The Abyss 2013 Release by Deschutes Brewing

1459902_10101544182762330_465279393_n 1462996_10101544183111630_452578967_nRating: 5.75/5

The Abyss 2013 Release by Deschutes Brewing is an 11% World Class Imperial Stout brewed with Black Strap molasses, Licorice with cherry bark and vanilla added with 6% aged in oak bourbon barrel, 11% aged in Oregon Oak Barrels, and 11% aged in oak Pinot Noir wine barrels.

Label:
It’s dark. It’s deep. It’s mysterious. Aged in French Oak and Bourbon barrels, this special brew has immeasurable depth inviting you to explore and discover its rich, complex profile. The flavor of molasses and licorice draw you in further and further with each sip. The Abyss beckons. Enjoy the journey.
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I have previously reviews the 2009 version of this beer. I decided to give it another round as I may not often get around to reviewing this one again. Upon looking at this one, I saw it was made a bit differently than the 2009 version. I had to give it a shot.

Aromas:
Madrugada Obscura, basically sour stout notes, wine notes, roasted coffee, dark and milk chocolate, smokey oak, dark fruits, coconut, cherry notes, flan notes, espresso, molasses, licorice, clove spice, cinnamon and other complex notes.

Flavors:
Wine, Bourbon, Stout, Marugada Obscura, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, cherries, dark fruits, raisins, figs, smokey quality, Port wine, vanilla, caramel, oak, roasted chocolate, coconut, flan, licorice, molasses, pinot noir and earthy hops. After letting it warm up it started to evolve in flavors again. Funny as the 2009 version evolved too. Now this thing is tasting a bit like banana notes, crème brulee, raisin bread pudding, overall bitter roasted coffee, Kahlua, mocha, barley wine caramel, toffee, butterscotch, almonds, pecan pie, cherry, plums, hazelnut and well, it seems to keep going. I will stop right here.

Aftertaste:
Finishes off very complex with the dark chocolate, dark fruit, dark oak, dark bourbon, dark flan, dark dark dark!! Good Luck finding the 11% ABV in the taste. She is pretty deadly seeing as it is asipping beer but with chances are you want to drink and drink. Evil!!

Overall:
Exceptionally World Class just like the 2009 version. However, the addition of the extra blending has definitely changed the flavors to even more complexities giving it that much earned extra credit. Like I said in my last review: (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/the-abyss-2009-vintage-reserve-by-deschutes-brewing/ ) it keeps you on your toes trying to see what other complexities come up. Think of it as a Haunted house, you have no clue what the fuck is gonna pop up as you go along. Scary shit… Evil Beer…. Loveable experience. Much needed recommendations

Anime Corner:
Rukia Kuchiki (Hollified version) from Bleach was used in this pairing to show several things I had in mind when pairing this beer. In the series, the hollow form is what happens when after a soul passes and loses its tie to the body. If the soul reaper does not cleanse the soul, it will roam the earthy, become a monster and try to eat other souls. Rukia is a Soul reaper in the show but there are many characters such as humans and even soul reapers that have treaded into the hollow form and were able to come back to their original form. Rukia never becomes hollow but this only serves as a representation of what that form would look like. Most hollows are mindless and possibly evil. In some cases, she can be seen as sadistic with no remorse or pity for anyone. Aim for the kill, hunger for more flavors. Thus, this evil version of Rukia is paired with this beer to show how evil the beer is. That is why you have to be careful not to drink it all in one sitting. Since the hollow form is a form of evolution into possibly higher form of power, you can say the evolution of flavors as the beer warms up and the alcohol content represents this hollow form. Also, the Cero Blast that Rukia is charging up in her hand represents, The Abyss. The Cero is like an endless charge of energy concentrated and sucked up like a black hole. This infinite darkness is this beer, The Abyss.

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Pugsley’s Signature Series Mint Chocolate Stout by Shipyard brewing

935614_10101539003905800_1149963378_nRating: 4.85/5

Pugsley’s Signature Series Mint Chocolate Stout by Shipyard brewing is a 9%ABV American Stout

Label: 
Description: Mint Chocolate Stout is a dark, silky beer with aromas of chocolate and licorice. Smooth chocolate and coffee flavors upfront lead to a subtle spearmint finish. To fully enjoy all the flavors of this ale it is best drunk at 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Malt: Pale, Flaked Barley, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, Rolled Oats, Whole Wheat, Black, Caramunich II

Hops: WGV (Whitbread Golding Variety), Perle.
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The Shipyard series has been one of my favorite for beers since the Smashed Blueberry ale, Smashed pumpkin ale and even the Double Old Thumper ale. The beers that I have tried from them so far really work to come close as possible as to what they are intended to taste like. It seems that this is well executed as their use of ingredients can make the intended flavors really come out, where as other breweries use more of special recipes to magically summon the flavors (The Craft that makes craft beers) which makes them more magical and complex. Never the less, if you are able to com up with special recipes using the right ingredients and execute it well, then the achievement has been met (Alchemy vs. Magic). When I first saw this one at the local store, it was a no brainer to pick it up and do a review. Total wine in Redondo Beach California but it should also hit Downey Liquor and many of the Southern California markets soon.

