2016 Big Hugs by Half Acre brewing

15732638_10103858710145900_5244024419511028187_oRating: 5.75/6

2016 Big Hugs by Half Acre brewing is a 10% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Dark Matter Coffee

 

Description:
This beer is a thug. Big and chock full of tender embrace.

A specialty brew. Grab it when you see it. 10% ABV.

…Big Hugs has grappled with natural order and twisted the pillars of existence. While you hang in the balance, steal time to sit steady and spill this black rumble into your center. Big Hugs Imperial Stout is liquid char scraped from the bowels of eternity, soaked with the free spirit of an adolescent feline. Heed him and rejoice.

The time has come to release our annual homage to the accidentally violent, disastrous fly swatter we call Big Hugs. In its 8th year, Hugs has managed to break through the worm hole and find itself up against the real monsters – human kind.

 

==Introduction==
15774710_10103858709931330_2657997795286261006_o
As a huge fan of this crazy Kaiju Cat, I feel it is my duty every year to bring forth news of the return of a monster. A giant cat that can only suit its feels with hugging and massively destroying to the human race. Of course, he is loved by many. Who wouldn’t? Which makes me wonder how he would fare against Godzilla. To be honest, they would just be the best of friends. Who knows, maybe Big Hugs is Godzilla’s cat and no one knew it. Regardless, this one is one that you have to embrace. Take it on like a quest of dragons…err… cats. Like previous years, I hope to bring the beer to the site. Even if it is just the basic one. I think they do something different every year. Also, since I bought this years Dark Matter Coffee with Pink Himalayan Salt, I wonder if it will actually have that. Although, there is a version like that already. Anyways, let’s take on this Catastrophe!, Cheers!
15723438_10103858709891410_3634212225435208537_o

Aromas:
Chocolate milk shake, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, fudge chocolate, roasted coffee, mocha, fancy coffee, espresso, dark fruit raisins, plums, prunes, currants, dark cherries, blueberries, coconut hints, tobacco, molasses, anise, leather, toffee, pecan pie, mild peanut butter and banana hints.
15724911_10103858709736720_1733920277695096374_o

Flavors:
Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Baker’s Chocolate, German Chocolate, salted dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, toasted coconut hints, dark fruit raisins, plums, prunes, currants, dark cherries, blueberries, roasted coffee, mocha, fancy coffee, espresso, vinous grape notes, Kahlua Liqueur, brownies, pecan pie, bananas, malted chocolate, chocolate mousse, oatmeal cookies, smokey notes, anise, port wine, earthy notes, cookie dough ice cream, pecan pie, toffee, rock candy, salted chocolate, tobacco, leather, brown sugar, fudge chocolate, hazelnut nectar and pralines.
15776676_10103858709641910_1033702912297359393_o

Aftertaste:
Finishing rich with caramel, sea salt, vanilla, dark chocolate, peanut butter, Fancy Coffee roast, spicy coffee complexity earthy notes and dark fruits. No alcohol in the taste, Dark like the abyss of nothingness dark body, Smooth, velvety and creamy mouthfeel and almost easy to drink despite the ABV.

 

Overall:
I find it very interesting that this version of Big Hugs, while very exceptional and delicious as always, it had some salty notes like that of the Salted Chocolate version of the beer. It is interesting because the actual coffee does have Pink Himalayan salt, yes, the little baggie in the pictures. Makes wonder if they did use the same coffee as they did in the past years or if this is a new blend. Needless to say, still one of my favorite beers and the salty notes surely does add some complexity to the beer. Now while I did love this one, I am sure the variants are even better ofcourse. This one should still be seeked though as it is the original. Here watch this Cat Video from them to find out why you need this beer in your life. LOL Cheers!
15676328_10103858709597000_1678794664869217886_o

Big Hugs from Meredith Anderson on Vimeo.

Anime Corner:
Ark Angel MR or evil Mythra from Final Fantasy XI was used in this pairing as I used her in the last pairing. The original idea had to do with the whole Big Hugs. Since she is a gray cat lady with crimson eyes, it would have fit with the Mecha Hugs Label from back in the day. The fact that she is an Ark Angel, she fits even more perfect with the evil Big Hugs and the whole Big Hugs as she squeezes the orange Mythra representing the colors of the original Big Hugs cat.

