2017 Edition 120 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head

Rating: 6/6

2017 Edition 120 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head is a 16.5% Triple India Pale Ale

Label:
AGES WELL

What you have here is the holy grail for hopheads. This beer is continually hopped for over a 120 minute boil and then dry-hopped every day for a month. Enjoy now or age for a decade or so.

==Introduction==

It’s been literally years since I last tried this. In a time when I had the chance to try Dogfish Head Fort, and World Wide Stout, this one was there. All of the beers were up in the 18% ABV range which was ridiculous at the time. And were actually some of the strongest beers in the world. This one being the strongest IPA before Sink the Bismark came along. Although Sink The Bismark at 41%ABV (YES, 41%ABV) was highly rare and really unavailable. Today, it has yet to see a comeback. Nevertheless, DFH 120 still is one of the strongest IPAs in the world period. Let’s have a look at how this new release does. While I cannot compare to the original, I hope it keeps up to what my expectations were back then, cheers!

Aromas:
dark fruit cherries, dragon fruit, passion fruit, tropical fruit mango, kiwi, honey dew melon, stone fruit apricots, peaches, peach cobbler, peach preserves, orange preserves, orange peel, grapefruit, floral, piney, herbal, garlicky, and grassy dank hops, bourbon notes, raspberries, wild flower honey, rye bread, toffee, vanilla and caramel.

Flavors:
Oranges, Grapefruit, piney, floral, herbal, garlicky, and grassy dank hops, toffee, vanilla, biscuit bread, tangerines, caramel, maple hints, dark fruit cherries, dragon fruit, passion fruit, tropical fruit mango, kiwi, honey dew melon, stone fruit apricots, peaches, peach cobbler, peach preserves, orange preserves, grapefruit preserves, rye bread, sun dried apples, cane sugar, wild flower honey, sweetened condensed milk, three milk/ tres leches cake, pecan pie, caramel covered oranges, lemon candy, lime peel, candied grapefruit, butter scotch, leathery hints, mild bourbon notes, sherry wine, chardonnay, rasberry or some kind of special berries all through out.

Aftertaste:
Finishes very hop forward despite the ABV, Candied Oranges, Grapefruits, Lemon candy, grassy and garlicky dank hops, dark fruits, tropical fruits, stone fruits, caramel, butterscotch and pecan pie. Boozy aftertaste but not detracting from the flavors, amber honey light to medium body, crisp, refreshing, smooth, syrupy and chewy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A supremely exceptional beer! IT is definitely the epitome of IPAs While I would think this is more of a barley wine, the richer hop aspect is what keeps it in the IPA range. While this is an IPA that can age, it will most likely be more of an American barley wine later on. The complexity of this beer is ridiculous and it is definitely much in the range of what I typically love from special strong beers like this, Yet, the hop strength is super out there. There is a reason why hop heads adore this specialty brew even to this day. Do yourself a favor and get a bottle!

Anime Corner:
Yui Takamura from Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse was used in this pairing as I used her to pair with the original in the original pairing of DFH 120. What I was going for back then was a bad ass looking character that pairs with the colors of the flavors and possibly the golden colors of the beer and the label. So bringing her back and expanding with more art was something I felt worked.

Sources:
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tMLuTsu766Q/Vfg5aSBtv7I/AAAAAAAABKU/7SLIQXbygXA_sv8s22oPAWil3yJqcfM5ACE0/s1024/0148ce4827014b29a6227d17bc70a2907dcd8280fd.jpg
http://blog-imgs-85.fc2.com/s/e/i/seiroganmania/psuits1_15.jpg
http://blog-imgs-85.fc2.com/m/o/g/mogiero/71118040711201546.jpg
http://pre10.deviantart.net/984e/th/pre/i/2015/254/2/9/yui_takamura_by_comichan-d995sx5.png
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y240/xacur/Go_to_the_Top_Total_Eclipse-2.jpg~original

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2016 Private Stock Ale (2005 Olde Ale) by Alesmith

14068422_10103494899824700_6945016554142697332_o 14066228_10103494900907530_825857851174347857_oRating: 6/6

2016 Private Stock Ale (2005 Olde Ale) by Alesmith is an 11% ABV English Strong Ale

Label:
Originally brewed in 2005 as AleSmith Olde Ale, the inaugural beer in our annual Decadence Anniversary Ale series, this imperial English-style ale succinctly follows the brewing traditions of Old World England. Rich and malt-forward, this forceful yet elegant beer showcases soft notes of currants and dried fruit along with complex dark sugars, all of which are balanced by a subtle bitterness derived from the addition of English hops. Savor it now or age (for 20 years or more) and enjoy later, on its own or as part of a multi-vintage vertical tasting.

