Cacaonut by The Bruery

1377129_10101439803763680_855321709_n 1374855_10101439804107990_2042561779_n 1377960_10101439804058090_1123003662_n 1378644_10101439803988230_1993895123_nRating: 6/5*

Cacaonut by The Bruery is a 15.6% ABV American Strong Ale brewed with Coconut, Vanilla Beans & Cacao Nibs and aged in Oak Barrels.

Label: 
Nuttin’ Better
A Unique blend of several of our barrel aged ales with toasted coconut, cacao nibs and vanilla beans. Cacaonut is bursting with flavors of spice, cocoa, rich toffee, and tropical notes. 

The unique blend was inspired by a favorite dessert of ours, the chocolate dipped coconut macaroon. Cacaonut is suitable for aging for up to three years. Best stored and cellared around 55F (13C) in a dark place.
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Secret recipe huh? Well, I did some research and found the blends may be White Oak Sap, Barrel Aged 5 Golden Rings and some of the Anniversary Ales. The Bruery has made some of the most exceedingly unexpected delicious barrel aged dessert beers I have ever tried. After trying several ones like Black Tuesday, Chocolate Rain, White Chocolate, Melange 3 and others, I was not expecting such beers to exceed my expectations this much. In fact, this is the reason I started to give greater than 5/5 ratings for beers that I feel truly deserve that “exceeding expectations” category. Not to mention the fact that anything that taste closest to chocolate is where I go bonkers over the beer. Just to be fair though, I will try to brake this complex monster as best I can. All I will say now before I start is this…. Almond Joy Chocolate while drinking blended tropical juices

Aromas are of rich milk chocolate, dark chocolate, super rich vanilla, rich coconut, dulce de leche caramel, sweetened condensed milk (Lechera), coconut milk, vanilla, bourbon, oak, flan, crème brulee, tootsie roll, almond joy chocolate, brown sugar, maple, dark fruits, plums, raisins, boozy sweet aromas, port wine, pecans, hazelnut and much more.

The Flavors are epic chocolate coconut bliss. I’m done!! That’s its. Just kidding. There a very distinct rich toasted coconut flavor coming from this. This is super close to what the had in mind of chocolate macaroons. Dark Chocolate, maple syrup, vanilla, flan, bourbon, plums raisins, almond joy chocolate, toffee, brown sugar, pecans, hazelnut and walnuts. There are also tropical flavors here as well of hidden citrus, coriander, pineapple, caramelized mango, chocolate bananas, dragon fruit, dark cherries, blue berries and clove spice. 

The aftertaste is very toasty coconut milk, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon and almost like a Queso Fresco quezadilla toasted note taste. Pretty interesting but I really think it is the bready coconut in action here. A definite sipper, boozy but nothing to get in the way of ultimate complexity. 

*Overall, this one is exquisitely delicious and amazing. These are the beers I wish I could drink everyday. It is beers like these that defy what beers are and what beers truly be!! (At least the dessert ones). I am fanatic of chocolate beers and pairing the coconut here gives it some very complex flavors to the already complex barrel aged blend selection as I mentioned above. I apologize if this sounds too snobby, it is not my intention. But I would like for you to take this with a grain of salt and if you get a chance to try it (and you love coconut, chocolate and tropical fruits) you will most likely love it. Unless you do not like complexity and strength in beers then you best off with something lighter. Also, as with all “Diabetes in a bottle” beers, drink and enjoy in small amounts please!!

Yoko Littner For the Win!!

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Robert & Ryan / Rip Current / Stone R&R Coconut IPA

76035_10101316762155050_928126366_n 46375_10101316761037290_1434459790_n 1004846_10101316760233900_1743591119_nRating: 3.8/5

Robert & Ryan / Rip Current / Stone R&R Coconut IPA Collaboration is a 7.7% ABV India Pale Ale brewed and flavored with coconut

Label: 
This collaboration beer is a celebration of the homebrewing spirit and an example of counter-intuitive thoughts coalescing beautifully into something exceptional. Case in point is the seamless marrying of toasted coconut and a hop bill brimming with tropical fruit notes. Longtime homebrewers Robert Masterson and Ryan Reschan teamed up to enter this beer in our annual American Homebrewers Association-sanctioned brewing competition and, though it was the first beer they’d ever brewed together, they sailed past the competition like a tropical ocean breeze on a pleasure cruise bound for India. After winning, the duo reached out to their friend, highly decorated homebrewer and 2011 AHA Ninkasi Award winner Paul Sangster of the newly opened Rip Current Brewing Company, to assist in dialing in the recipe. Together with Sangster’s skilled partner Guy Shobe and Stone Brewmaster Mitch Steele, Masterson and Reschan present fellow craft beer enthusiasts with a most delicious and original style of IPA. Open, enjoy, rest, relax and repeat as needed.

