Forgotten Island by Cigar City brewing

1374901_10101457321912170_1203501524_nRating: 6/5

Forgotten Island by Cigar City brewing is a 15% ABV Belgian Quadruple aged in Jamaican Rum Barrels

Label: 
This dark complex style of ale originated in the Trappist monasteries of Belgium. It was sipped by monks during fasting and winter months. Forgotten Island adds a tropical twist via aging in Jamaican rum barrels. The barrel lends notes of vanilla, molasses, orange peel, cocoa, brown sugar, nutmeg, hazelnut, apricot and peach. This plethora of flavors and aromas from the rum barrel intermingles with banana, clove, cinnamon,fig, plum and brown sugar aromatics and flavors from the quadruple, creating a contemplative ale perfect for introspective moments far from the cares of the world beyond. 
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Released exclusively for the Cigar City Catador club. A hard to get beer unless you know some one who is in the club or can trade/buy from someone online. This is the first time I try a rum barrel aged quad. I have tried a good number of Bourbon barrel ones but never a rum one. Good luck in getting this one

Aromas are very sweet. Velvety dark fruits, currants, plums, raisins, chocolate notes, dulce de leche caramel, figs, raisin bread pudding, oak, rum, rich coconut, vanilla, pecans, bananas, cloves, cherries, blackberries, boysenberries, blackberry marmalade, brown sugar, cinnamon, hazelnut, oranges, apricot, peach, piña colada, tropical fruits like papaya, melon, dragon fruit and other fruit and spices

The flavors are freaking amazing! This would be a great response to the Bruery’s Cacaonut, except it is rum and quad and has more dark fruits than Cacaonut. Yet each is freaking amazing and I can tell you this beer has already exceeded my expectations once again. Rich plums, rich curtants, figs, cotton candy, raisin bread pudding, pecans, peaches and cream, apricot, boysenberry marmalade, toasted coconut, oranges, dragon fruit, melon, papaya, piña colada, nutmeg, hazelnut, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, oak, blackberries, bananas, clove spice, cherries, molasses and other complex flavors. Diabetes in a bottle!

The aftertaste leaves with very nice caramel, dark fruit and tropical fruit flavors with oak rum and spices lingering. Good Luck finding the alcohol. Even at 15% ABV, it is one dangerously smooth and tempting Siren. Does not drink like a 15% ABV, holy crap. Take it easy with this one. Even if you want more, save some for later and share.

Overall, it is exceptionally wonderful and delicious. Think of a Quad that is tropical with rum flavors, coconut and piña colada. Let me put this in comparison with Cacaonut from the Bruery. Cacaonut from the Bruery is liquid Almond Joy with tropical fruits. This is a Dark Fruit Coconut Rum Piña Colada raisin bread pudding. Combining the fact that it is barrel aged, chocolate, quad and exotic is what make this one qualify for the top score which I give to either my best favorite beers or beers that have met the eligibility to be my favorites, even if rare. If I could, I would probably drink this everyday. That would be good, but would not be good for me, but would definitely be good. Cigar City is definitely the East Coast’s Bruery. As far as recommendation, HELL YES!! If you happen to find this parable paradise of an ale, set sail!! You will not regret this one.

La Trappe Bockbier by Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven

994519_10101265122745840_1887007567_n1013600_10101265124317690_767718593_nRating: 4.9/5

La Trappe Bockbier by Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven is a 7% ABV Trappist Bock

Label: 
La Trappe Bockbier is a unique seasonal product, available from autumn onwards. the only Trappist bock and what is more, one that continues to ferment in the bottle. A beautiful deep red colour with a light, bitter aftertaste. 
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It has been a very long time since I reviewed a beer from La Trappe. The last one I reviewed was their quadruple which was amazing. La Trappe being one of the 8 registered Trappist breweries in the world makes simply exquisite beers. According to Beer advocate, this is the best beer in its style. The Bock style was brewed in German Monasteries to pass the lenten fasts but some believe it was brewed during the month of Capricorn and so many Bock styles always have the goat association with it. It was used as a symbol of better times going from winters into the spring.

