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@fremontbrewing Coffee Cinnamon Barrel Aged Abominable aka that C.C.B.Bomb.

In what can only be described as an ISO:FT miracle, Fremont brewing has not been forced into a cattle car aboard the hype train.  Despite consistently knocking out big beers, having a solid barrel aging program and constantly rolling out delicious top notch hoppy beers, their fanbase refuses to be total shitheads.  If this brewery were located in say, Indiana, forget about it, you would see people attempting to trade Bbomb for one off cantillon, selling them on secondary sites, just really pricking up the place.  I liken these Washington tickers as a strain of the magnanimous Colorado breed: they just produce awesome beer and shut the fuck up about it.  Haven’t heard of Black Raven or Casey Brewing? Well it’s not their job to keep you informed, they will gladly drink up their world class offerings under the fall of torrential rain or snow, respectively.

So what do we have here, anyway? You might recall I previously already praised regular B-Bomb top to bottom as a leaner more nimble version of Kuhnhenn’s BB4d.  This is especially true of their recent offerings, solara style blending of a variety of different ages of barrels.  So that’s already what we are dealing with, THEN, they go and add cinnamon and coffee up in the mix.  I was skeptical, and I was fucking wrong.

ANOTHER ROUND OF BARREL AGED ALES AND THEN PLAY FREEBIRD

ANOTHER ROUND OF BARREL AGED ALES AND THEN PLAY FREEBIRD

Fremont Brewing, Seattle area, 11% abv

Strong Ale? It’s essentially an old ale/barleywine.  Let’s get to it.

A:  This just looks phenomenal out of the bottle, rolling with a great slick to it, deep mahogany hues and carb that actually delivers and doesn’t just lay placid like we have come to expect from big stouts and barleywines.  The cling is awesome and leaves sheets of mocha foam rimming the glass like a toothy prison blowjob. OH JUST ME? OK SURE.

When they announced this beer, instead of being a skeptical asshole, I should have jumped on it

When they announced this beer, instead of being a skeptical asshole, I should have jumped on it

S:  The nose works in waves of cascading roasted coffee, churros, cinnabon, milk chocolate, nougat, whoppers and closing with a sweet roasty aspect.  It delivers in equal measure what it promises and never lets one aspect upstage the others, like a finely tuned Brady Bunch performance, every child receives a moment to shine before KEEPIN ON KEEPIN ON KEEPIN ON back in the chorus line.  The real star here is the balance, god damn it all.  If BA Abraxas is the paradigm for excessive cinnamon sweetness, this demonstrates how to take two aggressive adjuncts and make them work in tandem to buttress the main goal: a fantastic beer.

T:  This flips the shit switch and the amount of balls tripped is not insubstantial.  You get all of the foregoing barista and horchata cinnamon goodness, but a whole other layer of butterscotch and vanilla and mallowfoam.  It never is excessively roasty, nor is it cloyingly sweet, and it complely avoids the mexican barrio panaderia route.  Again I must underscore just how well balanced this beer is, I can’t even pander any trite dick jokes because there is no succor to be beaten from this libation, it is unquestionably one of the top beers of 2014, hands down.

Sometimes you encounter a beer that is so good, you dont even know what to complain about

Sometimes you encounter a beer that is so good, you dont even know what to complain about

M:  This is yet another aspect where this beer outdoes itself and sets the bar for not only BA old ales/BABW but also a benchmark for adjunct laden beers in general.  It is so refreshing and nimble, so thin on the mouthfeel that you can appreciate the variety of flavors without a cacophony of sweetness, residual malt, flabby underattenuated sugars, or any other chocolately sub plots that detract from the main thread.  It begs to be consumed and I killed this bomber in the same amount of time it took me to drink De Garde Hose.  That is fucking dangerous and it is almost irresponsible from a products liability standpoint for Fremont to even produce beers of this nature.

D:  See above, I don’t need to retread this same well tilled ground: it is intensely enjoyable and highly drinkable.  If it had a major fault, I suppose it would be that it is TOO easy to take down, perhaps the guilt of indulging that hard, that fast is the real lingering residue on my burlap colored teeth.  If you miss this one, particularly with how criminally low it is trading right now, you might as well stick to BCBCS nonsense and become base filler in the trade game.  Not tasting this beer renders you a place holding zero on the trade boards as far as 2014 is concerned.  In fact, please don’t seek this out, let it turd up the shelves in PNW so I can hope to again savor this ambrosial delight.

