The Dark Ages Barrel Series Imperial Stout by Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co.

14570836_10103598540797360_7751737505811618340_oRating: 5.75/6

The Dark Ages Barrel Series Imperial Stout by Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co. is a 10% ABV Imperial stout aged in Kentucky Bourbon and Cognac Barrels.

Label:
Aging Imperial Stout in both Kentucky Bourbon and Cognac Barrels brings complex flavors and a rich oak character to this big beer made with a variety of roasted malts.

==Introduction==

This is first brew that I try brew from Tahoe Mountain brewing. I always feel that some time digging into the stronger beers from a brewery can say a lot about how complex and awesome a brewery can be. It may not say much about how great the brewery is, just how well they can make the type of beers that I like. This one was a very intriguing beer as it was aged in both Bourbon and Cognac. Essentially, a double barrel aged brew. Sometimes, double, triple or even quadruple barrel aging takes beers to whole new levels to where a beer has never been to before. This is a definite must for the site, let’s take a look, cheers!

Aromas:
German chocolate, Baker’s chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, tobacco, leather, dark candi sugar, dark fruit currants, prunes, raisins, dark cherries, currant yogurt, pomegranates, almond joy chocolate, anise, licorice, wine grapes, juniper berries, pecan pie, piloncillo sugar cone, marshmallows, chocolate smores, molasses, smokey oak, hazelnut nectar, sherry, raspberries, port wine notes, grilled plantains, bananas, clove spice, roasted coffee notes and mocha.

Flavors:
Rich Barrel Oak, bourbon, whiskey, cognac, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, dark fruit currants, prunes, raisins, dark cherries, grilled plantains, bananas, clove spice, roasted coffee notes, mocha, burnt marshmallows, chocolate smores, molasses, smokey oak, hazelnut nectar, sherry, raspberries, port wine notes, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, German chocolate, Baker’s chocolate, tobacco, leather, dark candi sugar, currant yogurt, pomegranates, almond joy chocolate, anise, licorice, wine grapes, juniper berries, pecan pie and piloncillo sugar cone.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with nice notes of oak, bourbon, oak dark chocolate, dark fruit, vanilla, roasted coffee, port wine and tobacco hints. No alcohol in the taste, pitch black dark full body, smooth, creamy and chewy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
An exceptional brew almost taking it to the level of exceptional perfection. The lower score has to do with a slight unbalance in the flavors but overall, the complexity is way above perfect. There is so much going on here and it is super solid. These dark age beers are definitely something to try out and definitely highly recommended.

Anime Corner:
Dark Saber from Fate Stay Night was used in this beer to go with the dark ages aspect as well as dark knight armor and helmet as shown in the label. The colors she represents are just some of the complex color and flavor pairings of the beer.
14567375_10103598540802350_7085479304265906414_o
Sources:
http://niji-moe.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/fate-saber-01-16.jpg

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2016 Tart of Darkness Cherries & Vanilla by The Bruery Terreux

13738215_10103423798367590_1587449561704173131_o 13781726_10103423801062190_2339272195439250998_nRating: 5.5/6

2016 Tart of Darkness Cherries & Vanilla by The Bruery Terreux is a 7.% ABV American Wild Stout aged in Oak Barrels with Cherries and Vanilla Beans.

New Label:
Roasty – Midnight – Delight

Old Label:
SAUERSTAUT

With a roasty aroma and a tart finish, this sour black ale is a contortion of style and flavor, creating an unexpected delight.

Tart of Darkness with Cherries & Vanilla is best enjoyed fresh for bold spice and fruit character, but my pleasantly if cellared properly.
___

Released to the Preservation and Reserve Societies once again and possibly the a public release, this is the second time I try this beer. I was not going to do a review of this one since I had already done one in the past but as soon as I tried it and the new label came about, I had to give it a shot. This beer is a variant to the publicly sold Tart of Darkness. I will be honest, while the tart of darkness is a very good sour, it does not compare to my favorite sour stout Madrugada Obscura by Jolly Pumpkin. The cherries and vanilla from the last time I reviewed this beer made a huge difference. Draw your puckeringly sour sword and get ready to take action!

Aromas:
Dark cherry yogurt, Vanilla ice cream, caramel,Lavender, cotton candy, strawberry cheesecake, lemon peel, citrus, dark chocolate hints, blueberry skins, earthy notes, Cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper hints, molasses, anise, licorice, lemon peel, sour funky notes, citrus, port wine hints, blue berry muffin and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Toasted coconut, coffee, mocha, rich dark fruit cherries, raisins, prunes, concord grapes, currants, blueberries, vanilla cream, caramel, tart wine grapes, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, sour cherry cordials, floral lavender, dark cherry yogurt, strawberry cheese cake, brown sugar, blueberry muffin, lemon peel, Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper hints, grape skins, port wine hints, oak, earthy notes and musty sour funky notes.

