Collaboration No. 6 Barrel-Aged Blend Collaboration by Boulevard Brewing and Firestone Walker

15384523_10103789165219490_3032738358333533454_oRating: 7/7

Collaboration No. 6 Barrel-Aged Blend Collaboration by Boulevard Brewing and Firestone Walker is a 12.5% ABV American Strong Ale Cuvee of Barrel Aged Stouts and Belgian Quads.

Label:
Imperial Stout “X” Tart Cherry
Bourbon Barrel Quad
Stickee Monkee
and Velvet Merkin

For this sixth edition of our Collaboration Series, we invited Matt Brynildson, brew-master of our sister brewery Firestone Walker, to join Boulevard brewmaster Steven Pauwels in our barrel-aging cave. Armed only with their palates, some graduated cylinders, and a bunch of tulip glasses, they arrived at the perfect balance of two barrel aged beers from each brewery. The blend celebrates the individual characteristics of each of the four while creating something entirely new and unique.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
The Collaboration series is our way to bring shared beer ideas to life with some of our favorite brewery friends from around the world. This year, we bring you a specially blended, barrel-aged beer with the help of our sister brewery in California, Firestone Walker. With Collaboration No. 6, Brewmasters Steven Pauwels and Matt Brynildson have created a big, bold flavor combination by blending two Boulevard beers and two Firestone Walker Beers in the following percentages:

Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad – 45%
Based loosely on the Smokestack Series’ The Sixth Glass, this abbey-style quadrupel is separated into a number of oak bourbon barrels where it ages for varying lengths of time, some for up to three years. Cherries are added to make up for the “angel’s share” of beer lost during barrel aging. Selected barrels are then blended for optimum flavor. The resulting beer retains only very subtle cherry characteristics, with toffee and vanilla notes coming to the fore.
ABV – 11.8, IBU – 19

Firestone Walker Stickee Monkee – 35%
Brewed with Belgian candi sugar and aged in a selection of fine bourbon barrels, Stickee Monkee trailblazes its own category as a “Central Coast Quad.” The name Stickee Monkee is a nod to the Central Coast’s native Sticky Monkey flower, as well as a shout¬‐out to the Belgian monks who pioneered the Quad style. The Belgian candi sugar imparts a signature molasses sweetness to the beer. Meanwhile, maturation in bourbon casks brings ample barrel expression with notes of toasted oak, coconut, leather and cigar tobacco.
ABV – 13, IBU – 45

Imperial Stout X – Tart Cherry (Whiskey Barrel-aged) – 10%
Our special treat for lovers of big, complex stouts, the Imperial Stout “X” series offers a year-long roster of limited releases, each with a significant variation. This riff spotlights the addition of tart cherries to fermentation as well as a lactic souring on the brewhouse. The result is a perfect marriage of robust, smoky maltiness and bracing tartness. Unlike the release version of Imperial Stout X – Tart Cherry, this portion was briefly aged in previously used whiskey barrels.
ABV – 11, IBU – 64

Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin – 10% Velvet Merkin is the beer that almost wasn’t…Indeed, this vintage oatmeal stout’s comical (or is it scandalous?) name went off the grid for several years, but now it’s back due to popular demand. Velvet Merkin is aged for a full year in retired spirits barrels from Heaven Hill, Woodford Reserve and others, yet manages to offer mind-¬boggling balance and restraint. You will wig out when you taste Velvet Merkin’s rich milk chocolate, bourbon and espresso flavors, preceded by aromas of vanilla, coconut, toasted oak and mocha. ABV – 8.5, IBU – 33

==Introduction==

Just when I thought I’d never see something like this, I was really amazed. At first I saw it as a Boulevard and Firestone Walker collab but when I realized that it was a Cuvee of some of both breweries best beers, I realized that this was a must get. I have reviewed each of these beers in the past, except for the Tart Cherry Stout X but the other ones were definitely at that World Class tier beers. So being that Firestone Walker was involved, I knew this would of came up to possibly be one of the best and unique Cuvees. Now, we can only hope that this is the case, let’s have a sip, cheers!

