Eight Merry Mermen IIIPA by Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Rating: 5/5

Eight Merry Mermen IIIPA by Karl Strauss Brewing Company is a 10.8 Triple IPA

Locals swear they can catch a glimpse of them every year. Sailors remember the very first time they saw them. Some people can’t even recount their experience without being brought to tears. Yes, legend has it that every holiday season, the Eight Merry Mermen hit the San Diego shores with what the people want most: beer! The 8th installment in our “Twelve Days” holiday series is an intensely hopped IIIPA packed with aromas of fresh evergreen, grapefruit, and tangerine. Finishing bold and boozy, it’s the perfect beer to enjoy with friends whether they have feet or fins.

Amazing a super fruity IPA. Lots of tropics and still warming for the Holiday Season

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2017 Peanut Butter Cup Porter by Karl Strauss brewing

Rating: 5.5/6

2017 Peanut Butter Cup Porter by Karl Strauss brewing is a 5.6% ABV English Porter brewed with Peanut butter, cocoa nibs and vanilla beans.

Maaaggicccc cocoa krispies and Reeces pieces!

Original Review: https://animebeers.com/2014/10/06/peanut-butter-cup-porter-by-karl-strauss-brewing/

28th Anniversary Barrel-Aged Belgian Quad by Karl Strauss

Rating: 6/6

28th Anniversary Barrel-Aged Belgian Quad by Karl Strauss is a 12.9% ABV Belgian Quadrupel aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
Every year for our anniversary, we take a specialty beer and age it in bourbon barrels for twelve whole months. This year’s full-bodied Barrel-Aged Belgian Quad is rich and malty, with flavors of dark fruit, caramel, and charred oak. Aging the beer in Four Roses Bourbon barrels gives it a surprisingly smooth, warming finish. From 1989 to 2017 and beyond, we thank you for your support, and invite you to join in the celebration!

==Introduction==

I first tried this one when my friend Alex Alcaraz took me to Karl Strauss in downtown Los Angeles. When I had it, I was immediately blown away by its awesomeness. Granted, I had tried their Barrel Aged Belgian Dark Strong 2 years ago but have not posted information on it to the site. This time, they went with a Barrel Aged Quadrupel. Essentially, I remember seeing a bottle in their fridge, which I can only assume you can only purchase it through them directly. I did not think much of picking one up now and thought I can get one later. It wasn’t till later that night that I was like, I really, really need that bottle. So needless to say, I went back and got the bottle and now I can do a review for those that are interested. The Karl Strauss anniversary beers don’t often come out to the public so this was a perfect opportunity. Let’s have a look, cheers!

Aromas:
Oak, Vanilla, Dulce de Leche Caramel, dark fruit raisins, figs, dates, plums, dark cherries, piloncillo sugar cone, Mexican Capirotada raisin bread pudding, flan, cinnamon, fruit cake, Dark Candi Sugar, Rock candy, butterscotch, banana cream pie, pecan pie, marshmallows, rocky road ice cream, almond joy chocolate, Cadbury cream eggs, Chocolate mousse, wild flower honey, Tres Leches/Three Creams cake, sweetened condensed milk, sweetened condensed milk and hazelnut nectar.

Flavors:
Rich Dulce de Leche Caramel, Whiskey, Bourbon, Oak, Vanilla, toffee, toasted coconut, bananas, clove spice, Belgian Candy sugar, Dark Candi Sugar, Rock candy, butterscotch, banana cream pie, pecan pie, marshmallows, rocky road ice cream, almond joy chocolate, Cadbury cream eggs, sweetened condensed milk, hazelnut nectar, dark fruit raisins, figs, dates, plums, dark cherries, cherry yogurt, stone fruit peach, mango, figgy pudding, piloncillo sugar cone, Mexican Capirotada raisin bread pudding, flan, cinnamon, fruit cake, Belgian Chocolate, German Chocolate, Chocolate mousse, wild flower honey, Tres Leches/Three Creams cake and plantains.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with Rich caramel, vanilla, toasted coconut, banana cream pie, bourbon, oak, pecan pie, milk chocolate, Cadbury Cream eggs and dark fruit. Slight alcohol in the taste but definitely not detracting from the rich flavors at all, Crimson Amber clear body, smooth, creamy, velvety and chewy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Insane! Just like so many of the awesome Barrel Aged beers I have had in the past. I can probably compare it to Bruery or Firestone Walker level of awesomeness. Yes, Mofos forgot about Karls when Karls is still brewing some great awesome beers! More beers for the rest of us! While it is not a whale per se, it is in the whalez category of a “should be” coveted beer. Lots of great barrel character and the love of that Belgian quad flavors that I really love. I highly recommend you get this from them for sure, it is worth the price.

Anime Corner:
Rider from Fate Stay Night series was used in this pairing as I had used her in the previous Karl Strauss anniversary which I did not do a review of but this time around I wanted to bring her back. She represents the colors of the dark fruits which generally are a prominent flavor with these beers but also since she is powerful like the way this beer is strong in ABV. In general, the dark and barrel aged theme of the beer goes well with this one.

