Pleasant Town by Offshoot Beer Co.

Rating: 4.5/5
 
Pleasant Town by Offshoot Beer Co. is a 7% ABV West Coast India Pale Ale with Citra hops, complimented by Centennial, Ekuanot and El Dorado. Brewed with CMC Superior Pilsen and wheat malts. Fermented with California Ale yeast. Canned on August 16, 2017
This one takes it back to the roots of the west coast with a very nice tropical life and yet super dank delicious flavors.
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28th Anniversary Barrel-Aged Belgian Quad by Karl Strauss

Rating: 6/6

28th Anniversary Barrel-Aged Belgian Quad by Karl Strauss is a 12.9% ABV Belgian Quadrupel aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
Every year for our anniversary, we take a specialty beer and age it in bourbon barrels for twelve whole months. This year’s full-bodied Barrel-Aged Belgian Quad is rich and malty, with flavors of dark fruit, caramel, and charred oak. Aging the beer in Four Roses Bourbon barrels gives it a surprisingly smooth, warming finish. From 1989 to 2017 and beyond, we thank you for your support, and invite you to join in the celebration!

==Introduction==

I first tried this one when my friend Alex Alcaraz took me to Karl Strauss in downtown Los Angeles. When I had it, I was immediately blown away by its awesomeness. Granted, I had tried their Barrel Aged Belgian Dark Strong 2 years ago but have not posted information on it to the site. This time, they went with a Barrel Aged Quadrupel. Essentially, I remember seeing a bottle in their fridge, which I can only assume you can only purchase it through them directly. I did not think much of picking one up now and thought I can get one later. It wasn’t till later that night that I was like, I really, really need that bottle. So needless to say, I went back and got the bottle and now I can do a review for those that are interested. The Karl Strauss anniversary beers don’t often come out to the public so this was a perfect opportunity. Let’s have a look, cheers!

Aromas:
Oak, Vanilla, Dulce de Leche Caramel, dark fruit raisins, figs, dates, plums, dark cherries, piloncillo sugar cone, Mexican Capirotada raisin bread pudding, flan, cinnamon, fruit cake, Dark Candi Sugar, Rock candy, butterscotch, banana cream pie, pecan pie, marshmallows, rocky road ice cream, almond joy chocolate, Cadbury cream eggs, Chocolate mousse, wild flower honey, Tres Leches/Three Creams cake, sweetened condensed milk, sweetened condensed milk and hazelnut nectar.

Flavors:
Rich Dulce de Leche Caramel, Whiskey, Bourbon, Oak, Vanilla, toffee, toasted coconut, bananas, clove spice, Belgian Candy sugar, Dark Candi Sugar, Rock candy, butterscotch, banana cream pie, pecan pie, marshmallows, rocky road ice cream, almond joy chocolate, Cadbury cream eggs, sweetened condensed milk, hazelnut nectar, dark fruit raisins, figs, dates, plums, dark cherries, cherry yogurt, stone fruit peach, mango, figgy pudding, piloncillo sugar cone, Mexican Capirotada raisin bread pudding, flan, cinnamon, fruit cake, Belgian Chocolate, German Chocolate, Chocolate mousse, wild flower honey, Tres Leches/Three Creams cake and plantains.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with Rich caramel, vanilla, toasted coconut, banana cream pie, bourbon, oak, pecan pie, milk chocolate, Cadbury Cream eggs and dark fruit. Slight alcohol in the taste but definitely not detracting from the rich flavors at all, Crimson Amber clear body, smooth, creamy, velvety and chewy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Insane! Just like so many of the awesome Barrel Aged beers I have had in the past. I can probably compare it to Bruery or Firestone Walker level of awesomeness. Yes, Mofos forgot about Karls when Karls is still brewing some great awesome beers! More beers for the rest of us! While it is not a whale per se, it is in the whalez category of a “should be” coveted beer. Lots of great barrel character and the love of that Belgian quad flavors that I really love. I highly recommend you get this from them for sure, it is worth the price.

Anime Corner:
Rider from Fate Stay Night series was used in this pairing as I had used her in the previous Karl Strauss anniversary which I did not do a review of but this time around I wanted to bring her back. She represents the colors of the dark fruits which generally are a prominent flavor with these beers but also since she is powerful like the way this beer is strong in ABV. In general, the dark and barrel aged theme of the beer goes well with this one.

Sources:
https://i.imgur.com/AKo459v.jpg
https://i.warosu.org/data/tg/img/0499/19/1477252199393.jpg
https://laniemon.files.wordpress.com/2006/11/rider.jpg
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DVBFE34Z2HA/WPF6AGUjVuI/AAAAAAAATso/nHvBK5kT_mYWK_mhBCnudM0PYq2xRdt3gCJoC/w530-h741-p/__rider_fate_stay_night_and_fate_series_drawn_by_hijiri__4354352e56deab4ecbe2b3cc297438c5.jpg
http://orig03.deviantart.net/c5af/f/2017/057/0/a/fate_stay_night___rider__by_limdog-db0hjbz.jpg
http://livedoor.blogimg.jp/nijilab/imgs/e/8/e8cae68e-s.jpg

The Dark Ages Barrel Series Imperial Stout by Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co.

14570836_10103598540797360_7751737505811618340_oRating: 5.75/6

The Dark Ages Barrel Series Imperial Stout by Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co. is a 10% ABV Imperial stout aged in Kentucky Bourbon and Cognac Barrels.

Label:
Aging Imperial Stout in both Kentucky Bourbon and Cognac Barrels brings complex flavors and a rich oak character to this big beer made with a variety of roasted malts.

==Introduction==

This is first brew that I try brew from Tahoe Mountain brewing. I always feel that some time digging into the stronger beers from a brewery can say a lot about how complex and awesome a brewery can be. It may not say much about how great the brewery is, just how well they can make the type of beers that I like. This one was a very intriguing beer as it was aged in both Bourbon and Cognac. Essentially, a double barrel aged brew. Sometimes, double, triple or even quadruple barrel aging takes beers to whole new levels to where a beer has never been to before. This is a definite must for the site, let’s take a look, cheers!

Aromas:
German chocolate, Baker’s chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, tobacco, leather, dark candi sugar, dark fruit currants, prunes, raisins, dark cherries, currant yogurt, pomegranates, almond joy chocolate, anise, licorice, wine grapes, juniper berries, pecan pie, piloncillo sugar cone, marshmallows, chocolate smores, molasses, smokey oak, hazelnut nectar, sherry, raspberries, port wine notes, grilled plantains, bananas, clove spice, roasted coffee notes and mocha.

Flavors:
Rich Barrel Oak, bourbon, whiskey, cognac, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, dark fruit currants, prunes, raisins, dark cherries, grilled plantains, bananas, clove spice, roasted coffee notes, mocha, burnt marshmallows, chocolate smores, molasses, smokey oak, hazelnut nectar, sherry, raspberries, port wine notes, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, Baker’s chocolate, tobacco, leather, dark candi sugar, currant yogurt, pomegranates, almond joy chocolate, anise, licorice, wine grapes, juniper berries, pecan pie and piloncillo sugar cone.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with nice notes of oak, bourbon, oak dark chocolate, dark fruit, vanilla, roasted coffee, port wine and tobacco hints. No alcohol in the taste, pitch black dark full body, smooth, creamy and chewy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
An exceptional brew almost taking it to the level of exceptional perfection. The lower score has to do with a slight unbalance in the flavors but overall, the complexity is way above perfect. There is so much going on here and it is super solid. These dark age beers are definitely something to try out and definitely highly recommended.

Anime Corner:
Dark Saber from Fate Stay Night was used in this beer to go with the dark ages aspect as well as dark knight armor and helmet as shown in the label. The colors she represents are just some of the complex color and flavor pairings of the beer.
14567375_10103598540802350_7085479304265906414_o
Sources:
http://niji-moe.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/fate-saber-01-16.jpg

2016 Tart of Darkness Cherries & Vanilla by The Bruery Terreux

13738215_10103423798367590_1587449561704173131_o 13781726_10103423801062190_2339272195439250998_nRating: 5.5/6

2016 Tart of Darkness Cherries & Vanilla by The Bruery Terreux is a 7.% ABV American Wild Stout aged in Oak Barrels with Cherries and Vanilla Beans.

New Label:
Roasty – Midnight – Delight

Old Label:
SAUERSTAUT

With a roasty aroma and a tart finish, this sour black ale is a contortion of style and flavor, creating an unexpected delight.

