Jester King Aurelian Lure, a Wild Ale with Apricots


Aurelian Lure was made by taking mature, barrel-aged sour beer and refermenting it to dryness in oak barrels with apricots from northern California. Dozens of microorganisms, including wild yeasts native to the Texas Hill Country, transformed the apricots through refermentation to create a beer unique to their land.

Final Rating: 4.56/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Blend 2 from August 2014. Poured from a 16oz genie bottle into a Jester King stemmed glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a hazy golden lemon body with a substantial but fleeting white head that reduces quickly but leaves a nice ring of foam and very little lacing.

Aromas are great and inviting, and really come out after 40 or so minutes of letting it open up. The stone fruits are present, apricots and lactic tart acidity, citrus and funk.

On the tongue is an initial tartness, but definitely not overpowering which is nice as the fruity apricot notes are showcased without being drowned by acidity, as I’ve tasted in other apricot wilds. Nice oak and funk notes on the follow through and finish, with a clean dry crisp aftertaste. Slight malt taste in there too. Medium carbonation.

This beer was delightful and a real treat. I really enjoyed the balance of acidity and fruit.

Westbrook Mexican Cake


Westbrook’s Mexican Cake is a 10.5% ABV imperial stout and aged it on cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and fresh habanero peppers.

Final Rating: 4.58/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Westbrook oversize snifter. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a jet black, opaque inky body with a deep brown 2 finger head that reduces slowly to leave a ring of brown retention, very little lacing but the color of the head and body are magnificent and deep in color.

Allowed it to warm up for ~30 minutes, as this is when the aromas started coming through. Big milk chocolate and vanilla, some cinnamon and a hint of peppers in the background, nice roastyness on the nose as well.

On the tongue is rich milk chocolate (chocolate cake almost!), coffee-like roasty notes, vanilla and caramel, followed by a toasted malt, charred character that lingers on the tongue for a while. The aftertaste has a little peppery bite to it, but it’s subtle and adds a nice dimension. The mouthfeel is awesome, heavy, rich body with low carbonation, just how an imperial stout should feel.

Overall I’m very impressed, and I almost feel as this is underrated. I know it’s hyped, but the hype is worth it and in my opinion it tops the other popular Mexican style stouts (huna, abraxas)

Perennial Sump Coffee Stout


Perennial Artisan Ale Sump is a 10.5% coffee stout brewed with Sump coffee.

Final Rating: 4.69/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Perennial stemmed glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a deep brown nearly black opaque body with a nice light coffee colored head that sticks around for a while to leave a little blotchy lacing and a good layer of retention. Really inviting.

Wow – the aromas are just as inviting as the appearance. Huge freshly ground coffee and vanilla notes, butterscotch, sweet caramel, brown sugar. This is really close to a 5 for aroma. Really close. This smells FANTASTIC!

On the tongue is semisweet chocolate upfront, freshly roasted coffee on the follow through, milk chocolate and vanilla, finishing with a delicious toasted malt and roasty coffee finish that sticks around for a while. Mouthfeel is rich and thick with medium carbonation. Stunning.

This is one of the most delicious non-barrel aged stouts I’ve ever tasted, and it may be the best coffee stout I’ve ever had. It hits all the high notes of the style and then some. This is how coffee stouts should taste.. Sump exhibits a perfect balance of that “coffee” taste and the roastyness that comes with it. Recommended. I’ll be seeking this out again!

Cantillon Cuvée Saint-Gilloise (AKA Cuvée Des Champions)


Cuvee Saint-Gilloise by brewery Cantillon is a unique gueuze beer. It is made with 2-year-old lambic, which is then dry-hopped for three weeks in the cask. This gives the beer a very particular sour-bitter flavor.

Final Rating: 4.49/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 cork date. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Cantillon taster glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a somewhat hazy golden straw body with a two finger slightly fizzy white head that reduces fairly quickly but leaves a layer of retention and no lacing.

Aromas are of typical Cantillon character – upon opening it a funky cheesiness, grassy, musty hay, peppery, tart aromas, citrus, white wine, and a slight hoppiness in the background.

One the tongue is an immediate dry tartness, and borderline sour citrus notes which fades to open up distinct oak / barrel notes, funky yeast, and is followed by pepper, grass, and a muted hoppy bite on the finish. The dry tartness sticks on the tongue for a minute or so. Mouthfeel is medium light, carbonation is medium.

Overall world class, which is not surprising at all coming from Cantillon. Really enjoyed this one, lots of flavor and balance.

Galaxy Dry Hopped Fort Point Pale Ale


“We take our Fort Point Pale Ale and instead of dry hopping it with Citra, we opt for Galaxy dry hops. We really get after it; we use about 30% more Galaxy by weight.”

Final Rating: 4.64/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Trillium Tulip glass. Thanks Ryan for hooking me up with this!

Pours a very hazy deep golden body with a fluffy white head that reduces fairly slowly to leave some blotchy lacing and a nice layer of retention.

On the nose is huge citrus and tropical fruit aroma, pineapple and passionfruit, fresh hop acids, orange peel. Smells like this is going to be a delicious beer.

The aromas did not lie! On the tongue is a bursting medley of tropical fruit and citrus, pineapple, tropical punch, orange creamsicle, finished by a zing of fresh hoppy bitterness that lingers on the tongue for a minute. Mouthfeel is medium, carbonation is medium. Pretty easy to drink.

Overall nothing less than a masterpiece – the dry hopping really upped the aromas and enjoy-ability of Fort Point Pale Ale.

De Garde Petit Azacca


This was my first experience with De Garde Brewing out of Tillamook, Oregon, who specialize in American Wild and Sour Ales. It won’t be my last either, as they have a HUGE spread of world class beers!

