Barrel Aged Unicorn Tears collaboration by Fremont brewing and Perennial Artisan Ales



Rating: 7/7

Barrel Aged Unicorn Tears collaboration by Fremont brewing and Perennial Artisan Ales is a 12.9% ABV Imperial Oatmeal Milk Stout brewed with cherries and aged in Bourbon Barrels

We are a family-owned craft brewery founded in 2009 to brew artisan beers made with the best local ingredients we can find.

In the Time Before Light, Unicorns ruled the Universe. And Time passed. Until it stopped passing and began to make Beer. And it was good. But Time was Lonely, so it begat two Breweries. And thusly Fremont Brewing and Perennial Artisan Ales were spat into the World. And they made Beer. And it was good. When, Lo, one Day, they made Beer together and aged it in Bourbon Barrels for a long time. And then they added Cherries. And Aged it a long time. But it wasn’t good enough for their elevated taste. So, they added Unicorn Tears. And it was Good. Behold, Burst Forth into the World is Barrel-Aged Unicorn Tears. Enjoy only with those that are worthy. …Never Play Leapfrog With A Unicorn…Cheers! Matt & Matt and Phil & Emily.


So, we have SangriLeche doppelganger in our site ey? Well then, only one thing to do here, time to step up to the plate. The ingredients seemed very close to what I used to make my homebrew except missing the vanilla and cocoa nibs but that is besides the point. A milk and oatmeal stout? Double smoothtness to the max! I have not tried anything Fremont but seeing as Perennial was involved, it can only mean the goodness. Essentially, when I first saw this beer locally, I had to grab it. Little that I know that it would soon be a super coveted magic potion with fairy dust (glitter engulfed) that many it would start to sell out everywhere. Yes it seems people went mad for yet another beer. This beer is literally covered in glitter which makes me wonder if glitter is one of the ingredients inside the beer. Even if its not it seemed amazing and I could not wait to bring it to the website especially now that I know people really liked this one. Well then, let’s see what this magical potion is all about, cheers!

Super cherry Cordial fluff and sparkling chocolates, banana split, dulce de leche caramel, pecan pie, Nutella, mint chocolate cake, Chambord Raspberries, port wine, dark chocolates, dark fruits, hazelnut nectar, blue berries, bourbon hints, cake frosting, grape jelly, Fondant pearl juice (sugar candy syrup) and more!

Hopes, Dreams, Clouds of marshmallows and 5th dimension ambrosia delights. That’s it… what? You wanna know more? Okay that was just the tip of the iceberg. SO then, it goes into an array of super choco chocolate goodness. Rich super milk chocolate, dark chocolate, cherry cordials, dark fruit currants, raisins, blue berries, raspberries, blue raspberries, cake frosting, sweetened condensed milk, coconut, bourbon, oak, banana split for days, cookie dough ice cream, molasses, mint chocolate cake, Chambord Raspberry Liqueur, port wine, Nutella, mocha, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, Cherry sunday, vanilla, crème brulee, tres leches cake, tiramasu, mocha, marzipan, mazapan, toasted coconut, marshmallow smores, rocky road ice cream, walnuts, pralines, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, butterscotch, chicka cherry cola, fondant cake glaze, chocolate cherry mousse and more!

Finishing with Cherry Choco Chocolate Cordial and raspberry frosting for days, Nutella, dark chocolates, dark cherries, vanilla, caramel, oak, bourbon hints, mocha, pecan pie and banana split cherry sundae. No alcohol here or anywhere despite the ABV. The body is fully pitch black and abysmal with a non human visual spectrum of dark matter, 80’s magic, He-Man, Thundercats and Rick and Morty season 9 residuals. The mouthfeel is very smooth, mildly chewey, velvety, creamy and syrupy. Who has time to sip? Come right in, the dark magical water is fine even though this brew was made to be sipped and taken with ease. You could literally finish in one sitting if you wanted to.

Well then, pastry stouts are a go! Although DDB would disagree. This one is a definite bucket lister for me and is a crazy little potion that I would love to have over and over again. While I think this is a step up from many beers that I love including my own awesome Sangrileche, it is awesome to know mines can still go toe to toe with this pastry brew. Let’s face it, this is similar to the beer I made if it was filled with cake fondant. Super complex, sweet, smooth, dreamy, cakey, glaze and all that fairy tail crap they told you when you were a kid. It’s fucking great! Like a kid in a candy store drinking his sugar bottle. Would I recommend it? You bet your fucking ass I would! Go find this one damn it!

Anime Corner:
Lilac Sash from Freedom Planet was chosen for this pairing because while she is in no way a unicorn, she is just as legendary as one since she is a dragon. Since she fit so well with the colors of the beers, the flavors and ingredients I had to bring her to pair with this. She’s been a favorite of mine as of recently since I started playing the game and with her powerful strength and great hero personality, why not? Oh and about the tears part in the name? Those are years of joy and good feels. I kinda made a funny with the Lilac trying to drink enough milk tearing up dreaming to be the bikini babe. Anyways, She fit the awesome beer!



Nitro Red Velvet by Ballast Point

16463436_10103973263594870_2426886073992062179_oRating: 5/5

Nitro Red Velvet by Ballast Point is a 5.5% ABV Golden Oatmeal Stout with Beets, Chocolate and Natural Flavors added.

Commercial Description:
This stout takes the cake.
Our Red Velvet oatmeal stout is a mind-bending beer. Like the cake that inspired it, the deep red color comes from beets, which add a rich, earthy character that complements the chocolate flavor and aroma. The foamy head of the nitro pour is our “icing”, adding a creamy smoothness to the mouthfeel. But this liquid dessert still finishes like a beer – not sweet, but just as satisfying.

It has been a very long time since I tried a Red Velvet Cake like beer. In fact, the only one I can remember was the Red Velvet from Buffalo Bayou brewing that my friend Aaron Mendiola from provided me with. That one was damn amazing and one I would have greatly love to get again. Now with Ballast Point creating their own, I feel like this would be supremely interesting. First and for most is the color. They took a pale golden stout and with the beets were able to get a red stout color. Something I have not seen before. Finally, the chocolate and other flavors would the stout flavors and mouthfeel. Let’s take a good look at how this turns out, Cheers!

Vanilla, chocolate, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, red velvet cake notes, raspberry cheesecake notes, coffee notes, cinnamon, Danish cream and dark fruit.

Rich red velvet cake, chocolate, milk chocolate, vanilla, toffee, dulce de leche notes, white chocolate, dark fruit raisins, cranberry, cherry, fruit cake, cinnamon, Danish cream, beet juice hints, Irish cream notes, strawberry shortcake notes, raspberry cheesecake notes, roasted coffee notes, lactose, flan notes, brown sugar, pecan pie, cherry cordial notes and sweetened condensed milk.

Finishes with lots of notes of vanilla, chocolate coffee, dark fruit notes, earthy hops and white chocolate. No alcohol in the taste, Ruby and Magenta clear body, smooth, creamy slightly thin but slightly velvety mouthfeel and very easy to drink.