Tart of Darkness with Cherries & Vanilla is best enjoyed fresh for bold spice and fruit character, but my pleasantly if cellared properly.
___

Released to the Preservation and Reserve Societies once again and possibly the a public release, this is the second time I try this beer. I was not going to do a review of this one since I had already done one in the past but as soon as I tried it and the new label came about, I had to give it a shot. This beer is a variant to the publicly sold Tart of Darkness. I will be honest, while the tart of darkness is a very good sour, it does not compare to my favorite sour stout Madrugada Obscura by Jolly Pumpkin. The cherries and vanilla from the last time I reviewed this beer made a huge difference. Draw your puckeringly sour sword and get ready to take action!

Aromas:
Dark cherry yogurt, Vanilla ice cream, caramel,Lavender, cotton candy, strawberry cheesecake, lemon peel, citrus, dark chocolate hints, blueberry skins, earthy notes, Cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper hints, molasses, anise, licorice, lemon peel, sour funky notes, citrus, port wine hints, blue berry muffin and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Toasted coconut, coffee, mocha, rich dark fruit cherries, raisins, prunes, concord grapes, currants, blueberries, vanilla cream, caramel, tart wine grapes, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, sour cherry cordials, floral lavender, dark cherry yogurt, strawberry cheese cake, brown sugar, blueberry muffin, lemon peel, Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper hints, grape skins, port wine hints, oak, earthy notes and musty sour funky notes.

Aftertaste:
Tart wine grapes, oak, dark cherry yogurt hints, vanilla, coconut hints, and earthy notes finishing all fast and dry. No alcohol in the taste, murky amber brown full body with no head retention, soft, smooth and slightly creamy mouthfeel and a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Awesome sauce this year. I don’t know if I liked this one more or the last time I tried this one more. There is so much more chocolate coconut in this one along with vanilla and cherry sour stout goodness that I think it actually is beating the Madrugada Obscura. The Bruery definitely out did themselves this time and I would highly recommend this one if you love sours!

Anime Corner:
Saber Alter/Dark Saber from Fate/Stay Night/Hollow Ataraxia was used in this pairing since I used Jean from Claymore. Basically both represent the “Dark Knight” In the Tart of Darkness. The return of this brew show cases Saber as she tries to battle her inner darkness but realizes that without embracing both the light and evil, she is nothing. You can also say Saber is Vanilla and Dark Saber is the Cherries. The aspect of the warrior of darkness and the fact that I have used Saber in many Dark chocolate and cherry flavored beers just pushes my conviction that much further. The Dark Arts have to do with blasphemy against the church but the strange part, as holy as some organizations are, some hold deep dark secrets that the public never knows about. Tart of Darkness with Cherries and Vanilla brings that aspect of sour evil but yet sweet and forgiving aspects that are pretty damn Holy if you ask me. Think of it as the sweetness delivering the darkness of the beer from evil Either way, great beer and great pairing I think.

Sources:
http://tsundora.com/image/2014/10/fate_stay_night_673.jpg
http://pm1.narvii.com/5832/37ca0cfb16b4e985b40f227f7ae4a7b2aafa50da_hq.jpg

2014 2nd Year Anniversary Crowded by Wiens Brewing

13392108_10103320738340710_5358735722803928899_o 13418619_10103320738819750_2430570799214926762_oRating: 4.75/5

2014 2nd Year Anniversary Crowded by Wiens Brewing is an 11.5% ABV Cuvee Blend of Imperial Stout, Imperial Bitter Brown, Double Black India Pale Ale and a Barleywine all aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
Bottled 10/23/2014
We selected Our Finest Barrel Aged Beers from our collection and masterfully blended them together to create crowded.

Celebrate with one now or crowd it into a cellar of your own. Cheers!

==Introduction==

I found this one at Mr. K’s Liquor near the Bruery. I really liked the label and really liked that this one was a barrel aged brew. I have not tried anything from Wiens brewing so I figure their anniversary ale is a good way to start especially since I love stouts and this one looks to be a cuvee of beers. An example of this is what Firestone Walker does for their anniversary ales. By blending different amounts of different styles of beers, it breeds a complex beer rich in complex flavors. Some blending of beers are better than others but we will have to see what this one has to offer. Cheers!

Aromas:
Smokey notes, tobacco, leather, toffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, caramel, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, marshmallows, roasted coffee, flan, hazelnut nectar, wine grapes, dark fruits, chocolate smores and rocky road ice cream notes.

Flavors:
Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, oak, toasted coconut, pecan pie, rocky road ice cream, dark fruit raisins, currants, prunes, vanilla, flan, Irish cream, hazelnut nectar, marshmallows, chocolate smores, Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, toffee, earthy and piney hops, smokey and burnt wood, anise, tobacco, leather, lemon peel, funky wine grapes, mint and ash.

Aftertaste:
Finishing dry with notes super earthy and piney hop notes, smokey oak and rocky road ice cream.
No alcohol in the taste, dark murky brown fill body, creamy, silky and chewy mouthfeel and an easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
While I think the score is high since it is using the barrel aging process and even though there is a lot of delicious complexity and aged for 2 years, something is up. I still think it is very delicious, but not the usual exceptional brews that go over the 5 rating. I think the aspect of Black IPA an possibly Bitter Brown might not meld well with the stout and barley wine. The beer is smokey, ashy and hoppy. The Barrel aging sure puts stuff together but it is essentially as the name states, it is “Crowded” in there. While I think the cuvee attempt is awesome and it reminds me a little of Firestone Walker’s blended Anniversaries (The sweeter complex flavors) as you sip it because there is so much rich goodness, yet it still finishes with that slightly unpleasant bitterness. I would definitely want to try this fresher if there is a difference. Maybe this just did not age well. I really think you should give this a shot as the parts that are delicious are very delicious but that smokey and earthy bitterness doesn’t play well.

Anime Corner:
Attila from Fate Stay Night Series, Grand Order and Storia from Pixiv Fantasia were used in this pairing to go with the colors of the label, the crows mainly and the flavor complexity from the ingredients as represented by the various colors. Also, the bad assery is all part of the theme with the crows.

Sources:
http://img1.reactor.cc/pics/post/full/Fategrand-order-Fate-(series)-Anime-attila-(fategrand-order)-3104935.jpeg
http://static.zerochan.net/Storia.(Pixiv.Fantasia.T).full.1864171.jpg

2016 Preservation Series Ride That Bear by The Bruery

12970858_10103194063183740_7168784538706666513_o 12967414_10103194071277520_1948648076196122338_oRating: 4.8/5

2016 Preservation Series Ride That Bear by The Bruery is a 9.2% ABV Imperial Hoppy Brown Ale.

Label:
“GRIN ‘N BEAR IT!”

When you meet a bear in the woods, don’t run or play dead. Ride it! Ride That Bear is an imperial hoppy brown ale. With a sleek malt physique imparting warm, nutty and toasty layers, complemented by California yeast and a particularly excellent sense of smell from dry-hopping, this imperial brown ale is an oso hoppy romp through the California Republic.

==Introduction==

Released for the Preservation, Reserve and Hoarders Society and the public as well. This brown ale was made with bears and California in mind overall. I have tried other hoppy browns before but hoppy browns is usually not common as the browns I have tried typically stick with the English Brown approach as being more malty. Some Ambers are super hoppy to the point of being more of a Red IPA. So with that being said, the only thing that I think would come close is the Stone 18th anniversary Brown IPA which is very rare type of style. It is very delicious either way. With that being said, let’s see how the Bruery makes their attempt at a super hoppy brown ale. Let’s check it out, Cheers.

Aromas:
Caramel, Toffee, crème brulee, pecan pie, hazelnut, piney, grapefruit, grassy, garlicky, earthy, oniony and floral hops, rock candy, dark fruit cherry, currants, tangerine gummies, lemon peel, starburst candy, tropical fruit like pine apple, old mango and honey.

