is crazy using a double barrel half take with what seems to be like a Mexican inspiration. Let’s see how the flavors of this one are, cheers!

Aromas:
Rich piloncillo sugar cone, cinnamon, nutmeg, yams, sweet potato pie, vanilla, caramel, bananas, dark fruit prunes, raisins, plums, figs, dates, rum, bourbon, oak, mint, sweetened condensed milk, coconut and marshmallow smores.

Flavors:
Sweet potato pie, capirotada/Mexican yams, piloncillo sugar cone, maple srup, dark chocolate, chocolate milk shake Mexican Chocolate, Belgian chocolate, German Chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, cocoa powder, rum, bourbon, oak, Dark fruit prunes, raisins, plums, figs, dates, currants, cherries
Pancho Pantera chocolate milk shake, banana sundae. Sweetened condensed milk, flan, crème brulee, tres leches cake, pecan pie, bourbon, marshmallows, almond joy, toasted coconut, molasses, mint, clove spice, bananas, grilled plantains, Danish cream, rye bread, piña colada, oatmeal cookies, raisins bread and more!

Aftertaste:
Finishing with dark fruits, cinnamon, ginger bread, fruit cake, earthy notes, dark chocolate, pecan pie, tobacco, oak, marshmallows, floral tartness, caramel, vanilla and tobacco hints. No alcohol in the taste, Pitch Black Midnight Full body, silky, velvety and smooth mouthfeel and a super easy drinkability which is dangerous. Just like each year, its smoothness will make you want to drink the whole bottle in one sitting.

Overall:
Seems like every year, a different beer and a different way of preceiving the greatness which is the Black Butte anniversary. This year it seems more of a Mexican style of taste. While although spicy, the overall consensus, it was not super hot but definitely zlong the lines a Mexican desert flowing. Indeed this scream sweetness but the peppery heat is not present. Along with the many versions out there, this one should definitely be picked up!

Anime Corner:
Twili Midna from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princes was chosen once again this year for the Black Butte release as well as the other releases. Just like previous tears, I had chosen her in the previous releases since I wanted to represent the mixing of 2 of the same ale together but one specially blended. Since I did not use the chibi version of Midna for this iteration, I figure I let the adult version of her do all the talking. In this year, the Chocolate, Cinnamon and cayenne represent somewhat of a Mexican Dark Mole feel to the beer. It is actually more towards a Mexican sweet potato pie if it was mixed in with Mexican Hot Chocolate. So since Midna has a cloak like the tilma of the virgin of guadalupe it sorta ties in that Mexican culture aspect of this beer. Who’d of thought Midna would complement this iteration even more!

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2017 Mash & French Toast by The Bruery

15995129_10103915854558040_885301186733271540_oRating: 6/6

2017 Mash & French Toast by The Bruery is a 13.4% ABV Barleywine aged in Bourbon Barrels with Vanilla, Cinnamon and Nutmeg, Natural Flavors and Maple Syrup.

Label:
NO UTENSILS
We took Mash, drizzled it with more gooey barrel character and added a morning mix of spices and maple notes.

This is our bourbon barrel-aged barley wine ale, Mash, joining forces with even stickier malt-forward forces from our barrel warehouse to create the gooey-sweet profile you’d expect from a French toast-like creation. It rouses the senses with hints of caramel and rich maple character, summoning spices and warm vanilla notes.

==Introduction==
15974881_10103915854353450_7933903327086252009_o
Released to the Reserve Society in 2017 with a possible release to the public. This is a new iteration for the Mash series. There have been many variations recently ranging from coffee, vanilla, coconut and now French Toast. The last time I can remember trying a French Toast like brew was when my friend Aaron Mendiola from BeerMetal.net sent me the “Brunch Money” by Armadillo Works in Texas. This one is quite unique as there aren’t many “French Toast” beers out there in general but based on the addition of ingredients in this beer, I can only tell that this is going to just like or close to French Toast as possible. Let’s take a look and see how this one is, cheers!

Aromas:
Cadbury Chocolate cream eggs, sweetened condensed milk, French Toast maple syrup, toffee, butterscotch, caramel, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, waffle cone, clove spice, bananas, dark fruit prunes, plums, cherry, rocky road ice cream, rum soaked raisins, toasted coconut, chocolate marshmallow smores, graham crackers, pecan pie, vanilla, oak, bourbon and flan hints.

Flavors:
Rich French Toast maple syrup, toffee, butterscotch, caramel, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, waffle cone, nutmeg, fruit cake, vanilla, oak, bourbon, rum soaked raisins, dark fruit prunes, plums, coffee cake, brown sugar, Danish cream, milk chocolate truffles, toasted coconut, marshmallow, chocolate smores, graham crackers, pecan pie, Cadbury Chocolate cream eggs, sweetened condensed milk, capirotada raisin bread pudding, rocky road ice cream hints, French vanilla, crème brulee, anise, molasses, macadamia nuts, hazelnut, flan, almonds, bananas and clove spice.

Aftertaste:
Finishes and long lingers with rich French toast, maple syrup, toasted coconut, oak, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits and chocolate. Slight alcohol in the taste but not detracting from the flavors. Dark Crimson honey medium body, smooth, creamy, chewy and syrupy mouthfeel with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Ridiculous! This is damn exceptional! A bit boozy but will sure as hell age like a beast. Even now, I could tell, this is literally, freaking French Toast in liquid form. Granted, time will mellow out the slight alcohol from the flavor but to be honest it does not bother nor detract from the amazing flavors this already has. Yes, it is a brand new batch of barleywine right off the barrel but even so I can see how this will age awesomely. Their Mash series is definitely an amazing series and I hope to see more in the future. I highly recommend this one.
16107504_10103915854363430_5725636512342408730_o
Anime Corner:
Q-Bee from Darkstalkers was chosen even though the beer is made with maple and not honey. The reason I went with this because just like honey, maple syrup is just as sticky and added to breakfast items like French Toast or waffles was similarly sweet. Even the design of the label was closer to a honey comb. This and the fact that Q-Bee’s weapons are utensils, I think it worked out nicely. Bees are attracted to sweet maple syrup too!
16113358_10103915854308540_5516375773410772159_o
Sources:
http://i306.photobucket.com/albums/nn246/rise15/DarkStalkers-QueenBee01.jpg
http://i4.pixiv.net/img-original/img/2015/12/14/13/05/51/54036163_p0.jpg
http://static.wixstatic.com/media/4608b1_3287cd81593047be9f0d235008414f14.jpg_srz_1573_880_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz
http://orig06.deviantart.net/2282/f/2015/044/c/8/qbee_keyshot_mainshot_by_llazar-d8hw9w3.jpg

Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break collaboration by Evil Twin Brewing and WestBrook brewing

15724900_10103862499187630_7865037078294538416_oRating: 7/7

Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break collaboration by Evil Twin Brewing and WestBrook brewing is a 10.5% ABV Imperial Stout with Coffee, Cinnamon, Almonds, Cocoa Nibs, Vanilla and Habanero peppers added.

Label:
None

==Introduction==
15775013_10103862499192620_5442901518573737196_o
Now this is something I never knew would ever happen. You take 2 of some of the best beers out there and make a blend recipe. Now, I have seen the Cuvee that has done something similar to this like when Boulevard and Firestone did their Collaboration beer which used Velvet Merkin, Stickee Monkee, Imperial Stout Tart Cherry X and Bourbon Barrel Quad to create a very special Cuvee. This is a similar idea although while many of those beers are awesome, Mexican Cake has been one of those aftermarket second hand beers that sells for a damn markup and is hard to get. Essentially, taking an awesome coveted brew like that one and using one of Evil Twin’s finest, the Imperial Biscotti Break and making something special that many people can actually get. Although I would not be surprised if this one goes the way of the “hard to find” brews as it is Mexican Cake after all. I had tried their Tequila Barrel Aged Mexican Cake in the past which was awesome in it’s own rights. Now as we get a chance to see what this one is all about, I cannot wait and am excited for the anticipation. Vamonos! A provar esta Cerveza, Let’s go try this beer! Cheers!

Aromas:
Mexican Chocolate, Chocolate Abuelita, Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, German Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, mild habanero peppers, rocky road ice cream, marshmallows, chocolate smores, cinnamon, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, dark fruit raisins, currants, cherries, bananas, Danish cream almond joy, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, champurrado, tobacco and molasses.

Flavors:
Champurrado, Maize Atole, Mole spices, Habanero, Mexican Chocolate, Chocolate Abuelita, Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, German Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, coffee cake, roasted coffee, Kahlua liqueur, bananas, molasses, fruit cake, marzipan, mazapan, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, almond joy, macadamia nuts, oreo cookies, Danish cream, Irish cream coffee, mocha, jamocha, rocky road ice cream, marshmallows, chocolate smores, dark fruit raisins, currants, cherries, sweetened condensed milk, flan, cinnamon, piloncillo sugar cone, capirotada raisin bread pudding, toffee, dulce de leche caramel and oak notes.

Aftertaste:
Finishing rich in toffee, caramel, dark chocolate, dark fruits, dark cherries, earthy notes, molasses, bananas, spicy pepper notes, champurrado, almond joy and marzipan. No alcohol in the taste, pitch black dark full body, smooth, creamy, chewy, velvety and syrupy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Unbelievable! The blending of the Imperial Biscotti with Mexican cake is definitely something completely different. I have had the Mexican Cake in Tequila form which was amazing as well as the Imperial Biscotti break in many variants. The fact that this one is a special blend is seriously amazing especially for the fact that both beers are in a league of their own. It’s like if The Bruery and Three Floyds blended Dark Lord and Black Tuesday. Anyways, the beer itself is a complex drink of both worlds blending some spicy heat from the habanero peppers and Mexican chocolate with the Marzipan like flavors of the Biscotti imparted by the coffee, vanilla and almonds. The outcome is something that works in a directions that is unfathomable. For the original Mexican Cake being so pricey, now you can enjoy something that is bigger than than into a Super Saiyan Fusion of beer. A huge recommendation for a bucket lister like this one.
15723528_10103862499197610_6842471071167304850_o
Anime Corner:
Noembelu from Street Fighter, Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach and Vocaloid Hatsune Miku were used in this pairing as I wanted to mainly do the Mexican characteristics of the beer. Noembelu is essentially from the indigenous tribe where T. Hawk is from in Mexico so she was a perfect pairing for this beer. Yoruichi I have used in a previous Mexican brew and Miku I used in in the Tequila barrel Mexican Cake. Funny thing about Miku is that she has sung concerts in Mexico in Spanish sporting Mexican attire. So definitely had to bring her for this pairing as well.

Sources:
https://k61.kn3.net/taringa/2/7/6/5/2/6/94/panthyhero-/83B.jpg
http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b580/qinchao1204/chuyin%2012/wwwafterschoolsyscom-938.jpg~original

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

Mélange 10 (Mélange X) by The Bruery

15493695_10103808607696610_5325972503556775935_oRating: 6/6

Mélange 10 (Mélange X) by The Bruery is a 15% ABV Old Ale and Barleywine Hybrid brewed with Chiles, Mexican Chocolate & Cinnamon and aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
60% Bourbon barrel aged Anniversary ale and
40% Bourbon barrel aged barleywine with chilies, chocolate, and cinnamon.

A Hoarders Society competition yielded this south of the border blend of Bourbon barrel aged Anniversary and Barrel Aged Old Richland with Ancho chiles and Mexican-style chocolate.

Mélange #10 was designed by Hoarders Society members for Hoarders Society members. This barrel aged specialty is best enjoyed fresh, but may develop pleasantly if cellared properly.
==Introduction==

Released originally for the Hoarders society and then in 2016, released to Reserve society members. I had actually missed out on this one due to that reason. It does seem that a good amount of Hoarder exclusive beers have started to become available to the lower tiers as the years go in. In fact, it is getting to the point where some of the old releases will see public releases in the future. This release is definitely different as they are not using part of a stout but an old ale and barleywine. So the use of the Mexican chocolate, chilies and cinnamon will definitely make for one very unique brew. Let’s just see if it is worthy of the praise, cheers!

Aromas:
Ginger bread, nutmeg, dark fruit raisins, plums, prunes, figs, cherries, currants, stone fruit peaches, apricots, chocolate abuelita, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cinnamon, Cadbury caramel and chocolate cream eggs, flan, bananas, clove spice, marshmallows, Molé spices, coconut hints, coffee cake, tobacco hints, vanilla, toffee, dulce de leche caramel, and molasses.

Flavors:
Rich chocolate abuelita, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cinnamon, Cadbury caramel and chocolate cream eggs, flan, pecan pie, stone fruit peach cobbler, brown sugar, nutmeg, ginger bread, pan dulce, capirotada raisin bread pudding, ancho chile, guajillo chile, all spice, dark fruit raisins, plums, prunes, figs, cherries, currants, stone fruit peaches, apricots, sweet yams, pecan pie, anise, molasses, bananas, clove spice, marshmallows, Molé spices, coconut hints, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, toffee, chai spice, tobacco hints, coffee cake, biscuit bread, nougat caramel, Mexican fudge cake and coconut.