Now that’s insane. This is damn liquid Red Velvet cake!! I think if it was more full bodied and richer it would be much higher in my opinion. Although this being nitro and smooth gives points as well as this being very unique. Enough to be not just a perfect beer but exceptional. Regardless, this beer is one I want to get more of whether on tap or on bottles. Red Velvet beers are hugely uncommon so this is something you definitely want to get. I highly recommend it.
Anime Corner:
Asuka Soryu Langley Shikinami from Neon Genesis Evangelion was used in this pairing as I wanted to get a pairing that would fit the whole feast fit for a king/queen theme. I have used 2 of these of pictures before but I had to bring them back as well as an additional one with Asuka wearing the crown and the eye patch. Not only does it fit with the king on the label but the Ballast Point theme of Fish and Pirates. A pirate king/queen. That and the whole red theme is all over with Asuka.


Collaboration No. 6 Barrel-Aged Blend Collaboration by Boulevard Brewing and Firestone Walker

15384523_10103789165219490_3032738358333533454_oRating: 7/7

Collaboration No. 6 Barrel-Aged Blend Collaboration by Boulevard Brewing and Firestone Walker is a 12.5% ABV American Strong Ale Cuvee of Barrel Aged Stouts and Belgian Quads.

Imperial Stout “X” Tart Cherry
Bourbon Barrel Quad
Stickee Monkee
and Velvet Merkin

For this sixth edition of our Collaboration Series, we invited Matt Brynildson, brew-master of our sister brewery Firestone Walker, to join Boulevard brewmaster Steven Pauwels in our barrel-aging cave. Armed only with their palates, some graduated cylinders, and a bunch of tulip glasses, they arrived at the perfect balance of two barrel aged beers from each brewery. The blend celebrates the individual characteristics of each of the four while creating something entirely new and unique.

The Collaboration series is our way to bring shared beer ideas to life with some of our favorite brewery friends from around the world. This year, we bring you a specially blended, barrel-aged beer with the help of our sister brewery in California, Firestone Walker. With Collaboration No. 6, Brewmasters Steven Pauwels and Matt Brynildson have created a big, bold flavor combination by blending two Boulevard beers and two Firestone Walker Beers in the following percentages:

Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad – 45%
Based loosely on the Smokestack Series’ The Sixth Glass, this abbey-style quadrupel is separated into a number of oak bourbon barrels where it ages for varying lengths of time, some for up to three years. Cherries are added to make up for the “angel’s share” of beer lost during barrel aging. Selected barrels are then blended for optimum flavor. The resulting beer retains only very subtle cherry characteristics, with toffee and vanilla notes coming to the fore.
ABV – 11.8, IBU – 19

Firestone Walker Stickee Monkee – 35%
Brewed with Belgian candi sugar and aged in a selection of fine bourbon barrels, Stickee Monkee trailblazes its own category as a “Central Coast Quad.” The name Stickee Monkee is a nod to the Central Coast’s native Sticky Monkey flower, as well as a shout¬‐out to the Belgian monks who pioneered the Quad style. The Belgian candi sugar imparts a signature molasses sweetness to the beer. Meanwhile, maturation in bourbon casks brings ample barrel expression with notes of toasted oak, coconut, leather and cigar tobacco.
ABV – 13, IBU – 45

Imperial Stout X – Tart Cherry (Whiskey Barrel-aged) – 10%
Our special treat for lovers of big, complex stouts, the Imperial Stout “X” series offers a year-long roster of limited releases, each with a significant variation. This riff spotlights the addition of tart cherries to fermentation as well as a lactic souring on the brewhouse. The result is a perfect marriage of robust, smoky maltiness and bracing tartness. Unlike the release version of Imperial Stout X – Tart Cherry, this portion was briefly aged in previously used whiskey barrels.
ABV – 11, IBU – 64

Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin – 10% Velvet Merkin is the beer that almost wasn’t…Indeed, this vintage oatmeal stout’s comical (or is it scandalous?) name went off the grid for several years, but now it’s back due to popular demand. Velvet Merkin is aged for a full year in retired spirits barrels from Heaven Hill, Woodford Reserve and others, yet manages to offer mind-¬boggling balance and restraint. You will wig out when you taste Velvet Merkin’s rich milk chocolate, bourbon and espresso flavors, preceded by aromas of vanilla, coconut, toasted oak and mocha. ABV – 8.5, IBU – 33


Just when I thought I’d never see something like this, I was really amazed. At first I saw it as a Boulevard and Firestone Walker collab but when I realized that it was a Cuvee of some of both breweries best beers, I realized that this was a must get. I have reviewed each of these beers in the past, except for the Tart Cherry Stout X but the other ones were definitely at that World Class tier beers. So being that Firestone Walker was involved, I knew this would of came up to possibly be one of the best and unique Cuvees. Now, we can only hope that this is the case, let’s have a sip, cheers!

Grilled Bananas, Banana Sunday, clove spice, fruit cake, wine grapes, cinnamon, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, Rich Dark Cherries, Dark fruit, prunes, plums, figs, raspberries, currants, Dark chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Ferrero Rocher Chocolate, German Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Chocolate mousse, tobacco hints, molasses, stone fruits, Oatmeal Cookies, Oreo Cookies and Cream, graham cracker, Marshmallow smores and mocha.

Rich Dark Cherries, Dark fruit, prunes, plums, figs, raspberries, currants, bourbon, whiskey, brandy, oak, Belgian Candi sugar, rock candy, piloncillo sugar cone, maple syrup, waffle cones, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, Grilled Bananas, Banana Sunday, clove spice, fruit cake, wine grapes, cinnamon, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, rye bread with mixed berry preserves, Oatmeal Cookies, Oreo Cookies and Cream, graham cracker, Marshmallow smores, mocha, Flan, Sweetened condensed milk, tres leches cake, Dark chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Ferrero Rocher Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate cake, German Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Chocolate mousse, Cherry Chocolate cake, walnut pie, toasted coconut, Stone fruit peaches, leather and tobacco hints.

Finishes dark cherries, vanilla, dulce de leche, oatmeal cookies, dark fruits, stone fruits, dark chocolate, Belgian candi sugar, marshmallows, tobacco hints and rye. No alcohol in the taste. Dark Crimson Amber full body, smooth, creamy, velvety, chewy and syrupy mouthfeel and sipping drinkability.

The Quad aspect takes over more than the stout blend but even that being the case, it does not change this from being a definite bucket lister in my mind. Having Firestone Walker who are experts at barrel aging and cuvee blending, this is no surprise that this came out the way it did. The complexity of the 2 Belgian Quads and the 2 Stouts collide into a super decadent dessert that really has taken things to another level. I highly recommend this one for those that are fans of these breweries, beers and styles! This is one for the masses!

