Beer Zombies year in review, Part 3 Porters

Robust-Porter

Part 3 of my favorite beers of 2015 will be jumping into porters. For this section it will be exclusively non barrel aged. When I post the Stouts list it will also be for the non barrel aged versions. I plan on doing a separate blog post on best of barrel aged Stouts/Porters, I feel like there are just so many delicious beers this is the only way to really break it down. So here we go with my three favorite non ba porters of 2015

 

Porters

Death By Coconut – Oskar Blues 

English Porter, ABV 6.5% IBU 25

This delicious beer has intense fresh cacao flavors swirling with popping coconut aromas, all supported by a semi-sweet porter made from loads of dark chocolate and extra dark caramel malt. I picked up a four pack of cans from a bottle shop in SoCal, they lasted two nights. Its such a perfect after dinner beer, gives you the sweetness of desert without being cloying. It really has a great balance of coconut and dark malts, don’t get me wrong you wont be left wanting more coconut its there in full force!

Maple Bacon Coffee Porter – Funky Buddha Brewing

American Porter, ABV 6.4% IBU 35

Evoking a complete diner-style breakfast in a glass, Maple Bacon Coffee Porter is a complex beer with a multitude of flavors at play. Aromas of sticky maple syrup, coffee, and cream creep forth from the glass. The mouth feel is luxuriously creamy, with layers of sweet malt, toffee, and roast giving way to waves of smoke, coffee, and salted chocolate. It finishes sticky, rich, and sweet, with the flavor of maple syrup lingering pleasantly on the tongue. Kaboom! this is outstanding, Im always weary of anything bacon infused, it has a tendency of coming off artificial to me. Not the case here at all, the saltiness and smoke gives you a sense of bacon without going over board. All in all a super delicious play on a porter.

Everett – Hill Farmstead

American Porter, ABV 7.5%

 Everett is crafted from American malted barley, English and German roasted malts, American hops, Hill Farmstead ale yeast, and water from the breweries well. It is unfiltered and naturally carbonated. Decadent in its depth, with a complex backbone of chocolate, coffee, and malty sweetness. Up until I had this magnificent porter I always used the Founders Porter as the base on which to judge every other non flavored porter. This for me is the most perfect example I have tasted myself, there really is nothing that compare or can top it in my opinion.

There it is my top three porters of 2015, I love hearing feedback and suggestions for beers you feel I need to try or left out. Next up, Stouts! check back in a few days for part 4 of Beer Zombies year in review.

Cheers,

BZ

Beer Zombies year in review, Part 2 Sour Beers

 

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Sour beer, Wild Ales, Lambic and so on and so forth. To be completely up front and honest this style of beer is still one that I am exploring and learning about. So instead of breaking it down into further sub categories for each like Flanders, Gueuze etc. etc I’m going to to lump them into one blog post and throw up my favorites from the year. It will be more then three this time do to how many styles are involved.

 

WILD ALES/SOURS

SLOambic – Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Lambic, Fruit ABV: 6%

I first had the opportunity to try this amazing beer at the From the Barrel event put on by Firestone Walker at Santa Margarita ranch. SLOambic is made by using 2050 lbs. of  marionberries and boysenberries added to Sour Opal, a beer matured up to 32 months in oak barrels and then fermented using FW proprietary blend of microflora for an additional four months. The beer is bright and alive with berry compote, and homemade jam that provides a stage for a dance of funky yeast and oak flavors before closing the curtain with an amazing acidic finish.

R & D Wild Peach – New Glarus Brewing Co.

American Wild Ale ABV: 7.25%

I had this first at a small bottle share, the few ounces I drank was not close to enough. I went after a bottle in a trade and actually have one more on the way as I type. New Glarus made this Sour brown ale with Michigan peaches. Spontaneous fermentation aged on oak. Blended 1, 2 and 3 year old beer. The nose on this beer is world class, like opening 100 cans of peaches at once! The flavor profile is bursting with layers of fresh pressed peach juice seeping through used bourbon barrels and consumed out of a old leather cup. Has a great tart slightly sour crisp finish, that just pulls all the flavors together for a perfect easy drinking wild ale.

Drie Fonteinen Framboos – Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen

Lambic, Fruit ABV: 5%

This was a bottle gifted to me from the wonderful people at La Bodega bottle shop in Riverside Ca. Framboos is a 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 are added. When poured into the glass the aroma is slightly funky with raspberry bush greenage that comes forward. As it warms up the actually berry just smacks you in the nose with a bright citric, and lactic acid mix. The flavor is truly amazing and complex, starts off with fresh ripe juicy raspberries that have been steeped in lemonade juiced from Meyer and Lisbon lemons. Hits a vinous white grape note before plunging into a full barnyard funk. Overall an excellent sour, juicy, tart funky beer.

