Breakfast Beast by Clown Shoes

Rating: 6/6

Breakfast Beast by Clown Shoes is a 10% ABV American Imperial Stout aged with Barrington Coffee Roasting and aged in bourbon barrels.

The beer is Breakfast Beast, a blend of Blaecorn Unidragon Russian imperial stout (12.5 percent ABV), Undead Party Crasher imperial stout (10 percent ABV) and an “experimental new stout” that was aged in bourbon barrels. In addition, cold brewed coffee sourced from Barrington Coffee Roasting Co. in Lee, Mass. was added to the beer before being bottled.

That type of beer you gotta wake up in the morning to. So damn good!! But the beast has always been awesome

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2017 Dark Lord Imperial Stout by Three Floyds brewing

 

Rating: 7/7

2017 Dark Lord Imperial Stout by Three Floyds brewing is a 15% ABV World Class Russian Imperial Stout brewed with Dark Matter’s Blood Lord/ BBA Unicorn Blood Coffee, Mexican vanilla, and Indian sugar.

Description:
Dark Lord is a gargantuan Russian Style Imperial Stout, with a reverse cascading head that starts out billowing the color of burnt oil like the Dark Lord rising from the black primordial beginnings. Its resonant vinous aroma has been described as cherries, sweet malt, molasses, burnt currants, plums with a port wine alcohol undertow. Mochachino notes buried within. Motor oil consistency, hellishly smooth yet divinely burnt and vinous. The first sip coats your palate with a palatial charred fruit and chocolate blanket. Alcohol burn wiggles its way down your throat with a thick body.

==Introduction==

The time has come again! The presence of the Dark Lord has come again. Every year, or atleast when I get a chance, I love bringing this beer to the site. Since 2011, I have considered this one, the best Russian Imperial Stout I had ever tasted. While there are many players out there that have since overtaken the Dark Lord and many drinkers considering this one as one huge soy sauce bomb, I for one embrace what this beer has to offer even to this day. There aren’t many beers quite like this one and I think it can still hold a huge candle even to the greats of today. Let’s have a look at this one for old time sake, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark Fruits, molasses, soy sauce, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, brown sugar, maple syrup, peanut butter, dulce de leche caramel, marshmallows, rum notes, Irish cream coffee, Khalua Coffee Liqueur, vanilla, port wine, raspberries, dark cherries, smokey notes, hazelnut nectar and pecan pie.

Flavors:
Rich molasses, soy sauce, Rich dark cherries, burnt candi sugars, flan, crème brulee, peanut butter, richa dark chocolate, German chocolate, Baker’s chocolate, Belgian chocolate, rich bananas, plantains, banana split, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, cocoa crispies, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, currants, raspberries, port wine, , Danish cream, Danish chookies, English cream, Cadbury chocolate cream, Mexican Abuelita hot chocolate syrup, Black cherry pie, blood pie, fruit cake, churros, chocolate empanada, rocky road ice cream, Kahlua Coffee Liqueur, vanilla, choco maple, walnuts, marzipan, dulce de leche caramel, brown sugar, piloncillo sugar cone, milk chocolate oreo cookies, marshmallows, chocolate mousse, rum hints, smokey hints, Irish cream notes and Jamoca ice cream

Aftertaste:
Finishing with rich mocha, dark fruit, chocolate, port wine, caramel, soy sauce, pilloncillo sugar block, toasted coconut, smokey notes, and vanilla. No alcohol to be found here, dark abyss hyper dimensional full body, ketchup syrup consistency, smooth, chewey, oily and velvety mouthfeel along with a ridiculously easy drinkability that is only worthy of ninjas. 

Overall:
Existentially bucket listed! While I have not tried any variants except for Dark Lord De Muerte, this beer keeps coming back as a reminder as to what some of the best imperial stouts in the world should be. People may hate and call this one a soy sauce bomb, but even if it is hinted, well, so it is with many other dark beer and especially those that dare to tread into the dark strong territory like some of my favorite Belgian Dark Strongs and Stouts. Yes, This beer series was one of the basis for crafting my own barrel aged experimental homebrews using the same Dark Matter Coffee and to my surprise, they ended up being so damn close, especially Sangrileche 1 and 2. The amazement of this beer is the fact that it is so damn strong and yet so damn drinkable and a sinfully endless pleasure of pure multi dimensionally palatable complexity. I can taste things that are only unique to this beer. IF you are able to trade for this one or are lucky to go Dark Lord Day, do yourself a favor and go toe to toe with the dark lord of beers… it was meant to be!! 

Anime Corner:
Lightning Claire Farron, from Final Fantasy XIII series was chosen in the previous versions of the Dark Lord and this is the second time I bring the new Dark Lord… Miriam, from “Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night” which is the new upcoming Kickstarter series by Koji Igarashi (Godfather of the Castlevania series). Based on the progress, artwork and tribute to the castlevania games, Miriam seems like a major bad ass. The game is set to release sometime in 2018 but like the previous time I used Miriam, I figure I pair her with the unholy World Class Dark Lord Imperial Stout. Her colors are a good representative of the gothic but also the occult mysteries and the straight up powerful.

Sources:
https://cdnio.luscious.net/slywalker_96/457/lusciousnet_lusciousnet_1437152598845_1294766462.jpg
https://colemono.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/iga.jpg
https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/013/270/588/6dba1fe9e91ddb5c70949778d05337d3_original.png?w=639&fit=max&v=1470277036&auto=format&lossless=true&s=832f8b008fe4dd58ce15905db6958cb4
http://i.imgur.com/U6MuVV9.jpg
http://orig11.deviantart.net/ef35/f/2016/306/b/c/bloodstained__ritual_of_the_night_by_phillydelphy-dan1vwe.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/j9Fk2yV.jpg
https://ksr-ugc.imgix.net/assets/005/456/991/9fdd0517e9265b218087d7fd68d498c5_original.png?w=639&fit=max&v=1456871947&auto=format&lossless=true&s=f58957150f40be98063eba70d98fb047
https://i.imgur.com/qXeOdzx.jpg

 

Chernyy Medved Collaboration by Valiant and Black Market Brewing

Rating: 5/5

Chernyy Medved Collaboration by Valiant and Black Market Brewing is a 13% ABV Russian Imperial Stout brewed with Cherries and Vanilla

Label:
A powerful and fearless Russian Imperial Stout brewed in collaboration with our comrades at Black Market Brewing in Temecula CA. Chernyy Medved was brewed in tribute to the OC Brew Ho Ho Holiday Ale Festival which takes place in December in Orange County CA. Brewed with smoked wood, pine, vanilla, cherries and coming in at 13% ABV this intense black beauty will warm you right up this winter or will cellar nicely to be enjoyed in the years to come.
==Introduction==

Cerny Medved or Black Bear was a beer my friend Neal provided me as a trade for some homebrews. Valiant Brewing was a brewery that recently closed in March 2017, essentially, last month. So some of these beers are so limited that you might not see them again. I had only recently got into their brews especially their Candy Sours series. It is unfortunate we will not have them again but let us look at how at this one and see what it was all about, Cheers!

Aromas:
Roasted coffee, molasses, anise, dark Chocolate, Milk chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, Dark fruit raisins, currants, Cherries, Earthy and smokey oak notes, flan, vanilla, cherry crème brulee, strawberry, tootsie roll chocolate and pecan pie.

Flavors:
Dark Chocolate, Milk chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, Chocolate Mousse, Dark fruit raisins, currants, Cherries, Earthy and smokey oak notes, earthy hop bitterness, burnt sugar, roasted coffee, molasses, anise, flan, vanilla, cherry crème brulee, strawberry and cherry cheese cake, dulce de leche caramel, pecan pie, brown sugar, tootsie roll chocolate, Cherry Chocolate milk, hazelnut nectar and cherry cake fudge chocolate.

Aftertaste:
Leaving with roasty chocolate, earthy and smoky notes, cherry notes, vanilla, caramel, toffee earthy hop bitterness and caramel. No alcohol in the taste despite the 13% ABV, smooth. Creamy and velvety mouthfeel, dark full body, with a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
An awesome perfect stout. Very Roasty and flavorful like many of the Russian Imperial Stouts I have had before. The cherry flavors this one introduces pairs well with the roasty flavors and vanilla. While I do not think this is at the strongest in terms of the Choco Cherry Cordial beers, but it is a cherry cordial in its own sense. Not as sweet, but earthy and balanced. I would highly recommend checking this one if you can still find it.

Anime Corner:
Birdy Cephon Altera from Birdy The Mighty and Kneesocks Daemon from Panty and Stocking W/Garterbelt were used in this pairing as I wanted to mainly go with the colors of cherries and while I don’t think Birdy is Russian or a bear, I mainly paired for the colors and ingredients of the beer. Kneesocks on the other hand is much closer to the dark red cherry color so bringing her here works awesomely.

Sources:
http://cdn30.us1.fansshare.com/image/birdythemighty/birdy-the-mighty-512466661.jpg
http://cdn26.us1.fansshare.com/photo/birdythemightydecode/birdy-the-mighty-decode-shared-image-unknown-1334427343.jpg
http://www.zastavki.com/pictures/originals/2013/Anime_Birdy_the_Mighty_053034_.jpg
http://livedoor.blogimg.jp/iamsukebe/imgs/5/3/53ff0cb2.jpg
http://static.zerochan.net/Birdy.Cephon.Altera.full.73854.jpg
http://static.zerochan.net/Birdy.Cephon.Altera.full.73861.jpg
http://i57.beon.ru/45/32/793245/79/64651079/14873385.jpeg

Bourbon Barrel Aged Drago by Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co.

15732143_10103858707556090_7827444740831796021_oRating: 6/6

Bourbon Barrel Aged Drago by Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co. is a 10% ABV Russian Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
Dark than a cold Siberian winter night and a bigger than Ivan Drago’s uppercut, this formidable beer took a long time to reach your discerning palate. Brewed with vast amounts of roasted barley and aged in oak bourbon barrels for 8 months. This Russian Imperial stout is a contender!

==Introduction==
15774705_10103858707336530_6770728950512800895_o
I had obtained this one as an extra when I obtained 2016 Big Hugs. This is the first time I try a beer from Wild Onion brewing. I have seen this one in many different online places but I had never bothered to get it. There is always a first and for being the first time I bring one of their beers to the site, especially one like this, I am thankful I got it. Now, let us have a look at the breakdown on this one, cheers!

Aromas:
Vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, oak bourbon, toasted coconut, rocky road ice cream, marshmallow smores, smokey notes, roasted malt, coffee roast, dark fruit currants, raisins, blackberries, raspberries, dark cherries, almond joy, anise, tobacco, coffee cake, crème brulee, bananas, flan, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, German Chocolate, Bakers chocolate, fudge chocolate, brown sugar and Irish cream.

Flavors:
Dark Chocolate, Milk chocolate, German Chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, Fudge Chocolate, Dark fruit raisins, currants, raspberries, dark cherries, blackberries, crème brulee, vanilla, oak bourbon, dulce de leche caramel, toasted coconut, rocky road ice cream, marshmallow smores, chocolate mousse, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, Khalua Coffee liqueur, bananas, clove spice hints, molasses, tobacco, almond joy chocolate, leather notes, anise, brownie batter, chocolate cherry cake, mocha chocolate, Irish cream, sweetened condensed milk, coffee cake and Cadbury chocolate caramel cream eggs.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with a lot of lingering flavors of oak, vanilla, caramel, toasted coconut, rocky road ice cream, dark chocolate, dark fruit, crème brulee, flan, tobacco and bourbon notes. No alcohol in the taste despite ABV, Dark supreme full body, smooth, creamy, velvety and syrupy mouthfeel and sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A very exceptional Russian imperial stout with flavors ranging from many of the awesome Bourbon Barrel aged stouts I have had in the past like Bourbon County, Parabola, Dragon’s Milk and many many more. I am not sure how often this comes out or hard it is to get but I definitely would love to get several more of these little bottles. It is pretty damn amazing and definitely worthy of a world class status. Highly recommended if you can find it!
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Anime Corner:
Tomoe Mikagura from Tailenders was chosen as I wanted to go with a character that reminded me of the crazy Haruko Haruhara but since this character had similar features, I said fuck it. Besides, She fits the bill in terms of the rose to match the reds of the label, winter gear for that winters of Siberia in reference to the description of this beer and spiky hair to remind me of dragons. Although Drago was based on the name but it sure was damn close.
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Sources:
http://www.animeclick.it/images/Anime_big/Tailenders/Tailenders20.jpg
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/ZuIDbLe11yE/maxresdefault.jpg
https://muusi.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/tailenders_3.jpg
http://www.animedimenzija.com/site/images/topic_images/tailenders08.jpg

Peanut Butter Dark Seas by Mission Brewery

15325317_10103803534498340_4484081246687087118_oRating: 6/6

Peanut Butter Dark Seas by Mission Brewery is 9.8% ABV Russian Imperial Stout brewed with Peanut Butter.

Label:
Since the very first batch, the recipe for Mission Dark Seas has remained unchanged. The classic, award winning Imperial Stout is rich in toasted coffee, chocolate and all those bold roasted flavors. WE have added peanut butter for a rich, creamy taste sensation. Peanut Butter Dark Seas; Just as amazing as the original, but with a nostalgic twist.

==Introduction==
15385508_10103803534418500_1322740757984631632_o
A limited release from Mission Brewery. It has been a long time since I tried the Missions Dark Seas and the Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Seas. Both are world class beers and definitely some of the best. When I first saw they had released a peanut butter version I nearly flipped. While I haven’t had too many of the Missions brews, they are always amazing! I am not sure if this is the same as their Captain Crunch Peanut butter version they had on tap but it would make sense as the Captain is a captain of a ship. Pirates or not, it would sure fit. Let’s have a look at this one, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, peanut butter, nutter butter cookies, roasted peanuts, Reece’s peanut butter cup, vanilla, roasted coffee, mocha, pralines, hazelnut nectar, dark fruit currants, prunes, raisins, rye bread, molasses, anise, tobacco notes, rocky road ice cream, marshmallows, graham cracker smores, toasted coconuts and brown sugar.
15391362_10103803534218900_7151819179734936869_o
Flavors:
Rich peanut brittle, roasted peanuts, real peanut butter, nutter butter cookies, Reece’s peanut butter cup, captain crunch peanut butter cereal, vanilla, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, rocky road ice cream, marshmallows, graham cracker smores, toasted coconuts, coffee cake, flan, dark fruit currants, prunes, raisins, rye bread, molasses, anise, tobacco notes, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, caramel, roasted coffee, mocha, pralines, hazelnut nectar, walnuts, macadamia nuts, almond milk, roasted barley, bananas, dark cherry hints, chocolate mousse, fudge and peanut butter cake and brown sugar.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with lots of nutty unsweetened peanut butter flavor, roasted coffee, dark fruit, dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel and roasted barley bitterness. No alcohol in the taste, dark full body, smooth, creamy, chewy and velvety mouthfeel and a moderate drinkability.
15419796_10103803534173990_3800637196670978626_o
Overall:
Damn insane. Very exceptional brew. Yes, it is not barrel aged but the peanut butter flavors and chocolate are ridiculous. Overall, the beer is very complex and it does appear that they are using real peanut butter and not peanut butter flavoring. Either that or peanut flour. I am not sure, but regardless, the semi-sweet peanut butter and chocolate flavors from this one are definitely unique from other peanut butter beers. Not to detract from other peanut butter beers as they are all amazing, but this one definitely stands on its own. Also, the Russian Imperial style and flavors complements the peanut butter and chocolate flavors so well! Highly recommended.
15392939_10103803534223890_3617312596208409118_o
Anime Corner:
Franco il Nero (Cyan hair) and Donne Annonime (Blonde hair) from Outlaw Django Tre Donne Crudeli as well as Nitro+ Cross over of Ignis from Jingai Makyo and Al-Azif from Demonbane were used in this pairing mainly since I used Franco and Donne in the original and Bourbon Barrel aged version of Dark seas. Like finding the treasure. This beer is a treasure in itself. The addition of the other characters was mainly for the sake of using new art work to pair with the beer. I must say that they pair really well with the flavors and the colors of the ingredients this feels like it has. Especially the complexity. Overall though, they all come from the same company, Nitro+ so I like how this turned out.
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Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/21oMSKa.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/p0iaGxU.png
http://static.zerochan.net/Franco.Il.Nero.full.138803.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/mretZWu.jpg
http://img1.reactor.cc/pics/comment/full/Anime-tre-donne-crudeli-под-катом-еще-574309.jpeg

Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy by Oskar Blues

15440474_10103803467442720_4736902448289808205_oRating: 7/7

Barrel-Aged Ten Fidy by Oskar Blues is a 12. 9% ABV World Class Russian Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
Stone Pipe Can
Half-Baked Fully Toasted
This Dog’ll Hunt
==Introduction==
15493596_10103803467193220_7986428874422758688_o
Originally released in October 2015 to the brewery exclusively. This year, Oskar Blues was able to release this to the public although in limited quantities. Seeing as how big this beer was when it was first released, trying to get it on the public release may have been just a hard if it wasn’t for the online retail sites like craftshack.com that sells the beers. The unfortunate part is that they only limit one beer per 48 hours and by the time you want to buy another, they are all gone. I made so sacrifices but thankfully, I was able to bring this one to the site. Since the release of the original TenFidy, I have longed to try this one. Let’s go! Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Yoohoo chocolate drink, Mocha, Java, Espresso, roasted coffee, Irish Cream, Khalua liquer hints, tobacco notes, almond joy chocolate, rocky road ice cream, Dark fruit raisins, dark cherries, currants, black berries, prunes, cherry cordials, marshmallows, toasted coconut, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, oak, bourbon, flan, sweetened condensed milk, pecan pie and hazelnut nectar.