Flavors:
Piney, Grapefruit, grassy, garlicky, earthy, oniony and floral hops, Caramel, Toffee, crème brulee, pecan pie, almond joy, tropical fruit like pine apple, old mango, guava, honey dew melon, peanut butter hints, butter scotch, rye bread, tangerine gummies, lemon peel, starburst candy, orange, herbal spice, yerba buena, honey, hazelnut hints, rock candy, dark fruit cherry, currants and chocolate hints.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with a rush of herbal and tropic hops with caramel, butterscotch, citrus and pecan pie. No alcohol in the taste. Amber Brown medium body, crisp, refreshing and smooth mouthfeel with a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A very delicious brown ale balancing the sweet and nutty brown ale characteristics with the herbal and tropical hop flavors. The ABV is just right as it increases the mouthfeel and improves the overall experience of trying this one. It reminds me of their Loakal Red but definitely more on the nutty side. Some of the notes do remind me of Stone’s Brown IPA but this one is not as hoppy as that one. I like this one though since there is a nice balance. If you like browns and especially hopped up browns, this is definitely worth the find. A definite recommend.

Anime Corner:
Rin Tohsaka from Fate Stay Night was used in this pairing as I wanted to go with the colors of the label mainly but her hair being brown goes well with the style of the beer. She is in no way a bear really but it is just another excuse to use another favorite character from an Anime series onto a Bruery beer which I have not tried.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/lQwPesO.jpg
http://blog-imgs-43-origin.fc2.com/p/s/p/pspnetkatuyou0224/20120123161321fde.jpg

Irish Red by Shannon Brewing

12716381_10103065584446160_1770905514707775782_oRating: 5/5

Irish Red by Shannon Brewing is a 5.8% ABV Irish Red Ale

Label:
Fire-brewed with pure spring, whole grain, whole flower hops and a Whole Lotta Love! Shannon Irish Red is everything a red should be – a deep copper hue, a nice malty start, aromatic hints of baking raisin bread, gentle hop aroma and crisp clean finish.

==Introduction==

Obtained this brew from my friend Aaron Mendiola of BeerMetalDude.com. This is the second time I try a brew from Shannon brewing. The first one I had was their blonde which was very good. They have a style of brewing called Fire brewed which looks like they use actual furnaces. This is awesome as it is not the typical boil as other brews go. I am curious to see what it does to brews since the first one was very good. I can only see if this one is just as awesome. Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit raisin hints, boysenberries, currants, raspberries, grapes, blueberries, Caramel, Toffee,, citrus, piney and grassy hops, brown sugar, pecan pie and maple syrup hints.

Flavors:
Caramel, Toffee, Strawberry preserves on toasted rye bread, biscuits, vanilla, dark fruit raisin hints, boysenberries, currants, raspberries, blueberries, coriander spice, citrus, piney and grassy hops, grapes, capirotada raisin bread pudding, sweetened condensed milk hints, apples, pecan pie, treacle and maple syrup.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with rich biscuity, toasted bread, caramel, vanilla, dark fruits and jammy preserves. No alcohol in the taste, crimson and copper medium body, smooth, creamy, crisp and refreshing mouthfeel with an easy drinkability.

Overall:
A damn awesome Red Ale. Just like their Blonde, I really enjoyed this one. Whatever their process is for fire brewed ales, it is definitely awesome as the 2 that I have had so far from them have been perfect brews. There is a good deal of complexity like a regular amber/red ale but more complex with the dark fruit flavors. Definitely enjoyable for me as I like the malty brews. A recommend from me.

Anime Corner:
Scáthach/Lancer from Fate Grand Order was used in this pairing to go with the colors of the label and the style as well as some of the dark fruit flavors of the beer. Lancer already has the red crimson colors and her clothing of purples and blues works with the dark fruits.

Sources:
http://40.media.tumblr.com/cd4b58629c66b0c619f7c30b5c4f9603/tumblr_nz3nb4pIX41tgkg4yo3_1280.jpg

Wasted Sea Star Purple Pale Ale by Rogue brewing

12548920_10103028513865900_2948857699353487257_n 12540868_10103028514359910_7942440281123897100_nRating: 3.75/5

Wasted Sea Star Purple Pale Ale by Rogue brewing is a 5.7% ABV American Pale Ale brewed with purple corn.

Label:
Dedicated to Dr. Bruce Menge and his Students

Sea stars on the west coast are rapidly dying from a mysterious disease called sea star wasting syndrome. It causes lesions, arm loss, and eventually can turn stars into goo. This is one of the largest marine animal disease events in recording history. Purchasing this beer will help to fund the research of this disease through the partnership for interdisciplinary studies of coastal oceans at Oregon State University.

Rogue Wasted Sea Star Purple Pale Ale is made with purple corn, giving it a slight purple color. Sweet up front with a smooth hop finish.

9 Ingredients: 2-row, Dextrapils, Rogue Farms Dare and Risk Malts; Liberty and Alluvial hops; Purple Corn Nector (Non-GMO), fre range coastal water and Pacman Yeast.

15° Plato / 5.7% ABV / 40 IBU / 76 AA / 15° L
==Introduction==

I obtained this one at the Rogue online store buy.rogue.com along with the Mango Astronaut. I was intrigued by the ingredients and the color of the beer but also the fact that purchasing this was going to a good cause. Save Marine wild life and enjoy some beer, you can’t beat that! With that being said, a beer made from purple corn is intriguing to me. Yeah, corn is just an adjunct added to many lagers but organic purple corn, well, this may seem like something different, or atleast I would like to think. So let’s see what this beer is about.

Aromas:
Caramel, pilsner malt, cereal grains, honey hints grapes, rye bread, dark fruit notes, piloncillo sugar cone, citrus, grapefruit, floral, herbal and grassy hops hints and berry notes.

Flavors:
Honey, grapes, cereal grain, corn adjunct, caramel, grape marmalade, rye bread, butterscotch, dark fruit raisins, plums, blackberries, taro ice cream, ube bread, sweet potato, piloncillo sugar cone, citrus, grapefruit, floral, herbal and grassy hops, brown sugar, cinnamon, and blackberry cobbler.

Aftertaste:
Finishing dry with a bit of malty, grainy and dark fruit sweetness. No alcohol in the taste, mainly amber colored with a purple tinge clear body, smooth, creamy and refreshing mouthfeel and is very easy to drink.

Overall:
A pretty good ale with a good amount of crisp and refreshing flavors. It does have some complexity to it and body but at the same time it has some flavors you would find in a nice lager. It does not seem to fall in the category of hoppy pale ale but more of malty yet crisp ale. It was decent and worth the try for sure if you can find it but nothing too extravagant. Sure it did have some notes that I really like, like the purple ube.

Anime Corner:
Rider from Fatestay Night was used in this pairing as I wanted a good representative for the overall purple theme of the beer. Sea Stars are near color blind and some believe have no sight at all. Regardless of what may be true, using Rider with the eye cover helps show case this. Her being purple and in the water also adds to the complement of the beer artwork and theme.

Sources:
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-1jDIKyxula4/UvTKGvOxXQI/AAAAAAAAAYU/ZAYobBNUQ2w/w1098-h1600/404590.jpg
http://img0.joyreactor.cc/pics/post/full/Anime-Fate-(series)-Fatestay-night-Rider-(Fatestay-night)-1918941.jpeg

Virtuous Endeavor Dubbel Ale Confluence brewing of Des Moines Iowa

1917062_10102989068759210_4971457285916115781_nRating: 4.75/5

Virtuous Endeavor Dubbel Ale Confluence brewing of Des Moines Iowa is an 8.4% ABV Belgian Dubbel.

Label:
For nearly 425 years, brewing beer has been central to the lives of Trappist monks who view it as a way to create revenue to support their community and as part of a higher calling. Confluence Brewing Company’s three beer Virtuous Endeavor Series – feature Dubbel, Tripel, and Quadrupel Ale – was inspired by the care and craftsmanship the Trappists put into the style of beer they still brew today All Virtous Endeavor beers are bottle conditioned and will continue to mature in the cellar, but can be enjoyed today if you choose.

BELGIAN-STYLE DUBBEL ALE

A grain bill of Belgian and German malt combines with dark Belgian candi sugar and rich fruity flavors to create this sweeter version of a Belgian beer. Dubbel has the lowest ABV for the series at 8.4%

==Introduction==

Obtained this one from my friend Steve in Iowa who was able to ship these to me after my visit to Ames and Iowa State University, my Alma Mater. This one caught my eye as it was a Belgian style but brewed in Iowa. So naturally with my love of the Belgian beers, I had to get this one. This one is a Belgian Dubbel and while I could not find the Quad, a Belgian style none the less is delicious I figure. So with this one, let’s take a look and see what this Belgian has to offer, cheers!

