2017 Tart of Darkness with Raspberry and Cacao by The Bruery Terreux

Rating: 6/6

2017 Tart of Darkness with Raspberry and Cacao by The Bruery Terreux is a 7.1% ABV American Sour Stout aged in oak with Raspberries, Cacao Nibs and Vanilla Beans.

Label:
VELVETY – Chocolatey – Ripe

==Introduction==

Released to Reserve and Preservation societies, the Bruery brings a new variant of the Tart of Darkness brew. Since the release of the original, this Sour Stout has been very good on its own but the variants seem elevated to new flavor heights. Like when they released the Cherry and vanilla one, it was way better than the original. While I personally loved the Jolly Pumpkin’s Sour Stout Madrugada Obscura more than the original Tart of Darkness, the variants from the Bruery I like those as much or a little more. Now with cacao and raspberries, this new variant seems very promising, especially since I’m a nut for raspberries. Let’s have a look at this one, cheers!

Aromas:
Earthy notes, musty sour funk, Chambord Raspberry Liqueur, dark chocolate, wine grapes, vanilla, dark fruits, milk chocolate, oak, pecan pie, coffee, flan, rye bread, piloncillo sugar cone, fruit cake, stone fruit apricots, plums and sweetened condensed milk.

Flavors:
Chocolate Raspberry Cordials, Tart wine grapes, Chocolate wine, dark fruit raisins, plums, prunes, currants, raspberries, dark cherries, pomegranates, stone fruit apricots, mango, vanilla, oak, fruit cake, raspberry pie, pecan pie, coffee, flan, earthy notes, musty sour funk, pepper notes, raspberry cheesecake, milk chocolate, rich dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, German chocolate, Sweetened condensed milk, raspberry yogurt, toasted coconut mild mocha notes, rocky road ice cream notes, Chambord Raspberry Liqueur, mint, rye bread and sour green grapes.

Aftertaste:
Finishing dry but with some very nice lingering flavors of tart wine grapes, oak, raspberry yogurt, vanilla, rich dark chocolate lingering, and earthy notes. No alcohol in the taste, murky dark crimson full body, soft, smooth and creamy mouthfeel and a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A supreme sour of sorts. Chocolatey raspberry cordials if they were dipped in wine with some very nice tart fruit notes. Very complex and seems to cover the palates of those that love sweets and sour beers. It is not too sour and not too sweet and the twilight road presented is one full of amazement. I highly recommend this one!

Anime Corner:
Dementia/Demencia from the Villanous series created in Mexico, was chosen for this pairing as the aspect of Tart of Darkness can also be seen in the association of evil organization such as that in the series. The fact that she is a lovable and sweet character with her ruby red raspberry hair, she seemed liked the right fit for this beer.

Sources:
http://img03.deviantart.net/efa9/i/2017/138/9/d/villainous_by_binariox-db9nzha.jpg
http://68.media.tumblr.com/0ee4a73a3f32e2346968203fe1d5b1fe/tumblr_oqmru99YY01ufuhr9o1_500.jpg
http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/258/109/19f.png
http://orig14.deviantart.net/88b2/f/2017/140/e/5/render_demencia_by_asrielju-db9uw71.png
http://img11.deviantart.net/976b/i/2017/145/c/b/dementia___villainous_fanart_by_oppaihobby-dbafegm.jpg
http://orig01.deviantart.net/cda9/f/2017/141/3/4/dementia_by_ta_na-db9yobu.png
https://www.forosperu.net/galeria/demencia.87291/full?d=1495753736
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DAnNdqPWAAAv08I.jpg

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Xocoveza Mocha Stout (Insurgente Release) Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico

Rating: 6.25/7

Xocoveza Mocha Stout (Insurgente Release) Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico is a 8.1% ABV World Class Milk/Sweet Stout brewed with cocoa, coffee, peppers, vanilla cinnamon and nutmeg.