Flavors:
Rich rocky road ice cream, marshmallows, toasted coconut, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, oak, bourbon, flan, sweetened condensed milk, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, walnuts, double chocolate cherry cake, Jericalla Mexican custard, Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Yoohoo chocolate drink, Mocha, Java, Espresso, roasted coffee, Irish Cream, Khalua liquer hints, molasses, clove spice, bananas, plantains, chocolate graham cracker smores, chocolate mint ice cream hints, chocolate oatmeal cookies, roasted barley, Dark fruit raisins, dark cherries, currants, black berries, prunes, cherry cordials, pancho pantera chocolate milk shake, port wine hints, almond joys and tobacco notes.
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Aftertaste:
Rich chocolate, marshmallows, toasted coconut, almond joy, oak, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruits, smores, bourbon, pecan pie and tobacco notes. Slight alcohol hints in the aftertaste but not detracting from the overall flavors. Pitch black delicious full body, smooth, creamy, silky, velvety and syrupy mouthfeel with a sipping drinkability.
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Overall:
Ridiculously awesome! Top tier supreme, Oskar Blues best beer next to the Death by Coconut. I still have not tried their Rum Coconut one but this has been a long time coming. A single can is definitely a night capper as trying to finish this in one sitting might be difficult for some people. It is definitely best shared for sure but I definitely have to agree that this one is all it is cracked out to be. Supreme chocolate complex goodness and it is one that should be highly sought after.
15392935_10103803485736060_6670804289643342777_o
Anime Corner:
Ayeka Misaki Jurai from the Tenchi Muyo! Series was used in the original review I did for Ten Fidy. The reason I wanted to bring her back is part of the tribute. I tried to bring some some pictures that may be different to pair with. The only fitting one that I can think of is Ayeka in the new dress that does complement the beer colors as well.
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Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/Bm6KWhc.png
https://cdnb1.artstation.com/p/assets/images/images/001/481/813/large/katarzyna-marlewska-aeka-final-small.jpg?1447183990
http://webspace.webring.com/people/bd/daniel_rivera_resto/ayeka012.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/MfZXI2i.jpg

Hammer of The Beast by Clown Shoes

15391413_10103789103652870_8829238715709750546_oRating: 7/7

Hammer of The Beast by Clown Shoes is an 11.75% ABV American Strong Ale Cuvee consisting of a Smoked Imperial Stout brewed with Holy water, a Russian Imperial Stout and an English Style Barley Wine all aged in 40 year old Jamaican Rum Barrels. An even more ultimate, Cuvee of dreams!

Label:
How do you amplify a beast that is half unicorn and half dragon and who has already escalated from angry, to very angry, to extremely angry? Give it a hammer! The fifth installment in The Beast series blends equal part Undead Party Crasher, Billionaire, and Blaecorn Unidragon, all aged in rum barrels. We’ll respect you if you run, but respect you even more if you can tackle The Hammer Of The Beast

==Introduction==
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Every year, the Blaecorn Unidragon gets armored up more and more as the variety of barrel aging spirits are added. Similar to the way one chooses variants of equipment in video games, it seems each year they just get better and better. This year they combined 3 beers and aged them in rum barrels in the style of the Hammer of the Holy. Essentially, I am not sure how much more powerful they can make the Unidragon but damn, I will sure try and cover each awesome installment in the series as I go along. Let’s take on this beast! Cheers!

Aromas:
Rocky road ice cream, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, crème brulee, honey, butterscotch, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, sweetened condensed milk, figgy pudding, tobacco, tres leches cake, Oak, Bananas, plantains, clove spice, rum, pecan pie, smokey oak, marshmallow smores, toasted coconut, almond joy coconut and hazelnut nectar.

Flavors:
Oak, Bananas, plantains, clove spice, dulce de leche caramel, smokey oak, marshmallow smores, toasted coconut, almond joy coconut, rocky road ice cream, crème brulee, tobacco, rums, piña colada, tropical fruit dragon fruit, passion fruit, lychees, honey, butterscotch, rum, vanilla, sweetened condensed milk, figgy pudding, tobacco, tres leches cake, stone fruit mango, peach, leather, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, triple chocolate cherry cake, hazelnut nectar, macadamia, pecan pie, walnut pie, cashew milk, nutter butter peanut butter cookies, cookie dough ice cream, Raspberry jelly doughnuts, mint, anise and molasses.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with rich chocolate, rum, oak, bananas, dark chocolate, rocky road ice cream, molasses, earthy notes, pecan pie, tropical fruit, stone fruit, fig pudding and mixed nuts. Slight alcohol in the taste but this does not take away from the rich complexity. Dark pitch black body, smooth, velvety and creamy mouthfeel and a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Another exceptionally awesome release from Clown Shoes and definitely a bucket lister. Each year unique and ever adding more or varying the aging of spirits and beers but this was very damn amazing. Tropical flavors and chocolate flavors work very well. Complexity is definitely through the roof as goes with many of the beers I enjoy and especially if you been a fan of the series, do yourself a favor and get this one. I highly recommend you find this one. Clown Shoes killing it every time!
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Anime Corner:
Tia Harribel, Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck, Yoruichi Shihouin and Matsumoto Rangiku from Bleach have always represented some aspect of the clown shoes beers in my past reviews. Tia is the Undead Party Crasher/Vampire Slayer. Nelliel has always been the original Unidragon and Yoruichi would be added for good measures since the Porcine Unidragon came out. This time she represents the Barleywine. The blend of each beer together and the unleash of the Extremely Angry beast can be best represented when all three together are looking like bad asses powering up to team up against great foes. The other thing though is since Tia also represented the Hammer of Holy, in this instance she unleashes pure fury so all three battle it out in this bottle. It really kicks ass. The strength and complexity has come together very epically that I could not think of any other pairing artwork that would be the best representative of this beer. Also I included Matsumoto Rangiku as an extra to be Rum.

Sources:
http://wallpapersinhq.online/images/big/bleach_battle-890883.jpg

Big Ricc by Tallgrass brewing

15068991_533616046834502_8434255671058745180_oRating: 5/5

Big Ricc by Tallgrass brewing is a 10.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout with Coffee and Chocolate.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Big RICC: Russian Imperial Stout with Coffee and Chocolate

Several years in the making and hitting shelves for the first time in October 2015, Big RICC is large and in charge. A big, bold Russian Imperial Stout, Big RICC rolls in at 10.5% ABV and packs a punch.

Tasting notes: Bold coffee flavor and aroma with strong chocolate notes. Pours jet-black. Subtle dark fruit flavors. Dark roasted grains. Slight, “warming” alcohol presence. Full-bodied and great for sipping.

Awards: Silver Medal, Coffee Beer Category, 2014 U.S. Open Beer Championship

==Introduction==

The name Big Ricc reminded me a lot of the Big Riggs commercial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCW1QaOH1Y8) made by James Rolfe A.K.A The Angry Video Game Nerd. This brew was gifted to me by my good friend and fellow beer review brother Aaron Mendiola of BeerMetalDude.com.Many of the brews you are seeing are part of a special Tall Grass Brewing shipment he sent to me. This one definitely intrigued me because of the ingredients and the ABV. You definitely do not see many 10% ABV beers in cans and this definitely reminds me of Ten Fidy. Let’s see how this is, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit raisins, cherries, prunes, black berries, tobacco, molasses, anise, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, German chocolate, milk chocolate, roasted coffee, hazel nut nectar, pecan pie, mocha, chocolate chip cookies and Danish Cream.

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, German chocolate, milk chocolate, roasted coffee, mocha, roasted barley, earthy hop notes, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, rye bread, dark fruit raisins, cherries, prunes, black berries, Danish cream, cherry chocolate cake, marshmallow smores, pecan pie, hazel nut nectar, tobacco, molasses, anise, banana hints, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, rye bread and chocolate chip cookies.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with dark chocolate, roasted coffee, mocha, vanilla, marshmallow smores, caramel, dark fruits, earthy hops and rye bread. No alcohol in the aftertaste. Pitch black delicious full body, smooth, creamy, silky and syrupy mouthfeel with a sipping drinkability

Overall:
Damn perfect Russian Imperial Stout! Definitely up there with the Ten Fidy cans. Very robust and full flavor forward, just like I love my Russians stouts. I don’t have much bad to say about this beer other than I can definitely drink a couple of cans of these and especially with the ABV, it almost feels like this one can be cellared for a very long time and can definitely get better with age. I sincerely hope that if you see this one, definitely get it, I highly recommend it.
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Anime Corner:
Blake Belladonna from RWBY was chosen in this review as I wanted to choose a character that went well with dude riding the motorcycle and is dark like the beer. Blake on the bike was definitely a good choice to go with this beer especially since her colors match well with the dark chocolate and dark fruits for example.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/ihagGpR.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/yMVX7Vu.jpg

2016 Darkness by Surly brewing

14940021_10103680153175500_3389432619380915674_o 14853029_10103680153205440_3766869538666307885_oRating: 6.35/7

2016 Darkness by Surly brewing is a 12% ABV World Class Russian Imperial Stout.

Label:
The legendary hound of Hades Cerberus was said to guard the gates of the Underworld, preventing the dead from leaving. In this year’s art by Adam Martin, he also protects a massive stash of Surly Darkness. Go ahead and try to grab one. If his three heads don’t get you, his snake-headed tail certainly will.

This massive Russian Imperial Stout contains notes of chocolate, coffee, dried tart cherries, and raisins. It finishes sweet, with a piney resinous hop character.

You can drink this now, or hoard it like Cerberus, it’s up to you if you want to be a bit more generous with it than he is.
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==Introduction==

Wow… Stronger this year it seems. 12% ABV is what many sites are giving this one and plainly it is awesome. Surly beers don’t show an ABV and sometimes, some beers won’t have any ABV listed anywhere but for 12% that is really cool. Darkness has been a very important beer. It represents the Dark Lord in the state of Minnesota similar to how California has Black Tuesday and Texas has La Muerta. Of course, as the years go by, the hype for specialty stouts change. Like right now, one of the biggest stouts people are hyped about here in California is the Bottle Logic Fundamental Observation. A stout I will probably not bring to the site until it becomes easier available. Anyways, every year I bring this beer to the site and every year it is always one to the masses. Let’s take a look at it shall we? Cheers!
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Aromas:
Dark fruit raisins, prunes, plums, figs, dark cherries, currants, mocha, roasted coffee, brown sugar, molasses, anise, mild rum, leather, tobacco, toasted bread on blackberry jam, rich sweetened condensed milk, tres leches cake, crème brulee, tropical fruit like passion fruit, dragon fruit, guava, grapefruit, tangerines, citrus, oranges, stone fruit mango, peaches, apricot, dulce de leche caramel, bananas, Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, fudge chocolate, chocolate mousse, brown sugar, honey, dark candi sugar, fruit cake, pecan pie, almond joy and oak.

Flavors:
Deep Dark Abyss of 4th dimensional chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, Belgian and German chocolates, stone fruit mango right off, peaches, apricot dark fruit raisins, prunes, currants, raspberries, plums, figs, dark cherries, molasses, anise, tropical guava, dragon fruit, passion fruit grapefruit, tangerine gummies, citrus, oranges marshmallows, lechera sweetened condensed milk, crème brulee, whipped cream, plantains, chocolate mango, brown sugar, honey, dark candi sugar, fruit cake, pecan pie, almond joy, bourbon hints, bananas, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, maple syrup, earthy hop notes, stone fruit peaches and cream, mocha, coffee cake, cherry Dr. Pepper hints, rocky road ice cream, almond joy chocolates, toasted coconut, grahama crackers, double chocolate cake and cherry chocolate mousse.

Aftertaste:
Rich Chocolate mango, coffee, tropical fruit like dragon fruit, passion fruit, earthy notes, oak, rye bread, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, banana, dark fruit raisin, blackberry preserves, coconut, fruit cake, pecan pie and other sweet goodies. No alcohol in the taste, dark abyss, 5th dimensional dark matter body (I can see a black hole forming), smooth velvety, chewy and silky mouthfeel and a dangerously easy drinkability as past iterations.

Overall:
Supremely above Exceptional and definitely something is different with this one. I think with the additional ABV, the more malts that went into it and certainly enhances the flavor to new heights. A rich complex and sweet stout that has reminiscent flavors of tropical fruit hints. Absolutely one of my favorite beers for being hard to get for sure. They released the Barrel aged version of this one but I think my last review of the brew with the bourbon barrel one does it justice so I will leave it be. However, for this beer, if you have not ever had this one before of if you are a fan of this one, I strongly and highly recommend you find a way to get your hands on this piece of gold!!!
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Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill was chosen in the previous versions of this beer. Every year I try to find as many details as I can as to why she fits with the iterations of the brew. For starts, the red and white of the label pair well with the evil version of her which is the white one with Junketsu as well as the blood. The aspect of Cerberus for her comes with the different versions of (2 Junketsus and the regular Senketsu version which is the one black armor). Maybe a stretch for sure but I definitely love pairing her with each year’s version since the first time I tried it.
14889822_10103680152871110_9191722377838774897_o14595686_10103680152721410_586482339183926152_n
Sources:
https://danbooru.donmai.us/data/__junketsu_and_matoi_ryuuko_kill_la_kill_drawn_by_takatsuki_nato__b716e63ddef98837323fdb232372b08e.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/pcNT5vs.jpg
https://www.rpnation.com/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FsST0chF.jpg&key=3b91f57e98d7828abb73c9cb94fd8f54189127f251490e7c84ed1b9fe8b343bd
http://i.imgur.com/rqACHxM.jpg
http://67.media.tumblr.com/097550c0e49e04ad47080ab498657833/tumblr_nsu1965O2I1u6f6neo1_1280.jpg

Ten Fidy by Oskar Blues

14484631_10103598617952740_5215157053771549939_nRating: 5/5

Ten Fidy by Oskar Blues is a 10.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout.

