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

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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

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

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
___

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.

Suede collaboration between 10 Barrel, Stone and Blue Jacket Breweries

1381783_10101447276428400_669711275_n 1380276_10101447276488280_1337927881_n 1383718_10101447276558140_1166499879_nRating: 4.5/5

Suede collaboration between 10 Barrel, Stone and Blue Jacket Breweries is a 9.6% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Calendula Flowers, Jasmine and Honey

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Due to our participation in at least a half a dozen collaborations each year, one might perceive Stone as the craft beer equivalent of a bee flitting indiscriminately from one brewery to the next, all the while drawing precious nectar-the expertise and creativity of those institution’ brewmasters. Another buzzy operation that gets the same rap is Bluejacket, a new, Washington, D.C.-based operation headed by industry veteran and constant collaborator Megan O’Leary Parisi. But make no mistake, Stone and Bluejacket are intensely selective about the contemporaries we invite into our brewhouses. We look for the same high level of passion and daringness to flip a beer style on its head that we employ on a baily basis. So, when Parisi and Stone brewmaster Mitch Steele decided to collaborate, it was essential that they tap a special individual to complete their triad of fermentation domination, and they found just that in Tonya Cornett, the brewmaster at Bend, Oregon’s 10 Barrel Brewing Company. Together, they decided on a sturdy yet velvety base of imperial porter and developed a plan to celebrate the bounty of the environs in which it was produced by harvesting avocado honey, jasmine and calendula flowers (some from our very own Stone Farms)and infusing them into the beer to create something complex and uniquely Southern Californian. Consider it craft cross-pollination at its finest.

“Suede evokes thoughts of richness, color and, most of all, a soft, seductive texture-everything we wanted for this beer.”
Tonya Cornett//Brewmaster, 10 Barrel Brewing Company

“There’s always something to learn from someone and vice versa. You can talk about brewing all the time, but it’s not until brewers put their heads together that they really learn how the other thinks.”
Megan O’Leary Parisi//Brewmaster, Bluejacket

“I normally don’t think of brewing imperial porters outside of the winter season, but the addition of local honey and jasmine will make this beer an all-season wonder.”
Mitch Steele//Brewmaster, Stone Brewing Co.
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Recently released and soon to hit all Stone Brewery markets, this is the latest collaboration beer release from Stone brewing. This years releases have beer some of the best. Coffee IPA and Wheaton Woot Stout being some of best ever. Let us check this one out and see how it goes. Looking at the ingredients, this one will probably be another porter, or something completely different.

Aromas are of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha, black and blue berries, honey, vanilla, caramel, flowery notes, molasses, jasmine, perfume and anise

Flavors are of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, blueberries, blackberries, grape preserves, honey, flowers, raisins, plum notes, vanilla, molasses, earthy hops, espresso, marshmallows, mocha, caramel, chocolate cake with raisins and pecans

The aftertaste is of bitter espresso, dark chocolate, berries and and some earthy flowery notes. The mouthfeel is silky. Little alcohol presence but definitely a sipper

Overall it a very good beer. Lots of sweetness but also decent bitterness. Although the bitterness started to leave as the beer got warmer. This made the beer super pleasant. It was very enjoyable after I let it warm up. Definitely recommend this one and definitely take your time with it.

Barrel Aged Siren Noire Heavy Seas Uncharted Series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing

1005781_10101298803444450_1861030632_n 993628_10101298805440450_1847710357_n 1005638_10101298805031270_1245257992_nRating: 5.75/5*

Barrel Aged Siren Noire Heavy Seas Uncharted Series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Chocolate and aged in Bourbon Barrels

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Siren Noire
Rich and velvety, this smooth brew owes its full body to healthy additions of imported specialty grains. The roasted malt flavors of coffee yield to notes of mocha, fig, and raisin – and Belgian cacao nibs impart a decadent chocolate nuance. Bourbon barrel aging finishes by adding tones of vanilla. An unparalleled flavor experience

Uncharted Waters explores the unique changes that happen to beer when exposed to wood. Each beer showcases a robust style, carefully matched with a wood treatment to showcase a range of complex flavors. Vintage dating encourages further exploration on the aging process. As much about the voyage as the destination we hope you enjoy these beers in the spirit in which they were brewed.
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So I got this on whim. I wanted to get the Holy Sheet Belgian ale they had but unfortunately for me it may already be to late. Well, better luck next year I guess. Anyways, I found this one and I wanted to try as it was a Barrel Aged beer and from a brewery I have never tried before. So I decided to give it a try and damn, what a treasure it was as soon as I opened the bottle.

Aromas exploded with a great ton of coconut, chocolate, marshmallows, almonds, bourbon, vanilla, dulce de caramel (Rocky road fragrances), flan, mocha coffee notes, deep java, frappucino, 

The flavors are way too damn close to rocky road ice cream and coffee to put it as best as possible. Bitterness is definitely like an earthy and it is also oaky slightly. Flavors are are of milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, toasted coconut, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, vanilla, marshmallows, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, chocolate cheese cake, flan, crème brulee, mocha, frappucino and chocolate fudge brownies

The Aftertaste leaves off sweet with nice chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, flan and mocha notes. No alcohol presence and the flavors are complex and intense, I am surprised how they could develop these very nice flavors from such an ABV.

Amazingly enough, while it is not strong with the alcohol, it has a lot of sweet flavors. This is too damn good. I wish I could get this beer more frequently. This is really good. If you are lucky enough to find it and live Bourbon Barrel Aged beers, go get this right away. Coffee flavored Rocky Road ice cream in liquid form.

*I am a chocolate beer fanatic, so the rating maybe a bit bias but I swear, this is like rocky road ice cream in liquid form. Maybe not to the Parabola level but enough to notice. Oh, and Lots of nice coffee to go with it too