Hammer of The Beast by Clown Shoes

15391413_10103789103652870_8829238715709750546_oRating: 7/7

Hammer of The Beast by Clown Shoes is an 11.75% ABV American Strong Ale Cuvee consisting of a Smoked Imperial Stout brewed with Holy water, a Russian Imperial Stout and an English Style Barley Wine all aged in 40 year old Jamaican Rum Barrels. An even more ultimate, Cuvee of dreams!

Label:
How do you amplify a beast that is half unicorn and half dragon and who has already escalated from angry, to very angry, to extremely angry? Give it a hammer! The fifth installment in The Beast series blends equal part Undead Party Crasher, Billionaire, and Blaecorn Unidragon, all aged in rum barrels. We’ll respect you if you run, but respect you even more if you can tackle The Hammer Of The Beast

==Introduction==
15440577_10103789103662850_287387259537397327_o
Every year, the Blaecorn Unidragon gets armored up more and more as the variety of barrel aging spirits are added. Similar to the way one chooses variants of equipment in video games, it seems each year they just get better and better. This year they combined 3 beers and aged them in rum barrels in the style of the Hammer of the Holy. Essentially, I am not sure how much more powerful they can make the Unidragon but damn, I will sure try and cover each awesome installment in the series as I go along. Let’s take on this beast! Cheers!

Aromas:
Rocky road ice cream, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, crème brulee, honey, butterscotch, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, sweetened condensed milk, figgy pudding, tobacco, tres leches cake, Oak, Bananas, plantains, clove spice, rum, pecan pie, smokey oak, marshmallow smores, toasted coconut, almond joy coconut and hazelnut nectar.

Flavors:
Oak, Bananas, plantains, clove spice, dulce de leche caramel, smokey oak, marshmallow smores, toasted coconut, almond joy coconut, rocky road ice cream, crème brulee, tobacco, rums, piña colada, tropical fruit dragon fruit, passion fruit, lychees, honey, butterscotch, rum, vanilla, sweetened condensed milk, figgy pudding, tobacco, tres leches cake, stone fruit mango, peach, leather, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, triple chocolate cherry cake, hazelnut nectar, macadamia, pecan pie, walnut pie, cashew milk, nutter butter peanut butter cookies, cookie dough ice cream, Raspberry jelly doughnuts, mint, anise and molasses.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with rich chocolate, rum, oak, bananas, dark chocolate, rocky road ice cream, molasses, earthy notes, pecan pie, tropical fruit, stone fruit, fig pudding and mixed nuts. Slight alcohol in the taste but this does not take away from the rich complexity. Dark pitch black body, smooth, velvety and creamy mouthfeel and a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Another exceptionally awesome release from Clown Shoes and definitely a bucket lister. Each year unique and ever adding more or varying the aging of spirits and beers but this was very damn amazing. Tropical flavors and chocolate flavors work very well. Complexity is definitely through the roof as goes with many of the beers I enjoy and especially if you been a fan of the series, do yourself a favor and get this one. I highly recommend you find this one. Clown Shoes killing it every time!
15304639_10103789103657860_5357699774643688747_o
Anime Corner:
Tia Harribel, Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck, Yoruichi Shihouin and Matsumoto Rangiku from Bleach have always represented some aspect of the clown shoes beers in my past reviews. Tia is the Undead Party Crasher/Vampire Slayer. Nelliel has always been the original Unidragon and Yoruichi would be added for good measures since the Porcine Unidragon came out. This time she represents the Barleywine. The blend of each beer together and the unleash of the Extremely Angry beast can be best represented when all three together are looking like bad asses powering up to team up against great foes. The other thing though is since Tia also represented the Hammer of Holy, in this instance she unleashes pure fury so all three battle it out in this bottle. It really kicks ass. The strength and complexity has come together very epically that I could not think of any other pairing artwork that would be the best representative of this beer. Also I included Matsumoto Rangiku as an extra to be Rum.

Sources:
http://wallpapersinhq.online/images/big/bleach_battle-890883.jpg

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2016 Mash & Coconut by The Bruery

 

15271865_538639712998802_6685030592850345833_oRating: 7/7

2016 Mash & Coconut by The Bruery is a 13.1 % ABV World Class English Barleywine aged in Bourbon Barrels with coconut.

Label:
Bear The Palm

This Rendition of our classic bourbon barrel-aged barleywine ale amplifies the coconut character natively derived from extensive bourbon-barrel-aging.

This is our classic bourbon barrel-aged barleywine ale, Mash, stretching to new levels. Mash & Coconut has coconut added – nearly 1 lb. Per gallon, which ratchets up the complex coconut character and complements the oaky and vanilla notes that are imparted to the beer as part of its extensive maturation in oak bourbon barrels.

==Introduction==
15252677_538639666332140_2834696412721063666_o
After 2 years, the Bruery has finally re-released the one of their most awesome beers, the Mash and Coconut. I remember this one distinctively since the first time they released it, it was not up to their standards. Essentially, they had issues with the beer that could only be served at their tap room and not be bottled. Fast forward to now, and they not only released a tap room of it, but also in bottle form. I bring this one back as I remember it being a supreme coconut joy. Now since it has been released to all societies, let’s take a look at it from a bottle perspective, cheers!

Aromas:
Lots of toasted coconut, vanilla, caramel dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German Chocolate, chocolate brownies, rocky road ice cream, marshmallows smores, butterscotch, dark fruit prunes, currants, dark cherries, plums, stone fruit peaches and cream, peach cobbler, rye toast with coconut burnt sugar, Mexican Alfajor Coconut pastry, madamia nuts, Macaroons, flan, brown sugar and bananas.