Label:
Half-Baked Fully Toasted
This Dog’ll Hunt
==Introduction==
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Ten Fidy gets its name, I believe, by the 10.5% ABV it carries. It has been several years since I last brought this beer for a review. As originally recommended to me by a dude at Total Wine, this had become a definite standard for Imperial Stouts. Especially, Russian Imperial Stouts. Stouts likes Old Rasputin were just as standard as well. This brew for being so awesome, it was hard to find back then. Now it seems like it is everywhere. That being said, I am giving you a reason as to why you should pick up a pack of these whenever you see it or have it on tap. Oskar Blues makes amazing beers. Even for some of the common styles, they really know how to make great beers and even in cans. I have yet to try an Oskar Blues beer that has not been under a very good to perfect or above rating. So yeah, take a look, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit raisins, dark cherries, currants, black berries, prunes, Danish cream, Cherry Chocolate cordials, Double chocolate cherry cake, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Yoohoo chocolate drink, Roasted Coffee, Mocha, Khalua Liqueur hints, roasted barley, jerkey hints, bananas, clove spice, molasses, anise, chocolate mint, marshmallows and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Yoohoo chocolate drink, Roasted Coffee, Mocha, Khalua Liqueur hints, roasted barley, jerkey hints, bananas, clove spice, molasses, anise, chocolate mint, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, Dark fruit raisins, dark cherries, currants, black berries, prunes, Danish cream, Cherry Chocolate cordials, Double chocolate cherry cake, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar and marshmallows.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with rich dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha, coffee, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, earthy hops, rye bread, roasted barley, pecans, almonds and cherry chocolate cordials. No alcohol in the aftertaste. Pitch black delicious full body, smooth, creamy, silky and syrupy mouthfeel with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
One of the best and perfect imperial stouts out there. Even after years of not trying it, this should be a standard go to and one that can be easily recommended to many people that love stouts. So much roasted barley, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and more. Simply put, you can never ever go wrong with this one. Yes, there are better ones out there and possibly due to the barrel aging process but this one, definitely a common go to. Highly recommended.
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Anime Corner:
Ayeka Misaki Jurai from the Tenchi Muyo! Series was used in the original review I did for Ten Fidy so naturally I brought her back to pair once again. This time, I was able to find a picture where she has a crown denoting the queen of the Russians stouts (Kate The Great was it?) Essentially the can has picture of a crown and so it fits just right with the pairing.

Sources:
http://www.animegalleries.net/img/11955
http://hypnohub.net/data/image/4d73e8c549e7d1847dbbf635d8a5f610.jpg
https://simg1.uberbooru.com/t4/cd/8d768817fc61ea04611796b0fdd1a.png

A Fistful Of Unidragon by Clown Shoes

13243787_10103279208726390_2555084938296607179_oRating: 6/6

A Fistful Of Unidragon by Clown Shoes is a 14% ABV Russian Imperial Stout brewed with mesquite smoked malt from Texas’ Blacklands Malt and aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
A West Texas town terrorized by depraved outlaws, hired The Artist and his Smitty – Forged Unidragron Hand Cannon. The Artists, while emp and a bit sensitive, gets rough with bad guys, so he went ahead and incarcerated them. This beer, made with mesquite smoked malt from Blackland Malt Company, is a bourbon barrel aged version of The Good, The Bad and The Unidragon.

==Introduction==

I obtained this brew thanks to my friend Aaron Mendiola of BeerMetalDude.com. This brew is based on Clown Shoes The Good, The Bad and The Unidragon which I had reviewed some time back same thanks to my friend Aaron. Thanks to him, we were able to bring forth the collection from Texas provided by Clown Shoes. In return, I was able to send him the California Clown Shoes beers. I remember the brew was very good and now that it comes in a bourbon barrel aged form, let’s see if we can compare. Cheers.

Aromas:
campfire smokey oak, bacon notes, dark coffee roasted grounds, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, Irish cream, fudge cake, sweet toffee, earthy notes, molasses, anise, toasted coconut, tobaccco, leather, flan, sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, dark fruit raisins, plums, dark cherries, currants, marshmallow smores, pecan pie, crème brulee and rocky road ice cream.

Flavors:
Rich rocky road ice cream, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, campfire Smokey oak, bacon notes, dark coffee roasted grounds, roasted barley, mocha, java, vanilla, bourbon, oak, Kahlua liquer, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit raisins, plums, dark cherries, currants, marshmallow smores, pecan pie, Irish cream, fudge cake, sweet toffee, earthy notes, molasses, anise, toasted coconut, tobaccco, leather, flan, sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, rye whiskey, earthy notes and crème brulee.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with touch of smokey, whiskey, bourbony notes and complexity like dark fruit, dark chocolate, vanilla, coconut, rocky road ice cream, vanilla and caramel. Slight alcohol in the taste but despite the ABV, does not detract from the flavors. Pitch black abyss body, smooth, velvety, creamy and chewy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Hot Diggity, this is better than the original. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to have a good friend that shares common interest and has been able to send me the beers. It is all possible with the help from my friend Aaron. I think this beer is definitely worth the find especially if you are out in Texas or can trade for it online. The fact that Clown Shoes works with the local craft community at Texas shows a lot of love and effort goes into making these collaborations. So definitely get a bottle if you can.

Anime Corner:
Tia Harribel, Yoruichi Shihouin, & Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck from Bleach represent the good, the bad and the unidragon from the original beer. I brought them back in this pairing as well but this time with different attire to fit the beer’s label a little better. Especially with the old west scene with Yoruichi and more fashionable for all 3 of them and looking bad ass too.

Sources:
http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag127/daraunon/d6579bc08371d50fbd4fe9e3b8d5f876_zps62ad63eb.jpg
http://www.less-real.com/imagevault/uploaded/images/part1/1145.jpg
http://k31.kn3.net/taringa/0/9/3/1/1/2/_-Kirito-_/6E5.jpg

Ol’ Dirty Barrel (ODB) by Belching Beaver

12909544_10103173445821100_2817879860191290238_oRating: 6/6

Ol’ Dirty Barrel (ODB) by Belching Beaver is a 10.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout aged in Oak Rye Whiskey Barrels

Label:
Gold Medal
World Beer Championships Award
Brewed and Bottled by Belching Beaver Brewery Vista Ca, USA
Bottle#1271

It’s Old! …and Dirty! Our Russian Imperial Stout is our biggest beer brewed to date. Aged in Oak Rye Whiskey Barrels. Ol’ Dirty Barrel is loaded with hints of caramel, anise, chocolate and coffee.

This beer will have you reminiscing about old times, classic tunes and lost loves. Don’t call her! She’s moved on and really, was she worth all that? This Russian Imperial Stout will keep you just as warm anyway.

Ingredients: Water, Grain, Sugar, Oats, Hops, Yeast
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==Introduction==

I have tried many of the Belching Beaver beers ranging from the Peanut Butter Milk stout, Pineapple IPA, Me So honey and even had a chance to visit their brewery. For being a sought after yet very common brews, they grew well so many could enjoy their beers. I remember when I visited long ago with my friends Oscar, Julio and Jeanette we tried many of the beers but there was a picture of a mean looking beaver. That mean looking beaver was a picture of this beer. It was on a Metal sign and I was wondering, damn, I would sure one day love to try that brew. I had totally forgotten about it until my friend Aaron Mendiola of BeerMetalDude.com had mentioned that he would like for me to find this one. That is when I remembered, they did eventually release this beer on bottles. While it was sold out in many places, I was able to find it online eventually. Now that the beer is here, without further ado, I bring you, the review for the Ol’ Dirty Barrel, cheers!

Aromas:
Oak, Toasted coconut, toffee, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, crème brulee, flan, Danish cream, toffee, Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, German chocolate, Belgian chocolate, rye bread, bourbon, graham cracker marshmallow, smores, pecan pie notes, dark fruit raisins, dark cherries, currants plums, tobacco, leather notes, brownie batter, chocolate cake notes, chocolate mousse, and banana notes.

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, German chocolate, Belgian chocolate, toasted coconut, crème brulee, flan, Danish cream, Irish cream coffee, oak, bourbon, whiskey, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, rye bread, bourbon, marshmallow, smores, graham crackers, almond joy chocolates, dark fruit raisins, dark cherries, currants plums, Coffee, Kahlua Liqueur, coffee cake, pecan pie, bananas, clove spice, sweetened condensed milk, tobacco, leather notes, brownie batter, chocolate cake notes, chocolate mousse, anise and molasses.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with lots of oaky notes, dark chocolates, toasted coconut, cherries, flan, whiskey and almond joy notes. No alcohol in the taste, Dark full body, smooth, creamy, velvety and chewy mouthfeel with an easy to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
An exceptional barrel aged brew. Belching beaver has been one of the most top notch breweries I have tried and to finally get a chance to try their take on an imperial stout aged in oak barrels, now this was definitely worth the find. So much complexity and flavors that I love from these barrel aged brews similar to the likes of Bourbon County, Parabola, Black Tuesday and others. This one stands on its own as the nutty hazelnut and milk chocolate flavors do tend to stand out a bit more along with the coconut noted. That and the fact that the drinkability did range as there was times I felt I could drink it easily but decided not to take my time with it. There is a reason it is sold out but I am sure they will release it again. If you find it, get this one, I highly recommend it!
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Anime Corner:
Yoko Littner and Boota from Tengen Toppa Gurren Laggan were used in this pairing for Boota to represent the Beaver inside the barrel. The pairing of the reds is obvious. While Boota represents the beaver, Yoko would probably represent the barrel where Boota resides. While yes it is innuendoes, I couldn’t help myself but have a couple of laughs. Besides, I use Yoko for a lot of my good beer pairings. This one just happens to be pairing with Boota.
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Sources:
http://eddy-shinjuku.deviantart.com/art/YOKO-RITONA-Afternoon-Stroll-Gurren-Lagann-325565264
http://orig01.deviantart.net/9914/f/2008/054/5/d/yoko__boota__and_gurren_lagann_by_lostsamurai.png
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/eh21kQvShko/maxresdefault.jpg

Flight Of The Angry Beast by Clown Shoes

12525224_10103028521590420_3691132951949207996_o 12622023_10103028522563470_7450857629756014706_oRating: 6/6

Flight Of The Angry Beast by Clown Shoes is a 10.75% ABV American Strong Ale consisting of an Smoked Imperial Stout brewed with Holy water aged in bourbon barrels, a Scotch Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout and an English Style Barley Wine aged in Scotch. Another Cuvee of dreams!

Label:
For the fourth installment in our “Beast” series, Sir Walter Scott has finally tamed the creature, who was about to attack a group of innocent unicorns. To celebrate, we blended 1/3 Undead Party Crasher aged in bourbon barrels, 1/3 Blaecorn Unidragon aged in scotch barrels and 1/3 Billionaire aged in scotch barrels. Hooray!

==Introduction==

Another year, another incarnation of the Unidragon beast. This time, they combined the Imperial and Russian stouts with their English Style Barley wine. Each time I try these beast beers, there is always something different and unique about them. Some brews have been made specifically for certain states and are variants of the Unidragon. While I have had the opportunity to try these one offs, I am glad some really complex beasts still come about every now and again. The flight of the Angry Beast seems so cool so without further ado, let’s see what this one is about. Cheers!

Aromas:
Smoked Peat, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit raisins, plums, currants, earthy notes, butterscotch, Scotch bourbon, whiskey bourbon, oak, Bananas, clove spice, sweetened condensed milk, toffee, figgy pudding, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German Chocolate, bakers chocolate, molasses, anise, mint, rocky road ice cream, toasted coconuts, macadamia nuts, pecan pie, doughnuts, oreo cookies and smokey notes.

Flavors:
Scotch bourbon, whiskey bourbon, oak, Bananas, clove spice, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German Chocolate, bakers chocolate, oreo cookies, smokey notes, almond joy chocolate, smoked peat, dark fruit raisins, plums, currants, earthy notes, butterscotch, molasses, mint, anise, rye bread, caramelized sugars, waffle cone, marshmallows, chocolate smores, rocky road ice cream, toasted coconuts, macadamia nuts, pecan pie, doughnuts, cookie dough ice cream, hazel nut nectar, sweetened condensed milk, toffee, figgy pudding, tobacco, leather, tres leche cake, fudge chocolate cake and crème brulee.

Aftertaste:
Good mix of Scotch and Bourbon oak in the finish along with some lingering flavors of banana, dark fruit, chocolate notes, smokey notes, marshmallow, vanilla and caramel. Slight alcohol in the taste but this does not take away from the rich complexity. Dark pitch black body, smooth, velvety and creamy mouthfeel and a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
No surprise how every year, the Cuvee of different beers really brings about the really extreme and special of what Clown Shoes has to offer. The velvety flavors and spirits collide with a complex array of deliciousness. There is much that can be said when spirits get together like this and create an exceptional beer that, for me, tends to break the rating scale. Highly Recommended.

Anime Corner:
Tia Harribel, Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck and Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach have always represented some aspect of the clown shoes beers in my past reviews. Tia is the Undead Party Crasher/Vampire Slayer. Nelliel has always been the original Unidragon and Yoruichi would be added for good measures since the Porcine Unidragon came out. The blend of each beer together and the unleash of the Extremely Angry beast can be best represented when all three together are looking like bad asses powering up to team up against great foes. The strength and complexity has come together very epically that I could not think of any other pairing artwork that would be the best representative of this beer.

Sources:
http://img01.deviantart.net/2276/i/2010/054/8/1/hot_battle___commission_by_toppera_tpr.jpg
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5FJtEATaK3M/VTAYgyGwShI/AAAAAAAABOk/qVd6HEd1Nts/w850-h703/Yoruichi%25252C%252520Halibel%252520%252526%252520Nel.jpg

2015 Darkness & Barrel Aged Darkness by Surly brewing (Double Review)

10660163_10102989070181360_1084719787016361949_nThe time has come for another yearly review of Minnesota’s equivalent of Dark Lord Day (Darkness Day), Surly Darkness! If you were lucky to have the 2014 version of Darkness, there was only one release at the time that was both the original but also aged in Rye Whiskey. This time, they released both the original non-barrel aged and the barrel aged versions. Today I will bring you the review for the original brew for this year and the Whiskey Barrel variant. Both beers, though a pretty penny, I was able to get through online means. If you want to get this one, you can try and find them at www.mybeercollectibles.com or best your chance to trade. Regardless, I want to see if these beers are worth the trade but also want let you know if they are worth it to save you some time. Who am I kidding, ofcourse these are awesome! Then again, let’s see if they have changed over the years too. Cheers!

2015 Darkness*
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1610051_10102989070595530_524251208855766257_n 10608207_10102989070944830_3916456067613084757_o 857538_10102989071438840_5975169059840529456_o
2015 Darkness by Surly brewing is a 10.3% ABV World Class Russian Imperial Stout.

Label:
Our 2015 vintage bottling of Darkness features a screeching bat-nightmare by local artist Brandon Holt.

No creature is more adept at navigating in the Darkness than a bat. Emerging from a deep and ancient cave, this year’s twisted nocturnal creature has evolved a set of adaptations well suited to detecting and devouring uncommon nourishment.

Notes of chocolate, coffee, dried tart cherries, and raisins emirate from his lair. If you can evade the talons and teeth, the think body of this Russian imperial stout finishes sweet, with a piney resinous character.
___

Aromas:
Rich sweetened condensed milk, tres leches cake, crème brulee,tropical fruit like passion fruit, dragon fruit, guava, grapefruit, tangerines, citrus, oranges, stone fruit mango, peaches, apricot, dulce de leche caramel, bananas, Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, fudge chocolate, chocolate mousse, brown sugar, honey, dark candi sugar, fruit cake, pecan pie, almond joy, oak, dark fruit raisins, prunes, plums, figs, dark cherries, currants, mocha, roasted coffee, brown sugar, molasses, anise, mild rum, leather, tobacco and toasted bread on blackberry jam.

Flavors:
Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, fudge chocolate, stone fruit mango, peaches, apricot, dulce de leche caramel, bananas, chocolate mousse, capirotada raisins bread pudding, peaces and cream, tropical fruit like passion fruit, dragon fruit, guava, grapefruit, tangerines, citrus, oranges, molasses, anise, dark fruit raisins, prunes, plums, figs, dark cherries, currants, mocha, roasted coffee, brown sugar, cherry Dr. pepper, rocky road ice cream, maple syrup, raspberries, marshmallows, graham cracker smores, toasted coconut, flan, earthy notes, mild rum, leather, tobacco, toasted bread on blackberry jam, rye bread, tres leches cake, lechera sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, plantains, chocolate mango, brown sugar, honey, dark candi sugar, fruit cake, pecan pie, almond joy and bourbon hints.

Aftertaste:
Rich Chocolate mango, coffee, tropical fruit like dragon fruit, passion fruit, earthy notes, oak, rye bread, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, banana, dark fruit raisin, blackberry preserves, coconut, fruit cake, pecan pie and other sweet goodies. No alcohol in the taste, dark abyss body, smooth velvety and silky mouthfeel and a dangerously easy drinkability like before.

