Ex Cathedra by The Lost Abbey

Rating: 6/6

Ex Cathedra by The Lost Abbey is a 12.5% ABV Belgian Quad brewed with Ginger and Orange and aged in Bourbon Barrels

The Holiest protector of dogmas, doctrines, faith, and spirituality, the Pontiff is in charge of it all. He’s got his own Italian city and a bullet-proof Popemobile to take him wherever he wants. And he answers only to the big guy upstairs. Dude’s living large, all while acting as The Rose to the world’s moral compass.

That’s a ton of pressure being the wisest sage in the land and having your finger on the trigger of Ex Cathedra. Maybe it causes him to throw back a few glasses of the Sacrament from time to time? Lord knows if we were in that situation, we’d tipple to.


It is not often I get these little Lost Abbey bottles. In fact, many times I won’t simply on principle since I can get their beer on tap for much cheaper. If I ever do get one though, I do it to put it on the website. I take the hit so you don’t have to unless you want to and mainly to see if it is worth the price. With some new releases especially the religious ones, I definitely always want to bring them here to the site especially since I’m a sucker for the artwork and Lost Abbey was one of the primary reason I started label collecting before I did reviews. The last time I tried a pope beer was the Sede Vacante in which pope Benedict was leaving office and the new pope was given the chance to appear which is the current one, Pope Francis. This beer seems more of a tribute than Sede Vacante. Let’s have a look and see how this beer is, cheers!

Dark Belgian candy sugar, dulce de leche caramel, bananas, bourbon, anise, clove spice, ginger bread, coriander, oak marshmallows, chocolate smores, dark chocolate, dark fruits like raisins, figs, plums, prunes, currants, cherries, orange preserves, fruit cake, orange pound cake, piloncillo sugar cone, allspice, nutmeg, pecan pie and mint chocolate chip.

Rich anise, clove spice, Ginger bread, coriander, bananas, oak, marshmallows, toasted coconut hint, licorice, mint chocolate chip, dark chocolate, dark fruits like raisins, figs, plums, prunes, currants, cherries, Dark Belgian candy sugar, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, rocky road ice cream hints, toffee, orange preserves, tangerine jelly on rye bread, piloncillo sugar cone, allspice, nutmeg, pecan pie, whipped cream, fruit cake, orange pound cake, Belgian chocolate, marshmallow chocolate smores, chocolate waffle cake, capirotada raisin bread pudding and flan.

Finishes rich with dark fruits, fruit cake, ginger bread, orange notes, orange pound cake, oak, pecan pie, and dark chocolate. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV. Dark murky brown full body, smooth, creamy, velvety and chewy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Definitely amazing! Especially if you love fruit cake and ginger bread cookies and orange pound cake. For a barrel aged quad I think it is sure damn exceptional and supremely complex. The most awesome parts of the quadrupel mix super well with the mix of uncommon ingredients and the fact it is barrel aged, this one is a winner for sure! While I do believe this beer is damn exceptional and I highly recommend it, the only down side is the price at 17$ for a 350ml and while I think it is damn delicious, I recommend you get this one on tap if you don’t wanna pay 17$ for it. I would get this one again only if it was cheaper priced or if I can get it off the tap.

Anime Corner:
Dizzy from Guilty Gear was used as I wanted a character that represents the divine and the deathly. Dizzy literally has a wing of death and an angel wing. So the way the give advise to her is similar to the way the archbishops give advise to the pope in the label. Also, I think the white out fit she wears fits the white robe the pope wears as well.



Novo Quadrupel by Novo Brazil

16665838_10103986367195150_890731621990145770_oRating: 6/6

Novo Quadrupel by Novo Brazil is a 12% ABV is a Belgian Quadrupel aged in Bourbon Barrels.

San Diego brewed, Brazilian Inspired

Five types of malt and a noble trappist-style yeast grant this beautiful beer an extraordinary complexity. Our Quadrupel is aged in bourbon barrels, which lends it a deep layer of flavor. Enjoy it now or next year, but we recommend enjoying this brew in a proper glass at cellar temperature (50°F)

I am always up for trying new Quadrupels, one of my favorite styles from Belgium. Therefore, when I saw this one, I was definitely intrigued. There are not many Bourbon Barrel or for that matter, spirit aged quadrupels out there. Any opportunity to try one or bring one to the website is always something that I pride on. Novo Brazil is a new brewery to San Diego and one I have not seen in the past. These guys seem to be brewing some nice beers so a good way to gauge would be to try this beer. Let’s take a look, cheers!

