Bo & Luke Stout Against the Grain Just some good 'ol boys

Bo & Luke Stout, Against the Grain. An Imperial Stout made with smoked Corn, Rye and Barley aged in used Pappy VanWinkle Bourbon Barrels

(C) 2017 popsonhops.com

Bo & Luke Stout

Tasting: October 6, 2017
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
ABV: 13%
Beer #: 1,100

Originally an Against the Grain Brewery and Brouwerij De Molen collaboration beer. Here’s how the Against the Grain describes Bo & Luke Stout:

We took the ingredients in bourbon whiskey (Barley, Rye, Corn) and then smoked them with cherry wood and brewed a huge imperial stout with them. Then to top it off we aged it in Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon Barrels. The resulting beer is rich, smokey and complex, with a bourbon character of caramel, vanilla and spice.

Doesn’t that sound amazing?

Here we are at beer number 1,100.

Very active carbonation, bubbles out of the bottle and no matter how careful I pour, it leaves a very active khaki-colored head. Even my first few sips are fizzy.

First flavor impression is a lot of peat and damp moss flavor. I assume whiskey influence here. Some cherries, smokey. Unique flavor for sure. Not your typical imperial stout. I’m not getting any of the advertised caramel, vanilla or even spice. A bit of a let down for me, but still interesting enough to call it at 89 points.

As I usually do, here are some of my milestone beers…

Beer # 1,000 The Bruery Black Tuesday
Beer # 900 Goose Island Cherry Rye
Beer # 800 DeStruise Black Albert
Beer # 700 Three Floyds Dark Lord
Beer # 600 Alesmith Speedway Stout
Beer # 500 Fifty-Fifty Elijiah Craig Esclipse
Beer #400 Founders Bolt Cutter
Beer # 300 Mother Earth Trippel Overhead
Beer # 200 Theakston XB
Beer # 100 Sierra Nevada Beer Camp # 37
Beer # 1 Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye

October 6, 2017 is beer # 1,100 and 342 days since #1,000
October 29, 2016 is beer # 1,000 and 225 days since # 900
March 18, 2016 is beer # 900 and 172 days since # 800
September 29, 2015 is beer # 800 and 228 days since # 700
February 14, 2015 is beer # 700 and 163 days since # 600
September 5, 2014 beer # 600 and 300 days since # 500
November 9, 2013 was beer #500 and 340 days since # 400
December 4, 2012 was beer # 400 and 182 days since # 300
June 5, 2012 was beer # 300 and 195 days since # 200
November 23, 2011 was beer # 200 and 134 days since # 100
July 12, 2011 was beer # 100 and 244 days since # 1
November 10 2010, was beer # 1

How about another beer from Against the Grain?

Love the label art? Visit the website of the artist, Robby Davis.

And lastly, visit the brewery website here.

Share it!
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Huge Arker Russian Imperial Stout, Anderson Valley At 13.5% this is a huge arker, ask anyone in Booneville.

Huge Arker

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Okay, what the hell is an Arker?
Check Meriam Websters…no luck, no such word.
Scrabble dictionary?…no luck, no double word points for you.
Check the Boontling dictionary?…uh-yeah, there it is.

Arker: verb (ar-ker) coming from the word ark which means to wreck something. It’s not a bowgley ( a whopper of a lie).

What the hell am I talking about? It seems my serendipitous beer journey has caused me to stumble across an archaic dialect that is native only to the town of Boonville, California. No surprise that Boonville is also the home of Anderson Valley Brewing. It only seems right that Anderson Valley honors their local heritage by naming this robust stout Huge Arker.

Boontling

As the legend goes the dialect was invented in 1890 by the youth of the community as a means to communicate so the elders wouldn’t understand. Kind of like today’s text jargon…#IHNI. According to legend, it was Ed “Squirrel” Clement and Lank McGimsey that developed Boontling and today there are fewer than 100 people in Boonville that still speak Boontling. Check out the link below as the dialect is quite extensive and entertaining.

The label also notes that they’ve been Bahl Hornin’ since 1987. That’s good drinking (or alternative to saying cheers).

