Five Wee Heavy Bells by Karl Strauss

10837990_10102260899002240_4064620618864496925_oRating: 5/5

Five Wee Heavy Bells by Karl Strauss is a 9.5% ABV Holiday Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale.

Label:
The next pioneering release in our “Twelve days” series gets its name from the five famous bells of Mission San Diego de Alcala; whose “golden rings” can only be heard in unison once a year. Five Wee Heavy Bells is a smooth, malty scotch ale with rich caramel flavors and a warming finish. The beer’s malt sweetness is balanced by pronounced scotch characteristics; carefully developed by aging the beer on scotch-soaked American oak chips. Whether you enjoy your bottle now or let it age for celebrations to come, Five Wee Heavy Bells is perfect for the holidays.

==Introduction==

The 5th release if the 12 Christmas beers of San Diego is now available in time for the Holidays. I have finally had a chance to bring the 5th one forward while all the other ones have been awesome indeed. I have yet to find a bottle of Dos Tortugas Quadrupel but that is okay as I have had it on draft. This makes me wonder if I should ever find a pairing for that one. Oh well, one of these days I am sure. Anyways, they decided to bring forth a Wee Heavy Style. This is an awesome style that does not get enough praise due to it being an uncommon style. Still, I have tried many Wee Heavy Ales in the past but this one intrigues me as it says it is a Holiday spiced one. We shall see then. Join me this holiday to take a look at this one and see what we find. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich fruit cake notes, dark fruit raisins, sugar plums, figgy pudding, red velvet cake, cinnamon, Stotch hints, butterscotch, dulce de leche caramel, maple, flan hints, smoked peat, malty cereal, marshmallow smotes, graham crackers, all spice, nutmeg, bananas, hazelnut, coffee cake, mocha and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Rich Dark Fruit raisins, sugar plums, dark cherry, Rich Fruit cake, Red Velvet cake, pecan pie, figgy pudding, butterscotch, toffee, vanilla, caramel, maple, biscuit bread, malty cereal, Scotch, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, bananas, smoked peat, anise, dulce de leche caramel, flan hints, marshmallow smores, mocha hints, hazelnut, mocha, peaches and cream, coffee cake and brown sugar.

Aftertaste:
Rich toffee, butterscotch, rye bread, leather, maple, fruit cake, dark fruits raisins, dark cherries, biscuit bread, and coffee cake. No alcohol in the taste, creamy, silky and smooth mouthfeel, crimson amber clear body with a drinkability that is definitely moderate.

Overall:
Damn perfect Wee Heavy. It is like they took a Wee Heavy and pretty much added the holiday spices too it making like a Wee Heavy Winter Warmer, or so I think. The beer is great just like their other holiday beers. I enjoyed this one especially for the style. I will definitely recommend this one if you like nice holiday ales and especially Wee Heavy Scotch Ales.

Anime Corner:
All 5 Sailor Scouts from Sailor Moon were used in this pairing to pair with the 5 Wee Heavy Bells as each wears a pendant like wearing a bell. Their transformations depend on it. The different colors are the different variety of flavors but also the whole color aspect is primarily what makes Christmas. This beer is almost magical on its own.

Sources:
http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/390164-1920×1200-bishoujo+senshi+sailor+moon-toei+animation-tsukino+usagi-sailor+moon-aino+minako-sailor+venus.jpg

2014 Barrel Roll No. 08 Falling Leaf by Hangar 24

10730795_10102205527477220_1362133489169314725_n 10470824_10102205527796580_7893379489800695800_n 1384355_10102205528081010_4334188655927601405_nRating: 6/5

2014 Barrel Roll No. 08 Falling Leaf by Hangar 24 is a 10.2% Imperial Pumpkin Porter Aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
Bottle: 2033/2981

FALLING LEAF: The Pilot Brings the airplane into a stall. Then works the rudder to slip back and forth from right right to left while hold the nose forward.

Each autumn we brew a fresh batch of Gourdgeous, an Imperial Porter which pays homage to our local pumpkin harvest. To create FALLING LEAF, we placed a small portion of last year’s Gourdgeous in barrels to age gracefully through another turn of the seasons. A year in our cellar has mellowed and sweetened the robust flavors of pumpkin pie spice, molasses, caramel and dark chocolate, while the single-use bourbon barrels we selected lift the beer back up, adding bright layers of bourbon, oak and vanilla. Beneath these layers you’ll recognize the strong core of the base beer: 1,000 pounds of pumpkins grown just ½ a mile from our brewery. Falling Leaf is ready to drink now, or can be placed into your own cellar to continue aging gracefully.

==Introduction==

Essentially, the Barrel Aged Gourdgeous which is their seasonal pumpkin porter. I had not heard of this until I saw this one online. The unfortunate part about it is that it is limited so only able to obtain 1 bottle of this, I was hoping to get another for a good friend. I will have to see if I can find more however the label does specify that it is a rather limited beer. Hope they make more of it but if you can find it, well, let’s see if you want to buy it based on my review. So let’s go and see what this evolved Pumpkin Porter can do. Cheers!

Aromas:
Strong scent of honey dew melon and pumpkin flesh, plantains, bananas, clove spice, piloncillo sugar cone, Mezcal Tequila hints, honey comb, bourbon, vanilla, oak, dulce de leche caramel, maple syrup, rye bread, fruit cake, Danish cookies, flan, Dark fruit raisins, cherries, blue berries, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, marshmallows, smores, anise, pumpkin cheese cake, anise, molasses, honey comb, wine grape hints, cookie dough ice cream, chai tea and sweet potatoes.

Flavors:
Honey dew melon, Agave syrup, Tequila hints, grape sangria, pumpkin seeds, piloncillo sugar cone, pumpkin flesh, cinnamon, pecan pie, bananas, rum hints, bourbon, marshmallows, chocolate smores, toasted coconut, rye bread, dark fruit raisins, dark cherries, blue berries, currants, bananas, plantains, capirotada raisins bread pudding, flan, coffee cake, brown sugar, anise, honey comb, maple syrup, spiced coffee, vanilla, oak, Danish cookies, pumpkin cheese cake, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, cookie dough ice cream, all spice, crème brulee, chai tea, sweet potato, wine grape hints, walnuts, nutella, old mango hints, graham crackers and fruit cake.

Aftertaste:
Fruit cake, pumpkin spice, bourbon, dulce de leche caramel, rum bourbon, marshmallow, tequila and sangria hints. No alcohol in the taste, creamy mouthfeel, sipping drinkability and dark orange full body.

Overall:
I think the biggest part about this beer is that it was nothing like a bourbon barrel aged pumpkin beer I have ever had before. This was something very special. The barrel flavors were not like those of the bourbons I am used to. They were more like a rum or a tequila. It is almost like the pilot in this one took a strict page from the witchcraft book of Halloween and decided to do it’s own spell to really give that ‘Trick Or Treat’ feel. The only problem is that this one is limited. So I suggest you get to searching and really try to find this one.

Anime Corner:
Nia Teppellin from Toppa Tengen Gurren Lagan was used in this pairing as a pilot. In the past Hangar 24 Barrel Roll beers, I have put specific pilot characters for each review as I feel it fits the series overall. Many wear jumpsuits or some sort of suit in general. Since Nia in her Anti-Spiral suit sort of resembles a mobile suit pilot and the fact that she comes from a mobile suit pilot show and got to drive one next to her love Simon, this was perfect. In reference to the beer name and the overall Fall season and dark Halloween look, I paired several pictures. In the first one she is falling like the name of the beer, falling leaf. In the dark picture with the mobile suit, Gurren Lagan, it looks evil and dark with the moonlight representing fall and Halloween and the aspect of being a pilot. In the last picture it is just her and a close up as to how sweet she is. While is very powerful and evil in one point in the show, this paired greatly with the strength and complexity of the beer. The teal and red colors represent the colors of the label as well but also that Tequila and Rum notes I kept getting on this beer. Definitely a lot going on with the beer and a great pairing at that.

