Xocoveza Mocha Stout (Insurgente Release) Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico

Rating: 6.25/7

Xocoveza Mocha Stout (Insurgente Release) Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico is a 8.1% ABV World Class Milk/Sweet Stout brewed with cocoa, coffee, peppers, vanilla cinnamon and nutmeg.

Label:
Se Un Insurgente, Toma Artesanal

Xocoveza Mocha Stout is the result of the homebrewing spirit and a cross-border collaboration. In 2014, Stone Brewing invited us to join them on this Mexican-Hot-Chocolate inspired creation. Based on Chris Banker’s winning recipe, we created this rich and decadent Imperial Milk Stout with traditional Mexican ingredients. In your hands you have Insurgente’s version of this for the first time on this side of the border. ¡Salud!

==Introduction==

Xocoveza has been an important staple in terms of what makes great Mexican Spice and Chocolate beers. It is one of my favorites and it was one that was done very well. The version I am bringing today is the one made in Tijuana Mexico, the one from Insurgente brewing. The purpose of this is to see how different it differed from Stone’s release. It is the same recipe but the process might be different. I did try this one sometime last year when I went to Tijuana for a brewery run with my friend Oscar. While I tried to remember, I could tell it was damn delicious. However, is there subtle differences from this one to the Stone one? Let’s see, Salud!

Aromas:
Mocha Coffee, Roasted Coffee, Mexican Coffee, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, , dark fruit raisins, currants, dark cherries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, Cinnamon, Ancho chile spice, bananas, clove spice, vanilla, dulce de leche cajeta/caramel, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, nutmeg, champurrado, piloncillo sugar cone, Molé and pan dulce.

Flavors:
Rich Abuelita Mexican Hot Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Mocha Coffee, Roasted Coffee, Mexican Coffee, Cane sugar, Cinnamon, Ancho chile spice, bananas, clove spice, vanilla, dulce de leche cajeta/caramel, Peanut Butter, Reece’s Pieces, Molé, pan dulce, dark fruit raisins, currants, dark cherries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, nutmeg, champurrado, piloncillo sugar cone, Kahlua Coffee Liqueur, flan, sweetened condensed milk and peanut mazapan.

Aftertaste:
Finishing off with Dark Chocolate, Dulce de leche caramel, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Mocha, chile notes, earthy notes, vanilla and peanut butter hints. No alcohol in the taste, pitch black body, ridiculously smooth, very creamy and velvety mouthfeel along with a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
Damn! This one is different than the Stone release by a good amount. While I feel both beers overall are supreme World Class but this one emphasizes sweeter flavors while the Stone one balances out with earthy hops. This one shines more in the Mexican chocolate department big time! I love this version so much but I think I love both for the differences as well. This series of beers from both breweries are definitely some of the best Mexican Chocolate and Coffee beers ever. I highly recommend getting these!

Anime Corner:
Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach and May from Backstreet Billiards for the PS1 were chosen in this pairing as they were chosen in the previous iterations of Xocoveza. 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. I used Yoruichi for the bourbon barrel aging version, but bringing one of my favorite anime characters into this to be the main focus is to showcase the roots of the ingredients in Mexico. Yoruichi is a Goddess of Thunder, like Quetzacoatl!

Sources:
http://orig05.deviantart.net/09b6/f/2015/018/7/3/bleach_yoruichi__head__in_skyrim_by_user619-d8eer4h.png
http://trzaraki.deviantart.com/art/Yoruichi-Shihouin-12-01-583945424

La Muerta EC12, Vanilla EC12 & Coconut EC12 by Freetail brewing (Triple Review Special)

13320842_10103297382061880_4389833072106254560_o13335536_10103297381892220_9107489069963913196_n13320530_10103297381547910_1533657400775212196_o==Introduction==
A very special gift from my friend Aaron Mendiola, owner of BeerMetalDude.com, this is the 3 Elijah Craig 12 variants of Free Tail’s La Muerta! Which to me is like the Dark Lord of Texas in a way that Black Tuesday is the Dark Lord of California, or so I would think. Anyways, the variants are all aged in Elijah Craig 12-year-old bourbon and 2 of them are made with coconut and vanilla. The reason I wanted to do a triple review is to see how each one varies in the flavors not just to the EC12 by its self but even to the original La Muerta. Let’s take a look, Cheers!

Label (All 3):
A growing South Texas tradition, La Muerta is brewed each year for Día de los Muertos in honor of our departed friends and family. A big, lush Imperial Stout, La Muerta is full of roast, smoke and chocolate flavors from an array of specialty malts that go into this garnetblack ale. Perfect for sharing with your closest compadres, La Muerta will age wonderfully for years to come – we recommend enjoying one now and save some for the future, if you can. ¡Salud!

EC12
==============
13320788_10103297382560880_3091643696116186860_o

La Muerta EC12 by Freetail brewing is a 10.01% ABV Imperial Stout blend with 33% Ale and 67% Aged in Elijah Craig 12 Bourbon Barrels.

