Beer Zombies year in review, Part 1 Local Beers

vegas2.jpgAs we draw close to a new year I’ve been looking back on all the great beers that I had a pleasure to pour down my throat. I decided to put together a list that I will be uploading in parts. It will be my favorite beers of 2015 broke down into styles/categories. I will add three beers to each style and they wont be in any order except that they where my top three in that category. Would love to hear feedback on my list in any form! So to start things off I will go with:

 

FAVORITE LOCAL BEERS

Morning Joe ( Kolsch ) – Banger Brewing 

http://bangerbrewing.com

ABV: 5.4% IBU: 25

This one was a huge win in my book, intense  burst of coffee, hazelnut aromas and a flavor that follows perfectly to the nose.The brewers at Banger accomplished this by dry hopping the base Kolsch with 4 lbs of French Caramel coffee and 4 lbs of Hazelnut coffee beans.  The addition of the coffee adds a wonderful flavor and creaminess to a beer style that is known to be  crisp, clean and balanced.

 

7th Anniversary Bourbon BA Ale w/ Vanilla & Cocoa Nibs – Joseph James Brewing

http://www.jjbrewing.com

ABV: 11% IBU: 50

This rich, complex, full-bodied ale was made by combining two of JJ’s popular bourbon barrel-aged beers. They where then blended to taste and conditioned on top of raw cacao nibs and vanilla beans. Do you like snickers bars? I know I do and anything that has a remote taste profile as a snickers is going to be consumed with joy. The vanilla dances gracefully with the char and wood flavors. Finishes with enough heat to let you know its been aged in bourbon barrels. Delicious!

 

BA Morning Pay Off ( Imperial Stout)  – Bad Beat Brewing 

http://www.badbeatbrewing.com

ABV: 8.8% IBU: 40

A complex blending of oats, wheat, smoked malt, lactose and 6 other ingredients create the perfect base to throw in some locally roasted beans from Mother Ship Coffee. A super solid example of a barrel aged stout with coffee. The flavor gives way to earthy fresh ground coffee, burnt malts with a slight pepper on the finish. Bringing in the barrels adds a wonderful woodsy character to the beer. Super smooth and easy drinking stout with no detection of the abv.

 

 

 

Well that is part 1 of my list of best beer I drank in 2015, check back for the next installment and please leave comments on either here or the Facebook page.

 

Cheers,

BZ

 

 

 

 

Beer Review – Fundamental Observation – Bottle Logic Brewing

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BA VANILLA IMPERIAL STOUT

ABV – 14.3%

APPEARANCE: Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moon light? No, well neither had I until I started pouring this devilishly black beer from the bottle. I popped the cap and heard a slight hiss like a demon coming from the depths. Slowly pouring the bottle the beer takes control and begins to dictate how fast it wants to be poured. Filling up the glass inch by inch and producing the smallest mocha colored head that just floats lazily atop the beer.

AROMA: As soon as I popped the cap and heard the hiss, it was followed by a massive attack on my nostrils of vanilla. Not just any vanilla, but intense Madagascar vanilla beans. The nose on this stout is absolutely incredible, there is no way to deny that this is a vanilla infused beer. After shaking off the beauteous sent of vanilla you can start to pick up the hints of bourbon, oak from the barrel, cocoa powder. Don’t get me wrong this is 100% a vanilla bomb of aroma here.

TASTE: If my mouth was a steam locomotive and vanilla beans where the fuel source that would be close to the flavor you get from the first sip. Continuing on down the Fundamental tracks you begin to indulge in fresh gooey brownies sprinkled with walnuts and warm toasted marshmallows floating in bittersweet hot chocolate. Next stop is bourbon town with a few of the barrel flavors jumping on board. Ever so slight heat is there, followed by figs, currants, dark chocolate, molasses cookies, and black licorice. Pulling into the station the beer comes around to remind you that this is a Madagascar Vanilla bean beer, that combined with a bit of vanilla picked up from the barrels really interlocks all the flavors and pulls this beer together so nicely.

MOUTHFEEL: If you ever licked the chocolate cake batter off of a beater then you will get the mouthfeel on this. It doesn’t just coat the tongue it envelops the whole mouth. Combine that with the lazy carbination and you have a real deal sipping beer on your hands. The finish is long and creamy with vanilla sliding its way down your throat.

OVERALL: This beer is in my top 5 beers I drank so far this year. Its been called the Vanilla Rye killer, 100% agree it blows VR away in my opinion. I’m a huge fan of vanilla and this hits all the right buttons. I will put it out there that this is my favorite BA or non BA vanilla beer in any style that I have ever had, if you have one that you think could knock this one off the top please tell me!

RATING: As much as I try not to give out perfect ratings I cant find any reasons not to.

5/5 Zombie Heads!

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BBA Monsters’ Park Release – Modern Times

Modern Times Beer release the new Monsters’ Park series today. Tickets went on sale from Brown Paper tickets at 10:00 am this morning. I managed to grab one bottle of each. The bottle count was extremely low 600 bottles of each version where made. The coconut and cocoa sold out in under 2 minutes, followed by the coffee variant in under 5 the base version hung around a little longer before selling out in 12 minutes. Looking forward to not only tasting the new beers but having another reason to return to the Modern Times brewery.

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MONSTERS’ PARK AGED IN BOURBON BARRELS
Black as oil and thick as blood. A vigorous pour produces a two finger, deep brown head. The mouthfeel is very full, with healthy, prickly carbonation. The aroma pops big time: major notes of bourbon, oak, chocolate, and toasted nuts waft out of the glass. The flavor is very powerful, with bourbon & roast malt leading the charge, followed by vanilla-y oak, caramel, dark chocolate, and those toasted nuts again. The finish lingers for days, with sweet malt and bourbon dominating. A seriously intense but very well-rounded barrel-aged imperial stout. The roasty intensity of Monsters’ Park is a beautiful match for the sweetness of bourbon.

MONSTERS’ PARK AGED IN BOURBON BARRELS W/ COFFEE
We learned from our first experience adding coffee to barrel-aged Monsters’ Park: this beer soaks up A LOT of coffee before it gets to the KA-POW level we’re aiming for. So we added nearly 3 times as much coffee in two separate doses to make it really pop. The coffee aroma leaps out of the glass in combination with the intense oak & bourbon notes. The flavor is drenched in fresh coffee, but not so much that it completely overshadows the amazing, chocolatey base beer. The roasted notes in Monsters’ Park combine with the coffee to produce a markedly intense flavor, like a chocolate covered espresso bean turned up to 11. The finish is coffee & sweet malt all day, with a noticeable vanilla oakiness & caramel hard candy coming through as well.

MONSTERS’ PARK AGED IN BOURBON BARRELS W/ COCONUT & COCOA NIBS
Wow, did this beer ever take a lot of work, but it was totally worth it. We toasted all of the coconut ourselves and went to great lengths to source the perfect combination of cocoa nibs. Needless to say, the results are spectacular & anything but subtle. It pours pitch black with a menacingly dark head that dissipates very quickly due to the fat from the coconut. The flavor and aroma are completely saturated with coconut & chocolate, but blend harmoniously with the strong bourbon & roast malt notes. This beer is explosively flavorful and completely coats the palate with coconut, milk chocolate, toasted bread, dark honey, and roast malt. Truly amazing.