Vindictive II by The Bruery

Rating: 7/7
 
Vindictive II by The Bruery is 16.1% ABV American Imperial Stout blended with juice from Zinfandel grapes and Arroyo Grande Valley Wine.
California is renowned for producing some of the greatest zin and stouts in the world. We combine that pride and passion in this varietal of our Black Tuesday imperial stout, blended and fermented with juice from Zinfandel grapes from Old Potrero vineyard, a sustainable, dry-farmed, old vine vineyard in the Arroyo Grande Valley American Viticultural Area, thanks to our friends at Field Recordings Wine. After maturing for nearly a year in medium toast New American Oak puncheons, this release vanquishes the boundaries between wine and beer in a full-bodied foray of dark fruit, berries, jam, oak and spice.
Super complex Beer and Wine fusion. Love this version for the year!
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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

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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
14889822_10103680152871110_9191722377838774897_o14595686_10103680152721410_586482339183926152_n
Sources:
https://danbooru.donmai.us/data/__junketsu_and_matoi_ryuuko_kill_la_kill_drawn_by_takatsuki_nato__b716e63ddef98837323fdb232372b08e.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/pcNT5vs.jpg
https://www.rpnation.com/applications/core/interface/imageproxy/imageproxy.php?img=http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FsST0chF.jpg&key=3b91f57e98d7828abb73c9cb94fd8f54189127f251490e7c84ed1b9fe8b343bd
http://i.imgur.com/rqACHxM.jpg
http://67.media.tumblr.com/097550c0e49e04ad47080ab498657833/tumblr_nsu1965O2I1u6f6neo1_1280.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2015 Barrel Aged Darkness
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10334387_10102989072207300_1700630853551401295_n 1571_10102989072691330_8408251456470671156_n

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

Label:
(Same as The 2015 Darkness)
___

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

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

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

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

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill was chosen in the previous versions of this beer. This year, since the barrel aged version is golden labeled, I am pairing also the Ryuko version with Senketsu Kisaragi. For those that do not know this form, it is the one that looks like she turned super saiyan from Dragon Ball Z increasing her power exponentially like the way the original Darkness power was increased by the process of Rye whiskey Barrel Aging. Each beer in its own means is delicious and evil as I show case the version of Ryuko when she was evil using Juunketsu (The White armored version). The original time I used Ryuko in 2013 was the original form with Senketsu so I paid tribute to that by bringing forth the Ryuko plushie in this pairing.
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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

10904020_10102980550235400_4842001533505751421_o 1277920_10102980552660540_7398598994541288382_o 10294242_10102980553633590_470895339559153184_n 10258891_10102980556168510_9971908535562134_o
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!!
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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

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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!

2015 Power Plant by El Segundo brewing

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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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10509554_10102104101161370_5153420559304412663_n
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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10641032_10102104103217250_4028812065206472597_n
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

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,
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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

2013 (Brewcifer) Darkness by Surly Brewing

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

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

Label:
Brewcifer Lord of Darkness

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

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

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

Omar Ansari Todd Haug
___

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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