Stone fruit peach, piloncillo sugar cone, hazelnut nectar, marzipan, pecan pie notes, candied Oranges, Waffle cone, butterscotch, rye bread, toffee, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, bourbon, oak, whiskey notes, rock candy, Belgian dark candi sugar, bananas, clove spice, dark fruit raisins, figs, dates, plum, prunes, dark cherry, honey dew melon and tamarind.

Candied Oranges, Waffle cone, butterscotch, rye bread, dark fruit raisins, figs, dates, plum, prunes, oak, toffee, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, bourbon, whiskey notes, rock candy, Belgian dark candi sugar, bananas, clove spice, dark cherry, raspberry notes, preserved tangerines, toasted coconut bread, leathery notes, stone fruit peach, piloncillo sugar cone, chocolate notes, brown sugar, cinnamon, fruit cake, peppercorn, raw sun oranges, cane sugar, honey, honey dew melon, tamarind, capirotada raisin bread pudding, hazelnut nectar, marzipan, pecan pie notes, tropical fruit pineapple, dragon fruit and old mango.
Finishing rich with honey, dark fruits, chocolate, rock candy, oak, bourbon, oranges, rye bread, tropical notes, bananas and pecan pie. No alcohol in the taste despite the 12% ABV, crimson amber hazy body, smooth, creamy, crisp, and velvety mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Damn exceptional quadruple! Unlike other quads, this one bring out the more candied orange like flavors but I think that is in part due to the bourbon barrel aging process. It still holds many of the complex flavors, which I love, from Quadrupels and more. I have noticed that some quads do enhance with dark chocolate or dark fruit flavors but this one is definitely more on the oak side. I highly recommend this one, definitely one to love!
Anime Corner:
One of the 12th Gods of Destruction and his angel from Dragon Ball Super as well as Dizzy from Guilty gear were chosen in this pairing for 2 reasons. One to pair with the tropical rain forest of the beer label theme and the Quadrupel style being linked to monks, abbeys, religious figures like angels and gods. The characters from DBS are new and are insanely powerful, thus indicating the strength of the new comers. Plus the colors work well with the label.

Strawberry & Cranberry Three Philosophers by Brewery Ommegang

14889762_10103680151239380_6681909633349115176_oRating: 6/6

Strawberry & Cranberry Three Philosophers by Brewery Ommegang is a 9.7% ABV Belgian Quadrupel brewed with Strawberries and Cranberries.

To Ponder Your Thoughts
Once this beer was a dream, not quite finished.
Like a symphony missing a line.
A quadrupel, for nights of deep thinking, and we thought it was perfectly fine.
But we wated much more, so we pondered a while. We brewed on but our minds would not cease. Once we used cherries, and now, other, other lovely berries and Eureka! A dark Masterpiece!
This unique version of Three Philosophers unites caramel and chocolate notes of our malty quadrupel ale with strawberries and cranberries, for new complexities to invite your deepest consideration.

Since the first time I have tried Three Philosophers, it has been till this day, one of my top favorite “common” beers in the world. Essentially right next to St. Bernardus abt 12 and Trois Pistoles. While I think even after this one, that beer will remain a favorite of mine, there is no doubt in my mind, that a first bottled variant of the original brings me so much joy, it is ridiculous. The original base beer was a quadruple and cherry kriek hybrid. This one, I am not sure what process they went with. Whether they blended a strawberry and cranberry lambic or just made a pure quadruple and brewed it with the fruit, I am not sure. One thing is for sure, Ommegang is one of my favorites when it comes to Belgian style brews. I have yet to go wrong with their beers. So with that said, cheers to a new variant of the Three Philosophers!
Dark fruit cherries, raspberries, raisins, figs, dates, plums, prunes, currants, blackberries, Strawberries, cranberries, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, strawberry cake, chocolate pomegranates, chocolate raisinettes, wine grapes, port wine, dark candi sugar, pecan pie, dulce de leche caramel, mixed berry preserves on rye bread, berry yogurt, bananas and clovey phenolic notes.