Aftertaste:
Finishing rich with chocolate abuelita flavors, cinnamon, ginger spice, vanilla, caramel, chile hints and coffee hints. Slight alcohol in the taste but not detracting from the flavors. Dark full body, smooth, creamy, chewy and velvety mouthfeel with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
An exceptionally decadent brew. Not too heat wise spicy, but spicy none the less. Semi Sweet with the chocolate but because it is an old ale and barleywine blend, the complex flavors are different than any other Mexican Chocolate or Molé beer. The fact is, the different level of spices really comes out more but at the same time, it is still balanced. Definitely find this one if you can, cheers!
15385294_10103808607701600_574347935145895955_o
Anime Corner:
May from Backstreet Billiards was chosen for this pairing to go with the colors, the flavors, the ingredients and the theme of the beer. Essentially, a Molé and Mexican hot chocolate beer. Since she is a favorite character of mines for many years, I tend to bring her back with beers that correlate with Mexican heritage as she complements these beers well. Especially for a Mélange series brew, Ahuevo!

Sources:
http://s27.postimg.org/ht9xex4cj/bsb_copy.jpg

2016 Share This: Molé by The Bruery

15392894_10103789029780910_3409779641185004719_oRating: 6/6

2016 Share This: Molé by The Bruery is an 11.1% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Ancho Chilies, Chipotle peppers, Cinnamon, Vanilla Beans and Cacao Nibs

Label:
LEND A HAND
Share This beer and be part of bringing mobility to our friends in Mexico – the Source and inspiration of select ingredients in this beer. For every bottle we produce, Free Wheelchair Mission receives one dollar. #sharethisbeer

Share This is a series of beer that spotlights unique ingredients and important causes. This rich mole-inspired imperial stout collaboration with Chef Anne Conness supports the work of Free Wheelchair Mission in Mexico.

==Introduction==
15326257_10103789029785900_4622735230400658351_o
Released to the public as the second beer for charity from the “Share This” series. This time they obtained inspiration from Mexican cuisine, the awesome dish of Molé. The last time the Bruery made an awesome Molé beer was when they made the Smoking Wood variant which was a tap only release. It was definitely awesome and one I would love to review one day if it is re-released. This series is definitely awesome as it does donate a dollar for every bottle sold to the cause of the Free Wheelchair Mission. Yes, it is not much money but this is a microbrewery after all. It’s good to see breweries who do more not just for communities but for causes that really help people. Let’s see how this one is, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit raisins, prunes, cherries, raspberries, capirotada Mexican bread pudding, vanilla, flan, crème brulee, dulce de leche cajeta/caramel, Pan Dulce, chipotle, guajillo, ancho chiles, cinnamon, nutmeg, rich chocolate abuelita, Kahlua liquer notes, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Bakers chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, German Chocolate, piloncillo sugar cone, grilled bananas, anise, coffee and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Super rich chocolate abuelita, Kahlua liquer notes, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Bakers chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, German Chocolate, piloncillo sugar cone, grilled bananas, chipotle, guajillo, ancho chiles, cinnamon, nutmeg, dark fruit raisins, prunes, cherries, raspberries, capirotada Mexican bread pudding, vanilla, flan, crème brulee, dulce de leche cajeta/caramel, Pan Dulce, apple pie, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, Danish cream cookies, marshmallow smores, graham crackers, burnt candi sugar, waffle cone, molé spices, champurrado, molasses, anise, 3 leche/ 3 Milks cake, coffee cake, mocha, java, steamed milk and Mazapan.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with rich notes of chocolate abuelita, dark chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, peppery hints, dark fruits, marshmallows, flan, earthy notes and champurrado. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV, dark body, creamy, velvety, silky, syrupy, chewy and viscous mouthfeel and a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
An exceptional breaking brew. Easily, a new favorite Molé, or in this case, the best Molé beer I have ever had that was more about Molé, not Mexican chocolate, as that is another story best told in a previous review. For a Molé beer though, this is damn insane and delicious. Definitely a step above some of the other Molé beers I have tried in the past. The chocolate and spices are there but not overly spicy and sweetness is not overwhelming either. Everything just comes together very well and complex. Definitely a highly recommended brew.
15419719_10103789029775920_7706166976029007662_o
Anime Corner:
Sombra from Overwatch was used in this series not necessarily for the label colors but for the use of a Mexican anime/video game character. Sombra, or Shadow is a hacker who uses her skills to manipulate the corrupted systems of power for the greater good. While her colors and ethnicity go well with the flavors of the brew (like dark fruits) and the culture of the cuisine, the “doing something for a good cause” is what I liked about this pairing as this beer is all for a good cause.

Sources:
http://img0.reactor.cc/pics/post/full/Blizzard-фэндомы-Sombra-(Overwatch)-Overwatch-art-3415270.jpeg
https://brewerianimelogs.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/fa99b-sombra.jpg
http://img1.joyreactor.cc/pics/post/full/Sombra-(Overwatch)-Blizzard-фэндомы-Overwatch-art-3471483.jpeg

Wee Heavy Coconuts by The Bruery

14317415_10103549287296770_8257949364608329598_n 14322607_10103549287661040_3547984226687490280_n 14212045_10103549288524310_440019086605376842_nRating: 7/7

Wee Heavy Coconuts by The Bruery is a 13.5 % ABV Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy brewed with Cinnamon and Coconut.

Description:
We have a penchant for playing with nuts and bourbon barrel-aged beers around here, and this plays right into our wheelhouse. Wee Heavy Coconuts is a special draft-only release featuring a rich, malt-forward wee heavy ale aged in bourbon barrels. After 12 months of barrel-aging, we added cinnamon and a massive amount of coconut to it. (Perhaps too much coconut?) It’s quite the treat. In fact, if Scotland was a tropical island, it might just taste like this.

==Introduction==
Released on tap only to the Reserve Society, this brew is the Chronology 12 of the Wee Heavy but aged in coconut. When I heard of this release, I had to find a way to bring it to the website. Having known that coconut brews from the Bruery in bottles has no been a release since Arrrggghhh! and Cacaonut, I know it is risky to release coconut beers. However, because they made a Wee Heavy which is a style that I really enjoy and then infusing it with coconut, then I knew for sure that this was going to be something amazing. So here it is, for a limited time, the Wee Heavy Chronology 12 in coconuts, cheers!

Aromas:
Rich Coconut, dark fruit prunes, currants, dark cherries, fruit cake, marshmallows, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, hazelnut, allspice, blueberry cheesecake, molasses, anise, licorice hints, mint, mocha, Dark chocolate, Milk chocolate, German Chocolate, Chocolate mousse, Mexican coconut candy, macaroons, toasted coconut, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, smoked peat, oak, bourbon, Scotch, Whiskey, vanilla, grilled bananas, clove spice, creamy flan and peach cobbler.

Flavors:
Rich cocada Mexican coconut candy, macaroons, toasted coconut, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, smoked peat, oak, bourbon, Scotch, Whiskey, vanilla, grilled bananas, clove spice, creamy flan, dark fruit prunes, currants, dark cherries, fruit cake, marshmallows, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, hazelnut, allspice, blueberry cheesecake, molasses, anise, licorice hints, mint, mocha, Dark chocolate, Milk chocolate, German Chocolate, Chocolate mousse, chocolate covered stone fruit peaches, pecan pie, peach cobbler, rye bread and Chocolate turtle truffles.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with Rich Chocolate Coconut covered dark fruits, scotch, toffee, dulce de leche carame, bananas, hazelnut nectar and Coconut candy. No alcohol in the taste as the alcohol seems to have been toned down in the taste despite the ABV. Dark brown full body, smooth creamy, chewy and velvety mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A bucket lister that should have been bottled. Like Mash and Coconuts before, this brew is something that should have seen a bottle release despite the risk of infection due to souring. Either way, some beers find a way and a wee heavy in coconuts was just the next evolution is some of the best awesome brews in the world. I don’t know if they will still have this one since the publication of this review but I hope it does have a way for you to think about trying this one if they do release it again one day.

Anime Corner:
Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim VS. The World was used in this pairing to go with the colors of the original Chronology 12 Wee Heavy but also since I used her in a coconut Bruery beer with Knives Chau. This time, I wanted her to take center stage has Scott not only has a heavy relationship with her which represents the sweet and ABV high aspect of the beer but the coconuts and complexity are Ramona’s traits of being a complex and emotionally heavy character.
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Sources:
http://data.whicdn.com/images/102897436/large.jpg
https://brewerianimelogs.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/ab26e-ramona_flowers___scott_pilgrim_vol__5_by_montanaferrin-d66lh98.png
http://t06.deviantart.net/2ky_i7DV-eB9_ycqzMowhiKkDhk=/fit-in/700×350/filters:fixed_height(100,100):origin()/pre01/bdcc/th/pre/i/2012/005/9/c/ramona_flowers_by_laurelwind-d4leakd.png
http://pre02.deviantart.net/6c7e/th/pre/i/2009/363/2/e/scott_pilgrim_xxxmas_by_maddoxfanx.png

 

Mexican Speedway Stout by Alesmith brewing

13305155_10103282328798740_1597645455231957320_oRating: 7/7

Mexican Speedway Stout by Alesmith brewing is a 12% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Mexican Coffee, Chocolate and Cinnamon aged in Tequila Barrels.

Label:
13237851_10103282332022280_2663307563502080526_n

==Introduction==
13248556_10103282331333660_8551477932119680898_o
Alesmith has been releasing many great beers over the years and many great variants of their speedway stout ranging from Kopi Luwak coffee, Jamaican Coffee, special spirits and even collaborations. This year, they released something that immediately hit me. The Mexican Speedway Stout aged with the uncommon liquor for aging, Tequila. Tequila barrel aged beers are pretty uncommon unlike Bourbon. The inspiration of that aging process is what inspired me to make my Belgian Quadrupel aged in Oak Tequila. So basically, whenever I hear of great beers made Tequila, I go out of my way to try and get them even if I have to trade. The firs Tequila barrel aged beer was a Barley wine made from Cucapa brewing in Mexicali, Mexico. Since then I have not found that one beer again and definitely made it a form of a mission to try and find those brews that are Tequila aged. I never would of thought Alesmith would release one especially one done similarly to the Xocoveza from Stone. Let’s see how this one goes, cheers!

Aromas:
Cafe Con Leche, Roasted coffee notes, dark cherries, raspberries, currants, blackberries, Jaliscan Jerricalla, burnt sugar, pilloncillo sugar cone, Tequila, Mezcal, agave lechugilla nectar, oak, flan, crème brulee, 3 leche/ 3 Milks cake, coffee cake, mocha, java, steamed milk, milk sugar, marshmallows, toasted coconut, rocky road ice crea, dulce de leche, dulce de cabra envinada/ goat milk caramel, cajeta caramel, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate mousse, bakers chocolate, chocolate abuelita, German Chocolate, Belgian Cholate, mole, almonds, Marzipan, Danish cream and bananas.

Flavors:
Cafe Con Leche, fancy coffee, roasted coffee notes, mocha, java, steamed milk, milk sugar, marshmallows, toasted coconut, rocky road ice cream, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate mousse, bakers chocolate, chocolate abuelita, German Chocolate, Belgian Cholate, mole, cinnamon, cajeta caramel, dulce de leche, dulce de cabra envinada/ goat milk caramel in wine hints, flan, crème brulee, 3 leche/ 3 Milks cake, Jaliscan Jerricalla, burnt sugar, pilloncillo sugar cone, Tequila, Mezcal, agave lechugilla nectar, oak, Kahlua liqueur, dark fruit raisins, figs, prunes, dark cherries, raspberries, currants, molasses, anise, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, campfire smokey hints, Danish cream, Irish cream, Marzipan, fruit cake, capirotada raisin bread pudding, Champurrado, bananas, clove spice, churros, ginger bread and Lechera sweetened condensed milk.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with rich notes of chocolate abuelita, Kahlua liquer, cinnamon, tequila oak, agave, dark fruit, rocky road ice cream, marshmallows, flan, toasted coconut, earthy notes and hazelnut. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV, pitch black abyss body, creamy, velvety, silky, syrupy, chewy and viscous mouthfeel and easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
No doubt, a bucket lister. It’s like they took Xocoveza, Mole Ocho and Tequila Sombrero to a whole new level. The influence of the might that is Speedway Stout just works with it providing a diversly rich array of coffee, chocolate and sweet Mexican Tequila flavor. You kind of just lose yourself in its greatness. Speedway Stout has come out in so many great variants that this on sits right up there with Alesmith’s best. It sure is a beer that is a must get for fans of the Mexican Stouts and especially, Tequila Barrel aged beers.
13305013_10103282330460410_2217168732912950676_o
Anime Corner:
Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach was used in this pairing because she is one of my 4 favorite girls and I had remembered I did a special edit to a picture of hers for the World Cup back in 2006. What a surprise that 10 years later, it would make the perfect for this new beer to go with the Mexican Flag. Aside from the Jersey pairing well, Yoruichi has obtained 2 new powerful forms in the manga and now that I present her in a beer pairing, especially one of this caliber, I wanted to pair with those super forms. The Goddess of Thunder Yoruichi, though you be a cat, how you complement the Aztec Goddess Tlaloc who is Quetzalcoatl’s part ally in the skies almost resembling a dragon as well. Yup, Yoruichi is one bad ass character.
13308355_10103282329711910_4524184852145888493_o
Sources:
http://arteemis.deviantart.com/art/God-Of-Thunder-590320394
http://img1.reactor.cc/pics/post/Shihouin-Yoruichi-Bleach-Anime-nanao-(mahaya)-3070867.jpeg

2015 Quingenti Millitre Series Batch No. 07 Xocoveza Mocha Stout Charred Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico

12794584_10103093368496700_1276024572108918571_n 12747942_10103093368087520_1315413844490123267_o 12778780_10103093367378940_1444468068061274692_oRating: 7/7

2015 Quingenti Millitre Series Batch No. 07 Xocoveza Mocha Stout Charred Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico is an 10% ABV World Class Milk/Sweet Stout brewed with cocoa, coffee, peppers, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg then aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
Pronuced (SHO-CO-VAY-ZA)

Brewed August 17
The base beer is the recipe of 2014 Stone Homebrew Competition winner Chris Banker, an intensely flavorful milk stout brewed with coffee and spices to mimic the rich flavors of Mexican hot chocolate.

In The Mash
U.S. Pale, Maris Otter Pale, Crystal, Black Patent, Coffee Malt & Chocolate Malt

In The Boil
Challenger & East Kent Golding Hops.

Special Ingredients
Lactose, Flaked Oats, Coffee, Vanilla, Pasilla Peppers, Nutmeg, Cinnamon & Cocoa

Unfiltered and Aged 3 months in American Oak Kentucky Bourbon Barrels.

CELLAR NOTES: Time spent in bourbon barrels gave an already complex beer even more complexity and flavor intensity, layering additional caramel-like and vanilla flavors on top of those already present. Aromas of rich coffee and dark chocolate are followed by nutmeg and cinnamon; a lush, heavy mouthfeel laden with charred oak and toffee engulfs the palate on the first sip. Lingering pasilla pepper and soft oak flavors persist through an exceptionally long finish in this intensely rich and satisfying beer.
==Introduction==

I received this one as a gift by my new friend Joseph Taitano whom I was introduced by my friend Augie Escobedo, both of BeerBumz on Facebook. I had tried the Tequila variant but missed out on getting the Charred one. However, thanks to the wonderful donation, now I can share my thoughts on the beer. The reason I got it was as a special thanks as I had shared my homebrew on a beer tasting session. Every one of which who enjoyed my beers a whole lot. I even got a name, calling me “The Prodigy” of homebrewing. It is true, I have only been brewing beer for a year but the fact that I have been inspired by awesome beers that already exist make me take matters into my on hands and come up with recipes that mimic some of the best beers in the world. While I know I hope to one day make my own brewery, I still need years of experience as well to make it big. So to Augie, Joseph, My friend Will Carranza who introduced me to Augie and to all the BeerBumz as well as my fellow homebrewer Richard Avila, to my friend Aaron Mendiola of BeerMetalDude.com from Texas and people reading my blogs, Cheers to all and a sincerest Thank You!!! Someday, I hope you get to try my brews.

Aromas:
Rich Chocolate Abuelita, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Vanilla, Dulce De leche cajeta/caramel, Kahlua Liqueur, Ancho chile, pasilla chile, Molé, cinnamon, nutmeg, smokey oak, bourbon, pan dulce, piloncillo sugar cone, capirotada raisin bread pudding, marshmallow smores, butterscotch, rocky road ice cream, mocha, roasted coffee notes, cafe con leche, Mexican vanilla, coconut hints, cocada mexican coconut candy hints, dark fruit raisins, dark cherries, Milk sugar, flan, sweetened condensed milk, tres leches cake, Champurrado, earthy notes, molasses, clove spice, grilled platanitos/bananas and Churros.

Flavors:
Charred smokey oak, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel/ cajeta, toffee, rye, Rich Chocolate Abuelita, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Molé, cinnamon, nutmeg, tres leches cake, Champurrado, earthy notes, molasses, clove spice, toasted coconut, rocky road ice cream, cookies and cream, dark fruit raisins, dark cherry, grilled platanitos/bananas, Churros, marshmallows, campfire smores, graham crackers, honey comb, Kahlua Liqueur, Ancho chile, pasilla chile spices but no heat, Milk sugar, flan, sweetened condensed milk, pan dulce, piloncillo sugar cone, capirotada raisin bread pudding, butterscotch, cocada mexican coconut candy hints, mocha, roasted coffee notes, Jericalla Mexican custard, espresso, cafe con leche and Mexican vanilla.

Aftertaste:
Lots of smokey oak, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, bourbon notes, marshmallow, dark chocolate, campfire smores, piloncillo, chocolate abuelita, pumpkin notes,spicy chile notes, earthy notes, dulce de leche and vanilla. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV, ridiculously smooth drinkability, very creamy, velvety and smooth mouthfeel, and pitch black body just like the original.

Overall:
Supremely above and beyond. I had no idea the Xocoveza could take it to another level of enjoyment. Granted, I enjoyed the Tequila version but this is also just as good in its own league. The bourbon and charred oak brings about more smokey caramel and marshmallow flavors forward that you would find in the regular Xocoveza or even the Tequila and Wine one. Complexity on its own terms essentially. With that being said, I would highly recommend this one as well. Heck, I would recommend all 3 brews, they were one of the biggest hits for Stone Brewing.

Anime Corner:
Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach, art by trzaraki of Deviantart.com and May from Backstreet Billiards for the PS1 were chosen in this pairing for different reasons. The original Xocoveza I used May as she represents the Mexican culture of where the recipe was inspired from especially the Mexican brewers that helped Stone with the creation. Since the upgrade using the bourbon barrel aging, I wanted to pair with one of my favorite anime characters, Yoruichi, since I wanted to show case how this was a more powerful beer than the original. I found a pic where she is what looks to be indigenous attire but also the colors of both pictures represent the colors and flavors of the beer. Her becoming a Goddess of Thunder with the purple hair represents the increase in the complexity and strength of the brew bringing the beer to a new league of its own.

Sources:
http://trzaraki.deviantart.com/art/Yoruichi-Shihouin-12-01-583945424
http://s27.postimg.org/ht9xex4cj/bsb_copy.jpg
http://i99.beon.ru/s013.radikal.ru/i325/1410/46/59c868e49075.jpg

 
 

Cinnamonk by The Bruery Terreux

12419309_10103054368448110_6949345653539037773_o 12687935_10103054368817370_1169873662771043043_n 12672065_10103054369411180_4557524291294427020_o 12646907_10103054370079840_2549892336434155442_oRating: 6/6

Cinnamonk by The Bruery Terreux is a 12.1% ABV Imperial Sour Brown brewed with Blueberries and Cinnamon aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Description:
MALTY – FRUITY – TART
Cinnamon and monks are both known for being found in remote locations. Their stories separately stretch back several millennia, and both can pinpoint their popularity to modern day Egypt. But here’s something else they have in common: together, they make a formidable team in creating wildly traditional bière™. Cinnamonk is a dark, imperial, Belgian-style sour brown ale – the type of beer a monk might brew if he took up permanent residence in Southern California. Cinnamon was used to amplify the subtle spicing derived from the Belgian yeast while blueberries catapult the dark fruit flavors. After spending time in bourbon barrels, the result emerges with notes of candied dates and tree nuts, toffee-drizzled dark winter fruits, maduro earthiness, autumnal spicing, tart flavors and oak-aged character.

==Introduction==

Obtained this one from the Bruery under their Reserve Society membership last year. So it took me a while to get to try it until recently. I actually did try it at the Bruery but was not too impressed. It was nice and tart with some nice bourbon notes but wasn’t major. Now I bring the bottle as I wanted to review it even though it was decent on tap. They say for these types of Belgian beers, bottle conditioning does wonders. However, how much of the bottle conditioning change the brew? Well let us check it out. Cheers!

Aromas:
Dulce de leche, banana notes, cinnamon, ginger spice, ginger bread, oak, clove spice, dark fruits, raisins, blueberries, plums, figs, raspberry notes, Blueberry Funnel cake, stone fruit apricot, peach preserves, sweetened condensed milk hints, mild chocolate notes, citrus, lemon notes and toffee.

Flavors:
Rich dark fruits, raisins, blueberries, plums, figs, raspberry notes, Cinnamon, ginger spice, ginger bread, oak, bourbon, toasted rye bread, vanilla, dulce de leche, banana notes, clove spice, blueberry cobbler, fruit cake, toffee, molasses, wine grapes, port wine, blueberry wine, mild chocolate notes, citrus, lemon notes, stone fruit apricot, peach preserves, sweetened condensed milk hints, blueberry flan, piloncillo sugar cone, Blueberry Funnel cake, Blueberry Churros, Danish cream, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, rock candy and Belgian Date sugars.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with very nice dark fruit notes, caramel, vanilla, oak, tart grape and wine notes, bourbon and banana hints. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV. Crimson, purple and brown full body, smooth, creamy, tangy and effervescent mouthfeel with a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
Waayyy better than when I first had it. I think this one being bottle conditioned like Belgians do probably makes the difference. This one is damn enjoyable ranging from the sweet, tart and sour complexities. In my opinion, one of the best sours I have had in the longest time. Specifically since the combination of fruits and bourbon barrel aging does wonders. I would highly recommend you find this one. Cheers!

Anime Corner:
Shampoo and Ranma-Chan Saotome from Ranma ½ were used in this pairing as I wanted to pair with the Cinnamon and the Blueberries, the Chinese monks in relation to monks in general and the colors, flavors and ingredients of the beer. The strength of the blueberries in this one complements very well the cinnamon hence the picture where it shows Shampoo whispering into Ranma. The strength of both martial artists coincides with the beers strength and complexity with bourbon aging.

Sources:
http://www.fondosescritorio.net/wallpapers/Manga-Y-Anime/Ranma/Ranma_24.jpg
http://image.smart-ero.net/full/http://livedoor.r.blogimg.jp/nijilab/imgs/0/8/08b45d6a.jpg
http://static.minitokyo.net/downloads/03/10/45503.jpg
http://i3.pixiv.net/img-original/img/2013/11/02/00/37/34/39486974_p0.jpg

Rice & Beans by The Bruery

12644661_10103047257079350_663090464497006054_nRating: 6/6

Rice & Beans by The Bruery is a 7.1% ABV Belgian Blonde ale brewed with Rice, Cinnamon, Vanilla beans and Portola Coffee beans.

==Introduction==
Essentially, this is Or Xata (Horchata) aged Coffee Beans. The thought really didn’t cross my mind how well this would work. In fact this seems unheard of to take an already awesome drink and add coffee, although the idea is very intriguing. I first had this one at the Bruery and lucky for me, since I loved the original Or Xata, I really loved this one too and they had this on growler fill. So I went ahead and took some home and brought it to the site. Now we take a look at this one to see how good it is in comparison to the regular Or Xata. From what I found, it was damn amazing and really hope it is released in bottles in the future.

Aromas:
Cinnamon, Coffee, milk chocolate, Danish cream, rice pudding, espresso, whipped cream frosting, Kahlua coffee liqueur, dulce de leche caramel, brown sugar, Mexican Custard/Jericalla, Mochi ball ice cream cane sugar, steamed milk, cookie dough ice cream, crème brulee, piloncillo sugar cone, cane sugar, agave nectar, mint hints, toffee, and churros.

Flavors:
Fancy Java coffee, coffee cake, mocha, milk chocolate, cinnamon, Danish cream, rice pudding, waffle cone, liquid churros, whipped cream frosting, Kahlua coffee liqueur, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, pan dulce, leche nestle(sweetened condensed milk), coconut candy, clove spice, Danish cookies, cookie dough ice cream, crème brulee, piloncillo sugar cone, cane sugar, agave nectar, mint hints, toffee, mango notes, milk sugar, nutmeg, fruit cake, brown sugar, Mexican Custard/Jericalla, Mochi ball ice cream cane sugar and steamed milk.

Aftertaste:
Coffee Cake, Java, mocha, milk chocolate, vanilla rice pudding, caramel, banana notes, coffee churros, champurrado maize and flan. No alcohol in the taste, honey colored light body, silky, smooth, creamy and refreshing mouth feel and is easy to drink.

Overall:
Damn exquisite dessert. This beer proves that you can combine ingredients that have not been combined before to make something new in a new experience of flavor or even improving on each that was not done before. Horchata and coffee never looked so good together but this proves that its possible and very delicious. Now the Bruery just has to release this in bottles and it will be a win win!

Anime Corner:
Korra from the Legend of Korra was used in this pairing since I wanted to pair something with the colors of Horchata and the coffee beans. While Korra is a blend of the elements like this beer is a Coffee and Horchata fusion, her fashion and similar to the indigenous which reminded me of where the drink of Horchata is popular and where the majority of the world’s coffee comes from, essentially Latin countries like Mexico and Columbia. Now I don’t know which variety of Portola Coffee was used in this beer since they range from different parts of the world but it is symbolic of the name as Rice and Beans but is something of indigenous origin. Heck I grew up on Rice and beans! Horchata as well. So I think as a subtle tribute, this pairing worked well.

