The Eternal Void of Alpaca Magi

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This variant of a Rhode Island classic is a Dark Sour fermented in oak barrels with Dark cherries, Black Currants, Blackberries and Raspberries.

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

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into an Alpaca Magi long stemmed wine glass.

Pours a hazy dark maroon-brown body with an off white one finger head that reduces slowly to leave spotty lacing and a good amount of retention.

Aromas are delightful – definitely going to be sour. Among the acetic / lactic sourness are aromas of berries, dark fruits, cherry, earthy.

On the tongue is sour cherry, dark fruits, leather, acetic, citrus, very light oak oak, funky yeast, followed by berries and a drying tannic character. Aftertaste is slightly grainy. Easy drinking, smooth mouthfeel for 8.8%. Medium body.

This was really nice – very berry forward with great balance given the high acidity. A definite win for Lil Rhody.

Funky Buddha Last Buffalo in the Park

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“This Imperial version of our Last Snow porter is a rich, thick, decadent treat. Pitch black and viscous, it’s made with coconut and fresh roasted coffee. We then age it in Bourbon barrels for months to accentuate the vanilla and coconut notes. Originally brewed in collaboration with our friends at Park Tavern in Delray Beach.”

Final Rating: 4.52/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Funky Buddha snifter. Thanks Matt for this bottle.

Pours a deep brown body with a one finger off-white head that reduces pretty quickly to leave a ring of foam. On par for a porter.

Aromas are rich and potent – the “almond joy” aromas that everyone describes are definitely there but it’s much deeper than that. Vanilla, whiskey, and roasty coffee are also present in addition to heavy coconut and chocolate.

On the tongue.. chocolate covered coconut macaroons upfront, followed by an almost smokey note, roasted coffee, milk chocolate, vanilla-bourbon, caramel, finishes charred and again, a little smokey. Mouthfeel is slightly thin, but this is a porter not a stout so that’s OK with me. Low carbonation.

Overall just as described. Worth a try.

 

 

Drie Fonteinen Framboos

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One year old lambic brewed at 3 Fonteinen, with an addition of 30% whole fresh raspberries from the fabled Payottenland. No artificial colors or flavor enhancers added. Lambic is brewed only from 60% barley malt, 40% unmalted wheat, hops, and water.

For decades, Armand Debelder has worked as a Geuze blender – as did his father – mixing young and old lambics from other lambic brewers to create a classic Belgian beer. Recently, Armand has started brewing his own lambic. The 3 Fonteinen beers are among the very few traditional and authentic Geuzes and Lambics being made in Belgium today.

 

Final Rating: 4.56/5
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2014 Vintage. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a 3F “3” script tumbler glass. Acquired in a trade.

Not much of a pop on the uncork – pours a cloudy brownish maroon body with little head that speak of – little carbonation on the appearance. No lacing or retention.

On the nose is sour raspberry candy, lots and lots of raspberries with a definite lactic tartness, a light mustyness and acetic vinegar as well. Raspberries take center stage. Smells extremely inviting.

On the tongue is an initial burst of sour raspberry, followed by a decent oak presence, fruit skins, citrus, light acetic. Drying tartness sticks on the tongue for half a minute. Carbonation is lacking but that doesn’t take much away from this beer. Medium body.

Much more sour than I was expecting (think raspberry warheads), but PACKED with flavor, which I really like.

Jester King 分 桃 (Fēn Táo)

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“We’re pleased to introduce Jester King 分桃 (pronounced Fēn táo) — a barrel-aged wild beer refermented with peaches from the Texas Hill Country. After slowly fermenting for months in oak barrels with naturally occurring wild yeast and native souring bacteria, 分 桃 was racked to one of our oak tanks or “foudres” filled with several hundred pounds of fresh peaches from Fredericksburg, Texas. We then allowed the beer to slowly referment the peaches to dryness, resulting in a unique beer that reflects our setting in the Texas Hill Country. ”

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

Blend 1, bottled July 2014. Poured from a 16oz genie bottle into a Jester King stemmed oversize wine glass. Enjoyed over 2 hours, allowed to warm to room temperature towards to end (and while writing this review).