Well, that was a fun side trip. Now onto the Huge Arker or huge wrecker.

Tasting: June 28, 2017
Style: Russian Imperial Stout aged in used Wild Turkey bourbon barrels
Beer #: 1,075
ABV: 13.5%

Huge Arker

Looks thin on the pour and not so opaque. My criticism ends there. This is a nice stout. Sweet molasses, some earthy peat, vanilla. Nice soft edges for a 13.5% monster. Although thin, the mouthfeel is sticky almost Bill Nunn (sorry, last Boontling reference – means syrup). This bottle is from 2014 and I’m guessing age seems to have served it well. 92 points.

Read more about the Boontling Dialect

Share it!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Westbrook 6th Anniversary Chocolate Hazelnut Stout This is getting nuts!

Westbrook 6th Anniversary Chocolate Stout

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Tasting: January 27, 2017
Style: Russian Imperial Stout aged on hazelnut, cacao nibs and vanilla beans
Beer #: 1,032
ABV: 10%

Westbrook 6th Anniversary Hazelnut Chocolate Imperial Stout

Let’s forget that this is my third straight hazelnut beer and let’s talk about cacao nibs. As you probably know, chocolate is made from cacao. The cacao pods grow on trees and the pods contain cacao beans. The nibs are simply cacao beans that have been roasted, separated from their husks and broken into smaller pieces. Essentially, raw chocolate minus the fat and sugar additives that make commercial chocolate sweet and creamy. In addition to chocolate flavor, a beer that adds cacao nibs might also have some nutty flavor. At one time, I was confused by cacao and cocoa and wondered if they were the same thing. Cocoa is the term used to refer to cacao that has been heated at a higher temperature and comes in the familiar powdered form.

Now onto the beer. This was a squealer fill from Cable Beverage. In case you didn’t know, a squealer is a 32 ounce container where a growler is a 64 ounce container. I popped it open a few hours after the fill.

It’s bit of a let down and I am thankful that I opted for the squealer. On the plus side there is some chocolate sweetness and mellow roasted flavors. I’ll also give it props on it’s slick mouthfeel. On the negative side, I have to ask myself if I really can taste any hazelnut. One more negative is the astringent booziness. It runs this beer over. I was really hoping for a crisp nuttiness but my hazelnut streak ends at two. Next up Brew Bus Hazelnut Spread Porter. As far as Westbrook 6th Anniversary Chocolate Hazelnut Stout, I’ll put it at 87 points.

While you’re here why not check out my thoughts on Westbrook 5th Anniversary – 91 Points. That one fared a little better.

Cheers. Have you had this beer? Let me know your thoughts.

Share it!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Vanilla Hazelnut Marshal Zhukov by Cigar City and the flavor of the week is...hazelnut

Vanilla Hazelnut Marshal Zhukov by Cigar City Brewing

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Tasting: January 14, 2017
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Beer #: 1,031
ABV: 11.2%

Vanilla Hazelnut Marshal Zhukov

Totally by coincidence, I’m popping open another beer with hazelnut. The other day was Hazel’s Nuts – 93 points and today I am on to a another nutty variation. Remember beer number 999? It was none other than the original Marshal Zhukov – 93 points. This time the World War II general is presented with vanilla and hazelnut. Cigar City hails from Florida and availability is limited to just six states (sorry, not in NJ). But check shelves in New York and Pennsylvania. At $22 per bottle, some may still be hanging out.

Reading the label and I see there is a sentence in Russian. Of course, I’m curious and thankful for technology. According to Google Translate, the quote attributed to Georgy Zhukov goes “There is stuff in Russia that are not what they appear”. I don’t think the general said stuff but he did say “things”. Close enough.

While a lot of other stouts overpower with their adjuncts, the vanilla and hazelnut in this robust stout take very complimentary positions. A crisp roasted flavor that combines some creamy chocolate, coffee and what I’d call a hint of something vegetative – like a moss. In conclusion, I’ll put this variation one tick ahead of the original, 94 points. Okay, we’re two for two with hazelnut adjuncts. I have two more in the wings. Stay tuned.

Share it!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •