Black Butte XXIX 29th Birthday Reserve by Deschutes Brewery

Rating: 7/7

Black Butte XXIX 29th Birthday Reserve by Deschutes Brewery is a 12.2% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Dutche cocoa, Saigon cinnamon, and cayenne. 50% aged in Bourbon and Rum barrels.

Label:
In celebration of our 29th anniversary this year’s Imperial Porter delivers notes of dark chocolate and cinnamon spice with hints of coconut, vanilla, and dried fruit finished by a warm dash of cayenne.

==Introduction==

Essentially a Double Barrel Porter aging in both Rum and Bourbon. Every year, I try to pick up this annual release of their anniversary beer. Each year is a different blend entirely and while I feel some blends I really liked for the ingredients used, overall, I think each installment is more and more delicious with time. This year they decided to go with a chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne take with Rum and bourbon. That is crazy using a double barrel half take with what seems to be like a Mexican inspiration. Let’s see how the flavors of this one are, cheers!

Aromas:
Rich piloncillo sugar cone, cinnamon, nutmeg, yams, sweet potato pie, vanilla, caramel, bananas, dark fruit prunes, raisins, plums, figs, dates, rum, bourbon, oak, mint, sweetened condensed milk, coconut and marshmallow smores.

Flavors:
Sweet potato pie, capirotada/Mexican yams, piloncillo sugar cone, maple srup, dark chocolate, chocolate milk shake Mexican Chocolate, Belgian chocolate, German Chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, cocoa powder, rum, bourbon, oak, Dark fruit prunes, raisins, plums, figs, dates, currants, cherries
Pancho Pantera chocolate milk shake, banana sundae. Sweetened condensed milk, flan, crème brulee, tres leches cake, pecan pie, bourbon, marshmallows, almond joy, toasted coconut, molasses, mint, clove spice, bananas, grilled plantains, Danish cream, rye bread, piña colada, oatmeal cookies, raisins bread and more!

Aftertaste:
Finishing with dark fruits, cinnamon, ginger bread, fruit cake, earthy notes, dark chocolate, pecan pie, tobacco, oak, marshmallows, floral tartness, caramel, vanilla and tobacco hints. No alcohol in the taste, Pitch Black Midnight Full body, silky, velvety and smooth mouthfeel and a super easy drinkability which is dangerous. Just like each year, its smoothness will make you want to drink the whole bottle in one sitting.

Overall:
Seems like every year, a different beer and a different way of preceiving the greatness which is the Black Butte anniversary. This year it seems more of a Mexican style of taste. While although spicy, the overall consensus, it was not super hot but definitely zlong the lines a Mexican desert flowing. Indeed this scream sweetness but the peppery heat is not present. Along with the many versions out there, this one should definitely be picked up!

Anime Corner:
Twili Midna from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princes was chosen once again this year for the Black Butte release as well as the other releases. Just like previous tears, I had chosen her in the previous releases since I wanted to represent the mixing of 2 of the same ale together but one specially blended. Since I did not use the chibi version of Midna for this iteration, I figure I let the adult version of her do all the talking. In this year, the Chocolate, Cinnamon and cayenne represent somewhat of a Mexican Dark Mole feel to the beer. It is actually more towards a Mexican sweet potato pie if it was mixed in with Mexican Hot Chocolate. So since Midna has a cloak like the tilma of the virgin of guadalupe it sorta ties in that Mexican culture aspect of this beer. Who’d of thought Midna would complement this iteration even more!

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Barmy by Ballast Point brewing

Rating: 5.5/6

Barmy by Ballast Point brewing is 12% ABV is an Imperial Golden Ale brewed with Apricots and Honey.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Made with only six ingredients. Malted 2-row barley, palisade hops, orange blossom honey, White Labs California Ale Yeast, apricots and San Diego carbon filtered tap water. Low bitterness is balanced by tart apricots with a sweet but not cloying finish. Barmy Ale can be aged up to eight years with a strong honey wine character emerging if cellared. Be careful not to be the barmiest of them all.

==Introduction==

Obtained at www.craftbeerkings.com at Plaza Market in El Monte California. I have really been liking some of the new releases for Ballast Point. Especially since they are fish inspired. In this release, they came out with a Golden ale that is 12%. This beer is definitely the strongest, alcohol wise, that I have ever tried form Ballast Point. The others being Sea Monster and Victory at Sea. For a golden and sold in a 6 pack, this is a crazy selection. It will definitely get ya drunk! Being as it was the strongest, I definitely wanted to bring it to the website. Let’s have a look at this new monster, cheers!

Aromas:
Tropical fruit kiwi, honey dew melon, papaya, strawberries, honey, Stone fruit apricot, peaches, lychees, mango, coriander spice, vanilla, tangerine gummies, peppercorns, bananas, clove spice, phenolics, cane sugar, raspberries, biscuit bread and waffle cone.

Flavors:
Rich Stone fruit apricot, peaches, lychees, mango, citrus blossom wild flower honey, orange preserves, tangerine gummies, peppercorns, bananas, clove spice, phenolics, cane sugar, white grapes, pineapple, biscuit bread, rye bread, grapefruit spread, peach cobbler, floral notes, waffle cone, lemon notes, coriander spice, vanilla, raspberries, blueberries, tropical fruit kiwi, honey dew melon, papaya, strawberries, dragon fruit and passion fruit.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with lots of honey, stone fruits, cane sugar, banana, tropical fruit and biscuit bread.
Slight alcohol in the taste, Golden clear in color, smooth, crisp, velvety and refreshing along with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
An exceptional brew! Something I would definitely love to have more of. Yes it is 12% and it will take a toll right away but still, you can’t beat good beer for the price. Although my only gripe is that while it is complex, the booze does creep up and you can tell it is there. A few years and this will be much better to the point where it will be drinkable better. I highly recommend this one.

Anime Corner:
Princes Zelda from Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild was used in this pairing as I wanted to mainly go with the colors of the label with the orangey yellow fish and the blue sea so the colors worked well. The barrel is essentially an innuendo for her bottom. While it did become a meme when Nintendo focused on Zelda’s rear, the way barrels sit for months is similar to how big butts are big due to long points of sitting around. Although, Zelda isn’t lazy, she’s actually very athletic.

Sources:
http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C_Y70XAW0AEoLJP.jpg
https://img.fireden.net/v/image/1485/02/1485027607142.png
http://i.imgur.com/9yqT4D0.jpg
http://orig05.deviantart.net/2929/f/2017/062/5/a/zelda___breath_of_the_wild_by_genzoman-db11zxo.jpg
https://babylon.naurunappula.com/screen/c1/d1/c1d153ea4ef8777c/0/1390288.png

 

Home Brewing Project #27 Enchanter De L’ambroisie Du Crépuscule by Nubis Sanctum Ales

15591113_10103831581536850_7766577056212019344_oRating: 5/5

Home Brewing Project #27 Enchanter De L’ambroisie Du Crépuscule by Nubis Sanctum Ales is a 9% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale brewed with Golden Syrup, Dark Candi Sugar, Anise and Bitter
Orange Peel.

Label:
Enchanter De L’ambroisie Du Crépuscule
The Bewitching of Twilight’s Ambrosia

Belgian Dark Strong Ale brewed with Golden Syrup, Dark Candi Sugar, Anise and Bitter
Orange Peel.

Magic is the bloodstream of the universe. Forget all you know, or think you know. All that you require is your intuition. ~High Aldwin. Willow The Movie

Across time, people have sought for many gifts such as the Philosopher’s Stone, the Holy Grail, Pandora’s Box, Excalibur or even the Necronomicon. Yet, mankind as curious and as ignorant as they may be, have never laid eyes on such things.

