Wooden Rooster by Tallgrass Brewing

 

15304223_538637189665721_8915116477263500459_oRating: 5.75/6

Wooden Rooster by Tallgrass Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Belgian Tripel aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
To create Wooden Rooster, we took Velvet Rooster, our Belgian-style Tripel, and aged it in rye whiskey barrels, giving it an oaky vanilla finish.

==Introduction==

Saved what might be possibly, the best for last. This can be the last in the series of cans from Tall Grass brewing that my friend Aaron Mendiola had sent me. Please check out his reviews at BeerMetalDude.com and definitely check out Tall Grass brews if you can get them. This is a barrel aged Tripel version of their original, the Velvet Rooster. I have not tried the original but barrel aged brews seem to be more awesome than the original on the majority of the times. Let’s just see how awesome though, cheers!

Aromas:
Waffle cone, bananas, clove spice, wine grape notes, floral notes, Belgian Candi sugar, rock candy, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, oak, peppercorns, citrus, whiskey, oranges, Chardonnay, grapes, cantaloupe, strawberries, lavender, bubblegum notes, honey and butterscotch.

Flavors:
Raw sun matured oranges, whiskey, vanilla, oak, peppercorns, citrus, lemon, Bananas, clove spice, wine grape notes, floral notes, farmhouse hay, stone fruit old mango, peaches, apricots, plums, waffle cone, cane sugar, honey, butterscotch, buttercup pecans, almond milk, sweetened condensed milk, flan, Belgian Candi sugar, rock candy, dulce de leche caramel, rice pudding, brown sugar, Chardonnay, grapes, cantaloupe, strawberries, lavender, bubblegum notes, clove spice, coriander, maple and funky notes.

Aftertaste:
Finishes oak, whiskey and vanilla with lots of melding Belgian candi sugar sweetness, vanilla and biscuit. No alcohol in the taste, Hazy Golden full body, smooth, creamy, crisp, and refreshing mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
This is damn exceptional. The best I have had from Tall Grass brewing by far. This amazing brew has great levels of amazing complexity and definitely stands to other Belgian Barrel aged brews I have had before. It also reminds me of the Bruery’s White Oak aged in bourbon or the Barrel aged Cali Belgique. Definitely something that is not often brewed but this one is a must get for sure. Highly recommended.
15195987_538637176332389_3846170263331871360_o
Anime Corner:
Ultima from Final Fantasy Tactics and a Rooster cosplaying as Akuma from Capcom’s series, Street Fighter, were chosen to represent the wooden rooster. Not just for the colors which pair well with the label of the feathers and the fact that one is a rooster and one is a fallen angel. Regardless, the bad assery and that fact that this brew is ridiculously awesome is really what does it.

Sources:
http://www.crymore.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Ultima-chan.jpg
http://i4.pixiv.net/img-original/img/2016/06/15/16/36/45/57412263_p0.jpg

 

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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
12419319_10103173446499740_9184281301668538954_o
==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!
12440599_10103173447038660_1997237054284969412_o
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.
12779287_10103173448326080_4222400303778947981_o
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

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*
———————
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

Crasher in the Rye by Clown Shoes brewing

11130485_10102497538584620_944438898415187265_o 11082393_10102497539188410_8439793951855450834_oRating: 6/5

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

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

==Introduction==

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/ac/29/1d/ac291d91a4e849fc83780d255081a5bd.jpg
http://i.ytimg.com/vi/mYjp2_qm5Zs/maxresdefault.jpg

Eight by Surly Brewing

10801864_10102205524822540_8166432178663971312_nRating: 6/5

Eight by Surly Brewing is a 12%ABV Oat Wine Aged in High West Rye Whiskey Barrels.

Label:
get surly

“When it’s done” is a phrase we’ve used to describe release dates for our beers for many years. When you’re putting the beer first, it just makes sense. Our anniversary is technically in February, but this unique Oat Wine style ale needed to age in High West Rye Whiskey barrels until, well… until it’s done. Here’s to Eight great years, and we’ll all be celebrating soon in our all new Destination Brewery.

The idea behind our anniversary line-up of beers was to give Todd, Surly’s Head Brewer, free rein to use whatever ingredients and methods he wanted to brew the beer. This year’s bottle artwork is a one-of-a-kind illustration collaboration between Todd and local artist Josh “Jawsh” Lemke.

