Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock

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“Consistently rated as one of the top beers in the world by beer ratings websites, this beer has developed a cult following since its first release in 2004. After a very very long boil, fresh raspberries and raspberry juice is infused into this intense lager, bringing about fresh berry notes with a hint of chocolate, like a chocolate truffle. A wonderful balance of sweet malt and tart fruit lends to the drinkability, while a long aging period mellows the alcohol, making for a great sipper with a long finish.”

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

2014 bottle. Poured from a 12.7oz bottle into a Kuhnhenn Snifter Glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours an amber-ruby stream, with a hazy maroon body once in the glass with a tan-khaki colored head that reduces pretty quickly to leave a ring of retention and no lacing.

Aromas are heavy on the raspberry, lots of raspberry juice, caramel, light chocolate, a little musty, almost oxidized. Little alcohol on the aroma.

Heavy raspberry on the tongue, very heavy, like raspberry puree, thick and syrupy, burnt caramel on the follow through, big malty notes, the finish is lightly roasty, the raspberry lingers for a while. Medium thick mouthfeel, rich with little to no carbonation.

Hmm.. I don’t think I could have drank more than the 12.7 oz of this, even that was tough. I do appreciate the aggressive raspberry flavor but I’m not sure if it meshes with the big malt backbone. Glad I got to try it though.

Funky Buddha Morning Wood

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What’s better than beer for breakfast? How about a little Morning Wood. This Imperial version of Maple Bacon Coffee Porter is aged in Bourbon barrels for months, lending smoothness to the smokey, salty, rich combo of maple syrup, fresh roasted coffee, and bacon.

4.65/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

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Poured fromm a 22oz bomber into a Funky Buddha snfiter. Acquired in a trade.

Pours an inky, pitch black body with a coffee brown head that reduces pretty quickly to leave a small ring of retention and a little bit of lacing.

Aromas are heavenly.. potent and rich, a wonderful combination of sweet maple, vanilla-bourbon, roasty coffee, chocolate, toffee, butterscotch. Extremely inviting. Closer to a 5 than a 4.75 in this category. Nearly perfect.

Taste is exactly what you would predict from the aromas, light-to-moderate sweetness with lots of maple syrup, vanilla, and bourbon upfront, follows through with caramel and coffee, finishes lightly roasty with coffee on the finish. Aftertaste is smokey.

All the flavors are amazing and this beer is world class, but little more body would have gone a long way. Not watery but a little less potent flavors/body than the nose would suggest. Medium carbonation.

Overall this is crazy good.. an EXCELLENT breakfast stout, a hair below good morning and mornin’ delight, but miles above the rest.

Perennial 17 Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout

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17 is an Imperial Stout brewed with huge amounts of chocolate malts, cacao nibs, and mint leaves. This hearty stout boasts 10% ABV and big chocolate aromas and flavors with a hint of fresh mint. This beer is perfect for the last cold months of the winter. However, it may be enjoyed right away, or allowed to age in the bottle.

 

Final Rating:3.92/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

Pours a pitch black, inky body with a small one finger dark brown head that reduces pretty quickly to leave a ring of retention. Not much lacing.

Mint is very apparent in the aromas – very mint-forward, some milk chocolate. I can compare the smell to an Andes bar. Peppermint and chocolate. Never smelled a beer like this before. One ding I have here is that it smells a little artificial, like peppermint schnapps.

Taste is just as described on the label.. lots of peppermint and chocolate, some vanilla and caramel on the follow through, with a very roasty, toasty finish that redeems the somewhat one-dimensional character of the first impression. Medium-heavy body with low carbonation. On the heavy side.

A very interesting beer, mint is an adjunct that not many brewers use, but I think perennial did well crafting a mint stout. Mint has such a heavy, distinct flavor that it’s tough to create “subtle” mint flavors, which may have been a slight downfall of this beer, as the mint is almost overpowering and artificial. Was happy to try it nonetheless.

Treehouse Doppelganger

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This beer is an imperial version of Alter Ego. It is intensely kettle and dry hopped to produce a pungent and flavorful Double IPA that is super pleasant to drink.  It is simply and easily described as a juicy and dank citrus bomb.

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

Poured from a 16oz can into a Treehouse snifter. Purchased and canned at the brewery the day of release 4/29/16. Consumed same day.

