2017 Rumpkin by Avery Brewing Co.

 

 

Rating: 6/6
 
2017 Rumpkin by Avery Brewing Co. is a 16.9% ABV Imperial Pumpkin ale aged in Rum Barrels
 
Description:
Monstrous pumpkin ale full of spicy gourdiness, aged in fresh rum barrels.
Ultimate bliss of pumpkin ales… One for the books… One I haven’t had in years making a great comeback!!

Artwork Credit:
http://splashbrush.tumblr.com/

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Poterie (8th Anniversary Ale) by The Bruery

13466114_10103320748215920_5116442246417733530_nRating: 6/6

Poterie (8th Anniversary Ale) by The Bruery is a 16.8% ABV Old Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
This sturdy beer marks our eighth year, and we are grateful for the outpouring of community. Together may our supporters, our brewery and this beer grow in complexity and refinement over the years.

Our eighth anniversary ale, loosely brewed in the English-style Old Ale tradition using our house Belgian yeast strain then blended using the solera method for more complexity as the years go by. Poterie (Pottery) will age gracefully for decades when cellared properly.

==Introduction==
13418408_10103320747996360_2480020464695249951_o
Poterie or “Pottery” in French, in the traditional sense of the wedding anniversary gifts, refers to the 9th year in which Pottery, Copper or Leather Goods are given. I noticed that this year, they decided to skip Bronze/Salt which was the 8th entry as it may have been too close to Copper or Salt may not have been a good name, who knows. The beer was released in May 2016 and will be available to the public and many places where the Bruery beers are sold. Every year’s addition of the first ale to the new batch gives it another great layer of complexity as the original ale that is now 8 years old and the new young batch all together using the Solera method, as explained in the description, is that much more extraordinary. Every year since Fruet, their 4th Anniversary when I first tried their beers, I have anticipated each release anxiously. It is with great pleasure that I show you, the newest batch and the newest review of the Bruery’s Anniversary beer. Cheers!!

Aromas:
Almond joy, toasted coconut, flan, fruit cake, Cadbury Cream Eggs, Creme brulee, Tres Leches/Three Creams cake, sweetened condensed milk, toffee, butterscotch, nutmeg, clove spice, hazelnut nectar, Danish cream cookies, bananas, clove spice, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, oak, bourbon, burnt sugar, Dark Belgian candi sugars, burnt cane sugar, butterscotch, waffle cone, dark fruit, raisins, plums, cherries, raspberries, anise, chocolate truffles and chocolate mousse.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel and Milk Chocolate Cadbury Cream Egg fusions, Creme brulee, flan, vanilla, toasted coconut, marshmallows, chocolate truffles, bourbon, brown sugar, rocky road ice cream, Grilled Bananas, Tres Leches/Three Creams cake, sweetened condensed milk, toffee, butterscotch, nutmeg, clove spice, hazelnut nectar, Danish cream cookies, plantains, rye bread, chocolate cherry cordials, smores chocolate, fruit cake, mocha hints, Belgian Candi sugars, dark fruit raisins, plums, cherries, raspberries, chocolate mousse, waffle cone, capirotada raisin bread pudding, maple syrup, stone fruit peaches and cream, mango, and wild flower honey.

Aftertaste:
Rich flavorful finish of fruit cake, dark fruits, Cadbury cream eggs, dark cherries, bourbon, marshmallows, flan, vanilla, milk chocolate, raisin bread pudding, flan and cola hints. Some alcohol in the aftertaste but not detracting from the rich flavors. Dark crimson brown medium to full body, silky, smooth and creamy mouthfeel and sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Supreme of supremes as well. It seems in comparison to the Scotch barrel aged is that the Scotch one is better as there are subtle Scotch notes that would distinguish it. I feel this year beats last year as it makes more for a fruit cake and flan forward flavors along with the cadburry cream eggs and the dark fruit cherries. So much going on at different temperatures especially as this evolves. If you have yet to get any of the Bruery’s anniversary beers and you love heavy brews, you must do yourself a favor and get one. Cheers to the Bruery, us the fans and many more years of beers!
13443281_10103320748006340_7812827076846666121_o
Anime Corner:
As used in the Scotch Barrel Aged version of Poterie, Samus Aran from Nintendo’s Metroid series was used in this review as I wanted to pair with the colors of the label. The blues and oranges seem to stand out very well. Also, since I have done a trend on these using characters in body suits, I figured it was perfect. The Poterie aspect in the name works well too as in one of the artworks, her armor is like the color of pottery so her being inside the suit is like the beer being inside a ceramic vase. Definitely creative that is for sure. The complexity and flavors just mimic her character as well as she is both strong and her story is very deep. Now because this is the original base beer, I brought Ridley into the pairing as he stands being her nemesis but also an epic fight with Ridley show cases Samus strength and will.
13407333_10103320748031290_6568664538286986520_n
Sources:
http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/facebook/001/090/064/a4a.png
http://www.dailynintendo.nl/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/47139_metroid.jpg
http://livedoor.blogimg.jp/futabama/imgs/7/8/78926d88.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/3f/08/47/3f08473584310cb6797672285260f232.jpg

Peach Honey Wheat Ale by Brew Rebellion

13029717_10103215772862370_1203381800709438048_o 13055942_10103215767523070_7648361268787291303_oRating: 4.25/5

Peach Honey Wheat Ale by Brew Rebellion is a 6.5% ABV American Pale Wheat Ale with Peaches and Honey.

Label:
No Description.

==Introduction==

Obtained this one through a trade with my friend Neal from work for some of my homebrew. This is one I have seen before but had not had a chance to try it. It is a fruit heffeweizen with honey but unlike mines which is made with Black Cherries, this is made with peaches. One of the first concerns that I had when I originally brewed the beer back in last year was when it tasted kind of tart. This year, it is expected. So the only thing I can tell from this is that this beer, especially since peaches are tart, is that this will be a tart sour heff. Let’s see what this one is about. Cheers!

