N10 Anniversary by Ninkasi brewing

14457279_10103598616909830_7294399324672049109_nRating: 6.25/7

N10 Anniversary by Ninkasi brewing is a 10% ABV American Strong Barrel Aged Hybrid Cuvee / Blend Ale.

Label:
Please See Image Below
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==Introduction==

It has been quite some time since I tried a Ninkasi brew. When I first heard that they wanted to release a beer that was essentially a Cuvee of other beers in their profile, I was all for it. I figure this would be a great opportunity to see how it compares to other great Cuvees like Firestone Walker’s Anniversary ales. Essentially, they do the same process, blending different beers to create a special hybrid of a brew that can exceed expectations. This one uses 2 IPAs 2 Stouts and a Barleywine. Almost reminds me of some of the Bruery Melange beers too. So for me, that is awesome enough to bring it to the website. Let’s take a look at this monstrosity of a beer, cheers!

Aromas:
Dark fruit currants, raisins, prunes, blackberries, raspberries, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, German Chocolate, Chocolate milk shake, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, smokey campfire, marshmallow smores, chocolate mousse, bananas, clove spice, almonds, rocky road ice cream honey, rye bread, leather, tobacco, tropical fruit mango, dragon fruit, passion fruit, strawberries, kiwis, papaya hints, guava, anise and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, German Chocolate, Chocolate milk shake, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, smokey campfire, marshmallow smores, chocolate mousse, cookies and cream, oatmeal cookies, citrus, grapefruit, herbal, super dank piney, grassy and earthy hops, dark fruit currants, raisins, prunes, blackberries, raspberries, mild toasted coconut, tropical fruit mango, dragon fruit, passion fruit, strawberries, kiwis, papaya hints, guava, anise, molasses, rock candy, candy sugar, Stone fruit apricot, peaches, plums, red velvet cake, chocolate oranges, coffee cake, Irish cream, port wine, bananas, clove spice, almonds, rocky road ice cream honey, rye bread, leather and tobacco.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with lots of hoppy and malt forward flavors such as chocolate, caramel, earthy, citrus, dank grassy hops, dark fruit, tropical fruit, stone fruit, bourbon, marshmallows. Grapefruits, caramel and vanilla. No alcohol in the taste despite the ABV, Dark full body, creamy, silky crisp, refreshing and velvety mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Above exceptional! Granted, I do love certain versions of the FW beers, this one deserves to be up there as well. There was so much complexity in this one where you know it has stout and IPA characters blend so well. Some aspects remind me of the Jewbelation brews from Schmaltz brewing which uses several different types of malts and hops. It seems some American Strong beers do use that method but the blending of different beers is altogether very different and if you love American Strong ales, you will find the difference in this one. It’s awesome! I highly recommend it.
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Anime Corner:
The 5 Sailor Scouts, Serena/Usagi Tsukino, Amy/Ami Mizuno, Raye/Rei Hino, Lita/Makoto Kito, Mina/Minako Aino from Sailor Moon were used in this pairing to go with the different colors of the ingredients, flavors holographic labels and the 5 beers that were used to blend this brew. Rei is the Stout, Mina is the Barrel Aged stout, Lita the Total Domination IPA, Amy the Maiden the Shade and Serena the Critical Hit. All the colors and complexity were what I was going for when I decided to go with team Sailor Moon.

Sources:
http://i.imgbox.com/FKN2Dzst.jpg
http://i99.beon.ru/static.zerochan.net/Bishoujo.Senshi.Sailor.Moon.full.1746357.jpg

Five Wee Heavy Bells by Karl Strauss

10837990_10102260899002240_4064620618864496925_oRating: 5/5

Five Wee Heavy Bells by Karl Strauss is a 9.5% ABV Holiday Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale.

Label:
The next pioneering release in our “Twelve days” series gets its name from the five famous bells of Mission San Diego de Alcala; whose “golden rings” can only be heard in unison once a year. Five Wee Heavy Bells is a smooth, malty scotch ale with rich caramel flavors and a warming finish. The beer’s malt sweetness is balanced by pronounced scotch characteristics; carefully developed by aging the beer on scotch-soaked American oak chips. Whether you enjoy your bottle now or let it age for celebrations to come, Five Wee Heavy Bells is perfect for the holidays.

==Introduction==

The 5th release if the 12 Christmas beers of San Diego is now available in time for the Holidays. I have finally had a chance to bring the 5th one forward while all the other ones have been awesome indeed. I have yet to find a bottle of Dos Tortugas Quadrupel but that is okay as I have had it on draft. This makes me wonder if I should ever find a pairing for that one. Oh well, one of these days I am sure. Anyways, they decided to bring forth a Wee Heavy Style. This is an awesome style that does not get enough praise due to it being an uncommon style. Still, I have tried many Wee Heavy Ales in the past but this one intrigues me as it says it is a Holiday spiced one. We shall see then. Join me this holiday to take a look at this one and see what we find. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich fruit cake notes, dark fruit raisins, sugar plums, figgy pudding, red velvet cake, cinnamon, Stotch hints, butterscotch, dulce de leche caramel, maple, flan hints, smoked peat, malty cereal, marshmallow smotes, graham crackers, all spice, nutmeg, bananas, hazelnut, coffee cake, mocha and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Rich Dark Fruit raisins, sugar plums, dark cherry, Rich Fruit cake, Red Velvet cake, pecan pie, figgy pudding, butterscotch, toffee, vanilla, caramel, maple, biscuit bread, malty cereal, Scotch, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, bananas, smoked peat, anise, dulce de leche caramel, flan hints, marshmallow smores, mocha hints, hazelnut, mocha, peaches and cream, coffee cake and brown sugar.

Aftertaste:
Rich toffee, butterscotch, rye bread, leather, maple, fruit cake, dark fruits raisins, dark cherries, biscuit bread, and coffee cake. No alcohol in the taste, creamy, silky and smooth mouthfeel, crimson amber clear body with a drinkability that is definitely moderate.

Overall:
Damn perfect Wee Heavy. It is like they took a Wee Heavy and pretty much added the holiday spices too it making like a Wee Heavy Winter Warmer, or so I think. The beer is great just like their other holiday beers. I enjoyed this one especially for the style. I will definitely recommend this one if you like nice holiday ales and especially Wee Heavy Scotch Ales.

Anime Corner:
All 5 Sailor Scouts from Sailor Moon were used in this pairing to pair with the 5 Wee Heavy Bells as each wears a pendant like wearing a bell. Their transformations depend on it. The different colors are the different variety of flavors but also the whole color aspect is primarily what makes Christmas. This beer is almost magical on its own.

Sources:
http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/390164-1920×1200-bishoujo+senshi+sailor+moon-toei+animation-tsukino+usagi-sailor+moon-aino+minako-sailor+venus.jpg

I Think She Hung The Moon by Naughty Brewing

10176208_10101765851486430_1250351598853916076_n 10169242_10101765850338730_6440529521905195647_nRating: 4.8/5

I Think She Hung The Moon by Naughty Brewing is an 8.5% ABV Saison/Farmhouse ale.

Label:
The very nature of this beer is to be a bit provocative. Belgian candy sugar and Mexican piloncillo sugar cones dry the body, sweet pecan smoke adds a bold stroke, followed by the tart note of hibiscus. We had a vision of a dark, dry and smoky beer that we know you will enjoy!
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A great thanks to Aaron at beermetaldude.com for an awesome donation. This beer’s mix of interesting ingredients made it very appealing, aside from the label which pairs great in my opinion. This is something special as I never imagined the use of pilloncillo can pair with Belgian candy sugar. I have had beers that have that pillocillo like flavors to it but seeing one using the actual cones, that is awesome! The story behind this collaboration starts with James Vaello who created this homebrew, founder of Naughty Brewing, and who was able to launch his recipe with the guidance of Aldebert’s Brewery to be able to mass produce this unique beer. James’s brewery is picking up and I hope this review helps out the Texas community but also bring the attention of the California and even the worldly readers of my site about this beer. Thank you and Cheers guys!!

Aromas:
Dulce de leche Caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, pilloncillo sugar cone, pecan pie, stone fruits like plums and apricots, dark fruits, mild smokey notes, biscuit bread, peppercorns, coriander spice, brown sugar, berries and floral notes.

Flavors:
Dark fruits, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, flan, mild smoke, pecans, tart berries, lots of pilloncillo sugar cone, cinnamon, peppercorn, coriander spice, herbs spices, stone fruits like apricot, pineapples, hibiscus flowers, chocolate, mesquite, waffle cone and cherries.

Aftertaste:
Maple, earthy hops, pilloncillo, peppercorns, caramel, toffee and mild smoke. No alcohol in the taste, moderate drinkability with a medium mouthfeel.

Overall:
A very good beer that drinks more like a Belgian brown or amber ale than a Saison. Some saison characteristics are there but they are subdued by the other sweetness. Not bad at all and is actually very good as I like some of these flavors from a beer. Balance is decent but tends to lean more toward the sweet Belgian and Mexican candy. So even if the style is more toward a Belgian brown or amber, it is still a very delicious beer. Definitely give this a try if you can find it and I hope maybe we can see this beer in California some day, Cheers!!

Anime Corner:
Serina Usagi Tsukino or the protagonist of Sailor Moon was used in this pairing for the very obvious reasons. I have never used Serina in the past an this opportunity to use her was the best to showcase the high popularity of anime in the 90’s. Not all anime girls are sailor moon as anime goes but anyways, this was perfect since I wanted to pair with the label of the girl on the moon and well, her similar hair style was well. This anime was very popular here in the US and in Mexico. Not sure about in Belgium, but the fact that Mexican pilloncillo was used in this beer definitely reminded me of when I used to watch the series back in the day along with Dragon Ball Z. The beer is as sweet as Serina’s character but also showcases a bit of smokiness. They say that moon rocks smell smokey, like gun powder. So it fits the beer flavors even more. While the style may confuse people since they say it is a saison but leans toward other styles just showcases people’s expectations. Not many will like Sailor Moon but those that grew up with it will remember a lot about it. The ironic part is that this beer may not meet up to many’s expectations as to what a saison is but I definitely embraced the difference and enjoyed it.