This beer was designed for barrel aging, so it’s been a great opportunity to work with our friends at High West Distillery® in Park City. Utah. Brewed with Golden Promise and Aromatic malt Oats, and Milk sugar fermented in stainless steel then aged in High West Rye Whiskey barrels, this golden hued Oat-Wine style ale summons notes of spicy vanilla marshmallow and aromas of honey and whiskey.

==Introduction==

Another awesome year has come for Surly brewing and the release of their long awaited Barley wine is now here. Every year, I await the release of their anniversary ale since trying the Surly 4. Some releases are greater than others but sometimes you have to dig deep online to find these obscure beers… or just go to france44.com and get them, I guess that’ll work. Anyways, this year they made an oatwine aged in Rye whiskey barrels. I have tried many barley wines, some wheat wines, but never an oatwine. So the fact that this one is barrel aged, I will try to find the original beer somehow but if not, at least I will let you know how this year’s Surly anniversary turns out. Come, join me into the abyss of flavor experience…

Aromas:
Marshmallow cream, chocolate smores, vanilla, oak, dulce de leche caramel, flan, custard, dark fruit raisins, cherries, white chocolate, toffee, butterscotch, bourbon, rye bread, rye whiskey, capirotada raisin bread pudding, Lechera sweetened condensed milk, bananas, clove spice, pumpkin spice, tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, piña colada hints, pecan pie, hazel nut, oatmeal cookies, Danish cookies, oranges, citrus, coriander spice, macadamia nuts, marzipan, burnt sugar, brown sugar and candi sugar.

Flavors:
Bourbon, Rye whiskey, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, oak, flan, custard, tobacco, leathery notes, sweetened condensed milk, oranges, coriander spice, mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, pears, apples, toasted coconut, piña colada hints, rich white chocolate, toffee, mild pumpkin spice, cinnamon, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, Danish cookies, Tres Leches cake, marshmallow cream, bananas, clove spice, chocolate smores, butterscotch, rye bread, brown sugar, marzipan, hazelnut, burnt sugar, candi sugar hints, dark fruits like cherries, raisins, plums, biscuit bread, capirotada raisin bread pudding, pecan pie and almond joy chocolate.

Aftertaste:
Lingering dulce de lecher caramel, burnt sugar, white chocolate hints, citrus, mild piña colada hints , bananas, toasted coconut, rye whiskey, earthy notes and pecans. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV, smooth, creamy and silky mouthfeel, sipping drinkability with some notes that makes this really easy to drink and a full golden brown full body.

Overall:
There is no surprise here. The moment I realized I really liked this one was right when this beer started to have some special tropical hints and white chocolate for some reason. I kept tasting white chocolate at times especially as it got warmer. I am not sure if that is part of the Oat wine or the combination of the that with the whiskey. What an amazing beer for their anniversary that they released. I really enjoyed this one. If you would like to obtain this one, I got it at france44.com where they are very limited and selling out very quick. So yes, I highly suggest you get this special anniversary ale.

Anime Corner:
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki from the Naruto series is one of the main antagonist from the series. She was brought here in this pairing for several reasons. Mainly for her great pairing with the label, the evil that she is flows great with Surly and the white chocolate aspect I kept getting from the beer. All the colors in this pairing show many of the flavor complexities that this one shows. Surly unleashed a special type of demon from it’s sealed state and now with her sweet onslaught of flavors, she will take back what was hers. Your lack of not trying this beer. She is all powerful, complex, sweet in appearance and flavor but overall, just evil!!

Sources:
http://rikamello.deviantart.com/art/Ohtsutsuki-Kaguya-478836486

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

NOT the Stoic by Deschutes brewing

10169241_10101820426093480_4885748839780131857_nRating: 5.95/5

NOT the Stoic by Deschutes brewing is a 12% Belgian Quad brewed with pomegranate molasses and aged 11 months in 15% Pinot Noir oak wine barrels and 15% Rye Whiskey Barrels.

Label:
A prized, Potent, Belgian-Styled Quad of Stirring depth & complexity.
A Virtuous return. Aged and sequestered in select oak casks. The result – A contemplatively brewed quad, created in homage to all those who doubted the original. This unrepentant rendition is definitely, NOT THE STOIC.

Malt: Pilsner, Special B, Crystal Rye
Hops: Czech Saaz
Other: Pomegranate Molasses
Barrel-Aging: 11 months in 15% Pinot Noir and 15% Rye Whiskey Barrels
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Been waiting for this sucker for a very long time. I have never tried the original as I have never been lucky enough to find it before they stopped making it. With this release, I was not gonna miss this one up. Quadruples and Dark Belgian beers are some of my favorites and it really takes a lot to make a really bad quad, well, bad. This is highly coveted for its rarity and increasing popularity, although very limited. Get this one if you can.

