Moonzen Yama Sichuan Porter

Brewery: Moonzen Brewery
Country: Hong Kong
ABV: 8%
Style: American Imperial Porter
Other Notes: Brewed with Sichuan peppercorns

Brewer Description: (from bottle) This beast of a porter, with wafts of smoked caramel malts and Sichuan peppercorns, will set your senses on fire as you await King Yama’s judgement. Pairs well with Sichuan dishes like 擔擔麵 or 棒棒雞.

My rating: 5
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.48
My ratebeer.com rating: 4.4

Intro: A 330ml bottle, bottle numbered 172, with a best before date of 1st June 2016. Poured into a Moonzen teku glass.
Appearance: It poured a dark dark brown colour with a one finger beige head that dissipated quickly, but left some light lacing.
Aroma: Roasted malts, crushed Sichuan peppercorn, ginger, sweet brown sugar and light caramel.
Taste: Dark roast malts, Sichuan peppercorns, light smoke char, black coffee, chocolate, caramel and a light lasting spicy tinge on the tongue.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with low carbonation.
Overall: A very good Porter especially if you like spicy Sichuan peppercorns. The peppercorns really come out in the aroma and taste of this beer and mix well the roasty malts, coffee and chocolate flavours. The spiciness is there and lasts but is not overpowering. I would definitely buy this again. I also think aging this would be very interesting.

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Tre Fontane Tripel

Brewery: Abbazia delle Tre Fontane
Country: Italy
ABV: 8.5%
Style: Belgian Tripel
Other Notes: Unfiltered ale brewed with eucalyptus grown by the abbey.

Brewer Description: (from bottle) (in Italian) Questa birra, aromatizzata con foglie di eucalipto, rappresenta un prodotto unico nato da un’antica ricetta dell’Abbazia delle Tre Fontane. Dal 1873 l’eucalipto caratterizza I prodotti di questa Comunità di Monaci Trappisti.

My rating: 2
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.24
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.1

Intro: A 330ml bottle with a best before date of June 2016 and poured into a Chimay goblet glass.
Appearance: It poured a cloudy dark orange golden colour with a two finger off white head that dissipates to a nice puffy layer and leaves nice curtain lacing.
Aroma: Eucalyptus, orange, honey, lemon, light olive oil, rosemary, sage and peppery spice. Very interesting.
Taste: Starts like the aroma with sweet eucalyptus, honey, sage and lemon followed by banana, clove and cinnamon. The finish is like bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a hint of pepper.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with mid to high carbonation.
Overall: A very interesting beer. Quite a mix of sweet and savoury. Its like eucalyptus and honey with bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Good flavours for food, but just ok for beer.

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Garage Project La Calavera Catrina

Brewery: Garage Project
Country: New Zealand
ABV: 6.9%
Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer
Other Notes: Brewed with maize, habanero chili, watermelon and rose water.

Brewer Description: (from can) The elegant skull, may be a blonde lager, but don’t be fooled, she’s no lightweight. Brewed with maize, an ingredient you’d normally associate with much blander lager offerings, La Catrina is fired up with an assertive chili heat from a generous addition of habaneros, and spiked with rose water and yes – watermelon. The result is cheeky, complex and fiery – what more could you want in the lady of death?

My rating: 2
My beeradvocate.com rating: 2.65
My ratebeer.com rating: 2.5

Intro: A 330ml can with a best before date of 21st July 2016 and poured into a d’Achouffe tulip glass.
Appearance: It poured a clear golden blonde colour with a one finger white head that dissipated fairly quickly but leaves some sparse lacing.
Aroma: Pale malts and corn along with some orange and lemon citrus plus a hint of rose water.
Taste: Spicy! Chili heat at the beginning and chili heat on the finish. In the middle of it all there’s some sweet honey and apple maybe. But really, it seems all about the chili which is a bit overpowering.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light carbonation and tingly chili spice.
Overall: I enjoy chili and eat a lot of spicy food, but I’m not sure this really worked. In this case, I thought that the chili really overpowered everything else, such that the other flavours you get in the middle, were pretty much negated. I feel that if putting chili in beer, then perhaps it would go better with the normally bolder flavours of an imperial stout or imperial porter, which would provide more balance.

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Moonzen Moon Goddess Chocolate Stout

Brewery: Moonzen Brewery
Country: Hong Kong
ABV: 5%
Style: American Stout
Other Notes: Brewed with chocolate and vanilla

Brewer Description: (from bottle) Creamy, dreamy, and velvety smooth. This stout contains real chocolate and vanilla. One sip of this elixir of life and you might also fly to the moon! Pairs well with rich spicy food, Sichuan dishes, and chocolate.

My rating: 3
My beeradvocate.com rating: 3.31
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.2

Intro: A 330ml bottle, bottle numbered 114, with a best before date of 1st June 2016. Poured into a Moonzen teku glass.
Appearance: It poured a deep dark brown, near black colour with a three finger beige head that dissipates slowly to a thin foam cap and leaves some nice streaky lacing.
Aroma: First thing I get is coke, followed by chocolate, coffee, hint of lemon and some kind of berry (maybe cranberry).
Taste: Strong sweetish malts followed by chocolate, roasty vanilla and light coffee. The finish has a light fruity berry-ness.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied with medium prickly carbonation.
Overall: This tasted quite nice but was way too light bodied for my preferred stout style.

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Garage Project Aro Noir

Brewery: Garage Project
Country: New Zealand
ABV: 7%
Style: American Stout
Other Notes: Brewed with roasted barley. Hops – Columbus and Summit.

Brewer Description: (from can) Aro Noir is a pitch blak and full flavoured stout. At its heart is a blend of four malts, with Columbus and Summit hops, creating a citric bitterness and aroma that marries nicely with the roast malt character. Yes, it is inspired by the darkness of a Wellington winter in Aro Valley, but truly it is a stout for all seasons. Join us on the dark side.

My rating: 4
My beeradvocate.com rating: 4.07
My ratebeer.com rating: 3.9

Intro: A 330ml can with a best before date of 10th August 2016 and poured into a Moonzen teku glass.
Appearance: It poured a pitch black colour with a big almost three finger dark tan head that stuck around for a while and left nice streaky lacing.
Aroma: Roasted malts, coffee, light char and bittersweet chocolate.
Taste: Starts with a light roast, coffee and light char followed by a bitter espresso and citric finish.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.
Overall: This was good with nice coffee flavours mixed in with some smoky char and a bitter fruit finish. Light enough to be a stout for all seasons.

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