Flavors:
Supreme coconut cream and pecan pie nectar, hazelnut, Dark chocolate, Milk chocolate, German Chocolate, Chocolate mousse, dark fruit prunes, currants, dark cherries, plums, fruit cake, marshmallows, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, smoked peat, toffee, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, stone fruit peaches and cream, peach cobbler, rye toast with coconut burnt sugar, Mexican Alfajor Coconut pastry, madamia nuts, Macaroons, flan, coconut custard, capirotada raisin bread pudding, maple, oatmeal raisins cookies, plantains, Danish cream, chocolate brownies, rocky road ice cream, butterscotch, marshmallow smores and graham crackers.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with Rich Almond joy chocolate, dark fruits, bourbon notes, toffee, dulce de leche caramel, flan, bananas, Mexican coconut candy, hazelnut nectar, vanilla and cheesecake. No alcohol despite the ABV. Dark brown full body, smooth creamy, chewy and velvety mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A bucket lister that finally was released in bottles. With the separation of Sour and regular brews, a much more controlled environment was what made this possible for the Bruery. Thankfully it was finally released and this time, Preservation Society would see this one coming. So if you signed up for Quarter 4 2016, you will get this one along with Black Tuesday and another brew. This is a must get and if you can get several, do cellar them. This is insane, I highly recommend this one!
15259677_538639662998807_3267183794057221693_o
Anime Corner:
Ramona Flowers and Knives Chau from Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World were used in this pairing as the original since I wanted to compare them to the name MASH & COCONUT. Ramona always has a hammer ready to MASH up her opponents and Knives is a smooth ninja representing the coconut flavors and the overall smoothness of the beer. This is way too easy to drink. They are both hot but super damn deadly. Some of the colors of the label also pair with the artwork. Scott is there for the other complex flavors of the beer as well as the other characters from the series.
15289313_538639669665473_4808701372095119454_o
Sources:
http://www.zerochan.net/full/1250828
http://data.whicdn.com/images/102897436/large.jpg
http://data.whicdn.com/images/89284118/large.png

 

Rick’s Wrecka Barleywine by Avila Ales

12642588_10103052861922200_959383025666913489_n 12650809_10103052862640760_5928505456712956685_nRating: 5/5

Rick’s Wrecka Barleywine by Avila Ales is a ~10% ABV English Barley Wine

==Introduction==

My friend Richard Avila created this beer back in May 2015 and let it aged for 6 months in a secondary fermentation vessel. I helped my friend that day to create my beer which was the Honey Bee Waggling Hop Bats Belgian IPA and this awesome Barleywine. Quite the task and an awesome Homebrew day in the hot summer in may it was. Fast forward several months into the holidays and we now have what I agree with my friend, his best beer yet. This awesome brew really blew me away and it definitely was all the worth the wait. Today I bring to the website, courtesy of my friend Richard, an awesome Barleywine! Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit plum, prunes, raisins, cherry notes, dulce de leche Caramel, vanilla, toffee, sweetened condensed milk, biscuit bread with orange and peach preserves, Stone fruit peach hints, brown sugar, hazelnut nectar, figgy pudding and pecan pie.

Flavors:
Dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, sugar plum, dark cherries, raspberry notes, grape notes, port wine hints, Stone fruit peach hints, dulce de leche Caramel, vanilla, toffee, sweetened condensed milk, Toasted biscuit bread with orange and peach preserves, honey, waffle cone, marshmallows, earthy and citrus hop notes, pecan pie, macadamia nuts, hazelnut nectar, figgy pudding and flan hints.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with flavors of caramel, dark fruit, port wine hint, earthy notes, waffle cone, honey, vanilla and fig pudding. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV, Crimson light to medium body, silky, smooth and creamy mouthfeel with an easy to moderate drinkability which for a 10% is pretty dangerous but it really is a well drunk beer.

Overall:
A perfect example and well made English Barleywine. From the different types of Barleywines I have had in the past, this reminded me of some of the better ones. This is really why I enjoyed this one. There is much malty complex goodness with a balance of mild hoppy citrus to balance things out. To date, I think this really is my friend Richard’s best brew and hope it makes an awesome return!

Anime Corner:
Rick Hunter, Dr. Jean Grant and the other characters from the Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles were used in this pairing to go along with the name of the brew. In the series, Rick would use his transforming Veritech mecha to battle. Its destructive force on enemies was massive. You can almost say this Barleywine is synonymous to the destructive force of the Veritech. It’s a wrecking machine!

Sources:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/c8/ee/05/c8ee05a0da16f663e6f74ded120cddd0.jpg

Error Establishing Database Connection■ by Cigar City (Final Review of 2015)

10636561_10102992848968640_8660121984782782074_o 1733_10102992848574430_5516268228965797820_n 10658877_10102992849387800_4645087745242167571_o 921452_10102992850016540_83197596625157645_oRating: 7/7

Error Establishing Database Connection■ by Cigar City is a � � %ABV English Barleywine with orange peel and cacao nibs added and aged in Cognac Barrels

Label:
404 Beer Info Cannot Be Found ■

==Introduction==

\\Animebeers.com I/O
BeerReview.XML ()

FINAL12312015: There was an error establishing this beer to the website. Many attempts have been made to obtain the necessary data to obtain the beer from host server CigarCity.com. A proper Beer protocol has responded from URwww.mybeercollectibles.com at a low cache transmission. Please proceed with caution as the available log shows the results of the search in details.