Myth, Legends and Folklore seem to have a way of providing wonder to those who seek the power of knowledge from the unknown. Yet many do not know of the Twilight Princess’ potion. Definitely something that came not from such tales but from other dimensions. For you don’t need to search over the ages and realize you have something special in hand.
Cheers!

Ingredients: Water, Hops, Malt, Dark Candi Sugar, Golden Syrup, Anise, Bitter Orange Peel & Belgian Abbey Yeast.

==Introduction==
15578336_10103831581282360_8041657704807284839_o
Project #27 was inspired by the need to create my second mos favorite beer in the World, the Trois Pistoles. Yes, it is a somewhat common Belgian Style from Canada, but when I first started my craft beer journey, this was one of the brews that had quickly became the best beer I have ever had. Later on, I would try many more Belgians like that of St. Bernardus 12abt and Three Philosopher’s and even Judgment Day from Lost Abbey. Yes, this beer has been an important staple in my journey through craft beer that the day I finally decided was versed in the brewing arts, I could make a delicious clone of the fabled Trois Pistoles. In tribute to the original, I had given it a French name which means, The Bewitching of Twilight’s Ambrosia. The reason for the name I will describe in detail in my anime section but just know, this was for a very magical brew. Now that I have it ready for the site, let me tell you a story about it. Also, to commemorate the occasion, I will also give my thoughts on the side to side comparison of the Trois Pistoles to my version of the brew. Join me in the art of darkness, cheers to all!

Aromas:
Anise, dark candi sugar, rye bread, mild port wine, mild cola hints, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit raisins, prunes, plums, figs, dates, dark cherries, peppercorn hints, Belgian chocolate, vanilla, piloncillo sugar cone, clove spice and banana hints.

Flavors:
Rich dark fruit raisins, prunes, plums, figs, dates, dark cherries, anise, rich dark candi sugar, sugar cane, piloncillo sugar cone, rock candy, bananas, clove spice, molasses, orange notes, coriander hints, port wine hints, raspberry, cola, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, grapes, brown sugar, pecan pie, Belgian chocolate, mild coffee hints, coffee cake, raisin bread pudding, stone fruit peaches, ripe apricots, peppercorn spice, maple hints, apples, butterscotch, tangerine preserves, rye bread, sweetened condensed milk, honey and waffle cone.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with rich dark fruits, dulce de leche caramel, stone fruit, vanilla, earthy notes, anise, mild citrus, chocolate and port wine hints. No alcohol in the taste. Dark Amber brown full body, smooth, creamy, velvety and chewy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Enchanter De L’ambroisie Du Crépuscule (Left) Vs. the Original Trois Pistoles (Right):
The aromas between them is definitely different. It has more of the cola and port wine forward along with what I believe is their specialty house yeast. Mines breaths more of the anise, citrus and dark candy sugar and mild port wine. The flavors are nearly identical except for the Trois Pistoles which leans more toward that port wine, chocolate, and cola flavor and mines leans more toward citrus, anise, dark candy sugar, mild cola, chocolate and dulce de leche caramel. The colors are nearly identical even under the light but Trois Pistoles is slightly darker. Carbonation is more on mine but head retention is greater on the Trois Pistoles. The aftertaste is more of that specialty chocolate, cola and port wine house yeast flavor but both end on strong Dark candi sugar.
15626371_10103831581277370_816671345129066537_o
Overall:
While I do believe my beer is on its own a perfect example of a Belgian Dark, I still agree Trois Pistoles is much better. It is definitely their in house yeast and specialty spices as well as the “on lees” process which definitely gives them only a slight edge over mine. I really, really loved how close this was to Trois Pistoles. It was definitely a better brew just on its own that when I took it out of the fermentor to bottle, it was practically ready to drink. Everything about this beer from the specialty yeast and rich dark fruit flavors matched to that of Trois Pistoles. Specialty house yeast they use of course is hard to find but it is definitely that which I consider that beer to be one of my top in the world right next to St. Bernardus 12 ABT. Am really happy with how this turned out that it is definitely up there with my best brews I have ever made, right next to my Belgian Quad, Sangri Leche, Diablita Del Leche, Raging Passion Lactus Raspear Dragons and others. A recipe worth brewing several times over. Now if I can only get a hold of their house yeast.
15625769_10103831581357210_5417713433251631193_o
Anime Corner:
Midna from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess was the chosen character for this pairing as I wanted to use a character that was both dark and mysterious but also magical and in essence. A dark sorceress but also into the whole nun/monk aspect which would fit with the Belgian abbey style of beers. The story of Trois Pistoles reflects the use of the Lucifer to do God’s biding in the creation of the creation of Our Lady of Snow’s church. Lucifer, in the form of a horse which was bridled and made to carry stones for the construction. This was carried out by a priest who summoned it to do the work. Unfortunately, a worker released it feeling sorry for it and the beast horse disappeared and the church was never finished. In my pairing, Midna wears the chains like that which the horse wore but her appearance similar to that of the dark version of the Virgin Mary also represented the church and its ties to the Vatican. Essentially, in Zelda, Midna is not an evil character, she just looks that way. She helps pay that tribute to the Trois Pistoles brew in the dark magical potion which is still as holy as the ambrosia of gods, hence the name, The Bewitching of Twilight’s Ambrosia.
15625615_10103831581362200_3397963898545853321_o 15585185_10103831581337250_4623773557635064813_o 15591383_10103831581272380_4601497734591949215_oSources:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CskbYxBWIAA0Sg4.jpg
https://cdn3.patreon.com/1/patreon.posts/LtIYhP7FvNFFJmYSrV1JyyKN5mRHlegqU8LXSFrgz3PC5IgfYHRWIlLiEUJWzZcV.jpeg?w=1600&v=He_jk21e3WjlLrtL2pS3ga-vFLrqcKOjJg8NBtoyk34%3D
https://cdn3.patreon.com/1/patreon.posts/13276149709785426563.JPG?w=1600&v=9J0FQMJeEqwM7xulHoNYFEdGzyaKatPppRtXB2r2ehQ%3D
https://brewerianimelogs.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/ecadd-midnahoneymoonb2.jpg

Black Butte XXVIII (28th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery

14500358_10103586625670370_7603281402284353722_o 14468505_10103586625665380_3911454266961627999_o 14481978_10103586625675360_639779613992909017_oRating: 7/7

Black Butte XXVIII (28th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery is 11.5% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Cocoa, Vanilla, Peated Malt and Sweet Orange Peel with 50% aged in Bourbon and Scotch barrels.

Label:
Imperial Porter brewed with cocoa, vanilla, peated malt and sweet orange peel, with 50% aged in bourbon and scotch barrels–“The result is our 28th anniversary imperial porter with bright orange and vanilla aroma, layers of roasty chocolate and a warm, smokey finish”

Description:
Every year, we celebrate our anniversary with an imperial, barrel-aged version of our flagship Black Butte Porter. Our brewers love to experiment and they always add some fun new ingredients to this beer like chilies, cranberries, figs and other such treats. This year, to celebrate 28 years of brewing, they’ve added the interesting mix of ingredients above for another multi-layered flavor experience.