Sources:
https://i.imgur.com/AKo459v.jpg
https://i.warosu.org/data/tg/img/0499/19/1477252199393.jpg
https://laniemon.files.wordpress.com/2006/11/rider.jpg
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DVBFE34Z2HA/WPF6AGUjVuI/AAAAAAAATso/nHvBK5kT_mYWK_mhBCnudM0PYq2xRdt3gCJoC/w530-h741-p/__rider_fate_stay_night_and_fate_series_drawn_by_hijiri__4354352e56deab4ecbe2b3cc297438c5.jpg
http://orig03.deviantart.net/c5af/f/2017/057/0/a/fate_stay_night___rider__by_limdog-db0hjbz.jpg
http://livedoor.blogimg.jp/nijilab/imgs/e/8/e8cae68e-s.jpg

Seven Sharks A-Circling by Karl Strauss

15369113_10103803570630930_8118013602060836694_oRating: 5/5

Seven Sharks A-Circling by Karl Strauss is a 9% ABV Holiday Imperial Smoked Porter

Label:
Each year, leopard sharks flock to the warm waters of San Diego. But these little guys aren’t out for blood; they much prefer the taste of the newest local brew. (Yep, leopard sharks love craft beer. It’s science.) Introducing Seven Sharks A-Circling, the 7th installment in our “Twelve Days” holiday series. This Imperial Smoked Porter is brewed with a blend of caramel and smoked malts for bold flavors of chocolate, coffee, and a subtle beach-bonfire-like smokiness. It finishes sweet and smooth. You’re gonna need a bigger glass.

==Introduction==

The 7th release of the 12 Christmas beers of San Diego was released this year now available in time for the Holidays. As the 7th installment in the series, each year, Karl Strauss has been releasing awesome hit after awesome hit. Ever since I tried the Fruit cake forward Mouette à Trois, I was hooked on this series. After completing the review with Two Tortugas, it was about time I finally got to the next one in the series. This is themed with sharks. Instead of Swans swimming, it’s sharks swimming but circling around their prey. I am not sure how a smoked Imperial porter would work as a Christmas beer other than sitting toasty by the fire around Christmas time which would make sense. Either way, let’s have a look at another amazing installment in the series. Cheers!

Aromas:
Smokey notes, campfire oak, vanilla, caramel, mocha, fruit cake, ginger bread, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, whiskey oak hints, marshmallows, hazelnut nectar, molasses, licorice, anise, tobacco and dark fruits.

Flavors:
Rich caramel, rye bread, smoked malts, coffee, espresso, burnt candy sugar, dark fruit prunes, currants, cinnamon, toasted fruit cake, dark chocolate, BBQ sauce hints, brown sugar, campfire oak, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, mocha, fig pudding, molasses, licorice, anise, tobacco, soy sauce hints, maple syrup, whiskey notes, pecans, hazelnut nectar and marshmallow smores.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with rich dark fruits, smoked oak, rye bread, tobacco, earthy notes, licorice, anise, fruit cake, marshmallow smores and dark chocolate. No alcohol in the taste. Dark crimson full body, smooth, creamy and velvety mouthfeel and a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A perfect smoked brew. I haven’t a smoked porter in a very long time and the way this was made definitely brings in some subtle notes of Christmas. I really would love to know what part of it has the subtle holiday spices since they do seem to be there but the smokiness tends to balance things out for this one. So you still get the Christmas aspect of the beer along with some smoky goodness. If you love smokey brews, give this one a shot!

Anime Corner:
7 Girls from the RWBY series, 3 are antagonist (Cinder Fall [center], Emerald Sustrai [left standing] and Neopolitan [left sitting]) 1 questionable (Raven Branwen on the most left) and 3 supporting protagonist characters (Penny Polendina [Right side next to Cinder], Velvet Scarlatina [laying down on the right] and Coco Adel [Right]) They were all used in this pairing to go with the 7 sharks a circling. Now, the fact that they are on the beach also goes with the theme. Some of these sharks are evil and some are good. So the fact that there is a balance in the characters, the shark species and the balance in this brew was the perfect harmonious pairing.

Sources:
http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/rwby/images/0/04/Commission_rwby_bikini_2_by_jadenkaiba-d9aicw6.png/revision/latest?cb=20150922193310

2016 Two Tortugas by Karl Strauss

14556807_10103605761941130_456535289678432797_oRating: 6/6

2016 Two Tortugas by Karl Strauss is an 11.1% ABV Belgian Quadrupel ale.

Label:
It was 2011 when we first released Two Tortugas Belgian Quad as our holiday ale. It was supposed to be a one-time release for the holidays, but your feedback demanded otherwise. Six batches and numerous medals later, our Belgian Quad is back in all its original glory. Two Tortugas has aromas of dark fruit and caramel, with a slight hint of bubblegum from the Belgian Abbey yeast. This beer is robust and full-bodied with rich malty flavors of toffee, plums, and dates. Drink it now or lay it down – Two Tortugas’ journey is just getting started.

Original 2011 Label:
San Diego may not top the list for birdwatchers but it certainly tops the list for beer-drinkers. And while you’re more likely to spot a Sea Turtle than a Turtle Dove, tracking down a world class beer is easy. Two Tortugas is the 2nd addition to our less than literal “Twelve Days” series of holiday ales. This Belgian-inspired Quadruple Ale has a delicate union of toffee, dark fruits, and warming spices that will continue to develop with age. Raise a glass to 2011 or save a bottle for 2021, this turtle’s got legs.

