The Lost Abbey Veritas 017

veritas17.jpg

The 17th iteration of Veritas, Veritas 017 was aged in oak with Blackberries and Lost Abbey house cultures. Tart Blackberry, strong notes of oak and tannins with a strong presence of Brett leads to a very refreshing jam-like finish.

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

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Lost Abbey Teku. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a hazy maroon body with a light pink frothy three finger head that reduces fairly slowly to leave a layer of foam and good lacing.

Aromas are sharp and acidic, lots of lactic tartness, sharp citrus and sour berry aromas.

Taste is lightly sweet and grainy initially, followed by sour blackberry and sour apple notes with a drying, woody follow through. Finish is dry and sour, lingering on the tongue for a while. Pretty effervescent, crisp body.

Overall a solid wild – I would have preferred a little more berry and less sharp acidity though. Great nonetheless.

Advertisements

Trillium Blueberry Super Soak

blueberrysupersoak

Super Soak: our Soak series amped up with a bigger malt bill, increased ABV, and twice the amount of fruit as Soak. While still sour, the higher ABV in Super Soak serves to moderate the lactic acid formation.

We ferment the base beer with 60% wheat in large oak foeders for several months. Fermentation duties are shared gracefully between our house lactobacillus strain and our Native New England mixed culture. Loosely inspired by the cold-maceration process used in winemaking, we blend fruit directly into the foeders to “soak” for a deep extraction of unique colors, aromatics, and flavors and a refermentation.

Blueberries lend a tart, rich flavor profile, and a deep plum purple hue. The nose teases with aromas of blueberry cobbler, berries, and hints of baking spice. Moderate to heavy acidity is backed up with sweetness from the blueberries and a subtle earthy undertone.

Final Rating: 4.42/5
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Trillium Super Soak wine glass. Purchased at the brewery last week.

Pours a magnificent plum-maroon body with a three finger light purple head that reduces fairly quickly to leave no lacing or retention. The color is great here.

Aromas are tart and lactic, blueberry pie including a bready, buttery crust, blueberry wine, tannins, wheat, light oak and funk.

On the tongue is lightly sour berries, quite yeasty, bready, winter spices, wine-like blueberry skins, cinnamon, vanilla, tannins, blueberry juice, finishing lightly oaky and dry. Mouthfeel is medium-light on the body with pretty low carbonation.

Quite an enjoyable Wheat Sour. Lots of flavor here, could maybe use more blueberry flavor but I think a lot of it fermented out.

2016 Three Floyds Marshmallow Handjee (Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord)

IMG_6922

Next beer up in the epic stout tasting: Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout aged in a variety of Bourbon barrels with vanilla beans.

Final Rating: 4.88/5
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2016 bottle poured into a Dark Lord Teku. Split three ways. Thank you Ryan for sharing this beast!

Pours an opaque black body with a small brown head that reduces to leave a ring of retention and a little lacing. Sticks to the glass upon swirling.

Aromas are potent and come through more intense as this beer warms. Vanilla beans and milk chocolate are prominent, bourbon, a tad bit boozy but in a great way. On the tongue is straight vanilla, chocolate covered marshmallows, rocky road fudge. Mouthfeel is rich and thick, especially as it warms.

I’ve been waiting 5 years to try this beer, and it totally lives up to the hype.

Toppling Goliath Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout – A Perfect 5.

kbbs.jpg

I was psyched to finally try Toppling Goliath’s KBBS Stout, after 4 years of searching for both a bottle and a good time to open it. After finding a bottle, I also found some good people, friends now, on the same mission – to open a special beer that they just coulnd’t bring themselves to open alone. So on Friday, 11/17/17, it went down – a stout share for the ages. I’ll start with this beer, KBBS, the number one rated beer in the world as rated on BeerAdvocate. There will be more to follow, but I wanted to start, with in strictly my own opinion, was the best of them all and the best beer I’ve ever had. This is the first 5/5 I’ve ever given in 874 beer reviews, because I simply could not find anything wrong with it.