Aftertaste:
Tart wine grapes, oak, dark cherry yogurt hints, vanilla, coconut hints, and earthy notes finishing all fast and dry. No alcohol in the taste, murky amber brown full body with no head retention, soft, smooth and slightly creamy mouthfeel and a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Awesome sauce this year. I don’t know if I liked this one more or the last time I tried this one more. There is so much more chocolate coconut in this one along with vanilla and cherry sour stout goodness that I think it actually is beating the Madrugada Obscura. The Bruery definitely out did themselves this time and I would highly recommend this one if you love sours!

Anime Corner:
Saber Alter/Dark Saber from Fate/Stay Night/Hollow Ataraxia was used in this pairing since I used Jean from Claymore. Basically both represent the “Dark Knight” In the Tart of Darkness. The return of this brew show cases Saber as she tries to battle her inner darkness but realizes that without embracing both the light and evil, she is nothing. You can also say Saber is Vanilla and Dark Saber is the Cherries. The aspect of the warrior of darkness and the fact that I have used Saber in many Dark chocolate and cherry flavored beers just pushes my conviction that much further. The Dark Arts have to do with blasphemy against the church but the strange part, as holy as some organizations are, some hold deep dark secrets that the public never knows about. Tart of Darkness with Cherries and Vanilla brings that aspect of sour evil but yet sweet and forgiving aspects that are pretty damn Holy if you ask me. Think of it as the sweetness delivering the darkness of the beer from evil Either way, great beer and great pairing I think.

Sources:
http://tsundora.com/image/2014/10/fate_stay_night_673.jpg
http://pm1.narvii.com/5832/37ca0cfb16b4e985b40f227f7ae4a7b2aafa50da_hq.jpg

Tart of Darkness Cherries & Vanilla by The Bruery

10371399_10102061178089550_5544023490960896402_n 10688381_10102061178768190_817222438991082648_oRating: 5/5

Tart of Darkness Cherries & Vanilla by The Bruery is a 7.1% ABV American Wild Stout aged in Oak Barrels with Cherries and Vanilla Beans.

Label:
SAUERSTAUT

With a roasty aroma and a tart finish, this sour black ale is a contortion of style and flavor, creating an unexpected delight.

Tart of Darkness with Cherries & Vanilla is best enjoyed fresh for bold spice and fruit character, but my pleasantly if cellared properly.
___

Released to the Preservation and Reserve Societies this fall. This beer is a variant to the publicly sold Tart of Darkness. I will be honest, while the tart of darkness is a very good sour, it does not compare to my favorite sour stout Madrugada Obscura by Jolly Pumpkin. The fact that they added the cherries and vanilla to this may actually make some kind of difference. I can only hope that this is the case. Let us see how this warrior fairs. Draw your puckeringly sour sword and get ready to take action!

Aromas:
Dark Cherry yogurt, Vanilla ice cream, caramel,Lavender, cotton candy, strawberry cheesecake, lemon peel, citrus, dark chocolate hints, blueberry skins, earthy notes, Cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper hints, molasses, anise, licorice, lemon peel, sour funky notes, citrus, port wine hints, blue berry muffin and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Blueberries, Vanilla cream, coconut, caramel, tart wine grapes, chocolate, lavender, dark cherry yogurt, strawberry cheese cake, brown sugar, blueberry muffin, lemon peel, Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper hints, dark fruits like prunes raisins, concord grape skins, port wine hints, oak, earthy notes and musty sour funky notes.

Aftertaste:
Tart wine grapes, oak, dark cherry yogurt hints, vanilla, coconut hints, and earthy notes finishing all fast and dry. No alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer, medium to full mouthfeel and with a murky amber brown full body.

Overall:
Way better than the original. I have no idea how the addition of the cherries and vanilla seem to suppress the overall ‘sour’ aspect of this beer making it more of a sweet tart. The original did not do as well as my favorite, Madrugada Obscura but tasting more sour than a balance of stout chocolate roastiness with sour aspects. This beer however, redeemed the original big time. While the chocolate aspect is there but hinted, the sweetness of cherry and vanilla change the aspect of the beer not just to make it fruity tart but also dessert like yet still puckeringly sour. Definitely recommended. So does it win against Madrugada Obscura? I guess it really depends on my mood. Chocolate coffee sour or Cherry Vanilla sour.