Overall:
It has been a long time since I tried the original. The 2014 one was straight up barrel aged and that one was super amazing. So the original is definitely true to when I tried it back in 2013. Damn luscious evil, darkness, black magic, abysmal craziness. If you have never tried this beer, you have to get your hands on this one or any of the previous variants. This is always ridiculous to the core. A true Dark Lord of its own arts!

2015 Barrel Aged Darkness
————————
10334387_10102989072207300_1700630853551401295_n 1571_10102989072691330_8408251456470671156_n

2015 Barrel Aged Darkness by Surly brewing is a 12% ABV World Class Russian Imperial Stout aged in High West Rye Whiskey Barrels.

Label:
(Same as The 2015 Darkness)
___

Aromas:
Dark cherries, prunes, plums, currants, raisins, blackberries, vinous Caramel, dulce de leche caramel, rye whiskey, bourbon, marshmallows,oak, vanilla, Danish cream, Khalua coffee, mocha, leather, tobacco, Bubulubu chocolate, capirotada raisins bread pudding, Rich bananas, Flan, tres leches cake, vanilla, crème brulee, grilled plantains, platano burro, brown sugar, pecan pie, Gansito Chocolate berry pastry, honey, graham crackers, waffle cone, stone fruit peaches, chocolate mangos, mature mangos and hazelnut nectar.

Flavors:
Rich bananas, Flan, tres leches cake, vanilla, crème brulee, grilled plantains, platano burro, brown sugar, pecan pie up front, rye whiskey, bourbon, marshmallows, smores chocolate, campfire hints, maple syrup, dark cherries, prunes, plums, currants, blackberries, oreo cookies and cream, rocky road ice cream, Dr. Pepper cherry, stone fruit peaches, chocolate mangos, mature mangos, molasses, anise, fruit cake, almond joy chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, dark chocolate, leather tobacco, Gansito Chocolate berry pastry, honey, graham crackers, waffle cone, Danish cream, Khalua coffee, mocha, leather, tobacco, Bubulubu chocolate, capirotada raisins bread pudding, candi sugar, milk sugar, hazelnut nectar, tropical fruit like passion fruit, dragon fruit, guava, grapefruit, tangerines, citrus, oranges, whipped cream, ice cream cake, chocoflan, chocolate cheese cake, port wine, Vinous Caramel and more.

Aftertaste:
Rich berries, rich coconut, vanilla, dulce de leche, rye whiskey, tropical chocolate mango, dark fruit raisins, figs, leather, dark cherries, fruit cake, pecan pie, sweetened condensed milk, marshmallows, chocolate smores, tres leches cake, and almond joy lingers. Super Rich. No alcohol in the taste despite this being strong ABV. The drinkability of super easy is quite dangerous. This beer treads the neither regions of dimensions of what truly is, a full dark body, smooth velvety, rich, syrupy and creamy mouthfeel.

Overall:
Talk about going head to head with some of the greats out there especially Black Tuesday from the Bruery, Three Floyds Dark Lord Imperial Stout and others like them. Rye Whiskey barrel aged version is more complex as this addition gives way transforming the original but also makes it more complex with varying temperatures. For only being able to purchase one per person at the Darkness Day Event, I am very grateful to the person who gave up theirs in order for us to have a chance to post it to the website. Such a damn honor and cheers to you good sir or m’am! As for you, the reader, I think it is definitely worth it to find this one. It be a rare whalez!

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill was chosen in the previous versions of this beer. This year, since the barrel aged version is golden labeled, I am pairing also the Ryuko version with Senketsu Kisaragi. For those that do not know this form, it is the one that looks like she turned super saiyan from Dragon Ball Z increasing her power exponentially like the way the original Darkness power was increased by the process of Rye whiskey Barrel Aging. Each beer in its own means is delicious and evil as I show case the version of Ryuko when she was evil using Juunketsu (The White armored version). The original time I used Ryuko in 2013 was the original form with Senketsu so I paid tribute to that by bringing forth the Ryuko plushie in this pairing.
921150_10102989073195320_3190211315873860400_o
Final Judgment:
Absolutely love them both. The Rye Whiskey version bring out more of the rye and whiskey flavors and mild the hoppy mango flavors although they are still present as the beer warms up. So definitely depending on your taste, you can choose one or the other but they are a damn fine collection worth having.

Sources:
http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/734/568/c3d.jpg
http://i1.pixiv.net/img-original/img/2014/03/31/21/12/59/42604840_p0.png
https://im1.ibsearch.xxx/9/43/265ecaa4c0d5f8c785419d982c939.png
http://cs627722.vk.me/v627722304/b5fe/viblojSJFyM.jpg
http://nowere.net/p/src/1440672835871.png
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/2014/34/1408797252-sample-4000c119b28b5aecc2ae23c16a292504.jpg

Rating: 6.25/7* 2015 Darkness
Rating: 7/7* 2015 Barrel Aged Darkness

2015 Dark Lord Imperial Stout by Three Floyds brewing

11113041_356045367924905_1557706926414358837_o 10931163_356045481258227_8161204827214375838_n 11206668_356045557924886_4495112891230454187_oRating: 6/5

2015 Dark Lord Imperial Stout by Three Floyds brewing is a 15% ABV World Class Russian Imperial Stout brewed with Dark Matter’s Dark Blood Coffee, Mexican vanilla, and Indian sugar.

Description:
Dark Lord is a gargantuan Russian Style Imperial Stout, with a reverse cascading head that starts out billowing the color of burnt oil like the Dark Lord rising from the black primordial beginnings. Its resonant vinous aroma has been described as cherries, sweet malt, molasses, burnt currants, plums with a port wine alcohol undertow. Mochachino notes buried within. Motor oil consistency, hellishly smooth yet divinely burnt and vinous. The first sip coats your palate with a palatial charred fruit and chocolate blanket. Alcohol burn wiggles its way down your throat with a thick body.

==Introduction==

The Lord of the Stouts is back this year and this time using a different coffee at that. A coveted beer ever since it’s conceptions in the dark murky barrels of the Three Floydian dark depths. Every year it is something different, something special along with their barrel aged variants and this year, their hot sauce and Dark Matter coffee “Dark Blood”. I am not sure if “Dark Blood” was the actual coffee in this one but they did make it using a left over Cognac Dark Lord Barrel. Either way, every year this one is a coveted one and somehow it has become a crazy mission of mine to be able to get this one. So I bring it forth for your analysis in hopes that you will seek out the dark one too!! Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich Dark, milk, sweet, bakers, German, Belgian and Abuelita chocolate syrup, Rich Fancy coffee, roasted coffee, espresso, java, mocha, Khalua liqueur, dark fruit raisins, rich black cherries, plums, figs, currants Danish cookies, English cream, walnuts, pecan pie, cocoa crispies, port wine, oreo cookies, coconut, marshmallows, chocolate mousse, rum hints, cinnamon, walnuts, hazelnut nectar, flan, brown sugar, Irish Cream and bananas.

Flavors:
Rich Cherries, Rich Dark chocolate, Rich fancy coffee, mocha, peanut butter, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, currants, port wine, milk, sweet, bakers, German, Belgian and Abuelita chocolate syrup, Kahlua coffee liqueur, apples, molasses, brown sugar, pilloncillo sugar, flan, vanilla, maple, burnt candi sugars, rich bananas, Danish cookies, English cream, walnuts, pecan pie, cocoa crispies, Black Cherry pie, Irish cream coffee, smokey notes, soy sauce, oreo cookies, coconut, marshmallows, chocolate mousse, rum hints, cinnamon, walnuts, hazelnut nectar, chocolate empanada, churron hints and rocky road ice cream.

Aftertaste:
Very Rich mocha, dark cherry, currants, molasses, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, fancy coffee, khalua liqueur, vanilla, dulce de lecher caramel, coconut, port wine, dark fruits and a grip of sugar! No alcohol in existence! Syrupy, very smooth, soy sauce like and oily mouthfeel like it’s brethren before it and sugar blasting coating the whole mouth. Easy to drink despite it’s ridiculous ABV and its dark abyss, 5th dimension darkness full body with a color that cannot even be perceived by human eyes!

Overall:
Each Year’s version of Dark Lord is definitely different. This one is definitely more coffee forward of a beer. However, as I drank more and more, it took me to the land of chocolate!! la la la la la la la la…..oh umm yes, so where was I? This beer beer rules and it seems each year there seems to be a variant. I can’t help wonder about how close this taste to my special beer that will be ready in November 2015. ObliVixen’s Sangri-Leche Maelstrom. Oh yes, ever since I started home brewing, I wanted to make a crazy beer like this and may other I have loved. But anyway enough of me, This is definitely a change from the one from last year. It is freaking awesome and definitely more forward in the cherry and coffee chocolate department. Extremely and Highly recommended!!

Anime Corner:
Lightning Claire Farron, from Final Fantasy XIII series was chosen in the previous version of the Dark Lord but this time I brought a new Dark Lord… Miriam, from “Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night” which is the new upcoming Kickstarter series by Koji Igarashi (Godfather of the Castlevania series). Based on the progress, artwork and tribute to the castlevania games, Miriam seems like a major bad ass. I know this game won’t be released until 2017 but I figured I wanted to pair her with an awesome beer like the World Class Dark Lord Imperial Stout. Her colors are a good representative of the gothic but also the occult mysteries and the straight up powerful.

Sources:
http://40.media.tumblr.com/0b13732a8486fe83ea1e0c17240659cc/tumblr_no751qv3xO1s2ut1zo6_1280.png
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CE1G2sxWEAABEKc.jpg:large
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/gAz3SAm6Mw8/maxresdefault.jpg

2015 Odd Year Chai-Spiced Imperial Russian Stout by Stone brewing

11103041_10102497522926000_2683463175291717833_oRating: 3.95/5

2015 Odd Year Chai-Spiced Imperial Russian Stout by Stone brewing is a 10.6% ABV Russian Imperial Stout brewed with Chai Tea and spices.

Label:
As it stands, the classic version of Stone Imperial Russian Stout is deep, dark, rich, roasty and perhaps even a bit sinful. The ‘Odd Beers for Odd Years’ part of the journey means the coming of each odd-numbered year provides the opportunity to take this traditional beer to new and mysterious places, embarking on an exploratory odyssey enabled by strikingly flavorful elements applied to a lovely onyx canvas. This beer, the latest ‘Odd’ transubstantiation, takes inspiration straight from the spice aisle, incorporating array of ingredients assembled to emulate the flavors of authentic chai tea. Cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger, a dash of black pepper and a dose of black tea combine with Stone Imperial Russian Stout’s incumbent flavors to take it deep into exotic, previously unfathomed tenitory. Expect a touch of earthiness in combination with a warm, tantalizing aridness. Asa one-time brew with enduring character, Stone CHAI-SPICED Imperial Russian Stout is crafted to be contemplated fresh or cellared under proper conditions for many years so that it may live on not only in one’s memory, but on his or her taste buds as well.

==Introduction==

Picked this one up recently from Whittier Liquor Mart in Whittier California. Every spring, Stone releases their Russian Imperial Stout. Every other Odd numbered year, they release an additional one that is different. This year, they released one with Chai Tea and spices. My favorite one since 2011 has been the Belgo Anise Stout since that one was like mint chocolate chip ice cream. The 2013 was the Espresso Coffee one. As time goes on, we should see an odd year released every other year. So for now, let us see how this one goes. Cheers!

Aromas:
Chocolate Abuelita, cinnamon, vanilla, clove spice, caramel, ginger spice, chai tea spices, mole spices, champurrado, black tea, anise, molasses, pumpkin spices and curry spices.

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, Chai tea spices, clove spice, curry spices, black tea, ginger spice, anise, cinnamon, Chocolate abuelita brick, molasses, dark fruit currants, figs, raisins, vanilla, caramel, coffee cake, champurrado, mole, Birria stew spices and pumpkin spices.

Aftertaste:
Lots of spices, earthiness, dark fruit, dark chocolate, molasses, caramel and herbal hints. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV, Smooth, Rich and creamy mouthfeel, pitch black body and moderate to sipping.

Overall:
While I found this one very good, I found the spiciness a little too much. It wasn’t heat spicy but lots of varying number of spices a bit overwhelming. I thought I was drinking a sugary spiced stew for a second. I am not familiar with the actual Chai spices but I do love Chai Tea. I guess mainly since it is milky and sugary. This, is more spicy than sugary but at least the bitterness is nowhere there. The beer is pretty smooth for sure like their other Imperil Russian Stouts. I think of the Odd years this one is my least favorite even though it is very delicious.

Anime Corner:
Xueli the Demon was used in this pairing to go with the colors of the beer, the gargoyle of stone but also the vast of oriental spices that are infused in the beer. Therefore she is wearing a similar dress of the region. Her colors also evoke the flavors of the beer as well.

Ken Schmidt Aloha Brews Chocolate Mint Stout by Iron Fist Brewing

11044519_10102435428758210_6583227097679784543_oRating: 5.25/5

Ken Schmidt Aloha Brews Chocolate Mint Stout by Iron Fist Brewing is a 9.2% ABV Russian Imperial Stout brewed with mint and cocoa nibs.

Label:
This brew is from my award winning base beer “Black Sand Beach, a Russian Imperial Stout with a twist. I love the mints they put on the pillows in posh hotels, so mint chocolate was added to this intensely flavored dark ale. Rich flavors of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, fruits, and malty grains mingle with the chocolate mint to give a refreshing cooling flavor that persists from beginning to finish. Watch for future releases. Mahalo!

==Introduction==

The last time I tried the Chocolate Mint Stout was when Ken Schmidt collaborated with Stone Brewery. I was unaware, but Iron Fist worked to brew his recipe and make the beer again. This time, the beer is closer to what Ken Schmidt’s home brew was. With that being said, I can only assume if the beer will be the same as the Stone collaboration or if it will actually be different. I already know the Stone one was very delicious so I can think that this one will be very delicious as well. Here is to representing homebrews, cheers!

Aromas:
Rich chocolate mint chip ice cream, molasses, anise, licorice, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, steamed milk, fudge cake,dark fruit raisins, flan, sweetened condensed milk, pistachio ice cream, hazelnut, pecan pie, rye bread, brown sugar, Irish cream coffee hints, tobacco hints, chocolate abuelita, espresso coffee, coconut, mocha and spearmint.

Flavors:
Rich Chocolate mints, anise, mint chocolate chip ice cream, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, steamed milk, fudge cake, earthy notes, licorice, roasted espresso notes, molasses, coconut notes, mocha, spearmint, dark fruit raisins, flan, sweetened condensed milk, pistachio ice cream, hazelnut, pecan pie, rye bread, brown sugar, Irish cream coffee hints, tobacco hints and chocolate abuelita.

Aftertaste:
Rich chocolate, dark fruits, mint chocolate ice cream, earthy notes, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, Irish cream and chocolate abuelita. No alcohol in the taste, creamy, syrupy and smooth mouthfeel, pitch black body, easy to drink despite the ABV.

Overall:
Damn, better than the collaboration. This one’s primary focus is definitely rich velvety chocolate and mints and further bringing those rich flavors out more. I need to get another bottle of this as this was like a rich chocolate mint liquid bottle. So damn drinkable and rich! I really love this one and truly recommend it. Don’t judge a book by its cover, research the beers and know if you are going to like them. You will love this one.

Anime Corner:
Vocaloid Hatsune Miku was used in this pairing since I wanted to pair with the colors in the label but also the colors of rich mint and chocolate. I had used Miku in the collaboration beer as well as the demon sisters Scanty and Kneesocks which worked well in that pairing. For this one, the art to me represents the complex explosion of the variety of flavors being released from the beer. So much going on here and it truly is awesome.

Sources:
http://top1walls.com/walls/people/hatsune-miku-vocaloid-aqua-eyes-1647811-1920×1080.jpg

The Czar from the Dictator Series by Avery Brewing

10924152_10102335621637480_6964918347188166528_oRating: 4.75/5

The Czar from the Dictator Series by Avery Brewing is an 8.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout.

Label:
Inhale the noble Hallertau hops, spicy and floral. Savor the flavors redolent of English toffee, rich mocha, sweet molasses, candied currants and a hint of anise. We highly recommend cellaring additional bottles, as the Czar will continue to mature and become denser and more complex with age.