==Introduction==
14556733_10103605761831350_4342871500978724923_o
The 2nd release of the 12 Christmas beers of San Diego was re-released this year now available in time for the Holidays. This was the only beer I missed out on since the release of the first brew. I have spent a lot of time looking for this one. I once tried it at Uncle Henry’s Deli in Downey California but this was something I really wanted to bring to the site for years. Thanks to everyone who asked and begged Karl Strauss for a re-release. It is because of you, the awesome fans that I was able to bring this one to the site at last! As for the lore of the holiday theme which is similar to the Bruery, the 12 Christmas beers of San Diego is Karl Strauss take on the song but with gifts in relation to San Diego. Also, for this one being in my favorite style of beer, let’s have a look, cheers!

Aromas:
Piloncillo sugar cone, fruit cake, ginger bread, dulce de leche caramel, bananas, clove spice, dark fruit prunes, raisins, dates, raspberries, dark cherry, figs, currants, black berries, clove spice, vanilla, capirotada Mexican raisin bread pudding, Stone fruit peach, apricot, plums, banana cream pie, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, rock candy, Sweetened condensed milk, flan, fruit cake, cinnamon, nutmeg and toffee.

Flavors:
Super rich Dulce De Leche caramel covered grilled bananas, clove spice, vanilla, capirotada Mexican raisin bread pudding, Rich dark fruit prunes, raisins, dates, raspberries, dark cherry, figs, currants, black berries, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate cherry cordials, pan dulce, Belgian dark candi sugar, rock candy, marshmallows, waffle cone, Sweetened condensed milk, flan, fruit cake, cinnamon, nutmeg, toffee, piloncillo sugar cone, brown sugar, Stone fruit peach, apricot, plums, banana cream pie, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, walnut truffle and chocolate truffle turtles.

Aftertaste:
Finishes rich in dark fruit, dulce de leche and bananas, piloncillo sugar cone, fruit cake, chocolate, pecan pie, marshmallows and sweetened condensed milk. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV. Amber to Dark Honey colored clear body, smooth, velvety and chewy mouth feel along with a moderate to sipping drinkability.
14560218_10103605761856300_8446614182646847870_o
Overall:
Super Bananas and Dulce de Leche! What an exceptional brew. It has really been a long time coming and now that I carefully analyzed this one, I can say It was worth the wait. For a Quadrupel, the bananas and caramels were the winner in this one followed by dark fruit and complex goodness. The other part is that for some reason it is easier to drink than what the ABV would have you believe. Yes, it is not a chugger at all but still feels good and not harsh at all. I highly recommend you pick this one up especially for those that missed the 2011 version.
14524486_10103605761821370_3014326874742613448_o
Anime Corner:
Joy and Sadness from Inside Out were used in this pairing as I wanted to not only pair with the colors of the label but also the aspect of the number 2. 2 characters for 2 turtles. Seems easy enough. Since the beer showcases a lot of Banana and Dark fruit flavors, them being together in the artwork is a mashup of the flavors. Yes, much more complex but I think you may kind of get the idea.
14556653_10103605761931150_6225805432099119507_o
Sources:
http://img.komicolle.org/2015-08-13/src/14394707028812.jpg
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GqPw78lIh_0/VucgVTxcW2I/AAAAAAAAOnU/MlvSAc8ow9M/w512-h512/ipad_sketch___inside_out_joy_and_sadness_by_mbyuri-d98b7sl.jpg
http://orig01.deviantart.net/4f0a/f/2015/236/c/a/lalla2_by_daefny-d96yqqb.png
http://orig09.deviantart.net/ed2b/f/2015/234/b/f/fa___inside_out_by_whitmoon-d96pbv7.png

Aurora Hoppyalis IPA by Karl Strauss brewing

14462760_10103598619324990_180452469865324733_nRating: 5/5

Aurora Hoppyalis IPA by Karl Strauss brewing is a 7% ABV San Diego Style India Pale Ale.

Label:
Okay fine, we admit it, you can’t see the Northern Lights this far south. But San Diego has its own version of Aurora Borealis, and ours has cast a hoppy spell over this city. What the rest of the world calls an IPA, San Diego locals consider pale in comparison. Aurora Hoppyalis is our San Diego-style IPA brewed with Simcoe, Mosaic, Amarillo, and Citra hops. Robust flavors and aromas of tropical fruit, pine, and tangerine linger through a dry, crisp finish. Tonight’s forecast: clear hoppy skies.

==Introduction==
14542334_10103598619339960_3506077873278952090_o
Released year-round, this is the first time Karl Strauss takes a shot at an east coast style beer with a west coast blend. Or at least it seems like it as this one is a hazy IPA. It has also been a while since I brought a Karl Strauss brew to the website as well. Karl Strauss has been in the business for craft beer since 1989 and as the times have changed, so have they to adjust for certain beer trends. While the West Coast hoppy beers have been the craze for years, it seems the arrival of the East Coast style is definitely having an effect on masses. So as a response they brought this. I have heard great things about this one so when my local shop started to carry it, I was damned if I didn’t bring this one to the site. Let’s take a look, cheers!

Aromas:
Tropical fruit, mango, pineapple, guava, dragon fruit, passion fruit, lychee, strawberry, biscuit bread, green tea ice cream, pears, sweetened condensed milk hints, stone fruit peach, honey, Citrus blossom honey, orange peel, grapefruit, piney, garlicky, oniony, herbal, dank and grassy hops, lemon starbursts, basil, Eucalyptus honey, lemon grass and agave hints.