I also included original character Kisha the furry cat as her color represent Christmas. This beer is released for Christmas so I figure this would work out since I found a picture of her hugging another furry cat on Christmas. Also, with that sensual stare, who wouldn’t want to hug up against a warm cat. Ofcourse, just like Big Hugs, big cats in real life are dangerous, just like the ABV on this one.
15775034_10103858709287620_4011940462523244335_o
Sources:
https://brewerianimelogs.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/564b9-chp6jf56bks039cj.jpg
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-OqDjeY-4Tco/VkYAtgys6-I/AAAAAAAAdq4/8PD6QB9JRlM/w1602-h895/furry-%2525D1%252584%2525D1%25258D%2525D0%2525BD%2525D0%2525B4%2525D0%2525BE%2525D0%2525BC%2525D1%25258B-furry-art-furry-feline-1828652.png
http://tbib.org/images/3267/1b28a1e0f2f2b5d828c92ed0744d0309599c850f.png
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_E5x9oEAUbI/WAyX6gKIN6I/AAAAAAAACyQ/KpGw1qUkCCg3qGdScYywQgg-VgZ2YTSWACJoC/w1044-h1980/AYvf2nGehqw.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/2qwyCtD.jpg

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2015 Big Hugs by Half Acre brewing

12694886_10103058666874030_3569766809273095544_o 12647486_10103058668381010_1880941113016382910_n 12694617_10103058671654450_270806987610674873_oRating: 5.75/6

2015 Big Hugs by Half Acre brewing is a 10% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Dark Matter Coffee

Description:
This beer is a thug. Big and chock full of tender embrace.

A specialty brew. Grab it when you see it. 10% ABV.

==Introduction==

Another year, another installment of the great and mighty Big Hugs. Every year since I first had it I have tried to get a hold of this one. I have missed some installments in the past but each year is something different but similar to the previous beer. Big Hugs the Cat started off with hugging giant buildings but he moved on to hugging other things and having to fight other giant monsters. This time, a giant snake. Since they released the beer, Dark Matter also released a special Coffee as well which are the coffee beans that were aged in the same beer. Essentially, more ingredients for future beers. Anyway, let’s have a look at this, cheers!

Aromas:
Rich mocha, Fancy roasted coffee, espresso, Vanilla, Caramel, Milk Sugar, Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, bakers chocolate, German Chocolate, brownies, peanut butter, pecan pie, rock candy, toffee, Bananas, clove spice, vinous grape notes, dark fruit raisins, plums, prunes, currants, coffee cake and pecan pie notes.

Flavors:
Rich Vanilla, Caramel, Milk Sugar, Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, bakers chocolate, German Chocolate, Mocha, Fancy roasted coffee, espresso, vinous grape notes, java, Kahlua liqueur, Dark fruit raisins, plums, prunes, currants, dark cherries, blueberries, brownies, peanut butter, pecan pie, rock candy, toffee, Bananas, clove spice, herbal notes, tobacco, leather, smokey notes, walnuts, pralines, cinnamon, earthy notes, oatmeal cookies, cookie dough ice cream, anise, port wine, vinous grape notes, chocolate fudge, cherry and coffee cake, chocolate mousse, malt chocolate and coffee milk shake.

Aftertaste:
Finishing rich with vanilla, caramel, chocolate, peanut butter, Fancy Coffee roast, spicy coffee complexity earthy notes and dark fruits. No alcohol in the taste, Dark like the abyss of nothingness dark body, Smooth and creamy mouthfeel and almost easy to drink despite the ABV.

Overall:
What can I say about this beer that I have not mentioned before. There is a reason I get this beer every year and even implemented dark matter coffee into my homebrews. Their stuff is the stuff of craft beer legend. With the recipe using the Coffee, it elaborates so many deep dark complex, fruity yet chocolatey, caramely and other sweets of the sweets goodness. As every year I try this, I highly recommend it.
12710996_10103058672198360_7629685810090988172_o
Anime Corner:
Ark Angel MR or evil Mythra as well as Dragoon Mithra from Final Fantasy XI was used in this pairing as I used her in the last pairing. The original idea had to do with the whole Big Hugs. Since she is a gray cat lady with crimson eyes, it would have fit with the Mecha Hugs Label from back in the day. The fact that she is an Ark Angel, she fits even more perfect with the evil Big Hugs and the whole Big Hugs as she squeezes the orange Mythra representing the colors of the original Big Hugs cat. This beer as you stare at the dark yet determined Dragoon Mithra which represents victorious version of Big hugs in the under label, she wears that Snake like it was a dragon armor… a victory well suited.