To quote Toppling Goliath: “This beer is the real McCoy. Barrel aged and crammed with coffee, none other will stand in it’s way. Sought out for being delicious, it is notoriously difficult to track down. If you can find one, shoot to kill, because it is definitely wanted… dead or alive.”

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

Batch 3 (2016), Bottle #882. 12 oz bottle split three ways into TG tulips.

Upon opening, immediate maple syrup aromas fill the area. Pours a jet black, oily body with a small brown head that reduces quickly. The surface has a slick and oily texture.

Once in the glass the aromas intensify, with some coffee and bourbon coming through now, but maple syrup still dominates. It’s odd, this smells more like maple syrup that actual maple syrup. Not artificial in the least bit.

Taste is pure and smooth, rich maple and bourbon fudge, more maple, sweet but not cloying, finishing with roasty coffee notes. Mouthfeel is what put this beer at the top for me. Rich, thick, velvety, easy.

I’ve never given a beer all 5’s, but I can’t find any flaws here. The thicker body puts it a hair above Good Morning.

To put the intense maple flavor profile of this beer in perspective, my kitchen still smelled like maple syrup the next morning.

Jackie O’s Oro Negro

oronegro

American Imperial Stout brewed with black walnuts & conditioned on vanilla beans, oak staves, habaneros, cacao nibs, & cinnamon sticks.
Final Rating: 4.3/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2016 bottle. Poured from a 12.7oz bottle into a Jackie O’s tulip glass. Acquired in a trade.

Pours a deep brown body with a one finger brown head that reduces quickly to leave a ring of retention and spotty lacing.

Aromas are muted upfront but as it warms, delicious chocolate-vanilla-caramel is upfront and center. Light coffee and a bit of spices muddled in there.

On the tongue.. upfront is lightly sweet cocoa and bittersweet chocolate, followed by a bit of spices (not too much), vanilla, more cocoa, caramel, finishing super charred and toasty. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy, low carbonation.

I wish I had gotten more of the spices / pepper notes in here, maybe I sat on this bottle too long. The cocoa and vanilla are definitely there to make it a very enjoyable beer.

Alesmith Vietnamese Coffee Speedway Stout

vietnamesespeedway

“This Vietnamese coffee version of Speedway Stout is and continues to be AleSmith’s most popular variation of the ever-growing Speedway Stout collection. Since 2012 we have been adding this blend of four Vietnamese coffees, known in Vietnam as cà phê sa đá, to our popular imperial stout. The coffee beans were slowly roasted at low temperatures and then brewed by AleSmith with a traditional phin-style filter that gently percolates water through the ground coffee. The result is an intensely aromatic and bold tasting coffee that complements the notes of chocolate and roast in this massive stout.”

Final Rating: 4.33/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Alesmith taster glass. Thanks Ryan for hooking me up with this.

Pours a thick, brown-black body with a brown head that sticks around for a while and leaves a little lacing. Really nice looking beer.

Aromas are heavy on the coffee and cocoa – very similar to regular speedway with a little more coffee. More like roasted, brewed coffee than freshly ground coffee. A tad bit oxidized on the nose but nonetheless enjoyable.

Yum – taste starts out with sweet chocolate cake, followed by vanilla and caramel, finishing with coffee and a roasty malt flavor that sticks around on the tongue for a while. Medium-heavy body, but easy drinker and definitely can’t tell it’s 13% alcohol.

Probably the best non-BA speedway stout variant I’ve had thus far, and I’ve had around 10 of them.

Hill Farmstead Clover

hillfarmsteadclover.jpg

 

“Clover (2005-2014) was a grey cat. Simple. Yet, a few moments with her quickly revealed an independent, playful, occasionally subdued and reflective personality, one that held sway where she might roam. Clover was our compatriot, our guardian of grain, our huntress and our muse. We did not own Clover; she graced our presence.

