Smore’s Chocolate Ale by Avila Ales

10423277_10101997008969980_4500423067913299149_nRating: 4.75/5

Smore’s Chocolate Ale by Avila Ales is a 6.5% ABV American Brown Ale brewed with Cocoa Nibs.

This special recipe was brewed by my friends, Mr. Richard & Mrs. Megan Avila of Lawndale California. It was their very first brew which yielded 5 gallons. A lot of careful preparation was made to get the beer just the way they wanted it and I was honored to be the first one to do a review for them. Home brewing is a very special skill that takes time and practice like all other arts. I plan to make my own home brew soon but it is always a pleasure to review and share some of my friends creations. The lost treasure of taste and experience may not have to be so lost if you can find that your treasure is what you make it to be. Cheers!

Aromas:
Roasted coffee hints, caramel, dark chocolate, smokey notes, anise, peanut butter cup hints, clove spice, and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Dark chocolate, marshmallow, graham cracker notes, molasses, smokey notes and coffee. The flavors becomes stronger as the beer warms up giving ways to more milk chocolate than earthy bitterness as well as notes of bananas, clove spice hints, vanilla, pecans, caramel, brown sugar, peanut butter, mocha coffee notes, cocoa krispies and fudge cake hint.

Aftertaste:
Dark chocolate and milk chocolate lingers as it warms up along with subtle earthy and coffee notes notes. No alcohol in the taste, dark brown full body, easy to drink with a creamy mouthfeel.

Overall:
A very good first batch of beer. I really dig how well made it is. The cocoa nibs really compliment the other ingredients bringing forth some nice sugary and spicy flavors that typically go with when people think of smores. At the 6.5% ABV, there is a good amount of complexity and it goes to show you don’t always have to have a high ABV beer to still show some good complex flavors. While in the beginning you taste some roastiness to give it some bitterness, it is best to drink as it warms ups because that’s where you will really get the more sweeter flavors. Hope to have this dessert again the future and Special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Avila for sharing this awesome beer with me.

Anime Corner:
Riza Hawkeye and Winry Rockbell from Full Metal Alchemist were used in this pairing because I wanted to capture not only the chocolate and smore characteristics of a beer as represented by the chocolate cake but also the team effort in working hard to make something very delicious. Brewing is like cooking and when you know how to cook right, brewing such delicious beers is like making a delicious cake. This may have been my friend’s first beer but to get a nice level of complexity right off the bat was pretty damn amazing. Also the colors of the label do compliment some of the background and characters.

Sources:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v499/AoiSora/hagaren_misc/clear-card-valentines-day.jpg

Bailey Beagle’s Bitchin Brown Ale by El Borracho Home Brewing

1148777_10101732106376900_1941518801_nRating: 4.25/5
Bailey Beagle’s Bitchin Brown Ale by El Borracho Home Brewing is a ~4.6% ABV American Brown Ale.

Another sweet donation from good friend William Carranza. This ale pays tribute to Will’s friend, Brent Rivera, who’s beagle, Bailey, had passed away recently due to medical complications. This is Will’s second beer and it is one that was cleverly named. The Tribute and the named worked. Is it a Bitchin brown ale? Let’s take a look and see.

Aromas:
Chocolate hints, hazelnut, pecans, coconut hints, caramel, earthy hop notes, mild coffee roast, brown sugar and a hint of raisin.

 

Flavors:
Caramel, hints of coconut, chocolate, rye, coffee hints, earthy notes, mild raisin notes, biscuit bread, brown sugar, hazelnut, toffee, pecans and peanuts.

 

Aftertaste:

A nice dry finish with a bit of lingering toffee, earthy notes and caramel. No alcohol in the taste, easy to drink even with a medium to full body.

 

Overall:

A very Bitchin brown ale indeed! There were some flavors in this beer that at different temperatures reminded me of other sweet flavors I would probably find in other beers. It is well crafted and definitely goes to show that anyone with a little know how can make really good beers. Now I just have to get my kit and star brewing soon.

Anime Corner:
Winry Rockbell from Full Metal Alchemist is used in this pairing to pay tribute to man’s best friend. The different shades of brown in this picture coincide with the delicious flavors of this Brown ale. It has different layers of flavors that remind me of other flavors I have seen in other beers, especially the coconut one. The dog in the picture also pairs as this is shows how dedicated the dog is to their owners. A lot of dedication went into making the beer, and if Bailey could drink beer, I am sure she would have enjoy it!

Bourbon Barrel Stout by Anderson Valley Brewing

536838_10101122854891760_984799768_nRating: 4.5/5

Bourbon Barrel Stout by Anderson Valley Brewing is a 6.9%ABV American Stout aged in Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrels

Description:
Complexity. Aged for three months in Wild Turkey Bourbon barrels, this luxurious stout has a deep ebony hue and a beautiful mahogany head. The woody, vanilla-like notes imparted by the barrels mingle with aromas of fresh baked bread, toffee, and espresso and envelop the rich chocolate and roasted barley flavors with a fine bourbon character. Our exclusive partnership with Wild Turkey gives Anderson Valley a world class, consistent source of barrel age, allowing our brewers to explore new frontiers in barrel-aged craft beer.
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Immediate aromas from this beer are of milk chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, slight coconuts, mocha, coffee, caramel, slight anise, brownie batter, bakers chocolate and brown sugar. The flavors are are chocolate chips, brownies, dark chocolate syrup, earthy hops, caramel, vanilla, oak, bourbon, milk chocolate, slight coffee, coconuts, graham crackers, brown sugar, maple, some anise and some roasted hazelnut notes. The beer is really good. It is not extremely boozy but it does have the right amount of barrel-aged notes to make it awesome. I have had other barrel aged stouts that were definitely better, but this one gets a good grade because it is the type of beer that provides the great bourbon barrel-aged flavors at smaller ABV with closer moderate to easy to drink levels which is good for those that are beginning to roam into barrel-aged territories of craft brewing. It is no Abyss or Chocolate Rain, but it is still a very good beer.