 

Fruit Salad Oude Bruin – The Bruery 

Flanders Oud Bruin ABV: 8.2%

Part of the glorious day of drinking at The Bruery anniversary party. Fruit Salad Oude Bruin is a single barrel blend of Oude Tart that was brewed in July 2013 and an Oud Bruin Pilot Batch. The single wine barrel also contains 27 lbs. of blackberries, 39 lbs. of raspberries and 21 lbs.of Blueberry (in a single wine barrel!). The fruit was fermented to dryness by the mixed culture in the barrel. The name of this beer is perfect, fruit salad!  Had such a unique flavor of fresh berry pie filling mixed with cherry cola and sprinkled with some vinegar tartness. Was one of my favorite beers of the day that I stood in line for multiple times.

 

Cantillon Fou’ Foune – Brasserie Cantillon

Lambic, Fruit ABV: 5%

From a 2015 vintage bottle, made by using 2600 lbs. of apricots who land each year at Cantillon The fruits are stoned by hand before being immersed in a Lambic 2 years of age. The taste and aroma are extracted quickly and after 2 months of maceration, Fou’Foune is bottled. I love the way this beer reminds you that you are drinking a sour beer but only for a second before the apricots come crashing like a wave on your tongue. Its juicy, ripe and pulpy without being over bearing. It blends so amazingly with the base beer in a perfect harmony. Delivers a mid palate of an oak aged chardonnay, lemon peel, earth and a slight cheese flavor that joins in as well. I wish I could drink this regularly and not share!   

 

That is my list for my favorite sour/wilds of the year. This next year I plan to explore this style more and hope to find some beers that are on this caliber. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them. Ill be posting part 3 very soon.

 

Cheers,

BZ

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

 

 

 

 

White Cross Market, Las Vegas NV

White Cross Market

https://www.facebook.com/WhiteCrossMarket

whitecross

1700 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104

(702) 382-3382

Downtown Las Vegas, White Cross Market  now has Beer Zombies glassware in stock! Not only do they carry Beer Zombies glassware, but they also have an amazing selection of craft beer! to top it off you can grab an awesome sandwich from the deli counter while you are there. Swing by grab some beer and a glass, shopping in store saves you 30% off of online prices and no shipping.

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Khoury’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Las Vegas NV

Khoury’s Fine Wine & Spirits

http://www.khourysfinewine.com

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9915 S Eastern Ave #110, Las Vegas, NV 89183

(702) 435-9463

South East / Henderson area Khoury’s now has Beer Zombies glassware in stock! Not only do they have glassware, but its a go to spot in the SE for craft beer, bottles and draft. Swing by grab some beer and a glass, shopping in store saves you 30% off of online prices and no shipping.

Issa and Frank can drop some craft beer knowledge and suggestions on you.

khourysadd

 

Top Shelf Wine & Spirits, Las Vegas NV

Top Shelf Wine & Spirits

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6415 S Fort Apache Rd #100, Las Vegas, NV 89148

(702) 701-9463

Now in stock Beer Zombies pint glasses. Swing by and pick up some glassware priced 30% less then the online store and no shipping costs. Plus you can grab from an amazing selection of craft beers to break it in with!

Ask for Robert super friendly and very knowledgeable.

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Beer Review – Black Damnation One – Black Berry Albert – De Struise Brouwers

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Russian Imperial Stout

ABV – 13%

APPEARANCE: This Stout poured like it was being punished, almost like it was afraid to come out of the bottle. Slow, and menacing it filled up my stout glass and consumed it in utter darkness. I began to rough pour to produce a head, it billowed up quickly a chestnut brown foam that began to recede back into the blackness as quickly as it was produced. Left over was a small halo and a bit of spotted lacing that attempted to stay around as I drank but finally gave up.

AROMA: And I will strike down on thee with great blackberries and a furious chocolate aroma to those that will attempt to describe the layers of aromas coming from this beer. Upfront the blackberries do come out rich, deep and jammy.The addition of the port barrel aging is producing a very interesting vinous note, that is a welcomed change from the usual big bourbon barrel notes on a BA stout. Big burst of chocolate, roasted espresso, slightly burnt toasted bread and scorched toffee. As I get in for another nose full, the jammy berry aromas seem to be turning into more of a black cherry, raisin and plum. Very enjoyable aroma with quite a bit of layers that play off each other and open up new additions each time I go back for another smell.

