2017 Trappist Westvleteren 12 by Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

 

Rating: 7/7
 
2017 Trappist Westvleteren 12 by Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) is a 10.2% Belgian Trappist Quadrupel.
 
Label:
None
 
==Introduction==
 
Westy 12 is back! It has been 5 years since the last time I tried this beer. Back then it was the best beer in the world and even to this day I still think it is the best only because of rarity but mainly because it was an inspiration of a beer for since my first time trying Belgians. The best beers in the world commonly found to me are the St. Bernardus Abt 12 next to Trois Pistoles and the Three Philosophers. This beer is still difficult to get as you have to have an exclusive invite to the Monastery in Westvleteren and can only buy a limited quantity. Also, it has been difficult to get in the states since the one incident a couple years ago where they sold it at Total Wine where scalpers took many to sell online. Essentially, this beer was the best before the new IPA trends took over. Oh how people have forgotten that the old world of beers that have been made for hundreds of years should still be the best over these new and up and coming brews. It is the reason why this style is still my favorite despite the fact that while I do believe the newer hyped beers are delicious, they are no worth an arm and a leg. Also, while this one was hyped at the time, people forget that St. Bernardus Abt 12 is literally the same recipe but commercialized so many people in the world can know about the great Belgians. This is why I love St. Bernardus 12. It is easy to find but because I rarely get a chance to try this beer. I consider it slight above the best but in the rarity category. Let’s have a look and see how this tastes after years of me not having tried it. Cheers!
 
Aromas:
Deep dark fruits, prunes, raisins, vanilla, burnt caramel, dulce de leche caramel, goat milk caramel, wined caramel, chocolate, wafflecone, butterscotch, toffee, marshmallow, rock candy, candi sugar, honey, piloncillo sugar cone, peppercorn, earthy hops, hazelnut nectar and golden apples.
 
Flavors:
Supreme rich dulce de leche caramel, bananas, clove spice, dark fruit dates, raisins, plums, figs, flan, sweetened condensed milk, pecan pie, Danish cream, leather, rye, earthy hops, Stone fruit peaches, peppercorn, burnt sugar, rock candy, candi sugar, honey, piloncillo sugar cone, grapes, port wine, milk chocolate, candied apples, wafflecone, butterscotch, toffee, marshmallow, bubble gum, fig pudding, rice pudding, golden apples, hazelnut nectar, cherries, Mexican sweet bread, umami, Goat milk caramel, burnt caramel, anise notes, funnel cream cake, honey dew melon, tamarind and tiramasu.
 
Aftertaste:
Rich lingering dulce de leche carame, dark fruits, stone fruits, vanilla, flan, sweetened condensed milk, pecan pie, port wine, Danish cream, leather, rye, earthy hops and mild chocolate lingers. No alcohol in the taste, smooth, silky, syrupy and creamy mouthfeel, Dark Golden Brown medium body and a moderate to sipping drinkability.
 
Overall:
A definite bucket lister! Simply because it is one of those beers that you have to try to believe. Granted, I have tried this side by side with St. Bernardus and while I think this one is only slightly better, they are pretty much in that same taste profile give or take. How does this taste to my homebrew? Well, I do have to admit how damn close the recipe came out to be to the point where I surprised myself. I actually made my dream come true and while I am not a Trappist Monastery monk, I have to say I definitely have that in spirit! It is always an honor to bring this magnificent beer to the site when I can and I suggest you give this a shot, even if one. Get that off your bucket list!
 
Anime Corner:
Temari Sabakuno from Naruto, Kos-Mos from Xenosaga, Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill, Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach are chosen for very special beers. Since I first had a pairing with Temari, Kos-Mos and Yoruichi in the past, it was only fitting that I do this again but this time with Ryuko too. Being my favorite anime characters always get the best pairings in some of the beers I truly feel are deserving of that ‘Heavenly and Godly Ambrosia’ Liquid status as with many of the beers I have tried, I have used them in the previous St. Bernardus Abt 12 review except with the introduction of my recent favorite girl, Ryuko Matoi. The original time I tried this beer, it was the world’s best beer and the best Quadrupel since St. Bernarudus. It is this style of beer that grew my desire, my love and passion that lead to the the fruit of my labor with my homebrew ‘Las Quad-tro Monjas’. So heavenly fitting, my favorite top characters go with my favorite beers, especially this rarity.
 
Previous review:
 
Information on the Westy 12 VS. St. Bernardus 12:
 
 

 

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(AnimeBeers On The Road) Pacific Gravity collaboration with Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Homebrew Club

Rating: 6/6 (On The road series)

Pacific Gravity collaboration with Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Pacific Gravity Homebrew Club is a 9.8 % ABV Weizenbock aged in Bourbon Barrels

Description:
Barrel Aged Weizenbock// 9.8% ABV // Flavors of sweet vanilla and bourbon mingle with banana and clove in this barrel-aged German-style weizenbock. Brewed with wheat, pilsner, Munich, and highly-kilned melanoidin malts for a solid base, PGW has just a touch of hop balance, letting the banana and clove character of our traditional Bavarian wheat beer yeast strain take center stage. Eleven months spent resting in retired charred American oak bourbon barrels adds a layer of complexity reminiscent of Bananas Foster.

Damn….. banana, coconut, dark fruit cream pie!!! No wonder the other release of this is in bottles rarely sold

2017 The Three Philosophers by Ommegang

Rating: 6/6

2017 The Three Philosophers by Ommegang is a 9.8%ABV Belgian Quadrupple ale blended with 2% Belgian Kriek (Cherry Belgian Ale)

One of my top 3 best common beers in the world. True love for the Belgian Quads!

Original Review https://animebeers.com/2013/02/27/the-three-philosophers-by-ommegang-new-label/

That Orange Wrapper by Four Sons Brewing

Rating: 6/6

That Orange Wrapper by Four Sons Brewing is an 8.6 % ABV Imperial Stout brewed with peanuts and chocolate.

Label:
Brewed with peanuts and chocolate, producing a luxurious mouthfeel followed by a decadent finish.

==Introduction==

Obtained this one at Mr. K’s Liquor in front of the Bruery. I have never heard of this one but seeing as it was a peanut butter beer, I had to bring it to the site. Peanut Butter beers are something of a guilty pleasure for me and the more I find them, the more I want to bring them to the site to compare to other peanut butter brews. 4 sons has been a definite hit for me especially after the many I have tried from them like the Coco, their Anniversary brew and the Up on the Roof. That is why when I saw this one I had to bring it to the site. I definitely wanted to see how good their peanut butter beer was. Let’s take a look, cheers!

Aromas:
Rich Chocolatey Peanut butter, roasted peanuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, Reeces Peanut butter cups, Peanut brittle, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, earthy hop notes, captain crunch peanut butter cereal, Cocoa Krispies, chocolate cake, rocky road ice cream, molasses, dark fruit currants, cherries, prunes, raisins, brownie batter, roasted coffee, mocha, espresso, vanilla, caramel and cookie dough.

Flavors:
Rich Reeces Pieces and Reeces Peanut butter cups, Peanut brittle, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, earthy hop notes, captain crunch peanut butter cereal, Cocoa Krispies, dark fruit currants, cherries, prunes, raisins, rye bread, molasses, anise, tobacco notes, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, chocolate mousse, fudge and peanut butter cake, brownie batter, roasted coffee, mocha, espresso, vanilla, caramel, roasted peanuts, rocky road, cookie dough and peanut butter ice cream, flan, toasted coconut hints, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, cashew hints, nutter butter cookies, peanut butter cheesecake and double chocolate cake.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with unsweetened peanut butter flavor and roasted and earthy peanuts, lots of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, dark fruit, vanilla, caramel and cookie dough ice cream. No alcohol in the taste, dark full body, smooth, creamy, chewy and velvety mouthfeel and a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
Damn succulent! The peanut butter chocolate in the finish truly lasts for days. While I still love many of the other peanut butter beers I have had in the past, this one is damn insane. Like if they actually melted Reese’s peanut butter cups into the beer. It is insane! It is not a diabeetus cloying sweet beer but actually an earthy and roasty, real peanut butter taste. They really hit the nail on the head with this one and I highly recommend it!

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill was used in this pairing mainly for the colors of the beer. I know she is mainly Red and Black but under the certain lighting, she can have some orange to her. That and I loved this beer so much, I brought one of my favorite anime girls to the site again. In a way, Senketsu (The sentient living clothing she wears) is almost like the wrapper holding the sweetness together.

Sources:
http://img00.deviantart.net/b3d5/i/2013/327/d/c/kill_la_kill_hq_render_ryuuko_transformed_fanart_by_oneexisting-d6vbeuj.png
http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/816/877/fb4.jpg
http://static.acgdb.com/i/6f233a5bd2c651d3d4ca9ea64bb0590c89b167b5/wma1920/acgdb.com-6f233a5bd2c651d3d4ca9ea64bb0590c89b167b5.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/qRXrWtP.jpg

2016 Vindictive collaboration by Sans Liege Wines and The Bruery

15800568_10103862625624250_368950837240379288_oRating: 6/6

2016 Vindictive collaboration by Sans Liege Wines and The Bruery is a 14.9% ABV Black Tuesday (Imperial Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels) with Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes aged in New American Oak Puncheons

Label:
A NEW ERA

If some of the best wines are blends of several grape varieties, imagine what could be achieved when applied to beer. This Black Tuesday varietal is a blended and fermented with must from 75% destemmed and 25% whole cluster Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes from Sans Liege. After nearly a year in oak, this release vanquishes the boundaries between wine and beer.

==Introduction==
15732051_10103862625604290_5099112247120442860_o
Released to Hoarders and Reserve society as a single bottle, this version of their Wineification/Mardi Rouge, in the Bruery’s attempt to wineify beer, is the latest in the series. After trying Wineification I, II and III, this was essentially IV. However, it looks like they amped up their wine game by using different species of grapes and instead of French Oak Barrels they are using New American Oak Puncheons. This is definitely going to be something else I am sure. The previous iteration have tought me that it is possible to blend and create a wine/beer hybrid and based on what I had heard about this one it looks like they might have actually successfully made it. Heck, even their mini commercial for it shows all the other beers praise this one as the new god among beers. Let us see if the hype is real and see just how much closer they truly are to the wine beer hybrid. Cheers!
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Vindictive Commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIyIR324QNM