==Introduction==

Available during the winter time, this is the first time I try this beer. I believe this is the last of the dictator series as I have tried the Kaiser, the Maharaja and now the Czar. I heard many great things about this beer so I am glad I was able to bring it here to the site. Come share with me the experience of this one as we explore another Russian Imperial Stout with the Czar himself. Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark chocolate, dark fruits raisins, currants, raspberry, blackberry, raisin bread pudding, molasses, smokey notes, anise, licorice, Belgian yeast bread notes, marzipan, brown sugar, pecan pie and candi sugar hints.

Flavors:
Dark Chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, Roasted coffee, vanilla, caramel, earthy hop notes, smokey notes, dark fruit raisins, currants, blackberries, raspberry, plums, raisin bread pudding, molasses, brown sugar, marzipan, pecan notes, toffee, marzipan, licorice, anise, Belgian candi sugar and grapes.

Aftertaste:
Mild roastiness, dark fruit still peeking through, caramel, molasses, earthy notes and dark chocolate. No alcohol in the taste, creamy mouthfeel, moderate to sipping drinkability and pitch black body.

Overall:
A very good stout with some prominent and complex amount of flavors. Since it is complex, the roasty and slightly smokey flavors do not dominate the the palate and are instead given way to some dark fruits. This reminds me a little bit like the Stillwater Artisanal Folklore in a sense as it somewhat drinks like a Belgian Stout but still has some roasty bitterness to balance everything out. I highly recommend this one.

Anime Corner:
Original Character from Madou Koukaku was used in this pairing since I wanted something to fit the whole aspect of the Soviet colors of Red. The Czar wore some very fancy military and country leader attire so I figure a character that would best fit the description would best fit the bill. Even if it seems a bit old, it is similar in the attire.

Sources:
http://armarium.org/u/2014/02/21/Ts5pG.jpg

Barrel Aged Narwhal by Sierra Nevada

1656012_10102208033849430_251021361797540762_n 10433210_10102208034298530_3532816921638340399_n 10690120_10102208034587950_454112675975574613_nRating: 6/5

Barrel Aged Narwhal by Sierra Nevada is a 12.9%%ABV World Class Russian Imperial Stout aged in Kentucky Bourbon Barrels.
Label:

Barrel-Aged Narwhal is our deliciously dark Imperial Stout aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. Barrel aging is a strange science; it mellows some characteristics of the original beer while intensifying others. Narwhal’s aggressive roastiness has calmed, but the rich, chocolate-like malt backbone is brought to the fore. Black as midnight, this intense stout is complex with notes of cocoa and espresso balanced with hints of vanilla and toasted coconut from the oak casks. Nearly as rare as it’s nautical namesake, try Barrel-Aged Narwhal while you can because like the creature itself, it will soon dive into the depths and leave nary a trace behind.

==Introduction==
The Jedi of the Sea has returned to save the beer world of whalez. Well, this one is a pretty elusive and will be more so as time goes on. Released in very limited quantities, this one is already a sought for item as the original beer was a major success for Sierra Nevada and is definitely one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts out there. It is my hope that this beer does turn out to be the hype it deserves otherwise, it might as well just get lost in the sea of beers altogether. Let’s take a look at this rare opportunity to learn more about this beast in nature… Cheers!

Aromas:

Lots of bourbon oak forward, toasted coconut, espresso coffee, mocha, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, roasted coffee, vanilla, whiskey bourbon, rye bread, whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate smores, Khalua, smokey hints, dark fruit currants, prunes, raisins, figs, flan, brown sugar, banana hints, pecan pie, hazelnut, minty hints and molasses.

Flavors:

Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Bakers chocolate, chocolate abuelita hints, vanilla, oak bourbon, flan, sweetened condensed milk, dulce de leche caramel, roasted coffee notes, espresso notes, Khalua, mild smokey oak, dark fruit prunes, currants, raisins, mild cherries, figs, mocha, toasted coconut, marshmallow cream, chocolate smores, graham crackers, molasses, anise, mint, rum hints, whiskey, port wine hints, rye bread, leather, tobacco, whipped cream, brown sugar, Irish cream, bananas, pecan pie and hazelnut nectar.

Aftertaste:

Marshmallow cream, oak, leather, caramel, chocolate,coconut, bourbon, earthy notes, rye bread and vanilla with an almost dry finish. No alcohol in the taste, silky and creamy mouthfeel, drinks easy despite the ABV and pitch black motor oil full body.

Overall:

The Jedi of the sea struck with a hard vengeance brought forth from learning its way in the dark side. Now accepting its darkness, it can now deliver you into a sweet world of awesome. This beer is similar to the Barrel Aged Old Rasputin except this one has more barrel, dark chocolate, roasty coffee and coconut flavors forward along with the complexities I was able to explained as I tried dissecting this one. This is one of the best Russian Imperial Stouts out there but next to Darkness, well that’s just another dimension. Still, a whale by name enters its glory into fame when it comes down to the most coveted beers to claim. Highly recommended and possibly their best beer ever!

Anime Corner:

Selvaria Bles from Valkyria Chronicles was used in this pairing since I wanted to show someone that would be similar in color even to a Narwhal as well as a general or captain of a ship. In the original Narwhal, I showed a captain of a ship with a map basically looking for the legendary beast. Here now we can see the similar map and as Selvaria dashes into the adventure, it represents her in search of the beast. You can also see that her armor, shield and sword look similar to the Narwhal, not to say she killed one, but maybe, since it is a part of her and changes shapes, it is almost as if she is the very beast she searches for and doesn’t even know it. As you can see her in the bathing suit, this pairs well with the colors of the label as well but also represents the smoothness and silky aspect of the beer as it was barrel-aged afterall. Plain and simple, she is Jedi of the Sea, she is the Narwhal!

Sources:

http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/0/238/1046597-selvaria_bles.jpg
http://keywithoutatone.deviantart.com/art/Selvaria-Bles-283643503
http://idnar.deviantart.com/art/Selvaria-Bles-203546525

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)
IMAG7335
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)

==Introduction==

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!

Aromas:
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!

Flavors:
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!

Aftertaste:
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.

Overall:
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.

Sources:
http://articleimage.nicoblomaga.jp/image/64/2013/f/f/ffd9f7487115ef5bb2d6b22dedcca9f69c75e5641373178280.jpg
http://www.zerochan.net/full/39691

Extremely Angry Beast by Clown Shoes Brewing

10734114_10102190593869290_982614530459635213_nRating: 6/5

Extremely Angry Beast by Clown shoes brewing is a 12% ABV Imperial Stout blend of Bourbon Barrel Aged Smoked American Imperial Stout brewed with Holy water, a Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout and a 40 year old Jamaican Rum Barrel Aged Smoked American Imperial Stout brewed with Holy water….. Now that’s a Cuvee!

Label:
How do you create an Extremely Angry Beast? Mix one part bourbon barrel aged Blaecorn Unidragon, one part bourbon barrel aged Undead Party Crasher, one part Hammer of the Holy, then add a massive dose of incendiary rage.

==Introduction==

Essentially a Cuvee of different barrel aged beers. The Unidragon series has one of the ultimate series out there or Russian and Imperial Stouts by Clown Shoes brewing. While they are trying to release special variants to individual states only, the original Unidragon keeps evolving more and more and more. Now with this year’s addition of Hammer of the Holy, this brings this beer to yet another level of crazyness. It really depends if one can take on this even more advanced version of this beast. I don’t think I am worthy, but Let us give it a try.

Aromas:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, bakers chocolate, spiced chocolate, tootsie rolls, chocolate milk shake, roasted coffee notes, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, oak, smokey campfire notes, graham cracker smores, marshmallows, hints of tropical fruit, rum, bananas, brown sugar, rye bread, coconut, dark fruit raisins, plums, cherries, rocky road ice cream, almond joy, flan, mocha, toffee, pecan pie, chocolate cake, butter scotch, tres leches cake and sweetened condensed milk (Leche Nestle).

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, bakers chocolate, spiced chocolate, tootsie rolls, Dulce de leche caramel, oak, vanilla,Dr. Pepper Cherry notes, earthy notes, roasted coffee, smokey campfire, rum, bourbon, oreo cookies and cream, tropical fruit hints of pineapple, dragon fruit, mango, fudge brownies, leather, tobacco, smoked campfire notes, chocolate graham cracker smores, BBQ meat, marshmallows, coconut, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, cherries, black berries, oatmeal cookies, flan, hazelnut nectar, mocha, rye bread, brown sugar, almond joy, rocky road icecream, chocolate chip cookies, butterscotch, flan, crème brulee, pecan pie, anise, mint chocolate chip, piña colada hints, tres leches cake and sweetened condensed milk.

Aftertaste:
Caramel, dark fruit, chocolate, smokey notes, hints of tropics, hints or bourbon rum and brown sugar linger. Slight alcohol in the taste but nothing detracting too much from the rich flavors. Silky yet smooth mouthfeel, sipping drinkability and pitch black dark body.

Overall:
Damn epic!. The bourbon and rum blend very well. This reminds me of the Bruery Smoking Wood if it was mixed with Rum Black Tuesday. The flavors are so rich in all the spectrums that there is a lot that can be said about this Cuvee of Barrel aged goodness. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough more I can say about its complexity as it keeps going and evolving ever so stronger as it warms up. What I will say is that you should really consider taking o this beast. Come one, bring it on! It will be fun.

Anime Corner:
Tia Harribel, Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck and Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach have always represented some aspect of the clown shoes beers in my past reviews. Tia is the Undead Party Crasher/Vampire Slayer. Nelliel has always been the original Unidragon and Yoruichi would be added for good measures since the Porcine Unidragon came out. The blend of each beer together and the unleash of the Extremely Angry beast can be best represented when all three together are looking like bad asses powering up to team up against great foes. The strength and complexity has come together very epically that I could not think of any other pairing artwork that would be the best representative of this beer.

Sources:
http://s15.postimg.org/i37agkebt/harribel_nelliel_yoruichi_copy.jpg
http://wallpapersinhq.com/images/big/harribel-1403215.jpg
http://quantumotaku.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/223167.jpg
http://www.rubberslug.com/user/0233baa15b054e8c988441e924824aeb/765947-3953101-bleachyoruichibig.jpg

Other Unidragon and Vampire Slayer/Undead Party Crasher Reviews:
Blaecorn Unidragon Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/blaecorn-unidragon-russian-imperial-stout-by-clown-shoes-brewing/

Vampire Slayer/Undead Party Crasher Review:https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/vampire-slayer-by-clown-shoes-brewing/

Angry Beast Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/angry-beast-by-clown-shoes/

Porcine Unidragon Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/porcine-unidragon-by-clown-shoes/

Very Angry Beast Review:
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/very-angry-beast-by-clown-shoes-brewing/

Hammer of The Holy:
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/hammer-of-the-holy-by-clown-shoes/

Itasca Loonidragon Review:
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/itasca-loonidragon-by-clown-shoes-brewing/

The Good, The Bad, The Unidragon:
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/the-good-the-bad-the-unidragon-by-clown-shoes/

Black Hole Sun by Black Market brewing

10553379_10102129216899230_3609132558989098219_n 1620450_10102129217258510_7775483719447051913_nRating: 6/5

Black Hole Sun by Black Market brewing is a 15% ABV Russian Imperial Stout.

Label:
Because of the gravitational pull of Black Hole Sun, no light can escape. This super high gravity Russian Imperial Stout is brewed with 100% barley and zero added sugar. Black Hole Sun will make a fine evening companion. Let it warm a bit to enjoy its entire magnitude of flavor complexities.
___

Black Hole Sun, just like the Sound Garden song. This beer is something I have been meaning to try for a very very long time and never had a chance to get it. I have to give a special thanks to my friend Julio for hooking me up with this special beer. Many of the Black Market beers I have tried have been pretty epic but just the 15% ABV is enough to realize, this ain’t a muddaF’ing game. This is serious business. Funny part, I did not even check the ABV until I started this review which I realized was very intense from the aromas. This was certainly starting to remind me of a “Dark” beer I had long ago that was also a Russian Imperial Stout… So let us check this one out and see what it is about. 

Aromas:
Rich Dark fruit, dark cherries, cherry cordial, soy sauce, plum sauce, yogurt like notes, oak, Kahlua, apples, molasses, chocolate cake, currants, raspberry notes, rye bread, brown sugar, pecan pie, flan hints, maple syrup, salted caramel, dulce de leche caramel, walnuts, hazelnut nectar, dark chocolate cake, pecan pie, spicy roasted coffee, smokey notes, graham cracker and marshmallow smores.

Flavors:
An intense explosion of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cherry cordial, dark fruit plums, raspberries, currants, blackberries, molasses, pilloncillo sugar cone, maple syrup, molasses, plum sauce, soy sauce, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, salted caramel, hazelnut nectar, Kahlua hints, pecan pie, rye caramel, spicy roasted coffee, vanilla, oak, flan, cinnamon, graham cracker and marshmallow smores, bourbon notes, anise, tobacco, leather notes and Danish cream.

Aftertaste:
Dark fruit raisins, dark cherry, earthy notes, tobacco, dark cherries, molasses, dark and milk chocolate. The alcohol is very subtle despite the ABV, Pitch Black Body to a darkness that does not even exist, sipping drinkability and a thick and syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall:
Extremely Epic and definitely up close next to the Dark Lord Imperial Stout but not as sugary or fancy coffee epicness from the Unicorn’s Blood Coffee. It is almost like the base Dark Lord with no coffee and not as sugary but still very complex it is crazy. This beer plays off like if it was barrel aged with like flavor intensity but it is still just a Russian Imperial Stout. I think in mind and after reviewing this intense and awesome beer, I realized how close it was to Dark Lord RIS. Ofcourse, Dark Lord RIS is on another level, but this can still compete on the playing field as this is California’s own Black Market Brewing bringing this. I highly recommend getting this one or two. You definitely want to age this massive intensity.

Anime Corner:
Krystal Fox from Star Fox was the perfect cadet for this interplanetary mission to the Black Hole Sun. She has survived the suns of Immelmann (Hangar 24 reference) so even something like this should be a piece of cake. She pairs extremely well with the label colors, complex dark fruit flavors and space travel. The sweetness is represented in her cuteness but the fact that Krystal is a warrior of land and space just speaks of strength. Star Fox has seen some Black Hole travels in the past so exploring a beer like this and trying to figure out its complexity is just the beginning of that dark space in a glass.

Sources:
http://luigiix.deviantart.com/art/StarFox-BH-Team-Krystal-468606829?q=gallery%3Aluigiix%2F34891205&qo=23

2014 Darkness by Surly brewing

1509689_10102186509978440_6829349576157779259_n 10306075_10102186510342710_2982500445631121598_nRating: 6.2/5

2014 Darkness by Surly brewing is a 10.4% ABV Russian Imperial Stout aged in High West Rye Whiskey Barrels.

Label:
Covet the Darkness
The legendary Harpy tortured unwary travelers by stealing their precious food and drink. This year’s cruel creature defends her cauldron of Darkness with razor claws and a dead stare of malevolence. Don’t mess with her Darkness.

She’s hoarding this massively opaque barrel aged Stout screaming with notes of chocolate, coffee, dried tart cherries, vanilla, rye whisky and raisins. The thick body of this Russian Imperial Stout finishes sweet, with a piney resinous hop character.

Dare if you will to open the bottle and steal from the imagination of our 2014 Darkness artist, Erica Williams.

See more at: http://mnbeer.com/2014/07/29/darkness-2014-artwork-from-erica-williams/#sthash.HpMuBrV3.dpuf

Omar Ansari
Todd Haug
___

As Rick James would say: Darkness… darkness is spreading, black, midnight, evil, black magic, raw darkness and cold as ice. This beer is all that and more and especially since this year’s version is barrel aged. The 2013 was insane too but to try this one, well let’s just say this one may only be better than the original but we will definitely have to see how dark this beer goes and if we can even come out of this evil beer alive. Either way, maybe you should still consider getting this one even if don’t read further. The Devil’s water is pretty sweet!

Aromas:
Rich bananas, old matured bananas, rich mango, rich matured bananas, plantains, oranges citrus, grapefruit, papaya, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, dark fruit raisins, currants, dark cherries, dulce de leche caramel, molasses, whiskey, oak , vanilla, rye bread on black berry toast, leather, tobacco, anise, mint, stone fruit, peaches, apricots, flan, sweetened condensed milk lechera, dragon fruit, passion fruit, guava, honey, brown sugar, pecan pie, marshmallow smores, toasted coconut and molasses.