Aromas are of figs, raisins, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, hazelnuts, chocolate, brown sugar and rye bread.

Holy crap, you the flavors are borderline quad but with rich German malt aspects. Dark fruits like raisins, dates, dulce de leche caramel, rich toffee, banana, clove spice along with rye, pecans, hazelnut nectar, chocolate, raspberries, apricot, cinnamon and brown sugar.

This goes down very well. The mouth feel is rich even for a 7% ABV. Lots of malty sweetness, toffee and caramel in the aftertaste. This bock is very good. I think I liked it because of it s quad like elements. It is made by Trappist so you definitely cannot go wrong with this one. All I have to do now is find a 750ml of this.

Monks Brew (Elixir) by Mikkeller Brewing

734678_10100969367711300_122555278_nRating: 4.8/5

Monks Brew (Elixir) by Mikkeller Brewing is a 10% ABV Belgian Quadrupple Ale brewed with Raspberries and Aged in wine Barrels.

Label:
Brewed by Mikkeller at De Proefbrouwerij in Lochristi, Belgium. Known as Monk’s Brew in the U.S. 
Ingredients : Water, malts (pils and pale), candy syrup, brown sugar, hops (northern brewer, hallertauer and styrian goldings) and ale yeast
Monk’s Elixir is a heavy dark Belgian ale inspired by the Trappist monasteries of Rochefort and Westvleteren. The beer style, characterized by its high content of alcohol, distinguishes itself by its dominant yeast character, delicious malt background and balanced hop notes.
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Immediately after opening this beer, there is a strong fruity and sweet aroma. You can tell that there is grape wine fragrance along with Framboise Raspberries, apples, Dark Fruits like cherries, black berries and raisins and Belgian sweet bready aromas with nice caramel. Some of the barrel aromas are present as well. The flavor is quite vinious. There seems to be a stronger grape wine and oak presense it is immediately balanced by the dulce de leche bread. Some flavors or raspberries, raisins, bananas, figs and apples dipped in dark chocolate and caramel are also present. The wine and oak notes give it a bit of a tart, sour, lemon and bitter taste, it is not enough to take away from the the fact that this is still a quadruple ale. This means it is a hybrid of fancy wine and Belgian Dark quad ale. Something like the Cuvee de Tomme with that extra fermentation creating a quint or quintuple (5th) fermentation style which really isn’t heard of but it just makes sense when adding a 4th (quadruple) fermentation to a oak wine barrels and letting it age again. Complex dessert beer and the fact that it uses Trappist yeast is definitely one holy elixir of gods :P.

Spéciale Cent Cinquante by Chimay Trappistes

Rating: 4.5/5

Spéciale Cent Cinquante by Chimay Trappistes is a 10% ABV Tripel Brewed in honor of their 150th Anniversary (1892-20120)

Label:

This special edition is a full bodied and distinctive strong beer developed within the abbey to celebrate and honour the 150th anniversary of the brewery. Produced with 100% natural ingredients,its pale golden robe and champagne sparkle is topped by a rich white head of foam. The distinctive bouquet evokes the rich fruity and complex notes of the Chimay yeast in harmony with a delicate spicy note and the fragrance of fresh noble hops. At 10% alcohol, the flavour is full bodied and complex with a slight but refreshing tang note and a crisp hop finish that will delight the palate. 

Chimay, located in Scourmont Abbey in Belgium is one of the 7 Trappist monasteries in the world brewing some of the Best Belgian Beers in the world. Like the Chimay Grande Reserve (Blue) which is one of the best in the world and quite common to boot :). This beer reminds me of Curiex by Allagash as well as the Duvel Rustica by Ommegang. It is one of those sweet Belgian beers that are more pale and golden than a strong Quad. This Tripel is quite fragrant and floral. There are aromas of citrus, lime, honey, spices, cloves, peppercorn, grapes and hibiscus. The flavors are sweeter than Curiex and Duvel. There is a lot of sweet bread dipped in honey nectar or agave nectar. Oranges, lime, grape, apples, mango, peach, banana, alittle bit of pine and earthy hops, vanilla, coriander, spices, and pink peppercorns (Like in Allagash Fluxus). The beer is very good but for the price, you only get some extra flavors and sweetness. I would definitely go with the other Chimay beers for sure, but this one is worth a try atleast :). Still a very good beer

