2016 One Hitter Series High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout by Lagunitas brewing

Rating: 6/6

2016 One Hitter Series High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout by Lagunitas brewing is a 12.2% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Coffee beans and aged in High West Rye Whiskey Barrels.

Label:
There’s no shame in being a One-Hit Wonder. It’s hard to be right even once. This series of rare beers, brewed in our smallest fermentors all are experiments, liquid ideas, salubrious ruminations built on our 23 years of edgy brewing at the edge of brewing.

==Introduction==

Obtained this one at one of my local liquor stores in South Gate. I had heard great things about this beer and heard it also sold quickly. For a beer that was definitely up there with all the great spirit aged brews out there, I had to pick this one up. It was actually a surprised that I found it as I really believed they had sold out. For the ABV and the price of a 6 pack at what you would normally pay for a single 22oz or 12oz of some specialty whale (12-14$) this was a damn bargain. Sometimes, 6 packs maybe downplayed but when you realize you get more beer for your $, its insane. Especially when its something like this. Let’s take a look, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, Bakers chocolate, Belgian chocolate, chocolate milk shake, oak, whiskey, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, Irish cream, mocha, roasted coffee notes, toasted rye bread, marshmallow smores, rocky road ice cream, almond joy, toasted coconut hints and sweetened condensed milk.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, oak, Whiskey, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, Bakers chocolate, Belgian chocolate, chocolate milk shake, mocha, espresso beans, Khalua, toasted coconut, rocky road ice cream, almond joy, hazelnut nectar, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, Danish cream, Irish cream, flan, crème brulee, sweetened condensed milk, oatmeal cookies, marshmallow smores, malted milk balls, waffle cone, chocolate cream cake, toasted rye bread, mint chocolate chip notes, molasses, dark cherry chocolate cake, dark cherry ice cream hints, whipped cream and hints of smoke.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with rich mocha notes, vanilla, caramel, rye whiskey, oak, rocky road ice cream, Irish cream, marshmallow smores, caramel bourbon, smokey notes and roasted espresso coffee. No alcohol in the taste despite the 12.2% ABV, pitch black full body, smooth, creamy, chewy and velvety mouthfeel, as well as a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Damn exceptional brew! Like drinking Bourbon County Rye or a specialty Rye whiskey barrel aged stout. The flavors are amazing displaying a ton of complexity and the rich deliciousness of the rye barrel. For them to sell it at such a price is something I wish they didn’t have it in a limited run and more of a yearly beer. This is why I think its called the One-Hitter series as it really is hit! They spent a lot of time making this one an awesome brew and I highly recommend people check this one out.

Anime Corner:
YoRHa No.2 Type B/ 2B/ 2E “Executioner” from Nier: Automata was chosen in this pairing as I wanted to choose a bad as character that also pairs with the label colors, beer colors and beer strength. She has a blindfold to represent the obliviousness that people have toward common brews which can can actually be on par with the likes of many of the awesome whales I have had before. Yes, this is worthy of a challenge!

Sources:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6PbQw0VUAAZkyK.png
https://kazasou.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/konachan-com-233374-criin_659503-nier-nier_automata.jpg
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https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C2c6n0EVQAEGy02.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6b1OFEXQAISXJ9.jpg

2015 Darkness & Barrel Aged Darkness by Surly brewing (Double Review)

10660163_10102989070181360_1084719787016361949_nThe time has come for another yearly review of Minnesota’s equivalent of Dark Lord Day (Darkness Day), Surly Darkness! If you were lucky to have the 2014 version of Darkness, there was only one release at the time that was both the original but also aged in Rye Whiskey. This time, they released both the original non-barrel aged and the barrel aged versions. Today I will bring you the review for the original brew for this year and the Whiskey Barrel variant. Both beers, though a pretty penny, I was able to get through online means. If you want to get this one, you can try and find them at www.mybeercollectibles.com or best your chance to trade. Regardless, I want to see if these beers are worth the trade but also want let you know if they are worth it to save you some time. Who am I kidding, ofcourse these are awesome! Then again, let’s see if they have changed over the years too. Cheers!