Rich strawberries and cranberries, wine grapes, port wine, dark candi sugar, rock candy, Pan dulce Mexican sweet bread, Dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding with raisins), dark fruit cherries, raspberries, raisins, figs, dates, plums, prunes, currants, blackberries, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, strawberry cake, chocolate pomegranates, chocolate raisinettes, pecan pie, cinnamon, flan, piloncillo sugar cone, bananas, clove spice, stone fruit peach, mango, mixed berry yogurt, marshmallows, citrus and mixed berry preserves on toasted rye bread.

Finishes with lots of rich dark fruits and mixed fruit flavors, vanilla, bananas, marshmallow smores, dark chocolate, earthy notes and rich dark candi sugar. No alcohol in the taste, bloody crimson body, smooth, cream, velvety and chewy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Exceptionally awesome! Definitely up there with some of the best quads I love including the newer fruited quads I have tried like the Fig and raspberry quads from Figueroa Mountain and Mikkeller respectively, as an example. There is so much going on here ranging from the sweet dark fruit, chocolate and caramel flavors to the mild tartness brought by the fruit mix. As I mentioned before, while this one and the original are awesome in their own right, the fact that the original is my favorite, I will keep it that way. Still, this is a high recommendation for those that love Belgians and Quads!
Anime Corner:
Dizzy from Guilty Gear was brought back to represent the Three Philosophers as she did with the last beer. Essentially, she is one philosopher and the wings are the other 2 philosophers. This time however, I wanted to bring her with colors that would represent well with the new fruit additions to the beer. Still an awesome pairing to go with.

20th Anniversary by Saint Arnold Brewery

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Rating: 5.35/5

20th Anniversary by Saint Arnold Brewery is an 11.2% ABV English Barleywine.

Our 20th Anniversary Ale is pure, with no additives or preservatives. In order to maintain the freshest flavor possible, we do not pasteurize our beer. Many of its subtle flavors are delicate and would not stand up to the heat of pasteurization. We recommend that this product be stored cold to avoid any degradation in flavor. Malt: This beer is brewed with Maris Otter, pale two row, Munich and Chocolate malted barley. Maris Otter accounts for 60% of the grist. Hops: We bittered the beer with Centennials, finished it in the kettle with Cascades and dry hopped with Simcoe. Yeast: We use our house Saint Arnold yeast.

An awesome thanks to Aaron at www.beermetaldude.com for obtaining this beer for me. This beer is the main aspect of celebration for the good people at Saint Arnold Brewery in their 20 years of making awesome craft beer. From the few beers I have tried from Saint Arnold, thanks to Aaron, I have come to realize how delicious their work is. I know definitely have more to try from them but they also have even more new projects as the years go buy ever increasing the greatness that is Saint Arnold. Hopefully one day we get to see their beers in California. Until then, Cheers to the anniversary, cheers to my friend Aaron and cheers to you, the readers!!

Citrus, mild grapefruit, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, chocolate, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, pecan pie, raisin bread pudding, hints of oak, hazelnut, oak, cherry, earthy hop notes, bananas, dragon fruit, pineapple, old mango, butterscotch, rye bread, green tea, honey, clove spice, peach, guava hints and papaya.

Grapefuit sugar, mild citrus, tangerine, orange gummy bears, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit, crème brulee, tropical fruit notes like pineapple, dragon fruit, mango, papaya, butterscotch, leather, green tea, rye bread, clove spice, banana hints, peach, guava, raisin bread hints, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, chocolate hints, brown sugar, earthy and floral hops, oak, hazelnut, pecan pie, honey and pears .

Grapefruit hops linger in the end but are faded by the sweet caramel, raisins and rye bread with sweet tropical fruit cake notes. No alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer, full mouth feel with a medium body.

Damn, goes to prove why I like this style so much. Not everyone makes a barleywine so good, but this one is definitely formidable. The balance of hops and sweetness comes together really awesome exposing a good variety of hoppy citrus flavors moving toward exotic fruits and getting into the caramel and dark fruit goodness. It seems well in tact and well maintained. At 11.2%, this is definitely ageable and I really wanna see what happens after another 20 years. Either way, great work on the anniversary beer to Saint Arnold and for sure, this beer should not be missed if you can get it.