Aromas:
Rich oak, Dark fruit figs, raisins, plums, prunes, currants, blackberries, dark cherries, raspberries, wine grapes, Concorde grapes, white grapes, port wine, chocolate, vanilla, sangria, green apples, stone fruit apricots, dulce de leche caramel hints, brown sugar and fruit cake.
15731898_10103862625569360_3317603946441918868_o
Flavors:
Very rich oak, wine grapes, red grapes, Concorde grapes, peppercorns, flowers, hibiscus, dark fruit figs, raisins, plums, prunes, currants, blackberries, dark cherries, raspberries, strawberries, port wine, red wine, sangria, bourbon, vanilla, rocky road ice cream, dark chocolate, chocolate mousse, mocha, Kahlua Coffee Liqueur, bourbon, dulce de leche caramel, Chambord Raspberry, white grapes, sauvignon blanc, stone fruit peach, green apples, gamey meat notes, blood hints, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, sweetened condensed milk, flan, piloncillo sugar cone, brown sugar, fruit cake, graham crackers, bananas, cherry cola, almonds, rye bread and leathery notes.
15723382_10103862625519460_2822893731750904531_o
Aftertaste:
Finishing super dry, rich oak for days, dark fruit, gamey meat hints, stone fruit and fruit cake. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV. Dark Crimson and Deep Blood Red clear body under certain lighting. Smooth, rich, creamy and velvety mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.
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Overall:
The only reason this beer is not a bucket lister but is still up there with the best ones like Black Tuesday, Winefication I,II and III, White Chocolate, Chocolate Rain and the other Melangè brews and days of the week series is because it is still exceptionally supreme. The gripe is mainly that it really is super super dry. The other Winefications were not as dry and the flavors linger. I also totally understand that in order to finally meld the borders between beer and wine (which this achieves it phenomenally) is that you have to make a beverage that pleases both sides. This is the key! Now I understand why people love their wine and can differentiate themselves from beer drinking. I appreciate the love there is for wine because there are many I love especially meads and heavy ciders. For me though, super dry is something I am not used to. I can actually start to appreciate why sommeliers and wine connoisseurs have the jobs they do. Its hard to review wine the drier it becomes. Granted I can still review this one well, but with lots of dryness involved to not be able to discern flavors as fast as you can with beer, it truly is a challenge. That’s why I highly recommend this one to beer and wine lovers alike. This one is even more unique than the one’s in the past. It kicks ass!
15777040_10103862625389720_6456251400222280137_o
Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill makes a return once again to pair with many of the different aspects of the beer. This time, in the fourth installment, I am using her third and most powerful form, the Golden Hair/Super Saiyan-esque Senketsu Kisaragi form just like I did with Wineification III. While the alcohol is lower, the brew is definitely hit the marks on wine. Ryuko is one of my favorite characters in Anime right next to my other top 3 (Kos-mos, Yoruichi and Temari). The reason I did not use her second “Junketsu” form was due to the fact that I never got around to putting the beer to the site, although I did have Winefication II at the Bruery’s Black Tuesday party. Like the original installment of Winefication, the colors pair perfect with Ryuko’s hair, the background, her eyes and her outfit as well. If this was a candidate for Mardi Rouge (Red Tuesday) then even more the reason to use her for this pairing. This time around, I found an awesome picture of Ryuko with a cloak. A cloak to represent the extra oak and grapes to get the beer to that wine level even more. The complexity of the flavors showcases her unpredictable characteristics. She always has a plan up her sleeve. She is deadly and sexy which best describes how smooth the beer goes down. The beer is dark but it is a blood red dark as you get closer to finishing the glass. Her suit Senketsu (Fresh Blood) describes this as she needs to let senketsu take some of her blood in order to unleash a higher power. Perfect for that red wine aspect and the color as I mentioned earlier. Heck, even the gamey meat like flavor is proof of blood in this beer. Ryuko is strong and tough minded, but she does have her sweet,warm hearted and loving side which she shows to the people she cares about. The sweet chocolate and berries is what best places this category. Her Kisaragi form is what is new from Wineification III and being that it is her ultimate form, there was no doubt why I wouldn’t use that form once again here. Take it easy with her though, you won’t find one like her again, maybe. Especially since people only got 1 bottle. Either way, it will be a very memorable experience.
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Sources:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-P8xlGMmI-Q8/VhgpvCfIIMI/AAAAAAAEYfo/sMWS8Rq02ow/w1156-h1700/heels%2Bkill_la_kill%2Bmatoi_ryuuko%2Bsakimichan.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/Rvm3bFP.jpg
http://img15.deviantart.net/47fd/i/2016/224/c/7/ryuko_matoi___final_form__by_phasechan-dadmlef.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/eRF7kiu.jpg
https://www.filepicker.io/api/file/jCgJq2a5SK65v4QQGPda

Collaboration No. 6 Barrel-Aged Blend Collaboration by Boulevard Brewing and Firestone Walker

15384523_10103789165219490_3032738358333533454_oRating: 7/7

Collaboration No. 6 Barrel-Aged Blend Collaboration by Boulevard Brewing and Firestone Walker is a 12.5% ABV American Strong Ale Cuvee of Barrel Aged Stouts and Belgian Quads.

Label:
Imperial Stout “X” Tart Cherry
Bourbon Barrel Quad
Stickee Monkee
and Velvet Merkin

For this sixth edition of our Collaboration Series, we invited Matt Brynildson, brew-master of our sister brewery Firestone Walker, to join Boulevard brewmaster Steven Pauwels in our barrel-aging cave. Armed only with their palates, some graduated cylinders, and a bunch of tulip glasses, they arrived at the perfect balance of two barrel aged beers from each brewery. The blend celebrates the individual characteristics of each of the four while creating something entirely new and unique.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
The Collaboration series is our way to bring shared beer ideas to life with some of our favorite brewery friends from around the world. This year, we bring you a specially blended, barrel-aged beer with the help of our sister brewery in California, Firestone Walker. With Collaboration No. 6, Brewmasters Steven Pauwels and Matt Brynildson have created a big, bold flavor combination by blending two Boulevard beers and two Firestone Walker Beers in the following percentages:

Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad – 45%
Based loosely on the Smokestack Series’ The Sixth Glass, this abbey-style quadrupel is separated into a number of oak bourbon barrels where it ages for varying lengths of time, some for up to three years. Cherries are added to make up for the “angel’s share” of beer lost during barrel aging. Selected barrels are then blended for optimum flavor. The resulting beer retains only very subtle cherry characteristics, with toffee and vanilla notes coming to the fore.
ABV – 11.8, IBU – 19

Firestone Walker Stickee Monkee – 35%
Brewed with Belgian candi sugar and aged in a selection of fine bourbon barrels, Stickee Monkee trailblazes its own category as a “Central Coast Quad.” The name Stickee Monkee is a nod to the Central Coast’s native Sticky Monkey flower, as well as a shout¬‐out to the Belgian monks who pioneered the Quad style. The Belgian candi sugar imparts a signature molasses sweetness to the beer. Meanwhile, maturation in bourbon casks brings ample barrel expression with notes of toasted oak, coconut, leather and cigar tobacco.
ABV – 13, IBU – 45

Imperial Stout X – Tart Cherry (Whiskey Barrel-aged) – 10%
Our special treat for lovers of big, complex stouts, the Imperial Stout “X” series offers a year-long roster of limited releases, each with a significant variation. This riff spotlights the addition of tart cherries to fermentation as well as a lactic souring on the brewhouse. The result is a perfect marriage of robust, smoky maltiness and bracing tartness. Unlike the release version of Imperial Stout X – Tart Cherry, this portion was briefly aged in previously used whiskey barrels.
ABV – 11, IBU – 64

Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin – 10% Velvet Merkin is the beer that almost wasn’t…Indeed, this vintage oatmeal stout’s comical (or is it scandalous?) name went off the grid for several years, but now it’s back due to popular demand. Velvet Merkin is aged for a full year in retired spirits barrels from Heaven Hill, Woodford Reserve and others, yet manages to offer mind-¬boggling balance and restraint. You will wig out when you taste Velvet Merkin’s rich milk chocolate, bourbon and espresso flavors, preceded by aromas of vanilla, coconut, toasted oak and mocha. ABV – 8.5, IBU – 33

==Introduction==

Just when I thought I’d never see something like this, I was really amazed. At first I saw it as a Boulevard and Firestone Walker collab but when I realized that it was a Cuvee of some of both breweries best beers, I realized that this was a must get. I have reviewed each of these beers in the past, except for the Tart Cherry Stout X but the other ones were definitely at that World Class tier beers. So being that Firestone Walker was involved, I knew this would of came up to possibly be one of the best and unique Cuvees. Now, we can only hope that this is the case, let’s have a sip, cheers!

Aromas:
Grilled Bananas, Banana Sunday, clove spice, fruit cake, wine grapes, cinnamon, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, Rich Dark Cherries, Dark fruit, prunes, plums, figs, raspberries, currants, Dark chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Ferrero Rocher Chocolate, German Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Chocolate mousse, tobacco hints, molasses, stone fruits, Oatmeal Cookies, Oreo Cookies and Cream, graham cracker, Marshmallow smores and mocha.

Flavors:
Rich Dark Cherries, Dark fruit, prunes, plums, figs, raspberries, currants, bourbon, whiskey, brandy, oak, Belgian Candi sugar, rock candy, piloncillo sugar cone, maple syrup, waffle cones, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, Grilled Bananas, Banana Sunday, clove spice, fruit cake, wine grapes, cinnamon, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, rye bread with mixed berry preserves, Oatmeal Cookies, Oreo Cookies and Cream, graham cracker, Marshmallow smores, mocha, Flan, Sweetened condensed milk, tres leches cake, Dark chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Ferrero Rocher Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate cake, German Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Chocolate mousse, Cherry Chocolate cake, walnut pie, toasted coconut, Stone fruit peaches, leather and tobacco hints.

Aftertaste:
Finishes dark cherries, vanilla, dulce de leche, oatmeal cookies, dark fruits, stone fruits, dark chocolate, Belgian candi sugar, marshmallows, tobacco hints and rye. No alcohol in the taste. Dark Crimson Amber full body, smooth, creamy, velvety, chewy and syrupy mouthfeel and sipping drinkability.

Overall:
The Quad aspect takes over more than the stout blend but even that being the case, it does not change this from being a definite bucket lister in my mind. Having Firestone Walker who are experts at barrel aging and cuvee blending, this is no surprise that this came out the way it did. The complexity of the 2 Belgian Quads and the 2 Stouts collide into a super decadent dessert that really has taken things to another level. I highly recommend this one for those that are fans of these breweries, beers and styles! This is one for the masses!

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill, Kos-mos from Xenosaga, Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach and Temari Sabakuno from Naruto were chosen as I wanted to represent the 4 awesome beers blended in this special cuvee to 4 awesome characters. What a better way to pair than to pair with the most epic forms for my favorite 4 girls from anime. In this instance I used Ryuko as the Tart Cherry X Stout as the colors of cherry pair, KOS-MOS is the BBQuad since quads are holy ambrosia of gods and she is angelic, Yoruichi is the Velvet Merkin as she is deep, magical and mysterious and finally, Temari is the Stickee Monkee as she represents the colors of the actual flower that grows along the central coast.

 

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!
14890581_10103680153025800_8778681005847103918_o
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.
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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

Home brewing Project#18 La SanTequilisima Quadrinidad by Nubis Sanctum Ales

14570713_10103608095689280_5057221857679121081_o14589953_10103608095574510_2337518422554915656_oRating: 6/6

Home brewing Project#18 La SanTequilisima Quadrinidad by Nubis Sanctum Ales is a 12% ABV Belgian Trappist Quadrupel brewed with Holy Water and Oak aged in Herradura Añejo Tequila.

Label:
Holy Trappist Belgian Quadruple brewed with Holy Water and Oak aged in Herradura Añejo Tequila.
A prophecy, only once told by the highest of religious leaders, has predicted The Four Nuns or Las
Quatro Monjas will return. Ancient manuscripts indicated that the Abbey Nun, The Buddhist Nun, The Shaolin Nun and the Celestial Space Nun will each bring the nectar of God as given to man once before.

This time, however, the nuns infuse the elements of Wind, Water, Fire and Earth to create a celestial nectar. Meanwhile, various religious leaders forbid that mankind ever lay their lips on the very oracle left by the nuns. Lucky for you, the nuns happen to enjoy visiting Nubis Sanctum Ales.

La SanTequilisima Quadrinidad, or The SancTequilified Quadrinity is stored in this very bottle.

Ingredients: Holy Water, Malts, Hops, Dark Belgian Candi Sugar, Turbinado Cane Sugar, French Oak, Herradura Añejo Tequila & Trappist Yeast.
==Introduction==
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Project #18 came from the need to surpass my previous skills of the brewing arts. After successfully creating project #2, I wanted to create a barrel aged version of that special quadrupel that I held very close to my heart. So what did I do? I adjusted the recipe to add a bit more ingredients than before including one of them being a small sample of Holy land water. Yes, some people may think this is blasphemous, but in order to make a brew that was truly worthy of monks in Belgium and praise to the almighty God (depending on your beliefs) I added the vial to the brew at flame out. I am no priest but I did say a prayer for the brew to bring forth good fortune to those that drink it. LOL I just hope the beer doesn’t make my friend Aaron Mediola from BeerMetalDude.com catch fire (Just Kidding brother!). So the liquor I decided to use in this project was a Tequila. Why Tequila? Well, two reasons. First, tequila barrel aged brews rule and are to come by and second, after The Lost Abbey made Agave Maria which was their Tequila Barrel aged brew, I decided it was perfect. The beer was going to be about nuns and their worship to God. It was also a crazy idea I really wanted to do. Why is it Project# 18? Well, I had made this brew back in February 2016 and after a month, I put it on the Tequila oak for 6 months. The Tequila was sitting in oak since January 2016 so 2+6, that’s 8 months! Essentially, the 12% ABV was something unexpected but my working with Turbinado and Candi sugars probably had a lot to do with it. Regardless, I bottled it last month and now October 6, 2016 I bring it forth for a review. Yes, the brew will be published at a later date on my site but for perspective purposes and logging this masterpiece I want to get it right. So, for being a quadrupel aged in tequila, I hope is nothing short of amazing and knowing that I can definitely make an awesome brew, I will be pursuing more projects soon like this. Stay tuned, but for now, let’s take a look at this celestial nectar. Cheers!