Aromas:
Grilled Bananas, Banana Sunday, clove spice, fruit cake, wine grapes, cinnamon, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, Rich Dark Cherries, Dark fruit, prunes, plums, figs, raspberries, currants, Dark chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Ferrero Rocher Chocolate, German Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Chocolate mousse, tobacco hints, molasses, stone fruits, Oatmeal Cookies, Oreo Cookies and Cream, graham cracker, Marshmallow smores and mocha.

Flavors:
Rich Dark Cherries, Dark fruit, prunes, plums, figs, raspberries, currants, bourbon, whiskey, brandy, oak, Belgian Candi sugar, rock candy, piloncillo sugar cone, maple syrup, waffle cones, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, Grilled Bananas, Banana Sunday, clove spice, fruit cake, wine grapes, cinnamon, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, rye bread with mixed berry preserves, Oatmeal Cookies, Oreo Cookies and Cream, graham cracker, Marshmallow smores, mocha, Flan, Sweetened condensed milk, tres leches cake, Dark chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Ferrero Rocher Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate cake, German Chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, Chocolate mousse, Cherry Chocolate cake, walnut pie, toasted coconut, Stone fruit peaches, leather and tobacco hints.

Aftertaste:
Finishes dark cherries, vanilla, dulce de leche, oatmeal cookies, dark fruits, stone fruits, dark chocolate, Belgian candi sugar, marshmallows, tobacco hints and rye. No alcohol in the taste. Dark Crimson Amber full body, smooth, creamy, velvety, chewy and syrupy mouthfeel and sipping drinkability.

Overall:
The Quad aspect takes over more than the stout blend but even that being the case, it does not change this from being a definite bucket lister in my mind. Having Firestone Walker who are experts at barrel aging and cuvee blending, this is no surprise that this came out the way it did. The complexity of the 2 Belgian Quads and the 2 Stouts collide into a super decadent dessert that really has taken things to another level. I highly recommend this one for those that are fans of these breweries, beers and styles! This is one for the masses!

Anime Corner:
Ryuko Matoi from Kill La Kill, Kos-mos from Xenosaga, Yoruichi Shihouin from Bleach and Temari Sabakuno from Naruto were chosen as I wanted to represent the 4 awesome beers blended in this special cuvee to 4 awesome characters. What a better way to pair than to pair with the most epic forms for my favorite 4 girls from anime. In this instance I used Ryuko as the Tart Cherry X Stout as the colors of cherry pair, KOS-MOS is the BBQuad since quads are holy ambrosia of gods and she is angelic, Yoruichi is the Velvet Merkin as she is deep, magical and mysterious and finally, Temari is the Stickee Monkee as she represents the colors of the actual flower that grows along the central coast.

 

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Firestone XX Twentieth Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker

15384465_10103789156182600_7001657447950250330_oRating: 7/7

Firestone XX Twentieth Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker is a 13.80% ABV World Class Strong Multi-liquor Barrel Aged Style Hybrid Blend Ale.

Description: (Please Click On The Strategy Guide/Letter From Firestone Walker and the Box)
15403827_10103789155943080_7901667826832349357_o 15385525_10103789155953060_5303814540254649810_o 15304091_10103789155978010_2519804774880756425_o
==Introduction==

The time has finally come for another review of some of the best World Class beers out there. Each year, I wait in anticipation for these releases. Many know Firestone Walker for being one of the best breweries when it comes to their barrel program and have maintained that status for many years. Their ability to brew barrel aged beers and create delicious Cuvees has been outstanding from release to release. They celebrate 20 years in business bringing many awesome beers like Double Barrel Ale, Double Jack, Parabola and Velvet Merlin just to name a few. Today I bring their anniversary beer to the site and it is with damn pleasure to see what this 20th year brings. Cheers to many more years!