Aromas:
Rocky road ice cream, vanilla, dark fruit raisins, currants, prunes, pecan pie, cinnamon, anise, fruit cake, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Baker’s chocolate, Mexican chocolate abuelita, German chocolate, campfire smoke, cherry cordials, coconut notes, rye bread, coffee notes and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Dark Chocolate, Milk chocolate, Baker’s chocolate, Mexican chocolate abuelita, German Chocolate, rocky road ice cream, molasses, tobacco, anise, bourbon, oak, vanilla, marshmallows, toffee, dulce de leche caramel, coconut notes, rye bread, coffee note, cinnamon, capirotada raisin bread pudding, dark fruit raisins, currants, prunes, pecan pie, piloncillo sugar cone, brown sugar, flan, sweetened condensed milk, rock candy, candi sugar, ginger bread, fruit cake, chocolate flan, earthy notes, pretzel notes, bananas, clovey notes, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, campfire smoke, cherry cordials, port wine and dark chocolate cherry cake.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with earthy notes, rocky road ice cream, caramel, dark fruit, toffee, smokey notes,cinnamon and choco fruit cake finish. No alcohol in the taste, pitch black dark full body, creamy, smooth, syrupy and velvety mouth feel and an easy to moderate drinkability.

EC12 W/ Vanilla
==============
13339650_10103297381767470_7542428857273314347_n

La Muerta EC12 by Freetail brewing is a 10.01% ABV Imperial Stout blend with 33% Ale and 67% Aged in Elijah Craig 12 Bourbon Barrels with Vanilla.

Aromas:
The vanilla comes through more on this one but still similar aromas to the original with some other notes like banana and more chocolate.

Flavors:
Similar to the original but the Vanilla accentuates flavors into something additional. More flan, more crème brulee, Jericalla Jaliscan custard, burnt sugar, more dulce de leche, more chocolate, almond milk, chocolate mousse and more rocky road ice cream.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with rich vanilla notes, flan, crème brulee, earthy notes, rocky road ice cream, Jericalla, more caramel, dark fruit, toffee, smokey notes,cinnamon and choco fruit cake finish. No alcohol in the taste, pitch black dark full body, creamy, smooth, syrupy and velvety mouth feel and an easy to moderate drinkability.

EC12 W/Coconut
===================
13344588_10103297381503000_3998769685468666503_n
La Muerta EC12 by Freetail brewing is a 10.01% ABV Imperial Stout blend with 33% Ale and 67% Aged in Elijah Craig Bourbon 12 Barrels with Coconut.

Aromas:
Even richer coconut, flavor, macaroons, almond joy chocolate, rye, more flan notes, bit more dark fruits, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie and Cocada Mexican coconut candy along with the aromas of the original EC12.

Flavors:
Similar to the original but coconut seems to amplify the flavors way higher. Super Almond joy coconut chocolate note, rye bread, oakier, flan, chocolate coconut pie, hazelnut nectar, Irish cream, Danish cream, richer sweetened condensed milk, raspberry chambord hints, cocada Mexican coconut candy and macaroons.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with super rich with coconut, vanilla, flan, almond joy chocolate, bourbon, flan, crème brulee, fruit cake, rocky road ice cream, caramel, dark fruit, toffee, and smokey notes. No alcohol in the taste, pitch black dark full body, creamy, smooth, syrupy and velvety mouth feel and an easy to moderate drinkability.

==================
13342949_10103297381498010_6217920515371946293_n
Overall:
While all the beers are supremely exceptional showcasing more complex flavors than the others, it was hard to choose which one I loved the most. Well, more than the original EC12 as that one was the base which was way better than the Original La Muerta ofcourse. However, the EC12 I really loved the most was the coconut one. While vanilla is my thing, the coconut one just blew everything out of the water for me and definitely the best coconut beer I’ve ever had so far. These variants should be highly sought out and I can never thank my friend Aaron Mendiola enough for these as he really went out of his way to get me something very special. Please support his site www.BeerMetalDude.com to see some more awesome beer reviews.

Anime Corner:
Original characters and Dead Master from Black★Rock Shooter were used to pair with each of the labels. I tried to get as close as possible to the labels using the different colored skeletons but also representing either the reaper, death, dead lady and grimm overall.

Sources:
http://livedoor.blogimg.jp/toregazou/imgs/0/8/081b6e19.jpg
http://img.diyidan.net/post/2015/10/25/WfsRJg74djmEkEW8.jpg!webmedium
http://i.imgur.com/UXQV0l4.jpg
https://41.media.tumblr.com/560d2231a3934e6bcc4809a377578b4f/tumblr_o0hkk7hI331rd89lxo1_1280.png
http://i.imgur.com/K7JZPgP.png
https://k61.kn3.net/taringa/2/3/8/8/5/2/70/agente867/1CE.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/fA8bJVj.jpg
13323650_10103297382565870_7590665301203433800_oRating: 6/6 EC12
Rating: 6.25/7 EC12 Vanilla
Rating: 6.35/7 EC12 Coconut

2014 Tequila Barrel Aged Mexican Cake by West Brook brewing (Halloween Review)

12096022_10102889106743890_4040101086858097951_n 12194605_10102889107257860_2160969544030741492_o 12049517_10102889107886600_7877849483527145356_nRating: 7/7

2014 Tequila Barrel Aged Mexican Cake by West Brook brewing is a 10.5% ABV World Class Imperial Stout aged in cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon, habanero peppers and aged 12 months in Tequila Barrels

Label:
Bottled 8/15/2014
Way back in December 2011 , they brewed 1st Anniversary beer – a serious imperial stout aged on cocoa nibs, vanila beans, cinnamon sticks , and fresh habanero peppers. It was so delicious to bring it back once each year and age it for 12 months in oak barrels.