Aromas:
Citrusy Oranges, honey, dark fruit plums raisins, plums, dark cherries, figs, dates, Dulce De leche caramel, vanilla, flan, stone fruit peaches, apricots, tropical guava, raspberry, coriander spice, phenolic notes, peppercorn spices, pecan pie, waffle cone, Belgian Candi Sugar, clove spice, bubble gum, honey and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Oranges, citrus, Dulce De leche caramel, vanilla, flan, stone fruit peaches, apricots, dark fruit plums raisins, plums, figs, dark cherries, dates, tropical guava, raspberry, Belgian Candi Sugar, clove spice, bubble gum, banana notes, coriander spice, phenolic notes, peppercorn spices, pecan pie, waffle cone, honey, rye bread, brown sugar, coffee cake hints and chocolate.

Aftertaste:
Residual Belgian Candi sugar, stone fruit, dark fruit, clovey spice and bananas linger. So damn good No alcohol in the taste, Honey colored full body, smooth, creamy and effervescent mouthfeel with a moderate to supping drinkability.

Overall:
A very delicious Belgian Dubbel focusing more on its fruitier, citrusy and Belgian Candi side than the dark fruit side. Different Belgian styles would give different flavors but I think I really liked this one as it felt more unique than the average Dubbel. If you are able to find this one or purchase this, definitely give it a try. It is always good to try Iowa beers!

Anime Corner:
Dark Sakura from Fate Stay Night was used in this pairing as I wanted to pair with the aspect of Double or Dubbel but also the label colors. The flavors of dark fruits like cherries go with her name and as she emerges from the darkness it is synonymous to the way the flavors emerge with each temperature changing sip.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/nXOlpLE.jpg

 
 
 

 

Sunrise Prayer Saison by Avila Ales

11986349_10102810040253770_889842834449884178_nRating: 4.65/5

Sunrise Prayer Saison by Avila Ales is a 6% ABV American Farmhouse Ale/Saison.

==Introduction==
Partial base wort was brewed using brewing equipment at Monkish for the “Monster Home brew Event” back in June 2015. The idea was to create a base pale wort using the equipment at Monkish brewing. Each person would get 5 gallons (or 10 or more depending on how much you would pay) from this concoction you would take it home add to the wort to change the style completely to more than 10 different styles of beer. For the second batch, my friend Richard Avila brewed a saison. Thanks to his donation, now we can take a look at a different perspective of a different style using the same Monkish wort but made as a saison. Cheers.

Aromas:
Bubblegum, Bananas, waffle cone, honey comb Biscuit bread, vanilla, Belgian Candy sugar, oranges, citrus, lemon peel, tangerine gummy hints, clove spice, stone fruit peaches, apricots, apples, honey dew melon, cantaloupe, mango hints and Danish cream hints.

Flavors:
Bananas, Clove spice, Belgian bread, lemon peel, farmhouse hay, bubble gum, stone fruit peaches, apricots, apples, honey dew melon, cantaloupe, mango hints, white grapes, peppercorn, wafflecone, honeycomb, coriander spice, Belgian Candy sugar, oranges, citrus, lemon peel, tangerine gummy hints, vanilla and Danish cream hints.

Aftertaste:
Stone fruits, banana, coriander, clove spice, tropical hints and Belgian candy in the aftertaste.
No alcohol in the taste, clear gold straw body, smooth, crisp, refreshing and sweet mouthfeel with an easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
Very awesome saison definitely close to the awesomeness of the French speaking Belgian inspired farm house ale. This beer was better than the pale ale. I am not sure if it is the original wort or the fact that part was made in a Belgian inspired brewery but the style is very delicious and reminiscent of the Saison. Great job to my friend even if the wort seemed a little off due to the way it may have been made but he managed to make it a very delicious Belgian saison. Cheers!

Anime Corner:
Saber from Fate Stay Night was used in this pairing as I wanted to pair a character that has similar attire to a nun to pair with the Abbey style but also the name of the beer. In this setting, Saber prays as the sunrises in the background. The golden color of the beer pairs with the sun rays and her hair but also the flavors and the style pair with the great effort of Belgian Monasteries that brew beer in the name of the lord. Lots of work and dedication to the craft.

Sources:
https://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/390216-3342×2970-fate+%28series%29-fatestay+night-type-moon-saber-takeuchi+takashi-long+hair.jpg

Blinding Lunar Currants by Nubis Sanctum Ales

11141318_10102663544128180_4387582528316699403_o 11411648_10102663545330770_2455597721207330051_oRating: 4.85/5

Blinding Lunar Currants by Nubis Sanctum Ales is a 10% ABV Belgian Trappist Cider made with Arizona Wildflower Honey, Mexican Cane Sugar and Black Currant concentrate.

==Introduction==

11149534_10102508414983230_8572258118318212914_o
Project # 5 is my second attempt at a cider using 100% Apple cider, Mexican Cane Sugar (Azucar Morena), Ribena Black Currant Brittish Black Currant Concentrate, Arizona Wild Flower Honey and Monastery/Trappist Ale yeast. The idea here was give by Evelyn Silva, my sister from another mother who reminded me about the first time we tried the Fox Barrel Currant Perry Cider back in 2010 on UC San Diego grounds while we were all on vacation with my friend Jorge Silva. One of the best ciders I had ever had which is no longer being made. So as a result of wanting to reproduce that cider, I decided to give it the good ol’ Belgian treatment and rather than using pear cider, I used apple cider. The result was this. Cheers!

Aromas:
Floral, cinnamon, Belgian sweetbread, phenolic notes, honey, grapes, tart currant notes, agave, candi sugar, cane sugar, lots of berry and dark fruit hints, vanilla and caramel notes.

Flavors:
Sour Apples, tart currant skins, Cinnamon, honey, biscuit bread, candi sugar, dark fruit currant notes, hints of cherry, raspberry, dark fruit raisin hints, dulce de leche caramel, pear, stone fruit peach hints, cane sugar, clove spice, floral notes, grapes juice, chardonay, agave hints, citrus, toffee, blackberry, blue berry and flan hints.

Aftertaste:
More of the rich berry and currant in the finish lingers with the slight sugary breadiness but then goes off dry leaving some apple juice remnants and cinnamon. No alcohol in the taste as the black currant tartness care of that. Golden Crimson light to medium haze body, easy to moderate drinkability, crisp, clean and smooth mouthfeel.

Overall:
Unlike my first beer, The Black currant really popped in this one. I was able to incorporate the sweetness a little better in the bottling as well as measure the right levels of sugar so the ABV didn’t sky rocket like the last one. Also, in the secondary, It cleared up very nicely show casing a more cider appearance with some slight haze. As a while it was more pink in color but in the glass you could tell that the apple and honey colors took over. Overall, I think this was the better cider from my first one although many did like my other cider as it was more potent and stronger. Give or take, this whole Belgian cider thing is pretty damn remarkable.

Anime Corner:
Rider from Fate/Stay Night Zero was used in this pairing as I wanted something that would greatly represent the color of dark fruit and currants. The name Blinding Lunar Currants is a play at the vizer that Riders uses while under the moonlight. The cider is called Blinding as the taste is enough to make one close their eyes in deliciousness. Also, the fact that you can’t really tell that the currants are really there, drinking this ‘blindingly’ brings one an awesome surprise of rich currant sweetness. It definitely worked out in my favor and the passion these currants Rider carries through the taste buds is amazing.

Sources:
https://i.warosu.org/data/jp/img/0130/54/1424165452872.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/db/bf/a9/dbbfa9a0912eb1f96e32dd16cf26b1b6.jpg

2014 Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale by Unibroue

1476031_10102260548205240_5752277679111153271_n 10750398_10102260550355930_873715226710888547_oRating: 4.8/5

2014 Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale by Unibroue is a 9% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale brewed with Spices and Natural Flavors.

Label:
Unique and limited edition, this Belgian style ale is crafted once a year as a special treat for those of you who appreciate flavorful, bottle-conditioned ale with character.

Our Vintage Ale is a rich, dark and full-bodied ale with a fine and generous coffee-colored, beige foam. It’s ready to enjoy right away and you may also wish to cellar a few bottles. It will evolve interestingly well, developing more complex flavors as the years go by. Keep the bottle upright in storage.

