Big Lushious by Founders Brewing

10406402_10102350611597480_5283677084754503916_n 995608_10102350612281110_7474703038067947494_n 1966835_10102350613309050_3309409244486416948_nRating: 6/5* If you love sugar sweet dessert beers, you will love this one.

Big Lushious by Founders Brewing is a 7.8% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Dark Chocolate and Raspberries.

Description:
Big Lushious is a deep, rich stout that’s packed with flavor: roasted malts, all-natural dark chocolate, a subtle suggestion of burnt coffee grounds and a kiss of tart raspberries. At 7.8% ABV, it’s big, sumptuous and extravagant, but also balanced.

==Introduction==

Founders released this in small quantities to select places. While looking for other beers, I stumbled upon this little diamond in the rough. Founders is typically something we don’t often see around California. While looking for another beer, I included this one just to see how it was. Based on information I gather, this one is supposed to be a guilty pleasure type of beer hence the name and the label may allude to. So let us see if this is the case with the Big Luscious, Cheers!

Aromas:
Extremely Rich Raspberries, Extremely Rich Dark Chocolate, milk chocolate, brown sugar, milk sugar, mild coffee espresso, flan hints, vanilla, fudge chocolate cake, dark fruit raisins, plums, chocolate cherry cordials, dark cherries, roasted malts, Irish cream, Danish cookie notes, caramel chocolate pecan pie and raspberry truffles.

Flavors:
Extremely Rich dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, chocolate cake, fudge chocolate, chocolate cherry cordials, chocolate covered raspberries, chocolate raspberry,extremely rich dark fruit raspberries, dark cherries, currants, raisins, plums, blackberries, mild tart raspberry skins, vanilla caramel, caramel and pecan turtle truffles, anise hints, molasses, flan, cinnamon, brown sugar, earthy notes, cocoa powder, roasted malts, espresso notes, Irish cream, Danish cookie notes and toffee.

Aftertaste:
Rich Dark chocolate, Very rich raspberries, milk sugar, mocha hints, earthy hints, vanilla and caramel linger for a bit. No alcohol in the taste, Ridiculously easy to drink, Creamy and velvety mouthfeel, pitch black full body with like a crimson and brown head signifying more colors.

Overall:
This beer is exceedingly delicious. Like an actual raspberry chocolate cake. No joke, this beer is a legitimate chocolate and raspberry sugar coma. It is so ridiculously easy to drink that I was tempted to just drink the whole thing. It is very addicting. I give this one a super high rating due to how damn close it taste to liquid raspberries and chocolate syrup. A mild complexity. This beer could be stronger but it is not without its merits. I think however, because of it’s strong and lingering sweetness, it will definitely may not be enjoyed by those that do not have a sweet tooth for a beer like this. It is pretty damn sweet and fruity. So if you love very sweet and easy to drink dessert beers, then go for it. Just be careful not to finish the bottle right away. One of the best Raspberry Chocolate beers ever!

Anime Corner:
Kallen Stadtfeldt from Code Geass was used in this pairing since I wanted to use a character who’s colors correlate with the colors and the flavors of raspberries. While I have used Sakura Haruno from Naruto to do raspberry beers or mainly other girls with pink hair, Kallen seem to fit the bill here. The name of Big Luscious goes with how seductive this beer is to the palate. This beer is pure raspberry bliss so having Kallen be seductive in this instance was pretty much the way to go.

Sources:
http://wallpoper.com/images/00/28/24/36/code-geass_00282436.jpg
http://i.neoseeker.com/mgv/407272/272/32/konachancom_32646_code_geass_gun_kallen_stadtfeld.jpg

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The Abyss 2013 Release by Deschutes Brewing

1459902_10101544182762330_465279393_n 1462996_10101544183111630_452578967_nRating: 5.75/5

The Abyss 2013 Release by Deschutes Brewing is an 11% World Class Imperial Stout brewed with Black Strap molasses, Licorice with cherry bark and vanilla added with 6% aged in oak bourbon barrel, 11% aged in Oregon Oak Barrels, and 11% aged in oak Pinot Noir wine barrels.