Sources:
http://pre14.deviantart.net/8de2/th/pre/i/2012/215/7/7/korra_by_sakimichan-d59m55f.jpg

Something’s Up With Jack by El Borracho Homebrewing

12376522_10102980509227580_8233657118936815134_n 11234975_10102980507266510_1133673101923743826_nRating: 5/5

Something’s Up With Jack by El Borracho Homebrewing is a 7.4% ABV Pumpkin Ale Brewed with cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg and all spice.

==Introduction==

A new brew by my friend William Carranza. This one was released for the Fall and at the right timing as it is pumpkin beer season. When it comes to pumpkin beers I am really picky as I enjoy the pumpkin beers that are more towards the pumpkin flesh with piloncillo kind or even more sweet potato to pumpkin pie flavors rather than the typical pumpkin spice. Although, when done right, the beers can come out great. My friend Will has handed me a bottle and so I wanted to see what his pumpkin beer was all about. Let’s take a look!

Aromas:
Ginger, cinnamon, sweet potato, pumpkin flesh, biscuit bread, pie crust, waffle cone, vanilla, honey, burnt sugar, clove spice, banana notes, stone fruit peach, apricot, peach cobbler hints, butterscotch, rye bread and pecan pie.

Flavors:
Pumpkin flesh, Pumpkin pie, pecan pie, pie crust, waffle cone, vanilla, caramel, ginger spice, ginger bread, clove spice, banana notes, cinnamon, stone fruit peach, apricot, peach cobbler hints, butterscotch, rye bread, biscuit bread, brown sugar, piloncillo sugar cone hints, Danish cream, maple syrup, sweet potato pie, honey and burnt sugar.

Aftertaste:
Pumpkin flesh, stone fruit peach, pie crust, vanilla, piloncillo, clove spice, ginger bread and fruit cake lingers. No alcohol in the taste, full body amber, creamy, smooth and effervescent mouthfeel and easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A perfect pumpkin beer showcasing so many of the delicious flavors I look for in pumpkin beers. The rich pumpkin flesh flavors, piloncillo on sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. To me this was a damn winner. Even without the extra nutmeg added at the pour (which really makes it even more awesome) it really holds strong on its own. Definitely something I had to ask my friend for another. A very delicious seasonal.

Anime Corner:
Sally, Jack Skellington and the rest of the Nightmare Before Christmas cast were used in this pairing as it fits with what my friend William was going for. Essentially, a Halloween beer about Jack from the Nightmare Before Christmas. To go along with my artistic perspective, I included Jack’s girl Sally as well. A well placed pumpkin also adds the theme and the style of the beer.

Sources:
http://static.zerochan.net/The.Nightmare.before.Christmas.full.175475.jpg
https://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/388620-842×1191-the+nightmare+before+christmas-disney-sally-rafaarsen+%28artist%29-long+hair-single.jpg

24 Carrot Golden Ale collaboration by Juli Goldenberg, Stone brewing and Monkey Paw brewing

12189531_10102889092582270_3658660521371823198_n 12186368_10102889093290850_5681781129447996488_oRating: 4.85/5

24 Carrot Golden Ale collaboration by Juli Goldenberg, Stone brewing and Monkey Paw brewing is an 8.5% ABV Belgian Carrot Cake Golden Ale brewed with Carrots, Cinnamon, Raisins and Vanilla Beans.

Label:
2015 marked the seventh year of our American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned Stone Homebrew Competition. As in the previous years, dozens of Southern California’s finest recreational fermentationist brought their “A” games. While judging their impressive and wide-ranging handiwork, we noticed something -many of the homebrew entries we’ve received over the history of this competition have incorporated culinary elements of been crafted to mimic the flavors of popular dishes and beverages. From Mexican hot chocolate to Black Forest cake, after-dinner mints to piña coladas, the gold medalist from our annual brewing battle have tackled some interesting and challenging flavor profiles…and persevered. But none have been as foodie-forward as the quaff concocted by this year’s winner, Juli Goldenberg. Our first-ever female victor added carrots, raisins, cinnamon and more to a Belgian-style golden strong ale to create a beer that is the liquid embodiment of carrot cake. The aforementioned flavor enhances bring the fruity, carroty and spice elements to the cake, while vanilla and milk sugar contribute the flavor and creamy texture of fluffy cream cheese frosting. The result: nothing short of brilliant and well deserving of the 24 karat (carrot?) golden opportunity to be brewed by Stone and distributed across the country.

“Homebrewing offers the chance to experiment with pretty much anything you can think of to do to a beer. I am so excited to collaborate with Stone, an icon of San Diego craft beer, and Monkey Paw, a model for continuous experimentation. Cheers to weird beers!”

Juli Goldenberg// Winner, Stone Homebrewing Competition

“Working with Stone and Juli to incorporate culinary artistry and homebrewing innovation into a project of this scale is above and beyond any brewing experience I’ve had.”

Cosimo Sorrentino//Head Brewer, Monkey Paw Brewing Company

“Juli’s recipe is the perfect demonstration of the Innovation and spirit of the fantastic San Diego homebrewing community. It is our distinct pleasure to brew this beer with her.”

Mitch Steele//Brewmaster, Stone Brewing Co.
==Introduction==

Stone’s newest homebrewing competition winning collaboration is here and it is definitely different. For the many brews I have tried over the years, I do not think there has been a carrot cake like beer. I am always open to crazy beer recipes (just like the 99 scorpions). When executed correctly, these beers can be awesome and some will give new experiences. This type of experimentation is kind of what pushes me to try something new now that I do my own homebrewing. It should pave the way for the culinary arts to meet the craft beer arts. Let’s take a look and see what this carrot cake beer is all about.

Aromas:
Carrot cake hints, cinnamon, citrus, grapefruit, grassy and tropical hop bitterness, Golden raisins, Dark fruit raisins, plums, flan, dulce de leche caramel, apple notes, brown sugar, banana hints, clove spice, candy sugar, honey, horchata notes, guava, mango hints, stone fruit peaches, raspberry hints, Danish cream, butterscotch and vanilla.

Flavors:
Rich Carrot Cake flavors with citrus, grapefruit, grassy and tropical hop bitterness, Carrot juice, Golden raisins, Dark fruit raisins, plums, cinnamon, flan, dulce de leche caramel, flan, vanilla, brown sugar, hazelnut nectar, Candi Sugar, piloncillo hints, horchata notes, guava, mango hints, dragon fruit, passion fruit, stone fruit peaches, raspberry hints, Danish cream, butterscotch, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, crème brulee, bananas and clove spice.

Aftertaste:
Citrusy, grassy, piney hop after taste with the full fledged flavors of the carrot cake like the carrot juice, whipped cream, brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins left. No alcohol in the taste. Clear golden orange body, smooth creamy, silky and refreshing mouth feel and a moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A very delicious Golden ale that really does taste like what it sets out to be, a carrot cake dessert in a bottle. Essentially I couldn’t help but notice how very similar it was to my Bubulubu White Choco Stout/Golden Ale in the sense that if I took out the Coffee and Cocoa nibs and replaced it with Carrot concentrate, raisins and cinnamon, and the rest was the same like the milk sugar, vanilla beans and the Golden Ale stout, then you pretty much have a similar tasting and very delicious beer. I highly recommend this one as it really took the aspect of culinary and home brewing the next level here. Cheers!

Anime Corner:
Lola Bunny from Looney Toons and Space Jam was chosen in this pairing since I wanted to pair with the aspect of Carrots and Rabbits. I could of gone with Bugs Bunny, but you don’t often get to see Lola and she is perfect as she also has the orange basketball which pairs nicely with the colors of the beer carrots. Since this beer reminded me so much of the Bubulubu one I made, Lola is a reminder as her brown fur was the color or my beer that tasted similar to this.

Sources:
http://orig11.deviantart.net/d65c/f/2015/203/f/0/lola___space_jam_by_namwhan_k-d92bs0y.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/36/c6/a6/36c6a6ea0825ab5966d02213589892c7.jpg

2015 Quingenti Millimitre Series Batch No. 2 Xocoveza Mocha Stout Extra Añejo Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico

11884718_10102776717283270_7652758894542550309_o 11950358_10102776717637560_2627631124235689327_oRating: 7/7

2015 Quingenti Millimitre Series Batch No. 2 Xocoveza Mocha Stout Extra Añejo Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico is an 11.3% ABV World Class Milk/Sweet Stout brewed with cocoa, coffee, peppers, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg then aged in Red Wine & Tequila Barrels.

Label:
Pronuced (SHO-CO-VAY-ZA)

Brewed July 19 & November 11, 2014
The base beer is the recipe of 2014 Stone Homebrew Competition winner Chris Banker, an intensely flavorful milk stout brewed with coffee and spices to mimic the rich flavors of Mexican hot chocolate.

In The Mash
U.S. Pale, Maris Otter Pale, Crystal, Black Patent, Coffee Malt & Chocolate Malt

In The Boil
Challenger & East Kent Golding Hops.

Special Ingredients
Lactose, Flaked Oats, Coffee, Vanilla, Pasilla Peppers, Nutmeg, Cinnamon & Cocoa

AGED in French Oak Extra Añejo Tequila Barrels that previously held Bordeaux Wine

CELLAR NOTES: We were so smitten with the initial batch aged in extra añejo tequila barrels that we brought in more barrels and brewed more beer specifically to fill them. The barrels smelled amazing, with aromas of vanilla crème brulée, dulce de leche and tequila. The result is both satisfyingly expected and surprising at the same time: Sweet caramel-like flavors, black pepper, vanilla and tequila notes meld seamlessly with the spice, roasted coffee and chocolate flavors of the base beer for a richly intense experience.
==Introduction==

Standing in line for 3 hours sucks and getting a chance to get only 1 bottle since the beer sold out within the hour sucks even more. I will tell you this thought, even if I did not know it was going to sell out so damn quickly, I am fortunate to be able to bring this beer to the website as the beer was way more coveted than it should have been. That and the fact that if you wanna get more of this, you will need to trade or look for it online. It is sad that they only made so few of this and the fact that the Bourbon Barrel version sold out quicker than the Tequila version (Although I personally wanted this one way more than the other one) so now I will have to look for the bourbon/charred version. Either way, let’s take a look and see if this beer is really all that is cracked up to be. I can only say the original blew mountains away so I’m kinda scared but excited to see what this one does. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich oak, Port wine, Agave syrup, Tequila notes, lechugilla agave juice hints, pan dulce, piloncillo sugar cone, capirotada raisin bread pudding, marshmallow smores, butterscotch, magey plant, mocha, roasted coffee notes, cafe con leche, Mexican vanilla, Wined Goat milk Caramel/Dulce De Leche de cabra Envinado, coconut hints, cocada mexican coconut candy hints, wine grapes, sangria vampiro, honey comb, Rich Chocolate Abuelita, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Vanilla, Dulce De leche cajeta/caramel, Kahlua Liqueur, Ancho chile, pasilla chile, Molé, cinnamon, nutmeg, dark fruit raisins, dark cherry, Milk sugar, flan, sweetened condensed milk, tres leches cake, Champurrado, earthy notes, molasses, clove spice, grilled platanitos/bananas and Churros

Flavors:
Tequila, oak, Wine grapes, port wine, sangria vampiro, honey comb, Rich Chocolate Abuelita, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Vanilla, Dulce De leche cajeta/caramel, Kahlua Liqueur, Ancho chile, pasilla chile spices but no heat, Molé, cinnamon, nutmeg, dark fruit raisins, dark cherry, Milk sugar, flan, sweetened condensed milk, tres leches cake, Champurrado, earthy notes, molasses, clove spice, grilled platanitos/bananas, Churros, agave necar, lechugilla agave juice hints, pan dulce, piloncillo sugar cone, capirotada raisin bread pudding, marshmallow smores, butterscotch, magey plant, mocha, roasted coffee notes, cafe con leche, Mexican vanilla, Wined Goat milk Caramel/Dulce De Leche de cabra Envinado, coconut hints and cocada mexican coconut candy hints.

Aftertaste:
Cinnamon, pumpkin notes, nutmeg, dark chocolate, chocolate abuelita, mezcal, tequila, oak, port wine hints, spicy chile notes, agave notes and earthy notes. No alcohol in the taste despite the richer ABV, ridiculously smooth drinkability, very creamy, velvety and smooth mouthfeel, and pitch black body just like the original.

Overall:
It’s hard to get more Mexican than this beer unless you pair it with some actual Mexican cuisine. Holy shit, one of the Best Tequila beers I have ever had considering the original was one of the best chocolate abuelita beers. It is so damn complex that I really wonder if the charred one is even necessary. Bourbon really isn’t a “Mexican” Spirit, but maybe good though. I still think this one would win over the bourbon one. Either way, I am thankful I was able to at least snag a bottle while it was painful for me to see the line behind miss out so much would have given them the bottle. However, I feel the fact that I present my findings here on the site maybe more beneficial as it could make you wanna find it online/ trade for yourself. Well, I damn sure recommend it as a bucket list beer for sure y que Viva Mexico y Las Cervezas Artesanales de mi patria…. AHUEVO!!

