Habanero Sculpin by Ballast Point

10390497_10101858697816640_8364848508237888774_n 10440229_10101858698515240_1984487527363044706_n 10413367_10101858699109050_9124426730206297903_n 10386832_10101858699548170_3344568013161907109_nRating: 4.75/5

Habanero Sculpin by Ballast Point is a 7% ABV World Class India Pale Ale brewed with Habanero Peppers

Description: (http://www.ballastpoint.com/beer/sculpin-with-habanero/)
Our popular IPA, with a punch of heat.
Our Sculpin IPA is a great example of what got us into brewing in the first place. After years of experimenting, we knew hopping an ale at five separate stages would produce something special. The result ended up being this gold-medal winning IPA, whose inspired use of hops creates hints of apricot, peach, mango and lemon flavors, but still packs a bit of a sting, just like a Sculpin fish.
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Ballast Point finally decided to get this beer out to the masses. I have had this beer plenty of times before and let me put it this way, I can already tell you that this one is HOT!! So basically, if you don’t like heat driven beers, or chile in general, there is a high chance you will not like this. So yes, this is a chili head type of beer basically. However, it is not just a pure heat beer, it definitely has a great amount of complexity provided by the original sculpin.

Aromas:
Grapefruit, grassy, floral and piney hops with habanero chile pepper in the aromas. Yes, that means this ones hot, A warning. The aromas follow up with mango, papaya, dragon fruit, citrus, apricot, peach, caramel, biscuit bread, cucumber, hibiscus, tangerine, bell pepper, pineapple and honey.

Flavors:
Forward Habanero heat but the flavors of the sculpin IPA pull through. Caramel, biscuit bread, honey, cantaloupe, cucumber, flowers, grapefruit, pine resin, grassy hops, tangerine, mango, citrus, papaya, dragon fruit, apricot, peach , passion fruit, candied mandarin orange and mild rye.

Aftertaste:
He searing heat keeps on burning but dissipates unlike crime and punishment from stone. Caramel, pineapple, grassy and grapefruit hops linger. No alcohol in the taste but while this is crisp and refreshing, it is a highly sipping beer.

Overall:
Great Beer if you love IPAs and chile beers. The heat varies in each bottle and in this case, these are fucking HOT!!. I really had to take my time with this one. The heat dissipates as the beer gets warmer since I believe the sweet tropical fruits kind of mellow some of the heat. Highly recommended if you love chile beers or chile in general. This is best paired with something to eat as drinking this on an empty stomach….well… lets just say I warned you. If you like regular Sculpin, this is good to try but like I said, stick to regular sculpin if you don’t like the heat.

Anime Corner:
This one’s one mother of a beer. Like the previous Sculpin which I did with Terese Rose, it represents a delicate flower like the fish. But test it out, you will find that this flower is deadly!! Ragyo Kyuruin from Kill La Kill and Kushina “Bloody Habaneo” Uzumaki from Naruto are the mothers of the main characters, Ryuko Matoi and Satsuki Kyuruin and Naruto Uzumaki respectively but different series. Ragyo’s colors represent the tropics and beauty that is brought forth in this tropical IPA but she also brings death and destruction which is represented by the heat. Kushina is very kind and sweet but when she gets mad, she unleashes all hell, hence why they gave her the nickname, “Bloody Habanero”. I can’t stress how awesome, beautiful but deadly this beer is. Patience is key!

Sources:
http://cs618417.vk.me/v618417231/4b17/8QEd1B3jW_w.jpg
http://31.media.tumblr.com/844e72c621c85d99eecc19a625b2becb/tumblr_n21s1uKGtm1rxojvro2_1280.jpg
http://static.tumblr.com/5896fa2eabf96eadc51f04bf373d8ef1/qgfktsz/YrTn1sh3u/tumblr_static_c45290ab1faddebe43e90c5ac766676b.pnghttp://fc05.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/223/5/9/kushina_uzumaki__childhood__by_shinoharaa-d5as14l.png

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Lips of Faith Series Cigar City and New Belgium Collaboration

891_10101542495004610_434845542_nRating: 3.45/5

Lips of Faith Series Cigar City and New Belgium Collaboration is an 8.5% ABV Chile beer brewed with Anaheim and Marash Chiles aged in Spanish Cedar