Abort Retry or Cancel?
Retrying in 3, 2, 1……

Aromas:
Chocolate Green Tea, Orange Creamcicle, Chocolate Orange Fruit Cake, orange blossom flowers, honey, mint, chamomile, hibiscus, lavender, anise, cognac, honey, oak, mandarine orange preserves, rye bread, agave nectar, dark fruit boysenberries, plum, cloudberries, currants, dark cherries, hazelnut nectar, marshmallows, vanilla, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel, pecan pie and wne notes.

Flavors:
Orange and Chocolate Fruit cake, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, fancy coffee, mocha, orange cream cicle, dark fruit boysenberries, plum, cloudberries, currants, dark cherries, blueberry muffins, raisins oatmeal cookies, juniper berries, cognac, oak, marshmallows, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, orange blossom flowers, honey, mint, chamomile, hibiscus, lavender, Oolong Tea, Earl Grey Tea, Jasmine tea, green tea ice cream, anise, molasses, absinthe, licorice, Bergamot Oranges, Sweet Limes (Limas), Agave nectar, port wine, fennel, peat moss, pecan pie, rocky road ice cream, mandarin orange and tangerine preserves on toasted rye bread.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with some rich dark fruit flavors, herbal teas, oranges, citrus, port wine, cognac, earthy notes, chocolate, oak, and vanilla. No alcohol in the aftertaste, Full brown body, muddy, milky, creamy and smooth mouthfeel with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Executing process: Bucket List.
Well, enough of the IT and computer lingo. This beer is on some other level of flavors. It is super damn unique but also doesn’t seem to stay in one place at once. By that I meant the flavors keep evolving into something it is not. Biting into an Apple but getting orange flavors then peach. Crazy unstable by exceptionally delicious stuff. This beer speaks volumes of uniqueness. So much complex flavors but mainly in so many unique tangents of palette experience. For choosing this one as the last beer of the year, I think I did a very good job. Just an epitome to the ever changing craft beer landscape along with people’s palates as well as the fusion of the culinary with the brewing processes. Highly Recommended and See You Next Brew Year! Happy holidays to you and yours.

Anime Corner:
Vanellope Von Schweetz and Sgt. Tamora Calhoun from Disney’s Wreck-It-Ralph were used in this pairing as I always wanted use them in a beer review for the longest time. What a great way to pair them with a Computer based beer that screams glitches and null errors. Just like Vanellope’s Data Anomalous characteristics. Complimentary to this superposition beer. Like Vanellope’s glitching that keeps providing unexpected events in the movie, this beer keeps changing and providing so many expected twists and turns. The unknown strength of this beer is what she is basically capable. Sgt. Tamora Calhoun was added to the beer as well as she is like the Samus bounty Hunter-esque character in the movie. I think she fits right into this one for cyber space and the ever changing video game landscape.

Sources:
http://static.zerochan.net/Vanellope.von.Schweetz.full.1381424.jpg
http://orig10.deviantart.net/87cb/f/2013/114/5/8/vanellope_von_schweetz_by_squigi-d62va1u.png
http://static.zerochan.net/Wreck-it.Ralph.full.1723274.jpg

Mash & Grind by the Bruery

10365814_10102242084566520_3966754426991846494_n 10869828_10102242084960730_6678622636617135545_oRating: 6/5

Mash & Grind by the Bruery is a 13.7% ABV English Barley Wine aged in Bourbon Barrels with Portola Lab’s Lucio Delgado (Columbia) Coffee beans.

Label:
TO HAVE

An English-style classic with rich flavors from time spent aging in bourbon barrels, plus fresh roasted coffee from Portola Coffee Lab.

Mash & Grind is best enjoyed fresh for bold coffee notes, but may develop pleasantly with time if cellared properly.

==Introduction==

After reviewing the other MASH variations, I am unsure how the Coffee variant could top the coconut, but we definitely have to focus on this one now. This was also released to Reserve Society members only and you may have to trade to get this variant. MASH by the Bruery is in itself an insanely rich and delicious beer that really shoots up to the top of the best Barleywines in the world in my opinion especially of the English style. This coffee variant is something I have been meaning to try and is one that I passed off a taster as I was too exited to the coconut and the fact that I was willing to wait to focus on this one. So let’s dive and see how this one differs from the regular MASH. By the way, Portola labs is one of the best I have seen for brewing some of the best coffee beers out there. Well, except for the rarities of Kopi Luwak, Intelligentsia, Jamaican Blue, Jobella and Dark Matter and their variants such as Unicorn’s Blood, but I digress. Check out my other reviews on those if you want. As for this one, let’s take close look shall we? Cheers!!

Aromas:
Rich milk chocolate coffee, rich roasted coffee grounds, java coffee, espresso, frappuccino cream, coffee cake, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, bourbon, oak, banana split, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, banana clove spices, rich mocha, coconut hints, marshmallow, chocolate smores, custard, sweetened condensed milk (Leche Nestle), rocky road icecream, pecan pie, tobacco, brownies, chocolate bread, toffee, butterscotch, raisin bread pudding and maple.

Flavors:
Rich mocha coffee, Java, espresso, Khalua, dark chocolate abuelita, roasted coffee notes, coffee grounds, dulce de leche caramel, frappuccino, mocha latte, flan, plantain hints, almond joy, dark chocolate pecan pie, danish cookies, cinnamon, bananas, hazelnut, tocacco, rocky road icecream, bourbon, toasted coconut hints, butterscotch, macadamia nuts, dark fruit, plums raisins, dark cherry, sweetened condensed milk, tapioca pudding, custard, chocolate cake, coffee cake, crème brulee and maple.