2015 Darkness*
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2015 Darkness by Surly brewing is a 10.3% ABV World Class Russian Imperial Stout.

Label:
Our 2015 vintage bottling of Darkness features a screeching bat-nightmare by local artist Brandon Holt.

No creature is more adept at navigating in the Darkness than a bat. Emerging from a deep and ancient cave, this year’s twisted nocturnal creature has evolved a set of adaptations well suited to detecting and devouring uncommon nourishment.

Notes of chocolate, coffee, dried tart cherries, and raisins emirate from his lair. If you can evade the talons and teeth, the think body of this Russian imperial stout finishes sweet, with a piney resinous character.
___

Aromas:
Rich sweetened condensed milk, tres leches cake, crème brulee,tropical fruit like passion fruit, dragon fruit, guava, grapefruit, tangerines, citrus, oranges, stone fruit mango, peaches, apricot, dulce de leche caramel, bananas, Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, fudge chocolate, chocolate mousse, brown sugar, honey, dark candi sugar, fruit cake, pecan pie, almond joy, oak, dark fruit raisins, prunes, plums, figs, dark cherries, currants, mocha, roasted coffee, brown sugar, molasses, anise, mild rum, leather, tobacco and toasted bread on blackberry jam.

Flavors:
Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, fudge chocolate, stone fruit mango, peaches, apricot, dulce de leche caramel, bananas, chocolate mousse, capirotada raisins bread pudding, peaces and cream, tropical fruit like passion fruit, dragon fruit, guava, grapefruit, tangerines, citrus, oranges, molasses, anise, dark fruit raisins, prunes, plums, figs, dark cherries, currants, mocha, roasted coffee, brown sugar, cherry Dr. pepper, rocky road ice cream, maple syrup, raspberries, marshmallows, graham cracker smores, toasted coconut, flan, earthy notes, mild rum, leather, tobacco, toasted bread on blackberry jam, rye bread, tres leches cake, lechera sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, plantains, chocolate mango, brown sugar, honey, dark candi sugar, fruit cake, pecan pie, almond joy and bourbon hints.

Aftertaste:
Rich Chocolate mango, coffee, tropical fruit like dragon fruit, passion fruit, earthy notes, oak, rye bread, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, banana, dark fruit raisin, blackberry preserves, coconut, fruit cake, pecan pie and other sweet goodies. No alcohol in the taste, dark abyss body, smooth velvety and silky mouthfeel and a dangerously easy drinkability like before.

Overall:
It has been a long time since I tried the original. The 2014 one was straight up barrel aged and that one was super amazing. So the original is definitely true to when I tried it back in 2013. Damn luscious evil, darkness, black magic, abysmal craziness. If you have never tried this beer, you have to get your hands on this one or any of the previous variants. This is always ridiculous to the core. A true Dark Lord of its own arts!

2015 Barrel Aged Darkness
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2015 Barrel Aged Darkness by Surly brewing is a 12% ABV World Class Russian Imperial Stout aged in High West Rye Whiskey Barrels.

Label:
(Same as The 2015 Darkness)
___

Aromas:
Dark cherries, prunes, plums, currants, raisins, blackberries, vinous Caramel, dulce de leche caramel, rye whiskey, bourbon, marshmallows,oak, vanilla, Danish cream, Khalua coffee, mocha, leather, tobacco, Bubulubu chocolate, capirotada raisins bread pudding, Rich bananas, Flan, tres leches cake, vanilla, crème brulee, grilled plantains, platano burro, brown sugar, pecan pie, Gansito Chocolate berry pastry, honey, graham crackers, waffle cone, stone fruit peaches, chocolate mangos, mature mangos and hazelnut nectar.

