Embargo by Black Market Brewing

10269653_10101781307906640_4835905118405593472_n 10269540_10101781309054340_7706442183232571023_n 1907299_10101781309548350_5915171314225761319_nRating: 5.8/5

Embargo by Black Market Brewing is a 9.8% ABV Imperial Brown Ale brewed with Vanilla & Cocoa Nibs aged in whiskey barrels.

Label:
Embargo is an elegant, barrel-aged Imperial Brown Ale, based on a high gravity version of our popular Shakedown Brown. Embargo is aged in used whiskey barrels with cocoa nibs and vanilla beans to create and amazingly well layered taste sensation. Enjoy Embargo on special occasions with special friends.
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Picked up a bottle at Ramirez Liquor store. I was going to pass this up but the colors got to me and just the fact that I never had an Imperial Barrel aged brown ale, I had no choice but to break the Bavarian law, lol, and try to ship this to my experience of flavors as well as show may why it is called Embargo. It could be that this beer has something to hide, something dark that the government doesn’t want you to try or even know about. However, we here at brewerianimelogs would like to show you otherwise.

Aromas:
Lot’s of rich berries and dark fruits, black berries, blue berries, boysenberries, currants, raisins, strawberry jam, rich plantain bananas, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon, coconut, coffee notes, marshmallows, clove spice, old bananas, brown sugar, dulce de leche caramel, flan, chocolate abuelita, whiskey, rye bread, sugar cone, cinnamon, molasses, mint and anise.

Flavors:
Rich Plantain bananas (Platano Macho), chocolate abuelita, oak, bourbon, coconut, dark chocolate, earthy hop notes, vanilla, milk chocolate, dulce de leche caramel, rich dark fruits like blackberries, boysenberries, blueberries, currants, raisins, plum notes, strawberries, grape marmalade of rye toast bread,clove spice, molasses, mint, anise, brown sugar, pillocillo sugar cone, cinnamon, marshmallows smores, mocha, coffee, flan, coconut and crème brulee hints.

Aftertaste:
Lingering berry flavors, whiskey, bourbon notes, caramel,flan, plantain, earthy hop bitterness, vanilla and oak. No alcohol in the taste, a sipping beer, full bodied mouth feel but very delicious that you may want to finish the bottle trying to find more of what makes this one good.

Overall:
I have no fucking idea what it is about barrel aging a brown ale but this took flavors to a whole other profile of complexity that I haven’t tried from a barrel aged beer in the past. That is also attributed to the vanilla beans and cocoa nibs for that matter. This is damn good, Black Market must have pulled a page from the Bruery book and decided to take it into a direction that I am sure not many have traversed. Imperial Brown ales aged in bourbon are very uncommon and one made with vanilla and cocoa nibs, its over!

Anime Corner:
Motoko Kusanagi from Ghost in the Shell was used in this pairing to pair with different aspect. We start with the label which pairs with Motoko’s hair color, and apparel. Next we look at the the aspect of the label that involved Embargo, the government’s intervention of stopping imports at the heart of the ports. Ghost in the Shell has nothing to do with ports really, but Motoko does work for an organization of Public Safety which connects to the government which connects to the public’s safety in terms of the access to international goods. This beer represents the hidden goodness, maybe not by the government, but something that has yet been discovered that maybe the public is not ready for. I feel that this is way to knew and the good folks at Black Market brewery know a little bit too much. Motoko, while maybe being a public safety agent, she still exposes the source for good. Meaning she can be a double agent nd bring some of those really good berry, oak, plaintain, bourbon and more complexities over to us that the Black Market has. Hey, even in the show, even though she was a mission to do, she does show her caring side even if she does the right thing when it comes to going against the system. Then again, who knows, and that is where the beer’s mystery lies in.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Smashed Pumpkin by Shipyard Brewing

541363_10101405104176930_1311754114_n 1234765_10101405104127030_803219720_nRating: 5/5

Bourbon Barrel Aged Smashed Pumpkin by Shipyard Brewing is a 12% ABV Pumpkin Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels

Label: 
Our Bourbon Barrel Aged ales are brewed and carefully cellar-aged in small batches in dedicated bourbon barrels at our brewery in Portland, Maine.

