Das Wunderkind! by Jester King

1175003_10101346418059380_1900771048_nRating: 4.75/5

Das Wunderkind! by Jester King is a 4.5% ABV Organic Saison/Farmhouse Ale aged in oak wine and whiskey barrels with wild yeast.

Label: 
There are many among us who, in spite of their best efforts, just never quite seem to fit in. It’s only a rare few, however, who, very early in life, develop the self-asurance and presence of mind to be neither conformists nor rebels, instead carving their own paths and following their own dreams, regardless of what anyone else might happen to think. Take flight, mein Wunderkind, don’t ever let gravity hold you back!

Description: (jesterking.com)
Mature beer, re-fermented in oak barrels with wild yeast and souring bacteria is blended with fresh, dry-hopped beer prior to bottle-conditioning. Dry and lightly tart, with notes of citrus, barnyard, and tropical fruit.
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Been looking for this little prize long ago. Since last year actually. I was finally able to find one online. Soon as I saw it, I had to get it and do a review. I paired this beer with a piece of artwork that best presents it. Flight of Das Wunderkind! Or “The Wonder Kid” in German. 

Aromas are those nice floral spices, peppercorn, sourdough bread notes I really enjoy in saisons. As an added treat, there are also notes of oak, grapefruit, citrus, hay, apricots, lemon, apples, dandelions, roses, sweet caramel, light whiskey notes, grapes and earthy notes

Flavors are of peppercorns, sourdough bread, wine grapes, caramel, oak, light whiskey notes, lemon peel, green apples, slight funky notes but not too sour, grapefruit, apricot, peach, hint of strawberry, flowery spices, hay, earthy hops, coriander and light vanilla notes.

The aftertaste is mildly funky with citrus, lemon , oak and wine taste but shortly sour. More like flowers and peppery spices.

Overall the beer is awesome is you love saisons that have nice funky notes which are not too sour but pleasantly tart. The added wine and whiskey barrels give it some character but do not overwhelm much of the beer. The spices, flowers and fruity flavors along with the tart and oak flavors take care of that.

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Lagunitas IPA

945913_10101230397265980_1402534153_n 994790_10101230397964580_2133816704_n 1006169_10101230398249010_2042266440_nRating: 4.75/5

Lagunitas IPA is a 6.2% ABV India Pale Ale

Label: 
This is our unique version of an ancient style. A style as old as the ocean trade routes of the last centuries Great Ships. Not as old as the equator they had to cross twice enroute, nor as old as the 10,000 or so miles of Di-Hydrogen Oxide and Sodium upon which they sailed, but older than the Circulithium-4 Lentloid that binds the Lupulin Quartnate onto your taste buds. Weird. Think about it. Now stop. OK, go again, now stop. Think again, and stop. But we digress. Made with 43 different hops and 65 various malts, this redolent ale will likely float your boat, whatever planet you’re on.
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I have had this beer many many MANY times. To think I never sat down and just did a review of this. It is crazy. Really crazy to no do one of such a great beer.

Aromas of nice grapefruit hops, citrus, pine, some decent amount of tropics like mango, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, apricot, some caramel, biscuit bread, honey and floral hoppy notes.

The flavors are of grassy, herbal and grapefruit hops along with nice tropics of lemon and orange peel, apricots, pineapple notes,mango, sweet caramel, honey, biscuit, passion fruits, papaya, pine needles and nice spicy breadiness. The after taste leaves with a nice refreshing bitterness and really nice tropical taste.

I’ve had my fair share with this one and you really can’t go wrong here. It is a great tasting IPA with not a lot of overpowering bitterness and is a great example that shows that even if you don’t go with a double IPAs, even the regular one like this will still enough pleasing tropical goodness. IF you like tropics over overpowering hop bitterness. It has enough hoppy bitterness to make this really good as a great example of the West Coast Style. There are only a handful of really outstanding IPAs and this is no exception. The good thing about this one is that it is more common than some other IPAs. So even if there is no other alternative, this one sure fits the bill of Great IPA.