Sources:
https://brewerianimelogs.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/564b9-chp6jf56bks039cj.jpg
http://cdn-images.9cloud.us/220/lusciousnet_247-mithra-sliver_647660714.jpg
http://76.72.168.19/images/2010-01-24-238064.jpeg

Pirate Bomb by Prairie Artisan Ales

11002702_10102420436173470_7187244045000552905_oRating: 6/5

Pirate Bomb by Prairie Artisan Ales is a 14% ABV World Class Imperial Stout aged in Rum Barrels with coffee,cacao nibs, vanilla beans and chilies added.

Label:
Made By People Who Truly Care From Oklahoma With Love.

==Introduction==

An awesome exclusive hard to get beer which was only possible thanks to Aaron Mendiola at www.beermetaldude.com . Prairie has come a long way to become many whale hunters’ favorite beers. They have been producing some magical bottles that we don’t see here much in California. Mainly since they are sold out quick but even at these tiny bottles, they are very coveted. I can only say I am thankful for my friend who has access to these living in Texas. So let’s see what the fuss is all about and walk the plank with this one.

Aromas:
Extremely fancy coffee, vanilla, mocha, dulce de leche caramel, Khalua Liqueur, sweetened condensed milk, Rum notes, bourbon notes, Crème brulee, marshmallows, graham crackers, oreo cookies and cream, banana notes, toasted coconut hints, ancho and guajillo chile spices, bakers chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate abuelita, brown sugar, Mexican Mole Spices, dark fruit raisins, cherries, and pineapple hints.

Flavors:
Rich flan, crème brulee, rich mocha, rich frappuccino, really fancy coffee, Khalua coffee liqueur, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, sweetened condensed milk, marshmallows, graham crackers, oreo cookies and cream, rum, bourbon notes, bananas, plantains, toasted coconut, ancho and guajillo chiles, cantaloupe hints, rocky road ice cream, chai tea, dragon fruit hints,old mango, hazelnut nectar, pumpkin spice hints, brown sugar, chocolate abuelita, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, German chocolate, chocolate truffles, dark fruit raisins, currants, figs, prunes, anise, mint chocolate, dark cherries, pineapple hints, Mexican mole sauce, rock candy and candi sugar.

Aftertaste:
Rich fancy coffee, mole sauce, dark fruit, vanilla, caramel, rum, tropical fruit notes, bananas, plantains, almond joy, flan and earthy notes. No alcohol in the taste despite the 14% ABV, Ridiculously smooth and creamy mouthfeel, Easy to drink despite the strong ABV and super pitch dark body.

Overall:
This is truly an awesome and super exceptional brew. There is a tremendous amount of complexity for such a little magic bottle. The label with the crystal ball just hinting at possible pirate Deep 7 seas magic. It surely looks like it came from the darks part of the sea. Also, this is not hot but the spiciness works well with this one. There is only enough to let you know its partially a chile beer. This is definitely outstanding and I highly recommend it if you can find this one.

Anime Corner:
Original Pirate girl character was used in this pairing to pair with the beer was the best choice as I wanted to show the colors of vanilla, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and other flavors. She is also a pirate so it fit perfectly. The fact that this one is more of a guilty pleasure and smooth fits with how she stares into your soul! This beer goes into your soul too. It is damn good.

Sources:
http://i183.photobucket.com/…/Samur…/1548717967.jpg~original

2014 Big Hugs by Half Acre brewing

10914885_10102331749327620_1838702685752348415_o 10919053_10102331750170930_1811900761799292639_n 10924151_10102331744612070_1425635638745076138_o 10928177_10102331745949390_8699194606630806242_nRating: 5.5/5

2014 Big Hugs by Half Acre brewing is a 10% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Dark Matter Coffee

Description:
This beer is a thug. Big and chock full of tender embrace.

A specialty brew. Grab it when you see it. 10% ABV.

==Introduction==

This is the second time I try this beer and this time it is at its freshest. Thanks to www.mybeercollectibles.com for helping me obtain this one as this one is nowhere to be found here in California. Although, from what I remember in the last time I reviewed this beer, it was awesome aged. This beer is still hard to find unless you live near Chicago or can trade for it. Either way, let us see how well the fresher one does here.

