Bolero Snort Magically Bullicious

This beer is one that I picked up even though conceptually, I found it to be a bit gimmicky. I was curious to see what a beer’s take would be on Lucky Charms cereal. Let’s see what I thought.

ABV: 6%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Lucky Charms was created in 1964 by product developer John Holahan. General Mills management challenged a team of product developers to use the available manufacturing capacity from either of General Mills’ two principal cereal products—Wheaties or Cheerios—and do something unique. Holahan came up with the idea after a visit to the grocery store in which he decided to mix Cheerios with bits of Brach’s Circus Peanuts. An advertising company employed by General Mills and Company suggested marketing the new cereal around the idea of charm bracelets. Thus, the charms of Lucky Charms were born. Lucky Charms is the first cereal to include marshmallows in the recipe. The mascot of Lucky Charms, created in 1963, is Lucky the Leprechaun, also known as Sir Charms, and originally called L.C. Leprechaun. The cartoon character’s voice was supplied by the late voice actor Arthur Anderson until 1992. Lucky has also been voiced by Eric Bauza, Tex Brashear, Jason Graae, Doug Preis, and Daniel Ross. In 1975, Lucky the Leprechaun was briefly replaced by Waldo the Wizard in New England, while Lucky remained the mascot in the rest of the United States. The oat cereal was not originally sugar coated. After initial sales failed to meet expectations, the oats were sugar coated, and the cereal’s success grew. Piggy banks and plastic watches were introduced as cereal box send-away prizes as a marketing tactic to increase sales. The recipe for the cereal remained unchanged until the introduction of a new flavor: Chocolate Lucky Charms, in 2005. Later in 2012, General Mills introduced “Lucky Charms Marshmallow Treats.”

Random: I used to love this cereal as a child.

The beer poured with a two finger head that dissipated quickly. It left slight lacing on the glass. The body was a golden-yellow color, which wasn’t surprising as this was billed as a golden stout. It had a slight haze to it and there was some visible carbonation as well. The nose had lactose, vanilla and a touch of marshmallow with some grape as well. The taste was much of the same. There was a lactose note with some sugar sweetness and then went into the marshmallow note with vanilla. I didn’t pick up the grape note that I got in the nose, but instead, picked up a milled grain note. The body was on the lighter side with generous carbonation. The finish was quick with grain and lactose. Although I thought this beer was a bit gimmicky, I did enjoy it and it was well executed. I would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Hoof Hearted Belloq

Val and I have both had nasty chest colds on and off for a few weeks. I’ve been having cravings for ramen, as it’s one of my favorite foods when I feel crappy. Val was nice enough to pick some up last night from our favorite ramen spot. I got the spicy ramen, which is indeed spicy, but also cleared out some of my congestion. I had to work today, even though I really wanted to stay in bed. I feel a lot better now. I’m just hoping that we’re not sick when we go on vacation next week.

ABV: 7.5%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Belloq – Smooth caramel & chocolate notes get a massive coffee rogering. Competitively intellectual flavor that makes you feel smarter than you look. Pair with a corduroy blazer and look out world.”

Random: This is my first beer from Hoof Hearted.

The beer poured with one finger of thick, light brown head. it took awhile to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass, along with a small crown. The body was dark brown with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was a combination of black coffee, caramel and milk chocolate. The taste was very malty and had generous amounts of caramel and toffee. The chocolate and coffee were present as well. Vanilla came through at the end, but was relatively muted. The body was on the thicker side and it needed more carbonation. It had a quick finish with caramel malt. I thought this beer was decent, I just wish some of the other flavors were stronger.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Campanology Every Time Buche De Noel Stout

Val picked up another Trader Joe’s beer for me last time she was there. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 8%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Trader Joe’s is an American chain of grocery stores based in Monrovia, California. By 2015, it was a competitor in ‘fresh format’ grocery stores in the United States. As of October 12, 2017, Trader Joe’s had 474 stores nationwide in 43 states and in Washington, D.C. The first Trader Joe’s store was opened by founder Joe Coulombe in 1967 in Pasadena, California. Starting in 1979, it was owned by German entrepreneur Theo Albrecht, until his death in 2010, when ownership passed to his heirs. Trader Joe’s is a subsidiary of German supermarket chain ALDI Nord. The company has offices in Monrovia, California, and Boston, Massachusetts.”

Random: It’s been raining for days here and I’m so over it.