CBBOMB is on that dual monocle tip

CBBOMB is on that dual monocle tip

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Stone 2008 Barrel Aged Imperial Russian Stout, Finally Ticked this Elusive Draft Only Beast (Don’t mention 2010)

Ok so let’s list a few of my failed exploits with this rare draft=only, no growler stout. I once drove all the way down to SD after Winterstorm because a hostess told me that it was still on tap. I showed up and Dr. Bill remonstratively informed me that it had kicked. Never trust a hostess. Another time I drove all the way down to SD to pick up some 2010 bottles of this and they were horribly infected, It was like drinking chocolate Consecration. Another time I bought $45 tickets to Blue Palms anniversary and went alone on a 95 degree day, stood in line and was one of the first people to go in. I go in and BOOM the Stone rep told me that they unilaterally decided to “replace” Stone IRS with 15th anniversary on Espresso Beans. To the uninformed, that is like showing up to the Nissan dealership for your GT-R and they give you a 370z with a really nice spoiler. Enough complaining, I finally ticked this top 100 asshole, let’s get it:

It took me so long to finally land this, my liver stocked up so much that it would never crave it again. This tactic failed.

Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States
Russian Imperial Stout | 11.50% ABV

A: This looks almost identical to normal IRS with the exception that it has a bit more clear sheeting and a bit less carbonation. What did you seriously expect, some bourbon ghost or magical bourbon sparkles to enhance your experience? There’s some nice mocha frothiness like trying to take a swim at Long Beach.

They don’t want you sipping rare BA stouts, ticking top 100 beers, they tryna catch you riding cleanly.

S: The smell is absolutely fantastic. It is reminiscent of a gentler Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th, with more of a coconut vanilla thing going on, and less roast. You get a blast of dark chocolate, baker’s cocoa, some Nestle cocoa, marshmellow and some melted caramel. This spent 2 years in a barrel and it learned a thing or two during its hard time, like how to fashion a bourbon shiv out of oak and how to convert malts to Islam.

T: This is an incredible stout and takes all of the simply delicious chocolate and roast nuances of the original and adds this complex sweet profile that is entirely fulfilling. There’s an initial bourbon sweetness that almost comes across similar to a brandy treatment, but fades into this macaroon dipped in milk chocolate with a side of coffee, the tepid mouthfeel just lets the malts pop lock and drop it. This beer is official like a referee whistle. While I love the 08 and 09 vintages of IRS, this is an entirely different endeavor and straight up leap frogs over the likes of Parabola and Abyss for the simplicity and deliciousness of its execution. This isn’t the most complex stout in the world but it just maxes out the balance, like a skewed Aristotelian mean.

Barrel aged stouts kill more beer nerds each year than baby hippos. Think of the dying beer nerds.

M: This is a bit dry from the oak but provides a nice light chocolatey coating from the residual malts and sugars. This is exceptionally drinkable simply for the fact that it imparts a huge profile without being too filling or cloying on any specific element. Some beers are too thick (Abyss) others are too hot (Black Tooz) others still present strange aplomb that is off putting (Dark Lord); this avoids that terrain and just sneaks in past the bouncer with a bourbon 9mm tucked in its jeans.

D: See above, this is really drinkable and it is frustrating how unavailable this is. I wonder if Greg Koch ever calls Kyle from Kern River brew co and they just bust out kegs of Class X and BA IRS and share them and no one else gets none. Just an amazing stout sesh that no one else gets to drink. I will order this any time that I see it, I don’t care if I am at my own parole hearing, I mean, why is it on tap there in the first place? Seems kinda negligent of the warden.

I see you have Barrel Aged IRS. I like barrel aged things.

Narrative: Chris Martin kept an orderly office: pictures of his wife and two children on his desk, Kiwani’s plaques on the wall, an ironic Billy Bass as a talkign point for clients. If you were in the market for a used Trailblazer or Arcadia, he was your man. What most single mothers or recent divorcees buying used american cars were unaware of was Chris’s dark secret. Chris was completely intoxicated during every single transaction. He kept a series of vintage bourbons in his right hand drawer, awaiting his consumption. The chocolate candies and Werther’s Originals were on the rich mahogany desk to distract from his bloodshot eyes and the dizzying loan payment figures. Much as the finches of Darwinian exploits had adapted their beaks for efficiency, Chris’s liver had adapted to embrace the trappings of his ultimately depressing profession. No one wants to grow up to be a middle manager at a used car lot in Pensacola. No one ever tells that story. Chris penned his final deal of the month and staggered over to the bell and rang it. His co-workers clapped and nodded in cool reverence of his haughty swagger. No one had ever sold a Neon Expresso before. They said that car was unsalable. But then again they didn’t drink Buffalo Trace at 8:30 in the morning now did they?

