Barrel Aged Siren Noire Heavy Seas Uncharted Series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing

1005781_10101298803444450_1861030632_n 993628_10101298805440450_1847710357_n 1005638_10101298805031270_1245257992_nRating: 5.75/5*

Barrel Aged Siren Noire Heavy Seas Uncharted Series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Chocolate and aged in Bourbon Barrels

Label: 
Siren Noire
Rich and velvety, this smooth brew owes its full body to healthy additions of imported specialty grains. The roasted malt flavors of coffee yield to notes of mocha, fig, and raisin – and Belgian cacao nibs impart a decadent chocolate nuance. Bourbon barrel aging finishes by adding tones of vanilla. An unparalleled flavor experience

Uncharted Waters explores the unique changes that happen to beer when exposed to wood. Each beer showcases a robust style, carefully matched with a wood treatment to showcase a range of complex flavors. Vintage dating encourages further exploration on the aging process. As much about the voyage as the destination we hope you enjoy these beers in the spirit in which they were brewed.
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So I got this on whim. I wanted to get the Holy Sheet Belgian ale they had but unfortunately for me it may already be to late. Well, better luck next year I guess. Anyways, I found this one and I wanted to try as it was a Barrel Aged beer and from a brewery I have never tried before. So I decided to give it a try and damn, what a treasure it was as soon as I opened the bottle.

Aromas exploded with a great ton of coconut, chocolate, marshmallows, almonds, bourbon, vanilla, dulce de caramel (Rocky road fragrances), flan, mocha coffee notes, deep java, frappucino, 

The flavors are way too damn close to rocky road ice cream and coffee to put it as best as possible. Bitterness is definitely like an earthy and it is also oaky slightly. Flavors are are of milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, toasted coconut, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, vanilla, marshmallows, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, chocolate cheese cake, flan, crème brulee, mocha, frappucino and chocolate fudge brownies

The Aftertaste leaves off sweet with nice chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, flan and mocha notes. No alcohol presence and the flavors are complex and intense, I am surprised how they could develop these very nice flavors from such an ABV.

Amazingly enough, while it is not strong with the alcohol, it has a lot of sweet flavors. This is too damn good. I wish I could get this beer more frequently. This is really good. If you are lucky enough to find it and live Bourbon Barrel Aged beers, go get this right away. Coffee flavored Rocky Road ice cream in liquid form.

*I am a chocolate beer fanatic, so the rating maybe a bit bias but I swear, this is like rocky road ice cream in liquid form. Maybe not to the Parabola level but enough to notice. Oh, and Lots of nice coffee to go with it too

Galactic Imperial Red by Hopworks Urban Brewery

999026_10101279478851090_1033965570_nRating: 3.8/5

Galactic Imperial Red by Hopworks Urban Brewery is a 9.5%ABV Imperial Amber/Red Ale coming in at 100+ IBU

Label: 
Hopworks Galactic Imperial Red; One small sip for man, one giant bottle for mankind. Robust caramel malt flavors battle NW Centennial, Cascade, Magnum and Nugget hops for interstellar supremacy. Throw down your quarters before it’s game over.
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Galaga fans will remember the similarities of this bottle’s beer label. This beer is an organic made beer using organic ingredients. 

Aromas of this beer are of piney and grassy hops, citrus, rich caramel, toffee and biscuits.

Flavors are of Caramel, citrus, slight grapefruit, grassy and piney hops, toffee, biscuit bread, maple, slight peppercorn, earthy and metallic hop notes, oranges and herbal bitterness

The alcohol is somewhat noticeable in this one. I think it gets better as you drink more of it but in the beginning it wasn’t overly impressive. I think the hop character over powers the rest of the beer but some may find this appealing. I like more tropical hop characters but these are more herbal to explain what I mean. The balance is somewhat impartial. You get more hop than malt but that is not too bad at at all. While overall this is still a very good beer, there are other ambers that do more wonders. Still worth the try for sure if you love ambers.

