Campanology For Whom

Tonight’s beer is from Trader Joe’s store brands that they contract brew. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 10%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to wisconsinstatejournal.com, “There’s only one Waunakee in the world, and there’s only one brewery in Waunakee that could make a pineapple IPA for a nationwide chain of grocery stores. Having ‘Waunakee, WI’ on the side of the bottles of Campanology Brewing beer sold at Trader Joe’s 700-plus stores from coast to coast is a nice little bump on the national radar for a nice little suburb of Madison. Isaac Showaki, owner of Octopi Brewing in Waunakee, declined to confirm that his brewery was making the three Trader Joe’s-exclusive beers Campanology has released so far. But unless Lone Girl Brewing, Waunakee’s other brewery, scaled up quickly and added some impressive equipment, it’s a pretty easy deduction to make — even without the federal label approvals that list Octopi and Campanology on the same documents.”

Random: One of the guys I work with makes his own hot sauces and grows his own chilis in the Summer. Maybe next year I will get into that.

The beer poured with less than a finger of tan-colored head. It dissipated slowly, but only left some lacing on the side of the glass. The body was dark brown, almost black. I couldn’t see any carbonation through it. The nose was filled with roasted malt, cocoa powder, chili peppers and cinnamon. The taste started with dark chocolate and roasted malts with some smoke. The beer quickly showed notes of cinnamon and chili peppers that provided a pleasant, but not overwhelming heat. The body was on the thick side with moderate carbonation. The alcohol was present, but not overwhelming. The finish was sticky and lengthy with heat left over from the hot peppers. Since Val picked this up from Trader Joe’s, I’m not sure how much it was, but their beers are never expensive. It wasn’t the best beer I’ve had from the style, but was certainly solid. I would have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

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Westbrook Mexican Cake

Mexican stouts are my favorite, so when I saw this lonely bottle on the shelf, it had to come home with me.

ABV: 10%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Happy birthday to us! To celebrate our first year as a brewery we brewed a serious imperial stout and aged it on cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and fresh habanero peppers. This was the first offering in our annual Anniversary series. It was so delicious we decided to bring it back each May! First Released: January 30th, 2012. Re-released: May 2013.”

Random: This beer comes in at 50 IBUs.

This beer poured with less than half a finger of tan head. It dissipated almost instantly and left a very small crown on top of the body. There was no lacing left on the glass. The body was a dark brown that was almost black with little carbonation visible. The nose on this beer was big. I picked up dark chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and lots of hot peppers. There was a booze aroma as well, but it wasn’t overwhelming. The taste was much of the same as the nose. It started with smoke, dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee and cinnamon. It quickly went into hot peppers that gave a bit of spice, but never got to the point of being overwhelming. The booze note was there, but again, never overwhelmed the beer. The body of the beer was chewy and thick with light carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with cinnamon and hot pepper. I picked up this bottle for $16.99, which came to $.77 per ounce. I thought this beer was excellent and is definitely worth searching out.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Hubbard’s Cave Chocolate & Cinnamon Pot De Creme

Sometimes I pick up beers because I’ve never heard of the brewery. Little did I know that this would be such an outstanding beer.

ABV: 11.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to chicagoarchitecture.org, “More than just a street underpass, Hubbard’s Cave is a triple-decker infrastructure sandwich that passes beneath railroad tracks, parking lots, even entire warehouses are perched over this most vital of Chicago’s motor arteries. Now and then there are gaps in the roof allowing people to peek down into traffic. Or more often — allowing the traffic below brief glimpses into shafts of sunlight from above. The earliest reference to ‘Hubbard’s Cave’ we could find in local newspapers was from 1962, and it’s clear from the context that the name was already in common use by the public. Back then what we now call the Kennedy Expressway was known as the Northwest Expressway and people traveling the route were in much more peril than today’s travelers.”

Random: This brewery appears to be a division of Une Annee.

This beer poured with a one finger, medium brown head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown, almost black, with no carbonation visible due to the color. The nose was filled with smoke, dark chocolate, roasted malts and lots of good quality cinnamon. The taste started with a pungent dark chocolate note and quickly went into smoke and cinnamon. The booze was apparent on the beer, but not overwhelming. It had a thick and chewy body with moderate carbonation. The finish was sticky and lengthy with dark chocolate and cinnamon. I picked this bottle up for $15, which came to $.68 per ounce. I thought this beer was outstanding and definitely would have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Evil Twin Aun Mas Todo Jesus

Tonight’s beer is from Evil Twin. I had my eye on this beer for awhile and finally pulled the trigger.

