2015 Black Crack by Southern Star Brewing

14566436_10103605699556150_1914286907855607534_oRating: 5.45/6

2015 Black Crack by Southern Star Brewing is an 10% ABV Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
Bourbon barrel aged Buried Hatchet Stout

==Introduction==

I did not recognize it at first, but as I researched, I realized I had already reviewed this beer in the past (https://animebeers.com/2014/08/16/black-crack-by-southern-star-brewing/). Thanks to my good friend and fellow beer review brother, Aaron Mendiola or BeerMetalDude.com, we present to you, the canned released of the Black Crack. A beer aged for a year and a half in Bourbon Barrels. As I recall, this one was definitely awesome and now that they released it in cans, I almost want to say this is the first I had a bourbon barrel aged beer in a can. Or at least one that I can remember. Surely this is a great opportunity to chime on the differences between the bottled one and the can one. I will do my best, cheers!

Aromas:
Port wine hints, bourbon oak, vanilla, dark fruit raisins, currants, prunes, pecan pie, flan, fruit cake, crème brulee, Oatmeal cookie, chocolate chip cookies roasted coffee, smokey notes, marshmallows, smores, dulce de leche caramel, rocky road ice cream, crème brulee, coconut hints, dark cherry yogurt and fruit cake.

Flavors:
Dark fruit currants, raisins, prunes, figs, anise, molasses, black berries, dark cherry yogurt, port wine hints, oak, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, tobacco, leather, molasses, marshmallows, smores, rocky road ice cream, coconut hints, bourbon, almond joy chocolate, hazelnut nectar, roasted coffee notes, smokey notes, pecan pie, flan, fruit cake, crème brulee, Oatmeal cookie, chocolate chip cookies and Irish cream hints.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with rich dark fruit and slight dark berry yogurt notes, earthy notes, tobacco, chocolate, wine notes, caramel, vanilla, oak and smoked marshmallows. No alcohol in the taste, pitch black dark body, smooth, creamy and velvety mouthfeel with a easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
Damn, this one is just as awesome or way better than I remembered it to be. Either the can made a huge difference or the high ABV did. Either way, this beer is phenomenal. The batch seems even more complex than the last time I had it. Comparing to what I wrote in the analysis in comparison to the 2014 version, it sure was a difference. Mainly that somewhat mild smokey and dark fruit increase. Hard to explain but I definitely noticed the difference. This is the type of beer I could definitely buy several of. A couple packs of these and that’s that! For being the first to can in Texas, definitely awesome presentation. Highly recommended!
14500571_10103605699561140_5561134960198112474_o
Anime Corner:
Original characters by artists Yuyu were used in this pairing as I used the first piece in a pairing a long time ago. In the previous pairing I mentioned about how the colors pair well with that of the label and how it mentioned dark hands and the smoke notes. This time however I added the second character by the same artist representing the sweet aspects of the beer but also the evil darkness within. The colors may not match the can but it sure does match with the other things, the flavors and the color of the beer.

Sources:
http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/view_post/363141?lang=en
http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/view_post/332735?lang=en&by_tag=82778

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2016 Tart of Darkness Cherries & Vanilla by The Bruery Terreux

13738215_10103423798367590_1587449561704173131_o 13781726_10103423801062190_2339272195439250998_nRating: 5.5/6

2016 Tart of Darkness Cherries & Vanilla by The Bruery Terreux is a 7.% ABV American Wild Stout aged in Oak Barrels with Cherries and Vanilla Beans.

New Label:
Roasty – Midnight – Delight

Old Label:
SAUERSTAUT

With a roasty aroma and a tart finish, this sour black ale is a contortion of style and flavor, creating an unexpected delight.

Tart of Darkness with Cherries & Vanilla is best enjoyed fresh for bold spice and fruit character, but my pleasantly if cellared properly.
___

Released to the Preservation and Reserve Societies once again and possibly the a public release, this is the second time I try this beer. I was not going to do a review of this one since I had already done one in the past but as soon as I tried it and the new label came about, I had to give it a shot. This beer is a variant to the publicly sold Tart of Darkness. I will be honest, while the tart of darkness is a very good sour, it does not compare to my favorite sour stout Madrugada Obscura by Jolly Pumpkin. The cherries and vanilla from the last time I reviewed this beer made a huge difference. Draw your puckeringly sour sword and get ready to take action!