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill, Kos-mos from Xenosaga, Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach and Temari Sabakuno from Naruto were chosen as I wanted to represent the 4 awesome beers blended in this special cuvee to 4 awesome characters. What a better way to pair than to pair with the most epic forms for my favorite 4 girls from anime. In this instance I used Ryuko as the Tart Cherry X Stout as the colors of cherry pair, KOS-MOS is the BBQuad since quads are holy ambrosia of gods and she is angelic, Yoruichi is the Velvet Merkin as she is deep, magical and mysterious and finally, Temari is the Stickee Monkee as she represents the colors of the actual flower that grows along the central coast.


Buffalo Sweat by Tallgrass Brewing

15042048_10103729722588000_2888899170855560540_oRating: 4.75/5

Buffalo Sweat by Tallgrass Brewing is a 5% ABV Oatmeal Cream Stout.

(ABV 5.0%, 20 IBU)

We love this beer here at the brewery, and think you will have one of those “I’ve never-tasted-a-beer-like-that” kind of moments when you try it!

What we really like about this beer is the smoothness that brewing with cream sugar brings to the palate. This smoothness balances out the copious quantities of roasted barley used in the brewing process to create a rich, complex, and delicious beer. If you have not been a stout drinker in the past, give this beer a try. It might just change your mind about how dark beers should taste. It tastes so rich, but is surprisingly easy to drink!

Can’t find the sweat? Don’t sweat it. Just ask for Buffalo Sweat at your local liquor store or your favorite tavern.

Thanks to my friend Aaron Mendiola from Texas, owner of, for hooking me up with several cans from Tallgrass brewing. I firs tried their 8-bit Pale Ale years ago. Especially when they did an awesome commercial for it. I have tried it again during my last trip to Iowa to visit my friend Steve. This one I did remember trying it in Iowa but was unable to bring it over here as I was mainly looking for other beers. While I thought it was a very delicious beer, I did not get a chance to fully appreciate it. Now that my friend Aaron was able to send me this one, now we take a look at it. Typically, we don’t get these here in the west coast but I do know some online stores may have them. Cheers!

Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, vanilla, toffee, dark fruit notes like raisins, currants, cherries, brown sugar, coffee and fruit cake hints.

Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, dark fruit raisins, currants, cherries, coffee cake, roasted coffee notes, lactose, peanut butter hints, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, molasses, anise hints, vanilla, toffee, caramel, oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, oreo cookies and cream, fruit cake notes, brown sugar and cola hints.

Finishes with an overall nice sweetness of chocolate milk, roasted coffee, vanilla, caramel and dark fruit hints. No alcohol in the taste, dark medium body, smooth, creamy and velvety mouthfeel along with an easy to moderate drinkability.

A very delicious stout. I think I definitely enjoyed this way more this time around than when I first had it in Iowa. Whether it was because I was just drinking just to drink or because the analysis makes it much better, I am not sure. Either way, this is one that I definitely recommend to lovers of delicious stouts.
Anime Corner:
Buffalo Bell from Japanese Baseball team, Orix Buffaloes, was chosen by the name of the beer, Buffalo’s Sweat. I don’t want it to mean literal sweat but essentially, it goes with the name as when it gets hot playing Baseball, as you can see. Mainly for the name but the ingredients I was going for you could consider the whole cream and milk aspect as well as dark fruit cherries for the color of pink.

2016 Quingenti Millimitre series Batch No. 1 OAKMEAL Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels by Stone brewing

14542303_10103598543197550_7205434410496364125_oRating: 6/6

2016 Quingenti Millimitre series Batch No. 1 OAKMEAL Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels by Stone brewing is an 11.4% ABV Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels.

Brewed December 5, 2015
Originally inspired by recipes of two Team Stone members, Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout became an instant classic. The onyx-hued beer also proved to be an ideal barrel-aging specimen, thanks to its rich, thick mouthfeel and chocolate-heavy flavors and aromatics.

INTHEMASH: Pale, Caramel, Dextrine, Black and Chocolate Malts, Roasted Barley & Flaked Oats
IN THE BOIL Summit Williamette, Galena and Ahtanum Hops & Chocolate-heavy

7 Months in American Oak Kentucky Bourbon Barrels

IBU: 43 ALC/VOL 11.4% Bottled July 2016

An already magnificent beer’s mouthwatering recipe of unsweetened chocolate, flaked oats and dark-roasted malts is made even more deliciously complex care of oak barrels that previously nurtured bourbon. These amazing vessels impart oak and coconut-like flavors upfront while accentuating the silky smooth midpalate with oak vanillin notes. The finish is long and intense, with layers of chocolate and oak vanillin. You might be tempted to lick the glass for every last drop of this delectable adult confection.


It has been a while since I had some of the beers from Stone’s Quingenti Millimitre series and this one I could not pass up. Especially, since it was available in local and online stores. Essentially, they take their 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, which I tried several months back at my friend Richard’s house, and then they age it. The original beer was delicious but the fact that they barrel aged it was something I just thought is amazing. I think almost every beer that I have tried barrel aged is definitely leagues above the original beer. Not always, but it is common for it to happen. Let’s see what this one has to offer, cheers!

Marshmallows, chocolate smores, oak, whiskey, bourbon, toasted coconut, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, oreo cookies, Danish cream, cookie dough ice cream, dark cherries, chocolate cherry cordials, flan, pecan pie, piloncillo sugar cone, grilled bananas, capirotada raisin bread pudding, hazelnut nectar, ferrero rocher Chocolate, roasted coffee, mocha, molasses, tobacco, leather, anise, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, German chocolate, Belgian chocolates and Mexican Chocolate.

Rich dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, German chocolate, Belgian chocolates, Mexican Chocolate, marshmallows, chocolate smores, oak, whiskey, bourbon, toasted coconut, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, oreo cookies, Danish cream, cookie dough ice cream, earthy hop hints, dark fruit raisins, prunes, dark cherries, chocolate cherry cordials, flan, pecan pie, piloncillo sugar cone, grilled bananas, capirotada raisin bread pudding, hazelnut nectar, molasses, tobacco, leather, anise, ferrero rocher Chocolate, roasted coffee and mocha.

Finishing with rich oak Bourbon soaked dark fruit chocolate chip raisins oatmeal cookies on whipped cream and earthy and vanilla ice cream. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV or the oak bourbon notes, pitch black dark full body, smooth, creamy, chewy, and velvety mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

An exceptional and supremely delicious liquid chocolate cookie in a bottle. This beer so much cookie goodness that it reminded me of the Velvet Merkin from Firestone Walker. So much smoothness and chocolate, it’ll blow your mind. I almost wish they sold this one on tap and growler fill as 500ml is not enough for this one. Definitely need to try this again but for the price I think it is worth having once. I highly recommend this brew to those that love barrel aged beers and chocolatey goodness.

Anime Corner:
Lei Lei Hsien-Ko from Darkstalkers was used in this pairing because I wanted to use her in a beer. It has been a very long time and I think she fits with this beer as well as a spirit lies in the oak that used to contain a bigger amount of a spirit. By spirit I mean bourbon. There really isn’t much to say other than how the colors can compare to the complex flavors or how sweet and innocent she looks like the sweetness contained in this bottle.