Flavors:
Rich bananas, plantains, whipped cream, pecan pie, rich matured bananas, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, chocolate covered mango, vanilla, oak, bourbon, whiskey, leather, tobacco, toasted bread on blackberry jam , dulce de leche caramel, oak, rye bread , dark fruit raisins, prunes, plums, figs, dark cherries, currants, mocha, roasted coffee, brown sugar, cherry Dr. pepper, rocky road ice cream, maple syrup, stone fruit peaches and cream, molasses, grapefruit, passion fruit, dragon fruit, guava, citrus, oranges, flan, cinnamon, capirotada raisin bread pudding, anise, raspberries, marshmallows, graham cracker smores, toasted coconut, flan, earthy notes, mild rum, brandy, almond joy, pecan pie, herbs, fruit cake, sweetened condensed milk lechera, brown sugar and honey.

Aftertaste:
Very rich banana, dark chocolate, mango, dragon fruit, passion fruit, Earthy notes, dulce de leche, vanilla, oak, bourbon, whiskey rye bread, dark fruits like raisins, blackberry preserves, leather, coconut, dark cherries, fruit cake, pecan pie and more! No alcohol In the taste despite it’s ambiguity, smooth and silky yet syrupy mouthfeel, dangerously easy to drink but should be sipping, pitch black body beyond the chaos and unseen realms of dimensional dark existence.

Overall:
If the original wasn’t as awesome, how about aging it in some really nice High West Rye Whiskey Barrels to amplify this one into further realms of taste, smell and overall, beer experience. This one just kept pushing and pushing and pushing deeper and deeper into the abyss of flavors to the point where I was not sure if I got everything I tasted. All I knew was just how damn great this was. I am sure the 2014 Dark Lord Barrel Aged would do just the same but that Barrel aging surely brought it to the new level that mainly says to really search this one out. It is no joke. It is damn good.

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill LA Kill was used once again in this special pairing. One of my favorite anime girls makes her return in her evil form. In the show, when she is brainwashed, she is forced to wear Junketsu which is that white uniform she has making her way stronger than her original form and pure evil. There is a lot of blood spilled when they try to fight her and her spilling of blood and tearing up a wedding dress is like that of the harpy in the label. She is sweet but she is not so forgiving in this form. While this is not her ultimate form, which she becomes more of an angel, this fits the evil in her heart when she really lost her way and even in the darkness, there is still hope and that is why this beer is very rich and sweet.

Sources:
https://33.media.tumblr.com/0a86c14eface4524e9646bd1a90dd8e2/tumblr_n88xbb0JFw1qfb777o5_500.jpg
http://image.noelshack.com/fichiers/2014/34/1408797252-sample-4000c119b28b5aecc2ae23c16a292504.jpg

Itasca Loonidragon by Clown Shoes brewing

10347533_10102186505133150_109685107465738282_nRating: 5.5/5

Itasca Loonidragon by Clown Shoes brewing is a 14.5% Russian Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
Itasca Loonidragon the beer is Blaecorn Unidragon aged in bourbon barrels. Itasca Loonidragon the label depicts a new creature, a gentle monster, the get of a unidragon mated with a giant norther loon, drinking peacefully from the headwater of the Mississippi River.
___

Released only in Minnesota, very few online places will carry this beer and unless you know someone who is willing to trade something for this one is most likely the only way to get this one. Since the previous beers, the Unidragon itself has not been released bourbon barrel aged so the fact that Minnesota gets this one is pretty awesome. I have yet to try Ohio Unidragon which is the regular Unidragon with special ingredients. The awesome Texas one was made with special Texas ingredients. I can only assume that this one uses Minnesota bourbon or something. I tried finding more info about this unfortunately I could not in terms of what it is made with. If you know, please leave me a comment below. So let us see what this fine creature has to offer, cheers!

Aromas:
Rich bourbon, oak, smokey notes, earthy notes, rocky road ice cream, dark chocolate, milk chocolate hints, dark fruits like currants, blackberries, raisin and cherries, coconut hints, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, mocha, brown sugar, mint, anise, molasses, pipe tobacco and mocha.

Flavors:
Bourbon Rocky road ice cream up front, lots of oak, dark chocolate, semi sweet Bakers chocolate, coconut, toffee, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, marshmallow smores, dark fruits like raisins, cherries, currants and blackberries, pipe tobacco, flan hints, burnt sugar, brown sugar, banana notes, pecan pie, earthy notes, mocha, molasses, anise, licorice and mint chocolate chip.

Aftertaste:
Finishing slightly dry with some Oak, dark chocolate, marshmallow smores, smokey notes, earthy notes, and mild dark fruit. Slight boozyness that is mainly hidden by the complex flavors, silky smooth mouthfeel, sipping drinkability and pitch black night body with very little head retention.

Overall:
Surely exceeding expectations by several notches. The predominant aspect of the beer is the oak followed by the rich and sweet complexities but there is a good amount of earthy and roasted bitterness here to make stuff alittle more balanced. This goes down really well only hinting at the fact that it is 14.5% ABV afterall. Surely ofcourse, would I recommend it. If you cannot find it, that is okay but if you do, this one is awesome!

Anime Corner:
Asada Shino/Sinon from Sword Art Online II was used in this pairing to basically play at Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck but a more innocent version of her. I used Nelliel as the original Unidragon and she stuck around for the longest time so I figured I wanted to do something different but pay tribute to her green hair or a character that kind of resembles her. Sinon is an up and coming character that many fans of the show Sword Art Online like so I figure, new beer, new character. The fact that she is a bad ass in the show but also all the colors pair super super well with the colors in the label of the Itasca Loonidragon. It works very awesomely!

Sources:
http://mythicxgamer.deviantart.com/art/Sinon-Wallpaper-460056006

The Good, The Bad & The Unidragon by Clown Shoes

10698426_10102150674817390_88086393993892274_nRating: 5.45/5

The Good, The Bad & The Unidragon by Clown Shoes is a 14% ABV Russian Imperial Stout brewed with Texas Dark Malts.

Label:
We brewed this special version of Blaecorn Unidragon using dark malts sourced from Texas, attitude sourced from the burning pit of a bad tempered spirit, and righteous fury from the hand cannons of The Good. As you sit down to a glass, remember, there are two types of people: those who drink unidragons and those whose ashes drift in the breeze.
___

Clown Shoes has been on the move brewing beers specifically for certain states to have taking advantage of the awesome Russian Imperial Stout known as the Blaecorn Unidragon and creating super variants. This is the Texas Only version and there would have been no way I could of obtain this beer if it wasn’t for my friend Aaron and his wife from www.beermetaldude.com. California will get their version soon, but since I am a fan of the Unidragons, I was very exited to bring this one over to the site for a review. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, burnt caramel, rocky road ice cream, vanilla, mild smokey notes, smokey notes, tobacco, marshmallow smore hints, pecan pie flan, brown sugar, fudge cake and milk sugar.

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, rich roasted coffee grounds, bakers chocolate, dark fruit raisins, currants, dark cherries, mocha, Khalua, milk sugar, java, flan, rocky road icecream, mocha, brown sugar, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, pecan pie, Irish cream, fudge cake, sweet toffee, earthy notes, oak hints, molasses, anise, marshmallow smores, coconut hints, smokey notes and tobacco.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, earthy notes, tobacco, caramel, vanilla and caramel hints. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV. It is hidden so damn well. Creamy, silky and smooth mouthfeel, for some reason this has an easy to medium drinkability which really does not make sense despite the ABV. What can be said about the body other than pitch black as the darkest soul of the night and yet an extremely dangerous beer due to the ABV and the drinkability.

Overall:
This beer is insane and way too drinkable for its own ‘good’, which makes it ‘bad’ since it will get you drunk but its a ‘unidragon’ so drink drink drink! The other thing about this beer is that it is very balanced. I was very surprised about how well I could drink this one to the point where I had to stop myself from drinking the whole bottle in one sitting. Yeah it was that good. If you live in any other state, find a way to trade for this but if you live in Texas, you have to get this one for sure!!

Anime Corner:
Yoruichi Shihouin, Tia Harribel & Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck from Bleach represent the good, the bad and the unidragon. Yoruichi is made to look like the bad guy in the label or the wolf man, although she can turn into a cat at will but it fits. She is good and kind hearted though. Harribel is the Bad in the sense that she was bad in the beginning of the series but now is good and she was the vampire slayer beer so for the purposes of the cowboy in the middle, she is good but in the name of the label is the bad. Neliele was always good and neutral and the unidragon of the original pairings so yeah she is awesome. I made this custom screen to fit the need of the scenery and story telling yet you can find the sources below. Can you find any other way of how this beer pairs?

Sources:
http://kriscynical.deviantart.com/art/BLEACH-Yoruichi-by-Washu-M-107334912
http://bleach.ucoz.net/_ph/2/255749857.jpg
http://tremblax.deviantart.com/art/Neliel-Tu-Oderschvank-327882456

Cocoa Psycho by BrewDog

10639688_10102064055642910_7445525846017925624_n 10678745_10102064057374440_2695895940114046964_nRating: 4.95/5

Cocoa Psycho by BrewDog is a 10% ABV Russian Imperial Stout brewed with cocoa nibs, coffee beans and vanilla pods.

Label:
Welcome to the world of Cocoa Psycho, a liquid dimension where pure indulgence reigns.

Originally brewed some 250 years ago to celebrate the Russian Royal Family, this 10% Imperial Russian stout borrows from the decadence of the time with its extravagantly smooth blend of crushed coffee beans, cocoa nibs and dark malts.

To fully unleash the aromas and bittersweet luxury of this stout, we recommend drinking it from a stemmed beer glass before taking a sledgehammer to a Faberge Egg.
___

So this beer had eluded me until I stumbled upon a random liquor store (the one in front of the Bruery) who surprisingly had a ton of rare craft in stock. When I saw this, I didn’t even think twice. This Cocoa Psycho isn’t going anywhere but for us here at brewerianimelogs.com. Therefore, I decided to bring this forth to you, the readers. Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit raisins, prunes, dark cherries, Vanilla, oak, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, brown sugar, molasses, mocha, java coffee, maple and hints of rye.

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, dark fruit raisins, prune, dark cherry, caramel, oak, vanilla, earthy notes, coffee roast, java coffee, mocha, molasses, brown sugar, maple, smokey notes, maple and rye bread.

Aftertaste:
Coffee roast, dark chocolate, earthy notes, vanilla caramel and dark fruits quickly dry up. No alcohol in the taste, sipping drinkability, creamy mouthfeel, Dark full body with even a dark head that quickly dissipates into the darkness.

Overall:
The addition of the chocolate, vanilla and coffee definitely keep this at the level of perfect but without it, this may have been good to very good on the rating scale. The roasty notes and bittersweet chocolate are more present overall than the complex sweetness. That is okay though as what makes it perfect is that it still has some complexity to it. I think it seems to be at that Chocolate Oak Yeti. Would I recommend it? Only if they would lower the price In that aspect, I think you get way more from the Great Divide Chocolate Oak Yeti, Clown Shoes Vampire Slayer/Undead Party Crasher or hell, even Lost Abbey’s Serpent Stout. It is majorly worth trying thought I will give it that.

Anime Corner:
Shampoo/Xianpu from Ranma ½ was used in this pairing for several reasons having to do with the Ranma show, Shampoo herself, the color of the label and more. The color of the label is obvious as it pairs with Shampoo’s beautiful hair. The second is that she is literally obsessed with Ranma-kun and will literally kill anyone who dares stop her from having him. She gets into constant battles with Ranma-Chan (The Female version of Ranma-kun who was cursed and turns into a girl with cold water and back with hot water. Unfortunately for Shampoo, she cursed Ranma-chan with the kiss of death meaning she has to kill her but not want to kill Ranma-kun. Quite the complex scenario and just goes to show how far she can go. In the art, she kinda looks like a psycho with her obsession, but to be honest and fair, her intention may be a bit psycho but the cocoa or sweet aspect of her heart means she really is kind at heart. She knows she will not win in the end but at least she risks her life to help Ranma in many cases. Shampoo is awesome and one of a kind Amazon chick. Very sweet but powerful (ABV) due to her special teaching in the martial arts.

Sources:
http://www.zerochan.net/87677
https://cs.sankakucomplex.com/data/fe/62/fe624c62f9148b856836e61cdbcd4cde.jpg?3452269

Raven’s Eye (New Label) by Eel River Brewing

10628116_10101996997852260_9207687194802743130_n 10628221_10101996998471020_1130624855266760143_nRating: 5/5

Raven’s Eye (New Label) by Eel River Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Organic Russian Imperial Stout.

Label:
A bold creamy Stout with hints of dark chocolate and espresso balanced by an aroma reminiscent of chocolate, molasses, and plums.

If you think Raven’s Eye Stout is good now, we recommend aging it. Its characteristics become more complex over time, meaning it only gets better with age.
___

Raven’s Eye Stout has a special place in my heart next to Black Xantus. Back in 2010, when I started to try some craft beers and started to get appreciation for labels, I decided to get this one along with some other beers I had not tried before. This stout stuck out to me even before I started trying the Lost Abbey stuff back then. After several times of trying it, I realize why it was the cousin of the Black Xantus. IT was because while it was not bourbon barrel aged like that one was, it offered similar flavors of the Russian Imperial Stout but with dark fruit flavors. I grew very fond of this one. While it is not sold as often as I like, it is a treat to find it. I picked this one up at Ramirez Liquor when I saw the new label finally came out. So definitely I said to myself, I have to bring this one back! So here it is, once again with the new label. Cheers!

Previous 2012 Review:
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/ravens-eye-redux-by-eel-river-brewing/

Aromas:
Roasted Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Mocha, dark fruits, pecans, hazelnut nectar, rich currants, dark cherry, caramel, anise, earthy roasted notes, molasses, brown sugar and hints vanilla.

Flavors:
Rich dark fruits like raisins, currants, dark cherry, mocha, coffee, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, pecans, Irish cream, bakers chocolate, fudge cake, molasses, anise, hints of oak, earthy roasted notes, sweet toffee, marshmallow smores and brown sugar.

Aftertaste:
Roasted coffee bitterness, dark fruits, dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel and earthy hints. No alcohol in the taste, moderate to sipping drinkability, creamy mouth feel but smooth and full pitch black body.

Overall:
Still the greatly awesome beer that I remember. Definitely more dark fruit forward this time around with a good balance. The same beer I had since 2011 still great and in some cases better than the previous times I tried it. The dessert beer next to the Black Xantus and not so barrel aged but yet still up there with great complex flavors for a Russian Stout.

Anime Corner:
Emeralda Kasim from Xenogears was used in this pairing as I used her in many of the Raven’s eye pairing in the past. Her colors seemed to work well with the label of the beer and the green organic aspect of the beer. The colors of her were representative of the taste in terms of the chocolate flavors and more. While her eyes are like the sun and hazel, they show a glimmer of crimson like the eye of the raven as well. She is this beer and the solitude that it represents. Forevermore….

Sources:
http://www.zerochan.net/334009#full
http://www.zerochan.net/1143296#full

2014 Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout by Three Floyds

10255644_10101815517999340_4694846060425875063_n 10325727_10101815518233870_7864157040672492585_n 10347809_10101815518488360_9110480316137595532_n 10337699_10101815518578180_8368349720754483393_nRating: 6/5

The one and only…2014 Dark Lord by Three Floyds is a 15% ABV World Class Russian Imperial Stout brewed with Dark Matter Unicorn Blood Coffee.

It’s been a while, but we meet again, the Lord of all Imperial Stouts, the darkest of the dark, the sweetest and most luscious of all. The last time I tried this beer was back in 2012, and I could still remember how syrupy and delicious this damn beer was. Like just by having it in presence was like something out of the ordinary. This beer’s recipe uses Dark Matter Unicorn Blood Coffee which is an insane name. I am sure it will add a crazy new complexity to beer. Good luck finding this beer, I wish you the best. How did I get my hands on this one? Well you see ..uhh…. hehehe ….