This beer poured with a two finger, tan head. It dissipated slowly and left significant lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black color with moderate carbonation. The nose started with the normal stout notes of chocolate, roasted malts and coffee. It then went into some sweeter notes of toffee and caramel and banana along with some alcohol. The taste was sweeter than I expected. It started with caramel and toffee and then went into milk chocolate notes with roasty malts. The alcohol was definitely noticeable on this and a bit abrasive. It had a thick and chewy body with light carbonation. The finish was sticky and lengthy. This wasn’t an amazing beer, but one that went down very easily on a cold night.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Deschutes Obsidian Stout

Val and I have started talking about where we want to go on vacation next year and the front-runners are Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. I’ve never been to either place, but I’ve heard both are nice. Tonight’s beer happens to be from Oregon.

ABV: 6.4%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Deep, robust and richly rewarding, this is beer to linger over. Obsidian has distinct notes of espresso, chocolate, roasted malt and black barley, with just enough hop bite to cut the sweetness.”

Random: This is a year-round beer that comes in at 55 IBUs.

The beer poured with a half finger, thick, tan head. It took awhile to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was so dark that it was almost black. As a result, I couldn’t see any carbonation. The nose was filled with espresso, dark chocolate and smoke. The taste was much of the same. The espresso note was really apparent and pleasant. Dark chocolate came through next along with smoke and char. There was dark malt that came through as well. There were roasted nuts and a touch of black licorice as well. The body was thick and creamy with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with espresso and dark malt. I picked this bottle up for $3 while we were out in Pennsylvania, which comes to $.25 per ounce. This is a beer that I’ve walked passed multiple times because there was always something more exciting. This beer is exciting and I will definitely be picking it up again.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Brewmaster Jack Near & Dear Stout

Time to crack open another beer from Massachusetts.

ABV: 8%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “There is nothing better than a pint of hearty stout on a cold winter night. This beer was tinkered with for over two years before we arrived at a final recipe. The base stout is layered with mountains of cocoa to provide a luscious chocolate flavor. A blend of espresso roasted by Esselon Coffee Roasting in Hadley, Massachusetts is added to enhance the flavors of roasted Carafa malt from Germany. The final product is a full-bodied brew with chocolate and coffee flavors percolating to the brim. 8% Alcohol by volume.”

Random: This beer is available in November.

The beer poured with a large, three finger, light brown head. It took awhile to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with dark roasted coffee and roasted malt with a hint of smoke. Bitter dark chocolate came through as well. The taste started with the same bitter dark chocolate up front. It transitioned into espresso and then some charred wood and smoke. There was a pleasant hint of burnt marshmallow with some booze at the end. The body was thick and chewy with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with chocolate and charred marshmallow. Since this was another beer gift, there’s no commentary on the price. I enjoyed this beer a lot and wish I had a few more to cellar.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Empire Sweet Fire

Val and I are watching the new season of “American Ninja Warrior” and it seems like every year, the obstacles get more ridiculous, and this year is no exception. I can definitely use a beer to drink while watching this one.

ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “At a Brooklyn beer event in October of 2014, 5 friends decided to join forces in a unique beer collaboration by beer industry women. The brew was so successful that the tradition has continued each year since! This imperial stout is brewed and fermented with cocoa nibs and a special chili blend, giving it a tantalizing chocolate aroma, and flavor with a heat that creeps onto the palate and builds into a beautiful balance of sweetness and spice.”

Random: I believe this brewery recently got distribution to New Jersey.

The beer poured with a quarter of a finger of tan head that dissipated slowly. It left some lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown in color with no visible carbonation. The nose had a lot of smoke and ashy chocolate. There was some chili pepper to it, but it needed more. Cocoa powder also made an appearance. The taste had a pleasant heat that hit in the back of the throat, along with shaved milk chocolate. Cocoa powder came through next with cherries. There was a marked booze note as well, which took away from the flavor. It had a thick body with light carbonation. The finish was quick with chili and cocoa. A bottle of this was $1.67, which came to $.14 per ounce. I wish this beer had more intense chili to it and less alcohol presence.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Carton Unjunct

From my understanding, Carton has been using Two Roads space to contract brew. I don’t see much difference between the beers from Jersey or Connecticut, but some people do. Let’s see how this beer stands up.

ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Having decided they had something to contribute to the very exciting conversation going on in craft brewing, cousins Chris and Augie Carton teamed up and started Carton Brewing. In the seashore community where they were born and raised, the Carton boys found a turn-of-the-century red brick warehouse and adapted it to accommodate a state-of-the-art Newlands Systems 15 barrel brew house. 6 E. Washington Avenue was turned into an independent craft brewery and their hats were in the ring. Applying a passion for stimulating flavor to inspiration found all around them, they set about their goal: to make tasty beer in the place their tastes were formed.”