Anime Corner:
Dizzy from Guilty Gear was used in this beer to represent not only the colors but the whole aspect of saint. Even if Dizzy is an artificial magical creature, she well looks like an angel which fits with the whole aspect of the saint. The green wing is your hoppy side, Dizzy in the center is the tropical flavors while the white lady wing is the utter bliss and seduction into the realm of sugar. They pretty much are a part of her and how balanced and complex and almost heavenly this barleywine is, so is Dizzy. She is the representative of the Saint in Saint Arnold.


Parrot in a Palm Tree by Karl Strauss

484752_10101494937505220_223810333_n 1468748_10101494937719790_1711247771_nRating: 5.45/5

Parrot in a Palm Tree by Karl Strauss is an 8.5% ABV Holiday Baltic Porter aged in Port Wine Barrels

In San Diego, we’re not known for our partridges or pears but we can all relate to those noisy parrots and their relentless “caroling”. Parrot in a Palm Tree is a robust Baltic Porter brewed especially for the Holidays. Aged two months in San Pasqual Tawny Port barrels, the resulting brew isn’t for the birds. This winter warmer boasts a complex bouquet of dark fruits, espresso and chocolate, with hints of oak in its warming finish. Raise a glass to 2010 or save a bottle as this limited release will age with the best of them.

A rare beer that I was only able to find online. This beer is the first in the Twelve Days of San Diego Christmas beers. Aged 3 years so far as the beer came out in 2010. Just the fact that it is aged in port wine gives me that reminiscence of Troise Pistoles. I have been looking for the previous versions of the Karl Strauss Christmas beers. Last year I had the third installment, Mouette à Trois (Three Seagulls) which I reviewed and though the world of that beer. The fact that it aged since 2010 and in Port Wine? I can only think the world of this beer. 

Just like the Bruery’s Partridge in a Pear tree, very rich dark fruit raisins, figs, plukms, dark cherries, raspberries, sweet port wine, grapes, chocolate, pecan pie, brown sugar, fruit cake, light coffee, caramel, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, strawberry marmalade and raisin bread pudding 

Good amount of rich port wine but nothing that burns, pleasant raisins, chocolate, mocha, coffee, java, hazelnut, pecan pie, fruit cake, molasses, Blackberries, currant marmalade, vanilla, dulce de leche, raisin bread pudding, rich figs, coconut, and brownies.

The aftertaste leaves off rich as well, with nice figs, raisins, port wine, chocolate, coffee and fruit cake breadiness. Hard to detect the alcohol in the taste, but if anything it brings a great splash of flavors. Easy to moderate drinkability with hardly any harshness. Kinda smooth really

Freaking great and very delicious. Exceeding expectation but expected from a beer that is aged in port wine barrels and tasting like Trios pistoles, but also close to the initial flavors of the Bruery’s Partridge in a Pear Tree (except the pear). That and I love parrots. Sue me, I just do. Each flavor I had mentioned earlier is not only notes, but actual nice rich flavors coming through Highly recommended if you can find it. It is aging very well and hopefully by the 12th Christmas of San Diego release will be just at peak.

Anime Corner:
Dizzy is one of the characters from the Guilty Gear series. In the Art work, it matches the beer label as she is with the parrots. The colors are representative of the label as well. In terms of the complex flavors, it brings forth one of her ultimate features, which is complexity of power and emotions. The sweetness of this beer and complexity only shows you part of her true potential. If this beer is mean to age until the 12th release of the Christmas of San Diego beers, her true potential will reach its peak. 

Vocaloid Hatsune Miku in the second picture represents the same color as the parrot thus complimenting the label. That is about it for my visual comparison. She is also sweet like this beer.

Oatmeal Yeti by Great Divide Brewing

9907_10101358396379730_774366284_n1236107_10101358397282920_784323944_nRating: 5/5

Oatmeal Yeti by Great Divide Brewing a 9.5% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with roasted oats and raisins

Much like its legendary predecessors, this Yeti is big, bold and dark. The addition of rolled oats softens Yeti’s notoriously roasty backbone and the small amount of raisins added in the brew kettle create a unique dark fruit character. Just as admired as those that came before it, Oatmeal Yeti Imperial Stout is a softer beast.

I have reviewed a couple versions of the yeti. The first one was the chocolate oak yeti which I thought was delicious. Then came the Belgian Yeti and that one was more phenomenal. The oatmeal yeti is this year’s (2013) new yeti release

Aromas are of sweet, dark, and bakers chocolate, mild espresso notes, more mocha, dark fruits like raisins, figs, pecans, caramel, rich chocolate cake, brownies, smokey notes, brown sugar and slight marshmallows.