Aromas:
Rocky road ice cream, almonds, walnuts, hazelnut nectar, rich marshmallows, chocolate smores, oatmeal cookies, oreo cookies and cream, flan, chocolate chip cookies, whiskey, brandy hints, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, dark cherries, currants, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, prunes, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, German Chocolate, Chocolate milk shake, bananas, clove spice, honey comb, waffle cone, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, rich oak, toasted coconut, almond joy chocolate, Irish Cream coffee, Danish Cream cookies, capirotada raisin bread pudding and Chocolate Banana Sundae.

Flavors:
Dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, dark cherries, currants, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, prunes, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Belgian Chocolate, German Chocolate, Chocolate milk shake, bananas, clove spice, honey comb, waffle cone, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, bourbon, rich oak, toasted coconut, almond joy chocolate, rocky road ice cream, almonds, walnuts, hazelnut nectar, rich marshmallows, chocolate smores, oatmeal cookies, oreo cookies and cream, flan, chocolate chip cookies, whiskey, brandy hints, molasses, anise, leather, tobacco, sweetened condensed milk, port wine, Irish Cream coffee, Danish Cream cookies, capirotada raisin bread pudding, Chocolate Banana Sundae, cinnamon, coriander hints, stone fruit peaches, dragon fruit, passion fruit, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar and earthy hop notes.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with a grand variety of complex flavors ranging from dark chocolate, dark fruits, oak, marshmallow smores, rocky road ice cream, flan, fruit cake, bourbon, banana split, maple syrup, earthy hop notes and wine notes. No alcohol in the taste, crimson pitch black body, silky smooth, creamy, velvety, chewy and slightly syrupy mouthfeel with and easy to moderate drinkability despite the ABV.

Overall:
For being in the business 20 years, they got their stuff down and hands down, this is ridiculously delicious! They have Cuvee experts for years and even getting winemakers to assist with their creations to make something that is nothing but legendary. The best part about this beer and any of their other anniversary beers is that they have sold them to the public in many quantities for many to enjoy. Now it is your turn, seek this one as it is a must experience!
15384580_10103789156122720_2986642552389449490_o
Anime Corner:
Gainax and Trigger Studios Crossover characters were all used to represent all the flavors and all the beers used in this beer but in general all the years of blending awesome beers. Moreover, really for celebration in general. Some of the best characters in Anime are in this pairing.

Sources:
http://cdn30.us1.fansshare.com/image/mahoromatic/ogza-fanservice-1437649123.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/ywcJbAA.jpg

Firestone XVIII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker

10373717_10102208031509120_4150461538555173658_n 10802030_10102208031973190_4909364885338193070_nRating: 6/5

Firestone XVIII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker is a 13% ABV World Class Strong Multi-liquor Barrel Aged Style Hybrid Blend Ale.

Description: (Please Click On The Strategy Guide/Letter From Firestone Walker)
IMAG7335
38% Parabola (bourbon barrel aged Russiant imperial stout),
16% Helldorado (bourbon and brandy barrel aged blond barleywine),
16% Bravo (bourbon and brandy barrel aged brown ale),
14% Stickee Monkey (bourbon and brandy barrel aged quad),
5% Velvet Merkin (bourbon barrel aged oatmeal stout),
4% Hydra Cuvée (a blend too much of a mouthful to describe here),
3% Wookey Jack (black IPA),
2% Ol’ Leghorn (English barleywine, collaboration with Three Floyds, aged in fresh barrels),
2% Double Jack (Double IPA)