Aromas:
Dark cherry yogurt, Vanilla ice cream, caramel,Lavender, cotton candy, strawberry cheesecake, lemon peel, citrus, dark chocolate hints, blueberry skins, earthy notes, Cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper hints, molasses, anise, licorice, lemon peel, sour funky notes, citrus, port wine hints, blue berry muffin and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Toasted coconut, coffee, mocha, rich dark fruit cherries, raisins, prunes, concord grapes, currants, blueberries, vanilla cream, caramel, tart wine grapes, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, sour cherry cordials, floral lavender, dark cherry yogurt, strawberry cheese cake, brown sugar, blueberry muffin, lemon peel, Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper hints, grape skins, port wine hints, oak, earthy notes and musty sour funky notes.

Aftertaste:
Tart wine grapes, oak, dark cherry yogurt hints, vanilla, coconut hints, and earthy notes finishing all fast and dry. No alcohol in the taste, murky amber brown full body with no head retention, soft, smooth and slightly creamy mouthfeel and a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Awesome sauce this year. I don’t know if I liked this one more or the last time I tried this one more. There is so much more chocolate coconut in this one along with vanilla and cherry sour stout goodness that I think it actually is beating the Madrugada Obscura. The Bruery definitely out did themselves this time and I would highly recommend this one if you love sours!

Anime Corner:
Saber Alter/Dark Saber from Fate/Stay Night/Hollow Ataraxia was used in this pairing since I used Jean from Claymore. Basically both represent the “Dark Knight” In the Tart of Darkness. The return of this brew show cases Saber as she tries to battle her inner darkness but realizes that without embracing both the light and evil, she is nothing. You can also say Saber is Vanilla and Dark Saber is the Cherries. The aspect of the warrior of darkness and the fact that I have used Saber in many Dark chocolate and cherry flavored beers just pushes my conviction that much further. The Dark Arts have to do with blasphemy against the church but the strange part, as holy as some organizations are, some hold deep dark secrets that the public never knows about. Tart of Darkness with Cherries and Vanilla brings that aspect of sour evil but yet sweet and forgiving aspects that are pretty damn Holy if you ask me. Think of it as the sweetness delivering the darkness of the beer from evil Either way, great beer and great pairing I think.

Sources:
http://tsundora.com/image/2014/10/fate_stay_night_673.jpg
http://pm1.narvii.com/5832/37ca0cfb16b4e985b40f227f7ae4a7b2aafa50da_hq.jpg

Tart of Darkness Cherries & Vanilla by The Bruery

10371399_10102061178089550_5544023490960896402_n 10688381_10102061178768190_817222438991082648_oRating: 5/5

Tart of Darkness Cherries & Vanilla by The Bruery is a 7.1% ABV American Wild Stout aged in Oak Barrels with Cherries and Vanilla Beans.

Label:
SAUERSTAUT

With a roasty aroma and a tart finish, this sour black ale is a contortion of style and flavor, creating an unexpected delight.

Tart of Darkness with Cherries & Vanilla is best enjoyed fresh for bold spice and fruit character, but my pleasantly if cellared properly.
___

Released to the Preservation and Reserve Societies this fall. This beer is a variant to the publicly sold Tart of Darkness. I will be honest, while the tart of darkness is a very good sour, it does not compare to my favorite sour stout Madrugada Obscura by Jolly Pumpkin. The fact that they added the cherries and vanilla to this may actually make some kind of difference. I can only hope that this is the case. Let us see how this warrior fairs. Draw your puckeringly sour sword and get ready to take action!

Aromas:
Dark Cherry yogurt, Vanilla ice cream, caramel,Lavender, cotton candy, strawberry cheesecake, lemon peel, citrus, dark chocolate hints, blueberry skins, earthy notes, Cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper hints, molasses, anise, licorice, lemon peel, sour funky notes, citrus, port wine hints, blue berry muffin and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Blueberries, Vanilla cream, coconut, caramel, tart wine grapes, chocolate, lavender, dark cherry yogurt, strawberry cheese cake, brown sugar, blueberry muffin, lemon peel, Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper hints, dark fruits like prunes raisins, concord grape skins, port wine hints, oak, earthy notes and musty sour funky notes.

Aftertaste:
Tart wine grapes, oak, dark cherry yogurt hints, vanilla, coconut hints, and earthy notes finishing all fast and dry. No alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer, medium to full mouthfeel and with a murky amber brown full body.

Overall:
Way better than the original. I have no idea how the addition of the cherries and vanilla seem to suppress the overall ‘sour’ aspect of this beer making it more of a sweet tart. The original did not do as well as my favorite, Madrugada Obscura but tasting more sour than a balance of stout chocolate roastiness with sour aspects. This beer however, redeemed the original big time. While the chocolate aspect is there but hinted, the sweetness of cherry and vanilla change the aspect of the beer not just to make it fruity tart but also dessert like yet still puckeringly sour. Definitely recommended. So does it win against Madrugada Obscura? I guess it really depends on my mood. Chocolate coffee sour or Cherry Vanilla sour.