Brewed with a delicate balance of noble hops, Roasted malts and spices, this is a remarkably smooth ale with a wonderfully complex finish. It is best served slightly chilledaround 53 degrees Fahrenheit and pairs exceptionally well with grilled salmon steaks, curried lamb, beef or tuna au poivre. Crafted and bottled exclusively for Trader Joe’s

==Introduction==

Trader Joe’s is not a typical store I usually visit as it is nowhere near my home. That and the fact that I usually go to other shops to get special beers. My friend Richard told me about this beer at the Trader Joe’s and advised that this one would be good to try. Trader Joe’s has always had good selection according to Richard. I can definitely vouch for that as he used to work for them back when craft beer was hardly in the major stores but now see them more often. So since I really like Unibroue, I definitely had to see what this one was about. So here we go, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruits like raisins, figs plums, dark cherry, vanilla, coffee, phenolic notes, dark candi sugars, brown sugar, port wine notes, stone fruit hints like apricots, pears, apples, dulce de leche caramel, oats, molasses, anise, and cola notes.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel, Coffee, Oats, molasses, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, dark cherries, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, port wine, cola notes, candi sugars, anise, raisin bread pudding, bananas, clove spice, pears, apricots, apples, grapes, pecan pie, phenolic notes, rum hints and wheat bread.

Aftertaste:
Dark fruits linger along with port wine notes, stone fruit hints, candi sugar and coffee. No alcohol in the taste, smooth and creamy mouthfeel, moderate drinkability and pitch black body.

Overall:
This is a very good Belgian Dark Strong reminding me of some of Unibroue’s best, like Trois Pistoles. This taste similar to Trois Pistoles but not as through as that one. I still think it is a great ale and you should try it if you happen to stop by a Trader Joe’s. However, if you don’t get the chance, just go with Unibroue’s other beers as those are more widely common and just as great if not way better. A great Belgian beer none the less.

Anime Corner:
Irisviel von Einzbern and Saber from Fate Zero were used in this pairing to represent the collaboration of Trader Joe’s and Unibroue. Unibroue is Irisviel and Trader Joe’s is Saber. Together bring about an awesome Belgian style that reminds me a lot of Trois Pistoles. As you can see this fits since they are inside what appears to be an abbey or a church or even monastery. The darkness in their eyes and colors represents the Belgian arts of great Dark Strong Ales with the fruity complex. Not too bad for some bad ass collaborations.

Sources:
http://tp.hellodm.cn/data/attachment/forum/201301/10/210543bvvvhvvyvlhw0vmy.jpg

Union Jack by Firestone Walker

10689783_10102205530566030_7118609534410742427_nRating: 5/5

Union Jack by Firestone Walker is a 7.5% ABV World Class India Pale Ale.

Box Description:
An aggressively hopped West Coast-style IPA. Union Jack showcases exceptional dry hop character with stunning pineapple, citrus, and pine aromas on the nose accompanies by honey-like malt aromatics. Double dry hopping brings bold grapefruit, tangerine and citrus flavors.

==Introduction==
It really has been a couple of years since I tried this beer. One of the first IPAs during the time that I started doing beer reviews but unfortunately never got the chance to bring forth. When I bought this as part of the Firestone Winter Variety pack, I finally had the chance. I have mainly tried this one on tap which was epic and great but I have not gone back to it since developing a taste for a variety of IPAs. The fact that I am bringing this here to the site is an honor as I will finally take my time to dissect what many have called one of the finest in the west coast-style of IPAs. Cheers.

Aromas:
Citrus, floral grassy piney, grapefruit hops, tropical fruit mango, papaya, guava, kiwi, dragon fruit, honey dew melon, strawberry, honey on biscuit bread, tangerines, lemon peel, Stone fruit apricots, lychee, apples, caramel and vanilla.

Flavors:
Citrus, floral, grassy piney and grapefruit hops, tropical fruits like pineapple, mango, dragon fruit, strawberry, papaya, passion fruit, honey dew melon, biscuit bread, honey, tangerines, guava, lemon peel, Stone fruit apricot, peach, lychee, apples, kiwi, floral notes, mild dank garlicky flavors, and gummy bears.

Aftertaste:
Lots of tropics, citrus, tangerine, grapefruit, vanilla, honey, caramel, biscuit bread and grassy hops linger. No alcohol in the taste, easy to drink, somewhat creamy, crisp and refreshing mouthfeel and a Clear Golden body.

Overall:
One of the finest and perfect examples of IPAs out there. The step below to the Double Jack still standing strong in the front of the many West coast IPAs that come close to it. The tropics in this are strong and is really one of the reason I really loved this beer. It isn’t all about tropical though as you do get some caramel notes and lots of that super hoppy west coast dankness. This is pretty much a commoners gold and if you haven’t tried this one, you are missing out because this one is very underrated and extremely awesome of IPAs

Anime Corner:
Saber from Fate/Stay night and an OC character by genzoman and zander-d from deviant art were brought forth in this pairing to bring forth a bit of what the Union Jack and what the UK is all about. Being inventors of the India Pale Ale style to make beer last through the travels as they were preserve with hops as a natural preservative for soldiers in their journeys. This was the best pairing to represent that about the origins of the IPA.

Sources:
http://genzoman.deviantart.com/art/Saber-Who-Dares-Wins-349352556

Valar Morghulis by Game of Thrones and Ommegang

1780673_10102129212428190_4303954624754454680_n 10151340_10102129212043960_9160010245517754727_n 10301435_10102129211105840_7997889876574959697_nRating: 4.65/5

Valar Morghulis by Game of Thrones and Ommegang is an 8% ABV Belgian Dubbel.

Label:
WHEN CONFRONTED WITH THE MOST FEARED SAYING IN HIGH VALYRIAN, TAKE A SIP AND CHOOSE YOUR WORDS WISELY. FOR ALL MEN MUST DIE, AND ALL MEN MUST SERVE. ENJOY RICH AROMAS OF CARAMEL AND RIPE FRUIT WITH DEEP FLAVORS OF MALTY SWETTNESS AND FRUITY ESTERS. POUR SLOWLY, TO NOT DISTURB YEAST SEDIMENT, BUT WITH VIGOR TO MAKE A LUXURIOUS HEAD AND FREE BOUQUET.
___

The 4th installment of the Game of Thrones beer is here, Valar Morghulis or “All Men Must Die”. You can buy it at many craft beer markets where they sell Ommegang beer. I have yet to see the show but I love Ommegang beers. The previous entries have been very good. Since they brewed a Belgian Dubbel (Double Fermented Ale), I had to try it and bring it here to the site. If you have not tried a Dubbel before, you know it is going to be a heavy one and not your typical light beer. If you enjoy Belgians, well, let’s see what this one as in store.

Aromas:
Dark fruits like raisins, plums, dark cherries, light stone fruit like peaches and apricots, pears, apples, pineapple hints, brown sugar, bubble gum, clove spice, banana hints, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, vanilla, peppercorns, earthy notes, biscuit bread and chocolate hints.

Flavors:
Dark fruits like raisins, plums, dark cherries, clove spice, banana hints, peppercorns, dulce de leche caramel hints, brown sugar, biscuit bread, chocolate hints, bubble gum hints, vanilla, apricots, peaches, candi sugar, cinnamon, pears, coriander hints, pineapple hints, earthy hop hints and toffee.

Aftertaste:
Biscuit bread, phenolic notes, clove spice, caramel, dark fruit, peppery spices and earthy notes linger. No alcohol in the taste, medium to full crimson body, moderate drinkability and smooth and almost watery mouthfeel.

Overall:
A very good Dubbel and possibly the best one so far in the series. Belgian Dubbels are incredible beers just like the Singles, Tripels and Quadruples. Although Quads are my favorites. Dubbels do generally fall into that category of dark fruit and malty but not overwhelmingly intense. So for fans of the show who typically don’t drink craft beer, this may definitely be a sipping beer but it won’t be like super overwhelming, just moderate. Still, Ommegang kicking ass again with another awesome beer.

Anime Corner:
Saber from Fate Stay Night/Zero was chosen once again to represent the world of fantasy in Game of Thrones. I was typically looking for something that would pair well with the name of the beer, the show, the color and to some extent the flavors of the beer as well. As you can see, All Men Must Die is in reference to bloody war as show cased in the sword battle. The devastation of medieval war is nothing but rot and chaos as the bloody color of the beer and its medium to full body is the consistency of that blood. Conquering others is what it is all about but like the phrase says, “No Victory without suffering, No freedom without Sacrifice” goes hand in hand with the saying of “All Men must Serve, All Men must Die” and how a war between the conflicting quotes arises due to those who do not see eye to eye. Even like the coin in the label, the good and the bad.

