Seek & Destroy by Black Market Brewing

10854936_10102435315230720_2973292962547957887_oRating: 5/5

Seek & Destroy by Black Market Brewing is a 12.7% ABV Smoked Quadruple India Pale Ale.

Label:
Our Black Market brewers were in need of an amazing and unique brew to break up the winter doldrums. We think that this quadruple, smoked IPA is just the ticket to do the job. The smokey flavor and aromatics are from American hardwood smoked malts, adding just the right qualities to stand up to our piney and resinous experimental hops. Try pouring into a brandy snifter and slowly enjoying it as it warms.

==Introduction==

A Quadruple IPA?!?! Yes, it happened and a smoked one at that. Not to mention the fact that it has the song from Metallica, Seek and Destroy. Released by Black Market brewing which is making a lot of great beers. So far, almost everything I have had from them is delicious and amazing. Now they were able to break the boundaries of the Triple IPA and went into the Quadruple IPA. Which technically I could say Dogfish Head 120 or the BrewDog Sink The Bismarck are more quadruple IPAs than anything. This one is smoked so from there, it changes the path that the typical citrucy, herbal and tropical IPAs take. It is not a black IPA so that makes this one much more interesting. Let us see what this one is all about.

Aromas:
Citrus, Italian herbal, floral, piney, grapefruit, grassy and dank oniony hops, smoked oak, campfire notes, BBQ notes, dark fruit raisins, plum sauce, teriyaki sauce, molasses, rich dark cherries, black berries, toffee, biscuit bread, mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, honey dew melon, prickly pears, mild sweetened condensed milk, marshmallow, graham crackers, blood oranges, butterscotch, cinnamon and brown sugar

Flavors:
Grapefruit, citrus, piney and grassy hops, Smoked bacon, smoked jerky, BBQ sauce, chocolate, teriyaki sauce, honey, caramel, vanilla, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, rich dark cherries, black berries, toffee, biscuit bread, mango, pineapple, dragon fruit, honey dew melon, prickly pears, mild sweetened condensed milk, smoked oak, campfire, marshmallow, graham crackers, blood oranges, butterscotch, molasses hints, Italian herbs and spices, dank oniony and garlicky hop notes.

Aftertaste:
Smokey notes, caramel, BBQ, smoked jerky, Honey, tropical notes, toffee, dark cherries, Italian herbs, piney, grassy, grapefruit, dank onion, garlicky and earthy hops notes. Slight alcohol in the taste but not detracting from the flavors, mildly syrupy mouthfeel, sipping drinkability, crimson light to moderate body.

Overall:
The merit of being its own smoked IPA style, this one is probably the best in that class. Judging it as a regular IPA it is great as well, but the merit is given on it being a smoked IPA is more. Quite the unique style as it does not seem to fall into the black IPA or regular IPA category but regardless is damn delicious. It is its own perfect style. I really enjoyed this one but if you do not like smokey beers or IPAS, maybe this will not be a beer for you. If you like IPAs but not smokey beers, maybe it will be to much too. I base my rating on its uniqueness overall.

Anime Corner:
Kagami Sumika from Muv-Luv alternative was used in this pairing as I wanted to do something with the label and seek and destroy. Kagami in this picture looks hurt like her vehicle was taken down as someone was seeking to destroy her. She isn’t done yet; she can get up and fight as the look on her face states that she’s ready for that counter attack. She also reminds me of Megaman in the sense that the song, Seek & Destroy was used in the Flash Man Theme or at least inspired by it. So there is the other connection there. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTNpKZs_Sao

Sources:
http://e-shuushuu.net/images/2011-03-12-383061.jpeg

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Lips of Faith series Grätzer collaboration by New Belgium and 3 Floyds

10492249_10101935637379140_6127348643821595713_n 10488251_10101935638322250_8591663400361695156_nRating: 4.25/5

Lips of Faith series Grätzer collaboration by New Belgium and 3 Floyds is a 4.5% ABV Grätzer style or Smoked Beer.

Label:
It’s not dead, but Gratzer is definitely a long-buried style from Poland. Together with 3Floyds we unearthed its robust smokiness with oak smoked wheat and Midnight Wheat. Polish Lublin hops for a bitter bite and lacto for a slightly sour finish, this pours out a billowing, foamy mouth worth indulging.
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The next in line of zombie beers out there and brought by an unlikely collaboration with the Awesome 3 Floyds brewing and New Belgium. Prior to looking up this beer, I saw the type of style Grätzer was and long behold it is a smoked beer style like the German Rauchbeer. So I I guess going into this, you would definitely have to have a palate for smokey bitter beers if you would really appreciate it. Then again if you wanna know what grave stones, dirt and zombies taste like and enjoy the label, then awesome. So let us check it out.

Aromas:
Good amount of smoke, oak, dark fruit hints, ash, dark chocolate, burnt caramel, biscuit, smoked peat, licorice, anise, molasses, zombie brains, iron, coriander, wheat, rye bread, maple, brown sugar and earthy hops.

Flavors:
Earthy hops, Smoked malts, oak, dark fruit hints, ash, molasses, dark chocolate hints, burnt caramel, biscuit bread, licorice hints, anise, molasses, grains, coriander, wheat, rye bread, hints of brown sugar, oatmeal, bacon and barbecue hints…oh yeah and zombie brains 

Aftertaste:
Finishing up dry with hints of smoke, oak and earthy hops. No alcohol in the taste, easy to medium drinkability, pitch black body and refreshing.

Overall:
This one is very good for a smoked beer. Nothing is overwhelming here giving way to hints and flavors here and there while still maintaining a bitter and smokey balance that sweetens out as you drink it and warms up. For Smokey beer lovers only or just fans that are willing to try a zombie beer. Just realize, its not only evil in appearance…

Anime Corner:
Original character, Shizuka Marikawa and Rika Minami from High School of The Dead represent all aspects of zombies and ass kickery. Basically Shizuka (NB) and Rika (3F) are like the breweries collaborating and destroying zombies to add to the mash and boil. Sounds pretty gruesome but hey, it’s all in the zombie fanaticism anyway. Their creation, Gratzer, is representative of the original character with the samurai swords. This is one bad ass beer and well basically a bad ass collaboration so I really wanted to show the zombie aspects to fit with this one.

Sources:
http://img.batoto.net/comics/2011/10/14/j/read4e978d034584e/032.jpg
http://konachan.com/post/show/80323

Lava by Ölvisholt Brugghús of Iceland

1470120_10101539089339590_304178292_nRating: 4.35/5

Lava by Ölvisholt Brugghús of Iceland is a 9.4% ABV Smoked Imperial Stout

Label: 
The active volcano Hekla is visible from the brewhouse door and occasionally, eruptions are visible from the Ölvisholt farm. The illustration resembles the view from the brewhouse door when an eruption occurs. Full-bodied, pitch black beer with a dense brown head. Richly flavored with notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt and smoke.
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I have never had any beers from Iceland, but a lot has to do with the fact that Beer was not legalized there until 1989. This beer came from the Rare Beer Club’s November release. Apparently, the description in the pamphlet the beer came it says that it is rated as one of, if not, the best Iceland beer. So to try this out and able to do a review here is an honor.

Aromas:
Very nice dark chocolate, caramel, smokey wood, oak, coffee, peat, beechwood, vanilla, anise, earthy hop notes, sweet bread and dark fruits

Flavors:
Definitely campfire charred and roasty wood notes, beechwood, dark chocolate, smoke, molasses, dark fruits, plum sauce notes, light soy sauce, anise, black licorice, molasses, lots of caramel and toffee as it warms up, silky oak, marshmallows, graham cracker smores and bacon notes

Aftertaste:
Finishing off with a smokey, chocolate, licorice and oaky taste that lingers a bit. The beer is a sipper but I cannot tell the difference from the taste. Meaning if I taste boozy or charred flavors. Most likely charred since I do not feel a tremendous amount of alcohol even after drinking this for a while. Good stuff

Overall:
Very good smokey beer. I have tried some really good smoked stouts in the past and this one can definitely go toe to toe with some of the greats. The beer is not unpleasantly smokey or bitter. Everything seems to work so well with this one. The brewery has been exporting to North America so we may see this one in the shelves more often. I would recommend this if you like smoked stouts.

Anime Corner:
The character in this piece is the archer/prophet class from the series Atlantica Online. I could not find her name, just the class. I do not know much about the Atlantica series, but the pairing was done on the whole Lava flowing down the mountains. To my surprise, I chose the artwork from the Atlantica series before I even knew where it was from. Atlantica fits perfectly as Iceland is in the Atlantic.

Salt Lick (Censored) by Jester King and The Salt Lick BBQ collaboration

1150312_10101347411298920_1176994635_nRating: 4.5/5

Salt Lick (Censored) by Jester King and The Salt Lick BBQ collaboration is a 6.7% Pecan Wood Smoked Saison/Farmhouse ale barrel-aged in wild yeast.

Label:
First came the witches, and soon after there were vampires. They came in droves and each time one popped up it seems to be better looking then the last., each polished to a blinding luster. For a brief moment even werewolves even had there moment in the spotlight, plucked and preened to studio perfection. Then, to our astonishment, monsters comprised of nothing more than smoke joined this pop phenomenon – and that we couldn’t resist.

