2015 Wreck Alley by Karl Strauss

10547156_10103117642177050_901989524375048358_o 10272606_10103117642980440_6738868236092388163_o 10392305_10103117643858680_3243286541705481776_nRating: 4.75/5

2015 Wreck Alley by Karl Strauss is a 9% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with cocoa nibs and Ethiopian coffee beans from Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.

Beneath the tides off Mission Beach rests Wreck Alley – a dark and mysterious seascape of forgotten ships. Amidst the rusted wreckage is a marine ecosystem, an artificial reef teeming with life. Our Wreck Alley is as dark as the depths of its namesake, an Imperial Stout of uncharted complexity. Brewed with darkly kilned malts, cocoa nibs, and Ethiopian coffee beans sourced by our friends at Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, Wreck Alley boasts rich layers of dark chocolate, toffee, and espresso-like roast.


Got this one off one of my local markets. It has been a long time since I tried this beer and I wanted to bring it back for a re-review as I saw they are using a different brand of coffee with this brew. That and I do recall how much I liked this one back then so I figure, why not bring it back to the website for good ol’ time sakes. This time, Karl Strauss collabs with Bird Rock Coffee Roasters in San Diego. So it is good to see what new flavors might come about with this blending. Time for the beer, Cheers!

Coffee, Mocha, Kahlua liqueur hints , Dark Chocolate, milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, coconut hints, tobacco notes, brown sugar, marshmallow smores, rocky road ice cream hints and toffee.

Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, German chocolate, Baker’s chocolate, earthy hop hints, espresso, mocha, roasted coffee, toffee, tobacco notes, licorice, anise, molasses, brownie batter, vanilla, caramel, toasted coconut, marshmallows, smores, rocky road notes, dark fruit raisins, cherries, Coffee cake, Chocolate cake, crème brulee hints, steamed milk, Irish cream and Kahlua liqueur notes.

Finishes with notes of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, dark fruit, earthy notes, vanilla and caramel notes. No alcohol in the taste, pitch black dark body, smooth, creamy, and mildly chewy mouthfeel with a moderate drinkability.

A very delicious stout just like I remember it. While I have had many stouts in the past, this one brings back memories of how well it was made. It is still well made and delicious. A common go to beer for sure especially since it is readily available. Now that I see it often near me, I will be getting this one often. I recommend this one.

Anime Corner:
Etna from Disgaea was chosen to return to the brew like I did with the original review of the Wreck Alley Stout. At the time, one of the reasons I had chosen her to do the pairing was due to the dark and evil face which would make up the dark water this is but also her surrounding of rubble seeming like she brings death and destruction. Although she may seem like that on the outside. She really is a sweet heart in reality and in the series. I just like how well she paired back then with the idea so I added some new pictures that would fit with that aspect of wrecks, destructions and corruption but really is sweet like the taste of the beer is. Don’t judge books by their covers!


(Brewerianimelogs On The Road) Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Wreck Alley by by Karl Strauss

10402377_10101827497242840_6320414451540469801_nRating: 5.75/5

Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Wreck Alley by by Karl Strauss is a 12.4%ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Cocoa Nibs, Coffee Beans, Vanilla Beans and aged in Bourbon Oak Barrels.

Like previous versions of Wreck Alley, this batch has additions of cocoa nibs and locally roasted Ethiopian coffee beans. But this time we didn’t stop there. Our brewers split whole vanilla beans from Papua New Guinea, added them to the beer, and left it to age in American oak barrels for an entire year. The result? All of the dark chocolate and espresso-like roast you expect from Wreck Alley, plus exotic vanilla undertones.

So I had this crazy idea that since I am always out and about trying different beers, why not try to do some quick reviews for some beers that may or may not make it to bottles and may be draft only. I did something like this long ago (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/seme-della-vita-the-seed-of-life-by-monkish-brewing/) but never really took off with the idea. This time around I tried a beer at the local Uncle Henry’s Deli near my town which was really damn good. This beer was essentially the same beer I about a year ago (https://brewerianimelogs.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/barrel-aged-wreck-alley-by-karl-strauss/) but with the addition of vanilla beans. Well now, that just added some damn good level of complexity. So basically I liked it so much that I wanted to do a review for it. I also recently heard that this beer may be released in bottles, so if that is the case, I will be sure to review that one too. I will definitely try to do more “on the road” reviews for sure.

Dark, milk, bakers and sweet chocolate, coconut, rich vanilla, oak, coffee, mocha, bourbon, rocky road ice cream, flan, dark fruits like raisins, plums, caramel, toffee, tobacco, brown sugar, anise and berries and cream.

Definitely rich in Dark, milk, bakers and sweet chocolate and vanilla with the mocha coffee coming through very nicely. It is not as light funky as the previous one BA version was which I am sure is where the vanilla comes in. Lots of flavors of caramel, frappuccino, flan, coconut,bourbon, rocky road ice cream, marshmallows, anise, brown sugar, tobacco, toffee, berries and cream, Irish cream notes, dark fruits like raisins, plums, figs and currants.