Anime Corner:
Saber Alter/Dark Saber from Fate/Stay Night/Hollow Ataraxia was used in this pairing since I used Jean from Claymore. Basically both represent the “Dark Knight” In the Tart of Darkness. You may not tell from the label, but a sword pierces through the cherry and in the original, there is a sword involved. The aspect of the warrior of darkness and the fact that I have used Saber in many Dark chocolate and cherry flavored beers just pushes my conviction that much further. The Dark Arts have to do with blasphemy against the church but the strange part, as holy as some organizations are, some hold deep dark secrets that the public never knows about. Tart of Darkness with Cherries and Vanilla brings that aspect of sour evil but yet sweet and forgiving aspects that are pretty damn Holy if you ask me. Think of it as the sweetness delivering the darkness of the beer from evil Either way, great beer and great pairing I think.

Sources:
https://omisyth.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/1217501555092.jpg
http://gallery.minitokyo.net/view/500829

Camo by Five Stones brewing of Cibolo Texas

10622774_10101996984833350_7777383300026339869_n 10407998_10101996985497020_6847899412109798579_nRating: 6/5

Camo by Five Stones brewing of Cibolo Texas is a 7.8% ABV Golden/Pale Stout brewed with Cocoa Nibs and Espresso Beans.

Label:
Sometimes the best surprises hide in plain sight. Like the hunter searching out a deer that doesn’t seem to notice that his hunting buddy is strangely quiet… and has antlers. We brewed this stout that hides in plain sight as a pale-colored ale. This is accomplished by utilizing stout malt from Ireland along with flaked barley, wheat, and oats for mouthfeel and body. Williamette hops and cacao nibs a mildly spicy and slightly chocolatey flavor. Lastly, whole espresso beans round out the flavor for a pleasant stout-like surprise in pale, plain sight. Cheers and thanks for sharing our beer!
___

Five Stones Brewing of Cibolo Texas is a special gem in the craft brewing world for making some very awesome beers. As recommended and donated by my friend Aaron Mendiola of www.beermetaldude.com, the beers I have tried from them have been really unique and delicious. Today, I review the third beer donated by Aaron from the good people at Five Stones. This one is a Golden/Pale Stout. There really isn’t many beers of this style and for the few that I have tried have been really delicious. This one adds Cocoa Nibs and Espresso beans, so right off the bat, I know I am dealing with something very special. Thanks again to Aaron and Five Stones for making this one, Cheers!!

Aromas:
Frappuccino white chocolate coffee, plantain bananas, milk chocolate yoo hoo, dark chocolate, bananas and cream, coconut, peach, white raisins, plums, figs, cinnamon, brown sugar hints, nutmeg, marshmallow, hazelnut nectar, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, pecan pie, steamed milk, cookie dough, oatmeal cookies, coffee cake, hints of Kahlua and Irish cream hints.

Flavors:
Mocha coffee, White Chocolate, Dark chocolate, chocolate milk shake, Plantain Bananas, grilled banana hints, white raisins, peach, dark fruit plums, fig hints, cinnamon, nutmeg, marshmallow, hazelnut nectar, hints of oak, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, pecan pie, steamed milk, coconut, cookie dough, oatmeal cookies, coffee cake, brown sugar, Irish cream, hints of Kahlua, chocolate Yoohoo hints, coriander hints, wheat and rye bread.

Aftertaste:
Lingering roasted and earthy Coffee grounds, caramel, Irish cream, caramel, vanilla and hints of plantain bananas. No alcohol in the taste, very damn smooth even for a sipping beer, very creamy mouthfeel, clear light body and refreshing.

Overall:
I don’t care what anyone says, this beer was definitely a mind blow! This was way too exceptional. Very few beers do this and this one was just over the top for me. This beer is not aged in any spirit but the flavors it provides were as if they were aged in some special spirit barrel and the specialization of making such a rich and creamy pale golden stout is a style that is done extremely rarely. Five Stones did a great job on this and I definitely cannot wait to try their next creation. Highly recommend this one if you can find it. One of Texas finest for sure!