Pours a characteristic Treehouse hazy deep orange body, a little darker than the typical Treehouse IPA but not much. Not quite as golden. Head is big, white, frothy, leaving heavy lacing and a good amount of retention. Looks fantastic.

Aromas are bursting and tropical, heavy mango and pineapple, a little watermelon, passionfruit, grapefruit. The aroma reminds me of Haze with a bit more pineapple.

Taste is tropical fruit fest as expected, tons of pineapple, mango, honeydew melon, more melony than citrusy, much like Haze, with an amazing creamyness, orange creamsicle on the follow through, very little bitterness on the finish. Creamy, full body but not filling, easy drinker. Medium-low carbonation.

Another Grand Slam from Treehouse. Most of their hoppy beers have the same characteristic tropical, creamy taste and aroma with slight variations. This is is more on the melony / stone fruit side. Awesome.

Wicked Weed Freak of Nature

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“The Freak of Nature is our San Francisco inspired hoppy monster. At 8% abv and who knows how many ibu’s, this beer is our shrine to the Hop. Absurd amounts of the big West Coast hops gives this beer its citrusy, weedy nose and big, dank flavor. We dry hop with 48lbs per batch, which is over 3lbs of hops per barrel. In keeping with the classic style of the West Coast double, sugar plays a large part in creating this dry and minimally bitter double IPA. The Freak is particularly pintable for the style, so if you dare to enter, we welcome you to the Freak Show.”

Final Rating: 4.14/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 2.22.16. Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Wicked Weed snifter. Thanks Steve for hooking me up with this, been wanting to try it for a while.

Pours a lightly hazy amber body with a big frothy white head that sticks around for a while to leave behind chunky lacing and retention. Just what an IPA should look like.

Resinous, dank aromas, citrus and pine, lightly earthy with some rye and floral aromas. On the Tropical to Resinous spectrum, the aromas indicate that this falls heavily to the resinous side.

The tongue is very similar to the nose. Upfront is a big punch of resinous, piney, west coast hops that dominate the follow through as well, sitting on a pretty heavy hop backbone. Finish is bitter and piney with a distinct west coast astringency that sits around for a minute. Pretty easy drinker considering the 8.5% ABV, medium body with medium low carbonation.

A nice change from the east coast style, definitely showcases the roots of the American IPA with citrus, pine, and resinous notes.

 

 

Cantillon Lou Pepe Gueuze

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In a lambic brewery, every bottling (about 50 each season at the Cantillon brewery) results in a beer with its own more or less complex taste. These differences are one of the characteristics of the Gueuze, Kriek or Framboise. The lambic beers are blended in order to neutralize these differences and to be able to offer our customers a beer with a harmonious taste the whole season through.

Final Rating: 4.66/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 sticker. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Cantillon stemmed tulip glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a dark orange, pumpkin colored body with a big white head that reduces fairly quickly but leaves a nice layer or retention and some lacing.

Decanted and allowed to warm.. aromas of oak, funk, barnyard, hay, cedar, citrus, lactic.. aromas are potent and waft through the room, much more inviting than regular gueuze, definitely more wood character!

Taste is fantastic, upfront a light tartness with heavy oak, quite woody, citrus and tons of funk all mingled together, mustyness on the follow through, finishes dry and funky. So delicious. Medium-low carbonation, easy drinker, medium light body.

The increased wood and oak character of this really puts it ahead of regular gueuze and honestly all other gueuzes i’ve had in the past. Truly world-class.

 

 

Trillium Dialed In DIPA with Sauv Blanc Grape Juice

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“Brewed in celebration of our Third Anniversary, Dialed In is a dank, juicy Double IPA intensively dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy. Pouring a vibrant, hazy gold; aromas of white wine, tropical fruit, and faint pine sap swirl around the nose. To enhance depth and complexity of the uniquely fruity, white grape flavors provided by Nelson, we integrated Sauvignon Blanc juice mid- fermentation. The potent addition of Galaxy hops provide enhanced notes of bright citrus, mango and pineapple. Soft and creamy with moderate bitterness; Medium-Light bodied with a crisp, dry finish.”

Final Rating: 4.18/5
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Trillium snifter. Thanks Steve for picking this up for me. Bottle date is 3/16/16, first batch.

Pours a characteristically hazy body but is a little lighter from the typical Trillium IPA, golden straw yellow with a one finger white head that reduces fairly quickly to leave very little lacing and a ring of retention.