Label:
It’s dark. It’s deep. It’s mysterious. Aged in French Oak and Bourbon barrels, this special brew has immeasurable depth inviting you to explore and discover its rich, complex profile. The flavor of molasses and licorice draw you in further and further with each sip. The Abyss beckons. Enjoy the journey.
___

I have previously reviews the 2009 version of this beer. I decided to give it another round as I may not often get around to reviewing this one again. Upon looking at this one, I saw it was made a bit differently than the 2009 version. I had to give it a shot.

Aromas:
Madrugada Obscura, basically sour stout notes, wine notes, roasted coffee, dark and milk chocolate, smokey oak, dark fruits, coconut, cherry notes, flan notes, espresso, molasses, licorice, clove spice, cinnamon and other complex notes.

Flavors:
Wine, Bourbon, Stout, Marugada Obscura, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, cherries, dark fruits, raisins, figs, smokey quality, Port wine, vanilla, caramel, oak, roasted chocolate, coconut, flan, licorice, molasses, pinot noir and earthy hops. After letting it warm up it started to evolve in flavors again. Funny as the 2009 version evolved too. Now this thing is tasting a bit like banana notes, crème brulee, raisin bread pudding, overall bitter roasted coffee, Kahlua, mocha, barley wine caramel, toffee, butterscotch, almonds, pecan pie, cherry, plums, hazelnut and well, it seems to keep going. I will stop right here.

Aftertaste:
Finishes off very complex with the dark chocolate, dark fruit, dark oak, dark bourbon, dark flan, dark dark dark!! Good Luck finding the 11% ABV in the taste. She is pretty deadly seeing as it is asipping beer but with chances are you want to drink and drink. Evil!!

Overall:
Exceptionally World Class just like the 2009 version. However, the addition of the extra blending has definitely changed the flavors to even more complexities giving it that much earned extra credit. Like I said in my last review: (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/the-abyss-2009-vintage-reserve-by-deschutes-brewing/ ) it keeps you on your toes trying to see what other complexities come up. Think of it as a Haunted house, you have no clue what the fuck is gonna pop up as you go along. Scary shit… Evil Beer…. Loveable experience. Much needed recommendations

Anime Corner:
Rukia Kuchiki (Hollified version) from Bleach was used in this pairing to show several things I had in mind when pairing this beer. In the series, the hollow form is what happens when after a soul passes and loses its tie to the body. If the soul reaper does not cleanse the soul, it will roam the earthy, become a monster and try to eat other souls. Rukia is a Soul reaper in the show but there are many characters such as humans and even soul reapers that have treaded into the hollow form and were able to come back to their original form. Rukia never becomes hollow but this only serves as a representation of what that form would look like. Most hollows are mindless and possibly evil. In some cases, she can be seen as sadistic with no remorse or pity for anyone. Aim for the kill, hunger for more flavors. Thus, this evil version of Rukia is paired with this beer to show how evil the beer is. That is why you have to be careful not to drink it all in one sitting. Since the hollow form is a form of evolution into possibly higher form of power, you can say the evolution of flavors as the beer warms up and the alcohol content represents this hollow form. Also, the Cero Blast that Rukia is charging up in her hand represents, The Abyss. The Cero is like an endless charge of energy concentrated and sucked up like a black hole. This infinite darkness is this beer, The Abyss.

Imperial Stout Trooper (2009 edition) by New England Brewing

181271_10101204815911220_293241217_n 971536_10101204815147750_1368371218_n 10500_10101204814354340_1817616532_nRating: 5/5

Imperial Stout Trooper (2009 edition) by New England Brewing is a 8.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout.

Label: 
Brewed in a brewery not too far away and not too long ago… Imperial Stout Trooper is a full bodied stout with a majestic blend of seven different malts and Northern Brewer hops.
___

In A Galaxy… Far far away…. or basically in my room… I bring you a rare beer. Welcome to the Darkside of Brewing. Regardless of the gimmick or not, this beer has been rated because it is delicious. This version is the 2009 version which still has the unmodified Storm trooper helmet. Needless to say, I don’t think this beer is 8.5% anymore. It is possibly in the 10% or 11% ABV. As with many of my beer and anime pairings, I had a hard time trying to find something. Hope you enjoy this one 

Aromas are awesome, Oak Chocolate yeti like. The hops have definitely faded over time but the oatmeal, oak, smoke and rich dark chocolate is still there and very good. There is also flavors of vanilla, caramel, coffee, mocha, slight marshmallow, raisins, rum, and toffee.