In her honor, we mindfully blended barrels of Ann, Art, and Flora that had been aged for 12 to 22 months—guided by her lingering spirit towards a beer of elegance, grace and patience. As often as our Clover would, this beer took its own path and its own time to become what it is now; an effervescent, refined reflection of both our melancholy for her departure but, most importantly, our joy in traveling with her for a while.”

 

Final Rating: 4.74/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

375mL bottle poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed bulb. 2015-03-12 bottled date. Original owner, purchased at the brewery during release.

Pours a lightly hazy sunny yellow effervescent body with a small white head that reduces pretty quickly to leave a ring of lacing and spotty lacing.

Aromas are mesmerizing and complex and really intensify as it warms up. Citrus, white wine and oak sit center stage, with lightly fruity green apple and grapes not too far behind. There’s a zesty pepperyness in there as well with straw and funk in the background.

On the tongue is a delicate tartness with notes of citrus and funk, hay and grapes and a little grainy, dry white wine on the follow through with a solid amount of oak. Very, very smooth and drinkable, crisp and light with a little less carbonation than I was expecting.

Clover is the real deal. It reminds me a lot of Flora with a bit more complexity and oak.

Hill Farmstead Birth of Tragedy

birthoftragedy

“Birth of Tragedy is the imperial and oak barrel-aged version of our annual winter porter, Twilight of the Idols. Brewed with locally roasted coffee and Vermont honey, we age this beer for a year in personally selected bourbon barrels from our favorite distilleries.”

Final Rating: 4.44/5
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 9.21.16, almost a year old. Poured from a 500mL bottle into a hill farmstead tulip. Purchased at the brewery.

Pours a deep brown body with a nice, frothy three finger heads that reduces to a ring of foam and leaves spotty lacing.

Aromas are very inviting, sweet bourbon, coffee, milk chocolate, honey, sweet vanilla. On the tongue it’s pretty sweet, caramel and sweet milk chocolate, developing into vanilla and bourbon, chocolate cake, coffee. The finish is roasty and charred, a lightly bitter coffee / toasted malt flavor that sticks on the tongue for a while. Mouthfeel is rich but not too thick, sweet and decadent. Medium-low carbonation.

A real winner from Hill Farmstead. This release is drinking great, complex yet balanced with tons of flavor and a good bourbon presence.

Prairie Pirate Paradise

pirateparadise

Imperial stout brewed with coconut and vanilla, aged in rum barrels.

Final Rating: 4.84/5
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a yellow/orange prairie Dino glass.

Pours a deep brown body with a light brown head that reduces quickly to leave a ring.

Aromas of strong coconut and vanilla, run and milk chocolate.. this is straight chocolate covered coconuts.

On the tongue.. absolutely decadent chocolate coconut macaroons and sweet vanilla rum. Thick rich body, velvety.

One of the best stouts I’ve ever tasted.. this is a real vanilla coconut stout, kills prop 13. Favorite beer for 2017 so far.

 

 

Cigar City – Life Is Like

cigarcitylifeislike.jpg

“Of the many similes used to describe our journey through the mortal coil of life, our favorite includes a reference to a certain group of confectioneries wherein you’re unsure of what flavor you’ll end up with. We put our heads together with our Danish friends at Mikkeller and seized our collective destinies by deciding exactly what we’ll get: an Imperial Stout brewed with cherries and cacao nibs that’s been aged in bourbon barrels, that’s what. Boasting decadent flavors of rich dark chocolate and ripe cherries, this enormous stout evokes some of the best things that life has to offer.”

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

2017 vintage. Poured from a 750mL bottle into a cigar city snifter. Shared with Ryan.

Pours a deep brown body with a brown head that reduces to leave spotty and a ring of retention.

Aromas of heavy coffee and chocolate, vanilla and caramel and berries, cherries.

On the tongue is sweet milk chocolate and caramel covered cherries, finishes coffee and roasty, dark chocolate and toasted malts. More on the sweeter side, heavy body with low carbonation.

Really enjoyed this beer, a definite win for Cigar City. Subtle fruit / berry sitting on a massively delicious stout backbone.