Aromas:
Rich Mint Chocolate chip ice cream, licorice, molasses, evergreen, spearmint, baker and dark chocolate notes, anise, roasted coffee notes, caramel and light vanilla. 

Flavors:
Lots of mint, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, roasted espresso, licorice, notes of molasses, anise, Mint Chocolate chip ice cream, spearmint, herbs, evergreen, earthy hops, Mint Chocolate chip ice cream coffee, hints of herbs and spices.

Aftertaste:
Leaves a nice minty, chocolate, roasty coffee and licorice taste. Hidden Alcohol, moderate to sipping drinkability

Overall:
The beer is very good. It is not overly complex and gets the job done when it comes to meeting expectations of what a “Mint Chocolate Stout” is supposed to taste like. The chocolate keeps it together but the stronger notes have to be in the mint and the earthy hops and roasted coffee bitterness. This one is way more minty than the Stone Belgo Anise, but it is still like drinking Mint Chocolate Chip Ice cream and coffee in a bottle. It is possible that people who do not like Licorice beers may not find this one appealing, but the sweet chocolate definitely keeps it from being too much like licorice. Definitely worth a try and one I definitely get again.

Anime Corner:
The personified anime version of The Creeper from Mine craft was used for this pairing to compliment several aspects of the beer. To begin, the obvious is the green and brown to represent the mint and the chocolate as well as the label colors. The creeper is a kamikaze character from what I gather about the Minecraft game. I have not played minecraft but the artwork is very cute and I figure it would work for this sweet beer. The fact that the Creepers linger until they explode can represent the lingering of the rich mint and chocolate in the after taste. What keep Creepers away from players are cats. The fact that there is cat in this picture could signify the balance that this beer has. It is not too bitter and has enough mint to make it very good but not overly minty to make it like toothpaste. The cat being in the picture could also mean that the girl Creeper is actually a Creeper spy. Either way, I am sure the smoke from her cigarette (roast and licorice flavors) will catch others attention.

Take the Black Stout collaboration by Game of Thrones and Ommegang

1382812_10101435699803050_1709517878_n 1375745_10101435699798060_796599398_n 1381171_10101435699823010_1410032006_nRating: 4.5/5

Take the Black Stout collaboration by Game of Thrones and Ommegang is a 7% ABV Belgian Dark Ale brewed with licorice root and star anise.

Label:
A stout as dark at the winters that once engulfed Westeros, as robust as the men who swear their oaths at the weir wood tree. Chocolate and caramel sweetness are balanced by hop bitterness. Roasty, woodsy notes, and an earthy finish.

Pour slowly so as to not disturb the yeast sediment, but with enough vigor to create a luxurious head and release the rich bouquet.
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The second release of Game of Throne series of beers is one that is a Belgian Stout. One of my favorite styles. Ommegang decided to brew many of these so make sure to pick this one up before it is gone. Also, even if this could be a gimmick, similarly like the last beer, you can never go wrong with Ommegang beers.

Aromas are similar to a Black Ale, with fragrances of chocolate, licorice, chocolate, caramel, dark fruit, roasted malt, peppercorns, earthy hops, fudge brownie, incense, oak and brown sugar.

The flavors are of roasty and lightly smoked malts, dark chocolate, anise, mint, licorice notes, cola, dark fruit, raisins, plums, clove spice, caramel, earthy hops, pepper, oak, plums, espresso and mocha

The aftertaste is of sweet chocolate, earthy bitterness, dark fruit, and brownie notes. This is a full bodied beer so it is best enjoyed sipping. As it warms up, the beer becomes more balanced. Initially it was pretty roasty but as it warmed up, stuff started to fit together.

Overall this is a very good beer. If you watch the show this may be more enjoyable. I actually do not watch it, but I like good beers and this one is good stuff. Looking at the label with the tree, all dark, woodsy and deep roots in the earth, the flavors make a lot of sense. Might go with Lord of the Rings movies too, who knows. Belgian beer lovers and even those that don’t like licorice will like this one.

Artwork:
Mohshinobi: http://mohshinobi.deviantart.com/