Anime Corner:
An original Adelita character by Genzoman and May from Backstreet Billiards for the PS1 were chosen in this beer to really bring out what made Xocoveza so damn special. Specifically, with the addition of Tequila along with the Mexican Hot chocolate flavors and Insurgente which were one of the 3 collaborators of this beer, I really wanted to show case an actual Mexican pairing with pride. Adelitas being women soldiers during Mexican revolution of 1910, along with the barrels behind her are like the Tequila barrels that were infused with the already awesome Xocoveza which I had brought May for that to show case the indigenous roots of the recipe as well. Solo lo mejor!

Sources:
http://genzoman.deviantart.com/art/Adelita-162831459
http://s27.postimg.org/ht9xex4cj/bsb_copy.jpg

Almost As Good As Morning Sex Coffee Stout by El Borracho Home Brewing

11154824_352556574940451_3241465120248006367_oRating: 4.85/5

Almost As Good As Morning Sex Coffee Stout by El Borracho Home Brewing is a 6.5% American Stout brewed with Coffee beans and Cinnamon.

==Introduction==
Special thanks to William Carranza for hooking me up with his first ever, Coffee Stout. As Will has brewed many beers, this time he scored with a winning beer. The name alone was enough for me to really want to try this one out. Using coffee and adding his own twist by using cinnamon stick, this recipe became a winner. Let’s check it out and see what my friend’s brew really has to offer. Cheers!

Aromas:
Coffee hint, cinnamon, milk sugar, milk chocolate, flan hints, chocolate fudge brownies, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, mocha, espresso,coconut hints, ginger bread, dark fruit raisins, cherry hints, marshmallow hints, anise and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, caramel, mocha, espresso, molasses, coconut hints, dark fruit raisins, cherry hints, cinnamon, ginger bread, milk sugar, milk chocolate, flan hints, chocolate fudge brownies, marshmallows, campfire smores, anise hints, fruit cake hints and brown sugar.

Aftertaste:
Good amount of dark chocolate, coffee, cinnamon, coconut hints, earthy notes and toffee. No alcohol in the taste, dark and hard to see through body, smooth, creamy and moderate mouthfeel as well as moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A very good and definitely close to perfect coffee stout. This one is so close to the awesome coffee milk stouts I have tried in the past. It’s flavor of coffee blends well with the other complex characters. While Will did advise that he would love to have more coffee, I think it is also great as is. William did an awesome job and I really believe up to date is one of his best beers so far. I would definitely love to have this one again.

Anime Corner:
Original character by JJUNE is used in this paring to go with the name and flavors of the beer. As the name goes, Almost as good as morning sex goes with the aspect of waking up in the morning for some coffee but in this case it is kind of enuendous as to what I was going for with the coffee drops all over her her and the coffee cup. The represent the climax of great and awesome coffee, let’s just leave it at that. This coffee beer is really awesome and I guess what my friend was going for, is almost orgasmicly good!

Sources:
http://e-shuushuu.net/images/2015-02-15-711757.jpeg

2015 Imperial Or Xata (Horchata) by the Bruery

11169545_10102531396383320_5126373725060860381_o 11159985_10102531396942200_1065780053333097988_nRating: 6.25/5

2015 Imperial Or Xata (Horchata) by the Bruery is a 11.2% ABV Imperial Belgian Blonde brewed with Rice, Cinnamon and Vanilla beans.

Label:
¡Muy Rico!

This ale is our spin on horchata, a sweet & creamy drink originating in Latin America. This time with a bit more fiesta.

Horchata is one of our favorite drinks, refreshing alongside a spicy dish or just for sipping on a lazy afternoon. Our take on the traditional agua fresca incorporates rice and lactose along with spices for that sweet, creamy character that we’ve come to love. The imperial variation is just that much more rico. Imperial Or Xata is best enjoyed fresh. The ideal serving temperature is 45° Fahrenheit (7° Celsius). Best served in a tulip or wine glass.

==Introduction==

Well this was truly unexpected. Reserve society surprised many with a very limited quantity of a small batch of a stronger version of their Or Xata beer. I truly did not see this coming but definitely had to bring it forth to the website. Or Xata is currently out to the public in great quantities and also on growler fill as well at the brewery. So it is much easier to get this beer than it was in the past. Now with this special edition dangling, it’s going to cause a stir for Or Xata lovers. If you love the original, then let’s go over this one and see if it is truly worth the trouble.

Aromas:
Churros and Banana Dulce de leche caramel supreme, vanilla, rice pudding, Horchata, lavender flowers, flan, cinnamon, plantains, Danish cookies, capirotada raisin bread pudding, cinnabun frosting, stone fruit peaches, apricot, cherry pie, English cream, piloncillo sugar cone, cane sugar, agave nectar, mint notes, whipped cream, milk sugar, hazelnut, chocolate truffles, Jericalla Mexican Custard, toffee, mango, pine apple, passion fruit, dragon fruit, green tea ice cream, macaroons and pecan pie.

Flavors:
Rich Flan, rich cinnamon, Rich rice pudding, bananas, horchata, plantains, rich liquid churros, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel, capirotada raisin bread pudding, cinnabun frosting, Danish cookies, biscuit bread, butterscotch, marshmallows, leche nestle (sweetened condensed milk), toasted coconut, macaroons, stone fruit peaches, apricot, cherry pie, English cream, piloncillo sugar cone, cane sugar, agave nectar, mint notes, whipped cream, milk sugar, hazelnut, chocolate truffles, Jericalla Mexican Custard, toffee, mango, pine apple, passion fruit, dragon fruit, green tea ice cream, mochi ball ice cream, cookie dough ice cream, pan dulce, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, oak, burnt sugar, graham crackers, waffle cone, honey, French vanilla ice cream and Belgian Candy sugar.

Aftertaste:
A continuous barrage of candy sugar, vanilla, rice pudding, churros, honey, pecan pie, cinnamon, flan, stone fruits and dulce de leche caramel keeps lingering for a while. Slight alcohol in the taste but mainly sugar covered well by Belgian yeast goodness, crisp, refreshing, creamy, velvety, smooth and silky mouthfeel, easy to moderate drinkability drink, and a clear golden honey color of a light to medium body.

Overall:
If there was such a thing as taking the original Or Xata and you took it to the next level, a la super saiyan, shot it to volume 11, divided by zero, crossed over to the 4th dimension and then put the cherry on top, it still wouldn’t come close to explaining what they did to amp this beer to the next level. This beer is so crazy you can cuz slices like a pie. A churro pie perhaps. Either way, you have to find a way to get this one if you love the original. It really is, epic miles above.

Anime Corner:
Ryoko Hakubi from Ai Tencho Muyo! Was used in this pairing leading back to the original Or Xata with its green, gold and red label as well as its ties to the new 2015 version. Ryoko has a new design I wanted to show case for the new Tenchi series and I figured this was the perfect opportunity. Ryoko is hell of strong. I think may stronger than Fuu from Naruto which I used in the last Or Xata pairing. Therefore I wanted her to be the representative for this round. Her colors are very similar to Fuu’s. Also, I did use Ryoko for an Agave beer I did in the past so the agave like flavors are reminiscent of that. Either way, I really liked how her power compliment the stronger version of this beer.

Sources:
http://40.media.tumblr.com/91452b714353669884c5ae086425ae39/tumblr_ngqcvxqAw31skcniqo1_1280.jpg
http://img853.imageshack.us/img853/5536/61573d65766c939f14c3eca.jpg

2015 Or Xata (Horchata) by the Bruery

11009928_10102440057462250_3020293731873648667_o 11025278_10102440056668840_1272198978454058427_oRating: 6/5

2015 Or Xata (Horchata) by the Bruery is a 7.2% ABV Blonde ale brewed with Rice, Cinnamon and Vanilla Beans.

Label:
¡Que Rico!

This ale is our spin on horchata, a sweet & creamy drink originating in Latin America, now quite popular in Southern California.

Horchata is one of our favorite drinks, refreshing alongside a spicy dish or just for sipping on a lazy afternoon. Our take on the traditional agua fresca incorporates rice and lactose along with spices for that sweet, creamy character that we’ve come to love. Or Xata is best enjoyed fresh. The ideal serving temperature is 45° Fahrenheit (7° Celsius). Best served in a tulip or wine glass.

==Introduction==

It’s finally back! The one beer that I enjoyed so much I had to drive far away just to try and get a sample of back in 2013. This beer was so damn good that it became limited right away with only an exclusive few to try it. Now the Bruery has brought it back and hopefully it is here to stay as a seasonal for many to try. I remember how close Horchata or liquid churros this tasted and now I bring forth the 2015 version. Hopefully it has not changed and is still as good as I remember. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rice pudding, cinnamon, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, liquid churros, bananas, coconut candy hints, Danish cookies, cookie dough, butterscotch, toffee, biscuit bread, stone fruits like peaches and apricot hints, cane sugar, agave hints, mint hints, milk sugar, coriander and citrus.

Flavors:
Rich cinnamon, Rice pudding, flan, banana hints, liquid churros, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel, pan dulce, leche nestle(sweetened condensed milk), coconut candy, clove spice, Danish cookies, cookie dough ice cream, Churro Ice cream,butterscotch, stone fruits like apricot hints, peach hints, cherry hints, English cream, piloncillo sugar cone, cane sugar, agave nectar, mint hints, whipped cream, milk sugar, Mexican Custard/Jericalla, Mochi ball ice cream, nutmeg, coriander spice, citrus hints, toffee and mangoes.

Aftertaste:
Vanilla, rice pudding, caramel, banana hints, rich churros, cinnamon and flan. No alcohol in the taste, refreshing, creamy and silky mouthfeel, easy to drink, and a gold haze of a light to medium body.

Overall:
What can I say that I have not been said before about this beer. This taste exactly like it should. It may not be the most complex beer, well, it kinda is but it hits exactly on the flavor profiles from what they were going for. An Horchata dessert beer. This is too damn delicious to pass up. I highly recommend you try this one since it is one of the closest to an Horchata beer than most likely any non porter/stout Horchata beer.

Anime Corner:
Fuu from Naruto has returned from the last time I tried Or Xata. I never really explained why I used her in the last pairing but the last label had a green, red and gold colors which worked perfectly with the label. This time around, since we have a more artistic and Aztec pattern in the label, I find that it works with her still. You see, for Fuu, her eyes and the 7 tailed beast she holds inside her has similar colors and the wings had complex patterns like the design in the font of the name.

Sources:
http://alexpetrow.deviantart.com/art/Fuu-320430770
http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2012/300/b/0/fu___edo_tensei_by_nextgfx-d5j2spf.jpg

2015 Lips of Faith Series Cocoa Molé by New Belgium

10980189_10102435520743870_6275851171789603777_oRating: 5/5

2015 Lips of Faith Series Cocoa Molé by New Belgium is a 9% ABV Spiced Chocolate Porter brewed with Ancho, Guajillo and chipotle peppers.

Label:
Say Hola to a spiced up ale full of cocoa and ancho, guajillo, chipotle peppers. But don’t fear the heat, because plenty of caramel and chocolate malts bring a smooth, complex flavor to our Cocoa Molé. Scents of cinnamon when poured will have you saying, “¡Olé for molé!”

==Introduction==

Back in 2012, this beer made a big scene. So much so, that people who tried the beer wanted to bring it back for another go, including me. This beer had me reminiscing of champurrado (maize flour drink), which I was definitely blown away by. In terms of chile beers, it was the second chile beer I had ever had next to the Dogfish Head Theobroma. I really liked that one but this one was more toward a mole chocolate beer and I remember it was something I definitely wanted to try again. Thanks to New Belgum, it is back! Let us see if it still stands with its 2012 companion.

Aromas:
Champurrado, Cinnamon, Chocolate Abuelita, brown sugar, cane sugar, piloncillo sugar cone, ancho, guajillo, chipotle pepper spices, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, Pan Dulce, apple pie, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, Danish cream cookies, marshmallow smores, flan, jericalla Mexican custard, molé spices, dark fruit raisins, capirotada raisin bread pudding, Burnt sugar and candi sugar.

Flavors:
Chocolate Abuelita, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Piloncillo sugar cone, ancho, guajillo, chipotle pepper spices, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, flan, jericalla Mexican custard, molé spices, dark fruit raisins, capirotada raisin bread pudding, champurrado hot drink, Pan Dulce, apple pie, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, Danish cream cookies, marshmallow smores, graham crackers, waffle cone, banana notes, clove spice, Burnt sugar and candi sugar.

Aftertaste:
Lots of cinnamon, chile spices, chocolate abuelita, dark fruit, earthy notes and hints of flan linger for a little bit. No alcohol in the taste, creamy and smooth mouthfeel, dark crimson medium body and a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Perfect example of a Molé beer. I loved this one back in 2012, I love this one 3 years later.
The heat is only slightly there but enough to say it is a spiced chile beer. I really hope this one is here to stay in the Lips of Faith line up because it is one of my favorites. They might distribute this regularly but only one can hope. I highly recommend it if you like spiced chile beer but with the heat burned out immediately but sweet chocolate desserts.

