Okay folks, it’s been a while since I last posted a list of mind-blowing, unimaginable, and all out “wtf?” beers for your reading and viewing pleasure. My apologies, I have been on the hunt. These last five months I have been trying out as many new brews that my stomach and pockets can handle and thanks to my efforts I have compiled this list of ten awe-inspiring, jaw dropping, and sometimes questionable libations that share one thing in common: You Probably Never Heard of them. Take a gander and find out.

1. Saranac Black Forest: Bavarian Style Black Beer

Saranac Black ForestAlcohol by Volume: 5.5%

Availability: Year-Round

Smells Like: Berries, sugary maltiness.

Tastes Like: Sweet, caramel, berry, dark, malty, refreshing, easy-drinking, Delicious!

Side Note: This is a very drinkable beer. I highly recommend it for people who aren’t fans of hoppy/bitter or even traditional beers. if you like sweet beverages you will probably highly enjoy this one. This is definitely one of my top ten favorite brews.

Brewer’s Description: “Brewed to pay homage to our founder’s homeland, our German-Style Schwarzbier is brewed true to style with a deliciously sweet malty flavor.It may be dark in color but it’s not heavy on roasted flavor like most people expect in a dark beer.”
2. Dogfish Head World Wide Stout

DogfishHeadWorldWideStoutAlcohol by Volume: 15%-20%

Availability: Limited/Rare

Smells Like: Barley wine, cognac, intoxicating, full-bodied, complex.

Tastes Like: Dark, robust roasted flavor, but not overbearing. An amped up stout that will surely warm you up and make the world feel good after just one bottle.

Side Note: With such a high alcohol percentage, $10-$15/bottle retail price, and full-bodied flavor I really don’t recommend drinking more than one of these at a time. This is a great sipping beer, especially during cold months. Sipping is highly recommended.

Brewer’s Description: http://youtu.be/Jutjj50_AcE

3. Rogue VooDoo Donut Bacon Maple Ale

RogueVooDooDoughnutBaconMapleAleAlcohol by Volume: 5.6%

Availability: Year-Round

Smells Like: Smoked ham and maple syrup.

Tastes Like: Smoked ham flavoring, hints of maple syrup, but not quite as sweet as I expected. In the balance between sweet and savory, savory definitely prevails in this beer.

Side Note: Given the $19 price tag (D.C.) and its lackluster taste I would only recommend this for someone curious about the taste. But, to forewarn you, it really didn’t do anything for me. There’s nothing special about this beer and I honestly won’t be buying it again.

Brewer’s Description: “Rogue Ales has collided with Voodoo Doughnut to create Bacon Maple Ale! This unique artisan creation contains a baker’s dozen number of ingredients including bacon and maple syrup from one of Voodoo’s signature doughnuts.”

4. Brewhouse Rarities Green Tea Imperial Stout

BrewhouseRaritiesGreenTeaImperialStoutAlcohol by Volume: 10%

Availability: February Release (Limited)

Smells Like: Green Tea (Herbal)

Tastes Like: If green tea and black coffee (no sugar or cream) had a baby.

Side Note: 1st mistake: Buying this. 2nd mistake: Drinking this. This was just a bad decision on my part. When I got the feeling I wouldn’t like it beforehand, I should have just turned back around and went in the opposite direction. I actually enjoy green tea and stouts. But, putting the two together just doesn’t mix well in my book. It was okay as a once in a lifetime thing. But, I will never buy this one again. Sorry Flying Dog. This one just didn’t do it for me.

Brewer’s Description: “The combination of a cold green tea steep and a rich malt backbone creates a unique umami complexity. Rich dark chocolate and herbal accents greet the nose, giving way to a bittersweet chocolate base with roast earthiness and savory green tea flavors.”

5. Magic Hat “Pistil” Dandelion Ale

MagicHatPistilDandelionAle0Alcohol by Volume: 4.5%

Availability: January – March

Smells Like: Light, semi-floral.

Tastes Like: A unique floral + beer combo. Somewhat weird.

Side Note: I tasted this one months ago and I honestly don’t remember the taste too well. Sorry folks. While this was a unique brew. It wasn’t anything spectacular or even really worth trying. I’d suggest maybe buying one to see if you like it and then get a 6’er if you do. Also, this does not seem like a great beer for food pairing. So be cautious about doing that.