Anime Corner:
Saber Alter/Dark Saber from Fate/Stay Night/Hollow Ataraxia was used in this pairing since I used Jean from Claymore. Basically both represent the “Dark Knight” In the Tart of Darkness. You may not tell from the label, but a sword pierces through the cherry and in the original, there is a sword involved. The aspect of the warrior of darkness and the fact that I have used Saber in many Dark chocolate and cherry flavored beers just pushes my conviction that much further. The Dark Arts have to do with blasphemy against the church but the strange part, as holy as some organizations are, some hold deep dark secrets that the public never knows about. Tart of Darkness with Cherries and Vanilla brings that aspect of sour evil but yet sweet and forgiving aspects that are pretty damn Holy if you ask me. Think of it as the sweetness delivering the darkness of the beer from evil Either way, great beer and great pairing I think.

Sources:
https://omisyth.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/1217501555092.jpg
http://gallery.minitokyo.net/view/500829

Ride The Lion by Clown Shoes brewing

10357506_10102006113918590_2348774164646493040_nRating: 5.75/5

Ride The Lion by Clown Shoes brewing is an 11% ABV Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy aged in bourbon barrels.

Label:
Descended from a notorious clan of Scottish lore, head brewer Dan Lipke channeled the Tartan tapestry encoded in his DNA to create a formidable Wee Heavy. The beer has been aged 100% in fresh bourbon barrels. Ask yourself, “Who needs to ride the lion?”
___

This beer is finally coming around this area. Clown Shoes has been making some crazy amazing beers not only in the artistic label fashion but the mind blowing flavor aspects too. Their beers are some of my favorites from the east coast. I am really glad they have been able to distribute some goodies in many places. The Wee Heavy/Scotish Ale style is one that has never let me down. I have yet to try a scotch ale that doesn’t disappoint. Therefore, I definitely look forward to this one.

Aromas:
Lots of good oaked bourbon, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, marshmallows, graham crackers, earthy and smoked peat, blue berry cheese cake, flan, port wine hints, dark fruits like raisins, currants, plums, prunes, boysenberries, black berries, grapes, anise, licorice, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bananas, clove spice, mild coconut, butterscotch, brown sugar, cinnamon, scotch, stone fruit hints like peach and apricot.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel, Bourbon, vanilla, oak, scotch whiskey, rich earthy and smoked peat, dark fruits like cherries, raisins, currants, plums, boysenberries, blackberies, anise, licorice, port wine hints, marshmallow, rye bread, wine and cheese party, flan hints, butterscotch, cinnamon, brown sugar, musty notes, clove spice, banana flavors when it warms up, tobacco, leather notes, flan, blueberry cheesecake, stone fruit peaches, apricots and lychee.

Aftertaste:
Smokey and earthy peat, rye bread, oak, bourbon, caramel, vanilla, dark fruit, tobacco and leather notes. Slight alcohol burn in the taste but nothing detracting from the flavor, smooth drinkability despite the ABV, medium mouth feel and medium to full body.

Overall:
Definitely exceeding expectations for sure. This beer reminds me more of how Stone Brewing does Bourbon Barrel aging with the whole wine and cheese party thing going on. Basically, that is the way I describe oak wine like and earthy cheese flavor. Definitely not in a bad way but I guess the way some beers pair great with certain cheeses, that is all. The beer has a lot of great complex flavors going on here. I would definitely recommend getting this one. Give it a shot, there really isn’t that many wee heavies out there and this one is bourbon barrel aged. Yes it works!

Anime Corner:
Saber Alter/Dark Saber and Arthur The Lion from Fate/Stay Night/Hollow Ataraxia was used in this pairing not just to pair the label with the lion and the warrior girl but the aspects of the lion is what not just represents awesomeness but the bourbon barrel aging itself. As you can see, if Saber is a bad ass Wee Heavy by herself, then the lion brings forth her ultimate strength which brings out the complexities of her. They represent the dark fruits and cherry notes as well as the other complex flavors. Ride the Lion is synonymous with how smooth both of them work together and go down damn well despite their united strength!

Sources:
http://konachan.com/post/show/8124

Black Forest by Harpoon Brewery

10488030_10101980391391740_276694008961692768_n 10433951_10101980392669180_4305650604480355895_nRating: 5.45/5

Black Forest by Harpoon Brewery of Boston Massachusetts is a 9.8% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Cherry Juice and Cocoa Nibs.

Label:
Black Forest
When the drivers of Harpoon Distributing Company are finished delivering brewery-fresh beer throughout the neighborhoods of Boston, they spend time moonlighting with Harpoon’s brewers. In 2012, they developed a version of a cherry chocolate porter that was a favorite at our annual home-brew competition. It didn’t take long for the brewing staff to work up a 10-barrel test batch and we knew we had to make more.