“On the nose, you get lots of tropical fruit—mango, passion fruit, pineapple—with some sweet orange and stone fruit from the hops along with toasty coconut sweetness.” Ryan Reschan /I Winning Homebrewer 1 love the tropical spin that Robert and Ryan added to an already great IPA recipe.” Mitch Steele II Brewmaster, Stone Brewing Co. “The true lest of a beer like this is the balance between the fruity hop and the coconut flavors and, with this one, you feel like you’re drinking a tropical drink on the beach.”

Paul Sangster // Co-Founder/Brewer, Rip Current Brewing Co.
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Aromas of this beer are a very nice mix tropical and hoppy. Mango, grapefruit, kiwi, dragonfruit, apricot, pineapple, grassy, floral and piney hops and some coconut notes

The flavors are very tropical and hoppy as well. The break down is more tropical than hoppy though. Leading in with some prickly pear, mango, citrus, pineapple, grapefruit, hints of toasted coconut, piney and floral hops.

The after taste leaves hoppy and tropical as well but instead of more tropical in the end, it fades out with citrus and grass hop goodness with minor coconut hints. 

This beer is pretty good but it is somewhat fair in terms of finding the coconut. While it is hinted, I think I got more coconut as I drank more but the coconut is consumed by the hops. Not a bad thing at all as I really like tropical and hoppy IPAs but in terms of coconut it is only hinted slightly more than other IPAs. I remember watching the video about the collaboration (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqPDASoFJDA) and they specified that this was like a piña colada in a bottle. The truth is that it is true, but only to a minor to moderate extent. This beer does not boast lots of coconut and piña colada flavors but the notes are definitely there. Do not get your hopes up and expect a head on piña colada tasting beer but do expect an IPA that does have hints here and there of the flavors and aromas.

Overall, the beer does a pretty good job and bringing some very nice tropics to the scene and some nice hints that would not be found in some other IPAs. Either way, it is a pretty good beer and should still be tried. Maybe you can find more flavors than I can’t 🙂

Café Racer 15 by Bear Republic

1010393_10101308962420780_820626949_n 643973_10101308962919780_1939417553_n 524311_10101308961263100_1438719848_nRating: 5.25/5

Café Racer 15 by Bear Republic is a 9.75% ABV Double/Imperial India Pale Ale

Label: 
Café Racer 15™ features aromas of bright citrus and resinous pine from the generous use of Citra, Amarillo, Cascade and Chinook hops which are complimented by a dry malt finish. The result is a high revving Double IPA that is loud and assertive, much like the rebellious street racers who inspired it. Never ride alone…
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Just in time for IPA day, this version of their double IPA is supposed to be more west coast (more hoppier due to the greater variety of hops as stated above) than the Racer X which was more English tradition plus hops. This beer won the Great American Beer Festival Silver award in 2012.

Aromas are very hoppy and tropical. Grapefruit, mango, kiwi hints, citrus, prickly pear, pineapple, floral, dank, piney and grassy hops, lemon peel, biscuit bread, honey notes and caramel

The flavors are awesome as well. Lots of flowy, oily, dank, piney and floral hops, grapefruit, pineapple hints, mango, honey dew melon, kiwis, passion fruit, papaya, peach and apricot notes, dragon fruit, blood oranges, lemons, caramel and biscuit bread with tangy mandarin jelly

After taste lingers in the tropics. Almost like I just got drinking some type of hoppy bitter fruit punch. Kinda hard to find the alcohol in this one as well. It is also very refreshing, surprisingly smooth and well balanced both in the hop, malt and tropical aspects. 

Just like Racer X, definitely as close to Heady Topper, maybe closer. I honestly think the difference from the 2 IPAs is that Cafe 15 is way more tropical. Simply amazing and gets more tastier with every sip. Seems to be way better than Racer 5. I am sure this beer will soon be coveted, so if you find this savor it!! It really is an amazing IPA. Happy IPA day everyone 🙂

Fillmore Fusion by Lagunitas Brewing

11212_10101059919784220_1027903425_n 551403_10101059919414960_1880041555_nRating: 4.75/5

Fillmore Fusion by Lagunitas Brewing is a 5%ABV American Pale Ale

Description:
Brewed to honor the 100th Anniversary of the building housing the historic Fillmore Theater in San Francisco. The resulting 5% ABV beer utilizes a new, experimental hop called ADHA 483.
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Upon opening this beer, I knew something was quite different about this beer. This was in a good way of course. The hoppy fragrance is quite different adding like an exotic fruit character like a lychee, kumquat, dragon fruit or persimmon like aroma. Some of the grassy and pine notes are subtle and give way through some more tropical fruit flavors such as the grapefruit, mango, oranges, tangerines, caramel, cherries, and like a gummy bear sweetness. The Flavors are awesome. Starts off with typical west coast California grassy, piney and grapefruit hops followed by those exotic fruits like a persimmon, dragon fruit, lychee or kumquat. We also come a nice tangerine, orange, lemon, mango, papaya, pear, slight cherry, apple, herbs and spices. A very crisp and sweet Pale Ale. Refreshing as well. Definitely a summer type of beer with some very interesting flavors. A must try.