28th Anniversary Barrel-Aged Belgian Quad by Karl Strauss

Rating: 6/6

28th Anniversary Barrel-Aged Belgian Quad by Karl Strauss is a 12.9% ABV Belgian Quadrupel aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Every year for our anniversary, we take a specialty beer and age it in bourbon barrels for twelve whole months. This year’s full-bodied Barrel-Aged Belgian Quad is rich and malty, with flavors of dark fruit, caramel, and charred oak. Aging the beer in Four Roses Bourbon barrels gives it a surprisingly smooth, warming finish. From 1989 to 2017 and beyond, we thank you for your support, and invite you to join in the celebration!


I first tried this one when my friend Alex Alcaraz took me to Karl Strauss in downtown Los Angeles. When I had it, I was immediately blown away by its awesomeness. Granted, I had tried their Barrel Aged Belgian Dark Strong 2 years ago but have not posted information on it to the site. This time, they went with a Barrel Aged Quadrupel. Essentially, I remember seeing a bottle in their fridge, which I can only assume you can only purchase it through them directly. I did not think much of picking one up now and thought I can get one later. It wasn’t till later that night that I was like, I really, really need that bottle. So needless to say, I went back and got the bottle and now I can do a review for those that are interested. The Karl Strauss anniversary beers don’t often come out to the public so this was a perfect opportunity. Let’s have a look, cheers!

Oak, Vanilla, Dulce de Leche Caramel, dark fruit raisins, figs, dates, plums, dark cherries, piloncillo sugar cone, Mexican Capirotada raisin bread pudding, flan, cinnamon, fruit cake, Dark Candi Sugar, Rock candy, butterscotch, banana cream pie, pecan pie, marshmallows, rocky road ice cream, almond joy chocolate, Cadbury cream eggs, Chocolate mousse, wild flower honey, Tres Leches/Three Creams cake, sweetened condensed milk, sweetened condensed milk and hazelnut nectar.

Rich Dulce de Leche Caramel, Whiskey, Bourbon, Oak, Vanilla, toffee, toasted coconut, bananas, clove spice, Belgian Candy sugar, Dark Candi Sugar, Rock candy, butterscotch, banana cream pie, pecan pie, marshmallows, rocky road ice cream, almond joy chocolate, Cadbury cream eggs, sweetened condensed milk, hazelnut nectar, dark fruit raisins, figs, dates, plums, dark cherries, cherry yogurt, stone fruit peach, mango, figgy pudding, piloncillo sugar cone, Mexican Capirotada raisin bread pudding, flan, cinnamon, fruit cake, Belgian Chocolate, German Chocolate, Chocolate mousse, wild flower honey, Tres Leches/Three Creams cake and plantains.

Finishes with Rich caramel, vanilla, toasted coconut, banana cream pie, bourbon, oak, pecan pie, milk chocolate, Cadbury Cream eggs and dark fruit. Slight alcohol in the taste but definitely not detracting from the rich flavors at all, Crimson Amber clear body, smooth, creamy, velvety and chewy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Insane! Just like so many of the awesome Barrel Aged beers I have had in the past. I can probably compare it to Bruery or Firestone Walker level of awesomeness. Yes, Mofos forgot about Karls when Karls is still brewing some great awesome beers! More beers for the rest of us! While it is not a whale per se, it is in the whalez category of a “should be” coveted beer. Lots of great barrel character and the love of that Belgian quad flavors that I really love. I highly recommend you get this from them for sure, it is worth the price.

Anime Corner:
Rider from Fate Stay Night series was used in this pairing as I had used her in the previous Karl Strauss anniversary which I did not do a review of but this time around I wanted to bring her back. She represents the colors of the dark fruits which generally are a prominent flavor with these beers but also since she is powerful like the way this beer is strong in ABV. In general, the dark and barrel aged theme of the beer goes well with this one.


Wasted Sea Star Purple Pale Ale by Rogue brewing

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Wasted Sea Star Purple Pale Ale by Rogue brewing is a 5.7% ABV American Pale Ale brewed with purple corn.

Dedicated to Dr. Bruce Menge and his Students

Sea stars on the west coast are rapidly dying from a mysterious disease called sea star wasting syndrome. It causes lesions, arm loss, and eventually can turn stars into goo. This is one of the largest marine animal disease events in recording history. Purchasing this beer will help to fund the research of this disease through the partnership for interdisciplinary studies of coastal oceans at Oregon State University.

Rogue Wasted Sea Star Purple Pale Ale is made with purple corn, giving it a slight purple color. Sweet up front with a smooth hop finish.

9 Ingredients: 2-row, Dextrapils, Rogue Farms Dare and Risk Malts; Liberty and Alluvial hops; Purple Corn Nector (Non-GMO), fre range coastal water and Pacman Yeast.

