(PCH) Pale Chocolate Heaven by Santa Monica Brew Works

Rating: 6/6
(PCH) Pale Chocolate Heaven by Santa Monica Brew Works is a 6% American Porter

A modern interpretation that replaces traditional ingredients of a porter with generous portions of cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and milk sugar resulting in a complex memorable beer

Pancho pantera chocomil! This is amazing choco malty millshake

Black Butte XXIX 29th Birthday Reserve by Deschutes Brewery

Rating: 7/7

Black Butte XXIX 29th Birthday Reserve by Deschutes Brewery is a 12.2% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Dutche cocoa, Saigon cinnamon, and cayenne. 50% aged in Bourbon and Rum barrels.

In celebration of our 29th anniversary this year’s Imperial Porter delivers notes of dark chocolate and cinnamon spice with hints of coconut, vanilla, and dried fruit finished by a warm dash of cayenne.


Essentially a Double Barrel Porter aging in both Rum and Bourbon. Every year, I try to pick up this annual release of their anniversary beer. Each year is a different blend entirely and while I feel some blends I really liked for the ingredients used, overall, I think each installment is more and more delicious with time. This year they decided to go with a chocolate, cinnamon and cayenne take with Rum and bourbon. That is crazy using a double barrel half take with what seems to be like a Mexican inspiration. Let’s see how the flavors of this one are, cheers!

Rich piloncillo sugar cone, cinnamon, nutmeg, yams, sweet potato pie, vanilla, caramel, bananas, dark fruit prunes, raisins, plums, figs, dates, rum, bourbon, oak, mint, sweetened condensed milk, coconut and marshmallow smores.

Sweet potato pie, capirotada/Mexican yams, piloncillo sugar cone, maple srup, dark chocolate, chocolate milk shake Mexican Chocolate, Belgian chocolate, German Chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, cocoa powder, rum, bourbon, oak, Dark fruit prunes, raisins, plums, figs, dates, currants, cherries
Pancho Pantera chocolate milk shake, banana sundae. Sweetened condensed milk, flan, crème brulee, tres leches cake, pecan pie, bourbon, marshmallows, almond joy, toasted coconut, molasses, mint, clove spice, bananas, grilled plantains, Danish cream, rye bread, piña colada, oatmeal cookies, raisins bread and more!

Finishing with dark fruits, cinnamon, ginger bread, fruit cake, earthy notes, dark chocolate, pecan pie, tobacco, oak, marshmallows, floral tartness, caramel, vanilla and tobacco hints. No alcohol in the taste, Pitch Black Midnight Full body, silky, velvety and smooth mouthfeel and a super easy drinkability which is dangerous. Just like each year, its smoothness will make you want to drink the whole bottle in one sitting.

Seems like every year, a different beer and a different way of preceiving the greatness which is the Black Butte anniversary. This year it seems more of a Mexican style of taste. While although spicy, the overall consensus, it was not super hot but definitely zlong the lines a Mexican desert flowing. Indeed this scream sweetness but the peppery heat is not present. Along with the many versions out there, this one should definitely be picked up!

Anime Corner:
Twili Midna from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princes was chosen once again this year for the Black Butte release as well as the other releases. Just like previous tears, I had chosen her in the previous releases since I wanted to represent the mixing of 2 of the same ale together but one specially blended. Since I did not use the chibi version of Midna for this iteration, I figure I let the adult version of her do all the talking. In this year, the Chocolate, Cinnamon and cayenne represent somewhat of a Mexican Dark Mole feel to the beer. It is actually more towards a Mexican sweet potato pie if it was mixed in with Mexican Hot Chocolate. So since Midna has a cloak like the tilma of the virgin of guadalupe it sorta ties in that Mexican culture aspect of this beer. Who’d of thought Midna would complement this iteration even more!