Sources:
http://4.blog.xuite.net/4/7/a/b/10350619/blog_422775/txt/23236801/21.jpg
http://data3.whicdn.com/images/15647981/original.jpg
http://i52.tinypic.com/xo1g8n.jpg

Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer by Rahr & Sons

1620819_10101692608406150_137183940_nRating: 5.75/5

Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer by Rahr & Sons is a 9% ABV Winter Warmer aged in bourbon Barrels.

Label:
We take recently emptied bourbon barrels and refill them with our Winter Warmer English-Style Dark Ale. We then barrel age this majestic ale for 10 weeks. The result is a balanced, ambitious blend of dark malts and English hops.
___

Amazing thanks to my good friend Aaron in Texas, ruler of www.beermetaldude.com who presented me with another great beer. This time, a style I have never even thought was possible. A winter warmer, aged in bourbon barrels. Although, Widmer did make a partial aged one but I am sure this one takes the cake.. Holy Shit! This is truly unique. It is an honor and a pleasure once again my friend to be able to bring this forth to our craft beer review fans. Cheers to you and Cheers to you readers. Thanks for reading.

Aromas:
Rich dark fruits like raisins, prunes, figs, dark chocolate, cherries, currants, all spice, ginger bread, fruit cake, vanilla, oak, coconut, hazelnut nectar, nutella, rye bread, dulce de leche caramel, raisin bread pudding, port wine notes, coffee cake and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Rich Dark Chocolate, Dark fruits like the prunes, raisins, cherries, currants, fruit cake, oak, bourbon, toasted coconut, rocky road ice cream, ginger, all spice, vanilla, choco flan, coffee cake, brown sugar, pecan pie, hazelnut, rye bread, dulce de leche carame, port wine, earthy hop character and Toffee.

Aftertaste:
Leaves with a coconut, raisin, chocolate, earthy hop and slight bourbon flavor. No alcohol in the taste. A sipping beer that is best enjoyed as alittle at a time.

Overall:
Exceptionally great. I think the extra cred definitely has to do with the rich chocolate flavors coming through along with the sweet bourbon, dark fruits and fruit cake and more. Amazing beer and one that is highly recommended if you can get it. Thank you once again Aaron, this was truly something very special. Cheers!

Anime Corner:
Tenryuu from Kancolle/Kantai Collection was chosen in this pairing to represent the winter and dark fruit flavors of the beer. Her eyes compliment the color of the label as she carries a sword of chocolate which strikes your senses like a pleasure train. Careful though, while she may be something that you may want to consume right away as she tries to seduce you, she will strike with her chocolate vengeance. Can you see any other things that compliment this pairing?

Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds by The Bruery

545212_10100984460819590_2004368584_nRating: 5.25/5

Bourbon Barrel Aged 4 Calling Birds by The Bruery is a 14.8%ABV Belgian Dark Ale Brewed with spices and aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
The fourth verse of our “Twelve Beers of Christmas” saga incorporates ginger-like spice into a rich and robust dark ale. Happy Holidays!
___

This is a barrel aged version of the original 4 calling birds. Haven’t tried the original but this one is still awesome, maybe even better :P. The aromas immediately are of strong vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, coconut and banana crème pie, bourbon, raisins, cherries, holiday fruit cake, some chocolate and coffee cake. The flavors are pretty complex with a major solidification of Bourbon, Vanilla, matured Banana, dulce de leche caramel, coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, fruitcake with dark fruits like plums raisins, cherries, a bit of apple, hazelnuts, pecans, dark chocolate and and some citrus. The aftertaste is a lot like banana and raisins with some good bourbon and vanilla still there. The alcohol is well hidden, yet do take your time with this. While it is very delicious, it is past the 10%ABV and quite hefty in alcohol. An 8oz serving would suffice and save some for later :). Good flavor is hard to come by. Some beers meet or exceed expectations. For me, this one exceeded them quite a bit. If you can find it…fuck yeah!!!