==Introduction==

Essentially a Porter and Wee Heavy Blend. Every year, I try to pick up this annual release of their anniversary beer. Each year is a different blend entirely and while I feel some blends I really liked for the ingredients used, overall, I think each installment is more and more delicious with time. So with year’s version, they decided to go with a chocolate and orange and additionally aging in Scotch. Let’s see how the flavors of this one are, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit raspberries, cherries, prunes, raisins, figs, currants, blackberries, Chambord raspberry liqueur, Smoked Peat, Chocolate Orange cream hints, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, chocolate covered pomegranates, bananas, piloncillo sugar cone, raspberry preserves, Danish cream, coffee cake, Mexican Gansito cake hints, clove spice, licorice, anise, molasses and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Smoked Peat, Chocolate Orange cream balls, orange candies, dragon fruit, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, chocolate covered pomegranates, bananas covered in chocolate, roasted malts, Bourbon, Scotch, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, dark candi sugar, coffee, chocolate mousse, oak, bubblegum hints, fudge cake, dark fruit raspberries, cherries, prunes, raisins, figs, currants, blackberries, walnut cake, pecan pie, clove spice, licorice, anise, molasses, Chambord raspberry liqueur, Mexican Gansito cake, creme brulee, flan, sweetened condescended milk, marshmallows, wine grapes, almond joy chocolate, rye bread, abuelita chocolates, piloncillo sugar cone, raspberry preserves, Danish cream and coffee cake.

Aftertaste:
Dark fruits, stone fruits, earthy notes, Dark chocolate, pecan pie, tobacco, oak, marshmallows, floral tartness, caramel, vanilla and tobacco hints. No alcohol in the taste, Pitch Black Midnight Full body, silky, velvety and smooth mouthfeel and a super easy drinkability which is dangerous. Just like each year, its smoothness will make you want to drink the whole bottle in one sitting.

Overall:
Incredible, each year’s version of this beer is nothing short of supremely exceptional. They really out do themselves every anniversary. The complex flavors of the wee heavy, bourbon, chocolate orange and much more really stood through with every sip. This brew was so damn amazing I accidently finished the whole bottle in one sitting! Whoops! Lol but seriously though, not a lot of beers make it this far and even if common ones are this good, you know hypes are trends. Never underestimate what a common beer can do! I highly recommend getting a bottle of this one or two to drink and cellar.

Anime Corner:
Midna (Both Forms) from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princes was chosen once again this year for the Black Butte release as well as the other releases. Just like last year’s, I had chosen her in the previous releases since I wanted to represent the mixing of 2 of the same ale together but one specially blended. They are both the same person and both are kick ass but that was obvious from the fact that I use them for the same beer every year that I represent Twili Midna, the taller one, as the one that represents the barrel aged percentage. In this year, the orange peel and vanilla do complement both of them as they both have orange hair and the chocolate and vanilla by the black and white of their tones.

Sources:
https://66.media.tumblr.com/5d0541f783409437d3cfe56e7b4b5479/tumblr_o0iuklT29i1t09dnqo1_500.jpg
http://orig00.deviantart.net/af6d/f/2014/274/9/f/midna_zelda_by_cyberunique-d819kdh.jpg
https://cdn3.patreon.com/1/patreon.posts/LtIYhP7FvNFFJmYSrV1JyyKN5mRHlegqU8LXSFrgz3PC5IgfYHRWIlLiEUJWzZcV_large.jpeg?w=1600&v=D6NyMcMd9e6pwTpO6MkN9AEAN0KG77_QH9m8_jmGNSc%3D

#DRAGONSAREREAL by B.Nektar

13063394_10103215780566930_3325034592238263388_o 13047900_10103215783186680_7537154836611534565_o 13061984_10103215799109770_3961639128904335795_nRating: 7/7

#DRAGONSAREREAL by B.Nektar is a 14% ABV Honey Wine/Mead with Cherry Juice, Chipotle Peppers and Cacao Nibs added aged in Dragon’s Milk Barrels

Label:
Thanks @newhollandbrew for the #dragonsmilkbarrels. Made a gr8 home 4 #ChocolateCherryChipotle #dragonsarereal
We won’t miss ur next G of T party @StephenAtHome. #colbertnation #dragonsarereal
@BNektar knows that it takes but little fire to impart a rich snowy charter.
*SMOKY character
#damnautocorrect
#dragonsarereal

In the game of toasts, you sip
or you honey wine.
Cheers!

==Introduction==

I obtained this mead at www.craftshack.com. New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk, its variants and the bourbon have been one of my most favorites for a very long time. They recently have been showing up here in California and the brew is such a great one that I even tried to make a clone with raspberries and tropical fruits. I even made a special oak aged stout using their bourbon. So when I saw this one, I had to get it. Being a big fan, it was something I could not pass up even if it seemed, well, pricey. You will be paying above 20$ for this little bottle but seeing as I have yet to have anything bad from B. Nektar, and it is Dragon’s Milk aged, I had to get it. So let’s see if this this mead actually worth the money. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich Wild flower honey, very rich dark cherries, plums, currants, cranberries, blackberries, dark cherry yogurt, Dark Chocolate, vanilla, oak, dulce de leche caramel, Chile spices, tamarind, hibiscus, lavender, Rye bread, raspberry preserves, wine grapes, agave nectar, pecan pie, Stone fruit apricots, peaches, mango, and tropical fruits like kiwis, strawberries, dragon fruit, passion fruit and guava.

Flavors:
Dark Chocolate, Chipotle, Ancho, Guajillo and Roasted Chile de arbol hints, cinnamon, milk chocolate, cherry cordials, dark fruit prunes, raisins, very rich dark cherries, plums, dark cherry yogurt, port wine, oak, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel hints, flan, honey, wild flower honey, maple, agave nectar, ambrosia, tropical notes of pineapple, honey dew melon, kiwis, strawberries, dragon fruit, passion fruit notes, prickly pear tunas, currants, cranberries, blackberries, Stone fruit apricots, peaches, mango, sour apples, golden apples, chamoy hints, tamarind, hibiscus, lavender, Rye bread, raspberry preserves, guava notes, bourbon notes, brandy notes, rum notes, Chambord raspberry liqueur and coffee cake.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with a mild peppery heat that is quelled by the deep dark cherry, complex dark fruits, chocolate, honey, apples, stone fruits, flan, port wine and dulce de leche hints. No alcohol in the taste, crazily enough even though this is 14% ABV, Crimson and Garnet Dark yet clear body when shined upon. Silky, smooth, syrupy, velvety, creamy and rich mouthfeel with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Frankly, the best mead I have ever had in my life! The stuff that rare legends are made of I love how the notes of Dragon’s Milk soaked Oak from the barrel is slightly there but mainly the rest of the flavors come together so damn well. The heat is there but minor in comparison to the overall flavors. This mead is very complex in flavors for sure. For 14% ABV, you can’t tell the alcohol is there. Something like this I feel was definitely worth the cash. I had no idea mead could be so good that now I would like to make my own just like I did with my take on Dragon’s Milk. If you can get this one, you should. A very different and delicious experience. I even got a piece from Final Fantasy that best fits the experience even more with the telling of legends and dragons. Highly recommended.


Anime Corner:
Midna from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess of Nintendo was used in this pairing since her appearance somewhat resembles that of dragons. She has the colors of the dragon scales and her hair flows like that of the dragon’s fire while her ominous stare is seducing like the eyes of a Dragon mesmerize its prey. Just like this mead mesmerizes the tastebuds. She seems very mysterious and dark but is actually very kind especially when she helps Link in his Journey. While I have used Sierra from Legend of Mana for the Dragon’s Milk stout, the mead would be paired with someone else and that someone was Midna. Definitely the best choice in my mind.