¡Salud!

==Introduction==

Been meaning to try this beer for ages! The original Mexican was soooo good but all of them were always over priced and to some degree over hyped. Maybe it was me but I really wanted to try this one. Long behold we reach 2015 and I was able to finally land one of these for a decent price. Needless to say, splurging on something like this would be ridiculous but since I wanted it and it was at the right price, I got it. This is the first time I try a beer from Westbrook as well so definitely an honor for sure. I have tried so few Tequila barrel aged beers and so few chocolate abuelita beers but the closest I’m sure comes close to this is the Xocoveza Extra Añejo. So without further ado, here it goes. Salud!

Aromas:
Mild habanero, ancho and guajillo chiles, roasted coffee, marshmallows, piloncillo sugar cone Tequila, Agave lechugilla, mezcal, sangria vampiro, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, hazelnut nectar, dark fruit raisins, prunes, currants, blackberries, blueberries, figs, dark cherries, dates, Khalua liqueur, waffle cone, mocha, molasses, Champurrado, Molé hints, pan dulce, milk sugar, ginger bread, crème brulee, flan, sweetened condensed milk, fruit cake, Dark and milk chocolate fudge cake.

Flavors:
Rich Chocolate Abuelita, Tequila, Agave lechugilla, mezcal, charred oak, Cinnamon, Capirodatada Raisin bread pudding, fruit cake, Dark and milk chocolate fudge cake, dark cherries, dark fruits like raisins, prunes, currants, blackberries, blueberries, figs, dates, ginger bread, crème brulee, flan, sweetened condensed milk, Khalua liqueur, waffle cone, mocha, molasses, Champurrado, earthy notes, clove spice, grilled platanitos/bananas, churros, sangria vampiro, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, hazelnut nectar, leche, mild habanero, ancho and guajillo chiles, roasted coffee, marshmallows, piloncillo sugar cone, pan dulce, milk sugar and Molé hints.

Aftertaste:
Rich Dark chocolate, cinnamon, pumpkin notes, mild pepper spice, chocolate abuelita, tequila, mezcal, agave, mocha, vanilla, oak, dulce de leche caramel, earthy raisin bread and coffee. No alcohol in the taste, dark abyss full body, very smooth, creamy, silky, velvety and mildly syrupy and a drinkability that is ridiculously easy. Careful not to finish the bottle in one sitting.

Overall:
It definitely feels like a bucket list kind of beer. As ridiculous as this is, I am really pleased I got this. Funny thing is, the spices are not in the heat but allow for a Mexican style that fits similar to how Molé is made with chile and chocolate. There are only a hand full of beers that really deserve the title a World Class and this rarity gets the one of the highest rating for it. My expectations were really blown away and maybe it is worth what the hype is about. I may have not tried the original but the Tequila variant to me especially a year aged is like a dream come true. So yes, I highly recommend this version especially since the Tequila barrel aging just adds that cherry on top of the already awesome cake to truly make, Mexican! Ahuevo Cabrones! Busquenlo!

Anime Corner:
Dia de Los Muertos Samus Aran from Metroid and Vocaloid Hatsune Miku were used in this pairing for several reasons. You can already see some aspects of Mexican themes like dia de los muertos. The Guns Samus carries would be like those Mexican revolvers, you know, to vary it up a bit. She is in the theme. Also, why did I choose Miku for this pairing? 2 reasons. The first being that I used the picture of Miku on her side with the plugsuit representing the first tequila barrel aged beer I tried from Cupaca (Tequila Barrel aged Barleywine back in 2010) and barrel aging process but second, since she played a well known Mexican song called La Bikina (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqIugY6pk0c) so I know already she will work. Also, she has so much of the blue agave colors which pair with what tequila is made but also the colors of the beer. So the singing then ties to the 3rd drawing where she has the acoustic guitar. So much tequila goodness and so much sweetness from art and flavor experiences!

Sources:
http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b580/qinchao1204/chuyin%2012/wwwafterschoolsyscom-938.jpg~original
http://fashionablygeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/dead_Upload.jpg
http://static.zerochan.net/Hatsune.Miku.full.1518790.jpg

2015 Preservation Series Freckle by The Bruery

11046952_10102440055121940_760009431993544928_nRating: 5/5

2015 Preservation Series Freckle by The Bruery is a 10.8% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Cacao Nibs and spices.

Label:
“HOLY MOLÉ”
Freckle is a robust stout that has been infused with the essence of an elegant Mexican molé. Freckle is best enjoyed fresh for peak spice character.