Aromas:
Tequila notes, oak, Dark fruits of plums, raisins, figs, cherries, bubble gum notes, clove spice, raspberry Chambord hints, Stone fruits, Bananas, Brown sugar, Belgian Candi sugar, Chocolate, Sangria, rice pudding, tamarind, marshmallows, chocolate smores, lechugilla agave nectar, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, Danish cream, port wine, fruit cake, leathery hints, apples and butterscotch.
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Flavors:
Rich Dulce De Leche Caramel, Grilled Bananas, Deep Dark fruits, plums, raisins, figs, dark cherries, dates, clove spice, Belgian Candi sugar, bubble gum notes, capirotada Mexican raisin bread pudding, rice pudding, sweetened condensed milk, tamarind,Vanilla, Oak, Marshmallows, Tequila, Mezcal, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Sangria Wine grapes, Mexican pan dulce, Danish cream, rock candy, port wine, leather notes, rye bread, pecan pie, hazelnut hints, pecan ice cream, brown sugar, dragon fruit notes, raspberry Chambord hints, Stone fruit peaches, golden apples, flan, funnel cake, waffle cone, mango notes and butterscotch.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with a Tequila and vanilla oak flavors with so much complexity lingering of the rich dark fruits, caramel, pecan pie, flan, sweetened condensed milk, sangria, agave, stone fruit, funnel cake and mild Danish cream. Slightly boozy in the aftertaste but diminishes as the beer gets warmer and does not detract from the flavors. Full bodied Honey Crimson Colored, Smooth, velvety, creamy, chewy and syrupy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability
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Overall:
Nothing short of a miracle. I am very proud of these results. The Tequila takes this brew to another level. I do not give this one a 7/7 since it is not a beer you could find, but trust me when I say you could drink some of my brews. To me, it is my own personal bucket lister in the sense that I really feel I have achieved so much just from trying different beers and now trying to make my own different beers. This one is probably the best one I have ever made along with the Sangrileche Stout, Frontier Tropics and Diablita De Leche Banana Weizenbock. This beer screams some godly ambrosia. Some nectar that even I don’t understand. I can definitely feel proud that if those dudes at Westvleteren or St. Bernardus tried my beer, they would definitely find it indistinguishable from some of their greats!
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Anime Corner:
Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach, KOS-MOS from Xenosaga, Temari Sabakuno from Naruto and Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill make a return in this brew. Since I used them in my Project# 2, Las Quadtro Monjas, it was only fair to get them in the somewhat right attire for nuns they represent. They represent my passion for the work that I do. Reviewing and Brewing. These girls have been my favorite characters from the different anime series that I love for the longest time going way back to the year 2002. Being a big anime fan and the shows I like, complementing the beers I love with different characters doesn’t have the same effect as the way I complement using my top favorites. AS I mentioned in the last review of the original base beer, the name Las Quad-tro is a play on the Belgian word for Quadrupel and Cuatro which is 4. La SanTequilisima Quadrinidad is a play on the words for La Santisima Trinidad or The Holy Trinity. I had worked for a couple weeks not only finding the right combinations of artwork in photo-shop but the right backgrounds. Of course, all the artwork belongs to the perspective owner as I do not claim any art. As I mentioned before too, the 4 girls are the best and the ones I use as my mascots for my whole passion of anime and the best beers in this whole lost treasures of taste and experience. Cheers!
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14615586_10103608095404850_6486499741432513920_o

Feeding The Fanatics by Monkish brewing

14516556_10103598625976660_1789878070697657022_nRating: 7/7

Feeding The Fanatics by Monkish brewing is a 7.1% ABV India Pale Ale brewed with Citra, Simcoe, and Amarillo hops.

Label:
None!

==Introduction==
Released as a taproom exclusive, Monkish has changed its ways for the better good. Since the beginning, they were a brewery exclusive to the Belgian styles of brewing. They even had a sign that used to say NO IPAs! Until recently, they have tested their brewing art and applied to making IPAs. They somehow stumbled upon an east coast secret of hazy New England style IPAs. Essentially, the orange juice and tropical fruit and pulpy hop bombs. I say that because the beers are so hazy and so juicy that they are exactly like if you are drinking juice. Since I tried King JJJuliusss by Tree House a while back, I have an idea of what they are about. Especially since Heady Topper as well. This combined with the fact that Monkish has been releasing IPA cans exclusively at the brewery and creating a very coveted market, their IPAs are extraordinary. Unfortunately, for me, I think I have lost interest in waiting for can releases. You see, it has become very hyped up that people are actually staying overnight on some Fridays before can releases in order to get a chance at a 4 pack of gold. They pretty much sell out really quick. So, when they said they would release one of their IPAs on tap only and growler fill option, I had to see what this “hype” was all about. The name alone describes how big their IPAs have become. They have to feed the masses or “fanatics” like a cult of IPA praise that there really is not enough of these delicious beers to feed the other masses that do not want to camp out for beer releases. Monkish is a gold mine! Essentially, to the degree that they are most likely Pliny and Heady Topper hype killers at this point until other breweries can make such juice bombs just like Tree House or Trillium to name a few. So here I have a pour from a growler fill and I will tell you, what I think of this so called, Gold… cheers!

Aromas:
Tropical fruit guava, mango, dragon fruit, passion fruit, pineapple juice, kiwi, prickly pears, pomegranates, honey dew melon, papaya, cranberries, cherries, tangerines, lychee, kumquats, Danish cream, sweetened condensed milk, lemon starbursts, orange starburst, lemons, limes, orange juice, lemonade, lime aid, tang, tampico orange juice, raspberries, cane sugar, agave nectar, stone peaches, apricots, dank, garlicky, floral, herbal and grassy hops, basil, lemon grass, vanilla and tangerine gummies.

Flavors:
Rich orange juice, lemonade, lime aid, tang, tampico orange juice, raspberries, cane sugar, agave nectar, stone peaches, apricots, dank, garlicky, floral, herbal and grassy hops, basil, lemon grass, vanilla, tangerine gummies, tropical fruit guava, mango, dragon fruit, passion fruit, pineapple juice, kiwi, prickly pears, pomegranates, honey dew melon, papaya, cranberries, cherries, tangerines, lychee, kumquats, orange bang, orange juice pulp, grapefruit pulp, orange blossom honey, almond cream, cashew cream, biscuit bread, Danish cream, sweetened condensed milk, lemon starbursts, orange starburst, lemons, limes, grapes and tropical fruit smoothies.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with rich tropical and citrus fruit flavors that just linger for a very long time with rich hop dankness, honey, sweetened condensed milk hints, honey and more. No alcohol in the taste, Hazy Pale Honey medium body, crisp, clean, smooth, refreshing and velvety mouthfeel with an easy drinkability.

Overall:
Seriously though, what Vatican Deep Vault Scrolls did Monkish unearth to make these grandeur IPAs. Apparently, they somehow brought the magic of the east coast and blended some West Coast mysteries into it because this is damn insane. IF the can releases is making people wait outside on different Friday nights to camp for a Saturday Can release, it must be something that is definitely out there. This must be proof as the fact that this was the first time they released it on tap that soon, there will be enough beer for even distribution to the masses. I will not say this is the best beer in the world, NO, but I will say this type of beer style is definitely up there with my top 10s. Sorry, I love my Belgians to be a hop head but I am a lover of all styles and IPAs are a love of mine as well. Regardless, I honestly think while the beer is supreme and I hope to see more in the future, I would still not camp out to get these beers. Unless you really want to, I say give it some time before this or any other of their IPAs are released to the public or find a way to trade for it. These beers have a low shelf life, even lower than West Coast IPAs so you definitely have to enjoy them fresh. If Monkish still has this beer on tap and you happen to be around the town. GO GET THIS!… This one is a bucket lister… I’m sure their other ones are too.
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Anime Corner:
Anime Justice League by artists Wizyakyza (link in the sources) which includes anime characters Kirito from Sword Art Online 2, Naruto from Naruto, Natsu from Fairy Tail, Ryuko Matoi (maiwaifu LOL) from Kill La Kill, Saitama from One Punch Man, Mikasa Ackerman from Attack On Titan, Goku from Dragon Ball/Z/GT/Super, Edward from Full Metal Alchemist and Luffy from One Piece were all used as a statement. The masses seem to be moving forward toward some kind of IPA hop juice Utopia and the name signifies that people will stop at nothing to this brew. Maybe the secret isn’t so secret at all as some home brewers have attempted to mimic some of these beers. However, for being a beer that I damn enjoyed so much (maybe not the way I enjoy my favorite best beers in the world like my Quads and Belgian Dark Strongs or Barrel Aged gold) I still wanted to create a parallel between what people in the craftbeer world are wanting versus what people in the anime world are wanting. A true collision of Beer and Anime awesomeness!!

Sources:
http://wizyakuza.deviantart.com/art/hmmmmmmm-587323705

Dark Age by Wicked Weed

14525039_10103596955614080_3325273672849418286_oRating: 6.25/7

Dark Age by Wicked Weed is a 12% ABV Imperial Stout aged in Four Roses Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
Humanity’s path out of the Dark Age is one without end. This path carries us away from the mystical to the measurable, from the magical to the mathematical, and is a meticulous tale of progress from madness to method. Yet, we still find wonder in the magic, and extraordinary potential in the mystery. Out of this yearning for the old ways, Dark Age imperial stout emerges from the whisky barrel, its dark malt complexity and bold, ye balanced, sweetness softened by it’s mystical evolution in oak. There are few things pair together better than bourbon and beer. Brewed with local honey and brown sugar this imperial stout spent upwards of 9 months soaking up rich flavors of bourbon while aging in oak barrels. With huge chocolate flavors playing together with the complexity of bourbon and a warming finish, this beer is a great night capper.
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==Introduction==

This is not the first time I tried a Wicked Weed beer. The first time was a sour my friend Auggie’s invitation to the BeerBumz beer session. I have heard many great things about this brewery and I absolutely love their artwork. They are mainly an East Coast brewery so we typically don’t see any of their beers on the west coast. What I have seen though is a way to get them online. https://bruisin-ales.lightspeedwebstore.com/ has them. So I was able to get this one on the website. This one being a bourbon barrel aged is a great way to introduce them to the website. Those complex beers are always welcome here. Let’s take a splash into the abyss… Cheers!

Aromas:
Dulce de leche caramel, oak, vanilla, bourbon whisky, dark fruit currants, raisins, plums, figs, raspberries, pomegranates, boysenberries, flowers of lavender, rose petal hints, port wine, wine grapes, funky hints, black berry yogurt, blueberry yogurt, leather, tobacco, anise, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German Chocolate, bakers chocolate, bananas, clove spice, raisin bread pudding, maple, roasted coffee, fruit cake, toasted coconut, licorice and abuelita chocolate.

Flavors:
Dark fruit currants, raisins, plums, figs, raspberries, pomegranates, boysenberries, dulce de leche caramel, oak, vanilla, bourbon whisky, flowers of lavender, rose petal hints, port wine, wine grapes, funky hints, black berry yogurt, blueberry yogurt, Marshmallows, molasses, leather, tobacco, anise, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German Chocolate, bakers chocolate, bananas, clove spice, raisin bread pudding, maple, roasted coffee, cookie dough, Danish cream, rocky road ice cream, marshmallow smores, pecan pie, toasted coconut hints, licorice hints, oreo cookies and cream, rock candi, piloncillo sugar cone, hazelnut, flan, 3 leches/3 milks cake and beet sugars.
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Aftertaste:
Rich dark fruits like cherries, prunes, figs, coffee hints, dark chocolate abuelita, tobacco, bourbon, caramel, Blackberry yogurt, wine hints, floral hints oak and marshmallows. Slight influence of booze but like rosey petal kiss. It does not detract from the flavors but it is hard to explain and yet awesomely delicious. Dark Abysmal body, Sipping drinkability, smooth, creamy, rich and syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall:
Above Exceptional! While this bottle is only 500ml, there is a whole world of massive complexity reminding me of some of the best sour stouts I have ever had. In fact, this is the best sour stout in the world for me. Reminding me of a like a Cuvee of Madrugada Obscura, Tart of Darkness, Hellshire II and many other great blends. With the deep oak and complex flavors, I highly recommend you find this one!
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Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill was chosen for this pairing because the label and the name represent dark ages and dark knights. While Ryuko’s dress kind of looks like evil dark armor, she is not evil at all. While the dark ages mainly happened in Europe, I wanted to show the contrast as what the dark ages would have been in Feudal Japan. Ryuko with the samurai contrasts that of Japan and in her other attires represents the European times as well as the Dark Knight outfit. Definitely creative.
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Sources:
https://65.media.tumblr.com/55f3c83ba48748bb104f4cbffd77bec1/tumblr_n7y3glGBfZ1qhttpto3_1280.jpg
http://blog-imgs-65.fc2.com/d/g/d/dgdg875/anime_wallpaper_Kill_la_kill_Matoi_Ryuko_Matoi-Ryuuko-999368.jpeg
http://img1.joyreactor.cc/pics/post/full/Kill-la-Kill-Anime-Matoi-Ryuuko-Senketsu-1487257.jpeg
http://i99.beon.ru/static.zerochan.net/Matoi.Ryuuko.full.1988188.jpg

Ale to the Chief! By Avery brewing

14481760_10103596938927520_7144194345813442735_oRating: 5.5/6

Ale to the Chief! By Avery brewing is an 8.1 ABV American Strong Ale.

