Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale by Wells & Young’s brewing

1486772_10101588081014880_2011908499_nRating: 4.25/5

Sticky Toffee Pudding Ale by Wells & Young’s brewing is a 5% ABV English Brown Ale

Label:
Based on the Great British pudding, full of rich sticky toffee-ness.
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Been looking all over for this on. After being a fan of the Banana bread, I was really curious to try this. I am not sure why they went with a 11.2 oz bottle instead of the traditional 500ml but I am sure it is a treat.

Aromas:
Rich Toffee, caramel, pilsner grains and cereal, brown sugar, hints of chocolate or like a dark fruit, biscuit bread, butter scotch, almond, hazelnut, honey and vanilla. Sweet fragrances all around.

Flavors:
Caramel, toffee, crème brulee notes, chocolate hints, vanilla, strong earthy hop bitterness, brown sugar, nutmeg, hazelnut, honey, rye bread, butter scotch. The warmer the beer, the sweeter it gets.

Aftertaste:
Caramel, toffee, biscuit bread, cereal grains, earthy hop bitterness and pilsner grains. There is more bitterness making it kind of unbalanced if not drunk at the proper temperature (Too cold is bad). Easy to drink and no alcohol in the taste. Very creamy mouthfeel as well

Overall:
While it is a very good beer, you still have to let it warm up if you want to get that sticky toffee sweetness out. May not be as apparent in the first sip but after a couple, you will notice it linger for a while. Very nice stuff but not super consistent with balance with lower temperatures. For those that do not like super sugary beers, it may just have enough sweetness to cover you but there is more earthy bitterness than sweetness, especially at first couple of sips. Let it warm up and it gets better. What let me give it a higher score than expected was the nice blend of hazelnut and toffee as well as those hints of chocolate and vanilla.

Anime Corner:
Tomoe Mami from Madoka Magica who likes tea and dressing up. Pretty fancy considering this is an English Brown Ale but because the colors in the artwork fit with the label and the fact that the beer consist of the rich toffee flavors (not to mention the English influence like it might have been in the old days), I figured it fit since I Tomoe loves desserts like pudding as well.

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White Dog IPA by El Segundo Brewing of California

1234344_10101406244461790_1270308687_n 1016498_10101406244526660_109971997_nRating: 4.85/5

White Dog IPA by El Segundo Brewing of California is a 6.9% ABV India Pale Ale brewed with 50% wheat (Wheat India Pale Ale)

Label: 
Named for Rob’s dog, the White alludes to our use of 50% wheat instead of barley in this beer. Aside from that though, this beer has very little in common with what most people consider a “wheat” beer. The wheat in the malt bill gives the beer a lighter texture and mouthfeel, and helps to accentuate the bright citrus characters of the fruity West Coast and New Zealand hops we use. The result is an IPA that Hop Heads will love, but that is immediately approachable for most people.
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Been meaning to get a review going for this beer. The first time I had tried it on tap at Jean Simmons Rock N’ Brews in Torrance California I was very amazed. This beer almost had that Heady Topper type of flavor. At the time the brewery in El Segundo had not released any bottles of this until recently. The last time I had had it was at their brewery which I still thought, freaking amazing IPA. To add wheat to make it somewhat of a hybrid wheat IPA is freaking amazing.

Aromas are of grassy, piney, grapefruit and tropical hops, orange juice, pineapple, coriander, mango, kiwi, lemon, dragon fruit, passion fruit notes, biscuit and caramel

The flavors are of sweet oranges, mango, pineapple, grapefruit, grassy, pine and tropical hops, biscuit bread hints, coriander, wheat bread, honey dew melon, dragon fruit notes, passion fruit notes, kiwi, caramel notes, honey nectar, and tangerines

After taste leaves off like an orange zest, hop bitterness and a bit of tropics. The beer is moderately easy to drink and quite the refreshing beer.

Overall, this is one of those IPA that if you love some nice hop tropical and somewhat dank type of IPAs, you are sure to like this one. Even people that do not like bitter IPAs, are welcomed slowly into this one. Nothing too bitter and pleasant for even the non-IPA drinker. Here is to you young Heady Topper in the making.