Aftertaste:
Roasted coffee, vanilla, caramel, crème brulee, rye bread, marshmallows, coconut hints, almonds and frappuccino cream lingers. No alcohol in the taste, moderate drinkability, creamy mouthfeel and a dark brown full body.

Overall:
Hot Damn, if you love coffee, this one is like Coffee Central! The coffee is strong in this one. The colder the sharper coffee strength. You get more coffee roast as it is cold, but when it warms up, that is when you get the best out the beer. I definitely suggest trying it a variant temperatures as it will vary as the temperature gets warmer. Aging this will let more coffee and other flavors go through but as it is right now as it warms up is definitely pure coffee beer Nirvana. I do think this reaches the heights of best coffee beers in the world and the best coffee Barleywine ever and I highly recommend if you can get some bottles to age too.

Anime Corner:
Aqua from Kingdom Hearts makes a triumphant return in the beer scene with this pairing. The last couple of times I used her were in pairings such as 1556 Ale from New Belgium, Rochefort 10 and Jamaican Blue Coffee Speedway Stout from Alesmith. She relates to this beer in the sense of the deep and by that I mean deep darkness. Darkness which is presented by the rich coffee roast but mainly because even with the strongest of the Dark, she can battle it with light as she is a Key Blade Master which are very few from the series. You see, Mash & Grind is not a dark beer. It retains its barleywine caramel colors, super strength and complexity and yet presents the darkness. Aqua has been locked in the darkness for a long time but her light is always brimming never to extinguish!

Sources:
http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2012/002/1/d/dark_aqua_by_annria2002-d4l2k63.jpg

Mash & Coconut by The Bruery

10379732_10102242082226210_4337238402157701393_oRating: 6.2/5

Mash & Coconut by The Bruery is a 12.8% ABV World Class English Barleywine aged in Bourbon Barrels with coconut.

Label (Proposed):
TO HAVE…

An English-style classic with rich flavors added by aging in bourbon barrels with tropical coconut.

==Introduction==

So this beer was supposed to be released for the Reserve Society but due to time restraints and quality control, this one was not released in bottles this year. Hopefully next year will be different. Same thing happened with So Happens It’s Tuesday as well. So when I found out they had this on tap and for growler fill, it didn’t take long for me to bring one home. When I went for a taster set, I had several greats from the Bruery but this one just blew everything away. That’s when I realized, I gotta get a growler. The original MASH was phenomenal, but this certainly took the cake and I had to review it so people can go try this at the Bruery before it is gone but also in hopes that a future release will be available for everyone. This is on tap for the public too, no membership needed so that works out great! Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich macaroon and cocada coconut candy forward, rich toasted coconut, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit raisins, plums, banana split ice cream, hazelnuts, almonds, almond joy candy, pecan pie, milk chocolate, sweetened condensed milk (Leche Nestle), custard, rocky road ice cream, macadamia nuts, flan, coconut cream pie, capirotada raisin bread pudding, cinnamon, brownies, rye bread, plantains, mocha, clove spice and toffee.

Flavors:
Rich Macaroon and Almond joy chocolate flavors forward, rich toasted coconut, milk chocolate, rich bananas, flan, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit raisins, plums, dark cherries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, custard, cinnamon, rocky road ice cream, sweetened condensed milk, banana split, brownies, chocolate cake, rye bread, mocha, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, dark chocolate, crème brulee, clove spice, marshmallow smores, oak, bourbon, maple, butterscotch, plantains, toffee, brown sugar, Danish cream and oatmeal raisin cookies.

Aftertaste:
Toasted Coconut, bananas, almond joy, milkchocolate, marshmallow, dark fruit, butterscotch and macaroons linger. No alcohol in the taste, way too easy to drink, silky and creamy mouthfeel and a dark brown full body.

Overall:
Possibly the best toasted coconut/banana nut/almond joy beer ever! This is liquid coconut macaroon heaven. This beer is super toasted coconut forward. The only sad part was that I do not think this will be coming out in bottles anytime soon but if you are ever at the Bruery this month, see if you can have a reserve society member get you a growler fill. They really need to bottle this one as this one was the one that stood out when I tasted it the other day. This beer is way too good for it’s own good. At the height of the 12.8-13%ABV, it is way too drinkable that you would be in big trouble finishing a growler in one sitting. Savor this if you can find it as it won’t last…

Anime Corner:
Ramona Flowers and Knives Chau from Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World were used in this pairing since I wanted to compare them to the name MASH & COCONUT. Ramona always has a hammer ready to MASH up her opponents and Knives is a smooth ninja representing the coconut flavors and the over all smoothness of the beer. This is way too easy to drink. They are both hot but super damn deadly. Some of the colors of the label also pair with the artwork. Scott is there for the other complex flavors of the beer as well as the other characters from the series.

Sources:
http://www.zerochan.net/full/1250828

Firestone XVIII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker

10373717_10102208031509120_4150461538555173658_n 10802030_10102208031973190_4909364885338193070_nRating: 6/5

Firestone XVIII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker is a 13% ABV World Class Strong Multi-liquor Barrel Aged Style Hybrid Blend Ale.