Mint Chocolate Porter Winter Ale by Bootlegger’s Brewery

45380_10101094074163570_1328384573_nRating: 4.25/5

Mint Chocolate Porter Winter Ale by Bootlegger’s Brewery is a 6.1% ABV Porter brewed with Mint

Label: 
Perhaps a mint chocolate porter sounds like an odd combination, but we like to think of it as a match made in heaven. The refreshing mint is balanced with subtle hints of dark chocolate notes, making it a complex yet exceptionally drinking winter ale. This one is perfect for sitting next to the fireplace and sharing a few pints with friends.
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I have tried some really good mint porters and stouts in the past. This one is made locally here in California. It is always good to drink locally. The beers is somewhat smokey in fragrance. There is some nice sweet chocolate mint aromas along with some sweet caramel and vanilla. I am sensing little coffee in the nose though. The Flavors are of sweet and dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, vanilla, mint, black tea, herbs, somewhat of Oreo cookies and crème flavor, anise licorice and molasses. It is not as head on sweet as some of the other mint beers I have had. The after taste stays minty and chocolate sweet. Even though it smelled smokey, it was actually hard to find the smokiness in the flavor. They did a very good job there. Definitely try it out and it is also drinkable too. In fact, a lot of the bitterness like the black tea and herbs fade away as it warms up and this starts to taste more like a Klondike bar or a mint chocolate chip icecream 😛

Aloha B’ak’tun by Maui brewing

522731_10101089985212860_2041559936_nRating: 4.45/5

Aloha B’ak’tun by Maui brewing is a 7%ABV Belgian Stout brewed with chocolate, cinnamon and chipotle.

Label: 
Change is the only constant in life; and this year has been marked with exiting changes. Staff moving on, new staff joining our team and construction plans for the new brewery (Yes, still on Maui). Our final limited release of the year celebrates change and bids aloha to our friends new and old. 

This Belgian stout is brewed with chocolate, cinnamon, and chipotle. It pours deep black with ruby highlights. Layered with roasted malt character hints of bittersweet dark chocolate, clove, cinnamon and subtle peppery notes in the nose. 

The year is ending, the world is not. Raise your hand and toast with us to all the great things to come. Look forward to four new limited releases in 2013.
Mahalo Nui Loa. 

‘Okole Maluna,
Garrett 
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Belgian Stouts are some of my favorites. So when I found this one I had to get it. The fragrances are are roasted coffee, bakers and dark chocolate, bready notes, raisins, slight peppercorns, mild pepper, tobacco, molasses and slight caramel. The flavors are mainly of coffee, dark chocolate, slight tobacco, smokey (in the glass), dulce de leche caramel (mainly when in the can), bready notes, raisins, slight chocolate covered cherries, slight peppery notes of chipotle but hardly enough to detect heat at all. I tried it both out of the glass and the can. Frankly, it taste better out of the can than in the glass. I guess like heady topper, certain things taste better when out of certain containers. Although after letting it sit for a while in the glass, the flavors like that of the can were there. All and all, an awesome beer, very good Belgian stout but kind of not as full flavor impacting like Thirteenth Hour or Buffalo Stout. Still, great pick up and one I would try again 🙂

Fantôme Boo! by Brasserie Fantôme

184590_10100951561021050_451599044_n563686_10100951563076930_1306320432_nRating: 5/5

Fantôme Boo! by Brasserie Fantôme of Belgium is an 8.0%ABV Saison/Farmhouse ale brewed with pumpkins. Just as a fair warning, BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN OPENING THIS BOTTLE and open over an open sink. As you can see from the picture the bottle spewed all over the place. LOL, it certainly spooked me….lucky I was able to save the majority of it 😉

Label:

Fantome Boo! Special Begian Ale. Burgundian Babble Belt. Imported by Shelton Bothers, Belchertown MA
Been looking for this beer since October…I’m glad I found it and is more abundant now than before. I figure…One more pumpkin beer before the end of the year…why not 😉
Right off opening the bottle, there was a distinct pumpkin and vegetable smell like a tomato . Some orange zest, lemons, flowers, pine, grass and wet hay. Flavors are of peach, banana, wine grapes, tamarind, funky tart , biscuit bread, earthy must, sweet caramel, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, sweet orange, pear, old apples, pumpkin bread, pumpkin seeds, squash, mushrooms and like a cilantro or basil after taste. This has some very strange but rather delicious character. I don’t think I have tasted an ale that was like this with certain sweet and sour vegetable and fruit flavors. The sourness is hardly anything bad, more or a tart. People that love Saisons and possibly less artificial spiced, more fruity and more fermented pumpkin beers will like this one. The overall beer is sweet but the sourness balances it out.

Mocha Porter by Rogue Brewing

23885_10100928490409740_1000318734_nRating: 4.45/5

Mocha Porter by Rogue Brewing is a 5.3%ABV Sweet Porter 

Label:

Ruddy brown in color, a bittersweet balance of malt and hops with a light cream finish.13 Ingredients:
Malts: Great Western 2-Row, 
135-165, 95-115, and 70-80 Crystal; Chocolate, Black, Carastan & Rogue Micro Barley Farm Dare Malts
Hops: Williamette & Rogue Micro Hopyard Revolution & Freedom hops
Yeast & Water: Rogue’s Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.
No Chemicals , Preservatives or additives
Specs:
13º PLATO
54 IBU
73 AA
77º Lovibond

Rogue makes some pretty awesome beers. This one should be no exception. The some smokey bakers chocolate aromas and sweet caramel on a mocha Frappucino. The flavors are of caramel, chocolate, coffee grounds, mocha, brown sugar, earthy hops,. Vanilla, raisin bread and whipped cream. There is this underlying chocolate cake flavor that reminds me of the Oak Aged Yeti. Good stuff here :P. So much rich flavor and a little bits of alcohol. Worth the try 🙂

Panty Peeler by Midnight Sun Brewing

Rating: 4.25/5

Panty Peeler by Midnight Sun Brewing is a 8.5% Belgian Style Tripel brewed with Orange Peel and Coriander.

Label: 

Free spirited Panty Peeler Tripel pours rambunctiously into your glass, releasing its engaging aroma. Curacao (bitter) orange peel and coriander create a beautiful yet bolder tripel by infusing color, citrus and spice. Belgian yeast adds playful character. Bottle conditioning assures a perfectly heady experience. Ride Free

Brewed as a Belgian tripel but with American boldness, Panty Peeler is delicious yet spirited. Originally named Extreme Polar White Bier, it got nicknamed “Panty Peeler” along the way. Then we translated it to French for a while: Épluche-Culotte. Now we’re back to calling it Panty Peeler and we’ve kicked up the coriander and orange peel to represent its original design. 

Interesting name….lol. Either way, the beer is what I would expect of a good tripel. a lot of the Tripels I have tried have a yeast driven complexity that follows rich and bold flavors from the unfermented concoction. Panty Peeler allows a free flow of semi-Belgian White Ale or a Heffeveizen like those served in many places. Shock top, Pyramid, Widmer, Blue Moon, etc. While Orange Peel an coriander emphasize the drive of this beer, the yeast rolls right in to remind you, hey, this is still a tripel. Flavors of Orange, Tangerine, Gummy bear, pineapple and peach sweetness (possibly from the Curacao) along with sweet caramel and biscuit bread. You can tell the Tripel flavors as you go along as there is also some spices, banana cloves, and candied sugar. It is quite tangy but is not super bitter. It is actually more balanced because while it is a sweet beer, the herbal and orange peel bitterness blends but keeps some of the sweetness at bay. Interesting tripel. Surely Belgian Tripel and Belgian White ale lovers may like.