Flavors:
Honey, Citrus blossom honey, orange peel, grapefruit, piney, garlicky, oniony, herbal, dank and grassy hops, lemon starbursts, basil, Eucalyptus honey, lemon grass, tropical fruit pine apple, dragon fruit, passion fruit, guava, lychee, strawberry, mango hints, tangerine gummies, biscuit bread vanilla hints, agave hints, mint, green tea ice cream, pears, sweetened condensed milk hints, stone fruit peach and apricot.

Aftertaste:
Finishing dry with honey, green tea, grassy, citrus and tropical hops. No alcohol in the taste, pale golden clear to hazy body, crisp, clean and refreshing mouthfeel along with an easy drinkability.

Overall:
A perfect IPA resembling an east coast style with the massive tropics but still giving it the old heave-ho garlicky dankness found in the west coast style. They somehow got all the flavors to meld well and then this honey and citrus taste that’s very unique. It does seem a lot like an East Coast in some aspects especially with the haze. While I haven’t had some good Karl Strauss beers in a while, this one was super damn impressive. Definitely another pickup from me and I recommend you pick this one up online or local.
14468597_10103598619344950_8756424425363609626_o
Anime Corner:
Ragyō Kiryūin from Kill LA Kill is the antagonist of the series. I won’t spoil who she really is if you have not seen the show but the reason I chose her for this beer pairing is because I wanted to pair the play on the name of the bear. Aurora Hoppyalis is a play on Aurora Borealis or the Northern lights. The lights they are created by sun’s particles that collide with the Earth’s atmosphere in the north creating these very beautiful and colorful lights. Since Ragyō’s hair is a rainbow of colors and she is always surrounded by immense light, it makes sense to use her in a beer that centers around the colorful variety and complex flavors that come from the hops which mimic the different fruits, citrus, sweets and herbs. She maybe evil in term of who she is but her light is as casting as that of a god!

Sources:
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/GKVD8sSuCD0/maxresdefault.jpg
http://img1.joyreactor.cc/pics/post/Anime-Kill-la-Kill-Kiryuuin-Ragyou-yand-1181849.jpeg

2015 Wreck Alley by Karl Strauss

10547156_10103117642177050_901989524375048358_o 10272606_10103117642980440_6738868236092388163_o 10392305_10103117643858680_3243286541705481776_nRating: 4.75/5

2015 Wreck Alley by Karl Strauss is a 9% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with cocoa nibs and Ethiopian coffee beans from Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.

Label:
Beneath the tides off Mission Beach rests Wreck Alley – a dark and mysterious seascape of forgotten ships. Amidst the rusted wreckage is a marine ecosystem, an artificial reef teeming with life. Our Wreck Alley is as dark as the depths of its namesake, an Imperial Stout of uncharted complexity. Brewed with darkly kilned malts, cocoa nibs, and Ethiopian coffee beans sourced by our friends at Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, Wreck Alley boasts rich layers of dark chocolate, toffee, and espresso-like roast.

==Introduction==

Got this one off one of my local markets. It has been a long time since I tried this beer and I wanted to bring it back for a re-review as I saw they are using a different brand of coffee with this brew. That and I do recall how much I liked this one back then so I figure, why not bring it back to the website for good ol’ time sakes. This time, Karl Strauss collabs with Bird Rock Coffee Roasters in San Diego. So it is good to see what new flavors might come about with this blending. Time for the beer, Cheers!

Aromas:
Coffee, Mocha, Kahlua liqueur hints , Dark Chocolate, milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, coconut hints, tobacco notes, brown sugar, marshmallow smores, rocky road ice cream hints and toffee.

Flavors:
Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, German chocolate, Baker’s chocolate, earthy hop hints, espresso, mocha, roasted coffee, toffee, tobacco notes, licorice, anise, molasses, brownie batter, vanilla, caramel, toasted coconut, marshmallows, smores, rocky road notes, dark fruit raisins, cherries, Coffee cake, Chocolate cake, crème brulee hints, steamed milk, Irish cream and Kahlua liqueur notes.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with notes of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, dark fruit, earthy notes, vanilla and caramel notes. No alcohol in the taste, pitch black dark body, smooth, creamy, and mildly chewy mouthfeel with a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A very delicious stout just like I remember it. While I have had many stouts in the past, this one brings back memories of how well it was made. It is still well made and delicious. A common go to beer for sure especially since it is readily available. Now that I see it often near me, I will be getting this one often. I recommend this one.

Anime Corner:
Etna from Disgaea was chosen to return to the brew like I did with the original review of the Wreck Alley Stout. At the time, one of the reasons I had chosen her to do the pairing was due to the dark and evil face which would make up the dark water this is but also her surrounding of rubble seeming like she brings death and destruction. Although she may seem like that on the outside. She really is a sweet heart in reality and in the series. I just like how well she paired back then with the idea so I added some new pictures that would fit with that aspect of wrecks, destructions and corruption but really is sweet like the taste of the beer is. Don’t judge books by their covers!

Sources:
http://i26.ltalk.ru/99/22/42299/6/2768406/16.jpeg
https://brewerianimelogs.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/2b352-disgaeaportable12.jpg
http://cdn.myanimelist.net/images/characters/11/33671.jpg

Six Suits A-Hangin’ by Karl Strauss

12524215_10103044320314650_7808385092854136145_nRating: 5.25/6

Six Suits A-Hangin’ by Karl Strauss is an 8.5% ABV Imperial Belgian Brown aged on French Oak.