Label:
Se Un Insurgente, Toma Artesanal

Xocoveza Mocha Stout is the result of the homebrewing spirit and a cross-border collaboration. In 2014, Stone Brewing invited us to join them on this Mexican-Hot-Chocolate inspired creation. Based on Chris Banker’s winning recipe, we created this rich and decadent Imperial Milk Stout with traditional Mexican ingredients. In your hands you have Insurgente’s version of this for the first time on this side of the border. ¡Salud!

==Introduction==

Xocoveza has been an important staple in terms of what makes great Mexican Spice and Chocolate beers. It is one of my favorites and it was one that was done very well. The version I am bringing today is the one made in Tijuana Mexico, the one from Insurgente brewing. The purpose of this is to see how different it differed from Stone’s release. It is the same recipe but the process might be different. I did try this one sometime last year when I went to Tijuana for a brewery run with my friend Oscar. While I tried to remember, I could tell it was damn delicious. However, is there subtle differences from this one to the Stone one? Let’s see, Salud!

Aromas:
Mocha Coffee, Roasted Coffee, Mexican Coffee, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, , dark fruit raisins, currants, dark cherries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, Cinnamon, Ancho chile spice, bananas, clove spice, vanilla, dulce de leche cajeta/caramel, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, nutmeg, champurrado, piloncillo sugar cone, Molé and pan dulce.

Flavors:
Rich Abuelita Mexican Hot Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Mocha Coffee, Roasted Coffee, Mexican Coffee, Cane sugar, Cinnamon, Ancho chile spice, bananas, clove spice, vanilla, dulce de leche cajeta/caramel, Peanut Butter, Reece’s Pieces, Molé, pan dulce, dark fruit raisins, currants, dark cherries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, nutmeg, champurrado, piloncillo sugar cone, Kahlua Coffee Liqueur, flan, sweetened condensed milk and peanut mazapan.

Aftertaste:
Finishing off with Dark Chocolate, Dulce de leche caramel, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Mocha, chile notes, earthy notes, vanilla and peanut butter hints. No alcohol in the taste, pitch black body, ridiculously smooth, very creamy and velvety mouthfeel along with a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
Damn! This one is different than the Stone release by a good amount. While I feel both beers overall are supreme World Class but this one emphasizes sweeter flavors while the Stone one balances out with earthy hops. This one shines more in the Mexican chocolate department big time! I love this version so much but I think I love both for the differences as well. This series of beers from both breweries are definitely some of the best Mexican Chocolate and Coffee beers ever. I highly recommend getting these!

Anime Corner:
Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach and May from Backstreet Billiards for the PS1 were chosen in this pairing as they were chosen in the previous iterations of Xocoveza. The original Xocoveza I used May as she represents the Mexican culture of where the recipe was inspired from especially the Mexican brewers that helped Stone with the creation. I used Yoruichi for the bourbon barrel aging version, but bringing one of my favorite anime characters into this to be the main focus is to showcase the roots of the ingredients in Mexico. Yoruichi is a Goddess of Thunder, like Quetzacoatl!

Sources:
http://orig05.deviantart.net/09b6/f/2015/018/7/3/bleach_yoruichi__head__in_skyrim_by_user619-d8eer4h.png
http://trzaraki.deviantart.com/art/Yoruichi-Shihouin-12-01-583945424

2014 Roble Blanco by The Bruery

10289852_10102156473970840_7562898689316988159_nRating: 6/5

2014 Roble Blanco by The Bruery is a 15% ABV Wheat Wine/Sour Ale Aged in Tequila Barrels with Lime Juice, Lime Zest and Salt.

Label:
¡Que Delicioso!

This tangy, Mexican inspired ale has an agave-like sweetness, balanced with zesty limes and just a hint of salt.