==Introduction==

This time, the Bruery has released their own take at a Molé beer. Unlike some of the other mole beers I have had, this one does not use actual chiles but spices. Will that take away from the beer? Maybe. Yet, I have not had a bad Bruery beer yet, well actually I have a while back but that is very rarely since the Bruery makes some super damn world class experimental treasures. This beer will be released to the preservation society and reserve societies this month so if you signed up, most likely you will get this one. You can also go to the tasting room and try this one. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate abuelita, champurrado, pipian mole sauce hints, chile hints, pepper hints, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, cinnamon, apple pie, brown sugar, dark fruit raisins, plums, black berries, cherry notes, coffee notes, Khalua notes, capirotada raisin bread pudding, banana hints, flan hints, molasses hazelnut nectar and piloncillo sugar cone.

Flavors:
Chocolate abuelita, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cinnamon, champurrado, pipian mole sauce, chile hints, peppery hints, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, apple pie, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, marshmallow smores, graham crackers, cola notes, molasses, anise, mint ice cream, candi sugar, piloncillo sugar cone, flan hints, banana notes, dark fruit raisins, plums, black berries, cherry notes, coffee notes, Khalua notes and capirotada raisin bread pudding.

Aftertaste:
Rich chocolate abuelita lingers, cinnamon, clove spice, nutmeg, earthy notes, vanilla, caramel, molasses, spices and minty hints. No alcohol in the taste, smooth, rich and creamy mouthfeel, easy to moderate drinkability, and dark full body.

Overall:
This is pretty damn perfect for an overall delicious molé stout. One thing my friend told me about this beer though, that if you don’t like spices in beers, you may not like this one. For me its like, bring em on. It is not hot like a chile beer but it is spicy and very very damn chocolatey. I think the cocoa nibs are what really account for the major chocolate push into the perfect stout category. I am rather fond of that part. So yeah, I highly recommend this one as you will like the chocolatey flavors of this molé beer.

Anime Corner:
Hiyori Sarugaki from Bleach was chosen in this pairing since she is the only character I know that has freckles and is a bad ass. More importantly, her vaizard form with the skeletal skull is a representative of dia de los muertos aspects which many of the beers I have tried that are Mexican molé related are also sometimes related to dia de los muertos. Good Game Bruery, Good Game on this this to make a beer that fits an anime pairing perfectly.

Sources:
http://m3.img.srcdd.com/farm4/d/2012/1202/15/66A180B02DCB640E844091490EB977CE_B1280_1280_1280_1877.JPEG

2014 La Muerta by Freetail Brewing

10923317_10102422562522250_692796544630536672_o 1509291_10102422562881530_8850077427880117801_nRating: 5.85/5

2014 La Muerta by Freetail Brewing is a 10.2% ABV Imperial Stout.

Label:
A growing South Texas tradition, La Muerta is brewed each year for Día de los Muertos in honor of our departed friends and family. A big, lush Imperial Stout, La Muerta is full of roast, smoke and chocolate flavors from an array of specialty malts that go into this garnetblack ale. Perfect for sharing with your closest compadres, La Muerta will age wonderfully for years to come – we recommend enjoying one now and save some for the future, if you can. ¡Salud!

==Introduction==

A very special thanks to my great friend Aaron Mendiola of www.beermetaldude.com for providing me this beer. This is the 2014 version of the beer I had last year which was the 2013 version. As I recall the beer from 2013 was very extraordinary and delicious. I was able to share one of these with my friends here in California and they loved it. You want to know how this one was? Well, join me as we take a look at the beer and see what new special flavors it has. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich Dark fruit raisins, prunes plums, caramel, vanilla, dark chocolate, licorice, anise, caramel, oak, coffee, pretzels, rye, toffee, banana notes, clove spice, Chocolate abuelita, smores chocolate, marshmallows, ginger bread, piloncillo sugar cone, raisin bread pudding, tobacco, leather, brown sugar, mocha, molasses, and flan

Flavors:
Rich Dark fruit raisins, currants, prunes, plums, dark cherries, caramel, vanilla, dark chocolate, earthy notes, mocha, molasses, rye bread, pretzels, bananas, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, bakers chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, German Chocolate, marshmallows, smores chocolate, chocolate abuelita hints, tobacco, leather, campfire smoke, pecan pie, flan, cinnamon, ginger bread, piloncillo sugar cone, brown sugar, candi sugar, rock candy, raisin bread pudding and pralines.

Aftertaste:
Dark fruit raisins, currants, dark chocolate, mocha, mild smokey notes, banana hints and caramel.
No alcohol in the taste, smooth, creamy and syrupy mouth feel, easy to moderate drinkability and pitch black body.

Overall:
I love this beer! This is top notch stuff and the 2014 version has more dark fruit forward than 2013’s version so I definitely enjoyed it even more. I really have to thank Aaron for getting me this one as he was able to provide me 2 of them to share with more friends here in California who really have to say that Freetail truly rules over in Texas. So much great stuff in Texas I hope we can see here someday. Please Texas legal system, open the flood gates for beer freedom!! Highly Recommended!