Beer Geek Dessert by Mikkeller brewing

11949267_10102795641583820_7532314894011161585_n 10592632_10102795641928130_5431763273725377053_nRating: 6/6

Beer Geek Dessert by Mikkeller brewing is an 11% ABV Oatmeal Stout brewed with Cocoa and Vanilla.

From the beer geek breakfast series – the beer that really put Mikkeller on the map – we added cocoa and vanilla to the french press coffee trick, creating a whole new dimension to the beer that are loved by freaks and geeks worldwide. It’s dark, dangerous, sweet and incredibly tasty as you would expect, but most of all; it’s ready to conquer your breakfast table routines.


Mikkeller released a Beer Geek breakfast beer once again. While I have avoided them due to the fact that unless you live by the brewery in Europe, this stuff can get insane and expensive (talking 10$+ for a 12oz bottle) then avoid it altogether especially those on a budget like me. However, I could not get away from this one. The Mikkeller beer called kept calling me back to try this beer. To try it over and over again until I said fuck it! I am going to get this beer Now that I finally have it, I need to see if all the fuss in my mind was definitely worth it and please the beer gods for sure. Let us check it out, cheers!

Rich Cotton Candy, Cotton Candy Ice cream, Rich vanilla, caramel, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, milk shake chocolate, Coffee, mocha, rocky road ice cream, rainbow sprinkles, maple, candi sugar, roasted coffee grounds, earthy hop notes, rich doughnuts, flan, Danish cream, Irish cream, oreo cookies, sweetened condensed milk, Chocolate Cherry cordials, candi sugar, rock candy, marzipan dark fruit cherries, currants, blackberries, oatmeal cookies, lactose milk sugar, pecan pie and hazelnut nectar.

Rich Cotton Candy, Cotton Candy Ice cream, Rich vanilla, caramel, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, milk shake chocolate, Coffee, mocha, roasted coffee grounds, earthy hop notes, rich doughnuts, flan, dark fruit cherries, currants, blackberries, oatmeal cookies, lactose milk sugar, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, rocky road ice cream, rainbow sprinkles, maple, candi sugar, Turkish Delights (the way I imagined them in my head), Danish cream, Irish cream, oreo cookies, sweetened condensed milk, Chocolate Cherry cordials, candi sugar, rock candy, marzipan and chocolate mousse.

Roasted coffee grounds, rich marshmallow, cotton candy ice cream, doughnuts, sprinkles
No alcohol in the taste despite the high ABV, Sipping drinkability, pitch black dark full body, and finally smooth, syrupy, creamy, luscious and velvety mouth feel.

Holy Cotton Candy Batman! This is a different type of dessert altogether. I have no idea what kind of cocoa or vanilla they are using in this beer but damn, It truly is a major major dessert pointing in the Cotton candy and chocolate direction. As hard as it was to describe what type of sweetness it was at first, this beer for being so small packs so much variety of flavor that is hard to mimic. I have not tried anything like this even if they use cocoa and vanilla there has got to be some deeper magic and sorcery among this! Don’t believe me? Get a damn bottle and try it yourself. Makes me want to try the other beer geek series aside from the cognac kopi luwak I had years ago. If I could have this for breakfast every day, well, that is wishful thinking. Now to the drawing board in trying to make something like this is going to be difficult but fun.

Anime Corner:
VI from League of Legends and original desserts character by Shon was used in this beer heavily due to the colors and the variety of sweets and dessert and flavors this beer brings to the table. You can tell a lot of the items pair and while I may not know much about either of these characters, I felt visually it was a damn perfect fit.


Black House by Modern Times

11114281_10102529144266580_3552622966899489124_n 11174593_10102529145873360_1233543535899748119_oRating: 5/5

Black House by Modern Times is a 5.8% ABV American Oatmeal Stout brewed with 75% Ethiopian Hambela and 25% Sumatran Mandheling coffee, toasted coconut & cocoa nibs.

What could possibly make Black House, our year round oatmeal coffee sour, diggity danker? It’s possible that the addition of super chocolatey cocoa nibs & über-fragrant toasted coconut does in face make it diggity danker. I guess we’ll leave that for you to judge. What you can expect out of this beer is the same freshly aromatic coffee character & dry, complex malt profile as standard issue Black House, but with strong notes of chocolate and coconut, which combine to make the whole thing just incredibly drool-worthy.


One of the newest beers from Modern Times and basically my first from them, this one intrigued me as I like coffee and coconut beers. Or I guess coconut beers in general. This one is made with some fancy coffee beans so I really dig what they had to offer in this one. This beer is a special release that will be released in April every year according to the information online. Let’s check out this coffee one, Cheers!

Espresso coffee, roasted coffee, milk chocolate, toasted coconut, mocha, java, Kahlua hints, caramel, toffee, vanilla, coffee cake, nutmeg, molasses, tobacco, earthy notes, banana notes, oatmeal and brown sugar.

Chocolate, rich toasted coconut, milk chocolate, almond joy chocolate, dark chocolate, flan, brown sugar, espresso coffee, coffee cake, mocha, java, Kahlua hints, caramel, toffee, nutmeg, molasses, tobacco, banana notes, earthy notes, smokey notes, oatmeal cookies, oreo cookie hints, dark fruit raisins, jamocca ice cream and pecan pie.

Chocolate, roasted coffee, toasted coconut, vanilla,earthy notes, caramel, almond joy candy and hints of dark fruit. No alcohol in the taste, easy to moderate drinkability, creamy and smooth mouthfeel with a pitch black full body.

A perfect coffee beer that drinks more than what it is. There are a lot of rich flavors going on and many of the rich flavors as specified by the ingredients of the beer are pretty damn dead on. What surprises me the most about this beer is that this is only less than 6% ABV and yet to be pretty damn complex and rich is nothing short of greatly made Stout. Much props to Modern Times and a high recommendation as well.

Anime Corner:
Ciel from Megaman Zero and original girl from Misaki Kurehito were used in this pairing since I wanted to find something in relation to coffee and coconut. The light white haired girl as she sits on the coffee cup represents that. Ciel represents the waking up in the morning to a cup of this delicious brew. Or you could also see it as her drinking too much of this brew and passing out as she writes special beer reviews lol.


Crasher in the Rye by Clown Shoes brewing

11130485_10102497538584620_944438898415187265_o 11082393_10102497539188410_8439793951855450834_oRating: 6/5

Crasher in the Rye by Clown Shoes brewing is an 11.5% ABV Imperial Oatmeal Milk Stout aged in Rye and Bourbon Barrels.

Ahhh, What better smell is there than chupacabras, defeated, burning in a field of rye? Umm, perhaps the complex aromatics of Crasher in The Rye? Texas oak smoked malt, from Blacklands Malt Company, as well as a touch of rye malt, complement the roasted bittersweet core if the brew. Aged 100% in Rye and Bourbon barrels.


Obtained this guy at the Whittier Liquor in Whittier California. As many of the Clown Shoes beers go, they have all been pretty damn phenomenal. This beer is a milk stout in bourbon barrels. I can only imagine crazy the beer is going to be as Milk stout, especially ones that are made right but then those that are bourbon barrel aged tend to be very delicious. Well, let’s give this this warrior a shot. Cheers!