Sources:
https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/712862026155077634/bSeZK5LE.jpg
http://36.media.tumblr.com/d182a4e54850f6f28f5ffd161ccecd80/tumblr_nveqi8QnU61up73mjo10_1280.png
http://orig13.deviantart.net/aa30/f/2016/074/4/6/midna_by_dandonfuga-d9v3kcy.jpg

2016 Colonel Kernel by The Bruery

943978_10103093346121540_2645138433101220660_n 12764308_10103093346934910_7700057351223421707_oRating: 5.5/6

2016 Colonel Kernel by The Bruery is a 14.8% ABV Cornwine aged in bourbon barrels.

Label:
BEAST OF BOURBON

Colonel Kernel is a bourbon barrel-aged barleywine-style ale with corn. Think of it as sticky caramel corn served out of a toasty bourbon barrel, but without the kernels to stick in your teeth. It’s best enjoyed while in uniform via a tulip or wine glass, unless you want an earful. Best stored and cellared around 55°F (13°C) in a dark place. Ideal serving temperature is 55°F (13°C).

==Introduction==

Released to the 2015 and 2016 Reserve and Hoarders Society members, this is a brew that was made using corn. I would definitely be a skeptic about corn and beer as corn is mainly an adjunct to commercial lagers like rice. However, this is the Bruery were talking about and if they can pull off an amazing corn based brew, then I want to see it!… and try it ofcourse. With that being said, it does bring up both the sense of concern but also a sense of intrigue. How will this one do? Let’s check it out. So here it is, Colonel Kernel. Cheers!

Aromas:
Caramel Popcorn, Toffee, Butterscotch, bananas, clove spice, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, dark cherries, , rye bread, maple, custard, corn bread, cane sugar, bananas, almonds, pecan pie, walnuts, crème brulee and capirotada raisin bread pudding.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche Caramel, Butterscotch, toffee, bourbon, oak, vanilla, cream corn, caramelized popcorn, maize, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, dark cherries, almonds, pecan pie, walnuts, crème brulee, maize atole hints, capirotada raisin bread pudding, macadmia nuts, milk chocolate, oatmeal, cream of wheat, grilled bananas, clove spice, port wine, coconut hints, rocky road icecream, marshmallows, smores, hazelnut hints, rye bread, maple, custard, corn bread and cane sugar.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with caramelized popcorn notes, butterscotch, bourbon, rocky road ice cream, creamy maize atole hints, maple and dark fruits. Boozy alcohol in the taste. Dark Honey colored full body, creamy, velvety, chewy and syrupy mouthfeel and a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
An exceptional brew providing a variety of complex flavors. One thing to note about this one is that it is pretty boozy. While still giving off lots of caramelized corn and sweet flavors, time will definitely do wonders for this one. Hence the lower rating. Still though, it can easily be a supreme after sometime. It proves it on its own even with the alcohol burn. I would recommend getting it for. Try one now and one to cellar to see how it fares overtime.

Anime Corner:
Sheik/Zelda from The Legend of Zelda was used in this pairing mainly for the colors of the label which also happen to be some of the colors of the ingredients and flavors like the corn, maize and the dark fruits. Mainly as corn being an elusive ingredient in craft brews mainly since it’s an adjunct, when done right, it can be an amazing ingredient to use in brews. This elusiveness is something that Sheik is. Essentially, you never knew it was actually Princess Zelda the entire time helping Link out.

Sources:
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p228/LittleMarionette/PrincessZeldafull1153657.jpg~original
http://img12.deviantart.net/1479/i/2014/004/1/5/sheik___zelda_by_diabolumberto-d70rooo.jpg

 
 

Black Butte XXVII (27th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery

12028861_10102848172092260_369226639024407434_oRating: 6/6

Black Butte XXVII (27th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery is 11.6% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Rose water with 50% aged in bourbon barrels blended with ale with apricot puree, cocoa nibs, pomegranate molasses and spices.

Label:
Our 27th Anniversary Imperial Porter was brewed with Theo Chocolate’s cocoa nibs, pomegranate molasses and select spices, blended with apricot puree, and then aged in bourbon barrels. The result is a truly exquisite ale with bold chocolate character, inspired flavors of fruit, and just a pinch of spice. The perfect way for us to celebrate our golden birthday with you!.

==Introduction==

Each year they release this beer, they always use different ingredients. I have been fortunate enough to be able to try the beers since the 24th version all the way to 26th and now the 27th. Since I loved the previous years versions, I can only imagine this years version will be insane. Then again, is there any surprise. Actually yes, It is NOT the SAME BEER! I definitely forget to get 2 every time but this year I will want to get more! Since each year has different ingredients, you want to try them all as one amazing and every year getting better! Nuff said, Review, I coming!

Aromas:
Super dark chocolate goodness, milk chocolate goodness, almond joy, marshmallow, rich dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, currants, blackberries, cherries, marshmallows, chocolate and rye bread with strawberry and raspberry jam, almond butter, wrapped in tin foil over a campfire, brown sugar on top then being dipped in a chocolate mouse and then a sweetened condescended milk and flan cream.

Flavors:
Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, chocolate covered tart apricots, chocolate covered pomegranates, chocolate covered bananas, roasted malts, coffee, chocolate mousse, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, cherries, currants, blackberries, pecan pie, walnuts, clove spice, bubble gum hints, licorice, anise, molasses, tobacco, leather, rye bread, almond joy, marshmallows, smokey campfire hints, flan, sweetened condensed milk, crème brulee, chocolate cherry fudge cake, dragon fruit, passion fruit, lavender, sakura cake, rose hints, maple bar, brown sugar, piloncillo sugar cone, abuelita chocolate hints, strawberry preserves on rye bread and Danish cream.

Aftertaste:
Dark fruits, stone fruits, earthy notes, Dark chocolate, pecan pie, tobacco, oak, marshmallows, floral tartness, caramel, vanilla and tobacco hints. No alcohol in the taste, Pitch Black Midnight Full body, silky, velvety and smooth mouthfeel and a super easy drinkability which is dangerous. Just like each year, its smoothness will make you want to drink the whole bottle in one sitting.

Overall:
No surprise here, Exceptional to the max! Every year, this beer really surprises me. It gets better but in different aspects since they try different flavors and ingredients and it is never the same beer every year but an evolved version of the previous or something altogether different. There is no doubt, with the great amount of this beer for many to try, it should be a pick up for sure for many that love dark barrel aged beers.

Anime Corner:
Midna (Both Forms) from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princes was chosen once again this year for the Black Butte release as well as the other releases. Just like last years,I had chosen her in the previous releases since I wanted to represent the mixing of 2 of the same ale together. One being the the bourbon barrel aged Rose Water (Twili Midna on the right) and the cocoa nibs, apricot puree (The dimensions of flavor in the background) and pomegranate molasses (Midna on the left). They are both the same person and both are kick ass but that was obvious from the fact that I use them for the same beer every year. The pomegranate and Rose color can be see by the crimson in their beautiful eyes, staring seductively at each other apparently but also nurturing mainly (like mother and child) (sweet and tart) and the land of pleasure is now a portal in the background to that dimension of flavor. Don’t be fooled though, take your time with this both versions of Midna. They can be misleading and evil but only if you let them be.

Sources:
http://img05.deviantart.net/f2f6/i/2014/177/d/3/midna_s_hug_by_yuqoi-d7o1hls.png

He’Brew Jewbelation Reborn 18th Anniversary Ale by Shmaltz Brewing

10626199_10102205531050060_5255054618152832588_oRating: 6/5

He’Brew Jewbelation Reborn 18th Anniversary Ale by Shmaltz Brewing is a 12.4% ABV American Barleywine brewed with 18 Malts and 18 Hops

Label:
So Many friends have asked, “When will you Stop?!” The answer is “Never… Well, Um, I Mean Now”! Witness Our Newborn Black Session Barleywine.

18 malts, 18 hops, and now 12.4% ABV so we can ship to allll our states again. Jewbelation 18 is now in session – L’CHAIM!