==Introduction==

When I first obtained this beer, I thought this would be something I have not had in the past. After doing some research it turns out that this is actually the same as the Olde Ale I had a couple years back. At the same time, I remembered how awesome that brew was. So I said, screw it, let’s give it another go to the site. Alesmith has always had very delicious beer. Even for the price they sell them for, you always get a lot of beer and the majority are phenomenal. So I am always excited to bring them to the site, even if a repeat.

Aromas:
Dark Candy sugars, rich Dark fruit cherries, currants, raisins, prunes, dates, figs, blackberries, Dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, toffee, stone fruit peaches, Cadbury chocolate cream eggs, flan, sweetened condensed milk, pecan pie, raspberry preserves on rye bread, molasses, biscuit, nutmeg, fruit cake, brown sugar, cinnamon, apple pie, pecan pie and hazelnut nectar.

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, toffee, pecan pie, hazelnut nectar, apples, rich Dark fruit cherries, currants, raisins, prunes, dates, figs, blackberries, walnut bread pudding, figgy pudding, raspberry preserves on rye bread, molasses, biscuit, nutmeg, fruit cake, brown sugar, port wine, butterscotch, earthy hop notes, rock candy, Dark Candy sugars, raspberry chambord, anise hints, milk chocolate, cinnamon, apple pie, stone fruit peaches, Cadbury chocolate cream eggs, flan, sweetened condensed milk, Mexican Cajeta on oak container, red velvet cake, pears and ginger bread.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with rich dark fruits, caramel, butterscotch, anise hints, chocolate, stone fruit notes, port wine and earthy hops. No alcohol in the taste, Crimson clear body, creamy, velvety smooth and syrupy mouth feel and sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Very exceptional brew showcasing many of what makes the English styles of beer noteworthy of world class. Especially the rich complex malt use that unleashes a labyrinth of flavors that can definitely pair with some of the medieval references of time. This one is definitely worth a pick up if you love strong and super complex brews. Hugely recommended!

Anime Corner:
Yui Takamura from Muv Luv Total Eclipse was used in this pairing to go with the colors of the label and the way the flavors are represented by her colors. Typically, label artwork is sometimes what I look for but when the flavors or ingredients used in the beer come into play, it actually adds that much more to a pairing. So you can also state the fact that the way this beer is mature in age, so too is Yui in terms of the development of her physique.

Sources:
https://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/38718-1280×1024-muvluv+total+eclipse-muv-luv-takamura+yui-iizuki+tasuku-miyata+ao-light+erotic.jpg
http://static.zerochan.net/Takamura.Yui.full.866571.jpg

Bananas Foster by Buffalo Bayou

12628632_10103028517793030_3789105173204513726_oRating: 6/6

Bananas Foster by Buffalo Bayou is an 8.6% ABV Weizenbock.

Label:
In a food coma induced by crawfish or steak, few things in life are as delicious and decadent as Bananas Foster slathered over a scoop of vanilla. You know that feeling when you’re so stupid full you laugh when dessert comes then stuff your face anyway? Invented in N’awlins, perfected in Houston. They put it on a plate, we put it in your glass. Drink up monkey, it’s time to go bananas.

==Introduction==

Now this, seems like a delicious Magic Potion! I received this from my friend and fellow beer reviewer, Aaron Mendiola of www.beermetaldude.com. This was intriguing especially since the last beer I tried from Buffalo Bayou, the Red Velvet, really did taste like Red Velvet. It was a supremely delicious beer and now with this one that is being presented to the site, I hope it turns out to be just as awesome as that one. So without further ado, let’s take a look. Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich Bananas, clove spice, vanilla, hazelnut, dark fruit raisins, cherries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, plums, piloncillo sugar cone, grilled banana notes, plantains, bubble gum, walnuts, Chunky Munkey ice cream, citrus, butterscotch, rum notes, milk and dark chocolate, flan, tres leches cake, banana nut bread, stone fruit peach notes and pecan pie.