Notes:
Crafted in the once commonplace, Old World tradition of bière de coupage, young, dry hopped ale is blended with old, barrel-aged sour beer fermented with native yeast. A portion of the malt was smoked over pecan wood at The Salt Lick BBQ (Censored) in Driftwood, Texas. Unfiltered, unpasteurized and naturally conditioned.
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Last year, this beer used to be called Salt Lick but per Texas law below, they had to change it:
Update: Our original label application for Salt Lick Pecan Wood Smoked Saison was rejected by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), after having been approved by the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB). We have renamed this beer “Censored” for sale in Texas.

Here is the original label: http://beerpulse.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Jester-King-Salt-Lick-Pecan-Wood-Smoked-Saison.png

Along with Das Wunderkind!, I was able to get this one online as well. Jester King makes some of the finest Saisons out there. Goes to show that each Brewery does not have to brew a particular variety of styles but when focused a certain style can go into depths that no other beer can. Yes I am looking at those breweries like Jolly Pumpkin (Sours), Stillwater Artisanal (Gypsy Saisons), The Bruery (Belgian Styles) and many more . I will definitely try to get more amazing JK reviews going . So far I have 5 beers. Check out my other reviews .

One thing to not about this beer, when I opened it, sat it down on the table to take pictures. The beer came to life . Unlike my previous experience with Fantome Boo! Where the beer came gushing out to no ends, this one slowly but surely started to rise, little by little as it came out the bottle and surprised me about a minute later. Now I understand what the label meant about the paranormal :S

Aromas of this beer are quite intriguing. Very Smokey, campfire oak, honey glazed ham, pineapple, peppercorns, tart citrus, musty grapes, minor flower notes, herbs, rotting wood, hidden spices, peaches, apples, salt, hay, lemon juice, tobacco and BBQ pit with spices.

The flavors are of lemon, citrus, salt, smokey honey glazed ham, biscuit bread, Tejuino (Mexican fermented corn drink with lime, sugar and salt), tamarind, hazalenut, over matured orange, sourdough wheat bread, coriander, lemon pepper spice, white peppercorns, barn yard hay, very oaky, musty grapes, a touch of apricot, apples, butter, apple cider vinegar notes, black pepper, sage and other earthy spices.

The aftertaste is somewhere between, salty, smokey, tart, slight sour, fruity and spicy. Quite the combination and smooth and moderately refreshing in fact. This seems way too good to be true. Like drinking this around late august, early September is like perfect because you get nice refreshing notes and that campfire warmth feel you would get as the times approach the fall.

Amazingly this is the first time I have had a beer that is both strictly smokey and slightly sour. Reminds me a lot of Tejuino which is a Mexican fermented corn drink with lime, sugar and salt and sometimes chile added. Very Unique, very interesting, and very delicious. You probably will bee to have an acquired taste for sours or even smoked beers to greatly enjoy this one. Although to me, the balances with the saison is not too overwhelmingly smokey or sour. It fits perfectly in both sides of the universe. Excellent stuff and very awesome if you can find it .

Mrs. Stoutfire collaboration by The Bruery and Beachwood Brewing

935571_10101180938242260_1523414653_n 417883_10101180943626470_1852547728_n 936985_10101180943292140_1913459696_nRating: 5/5

Mrs. Stoutfire collaboration by The Bruery and Beachwood Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Imperial Smoked Stout Aged on Wood Chips

Label: 
Smoked with three types of wood. Aged on three types of wood. Taste just how It should taste. Smoke Meets Oak.

Commercial Description (Ratebeer.com)
9.5% abv, best enjoyed within 2 years – This beer will see extremely limited distribution in Southern California. 

From The Bruery: 

“For our first local collaboration beer of 2013, we teamed up with our good friends at Beachwood Brewing in Long Beach, CA. We’ve worked with these folks on a number of small batch brews, beer dinners and general shenanigans for many years and it was really exciting to sit down and work on a full scale project with them for the first time. What we ended up with is an imperial smoked stout, but of course it wasn’t that simple. We smoked our own malt on the same smoker and with the same blend of three different woods that Beachwood uses for their award winning BBQ – apple, white oak and pecan. We then aged the beer on those same three types of wood. The resulting stout is hearty and wonderful, balancing the rich, meaty smokiness with the sweetness of the malt.”
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I’ve been to Beachwood brewing in Long Beach and they have some amazing upcoming beers. Even my friend Alex who is mainly a Heinekken lager drinker loved one of their lighter selections so much he was going to get a growler of it. I still need to go to the Bruery though. I have been lagging it thought. Coming soon, coming soon . Also, if you are member of Untappd, looking me up  [https://untappd.com/user/cloudx30]