Iron Maiden Trooper by Robinsons Brewery

539732_10101395283048550_1985003758_nRating: 4/5

Iron Maiden Trooper by Robinsons Brewery is a 4.7% ABV Extra Special Bitter (ESB) Premium British Beer.

Label: 
Onward, Onward
Rode The 600…
The Charge Of The Light Brigade, which inspired the Iron Maiden song The Trooper, took place at the Battle Of Balaclava (1854) during the Crimean War when 600 British cavalry courageously charged the massed Russian artillery. This gallant but foolhardy assault resulted in a massive loss of live and came about due to a misunderstanding of an order given by the commanding officer, Lord Raglan.

Trooper is a premium British beer inspired by Iron Maiden and handcrafted at Robinsons brewery. Being a real ale enthusiast, vocalist Bruce Dickinson has developed a beer which has true depth of character. Malt flavours and citric notes from a unique blend of Bobec, Goldings and Cascade hops dominate this deep golden ale with a subtle hint of lemon.
www.ironmaidenbeer.com
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The long highly acclaimed and awaited Iron Maiden Beer, The Trooper has arrived in states. Listening to Iron Maiden since I was in grade school, there has been and important part of the band in my heart growing up. Not to mention the fact that I still listen to Iron Maiden today and pairs well with Naruto manga. So now to have the beer is an honor. Despite what I find about this beer, whether awesome, or gimmick, I do not really care. This beer exists, so be it! Live to fight/drink another day!!

Aromas are of caramel, pilsner grains, honey, toffee, biscuit bread, orange, herbal hop notes, berry iced tea and a bit of sweet grapefruit

The flavors are way better than a standard pilsner. Caramel, honey, biscuit bread, pilsner grain, earthy hop bitterness, lemon, peppercorn notes, berry green tea hints, cherry hints and toast bread.

The aftertaste is herbal and sweet with some pilsner and hop bitterness. Easy to drink, very refreshing and would definitely want more.

Overall, the beer is very good. The pilsner I have had was a Czech Pilsner called Staropramen and this one blew that one away. It has nothing to do with this being Iron Maiden either as good pilsners are hard to come by. Yes, this is an ESB, and it is not a pilsner. However, the English pilsner malt flavor is present. While the beer is not super ultra mind blowing, it is still very good. I would definitely want to buy some more just to have others try it. Very refreshing beer, and on that note, it is fucking Iron Maiden FTW!!

Dragoons by Moylan’s Brewing

223033_10101297401469020_1833016644_n 16895_10101297401903150_794494738_n 999402_10101297402147660_1298724131_nRating: 3.9/5

Dragoons by Moylan’s Brewing is a 5% ABV Irish Dry Stout.

Label: 
Dry, roasty and incredibly rich in flavor, Dragoon’s Dry Irish Stout is made with a unique blend of imported hops and malted barley from the United Kingdom. This award winning stout is brewed in the Irish tradition to commemorate General Stephen Moylan,Irish-born commander of the 4th Continental Dragoons during the American Revolutionary War.
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Been meaning to try this for a while. They had this one at Congregation ale house on tap and as a beer float. It was pretty good from what I remember. I found a bottle and wanted to give it a review. This stout won a 3 gold medals in 2007 at the American Beer Festival, Cal State Fair and the World Beer Champ of the same year. This isn’t the typical “Guinness” type of dry stout for sure. Although Guiness is decent in its own ways.

Aromas are like it came out of nitro brewed process. Strong Milk and dark chocolate fragrance, roasted coffee notes, caramel, pecans, hints of vanilla cream, earthy hops, hints of molasses and toffee

Flavors are of coffee, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla cream notes, hints of molasses, light earthy hop bitterness, tobacco notes, roasted barley, toffee, nuts and hints of brown sugar

Definitely dry finish in the aftertaste not leaving much but slight hints of the milk chocolate and coffee notes. 

The flavors that come out as the beer goes along is what makes this one good. Without the extra flavors it would probably be average at best. Thankfully that is not the case. I think If I find it on tap and I want to drink light but still nice and flavorful while still not being too overwhelming to the palate, I would get this one again.