The flavors are of Bakers chocolate, dark chocolate, Chewbaca Chocolate (Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti reference  ), milk chocolate, coffee, mocha, dark cherries, some bitterness but not from hops. Possibly oak, earthy or roasted coffee bean bitterness. Some vanilla, caramel, raisins, rum, anise, hazelnut, 

Would I recommend this beer? You better fuuu- believe it. This beer does not disappoint. It is very drinkable, WAY TOO DRINKABLE and Greatly delicious. I can feel the force/alcohol in this one. I cannot tell it in the flavor, but in the effect later on that it is a stronger beer. I am not sure how this beer would be in it’s prime as the bottles are hard to come by. Even the newer releases are hard to find. Regardless… Lucky you must be, To find this beer you must… Onward into the Darkside Trooper and don’t hold back!!

Mephistopheles’ Stout 2012 by Avery Brewing

600797_10101163689533810_1969873893_n 181400_10101163688875130_1511798770_nRating: 5/5

Mephistopheles’ Stout 2012 by Avery Brewing is a 16.2%ABV World Class Imperial Stout

Label: 
Mephistopheles is the crafty shape shifter, the second fallen angel; he who does not love light. Herein he patiently lies, waiting and willing to do your bidding, but for a price. Enter into his darkness, a tangled and intricate labyrinth of bittersweet rapture.

Brewed with Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, turbinado sugar, hops, and a hellion of a Belgian yeast strain.
___

Been meaning to try this one for a while. I kept passing it by the store but one of my friends recommended I give this one a shot. So here we go.

Aromas are of very rich dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, coffee, cherries, raisins, prunes, soy sauce, caramel, vanilla, tobacco, brown sugar, coffee cake, smoked malts and molasses

The flavors are very good. Despite the fact that it is at a very high ABV, it is really good. Reminds me of Old Rasputin and Chocolate oak aged Yeti with flavors or dark, milk, bakers chocolate, cherries, raisins, prunes, figs, coffee, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla,molasses, brownie batter, chocolate cake, chocolate syrup, anise, licorice, minor soy sauce, smoked campfire oak, chocolate cake, Belgian bread, hazelnut and earthy hop bitterness. I can pin this beer to many others I have had and this definitely is a great example of a great world class imperial stout, non barrel aged of course. This beer reminds me of a Dark Lord imperial stout if it was more smoked and had Belgian characteristics. I definitely recommend this one for sure. If you are able to find this, get this for sure. While it is is seasonal, it is actually easier to find than many other beers of this caliber which are harder to find. This is my third Avery beer I have tried and it definitely makes me want to try their other awesome beers.

Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout (2013 Odd year Edition)

308686_10101156117637950_1119402415_n 21307_10101156118376470_1477266017_nRating: 5/5

Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout is an 11% ABV World Class Russian Imperial Stout brewed with espresso coffee beans

Label: 
Stone Imperial Russian Stout is so thick, rich and well, sinful, you might worry that you’ll be doomed to the fiery pits just for thinking about a sip. It almost seems evil. Rest assured, however, that even though this seemingly pernicious brew is indeed as black as sin, we guarantee that no actual sin was committed in it’s production…you’ll have to add that on your own. This Odd Year addition was brewed in the authentic, historical style of an imperial Russian stout, but with the addition of several hundred pounds of espresso beans from our friends at Ryan Bros. Coffee. Actually, this could be considered historically accurate, since the Russian nobility were as fond of earthy breakfast beverages as they were of hearty dark beers. Catherine the Great herself bolstered her finesse for ruling an empire by drinking five cups of black coffee every morning during her lengthy reign. While we couldn’t fit five cups coffee in every bottle of this darkly delicious libation, we assure you that the deep, rich espresso flavors are unmistakable and meld beautifully with the roasty bitterness of the dark malts. Catherine would have whole-heartedly approved.
___