Anime Corner:
May from Backstreet Billiards was used in this pairing since I used her in the previous pairing with 2012 Cocoa Molé. She represents the beer in the sense that it is about Mexican heritage and the indigenous ways which brings the culture and food into what is this beer. The flavors, the label and the art all complement each other.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/hX5loxr.jpg

Smashing Pumpkin Ale by Avila Ales

10926265_10102323269386490_4691924029885868015_oRating: 4.65/5

Smashing Pumpkin Ale by Avila Ales is a 5.5% ABV Pumpkin Ale brewed with Pumpkin Flesh and Cinnamon Sticks.

==Introduction==

It is way past fall and well, were are still technically in winter but even then, when it comes to home brew, any style is great on any time of the year. My friends Richard and Megan Avila allowed me the opportunity not only to get to bring this beer to the site but also get involved in what was their first All Grain Brew process. I was glad I was able to have a very small part in the creation of this nice all grain pumpkin beer. This has inspired me to finally step up to the plate and start brewing my own beers. I will soon have a first batch to present but for the meantime, let us check this amazing fall beer. By the way home brewers, while my friend did get the original recipe from Northern Brewing, his addition of ingredients slightly tweaks the recipe so this review may help as to what to expect if you brew it similarly. Cheers!
(http://www.northernbrewer.com/…/smashing-pumpkin-ale-all-gr…)

Aromas:
Cinnamon, pumpkin, vanilla, honey, biscuit bread, sugar, citrus, ginger hints, pecans, caramel, maple and clove spice.

Flavors:
Pumpkin Flesh, Piloncillo, cinnamon, milk sugar, vanilla, honey, citrus hints, toffee, maple hints, clove spice, banana hints, peanut butter hints, sweet potato, caramel, biscuit bread, hazelnut, pecan pie, earthy hop notes, ginger bread and nutmeg.

Aftertaste:
Pumpkin flesh, cinnamon,earthy hop notes, ginger bread and honey. No alcohol in the taste, honey brown light to medium body, light creamy and crisp mouthfeel and easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A very good pumpkin beer. When I first tried it at a colder temperature, you can definitely a small amount of bitterness while still tasting the pumpkin flesh and cinnamon complexity. However, once it got warmer, that is when the magic happened. The more complex flavors really started to shine and was way more enjoyable that way. Definitely a great beer to homebrew.

Anime Corner:
Lucy Heartfilia from Fairy Tale was used in this pairing mainly to pair with the pumpkin, fall and Halloween aspects that are brought from these pumpkin beers which is the obvious. While I didn’t show the smashing of pumpkins, the word smashing in English context can also be seen similar to the work awesome or excellent. If the name of the beer was smashing pumpkins, well, we can say that the smashing pumpkin is the one next to Lucy and Lucy has some smashing pumpkins. I leave you to figure that out.

Sources: http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/…/i…/4/45/LucyYummyFanart.png

(Brewerianimelogs On The Road) Caffè Della Vita (The Coffee of Life) by Monkish Brewing

10481170_10102243541237340_8379347680054953754_nRating: 5.25/5

Caffè Della Vita (The Coffee of Life) by Monkish Brewing is a 9.8% ABV Belgian Tripel brewed with Pistachios, Vanilla Beans and Portola Labs Ethiopian Kochere Coffee

==Introduction==

Recently on tap, Monkish created a variant of their Seme Della Vita which I had reviewed long ago. Seme Della Vita itself is probably my favorite beer yet from Monkish and is pretty much my goto when I am at their brewery. So you can only imagine how much I wanted to try their Coffee Variant and possibly bring it forth to the site. Now to this day, Seme Della Vita is the only Pistachio Belgian beer I have ever tried and has yet to see a bottle release. I am sure the day it does, people will definitelywant to get their hands on this. So this particular variant may or may not even see the light of public day but at least you know such existed. Either way, if you happen to be in the Torrance area, you have to try this one and try some of Monkish Belgian beers, they are pretty damn phenomenal. Thanks to my friend Oscar for joining me on a Friday (12/12/2014) to be able to get this picture of the beer.

Aromas:
Rich coffee, mocha, espresso, java coffee, Khalua cream, vanilla, pistachio ice cream hints, peppercorns, cinnamon, White chocolate notes, chocolate hints, biscuit bread, butterscotch, stone fruit apricots, peaches and cream, apples, flan, tres leches cake, hazelnut nectar, underlying citrus, coriander spice, clove spice and bananas.

Flavors:
Rich Vanilla, mocha coffee, roasted coffee, Java coffee, dulce de leche caramel, biscuit bread, maple syrup, frappuccino, almonds, pecan pie, hazelnut, stone fruit apricot, peaches, apples, butterscotch, Khalua hints, peppercorns, pistachio ice cream, Irish cream, tootsie rolls, strawberry hints, grape, white chocolate, Danish cookies, cake batter, Twinkies, Tres Leches cake notes, citrus, orange peel, coriander spice, phenolic notes, candi sugar, rock candy, flan, crème brulee hints, bananas and clove spice.

Aftertaste:
Coffee lingers along with rich nuttiness of pistachios, cinnamon, vanilla, and candi sugar hints then leavings dry. No alcohol in the taste, clear as day yet golden amber body, syrupy and creamy mouthfeel and sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Perfect and more! With the original Seme plus the introduction of the complex Ethiopian coffee brings out some extra richer notes that were typically not found in the original Seme. The fact that this is a light clear beer but drinks like dark Belgian coffee, is simply crazy. Almost reminds me of those golden stouts, but I digress. All I can say is that I am an even greater fan of this one for sure. If you love the original Pistachio Seme Della Vita and love coffee, well let’s just say this is damn bliss!

Anime Corner:
Anemone from Eureka 7 was used in this pairing as she resembles Eureka which I used in the first Seme Della Vita Pairing. As you can see, the darker colors and pinks represent the change of the beer into the strong dark coffee and more fruity like version of the original Seme Della Vita. This is a coffee dream indeed…

Sources:
http://www.zerochan.net/full/93656

Holiday Belgian Strong Brown Ale by Avila Ales

10615512_10102208548642780_528146605221522982_nRating: 5/5

Holiday Belgian Strong Brown Ale by Avila Ales is a ??% ABV Belgian Strong Brown Ale brewed with Oak chips, Cinnamon Sticks, allspice and Star Anise.

==Introduction==
My friends Richard and Megan Avila have been busy brewing some very awesome magic potions. In September, they visited King Harbor brewing in Redondo Beach which were able to donate their equipment for my friend Richard to create a 5 gallon bucket of just Brown Ale wort. While there were many there, many would take their buckets home and customize their own recipe even further. Richard and Meg decided to go with a Belgian yeast strain for this brew. As the weeks passed, they added oak chips, cinnamon sticks, all spice and star anise to fermenting bucket which then after close to 2 months, this Belgian goodie was born. They were awesomely kind to donate some of their beer to me to do a review. One thing to note, while there may have not been a last gravity check to verify the alcohol by volume, this beer was definitely strong, complex and yet, smooth and easy to drink. A conundrum yet a masterpiece of a Holiday Ale for sure. One day, they plan to open their own business to get these awesome creations rolling and hopefully, with my reviews here, you may be enticed to try them. Cheers.

Aromas:
Mint chocolate, anise, bananas, clove spice, molasses, vanilla, oak, campfire hints, rock candy, brown sugar, coffee hints, dark fruit raisins, cherry hints, milk sugar, candi sugar, flan hints, cinnamon, ginger spice, all spice fruit cake and pecan pie.

Flavors:
Banana, clove spice, anise, molasses, Dark fruit raisins, mild prune notes, cherries currants, oatmeal cookies, coffee hints, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, oak, marshmallow smore hints, hints of maple, piloncillo hints, milk sugar, toasted coconut hint, biscuit bread, mint chocolate chip, honey, nutmeg, fruit cake notes, pecan pie notes, cinnamon, ginger spice, all spice, vanilla, caramel, rock candy, candi sugar, brown sugar and some flan hints.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate, oatmeal cookies, anise, banana hints, clove spice, dark fruit and earthy notes linger. No alcohol in the taste, drinks way too easy yet you can tell this is strong, Pitch black brown body and a creamy.

Overall:
A perfect holiday ale ranging from a lot of sweet complex flavors with the oak bittering out the sweetness. This is a “drink and sit by the fire place” beer. My friends really nailed this one for sure. The complexity and sweetness is reminiscent of some of the best Belgian beers out there. The addition of the oak, cinnamon, allspice and Anise gives it an additional level of depth that quite possibly is what is responsible for making this one smooth as well although I can only assume at this point. I hope they brew this one again as it was the best beer yet!

Anime Corner:
Akemi Homura in Akuma form from Madoka Magica was used in this pairing because I wanted to show case several aspects about this beer including ingredients, flavors, strength and complexity. The abbey like monastery used as the background in this pairing goes well with the style of the beer and the brown colors making this a Belgian brown. The fact that she looks sweet and innocent goes with the smoothness and rich complexity of the beer. The fact that she is in Akuma form or Demon form represents the unknown aspect of the ABV. The fact that drinks super well but it is dangerous since you do feel it after just a little goes to show how truly powerful this beer is. Also, the colors represent the beers flavors and to some extent the added ingredients which gave this beer perfection.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/eY0bhFA.png

Horchata Imperial Stout by Belching Beaver

983819_10102186516689990_4052395402836735020_nRating: 6/5

Horchata Imperial Stout by Belching Beaver is a 9% ABV Imperial Milk Stout brewed with Horchata flavors.

Label:
Hecho En Vista , CA.

Made for our 2nd anniversary beer. Our Horchata Imperial Milk Stout is a salute to our over the border brothers who are making some fine craft beer. One of our brewers “Ivan the Terrible” lives in TJ and commutes to start his shift here at 2:00AM. He is also in charge of making our casks. When he made this Horchata with our own Milk Stout, we thought it was fantastic. Troy brewed it as an Imperial Stout and we just love it. Thought you might too. Notes of Coffee, Chocolate and Cinnamon.

-Tom
___

Belching Beaver has been making some crazy and delicious beers starting with the Peanut Butter Milk Stout. That beer is possibly one of the best Peanut butter beers ever. This time, they released an Horchata one and and to be honest, this just sounds way too good to be true. Even far fewer are there any Horchata beers out there and all the ones I have tried are very delicious. So let us see how this version does. Salud!

Aromas:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate abuelita, mocha, churros, milk sugar, rice pudding, dark fruit raisins, cherries, brown sugar, molasses, dulce de lecher caramel, toffee, ginger bread cookies, flan, pecan pie, almond milk, earthy notes, Kahlua, hazelnut, molasses, mint, anise and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate abuelita, Rich Horchata notes, chocolate churros, Dark fruit raisins, cherries, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, mocha, chocolate mousse, chocolate truffles, roasted coffee, flan, sweetened condensed milk lechera, capirotada raisin bread pudding, rice pudding, tapioca, Khalua, anise, molasses, chocolate cherries, toffee, milk sugar, ginger bread, almond milk, pecan pie, burnt sugar, hazelnut, brown sugar and rock candy.

Aftertaste:
Horchata, milk sugar, cinnamon, rice pudding, chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, mocha, roasty notes and earthy notes. No alcohol in the taste, smooth and creamy mouthfeel, should be a sipper but drinks way too easy, full black body.

Overall:
Damn… just simply damn… So much Horchata and chocolate flavors here and the crazy part is that it drinks very smooth too since it is still a milk stout. The crazy thing is that it is crafted as an imperial so you really cannot tell the alcohol even though it is heavy. Definitely exceeding my expectations and being one of the best close to Horchata beers just like the other great Horchata beers I have tried before.

Anime Corner:
Sai Hinoki from Betterman was used in this pairing since hair colors pair with the colors of the label and the Mexican flag. Also, there is a version out there of Horchata that is made in Oaxaca called Horchata con Tuna y Nuez and the colors make the Horchata have a pink layer and the nuez is the walnuts. Adding fruit makes it like an Horchata cocktail. So that fits the flavors of the beer somewhat and the hair color as well. The fact that she is next to some kind of ancient ruin holding some kind of gem represents the indigenous roots of the beverage in terms of the ancient civilization, the label’s animal on the flag and the fact that this dessert is a rich treasure just like that gem she holds.

Sources:
https://sites.google.com/site/aquahds/1182929665276.jpg

Blue Moon Cinnamon Horchata Ale by Coors Brewing

10615414_10102005956733590_6022947761193374494_n 10612956_10102005955750560_4645246927305597780_nRating: 4/5

Blue Moon Cinnamon Horchata Ale by Coors Brewing is a 5.5% ABV Herbed/Spiced beer.

Label:
In the Street markets of Mexico, our founder and head brewmaster, Keith Villa, first experienced a refreshing, creamy drink known as Horchata. Our cinnamon-spiced ale is his interpretation of this delicious Latin treat.
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An Horchata beer? Well yes it is possible. I have actually tried 2 horchata beers in the past and both have been very exceptional. While I understand Blue Moon is considered ‘crafty’ by some, I am always open to try new beers. Especially those that catch my attention. Now I have only reviewed few blue moons that have caught my interest. Because there is a lack of Horchata beers, I definitely did not want to miss out on an opportunity to try this one. Expectations aside, I can only know that this may or may not be as good as what I have tried before. Regardless of this fact, I will do my best to break it down for ya and maybe see if you would like to try it.