Aromas:
Honey notes, Funky and tart stone fruit peach, apricots, floral notes, wheat bread, coriander spice, clove spice, wine grape hints, lemon and cane sugar.

Flavors:
Tart Stone fruit Peach, apricots, cane sugar, honey, coriander hints, biscuit bread, wheat bread, citrus, tangerine candy, pineapple hints, wine grape notes, funky floral hints, banana, clove spice, passion fruit, peach cobbler hints, lemon hints and waffle cone.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with tart stone fruit peach notes, honey, floral notes, wine grape hints, wheat bread but mainly dry finish. No alcohol in the taste, honey colored amber light to medium body, crisp, clean and refreshing mouthfeel and an easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A very tart wheat beer that definitely stands out to more of a Berliner weisse with peaches and honey than sweet peach. The honey gets more noticeable as the beer warms up which helps balance the beer. It is definitely nice for those that enjoy sours and this one is delightful. Thanks again to my friend Neal for hooking me up with this brew.

Anime Corner:
Princes Peach Toadstool from Mario Bros. And Samus Aran from Metroid were used in this pairing as I wanted to pair with the name of the beer. Peach being the peach and Samus the honey. The goal I was going with this is that I have used Samus and honey when I made a double IPA last year so trying to find a character that related to honey to go along with Peach was definitely a task. Overall, I like how this one paired up.

Sources:
http://wallpaperswa.com/Games/Mario/mario_samus_aran_solid_snake_peach_princess_peach_1280x1079_wallpaper_1755/download_1600x1200
http://i1.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/facebook/001/000/209/2d1.png

Scotch Whisky Barrel Poterie (8th Anniversary Ale) by The Bruery

12734123_10103093365772160_2771905136595990578_n 12768326_10103093366805090_8500962716608825671_oRating: 6.25/7

Scotch Whisky Barrel Poterie (8th Anniversary Ale) by The Bruery is a 14.8% ABV Old Ale aged in Scotch Whisky Barrels.

Label:
This sturdy beer marks our eighth year, and we are grateful for the outpouring of community. Together may our supporters, our brewery and this beer grow in complexity and refinement over the years.

Our eighth anniversary ale, loosely brewed in the English-style Old Ale tradition using our house Belgian yeast strain. This edition was 100% aged in oak barrels that previously held Scotch Whisky, imparting a subtle smoky complexity. Poterie (Pottery) will age gracefully for decades when cellared properly.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Poterie is French for “pottery”, the traditional eight-year anniversary gift. Our eighth anniversary ale, Poterie, follows in the footsteps of our anniversary releases before it, which are loosely based on an English-style old ale and fermented with our house yeast strain. This edition was 100% aged in oak barrels that previously held Scotch, imparting a subtle smoky complexity to complement the robust flavors of toffee, caramel, dark fruit, vanilla and oak. Poterie will age gracefully for decades when cellared properly.

==Introduction==

An Anniversary beer this early in the year? What? And a variant no less. Poterie was originally released in January to Hoarders society members. Since they had some extras, it looks like they let Reserve society members have a crack at it. So since that was the case, I was able to bring it to the site. With limited releases of this variant, it would most likely need to be traded unless you buy it from an online site. Why this was released before the regular anniversary, I am not sure. However, it is what it is and I can’t wait to try this new spirit variant. Cheers!

Aromas:
Bananas, Clove spice, raspberry Chambord, maple syrup, graham crackers, brown sugar, Cadbury chocolate cream eggs, Dulce de leche caramel, raspberry Chambord, dark fruit raisins, plums, blueberries, smoked peat, piloncillo sugar cone, flan, marshmallows, fruit cake, pecan pie and sweet condensed milk.

Flavors:
Cadbury chocolate cream eggs, super rich dark fruit raisins, plums, blueberries, smoked peat, toasted coconut, bourbon, scotch whisky, rum notes, oak, chocolate truffle ice cream, Belgian candi sugars, burnt sugar, rich butterscotch, waffle cone, raspberry Chambord, maple syrup, graham crackers, brown sugars, bananas, plantains, molasses, chocolate mousee, capirotada raisin bread pudding, rye bread, port wine, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate cherry cordials, mocha hints, pecan pie, fruit cake, flan, marshmallows, toasted coconut, piloncillo sugar cone, burnt cane sugar, clove spice, nutmeg, hazelnut nectar, blueberry cheesecake and cookie dough ice cream.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with straight up darkfruits, caramels, smoked peat, blueberries, raspberries, vanilla, Scotch whisky hints, bourbon, fruit cake, marshmallow, coconut, and nutty aftertaste. Some alcohol in the aftertaste but not detracting from the rich flavors. Dark crimson brown medium to full body, silky, smooth and creamy mouthfeel and sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Supreme of Supremes!! I don’t know what it is about this brew that I like so much. The solera method they used over the years has seems to have created more complex flavors. It’s that or the fact that this is Scotch Whisky Barrel aged. Which I would assume it can only be the bourbon. I won’t know until I compare this to the regular bourbon anniversary one that comes out nearing May 2016. Either way, I am glad they decided to release this to Reserve Society members so I could bring it to the site and give you some information on it. Definitely highly recommended.

Anime Corner:
Samus Aran from Nintendo’s Metroid series was used in this review as I wanted to pair with the colors of the label. The blues and oranges seem to stand out very well. Also, since I have done a trend on these using characters in body suits, I figured it was perfect. The Poterie aspect in the name works well too as in one of the artworks, her armor is like the color of pottery so her being inside the suit is like the beer being inside a ceramic vase. Definitely creative that is for sure. The complexity and flavors just mimic her character as well as she is both strong and her story is very deep.

Sources:
http://favera.ru/img/2015/09/24/1062753_1443098138.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/7f/e9/fe/7fe9febe63bbaa4177af9f13b25e13ee.jpg

Light Speed by Toppling Goliath brewing

12493914_10103015431293480_6840085861719332601_o 1425799_10103015431617830_6463215712359127568_nRating: 4.95/5

Light Speed by Toppling Goliath brewing of Decorah Iowa is a 5.8% ABV American Pale Ale.