==Introduction==

It has been an awesome year for Firestone Walker beers and with the release of their 18th one, they add some new beers into their final blend. As with every year, this one comes with the strategy guide to basically see if you can figure out what’s what. While this is a difficult task, I try to write down as much as I can and see what new flavors this one is composed of versus the previous releases. It really does not matter sometimes as they have all beer exceptionally world class beers. Yes, don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich oak, vanilla, flan, bourbon, maple syrup, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, Belgium chocolate, German chocolate, ferrero rocher chocolate, toasted coconut, almond joy, dulce de leche caramel, rocky road ice cream, marshmallow smores, oreo cookies, cookies and cream, oatmeal cookies, cookie dough, cocada coconut candy, pilloncillo sugar cone, choco flan, dark fruits like currants, raisins, prunes, raspberry, cherries, currants, blackberries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, anise, molasses, brownies, brown sugar, bananas, clove spice hints, mocha, tres leches/three milks cake, dragon fruit, tangerine, pineapple hints and more!

Flavors:
Very strong oak barrel forward character, rich vanilla, bourbon, toasted coconut, almond joy, dulce de leche caramel, rocky road ice cream, marshmallow smores, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, Belgium chocolate, German chocolate, ferrero rocher chocolate, pralines, cookies and cream, oreo cookies, oatmeal cookies, cookie dough, flan, cinnamon hints, brown sugar, hazelnut, macademia nuts, cocada coconut candy, piloncillo sugar cone, dragon fruit, mango hints, pineapple hints, sweetened condensed milk, port wine, maple syrup, dark fruit currants, raisins, prunes, raspberry, cherries, currants, blackberries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, anise, molasses, brownies, brown sugar, bananas, clove spice hints, leather, tobacco, waffle cone, peaches and cream, pecan pie, candi sugars, rock candy, choco flan, espresso, mocha, toffee, tres leches/three milks cake, tangerine and more!

Aftertaste:
Port wine, dark chocolate, maple syrup, dark fruits, rocky road ice cream, oatmeal and oreo cookies, oak, vanilla, coconut, mango, chocolate chips and marshmallow smores with earthy hop notes finish at the end. No alcohol in the taste, Smooth and silky mouthfeel, dangerously easy to drink but should be handled as a sipper and crimson yet pitch black body.

Overall:
Exceptionally great. Each release more awesome than the last. I really think this one is the best one by far. If aged, it will will definitely do wonders I am sure. This one seems to have richer flavors which I am sure were due to the addition of the Three Floyds collab and the Hydra Cuvee as well as the Stickee Monkee, Velvet Merkin and Parabola. This beer is insane and it will only get more insane as time goes on. If you can still find this goodie, definitely get it. It is one of the best!

Anime Corner:
Asuka Langley/Shikinami Sohrty, Rei Ayanami, Haruko Haruhara, and many others from Neon Genesis Evangelion and Fooly Cooly (FLCL) were used in this pairing to represent some of the blends represented by this beer. It is something I have done in the past with this series of Anniversary beers. This was a great pic because not only does it show case the colors of potential ingredients used but also how each flavor tries to out do the other. Also, Haruko was used in a previous Three Floyds collaboration this year (Rue D’Floyd) which represented her wacky aspect as “Not Normal”. The addition of Firestone and Three Floyd’s collab beer into this one made it so she can be in this pairing as well. What a bad ass!. Also, Asuka and Rei have been seen in pairings like Firestone’s Double Jack so they are definitely in the right pairing here too.

Sources:
http://articleimage.nicoblomaga.jp/image/64/2013/f/f/ffd9f7487115ef5bb2d6b22dedcca9f69c75e5641373178280.jpg
http://www.zerochan.net/full/39691

Proprietor’s Vintage 2014 Stickee Monkee by Firestone Walker Brewing

10367160_10101855188798740_2114165657521152561_n 10415632_10101855188424490_8147857933327523719_nRating: 6/5

Proprietor’s Vintage 2014 Stickee Monkee by Firestone Walker Brewing is a 13.4% ABV World Class Central Coast Belgian Quadrupel aged in bourbon barrels.

Label:
Since founding our brewery in 1996, we have specialized in the rare art of brewing beer in oak barrels. In the fall of 2006, we embarked on a program to barrel age a series of vintage strong ales that would later be used as components of a blended beer. That blend would become our first Anniversary Ale, “10”.