TASTE: Blessed is he, who in the name of Belgian beer and Blackberry stouts, shepherds the unknowing through the valley of Black Damnation, for he is truly his brother in beer and the finder of new flavors. Like small chocolate warriors holding fresh picked blackberries swords are having a battle in my mouth. Lots of big bold flavors going on here, the berries are first and foremost with the rich chocolate and french pressed coffee coming in nicely. The mid palate shows some addition of anise, and a roasty bitterness that seems to be setting the stage for the next act of flavors to come in. Come in it does, with the additional time to let the temperature come up the port wine barrel flavors begin to emerge bringing with it a delicate spicy Belgian yeast note. The 13% abv peaks it monstrous head just enough to let you know its there without having an overly hot taste. The ending has more fruit flavors not necessarily black berries but a mesh of dark fruits, black currants, raisins and plums.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium plus body with a low carbination. Slick and slightly creamy the body is perfect for sipping this stout.  Every sip coats the mouth in a lovely lingering finish full of all the best aspects of the flavor profile. Right when you think it could not linger any more it suddenly drys up leaving a delicious after taste of Belgian style yeast.

OVERALL: Being this is my first experience with anything from the De Struise Brouwers, I don’t have anything to use as a standard. Set against other stouts/ba stouts/fruit stouts it does shine. What I really enjoyed about this beer was that after the first initial blast of berry/port like favors and aromas it still stands out as a RIS delivering everything you would expect with just a touch of Belgian spices and yeast to pull it all together.

RATING:   4.5 out of 5 Zombie Heads! Leaving a little room on the score for the chance of having a regular version of this to compare.

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Beer Purchased at:

Top Shelf Wine & Spirits

Address: 6415 S Fort Apache Rd #100, Las Vegas, NV 89148
Phone:(702) 701-9463

Beer Zombies bottle openers

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Two sided design, front featuring the Hop Bearded Beer Zombies logo. Backside Beer Zombies font with craft life craft death and a hop cone.

These Openers are water proof, stain resistant, scratch resistant and made of solid steel.

Design is not a sticker or decal, the finished product has the same look as a great custom paint job would look on a car or motorcycle. They have an Awesome shine and look unbelievable.

All openers come with a Spinner Ring which is made of super duty rubber and designed to make the process of opening a bottle with a speed opener much easier, faster and comfortable.

These are perfect for bartenders or anyone that wants to open a beer in style!

Beer Review – Bairille Aois B.O.R.I.S – Hoppin’ Frog

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HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY!
Bairille Aois B.O.R.I.S
Jameson barrel aged Imperial Stout
9.4% ABV
2013 Vintage

APPEARANCE: Poured a jet black oil slick color, came out thick and gurgling. The hard pour produced a decent sized creamy khaki colored head. Great retention that stuck around through taking pictures all the way until the first drink.
AROMA: Big gooey, delectable fresh baked brownies, fudge and chocolate chip cookies. Nice Jameson barrel notes that have a light floral, spicy wood and vanilla swirl going on. Loads of warm butterscotch, carmel and toffee mixed with coffee and heavy cream. Very reminiscent of a Starbucks latte super inviting.

TASTE: Barrel notes right away, Jameson has a bit of dry sweetness to it and it comes through on the palate. Slightly spicy with creamy vanilla and oak that gives way to big moist chocolate fudge. The sweetness is balanced out by the mild hop bitterness. I do get a solid bit of booze but I think that it is needed to counter act the sweetness that comes through. The base oatmeal makes a entrance and gives a lovely creaminess that really pulls all the layers together.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium plus body with a lazy but present carbonation. The oatmeal gives a silky creaminess that balances out the stickiness from the sweetness. Very long lingering finish that makes you eager for another sip.

OVERALL: Perfect beer for St. Patricks day, I paired this with Mint Moose Tracks ice cream and it was perfect. If you are a fan of Jameson and barrel aged stouts then you are in for a treat. A perfect marriage of the two flavors in a easy drinking high ABV stout.

RATING: 4.5/5 Zombie Heads!

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Beer Review – Blind Pig – Russian River Brewing Co.

blind pig

 

Blind PigRussian River
American IPA
6.1% ABV
70 IBU 
APPEARANCE:  Pours a shimmering golden orange, clear and vibrant. Two glorious fingers of white frothy head that settled into a nice dense cap.
 AROMA: Big ripe and juicy citrus with a delicate resinous hop profile. Not in your face but pleasant and inviting.Tons of fresh fruits, pineapple, mango, grapefruit and lemon zest. A slight bit of grassy aromas lingering around as well.
TASTE: Follows the nose very well, that nice subtle hop profile is right there on the first sip. The juicy citrus really comes in and brings that resinous piney hop flavor along for the ride.A wonderful  bit of caramel maltiness comes in towards the middle before the slight grassy ending that rounds out the lovely layers.
MOUTHFEEL:  Medium body with a medium carbonation.Slight oily texture with a long wet finish.
OVERALL: Extremely well made and easily drinkable IPA. Not in your face, or over the top just a very well rounded balanced beer. This drinks to me like it’s the base for the big brother Pliny the elder. I know a lot of people compare the two against each other, even though they are entirely different beers. As a stand alone single IPA this is in the very pinnacle of the style!
RATING: 4.4/5 zombie heads!

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