Pike XXXXX Stout by Pike Brewing

10570389_10101996986400210_4063396743726382719_nRating: 5/5

Pike XXXXX Stout by Pike Brewing is a 7% ABV Foreign/Export Stout.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
A full-bodied beer with deep chocolate color, velvety malt texture, and a dark-roasted flavor, with hints of smokiness and coffee. It combines the dryness of traditional Dublin-style stout with the strength and character of Imperial Stout.
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Thanks to Aaron at www.beermetaldude.com for hooking me up with this beer. Pike brewing comes from Seattle,Washington. There aren’t that many Pike brewing beers that we see in California and this is actually the first time I try this beer. Foreign/Export stouts are typically the ones that are similar to Guinness with the dryness and chocolatey taste but in many cases better than Guinness. Either way, this one seems intriguing and if it was recommended by Aaron, I will definitely try it. Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit prunes, raisins, molasses, licorice and anise hints, roasted coffee, tobacco, dark cherry, dark chocolate, mocha, caramel, vanilla hints, soy sauce, pecan, hazelnut, plum sauce and brown sugar.

Flavors:
dark fruit prunes, raisins, figs, smokey notes, roasted coffee, mocha, dark chocolate, tobacco, dark cherry, dark chocolate, hints of pecan, hazelnut, earthy bitterness, caramel, vanilla, soy sauce, molasses, plum sauce, brown sugar, and campfire hints.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate, coffee, prune hints, dry earthy notes and caramel. No alcohol in the taste, easy to moderate drinkability, pitch black body and medium and somewhat syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall:
If Guinness was something like this, I’d drink it all the time. This is one of the best foreign/export extra stouts out there. It wasn’t as dry in the finish as I though and it really had some good complex flavors to it. I really think that if Guinness were to ever be like this, it be one of the best Irish Stouts out there. For now, you definitely know this Dublin-style stout will not disappoint. I would definitely get this again if I can find it.

Anime Corner:
Buddy from Kimi Ga Yobu Megiddo No Oka De was used in this pairing since I wanted to not only describe some of the flavors of the beer and the label, but also the whole Pike aspect as well. The weapon mainly not the fish. While Buddy does seem to carry more of a scythe, in the picture I took, the handle part is very long, almost like pike or a spear. The dry but sweet aspect of the style of beer here is shown through her cold shoulder expression as she is not looking towards the audience but still standing like a total bad ass.

Sources:
http://files.sharenator.com/karen_artist_kimi_ga_yobu_megiddo_no_oka_de-s1024x768-352659.jpg

Hellshire III (2 years aged) by Oakshire brewing

10153052_10101781211714410_2466266965355744274_n 10155744_10101781211684470_1995767293482911530_n 10150597_10101781211654530_7689844992233434206_nRating: 5.66/5

Hellshire III (2 years aged) by Oakshire brewing is a Foreign/Export Stout aged in bourbon barrels.

Label:
Deep within the recesses of the alcoves and antechambers of Oakshire Brewing lies another realm. It’s a place where beers are carefully laid to rest in oaken sarcophagi. They slumber for aeons and emerge as wholly new and unique entities, fueling the malformed creatures that populate those blasted and eldritch wastes. That place is HELLSHIRE. HELLSHIRE III is a Foreign Style stout aged for nearly 10 months in a freshly emptied bourbon barrels. Notes of vanilla, chocolate, roasted coffee, oak & bourbon intertwine with the beer’s complex malt flavors. It’s ready to enjoy now or can be cellared cool & dry for several years. Cheers! Matt Van Wyk. Brewmaster.
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This crazy beer has been something I have been looking for since its release in 2013. Very elusive for sure! I have done reviews for the first two in 2011 and 2012 and with the release of the Hellshire IV, it is already hard to find. Regardless, it has been aged for a whole year and if we include the 2 months since the February release, that makes 2 years altogether aging. I have waited a long time to try this beer and well, even kept the right artwork that pairs with it waiting a long time. So be it! Here we go, on to the review!

Aromas:
Currants, dark fruits, coffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, lavender, currants, wine grapes, currant, anise, molasses, marshmallow, roasted barley, wine grapes, port wine, leathery notes, brown sugar, mild smokey notes and cherries.

Flavors:
Delicious berry yogurt, fancy coffee, mocha, milk chocolate, rich dark chocolate, vanilla, coconut, oak, bourbon, dark fruits, rich currants, caramel, toffee, marshmallow, roasted barley, berry jam on toast, anise, molasses, leather notes, smoke, wine grapes, lavender, fudge, brown sugar, cherries, smoked oysters hints and maple.

Aftertaste:
A dry stout finish but it definitely has a very good lingering complexity. Roasted coffee, lots of berry notes, yogurt like notes, anise, dark chocolate, coconut and bourbon notes. No alcohol in the taste. Very smooth yet sipping drinkability. At 8.5% ABV, there seems to be a great complex feel even in the aftertaste.

Overall:
Not sure how the early version of the beer tasted but this is definitely very complex and delicious making it exceed my expectations. Lower ABV, smooth to drink and still retaining complexity its very crazy. Hellshire, I mean, Oak shire redeemed themselves with this one as they advised that the Hellshire II was infected. It may not be the same beer but it is close to what I remember the second being except with way more added complexity and well similar yet, different style, more of the dryer type but yet maintaining its greatness overall. Hell if you can find this one.

Anime Corner:
Succubus by Felsus of Deviantart.com was used in this pairing as it was the coolest pairing that fit the colors of the label since 2013. I waited a very long time to do a pairing with this beer and this artwork and I finally got the chance. It also fits the artwork and the whole aspect of hell too this is a devil succubus sheep and as the dry stout goes, she will drain you dry. That is why this beer is this so smooth and sweet as Hellshire will absorb you in to a pit of darkness!!

Indra Kunindra by Ballast Point

Rating: 4.5/5

Indra Kunindra by Ballast Point is a 7%ABV India-Style Export Stout. It is an ale brewed with Curry Spices, Coconut, Kaffir Lime Leaf, Cayenne & Cumin. This is made extra robust made specific for travel through long journeys. This is the first and best beer that really brings about India cuisine to the world of beer. 

Label:

San Diego is home to the greatest craft beer culture in the country. World class breweries, beer bars, bottle shops, and home brewers make our city a beer lovers utopia. To honor our brewing community and Holiday Wine Cellar’s 46th anniversary, Ballast Point and Holiday Wine Cellar are proud to offer a unique collaboration between home brewer and craft brewery. The result of our commemorative endeavor? An India-style Export Stout brewed with Madras Curry and lime leaf. Definitely not the same old-same old. Award winning brewer Alex Tweet really pushed the limited on this one – so enjoy it, and thanks for celebrating with us! 
—-I have had some nice Indian cuisines in the past. Hot Curry is probably one of my favorites. Although I believe that Indian cuisine in India would be way better than stuff we can find here. So if you never had curry or Indian cuisine before, it would be hard to explain. One thing to not about this beer is that although it has its sweet flavors, the cayenne makes the beer hot and spicy like a chile beer. The balance to the heat is the coconut, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, lime and berry like flavors. While Curry is headstrong here, the cinnamon, cumin and sweet flavors bring it to a nice balance. I really think this beer would go great with Indian cuisine. I would recommend it if you love Indian food, especially hot and spicy curry. I do emphasize the hot and spicy as it may be too hot for some folks…but being a man who enjoys spicy food, this is awesome.