Aromas:
Lots of dark fruits like dark cherries, figs, plums, cranberries, pomegranates, oak, port wine, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, marshmallows, smores, flan, pecan pie, hazelnut, walnuts, bananas, clove spice, burnt sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, chocolate notes, rye, lots of wine grapes, coconut hints, peaches and cream, apricots and apples.

Flavors:
Rich Dark cherries, dark fruits, raisins, plums, figs, currants, pomegranate, cranberry, wine grapes, oak, leather, port wine, rye bread, rye whiskey, coconut, dulce de leche caramel, burnt sugar, vanilla, maple syrup, molasses, flan, brown sugar, chocolate notes, hazelnut, pecan pie, walnut cream, bananas, clove spice, oak, peaches, apricots, apples, marshmallows, smores, molasses and cinnamon.

Aftertaste:
Lingering maple, wine grapes, pecan pie, caramel, vanilla, oak, dark fruits and molasses linger. A silky mouthfeel with no alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer still even it is pretty damn smooth. 

Overall:
One of the 5th strongest ABV quads I have ever had, Strongest being the Forgotten Island Quad (15%) and maybe Sede Vacante to some extent. A quad definitely exceeding a lot of my expectations! The blend of the whiskey barrel and wine oak barrels reminding me of what would happen scenario if we took St. Bernardus and Trois Pistoles and we aged them in Wine and Whiskey Barrels. That beer would be even crazier but for now, the possibility of such a thing is highly exemplified in NOT the Stoic. This is not your typical quadruple that is damn sure. I highly recommended!!

Anime Corner:
Flandre Scarlet from the Touhou series was used in this pairing to exemplify the craziness of the character as it relates to the beer. For fans of the character, yes, I do mean with the whole U.N. Owen was Her Name which is her theme in that crazy game. This beer is no longer the stoic. It has been tainted, corrupted and demented in darkness and complexity that it will never be the same. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s increase in complexity with its increase in ABV make it very dangerous as this drinks rather easily. That is the dangerous part. Just like Flandre Scarlet. Enjoy at your own damn risk, cuz trust me, you won’t want to finish her in one sitting!

Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout by Goose Island

1520827_10101561182295130_779222728_n 993745_10101561181960800_352237998_nRating: 6/5

Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout by Goose Island is a 12.7% ABV World Class Imperial Stout brewed with Mulberries, Boysenberries and Marionberries and aged in Rye Whiskey barrels

Label:
This Bourbon County release is Inspired by the berries our brewers first remember eating from the trees in their backyards. Full of the dark, spicy, and pleasantly sweet flavors, this trio of berries nicely compliments the flavors imparted from barrel resulting in a smooth, jammy stout perfect for sipping on your back porch.
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The 5th variety of the Bourbon county series I try. One with lots of berries. Like many beers, this one is coveted as well and released on Black Friday. If you want to get this one, you will have to trade or find it online. Either way, just like the other Bourbon Counties, they are a must try, even if once.

Aromas:
Deep dark chocolate covered cherries, raspberries, black berries, dark fruits, subtle bourbon, vanilla, oak, caramel, boysenberry preserves on rye bread, marshmallows, cherry flan, mocha, coffee, rocky road ice cream dark cherry and rocky road ice cream, bananas, toasted coconut and rich fancy berry desserts

Flavors:
Liquid chocolate raspberry bliss! Lots of raisins, dark cherries, boysenberries, black berries, blue berries, currants, dark chocolate, oak, marshmallow, raspberry cheesecake, banana split, lots of berry preserves on rye bread, toasted coconut, cherry chocolate cake, vanilla, rich caramel, flan, blackberry jam, molasses and more complex flavors as it develops

Aftertaste:
Slightly tart raspberries, chocolate, bourbon notes, coffee, vanilla and oak, but mainly the combination of all the berries is what truly lingers. No alcohol in the taste, a sipper, yet smooth and dangerous like the previous.

Overall:
Damn exquisite like its brethren. This on is more berry forward. Distinguishing the berries is difficult but doable. Either way, I think I love this even more than the regular BCBS. Like the “Life is Like..” beer, this would the berry mash up equivalent. Damn good and damn well worth getting if you can find this and love fruit beers.