Label:
A Presidential Pale Ale to celebrate Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017

We the Brewers of Avery Brewing Company, in order to form a more perfect ale, require a new leadership that can liberate us from our quagmires in foreign lands; embrace environmentally sound energy alternatives to imported oil; heal our ailing health care system; free us from tyrannical debt and resurrect the collapsing dollar. We hereby pledge to provide him or her with an ample amount of our Presidential Pale Ale to support in the struggle for the aforementioned goals! Hail to the New Chief!

Not an “Imperial” pale ale, this is a democracy. It’s Presidential! Take the all-American pale ale, a bipartisan blend of malt and hops, increase to both Avery Brewing standards, and then, of course, dry hop the result with that most quintessential of American hops, Cascades, and you get this… Ale to the Chief. A brew worthy of the Oval Office! Brewed with Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, hops and yeast.

==Introduction==

Released every 4 years, this is the first time I try this beer and one I have not heard of before. The fact that it comes out every 4 years to go with the elections is quite the tribute. While I don’t like to express my political views, this beer is nice to see who will be the next president of the United States. An interesting reason to make a beer but I think different things in life should be celebrated in the name of beer. Now, let’s take a look and see if this beer is worth the 4 year wait. Cheers!

Aromas:
Tropical fruit mango, dragon fruit, papaya, guava, pickley pears, raspberry, citrus, grassy, grape fruit and earthy hops, Danish cream, sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, leather, berry, starburst, oak, leather, rye bread, dark fruit raisins, figs, prunes, dark cherries, currants and bananas.

Flavors:
Caramel, vanilla, Biscuit bread, citrus, grassy, grape fruit and earthy hops, orange peel, toasted grains, Bananas, plantains, clove spice, dark fruit raisins, figs, prunes, dark cherries, currants, strawberry short cake, Tropical fruit mango, dragon fruit, papaya, guava, membrillo guava cake, pickley pears, raspberry, coffee cake, Danish cream, sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, leather, oak, rye bread, tangerine gummies and berry starburst.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with rich banana and orange flavor, grapefruit, biscuit bread, vanilla, and caramel. No alcohol in the taste, crimson clear body, clean, crisp, refreshing and smooth mouthfeel and moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Exceptionally delicious. A blend of pale ale, Barleywine and American dark strong brew is the only I can describe this one. You have a great mix of hops, an array for light to dark fruits, caramels and other dessert sweets. In some cases, like Barleywines and old ales, the malt over takes the hops but this one has a strong enough hop forward presence that makes it balanced. Once that I will need to find again and one I highly recommend you find too!

Anime Corner:
Ryuuko Matoi from Kill La Kill was chosen in this pairing since I wanted to go with a character who is one major bad ass and a leader of her own series. Ryuuko For President! Essentially. She gets things done and doesn’t look back for such a bold and strong and yet balanced character to pair with a beer like this was something I had to choose. Besides, she’s a favorite of mine so no questions there. She looks like a queen on her throne.

Sources:
http://img1.joyreactor.cc/pics/post/full/Anime-Kill-la-Kill-Matoi-Ryuuko-ecchi-1662545.jpeg
http://67.media.tumblr.com/5f2a7f7cd4d6a85d31d73051695ff197/tumblr_nh8y68NmZB1raxgepo1_1280.jpg

Beer #88 Ginormous by Gigantic brewing

12496410_10103031728927890_6820020971637519560_o 12573222_10103031730005730_1469326448666152459_n 12573913_10103031730639460_6423799836684526000_nRating: 4.85/5

Beer #88 Ginormous by Gigantic brewing is an 8.8% ABV Imperial IPA.

Label:
Developed in a secret testing facility deep in S.E. Portland Ginormous is powered by Seven Mighty Hops. His Mission is simple; To deliver a massive hop punch to those in need.

==Introduction==

Mazinger!!!! Finally, an anime tribute beer. A tribute to the classic series Mazinger Z where the hero fights other aliens and robots using a super robot he commands from his ship that attaches to the head of the robot. Kinda how hops invade the brains of craftbeer lovers and make everyone hop heads. I see what ya did there Gigantic, Good Game… Good Game. Eitherway, I figure I bring it to the site being anime beer and all that. Let’s see what kind of beer this brew is exactly. Cheers!

Aromas:
Citrus, Oranges, caramel, toffee, tangerines, juicy fruit starburst, Grapefruit, piney, floral, citrus, herbal, grassy, hops, tropical hints of fruit kiwi, dragon fruit, passion fruit, lychee, guava, mango, biscuit bread, marzipan, cane sugar, wafflecone hints, stone fruit peach hints and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Grapefruit, piney, floral, citrus, herbal, grassy, hops, tangerines, juicy fruit starburst, tropical fruit notes of kiwi, dragon fruit, passion fruit, lychee, guava, mango, lemon grass, mandarin orange gummy bears, orange peel, raspberries, papaya, strawberries, honey, biscuit bread, marzipan, cane sugar, wafflecone hints, caramel, toffee, stone fruit peach hints and berry flavors.

Aftertaste:
Dank herbal, rich citrus, tangerines, coriander hints, tropical fruits, stone fruits and piney hop notes. No alcohol in the taste, Clear honey golden body, rich, crisp, refreshing and delicious mouthfeel with an easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A very good IPA leaning more toward the citrucy caramel side than the super grassy or super tropics. A very enjoyable double IPA that pays tribute to anime. It is awesome to know how many craftbrewers come from a range of passions ranging from video games, comics, anime, sports, music, fishing and other hobbies leading to infuse their passion with other things. Kinda like this website . Anyway, This one is very good and definitely recommended if you love IPAs and Anime.

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill and Mazinger Z were used in this pairing for the colors of the label but also the theme of the beer. Since this is a Mazinger beer, I wanted to with him but also since Ryuko has some colors to complement with Mazinger, I figured it was for the best. Ryuko’s design is based on old school anime, especially the hair. Frilly and psychedelic. Either way, a good tribute to the first cartoons of my childhood mixing with one of my favorite anime characters, Huzzah!!

Sources:
http://pre12.deviantart.net/0fef/th/pre/f/2014/279/f/8/kill_la_kill_wallpaper_edit_by_firezombiedude-d81v22q.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/6jkvIe5.jpg
http://img04.deviantart.net/1cdb/i/2012/154/b/4/mazinger_z_by_ieko2011-d52381e.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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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
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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.
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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

Wineification III (Mardi Rouge III?) collaboration with The Bruery and Fess Parker winery and vineyard

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Rating: 6/6

Wineification III (Mardi Rouge III?) collaboration with The Bruery and Fess Parker winery and vineyard is a 19% ABV Black Tuesday Imperial Stout with Grenache Grapes 91% Aged in Bourbon Barrels and 9% aged in French Oak Barrels

Label:
WHO’S COUNTING!
The Rues and the Parkers are back at it again! In this third rendition of Wineification, they continue to vanquish the boundaries between wine and beer, combining their brains and brawn with a blend of juicy Rodney’s Vineyard Grenache grapes with The Bruery’s Black Tuesday Imperial Stout.

===Introduction===
A new version of Wineification has arrived to Reserve and Hoarders members. Last year, we did not get Wineification II but since I wanted to pair Ryuko with her Junketsu form (evil Ryuko) it was okay. I would later have a chance to try it at the Black Tuesday party and may do a review of those beers at a later time. It sure has been a damn busy year for me as I have barely had a chance to finish my reviews and well even add all the beers I have tried and jotted down notes for. I really am behind but it happens especially since I like to dedicate my time to homebrewing. Either way, I said to myself, when it comes to these beers like Black Tuesday, White Chocolate, Chocolate Rain, Wineification and other variants like Melange 3 or 12, Mocha Wednesday, Grey Monday and other Black Tuesday Cuvees, there is always damn time. As for this release of Wineification using different types of grapes, let’s see how it goes. Cheers!

Aromas:
Port wine, red wine, concorde grapes,fancy wine notes sweet condensed milk, flan, crème brulee, dark, milk, Baker’s, Belgian and German chocolate, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, Chambord raspberries, Khalua Coffee Liqueur, port wine, red wine, grapes, dark cherries, raisins, figs, dates prunes, blue and black berries, currants, bananas, bourbon, oak, leather, toasted coconut, mocha, pecan pie, hazelnut, rocky road ice cream, candi sugars, agave, rich chocolate mousse and fudge cake in wine.

Flavors:
Rich dark fruit raisins, figs, prunes, plums, blue berries, currants, grapes, dark cherries, blackberries, raspberries, Bourbon, oak, toasted coconut, red wine, port wine, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, Baker’s chocolate, tootsie roll chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, flan, crème brulee, toffee, butterscotch, marshmallows, graham cracker smores, sweetened condensed milk, rum notes, grilled caramel bananas, plantain, Chambord raspberry liqueur, Khalua Coffee Liqueur, Mocha, leather notes, rye bread with black berry jelly spread, pecan pie, agave notes, candi sugars, brown sugar, rock candy, rocky road ice cream, almond joys, chocolate mousse, cherry cola, hazelnut, chocolate fudge cake and blueberry cobbler cheesecake.

Aftertaste:
Finishing only mildly dry unlike the original and lingering lots of delicious flavors. Milk and Dark chocolate, Port wine, fudge cake, dark fruit berries and sweetened condensed milk. There is hardly any sense of harsh alcohol in the taste even for that 19% ABV. They did their homework. Crimson Dark yet medium body, syrupy, velvety and creamy mouthfeel and a sipping beer, there is a smoothness about it that makes it very dangerous and as you will want to keep drinking it. Take your time with it, this beer is meant to be savored, enjoyed and well loved!

Overall:
Exceptionally ridiculous. Is there anything the Bruery can’t do when it comes to making all sorts of Black Tuesday Cuvees or what? This beer is definitely more on the wine side but also balances out with the bourbon imperial stout goodness. Think of this as the connoisseurs’ ambrosia making the ultimate in Wine/Beer/Liquor hybrid. Like the Black Tueday, Chocolate, White Chocolate, Cacaonut, Grey Monday, Mocha Wednesday, Melange 3 and 12 and many of their other blends, I highly highly recommend this one if you can get it!!
740168_10102980556852140_6177688005345678105_o 885129_10102980558853130_1417515365305867194_o
Anime Corner:
No doubt, Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill makes a return once again to pair with many of the different aspects of the beer. This time, in the third installment, I am using her third and most powerful form, the Golden Hair/Super Saiyan-esque Senketsu Kisaragi form. The different aspects of this year’s beer from the label, the flavors, the ingredients and especially the alcohol (going from the 14%ABV to 19% ABV) all represent this beer very well. Ryuko is one of my favorite characters in Anime right next to my other top 3 (Kos-mos, Yoruichi and Temari). The reason I did not use her second “Junketsu” form was due to the fact that I never got around to putting the beer to the site, although I did have Winefication II at the Bruery’s Black Tuesday party. Like the original installment of Winefication, the colors pair perfect with Ryuko’s hair, the background, her eyes and her outfit as well. If this was a candidate for Mardi Rouge (Red Tuesday) then even more the reason to use her for this pairing. The alcohol content represents her will power and strength and now that she is on the third form, even more! The complexity of the flavors showcases her unpredictable characteristics. She always has a plan up her sleeve. She is deadly and sexy which best describes how smooth the beer goes down but deadly since it has the really high ABV. The beer is dark but it is a blood red dark as you get closer to finishing the glass. Her suit Senketsu (Fresh Blood) describes this as she needs to let senketsu take some of her blood in order to unleash a higher power. Perfect for that red wine aspect and the color as I mentioned earlier. Ryuko is strong and tough minded, but she does have her sweet,warm hearted and loving side which she shows to the people she cares about. The sweet chocolate and berries is what best places this category. Her Kisaragi form is what is really new to this beer and being that it is her ultimate form, there was no doubt why I wouldn’t use that form. Take it easy with her though, you won’t find one like her again, maybe. Either way, it will be a very memorable experience :3

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/eRF7kiu.jpg
http://i3.egv.cc/img/i.egv.cc/i/feti/mji/mji-kaikyaku_675.jpg
http://blog-imgs-65.fc2.com/d/g/d/dgdg875/anime_wallpaper_Kill_la_kill_Matoi_Ryuko_swordwaltz_mk2-13778181.jpg
https://fanart.tv/fanart/tv/272074/showbackground/kill-la-kill-5389cb01bf479.jpg

Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad Brouwerij Castle Van Honsebrouck of Belgium

12186306_10102889105431520_5596441557478703255_o 12182488_10102889106065250_6785100510249778524_oRating: 6/6

Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad Brouwerij Castle Van Honsebrouck of Belgium is a 11% ABV Belgian Quadrupel brewed with Belgian Chocolate and Coffee.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Kasteel Winter (Now known as Kasteel Barista Chocolate Quad) is a unique departure from the standard Christmas ales known for their potpourri of cinnamon and clove. In fact, it stands alone as one of the most decadent and elegant Quadruples of Belgium in its own right. This 11% ABV beer pours a Chestnut brown with an off-white head. The nose is rich, with a warming scent of Coffee, Toffee, and Dried Fruits. The mouthfeel is rich and sweet like that of melted candy. The key ingredients to this delicacy is Belgian Chocolate and Coffee…noteworthy phrases in any brewers handbook. All of these elements come together to provide an after taste reminiscent of a tootsie roll.