Dulce de leche caramel, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, mocha, velvet chocolate mousse, lactose milk sugar, flan, dark fruits, fudge brownies, bourbon, rye bread, vanilla, brown sugar, molasses, rocky road ice cream and smokey campfire notes.

Rich milk chocolate, lactose milk sugars, chocolate milk shake, rye bread, bourbon, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, oak, smokey notes, campfire smores, almond joy, toasted coconut, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, molasses, chocolate, bakers chocolate, dark chocolate, rocky road ice cream, waffle cone, vanilla caramel, velvet chocolate mousse, chocolate cream cake, fudge brownies, coffee notes, molasses, malted milk balls, mocha, Irish cream, whipped cream, crème brulee, marshmallows, oreo cookies, Danish cream, flan, brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and oatmeal cookies.

Lots of milk chocolate, dark fruits, flan, Irish cream, oatmeal cookies, oreo cookies, marshmallows, coconut hints, rye, bourbon, mild earthy and smokey notes finish at the end. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV, Rich, very smooth, creamy and silky mouth feel, easy to drink despite the ABV that is is pretty much ridiculous.

This beer is pretty damn ridiculous. It drinks wayyyyy too easy for its own good. The fact that it s a milk and oatmeal stout then age it in rye and bourbon barrels is like leading a moth to flames. There were not joking about this being a huge setup. IT’S A TRAP type of deal since it is so damn smooth yet its so strong at 11.5% ABV. You drink the bottle quick and you won’t feel nothing until half an hour later. I highly recommend this ridiculous beer on many merits and is a sinful, bliss and guilty pleasure.

Anime Corner:
Cammy White from Street Fighter was used in this pairing as I wanted to pair her with the beers colors and the pose of the Crasher squatting next to the burning chupacabras. The green colors of the chupacabras and the duck sitting next to the Crasher are on Cammy. Also the color of her beret goes with the cap that the crasher is wearing. While the beers is so delicious and drinkable, like how hot Cammy is, it does not take away from the fact that this beer is still 11% ABV and like that strength, Cammy is an extreme and skilled fighter that would break necks if angered.


Mega Milk by Arcade Brewery

10386964_10102431998971530_1585259680488785642_o 10429436_10102431999360750_6255404506098397491_nRating: 4.75/5

Mega Milk by Arcade Brewery is a 5.3% ABV Oatmeal Stout.

Batch #10
A Sessionable All-Season Stout for Any Wily Situation.

From the depths of space arrives the Mega Milk Stout. An oatmeal milk stout, brewed with debittered black malt, delivers a wonderfully light and sessionable beer with outstanding mouthfeel. Even the most devout pale ale drinkers should take a trip to the dark-side with this one. The Mega Milk Stout will be one of Arcade Brewery’s initial offerings Coming 2014!


Holy crap, this is freaking awesome and I immediately had to get it as soon as I saw the label for it. It is freaking Mega Man X. I got this one at and I was surprised. I had never heard of Arcade Brewery but judging by their label’s art work, they are really video game inspired. The fact that they brought Mega Man X into the beer world takes me back to my child hood days of playing lots of video games and all the Mega Man games especially. Maybe my love for the character could make me enjoy the beer better, maybe not, but still, THIS EXISTS! Cheers!

Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, chocolate milk shake, Duvalin chocolate, Nutella, vanilla, caramel, coffee hints, espresso hints, cookie dough hints, hints of dark fruit raisins, figs, prunes, cherry hints, chocolate brownies, hints of tobacco, milk sugar and brown sugar.

Dark chocolate, coffee hints, espresso hints, bakers chocolate, milk chocolate, milk sugar, duvalin chocolate, nutella chocolate, oatmeal cookies, mild cookie dought, mild smokey notes, vanilla, caramel, mild dark fruit raisins, figs, prunes, chocolate brownies, chocolate turtle truffles, molasses, anise hints, toffee, tobacco hints, pecan pie hints, rye bread, brown sugar and hints of tres leches/three milks cake.

Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, charred notes, earthy notes, dark fruit hints and hints of Nutella. No alcohol in the taste, creamy smooth body, easy to drink and pitch black body.

This milk stout is very good and really solid with a pretty good deal of complexity, not too overly sweet but just enough to keep stuff balanced. It is not the best milk stout I have ever had but that does not matter as it is still awesome and it represent Mega Man in the beer world. I saw that they have a Bourbon Barrel Aged one but on tap at their brewery. One day, I hope to try it. For now, if you can find this one and love the Mega Man series, definitely pick this up.

Anime Corner:
Megaman X and Alia from the Megaman X series were used in this pairing for the obvious reasons ofcourse, the label art work that is basically Megaman X. I used alia since she is a bad ass and has the same move set as Megaman X in the 8th installment. Megaman also has a pose like Pancho Pantera from the Choco Milk chocolate milk I used to drink as a kid. Oh yeah and the one here, I did for the lulzs. You see, there is this manga where this girl is wearking a shirt that says Mega Milk, like the name of the beer so yeah you can see, its anime related. Anyways, this beer kicks ass!


Firestone XVIII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker

10373717_10102208031509120_4150461538555173658_n 10802030_10102208031973190_4909364885338193070_nRating: 6/5

Firestone XVIII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker is a 13% ABV World Class Strong Multi-liquor Barrel Aged Style Hybrid Blend Ale.

Description: (Please Click On The Strategy Guide/Letter From Firestone Walker)
38% Parabola (bourbon barrel aged Russiant imperial stout),
16% Helldorado (bourbon and brandy barrel aged blond barleywine),
16% Bravo (bourbon and brandy barrel aged brown ale),
14% Stickee Monkey (bourbon and brandy barrel aged quad),
5% Velvet Merkin (bourbon barrel aged oatmeal stout),
4% Hydra Cuvée (a blend too much of a mouthful to describe here),
3% Wookey Jack (black IPA),
2% Ol’ Leghorn (English barleywine, collaboration with Three Floyds, aged in fresh barrels),
2% Double Jack (Double IPA)


It has been an awesome year for Firestone Walker beers and with the release of their 18th one, they add some new beers into their final blend. As with every year, this one comes with the strategy guide to basically see if you can figure out what’s what. While this is a difficult task, I try to write down as much as I can and see what new flavors this one is composed of versus the previous releases. It really does not matter sometimes as they have all beer exceptionally world class beers. Yes, don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself. Cheers!

Rich oak, vanilla, flan, bourbon, maple syrup, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, Belgium chocolate, German chocolate, ferrero rocher chocolate, toasted coconut, almond joy, dulce de leche caramel, rocky road ice cream, marshmallow smores, oreo cookies, cookies and cream, oatmeal cookies, cookie dough, cocada coconut candy, pilloncillo sugar cone, choco flan, dark fruits like currants, raisins, prunes, raspberry, cherries, currants, blackberries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, anise, molasses, brownies, brown sugar, bananas, clove spice hints, mocha, tres leches/three milks cake, dragon fruit, tangerine, pineapple hints and more!

