Category Archives: Reviews

Review: Green Flash Silva Stout

A blend of barrel aged stout and fresh Double Stout from Green Flash Brewing  in Vista, CA.  Format:  fancy new custom Green Flash twelve ounce brown glass bottle poured into a tulip glass.  10.10% ABV.

Pours black with dark brown edges, less than a finger of tan head that dissipates fairly quickly, resulting in a thin ring which actually does leave some lacing as I partake in this beverage.

Aroma of Cabernet grapes, bourbon, candylike malts buttery oak, maple, and paper mill. Tastes of bourbon, rich chocolatey malts, caramel, and port-like vinous qualities on the midpalate. Moderate bitterness and rich cookie malts on the finish with some dry port and herbaceous reminders. Rich body and light carbonation make this silky on the palate resulting in a very easy to drink beer, perhaps outrageously so for something ripe with bourbon and over ten percent.

Good base beer here made exponentially better through barrel aging and an excellent hand in blending.  To my palate this reminds me of both bourbon and port barrels.  The beer is labeled “barrel aged stout” which does not specify a type of barrel.  Having had the bourbon barrel aged version of Double Stout, this is quite a different beer.  I would not be surprised if a portion of the blend included red wine barrels.  If it doesn’t include them, I do have some worries as to whether or not this may have some bugs in it, which means it could sour upon aging.  It is ready to drink now and so I suggest drinking  up.  Excellent beer.

TOTAL: 90/100 Points

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Review: Duck Rabbit Baltic Porter

Vintage 2009 twelve ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours jet black with tobacco brown extremities and lless than a finger of oak barrel brown head. Retention is not high, though a ring of microbubbles remains, crowning the beer. Aroma of musty chocolate, cocoa powder, malt, tootsie rolls, slightly salty with hints of vinous port wine character.

Flavor is quite vinous and ripe with cocoa, umami and classically acidic for a Baltic Porter. Tart wine grapes and dark fruits on the midpalate and the finish is quite dry, ashy even, ending with a lot of breadiness and a a bit of leafiness. Alcohol is quite concealed.

Moderate to full in body with carbonation at the same level, too many bubbles for a dry beer that isn’t too thick. More acidic and less malt dominated and thick than a typical Baltic Porter, a more historic variation on the style. Unique dry and acidic qualities make it easy to drink. Worth trying.

TOTAL: 74/100 Points

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Review: Khlebny Kray Kvass

This beer review is unedited from its original version as initially posted (and subsequently deleted) from BeerAdvocate. At one time BeerAdvocate rated this beer the #62 top beer on planet earth! Please refer to the accompanying article to be posted Wednesday: The Great Purge.

When I saw this plastic liter bottle labeled indecipherably in Cyrillic my bottom lip started trembling and my knees buckled slightly. In the cooler before me was a fabled kvass from the Eastern lands. I managed to land in a seat and my arm weakly held out my glass to receive this 1.2% ABV ambrosia. The best way to describe this feeling is to compare it directly to the Holy Communion. It sparkles a brilliant and clear ruby brown, with little head or lace. My nose, which was running because I was borderline crying at this point, managed to pick up oats, honey, and floral notes, sweet and inviting.

Tears came into my eyes as I meekly lifted the glass to my lips, immersing my palate in a world of unattenuated adjuncts as tears streamed down my red face. The flavor is sweet, reminds of root beer, jasmine tea, sassafras, honeysuckle. Herbal and floral, like a fine tea turned into a soda. Mouthfeel is medium, smooth, tealike, pleasantly carbonated.

I chanted, “Kvass! Kvass! Kvass!” as Bobby continued to give out samples, pumping my fists rapidly, doing a brief victory lap around the bar. Perhaps the rarest of styles, this was the most intense emotional experience of my life. I would love to drink this again. My eyes are tearing up as I type this.