Firestone XVII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker

1477982_10101531821254890_1963810206_n 1472989_10101531821145110_108429905_n 1470280_10101531821185030_808038373_n 579314_10101531821195010_287334108_nRating: 5.79/5* (Just like last years version, more difficult to explain. Strategy guide included)

Firestone XVII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker is a 13.3% ABV Strong Multi-liquor Barrel Aged Style Hybrid Blend Ale

Description: 
“We blended together 220 oak barrels and seven different beers creating something truly complex and exceptional.” – Brewmaster Matt Brynildson
Bravo / Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels / 30% of Final Blend
-Imperial Brown Ale

Sticky Monkey / Aged in Bourbon and Whiskey Barrels / 25% of Final Blend
-English Barley Wine Brewed with Mexican Turbinado (brown) Sugar

Velvet Merkin / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 15% of Final Blend
-Traditional Oatmeal Stout

Parabola / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 15% of Final Blend
-Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout

Double DBA / Aged in retired Firestone Union Barrels / 8% of Final Blend
-Double strength English Pale Ale

Helldorado / Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels / 4% of Final Blend
-Blonde Barley Wine Brewed with Buckwheat Honey

Wookey Jack / 100% Stainless Steel / 3% of Final Blend
-Black Rye India Pale Ale

XVII ABV: 13.3%
___

This year’s batch is very special using. The strategy guide is even longer since they had winemakers assist with the project to get the right types of blends in constructing this beer. Holy shit is all I can say about the information of how much work and effort it took to make this. 

Aromas:
Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, brandy, port wine notes, dark cherry, raspberry, coconut, oak, caramel, toffee, oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies, banana notes, marshmallow, rocky road ice cream, Mexican piloncillo, pecans, hazelnut, raisin bread chocolate pudding, flan, bourbon, rich brandy, candied apples, smoked wood, hint of tropics but very small and other complex fragrances. Crazy part is that it kept changing as the beer got warmer. 

Flavors:
Big Vanilla, toasted coconut, almond joy, toffee, caramel, dark chocolate, espresso, Barley wine, rye bread, flan, hazelnut, pecan pie whiskey, brandy, bourbon, chocolate, rich chocolate chip cookies on rocky road ice cream with cherries, strawberries, hazelnut, ferro rocher chocolate, pecan pie, special oak wood, oatmeal, maple, peach notes, pear, anise, mint, rich rye bread, butterscotch, brown sugar, marshmallows, tropical notes as it got warmer, and lots of other complex flavors. Damn, I ran out of lives, gonna have to start at the last save point.

Aftertaste:
Finishing off with like nice chocolate, port wine, maple syrupy notes, dark fruit oatmeal chocolate chips, marshmallows and oaky vanilla. Boozy notes here an there but everything plays well with the flavors

Overall:
Every year much more complex, much more exceptional. Does it beat out it’s predecessor XVI? Well, yes and no. By that I mean, let is age for a while. You see, the early XVI did not but damn, XVI 1 year later was doing complex virtuoso rock solos around my palette. Do not let that fool you though finding the complexities is difficult even if you have Tequila added like when XVI had PNC, “holy shit nice” is what I was tasting. Parabola by itself wins over all of them only because of the extra chocolate push into into the 6/5 range for extra credit for me. XVII was able to get super close to XVI 1 year later and actually beat the younger age one especially because of the Velvet Merkin complexities to have a hug back up. Magic maybe the bloodstream of the universe like Merkin is the bloodstream of this powerhouse beer. Longer strategy guide and all, this beer still kicking your ass .

Anime Corner:
Yui Takamura from the series Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipe is used in this pairing to show the hard work and dedication that was used to make this beer. Also, the colors of her armor are close to the colors of the beer label and box. Along with her companions, they represent the selections of individual beers that were selected in order to bring this beer blend into fruition. The colors may also be used to represent the dark fruit flavors, brandy, bourbon, chocolate and others. The Strength of the alcohol and the hard work are also represented by the Bushido code she follows as a samurai.

Advertisements

Life is Like… collaboration by Cigar City and Mikkeller

1385491_10101445792577050_719922253_n 1377590_10101445792557090_145495964_n 1381631_10101445792696810_661862072_nRating: 6+/5 *My new second most favorite chocolate flavored beer ever. Why be limited 😦 ????