2016 Akevitt Barrel-Aged Porter by HaandBryggeriet


Rating: 7/7

2016 Akevitt Barrel-Aged Porter by HaandBryggeriet is a 10% ABV Norwegian Porter aged in Aquavit/ Akevitt Barrels.


Batch 981 Barrel-Aged Porter from HaandBryggeriet from Drammen, Norway members of the Scandinavian Craft Brewers Guild 1pt, 9 oz. 500 ml

Once, all farmers in Norway made beer. Some also made Akevitt, a spirit flavored with herbs or spices. A shot of Akevitt was traditionally chased with a shot of beer. In a brilliant turn of one-stop-shopping ingenuity, the Haand brewers – four guys making beer in their spare time, on an absurdly small scale – have aged this traditional dark, hearty farm Porter in Akevitt barrels.


I haven’t had this beer in yeeeaaarrrss!! Back then when bourbon barrel aged beers were hard to come by, there was this crazy beer aged in Aquavit/Akevitt which is the traditional Scandinavian drink of yore made since the 15th Century. This brew was bottled back in 2016 so it has sat for about a year. I had recently found it even though back then it was one of the rarest beers to find, especially because not many beers are aged in Aquavit. In fact, I have tasted no other beer ever with this spirit, so yeah, it is pretty damn rare. It is not a hyped beer, in fact it is under hyped but it is still one rarity of a whale. Let’s see how it is, cheers!

Dark fruits, smokey, licorice, anise, fruit cake, dark currant flan, oak, burnt sugar, rock candy, port wine, red wine, funky notes, dark farmhouse hay, tobacco, herbs, black tea, spices, banana, clove spice, brandy, cognac and some dark spicy liqueur or wine which I assume is the Akevitt.

Deep oak, licorice, anise, roasted barley, herbs, spices, dark fruits raisins, figs, prunes, cherries, plums, bananas, clove spice, smokey notes, marshmallow, earthy hops, dark farmhouse hay, mint, black root, black tea, dark chocolate, port wine, rum, bourbon hints, juniper berries, cognac hints, chardonnay, raspberry Chambord, rye bread, leather, tobacco, blueberries, fudge cake, flan, stone fruit apricot, fruit cake, brown sugar, currants, rock candy, peppercorns, brandy notes, wine grape notes, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla and brettanomyces.

Lots of smokey, earthy and cholatey notes lingering for a long time with the nice dark fruit, oak, fruit cake, leather, tobacco, licorice and funky port wine. No alcohol in the taste, pitch black dark body, chewy, smooth, creamy and syrupy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

An exceptional and unique brew. Much of the rating I give has to do with the special barrel aging and the fact that it reminds me of some of the greats of the world like Ommegang Art of Darkness, Stillwater Folklore, Lost Abbet Serpent Stout aged and even De Struise Brouwers Damnation. However, its uniqueness also shines in this herbal, spicy, muddy, oaky, leathery and dark fruit aspects of the Akevitt which really makes this beer way different. Some flavors which I can make out from the beer but others is really difficult. Regardless, it sits in the bucket list categories for esoteric, dark aged European beers.

Original Review:

Anime Corner:
Shayla Shayla from El Hazard was used in this pairing as she was use in the previous iteration of this beer. So it was only fitting that she make a return in this one. Some of the funky oaky flavors as well as the herbal and dark flavors can be seen in some of the art work represented by dark skinned and red haired Shayl Shayle on some farm hay. Yes, this was the inspiration.



Black Butte XXVIII (28th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery

14500358_10103586625670370_7603281402284353722_o 14468505_10103586625665380_3911454266961627999_o 14481978_10103586625675360_639779613992909017_oRating: 7/7

Black Butte XXVIII (28th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery is 11.5% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Cocoa, Vanilla, Peated Malt and Sweet Orange Peel with 50% aged in Bourbon and Scotch barrels.