A hearty malt base is complemented by sweet cherry juice and cocoa nibs added during fermentation in this decadent take on a traditional porter.

Notes of rich chocolate and a hint of cherry sweetness make this full bodied porter the perfect treat to share now or to cellar until next Valentine’s Day.
___

Thanks once again to Aaron Mendiola at beermetaldude.com for the hookup of this sweet beer. Yet another brewery we don’t see here in California. This one is from Boston Massachusetts and apparently ended up being really good and sweet as I read about it. This I had to see for myself so I was glad to get the opportunity to give it a shot. So here it goes, the Harpoon Black Forest, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark Chocolate, rich dark cherries, cherry cola, mocha coffee, cherry cordial, hazelnut, earthy hop notes, brown sugar, dark fruit raisins, caramel, Dr. Pepper hints, maple, mint, molasses, licorice, raspberry hints and flan hints.

Flavors:
Burst of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, dark cherries, cherry yogurt, mocha coffee, dark fruit raisins, earthy hops, flan, cinnamon, caramel, vanilla, cherry cola, maple, mint, chocolate chip cookies, molasses, licorice, brown sugar, maple, molasses, raspberry, nutmeg, pumpkin spice hints and hazelnut.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate, dark cherry, vanilla, caramel, earthy hops, coffee and molasses. No alcohol in the taste, a moderate to sipping drinking characteristic, full body, syrupy mouthfeel yet smooth. Nice and deadly!!

Overall:
If you love sweet beers, especially chocolate and cherry ones, then this one is just an example of a beer that definitely exceeds my expectations in that department by a few notches. The Chocolate and Cherry are a complete win here with some additional complexity while it still reminds you that you are drinking a porter. A porter with no head retention and very delicious. I really wish we could get this one here in California, I would definitely drink this one all the time. Thanks again Aaron!

Anime Corner:
Saber Alter and Matou Sakura from Fatestay Night were used in this pairing because as the name goes, black forest, I wanted to show not only the pairing of the name but the flavors. As you can see from the colors in these pictures, they pretty much represent all the nice complexities that the beer has to offer and prominently the dark cherries and chocolate flavors. This beer is so damn good and the fact that these characters are evil, it represents the seductive qualities such that the beer is so smooth and yet strong at the same time.

Sources:
http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/360781-1040×1477-fate+%28series%29-fateextra-saber-saber+alter-tyappygain-single.jpg
http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/92024-1325×1800-fate+%28series%29-fatestay+night-saber-matou+sakura-saber+alter-stu+dts+%28pixiv%29.jpg

Dark Night of the Soul by Monkish brewing

10447530_10101935635453000_3295597037562605673_nRating: 5.75/5

Dark Night of the Soul by Monkish brewing is an 11.1% ABV Belgian Imperial Stout.

So far few in between and yet another favorite style of beer comes forth and takes me back to why I really love these types of beers. The Belgian imperial stout is one that doesn’t come that often and for the ones that I have tried, simply some of the best I have ever tried. Monkish from Torrance California released this special batch of beer that is only sold at the brewery and is very limited. Only 50 cases made, so yeah. If this beer does good, they may one day decide to release it again. Until then, I bring it forth to you for review. Cheers!

Aromas:
Pecan pie, Dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, dulce de leche caramel, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, coconut, marshmallow smores, oak, anise, molasses, brown sugar, hints of rum, port wine, dark cherries, vanilla, black currants, raisin bread pudding, hazelnut nectar and banana hints.

Flavors:
Black currants, Pecan pie, dark fruits like raisins, plums, dark cherries, figs, Belgian, dark and milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, cocoa powder, port wine hints, rum hints, hazelnut nectar, banana hints, raisin bread pudding, clove spice, anise, molasses, oak, marshmallow smores and coconut hints.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate, dark fruits, earthy spice, pecans and caramel linger for a little bit. No alcohol in the taste despite the fact that this is a sipping beer. It also has some smooth chocolatey creaminess to it. It has a full mouthfeel and it has a pitch black body.

Overall:
Right next to Seme De La Vita, this is my new favorite offering from Monkish. It is extremely exceptional! It really does remind me about how unique the Belgian Stout style can really get. This is one of the best examples for sure. Highly recommended if you can get this one or trade for it.

Anime Corner:
Saber Alter/Dark Saber from Fate Stay Night was used perfectly in this pairing because I wanted to show something in regards to a Dark Night, Evil Soul as well as pay tribute to the monasteries like the theme Monkish brings forth. The colors represent the flavors of the beer and her dark evil power the ABV. She is very dangerous as you will want to drink the whole thing in one sitting, but just like the best beers ever, it must be respected and enjoyed wisely.

Sources:
http://www.zerochan.net/1637555