Label:
Winter in San Diego means surfers break out their fullsuits. And while you may not find many stockings hung by the chimney with care, you’re sure to see those wetsuits hung out to dry on plenty of balconies across the county. Six Suits A-Hangin’ is the 6th installment in our “Twelve Days” holiday series. This Imperial Belgian-style brown ale is brewed with caramel and brown malts for rich flavors of graham crackers, roasted nuts, and peppery Belgian spice. Aging on French oak adds a hint of vanilla. As for the finish? It’ll warm you from your head to your frozen toes.

==Introduction==

The 6th release if the 12 Christmas beers of San Diego is now available in time for the Holidays. Similar to the Bruery, the 12 Christmas beers of San Diego is Karl Strauss take on the song but with gifts in relation to San Diego. This one was released for a limited time for the holidays and may go quick. While I have tried a good amount of them, I have yet to try the 2nd (Two Tortugas) one which is the quad and one of my favorite styles. This year, they bring a Belgian Brown. It has been a while since I tried the Belgian brown style, not in sour form ofcourse. So seeing as this is Karl Strauss first (I’m assuming) Belgian Brown, let’s see what it has to offer.

Aromas:
Dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, sugar plums, figgy pudding, fruit cake, stone fruit peaches, apricots, peppercorn, bananas, clove spice, pecan pie, apple pie, caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, milk chocolate, Tamarind, Candi Sugar, Rock Candy, Oak, crème brulee, flan, Danish cream cookies, brown sugar, ginger bread cookies and capirotada raisins bread.

Flavors:
Rich Caramel, vanilla, butterscotch, milk chocolate, Tamarind, Candi Sugar, Rock Candy, Oak, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, sugar plums, figgy pudding, fruit cake, stone fruit peaches, apricots, peppercorn, bananas, clove spice, pecan pie, apple pie, piloncillo sugar cone, brown sugar, ginger bread cookies, capirotada raisins bread, port wine notes, cinnamon toast crunch rye bread, crème brulee, flan notes, strawberry jam on shortbread cookies, Danish cream cookies and sweet potato hints.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with lots of dark fruit, caramel, candy sugar, fruit cake, vanilla, stone fruits, chocolate hints and spicy Christmas notes like cookies. No alcohol in the taste. Honey dark brown clear to hazy body. Creamy, smooth, slightly syrupy mouthfeel with a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
Exceptionally delicious. This one came from left field but at the same time, I was well pleased with this one. A Belgian brown ale that is super complex and fits right in with the while “Christmas Ale” theme. I am trying to figure out how a brown relates to suits but that does not matter. What you should really know is, this one is worth the take. I would say, take a couple!

Anime Corner:
Jigoku no Fubuki from One Punch Man was used in this pairing as I was trying to get a picture of people with suits but also a leader representing the overall theme. Jigoku seemed to fit the bill here. While I do not know much about Jigoku yet as she has not made much of an appearance in the anime, I am sure she will have something to do with Saitama, the main protagonist. Either way, this was a nice pairing a I felt.

Sources:
http://static.zerochan.net/One.Punch.Man.full.1683518.jpg

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

Peanut Butter Cup Porter by Karl Strauss brewing

10006433_10102104096226260_7623200834244381683_nRating: 5.25/5

Peanut Butter Cup Porter by Karl Strauss brewing is a 5.6% ABV English Porter brewed with Peanut butter, cocoa nibs and vanilla beans.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Brewed for San Diego Beer Week 2012 An English-style Brown Porter brewed with organic peanut powder, cocoa nibs, and vanilla beans. The resulting brew is a beer’s answer to the peanut butter cup – a medium-bodied porter with smooth layers of peanut butter and milk chocolate. Stats: 5.6% ABV – 56 SRM – 30 IBU
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On my trip to San Diego last weekend, my friends and I also stopped by Karl Strauss and tried several of their beers. While I liked a good majority of them and have tried many before, including this one, I was greatly pleased that they allowed this one to be growler filled. Since the first time I tried it long ago, I never really got a chance to do a review and at the time I did not think of doing reviews on the go like I am doing now. So with the opportunity to bring this one home and take my time to review it, here it is! Now, I had a couple of peanut butter cup beers before like the Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout, the Terrapin Liquid Bless and even Mother Earth Sin Tax. This one on the other hand, though English and light, takes advantage of the cocoa nibs and vanilla beans. A combo that fares greatly with many beers. So without further a do, here is the Peanut Butter Cup Porter, Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich Peanut butter, Nutter Butter Cookies, oatmeal, banana hints, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, hint of dark fruit raisins, cocoa crispies, milk sugars, mild cherries, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, dark cherries, cinnamon, mocha, vanilla, toffee, coconut and butterscotch.

Flavors:
Cocoa Crispies cereal, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, hazelnut, pecan pie hints, peanut butter chocolate Reece’s pieces, milk sugar, vanilla, caramel, oatmeal, Nutter Butter cookies, cinnamon hints, brown sugar, dark fruit raisins and mild cherries, roasted coffee notes, peanut shell bitterness, rye bread,mocha, toffee, toasted coconut, earthy notes and butterscotch hints.

Aftertaste:
chocolate peanut butter, dark chocolate, mocha hints, roasted coffee, vanilla, caramel, toasted coconut, ending with earthy notes dryness. No alcohol in the taste, easy to drink, creamy and buttery mouthfeel and medium to light body.