Anime Corner:
Original Dia De lost Muertos girl by MagicNaanavi was used in this pairing to go with the beer label as well as the whole theme of beer flavors an characteristics. I used something similar in the past for the 2013 version. Also, the one in red is basically to go with the name La Muerta or “The Dead”. Interesting stuff for sure.

Sources:
http://cdn.awwni.me/nj7h.jpg
http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2014/333/6/9/dia_de_los_muertos_by_magicnaanavi-d883fj9.jpg

La Jornada del Escorpion en Fuego Hacia la casa del Chupacabra muerto (99 Scorpions) (The Path of the Fiery Scorpion through the House of the Dead Chupacabra) by The Unknown Brewing

10409593_10102221151940670_5897567734451332807_n 10153665_10102221152354840_5831491665927202215_nRating: 5/5

La Jornada del Escorpion en Fuego Hacia la casa del Chupacabra muerto (99 Scorpions) (The Path of the Fiery Scorpion through the House of the Dead Chupacabra) by The Unknown Brewing is a 10.1% ABV Imperial Mexican Lager aged on Tequila Oak Staves, Brewed with Agave Nectar, Serrano Peppers & (99) Ninety Nine Scorpions.

Label:
UBC Bottle No. 2
Warning: Contains Crustaceans

Online Descriptions and Blurbs:
(http://beerstreetjournal.com/unknown-brewing-escorpion-en-fuego/)
When asked if these scorpions would affect the flavor, head brewer and owner Brad Shell responded “I’m not sure, that’s not the point. The point is this beer needs scorpions. Some things just have to happen”.

==Introduction==

Released for El Dia De Los Muertos in November, this beer is pretty damn ridiculous. Even for the name and the ingredients this was made from. This is my first beer from The Unknown brewing and is one that . All hope was lost last month when there was no way I could get this beer due to it being extremely limited. I pondered about how nice it would have been to have it here on the site. Long behold, I wake up on Black Friday at 4am to a message from my good friend Aaron Mendiola at www.beermetaldude.com only to find that he found a website called www.bruisin-ales.com which had exactly what we were looking for. He sent me that Mexican wrestler pic where the dude is asking for a tag in as he needed some assistance to get these and I was like…oh shit!! I jumped out of bed, placed the order and the rest is history. A sort of victory for the Beer Pairing Duo and a review you will soon see on my friends page. I didn’t really care at that time when I saw the beer on the site, I really wanted to get this beer despite the ingredients. Despite what anyone thinks about gimmicks or nasty and gross ingredients for beer, this was something I was super open minded to have. I have had crickets before and those have like a grassy and earthy taste. Some people say Scorpions are tasty like eating shrimp. That and the fact that scorpions are high in protein and good for you. So let’s take a sip at this one and hope you are able to get your own scorpion beer. Saludito!

Aromas:
Honey, Toffee, Agave, caramel, coriander spice, peppercorns, chile pepper spices, tequila hints, pineapple, stone fruit peaches, Serrano pepper spices, mild oak, tequila hints, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, biscuit bread and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Rich Agave Nectar, Tequila, Mezcal, sangria, grapes, oak, citrus, honey, lemon, caramel, vanilla, oak, graham cracker, herbs, coriander, oranges, grassy earthy taste (scorpions?), toffee, salt, mild seafood hints, Serrano chile spice hints, peppercorns, pineapple, grapefruit, basil, lime peel, lemon zest, mild coffee, green tea, dragon fruit, stone fruit peaches, mild jerky notes, biscuit bread, rye bread, butterscotch and piloncillo.

Aftertaste:
Leaving with a honey and agave aftertaste that lingers and finishing with like a musty, herbal, grassy, earthy and bitter aftertaste. Must be the scorpions. No alcohol in the taste yet feels stronger than what it is. Syrupy and creamy mouthfeel, Clear Golden Body, moderate to sipping drinkabaility.

Overall:
I got 99 Scorpions while other beers have none! Way too unique for words really. I think the previous blurbs have done this one justice. I do recall my experience with the crickets back then so there is a minor hints of that grassy, musty and earthy like flavor that I remember from long ago. Not bad at all. The Serrano heat is there for the flavor but masked by the sweetness so it’s not a ‘Stone Punishment’. I really love it but don’t worry since the other ingredients do mask that extremely well providing it’s own array of complexity. This one was made in Tequila barrels so there’s yet another reason why it is extremely unique as well. As a lager, possibly the best and possible the most unique I have ever had. It is a great beer despite the fact that it could be off putting to others and if you really want to find it, get it before it truly disappears for good!