Hops: Willamette, Saphir
Malts: Pale, Whole Wheat, Munich
Yeast: Top-fermenting English
Color: Honey
Aroma: Oak spiced, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon
Body: Light to medium
Finish: Warming, smooth, and velvety
IBU: 35
SRM 14.85

Recommended Serving temperature is 55 deg. Fahrenheit in brandy-style stemware. Aged over 100 days. Unlimited shelf life
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As an added bonus last year, Shipyard released this hard to get beer along with their awesome smashed pumpkin yearly release (which to me is the “best common” pumpkin beer ever). Unfortunately, I was never able to pick this release up until recently. One of the local places had it in stock for a limited time. So as pay back for last year of missing out on this beer to review, I will spend no time wasted and get on with the show.

Aromas are of rich vanilla, whiskey, bourbon, oak, pumpkin, dulce de leche caramel, honey, squash, brown sugar, pilloncillo sugar cone, maple, cinnamon, sweet potatoes, toasty coconut, chocolate hints, flan, pecans, nutmeg, coriander and citrus.

The flavors are of oak and whiskey. Vanilla, coconut, pumpkin pie, pecans, nutmeg, cinnamon, whipped creamed flan, dulce de leche caramel, sweetened condensed milk, maple, sweet potatoes, marshmallows, chocolate notes, graham crackers, pumpkin flesh in pilloncillo sugar cone syrup, milk, brown sugar, cloves, coriander, citrus and ginger pumpkin bread.

The aftertaste is oaky and sweet with pumpkin and bourbon whiskey lingering. This beer is boozy and is definitely a sipper. Do not let the moderate body fool you. The mouth feel on this is close to syrupy. YUM!!

Overall, this is way better than the original smashed pumpkin. I think I drank this way too fresh as the booze was not well hidden. It is not a problem at all as I rather enjoyed those sweet oak and whiskey notes. They compliment the pumpkin very well. This, however, needs sometime to sit in a cellar for a while in order to become exquisite or exceed expectations. Nevertheless, An awesome beer that has become on par with some of my other Barrel aged and non-barrel aged pumpkin beers I have reviewed here. 

Original Smashed Pumpkin Review:
https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/smashed-pumpkin-by-shipyard-brewing/

Bird on a Wire by Crispin Cider Company

1017680_10101265120500340_1931197068_nRating: 5.25/5 *Rating based on ciders reviewed and compared so far only

Bird on a Wire by Crispin Cider Company is a 6.9% ABV Blended Hard Cider aged in Bourbon whiskey casks with Tupelo Honey.

Label: 
Authentic American alt.country cider. Not forever, just for now.

Dances across the palate, like a band playing and people swayin’. Spend some time, wait a minute. Set it free. 
Blended using 4 unique apple-wines aged in both rye and Bourbon American whiskey barrels. Apple-wines fermented with:Irish Stout yeast, Belgian Trappist yeast,Sake yeast and our original Colfax Classic.

The final blend is finished with Tupelo Honey aged in Bourbon barrels and a lingering open-mouthed kiss of fresh-pressed apple juice. 
Balanced and very smooth, toasted oaktannins, whiskey notes, with soft rye spice, cask-woody vanilla and cinnamon.

Blended straight from whiskey barrels.Give a solid bottoms-up tilt and swirl to disperse sediment evenly and best enjoy whiskey aromas and unique bouquet.

Enjoyed at cellar temperature, 50/55F.With or without 1 or 2 ice cubes. Age-worthy.
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Regardless of being a Coors subordinate, they make some hell good ciders. So far I have reviewed the ciders fermented in Irish Stout yeast and Trappist yeast, the latter being my favorite. Now I think I have a new favorite with this one.

First aromas that come as soon as you open the bottle is whiskey and rich stuff at that. It is followed by that bourbon vanilla sweetness, caramel, coconut, rye bread, cinnamon, apple, honey, oak, spices and brown sugar.

The flavors are of cider apples, whiskey, bourbon vanilla, oak, slight coconut notes, dulce de leche caramel flan notes, honey, crème brulee, white wine, champagne, brown sugar, cinnamon, french toast with apple butter, rye bread and cinnamon, bear claw doughnut with apples and cinnamon, and apple pie with rich caramel.

No doubt about it, a little at that, but still freaking amazing. Really brings about great Cask/Barrel aged goodness as some of the best bourbon liquors and bourbon aged beers can bring but in cider form. Who knew cider can deliver a good level of craft in its own way. I gotta find more of these bottles. They need to make 22oz. Bottles of this or even make like a 6 pack. This would make for a great cider for people to try for those that are skeptical of trying the Craft Cider side of beverage connoisseurship.