Belgorado by Wynkoop brewing

181017_10101110814041720_593072308_n221788_10101110814545710_1738602895_nRating: 4.45/5

Belgorado by Wynkoop brewing is a 6.7%ABV Belgian India Pale Ale

Label:
Meet our small batch Belgium-meets-Colorado thriller. It’s built with Colorado-grown malts and whole leaf hops, then fermented with a Belgian yeast. Luscious and balanced, it features pale malt flavors, layers of hops from start to finish, and spice notes.
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The aromas had some very interesting bready and somewhat exotic fruit aromas. I was able sense like a mango, guava, grapefruit, biscuit bread, honey, pineapple, bubble gum, slight banana, slight grassy and hoppy notes. The flavors are mostly sweeter than hoppy. Very nice honey, mango, papaya, orange, pineapple, guava, floral, bananas, peppercorns, biscuit bread, slight grapefruit, grassy and herbal hops near the end for some bitterness. This beer is more like a Belgian Pale that is almost at the Tripel borderline. Brings for light amount of bitterness with some nice fruit and bread forward. This was definitely awesome.

§ucaba (Abacus) 2013 Limited Release by Firestone Walker

625438_10101070283415420_515264557_nRating: 5.25/5

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

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

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

Smoke Lager by Surly Brewing

554522_10101004962738580_1660804613_nRating: 5/5

Smoke Lager by Surly Brewing is an 8.2% Baltic Porter. This is not an ale, it is cold brewed like other lagers. Yet… it is strong.

Label:
Ebony-hued, Smoke wafts out of the bottle and into your senses, borne on the wings of European traditions, wrapped in American innovation. Lager-brewed, like any true Baltic Porter, with smoked malts from Bamberg, Germany, the home of Rauchbiers, then mellowed by oak-aging. Black malt flavors mesh with notes of raisins, plums, figs and licorice with the subtle smoke on the side, for a complex and luxurious, yet silky smooth drinking experience. It’s a sipper at Alc. 8.2% by VOL., but everyone knows you can’t have Smoke without fire!
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Limited release from Surly brewing. Some of their stuff, like 3 Floyds is hard to find so to get something like this is really nice. The smell of this beer was of a nice roasted coffee, cloves, anise, bacon, banana, slight bitter dark chocolate, smoke campfire, cherry oak, toffee and vanilla. The flavors are really nice despite being a Rauchbier. Smoked Honey Glazed Pineapple ham, beef jerky almost, raisins, cherry, caramel, smokey campfire, oak, vanilla, toasted oats, dark chocolate, biscuit bread, figs, licorice, toffee and burnt sugar. This beer is almost like the took a porter, a German bock and a rauchbier and fused them together. Sweetness and smokiness combine to create a smoked beer that is quite unique from others I have had. LOL except maybe “Smoking wood” from The Bruery but that is another story in itself as that one is bourbon aged, higher ABV and more complex. I am surprised this one called a lager. Then again, lager brewing is done in colder temperatures where the flavors can be alittle bit more controlled. Regardless… Awesome job on this beer. Definitely recommended for even those that don’t like smoked beers.

Organic Gingerbread Ale by Bison Brewing

68911_10100950628080670_97443679_nRating: 4/5

Organic Gingerbread Ale by Bison Brewing is a 6%ABV Gingerbread spice ale brewed with Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon

Label:

Gingerbread Ale our spiced holiday porter is brewed with only a touch of spices for the aroma of fresh baked gingerbread men! The chewy dark malt flavors are sure to smooth out that dinner with the in-laws.
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The aromas on the beer are of cloves, gingerbread, cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe some pumpkin spice but it is not very fragrant. The flavors of this beer are not too strong. I can tell that there is some cinnamon, some ginger spice, a little bit of biscuit, ginger bread, some grainy cereal, faint chocolate and coffee, and somewhat of banana notes as well in the after taste. While this beer is not super overwhelming, it is still pretty good. Very drinkable and goes down well. Worthy of a taste although Sam Adams Merry Michief I think is a better alternative for the holiday season. Still, if you want a gingerbread beer that comes in a pack to share got get this one.