Anime Corner:
Evelynn from League of Legends and Dia De Los Muertos by SanctusDesign of Deviant art were pretty much the best pairings I could find for this beer. Almost everything about the beer including Dia De Los Muertos and Even the very name of the beer pairs way too well that it even surprised me. Using Evelynn as she chases the reptile beast, we look at the name of the beer, La Jornada del Escorpion en Fuego hacia la casa del Chupacabra muerto. In English this means ‘The Path of the Fiery Scorpion through the House of the Dead Chupacabra’. As you can clearly see, Evelynn is the fiery scorpion and is chasing the dead Chupacabra(which back then people thought it was a lizard creature). Even the cloak the lizard beast wears along with the skeleton hands signifies it is death, so a Chupacabra of death or dead Chupacabra. The journey is basically Evelynn’s journey to catch that beast as fire spews from her finger tips. Think of this as a Scorpion trying to catch its prey and sting it to death. She also looks like the dead chick in the dia de los muertos. That’s where the next pairing comes in. Visually, the dia de los muertos chick looks very damn close to the label. What is surrounding her face is curvy plants that with the colors and shapes, kind of represents the 99 scorpions found in this great beer.

Sources:
http://stuffpoint.com/league-of-legends/image/190512-league-of-legends-eve-dia-de-los-muertos-halloween.jpg
http://sanctusdesign.deviantart.com/art/Dia-De-Los-Muertos-Da-368996612

Señor Viejo by Twisted X brewing

10734133_10102186513221940_1242498781892462480_nRating: 4.85/5

Señor Viejo by Twisted X brewing is an 8.8% ABV Schwarzbier/Imperial Black Lager Aged in Tequila Oak Barrels

Description:
This Schwarzbier has been “imperialized” (alcohol content increased) and then left to age in tequila barrels (used Jack Daniels barrels which are then used by Republic Tequila to age there tequila to Repasado or Anejo styles). Aging this unique beer in tequila barrels adds subtle flavors of vanilla and oak while the tequila adds a mild citrus/agave sweetness. At 8.2% alcohol by volume Senor Viejo is our strongest, most seasoned beer. About the name: Senor Viejo meaning “very old man” or “the old one”. Schwarzbier, or “black beer”, is a German dark lager beer. It has an opaque, black color and a full, chocolaty or coffee flavor. Although they share some similar flavors they are milder tasting and less bitter than British stouts or porters, owing to the use of lager rather than ale yeast and no roasted barley.

About the name:
Señor Viejo meaning “very old man” or “the old one” or “Veteran”. Schwarzbier, or “black beer”, is a German dark lager beer. It has an opaque, black color and a full, chocolaty or coffee flavor. Although they share some similar flavors they are milder tasting and less bitter than British stouts or porters, owing to the use of Mexican lager rather than ale yeast and no roasted barley.
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Now this is very interesting… A Tequila Oak aged Black Lager. First of all, Tequila barrel aged beers are far few in between and to be able to have a lager one, that is is amazing. Thanks to my friend Aaron Mendiola at www.beermetaldude.com for hooking me up with this little bit of Texas gold. Now we can have one here on the site to share with the world. Many of the Tequila barrel aged beers have been, well, exceeding my expectations or just great. With this, I will see how it stands in comparison, but then again, this one seem more of the kind I would like to drink several of. We shall see, for now, Salud!

Aromas:
Roasted notes, mild earthy notes, dark chocolate, anise, molasses, oak hints, tequila, agave, dark fruit hints like raisins, figs and cherries, caramel, vanilla, smokey hints, brown sugar, rye bread, oatmeal cookies and mild tobacco.

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, spiced chocolate, milk chocolate, oak, tequila, mezcal, agave, vanilla, caramel, roasted notes, smokey notes, earthy notes, citrus, oatmeal cookies, leather, tobacco, molasses, rye bread, anise, walnuts, pecan pie, herbs, earthy hops, brown sugar, dark fruit raisins, figs and cherries.

Aftertaste:
Leaving some pecan pie, roasted notes, earthy dark chocolate, oak, tequila hints, agave and dark fruit hints. No alcohol in the taste. Brown full body, creamy and smooth mouthfeel, medium to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Very delicious. This beer is pretty close to a Baltic Porter in the use of lager yeast. The complexities are there from Baltic Porters but the addition of Tequila aging adds some very special flavors to it and also the slight smokey flavors keeps this one interesting as well reminding you of the oak. There aren’t many lagers that make it high in the ratings since they are lagers and mainly low in alcohol but this beer is special just like some of the awesome lagers I have had in the past. The much stronger ABV ones ofcourse. Seek this one out!

Anime Corner:
Skeleton Angel original character was used in this pairing to signify mortality, Mexican tradition of dia de los muertos and to pair with the label. It goes to show, like Señor Viejo, everyone grows old and will eventually meet their own demise but not before enjoying your life and living for what it is worth. The golden hair represents the oak and tequila as well as the label. Great stuff.

Sources:
http://hqwallbase.com/images/big/skeleton_angel-1509823.jpg

Xocoveza Mocha Stout Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico

10613149_10102062009258880_8324233477455469383_nRating: 6/5

Xocoveza Mocha Stout Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico is a 8.1% ABV World Class Milk/Sweet Stout brewed with cocoa, coffee, peppers, vanilla cinnamon and nutmeg.

