California Creamin’ by Mother Earth Brew Company

1425618_10101544162208520_603896414_nRating: 3.9/5

California Creamin’ by Mother Earth Brew Company is a 5.2% ABV Cream Ale

Label:
One of our most popular beers ever, this light cream ale has a malty backbone thanks to some flaked corn and honey malt. A medium bodied cult classic, it is sure to woo the ladies, but also flavorful enough to satisfy the dudes. You’ll swear you were drinking a cream soda…but tricks are for kids.
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This is the first time I try Mother Earth Brewing and first time reviewing the cream ale style. I have tried cream ale in the past when I tried the Sam Adams cream ale in Iowa which was pretty good. Since then, I have not tried another one. This one is made with vanilla so I would assume it would be similar to cream soda as stated in the label. Well, let us see what this one is like. You may find this one at Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights California.

Aromas:
Reminiscent of Or Xata, Rich vanilla beans, cream soda, sweet milk, rice, citrus hops, honey biscuit bread, maize, hints of cinnamon and graham crackers

Flavors:
Similar to Or xata again but not as sweet, citrus hops, cream soda notes, vanilla, butterscotch, honey, graham crackers, citrus hops, maize, some cereal grain and somewhat pilsner component as well.

Aftertaste:
Leaves off with like a buttery vanilla taste, citrus hops lingering, honey and biscuit. The beer is easy to drink with no alcohol presence in the taste. Light, Crisp and refreshing and would be good if it was for the summer

Overall:
This beer is very good. Do not be afraid if it says using corn malt. This is NOT A LAGER. This is actually good. Some people may find it more appealing than others. I would really like to say that this would be a good gateway beer for someone getting into craft beer. It has a good amount of noticeable vanilla and taste very similar to a Cream soda. Good stuff and yes, I would recommend trying one, two, or even three of these.

Anime Corner:
Matryoshka Hatsune Miku was used for this pairing as I was trying to mimic something that had to do with California Dreamin’ like the song. The picture in a sense fits as it shows Miku wondering and kind of looks like day dreaming. When people think of California, they sometimes think of Los Angeles and the city. So the fact that the city comes out of her head may symbolize her day dreaming about California/Los Angeles. Also, the label colors fit with her hair. Matryoshka Miku is actually a version of her that was done in a video in 2010 that could be interpreted as sadden or insane as nothing in the video or the lyrics made sense and is open for interpretation. Sources here:http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/matryoshka. The mere fact that the “Scooby doo” hippy van is there just adds to the whole day dreaming, tripping or even getting high off of drugs aspect of the pairing. So in a sense, there is so much that can be depicted that pairs really well with this piece of artwork and the beer. Can you find any more details about this pairing?

Annual Barrel Series Batch No. 3 Rumpkin by Avery Brewing

1395365_10101453179433730_175450723_nRating: 5.75/5 *New title for an exceeding expectations pumpkin ale

Annual Barrel Series Batch No. 3 Rumpkin by Avery Brewing is an 18.53% ABV Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices aged in Rum Barrels. The strongest ABV pumpkin ale I have tried.

Label: 
We wondered what would happen if a monstrous pumpkin ale, plump full of spicy gourdiness, were aged in fine fresh rum barrels to add suggestions of delicate oak and candied molasses. Rumpkin is what happened!
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A limited released that can be found online now or in some limited places. I found this at Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights California, but hell if I know if they have anymore. May or may not be the best pumpkin beer ever surpassing all the awesome barrel aged beers I have ever tried, all I know though is this one is Strong!! When beer starts to get into the 18% ABV or hell even past 13% ABV which is like the point of no return, then trying the beer alittle bit at a time to savor it is when it matters. This beer has no carbonation, nada!!

Aromas upon opening this one, there some very nice fragrances of pumpkin, ginger bread, bananas, cloves, cinnamon, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, cinnamon, coconut notes, macaroons, rum, pumpkin seeds, nutmeg, sweet yams in maple, piloncillo sugar cone, waffle cone in coconut icecream, molasses, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon notes, brown sugar and some dark fruits. The aromas are rich as in I don’t have to look super hard to guess an aroma. This is very good.

Flavors are very rich like the aromas. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin flesh and yams in cinnamon and maple, pecan pie, rum, ginger bread, old bananas, cloves, cinnamon, coconut cream pie, flan, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, oak, waffle cone, chocolate notes, raisins, plums, pineapple, cherries, coconut icecream, pumpkin pie ice cream and other spices

Aftertaste stays consistent with the pumpkin, caramel, brown sugar, banana, pecan pie and rum. The alcohol has a major presence here. Not detracting from the already super complex awesomeness but it definitely is meant to be sipped, and enjoyed a little at a time.

Overall, this is probably one of the best, if not, the best pumpkin beer I have ever had. It has pretty much everything all the best pumpkin beers I have ever had have. Everything from the nose to taste is very consistent. The only thing about this one though, it is a major kicker. It warms you up like no other. I have had many 18% ABV caliber beers and even some don’t manage to warm you up this good. Not at all in a harsh way, but in a very very pleasant way. This is the type of pumpkin beer you would best enjoy right at the end of the fall nearing the winter when it starts to get a lot colder. If you can still find it, I would recommend you get this but if you cannot get it, there are other super awesome pumpkin beers out there. All it takes is a look

Alaska’s Most Wanted Series: Berserker by Midnight Sun Brewing

1377988_10101434254040370_1178468085_n 1385898_10101434255527390_442576642_nRating: 5.35/5

Alaska’s Most Wanted Series: Berserker by Midnight Sun Brewing is a 12.7% ABV World Class Imperial Stout brewed with maple syrup & molasses all aged in oak bourbon barrels

Label: 
Vicious and viscous, this menacing brew pours opaque black with a creamy maduro-colored head. Its aroma offers seductive whiskey, chewy red wine, dark fruit and lavish tobacco. Berserker Imperial Stout invades your taste buds with in-your-face flavor. Weighing in at almost 13% alcohol by volume, Berserker is completely out-of-control. Give it a good fight.
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This is the first time I try this very epic beer. I heard great things about this beer and long behold, Ramirez Liquor had this in stock for review. Depending as to how this turns out, I think I will grab another bottle although I doubt there will be anymore left. Regardless, if you are able to find this beer just get it.

Aromas are of strong dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha, dark fruits, raisins, plums, strong with pecan and hazelnut notes, marshmallow, almonds, toasted coconut hints, flan, forward bourbon, rich caramel, toffee, maple syrup, oak, vanilla, molasses, licorice, anise, fudge cake and brownies

Flavors are of rich velvety maple syrup oak, bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate, molasses, raisins, dark cherries, black berries, wine grapes, port wine, caramel, marshmallows, toasted coconut, roasted coffee notes, pecans, hazel nut, campfire oak and a banana notes.

The after taste leaves with a bit of bourbon, roasted notes, berry notes, maple sweetness and roasted coffee bitterness. Definite sipper and has a moderately boozy alcohol presence but does not detract from the flavors. In fact it seems to be what adds the extra complexity to this beer. Although the bitterness may also take a little bit from it.

Over this is pretty kick ass and awesome. This beer is lovely and syrupy focusing a lot on the bourbon, oak, maple and berry flavors but also focuses on roasted bitterness. It is not bad but some people that may want more sweetness or super duper complexity will be left wanting more as the bitterness may get in the way. I like bitterness on this though. It surely does not disappoint. It does exceed my expectation points and gets some extra credit, but not the chocolate level of supreme that I enjoy in these types of beers. Still a freaking great beer.

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 😀

Description: 
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]
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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.

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

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