Trappist Westvleteren 12 by Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Rating: 5/5Trappist Westvleteren 12 by Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) is a 10.2% Mother of all the Beers in the world and leader of all quadruple fermented Belgian ales. Rated one of the best beers in the world right next to Pliny the Younger and Elder as well as others. One of the hardest beers to find due to its exclusivity or the Monasteries of Saint Sixtus Westvleteren. Meaning you have to buy it there physically or be stupidly lucky to find it *Ebay…ahem*. Founded in the year 1838, the brewery has been brewing and selling beer to support the monasteries as a non profit organization in Belgium. This beer goes without saying, but it doesn’t even need the label to show that this beer is something close to the Divine. You know, the stuff that Ben Franklin said about how “Beer exists because God wants people to be happy” kind of thing. Good news is that they will soon be working with distributors to make it available here in the states. 

So how is this beer really… and is it really the best in the world? Well, for starters, how does it compare to St Bernardus 12 and Trois Pistoles which to me are the best in the world? This is one is very similar but more flavor intense. Like trying to eat an entire jar of sweet dulce de leche. It is actually overwhelming. This is the second time I try this beer and in comparison this one is alittle more awesome. Almost feels like my body was going numb just it was hard to describe all the good flavors. Almost like a sugar comma. The flavors just explode leaving no taste buds untouched in sweetness. The 10.2% does kick in fair. So the flavors I can make out are a ton of caramel, dulce de leche, burnt sugar, honey, raisins, grapes and plum bread, chocolate, oak and other good spices. Very chewy and creamy beer as well :P.Just like I said last year I will say it again though. It is only the best beer in the world only in comparison because I can easily find St. Bernardus 12 and Trois Pistole 1000 times much easier than this one. Trust me, even though St, Bernardus is not considered Trappists by Belgian Standards, they should be as they make the beer using the same yeast as Westy 12 made since they obtained the licensing in the 1940’s A time when Sixtus needed money and St. Bernardus, a cheese producing Monastery assisted them. After the 1990s is when Bernardus decided not to renew the license though. Either way, in a taste test, even though Westy 12 may have it down more complex, St Bernardus 12 has the 2nd best complexity that comes the closest to the Westy 12. As soon as this beer hits the states, go get one…LOL unless your willing to get on ebay or a special beer shop that knows some hookups 😉

2011 Review:
The Westvleteren 12, known as the best beer in the world is only sold by monks in Belgium to be drunk over there and not resold. They do not make any money off of this and the proceeds go to their monasteries. I was finally able to get a hold of this beer and I will wait for the special occasion to give it go. Of course being a beer geek, I will have to get the right glassware and all to give this one a go. Drinking this will probably be like reaching the peak of beer tasting experience. I’ll see how it goes..lol

UPDATE: So me and my brother finally got around to trying this beer. It was the same beer I gave to my friend as a wedding gift. The smell was very rich and fruity. A wiff of this reminded me of a lost abbey. When I finally got around to tasting it, the first thing that came to mind was a combination of a less sweet st berbardus abt 12 but as strong and deliciousness of the deliverance ale of lost abbey. Nice and creamy beer full of extreme complexity and nothing too overwhelming as another. You have your caramel, malty, dark fruits of figs raisins, alcohol sense, bready flavor from the yeast, spices and minor bitterness. Not like the st bernardus 12 where it is more sweeter, but the balance of all the flavors put together is like a roller coaster of Belgium awesomeness. It is more dry and creamy than lingering forever, but the instant you have it in your taste buds is like trying to taste everything at once but your mind isn’t fast enough…. A beer to truly remember as I had this in celebration of my new car, but also because this is a beer that is very hard to get a hold of and also once in a life time opportunity for me. I was glad I had ya westy :)…Truly the best beer in the world….LOL…only cuz I can find other beers easier too :P…..