Anime Corner:
Cammy White from Street Fighter was used in this pairing for several reasons. Let’s start by the name, which is Camo which means to hide. While Cammy is in the military, she doesn’t really hide much from view but that is her camouflage. She is a highly trained and deadly agent from British Special Forces. What does this have to do with the beer? Alot, while the apperance of the beer is pale in color, it drinks just like a stout and is rich and creamy. Cammy has the colors of the label and the gold of the beer color. She is sweet as hell like the beer but you never know that until you try it. So it may actually come to you as a surprise and by the time you are done analyzing what happened in your palate, its too late. The gear she wears is similar and colored like the deer in the label. She used to work for shadaloo, a criminal organization and she is swift and fast like the smoothness of the beer. So in a way, this beer is like being struck by a Smooth Criminal…

Sources:
http://okazuwa-shake.deviantart.com/art/Rapeling-Cammy-209664818
http://www.cammyfan.com/Cammy/collected11/pixiv133.jpg

Black Crack by Southern Star Brewing

1604674_10101994839387840_6001499886365212387_nRating: 5.35/5

Black Crack by Southern Star Brewing is an 8.25% ABV Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
Bourbon barrel aged Buried Hatchet Stout
___

Wonder why they call it Black Crack? Could it possibly be because this beer is so good that it is like a pitch black drug? Not sure, but thanks to my friend Aaron from www.beermetaldude.com, we can now bring this as a review to the site. Coming from Conroe Texas, their Buried Hatchet Stout is aged for a year and a half in Bourbon Barrels giving way to some sweet complex flavors. Can’t wait to try this, so let’s check this one out shall we? Cheers!

Aromas:
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, hazelnut, flan, dark fruit raisins, figs, vanilla, marshmallow, oak bourbon, almond joy chocolate, smokey notes, chocolate milkshake, pecan pie, molasses, toffee, brown sugar, crème brulee hints and mocha hints.

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, chocolate milk shake, bourbon, oak, vanilla, marshmallows, graham cracker smores, almond joy chocolate, rocky road ice cream, pecan pie, molasses, crème brulee, mocha frappuccino, smokey notes, roasted coffee bitterness, earthy notes, dark fruit raisins and figs.

Aftertaste:
Caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, earthy notes, smokey hints and marshmallow linger for a bit. No alcohol in the taste, easy to drink suprisingly with a light to moderate mouthfeel but pitch black body. This make is dangerous as you definitely want to keep drinking it or have a few.

Overall:
I’m a sucker for bourbon barrel aged beers, especially those that taste pretty close to chocolate. This one exceeds my expectations with the help of the barrel aging but also the complexity and the fact that it drinks super smooth. If I had several of these in one sitting, it would be lights out for sure. So in the sense of overwhelming character, this one does great as it will not detract the unready palate. Highly recommended but careful now.

Anime Corner:
Original Character by artist Yuyu was used in this pairing to pair with Black Crack because I wanted to show some of the colors of the label but also what this sweet, evil and dark little beer entails. As you can see, the beers is very delicious, so much that you really want it. The dark hands that come out from the character are like the smokey notes of the beer and the evil sweetness that it represent. Do not be fooled by her sweet stare. She also doesn’t have a long rifle for no reason. Like a good beer that is hard to spot, if you are somehow seduced by this one, just try not to finish the whole bottle or several. Awesomely great beer but very dangerous.

Sources:
http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/view_post/363141?lang=en

Oatmeal Yeti by Great Divide Brewing

9907_10101358396379730_774366284_n1236107_10101358397282920_784323944_nRating: 5/5

Oatmeal Yeti by Great Divide Brewing a 9.5% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with roasted oats and raisins

Label: 
Much like its legendary predecessors, this Yeti is big, bold and dark. The addition of rolled oats softens Yeti’s notoriously roasty backbone and the small amount of raisins added in the brew kettle create a unique dark fruit character. Just as admired as those that came before it, Oatmeal Yeti Imperial Stout is a softer beast.
___

I have reviewed a couple versions of the yeti. The first one was the chocolate oak yeti which I thought was delicious. Then came the Belgian Yeti and that one was more phenomenal. The oatmeal yeti is this year’s (2013) new yeti release

Aromas are of sweet, dark, and bakers chocolate, mild espresso notes, more mocha, dark fruits like raisins, figs, pecans, caramel, rich chocolate cake, brownies, smokey notes, brown sugar and slight marshmallows.

Flavors are of graham crackers, marshmallows, sweet, milk and dark chocolate, raisin bread pudding, pecans, hazelnut, almond joy, caramel, light espresso notes, oatmeal raisin cookies with chocolate chips, almost a vanilla hint, light smokey and oak notes, figs, chocolate raisin, currants, toasted coconut

The after taste is sweet, dark fruity, bready and chocolatey. The beer is kind of syrupy and velvety like some of the best Stouts I have ever tried. A sipper but not very aggressive to it is moderately drinkable and not so bitter. This is the stuff for certain. 