The gold charm dangling in the chest hair of Jews everywhere spells the Hebrew word “Chai” meaning “Life”. It’s numerological value is 18, the anniversary of Shmaltz! Unlike Alice Cooper’s “I’m Eighteen” from the album, Love it to Death, 18 I belted out the barroom anthem “To Life, To Life, L’Chaim” onstage in Fiddle on the Roof. At age 18, Mary Shelly began writing Frankenstein, published Jan 1, 1818. Mel Brooks fathered his first child 18 years before his 1974 Young Frankenstein re-created the iconic “It’s Alive!” In the 18th week of pregnancy, a fetus may start to kick , suck its thumb, & show genitals on an ultrasound. The Enlightenment in the 18th century culminated with US & French revolutions. On the 18th of April 1775, Paul Revere famously hollered “The British are coming!” After Beastie Boy MCA passed, Licensed to III (Horsey/Paul Revere/Quart of Beer/Girlies) reentered the Billboard Chart at #18. Simpsons shtick from Homer vs. 18th Amendment: “To alcohol – The cause of, & solution to, all of life’s problems.” Just to be clear: At 18, you might be legal to smoke, vote, buy port, gamble, & fight wars, but you CANNOT buy this beer. Then there’s Carl in Caddyshack: “So we finish the 18th and I say, “Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something for the effort?” He says. ‘There will be no money, but your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.’ So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.” Welcome to being here now, with so many blessings 18 years in – and growing Jeremy Cowan, proprietor.

==Introduction==
Damn that was a long label to write down. It took me a while, but here we are. Another awesome release of the Jewbelation. While unfortunately, this release was less than the 18% ABV as what I thought it was going to be, that is okay as I will see how they were able to make this complexity a reality using as many malts and hops as possible and then turning this into a Barleywine. So let’s dig into this one and see how it compares to the past ones. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich dark fruit syrup, cherries, plums, prunes, figs, blueberries, raspberries, currants, bananas, dragon fruit, bubble gum, tangerine candy, earthy grassy, citrus, grapefruit hops, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee butterscotch, marshmallows, anise, licorice, rum, coconut, rye bread, leather, Khalua coffee, fudge syrup, pecan pie, coconut, tobacco, milk sugar and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Rich dark chocolate, molasses, dark fruit raisins, plums, prunes, figs, soy sauce hints, hazelnut, oak hints, earthy, grassy, citrus, grapefruit hops, rye bread, maple syrup, dark cherries, currant syrup, leather notes, marshmallows, anise, licorice, bananas, rum, coconut, bubblegum notes, brown sugar, fudge syrup, tangerine candy, butterscotch, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, dragon fruit syrup, Khalua hints, roasted barley, milk sugar, tobacco, leather, honey, butterscotch, chocolate cake and pecan pie.

Aftertaste:
Rich Chocolate and Blueberry syrup along with caramel, earthy and citrus hops linger. Slightly boozy in the taste but mainly sugar due to the variety of hops and malts. Silky and syrupy mouthfeel, murky motor oil full body and sipping drinkability but still drinks easy for some reason.

Overall:
A strong tasting as if it was an 18% ABV beer yet less alcohol. It is almost like they took a page from Dark Lord lore. This is a syrupy rich beer and full of rich sweet complex flavors forward. Mainly in the dark fruit department really. Literally like drinking syrup. I am not sure what I like more, the fact that it was so syrupy to pour on an ice cream or just how it reminded me of drinking beers which are way stronger than what this one is classified as. I am sure many will pass this one up under the radar for other hyped beers this year but trust me, this is all too well worth the pick up that it is insane. Especially if you love those super syrupy Dark Lord like beers.

Anime Corner:
Sheik/Zelda from the Legend of Zelda was used in this pairing to pair with the colors of the beer label and how swift yet strong like a ninja smooth and deadly this beer it. It makes no sense in the sense of how strong and complex the beer feels while the beer is only 12% ABV and believe me, I have tried beers like this that are typically in the 16~20% ABV and this is not one of the. That is why I feel since Sheik is actually princess Zelda posing as a bad ass ninja in Hyrule, she sneaks so well using her magic to make this beer so damn complex and feel like something it is not. In fact, Sheik was so hard to figure out in the beginning, that many though Sheik was a dude only later to find that it was Princess Zelda all along. There is a reason why all the Legend of Zelda games have her name in the title. You just cannot judge a bad ass book by it’s cover, and you certainly cannot judge Zelda/Sheik for being such a bad ass.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/27fN5da.jpg

Velvet Mocha Merlin by Firestone Walker

10410676_10102205528490190_3598186254737251036_nRating: 5/5

Velvet Mocha Merlin by Firestone Walker is a 5.5% ABV Oatmeal Stout brewed with cocoa nibs and Intelligentsia Espresso Coffee beans.

Label:
Our beloved Velvet Merlin Aged with cocoa nibs and Intelligentsia espresso beans. All of the smooth textures and roasty dark chocolate goodness of our seasonal Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout with the added infusion of Intelligentsia Coffee House aromas and cocoa dusted chocolate truffle flavors.

==Introduction==

This beer came as part of the Firestone Walker Winter Variety pack. Since I had tried the Velvet Merlin and Merkin before, there was no way I’d pass this one up especially after my friend Richard told me about this one. While I was debating getting this one at first, it was a good deal as I was able to get 4 22oz beers for around 15$ at Total Wine. Also, the beers included like Union Jack IPA, DBA and Wookie Jack were worth it. Union Jack is one I have not brought to review and now I will so keep an eye out for that one. As far as the whole coffee and cocoa nibs with the original Merlin goes, I could only expect awesome. However, I have to see it for what it is because the original is just as great. So let us see what this one offers. Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha, Espresso coffee, fancy coffee, vanilla, caramel, coconut hints, milk sugar, oreo cookies, chocolate chip cookies, brown sugar, flan hints, molasses, graham cracker smores and marshmallows.

Flavors:
Espresso coffee, fancy coffee, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, fudge chocolate,, bananas, chocolate truffles, milk sugar, fancy mocha, caramel, vanilla, coconut hints, oreo cookies, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, graham cracker smores and marshmallows, hints of flan, Khalua hints, dark fruit raisins, toffee and molasses.

Aftertaste:
Coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, mild roasted notes and nice dry finish. No alcohol in the taste, smooth and creamy mouthfeel, easy to medium drinkability and a dark full body.

Overall:
Making the Merlin much more to the perfect standard. If it wasn’t perfect already, this one made it so regardless of the base beer. The Oatmeal Stout smooth characteristics with the coffee and chocolate make this one like a rich cold coffee brew. They were right about the whole aspect of smooth and chocolate taking over. Possibly the best one in the pack next to the Union Jack but then again, each of the beers has its great merits. Hope they get a chance to brew this one again or make a Mocha Merkin from this because in all honestly, that would be damn magical. Highly recommend it if you find the winter pack.

Anime Corner:
Twili Midna was used in this pairing because I wanted to show case Merlin and Merkin as in the previous beers as magicians and sorceresses. Midna fits that whole magical aspect and being the Twilight princess melding into the dark and light brings about the rich sweet flavors as well as the dark roasty characters of chocolate and coffee together altogether while being nice and smooth. She can light up the darkness.

Sources:
http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2014/023/7/6/7647e254a61d73d87520077effaa393f-d73fp4v.png

The Hobbit Gollum Precious Pils by Fish Tale Brewing

10380908_10102104270277460_5279162533115716335_n 1486903_10102104271205600_4800146069565667502_nRating: 4.25/5

The Hobbit Gollum Precious Pils by Fish Tale Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Imperial Pilsner brewed with North West Hops.