After the release of “10”, we released limited amounts of the component beers on draft only. Many of these beers gained a cult following that craft beer fans raved about and begged for us to put in bottle. Stickee Monkee was one of these beers.

We present the 2014 vintage of Stickee Monkee, a barrel-aged Quad. It has been said that the only constant is change and the same is true for barrel-aged Quad evolves and shows a different face each year; a result of time spent aging in the barrel.

Turbinado brown sugar from Mexico adds wonderful molasses flavors that are reminiscent of Belgian candi sugar. It has a full body and lush texture with battle expression all over; toasted oak, coconut, leather and rich cigar tobacco.

This Central Coast Quad is a one-of-a-kind sipping beer built to last and will reward careful aging for years to come.
___

This is very damn special. So special along side some of the best in the world so far. This beer was so coveted that I barely was able to get a bottle for myself. Initially sold at the Firestone Brewery, it saw a very limited distribution. I really wanted to bring this forward for a review here at the site and lucky for me, my chance was answered. If you seek this beer, you may have to trade.

Aromas:
DAMN! Smells like Black Tuesday. This isn’t an imperial stout but damn it has so much complexity going on here. Dulce de leche, grilled bananas with Irish cream, vanilla, oak, coconut, flan, almond joy chocolate, marshmallows, bourbon, pecan pie, hazelnuts, maple syrup, bourbon, molasses, pilloncillo sugar cone, dark fruits like raisins, plums, figs, dark cherries, currants, maple syrup, milk, dark and Belgium chocolates, waffle cone and raisin bread pudding.

Flavors:
Brown Sugar Grilled Bananas with pilloncillo sugar cone, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, bourbon, toasted coconut, French Vanilla ice cream, oreo cookies and cream, flan, sweetened condensed milk, marshmallow smores, maple syrup, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, dark cherries, black berries, currants, port wine, capirotada raisin bread pudding, dark cherries, currants, maple syrup, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, Belgium chocolate, candi sugars, waffle cone, clove spice, rocky road ice cream, almond joy chocolate, choco flan, molasses, tobacco, leather, Trappist Belgian yeast, grape nuts, peaches and cream.

Aftertaste:
Caramelized Bananas, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit raisin pudding and pecan pie. No alcohol in the taste, Unbelievably smooth, syrupy mouth feel and extremely dangerous. This is one of those beers that you want to be careful as you can probably finish the whole bottle in one sitting which is not recommended. Take you time with this one.

Overall:
This beer was a fucking mind blow. There is a reason this is a key player in the anniversary ales they release every year. Each year the recipe is different and each one just pushing the edges of what I can give as extra credit. This might truly be the best quad I have ever had, yes even in lines with the Westvleteren. Also the strongest quadruple at 13.4% ABV except for the Agave Maria at 13.5% ABV and Forgotten Island at 15% ABV. Each one is just unique in its own way. I really love this one for reminding me so much of Black Tuesday or Bourbon County but it is a quadruple and its flavor profile really shows.

Anime Corner:
SonSon III was chosen for this pairing for the fact that she is a monkey but she is also a Buddhist Monk. As it applies to the monks in Belgium, those characteristics about her are what worked well in my mind, hence why I chose her. The peaches and cream aspect fit as well as she represents what is sweet about this beer. Her origin is that of the monk Son Goku or Sun Wukong or the Monkey King. She is inspired by the Chinese classical novel of Journey to the West. Her grandfather was the original SonSon. Her power comes of the that of the martial arts and the is Ki attacks. Yes, this beer is very powerful and she makes a great representative. Can you come up with any nice aspects from this pairing?

Source:
http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080319020048/marvelvscapcom/images/b/bf/Sonson-big-mvc2.jpg
http://johnjoseco.deviantart.com/art/Monkeys-and-Peaches-395292236