Label: https://brewerianimelogs.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/c74e2-bighugs2014_over-final.jpg

Aromas:
Fancy roasted coffee, espresso, Mocha, Java Kahlua, vinous grapes, dark fruits like raisins, prunes, plum hints, dark cherry, blackberry, currants, deep dark chocolate, hazelnut nectar, rock candy, Danish Cookies, oatmeal cookies, spices like ginger, herbal notes, brownies, peppercorns and tobacco.

Flavors:
Mocha, Fancy roasted coffee, espresso, vinous grape notes, java, Kahlua, caramel, vanilla, dark fruit raisins, plums, prunes, hazelnut nectar, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, molasses, walnuts, pecan pie, toffee, brownies, rock candy, peanut butter, Danish cookies, oatmeal cookies, peppercorn, tobacco, leather, smokey hints, brownies, spicy notes, herbal hints, complex coffee notes, earthy notes, dark cherry, black berries, and prailines.

Aftertaste:
Fancy Coffee roast, spicy coffee complexity earthy notes, caramel, dark chocolate and vanilla. No alcohol in the taste, Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, almost easy to drink despite the ABV, Dark like the abyss of nothingness dark body.

Overall:
Damn, every time I try a different roasty variant from different companies such as Dark Matter or Portola Labs, they always have some really complex stuff. Like the fact that the coffee world is on its own level, just mixing it with some of these beers makes them that much more complex. Also the fact that this makes this one is just that much of an exceeding expectations kind of beer is just phenomenal. I really think the fresher the beer is better as you get more of the coffee complexity than what I did with the 2 year aged one. It is rather strange but I really feel like this was the case with this one.

Anime Corner:

Ark Angel MR or Evil Mythra from Final Fantasy XI was used in this pairing as I used her in the last pairing. The original idea had to do with the whole Big Hugs. Since she is a gray cat lady with crimson eyes, it would have fit with the Mecha Hugs Label. The fact that she is an Ark Angel, she fits even more perfect with the Cat Angel of Death and the whole Big Hugs as she squeezes the orange Mythra representing the colors of the original Big Hugs cat. This beer is evil, Feline Evil.

****Update****:
Just like the surprise toy in the cereal boxes or the special prizes they have on those McDonalds cups, Peel the original label to get so much Win in this awesome label behind the Original. Yeah I really didn’t catch this until later. YAY BigHugs!! See, Ark Angel MR and regular Mithra are great friends!
IMAG7504

Sources:
https://brewerianimelogs.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/564b9-chp6jf56bks039cj.jpg
http://oi62.tinypic.com/29zu35v.jpg

Bourbon Coffee Porter by Smog City brewing

10577203_10102026464026810_5844423787737602391_nRating: 5.25/5

Bourbon Coffee Porter by Smog City brewing is a 7.5% ABV Imperial Coffee Porter Aged in Heaven Hill, Jack Daniels and Four Roses Barrels.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION

Coffee Porter aged in bourbon barrels.
___

Got this beer on tap at the local brewery, Smog City in Torrance California near work. They only have this for a limited amount of time. The original beer was something very special. A coffee porter that straight out tasted like really fancy coffee was one of the first beers I tried from Smog City. It isn’t often I bring a growler home, but when I heard they were releasing this one to the public and growler even, I definitely had to sign up for sure. So if they ever release a bottle or you are ever in the Torrance area, stop by and try some of this before it is gone!! So for now, I will bring this forth and let you know how it is. Definitely support local breweries wherever you are from and cheers!!

Aromas:

Really fancy coffee, mocha, Kahlua, java, bourbon, oak, floral notes, marshmallows, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, fudge brownies, Irish cream, fudge cake, dark fruits like raisins, plums, dark cherries, currants, hazelnut, pecan pie, maple syrup, earthy notes, milk sugar, cinnamon, rye bread, brown sugar, hints of plantain, clove spice and banana.

Flavors:

Rich fancy mocha coffee, java, frappuccino, bourbon, oak notes, Floral notes, marshmallows, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, fudge brownies, marshmallow, vanilla, caramel, Irish cream, fudge cake, dark cherries, dark fruit raisins, plums, currants, hazelnut, banana hints, clove spice, plantain, pecan pie, earthy notes, maple syrup, molasses, whiskey hints, coconut hints, rye bread, toffee, flan hints, anise, mint and milk sugar.