Label:
We’re about to light up Florida with this Cigar City collaborative brew. Our Belgian yeast tangos with Anaheim and Marash peppers along with loads of citrusy hops to create an ale full of spice. Aged on Spanish cedar to salute our mutual love for wood!
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The beer with literally no name, other than the fact that it was collaborated with New Belgium and the awesome Cigar City. Lips of faith series is a good series and has been a hit or miss in some instances. The beers have ranged from Good to Very good and some even Great in the past years. I am not sure if there one I truly disliked or found average (Pluot lol) they came together to brew a beer made with chiles. 

Aromas:
Sweet Honey dew melon, kiwi, apricot, mango hints, mild pepper notes, lemon, oranges, grapefruit and citrus hops, pear, hints of cedar, caramel and biscuit bread

Flavors:
Apricot, pepper notes but no heat, citrus, grapefruit hops,hone dew notes, orange peels, biscuit bread, lemon, grapefruit peel, mild spiciness, tangerine notes, butterscotch, pears, cedar wood and light plum hints

Aftertaste:
This beer finishes off with lots of grapefruit skins, citrus, grassy bitterness and a bit of pepper notes. No alcohol present in the taste with a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A good beer but nothing super intensive. It is more on the hoppy, bitter and a bit fruitier side than anything. The least heat intensive chile beer I have ever tried. The balance to bitterness and what would like to be chili heat doesn’t seem to meld well. On a good note, the aromas are much better than the flavors. Could have been more but hey, at least is a good beer. I feel it is better than Pluot for sure.

Anime Corner:
Sakura Haruno and Kushina Uzumaki from the Naruto series are used in this pairing to represent a pairing of 2 hot heads unleashing the rage which is supposed to be the peppers used in this beer. While the beer may not be hot at all, the intent for the artwork and for what it was supposed to represent was at least done creatively. Sakura has a bad temper at times and has this crazy super strength that comes from her inner being. Kushina on the other hand, nicked named the Red Hot-Blooded Habanero, would become an actually deadly beast. Even before she had the 9 tailed fox embedded in here, she was still a demon in disguise. That crazy attitude, mother of Naruto, is most likely the where the guts to never give up comes from. Some of the colors of the artwork match the label a bit but the nick name and the tempers they have was the intent for a collaboration Chile beer, Sakura being New Belgium and Kushina Cigar city.

Smoking Wood by The Bruery

540438_10100954716427590_370128381_n 61022_10100954712809840_1216744887_nRating: 5/5

Smoking Wood by The Bruery is a 13% ABV Smoked Imperial Rye Porter Aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels.

Label:
Smoked Imperial Rye Porter aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels. A rich porter layered with rye spiciness and earthy smoke, caramel-like flavors, roasty malt and oaky deliciousness. 
Brewed with beachwood and cherrywood smoked malt, and aged in rye whiskey barrels, Smoking Wood is a delicious demonstration of what wood has to offer when it comes to beer. This imperial smoked porter is brewed with a hefty amount of rye malt, contributing to a full body and light spiciness. Toasty oak, caramel and vanilla flavors balance the smokiness, contributing to an intense yet refined flavor profile. This is one of our favorite beers at the moment, we hope you agree. 
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For smoked beers, I hear this one was phenomenal. The aromas are of whiskey or a bourbon, vanilla, caramel, smokey notes, campfire, bacon, some rye bread, minor coffee, chocolate and raisins. The flavors are of dark and milk chocolate, campfire, bacon, BBQ Ribs, whiskey, Jack Daniels Honey, scotch, vanilla, caramel, mocha, maple syrup, oak, coconut, minor flan notes, brown sugar, sourdough bread, plums, cherry, walnuts and pecans. This beer turned out to be fantastic. While it has a high ABV, the flavors prevent too much burn. You can kind of tell that it is strong but not to an overwhelming point. In fact, the smoke and sweet flavors take care of that. Ofcourse, do not drink this in one sitting. You will get wasted. Try some and save it for later. For people that do not like smoked beers might find this one pretty appealing and pleasant.