Imperial Porter brewed with cocoa, vanilla, peated malt and sweet orange peel, with 50% aged in bourbon and scotch barrels–“The result is our 28th anniversary imperial porter with bright orange and vanilla aroma, layers of roasty chocolate and a warm, smokey finish”

Every year, we celebrate our anniversary with an imperial, barrel-aged version of our flagship Black Butte Porter. Our brewers love to experiment and they always add some fun new ingredients to this beer like chilies, cranberries, figs and other such treats. This year, to celebrate 28 years of brewing, they’ve added the interesting mix of ingredients above for another multi-layered flavor experience.


Essentially a Porter and Wee Heavy Blend. Every year, I try to pick up this annual release of their anniversary beer. Each year is a different blend entirely and while I feel some blends I really liked for the ingredients used, overall, I think each installment is more and more delicious with time. So with year’s version, they decided to go with a chocolate and orange and additionally aging in Scotch. Let’s see how the flavors of this one are, cheers!

Dark fruit raspberries, cherries, prunes, raisins, figs, currants, blackberries, Chambord raspberry liqueur, Smoked Peat, Chocolate Orange cream hints, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, chocolate covered pomegranates, bananas, piloncillo sugar cone, raspberry preserves, Danish cream, coffee cake, Mexican Gansito cake hints, clove spice, licorice, anise, molasses and brown sugar.

Smoked Peat, Chocolate Orange cream balls, orange candies, dragon fruit, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, chocolate covered pomegranates, bananas covered in chocolate, roasted malts, Bourbon, Scotch, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, dark candi sugar, coffee, chocolate mousse, oak, bubblegum hints, fudge cake, dark fruit raspberries, cherries, prunes, raisins, figs, currants, blackberries, walnut cake, pecan pie, clove spice, licorice, anise, molasses, Chambord raspberry liqueur, Mexican Gansito cake, creme brulee, flan, sweetened condescended milk, marshmallows, wine grapes, almond joy chocolate, rye bread, abuelita chocolates, piloncillo sugar cone, raspberry preserves, Danish cream and coffee cake.

Dark fruits, stone fruits, earthy notes, Dark chocolate, pecan pie, tobacco, oak, marshmallows, floral tartness, caramel, vanilla and tobacco hints. No alcohol in the taste, Pitch Black Midnight Full body, silky, velvety and smooth mouthfeel and a super easy drinkability which is dangerous. Just like each year, its smoothness will make you want to drink the whole bottle in one sitting.

Incredible, each year’s version of this beer is nothing short of supremely exceptional. They really out do themselves every anniversary. The complex flavors of the wee heavy, bourbon, chocolate orange and much more really stood through with every sip. This brew was so damn amazing I accidently finished the whole bottle in one sitting! Whoops! Lol but seriously though, not a lot of beers make it this far and even if common ones are this good, you know hypes are trends. Never underestimate what a common beer can do! I highly recommend getting a bottle of this one or two to drink and cellar.

Anime Corner:
Midna (Both Forms) from The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princes was chosen once again this year for the Black Butte release as well as the other releases. Just like last year’s, I had chosen her in the previous releases since I wanted to represent the mixing of 2 of the same ale together but one specially blended. They are both the same person and both are kick ass but that was obvious from the fact that I use them for the same beer every year that I represent Twili Midna, the taller one, as the one that represents the barrel aged percentage. In this year, the orange peel and vanilla do complement both of them as they both have orange hair and the chocolate and vanilla by the black and white of their tones.


Genghis Pecan by Clown Shoes brewing

1148754_10101340753017170_1012943602_nRating: 4.6/5

Genghis Pecan by Clown Shoes brewing is a 7%ABV Pecan Pie Porter brewed with roasted pecans

Our new Pecan Pie Porter no longer uses extract, but rather brown sugar and pecans roasted by friends at The Gallows in Boston. Buddy Hadry, a rep at Bella Vista in PA, gave me the name for this beer, the second Pecan beer now that he has named. Thank you, Buddy!