Flavors:
Rich bananas, Flan, tres leches cake, vanilla, crème brulee, grilled plantains, platano burro, brown sugar, pecan pie up front, rye whiskey, bourbon, marshmallows, smores chocolate, campfire hints, maple syrup, dark cherries, prunes, plums, currants, blackberries, oreo cookies and cream, rocky road ice cream, Dr. Pepper cherry, stone fruit peaches, chocolate mangos, mature mangos, molasses, anise, fruit cake, almond joy chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, dark chocolate, leather tobacco, Gansito Chocolate berry pastry, honey, graham crackers, waffle cone, Danish cream, Khalua coffee, mocha, leather, tobacco, Bubulubu chocolate, capirotada raisins bread pudding, candi sugar, milk sugar, hazelnut nectar, tropical fruit like passion fruit, dragon fruit, guava, grapefruit, tangerines, citrus, oranges, whipped cream, ice cream cake, chocoflan, chocolate cheese cake, port wine, Vinous Caramel and more.

Aftertaste:
Rich berries, rich coconut, vanilla, dulce de leche, rye whiskey, tropical chocolate mango, dark fruit raisins, figs, leather, dark cherries, fruit cake, pecan pie, sweetened condensed milk, marshmallows, chocolate smores, tres leches cake, and almond joy lingers. Super Rich. No alcohol in the taste despite this being strong ABV. The drinkability of super easy is quite dangerous. This beer treads the neither regions of dimensions of what truly is, a full dark body, smooth velvety, rich, syrupy and creamy mouthfeel.

Overall:
Talk about going head to head with some of the greats out there especially Black Tuesday from the Bruery, Three Floyds Dark Lord Imperial Stout and others like them. Rye Whiskey barrel aged version is more complex as this addition gives way transforming the original but also makes it more complex with varying temperatures. For only being able to purchase one per person at the Darkness Day Event, I am very grateful to the person who gave up theirs in order for us to have a chance to post it to the website. Such a damn honor and cheers to you good sir or m’am! As for you, the reader, I think it is definitely worth it to find this one. It be a rare whalez!

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill was chosen in the previous versions of this beer. This year, since the barrel aged version is golden labeled, I am pairing also the Ryuko version with Senketsu Kisaragi. For those that do not know this form, it is the one that looks like she turned super saiyan from Dragon Ball Z increasing her power exponentially like the way the original Darkness power was increased by the process of Rye whiskey Barrel Aging. Each beer in its own means is delicious and evil as I show case the version of Ryuko when she was evil using Juunketsu (The White armored version). The original time I used Ryuko in 2013 was the original form with Senketsu so I paid tribute to that by bringing forth the Ryuko plushie in this pairing.
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Final Judgment:
Absolutely love them both. The Rye Whiskey version bring out more of the rye and whiskey flavors and mild the hoppy mango flavors although they are still present as the beer warms up. So definitely depending on your taste, you can choose one or the other but they are a damn fine collection worth having.

Sources:
http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/734/568/c3d.jpg
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http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/2014/34/1408797252-sample-4000c119b28b5aecc2ae23c16a292504.jpg

Rating: 6.25/7* 2015 Darkness
Rating: 7/7* 2015 Barrel Aged Darkness

Eight by Surly Brewing

10801864_10102205524822540_8166432178663971312_nRating: 6/5

Eight by Surly Brewing is a 12%ABV Oat Wine Aged in High West Rye Whiskey Barrels.

Label:
get surly

“When it’s done” is a phrase we’ve used to describe release dates for our beers for many years. When you’re putting the beer first, it just makes sense. Our anniversary is technically in February, but this unique Oat Wine style ale needed to age in High West Rye Whiskey barrels until, well… until it’s done. Here’s to Eight great years, and we’ll all be celebrating soon in our all new Destination Brewery.

The idea behind our anniversary line-up of beers was to give Todd, Surly’s Head Brewer, free rein to use whatever ingredients and methods he wanted to brew the beer. This year’s bottle artwork is a one-of-a-kind illustration collaboration between Todd and local artist Josh “Jawsh” Lemke.

This beer was designed for barrel aging, so it’s been a great opportunity to work with our friends at High West Distillery® in Park City. Utah. Brewed with Golden Promise and Aromatic malt Oats, and Milk sugar fermented in stainless steel then aged in High West Rye Whiskey barrels, this golden hued Oat-Wine style ale summons notes of spicy vanilla marshmallow and aromas of honey and whiskey.