==Introduction==

Ramirez Liquor of Boyle Heights definitely has some esoteric brews. It was there that I once found quad straight from a small town in Belgium. I’m referring to the Straffe Hendrik’s bourbon barrel quad which came in a magic crate as the legend told. Well, maybe not so much a legend but the story the dude that works there told me it was definitely pretty enticing. So here is another magical beer, this time from Castle Brewery of Van Honsenbrouck in Belgium. A chocolate quadruple that is actually made with real Belgian Chocolate and Coffee. Such a unique specimen cannot be passed up and it is one that I was glad they still had when I went to pick it up at Ramirez. So let us check this one out and see what it has to offer. Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark Chocolate, Mocha Coffee, tootsie roll chocolate, milk chocolate, roasted coffee, appuccino, steamed milk Butterscotch, Coffee Candy, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, dark fruit raisins, currants, plums, figs, rock candy, candi sugar, hazelnut nectar, stone fruit peaches, fruit cake, bananas, bubblegum, ginger bread, toffee, clove spice and pecan pie.

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, roasted coffee, chocolate mocha coffee, cappuccino, steamed milk Butterscotch, Coffee Candy, Dulce de Leche caramel, dark fruit raisins, currants, plums, figs, rock candy, candi sugar, vanilla, pecan pie, rich tootsie roll chocolate, brown sugar, fruit cake notes, bubble gum, cinnamon, ginger bread, toffee, stone fruit peaches, apricots, earthy hop notes, rye bread, orange hints, banana notes, clove spice, coriander, hazelnut nectar, toasted chestnuts and flan hints.

Aftertaste:
Coffee, mocha, tootsie roll chocolate, earthy bitterness, caramel and dark fruits linger. No alcohol in the taste, Deep dark crimson medium body, silky smooth, velvety, creamy and syrupy mouthfeel and a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A supreme and exceptional quad. A quadruple that is basically perfected by Belgians and also perfected with the sweet Belgian Chocolate and Coffee that really comes through and through with every sip. I couldn’t help it but this beer tasted so damn good. The fact that it had chocolate and it was my favorite style just added more and more depth. Ofcourse, with a change in temperature comes a change in the flavors as they evolve into much richer and creamier complexities. If you love Belgian Quads, do yourself a favor and go get this tootsie, coffee, berry delight!

Anime Corner:
Ryuuko Matoi from Kill La Kill and original character abbey art were used in this pairing for different reasons. To start, this Quad was way too exceptional to pass up especially using the Ryuuko artwork where she is eating some chocolate. Her colors for the quad and label and the chocolate combine together to execute a pairing that is pretty damn exquisite! As for the original medieval/ abbey characters represent a tribute to the monks of Belgium but also a tribute to the medieval days of beer. Also since the beer is made in a castle, it fits ever more perfect. Since this was a special quadruple, I figured it fits just right. Also, that character represents different flavors especially cherries!

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/f6AWK42.jpg
https://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/441325-1120×680-original-pixiv+fantasia-pixiv+fantasia+t-iceojin-long+hair-looking+at+viewer.jpg

Endless Nameless by Cigar City

12028748_10102826618919990_8601399048560632795_o 12017422_10102826619473880_7765847507134468512_oRating: 6/5

Endless Nameless by Cigar City is a ??% ABV Imperial Stout Aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
endless.
nameless.
imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels.

==Introduction==

A name used from a hidden track off of Nirvana’s album, Nevermind. Cigar city brings this very big whale of a beer off the depths of the Grunge Rock abyss. Simply put, the Nirvana tribute beer, this beer was released as part of the El Catador reserve release. Only those in that association would be allowed to get this one. I was able to snag this bottle as soon as I saw it on www.mybeercollectibles.com. Needless to say, that sit can be super pricey but luckily I got this at a decent price. I really got it since I wanted to bring it forth to the website and see how it is. Now, on with the show.

Aromas:
Smells like Beer Spirit, or its dark soul. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German & Belgian chocolate, bakers chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, Mexican 3 leches/Three Milks cake, flan, Dulce De Leche Caramel, Vanilla, Rich Bourbon, oak, marshmallows, grahama cracker smores, molasses, bananas, crème brulee, dark raisins, dark cherries, plums, mocha coffee, Kahlua, Irish cream, agave syrup, candi sugar, rock candy, pecan pie, leather, tobacco, brown sugar and hazelnut nectar.

Flavors:
Rich Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Bakers Chocolate, Bananas, Flan, Vanilla, Bourbon, oak, Dulce De Leche Caramel, Mexican sweetened condensed milk, Mexican 3 leches/Three Milks cake, molasses, hazelnut nectar, tobacco, leather, rye, maple syrup, dark cherries, currants, plums, blueberries, raspberries, dark cherries, coconut pie, mocha, crème brulee, toffee, brown sugar, cotton candy, choco flan, candi sugar, rocky road icecream, almond joy, Kahlua, Irish cream, agave syrup, Yoohoo Chocolate Milk Shake, Chocolate cake and chocolate cheese cake.

Aftertaste:
Long lingering dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, flan, crème brulee, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, hazelnut, dark cherries, marshmallow, pecan pie, coconut pie, bananas, bourbon notes and chocolate cake. Slight booziness but super subtle to keep stuff balanced and not detract from the flavors, beyond the endless and nameless darkness of the abyss body, smooth and sipping drinkability, silky, velvety and syrupy mouth feel.

Overall:
Essentially, this is the Black Tuesday of Cigar City and the East Coast. So many reminiscent flavors of Black Tuesday but leaning more toward milk candies and desserts. Either way, this is ridiculously balanced with the amount of complexity and alcohol. This is definitely a world class beer and a must get to add to your collection of super whales. A Nirvana whale is one beast of a while to collect for a special occasion.

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill (one of my top 4 anime girls) was used in this pairing to pair mainly with the name of the song and the meaning behind it as well as the darkness the beer represents. In the series, Ryuko had to deal with turmoil and darkness. This beer represents that very chaos and attitude in her heart when stuff was not going well in her life during the sad parts of the show. She pulled through ofcourse! She didn’t lose her way! Just like the frustration Kurt Cobain felt as they said fuck it when recording Lithium! And created the song. The beer is dark as the endless abyss with no name.

Sources:
http://static.tumblr.com/3a0b53c0f68bfa5cdf6c584209ffd8f7/9dd108p/eSmn9wfk0/tumblr_static_cq0y11ev48owsg4ksow8okscc.jpg

Mélange 12 by Bruery

11696493_10102689869342240_7627504715667227181_o 11728865_10102689869871180_5075090971899538828_o 11728869_10102689870445030_3508370894570958427_o 11696552_10102689871118680_8493687759881446870_oRating: 7/5

Mélange 12 by Bruery is a 16.8% ABV American Strong Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels with Vanilla Beans, Cacao Nibs and Hazelnuts.

Label:
NUTSO!

A curious amalgam of barrel-aged beer seeping with notes of burnt marshmallows and toasty nuts.

Mélange No 12 is best enjoyed fresh for peak flavor, but may develop pleasantly if cellared properly. Best stored and cellared around 55°F (13°C) in a dark place. Ideal serving temperature is 50°F (10°C). Best enjoyed with friends and served in a tulip glass.

Mélange #12 is a uniquely debonair blend of some of our favorite strong ales that have been allowed to age gently in bourbon barrels for an average of nearly 22 months. Once these barrels were carefully selected to blend, we chose to enhance the beer and barrel flavors with three of our favorite ingredients: cacao nibs, vanilla beans and hazelnuts.

==Introduction==

Melange #12 released to Reserve Society and Hoarders society alike is a blend of several different beers that are undesclosed but based on the previous melange versions, they include, Black Tuesday, the Anniversary beers, White Oak and others I am sure as this is what Melange 3 composed of and the sequential Melange ones expanded from this other blends. I made a careful decisions as this beer comprises of many of the components that make up the Weekday brews such as Chocolate Rain, White Grey Monday, possibly Wineification, Cacaonut and Chocolate Rain. So I had no doubt that this would disappoint in any way. A Cuvee ambrosia of heavenly delight? Perhaps, let’s check this one out, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark chocolate, chocolate milk shake, bakers chocolate, German chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Chocolate smores, graham crackers, White Chocolate, mocha chocolate, Flan and Mexican sweetened condensed milk,Rich Hazelnuts, pecan pie, almond milk, macadamia nuts, peanut butter, walnuts, prailines, oak, bourbon, marshmallows, Dark fruit plums, raisins, prunes, cherries, figs, dates, wine grapes, waffle cone, rocky road ice cream, butterscotch, toasted coconut, almond joys, cocada Mexican coconut candy, piloncillo sugar cone, banana split ice cream with cherries, port wine, rum notes, stone fruit mango hints, dragon fruit, passion fruit, buttery nutella and so much more!

Flavors:
Pure Flan and Mexican sweetened condensed milk,Rich Hazelnuts, pecan pie, almond milk, macadamia nuts, peanut butter, walnuts, prailines, oak, bourbon, marshmallows, Dark chocolate, chocolate milk shake, bakers chocolate, German chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Chocolate smores, graham crackers, White Chocolate, mocha chocolate, Dark fruit plums, raisins, prunes, cherries, figs, dates, wine grapes, waffle cone, rocky road ice cream, butterscotch, toasted coconut, almond joys, cocada Mexican coconut candy, piloncillo sugar cone, banana split ice cream with cherries, port wine, rum notes, stone fruit mango hints, dragon fruit, passion fruit, buttery nutella, Mexican Duvalin candy, chocolate chip cookie dough, Danish cream, Bear claw doughnut, mousse chocolate, marzipan and more.

Aftertaste:
Super rich nutella, toasted coconut, white chocolate, port wine, Belgian chocolate, bourbon, oak, hazelnut nectar, tropical dragon fruit hints and passion fruit amongst other heavenly sweets. No alcohol in the taste, Dark yet Crimson Medium to Full body, sipping drinkabaility and Silky, creamy, syrupy, smooth, velvety mouthfeel.

Overall:
The best of the best and exclusive of elusive beers with no way of getting another unless they make this once again or you trade. It was definitely a special occasion as I tried this one. If they ever release as much of Melange 12 as they do of Melange 3, I am buying every single one!! This beer is like you took the alittle bit from each of the Bruery’s best beers and made a Cuvee. Basically, there is notes of Chocolate Rain, Grey Monday, Melange 3, Cacaonut, White Chocolate, Black Tuesday, Wineification and their anniversary beers and combined it to make this liquid Gold! Aging for 22 months is ridiculous but it is surely something that is truly unique and amazing. If you have the opportunity to get this one, do it!!!

Anime Corner:
Temari Sabakuno from Naruto, Kos-Mos from Xenosaga, Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill, Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach as being my favorite anime characters always get the best pairings in some of the beers I truly feel are deserving of that ‘Heavenly and Godly Ambrosia’ Liquid status as with many of the beers I have tried, this one to me captures what I feel is the best of the Bruery which are many of the Weekday beers into one. I once did a pairing with them doing Melange 3 except at the time, it was jusr Kos-Mos, Temari and Yoruichi. Ryuko from Kill la Kill had not come out and it wasn’t until later that I really loved her character in the series as she was a major bad ass. So I was glad I was able to pair them with this heavenly bliss of a beer. Melange 3 multiplied by 4 is Melange 12 so it makes the perfect pairing!