Final Rating: 4.31/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a De Garde Tulip. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a hazy deep orange body with a generous white head that reduces fairly quickly to leave little lacing and a bit of retention.

Interesting aroma.. maybe a bit metallic, earthy, somewhat citrusy, definitely get some tartness, fruit skins.

On the tongue it’s very tart to start off, borderline sour, fruity acetic notes dominate, tropical fruit, oak, farmhouse yeast and slight funk, on the follow through I get some grain and breadyness, slight hoppiness, finishes dry and tart. Very refreshing mouthfeel, easy to drink, light body but the taste is not compromised.

Overall very well done. I’ll have to admit this is my first De Garde and I cannot wait to try more after this one.

Toppling Goliath Sosus


“In his most notable mosaic work, Sosus of Pergamon depicts doves sunning atop a golden chalice. The image was said to be so enticing that real birds flew into it while trying to reach their stone companions. This single-hop showcase is inspired by the beauty and divinity of the Sosus mosaics. Just as the doves discovered their golden nectar, discover the irresistible nature of the Mosaic hop.”

Final Rating: 4.21/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Toppling Goliath Mornin’ Delight tulip glass. Thank you very much Paul for hooking me up with this awesome extra.

Pours a hazy golden body with a fluffy white head that reduces slowly to leave some chunky retention and spotty lacing after a few minutes.

Aromas are sharp and pungent.. very resinous, piney, peppery, lots of citrus, citrus rinds, oranges.

The tongue matches the nose, very citrusy, orange and grapefruit dominate here, with a piney, resinous bite sitting on a decent slightly sweet malt backbone. Lingering bitterness for half a minute after sipping. Mouthfeel is medium body and carbonation.

Super enjoyable, very nice offering from TG. It would be one of my go-to’s if it was more readily available.

Drie Fonteinen Hommage – A Lambic with Cherries and Raspberries


A blend of lambic beers brewed at 3 Fonteinen, with an addition of 30% whole fresh raspberries from the fabled Payottenland and 5% sour cherries. This unfiltered beer will enjoy a spontaneous refermentation in the bottle. No artificial colors or flavor enhancers are added. Lambic is brewed only from 60% barley malt, 40% unmalted wheat, hops and water.

Final Rating: 4.64/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

500th review. 2013 vintage. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a 3F crystal tumbler. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a slightly hazy mahogany-cherry body with a big, slightly fizzy, fluffy light pink head that reduces fairly quickly but leaves a quarter inch of retention and very little lacing.

Aromas are out of this world.. berries take the front seat here, big cherry notes punch you in the nose, a medley of raspberries and fermented berries, cranberry, a distinct musty funk, souring yeastyness, and subtle oak in the background.

It has a super tart start on the tongue, followed by a pronounced but not overbearing medley of dry, juicy, berries, cherry and cranberry being predominant but raspberry notes are present (not sure why this is the case, or maybe I’m mistaking the raspberries for other berries. Either way it’s delicious). Some medicinal cherry and vinegar. On the follow through is musty basement, borderline sour fruit, lactic, oak, finished by a tongue drying tartness that sticks around for a minute or so.

Carbonation is medium and ideal for this style, medium-light body, making it nice and refreshing.

Overall a fantastic beer, well worth the wait and worthy of my 500th review.

Hill Farmstead Arthur: The Benchmark for Saisons and a the Perfect Summer Brew


When it comes to refreshing summer beers, you really can’t beat a good Farmhouse Saison – it’s subtle complexities combined with a tart, crisp and refreshing body make for a nice compliment to a lazy summer day.

Hill Farmstead is known for their world-class Farmhouse ales, utilizing their delicious strains of wild yeast and bacteria to create some of the best in the world. Arthur is a perfect example of this. Here’s my full review:

Final Rating: 4.5/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass. Purchased at the brewery in November.

Pours a super hazy, pale yellow body with a big gushing frothy white head that reduces slowly to leave some lacing a decent, uneven white retention that sits for a while. Some sediment.

Aroma is super inviting with big fruity and tart aromas, namely tart citrus, lemon, and green apple mixed with banana-clove, peppery spices, farmhouse funk.

Taste is equally as complex, upfront is tart citrus but not overpoweringly sour, saison yeastyness & barnhouse funk, estery banana, a creamy caramel, with a spicy, peppery, and slightly bitter finish. Super complex. Excellently balanced. Easy to drink with a medium body and medium carbonation. Very refreshing.

Overall a world class Saison, super complex, balanced, and tasty. I expect nothing less from Hill Farmstead.

Stone “Charred” Xocoveza Stout


This is Stone’s Xocoveza Imperial Stout with cocoa, coffee, and spices, aged in Bourbon Barrels

Final Rating: 4.6/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500mL bottle into a Stone Tulip glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a dark brown body that’s translucent on the pour and black in the glass with brown / amber highlights. Small off-white head that reduces fairly quickly to leave no lacing and zero retention.

Aromas come through in full force after sitting for ~30 minutes to warm up, and at this point are big, bold, pungent, and inviting. Aromas of mocha, dark roast coffee beans, vanilla, cinnamon, toffee, caramel, brownies. This smells AMAZING!

The tongue matches the nose, with more chocolate, bourbon-vanilla, and cinnamon coming through, fudge brownies, with a cinnamon-toffee follow through and a super roasty finish. Out of this world, the flavors here are bold and work well together. Mouthfeel could be thicker, but does not detract or mute the flavors that come through. Medium carbonation.

What can I say.. I was not going to buy into the hype until I tried it and it delivered. Complex, balanced, unique, and oh-so-flavorful.


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