Imperial Loakal Red by the Bruery

1069842_10101279480832120_86644223_n 999369_10101279483451870_1707428513_nRating: 5.5/5

Imperial Loakal Red by the Bruery is a 12%ABV Imperial Amber/Red Ale hybrid made with 75% Red Ale and 25% Red Ale aged in oak Barrels

Label: 
We took our hoppy American red ale, delightfully citrusy and full of flavor from new American Oak – and made it bigger, bolder and more exceptional. Imperial Loakal Red is best enjoyed fresh. Please store in a cool, dry place. The ideal serving temperature is 50 deg Fahrenheit (7 deg Celsius). Best served in a tulip or wine glass.
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When I first had the chance to try their Loakal Red, I was very impressed. The beer was along the lines of Troeggs Nugget Nectar and My Bloody Valentine. I was recommended to actually try the Imperial version of it. After opening the bottle the aromas were very rich. Hype aside, I would consider this to an even higher amber status than Nugget nectar and the Valentine which are harder to get.

Aromas are of very rich caramel, toffee, oak, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, citrus, grapefruit, grassy and herbal hops, honey, vanilla, coffee notes, french toast, brown sugar, cherries, mango, maple syrup, scotch, apricots, dragon fruit, coconut and pecan pie.

The flavors are close to a Barleywine, its crazy. You get lots of rich caramel flavors, vanilla, toffee, oak, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecan pie, french toast covered in maple syrup, brown sugar, citrus, grapefruit, grassy, herbal and floral hops, honey, cherries, mango, peaches, pineapple, scotch whiskey notes, slight coconut and tangerines.

The alcohol is present but the beer hides it well. You don’t feel it until alittle bit later. Quite the flavorful rich beer. The after taste keeps lingering with sweet caramel and hop bitterness. It is very pleasant. Will definitely need to get this again. This has become my new favorite amber ale. It is not often I get to try ambers but this one fits the bill perfectly as to what awesome ambers should be.

RuinTen a.k.a Ruination Tenth Anniversary (re-release) by Stone Brewing

954807_10101234318358080_479498419_n 1010280_10101234320199390_590801359_nRating: 5.25/5 *A triumphant fresh return to the golden standard.

RuinTen a.k.a Ruination Tenth Anniversary (re-release) by Stone Brewing is 10.8% ABV 110 IBU World Class Double India Pale Ale

Label: 
Back in 2002, we first released out notoriously mega-hopped Double IPA, Stone Ruination PA, and in 2012 we celebrated its 10th anniversary with the release of a very special version that was even bigger and incredibly, even hoppier than the original. If Stone Ruination IPA is “A Liquid Poem to the Glory of the Hop,” then Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA was a “Stage dive into a mosh pit of hops.” Luckily for us, our fans love loud and aggressive brews, specifically when copious amounts of humulus lupulus are involved. The original release of this beer was so instantly beloved by those who dared try it [particularly us] that there was no way we could relegate in one-hit-wonder status. You are holding in your hands a veritable hop monster. We dropped the word “Tenth” but the decidedly indelicate recipe is the same as the one first unleashed in 2012. This belligerently delicious ale has the substantial malt backbone needed to stand up to the whopping five pounds of hops packed into each barrel. If all the hyperbole hasn’t frightened you away by now, we know you’ll love this audacious gem of hoppy splendor just as much as we do. Crank it up!
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The IPA Gold standard is back with a vengeance. One release was not awesome enough. The second is enough to cause havoc with irreparable damage to the palette and I am sure you will love it. AS I remember correctly from last years beer, this not only was so bitter that it lingered, it actually started burning. Maybe not like a chile heat, but like a real hop plant bitter trip to Hell.