Sources:
http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/208475-1500×1777-fate+%28series%29-fatestay+night-fatezero-studio+deen-saber-misako12003.jpg
http://www.zerochan.net/1393132#full

(Brewerianimelogs On The Road) So Happens It’s Tuesday Cherry & Vanilla by The Bruery

10686892_10102074962710060_7661419969329234509_nRating: 5.45/5

So Happens It’s Tuesday Cherry & Vanilla by The Bruery is an 11.3% ABV American Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels with Cherries and Vanilla Beans.

The “Sessioned” version of the almighty ~20% ABV Black Tuesday will be released soon. Essentially, this is a lower alcohol content of their already awesome beer. As with some of their releases, The Bruery decided to make one with Cherry & Vanilla for a very limited time. If you happen to stop by their tasting room there may be a chance for you to try this. With me being a somewhat fanatic with the original Black Tuesday, I wanted to do a review on their variant beer while I was there. This is in a little segment I like to call, Brewerianimelogs On the Road. Cheers!

Aromas:
Milk and Dark Chocolate covered Cherries, Vanilla, Dulce de leche caramel, flan hints, brown sugar, dark fruits, coconut hints, crème brulee hints and raspberry hints.

Flavors:
Dark Cherries, Dark Chocolate, Cherry cordial hints, oak, bourbon, rich vanilla, marshmallow, flan, coconut hints, pecan pie, brown sugar, hints of banana, clove spice, hazelnut hints, raspberry, dark fruits, earthy notes, graham crackers, anise and molasses.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate, caramel, dark fruit hints, cherry and slight bourbon. No alcohol in the taste, a smooth mouthfeel beer, sipping drinkability and pitch black body.

Overall:
Still very epic! From what I can gather this beer was smoother than less syrupy in your face Black Tuesday. The crazy part, at 11.3%, this was still considered a “sessioned” Barrel Aged Beer. Which makes you wonder, and is something I always pondered myself, what league of beer is Black Tuesday on. For the many times I have tried it, it is still a winning champion. Even though the sessioned one is not as rich, it is still above the level of awesome beers I love for sure. I would highly seek it out if you want to try this at the tap room or you can wait for the regular one hopefully coming out soon. By the way, this beer is sold to the public! This one was my favorite of the variants.

Anime Corner:
Rider from Fate Stay Night was used in this pairing since I wanted to bring out the aspects of Vanilla and dark cherries along with dark fruits that are in this beer. The power of the Black Tuesday is there even at a minute level but the strength is still in complexity.

Tart of Darkness Cherries & Vanilla by The Bruery

10371399_10102061178089550_5544023490960896402_n 10688381_10102061178768190_817222438991082648_oRating: 5/5

Tart of Darkness Cherries & Vanilla by The Bruery is a 7.1% ABV American Wild Stout aged in Oak Barrels with Cherries and Vanilla Beans.

Label:
SAUERSTAUT

With a roasty aroma and a tart finish, this sour black ale is a contortion of style and flavor, creating an unexpected delight.

Tart of Darkness with Cherries & Vanilla is best enjoyed fresh for bold spice and fruit character, but my pleasantly if cellared properly.
___

Released to the Preservation and Reserve Societies this fall. This beer is a variant to the publicly sold Tart of Darkness. I will be honest, while the tart of darkness is a very good sour, it does not compare to my favorite sour stout Madrugada Obscura by Jolly Pumpkin. The fact that they added the cherries and vanilla to this may actually make some kind of difference. I can only hope that this is the case. Let us see how this warrior fairs. Draw your puckeringly sour sword and get ready to take action!

Aromas:
Dark Cherry yogurt, Vanilla ice cream, caramel,Lavender, cotton candy, strawberry cheesecake, lemon peel, citrus, dark chocolate hints, blueberry skins, earthy notes, Cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper hints, molasses, anise, licorice, lemon peel, sour funky notes, citrus, port wine hints, blue berry muffin and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Blueberries, Vanilla cream, coconut, caramel, tart wine grapes, chocolate, lavender, dark cherry yogurt, strawberry cheese cake, brown sugar, blueberry muffin, lemon peel, Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper hints, dark fruits like prunes raisins, concord grape skins, port wine hints, oak, earthy notes and musty sour funky notes.

Aftertaste:
Tart wine grapes, oak, dark cherry yogurt hints, vanilla, coconut hints, and earthy notes finishing all fast and dry. No alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer, medium to full mouthfeel and with a murky amber brown full body.

Overall:
Way better than the original. I have no idea how the addition of the cherries and vanilla seem to suppress the overall ‘sour’ aspect of this beer making it more of a sweet tart. The original did not do as well as my favorite, Madrugada Obscura but tasting more sour than a balance of stout chocolate roastiness with sour aspects. This beer however, redeemed the original big time. While the chocolate aspect is there but hinted, the sweetness of cherry and vanilla change the aspect of the beer not just to make it fruity tart but also dessert like yet still puckeringly sour. Definitely recommended. So does it win against Madrugada Obscura? I guess it really depends on my mood. Chocolate coffee sour or Cherry Vanilla sour.

Anime Corner:
Saber Alter/Dark Saber from Fate/Stay Night/Hollow Ataraxia was used in this pairing since I used Jean from Claymore. Basically both represent the “Dark Knight” In the Tart of Darkness. You may not tell from the label, but a sword pierces through the cherry and in the original, there is a sword involved. The aspect of the warrior of darkness and the fact that I have used Saber in many Dark chocolate and cherry flavored beers just pushes my conviction that much further. The Dark Arts have to do with blasphemy against the church but the strange part, as holy as some organizations are, some hold deep dark secrets that the public never knows about. Tart of Darkness with Cherries and Vanilla brings that aspect of sour evil but yet sweet and forgiving aspects that are pretty damn Holy if you ask me. Think of it as the sweetness delivering the darkness of the beer from evil Either way, great beer and great pairing I think.

Sources:
https://omisyth.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/1217501555092.jpg
http://gallery.minitokyo.net/view/500829

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

Ride The Lion by Clown Shoes brewing

10357506_10102006113918590_2348774164646493040_nRating: 5.75/5

Ride The Lion by Clown Shoes brewing is an 11% ABV Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy aged in bourbon barrels.

Label:
Descended from a notorious clan of Scottish lore, head brewer Dan Lipke channeled the Tartan tapestry encoded in his DNA to create a formidable Wee Heavy. The beer has been aged 100% in fresh bourbon barrels. Ask yourself, “Who needs to ride the lion?”
___

This beer is finally coming around this area. Clown Shoes has been making some crazy amazing beers not only in the artistic label fashion but the mind blowing flavor aspects too. Their beers are some of my favorites from the east coast. I am really glad they have been able to distribute some goodies in many places. The Wee Heavy/Scotish Ale style is one that has never let me down. I have yet to try a scotch ale that doesn’t disappoint. Therefore, I definitely look forward to this one.

Aromas:
Lots of good oaked bourbon, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, marshmallows, graham crackers, earthy and smoked peat, blue berry cheese cake, flan, port wine hints, dark fruits like raisins, currants, plums, prunes, boysenberries, black berries, grapes, anise, licorice, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bananas, clove spice, mild coconut, butterscotch, brown sugar, cinnamon, scotch, stone fruit hints like peach and apricot.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, scotch whiskey, rich earthy and smoked peat, dark fruits like cherries, raisins, currants, plums, boysenberries, blackberies, anise, licorice, port wine hints, marshmallow, rye bread, wine and cheese party, flan hints, butterscotch, cinnamon, brown sugar, musty notes, clove spice, banana flavors when it warms up, tobacco, leather notes, flan, blueberry cheesecake, stone fruit peaches, apricots and lychee.

Aftertaste:
Smokey and earthy peat, rye bread, oak, bourbon, caramel, vanilla, dark fruit, tobacco and leather notes. Slight alcohol burn in the taste but nothing detracting from the flavor, smooth drinkability despite the ABV, medium mouth feel and medium to full body.

Overall:
Definitely exceeding expectations for sure. This beer reminds me more of how Stone Brewing does Bourbon Barrel aging with the whole wine and cheese party thing going on. Basically, that is the way I describe oak wine like and earthy cheese flavor. Definitely not in a bad way but I guess the way some beers pair great with certain cheeses, that is all. The beer has a lot of great complex flavors going on here. I would definitely recommend getting this one. Give it a shot, there really isn’t that many wee heavies out there and this one is bourbon barrel aged. Yes it works!