Description: (Please Click On The Strategy Guide/Letter From Firestone Walker)
IMAG7335
38% Parabola (bourbon barrel aged Russiant imperial stout),
16% Helldorado (bourbon and brandy barrel aged blond barleywine),
16% Bravo (bourbon and brandy barrel aged brown ale),
14% Stickee Monkey (bourbon and brandy barrel aged quad),
5% Velvet Merkin (bourbon barrel aged oatmeal stout),
4% Hydra Cuvée (a blend too much of a mouthful to describe here),
3% Wookey Jack (black IPA),
2% Ol’ Leghorn (English barleywine, collaboration with Three Floyds, aged in fresh barrels),
2% Double Jack (Double IPA)

==Introduction==

It has been an awesome year for Firestone Walker beers and with the release of their 18th one, they add some new beers into their final blend. As with every year, this one comes with the strategy guide to basically see if you can figure out what’s what. While this is a difficult task, I try to write down as much as I can and see what new flavors this one is composed of versus the previous releases. It really does not matter sometimes as they have all beer exceptionally world class beers. Yes, don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich oak, vanilla, flan, bourbon, maple syrup, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, Belgium chocolate, German chocolate, ferrero rocher chocolate, toasted coconut, almond joy, dulce de leche caramel, rocky road ice cream, marshmallow smores, oreo cookies, cookies and cream, oatmeal cookies, cookie dough, cocada coconut candy, pilloncillo sugar cone, choco flan, dark fruits like currants, raisins, prunes, raspberry, cherries, currants, blackberries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, anise, molasses, brownies, brown sugar, bananas, clove spice hints, mocha, tres leches/three milks cake, dragon fruit, tangerine, pineapple hints and more!

Flavors:
Very strong oak barrel forward character, rich vanilla, bourbon, toasted coconut, almond joy, dulce de leche caramel, rocky road ice cream, marshmallow smores, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, Belgium chocolate, German chocolate, ferrero rocher chocolate, pralines, cookies and cream, oreo cookies, oatmeal cookies, cookie dough, flan, cinnamon hints, brown sugar, hazelnut, macademia nuts, cocada coconut candy, piloncillo sugar cone, dragon fruit, mango hints, pineapple hints, sweetened condensed milk, port wine, maple syrup, dark fruit currants, raisins, prunes, raspberry, cherries, currants, blackberries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, anise, molasses, brownies, brown sugar, bananas, clove spice hints, leather, tobacco, waffle cone, peaches and cream, pecan pie, candi sugars, rock candy, choco flan, espresso, mocha, toffee, tres leches/three milks cake, tangerine and more!

Aftertaste:
Port wine, dark chocolate, maple syrup, dark fruits, rocky road ice cream, oatmeal and oreo cookies, oak, vanilla, coconut, mango, chocolate chips and marshmallow smores with earthy hop notes finish at the end. No alcohol in the taste, Smooth and silky mouthfeel, dangerously easy to drink but should be handled as a sipper and crimson yet pitch black body.

Overall:
Exceptionally great. Each release more awesome than the last. I really think this one is the best one by far. If aged, it will will definitely do wonders I am sure. This one seems to have richer flavors which I am sure were due to the addition of the Three Floyds collab and the Hydra Cuvee as well as the Stickee Monkee, Velvet Merkin and Parabola. This beer is insane and it will only get more insane as time goes on. If you can still find this goodie, definitely get it. It is one of the best!

Anime Corner:
Asuka Langley/Shikinami Sohrty, Rei Ayanami, Haruko Haruhara, and many others from Neon Genesis Evangelion and Fooly Cooly (FLCL) were used in this pairing to represent some of the blends represented by this beer. It is something I have done in the past with this series of Anniversary beers. This was a great pic because not only does it show case the colors of potential ingredients used but also how each flavor tries to out do the other. Also, Haruko was used in a previous Three Floyds collaboration this year (Rue D’Floyd) which represented her wacky aspect as “Not Normal”. The addition of Firestone and Three Floyd’s collab beer into this one made it so she can be in this pairing as well. What a bad ass!. Also, Asuka and Rei have been seen in pairings like Firestone’s Double Jack so they are definitely in the right pairing here too.

Sources:
http://articleimage.nicoblomaga.jp/image/64/2013/f/f/ffd9f7487115ef5bb2d6b22dedcca9f69c75e5641373178280.jpg
http://www.zerochan.net/full/39691

2014 MASH by the Bruery

10507124_10102061173623500_2930308288137729552_oRating: 5.95/5

2014 MASH by the Bruery is a 12.4% ABV English Barley Wine aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
TO HAVE NOT

An English-style classic with rich flavors from time spent aging in bourbon barrels.

Mas is delicately rich and malty ale, best enjoyed fresh , but may evolve pleasentyly over time if cellared properly.
___

This beer was released by the Bruery in 2013 and re-released for 2014 to the Reserve society. This beer was something I was always curious about but mainly let it slide because I was not a member at the time and something I through I could get better for. As it turned out, now I finally had a chance and I wanted to see if this beer was really worth it. A barrel Aged Barleywine. I could only start to think of Bourbon County Barleywine. At 750ml, I had to get it for sure. So here you go, the MASH review from the Bruery!

Aromas:
Dark fruits like raisins, plums, dulce de leche caramel, old bananas, clove spice, toffee, plantains, macaroons, toasted coconut, hazelnuts, almonds, pecan pie, chocolate, toffee, macamadamia nuts, rocky road ice cream, custard, brownies, chocolate cake, rye bread, maple, mocha, capirotada raisin bread pudding, cinnamon, and condensed sweetened milk.

Flavors:
Rich toffee, dulce de leche caramel, toasted coconut, macaroons, marshmallows, rich bananas, clove spice, crème brulee, flan, plantain, almonds, pecan pie, chocolate, hazelnut nectar, toffee, macamadamia nuts, rocky road ice cream, custard, brownies, chocolate cake, rye bread, mocha, dark fruit raisins, plums, capirotada raisin bread pudding, cinnamon, condensed sweetened milk and maple.