Very strong oak barrel forward character, rich vanilla, bourbon, toasted coconut, almond joy, dulce de leche caramel, rocky road ice cream, marshmallow smores, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, Belgium chocolate, German chocolate, ferrero rocher chocolate, pralines, cookies and cream, oreo cookies, oatmeal cookies, cookie dough, flan, cinnamon hints, brown sugar, hazelnut, macademia nuts, cocada coconut candy, piloncillo sugar cone, dragon fruit, mango hints, pineapple hints, sweetened condensed milk, port wine, maple syrup, dark fruit currants, raisins, prunes, raspberry, cherries, currants, blackberries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, anise, molasses, brownies, brown sugar, bananas, clove spice hints, leather, tobacco, waffle cone, peaches and cream, pecan pie, candi sugars, rock candy, choco flan, espresso, mocha, toffee, tres leches/three milks cake, tangerine and more!

Port wine, dark chocolate, maple syrup, dark fruits, rocky road ice cream, oatmeal and oreo cookies, oak, vanilla, coconut, mango, chocolate chips and marshmallow smores with earthy hop notes finish at the end. No alcohol in the taste, Smooth and silky mouthfeel, dangerously easy to drink but should be handled as a sipper and crimson yet pitch black body.

Exceptionally great. Each release more awesome than the last. I really think this one is the best one by far. If aged, it will will definitely do wonders I am sure. This one seems to have richer flavors which I am sure were due to the addition of the Three Floyds collab and the Hydra Cuvee as well as the Stickee Monkee, Velvet Merkin and Parabola. This beer is insane and it will only get more insane as time goes on. If you can still find this goodie, definitely get it. It is one of the best!

Anime Corner:
Asuka Langley/Shikinami Sohrty, Rei Ayanami, Haruko Haruhara, and many others from Neon Genesis Evangelion and Fooly Cooly (FLCL) were used in this pairing to represent some of the blends represented by this beer. It is something I have done in the past with this series of Anniversary beers. This was a great pic because not only does it show case the colors of potential ingredients used but also how each flavor tries to out do the other. Also, Haruko was used in a previous Three Floyds collaboration this year (Rue D’Floyd) which represented her wacky aspect as “Not Normal”. The addition of Firestone and Three Floyd’s collab beer into this one made it so she can be in this pairing as well. What a bad ass!. Also, Asuka and Rei have been seen in pairings like Firestone’s Double Jack so they are definitely in the right pairing here too.


Velvet Mocha Merlin by Firestone Walker

10410676_10102205528490190_3598186254737251036_nRating: 5/5

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Vanilla Oatis by Ninkasi Brewing

558547_10101465093652540_795564566_nRating: 4.45/5

Vanilla Oatis by Ninkasi Brewing is a 7.2% ABV Oatmeal Stout brewed with Vanilla Beans

A delicious Oatmeal Stout with just enough hops to balance the copious quantities of dark roasted malts, oatmeal for a creamy smooth drinkability, and whole vanilla beans for a rich complexity. To achieve this higher level of decadence, we added whole vanilla beans to the final stage of fermentation – the same process we use to dry hop a beer.

Ninkasi brewing has been popping up in California really recently. They have been releasing some nice beers worth trying. So far, this is the second beer I try. I will pick up more as I can but so far everything is going pretty good.

Aromas are of Milk Chocolate, caramel, mocha, hints or raisins and dark fruits, earthy hops, oatmeal cookie notes, coffee, roasted barley and oats, pecans, dark cherry notes and walnuts

Flavors are of Vanilla, roasted oats, milk and dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, earthy hops, hints if dark cherry and raisins, notes of nutty pecans and and walnuts, caramel, mocha, roasted oats and notes of oatmeal cookies

The after taste is roasty and bitter with just enough vanilla beans to maintain and balanced finish. Moderate drinkability with no alcohol presence

Overall, the beer is very good. Without the Vanilla beans to keep everything in check, the roasted notes and earthy hops would most likely over power the beer. If not for the Vanilla, it be a decent stout but the vanilla beans just make it way more delicious. Worth trying once.

Anime Corner: This is Nia Teppelin from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagan. In the show, she had not revealed her this true form to her friends and this was because this form (Anti-Spiral) of hers was hidden dormant until the second half of the series. In this form, she was brainwashed and had to do everything the anti-spiral threat told her to do including lead the world to destruction. The beer comparison is complemented not just the label to her colors in the artwork, but the Vanilla it self. Just like the vanilla is used to keep stuff in check for the rest of the roasted character of the beer, Her will and love (Vanilla) for the main character Simon, allowed her to break control of the anti-Spirals hold and regain her consciousness back keeping her self balanced and in full control. At that point, she went back to her friends to help fight off the anti-Spiral threat

Proprietor’s Reserve Series No. 001 Velvet Merkin by Firestone Walker

994600_10101439809452280_289346014_n 1383987_10101439809497190_924111021_nRating: 5.2/5

Proprietor’s Reserve Series No. 001 Velvet Merkin by Firestone Walker is a 8.6% ABV World Class Oatmeal Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels

Velvet Merkin is the beer that almost wasn’t; at least in name… After all, it’s not your style to conceive monikers that are confounding scandalous or comical. But in this instance, we inadvertently achieved all three of these things with “Velvet Merkin.” And so the name went off the grid for several years, but now it’s back due to popular demand. If we get asked we’ll say it’s all your fault.

Once in the glass, however, Velvet Merkin is dead serious – The 2013 vintage outpaces its predecessors. Aged for a gull year in seasoned Bourbon Barrels, this decadent oatmeal stout holds your nose hostage with chocolate and vanilla-bourbon aromas. Rich flavors of dark chocolate truffle, Bourbon and espresso ultimately yield a beer that is dangerously smooth and increadibly drinkable. 

Velvet Merkin is one-of-a-kind sipping stout that is built to last, and that will reward careful aging for years to come. Hoarding tendencies may occur. 

One of the last bottles I was able to get at Ramirez Liquor stores in Boyle Heights California near down town Los Angeles, this is a coveted beer and a first time bottle release for Firestone Walker. There many stores online that are still carrying this and will ship it to you. Get this one before it is gone for good. While you wait, read this review and let me know what you think of the beer once you get a chance to try it.

Aromas are of oatmeal cookies, oreo cookies, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, milk chocolate, marshmallows, vanilla, bourbon, graham crackers, caramel, mocha, espresso, roasted barley, oak, hazelnut and ferrero rocher chocolates

The flavors are awesome! Dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha, oreo and oatmeal cookies, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, marshmallows, rocher chocolate notes, espresso coffee, oak, hazelnut, pecans, cookies and cream and coconut.