Living in Southern California, we’re huge fans of both Mexican cuisine and, of course, Mexican cocktails. This is a tribute to our favorite blended fiesta beverage
___

Obtained as part of the Reserve Society membership, this beer was released as one of the mystery beers that was on the list for October. This beer is essentially a sour wheat ale that was aged in tequila to try and mimic the flavors of a margarita. I don’t know what to expect from this one. My only hope is that it is not too sweet or too sour but just right. I tend to gear more toward a balance when it comes to sours.

Aromas:
Lime candy, Bananas, plantains, Honey comb, sangria, mezal, tequila, oak, dulce de leche caramel, agave syrup, white raisins, honey dew melon, margarita, salt, grapefruit, coriander, orange, cinnamon hints, white wine, musty notes, leather and pecans.

Flavors:
Plantain, tequila, salt, agave syrup, white raisins, plums, apricot, margarita, lime candy, lime peel, rye, orange, grapefruit, blonde roasted barley, wheat grains, biscuit bread, sangria, mezcal, tejuino, bananas, oak, vanilla, dulde de leche caramel, honey, white wine, musty notes, raspberry skins, currants skints, dragon fruit peels, honey dew melon, cucumbers, mild coconut hints, leather notes, Danish pastry hints, capirotada raisin bread pudding, pecans, almonds, leche nestle condensed sweetened milk hints and apples.

Aftertaste:
Caramel, Lemon, Salt, Margarita, oak, honey comb, agave, tejuino and tequila finish. No alcohol in the taste, medium gold body, syrupy mouthfeel yet smooth and very drinkable for some damn reason making this one very dangerous drinking in one sitting.

Overall:
Such a damn resemblance to the salty lime tequila margarita it ain’t even funny. You really have to like that drink in order to understand how this one works. However, the only thing is that it is not overly sweet and the salt and lime clash for the balance to salty, sweet and sour. This cause the beer to be more balanced than a true sour. I had to stop drinking this for a while because it was way to damn drinkable for my own good and it was so delicious. Also that part of me that loves lemon and salt kicked into high gear so I may sound bias in my review but this one one hit certain sectors of flavors that were really awesome. I highly recommend it if you can find this one and you really like tequila, lime, salt and a ton of complexity.

Anime Corner:
Annet Myer/Futatabi from El Viento series was used in this pairing to go with the colors of the label but also the name as the work Roble means strong but also the act of aging which coincide with oak and tequila barrels. The rustling of lime trees to the wind or El Viento also link to the beer but also Annet herself since she has the colors of a margarita, she is the Roble Blanco or strong White and she is from Peru meaning Latina. She may not be Mexican, but she is bad ass and her magic abilities (Complex flavors) and strength (ABV) as well as the fact that she is fast as El Viento/TheWind (Smoothness) is enough to mess you up if you dare take her on!

Sources:
http://nidavellirstudios.deviantart.com/art/El-Viento-Annet-Myer-376359191

Xocoveza Mocha Stout Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico

10613149_10102062009258880_8324233477455469383_nRating: 6/5

Xocoveza Mocha Stout Collaboration by Chris Banker, Stone Brewing and Cerveceria Insurgente de Mexico is a 8.1% ABV World Class Milk/Sweet Stout brewed with cocoa, coffee, peppers, vanilla cinnamon and nutmeg.

Label:
Pronuced (SHO-CO-VAY-ZA)

The impact of homebrewers on the American craft beer industry has been immense. The comfort level and lack of inhibitors provided by a domestic brewing environment fosters a near limitless brand of experimentation, allowing homebrewers to push te beer envelope to its breaking point. Many of the professional brewing world’s best recipes–from West Coast IPAs to imperial stouts and even sours–began as homespun standouts so spectacular they had to be unleashed on the world in order to improve it.

