Kum Together by El Borracho Homebrewing

1150873_10103117638559300_3886264520300131288_nRating: 4.75/5

Kum Together by El Borracho Homebrewing is a 4.3% ABV American wheat ale brewed with kumquats, lemon zest and coriander.

==Introduction==

Another brew that I was able to get from my friend and fellow homebrewer, William Carranza. This brew idea came up as he had received several Kumquats as a gift and the idea of experimenting with different ingredients. Coming up with the name was based on using words that related to the work Kumquats. Yeah it would have been so easy to just give it an innuendoes name but something not to offend the weak, he got another name. So The Beatles song “Come Together” came to mind and so he named it, Kum Together. A wheat ale in the style of the Americas which already likes to add citrus to their beers enhanced the style since no additional fruit would be needed to make this one good. Let’s take a look, Cheers!

Aromas:
Coriander spice, Kumquats, lemon hints, strawberry hints, Grapefruit, citrus and piney hop notes, cane sugar, stone fruits, vanilla hints and tropical fruits.

Flavors:
Grapefruit, citrus and piney hop notes, Oranges, Kumquats, Orange preserves on wheat, tangerine gummies, kumquat peels, lemon peels, coriander spice, mild fruity pebbles notes, strawberry notes, raspberry jelly on rye bread, vanilla, caramel, stone fruit peaches, apple hints, mango hints, lychee candies, guava notes, prickly pear tuna, dragon fruit notes, passion fruit hints and cane sugar.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with notes of coriander, tangerine gummies, grapefruit hops, stone fruit, citrus, lemon peel, Kumquat notes and tropical fruit hints. No alcohol in the taste, Golden honey colored light body, crisp, clean, refreshing and smooth mouthfeel and easy to drink.

Overall:
A very delicious brew. Tasted so good like orange and tropical candies that it was difficult for me to see which ingredient or combination thereof imparted the greatest contribution to these sweet flavors. It was definitely enjoyable and close to a Pale Ale but definitely and American Wheat. Very refreshing and hope to enjoy this one again. Cheers Will!

Anime Corner:
Claire “Lightning” Farron, Kain, Jecht, Vaan from the Final Fantasy series were used in this pairing as I wanted to go with a band theme similar to what my friend chose for the name of the brew, a Beatles Tribute. Other than the colors of the characters representing the flavors, ingredients and colors of the brew, I couldn’t think of anything else that would pair with the brew other than this being awesome artwork and how the brew flows well like the music.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/CYS3I9a.jpg

Hammerland by El Segundo brewing

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Rating: 5/5

Hammerland by El Segundo brewing is an 8.6% ABV Double India Pale Ale.
Label:

Bright, Clean Crisp, Blueberry dankness… exactly what you expect with a hop bill of Mosaic and Simcoe. Get your nose in the glass and the aromatics will overwhelm you like the double-overhead closeouts down at Hammerland.

==Introduction==

Obtained this guy from El Segundo brewing recently as I wanted to see what this one was all about. A double IPA with a lot of talk behind it. From the makers of power plant triple IPA, I did not expect anything less than awesome, or so I hope. While I would love to compare this one to the already awesome Power Plant, they are different categories of IPA. So let’s see how this one goes. Cheers!

Aromas:

Lots of grassy, citrus, herbal, piney, grapefruit, floral, and dank garlicky hops, biscuit bread, honey, gummy bear hints, peach hints, blueberry and cherry hints, tropical fruit notes like dragon fruit, mango, guava, prickly pear, kiwi, honey dew melon, passion fruit, cantaloupe, lychee fruit and tangerines.

Flavors:

Piney, citrusy, grapefruit, floral, herbal, grassy and danky garlicky hops along with honey, rich tropics such as pineapple, strawberry, blueberry, cherries, dragon fruit, passion fruit, mango, guava, prickly pear, kiwi, honey dew melon, orange peel, biscuit bread, cantaloupe melon, lychee fruit, tangerines, gummi bears and peach notes.

Aftertaste:

Dank piney, herbal, citrus and garlicky hops linger, tropical fruits, biscuit bread, gummi bear notes, strawberry and blueberry hints and peach hints. No alcohol in the taste, easy to moderate drinkability, crisp and refreshing mouth feel as well as a clear golden body.

Overall:

A perfect IPA indeed. This reminds me of some of the hybrid IPAs where it does not lean toward one direction or the other but certain balanced of bitter herbal hops with tropical fruit and malty citrus notes. I can kinda see why this one turned out to be a fan favorite for many. It is is not as complex as Power Plant nor is it it at that Sure Bet IPA level but for being of the best reps for the west coast style, it is surprisingly delicious and well deserving of that gold medal. Get this one where you can find El Segundo stuff like Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights for example.