The aftertaste leaves with some flavors of vanilla, bourbon, oak, oatmeal, chocolate and. Hidden alcohol and the drinkability is easy to moderate but it goes down very smooth

Overall, this is an awesome beer exceeding a few points of expectation and note. If you love cookies and cream and oatmeal, you will like this one. Not to mention the fact that it is very smooth and close to easy drinking for an 8.5. An outstanding example that a beer need to be over the 10% ABV range to bring about some of the best flavors out there. Simply put, a must get and extraordinarily delicious. Release the Merkin unto thy palate for its magic, the bloodstream of the universe, will take you to some really sweet places.

Oatmeal Yeti by Great Divide Brewing

9907_10101358396379730_774366284_n1236107_10101358397282920_784323944_nRating: 5/5

Oatmeal Yeti by Great Divide Brewing a 9.5% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with roasted oats and raisins

Much like its legendary predecessors, this Yeti is big, bold and dark. The addition of rolled oats softens Yeti’s notoriously roasty backbone and the small amount of raisins added in the brew kettle create a unique dark fruit character. Just as admired as those that came before it, Oatmeal Yeti Imperial Stout is a softer beast.

I have reviewed a couple versions of the yeti. The first one was the chocolate oak yeti which I thought was delicious. Then came the Belgian Yeti and that one was more phenomenal. The oatmeal yeti is this year’s (2013) new yeti release

Aromas are of sweet, dark, and bakers chocolate, mild espresso notes, more mocha, dark fruits like raisins, figs, pecans, caramel, rich chocolate cake, brownies, smokey notes, brown sugar and slight marshmallows.

Flavors are of graham crackers, marshmallows, sweet, milk and dark chocolate, raisin bread pudding, pecans, hazelnut, almond joy, caramel, light espresso notes, oatmeal raisin cookies with chocolate chips, almost a vanilla hint, light smokey and oak notes, figs, chocolate raisin, currants, toasted coconut

The after taste is sweet, dark fruity, bready and chocolatey. The beer is kind of syrupy and velvety like some of the best Stouts I have ever tried. A sipper but not very aggressive to it is moderately drinkable and not so bitter. This is the stuff for certain. 

Overall an awesomely perfect yeti with added flavors that work very well giving another silky layer to an already awesomely complex imperial stout. The Yetis are probably a golden standard of prime imperial stout examples (Basic one’s ofcourse, as Barrel Aged or Belgian Imperial Stouts are in a league of their own). Definitely try this, without a shadow of a doubt, this is a must get unless you find the chocolate aged one or the Belgian one. These are all great. Careful drinking this one, it is kind of addicting and you may end up finishing the bottle.

Parabola Reserve Series No.004 Limited Release 2013 by Firestone Walker

940807_10101156118865490_1418900322_n 484497_10101156119374470_1603328620_nRating: 6/5* In the top 10 best of the world, it sure proved it’s worthiness.

Parabola Reserve Series No.004 Limited Release 2013 by Firestone Walker is a 13%ABV World Class Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout. Black Xantus’ Big brother 😀

Since founding our brewery in 1996, we have specialized in the rare art of brewing beer in oak barrels. In the fall of 2006, we embarked on a program to barrel age a series of vintage strong ales that would later be used as components of blending beer. That blend would become our first Anniversary Ale, “10”.

After the release of “10”, we released limited amounts of the component beers on draft only. Many of these beers gained a cult following that craft beer fans raved about and begged for us to put in bottle. Parabola was one of these beers.
We present the 2013 vintage of Parabola, a barrel-aged Imperial Stout. It has been said that the only constant is change and the same is true for barrel aged beers. Cut from a similar recipe, Parabola evolves and shows a different face each year; a result of time spent again in the barrel. 

Chocolate, charred oak, vanilla, black cherry and coffee are just some of the complex aromas and flavors you will find in this beer

Parabola is a one-of-a-kind sipping beer to last and will reward careful aging for years to come. 

Ideal Aging Temperature 45F 

OG: 29.5p [plato] 
IBU: 82 [high] 
Cases: 3500 produced [LTD] 
Aged: 12 mo [time in barrel] 
Yeast: British Ale [house] 
Color: 167SRM [black]

The mess I had to get in to find this beer. Just amazing. Even for Black Tuesday and Chocolate Rain I had to trade for it but it was easier to get than this beer. I almost left work early when I heard the new of it’s release. Driving on the freeway like a mad man, which is really something I have never done for a beer like this. In fact I wouldn’t do a lot of things for certain beers, even when they released Westy 12 in December 2012 I could care less. But this one was something that I really set my eyes on and was damned to get it. It was so hard to get that by the time I got there, it was literally the last one at a Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights, California. I was glad I made it on time. No limits for this release either when sold at their store. Maybe one day I will get another to age but now that I will review this for the masses, it may inspire those to go seek this black liquid gold for themselves, even if online. 

Fragrances of this beer are very complex. Hershey’s milk chocolate, almonds, Mexican “cocada” coconut candy, oak, vanilla, bourbon, marshmallows, dulce de leche caramel, sweetened condensed milk, flan, roasty sweet burnt notes, crème brulee, Kahlua coffee, cherries, raspberries, prunes, raisins, capirotada raisin bread pudding, molasses, hazelnut, brownies and a slight cola like smell that reminded me of a Port Wine like Trois Pistoles. Damn, this is very complex.

The Flavors are insane!!: You get a ridiculous amounts of chocolates like sweet, milk, dark, bakers and slight Abuelitas chocolate followed by vanilla, dulce de leche flan, bourbon, cocada coconut candy, roasted coconut, espresso, mocha, crème brulee, dulce de leche, raisins, cherries, raspberries, prunes, hazelnut and walnut capirotada raisin bread pudding, chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, molasses, chocolate chips ahoy cookies, oatmeal, sugar cream of wheat, marshmallows and slight port flavors.

Best way to describe this chocolate cake frosted coffee cake sprinkled with coconut, nuts, dipped in bourbon, made with portwine, dipped in bourbon, vanilla caramel glazed, mixed with fruits with Rocky Road Ice Cream on top  and well, just a complete and utter dessert. Should I remind that the bitterness actually comes from the roasted coffee notes.

The insane part is that it is very balanced, very drinkable and un-overpowering, very smooth, and its freaking amazing as it it goes down. Like a nice chocolate and chewy syrup that coats the back of your throat but then becomes like a milk chocolate. The craft beer Holy Grail. This is not Black Tuesday or Chocolate Rain or even White Chocolate. However, this beer proved that it can actually transform with every sip. It’s evolution is insane. Which reminds me of why something like this would be called Parabola. (Skip this if you don’t like math 😛 ) If there was a graph depicting a change of flavors with every try, I would say it fits into the definition of a Parabola. The flavors change going from a bourbon coconut to an extreme chocolate upper limit, then back to a bourbon coconut. Ofcourse the flavors keep changing as you go along to what I described earlier. Also the temperature is in charge of these changes as well. Gets way better as it warms up. Yeah, even if you have to go out of your way to get this, I would recommend it by all means to anyone who has not tried this. Also, apparently, from past years, what may have also contributed to the high rating is the fact that even the Brewmaster said this is the best version yet. So there you have it. Get one for now, cellar one for later.