Flavors:
Ridiculously rich Bananas, matured bananas, clove spice, grilled bananas, plantains, banana cream pie, dark fruit raisins, cherries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, plums, piloncillo sugar cone, cinnamon, banana liqueur, bubble gum, rye bread, banana nut bread, Nutella, dulce de leche caramel, rocky road ice cream, walnuts, pecan pie, Chunky Munkey ice cream, Stone fruit peaches, apricots, rye bread, leather, coriander, citrus, butterscotch, vanilla, brown sugar, rum hints, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bananas in chocolate, toffee, tres leches and Goat Milk caramel aged in wine.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with an earthy bananas, caramel, dark fruit, stone fruit, vanilla, rum hints, butterscotch, ice cream, clove spice and bubblegum. No alcohol in the taste, brown murky full body, smooth, creamy and chewy mouthfeel along with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
Talk about the ultimate banana beer experience. Holy shit, I am surprised I didn’t pass out after the first sip. This beer is the real deal!! Lots of rich banana caramel goodness with no end to the deliciousness. This beer actually inspired me to create a beer recipe of my own. It was that damn delicious and really if you love sweet malty beers, this would be super awesome. I wish we could see the beer around California but it truly is unique how certain beers will come out from different unique places of the world.

Anime Corner:
Yui Takamura from Muv Luv Total Eclipse was paired with this beer for the colors of banana, caramel and dark fruits that this beer composes of. Her sexy appeal is just as complimentary as the flavors of this beer. A true dessert of a beer with a truly eye candy and beauty of this artwork.

Sources:
http://i3.egv.cc/img/i.egv.cc/i/feti/pittiri/pittiri_suits_073.jpg

Cuivre (7th Anniversary Ale) by The Bruery

10818385_10102531405210630_1687024069030452626_o 11032598_10102531405884280_2367374060231472970_oRating: 6/5

Cuivre (7th Anniversary Ale) by The Bruery is a 16.2% ABV Old Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels

Label:
This sturdy beer marks our seventhth year, and we are grateful for the outpouring of community. Together may our supporters, our brewery and this beer grow in complexity and refinement over the years.

Cuivre (Copper) will age gracefully for decades when cellared properly.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION (ratebeer.com)
Cuivre is our seventh anniversary ale, loosely brewed in the English-style Old Ale tradition using our house Belgian yeast strain and then blended using the solera method.

A portion of each of our anniversary ales is saved in our barrels and blended in with the next year’s production, providing more complexity and depth of character that comes with age. Layered with complex flavors of dark fruit,vanilla, oak, and burnt sugar, Cuivre is a robust ale, surely the perfect beer to mark this major milestone.”

==Introduction==

Cuivre or “Copper” in French, in the traditional sense of the wedding anniversary gifts, refers to the 7th year in which Wool or Copper are given. The beer will be released in May and will be available to the public and many places where the Bruery beers are sold. Every year’s addition of the first ale to the new batch gives it another great layer of complexity as the original ale that is now 7 years old and the new young batch all together using the Solera method, as explained in the description, is that much more extraordinary. Every year since Fruet, their 4rd Anniversary when I first tried their beers, I have anticipated each release anxiously. It is with great pleasure that I show you, the newest batch and the newest review of the Bruery’s Anniversary beer. Cheers!!

Aromas:
Rich caramel dulce de leche, vanilla, oak, bourbon, burnt sugar, Dark Belgian candi sugars, burnt cane sugar, butterscotch, waffle cone, raspberry chambord, toffee, maple syrup, graham crackers and rum notes, Cadbury Cream Eggs, Creme brulee, dark fruit raisins, plums, cherries, plum notes, marshmallows, toasted coconut, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, oak, anise, bananas and chocolate truffles.

Flavors:
Cadbury Cream Eggs, Creme brulee, Dulce de leche caramel richness, flan, burnt cane sugar, toasted bananas, plantains, brown sugars, pilloncillo sugar cone, dark fruit raisins, plums, cherries, plum notes, marshmallows, toasted coconut, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, oak, bourbon, vanilla, apples, peaches, chocolate truffle ice cream, scotch whiskey, molasses, chocolate mousee, raisin bread pudding, rye bread. Belgian candi sugars, burnt sugar, rich butterscotch, waffle cone, raspberry chambord, toffee, maple syrup, graham crackers and rum notes.