St. Bernardus Abt 12 Oak Aged by Brouwerij St. Bernardus

1979163_10102669026925610_227415077313366870_oRating: 7/5 * A bucket list beer, just saying 😛

St. Bernardus Abt 12 Oak Aged by Brouwerij St. Bernardus is an 11% ABV Belgian Quadrupel Aged in Oak Calvados (Apple Brandy) Barrels

Label:
Brewery St. Bernardus was founded in 1946 in Watou, Province of West Flanders in Belgium.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 is Brewery St. Bernardus’ flagship and is considered as one the best beers in the world. The Abt 12 is brewed following the original recipe from 1946.

This St. Bernardus Abt 12 Oak Aged is brewed using the same recipe and then matured for 6 months in oak Calvados barrels before it is bottle coditioned. This maturation in oak kegs gives the beer a deeper and richer taste, leaving the palate remarkbly satisfied and thirsty for more.

“Bringing Heavenly nectar within reach”

Serve this noble and wonderfully balanced brown ale at 53-56° F in a goblet glass to best enjoy its delicate bouquet.

==Introduction==

Never did I ever think that St. Bernardus would step up their game and release a barrel aged version of their Quad. Not just any barrel either, but the Calvados Apple Brandy barrel. Beers that usually are aged in these barrel jump 100 times the price of the original beer. Good thing this one just doubled the price. By that I mean it is still pricey as hell ranging anywhere from 25-30$ for a 750ml bottle. I didn’t care. I just just didn’t care as unlike any beer from the past, the St. Bernardus is a beer that always held a special place in my heart as it was my favorite when I first started trying different beers as early as 2010 and to this day I can always go back and say it is still my favorite despite the fact that there are others like the Weekday Bruery beers that are levels above it, it still don’t matter. Even after trying the Heady Toppers, the Dark Lords, even the Westvleteren 12… still didn’t matter… Abt 12 was my beer along with Trois Pistoles and Three Philosophers and others… So you can see the fact that this exist must be testament to my resolve not only as a reviewer but for myself and what I truly love and even to my first quadruple that I personally made… Cheers from this is like Cheers of the Heavens!

Aromas:
Rich Dulce de leche caramel Apple pie, Brandy oak, vanilla, Goat milk caramel, marshmallows, Dark fruit plums, raisins, prunes, cherries, figs, dates, wine grapes, raspberry chambord, tamarind, stone fruit peaches, apricots, peach cobbler, mango, pie crust, Dark Candi sugars, Belgian Bread, Danish cream, Rock Candy, figgy pudding, piloncillo sugar cone,Bananas, plantains, clove spice, bubble gum notes, raisin bread pudding, rice pudding, cinnamon, flan, Mexican sweetened condensed milk, Red Apples, Golden Apples, Caramel apples, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, cherry pie and burnt brown sugar.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel, Goat milk Caramel, piloncillo sugar cone, vanilla, oak, marshmallows, Dark fruit plums, raisins, prunes, cherries, figs, dates, wine grapes, raspberry chambord, tamarind, Bananas, plantains, clove spice, bubble gum notes, raisin bread pudding, rice pudding, cinnamon, flan, Mexican sweetened condensed milk, Red Apples, Golden Apples, Caramel apples, Brandy, Port wine, chardonay, stone fruit peaches, apricots, peach cobbler, pie crust, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, cherry pie, dragon fruit, passion fruit, old mangoes, honey dew melon, butterscotch, chocolate notes, tangerine preserves, tobacco, leather, anise, grilled funnel caramel cake, Dark Candi sugars, Belgian Bread, Danish cream, Rock Candy, figgy pudding, Rich caramel Apple Pie goodness with vanilla cake and more.

Aftertaste:
Lingering Apple Pie, dark fruits, stone fruits, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, flan, sweetened condensed milk, Apple brandy, port wine, Danish cream, leather, rye and mild chocolate lingers. No alcohol in the taste, smooth, silky, syrupy and creamy mouthfeel, Dark Golden Brown medium body and a moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
No surprise why this version of one of my favorite (commonly available) beers in the world is simply another one I needed to add to my bucket list of beers. The original St. Bernardus was my inspiration for making the original quad I made a couple of months back as it was one of my favorites in the world while started trying different craft beers along with Trois Pistoles, Three Philosphers and many delicious others. This version is something that really took it above the heaven into that “Ambrosia of the Gods” status. I really didn’t care about the price, I really wanted to bring this one for a review ever since its announcement and I finally did it! I think the whole Calvados/Apple Brandy aspect is what really did it here taking this liquid caramel into an Apple Pie beer goodness. Who knows what will happen to this in … 15 years!

Anime Corner:
Temari Sabakuno from Naruto, Kos-Mos from Xenosaga, Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill, Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach as being my favorite anime characters always get the best pairings in some of the beers I truly feel are deserving of that ‘Heavenly and Godly Ambrosia’ Liquid status as with many of the beers I have tried, I have used them in the previous St. Bernardus Abt 12 review except with the introduction of my recent favorite girl, Ryuko Matoi. Like I said before, the original version of this beer was my world favorite, my desire, my love and passion that became my favorite style of beer and today, the fruit of my labor with my homebrew ‘Las Quad-tro Monjas’. Yes indeed, I don’t have to explain much about this and long time readers can already infer why I choose them. The greatest of the greats.

Las Quadtro Monjas by Nubis Sanctum Ales

10835057_10102484496715630_6037644082732954688_oMy Beer Homebrew Project #2 Review. Cheers!

Rating: 5/5

Las Quadtro Monjas by Nubis Sanctum Ales is a 10% ABV Belgian Trappist Quadrupel.

Label:
Kept in the dark for many years, the Four Nuns or Las Quatro Monjas appear each presenting an unforeseen treasure that was hidden from ancient time itself. Legend has it that these treasures were ingredients that were bestowed by the almighty God himself. The ingredients were thrown into a brew kettle by the nuns and made into a holy nectar. A recipe practiced by holy monks today. Folklore has it that some of the original nectar has passed the test of time, passed on through the ages and has seeped into this very bottle…

Las Quad-tro Monjas is a Belgian Trappist Quadruple Ale made in the style like the monks do in the Belgian Monastaries. They devote their lives to good faith and making good holy beers. This homebrew project started as a dream that became reality with a lot of devotion, patience, care and love. Conditioning for 1 month after fermentation, this beer will cellar for several years if kept in a dark and cool location. A beer that is strong in alcohol yet sweet and complex.

Ingredients: Water, malts, hops, Belgian Candi sugar, cane sugar and trappist yeast .

==Introduction==

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The time has come… My dream of creating a Belgian Quadruple is finally here. First brewed in January 24th 2015, Racked in Secondary Februrary 14th 2015 and Bottled March 14th 2015 the brew is finally ready for the test. To this date, as I mentioned in the label description, it was my dream to someday make this style of beer and after so long, I finally did it. It does give a surreal and proud feeling knowing that something you always wished you could do, and with hard work, it can actually come to fruition. I always wanted to make this type of beer style, the Belgian Quadruple, ever since I started trying different beers. With a lot of patience, love and care, Now it is finally here! The best part is that this will mature for years well like a fine wine. For being my most complex beer to date, I have to analyze it as best as possible and hopefully the recipe will improve or I will make again next time. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich bananas, clove spice, Rich dark fruit plums, raisins, figs, dates, black cherries, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, dark black cherries, peaches, pears, vanilla, toffee, anise hints, molasses, port wine hints, pecan pie, flan hints, brown sugar, rock candy and Belgian dark candi sugar.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel, dark fruits like black cherries, raisins, plums, figs, dates, leather hints, cinnamon hints, flan hints, peaches, pears, vanilla, butterscotch, toffee, chocolate notes, pecan pie, buttery Mexican pan dulce, Danish cream, rock candy, Belgian candi sugar, port wine, raspberry chambord, apples, rye bread, anise, molasses, blackberry preserves, dragon fruit hints, brown sugar and butter pecan ice cream.

Aftertaste:
Rich dark fruits and dulce de leche caramel linger with a slight sweet port wine and earthyness. Very small and slight hints of booze but are covered up by the sugary Belgian notes and dark fruit sweetness. Dark crimson body, moderate to sipping drinkability, velvety,syrupy and bold mouthfeel with a very rich and smoothness.

Overall:
As the beer warms up, the flavors evolve into some very rich and even more complex flavors giving way to the velvety notes I mentioned earlier. I really don’t know what to say. So many people really loved this beer to where many thought I added actual plums, peaches and bananas to it. Others thought it was so subtle like a gentle wine. I myself taking my time with it, the only thing was that it was low carbonated but even then this beer was something so amazing entirely I was stunned to make such a perfection that I kind of teared up a little bit. I was so damn paranoid working so closely to my experimental recipe, making sure the beer was always watched always worrying about it like it was my baby and here it is. My first attempt at a quad to mimic some of the best Belgian strong darks and quads out there and it was just… perfect….not overpowering, enough sweet and complexity to make even the lightest palates enjoy. I think based on the results, I will definitely make it again in the near future. Now I know what the monks feel when being so damn dedicated. Definitely feel proud of how far I have made it with this.

Anime Corner:
Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach, KOS-MOS from Xenosaga, Temari Sabakuno from Naruto and Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill were used in this pairing as well as the label to represent the beer but also my passion for the work that I do. These girls have been my favorite characters from the different anime series that I love for the longest time going way back to the year 2002. Being a big anime fan and the shows I like, complementing the beers I love with different characters doesn’t have the same effect as the way I complement using my top favorites. But why the Belgian Quad and why them you ask? Well, it works so perfectly. The name Las Quad-tro is a play on the Belgian word for Quadrupel and Cuatro which is 4. I already have 4 of my favorite girls and an artwork I had done back in 2007 with colors of the Belgian Abbeys and monasteries, it was only a matter of time before I made the label with them four as my first Quadruple ale. They are the best and the ones I use as my mascots for my whole passion of anime and the best beers in this whole lost treasures of taste and experience. Cheers!

2015 Power Plant by El Segundo brewing

11018071_10102431772944490_2684196203102530682_o 11018963_10102431773543290_7342219544572952121_n 16463_10102431773842690_2686152894070886260_nRating: 6/5

2015 Power Plant by El Segundo brewing is an 11.1% ABV Triple India Pale Ale.

Label:
This behemoth of a “Triple” India Pale Ale gets a dose of Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe, and Amarillo in the kettle and in the dry hop. Up front on the nose is straight fruit cocktail with such a complexity it is impossible to distinguish just one note. Monstrous, yet deceptive in the same breath. Don’t let this one sneak up on you, lest you’ll be ‪#‎PowerPlanted‬.

Description:
We know it’s not exactly something new to brew big giant IPA’s, but we really love this opportunity to be able to compete with the likes of Pliny the Younger, Green Bullet, Hopocalypse Black Label, etc from the best breweries in the game. And what a challenge! To brew a beer so big (it fermented all the way to 11.1%), but have it drink light and easy. We are busting out all the big guns for this monster, a hop punch of Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra, Nelson, and friends will all be making an appearance in at least one of the several rounds of dry hopping.

==Introduction==

The 2015 version is here and in limited quantities. This time, they are selling it to the public so definitely get this one while it last. While I was unable to get a growler fill like I did the first time I tried it, I settled for the bottle. This is the first Triple IPA I had ever tried, or I mean second, as Dogfish Head 120 at 18% ABV is considered much more, however, that is another beast all together. So in terms of the Triple IPAs that can compete with the best beers in the world, this one grew with its satisfying and rich tropical flavors that are so rich that it is literally a dessert of an IPA. I would definitely recommend this one but let us see how the 2015 version is.

Aromas:
Rich bouquet of tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, prickly pear, passion fruit, dragon fruit, tuna fruit, papaya, honeydew melon, apples, pears, stone fruits like peaches apricot, raspberry cream, whipped cream, Danish cookies, strawberry shortcake, strawberry cheesecake, lychee fruit, raspberries, cherries, piney, grassy, floral, herbal, oniony and citrus hops, wild flower honey, coconut, almond milk and sweetened condensed milk.

Flavors:
Sweetened condensed milk, biscuit bread, Rich tropical fruits of mango, prickly pear, honey dew melon, grapefruit, papaya, kiwi, oranges, tangerines, passion fruit, dragon fruit, apples, pears, stone fruit peaches, apricot, raspberry cream, whipped cream, Danish cookies, strawberry short cake, strawberry cheese cake, lychee fruit, biscuit bread, vanilla, caramel, lemon drop, orange gummy bears, tangerines, cherries raspberries, herbal, floral, grassy, piney and dank oniony hops, honey, coconut, almonds, macadamia nuts and three milks cake hints.

Aftertaste:
Rich tropical fruit cocktail lingers with grapefruit, floral, piney and herbal hops, vanilla, sweetened condensed milk and rich stone fruits. No alcohol in the taste, silky, refreshing and smooth mouthfeel, easy to moderate drinkability despite the ABV.

Overall:
Not sure if the recipe was done way better than before, but the sweetness of this hits tropical atmospheres of taste that not many IPAs can ever see. The crazy part is that unlike Surebet which uses Mango and Honey, this beer somehow hits tropical nirvana without any added ingredients which is totally insane. The rightful name of Pliny the Younger Killer is well deserved and I think for that it deserves the highest rating and a super high recommendation.

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill was the right pairing for this beer because I wanted to show that the height of power plant smokestacks (in this case a tower) represents the height of evil corporations (hype in the craft beer community) as well as how power plants pollute the earth and cause acid rain to fall (Beer Snobery). Ryuko is there to represent this Triple IPA and to show that even at the height of all the IPA hype out there (Pliny the Younger, I am looking at you), one will stand up to it to bring it down. Like in Final Fantasy VII where Cloud Strife helped to take down the Mako power plants, Ryuko would do the same and bring the level of “IPA Hype” away from the overly hyped brews and back into the roots of the local community microbreweries. YES! And this is why I chose this one.

Sources:
http://waaaghork.deviantart.com/art/Ryuko-Matoi-408238193
http://i.imgur.com/bwYViCj.jpg

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

(Double Review: Battle of The IPAs) 2014 Heady Topper by Alchemist Brewing VS. 2014 Power Plant Triple IPA by El Segundo Brewing

10632614_10102104099779140_7752673200776729490_nThe battle of the best India Pale Ales in the world can only be foreseen by the biggest hop heads and many will always come to disagreements. Others will just drink as fresh as possible while others won’t drink nothing else BUT IPAs and those with an open palate to be a little more considerate will take a step back and try to figure out, which is the best as objective as possible. While not many will come to an agreement, we all have to remember, hops aren’t everything. They are vital to a beers bitterness but as the origination of the IPA would say, it was mainly used as a natural preservative for long voyages in the old days. Today’s hop variety has made it possible to make them super complex and this is why I think a lot of people really love hops. I can’t really hate as a part of me really likes IPAs but I refuse to pour any “unfresh” ones (Barleywine anyone?) nor do I accept that the best beer in the world happens to be an IPA. I agree with my friend Richard on this one since as he put it, “how can an IPA beat centuries of brewing especially from monks in Belgium who have perfected these brewing arts”. That and the fact stands I lean toward heavier beers but enjoy all beer styles. Either way, I bring you forth a challenge review today. The up and coming champion or “Pliny Younger Killer”, El Segundo’s Power Plant Triple IPA and “East Coast’s Response to Pliny a.k.a beer advocates Best Beer in the World”, Alchemy’s Heady Topper. Why did I decide to do it like this? Well, for those that wonder, both beers are very fresh, one bottle released 9/27/2014 and the can 9/22/2014. I really wanted to see what the hype was all about. Don’t get me wrong, both are freaking epic beers and I have reviewed both in the past but a chance like this, you don’t ever really get. That and the fact that I really believe Power Plant can destroy the Younger. That and I would like to see, if this new up and coming favorite can really stand up to the monster that is Heady Topper. So here we go, cheers and hope you enjoy my double review…

Alchemist Heady Topper Review*
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2014 Heady Topper by Alchemist brewing is a an 8% ABV World Class Double India Pale Ale. Now considered the Best Beer In the World By Beer Advocate.

Label:
From the CAN: “DRINK FROM THE CAN! [x3 for added emphasis]“; “Heady Topper is an Ameri[CAN] Double India Pale Ale. This beer is not intended to be the biggest or most bitter. It is meant to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness on your palate. Tremendous amounts of Ameri[CAN] hops will creep up on you and leave you with a dense hoppy finish in your mouth. So drinkable, it’s scary. Sometimes I wish I could crawl right into the [CAN]. Freshness and control have always been my main concern[s] when it comes to our beer. We are committed to providing you with an unfiltered and unpasteurized hop experience. Why do I recommend that you drink it from the [CAN]? Quite simply, to ensure a delightful, [sic] hop experience. The act of pouring it in a glass smells nice, but it releases the essential hop aromas that we have worked so hard to retain. If you MUST pour it into a glass, you may find that some of the hop resins have settled to the bottom – leave them in the CAN when pouring. This beer is perishable, and at its best when it is young, fresh and hazy. Keep it cold, but not ice cold. Drink this beer immediately, we are always making more. [Undersigned] John Kimmich, The Alchemist, Waterbury, Vermont”; “Don’t be a D-Bag, recycle this [CAN]!”.
___

Aromas:
Honey dew melon, biscuit bread, oranges, grassy, piney, citrus, flowers, guava, citrus, oranges, tangerine candy, mango, prickly pear, hazelnut hints, sweet grapes, stone fruit peaches, apricot, guava, dragon fruit, passion fruit, dank hints, vanilla and caramel.

Flavors:
Honey Dew Melon, Cantaloupe, Grassy, piney, citrus, biscuit bread, vanilla, mango, oranges, prickly pear, hazelnut hints, sweet grape, stone fruit peach, apricot, guava, dragon fruit, passion fruit hints, flowers, kiwi, pine apple, sugar cane, biscuit bread, Mandarin candy, apples, herbs, dank garlicky onion hints but subdued by more oranges and honey.

Aftertaste:
Lots of orange, biscuit bread, tangerine, caramel, vanilla, grapefruit hops, piney, grassy and herbal hops. No alcohol in the taste, easy to drink despite the ABV, medium mouthfeel, hazy body, crisp and refreshing.

Overall:
Supremely Perfect IPA. You pretty much get everything in terms of every range of IPA but mainly on the orangey side. A perfect balanced blend of all the IPA ranges in one. Complex range of tropical, hoppy notes and rich oranges go all over the place. The difference in the can and the glass is mainly with the balance. It is way better in the can as the less air does not allow the flavors to dissipate but when poured into a glass, the orangey side tends to be more pronounced for sure. Either way you have it is fine. The best IPA in the world, why wouldn’t I recommend this? Find it and Find it fresh or just find it either way, you can’t go wrong.

Anime Corner:
Shiryuu Chou-un from Ikkitousen/Battle Vixens makes a return from the last time I reviewed Heady Topper. The original premise of using her for heady topper had to do with the silver label, the color and flavors of the beer pairing with Shiryuu’s hair, outfit as well as the bad assery with a sword. For being considered the World Class beer that Heady is, I really had to choose a true bad ass samurai girl from the series I watched long ago. Shiryuy usually keeps her eyes closed but in the sight of an epic bottle, her true beauty is shown and that is what represents the the rarity and awesomeness of the beer.

El Segundo Power Plant Review*
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2014 Power Plant by El Segundo Brewing is an 11.3% ABV Triple India Pale Ale.

Label:
This behemoth of a “Triple” India Pale Ale gets a dose of Mosaic, Citra, Simcoe, and Amarillo in the kettle and in the dry hop. Up front on the nose is straight fruit cocktail with such a complexity it is impossible to distinguish just one note. Monstrous, yet deceptive in the same breath. Don’t let this one sneak up on you, lest you’ll be #PowerPlanted.
___

Aromas:
Tropical fruits off the charts, grapefruit, honey dew melon, kiwi, guava, oranges, dragon fruit, passion fruit, papaya, mango, raspberries, cherries, pineapple, pears, lychee, biscuit bread, lemons, tangerine, apples, stone fruit peaches, apricots, piney, citrus, grapefruit, herbal and floral hops, sweetened condensed milk and flan hints.

Flavors:
Rich tropical fruits, grapefruit, pineapple, kiwi, oranges, mango, guava, honey dew melon, passion fruit, strawberry, papaya, apples, pears peaches, lychee fruit, sweetened condensed milk hints, biscuit bread, vanilla, caramel, lemon, orange gummy bears, tangerines, raspberries, cherries, honey, herbal notes and minor honey oniony dankness.

Aftertaste:
Rich Tropical fruits aftertaste with very nice grapefruit hop resin, biscuit and caramel. No alcohol in the taste. Very smooth, easy to drink, crisp and refreshing despite the high ABV.

Overall:
Just as extraordinary as the first one I brought home with me. The bottle bottle make version seems more awesome. This beer is really out there and really ridiculous. Balance is insane but tropics are supremely pronounced and super complex. This beer was released for a limited time during the LA craft beer week and they had plenty of bottles. I am unsure if they will have enough for distribution but for a beer that truly took everything I believed about IPAs and took me to another dimension of sweet tropical proportions, there is not damn reason why I would not recommend this to my highest of standards.

Anime Corner:
Ryuoko Matoi from Kill La Kill was the right pairing for this beer because I wanted to show that the height of power plant smokestacks (in this case a tower) represents the height of evil corporations (hype in the craft beer community) as well as how power plants pollute the earth and cause acid rain to fall (Beer Snobery). Ryuoko is there to represent this Triple IPA and to show that even at the height of all the IPA hype out there (Pliny the Younger, I am looking at you), one will stand up to it to bring it down. Like in Final Fantasy VII where Cloud Strife helped to take down the Mako power plants, Ryuoko would do the same and bring the level of “IPA Hype” away from the overly hyped brews and back into the roots of the local community microbreweries. YES! And this is why I chose this one.

Final Judgment:
It would basically be a tie if it wasn’t for the fact that it is almost like comparing apples and oranges. Speaking of apples and oranges, it really is easy to determine why one would prefer one over the other. I once described IPAs falling into 3 categories. Those that are tropical, those that are herbal and grassy and those that are caramel or more orangey like those that can harness all 3 into a perfect balance. Heady topper is a hybrid of all 3 when drinking from the can but more orangey and citrus from the glass while Power Plant is at the extreme end of awesome tropic Nirvana and yet still maintaining the balance of the 3. In this sense, It would only be fair to say that the winner of this battle is Power Plant!!!

This because of my personal preference and opinion on tropical IPAs, I love tropical IPAs. Nevertheless, to those that truly like IPAs to take them for a crazy ride, Heady Topper is no joke and reigns supreme. I can respect and love both beers. While Power Plant caresses the ultimate IPA sweet tooth, Heady Topper is there to remind you of an ultimate form of IPA. I have never tried Pliny the Younger, some day I will. Only then can I truly say if that can really topple these 2 beers. Until then, Both of these beers take the cake easily. Pliny the Younger, you met your match!! HELL YEAH!!

Sources:
http://en.tsundora.com/image/2014/09/ikkitousen_109.jpg
http://digwall.com/wallpaper/2014/09/629402-ryuko-matoi-kill-la-kill.jpg
http://konachan.com/post/show?md5=07600bde13b34835846d710088019553
http://waaaghork.deviantart.com/art/Ryuko-Matoi-408238193

Rating: 5.25/5* El Segundo Power Plant
Rating: 5/5* Alchemist Heady Topper

St. Bernardus Extra 4 by Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV

10593132_10101996994324330_9153501560502863547_nRating: 4.5/5

St. Bernardus Extra 4 by Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV is a 4.8% ABV Belgian Pale Ale/Belgian Single.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Extra 4 is a classic Belgian “Single” style, light golden in color, full of flavor and character and brewed with more hops and bitterness in comparison to the other well known St Bernardus abbey ales. Extra 4 will be brewed with high fermentation and bottled conditioned with an ABV of 4.8%. Extra 4 will be a unique, tasty and refreshing spring and summer quencher with a lower alcohol content than such other popular St Bernardus products as Abt 12, Tripel and Prior 8.
___

I never knew the Single style was actually Belgian pale ale. Dubbels are brow, Tripels can be light or hazy and Quads Dark and Strong. But Belgian Pale Ales are closer to the Golden Ales or Golden Blondes. I feel like I learn something with every beer I try and I am glad I can bring this knowledge to you. St. Bernardus beers are typically world class and some of the best beers out there and the number 12 is simply the best! Cheers and hope you enjoy my review!