Aftertaste:

Coffee, mocha, caramel, vanilla, banana hints, dark chocolate and earthy notes. No alcohol in the taste, smooth drinkability, full body appearance, velvety mouth feel.

Overall:

Loved this one a lot. Even more complex than the original fancy coffee porter. No joke, not only does their porter taste like a cup of Joe, this takes it to the next level of complexity. While it may not be the best coffee beer ever, this is definitely exceeding my expectations even if by a quarter. They did an exceptional job and just the fact that they had it in growler was definitely worth not missing this one. Oh YES!! this one was not worth missing. So like I said before, if you are in town, go get this one for sure, I highly recommend it!

Anime Corner:

Rin Tohsaka from Fate Stay Night/Zero was chosen for this review because I wanted to pair some of the coffee and bourbon flavors with the colors of the artwork. I have another version of Rin but I will most likely use that one for the original beer, which is very awesome. This beer is exceptional for what it is and the flavors like in the artwork like the red and brown for cherry and coffee and the brown for bourbon definitely are revealed in this one. Especially in the deep crimson eyes which show some complexity.

Sources:
http://i32.tinypic.com/24pyla0.jpg

Melange 8 (1 year later) by The Bruery

10277430_10101804508193080_7556593570689666125_n 10298828_10101804509036390_3362487710672901208_n 10302036_10101804509280900_6569062955315578700_nRating: 6/5

Melange 8 (1 year later) by The Bruery is a 14.5% ABV American Strong Ale brewed with Don Pachi Geisha Coffee Beans and aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
GEISHA!

A rich blend of our Anniversary ale, White Oak Sap along with locally roasted coffee from Portola Coffee Lab. Flavors of toffee, vanilla, oak and roasty coffee beans.

Melange No. 8 will age gracefully for many years when cellared properly. Best stored and cellared arund 55 degrees Fahrenheit in a cool, dark place.
___

Bottled on 1/16/2013, this beer has been sitting for way past a year and I am sure has developed some crazy flavors. I searched all last year for this beer was unable to find it until I was able to trade it from a friend. This piece of art was so damn exclusive, that you had to be part of the Elusive and Exclusive and Expensive, Hoarders society from the Bruery. This beer, like the Kopi Luwak Coffee beans, is brewed with some very expensive coffee beans. Maybe that is why it is so exclusive. Either way, I wanted to get the review in to show case what this beer is all about.

Aromas:
Rich complex and fancy coffee with whipped cream and dulce de leche caramel, espresso, dark fruit raisins, waffle cone, bourbon, vanilla, oak, mocha, toasted coconut, marshmallows, java, milk chocolate, chai tea, flan, green tea, coriander spice, cherry, crème brulee, leather, clove spice, bananas, Kahlua liqueur, pecan pie, nutty clusters, cinnamon and some very mild tropics.

Flavors:
Very complex and fancy Coffee, mocha, espresso, vanilla, oak, bourbon, flan, dulce de leche caramel, cinnamon, dark fruit raisins, dark cherries, pecan pie, hazelnut, earthy notes, coriander and clove spice, toasted coconut, marshmallows, milk chocolate, java coffee, Kahlua liqueur notes, chai tea, herbal green tea, brown sugar, mild tropical citrus, apple butter, leather notes, berry marmalade on rye toast, coffee butter scotch, whipped cream on frappucino, cashew butter, purple sweet potato hints and waffle cone.

Aftertaste:
Sweet complex coffee, vanilla, caramel, purple sweet potato, chai tea, frappuccino, marshmallow and earthy notes linger. Alcohol is grown so you can kind of sense it in the taste but still not detracting too much from the flavors. A sipping beer for sure with full bodied mouthfeel.

Overall:
As expected, definitely one of the greats exceeding the upper flavors as only some of the best beers I love can only do. However, this is still no Melange 3. There is a reason I gave that one a 7 and there is no way I have changed my mind from this one. Nevertheless, right next to Bourbon County Coffee Brand Stout,Mocha Wednesday and the Alesmith Kopi Luwak Bourbon Barrel Aged beers this one is one of the best worldly coffee beers out there. The only way to get this one is by basic trading unfortunately and I had a hell of time to try and get this. So if you have a bottle, now you know what it can be like, at least so far.