Anime Corner:

Gunner version of Yuna from Final Fantasy X-2 and just for the heck of it, Lucy (Wyldstyle) from the Lego movie were used in this pairing to represent several aspects of the beer. To show case the tropical aspects of the beer, Yuna’s dress shows a patter that almost looks like waves as they approach an island. In this case, her and the aspect of Hammerland goes with respect to the barrel and hammer of her dual guns (Double IPA). The background represents the face of the hammer as it faces the bullet with what seems to be a never ending tunnel as the bullet travels down the barrel. The colors do work with the berry aspects of the beer which reminded me of Wyldstyles highlights and gold body representing the IPA in general. She is getting ready for the beach and with these two girls, they make up the double IPA.

Sources:

http://static.minitokyo.net/downloads/13/04/12713.jpg?1625883245

http://40.media.tumblr.com/9031a91fe550eaa58841468f90f9220b/tumblr_ncd1lydC7O1r3gwo9o1_1280.jpg

Proprietor’s Reserve Series No. 001 Velvet Merkin by Firestone Walker

994600_10101439809452280_289346014_n 1383987_10101439809497190_924111021_nRating: 5.2/5

Proprietor’s Reserve Series No. 001 Velvet Merkin by Firestone Walker is a 8.6% ABV World Class Oatmeal Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels

Label: 
Velvet Merkin is the beer that almost wasn’t; at least in name… After all, it’s not your style to conceive monikers that are confounding scandalous or comical. But in this instance, we inadvertently achieved all three of these things with “Velvet Merkin.” And so the name went off the grid for several years, but now it’s back due to popular demand. If we get asked we’ll say it’s all your fault.

Once in the glass, however, Velvet Merkin is dead serious – The 2013 vintage outpaces its predecessors. Aged for a gull year in seasoned Bourbon Barrels, this decadent oatmeal stout holds your nose hostage with chocolate and vanilla-bourbon aromas. Rich flavors of dark chocolate truffle, Bourbon and espresso ultimately yield a beer that is dangerously smooth and increadibly drinkable. 

Velvet Merkin is one-of-a-kind sipping stout that is built to last, and that will reward careful aging for years to come. Hoarding tendencies may occur. 
___

One of the last bottles I was able to get at Ramirez Liquor stores in Boyle Heights California near down town Los Angeles, this is a coveted beer and a first time bottle release for Firestone Walker. There many stores online that are still carrying this and will ship it to you. Get this one before it is gone for good. While you wait, read this review and let me know what you think of the beer once you get a chance to try it.

Aromas are of oatmeal cookies, oreo cookies, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, milk chocolate, marshmallows, vanilla, bourbon, graham crackers, caramel, mocha, espresso, roasted barley, oak, hazelnut and ferrero rocher chocolates

The flavors are awesome! Dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha, oreo and oatmeal cookies, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, marshmallows, rocher chocolate notes, espresso coffee, oak, hazelnut, pecans, cookies and cream and coconut.

The aftertaste leaves with some flavors of vanilla, bourbon, oak, oatmeal, chocolate and. Hidden alcohol and the drinkability is easy to moderate but it goes down very smooth

Overall, this is an awesome beer exceeding a few points of expectation and note. If you love cookies and cream and oatmeal, you will like this one. Not to mention the fact that it is very smooth and close to easy drinking for an 8.5. An outstanding example that a beer need to be over the 10% ABV range to bring about some of the best flavors out there. Simply put, a must get and extraordinarily delicious. Release the Merkin unto thy palate for its magic, the bloodstream of the universe, will take you to some really sweet places.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Cauldron by Grand Teton Brewing

307218_10100969359522710_644190825_nRating: 5/5

Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Cauldron by Grand Teton Brewing is a 8% ABV Russian Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels. 

This is part of a rare release of brewers’ series beers that may be available soon. The beer has no particular description noted. I have tried the regular version of this beer in the past and have considered it a favorite. With a release of a barrel aged version, it brings forth something even more magical, mystical, dark and well, just delicious. 

The aromas of this beer come off as a semi sweet semi bitter bakers chocolate, coffee, mocha, vanilla, some bourbon, oak, dark fruits and berries. The taste reminds me of the Oak Aged Chocolate Yeti with bourbon. It is pretty good. Like a Dark and semi sweet/bitter bakers chocolate and coffee cake dipped in a little bit of bourbon with notes of wooden oak barrel, caramel, vanilla, blackberries, raisins, cherries, sweet bread, minor earthy hop bitterness with disappears into some coconut like notes but just a little bit. It is quite smooth and rich going down. It is not super boozy but you get some nice notes of the oak and the bourbon. It is not like the Old Rasputin Barrel Aged but it is still a great barrel aged stout. Remembering how good the original was for me, this is a great step up in complexity and a must find.