Board Meeting by Port Brewing

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Rating: 4.8/5

 is an 8.5%BV Brown Ale brewed with Coffee and TCHO Cocoa nibs

Label:
It’s 6 AM and you have two appointments on your calendar for today. A Board of Directors meeting at 10 AM requires your attention. But Last night you got the call signaling a dawn patrol session this morning. Surf is out of the west and the swell is building. A morning stop for a cup of Joe on the way to the ocean’s edge has you fueled. Early morning surf report on the radio indicates clean conditions up and down the coast. A Parking lot surf check at the break confirms the conditions are perfect. 

All systems go and your first board meeting of the day looks promising. You trade a neoprene wet suit and a brisk ocean paddle knowing full well later you’s be surrounded by stodgy old men and fussy women sitting in over stuffed leather chairs reviewing corporate minutes as the smell of pastries and burnt coffee hang in the air. It’s a scene that repeats itself year after year . But none of this bothers you anymore. Life taught you early on not all board meetings are created equal. 
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New from Port Brewing comes a brown ale unlike some of the brown ales I have had before. This beer is more full bodied like a porter or a stout. But I guess in terms of brown ales I would have to look and see how it would differ. The aromas are of coffee, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, earthy notes, and brown sugar. The flavors are great. It is not as bitter as a porter or a stout in terms of hops and smokeyness. This lets flavors of bakes chocolate, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, caramel, biscuit bread, coffee cake, brown sugar, hazelnut, berries, figs, and other sweet flavors shine through. The bitterness is very little as it is mostly from the coffee. This beer was so good it was hard not to stop drinking it. It is pretty drinkable and the aftertaste is sweet and nutty. Quite frankly one of the best brown ales I have had in a while. Aside from hazelnut nectar. This is going to be a new beer that will appear regularly. Brown Ale fans will love this one and those that do not like Brown Ales will start to love the style with this one

Bran Reserva by Birrificio Grado Plato Montigioco

546426_10100965798843340_465557322_nRating: 5/5

Bran Reserva by Birrificio Grado Plato Montigioco of Italy is a 8.5%ABV English Porter aged in Barbera Wine Barrels to become a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. They take their Bran Raven ale and age it for several months

Description:
Produced a Bran aging for 10 months in barrels (ex Barbera Bigolla Walter Massa). In the glass is black, impenetrable, with foam cappuccino color, the nose coexist roasting (with a scent reminiscent of cocoa paste) and notes derived from aging in wood (reminiscent of balsamic vinegar). In the mouth it is very divided: on one side the obvious toasty, cocoa, soy sauce, and secondly the acidity. Long in the mouth, the tannins in the finish shows the wood and a slight astringency of roasting. Beer very complex, difficult, for lovers of strong emotions. Serving suggestions: hard to match, recommended after a meal, maybe (if you want) with a big cigar.
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I don’t smoke so the Cigar might be a no go here ;). .The flavors are of vanilla, wine grapes, banana, dulce de leche bread, possibly a flan, sweetened condenced milk (Leche Nestle), raisins, butterscotch, lemon, cherries, blackberries, sour apples, peach. minor tart, vinegary and Jolly pumpkin style funky notes, oak wood, The after taste is like raisinettes, those chocolate covered raisins and coffee. Despite being somewhat tart and somewhat funky, this is pretty amazing. Lots of sweeter and rich flavors verlap the sourness. The little bit of sourness does not last and disappears soon and leaves some awesome sweet flavors. This is the Third beer I try from Italy’s Birrificio Montegioco. None of their beers have disappointed me at all and possibly this one and the Draco are my favorites from the 3. This is a must try if you can find it. It is the type of beer that steps into the realms of the Wine and becomes Neo from the Matrix…quote the raven…Forevermore…

Finding this in a specialty shop or online and is also considered to one of the 100 beers to try before kicking the bucket: http://www.complex.com/city-guide/2012/12/100-beers-to-try-before-you-die/grado-plato-montegioco-bran-reserva

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.

