Not Hawkins

Beachwood Brewing will soon be releasing the third beer in Beachwood Brewing’s 2014 series of barrel-aged beers, Sadie.


Tasting notes from the brewery describe Sadie as having “Rich accents of caramel and vanilla are carefully intertwined with delicate notes of oak and toasted oats.”

SADIE will be released as a limited edition beer on Tuesday, October 14th at 6pm at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach and Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, California.

Saduewill be available in 22oz. bottles on October 14th at 6pm at both Beachwood locations for the price of $25.

Barrel Aged and Canned


Now that Ska Brewing is in L.A., it is time to work on getting another Colorado brewery over here.  And that means Upslope to me.  And they have given me another reason to want their cans on shelves here in SoCal…..

“Our original North Boulder brewery at Lee Hill has been a hotbed of creativity lately, crankin’ out some killer small batch brews for our tap rooms, and is now the home of the Lee Hill Series – a quarterly, limited release series celebrating experimentation and creativity. This Series, served up in 19.2 ounce cans, offers new and innovative styles that are sure to be cellar keepsakes.”

Yup, cans to cellar.  Barrel aged then put into cans.  Brown Ale.  Daring choice in a time of hopped madness but this beer spent “four months in first use Maryland Rye Whiskey barrels from Leopold Bros. ” I have had the pleasure of a few beers aged in that spirit makers barrels and they were excellent so I expect nothing less from this one.

Up From the Cellar – 2011 Parabola from Firestone Walker


The theme for Up From the Cellar for July is a year. 2011 to be specific. Also Imperial Stouts. A favorite style amongst beer geeks and snobs alike.  And we start with a barrel-aged Imperial from Firestone Walker.

This 12.5 stout pours jet black with a beautiful espresso rim of foam. That foam quickly dissipates and you are left with impenetrable darkness. The aroma is incredible. This decidedly falls into the camp of beers that you can smell and be satisfied without ever taking a sip. Though you will want to.

This beer spent 12 months in barrels before I even thought about cellaring it. And it shows. Big bourbon and rum notes intermingle. Some coffee bitterness is in the background as well but this is a barrel show.

There is some serious warming here as well. Each sip brings a flare of heat. But it fades quickly allowing for the bourbon and late flavor addition of chocolate and tobacco notes to power through. You cheeks will warm. But they won’t be red.  Even when another warming spice sensation emerges as the beer warms up.

The Verdict? – Parabola in all it’s yearly versions, tastes fantastic.  The fact that sitting for an additional three years hasn’t changed that, is almost a moot point.  Of course it’s gonna taste great.  It’s a barrel-aged stout from Firestone Walker.  I don’t think that even a rank amateur cellarman could do any appreciable damage to this beer.



Get it Now, before it’s Gone

I am a fan of Firestone Walker.  For two reasons.  1- the beer is great. 2 – they treat bloggers well.

And a third reason is that their barrel aged beers are fantastic to cellar.  And one you had better grab plenty of is “the third and final bottled release of Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s barrel-aged Double DBA begins on July 12, setting the stage for an as-yet-unchosen replacement next year.”

D-DBA is being squeezed out due to room.  Even with the major growth of the brewery in Paso Robles and Barrelworks in Buellton, other beers are begging to be bottled and released.  Ones like….Bravo, Helldorado, Parabajava, PNC, Saucerful of Secrets and Brownie Wine.

I have never tasted the last one, so I would vote for that one.  But before we jump ahead, here is the description of what is in the 2014 version of the D-DBA bottle, “the imperial special bitter is Firestone Walker’s flagship DBA brewed at double strength, using twice the amount of malts and hops. As with the regular DBA, the 2014 Double DBA was partially fermented in a union of new American oak barrels. After fermentation, the beer was racked and returned to the union barrels as well as bourbon barrels, where it aged for one year. The barrel mix for the 2014 Double DBA included vessels from Woodford Reserve, Elijah Craig and Four Roses.”

If you don’t get Double DBA now, it is also the base beer for Reginald Brett, a bretted barrel-aged ale which is coincidentally  to be released later this year from Barrelworks.

8 Buffalo

Uh-Oh.  Now it’s getting serious, Beachwood Brewing is releasing 8 Buffalo Imperial Stout.

It is the kick-off for the 2014 series of barrel-aged Beachwood beers.

As Brewmaster and co-owner Julian Shrago explains, “We are so excited to finally release our first large scale barrel aged beer! It’s been amazing to taste 8 Buffalo along the way, we are very proud of the final blend.”

The limited edition 8 Buffalo Imperial Stout will be released on March 4th at 5pm at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pugachev goes Royale


Hangar 24 Craft Brewery and their brand new branding are back for round 2 of their Barrel-Aged Beer Festival this December 7th, from 11am-4pm at their Redlands based Brewery.