==Introduction==

Another awesome year has come for Surly brewing and the release of their long awaited Barley wine is now here. Every year, I await the release of their anniversary ale since trying the Surly 4. Some releases are greater than others but sometimes you have to dig deep online to find these obscure beers… or just go to france44.com and get them, I guess that’ll work. Anyways, this year they made an oatwine aged in Rye whiskey barrels. I have tried many barley wines, some wheat wines, but never an oatwine. So the fact that this one is barrel aged, I will try to find the original beer somehow but if not, at least I will let you know how this year’s Surly anniversary turns out. Come, join me into the abyss of flavor experience…

Aromas:
Marshmallow cream, chocolate smores, vanilla, oak, dulce de leche caramel, flan, custard, dark fruit raisins, cherries, white chocolate, toffee, butterscotch, bourbon, rye bread, rye whiskey, capirotada raisin bread pudding, Lechera sweetened condensed milk, bananas, clove spice, pumpkin spice, tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, piña colada hints, pecan pie, hazel nut, oatmeal cookies, Danish cookies, oranges, citrus, coriander spice, macadamia nuts, marzipan, burnt sugar, brown sugar and candi sugar.

Flavors:
Bourbon, Rye whiskey, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, oak, flan, custard, tobacco, leathery notes, sweetened condensed milk, oranges, coriander spice, mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, pears, apples, toasted coconut, piña colada hints, rich white chocolate, toffee, mild pumpkin spice, cinnamon, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, Danish cookies, Tres Leches cake, marshmallow cream, bananas, clove spice, chocolate smores, butterscotch, rye bread, brown sugar, marzipan, hazelnut, burnt sugar, candi sugar hints, dark fruits like cherries, raisins, plums, biscuit bread, capirotada raisin bread pudding, pecan pie and almond joy chocolate.

Aftertaste:
Lingering dulce de lecher caramel, burnt sugar, white chocolate hints, citrus, mild piña colada hints , bananas, toasted coconut, rye whiskey, earthy notes and pecans. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV, smooth, creamy and silky mouthfeel, sipping drinkability with some notes that makes this really easy to drink and a full golden brown full body.

Overall:
There is no surprise here. The moment I realized I really liked this one was right when this beer started to have some special tropical hints and white chocolate for some reason. I kept tasting white chocolate at times especially as it got warmer. I am not sure if that is part of the Oat wine or the combination of the that with the whiskey. What an amazing beer for their anniversary that they released. I really enjoyed this one. If you would like to obtain this one, I got it at france44.com where they are very limited and selling out very quick. So yes, I highly suggest you get this special anniversary ale.

Anime Corner:
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki from the Naruto series is one of the main antagonist from the series. She was brought here in this pairing for several reasons. Mainly for her great pairing with the label, the evil that she is flows great with Surly and the white chocolate aspect I kept getting from the beer. All the colors in this pairing show many of the flavor complexities that this one shows. Surly unleashed a special type of demon from it’s sealed state and now with her sweet onslaught of flavors, she will take back what was hers. Your lack of not trying this beer. She is all powerful, complex, sweet in appearance and flavor but overall, just evil!!

Sources:
http://rikamello.deviantart.com/art/Ohtsutsuki-Kaguya-478836486

2014 Darkness by Surly brewing

1509689_10102186509978440_6829349576157779259_n 10306075_10102186510342710_2982500445631121598_nRating: 6.2/5

2014 Darkness by Surly brewing is a 10.4% ABV Russian Imperial Stout aged in High West Rye Whiskey Barrels.

Label:
Covet the Darkness
The legendary Harpy tortured unwary travelers by stealing their precious food and drink. This year’s cruel creature defends her cauldron of Darkness with razor claws and a dead stare of malevolence. Don’t mess with her Darkness.

She’s hoarding this massively opaque barrel aged Stout screaming with notes of chocolate, coffee, dried tart cherries, vanilla, rye whisky and raisins. The thick body of this Russian Imperial Stout finishes sweet, with a piney resinous hop character.