Overall:
Definitely exceeding my expectations a bit. Is this the better Peanut Butter Cup beer? Well, the addition of the cocoa nibs and vanilla beans can be sensed in the flavors and definitely does take the beer to the next level. I really can say I enjoyed this one a lot for what it is. There aren’t many peanut butter beers out there and this is a damn well represented one. All I hope is that one day they put this in bottle. Otherwise, if you are lucky, you can get this at the brewery.

Anime Corner:
Yui Takamura from Muv Luv Alternative/Total Eclipse was used for this pairing since her colors pair with the flavors of chocolate and peanut butter I have paired her with Liquid Bliss once so I wanted to bring her back to show a more chocolate perspective. While the strength is not on the beer per se, it surely is in the flavor. Surely that is explosive!

Sources:
http://gallery.minitokyo.net/view/590148

(Brewerianimelogs On The Road) Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Wreck Alley by by Karl Strauss

10402377_10101827497242840_6320414451540469801_nRating: 5.75/5

Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Wreck Alley by by Karl Strauss is a 12.4%ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Cocoa Nibs, Coffee Beans, Vanilla Beans and aged in Bourbon Oak Barrels.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Like previous versions of Wreck Alley, this batch has additions of cocoa nibs and locally roasted Ethiopian coffee beans. But this time we didn’t stop there. Our brewers split whole vanilla beans from Papua New Guinea, added them to the beer, and left it to age in American oak barrels for an entire year. The result? All of the dark chocolate and espresso-like roast you expect from Wreck Alley, plus exotic vanilla undertones.
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So I had this crazy idea that since I am always out and about trying different beers, why not try to do some quick reviews for some beers that may or may not make it to bottles and may be draft only. I did something like this long ago (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/seme-della-vita-the-seed-of-life-by-monkish-brewing/) but never really took off with the idea. This time around I tried a beer at the local Uncle Henry’s Deli near my town which was really damn good. This beer was essentially the same beer I about a year ago (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/barrel-aged-wreck-alley-by-karl-strauss/) but with the addition of vanilla beans. Well now, that just added some damn good level of complexity. So basically I liked it so much that I wanted to do a review for it. I also recently heard that this beer may be released in bottles, so if that is the case, I will be sure to review that one too. I will definitely try to do more “on the road” reviews for sure.

Aromas:
Dark, milk, bakers and sweet chocolate, coconut, rich vanilla, oak, coffee, mocha, bourbon, rocky road ice cream, flan, dark fruits like raisins, plums, caramel, toffee, tobacco, brown sugar, anise and berries and cream.

Flavors:
Definitely rich in Dark, milk, bakers and sweet chocolate and vanilla with the mocha coffee coming through very nicely. It is not as light funky as the previous one BA version was which I am sure is where the vanilla comes in. Lots of flavors of caramel, frappuccino, flan, coconut,bourbon, rocky road ice cream, marshmallows, anise, brown sugar, tobacco, toffee, berries and cream, Irish cream notes, dark fruits like raisins, plums, figs and currants.

Aftertaste:
Caramel, vanilla, rich chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, mild coconut lingers. Very well hidden alcohol despite the big ABV. It sure does not drink like a 12% ABV beer. A sipping beer but is very smooth and silky. It is pretty dangerous stuff as I can see finishing off a couple of glasses and then it would not be good for me.

Overall:
Way better than the original and the first Barrel Aged version. I like sweeter beers so this one was sweeter than the original and the BA one so definitely a lot of extra credit there. I would highly recommend this one if you can find it on tap of even on the bottle which I am sure I will definitely try to get to maybe add some more pictures or make a comparison. Either way, definitely get your hands on a couple of drinks of this, with responsibility of course.

Anime Corner:
Etna from the Disgaea series has been a consistent character I have used for the Wreck Alley series ever since the first one I did where it shows her by a slab of concrete that was destroyed. Shes a crazy machine. Then in the second one, it shows her huge like Godzilla sitting next to some buildings. Yep. In this instance, the addition of vanilla to the barrel is like her sitting on a Prinny (the blue penguin aka her minion). So the heightened amount of flavors is like her letting her minions do all the work for her where she can just relax!

Four Scowling Owls by Karl Strauss

1524587_10101588102382060_958083838_n 1524676_10101588103953910_758668113_nRating: 4.5/5

Four Scowling Owls by Karl Strauss is a 9% ABV Belgian Tripel

Label:
Don’t upset these angry birds: share a bottle of this year’s Holiday Tripel. Four Scowling Owls – the next release from our “Twelve Days” holiday series – is a robust Belgian style strong ale with orange citrus flavors and a spicy aroma. Amarillo and Mount Rainier hops balance out the Vienna malt character. The finish is dry and warm, perfect for those “chilly” San Diego winters. Birds of a feather drink together.
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The 4th release of the 12 Christmas beers of San Diego has been released this year for the winter. I wanted to get this beer up and tried to go along with the other 2 beers I have tried from them, which were the Mouette Trois and the Parrot in a Palm Tree. Total Wine and More has recently released this one in Redondo Beach but I am sure it will hit many stores very soon.

Aromas: 
Apricots, peppercorn, citrus, floral hops, orange juice, mango, pineapple, honey, biscuit bread, caramel, pears, peaches, coriander spice, stone fruit, golden raisins, bananas, clove spice and apples.