Anime Corner:
Franco il Nero (Frank the Black) and her group of Donne Annonime and Lily Salvattana from Tre Donne Crudeli were used in this beer pairing because I wanted to find a pairing that reminded me of the worlds best coffee beer as well as match the colors. Since this beer is a blend of different beers, I mixed in the them three since I used them in many epic beers like the Bourbon County Brand Stouts variants. Since Coffee was the main aspect and a fancy coffee at that, I wanted to relate those flavors and bourbon as how they related to the old west. Many cowboys and cowgirls would drink bourbon while others would drink coffee. The blend in these together along with the Old Ale aspect of the Old West and the White Oak Sap reminding me of the hot sun was just the mix up I needed to bring this together. That and I wanted to find an excuse to use Franco il Nero in a Bruery beer since I have not done so in the past. That and the fact that her name is “The Black”, like a cup of rich fancy coffee!

Matrimonium by Monkish Brewing

1901209_10101743508162630_2099535038_n 10001476_10101743505952060_1882047046_n 10167994_10101743506495970_1610258862_nRating: 5.25/5

Matrimonium by Monkish Brewing is an 11.1% ABV Belgian Imperial Stout brewed with Portola Coffee beans and Lavender.

Released on 3/22 (My Birthday) limited only to the Brewery and in limited quantities. This beer caught my attention since it was like for the”occasion” moment. There are several good friends of mine getting married in March and April and I wanted to do a beer review for the occasion I guess. A limited, yet accessible release from one my local Belgian inspired breweries was a must.

Aromas:
Very fancy chocolate, dulce de leche caramel, chocolate mousse, lavender flower notes, vanilla, anise, hazelnut, peppercorns, herbs, spices, dark fruit raisins, plums, mocha, java, figs, dark cherry, earthy notes, tobacco, oak, marshmallow smores, molasses, toffee, dry apricots, brown sugar and other stone fruits.

Flavors:
Herbal chocolate, lavender flowers, mocha, really fancy coffee, milk and dark chocolate, espresso beans, dark fruit raisins, dark cherries, plums, stone fruits like peach, dry apricots, , vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, peppercorns, hazelnut, anise, Bakers chocolate, earthy hop notes, tobacco, leather, oak, marshmallow smores, chocolate abuelita, cinnamon, capirotada bread pudding dipped in a frappuccino with vanilla coffee beans and lavender garnish.

Aftertaste:
Lingering Lavender, fancy coffee, caramel, cinnamon, chocolate abuelita, herbs, bakers chocolate and more. No alcohol in the taste. A sipping beer with a full to syrupy mouth feel.

Overall:
Exceeding expectations in the sense that this is way different from the other Monkish beers I have tried, except Apophatic. This beer takes it to the level of best coffee beers out there. Lavender is already a very enjoyable fragrance of mine but they were able to exact it on the taste with is very unique. A very different and very enjoyable beer. This is not Mocha Wednesday or even a Barrel Aged Kopi Luwak Imperial Stout but this is still in a very special category of flavor. Maybe not as super complex as the others but it falls high in a very unique aspect. This is why local breweries rule, First, the pistachio vanilla ice cream Seme de La Vita beer, and now this. Very damn good and props to Monkish for making such an outstanding beer.

Anime Corner:
Rider from Fate Stay/Night, Nun original artwork and Tokiko and Morichika from Touhou series artworks were used in this pairing to showcase the colors of the label, the flavors and the Monk, church and marriage aspects from the beer. Lavender, the color purple was the perfect choice for Rider, The Monk aspect or in this case the Nun as well as the church represent matrimonium as the woman must take a vow of celibacy like the man but in doing so, it is like saying she is marrying Jesus Christ, so to speak. The Tokiko and Morichika was obvious as it shows the bride and groomsman in holy matrimony. I definitely like how Tokiko’s hair with the blueish purple and white hair pairs very well with the flavors and colors of the label. All in all, I was very happy with choosing the right pictures for the beer as it took a very long time.

2013 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout by Goose Island

1476443_10101561170793180_385908439_nRating: 6/5

2013 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout by Goose Island is a 13.4% ABV World Class Imperial Stout brewed with Los Inmortales Intelligentsia Coffee beans and aged in bourbon barrels.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION (Ratebeer.com)
Everyday Goose Island smells the wonderful coffee roasting next to our brewery at Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea. This world class roaster puts the same passion and skill into their coffee as Goose Island does with its beer. This excellent stout is made with a different coffee from our friends next door each year. With the change in coffee comes a change in the flavor profile, making each release truly unique from the previous years. 
___

The 4th and possibly the better variety of the Bourbon county series I try. It is also Beer advocate’s number 4 best in the world. Like many beers, this one is coveted as well and released on Black Friday. If you want to get this one, you will have to trade or find it online. Either way, just like the other Bourbon Counties, they are a must try, even if once.

