Evening Vespers by Laughing Monk Brewing

Rating: 5/5

Evening Vespers by Laughing Monk Brewing is a 7.1% ABV Belgian Dubbel

A classic Belgian style Dubbel with notes of dried fruits and chocolate emanate from the glass. Pleasant flavors of Plum, Dates, and Raisins hit the palate with an undertone of chocolate and bready notes. Lingering finish holds similar flavors to the palate, with a more accentuated bready note.

Damn, burnt candy sugar and Smokey notes, maple dark fruit, bananas clove spices and lots of awesomeness

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.


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!

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

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.

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.

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.


Proprietor’s Reserve Series Wookey Jack by Firestone Walker

10173553_10101781318630150_4418797359571381756_n 10314658_10101781317831750_327626267463413322_n 10177943_10101781318465480_7101584681421452723_nRating: 5/5

Proprietor’s Reserve Series Wookey Jack by Firestone Walker is an 8.3% ABV World Class Black Rye India Pale Ale.

Wookey Jack is our first foray into the dark outer world of black IPAs. Rich dark malts and spicy rye careen into bold citrus laden hops creating a new dimension in IPA flavor. This brew has been left unfiltered and unfined to retain all of its texture and character. At 60 IBUs, Wookey Jack is gnarly on the outside yet complex and refined on the inside.

Considered to the 4th Best American Black Ale in the world by Beeradvocate.com. I have tried the majority of the common Firestone Walker beers but I have always skipped this one for one reason or another. Well, I finally decided to go with it and give it a shot. My friend Aaron recommended I should try it. He’s over there in Texas and I’m in California. Yeah I know, I’ve been living under a rock right? HA! Any ways, here is the review. The cool thing about this one, is that it has that star wars reference too.

Piney, earthy, grapefruit and grassy hops, dark chocolate, rye bread, roasted barley, caramel, slight smoke, tropical fruits like mango, kiwi and papaya, brown sugar, molasses, notes of dark fruits, anise and biscuit bread.

Herbal, piney, earthy grapefruit and grassy hops, anise, caramel, dark chocolate, rye bread, tropical fruits, pineapple, apricot, old mango, papaya, kiwi, molasses, campfire smoke, roasted barley, toffee, biscuit bread, notes of dark fruit plums and oranges.

Piney and earthy hop bitterness with surprisingly lingering tropical flavor, caramel, smoke and chocolate. No alcohol in the taste, moderate to sipping drinkability with medium to full mouth feel.

One of the best Black Rye IPAs for sure. It really reminds you about the fact that it is an IPA first and foremost before it gives you the dark sweet aspects. While the hops aren’t super dank, they definitely help the beer so it doesn’t feel, too bitter, too sweet or too smokey. Well made beer and definitely one that is underrated. This beer is phenomenal and I hope this review convinces you to try this one. It is a great example of the style.

Anime Corner:
Fran and Balthier from Final Fantasy XII were used in this pairing since I wanted to get the whole Chewbacca and Han Solo aspect of star wars but I wanted to related to anime and video games. Which lead me to Fran and Balthier. It is pretty crazy how good partners they are in the game that you can tell they took the them right out of star wars. Yes, I was going with the whole, Fran is a wookie but not yet she is like Chewbacca partnering with Han Solo. Either way, flavors and label of the beer also compliment their colors as she is a smoking hot chocolate bunny. There I said it lol.

Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout 2012 by Cigar City Brewing

576200_10101082459165120_925278613_n544111_10101082471345710_1363262627_nRating: 5.75/5

Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout 2012 by Cigar City Brewing is an 11%ABV Imperial Stout Aged on cacao nibs, ancho and pasilla chiles, cinnamon and Madagascar Vanilla Beans. This was released in March 2012 so it is almost exactly 1 year of aging.

In Mayan mythology, Hun Hunahpu was the father of the Mayan hero twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Hun Hunahpu, along with his brother Vucub Hunahpu, was tricked by the Dark Lords of the underworld and slain. Hun Hunahpu’s corpse morphed into a cacao tree, his head becoming a cacao pod, which in typically awesome mythology fashion, spit upon the hand of a young maiden named Xiquic who promptly became pregnant with the hero twins. The twins would ultimately grow up to avenge their father and uncle and defeat the Dark Lords and ascend to the heavens to become the moon and sun

We brew Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout once a year and release it only at the brewery. We will continue to do so until the end of the cycle.

Rated to be the 4th best Imperial Stout in the world. 100% world class. This version is aged almost exactly 1 year. I can only assume this is like a response to Dark Lord de Muerte from the Three Floyds as it is brewed with chiles also. Never the less, this is something special. Aromas immediately rush the nose several inches from this liquid of gods. Fragrances of Very strong Dark chocolate, Milk chocolate, Khalua, Chocolate Abuelita, chile spices from the ancho and pasilla, some vanilla, coffee, strong bourbon, vanilla, flan, cinnamon, champurrado, dulce de leche caramel, molasses, piloncillo sugar cone, oak, cherries and alittle bit of coconut. The flavors are of smokey roasted pasilla and ancho chiles but without the heat, dark chocolate, Khalua, coffee, chocolate abuelita, mole, champurrado, cherry, raisins, prunes, molasses, vanilla, small amount of earthy bitterness, cinnamon sticks, ginger bread, alittle bit of dulce de leche, piloncillo sugar cone, tamarind, oak wood and maple syrup. Initially, the chile spices would take over but then as the beer got warmer, it let a massive amount sweet chocolate flavors pull through with vanilla and cinnamon dancing all over. A delicious beer that is truly world class. While it definitely surpasses a great amount of world beers, I believe it is really preference based. While this one is very sweet and has the spiciness to cancel out the over powered sweetness, many people will find this appealing over more “Diabetes in a bottle” types like Dark Lord, Black Tuesday, Grey Monday or Chocolate rain (some of my ultimate favorites). For me I like the extra sweetness in some beers, but this has so much flavor of my culture written all over, fragrance and taste alike. In terms of Chile beer Imperial Stouts, hands down, The best in the world Chile beer right next to the Dark Lord de Muerte.