Overall an awesomely perfect yeti with added flavors that work very well giving another silky layer to an already awesomely complex imperial stout. The Yetis are probably a golden standard of prime imperial stout examples (Basic one’s ofcourse, as Barrel Aged or Belgian Imperial Stouts are in a league of their own). Definitely try this, without a shadow of a doubt, this is a must get unless you find the chocolate aged one or the Belgian one. These are all great. Careful drinking this one, it is kind of addicting and you may end up finishing the bottle.

Very Angry Beast by Clown Shoes Brewing

14164_10101347409567390_363804656_n 1151034_10101347408599330_1481012420_n 1185157_10101347409183160_519431837_n Rating: 5.55/5*

Very Angry Beast by Clown Shoes Brewing is an 11.5% ABV World Class Imperial Stout blended with equal parts of Blaecorn Unidragon and Vampire Slayer both aged in bourbon barrels.

Label: 
Hoppy Feet guy extinguished evil via a sharp stake through an undead chest. Now, Blaecorn Unidragon, full of fury, has expelled another bloodsucker from Earth. We hate vampires, but love Vampire Slayer, which we blended in equal parts with Blaecorn Unidragon, bourbon barrel aging the mix to beget Very Angry Beast.
___

I have been following this series carefully since the first release of the awesome Blaecorn Unidragon. Both Blaecorn and Vampire slayer very awesome beers as well as the Porcine Unidragon. When they aged the Blaecorn Unidragon and blended it with basic vampire slayer, that was awesome within itself. Now both are blended for the ultimate concoction.

Aromas are of deep bourbon vanilla, oak, dulce de leche caramel, marshmallows, flan,coconut, dark chocolate, graham crackers, bit of rocky road ice cream, sweet milk chocolate, pecans, almond joy, mocha coffee, toffee, butterscotch, chocolate cake and some dark fruit notes.

The flavors are of bourbon, lots of nice warm bourbon (not overwhelming boozy, just sweetnes) and oak flavors, vanilla, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, coconut, marshmallows, raisins, butterscotch, almond joy, not as big on the rocky road as the smell but some notes are there. There are also flavors of black berries, possibly dark cherry notes, dulce de leche caramel notes, graham crackers, earthy hops, fudge brownies, more bakers chocolate that sweet milk chocolate, almost semi sweet but the flavors seems to work. Some other flavors are of mocha, honey glazed ham notes and brown sugar.

After taste is a litle boozy leaving very nice residue of vanilla, coffee, chocolate, bourbon and minor smokey notes. While the beer can be boozy later on after several sips, it is quite the smooth beer. Take heed though, while it is easy to drink it will hit. This dynamic duo of Femme Fatale (Obviously referencing the art ) shows no mercy

Overall it was quite an overwhelming experience in many aspects. Beers that go over the 5 rating seem to be beers that usually are Chocolate extreme or amazingly sweet or caramel extreme or just something that is way out of the ordinary in terms of flavor. This beer, while it may not have reached the heights of chocolate, the concoction of the bourbon, the coffee notes, dark fruit notes, buttery caramel, vanilla rich, the oaky and let us not forget the chocolate, is what set the score for me. Really great job by Clown Shoes brewing in bringing this amazing beer to the hands of many. Salute to you and Cheers!!

———-
Blaecorn Unidragon Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/blaecorn-unidragon-russian-imperial-stout-by-clown-shoes-brewing/ 

Vampire Slayer Review:https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/03/27/vampire-slayer-by-clown-shoes-brewing/

Angry Beast Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/angry-beast-by-clown-shoes/

Porcine Unidragon Review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/porcine-unidragon-by-clown-shoes/

Dragoons by Moylan’s Brewing

223033_10101297401469020_1833016644_n 16895_10101297401903150_794494738_n 999402_10101297402147660_1298724131_nRating: 3.9/5

Dragoons by Moylan’s Brewing is a 5% ABV Irish Dry Stout.

Label: 
Dry, roasty and incredibly rich in flavor, Dragoon’s Dry Irish Stout is made with a unique blend of imported hops and malted barley from the United Kingdom. This award winning stout is brewed in the Irish tradition to commemorate General Stephen Moylan,Irish-born commander of the 4th Continental Dragoons during the American Revolutionary War.
___

Been meaning to try this for a while. They had this one at Congregation ale house on tap and as a beer float. It was pretty good from what I remember. I found a bottle and wanted to give it a review. This stout won a 3 gold medals in 2007 at the American Beer Festival, Cal State Fair and the World Beer Champ of the same year. This isn’t the typical “Guinness” type of dry stout for sure. Although Guiness is decent in its own ways.