Anime Corner:
Lily Salvatana from the Tre Donne Crudeli “Outlaw” Django was used in this pairing to represent once again, the old west in Bourbon county but also the colors and aspects of the beer. The berries found for this beer were found in a back yard. Most people in their backyards would practice shooting which is what she is doing . Her hair color is the representative of the berry flavors as well as the colors she wears, more flavors.

The Zombies Take Manhattan Imperial Zombie Killer by B. Nektar Meadery

1235139_10101385075025510_1873119161_n 601378_10101385076163230_1171027814_n 598511_10101385077340870_357269747_nRating: 5.25/5 *Mead Rating

The Zombies Take Manhattan Imperial Zombie Killer by B. Nektar Meadery is a 12%ABV Imperial Mead fermented with Apple, honey and cherries added then aged in rye whiskey barrels

Label: 
We thought we had them under control. The antidote was working. But life, or even death, finds a way. After a year of successful treatments, their bodies stopped responding and grew nearly twice their normal size. Now they’ve overrun the city. I fear it’s too late for mankind. They’re coming… B. Afraid
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Thus begins, the second chapter in the story of the zombie killers. Equipped with a sweeter and stronger tasting arsenal, I am sure will be awesome. This is the second Mead I get to try and the barrel aged version of the one I had reviewed which was very delicious. Check out the first chapter here: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/zombie-killer-cherry-cyser-by-b-nektar-meadery/

Aromas are of vanilla, strong cinnamon, apples, cherries, raspberries, rye bread notes, whiskey, green tea, chamomile, hibiscus, caramel, mint, flowers, brown sugar and oak

The flavors are of rye bread, rye whiskey (not over powering at all but delicious), apples, dark cherry and raspberry yogurt, cherry cobbler, vanilla, cinnamon, mint, chamomile, hibiscus, butterscotch, slight smokey from the oak, pine tree, spices, brown sugar and flowers.

The after taste is of oak, cinnamon, apples, cherry and rye taste. No alcohol presence in the taste, going down, Nothing!! This is way to easy too drink, way too easy for it’s own good. I said it’s own good, not mine. If were to drink 6 of these I would become a zombie and I wouldn’t even know it

Overall, it went past the original. The insane part of this mead is that the whiskey is very hidden. So hidden that it is kind of dangerous as it is very smooth. No alcohol burn no nothing. The only part that is strong is the rich and delicious flavors. The second and possibly the last chapter in the zombie series for B. Nektar brings forth some really undead and unbelievable tale of a mead. Let’s just put it this way, for 12%ABV, I get slighter alcohol strength to some degree in like let’s say barrel aged beers. For those I don’t, they did an awesome job with their complex blend. This may not be super complex like a special Barrel aged stout for example, but it becomes champion of fooling the population. No wonder the zombies took over. 

Smoking Wood by The Bruery

540438_10100954716427590_370128381_n 61022_10100954712809840_1216744887_nRating: 5/5

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

Label:
Smoked Imperial Rye Porter aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels. A rich porter layered with rye spiciness and earthy smoke, caramel-like flavors, roasty malt and oaky deliciousness. 
Brewed with beachwood and cherrywood smoked malt, and aged in rye whiskey barrels, Smoking Wood is a delicious demonstration of what wood has to offer when it comes to beer. This imperial smoked porter is brewed with a hefty amount of rye malt, contributing to a full body and light spiciness. Toasty oak, caramel and vanilla flavors balance the smokiness, contributing to an intense yet refined flavor profile. This is one of our favorite beers at the moment, we hope you agree. 
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For smoked beers, I hear this one was phenomenal. The aromas are of whiskey or a bourbon, vanilla, caramel, smokey notes, campfire, bacon, some rye bread, minor coffee, chocolate and raisins. The flavors are of dark and milk chocolate, campfire, bacon, BBQ Ribs, whiskey, Jack Daniels Honey, scotch, vanilla, caramel, mocha, maple syrup, oak, coconut, minor flan notes, brown sugar, sourdough bread, plums, cherry, walnuts and pecans. This beer turned out to be fantastic. While it has a high ABV, the flavors prevent too much burn. You can kind of tell that it is strong but not to an overwhelming point. In fact, the smoke and sweet flavors take care of that. Ofcourse, do not drink this in one sitting. You will get wasted. Try some and save it for later. For people that do not like smoked beers might find this one pretty appealing and pleasant.