Aromas:
Very fancy coffee, mocha, espresso, roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, vanilla, Irish cream, earthy notes, bourbon hints, dark fruits, chocolate coffee cake, mocha rocky road ice cream, oak, marshmallows and cinnamon.

Flavors:
Lots of very fancy coffee, Kahlua, bourbon notes, Irish cream, dark fruits, mocha, java, espresso, dark fruits, dark cherry, rich vanilla, dulce de leche, marshmallows, oak, chocolate mocha ice cream, rich dark and milk chocolate, double chocolate chip cookies and rocky road ice cream

Aftertaste:
Lingering to the finish is that very fancy coffee, mocha, vanilla, oak, bourbon, chocolate and dark fruit character. Not as much heat as the original and like the original, no alcohol in the taste. A definitely dangerous sipper but by that I mean, it is just like a fresh cup of coffee in the morning or frappuccino. Smooth!

Overall:
Exquisitely world class, just like its brethren. I think what really makes it this far is the coffee. This may be the 4th best beer in the world but, personally for me though, the Alesmith Bourbon Barrel Aged Kopi Luwak was the best overall coffee beer ever. This one, just like that one, is damn good and should not be missed if you are a fan of the series. 

Anime Corner:
Donne Anonime from the Tre Donne Crudeli “Outlaw” Django was used in this pairing to represent the colors of the label, the old west for the Bourbon County aspect of it and the Los Inmortales coffee. The way I saw it was like the previous Bourbon County’s using cow girls and the old west. Los Inmortales could be seen by the cowboy hat, the life beyond death is immortal. Her name is “the Stranger”, she comes from places unknown and just like a thief in the night, she comes to swoop up that world class spot.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Kopi Luwak Speedway Stout by Alesmith

1464687_10101529208266340_55161898_n 1450803_10101529208071730_433594671_n 1456662_10101529208066740_1669304208_n 936042_10101529208156560_551553138_nRating: 6/5*

Bourbon Barrel Aged Kopi Luwak Speedway Stout by Alesmith is a 12%ABV World Class Imperial Stout brewed with Kopi Luwak Coffee beans and aged in Bourbon Barrels

Label: 
Kopi Luwak is one of the world’s most expensive and rare coffee varieties. The beans are specifically selected for their ripeness and quality by the Civet, a small jungle marsupial that feeds off the fruit of the coffee cherry. They are then gathered by humans from the jungle floors of Indonesia, throughly cleaned, and sun-dried. A precise roasting by San Diego’s Ryan Bros. Coffee leads to extremely aromatic and exceptionally smooth final product that complements this barrel-aged imperial stout amazingly well. Good to the last dropping!
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So there you have it, to put it bluntly, it is basically an already world class stout made with coffee beans that have been pooped out by the Civet cat and then barrel aged the whole thing. Considering this was hard to get, the price of a cup of just the coffee by itself would put the price of this beer to shame. Yet, the flavors are most likely very unique to even the coffee by itself that the palette understanding of the complexity would cause a tongue would send signals to the brain causing a mind blow division by zero. Even if the concept of Civet poop coffee sounds disgusting, one must have an open mind. This is really clean beer too. Anyway, enough of that, on with the review

Aromas:
Straight out of the bottle, uniquely rich pecan pie, bakers chocolate, really fancy coffee, hazelnut, Irish cream, dark fruit, a type of boozyness that smells like cantaloupe, dark and milk chocolate, flan, mocha, java, espresso, Kahlua, dark cherries, floral notes, oak, vanilla, bourbon, coconut, bananas, rocky road ice cream notes

Flavors:
Chocolate covered cherries, really fancy coffee, Kahlua, pecan pie, rocky road ice cream, rich java, mocha, earthly bitter notes, flan notes, bananas, vanilla, caramel, marshmallows, bourbon, oak, floral notes, Irish cream notes, dark fruits, bakers chocolate, dark chocolate syrup, roasted coffee beans, black berries, herbal spicy notes, rum notes, oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies and more flavors I cant make out.