Aftertaste:
Bananas, caramel, dark fruits, butterscotch, rye bread, chocolate hints, almonds and toasted coconut macaroons linger. No alcohol in the taste, medium to full bodied, a sipping beer and syrupy mouth feel yet smooth.

Overall:
Undoubtedly exceeding my expectations. The Bruery making a fucking Barley wine that can actually compete with even the world class ones and yet not recognized due to its availability!? Unheard of!! This should definitely be world class as it definitely proves what the true English Barleywine can truly be like. As I look at the EBWs from before this one is definitely one of the top ones! Highly recommended!

Anime Corner:
Senkanseiki from the Kantai Collection was used in this pairing to pair with the colors of the label and the evil that the beer represents. Evil in the sense that it is very good, it is too damn good making you want to drink the whole bottle. However, despite its richness and deliciousness, this one must be taken lightly and savored a sip at a time. The colors of the artwork resonate with the awesome flavor complexity of the beer ranging from the dark cherry, coconut, dark fruits and so forth. The strength of Senkanseiki can also compliment the strength of this beer’s ABV. So much can be said about this delicious treasure but the best part of this is leaving it to you, the reader to make of it what you will!

Sources:
http://e-shuushuu.net/images/2014-06-12-654736.jpeg

20th Anniversary by Saint Arnold Brewery

10606463_10101996990022950_8027400074730348410_n 10622929_10101996987273460_8741369572496244393_n

Rating: 5.35/5

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

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.
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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!!

Aromas:
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.

Flavors:
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 .

Aftertaste:
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.

Overall:
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.

Sources:
http://www.fightersgeneration.com/characters/dizzy-wallpp.jpg

Chicken Killer by Santa Fe Brewing

10386738_10101996971834400_5246588909261658759_nRating: 5/5

Chicken Killer by Santa Fe Brewing is a 10% ABV American BarleyWine.

Label:
Chicken Killer Barley Wine is the revolutionary beer that will someday define America’s unique Barley Wine style. Chicken Killer is brewed with twice the ingredients of the Santa Fe Brewing Company’s other products, and only half the usual amount of liquid is extracted from these ingredients. This makes one serious ale. At ten percent alcohol, Chicken Killer is actually as substantial as wine, but this is not to say that it is difficult to drink. On the contrary; be careful with this one. The flavors of the ale are at first as overwhelming as the intense Santa Fe sun. But in the same way our sun gives us the unrivaled brilliant colors of Santa Fe, the potency of Chicken Killer gives us the remarkable spectrum of flavors that can be found in no other ale, in no other city. Check out out website: www.santafebrewing.com
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Chicken Killer comes from New Mexico’s oldest microbrewery. A first time try for me which was provided to the site thanks to Aaron Mendiola of www.beermetaldude.com. This American style barleywine plans on changing the way people view barleywines and maybe unique to how it’s done in New Mexico. With this review, I hope I can showcase what their vision is. It is always nice to put great beers on the map or in this case, the internet for others to know about such beer treasures. Cheers!

Aromas:
Pecan pie flavors, dark fruit raisins, leather, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel, plums, figs, capirotada raisin bread pudding, citrus, biscuit bread, butterscotch, cinnamon, hints of oak, dark cherry, earthy notes, clove spice, banana, old mango and hazelnut nectar.

Flavors:
Pecan pie, dulce de leche caramel, cinnamon, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, rye bread, capirotada raisin bread pudding, earthy notes, leather, dark cherries, hints of oak, citrus, tangerine, mandarin preserves on biscuit bread, honey, green tea, peppery spices, bananas, clove spice, piloncillo sugar cone, old mango, strawberry, pitaya (Dragon fruit) and hints of chocolate.

Aftertaste:
Caramel, vanilla, dulce de leche, citrus, earthy hops and some tropic hints. No taste of alcohol in the flavor, a sipping drinkability yet you want to keep drinking, hazy to medium body and full mouth feel.

Overall:
This is a perfect barley wine. It is outstanding! It drinks more along the English Barley wine style so it is definitely sweeter and to some degree, the old ale style. While still maintaining the hop like flavors found in American Barleywines, it finds a way to mesh in the nice flavors I like from sweeter old ales and English Barleywines. Yes, give this one a try, it is great!

Anime Corner:
Carmen Serdan by Genzoman was chosen for this pairing because I wanted to pair the Mexican Revolution attire that was worn in those days as well as the label which shows the similar attire. Also, the fact that the beer tries to show that certain beers can be unique, in this case, barleywines, it goes to show hard the craft beer revolution is working to bring great flavors to the masses as well as inform them that beer can be more than just bitter yellow water. So, synonymously this beer is important to the brewery and so is the meaning. Cheers!

Sources:
Definietely check out Genzoman’s art and description about the artwork about the Mexican Revolution.
http://genzoman.deviantart.com/art/Carmen-Serdan-103601296

2014 Reserve Mirror Mirror by Deschutes Brewing

10246499_10101827664822010_2300171710950327608_nRating: 5.85/5

2014 Reserve Mirror Mirror by Deschutes Brewing is an 11.2% ABV World Class English Barleywine with 50% aged in wine barrels.

Label:
The Reserve Series romance all began with our first release of this limited-edition brew. Mirror Mirror, born of a double batch of Mirror Pond Pale Ale, is an inspired, barrel-aged barley wine layered with intriguing nuances. Explore this latest incarnation and enjoy its delicious complexity in every sip.