Smoking Wood was to me one of the best Smoked beers I have ever had from the Bruery and possibly in general. This beer is made with different types of wood so it actually goes into different types of flavors and aromas all from the smokiness. Now this is different. Aromas start off with milk, bakers and dark chocolate, smoked oak, campfire wood, maple syrup, molasses, marshmallows, coffee notes, raisins, currants, hazelnut, pecans, dates, bourbon, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, earthy hops and a lot of different type of burnt wood. The flavors are of smoked wood, camp fire oak, bakers chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, coffee, mocha, maple, beechwood, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, figs, currants, raisins, rich dark cherries, dark fruits, minor wine notes, molasses, roasted nuts like pecans, hazelnut, earthy hop notes, honey glazed ham, chocolate campfire smores with graham crackers and marshmallows and caramelized popcorn.This is a wickedly awesome smoked imperial stout. While it is not like Smoking wood in terms of the bourbon sweeter mix, the dark fruit and chocolate with different roasted notes makes up for it. It is still very good in its own way. People that do not like smoked beers, this one is one to try for sure. It is a great beer.

Smoke Lager by Surly Brewing

554522_10101004962738580_1660804613_nRating: 5/5

Smoke Lager by Surly Brewing is an 8.2% Baltic Porter. This is not an ale, it is cold brewed like other lagers. Yet… it is strong.

Label:
Ebony-hued, Smoke wafts out of the bottle and into your senses, borne on the wings of European traditions, wrapped in American innovation. Lager-brewed, like any true Baltic Porter, with smoked malts from Bamberg, Germany, the home of Rauchbiers, then mellowed by oak-aging. Black malt flavors mesh with notes of raisins, plums, figs and licorice with the subtle smoke on the side, for a complex and luxurious, yet silky smooth drinking experience. It’s a sipper at Alc. 8.2% by VOL., but everyone knows you can’t have Smoke without fire!
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Limited release from Surly brewing. Some of their stuff, like 3 Floyds is hard to find so to get something like this is really nice. The smell of this beer was of a nice roasted coffee, cloves, anise, bacon, banana, slight bitter dark chocolate, smoke campfire, cherry oak, toffee and vanilla. The flavors are really nice despite being a Rauchbier. Smoked Honey Glazed Pineapple ham, beef jerky almost, raisins, cherry, caramel, smokey campfire, oak, vanilla, toasted oats, dark chocolate, biscuit bread, figs, licorice, toffee and burnt sugar. This beer is almost like the took a porter, a German bock and a rauchbier and fused them together. Sweetness and smokiness combine to create a smoked beer that is quite unique from others I have had. LOL except maybe “Smoking wood” from The Bruery but that is another story in itself as that one is bourbon aged, higher ABV and more complex. I am surprised this one called a lager. Then again, lager brewing is done in colder temperatures where the flavors can be alittle bit more controlled. Regardless… Awesome job on this beer. Definitely recommended for even those that don’t like smoked beers.

Smoking Wood by The Bruery

540438_10100954716427590_370128381_n 61022_10100954712809840_1216744887_nRating: 5/5

Smoking Wood by The Bruery is a 13% ABV Smoked Imperial Rye Porter Aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels.

Label:
Smoked Imperial Rye Porter aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels. A rich porter layered with rye spiciness and earthy smoke, caramel-like flavors, roasty malt and oaky deliciousness. 
Brewed with beachwood and cherrywood smoked malt, and aged in rye whiskey barrels, Smoking Wood is a delicious demonstration of what wood has to offer when it comes to beer. This imperial smoked porter is brewed with a hefty amount of rye malt, contributing to a full body and light spiciness. Toasty oak, caramel and vanilla flavors balance the smokiness, contributing to an intense yet refined flavor profile. This is one of our favorite beers at the moment, we hope you agree. 
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For smoked beers, I hear this one was phenomenal. The aromas are of whiskey or a bourbon, vanilla, caramel, smokey notes, campfire, bacon, some rye bread, minor coffee, chocolate and raisins. The flavors are of dark and milk chocolate, campfire, bacon, BBQ Ribs, whiskey, Jack Daniels Honey, scotch, vanilla, caramel, mocha, maple syrup, oak, coconut, minor flan notes, brown sugar, sourdough bread, plums, cherry, walnuts and pecans. This beer turned out to be fantastic. While it has a high ABV, the flavors prevent too much burn. You can kind of tell that it is strong but not to an overwhelming point. In fact, the smoke and sweet flavors take care of that. Ofcourse, do not drink this in one sitting. You will get wasted. Try some and save it for later. For people that do not like smoked beers might find this one pretty appealing and pleasant.