The Green Fairy

Firestone Walker has just upped their barrel aging game by not only finding absinthe barrels but then creating a beer that those barrels could affect in a new and interesting way. Plus cognac, rye whiskey and bitters barrels as well.

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!


“Hang”in around the Barrel

I wish Redlands was a little closer to Glendale. But then again, it is probably why their special events are so much fun and with little to no lines even during a great barrel aged beer event at Hangar 24.

They are known for their excellent Orange Wheat (now in cans, along with their Helles) but beer geeks know them for their “Barrel Roll Series” of beers. It started with Immelman’s five years ago and this year they released Chandelle. And then re-released Pugachev’s Cobra from year three.

I was finally able to catch up on Immelman (in two versions) as well as Roll # 2, Humpty Bump. And even though I missed the apricot accented Chandelle, there was plenty to choose from, especially if you like rye whiskey barrels.

Immelman (the bourbon version) was my co-favorite of the day in a tie with a rye whiskey barrel version of their 4th Anniversary Dopplesticke.

The staff was friendly and helpful. As mentioned, lines were practically non-existent from the time I arrived two hours in until I left two hours later. Some of the bottled offerings were running dry but you could spend your six drink tickets on multiple versions of Pugachev’s or sit at one station and have an enjoyable time and get your $25 worth. The pours were very generous considering the weight of some of the beers and you could gaze upon their new canning line and huge tanks in the newest part of the facility.

So keep your eye’s peeled for their next event. You will not regret it.