Aftertaste:
Super rich dulce de leche caramel, raspberries, dark cherries, lingering scotch bourbon, vanilla, marshmallow, milk chocolate and raisin bread pudding. Some alcohol in the aftertaste but not detracting from the rich flavors, silky and creamy mouthfeel, sipping drinkability and dark brown body.

Overall:
Complexity runs super deep…and as with each and every new release, just as exceptional! This year’s version has more caramel and Cadbury chocolate flavors. Some of the dark fruits are pronounced in the flavors like the dark cherry but definitely more caramel this year. For being an ‘Old Ale’ on solera, this beer is surprising every year and with each yearly release, I would definitely say to go out there and get this one. It is one of the best Old Ales ever!

Anime Corner:
Yui Takamura from Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse was used in this pairing since I wanted to go with the theme I had been going with for each of these Bruery anniversary beers. Essentially, the plug suits. Since I already did some with the girls with Evangelion, Muv-Luv was the next bet and who better for a “copper” based beer than Yui and her copper and gold colored suit. Her purple aspects represent the dark fruit complexity that gets better and better every year for the Bruery.

Sources:
https://brewerianimelogs.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/26d5b-muvluvalternative32.jpg
http://images2.alphacoders.com/270/270982.jpg

Peanut Butter Cup Porter by Karl Strauss brewing

10006433_10102104096226260_7623200834244381683_nRating: 5.25/5

Peanut Butter Cup Porter by Karl Strauss brewing is a 5.6% ABV English Porter brewed with Peanut butter, cocoa nibs and vanilla beans.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Brewed for San Diego Beer Week 2012 An English-style Brown Porter brewed with organic peanut powder, cocoa nibs, and vanilla beans. The resulting brew is a beer’s answer to the peanut butter cup – a medium-bodied porter with smooth layers of peanut butter and milk chocolate. Stats: 5.6% ABV – 56 SRM – 30 IBU
___

On my trip to San Diego last weekend, my friends and I also stopped by Karl Strauss and tried several of their beers. While I liked a good majority of them and have tried many before, including this one, I was greatly pleased that they allowed this one to be growler filled. Since the first time I tried it long ago, I never really got a chance to do a review and at the time I did not think of doing reviews on the go like I am doing now. So with the opportunity to bring this one home and take my time to review it, here it is! Now, I had a couple of peanut butter cup beers before like the Belching Beaver Peanut Butter Milk Stout, the Terrapin Liquid Bless and even Mother Earth Sin Tax. This one on the other hand, though English and light, takes advantage of the cocoa nibs and vanilla beans. A combo that fares greatly with many beers. So without further a do, here is the Peanut Butter Cup Porter, Cheers!

Aromas:
Rich Peanut butter, Nutter Butter Cookies, oatmeal, banana hints, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, hint of dark fruit raisins, cocoa crispies, milk sugars, mild cherries, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, dark cherries, cinnamon, mocha, vanilla, toffee, coconut and butterscotch.

Flavors:
Cocoa Crispies cereal, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, bakers chocolate, hazelnut, pecan pie hints, peanut butter chocolate Reece’s pieces, milk sugar, vanilla, caramel, oatmeal, Nutter Butter cookies, cinnamon hints, brown sugar, dark fruit raisins and mild cherries, roasted coffee notes, peanut shell bitterness, rye bread,mocha, toffee, toasted coconut, earthy notes and butterscotch hints.

Aftertaste:
chocolate peanut butter, dark chocolate, mocha hints, roasted coffee, vanilla, caramel, toasted coconut, ending with earthy notes dryness. No alcohol in the taste, easy to drink, creamy and buttery mouthfeel and medium to light body.

Overall:
Definitely exceeding my expectations a bit. Is this the better Peanut Butter Cup beer? Well, the addition of the cocoa nibs and vanilla beans can be sensed in the flavors and definitely does take the beer to the next level. I really can say I enjoyed this one a lot for what it is. There aren’t many peanut butter beers out there and this is a damn well represented one. All I hope is that one day they put this in bottle. Otherwise, if you are lucky, you can get this at the brewery.

Anime Corner:
Yui Takamura from Muv Luv Alternative/Total Eclipse was used for this pairing since her colors pair with the flavors of chocolate and peanut butter I have paired her with Liquid Bliss once so I wanted to bring her back to show a more chocolate perspective. While the strength is not on the beer per se, it surely is in the flavor. Surely that is explosive!