15° Plato / 5.7% ABV / 40 IBU / 76 AA / 15° L

I obtained this one at the Rogue online store buy.rogue.com along with the Mango Astronaut. I was intrigued by the ingredients and the color of the beer but also the fact that purchasing this was going to a good cause. Save Marine wild life and enjoy some beer, you can’t beat that! With that being said, a beer made from purple corn is intriguing to me. Yeah, corn is just an adjunct added to many lagers but organic purple corn, well, this may seem like something different, or atleast I would like to think. So let’s see what this beer is about.

Caramel, pilsner malt, cereal grains, honey hints grapes, rye bread, dark fruit notes, piloncillo sugar cone, citrus, grapefruit, floral, herbal and grassy hops hints and berry notes.

Honey, grapes, cereal grain, corn adjunct, caramel, grape marmalade, rye bread, butterscotch, dark fruit raisins, plums, blackberries, taro ice cream, ube bread, sweet potato, piloncillo sugar cone, citrus, grapefruit, floral, herbal and grassy hops, brown sugar, cinnamon, and blackberry cobbler.

Finishing dry with a bit of malty, grainy and dark fruit sweetness. No alcohol in the taste, mainly amber colored with a purple tinge clear body, smooth, creamy and refreshing mouthfeel and is very easy to drink.

A pretty good ale with a good amount of crisp and refreshing flavors. It does have some complexity to it and body but at the same time it has some flavors you would find in a nice lager. It does not seem to fall in the category of hoppy pale ale but more of malty yet crisp ale. It was decent and worth the try for sure if you can find it but nothing too extravagant. Sure it did have some notes that I really like, like the purple ube.

Anime Corner:
Rider from Fatestay Night was used in this pairing as I wanted a good representative for the overall purple theme of the beer. Sea Stars are near color blind and some believe have no sight at all. Regardless of what may be true, using Rider with the eye cover helps show case this. Her being purple and in the water also adds to the complement of the beer artwork and theme.


Blinding Lunar Currants by Nubis Sanctum Ales

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Blinding Lunar Currants by Nubis Sanctum Ales is a 10% ABV Belgian Trappist Cider made with Arizona Wildflower Honey, Mexican Cane Sugar and Black Currant concentrate.


Project # 5 is my second attempt at a cider using 100% Apple cider, Mexican Cane Sugar (Azucar Morena), Ribena Black Currant Brittish Black Currant Concentrate, Arizona Wild Flower Honey and Monastery/Trappist Ale yeast. The idea here was give by Evelyn Silva, my sister from another mother who reminded me about the first time we tried the Fox Barrel Currant Perry Cider back in 2010 on UC San Diego grounds while we were all on vacation with my friend Jorge Silva. One of the best ciders I had ever had which is no longer being made. So as a result of wanting to reproduce that cider, I decided to give it the good ol’ Belgian treatment and rather than using pear cider, I used apple cider. The result was this. Cheers!

Floral, cinnamon, Belgian sweetbread, phenolic notes, honey, grapes, tart currant notes, agave, candi sugar, cane sugar, lots of berry and dark fruit hints, vanilla and caramel notes.

Sour Apples, tart currant skins, Cinnamon, honey, biscuit bread, candi sugar, dark fruit currant notes, hints of cherry, raspberry, dark fruit raisin hints, dulce de leche caramel, pear, stone fruit peach hints, cane sugar, clove spice, floral notes, grapes juice, chardonay, agave hints, citrus, toffee, blackberry, blue berry and flan hints.

More of the rich berry and currant in the finish lingers with the slight sugary breadiness but then goes off dry leaving some apple juice remnants and cinnamon. No alcohol in the taste as the black currant tartness care of that. Golden Crimson light to medium haze body, easy to moderate drinkability, crisp, clean and smooth mouthfeel.

Unlike my first beer, The Black currant really popped in this one. I was able to incorporate the sweetness a little better in the bottling as well as measure the right levels of sugar so the ABV didn’t sky rocket like the last one. Also, in the secondary, It cleared up very nicely show casing a more cider appearance with some slight haze. As a while it was more pink in color but in the glass you could tell that the apple and honey colors took over. Overall, I think this was the better cider from my first one although many did like my other cider as it was more potent and stronger. Give or take, this whole Belgian cider thing is pretty damn remarkable.

Anime Corner:
Rider from Fate/Stay Night Zero was used in this pairing as I wanted something that would greatly represent the color of dark fruit and currants. The name Blinding Lunar Currants is a play at the vizer that Riders uses while under the moonlight. The cider is called Blinding as the taste is enough to make one close their eyes in deliciousness. Also, the fact that you can’t really tell that the currants are really there, drinking this ‘blindingly’ brings one an awesome surprise of rich currant sweetness. It definitely worked out in my favor and the passion these currants Rider carries through the taste buds is amazing.