Aromas are just like I remember, a lot of hoppy aromas ranging from grassy, pine needles, grapefruit, herbal, dank, hop oil, tropics to the brim like mango, pineapple, papaya, passion fruit, dragon fruit, citrus, lemon peel, oranges, tangerines and peaches. The flavor are in your face bitter with straight burning hop character, pine needles, dank hop oils, grapefruit, lemon grass, herbs and slight floral notes, some nice biscuit and caramel along with the in between tropics of the citrus, tangerine, peach, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, dragon fruit, kiwis, papaya, lychees and some nice peppery notes. The After taste just lingers in Hopmaterasu ([Unquenshable Black Flames]Naruto reference) burning to the untrained palette. However, if you are willing to continue drinking, on top of those green hellish flames will lie some nice tropical residue to keep you from fading into the oblivion (Leave that part to the alcohol  ). Very nice thing those hops do , ain’t that sweet of them. This beer is awesome. It is so awesome that I think it makes it the prime reason why they may only be able to release it one more time. Maybe even release it every year if not. I think that if they were to release it as a yearly, it may or may not detract from the original Ruination. However, it if they did do that, it would be nice to have a variety or Ruination to choose from. You know, Hard mode versus Expert mode sort of thing. Get this beer while you still can. Stop Reading this and go buy this beer before it is gone. As for the Brewery–exclusive-Camp-out-all-night-Black-Friday-style-for-only-enjoy-3-pints-Pliny-the-Younger…. eat it!!!!!!

Still need more convincing about the greatness of this beer? Read my past review 

2012 Original Review:
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/stone-ruination-tenth-anniversary-ipa/

Lagunitas IPA

945913_10101230397265980_1402534153_n 994790_10101230397964580_2133816704_n 1006169_10101230398249010_2042266440_nRating: 4.75/5

Lagunitas IPA is a 6.2% ABV India Pale Ale

Label: 
This is our unique version of an ancient style. A style as old as the ocean trade routes of the last centuries Great Ships. Not as old as the equator they had to cross twice enroute, nor as old as the 10,000 or so miles of Di-Hydrogen Oxide and Sodium upon which they sailed, but older than the Circulithium-4 Lentloid that binds the Lupulin Quartnate onto your taste buds. Weird. Think about it. Now stop. OK, go again, now stop. Think again, and stop. But we digress. Made with 43 different hops and 65 various malts, this redolent ale will likely float your boat, whatever planet you’re on.
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I have had this beer many many MANY times. To think I never sat down and just did a review of this. It is crazy. Really crazy to no do one of such a great beer.

Aromas of nice grapefruit hops, citrus, pine, some decent amount of tropics like mango, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, apricot, some caramel, biscuit bread, honey and floral hoppy notes.

The flavors are of grassy, herbal and grapefruit hops along with nice tropics of lemon and orange peel, apricots, pineapple notes,mango, sweet caramel, honey, biscuit, passion fruits, papaya, pine needles and nice spicy breadiness. The after taste leaves with a nice refreshing bitterness and really nice tropical taste.

I’ve had my fair share with this one and you really can’t go wrong here. It is a great tasting IPA with not a lot of overpowering bitterness and is a great example that shows that even if you don’t go with a double IPAs, even the regular one like this will still enough pleasing tropical goodness. IF you like tropics over overpowering hop bitterness. It has enough hoppy bitterness to make this really good as a great example of the West Coast Style. There are only a handful of really outstanding IPAs and this is no exception. The good thing about this one is that it is more common than some other IPAs. So even if there is no other alternative, this one sure fits the bill of Great IPA.

Hammer 30 Revolutionary Ale by Rhinelander Brewing

375002_10101180934380000_388553501_nRating: 3/5

Hammer 30 Revolutionary Ale by Rhinelander Brewing is a 5%ABV Cream Pale Ale 

Label: 
Nail your thirst. Beer for the People.
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Fresh and Easy in Southern California has a 30 pack of this. Hung out with my friend Hugo when we found this. It was actually well worth the try. It wasn’t a typical lager for sure. Different sites have different ideas about what this beer is. Some say a Pale ale while others say a Cream Ale. I think it is a mix. 

The beer has aromas of like a apple cider, floral hops, grains, pilsner, corn, cereal, some minor bready notes and grass. The flavors are of red apples, pilsner grains, cereal, floral hop bitterness, honey, a little bit of sugar, some biscuit and corn bread.

Hugo and I agreed that this was good stuff and was very drinkable and nice. You can definitely take several of these and each one just as good as the next. There are no metallic bitter taste like in lagers which is appealing in some cases. I would rather drink this than bud light and it will get the job done if your looking to get buzzed. It also will make a good summer beer. So all and all, it is worth the try.