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

The impact of homebrewers on the American craft beer industry has been immense. The comfort level and lack of inhibitors provided by a domestic brewing environment fosters a near limitless brand of experimentation, allowing homebrewers to push te beer envelope to its breaking point. Many of the professional brewing world’s best recipes–from West Coast IPAs to imperial stouts and even sours–began as homespun standouts so spectacular they had to be unleashed on the world in order to improve it.

With this in mind, each year we hold an American Homebrewers Association sanctioned homebrewing competition, the champion of which gets their recipe brewed and distributed nationwide by Stone. This year’s winner, Chris Banker, helped keep us grounded to our homebrewing roots by introducing flavors consistent with our regional palate. His chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, chile pepper, and coffee-infused milk stout was built to mimic the flavors of Mexican hot chocolate, a beloved specialty from our neighbors to the south, as our collaborators from Baja California, Cervezeria Insurgente, will attest. Layered with tiers of earthiness, spice, and roast, this creamy, semisweet blue ribbon beer confirms that the spirit of the American homebrewer is not only alive and kicking but thriving at an all-time high.
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This fall, Stone’s home brew competition winner along with Insurgente from Mexico brew up a beer that could quite possibly be the next New Belgium’s Cocoa Molé beer. I have had many awesome Mexican Chocolate stouts like Chocolate Sombrero, Luchador en Fuego from Clown Shoes, el Molé Ocho from New Holland or even the almighty, Cigar City Hunahpu’s and Three Floyds Dark Lord de Muerte. Each one being exceptionally awesome in their own ways. Now Stone not only makes a beer but brings in cultural expertise to help make it awesome. This Mexican Independence Day, I drink this! Salud!

Aromas:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha, roasted coffee, fancy coffee, Ancho chile spices, Piloncillo sugar, Chocolate Abuelita, Flan, milk sugar, dark fruits like raisins, capirotada raisin bread pudding, Molé, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, dulce de leche cajeta/caramel, champurrado, Kahlua hints, earthy notes, molasses, pan dulce and Nutella.

Flavors:
Chocolate Abuelita, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Vanilla, Dulce de leche cajeta/caramel, Ancho Chile spices are subtle but not heat, Molé, dark fruit raisins, dark cherry, Milk sugar, flan, cinnamon, capirotada raisin bread pudding, roasted coffee, fancy coffee, Kahlua hints, piloncillo sugar cone, cinnamon, nutmeg, champurrado, earthy notes, molasses, clove spice, banana notes and pan dulce.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Caramel, mocha, earthy notes and spicy chile hints linger. No alcohol in the taste, ridiculously smooth drinkability, very creamy and slighly velvety mouthfeel, and pitch black body.

Overall:
Madre es Dios, que es esto? I meant that in like a mind blow type of way. This is a lot closer to a Mexican Hot Milk Chocolate beer than may that I have tried. All around, it really feels like you are drinking Chocolate Abuelita Hot Chocolate. All around, the fact that it is a milk stout, it makes it to where it is just well balanced, flavorful and smooth. There is no heat at all, but I really believe that is not the point. The point is to make this as approximate as Chocolate Abuelita as possible. I really think that maybe even the pre-craft beer drinker may actually find this one very appealing. It really is ridiculous and better the Cocoa Mole. The only bitterness is really from the chocolate and coffee roast. Highly recommend getting this one before it is gone for good! Going to go pick up a couple bottle now… Hasta La Proxima y Siganme Los Buenos!

Anime Corner:
May from Backstreet Billiards for the PS1 was chosen for this pairing because I wanted to do something in relation to my culture en Mexico. I used May once for Cocoa Molé so I wanted to bring her back for this round as well. I am glad I did too. She fits greatly with the beer label, the history of Mexican pride and the indigenous as well as the roots of Chocolate and possibly the name as it seems to be a derivative of Nahuatl and Spanish. The fact that is fall also brings forth not just the Independence Day of Mexico but also closer to the Months of the Dia De Los Muertos Celebration which this beer totally is best suited. Overall There was so much I could think of with this pairing but I would rather leave it to the reader to decide how to view this one.

**Update 2015 Version: As awesome as EVER!

IMAG9854

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

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
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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

Los Vivos y Los Muertos (The Quick & The Dead) by Jolly Pumpkin

10150694_10101751438175820_6076824097229696149_n 10174961_10101751438734700_5589972649130597073_n 10154970_10101751439054060_5874958748278315580_nRating: 4.75/5

Los Vivos y Los Muertos (The Quick & The Dead) by Jolly Pumpkin is a 4.2% ABV Saison/ Farmhouse Ale brewed with Pumpkin and Lime.

Label:
The Quick and The Dead
Sour ale brewed with pumpkin and lime.
Brewed Exclusively for the Rare Beer Club
We bring delight to our dance of a decaying mortal tune. The beauty of contrasts, of oposites and the shores on which they clash is the inspiration behind Los Vivos y Los Muertos. When The Rare Beer Club asked us to brew up something form (sic) the fringe of our imagination, we thought what better and more appropirate for this autumnal season than this? Cheers and Mahalo Plenty!
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A beer that was supposed to be released back in October 2013 for the upcoming celebration of Dia de Los Muertos in November. Unfortunately, the government shut down had prevented many breweries from releasing beers due to the approval of labels. Regardless, this was March 2014 release for The Rare Beer Club which you may still find it there.