Aromas:
Cinnamon toast crunch cereal, apple jacks, Citrus, coriander, biscuit bread, brown sugar hints, vanilla hints, caramel hints, apple jacks cereal, rice milk notes, honey, cereal grains, pilsner malt, apple cider notes, lemon peel and wheat.

Flavors:
Citrus, lemon peel, vanilla hints, caramel hints, cinnamon toast crunch cereal notes, biscuit hint, cereal grain, rice milk horchata, rice pudding, sweetened condescended milk, apple jacks cereal, honey, apple pie hints, earthy notes, graham cracker, wheat bread, milk sugar and flan hints.

Aftertaste:
Cinnamon lingers for a very long time. Like you just ate some cinnamon toast or apple jacks cereal other than that it has a dry finish. No alcohol in the taste, easy to drink crisp and refreshing.This beer has a light body with a light mouth feel. Good for the summer or even what is left of it but mainly for Fall.

Overall:
This ended up being pretty good I was quite surprised. At first, the cold may give you more of a cinnamon and grainy cereal taste but as you let it warm up, the rice, sweetened milk sugar and more cinnamon come out to play to hide the grainy taste. Despite this, it keeps stuff balanced so nothing is too overwhelming. Possibly, the best Blue Moon variant I have ever had. This beer started to grow on me the more I had it. I would recommend at least a try if you are skeptical. It may change your mind.

Anime Corner:
Cinnamon from Megaman X Command Mission was used in this pairing not only to pair with the colors of the label but also the color of the beer and the ingredients. Cinnamon is the obvious reason and just the fact that she is blonde fits with the colors and the flan and vanilla hints as well as the other flavors of the beer. She is the healer in the game so by choosing her I wanted to imply the pleasantness of this beer. Makes you feel better as you give her a chance.

Sources:
http://31.media.tumblr.com/2a42f392c6413336905ad9eaa25aa508/tumblr_mrk1lmpm1x1rl0xtno1_500.jpg
http://liline.deviantart.com/art/Cinnamon-7474209

Señorita by Elevation Beer Co

10410340_10101879190254630_3468274738711609484_n 10442349_10101879190738660_5211451231766538176_n 1604786_10101879190833470_5541635871110375055_nRating: 6/5

Señorita by Elevation Beer Co is an 8.2% ABV Horchata Imperial Porter brewed with Vanilla and Cinnamon.

Label:
Black Series
Southern Colorado is deeply steeped in the history of the pueblos of the American Southwest and the first European settlers from Spain who settled our beautiful state. Horchata is the classic Spanish/Mexican style drink still served at authentic local restaurants from Durango to Alamosa to Denver. Paying homage to my family’s roots in the San Luis Valley, we decided to make a beer worthy of this classic drink and our state’s Spanish roots.

Cheers!
Sheila Atencio Bustamante
Co-Founder

This beer pours a deep dark brown with a snow-white head. Aroma notes of Vanilla, Cinnamon and sweet milk hit the nose bringing up images of the delicious Mexican drink this beer is styled after. The beer hits the palate with Vanilla, sweet chocolate malts, and a hint of cinnamon; all with a medium body and a balancing hop bitterness. Enjoy this beer next to a roaring fire with your amigos in a cozy cabin after a long day of skiing the deep powder of the Rocky Mountains

Bottle#04050
Style: Horchata/Imperial Porter
Alc/Vol: 8.5
Hops: Northern Brewer, Chinook
Malts: Two-Row, Crystal, Aromatic Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Flaked Barley
Extras: Milk Sugar, Cinnamon, Madagascar Vanilla Beans
Pairings: Mexican Chocolate Cake, Mole, Barbacoa Street Tacos
___

Another special release that was donated to the website thanks to my good friend Aaron of www.beermetaldude.com of Texas. This beer pays homage to our heritage of Mexican decent. Horchata is a very delicious Rice, cinnamon and vanilla drink. I have only once had another Horchata beer which was the Bruery’s Or Xata. As I remember that beer, when I first had it on draft with actual authentic tacos, it was bliss! So now, we have a chance to show what this beer is about. Will it come close to that? Let us see.

Aromas:
Vanilla, Cinnamon, dark chocolate, chocolate abuelita, roasted coffee, churros, milk chocolate, milk sugar, rice pudding, raisin bread pudding, pecan pie, dulce de leche caramel, prailines, flan, chocolate covered cherries, dark fruits, brown sugar, hazelnut, molasses, anise, earthy hop character and toffee.

Flavors:
Chocolate Churros, Horchata, Milk Chocolate, rich Dark Chocolate, Chocolate abuelita, Flan, cinnamon, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruits like raisins, capirotada raisin bread pudding, chocolate cherries, molasses, anise, Kahlua hints, earthy hops, toffee, milk sugars, pecan pie, prailines and hazelnut.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, caramel and earthy hops linger. No alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer with a silky and creamy mouthfeel.

Overall:
This one is over the top delicious. It does have flavors which reminded me of the Or Xata but with chocolate and a roasted and earthy notes. It was very awesome in its own way and I think I like it a bit better than Or Xata although what really makes Or Xata special is much more rice, milk and sweet flavors. I love them both and I would definitely recommend them both if you can find them.

Anime Corner:
Lady Kaguya Ootsutsuki from Naruto and Original Skull Face Girl Artwork were used in this pairing because I wanted to show the flavors of the Horchata. Kaguya has the milky colors of the Horchata as well as the cherry and chocolate flavors of the dark beer. She is a coldhearted demon trying to take over the world. Her power represents the complexity of this beer, even if she is evil. The skeleton girl pays tribute to the Mexican heritage of Dia de los Muertos but it also pays tribute to the label of Señorita!

Sources:
http://shikaobing.deviantart.com/art/20140604-Bloody-Moon-458500195
http://ifeergirl.deviantart.com/art/Naruto-679-Kaguya-459716749
http://www.desktopbackgrounds.me/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Skull-Face-Girl-Dia-De-Muertos.jpg

Modern Romance by Midnight Sun brewing

10441110_10101855185660030_8849422213577237842_n 10383518_10101855186882580_8116320430953076281_nRating: 5.5/5

Modern Romance by Midnight Sun brewing is a 9.3% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale brewed with cacao nibs, cocoa powder, cinnamon, chilies and maca and aged with cocoa powder 

Label:
Raw cacao powder and roasted cacao nibs add an earthy element. But every romance needs some spark. Modern Dwellers’ signature Mayan Spice blend provides sultry, lingering heat that seduces the sweetness of the malts. It’s not for everyone but, for some, there is nothing else.

In an exciting collaboration, Midnight Sun and Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge—a local artisan chocolatier—designed and brewed a very special dark ale that celebrates our strengths—and weaknesses: sensuous chocolate, warm spice, fiery chili, provocative character and amorous mood. 
___

Obtained this guy at craftbeerkings.com, I wanted to give it a shot especially since I love chocolate beers. I heard this one was a Belgian style strong dark ale with chocolate and chile. Oh hell yes! I had to try it. So here it is, the review for your enjoyment and let us see if this beer holds it’s weight as a good chocolate beer.

Aromas:
Strong Milk chocolate shake, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, mocha coffee, nutmeg, dark fruit prunes, subtle to hints chili pepper, chocolate abuelita brick,molasses, toffee, and currants.

Flavors:
Very dark chocolate, chocolate abuelita brick, milk chocolate powder, mocha coffee, dulce de leche caramel, raisins, prunes, vanilla, subtle chili pepper, cinnamon, ginger spice, nutmeg, subtle chile spices, currants, toffee, molasses, anise, Mexican mole sauce, oak, port wine, cherries, fudge cake, all spice and hazelnut nectar.

Aftertaste:
Chili pepper mainly in the finish but not super hot. Mainly cocoa powder, dark fruit, molasses, earthy notes, . No alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer with full and somewhat syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall:
I gave this one a good amount extra credit since I love chocolate beers and the fact that this one definitely whops a lot of chocolate and is pretty balanced and not overly sweet. The Belgian aspect falls into perspective only a little bit drinking more like a Belgian Stout than a Dark Belgian Strong ale. The cocoa powder takes away the majority of the heat that would have been there even if you can tell this is a chile beer. Not the above best of all of my favorite chocolate beers but it definitely is up there and very delicious. Something definitely worth trying. It is pretty sensual.

Anime Corner:
Naruto himself and his harem of girls that come out in the series were used in this pairing. Pretty much, all the main ones. These fan arts were made by uzmakiee-naruto and StikyfinkaZ-003 of DeviantArt.com. In an attempt to pair with the label used in this beer and something that comes to mind of this beer’s flavor if a wet dream, was the main reason why I thought this pairing would work fantastically. Awesome stuff!

Sources:
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Gift-For-The-Main-Character-162738736
http://uzmakiee-naruto.deviantart.com/art/Naruto-600-1653189-438992671

Reunion Ale ’13 A Beer For Hope collaboration by Shmaltz and Terrapin

1385580_10101484472462250_1979555791_nRating: 4.25/5

Reunion Ale ’13 A Beer For Hope collaboration by Shmaltz and Terrapin is an 8% ABV Brown Ale brewed with Cocoa Nibs, Vanilla, cinnamon and Coffee

Label: 
Benefiting the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research

Teaming up with Terrapin Beer Co. for the third time, Shmaltz Brewing returns as a production partner for Reunion ’13. We brew Reunion each year in memory of our dear friend and partner in this venture – Virginia MacLean. Virginia lost her battle with Multiple Myeloma in 2007. It was her wish that we continue to raise finds and awareness on behalf of The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research (www.imbcr.org). 

This year’s beer is a dark ale brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla, cinnamon and coffee from NYC and Upstate NY. It was inspired by a fantastic dessert that we used to share with Virginia at our favorite restaurant. 

Many thanks to all who have supported this project and have helped us honor Virginia’s Memory.

Cheers – Pete & Alan
___

This is the first time I try the Reunion series. A beer with cocoa nibs, vanilla, cinnamon and coffee? Yes Please. The good thing about the beer as well is that it is for a good cause. My mother died of cancer so anything that works toward fighting the dreaded disease is a definite win in my book.

Aromas are of coffee, hints of chocolate, mocha, hints of vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, caramel, biscuit bread, clove hints and nutmeg

Flavors are of coffee mainly, roasted coffee grounds, nutty mocha, vanilla notes, chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, toffee, biscuit bread and clove spice

Aftertaste leaves with cinnamon, dark chocolate notes, coffee roast and a little bit of vanilla and close to dry finish. Alcohol hidden but moderate drinkability.

Overall, the beer is really good although, just be cause it says cocoa nibs and vanilla, you gotta be a little picky. The chocolate and vanilla though comes in subtle being taken over by cinnamon and coffee flavors near the end. It is one that you may want to be careful though because if you do not like cinnamon and coffee, this beer might not be for you I personally like this combination but I think I like chocolate and vanilla better. It is more on the spicy side than the sweet side. Recommended especially since it is really good and for a good cause.

Anime Corner:
Tifa Lockhart and Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII are paired with this beer for a couple of reasons. Besides the fact that Reunion is important in the series when it comes to Jenova and Sephiroth form the same series. However, reunion of Cloud and Tifa in this sense because they come together to thwart off the evil. The colors in the label represent mako energy from the series which you can see is greenish. Fighting for a good cause to save the world, this beer fights for the battle against cancer, therefore, fight on!!

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

Label: 
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.
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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!!

Optímator by Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

1383015_10101459463086240_901127990_nRating: 5/5

Optímator by Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu is a 7.6% ABV German DoppelBock

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION:
The classic German dark beer, bottom fermented ’Doppel Bock’. Full bodied with a deep dark color and rich roasted malt flavor. 

Supposedly only available in USA, at least not in Germany.
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First had this beer with several coworkers on draft at the Red Lion in Downtown LA after visiting a brewery, which I will not name here because they were good in their own awesome way (Love that Sunny-D beer). As I remember it, it was so impacting that I had to try it again. From the makers of the delicious Franziskaner Dunkel which to me is the best dark heff in the world, aside from Weistephaner dunkel. Spaten makes an awesome doppelbock that attempts to take on what to me is one of the best Doppelbocks, Celebrator Doppelbock. They did a damn good job of it too as I remember. I was able to pick up a bottle locally and wanted to do a review. This is a common beer and can be picked up in many craft beer or specialty liquor shops. Even Downey Liquor in Downey California has it and they seem like a generic liquor store

Aromas are of rich figs, caramel, cinnamon, milk, sweet potatoes and yams boiled with piloncillo (Mexican sugar cone), vanilla and cinnamon sticks, rich toffee, raisins, hazelnut, cherries, oak, molasses, and chocolate

Flavors are of figs, raisins, caramel, cloves, raisin bread, cherries, rich molasses, cinnamon, sweet potato pie, yams, piloncillo, vanilla, cinnamon, toffee, hazelnut, chocolate, pecans, biscuit bread, brown sugar, whiskey notes, maple and oak

Aftertaste is of raisins, yams, cherries, vanilla, earthiness and piloncillo. Easy to moderate drinking on this one and has intense flavors even where the 7.6% ABV is nowhere to be found. 