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Cigar City Bourbon Barrel Hunahpu’s Stout, Get Swallowed by Stoutstro the Whale

After months of hunting on the open seas, the harpoons finally entered the hide of this elusive beast. So there were something like 200 of these made and the feeding frenzy at the event reached a fever pitch of beer nerds when you had to PICK A LINE. Massive swaps ensued, people were trying to figure out which was the best, and when the neckbeard sweat cleared: A WINRAR WAS THIS. This is a legit top 100 bruiser that runs the yard. Enough pussy footing, let’s get that Hell Yeah Fucking Right HYFR review in today’s sesh:

Grab ye harpoons, t’day we be heeding the cetacean call and slaying Ishmael grade walez.

Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States
American Double / Imperial Stout | 11.50% ABV

A: This looks pretty similar to the original Huna but lacked that epic carbonation that made the 2011 so fun. Frothy tan bubbles all up in the mix like a Costa Rican foam party, not present in this one. This pours raven black with a sheer that coats like Paddington Bear’s jacket, deep and thick. The sheeting is like a convict on PCP and shows the power beneath. It’s the liquid form of cyber sex, you aren’t sure what you are in for but it is likely dangerous in some capacity.

This poised beast will blow you away. ZJs for everyone.

S: This has a nice sweet tone at the outset like figs, deep chocolate, the peppers and chilis are muted and the bourbon takes center stage making that cinnamon follow him around holding his pocket. I kinda wanted some coffee but this continental breakfast is serving nothing but bourbon AND YOU WILL LIKE IT.

T: Holy hell, the taste takes that crazy manticor that was Huna and adds another series of heads and flaming tails. You get the chocolate, pulling a red rider wagon full of dark fruits and oak in tow with nice vanilla stickiness for all the kids and then OH SHIT OLD MAN BARRELBOR JUST SAW YOU ON HIS PROPERTY and things turn very bourbon, very quickly. The four roses barrel imparts more of a sweetness, per usual, but it works well given the crazy complexity of the base beer. This is like a Mars Volta solo that just goes on and continues to ruin undergrad educations.

OUT OF NOWHERE: Bourbon Huna blast to your periodic tabledome.

M: The coating is straight up Sherwin Williams and blacks out like an overweight person on Supermarket Sweep. The glass is permanently stained and looks like it was dropped into the Hudson river, filthy and decadent. If you drink this at lunch, just go home from work. You are done for the day and those kids can find their own way home from school.

D: Well, I guess this depends on how gluttonous you are. Can you tank a series of Home Run Pies? Do you sigh when Marie Callendars give you the “small” slice of chocolate mousse pie? This is for you. I had a solid pour and enjoyed it as it warmed but I didn’t draw hearts around its name nad wonder when we would meet again. It was a one night tryst, but you can brag to all your friends how you…ok well…no you can’t brag about shit without some serious ridicule and derision.

I feel bad for the countries that SHOULD be enjoying Russian Imperial Stouts, Florida doesn’t even need big stouts. They need OFF! and government subsidized showers.

Narrative: After several months at sea, even Jericho had lost faith in the elusive ebony whale. It was rumored that the crew of the HMS ISO:FT was taken down in a swift blow once the majestic chocolate mammal burst upon the scene. After months of scanning the horizon with little more than guppies and schools of cuttlefish, he had all but lost hope. Suddenly on the starboard bow, a jstof inky black spew fired into the air, cutting the murky clouds with a frothy cocoa mist. “THAR SHE BE! Grip ye threadbare poles and prepare for a series of REJECTION MY MEN!” The Hunt was on. The beast dove deep, demanding much of the crew, pulling them left and right with their tiny vessel and cellar in tow. Bixby James, a belgian longshoreman with unnerving superstitions jumped down from the flying jib and rubbed tart lychee upon the tip of his blade and watched the coffee shadow underneathe them. “For them the sour inside shall SLAY THE BITTER BELOW!” He cast his acidic spear deep and aimed for the monster’s rare weak point, striking a critical blow. The men sampled the decadent oil from the blowhole with khaki stained teeth, one of the remaining 189 beasts had been laid to rest in solemn reverence.