La Corriveau by Le Bilboquet

486221_10100988348673300_1230825162_n 547030_10100988350364910_788662313_n 483930_10100988349317010_88185805_nRating: 5/5

La Corriveau by Le Bilboquet is a 5.5%ABV Oatmeal Stout. This beer is based on the story of Marie-Josephte Corriveau or La Corriveau as she’s know in Quebecois Folklore. She was sentenced to death by hanging in chains and cage by a British court marshal for the crime of murdering her second husband. Legend has it that she haunts people at cross roads…

Du haut de sa potence, la Corriveau vous regarde déguster une bière noire aux arômes d’expresso et de chocolat noir. Sa robe profonde est coiffée d’une crème riche et onctueuse qui cache une amertume tranchante, digne des idées noires qui hantaient l’esprit de cette meurtrière légendaire.

Hanging from the gallows, La Corriveau watches you as you are savoring this black beer with espresso and ark chocolate aromas. Its deep color is topped with a rich and unctuous cream that hides a sharp bitterness, worthy of the gloomy ideas that haunted this legendary murderer’s mind.

This is quite the good beer coming from Canada. Eerie tribute but damn good beer. Aromas are of coffee and chocolate with a lot of dark fruits like raisins, blue berries, black berries, tart cherries, wine grapes, oatmeal, caramel, roasted coffee, and a little bit of vanilla. It is quite potent and interesting fragrance. The flavors have another unique story to tell. The flavors are of sweet and dark chocolate covered grapes, cherries, raisins, blue and black berries, raspberries, mocha coffee, whipped cream, oatmeal cookies with cherries and toast covered in fig jelly. The aftertaste leaves with these nice coffee and caramel notes. Berries covered in chocolate dipped in coffee and mocha is a major emphasize. I am not sure if it is the Oatmeal sugars which provide the unique smoothness and special sugar which give it such a berry like sugary flavor but this is just too good. Maybe the legend is true. The sorts of flavors with a stout that was not made with certain indicated ingredients…just..supernatural stuff. Amazing Stout and a must try….I think all beers are enchanted and full of magic…take your taste buds to levels beyond reasoning.

Velvet Merlin by Firestone Walker

184485_10100950627002830_2109471633_nRating: 4.8/5

Velvet Merlin by Firestone Walker is a 5.5%ABV Oatmeal Stout. This is the second time I try this beer so I figure I give it another review.


A decadent Oatmeal Stout brimming with cocoa and espresso aromas. This beer features a rich, dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavor with a creamy mouth feel and wonderfully dry finish. The addition of U.S. grown fuggles hops contributes the perfect amount of bitterness to this exceptionally balanced beer.

Velvet Merlin is a pretty good stout. The fragrances of this beers are anywhere from dark and milk chocolate to Espresso and coffee aromas. There is also some nice roasty notes as well. The flavors of this one are of sweet coffee, mocha, milk and dark chocolate, sweet biscuit, some caramel and toffee are strong along with of that malt o meal or oatmeal grain feel. The beer feels sorta buttery, smooth and creamy which is is nice. I guess hence the name, velvet. The after taste leaves dry but sweet. It is a different type of sweetness though. Still more like actual oatmeal with coffee and chocolate. Breakfast in a bottle. It is amazing as this is a 5.5%ABV beer. Very drinkable and quite delicious. People that like stouts will fin this one to be not as overwhelming or complex but yet still full of a lot of flavor. Definitely worth the second round.

2011 Review:
A nice stout that is not too overwhelming with flavor allowing more than one bottle…emphasis on coffee flavors as well as other magical flavors only merlin can provide…lol

Dragonstooth by Elysian Brewing

75199_10100933726197180_1390636216_nRating: 4.8/5

Dragonstooth by Elysian Brewing is a 7.5% BV Oatmeal Stout. Oatmeal stouts are the type of stouts that provide that smooth taste as well as are responsible for a little bit of extra sweetness not found in other stouts even for being full bodied. Oatmeal Stouts differ in the sense that they are are stouts with smoother and richer taste.


A smooth and sturdy stout, made with 10% rolled oats, roasted barley and chocolate malt. The name is referential to the founders of Thebes, warriors who sprang from the earth when the teeth of a slain dragon were sown by Cadmus. Bittered with Chinook; finished with Cascade and Columbus hops.

This beer has strong aromas of sweet chocolate, bakers chocolate and dark chocolate along with coffee bread and mocha. The flavors are balanced as there is still some coffee roasted notes to balance out the sweetness. This is a very good and sweet beer. Not to the ultimate chocolate level but close. Coffee caramel cake dipped in Rich dark, sweet, and bakers chocolate (like the chocolate oak aged Yeti) with roasted bitterness that only works to balance and not to make the stout bitter. Other flavors I can tell is like a creamy oatmeal with cinnamon but only notes of it are there. It is a smooth beer for being a rich and heavy stout. The after taste is only as bitter as a small amount of coffee beans go but the sweetness of the oatmeal lingers. I am not sure if they decided to give me an older beer (Possibly aged) as this one is the older label. The new one is different. If it was aged, it aged very well and therefore the review is right on.

Breakfast Stout by Founders Brewing

Rating: 5/5

Breakfast Stout by Founders Brewing is a 8.9%ABV Double Chocolate Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout.


You’ve got to love coffee to truly appreciate this phenomenal brew. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and sweetened imported chocolates, Sumatra and Kona coffee. We’re actually not sure if this is some type of coffee cake or a beer. Either way you can drink this ale with a fork. Breakfast Stout has an intense fresh roasted coffee nose topped with a cinnamon colored frothy head that seems to never fade and makes you wish breakfast could last forever.
A world class beer that seems to be highly rated on the interwebs. Had to figure out what it was about. This beer comes in a 4 pack and available in the Fall and Winter. To be honest I couldn’t help my self but to have the first bottle as a beer float. Pure mocha goodness mixed in with that cookies and cream Ice Cream. Even though it was sweetened out, I could still taste the roasted malts and bitter earthy hops. Quite nice. So This is a review for the beer stand alone, I just figured I add that stuff extra to say it goes good as a beer float too. The aroma of this beer is like a nice rich coffee. I think one of the biggest reasons it is highly rated is because it is closer to a nice cup of coffee than a lot of other beers. Don’t know a lot about coffee types since I don’t drink that often but yes the fragrance is rich with it. Also, it is not just pure coffee, I can smell some vanilla, cocoa, caramel and crème sugar. The flavors of this beer is quite exquisite. This definitely like drinking a cold coffee that is sweetened up. However, not to the level of an Espresso. Although, the fresh flavors reminds of a light Khalua.. Notes of dark, bitter chocolate, followed by a light crème, oatmeal, raisin, mocha, vanilla, and alittle bit of caramel. Not too complex but as close as a very good cup of coffee goes. As for the alcohol…what alcohol?…hard to find it in the taste but it does get you after. Definitely because it is the closest to Liquid cold Coffee a beer can be is probably the reason why it is rated highly. If you can find this at the store or online, go try it. Coffee drinkers and Stout lovers will find this one very pleasing. I think the hype definitely lives up to it