Elysian Omen

Rating: 4.25/5

This is a series from Elysian, The 12 Beers of the Apocalypse. “The End is Beer”
Beer#10 (October) Omen is a 7.2% ABV Belgian Raspberry Stout.

Omen is in reference the signs and phenomenon which can foretell events of the future. Some good or some bad. Regardless of the case. Foretelling the future or deciphering signs to create meanings of what is to come has been something that has been practiced for centuries. Of all the Apocalyptic events that could happen in 12-21-2012 or the real end of the world , this is it’s greatest component and the key to the door of sight. Like in the Thundercats, sight beyond sight, something can be seen but it is all left onto interpretation as to what it really means for the future or even a current event that links people to a current event that may pertain to them trying to tell them something good or something bad is going on. The Mystery is in the eye of the beholder. 

This beer is focused more on the smokey and roasted bitter malts than other Belgian Style stouts. While some people prefer more sweeter than bitter, this one tries to balance it all. The smell of coffee, chocolate and minor fruitiness is apparent. The flavor is of dark bitter chocolate, coffee, raspberry fruitiness with some dark fruits like raisins and figs and alittle bit of biscuit bread, earthy hops and caramel. I think another component that rules in this beer is the smokey bitterness. While yes you do get some awesome sweet flavors, they finish dry making you want to try more so that the flavors really stick. There are hints of the Folklore from Stillwater in there but very little. Almost like a Black Saison with little bit of fruits here and there. It is worth a try just to see what this is about 🙂

Fat Jack By Samuel Adams

Rating: 4.45/5

Fat Jack By Samuel Adams is an 8.5% ABV Double Pumpkin Ale brewed with Pumpkins and spices. Another nice pumpkin beer to rake in the season. Probably as easy to get as Smashed Pumpkins by Shipyard.

Label:

This rich and luscious brew indulges in flavor with over 28Ibs of pumpkin per barrel, for a full bodied sweetness and deep russet color. Classic pumpkin pie spices of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice ignite a warmth and spark that’s deepened by an undercurrent of roasty smoked malts. The result is a delectable brew full of enveloping layers of flavor and spice. At Samuel Adams we love experimenting. This series of limited edition brews represents some of our favorite small batch creations. Style: Pumpkin Beer Hops: East Kent Goldings, Fuggle Malts: Samuel Adams Two-Row Pale Malt Blend, Caramel 60, Special B, Smoked Malt Extras: Real Pumpkin, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Allspice

Initially released on tap as “Double Pumpkin” in 2011, it was bottled as “Fat Jack Double Pumpkin” in 2012. 
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So this is the next pumpkin beer I have tried in the line of pumpkin beers this year. Last were some really good ones. So far each one I have tried has something special about them. The Smashed pumpkins by shipyard tasted like real squash, pumpkins and sweet potatoes while Southern Tier was awesome because it tasted like pumpkin spices with candy corn or caramelized popcorn. This one has its own things to offer. Aside from delicious pumpkin and sweet potato, there is some bready caramel flavor. That bready flavor almost reminds me of the yeast used when they made 13th hour stout. This is pretty good in it’s own way for sure. There are some flavors of the nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice that reminds me of their Oktoberfest beer. So while it is sweet, it is also bitter and in a way, pilsnery reminiscence of their Boston Lager. Some other sweet flavors of nuts, almonds and raisins. While the pumpkin and sweet squash isn’t as dominant, the other flavors do shine through pretty well. Almost like a pumpkin brown English ale with its many caramelized malts and well brewed with pumpkins :P. I have yet to try a really bad or subpar pumpkin ale. This is pretty good and is definitely up there with good pumpkin beers. I will see what happens when Shocktop comes out with it’s pumpkin beer. Never had it and well some people say it is not that great… I guess we will see 😛