Label:
The Tale of Gollum
Once a hobbit-like creature named Smeagol, Gollum’s body and soul have been poisoned by the power of a small, plain, gold ring that he has kept hidden deep in a dark cavern within the Misty Mountain Unaware of the true nature of this Ring, Gollum knows only that it is more “precious” to him that life itself.
___

Do I even have to ask about this series? Hype? possibly Nerdgasm? Maybe, regardless, it does not matter. The Lord of The Rings has been an awesome series of books and movies created from the written work of JR Tolkien. The fact that they release a set of beers in honor of the series is pretty damn awesome. The Game of Thrones series has its own beers brewed by Ommegang and while those are very good, I really wanted to see what these are all about. In this first one, we see Gollum with the precious pils. When I think of pilsner I think a borderline to a lager, but when I saw the ABV, I really thought twice. The last couple of Imperial Pilsners I had were nothing more than AMAZING… I hope this precious beer is just as awesome, so let’s go through this one and see what Gollum has been hiding…

Aromas:
Honey, tangerine, citrus and piney hopes, caramel, pilsner malt, caramel, tropical fruits, brown sugar, floral notes, coriander spice, stone fruit peaches and apricots, vanilla, rock candy and tropical hints.

Flavors:
Citrus, piney hopes, pilsner malt, honey, caramel, biscuit bread, butterscotch, apples, rock candy, floral notes, stone fruit peach hints, apricot, coriander spice, brown sugar hints, vanilla, tangerine candy, peppercorns, Danish sugar cookies, tropical fruits like pineapple, dragon fruit and bits of papaya.

Aftertaste:
Leaving traces of tangerine, hops, honey, floral notes and peppercorns. No alcohol intervening in the taste but slightly boozy, a sipping beer with a slightly syrupy mouth feel, light body, crisp and refreshing.

Overall:
Drinks like a champ! A really good pilsner boderlining the tripel and golden ale styles but still taking you back to what a pilser is all about. A precious, pilsner as gold as the ring Gollum adored so much which really fits the name. This is worth a try as there may not be many imperial pilsners out there and this one goes to show just what pilsners are capable of and that is just awesome!

Anime Corner:
Minda from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princes was used in this pairing because I wanted to pair Gollum as a small creature that became small from a Hobbit form. Midna can turn into a Human so it kind of works. Also in the pictures, Midna tries to reach out to the audience with that “My precious” look on her face. The fact that her expressions and somewhat evil like appearance compliments that of Gollum, the tropical and stone fruit flavors of the beer and some colors of the label as well as the fact that they both come from a Medieval Fantasy story, she fits right in complimenting Gollum all the way!

Sources:
http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs43/f/2009/076/1/c/Midna_pinup_by_oh8.jpg
http://38.media.tumblr.com/5e30f63296ddaad0c9e329a96843ae98/tumblr_mq7cdmHqEN1r7ngm2o6_500.jpg

2014 Preservation Series Ignis Fatuus by The Bruery

10688061_10102061177420890_6622523934246703618_o 10616002_10102061177820090_7697891900253233659_nRating: 5/5

2014 Preservation Series Ignis Fatuus by The Bruery is an 8.3% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Pumpkin & Spices.

Label:
Ignis Fatuus is a special brew created just in time for Autumn activities. We invite you to enjoy the subtle spices of this dark, roasty porter while telling ghost stories around an illuminating jack-o’-lantern.
___

Available for the Preservation and Reserve societies for late Fall, this possibly the second time the Bruery releases a pumpkin beer since the now retired milk stout, Burly Gourd. The Autumn maple doesn’t count though since it is made with yams, although that one is incredible. This beer name, Ignis Fatuus/FoolishFire is another name of the Will O’ Wisp, the ghostly lights that appear at night for those traveling over a swamp or a marsh. Since the lights are so ominous, they are also called Jack-O’-Lantern. A fancy name for basically saying that everything about this beer is basically, pumpkins and scary stuff. Halloween approaches so this is a perfect beer for the fall occasion.

Aromas:
Toasted Pumpkins, dark chocolate, allspice, piloncillo sugar cone, molasses, anise, licorice hints, candy corn hints, banana hints, clove spice, ginger bread, vanilla caramel, dark fruit raisins, brown sugar, milk sugar hints, milk chocolate hints, maple, mint, oak, earthy notes, roasted coffee hints and mocha hints.

Flavors:
Toasted Pumpkin flesh, ginger spice, cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, roasted coffee hints, dark fruits like raisins, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, maple, molasses, anise, licorice hints, mint, oak, earthy notes, brown sugar, piloncillo sugar cone, candy corn, phenolic banana notes, clove spice hints and hints of milk sugar.

Aftertaste:
Roasted coffee hints, pumpkins, cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, earthy hints, brown sugar and ginger bread lingers. No alcohol in the taste. Creamy, yet slightly velvety mouthfeel, smooth drinkability, pitch black body and slightly dangerous.

Overall:
Great example of a pumpkin beer. Although, the fact that it is a porter, only takes the style into a more chocolate pumpkin and coffee direction. It is very nice indeed reminding me of T.R.E.A.T but smoother and creamier at that. However, TREAT actually is a stout and taste different but similar. The roastiness is evident throughout the beer but as the beer warms up, it gives way to a much more sweeter and spicy flavor experience. Not bad at all and definitely worth trying. For those that want to try it, they are offering this one at the Bruery on tap. If you know a member, stop by and try it before it is gone. Cheers!

Anime Corner:
Midna from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess was used in this pairing since I had not reviewed any Bruery beers using Midna but also wanted to showcase how much she relates to this beer in terms of the colors of the label, the flavors, the meaning of Ignis Fatuus, the mystery of Halloween and the creamy smoothness as well. The reason I also chose a summer like setting for her is because it is hot as hell and it seems here in California that for the last couple of years, it hits super hot right before the fall, so it works. Midna basically represents the lights of the will o’ wisp. The green neon markings on her skin with the green representative of the marshes but also witches in Halloween. Her hair flows like the flames of that light the ever gazing stare of the Jack O’ Lantern with a scary but playful and yet friendly ease. The beer’s smoothness is very welcoming, just like Midna is here. Her colors presenting the colors of the label, the pumpkin, some of the flavors and basically the sexiness as the smoothness.

Sources:
http://blancj11.deviantart.com/art/Midna-join-for-a-drink-412537538
http://gilmec.deviantart.com/art/Midna-Twilight-Princess-2011-202765652

Black Butte XXVI (26th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery

10452426_10101956060291460_441247262558784893_n 10501923_10101956067347320_3240858399671713884_nRating: 6/5

Black Butte XXVI (26th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery is 10.8% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with pomegranate molasses with 50% aged in bourbon barrels blended with ale with cocoa nibs and cranberry added.

Label:
Our 26th anniversary imperial porter was aged in bourbon barrels and dry spiced with theo chocolate’s cocoa nibs, revealing hints of vanilla and chocolate. Pomegranate molasses and Oregon cranberries complement the robust flavor with a hint of fruits and just enough tart to make you smile.
___

Each year they release this beer, they always use different ingredients. I have been fortunate enough to be able to try the 24th and 25th. Today I bring you their 26th. Since I loved the previous years versions, I can only imagine this years version will be insane. I picked this one up at Ramirez Liquors and Kegs in Boyle Heights near downtown Los Angeles. I wish I could of picked up 2 but due to the 1 bottle limit I was unfortunate. I can only hope they have more in stock or if I am lucky to get it again. These types of beers are definitely the ones you want to try regardless of your previous conviction. Each one amazing and every year getting better. So on to the review and cheers!!