With this in mind, each year we hold an American Homebrewers Association sanctioned homebrewing competition, the champion of which gets their recipe brewed and distributed nationwide by Stone. This year’s winner, Chris Banker, helped keep us grounded to our homebrewing roots by introducing flavors consistent with our regional palate. His chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, chile pepper, and coffee-infused milk stout was built to mimic the flavors of Mexican hot chocolate, a beloved specialty from our neighbors to the south, as our collaborators from Baja California, Cervezeria Insurgente, will attest. Layered with tiers of earthiness, spice, and roast, this creamy, semisweet blue ribbon beer confirms that the spirit of the American homebrewer is not only alive and kicking but thriving at an all-time high.
___

This fall, Stone’s home brew competition winner along with Insurgente from Mexico brew up a beer that could quite possibly be the next New Belgium’s Cocoa Molé beer. I have had many awesome Mexican Chocolate stouts like Chocolate Sombrero, Luchador en Fuego from Clown Shoes, el Molé Ocho from New Holland or even the almighty, Cigar City Hunahpu’s and Three Floyds Dark Lord de Muerte. Each one being exceptionally awesome in their own ways. Now Stone not only makes a beer but brings in cultural expertise to help make it awesome. This Mexican Independence Day, I drink this! Salud!

Aromas:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha, roasted coffee, fancy coffee, Ancho chile spices, Piloncillo sugar, Chocolate Abuelita, Flan, milk sugar, dark fruits like raisins, capirotada raisin bread pudding, Molé, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, dulce de leche cajeta/caramel, champurrado, Kahlua hints, earthy notes, molasses, pan dulce and Nutella.

Flavors:
Chocolate Abuelita, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Vanilla, Dulce de leche cajeta/caramel, Ancho Chile spices are subtle but not heat, Molé, dark fruit raisins, dark cherry, Milk sugar, flan, cinnamon, capirotada raisin bread pudding, roasted coffee, fancy coffee, Kahlua hints, piloncillo sugar cone, cinnamon, nutmeg, champurrado, earthy notes, molasses, clove spice, banana notes and pan dulce.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Caramel, mocha, earthy notes and spicy chile hints linger. No alcohol in the taste, ridiculously smooth drinkability, very creamy and slighly velvety mouthfeel, and pitch black body.

Overall:
Madre es Dios, que es esto? I meant that in like a mind blow type of way. This is a lot closer to a Mexican Hot Milk Chocolate beer than may that I have tried. All around, it really feels like you are drinking Chocolate Abuelita Hot Chocolate. All around, the fact that it is a milk stout, it makes it to where it is just well balanced, flavorful and smooth. There is no heat at all, but I really believe that is not the point. The point is to make this as approximate as Chocolate Abuelita as possible. I really think that maybe even the pre-craft beer drinker may actually find this one very appealing. It really is ridiculous and better the Cocoa Mole. The only bitterness is really from the chocolate and coffee roast. Highly recommend getting this one before it is gone for good! Going to go pick up a couple bottle now… Hasta La Proxima y Siganme Los Buenos!

Anime Corner:
May from Backstreet Billiards for the PS1 was chosen for this pairing because I wanted to do something in relation to my culture en Mexico. I used May once for Cocoa Molé so I wanted to bring her back for this round as well. I am glad I did too. She fits greatly with the beer label, the history of Mexican pride and the indigenous as well as the roots of Chocolate and possibly the name as it seems to be a derivative of Nahuatl and Spanish. The fact that is fall also brings forth not just the Independence Day of Mexico but also closer to the Months of the Dia De Los Muertos Celebration which this beer totally is best suited. Overall There was so much I could think of with this pairing but I would rather leave it to the reader to decide how to view this one.