Random: It’s been awhile since I’ve smoked any meat. I think I need to rectify that soon.

The beer poured with a huge, three finger, brown head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was black with no visible carbonation. On the nose, I picked up burnt espresso and cocoa notes with smoky malts. I couldn’t pick up specific chocolate notes. The taste was smoky with freshly poured espresso. It had burnt malts as well with some chopped chocolate. The bitterness was strong, but not overwhelming. The booze was hidden. The body had a nice thickness to it with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick and smoky. A can of this beer was $3.75, which broke down to $.23 per ounce. I enjoyed this beer a lot, which isn’t a shock since it’s a Carton beer. If you see it on the shelves, pick one up.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Departed Soles Modcup Of Sole

On the way home from the city, Val and I stopped at Departed Soles in Jersey. I’ve reviewed a few of their beers before, but never went to the brewery. The brewery is on a side street and has a gelato shop attached. They had a few flavors that also had some alcohol in it. We didn’t try any, but if we go back, we’re definitely going to sample some.

modcup

ABV: 4.8%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewed in conjunction with ModCup Coffee in Jersey City Heights, our first local collaboration beer utilizes a cold brew coffee in a wort reminiscent of a light, dry stout. The end result is a coffee forward craft beer with minimal bitterness and a light coffee kiln and chocolate malt backbone, along with some lactose.”

Random: We get coffee from a place that has a huge sale every black Friday and it usually lasts us all year.

The beer poured with a quarter of a finger of tan head. It went away quickly, but left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark brown color with high carbonation. The nose was filled with black coffee, espresso and milk chocolate notes. It had a touch of lactose too, but coffee was definitely the start. The taste was milk chocolate and strong black coffee with some vanilla. Lactose came through at the end of the sip. It had a thin body with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy and filled with black coffee. I thought this beer was outstanding. It was even better because it was sessionable. This beer is worth searching out if you like coffee.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America – Stout Of The Union

Despite the mixed pack getting less than stellar reviews on both content and price, I picked one up. I also was not a huge fan of the price and if I knew what the price was before I got to the checkout, I would have reconsidered my purchase.

stoutoftheunion

ABV: 7.3%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This stout hails from the land of sun, sand, and surf and proves that beach beer doesn’t have to be light colored and delicate. Stout of the Union is rich, roasty and full of deep malt flavor, creating a union of like-minded brewers together through beer.”

Random: My local beer store doesn’t have the best selection of mixed twelve-packs. They seem to generally be less popular than they were a few years ago.

This beer poured with a one finger, light brown head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown with some carbonation visible, despite the dark color of the body. The nose started with smoke and ash notes and quickly went into dark chocolate. The taste was even more ashy, like licking the bottom of a cigar ashtray. It also had wood smoke and then dark, bitter malt. The booze was apparent in the taste along with shaved dark chocolate. The body was shockingly light for the style with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with the same wood ash and dark malts. A bottle of this was expensive at $3.08 ($.26 per ounce), and although I had no issue drinking the beer, I think it was a bit off-balance and wasn’t worth the price.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Flying Dog Tropical Stout (Brewhouse Rarities)

Although I respect Flying Dog a lot, I find the description of this beer misleading. If you’re into a fruity drink with an umbrella, this beer is not going to be for you. I can come up with a bunch of fruit beers that are much more appropriate for that comparison. Despite that, I enjoy a beer that pushes the limits. Let’s see how it was.

tropicalstout

ABV: 6%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Rich, roasted malt meets juicy pineapple and toasted coconut, making this beer the perfect replacement for anything that comes with a tiny umbrella.”

Random: I am craving coconut now.

The beer poured with a thick, two finger, light brown head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The nose had coconut, like the type of coconut you buy in a bag at the supermarket to make macaroons. It had some roasted malt and cocoa as well. I didn’t pick up any pineapple. The taste started like the typical stout with roasted malts, light smoke, and coffee. After the beer warmed a bit, I picked up some toasted coconut. At the end of the sip, I picked up canned pineapple, but it didn’t offer a huge amount of sweetness, which I appreciated. The body was thick with light carbonation. It had a quick, milk chocolate finish. A single bottle of the beer set me back $1.92 a bottle ($.16 per ounce). This beer was alright, but if you’re going to call it a tropical stout, I want more coconut and pineapple.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0