Aromas are like it came out of nitro brewed process. Strong Milk and dark chocolate fragrance, roasted coffee notes, caramel, pecans, hints of vanilla cream, earthy hops, hints of molasses and toffee

Flavors are of coffee, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla cream notes, hints of molasses, light earthy hop bitterness, tobacco notes, roasted barley, toffee, nuts and hints of brown sugar

Definitely dry finish in the aftertaste not leaving much but slight hints of the milk chocolate and coffee notes. 

The flavors that come out as the beer goes along is what makes this one good. Without the extra flavors it would probably be average at best. Thankfully that is not the case. I think If I find it on tap and I want to drink light but still nice and flavorful while still not being too overwhelming to the palate, I would get this one again.

Parabola Reserve Series No.004 Limited Release 2013 by Firestone Walker

940807_10101156118865490_1418900322_n 484497_10101156119374470_1603328620_nRating: 6/5* In the top 10 best of the world, it sure proved it’s worthiness.

Parabola Reserve Series No.004 Limited Release 2013 by Firestone Walker is a 13%ABV World Class Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout. Black Xantus’ Big brother 😀

Description: 
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 blending 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. Parabola was one of these beers.
We present the 2013 vintage of Parabola, a barrel-aged Imperial Stout. It has been said that the only constant is change and the same is true for barrel aged beers. Cut from a similar recipe, Parabola evolves and shows a different face each year; a result of time spent again in the barrel. 

Chocolate, charred oak, vanilla, black cherry and coffee are just some of the complex aromas and flavors you will find in this beer

Parabola is a one-of-a-kind sipping beer to last and will reward careful aging for years to come. 

Ideal Aging Temperature 45F 

OG: 29.5p [plato] 
IBU: 82 [high] 
Cases: 3500 produced [LTD] 
Aged: 12 mo [time in barrel] 
Yeast: British Ale [house] 
Color: 167SRM [black]
___

The mess I had to get in to find this beer. Just amazing. Even for Black Tuesday and Chocolate Rain I had to trade for it but it was easier to get than this beer. I almost left work early when I heard the new of it’s release. Driving on the freeway like a mad man, which is really something I have never done for a beer like this. In fact I wouldn’t do a lot of things for certain beers, even when they released Westy 12 in December 2012 I could care less. But this one was something that I really set my eyes on and was damned to get it. It was so hard to get that by the time I got there, it was literally the last one at a Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights, California. I was glad I made it on time. No limits for this release either when sold at their store. Maybe one day I will get another to age but now that I will review this for the masses, it may inspire those to go seek this black liquid gold for themselves, even if online. 

Fragrances of this beer are very complex. Hershey’s milk chocolate, almonds, Mexican “cocada” coconut candy, oak, vanilla, bourbon, marshmallows, dulce de leche caramel, sweetened condensed milk, flan, roasty sweet burnt notes, crème brulee, Kahlua coffee, cherries, raspberries, prunes, raisins, capirotada raisin bread pudding, molasses, hazelnut, brownies and a slight cola like smell that reminded me of a Port Wine like Trois Pistoles. Damn, this is very complex.

The Flavors are insane!!: You get a ridiculous amounts of chocolates like sweet, milk, dark, bakers and slight Abuelitas chocolate followed by vanilla, dulce de leche flan, bourbon, cocada coconut candy, roasted coconut, espresso, mocha, crème brulee, dulce de leche, raisins, cherries, raspberries, prunes, hazelnut and walnut capirotada raisin bread pudding, chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, molasses, chocolate chips ahoy cookies, oatmeal, sugar cream of wheat, marshmallows and slight port flavors.

Best way to describe this chocolate cake frosted coffee cake sprinkled with coconut, nuts, dipped in bourbon, made with portwine, dipped in bourbon, vanilla caramel glazed, mixed with fruits with Rocky Road Ice Cream on top  and well, just a complete and utter dessert. Should I remind that the bitterness actually comes from the roasted coffee notes.

The insane part is that it is very balanced, very drinkable and un-overpowering, very smooth, and its freaking amazing as it it goes down. Like a nice chocolate and chewy syrup that coats the back of your throat but then becomes like a milk chocolate. The craft beer Holy Grail. This is not Black Tuesday or Chocolate Rain or even White Chocolate. However, this beer proved that it can actually transform with every sip. It’s evolution is insane. Which reminds me of why something like this would be called Parabola. (Skip this if you don’t like math 😛 ) If there was a graph depicting a change of flavors with every try, I would say it fits into the definition of a Parabola. The flavors change going from a bourbon coconut to an extreme chocolate upper limit, then back to a bourbon coconut. Ofcourse the flavors keep changing as you go along to what I described earlier. Also the temperature is in charge of these changes as well. Gets way better as it warms up. Yeah, even if you have to go out of your way to get this, I would recommend it by all means to anyone who has not tried this. Also, apparently, from past years, what may have also contributed to the high rating is the fact that even the Brewmaster said this is the best version yet. So there you have it. Get one for now, cellar one for later.