Indian Brown Ale by Dogfish Head

539195_10101127263876120_585706145_n 625437_10101127262888100_871650359_nRating: 4.75/5

Indian Brown Ale by Dogfish Head is a 7.2%ABV Brown Ale brewed with caramelized sugar and hopped liberally and often.

Description:
Indian Brown Ale A cross between a Scotch Ale, an I.P.A, and an American Pale, this beer is well hopped and malty at the same time. It is brewed with Aromatic Barley and caramelized brown sugar. – 50 IBU available year round, bottles & draft – Descriptors: Notes of molasses, coffee, ginger, raisinettes, chocolate 
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Right up there with Board Meeting, considered a world class beer among reviewers. This beer fragrance is close to a porter with its aromas of chocolate, coffee, mocha, milk chocolate, rich caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, hazelnut, slight brownies and some raisin notes. The flavors are of coffee, hazelnut, caramel, earthy hop bitterness, coffee and chocolate cake, some plum and raisin notes as the beer warms up. The after taste of mocha and hazelnut stays with you for a bit. Definitely up there with the best of the browns ales in the world. Although the Board meeting was slightly a little more delicious, this is still a great and awesome beer.

Dayman Coffee IPA collaboration by Aleman, Two Brothers and Stone

45259_10101119923037220_220044310_nRating: 4.9/5

Dayman Coffee IPA collaboration by Aleman, Two Brothers and Stone is a 8.7%ABV India Pale Ale brewed with roasted coffee beans

Label: 
Jim Moorehouse, Nate Albrecht and Brad Zeller, three pals planning #to open a Chicago brewpub under the moniker of Aleman, won first place at last year’s Iron Brew homebrewing competition in the Windy City (judged by none other than Greg Koch, Jason Ebel of Two Brothers Brewing, and celebrated Chicago brewer, designer and author Randy Mosher). Their style-bending IPA artfully married the assertive tropical bite of Citra hops with amazing coffee flavor and aromatics #to create something truly unique and exceptional. Serendipitously, Two Brothers recently kicked off a new adventure roasting their own coffee beans, and provided just-in-time freshly roasted java for the brew. The result is an innovative IPA that’s well balanced and intensely flavored thanks to the felicitous blend of hops and fresh roasted coffee.
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This is an interesting combination. I never thought such a combination would be possible inviting the citrus and coffee to combine in such a way. The aromas are such that you get citrus, mango, grassy hops, but the coffee and java roast brings out some nice caramel and sugar notes. Strange, it is like smelling a porter but brought the level of citrus and hoppy IPA. Very unique indeed. The flavors are something else. They really got the balance correctly on this one. It invites rich flavors of piney grassy, orange citrus, grapefruit but also balances the extra bitterness with caramel, coffee, chocolate, mocha, pecans, walnuts, hazelnut nectar and vanilla. You can also get some mango, tangerines and papaya out this. I think this beer would be close to like a tropical latte almost. Of course you have to remember the hop bitterness adds some rich notes that will please IPA lovers. I honestly think this beer would probably be a gateway into the world of IPAs because it starts of with the sweetness of the coffee and slowly takes you in the hoppy and tropical realms of the IPA world. Yet another unique master piece. For something that probably would mix, like sweet and bitter, they really got a way with this one. Loving this one for sure.

§ucaba (Abacus) 2013 Limited Release by Firestone Walker

625438_10101070283415420_515264557_nRating: 5.25/5

§ucaba (Abacus) 2013 Limited Release by Firestone Walker is a 12.5% ABV Barrel-Aged Barley wine. Considered by many to be the best barleywine in the world. I have never tried this beer and I almost didn’t grab if it wasn’t for the fact that Total Wine had one final box. I’ve seen it in downtown L.A though. It truly is limited unfortunately. So if you can get this one, get it.

Label:
Big boozy bourbon and American oak aromas combined with soft chocolate malty undertones. Complex malt flavors framed in oak, with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, coconut and just a touch of dark cherry. This is definitely a sipping beer, best served in a brandy snifter. This ale pairs well with dark chocolate and sturdy cheeses.