Label:
Made with Millennium and Falconer’s Flight Hops

This seasonal pale ale was crafted with a perfect mixture of Millennium hops and Falconer’s Flight blend. Inviting orange aroma and hints of lemon flavor in this medium-bodied beauty will make you want to drink yours at light speed!

==Introduction==

Previously known as Millennium Falcon, this beer screams sci-fi and star wars! Obtained this one while I was on my trip to Iowa on October 2015. When visiting Iowa, I wanted to bring a couple of beers with me for the site but seeing as I could not due to the fact that it could of cost me extra for the plane ride and I couldn’t risk them being damaged, my friend Steve was able to send me a package with these. This would technically be the last one on the box but would it be the best? Well, it is Toppling goliath and the previous Pale Ale I tried was ridiculously awesome. Let’s see what this one has to offer.

Aromas:
Lemon Candy, tropical fruit mango, papaya, kiwi, honey dew melon, dragon fruit, raspberry, strawberry, Citrus, herbal, piney, grapefruit and grassy hops, Stone fruit peach, apricot, lychee, cherries, blue berries, orange peel, lemon peel, starburst and gummy bear hints.

Flavors:
Citrus, herbal, piney, grapefruit and grassy hops, orange peel, lemon peel, starburst, pepper corn, lemon candy, tropical fruit barrage of mango, papaya, kiwi, honey dew melon, dragon fruit, raspberry, strawberry, biscuit bread, Stone fruit peach, apricot, lychee, cherries, blue berries, Danish cream, green tea ice cream and gummy bears.

Aftertaste:
Lots of tropical fruit, stone fruit to the finish with some biscuit bread sweetness, herbal, grassy and grapefruit hop bitterness. No alcohol in the taste, Hazy Golden body, crisp, refreshing and smooth mouthfeel with very easy drinkability.

Overall:
A very delicious Pale Ale. Might not be as extravagant as Pseudo Sue, but this is still very delicious. I think this one was more on the grassy herbal forward side than the sweeter tropical fruit side although the flavors of stone fruit and tropical fruits were there. Pseudo Sue did have more tropics forward and I enjoy that better, just my preference. Either way, a definite recommend for Starwars/Scifi and/or Hop fans.

Anime Corner:
Samus Aran from Nintendo’s Metroid series, Jaba the Hut and an original artwork were used in this pairing as I felt it was good to use with some Sci-Fi characters, especially star wars. The Millennium Falcon name was homage and so that is why I got Samus to be Leia in this pairing. The original character was used as well since I wanted to pair with the colors of the label. Overall, I thought it be nice to do a tribute.

Sources:
http://img01.deviantart.net/5974/i/2015/306/4/1/samus_undercover_mission_by_karosu_maker-d9fb3cg.jpg
https://cdn0.artstation.com/p/assets/images/images/000/177/176/small/zhenya-chung-syncmax-1.jpg?1408792660

2014 Tequila Barrel Aged Mexican Cake by West Brook brewing (Halloween Review)

12096022_10102889106743890_4040101086858097951_n 12194605_10102889107257860_2160969544030741492_o 12049517_10102889107886600_7877849483527145356_nRating: 7/7

2014 Tequila Barrel Aged Mexican Cake by West Brook brewing is a 10.5% ABV World Class Imperial Stout aged in cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon, habanero peppers and aged 12 months in Tequila Barrels

Label:
Bottled 8/15/2014
Way back in December 2011 , they brewed 1st Anniversary beer – a serious imperial stout aged on cocoa nibs, vanila beans, cinnamon sticks , and fresh habanero peppers. It was so delicious to bring it back once each year and age it for 12 months in oak barrels.

¡Salud!

==Introduction==

Been meaning to try this beer for ages! The original Mexican was soooo good but all of them were always over priced and to some degree over hyped. Maybe it was me but I really wanted to try this one. Long behold we reach 2015 and I was able to finally land one of these for a decent price. Needless to say, splurging on something like this would be ridiculous but since I wanted it and it was at the right price, I got it. This is the first time I try a beer from Westbrook as well so definitely an honor for sure. I have tried so few Tequila barrel aged beers and so few chocolate abuelita beers but the closest I’m sure comes close to this is the Xocoveza Extra Añejo. So without further ado, here it goes. Salud!

Aromas:
Mild habanero, ancho and guajillo chiles, roasted coffee, marshmallows, piloncillo sugar cone Tequila, Agave lechugilla, mezcal, sangria vampiro, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, hazelnut nectar, dark fruit raisins, prunes, currants, blackberries, blueberries, figs, dark cherries, dates, Khalua liqueur, waffle cone, mocha, molasses, Champurrado, Molé hints, pan dulce, milk sugar, ginger bread, crème brulee, flan, sweetened condensed milk, fruit cake, Dark and milk chocolate fudge cake.

Flavors:
Rich Chocolate Abuelita, Tequila, Agave lechugilla, mezcal, charred oak, Cinnamon, Capirodatada Raisin bread pudding, fruit cake, Dark and milk chocolate fudge cake, dark cherries, dark fruits like raisins, prunes, currants, blackberries, blueberries, figs, dates, ginger bread, crème brulee, flan, sweetened condensed milk, Khalua liqueur, waffle cone, mocha, molasses, Champurrado, earthy notes, clove spice, grilled platanitos/bananas, churros, sangria vampiro, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, hazelnut nectar, leche, mild habanero, ancho and guajillo chiles, roasted coffee, marshmallows, piloncillo sugar cone, pan dulce, milk sugar and Molé hints.

Aftertaste:
Rich Dark chocolate, cinnamon, pumpkin notes, mild pepper spice, chocolate abuelita, tequila, mezcal, agave, mocha, vanilla, oak, dulce de leche caramel, earthy raisin bread and coffee. No alcohol in the taste, dark abyss full body, very smooth, creamy, silky, velvety and mildly syrupy and a drinkability that is ridiculously easy. Careful not to finish the bottle in one sitting.