Flavors:
Bananas, peppercorns, clove and coriander spice, golden raisins, stone fruits like peaches and apricots, caramel, biscuit bread, pineapple hints, floral hop notes, citrus, orange peel, honey and toffee

Aftertaste:
Stone fruit and peppery spices linger with a touch of caramel and flowery hop bitterness. No alcohol in the taste but moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
It is a very good Tripel, but not something that is super mind blowing or something too new. It reminds me of some of the great Tripels out there. So if you like Tripels, you have probably had this one or one that is way better. On its own it still very delicious

Anime Corner:
Choosing anime pairings was simple but difficult at the same time. I wanted to get 4 girls to continue the number aspect of the beer. The only problem was trying to pair them as 4 scowling girls or even pair them as with the label colors or beer flavors. So the only thing I could find was 4 matching girls and 4 girls looking bad ass. They may not be scowling per say, but they sure as hell ain’t smiling, at least the first artwork piece with Fate/Stay night girls are not smiling.

Parrot in a Palm Tree by Karl Strauss

484752_10101494937505220_223810333_n 1468748_10101494937719790_1711247771_nRating: 5.45/5

Parrot in a Palm Tree by Karl Strauss is an 8.5% ABV Holiday Baltic Porter aged in Port Wine Barrels

Label: 
In San Diego, we’re not known for our partridges or pears but we can all relate to those noisy parrots and their relentless “caroling”. Parrot in a Palm Tree is a robust Baltic Porter brewed especially for the Holidays. Aged two months in San Pasqual Tawny Port barrels, the resulting brew isn’t for the birds. This winter warmer boasts a complex bouquet of dark fruits, espresso and chocolate, with hints of oak in its warming finish. Raise a glass to 2010 or save a bottle as this limited release will age with the best of them.
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A rare beer that I was only able to find online. This beer is the first in the Twelve Days of San Diego Christmas beers. Aged 3 years so far as the beer came out in 2010. Just the fact that it is aged in port wine gives me that reminiscence of Troise Pistoles. I have been looking for the previous versions of the Karl Strauss Christmas beers. Last year I had the third installment, Mouette à Trois (Three Seagulls) which I reviewed and though the world of that beer. The fact that it aged since 2010 and in Port Wine? I can only think the world of this beer. 

Aromas:
Just like the Bruery’s Partridge in a Pear tree, very rich dark fruit raisins, figs, plukms, dark cherries, raspberries, sweet port wine, grapes, chocolate, pecan pie, brown sugar, fruit cake, light coffee, caramel, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, strawberry marmalade and raisin bread pudding 

Flavors:
Good amount of rich port wine but nothing that burns, pleasant raisins, chocolate, mocha, coffee, java, hazelnut, pecan pie, fruit cake, molasses, Blackberries, currant marmalade, vanilla, dulce de leche, raisin bread pudding, rich figs, coconut, and brownies.

Aftertaste:
The aftertaste leaves off rich as well, with nice figs, raisins, port wine, chocolate, coffee and fruit cake breadiness. Hard to detect the alcohol in the taste, but if anything it brings a great splash of flavors. Easy to moderate drinkability with hardly any harshness. Kinda smooth really

Overall:
Freaking great and very delicious. Exceeding expectation but expected from a beer that is aged in port wine barrels and tasting like Trios pistoles, but also close to the initial flavors of the Bruery’s Partridge in a Pear Tree (except the pear). That and I love parrots. Sue me, I just do. Each flavor I had mentioned earlier is not only notes, but actual nice rich flavors coming through Highly recommended if you can find it. It is aging very well and hopefully by the 12th Christmas of San Diego release will be just at peak.

Anime Corner:
Dizzy is one of the characters from the Guilty Gear series. In the Art work, it matches the beer label as she is with the parrots. The colors are representative of the label as well. In terms of the complex flavors, it brings forth one of her ultimate features, which is complexity of power and emotions. The sweetness of this beer and complexity only shows you part of her true potential. If this beer is mean to age until the 12th release of the Christmas of San Diego beers, her true potential will reach its peak. 

Vocaloid Hatsune Miku in the second picture represents the same color as the parrot thus complimenting the label. That is about it for my visual comparison. She is also sweet like this beer.

Barrel Aged Wreck Alley by Karl Strauss

525152_10101102355587530_102859647_n 72699_10101102356311080_1016620103_n 480802_10101102356375950_906223931_nRating: 5.35/5

Barrel Aged Wreck Alley by Karl Strauss is a 10%ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Cocoa Nibs and Coffee Beans and aged in Bourbon Oak Barrels.

Label: 
When we tasted the first batch of Wreck Alley Imperial Stout, we knew barrel-aged versions were in the cards. The only questions were when and how often? Batch #1 answers the first question, and as for Batch #2, you’ll just have to wait and see. Brewed with the same darkly-kilned malts, Tcho cocoa nibs, and Ethiopian coffee beans from Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, Batch #1 was aged three months in American oak bourbonbarrels. The resulting brew is a dark, unblended, and richly flavored union of dark chocolate, espresso, and toasted oak. Grab a bottle while you can, this limited release won’t be around for long
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Been waiting a while for the right time to get this. The fragrance of this beer is of nice dark, milk and bakers chocolate, coffee, some vanilla, some bourbon and funky oak. The flavors are very good and it was a surprise as the fragrances weren’t as complex. The flavors are of a lot Milk chocolate, vanilla, very rich dulce de caramel which is unlike many beers I have tried, a good amount of funky oak, grapes, plums, berries and creme, minor bourbon and almost like a chocolate and blueberry cheese cake flavor. This almost reminds me of the Hellshire II. The Coffee is not as strong or bitter as the smell but it is still there to lend a mocha like twist. It is highly drinkable which is very surprising. Not only is this a 10%ABV beer but the boozyness or even bourbon lends a hand only enough to make this incredible. This may not be like the utmost ABV high of dessert beers I have ever had but, simply because it is a rich and thick dessert beer with hardly any sense of alcohol that I could find offending or even attributing, I still consider this a great beer. I like it a lot. I really think it has to do with my love for rich sweet beers like chocolate rain or organic chocolate. Hell, it lends to hints of berries and crème. That’s good stuff!! Sometimes you don’t have to be highly impacting or complex to get to the sweetness that is a great beer. Some people may not find it as great because it is not a supreme bourbon bomb dessert but regardless it is still a winner and a favorite of mine now.