Note: Sucaba is the beer formerly known as Abacus until the Winter 2012 release.
O.G. 27 Plato 
F.G. 4.7 Plato 
I.B.U. 42 units 
Yeast: British Ale (House) 
Cases: 1500 produced 
Color: 36SRM (Dark Ruby)
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Upon opening the beer, it some really nice and overwhelming fragrances. Reminiscent of some of the other barrel-aged beers I have had from FW in the past. This beer has strong aromas of bourbon and barley. Coconut, vanilla, oak, dark fruits like raisins and cherries, chocolate, coffee notes, baked bread, toffee, flan, dulce de leche caramel, bananas and marshmallow creme. The Flavors are of bourbon, coconut, chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, flan, Leche Nestle (Mexican Sweetened Condensed milk), barley, lemon, toffee, raisin and pecan bread pudding, cherries, bananas, small underlying earthy hop bitterness, light citrus, honey, maple, barrel oak, campfire smores with the marshmallow, graham cracker and dark chocolate and butterscotch. The after taste stays with you for awhile so you can really take your time and enjoy it as you go. My god, I am not sure if there is any barley wine out there like this one. I have never had a barrel-Aged barley wine but this is extremely amazing. Definitely should not be passed up if you can find it. Barley wines are not my biggest favorite of styles but this is really delicious and a must get for sure.

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout by Wells & Young

166715_10101069449476640_2048842913_n

Rating: 4.65/5

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout by Wells & Young LTD is 5.2%ABV Milk Chocolate Stout made with chocolate malts and dark chocolate.Available quite common and year round. It is probably one of the first stouts aside from Guinness that I had tried back in college. I have neglected this beer for a while so I figure I come back to it 🙂

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Available filtered and pasteurised in 500ml bottles and in nitrocans. Also Nitro Keg on Tap 
Production moved from Youngs to Wells & Youngs in 2007.
Ingredients: Pale ale and crystal malt, chocolate malt, special blend of sugars, Fuggle and Goldings hops, real dark chocolate and chocolate essence.
Chocolate malt and real dark chocolate are combined with Young’s award winning rich, full flavoured dark beer to craft a satisfyingly indulgent, but never overly sweet experience.
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The aromas are of strong malty chocolate, underlying coffee and mocha notes, vanilla, caramel, earthy hop bitterness and some smokey fragrance. The flavors are of like a borderline brown ale. A great amount of dark, milk and sweet chocolate shines in the taste along with coffee, mocha, vanilla crème, cocoa, smokey bitterness but only slight, caramel, toffee, a bit of hazelnut, earthy hop bitterness, some minor graininess. While it is not at the level of some of the most extreme imperial chocolate dessert beers, like organic chocolate, or even chocolate rain, it’s emphasis on being chocolate is more apparent than other stouts. Hence the reason why beer fusions work very well with this stout. This beer works way better as a dessert beer on its own even. Just the fact that it is a common beer is also worth getting as this is as close to a more chocolate beer than any of the rare stuff out there. Recommended? Yes, if you enjoy chocolate. In fact if you ever plan on doing beer fusions, this is the choice 😛

Crooked Line Series Sea Legs by Uinta Brewing

559886_10101066236869730_1781372966_n 285274_10101066238246970_1375446029_nRating: 5/5

Crooked Line Series Sea Legs by Uinta Brewing is an 8%ABV Baltic Porter aged in Bourbon Barrels

Label:
Complex and drinkable, Sea Legs delivers flavors of roasted malt and chocolate. Sea Legs was aged in Bourbon Barrels for nearly 12 months adding toasted vanilla and bourbon notes to the flavor profile. This Medium-bodied Baltic Porter has a complex malt profile and mild hop bitterness. With a hidden ABV of 8%, Sea Legs is a siren of a beer.
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An evil beer that draws in the craft beer treasure explorers of the 7 seas of flavor. This siren mistress tackles the olfactory senses with fragrances of vanilla, oak, chocolate, cherries, molasses, bread, walnuts, pecan pie and somewhat herbal or hoppy. The taste buds are tainted with awesome cursed flavors of bourbon, oak, milk chocolate, vanilla, wine grapes, cherries, molasses, caramel, burnt coconut, earthy hops, pecan pie, slight bready notes, some herbal notes like a basil as well as some nice slight spicy notes. While not being extremely overwhelming alcohol wise, this is dessert in a bottle. It is rich and delicious. Extremely pleasant in every form. It is not your usual porter or barrel aged beer. Some seductive qualities that may only be found in the deep darkness of flavor. I really do not think they were kidding when they said this was the siren of beers.