Overall:
It definitely feels like a bucket list kind of beer. As ridiculous as this is, I am really pleased I got this. Funny thing is, the spices are not in the heat but allow for a Mexican style that fits similar to how Molé is made with chile and chocolate. There are only a hand full of beers that really deserve the title a World Class and this rarity gets the one of the highest rating for it. My expectations were really blown away and maybe it is worth what the hype is about. I may have not tried the original but the Tequila variant to me especially a year aged is like a dream come true. So yes, I highly recommend this version especially since the Tequila barrel aging just adds that cherry on top of the already awesome cake to truly make, Mexican! Ahuevo Cabrones! Busquenlo!

Anime Corner:
Dia de Los Muertos Samus Aran from Metroid and Vocaloid Hatsune Miku were used in this pairing for several reasons. You can already see some aspects of Mexican themes like dia de los muertos. The Guns Samus carries would be like those Mexican revolvers, you know, to vary it up a bit. She is in the theme. Also, why did I choose Miku for this pairing? 2 reasons. The first being that I used the picture of Miku on her side with the plugsuit representing the first tequila barrel aged beer I tried from Cupaca (Tequila Barrel aged Barleywine back in 2010) and barrel aging process but second, since she played a well known Mexican song called La Bikina (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqIugY6pk0c) so I know already she will work. Also, she has so much of the blue agave colors which pair with what tequila is made but also the colors of the beer. So the singing then ties to the 3rd drawing where she has the acoustic guitar. So much tequila goodness and so much sweetness from art and flavor experiences!

Sources:
http://i1292.photobucket.com/albums/b580/qinchao1204/chuyin%2012/wwwafterschoolsyscom-938.jpg~original
http://fashionablygeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/dead_Upload.jpg
http://static.zerochan.net/Hatsune.Miku.full.1518790.jpg

Blå Spøg Else collaboration by Mikkeller and Three Floyds

12034420_10102849580260280_3267370887212404091_o 12122471_10102849580938920_2136938409145135943_n 12079864_10102849581492810_5058367464597253386_oRating: 5.25/6

Blå Spøg Else collaboration by Mikkeller and Three Floyds is a 7.7% ABV Blueberry Lambic aged in Oak Barrels.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
The newest addition to the ever expanding collaboration brew list. Once again arm in arm with our FFF brothers. Blå Spøgelse, paving the way with its blueberry and oak barrel action, will knock you right off your feet.

==Introduction==

Been looking for this beer for 2 years! Blå Spøgelse or ‘Blue ghost’, just like when Pacman collects the large pill and the ghosts turn blue. This beer is essentially a major tribute to Pacman and as such, was one of the reasons I wanted to bring it forward to the website as it represents a great deal to the Video Game Community along with the Craftbeer community. Many adults in this age will recognize that retro label for sure. Especially those that love sours. Mikkeller and Three Floyds are not your average players in the craft beer industry but are definitely high in the popular craft chain just like The Bruery, Stone, Russian River and even Firestone Walker in California. So anyway, the fact that this beer is finally here, let’s take a look and get READY! To chomp on… umm…. try some delicious beer Insert Pacman Theme Paku Paku Paku Paku!

Aromas:
Dark fruits raisins, plums, tart raspberry, stone fruits like apricots, sour wine grapes, blueberries, flowers like hibiscus, chamomile, lavender, roses, oak, vanilla, caramel, Blueberry yogurt, Blueberry cheese cake hints, lemon hints and funky notes.

Flavors:
Blueberry yogurt, Blueberry cheese cake, vanilla, oak, hibiscus, lavender, wine grapes, port wine notes, tart blackberries, dark fruit raisins, plums figs, hints of Danish cream sweetness, banana hints, Belgian phenolic notes, funky notes, rich lemons and lemon peel, Stone fruit tart apricots, Concorde grapes, blueberry cobbler hints, tart green apples, blueberry pie, pecan pie, brown sugar, piloncillo sugar cone, marshmallow hints, anise, hints of chocolate, mushrooms, vegetable hints and sangria mezcal grape hints.

Aftertaste:
Finishing dry with creamy cheese cake or blueberry pie sweetness but over super sour tart blueberries, raspberries, vanilla, stone fruit, oak and dark fruit. No alcohol in the taste, Super purple and magenta full body, creamy, effervescent, crisp and refreshing mouthfeel, sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A sour but a sour pushing some boundaries. A lot of the extra credit for this beer came in especially from the way they were able to balance it out with some complex sweetness as this is not your typical sour. While the sourness is the forefront of the beer, the other half is taken over by a complex fruitiness and and dessert like characteristics. Glad I was able to find it after a 2 year search! Essentially, it took them a while to brew it and have be brought here to the states. Go find this one online before it is gone for sure! If you love sours, this is awesome!

Anime Corner:
Samus Aran from Metroid, Ky Kyske & Sol Badgirl from Guilty gear, Lucina from Fire Emblem and even PacMan himself all pair with this unique beer as a tribute to Pacman. Samus represents Pacman in this pairing as it looks like she is traveling through corridors of light and darkness like Pacman would. She has the same hair color as pacman and blue for blueberries. Ky represents Pacman and Sol the Ghosts in the pacman games and finally, Pacman himself with Lucina representing the blueberries. Overall, Pacman beer tribute complete!

Sources:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/ed/d2/7c/edd27ccfc65b1cc96d657eb442a62e56.jpg
http://konachan.com/image/0ce5476e8e38f8d5942e514028b21151/Konachan.com%20-%2024049%20cosplay%20guilty_gear%20ky_kiske%20sol_badguy.jpg
http://i3.pixiv.net/img-original/img/2014/10/02/23/23/08/46313650_p0.jpg

Pumpkin Spice Milk Stout by Belching Beaver

12029775_10102824660978720_1911309553480354729_o 12037949_10102824663329010_7429984166961928221_nRating: 4.45/5

Pumpkin Spice Milk Stout by Belching Beaver is a 5.3% ABV Sweet/Milk Stout brewed with Pumpkin spices.