What does pecans have to do with Genghis Khan? I have no clue, other than the last name rhymes with pecans. Pecan pie or pecan flavored beers are some of my favorite notes that I find in many beers that I try. One made with pecans, well let’s see how good it is.

Aromas are of hazelnut, pecans, roasty coffee, brown sugar, spices, biscuit bread, nutmeg, cinnamon and chocolate

The flavors are of pecan notes, some hazelnut, coffee, pecan pie, walnuts, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, caramel, dark chocolate, biscuit bread or pie crust, molasses, butterscotch and a bit of nutella on rye.

The aftertaste is sweet, toffee and biscuity with alittle bit of roasty notes The beer is not super heavy but moderate to drink with silky mouthfeel 

Overall the beer does not a super strong pecan pie flavor like I get in a lot of bourbon barrel aged beers and quads but it still has some pecan, nutty and bready flavors. Also very nice drinking. For some reason, the biscuit, nutty and buttery feels reminds me of some notes I got from trying a Far Tire. Ofcourse, this one is way better than Fat Tire (Imperial Fat Tire?). Well regardless, this was very delicious and enjoyable. Don’t expect to be blown away by pecans and pie, but the notes and buttery nut bread are strong here 

Black Butte XXV (25th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery

1012731_10101291877903290_325407295_n 971375_10101291878467160_102706796_nRating: 5.45/5

Black Butte XXV (25th Anniversary Reserve) by Deschutes Brewery is an 11.3% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with dates, figs and cocoa nibs with 50% aged in bourbon barrels and 12.5% with black currants added.

Dates, figs and chocolate. Black currants, barrel-aged in bourbon casks. The result is an Imperial Porter with a tart berry and chocolate aroma with luscious layers of dried fruit, oak and vanilla. A fitting tribute to the 25th Anniversary of our flagship beer

I did a review of this beer last year (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/black-butte-xxiv-by-dechutes/ )

However, this year they mixed it up a bit by adding dates, currants, figs and cocoa nibs making this one a very special beer. Probably close to a Dubbel/Porter Hybrid

Aromas are of bananas, chocolate, raisins cherries, black berries, blue berries, toffee, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, oak, vanilla, toasted coconut, fruit cake, mocha, currants, bit of wine grapes and sweetened condensed milk. Smells like the ultimate chocolate fruit dessert. Awesome. 

The flavors are of milk, dark and bakers chocolate, mocha, coffee, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel notes, oak, bourbon, currants, cherries, blackberries, blue berries, raspberries, dates, figs, toffee, banana notes, tart wine grape notes, coconut, lots of bread quad and dubbel notes and chocolate port wine fruit cake.

The after taste is pretty sweet leaving with a nice roasted coffee bitterness followed by lots of berries, vanilla and caramel to help it along. It finishes a little dry but that is the best part too. Due to this beer’s complexity and dryness, it just makes you want to sip more. Careful though, that is how it it teases you. You see, once you start, you may like and sip after sip you won’t realize that you finished the entire bottle. 

This beer taste a lot like the Brewdog/ Stone Collaboration Bashah in Raspberries and Highland Whiskey Barrels. Lots of fruit, a great amount of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, bananas and more. I never tried the XXI version of this beer but if that one is a lot like Chocolate Rain, awesome, but this beer is phenomenal in the chocolate berry department. It really did turn out similar to a Dubbel/ Porter hybrid. I would say the difference between this beer and my last review of the Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout, is that the other one has more pecans and caramel chocolate where this one is more berries and chocolate. Quite the different spectrum here. But the hybrid is similar. Some type of Belgian Stout or Porter aged in Bourbon barrels. Close enough to some of the best beers I have reviewed on the blog which have exceeded my limits.