This is your chance to sample many, many beers from the Hangar’s extensive barrel-aging program including the infamous Pugachev’s Cobra. To sweeten the pot, a brand new entry in the Barrel Roll series will be introduced: the very limited Pugachev Royale.

This was a fun event last year.  It is a long drive (unless you live out in the IE) but a good sized but not huge crowd was spread through the getting bigger brewery complex. And even though some of the rarer beers went quickly there was no wont of good beer choices.


A Slow Roll


“Slow roll: A demanding maneuver in which the pilot slowly rotates the longitudinal axis of the aircraft 360 degrees while maintaining level flight.”

I missed this beer at their recent anniversary bash (which drew in big crowds from what I hear) but I hope to get a taste of this new barrel aged offering from H24.  I want to see how a golden ale does in Bourbon barrels.

“This fruity, complex ale evolved over time to its present state – hence the name, Slow Roll. In November, we began it as a Belgian-style golden ale. We then racked the beer into bourbon barrels. Six months later, our anniversary beer is ready to perform. Admire the light copper color in your glass. Take in the aromas of pear, banana, and spice, with gentle oak and caramel notes. The first sip will reveal even more nuance, with soft caramel and bourbon in the background. It starts very effervescent, followed by a dry finish. We invite you to celebrate with us and enjoy Slow Roll, a limited edition bottling of our Fifth Anniversary ale.”

Review – Melange # 3

After stewarding at the Batch 1,000 Home Brew contest at the Bruery, I got a bottle for all of my “hard” work.


I last reviewed Melange # 3 way back in 2011 and I said this, “This is a big boozer. Way too sweet for me. Followed by a big ABV taste that I don’t cotton too. Pours a dusky brown with a big barrel aroma to it.”

The Bruery describes this beer thusly, “Melange #3 is a blend of three bourbon barrel aged strong ales. White Oak Sap, a wheat wine, our Anniversary Series old ale and our imperial stout, Black Tuesday, join forces in this luxurious strong ale that links some of the best characteristics of each of the contributing beers. Chocolate, dark fruits, oaky vanilla and rich toffee-like character reach through the bourbon veneer for an intensely satisfying quaff.”


And now, this is the 2013 updated review of Melange # 3, It pours a dark brown with a tint of red to it.  Foamy head disappears somewhat quickly but a big sweet bourbon aroma takes over.  I get some coconut and caramel notes in the aroma as well.  This is a viscous beer that leaves alcohol legs on the glass and on the palate too.  Very sweet.  Almost a bourbon coconut ganache.  And very strong, their is a bit of an alcohol burn that holds on for awhile.

I have to agree with previous me from 2011.  This is just too sweet for me.


The 2013 Birthday Beer – Revealed


Earlier this year, I made mention of two beers in the pipeline from Cismontane Brewing in Rancho Santa Margarita.  And one of them, Oso (bear in Spanish) is my birthday beer for 2013.  A singular honor bestowed yearly that is on par with getting an Oscar or a GABF medal.

All hyperbole aside, here is what the brewers behind Oso have to say about it: “The English yeast imparted a symphony of dark fruity esters which compliment the tasty vanilla/ caramel notes, graciously donated by the Rye Whiskey barrels.”

I certainly liked the smoothness of this beer.  Plus the 10% abv displayed no heat at all.  I got lot’s of vanilla notes and also some baking bread aromas.  You could really taste the underlying porter underneath the whiskey which some barrel aged beers just can’t do.  As it the beer warmed up, I detected some spice notes underneath as well.  Between this big beer and the light Holy Jim Falls XPA, Cismontane has the beer style gamut covered.


I also have a second birthday beer in mind.  It is the release of a collaboration between Ohana and the in Kickstarter phase L.A. Aleworks.  It will debut at Beer Belly tomorrow night and you should check it out!


3rd Anniversary for 38 Degrees

June 16 starting at 1:00pm

“Does 38 Degrees get better with age? We like to think so! Not too many beers get better, but some special barrel aged gems from some of our favorite breweries will be showcased on draught for 38’s 3rd Anniversary event. Just as the barrel aged madness last June, various styles such as sours, porters, stouts, strong ales & barleywines racked straight from a barrel will be flowing from the taps Saturday, June 16th starting at 1:00 pm. Over 25 barrel aged beers on tap and plenty of fresh ales as well to quench your particular thirst. We still carry over 180 specialty bottles as well FYI. No entry fee at all… Full 38 degrees service all day & night to all who would like to raise a glass to 3 fantastic years serving very fine foods & brilliant beers here in Alhambra. Official list released Monday, June 10th. Please chime in with some requests and or guess'”