Malt: Pale, Victory, Crystal, Maris Otter, Cara-Pils
Hops: Millennium, Cascade
Barrel-Aging: (50%) 10 Months in Oregon Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, and Malbec Barrels
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Picked this one up at Uncle Henry’s deli. I have been passing this one up for the longest time and after trying the NOT the Stoic, I wanted to see what this one was all about as I heard great things about this one. Pick this one up if you can find it. Deschutes makes some bad ass beers that are very coveted. Like I said, I missed this one by like a sliver and lucky for me Uncle Henry’s in Downey California had this one in stock.

Aromas:
Dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, cherries, toffee, molasses, maple, earthy notes, oak, port wine, old mango, leather, anise, blackberry and grape preserves, dark chocolate notes, vanilla and cinnamon grilled apples.

Flavors:
Lots of dark fruit raisins, figs, cherries, plums, lots dulce de leche caramel, oak, wine grapes, earthy hop notes, papaya, grilled pineapple,coconut, old mangoes, papaya, dragon fruits, molasses, grape marmalade of rye bread, toffee, grapefruit, butterscotch, clove spice, brown sugar, cinnamon apple pie, pecan pie, pralines, maple syrup and French vanilla ice cream.

Aftertaste:
Earthy hops, rye bread, grape marmalade, leather notes, oak, caramel, toffee, dark fruits and maple lingers but then has a semi dry finish. Well hidden alcohol, none in the taste, a sipping yet smooth beer. Syrupy and deadly!

Overall:
Well…Damn…. Needless to say, this is pretty damn fantastic. It is definitely on top notch with some of the best Barleywines in the world. The addition of the wine barrel aging gives this one a semi barrel age feel that is freaking delicious and is responsible for that semi dry finish. Now you are drinking a closer to wine beer. Highly recommended for those that can find this beauty.

Anime Corner:
Reaper Angel original artwork by artist unknown (Please let me know who this belongs to) was used in this review to show case the aspect of mirror mirror. Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all. Beauty is only skin deep and this pairing goes to show that no matter how beautiful one is on the outside, it is what is on the inside that counts. We all have to answer to the reaper in the end and the duality of the beer making half be aged in wine barrels is showcased by the reaper side. So either way, enjoy life, take it one step at a time, have some beers and realize that perspective of the world can be an interesting when you look at both sides of the coin.

Smooth Criminal by The Bruery

1901117_10101663523911710_1016588777_n 1001236_10101663524540450_1394720629_nRating: 5.96/5

Smooth Criminal by The Bruery is a 15% ABV English Barley Wine and Saison Blend aged in bourbon barrels

Label:
ANNI ARE YOU OKAY?
Ever accidentally blend two brews, curse a bit, and then smile when tasting the excellent result? Us too. Rich malt, hops and wood come together harmoniously in this unique ale.

Smooth Criminal is the splendid result of moving a bit too quickly in the brewhouse. An accidental addition of Saison De Lente to a fermenter full of our Anniversary ale led us to ask, “Anni, are you okay?” She was. Best enjoyed fresh , but may pleasantly evolve over time if cellared properly.
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I have yet to try Saison Lente but this beer blended with Bois is probably very epic. Bois is already a beer that I highly enjoy but the addition of another blend may make or break a flavor enhancement. So far, the Bois Fume was freaking epic, let us see what Saison Lent did to “ANNI”versary ale. 

Aromas:
Bananas, peaches, apricots, apple butter, vanilla, oak, bourbon, dulce de leche caramel, coconut, milk chocolate, pecan pie, hazelnuts, dark fruits like raisins, plums, cherries, figs, dates, grapes,apples, rum, Flan, brown sugar, peaches and cream, crème brulee, toffee and marshmallow smores.

Flavors:
Bananas, dulce de leche caramel, peaches, herbal spices, floral hops, peppercorns, toffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, rum, apples, apricots, dark fruit raisins, figs, dates, prunes, cherries, pecan and hazelnut pie, walnuts, raisin bread pudding, marshmallows smores, rye bread with orange marmalade spread, flan, crème brulee, dark and milk chocolate, white chocolate, wine grapes, maple syrup, burnt sugars, candy sugar, brown sugar, and butterscotch, flowers and coriander.

Aftertaste:
Peach, grape, rye, caramel, bourbon, vanilla, pecan pie, earthy and floral notes and citrus linger. The alcohol is presently mild but does not detract from the delicious flavors. This is mildly smooth. 

Overall:
Something about adding other beers to Bois take the beer to another spectrum of flavors. The Bois Fume was very delicious and now this one freaking awesome. I think I enjoyed Bois Fume more but this one is freaking delicious. If you enjoy both beers I am sure the hoppy, floral and citrus addition eill have you liking this one. A play at ANNI or Anni-versary is a well played criminal. A thief in the night exposing new flavors to the palate.

Anime Corner:
Vocaloid, Haku Yowane, was chosen for this pairing to represent the aspect of “Michael Jackson” and Smooth Criminal. Haku for the aspect of the beer and MJ, co-inside with themes of music since she is a musician but her name means utter bad thoughts. A pun to, “Who’s Bad?” In terms of the label, I did not get the colors right but the flavors of the beer such as the dark fruit, cherry and plums are there in in her clothing colors and evil eyes. Her white hair represents the addition of the Saison Lente (A white blond beer) that was added to Anniversary (Evil thoughts of Haku influencing the pure beer) and then creating this, Smooth Criminal. I’m just glad I found a great picture to pair with this beer and tribute to MJ’s “Smooth Criminal”.