Folklore by Stillwater Artisanal (2013)

 71717_10101051880669670_606677221_nRating: 5/5

Folklore by Stillwater Artisanal is an 8.4%ABV Belgian Strong Dark Mythic Tradition Ale. This is the second time I try this brew and yes… the beer is quite legendary. A favorite of mine from the Stillwater Artisanal line.


Label:

Human history is filled with myths and legends that shape and define our culture. Rituals, celebrations, gatherings.. whatever. One thing that’s for sure, is we enjoy a proper shindig. So let’s get the stories flowing and share a little ’Folklore’. A bracingly deep ale, built dark and rich with an elegantly lean body, accompanied by heady aromas of Belgian yeast, earthy hops and gently kissed by a wisp of smoke.

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There is a good amount of smoke and roasted notes in the fragrance. Chocolate, sweet bread, grapes, raisins, cherry, caramel, champurrado, port wine, floral spices and peppercorns. The flavors are of a dark saison leaning toward Belgian Chocolate Stout. Mocha Coffee, dark and bakers chocolate, dark cherries, raisins, caramel dulce de leche bread, earthy hop bitterness, port wine, champurrado and a glaze of honey smoke. The aftertaste is left with lingering bread, plum and chocolate sweetness. Simply fantastic. A Rauch Black Saison/ Belgian Sweet Chocolate Stout hybrid. Evil looking, almost macabre and so good for the taste.. and the soul..
2012 Review:
Have you ever wondered if there was an ale out there that people talk about it in myths in legends? Well maybe not beer. More like actual historical and cultural myths and legends. Folklore Mythic Tradition Ale by Stillwater Artisanal (gypsy/gangster) brewer for me is such a beer. Well mainly because I have been looking for this beer for a while. LOL but seriously, the ale is a respective tribute to the human history and how with the myths and legends that people tell define what people cultures are. Whether it be through traditions of rituals, gatherings or any form of celebration within the cultures, one thing for sure is, it is about being social and sharing stories. This brew has both good and evil written all over. It is what is awesome about the our cultures that we have both elements to bring about awareness as well as a guide as to how lead ones life through decisions. Tribute to this super fine ale. This is a Belgian yeast beer with earth hops, roasted malts and smokey oak flavor. Chocolate, cherry, plum and caramel bread overwhelms the palette with minor pine bitterness that lingers after. This ale drinks like a stout but it is not heavy like a stout. It flows well. There also seems to be some floral notes in here as well. There is also a bit of sourness too it that stays after but then is immediately replace with sweet and bitterness after every sip. Wish they would sell more Stillwater Ales here in California. Beer aside, the art is very detailed and well rich. This bottle, like the Stateside Saison or any of the other Stillwater beers is worth collecting on its own. An awesome find, legendary and mythical at that because if you ever find it, then you know the story of this ale was true >:)

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.

Gorch Fock by Three Floyds

598527_10100952007651000_430091526_nRating: 4/5

Gorch Fock by Three Floyds is a 5.2% ABV Munich Helles Lager. This style originated from the need to come up with a German “light” beer so that people would not seek Czech Pilsners as a ligh beer alternative. These beers are light in color and generally sweeter due to the malts

Label:

A light golden colored Franconian style Helles Lager. With a slightly sweet malt body, a noble hop profile and a crisp finish this beer is as traditional as we’ll ever get.