Aromas:
Floral hop notes, wet hay, peppercorn, vegetable notes, biscuit bread, citrus, apricot, white grapes, lemon grass, lime, pumpkin flesh, honey dew melon, cinnamon spice, coriander, brettanomyces, apples, herbs, mild vanilla and caramel.

Flavors:
Flowers, citrus, biscuit bread, pumpkin flesh notes, sourdough, honey, wet hay, white peppercorns, sage, coriander spice, sour apples, peach, plum, apricot, sour white grapes, oak, hints of vanilla and caramel, honey dew melon, lemon grass, lime, raw pumpkin flesh, cinnamon notes, musty funk, rustic grain, rye, cereal and berry hints.

Aftertaste:
mild pumpkin, citrus, sour grape, peppercorn, lime, wet hay and honey. Very drinkable despite the medium mouthfeel. No alcohol in the taste and also, not overpoweringly sour.

Overall:
Very well made beer and very delicious. Hence the reason why Jolly Pumpkin makes great sours and in this case, a great Saison. Just like breweries like Jester King, when you have a primary focus, the amount of creativity can really shine from the masses of the craft beers. This beer is very good, but even if you cannot find it, there are surely other great ones you can. While the pumpkin and lime are noted in the beer, the saison style is what carries it. Give it a shot if you can get it.

Anime Corner:
Nonon Jakuzure from Kill La Kill, Original Artwork by Takagi Kyousuke and Reisen Udongein Inaba from Touhou were used in this pairing to represent the aspect of Death and the Rabbit. Some Rabbits are cute like Nonon, but even the cutest, and the quickest rabbit can never escape the bounds of Death. Nonon combines both that, Death and Cute. The Takagi piece relates to the label in La Vie C’est Drole (Life is Funny) since we live life as puppets never knowing when the end will come with death pulling the string one inch closer every day tugging away, just like the rabbit tangled by the ribbon dancing at the Deaths melody. The final piece represents the grasp of death reaching out grab the rabbit of darkness. The funny part about this beer, is irony of its time of release, in the spring time, where usually the flowers start to bloom and life blooms with it. Hence, a Spring Saison with ingredients of the fall (Pumpkin). La vie, c’est drole, mais cette bière est délicieuse, Sante!!

La Muerta by Freetail Brewing

1526564_10101609438803700_672127552_n 1424508_10101609438823660_1294021967_nRating: 5.4/5

La Muerta by Freetail Brewing is a 10.2% ABV Imperial Stout

Label:
A growing South Texas tradition, La Muerta is brewed each year for Día de los Muertos in honor of our departed friends and family. A big, lush Imperial Stout, La Muerta is full of roast, smoke and chocolate flavors from an array of specialty malts that go into this garnetblack ale. Perfect for sharing with your closest compadres, La Muerta will age wonderfully for years to come – we recommend enjoying one now and save some for the future, if you can. ¡Salud!

Extra:
If you are holding this bottle, it means either you (or someone you know with a kind heart) boldly stood in line for hours on the first Saturday of November. Karma rewards those who give selflessly, so share with your closest compadres or a new friend.
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A very very special thanks to Aaron from www.beermetaldude.com once more for this very special beer only sold in Texas on Dia de los Muertos. Essentially, like Three Floyds Dark Lord Day, it is only sold at the brewery. I did not even know about this until I researched information on this beer. This is the first time I try Free Tail beers as they are not sold outside of Texas, so yeah, definitely an honor once again.

Aromas:
Black IPA fragrances like that of earthy hops, dark chocolate, licorice, anise, caramel, oak, coffee, pretzels, toffee, rye, roasted barley and smokey oats.

Flavors:
Campfire smokey oak, maple, dark chocolate, dark fruits like raisins, plums, dark cherry, currants, earthy hops, citrus hops, anise, bitter flowers, tobacco, leather, molasses, caramel notes, vanilla, marshmallows, rye bread, pretzels, banana notes, graham crackers, toffee, bakers chocolate and chocolate oatmeal cookies.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate, dark fruits, smokey oak, caramel and banana hints. No alcohol in the taste, a sipper at that with a full body that is close to syrup.

Overall:
This is a great and phenomenal beer. Smokey at first, but after letting it warm up, the flavors started to evolve into other complexities. Wow is all that happened later on. I was really amazed by this beer. This is not even barrel aged or nothing and I really think that is part of the key thing that makes this beer great. Simply amazing and recommended if you can find it.

Anime Corner:
Death Akali from League of Legends and Dia de los Muertos by Magicnaanavi were chosen in this pairing to represent many different aspects of the beer including the colors of the label, the flavors, the description and in the meanings. When I found this artwork pieces, there was no way I would go back as it was more than perfect to show “La Muerta” represented by the lady with the skeleton painting and the blue flowers. Death Akali was also used to represent an aspect of death and darkness. The unknown time of death cometh and the eternal darkness proceeding.

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!!