Stone’s Imperial Russian stout has been considered by many to be one of the best Russian Imperial stouts in the world. This year they added some espresso. I have many awesome coffee beers before but I wanted to see what this one is about so I could bring forth to you why this one is so good. Immediately off the nose you get rich dark chocolate, espresso coffee aromas with notes of vanilla, caramel, brownies and some earthy hops . The flavors are of rich espresso coffee, caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, camp fire smores, marshmallows, Irish cream, molasses, rye chocolate brownies, milk chocolate, earthy hops and roasty notes. This beer reminds me of Black Xantus but expresses itself closer to a more earthy and roasty coffee bitterness side. Despite the roasty bitterness, it still manages to be very smooth and very drinkable going down. For some the roasty bitterness and the great balance it has with the sweetness is also what makes this world class. You can sense the booziness slightly but that take nothing from the beer itself which is very awesome. The Espresso adds some extra complexity and sweetness that brings out the RIS into a the “Stronger Coffee” zone which really awesome. I am sure this beer will age very nicely. A must try for sure 😛

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.

Label:

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

The Abyss 2009 Vintage Reserve by Deschutes Brewing

537623_10100942762423510_1398929182_nRating: 5.55/5

The Abyss 2009 Vintage Reserve by Deschutes Brewing is an 11% Imperial Stout brewed with Licorice and Molases with 33% aged in French oak and Bourbon Barrels. This version has been cellared for at least 3 years and now it is time to unleash it’s fury…of flavor ofcourse…I assume that the ABV is probably higher as it has risen over time. Like a 12 or 13% maybe higher. 

Label:

The Abyss: Stout brewed with licorice and molasses with 33% aged in oak and oak bourbon barrels. It’s dark. It’s deep. It’s mysterious. Aged in French Oak and Bourbon barrels, this special brew has immeasureable depth inviting you to explore and discover its rich, complex profile. The flavor of molasses and licorice draw you in further and further with each sip. The Abyss beckons. Enjoy the journey.
====Upon getting the first aromatic notes of this ale I immediately thought of Madrugada Obscura a.k.a Dark Dawn from Jolly Pumpkin. The fragrance is like a funky sour wine mixed in with an imperial stout like Madrugada Obscura was but less sour. Although a sour Imperial Stout is pretty awesome. Lots of rich dark chocolate, roasted coffee, vanilla, grapes, molasses, licorice, milk chocolate, barley wine caramel, graham crackers, almonds and some other spicy aromas that are just nice but not sure I can name 😛 . What a challenge :D. The flavors are going all over the place. As I figured, just because it smells as good as Madrugada Obscura, doesn’t mean it taste like it. The flavors are much much more complex. We have sweetness of dark and milk chocolate, espresso and mocha, raisins, cherry and plums but still allowing some roasted and smokey notes from the coffee to develop. The sweetness bitters up into a earthy hops with notes of citrus and pine. Some tangy wine and oaky wood flavor follow and are complemented by the vanilla, bourbon, almond, coconut and caramel on the way out. The beer actually gets better in flavor as it warms up. This beer is crazy as the alcohol notes are still pushed back to let the flavors go through so it finishes smooth and dry which many may find nice as it may not be too overwhelming. Yes, even if it does have a lot to offer, the flavors don’t stay forever and the alcohol will have it’s wrath simply because you don’t really feel that it is there. It will creep into your soul O.O. The beer is definitely setup for you to keep exploring more and more. A rollercoaster of flavor in a bottle.

Crazy how one beer can do a lot in one. I have had several of the best beers in the world and to some that have exceeded my expectations usually fly because of their caramel or chocolate sweetness or just some crazy flavor that is so awesome and overwhelming. This one exceeds my expectations because you get a variety of many aspects of beer(bitter, sweet, sour, smokey, tangy, fruity and hoppy) and they are all balanced, delicious not too overwhelming. No wonder for people, this is once of the best Imperial stouts in the world and well, damn hard to find. It is definitely up there with the Founders KBS, Bourbon County Stout and others. Although Chocolate Rain is the major bad ass for me simply because it is pure chocolate in a bottle. But this definitely in great world class league and can still compete. As it warms ups it goes up to more chocolate covered raisins and vanilla flavors 😉