Aromas:
Super Rich dark, milk, chocolate, extremely fancy coffee, dark cherry liquid sugar, yogurt, Kahlua, dark fruits like plums, apples, currants, molasses, brown sugar, pilloncillo sugar cone, port wine, dulce de leche caramel, flan, maple syrup, burnt candi sugars, vanilla, Unicorn blood coffee, peanut butter, pecan pie, walnuts, hazelnut, chocolate cake and more.

Flavors:
Very very rich milk, dark, sweet, bakers, German, Belgian and Abuelita chocolate syrup, Kahlua coffee liqueur, dark cherry puree, really fancy Unicorn blood coffee, Irish coffee, molasses, vanilla syrup, maple syrup, brown sugar, burnt candi sugars, bananas, coconut milk, cocoa crispies, flan, cinnamon, flan, peanut butter, mocha, walnuts, pecan pie and a complex variety of dark sweets!

Aftertaste:
Dark Cherry, yogurt, milk chocolate, vanilla, coconut, dulce de leche caramel, maple syrup, molasses and lots of sugar seems to lingers forever not in the palette, but in the soul !! Syrupy as all hell and yet, very fucking smooth and extremely dangerous. I’m not even kidding, you can’t even sense the alcohol. I can easily drink this on its own and be like bring me more without even knowing what the hell happens next. Holy Shit!

Overall:
Who needs Bourbon Barrels or any special barrels for that matter. This beer is one of the best beers in the world hands down. This brings back memories to the day I first tried this. Syrupy as all hell with like a soy sauce or oil consistency with the flavors hitting all the best sweet tooth a hearts content can only find. The hype is pretty real and while Black Tuesday has its origins of some of the most chocolate aspects, this one holds it in the cherry, coffee and chocolate department with Kahlua. Oh yeah , did I mention, no barrels to amp it’s flavors. It is pretty ridiculous on its own. The hardest part is figuring out how it compares to other beers. Without the barrel aged aspect, how can you compare where the deliciousness comes from. This Devil’s water is sweet as hell… Now, if I can only have more!

Anime Corner:
Lightning Claire Farron, from Final Fantasy XIII series was chosen in the previous version of the Dark Lord along with some of the other awesome Final Fantasy characters, however I wanted to make her the focus of the beer as before. Lightning is a fucking bad ass! She’s kicked ass in many aspect of the Final Fantasy universe and just like cloud strife, she has cold side but also a very sweet side (Rich sweetness and Super Hidden ABV). Lightning is a complex character set with emotions ranging from very conservative and self conscious due to the guilt she felt for losing her … well, you will have to play the game. Let’s just say, her complexity and turmoil make her enough to bring about the chaos of how different the beer is to others. You really have to see for yourself to see what this entails. The added picture is of a beast warrior which if you know the artist, please let me know who to credit as I do not know. Yet it fits the whole dark lord aspect.

Hel & Verdoemenis (Hell & Damnation) by Brouwerij De Molen

10341899_10101807567287630_3071049936284309866_nRating: 5/5

Hel & Verdoemenis (Hell & Damnation) by Brouwerij De Molen is a 10% ABV Russian Imperial Stout

Label:
Brewed & Bottled in Bodegrave, the Netherlands. 
24 deg Plato www.brouwerijdemolen.nl EBC 297 102 EBU
Handcrafted. Unfiltered. Unpasturized.
Enjoy within 25 years. Keep cool and dark.
Recommended drinking temperature 10 degrees Celcius.

Ingredients: water, pale malt, brown malt, chocolate malt and cara barley malt, premiant and saaz (bittering hop), yeast (top fermenting).
___

Available at www.luekensliquor.com and the Rare Beer Club, this beer was part of their selection for April 2014 Rare Beer Club Members. While this is not as exclusive as I thought, there is a good chance you may be able to find this one. Good luck finding the 666 version of that beer as I am sure that is even rarer than this one. Also, this sucker will age up to 25 years!! Like you can literally wait until your kids are out of college and have them try it. That is crazy stuff. On to the review!

Aromas:
Dark roasted coffee grains, earthy hop notes, dark, bakers and milk chocolate, dark fruit raisins, plums, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, toffee, leather, oak, smokey campfire, tobacco, molasses and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Dark, Milk, bakers and fudge chocolate, smokey oak campfire, earthy hop notes, roasted coffee beans, raisins, currants, toffee, subtle caramel, tobacco, leather, vanilla notes, brown sugar notes, anise, molasses, mocha, roasted coffee grains, graham crackers, black pepper, butterscotch and hints dark cherries.

Aftertaste:
Earthy notes, smokey oak, coffee grains, dark chocolate, caramel and very mild old raisin. No alcohol in the taste, a sipper and syrupy mouthfeel, liquid evil and no carbonation at all!

Overall:
Very good and delicious! This is reminiscent of the Lost Abbey’s Serpent Stout except with like a more smokey and roasted flavor but also has more coffee and chocolate hints. This bottle is in its prime. It is just a baby. Bottled January 22 2014 and still, makes me wonder what it would be like in the year 2039. Would definitely exceed expectations for sure. I really would like to know how it would compare to that Serpent’s Stout. It is not a clone, or is the Serpent a meer clone of the this demon. Either way, they are both liquid evil and both are highly recommended!!

Anime Corner:
Scanty and Kneesocks from Panty and Stocking as well as Panty (Knocked out on the right) and Stocking (Trying to get up on the left) were chosen for this pairing with nothing about the label but the name to show case Hell and Damnation. Just like Serpent’s stout, now this demonic dark liquid, the representation of hell and damnation can be seen in the defeat of the Angels, Panty and Stocking at the hand of the Demon Sisters. Kinda like the “Bad Ending” in a video game. Either way, if you drink this you can sure spend eternity trying to get both the Good and the bad endings. This devil’s water is sweet and bitter!

Dark Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged by Mission Brewing

1560590_10101589579292320_243208413_n 1551611_10101589579262380_99030380_n 1510498_10101589578089730_1949458365_nRating: 5.5/5* Last Review of 2013

Dark Seas Bourbon Barrel Aged by Mission Brewing is 11.25% ABV Russian Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
This limited-edition version of our Russian Imperial Stout has been aged for 20 months in Four Roses whiskey barrels. It features Dark Seas’ obsidian, viscous and astoundingly roasty smooth-drinking charms, all taken to new eights from the aging process. Aromas of milk chocolate and bourbon give way to luscious notes of malted milk balls, cocoa, oak and whiskey. An especially spirited version of Dark Seas with softer edges, vanilla hints and barrel-aged complexity.
___

Picked this one up at Ramirez Liquor and is also being sold at Uncle Henry’s in Downey California. This beer will see many of the Mission distribution networks so it should be available in many places. I have tried the original back in 2012 but back then, I really did not have a system of ranking. I am sure I would have gave that one a 5 as I really liked that one. Now with the release of this one, I could think of no better way to ring in the new year with a treat like this one.

Aromas:
Milk and dark chocolate, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, flan, dulce de leche caramel, currants, port wine, dark fruits like cherries, earthy but mild hops, brown sugar, marshmallow smores and raisins. 

Flavors:
Bourbon, whiskey, vanilla, oak, marshmallows, toasted coconut, milk and dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, rocky road ice cream notes, smores, plums, brown sugar, molasses, Kahlua, mocha, dark fruits, chocolate cake, bakers chocolate and brownies. 

Aftertaste:
Finishing with notes of the dark chocolate, mild cherry, raisins, caramel, earthy hop notes and currants. The bourbon does not linger. Very smooth-drinking, very creamy, no alcohol in the taste and dangerously delicious.

Overall:
Very delicious beer exceeding the expectations of the original by a great amount. The best part is that it is VERY SMOOTH as hell. No lingering alcohol and very pleasant with nothing over powering and there seems to be enough sweet and bitter balance with everything just smooth sailing.. The Calm before the Storm per say. Makes me wonder if I am still drinking an 11.25% ABV beer, WOW. People that love this one or love Barrel-aged beers will definitely love this one even more.

Anime Corner:
Franco il Nero (Cyan hair), Donne Annonime (Blonde hair), Lily Salvatana (w/ glasses and captain hat) from Outlaw Django Tre Donne Crudeli were chosen for this pairing as a way to salute the end of the year as Franco is saluting in the picture like if she was playing the role of a captain but also because I chose Franco and Donne in the original review. I chose them because pirates relate to the label and the dark seas beer. Pirates carry guns and these two were on the shore of the beach as if they were stranded off at sea. That was my reasoning from it. Now as for the Dark sea aspect, I show you the last pairing which is the one with the girl at sea with the ships coasting the dark seas. Awesome stuff.

2012 Review of the NON Barrel-aged version: 
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/dark-seas-russian-imperial-stout-by-mission/

Sexy Betty by Nebraska Brewing

1471826_10101542532604260_786362468_n 1424582_10101542532998470_1049321028_n 1460225_10101542533148170_2067768172_nRating: 5.4/5

Sexy Betty by Nebraska Brewing is a 10% ABV Russian Imperial Stout aged in 50 year old American Brandy Barrels

Label:
A sweet nose greets the adventurous in this marriage of our Black Betty Russian Imperial Stout and 50 year old American Brandy barrels. An elegantly pleasant surprise wakes the palate which migrates from a hint of Brandy into the wonderfully lingering roasted malt character.
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This is the first time I try a beer from Nebraska brewing. One of the main reasons is because they are pretty pricey brewery. Lots of the beer sold ranging into $20 or more per bottle. Since I have always over looked them, I decided to pick one up to see how worth the money they are. When looking t the label, I realized why they are so expensive. Aging beer in 50 year old barrels is no joke. That has got to be a very delicate process. This beer came out last year as the Inception series #3 which was aged in cognac, but this year, in brandy barrels, 

Aromas:
Roasted coffee, earthy hops, dark chocolate, like Old Rasputin, oak, vanilla, licorice, molasses, vanilla, light toffee, light marshmallows and rich dark fruits

Flavors:
The flavors are a lot like Old Rasputin if it was aged in Brandy, dark fruit, cherries, raisins, grape notes, plums, dark chocolate, roasted coffee, earthy hops, mocha and Kahlua. As it warms up there are underlying tropical fruit hints, bakers chocolate, flan, crème brulee, caramel, vanilla, oak, raisin bread pudding, figs, dark cherry yogurt hints, port wine notes and raspberry Chambord hints.

Aftertaste:
The sweet dark fruits, dark chocolate, brandy and coffee linger for a bit in the aftertaste. A sipper for sure but the best part is that you cannot taste the alcohol

Overall:
It is a great beer. Just let it warm up to the proper temperature and then you will see what the 50 year old Brandy really has to offer, lots of magic!! At first it was more like Old Rasputin, then, it changed and became more pleasant and delicious. Would I recommend this? Only if you can afford it really. If you cannot there are some other, and to a very good extent, Imperial Russian stouts that scream epic and exceed expectations more than this one. Although, this one is freaking great and worth trying even if once. So there you have it, expensive but it will be your choice, take her or leave her. Although she is calling your name 

Anime Corner:
Meiya Mitsurugi from the series Muv luv Alternative Total Eclipse is used in this pairing to show some of the label colors. The strength of the 50 year old Brandy and the ABV can be best represented by her armor, weapon and strength. The colors of her armor and looks also compliment the label. She is a Sexy looking girl in cybernetic armor.  If that still did not compliment the Sexy Betty part, I added Evelynn from League of Legends to compliment more.

2013 (Brewcifer) Darkness by Surly Brewing

1456584_10101489612296980_2120143065_n 1441207_10101489613913740_1383984554_n 1392964_10101489614223120_164624249_n 1451618_10101489612756060_1145465204_nRating: 5.55/5 *

Darkness by Surly Brewing is a 10.3% ABV World Class Russian Imperial Stout

Label:
Brewcifer Lord of Darkness

From the depths of the Brewhouse he arises! Enveloped in raging flames, his shadowy visage commands submission to the dark nectar in his goblet. Brewcifer holds before you a massively opaque black brew with notes of chocolate, coffee, dried tart cherries and raisins. The thick body of this Russian Imperial Stout finishes sweet, with a piney resinous hop character.

Brewcifer commands that you enjoy this creation in a tulip glass, to capture the complex aromas and flavors. Brewcifer would suggest that you share with a friend. Brewcifer doesn’t want you to be a jerk.

Each year, we select a different artist to create a Darkness-inspired monstrosity. This year’s fiery creature is from the dark imagination of local artist Josh “Jawsh” Lemke.

Omar Ansari Todd Haug
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Happy National Stout Day 😀 !! I Was able to find this one online, special thanks to Ben for hooking me up with this one. A contribution that is well appreciated here at brewerianimelogs. This evil brew comes all the way from Minnesota. The beer is a response to 3 Floyds Dark Lord RIS. Surly has made some of the best Midwest beers ever. I have tried several of their special releases and the majority have been very outstanding. This is the first time I try this and may consider picking this one up for future reviews if I like it.

Aromas:
Deep rich dark chocolate, milk chocolate, , earthy hops, roasted coffee, dark fruit notes, vanilla, toffee, caramel, that special sweet raisin bread pudding, surly yeast, dark cherries, hints of spices, anise, currants, chocolate cake, walnuts, hazelnut, some tropical essence like a hint of grapefruit and piney hops, chocolate covered mango notes, brown sugar and molasses.

Flavors:
Very good dark chocolate, piney, earthy hops, chocolate covered mango, vanilla, caramel, toffee, delicious rye bread, dark fruits raisins, dark cherries, currants, coffee, mocha, Kahlua notes, molasses, raisin bread pudding, tart raspberry skins, anise, pecan pie notes, brown sugar, cherry Dr. Pepper syrup notes, maple syrup, molasses, peaches and cream

Aftertaste:
Sweet,bakers dark chocolate, mild tropical and earthy hop aftertaste with lots of berries, dark fruits and syrupy mango linger. No alcohol what so ever in the taste, dangerously smooth and easy to moderate drinkability. Scary stuff

Overall:
Exceptionally epic and delicious example of the style. Goes to show that not all great beers have to be bourbon barrel aged to exceed expectations. This one does its own, with no extra help. The interesting part is how the hop flavors come to play along exceedingly nice with the stout flavors. Almost saying, I am just as important as the rest of you sweet chocolate goodness. Lends a very hefty hand. You get more sweeter tropical notes as the beer gets warmer. That is where it becomes it’s best. Highly recommend it if you can get this one online or lucky enough to know where to get it or have someone who can hook it up. This devil’s water is insanely sweet and I honestly wish they would sell this year round. Would definitely be one of my favorite Russian Imperial stouts that were not Barrel aged. Definitely meets that World Class qualification.

*This beer gets the extra credit for exceeding my expectations and it did it without the help of barrel aging

Anime Corner:
Ryuoko Matoi is a character from the Kill-La-Kill series. A fierce and ruthless character who shows no fear when it comes to finding her father’s killer. Her outfit and and personality best fits the label as well as the name, Darkness, although since the beer is pretty sweet, it is a part of her personality that makes her self conscious of her body while fighting.

Second character is Satan from the series The Seven Deadly Sins from Nitro Plus. She obviously fits the brewcifer label for her being and her colors. While she is passionate about war against good, she has a weakness for cute animals which is best represented by Darkness flavors being so sweet, mysterious, smooth and appealing.

The Third character is a demonic form of Sakura Haruno from the Naruto series. While she never has this form, canonically, it is a fan art that best fit the beer in terms of the label, demon look, pink hair for the dark cherry flavors and the sharp green eyes which reflect the out-pour of the tropical hops notes within the stout

Raven’s Eye (Redux) by Eel River Brewing

1235477_10101384045563560_1551061574_nRating: 5/5

Raven’s Eye (Redux) by Eel River Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Organic Russian Imperial Stout

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
A rich roasty brew with a deep “espresso” character. Originally brewed for the Imperial Court in Russia, this stout is a warm festive drink made with the cold Russian Winters in mind. This complex stout is brewed with a combination of nine domestic and imported malts. Only the finest Pacific Northwest hops are used to provide the perfect balance in our award winning beer.
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I have reviewed this beer in the past and have tried this atleast several times. To me, this was, and will always be, Black Xantus Evil cousin. I decided to another review before the release of the new label (http://www.eelriverbrewing.com/sites/eelriverbrewing.com/files/ravens_0.jpg). This is the same beer that I enjoy so long ago when I first started trying different beers and it has made a nice comeback this year.