Dare if you will to open the bottle and steal from the imagination of our 2014 Darkness artist, Erica Williams.

See more at: http://mnbeer.com/2014/07/29/darkness-2014-artwork-from-erica-williams/#sthash.HpMuBrV3.dpuf

Omar Ansari
Todd Haug
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As Rick James would say: Darkness… darkness is spreading, black, midnight, evil, black magic, raw darkness and cold as ice. This beer is all that and more and especially since this year’s version is barrel aged. The 2013 was insane too but to try this one, well let’s just say this one may only be better than the original but we will definitely have to see how dark this beer goes and if we can even come out of this evil beer alive. Either way, maybe you should still consider getting this one even if don’t read further. The Devil’s water is pretty sweet!

Aromas:
Rich bananas, old matured bananas, rich mango, rich matured bananas, plantains, oranges citrus, grapefruit, papaya, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, dark fruit raisins, currants, dark cherries, dulce de leche caramel, molasses, whiskey, oak , vanilla, rye bread on black berry toast, leather, tobacco, anise, mint, stone fruit, peaches, apricots, flan, sweetened condensed milk lechera, dragon fruit, passion fruit, guava, honey, brown sugar, pecan pie, marshmallow smores, toasted coconut and molasses.

Flavors:
Rich bananas, plantains, whipped cream, pecan pie, rich matured bananas, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, chocolate covered mango, vanilla, oak, bourbon, whiskey, leather, tobacco, toasted bread on blackberry jam , dulce de leche caramel, oak, rye bread , dark fruit raisins, prunes, plums, figs, dark cherries, currants, mocha, roasted coffee, brown sugar, cherry Dr. pepper, rocky road ice cream, maple syrup, stone fruit peaches and cream, molasses, grapefruit, passion fruit, dragon fruit, guava, citrus, oranges, flan, cinnamon, capirotada raisin bread pudding, anise, raspberries, marshmallows, graham cracker smores, toasted coconut, flan, earthy notes, mild rum, brandy, almond joy, pecan pie, herbs, fruit cake, sweetened condensed milk lechera, brown sugar and honey.

Aftertaste:
Very rich banana, dark chocolate, mango, dragon fruit, passion fruit, Earthy notes, dulce de leche, vanilla, oak, bourbon, whiskey rye bread, dark fruits like raisins, blackberry preserves, leather, coconut, dark cherries, fruit cake, pecan pie and more! No alcohol In the taste despite it’s ambiguity, smooth and silky yet syrupy mouthfeel, dangerously easy to drink but should be sipping, pitch black body beyond the chaos and unseen realms of dimensional dark existence.

Overall:
If the original wasn’t as awesome, how about aging it in some really nice High West Rye Whiskey Barrels to amplify this one into further realms of taste, smell and overall, beer experience. This one just kept pushing and pushing and pushing deeper and deeper into the abyss of flavors to the point where I was not sure if I got everything I tasted. All I knew was just how damn great this was. I am sure the 2014 Dark Lord Barrel Aged would do just the same but that Barrel aging surely brought it to the new level that mainly says to really search this one out. It is no joke. It is damn good.

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill LA Kill was used once again in this special pairing. One of my favorite anime girls makes her return in her evil form. In the show, when she is brainwashed, she is forced to wear Junketsu which is that white uniform she has making her way stronger than her original form and pure evil. There is a lot of blood spilled when they try to fight her and her spilling of blood and tearing up a wedding dress is like that of the harpy in the label. She is sweet but she is not so forgiving in this form. While this is not her ultimate form, which she becomes more of an angel, this fits the evil in her heart when she really lost her way and even in the darkness, there is still hope and that is why this beer is very rich and sweet.

Sources:
https://33.media.tumblr.com/0a86c14eface4524e9646bd1a90dd8e2/tumblr_n88xbb0JFw1qfb777o5_500.jpg
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/2014/34/1408797252-sample-4000c119b28b5aecc2ae23c16a292504.jpg