**Update 2015 Version: As awesome as EVER!

IMAG9854

Sources:
http://s27.postimg.org/ht9xex4cj/bsb_copy.jpg

El Mole Ocho Vintage 2013 (High Gravity Series) by New Holland Brewing

536939_10101477015022020_1845921661_n 602103_10101477025945130_1597653307_n 1452035_10101477026618780_148683817_nRating: 4.65/5

El Mole Ocho Vintage 2013 (High Gravity Series) by New Holland Brewing is a 10.5% ABV Herbed/Spiced ale

Label: 
Our exploration into the flavors of mole, the legendary sauce of central Mexico. Malty aroma and rich, cocoa-laden body laced with an invigorating tinge of dried chilies and coffee. Pairings poultry, red meat, dark chocolate.
___

Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, in my tradition is a time when we pray for our loved ones who are no longer with us. It is a day in celebration and remembrance. This day, I offer a review for a beer which came to me, just in time, online. So I figured it be the perfect occasion to let you in on a special beer that is made with flavors of mole and spices.

Aromas of this of mole, chocolate abuelita (Mexican Dark chocolate), cinnamon, champurrado (Mexican Chocolate and Atole drin), chile de arbol (red dried chiles), raisins, brown sugar, dark fruit notes, clove spice and pecans

Flavors are of dark Chocolate, chocolate abuelita, bananas, cloves, cinnamon, champurrado, notes of chile, molasses, brown sugar, dark fruit notes, pecan notes, caramel, berries and toffee.

Aftertaste continues with nice cinnamon, cocoa, chile notes, clove spice and dark fruit. Seriously hidden alcohol. No where to be found here. Moderate to sipping drinkability. It goes down kinda smooth

Overall, very good and a good pairing for Dia de los Muertos. A great amount of good sweets and spices. Not enough of the heat which is good, because some people prefer not to have a lot of heat. This beer reminds me of the New Belgium’s Mole Ale, however, the one that truly takes it in terms of mole beers, is Dark Lord De Muerte. That is intense stuff. This one is a definite recommend though for sure.

Anime Corner:
In the theme of the label and the day, it is easy to see what I was going with Orihime and Ulquiorra from Bleach, Lydia from Beetlejuice (Always speaking and fooling around with Ghoul Beetlejuice) and also Konan from Naruto. For Konan, this is not canon to the series but the way she looks is a special technique called Jashin in which the host does a ritual with a sample of the victim’s blood. By committing sepukku, the host unleashes the same death onto the victim. The host survives the ritual impaling and the victim dies in its place. Pretty crazy stuff coming from the Naruto Universe. Aside from that though, Jashin style looks like a skeleton and Konan, always wearing a flower on her head, seems to fit right in with the label and theme. Cheers!!

Chupacabras Pale Ale by Cucapá

485946_10100990483315460_1112023763_nRating: 3.5/5

Chupacabras Pale Ale by Cucapá of Mexicali Mexico is a 5.8% ABV Pale Ale. This is the 3rd Cucapá beer I have tried. Some of the other 2 like the Tequila Barrel Aged Ale and Obscura ale have been pretty good beers.

Label:
Chupacabras; a mythical extraterrestrial animal said to inhabit both of the Americas. The name translates literally from spanish as “goat sucker”, an activity avidly performed by this creature. Sightings of this cryptid have been reported all the way from Puerto Rico to Maine crossing all of central America and Mexico in his journey. 

Description:
This pale ale is in a way very related to this legendary creature. From one end this brew can be found from Mexico as well as in the U.S. on the other hand [sic] Chupacabras Pale Ale fortunately does not suck goats but will suck you into believing that there is a truly unique Mexican beer. However it is not necessarily an extraterrestrial however we like to think it is.
___

Aromas are of grassy and floral hops, a little bit of pineapple and peach, caramel, cereal and wheat grains. The flavors are of some grapefruit, grassy and floral hops along with some caramel, slight mango, apricot, pineapple, coffee, peanuts, biscuit and grains. This pale ale seems to be more on par with an amber ale or bock but not as balanced. The hops seem to linger in the aftertaste but then disappear leaving some biscuit and caramel sweetness. It is still a good beer. While I think the Tequila Barrel Aged Ale one is one of the best I’ve tried, this one still worth a try if once.