Caramel, vanilla, rich chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, mild coconut lingers. Very well hidden alcohol despite the big ABV. It sure does not drink like a 12% ABV beer. A sipping beer but is very smooth and silky. It is pretty dangerous stuff as I can see finishing off a couple of glasses and then it would not be good for me.

Way better than the original and the first Barrel Aged version. I like sweeter beers so this one was sweeter than the original and the BA one so definitely a lot of extra credit there. I would highly recommend this one if you can find it on tap of even on the bottle which I am sure I will definitely try to get to maybe add some more pictures or make a comparison. Either way, definitely get your hands on a couple of drinks of this, with responsibility of course.

Anime Corner:
Etna from the Disgaea series has been a consistent character I have used for the Wreck Alley series ever since the first one I did where it shows her by a slab of concrete that was destroyed. Shes a crazy machine. Then in the second one, it shows her huge like Godzilla sitting next to some buildings. Yep. In this instance, the addition of vanilla to the barrel is like her sitting on a Prinny (the blue penguin aka her minion). So the heightened amount of flavors is like her letting her minions do all the work for her where she can just relax!

Barrel Aged Wreck Alley by Karl Strauss

525152_10101102355587530_102859647_n 72699_10101102356311080_1016620103_n 480802_10101102356375950_906223931_nRating: 5.35/5

Barrel Aged Wreck Alley by Karl Strauss is a 10%ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Cocoa Nibs and Coffee Beans and aged in Bourbon Oak Barrels.

When we tasted the first batch of Wreck Alley Imperial Stout, we knew barrel-aged versions were in the cards. The only questions were when and how often? Batch #1 answers the first question, and as for Batch #2, you’ll just have to wait and see. Brewed with the same darkly-kilned malts, Tcho cocoa nibs, and Ethiopian coffee beans from Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, Batch #1 was aged three months in American oak bourbonbarrels. The resulting brew is a dark, unblended, and richly flavored union of dark chocolate, espresso, and toasted oak. Grab a bottle while you can, this limited release won’t be around for long

Been waiting a while for the right time to get this. The fragrance of this beer is of nice dark, milk and bakers chocolate, coffee, some vanilla, some bourbon and funky oak. The flavors are very good and it was a surprise as the fragrances weren’t as complex. The flavors are of a lot Milk chocolate, vanilla, very rich dulce de caramel which is unlike many beers I have tried, a good amount of funky oak, grapes, plums, berries and creme, minor bourbon and almost like a chocolate and blueberry cheese cake flavor. This almost reminds me of the Hellshire II. The Coffee is not as strong or bitter as the smell but it is still there to lend a mocha like twist. It is highly drinkable which is very surprising. Not only is this a 10%ABV beer but the boozyness or even bourbon lends a hand only enough to make this incredible. This may not be like the utmost ABV high of dessert beers I have ever had but, simply because it is a rich and thick dessert beer with hardly any sense of alcohol that I could find offending or even attributing, I still consider this a great beer. I like it a lot. I really think it has to do with my love for rich sweet beers like chocolate rain or organic chocolate. Hell, it lends to hints of berries and crème. That’s good stuff!! Sometimes you don’t have to be highly impacting or complex to get to the sweetness that is a great beer. Some people may not find it as great because it is not a supreme bourbon bomb dessert but regardless it is still a winner and a favorite of mine now.

Wreck Alley by Karl Strauss Brewing

Rating: 4.6/5Wreck Alley by Karl Strauss Brewing is a 9.5% ABV Imperial Stout. This was recommended to me by my friend Eric although he advised that it is better and fresher on tap. LOL I agree to some extent. Although this beer can be aged as stated on the bottle. So I took his word for it and sought this beer :).


Beneath the tides off Mission Beach rests Wreck Alley – a dark and mysterious seascape of forgotten ships. Amidst the rusted wreckage is a marine ecosystem, an artificial reef teeming with life. Our Wreck Alley is as dark as the depths of its namesake, an Imperial Stout of uncharted complexity. Brewed with darkly kilned malts, cocoa nibs, and Ethiopian coffee beans, Wreck Alley boasts rich layers of dark chocolate, toffee, and espresso-like roast. Save a bottle. This one has a stout shelf-life. 
The aroma of this beer is quite nice. Roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, cream and almost like a faint tobacco. In terms of the flavors, Vanilla is king in this one. It is then followed by the sweet chocolate, coffee, licorice/anise, slight coconut and caramel. The after taste is not smokey or bitter but almost like a brownie or a chocolate cake with anise but the earthy notes settle the sweetness so it is not overly sweet. Well hidden alcohol as it is hard to tell that it is there. It is quite a nice imperial Stout. As with many stouts, each more unique than the other. It think vanilla is the big hit with this one. This is an awesome pick up if you can get it. I think it is only seasonal too.