Suede collaboration between 10 Barrel, Stone and Blue Jacket Breweries

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Suede collaboration between 10 Barrel, Stone and Blue Jacket Breweries is a 9.6% ABV Imperial Porter brewed with Calendula Flowers, Jasmine and Honey

Due to our participation in at least a half a dozen collaborations each year, one might perceive Stone as the craft beer equivalent of a bee flitting indiscriminately from one brewery to the next, all the while drawing precious nectar-the expertise and creativity of those institution’ brewmasters. Another buzzy operation that gets the same rap is Bluejacket, a new, Washington, D.C.-based operation headed by industry veteran and constant collaborator Megan O’Leary Parisi. But make no mistake, Stone and Bluejacket are intensely selective about the contemporaries we invite into our brewhouses. We look for the same high level of passion and daringness to flip a beer style on its head that we employ on a baily basis. So, when Parisi and Stone brewmaster Mitch Steele decided to collaborate, it was essential that they tap a special individual to complete their triad of fermentation domination, and they found just that in Tonya Cornett, the brewmaster at Bend, Oregon’s 10 Barrel Brewing Company. Together, they decided on a sturdy yet velvety base of imperial porter and developed a plan to celebrate the bounty of the environs in which it was produced by harvesting avocado honey, jasmine and calendula flowers (some from our very own Stone Farms)and infusing them into the beer to create something complex and uniquely Southern Californian. Consider it craft cross-pollination at its finest.

“Suede evokes thoughts of richness, color and, most of all, a soft, seductive texture-everything we wanted for this beer.”
Tonya Cornett//Brewmaster, 10 Barrel Brewing Company

“There’s always something to learn from someone and vice versa. You can talk about brewing all the time, but it’s not until brewers put their heads together that they really learn how the other thinks.”
Megan O’Leary Parisi//Brewmaster, Bluejacket

“I normally don’t think of brewing imperial porters outside of the winter season, but the addition of local honey and jasmine will make this beer an all-season wonder.”
Mitch Steele//Brewmaster, Stone Brewing Co.

Recently released and soon to hit all Stone Brewery markets, this is the latest collaboration beer release from Stone brewing. This years releases have beer some of the best. Coffee IPA and Wheaton Woot Stout being some of best ever. Let us check this one out and see how it goes. Looking at the ingredients, this one will probably be another porter, or something completely different.

Aromas are of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mocha, black and blue berries, honey, vanilla, caramel, flowery notes, molasses, jasmine, perfume and anise

Flavors are of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, blueberries, blackberries, grape preserves, honey, flowers, raisins, plum notes, vanilla, molasses, earthy hops, espresso, marshmallows, mocha, caramel, chocolate cake with raisins and pecans

The aftertaste is of bitter espresso, dark chocolate, berries and and some earthy flowery notes. The mouthfeel is silky. Little alcohol presence but definitely a sipper

Overall it a very good beer. Lots of sweetness but also decent bitterness. Although the bitterness started to leave as the beer got warmer. This made the beer super pleasant. It was very enjoyable after I let it warm up. Definitely recommend this one and definitely take your time with it.

Migdal Bavel (AKA Tower of Babel) collaboration by Stillwater Artisanal and Extraomnes

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Migdal Bavel (AKA Tower of Babel) collaboration by Stillwater Artisanal and Extraomnes is a 6.66%ABV Italian Saison made with Myrrh an Szechuan Peppercorns.

a crisp blond farmhouse ale brewed with Myrrh & Szechuan Peppercorns.

Been looking all over the place for this one. Took almost half a year for me to find to so reviewing this one was gonna be such an awesome task. Aside from the eerie 6.66%ABV, this beer has some mysterious aromas and flavors. The aromas start off herbal, floral and spicy. Fragrances of bread notes, flowers, mango, peppercorns, citrus, grapefruit, oak wood, pears and pineapple. The taste is very rich in herbs, spices and funky wild yeast. Flavors can gather are of citrus orange, slight pineapple, lemon, herbs, flowers, honey, vanilla, peppercorns, a bit of wine grapes, banana bread, bubble gum, pears, mushrooms, basil, coriander and spices. The after taste leaves with some nice grassy and spice bitterness which still complemented by flowery sweetness. I am unsure as to how Myrrh taste but possibly the little bit of herbal and spicy bitterness maybe a result. Either way, another awesome saison and an awesome collaboration. Saison and Farmhouse ale fans will enjoy this one 😛