The fragrance is of pilsnery grains with some of the sweet peppercorn fragrances, spices, apples, honey and floral with some reminiscent spices like that of Allagash Curiex. This beer almost drinks like Curiex or like an Oktoberfest beer. Some honey biscuit bread, citrus, cereal, pilsner, peppercorn, graham crackers, and apples, grassy but crisp and refreshing hop bitterness. This would go good for like a summer day. The beer is pretty good and way more flavorful than an average lager beer and is quite drinkable too. Since it carries so much flavor yet it is still a lighter beer than most, it is definitely worth trying for those wanting to see what certain gateway craft beers are like.

Jubilee by Eagle Rock Brewery

224830_10100951664353970_285875234_nRating: 4.8/5

Jubilee by Eagle Rock Brewery of Los Angeles California (Yes my home county) is a 8.1% ABV Winter Warmer Spiced Old Ale. I explained in an earlier review about winter warmers. Usually malt forward, sweeter beers that only hop bitterness is used for balance and are spiced up for holiday servings.

Label:

Jubilee, spiced old ale, is a delicious holiday treat with the aromas of freshly-baked banana bread and rich caramel. The spices used in this full-bodied winter warmer combined with a hint of molasses are reminiscent of the complex flavors of gingerbread. The rounded malt sweetness is balanced by an earthy finish, and just enough bitterness to give way to a lingering warmth, subdued sweetness, and rich fruit character on the palate. 
Whether you choose to drink this beer during this holiday season or age it for another special occasion, enjoy it! Because ‘tis the season for jubilation!

The fragrance reminds me of a cherry bread, cinnamon, and grapes. It is somewhat like the Holiday Fruit Cake Ale I tried before. Yet, the flavors are more abundant than the fragrance. The flavor is pretty delicious. Just the right type of Christmas beer. Its is full of cinnamon, delicious gingerbread flavors, cherry, some pumpkin spice, vanilla, caramel, bananas, raisins, pears, apples and brown sugar cookies. This is a very damn good Christmas beer. This is a definite pickup for Christmas, it is really awesome 😛

Santa’s Little Helper by Port Brewing

Rating: 5/5

Santa’s Little Helper by Port Brewing is a 10%ABV Russian Imperial Stout. This is the second time I try this beer. Both the Oak Aged and regular versions are awesome :P. 

Label:

Each year santa works up that famous list. He takes notes of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. To the nice people he brings good cheer. For the people who have been anything but nice, he loads up on big fat lumps of coal. Thankfully, santa knows this is one seriously nice beer. Brewed only once a year since it was first released in 1997, Santa’a Little Helper has been our annual insurance policy against lumps of coal in our stockings. Each year, we look forward to the release of this beer which signals the impending arrival of the jolly old fat man and his merry band of eves. Santa’s Little Helper Imperials stouts is as back as christmas eve with a decidedly smooth finish. We know you’ll find it the perfect companion for chestnuts roasting by an open fire paired with that lump of coal you’ll be receiving.

The easiest way to describe this beer is to say that if you were to take Old Rasputin and collided him with Christmas and made him run gift errands on Christmas Eve, you would have this. Think of a Russian Imperial stout and add Christmas spices to it like nutmeg, cinnamon, cherries and other Christmasy goodness. The flavors of chocolate, coffee and earthy hop bitterness is toned down to release more sweeter flavors. There are notes of cinnamon, cherries, raisins, molasses, vanilla, caramel. However as you keep trying it, there seems to be more chocolate flowing here. Milk, dark, baker and bitter sweet chocolates that flow into a coffee like a mocha. One of the better Christmas beers you will find along with some of the ones I have already reviewed here for sure :). Many places including Bevmo have this around this time of year. Get it before the season ends :P. LOL and you are lucky to find the Oak aged version which was released in he summer, get that too 😀

2011 Review:
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas..lol even if its barely gonna be Halloween…lmao!! Anyways. We have here a nice Christmas Imperial Stout. This is the Santa’s Little Helper by Port Brewing company. Delicious chocolate and coffee flavors like most Imperial Stouts with 10% ABV. However, this beer is heavy in bitterness but there is this delicious note of dry cinnamon and cherry. Like those delicious Christmas chocolates that come out around that time. LOL looks like the guys took some of last years coals left in the stockings to heat and roast up the malts to use in this years beer. Definitely a good present to receive this holiday season…or even before Halloween >:)