Anime Corner:
Saber Alter/Dark Saber and Arthur The Lion from Fate/Stay Night/Hollow Ataraxia was used in this pairing not just to pair the label with the lion and the warrior girl but the aspects of the lion is what not just represents awesomeness but the bourbon barrel aging itself. As you can see, if Saber is a bad ass Wee Heavy by herself, then the lion brings forth her ultimate strength which brings out the complexities of her. They represent the dark fruits and cherry notes as well as the other complex flavors. Ride the Lion is synonymous with how smooth both of them work together and go down damn well despite their united strength!

Sources:
http://konachan.com/post/show/8124

Black Forest by Harpoon Brewery

10488030_10101980391391740_276694008961692768_n 10433951_10101980392669180_4305650604480355895_nRating: 5.45/5

Black Forest by Harpoon Brewery of Boston Massachusetts is a 9.8% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Cherry Juice and Cocoa Nibs.

Label:
Black Forest
When the drivers of Harpoon Distributing Company are finished delivering brewery-fresh beer throughout the neighborhoods of Boston, they spend time moonlighting with Harpoon’s brewers. In 2012, they developed a version of a cherry chocolate porter that was a favorite at our annual home-brew competition. It didn’t take long for the brewing staff to work up a 10-barrel test batch and we knew we had to make more.

A hearty malt base is complemented by sweet cherry juice and cocoa nibs added during fermentation in this decadent take on a traditional porter.

Notes of rich chocolate and a hint of cherry sweetness make this full bodied porter the perfect treat to share now or to cellar until next Valentine’s Day.
___

Thanks once again to Aaron Mendiola at beermetaldude.com for the hookup of this sweet beer. Yet another brewery we don’t see here in California. This one is from Boston Massachusetts and apparently ended up being really good and sweet as I read about it. This I had to see for myself so I was glad to get the opportunity to give it a shot. So here it goes, the Harpoon Black Forest, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark Chocolate, rich dark cherries, cherry cola, mocha coffee, cherry cordial, hazelnut, earthy hop notes, brown sugar, dark fruit raisins, caramel, Dr. Pepper hints, maple, mint, molasses, licorice, raspberry hints and flan hints.

Flavors:
Burst of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, dark cherries, cherry yogurt, mocha coffee, dark fruit raisins, earthy hops, flan, cinnamon, caramel, vanilla, cherry cola, maple, mint, chocolate chip cookies, molasses, licorice, brown sugar, maple, molasses, raspberry, nutmeg, pumpkin spice hints and hazelnut.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate, dark cherry, vanilla, caramel, earthy hops, coffee and molasses. No alcohol in the taste, a moderate to sipping drinking characteristic, full body, syrupy mouthfeel yet smooth. Nice and deadly!!

Overall:
If you love sweet beers, especially chocolate and cherry ones, then this one is just an example of a beer that definitely exceeds my expectations in that department by a few notches. The Chocolate and Cherry are a complete win here with some additional complexity while it still reminds you that you are drinking a porter. A porter with no head retention and very delicious. I really wish we could get this one here in California, I would definitely drink this one all the time. Thanks again Aaron!

Anime Corner:
Saber Alter and Matou Sakura from Fatestay Night were used in this pairing because as the name goes, black forest, I wanted to show not only the pairing of the name but the flavors. As you can see from the colors in these pictures, they pretty much represent all the nice complexities that the beer has to offer and prominently the dark cherries and chocolate flavors. This beer is so damn good and the fact that these characters are evil, it represents the seductive qualities such that the beer is so smooth and yet strong at the same time.

Sources:
http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/360781-1040×1477-fate+%28series%29-fateextra-saber-saber+alter-tyappygain-single.jpg
http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/92024-1325×1800-fate+%28series%29-fatestay+night-saber-matou+sakura-saber+alter-stu+dts+%28pixiv%29.jpg

Dark Night of the Soul by Monkish brewing

10447530_10101935635453000_3295597037562605673_nRating: 5.75/5

Dark Night of the Soul by Monkish brewing is an 11.1% ABV Belgian Imperial Stout.

So far few in between and yet another favorite style of beer comes forth and takes me back to why I really love these types of beers. The Belgian imperial stout is one that doesn’t come that often and for the ones that I have tried, simply some of the best I have ever tried. Monkish from Torrance California released this special batch of beer that is only sold at the brewery and is very limited. Only 50 cases made, so yeah. If this beer does good, they may one day decide to release it again. Until then, I bring it forth to you for review. Cheers!

Aromas:
Pecan pie, Dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, dulce de leche caramel, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, coconut, marshmallow smores, oak, anise, molasses, brown sugar, hints of rum, port wine, dark cherries, vanilla, black currants, raisin bread pudding, hazelnut nectar and banana hints.

Flavors:
Black currants, Pecan pie, dark fruits like raisins, plums, dark cherries, figs, Belgian, dark and milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, cocoa powder, port wine hints, rum hints, hazelnut nectar, banana hints, raisin bread pudding, clove spice, anise, molasses, oak, marshmallow smores and coconut hints.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate, dark fruits, earthy spice, pecans and caramel linger for a little bit. No alcohol in the taste despite the fact that this is a sipping beer. It also has some smooth chocolatey creaminess to it. It has a full mouthfeel and it has a pitch black body.

Overall:
Right next to Seme De La Vita, this is my new favorite offering from Monkish. It is extremely exceptional! It really does remind me about how unique the Belgian Stout style can really get. This is one of the best examples for sure. Highly recommended if you can get this one or trade for it.

Anime Corner:
Saber Alter/Dark Saber from Fate Stay Night was used perfectly in this pairing because I wanted to show something in regards to a Dark Night, Evil Soul as well as pay tribute to the monasteries like the theme Monkish brings forth. The colors represent the flavors of the beer and her dark evil power the ABV. She is very dangerous as you will want to drink the whole thing in one sitting, but just like the best beers ever, it must be respected and enjoyed wisely.

Sources:
http://www.zerochan.net/1637555

Four Swords by Deep Ellum of Dallas Texas

10308279_10101798924353140_2507784664141282451_n 10171239_10101798924767310_2789327850861873377_nRating: 5/5

Four Swords by Deep Ellum of Dallas Texas is a 9.5% ABV Belgian Abbey Quadrupel.

Label:
A Quad in the Belgian tradition.

Four Swords is not a beer to be taken lightly. Inspired by the Trappist brewers of Belgium. This Quadruple is an ale of great strength and bold flavor.

In the early days, there was no precise method of measuring the alcohol content of beer, so in order to increase the strength, the brewing monks would use double, triple, or even quadruple the ingredients to achieve a desired result.

Beginning with a big surge of complex, fruity aromatics, the flavor of this full-bodied dark ale gives way to notes of dark fruit and caramel with a slightly spicy finish brought forth by a traditional abbey ale yeast.

Style: Traditional Belgian Style Quad
Hops: Magnum and Williamette
Malts: Pilsner, Cara Munich 60, Special B and Honey Malt
Yeast: Belgium Abbey Ale
Other : Dark Belgian Candi Syrup
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What an awesome name for an awesome beer. I love quadruples and this review could have not been possible without the contribution to my good friend Aaron at www.beermetaldude.com and the good folks at Deep Ellum Brewing of Dallas Texas. We don’t get their beer here in California. So like many quadruples I have had in the past, I really want to look at why this one is so special. Let’s go ahead an break it down, 1 sword at a time. Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit plums, raisins, figs, prunes, dates, cherry, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, bananas, clove spice, anise, toffee, molasses, brown sugar, peaches, apricots, biscuit bread, lots of Belgian candi sugars, cinnamon, pecan pie, berry marmalade and nutmeg.

Flavors:
Very Rich Dulce de leche caramel, candi sugars, dark fruits like raisins, figs, cherries, plums, prunes, anise, toffee, berry marmalade on biscuit toast, molasses, brown sugar, bananas, clove spice, peaches, apricot, pecan pie, whipped cream, vanilla and some earthy notes.

Aftertaste:
Candi sugars, dulce de leche caramel, raisins, mild bananas, clove spice and earthy notes. No alcohol in the taste. A sipping beer with full mouth feel.

Overall:
I must say, a very damn well made quadruple. If you love quadruples, you will like this one. This one hit all sectors in terms of flavor and drinking experience. If you are in Dallas and are some how able to grab this beer, do so as this one is great and delicious.