Brewer’s Description: “A refreshing, sun-inspired spring ale. A subtle floral spiciness from Apollo and Northern Brewer hops is balanced by earthy notes from dandelion leaves, while acidulated malts provide a smooth, slightly sour malt body.”

6. Old Dominion Brewing Company’s Cherry Blossom Lager

CherryBlossomLagerAlcohol by Volume: 5.2%

Availability: March (Spring Seasonal)

Smells Like: Carbonated Sweetness

Tastes Like: An average lager with a hint of cherry.

Side Note: Very small hint of cherry in the batch I drank. This wasn’t nearly as appealing as the Alice In Wonderland themed packaging made it look. It was very lackluster and disappointing. I thought I was in-store for a cherry experience and I felt like I was drinking any other run-of-the-mill draft lager. I wouldn’t waste my time or money on this again.

Brewer’s Description: “Cherry Blossom Lager is conditioned on a bed of 300 pounds of Michigan cherries for 48 hours prior to packaging.  Pale, Carafoam, Munich, and Vienna malts provide a crisp backbone, while the subtle addition of Perle and Tradition hops allows the fruit to transcend this delight.”

7. Dogfish Head: “Aprihop” Pale Ale brewed with Apricots

DogfishHeadAprihopAlcohol by Volume: 7%

Availability: March – May (Spring Seasonal)

Smells Like: Hoppy, yet Sweet Apricot goodness.

Tastes Like: Bitterness initially explodes on the palate but is quickly calmed by a refreshing hint of apricot sweetness.

Side Note: This is a pale ale brewed for the non-pale ale drinker. I highly enjoyed this beer. Although the bitterness is prevalent, the sweetness from the apricot helps balance it out and makes it quite a refreshing experience. I’d suggest this beer to any beer and non-beer drinker. Way to go Dogfish Head!

Brewer’s Description: “The flavor is rich with late hop notes, and its bitterness is tempered by just the right amount of malt sweetness and fruity undertones from the apricots” – See more at: http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/seasonal-brews/aprihop.htm#sthash.tVwtaM6R.dpuf

8. Flying Dog: Double Dog Double Pale Ale

FlyingDogDoubleDogPaleAleAlcohol by Volume: 11.5%

Availability: Limited Distribution

Smells Like: A Hopped Up Ale on steroids

Tastes Like: Super Bitter hoppiness. Not for the amateur pale ale drinker

Side Note: Its high alcohol content and bold flavor definitely shines through (or should i say blurs through?) after just one bottle of this stuff. If you are not a fan of bitter beers, I don’t suggest you purchase or taste this. You Will Not Like It! Although I’m not huge on hoppy bitterness, Flying Dog has done a good job with this one. I was actually able to drink and enjoy it.

Brewer’s Description: “This is a big beer that calls for equally big food. Flavor notes: Citrus hops with sweet malt and subtle alcohol burn (like a kiss on the cheek).”

9. Fox Barrel Orange Unfiltered Pear Cider

FoxBarrelUnfilteredPearCiderAlcohol by Volume: 6.5%

Availability: N/A

Smells Like: Pear juice.

Tastes Like: Sweet pear juice with a light fizz and a slight honey undertone.

Side Note: This is another one of those top ten favorite beers. I love this hard cider. It’s crazy smooth and surprisingly flavorful. Fox Barrel knows what they’re doing. I have enjoyed all of the hard cider offerings that I have tasted from them thus far.

Brewer’s Description: “Fermented With Natural Orange Peel & Coriander, Infused With Organic Honey. ”

10. Magic Hat Cucumber Hibiscus Ale aka HiCu

MagicHatHiCuAlcohol by Volume: 4.2%

Availability: April – July (Summer Seasonal)

Smells Like: Hibiscus

Tastes Like: Hibiscus and cucumber. Almost like eating a cucumber roll (sushi). Very peculiar and very much an acquired taste.

Side Note: This is definitely one of those strange brews you find yourself trying simply because it is sush a departure from the norm. It’s a very light beer that I could definitely see pairing well with sushi or maybe even a fresh green salad with grilled tuna. Although it has an airy feel, I couldn’t really sip this beer. I suggest eating something with this. I feel like it will help compliment the hibiscus and cucumber flavors.

Brewer’s Description: “Perfect form with a smooth, malty opening line followed by a crisp, citrusy hop-filled second stanza. The final piece of its poetic existence is a dash of cool cucumber combined with the slightest of hibiscus tangs.”

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