Mouette à Trois (Three Seagulls) by Karl Strauss

148619_10100950630046730_1994997927_nRating: 5/5

Mouette à Trois (Three Seagulls) by Karl Strauss is an 8.5%ABV Holiday Fruitcake Dubbel. 

Label:

Mouette a Trois est la meileure biere que vous avez jamais goute ou notre nom n’est pas Karl Strauss. Mouette a Trois, meaning Three Seagulls, is the 3rd installment in our less than literal “Twelve Days” series of holiday ales. Brewed with fresh apricots, cherries and a blend of spices, the resulting strong ale is Belgian Dubbel meets fruitcake. Rich layers of candied fruit and warming spices are punctuated by notes of toffee and fresh baked bread. Aging on brandy-cured French oak adds hints of vanilla that linger through a warming finish. Don’t. Even. Think. About. Regifting.

Sounded pretty interesting, so I said pourquoi pas? First pour of the beer had hardly any head retention. The fragrance of this beer is of cherries,peach, apple, citrus, chocolate, caramel and sweet bread. The flavors are quite fruity. There are some flavors of raisin, cherry, apple, peach, gummy bears, chocolate, coffee cake, buttery bread, dulce de leche caramel and vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, walnuts, almonds, oak wood, some flavors of the brandy, earthy hop and cider bitterness but the caramel and vanilla compliment in the after taste. Quite the complex, sweet, but not full bodied or overpowering Christmas beer. Now that is Christmas in a bottle. Pretty fancy and well worth trying. I’m liking this one a lot.

Tower 20 IIPA by Karl Strauss

Rating: 4.25/5

Tower 20 IIPA by Karl Strauss is a 9.5% ABV Imperial India Pale Ale. Had this one a couple times but never really sat down to review it. Had this for my friend Carlos Bachelor party as well. Our friend Eric brought it in a growler and even though some of my friends don’t like IPAs, this was definitely Gold

Label:

The saying “less is more” doesn’t apply to West Coast IPA’s. Less is a glass half empty and Tower 20 is a full glass of unrivaled hop character – a Double IPA where more is more. In brewing this hoppy offering, we took the best of Tower 10 IPA and added more. An abundance of high-alpha Centennial hops give T20 its resinous pine-like bitterness, while Oregon-grown Crystals and Chinooks lend zesty grapefruit and tangerine hop flavors. Don’t hoard this hop bomb, drink it fresh and we’ll brew more. 
So like other IPAs,DIPAS/IIPAS, that I have reviewed in the past, each with their own emphasis on certain flavors than others. This IIPA focus is more on tropical fruity flavors and piney hoppy bitterness. The fragrance is like a honey and tangerine marmalade smell. Some grapefruit and mango aromas. Possibly some Lime and Barley wine aromas as well. The flavors are of candy orange, tangerine, mango, peach, grapefruit, pineapple, caramel, toffee, biscuit bread and vanilla. The hoppy, pine and grassy bitterness is not as abundant. Then again I don’t know how long it has been on the shelf. Regardless, it bleeds of tropical IPA awesomeness but not too bitter. SO…for people that do not like IPAs, this might be something that you will like.

Wreck Alley by Karl Strauss Brewing

Rating: 4.6/5Wreck Alley by Karl Strauss Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Imperial Stout. This was recommended to me by my friend Eric although he advised that it is better and fresher on tap. LOL I agree to some extent. Although this beer can be aged as stated on the bottle. So I took his word for it and sought this beer :).

Label:

Beneath the tides off Mission Beach rests Wreck Alley – a dark and mysterious seascape of forgotten ships. Amidst the rusted wreckage is a marine ecosystem, an artificial reef teeming with life. Our Wreck Alley is as dark as the depths of its namesake, an Imperial Stout of uncharted complexity. Brewed with darkly kilned malts, cocoa nibs, and Ethiopian coffee beans, Wreck Alley boasts rich layers of dark chocolate, toffee, and espresso-like roast. Save a bottle. This one has a stout shelf-life. 
The aroma of this beer is quite nice. Roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, cream and almost like a faint tobacco. In terms of the flavors, Vanilla is king in this one. It is then followed by the sweet chocolate, coffee, licorice/anise, slight coconut and caramel. The after taste is not smokey or bitter but almost like a brownie or a chocolate cake with anise but the earthy notes settle the sweetness so it is not overly sweet. Well hidden alcohol as it is hard to tell that it is there. It is quite a nice imperial Stout. As with many stouts, each more unique than the other. It think vanilla is the big hit with this one. This is an awesome pick up if you can get it. I think it is only seasonal too.