Aftertaste:
Finishing off with layer of roasted fancy coffee, minor earthy possibly off flavor (LOL could be the poop ;)), caramel, chocolate, dark fruit, berries, bourbon, herbal cherry and spices as well as some bourbon. A big sipper with the booziness not detracting from the rich complex but more like it plays well

Overall:
*Bar none, the best coffee imperial stout ever!! I have tried the Mikkeller Beer Geek Weasel Cognac and this one beats it big time. Who knew Civet poop bean coffee could be so good. One of the reasons why this coffee is so great is because the process or digesting these beans causes the impurities and bitterness of coffee to be removed leaving beans that are more appealing, except for the poop part ofcourse.. That gets cleaned off thoroughly (I hope O_O). Definitely world class adding another depth of character that is hard to describe even with the barrel aging part itself for sure. Lots of extra credits here. 

Anime Corner:
Blake Belladonna from RWBY is one of the main characters from the show with a reserved and sometimes antisocial personality. She carries a lot of burden on her shoulders rom her past. She is a Faunus, which are humanoid people with some animal traits. In the show, people may be prejudice against the Fauni as they consider them thieves. While Blake is a good person, she believes the people may be misunderstood seeing how the actions of some of the bad Fauni may give the overall race a bad rap. This part of her history can reflect the cruelty from some of the people who may abuse the Civets they harvest the coffee beans from. It is wrong to abuse some of the animals, but I am hopeful that the beer this was made from did not abuse any of those animals. While fighting, Blake is perceived almost like a ninja, a fast paced ninja. In relation to this beer, she is black like a stout, fast enough to meet the name “speedway stout”. She looks like a black cat which some Civets, even though marsupials, kind look like cats. The red background in the pictures is used to explain some of those dark berry flavors. The bourbon is in her eyes which have seen many things but remain strong and determined.

In the last 2 pictures, Symphony City Kitty by petite-emi.deviantart.com I used to represent the Civet. In weird sort of way I sort of artistic way, I saw this picture as the Civet releasing the berries. The blue background of the Civet may represent the astonishment of the delicious flavors from the coffee beans, either that or the Bullshit of humanity represented by the cities that a small portion of places actually don’t obey animal rights. I really hope the coffee beans picked for this beer were harvested in respect to these creatures. Which leads to the last piece of work where Symphony flicks the cigarette to represent disgust at animal abuse, but also looking very classy as in saying “here is your fancy coffee made from my poop, while I stand here looking classy and awesome, you sick bastards!!” 

Anyways, if you can see any more artfulness in these pieces let me know. While I am against animal abuse, I really hope they harvested these beans with respecting the animals. Otherwise, I’d definitely feel like a hypocritical bastard for drinking this. It is an extremely good beer though. I do Thank you Civets of the world.

Big Hugs 2011 edition by Half Acre Brewing and Dark Matter Coffee Company

897_10101340750976260_551078974_nRating: 5.2/5

Big Hugs 2011 edition by Half Acre Brewing and Dark Matter Coffee Company is a 10%ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Dark Matter Coffee

Description: 
This beer is a thug. Big and chock full of tender embrace. 

A specialty brew. Grab it when you see it. 10% ABV.
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Hard to find, but aged for 2 years, this is Big Hugs. Looks like a nice kitty that wants to give a loving Christmas embrace, but in reality, it’s intentions are difficult to tell. Many have lost and have fallen victims to it’s temptations (either willfully or by bloody force). Opening this beer, it definitely smelled way different than other stouts to begin with.

First thing I noticed in the aromas were that there was a good amount of dark fruits and molasses. The beer has developed nicely. Above it are the rich cola like aromas followed by super dark chocolate, fancy coffee, a peppery and spicy aroma, possibly nutmeg notes, vanilla, caramel, toffee, brownie and hazelnuts

The flavors are like a rich fancy coffee with spices, Kahlua notes, vanilla, hazelnut, bakers and dark chocolate, hazelnut, raisins, molasses, walnuts, toffee, brownies and spices but not heat wise, definitely something else (must be the fancy coffee)

The aftertaste is roasty, semi sweet dark chocolate, spicy and a touch boozy. ABV has probably increased to a 11% or 12%. The mouth-feel is moderately syrupy so this one is definitely a sipper.

Overall, age has done this one wonders. Either that or the beer has always tasted this nice. Regardless, it was definitely interesting, different and kinda creepy.