Label:
It’s all about the Beaver
We came out with this beer when we first opened in 2012; our first derivative of our Nitro “Beaver’s Milk” stout and people loved it. Everyone, but the brewers. The spices were clogging up the nitro spouts. We were constantly cleaning them. Troy would not make it the same again the following year. So now you know what I have to deal with. It’s always production verse sales. Dave and I love the beer and wanted it back. So basically this year, I pre-sold some rather larger accounts, I’m just sneaky that way. So we have to make it now, and we did. Hints of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, you know, Pumpkin Pie! – Tom

==Introduction==

Belching Beavers has been one of those awesome breweries that has really nailed the aspect beer and beer flavors almost to the T in taste. The Peanut Butter Milk Stout has been a super favorite for my friends Oscar and Julio for the longest time. Our trip earlier even justified it with their brewery only release of the Milk coconut stout. Since then, I have reviewed other beers like the Me So Honey, Great Lei IPA and the Me So Honey, All great beers. So now that they released this Fall offering, it was obvious I wanted to bring this one to the site as well. This is the first pumpkin beer I review this year. I have reviewed many of the best in the craft beer world and hold Belching Beaver to high standards but still going non biased, I will try this one and see where it stands in my many pumpkin beer reviews. Cheers!

Aromas:
Chocolate, coffee cake hints, mild pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice, clove spice, ginger spice, mint, marshmallows, anise, licorice hints, dark chocolate, milk chocolate,pumpkin pie, roasted malts, milk sugar, pumpkin spice latte, citrus, vanilla, caramel and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Pumpkin, candy corn, mint, anise, licorice hints, dark chocolate, milk chocolate,pumpkin pie, marshmallow hints, roasted malts, milk sugar, pumpkin spice latte, vanilla, caramel, ginger spice, ginger bread, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove spice, banana hints, citrus, Danish cream hints, buttermilk crust hints, brown sugar, citrus and coffee cake hints.

Aftertaste:
Pumpkin spice, earthy notes, vanilla, cinnamon, roasted malt notes, milk sugar, dark chocolate and mint. No alcohol in the the tastes, dark full body, creamy, smooth and silky mouthfeel and an easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A very good Pumpkin beer for sure but even while it does lean toward the pumpkin spiced milk lattes in a way, it unfortunately does not exceed my expectations in terms of some of the other pumpkin beers I have had before. What can I say, I’m a Picky Pumpkin Eater/Drinker. It is still the delicious Belching Beaver type of beer many love which I really do but I come from a background where pumpkin beers actually taste like actual pumpkin pie, pumpkin flesh, or rich pumpkin in Mexican pilloncillo and, milk and cinnamon stick, like the kind of desserts my mom used to make. I’m looking at my all time faves, Smashing Pumpkin by Shipyard. I have to be fair though because this is not strictly a pumpkin beer and it actually falls more with the pumpkin stouts and porters. The best one of those styles was the Midnight Sun T.R.E.A.T. Still though, this is a delicious little minty pumpkin pie milk stout and as that, it is very good so I recommend it even worth the try.

Anime Corner:
Samus Aran from Metroid makes her way to this Halloween pairing. Reason I wanted to pair Samus with this beer is because pumpkins and she has many delicious pumpkins. That and this is the first time I try a Halloween pairing with Samus anyway. The beer and the art says how good the beer is that you will want to leave that candy pumpkin glass dry!

Sources:
http://pre08.deviantart.net/561c/th/pre/f/2014/300/1/c/halloween_by_splashbrush-d84e3tt.jpg
http://img08.deviantart.net/ad07/i/2014/266/c/d/sweater_samus_by_splashbrush-d80a8vz.jpg

Ground Control by Ninkasi Brewing Company

11175026_10102532087797720_8447991351314195574_n 11168028_10102532089125060_1676763492614523542_o 11674_10102532090302700_1502554317347205278_n 11127041_10102532090637030_2262761749053563897_nRating: 5.85/5

Ground Control by Ninkasi Brewing Company is a 10% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Oregon Hazelnuts, Star Anise, Cocoa Nibs and Ale Yeast Sent Into Space!

Label:
NSP (Ninkasi Space Program)
Born from a relentless pursuit for innovation, this limited release Ninkasi Space Program beer is brewed with yeast that went into space and back.

Seven years after we started brewing in Oregon, we decided the sky was not the limit. One year, two rockets and
countless lab hours later, we successfully launched a payload of brewer’s yeast into outer space with the help of rocket
scientists. After a much awaited return to Earth, the mission of creating space beer is now complete.

Ground Control boldly combines local and out-of-this-world ingredients. This rich, complex Imperial Stout is brewed
with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise and cocoa nibs, and fermented with an Ale yeast that survived a trip to space and back.
Mankind will enjoy the sweet finesse of this beer that only fares better with time.

Beer Stats
• Name: Ground Control
• Style: Imperial Stout
• Packaging: 22oz. Bottles, Draft
• Enjoyed Since: 2015
• Date Available: April 13, 2015
• OG: 1100
• IBU: 80
• ABV: 10.0%
• Malt: 2-Row Pale, Black, Chocolate, Munich, Crystal, Honey,
Special Roast, Peated
• Hops: Apollo, Bravo, Comet
• Special Ingredients: Oregon Hazelnuts, Star Anise, Cocoa Nibs
http://nsp.ninkasibrewing.com/assets/Press/NSP-Ground-Control-Fact-Sheet-0326.pdf

==Introduction==

The Metroid/Yeast is in captivity… The Galaxy Hops are at peace [Since they were not included]… To boldly go where no yeast has gone before… and new hope in brewing, from the dark side with the force of space… The Final Frontier!! I bring forth, a brew from none like any other… a brew who’s yeast took a long field trip into space and has returned, brewed and tells a store. The space alien colony that has fermented this dark liquid brings forth a flavor from its new explorations. Whether this is a gimmick or not, Space and SciFi fans rejoice! Let’s explore the darkness of eternal ether… get ready to Blast off!!