Aromas roasted coffee, mocha, dark chocolate, pecans, hazelnut nectar, bits of dark fruits like currants, raisins, caramel, licorice, earthy hops, brown sugar and molasses

The flavors are of rich sweet Irish cream like coffee, hazelnut nectar, mocha, rich currants, raisins, dark cherries, pecans, walnuts, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bakers chocolate, molasses, slight licorice notes, slight oak flavors, vanilla, caramel, chocolate fudge brownies with caramel on top, pecans, cherry and raisin syrup, earthy hop bitterness near the end and sweet toffee.

The aftertaste leaves stronger with coffee, chocolate and dark fruit with a slight bitterness at the end. This beer is moderate to sip drinkability, heavy but smooth. Deliciously balanced. No alcohol presence anywhere

Overall, I don’t have to say it, this is a great beer. One of my old time favorites and still around after 2 years. It is one of those over looked beers that really should not be. Truly one of the best dessert beers our there. It will always be the cousin of the Black Xantus, the unbarrel aged epic lore. Feels like visiting and old relative 

2011 Review: (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/ravens-eye-imperial-stout-by-eel-river/)
Black Xantus cousin…Second time trying the Raven’s Eye Imperial stout by Eel River brewing. One of the very few breweries who have the USDA Certified Organic Trademark. Also one of the best Organics I have ever tried. How is this the Black Xantus cousin (Aside from being another dark bird)? or in a sense, why does it seem similar at least to me? Well this stout is a Coffee dominant chocolatey stout just like it. However, other than being less strong, there are more other flavors that Black Xantus does not have that are actually worth trying. There are flavors of Hazel nut, mocha, bread, dark fruits, caramel, milk texture, and some minor hoppy taste. Will it be good for you to try?? Well only if your into stouts and sweet bitter coffee ones. I sure enjoyed it myself that I had to do a ROUND2 review as the last time I tried it was sometimes last year. Will you actually find something delicious in this beer or will you say to this …Nevermore!! >:)..You be the judge. It is a California brew found at Bevmo

Very Angry Beast by Clown Shoes Brewing

14164_10101347409567390_363804656_n 1151034_10101347408599330_1481012420_n 1185157_10101347409183160_519431837_n Rating: 5.55/5*

Very Angry Beast by Clown Shoes Brewing is an 11.5% ABV World Class Imperial Stout blended with equal parts of Blaecorn Unidragon and Vampire Slayer both aged in bourbon barrels.

Label: 
Hoppy Feet guy extinguished evil via a sharp stake through an undead chest. Now, Blaecorn Unidragon, full of fury, has expelled another bloodsucker from Earth. We hate vampires, but love Vampire Slayer, which we blended in equal parts with Blaecorn Unidragon, bourbon barrel aging the mix to beget Very Angry Beast.
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I have been following this series carefully since the first release of the awesome Blaecorn Unidragon. Both Blaecorn and Vampire slayer very awesome beers as well as the Porcine Unidragon. When they aged the Blaecorn Unidragon and blended it with basic vampire slayer, that was awesome within itself. Now both are blended for the ultimate concoction.

Aromas are of deep bourbon vanilla, oak, dulce de leche caramel, marshmallows, flan,coconut, dark chocolate, graham crackers, bit of rocky road ice cream, sweet milk chocolate, pecans, almond joy, mocha coffee, toffee, butterscotch, chocolate cake and some dark fruit notes.

The flavors are of bourbon, lots of nice warm bourbon (not overwhelming boozy, just sweetnes) and oak flavors, vanilla, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, coconut, marshmallows, raisins, butterscotch, almond joy, not as big on the rocky road as the smell but some notes are there. There are also flavors of black berries, possibly dark cherry notes, dulce de leche caramel notes, graham crackers, earthy hops, fudge brownies, more bakers chocolate that sweet milk chocolate, almost semi sweet but the flavors seems to work. Some other flavors are of mocha, honey glazed ham notes and brown sugar.

After taste is a litle boozy leaving very nice residue of vanilla, coffee, chocolate, bourbon and minor smokey notes. While the beer can be boozy later on after several sips, it is quite the smooth beer. Take heed though, while it is easy to drink it will hit. This dynamic duo of Femme Fatale (Obviously referencing the art ) shows no mercy

Overall it was quite an overwhelming experience in many aspects. Beers that go over the 5 rating seem to be beers that usually are Chocolate extreme or amazingly sweet or caramel extreme or just something that is way out of the ordinary in terms of flavor. This beer, while it may not have reached the heights of chocolate, the concoction of the bourbon, the coffee notes, dark fruit notes, buttery caramel, vanilla rich, the oaky and let us not forget the chocolate, is what set the score for me. Really great job by Clown Shoes brewing in bringing this amazing beer to the hands of many. Salute to you and Cheers!!

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Blaecorn Unidragon Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/blaecorn-unidragon-russian-imperial-stout-by-clown-shoes-brewing/ 

Vampire Slayer Review:https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/vampire-slayer-by-clown-shoes-brewing/

Angry Beast Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/angry-beast-by-clown-shoes/

Porcine Unidragon Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/porcine-unidragon-by-clown-shoes/

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.
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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!!

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.

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.
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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 😛

2011 Barrel Roll No. 3 Pugachev’s Cobra by Hangar 24

306081_10101131075327940_749733813_n 548867_10101131079115350_668536258_n 532932_10101131079125330_716776184_nRating: 5.8/5* Aged for 2 years, so the ABV is probably higher but the complexity is what gives it the high score.

2011 Barrel Roll No. 3 Pugachev’s Cobra by Hangar 24 is a 16.5%ABV Russian Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels

Label: 
PUGACHEV’S COBRA: The brainchild of Victor Pugachev — not for the faint of heart. Pilot suddenly raises the aircraft nose to near vertical before dropping back to attack mode. Get ready for an assault on your senses with PUGACHEV’S COBRA, an intense Russian Imperial Stout. This rich, black beauty with a thick caramel head is bursting with aromas of chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon, licorice and dark fruits, while flavors of chocolate-covered plum, sweet malt, bourbon, and roasted coffee explode on your pallet. Three different dark roasted malts and rich maple syrup are combined in a truly unique brewing process to create complexity and depth. Once fermented, it’s then aged for eight months in freshly emptied bourbon barrels. This powerful concoction is designed to be enjoyed now with friends or cellared to perfection and savored in the years to come.
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As recommended by my friend Julio who once had it on tap about a year ago. Been looking high and low for this piece of treasure to finally be able to do a review. Time to suit up and lift off into the heights of amazing flavors. How will it do with the other great imperial stouts out there? 

Upon opening the bottle, the aromas are very good. Definitely on par with some of the greats, maybe even better! Rich bourbon, vanilla, oak, sweet milk and dark chocolate, brownie batter, coconut, banana, hazelnuts, dulce de leche, crème brulee, coffee, mocha, maple, hints of dark fruits like raisins, apples and smokey wood. The flavors are very amazing. Heat of Bourbon flavor but low booziness, vanilla, bananas, coconut, dulce de leche caramel, raisins, Kahlua coffee, rum and very rich chocolate almost to the side of Black Tuesday but more focus on bourbon than chocolate yet still very strong with the chocolate. There are also flavors of flan, licorice, molasses, chocolate cake, chocolate syrup and whiskey. This one is very very good. The flavors are very rich and the bourbon flavor is amazing. Not the booziness but the actual oakyness and vanilla of it. No Joke, this beer was definitely near the top. A must get if you somehow are lucky to find it. I had to look online for this one unfortunately. Now next time it is one tap, that I will have to see. But you also have to realize, this has been aging FOR 2 YEARS!! so the much fresher version may not provide the strength and complexity. So get one now and save the other for later. Go get this beer!!

Imperial Stout – Bourbon Barrel Aged a.k.a Black Gold by Full Sail Brewery

580112_10101105307342190_1810699105_nRating: 4.9/5

Imperial Stout – Bourbon Barrel Aged a.k.a Black Gold by Full Sail Brewery is a 9.6% ABV Russian Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels. This is the Brewmaster Reserve 2013

Label: 
A deep complex brew that is black as night with a strong roasted malt character and Full body. Brewed in December 2011, this stout was aged for 12 months in bourbon casks from Kentucky. This extended aging presents hints of vanilla and oak. Enjoy!
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First thing I thought when I opened this was Old Rasputin Barrel aged and Black Xantus. The fragrance told me everything. Flan rich aromas with the caramel, vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate cake, coconut, bananas, chocolate, dark fruits, cherries, peaches sweetened condenced milk. The flavors are similar with the coconut, bourbon, slight anise, vanilla, oak, dulce de leche caramel, slight flan and sweetened condenced milk, slight soy sauce, molasses, chocolate chip, cookies and cream, raisin, bananas, almost like a rum aspect, slight chocolate cake, slight mocha and almost like a coca cola after taste but still bourbon strong. While it does have so many of the rich flavors like some of the awesome Bourbon Barrel aged beers I have tried before, the flavors don’t stay for too long and don’t have the same intense impact as Old Rasputin and Black Xantus. However, it is still a really great beer with awesome dessert complexity. Almost like a strong beer that tries to be close to what some of the best are but a ¼ step to half step down. Which is not bad at all. I wouldn’t say it’s easy drinking, but definitely one to take your time with. What I do like about this is the fact that you do get those awesome awesome flavors as you would with some of the higher players but the impact isn’t as mind blowing. Still pretty surprisingly good and delicious but not up to the most mind blowing, only ¾ mind blowing. If no Black Xantus or Barrel aged Old Rasputin is found, then go with this. Hell, if no other bourbon barrel aged beer is around, still get this.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Cauldron by Grand Teton Brewing

307218_10100969359522710_644190825_nRating: 5/5

Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Cauldron by Grand Teton Brewing is a 8% ABV Russian Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels. 

This is part of a rare release of brewers’ series beers that may be available soon. The beer has no particular description noted. I have tried the regular version of this beer in the past and have considered it a favorite. With a release of a barrel aged version, it brings forth something even more magical, mystical, dark and well, just delicious. 

The aromas of this beer come off as a semi sweet semi bitter bakers chocolate, coffee, mocha, vanilla, some bourbon, oak, dark fruits and berries. The taste reminds me of the Oak Aged Chocolate Yeti with bourbon. It is pretty good. Like a Dark and semi sweet/bitter bakers chocolate and coffee cake dipped in a little bit of bourbon with notes of wooden oak barrel, caramel, vanilla, blackberries, raisins, cherries, sweet bread, minor earthy hop bitterness with disappears into some coconut like notes but just a little bit. It is quite smooth and rich going down. It is not super boozy but you get some nice notes of the oak and the bourbon. It is not like the Old Rasputin Barrel Aged but it is still a great barrel aged stout. Remembering how good the original was for me, this is a great step up in complexity and a must find.

Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XV by North Coast Brewing

382030_10100953674296030_1531994946_nRating: 5.5/5

Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XV by North Coast Brewing is an 11.9% ABV Russian Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
Never say Die!

Every year we age a special batch of our much-loved Russian Imperial Stout in Bourbon barrels. The depth, intensity, and complexity of the flavor profile of this special release, like its predecessors, make it a worthy tribute to Old Rasputin.

Prior to 2010, Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin was released in such limited quantities that it was available only at the North Coast Brewing retail shop in Fort Bragg, California. However, we received so many requests for this beer that we began producing enough Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin to put into broader, but still limited, distribution.

This a pretty awesome beer. Upon opening this one, there was immediate aromas of rich coconut, vanilla, bourbon with roasted coffee, chocolate, caramel and some notes of Mexican sweetened condensed or flan. Maybe California’s response to Bourbon County Stout? The flavors are pretty sweet. The boozyness is only slight the flavors that hit the palate. Sweet rich chocolate, espresso, mocha, vanilla, caramel, whipped cream, rich Mexican flan, bourbon, coconut, figs, raisins and prunes. Another masterpiece exceeding the expectations. A must find for Barrel-Aged Stout lovers. Just awesome is what this is. If the original Old Rasputin is world class, this takes it to another level for me.

Sexual Chocolate by Foothills

Rating: 5.75/5

Sexual Chocolate by Foothills is a 9.75% ABV Russian Imperial stout aged in Bourbon barrels. If a beer was like having sex, maybe the flavor and aroma would be so good it would make some orgasm….maybe..lol. This is a beer you take your time with. Too fast would make you pass out. LOL!!

Label:

A smooth, dark, cocoa infused Imperial Stout barrel aged for 4 months. Perfect for sipping and cellaring. A rich chocolate aroma twines seamlessly with delicious overtones of bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Notes of espresso, black strap molasses and caramel accentuate a dark chocolate backbone and complex layers of toffee and dark fruit.This beer is reminiscent of the Nectar Ales Black Xantus (which pairs awesome with chocolate cheese cake) with its delicious dark fruit flavors like cherry and raisins. Rich Milk chocolate, coffee, mocha, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, butterscotch, toffee, coconut, cherries, raisins, figs, oatmeal, french toast with chocolate and maple syrup. Maybe not as strong in terms of alcohol as Chocolate Rain or White chocolate, but it sure as hell gets way up there in the upper rank breaking beers for me :P. What can I say, I love chocolate, I love chocolate beers and these just happen to be that good and unfortunately hard to find. Consider yourself lucky to find this…Foothills was kind to release this once more this year but unfortunately at a limited supply.

Blaecorn Unidragon Russian Imperial Stout by Clown Shoes Brewing

Rating: 5/5

Truly a Hybrid of great mention and adoration. The ultimate mythical creature, Blaecorn Unidragon Russian Imperial Stout by Clown Shoes Brewing. This beer is normally not sold in California, as it is mainly sold in Massachusetts. I was able to find this brewery treasure in a special brew shop. It’s a secret >:P…. this is my first try at the mythical stout. Earlier I mentioned this was a hybrid of sorts. In order to describe it, this is what happens when you combine the malts which make up the roasted chocolate/coffee flavor of Stout, with very bitter hops which make up the nice piney, tangy, grassy flavors of an IPA. However, as this brew goes down each sip. There is surely a battle going on here. he malts and hops try to fight for dominance in taste to maintain their form. You taste sweet and bitter. The complex flavors I get from this other than what I previously stated are some vanilla and dark fruits like plums and raisins. The finish of the beer is rather dry. It is almost like taking on the beast itself of legend, this so called…beast, the Blaecorn Unidragon…and then it finishes you off quick..and as you try to slowly crawl away while running you sit there and are like….no fucking way…is that all you got….gimme more….And as you draw your sword like Neliel does in this picture you realize… It ain’t over until the last damn drop…D:<!!!!…EPIC…Just EPIC….by the way…12.5%ABV

Black Xantus Imperial Stout by Nectar Ales/Firestone Walker

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Rating: 5/5 

Black Xantus Imperial Stout by Nectar Ales/Firestone Walker is one of my favorite all time beer. The first batch was Christmas 2010 in remembrance of my beloved mother. I remember that day since I had aged the ale for about a year to increase the alcohol content from 11% to 13%. I am actually doing so again and will have what will be my 3rd batch along with my friend Chino and his bro. Since this beer is hard to find, I was able to find it once again and did not dare miss out on the opportunity to try the beer as is at 11% alcohol. I wanted to see how things have changed since I first started getting into different beers. This beer has been with me since Lost Abbey so I figured now that I am more rounded in the arts of taste, I had to try the beer again to see what my taste buds can find. To start off, this beer is made with roasted malts and actual Mexican Jobella coffee beans. Where most stouts get the chocolate/coffee flavors from roasted malts, the nice dark expresso like flavors comes is nice and strong, just like I remember. Bourbon and Vanilla flavors are actually in this beer as well as flavors of dark cherries, plums, blackberries and other dark fruits. There is alot of hoppy yet nice bitterness to the brew that hits you good inside. Very unique beer and a simple yet most important treasure of mine. The original bottle still stands in my wooden book shelve next to my Lost Abbey art collection. I can’t wait to try the 13% over all aged one. This beer is a dessert beer and is best had with a chocolate cake. I will knock you out like it did to me back in 2010….LOL since I found this beer hidden at the Bevmo, I sure as hell did not want to pass the opportunity to try it once more before diving head on to the 13% one which will knock me out..but it is SOOOOOOOO WORTH IT….