25th Anniversary Review (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/black-butte-xxv-25th-anniversary-reserve-by-deschutes-brewery/)

Aromas:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon hints, rich pomegranate, raspberries, slight tart cranberries, dark fruit raisins, cherries, smoke hints, dulce de leche caramel, chocolate fudge cake, hazelnut, almond joy, coconut, banana, clove spice, brown sugar, pecan pie, chocolate abuelita, tobacco, molasses, and strawberry preserves on rye bread.

Flavors:
Chocolate covered tart pomegranates, raspberries, cranberries, smokey notes, marshmallows, coconut hints, dark cherries, dark fruit raisins, figs, bananas, clove spice, marshmallow smores, vanilla, oak, bourbon, pecan pie, flan, almond joy, earthy bitterness, chocolate abuelita, strawberry preservers on rye bread, hazelnut nectar, walnuts, pecans, maple bar, molasses, brown sugar, anise hints, chocolate fudge cake, dragon fruit nectar, bubble gum hints and licorice hints.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate, earthy notes, tart cranberries, pomegranate, strawberry, banana hints, caramel, vanilla, oak, smokey notes, tobacco, walnuts and pecans. No alcohol in the taste, silky and smooth mouthfeel even easy to drink surprisingly. Dark as the night appearance. Careful with this one as its smoothness will make you want to drink the whole bottle in one sitting.

Overall:
Even more exceptional than the last. Seems like every year they go all out with their release and each one is well up there in terms of flavors and deliciousness. By all means, this very exceptional and I definitely will be looking for this one again assuming I can find it again. I highly recommend this one because a dessert beer in a bottle, the rich flavors will linger and linger for quite a awhile on that palate making each sip just extraordinary delicious!!

Anime Corner:
Midna (Both Forms) from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princes was chosen once again this year for the Black Butte release. I had chosen her in the previous releases since I wanted to represent the mixing of 2 of the same ale together. One being the the bourbon barrel aged (Twili Midna on the right) and the cocoa nibs and cranberry (Midna on the left). They are both the same person and both are kick ass. The pomegranate and cranberry colors can be see by the crimson in their beautiful eyes, staring seductively at your soul (sweet and tart) taking you to a land of pleasure…Or so this beer makes me feel in that sense. Don’t be fooled though, take your time with this one, she can be misleading and evil but only if you let her be.

Sources:
http://zeronis.deviantart.com/art/MIDNA-452543934

Capricho Oscuro Batch 5 by Cigar City Brewing

1383159_10101428773358700_1514628837_nRating: 6/5

Capricho Oscuro Batch 5 by Cigar City Brewing is a ??% ABV World Class American Strong Ale

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION (Ratebeer.com)
This beer is a blend of at least five different beers, including Hot Blooded Foreign Stout, Puppy’s Breath Robust Porter, and several vintages of Warmer Winter Winter Warmer. These beers were aged in some cognac and brandy barrels before being blended together.
___

Hard to come by, looked and looked for this piece of barrel aged treasure all over. Hard to get. Impossibly rare? Maybe, not as much as other but still it was hard to come by. This beer seems very good but very evil and mysterious. Without an ABV to gauge it, I am pretty much lost in the dark as to how strong this one is that it is kind of scary. Perfect art pairing with Majora from Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask. Anyway, if you manage to find this one, choose wisely.

Aromas are of rich dark fruits like raisins, prunes, figs, dates, dark cherries, raspberries, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, toasted hazelnuts, pecans, coconuts, vanilla, cognac, brandy, notes of Hunnapu like the spiciness of it, caramel flan, chocolate cake, dessert wine, port wine, rocky road ice cream, almond joy and maple

The flavors are of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, brandy, cognac, dark cherries, raisins, figs, prunes, toasted coconut, hazelnuts, pecan pie, flan, port wine, rocky road ice cream notes, almond joy notes, caramel, vanilla, toffee, raspberries, maple, molasses, anise, slight smokiness, leather, tobacco, bourbon, Cordial Cherries and chocolate covered raspberries

The aftertaste is pretty complex leaving trails of sweet caramel, chocolate, oak, brandy, cognac, dark fruits and a bit of port wine. This beer is a definite sipper. The alcohol is noticeable but very pleasant and warming. The alcohol only brings the rich flavors above and it is nothing harsh. 

Overall this is an amazingly delicious beer, exceeding exceptions. I cannot guess the ABV from the taste which is scary but also good that it comes in a small bottle to sample. Definitely like some of the best beers in the world. Close to Melange 3, close to Black Tuesday, Grey Monday and even some of the other Bruery anniversary ales. What can I say about CCB, other than it is “The Bruery of the East Coast” making some of the best beers in the world possible like many champions. If you can find this, definitely get it.

Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black by Allagash brewing

533992_10101395283597450_1145893645_n 1175423_10101395282349950_383455296_n 1175213_10101395281546560_1309066990_nRating: 5.75/5 *Bring on the chocolate

Allagash Bourbon Barrel Black by Allagash brewing is a 9.2% ABV Belgian Stout aged in Oak Bourbon Barrels

Description (Beeradvocate.com):
Our Belgian Style Stout, Black, aged for one year in bourbon barrels. The toffee,chocolate and coconut nose is followed by a smooth bitter chocolate and bourbon flavor. The finish is dry, roasted and warming. 
___

First heard of this one several months ago. It was believed that back then this would only be released in small quantities from Portland Maine. Not very many online places will ship this. Some will depending on where you live. I hope we can expect more as the time comes. As I mentioned in other reviews about Belgian Stouts, these tend to be some of my favorite styles of beer. Allagash Black was very good after the many times I have tried it. Now for a Barrel Aged version? Well, we shall see how seductive this one is.

Aromas are of coffee, caramel, mocha notes, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, raisins, oak, bourbon hints, vanilla, slight coconut aroma, pecans, dark fruit, fudge brownie notes and cherry hints

The flavors are of rich milk chocolate, dark chocolate, coffee, mocha, pecans, hazelnut spread, dulce de leche caramel notes, bourbon notes, slight oak and smokey notes, vanilla, dark fruits like cherries, raisins, plums, chocolate cake batter, brownies, coconut notes, spicy cloves, anise and almond joy chocolate

The aftertaste leaves with a nice chocolate brownie sweetness along with smoke and oak notes to keep stuff balanced. Not in the realm of super strong barrel aged beers but the alcohol is super hidden. Definitely a sipper and meant to be enjoyed for a while

Overall, the beer freaking great. The bourbon, although subtle, brings forth new flavors as well brings about stronger flavors, especially the chocolate and caramel. The flavors get more complex as the beer warms up. Similar to the Folklore Pappy Van Winkle, this beer brings a whole lot to the style. The beer just starts to give out a great amount of coconut, chocolate, dark fruits, bourbon and caramel as it warms. Goes to show, that even for a barrel aged beer under 10% ABV, might be worth the price.

Original Allagash Black Review
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/allagash-black-by-allagash-brewing/

Black Butte XXV (25th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery

1012731_10101291877903290_325407295_n 971375_10101291878467160_102706796_nRating: 5.45/5

Black Butte XXV (25th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery is an 11.3% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with dates, figs and cocoa nibs with 50% aged in bourbon barrels and 12.5% with black currants added.

Label: 
Dates, figs and chocolate. Black currants, barrel-aged in bourbon casks. The result is an Imperial Porter with a tart berry and chocolate aroma with luscious layers of dried fruit, oak and vanilla. A fitting tribute to the 25th Anniversary of our flagship beer
___

I did a review of this beer last year (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/black-butte-xxiv-by-dechutes/ )

However, this year they mixed it up a bit by adding dates, currants, figs and cocoa nibs making this one a very special beer. Probably close to a Dubbel/Porter Hybrid

Aromas are of bananas, chocolate, raisins cherries, black berries, blue berries, toffee, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, oak, vanilla, toasted coconut, fruit cake, mocha, currants, bit of wine grapes and sweetened condensed milk. Smells like the ultimate chocolate fruit dessert. Awesome. 