Bier De Chocolat by Almanac Beer Company

941248_10101288137833420_135999525_nRating: 4.6/5

Bier De Chocolat by Almanac Beer Company is a 5.5%ABV American Porter

Our Robust Porter is brewed with hand-roasted cocoa nibs from Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco and organic Ivanhoe Hops grown in Clear Lake, California. Rich flavors of roasted malts and chocolate hints of smoke and vanilla makes this beer the perfect pairing for Texas-style smoked brisket, chicken mole and Dandelion’s dark chocolate.

This is my first take at an Almanac beer, never had one before but from what I can see of their labeling, they take pride in Farm raising beer ingredients and making beer. Good stuff and fresher than what others may provide.

Aromas of this beer are of lots Dark and milk Chocolate, mocha, coffee notes, vanilla cream, earthy hops, caramel and molasses.

The flavors are of rich dark and milk chocolate, earthy hop bitterness, mocha, coffee, vanilla notes, caramel, brownie batter and a slight bit of smoke.

The after taste is a little bitter but the vanilla and chocolate carry this one along very nicely. Could your more chocolate, but that’s just me being picky as I love chocolate beers that are more closer to chocolate than anything. 

This one does a great job of giving enough chocolate but not being overly sweet and detracting from the already good flavors of roasted coffee and earthy hops. Definitely a nice pick up for chocolate porter lovers.

Firestone Walker’s Reserve Porter

945071_10101269314181170_790760088_n 934610_10101269316142240_117215119_nRating: 4.85/5

Firestone Walker’s Reserve Porter is a 5.8% ABV American Porter

A singularly distinctive beer that represents our finest brewing efforts, Walker’s Reserve is a elegant dark ale featuring robust flavors of toffee, caramel and bittersweet chocolate. This brew employs five specialty malts, as well as oat and barley flakes, for added complexity and flavor.

I was in the store yesterday and I figured, why not. I have tried many other FW beers so at least I can have a good profile on this site to suggest to the masses. There are many reviews about this one. Some range it from world class to very good or even great and exceptional. Parabola was off the charts for me, so why not this one right?

Aromas are of mocha, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, coffee, molasses, earthy notes, lightly roasted pecan scent and almost like maple, vanilla, caramel and brown sugar. So far so good

The flavors are of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, mocha, rich expensive coffee roast, caramel, vanilla, Irish cream, a touch of earthy hops and smokiness, slight tobacco, molasses, chocolate brownies, brown sugar, pecans, hazelnuts, hint of mint,a bit of raisins and oak notes.

The beer leaves a mild coffee bitterness with nice notes of the vanilla and chocolate. 5.8% is not a lot of ABV, but this ones does very well. A fine example of what great porters should be. This is not an average porter by no means, this is very delicious stuff. FW knows their stuff.

Moonlight Ale by Cold Spring brewing

547502_10101143597822760_1711777774_nRating: 4.25/5

Moonlight Ale by Cold Spring brewing is a 5%ABV Black and Tan. Brewed with 50% Porter and 50% Amber Bock styles

A blend of 50% porter and 50% Amber bock brews. The malts for the porter are specialty malts that are dark roasted for the chocolate tones. Three hops are used for citrus flavors, floral aroma, and bitterness. The bock beer is sweeter with mild bitterness and lighter in color These two brews are then blended to create a unique and distinctive ale. The water from glacial spring with natural minerals allows us to brew great ale only here in Cold Spring, Minnesota

$3 for a 32oz of beer. Not bad, especially if it is craft. Good craft at that. I didn’t know what to expect with this beer. Perhaps I was thinking like the Mississippi Mudd or a New castle flavor. Frankly, I was surprised. The aromas of this beer are very good. Fragrances of rich toffee, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, piloncillo unrefined sugar cone, some chocolate notes, cinnamon, earthy hops, and somewhat maple. The flavors were very sweet . This beer made me think of a much sweeter and chocolatey dead guy ale. Tastes like chocolate, toffee, caramel, earthy hops, molasses, unrefined sugar, slight mocha, coffee, maple syrup and slight metallic notes (when drinking from the can). Not sure why such low reviews I’ve see for this beer. I though this was great and for the price and amount, much much better. I guess because I love sweet beers 😛 . I tried in the can and in the glass. This is better in the glass though.