Life is Like… collaboration by Cigar City and Mikkeller is a 15% ABV Imperial Milk / Sweet Stout brewed with cherries & cacao nibs & aged in bourbon barrels

Label: 
An imperial sweet stout brewed with cherries and cacao nibs, which is then aged in bourbon barrels. This beer is brewed in collaboration with Mikkeller our generous friend from Copenhagen, Denmark. What you have here is a modest attempt to emulate the experience of biting into a chocolate-covered cherry candy. We hope you enjoy it but you never know what you’re gonna get.
___

Released exclusively at the Cigar City Brewing tap room, this one had become a quickly coveted beer. I was only able to grab a bottle by pure luck as now a days you either have to get them through trading or online sites that cater to rare beers. If you somehow stumble upon this treasure, the choice to drink now or save for later will be completely up to you. I have taken the brevity to do a review now but check several years later and see if the brew has completely changed into something, possibly extraordinary.

Aromas of this is exactly what I had expected and more!! Cordial Cherries, Chocolate covered cherry notes, vanilla dulce de leche caramel, milk chocolate, cherry rye bread, flan, bourbon, hazelnut, dark cherry notes, roasted coffee, Kahlua, mocha, banana, cloves and cake

The flavors are basically, Chocolate Rain brewed with cherries. The flavors are very awesome, on point and rich. Lots of rich cherries in the taste, Cordial Chocolate-covered cherries, raspberries, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, Kahlua, bourbon, mocha, banana notes, hazel nut, vanilla, cherry flan, dulce de leche caramel, cherry rye bread, dark fruits like raisins, figs, blueberry and raspberry jam notes, cherry skin and rich cherry cake

The aftertaste leaves like a combination of chocolate, cherry and vanilla syrup with some very nice bourbon notes. The alcohol is mildly present and really almost hidden. A very syrupy sipper. Almost like drinking liquid gourmet Cordial Chocolate cherries. As the beer warms up, more cherries start to come out. Give it some time and enjoy

Overall, just plug it into my veins!! Freaking awesomely delicious Chocolate Rain, basically with real cherries. Cigar City is The Bruery of the east coast for me. Now you add the awesome gypsy Mikkeller into the mash and you have a beer that is so rich and sweet, it really does make me wonder if the meaning of Life is like… enjoying it and making the best of it. A symbolic representation of life is most likely represented in this bottle or anything you love. Either that or this is Diabetes in a bottle (Willford Brimly voice). And in several years, if you are alive to enjoy it, take it and share it with the lucky ones. You most important ones because they are what make life worth living. This is true to what they say it is. To me, this is actually better than the than the Cherry Rye Bourbon County in the chocolate and cherry department.

Robert Johnson’s Hellhound on my Ale by Dogfish Head

556710_10100937538113070_1163956106_nRating: 4.75/5

Robert Johnson’s Hellhound on my Ale by Dogfish Head is 10% ABV Double India Pale Ale Brewed with Lemons

Label:

2011 marks the 100th birthday of Mississippi Delta bluesman Robert Johnson who, according to legend, sold his soul down at the crossroads in a midnight bargain and changed music forever. Dogfish Head pays tribute to this blues legend by gettin’ the hellhounds off his trail and into this finely-crafted ale.

Hellhound is a super-hoppy ale that hits 100 IBUs in the brewhouse, 10.0 ABV, 10.0 SRM in color, and dry-hopped with 100% centennial hops at a rate of 100 kilos per 100 barrel brew-length. To accentuate and magnify the citrusy notes of the centennial hops (and as a shout out to Robert Johnson’s mentor Blind Lemon Jefferson) we add dried lemon peel and flesh to the whirlpool. To read more about Robert Johnson go to www.robertjohnsonhellhoundale.com
—-

Been searching far and wide for this one. I gave up on the search a while back until I had happened to find a bottle of this bottle recently. The fragrance of the beer is more floral and maltier than super hoppy and piney. Citrus is there but it is quite light. More caramel and breadiness in the smell . The flavors of this beer are of caramel, lemon, grape, orange, mango, bready, oak wood, some earthy and piney notes which provide the bitterness. Although it seems like the malts hide the bitterness of the 100 IBU flavors. While this is still a great ale, do not expect a lot of bitterness and hoppy flavors.