The flavors are of milk, dark and bakers chocolate, mocha, coffee, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel notes, oak, bourbon, currants, cherries, blackberries, blue berries, raspberries, dates, figs, toffee, banana notes, tart wine grape notes, coconut, lots of bread quad and dubbel notes and chocolate port wine fruit cake.

The after taste is pretty sweet leaving with a nice roasted coffee bitterness followed by lots of berries, vanilla and caramel to help it along. It finishes a little dry but that is the best part too. Due to this beer’s complexity and dryness, it just makes you want to sip more. Careful though, that is how it it teases you. You see, once you start, you may like and sip after sip you won’t realize that you finished the entire bottle. 

This beer taste a lot like the Brewdog/ Stone Collaboration Bashah in Raspberries and Highland Whiskey Barrels. Lots of fruit, a great amount of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, bananas and more. I never tried the XXI version of this beer but if that one is a lot like Chocolate Rain, awesome, but this beer is phenomenal in the chocolate berry department. It really did turn out similar to a Dubbel/ Porter hybrid. I would say the difference between this beer and my last review of the Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout, is that the other one has more pecans and caramel chocolate where this one is more berries and chocolate. Quite the different spectrum here. But the hybrid is similar. Some type of Belgian Stout or Porter aged in Bourbon barrels. Close enough to some of the best beers I have reviewed on the blog which have exceeded my limits.

Obscura Cacao collaboration between Telegraph brewing and twenty-four blackbirds chocolate

480745_10101128480133730_1122698375_n 10916_10101128478761480_1173425126_nRating: 3.5/5

Obscura Cacao collaboration between Telegraph brewing and twenty-four blackbirds chocolate is a 7.3%ABV Herb/Spiced ale brewed with cocoa beans and with cocoa beans added.

Label: 
We teamed up with our friends at Santa Barbara’s Twenty-Four Blackbirds Chocolate to create Orbscura Cacao. Made with whole Dominican cocoa beans—prized for there subtle, fruity character and rich chocolate flavor— Obscura Cocoa emphasizes notes of apricot, banana, and tropical fruit, all in perfect harmony with an underlying and unmistakable cocoa character. Pair this unique ale with one of the Twenty-Four Blackbirds artisan chocolate bars for the ultimate chocolate experience!
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This ale is quite different. I almost expected a dark ale in appearance, but this ale is quite dark in the sense of trying to figure out what it is taste wise. Aromas are of peach, bananas, raisin, plums, papaya, coriander spice, caramel, slight chocolate, candi sugars and veggies. The flavors are of banana, caramel, coriander, peach, raisins, cocoa notes, close to a white chocolate but more bitter, sweet potato /yams with little sweetness, pumpkin spice and pears. Different from what I was expecting. It is an interesting beer regardless but it is something I would only pick up once. I assume they were trying to go for like the Theobroma feel of using cocoa nibs in a clear ale or like the White Chocolate from the Bruery. Although those beers are in another league altogether. The flavors are not as balanced as I liked it to be yet this is still a decent beer. It is closer to the Fantome Chocolat but lighter and more sweet and bitter than sour.

Allagash Black by Allagash Brewing (1 year Aged)

486427_10101095685090260_2105219987_nRating: 5/5

Allagash Black by Allagash Brewing is a 7.5% ABV Belgian Stout. This version I aged for about a year until the right time to try it.

Description: 
Allagash Black, our new Belgian style stout, is brewed with German 2 row barley, Torrified wheat and oats, balanced by a large addition of Belgian dark candi to give the Black a full and silky mouthfeel. Roasted malts give this stout its classic chocolate, toast and malty taste, and contribute to chocolate notes and a hint of roasted coffee in the aroma. The Black is fermented with a Belgian yeast strain and refermented in the bottle with the methode champenoise to make this beer truly unique. Availability: 750 ml bottles, 5.17 gal kegs ABV: 7.5% Original Gravity: 1.072 Recommended Serving Temperature: 55°F Recommended Cellaring Temperature: 55°F
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This is the second time I try this beer. The first time I tried it was about a year ago. I saved a bottle to let it sit for about a year to see if the levels would intensify. Oh man did they now. Upon opening the bottle there was an immediate rush of caramel and vanilla fragrant smoked. Some aromas of chocolate coffee, mocha, some pecan and caramel bread, some minor aromas of dark fruits and apples. The flavors are of bitter dark chocolate, roasted coffee, slight smokiness, bananas, molasses, boysenberry pie, some coffee cake, dark tart cherries, plums, raisins, figs, dry apricots, some dulce de leche caramel, some vanilla, candi sugar, earthy hop and citrus taste. This beer reminds me a lot of Folklore by Stillwater Artisanal in that it is still a very good Belgian stout but with some smokey aspects to it. Although, Folklore had a little more of a dark saison aspect as well. More smokey and bitter than 13th hour Stout but it makes up for that with the rest of the flavors which are awesome. A very awesome beer and one to have many a times. The Abyss doesn’t come out all the time but I would say if this was barrel aged, you would have Deschutes The Abyss.

2012 Review:
Allagash Black, the brew that is so similar to 13th hour but more bitter chocolate than. The Belgian Style Stout is brewed with 2 Row barley, torrified wheat, oats, both roasted and chocolate malt and a generous portion of dark caramelized candy sugar. There is definitely a silky mouth feel as stated in the description. Almost like velvet Merlin. The brew has a lot of reminiscent chocolate/coffee bread taste like the 13th. There is also hints of caramel vanilla, citrus, raisins, figs, cherries and dried apricot. Even if the base overwhelmed is malty bitter sweet chocolate, as I go through this brew it definitely lets out a lot of other complex flavor due to the Belgian bready yeast here. Step into this beer…if you dare…it looks evil but very delicious and lovely and good :). Just like the pic of Midna. You never know what you will find in this brew. Also the bitterness of this beer does remind me of the Old Rasputin hoppy bitterness. Allagash does a great job of balancing the complexity of this brew with that of malty sweet, bready complex, and hoppy bitterness. Surely some one that likes Stouts, Belgian, and hoppy ales will surely, like this complex creation. Looks sorta plain and dark from the outside but they have always said, it is the inside that counts. So give this one a try and take a step into the dark…or black side of the ale world. 😛

Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XV by North Coast Brewing

382030_10100953674296030_1531994946_nRating: 5.5/5

Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XV by North Coast Brewing is an 11.9% ABV Russian Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
Never say Die!

Every year we age a special batch of our much-loved Russian Imperial Stout in Bourbon barrels. The depth, intensity, and complexity of the flavor profile of this special release, like its predecessors, make it a worthy tribute to Old Rasputin.

Prior to 2010, Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin was released in such limited quantities that it was available only at the North Coast Brewing retail shop in Fort Bragg, California. However, we received so many requests for this beer that we began producing enough Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin to put into broader, but still limited, distribution.

This a pretty awesome beer. Upon opening this one, there was immediate aromas of rich coconut, vanilla, bourbon with roasted coffee, chocolate, caramel and some notes of Mexican sweetened condensed or flan. Maybe California’s response to Bourbon County Stout? The flavors are pretty sweet. The boozyness is only slight the flavors that hit the palate. Sweet rich chocolate, espresso, mocha, vanilla, caramel, whipped cream, rich Mexican flan, bourbon, coconut, figs, raisins and prunes. Another masterpiece exceeding the expectations. A must find for Barrel-Aged Stout lovers. Just awesome is what this is. If the original Old Rasputin is world class, this takes it to another level for me.