Cacao Chocolate Porter by Aztec Brewing

488166_10101122146581220_138817041_nRating: 4.75/5

Cacao Chocolate Porter by Aztec Brewing is a 6.4%ABV Porter brewed with cacao nibs

A classic porter aged on cacao nibs to add a rich chocolate flavor

Found this one at Ramirez Liquor in East Los Angeles. Aztec Brewing is up and coming from Vista California, so this is another example of fine beers from local micro breweries. The aromas are of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, some coffee, vanilla, caramel and a fragrance that reminds me of Molé spices on spicy rice. Pretty interesting for sure. The flavors are of dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, light notes of dulce de leche caramel, sweet milk chocolate notes, some minor spicy notes and toffee. Over all, this is very good. It has enough sweet chocolate to keep it interesting but it is mainly a rich sweet porter. It is not to the level of chocolate rain or some of the best chocolate beers, but still, pretty awesome for locally brewed stuff 🙂

Smoking Wood by The Bruery

540438_10100954716427590_370128381_n 61022_10100954712809840_1216744887_nRating: 5/5

Smoking Wood by The Bruery is a 13% ABV Smoked Imperial Rye Porter Aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels.

Smoked Imperial Rye Porter aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels. A rich porter layered with rye spiciness and earthy smoke, caramel-like flavors, roasty malt and oaky deliciousness. 
Brewed with beachwood and cherrywood smoked malt, and aged in rye whiskey barrels, Smoking Wood is a delicious demonstration of what wood has to offer when it comes to beer. This imperial smoked porter is brewed with a hefty amount of rye malt, contributing to a full body and light spiciness. Toasty oak, caramel and vanilla flavors balance the smokiness, contributing to an intense yet refined flavor profile. This is one of our favorite beers at the moment, we hope you agree. 

For smoked beers, I hear this one was phenomenal. The aromas are of whiskey or a bourbon, vanilla, caramel, smokey notes, campfire, bacon, some rye bread, minor coffee, chocolate and raisins. The flavors are of dark and milk chocolate, campfire, bacon, BBQ Ribs, whiskey, Jack Daniels Honey, scotch, vanilla, caramel, mocha, maple syrup, oak, coconut, minor flan notes, brown sugar, sourdough bread, plums, cherry, walnuts and pecans. This beer turned out to be fantastic. While it has a high ABV, the flavors prevent too much burn. You can kind of tell that it is strong but not to an overwhelming point. In fact, the smoke and sweet flavors take care of that. Ofcourse, do not drink this in one sitting. You will get wasted. Try some and save it for later. For people that do not like smoked beers might find this one pretty appealing and pleasant.

Mocha Porter by Rogue Brewing

23885_10100928490409740_1000318734_nRating: 4.45/5

Mocha Porter by Rogue Brewing is a 5.3%ABV Sweet Porter 


Ruddy brown in color, a bittersweet balance of malt and hops with a light cream finish.13 Ingredients:
Malts: Great Western 2-Row, 
135-165, 95-115, and 70-80 Crystal; Chocolate, Black, Carastan & Rogue Micro Barley Farm Dare Malts
Hops: Williamette & Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution & Freedom hops
Yeast & Water: Rogue’s Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.
No Chemicals , Preservatives or additives
54 IBU
73 AA
77º Lovibond

Rogue makes some pretty awesome beers. This one should be no exception. The some smokey bakers chocolate aromas and sweet caramel on a mocha Frappucino. The flavors are of caramel, chocolate, coffee grounds, mocha, brown sugar, earthy hops,. Vanilla, raisin bread and whipped cream. There is this underlying chocolate cake flavor that reminds me of the Oak Aged Yeti. Good stuff here :P. So much rich flavor and a little bits of alcohol. Worth the try 🙂