Chocolate Indulgence (2012 New Label Version) by Ommegang brewing

548317_10101133234650640_121298062_n 533263_10101133228602760_1098229231_n Rating: 5.5/5

Chocolate Indulgence (2012 New Label Version) by Ommegang brewing is a 7% ABV Belgian Stout brewed with Real Belgian Chocolate

Label:
Chocolate Indulgence offers a thick tan head of foam resting atop of the rich onyx-hued liquid. The aroma immediately speaks of dark chocolate and dark malts. The gentle herbal notes of perle hops compliments the darker aroma notes, making the ale savory to all the senses
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I have had this beer last year. The 2007 version which was Ommegang’s 10th anniversary beer. I loved the way the beer was back then so when I hear it was re-released, I had to try it fresher to taste the difference. The aromas are of dark chocolate, sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, slight toasted barley, dulce de caramel, coffee, some dark fruits like plum and raisins, banana and hazelnut bread, cloves and spices. The flavors are fresher than the last time I tried the 2007 version. You really get a great amount of chocolate covered raisins on coffee hazelnut bread dipped in banana pudding all layered with dulce de leche caramel. That is the just of it but to pin point this with individual terms, we get very rich dark, sweet and milk chocolate, raisins, prunes, plums, slight cherry notes, bananas, hazelnut, coffee and mocha bread, brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, slight peppery spices and smoked barley flavor to even out all the sweetness. Ommegang makes some of the best beers in the world. This beer just happens to be perfect into the category of my favorite Belgian Stouts like Thirteenth Hour, Buffalo Stout, Art of Darkness and many others. I have never tried it fresher but it does seem that the chocolate does fade a bit over time to give way to a more complex smokey and dark fruit flavors. Which is not bad at all, but what can I say, I’m cuckoo for cocoa beers. I already gave a 5/5 rating to the original but I think really enjoyed the greater chocolate flavor of the fresher version of this beer. It is way too amazing for words. Even when it warms up, the chocolate becomes very abundant and very pleasurable. No wonder its called Chocolate Indulgence.

2007 version review: https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/chocolate-indulgence-by-ommegang/

Chocolate Sombrero by Clown Shoes Brewing

547439_10101127270452940_666475813_nRating: 4.8/5

Chocolate Sombrero by Clown Shoes Brewing is a 9%ABV Mexican Chocolate Stout

Label: 
Roasted dark malts plus extra chocolate malts plus ancho chile plus cinnamon plus organic vanilla extract plus a chocolate eating, beer drinking, Clown Shoes wearing, multi limbed, gorgeous and glorious Mexican wrestler on the label. That’s the recipe for a Chocolate Sombrero!
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Thinking of the Fry from Futurama meme (Hmm… not sure if racist label, yet, could be a good beer). Ahh, who cares. This is what happened to the Wiccans who got offended at Witch’s wit or some other controversial labels totally ignoring what good things were said and how good the beer was. I tend to ignore controversy and go straight to the source about what this is all about, beer flavors and art work. I am Mexican and I like having an open mind 😛 . Got this one at Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights California as recommended by one of the guys there. This review is for you Alex :). So I decided to give it a try. Fragrances are of lots of dark chocolate, Chocolate Abuelita (Mexican dark hot chocolate bars), milk chocolate, coffee, mole or pipián sauce, cinnamon sticks, mild spicy chile smell, almost like a cola aroma, earthy hops and slight hazel nuts. The flavors remind me a lot of that New Belgium Mole Ole beer I had a long time ago. This is very good. Flavors are of sweet chocolate, dark chocolate Abuelita, mild ancho chile spice there for enhancing the flavor,slight coffee, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, cinnamon sticks, some pecan and hazelnut notes, very mild bitter earthy hops and slight banana notes. I have had other chile beers as well as chile stouts and this one is pretty good. Not too overwhelming with heat or spices and enough bitterness and spiciness to control the levels of rich chocolate. I still like how this is still more chocolate than anything else, so yeah, this one is a highly recommended beer for sure.