Aromas:
Rich dark chocolate, coffee notes, mocha, anise, molasses, licorice, vanilla, caramel, tobacco hints, mint chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, oreo cookies, rich cocoa nibs, milk chocolate, oak notes, pecan pie, walnuts, earthy hop notes, dragon fruit notes, toffee, cinnamon, candi sugar, rock candy, star burst hints, chocolate abuelita, rye bread, tobacco, leather, and banana notes.

Flavors:
Rich Dark chocolate, clove spice, anise, mint chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, oreo cookies, rich cocoa nibs, milk chocolate, oak notes, mild bourbon notes, vanilla, caramel, smokey notes, rich dark fruit raisins, plums, dark cherries, rich coffee notes, mocha, hazelnut nectar, peanut butter hints, pecan pie, walnuts, earthy hop notes, dragon fruit notes, toffee, cinnamon, candi sugar, rock candy, star burst hints, chocolate abuelita, rye bread, tobacco, leather, banana notes, phenolic notes, stone fruit apricots, coriander spice, ginger bread notes and espresso.

Aftertaste:
Rich dark fruits, hazelnut nectar, mocha coffee, dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, anise, molasses, earthy notes, vanilla and caramel linger for while. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV, Pitch Black Hole body, Silky, syrupy, smooth, creamy and velvety mouth feel, easy to drink despite the ABV.

Overall:
Exceeding my expectations for beer. This really reminded me of the W00tSt0ut from Stone but also like Black Xantus but then also has some hidden Belgian Stout characters in there. The beer is delicious regardless of balance or what not. It is freaking way more than what the ABV shows it almost with a Dark Lord syrupy mouth feel. You can almost cut this one like you would a dessert. Is it worth the 20$ just to say you had a beer made in Space? Maybe, but I would really want to see what from what I tasted in the flavors actually contributed from it’s space voyage! I’m sure “Gravity” (ABV/Sugar measurements) has drastically changed due to a change in thinning atmosphere and low gravity. Who knows, but I really damn well enjoyed this one regardless.

Anime Corner:
Samus Aran from Metroid , the bad ass space bounty hunter is back to represent some space black gold here. When it comes to space and adventuring the universe, not many characters come close to space exploration like Samus does, (except maybe KOS-MOS) but to get to the real nitty gritty of space, Samus does it. Her colors as well as her Varia Space suit go well with complimenting the colors and the label of the beer. She has successfully gone to space and back on many missions. The vial colony of yeast can be represented in the baby metroid she brought to the space station in Super Metroid for the SNES. So yeah, pretty bad ass.

Sources:
http://i4.pixiv.net/img-original/img/2015/03/20/12/00/36/49372667_p0.png
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/6c/d8/ae/6cd8ae2fc59e8fcb9bddd40f5105a0bc.jpg
http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/170/4/7/samus_by_jimbo0311-d542a9j.jpg
http://freezeex.deviantart.com/art/Samus-Badass-Bounty-Hunter-411542716

Space Cake by Clown Shoes brewing

10991627_10102418279994470_7886925998679780850_o 10995811_10102418280518420_6290743737411094572_oRating: 5/5

Space Cake by Clown Shoes brewing is a 9% ABV Double India Pale Ale.

Label:
Why are Miracle Mike and his dog, Bionic, being chased by many evil laser beam shooting cupcakes and two giant layer cake mother ships? Because we’re straight lunatic fools? Well, maybe, but with a few brains cells remaining we managed to craft Space Cake double IPA, utilizing citrusy Mosaic hops and an immaculate West Coast style malt backbone. Dude… Chill out. Enjoy some Space Cake.

==Introduction==

I finally got around to bringing this one for a review. I had tried this one on draft last year but did not get a chance to get a bottle of this one until recently. From what I can remember, this IPA was very good introducing fair amounts of tropics. Later this year, they will be released a California exclusive one of this which will be like a session (lower alcohol) version. There is also the Lemon one but that is unfortunately out of my reach. Maybe in a future released. So why space cake? Maybe it is due to the fruity flavors that made it like a dessert. It is hard to remember as I did not get a chance to analyze this one all the way, until today. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich citrus, grapefruit, piney, grassy, floral, herbal hops, tropical fruits like mango,pine apple, papaya, oranges, lemon peel, honey dew melon, dragon fruit, passion fruit, cherries, citrus and tangerine preserves on rye.

Flavors:
Grapefruit, citrus, piney, grassy, floral and mild herbal hops, old mango, pineapple, papaya, dragonfruit, passion fruit, honey dew melon, oranges, cocoa nib hints, cherries, Strawberries, raspberries, Sweetened condensed milk, biscuit bread, toffee, caramel, vanilla, Tangerine preserves on toasted buttery rye bread, orange gummy bears, stone fruit apricots, peaches, lychees and faint hint of cherry chocolate cake?

Aftertaste:
Citrus, tropical fruits, stone fruits, vanilla, caramel biscuit bread, toffee, cocoa nib hints, hoppy, grapefruit and herbal hops. No alcohol in the taste, creamy, smooth, crisp and refreshing mouthfeel, orange amber light to medium body and easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
There is some crazy malty component to this beer that reminds me of a dessert for some reason. After trying over and over, I can only conclude so much but still wonder if the name Space Cake wasn’t just a pun and they managed to make an IPA who’s sweetness starts to transcend into a dessert like chocolate cherry cake…nah! Well… maybe. I really don’t know. Maybe it is up to you to decide this one but I can definitely agree, this one is kind of unique and definitely recommend it.

Anime Corner:
Samus Aran from Nintendo’s Metroid series was used in this pairing to pair with the label of space and the space cake aspect. Samus is with the metroid hatchling which is the one from Super Metroid that considered her a mother. Maybe the bond they had is similar to the dude on the label and his dog. Either way, I tried to get it as close to space related as possible. Samus strength is represented by the ABV and hop character but the sweetness of cake is who she is inside the suit and as a person. Very sweet and caring but when it comes to hunting evil aliens trying to eradicate civilizations, well someone has to be the word of justice in the universe.