Sources:
http://gallery.minitokyo.net/view/590148

Firestone XVII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker

1477982_10101531821254890_1963810206_n 1472989_10101531821145110_108429905_n 1470280_10101531821185030_808038373_n 579314_10101531821195010_287334108_nRating: 5.79/5* (Just like last years version, more difficult to explain. Strategy guide included)

Firestone XVII Anniversary Ale by Firestone Walker is a 13.3% ABV Strong Multi-liquor Barrel Aged Style Hybrid Blend Ale

Description: 
“We blended together 220 oak barrels and seven different beers creating something truly complex and exceptional.” – Brewmaster Matt Brynildson
Bravo / Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels / 30% of Final Blend
-Imperial Brown Ale

Sticky Monkey / Aged in Bourbon and Whiskey Barrels / 25% of Final Blend
-English Barley Wine Brewed with Mexican Turbinado (brown) Sugar

Velvet Merkin / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 15% of Final Blend
-Traditional Oatmeal Stout

Parabola / Aged in Bourbon Barrels / 15% of Final Blend
-Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout

Double DBA / Aged in retired Firestone Union Barrels / 8% of Final Blend
-Double strength English Pale Ale

Helldorado / Aged in Bourbon and Brandy Barrels / 4% of Final Blend
-Blonde Barley Wine Brewed with Buckwheat Honey

Wookey Jack / 100% Stainless Steel / 3% of Final Blend
-Black Rye India Pale Ale

XVII ABV: 13.3%
___

This year’s batch is very special using. The strategy guide is even longer since they had winemakers assist with the project to get the right types of blends in constructing this beer. Holy shit is all I can say about the information of how much work and effort it took to make this. 

Aromas:
Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, brandy, port wine notes, dark cherry, raspberry, coconut, oak, caramel, toffee, oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies, banana notes, marshmallow, rocky road ice cream, Mexican piloncillo, pecans, hazelnut, raisin bread chocolate pudding, flan, bourbon, rich brandy, candied apples, smoked wood, hint of tropics but very small and other complex fragrances. Crazy part is that it kept changing as the beer got warmer. 

Flavors:
Big Vanilla, toasted coconut, almond joy, toffee, caramel, dark chocolate, espresso, Barley wine, rye bread, flan, hazelnut, pecan pie whiskey, brandy, bourbon, chocolate, rich chocolate chip cookies on rocky road ice cream with cherries, strawberries, hazelnut, ferro rocher chocolate, pecan pie, special oak wood, oatmeal, maple, peach notes, pear, anise, mint, rich rye bread, butterscotch, brown sugar, marshmallows, tropical notes as it got warmer, and lots of other complex flavors. Damn, I ran out of lives, gonna have to start at the last save point.

Aftertaste:
Finishing off with like nice chocolate, port wine, maple syrupy notes, dark fruit oatmeal chocolate chips, marshmallows and oaky vanilla. Boozy notes here an there but everything plays well with the flavors

Overall:
Every year much more complex, much more exceptional. Does it beat out it’s predecessor XVI? Well, yes and no. By that I mean, let is age for a while. You see, the early XVI did not but damn, XVI 1 year later was doing complex virtuoso rock solos around my palette. Do not let that fool you though finding the complexities is difficult even if you have Tequila added like when XVI had PNC, “holy shit nice” is what I was tasting. Parabola by itself wins over all of them only because of the extra chocolate push into into the 6/5 range for extra credit for me. XVII was able to get super close to XVI 1 year later and actually beat the younger age one especially because of the Velvet Merkin complexities to have a hug back up. Magic maybe the bloodstream of the universe like Merkin is the bloodstream of this powerhouse beer. Longer strategy guide and all, this beer still kicking your ass .

Anime Corner:
Yui Takamura from the series Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipe is used in this pairing to show the hard work and dedication that was used to make this beer. Also, the colors of her armor are close to the colors of the beer label and box. Along with her companions, they represent the selections of individual beers that were selected in order to bring this beer blend into fruition. The colors may also be used to represent the dark fruit flavors, brandy, bourbon, chocolate and others. The Strength of the alcohol and the hard work are also represented by the Bushido code she follows as a samurai.