Aphrodite (Aphrodisiac or Aphrodisiaque) by Brasserie Dieu du Ciel

383077_10101127268821210_1347105134_nRating: 5.5/5

Aphrodite (Aphrodisiac or Aphrodisiaque) by Brasserie Dieu du Ciel is a 6.5%ABV Canadian Stout brewed with real cocoa and vanilla beans

Label: 
Aphrodite is a black ale expressing aromas and flavours of vanilla, dark chocolate, and roasted malt. The vanilla and cocoa marry nicely, without out-competing each other, to produce a surprisingly well balanced beer. This beer is mildly hoppy, but the cocoa introduces a touch of bitterness. Never too sweet, this highly appreciated dessert beer is brewed with first rate cocoa and vanilla beans
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It has been a long time since I tried this little bottle, I almost forgot how good it was. It is considered a world class beer as it balances the sweetness of vanilla and chocolate but has a very nice complexity. Aromas are of rich Dark and sweet milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, earthy roasted coffee fragrance, and some slight dark fruit and berry notes. The flavors remind me a lot of the Samuel Smith organic chocolate or the Odell’s milk chocolate. Chocolate is a win for me so that’s another point for being world class. You can the the rich chocolate and vanilla cream flavor but not a whole mess to overwhelm. It is not Chocolate rain but still has those flavors I love so much. Some slight oak and bourbon barrel flavors are they but slight. Rich caramel, a bit of mocha sweetness with coffee bitterness, and a slight dark fruit taste but very minor. Not sure if this is a nectar to raise sexual arousal, but it sure is arousing the taste buds. It really is good stuff and a definite recommend for stout lovers

2011 review: 
Aphrodite or Aphrodisiac (as seen in some bottles) is a delicious stout made with vanilla, dark chocolate, roasted malts, mild hops,bourbon and cocoa. The sweetness of the Vanilla is balanced well with the bitterness of the cocoa. You can tell a lot of the flavors like the bourbon, coffee, chocolate and vanilla are very well present and pleasant to the taste buds. A great dessert beer to have right before having a desert in bed with a partner….oh did I just say that out loud D: …lmao!!..Regardless, a great beer to try and one you wont regret taking home with you 😛

Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout by Wynkoop Brewing (April Fools Ed.)

561302_10101118554644490_10430060_nRating: 4.8/5

Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout by Wynkoop Brewing is a 7.5%ABV Foreign Stout brewed with….. Bull Testicles. Yep that’s right… >.>…. who has the balls to try this lol.

Label: 
The beer is a meaty foreign-style stout brewed with loads of dark malts, specialty grains and freshly sliced & roasted bull testicles. A special ultra-limited-release beer, it weighs in at 7% ABV and 3 BPB. (That’s balls per barrel.)
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This was the April 1st 2012 April Fools joke of the year for craft brewing. The crazy part about this is that many people thought this was real and eventually, the brewery decided to make this a real deal. I am pretty open minded about a lot of things. Some things even like Kopi Luwak (Civet Cat pooped Coffee Beans) are actually not bad. Many people would find this offensive. I even doubted myself whether I actually wanted to do this or not. Once I got my hands on these, well, there was no turning back. Many people said it wasn’t bad and had a “nutty” taste to it. Like actual peanuts, walnuts or hazel but well I was skeptic but too bad. So I said screw it. If I am the kind of guy who has had frog legs, snails, Iguana tails, crickets and other things, why not this? Well, this may not be the craziest thing I’ve done, but oh well. Hell, in Mexico, one time my aunt tried to give me some cooked Bull balls and I said no. Anyways…. The fragrance was like a nice bakers chocolate, a little bit of coffee notes, some hazelnut, caramel, light vanilla, slight funkiness (possibly the ball meat) and earthiness too. The flavors are of….really nice actually. Wow. Joking aside this was really good. A lot of caramel, milk and bakers chocolate, vanilla, almost like a very minor raisin and rum flavor, some pecan, hazelnut cream, chocolate mousse, walnuts, like a oak or barrel aged quality but very very small notes and very small notes of like a smoked meat or smoked steak like flavor in the aftertaste but sometimes that is normal like a smoked dry stouts I have had before which people say taste kind of like ham or bacon. Although, the extra chocolate probably makes up for what would be the testicular flavors if there was any. Although there was hardly any smoke in this beer. If I was not told that there was bull testicles in this, I would not have known. This stout is amazing. Joking aside, creamy chocolate, nice sipper and really nice after taste. I could not find anything that resembled meat (except maybe in the aftertaste)or salty oysters like in the sea oysters stouts I have had before. Hype and skepticism aside, this turned out to be a really great stout. Although I am not sure if this is quite possibly the biggest gimmick in weird beers I have tried so far. Civet poop coffee was quite good too. 

For those interested in the original video that started it all, here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1fV3edEdfE

Artwork:
I had a hard time trying to find something that would fit the whole “Bull Ball” theme. Then I remember that Red Bull uses synthetic Taurine which is an ingredient that could also be obtained from Bull Testosterone (although they don’t). So yeah I put two and two together and there you have it. Enjoy