Sources:
http://www.zerochan.net/full/309859
http://luigiix.deviantart.com/art/Zero-Suit-Samus-505527148

2014 Bourbon Barrel Aged Magnificat by Monkish brewing

10850301_10102225117294070_7403981009477901996_nRating: 6/5

2014 Bourbon Barrel Aged Magnificat by Monkish brewing is a 12.6% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Holiday/Christmas Ale brewed with holiday spices and aged in bourbon barrels.

Description:
Following the traditions of Belgian Noel beers, Magnificat is our first offering of a Christmas beer. Like a Belgian-style strong dark or quadruple ale, this dark beer has a rich, silky malt profile of caramel and roasted malts, rye, and oats, and reveals complementary accents of dark stone fruits and spices from our Belgain yeast. And to create that liquid-Christmas experience, the beer is spiced with clover honey, sweet and orange peels, coriander seed, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Aged in bourbon barrels for 10 months.

==Introduction==

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all in the world. Another year is almost done and more beers to come for next year. Monkish Brewing in Torrance has released it’s, what I believe is, first bourbon barrel aged beer for Christmas. Only 50 cases of this was released to the public so if you want to get your hands on this winter warmer of a quad like dessert, visit them for sure. For being one of those breweries that is specifically inspired by the awesome works of Belgian beers, this is an awesome brewery. Cheers to another year of beers and have a Merry Christmas. Here is to you and your loved ones, Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich Dulce de leche caramel, fruit cake, vanilla, hazelnut, pecan pie, coconut cream, toffee, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, dark cherries, chocolate cherry cordials, brown sugar, molasses, anise hints, banana, clove spice, coriander spice, pumpkin spice, ginger spice, ginger bread, all spice, nutmeg, stone fruit peaches, applies, red velvet cake, Danish cream cookies, port wine hints, marshmallow chocolate smores, almond joys and dark chocolate.

Flavors:
Rich dulce de leche caramel,oak barrel forward, bourbon, vanilla, flan, cinnamon, rich fruit cake, chocolate cherry cordials, rye bread, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, dark cherries, almond joy chocolate, maple syrup, coconut, marshmallow, dark chocolate smores, hazelnut, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, bananas, clove spice, allspice, nutmeg, red velvet cake, Danish cream cookies, waffle cone, milk sugars, rock candy, candi sugar, burnt sugars, key lime pie, stone fruit peaches, apricot, apples, coriander spice, ginger bread, molasses, anise hints, brown sugar, toffee, port wine hints, leather notes and tobacco hints.

Aftertaste:
Holiday spices like allspice, nutmeg, bananas, bourbon, pecan pie, dark fruit, fruit cake, gionger bread and bourbon. Some alcohol in the taste but not detracting from the flavors, sipping drinkability, syrupy and creamy mouthfeel and dark crimson full body.

Overall:
Holy cow! This almost feels like drinking a Bruery Barrel Aged beer, like the Black Tuesday. This beer was quite unexpected as I was not sure how much bourbon and oak barrel character I would get and even enough to see if it would have a dramatic effect on the original magnificat. Damn, was I surprised. The richness I would expect from drinking some very epic bourbon barrel beers is right here but the fact that this one is a holiday beer and a Belgian one at that changes the direction this one goes to. IT goes into an awesome holiday direction. It is understandable that this one is limited but this one is one that would do extremely well with age. This is their strongest beer yet at Monkish and is one I truly enjoyed. If you can somehow find this one or if they still have it by the time you read this, get it. Even at 20$ I think it was all the while worth it.

Anime Corner:
Samus Aran from Nintendo’s Metroid series was chosen in this pairing since I wanted to show a Christmas time anime character. However, due to the fact that this was bourbon barrel beer, I had to bring forth a bad ass yet sexy bounty hunter santa. Samus pairs well with the colors since this beer’s label is very bright and colorful pairing with the colors of her original Zero suit but also the background. The light reds and colors of the Christmas lights also pairs with her and the Metroid hiding behind the Christmas bag. The beer is as strong as complex as her character in the variety of Metroid games but she was also one I used with Founder’s KBS. A great pairing to end the 2014 Christmas year.

Sources:
http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/237404-1000×1200-metroid-samus+aran-kuroma+%28atapi%29-long+hair-tall+image-light+erotic.jpg

2014 Kentucky Breakfast Stout by Founders Brewing

10153857_10101765853442510_4347200059704568674_n 10172866_10101765854375640_3467829471452274012_n 10154216_10101765854969450_6614526836256076940_n 10170991_10101765855548290_8884167648525842387_nRating: 6/5

2014 Kentucky Breakfast Stout by Founders Brewing is an 11.2% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with chocolate and coffee and aged in oak Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
The Amazing Kosmicki’s
Highly Acclaimed KBS
A Flavored Stout is good for everything a flavored stout ought to be Good For.
___

Considered by Beeradvocate.com as the 5th best beer in the world (April 2014). An extremely special thanks to my great friend Aaron at www.beermetaldude.com for hooking me up with a limited and highly sought after beer that pretty damn near impossible to get around California. Highly rated and one that I’ve had in my list of most wanted to try. Story goes that this beer is actually aged in a cave in whiskey barrels. Something about this makes it, I guess adventurous for the most part. Let us see how glamorous the hype is.

Aromas:
Damn, the difference in complexity of the Bourbon is very complex. Not just the typical bourbon here. This in fact blends so well with the chocolate rainbow I get of the milk, dark, sweet, bakers, fudge, and chocolate shake along with aromas rocky road ice cream, prailine, chocolate mousse, marshmallows, smores, waffle cone, brown sugar, flan, sweetened condensed milk, oak, dark fruits like plums, cherries, raisins, dulce de leche caramel, mocha coffee, espresso, vanilla, toffee, cocoa, maple, molasses, honey and lots of other great sweet aromas.