Anime Corner:
The multiple versions of Saber from Fate Zero/Fate Stay Night and Mori Ranmaru from Sengoku Taisen were chosen for the obvious reason, the 4 swords. With Saber, this is the 4 versions of herself which reflects this beers complexity with each sword ranging from dark cherry, Caramel sugars, Dark fruits and pecan flavors, 4 of which only highlight the other dozen of flavor complexities mentioned in this beer. Each with 4 swords and well, paying respect to the Knight aspect of the sword in relation to the Abbeys and possibly Legend of Zelda too. Sure why not, the beer was named after that game too.

Woodchuck Cellar Series Hard Chocolate Cider by Vermont Hard Cider Company, LLC

1660287_10101694367959990_1589952985_n 923497_10101694368538830_1802611447_nRating: 5/5* Cider Rating

Woodchuck Cellar Series Hard Chocolate Cider by Vermont Hard Cider Company, LLC is a 6.9% ABV Apple Cider brewed with Cacao beans.

Label:
Woodchuck Cellar Series Chocolate features our original, small batch hard cider, complemented by cacao beans. The infusion of crushed cacao beans brings notes of artisan chocolate throughout the nose and taste of cider. A hint of caramel accompanies the full apple flavor with a dry finish. Cellar Series Chocolate is on of the most unique ciders we have ever crafted, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Cheers! 
John Matson Cider Maker
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Another sweet pick up from the local beer store. Who would have thunk that there existed a chocolate cider. That is pretty crazy as the concept is quite, well, WTF? I love chocolate so this is a no brain-er for me. I had to bring this forth to the site for a review.

Aromas:
Chocolate, caramel, apples, peanut butter, cherry, vanilla, tootsie roll, butterscotch, and

Flavors:
Cherry, Milk Chocolate, Milk shake, peanut butter, caramel, apples, mild biscuit bread, butterscotch, tootsie rolls and cocoa crispies cereal.

Aftertaste:
Dry finish with a bit of lingering chocolate and mild peanut butter. No alcohol in the taste, very easy to drink and refreshing.

Overall:
This is freaking delicious, I ain’t gonna lie. I love Crispin ciders for their uniqueness but Woodchuck ciders has definitely stepped up their game here. This is is no joke, very good especially if you like chocolate and ciders. Almost reminds me of apple soda if it were mixed with the chocolate soda I had a while back. Get this one and give a try. You may or may not like it but just know, it is sweet as hell.

Anime Corner:
Saber from Fate Stay Night and Holo from Wolf and Spice were used in this pairing to compliment the label of the chocolate bars as being Saber’s chocolate armor but mainly the fusion of apple and chocolate that can be seen in the picture with Holo from Wolf and spice. It was very obvious I know but I figured this was the closest and most likely the best pairing to show case this delicious cider.

Alaska’s Most Wanted Series: Berserker by Midnight Sun Brewing

1377988_10101434254040370_1178468085_n 1385898_10101434255527390_442576642_nRating: 5.35/5

Alaska’s Most Wanted Series: Berserker by Midnight Sun Brewing is a 12.7% ABV World Class Imperial Stout brewed with maple syrup & molasses all aged in oak bourbon barrels

Label: 
Vicious and viscous, this menacing brew pours opaque black with a creamy maduro-colored head. Its aroma offers seductive whiskey, chewy red wine, dark fruit and lavish tobacco. Berserker Imperial Stout invades your taste buds with in-your-face flavor. Weighing in at almost 13% alcohol by volume, Berserker is completely out-of-control. Give it a good fight.
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This is the first time I try this very epic beer. I heard great things about this beer and long behold, Ramirez Liquor had this in stock for review. Depending as to how this turns out, I think I will grab another bottle although I doubt there will be anymore left. Regardless, if you are able to find this beer just get it.

Aromas are of strong dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha, dark fruits, raisins, plums, strong with pecan and hazelnut notes, marshmallow, almonds, toasted coconut hints, flan, forward bourbon, rich caramel, toffee, maple syrup, oak, vanilla, molasses, licorice, anise, fudge cake and brownies

Flavors are of rich velvety maple syrup oak, bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, molasses, raisins, dark cherries, black berries, wine grapes, port wine, caramel, marshmallows, toasted coconut, roasted coffee notes, pecans, hazel nut, campfire oak and a banana notes.

The after taste leaves with a bit of bourbon, roasted notes, berry notes, maple sweetness and roasted coffee bitterness. Definite sipper and has a moderately boozy alcohol presence but does not detract from the flavors. In fact it seems to be what adds the extra complexity to this beer. Although the bitterness may also take a little bit from it.

Over this is pretty kick ass and awesome. This beer is lovely and syrupy focusing a lot on the bourbon, oak, maple and berry flavors but also focuses on roasted bitterness. It is not bad but some people that may want more sweetness or super duper complexity will be left wanting more as the bitterness may get in the way. I like bitterness on this though. It surely does not disappoint. It does exceed my expectation points and gets some extra credit, but not the chocolate level of supreme that I enjoy in these types of beers. Still a freaking great beer.

Imperial Stout Trooper (2009 edition) by New England Brewing

181271_10101204815911220_293241217_n 971536_10101204815147750_1368371218_n 10500_10101204814354340_1817616532_nRating: 5/5

Imperial Stout Trooper (2009 edition) by New England Brewing is a 8.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout.

Label: 
Brewed in a brewery not too far away and not too long ago… Imperial Stout Trooper is a full bodied stout with a majestic blend of seven different malts and Northern Brewer hops.
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In A Galaxy… Far far away…. or basically in my room… I bring you a rare beer. Welcome to the Darkside of Brewing. Regardless of the gimmick or not, this beer has been rated because it is delicious. This version is the 2009 version which still has the unmodified Storm trooper helmet. Needless to say, I don’t think this beer is 8.5% anymore. It is possibly in the 10% or 11% ABV. As with many of my beer and anime pairings, I had a hard time trying to find something. Hope you enjoy this one 

Aromas are awesome, Oak Chocolate yeti like. The hops have definitely faded over time but the oatmeal, oak, smoke and rich dark chocolate is still there and very good. There is also flavors of vanilla, caramel, coffee, mocha, slight marshmallow, raisins, rum, and toffee.

The flavors are of Bakers chocolate, dark chocolate, Chewbaca Chocolate (Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti reference  ), milk chocolate, coffee, mocha, dark cherries, some bitterness but not from hops. Possibly oak, earthy or roasted coffee bean bitterness. Some vanilla, caramel, raisins, rum, anise, hazelnut, 

Would I recommend this beer? You better fuuu- believe it. This beer does not disappoint. It is very drinkable, WAY TOO DRINKABLE and Greatly delicious. I can feel the force/alcohol in this one. I cannot tell it in the flavor, but in the effect later on that it is a stronger beer. I am not sure how this beer would be in it’s prime as the bottles are hard to come by. Even the newer releases are hard to find. Regardless… Lucky you must be, To find this beer you must… Onward into the Darkside Trooper and don’t hold back!!

Migdal Bavel (AKA Tower of Babel) collaboration by Stillwater Artisanal and Extraomnes

420354_10101060596353370_621134300_n 28992_10101060588050010_309083145_nRating: 4.75/5

Migdal Bavel (AKA Tower of Babel) collaboration by Stillwater Artisanal and Extraomnes is a 6.66%ABV Italian Saison made with Myrrh an Szechuan Peppercorns.

Description:
a crisp blond farmhouse ale brewed with Myrrh & Szechuan Peppercorns.
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Been looking all over the place for this one. Took almost half a year for me to find to so reviewing this one was gonna be such an awesome task. Aside from the eerie 6.66%ABV, this beer has some mysterious aromas and flavors. The aromas start off herbal, floral and spicy. Fragrances of bread notes, flowers, mango, peppercorns, citrus, grapefruit, oak wood, pears and pineapple. The taste is very rich in herbs, spices and funky wild yeast. Flavors can gather are of citrus orange, slight pineapple, lemon, herbs, flowers, honey, vanilla, peppercorns, a bit of wine grapes, banana bread, bubble gum, pears, mushrooms, basil, coriander and spices. The after taste leaves with some nice grassy and spice bitterness which still complemented by flowery sweetness. I am unsure as to how Myrrh taste but possibly the little bit of herbal and spicy bitterness maybe a result. Either way, another awesome saison and an awesome collaboration. Saison and Farmhouse ale fans will enjoy this one 😛