Aromas:
Biscuit Bread, grains, vanilla, honey, caramel, peppercorns, sage spice, floral, grassy and herbal hops, citrus, lemon zest, lemon peel, clove spice, banana hints, honey comb, waffle cone, stone fruit and coriander spice.

Flavors:
Honey, bananas, clove spice, peppercorns, citrus, lemon peel, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel hints from the yeast they use, grassy and herbal hops, stone fruits hints of peaches, apricots and plums, sage spice, coriander spice and waffle cone.

Aftertaste:
Honey, biscuit bread, herbal and grassy hop linger for only a little bit before they dry. No alcohol in the taste whatsoever, easy to moderate drinkability, hazy medium body, light to moderate mouth feel, crisp and refreshing. Definitely for the summer.

Overall:
Very good indeed and not as heavy as other Belgian beers in terms of the full mouth feel or higher ABV. This is supposed to be lighter on purpose and is possibly the first time I try a Belgian ‘Single’, that is, if the Golden Ale, Belgian Pale or Belgian Blonde style were not the style referred here. Even though the flavors do math similarly to that of those styles. Either way, this is something I can definitely see myself drinking several on a summer day for sure. Still getting those nice Belgian flavors at a lower ABV. I would definitely recommend you try this out and see how you like this one.

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill in her Super Saiyan/Fashion Week Mode was used in this pairing because I wanted to one of my four favorite anime characters in a St. Bernardus beer. If you look at my other St. Bernardus beers, you will find that I paired 1 of the 4 with one of the beers, except Tokyo since that one is unique. Anyways, when I heard this beer was coming out and I heard it was a beer style I had not heard before, I figured, this version of Ryuko is perfect for that golden ale. While she is more powerful than the ABV this beer carriers, the flavor is where the strength lies in.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/feUANQf.jpg

Wineification (Mardi Rouge?) collaboration with The Bruery, Fess Parker winery and vineyard and Saarloosons of Los Olivos California

1509123_10101743510777390_1417578047_n 10171241_10101743511720500_1244157497_nRating: 6/5

Wineification (Mardi Rouge?) collaboration with The Bruery, Fess Parker winery and vineyard and Saarloosons of Los Olivos California is a 15.7% ABV Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout brewed with Syrah Grapes and aged again in French Oak Barrels

Label:
QUE SYRAH!
There is more and more talk these days about the”winefication” of beer. We decided to plunge straight into the deep end, working with two of our great wine making friends from the central coast to create this stunning blend of late harvest Syrah grapes and our imperial stout. The combination is unlike anything that you’ve likely had before and represents a glinmpse into the future of craft beer. Best stored and cellared around 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius) in a cool dark place,
___

Best place to explain this beer is similar to that of the rarity of Mocha Wednesday. Wineification, or what I believe is Mardi Rogue or close to it (Harvest Syrah vs. Petite Syrah grapes) is a beer that may have been released instead of Mardi Rouge to the expensive Hoarders Society. This beer literally costs an arm and a leg, or atleast to trade it does. Let’s just say, that we have to be thankful for having fans of the site as well as those who are willing to trade for several beers. You people rock!!

I have been looking to try this beer as I have tried many of the Black Tuesday variants and close to it that have focused on many levels of well, different and even if they are rare, they have become my top favorites exceeding my expectations. I can only assume that this will do the same.

Aromas:
Sweet milk and dark chocolate, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, flan, crème brulee, Chambord raspberries, port wine, red wine, grapes, dark cherries, raisins, figs, dates prunes, blue and black berries, currants, bananas, bourbon, oak, leather, toasted coconut, mocha, pecan pie, hazelnut, rocky road ice cream, candi sugars, agave, rich chocolate mousse and fudge cake in wine.

Flavors:
Bourbon, toasted coconut, red wine, port wine, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, flan, crème brulee, toffee, butterscotch, rum notes, caramel bananas, plantain, dark fruits like figs, raisins, prunes, plums, blue berries, rich grape flavors, dark cherries, black berries, Chambord raspberries, currants, oak, leather notes, rye bread with jelly spread, pecan pie, agave, candi sugars, brown sugar, rocky road icecream, chocolate mousse, cherry cola, mocha, hazelnut, chocolate fudge cake, marshmallows.

Aftertaste:
Interesting enough, while it is very complex and rich, the aftertaste comes up dry leaving you wanting to drink more. Some of the chocolate, wine, berries and fudge cake of linger for a bit. There is hardly any sense of harsh alcohol in the taste. Despite having a syrupy mouthfeel and being a sipping beer, there is a smoothness about it that makes it very dangerous as you will want to keep drinking it. Take your time with it, this beer is meant to be savored, enjoyed and well, loved!

Overall:
Taking this to the Wine side gives Black Tuesday something that is incredibly different. Exceeding my expectations without any doubt. This beer reminds me of a what if scenario where Black Tueday mixes with one of those rich berry Avery beers like the Mephistopheles or The Beast or Samael beers but ofcourse, with the wine aging. There is nothing sour about this beer, everything is as complex as maybe some of those fancy wines should be, but the best part is that this is not wine, it is a beer and one that even the best wine connoiseur may actually appreciate. I don’t like the idea of thinking of beer as wine, but in the sense beer outclassing wine, you better damn believe it. Like the Black Tueday, Chocolate, White Chocolate, Cacaonut, Grey Monday, Mocha Wednesday, Melange 3 and so forth, I highly highly recommend this one if you can get it!!

Anime Corner:
No doubt, Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill was chosen for this pairing to pair with many of the different aspects of the beer. The label, the flavors, the ingredients the alcohol and especially since she is one of my favorite characters in Anime right next to my other top 3 (Kos-mos, Yoruichi and Temari). I have yet to pair a Bruery beer with her and what a way to seize the opportunity but to use a beer that is super rare and delicious indeed. The colors pair perfect with Ryuko’s hair, the background, her eyes and her outfit as well. If this was a candidate for Mardi Rouge (Red Tuesday) then even more the reason to use her for this pairing. The alcohol content represents her will power and strength, The complexity of the flavors showcases her unpredictable characteristics. She always has a plan up her sleeve. She is deadly and sexy which best describes how smooth the beer goes down but deadly since it has the really high ABV. The beer is dark but it is a blood red dark as you get closer to finishing the glass. Her suit Senketsu (Fresh Blood) describes this as she needs to let senketsu take some of her blood in order to unleash a higher power. Perfect for that red wine aspect and the color as I mentioned earlier. Ryuko is strong and tough minded, but she does have her sweet,warm hearted and loving side which she shows to the people she cares about. The sweet chocolate and berries is what best places this category. Take it easy with her, you won’t find one like her again, maybe. Either way, it will be a very memorable experience :3

Apophatic by Monkish brewing

1962854_10101714194796850_1128585019_nRating: 5.5/5

Apophatic by Monkish brewing is a 12% ABV Belgian Quadrupel brewed with Orange Peels, Cinnamon, Coriander Seed & Fennel Seed.

Brewed along with Select Monk 2 for the 2nd anniversary of Monkish brewing, this beer is pretty limited and only sold at the brewery. I wanted to do a review of this special beer for several reasons. I love high ABV beers, Belgian Quadrupels are one of my most favorite styles, Strong Belgian Quadrupels are rare, Monkish makes great Belgian inspired beers and this is the first quadrupel. I have tried and reviewed the Anamoly, Belgian Strong Dark ale and the Seme De la Vita, Tripel made with Vanilla beans & Pistachios, but I think this was my favorite when I first tried it. The massive power house, unaided by food can case problems. I only drank 2 glasses and I was done for that night. So, to only bring forth the review today, I will only be doing this glass and that is it. Cheers to Monkish for finally releasing a Quadrupel. 

Aromas:
Lots of Dark fruits like raisins, plums, prunes, blue berries, cherries, currants, subtle cinnamon, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, blueberry muffin, port wine, clove spice, fennel, hints of orange and coriander. 

Flavors:
Blueberries, Raisins, figs, prunes, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, orange, coriander spice, licorice, anise, tart berries, fennel, coriander, raisin bread pudding, chocolate notes, port wine, oats, blueberry muffin, maple syrup, cherries, currants, cinnamon, mild bananas, clove spice, raspberries, rye, pecan pie and hint of rum.

Aftertaste:
Prunes, currants, blueberries, fennel, orange, coriander, caramel, vanilla,. The alcohol is present, but there is this smooth aspect to the beer but also a sipping quality. 

Overall:
Reminicing of that Unibroue Trois Pistoles, Montegioco Draco and The Lost Abbey Judgment Day ale. Damn perfect beer exceeding expectations by a small amount. Despite the ingredients used, there was more very dark and fruity flavors to this one. Several reasons why I really love this one and was the reason I picked this one up for review. I don’t think I have tried a close to blueberry flavored quad. This is quite the dangerous yet delicious beer which is a good reason to be careful with this one. 2 glasses and no food can equal the end of the night. Especially since the 8oz. Pours are very generous (Seem more like 12-16oz.) IF you get a chance to visit Torrance, stop on by and give this a go. 

Anime Corner:
Yoruichi Shihouin (Right) and Ryuko Matoi (Left) from Bleach and Kill La Kill were chosen in this special pairing to compliment the label (Yoruichi hair), the complexity of flavors (Ryuko with cherries and blueberries, dark fruits in her eyes, Yoruichi with orange and spices in her eye colors, hair and speaks of dark fruit raisins), the strength of ABV (Both supremely strong female characters), My favorite style, Quadrupel (2 of my favorite characters), Smooth but dangerous (Both travel at the ridiculous high speeds and attack without mercy if their friends are in danger), very warming and satisfying beer (Very caring and kind hearted despite Ryuko always being the tough girl and Yoruichi, well always being alluring). There are more things I can definitely say as to why it fits this beer, but I will leave it to you to see what else you think works great in this pairing.

Ryoko Fan Art by Jimbobox of Deviantart.com
Yoruichi Fan Art by rikamello-d72jj0w of deviantart.com

Power Plant by El Segundo Brewing company

1907557_10101679552879530_1521022671_nRating: 5.25/5

Power Plant by El Segundo Brewing company is an 11.3% ABV Triple India Pale Ale.

Picked up a growler after my first visit to the El Segundo Brewery in El Segundo California. A small facility with a giant power house of flavors. I tried several beers which I really liked while I was there like the Standard Crude in bourbon and oak along with the range of great IPAs, pale ales and porters. This is the second beer I review from them since I really loved the White Dog IPA, but this beer, was in another level altogether. First of all, I have never tried an IPA that is over 10% ABV (Barrel Aged IPAs don’t count). This one is 11.3% and I must say, it sure doesn’t feel like it.

Aromas: Grapefruit, melon, kiwi, oranges, dragon fruit, grassy, piney and floral hops, honey dew melon, strawberry, apple, pear, mango, peach, pineapple, biscuit bread, caramel, lychee fruit, prickly pears, passion fruit, papaya, apricot, herbs, lemon peel and tangerines.

Flavors:
Lots of tropical fruits like grapefruit, kiwi, pineapple, oranges, honey dew melon, mango, papaya, strawberry, apples, pears, peaches, lychee, prickly pears, passion fruit, papaya, apricot, passion fruit, biscuit bread, caramel, grassy, piney, herbal and floral hops, orange gummy bears, lemon, tangerines, raspberries and honey.

Aftertaste:
Tropical fruits aftertaste with very nice grapefruit hop resin, biscuit and caramel. No alcohol in the taste. Very smooth, easy to drink, crisp and refreshing despite the high ABV.

Overall:
Extra ordinary beer out for a limited time. This is one of the finest examples of great IPAs I have ever tried and is the definition of how great IPAs should be. I think it also helps that it is super fresh. If you have ever tried the hoppy wort left over from when making beer, it would most likely be very similar to the hop bitterness but ofcourse, the bitterness does not linger for too long and mainly the tropical fruits do. So if you get a chance to go, definitely try this beer out.

Anime Corner:
Ryuoko Matoi from Kill La Kill was the right pairing for this beer because I wanted to show that the height of power plant smokestacks (in this case a tower) represents the height of evil corporations (hype in the craft beer community) as well as how power plants pollute the earth and cause acid rain to fall (Beer Snobery). Ryuoko is there to represent this Triple IPA and to show that even at the height of all the IPA hype out there (Pliny the Younger, I am looking at you), one will stand up to it to bring it down. Like in Final Fantasy VII where Cloud Strife helped to take down the Mako power plants, Ryuoko would do the same and bring the level of “IPA Hype” away from the overly hyped brews and back into the roots of the local community microbreweries. YES! And this is why I chose this one