Bourbon County Brand Barleywine by Goose Island

1483126_10101561159286240_422900391_nRating: 5.95/5 

Bourbon County Brand Barleywine by Goose Island is a 12.1% ABV World Class English Barleywine aged in bourbon barrels

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Aged in the third-use barrels that were once home to Kentucky bourbon and then our renowned Bourbon County Stout, this traditional English-style barleywine possesses the subtlety of flavor that only comes from a barrel that’s gone through many seasons of ritual care. The intricacies of the previous barrel denizens – oak, charcoal, hints of tobacco and vanilla, and that signature bourbon heat – are all present in this beer. Hearty and complex, Bourbon County Brand Barleywine is a titan and a timeline; a bold, flavorful journey through the craft of barrel aging.
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This is the 3rd variety of Bourbon County brands that I have tried aside from the Cherry Rye and the Stout. Highly coveted and sought after. Just like the others, sold on Black Friday with each being very unique in their own way. Best bet to get this one is through online sources or via trade. I bring this forth to see if I can put it to the test. Both Beer Advocate and Ratebeer give it 100 overall. Lets see if this is is true.

Aromas:
Chocolate chip and dark fruit cookies, almond joy, Rich flan and pecan pie, rich chocolate, rich hazelnut, almonds, pecans, macadamia, oak, vanilla, bourbon, breme brulee, rocky road, butterscotch, toffee, custard, chocolate cake and brownie batter.

Flavors:
Very rich caramel pecan pie, bourbon, vanilla, milk chocolate, chocolate with peanuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, hazel nut, dark fruits, rich dark cherry, toasted coconut, almond joy, flan, maple, rye bread, oak, rich campfire smores, tobacco, toffee, butter scotch, custard dessert, sweetened condensed milk pudding and other complex sweets. 

Aftertaste:
Lots of dark fruits, pecan pie, chocolate covered macadamia nut,bourbon notes, oak and vanilla linger. No alcohol in the taste, yet the heat is warming for the body. A sipper, but a dangerous one as it feels smooth as hell.

Overall:
Exceptionally world class and extremely good. Only reason it did not get a 6 is because the Lost Abbey Sede Vacante had other things I loved a lot about Barleywines and the fact that it taste much like the Bourbon county stout but with more emphasis on pecan pie. Is it worth the hype? Only if you can find it and afford it. If not, I have shown other beers that have been very exceptional Barleywines. Yet this one definitely comes in second best in the world for me. 

Anime Corner:
Shimma Kunoichi by Genzoman of Deviantart was used in this pairing to represent the color of the label but as well as the bad assness of the beer. As with the previous bourbon county, The old west was used but the one thing I could link Feudal Japan to the Old West was the fact that there was a movie where ninjas and cowboys did go head to head. The Warrior’s Way it was called. Anyways, the strongest aspect is mainly with the colors and possibly some of the delicious flavors found in this beer.

Samael’s Oak Aged Ale (Batch #9) by Avery Brewing

1460042_10101525488555670_969848465_nRating: 5.2/5

Samael’s Oak Aged Ale (Batch #9) by Avery Brewing is a 16.9% ABV English Barleywine aged in Oak Barrels

Label: 
Samael is the prince of demons, the angel of death, accuser and destroyer. Filled with enmity towards man, he planted the vine, the forbidden tree of paradise. Behold his venom and vengeance, both sweet and tempting, enticing you, his spellbound victim, within his wings.

Samael’s Ale is a super-caramelly, oak aged English-style strong ale. Perhaps the least hoppy (sacrilege here at Avery!!) beer we’ve brewed, to accentuate the malt. The oak is very apparent in this rich and high gravity ale, adding additional depth and complexity with a woody and cask-like nose and a pronounced vanilla flavor on the palate. This potent ale is the second installment, along with The Beast, of our “Demons of Ale Series”.

Brewed with Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, turbinado sugar, hops, yeast, and American oak chips.
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The third and possibly the last of the Demons of Ale series from Avery that I have tried. I apparently missed out on this one some time early this year. I was able to find this at the Liquor Mart in Whittier California. While it is not often I find beers I want to try that may or may not be listed in my Wanted list, it was a reasonable price for a review. At 16.9%, that is one insane Barleywine

Aromas:
Lots or caramel, toffee, burnt sugars, brown sugar, raisin hints, black berry marmalade notes, herbs, oak, vanilla, orange notes, bourbon and rum notes.

Flavors:
Rich Oak wood, earthy notes, rich leather, rich caramel, orange and blackberry preserves, raisins, toffee, burnt sugars, flan, coconut, vanilla, maple, rich rye bread, butterscotch, cereal, french toast, flan, rum, light bourbon, brandy, rich fruit cake, chocolate cereal notes, brown sugar, and rich honey.

Aftertaste:
The finish wants to end dry but there is a maple, leather, dark fruit and rich oak aftertaste with this one. A definite sipper with some boozy notes but nothing detracting from the sweet flavors.

Overall:
Exceptionally delicious beer. Strong but full of flavor. The only thing about this beer that seems to be a strong consistent theme is the oak and partial dryness it comes with. I love that part but it is kind of dangerous as you want to keep sipping more. If you love oak aged beers and Barleywines, have at this master piece.

Anime Corner:
This is a Fallen Angel designed by cushart.deviatart.com To go along with the Samael or Samuel Archangel story, this was the perfect pairing. The hair, the wings fit the label. Also, bursting from the magma shows the oak aged and burnt wood part. The fact that the beer is sweet and ends partially dry, makes one try to drink the whole bottle. It is strong and evil, just like Samael.