Pours a super hazy, stunningbright golden body with a sizeable white head that reduces pretty quickly to leave little lacing or retention. The color is fantastic.

Aromas are heavy stone fruits, tons of peach here. Super ripe fruit notes, fermented fruits dominates as well as sharp lactic tartness, funk. Aromas are potent and pungent.

On the tongue is lightly tart, ripe, pulpy stone fruits, not so sour, peppery funk, light oak, dry citrus on the follow through and a yeasty fermented fruit flavor on the finish that sticks on the tongue for a while. Mouthfeel is easy, light, refreshing, less carbonated than expected.

This beer has aged beautifully, I think the sourness mellowed out and the fruit took center stage here.

Side Project Noir du Fermier

 

 

 

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Noir du Fermier is a dark farmhouse ale in which the robust, yet dry malt bill is balanced with the brightness, depth and rustic character of the wild Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus found on our family’s Missouri farm. This farmhouse ale was fermented in and aged in red wine and bourbon barrels for several months before being naturally conditioned in the bottle.

 

Final Rating: 4.32/5
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Side Project stemmed wine glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a deep brown body with a light brown fizzy two finger head that reduces pretty quickly to leave a small layer of retention and minimal lacing.

Aromas are tart and lactic, red wine and oak come in too, black cherry, molasses and light sweet caramel, maybe some vinegar in there too.

Taste is pretty sour upfront, citrus and lactic acid, a tad roasty with molasses, dark fruit and dried cherries. Finish is dry, tart, with funk and oak in the background. Mouthfeel is light-ish and crisp, dry, medium carbonation.

Overall quite enjoyable, reminds me of a flemish red.

Tree House Double Shot – Columbia El Novado

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This double shot variant is brewed with Columbia El Novado coffee. One of the many variants of this epic and classic coffee Tree House Imperial Stout!

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

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a Treehouse tulip glass. Thanks Big Julius for hooking me up with this one!

Pours a deep brown, nearly black body with a pretty substantial light brown head that’s a little fizzy but reduces at a moderate rate, leaving spotty lacing and a layer of retention.

On the nose is freshly roasted coffee, milk chocolate, espresso ,cocoa. Coffee dominates, really nice, I can tell this is going to be pretty roasty and coffee forward.

On the tongue are deliciously balanced coffee notes – like freshly ground coffee was just infused into this beer. Lightly sweet but perfectly balanced. The follow through is rich and silky, giving way to a roasty, dark chocolate note that is characteristic of a great coffee stout. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy body, rich, and easy to drink with medium carbonation.

I always love trying Double Shot variants, and this is no exception. An excellently crafted beer.

The Bruery PB & Thursday

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Check the forecast, down a cup of coffee, grab your backpack and pack something special to enjoy later on. Might we suggest this bottle? It is Thursday, after all. PB & Thursday – a peanutty variant of Black Tuesday. It won’t stick to the roof of your mouth, but it will impart layers of peanut butter character and bourbon-laced fudge notes to our storied imperial stout.

 

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

2016 edition. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a surprisingly lighter-brown body on the pour, but once in the glass it’s pretty opaque black. Not as thick and viscous as other stouts, presumably due to the high ABV. Quite fizzy on the pour, leaves no lacing or retention.

Aromas are strong and boozy, lots of whiskey, chocolate, caramel, sweet toffee, maybe a light peanut butter aroma in the background.

On the tongue.. it starts off quite sweet giving way to chocolate syrup, sweet, sugary caramel, light coffee, maybe a tad bit of peanuts on the follow through, finishing roasty with maybe some coffee notes.

Mouthfeel is not as thick as I would expect, as the appearance hinted towards, it’s pretty carbonated for a 19.8% stout. I feel like there’s more whiskey than beer in here.

Interesting.. I’ve like all the black tuesday variants, and I’m not going to say I dislike this one, but it’s a bit unbalanced and not as advertised. Would have liked a lot more peanut butter and less whiskey.