Aromas of citrus and grapefruit dominate with some grassy, herbal notes in there as well. Tropical fruits mingled into the aroma, pineapple and mango, with white wine in the distance.

Taste starts with light tropical fruit, followed by some citrus mixed in with a unique grapey, dry white wine flavor. The follow through is lightly boozy with herbal, earthy, floral notes and a moderately bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium and pretty easy to drink with medium-high carbonation.

An interesting, unique choice of ingredients and I commend Trillium for experimenting. They really “dialed-in” the wine / hop balance here.

Cigar City Caffe Americano

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“Traditional Caffè Americano is made by adding water to espresso. We break all the rules with this Double Stout. We refuse to add water to our beer after fermentation, but have no issues adding beer to our espresso. This deep, dark stout exhibits rich espresso and coffee notes, which are contributed by the generous use of roasted barley and espresso locally roasted by Buddy Brew Coffee. That simply is not enough for us. We also add roasted, raw chocolate and a hint of vanilla to this big bodied stout. Dodge the red eye and take a shot of the dark.”

Final Rating: 4.52/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a pitch black body with a deep brown one finger head that reduces fairly quickly to leave a ring of retention and little lacing. Really liked the thick pour and dark head.

Aromas are a little muted, vanilla, coffee and cocoa come through.

Aromas become irrelevant upon taking the first sip.. wow, this is absolutely stunning. Vanilla bean, dark roast coffee, cocoa all meld together to create a super tasty combination of flavors. Finish is roasty and sip demanding. Thick, chewy mouthfeel with low carbonation.

Rich, balanced, complex, and flavorful stout. Recommended!

Fremont Cinnamon Coffee Abominable

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Lovingly referred to by Fremonters as the B-BOMB, this bourbon barrel-aged edition of Abominable winter ale has a warming spicy aroma and rich carmelly notes of bourbon, wood and vanilla added to dark roasty chocolatey malt flavors and subtle hopping.
(INFUSED WITH COFFEE AND CINNAMON)

Final Rating: 4.37/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

2014 vintage. Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Fremont “can” glass. Acquired as an extra in a trade. Note that ABV on label is stated as 11%, not 14% as is currently listed on BeerAdvocate.

Pours a brown, nearly black, stout-like body with a mocha colored head that reduces at a moderate rate to leave a ring of brown foam, a little lacing but not much.

Right off the bat you can smell heavy bourbon aromas, specifically vanilla and sweet caramel, toffee, sweet molasses, milk chocolate, maybe a hint of coffee but not much really. Cinnamon is non-existent in the aromas.

On the tongue are smooth, rich notes of sweet caramel, bourbon, sweet milk chocolate, vanilla, followed by the adjunct ingredients – first light cinnamon, then a nice roasty, toasted flavor presumably from the coffee.

I do love the mouthfeel of this brew – it may be the best attribute. Extremely rich and creamy, easy to drink, thick, velvety with low carbonation.

A very nice brew. Reminds me more of a stout than a strong ale. Had to take -0.5 off the final rating because there simply wasn’t enough cinnamon or coffee in both the flavor and aroma. Overall world class though.

Firestone Walker Parabajava

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14% ABV. The espresso coffe lends roasty caramel, toffee, baker’s chocolate and molasses to the big rich character of Parabola. The complementary flavors pair well with Parabola’s rich malt and smokey oak bourbon notes. Complex, smooth and seamlessly integrated.

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Firestone Walker Proprietors Vintage glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a deep brown, nearly black body with a light brown or dark tan head that reduces at a moderate rate, after 10 minutes it leaves a ring of retention and some spotty lacing.

On the nose is heavy bourbon and vanilla, much like Parabola. Milk chocolate and maybe a little coffee, but not too much coffee. A little boozy in this category as well.

So.. letting this warm up to almost room temperature makes it a totally different beer! Cold, it’s very whiskey forward with vanilla and milk chocolate. As it warms up, the coffee really starts shining through, especially on the follow through and finish. Aftertaste is very roasty, toasty, charred. A little boozy, but that’s expected. Mouthfeel is pretty rich and thick, medium-heavy body with low carbonation.

Very good.. I found this VERY similar to Parabola until it warmed up, at which time the coffee really started shining.

 

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