ABV: 12%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We Have All good intentions to disturb, disorder and enlighten you with unforgettable beer after beer. Because We are so much in love with good taste, all the beers from Evil Twin are prepared in 10 of the best breweries around the world. Exclusively hand picked to please you with delicate, funky, extreme and by all means rare flavors. Maybe not the easiest way, but certainly the most fun!!! One More Thing A clever man once said: ‘Stay thirsty… stay foolish.’ That sounds like our vision, just with a tad less attitude.”

Random: Beer Advocate changed and added beer styles, which is totally throwing me off.

The beer poured with less than a quarter finger of tan head. It dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown that was almost black. There was no carbonation visible due to the dark color. The nose on this beer was intense. I picked up smoke, dark chocolate, cinnamon and lots of hot peppers. The taste was equally intense. It started with smoke and dark chocolate and roasted malts. Then, the cinnamon and chili peppers came through. There was a significant booze note as well to pair with the thick body that had light carbonation. The finish was sticky and lengthy with dark chocolate. A bottle of this was $7.99, which came to $.67 per ounce. I thought this beer was tasty, but the price point was a bit high.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Omnipollo Noa Pecan Mud Cake

Tonight’s selection is one that I wasn’t sure about when I picked up. I thought it was going to be a little gimmicky, but I thought it was worth a shot. The beer store by my job has a giant pick-a-six section and this happened to be in it.

ABV: 11%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “When I was 12 I dreamed of becoming a pastry chef. Call this a creative outlet. Thick, rich and excessively decadent, this beer aims to bring back childhood memories. Brewed with aromas.”

Random: I’ve always wanted to go to Sweden.

The beer poured with a three finger, tan head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown that was almost black, with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with sweet scents. There was a lot of brown sugar and molasses along with chocolate malt and sweet, pecan pie. There was a note of peanut butter mixed in. The taste was also incredibly sweet. It started with sweet chocolate along with molasses and brown sugar. There was a pecan note as well, along with lots of booze. It was very dry, yet thick with lots of carbonation. The finish was sweet and super sticky. I picked up a can for $5, which came to $.42 per ounce. When I first started drinking this beer, I enjoyed it, but once I got a few sips in, the booze and sweetness was overwhelming. I wouldn’t rush back to have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Bolero Snort Doubull Stuffed

Sometimes I just buy beers because I like the labels, or in this case, should I say labulls? I like how they made the texts look almost like Oreo cookies.

ABV: 9.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “After over a year and a half of recipe development, commercial production of our beers began in January 2013. As gypsy brewers, our beers are contracted at various host breweries throughout New Jersey. We are working hard to open the doors of our own production facility with a tap room for tours and tastings sometime this decade. Our team strives to create hand-crafted ales and lagers that are influenced by both traditional and emerging styles with our own bold spin. No BS…Just Ragin’ Good Beer!”

Random: I love a good pun.

The beer poured with a one finger, tan head that was rather thick. It took awhile to dissipate, but didn’t leave much lacing on the glass. It did leave a small crown on top of the black body. The nose was very fragrant with a lot of dark chocolate, graham cracker, smoke, tobacco and burnt marshmallow. It had a touch of vanilla as well. The taste was incredibly sweet up front. It had milk and dark chocolate and quickly went into graham cracker, molasses and brown sugar. Some oak and vanilla attempted to break it up, but wasn’t able to. The sweetness came back with burnt marshmallow. There was also some tobacco, but man was this beer sweet. The body was really viscous and had low carbonation. The finish was sticky and sweet with chocolate and brown sugar. I bought this beer awhile ago and put it in the basement, so I don’t recall how much it was. Either way, this beer was a bit too sweet for me. I think I would have just preferred a taster glass of this.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Common Roots Coffee Cup

Val recently purchased some new coffee from one of our favorite places. They make a Horchata coffee that she cools down for iced coffee. It’s my new favorite thing. There’s no good coffee places by my job. I’m stuck with either getting Wawa or Dunkin’ Donuts, neither of which I’m a huge fan of. The one good thing about living or working in a city is having a good coffee shop. I guess I’ll just have to suffer.

ABV: 9%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A double coffee stout made with cold brew coffee and flavors of chocolate and caramel.”

Random: The website says that this a collaboration beer, but doesn’t say who the collaboration is with.

The beer poured with a quarter finger of tan head that dissipated slowly. It didn’t leave much lacing on the glass, but left a small crown. The body was dark brown, almost black. Due to the color, I couldn’t see any carbonation. The nose was very earthy with lots of dark coffee. There was a nuttiness to the beer as well. The taste started with very strong espresso notes. It transitioned into dark chocolate and lactose. Vanilla notes came through next. The booze made a slight appearance, but was relatively well-integrated. The body was on the heavy side with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky finish with coffee. I picked up the pounder can for $4.75, which came to $.30 per ounce. I really enjoyed this beer and if you like strong coffee, I think you’ll enjoy it too.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0