The Alchemist Petit Mutant & Petit Mutant Cheese

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Perhaps the most decadent cheese-beer pairing ever created. The Alchemist Petit Mutant , an oak aged sour cherry beer produced by one of the best breweries in the world.. paired with Willoughby cheese WASHED in Petit Mutant, which is made by one of the best cheese makers in America. What an epic combination!

“This special edition Willoughby celebrates the work of our friends at The Alchemist Brewery and their recent limited release beer; Petit Mutant is an American Brett ale fermented entirely with Brettanomyces bruxellensis yeast. This approach lends a rustic backdrop to the beer’s bright, intensely fruity flavor – over a pound of Montmorency cherries go into the creation of each 16 ounce can.  These yeasty, juicy aromas are a perfect complement to our lightly pungent and richly creamy Willoughby.”

 

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 an Alchemist Arome glass. Purchased at the brewery this past weekend. Paired with Alchemist cheese washed in Petit Mutant beer.

Pour a deep maroon body with a pink fizzy head that reduces quickly to leave little lacing and no retention.

Aromas are heavy cherry, lots of berries, that’s pretty much all I get here but it’s fantastic. Definitely going to be sour by the nose.

On the tongue is a significant tartness and a TON of cherries, so much cherry, I love it. Funky yeast comes through on the follow through, finishing dry. Mouthfeel is medium light with high carbonation, very refreshing and easy to drink.

Overall a very well done beer. Tons of cherry and balanced acidity. Would be great in a barrel to add some depth and complexity.

De Garde Avenue No. 1

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De Garde Avenue Number 1 is a two year Wild Farmhouse blend ale with cherries aged in Oak Barrels. Blended with AltBrau & New Avenue for Youth

4.54/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a DeGarde Tulip glass. Acquired as an extra from cdJensen, thank you sir!

Pours a dark cherry colored body, pretty hazy to the point of being opaque. Off-white, lightly pink tinted head reduces slowly to leave solid lacing and good retention. Really nice looking.

On the nose.. cherries, cherries, cherries, very potent and fresh cherries dominate.. not artificial at all, very reminiscent of a Belgian Kriek. Slightly medicinal, but I love that aroma.

On the tongue, the cherries aren’t as dominating but definitely present in the form of sour cherry warheads, drying, tart lactic acid, wine-ish, finishes with an ever so slight oak note. Finish is crisp, clean, and refreshing. Medium high carbonation.

Overall a delightful beer, very nicely blended to incorporate a perfect amount of cherry flavor. Pretty sour but not enough to take over the fruit notes.

Cigar City Double Barrel Hunahpu

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Batch 2 opened for my first anniversary in Vermont.

Double Barrel Hunahpu’s is an imperial stout aged on Peruvian cacao nibs, ancho and pasilla chiles, cinnamon and Madagascar vanilla beans aged in apple brandy and rum barrels before being blended together.

Final Rating: 4.71/5
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch 2 2016. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a cigar city snifter. Opened for my 1st anniversary in Hinesburg, VT. Allowed to warm over a couple hours while drinking it; this review was done about an hour in.

Pours a motor oil, viscous inkjet black body with a one finger super dark brown head – the head on this beer is as dark as the body of some stouts I’ve had. This may be the thickest, most “stouty” looking beer I’ve ever seen!

On the nose lots going on here but predominately barrel character on the nose – brandy sticks out, maybe from vanilla from the rum barrels, cocoa, dark fruits, chocolate, and a tad bit of soy.

On the palate – where do I get started?! Initially it starts a bit sweet, liquid fudge followed by a rush of spices, cinnamon dominates, definitely getting peppers and a light spicyness from the peppers on the follow through. After that is sweet vanilla bourbon (brandy + rum barrels?), finished by a decadent dark chocolate roastyness that lingers on the tongue for ages.

Mouthfeel is extravagent – rich, thick, viscous, velvety. Very heavy body, low carbonation.

One of the best stouts I’ve tasted (well, more than just tasted, I finished the whole bottle ;)). This beer is highlighted by two attributes – it’s amazingly thick body and its complex flavor profile.