Flavors:
Milk, dark, sweet, bakers, fudge chocolate, chocolate milk shake, coconut, vanilla, oak, maple syrup, honey, rye whiskey, bourbon, almond joy, flan, toffee, mocha, cherries, choco flan, dark fruits like raisins, plums, black currants, sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, waffle cone, marshmallows, rocky road ice cream, pecan pie, prailine, hazelnut, dulce de leche carame, molasses, cocoa pebbles cereal, chocolate mousse, crème brulee, frappuccino, pancho pantera milk shake, rye toast, chocolate funnel cake and more. I have to stop there as trying to keep up with the complexity was quite the task and well, just like some of the best beers I have reviewed on this site, this is very damn well made.

Aftertaste:
Lingering complexities of the chocolate mocha coffee, waffle cone, bourbon vanilla, oak and roasted notes. No alcohol in the flavors, sipping yet damn smooth with a full body making this one of those beers that is dangerous since you want to keep drinking a lot of this, but just take your time with this one.

Overall:
Damn Damn Damn!! It’s like Firestone Parabola with coffee and well a more complex Black Xantus but you somehow got all the uniqueness of the barrel and sweet flavors of the chocolate and the fancy coffee all are exceptional and exceed my expectations greatly. This is definitely on par with the best beers in the world and rightfully so along with the beers I have tried that blew me away. Not one thing takes form the other and it is balanced out very well. This is damn delicious and well I can’t thank Aaron enough for this great beer. Highly highly HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

Anime Corner:
The one and only, powerful bounty hunter, Samus Aran from Metroid was used in this pairing for several reasons. First, the cave aging brings me back to the days of Metroid and the subterrania that she had to explore killing aliens and obtaining powers. This beer is quite the cavernous adventure and just as such deserves an unleashing at the complexities of not just the cave aging but the what Samus has to offer. Yes, under that bad ass Varia sweet is a warm hearted yet very mind strong and and powerful lady (alcohol, complexity, ABV%). I had no other choice but to choose such a bad ass character. She partially pairs with the label colors as some of her Varia suit compliment. She is definitely hard to get as she is always lost in space claiming the next bounty. She has visited the site as she has with some of my other beers, but specifically pointing out such great characteristics of her very damn well compliment this world class beer. See You Next Mission!

By the way Nintendo Fans, I approve of her bad ass new look and high heel speed boosters!

Bone Warmer by Grand Teton Brewing

1488046_10101539042204050_609663904_n 1453311_10101539042528400_225505053_nRating: 4.5/5

Bone Warmer by Grand Teton Brewing is an 8.2% ABV Imperial Amber/Red Ale

Sleeve Description: 
2013 marks the 25th anniversary of Grand Teton Brewing. In celebration, we’re bringing back three of our favorite styles for this year’s Cellar Reserves. Bonewarmer Imperial Amber was first brewed in 2006 and sold out faster than any other beer we’ve made. Bone Warmer, brewed in the “strong ale” tradition, is a beer of great character, with exceptional malt flavor and warming alcohol content.

Historically, brewers often drew three different runs from the same barley mash. The first, used for strong ale or “best beer,” had the most flavor, color and fermentable sugars, and produced beer with the most alcohol. The second was used for a less strong “table beer,” and the third, a lighter and cheaper “small beer.”

Our Bone Warmer is brewed the same way, using only the first runnings from an extraordinarily thick, strong mash of Idaho 2-Row Metcalfe and Harrington barley malt, along with dark German Munich and caramel malts. We subtly spiced it with Idaho Chinook hops, fermented it at cool temperatures and cold-conditioned it for smoothness and drinkability.

The resulting ale is the color of roasting chestnuts. It is voluptuously malty and only slightly sweet- with a hint of toffee and a warming dry finish. It’s an ideal accompaniment to rich meaty stews, wild game, roasted fowl or root vegetables, and aged cheddars.
___

This beer peeked my interest a couple of times at the store but I never got around to grabbing it until I saw it a second time. I love winter warmers and holiday beers so I figured, what the hell, why not. I haven’t tried Grand Teton stuff in a long time so I figure I was over due to come back and try some of this brewery’s great beers. I have yet to have a bad experience from any of the beers I have tried form them so far. Hell, they are the ones to made Black Cauldron Stout, one of my favorites. 

Aromas:
Lots of toffee, caramel, nuts, plums, raisins, subtle earthy hops, fruit cake, apple notes, apricot nints, cantaloupe, biscuit bread, maple syrup, toasted rye bread notes, brown sugar, honey and mild berry notes 

Flavors:
Caramel, toffee, fruit cake, dark fruits like raisins and plums, hazelnut, apples, walnuts, earthy notes, toasted rye bread with blackberry preserve notes, biscuit bread, ginger bread, pecan pie notes, nutmeg, oak notes, maple, marshmallows and spices

Aftertaste:
Finishing off with rich caramel notes, fruit cake, ginger bread, dark fruit and spices, this beer is quite in the holiday spirit. 

Overall:
A very good amber that generally is peeking into the Winter warmer direction. The fact that there is a lot of holiday spices is definitely what makes I closer to the winter warmer category. While it may not be the end all be all of winter warmers or amber ales for that matter, it is definitely a very delicious brew and one that should be obtained for the holidays if you are still able to find it.

Anime Corner:
Samus Aran and Krystal from Nintendo are used in this pairing along with Coco from Crash Bandicoot. While it is not obvious as to why I chose them, I will explain. For the label aspect, the color of the dog and the blue rug and chimney compliment Krystal, Samus and Coco’s suit. While Samus is not a dog, she has some colors that fit the blond color of the dog as so does Coco. The winter warmer or bone warmer aspect might be an innuendo really. With a warm and sunset evening, if Samus and Krystal had a kid, could it look like Coco? Well, in a weird way, that is essentially what I was going for. You can also say that when love is in the air or when the winter comes, one wants to keep warm and stay close.