Overall it is a damn great beer! Surely close to Celebrator in my opinion but greater to the sweeter yams than celebrator though. I will never forget how awesome it was on draft nor will I forget how much I liked this one. In terms of the style, this one is right next to my favorite Doppelbocks followed by the La Trappe Doppelbock and the Alesmith Decadence 2013 Doppelbock. Freaking unbelievable how the European beers always pull me in. Just so you know, My top 2 best common beers in the world are not even from the United States, leave that to Belgium and Canada for starting me up. Optimator is a definite try multiple times not doubt. Should be an “Octoberfest beer” requirement for sure

Bombay Berserker by Clown Shoes Brewing

1378366_10101459458091250_1244609620_n 1394467_10101459457966500_2016632879_n 1378509_10101459458061310_1318389965_n 1384270_10101459458081270_1580768352_n 1380249_10101459458131170_383120147_nRating: 4.75/5

Bombay Berserker by Clown Shoes Brewing is a 10% ABV Indian-Style Chocolate Imperial Stout

Label: 
This exotic stout is a relative of Chocolate Sombrero, with the Mexican spices replaced by the flavors of chai tea, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla. Dear head banging craft beer drinkers, please remember, “Our love for you is like a truck… BERSERKER!”
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Recently releases in many markets. You can get this one online but if you live in California, it may come out soon as clown shoes beers are becoming more famous here. I was able to get this one online though. Clown shoes has many series. This one is the next follow up to the Chocolate Sombrero and Luchador en Fuego

Aromas are of ginger, chocolate abuelita hot chocolate, caramel, vanilla, chai tea, non spicy curry, dark chocolate, cinnamon, cardamom, bakers chocolate and molasses

Flavors are of Bakers chocolate, caramel, vanilla, roasted malts, mocha, chait tea, hints of curry but nothing overwhelming, cinnamon, chocolate abuelita, molasses and brown sugar

The aftertaste leaves with minor spiciness, hints chocolate, vanilla, mocha and roasty notes. A moderate to sipping drinkability beer with alcohol well hidden. Pretty balanced and nothing too overwhelming

Overall it is a very good beer in it’s own unique way. While I started to taste some of the spices from Chocolate sombrero, it turned the other way around. In good way of course. It it is nothing overwhelming like the other Curry beers I have had like Indra Kunindra or the coconut curry from New Belgium. It definitely has its spices under control. I think it is not a full flavor bashing beer but the offering of variety of these flavors and balance is well hit. Very solid beer and yes, worth the try for damn sure. Especially since you cannot feel the 10% ABV. If this was Barrel Aged, well it would definitely heighten this to a new level of Rock Stardom!!

Pumpkin Lambicus by Timmermans Lambic Brewery

1379530_10101428780244900_1828523104_nRating: 3.5/5

Pumpkin Lambicus by Timmermans Lambic Brewery is a 4% ABV Pumpkin Lambic

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION (Ratebeer.com)
Two traditions are brought together here in a unique complacency, namely an original succulence never tempted before. The result is sublime, liberating a graceful taste tinted by a controlled acidity on the lambic confused with the dry fruity of the pumpkin and the discreet sugar added. By crossing the middle of the mouth appears a taste of brown sugar remembering and accentuating the convivial touch of Halloween.
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I have tried different lambics in the pat. However, I have not really sat down and reviewed any. His year I wanted to add a pumpkin lambic to this year’s pumpkin beer trip. 

Aromas are of cinnamon, pumpkin, apples and apple cider, pear, nutmeg, cereal grains, brown sugar, all spice, wheat and coriander notes.

The flavors are of pumpkin, gingerbread, apple cider, apple pie, pumpkin pie notes, tart berries, cinnamon, nutmeg, wheat, cereal grains, candied apples, caramel, brown sugar, pepper and coriander spice.

The aftertaste leaves with like cinnamon, tart green apple and pumpkin spice notes. Drinks easy and is refreshing.

Overall a pretty good lambic. It has a good amount going for it, but not a rich amount of pumpkin. Still delicious as it reminds me of apple pie with some pumpkin pie notes. It is worth trying atleast once. However, if you are looking for a pumpkin beer, you can definitely find something more awesome

Seme Della Vita (The Seed of Life) by Monkish Brewing

1235040_10101349977840550_1961150138_nRating: 5/5

Seme Della Vita (The Seed of Life) by Monkish Brewing is a 9.8% ABV Belgian Tripel brewed with pistachios and vanilla beans

Description: 
Luxurious, nutty, creamy, vanilla, fruity and complex
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First time hearing about this beer I was surprised since I have never heard of a beer that is brewed using pistachio nuts. Monkish Brewing happens to be very close to where I work so I figured I could not miss out an opportunity for this. Normally I do not do reviews for on-draft brews. Mainly because I have not found one that required me to pair it with an Anime artwork like I usually do for other beers on this site. I usually like how labels compliment the artwork but also mainly how the beer does in terms of flavor, smell, history artwork and such. I had heard that this beer would never leave the brewery as it was highly coveted. There are no growler pours to take home, they do not distribute kegs of this nor do they plan to ever bottle this one. Funny things happen when something gets really loved. Beers become very limited and only few batches made. I had asked them to keep making it at least as this had become my new favorite of from all the different beers I have tried from Monkish so far. Hopefully, one day they will change their mind and distribute more, even bottle it. That way everyone can try this nice piece of lost treasure of art and taste.

Aromas of this beer are phenomenal! Biscuit bread, rich vanilla, caramel, pistachio and hazelnut notes, cake, cinnamon, peaches, peppery notes, apples and notes of chocolate reminiscent of a light “White Chocolate” beer from “The Bruery” but without the bourbon and deeper chocolate. There are also some nice notes of citrus and flan.

Flavors are of very rich vanilla, caramel, pistachio nuts, almonds, cinnamon, hazelnuts, coconut notes, apple notes, cake batter, vanilla Twinky, Tres Leches cake notes, flan, peppercorn hints, peaches and cream notes and bananas

As the beer gets warmer, the the vanilla starts to give off notes of chocolate and candi sugar. I almost thought I was drinking the White Chocolate beer.

Aftertaste leaves off sweet and going into the pistachios nutty notes, cinnamon and vanilla.

Overall this beer is awesome, but it is definitely a sipper. While the alcohol is hidden in the flavor, it still felt as you go. Even for a clear body of a beer like this, it was crazy how much complexity they were able to get with this. A very unique beer with some uncommon ingredients. Should be sought if you are ever in the Los Angeles area. Hopefully one day they will make enough of this for all to try :3 . Like the art work implies, this is a beer lover’s dream, get lost in it!

 

Or Xata (Horchata) by the Bruery

1010022_10101344572986920_427979140_n 542201_10101344573690510_1355761887_n 1170921_10101344574349190_122706565_nRating: 6/5*

Or Xata (Horchata) by the Bruery is a 7% ABV Blonde ale brewed with Rice, Cinnamon and Vanilla Beans

Label: 
¡Que Rico!

Living in Latin American influenced California, horchata is one of our favorite drinks. Our take on the traditional agua fresca incorporates rice and lactose along with spices for that sweet, creamy character that we’ve come to love. Or Xata is best enjoyed fresh. Please store in a cool, dry place. The ideal serving temperature is 50 degress Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius). Best served in a tulip or wine glass
___

First tried this in Restaurant “Cinco” near LAX when the Bruery first poured for the public. Back then I had this with some tacos de azada, to my surprise, it was a perfect pairing. The Bruery would eventually release this too the public. So now many can try this exotic creation which to me was mind blowing. 

Aromas are of rich cinnamon, vanilla, bread, brown sugar, rice pudding with dulce de leche caramel and spices. 

Flavors are pretty dead on like liquid churros and horchata. Lots of vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, brown sugar, rice pudding, pan dulce, leche nestle (sweetened condensed milk), clove spice and banana notes.

The aftertaste also leaves sweet but not too sweet, more cinnamon really. Perfect. The alcohol is hidden well and will hit you later on as you sip more. 

Just like I remembered it a month and a half ago. Simply amazing dessert beer here. It really is perfect. All the flavors are exactly what are set out to be. Definitely spot on. When pairing with taquitos or any Mexican cuisine, awesome!!!

Try to get your hands on this if possible. If you live in California, the Bruery will send you a bottle . Cheers!! (http://www.thebruerystore.com/p-99-or-xata.aspx )

*Exceed my expectations several times, it is not too overwhelming with alcohol , it is overwhelming with awesome horchata and liquid churro flavors.

Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout 2012 by Cigar City Brewing

576200_10101082459165120_925278613_n544111_10101082471345710_1363262627_nRating: 5.75/5

Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout 2012 by Cigar City Brewing is an 11%ABV Imperial Stout Aged on cacao nibs, ancho and pasilla chiles, cinnamon and Madagascar Vanilla Beans. This was released in March 2012 so it is almost exactly 1 year of aging.

Label:
In Mayan mythology, Hun Hunahpu was the father of the Mayan hero twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Hun Hunahpu, along with his brother Vucub Hunahpu, was tricked by the Dark Lords of the underworld and slain. Hun Hunahpu’s corpse morphed into a cacao tree, his head becoming a cacao pod, which in typically awesome mythology fashion, spit upon the hand of a young maiden named Xiquic who promptly became pregnant with the hero twins. The twins would ultimately grow up to avenge their father and uncle and defeat the Dark Lords and ascend to the heavens to become the moon and sun

We brew Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout once a year and release it only at the brewery. We will continue to do so until the end of the cycle.
___

Rated to be the 4th best Imperial Stout in the world. 100% world class. This version is aged almost exactly 1 year. I can only assume this is like a response to Dark Lord de Muerte from the Three Floyds as it is brewed with chiles also. Never the less, this is something special. Aromas immediately rush the nose several inches from this liquid of gods. Fragrances of Very strong Dark chocolate, Milk chocolate, Khalua, Chocolate Abuelita, chile spices from the ancho and pasilla, some vanilla, coffee, strong bourbon, vanilla, flan, cinnamon, champurrado, dulce de leche caramel, molasses, piloncillo sugar cone, oak, cherries and alittle bit of coconut. The flavors are of smokey roasted pasilla and ancho chiles but without the heat, dark chocolate, Khalua, coffee, chocolate abuelita, mole, champurrado, cherry, raisins, prunes, molasses, vanilla, small amount of earthy bitterness, cinnamon sticks, ginger bread, alittle bit of dulce de leche, piloncillo sugar cone, tamarind, oak wood and maple syrup. Initially, the chile spices would take over but then as the beer got warmer, it let a massive amount sweet chocolate flavors pull through with vanilla and cinnamon dancing all over. A delicious beer that is truly world class. While it definitely surpasses a great amount of world beers, I believe it is really preference based. While this one is very sweet and has the spiciness to cancel out the over powered sweetness, many people will find this appealing over more “Diabetes in a bottle” types like Dark Lord, Black Tuesday, Grey Monday or Chocolate rain (some of my ultimate favorites). For me I like the extra sweetness in some beers, but this has so much flavor of my culture written all over, fragrance and taste alike. In terms of Chile beer Imperial Stouts, hands down, The best in the world Chile beer right next to the Dark Lord de Muerte.

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.
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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.”
http://lostabbey.com/beer/judgement-day/

Warmer by Hangar 24

68175_10100953665224210_1801148142_nRating: 4.6/5

Warmer by Hangar 24 is 7.8% ABV Local Fields Series Winter Warmer ale brewed with Maple Syrup, Spruce and Cinnamon.

Label:
This rich, strong ale neatly balances caramel malts and spices, providing warmth on a cool winter day. Every fall, we trek up the San Bernardino Mountains to harvest fresh spruce, then carefully add just the right amount of cinnamon and maple syrup to create our Warmer. It’s a lightly hopped, tantalizing ale with festive notes of maple, spruce and spice; a nice complement to a cooler time of year.
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This is the winter time holiday ale from Hangar 24. They usually make some pretty awesome beers. I have tried several different holiday beers and most of them are pretty awesome. This probably won’t be an exception. :P. Fragrance here is of maple, citrus, oak, nutmeg and other holiday spices. The aroma is not super intense but it still smells nice. The flavor reminds me of stronger Fat Tire notes. Ofcourse, mostly the malty sweetness and not the bitterness. It taste like maple syrup, caramel, biscuit bread, graham crackers, cinnamon, a little bit of ginger, Christmas Cookies, nutmeg, a little bit orange, pear, apples, raisins, bananas, Christmas tree oak, and notes of chocolate covered cherries in the after taste. All in all it is a very good Winter/Holiday time ale to enjoy and stay warm. It is common this time of the year so this one should be a pick up so try it out. Although Some of the other winter warmers may be much more sweeter because of their Ginger bread or Holiday Fruit cake properties, this is still a very ale and, most likely, easier to find 🙂