Flavors are of graham crackers, marshmallows, sweet, milk and dark chocolate, raisin bread pudding, pecans, hazelnut, almond joy, caramel, light espresso notes, oatmeal raisin cookies with chocolate chips, almost a vanilla hint, light smokey and oak notes, figs, chocolate raisin, currants, toasted coconut

The after taste is sweet, dark fruity, bready and chocolatey. The beer is kind of syrupy and velvety like some of the best Stouts I have ever tried. A sipper but not very aggressive to it is moderately drinkable and not so bitter. This is the stuff for certain. 

Overall an awesomely perfect yeti with added flavors that work very well giving another silky layer to an already awesomely complex imperial stout. The Yetis are probably a golden standard of prime imperial stout examples (Basic one’s ofcourse, as Barrel Aged or Belgian Imperial Stouts are in a league of their own). Definitely try this, without a shadow of a doubt, this is a must get unless you find the chocolate aged one or the Belgian one. These are all great. Careful drinking this one, it is kind of addicting and you may end up finishing the bottle.

The Three Philosophers by Ommegang (New Label)

526229_10101069453857860_931053769_n 313764_10101069469122270_1245414941_n 382348_10101069469087340_1594364830_nRating: 5/5

Already did a review on this beer a while back. This is the version with the new label. Still one my top favorite beers in the world.

The Belgian motto is “Strength in Union.” No phrase better describes Ommegang’s delicious Three Philosophers Quadrupel, which unites malty Belgian-style ale with Liefmans Kriek, authentic cherry ale from Belgium. Dark, mysterious cherry-chestnut color. Pair with Strong Cheeses, desserts, or sip as an after dinner ale. 


The Three Philosophers by Ommegang

Rating: 5/5

The Three Philosophers by Ommegang is a 9.8%ABV Belgian Quadrupple ale blended with 2% Belgian Kriek (Cherry Belgian Ale). This, is my third next best beer in the world, right next to Trois Pistoles and St. Bernardus 12. It is simply remarkable. This is the 2012 edition and I have tried this beer several times to know I really like this one. This beer is now available at Downey Brewery. 

Created by blending a rich, malty, Belgian-style ale with authentic Kriek, a classic cherry ale from Belgium, our Quadruple is cultured yet wild, curious yet wise.
And remember “Phisolophy Begins in Wonder” – Plato

The fragrance of the beers is like that of mix of sweet bread, vanilla, caramel and cherries. It is really robust with fragrance. The flavors are very rich. While in some reviews I mentions flavors where in small amounts, medium or rich, this is really rich. Dulce de leche bread, vanilla, capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding with raisins, except this is with cherries and raisins), cinnamon, tangy cherries, raisins, dark fruits like figs and plums, some banana clove, minor pecan, hint of dark chocolate, brown sugar, alittle bit of wine sour grapes but not a lot, just a hint. Many people that have tried this beer enjoyed it. So I don’t see why it would be one of the best. This talking from my personal experience. It is widely available year round in 750ml bottles or in 330ml 4 packs an many craft beers places. Yes, amazingly enough, some of the best beers in the world for me are closer to home than some of the other beers I tired 😛

2011 Review:
SO….. this year I tried the 2011 version. LOL well it is almost the end of the year :P. The Three Philosophers by Ommegang is a true Belgian Quadruple brewed with Cherries. This style is called Kriek where you find a diversity of wine like/beer like flavors as a cherry ale is mixed with this Belgium beauty. Caramel, cherry, bread, unique deliciousness as only found in brews that are the best in 
the world. This is one of my top 10 beers. Originally introduced by my friend Chino, this is a world class for sure. Once that is often missed but surely a necessary pickup. Sometimes I wish they could invent an X-ray tongue tasting device where I can walk into the bev mo or any other craft brew store and learn to pick out the brews of ultimate deliciousness for myself. Sure, there are reviews and all but taste is everything. Until you try it for yourself then you will understand for sure….For anyone that reads my albums here on Facebook you should probably send me some feed back let me know what kind of brews you would like to see posted on here and I will try them and write about them….let me know :)…thanks for reading 😀